Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Qur'an or Bible - Which is the Word of God?

Zakir Hussain & Samuel Green 18-02-2013.

Thanks again Zakir for a clear presentation and for giving me some new things to think about. Here are some points I was not able to make in the debate:

1. For me the main point I did not answer was the accusation that in Exodus 6:3 God says he did not make himself known to Abraham as the LORD (Yahweh) but in Genesis we see Abraham regularly using this name. This was put forward as evidence for the JEPD source theory of the Torah. The answer I thought of later (as you do) was that we see the name Yahweh (LORD) used not just with Abraham but by all those after him too (Gen. 26:25, 28:13, 49:8). So how does Exodus 6:3 fit with this? Exodus actually tells us. While people may have used the name Yahweh none of them had the meaning of the name revealed to them like Moses did, see Exodus 3:15 and 33:18-34:7. This was the first time that God had proclaimed the meaning of Yahweh and what made Moses' revelation unique.

2. Regarding the idea that Genesis 21:14 says that Ishmael was a baby when he should have been about 16. This is not the case for two reasons: Firstly, when Ishmael is called a "child" it is the same word used of Joseph (37:30) when Jacob sent him on a journey to check on his brothers, so it does not mean baby. Secondly, Ishmael is not put on Hagar's shoulder as a child would be. The majority of translations do not do this. Certainly, the Hebrew can be read several ways and but there is no reason to doubt the common translations as they fit with the Hebrew and the context. You cannot build a case on such a contested reading. And so this is not evidence for JEPD either.

In my research for 1&2 I noticed that some have tried the JEPD approach the the Qur'an too: R.D. Wilson, Princeton Theological Review 17, 1919, pp. 640-650.

3. Regarding the use of "Pharaoh" in the Biblical account of Joseph and whether it is anachronistic. In addition to what I said in the debate I should have added that in the Qur'anic version Joseph is sold for a few dirhams (12:20) and dirhams did not exist at this time.

4. Regarding "Machamadim" in Song of Songs 5:16, the following references have the same word with the same vowels as the Song of Song 5:16: 2 Chronicles 36:19, Isaiah 64:10, Lamentations 1:10, 2:4, Hosea 9:16, Joel 3:5/4:5.


Sam said...

It seems that Zakir is another typical dawagandist who has no shame in lying and perverting his sources. He claimed that according to George, in his book, on page 95, the Byzantines defeated the Persians in 622, in perfect fulfillment of Muhammad's prophecy in Q. 30:1-4. This is a boldfaced lie, since there is nothing about 622 on that page. More importantly, this author emphatically emphatically says that the Byzantines defeated and vanquished the Persians in 627-628 AD!

Here is the quote:

“At the time when his capital was in deadly peril, Heraclius and his army had been in distant Lazica. He now negotiated an alliance with the Khazars, as he had earlier done with the Caucasian peoples, and the resulting Byzantino-Khazar understanding became from now onwards one of the main features of imperial eastern diplomacy. As allies of the imperial troops the Khazars fought the Persians on Caucasian and Armenian soil. In the autumn OF 627 the Emperor began his great advance south into the heart of the enemy's territory. Here he had to rely on his own resources, since the Khazars could not stand up to the rigours of the campaign and return home. In spite of this, AT THE BEGINNING OF DECEMBER Heraclius stood before Nineveh. IT WAS HERE THAT THE DEADLY BATTLE WAS FOUGHT WHICH REALLY DECIDED THE OUTCOME OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE PERSIANS AND BYZANTINES. THE PERSIAN ARMY WAS PRACTICALLY WIPED OUT AND BYZANTINE HAD WON THE WAR. Heraclius CONTINUED HIS VICTORIOUS ADVANCE AND AT THE BEGINNING OF 628 he occupied Dastagerd, the Persian king's favourite residence from which he had had to beat a hasty retreat. IN THE SPRING OF 628 events occurred in Persia WHICH MADE ANY FURTHER FIGHTING UNNECESSARY. Chosroes was deposed and murdered and his son Kavadh-Siroe, who succeeded him, immediately came to terms with the Byzantine Emperor. As a result of their own successes and the total collapse of the Persians, the Byzantines secured the return of all the territory which had formerly belonged to them, and Armenia, Roman Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt were restored. A few months later Siroe on his death-bed named the Byzantine Emperor as his son's guardian: Chosroes II had once called the Emperor his slave, BUT THE POSITION WAS NOW REVERSED, and Siroe declared his son and heir to be the slave of the Byzantine Emperor.1

After six years' absence Heraclius returned to his capital. His son Constantine, the Patriarch Sergius, the clergy, the senate and the people received him on the coast of Asia Minor with olive branches and lighted candles, with hymns and acclamations of joy. While the Roman provinces were being cleared of Persians, Heraclius went to Jerusalem IN THE SPRING OF 630. Here on 21 March amid great rejoicing he once more set up the Holy Cross won back from the Persians, and by this solemn act SYMBOLIZED THE VICTORIOUS CONCLUSION OF THE FIRST GREAT HOLY WAR OF CHRISTENDOM. The foes before whom Byzantium had once trembled now lay prostrate. THE STRUGGLE AT NINEVAH HAD CRUSHED THE PERSIAN MIGHT, and the battle of Constantinople had brought the pride of the Avars to the dust…” (George Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State, pp. 103-104:

1 According to Nicephorus 20 f. he wrote to Heraclius: 'In the same way as you say that your God was presented to the old man Symeon, so I present your slave, my son, into your hands’. (Ibid., p. 103)

Now this proves that according to Zakir's own source, Muhammad is a false prophet since the prophecy didn't take place within the 9 years which Zakir mentioned. It actually took over 14 years for the Byzantines to win.

Lord willing, more of Zakir's lies and inconsistencies to exposed here in due time.

Sam said...

There are two things from Zakir which I find quite ironic. First, he twice misquotes John 7:38 by saying that Jesus claimed that the Scripture says that anyone who believes in him will be given rivers of WINE! Since Zakir is so drunk with reading the Quran which speaks of rivers of wine, I can see why he would assume that Jesus was speaking of wine, when he actually said living water/water of life.

The second ironic thing is that he chides Samuel for saying that Moses wrote the Torah, only to later say that no Christian believes that Moses wrote all of it, since Joshua was permitted to add things to the Law, EVEN THOUGH HE QUOTED DEUTERONOMY 18:15-22 AS A PROPHECY FROM MOSES CONCERNING MUHAMMAD!

I challenge Zakir to quote one single scholar who holds to the JEPD theory who believes that Moses wrote or uttered the words attributed to him in Deuteronomy 18:15-22.

Like I said, it is becoming obvious that Zakir is another typical deceptive dawagandist who has no shame in perverting his sources and of using inconsistent arguments.

Sam said...

Here is another one of Zakir's lies, this time one which he simply parroted from Abdullah Andalusi.

He claims that the Servant of Isaiah 53:10 will have seed, which in Hebrew is zera. He then claimed that zera always means physical seed, which is a boldfaced lie just as the following verses prove:

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed (zera) of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.” Isaiah 1:4 AV

“Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed (zera) of evildoers shall never be renowned.” Isaiah 14:20

“But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed (zera) of the adulterer and the whore. Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed (zera) of falsehood.” Isaiah 57:3-4 AV

Here zera is used metaphorically to describe the character of people who are rebellious and wicked.

Secondly, the verse in Isaiah 53:10 doesn't say that the Servant will see HIS seed, since there is no pronoun in Hebrew. It simply says that he will see seed:

Notice how the following versions render the text:

Yet it pleased Hashem to bruise him; He hath put him to suffering; when Thou shalt make his nefesh an asham offering for sin, he (Moshiach) shall see zera [see Psalm 16 and Yn 1:12 OJBC], He shall prolong his yamim (days) and the chefetz Hashem (pleasure, will of Hashem) shall prosper in his [Moshiach’s] hand. Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB

Though the LORD desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the LORD’s purpose will be accomplished through him. NET Bible

In light of this fact, the passage isn't speaking about the Servant's seed, but is referring to the seed that the Servant's death will save and redeem. See Psalm 22:19-31, specifically verse 30 which uses the term zera, and Hebrews 2:9-18 for the details.

So much for Zakir's boldfaced lie.

JP Prasad said...

Abrahamic religions with Adam n Eve mythical stories,, had been fighting over long time since their birth about Word of GOD,, still they cant conclude results of it !
None of these had ever explain about philosophy of consciousness of GOD, then no wonder even debate continue over another 1000 years,, its unsolved ,,lol

Aletheya said...

Yahweh is mentioned in Genesis because that's how Moses (The writer of Genesis) KNEW Him.

So there is nothing wrong in mentioning Yahweh in Genesis though He did not revealed that name to those before Moses.

If, for example, one wants to write something about Paul before he changed his name to Paul, is it wrong to use the name Paul instead of Saul, if he/she knew him by Paul?

Unknown said...

Brother Samuel,

Very much appreciate your demeanor as you debate. As to Zakir's claim that Matt. 24 is false prophecy (a claim also made by atheists) may I suggest reading Gary DeMar's work on this subject. It is a powerful rebuttal to this false accusation. You can find his material, as well as other scholars, at american

Blessings to you!

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

I want to comend Zakir. He is the best debater I have heard from the Muslim side.

I would however offer him one suggestion. In the rebuttals He seems a bit insecure. Throwing rapid fire questions hoping that something sticks out gives the impression of desperation.

A much better approach would be to deal with one or two things
comprehensively and asking your opponent to respond to them.

For instance I would have liked to understand his challenge for Christians to produce a book like the Qur'an. What does he mean by "like".

Does "like" mean the same thing in the challenge as it does in the phrase "Prophet like Moses".

I would say that any number of books are as much like the Qur'an as Mohamed is like Moses (the book of Mormon for instance)


Fifth Monarchy Man said...


1)the Qur'an and The book of Mormon both claim to have been revealed by an angel

2) Both claim that the Bible is corrupt

3)Both claim to be the Word of God to a nation other than Israel

4) Both retell stories from the Bible and contain local myths and legends.

5) Both consciously try to mimic Biblical speech patterns

6) Both are polemics against orthodox Christianity

7) Both claim to have the same message as the Bible

8) Both claim that their "Prophets" are foretold in the true word of God.

9) Both give only subjective evidence to their authenticity

10) Both had their content standardized by human authority

I could go on but you get the point


Craig said...

@ zakir
Jesus didn't say satan CAN'T cast out satan he said IF he does then HOW can his kingdom stand. Samuel forgot to mention that if the qu'ran is the word of god the why didn't he allow premature intercourse (65:4) and why would god barrow words from other languages

Craig said...

@ zakir and all Muslims
You shouldn't talk so boastfully as if Islam s built off of complete logic because its not and you know it once again Surah talaq ayat 4

Haecceitas said...

Doug Myers,

Great suggestion regarding Matthew 24. The Orthodox Preterist ("partial preterist") interpretation should always be at least mentioned in the context of Matt 24 and parallel passages in a debate setting. Even if the Christian debater doesn't hold to that view himself, it's important to show that there are valid interpretative options even for texts that the opposing side might consider to be the most problematic.

Sam said...

BTW, here is a short article that addresses the so-called accuracy of the Quran concerning the use of king versus Pharaoh:

As you can see, it begs the question and ends up backfiring against the Muslims.

Radical Moderate said...

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that when ever Muslims site their sources, its always from a page in the book that is less then 100. I don't think they read the entire books they claim to have read.

Anonymous said...

GUYS this is the ultimate weapon of war against song of solomon 5:16

look up preciousness and search the hebrew word and its machmadim only used as hebrew adjective in poetry only despite being a noun its a death blow to any persisting muslim

Zack_Tiang said...

I cringed while listening to Zakir. Sigh.

Zack_Tiang said...

This is the second time Zakir uses this argument to deny Jesus' claim to deity.

Zakir said (paraphrased)...
"Before Abraham was, I am." Christians say this is the name of God, but the word 'Ego Eimi' appears everywhere else in the bible; e.g. blind man, Paul, etc.

I wish to tell him, take note that there is nothing wrong for these people to say 'Ego Eimi', because they were affirming who they are...
E.g. People were wondering if the man walking around rejoicing is indeed the blind man, and the healed blind man responds, "I am" as in "I am that blind man."

Taking that into consideration, let's revisit Jesus' statement, "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was, I am."

What possible explanation can there be for Jesus to speak in this manner, other than that Jesus was claiming to have existed before Abraham?

Anonymous said...

...and in our tradition Muhammad was created before Jesus and Abraham.