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Christianity vs. Islam: Burleson-Shooter Debate
Posted: 14 June 2008 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I challenge Jack Shooter to a debate.  The topic of the debate will be: Which religion has a superior claim to truth - Christianity or Islam?

I propose a total of 10 posts each. Since Christianity appeared first historically, I will post first, which will give Jack the last word.

I propose that both sides refrain from blasphemy, insults or derogatory epithets aimed at the God, prophets or people of the opposing side. However, there is no limitation on tough factual analysis or aggressive argument.

My first post follows.

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Posted: 14 June 2008 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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POST ONE:  Christianity and Islam have some common beliefs which form a good starting point for this debate.  For example, both believe in a creator God, both believe that God has revealed himself to mankind, and both believe that God has sent prophets to mankind with specific revelations.  Christianity and Islam share, among others, the following prophets: Abraham, Moses and Jesus. 

However, Christianity has a superior claim to truth than Islam because it flows more naturally with God’s previous revelation through His prophets.  For example, the story of Abraham is told in the Torah, the books of Moses in the Old Testament.  In one story, Abraham is told by God to sacrifice his only legitimate son, Isaac.  As Abraham is about to obey, God stops him and provides a substitute – a ram.  Christianity flows very naturally with this revelation, as it sees the story as a “type” or foreshadowing of God’s ultimate revelation through Jesus, His Son.  The Father sacrifices the Son for the sin of mankind, and offers him up as a substitute for people.  Christianity accepts the story as it is, and fulfills its typology.

Islam, on the other hand, revises the story.  It has Ishmael as the one being offered, which on its face seems to be an example of historical revisionism in order to write the Arab people into the stream of God’s revelation.  Christianity sees no need to change the story.

Moses, who is the traditional author of the Torah, prophesies the coming of another prophet like him in Deuteronomy 18:15-18.  Whoever does not listen to that prophet, God will “require it” of him, or bring judgment on him.  Christianity clearly sees Jesus as this prophet (Acts 3:17-23), and also proclaims that He is the Messiah foretold by the OT Scriptures.  Islam accepts Jesus as a prophet and even as the Messiah, but does not accept his claim to be the Son of God, which He clearly claimed to be. (Mark 14:60-65)  Therefore, Islam runs afoul of Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 18. 

Jesus, as pointed out above, is presented in the Gospels as the Son of God.  Islam professes to accept the Gospel (injil) of Jesus (Isa).  However, it proclaims that God does not have a son, and that Jesus is not God’s son.  It also denies that Jesus was actually crucified, and therefore also denies that He was resurrected from the dead. These are all central claims of the Gospel.  By rejecting them, Islam again engages in historical revisionism, changing the content of the Gospel. 

These examples show how Christianity flows better with God’s previous revelation through His prophets.  Christianity does not see any need to change any story of the Old Testament – it simply flows with it and fulfills its prophecies and types through Jesus.  Islam, on the other hand, finds it necessary to change the content of both the Old and New Testaments, while at the same time professing to believe in their major prophets.  This disruption in the flow of God’s progressive revelation demonstrates that Islam has an inferior claim to truth than Christianity has.

[ Edited: 14 June 2008 10:11 AM by Ecurb Noselrub]
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Posted: 14 June 2008 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 14 June 2008 02:08 PM

In one story, Abraham is told by God to sacrifice his only legitimate son, Isaac.  As Abraham is about to obey, God stops him and provides a substitute – a ram.  Christianity flows very naturally with this revelation, as it sees the story as a “type” or foreshadowing of God’s ultimate revelation through Jesus, His Son.  The Father sacrifices the Son for the sin of mankind, and offers him up as a substitute for people.  Christianity accepts the story as it is, and fulfills its typology.

And in so doing, christ-insanity reveals itself as the crude and barbaric, iron age mythology that it is. The idea of sacrificing people and animals to gods is just disgusting.

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Posted: 14 June 2008 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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eucaryote - 14 June 2008 02:54 PM

And in so doing, christ-insanity reveals itself as the crude and barbaric, iron age mythology that it is. The idea of sacrificing people and animals to gods is just disgusting.

I’ll be happy to debate that issue with you on another thread. I was attempting to debate Jack Shooter here. This forum doesn’t have the capabilities of setting up an exclusive debate like the Dawkins forum does. Tell me where you want to debate the issue and I’ll be there.

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Posted: 14 June 2008 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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eucaryote - 14 June 2008 02:54 PM

And in so doing, christ-insanity reveals itself as the crude and barbaric, iron age mythology that it is. The idea of sacrificing people and animals to gods is just disgusting.

Oh well then, thank God for the new convenant, right? Another reason to rejoice.

By the way…...had a burger lately? How about a steak? That chicked sandwich was pretty tasty, huh?  Oh nothing…..I said nothing…...nothing….

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Posted: 14 June 2008 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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TheChampion - 14 June 2008 03:16 PM
eucaryote - 14 June 2008 02:54 PM

And in so doing, christ-insanity reveals itself as the crude and barbaric, iron age mythology that it is. The idea of sacrificing people and animals to gods is just disgusting.

Oh well then, thank God for the new convenant, right? Another reason to rejoice.

By the way…...had a burger lately? How about a steak? That chicked sandwich was pretty tasty, huh?  Oh nothing…..I said nothing…...nothing….

Oh, sorry Bruce, I jumped in there. I’ll stay out and watch the firefight.

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-29

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Posted: 14 June 2008 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I do declare, there is a total lack of propriety on this forum.

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Posted: 14 June 2008 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 14 June 2008 03:38 PM

I do declare, there is a total lack of propriety on this forum.

Sorry Bruce. I don’t totally mean to derail the debate, just hoot from the sidelines. Try to understand how impossible it is for someone like myself to treat this topic with any respect. It’s like watching two crazy people debate the relative qualities of their delusions.

And Champ, I didn’t know that god wanted Abe to kill Issac to eat him….that’s even more disgusting. Are you saying that god originally intended that we eat our children and then, at the last minute, in a flash of moral insight, it decided to teach us to eat animals instead?

god said to abraham, “kill me a son”,
abe said “man, you must be puttin’ me on”
god said, “no”, abe said “what?”
god said, “you can do what you want to but fuck,
next time you see me comin’ you better run!”
abe said “where, you want this killin’ done?”
“god said out on hiway 61”....wheeeeeee

[ Edited: 14 June 2008 12:59 PM by eucaryote]
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Posted: 14 June 2008 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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whoops clicked quote instead of edit red face

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Posted: 14 June 2008 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Far as I know this is a public forum and all are free to post whatever they please. However, Christian and Muslim debate is not the topic here, so a private debate between the two without other opinion is not appropriate. I for one, will snipe away at both.

Stay Well
Wot

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Posted: 14 June 2008 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 14 June 2008 02:08 PM

POST ONE:  Christianity and Islam have some common beliefs which form a good starting point for this debate.  For example, both believe in a creator God, both believe that God has revealed himself to mankind, and both believe that God has sent prophets to mankind with specific revelations.  Christianity and Islam share, among others, the following prophets: Abraham, Moses and Jesus. 

However, Christianity has a superior claim to truth than Islam because it flows more naturally with God’s previous revelation through His prophets.  For example, the story of Abraham is told in the Torah, the books of Moses in the Old Testament.  In one story, Abraham is told by God to sacrifice his only legitimate son, Isaac.  As Abraham is about to obey, God stops him and provides a substitute – a ram.  Christianity flows very naturally with this revelation, as it sees the story as a “type” or foreshadowing of God’s ultimate revelation through Jesus, His Son.  The Father sacrifices the Son for the sin of mankind, and offers him up as a substitute for people.  Christianity accepts the story as it is, and fulfills its typology.

Islam, on the other hand, revises the story.  It has Ishmael as the one being offered, which on its face seems to be an example of historical revisionism in order to write the Arab people into the stream of God’s revelation.  Christianity sees no need to change the story.

Moses, who is the traditional author of the Torah, prophesies the coming of another prophet like him in Deuteronomy 18:15-18.  Whoever does not listen to that prophet, God will “require it” of him, or bring judgment on him.  Christianity clearly sees Jesus as this prophet (Acts 3:17-23), and also proclaims that He is the Messiah foretold by the OT Scriptures.  Islam accepts Jesus as a prophet and even as the Messiah, but does not accept his claim to be the Son of God, which He clearly claimed to be. (Mark 14:60-65)  Therefore, Islam runs afoul of Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 18. 

Jesus, as pointed out above, is presented in the Gospels as the Son of God.  Islam professes to accept the Gospel (injil) of Jesus (Isa).  However, it proclaims that God does not have a son, and that Jesus is not God’s son.  It also denies that Jesus was actually crucified, and therefore also denies that He was resurrected from the dead. These are all central claims of the Gospel.  By rejecting them, Islam again engages in historical revisionism, changing the content of the Gospel. 

These examples show how Christianity flows better with God’s previous revelation through His prophets.  Christianity does not see any need to change any story of the Old Testament – it simply flows with it and fulfills its prophecies and types through Jesus.  Islam, on the other hand, finds it necessary to change the content of both the Old and New Testaments, while at the same time professing to believe in their major prophets.  This disruption in the flow of God’s progressive revelation demonstrates that Islam has an inferior claim to truth than Christianity has.

Bruce, thank your invitation to a debate.  I appreciate the rules of engagement you have put forth.  Even if you hadn’t though, I am bound to follow God’s command to debate with certain manners, of course, I often fall very short of this injunction:

Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright. (Qur’an 16: 125)

Now, before we debate anything Bruce, I would appreciate it if you could please let me know whether you have read the posts in which I provided links to articles written by former Christian’s concerning the issue of biblical scholarship and its views about the bible.  In case you haven’t, I’ve provided them again below.  Likewise, have you reviewed literature by Christian scholars themselves about the historical Jesus (peace be upon him) and its conclusions?  Suffice to say here, that there are a number of Christian scholars that doubt that Jesus ever claimed to be the “Son of God”.

As someone who has studied only a little about the quest for the historical Jesus (peace be upon him), a preliminary look into the subject tells me the Qur’an is extremely accurate in describing the situation:

“And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.” (Quran 4:157)

Now, I assume that many Western atheists come from a Christian background and that often they have left Christianity because they understand the reliability of it’s very sources in addition to problematic notions of morality (i.e. claims about Lot (peace be upon him) having anything to do with incest for example), that is the Gospels, are sketchy.  And after coming to this realization, I think they have come to feel that other religious texts, namely, the Qur’an, must necessarily be unreliable also, whereas in fact, the history of the Qur’an’s preservation is vastly different.

“Indeed it is We who have sent down the reminder (the Qur’an), and indeed it is Us who shall preserve it” (Qur’an 15:9)

I believe it would do you well to study how God has preserved the Qur’an in order to understand how it differs from the bible.

All this is to say that before we debate anything, I think it necessary to talk about the variant views within Christian scholarship concerning the bible itself, and subsequently the importance of Jesus (peace be upon him).

Concerning Deutoronomy 18:18, as you may know, Muslims have long believed that the Prophet like Moses (peace be upon him) was the final Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).  Muslims feel that these two prophets were more similar to eachother than Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them).

Anyway, please read the following links which provide a Muslim critique of Christianity and let me know what you think.

http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/trinity.htm
http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/xtians.htm
http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/bmuslim.htm


Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing.

O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot.

Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy?

He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet,

And hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving so long as I remain alive,

And (hath made me) dutiful toward her who bore me, and hath not made me arrogant, unblest.

Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!

Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt.

It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. (Qur’an 19:27-35)

Thank you for your time and interest.  Take care.

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Posted: 15 June 2008 05:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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POST TWO: Jack, to answer your question, yes, I have glanced through the links you provided, and am quite familiar with the arguments relating to Biblical scholarship, the historical Jesus, and Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God. I also have a Masters of Divinity Degree from a Christian seminary, so I have studied the matter on my own and under the tutelage of scholars.

The Gospel of Mark, which I take to be the earliest account of Jesus’ life that we have, clearly portrays Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus himself makes this claim in Mark 14:61-62. Scholars differ on the date of Mark, with many holding to a date somewhere around 70 CE. I believe it was written a little earlier, but even if it was written in 70 CE, that is only 37 years or so after the death of Jesus. The author could easily have been alive when Jesus died, or could have had access to eyewitnesses, at the very least. Eusebius, an early Christian historian, quotes another early Christian, Papias, to the effect that Mark wrote his gospel based upon the preaching of Peter. Irenaeus, Origen and Tertullian all concur with this tradition. So, in my opinion, we have sufficient historical evidence to conclude that Mark was written by an early disciple who probably was alive when Jesus lived and certainly had access to eyewitnesses.

Mark was used by both Matthew and Luke, in my opinion, in their gospels. Thus, they considered it reliable enough to use as a basic outline for the additional information that they wrote. There is no extant document that is antecedent to Mark. In other words, we have no document that Mark allegedly copied or relied upon for his gospel. It appears, therefore, that Mark is an original work. The simplest explanation for Mark is that it is an actual account of the life and work of an actual man, Jesus.

Furthermore, Paul’s letter to the Galatians, which many scholars believe was written in the early 50’s, but I (along with others) believe was written in the late 40’s, confirms many facts about the historical Jesus, such as: he was the Son of God, he was crucified and raised from the dead, he was born of a woman, he was a Jew, and he had early disciples named Peter, John and James, the last of whom was his brother.

Consequently, I feel quite comfortable with the Gospel claims about Jesus. The Qur’an was written approximately 600 years after Jesus’ life, and obviously Muhammad was not an eyewitness. From an historical viewpoint, if I have to choose between documents like Mark (c. 70 CE) and Galatians (c. 50 CE) on the one hand, and the Qur’an (c. 610-654 CE) on the other hand, then I will rely on the earlier accounts, especially since they were written by people who were alive at the time and had access to eyewitnesses.

I will defer to you on issues regarding the Qur’an. I have read it several times, but do not claim to be an expert. It is my understanding that Muhammad began to receive his revelations in about 610 CE, that he died in about 632 CE, that the Qur’an was not written down during his life but memorized and passed on, and that the first standardized text was about 654 CE, which was after his death. Is this correct?

I will note that the Qur’an does agree with Christianity concerning some aspects of the Gospel account. Obviously, it agrees that Jesus was an actual, historical person, so we have no argument about that. Secondly, it agrees that his mother was Mary, and that he was the Messiah. Do you concur? It generally confirms the injil, but contests the main points of the gospel, such as Jesus’ claim that he was the Son of God, and his crucifixion and resurrection. If the Qur’an rejects these main points, what does it claim that the injil was? 

The main issue between Islam and Christianity is the nature and person of Jesus. Christianity relies upon documents that were written soon after Jesus lived, and by people who were alive at the time and had access to eyewitnesses. Islam relies upon the Qur’an, which was received by Muhammad through revelation (according to it’s own account) approximately 600 years after Jesus, in another culture and another language. The claims of Christianity with respect to the facts of Jesus’ life and death are clearly superior, from an historical standpoint, to the claims of Islam, due to priority in time and access to reliable information. And if Jesus is the Son of God, as the Gospels claim, then Christianity has a stronger claim to the truth than Islam does. I look forward to your response, and I wish you the best.

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Posted: 15 June 2008 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Bruce said:

POST ONE: Christianity and Islam have some common beliefs which form a good starting point for this debate.  For example, both believe in a creator God, both believe that God has revealed himself to mankind, and both believe that God has sent prophets to mankind with specific revelations.  Christianity and Islam share, among others, the following prophets: Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

This is not all they have in common. Both are violent, competitive, evangelistic faiths which advocate killing of the other. And it is all ok and sanctioned by God/Allah. But don’t just believe me. Ask Jack.

Jack said:

Suffice to say here, that there are a number of Christian scholars that doubt that Jesus ever claimed to be the “Son of God”.

This is an attempt to undermine the very foundations of Christianity. Without the divinity, death and resurrection of Jesus, and salvation, Christianity completely collapses and evaporates. I think that these “scholars” and Jack are correct.

Stay Well
Wot

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Posted: 15 June 2008 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Again, they are supposed to be debating “which religion has a superior claim to truth”.
Notice how they fill the void with words.
Taken to it’s limit, as our friend Salt Creek notes, “there is an infinite amount of nonsense that one can know about nothing”.

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Posted: 15 June 2008 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 15 June 2008 09:04 AM

POST TWO: Jack, to answer your question, yes, I have glanced through the links you provided, and am quite familiar with the arguments relating to Biblical scholarship, the historical Jesus, and Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God. I also have a Masters of Divinity Degree from a Christian seminary, so I have studied the matter on my own and under the tutelage of scholars.

The Gospel of Mark, which I take to be the earliest account of Jesus’ life that we have, clearly portrays Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus himself makes this claim in Mark 14:61-62. Scholars differ on the date of Mark, with many holding to a date somewhere around 70 CE. I believe it was written a little earlier, but even if it was written in 70 CE, that is only 37 years or so after the death of Jesus. The author could easily have been alive when Jesus died, or could have had access to eyewitnesses, at the very least. Eusebius, an early Christian historian, quotes another early Christian, Papias, to the effect that Mark wrote his gospel based upon the preaching of Peter. Irenaeus, Origen and Tertullian all concur with this tradition. So, in my opinion, we have sufficient historical evidence to conclude that Mark was written by an early disciple who probably was alive when Jesus lived and certainly had access to eyewitnesses.

Mark was used by both Matthew and Luke, in my opinion, in their gospels. Thus, they considered it reliable enough to use as a basic outline for the additional information that they wrote. There is no extant document that is antecedent to Mark. In other words, we have no document that Mark allegedly copied or relied upon for his gospel. It appears, therefore, that Mark is an original work. The simplest explanation for Mark is that it is an actual account of the life and work of an actual man, Jesus.

Furthermore, Paul’s letter to the Galatians, which many scholars believe was written in the early 50’s, but I (along with others) believe was written in the late 40’s, confirms many facts about the historical Jesus, such as: he was the Son of God, he was crucified and raised from the dead, he was born of a woman, he was a Jew, and he had early disciples named Peter, John and James, the last of whom was his brother.

Consequently, I feel quite comfortable with the Gospel claims about Jesus. The Qur’an was written approximately 600 years after Jesus’ life, and obviously Muhammad was not an eyewitness. From an historical viewpoint, if I have to choose between documents like Mark (c. 70 CE) and Galatians (c. 50 CE) on the one hand, and the Qur’an (c. 610-654 CE) on the other hand, then I will rely on the earlier accounts, especially since they were written by people who were alive at the time and had access to eyewitnesses.

I will defer to you on issues regarding the Qur’an. I have read it several times, but do not claim to be an expert. It is my understanding that Muhammad began to receive his revelations in about 610 CE, that he died in about 632 CE, that the Qur’an was not written down during his life but memorized and passed on, and that the first standardized text was about 654 CE, which was after his death. Is this correct?

I will note that the Qur’an does agree with Christianity concerning some aspects of the Gospel account. Obviously, it agrees that Jesus was an actual, historical person, so we have no argument about that. Secondly, it agrees that his mother was Mary, and that he was the Messiah. Do you concur? It generally confirms the injil, but contests the main points of the gospel, such as Jesus’ claim that he was the Son of God, and his crucifixion and resurrection. If the Qur’an rejects these main points, what does it claim that the injil was? 

The main issue between Islam and Christianity is the nature and person of Jesus. Christianity relies upon documents that were written soon after Jesus lived, and by people who were alive at the time and had access to eyewitnesses. Islam relies upon the Qur’an, which was received by Muhammad through revelation (according to it’s own account) approximately 600 years after Jesus, in another culture and another language. The claims of Christianity with respect to the facts of Jesus’ life and death are clearly superior, from an historical standpoint, to the claims of Islam, due to priority in time and access to reliable information. And if Jesus is the Son of God, as the Gospels claim, then Christianity has a stronger claim to the truth than Islam does. I look forward to your response, and I wish you the best.

Bruce,

Thank you for your response.  From what you have written above, I acknowledge that you take the Gospel of Mark to be an authoritative account providing evidence for the claim that Jesus (peace be upon him) is the Son of God.  Clearly, given your training in this area, you are far more qualified than I when it comes to speaking about the historocity of the Gospels and Jesus (peace be upon him), as well as about probably any other issue within Christian scholarship.  My only question for you relates to how you can achieve a sense of ‘comfort’ as you described it with the notion that Jesus is the Son of God, as per the Gospel of Mark and other indications, whereas apparently there is no evidence that Jesus (peace be upon him) ever made this claim himself according to serious Biblical scholars, E P Sanders being only one of them.  Consider the following quotes from others:

“A further point of broad agreement among New Testament scholars is ... that the historical Jesus did not make the claim to deity that later Christian thought was to make for him: he did not understand himself to be God, or God the Son, incarnate. ” - John Hick, The Metaphor of God Incarnate: Christology in a Pluralistic Age, Westminster John Knox Press, page 27.

Michael Ramsey, Jesus and the Living Past (Oxford University Press, 1980), page 39: ‘Jesus did not claim deity for himself’

C. F. D. Moule, The Origin of Christology : ‘Any case for a “high” Christology that depended on the authenticity of the alleged claims of Jesus about himself, especially in the Fourth Gospel, would indeed be precarious’

James Dunn (theologian), Christology in the Making, (SCM Press 1980), page 254: ‘We cannot claim that Jesus believed himself to be the incarnate Son of God’ and ‘There is no question in my mind that the doctrine of incarnation comes to clear expression within the NT…John 1.14 ranks as a classic formulation of the Christian belief in Jesus as incarnate God.’ Page xiii.

Brian Hebblethwaite, The Incarnation (Cambridge University Press, 1987), page 74: ‘it is no longer possible to defend the divinity of Jesus by reference to the claims of Jesus’ .

John A. T. Robinson, Honest to God, Westminster Press (1963), Page 47: ‘It is, indeed, an open question whether Jesus ever claimed to be the Son of God, let alone God.’

Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, page 5, describes the view that Jesus made ‘both his messiahship and his divinity clear to his disciples during his ministry’ as ‘naive and ahistorical’.

Again, I would be interested in knowing how you reconcile your view that Jesus (peace be upon him) claimed to be Son of God according to the Gospels, with the views of the many Biblical scholars that hold your view to be untrue according to the very same sources.

As to the Qur’an being a much later text and therefore inferior in its claims regarding Christianity, it would seem you are right from a strictly historical standpoint.  Of course, Muslims believe that the Qur’an is a revelation from God and so the fact that it appears much later in history yet speaks about earlier events does not mean much according to Muslims, especially in light of their belief that the Bible, although much of its truths remain intact, has been influenced by human meddling, which is a view that, I believe, again, finds significant resonance within Christian scholarship.

Likewise, claiming that the Qur’an is inferior to the Bible in describing truth would be like claiming the Bible is inferior to any earlier text concerning the subject of God simply because the Bible came later in history.

All this is to say that your conclusion that Christianity has a more superior claim to truth based on its sources being codified earlier than the Qur’an does not necessarily follow, for it is possible that the early Christian message, for whatever reasons, was corrupted by various influences, as Muslims and some Biblical scholars, would argue actually happened.  In other words, time is no argument, especially when combined with the anonymous nature of the Gospels’ authorship.  Thus, when Muslims say they believe in the Injil or Gospels, they are really saying that they believe in those aspects which are confirmed by the Qur’anic narrative, which evidently, also seems to be complemented by some Biblical scholarship.

Now, as to your understanding of what Muslims believe concerning Jesus (peace be upon him), you are correct in what you have said.  Muslims believe he (peace be upon him) was born to the virgin Mary (God be pleased with her) and was the Messiah, but never died on the cross, but was raised to heaven, as per the Qur’anic verse I cited in my last post.  And, Muslims also believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) will return towards the end of time to destroy the anti-Christ or imposter.

In terms of the Qur’an, it was actually written down on various materials including bones, tablets, date palm leaves, and so forth, as well as memorised by many companions during the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) own life time.  All manuscripts and/or materials containing Qur’anic verses were collected and copied under the leadership of Abu Bakr (may God be pleased with him) and supervision of Zaid ibn Thabit (may God be pleased with him), which was only a few years after the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) passing away.

Take care.

[ Edited: 15 June 2008 09:34 PM by Jack Shooter]
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Posted: 15 June 2008 09:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Wotansson - 15 June 2008 09:25 AM

Bruce said:

POST ONE: Christianity and Islam have some common beliefs which form a good starting point for this debate.  For example, both believe in a creator God, both believe that God has revealed himself to mankind, and both believe that God has sent prophets to mankind with specific revelations.  Christianity and Islam share, among others, the following prophets: Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

This is not all they have in common. Both are violent, competitive, evangelistic faiths which advocate killing of the other. And it is all ok and sanctioned by God/Allah. But don’t just believe me. Ask Jack.

Jack said:

Suffice to say here, that there are a number of Christian scholars that doubt that Jesus ever claimed to be the “Son of God”.

This is an attempt to undermine the very foundations of Christianity. Without the divinity, death and resurrection of Jesus, and salvation, Christianity completely collapses and evaporates. I think that these “scholars” and Jack are correct.

Stay Well
Wot

Neither religion advocates for the killing of the other’s adherents.  You speak out of prejudice and ignorance.  Please educate yourself or stay silent.

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