On Remaining Sound in Islamic Apologetics

Dan Wallace posted a very interesting article responding to this video wherein Walid Shoebat alleges that Codex Vaticanus (B) identifies the mark of the beast not as “666” (or 616 as some earlier manuscripts have) but instead an Arabic insertion “in the name of Allah” along with a symbol of crossed swords. I will not repeat Dan’s refutation here, but I wanted to add a few graphics to strengthen his case. First, Dan pointed out that Vaticanus ends at Hebrews 9:13. What is included in the manuscript after that is really a different manuscript itself (Codex 1957) from long after the writing of B itself. [For those interested in theological/apologetic trivia, for years and years Walter Martin’s The Kingdom of the Cults has erroneously made reference to Vaticanus in the book of Revelation in its discussion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I fixed the problem in the edition that Bethany House put out a number of years ago, as an un-named editor, however, once the Martin family took the book back from BHP, they put out the current edition, which went back to Martin’s original material, re-inserting the error where it remains today]. Hence, what Shoebat would be looking at would be from long, long after the original writing. Next, though I am traveling, and hence do not have access to my library, I did have with me the printed facsimile of B, and here is what it has at Revelation 13:18:

Now, to try to turn these letters into Arabic, as Shoebat does, is just way, way beyond the pale. If I was at my office I think I could track down a Hijazi example of “bism…” “in the name of,” but for now, I can surely provide what Allah looked like in the oldest Qur’anic manuscripts:

Compare this with what Shoebat writes on the board and you can see that this is a real stretch.

I am concerned about this “feed the eschatology crazed evangelicals with wacky connections to Islam” movement. For those of us attempting to provide solid, sound, consistent answers to Muslims, this kind of presentation is significantly less than helpful.