21 February 2009

To My Muslim Friends,

The following letter is the result of an ongoing discussing with a old friend (who is Muslim). Recently we came to a watershed regarding the compatibility of Christianity and Islam.  I use this letter to address all my dear Muslim friends.

My friends,
If our religions make two opposing claims, the law of non-contradiction demands that they both cannot be true. They are incompatible and we must be honest with that.  There can be only one truth. 

Please consider these following thoughts carefully and ask God to reveal to you the Truth.

I worship Jesus as the Son of God, fully God, fully man - who died on a cross as a substitute for my sins, to offer forgiveness to all who receive him by faith. An honest person will acknowledge that this view is incompatible with Islam (in fact according to Surah 9, it is shirk). 

Here is some summary of what Christians call "the Gospel" as written in the Bible (all from the New Testament- also in Arabic in the links that follow):
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:21-28 you can get it in Arabic here)

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7 in Arabic)

He {God} has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1.13-20 in Arabic)
I pray that God will reveal to both of us the Truth but ask yourself honestly (and prayerfully), what sounds more true:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22.37-40 in Arabic)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," (Jesus, in Matthew 5.43-44 in Arabic)

Surah 2:217 - which commands that I should be killed for communicating these things to you.


If there is no compulsion in religion (Surah 2:256), why did the prophet change his mind (22:52)? And why is there a need for Hey'a? (a piece from NPR 2-21-09)

The promise of the Gospel is inward change with no need for compulsion:
I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31.33-34)
I pray that you find that inward change by faith in the forgiveness offered through Jesus Christ. I love you my friends. Let us carefully choose our paths based on truth, not on lies - our eternity depends on it.

Finally, some helpful resources for the discussion:
Muslims for Christ
Arabic Bible
Testimonies of Afghan Muslims Who Have Become Christians
Former Muslims.com
Compare the Bible to the Quran
Answering Islam

Christian readers, please pray for Muslim people around the world to experience the irresistible grace of God and find salvation in Jesus Christ.


  1. Anonymous10:06 AM

    Are you seeking honest discussion?

    It seems you have either deeply misunderstood the Qur'an, or not taken the time to analyze your statements. Surah 2:217 deals with defense of oppression - when people are being oppressed and does not mention missionary activities.

    Putting that aside for now, let me ask a return question of you: At the most basic level of a religion is the source of knowledge, and for Christians this source is the Bible. Is the Bible the word of God or not? This is basic issue that the Christian community can not agree upon. The question is difficult for Christianity because both answers (yes or no) pose great theological problems. Let us examine them briefly:

    (1) Yes, the Bible is the word of God. This poses a grave problem because the Bible has many self-contradicting statements within (just as you have spoken about the law of non-contradiction). Let us leave aside some controversial issues like the status of Jesus and deal with some simple numbers: What was the age of Ahaziah when he began to rule (second Kings 8:26 – says 22, or 42 in second chronicles 22:2)? How many stalls of horses did Solomon have? (first kings 4:26 says 40,000 stalls of horses or 4,000 in second chronicles 9:25)? And, there are many, many more examples of simple number discrepancies.
    (2) No, the Bible is not the exact word of God. This poses an even greater problem for the Christians because at this point the Bible becomes very subjective and “truth” is really only in the eyes of whoever is reading; this is because some parts are “inspired” by God while other parts are simply editing mistakes and human errors – who decides what falls into which category is a slippery slope that Christians don’t want to fall into.

    I am more than happy to discuss if you are open and sincere.

    All the best.

  2. Anonymous,
    I would love to have a discussion with you and I appreciate the opportunity for us both to learn.

    I'll answer your question. Yes, I believe the Bible is the word of God and would love to discuss these discrepancies. I would appreciate some dialogue about more of the contradictions that you see.

    I would pose two ground rules:
    1) No anonymity, open and sincere dialogue exists between people who are first open and sincere about who they are.
    2) We stay on the issue of Jesus as the Son of God, the propitiation for our sins and the Savior of those who receive him by faith as the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). That is THE issue that divides us and forever prevents us from being united under a "common faith."

  3. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Do you feel that a sincere conversation can occur with a person who is not Christian if your condition to talk is accepting Christian doctrine?

    By not anonymous, how would you like to discuss? I'd prefer not to post my e-mail because of spam and the like.

  4. Let me clarify a couple of things. I wrote this letter after discussion with some dear Muslim friends regarding faith and the person of Jesus Christ. In it I'm simply trying to address the logical inconsistency in their claim that both Islam and Christianity can lead to God and clearly present the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ according to the Bible.

    So accepting Christian doctrine is not a prerequisite to the conversation but I would prefer if our dialogue could stick predominantly to person of Jesus Christ and not to the stalls of Solomon. HE is the stone of stumbling, the central issue dividing Christianity from all other faiths.

    Finally, you could just tell us who you are on your next post without exposing your email. I understand your concerns, but I've grown wary of the dangers of responding to anonymous posters.

  5. Anonymous2:06 PM

    I understand your point.

    While at the same time you have made claims about Islam. So, maybe if you'd only like to talk about Jesus then those claims should not have been made.

    I am happy to go either route - just wanting to clarify. I am from Canada, name is loga.

  6. loga,

    Over the years God has given me a love for Muslim people and a desire for their salvation, so if we have any dialogue, you need to know that upfront - I'm evangelizing.

    The words of Surah 2 were offered as a contrast to the words of Jesus and I'm happy to discuss the validity of that comparison.

    How about we start here: Do you believe that both Christianity and Islam lead to God? (You can email me as well: see http://www.summitview.com/index.cfm/page/staff )

  7. Anonymous3:13 PM

    You have mentioned the Qur'an in four places and talked about the laws of logic. Have I understood you correctly that you are unwilling to discuss those laws in relation to Christianity and Christian theology? And, also that you are making claims about Islam, but are unwilling to discuss the validity of those claims?

    This doesn't seem like a two way conversation.

    This seems like one person who is not a Christian answering your call with questions. And, another person speaking selectively and not listening.

    I hope that I have misunderstood.

  8. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Don't get me wrong. Speak the truth.

    But, let's not ignore things or make claims we can't back-up.

  9. Ioga,

    I'm happy to discuss all of it. Logic and Christian theology - my claims about Islam - I'm totally happy to have a two-way conversation about all of it.

    How about my question - let's start there, so I know where you are coming from...
    Do you believe that both Christianity and Islam lead to God?

  10. Anonymous4:03 PM

    The question is somewhat vague. I believe that Jesus is a Prophet of God and the message he brought was from God. Likewise, this message is continued with Islam as it was preceded by other messages.

    You've mentioned that you believe the Bible to be the word of God. How do you reconcile that with the constradictions found within (I gave only two examples, and we can list other if need be).

  11. I understand the idea of progressive revelation but I (obviously) don't agree with it - so maybe a more pointed question would be..."According to Islam, if I believe that Jesus:
    is the Son of God,
    died for my sins,
    rose again
    and rules the universe
    will I go to Heaven?

    As to the contradictions:
    None that I can see with Ahaziah...
    Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri.
    (2 Chronicles 22.2-3)

    Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah; she was a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel.
    (2 Kings 8.26)

    On Solomon's stalls, a summary of the logical explanations:

    a) copyist error
    b) the difference between Solomon's stalls at the beginning and end of his reign.

    c)There is a difference between "stalls with horses" (1 Kings 4:26) and "stalls for horses and chariots" (2 Chronicles 9:25). This site has a nice chart to highlight this. This leads to the final possible explanation:
    d) Read the verses carefully and you will see that there is no contradiction. They had chariot teams with ten horses and ten men per chariot in case you got a flat tire! If he had "four thousand stalls for horses and chariots" he would need fourty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots. - from www.drdino.com

    I conclude that there are enough reasonable explanations for these numbers to allow a logical person to continue to hold to the veracity of the Bible.

  12. Anonymous5:11 PM

    But, do you not agree that there was a progression of revelation before Jesus (to other Prophets, such as Moses)?

    About judgment, that is for God. I can't answer that.

    Regarding Ahaziah, that is an interesting translation of the Bible you've got there. Seems to be another "edit" of God's word. Here is the Christian explanation: The Hebrew text of 2 Chronicles 22:2 does not actually say that Ahaziah was forty-two years old. It says Ahazia was a "son of forty-two years"." And thus, there is some uncertainty in the Hebrew if it says his age was actually 42 or not. However, that is an interesting way to "solve" this problem: use a Bible that has removed it!

    Regarding Solomon - Are you willing to accept that there is a copyist error in the book that is God's word?

    As I mentioned, I'd like to go over additional contradictions. Because I understand that if you call all of them "edits" then you really have to wonder how God's word become so heavily edited. I will give some additional examples when we have agreement regarding these two (I prefer not to post from other websites or give too many questions because I want everything to be clear for me).

    Hope to hear from you soon.

  13. 1) Progressive revelation is not a biblical concept. God is revealed in both Old and New Testaments as the same in holiness, power and grace - I would love to discuss this more if you want to.

    2) The two examples of numerical discrepancy here have to do with a decade in the number given. Ahaziah is said to have been 22 in 2 Kings 8:26; while in 2 Chronicles 22:2 Ahaziah is said to have been 42. Fortunately there is enough additional information in the Biblical text to show that the correct number is 22. Earlier in 2 Kings 8:17 the author mentions that Ahaziah's father Joram ben Ahab was 32 when he became King, and he died eight years later, at the age of 40. Therefore Ahaziah could not have been 42 at the time of his father's death at age 40! Such scribal errors do not change Jewish or Christian beliefs in the least. In such a case, another portion of scripture often corrects the mistake (2 Kings 8:26 in this instance). We must also remember that the scribes who were responsible for the copies were meticulously honest in handling Biblical texts. They delivered them as they received them, without changing even obvious mistakes, which are few indeed. -from answering-islam.org

    3) I don't think you have to live with copyist error with regard to Solomon's stalls - the other possibilities provide sufficient explanations.

    4) What does the Qur'ran say regarding the eternal destiny a person who believes that Jesus:
    is the Son of God,
    died for their sins,
    rose again
    and rules the universe?
    go to Heaven?

    5) Is the Qur'an God's word? Does it have any errors?

    6) You wouldn't happened to be related to one of my dear Muslim friends would you? (I mean really, you know everything about me, I know your first name and the country in which you live - still pretty anonymous)

  14. Anonymous11:45 PM

    1) I would like to discuss this further. How do you feel the Qur'an does not fit into this existing system? Please be specific.

    2) Having pasted this, I assume you then agree with it: that the copyist error is the solution. And, you thus agree that the Bible, God's word as you have told me, has mistakes in it.

    Note: I am not really willing to have a discussion where we post existing websites to one another. I'd rather have a sincere dialogue. I want to hear your opinions, and I will share mine in exchange.

    3) Alright. I am willing to accept that explanation for Solomon. I would like for us to keep track of these and please do remember that I am not debating you, I am accepting what you have said even if some of the finer details could be discussed.

    4) All things are created by God, and God is One. Just as the Prophets have mentioned: "Did not one God create us?" (Malachi 2:10), "since there is only one God" (Romans 3:30), "The Mighty One, God, the LORD!" (Joshua 22:22), "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder" (James 2:19), "You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve" (Matthew 4:10) - just a few examples of many (of the research I did this evening). Worshipping the creation is not what any of the Prophets have taught; surely, going against the teachings of the Prophets is not the correct path. However, judgment is for God alone.

    5) Yes, the Qur'an is God's word. I am happy to discuss questions you may have. However, as mentioned I'd like not to have pasted materials because we could simply end our discussion and go to answering-islam and answering-christianity and call it a day. Let us talk to each other with our own sincere words and thoughts.

    6) I have never been to Colorado and don't know anyone there. Just found you blog by accident. I am a student from Canada.

    7) Because belief in Jesus as God is focal to your posts, can you show me where Jesus says he is God and that worship is to be directed to him. Again, please don't paste from another site. You are a leader of a Church and I'd like to hear from you.

    That's all for today. Talk to you tomorrow.

  15. Ioga,
    I appreciate your desire for a sincere dialogue. That's why, where I have found answers, I quote my sources lest anyone falsely believe that those answers are coming from me.

    2) A copyist error regarding something like Ahaziah's age has never bothered me personally. In fact, I'm impressed that any remnant of these errors remain. It would have been fairly easy to remove them and smooth over any errors so they never become an issue again, but some that remain in the manuscripts. It has always revealed to me an honesty throughout the translation process.

    4) So then Islam and Christianity cannot both be true?

    6) Yes, I am a leader of a Church, from Colorado, with a wife and four kids and, in this sincere dialogue, you are still fairly anonymous.

    7) Jesus on His God-ness:

    John 10:30
    John 13:13
    John 14:6
    John 14:9
    John 17:11
    John 18:36,37 (in response to Pilate)

    AS THE SON OF MAN (Seated at the Right Hand of God, with God's Authority and Power, Judging, Returning on the Clouds, etc)
    John 1.48, 49, 50, 51
    Matthew 16:27
    Matthew 17:12, 22
    Matthew 19:28
    Matthew 20:18, 28
    Matthew 24:30
    Matthew 25:31
    Matthew 26:2

    And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2.5-12 ESV - parallel to Luke 5:20-25)

    Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven
    (Matthew 16.13-20 ESV)

    So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
    (John 5.19-27 ESV)

    So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10.7-18 ESV)

    So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me,is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
    The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

  16. Sorry about my last post it got cut off somehow. That last passage was from John 10:24-33.

    My kids and I prayed for you last night and we will continue (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

  17. Good morning,

    I have a request. Thank you for the response, but there are too many quotes listed here to respond to one-by-one or else things will get very complicated and lengthy. Please select those quotes which you think are strong evidence so we can discuss them specifically.

    1)How do you feel the Qur'an does not fit into this existing system? Please be specific.

    2) Alright. So, we have agreed that a "mistake" (your post) exists in the Bible and you do not find that to be a problem. Due note that this mistake is not a translation problem, it is found in the original texts, in this case Hebrew text.

    3) Great. With Solomon aside for now, I need help with another. There was a famine at the time of David. God tells David about the coming famine, it was either to be seven years (2 Samuel 24:13) or three years (1 Chronicles 21:11-12)?

    4)You have asked a generalized question that requires a specific answer. As you know, Muslims agree with many aspects of Christian and Jewish theology. Do you have a specific question?

    6) What else would you like to know?

    7) I am looking forward to discussing those quotes which you select, you have posted 19. Please choose 2 or 3 so that we can discuss them thoroughly. Thanks in advance.

    I had to use Gmail or Wordpress today, had some troubles posting.

  18. 1) The Qur'an does not describe God as a Trinitarian God (which the Bible does), eternally existing in relationship and with no need for the Creation to express Himself.

    3) You seem well versed in this debate. If you are truly seeking answers, I am not the best resource. As you know, answering-islam.org has answers for literally thousands of questions and would much better suited to address the specifics.

    4) Can the fundamental tenets of Islam and Christianity both be true at the same time? For more specificity, can the path to eternal salvation described in the Qur'an and the path to eternal salvation described in the Bible both be true if they don't agree with each other. This is important because we can then move on to the merits of each faith and stop trying to integrate them.

    6) What are you studying? If you are working or have worked, what is your profession?

    7) We can cut to the chase on this one. In the Gospels, Jesus never specifically says "I am God, worship me." The reason that I included all the references in the last post was to show that, despite Jesus not saying those exact words, there is a preponderance of evidence that He spoke as though He was God. He did this by claiming he was the Son of Man referred to in Daniel 7:13-14 (clearly God), claiming He was one with the Father (which the Jews said in John 10:33 was blasphemy), forgiving sins, affirming others' statements that He was God, indeed His crucifixion was justified by the Jews on the basis of blasphemy.

    Ioga, if you mind is made up on the issue of Jesus - there is nothing more I can say. Christ is all I have to offer.

    You are a sinner.
    Your sin damns you before a holy, perfect, sinless God who made you and who rules the Universe.
    That holy God, atoned for your sin by substituting Himself for you in death in the person of Jesus Christ (fully God, fully man) - if you receive Him by faith.
    If you receive Him by faith, you are joined to God to enjoy in Trinitarian fellowship with Him forever - justified and forgiven.
    If you receive Him by faith, you will be empowered by the Holy Spirit with new life that will allow you to obey God without compulsion.

    That is the Gospel, it is the message with the power for salvation (Romans 1:16), I commend it to your for your consideration before God.

  19. If you think I am well versed, thank you. I have taken an interest to find the truth. You have said you are not the right person to ask these questions to, so I guess that pretty much ends our discussion. I am a student of social science, I've taken a few religious studies classes at University. I currently work for a charity and study.

    The crux of the matter in relation to the questions of contradictions is that there are 13 places (that my humble studies have found) where Christian scholars say: copyist error, copyist error (not including Solomon). You say that the Bible is God's word - why are there errors in God's word? If you like, I can list those 13 that I have found, all of which from Christian websites. If I wanted a certain perspective I'd go to a non-Christian for answers; however, these are the Christian answers: copyist error, copyist error. To say that God knows everything and that His book contains errors does not follow the laws of logic.

    And, recall that we started with the laws of logic, did we not? Now, you have brushed them aside because the laws of logic don't suit your position. I prefer in-depth discussion, seeking the truth, holding positions that are not self-contradicting and that are logical. It was interesting for me to have this discussion.

    If you'd like to end this discussion by calling me a sinner, making claims you'd prefer not to discuss in-depth, and to forego the laws of logic you introduced, that is your choice.

    Thanks for your time.

  20. Ioga,

    Couple things quick; 1) When I call you a sinner, I include all mankind in that indictment (as does the Bible: Romans 3:23) - that does not end the discussion, it's just fundamental to the Gospel (I'm evangelizing remember?)

    2) So you have found 13 errors in the Bible whose best explanation is "copyist error" and that is unsatisfying - I understand and appreciate your desire for applying the laws of logic. So how about this:

    1) I assume that you believe, then, that God has revealed Himself in perfection, without error in another source (s). Is that true? If so what is it?

    2) That there is one Truth that explains the Universe. Is that true? If so what is it?

    These are fundamental starting points for a logical discussion.

    Grace to you.

  21. Well, you had mentioned that you wanted this conversation to be about Jesus and that you would be evangelizing - correct? That is why the discussion has revolved around Christianity.

    So, before we move onto another religion. Do you agree that this is a serious theological problem? Namely, that God's word (the Bible) has errors in it.

    If you agree, that is something we can build upon and I'd be happy to tell you about another source.

  22. Ioga my friend,
    Actually our discussion has revolved around 13 copyist errors in the Bible...not Christianity. Christianity is not first concerned about how many stalls Solomon had or how old Ahaziah was when he became King. It is first concerned about Christ crucified. We haven't discussed that at all.

    Can we begin with this? Is there absolute truth? Just one truth, one philosophy that governs the Universe? You don't even have to tell me which one it is...does it exist?

    No the errors you present do not present a serious theological problem, again, to me, they are evidence of honest translation through the years.

    And a copyist error is not an error in the original manuscript. It is an error that happened as scribes copied 22 from an original to another manuscript and wrote 42 instead. 13 in the whole Bible? Not a "serious theological problem."


    For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

  23. Maybe I have not explained well, these errors are in the original manuscripts. Again, original manuscripts. This is not a translation issue. Not one or two, many. As a student I have found 13 and I really just began my research. Please understand, these mistake are in the original books.

    The Bible is the foundational source of knowledge for Christianity. It is vital to understand. I can’t stress this enough. Vital.

    I could quite easily say to you: prove that X, Y or Z line of scripture is NOT an editorial error. This is why the theological problem I am talking about is a fundamental one. It defines your source you knowledge; it defines how you can understand the Bible; and, it defines how you can approach the scripture as a whole.

    Without understanding this fundamental aspect and root source of knowledge, how can we begin to discuss Jesus, as presented within the Bible.

  24. And, to confirm, you have said that "just" 13 mistakes in God's word, is not a problem for you? And, those are just the 13 I found in a matter of weeks. Your picture of God seems to be changing - I thought you used the words power and glory? And, now His book has mistakes in it?

  25. Ioga,

    These copyist errors are not a problem for me and they don't change my view of God. They do not change the meaning of the text.

    When I consider the thousands of lines of text meticulously copied over hundreds of years by the Masoretes under strict rules of transcription (and their agreement with the Dead Sea Scrolls) these these errors in numbers don't change my view of the Scripture at all.

    If that bothers you, we will have to agree to disagree and I'll assume that you are willing to apply the same standard to any other ancient manuscript.

    Still unanswered:
    Can we begin with this? Is there absolute truth? Just one truth, one philosophy that governs the Universe? You don't even have to tell me which one it is...does it exist?

    I assume that you believe, then, that God has revealed Himself in perfection, without error in another source (s). Is that true? If so what is it?

  26. Of course - and I hope we'll get there soon.

    I was trying to discuss if the Bible was that truth you've asked about or not. You are a religious leader, so I asked you about it.

    You agree that there are errors in "God's word" and that in all His power and glory, God was not able to keep the text pure from error.

    You can continue to try and brush this issue off as translation or copyist, but that is an incorrect position as it is original errors, and it still does not explain why God can't keep His communication to mankind error-free.

    Before jumping from topic to topic, let us try to understand what the Bible is.

  27. Ioga, we need to move on here. We have both stated our positions. We are not going to agree on this issue. I honestly don't have time to restate my position several times a day.

    Is there absolute truth? Just one truth, one philosophy that governs the Universe? You don't even have to tell me which one it is...does it exist?

    I assume that you believe, then, that God has revealed Himself in perfection, without error in another source (s). Is that true? If so what is it?

  28. Just prove it, that's all. Remember I said above: "Don't get me wrong. Speak the truth. But, let's not ignore things or make claims we can't back-up."

    But, if you'd not like to do that, it's fine. Before we get started with other religions have you studied the other major belief systems such as Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, or Hinduism? I'd like to evaluate each ideology and we can see which one offers the truth that we are searching for.

  29. Ioga, Here's where we have come so far:
    I believe that the copyist errors you have mentioned, do not invalidate the Old Testament.
    Your point is simply that "God's Word" should be absolutely perfect and without any error or we cannot trust it. That's a fine position to hold and I will grant you that. Whatever you believe should then be held to the same standards.

    Instead of honestly answering my questions you are belaboring a point on which we will not come to consensus. If you won't, I am afraid that this is my last post as this is unproductive for both of us.

  30. I am sorry you got that feeling. I feel like we've gone a long way actually. I'll share:

    I learned that Christians can at the same time believe the Bible to be the word of God while acknowledging that errors exist within it. This is new for me. Although, I don't particularly understand it completely.

    I also learned that one of the 14 errors I found has a reasonable explanation for it. And, have reduced my "errors" list to 13. I will continue to search in this effort.

    I also learned that some of these questions are new for you, as you have changed your position (for example the age of Ahaziah).

    I learned that, although it is your central concern and belief, Jesus never did say: I am God, or Worship Me.

    I'd say that is great progress on my end.

    Would you like to share anything that you have learned from our discussion?

  31. Ioga,
    I see that you have been trying to post comments over the last couple of days. Currently, the blog is set to moderate comments that are posted 7 days after the original post.

    I am happy to have a continued conversation with you, but we can move on from the copyist errors you have described - we have both stated our case and we are at a stalemate on that issue. You still haven't answered my long running questions:

    Is there absolute truth? Just one truth, one philosophy that governs the Universe? You don't even have to tell me which one it is...does it exist?

    I assume that you believe, then, that God has revealed Himself in perfection, without error in another source (s). Is that true? If so what is it?

  32. Ioga,
    Thanks for being patient. Hopefully I will have the time to engage with discussion again soon.