Those who have listened to the Dividing Line of late know that I’ve been playing sections of debates featuring, mainly, Sam Shamoun. We played the entirety of his debate with Shabir Ally, and I’ve been listening to a number of Ally’s other debates, mainly while riding medium distance runs on a bicycle (20 to 40 miles or so). Great time to listen/study. Anyway, I was flying down South Mountain (miss one of those corners and that would be a literal description) and I caught Shabir Ally doing an impersonation of Gerry Matatics. By that I mean he was doing the “throw out a statement with supporting citations so fast that only the best note-taker will even keep up with you and do it so that folks will be impressed (but hopefully won’t question you about it later)” thing. Ally was trying to make yet another allegation of error in the Bible, this time on the basis of a citation from Hebrews 1:6, or at least that is all I can assume he was doing, since he didn’t bother giving the reference. Instead, he referred to the passage in Hebrews 1 where “God said to the angels, ‘Worship the Son.'” I can only assume he means Hebrews 1:6, “And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” There are simply no other candidates for the passage to which he refers. He then says Paul was quoting from Deuteronomy 32:6, which reads, “Do you thus repay the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?” No, I have no idea how that is connected at all. All of the citations in Hebrews 1 are from the Psalter. So, strike 1. But then Shabir Ally says that Paul did not quote from the “Hebrew original” but from an “inaccurate Septuagint version.” And then, to make it worse, allegedly Paul misquotes even the LXX (Septuagint), because, we are assured by Shabir Ally, the Septuagint does not say “worship the Son” but “worship Jehovah.” So let’s add up the errors…it isn’t Deuteronomy 32:6 that is cited, it is Psalm 97:7 (96:7 LXX) in Hebrews 1:6. The text does not say “the angels are to worship the Son” but “let all the angels of God worship Him” (the term “Son” is not found in Hebrews, so how Paul could misquote that is hard to know). Further, the LXX, despite the best attempts made by a few Jehovah’s Witness apologists, does not make reference to Jehovah (Yahweh), but uses the Greek term kurios in place of the Tetragrammaton. So, though I would imagine Shabir Ally’s presentation sounded real good to his followers, once again we are left in amazement at the simple lack of accuracy in his statements.
Finally, it is interesting to ponder Shabir Ally’s implicit assertion that to cite the LXX is to automatically, it seems, disqualify the Bible from being the Word of God. This comes from the fact that in Islam, Arabic is the “pure” and “divine” language, and that the Qur’an truly only exists therein (all translations being inferior and mere approximations). The idea of using the language of others to spread the message of Scripture is foreign to much of modern Islam, which spreads its message most often by force of arms rather than convincing people through persuasion and appeal. Muslims see the spread of the Christian Scriptures by copying and translation (so as to bring the gospel to all men in their own language) a weakness, not a strength, and this goes back to a fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam: biblical Christians and Muslims both believe God shows His great power by bringing people into proper subjection to Himself; but Christians believe He does this by taking out a heart of stone and giving a heart of flesh, by changing the person inwardly, making His enemies His worshippers, not by the force of the sword, but by the power of the Spirit.

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