I ran across this summary just yesterday:

1. Paul admits that he is the founder of Christianity.

2. Paul admits that he is regularly tormented and beaten by a demon.

3. Paul admits that he speaks on his own authority, not on God’s.

4. Paul admits that he uses deception and treachery to make converts.

5. Paul admits to stealing money in order to bribe people to believe.

6. Paul admits that he lies in order to make converts.

7. Paul contradicts Jesus in almost every single area of religious significance.

8. Paul never quotes the Lord’s Prayer, a Beatitude, or even a single Parable of Christ.

9. Paul in Galatians contradicts Luke in Acts about his post-revelation travels and experiences.

10. Paul dishonors his word to James that he will follow the Kosher laws.

11. Paul made many false prophecies about the immediate 2nd coming of Christ.

12. Paul says that being “a fool” is a prerequisite of faith.

So can Paul be trusted? NEVER!

   How can someone come to such amazing conclusions? Here is the article. The author is Ali Ataie. I listened to a debate he did back in April against David Wood at UC Davis while riding this weekend, so I looked him up on the web. These are truly amazing conclusions, and I would like to begin a series examining these claims, and the methodology of apologetics that lies behind them. I think I am in a unique position to address Ataie’s claims. To give you a taste of the kind of thinking that goes into this kind of Islamic apologetics, consider this clip from the Wood/Ataie debate:

(You can obtain that debate DVD here). Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels are “objective” scholars? What an incredibly amazing assertion, but this is how Muslims use these sources.
   Finally, to assist those studying these issues, Mr. Wood made reference to a hadith in Sahih Muslim. Ataie had never seen it before. Interestingly, a search in my Alim 6.0 did not turn it up, either (which concerns me–I am now wondering if the sources in the Alim program have been edited in some fashion). In any case, here is the full citation with the relevant portion emphasized:

Muhammad b. Qais said (to the people): Should I not narrate to you (a hadith of the Holy Prophet) on my authority and on the authority of my mother? We thought that he meant the mother who had given him birth. He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was ‘A’isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. She said: When it was my turn for Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi’. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O ‘A’isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you? She said: Whatsoever the people conceal, Allah will know it. He said: Gabriel came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you (for he did not come to you), as you were not fully dressed. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you may be frightened. He (Gabriel) said: Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi’ (to those lying in the graves) and beg pardon for them. I said: Messenger of Allah, how should I pray for them (How should I beg forgiveness for them)? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city (graveyard) from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you.

   You can find this on line here. Another source provided a number of references to the same hadith:

* Sahih Muslim, English version, chapter CCCLII (titled: What is to be said while visiting the graveyard), v2, pp 461-462, Tradition #2127
* Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v2, pp 669-670, Tradition #103
* Musnad, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v6, p147

   And in my set, the 8-volume Arabic/English set, this is found in volume 3, hadith 974R1.

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