Thursday, August 25, 2016

How are we saved? Shabir Ally & Samuel Green

It was a pleasure to meet with Shabir again. Here are a few post-debate comments for you to consider after watching the debate:

1. Shabir displayed the cover of, "The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible" translated by Martin Abegg et al, and claimed that it showed that some versions of Isaiah 53 do not have the servant die (21:44, 1:56:20). I asked for a reference to this claim during the debate (1:09:00) but none was given. I have this book and have now checked, and it does not make this claim. In this book the authors publish the text of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) Old Testaments books. They list any variants within the DDS and also compare to the LXX and Masoretic Texts. So do any of the Isaiah DSS say that the servant does not die? The answer is no. What follows are the verses from Isaiah 53 (pages 359-360) which indicate the death, or otherwise, of the servant:

53:7 ... like a lamb that is led to the slaughter ... (DSS, LXX, MT, all agree about death.)
53:8 ... For he was cut off from the land of the living ... (DSS, LXX, MT, all agree about death.)
53:9 Then they made his grave with the wicked, and with rich people (his tomb, DSS)/(in his deaths, MT)/(in his death, LXX).
53:12 ... because he poured out his life to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the their transgressions. (DSS, LXX, MT, all agree about death.)

The only variant about his death is whether the reading is “tomb” or “death” in 53:9. But as the death of the servant is also stated in verses 7, 8, and 12, and all sources agree, then it is impossible to conclude that the reference to “tomb” in DSS 53:9 is a denial of death because the death of the servant is stated elsewhere in verses 7, 8, and 12. For Shabir’s argument to work all of these other references to death would also need variants which offer an alternative to the death of the servant, but they do not. I am happy to be corrected but I cannot see any evidence from this book for the suggestion that in some Isaiah scrolls the servant does not die. Please read Isaiah 53 and make up your own mind.

2. He said there was no Old Testament prophecy about a specific individual called the Messiah to come (22:50). Again this is wrong. The Messiah is the son of David (2 Samuel 7:13-16, Psalm 2) and we are specifically told of a coming son (Isaiah 9:6ff et al) who will bring God's kingdom. This is basic teaching about the Messiah.

I will not go through every point. My hope is that debates such as these will help Christians and Muslims understand each others books and religions better. My concern is that Shabir presents his material with convincing confidence yet when I check these references they do not say what he claims. I hope that those of you who want to learn by watching these debates will check all of the references given by both speakers.


Reg Singh said...

Shabir needs to decide:

Does he want us to believe Sydney Griffiths or does he want us to believe the Quran?

Servant4yeshuah said...

Why does Shabir Ally look ticked off and down right scary all of the time?

Keith said...

Shabir Ally needs to decide also: does he want to continue believing in Muhammad, or does he want to come over to Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God?

Reg Singh said...

According to Shabir "Muslims have little difficulty with the Old Testament". Yet Shabir appears unable even to accept that YHWH is the proper name of the God of the Israelites in the Old Testament.

With regards to the name YHWH let me quote R.E.FRIEDMAN.

In the first place, the land (of Israel) is filled with Hebrew inscriptions, so I begin with that. These are not just an occasional inscription on a piece of pottery or carved in a wall. Nor should we even start with one or two of the most famous archaeological finds. Rather, there are thousands of inscriptions. They come from hundreds of excavated towns and cities. They are in the Hebrew language. They include people’s names that bear forms of the name of their God: YHWH. This means names like:
Hoshaiah, which means “YHWH Saved”
Ahijah, which means “YHWH is My Brother”
Shemariah, which means”YHWH Watched”

The inscriptions also refer to their kings. They include stamps and seals from official documents. They come from tombs where that land’s people were buried. They name people who are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. They include wording that also appears in the Hebrew Bible. They reflect a widespread community whose dominant language was Hebrew, who didn’t eat pork and WHO WORSHIPPED A GOD NAMED YHWH. (Emphasis mine). 

(The above was taken from Friedman's article “Does Israel Have No Roots There in History? “) Incidentally Friedman's book "WHO WROTE THE BIBLE" is recommended by Muslim apologist Misheal A. Al-Kadhi in his internet article “Corruption of the Torah”.

Can Shabir then cite a single Jewish prophet who rejected YHWH as the proper name of his God? The names of some of the Jewish prophets he quotes are actually based on the name YHWH. Even Jesus' own name contained YHWH as its divine element. And Jesus quoted many verses from the OT including the first commandment which recognises YHWH as the proper name of God.

Since Shabir has only a "little difficulty with the Old Testament" can he then tell us if he recognises YHWH, which is given nearly 7000 times as the only proper name for deity in the Old Testament, as the proper name of the God of the Jews?

Reg Singh said...

According to Shabir “in the Torah there is no concept of the life Hereafter. The promises of god, in the Torah as we have it now, the promises of god are mainly for this life”.

Again this presents more than a “little difficulty for Muslims”. Because if the Torah does not teach a belief in the Hereafter than it could not have been revealed by Allah. And if Allah did not reveal the Torah then the Quran is a lie. We should remember that in the Quran, Moses DOES teach a belief in the Hereafter. This is why Shabir in the statement above questions the authenticity of the present Torah.

Shabir then needs to cite credible evidence to show that there once existed a Torah that taught a belief in the Hereafter or concede that Muhammad was a fraud.