Yet Another Follow Up Response to a Muslim's Continuing Denial
Regarding the Quran's Confirmation of the Holy Bible
We resume our discussion of Yahya Sulaimans rebuttal.
Shamoun responds to my "inconsistent" pointing out of his own inconsistent claims of what the term "Gospel" means with the argument that the term "Gospel" itself has an inconsistent meaning, variably being "good news", "the four Gospels of the Bible collectively" or "the New Testament". The subject at hand, right from my original "Six Reasons" article, is whether it means "the New Testament" in the Koran, not whether it does mean that here but not there. If Shamoun is taking the side that the title of al-Injeel/The Gospel doesnt necessarily refer to the New Testament as a whole, he may as well not be disputing my original argument in the first place, which was against Christians who claim that "the New Testament" was the meaning of the term "al-Injeel".
Let me correct the author. I showed that the meaning of Gospel is Good News. The Good News here refers to God sending his beloved Son in order to reveal the true God to humanity, as well as to save the world through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. In other words, the Gospel refers to the entire Christ event, i.e. his life, deeds and teachings. These teachings arent simply limited to what Christ himself personally taught while on earth, but also include the revelation that he gave to his disciples after being glorified in heaven. This Gospel has been codified and preserved by God in the written corpus we call the New Testament. This is why I said that the term Gospel in a broader sense encompasses the entire NT corpus since the NT is the revelation of Christ which he gave to his followers to pass on to the Churches. Hopefully, the author gets it this time.
He goes on:
But there is no way that the Koranic use of the term "the Gospel" can possibly mean anything except a single writing by Jesus (on whom be peace) himself, and this is yet another piece of proof for my position which I neglected in both preceding articles. (I guess there are just so many reasons for it being impossible for al-Injeel to be the New Testament that I just cant keep track of them all! Maybe I should have spent more time and made my "Six Reasons" article into something more like a "Twelve Reasons" article in the first place.) The Koran tells us in 5:46 and 57:27 that al-Injeel was revealed or given to Jesus (on whom be peace), and al-Injeel is referred to unequivocally as a written scripture in many Koran passages such as 48:29 and 7:157all of these passages talking about al-Injeel and al-Taurat in the same place, which is always in refererence[sic] to them as scriptures throughout the entire Koran. (As for the Koran referring to itself as a whole, which it does, by name, it cannot compare to the New Testament doing so or not doing so, since it is a fact that the New Testament is a volume of separate writings by separate articles whereas it is only a speculation, held by a minority of scholars of all manner of opinions of the Koran and its authenticity, that it is a "work of multiple hands"a subject Ive tackled elsewhere on the site anyway.)
It becomes pretty tiresome to constantly address the same points over and over again. Not only does the author contradict his previous statements, but also completely ignores my response to these points. He says that the Quran refers to the Gospel as a written text but doesnt want to see how this soundly refutes his claim, and establishes my position. For instance, here are some of the passages which the author mentions in order to see how this refutes his case against me:
those who follow the Messenger, 'the Prophet of the common folk, whom they find written down WITH THEM in the Torah and the Gospel, S. 7:157 Arberry
We are told in this passage that Muhammads contemporaries had the Gospel WITH THEM, which the author clearly states is the very Gospel which Jesus received. Thus, Jesus Gospel was available during the seventh century. This is reiterated here:
And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus son of Mary, confirming the Torah before him and We gave to him the Gospel, wherein IS guidance and light, and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition unto the godfearing. So let the People of the Gospel judge according to what God has sent down therein. Whosoever judges not according to what God has sent down -- they are the ungodly. S. 5:46-47
Again, addressing the Christians of Muhammads time the Qurans author exhorts them to uphold the Gospel which Jesus received. This presupposes that the true Gospel was still extant in the seventh century A.D.! Otherwise, how could the Christians of the seventh century judge according to the Gospel if it wasnt in their possession?
Muhammad is the Messenger of God, and those who are with him are hard against the unbelievers, merciful one to another. Thou seest them bowing, prostrating, seeking bounty from God and good pleasure. Their mark is on their faces, the trace of prostration. That is their likeness in the Torah, and their likeness in the Gospel: as a seed that puts forth its shoot, and strengthens it, and it grows stout and rises straight upon its stalk, pleasing the sowers, that through them He may enrage the unbelievers. God has promised those of them who believe and do deeds of righteousness forgiveness and a mighty wage. S. 48:29 Arberry
The above passage speaks of a description within the Gospel which could be found by the Muslims of Muhammads time. Like the above two quotes, this verse takes for granted that a true, uncorrupt Gospel was available for examination at the time of Muhammad. Some Muslim commentators even suggest that the source for the above parable is actually Mark 4:27-28! More on this below.
By admitting that these references refer to the original Gospel of Jesus, the author has once again conceded my point. He has basically proven my argument that Jesus Gospel was available during Muhammads time. And yet we have been constantly asking him to show us what that Gospel was, and to prove to us that it couldnt be the fourfold Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, or even a reference to the entire NT canon. After all, how would Christians of the seventh century have understood the Qurans clear statements that they were to uphold the Gospel which was with them? Would they have assumed that this Gospel was something other than the NT corpus, or other than the four canonical Gospels which they had? Of course not. So here is our plain challenge to the author:
Since you have essentially admitted that Jesus Gospel was extant and available during the seventh century, please provide the historical documentation showing what that Gospel was.
Make sure to provide the historical data proving your point that the Gospel which the Quran claims was available during Muhammads time wasnt the same thing as that found in the NT corpus, that it wasnt the NT canon.
Since the author brought up surah 7:157, we want to post what he has recently written about it elsewhere:
THE PROPHECY IN DEUTERONOMY 18
Christians and Muslims disagree, and frequently argue, over whether this passage prophecies Muhammad (on whom be peace), being the prophecy of him IN THE PENTATEUCH THAT THE KORAN MENTIONS IN SURAH 7, VERSE 157, or if it prophesies Jesus (on whom be peace): (Source; capital and underline emphasis ours)
The author then quotes Deuteronomy 18:15-19, and links it to the Torah mentioned in surah 7:157! Yet, in another article the author denied that the entire Pentateuch was the revelation given to Moses:
It is also a commonly held theory in secular biblical scholarship that the Pentateuch is not one text by one author (and certainly not entirely written by the blessed Moses, since it chronicles his death!), but four, alternating texts which the scholars mark E (Elohim), J (Jahweh), P (Priestly) and D (Deuteronomy). (Source)
In other words, the author has further refuted and contradicted himself, as well as further proving my case, by admitting that the Torah which the Quran mentions is none other than the Old Testament Pentateuch!
What is even more amazing is that he ends up contradicting what he just said in the very same article!
2. The Pentateuch of the blessed Moses (called "the Law", but obviously the whole Pentateuch, since the writings as a whole were revealed to him.
Talk about mass confusion!
Finally, the author erroneously states that the Quran does refer to its entire collection as the Quran, but failed to prove it. There isn't a single reference indicating what the exact length of the Quran actually is. The author only knows what the exact number of chapters and verses of the Quran are by consulting sources outside the Quran. Since he essentially ignored this argument as well, we issue some additional challenges:
Please produce a statement from the Quran which says that the number of chapters that Allah supposedly gave Muhammad are only 114.
Please provide further evidence from the Quran indicating what the name of those chapters are.
If youll remember, dear reader, one of my six points used a quotation from an encyclopedia of religion, and rather than discuss the main point except in a could-have-might-have way, Shamoun simply showed other parts of the same entry of the encyclopedia which disagree with my Islamic views exegetically, as if leaving out something like that when verifying a specific point about when the Bible was translated into Arabic is somehow tantamount to taking a statement out of context. Now he claims that it is a fact that the Koran contains errors, simply because he and his comerades[sic] at Answering Islam says they do here and here, and that the fact that there are parallels between Islamic scripture and older traditions automatically means that the former "borrowed" from the latteran allegation which means nothing to Muslims, who believe that the Koran contains the truth from all traditions, which one would hardly expect would just happen to be in the same arbitrarily put together canon or heading entirely. (See this sites article "How the Korans Parallels in Various Traditions Actually Validates It" for more on this).
If youll remember, dear reader, we addressed his quote from an encyclopedia of religion and showed that it didnt prove his point, but actually backfired against him since it proved that Muhammad was mistaken and committed errors. The author denies that the Quran contains gross errors simply because he says that there arent any. In other words, circular reasoning. The author also assumes that the Quran contains the truths from all the traditions, when in reality it distorts and perverts them, often citing unhistorical events and mythical stories as facts. (See these papers which soundly refute the authors claims, demonstrating the rather human origin of the Quran: http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Sources/index.html; http://answering-islam.org/Books/Jeffery/Vocabulary/index.htm)
It is sadly in the nature of debates, especially religious ones, that when someone is losing they gradually let their debating lapse into accusations, insults and personal abuse. This is what Shamoun starts doing at this point; the readers must judge for themselves why the coincidence. He starts by responding to my leaving alone passages which do not have any bearing on my points or are at least of the same could-have-might-have-who-knows? variety by saying, "Basically, the author is showing that he hasnt even carefully read the rebuttal which he claims to be responding to, and decided to simply piece together a short paper in order to give his readers the impression that he is actually addressing the issues." From this he more or less immediately moves on to: "In the previous paragraph, the author appealed to these same fallible hadiths to show that Muhammad was illiterate, and yet he now calls into question the reliability of these same narrations when they dont serve his purpose or when they throw a monkey wrench in his agenda." Guess what, Shamoun: (a) you cant read my mind, and (b) I did not make any attempt to show that the Prophet (on whom be peace) was illiterate but only said that we have no traditions from the time which disagreed with this. Is it not fair to consider a general tradition thats considered common knowledge and spoken of in many ahadith more likely to be accurate than one, single hadith pointed out (a specific one about Waraqa) which I have dismissed for a stated reason, regardless of Shamouns cynical mudslinging?
We have already addressed his ad hominem and logical fallacies canard, so we wont waste time addressing that again. And we will leave it up to the readers to decide who in fact is losing this debate badly.
The author denies that he said Muhammad was illiterate. Here again are the words of the author:
Shamoun goes on to say that just because there is no evidence for the Bible having been translated into Arabic at the time doesn't mean that it wasn't, and speaks of it being a possibility--which I never denied or contradicted, but the rational and universal practice is to disbelieve in something for which there's no substantial evidence until substantial evidence emerges. Shamoun adds that there was no need for the Bible to have been translated into Arabic for Muhammad (on whom be peace) to have been learned in it, which is true, BUT ALL TRADITIONS OF HIM SPEAK OF HIM BEING ILLITERATE and none speak of him being bilingual. This leaves only the possibility of someone translating it to him--which was unlikely due to the extremely low literacy rate and which there is no substantial evidence for anyway. So as you can see, even though my point is not absolute proof and never said it was, it remains intact, regardless of Shamoun's confidence that he had shattered it.
We post the relevant part one more time:
BUT ALL TRADITIONS OF HIM SPEAK OF HIM BEING ILLITERATE and none speak of him being bilingual .
[ Side remark: Please note the authors non-sequitur since illiterate and bilingual are different concepts. There are people who are monolingual but literate (most Americans only speak English, but they usually are able to read and write English), and others that are bilingual and illiterate. There are plenty of people who can speak several languages but cannot read or write any of them. Particularly in some parts of Asia or Africa where neighboring tribes have different languages people may be able to speak several languages of the region plus the official language of the country even though they have not learned to read and write. ]
As the readers can see the author did not simply say that no traditions disagreed with Muhammad being illiterate. He tried to show that the traditions definitely, positively and explicitly say that Muhammad was illiterate. In reality, there is a breadth of evidence from the hadith literature which actually support that Muhammad was quite literate, contrary to what the author wishes to believe: http://answering-islam.org/Index/M/muhammad.html#unlettered
Furthermore, I clearly mentioned that the Waraqa story is not a single, isolated case, but one that is extensively documented throughout the hadith and sira literature. Instead of addressing this, the author simply repeats his position as if this constitutes as proof.
The author proceeds to beg the question:
More could-haves about the fallibility of the Sunnah and the general traditions about Muhammad (on whom be peace). A claim that the only Gospels that the compilers of ahadith and sunnah would have access to were the four ones of the Bible. We already know from the previous articles in this debate that there were at least two others, The Infancy of Thomas and The Gospel of the Nazarenes, and those are just the two weve pointed out. Next Shamoun lapses immediately back into insults and accusations in place of argument, this time adding blatant misrepresentation of my argument. I mentioned the eyebrow-raising fluke of how it is only to be expected that in a book written after 100-200 years after the events it chronicles through word-of-mouth oral tradition, only a couple of facts left would be true, and what do you know! The Koran has only a couple of parallels with the book. Shamoun replies with a stunningly, embarrassingly flawed response of, "Talk about circular argumentation! The author assumes that those portions of the Apocrypha which the Quran quotes are historically authentic. And how does he know this? Well, because the Quran quotes them, thats how!"
The author really seems to enjoy contradicting himself. Earlier he said that the Gospel was a text given to the Lord Jesus. He also quoted references that spoke of the Gospel being available at Muhammads time and connected that to the Gospel given to Jesus. Now, he wants to say that the Gospel that the Quran mentions may in fact be the Infancy of Thomas or the Gospel of the Nazarenes. But this brings us back to the very point which I had raised in my previous rebuttal. To begin with, if the Infancy of Thomas is the Gospel of Jesus Christ then this means that Jesus passed on a text which included details regarding his adolescent years. In other words, Jesus Gospel wasnt simply a set of commands that he passed on, but also included details about his birth and younger years. This further implies that Jesus Gospel only includes material relating to his early life, since the Infancy of Thomas doesnt record Jesus adult life and ministry.
Second, if the Gospel that the Quran has in view is actually that of the Nazarenes, then this essentially refutes the Quran. The Nazarenes were thoroughly orthodox in that they affirmed both the deity of Christ, his divine Sonship, as well as his crucifixion and resurrection, truths which the Quran vehemently denies. This suggests that the Gospel that they had was thoroughly orthodox in content, since it is quite unlikely that they would hold to a Gospel which contradicted their core beliefs. And as I had mentioned in my previous reply, their Gospel was said to be a Hebrew version of Matthew. Thus, if the Quran is indeed confirming the Gospel of the Nazarenes then this essentially proves that the Quran is confirming at least one of the canonical Gospels as divine! The authors argument basically proves that Matthews Gospel is that which God revealed to Jesus, since this is the text which underlies the Nazarenes Scripture.
Third, the author assumes that certain parts of the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas are correct historically solely because these parts are quoted within the Quran! Talk about a classic textbook example of circular reasoning. These parts are true because the Quran says so!? On the contrary, since the Quran quotes these fables and fictitious anecdotes as fact it cannot be the Word of God. It is a fallible book written by a rather uninformed person who lied and claimed that God revealed it.
The author turns his attention to the meaning of the word Gospel:
After irrelevant remarks of why Christians accept certain miracle stories over others, Shamoun does something I have never seen any Christian do in all my life, and this includes when I was steeped in Christians and Christianity of countless denominations at school almost all through high school: he claims that the term "the gospel" means anything other than "the good news of Christianity" in the Bible. I find it odd how he finds it odd that Romans 1:16-17 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 would carry this meaning. I dont see why it puzzles him. As for Mark 1:14-15, it doesnt look strange at all in the translation I always use, the RSV. Does anyone reading this who is Christian think that "the gospel" as a biblical term ever refers to the New Testament, especially since each book of it existed before the New Testament itself existed? The same goes for the Four Gospels collectively (the capital "G" changing the meaning for reasons unnecessary to explain).
I must say that here, Mr. Sulaiman is clearly not telling the truth. I never said that the Gospel means something other than "good news." I actually went out of my way to prove that it does. I said that the Gospel, Good News, refers to the life, deeds, words, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, as well as the revelation that Christ gave to his apostles and prophets for the Church. I further went to show that that specific revelation is preserved in the pages of the New Testament.
He addresses the Qurans statement that God gave Psalms to others besides David:
As for the Koranic passages referring to prophets being sent and being given "the Psalms" and "the Book Illuminating" and what not, it is as simple as, "I sent mail carriers out to my friends houses with letters and boxed items." This statement does not necessarily mean that each neighbor got both a letter and a boxed item, now does it? In the same way, the Psalms, for example, being listed as something that existed among the prophets does not mean that more than one of them had the psalms of God revealed to him. Then Shamoun goes into "the Torah and the Bible" issue and his continuing misunderstanding of the concept of confirmation of scriptures in the Koran, and once again I have to refer you back to the earlier parts of the article and Koran 2:75-79 and its clearly Jewish-based context, and around we go again.
Note the logic being employed here. Despite the Quran clearly saying that God sent messengers (in the plural) with the Psalms, the author still says that this doesnt mean that other messengers besides David were given Psalms! In other words, no matter what evidence anyone may present, no matter what the Quran may say, the author has made up his mind that the Quran cannot be confirming the entire Bible, especially the entire biblical collection of Psalms.
The authors example is again supportive of our case, not his. One would understand by the authors statement that either all of his friends received both items, or some received letters while some others received boxed items. No one would conclude from the above formulation that only one person received a boxed item, whereas all the rest received letters. The only way that one would assume that only one of the friends received a boxed item is if the author specified this, by explicitly stating this in some way. As the statement stands, there is nothing to suggest that only one individual received a boxed item. Likewise, one would understand from the Quranic verses that God gave the Psalms to more than one messenger, just as he gave the Book to more than one person.
The Quran never explicitly says that only David received the Psalms. In fact, the Quran even refers to the Psalms which were in the possession of the people before Muhammad:
And it is surely mentioned in the Psalms of the FORMER PEOPLES. S. 26:196
Historically, the people before Muhammad had more than just the Psalms of David. Thus, for the Quran to refer to the Psalms of the former people essentially proves that the Quran is acknowledging the divine inspiration and authority of all of the Psalms in the possession of the Jews and Christians. To show why this point is inescapable just compare how the above passage has been variously rendered:
Truly it is in the Scriptures of the ancients. Arberry
It has been prophesied in the books of previous generations. Khalifa
The author would obviously have no hesitation believing that the Scriptures of the previous people, which the above translations mention, are the Books given to various messengers. The author would not hesitate to say that these former Scriptures were given to more than one messenger. In a similar manner, since the text actually refers to the Psalms in the possession of the former people then by the same token we must conclude that the Quran is acknowledging the existence of other Psalms besides the ones given to David. The only real reason why the author would even object to this point is because he would have to admit he was wrong and would therefore need to correct his position.
The author claims that we have misunderstood what the Quran means, all the while failing to refute our exegesis. The author simply tries to brush aside all those verses which clearly refute his position.
Finally, since he basically ignored our link that discussed surah 2:75-79 it seems we have to post our response to his distortion of this passage:
B. Muslims say that the following passage also proves Bible corruption:
"So woe to those who write the Book with their hands, and then say, This is from Allah, that they may sell it for a little price. So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for their earnings." S. 2:79
This seems to imply Biblical corruption until we look at its original context:
"Can you (O men of faith) still earnestly desire that they (the Jews) will believe in you? And verily a party (fariq) among them hear the Word of God, then they pervert it knowingly after they have understood it. And when they meet the believers they say, We believe, but when they meet each other in private they say, Why do you tell them what God has revealed to you (in the Torah), that they may engage you in argument about it before their God? What do you not understand? Do they not know that God knows what they conceal and what they make public? Among them are unlettered folk who know the Scripture not except from hearsay. THEY BUT GUESS." S. 2:75-78
Once the passage is read in its proper context, we discover that it is not speaking of Jews and Christians corrupting their Holy Book, but rather unlettered Jews who were ignorant of the content of the scriptures who falsified their own revelation for gain.
Some Muslims claim that S. 2:79 is referring to a different group from those mentioned in 2:78 since the group in 2:78 is said to be unlettered (ummiyuuna), implying that they couldnt read or write. Based on this assertion it is then claimed that these unlettered folk wouldnt be able to write anything with their hands, and hence cannot be the same folk mentioned in S. 2:79.
This interpretation is based on a gross misunderstanding of what the term unlettered actually means. A careful reading of the Quran shows that this term doesnt necessarily refer to people who couldnt read or write. Rather, it refers to people who were unfamiliar with the inspired Books of God. Note for instance the following passage:
He it is Who hath sent among the unlettered ones (ummiyyeena) a messenger of their own, to recite unto them His revelations and to make them grow, and to teach them the Scripture and wisdom, though heretofore they were indeed in error manifest, S. 62:2 Pickthall
Unlettered here cannot literally mean that Muhammad was sent to people who couldnt read or write, since there were hundreds of Arabs who were reading and writing both before and during Muhammads time. In fact, Muslim traditions assert that Muhammad had Arab scribes who would write down the Quran for him.
The meaning of unlettered becomes clear from the following passages:
If they argue with you, then say, "I have simply submitted myself to GOD; I and those who follow me." You shall proclaim to those who received the scripture, as well as those who did not (ummiyyeena), "Would you submit?" If they submit, then they have been guided, but if they turn away, your sole mission is to deliver this message. GOD is Seer of all people. S. 3:20 Khalifa
And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing: so follow it and be righteous, that ye may receive mercy: Lest ye should say: "The Book was sent down to two Peoples before us, and for our part, we remained unacquainted with all that they learned by assiduous study:" Or lest ye should say: "If the Book had only been sent down to us, we should have followed its guidance better than they." Now then hath come unto you a clear (sign) from your Lord, - and a guide and a mercy: then who could do more wrong than one who rejecteth Allah's signs, and turneth away therefrom? In good time shall We requite those who turn away from Our signs, with a dreadful penalty, for their turning away. S. 6:155-157
Some assert that Muhammad was called unlettered in the sense that he didnt know how to read or write. Cf. S. 7:157-158
Again, the Quran explains in what sense Muhammad was unlettered:
And thou (O Muhammad) wast not a reader of any scripture before it, nor didst thou write it with thy right hand, for then might those have doubted, who follow falsehood. But it is clear revelations in the hearts of those who have been given knowledge, and none deny Our revelations save wrong-doers. S. 28:48-49 Pickthall
Muhammad is unlettered not in the sense that he couldnt read or write, but that he hadnt read or written down any revealed Scripture prior to his allegedly "receiving" the Quran. This is a view with which many Muslims wholeheartedly agree. (Cf. http://www.quran.org/ap28.htm, http://www.quran.org/gatut.html)
This is precisely what S. 2:78-79 is saying, namely that a group who were unlettered in the sense of not knowing the scriptures personally decided to concoct their own false revelation for gain.
Al-Tabari provides some support for this proposed interpretation by citing Ibn Abbas. Muslim turned atheist Ibn Warraq, while writing about the different definitions proposed by scholars regarding the meaning of ummiyyun, says:
"Bell thinks 'ummiyyun means belonging to the 'ummah or community, while Blachere translates it as Gentiles, in the sense of pagan. For the French scholar it is clear that the word 'ummi designates pagan Arabs, who, unlike the Jews and Christians, had not received any revelation and were thus living in ignorance of the divine law. Tabari does indeed quote some traditions that give this sense to the word ummi: according to Ibn 'Abbas, 'ummiyyun (refers to) some people who did not believe in a prophet sent by God, nor in a scripture revealed by God; and they wrote a scripture with their own hands. Then they said to the ignorant, common people: "This is from God." However, Tabari himself does not accept this interpretation, instead gives a totally unconvincing and improbable account of the derivation of the word: I am of the opinion that an illiterate person is called ummi, relating him in his lack of ability to write to his mother (umm), because writing was something which men, and not women, did, so that a man who could not write and form letters was linked to his mother, and not to his father, in his ignorance of writing." (Warraq, "Introduction," What the Koran Really Says, Language, Text & Commentary [Prometheus Books, 2002; ISBN: 157392945X], p. 44; underline emphasis ours)
Others believe that unlettered actually refers to the Gentiles, i.e. that Muhammad was a Gentile prophet who was supposedly sent to the Gentile communities. (Cf. http://www.mostmerciful.com/ummi.htm)
In fact, Ibn Ishaq, in his biography on Muhammad, defined ummiyyun as Arab or Gentile converts to Judaism:
... God said: Do they not know that God knows what they conceal and what they proclaim, and some of them are gentiles who do not know the book but merely recite passages (310). They only think they know, i.e. they don't know the book and they do not know what it is in it, yet they oppose thy prophethood on mere opinion. (Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, trans. Alfred Guillaume, p. 252)
Guillaume has a note in which he says:
IThis word is generally translated illiterate. In Sura 7.157 and 158 Muhammad calls himself 'the gentile prophet'; but practically all Arab writers claim that he meant that he could not read or write (see, e.g., Pickthall's translation). Geiger, op. cit. 26 f., was, I think, the first to point out the only possible derivation of the word, and he has been followed by every subsequent European Arabist. But this passage brings to light the fact that he was preceded by these early traditionists who identified the ummiyyun as Arab proselytes who did not themselves know the scriptures. (Ibid.)
Furthermore, even if it were speaking of Bible corruption, this still wouldnt prove the Muslim claim. The text says that only a party of them wrote false revelation and sold it for gain. The Quran says that there were others who would not allow the revelation to be tampered with for the sake of monetary profit:
"And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, and that which has been revealed to you, in that which has been revealed to them, bowing in humility to God. They will not sell the signs of God for miserable gain. For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account." S. 3:199
And he wonders why our rebuttals have been rather lengthy.
Shamoun had argued that "Muhammad (on whom be peace) was not a genuine prophet, since according to Shamoun, he failed the Bibles tests for prophethood," as I put it before, and all the reader has to do is go back and check to see how accurate an assessment of one of his arguments this was. He accuses me of attacking straw men because he does not "simply reject Muhammad on the basis that I assume the Bible is true, and since Muhammad contradicts the Bible he is therefore a false prophet." Well, whatever. Muhammad (on whom be peace) did indeed claim to be inspired like some ofsome of, mind youthe prophets in the Bible, as well as some not in the Bible. But whether these prophets were represented accurately in the Bible is a different matter, which would require at least one article all its own (and has been discussed in various aspects of the issue in many articles already on this site, especially in the "Bible and Koran" section), and then there is the matter of the corruption of the Bible, which I have already proven both above, in the previous articles, and pretty much all over this entire website.
First, the authors formulation implies that not all of the biblical prophets are recognized as genuine in the Quran. His erroneous logic is easily refuted when we realize that the Quran nowhere says that only some of the biblical prophets were genuine. Mr. Sulaiman fallaciously assumes that just because the Quran mentions only a few of the prophets who were inspired, this therefore means that the Quran is denying that the others were genuine spokespersons of God. It seems we need to again remind him of the following citations:
We have revealed to thee as We revealed to Noah, and the Prophets after him, and We revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, Jesus and Job, Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and We gave to David Psalms, and Messengers We have already told thee of before, and Messengers We have not told thee of; and unto Moses God spoke directly -- S. 4:163-164 Arberry
We sent Messengers before thee; of some We have related to thee, and some We have not related to thee. It was not for any Messenger to bring a sign, save by God's leave. When God's command comes, justly the issue shall be decided; then the vain-doers shall be lost. S. 40:78 Arberry
The very same passage that speaks of Muhammad receiving revelation like some of the messengers before him, also says that there are many other messengers that are not even mentioned in the Quran!
Second, his questioning whether the Bible accurately represents the prophets isnt a different matter; it is precisely the issue at hand. We are debating whether the Quran confirms the Bible as we have it today. If it does, then from a Muslim standpoint there can be no debate regarding its authenticity. And since all the evidence shows that Muhammad did believe that the Bible of his day was the preserved Word of God, then the issue is settled as far as the author is concerned. He needs to agree with his prophet and admit his error regarding the textual transmission of the Holy Bible.
Now it is possible, of course, that Muhammad was mistaken and the Bible may in fact be corrupted. But, since this is not a viable option for the author, being a Muslim, he therefore needs to join conservative, evangelical Christians in the efforts they put forth to prove that the Bible has been accurately preserved. After all, his attacks on the Bible is nothing more than an attack on his prophet, indirectly accusing Muhammad of being a liar or mistaken. Yet to agree with his prophet that the Bible is preserved also proves that Muhammad was wrong. Either way, the author is left in a vicious dilemma and that is why he has been trying so desperately to deny the clear teaching of the Quran regarding the preservation and authority of the Holy Bible.
Mr. Sulaiman continues his gross distortion of what I said:
After making the claim that some scattered alleged prophecies of piecemeal events in the four Gospels means that "the Gospel", in Shamouns sense, did not come entirely from oral tradition (which I didnt say that it did), Shamoun once again lapses into offensive accusatory talk, this time saying that "I have not been entirely forthcoming", a phrase which in terms of meaning is a softer way of saying that I am being deliberately dishonest. Then, somehow managing once again to overlook that my brief reference to the Gospel of the Nazarenes as a possible candidate for al-Injeel, which as Ive said could very well not be the case, he goes off into a very long argument to show that "the Gospel of the Nazerenes is anything but Islamic, and their Gospels portrait of Jesus is contrary to the Muslim one, which means that the Quran is wrong." Once again, if I were Shamoun, I would be very embarrassed. And what on earth does the Trinity or Shamouns allegations of our depiction of God being "dry" and "monadic" have to do with anything here?? It is as if Shamoun were psychologically incapable of arguing about anything for long enough before going off into other topics coming out of nowhere, in the form of a mountain of links and/or a pages-long tangent.
The author keeps retracting his statement from one paper to the next, obviously as the result of being refuted throughout our exchanges. He says that he never denied that the Gospel was also written. Again, here are his own words:
3. NOWHERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT is the phrase "the Gospel" USED TO REFER TO SCRIPTURE. The only verse you could even make a case for in that respect is Mark 1:1, where the phrase stills seems to go by its literal meaning of "good news".
3. In the book of Romans, the distinction between "Law" and "Gospel" is about the following of the Old Covenant and the preaching of the supposed salvation through the blessed Jesus's supposed death. Both terms refer to religious abstractions, NOT TANGIBLE SCRIPTURES. For example, Romans 2:15 says, "They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts." And since this is the only place in the Bible where "the Law" and "the Gospel" are made distinct from each other, therefore there is no biblical evidence for these terms being used together to refer collectively to the older and newer scriptures.(Source)
The reader can see why I went out of my way to show that Gospel in the New Testament does refer to something written, since the author clearly denied that it did.
He wonders what the Trinity has to do with our discussion. It has everything to do with our discussion since if the Bible confirms the Trinity (and it does), and if the Quran confirms the Bible while denying the Trinity, then this means that the Quran is a lie, a false book which could not have come from the true God. That the author didnt get the connection is more of an indication of his ability to understand and address the issues, than it is about my going off on tangents and other topics.
The same goes for accusing me of contradicting myself in the most absurd ways, now taking the form of the Gospel being something that was preached (as I said it was in the biblical, Christian sense of the term) and also something written (as I said it was in the Koranic sense of the term, also the capitalizated [sic] biblical sense, the upper or lower cased G being all it takes to make the difference). And since the Koran undeniably refers to the Gospel (upper-cased G, "al-Injeel") as being from the blessed Jesuss own point of view, theres nothing "anecdotal" about it either. As for God teaching it to him, we believe that God taught the Koran to the blessed Muhammad, but it also contains biographical material about him. So what of it?
For some strange reason the author thinks that there is a difference in meaning whether one capitalizes the g in Gospel or not. Maybe to him there is, but since the oldest Greek MSS were written in uncials, or upper case Greek characters, capitalizing the g or not has little bearing on the real meaning of the term. This is nothing more than a ruse, a canard on the authors part.
Furthermore, despite the author denying that he contradicted himself, it is apparent to any one reading these exchanges that he clearly did. In one place, he argued that the Gospel of Jesus was something he preached. In another place, he says Jesus may have written it or dictated by him, i.e. oral. Yet, at another time he says it was a text that was given to Jesus, which Jesus himself wrote.
The author seeks to refute me by saying that the Quran also contains biographical material on Muhammad, so there is nothing wrong with Jesus Gospel also containing biographical data. Apparently the author forgot what he wrote elsewhere:
... Note that: the real Gospel was one Jesus (peace be on him) HIMSELF WROTE, NOT ONE OF THE THIRD PERSON ACCOUNTS YOU HAVE IN THE BIBLE ... (Source; bold, underline and capital emphasis ours)
Here he says the real Gospel is that which the Lord Jesus wrote and attacks the canonical Gospels for being third person accounts on the life of Jesus. But he obviously didnt bother to read the Infancy Gospel of Thomas since this Gospel is also supposed to be a third person account on Jesus childhood years! That is why it is called the Infancy Gospel OF THOMAS! Here, again, is the introduction to this apocryphal fable:
The stories of Thomas the Israelite, the Philosopher, concerning the works of the Childhood of the Lord.
I. I, Thomas the Israelite, tell unto you, even all the brethren that are of the Gentiles, to make known unto you the works of the childhood of our Lord Jesus Christ and his mighty deeds, even all that he did when he was born in our land: whereof the beginning is thus: (Gospel of Thomas Greek Text A; Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
The Writing of the holy Apostle Thomas concerning the conversation of the Lord in his childhood.
I. I, Thomas the Israelite, have thought it needful to make known unto all the brethren that are of the Gentiles the mighty works of childhood which our Lord Jesus Christ wrought when he was conversant in the body, and came unto the city of Nazareth in the fifth year of his age. (Gospel of Thomas Greek Text B; Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
Here beginneth a treatise of the Boyhood of Jesus according to Thomas. (Gospel of Thomas Latin Text; Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
Thus, by the authors own criteria this apocryphal fable cannot be the genuine Gospel of the Lord Jesus, which means that the Quran is quoting from a fraudulent source!
We realize why the author decided to address a straw man at this point since he has consistently shown that he cannot refute the real issues.
Mr. Sulaiman proceeds to again distort my position. After quoting my response to his allegation that the Quran presents a citation not found in the NT, he writes:
So because Shamouns position in this debate is right and the Koran considers the New Testament to the al-Injeel and also infallible, which is what Shamoun is supposed to be establishing in this debate, therefore he is right? He even recognizes that the Koran quotes a verse from al-Injeel which is not in the New Testament, and the import of this doesnt seem to reach him at all. Next, Shamoun is correct about the blessed Moses not being spoken of in the Koran as being given "The Torah/al-Taurat" by name, but what else would the "scripture of Moses" (Koran 11:17, 87:19) be, especially when its material is consistently spoken of in the Koran as being from or paralleled in the Torah?? Next, Shamoun can offer no actual direct response to my pointing out of the overwhelming amount of parallels between the Koran and the Torah except to point out that there are differences between themwhich I myself have pointed out repeatedly in the "Bible and Koran" section of this site, in arguments that are not against, but in favor of, the Koran, given the Books partial purpose of revision, which I have established many times now.
In the first place, I nowhere said in my response that the Quran quotes a verse which is not found in the NT/Injil. What I said was that even if the Quran did quote a passage not found in the NT, all this would prove is that the Quran is misquoting sources. Since the Quran acknowledges that the NT is the preserved Word of God it is therefore the Quran that is mistaken for quoting a passage which it erroneously assumed was from the NT corpus.
The author maybe referring to the following citation which was already mentioned above:
And their description in the Gospel is like unto a seed-produce that sends forth its sprout, then makes it strong; it then becomes stout, and stands firm on its stem, delighting the sowers - That HE may cause the disbelievers to boil with rage at the sight of them S. 48:29 Sher Ali
We had stated that this parable seems to be a paraphrase of Mark 4:27-28, a position held by the following Muslims:
The similitude in the Gospel is about how the good seed is sown and grown gradually, even beyond the expectation of the sower: "the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how; for the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the earth"; MARK, iv 27-28 ... (Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an - Meaning and Translation, p. 1400, n. 4917; bold, underline, and capital emphasis mine)
This parable is found in a sermon of the Prophet Jesus that has been reported in the New Testament, thus:
"And he said, So is the kingdom of God as if a man should east [sic] seed into the ground: And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come [author- This is taken from Mark 4:26-29]. And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it [author- this comes from Mark 4:30-32]."
The last portion of this sermon is also found in Matthew, 13:31-32. (S. Abul Ala Maududi, Meaning of the Quran, Volume V, English rendering by A.A. Kamal, M.A. [Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Limited, 13-E, Shahalam Market, Lahore-8 Pakistan], p. 67, fn. 56; underlined emphasis ours)
Thus, if these men are correct (and there is no reason to doubt that they are) then this is additional proof that the Quran confirms that the NT Gospels are the Gospel of God given to Jesus!
Second, the author is forced admit that the Quran nowhere says the Torah was given to Moses, even though in his first rebuttal he made the following claim:
... Second, the Koran REPEATEDLY speaks of al-Taurat (the Law, the Torah) AS BEING REVEALED TO THE BLESSED MOSES AND NEVER TO ANYONE ELSE, indicating that it could only be the Pentateuch. This is further confirmed by the enormous amount of parallels between the Koran and the Pentateuch. (Source; capital emphasis ours)
We are glad that he corrected his error. He asks what else could the Torah be if not that of Moses in light of all the parallels between it and the Quran, a question which we wanted him to answer. The problem with his point is that he is begging the question, assuming what he has yet to prove. He has already assumed what the Torah is, otherwise how would have known that it parallels the Quran? But he hasn't told us how he arrived at his conclusion , i.e. how does he know what he knows about the Torah? The answer is that he wouldn't know what the Torah was if he simply consulted the Quran. He only knows that the Torah is the revelation given to Moses by consulting the Holy Bible. But consulting the Holy Bible establishes my case against him, since the Holy Bible provides evidence showing that the word Torah is used in a broader sense to refer to the rest of the inspired Scriptures of the Old Testament!
Third, why would I need to address the alleged "overwhelming amount of parallels" between the Quran and the Torah when their differences are vastly greater, and even contradictory, proving that they cannot be from the same source? All that the similarities prove is that Muhammad plagiarized the Torah, and other Jewish sources, in order to make it as if the same God of Moses was inspiring him. Little did he realize that that claim would backfire against him since his blatant contradictions to the previous revelations show that he was a false prophet. Yet, do notice that the author can offer no substantial, direct response to my pointing out the major differences between the Torah and the Quran except to speak of revisions to the Book, which I assume means the Torah. Thus, the author again must beg the question since he assumes that the Quran is true, and therefore the Torah is only correct when it agrees with the Quran. But as the evidence has shown, the Quran claims to confirm all of the Torah, not just some of it, while contradicting it at the same time. This means that the Quran is in error, and contains gross distortions and lies, not the Holy Bible.
MORE APPEALS TO SYMPATHY
The author ends his "rebuttal" with more emotional appeals, apparently because he realized that he had no case against the facts marshaled against him. He writes:
As for Shamouns addendum, his e-mails to me were indeed very, very, very much of a hateful attitude. In fact, just a couple of days ago he sent me one (even though Ive made it clear to him that because of the hateful and extremely redundant nature of his e-mails to me, I am now deleting them on sight without opening them) with the title, "Looking forward to refuting your stupid trash!" Yes, Shamoun, very Christlike. Shamoun makes it obvious how tipped the hate scale is against him in these articles by having to list various quotes that Ive made on the Understanding Islam message board insteadand why he was prying around there in the first place I dont know. But for the moment Ill just pretend that this is relevant, not contradictory to Shamouns stated attitude against making "emotional appeal" to the readers when I point out how hateful were his e-mails to me, or that the quotes from me that he offers do not tend to be more disdainful rather than venomous, accusatory and spiteful like Shamouns e-mails (or even the title of the article under discussion).
I try to make it a habit to apologize on that board (and elsewherec.f. this sites response to Denis Girons "Quran: A Work of Multiple Hands?") when I make deeply personal comments. Shamoun also leaves out the more recent posts I made even in the same thread he quotes in his list, in which I stopped trying to match his venom with disdain and equally confrontational talk, speaking of trying to establish respect, trying to talk Shamoun into being peaceful, even by showing him (in vain) passages from his own scripture on the subject, and reminding everyone how the Koran tells us to argue with disbelievers in the fairer manner ([here] and the following page). And hey! Its not like I ever claimed to be perfect myself in the first place anyway.
Finally, although I suppose that since showing him how badly his attitude (which, unlike me, he extremely stubbornly persisted in) reflects his religion with the teachings of his own prophet didnt work the first time, it probably wont work again, but Im sure that other Christians reading this will be more reasonable and willing to understand when I respond to his claim that his attitude was only in retaliation with my own with the words of his own prophet in his own scripture:
Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22)
May God bless us all and guide us on the right path.
--the very non-anonymous Yahya Sulaiman, a.k.a. Ziggy Zag
It seems that my response fell on deaf ears. The reason for my very direct, straightforward approach to the lies and blasphemies of the author is precisely because of his snotty, arrogant attitude. The author thinks that the Lord Jesus never had anything harsh to say to blasphemers like himself, or that the NT doesnt permit harshly rebuking deceivers and distorters of the truth. In one of my emails, I even sent him a list of Bible verses showing that it isnt contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures to be direct and forceful with willful blasphemers, but that it even condones it in specific situations:
"You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog [i.e. a male prostitute] into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 23:18
Here, a male prostitute is called a dog.
The Scriptures say that God mocks and laughs at the wicked:
"Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us! He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them." Psalm 2:1-4
"but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming." Psalm 37:13
Divine Wisdom says:
"I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you," Proverbs 1:26
God chastises his people for their idolatry:
"For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are wise--in doing evil! But how to do good they know not." Jeremiah 4:22
"They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them." Jeremiah 10:8, 14
The Scriptures liken some stubborn unbelievers to dogs, swine and beasts:
"Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you." Matthew 7:6
"Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh." Philippians 3:2
"But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, What the true proverb says has happened to them: "The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire." 2 Peter 2:12, 22
"Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood." Revelation 22:15
There are even specific examples of prophets ridiculing and mocking the unbelievers for their idolatry and unbelief:
"So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal's prophets are 450 men. Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God." And all the people answered, "It is well spoken. Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it. And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, O Baal, answer us! But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah MOCKED THEM, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened. And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention. Then Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me. And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been thrown down. Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be your name," 32and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood. And he said, Do it a second time." And they did it a second time. And he said, Do it a third time. And they did it a third time. And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water. And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back. Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God. And Elijah said to them, Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there." 1 Kings 18:20-40
"While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it. One of the lawyers answered him, Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also. And he said, Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, "I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute," so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering. As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say." Luke 11:37-54
In regards to the qualifications of an elder, the Apostle Paul gave the following instructions:
"He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine AND ALSO REBUKE THOSE WHO CONTRADICT IT. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. THEY MUST BE SILENCED, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth." Titus 1:9-14
What is even more amazing is that the authors own book has a lot of harsh things to say about unbelievers:
Say: "Shall I point out To you something much worse Than this, (as judged) By the treatment it received From God? Those who incurred the curse of God And His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine " S. 5:60
Relate to them the story of the man to whom We sent Our Signs, But he passed them by: So Satan followed him up and he went astray. If it had been Our Will, We should have elevated him With Our Signs; but he Inclined to the earth, And followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog; if you attack Him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, He (still) lolls out his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject Our Signs; So relate the story; Perchance they may reflect. S. 7:175-177
For the worst of beasts in the sight of God are the deaf and the dumb, - those who understand not. S. 8:22
For the worst of beasts in the sight of God are those who reject Him: They will not believe. S. 8:55
The similitude of those Who were charged With the (obligations of the) Mosaic Law, But who subsequently failed in those (obligations) is That of an ASS which carries huge tomes (But understands them not). Evil is the similitude of the people who falsify The Signs of God: And God guides not people who do wrong. S. 62:5
Thus, both the Holy Bible and the Quran agree that there is a time and place when unbelievers must be harshly rebuked and exposed for their outright lies and blasphemies. They may not agree on the conditions regarding when it is the appropriate time to use such language, but they agree that in certain circumstances such language may legitimately be used.
As far as Matthew 18:21-22 is concerned the author didnt even bother to read it carefully. The passage is referring to forgiving ones brother which, according to the NT, refers to those who do Gods will by embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior:
"While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." Matthew 12:47-50
"Jesus answered them, This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." John 6:29, 38-40
Since the author has rejected the true Jesus for a false one concocted by Muhammad, and even more, attacks the true Gospel as corrupted, he isnt a spiritual brother but an enemy of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hopefully, the Lord will touch his heart and lead him out of the deception of Islam and into the truth of the Gospel.
Furthermore, as was stated in our previous rebuttal, the author is in no moral position to complain about being exposed and rebuked for his lies and gross distortions of the truth, especially when his attitude towards Christians has been anything but respectful and peaceful. He needs to take Christs advice seriously and make sure that he has removed the plank from his own eyes before he can even complain about the splinters in other peoples eyes (Cf. Matthew 7:1-5).
In conclusion, the authors appeal to pity is, in my view, further indication that he was aware that he had no sound case against the evidences from his own sources which establish the veracity and preservation of the Holy Bible. He tried to compensate for his lack of a cogent rebuttal by trying to poison the minds of his readers from even considering our arguments rationally. The author seemingly hoped that by riling up the emotions of his readers he would thereby be able to prevent them from taking our arguments seriously.
This is our final response to the authors gross distortions. There is no need to constantly refute error after error, and yet another repetition of the same errors.
On a a discussion board, Mr. Sulaiman had these flattering things to say about me:
I think I finally know what his problem may be: either a terrible problem with memory or a terrible problem with reading comprehension. I've come to this conclusion because today, for about the umpteenth time, he's sent me e-mails (note the plural) despite the fact that I've told him again and again that I'm not opening his pointless, repetitious and heavily derisive e-mails anymore. Remember when I reported how he kept telling me over and over and over again to relay his responses to people on this board (which he apparently monitors constantly, perhaps having nothing better to do), even though I told him again and again that I am not his messenger and would do no such thing and that if he would not deign to speak to us himself, that's his problem? You'll find the same lack of reading comprehension/memory in all his rebuttals (many, many times), including the newest, the best example being his amazing inability to get the point about how I was only tossing out the Gospel of the Nazarenes as an idea and not a certainty or even a theory of my own. Some shatterer of arguments, eh?
His friend Ali was even nicer:
Chances are Sam has contradicted himself in his previous rebuttle, if you like fish for the rebuttles and find the contradictions, he will always make things up to stay on top even change his previos position for new, if you are smart you will be able to spot his change of stance in his previous writtings. Trust me liars are known for lies, and then their cover ups, and while coveringup they lie again, so just dig into his last replies and find the contradiction he has made and then finish the job off. (Source)
And this was the gent complaining of ad hominems! Here, Mr Sulaiman slyly tries to retract his position, something he tried to do in his second rebuttal, regarding the Gospel of the Nazarenes being the very Gospel which the Quran refers to. Compare what he initially had claimed:
It would be too easy for a Christian to be able to refute the Koran simply by citing their own scripture, wouldn't it? But as I have shown, such is not the case. The Koran does not claim to confirm the Bible at all, but only certain parts of it, and "the Gospel" isn't necessarily one of the canonical Gospels (see http://understanding-islam.com/)... (Source; underline emphasis ours)
... On the other hand, even though the Gospel the essence of which is contained in the Koran is not one of the four canonical Gospels, but instead A LOST GOSPEL written OR dictated by the blessed Jesus himself, the four Gospels must have a certain, respectable degree of accuracy in what they report. We Muslims can tell this because of the fact that there are countless parallels between the four Gospels and the Koran's teachings and stories about the blessed Jesus...
4. An unnamed Gospel which was revealed to the blessed Jesus himself and thus from his own point of view, UNLIKE ANY OF THE GOSPELS WE HAVE COPIES OF TODAY. (Source; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)
... (although the Gospels of the Bible obviously bear a great many parallels to the teachings and stories of the Koran, while the real Gospel, ACCORDING TO THE KORAN, WAS WRITTEN BY THE BLESSED JESUS HIMSELF)...
... None of these Gospels are the Gospel the Koran speaks of, as NONE ARE WRITTEN from the viewpoint of the blessed Jesus himself,... (Source; underline and capital emphasis ours)
The author here isn't simply offering a suggestion, but is clearly supporting the Gospel mentioned by the Understanding Islam website as that which the Quran references. He also says that the four Canonical Gospels are not the Gospel mentioned in the Quran.
It is rather amusing that one of the arguments Mr. Sulaiman gives that the Canonical Gospels are not the Gospel of Jesus is that none of them were written by Christ himself. He even says that Jesus' Gospel is lost! We will return to these points at the end.
And now compare this to what he says in his first rebuttal:
At long last, the article ends, and on another irrelevant tangent, this time a rebuttal to the mere possibility I mentioned that the Gospel which the Koran refers to is the long lost Gospel of the Nazarenes. The Nazarenes, as he said, believed that Jesus (on whom be peace) was the one and only son of God. So what? As I establish in article after article on this site's Trinity page, Christians nowadays believe in this doctrine despite a true lack of basis for it in their Gospels. Why could the Nazarenes not have done the same? But more importantly, so what if the Gospel of the Nazarenes isn't the Koran's Gospel? It was just a possibility I mentioned, an idea I threw out, food for thought. (Source; underline emphasis ours)
As we had noted in our very first rebuttal, the Understanding Islam site claims that the Gospel which the Quran refers to may have been the Nazarene Gospel. Please consult our initial rebuttal for the details.
If the author wasn't trying to make the claim that the Gospel of the Nazarenes is the one mentioned in the Quran then why did he even bother linking to a site which does?
More importantly, the problem with his retraction is that this still doesn't answer my challenge regarding the identity of that Gospel mentioned in the Quran. Mr. Sulaiman needs to tell his readers what was that Gospel which was there during Muhammad's time and which the Quran constantly references and admonishes the Christians to uphold? Constantly retracting one's position does absolutely nothing to address this issue, but only manages to prove that the author has no real response or refutation to the facts marshalled against him. He has clearly been overwhelmed by the data.
Furthermore, the fact that he can even admit that he was simply tossing out the idea that the Nazarene Gospel may have been Jesus' Gospel only manages to further discredit his arguments. This Gospel wasn't written by Jesus, and yet one of the reasons the author gives for rejecting the Canonical Gospels is that they were not written by Christ. But then how can the author even have suggested that the Gospel of the Nazarenes was Jesus' Gospel when it wasn't written by Christ either?
Let me quickly summarize the contradictions made by the author, and how his arguments affirm my case against him, so the readers can keep this all in mind:
The Qur'an About the Bible
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page