Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Uthman: Corrupter of Muhammad's Message and the True Founder of Islam

It's quite common for Muslim apologists to be inconsistent in their methodology. For instance, a Muslim will point to the Bible and say, "Ahhhh! You have textual variants! This is conclusive proof that your book has been corrupted!" Then, when Christians show that there are textual variants in the Qur'an, suddenly textual variants aren't important. Muslims will point to the Gospels and say, "Ha! Mark was written more than two decades after the life of Jesus! How can you trust such a late book?" Then these same Muslims will quote Sahih al-Bukhari as a trustworthy source on the life of Muhammad--despite the fact that it was written more than two centuries after Muhammad's life.

Muslims are especially inconsistent in their conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are meant to rule out evidence, so that the facts no longer count. For example, let's say that I'm a paranoid schizophrenic. "Everyone is conspiring against me," I cry. How could anyone ever prove me wrong? "David," you say, "I promise you that we're not conspiring against you. No one's plotting behind your back." This is meant to be evidence against my position, and yet I reply, "Ha! That's exactly what I would expect you to say! If you're plotting against me, of course you're going to deny it! Now I know that everyone is conspiring against me!"

Muslims apply conspiracy theories in numerous ways, e.g. "There was a conspiracy at the Council of Nicaea! They wrote the Gospels themselves!" But I want to focus on one particular conspiracy theory--the theory that Paul invented Christianity. In his debate with James White, Nadir Ahmed used this theory to rule out all the relevant evidence. Nadir claimed, without offering anything even remotely resembling a careful argument, that Paul had corrupted Jesus' message. Since the writings of the New Testament come after Paul, none of them can be used as evidence concerning Jesus' teachings. Moreover, since even the early church fathers were writing after Paul, their views don't count either.

Notice the difference between this conspiracy theory and a serious argument against Christianity. A serious argument would be based on the first century evidence. Nadir's conspiracy theory is meant to rule out everything that would normally count as evidence (and James pointed this out).

But does Nadir apply this theory consistently? That is, would Islam be able to deal with a similar attack? Let's find out.

I claim that Muhammad was a Christian. He believed in Jesus' death, resurrection, and deity. The vast majority of "Christians" in Arabia before the time of Muhammad were heretics. Hence, Muhammad came to restore true belief in Jesus Christ. He spent his entire life preaching the Gospel and turning people to faith in Jesus Christ. Many pagans were converted to Christianity under the powerful preaching of Muhammad and his disciples Abu Bakr and Umar. Muhammad gave his followers the Qur'an, which, in its original form, was simply an Arabic translation of the New Testament.

But there was an evil pagan named Uthman, who hated Christianity, didn't know Muhammad, and worshiped Allah, one of the many gods of Arabia. In order to destroy the work of Muhammad, Uthman pretended to be a faithful Christian. His deception was so convincing that he eventually rose to a position of leadership in the Christian community. Once he was in charge, Uthman asked all of the Christians in Arabia for their copies of the Qur'an (i.e. their copies of the Arabic New Testament). Uthman then rewrote the entire Qur'an, turning it into a book which denies the core teachings of Christianity. He took all copies of the true Qur'an and burned them, and he used his power to silence his enemies.

Thus, the Islam of today is not the religion that Muhammad preached. Muhammad preached submission to Jesus Christ. Uthman corrupted this message by claiming that Allah is the only true God and that Jesus was a mere prophet of Allah. He did this in order to degrade Jesus and to keep people from believing in Christianity, the religion of Muhammad.

Now for the fun part. How can Muslims refute my theory? They can't appeal to the Qur'an, since all copies of the Qur'an were written after Uthman corrupted them. But Muslims can't appeal to the Hadith, Sira literature, or commentaries either, since all of these were written after the time of Uthman. Muslims can't even say that Uthman was one of the companions, since I'm claiming that Uthman simply rewrote history to help his position. Isnad criticism is irrelevant, since later Isnad critics were under the influence of Uthman's false teachings.

I conclude that Muhammad preached Christianity and that Uthman was the true founder of what is now called "Islam."

My question to my Muslim friends is this: Do you really want to take the route of conspiracy theories?

22 comments:

Jay said...

Well said David! Just goes to expose the Muslim apologist double standard again. I would love to see one of the regulars here respond.

Btw, I got a kick out of the way Nadir kept referring to Paul as a prophet LOL!

Javier said...

This is amusing, and consistent with Muslim arguments.

Glenn Hendrickson said...

how frustrating! I hope that Muslims don't do this intentionally, but it seems like they are willing to say almost anything to vindicate their religion.

That counter-example was funny too, haha.

ben malik said...

Glenn, you hit it on the nail since this is precisely what Muslim apologists like Bassam Zawadi and Yahya do. Their conscience has been so seared that they no longer care for the truth.

Dk said...

I'm a believer!

Sunil said...

David,

>> My question to my Muslim friends is this: Do you really want to take the route of conspiracy theories?

Someone who is well informed about religions, if he/she chooses to be a Muslim, the only option is to depend on conspiracy theories about both Jesus and Muhammad. About Jesus, they have to believe conspiracy theories such that someone (singlehandedly or otherwise) hijacked/erased the real message/followers of Jesus. Or involve God Himself in the conspiracy by saying that God Himself indulged in a public deception of disciples and all the people who believed Jesus etc.

About Muhammad, such a person should believe in consipracy theories that most of the early orthodox believers/biographers of Muhammad who recorded horrific stories about Muhammad are all unreliable, and that much of recorded events/actions/teachings of Muhammad/Companions/Caliphs which are largely horrific are all unreliable etc.

Unless one believes in such conspiracy theories there is no way someone who is well informed about religions be a muslim (other reasons such as 'love for tradition' that Jesus talked about that make some people to harden their hearts and stubbornly stick to their religion/tradition, Or social reasons like rebellion etc). This is my observation, not to be seen as an offense to anyone.

Javier said...

It is interesting. Islam itself is based on a conspiracy theory.

"Who died on the cross?"

"It wasn't Jesus, it just looked like Jesus."

Eh...

george said...

so how do we know what was muhammads message?

Dk said...

George even without Davids "conspiracy theory" , it is still difficult to determine the biography of Mohammad because of so much embellishment and legends contained within the Qur'an and Hadith. Also of course it is a one-sided history given by the arabs and believing arabs at that. I would answer we can't know his message (atleast historically).

David Wood said...

George,

I've already said that Muhammad's message was Christianity. Muslims can only deny this by appealing to historical records, but my conspiracy theory rules out all their historical records (as their conspiracy theories rule out Christian records).

Nazam said...

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem-tu-quoque.html

Also Known as: "You Too Fallacy"

Description of Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
This fallacy is committed when it is concluded that a person's claim is false because 1) it is inconsistent with something else a person has said or 2) what a person says is inconsistent with her actions. This type of "argument" has the following form:


Person A makes claim X.
Person B asserts that A's actions or past claims are inconsistent with the truth of claim X.
Therefore X is false.
The fact that a person makes inconsistent claims does not make any particular claim he makes false (although of any pair of inconsistent claims only one can be true - but both can be false). Also, the fact that a person's claims are not consistent with his actions might indicate that the person is a hypocrite but this does not prove his claims are false.

Example of Ad Hominem Tu Quoque

Peter: "Based on the arguments I have presented, it is evident that it is morally wrong to use animals for food or clothing."
Bill: "But you are wearing a leather jacket and you have a roast beef sandwich in your hand! How can you say that using animals for food and clothing is wrong!"

Nazam said...

We actually have good historical reason to think that Paul's teachings influence the Gospels and the shape of the NT Canon. Take for example what Mark says about Jesus making all foods clean (Mk 7:19). Historically it is unlikely that Jesus could have abolished all of the Jewish food laws or "otherwise the strugles of the early church recorded in Galtians 2, Acts 10 and 15 would be unintelligible". (The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, p.658).
If Jesus had decalared all foods now to be clean then the deciples would have had knowledge of it and they would not have imposed OT food laws on Gentile converts (see Acts 15 and 21).
If Jesus during his life time had decalred all foods to be clean then why does not Paul, our earliest source of the NT, ever quote Jesus' words to his opponents? Instead "Paul deals with this problem in 1 Cor. 8-10; Rom. 14:1-15:13 as though it were a new one and shows no awareness that Jesus had already solved it in principle". (The Interpreter's One Volume Commentary on the Bible, p.656)
Because Paul had already taught all things are permisable and specifically all foods are now clean (Rom 14:20) Mark reads this teaching into Jesus' life time, as though he had taught the samething.
Here is just one example of how Pauls teachings shaped the NT Gospels.

B said...

Title of Link

Dk said...

Bassam,

Firstly David has already given an example of a Muslim who used that sort of conspiracy theory in a public debate i.e. Nadir. Secondly I personally have experienced Muslims using this exact same line of thinking in my interactions with them.

You also tried to refute certain comparisons David had made, by trying to draw distinctions between the parallels offered by him.

Now lets get down to it. Imagine if I told you that every variant in the Bible was divinely revealed by God, and I cited a narration two hundred years after Jesus and his apostles had lived, claiming I had an oral tradition tracing the narration back to Jesus and his apostles which says "men would come up with variants that are God inspired."

Of course (similar to your position) I have no early manuscript evidence for this saying, but I rely on the science of narration. to tell me who was a "liar" or if the content was "acceptable" according to my own arbitrary standards.

Of course in all reality it is much more likely that Mark is a greater reflection on the historical personage of Jesus and his gang, than Bukhari being one for Mohammed and his crew. So I was being sort of generous in my story.

Anyway Bassam please explain for us why you have no evidence for your position and why we should believe that textual variants were divinely given to Mohammed?

Nazam said...

Hello Dk,

You might remember me from Pal talk as Nazam44?

According to Christian theology when the NT writers first wrote they were inspired to write one single texts that could only be read in one way. However what we have today are thounsands of MSS with thounsands of different readings. Some of these are due to scribes intentionally changing their copy of a NT document in order to meet certain doctrinal believes. Some of these variant readings of the NT are also self contradicting. In the case of the Quran none of the authentic readings which go back to the Prophet Muhammed via unbroken chain of authorities have been shown to be mutually contradicting but these are part of the miracle of the Quran and actually expands the meanings of the Quran.

If Mark forms the base for Matthew and Luke's Gospels then we can see examples of Matthew and Luke altering Mark for their own theological purposes. "But if they have done that, might not Mark in turn have altered whatever material he worked from, to paint his theological portrait?". (Jesus; The Unanswered Questions by John Bowden, pg 39).

Dk said...

Hey Nazam, yes I do remember you from Pal, haven't seen you in a while, you were always one of the polite Muslims =)

"Some of these are due to scribes intentionally changing their copy of a NT documentin order to meet certain doctrinal believes."

Firstly absolutely NONE of these kinds of variants fit into the "meaningful and viable" category, and that category itself is less than 1% of all NT variants.

This fact in itself is enough to point out this is as ridiculous as me saying to you that I theologically altered the Quran since I have a copy here and I changed the arabic wording for my own purpose, however my change of course cannot be dated before 2008 since no copies exist before 2008 that include it. It is meaningless.
So pointing this out is actually futile.

Second, please cite all the known examples of scribes attempting to do this. Metzger has been refuted on 1 John 5:7 over and over, Dr James White has already pointed out 1 Timothy 3:16 wasn't because of a "theological agenda" but the confusion of two words that look almost identical. The endings of Mark have nothing to do with theological agendas, since the ending provided is "baptism" and "belief/repentence to all nations", which is the same as what Luke and Matthew had also said.

So none of these example will suffice to even give an example of what you have said. So please do give not only an example but all the cases, so we can examine this claim you and Zawadi have made.

"Some of these variant readings of the NT are also self contradicting."

Which is irrelevant unless they are meaningful and viable, even if that was the case we would argue in favour of one variant over another due to other additional factors. Can you give an example of two(or more) variants that are all meaningful and viable that are all contradictory? Not only give us an example but show us the methodology of how a Textual Critic or New Testament Scholar would handle it, since they wouldn't throw it out and say the "NT is corrupted" like Muslims would do.

"In the case of the Quran none of the authentic readings which go back to the Prophet Muhammed via unbroken chain of authorities have been shown to be mutually contradicting"

First of all, yes there do exist contradictory variants, and here is just a few cases of contradictory variants:

http://www.answering-islam.org/PQ/ch11a-index.html#ch11a

Secondly calling these readings "authentic" and saying they have an "unbroken chain" directly leading to Mohammad is not a testable claim. Therefore it is not a provable claim.

Further the Quran is said to be sent down in seven ahruf, yet what you have (atleast standardized) is about tweenty readings of ten qiraat (two per each transmission) and these qiraat are only the preserved qiraat, (about forty others are now obselete) due to a abitrary selection process. Not only is it impossible to trace these qiraat back to Mohammad, the qiraat are simply variant readings of only one ahruf which is was formed in Uthmans mushaf which was also edited. The other six ahruf are expired thanks to Uthman (which is in contradiction to Mohammeds wishes according to Bukhari).

In other words, there is no reason to believe over forty variant readings arose because of Mohammad, but rather they arose due to different Muslim communities reading Uthmans corrupted mushaf, and transmitting variants in the process. That is further evidence by the fact that the mushaf would have had no diacriticals or vowels also by the fact that these variants certainly are not "divine" in nature, they are never said to be a "tafseer" even by Uthman (and you claim they existed in his time), plus they are contradictory.

"but these are part of the miracle of the Quran and actually expands the meanings of the Quran."

Now it is a miracle to have variants, yet if we asked this about any other book you would probably say it is corrupted. This is just not applying consistant standards, as simple as that.

So as I asked Bassam, (Nazam u are weclome to answer aswell):

"please explain for us why you have no evidence for your position and why we should believe that textual variants were divinely given to Mohammed?"

And yes I do mean "textual variants" since saying they are not textual variants but "revealed variants" is circular and nothing but a cop-out.

Nakdimon said...

"We actually have good historical reason to think that Paul's teachings influence the Gospels and the shape of the NT Canon. Take for example what Mark says about Jesus making all foods clean (Mk 7:19)."

Hello Nazam,

Mark 7:19 does NOT say that Yeshua declared all foods clean. It says "purging all foods", and not "and he declared all foods clean".

And even if it would say that "all foods" were clean, food to a religious Jew livin in first century Israel included all foods for human consumption as described in the Torah. Not all foods that God declared unclean.

There is no passage in the NT that does away with the kashrut (dietary laws of the Torah).

Nakdimon

Nakdimon said...

"We actually have good historical reason to think that Paul's teachings influence the Gospels and the shape of the NT Canon. Take for example what Mark says about Jesus making all foods clean (Mk 7:19)."

Hello Nazam,

Mark 7:19 does NOT say that Yeshua declared all foods clean. It says "purging all foods", and not "and he declared all foods clean".

And even if it would say that "all foods" were clean, food to a religious Jew livin in first century Israel included all foods for human consumption as described in the Torah. Not all foods that God declared unclean.

There is no passage in the NT that does away with the kashrut (dietary laws of the Torah).

Nakdimon

Nakdimon said...

"We actually have good historical reason to think that Paul's teachings influence the Gospels and the shape of the NT Canon. Take for example what Mark says about Jesus making all foods clean (Mk 7:19)."

Hello Nazam,

Mark 7:19 does NOT say that Yeshua declared all foods clean. It says "purging all foods", and not "and he declared all foods clean".

And even if it would say that "all foods" were clean, food to a religious Jew livin in first century Israel included all foods for human consumption as described in the Torah. Not all foods that God declared unclean.

There is no passage in the NT that does away with the kashrut (dietary laws of the Torah).

Nakdimon

Nazam said...

Hello DK, I'm glad you remember me and thank you for the generous complement.

I will try to write out a response and keep it short and to the point.
At the moment I've got a few things pending.

Try looking me up on your pal list as 'Nazam44'.

Nazam said...

Hello Nakdimon,

Thank you for taking an interesting in one of my previous post.

If I have understood you correctly you still believe in following the OT Laws regarding food?

I'm not sure that the other Christians on this Blog, including DK and David Wood, would agree with you about keeping the Jewish Dietary Laws. I think they would agree with the quotation that I quoted for Mark's Gospel that Jesus had declared all foods to be clean, such as; pork, dead animal, blood, food sacrafice to an idol, etc.

In Paul's letter you can see that he is in disharmony with other influential teachers because he teaches his converts that they do not neet to observe the Sabbath as well as keep the Kosher food laws.

Keep in mind that the letters of Paul are one sided and written from Paul's own prepective.

"They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth". 1 Tim 4:3

"having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross...Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day". Col 2:14-16

Nakdimon said...

Hello Nakdimon,

Thank you for taking an interesting in one of my previous post.

If I have understood you correctly you still believe in following the OT Laws regarding food?

I'm not sure that the other Christians on this Blog, including DK and David Wood, would agree with you about keeping the Jewish Dietary Laws. I think they would agree with the quotation that I quoted for Mark's Gospel that Jesus had declared all foods to be clean, such as; pork, dead animal, blood, food sacrafice to an idol, etc.


Hello Nazam,

Yes I am aware to that you and others don’t agree with me. But I previously held the position that you do now and had to adjust my views on the Torah now being nullified by the Messiah. So I kindly disagree. The simple reason for this is that in the prophecies about the Messiah it says that He will uphold the Torah and not abolish it. If the Christian view of Yeshua abolishing the law is correct, then Yeshua can’t be the Messiah since He did the exact opposite of what is prophesized about the Messiah.

So, IF the Messiah in Mat 5:17-20 says that His coming doesn’t diminish anything from the Torah and the prophets and that ones place in His kingdom is determined by ones loyalty to the Torah, then Paul can’t come along and contradict that. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Paul does. I just think, respectfully, that Christians read him wrong.

Your list above just approves everything that is prohibited in the tiny list of Acts 15:20-21 that indicates the starting point of Gentiles in the, at that time entirely Jewish, Congregation of the Messiah.

Lastly, there are no “Jewish Dietary Laws” in the Bible. There are only Yahweh’s eternal commandments which are for everyone whom He has chosen for His own.

In Paul's letter you can see that he is in disharmony with other influential teachers because he teaches his converts that they do not neet to observe the Sabbath as well as keep the Kosher food laws.

As Paul himself says it so perfectly in his letter to the Corinthians: are you baptized in Paul’s name or in that of the Messiah? In other words: do you follow the instructions of Paul or do you do as the Messiah says? Again, if the Messiah says one thing and along comes Paul and says the opposite, what are we to do? Can someone like that be an emissary of the one whom he claims to represent, yet contradicts? Or are you simply misunderstanding him? What Paul says is not that Gentiles are not to observe what the Torah says, but that their salvation is not through the Torah. Salvation is through the Messiah, not the Torah. Thus, in the Bible it isn’t a matter of either/or, it’s a matter of both/and.

Let me put it another way: If an American judge is going to judge a person, he will do so through the American judicial system. Although one won’t get a pat on the back when he adheres to that law, however, if anyone deviates from the laws in that system, he is at risk to come under judgment by way of that law. Likewise, if the standards of God’s judgment is the Torah, we won’t get any reward (eternal life) of doing as the Torah says, but will surely come under Gods judgment when we disregard it. Now, there is no one who will deny that Yeshua (Jesus) led an observant life. However, if we are called to emulate His ways, then we don’t do a good job by not leading a likewise observant life.

Keep in mind that the letters of Paul are one sided and written from Paul's own prepective.

"They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth". 1 Tim 4:3


If you look at the text closely, then it would be clear that this isn’t talking to people who were observantly living by the Torah. The Torah doesn’t forbid anyone to marry. And when Paul, or anyone in the New Testament, speaks about food, he speaks not about the things God calls an abomination in the Torah. When a Jew (particularly an observant one) speaks about food he doesn’t mean lobster and shrimp. He means those things that God made for human consumption. It is those things that God “created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth”. God didn’t make cats, dogs and snakes (or pork and rats for that matter) to be consumed by His chosen people. These things remain an abomination forever as is clearly shown in Isaiah 66:15-17, which speaks about Gods Judgment on “all flesh” and ends with condemning them that will be found “eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse”. These “shall be consumed together, saith Yahweh”. In light of prophecies like these, it is inconceivable that the Messiah will come later and abolish the Torah and Paul endorsing this. Cause rather than making Isaiah a false prophet in the process, it disqualifies Yeshua as the Messiah for repudiating the very thing He is supposed to uphold, according to the prophecies, and making Paul a fraud. This is the total sum of being consistent with the Biblical prophecies about the Messiah. And, needless to say, this is just unacceptable.

"having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross...Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day". Col 2:14-16

Again, if Paul is talking about the Torah being cancelled then this would disqualify Yeshua as the Messiah and would make anything Paul said utterly meaningless. So what is being said here? Although this one doesn’t present the correct view entirely:

“having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. “

To correctly understand what Paul is saying here, let’s use logic: If there is a Law that upholds justice and you err, what testifies against you? The Law or your error? Of course it’s your error. For you to be acquitted from your debt, what needs to be blotted out? The Law or your error? Of course it’s your error. It is your error that testifies against you and for you to get a clean sheet, you don’t do away with the requirement of Justice, but the failure of sin! Since it is the standard of the Torah that God’s Judgment will flow from, how can the Torah be nailed on the cross and blotted out? Therefore, there is no way that Yeshua nailed the Torah on the cross, that would be absurd. He took upon Himself our SINS and bore THEM on the cross. Paul is simply being misunderstood. Blotting out the Law creates lawlessness. Blotting out sins creates righteousness. And it is that way that He disarmed the rulers and authorities, triumphing over them.

Now in this light Paul says the following:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat or drink, or in respect to a holy day or the new moon or the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ.

Again, we have to use logic. Let’s look at it from the perspective of the Colossians: If you are a gentile living in pagan countries with pagan rituals and festivals and you observe those pagan rituals as the pagans do it, what is the usual reaction of the people around you? Nothing! People will be happy that you celebrate those feasts with them and observe their rituals. However. if you are a gentile living in pagan countries with pagan rituals and festivals and you observe the Sabbaths and the holydays and the food laws of God’s Torah, what is the usual reaction of the people around you? You will get criticized! People will be judgmental, because you go against the grain. Obviously, this was the exact thing the Colossians were doing. They observed these things, because they point to Yeshua. They are a shadow of the things to come. All the holy days of the Torah are prophetic and they all point to the events surrounding the comings of the Messiah: The first cycle of feasts point to events in His first coming, then there is a huge gap where nothing happens which is the interlude we are in now and all of a sudden there is another cycle of feasts that point to His second coming. The feasts are the shadow and the Messiah is the substance. Read up to verse 22 where Paul says the following:

“Let no man beguile you of your reward by feigned humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, being vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
and not holding to the Head, from whom all the body, having nourishment ministered and knit together by joints and bands, increaseth with the increase from God. Therefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to its ordinances ("Touch not, taste not, handle not," which all are to perish with the using), according to the commandments and doctrines of men?”

Do you see how Paul is distinguishing the things here? We should not be beguiled by things the world does, but are to stay in the things that link us to the Messiah. Since we are dead to the world we should not live as though we are subject to it’s ordinances. The Sabbath, holydays and Gods food laws are anything but “worldly things”. They are the exact opposite. They are Gods commandments and not the “doctrines of men”. So Paul isn’t repudiating these things, he is endorsing them instead and condemning human practices the pagan observe. Another example of this is Galatians 4:9-11:

“However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain. “

These Gentile Christians were still living as pagans, celebrating their feasts and honoring the holy days of the pagan gods of the time before they came to know the one true God. Going back to observing the “days and months and seasons and years” of those “worthless elemental things” who actually were “no gods” at all. Therefore Paul laments “I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain”. Thus, observing pagan holydays and dressing them up in Christian clothing is like going back to paganism. It’s as simple as that. Paul is not in contention with anything Yeshua or the prophets said. It is Christians reading him wrong (I say this respectfully) by explaining his writings as though he is contradicting fundamental principals like Mat 5:17-20.

Like Peter said in 2 Peter 3:15-16:
“Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”

Sorry about the belated and lengthy response. Better to cover something thoroughly than to do half work, I always say.

Shalom,
Nakdimon