Archive for the ‘DrOakley1689’ Category

Response to Muslim Apologist

May 3, 2008

I recently came across the following Muslim apologetic video, which I do not endorse (obviously), but to which I have prepared a response. (link)

A quick personal note. This is one of the calmest, kindest, and most reasonable Muslim apologists I’ve seen on-line. He’s also one of the most well-dressed. The gold-bordered robe and turban are very nice. I also appreciated his kindness toward the Christian apologist (DrOakley1689) to whom he was responding.

The person in the video (mujtahid2006) uses three main arguments:

1) According to the man in the video, Mohamed taught caution toward the Bible. “Do not believe anything in the Bible and don’t disbelieve anything that is in the Bible.”

a) This doesn’t seem to be a fully accurate translation. There are two seemingly relevant alleged sayings in the Hadith, and the person in the video seems to be relying on the following one:

Narrated Abu Huraira: “The people of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and then explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. Allah’s Apostle said (to the Muslims). ‘Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, ‘We believe in Allah and whatever is revealed to us, and whatever is revealed to you.’ ” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Holding Fast to the Qur’an and Sunnah, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 460)

Notice that this translation indicates that it is the people (not the books) that are not be believed or disbelieved. But to answer the man in the video, we do are not persuaded that this account in the Hadith is genuine – i.e. original. The bottom line is that it is not in the Koran. It is not an account that claims to be handed down from Allah, and to be unchanged.

b) But there is also another saying in the Hadith, which seems to be at variance with a portrayal of Muslim attitude toward the Bible as merely “caution.” Here is that second saying:

Narrated Ubaidullah: “Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘Why do you ask the people of the scripture about anything while your Book (Quran) which has been revealed to Allah’s Apostle is newer and the latest? You read it pure, undistorted and unchanged, and Allah has told you that the people of the scripture (Jews and Christians) changed their scripture and distorted it, and wrote the scripture with their own hands and said, ‘It is from Allah,’ to sell it for a little gain. Does not the knowledge which has come to you prevent you from asking them about anything? No, by Allah, we have never seen any man from them asking you regarding what has been revealed to you!’ ” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Holding Fast to the Qur’an and Sunnah, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 461)

Notice in this account the accusation of change and manipulation. Here Mohamed is described as saying that Muslims should not investigate the Bible, because they have newer revelation. Again, of course, this is not taken from Koran, but from the Hadith. Thus, it is not part of the supposedly “pure, undistorted, and unchanged” book that Allah supposedly gave to Mohamed.

It seems that this would, however, be the better quotation to provide to rebut the fact that early Muslims did not allege corruption of the Bible. Nevertheless, DrOakley1689’s view seems to be that this Hadith is a later addition – i.e. that it is not a genuine teaching of Mohamed.

2) There is support for the Islamic accounts of Jesus in other gospels.

The person in the video cites to a lot of works that he seems to believe provide support for an Islamic image of Jesus. One significant problem with this claim is that he cites to works that have no historical connection to Jesus. They are typically from books that are well recognized as having been written (at the earliest) about a century after Jesus’ resurrection.

3) Jesus was less than the Father – and therefore finite – and not God

The person in the video argues that Jesus says, that “The Father is greater than I.” The person then assumes that this is a reference to the infinite-ness of God. That’s not the case. The case is that Jesus is subordinate to the Father. The Father/Son metaphor is itself designed (at least in part) to convey that subordination within the Trinity, although that subordination does not imply inequality. Recall, that when Jesus indicated that he was the “Son of God,” the unbelieving Jews considered it blasphemy, because such a title indicated his equality with God.

Of course, the underlying danger is that the apologist using this verse does not believe it to be a true statement of Jesus. The “Jesus” (Isa) of the Koran could not possibly have said that “The Father is greater than I,” in reference to God, because the Koran claims that God does not beget. Thus, the Muslim cannot really use this verse to say that Jesus claimed to be less than the Father. Instead, the Muslim can really only try to use this verse to claim that the Bible is somehow inconsistent, as the person in the video appears ready and willing to admit. However, this alleged inconsistency is easily answered, as demonstrated above. Thus, the purity and consistency of the Bible is maintained.

I should note that, while I was writing this, DrOakley1689 himself had begun to provide a response in several parts, and I have now updated this post to include all four parts. Dr. White (DrOakley1689), in his videos, provides some response to other arguments that are presented in video.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV



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