Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Uncorrupted Injeel

On a recent outing in London Paul Williams, who was recently outed himself (in more ways than one, see here and here), discovered something that outs Islamic apologists like Bassam Zawadi, not to mention many others.

According to PW, world-renowned Islamic scholar Abdel Haleem confirmed for him in a phone conversation one of the two claims that Christians often make regarding the Bible. In the view of Professor Haleem, the Qur’an does NOT teach that the Bible was corrupted. Instead, it teaches that the Bible has been misinterpreted. Prof. Haleem’s statements in this connection, as PW says, “put Muslim apologist Bassam Zawadi (who has argued many times for the view that the Quran teaches textual corruption) in the wrong.” This, as PW also says, serves to “vindicate the oft-stated views of Sam Shamoun and David Wood.”

To PW’s relief, Professor Haleem went on to say that the Injeel is not the same as the four canonical gospels or the New Testament, and that the former was “largely lost to history” while the latter contains only “a few shreds of Jesus’ authentic teaching.’” For whatever reason, and I can think of one that is more than plausible but best left unspoken, PW still hates the Bible but wants to leave room for the Qur’an to still be true in its theological and historical pronouncements, even though he finds the ethical and religious injunctions of the Qur’an impossibly hard to follow (contrary to its own empty-boast about being light and easy, Q. 2:185ff, 7:157, et. al).

As is often the case, PW’s relief on this score proves to be very temporary. For if we follow out this reasoning, it would have to mean that the Quran mentions two different books: the Bible (i.e. the canonical Gospels, the New Testament) and the Injeel (i.e. the original message given to Jesus). Furthermore, it would also mean: 1) when the Qur’an speaks of Christians misinterpreting the Bible at the time of Muhammad, it is not talking about the Injeel, for the Injeel was “largely lost to history”; and 2) when the Qur’an speaks of the Injeel being largely lost to history, it is not talking about the Bible that Christians had in their possession at the time of Muhammad, because they certainly must have had the Bible in their possession in order to (allegedly) misinterpret it.

The problem with saying that the Bible and the Injeel are two different books – one of which existed at the time of Jesus but was lost before Muhammad’s time, the other of which existed at the time of Muhammad but was being misinterpreted – is that the Qur’an does not mention these two different books. Anywhere. This idea is totally foreign to the Qur’an. It nowhere says that Christians have a book that is different than what was given to Jesus, and it nowhere says that the book given to Jesus is different than the book in the possession of Christians.

Worse than the above, not only does the Qur’an not make such a distinction, it actually contradicts it. To give just one example, the Qur’an says that Christians can find Muhammad in the (Torah and the) Injeel.

Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom THEY FIND mentioned in their own (scriptures), - in the law and the Gospel [i.e. Injeel]; - for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him, - it is they who will prosper. (Q. 7:157, Yusuf Ali)

If Christians did not have the Injeel at the time of Muhammad, then the Qur’an is wrong when it claims that they could find Muhammad in it. And if Christians (allegedly) could find Muhammad in the Injeel, then that means Christians must have had it at the time of Muhammad. And of course, since we have today what the Christians had at the time of Muhammad, then that means that Christians today have the Injeel.

This puts Muslims in quite a bind. Instead of crying down everything they don’t like in the Bible as a corruption of the original message sent down by God in the first century, they will now have to do the tough job of disproving that the Bible, i.e. the Injeel, teaches things like the following:

Jesus is God

Jesus became a human being

Jesus died, was buried and rose again for the salvation of sinners

Among other things.

There can be no question of corruption from a Qur’anic standpoint, and thus no cherry-picking of verses to avoid the obvious. The only option that is open to Muslims in light of what Professor Haleem admitted, i.e. the Qur’an does not teach that the Bible has been corrupted, and that the Qur’an demonstrates, i.e. the Bible is the Injeel, is the hard job of honest exegesis.

This is why Professor Haleem's devastating admission coupled with an artificial and false distinction could only provide temporary relief for those who want to give credence to the Qur’an, even those who have left Islam behind. PW should really just come all the way out and make a clean break with Islam, leaving behind not only any hope of being able to live up to the Qur'an's impossible requirements, but also any notion that it is true in its theological and historical teachings.


The good news for those who have ears to hear it, is that according to the uncorrupted Injeel, the true God does not first require us to live up to His dictates before He will love us; rather, we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). And God demonstrated his own love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). That is why Jesus could say in the Gospel that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). The love of God taught in the Bible is a saving and transforming love; the love of Allah taught in the Qur’an produces despair for those who are honest with the fact that they do not measure up to what Allah requires in order to be loved by him. PW has already learned the latter. Let's pray that he (and all Muslims) also comes to learn the former.

15 comments:

Sam said...

It keeps getting better and better. Check out Williams' latest post: http://bloggingtheology.org/2014/03/23/narratives-of-tampering-in-the-earliest-commentaries-on-the-quran/

Sam said...

Speaking of Zawadi, here is what Williams further said about his scholarship:

"However, Sam Shamoun and David Wood have repeatedly argued that the Quran does not teach textual corruption of the Bible. They would appear to be right.

"Bassam Zawadi has written many articles defending the view that the Quran teaches textual corruption of the Bible. But to be fair Bassam HE IS NOT A SCHOLAR and has never claimed to be one. Professor Abdel Haleem is a leading expert on the Quran in Arabic." (http://bloggingtheology.org/2014/03/22/2369/#comment-5690)

Man, you couldn't make this up even if you tried!

Mark Bennett (Dk) said...

Brilliant post Anthony, well said.

Whatever position you take in believing the Quran and it's Biblical confirmation ends up in complex dilemmas since the Quran is imperfect and man made. However the one taken by those of us Christians who have read the Qur'an has always been the most rational and tenable and direct closet to the text. To accept the clear meaning of the verses in question in the Quran is to apostatize from Islam, just like PW did, however Abdel Haleem has managed to find a slippery slop back up plan to help him remain in orthodoxy.

While Abdel Haleem is close to our view, he has some dazzling obstacles to over-come as you have pointed out.

One of the most significant comes in the form of 5:46-47:, which Shabir tries to distort into thinking we have two Injeel with Jesus (now lost) and one contemporary to Mohammed!

"However what he didn't tell his audience regarding the two verses he mentions is that he forcibly gave the appearance as if the Quran is referencing two different Injeels, in two different historical contexts. If however the audience were to read the passages in question, one could see something very important:

"And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear God. Let the people of the Gospel judge by what God hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. 5:46-47 Yusof Ali"

As you can see, what Shabir Ally has not told his audience is that these passages are actually side by side and referencing the same Injeel in the context, the Injeel of the past given to Jesus is the same Injeel the Christians are to judge by in Mohammeds time, the verses make no distinction between the two. God mentions what he gave to Jesus and then tells the Christians to judge by this very Gospel that he has given Jesus.

In fact it would be a huge blunder in the Quran if what Ally is suggesting is true. The Quran had just said that the Gospel contained guidance and light, and the Quran instructs Christians to judge by what Allah has revealed in this Gospel. Yet if God is telling the Christians to judge by a Gospel that is not identical to the one given to Jesus then the Gospel they are using and judging by is the Gospel without guidance and light from God.

The other problem is clearly if Ally's interpretation is correct then the Quran does a very poor job of distinguishing between the so called Gospel given to Jesus and the one possessed by the Christians, as all through out the passage the text assumes the same Gospel is in view."

For more see here:

http://www.answeringabraham.com/2012/02/shabir-ally-caught-red-handed-what-does.html

Mark Bennett (Dk) said...

This article I posted further supplements Anthony's post:

http://www.answeringabraham.com/2014/03/will-real-injeel-please-stand-up-by.html

I am going to make a rather bold claim. My claim is that there is only ONE verse in the entire Quran which MIGHT be interpreted to mean Jesus was given an exlusive Injeel TO HIM, rather than having an INJEEL written ABOUT him. (A common mantra, cited by Shabir, Bassam and Paul). That verse is the following passage:

"First lets look at his justification for believing a gospel was revealed directly to Jesus in the same sense the Quran was revealed to Mohammed. He uses Quran 5:46

And in their footsteps, We sent 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) confirming the Taurat (Torah) that had come before him, and We gave him the Injeel (Gospel), in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Taurat (Torah) that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for Al-Muttaqun

In the first place, nothing in the passage suggests that God giving Jesus the Gospel was suppose to mean Jesus or a companion of his did not write a gospel down about Jesus. In fact some Muslims take the view Jesus wrote his gospel and it was lost. Other Muslims take the view his teachings were oral, and were lost. Whatever view you take the verse never explicitly denies either of those views nor does it oppose the view that a gospel given to Jesus cannot be transcribed by his apostles or a companion of them.

Zawadi is therefore desperate in order to interpret this passage to logically negate the four gospels, that’s a complete non-sequitor and something far beyond the boundaries of the text itself.""

Mark Bennett (Dk) said...

Further down the article I write:

"Now that we have that distortion out of the way, there is one last point to note on Zawadi’s citation of 5:46 to appeal to a verse that says the GOSPEL WAS GIVEN TO JESUS. You see if Zawadi had any consistency at all, he would have to interpret the following verses exactly the same:

When it is said to them, "Believe in what God Hath sent down," they say, "We believe in what was sent down TO US:" yet they reject all besides, even if it be Truth confirming what is with them. Say: "Why then have ye slain the prophets of God in times gone by, if ye did indeed believe?" 2:91

God sent down a direct revelation to Jewish/Christian contemporaries of Mohammed?

Of course he did using Zawadi’s reasoning.

Muslims like Zawadi like to distinguish between God’s original revelation and the corrupted Revelation that contains aspects of truth. Here is an example of a verse Muslims believe refers to the original revelation:

Say: "O people of the Book! Do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in God, and the revelation that hath come TO US and that which came before (us), and (perhaps) that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?" 5:59

(Quick question: Do you think the People of the Book would disapprove of Muslims if Muslims were saying the revelation from before was “corrupt”? Of course! The question makes no sense only assuming God told them they had corrupted their own scriptures!)

That which came before refers to the revelations of purity and that which existed in pristine form, uncorrupt revelations of God. Yet in the Quran it’s true that Allah does not make the same distinction as Zawadi, since God can say Jews and Christians had a revelation given to them currently:

And lo! of the People of the Scripture there are some who believe in Allah and that which is revealed UNTO YOU and that which was revealed UNTO THEM, humbling themselves before Allah. They purchase not a trifling gain at the price of the revelations of Allah. Verily their reward is with their Lord. Lo! Allah is swift to take account. 3:199

Now either Allah was having a bad day or we have two possible interpretations.

1) The people of the book were sent down direct revelations; Christian contemporaries of Mohammed were really prophets like Mohammed.

2) The Quran does not distinguish between what was sent down to Jesus and what the People of the Book still possess e.g. “was revealed UNTO THEM” it presupposes the exact same revelation Jesus possessed was possessed still by his Christian followers, which is why the Quran appeals to it...."

For much more see here:

http://www.answeringabraham.com/2014/03/will-real-injeel-please-stand-up-by.html

Radical Moderate said...

So let me get this straight.

The Quran does not say the text of the bible is corrupt, only verse's have been concealed or distorted.

The Injeel that the Quran mentions is not the 4 Gospels found in the NT or the NT itself but that Injeel no longer exists.

So a book or books written by Men i.e the Bible\NT is not textually corrupt, but the Injeel given by Allah to Jesus is corrupt.

So man can produce a text that does not get corrupted but allah can not keep his book (The Injeel) from becoming corrupted and lost.

Every time Muslims try to make Islam sound good they just make it that much worse.

Mark Bennett (Dk) said...

Rad said: "So a book or books written by Men i.e the Bible\NT is not textually corrupt, but the Injeel given by Allah to Jesus is corrupt."

Exchange "corrupt" with "LOST", then the point still remains. (per Haleem)

Great analysis.

But it's even worse, since the Quran doesn't distinguish between the so called "lost" Injeel, and the Injeel in the very hands of the Christians. The only verse Muslims can appeal to, in order to try make such a false distinction is 5:46, but in context 5:46-47 (the injeel given to Jesus is also extant in Mohammed's time) are the same one. This topic is done. Muslims never had even the slightest capacity to address this critically or honestly.

Radical Moderate said...

I just thought of this. The Muslims who supported Paul Williams seem to be going through some of the stages of Grief.

1st Denial. That has been the reaction over the week. Total denial.

2. Pain and Guilt... Well since the usual suspects don't feel pain or guilt we can just skip this part.

3. Bargaining. That is where they seem to be now looking at the comments on Pauls blog by Muslims.

simple_truth said...

Radical Moderate said...

"So let me get this straight.

The Quran does not say the text of the bible is corrupt, only verse's have been concealed or distorted.

The Injeel that the Quran mentions is not the 4 Gospels found in the NT or the NT itself but that Injeel no longer exists.

So a book or books written by Men i.e the Bible\NT is not textually corrupt, but the Injeel given by Allah to Jesus is corrupt.

So man can produce a text that does not get corrupted but allah can not keep his book (The Injeel) from becoming corrupted and lost.

Every time Muslims try to make Islam sound good they just make it that much worse."

Hi, Radical Moderate.

Your last statement just about says it all. Islam cannot stand on its own--no matter how Muslims and their sympathizers try to paint a rosy picture of it.

From personal experience, I know that a lie can easily be detected because the foundation that it is based upon is always shifting. The truth, however, can be scrutinized but eventually never fails to be substantiated by the facts and reality around us. It's foundation ultimately always proves to be solid. Of course, that weighs on the fact that when we seek God, He gives us the discernment to know the truth about Himself and the reality around us.

simple_truth said...

Thanks, Bro Anthony, for the article.

I haven't really delved into Paul's articles lately, but I will take some time to thoroughly read them.

Keep up the good work of posing rational and logical approaches to discrediting those who insist upon trying to validate their position(s) without truly evaluating their opponent's reasonable and rational responses. Achieving their agenda is more important than than finding what is actually true.

May God bless you for you efforts to bring the light to the Muslims.

Nakdimon said...

Guys you wont believe what Yahya Snow posted on PW's blog. What he thought was a video explaining the Quran, actually is a video DESTROYING its claims!

He doesnt even watch the stuff he posts!

http://bloggingtheology.org/2014/03/22/2369/#comment-5729

Samuel Green said...

Very helpful. Thanks Anthony.

Lamb Of God said...

Great work!!

Javon Bundy said...

To those who seek the truth, my comment is that the Gospel says that Jesus' reply was to worship the Lord your God and serve Him only. It also states that Jesus questions someone by saying, "Why do you call me good? No one is good--except God alone." Hearing them words speak volumes, if one is to call themselves Christian. But when do these arguments stop? What is the truth? What is the real message?

Solutions Tuition said...

God will surely judge between us on the day of resurrection. God cannot be a man/ human being. Have you looked at nature? The mountains, the sea? Can man create a liver, a heart, can man open your pores for you to perspire? Who creates water? Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him) clearly says "worship your Lord AND MY Lord", he was a prophet of God, as was Muhammad(peace and blessings upon them). God clearly states that the liklihood of the birth of Jesus is no different to that of our father Adam (peace and blessings be upon them), both had miraculous births. So,if jesus (peace be upon him) is "the son" (astagfirullaah) of God, who is Adam (peace be uon him) ?? Can any human create sperm, expand his or her own lungs, create water/air, digest our own food, relieve ourselves without a greater almighty god being the Most Kind, The Most Generous, to not only Muslims, but to ALL of HIS creation.. So will you then receive admonition? I'm still wondering who invented santa clause because there is no mention of him in the injeel