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Christianity vs. Islam: Burleson-Shooter Debate
Posted: 15 June 2008 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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eucaryote - 14 June 2008 02:54 PM
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.

That dog needs to be put down.

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Posted: 15 June 2008 10:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 16 June 2008 01:40 AM

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

Oh Bullshit! Just pure bullshit. Jack, please educate yourself or shut up. Religion is all about division.

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Posted: 16 June 2008 03:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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eucaryote - 16 June 2008 02:59 AM
Jack Shooter - 16 June 2008 01:40 AM

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

Oh Bullshit! Just pure bullshit. Jack, please educate yourself or shut up. Religion is all about division.

Bruce and I are getting along just fine.  In fact, I’ve never encountered the same sort ignorance, which you now utter, from any religious person.  But, whatever you say, dog.

[ Edited: 16 June 2008 03:37 AM by Jack Shooter]
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Posted: 16 June 2008 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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eucaryote - 14 June 2008 04:48 PM
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

I’m sorry, but the way you interpret Biblical stories reflects your ignorance only, that is, the lens with which you view religion seems to be clouded with ignorance, for whatever reason.  Note, I’m just telling it how it is, not to insult you.

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Posted: 16 June 2008 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 16 June 2008 01:40 AM
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.

But Jack, the Koran says:

Believers must fight for Allah. They must kill and be killed , and are bound to do so by the Torah, Gospel, and Quran. But Allah will reward them for it. 9:111


And you say:

Anyway, nothing wrong with fighting for, killing or being killed, for God, if of course, you understand who God is, and what He stands for, which is peace and justice.  There are many verses demonstrating this.

Now you say:

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


Religious hypocrisy at it’s finest! Now, just who is it that speaks from prejudice and ignorance? And who is it that is in need of education and silence?


Stay Well - or in your case- get well

Wot

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Posted: 16 June 2008 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Jack: I propose that for purposes of this thread, we treat the interlopers such as Wot as hecklers, and just ignore them. If we want to respond to them, I suggest that we do that on another thread. Otherwise, this thread is going to get pretty messy and confusing, which is what they want. We can’t TASER ‘em, but we can hit the ol’ ignore switch. grin

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Posted: 16 June 2008 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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POST THREE: Thank you for your post, Jack. With respect to Jesus’ claims of being the Son of God, you have listed several theologians who believe that Jesus did not make this claim. Biblical scholarship is quite developed, and there are theologians on all sides who believe quite different things when it comes to interpretation of scripture. If I wanted to take the time, I could list hundreds of theologians who would agree with me that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. I will list a few, just to respond to your point: F. F. Bruce, J. I. Packer, Donald Guthrie, R. E. Nixon, William L. Lane, F. H. Borsch and J. Blinzer, not to mention the historical heavy-weights such as Augustine, Luther and Calvin. It has become more fashionable in the past 100 years among liberal theologians and non-Christian theologians to question Christ’s claims to divinity, but this is not so among conservative Christian theologians. I will refer you specifically to William L. Lane’s excellent commentary on the Gospel of Mark in the New International Commentary on the New Testament, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1974, for a good overview of Marcan scholarship.

Mark is the best and earliest evidence that we have of the details of the actual life of Jesus, and from the beginning to the end it proclaims Jesus as the Son of God. Mark 1:1 says “The beginning of the gospel (injil) of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. At Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, the Father proclaims from heaven “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11) Peter proclaims Jesus as the Christ in Mark 8:29 (Matthew records him as also saying “Son of God”). Jesus taught that the Christ (Messiah) was not just the Son of David, but the Son of God, on the basis of Psalm 110:1 (Mark 12:35-37 - David called the Christ “Lord”, indicating divine nature). Jesus’ parable of the wicked vinedressers in Mark 12:1-12 clearly portrays Jesus as God’s Son. Jesus predicted his death and resurrection in Mark 8:31-32; 9:30-32; and 10:32-34. He is proclaimed the Son of God by the Father again in Mark 9:7. Jesus flat out says that he is the Son of God in Mark 14:61-62. He is crucified and dies in Mark 15:21-41, and a Roman centurion proclaims him the Son of God in 15:39. He is buried in Mark 15:42-47. The women find the empty tomb in Mark 16:1-8, and are then given the word that he has been raised from the dead. Jack, this IS the gospel. It is about Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, who was crucified, buried and raised from the dead. If you remove these facts, THERE IS NO GOSPEL, NO INJIL.

There is no historical indication whatsoever that the Gospel of Mark has been corrupted on these essential points. It clearly appears that Mark, the first gospel written, has from the beginning proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God. I read it in Greek, the original language, so I don’t have to worry about it being tampered with by interpreters, translators and scholars. The extant Greek manuscripts show remarkable consistency on the passages in which Jesus is claimed to be the Son of God. There is no manuscript of Mark 14:61-62 (where Jesus specifically says that he is the Son of God) which has anything other than that clear claim being made by Christ. (See the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, Third Edition, edited by Aland, et al., under the critical apparatus for this passage). If this is not the Gospel which the Qur’an acknowledges, then what is? 

You agree that the Qur’an portrays Jesus as an actual man, as the son of the Virgin Mary, and as the Messiah. We even agree that he ascended into heaven. These are all facts that are contained in the various gospels. So why not just believe the entire Gospel, including Jesus being the Son of God, who died and was raised from the dead? Certainly, raising the dead is not too difficult for God, agreed?

Regarding your statement that later texts are not necessarily inferior to earlier texts regarding God, I would disagree with you concerning the transmission of FACTUAL, HISTORICAL DATA. A document written soon after the event has a higher likelihood of being factually correct than one written centuries later by people who had no access to the eyewitnesses. And it is factual, historical data that is at the crux of the disagreement between Islam and Christianity regarding the person of Jesus. Specifically, did he die and did he rise from the dead? Clearly, the New Testament is in a better position than the Qur’an to correctly judge this historical, factual issue. By the same token, I would admit that the Qur’an is in a better position than a later document to tell us what Muhammad actually said or did.

However, if you believe, even in the absence of evidence, that the Gospel of Mark has been tampered with, I would argue that there equal concern about the Qur’an. For example, since Muhammad himself did not write it down, there were possibilities for corruption of the text. Writing things down on bones and date palm leaves certainly leaves room for error. Writing large sections of text from memory also introduces opportunities for mistakes. Finally, the collection process, although it may have been carefully overseen by Abu Bakr and Zaid ibn Thabit, was not checked by Muhammad himself, since he had passed.  Therefore, there is no guarantee that the final product is the same thing that Muhammad spoke. Any document is subject to corruption in the transmittal process. We could say the same thing about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. You might say “there is no evidence that corruption occurred,” but then I would say exactly the same thing about Mark.

If we give the Qur’an and the Gospel of Mark equal scores on integrity of the original text, we have the Gospel of Mark in 70 CE saying Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose from the dead, and the Qur’an 600 years later denying those facts. Just considering the two documents alone, Mark is superior in terms of history on what actually happened to Jesus and what he claimed. Therefore, Christianity has the superior claim to truth about Jesus, and that is the entire issue.

I look forward to your response, and hope you have a pleasant day.

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Posted: 16 June 2008 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 16 June 2008 12:28 PM

Jack: I propose that for purposes of this thread, we treat the interlopers such as Wot as hecklers, and just ignore them. If we want to respond to them, I suggest that we do that on another thread. Otherwise, this thread is going to get pretty messy and confusing, which is what they want. We can’t TASER ‘em, but we can hit the ol’ ignore switch. grin


Hey, good idea Bruce. This way reason, fact and common sense won’t interfere with you and Jack engaging each other in the mental masturbation of religious dogma.

Stay well
Wot

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Posted: 16 June 2008 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 16 June 2008 01:46 AM
eucaryote - 14 June 2008 02:54 PM
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.

That dog needs to be put down.

See how naturally violence comes to you, Jack? Let me repeat that with respect to Islam, crude and barbaric, iron age mythology that it is.
Woof!

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Posted: 16 June 2008 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 16 June 2008 01:36 PM

POST THREE: Thank you for your post, Jack. With respect to Jesus’ claims of being the Son of God, you have listed several theologians who believe that Jesus did not make this claim. Biblical scholarship is quite developed, and there are theologians on all sides who believe quite different things when it comes to interpretation of scripture. If I wanted to take the time, I could list hundreds of theologians who would agree with me that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. I will list a few, just to respond to your point: F. F. Bruce, J. I. Packer, Donald Guthrie, R. E. Nixon, William L. Lane, F. H. Borsch and J. Blinzer, not to mention the historical heavy-weights such as Augustine, Luther and Calvin. It has become more fashionable in the past 100 years among liberal theologians and non-Christian theologians to question Christ’s claims to divinity, but this is not so among conservative Christian theologians. I will refer you specifically to William L. Lane’s excellent commentary on the Gospel of Mark in the New International Commentary on the New Testament, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1974, for a good overview of Marcan scholarship.

Mark is the best and earliest evidence that we have of the details of the actual life of Jesus, and from the beginning to the end it proclaims Jesus as the Son of God. Mark 1:1 says “The beginning of the gospel (injil) of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. At Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, the Father proclaims from heaven “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11) Peter proclaims Jesus as the Christ in Mark 8:29 (Matthew records him as also saying “Son of God”). Jesus taught that the Christ (Messiah) was not just the Son of David, but the Son of God, on the basis of Psalm 110:1 (Mark 12:35-37 - David called the Christ “Lord”, indicating divine nature). Jesus’ parable of the wicked vinedressers in Mark 12:1-12 clearly portrays Jesus as God’s Son. Jesus predicted his death and resurrection in Mark 8:31-32; 9:30-32; and 10:32-34. He is proclaimed the Son of God by the Father again in Mark 9:7. Jesus flat out says that he is the Son of God in Mark 14:61-62. He is crucified and dies in Mark 15:21-41, and a Roman centurion proclaims him the Son of God in 15:39. He is buried in Mark 15:42-47. The women find the empty tomb in Mark 16:1-8, and are then given the word that he has been raised from the dead. Jack, this IS the gospel. It is about Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, who was crucified, buried and raised from the dead. If you remove these facts, THERE IS NO GOSPEL, NO INJIL.

There is no historical indication whatsoever that the Gospel of Mark has been corrupted on these essential points. It clearly appears that Mark, the first gospel written, has from the beginning proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God. I read it in Greek, the original language, so I don’t have to worry about it being tampered with by interpreters, translators and scholars. The extant Greek manuscripts show remarkable consistency on the passages in which Jesus is claimed to be the Son of God. There is no manuscript of Mark 14:61-62 (where Jesus specifically says that he is the Son of God) which has anything other than that clear claim being made by Christ. (See the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, Third Edition, edited by Aland, et al., under the critical apparatus for this passage). If this is not the Gospel which the Qur’an acknowledges, then what is? 

You agree that the Qur’an portrays Jesus as an actual man, as the son of the Virgin Mary, and as the Messiah. We even agree that he ascended into heaven. These are all facts that are contained in the various gospels. So why not just believe the entire Gospel, including Jesus being the Son of God, who died and was raised from the dead? Certainly, raising the dead is not too difficult for God, agreed?

Regarding your statement that later texts are not necessarily inferior to earlier texts regarding God, I would disagree with you concerning the transmission of FACTUAL, HISTORICAL DATA. A document written soon after the event has a higher likelihood of being factually correct than one written centuries later by people who had no access to the eyewitnesses. And it is factual, historical data that is at the crux of the disagreement between Islam and Christianity regarding the person of Jesus. Specifically, did he die and did he rise from the dead? Clearly, the New Testament is in a better position than the Qur’an to correctly judge this historical, factual issue. By the same token, I would admit that the Qur’an is in a better position than a later document to tell us what Muhammad actually said or did.

However, if you believe, even in the absence of evidence, that the Gospel of Mark has been tampered with, I would argue that there equal concern about the Qur’an. For example, since Muhammad himself did not write it down, there were possibilities for corruption of the text. Writing things down on bones and date palm leaves certainly leaves room for error. Writing large sections of text from memory also introduces opportunities for mistakes. Finally, the collection process, although it may have been carefully overseen by Abu Bakr and Zaid ibn Thabit, was not checked by Muhammad himself, since he had passed.  Therefore, there is no guarantee that the final product is the same thing that Muhammad spoke. Any document is subject to corruption in the transmittal process. We could say the same thing about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. You might say “there is no evidence that corruption occurred,” but then I would say exactly the same thing about Mark.

If we give the Qur’an and the Gospel of Mark equal scores on integrity of the original text, we have the Gospel of Mark in 70 CE saying Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose from the dead, and the Qur’an 600 years later denying those facts. Just considering the two documents alone, Mark is superior in terms of history on what actually happened to Jesus and what he claimed. Therefore, Christianity has the superior claim to truth about Jesus, and that is the entire issue.

I look forward to your response, and hope you have a pleasant day.

But Bruce, It really doesn’t matter the record of the original infection was corrupted or not. The depth of Mark’s delusions, simply don’t address the veracity of the supernatural claims of christ-insanity.

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Posted: 16 June 2008 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Jack Shooter - 16 June 2008 07:56 AM
eucaryote - 14 June 2008 04:48 PM
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

I’m sorry, but the way you interpret Biblical stories reflects your ignorance only, that is, the lens with which you view religion seems to be clouded with ignorance, for whatever reason.  Note, I’m just telling it how it is, not to insult you.

Champ was the one who suggested that god intended that Abe kill Issac for food, not me, though it does raise the question of what religious barbarians did with the sacrifices they made to their gods.

As far as the other interpretation, you’ll have to blame Bob Dylan for that.

I don’t use a lens to view religion, that’s how I see it so clearly.

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Posted: 18 June 2008 09:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Bruce, again, thanks for your response.  I will have to ask you to please be patient with me concerning the delay in my responses, as I have been very busy.  Rest assured, however, I will try to address the issues you raise, God willing.  In the meantime, thank you for your time and patience.  Take care and God bless.

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Posted: 19 June 2008 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Bruce and Jack, congratulations on attempting to carry on a reasoned debate in spite of all the static.  LOL  I expect that the eventual score will be even, but hope that you can let the debate rise to the point of coming up with jokes about the rabbi, the priest, and the mulla on the golf course, etc.

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Posted: 19 June 2008 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 16 June 2008 01:36 PM

POST THREE: Thank you for your post, Jack. With respect to Jesus’ claims of being the Son of God, you have listed several theologians who believe that Jesus did not make this claim. Biblical scholarship is quite developed, and there are theologians on all sides who believe quite different things when it comes to interpretation of scripture. If I wanted to take the time, I could list hundreds of theologians who would agree with me that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. I will list a few, just to respond to your point: F. F. Bruce, J. I. Packer, Donald Guthrie, R. E. Nixon, William L. Lane, F. H. Borsch and J. Blinzer, not to mention the historical heavy-weights such as Augustine, Luther and Calvin. It has become more fashionable in the past 100 years among liberal theologians and non-Christian theologians to question Christ’s claims to divinity, but this is not so among conservative Christian theologians. I will refer you specifically to William L. Lane’s excellent commentary on the Gospel of Mark in the New International Commentary on the New Testament, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1974, for a good overview of Marcan scholarship.

Mark is the best and earliest evidence that we have of the details of the actual life of Jesus, and from the beginning to the end it proclaims Jesus as the Son of God. Mark 1:1 says “The beginning of the gospel (injil) of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. At Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, the Father proclaims from heaven “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11) Peter proclaims Jesus as the Christ in Mark 8:29 (Matthew records him as also saying “Son of God”). Jesus taught that the Christ (Messiah) was not just the Son of David, but the Son of God, on the basis of Psalm 110:1 (Mark 12:35-37 - David called the Christ “Lord”, indicating divine nature). Jesus’ parable of the wicked vinedressers in Mark 12:1-12 clearly portrays Jesus as God’s Son. Jesus predicted his death and resurrection in Mark 8:31-32; 9:30-32; and 10:32-34. He is proclaimed the Son of God by the Father again in Mark 9:7. Jesus flat out says that he is the Son of God in Mark 14:61-62. He is crucified and dies in Mark 15:21-41, and a Roman centurion proclaims him the Son of God in 15:39. He is buried in Mark 15:42-47. The women find the empty tomb in Mark 16:1-8, and are then given the word that he has been raised from the dead. Jack, this IS the gospel. It is about Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, who was crucified, buried and raised from the dead. If you remove these facts, THERE IS NO GOSPEL, NO INJIL.

There is no historical indication whatsoever that the Gospel of Mark has been corrupted on these essential points. It clearly appears that Mark, the first gospel written, has from the beginning proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God. I read it in Greek, the original language, so I don’t have to worry about it being tampered with by interpreters, translators and scholars. The extant Greek manuscripts show remarkable consistency on the passages in which Jesus is claimed to be the Son of God. There is no manuscript of Mark 14:61-62 (where Jesus specifically says that he is the Son of God) which has anything other than that clear claim being made by Christ. (See the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, Third Edition, edited by Aland, et al., under the critical apparatus for this passage). If this is not the Gospel which the Qur’an acknowledges, then what is? 

You agree that the Qur’an portrays Jesus as an actual man, as the son of the Virgin Mary, and as the Messiah. We even agree that he ascended into heaven. These are all facts that are contained in the various gospels. So why not just believe the entire Gospel, including Jesus being the Son of God, who died and was raised from the dead? Certainly, raising the dead is not too difficult for God, agreed?

Regarding your statement that later texts are not necessarily inferior to earlier texts regarding God, I would disagree with you concerning the transmission of FACTUAL, HISTORICAL DATA. A document written soon after the event has a higher likelihood of being factually correct than one written centuries later by people who had no access to the eyewitnesses. And it is factual, historical data that is at the crux of the disagreement between Islam and Christianity regarding the person of Jesus. Specifically, did he die and did he rise from the dead? Clearly, the New Testament is in a better position than the Qur’an to correctly judge this historical, factual issue. By the same token, I would admit that the Qur’an is in a better position than a later document to tell us what Muhammad actually said or did.

However, if you believe, even in the absence of evidence, that the Gospel of Mark has been tampered with, I would argue that there equal concern about the Qur’an. For example, since Muhammad himself did not write it down, there were possibilities for corruption of the text. Writing things down on bones and date palm leaves certainly leaves room for error. Writing large sections of text from memory also introduces opportunities for mistakes. Finally, the collection process, although it may have been carefully overseen by Abu Bakr and Zaid ibn Thabit, was not checked by Muhammad himself, since he had passed.  Therefore, there is no guarantee that the final product is the same thing that Muhammad spoke. Any document is subject to corruption in the transmittal process. We could say the same thing about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. You might say “there is no evidence that corruption occurred,” but then I would say exactly the same thing about Mark.

If we give the Qur’an and the Gospel of Mark equal scores on integrity of the original text, we have the Gospel of Mark in 70 CE saying Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose from the dead, and the Qur’an 600 years later denying those facts. Just considering the two documents alone, Mark is superior in terms of history on what actually happened to Jesus and what he claimed. Therefore, Christianity has the superior claim to truth about Jesus, and that is the entire issue.

I look forward to your response, and hope you have a pleasant day.

Bruce,

Thanks for your response.  Certainly, I concede your point that the motives of certain Biblical scholars can be questioned given their obvious ties to liberal theology or even outright disbelief in Christianity.  Muslims are all too familiar with such criticism as it relates to their religion. I’m speaking here about orientalism.

At the same time however, I can only take your word for it that the scholars I have read about, and my professor on the subject of the “Quest for the Historical Christ” who was himself a Christian theologian, are in fact misguided, and not the other way around, when it comes to the facts about the Gospels.  Conceivably, you may suggest the same when it comes to my presentation about the Qur’an.  However, I think it is remarkable that no Muslim scholar has ever challenged the authenticity of the Qur’an’s transmission.

Now, if I understood you correctly, you indicated that the original language of the Gospel of Mark was Greek.  If so, how can this Gospel be considered to be reliable given that, according to all acounts I know of, Jesus (peace be upon him) never spoke Greek?

As to what constitutes the Injil or Gospels, I think I said before, as you may already know, that Muslims believe that whatever the Qur’an confirms concerning the Gospels is true and whatever else is human speculation or interference.  And I think this view is, as I have said before, not too far-fetched according to many Christian scholars themselves, even if they are considered liberal theologians.  Likewise, I think this view has resonance with many ex-Christians who have left their religion after coming to the same conclusion.  Granted, I know that people can often leave religion due to their ignorance of it, but I have found that many atheists of Christian backgrounds are actually very knowledgeable about the bible.

Bruce, you asked whether it is possible for God to have a son.  I suppose anything is possible for God, but from what we know about God according to Muslim belief, He has told us that it is not befitting to think of Himself as having begotten anything, unless of course, I guess, when you say “Son” you mean something allegorical, like all people are the “Children of God.”

Likewise, explanations as to why Muslims don’t believe in that aspect of the Gospel, which you seem to believe is the essence of the Gospel (i.e. Jesus being God or the Son of God), apart from the reasons I have given (i.e. questions about the authenticity of this claim from various circles, including Christian scholars themselves), can be found in the links I posted earlier, which I think provide a reliable crtique of Christian belief from the Muslim perspective, without referring necessarily to arguments about the bible’s historocity, but rather rely on concerns about the implications of Christian doctrine.

Finally, regarding your questions about the textual integrity of the Qur’an, I would suggest that you refer to the link below rather then us go back and forth concerning the details here.  Now, normally I don’t refer readers to articles about religious subjects whose author’s qualifications are not known to me, but in the absence of such accessible material, I am refering you the link below for answers to your questions about the Qur’an:

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/

Take care, and God bless.

[ Edited: 19 June 2008 08:25 PM by Jack Shooter]
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Posted: 19 June 2008 09:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Hmmm, islamic-awareness, what a great oxymoron!
Thanks Jack.

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