Archive for the ‘Crucifixion’ Category

40 Arabic Words vs. 33 Greek Words

March 14, 2012

Just as 300 Greek soldiers stopped more numerous Persian warriors, so 33 Greek words are greater than 40 Arabic words, as James White and IV Connerly demonstrate:


Deedat and Jonah

December 15, 2011

I just listened to two Ahmed Deedat debates (contra McDowell and contra Douglas), both of which featured a very similar pair of arguments regarding the sign of Jonah.  Each debate features both arguments, with largely the same flourishes – though there were some differences.

The first argument is presented with a great deal of showmanship and buildup, but it boils down to this: Jesus said he would be like Jonah, Jonah was alive in the belly of the whale, therefore Jesus could not be dead in the tomb.  The flaw of the argument is fairly obvious: Jesus did not say that the similarity was that he would be alive for three days, but that he would be buried for three days.

Matthew 12:39-42 
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

As you can see from reading the argument itself, the point is not that Jesus would be alive, but that he would be buried.  This argument is about as weak as they come.

The second argument is that Jesus was not in the tomb for three full days and nights, but only only two full nights (Friday and Saturday) and one full day (Saturday).  This argument is slightly stronger.  Yet it is still problematic.

This argument is premised on understanding Jesus to be using the expression “three days and three nights” to mean “three full days and three full nights.”  However, that is simply the same term taken from Jonah 1:17, and there is no indication there that the term means precisely 72 hours.  Indeed, there is no particular indication from the context of Jonah 1:17 as to what time of day Jonah was cast into the sea.  We might surmise it was evening because he had gone to sleep, but the text does not tell us.

What else could the term mean?  Well, it could mean “three consecutive days.”  The places where we find this idiom is in the context of the rain of the flood (40 consecutive days Genesis 7:4 and 12), Moses’ fast during the time of the reception of the law and intercession for the people (Exodus 24:18 and 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9, 11, 18, and 10:10), the fast of the captured slave (1 Samuel 30:12); Elijah’s fast on the way to Horeb (1 Kings 19:8); Job’s seven days of silence with his friends (Job 2:13); and Jesus forty day fast (Matthew 4:2).  In each of these cases, the point of the idiom is the fact of an unbroken succession of days.

Thus, the forty day fast of Jesus (and Moses and Elijah) was not the like fast of the Muslims, who break their fasts in the evening.  Instead, it was unbroken.  The rain that flooded the whole world was not a month and a third of Seattle-like weather, it was 40 days of constant rain.

We even see a similar usage in the singular:

Esther 4:16  Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. 

Psalm 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Isaiah 34:10  It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. 

Revelation 14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Many other passages have the same usage.  See Leviticus 8:35, Deuteronomy 28:66, Joshua 1:8, 1 Kings 8:29 and 59, 1 Chronicles 9:33, 2 Chronicles 6:20, Nehemiah 1:6 and 4:9, Psalm 32:4, 42:3, 55:10, and 88:1, Ecclesiastes 8:16, Isaiah 27:3, 60:11, and 62:6, Jeremiah 9:1, 14:17, and 16:13, Lamentations 2:18, Mark 4:27 and 5:5, Luke 2:37 and 18:7, Acts 9:24, 20:31, and 26:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:9  and 3:10, 2 Thessalonians 3:8, 1 Timothy 5:5, 2 Timothy 1:3, Revelation 4:8, 7:15, 12:10, and 20:10.

The point is not 24 hour periods, but rather unbroken continuity.  Deedat has misinterpreted “three days and three nights” to mean 72 hours, when rather it means three successive days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

There is more to the rebuttal to Deedat, though.  Part of the sign of Jonas is that Jesus is greater than Jonah.  In fact, in the Luke account, the days in the tomb are not even mentioned.  How was Jonah a sign to the Ninevites?  He was like a man who had come back from the dead, having been spit out by the great fish that swallowed him.

Christ however, is much greater than Jonah, in that he really did come back from the dead.  Likewise, while Solomon was the wisest man, Jesus is greater than Solomon for Jesus is God.

Luke 11:29-32
And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

If only Deedat had read the Scriptures with eyes opened by the Holy Spirit.  But he did not.  Dear readers, do not follow his bad example of misunderstanding of the Sacred text.  Instead, properly understand the Scriptures and learn from them about the sign given to that adulterous generation and handed down to our adulterous day.


P.S. It was interesting to see that Dr. Douglas used some arguments around 1 hour, 42 minutes into the debate regarding the use of skeptics by Muslims – it reminded me of the arguments my friend Dr. White (who pointed me to the McDowell debate) uses.

Kadhafi Making Stuff Up?

November 18, 2009

I came across a reaction to what Kadhafi had said (link to reaction) (link to my own previous post on what Kadhafi had said).

Swordbearer writes:

Kadhafi, in a one hour lesson on Islam, to a paid audience, stated in regard to Jesus’ crucifixion: “They crucified someone who looked like him.” And his evidence is?????

This is just another example of an uneducated madman speaking about historical events he knows nothing about in order to deceive people into buying into more of his lies. … But hey, if he either doesn’t comprehend Islam which he professes or believes (in regard to women) he can make up his own rules, then why should we believe he wouldn’t make up stuff about other religions?

This is kind of an ironic criticism. Kadhafi’s evidence is the Koran. It’s not good evidence, I agree – but Kadhafi is a Mulsim: he believes what the Koran says, and the Koran says that Jesus was not crucified:

Surat al Nisa 4:157-158. “And because of their saying: ‘we slew the messiah Jesus son of Mary.’ Allah’s messenger-they slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared 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. But Allah took him up to himself.”

The Koran is wrong, but that is standard Islamic belief. Some say that “it appeared to them” because there was a replacement who was crucified, and some say that “it appeared to them” because Jesus survived the crucifixion without dying. Both are views within Islam.

I don’t know whether Swordbearer means to call Mohammed “an uneducated madman” pr whether he means to call Kadhafi that. I suspect the latter, but actually in this instance Kadhafi appears to be more familiar with Islam than Swordbearer is.


Gaddafi Party and Islam 101

November 17, 2009

Reformed Chicks Blabbing recently brought to my attention an article about a party that Gaddafi held in Italy to try to convert young women to Islam (link). Gaddafi put out a call for “500 attractive girls between 18 and 35 years old, at least 1.70 meters (5 foot, 7 inches) tall,” which was answered by about 200 Roman women.

The party turned out to be an attempt to proselytize the women. They were told about various teachings of Islam, given a Koran, and encouraged to convert. It does not seem that the women got quite what they expected. I found the following comment of note:

Others said they were offended by what they considered anti-Christian aspects of his lesson, including a claim that Jesus was not crucified but that “someone who looked like him” was put to death in his place.

Yes, this is Islam 101, the idea that Jesus was not put to death by crucifixion. There is a split of views within Islam, but the “replacement theory” is one of the more popular ways in which Jesus’ crucifixion is denied.

You cannot be both Muslim and Christian. Some of our most fundamental views of Christ are denied by Islam, including both his divinity (which should be more offensive) and his crucifixion.


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