Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Two Quick Monday Morning Notes
11/14/2005 - James WhiteFirst, Pastor Brazier has sent me the link to my February UK trip itinerary. Here it is. I can't express how much I'm looking forward to returning to the UK, and Lord willing, this time with a measure of health!
Second, I got up last night and noted the screen was on, so I checked on the computer and found a note from Sam Shamoun. Sadly, that woke me up fully at 2am. Thanks Sam! :-) But the note was interesting. It was about the entry below on Hebrews 1:6 and Shabir Ally. Evidently, Sam knows Ally's argument on this passage, and filled me in on what Shabir messed up trying to say in the debate, and since it is quite interesting (and, despite his having missed references and the like, we want to respond to the best someone has to offer), here's the scoop:
Shabir Ally said Deuteronomy 32:6, but what he meant to say was Deuteronomy 32:43. I might have been able to figure that out if I had looked at a paper copy of the Greek text instead of the electronic copy I used. Why? Because the Nestle-Aland 27th ed. includes along the side of the text citations/sources. At Hebrews 1:6 it includes Psalm 97:7 and a reference to Deuteronomy 32:43, where the LXX has a phrase that is a variant from the Hebrew. First, look at the comparison of the LXX of Psalm 97:7 and Hebrews 1:6:
|Psalm 97:7 LXX||proskunh,sate auvtw/| pa,ntej oi` a;ggeloi auvtou/|
|Hebrews 1:6||proskunhsa,twsan auvtw/| pa,ntej a;ggeloi qeou/Å|
Then Deuteronomy 32:43's variant phrase:
|Deu. 32:43||proskunhsa,twsan auvtw/| pa,ntej ui`oi. qeou/|
|Heb 1:6||proskunhsa,twsan auvtw/| pa,ntej a;ggeloi qeou/Å|
The LXX reading is actually a parallel:
|proskunhsa,twsan auvtw/| pa,ntej ui`oi. qeou/|
|evniscusa,twsan auvtw/| pa,ntej a;ggeloi qeou/|
I include the parallel to show that "sons of God" = "angels of God" in this context. Now, the LXX variant is verbally identical to Hebrews 1:6, and given the parallel that follows, provides a perfect match; however, the rest of the sources in Hebrews 1 (Ally assumes Pauline authorship, which I do not) are from the Psalter, and the Psalm 97:7 reference is probably the source of the Deuteronomy 32 variant anyway, given how close it is verbally as well. In any case, this wasn't even the focus of Shabir Ally's statement: outside of giving no original reference, and giving the wrong LXX reference, his assertion was that Paul's error was not only the citation of the LXX, but that the LXX had "Jehovah" and Paul misquoted it. But this isn't the case in any of the LXX sources: the LXX does not contain the Tetragrammaton (despite the wildest efforts of JW apologists to find a way to say it did). The term "Yahweh" does not appear in Deuteronomy 32:43, nor in Psalm 97:7. I think, if I can engage in just a bit more "he said this, but maybe he meant that" speculation, that what he might be referring to is the "elohim/angeloi" issue, that is, in Psalm 97:7 (96:7 LXX) the Hebrew is "worship him all you elohim," "gods," but in the LXX it is "angels," the LXX interpreting elohim to be a reference to angels. That's about the closest I can come, and in all of this Shabir Ally shows himself unwilling to apply the same standards to the Qur'an he does to the Bible. At least we can look at the sources used by the Apostles! You can hardly subject the text of the Qur'an to the same kind of examination (you rarely have sufficient context to do so, and it so rarely actually cites, directly, preceding documentary sources), so to try to prove the superiority of the Qur'an on this basis is once again fallacious.