Tuesday, December 16, 2008

James White Responds to Adnan Rashid's Comments about the New Testament

In my debate with Adnan Rashid on the Satanic Verses, Adnan made some comments about the New Testament. For the most part, I didn't respond, since his comments had nothing to do with whether Muhammad delivered the Satanic Verses (i.e. the topic of our debate). In the following video, James White respondes to Adnan's claims about the New Testament.

26 comments:

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Interestingly Ehrman in his book Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and Faiths We never Knew, depicts first a quite negative picture of these 5,400 of New Testament Greek manuscripts, that these may contain as many as 300.000 differences (p.219). It would of course be easy to refer to that page only and totally discredit the reliability of the New Testament (which is why I always criticise Muslims for their use of quotes, actually I was chocked by Yahya Seymor's use of Bruce in his debate with David Wood on Christology, just to mention one example).

If we however continue our reading in Ehrman's work he writes: 'Most changes are careless errors that are easily recognized and corrected. Christian scribes often made mistakes simply because they were tired or inatentive or sometimes, inept' (p.220). In other words these variants do not present a variaty of texts, but spelling and grammar mistakes from the same text. Also it is worth mentioning that these variants not count for simply one singular variant but the same variant copied by the succeeding scribe, which obviously reduces the actual number of variants significantly.

I have to agree with James white here, that this is quite a embarrising claim made by Adnan.

Furthermore, the conclusion of Ehrman on the matter is: 'In spite of remarkable differences among the manuscripts, scholars are convinced that we can reconstruct the oldest form of the words of the New Testament with reasonable (though not 100 percent) accuracy' (p.221).

In other words by applying textual criticism on the Bible which we are doing, we reach back to the very originals, which is why critical criticism quite contrary to what Muslims exclaim, supports the preservation of the New Testament writings.

I am also at odd with the fact that Muslims now turn to Gnosticism in support against Christianity. Do Muslims have an idea what they are dealing with here?

Matthew said...

I am one of James' subscribers on YouTube, so I saw the video there first. I noticed it was about one of David's debates, soI checked this blog to see if there was more information.
I was rather surprised when I noticed that the debate was about the satanic verses. I think I need to watch it.

Yahya Hayder Seymour said...

Hogan,

Were you that chap who approached me towards the end and commended me about my opening statement but politely rebuked me (or constructively criticised me) for going into Speaker's Corner (Polemical Aggressive) Mode in the Rebuttals?

Also, if you don't mind me asking what exactly do you mean you were shocked by my citation of F.F Bruce in the Criticism of Johannine Christology? (Perhaps you could further elaborate)

If you don't mind, please contact me on my address which is yahya_seymour@hotmail.co.uk

Haecceitas said...

James is obviously spot on in his criticism of the absurd claim that no two NT manuscripts are similar. However, I wonder if that's really what Adnan means (even though he said it). As English is not his first language, could it be that he just struggled to find the right word and settled for the word "similar" rather than "identical"?

Matthew said...

Haecceitas, I think that this might be the case. But I think the critique is necessary. There are muslims who go around and ask "Where in the bible is the 'Gospel of Christ'?". Things like this need to be more clarified.

Ken Temple said...

Has anyone made a compilation of quotes from Liberal scholars who indeed believe that Jesus was a historical figure and was crucified and died on the cross at the instigation of the Jewish leaders and carried out by the Roman soldiers under the orders of Pontius Pilate?

Liberals and skeptics like John Dominic Crossan, Bart Erhman, etc.

They don't beleive in the Virgin Birth or Resurrection or any miracles or supernatural revelation; but they beleive in History.

Muslims believe in the miracles such as revelation and the virgin birth of Al Massih ( Quran 3:45-47; 19:19-21); but deny historical fact.

It seems that Quran 4:157, that Jesus was not crucified or killed has been the biggest lie ever told in history to millions and millions of people for centuries.

This is one of the easiest falsehoods to refute, it seems to me, just from historical records.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Yahya wrote:

Hogan,

Were you that chap who approached me towards the end and commended me about my opening statement but politely rebuked me (or constructively criticised me) for going into Speaker's Corner (Polemical Aggressive) Mode in the Rebuttals?

Elijah replies:

That's me bro

I far more impressed with your presentation than that of Adnan.

Yeah I was disapointed that you did not keep that spirit through the debate. We would have avoided the boxing match style and you would have had a stronger impact.

I am not sure whether the other muslims winded you up.

Yahya wrote:

Also, if you don't mind me asking what exactly do you mean you were shocked by my citation of F.F Bruce in the Criticism of Johannine Christology? (Perhaps you could further elaborate)

Elijah replies:

I don't have have the note with me here right now. Is is possible for you to post the quote you used?
If you do I will elaborate on it as soon as possible.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

True Ken Temple

It is funny but if we apply the approach of Shabir Ally or another other Muslim apologists and their use of these authors, we have no virgin birth.

For example Shabir Ally uses the approach of so many that Mark is first and hence the more Muslim Gospel then Matthew and Luke corrupt it by adding extra material which make it more Christian, unfortunately this extra material is the virgin birth among other things. Hence according to Shabir Ally and a host of other Muslim apologists, the virgin birth is a later development, in Ahmed Deedat attacks the virgin birth in the Bible in one of his books.

But it does not end there, then we have the paraclete (the alleged Muhammad) in John Gospel, and John according to Muslims is the most Christian Gospel. The why is paraclete (the alleged Muhammad)then not found in Mark but in this highly corrupted Christian Gospel of John?

Do you see the inconsistency with these approaches?

I find it virtually embarrasing.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Not to forget that Shabir has also used the theory of Q stages of Kloppenborg, which suggests that Jesus was not even a prophet or miracle maker but only a teacher.

Burton Mack has developed this theory even further by stating that the original Jesus was simply a Jewish Greek Cynic philosopher.

We have to understand that these theories are based upon naturalism that Jesus according to the atheist view did not perform miracles.

Some of these scholars apply this approach since they see the Gospels as the greatest challenge to naturalism in history; this particular approach divides up the Q in teh gospel into three stages in which the whish to filter out any notion of the supernatural,

-- and Muslims use these theories. As a theist I can only say 'shame upon them'

Yahya Hayder Seymour said...

Hogan, I've just noticed that you are an Apologist and have debated Muslims in the past.

Would you be up for a dialogue/debate in the future (i.e 2009 prior to Sept)?

I ask because I am interested in weighing up the evidence on a more regular basis.

I promise I've stepped up my behaviour since my experience with Wood (please bare in mind it was my first public debate outside speaker's corner).

Oh and I'll find where I've documented that F.F Bruce note, my notes are currently a mess, sign of a student before courseworks are due!

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

yahya wrote

Hogan, I've just noticed that you are an Apologist and have debated Muslims in the past.

Would you be up for a dialogue/debate in the future (i.e 2009 prior to Sept)?

I ask because I am interested in weighing up the evidence on a more regular basis.

Elijah replies:

Yeah that could be exciting. As long as it is after the month of May, I am busy with studies at the moment.

We can decide a topic sometimes prior to that.

However, you are a shia Muslim, my only experience in debating is with sunni Muslims. I could sense in the debate with David Wood, that this is a very different field, and that my response will need to be different as you use different sources.

However, it should be fun

Yahya wrote:

I promise I've stepped up my behaviour since my experience with Wood (please bare in mind it was my first public debate outside speaker's corner).

Elijah replies:

I am fully aware that was the spirit of speakers corner.

Actually when we talked I noticed that you are a nice person.

Yahya wrote:

Oh and I'll find where I've documented that F.F Bruce note, my notes are currently a mess, sign of a student before courseworks are due!

Elijah replies:

That is why I said that my notes from the debates are somewhere, I am in sort of a similar situation.

David Wood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Hi David

I will write you

I have your email, you gave it to me in London when you debate Adnan and Yahya

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Actually I would love to meet Osama Abdallah in a debate sometimes in future.

Sami Zaatari said...

Howdy Hogan, I never knew that you too were in London!

David you should move to London, all the apologists are down here! :)

David Wood said...

Osama? He doesn't have many fans left. I only debated him because he challenged me and I have a problem saying no to challenges.

David Wood said...

Sami said: "David you should move to London, all the apologists are down here!"

Yes, I've thought about moving there and staying for two years or so. We could have debates every weekend.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Oh man if you come, I will join your team

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Zaatari said:

Howdy Hogan, I never knew that you too were in London!

Elijah said:

Yeah it was a good time, just an awful location, when it comes to travelling.

Nabeel Qureshi said...

I myself have been considering moving back to the UK sometime in the next few years.

faktb said...

NT scholar Daniel Wallace's Review of Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=4000
Check it out!

faktb said...

Craig Blomberg's Review of Ehrman
http://www.denverseminary.edu/article/misquoting-jesus-the-story-behind-who-changed-the-bible-and-why/

Nakdimon said...

HMMMM! listened to Bassam Zawadi's audio and I am really thinking hard to make an audio rebuttal to that myself and place it on youtube.

Yeah, I might just do that.

ben malik said...

Nak, what did he say?

David Wood said...

Nakdimon,

I was about to post a link to Bassam's rebuttal. Let me know if you're going to post something. If you do, I'll post them together.

Nakdimon said...

Tell you what David.

I will make an audio rebuttal and will put it online on either Friday or Saturday. Yes?