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Paul is a false prophet/apostle

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  • Paul is a false prophet/apostle

    Props to the honest Christians:

    https://youtu.be/ttSnXADkvDc

  • #2
    1. Paul never met Jesus(pbuh) in person
    2. Paul was not an original disciple
    3. Paul was not recognized as a religious authority by the Disciples despite claiming to receive Divine revelations in his writings
    4. Paul's theological views were explicitly condemned and overruled by the Disciples and the early Jewish-Christians
    5. Paul's theology is inconsistent with the Hebrew Scriptures and the teachings attributed to Jesus(pbuh) in the 4 Gospels
    6. Paul exagerrated the nature of Christ(pbuh) in order to justify his beliefs concerning the implications of the crucifixion
    7. Paul's writings contain false prophecies and blunders which discredit his claim to Prophethood
    8. Paul was condemned as a heretic/apostate by various Jewish-Christian sects in early Christianity

    Despite all of these and many other well-grounded proofs against his authenticity Paul was embraced by the large faction of Gentile-Christians who eventually overwhelmed and replaced the original Jewish movement. This allowed Paul's writings to circulate and gain traction amongst the various Christian communities until they were included in the authoritative New Testament canon. His Jewish opponents were officially declared heretics once the standardization of Christian orthodoxy took place which led to their persecution and subsequent decline. Paul's influence and authority over the Bible would then go on to become permenantly solified within Christianity until the 2nd coming of the Messiah(pbuh).

    Conclusion: The irreversible amount of influence Paul's teachings have asserted over the Bible and Christian theology is a clear indication that God did not intend on preserving the authenticity of the rejected Messiah's tradition. This argument is similiar to the claim that the majority of Christians throughout history were guilty of the greatest sin in Judaism (ascribing Divinity to someone other than YHWH) and therefore Christianity is not the true religion of God. These arguments still stand even if the Christian completely denounces the deity of Christ and the religious authority of Paul. The theological problem remains in that God did not demonstrate His approval of the religion by safeguarding the teachings from corruption or the majority of its adherents from apostasy.

    Islam on the other hand was equipped with the qualities that are expected from a Divine religion. The Prophet(pbuh) was successful in his mission; the Scriptures were completely delievered and preserved; God established the early community upon solid foundations; the religion was granted both intellectual and military success over its enemies; etc. If Christianity is true and Islam is false, then God should have replaced their circumstances in order to make clear truth from falsehood. Why would God allow a false religion that is practically superior on every level to compete with the truth if He's going to punish the disbelievers eternally for making the wrong choice? If such a circumstance did exist, then we would have to question God's Wisdom, Mercy and Justice for creating an inconsistent world.

    The early Christians according to the Bible were literally expecting Jesus' second coming within their own lifetimes. Not a single book of the New Testament was written or approved during the life of Jesus(pbuh). Compare that with Islam where you have the companions learning the Quran directly from the Prophet(saws) and making a point to memorize it. The preservation of the Scripture was taken up by the Prophet's(saws) most trustworthy companions at a time of political stability and prosperity. Unlike the failed prophecies ascribed to the Biblical Jesus, the early Muslims witnessed the promise of Allah & His Messenger with their miraculous military conquests over the Persians & Romans. The question is why would God allow Islam to emerge and flourish with the qualities that it posseses if something inferior and less successful is the absolute truth?
    Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 01-09-20, 03:38 PM.

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    • #3
      Man, I would hate to be Paul on Judgement Day. He has to answer for every person who died on the beliefs that he spread, his scales are going to be so lopsided he will be dubbed Ibless Junior when he realizes how bad his situation is.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post
        8. Paul was condemned as a heretic/apostate by various Jewish-Christian sects in early Christianity
        Bart Ehrman on the Ebionites:

        https://youtu.be/8JdMvwUzjMc

        "They use the Gospel according to Matthew only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the law." [Iraneus Against Heresies (Book I, Chapter 26]




        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Abisali View Post
          Man, I would hate to be Paul on Judgement Day. He has to answer for every person who died on the beliefs that he spread, his scales are going to be so lopsided he will be dubbed Ibless Junior when he realizes how bad his situation is.
          Only Allah knows for certain what his fate will be in the Hereafter. As problematic as some of his innovations were, I don't necessarily believe that his intentions were out-right evil. The entire scenario involving the Messiah being rejected and then appearing to be crucified was a great source of confusion for Bani Israel. The Jews were expecting the Messiah to unite the children of Israel and establish the Kingdom of God. According to the Biblical narrative Jesus did not begin his mission preaching that he was going to be crucified and the Disciples themselves were under the impression that he would fulfil the traditional Messianic expectations.

          Part of the appeal about Paul is that he attempts to fulfill the void of Jesus in explaining the unexpected turn of events which Jesus' untimely departure prevented him from explaining. I'm personally of the view that none of the Gospel writers including Paul were of the belief that Jesus is fully God. Although I heavily disagree with the exaggerations and lack of tact in conveying the message to Gentile converts fresh out of polytheism, I'm not so sure that his high view of Christ(pbuh) would constitute unforgivable Shirk in the court of Allah. In some way what Paul was doing with regards to calling people to believe that Jesus was the Messiah is praiseworthy in comparison to the wretched Jews who stubbornly rejected him. It is also possible that Allah will forgive those who were under the impression that it is necessary to believe in the Messiah's death and ressurrection prior to the advent of the Prophet Muhammad(saws). Judging based on the Biblical reports it appears that this might have been the impression the Disciples had themselves given that they witnessed parts of the event.

          I believe a significant portion of the blame falls on the Christians who precedence that era. The Christian tradition should be viewed in light of its historical reality instead of blindly accepting all of the innovated dogma that was developed over the centuries. During the lifetime of Jesus and the apostles there was no such thing as a New Testament or even an authoritative Divine Scripture outside of the Tanakh. Therefore, not only should the Christians loosen up on this human compilation of early Christian literature being the authoritative Word of God, but one should also recognize that the authors themselves were unaware that they were writing the Bible. The problem to a large extent comes as a result of people getting ahead of themselves and making assumptions to fit their perception of how the religion ought to be. But that is precisely the issue: the religion of the Messiah was never established in the ideal manner it deserved to be in the first place. Hence, it was theologically appropriate for Allah to send an exceptional Prophet/Messenger to provide clarification concerning the confusion which followed the debacle of the Israelites. That is where Jesus and the Disciples truely left us. Having faith that Jesus was the Messiah despite whatever happenned and being patient for a clear message from God to explain the finer details of religion and what is expected from us. The issue is that the Christians failed to acknowledge the human element of confusion and uncertainty during the time of the apostles and formulated a set of dogmatic beliefs which they assume cannot be compromised without sacrificing your Afterlife. Had they truely been objective in their beliefs, then they would have recognized Paul for who he actually was and removed the excessive authority they've unnecessarily granted him.

          Narrated Abu Huraira:

          I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, "I am the nearest of all the people to the son of Mary, and all the prophets are paternal brothers, and there has been no prophet between me and him (i.e. Jesus).

          https://sunnah.com/bukhari/60/112
          Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 29-08-20, 08:03 PM. Reason: *

          Comment


          • #6
            Look at Galatians in the bible - it addresses Paul's false claims
            Abu Malik at-Ash'ari reported:

            The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Cleanliness is half of faith

            and al-Hamdu Lillah (all praise and gratitude is for Allah alone) fills the scale, and Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah)

            and al-Hamdu Lillah fill up what is between the heavens and the earth, and prayer is a light,

            and charity is proof (of one's faith)

            and endurance is a brightness and the Holy Qur'an is a proof on your behalf or against you.

            All men go out early in the morning and sell themselves, thereby setting themselves free or destroying themselves.



            حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ مَنْصُورٍ، حَدَّثَنَا حَبَّانُ بْنُ هِلاَلٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبَانٌ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، أَنَّ زَيْدًا، حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ أَبَا سَلاَّمٍ حَدَّثَهُ عَنْ أَبِي مَالِكٍ الأَشْعَرِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الإِيمَانِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلأُ الْمِيزَانَ ‏.‏ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلآنِ - أَوْ تَمْلأُ - مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَالصَّلاَةُ نُورٌ وَالصَّدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ وَالْقُرْآنُ حُجَّةٌ لَكَ أَوْ عَلَيْكَ كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏

            Reference : Sahih Muslim 223
            In-book reference : Book 2, Hadith 1
            USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 2, Hadith 432
            (deprecated numbering scheme)

            أَلَمْ تَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعَمَهُ ظَاهِرَةً وَبَاطِنَةً ۗ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُجَادِلُ فِي اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَلَا هُدًى وَلَا كِتَابٍ مُّنِيرٍ - 31:20

            Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, [both] apparent and unapparent? But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book [from Him].


            Please take a look at my blog : http://thinkingmuslima.blogspot.co.uk/

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LailaTheMuslim View Post
              Look at Galatians in the bible - it addresses Paul's false claims
              Acts 21 clearly proves that the Disciples did not share the same views Paul was preaching regarding the Jewish law and Jesus' blood sacrifice:

              "17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

              20When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”

              https://biblehub.com/niv/acts/21.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi! I’m new here and came upon this thread. Although the topic of Paul as an apostle of Jesus is too large in scope for me to address in one post, there are specific questions I have on some of the points you raised in your August 29 post.

                First, I watched some of the Hugh Whitmore video you posted. Since you posted this, I am presuming you are familiar with and agree with his philosophy and writings. What interested me about this is part of Hugh’s belief, as he writes in his book “The Moment Time Stopped”, is that God needs “worship energy” from his followers in order to have enough power to give to Jesus in order for Him to be able to return to earth at the end of time. According to Hugh, the purpose of Jesus’ ministry was to gather enough followers to give God enough “worship energy” to complete His plan for the world and this continues to be the true goal of the Christian church today. See Hugh’s response to a comment on the You Tube video you posted (my underlines for emphasis):

                Hugh Whitmore - Author
                1 month ago
                Without Paul, what remains is the love and certainty of God's plan of eternal salvation and the purity and sanctity of the life and teachings of Jesus. These two things together, when taken seriously by believers, glorify The One True God, empower Him to overcome sin and Satan, and bring about the return of the renewed kingdom to His elect and righteous: "Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength," (Psalm 29:1) and Revelation 4:11: "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” We, as God's elect and righteous, give strength and power to our Loving Father. That is the nature of His plan of eternal salvation. Part of the life and power that He breathes into us is returned to Him by us in our worship. The book of Revelation shows this process of glorifying God to his task, and returning salvation to the throne in heaven:

                Is it your contention then, that this teaching aligns with the Muslim or Christian understanding of God/Allah’s nature? Does Allah need human believers to obtain His power to overcome? I ask because to me, if you are posting Hugh’s work, you are endorsing his views. I’m curious how you reconcile the “worship energy” concept with either traditional Christianity or Islam. For me, I stopped watching the video once I came across “worship energy”, which seems to be a mix of some New Ageism thrust into Christianity; blasphemy, in short. Someone that far off in understanding God’s nature can’t be trusted in anything else, in my opinion.

                Another question I have is on your statement: “Islam on the other hand was equipped with the qualities that are expected from a Divine religion.” Expected by who? Man? Why would God/Allah have to make a religion or belief system to meet our expectations? I agree that it’s nice if it does but I believe a religion is more suspect of it meets what we think It should be. Jesus’ message was radical for his time, so much so the Jewish authorities plotted against him and wanted him dead from early on in His ministry. Jesus did not meet expectations yet he is honored as a prophet in Islam. Of course, I know Christian and Muslim understanding of Jesus and His ministry differ but for purposes of this post, you can’t deny that He went against the grain of His society’s expectations. In John 6: 59-71, we see that Jesus’ teaching drove people away. His words were “spirit and truth” but some did not believe, including among the Apostles. Jesus is also called in Scripture a “stumbling block” (1 Peter 2) to those who reject Him because of His message.
                In addition, I respectfully disagree that military and political success equates to divine approval. We see in the Taurat that God/Allah raises nations and destroys nations to either fill his purpose or bring glory to His name (arguably both at the same time). See Jeremiah 25:9, Daniel 2: 20-21, Isaiah 41:2; 2 Chronicles 36: 15-18 and Proverbs 21:1 as examples. It’s a plausible argument that God/Allah allowed Islam to spread for His own purposes, not necessarily because it was more true than any prior teaching. I’m not casting aspersions on Islam here; my point is that worldly success does not equate on its own with superiority. Christianity was persecuted from its outset; it is even founded on a perceived defeat with the Crucifixion. The Apostles were hiding in a room, waiting for the authorities to find them. This was not a success story. Yet, Christianity flourished and the Gospel spread throughout the world. By your success standards, and that alone, Christianity then is just as blessed by God/Allah as is Islam, isn't it?

                Thank you for listening.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Seeker 2020 View Post
                  [FONT=Calibri]Is it your contention then, that this teaching aligns with the Muslim or Christian understanding of God/Allah’s nature? Does Allah need human believers to obtain His power to overcome? I ask because to me, if you are posting Hugh’s work, you are endorsing his views.
                  No, I am not endorsing his views and philosophies as a whole. The title in the original post said "Props to the honest Christians" (for acknowledging that Paul is false) and nothing more.

                  In Islam we believe that Allah is the All-Mighty (al-Aziz) and Self-Sufficient (al-Ghaniy) and is therefore free of need from His creation. By default, anyone who does not subscribe to orthodox Sunni Islam is bound to make theological blunders we disagree with, even if we sympathize with their views on certain issues.

                  Another question I have is on your statement: “Islam on the other hand was equipped with the qualities that are expected from a Divine religion.” Expected by who? Man? Why would God/Allah have to make a religion or belief system to meet our expectations? I agree that it’s nice if it does but I believe a religion is more suspect of it meets what we think It should be. Jesus’ message was radical for his time, so much so the Jewish authorities plotted against him and wanted him dead from early on in His ministry. Jesus did not meet expectations yet he is honored as a prophet in Islam. Of course, I know Christian and Muslim understanding of Jesus and His ministry differ but for purposes of this post, you can’t deny that He went against the grain of His society’s expectations.
                  The religion of God should conform with the natural standards of His creation in a coherent and cohesive manner. If the claim is that God will eternally punish his creation for choosing the wrong religion, then it is naturally expected from all people that this true religion is uniquely distinguished with Divine qualities. Much more when you add to the equation that this God is the epitome of Power, Mercy and Justice. There was an interesting quote from a popular cleric who said in response to a misconception "..if there are 999 false religions from Satan and 1 religion from God, don't you think the one from God would be easy to identify?".

                  With regards to Jesus the Messiah(pbuh) we would say that God granted him many miracles and signs on a consistent basis that to deny his truthfulness would require intellectual dishonesty from those who witnessed him. Now if Jesus was a mere preacher who was making extraordinary claims, then it wouldn't have been as problematic to reject him because there's nothing significant to suggest that he's truely speaking on behalf of God.

                  In addition, I respectfully disagree that military and political success equates to divine approval. We see in the Taurat that God/Allah raises nations and destroys nations to either fill his purpose or bring glory to His name (arguably both at the same time). See Jeremiah 25:9, Daniel 2: 20-21, Isaiah 41:2; 2 Chronicles 36: 15-18 and Proverbs 21:1 as examples. It’s a plausible argument that God/Allah allowed Islam to spread for His own purposes, not necessarily because it was more true than any prior teaching. I’m not casting aspersions on Islam here; my point is that worldly success does not equate on its own with superiority. Christianity was persecuted from its outset; it is even founded on a perceived defeat with the Crucifixion. The Apostles were hiding in a room, waiting for the authorities to find them. This was not a success story. Yet, Christianity flourished and the Gospel spread throughout the world. By your success standards, and that alone, Christianity then is just as blessed by God/Allah as is Islam, isn't it?
                  I would agree that worldly success in and of itself does not necessitate that something is correct or from God. However, both of us would accept that everything which happens on Earth is under the Will and control of God. Therefore, if a religion emerges which makes the types of Divine claims as the Prophet Muhammad(saws) did, then we would suspect that God would determine the potency of its product -- including its immediate political and military success which allows it to flourish globally -- in order to establish the veracity of its claim within the overall context of the design which He created.

                  The question for the objective Christians is why did God allow the religion of Islam to florioush so sucessfully with all of the Divine claims that it makes if mainstream Christianity is the religion of truth? Muslims maintain that the Quran is the literal first-person Speech of God; infallible in its content; preserved by the Prophet's companions; and inimitable in its Divine articulation. The Prophet Muhammad(saws) and his immediate companions conquered the city of Makkah; established a continous religious enterprise; expanded the Muslim empire from China to North Africa; and maintained the purity of their creed throughout the process. The Islamic world would then go on to experience a universally recognized golden-age wherein they produced world renowned scholars, theologians, philosophers, scientists, etc. It is my contention that if Christianity was the true religion which God expected us to follow, then there is no good reason why Islam should have existed at all. Your worldview would make more sense if it was just Judaism vs Christianity. But even then, without the Prophet Muhammad(saws) there are legitimate doubts about the Christian Jesus being the true Messiah.

                  As for Christianity and the Gospels florioushing -- I've already explained to some degree why I don't think that is valid within this thread. Paul was a religious heretic whose Gentile followers overwhelmed the original Jewish community and corrupted their teachings. There are many points we could make in this regard but perhaps they should be saved for another post. Ultimately, the difference between Christianity and Islam is that the Christians are willing to accept whatever historical outcomes that occured and explain those results as the Will of God. For example, Paul's theological narrative eventually overcame his early Jewish-Christian opponents; therefore, for the Christian, Paul's teachings must have been truthful. There are 27 books that were specifically chosen to make up the current New Testament canon; therefore, for the Christian, those 27 books are sanctioned by God. The doctrine of the Trinity was declared to be orthodox at various councils and the other interpretations were deemed as heretical; therefore, for the Christian, the doctrine of the Trinity is the true reading of Scripture. Etc, etc. This line of reasoning is nothing short of blind faith and theological presumptions. Had any of the historical variables changed in these scenarios, then the Christians would have proudly believed and defended those outcomes. This cannot be the standard which God expects us to follow if He's going to punish us eternally for choosing the wrong religon.

                  And Allah knows best.
                  Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 01-09-20, 12:04 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rabbi Tovia Singer on the scholarly incompetence of Paul and his reliance on the Greek Septuagint:

                    https://youtu.be/XtgfS40f0w4

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you for your reply and clarifications. I just want to thank you for your time and if you can indulge me again, I have some additional thoughts:
                      1. I still have a challenge giving credence to Hugh’s video and books. The man blasphemes God/Allah in both Christianity and Islam, but it seems that is overlooked because he happens to agree with a particular Muslim apologetic belief about Paul’s apostleship. But Hugh agrees because he needs Paul discredited to advance his own heretical beliefs (“God needs worship power”-really?) that contradict both Christianity and Islam. In short, he’s not credible and shouldn’t be relied upon for any argument, save his own. As for the question of Paul’s authenticity, I am not in honesty that interested in debating it. What that would come down to is alternating posts referencing this scholar or that author or this other source, which will go nowhere. I will say that the anti-Pauline argument is not an accepted theory by mainstream Christians for very good reasons. I will quote some of these reasons here, which summarize the work of multiple scholars evidencing the illegitimacy of the anti-Pauline heretical movement. It is here for your consideration; you can choose what to believe from there or what to inquire further on or not:
                        1. With respect to the 1st century Biblical evidence concerning Paul we have Paul’s writings (Romans; 1 & 2 Corinthians; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; 1 & 2 Thessalonians; 1 & 2 Timothy; Titus; and Philemon), the history of the 1st century church known as “Acts” or “Acts of the Apostles,” and a Christian epistle known as 2 Peter. So, with respect to 1st century Biblical writings we have Paul’s epistles as well as two other independent documents to work with. All of the 1st century Biblical sources that mention Paul affirm that Paul was a genuine Apostle. None of them question that.
                        2. All throughout the book of Acts we see Paul identified as a true Apostle. And so we could quote numerous passages affirming this from Acts. However, one striking feature is that in the Acts 15 Jerusalem Council Paul played a leading role with the other Apostles such as James and Peter in answering the question about Gentiles being under the law. As the council was in session we see the following: And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.” (Acts 15:12). Paul and Barnabas spoke after Peter (vv. 7-11) and right before James (vv. 13-21) who concluded the council and gave the final decision that Gentiles are not under the law. This demonstrates that there was 1st century recognition of Paul’s acceptance by the early church and by the Apostles themselves as an authoritative voice.
                        3. The book 2 Peter is rejected by many liberal scholars and Muslims but there is a strong case for its authority and for Petrine authorship.(2) This text is another 1st century source that not only affirms that Paul was a true Apostle, but it also identifies Paul’s writings as Scripture: And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures." (2 Peter 3:15-16). The best case scenario is that Peter wrote this and is accepting Paul. I believe this is the case. The worst case scenario is that this is another independent 1st century attestation affirming the reliability of Paul which we can add to the list. Even if it were not from Peter, it is still an early attestation which was accepted by the church and even added to the Canon of Scripture. Historians look for the earliest 1st century writings when it comes to Jesus and early Christianity. That there are no early 1st century writings asserting that Paul was a false Apostle discredits the Muslim position severely (emphasis mine). The historical principles of early sources and multiple independent attestation is thus met with respect to 1st century Biblical evidence for Paul.
                        4. It must be asked: is there anything in Paul’s writings that historians would accept as proving that he was genuine? There are many things to consider. For example it is important to consider the principle of embarrassment which is the principle that something or someone is more likely to be authentic if there are embarrassing themes that you wouldn’t expect to be openly talked about. We see that Paul was quite open about his shortcomings, disputes with other Apostles, and his flaws. Such things persuade historians of Paul’s integrity and honesty, and thus his claims to apostleship gain credibility.
                        5. We can know Paul was a genuine Apostle preaching the original Gospel because his 1 Corinthians 15 Creed, which he received very early from the Apostles (Peter and James), is dated very closely to the time of Jesus’ crucifixion by scholarship which shows that Paul’s message was not some later innovation. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). Here Paul reminds the Corinthian church that this Gospel message or creed which he previously preached to them orally was first given to him. It is important to note that Paul mentions that he received this creed before giving it to them. The 1st century evidence demonstrates that Paul received this creed from Peter and James around A.D. 35 in Jerusalem. This demonstrates that Paul’s Gospel (Jesus’ sacrifice for sins, the resurrection and appearances) was not some later corruption but that it goes right back to the beginning – coming from the original Apostles who walked with Jesus. If Paul received this creed from Peter in A.D. 35 then Paul’s Gospel is traced back right to the beginning. This would mean Paul’s message is not some later innovation or novelty but is instead traced back to those who walked and talked with Jesus, the Apostles. This utterly refutes the modern Muslim claim that Paul came in later and corrupted Christianity with a new Gospel. Moreover, there is no 1st century evidence questioning this event with Peter and James or casting doubt on it. Scholars have much to say concerning this creed, its reliability, and its date in light of Paul receiving it very early. The British Biblical scholar Michael Goulder states that the 1 Corinthians 15 creed “goes back at least to what Paul taught when he was converted, a couple of years after the crucifixion.”(14) Professor Ulrich Wilkins states that this material, “indubitably goes back to the oldest phase of all in the history of primitive Christianity.”(15) The scholar Walter Kasper contends that this creed was circulating by the end of A.D. 30. The notable atheist New Testament critic Gerd Ludemann states:“… the elements in the tradition are to be dated to the first two years after the crucifixion…not later than three years after the death of Jesus.” Therefore scholarship is quite clear on the 1 Corinthians 15 creed being extremely early tradition formulated close to the time of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. This utterly refutes the concept of “Pauline Christianity” and demonstrates that Paul’s Gospel and theology (Jesus dying for sins and raising from the dead) is the original early apostolic Gospel according to the 1st century data. (There are several more scholarly references I left out for brevity, none of whom are a heretic hawking his book on You Tube).
                      Lastly, on your point on why God would punish His followers for following a false religion. I think your question is flawed. God did not establish religion, man did. Jesus in His ministry was anti-religion-in Mark 2: 27, Jesus tells the Pharisees the Sabbath (religious law) mas made for man not man for the Sabbath. Jesus’ anger in the Gospels is exclusively aimed at religious leadership; the Pharisees were called snakes/vipers, blind guides and whitewashed tombs in Matthew 23. They are portrayed at length as hypocrites in the same chapter. Jesus calls Pharisees hypocrites again in Mark 7:6, adding in verse 8 that they “have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions”. The Bible teaches God’s covenantal relationship with Israel and then with all of us through Jesus Christ. The choice is to follow God in covenant or not; religion does not equate to being in covenant with God. Jesus quotes Isaiah 41, saying “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” (Matthew 15:8). In Matthew 7:21, Jesus tells us “Not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father.” The ritual observances of religion do not mean salvation; for Christians, going to church every week, donating to charity and putting Jesus bumper stickers on their cars does not save anyone. In answer to your questions, God does not punish followers for choosing the wrong religion, people rather experience the consequence of choosing against God. That is a huge difference.

                      Thank you again for the discussion.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Seeker 2020 View Post
                        I still have a challenge giving credence to Hugh’s video and books. The man blasphemes God/Allah in both Christianity and Islam, but it seems that is overlooked because he happens to agree with a particular Muslim apologetic belief about Paul’s apostleship. But Hugh agrees because he needs Paul discredited to advance his own heretical beliefs (“God needs worship power”-really?) that contradict both Christianity and Islam. In short, he’s not credible and shouldn’t be relied upon for any argument, save his own. As for the question of Paul’s authenticity, I am not in honesty that interested in debating it. What that would come down to is alternating posts referencing this scholar or that author or this other source, which will go nowhere. I will say that the anti-Pauline argument is not an accepted theory by mainstream Christians for very good reasons. I will quote some of these reasons here, which summarize the work of multiple scholars evidencing the illegitimacy of the anti-Pauline heretical movement. It is here for your consideration; you can choose what to believe from there or what to inquire further on or not:[/FONT]
                        1. With respect to the 1st century Biblical evidence concerning Paul we have Paul’s writings (Romans; 1 & 2 Corinthians; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; 1 & 2 Thessalonians; 1 & 2 Timothy; Titus; and Philemon), the history of the 1st century church known as “Acts” or “Acts of the Apostles,” and a Christian epistle known as 2 Peter. So, with respect to 1st century Biblical writings we have Paul’s epistles as well as two other independent documents to work with. All of the 1st century Biblical sources that mention Paul affirm that Paul was a genuine Apostle. None of them question that.
                        2. All throughout the book of Acts we see Paul identified as a true Apostle. And so we could quote numerous passages affirming this from Acts. However, one striking feature is that in the Acts 15 Jerusalem Council Paul played a leading role with the other Apostles such as James and Peter in answering the question about Gentiles being under the law. As the council was in session we see the following: And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.” (Acts 15:12). Paul and Barnabas spoke after Peter (vv. 7-11) and right before James (vv. 13-21) who concluded the council and gave the final decision that Gentiles are not under the law. This demonstrates that there was 1st century recognition of Paul’s acceptance by the early church and by the Apostles themselves as an authoritative voice.
                        3. The book 2 Peter is rejected by many liberal scholars and Muslims but there is a strong case for its authority and for Petrine authorship.(2) This text is another 1st century source that not only affirms that Paul was a true Apostle, but it also identifies Paul’s writings as Scripture: And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures." (2 Peter 3:15-16). The best case scenario is that Peter wrote this and is accepting Paul. I believe this is the case. The worst case scenario is that this is another independent 1st century attestation affirming the reliability of Paul which we can add to the list. Even if it were not from Peter, it is still an early attestation which was accepted by the church and even added to the Canon of Scripture. Historians look for the earliest 1st century writings when it comes to Jesus and early Christianity. That there are no early 1st century writings asserting that Paul was a false Apostle discredits the Muslim position severely (emphasis mine). The historical principles of early sources and multiple independent attestation is thus met with respect to 1st century Biblical evidence for Paul.
                        4. It must be asked: is there anything in Paul’s writings that historians would accept as proving that he was genuine? There are many things to consider. For example it is important to consider the principle of embarrassment which is the principle that something or someone is more likely to be authentic if there are embarrassing themes that you wouldn’t expect to be openly talked about. We see that Paul was quite open about his shortcomings, disputes with other Apostles, and his flaws. Such things persuade historians of Paul’s integrity and honesty, and thus his claims to apostleship gain credibility.
                        5. We can know Paul was a genuine Apostle preaching the original Gospel because his 1 Corinthians 15 Creed, which he received very early from the Apostles (Peter and James), is dated very closely to the time of Jesus’ crucifixion by scholarship which shows that Paul’s message was not some later innovation. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). Here Paul reminds the Corinthian church that this Gospel message or creed which he previously preached to them orally was first given to him. It is important to note that Paul mentions that he received this creed before giving it to them. The 1st century evidence demonstrates that Paul received this creed from Peter and James around A.D. 35 in Jerusalem. This demonstrates that Paul’s Gospel (Jesus’ sacrifice for sins, the resurrection and appearances) was not some later corruption but that it goes right back to the beginning – coming from the original Apostles who walked with Jesus. If Paul received this creed from Peter in A.D. 35 then Paul’s Gospel is traced back right to the beginning. This would mean Paul’s message is not some later innovation or novelty but is instead traced back to those who walked and talked with Jesus, the Apostles. This utterly refutes the modern Muslim claim that Paul came in later and corrupted Christianity with a new Gospel. Moreover, there is no 1st century evidence questioning this event with Peter and James or casting doubt on it. Scholars have much to say concerning this creed, its reliability, and its date in light of Paul receiving it very early. The British Biblical scholar Michael Goulder states that the 1 Corinthians 15 creed “goes back at least to what Paul taught when he was converted, a couple of years after the crucifixion.”(14) Professor Ulrich Wilkins states that this material, “indubitably goes back to the oldest phase of all in the history of primitive Christianity.”(15) The scholar Walter Kasper contends that this creed was circulating by the end of A.D. 30. The notable atheist New Testament critic Gerd Ludemann states:“… the elements in the tradition are to be dated to the first two years after the crucifixion…not later than three years after the death of Jesus.” Therefore scholarship is quite clear on the 1 Corinthians 15 creed being extremely early tradition formulated close to the time of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. This utterly refutes the concept of “Pauline Christianity” and demonstrates that Paul’s Gospel and theology (Jesus dying for sins and raising from the dead) is the original early apostolic Gospel according to the 1st century data. (There are several more scholarly references I left out for brevity, none of whom are a heretic hawking his book on You Tube).
                        Instead of replying to each point I'll just summarize my response.

                        I don't find the traditonal Christian perspective to be intellectually satisfying. There were 2 distinct groups in early Christianity: Paul & the Gentile converts vs James/Peter & the Jewish believers in Yeshua. The Pauline tradition was the victorious party due to the influx of Gentile converts throughout the following centuries. What this means is that the only Gospels and Church-Father records available to us are those that are in favour of Paul. We know for certain that Paul had Jewish opponents during his lifetime along with the Ebionites & Nazerens who succeeded them. James & Peter are even reported as being critical of Paul and overruling his judgement in Acts 21 despite the book being an attempt to justify the religious status of Paul. The discrepancies between Paul and the Disciples are equally available throughout the existing Gospels.

                        The problem in reality is that the Christians have no choice but to argue in favour of Paul. It's not about whose argument is superior and makes more sense. At the end of the day the Pauline corpus was included in the authoritative canon and the traditions of the Jewish-Christians are no longer available. If you want to be a Christian, then it only makes sense to be favorable of Paul.


                        Originally posted by The Seeker 2020 View Post
                        Lastly, on your point on why God would punish His followers for following a false religion. I think your question is flawed. God did not establish religion, man did. Jesus in His ministry was anti-religion-in Mark 2: 27, Jesus tells the Pharisees the Sabbath (religious law) mas made for man not man for the Sabbath. Jesus’ anger in the Gospels is exclusively aimed at religious leadership; the Pharisees were called snakes/vipers, blind guides and whitewashed tombs in Matthew 23. They are portrayed at length as hypocrites in the same chapter. Jesus calls Pharisees hypocrites again in Mark 7:6, adding in verse 8 that they “have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions”. The Bible teaches God’s covenantal relationship with Israel and then with all of us through Jesus Christ. The choice is to follow God in covenant or not; religion does not equate to being in covenant with God. Jesus quotes Isaiah 41, saying “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” (Matthew 15:8). In Matthew 7:21, Jesus tells us “Not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father.” The ritual observances of religion do not mean salvation; for Christians, going to church every week, donating to charity and putting Jesus bumper stickers on their cars does not save anyone. In answer to your questions, God does not punish followers for choosing the wrong religion, people rather experience the consequence of choosing against God. That is a huge difference.
                        Whether you want to call it a religion, a faith or a covenant is a semantical point. What each one of us is claiming is that the unseen Creator of the Universe has revealed something and expects His entire creation to follow it. Both of us in particular are claiming that if you don't follow our specific belief systems then you are liable for eternal damnation. Now if this is the case, then there is no good reason why God would allow a false religion to appear superior to His religion of truth.

                        The goal of the Christian is to remove logic and reason completely out of the equation. Religion or "beliefs" are completely dependent on faith instead of reason. But the same God who created the world and expects us to believe in the correct faith endowed human beings with intelligence. Therefore, the religon which alleges to be inspired by God should be the most superior and persuasive of all claims. If this for some reason is not the case, then we could potentially blame God on the Day of Judgement when He asks us why we rejected the inferior faith.

                        If Christianity is true and Islam is false, then the Creator of this world is a tyrant and an unjust God. He should not have allowed Islam to exist with these particular qualities if Christianity is true. The test of life is too hard and He failed to distinguish truth from falsehood.

                        "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things." [Quran 2:256]
                        Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 01-09-20, 09:42 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post

                          Whether you want to call it a religion, a faith or a covenant is a semantical point. What each one of us is claiming is that the unseen Creator of the Universe has revealed something and expects His entire creation to follow it. Both of us in particular are claiming that if you don't follow our specific belief systems then you are liable for eternal damnation. Now if this is the case, then there is no good reason why God would allow a false religion to appear superior to His religion of truth.
                          My brother, I will be your opponent on this point above, just to enrich the discourse.

                          If Allah wanted one to stay on disbelief, surely he would make a false religion appear superior?

                          Surely that would be a good reason?

                          Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post

                          The goal of the Christian is to remove logic and reason completely out of the equation. Religion or "beliefs" are completely dependent on faith instead of reason. But the same God who created the world and expects us to believe in the correct faith endowed human beings with intelligence. Therefore, the religon which alleges to be inspired by God should be the most superior and persuasive of all claims. If this for some reason is not the case, then we could potentially blame God on the Day of Judgement when He asks us why we rejected the inferior faith.
                          ...


                          Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post
                          If Christianity is true and Islam is false,
                          This is an observation not a criticism: "If Christianity is true," - if we are talking about the normative Christian tradition, that is a rational impossibility. A limited being can not be a Creator and thus can not ever be God.

                          I understand though that you are just using it as a "for sake of argument" style point. I simply point this out to make sure our interlocutor knows you aren't suggesting it is actually possible for his religion to be correct anyway.

                          I do however have an actual problem with what you say next after this though.

                          Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post
                          then the Creator of this world is a tyrant and an unjust God. He should not have allowed Islam to exist with these particular qualities if Christianity is true. The test of life is too hard and He failed to distinguish truth from falsehood.
                          I disagree here, and I actually disagree, I'm not playing "Shaytan's advocate".

                          There is nothing the Creator can do to be unjust as there is nothing defining just and unjust apart from him. His actions are just no matter what he does, justice is a concept for created beings not him. For him to do something unjust means he disobeys himself (which is non-sensical).

                          The contention here is that if Allah can do something unjust then there is a system of good and evil which he is subject to. He is not subject to anything, including systems of right and wrong. If you say he is subject to a system of right and wrong, then one asks what is determining right and wrong in that system?

                          There is no objective moral right and wrong except what Allah decrees and he can decree absolutely anything possible. He decreed for example that Ibrahim Alayhis Salam should kill his son - as he decreed it, that was at that time morally right (and objectively so). Similarly, when Khidr killed the child etc.

                          If instead of suggesting an objective moral system which Allah is subject to, you instead are implying that, "We would say it is unjust," then this is meaningless. What does it matter what we think? Objectively speaking, he is not being unjust as he is not subject to such a thing in the first place and justice has no reality for him - there is no right and wrong for him, there is only such a thing for us.

                          We as human beings only know what is morally right and wrong based off of Wahy. Otherwise, we just subjectively decide what is right or wrong. E.g. The pagans in Makkah considered burying children to be morally acceptable. Similarly, Abortion today is absolutely fine - it isn't seen as murder. There are places in the world that practice some customs that Islam prohibits and I will not mention them on this forum due to their disgusting nature. This is the issue with "right and wrong" - if humans decide then it is subjective and subject to change over time. Once a population leave their Wahy they slowly veer off objectively what is right and wrong as they start questioning laws laid down in Wahy, until they find themselves in a place where they cannot justify there own laws as they are subjective.

                          As I have said previously:

                          What you need to question and come to grips with is, "What is the nature of moral right" and you need to ask yourself "Fundamentally what defines right or wrong?"

                          In Pagan Arab, Roman and in modern western culture, killing your children is seen as perfectly fine and moral. In fact I would argue that the Romans are kinder than the west. In the west when a child is born 'accidentally' after abortion, it is locked in a room and the doctor walks away. At least the Romans exposed their children out in public so others could take them.

                          In modern western culture they struggle to say why two twin brothers commiting homosexual incest would be wrong - why? Because all they could say is, "Incest is wrong," Well then we say, "Homosexuality is wrong,"

                          This is the problem of subjective morality. It doesn't lead you anywhere - you will ultimately just consider morally right and wrong whatever the people of your time consider it to be. We Muslims remove ourselves from the Zeitgeist and from cultural attitudes of what is right and wrong. For us we have an objective morality and that is based off of what Allah decrees. Whatever he decrees is right, because he is the one decreeing it.
                          Therefore there is no morality outside of Allah's laws - only whims, desires and remnants of his law that they have yet to reject.

                          In summary there is no right and wrong apart from what Allah decrees. He is not subject to his own decrees or limited by them, he can do whatever he wishes. We answer Euthyphro's Dilemma by saying things are right because they are decreed by God, not because he always decrees what is 'right' - there is no such thing for him.

                          In summary then the Creator can do what he wants and if he wanted to he could throw us all in Jahannam from the start and we would be none the wiser. If he informed us that we had done nothing wrong, and that our being punished when not doing anything wrong is 'wrong', then still he would not objectively be 'unjust'. We are his slaves and property, and one can dispose of his property as he wishes.

                          He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned.

                          (Sahih International's Interpretation of Al-Quran, Surah al-Anbiya, Verse 23)

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                          • #14
                            :)
                            Last edited by Muhammad Hasan; 02-09-20, 12:03 AM. Reason: Actually, decided not to say this. Not relevant in this discussion, as it doesn't change what I have said above.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post
                              I disagree here, and I actually disagree, I'm not playing "Shaytan's advocate".

                              There is nothing the Creator can do to be unjust as there is nothing defining just and unjust apart from him. His actions are just no matter what he does, justice is a concept for created beings not him. For him to do something unjust means he disobeys himself (which is non-sensical).

                              The contention here is that if Allah can do something unjust then there is a system of good and evil which he is subject to. He is not subject to anything, including systems of right and wrong. If you say he is subject to a system of right and wrong, then one asks what is determining right and wrong in that system?
                              Justice and tyranny in this context is based upon the natural-inclination God has created within man. If God revealed the true religion to a random invidiual lost in history and punished everyone else for failing to recognize his prophethood, then pretty much everybody would perceive this to be a situation of injustice. It's not about what is objective versus subjective. We would naturally suspect (and our assumption conforms with the truth) that the creator of this Universe would not do such a thing. The argument that I'm making is against a Christian who shares a similiar theological world-view as myself. If I was aruging againsts an atheist philospher or someone that resembles them then I would use a different set of propositions.
                              Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 02-09-20, 01:28 AM.

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