Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Islamic Apologetics and New Testament Transmission (#23)
07/25/2005 - James WhiteI continue a series that had reached twenty one installments back in April, received one more installment a few weeks ago thanks to a guest blogger, Alan Kurschner, but still requires that I complete the work, specifically, that of responding to the article posted at the Islamic Awareness website by MSM Saifullah and Hesham Azmy, "Is the Bible In Our Hands the Same as During the Time of Muhammad?" A search on "Islam" in the blog articles will turn up the previous installments in this series.
Our Islamic apologists included a very, very lengthy citation (almost the majority of the article) taken from James Bentley's Secrets of Mount Sinai: The Story of Codex Sinaiticus. We had been working through the various textual variants mentioned by Bentley and responding to them. I pick up with the next variant cited, that being Luke 23:34. I place the variant in italics in the citation: "But Jesus was saying, 'Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.' And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves." You will note that the parallel passages in Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, and John 19:18, do not contain these words. Codex Sinaiticus (a) contains the passage in its original hand; the first corrector, however, marked them out; but a later corrector added them back in (hence, a*.2 cited for the phrase, a1 for its deletion). We pick up with Bentley's brief discussion:
Equally revealing is the way the correctors of Codex Sinaiticus dealt with words attributed to Jesus on the Cross by St Luke's Gospel. Jesus's prayer, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do', is deleted by a corrector. J. Rendel Harris believed that the text was deliberately cut out by those Christians who believed God could never have forgiven the Jews for the death of Jesus. Had not the destruction of Jerusalem shown this? Here, on the other hand, Hort still maintained that the text had disappeared for entirely innocent and accidental reasons. 'Wilful excision on account of the love and forgiveness shown to the Lord's own murderers', he wrote, 'is absolutely incredible.'........
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Holy Warriors? Or Terrorist Cowards?
07/22/2005 - James WhiteBAGHDAD, Iraq - Gunmen fired on a car carrying a newlywed couple and their families on Friday, killing the 23-year-old bride and wounding the Iraqi army captain she had just married. Eleven other people died in violence nationwide.
Ooh, brave soldiers, shooting up brides. Just like last week and the brave bomber who killed a bunch of kids and a Marine who was passing out candy to them. So with this incredible, daily blight upon the reputation of Islam, isn't it so very odd that NBC has announced it is planning a mid-season show called "The Book of Daniel" that will include a "pill-popping priest" and a "contemporary, cool" Jesus. Am I the only one who finds it so very upside-down that when the news is filled with constant evidence of the result of old-time, believing, consistent Islam, the self-destructive forces of the West (the media, etc.) respond by granting Islam protected status (can you imagine NBC doing such a show with a figure representing Muhammad?) while stepping up their attacks upon the Christian faith. It truly makes you wonder.
Man Says Religion Motivated Slaying
07/21/2005 - James WhiteThe following appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune Wed., July 13th. You probably didn't hear much about this in the mainstream media. You should have. The article is by Toby Sterling, Associated Press.
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands --- The Muslim extremist on trial for the slaying of filmmaker Theo van Gogh confessed yesterday, saying he was driven by religious conviction. "I don't feel your pain," he told the victim's mother.
"If I were released and would have the chance to do it again . . . I would do exactly the same thing," Mohammed Bouyeri said in the final minutes of his two-day trial.
"What moved me to do what I did was purely my faith. . . . I was motivated by the law that commands me to cut off the head of anyone who insults Allah and his prophet," he said.
Bouyeri, 27, faces life imprisonment in the Nov. 2 killing of Van Gogh, who was shot, stabbed and nearly beheaded on an Amsterdam street.
A verdict is to be handed down this month.
At one point, he addressed the victim's mother, Anneke, who was sitting in the public gallery.
"I have to admit I don't have any sympathy for you," he said. "I can't feel for your because I think you're a nonbeliever."
The killing is believed to have been an act of retribution for Van Gogh's film, "Submission," which criticized the treatment of women under Islam.
The killer left a five-page note fixed to the filmmaker's body with a knife.
Islamic Apologetics and New Testament Transmission (#22)
07/04/2005 - James WhiteIt has been way too long since I continued this series, and I apologize for that. One of our regulars in channel, DeoVolente, (Alan Kurschner) asked me to remember to do so, and I said, "Hey, feel free." So, he did! And so, here's the twenty-second in the series in response to our Islamic apologists and their comments on the New Testament.
Islam and the Quran are no doubt becoming more popular in the United States particularly with the younger generation in the universities. What does this mean for the Christian who loves God's Word and believes in the trustworthiness and authority of the Scriptures? One of the most common attacks to undermine the Christian faith by Muslims is to assert that we posses an unreliable, corrupt Bible because there are thousands of manuscripts that do not agree perfectly with each other. Our consistent response has been simply to point out that it is precisely that reason that allows us to have the confidence to determine with reliable certainty the original biblical text via standard principles of textual criticism. We are in a privileged position---unlike the defender of the Quran---to be able to compare the numerous manuscripts available to us.
In previous articles in the series on Islamic Apologetics and New Testament Transmission, Dr. White has demonstrated numerous logical, historical, and textual errors on the part of Muslim authors Saifullah & Azmy; and as a result, he has highlighted some of the essential textual principles in which gives us a window into understanding the method of determining the original text. The following discussion is an example of properly handling a textual variant with the purpose of equipping the Christian to defend the preservation and reliability of the Biblical Scriptures. ...
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