Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Reading Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:20 in context.

Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. (Deuteronomy 24:16, NIV)

The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. (Ezekiel 18:20, NIV)

Muslims see these verses as confirming their beliefs and proving that
Christianity is wrong. They understand these verses to mean that each person can only bear their own sin and that therefore Jesus cannot die for our sins. This, however, is not the case because both of these verses are referring to a person living under the covenant of the Torah (the Law of Moses). Deuteronomy 24:16 is part of the Torah itself and Ezekiel 18:20 is addressing the Israelites who were living under the Torah. That is, the context of these verses is the Torah and not the Qur'an. If we want to understand the verses we need to understand some basics about the Torah.

When somebody living under the Torah sinned they were responsible for what they had done, but if they repented they could be forgiven by a sacrifice that would bear their sin before God. The Torah explains this.

(H)e must bring as his offering for the sin he committed a female goat without defect. He is to lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place of the burnt offering. Then the priest is to take some of the blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. In this way the priest will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven. (Leviticus 4:28-31, NIV)

For the life of a creature is in the blood , and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. (Leviticus 17:11, NIV)


This is why a lot of the Torah teaches about priests, sacrifices and the tabernacle/temple where the sacrifices were offered. The Torah teaches individual responsibility and forgiveness through a substitute sacrifice that bears our sin.

In the book of the prophet Ezekiel we see this idea as well.

(The priests) will put the most holy offerings (there) - the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings - for the place is holy. (Ezekiel 42:13, NIV)


Therefore Muslims are not reading Deuteronomy 24:16 or Ezekiel 18:20 in their context. These verses are not saying there is no sacrifice that can bear our sin. Instead they are saying that we are individually responsible for our sins and need to seek forgiveness through God's provision of a substitute sacrifice that can bear our sin. These verses do not support Islam at all, instead they confirm what Christianity teaches.

21 comments:

Lleychino said...

But how would the Muslims explain these:

Qur’an 16:22-25—Your God is one God; so (as for) those who do not believe in the hereafter, their hearts are ignorant and they are proud. Truly Allah knows what they hide and what they manifest; surely He does not love the proud. And when it is said to them, what is it that your Lord has revealed? They say: Stories of the ancients; That they may bear their burdens entirely on the day of resurrection AND ALSO OF THE BURDENS OF THOSE WHOM THEY LEAD ASTRAY without knowledge; now surely evil is what they bear.

Qur’an 29:12-13—And those who disbelieve say to those who believe: “Follow our way and we will verily bear your sins,” never will they bear anything of their sins. Surely, they are liars. And verily, they shall bear their own loads, AND OTHER LOADS BESIDE THEIR OWN, and verily, they shall be questioned on the Day of Resurrection about that which they used to fabricate.

Sahih Muslim 6665—Abu Musa reported that Allah's Messenger said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection ALLAH WOULD DELIVER TO EVERY MUSLIM A JEW OR A CHRISTIAN and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire.

Sahih Muslim 6666—Allah’s Apostle said: No Muslim would die but ALLAH WOULD ADMIT IN HIS STEAD A JEW OR A CHRISTIAN in Hell-Fire.

Sahih Muslim 6668—Allah’s Messenger [said]: There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with as heavy sins as a mountain, and Allah would forgive them and HE WOULD PLACE IN THEIR STEAD THE JEWS AND THE CHRISTIANS.

110 Hadith Qudsi—Allah’s Messenger said: On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah (nation) will be gathered into three groups. One sort will enter Paradise without rendering an account (of their deeds). Another sort will be reckoned an easy account and admitted into Paradise. Yet another sort will come bearing on their backs heaps of sins like great mountains. Allah will ask the angels though He knows best about them: Who are these people? They will reply: They are humble slaves of yours. He will say: Unload the sins from them and PUT THE SAME OVER THE JEWS AND CHRISTIANS: then let the humble slaves get into Paradise by virtue of My Mercy.

Can these Muslims be CONSISTENT one in their lives????

Seam_on_Us said...

@ Lleychino

You make a good point.

Thinking about Jesus' sacrifice, I cannot but recall that He stressed the fact that no one takes His life from Him but that He willingly gives it up for the remission of the sins of many. The Father sent the Son to be a saving sacrifice for the whole world and the Son obeyed. The Son had a choice and we see that in Jesus' statement after one of His disciples struck a servant of the High Priest:

"Do you think that if I asked my Father to send 12 legions of angels to protect me that I would be denied? But how then would Scripture be fulfilled?"

Thus, it is obvious that Jesus did not have to die to for our sins, i.e. He was not forced to do it but chose to do it.

God Bless.

Satish Kumar said...

Romans 3:20

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Galatians 3:10

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."

James 2:10

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

It's all or none.

mikeyh428 said...

I've always interpreted these verses as meaning that children (or parents) cannot be explicitly punished for the sins of their parents or children (and will not be held guilty of them by God). You see this in some places today, where an entire family will be punished for the crimes of a single family member (north korean gulag camps for example). I noticed how in Ezekiel 18:20, it does NOT say that a person's righteousness cannot be also applied to others, but simply that it belongs to the person who is righteous. God can apply it as He wishes. Case in point was Sodom - if God found just ten righteous people in the city, He would have spared the whole town. But strictly speaking, as Satish pointed out, none of us are perfectly righteous by ourselves before God. Additionally, Jesus' righteousness is not automatically imputed to everyone, but only those who submit to His Lordship and put their faith in Him. Even then, it is up to Him to apply it to us by the Holy Spirit. It is humorous how some Muslim apologists ignore the whole sacrificial system in the law of Moses and what it implies.

Eugene said...

I'm not exactly sure what you are saying in this post, because you left out what the Muslims claim about them. All you say is the Muslims think they prove Christianity is wrong, but how? Without that bit of information I can't tell if you're winning the argument. I assume it deals with Jesus paying for the sins of mankind, but you should amend the post to provide the Muslim arguement, so we can all laugh at it together.

Samuel Green said...

Eugene, I have added an extra sentence. Thanks.

CristoTeAma said...

Well said Samuel, God bless you, keep the good work, those verses they quote are the example of how Muslim apologetics work, they can even misquote their own sources to "make a point"

CallingChristians.com said...

Samuel, I don't believe your post qualifies the conclusion you set out to demonstrate.

See my grievances here:
http://callingchristians.com/2012/04/20/refutation-reading-deuteronomy-2416-and-ezekiel-1820-in-context/

Locrian said...

Calling, I looked at our paper and it's horrible. Your attempt at saying the "atonement cover" was a place where an object granted atonement is horrendous. Both Jew and Christian believe this to be a physical lid, and not a sacrifice.

Clarke seems to think it's symbolic in that it "covers the law" physically, but you're so far in left field it's hard to even make the connection with Samuel's paper. The Clarke quote even tells you its symbolic or metaphorical for a later Christ in saying : "was a type of Christ,". The word "type" clarifies his context crystal clear and you miss it.

The remainder of the Clarke quote quoted wasn't saying the "lid" was a sin offering, but that Christ is our "the great propitiation, whose satisfaction fully answers the demands of the law, covers our transgressions, and comes between us and the curse we deserve.". Here he makes a similarity to Christs covering our sins, and the Lid covering the law that's physically sitting in the ark.

The Islamic inability to follow along with what's written is astounding. It's as if blinders are on.

Samuel Green said...

CallingChristians.com I have read your article and you say,

"This therefore is a case of intentional decontextualization of a scripture by referencing a group of persons with specific beliefs, yet alienating their positions by transposing his own mendacious ideas about their belief on said scripture."

I have not done this at all. In fact I have done the opposite. I have put these verses in their context. Deuteronomy 24:16 is part of the Torah and I have shown that the Torah also teaches substitutionary sacrifice for sin. And for Ezekiel 18:20 I have shown how the book of Ezekiel also has this idea.

Sacrifices for atonement and forgiveness are major theme in the Torah, Prophets, Psalms and Gospel. This is just another example of how the Qur'an fails to preserve the message of the prophets.

CallingChristians.com said...

@Samuel Green,

You have claimed to put the Torah verses into context:

"I have not done this at all. In fact I have done the opposite. I have put these verses in their context. Deuteronomy 24:16 is part of the Torah and I have shown that the Torah also teaches substitutionary sacrifice for sin. And for Ezekiel 18:20 I have shown how the book of Ezekiel also has this idea."

In order for you to have demonstrated that they are in context, you had to appeal to one of two views of which you did neither:

(1) A Judaic interpretation. As it is a Jewish book, practised by the Jewish peoples, who also happened to record them.

(2) Demonstrated that before 1 AD, that the Jews interpreted the verses as you meant them.

You have failed to do either. So what you have is what we term revisionist eisegesis. You have had to go back into a previous religion's scripture, apply your own beliefs upon the followers and then claim to have interpreted it properly.

"Sacrifices for atonement and forgiveness are major theme in the Torah, Prophets, Psalms and Gospel."

The act of the sacrifice is the atonement and I won't deny that, it's actually the focal point of my article.

">This is just another example of how the Qur'an fails to preserve the message of the prophets."

So I'm guessing at this point, you're ignorant of Eid ul Adha or an Aqiqah?

INDONESIA-MAN said...

@Callingchristian

The Talmud concerning Ezekiel 18:20

----The sages assert, "Moses pronounced an adverse sentence on Israel the visiting of the sins of the fathers upon the children and it was revoked by Ezekiel" (Talmud Bavli, Makkot 24a)

The fact is Rabbinic commentary interprets Ezekiel 18 as some sort of abrogating verse that removed God previous law in the torah (Exodus 20:5) about the son bearing the sin of the father that had been in effect until the day of Ezekiel or in other words rabbinic Judaism believes God had been putting the sin of the fathers upon their son until the time of Ezekiel.

1. Even in case this interpretation were true then , what would be the strong reason in not to return to Torah (Exodus 20:5) and abrogate Ezekiel 18:20 when after all initially this verse itself were abrogating the original law in Exodus 20:5?

2.For you keep on insisting christian to accept rabbinic interpretation then as a muslim who also believe in Torah could you honestly acknowledge those interpretation in which Allah had been putting the sin of the father to their children until the day of Ezekiel as representing the reality ? surely it would be odd to force us to believe in something that you wouldn't believe yourself.

3. If you still would argue that what you really need is the ancient Judaic interpretation from the time before Christ and yet since this sort of evidence that you want hasn't been discovered yet , then on what ground you could undoubtedly confirm that christian' interpretation is false? Just to remind you for quran itself it has no "original ancient interpretations" on number of things (such as concept of face of allah and status of the ahl-bayt,etc)and if such "original interpretation" had been preserved then Islam would've not had different "tafseers & madhabs".

Dawah Refuted said...

@CallingChristian

Here's Rabbinic Talmud on Ezekiel 18:20
----The sages assert, "Moses pronounced an adverse sentence on Israel the visiting of the sins of the fathers upon the children and it was revoked by Ezekiel" (Talmud Bavli, Makkot 24a)----

The fact is Rabbinic commentary interprets Ezekiel 18 as some sort of abrogating verse that removed God previous law in the torah (Exodus 20:5) about the son bearing the sin of the father that had been in effect until the day of Ezekiel or in other words rabbinic Judaism believes God had been putting the sin of the fathers upon their son until the time of Ezekiel.

1. Even in case this interpretation were true then what would be the strong reason in not to return to Torah (Exodus 20:5) and abrogate Ezekiel 18:20 when after all initially this verse itself were abrogating the original law in Exodus 20:5?

2.For you keep on insisting christian to accept rabbinic interpretation then as a muslim who also believes in Torah could you honestly acknowledge those interpretation in which Allah had been putting the sin of the father to their children until the day of Ezekiel as representing the reality ? surely it would be odd to force us to believe in something that you wouldn't believe yourself.

3. If you still would argue that what you really need is the ancient Judaic interpretation from the time before Christ and yet since this sort of evidence that you want hasn't been discovered yet , then on what ground you could undoubtedly confirm that christian' interpretation is false? Just to remind you for quran itself it has no "original ancient interpretations" on number of things (such as concept of allah has a body and status of the ahl-bayt,etc)and if such "original interpretation" had been preserved then Islam would've not had different "tafseers & madhabs"

Aqsa_Brigades said...

@Dawah_NotRefuted

Please quote the Talmud correctly:

Said R. Jose b. Hanina: Four decrees Moses has decreed upon Israel, and four prophets came and abolished them. Moses said [Deut. xxxiii. 28]: "And then dwelt Israel in safety, alone," etc. Amos abolished it [vii. 5]: "How should Jacob be able to endure," then immediately in (6) "The Lord bethought . . . this shall not be." Moses said [Deut. xxviii. 65]: "And among these nations shalt thou find no ease." Jeremiah abolished it, saying [xxxi. 2]: "He is going to give rest to Israel." 1 Moses said [Ex. xxxiv. 7]: "Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children." Ezekiel abolished it by saying [xviii. 4]: "The soul which sinneth, that alone shall die." Moses said [Lev. xxvi. 38]: "And ye shall be lost among the nations." Isaiah abolished it by saying [xxvii. 13]: "The great cornet shall be blown," etc

Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/t09/mac08.htm

It does not refer to the context in which you speak. Using the citations from it we also gather from Shemot 34:7's exegesis by Rabbi Rashi:

"He visits the iniquity of parents on the children: when they hold onto the deeds of their parents in their hands [i.e., emulate their ways], for He already explained this in another verse, [that it means only] “of those who hate Me” (Exod. 20:5). -[from Ber. 7a]

Therefore your interpretation and explanation derived from your false commentary is wrong.

Aqsa_Brigades said...

@Dawah_NotRefuted,

1.Even in case this interpretation were true then what would be the strong reason in not to return to Torah (Exodus 20:5) and abrogate Ezekiel 18:20 when after all initially this verse itself were abrogating the original law in Exodus 20:5?

According to the Talmud, it was referring to Shemot 34:7, not 20:5 and as such, the commentary I provided with sources (unlike yourself) indicate this was a law for the punishment of the children doing as their parents did. Not a punishment of the parents on the children.

@2.For you keep on insisting christian to accept rabbinic interpretation then as a muslim who also believes in Torah could you honestly acknowledge those interpretation in which Allah had been putting the sin of the father to their children until the day of Ezekiel as representing the reality ? surely it would be odd to force us to believe in something that you wouldn't believe yourself.".

I don't believe in the Masoretic text's version of the Torah, just as much as Christian's don't as well, citing Judaic interpolations. So unless you can apply the same standards on yourself first, your argument is invalid.

"3. Just to remind you for quran itself it has no "original ancient interpretations" on number of things (such as concept of allah has a body and status of the ahl-bayt,etc)and if such "original interpretation" had been preserved then Islam would've not had different "tafseers & madhabs""'.

Your 3rd point is nonsensical. Tafsir = Ibn Abbas, from the Salaf.

Madhab has to do with fiqh, which is based on Qur'an and Sunnah, not about 'aqidah.

Try again.

Dawah Refuted said...
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Dawah Refuted said...

You said //// I don't believe in the Masoretic text's version of the Torah, just as much as Christian's don't as well, citing Judaic interpolations. So unless you can apply the same standards on yourself first, your argument is invalid.////

What a twisted comparison, your effort is ridiculous for asking me to align christian interpretation with rabbinic interpretation that you yourself even don't believe those rabbinic interpretation as the truth. On my side I accept the Masoretic OT though reject the rabbinic interpretation however in your side not only you reject the truthfulness of rabbinic interpretation you even reject the source of that interpretation (the Masoretic OT) So my friend, sorry if it might offend u however your effort is clearly unintelligible ! here let me edify you through this analogy : It will be the same with a muslim asking the islamic Ahmadi Lahore movement to prove themselves as the truth by asking them to align their interpretation with Ahmadi Qadiani interpretation on interpreting Mirza Gulam' sacred books. Even if they succeed to align their interpretation , this still would be pointless cause you would still consider them as heretic.

Since both of us don't believe in rabbinic interpretation then practically what you've been asking is : u want the truth of christian'interpretation to be validated by the error of rabbinical interpretation !! can you in anyway explain the rationality of your "weird" thinking ?
.............
An about my argument concerning "no proven original interpretation" of Quran , you answered /// Your 3rd point is nonsensical. Tafsir = Ibn Abbas, from the Salaf. ////
Whaat ? are you kidding me ? Please help yourself by explaining the proof of this tafseer authenticity at least by showing us its oldest original manuscript ! Can you declare the present Ibn Abbas Tafseer is far more precise and authentic than Ibn Kathir and Al-Jalalayn ?

So in that regard what's the "original interpretation" of Surah 39:67 concerning Allah' hands , did Muhammad really believe Allah has real hands or was it just metaphorical ?

I hope you'll be able to think "straight" next time..

Dawah Refuted said...
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Dawah Refuted said...
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Dawah Refuted said...
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Dawah Refuted said...

To Admin:Sorry mate Apparently u have double posted my SECOND PART of rebuttal and forgot to post the FIRST PART. So for that I'll submit my FIRST PART again,here it is

To AQSA your comment // According to the Talmud, it was referring to Shemot 34:7, not 20:5 and as such, //

AQSA UNLESS u have poor intellectual capability that makes u unable to understand just a very simple basic information, it’s strange that u have failed to see the undeniable connection which:
SHEMOT 34:7b IN FACT IS THE DIRECT REPETITION OF SHEMOT 20:5 !! And THIS IS YOUR FIRST FATAL MISTAKE

Would u please understand the content of shemot 20:5 & 34:7 first before embarrassing yourself for making such a “hollow” argument for?
…………………
Your comment // the commentary I provided with sources (unlike yourself) indicate this was a law for the punishment of the children doing as their parents did. Not a punishment of the parents on the children///

Looks like u have narrow understanding on Judaism because although Rashi is a recognized Rabbi in Judaism still his position is just to comment &giving interpretation & not absolutely authoritative since he is not the writer of Torah or Talmud. Because of this his interpretation can be nullified or can be balanced by another interpretation. Here’s a commentary by one of the greatest rabbi in Judaism (Rambam) about Shemot 34:7 in his book Guide of the Perplexed (I, 54);

==Know that His speech “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children” (Shemot 34:7) only applies to the sin of idolatry in particular, and not to any other sin. A proof of this is His saying in the Ten Commandments: “Unto the third and forth generation of them that hate Me” (Shemot 20:5). For only an idolater is called “hater”… Accordingly, when the people of an idolatrous city are killed, this means that an idolatrous old man and the offspring of the offspring of his offspring – that is, the child of the fourth generation – are killed… even if they are little children, together with the multitude of their fathers and grandfathers ( http://vbm-torah.org/archive/values/02c-morality.htm)==

Rambam tells that children did receive the punishment of their fathers if the sin was idolatry which is the sin for rejecting The true God of The Jew with His Torah

Rambam and other prominent judaic scholar rabbi Abernabel further more balance and reconcile Rashi’ thesis by stating that this sin is transferable only to a child and ends as this child gains his adulthood.Rambam wrote:
== There are transgressions for which the punishment is exacted from…one’s young children, for a person’s young children who do not yet have da’at (understanding) and did not reach the obligation of fulfilling the commandments are treated as the parent’s possessions (MT, Laws of Repentance 6:1)===

Rabbi Abarbanel summarizes what he considers the primary rabbinical view:
==== [G-d visits the iniquity of fathers upon sons] when the sons are very young, before the age of accountability for their own actions, for they are then considered extensions of their fathers and may be punished for his sins…until the fourth generation, those that the original idolater may see in his lifetime…[for he] does not have a close feeling to later descendants…When older, they may be punished for their fathers’ sins only when they continue perpetrating those sins…and only in the case of idolatry. Concerning other sins, even if the son continues his father’s evil ways he will only be punished for his own sins (source: http://judaicseminar.org/bible/yitro4.pdf)===

Although it only applies to the children of unbelievers , THE BOTTOM LINE IS JUDAISM ADMITS THAT SIN IS TRANSFERABLE , above of all this conclusion makes us back to the initial thesis of bro. Samuel Green that OUTSIDE of the covenant people of Torah who believe in Jehova, sin would be transferable ,

So AQSA thank u for showing your narrow understanding on Judaism to all of us here.