Is this the debate in which it is stated based upon Shabir Ally's reasoning that even Shabir Ally is prophecised in the Old Testament, lol!So much for Muslim apologetics.
James White wiped the floor with Shabir in this debate. All Shabir did is argue from redactional theories (which have no evidence) and liberal scholarship. If anyone were to debate about the Qur'an based on redactional theories and form criticism, etc, "I don't think this surah is authentic it says this..." and used oriental scholars to back you up...Muslims would get a heart attack.
In my opinion, White didn't wipe the floor with Ally in this debate but he did in the other debate which is also now available on Youtube:Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He87MiAWq90Part 2http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR37F0cSrjo
I agree mkvine, When will Muslims learn the reality about redaction criticism?Wonder how Shabir Ally would react if reaction criticism was applied to the same extent in a debate?
ok, heard most of the debate. I am still inclined to believe that Shabir Ally appears inconsistant, for example where does the Qur'an state clearly that the previous revelations are corrupted? So far no Muslim has confirmed this claim of Bible corruption, so why do Muslims favour Bible corruption? Does Islam stand such a weak ground that Muslims have to oppose their own book to remain followers of Islam.And if they were corrupted why does Shabir refer to these to promote his own position, is this not pure cherry picking? Shabir Ally is guilty of this error constantly in virtually every debate I have seen, e.g. just finding any quote anywhere that somehow supports his argument is applied without considering the context or issues related to the pointer that might harm the credibility of the Qur'an. Furthermore his quotation from E.P. Sanders, does Shabir Ally agree with Sanders that miracles are non-existant? And if not why refer to quotes of Sanders that undermine the spiritual aspect of Jesus? Make no mistake about it, nobody is discrediting Sanders entirely, however, Sanders much like any humanist will explain away the supernatural aspect of Jesus somehow, I am astonished that Shabir Ally will accompany Sandars particularly in these matters, which indeed are based upon secularism and the philosphy of naturalism. And again is Shabir Ally willing to take of his Muslim hat and apply similar critic on the Qur'an? The fact is: he will not. I believe White did a good job but if I possessed the knowledge of James White, I would probably rather have dismantled every argument of Shabir Ally one by one rather than spend too much time on the inconsitancy factor.Furthermore I am astonished that Shabir Ally in connection with the 3 days and 3 nights matter related to Jesus time in the grave relies entirely upon a modern commentary rather than the early Jewish data which explains this matter in exact agreement with James White. Here James White appears historical and accurate while Shabir Ally runs to secondary source with contradicts primary sources. This hardly elevates the position of Shabir Ally.Furthermore, his reference to Matthew 16 and those who would experience the comming of the Kingdom in glory, agrees perfecty with the following chapter, in which a few of Jesus' disciples witness Jesus and two more individuals in glory, which indeed is the nature of the Kingdom.In the same way 'generation' in Matthew 24 can refer both to generation in the present, but also to a nation, only the context can decide this. Since Matthew 24 connects with the Deuteronomy prophecy related to nation of Israel until its end, the context of Matthew 24 is not merely about the present Israel of Jesus time but to the preservation of the nation to the very end, hence the 'generation' is to the nation of Israel. Hence this hardly constitutes a false prophecy of Jesus.Just listening to the debate, it demonstrates that each and every point of Shabir Ally can easily be refuted by simply engaging in a bit of study, even objective study.
So another 2 debates and it's the same old reasoning from Shabir. Well, Haecceitas recommended Pt.2 and Shabir was inconsistent there also.It would be interesting to find out more on this German Muslim scholar who said, "Muhammad never existed."
Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a convert to Islam and an authoritatie scholar on Islam utilized the redactional and critical methods on the religion of Islam...http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB122669909279629451.htmlThe outcome was devastating, He has since left Islam This is the same methodology utilized by Shabir Ally when attacking the Bible. Shabir Ally himself glorified the approach of putting various hats on our heads, guess what happens when Islam is scrutinized under the approach of criticism---well, the man Muhammad is fictous, he never even existed. I hardly ever favour such approach due to its speculative nature, but if the Muslims include these methods on the Bible, they need to be consisted---so there you have it: Muhammad never existed!!!
http://www.freep.com/article/20100729/NEWS05/7290441/1320/Helen-Thomas-statue-stirs-controversyThe Arab American National Museum in Dearborn has launched a fund-raising drive to pay for a statue of legendary journalist Helen Thomas that concerns some in the Jewish community.==========Just in case you didn't know.
ON CONSISTENCY IN MUSLIM – CHRISTIAN DEBATESA Response to James Whiteby Shabir AllyNovember 19, 2008http://shabirally.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/on-consistency-in-muslim-christian-debates-3/
This is what Shabir had to say about the German academic that James cited during the debate.http://shabirally.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/on-consistency-in-muslim-christian-debates-3/"Finally, something should be said about James’ suggestion that my citation of Christian scholars would invite him to similarly cite scholars like “Wansborough (sic) and Cone (sic) and Cook and Ibn Warraq.” The fallacy of his analogy is evident. Wansborough, Crone and Cook championed a theory that is now largely discredited. Moreover, they are non-Muslims, whereas I was not citing non-Christians in the debate. Ibn Warraq is the pen name for someone who wrote a book entitled, Why I am not a Muslim. Did I cite anyone who wrote anything called, “Why I am not a Christian?”"As for Professor Muhammad Sven Kalisch, I have little information on him. The Wikipedia article on him notes that he questions the existence not only of Muhammad but also of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Yet James thinks that I am pushing him to adopt the stance of Kalisch. Did I during the debate cite a scholar who expressed doubts about the existence of Jesus?"
REFLECTIONS ON THE ALLY – WHITE DOUBLE – DEBATE Review by Shabir Ally, November 19th, 2008http://shabirally.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/reflections-on-the-ally-white-double-debate/
One reason why the Koran is false is because several times it tells the SAME STORY and actually gives EXACT CITATIONS and each time they are NOT the same.You can find them in the articles about the "IMPERFECT MEMORY OF ALLAH" in AVRAIDIRE.EUHow can Allah say X said this and then later on say he said that?The BASIC IDEA in both exact citations is the same,the exact words are not.It is obviously the words of a human who didn't remember the exact words he had said years or months before.Shabir Ally can't give a CONVINCING reply.
Nazam, It is fairly irrelevant to point details as to if a liberal scholar utilized certain exact wordings, such as 'why I am not a Muslim'. These are all critics and the premises, conclusion as well as philosphical worldview is the same.The fact that Shabir Ally quoted E.P. Sanders to refute certain theological aspects of Jesus is sufficient, since Sanders is not a Christian, but describes himself as a secularist. Sanders takes a strict stand against supernaturalism and his theories have not been discredited much like the theories of Crossan, Burton Mack and the Jesus seminary. Also Shabir Ally did promote the idea of the 'chaos theory' that the 30 interval between the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus and the first written Gospel constituted a time of ignorance, and inability to preserve the Christian tradition, which consequently lead to fabrication and the compilation of fabrication into the present Gospels. This conjecture has no basis in history what so ever, and serves as the primary premise of all critical theory; hence if Shabir Ally holds to this basic theory, he promotes the primary conjecture on which both Crossan and Burton Mack base their theories. The 'chaos theory' is the ultimate and foundational premise of humanist approach to supernaturality of the New Testament and I find it incredibly inconsistant that a Muslim holds on to such opinions. Furthermore, Muslims debators, such as Jamal Badawi and others frequently referred to the Jesus seminary, Crossan and its gang of Bible critics. It is a fact that Bible criticism gets continually discredited and succeeded by another theory; this is because Bible criticism is the battle of the God-hater against divine revelation, and each and every time the Bible is vindicated and the theories are refuted. I just find it funny that Muslim apologists rather than fighting for the cause of God, float along with the trend of Bible criticism and consequently reject old ideas while they embrace new conjecture.
I believe White did an excellent job in the opening statement. If only these points had actually been addressed by Ally. Ally turned it into a debate over perceived Bible contradictions rather than sticking to the issue. Part of me wishes that White would have pressed Ally to return to the real topic at hand, but I understand the fundamental inconsistency that White decided to target instead.Regarding why critical scholarship can be found from professing Christians (and I'm sure there are some genuine Christians that have questions inerrancy - Bruce Metzger for one), it seems important to note that this is largely because the majority Christian countries ALLOW such criticism of the Christian faith to take place. Everything is up for criticism. If it was widely the same within countries with Muslim majorities, I am convinced that critical scholarship of the Qu'ran would abound. The fear of death for speaking critically of something will tend to deter many from speaking out. Furthermore, access to Qu'ranic manuscripts for text critical studies seems to be hampered in the Muslim majority countries in which they are found.Does anyone hear know much about what came of the 7th & 8th century Qu'ranic manuscripts found in the attic of the Yemen mosque? I have read of differences found in these manuscripts, but have not heard many specifics. Here's a link to an old article about the find:http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1999/01/what-is-the-koran/4024/If anyone knows anymore good resources regarding textual criticism of the Qu'ran, I would appreciate being directed to them.
Does not the Scripture say that "If you will seek for Me with all your heart you will surely find Me"? The comment that the prophecy that Jesus would be called a Nazarene could be found nowhere in the OT has to be rebutted. True and complete research and a willing mind/heart reveals that Isaiah 11:1 mentions the Messiah will come out of the "small twig, sprout or sucker (netzer in Hebrew - where Nazareth came from)shall come forth from the stem (or rather 'stump') of Jesse. Nazareth was known as, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth" (John 1:46) which is a direct reference to this "insignificant" place. So when one does truthful and complete research one can easily find what is the source of the prophecy.
I was very surprised when I first heard Shabir Ally's claim that supposing he had to reject the Quran and the prophethood of Muhammad, he'd become an agnostic. Doesn't he think that there are good grounds to think that God exists, independent of his belief in the prophethood of Muhammad and the Quran being God's word? I know he's done several debates with atheists and I doubt that he rested his case on arguments for the truthfulness of the Quran and Muhammad.
I agree with you Hogan that Shabir should not have quoted E.P. Sanders in this debate. Not because Sanders is wrong but because Shabir could have easily made the same point by quoting a conservative Christian scholar. Since this is a majority view held by NT scholars. For example the New Testament scholar, Wolfhart Pannenberg, who believed that Jesus was both God and Man, states, “There is no doubt that Jesus erred when he announced that God’s Lordship would begin in his own generation (Matt. 23:36; 16:28; Mark. 13:30 and parallels; cf. Matt. 10:23). The end of the world did not begin in Jesus’ generation and also not in the generation of his disciples… Here we stand before the notorious problem of the delay of the Parousia, the problem of the two thousand years that have since elapsed without the arrival of the end of the world and God’s universal rule.” (Jesus – God and Man, pg 226, 1968). I agree with Pannenberg this early Christian belief was a mistake however I would not attribute this mistake to Jesus but to his early followers who misinterpreted his teachings. Finally to say that the historical Jesus was a pacifist simply because the New Testament writers portray him as such, I believe, would be a fallacy.Whether E.P. Sanders believes in miracles or not is really irrelevant to the topic because the fact is you can believe in miracles and yet still believe that the Bible has factual errors. Furthermore, you can agree with a scholar on some things and disagree with him/her on some other things. When have you ever read an academic book in which you've completely agreed with every argument in that book? The answer is probably never or just a handful of times. James was being inconsistent with his German scholar quote because when has Shabir Ally ever quoted a scholar in their past debates who have doubted the historical existence of Jesus, even though they do exist. On a side note, Patricia Crone, who use to doubt a great deal of Islamic history, has recently stated on an online article;http://www.opendemocracy.net/faith-europe_islam/mohammed_3866.jsp"we probably know more about Mohammed than we do about Jesus (let alone Moses or the Buddha), and we certainly have the potential to know a great deal more.There is no doubt that Mohammed existed, occasional attempts to deny it notwithstanding."
"I agree with Pannenberg this early Christian belief was a mistake however I would not attribute this mistake to Jesus but to his early followers who misinterpreted his teachings. Finally to say that the historical Jesus was a pacifist simply because the New Testament writers portray him as such, I believe, would be a fallacy."The N.T writers do not potray Jesus as a pacifist. What they did was to narrate His life to its truest detail. If people read into the Writings, that's no fault of the writers.Muhammad's life as recorded should be assessed by taking all accounts into consideration. What tends to happen is Muslims give a romantic one-sided view of him."we probably know more about Mohammed than we do about Jesus (let alone Moses or the Buddha), and we certainly have the potential to know a great deal more."Jesus is mentioned more times in the Koran than Muhammad is! Any Muslim reciting the Koran mention Jesus more than any other prophet!
Part 1 of 2Nazam said: "For example the New Testament scholar, Wolfhart Pannenberg, who believed that Jesus was both God and Man, states, “There is no doubt that Jesus erred when he announced that God’s Lordship would begin in his own generation (Matt. 23:36; 16:28; Mark. 13:30 and parallels; cf. Matt. 10:23). The end of the world did not begin in Jesus’ generation and also not in the generation of his disciples… Here we stand before the notorious problem of the delay of the Parousia, the problem of the two thousand years that have since elapsed without the arrival of the end of the world and God’s universal rule.” (Jesus – God and Man, pg 226, 1968).I agree with Pannenberg this early Christian belief was a mistake however I would not attribute this mistake to Jesus but to his early followers who misinterpreted his teachings...."---End Quote---Actually, the mistake belongs to those who misunderstand what the coming of the Lord and the end refers to in such passages. The earliest Christians did not make this mistake and therefore had no problem with Christ's prophecy in the Olivet discourse found in Matthew 23-24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.I know it is presently a popular view of Christians, and that it has been the most popular for at least the last two centuries, and therefore it is partly the fault of Christians that unbelievers see these as failed predictions, but it is a mistake in my view to read these prophecies as a prediction about the world-ending return of Christ rather than as referring to His enthronement in heaven, the proof of which would be seen in His coming in judgment on Jerusalem. The destruction of Jerusalem was the visible proof that the Old Covenant had come to an end and that Jesus was now reigning from on high, and that He was bringing about the true ‘new world order’, one where all things are being brought into subjection under His feet.
part 2 of 2The position I am referring to is not ad hoc, it is not something Christians have come up with as an apologetic move to account for why the Lord Jesus has not returned as He predicted, but has been held by many people throughout the history of the Christian church. In fact, as just one example of this, I would encourage everyone to pick up Eusebius’ book The Proof of the Gospel and see how he argues that the events that took place within a generation of these words spoken by Christ, i.e. the events leading up to and culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, are in fact a fulfillment of what Christ promised. Here is a little teaser from Esebius:“When, then, we see what was of old foretold for the nations fulfilled in our day, and when the lamentation and wailing that was predicted for the Jews, and the burning of the Temple and its utter desolation, can also be seen even now to have occurred according to the prediction, surely we must also agree that the King who was prophesied, the Christ of God, has come, since the signs of His coming have been shewn in each instance I have treated to have been clearly fulfilled.” (Eusebius, the Proof of the Gospel, 2:147 (413))Although Eusebius does not quote it, here is one of many passages from Josephus, an eyewitness to the events of AD 70, that is quite interesting in this regard:“Now, the stones that were cast were the weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and farther. The blow they gave was no way to be sustained, not only by those that stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them for a great space. As for the Jews, they at first watched the coming of the stone, for it was of a white color, and could therefore not only be perceived by the great noise that it made, but could be seen also before it came by its brightness; accordingly the watchmen that sat upon the towers gave them notice when the engine was let go, and the stone came from it, and cried out aloud in their own country language, “THE SON COMETH:” so those that were in the way stood off, and threw themselves down upon the ground;….” (v.vi.3)And just to quote one modern scholar who holds this view, here is a quote from N.T. Wright:“When Jerusalem is destroyed, and Jesus’ people escape from the ruin just in time, that will be YHWH becoming King, bringing about the liberation of his true covenant people, the true return from exile, the beginning of the new world order.” (N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, p. 364)
By the way, even the Qur'an, at least according to Yusuf Ali, sees the significance of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD. 70 as something that was both prophesied and that was a judgment from God for the sins of that generation. "And We gave (clear) warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance (and twice would they be punished)!When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our servants given to terrible warfare. They entered the very inmost parts of your homes; and it was a warning (completely) fulfilled." (Surah 17:4-5)Commenting on these ayats, Yusuf Ali said:"What are the two occasions referred to? It may be that 'twice' is a figure of speech for 'more than once', 'often'. Or it may be that the two occasions refer to (1) the destruction of the Temple by the Bablonian Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., when the Jews were carried off into captivity, and (2) the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in A.C. 70, after which the Temple was never rebuilt....On both occasions it was a judgement of Allah for the sins of the Jews, their backslidings, and their arrogance." (fn#2174; see also #2175).The question may well be asked, what were the first century Jews guilty of that brought upon them the wrath of Allah?I have an idea. Hear the words of Jesus:----"Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. The vine-growers took his slave and beat one, and killed another, and stone a third. Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves. 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.' They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. THEREFORE WHEN THE OWNDER OF THE VINEYARD COMES, WHAT WILL HE DO TO THOSE VINE-GRWOERS?"They [the chief priests and the elders] said to Him [Jesus], "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons."Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, this became the hief corner stone; this came about from the Lord and it is marvelous in our eyes'? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust."When the chief preiests and the Pharisees heard His parables, THEY UNDERSTOOD THAT HE WAS SPEAKING ABOUT THEM. (Matthew 21:33-45)----In other words, first century Israel would be judged for crucifying the Lord of Glory and not understanding the time of their visitation. This judgment was brought about by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, the one who received all authority in heaven and on earth, and who would, like Yahweh in the Old Testament, ride the clouds in judgement on faithless Jerusalem. As Jesus said in answer to the high priests question of whether He is the Christ, the Son of the Blessed:"I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." (Mark 14:62)Coming in the clouds in judgement is a characteristic way the Old Testament prophets spoke of Yahweh coming to judge men and nations. Jesus told those who tried Him that they would see the day of His vindication. And they did, in AD 70.
BTW, not that my opinion matters but I want amen Anthony's exegesis of Matthew 23-24 since he is right on the money. However, lest the posters he misunderstood Anthony is not saying that Jesus will not return physically, bodily at the end of the age. He is saying that Matthew 23-24 is not about that event.
Thanks, Sam. I certainly would not want to be misunderstood that our Lord will gloriously return - visibly, audibly, bodily, etc. I normally don't comment much on eschatology since I know so many people are quite jealous over the views they learned, but I couldn't let our Lord be maligned as a false prophet, even indirectly as Nazam tried to do by blaming it on His disciples who wrote the Gospels. Rather than being a disproof of who He was and the significance of His coming and what He accomplished, the destruction of Jerusalem is a signal proof that our Lord is exactly who He claimed to be, and that He fulfilled the Old Covenant, thus putting the Temple and It's services out of gear, making them obsolete, and finally causing it to pass away.
Anthony, per Nazam's own criterion Muhammad is a false prophet since he told his followers that Jesus would descend during their lifetime!"Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah said: By Him in Whose hand is my life, the son of Mary (may peace be upon him) WILL SOON DESCEND AMONG YOU AS A JUST JUDGE. He will break crosses, kill swine and abolish Jizya and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept it." (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0287)Narrated Abu Hurayrah:The Prophet said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus. He will descent (to the earth). When YOU see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310)Using Shabir's and Nazam's logic, Muhammad must be a false prophet (which he is) because he claimed that Jesus would SOON descend during the lifetime of his companions and they would be able to recognize him! Nearly 15 centuries has transpired since then and the companions have died and Christ still has not returned. Now watch and see how Nazam explains this away instead of simply accepting the fact that his prophet was wrong. He will start doing the very thing that conservative Christians do, but which his ilk reject and brush aside, and try to harmonize this false prophecy with his erroneous belief that Muhammad was God's prophet!
Sam,While this is an obvious inconsistency, Shabir is convinced that it's okay to be inconsistent. So what's the problem? Once logic goes out the window, isn't reasoning on these issues pointless?Or were you simply pointing this out for our readers, who still believe that logic and consistency are important?
Darn it, David! You got me on that one. I erroneously assumed that Shabir and his followers such as Nazam actually believe in consistency and logic, but I forgot that both consistency and logic go out the window when it comes to Islam. Busted again.
I am still listening to this debate, but I did find it interesting that Shabir seems aware of the fact that the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18 refers to a plurality of prophets (and I assume, but could be wrong, that he is going to argue that it also points, in a climactic sense, to a specific individual, which he would identify as Muhammad.). Shabir's comments to this effect begin at the 28:45 minute mark of the first video.Sorry for the commercial, but just in case it could be helpful to anyone, I dealt with that issue in an appendix to my Deuteronomy 18 series (though it was not written specifically as a response to Shabir Ally): here. To whet people's appetite, here is how the article concludes:"So, the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18 clearly indicates that God would send many prophets to the Jewish nation, and also that he would send one specific prophet to be the culmination of them all. [But this means, in so far as this was a uniquely Israelite institution and office, that not only would each prophet necessarily be of Jewish stock – as indeed we also know to be the case from other lines of evidence that derive from Deuteronomy 18, not to mention from a survey of Israel’s history – but so would the prophet, as the head and culmination of the institution itself, the archetype and end to which all the prophets pointed, be of Jewish stock as well. The same parameters that circumscribe the passage in its collective reference to the prophetic order also circumscribe the passage when it comes to pointing to an individual who will fulfill the prophecy to the hilt. If the prophets were to be Israelites – and, again, we know on independent grounds, both exegetically and in hindsight, that they were – then so necessarily would the prophet be an Israelite.]"Sam Shamoun has dealt with a similar issue in relation to other Old Testament passages here, and as I recall he commented specifically on this issue in Deuteronomy 18 to some degree at one point on an ABN broadcast. (Perhaps Sam remembers which one it was and he will link to it.)I am interested to see how Dr. White responds to this issue in his rebuttal.
BTW, are are some more "sahih" hadiths speaking of Jesus descending upon Muhammad's companions.Narrated Abu Huraira:Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will SHORTLY DESCEND AMONGST YOU people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425) Narrated Abu Huraira:Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it (as charitable gifts). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656) Narrated Abu Huraira:Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary will SOON DESCEND AMONGST YOU and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it." Abu Huraira added "If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): -- 'And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (i.e Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being) Before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness Against them." (4.159) (See Fateh Al Bari, Page 302 Vol 7) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657) Narrated Abu Huraira:Allah's Apostle said "How will YOU be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU and he will judge people by the Law of the Quran and not by the law of Gospel (Fateh-ul Bari page 304 and 305 Vol 7)(Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 658)
Here is a final nugget:It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah observed: What would you do when the son of Mary would descend AMONGST YOU AND WOULD LEAD YOU AS ONE AMONGST YOU? Ibn Abi Dhi'b on the authority of Abu Huraira narrated: YOUR LEADER AMONGST YOU. Ibn Abi Dhi'b said: Do you know what the words: "He would lead as one AMONGST YOU" mean? I said: Explain these to me. He said: He would LEAD YOU according to the Book of your Lord (hallowed be He and most exalted) and the Sunnah of your Apostle. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0292)Nazam, enjoy.
I am hoping to upload the full unedited version of the debate between Shabir Ally and Sam Shamoun sometime this week on Nazam44 for Youtube, please check it out. As for the Hadiths I don't find any real difficulty in them. The statement that Jesus' coming is near is not a problem as 2 Peter says that a day in the sight of God is a 1000 years of our reckoning. However, the statement of 2 Peter wouldn't work for the Bible as the Bible limits Jesus' second coming to his generation. This is why no Bible in it history have ever translated the verse to mean other than Jesus' generation. The Good News translate the passage more explicit "Remember that all these things will happen before the people now living have all died." (Mt 24:34)
Nazam,Please trust me when I say you should reconsider using the Good News Translation. I suspect that you selected this translation because it's the easiest to twist, but the translation is about a trillion miles away from the Greek.Would you think it's okay if I select one of the worst Quran translations and then spin the text to my fancy? Or does consistency here not matter?
You are so right David. 'Inconsistency is acceptable so long as it serves my own purposes.' Irony is so adept at making the point. Truth stands on it's own feet. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." (Prov 1:7) "If you are wise, your wisdom will assist you. If you mock, you alone will be held responsible." (Prov 9:12)
Yes, that was the debate that sent Shabir running away refusing to ever debate me again:http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Shabir-Ally/challenge.htmIn fact, David, Nabeel and myself have an open debate challenge to take him on. So do us a favor and run to hero and tell him when will he accept my challenge to debate the evidence which proves that Muhammad is a false prophet.In the meantime, instead of running away like Shabir could you please address these hadiths which prove Muhammad is a false prophet according to the criterion employed by both yourself and Shabir?
Part 1Nazam,First, I think you are doing just what Sam said you would do with the Muslim sources, and in that case you look no different than those Christians who try to get around the time-texts that indicate Jesus would come within a generation.Second, I have to ask if you really read through what I wrote? Unlike many Christians, I take the time-texts just as they are written. The difference between my view and that which is popularly held by Christians today is, I believe that Jesus did come back, just as He said He would (though not in the way you think He meant). I pointed out that as much as this position may not be in vogue today, many Christians have believed this throughout the ages, and I even cited Eusebius, the father of Church History, to this effect. I could have easily cited many others. (And Sam has confirmed that this is his view as well.)Jesus spoke repeatedly of coming in judgment on Jerusalem. The Jewish War that culminated with the Temple's destruction in AD 70 fits these prophecies perfectly. To take just one example, notice how Matthew 24 begins:Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down." (vss 1-2)This happened quite literally in AD 70. When the Romans burned the temple to the ground, they pried it apart brick by brick in order to retrieve the gold that was in the temple. They did not leave one stone on top of another.When the main section of this part of the discourse ends in verse 34, it says that these things will come upon that generation. Since these words were spoken in roughly AD 30, and since a generation in the Bible is forty years, it is hard to imagine anyone still maintaining, and quite blasphemously no matter how piously this is dressed up and imputed to the followers of Christ rather than to Christ Himself, that Jesus was wrong in what He prophesied.
Part 2Lest I be misunderstood, as Sam was keen to point out, I do believe the Scriptures also speak of Jesus returning at the end of the world to raise the dead, commence the final judgment, and create a new heavens and a new earth. However, that doesn't mean that every passage in the Bible that speaks of Christ 'coming' refers to the eschaton. The Old Testament also speaks many times of Yahweh 'coming', but not all of these 'coming' passages refer to the same event or to God coming in the exact same way. Throughout the Old Testament God is spoken of as coming on the clouds in judgment. This is apocalyptic language. Very rarely, with such obvious exceptions as the pillar and cloud that accompanied the Israelites in their wilderness wanderings, is this language intended literally. To illustrate this point and demonstrate how God can ‘come’ in different ways, and I am sure you will enjoy this, the Old Testament speaks of God coming on the clouds in judgment on Egypt (Isaiah 19:1ff.), which was fulfilled without God ever being seen by anyone (though the effects of His coming were seen in the judgments that were poured out), but it also speaks of God coming in the following way:"Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become My people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you." (Zechariah 2:10-11)Notice in this passage that God says He will come and will live among us (minus the cloud imagery), a truth that was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ: "the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). [Notice also that the speaker in Zechariah 2:10-11 is God Himself - "'I am coming and I will live among you,' declares the LORD" - but at the same time the speaker says, "…you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you." In other words, the passage not only speaks of a ‘coming’ of Yahweh to actually live among us, but the way it does so indicates that there is more than one person in the Godhead.]
Part 3When Jesus says to the high priest that he will see Him coming on the clouds of heaven, the Old Testament background for this, as I have shown, tells us that it is judgment language. And just like Yahweh’s riding on the clouds did not mean or necessitate that He literally be seen, so the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, the one Daniel sees in His vision “coming on the clouds of heaven” and receiving from the LORD “authority, glory and sovereign power” and “an everlasting dominion that will not pass away” (Daniel 7), could say that He would come on the clouds in judgment against Jerusalem without this necessitating that He be visibly seen (on that occasion):"I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." (Mark 14:62)Jesus did come on the clouds of heaven, and the Jewish temple is no more. It’s a fact of history.It’s also a fact that speaks volumes for the truth of Christianity. The Old Testament ceremonial system, to which the sacrificial system carried on at the Temple was central, was a picture of what God would do in the Messiah, the Son of Man. When Jesus came and fulfilled these things, He made the Temple and its services obsolete, and as the book of Hebrews confirms, it would “soon pass away”. With the added fact of the sin of Israel’s leaders in rejecting the Messiah, the destruction of the Temple was most appropriate, and was a visible proof or sign that Jesus was the true Temple and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
I can't believe that Muslims are going to post the Sam vs. Shabir debate.Is anyone else expecting a lengthy intro attacking the Christian in order to bias viewers from the beginning, the way the Muslim Debate Initiative did with Mary Jo?
I should add: I know that eschatology is a touchy subject among Christians. I didn't raise this issue to step on anyone's eschatological toes. But when Christ is dismissed as a false prophet, it becomes necessary for His Name's sake to address such matters even if it means that some Christians will be upset by it.I certainly don't think that a person has to hold my view to be a Christian, though I have known plenty of people who think what I have said is heresy (hence my remarks about the historical pedigree of the view I advocated showing it has a long and distinguished history of advocacy going at least as far back as Eusebius, and I could cite earlier patristic sources on this). But it is my sincere belief that on this issue, in order to disabuse people of the notion that Christ and the apostles were in error necessitates a response that is consistent both with what Jesus really said, i.e. "this generation", and with the facts of history. Christians should not be embarassed when atheists and their bed-fellows bring this sort of thing; neither should they be reduced to coming up with contrived interpretations that have no basis in the text of Scripture, but should see that if they take these things seriously as they are written they are actually a point of embarassment for those who do not believe.I mean just look at the egg on Muslims faces from this: Jesus said He would return and the temple would be destroyed; Muhammad said that he visited the temple in Jerusalem and that Jesus would come back in the time of his followers. Isn't it obvious who should be embarassed by this when the temple was not standing in Muhammad's time and Jesus did not come back in the time of Muhammad's followers? Will the real false prophet please stand up?
Nazam,Any chance you will finish making the Sam vs. Shabir debate available tonight? I have a free evening and I can't think of a better way to spend it than to watch the debate that sent Shabir packing.
Haaaa, it looks like David was right on the money. As of now, Nazam has a "preview" of the debate up which jumps right into Shabir's rebuttal to Sam. This looks like an attempt to preempt the effect that Sam's remarks would have if a person heard them in the order in which they were presented, first by Sam and then by Ally when he tries to respond. I sure hope we don't get more of that and that Nazam will put the whole debate up without any more "previews" and without any editorial comments at the beginning or during the debate.
Anthony, I am at the moment experimenting with different formats to see which is the best format for me to convert to upload it on Youtube. It just so happen the file that I've been using to test on Youtube happens to have Shabir speaking at the beginning. Also there is an edited version at the moment of the debate on the web promoted by Robert Morrey's ministries in which Shabir's rebuttals have been edited out but Shamoun's rebuttals have been left un-touch. Here's an article that you might find interesting by Bassam Zawadi. http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/comment_on_shabir_sam_debate.htmI haven't actually read everything you wrote, Anthony, on Matthew 24 which is why I've not responded to everything. As it is very difficult when you have several Christians jumping on you all at once but I will try to do so this evening. Thanks.
David,the Mary Jo incident was not in my control as several people have my password and a lot of the content uploaded on my channel is not done by me. When I first saw it I did not see something wrong with it, as I felt there was nothing in those clips which yourself and Mary Jo did not believe in. However in hindsight I realize that it wasn't a great idea which is why the video was removed in less than twelve hours and an official video of the debate by MDI was uploaded instead.
"Is anyone else expecting a lengthy intro attacking the Christian in order to bias viewers from the beginning, the way the Muslim Debate Initiative did with Mary Jo?"Oh Dear, honesty is forced out the window there....Didn't MDI issue a rejoinder on that explaining the situation and that it was done by individuals, Nah let's not mention that at all, as that will to some extent humanise Muslims....
Anthony, that tells you that the Muslims knew that I made Shabir look bad and so now they have to go into damage control mode. To make things worse for Shabir and his followers this was my FIRST debate ever and I want up against a seasoned deceiver and taqiyyist.I felt that I steamrolled him which explains why he has been ducking me ever since then. You would think that if he really thought he soundly defeated me that he would jump at the chance to debate me again on the credibility of his prophet and humiliate me. However, I must say that seeing that it was my first debate I did make a few mistakes such as not giving a proper answer to the existence of God. However, things have changed and has been nearly ten years since that debate. Imagine what would I do to Shabir by the grace of the Lord now that have so much more experience and knowledge? BTW Nazam, cat got your tongue? Where are you when it comes to defending Muhammad's false prophecies?
Nazam said: "Also there is an edited version at the moment of the debate on the web promoted by Robert Morrey's ministries in which Shabir's rebuttals have been edited out but Shamoun's rebuttals have been left un-touch."For the record, if Morey's ministry edited out any content and then distributed the debate, they should be publicly exposed (and I'll gladly help do it).Yahya Seymour said: "Didn't MDI issue a rejoinder on that explaining the situation and that it was done by individuals, Nah let's not mention that at all, as that will to some extent humanise Muslims...."Yes, and I initially accepted your explanation. However, after MDI went around having debates cancelled, while pretending to have nothing to do with the cancellations and letting other people take the blame, MDI's credibility is shot. If we all know that MDI acted treacherously and pretended to be innocent in one case, how can we believe you when you claim to be innocent in another case? It's hard to get off the path MDI has chosen.
"Yes, and I initially accepted your explanation. However, after MDI went around having debates cancelled, while pretending to have nothing to do with the cancellations and letting other people take the blame, MDI's credibility is shot. If we all know that MDI acted treacherously and pretended to be innocent in one case, how can we believe you when you claim to be innocent in another case? It's hard to get off the path MDI has chosen"Response:Oh you are on a path to destruction, step back and concede truth whilst you still can.I am no longer affiliated with MDI firstly, so lumping all people into one bunch is great, but it won't work.Secondly, before accusing MDI of going around getting debates cancelled, perhaps verifying the trustworthiness of your sources would have paid off, should you have asked, I would have provided what I would deem to be irrefutable evidence that no ban was issued by MDI. However you had not asked, you are like the one who when he hears a chinese whisper spreads it, you spread gossip as if it is canonical truth and fail to verify that which comes to you.Since you have had the decency to respond to my blogposts, have the decency also to respond to my email IN PRIVATE should you so recieve the opportunity.
Yahya said: "I am no longer affiliated with MDI firstly, so lumping all people into one bunch is great, but it won't work."Excellent! I might read your email now. (I'm busy all week though. If you've got it handy, you could resend it. If not, I'll search for it when I get the chance.)Yahya said: "Secondly, before accusing MDI of going around getting debates cancelled, perhaps verifying the trustworthiness of your sources would have paid off."Well, Yahya Snow kept pointing to you, and I kept rejecting his claims, since you and Sami had assured me that MDI wasn't behind this. Yahya Snow is a complete liar, so I can't trust what he says. But then A MEMBER OF MDI admitted that Abdullah was behind the cancellations.Now I'll admit that on the surface, this seems like a problem. On the one hand, I don't trust MDI, because of their treacherous actions in the past. So how can I trust a member of MDI when he says that Abdullah was behind the debate cancellations? Well, this is where things like the "Principle of Embarrassment" come in. Why would a member of MDI invent things about his leader?BTW, are you seriously maintaining that Abdullah had nothing to do with the cancellations???
Anthony, I've read what you have to say about Jesus' return, however, it still doesn't address the fact that Jesus link the destruction of Jerusalem with the end of the world and the gathering of the elect from the four corners of the earth. According to Matthew (24:29), Jesus said that "IMMEDIATELY" after the destruction of Jerusalem the sun will become dark and the moon will loose it's light and the stars will fall from heaven. Then in verse 34, he says that all these things will happen before "this generation" passes away and you accept that "this generation" means the people who were listening to Jesus.I agree with you that when Jesus made this prophesy the temple was destroyed within one generation but when did the sun or the moon become dark and the stars fall from heaven and when did Jesus gather the elects from the four corners of the earth in AD 70?
Notice that Nazam STILL hasn't addressed his false prophet's false predictions but chooses to focus on Jesus' alleged false prophecy instead even though Anthony has thoroughly addressed and exposed Nazam's gross misinterpretation and misunderstanding of it. Your question regarding when the sun and moon became darkened only exposes your utter ignorance of how the Bible uses such imagery. But I will let Anthony address this since I am pretty sure he knows how to refute it. I am also certain he will appeal to texts like Acts 2:16-21 which refers to Joel 2:28-32 being fulfilled on Pentecost even though this text uses similar cosmic imagery. In the meantime, will you please stop being like Shabir and address the false prediction of your false prophet? Thank you.
Part 1Nazam,Thanks for reading through all of that. Although your willingness to conclude that Jesus was a false prophet or that the discples corrupted His teaching is blameworthy, your question is a natural one for someone who is not steeped in the writings of the prophets. The following is my answer:As with the cloud imagery, the darkening of Sun and Moon and the falling of the stars from the sky is apocalyptic language. This language is rooted in the Old Testament and was also employed in early non-canonical apocalyptic Jewish writings. Before giving you some examples of this from the prophets, note the following words from Milton Terry, who was one of the leading authorities on Biblical hermeneutics in his day (and is still held in the highest regard today):"We might fill volumes with extracts showing how exegetes and writers of New Testament doctrine assume as a principle not to be questioned that such highly wrought language as Matt. xxiv, 29-31 ... taken almost verbatim from Old Testament prophecies of judgment on nations and kingdoms which long ago perished, must be literally understood. Too little study of Old Testament ideas of judgment, and apocalyptic language and style, would seem to be the main reason for this one sided exegesis. It will require more than assertion to convince thoughtful men that the figurative language of Isaiah and Daniel, admitted on all hands to be such in those ancient prophets, is to be literally interpreted when used by Jesus or Paul." Biblical Hermeneutics: A Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan,  1974), p. 596In this statement Terry is drawing attention to the fact that some people try to take the language used in Matthew 24:29-31 literally, even though it is patterned after prophetic descriptions of judgment, which everyone agrees, was not intended in a literal fashion.
Part 2And now for an example:Isaiah 13 foretells the judgment that later befell Babylon:"An oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw: Raise the banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles. I have commanded my holy ones; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath - those who rejoice in my triumph. Listen, a noise on the mountains like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! the LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war. They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens - the LORD and the weapons of His wrath - to destroy the whole country. Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. Because of this, all hands will go limp, every man’s heart will melt. Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their face aflame. See, the day of the LORD is coming - a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger - to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light...." Every interpreter, even those who turn a blind eye to it when interpreting the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, recognize that this language in Isaiah 13 is figurative (for some other examples of this, See: Isaiah 34; Ezekiel 32; Amos 5; and Amos 8, et. al.). Indeed, there is a wealth of other figurative language employed in these verses (e.g. their hearts will "melt"; terror and pain will "seize" and "grip" people; their face will be aghast and "aflame") and later in the passage. Since the prophecy refers to the destruction of Babylon at the hands of the Persians, particularly under Cyrus, which took place by 539 BC, as was further prophesied in Isaiah 45:1ff. and 47:1ff., the language was obviously not understood in a literal way. No Jew has taken this language literally, and no Christian commentators take this language when used in the Old Testament literally. For this reason, no atheist or Muslim - and especially no Christian who ought to know better - should take this language literally when it is employed by the Prince of Prophets, even the Lord Jesus Christ. More could be said, but the above is sufficient to explain what Jesus was saying: When Jesus said in Matthew 24 that it was "lights out" for Jerusalem, He was telling Jerusalem’s leaders that judgment was coming and their world was going to come to an end.“The signs in the heavens, the darkening sun and the falling stars, refer to the falling Jewish dignitaries, casting down authorities and powers, long established, and signifies the darkness that settled upon the Jewish state. The sun of the Hebrew temple was darkened, the moon of the Jewish commonwealth was as blood, the stars of the Sanhedrin fell from the high seats of authority.” Foy E. Wallace, Jr., The Book of Revelation, p. 354As Jesus said to the high priest and the Sanhedrin in a passage that you should have memorized by now:“"I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." – The Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 14:62)
Well, to me one area that islam has really caused problems for Christianity is their influence on how we define and think about the wrath of God.The Bible teaches us that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and there are many other places where the Bible confirms that.I would like to suggest that the concept of "eternal conscious torture" is actually not Biblical at all, but has many roots in the teaching of islam; what I am espousing here is a teaching from Harold Camping (he is the guy whose Biblical timeline indicates that the day of Judgment will begin on May 21, 2011) that I think is worth considering.
PART 1Anthony, it doesn't say that Jesus will return or that the celestial bodies will fall at the time of the destruction of the temple itself. But that these things will only happen immediately after the temple been destroyed. Matthew (24) gives a whole list of things including the destruction of the temple because he says that not one stone will be left on top of another. After this Matthew tells us Jesus will appear and that people will see him arriving on the clouds and gathering the chosen ones from the ends of the earth. To quote Matthew, "Immediately after those horrible days end,the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, the stars will fall from the sky...And then at last, the sign of the coming of the Son of Man will appear...And they will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds...And he will send forth his angels with the sound of a mighty trumpet blast, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven." (Mt 24:29-31)Jesus clearly says (according to Matthew) that all these things will happen ‘in this generation’; that is, before the last person living at the time of Jesus dies. This statement is plainly false, and also wholly undermines any claim to biblical inerrancy. Quite simply, either Jesus was wrong, or the writer of this Gospel was wrong in ascribing this statement to Jesus (my preferred view); either way, what is in the Bible has been shown to be false, as decisively as anything could be. It just did not happen; and the time is long past when it could have happened. This early Christian belief was a mistake.
PART 2Christians have wriggled and squirmed to evade this point: But every wriggle and every squirm is strained, implausible and, in the end, deceitful. What the sentence says is plain enough. It is only because we know it is false that we look for some other interpretation, to save the appearance of truth. So it is suggested that ‘this generation’ means this age (between the birth of Jesus and the end of the world); so it could be as long as you like (as 1 Peter says, ‘A thousand years is as one day to God’). But if you can play with words like that, anything can be true. So when some Christians claim that when Jesus says, ‘Surely I am coming soon’ in Revelation 22.20, he means ‘Surely I am coming in quite a long time – at least two thousand years’. If you can believe that, you can believe anything and things can mean the opposite of what they say. And what is the point of saying ‘The Bible is infallible; but only as long as it means the opposite of what it says’?Another trick is to say that ‘all these things’ only refers to some of them: the destruction of Israel, perhaps, but not the end of the world. But who could seriously think, except in the grip of some obsessive delusion, that Matthew could preface this statement with a mark of solemn emphasis – ‘Truly I say to you’ – and then make what follows so obscure that people cannot agree on what it means?Or one could try to interpret the whole thing symbolically suggesting that the coming of Jesus on the clouds is the birth of the church, and the gathering of the elect is its spreading throughout the world. But again, this strains the text beyond credibility, since the destruction of the Jerusalem is to be followed immediately by the coming of Christ; whereas the church presumably came into being before the destruction, in AD 70.My conclusion is that one can continue to wriggle – but the price is a thinly concealed self-deception, which ill befits a faith which claims to be able to lead humankind into all the truth. And of course it is not just a question of this one isolated text. As Schweitzer and Weiss showed, the earliest Christians had as one of their firmest beliefs that the world would come to an end within the lifetime of the apostles. Paul, in 1 Thess 4:15 and 5:2, clearly teaches that Jesus will come ‘like a thief in the night’ while some are still alive.The astonishing fact is that, in a sense, the whole Christian gospel is founded on a mistake, the mistake of thinking that Jesus would return to earth in judgement within one generation.
PART 3Or one could try to interpret the whole thing symbolically suggesting that the coming of Jesus on the clouds is the birth of the church, and the gathering of the elect is its spreading throughout the world. But again, this strains the text beyond credibility, since the destruction of the Jerusalem is to be followed immediately by the coming of Christ; whereas the church presumably came into being before the destruction, in AD 70.My conclusion is that one can continue to wriggle – but the price is a thinly concealed self-deception, which ill befits a faith which claims to be able to lead humankind into all the truth. And of course it is not just a question of this one isolated text. As Schweitzer and Weiss showed, the earliest Christians had as one of their firmest beliefs that the world would come to an end within the lifetime of the apostles. Paul, in 1 Thess 4:15 and 5:2, clearly teaches that Jesus will come ‘like a thief in the night’ while some are still alive.The astonishing fact is that, in a sense, the whole Christian gospel is founded on a mistake, the mistake of thinking that Jesus would return to earth in judgement within one generation.
PART 4Another attempt is to quote "But of THAT day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven…….” (Mark 13:32)If I say something will happen in the next 10 years but I don’t know the hour or the day, I’m not saying that it will happen at any time in the future and could be 200 years from now, I’m saying it will happen within the next 10 years, at some time I do not know right now. If 10 years pass and it doesn’t happen, the conclusion should be that I was wrong, not that it will happen “sometime.” Jesus was giving a prophecy that was not certain in time but neither was it unlimited. He gave clear end time, this generation ,the generation that is listening, which he has chastized throughout the Gospel as a theme .
AnthonyJust to make mention of a verse like Matthew 24:30, to mention one, makes the idea that Jesus has already come in the past a bit of a misnomer. There is no record of "everyone" seeing Him come "as the lightning" which would mean quite visible and unmaskable. Not sure that bringing into this debate the "possibility" of Jesus having already come helps the Muslim mind to overcome the issues of the scriptures they so deliberately take out of context and proof-text. We can certainly disagree about this of course, but let us be sure we are on solid ground and have all the bases covered as I've just shown one uncovered.
Warkentins,I am sorry I don't have time to address you on this issue. If you want to help Nazam try to argue that Jesus was a false prophet then perhaps he will take up your arguments and address them to me. If he does repeat them, I will be happy to answer them. As it is, I can assure you I have studied the issue and haven't left any stone uncovered, no more than the Romans did when they destroyed the temple (Matthew 24:1)
I just want to point out that "And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14) is only just coming to fulfilment with the translation of the Bible and the preaching of the same reaching to all people groups - 'nations' here being 'ethnos' where we get ethnic from.The so-called quandry over Matthew 24:34 "I tell you with certainty, this generation will not disappear until these things happen." must be taken as always in context. It is a direct reference to the generation that sees everything fulfilled in the verses leading up to this.One cannot take individual verses out of context and remain truthful about the actual meaning and intent of the Author or authors. Alot would have to be explained away as merely symbolic if one were to claim that Jesus has already appeared.Alot of talk has been made about the inconsistency of the approach of our Muslim friends. Has it ever been arranged where they would admit to the "rules" of dialogue? If they cannot then what is the purpose in dialogue? Might be mostly pointless and agravating.
Anthony,We are brothers in Christ so please do not put me in his camp as against Christ. That is not the case and I would appreciate it if we could keep our talk between each other civil or as the Scriptures say, they may have cause to hate the gospel. I have nothing against you and was not intending any such thing, only what I said. And as a believer like yourself I have the same right to speak out and not compare myself with you for the Scripture says that such would not be wise. The wisdom I seek and I believe you do to, is to help them see the truth. Just for personal discussion (not here) would you be so kind as to direct me to a site for information of what study you have done, for I have never in all my ministry seen or heard of it.
Hey Nazam,According to Matthew (24:29), Jesus said that "IMMEDIATELY" after the destruction of Jerusalem the sun will become dark and the moon will loose it's light and the stars will fall from heaven. Then in verse 34, he says that all these things will happen before "this generation" passes away and you accept that "this generation" means the people who were listening to Jesus.I think you need to study up on apocalyptic language it is generally thought to be colorful poetic not to be taken in a woodenly literal way. No one expects a beast with seven literal heads and ten literal horns David’s Acts study is good place to start your research in chapter 2:15-21 you find the followingFor these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' (Acts 2:15-21)Notice that Peter equates the speaking in tongues at Pentecost with the fulfillment of a prophecy of Joel that included references to:…. the sun being shall turned to darkness and the moon to blood. You will find this kind of non woodenly literal fulfillments to prophecy over and over in scripture. That is why the early church was not embarrassed by the passages you mention. It only becomes an issue if you are unfamiliar with this type of Bibical literateure. Think about it if as you believe the church was busy editing and redacting the gospels and if the early church fathers believed that these texts made Jesus look bad would they still be found in the text. The very fact that texts like these are in the Bible is powerful evidence against Muslim claims of corruption in the Gospelspeace
Warkentins, you said that 'this generation', "is a direct reference to the generation that sees everything fulfilled in the verses leading up to this."Unfortunately, the verse does say 'this generation' and not 'THAT generation'. Whenever the Greek word for generation is used in Matthew's Gospel it is always use to mean Jesus's contemporaries. For example in Matthew 12:40 Jesus says, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah."And it is not just one isolated verse but this teaching is across the board. Paul for example writing in the 50's to the Corinthians actually believed that not all of the Corinthians would die but with a blink of an eye they would be all transform and given immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-52). It has been now more than two thousands years and more than just a blink or twinkle of an eye has passed by.
Warkentins I am going to side with Anthony and have to say you have not studied this issue throughly which is why you erroneously assume that preaching the Gospel to the whole world means the world as we know it today, as opposed to the world as viewed from the perspective of the NT writers. Here are a few verses which show that that apsect of Jesus' prophecy was already fulfilled LONG BEFORE 70 AD:"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world." Romans 1:8"the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth." Colossians 1:5-6But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant." Colossians 1:22-23 According to the NT, the faith of the Christians at Rome was being reported ALL OVER THE WORLD, the Gospel was already bearing fruit ALL OVER THE WORLD, and every creature under heaven had the Gospel already proclaimed to them. It sure sounds like Matthew 24:!4 had already been fulfilled LONG BEFORE 70 AD.So I think you need to reconsider your position.
Part 1Nazam said: Anthony, it doesn't say that Jesus will return or that the celestial bodies will fall at the time of the destruction of the temple itself. But that these things will only happen immediately after the temple been destroyed.Matthew 24 doesn't say the stars will fall after the temple is destroyed. Jesus speaks of the temple still standing in verse 15, follows this up with descriptions of the distress of the days preceding Jerusalem's destruction, and then says immediately after all this the stars will fall and "the sign of the Son of man will appear in the sky". It was then that the temple would see its demise, along with all of Jerusalem."Christians have wriggled and squirmed to evade this point: But every wriggle and every squirm is strained, implausible and, in the end, deceitful. What the sentence says is plain enough. It is only because we know it is false that we look for some other interpretation, to save the appearance of truth."I already anticipated your claim that this interpretation is an ad hoc attempt to make sense out of a failed prediction. The interpretation I hold goes back to the earliest days of the Church, though I wouldn't deny that some people after AD 70, after the primary audience to whom these prophecies were most relevant had passed from the seen, lost sight of their first-century relevance and interpreted them as referring to what was in their future. It is largely because Christians have grown ignorant of the position I have averred for that the argument for a failed prediction has any momentum behind it.So it is suggested that ‘this generation’ means this age (between the birth of Jesus and the end of the world);That isn't suggested by me. You are beating the air here.so it could be as long as you like (as 1 Peter says, ‘A thousand years is as one day to God’). But if you can play with words like that, anything can be true.I don't play with words like that. Care to address my view?So when some Christians claim that when Jesus says, ‘Surely I am coming soon’ in Revelation 22.20, he means ‘Surely I am coming in quite a long time – at least two thousand years’. If you can believe that, you can believe anything and things can mean the opposite of what they say.I don't believe that, so try again.And what is the point of saying ‘The Bible is infallible; but only as long as it means the opposite of what it says’?"I haven't said it means the opposite of what it says, and by now you should know that and not be reduced to attacking a straw man.
Part 2Another trick is to say that ‘all these things’ only refers to some of them: the destruction of Israel, perhaps, but not the end of the world.I think 'all these things' refers to 'all these things', but thanks for reminding us what some other Christians have said. But who could seriously think, except in the grip of some obsessive delusion, that Matthew could preface this statement with a mark of solemn emphasis – ‘Truly I say to you’ – and then make what follows so obscure that people cannot agree on what it means?It might be obscure to Christians who ignore the prophetic writings when interpreting apocalyptic sections of the New Testament, and it might be obscure to Muslims who follow only a single, self-proclaimed prophet, but it wasn't obscure to the original audience. They were brought up hearing Moses and the prophets read at least every Sabbath day. According to early historical sources, the words Jesus spoke to His Jewish followers was more than understood; they fled the city before it was finally distroyed by the Romans. Or one could try to interpret the whole thing symbolically suggesting that the coming of Jesus on the clouds is the birth of the church, and the gathering of the elect is its spreading throughout the world. But again, this strains the text beyond credibility, since the destruction of the Jerusalem is to be followed immediately by the coming of Christ; whereas the church presumably came into being before the destruction, in AD 70.The Church is as Old as the Old Testament, so I am not sure what you mean. The same word used for the congregation in the Old Testament (LXX) is the same word used for the church in the New Testament. The Church was 'born again' at Pentecost, i.e. it was reconstituted, but it was clearly separated off from Old Covenant Judaism when the Temple was destroyed.
Nazam, we are still waiting for you to wiggle your way out of dealing with Muhammad's blatant false predictions concerning Jesus descending upon his companions, something that never materialized thereby exposing Muhammad as the fraud and false prophet that he is.
Part 3My conclusion is that one can continue to wriggle – but the price is a thinly concealed self-deception, which ill befits a faith which claims to be able to lead humankind into all the truth.Since you have yet to seriously address my position, and since I haven't felt the slightest discomfort or had any difficulty addressing what little has been relevant to my view in what you have said, and since I have yet shown the need to engage in attacking a straw man in order to refute you, all talk about wriggling and self-deception is up in the air. And of course it is not just a question of this one isolated text. As Schweitzer and Weiss showed, the earliest Christians had as one of their firmest beliefs that the world would come to an end within the lifetime of the apostles. Paul, in 1 Thess 4:15 and 5:2, clearly teaches that Jesus will come ‘like a thief in the night’ while some are still alive.You must have a short memory. Am I arguing that Jesus did or did not come 'like a thief in the night'? If you (rightly) think I am arguing the former, then you have to show that I am wrong when I show from the Scriptures that these things referred to His coming in judgment on Jerusalem; if you (wrongly) think I am arguing the latter, as in fact appears to be the case, then I must say you are doing a good job lying in wait for, ambushing, cutting off hands the hands and feet, and crucifying that straw man. The astonishing fact is that, in a sense, the whole Christian gospel is founded on a mistake, the mistake of thinking that Jesus would return to earth in judgment within one generation.The more ironic thing is, if Christianity is founded on this, then it would mean your only hope of believing Christianity to be false rests upon either an ability to show that he did not come in judgment or on misrepresenting the Christian position. You seem to have chosen the latter option. I guess that is safer.
I am going to appeal to the leaders of this blog. It seems as there are those who would rather than "reason" with others as the apostle Paul would, are ready to "crucify" others and use demeaning and self-righteous language that does not belong among Christians. If one would look closely at what I have said and the language I have used it is clear I am not attacking or inviting attack. Words such as "you have not studied this issue throughly which is why you erroneously assume". And if we are treating each other as believers like this in front of unbelievers then what can the outcome be?!We need to ask more questions of each other instead of assuming we know what the other is saying or where they are coming from. Such dialogue will be very fruitful and not condemning as is currently the situation.
Nazam, Firstly, the reference to ‘genea’ (generation) is found in Mark 13. Mark is supposedly the earliest Gospel written. According to objective critics Mark was written 60-65 AD according to the early Christian data, Mark was written 45-50 AD. In any case we are no less than 30 years after the ascension of Jesus. Furthermore, this particular section belongs to both the Q and the Triple tradition, which conveys to us the preserved gospel transmission of the Christians Jews reaching down in written form probably to 45 AD. Having studied extensively the early Christian oral transmission and succession of the first and second century, there is simply no doubt that this particular saying was articulated by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jewish followers were trained both in writing and memorization and since the included the rules of succession, they would not from an historical or logical perspective get this wrong. Hence if Shabir Ally is correct in his assumption the true historical Jesus whom the Qur’an elevates to a prophet of God was a false prophet, which would only confirm that the Qur’an is not a divine revelation.However, let’s consider the claim of Shabir Ally:you keep following a specific scholarship in its assertion that 'genea' in Matthew 24 is definetily a reference to Jesus' contemporaries. It's a fact that in critical scholarship this is asserted since 'genea' in the Gospels tends to describe the contemporaries, this is ussually the explanation of critical scholarship, e.g. the ‘International Critical Commentary of Matthew’. It's also a fact that some less liberal scholars at least promote this view, this is due to what I call 'forcible trend', which are certain elements within theology you need to lean for the sake of acceptance; believe me I have studied theology for several years, BA and MA under liberal tuition (primarily the MA). However, 'genea' speaks not only of ‘generation’ by equally of ‘race’, or something of the same kind. Hence the reference in Matthew 24 can also refer to the nation of Israel. Only the context can decide this (see Spiro Zodhiates in the Complete Wordstudy of the New Testament)! As I pointed out before, since Matthew 24 describes the Deuteronomic hope of Israel to preserve to the very end, the chapter is likely to describe the type of people Jesus is speaking to, not necessarily the exact generation.
NazamWarkentins, you said that 'this generation', "is a direct reference to the generation that sees everything fulfilled in the verses leading up to this."Unfortunately, the verse does say 'this generation' and not 'THAT generation'. Whenever the Greek word for generation is used in Matthew's Gospel it is always use to mean Jesus's contemporaries. For example in Matthew 12:40 Jesus says, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah."And it is not just one isolated verse but this teaching is across the board. Paul for example writing in the 50's to the Corinthians actually believed that not all of the Corinthians would die but with a blink of an eye they would be all transform and given immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-52). It has been now more than two thousands years and more than just a blink or twinkle of an eye has passed by.In response to this Nazam are you open to the idea that things are said differently in a different language? I believe that you and I both speak more than just English and so would recognize this. Allow me to point out that regardless of the differences of language even English allows for the use of the words "this generation" to refer to the current context which was/is as I've said those who've seen what has just been described. It fits perfectly in the context and makes the best sense of what is being said. As for comparing the texts you did that does not apply as they are different discussions and usages of the word - in other words they are not parallel passages so cannot be treated the same.I have a question for you Nazam. Are you just really interested to know the truth of this? Are you really willing to put yourself on the line to find out if it's true? If so they it cannot hurt you to simply pray asking the Messiah Yeshua to reveal Himself to you. What do you have to lose? In fact you have only everything to gain. And if this were not true you wouldn't lose anything, would you? But what if it's true and you are just that close to discovering the truth? Do you see what I'm saying? But the choice is yours and your eternity hangs on just that!
Warkentins, I sympathies with you. Sometimes you just have to ignore some people and only speak to those who are polite and respectful towards you. It is a bit like a child when he or she misbehaves, you pretend to ignore them with the hope that they might change.
However, even though, the reference should be to 'generation', both Mark and Matthew have combined into his context a number of sermons and Jesus is indeed speaking of two events, the destruction of Jerusalem and His own coming in glory, when He (Jesus) sends his own angels to gather his elect. The question remains therefore whether Jesus speaks of 'generation' or 'type', whether he is referring to every detail within the chapter or a part of it. It's also a fact that Jesus' intention at this point is not to provide a full chronology of eschatology but a picture which the listeners of that specific occasion would be able to grasp.You might point out that Matthew uses the word ‘eutheos’ (immediately). But the question is immediately after what? Notice that Matthew 24 does not only refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. Verse 9-14 describe a number of events, such as war and rumours of war (6-7). The Jerusalem fall is referred to in verse 15 ‘So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination’ this is a direct fulfilment of the reference to war and not necessarily the culmination of the escatology. Matthew’s ‘eutheos’ is therefore not simply the culmination of the fall of Jerusalem but the culmination of a much larger picture. If we include the Gospel of Luke here, this is described much more explicitly: ‘There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentils are fulfilled’ (Luke 21: 23-24). Hence the time preceeding the ‘eutheos’ encompasses a period much longer than the fall of Jerusalem to the beginning of the second century, when eyewitnesses of Jesus were still living, in fact the times of the Gentiles are still not fully over. The escatological endtime and their actual signs and the Parousia (coming of Jesus) will mark the end of the Gentile rule.This use of 'generation' and the ‘eutheos’ are by you and Shabir Ally used falsely and are pointers brought up primarily by critics who look for issues in the Bible that by first look might indicate difficulties and hence in so doing refrain from considering the complexity of a bigger picture.
Yeah I agree Sam, I would love to hear Nazam explain why Jesus did not come quickly after the era of Muhammad?
Warkentins said: "I am going to appeal to the leaders of this blog. It seems as there are those who would rather than 'reason' with others as the apostle Paul would, are ready to 'crucify' others and use demeaning and self-righteous language that does not belong among Christians."I assume you're referring to Anthony and Sam in your appeal. Anthony is one of the blog leaders, and he and Sam are perhaps the most knowledgeable brothers here. I doubt they're trying to "crucify" you. This is simply a tough blog, filled with people who generally don't mince words (as Paul didn't).With that said, I happen to agree with your interpretation of "this generation." So now, Anthony and Sam can come after both of us! Once we're done fending them off, we can get back to Muhammad's obviously false view (which our friend Nazam has been desperately trying to divert us from).
Warkentins,As for Sam, nothing he said to you was untoward or unbecoming of a believer. If his saying "you have not studied this issue throughly which is why you erroneously assume" is blameworthy, then your saying to me that I have not covered my bases and have not been careful to uncover the salient issues in my study of the Olivet discourse is also blameworthy. Personally, I don't think you should be so easily offended. I wasn't offended when you pretended to know I haven't covered my bases. [By the way, I am pretty sure the leaders of this blog will agree that Sam was not behaving badly.]As for my response to you, I wasn't branding you an unbeliever for disagreeing with me; neither was I saying you have no right to hold your view or argue for it. My point is that in this context, your remarks are clearly not helpful. Nazam's whole argument rests upon the view that Jesus did not come back in judgment, which is what you are arguing. He simply doesn't buy pop Christianity's view that "this generation", which is a near demonstrative, could possibly refer to a future generation. And I agree with him. The phrase never means that anywhwere else in Matthew's Gospel (or anywhere else in the New Testament for that matter). In fact, if I didn't think Nazam would use it against other Christians who don't know how to refute the conclusion he infers from this, I would show that the case for "this generation" referring to the generation Christ was speaking to can actually be made in a much stronger way than the way Nazam has done it.I sympathize with the fact that this view is not popular; in fact, this is partially confirmed by your admission that you have never heard this view before [another fact that shows Sam's comments were on the mark]. On the other hand, I was put through the ringer on this view, and studied in scool under people who played a large part in the modern day resurgence of this position. As unknown as it might be to some today, it was held by many of the early Christians, and has been held by able, orthodox commentators down to the present time. The sun on this view was eclipsed for a large part of the past two centuries - pardon the figurative language, I don't mean the sun literally went dark - but has experienced a modern day resurgence with men like Marcellus J. Kik (and many others) who taught at Princeton and Westminster Theological Seminary (and other places). The Futurist position which eclipsed it has done much damage in my view. The fruit of it can be seen in this discussion. It is the Futurist interpretation that gives Nazam's argument it's teeth. Without it, he is defanged, as you can see by the fact that he simply can't get away from talking about this view when trying to argue against me.If you would like a list of books, journal entries, articles, recorded lectures, or doctoral dissertations that present this view, I would be happy to write one up. As it is, I hesitate to recommend any website, at least in this forum. You are free to write me if you like. My e-mail is available in my blogger profile. (Simply click on my name)
Nazam, instead of making excuses to avoid answering Muhammad's obviously false prediction everyone here is still waiting for a defense of your false prophet's false prophecy concerning Jesus' return. This is not going away even though you would like it to.
Anthony, send those resources my way bro. You have my email. Just for the record, I want to say that in my opinion Anthony is the most gifted of all the apologists we have refuting Islam and defending the truth of Christianity. I fee like an amateur when reading his stuff. All this due solely to the sovereign grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, as Anthony himself will gladly admit!
Thanks, David. I wrote my last post before I saw your comment. You are right, I have no desire to 'crucify' Warentkins. Neither does Sam. This is one of the reasons I usually shy away from a discussion of eschatology (as I said at the very beginning when first addressing Nazam). There are many great Christian men and women who differ on a great many things related eschatology. They are no less my brothers and sisters for this reason, and in most cases they are much better people than I could ever claim to be (though I don't claim to be "people" as there is only one of me.) Oh yes, I also have no desire to go after "both of you". Though I can't speak for Sam on this. Watch out. :-)
I believe even if one holds a more literal view of that passage (which I myself do), Nazam's arguments can all be overcome.And I find it frustrating that Muslims are so often blind to their inconsistencies...If Jesus or the writer of that passage was false/wrong when the passage was made... then what of Muhammad who said a very similar thing, as Sam pointed out over and over?And Muhammad's statement was a lot more literal compared to Jesus's statement."son of Mary (Jesus) will SHORTLY DESCEND AMONGST YOU people"And all Nazam is doing is just say 'we don't accept that hadith'... while we Christians say 'you're misunderstanding the context'.We hold true to what the scriptures say, while they're willing to throw out their 'sahih' writings...And then Nazam also claims that Christianity is founded on a mistake..Yeah.. thanks to who, according to the Quran? Who was the one that made those 'Christians' believe Jesus died in the first place? Otherwise, we wouldn't have 'Christians' in the first place, would we?And if the Gospels are wrong, then your Quran is false too! As Sam and the rest of the Acts 17 bunch have been pointing out over and over how the Quran is a reminder of what the Jews and Christians have already... namely the bible in their hands!Argh.. it's just so frustrating for me to keep witnessing this happen.
DavidIt's good to see that you and Hogan have similar beliefs to mine. I just don't see what use it is to be so blunt. That's also partly personality I know, but in all my ministry here and overseas I have never yet seen one turned to Christ through this. As for Paul using this approach with unbelievers (other than hypocrites like the Pharisees) I don't know of such. And I don't see the use to argue over issues that obviously are closely held and would not soon be dropped.I have appreciated your videos and talks with muslims and followed the recent attacks on your freedoms with much prayer for you and for the effect of the Gospel message on those who were reached.God bless.
ZachI hear your frustration brother. It takes much love and patience and prayer and time. Especially love for them which is currently winning them over in droves since they have no such thing in their religion of hate. Let's keep loving and praying for them.
Zack, Nazam CANNOT say that he doesn't accept that hadith since it is found in the two most reliable collections of hadiths, namely al-Bukhari and Muslim. So that lame excuse won't wash. This is primarily why Nazam has avoided addressing his false prophet's false prediction.
Warkentins,Is calling Islam "a religion of hate", which most here would say is true in many ways (as would I), an example of what you mean when you talk of the right way to win people? It seems to me Muslims would take much greater offense to that than you should have taken to what was said to you. Besides, wasn't it already pointed out to you that your insinuation about others not doing their homework was no different than Sam's remark that this was an "erroneous assumption" on your part and that you might be the one who isn't up on this issue? These remarks from Sam seem especially poignant (and therefore appropriate) in light of your later admission that you have never heard his or Anthony's view before.With all due respect, I hope you continue to comment around here as it seems you might have a lot offer, atleast on other issues, but please do lighten up, don't take yourself too seriously or read others remarks in the worst possible way, causing division in the process and giving Muslims like Nazam reason to think he has something in which to rejoice.
"So how can I trust a member of MDI when he says that Abdullah was behind the debate cancellations? Well, this is where things like the "Principle of Embarrassment" come in. Why would a member of MDI invent things about his leader?BTW, are you seriously maintaining that Abdullah had nothing to do with the cancellations???"If such is true, then I have been entirely oblivious to it, and one would have to confirm with Brother Abdullah himself. Never the less, I will maintain that whatever occured if it even did, was not any move from the group at that time, as was confirmed by myself and Sami Zaatari.Such should be made clear.
Warkentins asked for some websites I would recommend that set forth this view. Since I am going to bow out of this discussion (in this forum at least), unless of course Nazam responds to me, here is one site where I can say I confidently agree with everything the author says: This Generation. :-)
Hogan, if you look at one of my earlier responses to Anthony, you will see that I did give a brief reply to the Hadiths that were cited.
Zack, when did I ever say 'we don't accept that hadith' why are you putting words into my mouth and words into the Quran too? I did give a very brief reply in one of my earlier posts to Anthony.
Nazam, Sorry but I am going to repeat what others already said. You are being incontinent with your answer or maybe you didn’t understand the question raised by Sam and others regarding your and Shabir’s analogy. The question was what do you say about Muhammad’s statement that Jesus would come among them – the generation of Muhammad’s time, the people who were his audience, standing in front of him, listening to his speech?And your answer was – “As for the Hadiths I don't find any real difficulty in them. The statement that Jesus' coming is near is not a problem as 2 Peter says that a day in the sight of God is a 1000 years of our reckoning. However, the statement of 2 Peter wouldn't work for the Bible as the Bible limits Jesus' second coming to his generation.”The question wasn’t about the timing but “the generation” – Muhammad’s generation. Shouldn’t you need to address the assertions made by Muhammad regarding the generation?These are Sam’s quotes from the Hadiths.1,“…WILL SOON DESCEND AMONG YOU AS A JUST JUDGE…” (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0287)2, “… When YOU see him, recognize him…” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310)3, “…By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will SHORTLY DESCEND AMONGST YOU people (Muslims)…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425)4, “…The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU as a just ruler…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656)5, “…By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary will SOON DESCEND AMONGST YOU and will judge mankind justly…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657)6, “…How will YOU be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 658)7, “…would descend AMONGST YOU AND WOULD LEAD YOU AS ONE AMONGST YOU…” (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0292)
Nazam, please be so kind as to repost your explanation of your false prophet's false prediction so we can see how honest and truly consistent you are.
Nazam, I found your rather pathetic reply:As for the Hadiths I don't find any real difficulty in them. The statement that Jesus' coming is near is not a problem as 2 Peter says that a day in the sight of God is a 1000 years of our reckoning. However, the statement of 2 Peter wouldn't work for the Bible as the Bible limits Jesus' second coming to his generation. This is why no Bible in it history have ever translated the verse to mean other than Jesus' generation. The Good News translate the passage more explicit.The fact that you don't see the problem is itself a problem. Your prophet didn't say anything about Jesus' coming BEING NEAR, so you are perverting even what your own sources say. Rather, your false prophet said that Jesus would SOON descend among YOU, i.e. his immediate followers, and lead YOU. It is clear that Muhammad was limiting this to the generation of his own followers. However, it never happened. Muhammad's followers died and Jesus did not descend among them to lead them. So your lame excuse won't jive. Now simply admit that your false prophet made a false prediction which exposes him for who and what he is. However, for you to do so would mean that you would have to be consistent and honest. But being consistent and honest requires that you no longer remain a Muslim.I have to honestly say that your response was really pitiful. But that is to be expected seeing that Shabir is your hero.
Nazam said,"Zack, when did I ever say 'we don't accept that hadith' why are you putting words into my mouth and words into the Quran too? I did give a very brief reply in one of my earlier posts to Anthony."I apologize for misunderstanding your position. I overlooked your stance and 'response' to the hadith matter. Guess you weren't clear enough... And with reason too..Just as everyone is pointing out.. and as I've done so myself before..Let's compare Jesus's statement against Muhammad's again and let's see which one is more explicit...Jesus, (Matthew 24:34) "I tell you the truth, this generation wil certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."Muhammad, (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0287) "...the son of Mary (may peace be upon him) will soon descend among you as a just judge."Jesus's 'this generation' can be easily explain when we look into the context of the passage. It could mean as Anthony says, or as Warkentin says. I personally lean towards Warkentin's, as stated before.Muhammad's statement... let's see what you say, 'the statement that Jesus' coming is near is not a problem as 2 Peter says that a day in the sight of God is a 1000 years of our reckoning'..The problem is... you failed to prove that Muhammad was talking about the future 'you' (Muslims now/in the future)... and not the current 'you' (Muslims following Muhammad back then).Reading in context of those hadith refs, any layman will understand Muhammad as addressing to the 'current you'... and NOT the 'future you'.While Jesus, on the other hand, if you read the context, it is amazingly acceptable to take the views of both sides of the coin (Anthony vs Warkentin).You're at a lost, Nazam..
I am not going to get time to reply to all of you but I will try my best to do so in time. As for Shamoun I will continue to ignore until he learns to be gentle and respectful (1 Peter 3:15). Some sincere advice someone should advice him in taking anger management classes.
Hi Nazam,So does this rule apply to everyone, or only to Sam? Your criterion seems to be, "If I find someone's manner of dialogue offensive, I should ignore him." But using this criterion, we should all ignore Muhammad as well. Here's how Muhammad's contemporaries viewed his preaching:Ibn Humayd- Salamah- Muhammad b. Ishaq- Yahya b. ‘Urwah b. al-Zubayr- his father ‘Urwah-‘Abdallah b. ‘Amr b. al-‘As: I said to him, "What was the worst attack you saw by Quraysh upon the Messenger of God when they openly showed their enmity to him?" He replied, "I was with them when their nobles assembled one day in the Hijr and discussed the Messenger of God. They said, ‘We have never seen the like of what we have endured from this man. He has derided our traditional values, abused our forefathers, reviled our religion, caused division among us, and insulted our gods. We have endured a great deal from him,’ or words to that effect.
Nazam, as David just demonstrated you just condemned Muhammad. The fact is you are scared to engage me and are simply making excuses to avoid dealing with me. You have now managed to condemn Muhammad on two counts, albeit indirectly, one for being a false prophet who made false predictions. The other for having anger issues who he had no respect for those whom he opposed since he resorted to insulting and mocking them.So I do want to thank you for exposing your inconsistencies and for condemning your own false prophet in the process. Great work Nazam, please keep it up!
For the Christians here. Since Nazam has a problem with people who have anger issues I have several hadiths where Muhammad cursed his own followers out of anger showing that if anyone needed anger management it was Muhammad. If you guys are interested in those hadiths please let me know and I will post them. Then we can see whether Nazam will be consistent and condemn his prophet.
PART 1Guys, I cannot deal with multiple topics at one time. Currently I, Anthony and Hogan are engaging in a polite discussion regarding whether Jesus' prophecy has been fulfilled. The topic of this thread is ""James White vs. Shabir Ally: Jesus in the Old Testament?"" and Jesus' prophecy is related to the topic, not Shamoun's remarks about an alleged false prophecy of Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet's remarks are no where comparable to Jesus' remarks. The only thing that Shamoun has highlighted are the following: "WILL SOON DESCEND AMONG YOU AS A JUST JUDGE", "When YOU see him, recognize him", "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will SHORTLY DESCEND AMONGST YOU people", "The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU as a just ruler", etc. The only thing that Shamoun is highlighting is the word "YOU". But how is that "clear evidence" that the Prophet was referring to his contemporaries? When Jesus said "Oh Jerusalem Oh Jerusalem THOU who have killed the Prophets?", should we understand that Jesus was accussing the contemporary Jews of his time of killing the Prophets of the past just because he said "THOU"? If I say to you guys in this blog "You conservative Evangelicals sure do love your Bible", does that necessarily mean that I am only talking about you guys in specific and that it's not my intention to speak about conservative evangelicals in general?
PART 2Which early Muslim scholars said that they expected Jesus to come down during the first Islamic century? How do you know that the usage of the word "YOU" cannot mean "AMONGST YOU MUSLIMS" in a general sense and could include future generation Muslims? There are several examples that one could show from the Qur'an and hadeeth where there are statements saying "YOU", but are obviously not only intended for the contemporaries of the Prophet. Shamoun's argument is weak. Produce one respectable Islamic scholar who said that the early Muslims understood the Prophet's statement to "necessarily" refer to their time only. Grammatically this is not possible to show. This is completely unlike the case with Jesus' prophecy where he said that "this generation" will not perish until he returns. Now this is clear. Jesus is clearly referring to the generation he is in. One could also refer to Thessalonians and see how Paul also understood it like this. One could also see Christian scholars taking this opinion as well. In a nut shell, Shamoun's argument is not convincing. If Shamoun will start being polite and speaking with manners (is that so much to demand and ask for?) I would continue discussing this point, but as for now I am not interested in talking to Shamoun. I am interested in speaking to mature and polite people.
PART 3 David, as for that narration you cited, besides the fact that this narration has a weak isnad, brother Bassam Zawadi has clarified this whole ordeal over here; http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/rebuttal_to_sam_shamoun_s_article__muhammad_and_the_meccans__who_antagonized_whom__examining_muslim_justifications_for_muhammad_s_atrocities_ It illustrates that the Quraysh were offended by Prophet Muhammad's preaching of monotheism. This is unlike Shamoun who is being very rude and immature as usual. As for Shabir Ally wanting to debate Shamoun again, I do know it wasn't a pleasant experience prior too and during the debate itself for Ally. Prior to the debate Shamoun had sent some aggressive emails to Ally, words to the effect that he is going to humiliate him, etc. He also got the MSA to pay for his friends hotel rooms or he threaten not to do the debate, otherwise. During the debate, Shamoun's friends made condescending or funny faces to Ally when it was his turn to speak. Furthermore Shabir Ally has not shy away from William Lane Craig, Tony Costa, James White, Dave Hunt, etc. but he is going to shy away from Shamoun? Who is Shamoun compared to Craig and White? Don't flatter yourself Shamoun, you can fool some of your Christian friends here, but your not fooling any of us.
Brother Sam... greattings... yes, I would be very keen in knowing those hadiths... may God bless you and your family...
Didn't I tell you that Nazam would resort to sounding like Christian when seeking to harmonize Muhammad's statements with his erroneous position that he is a true prophet? The reason we know that Muhammad wasn't speaking of Muslims in general is because of the hadiths which you yourself cited but conveniently ignored. Muhammad clearly said that Jesus would SOON descend among YOU to lead YOU and further told them to recognize him. So you are right, Muhammad's false prediction which exposes him for who he is is nothing comparable to Jesus' statement considering this generation not passing away. Whereas Jesus' words can be easily harmonized Muhammad's false prediction cannot be harmonzied. Face it, Nazam, Muhammad is a false prophet who made a false prediciton. Accept it and move on.As far as Shabir's experience with me being unpleasant I am going to have to say that either you are lying or Shabir is (which wouldn't be shocking seeing that he has perfect the science and art of deception and lies to a t). Shabir challenged US to a debate. I accpeted. Afterwards, Shabir said he would debate me if an opportunity arose. In fact, let me quote his own words from his own site.Continued...
Question: Why don't Brother Shabir Ally reply or DEBATE Sam Shamoun? SAM SHAMOUN'S OPEN CHALLENGE http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Shabir-Ally/challenge.htmAnswer: Recently I have become reticent to engage in debates and more interested in dialogues in which there is a genuine attempt to share ideas rather than to win an argument. Additionally, I have been very busy recently and have not had the opportunity to study and respond to Shamoun's articles on the web. This may prove more useful than entering into a live debate. Nevertheless, I do respond to invitations to speak, dialogue, and debate. If I have a definite invitation for a specific time and place and I can fit that into my schedule a debate may very well go ahead. Shabir http://www.islaminfo.com/qa.phpSo here Shabir says he is willing to debate me if he can fit it into his schedule. Nearly ten years have gone by and he still hasn't been able to manage to fit me in his schedule! Shabir says absolutely nothing about debating me is out of the question on the grounds that encounters with me are unpleasant. And you again dare to lie (which is what we expect good Muslims like yourself to do) since not only did the MSA not pay for my friends' accomdations THEY DIDN'T EVEN PAY FOR MY ACCOMMODATIONS EVEN THOUGHT THEY SAID THEY WOULD!!!! I am still waiting for them to send a check for my accommodations.You should be ashamed for lying through your teeth this way. But seeing you are a good Muslim being ashamed is not part of your character or deen.Face it, your cheap attacks on my character are simply an excuse to avoid dealing with my arguments because you know you cannot.David, I am sorry to say but this Nazam is another repulsive, deceptive Muslim who will lie and slander people in order to avid defending his false prophet and his hero Shabir. I think you need to watch his post more carefully in order to make sure he doesn't spew more of his venomous lies.Anyway, I am now going to quote Muhammad cursing his followers in order to show that, per Nazam's criticism, his own prophet didn't have good manners or any respect for anyone. This means that Nazam needs to condemn Muhammad for what he is. But we know he won't since Nazam is not about truth or honesty. If he were he would no longer be a Muslim.
Here, now, are hadiths where Muhammad cursed his companions and friends, showing that he had no respect and was of a lowly character. Chapter 23: HE UPON WHOM ALLAH'S APOSTLE INVOKED CURSE WHEREAS HE IN FACT DID NOT DESERVE IT, IT WOULD BE A SOURCE OF REWARD AND MERCY FOR HIMA'isha reported that two persons visited Allah's Messenger and both of them talked about a thing, of which I am not aware, but that annoyed him and he invoked curse upon both of them and hurled malediction, and when they went out I said: Allah's Messenger, the good would reach everyone but it would not reach these two. He said: Why so? I said: Because you have invoked curse and hurled malediction upon both of them. He said: Don't you know that I have made condition with my Lord saying thus: O Allah, I am a human being and that for a Muslim upon whom I invoke curse or hurl malediction make it a source of purity and reward? (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6285)This hadith has been reported on the authority of A'mash with the same chain of transmitters and the hadith transmitted on the authority of 'Isa (the words are): "He had a private meeting with them and hurled malediction upon them and cursed them and sent them out." (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6286)Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle as saying: O Allah, I make a covenant with Thee against which Thou wouldst never go. I am a human being and thus for a Muslim whom I give any harm or whom I scold or upon whom I invoke curse or whom I beat, make this a source of blessing, purification and nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6290)Continued...
Salim, the freed slave of Nasriyyin, said: I heard Abu Huraira as saying that he heard Allah's Messenger as saying: O Allah, Muhammad is a human being. I lose my temper just as human beings lose temper, and I have held a covenant with Thee which Thou wouldst not break: For a believer whom I give any trouble or invoke curse or beat, make that an expiation (of his sins and a source of) his nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6293)Anas b. Malik reported that there was an orphan girl with Umm Sulaim (who was the mother of Anas). Allah's Messenger saw that orphan girl and said: O, it is you; you have grown young. May you not advance in years! That slave-girl returned to Umm Sulaim weeping. Umm Sulaim said: O daughter, what is the matter with you? She said: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) has invoked curse upon me that I should not grow in age and thus I would never grow in age, or she said, in my (length) of life. Umm Sulaim went out wrapping her head-dress hurriedly until she met Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). He said to her: Umm Sulaim, what is the matter with you? She said: Allah's Apostle, you invoked curse upon my orphan girl. He said: Umm Sulaim, what is that? She said: She (the orphan girl) states you have cursed her saying that she might not grow in age or grow in life. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) smiled and then said: Umm Sulaim, don't you know that I have made this term with my Lord. And the term with my Lord is that I said to Him: I am a human being and I am pleased just as a human being is pleased and I lose temper just as a human being loses temper, so for any person from amongst my Ummah whom I curse and he in no way deserves it, let that, O Lord, be made a source of purification and purity and nearness to (Allah) on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6297)Continued...
Notice, folks, that instead of controlling his tongue or instead Allah giving him victory over his rage and foul mouth Muhammad justifies his cursing, attacks and insults on people by saying that Allah will bless anyone he cusses out! How convenient for the prophet of mercy!So Nazam, I am going to make a covenant with your god that anytime I swear at you Muslims, curse you, insult you, and treat you like Muhammad treated, insulted, cursed, and swore at his followers that Allah will turn these into blessings for all of you taqqiyists.Now if Nazam is consistent he must condemn Muhammad for being a false prophet who made false predictions and a person who couldn't dialogue or talk with decency and respect. He has to speak out against Muhammad for cussing out and insulting his friends and followers since that is not how decent human beings speak or dialogue.I am glad for one thing and that is that Nazam doesn't follow the example of his false prophet and is actually better than him when it comes to morals, decency and respect.
Anthony, I think I am finally starting to understand your point of view. Your saying that the “horrible days”, mention in Mt 24:29, doesn’t refer to the destruction of the temple because the temple is still standing in verse 15 and the horrible days instead refers to the persecution of the church. But that the temple is destroyed immediately after those days. There are a number of problems that I have with this view and forgive me if you find yourselves having to repeat yourself to me. If you read Luke’s corresponding chapter and compare the parallel passages it becomes clear that the temple will be destroyed immediately prior to Jesus’ second coming and not in the course of it. When Matthew says “when you will see the desolating sacrilege” (Mt 24:15), in Luke’s corresponding verse it speaks about the armies surrounding Jerusalem at the time of the desolation. “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.” (Lk 21:20) Then both Matthew and Luke go onto say “let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” (Mt 24:16 cf Lk 21:21). Luke then goes onto speak about the destruction of temple at the hands of Gentiles, i.e. the Romans. “they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Lk 21:24)It is only after all of this both Luke and Matthew say that Jesus’ second will happen and will be visible for everyone to see, as lighting lights up the sky from one side to the other (Mt 24:27, Lk 21:27). Clearly Jerusalem would be destroyed before the arrival of the second coming. Notice also that the coming of the son of man will be something that people will be able to see.I had also mention that Matthew speaks of Jesus gathering the elect with a loud trumpet from the four corners of the earth, when he returns (Mt 24:31). This clearly is ecological language to me and thus speaks of end times and not mere judgment upon Jerusalem; I am still waiting for you to address this verse. To add a further point to my argument that the early Christians were expecting the world to end in their generation is Paul who expected the resurrection of the dead and the trumpet to happen during his life time. Paul writing to the Thessalonians tells them that they will not advance to meet Jesus until the dead have been raised first and after that Paul and the Thessalonians who remain alive will be taken up to join them to meet Jesus in the clouds (1 Thes 4:15-17) Paul says this by claiming to have received this news by revelation. Paul also expected some of his Corinthians converts to wittiness the final end. He tells that not all of them will die but will alive because with a blink of an eye they all will be transform and given new and immortal bodies. Paul’s says this will be at the last trumpet and of them will still be alive to wittiness it (1 Cor 15:51-54). Even though according to the Bible a thousand years is like a day to God, it has been more than two thousand years and counting and the people to whom Paul was writing too have all died and the time for its fulfillment has long gone.
Luke 21 and Matthew 24 are not parallel, as I understand it.Read in context..Matthew 24:3-8 and Luke 21:7-11 are similar/parallel; disciples asked what will be the sign of Jesus's return/end of age, Jesus says false christs, wars and rumors, etc.Then read the next verse after that..Matthew 24:9 - "THEN you will....."Luke 21:12 - "But BEFORE all this...."Different timeline... different sequence of events.Even though the verses you referred to have similar 'command' to flee Judea, but the event happening that leads/led to such is different in the two passages.So, if the passages are viewed in a more literal sense, Matthew's passage is more eschatological, while Luke is 'historical', by now.Re: 1 Corinthians 15 ref1 Corinthians 15:51 "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed..."Obviously he's not referring to Corinthians and himself only. Are the people during Paul's time the only people that will be changed? Obviously, Paul is talking 'we' as in 'all of mankind'. If you read the whole passage you quoted, it's talking about the day of judgment where everyone will be called to be judged; the dead will be raised and no longer 'sleep' etc. So I doubt Paul was only referring to himself and the people during that period of time when he spoke all that.
Nazam,Thanks for getting back to our discussion. I will hopefully (Lord Willing) have some time tomorrow late in the evening to reply.
Anthony, there's no hurry.
Zach,I agree that Matthew is more eschatological and Luke tries to separate the eschatology by adding in more history so as to prolong the second coming. But Luke does say that the tramping of the temple by the Gentiles will happen before the second coming, which is the fundamental point (Lk 21:24). When it comes to reading Paul's letters it is important bear in mind the occasional nature of these letters. Paul's letters are not essays written on set topics or themes. They are actual communications of his to particular individuals or communities. Each of these letters had specific historical settings and a real life contexts. For this reason the world that Paul knew was the Roman empire and Rome was at the center or the world. He had not heard off or knew about America, Africa, Australia or the Amazon Rain Forest. For the Paul the world was only as big as the Roman Empire. This is why Paul's says things like, "I thank God..for your faith is being reported all over the world". "All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing". The context in which he says all of this is in the Roman empire and not the world as we know it today. For this reason Paul actually believe that the end was near and that Christ would soon appear and the dead would be raised first and after that he and everybody who are still alive would be swoop up in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air. This is why you find Paul telling the Corinthians "Time is short" so those who have wives should live their lives as though they were separate (1 Cor 7:29). So when Paul says to the Corinthians in Ad 53 "we will not all die" he means himself and the recepitents of his letter.
Nazam,Well.. as you said, Luke spoke of the (now) 'history' when Jerusalem fell at around 70AD (if I'm not mistaken that prophecy was regarding that event)..Then he returned to Jesus's talking about the Second Coming.And yes, he says that the temple in Jerusalem will be trampled, and that's why there's a belief that there will be a third (Jewish) temple to be built at Jerusalem in the future.. There are talks and news (so far) about the plans to rebuild a (Jewish) temple at Jerusalem these some years/decades.And that's where Matthew's passage will come in; 'abomination of desolation', etc.And hilarious, Nazam... simply hilarious.. Does a prophet need to know the 'physical' future of everything to tell prophecy or spiritual truth?Simply pointless your argument.Paul need not know whatever countries or people or 'history' that will follow from his time onwards..He understood what's going to happen at the end... and that is our mortal bodies will be changed into that of immortal bodies, etc. Does he need to be aware of America, Africa, etc to be able to know of this end? No.And his phrase 'Time is short' is the usual 'warning'/'advise' to prioritize and focus on God, rather than the temporal worldly things. To stress the urgency of the gospel and the task to bring more people to salvation through Christ.Just like when Jesus says "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple", and yet did not mean that you MUST hate your family and your own life before you qualify as a follower, but merely stressing the level of sacrifice that Jesus demands from His followers; to the point that the followers will abandon their family if they're not supportive (if they were, they would be following Christ too) for Christ instead.Both Jesus and Paul were stressing the spiritual truth that the things of this 'temporal' world are less important and can be sacrificed compared to God and eternity in the hereafter.
Part 1Nazam,You've brought up some other passages and I think you are getting ahead of yourself. You don't know my position well enough yet to understand how those passages fit into my overall conception of Biblical eschatology. If you hear me out on the passage we have been discussing, it might be easier for you to see how the other passages you mentioned do or do not relate. So if you wouldn't mind, let's remain focused on the Olivet Discourse for now. [Of course I am not saying you can’t bring up a passage to shed light on something; I am just pointing out that it would be too much for now to get bogged down in an attempt to interpret ten passages in any responsible fashion before we have even finished the one before us, particularly because it is such a key passage.] In any event, please don’t expect me to comment in any detail on those passages at this time or assume that I agree or disagree with how you are using them.As for the Olivet Discourse, I have already granted - nay, I have insisted - that Matthew 24:1-34 (and its parallels in Mark and Luke) is about the events leading up to and culminating in the coming of Christ on the clouds, which is signified by the destruction of the temple in AD 70, an indisputable fact of history that came to pass just as Jesus predicted. In response to my claim that Jesus coming with the clouds in judgment was contiguous with and signified by the city and temple going up in smoke in AD 70, you have argued that this couldn't be since the temple is destroyed immediately before Christ is said to come. However, none of the Gospel accounts say this. You seem to be getting this idea from the word "then", which simply means "of time, then, at that time" (The New Englishman's Greek Concordance and Lexicon). In other words, the sign of the Son of Man in heaven appears at the time of the events mentioned: the temple’s destruction, the darkening of the sun and moon, the stars falling, and the appearance of the sign of the Son of Man in heaven are all contiguous. It might help to think of it this way: when one boxer tells another: “I’m going to knock your lights out; then it will appear who the real champion is.” In this case, is the boxer saying that his status as champ will be apparent only after the guy is knocked out? Or is he saying it will be apparent at the time he is knocked out and from the fact that he has been knocked out? Hopefully you get the point.
Part 2But let’s look at the verses dealing with Christ’s return in the Olivet discourse in order:26"So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them.From the book of Acts (5:36-37, 8:9-12, 21:37-39; see also: 1 John 2:18 and 4:1) and Josephus we know of a number of false prophets and people during the first century who claimed to be the Messiah. One in particular appeared just prior to the temple’s destruction (along with several others). “A false prophet was the occasion of these people’s destruction, who had made a public proclamataion in the city that very day, that God commanded them to get up upon the temple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. Now, there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose upon the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God: and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes….” (JW, 6:5:2)But Jesus warns in the above verse against believing that He will appear in such a way. Rather:27"For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”This is not a reference to the visibility of His coming, but speaks of the terror and direction of His coming. Dr. Gentry explains it this way:----Quote----“First, notice the fuller statement of Christ with its specific contextual addendum: It is said to flash (…exerchetai, “come forth”) from east to west. Elsewhere when Christ says Satan falls from heaven “like lighnting” (Luke 10:18), the direction is clearly in view (given the spatial imagery of Scripture: heaven being up and hell being down). This probably is involved here, in that the destroying armies come toward Jerusalem from an easterly direction. Josephus’s record of the march of the Roman armies through Israel shows they wreaked havoc on Jerusalem by approaching it from the east.Second, in the wider Biblical context lightning is that which terrifies (Eze. 19:16; 20:18), because it is so violently destructive: ‘He also gave up their cattle to the hail, and their flocks to fiery lightning. He cast on them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, indignation, and trouble, by sending angels of destruction among them’ (Psa. 78:48-49). Here the ‘fiery lightning’ is equivalent to ‘angels of destruction.’ There are numerous examples of such lightning imagery in Scripture [2 Sam. 22:15; Jo 36:32; Psa. 18:14, 140:6; Eze. 21:10; Zech. 9:14; Rev. 11:19, 16:18]. Lightning is a nerve shattering feature of a violent storm; frequently the Scripture speaks of catastrophic wars as storms (e.g., Isa. 28:2, 29:6; Eze. 38:9).” (Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil, p. 73)----End Quote----
Part 3John Lightfoot made a similar remarks that is worth being mentioned:“The meaning, therefore, of the words before us is this: "While they shall falsely say, that Christ is to be seen here or there: 'Behold, he is in the desert,' one shall say; another, 'Behold, he is in the secret chambers': he himself shall come, like lightning, with sudden and altogether unexpected vengeance: they shall meet him whom they could not find; they shall find him whom they sought, but quite another than what they looked for." (Lightfoot, Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, vol. 2, p. 319). This interpretation is further confirmed by the explanatory verse that follows:28"Wherever the corpse is, there the eagles (Gr. aetos will gather.”The eagle was viewed to be the symbol of empire by Rome and she bore this symbol on all her ensigns into battle. “Next [came] the ensigns surrounding the eagle [Gr. aetos], which in the Roman army precedes every legion, because it is the king and the bravest of all the birds; it is regarded by them as the symbol of empire” (JW 3:6:2).In fact, these ensigns were even considered sacred, and the Romans would sacrifice to them. They even sacrificed to them in the Temple court as it was going down in flames:“The Romans, now that the rebels had fled to the city, and the sanctuary itself and all around it were in flames, carried their standards into the temple court and, setting them up opposite the eastern gate, there sacrificed to them, and with rousing acclamations hailed Titus as imperator” (JW 6:6:1)When Christ sends forth his army from the east, i.e. the Romans, and they surround the city, her desolation is near, as Luke tells us. 20"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21"Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23"Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
Part 4It is clear that Christ’s judgment is carried out here providentially, not directly. It will be by means of the Roman army, and so when the army encircles Jerusalem, her desolation is said to be near. This is just what Jesus said back in Matthew 21:“1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2’The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4Again he sent out other slaves saying, 'Tell those who have been invited, ‘Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.’' 5But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 6and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.”The siege or ‘times of the Gentiles’ when they would trample the holy city underfoot lasted for a period of three and a half years and resulted in the Temple’s destruction and the death of over a million people. And the duration of the war is exactly as predicted in John’s “expanded” version of the Olivet Discourse, if I may so speak:“1Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2"Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.” (Revelation 11)Moreover, and as an aside, this is one of many internal evidences for the fact that the Gospels (and other New Testament writings) were written prior to A.D. 70. Not only do none of the books of the New Testament mention the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, but they are all written from the perspective of one who believed they were still intact. As J. A. T. Robinson observed:“One of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period - the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, and with it the collapse of institutional Judaism based on the temple - is never once mentioned as a past fact…. the silence is nevertheless as significant as the silence for Sherlock Holmes of the dog that did not bark.” (Redating the New Testament, p. 13)And commenting on Revelation 11:1, which mentions the temple as a standing phenomenon, Robinson says:"It was at this point that I began to ask myself just why any of the books of the New Testament needed to be put after the fall of Jerusalem in 70. As one began to look at them, and in particular the epistle to the Hebrews, Acts and the Apocalypse, was it not strange that this cataclysmic event was never once mentioned or apparently hinted at (as a past fact)? (Ibid., p. 10)."It is indeed generally agreed that this passage must bespeak a pre-70 situation. . . . There seems therefore no reason why the oracle should not have been uttered by a Christian prophet as the doom of the city drew nigh." (Ibid., p. 240-242).
Part 5Moving on in Matthew, we read:30"And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.Notice here that it is the sign of the Son of man that appears, not the Son of Man. And it is the Son of Man that is in heaven, not the sign. According to the verse, there is some visible sign or token of the Son of Man “coming on the clouds of heaven”, in terms of which it can be said that they will “see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky” with power and great glory. I maintain it is the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, which signifies the end of the Old Covenant, the collapse of the Old system, and the transference of the kingdom to the saints of the most high. It is this sign that vindicates Christ’s claim that He would sit at the right hand of God and come on the clouds of the sky. In fact, if you look at the prophecy this comes from, the direction of Christ’s coming is “up to” the Ancient of Days:13"I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14"And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7)This took place after the ascension mentioned in Acts 1:“9And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.”
Part 6What transpires when Jesus ascends into heaven on the clouds is further explained in the book of Revelation:1I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?" 3And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. 4Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals." 6And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10"You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." 11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." 13And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." 14And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen " And the elders fell down and worshiped. (Revelation 5)
Part 7Christ’s judgment of Jerusalem is the sign that He is now in heaven, that He is King and that He has taken the kingdom from the Jews and given it to others, namely people of every tribe, nation, kindred and tongue, all those everywhere who call upon His name. This is why Peter speaks of believers as a “holy nation”, showing that the title that once applied to Israel now applies to believers (1 Peter 2:9). This is seen in another parable Jesus told in Matthew:33"Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 34"When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35"The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36"Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37"But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 38"But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.' 39"They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40"Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?" 41They said to Him, "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons." 42Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES'? 43"Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. 44"And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." 45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. 46When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet. (Matthew 21)This is why the high priest was beside himself when Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man and that he would see Him coming on the clouds of heaven taking vengeance on His enemies, just like Yahweh is said to do in the Old Testament (which doesn’t speak of a literal, visible coming; the coming is seen by its devastating effects):According to these passages, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God and has sovereign dominion over all things. From on high the Lord judges and makes the clouds His garment and rains destruction on His enemies. Just like Yahweh in the Old Testament.
Part 8It is interesting to notice that according to Luke’s account, signs would be seen in the heavens above prior to Jerusalem’s destruction. Josephus gives the following account of stellar phenomenon that happened at that time:Thus were these miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend, nor give credit, to the signs that were so evident and did so plainly foretell their future desolation; but, like men infatuated, without either eyes t see, or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year. Thus also, before the Jews rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feat of unleavened bread,…at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time which light lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high-priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple.”Josephus also tells the following interesting story:Besides these [signs previously mentioned],….a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, ‘Let us remove hence.” (6:5:3)This same story is told in the way a pagan would tell it by the Roman historian Tacitus:Prodigies had occurred, but their expiation by the offering of victims or solemn vows is held to be unlawful by a nation which is the slave of superstition and the enemy of true beliefs. In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour. A sudden lightning flash from the clouds lit up the Temple. The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure. Few people placed a sinister interpretation upon this. The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world." (Histories,5.5.13).And also by the early Church historian Eusebius:"For before the setting of the sun chariots and armed troops were seen throughout the whole region in mid-air, wheeling through the clouds and encircling the cities" (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Ch. 8).
Part 9As it appears from the above, and from many other things I could say, when the Bible is allowed to interpret the Bible, and when the resulting meaning is compared to the facts of history as they have come down to us, we are more than warranted to say that these things happened just as Jesus predicted. Jesus did ascend to His Father and is now seated at the right hand of God and is bringing all His enemies into subjection under His feet. He spectacularly proved this in the first century when He exercised His great power and rained down judgment on those who crucified Him (from the clouds, of course), but not before giving them forty years to repent, and thus brought the old age, the Jewish age, the Old Covenant with its types and shadows, the temple, the priesthood, the sacrifices, etc., all those things which pointed to Him, to a close. [The capitalized words below are done by the translators to show they are quotes from the OT. I am not doing that for emphasis. My emphasis is indicated by bold letters.]“1Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle [i.e. temple], which the Lord pitched, not man. 3For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. 4Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; 5who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, "SEE," He says, "THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN." 6But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8For finding fault with them, He says, "BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH; 9NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD. 10"FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 11"AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, 'KNOW THE LORD,' FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM. 12"FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE." 13When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear." (Hebrews 8)
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