Thursday, January 26, 2012

A series of YouTube videos 'making the rounds' on anti-Islamic sites

There has been a considerable amount of internet chatter, over the last couple days, due to a series of YouTube videos that were linked to (and embedded) by at least three anti-Islamic sites:

January 24, 2012 (7:12 PM)- http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2012/01/does-quran-claim-that-bible-has-been.html

January 25, 2012 (7:35 AM)- http://aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4953

January 25, 2012 (1:07 PM)- http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2012/01/quran-never-says-text-of-bible-was.html





[Link to YouTube for alternate access to the above, and the rest of the videos in the series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDSPND0suVY]

This series was uploaded to YouTube via the website: EVIDENCE FOR GOD'S UNCHANGING WORD. This site (IMHO) is by far, one of the more charitable, non-inflammatory, anti-Islamic apologetic sites I have encountered. And unlike so many other anti-Islamic apologetic sites, at least one of the main contributors, Faouzi "David" Arzouni, is actually fluent in Arabic (link to bio).

The series of videos, and related articles, on the status of the Bible in the Qur'an produced by EFGUW reflect my own position on the matter. I would urge anyone interested in this subject (including Muslims) to read through the material with an open mind, keeping in mind, there have been faithful Muslims who are in agreement with the assessment that the corruption spoken of in the Qur'an pertains to the INTERPRETATION, rather than the TEXTUAL TRANSMISSION of the Bible. (See THIS THREAD for an excellent, and balanced, book that touches on this subject.)

In addition to the status of the Bible in the Qur'an, EFGUW has also weighed in on another topic of interest to me—Surah 4.157 and the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ—Did Jesus Die on the Cross?

Readers of this blog should be aware of my keen interest in this subject. For those not familiar with my take on this very important issue, I recommend the following threads:

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2011/12/recent-interest-in-surah-4157.html

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2011/12/dr-todd-lawsons-stimulating-lecture.html

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2009/11/does-quran-deny-crucifixion-and.html


Now, it is more than just a bit interesting that while ALL three of the above websites which linked to EFGUW series of videos on the status of the Bible in the Qur'an with glowing support, they in turn REJECT EFGUW's conclusions concerning Surah 4.157 !!! This is yet another example of the inconsistency, and poor methodology, that permeates much of the Evangelical online apologetic world. The methodology (i.e. Qur'anic exegesis based on pre-polemical interpretation, showing agreement between the Bible and the Qur'an) that EFGUW employed to reach it's conclusions concerning the status of the Bible in the Qur'an, is identical to the methodology they used in their interpretation of Surah 4.157.

It sure seems to me that if one is going to endorse EFGUW's reflections concerning the Bible's status in the Qur'an, they had better accept their assessment of Surah 4.157, for if one rejects the latter, the former's credibility becomes damaged beyond repair.


Grace and peace,

David

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

English Hexapla - a parallel New Testament published in 1841

Earlier this week, I discovered an incredible (IMHO) online resource: the English Hexapla (a parallel New Testament - 1841). An excellent PDF copy is available for reading and download at:

http://www.archive.org/details/englishhexaplaex00schouoft

On page 161 of the PDF version, "THE PLAN OF THE ENGLISH HEXAPLA", is outlined—therein, it is stated that:

The name " Hexapla," signifies six-fold, or six-columned, and appropriately describes the arrangement of the Six English Versions.

And from the same page, the descriptions of the six English editions used in the English Hexapla are provided:

I. THE TRANSLATION OF WICLIF has been printed with the most scrupulous care, from a valuable manuscript in the library of His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, who has graciously permitted its use. The text of Wiclif's version, as here presented, is, in many respects, much more accurate and complete than the editions of Lewis and Baber. The present edition of this version has been minutely collated with the previously printed text, and every variation from it has been compared with the readings of twenty-one other MSS., so that not only have numerous transcriptural and typographical errors received correction, but it is believed that the genuine version of Wiclif is far more faithfully exhibited than by either of the two previous editions.

The introductory verses to the Gospel by St. Luke, which appear to be omitted in every known Wiclif MS., are supplied from a MS. in the library of Queen's College, Oxford, communicated by the kindness of Mr. Eastwick.

II. THE VERSION OF WILLIAM TYNDALE is reprinted from a copy of the edition which was revised by himself, and published in 1534 ; for the use of which the Publishers are indebted to the Trustees of the Baptist College, Bristol, where it forms part of the valuable collection of English Bibles and Testaments bequeathed by Dr. GifFord. Tyndale's " revision" has been adopted in preference to his first translation, because it far better exhibits him as a translator, and manifests the care which he took in revising what he had previously executed. The first edition, of 1526, has already been reprinted by the Publishers in 1836.

III. CRANMER'S, or "THE GREAT BIBLE VERSION" version, has been reprinted from a very fine copy of the first edition, 1539 ; also furnished by the kindness of the Trustees of the Baptist College, Bristol.

IV. THE GENEVA NEW TESTAMENT, is from a copy of the first edition, 1557. An exact reprint of tliis edition has also been prepared in a sepai-ate form, in whicii the text is printed line for line, and word for word, with the whole of the interesting marginal doctrinal notes, the prefaces and indexes, with fac-simile initial letters and other ornaments.

V. THE ANGLO-RHEMISH TRANSLATION has been reprinted from the original edition, 1582.

VI. KING JAME'S or THE AUTHORISED VERSION, is printed from a large black letter copy, of the year 1611. The Rev. John Heniy Montagu Luxmoore has obligingly allowed the use of a copy from his Library.

In addition to the online PDF version, a 'user friendly' HTML version is also available:

http://bible.zoxt.net/hex/hex.htm

For those with a lot of discretionary cash available, a hard copy may be purchased at:

http://www.greatsite.com/facsimile-reproductions/hexapla-1841.html


I sincerely hope that others will find this wonderful resource as useful as I have.


Grace and peace,

David

Friday, January 6, 2012

John 17 and Unity: valuable insights from a conservative, Baptist pastor

Last week, I happened upon a website (link) providing some 35 sermons from the last two years of the "Word of Truth Conference". One of the sermons in particular caught my eye: John 17 and Unity, delivered November 10, 2010 by pastor Kent Brandenburg (link). I have done a good deal of study on this chapter, so I sincerely wondered what an independent Baptist pastor had to say. What I learned from his sermon was that he agreed with my understanding on many key points. In an effort to stimulate others into taking in the entire sermon, I shall provide a few extracts:

Beginning ff-

John 17 and unity. Anyone who wants to understand unity between Christians must consider Jesus' prayer for unity in John 17. I think this is an important point: Biblical separation and Biblical unity will mirror each other. Obviously Biblical separation will never violate Biblical unity; Biblical unity will never violate Biblical separation.

8:54 ff -

What's the unity that Jesus Christ was praying for here? All right. If we're going to understand what unity is, that unity is the unity that he wants between people, is the unity in this chapter.

12:05 ff-

The unity we desire should be the same as what the Lord Jesus Christ prayed for here...

Do you want the unity that Jesus prayed for?

What was it?

13:27 ff -

Some believe Jesus prayed only for a spiritual unity. When I read commentaries on John 17, almost every single commentary differs on what they believe Jesus was praying for here. I'm talking about, if I read 25 commentaries, I can read 25 differences on what they think Jesus was praying for here. Is the Bible something we can't understand? Is the Bible not perspicuous? And I think it kinda drives me crazy; I mean, how, how is it that we can have so many opinions about what he is praying for here? How do I know that 26, let's say I am at number 26, why is 26 right? Why are the 25 wrong, and I am right? Can you know? Because I mean as you read the commentaries there are so many different viewpoints, how could people, how could we be sure that people can even know based on that.

15:01 ff -

Some believe Jesus prayed for a spiritual unity found in their position in Christ...Ummm so he prayed only for people in Christ to have spiritual unity is what their belief is in John 17. Others assert this is a practical unity among all believers. All believers have a practical unity. Some teach that. OK. But I'm just telling you some people teach that. In order to have it they concluded a need to coalesce around a few important doctrines with which true Christians should and will agree; and the number is shrinking. The number is increasingly smaller, until you can put the doctrines on the head of a pin that you have to agree on, basically to have what the Bible teaches on unity; and really what's on the head of the pin is blurry, you can't even quite make out what, what it is.

23:44 ff -

If there's unity between all believers, I don't see it.

[End of extracts]


Amen!!!


Grace and peace,

David