Archive for the ‘John B Carpenter’ Category

Caner vs. Driscoll – Another Comparison

December 26, 2013

In an apparently removed article (available at the moment, here), John B. Carpenter made a comparison between Mark Driscoll’s alleged plagiarism and Ergun Caner’s alleged autobiographical embellishment. I wonder what Dr. Carpenter would have done if he had seen the translation of Bin Ladin’s 1998 fatwa provided the Federation of American Scientists (link) with the translation provided in the Caner brothers’ papers and books:

  1. “The Doctrine of Jihad in the Islamic Hadith” presented at the Evangelical Theological Society on November 15, 2001 (link to pdf of paper)
  2. “The Doctrine of Jihad in the Islamic Hadith” published in the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology (SBJT) Volume 8, Number 1 (Spring 2004)(link)
  3. “Unveiling Islam” published by Kregel Publications, (C) 2002, Chapter 13, pp. 181-84 (link to partial preview) (See note 1, p. 198, “Translation and emphasis by the authors of this book.”)
  4. “Christian Jihad” published by Kregel Publications, (C) 2004, Appendix B, pp. 228-232 (link to partial preview)

The two texts are very similar. One difference is that in quotations from the Koran, the FAS.org version uses KJV-style English – for example, the FAS.org version states (emphasis added by me):

This is in addition to the words of Almighty Allah: “And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? — women and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'”

Almighty Allah said: “O ye who believe, give your response to Allah and His Apostle, when He calleth you to that which will give you life. And know that Allah cometh between a man and his heart, and that it is He to whom ye shall all be gathered.”

Almighty Allah also says: “O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.”

By contrast the Caner brothers’ version uses contemporary English in most cases. However, in two cases, the Caner brothers’ version lapses into KJV-style English (emphasis again, is mine):

This is in addition to the words of Almighty Allah, “And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated and oppressed—women and children, whose cry is—‘Allah rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!’”

Almighty Allah said “O you who believe, give your response to Allah and His Apostle, when He calls you to that which will give you life. And know that Allah comes between a man and his heart, and that it is He to whom you shall all be gathered.”

Almighty Allah also says “O you who believe, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, you cling so heavily to the earth! Do you prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless you go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him you would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.”

You will notice a few other small differences, like “Our Lord” is replaced by “Allah,” but the most frequent change in this section is between the KJV-style English and modern English, except those two words “thee” and “hath,” which remain the same.  The reader can decide for himself how much weight to give to this evidence, but it’s hard for me to think of any strong reason why a translator working from the Arabic would use “thee” and “hath” in those two places, without using any other KJV-style English.

Moreover, Ergun Caner is aware of the FAS.org translation. In his e-mail correspondence “debate” with Nadir Ahmed in 2005-06, Dr. Caner referred to this very translation (link to “debate”).

Furthermore, recall that according to Norman Geisler:

The Charge that He Could Speak Arabic When He Can’t.—He only claims to be able to speak Arabic the way most non-Arabic Muslims do. Although he was raised in Sweden by a Swedish mother, Ergun learned enough Arabic (as most Muslims do) to read the Qur’an and speak it in prayer.

(source).

Incidentally, in both the paper and in “Unveiling Islam,” the Caners refer to the five men who signed the fatwa as “five Islamic caliphates.”  The term “caliphate” refers to the thing ruled by a caliph –  much like “kingdom” is that which is ruled by a king.  Additionally, the five men weren’t and aren’t caliphs. If the authors didn’t properly understand the term “caliphate,” did they really translate the fatwa themselves and arrive at a version that is so similar to the FAS.org version?  If so, it was quite a remarkable feat.

I wonder if any of Ergun Caner’s supporters have further light to shed on this question of whether the translation in Caner’s books and papers is actually his own, his brother’s, or some combination thereof.

-TurretinFan

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