Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sami Zaatari vs. James White: Was Jesus Crucified?

24 comments:

Haecceitas said...

Sami did about as well as a Muslim could on this topic (probably it was a smart move set the bar low and basically just argue that his alternative Islamic interpretation of history isn't refuted by the facts, rather than trying to establish it as historically probable). But he really lost any pretension to even-handedness when he claimed that the Didache and some textual variant of Luke are huge problems for the Christian view.

aaron said...

if i was sam i would have a go at allah on negligence and messing up. not that would be terrible theology

Tom said...

Finally, I got an answer from a muslim to the question, beside those 40 words in the koran , implying that Jesus did not die or was not the one crucified, Where are the details of that event in the koran?

Sami's Answer : Those details are Irrelevant!

WHAT????

This so call 'god' had 600yrs to review what was written in the Bible, to clarify, A huge theological error, and all he provided on this Fundamental Christian believe/theology is........a Big fat ZERO on details

From day 1 the Bible is filled with details, to the extend that retarded muslim with a carnal perverted mind says the Bible contains porn.
How can a 'god' whose intent is to correct a so call error choose not to provide the neccesary details!
My conclusion is this "god" of koran is surely not The same God of the Bible.
The Bible is filled with details the koran have light/different details or no details!Surely, the source is different!

Great job Dr White.. and Sami I would like to say good job in keeping it a civilised debate unlike your fellow apologist, zakir nair or imran!

Michael said...

Good debate, as always Mr. White did an excellent job. I do wish however that he answered the question Sami kept asking about Jerusalem or Galilee even though it was off topic.

David said...

Michael, Sami brought that up to show contradiction in the text. Dr White used the opportunity to show that the Gospel writers added or left out information depending on what they actually witnessed or where emphasising - and this isn't contradiction.

Tom said...

Jesus was walking around, after doing a " David Copperfield" on the cross,
Have we forgotten that prior to the crucifixion He was Whipped, beaten scourged,(details in the Bible of event, worse than in the movie passion of the Christ).
Is there a verse in the koran to refute that event,to say "it was made to seem that He was whipped, beaten etc" ??
So is that also irrelevant!
Can a man after beaten to a pulp still walk around?

David said...

Tom, if we are to accept the quran's spin on it, Jesus had to dodge the flogging entirely (how he managed to scram while under guard between Pilate and the crucifixion site I don't know). Folk don't get flogged with this type of torture instrument, and can run the marathon the next day. Any sane thinking person would realise the quran theory is pure fantasy.

David said...

* I was agreeing with Tom*

Michael said...

Thanks David.

Tom, if you want to read an interesting twist on the story before the crucifixion, here's an excerpt from "The Reliance of the Traveler, A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law".

"They did not slay him or crucify him, but thus was it made to seem to them" referring to when Yahuda, chief of the Jews, met with a band of his people to kill Isa out of fear of his message, but Allah sent Gabriel to Isa to lead him to a covered alleyway that had a skylight, through which he was taken up to the sky. When Yahuda, in pursuit, ordered one of his companions to follow him into the passageway and murder him, Allah cast the likeness of Isa upon the man as he entered, and when he came out again after a fruitless search, the Jews attacked and killed him, thinking him to be Isa, and hung him upon a cross."

This is one of the reasons why Mr. White mentioned that Muslims do not truly know the detailed account of the crucifixion story because they have various stories such as these. How strange to think the Jews hung a man that looked like Jesus on a cross when he was already dead!? How much more humiliating that Jesus's last moments on earth were spent in a cat and mouse chase only to be taken up to the "sky" in an alleyway all alone as if helpless... what's worse is that Sami doesn't care what the story is, just that Allah said the crucifixion didn't happen. I'm praying for him.

Zack_Tiang said...

The only good thing about Sami was his opening statement... which was good and not fallacious; they were poor, but not overly fallacious (as practically all other Muslim apologists do).

But as always, Sami still continues his habit of completely ignoring what his opponent said, rebutted, argued and keeps repeating his same points and reasons over and over, as though he is making a new point each time.
It's disappointing to keep hearing a broken recorder.

Dr. White is great as always, actually interacting and responding to whatever Sami said, despite how poor they were.

Kraven Amica said...

I want to know why didn't Dr. James White respond to Sami's question about the Resurrection whether it was in Gallilie or Jerusalem.

Bro. David, could you please mind answering it?

Tom said...

Hi David,
:) Thanks, Yes,needed a 2nd reading.

Michael,
Thanks, so islam is one huge spin, that is what Sami is doing, creating another spin, in this debate based on his 'conjecture'.The disciples misunderstood Jesus, and God allowed that to continue?
Their "god" had inadvertenly left out crucial details.
They need to create a spin on the scourging of Jesus Christ because its there in the Bible, or maybe as Sami would say its irrelevant or picky!
IRRELEVANT to whom?

Zack_Tiang said...

[logic]
Sami Zaatri,

[fail]
You are completely wrong and inconsistent.
You are wrong and inconsistent because Dr James White said so, along with other Christian apologists.
And that's the main point. To ask how or why you are is irrelevant and being picky.
That's all, Sami.
[/fail]
[/logic]

Lindert said...

To Michael and Kraven Amica:
One of the reason that Dr. White did not answer the Galilee/Jerusalem question may have been that it would take too much time. Here is my take on the issue:

The gospels of Matthew and John mention appearances in both Jerusalem and Galilee. Luke mentions only the apppearances in Jerusalem. Mark (if you disregard the longer ending) mentions only the empty grave and the angels' proclamation of the resurrection to the women. Note that the crucifixion took place in Jerusalem, and that Jesus and most disciples lived in Galilee, they only went to Jerusalem for the celebration of passover. Also, nowhere do the gospels say that Jesus appeared first in Galilee.

The following scenario seems to fit all gospels: The women who came to the tomb first met an angel (Mt 28:5-7, Mk 16:5-7, Lk 24:4-7), who told them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee and that Jesus was risen. Later that day Jesus appeared to the women (Mt 28:9, Jn 20:14-17), to the travelers to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-31) and that same evening to the gathering of the disciples in Jerusalem (Lk 24:36, Jn 21:19). Obviously, the disciples could not all have gotten the message and traveled to Galilee in one day.

Jesus appeared to the gathering of disciples the next sunday again (Jn 21:26) By that time they had probably gone back to Galilee. Matthew mentions an unspecified appearance in Galilee, and John mentions the appearance at the sea of Tiberias (in Galilee). According to Luke Jesus stayed with them for a total of forty days (Acts 1:3), at the end of which he led them to Bethany (Lk 24:50) (close to Jerusalem), where he ascended to heaven.

The reason that only Matthew and John mention appearances in Galilee may have to do with the fact that they were among the twelve original disciples and so witnessed these events themselves. Luke does mention a period of forty days, so obviously he is skipping a lot of events.

Nothin'ButTheTruth said...

@Kraven Amica

I want to know why didn't Dr. James White respond to Sami's question about the Resurrection whether it was in Gallilie or Jerusalem.

Bro. David, could you please mind answering it?

Jesus died 3 days before the Passover, and the Passover was held in Jerusalem not Galilee.
The chielf priests resided in Jerusalem where Jesus was arrested and crucified (Matthew 27:1).

Furthermore, Luke 24:6 says, He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you WHEN HE WAS YET IN GALILEE.

Matthew 27:55, And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus FROM GALILEE, ministering unto him:

These proved that He was crucified in Jerusalem not Galilee.

But His ascension was in Galilee:

Matthew 28:7, And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, HE GOETH BEFORE YOU INTO GALILEE ; THERE SHALL YE SEE HIM: lo, I have told you.

This verse also proves that they were not in Galilee.


patrickfoss said...

Sami lost the debate early on as Dr. White made it clear that all biblical and historical evidence points to the crucifixion of the specific Person of Jesus Christ(not a substitute). Therefore he had to constantly toss out red herrings about alleged contradictions in the Bible. He ignored Dr. White's challenges to become a "thinking person" and engage him in the alleged contradictions. Perfect example, Sami stated the text says there was only one angel. Dr. White asked him for the verse that said "only one." Sami obviously decided not to become a thinking person at that point with his silence.

Oliver Raban said...

Hey guys! I just found this in a Muslim site. What does everyone think of it?

"The crux of White argument is “..It is the majority opinion of all scholars, all historians, both believers and unbelievers – that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and killed but the 40 words in the Quran denies this, thus the the Quran is wrong.

White seems confusing himself with the muslim view of Jesus “crucifixion” with the death of Jesus (p).

1. There is no historical evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified *to death* by the instigation of the Jewish leadership under the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, around 30 AD. What is our proof of an ‘historical’ event of Jesus died on the cross?
2. Sami made a good point when he says in the debate that the fact that the historical event that people believe Jesus was crucified confirms the Quran in 4:157 that people assume it was Jesus.
3. Yes, the majority opinion of all scholars, all historians, both believers and unbelievers thinks that Jesus of Nazareth lived and existed and that the crucifixion happened but they thinks that Jesus (p) was a real person: an itinerant apocalyptic preacher who wasn’t divine and the majority of them too question the Resurrection of Jesus.
The Quran addresses that Jesus will dies in some manner like everybody else but it does not say Jesus died by crucifixion ie he was crucified?
وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّا
wal-salāmu ʿalayya yawma wulidttu wayawma amūtu wayawma ub’ʿathu ḥayyan
“And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.”
(Q 19:33)
The verb “amūtu” 1st person singular imperfect present coninuous form fi’il madhi’ فعل مضارع
Similar Verse is 19:15 , mentioning about prophet John the Baptist.

Regarding Jesus (p) death, there are several opinion among muslims scholars based on highly ambiguous verse Q 4:157 :

1) That Jesus did not die on a cross but that God made someone else look like Jesus. Then God miracolously took Jesus body and soul into the heavens.

2) That Jesus actually survived the cross and lived like the other men (Gistas & Dismas) crucifed alongside with him (some historian record this man survived the cross)

3) a few even goes further thas Jesus (p) ‘died’ but as the Qur’an says do not think that those who are killed in the way of God they are dead, they are alive but they perceive it not like in 1 Corinthians 15:31. “I die every day”.

Whichever the opinions we Muslims does not think too much on the detail surrounding how Jesus died or will die but unanimous that he will just needs to die in some way but not that Jesus be crucified and ressurected and Jesus (p) will come back to earth again to fight the army of Satan and break the pagan symbol cross in the end of time. "

Lindert said...

@Oliver Raban

The problem is that the Muslims make an improper distinction. They admit that there is historical evidence that "people believed Jesus was crucified", but not that "Jesus was crucified".

Historically, it is fundamentally impossible to distinguish between the two. The sources say what the people believed to be true. If all the people in Jesus day were fooled by Allah, there is simply no way, even in theory, that anyone could ever find out the truth of the matter historically.

It's just a game of semantics. It's like saying: I know my fingerprints were on the body, my gun was used, I was at the crime scene, I had a motive, there were witnesses, but really, all this proves is that I was framed for this murder.

Oliver Raban said...

Alright, Lindert. Do you think the writer makes a good argument?

Here are some of my problems with his arguments. He says that Christians shouldn't use the "all atheist believe in the crucifixion because they doubt the divinity and resurrection of christ". I don't understand this because the resurrection and divinity are irrelavent when discussing the crucifixion. I mean, Muslims always use Bart Ehrman as evidence for the bible's 'corruption' but we don't say that he disbelieves in the Quran as well.

Also he then says that Muslims can believe in the crucifixion and death of Jesus later on. I thought muslims don't?

Zack_Tiang said...

@ Oliver,

It's a silly argument, and Lindert made a fine example of how that logic works, i.e. fails.
e.g. "I know my fingerprints were on the body, my gun was used, I was at the crime scene, I had a motive, there were witnesses, but really, all this proves is that I was framed for this murder."

But what I find interesting from what they say is this:
1 - The Muslim said, "Regarding Jesus (p) death, there are several opinion among muslims scholars based on highly ambiguous verse Q 4:157"
Whereas the Quran says of itself,
”This is not fabricated ‘hadith’; this (Quran) confirms all previous scriptures, provides the details of everything, and is a guidance and mercy for those who believe” 12:111
”We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything, and guidance and mercy and good news for the submitters” 16:89
http://www.quran-islam.org/main_topics/fully_detailed_scripture_(P1210).html

2 - And that the Muslim listed THREE Muslim explanations/theories of what happened at the historical crucifixion of Jesus Christ..
Let's read the '40 words' in question:
QUran 4:157 (Yusuf Ali) "That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-"

What 40 words claim:
a) "those who differ" - they are at variance in their accounts of Jesus' crucifixion
b) "are full of doubts" - they are not confident at all with their accounts
c) "with no (certain) knowledge" - none of them know for sure what happened at the crucifixion
d) "only conjecture to follow" - their accounts of the crucifixion are based on opinions and theories and NOT facts.

So who fits the bill of what the Quran said?
(A) The disciples of Jesus who witnessed the crucifixion and went to the grave believing JEsus died and rose from the grave, and Christians who followed historical facts that support the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion, not having changed the story of how Jesus got crucified, died, and resurrected for over two thousands years....
OR
(B) Muslims who deny the historical evidence (which they admit are true and correct), have multiple theories/conjectures/opinions of what happened at the historical crucifixion of Jesus Christ, with no certain knowledge about the order of events leading to the crucifixion and after (i.e. Allah raised Jesus to heaven before he was crucified, but Jesus still met up with his disciples after the crucifixion took place), and for the plain fact that Muslims have never been consistent/firm with their account of what happened at Jesus' crucifixion and had even changed their theories as history progressed since the beginning of Islam..?

It looks like Allah only confused Muslims, not anyone else.
Quran 7:99, "Are they then secure from Allah's scheme? None deemeth himself secure from Allah's scheme save folk that perish [i.e. non-Muslims]."

patrickfoss said...

Are you Muslims really asking us to believe that all the biblical and non-biblical authors who stated that the specific Person of Jesus Christ died on the cross would even be open to the possibility that it really wasn't Jesus of Nazareth, but someone made to look like him? Right, all those historical accounts of Abraham Lincoln being assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater are true in one sense--there was definitely an assassination that took place, but it wasn't Abraham Lincoln, it was someone made to look like him. All those historical accounts of John F. Kennedy being assassinated in Dallas are true in one sense--there was definitely an assassination that took place, but it wasn't JFK, it was someone made to look like him. All those historical accounts of Elvis Presley...well, hopefully you get the idea. The incredulity you are asking us to accept is akin to those who follow the National Enquirer headlines.

Jose Joseph said...

Sami says the disciples could of misunderstood the crucifixion since they have misunderstood Jesus through the gospels and therefore their testimony isn't trust worthy, it has no bases.

Whats interesting, since Sami said for argument sake that he would grant that the disciples wrote the Gospels, is that the VERY DISCIPLES THEMSELVES are narrating how THEY HAVE AT TIMES MISUNDERSTOOD JESUS.
(Side note sure sounds like that passes criterion of embarrassment.)

Its one thing for a person or a group to make the claim that disciples are untrustworthy, and Sami assumes that the people making the claim are trust worthy regarding their assessment of the disciples.


But on the other hand if disciples misunderstood Jesus and therefore because of that they are untrustworthy, why in the world would Sami believe the disciples testimony that they misunderstood Jesus if they are untrustworthy?

I guess the disciples were trustworthy enough to correctly narrate every time they misunderstood Jesus. But ironically they fail to narrate that they misunderstood the crucifixion.

And doesn't admission of a mistake or a misunderstanding presuppose that the person or people have to come to knowledge to what exactly the truth is in order to know that they are mistaken?

Here is the point that would mean anytime that the disciples narrated that they were mistaken about anything about Jesus that would mean they have come to knowledge of the actual truth by the Triune GOD.

Which means Jesus didn't leave the disciples in the dark about ANY MISUNDERSTANDINGS about him, because it would be counter productive to their ministry because they would be spreading false information about Jesus.

And Jesus even promises them the Spirt of Truth which would guide them into and all Truth and enable them to remember everything he said.

But yet Sami wants us to believe when the disciples seen Jesus, he didn't correct their assumption that he was Crucified and Rose from dead.

Jose Joseph said...



I will address Sami's other arguments when I have the time

Christtheway24

hayati Roohi said...

Abu Burda reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: 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. (As far as I think), Abu Raub said: I do not know as to who is in doubt. Abu Burda said: I narrated it to 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz, whereupon he said: Was it your father who narrated it to you from Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him)? I said: Yes. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6668).. And YET God DOES NOT PUNISH ANYONE FOR SOMEONE ELSES SIN? How Can he be so double minded. This is for Zakir and David woods Debate , Zaker another silly muslim