Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Allah Cannot Reveal Himself: 1More(ReasonNotToBe)Muslim

"Regarding your question, how can the Quran be the word of Allah if God didn't enter into the world, every Muslim would tell you that the Quran was revealed through Gabriel, no verse was revealed in a direct fashion." - 1moremuslim (see here)

Introduction

There are many reasons to reject the idea that the Qur’an is or even could be a revelation from God. The following will demonstrate at least one of those ways. Rather than show that the Qur’an is false when judged on the basis of external criteria that Muslims would, on the basis of the Qur’an, object to, such as the Bible, it will be shown that that the Qur’an cannot be a revelation from God on the basis of its own criteria. Simply put: If what the Qur’an says about Allah is true, then what the Qur’an says about itself cannot be true.

This line of reasoning can be illustrated by an appeal to a number of things the Qur’an says about Allah, but the following will confine itself to the mainstream Muslim view that Allah cannot enter into his creation.

Mainstream Islam

Sunni Islam has two schools of doctrine, the Ashari and the Maturidi, which, inspite of some differences, are in basic agreement as touching upon the following point.

According to mainstream Sunni Islam, the absoluteness and utter transcendence of the Allah of the Qur’an preclude the very possibility that he could enter into his (alleged) creation. Indeed, this is a foundational reason why Muslims object to the incarnation, the doctrine that the second person of the Trinity entered into the world, was born of a woman and walked among us.

The idea that Allah cannot enter into his creation is believed to follow from a certain understanding of Allah’s transcendence, which, among other places, finds expression in the Aqida of Imam Abu Jafar al-Tahawi (239-321):


“38. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are.”

“51. He encompasses all things and that which is above it, and what He has created is incapable of encompassing Him.” (online source)


Christians also believe that nothing can contain God, but for them this does not mean that God is unable to enter into history, as He not only says that He is the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the one whom heaven and even the highest heavens cannot contain, but He also says that He fills heaven and earth, without being limited by them, that He encamps around and dwells in the midst of His people, without being confined to any place, and even says that He is with those who are lowly and of a contrite heart. Moreover, God is also able to reveal Himself in a particular place at a particular time, such as the tabernacle, the temple, and the burning bush, without any of this negating or impinging upon His transcendence. But this is not how Muslims understand Allah’s transcendence. As Ibn Al-Arabi Al-Maliki said in his commentary on the hadith of descent found in Tirmidhi:


What we must believe is that Allah existed and nothing existed with Him; that He created all creation, including the Throne, without becoming indicatable through them, nor did a direction arise for Him because of them; that He does not become immanent, that He does not change, and that He does not move from one state to another. (Aridat al-ahwadhi 2:234-237, as cited in Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine, Beliefs, Vol 1, As-Sunnah Foundation of America, p. 155-156) (Emphasis mine)

The problems with the Muslim view are manifold. Two of them will be mentioned here.

First, if Allah cannot enter into creation, then he also cannot communicate directly with man. But this contradicts what is said many times over in the Qur’an, not the least of which can be seen in the story of Moses. Although this is not the main way the Qur’an says Allah’s revelation came to man, it is at least one of the ways he is said to have done so.

Also mention in the Book (the story of) Moses: For he was specially chosen, and he was a messenger and a prophet. And We called him from the right side of Mount (Sinai), and made Him draw near to Us, for mystic (converse). (Surah 19:51-52) (Emphasis mine)

Has the story of Moses reached thee? Behold, he saw a fire: so he said to his family, ‘Tarry ye; I perceive a fire; perhaps I can bring you some burning brand therefrom, or find some guidance at the fire.’ But when he came to the fire, a voice was heard: ‘O Moses! Verily I am thy Lord! Therefor (in My presence) put off thy shoes: thou art in the sacred valley Tuwa. I have chosen thee: Listen, then to the inspiration (sent to thee). Verily, I am Allah: there is no god but I: so serve thou Me (only), and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise.” (Surah 20:9-14) (Emphasis mine)

Behold! Moses said to his family: ‘I perceive a fire; soon will I bring you from there some information, or I will bring you a burning brand to light our fuel, that ye may warm yourselves.’ But when he came to the (Fire), a voice was heard: ‘Blessed are those in the Fire and those around: and Glory to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. O Moses! Verily, I am Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise…” (Surah 27:7-9) [Yusuf Ali and others mistranslate the verse at this point. An accurate translation of verse 8 is provided by Sher Ali: "So when he came to it, he was called by a voice, `Blessed is he who is in the fire and also those around it, and glorified be ALLAH, the Lord of the worlds'".] (Emphasis mine)

When Moses had fulfilled the term, and was travelling with his family, he perceived a fire in the direction of Mount Tur. He said to his family: ‘Tarry ye; I perceive a fire; I hope to bring you from there some information, or a burning firebrand, that ye may warm yourselves. But when he came to the (Fire), a voice was heard from the right bank of the valley, from a tree in hallowed ground: O Moses! Verily I am Allah, the Lord of the Worlds”…(Surah 28:29-30) (Emphasis mine)

In spite of the above, mainstream Muslims maintain that those who say Allah appeared to Moses in the fire, that he spoke from the fire, that his words were heard coming from a certain direction, etc., are misinterpreting these verses. Granting this claim for the sake of argument, this leads us to a second and worse problem for the Muslim view. The main way it is alleged that Allah revealed his words to the prophets, particularly to Muhammad, is through the medium of the angel Gabriel. Supposedly this gets Muslims off the hook by suggesting that it is Gabriel rather than Allah who speaks to man. But given the claim that Allah cannot enter into creation, not only would it have been impossible for Allah to communicate directly with Moses, or anyone else before or after him; it would also be impossible for Allah to communicate with man indirectly, even through an angelic medium.

The reason for this should be readily apparent: if Allah cannot enter into creation in order to speak with man, then Allah also cannot enter into creation to speak with the angels (and the Jinn also could not sneak into his presence in order to eavesdrop on Allah’s conversations with the angels). Although angels may be thought of as a different and higher order of being than man, since they are still creatures the distance between them and Allah is no less infinite. If the infinite cannot communicate with the finite, if Allah cannot enter into creation, then no degree of difference between men and angels, both of whom are finite, can overcome the qualitative difference between Allah and creatures, which, according to Muslims, prevents the former from communicating with the latter. All of this means that, if Allah is as the Qur’an claims him to be, i.e. a being who cannot enter into his creation, then the Qur’an cannot be what it claims to be, i.e. a revelation from Allah.

Conclusion

Muslims can only get out of this by dropping the notion that God cannot be absolute and also enter into his creation, but then they would not only have to find some way to scale those teachings in the Qur’an and the hadith that led them to this belief in the first place, they would also then have to concede that the incarnation cannot be ruled out on the basis of this principle. The difficulty of such a feat for Islamic theology and exegesis and the costliness of this for the Muslim polemic against Christianity would be just as monumental as it is necessary.

39 comments:

Anthony Rogers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zack_Tiang said...

Excellent post, Mr. Anthony.

Indeed it is a silly theological argument to say that it is impossible for God to enter into His own creation.

Sam said...

Brother Anthony,

Maybe you can get 1MORE(REASON NOT TO BE)MUSLIM to explain these hadiths:

XIV: Supplication and prayer during the last part of the night

Allah says, "The part of the night they spent asleep was small and they would seek forgiveness before dawn." (51:17)

1094. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah said, "Every night, when a third of the night remains, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven saying, 'Is there anyone calling on Me that I may answer him? Is there anyone asking anything of Me that I may give it to him? Is there anyone asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?'" (Bewley, Sahih al-Bukhari, Chapter 25. Tahajjud Prayers: http://bewley.virtualave.net/bukhari10.html#25; http://www.sunnipath.com/library/Hadith/H0002P0025.aspx)

And:

7056. Abu 'Abdullah al-Agharr related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah said, "Every night, when a third of the night remains, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven saying, 'Is there anyone calling on Me that I may answer him? Is there anyone asking anything of Me that I may give it to him? Is there anyone asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?'" (Bewley, Sahih al-Bukhari, 100. Book of Tawhid (the belief that Allah is One in His Essence, Attributes and Actions), XXXV. The words of Allah Almighty, "They desire alter Allah's words..." (48:15): http://bewley.virtualave.net/bukhari52.html; http://www.sunnipath.com/library/Hadith/H0002P0100.aspx)

See also Khan’s version of Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 21, Number 246 (http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/021.sbt.html#002.021.246) and Volume 9, Book 93, Number 586 (http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/093.sbt.html#009.093.586)

Can he be so kind as to explain how Allah can descend to the lowest part of heaven if Allah cannot enter into his own creation?

Moreover, we all know that the earth is spherical and rotating on its axis which results in a part of the globe being dark with another part of it being day. In light of this, how can Allah descend during the third part of the night without presupposing a flat earth?

Perhaps 1MORE(REASON FOR NOT BEING A)MUSLIM can explain.

Sam said...

Brother Anthony, since this is a fantastic refutation, in fact a complete annihilation, of the Muslim position I would highly urge you to post this as an article on the Answering Islam site so that others who don't frequent this blog could benefit from the erudition and wisdom that the Triune God has given you for his glory.

Fernando said...

Perfect... angels are, obviously, creation as well... the qur'an denies itself... sure it does...

hugh watt said...

“38. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are.”

S.38:75 He said: O Iblis! What hindereth thee from falling prostrate before that which I have created with both My hands? Art thou too proud or art thou of the high exalted?

S.39:67 On the resurrection day, the whole earth will be within the fistful of Allah; He will fold up the heavens (universe) inside His right hand.

Resurrection Day. Literal or symbolic? Whole earth? Fist/hand?

Bukhari: Vol. 6, Bk 60, No. 206:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah said, 'Spend (O man), and I shall spend on you." He also said, "Allah's Hand is full, and (its fullness) is not affected by the continuous spending night and day." He also said, "Do you see what He has spent since He created the Heavens and the Earth? Nevertheless, what is in His Hand is not decreased, and His Throne was over the water; and in His Hand there is the balance (of justice) whereby He raises and lowers (people)."

S.68:42 The Day that the shin [Allah's], shall be laid bare, and they shall be summoned to bow in adoration, but they shall not be able.

If 'Allah cannot reveal himself' how is this shin laid bare? How is one to know?

The Fat Man said...

Brilliant. I would also note that Angels are lesser then man in Islamic theology.

The angels were made to prostate to man and "Iblis" refused and that is why he was thrown out.

So there for according to the quran, God can communicate directly with lesser creatures like Angels but not communicate directly with greater creatures like man.

But I'm sure the Muslim will find some exception for this. Remember Islam is the religion of exceptions.

The Fat Man said...

I can already hear the Muslim response.

Allah gave permission to the angels so he could communicate with them.

Mike A Robinson said...

Outstanding and a clear contrast with Biblical truth. does the notion of an eternal koran add to the problem of the claim of allah's absolute oneness?

Samuel Green said...

"He (Allah) does not become immanent:"

Does not,

We indeed created man; and We know what his soul whispers within him, and We are nearer to him than the jugular vein. 50:16

imply some type of immanence?

1moremuslim said...

Anthony, it's really hard to go back and forth in a meaningful discussion, with my replies standing 3 days for approval, while your replies are posted on the spot. You are free to speak, but give me 3 days to think about it!!

As I was expecting, your reply was not really pretty. Not even consistent with your own belief.
Let me start by laying down the main point, the foundation of your article relies on : How can God reveals the Quran while cannot enter into the creation?
Let's present both Christian and Muslim positions and see which is more problematic.
1/ Muslims believe that God cannot enter into the creation, but God can communicate with his creation.
2/ Christians believe that God cannot be seen by men, but God, in his fullness, appears to men, even get his feet washed.
Now, which statement is more of a paradox: Appearing but not be seen versus, communicating but not be into the creation. The Islamic position is more in line with the scriptures than the Christian to its own revelation.
The only way to resolve the problem is to use the magic solution that defies every human rational: God cannot be seen in his divine nature, but he is seen in his human nature. This double nature is always an easy way out. If this could real, that would solve the problems of humanity, we can have cars working with gas , but with no CO2 emission.
The other solution would be: As Michael Brown said : It's the father who cannot be seen, the son can. To which view you subscribe?

From Exodus 3, I want you to tell me, Did Moses removed his sandals and spoke to an Angel of God, or the scripture is wrong, and Moses did speak directly to God himself, without mediator?

And yes, Nabeel made God not absolute, since he was subject to the law ( before the incarnation), and the law is a finite and mutable.

Tertullian, like Origen, didn't believe that the son is absolute and eternal, Only the father is. Both were pioneer of orthodoxy, they have never expected to end up on the heretical side. One day, you will be on that side.

Traeh said...

Educational post, thank you.

The sheer fact that we can think of the universal and the infinite already seems to show that God has contact with us and can enter into finite creation.

The notion of absolute transcendence in Islam reminds me of paradoxes thinkers (and culture) got caught in particularly with the idealism of Descartes, later with Kant's notion of a thing-in-itself completely transcendent to our experience, and later with some forms of neo-Kantianism that were grounded in new discoveries in physiology in the second half of the 19th century. The real world was assumed to be absolutely transcendent to our own minds.

This was made for many all but unquestionable because it seemed necessitated by research into the sense organs. It was thought that particles in the outside world impact our sense receptors, and that this stimulated an electrical charge in nerve endings, and this electrical charge was nothing like the particle that set it off, and then the charge traveled up the nerve endings and at each stage of that travel, it became more unlike the original stimulus, until it finally reached the brain, and there in the brain, by some mysterious process no one could observe, the electrical charge was constructed into an image in the mind, which image was then "projected" outward onto the real world. The result being that, according to those who believe it, we really only know our own subjective images and states of ourselves. Knowledge of the thing-in-itself, knowledge of the actual outer world, was thought impossible.

In the last decades of the 19th century, and the first decades of the 20th, various philosophers in Europe and America critiqued and to varying degrees began to refute that subjectivism. For one thing, you cannot say that all that we perceive is merely subjective and use as proof the assertion that our sense organs as intermediaries place us at an unbridgeable remove from the outer world. Our sense organs are perceptions every bit as much as anything else we perceive. If perceptions are subjective, then so too must our perceptions of our sense organs be merely subjective. Thus the whole theory collapses. It makes no sense to say that a mere mental image of sense organs acts on a mere mental image of our nerves which then acts on a mere mental image of our brain, and so on. The whole thing collapses because it is internally inconsistent.

Because of that refutation and various others, soon you had philosophers saying that when we perceive, we are "outside ourselves in the world," and the like. Knowledge of the actual outer world became possible again. This was the exact opposite of what many had been saying in the second half of the 19th century. The last half of the 19th century in Europe was a high point for scientific and philosophic materialism. By contrast, to be "outside yourself in the world" (as Merleau-Ponty was saying in the 1950s or 1940s) is not a concept that fits very well into philosophical materialism.

Being outside yourself in the world means you are simultaneously within yourself and outside yourself. And that is true to our experience, I think. By contrast, two physical objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time: the physical aspect of physical things is self-identical, or approximately so.

The process of human knowledge already speaks to us of simultaneous immanence and transcendence, doesn't it?

Fernando said...

@ Samuel Green...

ain't "We are nearer to him than the jugular vein" (surah 50:16) a subtile treat? wasn't the jugular the place to put a knife to make animal bleed to dead?

hugh watt said...

We indeed created man; and We know what his soul whispers within him, and We are nearer to him than the jugular vein. 50:16

Y'know, I was going to mention this but thought I'd leave it for another time. Jamal Badawi said this once in a debate, it made me wonder, since the jugular vein is in man, is Allah in man also!!!?

mkvine said...

Br. Anthony,

Wow...what a great post! That was just pure ownage of the Muslim position. You basically proved from their own standards that Allah is a MUTE, there's no way he can communicate to his creation. Seriously, 1moremuslim has a HEAVY heavy burden to carry in order to prove you wrong. This post gives me another reason why NOT to be one more Muslim :)

Samuel Green said...

I referred to 50:16 because this is the verse muslims always refer me to to show that Allah is near them. But I just read 50:16 in context and it is about Allah total knowledge, surveillance. So it may not be suggestiong immanence

Anthony Rogers said...

Samuel,

I, also, have heard Muslims use 50:16 to prove the immanence of Allah.

Perhaps the resolution depends on the context in another sense: when Muslims want to argue against the incarnation, they deny the immanence of Allah; when they want to argue for something else, they appeal to the immanence of Allah.

Here is an example of one way that Muslims often appeal to the fact of Allah's immanence to explain something that is problematic.

Many Muslims try to explain that Allah uses both singular and plural pronouns on the grounds that the former communicates his immanence and nearness; the latter communicates his transcendence. For example, Muslim Neal Robinson says the following about the pronominal shifts in Allah's speech in the Qur'an:

"Although they sometimes strain the rules of syntax to the limit, they are a very effective rhetorical device. The implied speaker [Allah] shifts from 'He' to 'We' as a self-designation, in contexts where He wishes to express the plurality of His power or generosity; He shifts from 'He' to 'I' when He wishes to express His immanence, especially when the divine unity is at stake;.... (Discovering the Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text, 2nd edition, p. 254)

In other words, it is as the Fat Man said: "Islam is the religion of exceptions." When they want to argue one way, Allah is immanent; when they want to argue another way, so much the worse for Allah's immanence.

Anthony Rogers said...

By the way, I provide several other quotes along the same lines in part 2 of my five-part series on Allah's use of plural pronouns (the first three articles are on AI; the last two will be out on the next update).

Anthony Rogers said...

Part 1

1moremuslim,

It's very simple. If you assume that Allah cannot speak with a prophet like Moses, as the Bible (and your own Qur'an) says he did, and if you believe this based on the false dichotomy that God is either transcendent or immanent, which your Qur'an also seems to teach in other places (ala Surah 112, particularly as interpreted by orthodox Sunni Muslims), then your god, as mkvine said, is no different than a mute idol. I am sorry to have to put it that way, but brutal honesty is sometimes called for, and the fact that you insist on being so impervious to a rather clear point strongly suggests that this is one of those times.

Let me address your points in order to show you again just how bad things are for you if you wish to remain a Muslim.

Here is how you set up the position that you hold to:

"[A] Allah cannot enter into his creation, but [B] Allah can communicate with his creation."

Let's unpack the first part [A]. According to you from previous discussion, "Allah cannot enter into his creation" means that Allah could not/cannot speak with the prophets directly, hence the need for an angelic medium (and the need to issue ridiculous denials of what the Qur'an says about Allah's interaction with Moses). But how then did/does Allah speak to the angels? Are they not creatures? Are they not in creation? Surely, they are. But then this means that Allah cannot communicate with them either, for they are just as much a part of the creation as the prophets with whom Allah is not on speaking terms. In other words, the first part of your statement amounts to this: "Allah cannot communicate with his creation."

And that leads us to the second part of your statement [B]: "Allah can communicate with his creation." I don't think this part of your statement needs any extended analysis from me. All that needs to be pointed out here is that the second part of your statement [B] is in direct contradiction with the first part [A].

Anthony Rogers said...

Part II

As for your attempt to offset or mitigate the force of this by pretending that Christians have a worse paradox on their hands when they say that God cannot be seen and yet Jesus (who is God) was seen, let me say several things. First, even if there is a paradox here, the fact that we have a paradox to explain does not make the contradiction at the heart of Islam go away. Second, if this were truly a serious paradox, a paradox is not the same as a contradiction. Contradictions are false. Generally speaking, paradoxes are statements that are apparently contradictory rather than actually contradictory. Third, you already answered the alleged conundrum yourself. Notice, you said:

"The only way to resolve the problem is to use the magic solution that defies every human rational: God cannot be seen in his divine nature, but he is seen in his human nature. This double nature is always an easy way out. If this could real, that would solve the problems of humanity, we can have cars working with gas , but with no CO2 emission."

In the above statement you said that the incarnation, where Jesus takes upon Himself a human nature in addition to His divine nature, is "the only way to resolve" the problem. Exactly. Problem resolved then.

The fact that you also went on to dismiss this "easy solution" on the grounds that it "defies every human rational[e]", by which I take it you mean it defies rationality, you have given us your conclusion minus any argument. In fact, if I was a betting man, I would put my money on it that the unstated assumption from which you believe your conclusion follows is, "God entering into his creation and becoming incarnate is not possible because it defies my assumption that God cannot enter into his creation." If that is the case, it not only explains why you didn't come out and state the assumption that drives your argument, it also tells you and everyone else that you are arguing in a circle: "The proof that God cannot enter into his creation and become incarnate is that it is not possible for God to enter into his creation". In any event, you already know what my answer is to your unbiblical, self-contradictory assumption that God cannot enter into His creation.

Anthony Rogers said...

Part III

As for your question about Exodus 3, you are way behind and need to catch up. Because your friend Yahya tried to address this subject before, I not only wrote several blog posts related to it that he never replied to, I also wrote the following two articles (and several more will follow over time, Lord willing):

Part I

Part II

As far as Tertullian goes, I don’t know why you are still bringing him up. I have already given you several quotes from Tertullian affirming that Jesus was both God and man in one person. But since you say he didn’t believe that Jesus is absolute, here is another juicy one for you:

“…the Son of the Almighty is as much Almighty as the Son of God is God.” (Against Praxeas, ch. XVII).

To discuss Origen’s views would require saying more than I am interested in saying right now, and it is not particularly relevant in any case since neither of his writings nor that of Tertullians are part of the canon of Scripture. Suffice it to say, Origen did not deny the eternality of the Son. The begetting of the Son according to Origen was an eternal act, and as such part of the opera ad intra rather than opera ad extra of God.

Anthony Rogers said...

edit to last paragraph: "neither his nor Tertullian's writings..."

Zack_Tiang said...

With regards to this post and 1moremuslim's comment and the subsequent rebuttals/replies to his comment....
1moremuslim is pretty much (quoting from Nabeel) like a dead horse being shot at with an uzi.

Fernando said...

1more(ignorant)muslim: can't you grasp your vacuuity? the total stupiudity - yes: stupiudity - of your arguments? can't you see the image you're gibing of your false religion? can't you see thate you're being totally incapable of a logical argumentation? I beet you are a teenager without any solid education... am I right?

Sam said...

Brother Anthony,

Phenomenal work in decimating 1MORE(REASONNOTTOBE)MUSLIM's arguments.

Here are two additional verses which claim that Allah not only spoke directly to Moses but also did so with other prophets.

Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, AND OF WHOM THERE ARE SOME UNTO WHOM ALLAH SPAKE, while some of them He exalted (above others) in degree; and We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty) and We supported him with the holy Spirit. And if Allah had so willed it, those who followed after them would not have fought one with another after the clear proofs had come unto them. But they differed, some of them believing and some disbelieving. And if Allah had so willed it, they would not have fought one with another; but Allah doeth what He will. S. 2:253

And messengers We have mentioned unto thee before and messengers We have not mentioned unto thee; AN ALLAH SPAKE DIRECTLY UNTO MOSES; S. 4:164

This last verse establishes beyond any doubt that it was supposedly Allah who spoke to Moses from within the fire and tree.

Anthony Rogers said...

Moses should be given the title "Kalimk Allah".

Anthony Rogers said...

Oops: Kalim Allah

minoria said...

Hello:
Though off-topic this is the closest theme.In Yahya Snow's blog I have had a debate with a Muslim called Sam.Another Sam,not the Sam who is a Christian.
It was about how we know what in Mark is reliable.I told him that taking the skeptical position we do not know who wrote Mark or how he got his information,from who.

However using the HISTORICAL METHOD one can find out what parts are true or highly probable.So the debate stopped there since the comments were in a section that had a different theme.

But since this is more similar,here I go again:

Scholars can determine what in Mark is true(even if they do not know from where or who he got the information) by MULTIPLE ATTESTATION.

JESUS DIED AND RESURRECTED

It appears in Mark.A mere 10 years later(not 30,50,80 years later) 2 other writers,Luke and Matthew,say the SAME thing.

ANALYZING Matthew and Luke one sees they got independent material,had other sources.So it wasn't they depended 100% on Mark.Now if Mark had said Jesus had been EXILED and Matthew and Luke had said he had been KILLED and RESURRECTED then we have a problem.
We have NO MULTIPLE ATTESTATION of X DETAILS.

I had mentioned PAUL as an independent source.Sam said Paul could have lied.Ok,let us say he lied on some things.Yet PAUL ALSO says Jesus DIED AND RESURRECTED.

Sam thinks it possible one person could be the source of Luke,Matthew,Mark,Paul.However I point to the beliefs of the EBIONITES,who,assuming they appeared before 70 AD(like some believe),and who REJECTED PAUL as a false prophet,also believed Jesus had DIED and RESURRECTED.(In fact, that is also ENEMY ATTESTATION,the Ebionites rejected Paul,confirming something he has said:Jesus died and resurrected).

ANOTHER EXAMPLE
Mark says Jesus was the MESSIAH,Luke and Matthew say it.Paul says it,and the EBIONITES also said Jesus was the Messiah.
Another detail that has multiple attestation.(and ENEMY attestation by the Ebionites)

There is a passage in JOSEPHUS that virtually all scholars accept as AUTHENTIC:"James,brother of JESUS,the one called the MESSIAH".Again,enemy attestation of a detail in MARK.

Fernando said...

Another naille in islam's coffin... better: another naille in the coffin to all muslims that is islam... Great jobe brother Semper Rogers!!! May God bless you and the owner off those little feet on your shoulders...

mkvine said...

Why am I not surprised that 1More(reason not to be)Muslim didn't QUOTE from Tertullian or Origen? I think it should be obvious why.

minoria said...

Hello sam1528:
I had said I would continue with why even though we do not know from who Mark got his information,using the HISTORICAL METHOD one can verify details.WHen they can be independently corroborated then that increases his reliability.You do not have to have a chain of transmission.

HE SAYS JESUS HAD A BROTHER CALLED JAMES

That is corroborated by Josephus("James,brother of Jesus,the one called the Messiah").Paul also says James was Jesus' brother.

ARCHEOLOGICAL CONFIRMATION

He mentions Nazareth and Capernaum.They have found the 1st century remains of those places.He mentions Pilate,Caiphas,Peter.Pilate's existence has been confirmed by an inscription,we have what are highly probably the bon-box of Caiphas and the very bones of Peter in Rome(many corroborating details of the bones of a 1st century 60 year old man,including the inscription "Peter is inside").

PRE-MARKAN PASSION ACCOUNT

Most scholars agree there are reasons to believe a PreMarkan Passion account existed before the writing of Mark.It is made up of chapters 14,15 and 16.That would be another independent source,multiple attestation.
For the reasons in favor and a few against the idea read:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/passion.html

1moremuslim said...

Anthony:

You have quoted me
"In the above statement you said that the incarnation, where Jesus takes upon Himself a human nature in addition to His divine nature, is "the only way to resolve" the problem. Exactly. Problem resolved then.


What you have missed is that, after that, I have given you the other solution, The orthodox one, held by Great scholars like Michael L Brown, for instance : It's God the father who cannot be seen, the Son can. So please confirm to which explanation you subscribe? The false one I have stated, or the orthodox view that the FATHER is the one who cannot be seen?
Note: The incarnation took place 2000 years ago, do you believe that Jesus appeared to Abraham with his two natures (first incarnation)?

Peace.

Anthony Rogers said...

The Old Testament anticipates the incarnation of the Son in its doctrine of the Malak Yahweh. The Son was not yet incarnate in Old Testament times, but he did frequently appear in human form to the patriarchs, the prophets, etc.

"The incarnation took place 2000 years ago, do you believe that Jesus appeared to Abraham with his two natures (first incarnation)?"

The Lord Jesus Christ, although not yet fifty years old when He spoke to the Jews 2,000 years ago in John 8, did identify Himself as the one who temporarily assumed a human form to appear to Abraham in Genesis 18-19.

Would you like to know what the Jews and the early Christians, including Tertullian, your favorite, said about these passages? Come on. Ask me. Pretty please.

Fernando said...

1more(ignorant)muslim said: «The orthodox one, held by Great scholars like Michael L Brown»... who are you to call anyone a "great scholar" on biblical matters? accoprding to your comments here you are so ignorant off these aspects thate you better satar eading Walt Disney's children's books...

and by the way: can you present more off these "great scholars"... pleaaaaaase?

more: can you grasp the simple difference between "manifestation" and "assimilation"? I bet thate you, following your non educates prophet, do not...

Toll said...

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son.......he hath declared him."
"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father"

Must we restrict the use of the word "seen" to sensory perception?

For example the people of Israel saw a manifestation of God in the cloud and fire. They did not see God as Jesus declared him in the flesh. The manifestations were impersonal. Jesus revealed God through human personality.

perthMan said...

Hi all,

1moremuslim, thanks for posting to this blog. Anthony and Co. awesome that you guys are so passionate for Christ.

Just wanted to put in my two cents. Deep breaths mates... the comments are getting abit "bashy". Though I love to see "our side winning" any debate, don't lose sight of what Jesus was all about.

Luke9:56, When Jesus was not welcomed by a town of Samaritans, and his disciples wanted to pray for fire to extinguish the town! He rebuked them: "For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save [them]. And they went to another village."

I'm Chinese-Malaysian-Australian, and have plenty of christian friends who grew up Muslim communities. Also, my church has begun running the Kairos course - http://www.kairoscourse.org/ (I highly recommend it for everyone) and in generally teaches us not to confuse "Muslim" with "Islam".

A Muslim is a person / nation / people group. Saying "Stop being Muslim" is like saying to me "Stop being Chinese".

If you want to bag on anything, "bag" on Islam the religion / culture / way of life / whatever.

Anyway, don't lose sight that at the end of the day, our part in this whole God-Man story is help Jesus save people... what good is it if we win all the debates but drive away the people Jesus wants to save?

1moremuslim, Anthony, Sam and Co. you obviously know a whole heap of the bible story and more or less Jesus' story. So you must know that all this bible stuff was done so you / everyone can avoid hell and return to God where you truly belong, but also so you and those who accept can help save other people later down the track. All this because God loves us and want all of us home and safe.

God(the uncreated creator)'s heart is not for winning debates, but for us.

Anthony Rogers said...

Perthman,

Thanks for the exhortation and reminder.

Mike A Robinson said...

drive them (all sinners) to the cross thru exposing their error and reminding them of their doom if they remain w/o an effectual atonement and a Savior who redeems.

Pilgrim said...

Anthony, good article. My question is in light of the quranic scriptures you highlted showing Allah spoke through creation to Moses how do you harmonise it with the possible defense a muslim can make inlight of

Sura 42:51-52
"It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a Messenger to reveal, with Allah's permission, what Allah wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise. And thus have We, by Our command, sent inspiration to thee: thou knewest not (before) what was Revelation, and What was Faith; but We have made the (Qur'an) a Light, wherewith We guide such of Our servants as We will..."

I would like to hear your thoughts on how you would still support your argument on your use of the verses in Surah 20,27 and 28.