Friday, 12 April 2013

Blinded by Hate?

by Rafael Princ MA

This is a response to Ibn Anwar and his article ‘
The teachings of Jesus and the Bible(s) that are not taught in your church’ (*) where he tries to ‘prove’ that Jesus taught hate instead of love. This article is aimed to expose and refute this so-called Islamic apologist. We will show that this individual is indeed ‘blinded by hate’ towards the true teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He doesn’t stand alone in his blinding hatred towards the Christian faith as we can see in the comments this article received.

Army of Jesus is Islam said:
August 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm
Selamu alaykum,
I must say that this one of the best works presented in great contrast by brother (ibn Anwar) great work …

Let’s investigate this ‘great work’ and show how this person lacks basic Biblical understanding and historical context.

Most of the answers given below are already made available by different Christian scholars and apologists. Because we aren’t about to invent the wheel for a second time, we will just post the available answers with some additions from our side.

Ibn Anwar writes:

Christian polemic: The teachings of Jesus are based on love!

If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26)

My Response:

Ibn Anwar tries to demonstrate, by quoting Luke 14:26, that our Lord preached hate instead of love. Yet the only thing he demonstrated is his clear ignorance of Biblical exegesis and the historical usage of the word ‘miseo’ (hate).

In his article, Does Luke 14:26 teach literal hate?, J.P. Holding writes:

Abraham Rihbany (The Syrian Christ, 98f) points to the use of "hate" in the Bible as an example of linguistic extreme in an Eastern culture. There is no word, he notes, for "like" in the Arabic tongue. "... [T]o us Orientals the only word which can express any cordial inclination of approval is 'love'." The word is used even of casual acquaintances. Extreme language is used to express even moderate relationships.

Luke 14:26 falls into a category of "extreme language," the language of absoluteness used to express a preference, and may refer to disattachment, indifference, or nonattachment without any feelings of revulsion involved. To seal this matter completely, let's look at some parallel materials which prove our point. The closest example comes from Genesis 29:30-1:

And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.

Here, "hated" is clearly used synonymously with one who is loved less. Let it be added that if Jacob hated Leah in a literal way, it is hardly believable that he would consent to take her as his wife at all. (See also Judges 14:16 and Deut. 21:15-17.)

Now here is another example from Jesus, Luke 16:13:

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

Such extremes of feeling would be atypical, but the extremes are not meant to be taken literally; the point is that one master will get more dedicated labor than the other
. (

In fact, a parallel account of the teaching in Luke 14:26 is given in Matthew 10:37:

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me."

When Matthew paraphrases the words of Jesus in this passage, he makes sure that the range and intent of the utterance in seen in its SEMITIC LIGHT. In other words, he preserves less of the ambiguity of the original saying of Jesus in order to make sure that the correct nuance is made explicit. In so doing, he shows us the Semitic idea of 'lower preference' is recognized as the intended meaning behind miseo in this passage.

Ibn Anwar argues:

And Jesus illustrates the above love in his treatment of his own mother.

"Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call himA crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You."Answering them, He said, "Who are My mother and My brothers?" Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers!" (Mark 3:31-34)

Is that how you honour, respect and love your parent? If your mother came looking for you and have walked all the way from her place to yours and appears on your doorstep and her presence is announced to you would you ignore her and instead look at your close friends and ask out loud with your mother there waiting for you, "Who is my mother?" and then you say your friends are your mother? Can a rational and loving son ever do such a thing seriously? One would not expect a loving and respectful son to do something so silly. One would expect a loving son to graciously welcome the mother into the house and perhaps offer her a foot massage after the walk she has taken. And you know what? The passage ends there! It does not say that Jesus invited her mother into the house and gave her a fruit punch or a cup of tea. The message is clearly disrespect. Undoubtedly we have a passage wherein Jesus calls for honouring parents as the law dictates in the Old Testament and we also have Colossians 3:20 saying that children must obey their parents. These passages however do not change the fact that Luke 14:26 and Mark 3:31 to 34 teach people to dishonour and disrespect their parents. Both set of opposing passages cannot be true unless you have schizophrenia. The conflicting passages are contradictions. Nevertheless Luke 14:26 and Mark 3:31 to 34 are strengthened …

My Response:
Ibn Anwar admits that there are explicit verses in the Bible that are opposing his views regarding this issue. Nevertheless he holds to this position (i.e. Jesus taught to hate) because of the verses he provides. So when we will refute his misunderstanding of these passages (as we done with Luke 14:26 so far) he is left with no other choice than to concede to those ‘opposing’ verses.

Now let us proceed to the raised objection. It becomes unboundedly clear that this so co called Islamic apologist has no idea about the context or the exegesis of this verse.

Because J.P. Holding has already successfully addressed the ‘argument’, we will quote his work.

Mark's report of this incident, which Tulbure [the name of the sceptic whose argument is discussed by Holding] ignores in this context and does not connect to this narrative, says that the family came because "went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself." (Mark 3:21) The word "lay hold" is krateo and signifies taking hold fast (as in taking by the hand), or seizing by strength -- it is the same word used of those who came to arrest Jesus (Matt. 26:57). "Relatives normally sought to conceal other relatives' behaviour that would shame the family" in ancient times, even as today [Keener commentary on Matthew, 370].

Jesus' mother and brothers – but not his sisters -- this was no "friendly family outing" but the head of the household arriving with the "goon squad" to pick up the wayward brother -- showing up and declaring openly that he was mad, and wanting to seize and hide him, sounds like the "disrespect" had its origins in another place."

No earthly relationship can have higher priority than that of one’s relationship with God. Putting God first means putting Him ahead of family. So it become obvious that Jesus didn’t intend to be rude or inappropriate. He was just pointing out that the bond between believers will supersede that of ‘natural’ family.

Ibn Anwar couldn’t possible object to this, because the Qur’an is very clear on this issue.

Parents and children are not to obey each other if either party warships other than God.

029.008 YUSUFALI: We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did

Do not be intimate with the unbelievers; they will hate you and ruin you.

003.118 YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs, if ye have wisdom.

For Muslims, real friends are God, His apostle (Muhammad) and the fellowship of pious and charitable believers.

005.055 YUSUFALI: Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers,- those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship).

Ibn Anwar continues:

Nevertheless Luke 14:26 and Mark 3:31 to 34 are strengthened by two other passages from Jesus.

"I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism* to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father* against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. (Luke 12:49-53)

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:34-39)

These passages are explicit in showing that the Biblical Jesus was adamant to break the family unit. No wonder if we go to many Christian societies today we find that their children have no respect for their parents at all. In fact, in America and such places it is considered culturally TABOO to stay with one’s parents after high school.

My Response:

The verses quoted above have nothing to do with Christian families not respecting each other. They speak about the division that the Word (Hebrews 4:12) will bring. Some will accept the Word (i.e. Jesus), other won’t. So the division will be between the believers and unbelievers. Jesus was just foretelling what his word will bring forth, namely tension between those that are willing to do good and repent, and those who don’t want to change there evil ways. However, Jesus nowhere tells believers to break with their families.

Let us address Matthew 10:34 in its proper context, i.e. Matthew 10:22-40

22 "You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. 23 "But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes. 24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
26 "Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 "What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent ? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 "So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. 32 "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.10:33 "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. 34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 "For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36 and A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. 37 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 "He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. 40 "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.

We note from verses 22-25, that it is the diciples (believers) that will be opposed and hated because of the Name (Jesus Christ) they follow. The intense hatred of the unbelievers towards the Messiah will be directed towards the people that choose to follow him. It is them that will reject the sincere seekers and followers of the Messiah and that will lead towards division even between family members.

The raised points concerning certain alleged taboos (in American society) are irrelevant to our discussion of the meaning of Jesus’ words.

Besides a clear lack of understanding the Muslim author also demonstrates his use of double standards. The Qur’an itself is guilty of the objection raised by Ibn Anwar.

Allah is commanding the Muslims to separate themselves from their blood relatives if they choose to reject Islam. This will cause division between families, a division between ‘’believers’’ and unbelievers, a division comparable to that described in the Holy Bible. However, notice that it was the action of the disbelievers who rejected the true believers and followers of Christ and then that resulted in division. Yet in the Qur’an the Muslims are being commanded to take initiative to break family bonds (when family members choose not to accept Islam).

Unbelieving father, brothers are not protectors; believers should not be friendly with them...

009.023 YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong.

The believers should not take even their fathers, brothers, or sons as friends if they resist God and Muhammad:

058.022 YUSUFALI: Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein (for ever). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Truly it is the Party of Allah that will achieve Felicity.

Don’t be friendly with the disbelievers; they are God’s enemies.

060.013 YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Turn not (for friendship) to people on whom is the Wrath of Allah, of the Hereafter they are already in despair, just as the Unbelievers are in despair about those (buried) in graves.

Will Ibn Anwar reject his Qur’an for being guilty of the objection he had raised?

Ibn Anwar continues:

Now, when we put the passages together the ones that preach family breakdown clearly win out against the solitary passage attributed to Jesus about honouring one’s parents. It’s 4 (Luke 14:26, Mark 3:31-34, Luke 12:49-53, Matthew 10:34-39) versus a small section in Matthew 19:19 which says, "honour your father and mother". The four very explicit and quite elaborate passages win!

Thus, according to the Bible(s) the teaching of Jesus is founded on HATE as Luke 14:26 clearly conveys.

My Response:

The only thing that seems to have won is Ibn Anwar’s ignorance in regard to the true teaching of the Holy Bible. His points have been answered and refuted. His conclusion is based on a false understanding of Scripture in its historical context. This has been clearly documented in this article.

Ibn Answar claims:

In fact, Jesus taught that those who will not accept him as king must be slain.

"But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.’" (Luke 19:27)

What Christian commentators have understood from this text is that after the ‘period of grace’ has ended Jesus will return to wage war against those who refuse him and call for their deaths. As Jamieson-Fausset-Brown commentary says, "bring hither, &c.-(Compare 1Sa 15:32, 33). Referring to the awful destruction of Jerusalem, but pointing to the final destruction of all that are found in open rebellion against Christ." [1]

Let’s have a look at the passage they have asked us to compare with Luke 19:27.

"Then Samuel said, "Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites." Agag came to him confidently, thinking, "Surely the bitterness of death is past." But Samuel said, "As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women." And Samuel put Agag to death before the LORD at Gilgal." (1 Samuel 32-33)

The same is mentioned by Matthew Henry in his commentary, "Bring them hither, to have their frivolous pleas overruled, and to receive sentence according to their merits. Bring them, and slay them before me, as Agag before Samuel."

"19:27. In contrast with the two servants who had axpected the king’s return, the enemies of the king were put to the death in the king’s presence. The analogy of this parable was clear to Jesus’ hearers. Jesus was going away to receive a kingship." [2]

What the above means is that Jesus will kill or order the killing of those who do not recognise him as king just like the analogy in Luke 19 shows.

The commentator Adam Clarke differs from other Christian commentaries in that he proposes the slaying mentioned by Jesus should occur shortly after Jesus said those words in verse 27.

"Those mine enemies… bring hither. The Jews, whom I shall shortly slay by the sword of the Romans." [3]

The same fate will befall those who do not accept Jesus. They will be utterly killed. What peace is the Christian missionary trying to offer?

The point of Luke 19:27 is quite clear in conveying the picture of death and destruction of those who do not accept Jesus. Where is the peace?

My response:

Let’s post Luke 19 in its entirety and derive the interpretation from the text rather than forcing our own thoughts upon the text. By doing so, we will expose the double standards and his ignorance regarding Biblical exegesis of this particuler neophyte in Islamic polemics.

19:1 He entered Jericho and was passing through.
19:2 And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich.
19:3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable * because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.
19:4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.
19:5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house."
19:6 And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly.
19:7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner."
19:8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much."
19:9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.
19:10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
19:11 While they were listening to these things,
Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.
19:12 So He said, "A nobleman, * went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.
19:13 "And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, 'Do business with this until * I come back.'
19:14 "But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.'
19:15 "When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done.
19:16 "The first appeared, saying, 'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.'
19:17 "And he said to him, 'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.'
19:18 "The second came, saying, 'Your mina, master, has made five minas.'
19:19 "And he said to him also, 'And you are to be over five cities.'
19:20 "Another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief;
19:21 for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.'
19:22 "He *said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow ?
19:23 'Then why * did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest ?'
19:24 "Then he said to the bystanders, 'Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.'
19:25 "And they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas already.'
19:26 "I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
19:27 "But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence."
19:28 After He had said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
19:29 When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples,
19:30 saying, "Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one * yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here.
19:31 "If anyone asks you, 'Why * are you untying it?' you shall say, 'The Lord has need of it.' "
19:32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them.
19:33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt ?"
19:34 They said, "The Lord has need of it."
19:35 They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it.
19:36 As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road.
19:37 As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen,
19:38 shouting: "BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest !"
19:39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples."
19:40 But Jesus answered, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!"
19:41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it,
19:42 saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace ! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.
19:43 "For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side,
19:44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because * you did not recognize the time of your visitation."
19:45 Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling,
19:46 saying to them, "It is written, 'AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,' but you have made it a ROBBERS' DEN."
19:47 And He was teaching daily * in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him,
19:48 and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said.

The following explanation is taken from the "Answering Deedat Blog":

We notice first and foremost, that the words spoken in verse 27 are those in a parable (verse 11). Hence, Jesus is not commanding His disciples there and then to slay the people before Him. As much as this neophyte wants to show Jesus committing violence in the gospels, he cannot do so. In fact, Jesus says emphatically that He came to save that which was lost.

Then Muslim will object and say "But the master is surely referring to Jesus Christ Himself" to which I would agree, however, this is referring to the end times, not the time of Jesus’ disciples.

Verse 11 tells us, that people supposed that the Kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. Jesus speaks this parable to correct them. Note verse 41 talks about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. He then goes on to give a prophetic utterance in verse 43, speaking of the times when violence would come upon them. "For the days will come", show that He was obviously speaking of the future, not the present. This matches the prophecies in Revelation concerning the end times when the antichrist will make war against the Lamb (Jesus).

"These will wage war against the Lamb , and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." Revelation 17:14.

Those who make war with Christ in Revelation 17:14 correspond to the enemies in Luke 19:27, those who hated Him in verse 14. What we see is an example of such persons who hate Jesus and do not desire for Him to reign over them in Luke 19:47.

As we can see, by allowing the text to be read in its entirety, the notion that Jesus is slaying people in the gospels is duly refuted. On the contrary He is weeping over Jerusalem and coming to them in the form of a slave to save them who are lost.

It should be mentioned that a Muslim has no position to condemn the battle of Armageddon as unnecessary violence by Jesus for two simple reasons:

1. It is the enemies of Christ who initiate the war (Rev 17:14).
2. Islam itself teaches a violent end-times scenario as well:

To substantiate point 2 above, we quote:

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler);
he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it." Abu Huraira added "If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): -- 'And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (i.e Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being) Before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness Against them." (4.159) (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657)

Acoording to the ruling of Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 1368) from The Reliance of the Traveller, the classic Shafi manual of Islamic jurisprudence:

"... the time and the place for [the poll tax] is before the final descent of Jesus (upon whom be peace).
After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus' descent (upon him and our Prophet be peace)1

And the Islam Q&A website quotes in one of their fatwas:

Imaam Ahmad narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The Dajjaal will emerge at a time when religious commitment is low and knowledge has decreased… Then ‘Eesa ibn Maryam will descend just before dawn and will call people, saying, ‘O people, what is stopping you from coming out against this evil liar?’ They will say, ‘This man is a jinn’, then they will set out. When they reach ‘Eesa ibn Maryam, the time for prayer will come the iqqamah will be given, and it will be said to him, ‘Go forward (to lead the prayer), O Spirit of Allaah.’ He will say, ‘Let your imaam go forward and lead you in prayer.’ When they have prayed fajr, they will go out to meet him (the Dajjaal) and when they see the liar, he will start to dissolve like salt in water. ‘
Eesa will go to him and kill him. Even the trees and rocks will call out, ‘O Spirit of Allaah, here is a Jew!’ And none of those who followed him will be left, they will all be killed." (Hadeeth no. 14426). (Source)

So we see that on that day (the second coming of the Messiah) the only religion that will be accepted is Islam. Eesa (Jesus) will abolish all other religions and kill the ones that oppose him and side with the Dajjaal (i.e. the Jews).

Muhammad Ali Ibn Zubair, author of The Signs of Qiyama (Judgment Day) states:

Dajjal appears. His followers, the Yahudis, will number 70,000 … [Then] Hadrat Isa (honorable Jesus) kills the Dajjal at the Gate of Hudd, near an Israeli airport, in the valley of "Ifiq." The final war between the Yahudi’s will ensue, and the Muslims will be victorious.2

Will Ibn anwar reject his Qur’an because it is quilty of his raised objection, namely a violent end times scenario?

Ibn Anwar stated:

Christian polemic: Love your enemies, but don’t invite them into your house!

Do you know why Christian missionaries love to darken your doorstep rather than inviting you to their own homes? In fact, those Christians who do invite Muslims or people of other religion into their abodes MUST STOP! This practice is expressly prohibited by their sacred text.

"Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching,
do not take him into your house or welcome him." (2 John 1:9-10)

My response:

Again a false assumption based on his misunderstanding of Biblical Scripture. The verse adresses false teachers and not unbelievers in general.

If anyone comes to you and does not BRING this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him." (2 John 1:10)

Note that the verse is very explicit. It talks about someone BRINGING another teaching than that of Christ.

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible

receive him not into [your] house;

neither into the house of God,
suffer him not to preach there; nor into your own house, give him no entertainment there: false teachers always tried to creep into houses, where they served their own turn every way, both by feeding their bellies, and spreading their pernicious doctrines; and therefore such should: be avoided, both publicly and privately; their ministry should not be attended on in the church, or house of God; and they should not be entertained in private houses, and much less caressed: (Source)

So this verse doesn’t prohibit us from inviting Muslims to our house, yet it forbids giving false teachers entertainment.

It should be mentioned (again) that a Muslim has no position to condemn such teaching cause Islam itself teaches the very same thing that this Islamic polemicist objects to.

O ye who believe!
take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust. (S. 5:51 Yusuf Ali)

Tafsir Al Jalalayn states :

O you who believe, do not take Jews and Christians as patrons, affiliating with them or showing them affection; they are patrons of each other, being united in disbelief.
Whoever amongst you affiliates with them, he is one of them, counted with them. God does not guide the folk who do wrong, by affiliating with disbelievers. (Source)

You will be considered an unbeliever when you affiliate with non-Muslims. So forget about inviting them to your home!!

Will Ibn Anwar now reject the Qur’an for not meeting his standards?

Ibn Anwar further states:

Christian polemic: Muslim law is barbaric! Why do you chop off people’s hands for stealing?

What these Christians fail to realise is that their own teacher teaches amputation.

"And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." (Matthew 5:30)

The same message is repeated in Matthew 18:8,

"If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble,
cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire."

We see the same message again in Mark 9:43,

"If your hand causes you to stumble,
cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire"

You should even gouge your eye out!

"So if your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your body parts than to have your whole body thrown into hell." (Matthew 5:29)

These laws are too heavy for the henpecked and emasculated Christians romanticised by so called humanitarianism that they have altogether abrogated these laws from Jesus by saying that they are mere parables and metaphores not meant to be taken literally. The Christians really need to be consistent with themselves. In the exact same passage we find those verses so loved by Christians that they cannot miss a day without quoting them namely, verses 39 and 44. One says "if someone strikes you on the right cheek, give him the other also" and the other says "love your enemies". These two are taken to mean literal but those verses prior to them should not? This is laughable. The fact is Jesus taught those things literally. Just because Christians do not have the stomach to follow his words to the letter does not render them moot. The Christians need to start listening to Jesus and pluck their eyes out for all the sins they have committed!

My response:

This Muslim author is really getting desperate in trying to discredit the Holy Bible. Even simple logic says that what Jesus is commanding is not a literal action. Why? Would the loss of one eye or one hand prevent lustful look or thought via the other hand or eye? Of course, not, because the problem is not the eye or the hand. They are morally neutral instruments.

As Paul writes to the Romans:

Therefore do not let sin reign (command to stop a practice already occurring) in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting (stop an action which is already occurring) the members of your body (eyes, hands, ears, etc) to sin (refers to the old sin nature still latent in believers) as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:12; 6:13; 6:14)

Peter gives similar advice ...

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain (continually hold yourself away from = present tense, middle voice) from fleshly lusts, which wage war (present tense = continually carry on a military campaign, not just one skirmish but fleshly lusts are personified as a rebel commander carrying out a long-term guerilla campaign with the intend to capture, enslave and destroy) against the soul. (1 Peter 2:11)

And this is exactly how it has been understood by Christians and Biblical scholars over time. For a overview of scholars and their commentaries concerning this topic please visit
this page.

Yet again, it is clearly shown that most Muslim apologists lack basic understanding of the Christian Scripture. Where necessary, we will continue refuting their deceptive and ignorant arguments.


1 The Reliance of the Traveller and Tools of the Worshipper, a Classic Manuel of Islamic Sacred Law, Translated by Noah Ha Mim Keller, (Amana Publications, Beltsville Maryland, revised 1994) p. 603.
2 Muhammad Ali Ibn Zubair, The Signs of Qiyama, translated by M. Afzal Hoosein Elias, online here.



Thursday, 11 April 2013

Is there Jihad in the Old Testament?

By Dallas M. Roark, Ph.D.

I received this email from Rajib H. who wrote the following letter to me. One of the problems in the letter is quoting a verse in the Old Testament without any context. Someone has said something like quoting a verse out of context is a pretext for mis-understanding. So it is here. Surely the death of anyone anywhere who is not an evil person is a sad thought. For evil people there is little remorse over their demise. Life is a gift of Yahweh and this life is to be respected. Murder of innocent people is an insult to Yahweh who made humans in his image. So let’s read the email and see what can be said about it.

From: Rajib H. (rajib_h…
Greeting to brothers and sisters, i think that you should know who started jihad, massacared, genocide. so that here are a list of biblical verses who deal with counter intiutiveness.
Joshua 11:10-11, 6:21, 10:25-28
Judges 1:17, 3:28-29
All these things has orderd by the God of the bible to make massacared and genocide on innocent earliest dwellers with the strict order to kill every man, women and even childrens. Tesfaye you may see these veres and say to me as many christians does by saying '' this was not about religion but this was about territory(land) unlike you muslims do'' But the truth is just look at the following verses which shows these killings (massacards) has been done for the sake of religions or faith not for territory(land).
Exodus 32:27-29, 22:19-20

Dear Rajib H.

You are claiming that jihad began in the Old Testament. I suppose that the first thing we must define is jihad itself. What is jihad? The term is not in the Old Testament. However, it is found in the Muslim culture. The concept of fighting is an important idea in the Qur’an. Check the following:

And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.” (8:39 Hilali-Khan translation, also in the following quotations)

“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (8:67)

Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (9:29)

“It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it).” (9:33)

Jihad (holy fighting in Allah's Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (2:216)

So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah's Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until the war lays down its burden. Thus [you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out Jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam (i.e. are saved from the punishment in the Hell-fire) or at least come under your protection], but if it had been Allah's Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost,” (47:4)

Mohammed was the model of jihad participating in a number of battles and planning others.

The respected biographer, Muhammad bin Ishaq, one of Islam’s greatest scholars wrote about Mohammed’s call to jihad and the battles he planned and fought. (The Life of Mohammed, by Mohammed bin Ishaq, trans. A. Guillaume, Oxford University Press, 1967, pp. 281-490)

The same prescription is given in the traditions about Mohammed:

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause."... (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25)

What are the effects of this teaching in the Qur’an and the hadiths? Under the leaders who succeeded Mohammed the Muslims continued what Mohammed had done in Arabia. About three years after Mohammed died, Damascus fell, Antioch fell the next year, and two years later, in 638, Jerusalem fell. By 642 all of Egypt had fallen and the conquest continued for years to come until the Muslims were stopped at the battle of Tours in AD 732. Not only did the conquest move west but also east. The slaughter was horrible. Everywhere people were killed, enslaved, women raped, and there was destruction of nations and cities. In terms of lives lost the estimate has been made that 270 million people have been killed by the Muslims since the time of Mohammed (see

Jihad has been practiced against people of all kinds of nations, all kinds of belief system, and for 1400 years. It is still going on in modern times against anyone who is a non-Muslim.

Hopefully, we now know what Jihad is in the Muslim sense.

Now we must turn to the story of the Bible to see if there is any kind of jihad there. You claim that it is not about land, but about religion. If you will read the verses below you will discover that it is about land in the very beginning of the story of Abraham in which Yahweh promised the land. In your statement, you have overlooked the history of the Old Testament. You must read the whole story. Let’s begin with Abraham and what Yahweh promised him. We will have to look at the whole chapter:

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." But Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir." And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir." And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. And he said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess." But he said, "O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?" He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then the LORD said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites." (Gen. 15:1-21 ESV)

If you care to think about this passage you can find a background to the passages you quoted without regard to any context. Abraham’s offspring would be in Egypt all that time as pilgrims then would be enslaved before being liberated by Yahweh. All this time would amount to over 400 years. This is the patience of Yahweh concerning people who sinned greatly against his holiness. A variety of idolatries were practiced, even human sacrifice to Molech, temple prostitution in the worship of Baal, and many other sins.

Does 400 years seem like impatience? There seems to come a time when judgment must fall and Yahweh is the one doing the judgment. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah the time came. In the case of the inhabitants of Canaan the time came. The pronouncement of judgment is seen in the following passage.

When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. You shall serve the LORD your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.” (Exodus 23:23-25)

If you care to consider these verses, there are limitations on the judgment. It is restricted to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites. No one else!! There is no reference to Babylon, there is no connection to any other nation except these listed. There is no command to wipe out the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Arabians, the Persians, or anyone. There is no command to conquer the world and force or compel it to become Jewish.

Once this judgment was passed there are many commands about welcoming and protecting the sojourner in their midst.

Before the events of judgment on these groups we have the words in Exodus,

but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.” (Exodus 20:10)

You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21)

These were non-Jews and there was respect for them.

Part of the reason for the judgment upon Jews centuries later announced by the prophet Ezekiel was,

The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice.” (Ezekiel 22:29)

The last prophet in the Old Testament declares God’s word,

Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:5)

One more perspective is important for seeing what happens in the Old Testament concerning judgment. Here the issue is that after 400 years Israel is used by Yahweh to bring judgment on these people. However, Israel is warned that if they are disobedient to Yahweh they will be judged. The prophets of the Old Testament announce again and again that God’s judgment is coming by means of another nation destroying them.

“Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets." But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them. And they abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only. Judah also did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight. When he had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD and made them commit great sin. The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day. (2 Kings 17:13-23)

The view of history is expressed also in the following passage:

“So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.” (1 Chronicles 5:26)

Jeremiah, the prophet also declares God’s activity in judging Israel by another nation. Not only was Assyria punished by Yahweh’s use of another nation, but that nation would be punished also for its sins. The following passage declares this:

Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has gnawed his bones. Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria.” (Jeremiah 50:17-18)

Not only would the Babylonians come as Yahweh’s judge on Israel, but the sin of the Israelites would be such that Yahweh declares He will make them a terror to themselves. Note the following passage:

For thus says the LORD: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall strike them down with the sword.” (Jeremiah 20:4)

The warnings from Yahweh had been made repeatedly and the most sacred place in Israel was Jerusalem and its temple. The judgment of Yahweh was that the city would be destroyed and the temple burned.

For I have set my face against this city for harm and not for good, declares the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.” (Jeremiah 21:10)

The punishment on Israel would last for 70 years in their captivity in the land of Babylon and then they would return to Israel. At the end of the period of time, the captive people would be free because Babylon would fall and that kingdom would be no more.

“Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste.” (Jeremiah 25:12)

The punishment or visitation of its iniquity upon Babylon was executed when the city was taken, after a long and difficult siege, by the allied Medes and Persians under Cyrus’ command. This was in 538 BC, just 68 years after Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar for the first time. From the time of the fall of Babylon the sovereignty passed to the Medes and Persians.

No, I don’t think jihad began in the Old Testament. It began with Mohammed.

We should now look at the passages of Scripture that are used to suggest jihad in the Old Testament. The first is:

“... then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, "Who is on the LORD's side? Come to me." And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.'” And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell.” (Exodus 32:26-28)

What has gone on here? The word of Yahweh to Abraham was in the process of being fulfilled. After years of slavery in Egypt they are now being delivered. They have knowledge of the plagues on their masters in Egypt, they have experienced the Passover in which their first born children are saved in the night of the Passover, they have experienced deliverance from Pharaoh’s army at the Sea, they have experienced daily food that Yahweh provided out of nowhere, they have seen His provision of water, they have seen Yahweh’s presence day and night and in the most awesome way at Sinai where Moses was given the Law. They also have been grumbling, complaining, rebelling, and wanting to return to slavery in Egypt rather than being free in the land that was promised to Abraham. Some of the people persuaded Aaron to make an idol out of their jewelry and they regarded the idol as the god who brought them out of Egypt. (32:4)

These were direct insults to the mercy and grace of Yahweh. What ingratitude!! What thoughtlessness!! How warped were their reasons that they could know all this and turn against Yahweh. In light of this, the rebellious were dealt with. They were judged for their iniquity. There is no command to the Levites that they should pursue other nations to forcibly bring them under the rule of Yahweh. Neither has there been a command to the nation or people of Israel to do that. It seems reasonable to think that the idolaters were the only ones killed since there were still people left to continue the journey.

The second passage is:

Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death. Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the LORD alone, shall be devoted to destruction.” (Exodus 22:19-20)

First, this is a passage that relates to the life of Israel in its strictest sense. These people were chosen by Yahweh to be a blessing to the world, and one of these blessings related to the promise of the Messiah that would come in their midst, foretold by the prophets in the Old Testament. Yahweh wanted a faithful people. Second, there were lots of idol worshipers in the world in those days and there was no jihad called for against them. The list of people, Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites, were the only ones singled out for judgment. Third, idol worship can do no good for anyone and the demands are immoral. Some of these people sacrificed their children to the gods, others were involved in temple prostitution as in the case of Baal worship, and the gods gave nothing in return. Fourth, why would one turn from a Being who delivered you from slavery to an idol that could do nothing in response? Fifth, idolatry was like a cancer that would spread through the whole body of people if it were not stopped. Sixth, again, it must be emphasized that this was a very limited command related to the people of Israel, not other cultures. There were old cultures, Indian, Chinese, and others that were idolaters and nothing is pronounced against nations away from Israel.

The third passage is:

“And Joshua turned back at that time and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms. And they struck with the sword all who were in it, devoting them to destruction; there was none left that breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire. And all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua captured, and struck them with the edge of the sword, devoting them to destruction, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded. But none of the cities that stood on mounds did Israel burn, except Hazor alone; that Joshua burned.” (Joshua 11:10-13)

This passage gives an example of Yahweh using one nation to bring judgment on the evil nation whose time had come. The same idea relates to Israel later when the Assyrians are bringing judgment on the northern Kingdom and the Babylonians were bringing Yahweh’s pronouncement of judgment on the southern kingdom, or Judah. If Yahweh cannot judge his creation, who can? If one must condemn Joshua and his people, then one must also condemn the Assyrians and the Babylonians. Rather, the Old Testaments describe Yahweh as the Lord of History and Ruler of His Creation.

The fourth passage:

“And Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight." And afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees. And they hung on the trees until evening. But at the time of the going down of the sun, Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and they set large stones against the mouth of the cave, which remain to this very day. As for Makkedah, Joshua captured it on that day and struck it, and its king, with the edge of the sword. He devoted to destruction every person in it; he left none remaining. And he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho.” (Joshua 10:25-28)

This passage fits into the same category of the one above and the comments related to it.

The fifth passage:

“Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword. But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, "Go into the prostitute's house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her."” (Joshua 6:21-22)

Rajib listed only 6:21, but the context of the story is interesting in many ways. First, it was an act of Yahweh who brought down the walls. Joshua’s people only marched around the city for 7 days blowing the trumpet but it was Yahweh who brought down the walls. Second, it was again the people coming to re-claim the land promised to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob. These were the people who were in Egypt in slavery, not anyone else connected to Abraham. Third, it is interesting that a prostitute’s life was spared by her faith and commitment to Yahweh’s people. Her faith in Yahweh saved her. She was not stoned. There is forgiveness for prostitutes. Is there forgiveness for prostitutes in Islam?

The sixth passage is:

“And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they defeated the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath and devoted it to destruction. So the name of the city was called Hormah.” (Judges 1:17)

This passage still relates to the campaign to take possession of the land that Yahweh had given them.

The seventh passage is:

“And he said to them, "Follow after me, for the LORD has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand." So they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites and did not allow anyone to pass over. And they killed at that time about 10,000 of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest for eighty years.” (Judges 3:28-30)

The book of judges has a theme of “
each man did what was right in his own eyes,” and general deterioration of loyalty to Yahweh is described in the many chapters. The theme is repeated many times in which the people fall away, the judgment of Yahweh takes place allowing invaders to come and enslave them until they are desperate and cry out to Yahweh to deliver them. In this case, the Moabites had come and subjected the people for many years.

When they repented of their sins, Yahweh raised up a leader who brought deliverance and in this case they were fighting for their country again. The enemy was killed and they had rest and peace for 80 years before another falling away took place and the process was repeated.

In conclusion, the concept of jihad as the Muslim world views it does not exist in the Old Testament. The fulfillment of the promise to Abraham involved Yahweh’s judgment on the peoples there. Yahweh is still Lord of history!! To understand the Old or New Testament one must read the whole story.

Thanks for writing. If you have other questions I would try to answer them.




Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Bart Ehrman: A Hero for Islam?

By Keith Thompson

Many Muslims adore the New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman because he is a former Christian who is now a critic of the New Testament. He has authored numerous books attacking the validity of the New Testament including Misquoting Jesus. In turn Ehrman’s claims have been challenged and addressed in subsequent articles and debates.
1 Muslims often exploit Ehrman’s work and parade his anti-Christian rhetoric in videos and articles. But is Ehrman really a hero for Islam? Or does he hold to historical views that are detrimental to Islam?

The aim of this article is to do two things. 1. Show that Bart Ehrman grants four major and fundamental things concerning the life of Jesus and about Christianity that Islam denies. 2. To give reference material to those who are confronted with Muslims who appeal to Bart Ehrman as a hero for Islam. This article will demonstrate that many of Bart Ehrman’s writings are useful tools against Islam.

Topic 1: The Crucifixion of Jesus
The vast majority of Muslims rejects the Crucifixion of Christ because their Qur’an rejects this historical event. In the Qur’an we read:

And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. (Qur’an 4:157, Pickthall)

It is quite clear that this religion teaches its followers that Jesus’ crucifixion was just an act of deception on the part of Allah. The Qur’an teaches that Allah deceived everyone to think Jesus was crucified but that it didn’t actually happen historically speaking. This claim is very problematic and it flies in the face of 1st and 2nd century historical data. For this reason the supposed hero of Islam, Bart Ehrman rejects Islam’s position that Jesus wasn’t crucified and he has openly stated that he believes Jesus was crucified according to the available data. In his work ‘The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings,’ he states:

In any event, Tacitus's report confirms what we know from other sources, that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate.

So it seems that the hero for Islam agrees with the Christians about Jesus being crucified. This is valuable information and is very useful to bring up to anyone who touts Ehrman as the hero of Islam.

Topic 2: Paul the Usurper or Real Apostle of Christ?
Many modern Muslims hate Paul because Paul clearly taught Christ’s divinity in his writings. Even though there is a strong case to be made that Paul was a true apostle according to the Qur’an and early Muslim sources (
*), many Muslims do not hesitate to slander and even mock the Apostle Paul. Many Muslims claim that Paul was not a true apostle. They claim that he simply came in later and corrupted everything somehow.

However, Bart Ehrman does not share this radical belief. In fact Bart Ehrman defends Apostle Paul as an early reliable source of information for the life of Jesus. Ehrman contends that, based on the evidence, the Apostle Paul knew the original disciples of Jesus and became one of them.

In a radio interview the Infidel Guy challenged the notion that Jesus even existed and claimed that there is no real evidence for him existing. Ehrman, confused at the assertion because virtually no scholars hold this view, corrects the deceived radio host. They then debate and Ehrman states the following:

We have one author who actually knew Jesus’ relatives and knew his disciplesPaul….It’s not an embellishment that Paul met with James in Jerusalem.

So what we have is Islam’s hero Bart Ehrman destroying modern Muslim belief about Apostle Paul. Ehrman, along with the majority of serious scholarship holds the view that Paul was a true disciple of Jesus Christ who met with the leaders of the early church shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion, not a usurper.

Topic 3: Jesus was buried & His Apostles Reported Visions
Muslims deny that Jesus was crucified. Islam teaches that Jesus was rescued from the cross by Allah and that someone was made to appear like Jesus on the cross. However the hero of Islam, Bart Ehrman, although he disputes the type of burial Jesus had, does concede that Jesus was most likely buried and that his disciples most likely did have visions where they believed they saw the risen Christ!

Dr. Ehrman remarks:
What I think we can say with some confidence is that Jesus actually did die, he probably was buried, and that some of his disciples (all of them? some of them?) claimed to have seen him alive afterward. Among those who made this claim, interestingly enough was Jesus’ own brother James, who came to believe in Jesus and soon thereafter became one of the principle leaders of the early Christian church.

Since Islam denies that Jesus died and was buried one can logically assume that they deny that Jesus’ followers had multiple experiences in which they thought that they had seen the risen Christ. I am not aware of any Islamic text which states that the post resurrection appearances were delusions from Allah. However the supposed hero of Islam grants all of this based on the early data. It looks like Bart Ehrman holds to historical views which undermine Islam in a very strong way.

Topic 4: Does the Bible anywhere teach that Jesus is God?
It is a common theme for Muslims to assert that nowhere in the Bible does it teach that Jesus is God. Many debates have been waged on this very subject. Muslims believe that it is shirk (unforgivable sin) to associate partners with Allah. This is why Muslims will try to make a case that the Bible doesn’t teach that Jesus is God. Because they don’t understand the Trinitarian doctrine they believe we are associating another being with God. However the Trinity doctrine teaches that there is one being of God existing in three persons, not three beings. One Muslim apologist Sami Zaatari has stated:

I don’t believe the first four gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John… I don’t believe preach he is God at all. I believe they preach that he is the Messiah, a prophet and that’s it. And he did mighty miracles and great works.

This is a bold claim but does Islam’s anti-Christian hero Bart Ehrman share the same view as Zaatari? Or does Bart Ehrman admit that there are passages in the Gospels that teach Jesus’ deity?

Bart Ehrman refutes Zaatari’s distortion and states:

The Gospel of John …goes a long way toward identifying Jesus himself as divine (see e.g., John 8:58; 10:30; 20:28).

These are the verses which Ehrman believes attest to Jesus’ divinity in the Gospel of John:

Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." (John 8:58, NASB)

"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30, NASB)

Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28, NASB)

Although Muslim apologists will claim that the Gospels don’t teach that Jesus is God, Islam’s supposed hero Bart Ehrman lists three passages in the Gospel of John that he feels clearly attest to Christ’s divinity.

In conclusion, we learn that Ehrman grants many things that Islam emphatically denies which should make people wonder why they hold this man in such a high view. We learn that Ehrman accepts four important historical facts that Islam rejects about Jesus and early Christianity. Ehrman grants Jesus’ death on the cross, the reliability of Paul as an apostle and acquaintance of the disciples, Jesus’ burial, that Jesus’ followers had experiences in which they believe Jesus appeared to them, and that the Gospel of John teaches the deity of Christ. This information should be useful to anyone who is confronted by Muslims who tout Bart Ehrman as a hero for Islam. Bart Ehrman’s views should in fact be used as a weapon against Islam.

Christ has risen, he is Lord.

1 For a few articles and debates regarding Ehrmans views see: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
2 Bart Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, Oxford University Press, 2000], p. 197
3 Infidel Guy Interview with Bart Ehrman (31:50 – 35:38)
4 Bart Ehrman, Jesus, Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, [Oxford University Press US, 1999], p.229
5 Sam Shamoun vs Sami Zaatari Debate: Is Jesus God? Time slice (3:49 – 4:05)
6 Bart Ehrman, Whose Word Is It? [Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006], p. 161