Epistle to Sofiane
Here are some comments regarding some of Dr. Zakir Naik’s points in the YouTubes you present.
scientific errors in the Bible Dr Zakir Naik a…: http://youtu.be/X7bxBy8H7Yw
An Atheist vs Dr Zakir Naik – Worth Watching: http://youtu.be/XEcocSZnk1g
(Naik’s points are presented in capital letters after an asterisk. My answers follow. Any errors in cutting and pasting the Arabic text are mine, since I do not read Arabic. I only made the assumption that the numbering corresponded one to one and that the translation was accurate and effective enough to support my point. Scriptural numbering schemes do not always correlate language to language. Dr. Naik poses some very good questions, and I am sure I have not answered them all, in a satisfactory way, although I may personally believe it is God’s way, God’s truth and God’s life from a Christian perspective. I welcome other interpretations, and I still haven’t read the Quran cover to cover in English, let alone Arabic, which I can’t read. I would have to learn the alphabet, but I may be too old, tongues aside.) 🙂
*IF GENESIS 1 IS CHRONOLOGICAL, THERE ARE REAL SCIENTIFIC DISCREPANCIES.
There are theories of interpretation of the book of Genesis that are not chronological.
For many of the reasons that Dr Zakir Naik quotes, I came to the same interpretation of the Genesis creation account, namely that it is non-chronological. It is also clear from my own study of usage in various contexts and lexical references that a day is not necessarily 24 hours but could figuratively represent any period of time.
It finally seemed like daily perspectives on aspects of creation in a stream of consciousness narrative, or stream of revelation, beginning with light, like expanded consciousness begins with light. The day was of indeterminate length as one day can be like a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.
And if we view the days as aspects of creation, then we can systematically and scientifically address each aspect somewhat independently of each other according to the limits of our consciousness, not the limits of the consciousness of God, which is unlimited. There is no limit to the scientific mind of God.
Such a view towards the sciences, as in Genesis 1, is well suited for those responsible for caring for and tending the garden, namely paradise.
There are a variety of Christian views on Genesis but the non-chronological account is one of the most reasonable. Time may prove otherwise, but that is where I would place my Christian exegetical bets for now.
To show that my view is not lonely, without other adherents, see:
Genesis 1: Are the Six Days of Creation Literal or Figurative?
Two Creationist Interpretations of Genesis 1
*EZRA AND NEHEMIA APPEAR TO CONTAIN DISCREPANCIES AND DON’T AGREE WITH EACH OTHER, THUS THEY ARE MATHEMATICALLY UNSCIENTIFIC.
Nehemia and Ezra likely contain transcription errors.
The Muslims threw out texts so they could have a canon free from error.
Christians keep the apparent errors and apparent contradictions, which in my view is more scientific, since who knows how the advances in knowledge that might lead to other ways of appreciating the differences. To throw out contradictory texts and make snap judgments seems risky, but it is certainly true that most documents and historical monuments are not saved from the literal fires and degradation of history. As the scripture says, death and hell are cast into the lake of fire.
As Deedat notes, does the Bible have 66 books as per many Protestant denominations, or 73 books as Roman Catholics assert, including the Apocrypha? The Roman Catholics saved seven books from the fire. Whether 66 books were saved, or 73, God did not save the Injeel or Torah? Our God is a consuming fire but at least we have saved some books. Paul boasts about the destruction of the books of sorcery, worth millions of dollars. They would probably be worth far more today to anthropologists and cultural sociologists. Men too are like the fire, but that should not seem too strange to jinn. For a book to be preposterous, we need copies to prove it.
But logical absurdity is among the clearest of scientific and mathematical proofs.
Certainly there are many Christians that interpret the days as literal days or believe that the earth is only thousands of years old, but you can find people who claim any religion that will take an unscientific view.
I am not saying Paul’s narrative of Greek believers destroying their books of sorcery is wrong or right. The books were likely preposterous, but some took them very seriously to put such high monetary value on them.
*THERE ARE DIFFERENCES IN AGES AND DURATIONS IN SOME BIBLICAL ACCOUNTS.
It is the same rationale for preserving differences in durations rather than throwing out books of the bible, and saying this one is wrong and the other is right, or both are wrong. It is better to keep the contradiction at times than throw out the dissenting text, or even the red herring. Salt and freeze the red herring, if we have the technology, but otherwise reserve judgment.
*THE WORD OF GOD IS INERRANT.
So can we say that the texts are divinely inspired and the “word of God” is inerrant, if there are transcription errors that we can verify through comparisons between what seem to be parallel accounts? The Quran says that all the prophets are the same in the eyes of Allah but it also says all people are different.
It is precisely the challenges of such contradictions that have lead to the best of Christian consideration, judicial wisdom and respect for a reasoned and rigorous examination of the facts, errors and contradictions, both judicially and scientifically.
John 1 refers to the word, in the beginning.
1John 1 refers to the word which our hands have handled, which we had from the beginning, and the word made flesh.
ﻳﻮﺣﻨﺎ ﺍﻻﻭﻝ 1:1-5Arabic Life Application Bible (ALAB)
1 نَكْتُبُ إِلَيْكُمْ عَمَّا كَانَ مِنَ الْبَدَايَةِ بِخُصُوصِ كَلِمَةِ الْحَيَاةِ: عَمَّا سَمِعْنَاهُ، وَرَأَيْنَاهُ بِعُيُونِنَا، وَشَاهَدْنَاهُ، وَلَمَسْنَاهُ بِأَيْدِينَا.
2 فَإِنَّ «الْحَيَاةَ» تَجَلَّتْ أَمَامَنَا. وَبَعْدَمَا رَأَيْنَاهَا فِعْلاً، نَشْهَدُ لَهَا الآنَ. وَهَا نَحْنُ نَنْقُلُ إِلَيْكُمْ خَبَرَ هَذِهِ الْحَيَاةِ الأَبَدِيَّةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عِنْدَ الآبِ ثُمَّ تَجَلَّتْ أَمَامَنَا!
3 فَنَحْنُ، إِذَنْ، نُخْبِرُكُمْ بِمَا رَأَيْنَاهُ وَسَمِعْنَاهُ، لِكَيْ تَكُونُوا شُرَكَاءَنَا. كَمَا أَنَّ شَرِكَتَنَا هِيَ مَعَ الآبِ وَمَعَ ابْنِهِ يَسُوعَ الْمَسِيحِ.
4 وَنَكْتُبُ إِلَيْكُمْ هَذِهِ الأُمُورَ لِكَيْ يَكْتَمِلَ فَرَحُكُمْ!
5 وَهَذَا هُوَ الْخَبَرُ الَّذِي سَمِعْنَاهُ مِنَ الْمَسِيحِ وَنُعْلِنُهُ لَكُمْ: إِنَّ اللهَ نُورٌ، وَلَيْسَ فِيهِ ظَلاَمٌ الْبَتَّةَ.
Arabic Life Application Bible (ALAB)
Copyright © 1988 by Biblica
1 John 1 King James Version (KJV)
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
So the word is both internal to the text as we see it on the printed page, and external to the text, as the word made flesh. Errors in transcription always occur as the word is transferred from print to the fleshy tables of the heart. That does not mean that these errors will never be corrected, nor do they invalidate the real word of God.
The greatest “transcription errors” are between our respective texts and the human heart. So if there are moral errors, and errors in interpretation, as both Dr. Naik and I wish to make clear, I personally believe there are corrections for all those errors, and they are most needful in their application to the human heart.
ﻛﻮﺭﻧﺜﻮﺱ ﺍﻟﺜﺎﻧﻴﺔ 3:3Arabic Life Application Bible (ALAB)
3 وَهَكَذَا يَتَبَيَّنُ أَنَّكُمْ رِسَالَةٌ مِنَ الْمَسِيحِ خَدَمْنَاهَا نَحْنُ، وَقَدْ كُتِبَتْ لاَ بِحِبْرٍ بَلْ بِرُوحِ اللهِ الْحَيِّ، وَلاَ فِي أَلْوَاحٍ حَجَرِيَّةٍ بَلْ فِي أَلْوَاحِ الْقَلْبِ الْبَشَرِيَّةِ.
2 Corinthians 3:3King James Version (KJV)
3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
*A MOTHER IS UNCLEAN 40 DAYS AFTER THE BIRTH OF A MALE CHILD AND 80 DAYS AFTER THE BIRTH OF A MALE CHILD.
ARE THERE NO SCIENTIFIC REASONS?
The word of God is the statutes and judgments, and moral considerations, and details. How many days a woman was unclean after the birth of female infant are only a small part of that. The nomenclature of clean and unclean are likely idiomatic words for something that is for the health and safety of the mother.
My guess is that the blood issue might require time to heal.
I would also suppose that the post natal health risks to a woman two centuries before the birth of Christ may be relatively inconceivable from the standpoint of current times. Leprosy, for instance, is what we call Hansen’s disease today, but we are not sure it is the same disease as we have today. Nor are we sure if the same immunities are present in mankind, or that the same general hygiene practices were in effect then, as they are today. There may have been post natal bacterial health risks to the mother that we can’t conceive of today. So while this is a subject worthy of consideration from a medical or scientific standpoint, it is not a clear means of dismissing the Bible or the ancients as being “unscientific”.
A second consideration would be the health and parental bonding of the infant to its mother.
*THE BIBLE IS UNSCIENTIFIC.
There are instances where the Bible is clearly scientific, even if there are places where it is ambiguous.. See Ecclesiastes 1 where Solomon speaks of the hydrological cycle, and other cycles.
Solomon is also reputed to have written botanical books and to have classified plants. But those books have been lost in the fires of history.
The roots of the word superstition include excessive fear of the gods, but also prophetic utterance.
Monotheists must be careful to determine what is “excessive” and what isn’t. It may be that the Bible seems unscientific in its own way but it also could be immeasurably scientific in ways that we can’t conceive.
*THE EARTH AND HEAVENS ARE SPOKEN OF AS HAVING FOUR “PILLARS”.
أعمِدَةُ السَّماءِ تَتزعزَعُ وترتَعِدُ عَجبا مِنْ تَهديدِهِ. (26 سفر أيوب:11 GNA)
The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. (Job 26:11 KJV)
وكانَ موسى إذا دخَلَ الخَيمَةَ ينزِلُ عَمودُ السَّحابِويقفُ على بابِ الخَيمةِ، ويُكَلِّمُ الرّبُّ موسى. وكانَ إذا رأى الشَّعبُ عَمودَ السَّحابِ واقفا على بابِ الخَيمةِ يقومونَ ويسجُدونَ، كُلُّ واحدٍ على بابِ خَيمتِه. (33 سفر الخروج:9-10 GNA)
And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. (Exodus 33:9-10 KJV)
The second quote describes a pillar of cloud and the same Hebrew word is used. (See the above link)
The term “water column” is a scientific concept.
Then there is the thermal “column” of air, another very scientific concept.
*THERE IS AN INSTANT UNSCIENTIFIC AND ACCURATE TEST FOR ADULTERY IN NUMBERS 5 WHICH SEEMS UNSCIENTIFIC. IF IT WORKS SO WELL, WHY ISN’T APPLIED IN EVERY CASE?
Nor was the word solely for instantly determining adultery based on mixing dust from the floor of the tabernacle, and giving it to the accused to drink, and her belly swelled and she died if she was guilty. It was the last step of a much longer far more considerate process according to the Mishnah. It was not anti scientific superstitious nonsense applied to all cases as a form of instant adultery test, according to reliable Jewish sources, as per this accomplished christian commentator, John Gill.
For detailed commentary on Lev 5:12 to 5:31
First off the woman would have to lie, which might not be too unusual for a crime like adultery, punishable by death for her and her partner, if they were guilty. She would also have to be proven guilty of indiscrete behaviour such as illicit meetings. Then her husband would have to be so jealous, and so without an affection, that he was willing to see her die if she was guilty. Then rather than do anything evil himself, he would have to take her to a priest, and they would have to begin the procedure. It would not just be any old dust. It would be dust from the Tabernacle which would be like dust from the Qaaba or Dome of the Rock, the religious centre of the time. The dust would be from the tabernacle, which would actually change location at times as for a nomadic people.
“after she had been warned and charged by her husband to the contrary, and so had disobeyed him, and acted contrary to his will; and in that sense had committed a trespass, and so had given him suspicion of her unchastity, for which he might have some reason; if, as it is said in the Misnah F12, he gave her an admonition before two witnesses, saying, have no talk with such a man, and yet she talks with him; or, as the commentators add F13, be not secretly or in private with such an one, and yet goes into a private place with him, and stays so long with him that she may be defiled; this with them rendered her suspected.”
“the man brought his wife first to the sanhedrim, or court of judicature in the place where he lived; before whom, as Maimonides F15 says, he proved by witnesses that he had warned his wife of being in private with such a man, and yet she had done it again; and whereas she insisted on her chastity, he desired that the bitter waters might be given her, that the truth might appear; and then they sent him with two disciples of the wise men, to the great sanhedrim at Jerusalem, where the trial was made; who, in order to bring her too confession, endeavoured to terrify her, as they do persons in capital cases, and finding this wilt not do, then they used smooth words, saying, my daughter, perhaps much wine was the occasion of it, or much laughter”
See Gill Lexicon links for more quotes
But the prescription of the Torah is for JEALOUSY! Surely jealousy is among the most unreasonable and unscientific of emotions. JEALOUSY is often accompanied by VENGEANCE. So why else wouldn’t the antidote to jealousy be as unreasonable as the jealousy itself? Wouldn’t the scientific antidote to jealousy include some superstition?
They took the dust from the tent of meeting and mixed it with water.
The penalty for adultery is death.
Nowadays in western society women want the right to date who they want and that might include sex, but complain when it doesn’t turn out and then they decide they didn’t consent.
Back then marriage was an easily provable form of consent. But JEALOUSY? It takes more than science, and more than death to overcome jealousy.
ﻧﺸﻴﺪ ﺍﻷﻧﺸﺎ 8:6Arabic Life Application Bible (ALAB)
6 (الْمَحْبُوبَةُ): اجْعَلْنِي كَخَاتَمٍ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ، كَوَشْمٍ عَلَى ذِرَاعِكَ، فَإِنَّ الْمَحَبَّةَ قَوِيَّةٌ كَالْمَوْتِ، وَالْغَيْرَةَ قَاسِيَةٌ كَالْهَاوِيَةِ. وَلَهِيبُهَا لَهِيبُ نَارٍ، كَأَنَّهَا نَارُ الرَّبِّ!
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7 KJV)
Condemning one’s own house is somewhere between jealousy and love. It’s more passion than science, but it takes science and wisdom to formulate such proverbs. And the bitter water was a proverb for jealousy uniquely suited to that age when there was a tabernacle and its dust, and jealousy. We don’t have to apply the same rule today. But the modern day secular rules are no match for the ancient rules of jealousy and death, unless there are fundamental changes in human behaviour, physiognomy and psychology.
Faith can make for strange science when that faith is weak in any respect.
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
إِقبَلوا بَينَكُم ضَعيفَ الإيمانِ ولا تُحاكِموهُ على آرائِهِ. فمِنَ النّاسِ مَنْ يَرى أنْ يأكُلَ مِنْ كُلّ شيءٍ، ومِنهُم مَنْ هوَ ضَعيفُ الإيمانِ فَلا يأكُلُ إلاّ البُقُولَ. فعلى مَنْ يأكُلُ مِنْ كُلّ شيءٍ أنْ لا يَحتَقِرَ مَنْ لا يأكُلُ مِثلَهُ، وعلى مَنْ لا يأكُلُ مِنْ كُلّ شيءٍ أنْ لا يَدينَ مَنْ يأكُلُ مِنْ كُلّ شيءٍ، لأنّهُ مَقْبولٌ عِندَ اللهِ. ومَنْ أنتَ حتى تَدينَ خادِمَ غَيرِكَ؟ فهوَ في عينِ سَيّدِهِ يَسقطُ أو يَثْبُتُ. وسيَـثبُتُ لأنّ الرّبّ قادِرٌ على أنْ يُثــبّتَه. ومِنَ النّاسِ مَنْ يُفَضّلُ يومًا على يومٍ، ومِنهُم مَنْ يُساوي بَينَ الأيّامِ كُلّها. ولا بأسَ أنْ يَثبُتَ كُلّ واحدٍ على رأيِه. لأنّ مَنْ يُراعي يومًا دُونَ بَقيّةِ الأيّامِ يُراعيهِ إكرامًا للهِ، ومَنْ يأكُلُ مِنْ كُلّ شيءٍ يأكُلُ إكرامًا للهِ لأنّهُ يَشكُرُ اللهَ، ومَنْ لا يأكُلُ مِنْ كُلّ شيءٍ لا يأكُلُ إكرامًا للهِ ويَشكُرُ اللهَ. فما مِنْ أحدٍ مِنّا يَحيا لِنَفسِهِ، وما مِنْ أحدٍ يَموتُ لِنَفسِهِ. فإذا حَيـينا فللرّبّ نَحيا، وإذا مُتنا فللرّبّ نَموتُ. وسَواء حَيـينا أمْ مُتنا، فللرّبّ نَحنُ. (14 رسالة رومة:1-8 GNA)
Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14:1-8 KJV)
*THE IDEA OF SUPERNATURALLY LEARNED LANGUAGES IS UNSCIENTIFIC.
Dr. Naik challenges his opponent to speak at least the 50 legal languages of India to prove the scientific veracity of Mark 16. Otherwise he calls that text unscientific and superstition, and his audience laughed and agreed.
No one person has spoken all languages on demand, least of all as a test from a person or crowd who doesn’t even believe in any such gift, but when unknown languages have been spoken by believers, it was acknowledged as evidence and a gift of the Holy Spirit. Having a natural gift for languages doesn’t extend instantly to all languages, but Paul said prophesy was better. It is possible to prophesy in tongues but tongues should be interpreted for the edification of the church.
أحمَدُ اللهَ على أنّي أتكَلّمُ بِلُغاتٍ أكثَرَ مِمّا تتكَلّمونَ كُلّكُم، ولكِنّي في الكنيسةِ أُفَضّلُ أنْ أقولَ خَمسَ كَلِماتٍ مَفهومَةٍ أُعَلّمُ بِها الآخَرينَ على أنْ أقولَ عَشَرَةَ آلافِ كَلِمَةٍ بِلُغاتٍ. لا تكونوا أيّها الإخوَةُ أطفالاً في تَفكيرِكُم، بَلْ كونوا أطفالاً في الشّرّ وراشِدينَ في التّفكيرِ. جاءَ في الشّريعةِ: “قالَ الرّبّ: سأُكَلّمُ هذا الشّعبَ بألسِنةٍ غَريبَةٍ وبِشفاهٍ غَريبةٍ، ومعَ ذلِكَ لا يُصغونَ إليّ”. فَما اللّغاتُ آيَةً لِلمُؤمِنينَ، بَلْ لِغَيرِ المُؤمِنينَ. أمّا موهِبَةُ النّبُوءَةِ فهِـيَ لِلمُؤمنينَ، لا لِغَيرِ المُؤمنينَ. فلَو اَجتَمَعَتِ الكنيسةُ كُلّها وتَكلّمَ كُلّ واحدٍ فيها بِلُغاتٍ، فدَخَلَ مُستَمِعونَ مُبتَدِئونَ أو غيرُ مُؤمنينَ، ألا يَقولونَ إنّكُم مَجانينُ؟ ولكنْ لَو تَنبّأوا كُلّهُم، فدَخَلَ علَيهِم مُستَمِـعٌ مُبتَدِئٌ أو غَيرُ مُؤمِنٍ، لَوَبّخَهُ الحاضِرونَ ودانوهُ كُلّهُم، فتَنكَشِفُ خَفايا قَلبِهِ، فيَسجُدُ ويَعبُدُ اللهَ مُعتَرِفًا أنّ اللهَ بالحقيقَةِ بَينَكُم. فَماذا بَعدُ، أيّها الإخوَةُ؟ عِندَما تَجتَمِعونَ ولِكُلّ واحدٍ مِنكُم تَرنيمَةٌ أو تَعليمٌ أو وَحْيٌ أو رِسالةٌ بِلُغاتٍ أو تَرجَمَةٌ، فلْيكُنْ كُلّ شيءٍ لِلبُنيانِ. (14 رسالة كورنثوس الأولى:18-26 GNA)
I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. (1 Corinthians 14:18-27 KJV)
*THE CLEANSING PROCESS FOR LEPROSY IS SPRINKLING A BIRD’S BLOOD IN VARIOUS PLACES.
Scattering blood to cleanse a leper was viewed as a preface to the cleansing power of the blood of Christ, which likely wouldn’t mean much to most Muslims, because they view the crucifixion of Jesus as a myth. Blood to blood transmission of disease is widely accepted nowadays, but more between the same species, or related species. No doubt there were hazards. Wine and oil were widely used as cleansing agents for wounds, probably because of the antibacterial properties of the more pure unrefined products, and the alcohol. The act of cleansing by the priest may have been more like a signature act, like a CPA, a Chartered Public Accountant, signs a document to certify its authority. The signature in their culture for being clean of disease or sin seems to have been blood. How much should we quibble about the signature, and it’s methods and means, when the actual reality of cleansing is greater than the signature?
فقالَ يَسوعُ: “أما طَهُرَ العَشرَةُ، فأينَ التِسعَةُ؟ (17 البشارة كما دوّنها لوقا:17 GNA)
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? (Luke 17:17 KJV)
Thanks for the cleansing seems even more rare.
*POISONOUS PLANTS EXIST SO ALL PLANTS COULD NOT BE GOOD FOR FOOD AS IT SAYS IN GENESIS 1:29
Some might argue that creation theory arrested and detained scientific progress towards the theory of evolution. I would suggest the contrary. The true spirit of Christianity did not turn a blind eye to the scientific truth, and that same spirit of rigorous scientific inquiry was in Darwin.
When Dr. Naik says there are many modern plants that are known today to be poisonous, we don’t know how true that was hundreds of thousands of years ago, with more primitive plants. Or the same for some geographical locations. So saying that the third day when all plants were created, good for food, was a lie is not necessarily true of all times and places, and the Christian scripture does mention one tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, whose fruits are definitely defined as slow acting poison, although I see it as a metaphorical tree of false doctrine.
*THE LAST VERSES OF MARK 16 ARE ERRONEOUS AND ESPECIALLY THE REFERENCE THAT ALL BELIEVERS SHALL SPEAK IN TONGUES, OR THEY SHALL DRINK ANY POISONOUS THING.
The blood of Christ is seen as poisonous to Jews and Muslims, if we are to believe it. Alcohol is viewed as a slow acting poison by most Muslims.
Some would throw out Mark 16 because they say it is not in the earliest manuscripts. Somehow we think our most modern textual critics like Bart Ehrman know more about the validity of the texts than those that established the canon in 325 at the Council of Nicea. About 250 years of separation between the gospel accounts and evaluating the textual records can lead to ambiguity but how much more so almost 2000 years?
I can only assume that the foremost scholars of that day had access to more manuscripts than we know of today. So while Ehrman’s work is valuable, who knows whether the aforementioned portion of text in Mark 16 is legitimate? If Ehrman says he knows, I haven’t seen enough of his work to be convinced. Personally, if Mark 16 was not originally a part of the gospel of Mark, it should still be included as a beneficial sub note to the text. But I believe it is, so far.
Mark 16 mentions faith, casting out Devils, speaking in new tongues, taking up serpents, drinking any deadly thing and it shall not hurt them, and the laying on of hands on the sick and they shall recover.
The taking up of serpents and drinking poison are the only things relatively without parallel in the rest of the Bible at first glance. The other practices are well established.
Of course the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpents head, and Moses took up his staff and then cast it down again, so even taking up serpents is not completely without parallel. It is also emblematic of prophetic leadership.
The drinking of poison which Naik makes fun of could relate to poisonous doctrine.
لكنَّ خالِقَهُم غيرُ الّذي خلَقَنا، وهُم بِذلِكَ يعلَمونَ. مِنْ كرمَةِ سَدومَ كرمَتُهُم ومِنْ بَساتينِ عَمورَةَ. عِنبُهُم عِنَبٌ مَسمومٌ وعَناقيدُهُم مِنْ مَرارة. خمرُهُم حُمَّةُ الثَّعابـينِ وسَمُّ الأفاعي الّذي لا يَرحَمُ. (32 سفر التـثنية:31-33 GNA)
For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. (Deuteronomy 32:31-33 KJV)
Some would say the blood of grapes is poisonous in some forms.
يَربُطُ بالكَرمَةِ جَحْشَه، وبالدَّاليَةِ ابنَ أتانِهِ. يَغسِلُ بالخمرِ ثِـيابَهُ، وبِدَمِ العِنَبِ رِدَاءَهُ. تَحمرُّ مِنَ الخمرِ عيناهُ، ومِنَ اللَّبَنِ تَبـيَضُّ أسنانُهُ. (49 التكوين:11-12 GNA)
Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. (Genesis 49:11-12 KJV)
فقالَ لهُم يَسوعُ: “الحقّ الحقّ أقولُ لكُم: إنْ كُنتُم لا تأكُلونَ جسَدَ اَبنِ الإنسانِ ولا تَشرَبونَ دَمَهُ، فلَن تكونَ فيكُمُ الحياةُ. ولكِنْ مَنْ أكَلَ جَسَدي وشَرِبَ دَمي فلَهُ الحياةُ الأبديّةُ، وأنا أُقيمُهُ في اليومِ الآخِرِ. جَسَدي هوَ القوتُ الحَقيقيّ، ودَمي هوَ الشّرابُ الحَقيقيّ. مَنْ أكَلَ جَسَدي وشَرِبَ دَمي يَثبُتُ هوَ فيّ، وأثبُتُ أنا فيهِ. (6 البشارة كما دوّنها يوحنا:53-56 GNA)
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (John 6:53-56 KJV)
But Christians may drink the blood of grapes, which commemorates the blood of Christ? How scientific is that? Is a memory aid scientific?
Is the blood of Christ the blood of grapes?
Psa 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
ويَقولُ أيضًا: “يَعرِفُ الرّبّ أفكارَ الحُكماءِ، ويَعلَمُ أنّها باطِلَةٌ”. فَلا يَفتَخِرُ أحدٌ بالنّاسِ، لأنّ كُلّ شيءٍ لكُم، أبولُسَ كانَ أم أبلّوسَ أم بُطرُسَ أمِ العالَمَ أمِ الحياةَ أمِ الموتَ أمِ الحاضِرَ أمِ المُستقبلَ: كُلّ شيءٍ لكُم، وأمّا أنتُم فلِلمَسيحِ، والمَسيحُ للهِ. (3 رسالة كورنثوس الأولى:20-23 GNA)
And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. (1 Corinthians 3:20-23 KJV)
So the blood of grapes, the Blood of Christ, is drunk by Christians without harm, whereas Muslims and Jews are superstitious about it, since they see it as poison. None the less, it is good to respect the superstitions of others at times, as limitations in their faith, and make allowances.
LAYING ON OF HANDS
As for the laying on of hands, and the sick shall recover, that is commonly called “faith” healing. Modern science would more likely group it with the placebo effect. The placebo effect is more or less rigorously excluded from drug trials by what they call double blind trials.
My contention would be that if there is any placebo effect by the laying on of hands as established by science, then it should be rigorously exploited by science and those with scientific inclinations. I don’t doubt that there could be a reverse placebo effect to laying on of hands if there was any hostility on behalf of the one doing it, or receiving it, so it would require some consent and consideration. There are dangers.
But it is unscientific not to explore or understand the effects and benefits of laying on of hands. And combining that with the effect of faithful sayings and well wishing, I believe the benefits are obvious. As for the application of the laying on of hands to those in leadership, or by those in leadership, the benefits would be similar, much like politicians kiss babies, or shake hands. The difference is in the moral balance and reputation of the giver and recipient.
And the Holy Spirit was given by the laying on of hands. That may not mean so much to Muslims when hands are laid on them, or Jews. CHRISTIANS are warned not to lay hands suddenly on any person, so as not to be partaken of their sins.
Guilt by association is not necessarily legal grounds for indictment, but reputation often works that way.
*THERE IS AN IMPLICIT ARGUMENT THAT THE INJEEL IS PERISHED AND THUS THE ONLY REMAINING BIBLICAL TEXTS ARE CORRUPTED BY THE SCRIBES, BEING NOT ONLY UNSCIENTIFIC, BUT MORALLY CORRUPTED, PARTICULARLY REGARDING THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY GHOST.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
John 15:5,8 KJV
أَنَا الْكَرْمَةُ وَأَنْتُمُ الأَغْصَانُ. مَنْ يَثْبُتُ فِيَّ وَأَنَا فِيهِ، فَذَاكَ يُنْتِجُ ثَمَراً كَثِيراً. فَإِنَّكُمْ بِمَعْزِلٍ عَنِّي لاَ تَقْدِرُونَ أَنْ تَفْعَلُوا شَيْئاً. بِهَذَا يَتَمَجَّدُ أَبِي: أَنْ تُنْتِجُوا ثَمَراً كَثِيراً فَتَكُونُونَ حَقّاً تَلاَمِيذِي.
ﻳﻮﺣﻨﺎ 15:5,8 ALAB
Shirk is the foremost sin of Islam. It is passing strange for many Muslims to acknowledge the 10 commandments or ten words in their entirety. They assert that Christians associate themselves with God and ascribe partners to him so are as bad as the idolators of Mecca?
وتكَلَّمَ الرّبُّ فقالَ: «أنا الرّبُّ إلهُكَ الّذي أخرَجَكَ مِنْ أرضِ مِصْرَ، مِنْ دارِ العُبوديَّةِ. لا يَكُنْ لكَ آلهةٌ سِوايَ. لا تصنَعْ لكَ تِمثَالا مَنحوتا ولا صورَةَ شيءٍ مِمَّا في السَّماءِ مِنْ فَوقُ ، ولا مِمَّا في الأرضِ مِنْ تحتُ، ولا مِمَّا في المياهِ مِنْ تَحتِ الأرضِ. لا تسجُدْ لها ولا تَعبُدْها، لأنِّي أنا الرّبُّ إلهُكَ إلهٌ غيورٌ أعاقِبُ ذنوبَ الآباءِ في الأبناءِ إلى الجيلِ الثَّالثِ والرَّابعِ مِمَّنْ يُبغِضونَني، وأرحَمُ إلى ألوفِ الأجيالِمَنْ يُحِبُّونَني ويعمَلونَ بوصايايَ. (20 سفر الخروج:1-6 GNA)
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:1-6 KJV)
Yet Muslims will acknowledge that the wives of Muhammad are their mothers, as in the Quran, or that every human son of Adam is born a Muslim, in the Hadiths. It’s only after they are born that they are corrupted by their upbringing per the Hadith.
My compliments to you, Sofiane, for bringing these points to my attention, and by drawing my attention to the Quran and Hadiths, as discouraging a pupil as I may seem at times. 🙂
My own mother taught me the Christian doctrine of being born innocent, so I appreciate the commonality and congeniality of perspective there.
The doctrine of many Christians would say that original sin refutes the idea of childhood innocence. But the idea of Christ’s forgiveness and mercy refutes original sin, and we overlook the faith of our children. Faith refutes sin.
Here is the contrary opinion for reference.
My argument for the guilt or innocence of prenatal children would go something like this:
Who is charging the children with sin?
What sin are they charged with?
Who will try them for their sin and under what law?
If they are indicted for the crime of original sin alone, what is the prescribed penalty for a crime committed so long ago, and who prescribes the penalty? In that context, how is it fair that the children should suffer for the sins of their fathers, or the children’s teeth be set on edge because the fathers have eaten sour grapes?
Here again, let’s reintroduce the concept of jealousy.
لا تسجُدْ لها ولا تَعبُدْها، لأنِّي أنا الرّبُّ إلهُكَ إلهٌ غيورٌ أعاقِبُ ذنوبَ الآباءِ في الأبناءِ إلى الجيلِ الثَّالثِ والرَّابعِ مِمَّنْ يُبغِضونَني، (20 سفر الخروج:5 GNA)
“…I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” Exodus 20:5
How is it that God, the paragon of science and reason, is jealous
It is just that. If we do not love science, wisdom and reason then God in his jealousy, coveting us to join him in his science, wisdom and reason will reject us, in his anger and jealousy. And yet he is also kind, merciful and just. So even in our depletion and separation from God, he gives us allowance to alleviate our circumstances, and the circumstances of our children, and especially after the third and fourth generation.
To over simplify my reasoning, if we are scientific, wise, reasonable, jealous, merciful, and kind, would we not covet and strongly desire and be jealous of those we love and wish to join with us, in a like mind, because we reckon such a mind as being salvation?
But there are other judicial principles, that the sins of the fathers are not visited upon the children, and later, that the teeth of the children ought not to be set on edge on account of the sins of the fathers.
Here is a nice comparative study that says the same thing, with the scriptural references.
Do the sons bear the sins of the fathers or not?
Back to the subject of shirk, and original sin.
Let’s take the example of thalidomide, a drug that was given to various pregnant mothers in Canada that caused some of their children to be born without arms and legs or with atrophied limbs. Recently the Federal government decided to pay compensation to the victims and survivors. The drug was originally “primarily prescribed as a sedative or hypnotic, thalidomide also claimed to cure “anxiety, insomnia, gastritis, and tension”. Afterwards, it was used against nauseaand to alleviate morning sickness in pregnant women. Thalidomide became an over the counter drug in Germany on October 1, 1957.”
“Those subjected to thalidomide while in the womb experienced limb deficiencies in a way that the long limbs either were not developed or presented themselves as stumps. Other effects included deformed eyes and hearts, deformed alimentary and urinary tracts, blindness and deafness. The negative effects of thalidomide led to the development of more structured drug regulations and control over drug use and development.”
To answer the questions I originally posed, the victims are innocent. The sins were committed by governments and drug companies who didn’t do the testing before they marketed the drug, nor were the proper scientific controls and protocols in the methodology in charge of the process. The sins went on to the parents, who consented to use the drugs, in ignorance.
But the children are innocent. It is the same with original sin. The original sin is ignorance of God’s law. In the case of thalidomide, the sin was against natural law, but also against God’s law against manslaughter, or assault. But at all levels it was characterized by ignorance from the beginning.
والخَطيئَةُ دَخَلَتْ في العالَمِ بإنسانٍ واحدٍ، وبالخَطيئَةِ دخَلَ الموتُ. وسَرى الموتُ إلى جميعِ البشَرِ لأنّهُم كُلّهُم خَطِئوا. فالخَطيئَةُ كانَت في العالَمِ قَبلَ شريعةِ موسى، ولكِنْ حيثُ لا شريعةَ لا حِسابَ لِلخَطيئَةِ. غَيرَ أنّ الموتَ سادَ البشَرَ مِنْ أيّـامِ آدمَ إلى أيّـامِ موسى، حتى الذينَ ما خَطِئوا مِثلَ خَطيئَةِ آدمَ. وكانَ آدمُ صُورَةً لِمَنْ سيَجيءُ بَعدَهُ. ولكِنّ هِبَةَ اللهِ غَيرُ خَطيئَةِ آدمَ. فإذا كانَ الموتُ سادَ البشَرَ بِخَطيئَةِ إنسانٍ واحدٍ، فبِالأَولى أنْ تَفيضَ علَيهِم نِعمَةُ اللهِ والعَطِيّةُ الموهوبَةُ بِنِعمةِ إنسانٍ واحدٍ هوَ يَسوعُ المَسيحُ. وهُناكَ فَرقٌ في النّتيجةِ بَينَ هِبَةِ اللهِ وبَينَ خَطيئَةِ إنسانٍ واحدٍ. فخَطيئَةُ إنسانٍ واحدٍ قادَتِ البشَرَ إلى الهَلاكِ، وأمّا هِبَةُ اللهِ بَعدَ كثيرٍ مِنَ الخطايا، فقادَتِ البشَرَ إلى البِرّ. فإذا كان الموتُ بِخطيئَةِ إنسانٍ واحدٍ سادَ البشَرَ بِسبَبِ ذلِكَ الإنسانِ الواحدِ، فبِالأَولى أنْ تَسودَ الحياةُ بواحدٍ هوَ يَسوعُ المَسيحُ أولَئِكَ الذينَ يَنالونَ فَيضَ النّعمَةِ وهِبَةَ البِرّ. فكما أنّ خَطيئَةَ إنسانٍ واحدٍ قادَتِ البشَرَ جميعًا إلى الهَلاكِ، فكذلِكَ بِرّ إنسانٍ واحدٍ يُــبَرّرُ البشَرَ جميعًا فينالونَ الحياةَ. وكما أنّهُ بِمَعصِيَةِ إنسانٍ واحدٍ صارَ البشَرُ خاطِئينَ، فكذلِكَ بِطاعَةِ إنسانٍ واحدٍ يصيرُ البشَرُ أبرارًا. وجاءَتِ الشريعةُ فكثُرتِ الخَطيئَةُ، ولكِنْ حَيثُ كَثُرَتِ الخَطيئَةُ فاضَتْ نِعمَةُ اللهِ، حتى إنّهُ كما سادَتِ الخَطيئَةُ لِلموتِ، تَسودُ النّعمَةُ التي تُبَــرّرُنا بِرَبّنا يَسوعَ المَسيحِ لِلحياةِ الأبديّةِ. (5 رسالة رومة:12-21 GNA)
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:12-21 KJV)
A central idea is that where there is no law, sin is not imputed,
فالخَطيئَةُ كانَت في العالَمِ قَبلَ شريعةِ موسى، ولكِنْ حيثُ لا شريعةَ لا حِسابَ لِلخَطيئَةِ. غَيرَ أنّ الموتَ سادَ البشَرَ مِنْ أيّـامِ آدمَ إلى أيّـامِ موسى، حتى الذينَ ما خَطِئوا مِثلَ خَطيئَةِ آدمَ. وكانَ آدمُ صُورَةً لِمَنْ سيَجيءُ بَعدَهُ. (5 رسالة رومة:13-14 GNA)
(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (Romans 5:13-14 KJV)
There was no law against the use of thalidomide at that time nor were there scientific protocols in place adequate to ensure drug safety. It is still questionable whether there are today.
So the persons who had not sinned suffered the effects of sin from the errors of their fathers. We might argue that “there is no law” today, so many would say sin is not imputed. And most importantly, sin is not imputed on the innocent victims of a drug called thalidomide. The drug is deemed to be relatively harmless, except to pregnant women.
But what about when we are no longer ignorant of the law or the consequences of moral, natural and scientific law?
If any one used thalidomide on pregnant women, they could not plead ignorance, unless they actually were totally ignorant. So sin could be imputed on those who used it, but under whose law?
Also there is no evidence that thalidomide can cause second generation birth defects.
Does thalidomide cause second generation birth defects?
So the second generation effects may only be side effects of the problems their parents had on account of their disability and not direct genetic effects. If we hate the science of genetics, then hazards like thalidomide may effect us to the third and fourth generation. That may not be because of our own personal hatred of the God of all science, but because of the hatred of our forbears.
It is the same with the use of depleted uranium munitions. The primary effect of depleted uranium use is heavy metal poisoning, not so much radioactivity. Many could plead ignorance, and the victims would almost certainly be innocent of its use. The victims may have their own sins but they are so far innocent of the sins of those that use depleted uranium,
Victims may suffer the effects of other people’s sins but they are only guilty of their own sins. It is the same with original sin. We may suffer the effects of other people’s sins, but we are not guilty of their sins. We will suffer for our own sins, but we may also suffer on account of other people’s sins. So infants are born innocent of sin. It is not a sin to be born, but they may bear the effects of the sins of their predecessors.
وبَينَما هوَ في الطّريقِ، رأى أعمى مُنذُ مَولِدِهِ. فسألَهُ تلاميذُهُ: “يا مُعَلّمُ، مَنْ أخطأَ؟ أهذا الرّجُلُ أم والداهُ، حتى وُلِدَ أعمى؟” فأجابَ يَسوعُ: “لا هذا الرّجُلُ أخطَأَ ولا والداهُ. ولكنّهُ وُلِدَ أعمى حتى تَظهَرَ قُدرةُ اللهِ وهيَ تَعمَلُ فيهِ. علَينا، ما دامَ النّهارُ، أنْ نَعمَلَ أعمالَ الذي أرسَلَني. فمتى جاءَ الليلُ لا يَقدِرُ أحَدٌ أنْ يَعمَلَ. أنا نُورُ العالَمِ، ما دُمتُ في العالَمِ”. (9 البشارة كما دوّنها يوحنا:1-5 GNA)
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (John 9:1-5 KJV)
So let’s review shirk again, which is the Islamic word for associating partners with God almighty. If I have interpreted yourself as my instructor in Islam correctly, Muslims associate with each other as partners. The members of the Ummah are all partners with each other, but they associate no Muslim with Allah, nor do they associate any other person or thing with Allah, God almighty.
Is that correct?
If I got that right, then per the Muslims, the servants of Allah are slaves of Allah, but they are not associated with Allah as partners. The Christians and Jews are alleged to associate partners with Allah. The Jews associate themselves as children of Allah, and the Christians associate Jesus with Allah as son of Allah, but Muhammad does not associate himself with Allah as a servant of Allah. Muhammad PBUH does associate himself with all the Muslims in the Ummah, but not with Allah.
Of course Moses is acknowledged as both a prophet of Allah and a servant of Allah by Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Since all the prophets were Muslims, and Jesus was a Muslim, he could not be son of God since the Quran says Allah has no sons.
That concludes my understanding of shirk thus far.
So I would expect that children and parents are partners and associates with each other as Muslims are partners and associates with each other. Since we know that the human body consists of 100 trillion cells, I would suppose that these cells are all partners of each other, unless they are cancer cells.
My reasoning is now become a little stretched since I have not verified these other aforementioned theories of mine in the last paragraph with Muslims.
But a master is not in shirk with his slave? All things are for the master?
Holy Quran 5:18
وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ ۚ قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُمْ بِذُنُوبِكُمْ ۖ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ بَشَرٌ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ ۚ يَغْفِرُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا ۖ وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ
Say the Jews and Christians, ‘We are the sons of God, and His beloved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He chastise you for your sins? No; you are mortals, of His creating; He forgives whom He will, and He chastises whom He will.’ For to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them; to Him is the homecoming.
So my question would be, why does he chastise his slaves? As Muslims, there would innocent children born whom he would chastise, but on account of whose sins? Admittedly there are Muslims of all classes and talents. And they are mortals. For whose sin are they chastised? Surely there is so much shirk among those who allege they are the servants of Allah, among alleged Muslims, that it beggars the Muslims.
But in the Kingdom of God, one may be either servant or son.
In every respect a son is like a servant until he becomes of age, when he may be more like a son.
It is a forward but reasonable thing to ask, why would the sons of God suffer for their sins? Surely they are mortals as the Quran says.
But Paul seems to become more and more forward in his epistle to the Galatians, saying that the sons of God under the law, the Jews, have become like servants of God, as if they are the children of Hagar, through Ishmael. And he says that those putting their faith in Christ are become spirit born children of God.
25 وَلَفْظَةُ هَاجَرَ تُطْلَقُ عَلَى جَبَلِ سِينَاءَ، فِي بِلاَدِ الْعَرَبِ، وَتُمَثِّلُ أُورُشَلِيمَ الْحَالِيَّةَ، فَإِنَّهَا مَعَ بَنِيهَا فِي الْعُبُودِيَّةِ.
26 أَمَّا الثَّانِي، فَرَمْزُهُ الْحُرَّةُ الَّتِي تُمَثِّلُ أُورُشَلِيمَ السَّمَاوِيَّةَ الَّتِي هِيَ أُمُّنَا.
27 فَإِنَّهُ قَدْ كُتِبَ: «افْرَحِي أَيَّتُهَا الْعَاقِرُ الَّتِي لاَ تَلِدُ، اهْتِفِي بِأَعْلَى صَوْتِكِ أَيَّتُهَا الَّتِي لاَ تَتَمَخَّضُ، لأَنَّ أَوْلاَدَ الْمَهْجُورَةِ أَكْثَرُ عَدَداً مِنْ أَوْلاَدِ الَّتِي لَهَا زَوْجٌ!»
28 وَأَمَّا أَنْتُمْ، أَيُّهَا الإِخْوَةُ، فَأَوْلاَدُ الْوَعْدِ، عَلَى مِثَالِ إِسْحَاقَ.
29 وَلَكِنْ، كَمَا كَانَ فِي الْمَاضِي الْمَوْلُودُ بِحَسَبِ الْجَسَدِ يَضْطَهِدُ الْمَوْلُودَ بِحَسَبِ الرُّوحِ، فَكَذَلِكَ أَيْضاً يَحْدُثُ الآنَ.
30 إِنَّمَا مَاذَا يَقُولُ الْكِتَابُ؟ «اطْرُدِ الْجَارِيَةَ وَابْنَهَا، لأَنَّ ابْنَ الْجَارِيَةِ لاَ يَرِثُ مَعَ ابْنِ الْحُرَّةِ!»
31 إِذَنْ، أَيُّهَا الإِخْوَةُ، نَحْنُ لَسْنَا أَوْلاَدَ الْجَارِيَةِ، بَلْ أَوْلاَدُ الْحُرَّةِ.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
There are disagreements about who was Abraham’s favourite son. As a nonHebrew, I have no patrilineal investment in this debate. As a Christian I am well aware of Paul’s opinions on the “seed of promise” but I have no investment there either. Paul is right according to his own Biblical account but wrong about the priority of Isaac according to the Quran.
So reasonably how would anyone choose, assuming they were uninfluenced by text or paternity? It is impossible to choose without any texts because that is the only reference we have to Isaac and Ishmael. We could base our choice on the character of those that claim to be of Isaac and those who claim to be of Ishmael but that would be inherently prejudiced and not based on any text.
A third possibility is that both Jews and Muslims could be wrong, as atheists assert.
But for monotheists, it is door number one, door number two, or both. Unless it is Buddhism or Hinduism.
But it seems I am lead to the same conclusion that some of your Islamic scholars have come to. At birth life proceeds to deal us the cards and then we start playing. We can only look at the faces of the cards that Allah has dealt, which is his books and messengers. Some of us may have more cards than others. Some of the messengers are in the cards and texts also. But each of us may think the other fellows cards are worth less than his own, or sometimes more, and then there might be fear and dismay. Except when it comes to war. 🙂
In that case each of us is dealt different weapons at birth ….
… And we don’t have to worry about different books and messengers. 🙂
Personally I think the supreme being is smarter than that but as a species usually we aren’t.