MuslimbyChoice, a YouTube producer of videos, has been exposed to a tremendous amount of the light of truth, and yet remains the most blind to it. He listens to almost everything I do, whether it is YouTube videos, Dividing Lines, or here, my filling in for Janet Mefferd on her program last week. But what is amazing is that though he hears the truth repeatedly, it just doesn’t sink in. The phrase, “there is a veil,” fits incredibly well here, sadly. We surely need to pray for this individual, for to have encountered so much light, and yet to not even seem to understand what it is saying, let alone have a response to it, is a weighty thing indeed. Check out this video he just posted:
Now, again, I think it is great that Muslims get to hear the truth when materials like this are posted for them to watch. It’s wonderful! Here they get to hear a Christian openly discussing the text of the New Testament, explaining its history, the readings of the manuscripts, etc. and etc., the very things that we are often accused of not doing (even Bart Ehrman accuses “conservatives” of sweeping these things under the rug). And, of course, I have explained, over and over again in the materials MuslimbyChoice has listened to, the proper, and improper, meanings of the term “corruption.” That is, I have made it clear that all texts that were hand copied are “corrupted” by that process, but that is a far, far cry from saying those texts have been lost or that we cannot know what they originally said. It is simply the honest acknowledgement that hand copying involves errors, i.e., nobody, not even the most careful scribe, is perfect. In fact, until the advent of the photocopier in 1949, no written work could be transmitted perfectly, for even printing required the setting of type, and the number of print errors that can be catalogued is large indeed. I have also pointed out, and it is simply a matter of fact, not a matter of dispute or debate, that the text of the Qur’an is likewise corrupt in exactly the same way: copyist errors have been made in every single hand-written manuscript of the Qur’an in existence. “No two are identical,” as Muslims like to say of the NT manuscripts, which is, of course, true, but it is likewise true of the Qur’anic texts. No matter how small the differences, handwriting is handwriting, and errors happen. No serious minded person will conclude that the original has therefore been lost, but many non-serious minded people can conclude all sorts of things, since fairness, factuality, etc., is not important to them.
I doubt MuslimbyChoice even realizes that by tacking Ehrman’s words on the end he has only provided a contrast to the surface level comments Ehrman offered and the far more in-depth comments I provided, let alone in contrast to the entire Dividing Line program we did on this particular variant. And he just doesn’t seem to see that we can do this because we have this information available and we publish it and we encourage study in this area—he, however, cannot do the same thing since, well, there is not, yet, a critical text of the Qur’an and, if there ever is one, it will come from the hands, primarily, of non-Muslims, sadly. While there are Muslim scholars who realize the importance of these areas of study, they well know that the rabble in the streets of majority Muslim countries not only do not understand that importance, they would, by and large, respond with simple violence to anyone even suggesting the text of the Qur’an they possess might have its own textual history, and that they might want to consider what the early tafsir literature says as well as what the variants documented to exist in the earliest manuscripts could mean. Bart Ehrman can run about earning big bucks seeking to undermine the faith of Christians. I can seek to respond by providing balanced and full information on the relevant topics. But could anyone do anything even remotely like this on the streets of Cairo, in the classrooms of Al Azhar, or in the public places of Pakistan? The answer is obvious to any honest observer. And that says volumes. Sadly, MuslimbyChoice seems deaf to that reality.