Monday, October 26, 2009

A Reply To Yahya Snow's Comments on John 1:19-21 - Part Two

The following is a continuation of the post found here.

The previous post demonstrated that Sam was justified in asserting that the Jews expected a Jewish prophet, a fact that forces Muslims to grant, at least in principle, that the Jews of John 1:19-21 could have been mistaken in believing the Prophet and the Christ to be separate individuals. This led Sam to point out that John’s Gospel as a whole affirms their belief that the Prophet would be an Israelite, but confutes their expectation that the Prophet would be someone other than the Messiah Himself.

Unhappy with the conclusion Sam drew from the evidence on this score, Yahya accuses him of engaging in textual acrobatics, but in Yahya’s efforts to prove this harebrained charge he ends up looking like an exegetical cat on hot textual bricks, as the reader is invited to see.

(The following picks up my enumeration where I left off.)


8. Presumably because the passage does not specifically identify Jesus as “the Prophet” and “the Christ,” Yahya dismisses the relevance of the testimony found in John 1:45, where it is written:

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
Yet, if Yahya would continue to read the chapter, he would find not only that Nathanael identified Jesus as the Messiah, saying, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel,” but that he did so in response to Christ’s display of prophetic insight into his character and the circumstances surrounding his calling, all of which shows just what Nathanael understood Philip to mean when he spoke of Jesus as the one foretold by Moses and the Prophets:

The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip And Jesus said to him, "Follow Me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael said to him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!" Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel." (John 1:43-49)
It is also well to observe that this passage is not only found in the same chapter as the discussion of John 1:19ff, but it is quickly followed in John’s Gospel by Jesus performing a Moses-like miracle, i.e. changing water into wine, as we see in the next chapter.

9. With respect to John 5:39-40, which says,

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”
Yahya tells us that these verses don’t shed any further light on the matter, for they don’t call Jesus the Christ and the Prophet.

Aside from the fact that Yahya completely glossed over the other verses that Sam quoted along with verses 39-40, namely, verses 46-47, where Jesus says that He is the one spoken of by Moses, this reply shows once again that Yahya has absolutely no regard for context.

The words of Christ found in John 5 are once again followed in the next chapter by a Moses-like miracle, i.e. the miracle of feeding five thousand people, a sign that harkened back to the Manna that was provided for the people of Israel from heaven under Moses’ ministry.

10. In fact, it is this very miracle that led the people to say, as Sam pointed out:

Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world." (John 6:14)

In response to this, Yahya makes what is perhaps his greatest blunder:

Again, this reference does not prove Shamoun’s belief that “the Prophet” and the Christ was the same person. All this reference teaches us is that a group of people saw Jesus performing a “miraculous sign” and then they believed him to be “the Prophet”. There is no mention of the people calling him the Christ as well in this passage and nor is there any mention of the people exclaiming the two are the same person. Suffice it to say Shamoun interpolates his own understanding and imposes it upon the people of this passage without any authority or logical reasoning whatsoever. Even if we go with the view that Jesus is “the Prophet” then the question of who was the Christ arises.
Yahya’s blunder is exposed by the verse that immediately follows:

So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone. (John 6:15)
This verse clearly shows that these Jews believed the Prophet and the Christ, i.e. the Messianic King, would be the same person, and, consequently, leave Mr. Snow and his argument out in the cold.

Although I have much more that I would like to say on this and one point in particular that I am saving for a special occasion – to be released once I think Yahya has been sufficiently prepped and primed – it just doesn’t seem right not to give Mr. Snow a chance to scrabble his way up from the bottom of the avalanche he presently finds himself buried under. Accordingly, I will break off my reply here for now.


aussie christian said...

Oh yay, here again we see a Muslim reading "the sky is blue" but saying, what it really means is Mohummad says the sky is green with a tinge of purple.

But then again, the Muslim arguments against the bible are a moot point seeing as everything is "corrupted". so if it is corrupted and you us it in an argument, then you have started with corruption, your argument is based around corruption, hence your conclusions are corrupted.

But alas the only corruption that I and everyone with more than basic brain function can see is, the muslim interpretation of the holy book, brought down to man by God through multiple prophets.

So Muslims, before you argue for your religeon, LEARN TO READ.

Rafa-el_1 said...

excellent refutation!

yayha 'the self proclaimed apologist' totally missed the points that sam was making.

looking forward to your last point ( reffered to it in the ending of your aticle) I don't believe that yayha will come back with any meaningfull responds so i gueass we will never hear that last point of yours :)

Semper Paratus said...


If Yahya doesn't provide the occasion for making my last point, then I will include it in an article at some point and post it at Answering Islam.

Fernando said...

Dear Brother Semper Paratus: onlly now I managed to read with detail your text: well balanced, presented withe a logic structure, strongue argumentation and withe a brief, although, strongue and solid conclusion. May God bless you and your entire family...

Semper Paratus said...


Thanks. Now if we could only get Yahya to see things your way.

minoria said...


Though I know it is off topic,I have to add my take on what I have read several times in youtube:"There is NO EVIDENCE Jesus existed."It came to me due to Ehteshaam's idea that it is possible Jesus never existed.He named EARL DOHERTY,a man who is 100% convinced Jesus never existed.


I want to talk about the TECHNICAL reasons such an idea is rejected.I will take the MINIMALIST position.I cited PAUL before but the superskeptic will say:"The 2 parts in Paul that are used as proof are FORGERIES."That is what EARL DOHERTY says.So let's take him out.


We have like 10 copies of Josephus' works from around 1000 AD.I don't how many are of the JEWISH ANTIQUITIES,but at least one.

The superskeptic will say:"AHA,how can you be sure the JEWISH ANTIQUITIES is not a FORGERY from the year 1000 AD?"


It is a book that tells the story of the Jewish people from the beginning till the time of the Jewish revolt against Rome that began in 67 AD.First of all,due to stylistic reasons,to textual analysis,the experts have concluded it was written by ONE AUTHOR.


It has alot of TECHNICAL INFO about the reign of HEROD the GREAT,for example:the cities he built,details about what was in them ,the palaces he built,fortresses,etc.


He tells of a GIGANTIC QUAY built by him for the city of CESAREA,in Palestine.In 1000 AD THAT quay or harbor was COMPLETELY under water,in ruins,INVISIBLE.Nobody knew about it.It was only in recent decades that scientists have rediscovered it and have concluded that Josephus was telling the truth,it was an enormous structure.An they looked ONLY because it was described by him.

The question is:"How could a FORGERER of 1000 AD have known about it?"Not just that detail,but many others.There is no reason to believe the JEWISH ANTIQUITIES is a 1000 AD fogery.Does DOHERTY say so?NO.He knows the technicalities,he accepts it.

minoria said...


In almost half a page Josephus talks of how "James,brother of Jesus,the one called the Messiah" was killed.


The superskeptic will say:"It is ALL a forgery."ALL scholars reject it.Why?Because for stylistic and textual analysis reasons they have concluded it is in Josephus' style,it fits in with the surrounding narration.Does DOHERTY say it is ALL a forgery?NO.He accepts it almost completely except for "brother of Jesus,the one called the Messiah."


In the original Greek it is JAKOBOS,Jacob,not James.Jacob is a VERY COMMON Jewish name.So Jacob was killed.JACOB WHO?


At that time the Jews did NOT have last names,family names like today.You were "X,son of Y".The way you were identified,sort of,was by reference to your FATHER or also home town or region.

So Josephus ordinarily would have written "Jacob,SON of X",and NOT "Jacob,BROTHER of X."


The only reason somebody would have used a BROTHER's name to IDENTIFY somebody was if the BROTHER was somebody FAMOUS.


Now Yeshua,or Jesus was ALSO a VERY COMMON Jewish name.YESHUA WHO?There were alot of Yeshuas.So by logic Josephus would have put it as the Yeshua who was thought of as a Messiah.


I have already answered that issue that since Josephus lived in Jerusalem,was an adult,was educated and had access to the priestly society(which killed James),and that James was living at the same time,in the SAME city,was the leader,in fact of a sizable religious community,that for all that,to say the oral info got by Jospehus is unreliable is unconvincing.No serious scholar accepts it.

minoria said...


He never would have just written "Jacob was killed".Jacob who?He would have followed the Jewish tradition of saying:"Jacob,son of X".So DOHERTY wants us to believe "brother of Jesus,the one called the Messiah" replaced the original words or was added to what was simply "Jacob",with nothing else.

Yet he offers no proof for accepting it.He is 100% SPECIAL PLEADING.That is not real scholarship.


It is the phrase"the one called the Messiah"."Brother of Jesus,the one called the messiah" is in GREEK.So the FORGERER would have been of the Eastern Greek church.

THAT church had already for centuries held Jesus had NO half-brothers,Mary had always been a virgin.Would a PIOUS Greek priest or laymen who is a fogerer have used the Greek word that ordinarily means nothing but real blood brother?

Also no pious forgerer would have said"the one CALLED the Messiah".But instead "Brother of Jesus,the Messiah".In fact we see that in the interpolation in the TESTIMONIUM FLAVIUM:"At that time there appeared a man called Jesus,"if you can call him a man"(interpolation)....."He was the Messiah"(another interpolation).

Notice it is "He WAS THE Messiah",not "He was CALLED the Messiah".
Does DOHERTY know all these technicalities against him?Yes.

minoria said...

To continue with JOSEPHUS:

ORIGEN(3rd century),a Christian writer,in his COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 10.17 says:

"And to so great a reputation among the people for righteousness did this James rise, that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the 'Antiquities of the Jews' in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said, that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against "JAMES,the BROTHER of JESUS who is CALLED Christ". And the wonderful thing is, that, though he did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the righteousness of James was so great; and he says that the people thought that they had suffered these things because of James."

Notice he uses the SAME phrase of "James,brother of...".We know he was given to an imaginative interpretation of Josephus,becasue Josephus never says the fall of Jerusalem was the cause of James' death.We see it in other passages of his.But the fact that ORIGEN does have the phrase shows it existed in his time.

minoria said...


In AGAINST CELSUS 1.47 Origen refers to Josephus and again "James,brother of...":

"Although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless-being, although against his will, not far from the truth-that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of "JAMES the Just, who was a BROTHER of JESUS CALLED Christ.""

Now we know Josephus did not attribute the fall of Jerusalem to James' death.What happened here?Origen correctly quotes the basics but makes a loose interpretation.We know this from another example of Josephus and Origen.

minoria said...


Here I will quote a better writer than me,about it all(I just add titles for easier reading):

"G.A. Wells has suggested that this is evidence of tampering—that Origen knew of a version of Josephus' writings that had already been corrupted with an interpolation by Christian scribes. Wells, The Legend Legend, at 54. His intent is to cast doubt on the passage by conjuring up supposed evidence of further tampering by eager Christian scribes desperate to rewrite Josephus. Earl Doherty too argues, for his own reasons, that there was a Christian interpolation claiming the murder of James was the cause of the destruction of the Temple that disappeared from the manuscript traditions. Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, at 219."

minoria said...


"A more likely explanation is that Origen simply read into Josephus’ statements about James an earlier, independent Christian tradition--as attested by Hegesippus and Clement of Alexandra--linking James’ death with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. After all, writing to explain the war was one of Josephus' purposes. And such an approach to Josephus would be consistent with Origen’s exegetical and writing styles. He is notorious as an imaginative reader of texts. Josephus’ writings were not an exception as Origen tended to read Christian traditions into Josephus’ writings. Alice Whealey, Josephus on Jesus, at 17-18."


"Furthermore, the placement of the martyrdom of James in Antiquities would have given Origen all the reason he needed to read the account of James' martyrdom in light of the destruction of Jerusalem.

The martyrdom is described just before Josephus begins to discuss the problems that lead to the war with Rome, whose legions destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. Just a FEW LINES after describing James' DEATH, Josephus writes, "THIS was the beginning of GREATER CALAMITIES ...." Ant. 20.3.

A FEW LINES after THAT, Josephus writes, "And from THAT TIME it principally came to pass that our CITY was greatly DISORDERED, and that all things grew WORSE and WORSE among us." Ant. 20.4.

While Josephus was referring to other events, the proximity to the killing of James must have proved irresistible to Origen. It is also possible that Origen conveniently confused Josephus' explicit statement that Herod's execution of John the Baptist lead to God's judgment with the High Priest' execution of James leading to God's judgment."

As you can see there are verses in Josephus that could quite have given ORIGEN the idea Josephus attributed the fall of Jerusalem to the death of James.

minoria said...


"Origen ELSEWHERE shows that he is willing to read Josephus loosely but recount it as something stated by Josephus.

In Fragment 115 of Origen’s Commentary on Lamentations, Origen comments on verse 4:19 (“Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the sky; they chased us on the mountains, they waited in ambush for us in the wilderness."), stating that “Josephus reports that even the mountains did not save those who were trying to escape.” There is no such explicit statement in Josephus’ writings, though it may be an inference from both of Josephus’ descriptions of the fall of Jerusalem. As Wataru Mizugaki notes, “by citing and using Josephus to his own purposes, Origen interprets [Josephus’] historical account from his theological viewpoint and adapts it to his interpretation of the Bible.” Mizugaki, “Origen and Josephus,” in Josephus, Judaism, and Christianity, at 333."


"That Origen took Josephus' broader purpose of explaining the causes of the Jewish War, read NEARBY statements about the BEGINNING of TROUBLES and CALAMITIES little loosely, and read into the account of James' martyrdom the existing Christian tradition about James' death being a cause of God's judgment, is the most likely explanation as to the origins of Origen's comments about James and judgment in his Commentary on Matthew and Against Celsus."

wah fkir said...

Thanks for your excellent analysis on Islam's religious beliefs on kafirs' fate based on religiosity and dogma.I am looking forward to some study on Talmud's racism and hate for humanity, on jewish supremacist dogma.
And why not tell us how you're kidding your slavish uselefull christian idiots filling this blog's comments.It'll be most educating to have an insight into your own Jewish views and secret agenda on the matter.
Yet God Allknowing warned us of your tricks and deceit, while gratifying you with His curse and wrath, on Earth and thehereafter
(Oh yes, in the Bible and Koran and through all the prophets'wise
Poor miserable arrogant gold worshippers(and their conned idiot associates), you've lost it all!

minoria said...

The latest contributor is a French-speaking person who seems to be Algerian(judging from his blog).I believe his hostility to the Jews is based on a part in the Koran that says of Allah punishing the Jews twice(most interpret that as referring to 586 BC and 70 AD(double destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem).

But MAGDI ALLAM,the ex-Muslim from Egypt,who is now a Christian,and very famous in Italy(for years he was against Sharia law and the terrorists,and THEN he was still a Muslim)has written that he has read of a second interpretation that says the SECOND punishment by Allah of the Jews still has not arrived.I think that Koranic verse is the source of alot of judeophobia in the Muslim world.

"Et je pense que vous,Monsieur Wafkir,devez verifier l'evidence pour et contre le christianisme comme MAGDI ALLAM et vouz verrez que l'islam est faux,c'est la realite et la verite de l'affaire."

(And I think that you,Mr.Wafkir,should verify the evidence for and against Christianity like MAGDI ALLAM and you will see Islam is false,it is the reality and verity of the matter.)

minoria said...

Here is the Sura I was talking about,SURA 17:4-7:

"4.And We had made known to the children of Israel in the Book: Most certainly you will make mischief in the land twice, and most certainly you will behave insolently with great insolence.

5. So when the promise for the first of the two came, We sent over you Our servants, of mighty prowess, so they went to and fro among the houses, and it was a promise to be accomplished.

6. Then We gave you back the turn to prevail against them, and aided you with wealth and children and made you a numerous band.

7. If you do good, you will do good for your own souls, and if you do evil, it shall be for them. So when the second promise came (We raised another people) that they may bring you to grief and that they may enter the mosque as they entered it the first time, and that they might destroy whatever they gained ascendancy over with utter destruction."

Fernando said...

Dear wah fkir... whu such hostility? Someone who's on the path off true and peace shoulde bee a pacific person...

may God, the true God off the Bible, heal your sorrow sold withe his everforgiving love...

minoria said...

Hello Fernando:

I remember the time you told us about the great Catholic Christian hero ARISTIDES DE SOUSA MENDES,the Portuguese aristocrat and diplomat who in 1940 saved 30,000 people from the Germans when they conquered France(of which 10,000 were Jews),by giving them all visas to Portugal AGAINST the orders of his government.He was later fired and died poor.

ABBE(French for abbot)GREGOIRE

Here is another inspiring Catholic Christian hero,HENRI GREGOIRE (1750-1831).

You already know about WILBERFOURCE in England and GARRISON in the US,who were Protestant Christians who fought,one against the slave trade,the other against slavery.And they were the MOST INFLUENTIAL in eliminating that,they were not secondary figures.

So the accusation that CHRISTIANS have not done anything against that human rights condition is false,in fact,they were the most important figures.And one must not forget Catholic BARTOLOME DE LAS CASAS who fought till he got the legal abolition of Indian slavery in 1547 by the Spanish king.

minoria said...

To continue:

ABBE GREGOIRE was a Catholic priest who was a believer and also who fought for social justice.He is buried in the French PANTHEON,among other great French heroes.He did the following:

1.He was a revolutionary priest who fought for the improvement of the common people and voted for the abolition of the privileges of the nobility and Church during the French revolution.

2.He was for the emancipation of the Jewish people in French.He wrote "Essay on the Physical,Moral and Political Regeneration of the Jews."

3.He was so highly esteemed even the FREEMASONS praised him.

4.He was a 100% REPUBLICAN who was always in favor of democracy as the best government for the world.

5.MOST notable since 1790 he was PRESIDENT of the SOCIETY OF THE FRIENDS OF BLACKS(Societe des Amis des Noirs) which was for the ABOLITION of slavery.He was the one who was responsible for convincing the French government to abolish slavery IMMEDIATELY in the whole French Empire in 1794.

So here we have another Christian who did what was right and was a MAJOR figure in change for the better,like Garrison,Harriet Beecher Stowe,Wilberfource,Las Casas.Unfortunately,among Muslims,there is not even one figure comparable to them in the fight against slavery in 1400 years.