Christianity

Killing babies for who? Allah or Yahweh/Jesus?

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(A Response to Anthony Rogers’ video “Killing Babies for Allah” and his allegation that the Qur’an 17:4-7 is directly sanctioning the killing of babies in warfare)

by Sadat bin Anwar, MDI Canada

PROLOGUE

 I was expecting the AnsweringMuslims.com team to be slightly peeved after David Wood’s mediocre and dispiriting performance at Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park a few days ago.  Admittedly, Wood’s not-so-pleasant reception by the Hyde Park Muslims, was not exactly helpful to him winning any Islamophobic brownie points with the larger audience that was present, but since when has Speaker’s Corner been about anything more than a shouting match? Debates at this extraordinary and unique venue have been won and lost on the merits of one’s vocal chords, charisma, megaphone amplification capability, witty one-liners, ability to deal with unruly hecklers, and even well-timed jokes.  Moreover, Wood was not lecturing a group of evangelicals in Texas; this was London, England, and everyone knows that British Muslims are not the soft and pushover American Muslims that David Wood and his ilk are used to dealing with back home.

Repeatedly and rather mercilessly heckled into the ground by questions about God commanding the killing of babies in the Bible, Wood’s usual demagoguery and lines of attack against Islam and Muslims (presently on a free loose in the more congenial American climate) met a premature dead-end at Speaker’s Corner, and the usual hot air we are accustomed to watching Wood blow evaporated rather quickly into the crisp London air.  It was not Shari`ah in Britain that shut him down though, just in case he is planning another persecution-of-American-Christians type video rant; no, it was good ‘ol British democracy, in the raw, that shouted the two American missionaries down (Wood was accompanied on the ladder-podium by Speaker’s Corner veteran Jay Smith, who alas proved of little assistance to him; London Muslims have been embarrassing him for the better part of the past 20 years).

In response to the above misadventure and acting in as cannon fodder for the humiliated Wood, his colleague from Answering Muslims, Texan Anthony Rogers, has produced an 8-minute video-blog entitled “Killing Babies for Allah”.  In this video, he goes about trying to prove, in a summarized format, how the Qur’an also approves of killing babies in the name of God, a la the Bible.  By extension and inference, I assume that Rogers also wishes to prove that the Qur’an authorizes the killing of babies in God’s name, in a manner similar to that of the Bible.  This he does not explicitly state in his video, but he does in the comments section, and it strikes me as being a reasonable inference from the types of arguments and evidences that he presents in the video.  Rogers also mentions on the Answering Muslims blog that he is withholding other evidences for a future debate, and for the sake of keeping his video short.  That is understandable, and likewise my response is only intended as a response to the arguments and evidences that Rogers has presented in his 8-minute video-blog (although I make no promise to refrain from sharing some personal musings and thoughts here and there, as they may relate to the topic).  It should be noticed at this point, however, that even in the absence of the Speaker’s Corner heckling which Rogers appears to be crying foul about at the end of his video, he nowhere actually denies that the Bible does indeed have God commanding the killing of babies in warfare.  The silence is telling, some very valid question about the Bible were raised, one which points towards some significant differences in the concepts of God’s compassion, forgiveness, fairness, and justice as envisioned in Christianity and Islam.

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STRIKE 1- NO EXPLICIT COMMANDMENT IN QUR’AN (17:4-7) TO TARGET-KILL WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN WARFARE

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 At the beginning of his video, Rogers states that “Proving from the Islamic Sources [emphasis added] that the God of the Qur’an is very much in the business of directing His servants to kill animals, women, and children is child’s play.”  He then goes on to quote from what I guess he considers to be his best ammunition, and in fact the only Qur’anic passage that he references in the video: Surah 17, verses 4-7.  Rogers may have considered this to be the most appropriate passage to use to try to prove his argument, since the passage does not contain a commandment to kill a specific child (eg. the near-sacrifice of Ishmael/Isaac by Abraham, or the killing of a specific child by Khidr), but according to Rogers contains a general commandment and/or approval by God to target-kill babies and other innocents in warfare, as in the Bible.  What the verses actually say, however, is exactly as Rogers quoted, and nothing more:

4. And We gave (Clear) Warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance (and twice would they be punished)!

5. When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our servants given to terrible warfare: They entered the very inmost parts of your homes; and it was a warning (completely) fulfilled.

6. Then did We grant you the Return as against them: We gave you increase in resources and sons, and made you the more numerous in man-power.

7. If ye did well, ye did well for yourselves; if ye did evil, (ye did it) against yourselves. So when the second of the warnings came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to disfigure your faces, and to enter your Temple as they had entered it before, and to visit with destruction all that fell into their power.   (Yusuf Ali translation)

 If I were to just end my writing at this point and turn the “evidence” cited above over to the unbiased and objective reader, I think it would speak for itself.  Ask yourself if you see anything in the above Qur’anic verses that would explicitly and clearly authorize or command the target-killing of babies in warfare.  That is not to say that the above verse, especially if taken in isolation, does not contain ambiguity and room for the possibility of killing of babies in warfare.  But to state or to even imply that the above passage somehow mirrors the clear and unashamedly explicit commandments/authorization for killing children and women that is to be found in the Bible is really to grasp at straws.  It is comparing apples and oranges, and it actually highlights and reveals the great discrepancy that exists between the two Books on this topic.   Let us quickly refresh our memory with the biblical example that Williams cited at Speaker’s Corner—that is, 1 Samuel 15:3:

 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.

On the theological scale, it is true that one could make somewhat of a comparison between Christianity and Islam on the issue of God taking the lives of babies and innocents.  In the final analysis, God is the Sovereign Creator, the Giver of Life.  He can take that life away, either directly or through the use of His agents (the wind, water, angels, etc).  That is a point that I am ready to concede.  On a theological and philosophical level, were God to actually command the Jews to kill all the Amalekite children and animals, their fulfilling this command would be seen as a meritorious and virtuous act, much as we consider Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his innocent (but willing) son to be a virtuous act.  It is another matter, however, if God chooses to exercise compassion and mercy, which in turn is a reflection of His Divine attributes and nature.   Perhaps this is what our conversation should turn to at this point.  Suppose that God could have commanded Muslims in the Qur’an to target-kill women and children (as is attributed to God in the Bible); but did He?  In the only one instance that I can think of in which God directly and explicitly commands the killing of an innocent child (Ishmael/Isaac), He exercises His mercy even in that instance by rescuing that child.

In short, what Rogers has cited from the Qur’an thankfully falls far short—in terms of sheer mercilessness, vengeful anger, and brutality—of the content and language of biblical verses like 1 Samuel 15:3.  As to the question of God’s justice, it can certainly be argued that the Author of life can choose to take life away, as He pleases, even though commanding the killing of babies in warfare strikes me as a particularly merciless and brutal commandment. I am happy that it is not to be found in my Qur’an, while it is certainly a problem for modern-day Christian apologists who constantly sing about the love and moral superiority of the Christian (version of) God over that of the Muslim (version of) God.  In short, such biblical passages would keep me awake at night, if I was a Christian.

On a bit of a side-note, even if I were to allege that the Christian God is unjust in commanding humans to kill babies, it would not be so much on the basis that God does not have the right to take those babies’ lives (either Himself directly or through the use of His able agents), but more on the basis that God has demanded something of His righteous human servants which is greater than the burden that they can bear.  In order to carry out a divine commandment to kill a human baby, one must either be a complete saint, or the very opposite—an unbalanced, mentally unstable person whose soul is given to evil inclinations.   The Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, would fall into the first category.  Due to his high standing as a prophet and saint of God, and in order to demonstrate the perfection of submission to God for countless future generations of submitters to come, God asks him to sacrifice his only son.  Abraham, with difficulty, does submit to this commandment, which God in His Infinite Knowledge knew that Abraham was able to burden and perform.

For the same God to make such demands of laypeople would be unjust, however, because it is indeed a burden greater than we can bear.  For David Wood, however, it is apparently not.  In a not-yet-published-but-recorded-by-the-Christian-side debate that Wood had with Adnan Rashid a few years back, he conceded that, if God told him to kill babies in the final Armageddon, he would do so.  For most Muslims—and I would venture to add most Christians—this is not the case.  We would not be able to submit to such a commandment for one simple reason—we are not able to.   Since the majority of us are neither perfect saints/angels, nor are we maniacal killers with a penchant for murdering the babies of our own species, we would not be able to murder children.  God has on the one hand programmed it into our very conscience and genes to not be able to murder innocent babies (that is, for the vast majority of us who are mentally sane and balanced, and without a penchant for such horrific brutality); He will not on the other hand command us to act against the very nature and programming that He has given us, and then credit it to us as a sin if we are unable to perform this unbearable and impossible task.  Again, I can only speak for myself here, not necessarily for Wood.  He clearly has a different assessment and estimate of what he would be capable of carrying out in the name of his (Christian) God.

I hope my above explanation will make it clear why I do not consider it unjust if God wipes babies out through the agency of the wind, the water, cancer, famine, AIDS, or even through the agency of His angels, however I do draw the line and consider it unjust if He commands us human beings to kill human babies (as a general commandment, a specific commandment to the Prophet Abraham notwithstanding).  This is not because I deny God the Sovereign His right to take away the lives of human babies, with or without explanation or justification provided to us mortals, but rather because I consider such a general commandment to laypeople to be a burden greater than that which they can bear, and this surely contravenes (in a number of ways) His Divine Attribute of Justice and Mercy towards His servants.  Please understand the distinction I have tried to make.  God having me brutally killed by a wild animal could be and would be completely just, according to my theology.  God commanding my mother or wife to brutally murder me—and if she does not, it will be considered sinful on her part—is another matter entirely, and it would be unjust according to my theology, which is based on the Qur’an.  (Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.—Qur’an 2:286)

Thankfully, the Qur’anic passage quoted by Rogers—Qur’an 17:4-7–  contains no such explicit commandment to target-kill babies, as much as Rogers might want to try to read between the lines and find such a thing.  He should leave doing tafsir (Qur’anic commentary) to the professionals.

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STRIKE 2—NO EXPLICIT COMMANDMENT, AUTHORIZATION, GLORIFICATION, OR EVEN MENTION OF KILLING BABIES AND WOMEN IN TANWIR AL-MIQBAS (IBN `ABBAS)

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In the Qur’an 17:4-7– which we saw contains no such injunction, commandment, or even permission to indiscriminately murder women and children—Rogers certainly realizes the rather important missing details, details which he is eager and desperate to fill in.  This is why he turns to a secondary source, namely the tafsir of ibn `Abbas, Tanwir al-Miqbas.  Below is the relevant portion that he quotes:

(So when the time for the first of the two) the first of the two punishments; it is also said that this means: the first of the two corruptions (came, We roused against you slaves of Ours) Nebuchadnezzar and the host

of the king of Babylon (of great might) of tremendous fighting skills (who ravaged (your) country) who killed you in the streets in the middle of your country, (and it was a threat performed) a decreed threat that surely

takes place, that if you do such-and-such I will do this to you. Thus they stayed in captivity of Nebuchadnezzar for 90 years until Allah helped them with Koresh from Hamadan [Persia]. 

 (Then we gave you once again your turn against them) through Koresh’s defeat of Nebuchadnezzar; it is also said that this means: and We had pity on you and thus gave you once again your turn against them, (and We aided you with wealth and children and made you more in soldiery) We made you more in men and numbers, 

(Saying): If ye do good) if you confess Allah’s Oneness, (ye do good for your own souls) the reward for that

is Paradise, (and If ye do evil) and if you associate partners with Allah, (it is for them (in like manner)) the

punishment for that is upon them. They remained in comfort, merriness, abundance of men and numbers,

and triumph over the enemy for 220 years until Allah roused against them Titus. (So, when the time for the second (of the judgements) came) the second of the two punishment or the second of the two corruptions

((We roused against you others of Our slaves) to ravage you) by killing you and taking you as captives, i.e. Titus the son of Espianos [sic] the Roman, (and to enter the Temple) Jerusalem (even as they entered it the first time) even as Nebuchadnezzar and his host entered it the first time, (and to lay waste all that they conquered with an utter wasting).

The gist of Rogers’ point is as follows:  The Qur’an, according to ibn `Abbas, is referring to Nebuchadnezzar and Titus as “Our [ie. God’s] Servants”, and hence all of their actions—including the indiscriminate killing of Jewish civilians—is sanctioned and authorized by Allah, and therefore the God of the Qur’an does command (or authorize) the killing of innocents and babies in warfare.

I might require the help of a professional logician to point out all the logical fallacies that have been committed in the above argument, which is a paraphrase but I am certain it is a fair representation of Rogers’ argument.  Theoretically speaking and for the sake of argument, let us assume that the God of the Qur’an commands or perhaps approves of or condones the killing of babies in warfare; however the “evidence” and the arguments that Rogers has presented thus far does not establish that.  In other words, even if the conclusion is true, it would be true for all the wrong reasons and based on premises that themselves have not been established with any amount of certainty.  In short, we have no good reason to believe Rogers’ conclusion about the God of the Qur’an.

Let us consider the most obvious fact first.  Ibn Abbas’ commentary, like the original Qur’anic verse being commented on, does not indicate any explicit commandment, authorization, approval of, or even mention of the killing of women and children.   Again, it could be alleged that ibn `Abbas is ambiguous, and that such ambiguity could lend itself to war crimes (to use modern parlance) such as the deliberate target-killing of babies.  One could make that argument, if looking at ibn `Abbas’ commentary in isolation.  But how anything he wrote could be construed as an explicit order, command, authorization, or glorification of the killing of babies, as in 1 Samuel 15:3, is beyond me.  One could make a general statement in support of the general U.S. war effort against Nazi Germany, without explicitly endorsing or approving of the fact of the carpet bombing of Dresden which killed thousands of German school-children.  One could even go so far as to explicitly endorse the invasion and subsequent occupation of Nazi Germany by the Allies, but again without endorsing the specific event of the carpet-bombing of Dresden.  The two events are interrelated, but not necessarily the same one thing.

The next problem with Rogers’ argument vis-à-vis ibn `Abbas is that Muslims are not required to believe in his tafsir, especially if there is no isnaad (authenticated chains of narration) that establish his opinion on the matter as being factual.  Rogers and Wood can provide a long list of ibn Abbas’ virtues and scholarly precedence amongst the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), none of which will be disputed by this writer; however none of this can change the Religion.  The fact remains that, in this Religion of Islam, Qur’anic commentary provided by ibn `Abbas without isnaad does not automatically become or inform our theology.

The third problem with Rogers’ use of ibn `Abbas is the contested authenticity of the work being cited.  Tanwir al-Miqbas, which is what I believe Rogers is quoting from, is attributed to ibn `Abbas; it is not definitely from him.  If I am wrong about the source of Rogers’ quotes, he can correct me.

Fourthly, there is no ijmaa` (consensus, or even a semblance of consensus among the scholars) on the issue.  Rogers only threw a handful of names of modern commentators on the Qur’an, not even beginning to cite any classical commentators.  Even among the modern commentators that he made quick mention of, we see that Muhammad Asad, for example, did not share the view that Titus was a righteous servant of God.  Asad says that the second period of Jewish iniquity and transgression mentioned in the Qur’an (17:4-7) is “probably” referring to the destruction of the Second Temple by Titus, but note that Asad himself does not assign this as the definitive meaning of the text.  Secondly, had Rogers quoted the rest of Asad’s commentary on the same passages, he would have seen that Asad did not consider Titus to be one of God’s righteous servants, even though the Arabic term ibaadal-lanaa (“servants of Ours”) is used for (possibly) Titus and his army.   Asad says,

The term `ibad, rendered by me above as “bondmen”, denotes every kind of “created beings” [emphasis added] (in this case, obviously human beings) inasmuch as all of them are, willingly or unwillingly, subservient to God’s will.

 Elsewhere (footnote for chapter 13:15), he makes it clear that classical commentators also believed that non-believers were subject to God’s will, in a general sense.  They too are, in a sense, servants of God, but disobedient servants of God.

Mufti Muhammad Shafi Uthmani, who served as the grand mufti of Darul-Uloom Deoband in India, states:  “Disbelievers too are among the servants of God, but not among the accepted ones.”  The late Mufti’s comments on Qur’an 17:4-7 shed further light on the terminology that is used in it:

About the first event (5), the Holy Qur’an said: When the people of Faith start letting them be seduced to discord, sin, disobedience and disorder, Allah Ta’ala shall set upon them such servants of His as would break into their homes killing and plundering. At this place, the Qur’an has used the expression:  (‘ibadal-lana: Some servants belonging to Us) and not:  (‘ibadana: Our servants) – even though it was brief. There is wisdom behind it. Is it not that the attribution of a servant to Allah is, for him, the greatest conceivable honour? This is similar to what we have explained at the beginning of this very Surah under our comments on the first verse:  (asra’ bi’abdihi: made His servant travel at night). There it was said that certainly great was the honour and nearness the Holy Prophet was blessed with during the night of the Mi’raj. But, when the Qur’an describes this event, it does not mention either his blessed name or some attribute. It simply said:  (‘abdihi: His servant). This tells us that the ultimate perfection a human person can have, and the highest station he can occupy, is that Allah Ta’ala chooses to cherish a servant by calling him ‘His’ servant. In the verse under reference, the people who meted out the punishment to the Bani Isra’il were kafirs, or disbelievers after all. Therefore, instead of calling them:  (Our servants), Allah Ta’ala has broken the element of attribution and connection and said:  (some servants belonging to Us). Thus, a hint has been given here that all human beings are nothing but servants of Allah as created, but because of the absence of ‘Iman or faith, they are not the kind of accepted servants who could be attributed directly to Allah Ta’ala.  

In short, the Qur’an is saying that some servants or bondsmen of God were allowed to punish and destroy Jerusalem.  This is all we have, from the Qur’an, and from ibn `Abbas’ commentary.  And this is being compared to:

Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. (1 Samuel 15:3)

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But of the cities of these peoples, that Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. (Deut 20:16)

Rogers’ theology, as a biblical inerrantist, absolutely requires him to believe that the Christian God commanded the Jews to kill everything that breathes in the various cities that they conquered.   How does this “take no prisoners” policy compare to the Qur’an or with Islamic teachings?  Even tyrants like Nebuchadnezzar and Titus took captives to serve them?

Ibn Kathir, one of the great classical commentators of the Qur’an who is often singled out and preferred by Wood and his colleagues, puts it very well:

The earlier and later commentators differed over the identity of these invaders. Many Isra’iliyyat (reports from Jewish sources) were narrated about this, but I did not want to make this book too long by mentioning them, because some of them are fabricated, concocted by their heretics, and others may be true, but we have no need of them, praise be to Allah. What Allah has told us in His Book (the Qur’an) is sufficient and we have no need of what is in the other books that came before. Neither Allah nor His Messenger required us to refer to them [ie. the identity of those who He used to punish the Jews]. Allah told His Messenger that when (the Jews) committed transgression and aggression, Allah gave their enemies power over them to destroy their country and enter the innermost parts of their homes. Their humiliation and subjugation was a befitting punishment, and your Lord is never unfair or unjust to His servants.

So according to ibn Kathir, and probably just about any other scholar that is dead or alive, it is not at all a matter of faith for us to have to positively identify and affirm who these invaders were, let alone their modus operandi.

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STRIKE 3 – SECULAR HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR AND TITUS DO NOT REFER TO THE MODUS OPERANDI OF “KILLING EVERY CHILD”, “KILLING EVERY ANIMAL”, “KILLING EVERYTHING THAT BREATHES”, OR “MAKE NO PEACE TREATY WITH THEM”

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 Even if we assume that ibn `Abbas’ commentary is from him, even if we assume that ibn `Abbas is correct in his historical interpretation of Qur’an 17:4-7, and even if we assume that Nebuchadnezzar and Titus were righteous servants of God (despite their being pagans, which is a far greater sin in Islam than even wanton violence) and everything they did was directly commanded to them and authorized by God, we still will not end up with the brutality that is explicitly endorsed by [the Christian interpretation of] God in the Bible.  True, if we assume all these unproven assumptions to be correct and connect the dots the way Roger wants us to, we would end up with a verification of the biblical idea that God does (or has commanded in the past) human beings to kill human babies in warfare.  So there would be a theological stalemate between the Bible and the Qur’an on the issue of God commanding human beings to slay some babies in war.  Even so, would the Qur’an ever be able to compare to the brutal methods of warfare endorsed and ordered by God in the Bible?

That charge would still ring hollow in light of the historical evidence that we have, since at no point in time did Nebuchadnezzar or Titus ever will or command or authorize the indiscriminate killing of all civilians, children, and animals in the territories that they conquered, as the Bible does on more than one occasion.  In other words, even if Nebuchadnezzar and Titus were righteous Muslims commanded to war by Allah, we still do not find any general directive from them to:

(1)   Kill all children, taking no prisoners

(2)   Kill all women, taking no prisoners

(3)   Kill all other non-combatants, taking no prisoners

(4)   Kill all animals

(5) Offer no peace treaty to the occupants of the cities they are attacking

(6) Kill everything that breathes, basically

Rather, at the most, we might conclude with the aid of secular historical documents relating to Nebuchadnezzar and Titus that the Qur’an is, albeit indirectly, approving of the killing of some babies in warfare.  This would not only be a quantitative difference from the killing of babies in the Bible, but a qualitative one as well; think of the moral difference between, say, a drone attack that kills some civilians versus dropping a nuclear bomb on an entire city.  In fact, even in the event of dropping a nuclear bomb on a city, the intent may not necessarily be to kill all life-forms.  A more fitting analogy might be a drone attack versus dropping 10 nuclear bombs on a city.

The latter is clearly more analogous to and indicative of the genocidal intent of a variety of biblical passages relating to warfare.

Notice here as well that, although Rogers had originally stated that he would prove from Islamic sources that the God of the Qur’an commanded the killing of babies and innocents, he has managed to bring non-Islamic secular history in through the back door.  Although he does not explicitly identify these sources, he implies that sifting through the historical record on these two personalities (ie. Nebuchadnezzar and Titus) would easily reveal that they indiscriminately killed civilians.  That is probably true, when we consider the nature of pre-modern warfare and the difficulty in identifying non-combatants, however what we are specifically looking for is evidence that either one of these two historical characters ordered the specific target-killing of all babies or civilians in their conquests.

What appears at first as a monumental task and impossible challenge should in reality not be so great.  Since the Qur’an is, according to the interpretation attributed to ibn `Abbas, as further interpreted by Rogers, condoning the actions of Nebuchadnezzar and Titus in relation to two specific events (the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar from 597-587 BC, and the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD), these are the two events that we should have a look at and examine the historical record on.

In regards to the first—the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar—I will default to the Bible as our historical source, instead of secular historical accounts; this is simply due to the fact that it will be seen as more historical, more reliable, and more accurate by Rogers, who considers the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God.  I need only quote from 2 Kings 24 in order to make my point here:

 He carried all Jerusalem into exile: all the officers and fighting men, and all the skilled workers and artisans—a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left.   Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother, his wives, his officials and the prominent people of the land.  The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand skilled workers and artisans. (2 Kings 24:14-16)

As we know, this period of the Jews’ history is known as the Babylonian Exile.  There could have been no Babylonian Exile or Captivity of the Jews unless there were Jews left alive to be exiled and/or taken captive.  So even if the God of the Qur’an had directly commanded Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem, He obviously did not command or inspire Nebuchadnezzar to slay all the children, women, and everything else that breathes.  To the contrary, Rogers should assume that, according to the Qur’an (aided with further details provided to us by the Bible), Allah in fact commanded Nebuchadnezzar to leave tens of thousands of Jews alive and to exile them to Babylon instead of killing them.  Regardless, notice how this pagan Persian king, according to the Bible’s very own testimony, has more compassion and honour in his treatment of his enemies than the God of the Bible has.  I do not think anything more has to be said of Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem and its dissimilarity to the rules of warfare (or more accurately, genocide) as laid down by God in 1 Samuel 15:3, Numbers 31:17-18, and so on.

As for Titus’s conquest of Jerusalem in 70 AD, it is not reported in the Christian Bible, and therefore we must turn to secular historical accounts.  The best known of these accounts is certainly The Wars of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, who was a Roman historian and an eyewitness to the event.  Like all historians, his accounts are also sometimes called into question and he is accused of being biased in the favour of Titus, however his account is arguably the best we have to go on.  He was an eyewitness, a practicing Jew himself, and is considered a respected and important witness by all students of Roman and Jewish history.  For instance, James Lewis of The American Thinker, an American right-wing online magazine, just days ago stated that “[Josephus] saw both sides and could write a history for the ages” (The American Thinker, November 29, 2012).  Lewis and The American Thinker are, of course, no enemies of Israel and Jews.

According to Josephus’ writings, arguably our best source for the Jewish wars, we can clearly discern why and how Titus, despite his brutality at times, was still more humane and compassionate than the God of Bible, and certainly far from genocidal towards his enemies.  Titus and the Romans were in fact reluctant to attack and raze the city in the first place, and they made repeated efforts for peaceful reconciliation which were rejected time and time again by the Jewish extremists who had taken over the city.  This can be contrasted with Exodus 23:32 in which God states that He will wipe out the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites and that the Hebrews should make no peace or covenant with them. (Admittedly, the possibility of a peace treaty is allowed in other instances in the Old Testament, but not in the case of the nations/peoples mentioned in Exodus 23).  According to Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Exodus 23:32 is definitely including peace treaties in the list of prohibitions.  Yet we see in Josephus that Titus made repeated attempts and appeals to the Jews of Jerusalem:

I then came to this city, as unwillingly sent by my father, and received melancholy injunctions from him. When I heard that the people were disposed to peace, I rejoiced at it; I exhorted you to leave off these proceedings before I began this war; I spared you even when you had fought against me a great while; I gave my right hand as security to the deserters; I observed what I had promised faithfully. When they fled to me, I had compassion on many of those that I had taken captive; I tortured those that were eager for war, in order to restrain them. It was unwillingly that I brought my engines of war against your walls; I always prohibited my soldiers, when they were set upon your slaughter, from their severity against you. After every victory I persuaded you to peace, as though I had been myself conquered. When I came near your temple, I again departed from the laws of war, and exhorted you to spare your own sanctuary, and to preserve your holy house to yourselves. I allowed you a quiet exit out of it, and security for your preservation; nay, if you had a mind, I gave you leave to fight in another place. Yet have you still despised every one of my proposals [emphasis added], and have set fire to your holy house with your own hands. And now, vile wretches, do you desire to treat with me by word of mouth? To what purpose is it that you would save such a holy house as this was, which is now destroyed? What preservation can you now desire after the destruction of your temple? Yet do you stand still at this very time in your armor; nor can you bring yourselves so much as to pretend to be supplicants even in this your utmost extremity. O miserable creatures! what is it you depend on? Are not your people dead? is not your holy house gone? is not your city in my power? and are not your own very lives in my hands? And do you still deem it a part of valor to die? However, I will not imitate your madness. If you throw down your arms, and deliver up your bodies to me, I grant you your lives; and I will act like a mild master of a family [emphasis added]; what cannot be healed shall be punished, and the rest I will preserve for my own use.” (The Wars of the Jews, Book VI, chapter 3)

The above is reported to have been said by Titus after the conquest, or immediately before the conquest was completed.  In Book VII, chapter 5, after the conquest, Titus actually rejects the petitions of the inhabitants of Antioch to eject the city’s Jews, and ensures that they remain there with all their previous privileges.  In short, Titus attempted to renew peaceful relations and to return things to the status quo.  He did want a peace treaty, something which the God of the Bible did not allow for and explicitly denied in Exodus 23.  Rogers should assume, if he wants to assume anything at all, that the God of the Qur’an commanded or inspired Titus to offer terms of peace (several times) to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

As can also be seen from the quote above– and more to the point–Titus did not have a policy of indiscriminately massacring civilians or non-combatants.  At times, he even complained of the violent excesses of the Jews towards themselves.  The Sicarri and the Zealots, in fact, only agreed on one thing: to kill any Jew who was inclined towards peace with the Romans.  Jewish-on-Jewish massacres took place in the city and droves of dead bodies were dumped off of the city walls everyday.  Josephus writes:

… when Titus was going [on] his rounds along those valleys, he saw them full of dead bodies, and the thick putrefaction running about them.  He gave a groan and, spreading out his hands to heaven, called God to witness that this was not his doing [emphasis added], and such was the sad case of the city itself.

 The pagan Roman leader, at this point, appears to have a better understanding of the true nature and character of God than the scribes who penned 1 Samuel 15:3 or Exodus 23:32.

Ironically, one of the instances that horrified and further angered the Roman army against Jerusalem was the report of the killing of a Jewish baby by her mother, who then proceeded to eat it.  Josephus records:

This sad instance was quickly told to the Romans, some of whom could not believe it, and others pitied the distress which the Jews were under; but there were many of them who were hereby induced to a more bitter hatred than ordinary against our [Jewish] nation. But for Caesar, he excused himself before God as to this matter, and said that he had proposed peace and liberty to the Jews, as well as an oblivion of all their former insolent practices; but that they, instead of concord, had chosen sedition; instead of peace, war; and before satiety and abundance, a famine. That they had begun with their own hands to burn down that temple which we have preserved hitherto; and that therefore they deserved to eat such food as this was. That, however, this horrid action of eating an own child ought to be covered with the overthrow of their very country itself, and men ought not to leave such a city upon the habitable earth to be seen by the sun, wherein mothers are thus fed, although such food be fitter for the fathers than for the mothers to eat of, since it is they that continue still in a state of war against us, after they have undergone such miseries as these. And at the same time that he said this, he reflected on the desperate condition these men must be in; nor could he expect that such men could be recovered to sobriety of mind, after they had endured those very sufferings, for the avoiding whereof it only was probable they might have repented.

Titus clearly did not adhere or subscribe to the idea of “Blessed is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks!” (Psalm 137:9), or else he might have rejoiced at this report instead of becoming horrified and angered by it.  While Titus did clearly see himself as a vehicle of God’s wrath upon the Jews, he does not at any point consider the dashing of babies’ heads or indiscriminate killing of all survivors to be a specific part of the deal.  That is not to say that civilians were not killed—some quite brutally—but Titus does not appear to have issued this as a specific directive to his soldiers.  At times, he even complains of his inability to restrain his soldiers’ passions and excesses; this fact of history is immortalized in the famous weaved tapestry design by Charles Poerson which appears at the top of this article, in which Titus can be seen riding on horseback, rushing to stop the carnage.  For example, according to Josephus, when some of Titus’ soldiers were caught cutting open the stomachs of some of the dead Jews in search of gold that they had swallowed, Titus immediately threatened future violators with death.  This was not implemented effectively and such abuses continued, but it certainly speaks volumes for the personal military discipline of Titus.  Contrast this with 1 Samuel 18:27, according to which David cuts off the foreskins from the penises of 200 dead Philistine men, and in the very next verse it is said that the Lord was with David.  Titus, on the other hand, considers it an unpardonable violation of the dead to mutilate their bodies, even when great material wealth is to be gained thereby.  Although neither the Qur’an nor any Qur’anic commentaries would compel us to commit to the idea (nor does the present writer endorse such a theory), there is certainly a stronger argument that can be made for the divine inspiration of Titus than for the divine inspiration of (at least some of) the biblical scribes.

Ironically, the most well-known and shocking instance of the specific target-killing of babies during the Jewish wars is that at the hilltop fortress of Masada, at the hands of the Jews themselves.  As is well known, 960 of its inhabitants committed mass suicide, although the application of the term “suicide” to the hundreds of babies and infants who had no choice in the matter seems a bit stretched.  The conquering Romans were again shocked at how fathers could have slain their own children and wives.  Similar occurrences happened elsewhere as well, including Ein-Gedi where the maniacal Sicarii massacred 700 of the settlement’s inhabitants, and during the siege of Jerusalem itself when the Sicarii set fire to a large stockpile of the city’s dry food supply.

Lastly, I will wrap up with the most important point, which should be obvious by now:  Titus did not command the killing of all women, children, non-combatants, and animals.  There is sufficient evidence that prisoners were taken and many of their lives spared, and that is not in dispute.

On the same day it was that the sons and brethren of Izates the king, together with many others of the eminent men of the populace, got together there, and besought Caesar to give them his right hand for their security; upon which, though he was very angry at all that were now remaining, yet did he not lay aside his old moderation, but received these men [emphasis added]. At that time, indeed, he kept them all in custody, but still bound the king’s sons and kinsmen, and led them with him to Rome, in order to make them hostages for their country’s fidelity to the Romans.  (ibid, Book VI, chapter 6)

 According to Josephus, the total captives from the Jewish wars were 97 000.  The captives from Jerusalem were obviously much less.  Paul McDonnell-Staff puts the number of women and children captives from Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple at 6000 (“A War of Logistics: The Siege of Jerusalem, 66 AD”, in Ancient Warfare 4.2 (2010), pgs. 36-41)

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SUMMARY:

 

We have seen that the Qur’an nowhere explicitly commands the believers to slay babies or non-combatants in battle.  Such a commandment intrinsically strikes the human soul as being unjust; it would be just as reasonable to ask a human being to jump over the moon.  For God to command us to specifically target-kill human babies runs contrary to our very human nature and DNA, which in turn has been programmed into us by God our Creator.  Only a perfect saint/angel or, conversely, an evil soul whose inner conscience has been destroyed, would be able to carry out such a command. (I will leave it to the reader to decide which category David Wood falls into.)

Secondly, we have seen that, even on the strength of secondary commentaries on the Qur’an, there is no real consensus on who is being referred to in Qur’an 17:4-7.  (Some commentaries even consider “the second transgression” or the second period of iniquity to be that of the Medinan Jews who rejected the Prophet Muhammad and their subsequent political treason against the Muslims; in that case, too, we see that the Jewish tribes were ultimately either expelled, or the fighting men in the case of the Banu Qurayza killed while their women and children were spared.)

Thirdly, we have seen that, even if ibn `Abbas’ commentary is correct in identifying Nebuchadnezzar and Titus as the “servants belonging to God” in 17:4-7, it (the commentary) makes no mention of the indiscriminate killing of babies or civilians, much less any endorsement of it.

Fourthly, even if we go outside of Islamic sources (while Rogers initially stated that he would limit himself to Islamic sources, and this was supposed to be “child’s play” for him to do), we find no historical evidence of the idea that Nebuchadnezzar and Titus ever abided by the genocidal rules of warfare as laid down in certain portions of the Bible, particularly 1 Samuel 15:3 in regards to the Amalakites.  To the contrary, Nebuchadnezzar exiled many if not most of Jerusalem’s inhabitants, as testified to in the very Bible itself.  Similarly, Titus decreed after the conquest of Jerusalem that captives not be killed (although many of them would be killed later).  According to Josephus, Titus also practically begged the Jews to spare Jerusalem and their Temple from destruction, made attempts to restrain some of the violent excesses of his soldiers, bemoaned the barbarity of the Jewish factions in Jerusalem towards their own people, absolved himself of blame in front of God in regards to some of the more violent excesses of the war, personally intervened to stop the mutilation of the Jewish dead by threatening the violators with death, and ultimately took a large number of prisoners/captives from Jerusalem back to Rome, many of whom were spared.  In other words, thankfully for the Jews that he was fighting, Titus contravened each and every command in 1 Samuel 15:3 and Deuteronomy 20:16.  That was a noble thing to do, and it is quite possible that Allah-God inspired in him this element of leniency.

The truth be told, Rogers may have fared better by positing some form of hard Calvinism which attributes everything to God and made that the main premise in his argument.  Since God directly wills everything, he could have argued, He must have also willed that the rapist rapes, and the serial killer murders innocents, and so on.  Within this framework, he could have better argued that Allah directly willed and commanded Nebuchadnezzar and Titus to do what they did, including their brutality and excesses (which still does not rival the “Kill everything that breathes” policy that we see in the Bible).

No matter how you connect the dots, though, we are still a far, far cry from the genocidal and targeted-killing of babies advocated by Yahweh/Jesus in the Bible.  While refutations and counter-refutations on this topic may continue perpetually, Muslims still await a single Qur’anic verse, a single authentic hadith, or even a single fatwa that endorses the idea found in the biblical verse below:

… in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes [emphasis added]. (Deut 20:16)

The heckling continues.  Fortunately, we do take prisoners.

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172 replies »

    • I gave this input before for another article but it applies here also since it shows a real logical fallacy and contradiction on the part of the Muslim God in the Quran. As for me the Quran can’t be divine because it fails its own test.It says in sura 4:82 it has not contradictions,then it contradicts itself.Read sura 5:8 very carefully,then later on the Muslim God contradicts himself in sura 5:14 and sura 5:64.There you have a real ethical contradiction.There is no way to get around it,just substitute 5:14 or 5:64 with the words Arabs or Africans or Indians or Hindus or Muslims or atheists or women or whatnot and it is essentially the same,the Quran says one thing and then a few lines later goes against its affirmation.

      • Honestly, thank you for your comment. I value it and it encourages me greatly. Any time I see an irrelevant red herring comment that has absolutely nothing to do with the article I’ve written, I know I have done my job right (insha-Allah).

  1. http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/ava368013.shtml

    There is a new movement of holocaust denialists, and the prime architects of this movement are biblical scholars. I am speaking not of the Jewish Holocaust under the Nazi regime, but of the Canaanite holocaust reported in biblical texts.

    These Canaanite holocaust denialists argue that the Canaanite holocaust did not really happen. And if it did happen, then it was justified and not analogous to the Nazi holocaust.

    Quote:
    Now the Bible is as clear as can be. Canaanites, Amalekites and others, being unacceptable because of their wanton behaviour, were exterminated
    christians claim that they are not in the old covenant so what ever behaviour they have, the old cov will not be applied unto thier skins. yhwh did not REVEAL any thing to the canaanites and amalekites, not one messenger from yhwh was SENT to these people . the israelites shook hands with yhwh to do the old cov, not the canaanites and amalekites. yhwh is israeli worshipper and worshipper of land.
    the ot says the canaanites + amalekites did not have “wanton behaviour” in the days of abraham, but land obessed yhwh did not SEND them any messengers even @ this time.

    read the ot. the only reason yhwh wants to take out non-jews is because

    1. jews would leave him for pagan gods
    2.revenge for what the forefathers of the amalekites did to the israelites on there way out from egypt.

    Quote:
    Exodus 23:27-32 says that G-d was driving them out of the land and not that the main goal was to kill them all off.
    if i were to use violence to drive out israelies from israel would that be considered genocide?
    is the destruction of peoples culture and forcing them out of their land destruction of a people? what happened if the canaanite got into the way of the israelite? why did yhwh say to the israelites “show them no mercy.”

    deuteronomy 7:22 Yhwh your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able
    to make a quick end of them, otherwise the wild animals would become too numerous for you.

    But Yahweh your God will give them over to you, and throw them into great panic, until they are de-
    stroyed. He will hand their kings over to you and you shall blot out their name from under heaven;
    no one will be able to stand against you, until you have destroyed them.

    Moreover, Yahweh your God will send the pesti-lence against them, until even the survivors and the
    fugitives are destroyed. Have no dread of them, for Yahweh your God, who is present with you, is a
    great and awesome God.

    the main goal was to kill them all off

    Exodus 23:27-32 says that G-d was driving them out of the land and not that the main goal was to kill them all off.

    Kenneth Greifer
    Even if we assume that the objective wasn’t to exterminate every single part of that groups from the face of the earth or to kill all of those who were living there, but “merely” the ethnic cleansing of the “holy land”, why does that matter? It’s still genocide.

    To continue with the Nazi-analogy: Let’s imagine that the Nazis had won the war against the Soviet union and had conquered all the European part of the USSR (the line from Archangelsk to Astrakhan). The plans called for the almost total extermination of the native population there (and I don’t think the Nazis would mind they just fled to Siberia to starve). Their main goal wasn’t to kill every single ethnic Russian on the planet. Again: Why does that matter? It would still be genocide.

    Kenneth, are you an apologist for genocide?

    Of course, the story is fictional and implausible, whether one judges by archaeological and historical evidence or simply by the literary evidence in the texts themselves.

    But within the context of the story, there are countless ways it could have otherwise been written. Any competent writer could have come up with a way for settling a nomadic people in a region the size of Palestine that didn’t require genocide right down to the killing of helpless children and the kidnapping of virgin girls as sex slaves.

    What we have at work in the text is a ruthless and repugnant theological doctrine of cultural and ethnic purity that is obsessed not with morality but with real estate.

    To add insult to injury, Yahweh’s plan to keep the Israelites religiously and ethnically pure by ethnic cleansing of the land is a complete failure. The Israelites spend the next few centuries marrying foreigners and worshipping foreign gods. Did Yahweh not see this coming? Could he not have devised a plan that would have actually worked, and preferably one that didn’t require the Israelites to commit mass murder as a national pastime?

    As enlightened exegetes of the text, we can acknowledge that none of this actually happened and let God off the hook (if one is so inclined), but we cannot ignore the intentions of the writers either. The writers (some of them, at least; other OT writers were just as critical as we are) imagined a Canaanite Holocaust as a glorious event they wished had really happened, and one they hoped (one can only presume) would happen again in the future.

    Could he not have devised a plan that would have actually worked, and preferably one that didn’t require the Israelites to commit mass murder as a national pastime?
    this diety is not making much sense.

    in gen 15:16 canaanites were not morally corrupt.god waited till they became morally corrupt and their sins hit sky high

    according to the apologists, in moses’ time canaanite sins hit sky high and god wants to wipe them off the map. god wants to wipe off their children also.

    if children were wiped off because THEY DID NOT SIN, then why didn’t god give the command to wife them off in gen 15:16?

    god tells the jews to to stop worshipping idols over night
    god tells them to stop doing detestable practices over night
    but god was unable to tell them to stop killing children in combat

    1 Samuel 30:1 Then it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire; 2 and they took captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great, without killing anyone, and carried them off and went their way. 3 When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive.

    if the amalekites could have thought of sparring the children, then why couldn’t the hebrew god who had told the hebrews to be DIFFERENT from the people around them?

    The Israelites spend the next few centuries marrying foreigners and worshipping foreign gods. Did Yahweh not see this coming?

    in the book of kings the israelites did more sins than the nations yahweh had destroyed before the israelites, but yhwh did not wipe off the israelites because the worshipped becomes the worshipper of “chosen” people

  2. You wrote:”Honestly, thank you for your comment. I value it and it encourages me greatly. Any time I see an irrelevant red herring comment that has absolutely nothing to do with the article I’ve written, I know I have done my job right (insha-Allah).”
    It is not a diversion or red herring because,since from what I have read,your arguments are correct,I won’t dispute that,the Quran doesn’t say to kill children.But that doesn’t mean it is the word of God,neither does the Mahabharata say to kill chidlren.But the Quran is obviously a human fabrication since it undenaibly contradicts itself in the passages I showed you.And in Islamic hteology even one contradiction is enough to prove the Quran a false book.

    • I’m glad that we can at least agree halfway. So basically, your assertion is that the Qur’an is a false book *which teaches a more moral and compassionate conception of God* (when it comes to the rules of warfare) than the Bible (which you presumably believe is the true word of God)?

      Again, if that is the conclusion that I have forced you to realize, then I feel I’ve done my job well, since the purpose of my article was to prove that the Qur’an shows a more compassionate conception of God than the Bible, not necessarily that the Qur’an is the true Word of God.

  3. Great response and I can see the validity of some of your points and even agree with a few of them. But I’m wondering if you can clarify something to help me better understand your theology.

    You wrote in regards to God ordering Abraham to kill his son.

    “in order to demonstrate the perfection of submission to God for countless future generations of submitters to come, God asks him to sacrifice his only son. Abraham, with difficulty, does submit to this commandment, which God in His Infinite Knowledge knew that Abraham was able to burden and perform.”

    So you seem to be saying that Abraham was righteous and pious and because he was righteous and pious God gave him the commandment to kill his son to set an example of perfect submission for future generations of submitters i.e. Muslims.

    Is this correct?

    Thank you for your article and any time you can give to respond to my request for clarification.

    • Correction

      I changed the 4th paragraph

      Great response and I can see the validity of some of your points and even agree with a few of them. But I’m wondering if you can clarify something to help me better understand your theology.

      You wrote in regards to God ordering Abraham to kill his son.

      “in order to demonstrate the perfection of submission to God for countless future generations of submitters to come, God asks him to sacrifice his only son. Abraham, with difficulty, does submit to this commandment, which God in His Infinite Knowledge knew that Abraham was able to burden and perform.”

      So you seem to be saying that Abraham was righteous and pious and because he was righteous and pious God gave him the commandment knowing that Abraham would fulfill Gods commandment to kill his son. So that Abraham could set an example of perfect submission for future generations of submitters i.e. Muslims

      Is this correct?
      Thank you for your article and any time you can give to respond to my request for clarification.

  4. The Biblical Flood of Noah is worldwide and MILLIONS were drowned for the transgressions of their Parents. Yet, according to the Quran, the Flood of Noah is suggested to be LOCAL and isolated to Noah’s people (a tsunami?) who completely rejected Him (without Confirming or Denying a Worldwide Flood). The question is not whether Noah’s Flood was Local or Universal, it’s about who PERISHED in the Flood. Does the Quran say Innocents died? No, only the deservers of God’s Punishment, any possible Innocent Life achieved Martyrdom. Does the Bible suggest that Innocents (with Noah’s enemies) died? Yes, the passage Gen. 7:22 makes it clear that “All that was in the dry land died”. According to the Bible, the Flood destroyed the LIVES of millions; Genesis doesn’t say but clearly IMPLIES that Children and Babies were WASHED AWAY.

    And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

    Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

    And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

    All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

    And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. (Gen. 7:19-23)

    There’s no Evidence from Jewish and Christian Sources that the Innocents who DROWNED were Martyrs. Biblically, at this “early point” in time We cannot say GOD’s Intention’s was a Collective Punishment (“guilt by association”) of the SEED associated with (rebellious) Parents for denying Noah. There’s nothing in Gen. 7:19-23 that remotely suggests Babies/ Children were NOT killed, as the Biblical GOD commands the Killing of Women and Children (Innocents), we don’t expect the Bible GOD to CARE about Innocent Life drowning (Num. 31:17-20, 1 Sam. 15:3, Ez. 9:5-6).

    The Quran doesn’t say Innocents were drowned, the Noble Verses make it demonstrably CLEAR that Noah’s people (all disbelievers) were drowned. Where does Allah command the destruction of Innocent Life? Nowhere as the Quran isn’t Genocidal like the Bible (2:190-3, 22:39, 4:75).

    Say: “Think ye, if the punishment of Allah comes to you, whether suddenly or openly, will any be destroyed EXCEPT those who do wrong? (Q. 6:47)

    And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility EXCEPT to those who practise oppression. (2:93, Yusuf Ali)

    Say, `Will you tell me, if the punishment of ALLAH come upon you suddenly or openly, will any be destroyed save the wrongdoing people ?’ (Sher Ali)

    Say: Have you considered if the chastisement of Allah should overtake you suddenly or openly, will any be destroyed but the unjust people? (Shakir)

    Say: Can ye see yourselves, if the punishment of Allah come upon you unawares or openly ? Would any perish save wrongdoing folk ? (Pickthall)

    Say unto them, what think ye? If the punishment of God come upon you suddenly, or in open view; will any perish, except the ungodly people? (Sale)

    “And Noah said: `O my Lord! Leave not of the Unbelievers, a SINGLE one on earth! For if Thou dost leave (any of them), they will but mislead Thy devotees, and they will breed none but wicked ungrateful ones.'” 71:26-27

    And the PEOPLE of Noah,- when they rejected the apostles, We drowned THEM, and We made THEM as a Sign for mankind; and We have prepared for (all) wrong-doers a grievous Penalty;- (25:37)

    The Noble Verse 6:47 is significant, the Divine Wrath of God only BEFALLS those who do wrong. That means GOD wanted to destroy ONLY the people of Noah with a flood, where does it say “All flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing?” The Quran doesn’t give those details! Any possible LIFE that drowned wasn’t God’s intention. The Quran indicates ONLY the oppressors and disbelievers died, the VERY fact that the Quran doesn’t give DETAILS about the “fate” of the plants, animals, and
    the “creeping things” shows He wasn’t meaning to destroy ALL LIFE. On the contrary, the Bible GOD is clearly Genocidal (drunkwithblood.com) and GOD willfully and purposely wanted to DESTROY all the Life (Human and Non-Human) because He loves it. The complete Destruction of ALL the Living Things (Gen. 7:21-23) was God’s Intention (according to the Bible)! Genesis 7:21-23 simply REFLECTS “Utterly destroy them” (Deut. 20:17), “Show no mercy” (Ez. 9:5) and “Leave NOTHING that breathes” (Deut. 20:16). GOD took great pleasures in KILLING the forms of Life (19-23) that He mentioned it. ON the contrary, the established Laws of Warfare in the Quran are Just and Rational, it’s directed to the Combatants, not Civilians (2:190, 4:75, 22:39, 8:61, 9:6, 60:8) whereas the Bible GOD targets Women, Children, Infants, and Animals (Deut. 7:2, 13:15, 1 Sam. 15:3, Josh 6:21). GOD also celebrates the Genocidal prophecies (Isa. 13:16) and simply watches.

    Here is a stark Contrast between the Quran and Bible:

    Thus saith the LORD of hosts … go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. (1 Sam. 15:2-3)

    And we utterly destroyed them, … utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. (Deut. 3:6)

    Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. (Deut. 13:15)

    And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them. (Deut. 7:2)

    And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them. (Deut. 7:16)

    But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. (Deut. 20:16-17)

    And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain. (Deut. 2:34)

    And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. (Josh 6:21)

    So smote all the country … he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. (Josh 10:40)

    Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. (Num. 3:17-18)

    NOW see the Islamic war-doctrine:

    And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!” (Q. 4:75)

    Narrated By ‘Abdullah : During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah’s Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children. Bukhari Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 257.

    “I advise you ten things| Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly.”

    Ibn `Abbas says: The Messenger of Allah, when dispatching his troops, would tell them, ” ..Do not behave treacherously, nor misappropriate war-booty, nor mutilate [those whom you kill], nor kill children, nor the people in cloisters.” (Musnad Ahmad, Sunan At-Tirmidhî)

    Another narration records that he said, “…Do not kill a woman, nor a child, nor an old-aged man’ (Sharh as-Sunnah Al-Baghawî)

    Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet said: Go in Allah’s name, trusting in Allah, and adhering to the religion of Allah’s Apostle. Do not kill a decrepit old man, a young infant, or a child, or a woman; do not be dishonest about booty, but collect your spoils, do right and act well, for Allah loves those who do well. (Sunan Abî Dawûd)

    And again, “Do not kill a child, nor a woman, nor an old man, nor obliterate a stream, nor cut a tree…” (Sunan Al-Bayhaqî)

    “Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression.” (5:2)

    “And do not let ill-will towards any folk incite you so that you swerve from dealing justly. Be just; that is nearest to heedfulness” (5:8)

    God commands justice and doing good and giving to relatives. And He forbids indecency and doing wrong and tyranny. He warns you so that hopefully you will pay heed. (16:90)

    DO you see the Contrast Wood and Rogers? The Quran says to PROTECT the Women and Children (4:75) while the Bible says to KILL them! What about Noah’s Flood? As the Quran forbids the killing of Women and Children (Civilians) it’s clear that ALLAH’S intention wasn’t to harm INNOCENTS, so any Innocents who drowned in Noah’s Flood were martyrs. Martyrdom is exclusive to the Righteous and Innocent, not evildoers:

    The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: ‘What do you consider dying a martyr to be?” They said, “Death in the way of Allah.” The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “There are seven kinds of martyrs other than those killed in the Way of Allah. Someone who is killed by the plague is a martyr, someone who DROWNS is a martyr, someone who dies of pleurisy is a martyr, someone who dies of a disease of the belly is a martyr, someone who dies by fire is a martyr, someone who dies under a falling building is a martyr, and a woman who dies in childbirth is a martyr.” (Al-Muwatta Hadith 16.36)

    Martyrdom by drowning only applies to the Righteous and Innocent, so the evildoers (and Pharaoh) who drowned were NOT martyrs!

    “Allah said to the Angels in answer to their inquiry, (“I know that which you do not know.) meaning, “I know that the benefit of creating this type of creature outweighs the harm that you mentioned, that which you have no knowledge of. I will create among them Prophets and send Messengers. I will also create among them truthful, MARTYRS, righteous believers, worshippers, the modest, the pious, the scholars who implement their knowledge, humble people and those who love Allah and follow His Messenger” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir Juz’ 1 (Part 1): Al-Fatihah 1 to Al-Baqarah 141 2nd Edition, By Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman, pp 108)

    The Intention of God according to the Quran was NOT to harm Civilians; the Intention of the Bible GOD is clear: GENOCIDE! Herem (destruction).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herem_(war_or_property)

    http://www.drunkwithblood.com

    How could ALLAH command Israel to harm Innocents (Q. 17:4-7) when He didn’t even command Israel to slaughter the Seven Nations?

    And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment. (Q. 17:104).

    The Bible commands “Go and slaughter them”, the Quran superiorly says “Dwell in the Land”, and GENOCIDE is completely absent. Rogers is applying his OWN interpretations to the Quran.

    Nowhere does GOD say “This Land belongs to Israel forever”, after the Jews collectively FAILED what GOD wanted (Jere 7:6, Ex. 19:6) and broke the Covenant (Q. 5:13-14, Isa. 5:24) he stripped the Land (Palestine) from them! And the Jews knew that was GOD’s punishment!

  5. Sadat,you wrote:

    “I’m glad that we can at least agree halfway. So basically, your assertion is that the Qur’an is a false book *which teaches a more moral and compassionate conception of God* (when it comes to the rules of warfare) than the Bible (which you presumably believe is the true word of God)?
    Again, if that is the conclusion that I have forced you to realize, then I feel I’ve done my job well, since the purpose of my article was to prove that the Qur’an shows a more compassionate conception of God than the Bible, not necessarily that the Qur’an is the true Word of God.”

    I think you haven’t realized the full implication of the Quran.First,you agree that Allah told Abraham in the Quran to kill a child,his son(sura 37:99-106).Christians say God gives life and he has the right to take it away.He can do it using humans.As a Muslim you can’t condemn Allah for ordering the death of a child.The way you put is this:the Quran is more merciful regarding the rules of war.You make the mistake of thinking a specific order for a specific time(also in 1 Samuel 15) as being a general rule.

    Then you said “the purpose of my article was to prove that the Qur’an shows a more compassionate conception of God than the Bible”.But I can argue that the Quran ordering Abraham to kill a child is essentially No More Compassionate..Why do I say it?Because what does it matter if a God says to kill a child in Time of Peace or in Time of War?.

    You could say there is Deut 20:10-15:”As you approach a town to attack it, you must first offer its people terms for peace. 11 If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. 12 But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. 13 When the Lord your God hands the town over to you, use your swords to kill every man in the town. 14 But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the plunder from your enemies that the Lord your God has given you.15 “But these instructions apply only to distant towns, not to the towns of the nations in the land you will enter.”

    That is for war outside of the land of Israel but the key phrase is When the Lord your God hands the town over to you,.In other words it has to be a direct order from God,and it was never given,no order to conquer the world like in the case of Alexander the Great,the Romans,the Soviets,etc.

    When I began commenting the Abraham and his son incident had not even ocurred to me but when it did I saw the Quran states that Allah has the right to order the death of a human using a human agent,even a child.Sure,he later said no,but the principle in itself can’t be condemned and it is general,in time of war and of peace.

  6. If I understand Mr. Sadat bin Anwar correctly he seems to be saying the following: If Allah kills a baby it’s a just act as long as he doesn’t command a Muslim to do it for him. Then it would be unjust. The method that Allah uses determines whether the act is just or unjust. If he uses natural causes Mr. Sadat has no complaint. If Allah uses a perfect prophet Mr. Sadat has no complaint. Only if Allah commands Joe Bloggs a run of the mill Muslim to do it for him the killing of a baby would be wrong in that case because Allah would be unjustly treating the Muslim, not the baby itself by killing it for an undeclared reason.

    If that is the only difference why all the outrage from Muslims about Yahweh ordering the death of babies?

    • That’s not what the outrage is about. The outrage is about 1. The barefaced hypocrisy of Evangelical bible thumpers who rant and rave about how violent and murderous Islam is and don’t “remove the beam that is in their own eye”. So if the Qur’an contains violent passages the Christian apologist is outraged but doesn’t even care about the genocide that is found in his own holy book that was supposedly Divinely sanctified. 2. Attributing such heinously murderous acts to prophets and men of God (not to mention their so-called adulteries (David), getting drunk and and fornicating with their daughters (Lot), dancing naked (David), ad nauseam.

      • Holy crap Imad,you have misunderstood us.The destruction of the Canaanites was because they were commiting child sacrifice for their god Moloch,throwing them alive into the fire.In the end they weren’t all killed,it seems most were not.The situations in the Quran and Torah are different.In the Torah it says the Canaanites definitely knew of the miracles of Yahweh in Egypt in favor of the Israelites.A fascinating part is that Yahweh decided to also kill all the Israelites when they built the golden calf,but Moses asked for forgiveness and God said yes(Exodus 32:1-15).The Israelites had also been condemned to disappear.If the Canaanites had decided to ask for forgiveness then Yahweh would have granted their wish.

        For that reason I have a low opinion of the book “Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses” by Philip Jenkins,written in 2011.I advise you to read it very carefully.Jenkins is a famous Biblical scholar,you will love his book.He never mentions the Exodus 32:1-15 forgiveness,it would make the claim of his book false.He talks about the herrem war against the Canaanites and you think that there was no way Yahweh would lift his curse,but that ignores the lesson of Exodus 32:1-15.

        In the book he also has alot of pages regarding the Quran and the Jews and Christians and says it is Only Against Certain Christians and Jews in Mohammed’s time.Yes,but Jenkins is ignorant of sura 5:14 and sura 5:64 against us and the Jews,against HIM,he himself,Jenkins,who is a professing Christian,because he is included in the curse against us Christians until the Day of Resurrection.Don’t take my word for it,read the book.I understand Jenkins should not know every verse of the Quran but he can’t have missed the content of Exodus 32 after decades of study.

        Another thing is that sura 18:65-82 has the strange story of Moses traveling with a man called a servant of Allah,and in one case he kills a boy,who it seems never did anything wrong yet.But it is said he was going to be bad in the future to his parents so the servant of Allah who in islamic tradition is called the “Green Man/al-Khidr” kills him.That’s the same as the Abraham and his son story in the Quran,except that here a boy was killed.

      • “Evangelical bible thumpers who rant and rave about how violent and murderous Islam is”

        Perhaps you can show me where I was doing this? Your ad hominem attack has nothing to do with the discussion.

        I was simply arguing that if Yahweh has the right to take the lives of babies by natural causes, which the writer of the article does not deny, then why does he not have the right to take these same lives using human beings that he has created. Whatever he commands can not be wrong.

        I wasn’t aware that I was ranting and raving about how violent and murderous Islam is but I have nothing against discussing the topic.

        Perhaps you can tell me the last time the God of the Bible commanded someone to kill someone else? When was the last time you read Surah 9 of the Koran?

        • “Perhaps you can show me where I was doing this?”

          I never implied that you did. I was merely telling you what the outrage was all about.

          “Perhaps you can tell me the last time the God of the Bible commanded someone to kill someone else?”

          You answered the question yourself:
          “if Yahweh has the right to take the lives of babies by natural causes, which the writer of the article does not deny, then why does he not have the right to take these same lives using human beings that he has created. Whatever he commands can not be wrong.”

          So you basically admitted that Yahweh, the God of your Bible, commanded someone to kill someone else.Why the silly question then?

          So what it boils down to is this: You exposed yourself as the same type of hypocritical Christian apologist who sees violence in the Qur’an but none in his Bible.

      • Hi Imad
        I find all this argument tedious. Why do Muslims hold Christians accountable for the slaughters in the Old Testament we are not Jews!

        Nowhere in the New Testament do you read Jesus telling us go out and slaughter innocent people women and children…find a text for me.

        We believe in the O.T and I would say Muslims do also as the characters of the bible are in the koran as well.

        I think the problem most Christians have is that in the bible the command that was given to Israel to slaughter was for a certain time in history, whereas in the Koran it is seen as something that is ongoing and does not fit a certain time in history.

        The other problem is the bible lays things out in detail and the koran does not which is why Muslims have to appeal to the Hadith (which incidently were written 200 years after the prophet Muhammad died) to get the insight into what was happening in the text and that moment in history.

        Which is why the Koran seems less violent, it’s because it doesn’t have the DETAIL that the bible has and if it was from heaven why does it need men 200 plus years later to explain.

        They are not prophets or eye witnesses…how do they qualify? And why should we believe them and their words?

      • Hi Imad
        Please clarify for me if the following is true,I understand you are debating the topic of killing of innocent children in the bible and koran and whether it is justified

        ANSWER

        I think that what is written below explains when women and children can be killed.

        “Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought. As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their likes, they shall not be killed unless they actually fight WITH WORDS (e.g. by propaganda) and acts (e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare).(1)

        1.(Ibn Taymiyyah, in Rudolph Peters, “Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam”

        Check how they came to decision as to whether a boy was a man or not

        Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi:
        I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38, Number 4390)

        I worked in a school with boys who were 11 years old who had facial hair…they were not men but developed early, that does not make them men.

        It is narrated by Sa’b b. Jaththama that he said (to the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the polytheists during the night raids. He said: They are from them. (Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4322)

  7. I will not call this a nail in the coffin of rogers but a big rod in his ass .

    This clearly shows why the Biblical God should be rejected and thrown in the dustbin.

    First to clear sins he orders the killing of animals , then he orders Israelis to kill every thing that breaths among rival nations then he and kills his own son for the sins of others .

    Dirty , racist and blood thirsty is the Biblical God .

    • Indeed, and these apologists have the cheek to say things like

      ““Perhaps you can tell me the last time the God of the Bible commanded someone to kill someone else?”

      The hypocrisy of this crowd is simply breath-taking. The Holy Spirit is evidently not doing a good job inspiring them (no pun intended).

    • Hi
      You have just shown your lack of understanding of the religion of Islam and trying to mock Christianity shows your ignorance.

      Just like the real Jesus would say…have you not read of the feast of sacrifice?

      The ‘aqiqa sacrifice it consists in shaving the head of the new-born child, killing a sheep or goat as sacrifice, no bone of which may be broken, and offering this prayer: “O God, here is the ‘aqiqa for my son [giving the name], its blood for his blood, its flesh for his flesh, its hair for his hair and save my son from the fire, etc.”

      What does it signify? Why does a Moslem child need blood-atonement?

      The great Feast of Sacrifice in the world of Islam is annually celebrated to commemorate Abraham’s faith in willingness to sacrifice his son. That was Mohammed’s attempted unhistoric explanation of the ancient pagan ritual at Mecca which he perpetuated

      The whole ceremony is based on an injunction of the Koran (22: 33-38). It includes prayers, a brief exhortation, the killing of a sheep, goat, camel, or other clean animals, a partaking of the sacrifice, ablution, and shaving of their hair. Although the sacrifice can be made by any male Moslem, the religious part of the festival is always in the charge of an imam and is conducted in a musalla, a special area set apart for prayer on this annual occasion.Everywhere the head of the sacrifical victim must be turned toward the Ka’ba

      A great article and I’m still waiting for other Muslims to answer, so maybe before you start mocking you should a bit further into your own religion.

      When I respond to articles I’m not looking to get the upper hand but I seriously want to know and understand what the real issues are today for all of us.

      • “What does it signify? Why does a Moslem child need blood-atonement?”

        It isn’t blood atonement. It’s the expense involved in purchasing the animal for which you get a reward and forgiveness for your sins, not your son’s. The supplication to “save my son from the fire” is made because it is hoped that because of your sacrifice in procuring the animal God will reward you by keeping your child on the right path and not let him go astray.

        • Hi Imad
          Where in Revelation 14:14 is it speaking about violence? It is obvious from the text there is judgement and a reaping going on which is why the son of man has a sickle.

          Who gave the writers of the Hadith the authority to write them and also the oldest koran you have is two-thirds missing.

          Then we have the Muslim leader who had the different Koranic burnt who gave him the authority is he the prophet..no! The on whose authority?

          These guys are hypocrites because I do understand some of what they say and one of the arguments that I have is that the koran does not give what I would call historical things.

          It may come out with some of the stories of the bible but it has nothing of history within its pages makes great claims but produces nothing really.

          For instance what was happening in the world when the koran was being revealed? I don’t want 200 odd year Hadith just the koran.

          The bible talks about wars Israel against nations and nation against nation it is historical, but the koran speak like it is something is ongoing even for today 20th century this is the difference we are speaking about.

      • I some times wonder the extant to which these trinitarian pagans go to support their nonsensical theology.

        There is nothing of blood atonement in the sacrifice that is given at child birth .The meat of the animal which is sacrificed is given to poor and there is nothing of sort of blood atonement in it

  8. Autodidact said”So what it boils down to is this: You exposed yourself as the same type of hypocritical Christian apologist who sees violence in the Qur’an but none in his Bible.”

    I don’t think Alzon was denying violence in the Bible.There is violence in Mosaic law:stoning for several cases,if a priest’s daughter does prostitution she must be burned to death,the cutting off of a hand in the case of a woman ruining a man’s manhood.As for the eye for an eye,etc law it was interpreted as the price of an eye for an eye lost,etc.Jesus in Matthew 23:2-3 says to follow the Pharisee’s interpretation of Mosaic Law and they said an eye for an eye was not literal but the price of an eye for an eye lost,etc.

    In all honesty the Quran goes beyond all that,in sura 5:33-34 it refers to the 10 year war between the Muslims and the pagans,that ;eft 1000-1,500 dead:

    “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom; Save those who repent before ye overpower them. For know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

    Crucifixion was one of the cruelest or maybe the cruelest death ever invented,it was worse than impalement,where the person died quickly.It was invented to last as long as possible.And certainly cutting of one hand and one foot of an enemy soldier is never found as part of a war order in the OT.

    • “I don’t think Alzon was denying violence in the Bible.”

      Then why did he write the following: ““Perhaps you can tell me the last time the God of the Bible commanded someone to kill someone else?”?

      Evidently you don’t read well.

      “In all honesty the Quran goes beyond all that,in sura 5:33-34 it refers to the 10 year war between the Muslims and the pagans,that ;eft 1000-1,500 dead:”

      Nonsense. You’re quoting the eye for an eye law and totally ignoring the targeted mass murder of women, children, animals and “anything that breathes” during the Hebrew attack on Canaan. Joshua’s attack on Ai alone left 12,000 men and women killed. In Zerah’s war against the Cushites ONE MILLION WERE KILLED (II Chronicles 14:9 to 13).That’s a far cry from 1000 to 1,500 dead don’t you think? Nice try anyway. There’s no “in all honesty” here. You’re being crafty.Better luck next time.

      “cutting of one hand and one foot of an enemy soldier is never found as part of a war order in the OT.”

      You have Leviticus 21:9 in which the daughter of a priest who prostitutes herself is supposed to be burned to death. Far, far worse than crucifixion. Besides the prevalent view of jurists regarding Surah 5:33 and beyond is that it prescribes punishment for armed robbery, not war – Tabari, Tafsir, vol. VI, pp. 132-146; Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Ma’ad, vol. III, p. 78; Ibn Hajar, Fath Al-Bari,

  9. Sadat bin Anwar, Imad, and Pual Williams.
    I’m trying to understand what kind of a God it is that you worship. In Sadat’s argument he stated that God ordered his Righteous Pious saint Abraham to kill his only son, to set an example for future submitters. That God was just to do this, because Abraham was a righteous pious saint and God knew in his foreknowledge that Abraham would be able to bare this burden.

    You then stated that it would be unjust of God for him to order laypeople to kill babies because God would know in his foreknowledge that this would be something they would not be able to bare.

    This raises a few questions about your theology. The first question is simply who was Abraham setting an example for? If only a totally righteous saint can bear the burden to kill children, or in this case his only son than whom exactly was he setting the example for? To put it another way an example is only good if people can follow it. Since you stated that it would be unjust for God to order laypeople to kill babies then I ask the question again. Who was Abraham setting the example for, if no one can follow his example in the first place?
    Another question is what kind of an example is Abraham setting? As stated previously an example is only good if people can follow it, if they cannot then it is useless to any lesson that is trying to be taught. If the lesson is to teach obedience to God even to the point of killing one’s own son and the only person who can follow this is a special righteous saint, or a psychopathic killer, then what is the point of the lesson and even the example? You have a God saying “This is the level of ‘perfection of submission I demand, but it is not for everyone. Only my special righteous creatures and you’re not that special so if you do obey this command then you are a psychopathic evil person. “
    Finally and most importantly you demonstrate the weakness in your theology when you state the following. “killing of babies in warfare strikes me as a particularly merciless and brutal commandment”… and “Christian God is unjust…on the basis that God has demanded something of His righteous human servants which is greater than the burden that they can bear”

    The problem is that you judge God to be just or unjust based on what you believe to be just and unjust. You set the standard for what you believe is just or unjust not God. You have a God who conforms to what you believe is right and just, and your basis for that judgment is on what you believe someone can bear. To put it another way there are lots of things that people will say they cannot bear. For instance there are people who are genetically and socially predisposed to substance abuse. Heroin addictions for instance, only 3 out of ten successfully kick their habit. Are you going to say that it is unjust of God to demand of those seven that they stop using heroin because it is more than they can bear?

    I’m glad I worship a God who is holy and just, so anything he commands of his creatures is Holy and Just not because I think so, not because it is what I can bear, but simply because God is Holy and Just.

    Imad
    You seem to confuse a few things, first when the true living just and holy God of the bible orders his righteous or un righteous creatures to kill babies it is limited in time and scope to people who are in fact named by name. It is not a general order that this level of killing is to be done; it is for a reason and his purpose. It is not in every instance of warfare that this command is given, it is only to select groups of people as previously stated in a specific geographical region. He even orders his unrighteous unjust pagan creatures to kill the babies of his people for instance the Israelites, as Anthony Rogers’s video points out.

    Now compare that to your Gods order to kill. It is a general order of war, as long as there are people who do not submit, as long as they do not believe in what you believe, as long as they do not pay the Jizya, warfare is ordained on you. There is no end to it until all are under the yoke of Islam (or in some cases the flavor of Islam that the rulers practice) either by conversion, or paying the Jizya. Although Muslims like yourself, Mr. Williams and Mr. Sadat’s claim that your god does not allow Muslims to kill kuffar babies there is no direct prohibition from your god in any version of the Quran that forbids this practice. The only thing you have is the decision of your gods creature that this would be unjust. Either Muslims like Mr. Sadat’s, or your prophet deciding for your god what is and what is not just.

    But let’s assume for arguments sake that killing kuffar woman and babies is forbidden in Islam. This again demonstrates the injustice of your god. How is it just for your god to allow his creatures after judgment has been pronounced on them to continue committing the most horrible sin in Islam? A sin which according to your own theology is worse than any other sin including rape and murder, a sin that is unforgivable. How can your god allow woman to raise their innocent babies, who by your own theology will go to Islamic paradise if they die in his state of innocence, to be brought up in the state of Kuff and commit shirk? So your god allows a people who are under his judgment to continue in their sins as long as they pay the Jizya a bribe.

    So in conclusion thanks to Mr. Williams childish heckling, Mr. Sadat’s’s well written response, and your comment it is clear that you have a god who is not sovereign creator of life, nor is he the giver of life. Your god is dependent on his creature to judge if what he does is just or unjust. It is up to his laypeople creatures to decide if your god’s orders are too much for them to bear and if his laypeople creatures decide they cannot bear your gods commands, then it would be unjust for your god to demand his creature to follow his command.

    • “You seem to confuse a few things, first when the true living just and holy God of the bible orders his righteous or un righteous creatures to kill babies it is limited in time and scope to people who are in fact named by name”

      So I guess that makes it OK. I’ll remember that from now on. So using that type of logic, Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia was justified because it was limited in time and scope. After all, he was only eliminating the cancer in his society who were alive at that time. He had no interest in extending his genocide to other countries or throughout the ages. That, using your flawless logic, makes his mass murder perfectly justifiable.

      *Applause*

      “there is no direct prohibition from your god in any version of the Quran that forbids this practice”

      Our law is based on Qur’an, Hadith, Ijma, and Qiyas, not just Qur’an. You might want to do a little homework before looking asinine on the internet.

      “But let’s assume for arguments sake that killing kuffar woman and babies is forbidden in Islam. This again demonstrates the injustice of your god. How is it just for your god to allow his creatures after judgment has been pronounced on them to continue committing the most horrible sin in Islam?”

      Really? Two can play the same game. By those warped standards, your god is even more unjust because he actually commands people to turn the other cheek! Now using your twisted logic, what kind of an unjust god would allow people to live all their lives in sin, wickedness and depravity without putting them mercifully out of their misery by allowing Christians to slaughter them wholesale, Crusader style?

  10. Imad you are demonstrating your confusion again.
    You wrote….

    “So I guess that makes it OK. I’ll remember that from now on. So using that type of logic, Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia was justified because it was limited in time and scope. After all, he was only eliminating the cancer in his society who were alive at that time. He had no interest in extending his genocide to other countries or throughout the ages. That, using your flawless logic, makes his mass murder perfectly justifiable.”

    Was Po Pot in the Geographical region of Canaan? Were the people that Po Pot was killing Amalakites, Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites? Did the true living God who brought Israel out with a mighty hand command Po Pot to do this? The answer is NO to all of the above. That is what is meant by limited in time and scope and to a people named by name. Please try and do better.

    You then wrote…

    “Our law is based on Qur’an, Hadith, Ijma, and Qiyas, not just Qur’an. You might want to do a little homework before looking asinine on the internet.”

    Yes I am aware of your unworthy god. A god who’s creature makes laws for him when he forgets something in his Quran. So your god forgot to include a prohibition against killing woman and children in time of war. Never fear Mohamed is here to correct allahs mistakes. I guess its Mohamed knows best since allah didn’t.

    You then wrote…

    “Really? Two can play the same game. By those warped standards, your god is even more unjust because he actually commands people to turn the other cheek! Now using your twisted logic, what kind of an unjust god would allow people to live all their lives in sin, wickedness and depravity without putting them mercifully out of their misery by allowing Christians to slaughter them wholesale, Crusader style?”

    So like above you have no response to the delima that you have, instead you try to deflect your problem in a feeble attempt to attack God and his people.

    First let me state that I am a firm supporter of the crusades to beat back the naked Islamic aggression and jihad that had been happening for four hundred years before the first crusades. I do believe they were poorly planned and poorly executed. But now on to the rest of what you said.

    You do understand an apple is not a orange all though they are both fruit correct? If you can understand that then why can you not understand that 1. The people like the Amalakites where under Gods judgement. 2. The Kingdom of God had not been established.

    Now the Kingdom of God is established with the Son of God as its eternal king. Gods people are now Ambassadors of that Kingdom to proclaim his Kingdom and draw out his people from those that are under Gods judgement. And it is God himself who will poor out his final judgment on those who under his final judgment. Save yourself from that my friend. Repent from your evil wicked ways worshiping an unjust god, repent from your futile and wasteful worship of a god who is not worthy of your worship. Accept Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior because only he can save you.

    • “Did the true living God who brought Israel out with a mighty hand command Po Pot to do this? The answer is NO to all of the above.”

      Ah, so you agree that God commanding something and allowing something to happen are two different things. Thanks for confirming that. Please try to explain that to Anthony Rogers who stupidly asserted in his video that God allowing Jerusalem to by sacked and plundered by the Babylonians and the Romans (as mentioned in the Quran) is the same as him ordering the Israelites to butcher the Canaanites. Now based on what you stated above, if the living God COMMANDED Pol Pot it would have been ok. I see. Well try this: The living God commanded the Muslims to wage war against the Pagan Arabs. Disagree? Well, I disagree with your reductio ad absurdium too. It’s simply a value judgment. Try to do better yourself.

      “That is what is meant by limited in time and scope and to a people named by name”

      Well apparently not:

      “I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.”They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.” (Rev 14:14 to 20)

      So apparently your god, not satisfied with the bloodshed in Canaan and surrounding areas, was taking a 3000 year breather before he lets loose his Son of Man to unleash a bloodbath that would put the Crusaders to shame. Your “limited by time and scope and to a people” argument dissolves into nothingness.

      “Yes I am aware of your unworthy god. A god who’s creature makes laws for him when he forgets something in his Quran”

      Really? You knew about Hadith, Ijma and Qiyas? Then why did you mention just the Qur’an? You really have no idea what you’re talking about right?

      ” A god who’s creature makes laws for him when he forgets something in his Quran””

      Kinda like your unworthy god who forgot that he commanded “Thou shalt not kill” when he ordered the targeted mass-murder of women and defenseles children in Canaan and then after three millennia or so will order his “only begotten son” to slaughter with a sharp sickle so that blood rises “as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia” right? This is a really serious case of forgetfulness don’t you think? Tsk tsk.

      “First let me state that I am a firm supporter of the crusades”

      I could care less what you’re a supporter of. The point is that if our God was cruel for NOT ordering the massacre of unarmed innocents in order to stop them from living in perpetual sin (as per your warped logic) then your God was even more cruel for not allowing them to be killed at all. When you turn the other cheek it’s obvious you’re not killing them and putting them out of their miserable sinful lives. You’ve shot yourself in the foot by using your own warped logic. If you fail to see that then the deficiency is in your level of comprehension not mine.

      As for the rest of your Bible-thumping drivel I’m not even going to dignify it with a reply.

      • Imad said:”Joshua’s attack on Ai alone left 12,000 men and women killed. In Zerah’s war against the Cushites ONE MILLION WERE KILLED (II Chronicles 14:9 to 13).”

        I already told you that the order to kill all,just like the decision by God to kill all the Israelites in Exodus 32:1-5 because they were worshipping a calf statue,was utterly conditionnal.It could have been abolished.As fot II Chronicles it doesn’t say 1million were killed,only that the army was defeated.That figure is too high,the real figure must be 10,000 because since Hebrew consonants were also used to represent numbers using diacritical marks then those diacritical marks are an unintentional error due to ink falling,and which was repeated.

        You said burning is worse than crucifixion?If burning lasts only a few minutes,certainly not days like in crucifixion.What you said about Revelation 14 ,then in 16-17 talks of punishing the followers of the Antichrist who have killed his sainst and prophets. Come on now,in Islam you have the Antichrist or Dajjal who will be against the saints.You haven’t read the context.

      • Imad
        You are really showing your confusion. You wrote…
        “Ah, so you agree that God commanding something and allowing something to happen are two different things. Thanks for confirming that.”

        I’m at a loss how you got that from my statement, but be that as it may you have demonstrated that not only was what I wrote way over your head but also what Anthony Rogers said in his video.

        Its actually kind of simple let me break it down for you.
        Paul Williams says that the true living God of the bible is a barbaric genocidal maniac because he orders his servants to kill babies, woman and even trees.
        The god of the quran takes credit for ordering the sack of Jerusalem by Nebachanezer and later the Romans. In both cases woman, babies and yes even innocent trees were killed. So if Paul Williams was consistent he would have to conclude that the god of the quran is a Genocidal Maniac. But both you and Paul Williams cannot be consistent so instead you now say that your allah allowed the Babylonians and the Romans to kill babies, woman, and don’t forget innocent trees. This opens up even more problems.
        Because now you are saying either your god did not know that the Babylonians and the Romans would kill woman, babies, and even trees after being raised up to do so by allah. Or if he did know it then he is responsible for raising up the Babylonians and Romans knowing full well they would kill woman, babies and trees. Since his servants like yourself, Paul Williams and Sadat feel you can judge your god by his actions then if you were to be consistent you must judge your god to have committed criminally negligent homicide.

        Imad what is funny is that you seem to think I have a problem with God the creator of all things, either directly or indirectly ordering the killing of any of this creature, whether they be woman, babies, or even innocent trees. I do not judge god like you do. My god is holy and just so whatever he does is holy and just whether it is ordering people directly to kill woman, babies and innocent trees, or indirectly by removing his restraining hand. He does not need my approval to do so unlike your god.

        You then continue on with your state of confusion when you ask.
        “Now based on what you stated above, if the living God COMMANDED Pol Pot it would have been ok.”

        Pay attention, YES it would be just. My God is just and holy whatever he does is just and holy. It is not that he does just and holy things seeking the approval of wicked men like yourself and Paul Williams. Instead anything he does is just and holy even using wicked men to kill babies, woman, and even trees.

        You then continue on…
        “Well try this: The living God commanded the Muslims to wage war against the Pagan Arabs. Disagree? Well, I disagree with your reductio ad absurdium too. It’s simply a value judgment. Try to do better yourself.”

        I don’t disagree, yes my God uses wicked evil men to punish wicked evil men. He is sovereign LORD we are his to do as he chooses for his set purpose so that he is glorified.

        You then continue your attack on the Sovereign Lord of the Universe by going to Rev 14:14-20 and you utter your blasphemy.

        “So apparently your god, not satisfied with the bloodshed in Canaan and surrounding areas, was taking a 3000 year breather before he lets loose his Son of Man to unleash a bloodbath that would put the Crusaders to shame. Your “limited by time and scope and to a people” argument dissolves into nothingness.”

        So now you have a problem with God destroying wicked evil rebellious people. So I guess allah is going to be kind and gentle to those that rebel against him? And lets not forget your counterfeit Jesus whom you call Isa, he will rouse you Muslims to kill the pig and break the cross… and the rocks and trees will call out there is a Jew hiding behind me come and kill him”

        Tell me do you check with the trees and the rocks every day to see if it is ok for you to go and commit genocide against the Jews?

        The Son of Man is GOD, and he will pour out his judgment on wicked evil rebellious sinners and you will bow your knee to him and he will rule over you with an IRON ROD.
        You continue on with your confusion

        “Really? You knew about Hadith, Ijma and Qiyas? Then why did you mention just the Qur’an? You really have no idea what you’re talking about right?”

        Sir I was very specific I wrote that nowhere in your quran which you believe is your gods direct speech, did your god forbid the killing of babies in warfare. The only place such it is forbidden is in the words of your prophet. But your prophet is not allah or so you claim. So looks like allah forgot to order his followers not to kill babies and it took his creature Mohamed to make such a prohibition. Like I said Mohamed knows better.

        You then continue on with your blaspheme when you spit out…
        “Kinda like your unworthy god who forgot that he commanded “Thou shalt not kill”
        You do realize that the Hebrew word רָצַח ratsach means
        to murder, slay, kill
        a) (Qal) to murder, slay
        Strong’s concordance

        It is not ratash (Murder) to kill in time of war or to kill by order and decree of God.

        You then continue on with your confusion when you wrote…
        “The point is that if our God was cruel for NOT ordering the massacre of unarmed innocents in order to stop them from living in perpetual sin (as per your warped logic) then your God was even more cruel for not allowing them to be killed at all. When you turn the other cheek it’s obvious you’re not killing them and putting them out of their miserable sinful lives.”

        Can you at least pretend to follow simple logic?
        You believe that it is the choice of God’s creatures if they follow god or not. You believe that the greatest unforgivable sin Shirk, is greater than all other sins even rape and murder. You believe that children are born in a state of innocence in submission to God and it is the teachings, traditions, and religion of the parents that corrupt a child into committing shirk.

        You believe that it is just and holy of your god to go out and wage war on unbelievers until they either embrace Islam or pay the Jizya. If they pay this bribe they can continue in their unforgivable sin and worse continue to corrupt gods innocent creatures, babies into committing that which is worse than rape, worse than murder, even the murder of a child.
        So allowing these children to grow up to commit shirk is a worse sin then a Muslim murdering them.

        None of the above to I believe nor is any of it part of my theology. So I do not have warped logic but it is you who has a warped theology and even worse a warped god.

        As far as my bible thumping I again implore you to save yourself from this corrupt generation, to repent of your wicked and evil worship of a false god and a false prophet and come to Christ.

        Otherwise you will be one of those whom the Son of Man destroys. You knee will bow either now or in judgment when Christ rules over you with an IRON ROD.

        • “I’m at a loss how you got that from my statement”

          Because you stated ““Did the true living God who brought Israel out with a mighty hand command Po Pot to do this?”

          So basically the implication is that if he DID command Pol Pot to commit genocide then he would have been justified, something you confirmed in your latest message. Now since God DID NOT command Pol Pot to commit genocide then that genocide was not justifiable though he allowed it. With me so far? So similarly with the Romans and Babylonians in Jerusalem. It’s pretty obvious they didn’t receive a written or oral revelation commanding them to attack Jerusalem. In other words they were permitted to attack Jerusalem, just as Pol Pot was permitted to kill his own people. We believe all three of them will have to answer God on Judgment Day, although, as you stated recently,

          “I don’t disagree, yes my God uses wicked evil men to punish wicked evil men”.

          So to sum up, God in the Qur’an never sent a command to the Romans and Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem but he did permit them to do it and they will answer for it on the Last Day. On the other hand your version of God specifically commands the murder of defenseless women, children and animals as a Divine injunction. There is a huge difference.

          I realise you don’ have a problem with Him doing that, but then you should be consistent and not have a problem with the violent verses in the Qur’an either, because we believe they, too, are Divine injunctions.

          “You then continue your attack on the Sovereign Lord of the Universe…”

          No. Just YOUR version of Him.

          “Tell me do you check with the trees and the rocks every day to see if it is ok for you to go and commit genocide against the Jews?”

          Nice red herring. Try that with someone else.

          “It is not ratash (Murder) to kill in time of war or to kill by order and decree of God.”

          Exactly. So next time you read a verse of the Qur’an with violence in it just pass on by and don’t squeal about it. It’s also a “decree of God” you’re reading there. That was the whole point behind this debate, something you seem to either forget or conveniently ignore.

          You see, the whole thing started not with Paul’s heckling, but with that two faced hypocrite David Wood and that obnoxious loud-mouth Jay Smith having the temerity to get up on a podium and attempt to discredit the Qur’an for containing “violent verses”. Unbelievable cheek. It would be laughable if it weren’t so repetitively boring.

          As I was telling the other chap, it would be like Muslims hypocritically attacking Mormons for condoning the polygamy of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, or vice versa.

          “Sir I was very specific I wrote that nowhere in your quran which you believe is your gods direct speech, did your god forbid the killing of babies in warfare. The only place such it is forbidden is in the words of your prophet”

          Yes, I know you were. You assumed, wrongly, that Islamic law is only based on the Qur’an and you were wrong. If the words are of the Prophet then they are from God Himself. Surah 53: Surat ul Najm 53 –” He doesn’t open his mouth to say anything that is not revealed to him from God”. Therefore if the prohibition to kill women and children is from Prophet pbuh then it is from God.

          “You believe that it is just and holy of your god to go out and wage war on unbelievers until they either embrace Islam or pay the Jizya. If they pay this bribe they can continue in their unforgivable sin and worse continue to corrupt gods innocent creatures, babies into committing that which is worse than rape, worse than murder, even the murder of a child.
          So allowing these children to grow up to commit shirk is a worse sin then a Muslim murdering them.”

          Yes, so similarly your version of the OT God justly and mercifully ordered the Children of Israel to put the Canaanite tribes, including suckling babes, women and animals (I have no idea what wrong the animals committed but that is besides point) to the sword while your version of the NT God cruelly and mercilessly withholds his followers from committing violence on them, even to the point of “turning the other cheek” so that they can continue their adulteries, incests, bestialities, murders etc. Thankfully you version of the NT God will send his Only Begotten Son to finally put these people out of their miserable, sinful lives by starting another bloodbath. Tell, me, wasn’t it cruel and unconscionable for your God to order this 3,000 year moratorium to the slaughter and allow people to go on living their sinful lives?

          “The Son of Man is GOD”

          Is this the same Son of Man that didn’t even know when the Day of Judgment would occur? (Matt.24:36). I doubt it. God is supposed to be Omniscient.

  11. “Ah, so you agree that God commanding something and allowing something to happen are two different things.”

    But if what he allows to happen is something that he himself causes to happen then God is equally responsible in both cases.

    You still can not absolve the God that you believe in from from the responsibility of killing babies and infants by natural causes.

    Your only concern about this fact of life is that no mention is made of it in the Koran because that would spoil your holy book. Also that God should not command you to do it because that would spoil your reputation.

    So Muslims are more concerned about the appearance of evil, and the negative effect it could have upon the facade of their religion, than the evil itself.

    • “But if what he allows to happen is something that he himself causes to happen then God is equally responsible in both cases.

      You still can not absolve the God that you believe in from from the responsibility of killing babies and infants by natural causes.”

      Yes, this is a typical argument used by Secular Humanists against Christians. This is where the hypocrisy of you people gets so sickening. When your religion is attacked, you become pious, outraged Christians. When it comes to attacking Islam, you do a volte face and wear a Secular Humanist hat. Total Jekyll and Hyde situation.
      The difference is that when Secular Humanists use the argument, whether against Christians or Muslims, they do have some merit. When Christians use it against Muslims, it stinks to high heaven of the worst kind of hypocrisy that only Christianity can produce.
      You can try wriggling out of the dilemma using any absurd argument you like, but the fact remains that Christians accusing the Qur’an of containing violent verses is as ludicrous as Muslims accusing Mormons of polygamy.
      You cannot find a single verse in the Qur’an or a single Hadith which EXPLICITLY COMMANDS THE MURDER OF UNARMED WOMEN, CHILDREN, ANIMALS AND “ANYTHING THAT BREATHES”. Your Bible is choc full of such verses.

      “Your only concern about this fact of life is that no mention is made of it in the Koran because that would spoil your holy book. Also that God should not command you to do it because that would spoil your reputation.”

      What the Hell are you babbling about? Try sounding more coherent next time.

      • Imad:

        The point Alzon is making is that in the Quran the violent verses are still valid.Every Muslim scholar knows they are in reference to a specific 10 year war in the 7th century but they also say it has a universal application.That is what makes Islam totally different from Christianity.Take the case of slavery in the Quran,it is never outlawed and that is why it still exists today,in Sudan and mauritania.As for the NT and slavery there is Ephesians 6:5-9.It is obvious that Paul is using irony to say that you as a good Christian have to free your slaves.Here he uses the same ironic manner Jesus often used.

        Ephesians 6:5-9

        “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart,

        just as you would obey Christ.

        Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

        Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,

        because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

        And masters, treat your slaves in the same way.

        No Christian with slaves would have Jesus as their legal property.

  12. Fer said:
    “I already told you that the order to kill all,just like the decision by God to kill all the Israelites in Exodus 32:1-5 because they were worshipping a calf statue,was utterly conditionnal.It could have been abolished”

    Yes but it wasn’t abolished. Your point is…?

    Fer said:

    “You said burning is worse than crucifixion?If burning lasts only a few minutes,certainly not days like in crucifixion”

    Probably, but if you cut off one of a man’s hands and one of his feet and then crucify him as it says in the Qur’anic verse then he would probably bleed to death in a short span of time. It certainly wouldn’t last days. Burning is much more intensely painful. I know if I had a choice I would probably choose crucifixion. I am pretty sure you would too.

    “.What you said about Revelation 14 ,then in 16-17 talks of punishing the followers of the Antichrist who have killed his sainst and prophets.”

    Possibly. The commentaries I read indicate “wicked people”, whatever that means. Anyway my point was that God’s violence isn’t “limited by space and time” like the other fellow tried to assert.

  13. This is in general a well thought out article and a good read although I still see many problems am only restricting myself to one issue for now. I’m sure Rogers will have fun too.

    If Allah is actually real and omnipotent and omniscient and knows his Scriptures were ACTUALLY manipulated and distorted where is the rebuke of these events in the Quran, e.g the Quran alludes to Joshua’s warfare and that of the Amalekites and assumes it’s readers are familiar with these events yet it makes no attempt at rebuttal or rebuke. Where does the Quran condemn and correct this or does it simply pressupose these wars as believed by it’s original listeners?

    Second where does the Quran or Prophet state all instances of God commanding utter and complete extinction or genocide are prohibited, outlawed, relinquished or disabled by God.

    This too does not appear to be an explicit prohibition upon Allah recited by himself “It is impossible for me to comnand this!” but rather a taking of advantage of mishmashing verses and using ambiguity to provide us with a smokescreen.

    If Sadat can honestly show the Quran or early Islamic tarikh, siras etc disapprove of these warfares I’ll honestly accept that but so far he’s just using ambiguity to his whim.

    Sadat what early Muslims of the Salaf or even caliphate shared these views? I am waging this is post modern retrospective apologetics just like the glorious science of Al Quran.

  14. Imad,you said:

    “Yes but it wasn’t abolished. Your point is…?”

    I already told you that the text says the Canaanites knew about the miracles of God in favor of the Israelites:So according to the text they could have repented because they had knowledge,proof,that he was the true God.In Joshua 2:8-12:

    “Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt,

    Imad,you also said:

    “You said burning is worse than crucifixion?If burning lasts only a few minutes,certainly not days like in crucifixion”
    Probably, but if you cut off one of a man’s hands and one of his feet and then crucify him as it says in the Qur’anic verse then he would probably bleed to death in a short span of time. It certainly wouldn’t last days. Burning is much more intensely painful. I know if I had a choice I would probably choose crucifixion. I am pretty sure you would too.”

    Imad,the Coranic text says crucifixion OR cutting off a hand and a foot,OR exiled OR killed.When it says killed OR crucified it is undersood that it means killed OR killed by crucifixion.If one wants to say that technically it means have your hands pierced and that is all,you still live then yes,the text allows that,but many wont accept it,and so Allah should have known that and said “killed or pierce his hands or exile or cut off a hand and a foot.”

    • Fer said:
      “I already told you that the text says the Canaanites knew about the miracles of God in favor of the Israelites:So according to the text they could have repented because they had knowledge,proof,that he was the true God.”

      OK so there were miracles of the Prophet (pbuh) that the Meccans and pagan Arabs witnessed and they could have repented too before he waged war on them. I still don’t get your point.

      Fer said:
      “Imad,the Coranic text says crucifixion OR cutting off a hand and a foot,OR exiled OR killed”

      Fair enough, I concede that. I still maintain that burning is more intensely painful and I would personally prefer crucifixion to burning.

  15. Fer said:

    “The point Alzon is making is that in the Quran the violent verses are still valid”

    And no one is denying that. I don’t know why I’m repeating myself. The problem I have is with the hypocrisy of seeing violence in the Qur’an and overlooking the violent Biblical verses and inventing lame excuses for them. The Alzon fellow specifically lied about there not being any violence in the Bible

    Fer said:

    “.Every Muslim scholar knows they are in reference to a specific 10 year war in the 7th century but they also say it has a universal application.That is what makes Islam totally different from Christianity”

    And what also makes Islam totally different from Christianity is that Islam does not permit targeted mass murder of women, children and “anything that breathes”. So on the one hand we have universal application of war with strict injunctions on not harming defenceless people while on the other hand we have a “limited application” of war in which defenceless women and children were wantonly murdered. The latter is much, much worse. Also, the fact that the Son of Man will come in the end times and start another bloodbath, as I mentioned earlier, shows that the application is not “limited to place and time” as the other fellow asserted. For all we know, the Son of Man could also be targeting the women and children of those who followed the AntiChrist. There is no indication in the text that he won’t.

    • Imad
      Quit trying to make Islam sound good. You’re just making it that much worse.
      You wrote

      “And what also makes Islam totally different from Christianity is that Islam does not permit targeted mass murder of women, children and “anything that breathes”. So on the one hand we have universal application of war with strict injunctions on not harming defenceless people while on the other hand we have a “limited application” of war in which defenceless women and children were wantonly murdered.”

      The question is why don’t you have a truly just and holy god. The only reason you do not have as you put it “Islam does not permit targeted mass murder of women, children and “anything that breathes”, is because your god’s prophet, his creature made that decision for your god. No where does your god forbid this.

      Your god is either a little squeamish, he is afraid of woman and children, defenseless animals and even innocent trees, and or he has to get approval from his creature i.e. Mohamed or even Muslims in general to see if his command can be followed and if it meets with your standard of what is just and holy.

      Repent and leave this obvious false religion. Come to the truth who is Jesus Christ and he will set you free. Worship the one true living God, a god who does not need your approval for what is just and holy. Because he is a mighty Just and Holy God.

      • What a holy and just God Christians have !

        ..He transfers the sin of one man Adam on the whole humanity ,

        ..He asks to kill animals to forgive ones sins ,

        ..He punishes generation after generation for the sins of a man ,

        ..He then kills his son as recompense of the sins of other men ,

        ..His only selected people are the Jews and others are dogs ,

        ..His only way is through his son , outside their is no salvation ,

        ..He asks his selected people the Jews to slaughter each and every thing that breaths in the
        lands which he is going to give them.

        A holy and just God indeed ! Praise be to Christian God , amen .

      • YOU SAID

        “The only reason you do not have as you put it “Islam does not permit targeted mass murder of women, children and “anything that breathes”, is because your god’s prophet, his creature made that decision for your god. No where does your god forbid this.”

        ANSWER

        This assertion of yours shows how much Islam you know . God has forbidden in the Quran to life unjustly

        The Quran says :

        “…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” [Al-Quran 5:32].

        “Those who invoke not, with God, any other god, nor slay such life as God has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; – and any that does this (not only) meets punishment. [Quran 25:68]

        Did you see God clearly said not kill innocent people unfortunately you are not aware of this.

        Lets see the moral conduct even at the time of war which God lays down

        “fight in God’s cause against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits [in aggression]; God does not love transgressors” (2:190).

        Compare and contrast with the Biblical God who orders just to kill everything that breaths .

      • YOU SAID

        “Repent and leave this obvious false religion. Come to the truth who is Jesus Christ and he will set you free. Worship the one true living God, a god who does not need your approval for what is just and holy. Because he is a mighty Just and Holy God.”

        ANSWER

        Ha aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .

        Leave Islam for the pagan crap of Christianity ?

        Leave Islam for Christianity whose central doctrines , the trinity , the hypostatic union and penal substitution are intellectually bankrupt and a big nonsense shit ?

        Leave a perfectly preserved Quran for corrupted and anonymous Bible ?

        Leave a scientifically apt Quran for scientifically absurd Bible ?

        Leave error less Quran for a Bible riddled with countless no of errors ?

        Leave a perfect all powerful God for a imperfect and powerless Jesus Christ ? .

        YOU SAID

        Jesus Christ is a mighty and holy God .

        ANSWER

        ..Your might God did not know when the last hour is going to come ( Matthew 24 ) ,

        ..Predicted the end of the world which turned out into a false prophecy ,

        ( Matthew 16:28 and Matthew 24:34 , even biblical scholars including Albert Schweitzer, Johannes Weiss , E.P Sanders and Bart Ehrman agree to the same )

        ..Your mighty God was killed by hand full of Jews and Romans that to just on a cross within
        few hours

        What a mighty God !!!!!!!!!!!!!

        LEAVE CHRISTIANITY MAN CONVERT TO ISLAM , STOP WORSHIPING SOME GUY WHO LIVED 2000 YRS BEFORE . WORSHIP THE TRUE CREATOR OF THIS UNIVERSE WHO IS NEITHER A MAN OR WOMAN OR ANY ANIMAL , ALL POWERFUL , ALL KNOWLEDGEABLE , THE EXALTED , THE MIGHTY THE WISE

  16. Seeker said:

    “your god’s prophet, his creature made that decision for your god. No where does your god forbid this.”

    Incorrect. Apart from the Quranic verses that Jesus quoted above, we have, as I previously stated, Surah 53 vs 3-4: “he does not speak of his own desire but it is a revelation sent to him”
    therefore whatever religious injunction the Prophet pbuh uttered or acted upon was actually through Divine revelation, he wasn’t speaking on his own authority.

    By the same token, the same argument can be used against you. Nowhere in the NT do you actually hear God speaking in the first person. The only words you have are those of Jesus, his disciples, and the NT authors, including Paul. You believe those words are divinely inspired, but then we believe the same about the Hadiths. Therefore your case is even weaker, because we at least have direct Divine revelation (Qur’an) along with the inspired words of the Prophet pbuh (Hadith). You have no direct Divine revelation at all, only the supposedly inspired words of God’s creatures.

  17. Defendchrist said:

    “I find all this argument tedious. Why do Muslims hold Christians accountable for the slaughters in the Old Testament we are not Jews!”

    We don’t. We just find it hypocritical when Christians say the Qur’an has violence when their own book has violence of a much worse kind.

    “Nowhere in the New Testament do you read Jesus telling us go out and slaughter innocent people women and children…find a text for me.”

    That’s a straw-man argument. We never said he did.

    “I think the problem most Christians have is that in the bible the command that was given to Israel to slaughter was for a certain time in history, whereas in the Koran it is seen as something that is ongoing and does not fit a certain time in history.”

    That’s not true. Read Revelations Chapter 14 from verse 14 onward.

    “The other problem is the bible lays things out in detail and the koran does not which is why Muslims have to appeal to the Hadith”

    That’s your problem, not ours. Hadith and Qur’an derive ultimately from the same authority. Surah 53 vs 3 – 4 “And he does not speak anything from his own desire, it is a revelation that is sent to him”. When the Prophet pbuh utters or acts upon a Divine injunction, it is through revelation, not his own desires and fancies. Hence your argument is moot.

    “Which is why the Koran seems less violent, it’s because it doesn’t have the DETAIL that the bible has”

    Total non-sequitur. If the Author of the Qur’an had so chosen, he could have simply filled the 114 chapters of the book with nothing but violence, but he chose not to do so, and that simply shows the superior moral character of the teachings of the Qur’an as compared with the Bible. It has nothing to do with detail. That’s just your fancy.

    “They are not prophets or eye witnesses…how do they qualify? And why should we believe them and their words?”

    Your attempts to throw out red herrings are too obvious. Just stick to the topic – Christian apologists like Wood and Smith are hypocrites for criticizing violent passages in the Qur’an while their holy book contains much much worse. That is the issue here.

    As Sadat said very effectively, any time Christians throw out red herrings it shows we have done our job effectively.

  18. The blogger Jesus said:
    “Your might God did not know when the last hour is going to come ( Matthew 24 ) ,
    ..Predicted the end of the world which turned out into a false prophecy ,
    ( Matthew 16:28 and Matthew 24:34 , even biblical scholars including Albert Schweitzer, Johannes Weiss , E.P Sanders and Bart Ehrman agree to the same )”

    Yep,according to historical techniques Jesus said he didn’t know the last hour but accirding to Christian doctrine God the Son had temporarily limited himself,in the same way Jesus needed food and water to live as a man.The idea is in this creed in Philippians 2:5-11.

    As for the second part the second coming was conditional on the people of Jerusalem accepting Jesus as Messiah.That appears in Matthew 23:37-39 and Luke 13:34-35.They are part of Q,a collection of 50 Jewish sayings written in 50 C.E.Here are the Q sayings

    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/q-contents.html

    The way the words are phrased shows the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem is also prophesized.That means the first Christians knew that the “this generation” prophecy about the Second Coming would Not Come if Jerusalem did Not Accept Jesus as Messiah.

    :

  19. Imad said:

    “The latter is much, much worse. Also, the fact that the Son of Man will come in the end times and start another bloodbath, as I mentioned earlier, shows that the application is not “limited to place and time” as the other fellow asserted. For all we know, the Son of Man could also be targeting the women and children of those who followed the AntiChrist. There is no indication in the text that he won’t.”

    It shows there are parts of Christian doctrine you haven’t read about.In the NT there is the Rapture where all Christians,people justified before God,are taken to heaven in an instant:(Luke 17:30-36,Mark 13:27 (repeated in Matthew 24:31),Matthew 24:39-41,1 Corinthians 15:51-53,1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

    Jesus says that heaven in full of children,you have to be like a child to be in heaven:(Mark 10:13-15 (repeated in Matthew 19:13-14/Luke 18:15-17) and there is Mark 9:35-37(repeated in Matthew 18:1-5/Luke 9:46-48)

    For that reason people have concluded that children,being innocent,will also be taken by God,the world will be without children.

    There is debate whether the Rapture would happen at the beginning of the Antichrist’s reign or in the middle of it or even at the end.We know that in the beginning the Antichrist will pretend to be good,a saint but in the middle of his 7 year reign,after 3,5 years of rule,he will suddenly begin persecuting those who refuse to recognize him.Many Christians will be killed.

    From other evidence it is that the best scenario is that all the Christians and children will disappear in the middle of the Antichrist’s rule,while he is still acting like a saint.When the non-Christians see that many will convert to Christianity,they are the ones who will be killed,the former agnostics,atheists,Muslims,Hindus,Buddhists,etc,The book says only 3,5 years would be left till Jesus returns,the children born in that time will be Too Young to Become Followers of the Antichrist,they would Be Innocent,Too Young to be Included among the Antichrist’s Followers to be Killed by Jesus.Jesus will be against sinners,not innocent children.

  20. The moral teaching of the Bible as regards violence is the command “thou shalt not kill”. The moral teaching of the Koran is the opposite to this because believers are commanded to fight to kill unbelievers until they pay the jizyah, see surah 9.

    The commandment “thou shalt not kill” can only be set aside by an audible command from God. The last time this came was in the OT thousands of years ago. The command to kill non Muslims by Jihad is still on the books.

    Allah is killing innocents every day through sickness, disease, natural disasters and accidents that he could prevent if he willed to do so but he obviously does not. How is he then morally superior to the God of the Bible? Is this killing good because Allah has not commanded it or carried it out through human means? Evil is still evil regardless of the means by which Allah performs it.

    Also the God of the Bible does not kill people solely because they reject the message of his prophets as does the god of the Koran.

    Your appeal to the book of Revelation shows how desperate you are.

    • “Also the God of the Bible does not kill people solely because they reject the message of his prophets as does the god of the Koran”

      Yes he does, or he will when the Son of Man comes down and we don’t “Bow down the knee to him”. Also, in the OT he killed people for the simple fact that they were pagans.

      Don’t lie.

      • If God is in the business of wiping out pagans, which is the purpose of Islam, why did he cause history to develop as it did?

        He left Egypt in peace instead of finishing the job off. After a while he established the Assyrian, Babylonia, Persian, Greek and Roman empires. All pagan empires ruling the world for a millenium.

        If Allah is Lord of the worlds, as you claim, why did he build all these pagan empires? He could have created Mohammed a lot sooner and got the job finished off thousands of years ago.

      • Hi Imad
        When you guys understand that everyone is born with the sin of Adam…sinners then you will begin to understand what Christiantiy is all about.

        Jesus in his first coming came as the lamb of God, he was healing the sick cleansing the leper giving sight to the blind raising people from the dead. He preached to the poor told the stories of heaven and the Fathers heart. Finally he is crucified and buried and then rose from the dead.

        When he comes the second time he will come as a judge dealing the Anti- Christ ( why isn’t he called the anti- Muhammad?) the false prophet and their following and yes people are going to die.

        Muslims say they believe in the second coming of Jesus and that he will come and break the cross, deal with the swine and abolish the Mafia protection money…sorry I meant Jizyah.

        1. In what kind of body is Jesus living in order to live in eternity?

        2. What authority is Jesus abolishing the Jizyah and why doesn’t the so called greatest prophet do it?

        3. And why according to the Hadith after judgement day does Jesus die I thought everyone lived happily ever after?

        You want people to believe in Islam well I need answers to these questions I’m out to find contradictions so please explain this for me.

      • It is not quite as simple as you describe Mr. Imad:

        2 Kings 2 v 23And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 24And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. 25And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.

        They told him twice to “go up”. I understand this to mean that they meant that Elisha should go and follow Elijah and vanish. In other words they were telling him to go to hell as would we say or similar in modern jargon. They understood what they were saying and who they were saying it too.

        • Yes I know all this. He cursed them because they mocked him and God sent two she-bears to maul and kill them. I’m at a loss to understand the point you’re making.

          I’m neither condemning nor justifying the incident. What I want to know is do YOU justify it? And if so why?

          • Imad
            I will reply later this evening to what you addressed to me Insha Yeshua. But I did want to respond to a question you asked someone else.

            “I’m neither condemning nor justifying the incident. What I want to know is do YOU justify it? And if so why?”

            YES, the reason why is because as I have been saying all along MY GOD IS JUST AND HOLY ANYTHING he does is JUST and HOLY unlike your god who needs to approval of his creatures.

            Don’t you wish you worshiped my God who is Just and Holy and does not need the approval of his creature?

  21. Imad mentioned miracles by Mohamed,the Quran says repeatedly that he wasn’ts able to do miracles.(suras 17:59,20:133,13:27,6:109-111,29:50,6:37,13:7,17:90-93,44:34-36).The hadiths say he did them but the Quran says no.The only exception would be the verse said to refer to the splitting of the Moon,in sura 54:1-2.
    The miracle of splitting the waters by Moses was only known to the surrounding people,not to be seen by those in Japan,China,North America,etc.But cutting a moon in two would have been seen by astronomers in China,Constantinople,India..They never mention it.If it ever happened it was a mass hallucination(seeing something that is not there),like in the case of Fatima in 1917,where 70,000 people said they saw the Sun dancing andmoving(the Miracle of the Sun),for several minutes.Yet nobody else in the world did,no observatory noticed it.That is why I don;t think such an event,splitting the moon,happened.

    • “Imad mentioned miracles by Mohamed,the Quran says repeatedly that he wasn’ts able to do miracles.(suras 17:59,20:133,13:27,6:109-111,29:50,6:37,13:7,17:90-93,44:34-36)”

      Before trying to understand the Qur’an in the future, learn some advanced Arabic and go through the books of Tafsir. You simply misread those verses.

      “.But cutting a moon in two would have been seen by astronomers in China,Constantinople,India”

      Not necessarily. It happened momentarily and people, even astronomers, are not in the habit of watching the sky 24 hours a day. By the same token your Evangelist Matthew’s zombies who were resurrected before Jesus and walked around in broad daylight and even visited their relatives were apparently not reported by a single ancient authority.

      Truly astonishing.

      • Biblical miracles always had a purpose. It wasn’t just God “showing off” as it were. Splitting the moon is no benefit to anyone. A God who does such things is more like the gods of the Greeks.

        There were no zombies in Matthew. Matthew does not say that they visited anyone. They would have appeared as normal people. Probably no one living knew them as they had probably died long before. We are not told how long they stayed around. It was probably only a short time.

    • “Imad mentioned miracles by Mohamed,the Quran says repeatedly that he wasn’ts able to do miracles.(suras 17:59,20:133,13:27,6:109-111,29:50,6:37,13:7,17:90-93,44:34-36).”

      Go through the following link:
      www dot answering dash christianity dot com slash bassam underscore zawadi slash quran underscore talks underscore about underscore prophet underscore miracles dot htm

      The whole 200 year gap between Qur’an and Hadith is bunk. Go through the following link:

      www dot islamic dash awareness dot org slash Hadith slash hadith dot html

  22. Yes, I would justify it. It is obvious that Jehovah caused it to happen as a punishment. In contrast to M Elisha as a true prophet leaves it in the hands of God and does not try to get revenge by his own hand.

    • “Yes, I would justify it. It is obvious that Jehovah caused it to happen as a punishment.”

      Thanks. That’s what I was expecting to hear. Here’s the main difference between you and us. We don’t worship a God who punishes children. We don’t follow a prophet who curses children. You’ve just given me more reason to avoid your dark, evil, Satanic cult like the plague. The fact that you people don’t see this is because your own hearts are dark, evil, and Satanic. You have to be in light to recognize darkness. Even if I weren’t Muslim, the last theology I would ever subscribe to is yours.

      • “We don’t worship a God who punishes children.”

        So why does your god make them suffer and die or kill them before they come in to the world?

        If it is not punishment it must be that he freely and willingly inflicts suffering upon them. This makes your god look even worse.

        Your theology has no answers and is in denial of reality. I will take he answers of the Bible.

    • “Biblical miracles always had a purpose. It wasn’t just God “showing off” as it were. Splitting the moon is no benefit to anyone.”

      That’s about the most ridiculous statement I’ve heard in ages. God causes miracles to happen through the hands of his prophets to convince onlookers of the truth of the prophets’ mission. Yes, it did serve a purpose. Many pagan Arabs converted after seeing the Prophet’s miracles.

      “There were no zombies in Matthew. ”

      Collins English Dictionary: Zombie: 1. a supernatural spirit that reanimates a dead body 2, a corpse brought to life in this manner,

      “Matthew does not say that they visited anyone.”

      Matthew 27:53: “and coming out of the graves after His resurrection,
      they went into the holy city and APPEARED TO MANY”

      The point is that many people saw them. Whether by visitation or just staring at them while they walked around streets and marketplaces, the effect is the same.

      “They would have appeared as normal people.”

      Jews were buried naked except for a wrapping shroud and loincloth, which means these zombies would have walked around Jerusalem half-naked or covered with a shroud. They “appeared to many” in this form and you call that normal? Get real.

      “Probably no one living knew them as they had probably died long before. We are not told how long they stayed around. It was probably only a short time.”

      Pure, unfounded speculation. A more likely explanation is that it never happened. Matthew was just taking everyone along for a ride.

      Amazing, such an earth-shattering event, even greater than the resurrection of Jesus himself, and not a single ancient source testifies to it? Neither Josephus, Philo, Tacitus, Suetonius, or any other ancient writer? And all this in an age where writers avidly recorded supernatural events as divine portents?

      Give me a break.

      • “Jews were buried naked except for a wrapping shroud and loincloth, which means these zombies would have walked around Jerusalem half-naked or covered with a shroud. They “appeared to many” in this form and you call that normal? Get real.”

        Typical childish arguments. As if God could resurrect someone but not be able to cloth him.

        “even greater than the resurrection of Jesus himself” Why greater if I may ask?

        Why should it have been reported or written down anywhere apart from the gospels? You were not there. You talk as if you were an eyewitness yourself.

  23. Seeker said:

    “YES, the reason why is because as I have been saying all along MY GOD IS JUST AND HOLY ANYTHING he does is JUST and HOLY”

    Beautiful. That’s what I wanted to hear. Now listen closely – Muslims also justify the passages in the Qur’an that you have problems with because they believe in a “Just and Holy God”.

    So if you think that 1. The genocide and massacres in the OT were justified, and 2. Elisha’s cursing little children and causing them to get killed by bears is justified, and 3. The Son of Man drenching the earth with blood till the bridles of horses is justified because you believe God is “Just and Holy” then Muslims can justify the violent passages in the Qur’an for the very same reason, because they believe God is “Just and Holy”.

    In other words you and the rest of the bible thumpers on this forum, along with the arch-liars Smith and Wood are a bunch of two faced hypocrites. You see the mite in another person’s eye and fail to remove the beam that is in your own.

    That was my point all along. The rest of the drivel you people have posted is irrelevant to the topic being discusses so I won’t address it.

    I rest my case.

    • God bless you Imad- you have demonstrated your knowledge in both religions as opposed to the other side.

      You are knowledgeable as the Holy Quran commands every Muslim to seek knowledge where ever it may be.

      I have never seen a Christian who has studied Islam (i.e. Arabic, Tafsir, Seera, the Science of Hadith etc.) to be credible to challenge Islam.

      All what Christians do is to peruse through Islamic literature and copy a translated text not in its entirety and also will not bother to find the Arabic meaning and explanation, and then use it against Islam.

      Those Christians like Gary Miller, Gerald Dirks, Lawrence Brown, Yusuf Estes etc. who bothered to learn Islam to criticize it, ended up converting to Islam.

      James White, David Wood, Jay Smith, Nabeel Qureish does not know anything about Islam and cannot utter a word in Arabic, how can they be credible in explaining Islam?

      Samuel Green of Australia is better among the Christian Apologetics, at least he uses Arabic words to put his case forward- I respect him for that-but he does not know or studied Arabic and Islam well to be able to put his case well and to be credible.

      When it comes to Muslims credibility in correcting the Christian misconceptions, just take some of the following who have demonstrated credentials in Christian theology;

      1. Dr. Shabbir Ally-B.A. in Religious Studies from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, with a specialization in Biblical Literature
      2. Dr. Gerald Dirks- Masters of Divinity
      3. Sister Ingrid Matson-Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut.
      4. Sister Myriam Francois-Cerrah- She has an MA with honors in Middle East politics from Georgetown University
      5. Dr. Lawrence Brown- Maters of Divinity.

      The above is just a short list of Muslims who have studied Christianity and they have proof, because Islam has commanded all Muslims to search for knowledge, so all Muslims have
      knowledge of Christianity and other religions as well.

      Back to the topic of wicked religion in the world.
      1. In Christianity no one will be saved except he accepts Jesus as his personal savior.

      Babies and mentally retarded are going to be put in hell fire through no fault of theirs- that is barbaric by the Christian God

      2. Jesus was born 2000 years ago.
      All God following people like Abraham and his followers, Joseph and his followers etc. will go to hell because they did not accept Jesus as their personal savior- That is unjust by the Christian God.

      3. Amazon Forest

      All people in the amazon forest or remote areas in the world that has no knowledge of Jesus will put into hell fire- very bad by the Christian God.
      Christianity seems to be the wicked religion in the world according to its teaching not me saying it but the teaching.

      Now consider this JUSTICE in Islam.

      Allah does not hold anyone to account without first establishing the proof against them by sending them messengers. Allah says: “We never punish until we have sent forth a messenger.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 15]

      • 1. “In Christianity no one will be saved except he accepts Jesus as his personal savior.”

        The Old Testament saints were saved by believing in the promises of God, which pointed forward to the coming Saviour Jesus, and walking in the light of the revelation that they possessed.

        “Babies and mentally retarded are going to be put in hell fire through no fault of theirs- that is barbaric by the Christian God”

        Where does it say this in the Bible?

        “2. Jesus was born 2000 years ago.
        All God following people like Abraham and his followers, Joseph and his followers etc. will go to hell because they did not accept Jesus as their personal savior- That is unjust by the Christian God.”

        This is drivel. The Bible does not teach this and no Christian believes this.

        “All people in the amazon forest or remote areas in the world that has no knowledge of Jesus will put into hell fire- very bad by the Christian God.”

        There are degrees of suffering according to the light which one has received. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Regardless of whether they have heard the gospel or not.

        Islam teaches that only those who have spilled the blood of others and died as martyrs can be sure to inherit the garden. Is that justice for those who are the victims of this violence?

        “Allah does not hold anyone to account without first establishing the proof against them by sending them messengers. Allah says: “We never punish until we have sent forth a messenger.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 15]”

        And then the messengers kill, rape, pillage and enslave those who don’t believe their message. Is that justice?

    • Imad
      You wrote…
      “Beautiful. That’s what I wanted to hear. Now listen closely – Muslims also justify the passages in the Qur’an that you have problems with because they believe in a “Just and Holy God”.
      So if you think that 1. The genocide and massacres in the OT were justified, and 2. Elisha’s cursing little children and causing them to get killed by bears is justified, and 3. The Son of Man drenching the earth with blood till the bridles of horses is justified because you believe God is “Just and Holy” then Muslims can justify the violent passages in the Qur’an for the very same reason, because they believe God is “Just and Holy”.

      You continue to misunderstand my position and the problem with your god. Either deliberately ignoring what I have written, or in one case I may not have articulated my position clearly enough, I will give you that.

      So pay attention now. First let me re clarify something that you have asked. You asked for instance “is this justified in the bible” and I responded YES. And then I explained that I have a Holy and Just God etc…

      Well I should have worded it this way to remove all confusion. MY GOD DOES NOT NEED ME TO JUSTIFY ANYTHING HE DOES OR SAYS, HE IS JUST AND HOLY. SO ANYTHING HE DOES OR SAYS IS JUST AND HOLY. HE DOES NOT DEPEND ON ME TO AGREE WITH HIM, so YES everything in the bible is justified for that sol reason. I hope this has clarified my position for you.

      Now as far as what you wrote…
      “then Muslims can justify the violent passages in the Qur’an for the very same reason, because they believe God is “Just and Holy”.”

      This is the problem and something which neither you nor Sadat has responded to. You justify your god and condemn the Living God based on what he does and or commands. The whole reason for Anthony Rogers’s video and Sadat’s article was because Paul Williams acted like a little child throwing a temper tantrum at speaker’s corner and judging the true living God. In a fifteen min video you can randomly fast forward or rewind and find Paul Williams saying the same things over and over again “Why does your God kill Babies…innocent trees… that is just sick… only a sick mind would think that” so he has judged GOD because he does not like what God has commanded. In a response to me on Youtube he said that God was a “Barbaric, Genocidal Maniac” why because he does not like the fact that the creator of all things would order the killing of the children of wicked and evil men and woman. Oh lets not forget the trees yah there so important.

      He drove this point home when he asked me in the comment section if God ordered me to kill woman and children would I follow God. To which I responded YES as if refusing God is an option. When I flipped the script on him and asked him the same question he refused to answer the question directly instead he said “You miss the point God would never order such a thing”.

      Sadat in his response to Anthony Rogers video said (I’m going to paraphrase don’t feel like scrolling up”
      “It would be unjust for God to order such a thing because “laypeople” would not be able to burden this command” He wrote this after he wrote that the reason God ordered Abraham to kill his only son was to set an example for future submitters to come, knowing in his foreknowledge that Abraham would be able to burden this command”. Demonstrating again that muslims have a god who they judge based on what they believe to be just and holy. Not a God who is Just and Holy so everything he does is Just and Holy

      Let me be clear, I do not, I repeat I DO NOT reject the quran, your god and your prophet because there is violence in the quran, or because your prophet committed violence. I reject your quran, your prophet, your god because you have the wrong god, a false prophet, and what you call the words of your god is complete gibberish in some places.
      You have a god who nowhere prohibits the killing of babies in his “direct speech” but leaves it up to his creature, Mohamed to prohibit the killing of babies. You have a god who although does not prohibit the killing of babies takes credit for ordering the Babylonians and later the Romans to kill Jewish babies. Either directly if you believe the quran and early Muslim scholars, or indirectly if you disregard what early Muslim scholars and more importantly what your god says in the quran.

      You have a god who in the words of the author of this article, orders his righteous pious saint of a servant to kill his own son. The reason is to set an example for future submitters, who only later conclude that this would be unjust of god to order them to kill babies because it would be too much for them to bare, there by negating the purpose of the example.

      You have a god who in the word of Paul Williams would never order his creatures to kill babies. Why? Paul Williams himself cannot give a reason why his god would not order the killing of babies other than in his judgment it is “sick” and he does not like such an idea.

      You yourself have not offered an explanation as to why your god would not order his creatures to kill babies, even though your god takes credit for doing just that. The only thing you could offer is that your god only knew the Romans and Babylonians would kill babies, woman and innocent trees when he ordered them to sack Jerusalem.

      All three of you have consistently demonstrated a total lack of faith in a just and holy God, and I think that is the real issue. All three of you have demonstrated that Islam is a man made, man centric religion that is based on the whims and desires of its sol prophet and later followers.

      I hope you understand my position now. So instead of repeating and distorting what I believe I hope you will be able to address the issue and that is the following.

      Why if your god ordered Abraham to kill his son, do you find it unjust for God in history past, to order others to kill the babies of certain people in a certain time?

      If the reason that your god ordered Abraham to kill his own son was to set an example for future submitters what was that example? And are you willing and able to follow that example?

      If Abraham was willing to kill his only son because as it says in God’s word, “He reasoned that the author of life could raise his son from the dead”, why aren’t you willing to kill babies if God orders you to do it?

      If it is unjust for god to order his “laypeople” to kill babies because it is “too much for them to bare” then why is it just for him to order 7 people out of ten to stop shooting heroin if that is too much for them to bare or anything else that people might find too much for them to bare?

      If your god raises up a nation to destroy another nation and he knows that in doing so babies will be killed, and he does nothing to prevent this and you judge the ordering of killing babies to be unjust. Then why isn’t your god just as guilty of the deaths of babies since he gave the order that would lead to their death? ‘Hint: it’s called criminal negligent homicide.

      I will not respond to anything other than answers to these questions.
      So have a Merry Christmas and remember your knee will bow to the one true God, and Savior Jesus Christ. So come and repent from worshiping a god who is not fit for worship, and worship the one true living God who is, has always been and will always be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

      • “Why if your god ordered Abraham to kill his son, do you find it unjust for God in history past, to order others to kill the babies of certain people in a certain time?”

        We don’t. We just find it hypocritical that Christians harp on about violence in the Qur’an when their own god orders genocide

        Moreover, God never intended for Abraham to kill his son. It was just a test. No-brainer.

        “If the reason that your god ordered Abraham to kill his own son was to set an example for future submitters what was that example?”

        The example was to obey God.

        “And are you willing and able to follow that example?”

        Yes, but the question is moot because there is no such order for us.

        “If it is unjust for god to order his “laypeople” to kill babies because it is “too much for them to bare” then why is it just for him to order 7 people out of ten to stop shooting heroin if that is too much for them to bare or anything else that people might find too much for them to bare?”

        No idea. You might want to ask him.

        “If your god raises up a nation to destroy another nation and he knows that in doing so babies will be killed, and he does nothing to prevent this and you judge the ordering of killing babies to be unjust. Then why isn’t your god just as guilty of the deaths of babies since he gave the order that would lead to their death?”

        The babies who are killed go to eternal bliss in Paradise. If God does the killing directly, he has a right to because he is the one who gave life in the first place. If he uses “wicked people to punish wicked people” (your words) and in the process babies are killed then the wicked people who are being killed and the wicked people who are being used to kill them will both be punished in the hereafter, while the babies who died in the process will go to paradise. QED.

        “Let me be clear, I do not, I repeat I DO NOT reject the quran, your god and your prophet because there is violence in the quran, or because your prophet committed violence.”

        Speak for yourself. That isn’t the position hypocrites like Wood, Smith and the rest of the Bible -thumpers I met in my life take. I think you’re being disingenuous anyway. Sorry, I’ve met too many Christian liars in my life to take you seriously. If what you are saying is true and you have a modicum of intellectual integrity, then I challenge you to publicly criticize the likes of Wood, Smith and their ilk as hypocrites for speaking about violence in the Qur’an when the Bible is also full of it. That was the whole reason why Tweedledum and Tweedledee got up on stage at Hyde Park to begin with and that is why Paul preempted them. In fact I challenge you to post your criticism ON THEIR WEBSITES AND BLOGS AND COPY AND PASTE YOUR CRITICISM RIGHT HERE.

        I want you to tell them: “Hey, you guys are a bunch of two faced hypocrites. You have the
        nerve to talk about violence in the Qur’an when there is so much of it in our own Bible.”

        Exactly in those words. Go ahead. Let’s see you do it. If you are unwilling to then don’t waste any more of my time with your mealy mouthed hypocrisy.

        Merry Christmas yourself.

      • “and worship the one true living God ”

        I already am. I’d rather not worship a god who spent nine months in a woman’s womb, came out of her private parts, had urine and feces in his belly, and had to run for his life when it was threatened, thank you very much.
        I would much rather worship the one and true living God who has no beginning and no end, who knows all, sees all, hears all, is mighty, just and wise, and is free from any imperfections. Glorified be his Holy Name.

      • Imad
        You wrote in response to the following question…

        ““Why if your god ordered Abraham to kill his son, do you find it unjust for God in history past, to order others to kill the babies of certain people in a certain time?”

        Your response
        “We don’t. We just find it hypocritical that Christians harp on about violence in the Qur’an when their own god orders genocide”

        Your joking write? The reason for this article, is in response to a video Anthony Rogers made in response to Paul Williams temper tantrum at speakers corner and the subsequent comments he made on his youtube channel to me. In which Paul Williams calls the Living God of the Bible a ‘Barbaric, Genocidal Maniac” for ordering his creatures to kill the babies of other creatures.

        The author of this article calls the True Living God of the bible UNJUST numerous times because he ordered “laypeople” to kill babies. The reason he judges the Living God of the Bible to be Unjust for ordering “laypeople” to kill babies is that this is to much for his creatures to bare.

        The very first comment on this article is from you in which you write in response to Saddats article.

        “Excellent summary Sadat. Rogers’ attempt at apologia was truly and epic failure. Let us see how the other side responds.”

        So it was an “excellent” response to Anthony Rogers video but you disagree with at least the first part of this response?

        You answer my question if you would kill babies if your god ordered you to do so

        “Yes, but the question is moot because there is no such order for us.”

        So you disagree with the writer of this article as well as Paul Williams by stating you would kill babies if your god ordered you to. You then say its a mute point because their is no order for you to kill babies. I got news for you there is no order for Christians to kill babies either so why are you harping on what the True Living God of the Bible ordered the Israelite to do so? Just because there is a command of a certain people in a certain time to kill the babies of a certain people in a certain place. Does not mean that is a general universal order for all peoples in all times in all places. GET IT? So if you would kill babies if your god ordered you too, this means you would not find it unjust or immoral for your god to give such a order. Then why does Saddat and Paul Williams judge the True living God of the bible to be unjust and immoral when he gives such a order to a people in history’s past?

        You then continue that you have “No idea. You might want to ask him.” to my question regarding the authors analysis that it is unjust of the True Living God of the Bible to order laypeople to kill babies. But yet in your words this article is a excellent response. Did you even read his response or did you just read the title and figured it must be good because it was a Muslim attacking the True Living God of the Bible?

        You then continue on with your Hypocrisy and slanderous attacks on the True Living God and his people when you respond with…

        “Speak for yourself. That isn’t the position hypocrites like Wood, Smith and the rest of the Bible -thumpers I met in my life take. I think you’re being disingenuous anyway.Sorry I’ve met too many Christian liars in my life to take you seriously.”

        The only one who is being a hypocrite is YOU. First you comment saying this article is a “excellent response” but you disagree with at least one of the premise of the article. You disagree with Paul Williams when he calls the True Living God of the bible a “Barbaric Genocidal Maniac” the only people doing what you falsely accuse myself, David Wood and others of is what these two men have done to the True Living God of the bible. I have heard David Wood on numerous occasions in debates state words to the affect.

        “I do not believe that Islam is wrong because there is violence in the Quran, there is violence in the bible and I do not have a problem with God ordering people to kill”.
        As far as Jay Smith is concerned I’m not sure on his position but I would assume it is the same. If I’m wrong on that then he has the wrong position.

        You then continue on…

        ” If what you are saying is true and you have a modicum of intellectual integrity, then I challenge you to publicly criticize the likes of Wood, Smith and their ilk as hypocrites for speaking about violence in the Qur’an when the Bible is also full of it.”

        There is nothing to criticize Wood on since he has the same position as I do, if Smith has a different position then prove it. But tell me do you have a “modicum of intellectual integrity” will you publicly criticize the likes of Williams, Saddat and your ILK as hypocrites for the following.

        1. Paul Williams calls the True Living God of the Bible a “Barbaric Genocidal Maniac”
        2. Sadat says it is unjust for the True Living God of the Bible to order the killing of babies because it is to much for his “laypeople” to bare.

        I doubt you will, because as long as Muslims, Atheists, or Zionist Anti Missionary Jews attack the True Living God of the Bible and his people you will cheer from the sidelines.

        Well it was fun playing with you and watching you in your zeal to attack the True Living God of the Bible and his people that you exposed your hypocrisy.

        Merry Christmas.

      • “Your joking write? ”

        No. It’s a point I made umpteen times on this blog – my problem is with Christian hypocrisy. You obviously aren’t paying attention just as I suspected. That’s what happens when you’re obsessed with just conveying your point of view and not listening to what the other person is saying.

        “The reason for this article, is in response to a video Anthony Rogers made in response to Paul Williams temper tantrum at speakers corner and the subsequent comments he made on his youtube channel to me. In which Paul Williams calls the Living God of the Bible a ‘Barbaric, Genocidal Maniac” for ordering his creatures to kill the babies of other creatures.”

        And as I stated earlier, there is a context to all this. It started because Tweedledum and Tweedlee got up on a podium daring to attack the Qur’an for violence. Paul wasn’t “throwing childish tantrums”. That’s just your childish take on it. He was basically preempting their hypocritical attempt to expose violence and mayhem in the Qur’an. Other Christians have spoken at Hyde Park and Paul never did this to them. He did it this time because he knew what they were going to talk about.

        “The very first comment on this article is from you in which you write in response to Saddats article.
        “Excellent summary Sadat. Rogers’ attempt at apologia was truly and epic failure. Let us see how the other side responds.””

        Yes, it was excellent. Sadat was trying to show that the laws of the Qur’an pertaining to war and violence are far more humane than the ones found in the Bible. He proved that very well. Rogers’ attempt to prove otherwise is truly an epic failure. Get over it.

        “I got news for you there is no order for Christians to kill babies either..”

        Straw-man argument. I never said there is an order for Christians to kill babies.

        “so why are you harping on what the True Living God of the Bible ordered the Israelite to do so?””

        Because it’s a fact that Christian hypocrites conveniently forget when condemning the violence in the Qur’an. GET IT? This is getting tiresomely repetitive.

        ” First you comment saying this article is a “excellent response” but you disagree with at least one of the premise of the article.”

        That doesn’t take away from the excellence of the article and it doesn’t make me a hypocrite either. Sadat, I repeat, was attempting to show a more humanitarian concept of warfare in the Qur’an as opposed to the Bible, regardless of which book is true or false. In this I totally agree with him. I quote Sadat in one of his comments:

        “I’m glad that we can at least agree halfway. So basically, your assertion is that the Qur’an is a false book *which teaches a more moral and compassionate conception of God* (when it comes to the rules of warfare) than the Bible (which you presumably believe is the true word of God)?
        Again, if that is the conclusion that I have forced you to realize, then I feel I’ve done my job well, since the PURPOSE OF MY ARTICLE was to prove that the Qur’an shows a more compassionate conception of God than the Bible, not necessarily that the Qur’an is the true Word of God.” (Capitals are mine for emphasis).

        “I have heard David Wood on numerous occasions in debates state words to the affect.
        “I do not believe that Islam is wrong because there is violence in the Quran, there is violence in the bible and I do not have a problem with God ordering people to kill”.”

        That’s why he was planning to expose the violence in the Qur’an along with his buddy at Hyde Park that day right? Hogwash.

        “But tell me do you have a “modicum of intellectual integrity” will you publicly criticize the likes of Williams, Saddat and your ILK as hypocrites for the following.1. Paul Williams calls the True Living God of the Bible a “Barbaric Genocidal Maniac.”

        No I won’t. As I said, there is a context to what he was saying. No one was being hypocritical from the Muslim side. Paul was preempting a hypocritical attempt from the Christians side to expose violence in the Qur’an. In his place I probably would have done it differently, but that has to do with a difference in personality. I don’t believe Paul was being hypocritical given the contextual situation.

        “2. Sadat says it is unjust for the True Living God of the Bible to order the killing of babies because it is to much for his “laypeople” to bare.”

        No I won’t. Sadat was just expressing a mainline Islamic concept: God does not lay a burden upon righteous people greater than they can bear (not bare). In other words He never gives commands to righteous servants that they would not be capable of doing. He knew Abraham would carry out the order so He gave him the command and in His Mercy made sure the child was not sacrificed after all. The reason He would not burden us with a test like that is because He knows we would be incapable of carrying it out. Your analogy about the heroin addicts is absolute bunk. We are talking about righteous servants of God, not drug addicts. Hence there is nothing hypocritical in what Sadat said. Indirectly what he was trying to say is that he does not believe that God ever gave such a commandment to the Israelites, who at that time were righteous, because that goes against the concept we have of a just and righteous God overburdening his righteous servants. I know this because Sadat is a personal friend of mine and we had a conversation about it just last two nights ago.

        “As far as Jay Smith is concerned I’m not sure on his position but I would assume it is the same.”

        No it isn’t. I haven’t met a single, solitary Christian Evangelizer who had that position, not one. Every Sunday without fail, at Dundas Square, which is Toronto’s version of Times Square and Hyde Park combined, we are bombarded incessantly by such characters going on and on about how bloodthirsty the Muslim “moon god” is and how much violence there is in his “devil inspired book”. It gets tiresome after a while but we do appreciate the comedic value ;). This has always, always been my experience with Christian missionaries throughout my adolescence and adult life.

        “I doubt you will, because as long as Muslims, Atheists, or Zionist Anti Missionary Jews attack the True Living God of the Bible and his people you will cheer from the sidelines”

        Your doubt is justified. Your second part of the statement is wrong though. We will cheer as long as Muslims, Atheists or Anti Missionary Jews attack your false, idolatrous concept of worship. No one is attacking the “True and Living God of the Bible” to begin with, just your twisted version of Him.

        Happy Saturnalia to you too.

      • Imad
        Thank you for exposing your hypocracy and double standards. You wrote in response to me.

        “And as I stated earlier, there is a context to all this. It started because Tweedledum and Tweedlee got up on a podium daring to attack the Qur’an for violence. Paul wasn’t “throwing childish tantrums”. That’s just your childish take on it. He was basically preempting their hypocritical attempt to expose violence and mayhem in the Qur’an. Other Christians have spoken at Hyde Park and Paul never did this to them. He did it this time because he knew what they were going to talk about.”

        So Paul Williams “knew” that David and Jay where going to talk about violence and mayhem in the Quran. Really? I didn’t know that Paul Williams was psychic. Unfortunitly his psychic powers where a little bit off that day because the topic that David was discussing was the Islamic view of God and Jesus. He says at 00:55 seconds into the video right before Paul Williams started to whine like a little baby “Muslims tell us that they have a high view of god and a high view of Jesus and Christians have a corrupt view of God and Jesus”
        Then at 1:39 Jay Smith very clearly “Did you all here his question… the point is and I will just repeat what he is saying. If you don’t like the bible, if you don’t like the God that is there, why is it that the Quran affirms the bible, where are those verses that affirm our bible”

        Paul Williams then replied to me on his youtube channel, a comment he seems to have since removed “Your god is a barbaric, genocidal, maniac”.
        So much for your context, so much for Paul Williams psychic ability, and so much for your reasoning skills.

        You then go on…
        “Yes, it was excellent. Sadat was trying to show that the laws of the Qur’an pertaining to war and violence are far more humane than the ones found in the Bible. He proved that very well. Rogers’ attempt to prove otherwise is truly an epic failure. Get over it.”
        War and violence are humane in Islam? So perpetual warfare, fighting and killing people till all confess the shahada, or pay the Jizay bribe is “far more humane then what is found in the bible”? You claim Islam forbids the killing of woman and babies in war, even though there is no command from your god, only your false prophet who seems to know better then your god. However how is turning woman into widows, and babies into fatherless orphans for as long as their are men who will stand up to your false god and false prophet more humane? That is truely the sign of a depraved mind.

        You continue on..
        ““I got news for you there is no order for Christians to kill babies either..”
        Straw-man argument. I never said there is an order for Christians to kill babies.”
        How is that a straw man? If Christians are not commanded to kill babies, and if you agree with me that God is Just and Holy so that whatever he orders is Just and Holy and he has the right to order his creatures in History past to kill woman and babies then why even bring up 1 Sam 15 as if that applies to all people for all time?
        It is a straw-man argument to bring up 1 Sam 15 since it is a command for Saul and his people, to kill the Amalikites not for everyone who follows God to kill the woman and chidlren of everyone, in every place, in every time. It is a straw-man argument

        You continue on…
        “Because it’s a fact that Christian hypocrites conveniently forget when condemning the violence in the Qur’an. GET IT? This is getting tiresomely repetitive.”
        Really who? Where? You have been conversing with me, have I ever “forgotten about the violence in the bible? Name me one Christian who commenting on this blog has conveniently forgotten about the violence in the bible?

        You then continue on…
        “Sadat, I repeat, was attempting to show a more humanitarian concept of warfare in the Qur’an as opposed to the Bible, regardless of which book is true or false. In this I totally agree with him. I quote Sadat in one of his comments:”
        So in Islam making perpetual war against the infidels is a humanitarian mission. I do not believe that War is humane at all. I do not believe in a kinder gentler machine gun hand. So I think we have two different concepts of what it is to be humane or a humanitarian.

        You then go on to quote Sadat’s article.
        ““I’m glad that we can at least agree halfway. So basically, your assertion is that the Qur’an is a false book *which teaches a more moral and compassionate conception of God* (when it comes to the rules of warfare) than the Bible (which you presumably believe is the true word of God)?”
        Well I’m glad we can agree half way that the Quran is a false book, however I do not believe that perpetual and constant war against un believers is a more moral and compassionate conception of God. I don’t see how constant Warfare that turns woman into widows, and babies into fatherless orphans is moral, compassionate, and humane.
        You then continue on in your attack against Gods people by misrepresenting my brother David Wood.
        “That’s why he was planning to expose the violence in the Qur’an along with his buddy at Hyde Park that day right? Hogwash.”
        Show me in the video where David and Jay where going to expose the violence in the Quran. The topic they were discussing had nothing to do with the perpetual war ordered on Muslims.

        You then go on to expose yourhypocrisy….
        “No I won’t. As I said, there is a context to what he was saying. No one was being hypocritical from the Muslim side. Paul was preempting a hypocritical attempt from the Christians side to expose violence in the Qur’an. ”
        No he wasn’t, since David and Jay where not discussin the “Violence in the Quran” instead the topic they wanted to discuss was the Muslim and Christian view of God and Jesus and which verses in the bible confirm the Quran.

        You continue now to misrepresent Sadat and “Mainline” Islamist when you write…
        “Your analogy about the heroin addicts is absolute bunk. We are talking about righteous servants of God, not drug addicts. ”
        It is Sadats position that God would only order righteous servants to kill children, as in the case of Abraham, but he would not order “laypeople” to kill babies because they would not be able to bare that burdon. Now are you saying a person addicted to Heroin could not sincerely take the Shahada and become a layperson Muslim? And if a Heron addict was to sincerely take the Shahada and he found it big of a burden to quit taking heroin then according to Saddat, and “Mainline” Islamist this would be unjust and immoral of God for him to order the layperson Muslim to stop taking heroin.

        You then generalized when you wrote…
        “No it isn’t. I haven’t met a single, solitary Christian Evangelizer who had that position, not one.”
        You have conversed with me, so I’m one that holds that position. David Wood is one that holds that position, and I’m pretty sure that Jay Smith holds that position, as well as Dr James White, Anthony Rogers, Sam Shamoun etc…

        You couldn’t be more wrong when you wrote…
        “We will cheer as long as Muslims, Atheists or Anti Missionary Jews attack your false, idolatrous concept of worship. No one is attacking the “True and Living God of the Bible” to begin with, just your twisted version of Him.”
        No sir when ever you attack the true worshipers of God, those of us that worship Jesus Christ because he is God you attack GOD. Jesus himself said “When ever they hate you, understand that they hated me before they hated you”.

        So in conclusion you have proven the following.
        You have a god who orders its followers to go and wage war against non believers making their woman widows, and children fatherless orphans, until they submit and take the Shahada or pay the Jizya bribe. This is incumbent on all Muslims for all times. War is prescribed for you. This is perpetual war, now ofcorse this does not mean that Muslims are to fight at all times the unbelievers, but it does mean when you are military able to. you are to fight those that do not believe in your god, or the last day, or forbid what your god or prophet forbids.
        You believe this is far more humane then Christians being ordered to not “repay evil with evil, to turn the other cheek, and when persecution becomes to great flee to another city.” That killing men, turning their woman into widows and children into fatherless orphans till the end of time is far more humane then for Christians to be strangers in a strange land, to be Ambassadors for the kingdom of God, and that the only enemy we as Christians are to fight is not of this world.
        You have proven that you disagree with “mainline” islam, you have proven that you did not watch the video of Paul Williams temper tantrum as you did not know what the topic that David Wood and Jay Smith where discussing. You have proven your double standards, and hypocrisy. So in total your response to me and others has been like your god and prophet a epic FAILURE.

  24. Alzon said:

    “Typical childish arguments. As if God could resurrect someone but not be able to cloth him.”

    Sure he could, but then the whole show would have been pointless. As you said earlier, miracles have a purpose to them. If the people who were resurrected looked normal nobody would have realised they were resurrected, hence the “miracle” would have been just “God showing off” as you stated earlier. If they told people they were resurrected they would have been laughed to scorn and thus the “miracle” would still have been pointless. So you have some restricted choices: 1. God was pointlessly showing off. 2. He wanted people to realize the people were resurrected and the only way he could do that would be if they were recognized as resurrected hence they would have been half naked or wrapped in a burial shroud. If it’s 2. then you have to explain why such a momentous event went unreported in history.

    ““even greater than the resurrection of Jesus himself” Why greater if I may ask?”

    Because Jesus was only one person, these were many. Common sense.

    “Why should it have been reported or written down anywhere apart from the gospels?”

    This is a logical fallacy known as begging the question. The challenge is to prove the gospel story right utilizing other contemporary sources, not assuming before hand that the gospels are correct and then not bothering if the stories are supported by other sources or not.

    “You were not there. You talk as if you were an eyewitness yourself.”

    No, you do. The following are your words: “They would have appeared as normal people. Probably no one living knew them as they had probably died long before. We are not told how long they stayed around. It was probably only a short time.”

    • If the people who were resurrected looked normal nobody would have realised they were resurrected, hence the “miracle” would have been just “God showing off” as you stated earlier.

      This is your gibberish.

      • “The challenge is to prove the gospel story right utilizing other contemporary sources, not assuming before hand that the gospels are correct and then not bothering if the stories are supported by other sources or not.”

        You can’t prove revelation by any sources. You are out of your depth.

      • We are not trying to prove revelation . We are trying to prove a historical event that was supposedly witnessed in broad daylight by many. Since you cannot prove it you flopped miserably and are coming up with lame excuses.

      • “If the people who were resurrected looked normal nobody would have realised they were resurrected, hence the “miracle” would have been just “God showing off” as you stated earlier.
        This is your gibberish.”

        No. It’s yours, and I even copied and pasted it for you. Since you either don’t see well or just don’t know what you are saying yourself, I’ll copy and paste it again for you:

        “Biblical miracles always had a purpose. It wasn’t just God “showing off” as it were.”

      • “And then the messengers kill, rape, pillage and enslave those who don’t believe their message. Is that justice?”

        I don’t know. You tell us. According to your holy book your messengers made a habit of doing this. Sometimes they even use bears 😉

      • How does the guy who is reporting the resurrection know that a resurrection has taken place? Did he see it? Does the fact of a lot of half-naked guys in burial shrouds walking down the street prove by itself that a resurrection has taken place? Why should he report it if he can’t prove it? Why should he make a laughingstock of himself when nobody believes him? It’s obvious why it wasn’t reported. Maybe they were shining. I’ll give you that. Does that prove a resurrection? Nobody is gonna believe it so why should anyone report it?

      • ““half naked and wrapped in a burial shroud” lol, I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Thanks for the tip. You never know who’s just been resurrected.”

        Exactly. It’s the only sensible thing you ever said. Congratulations.

      • “Why should he report it if he can’t prove it? ”

        Because he isn’t the only one seeing it. According to your own Biblical fairy tale, they appeared to “many”

      • “It’s obvious why it wasn’t reported.”

        Yes. It never happened.

        ” Maybe they were shining”

        No idea what you mean by this gobbledygook, but I’ll leave it alone.

    • “If the people who were resurrected looked normal nobody would have realised they were resurrected,”

      You are assuming that the purpose of the miracle could only have been to prove to the people who witnessed it that a resurrection had taken place and that this was the only possible purpose for this event. This is just your assumption and nothing more. God knew that one day it would be reported by Matthew for the benefit of all Christians.

      • “You are assuming that the purpose of the miracle could only have been to prove to the people who witnessed it that a resurrection had taken place and that this was the only possible purpose for this event”

        Yes, classic case of God “showing off” as you put it. So the purpose of the “miracle” was to show people who lived many years after the event that the event actually did take place even though it left no trace in history whatsoever so they are just supposed to take Matthew’s word for it although the fact that it isn’t reported anywhere else simply stretches credulity to the limit. Lol. How absurd.

        By the same token, I could also tell you that the purpose of the “moon-splitting” would be to convince not the people who witnessed it but Muslims who lived hundreds of years after the event that it actually did take place.

        The real “miracle” here is the fact that no one but Matthew reported it.

        Give it up man. Your attempts are getting more and more desperate by the hour. You’re really clutching at straws now.

  25. Imad mentioned 2 Kings 2:23 and two bears killing 42.In “The Case for Christ” Lee Strobel asked a scholar about if it was about chidlren and he said the Hebrew word is more elastic and also includes young men.My point is it is about young men,who already knew what was right from wrong.Because in the NT Jesus says that heaven is full of children.So God is not going to kill an innocent child who doesnt know what he is saying.Jesus says that heaven is full of children,you have to be like a child to be in heaven:(Mark 10:13-15 (repeated in Matthew 19:13-14/Luke 18:15-17) and there is Mark 9:35-37(repeated in Matthew 18:1-5/Luke 9:46-48)

  26. Alzon said:

    “So why does your god make them suffer and die or kill them before they come in to the world?”

    We believe that children who die before reaching maturity go to eternal bliss in paradise. Not a bad exchange at all. That isn’t a punishment, it’s actually a blessing in disguise.
    Check mate.

    On the other hand your version of God curses little children and then actually punishes them. You admitted it. Sorry, your version is far, far worse and you just can’t wriggle out of it.

    “Your theology has no answers and is in denial of reality ”

    On the other hand I just gave you perfectly clear-cut answers. You, on the other hand, have absolutely no answer as to why your version of God would allow his prophet to curse little children like some deranged, peevish monster and then go ahead and inflict punishment on them. You have no idea what happened to the children that were killed by the bears after they died. If they were cursed they probably went to Hell. I never heard of a cursed person entering Paradise.

    Thanks to you your theology looks more and more disgusting with every passing minute. Maybe you should let someone more capable represent your theology?

    Just saying.

      • “You’ve got a sick mind. Go see a psychiatrist.”

        For someone who has been justifying genocide against defenseless women, children, and even animals, you’ve got quite the nerve to say something like that. People like you would be considered so charmingly potty if your ideas weren’t so dangerous.

  27. Imad,the problem with sura 54:1-2 is that it says “the Hour” which is generally understood to refer to Judgement Day.Like in this part which is generally thought to refer to the second coming of Jesus,in the quran:

    Sura:43:57-62:
    “And when the son of Mary is cited as an example, behold, thy people turn away from it
    and say, ‘What, are our gods better, or he?’ They cite not him to thee, save to dispute;. nay, but they are a people contentious.
    He is only a servant We blessed, and We made him to be an example to the Children of Israel.
    Had We willed, We would have appointed angels among you to be successors in the earth.
    It is knowledge of the Hour; doubt not concerning it, and follow me. This is a straight path.Let not Satan bar you; he is for you a manifest foe.”

    There are several hadiths that say 54:1-2 is about a moon splitting,but really,we know for a fact many invented hadiths and invented “authentic chains of transmission”.That is why I believe 54:1-2 is about Judgement Day and the moon splitting on Judgement Day and later Muslims fabricated hadiths and said it was about Mohamed’s time.

    • You’re right about the fabricated Hadiths. I don’t believe the moon-splitting one was one of them though.

      BTW you’re quite a bit smarter and more knowledgeable than the rest of the crowd here. I hope you don’t mind my curiosity but are you an advanced Theology student?

      I think a guy like you should study Classical scriptural languages like Hebrew, Koine Greek, Arabic etc.

      Just a thought.

  28. Imad said”The Greek Septuagint version has “Paidaria Mikra”. Which means “little children”. If you disagree you can take that up with the qualified Rabbinical scholars that translated the Septuagint who were were word perfect in Greek and Hebrew”

    First,I am not a theology student,too poor for that,I am just an amateur who likes to connect the dots.In the Strobel book the Hebrew root word used is said to be na’ar, which is most often used to describe a young man between the age of 12 and 30 (see also Genesis 34:19, 41:12; 1 Kings 20:14-15).It appears in:Gesenius’s Lexicon, Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius (translated by Samuel P. Tregelles), 1847 and “The Case For Faith”, Lee Strobel, 2000. Pgs. 122-124.

    As for the Septuagint it is a paraphrase translation,a free translation.A translation never has precedence over the original word.Nobody considers a translation to be the word of God but the original language.

    • To be honest the Hebrew does leave space for ambiguity. That isn’t important however. What is important is that thousands of Christian fanatics throughout the ages, including the posters in this blog, believed they were children and even justified it as Divine punishment. In the light of this, it would be totally hypocritical of them to criticize Muslims for justifying as Divine punishment the violent passages in the Qur’an, which after all don’t even mention children. That was my point all along and I have proved it.

      “Nobody considers a translation to be the word of God but the original language.”

      Really? You’ve been wasting your time then since you’ve been reading translations all your life and so have millions of other Christians.

      Too bad the Holy Spirit, which was supposed to inspire the Bible authors, fell asleep from the time the Septuagint was written till the time the above error was discovered.

      • Sorry to butt in but if we look at the verses there are two different words used in the Hebrew for the word children

        2Ki 2:23    And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
        2Ki 2:24    And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

        This is the first word used in verse 23.
        na‛ar
        nah’-ar
        From H5287; (concretely) a boy (as active), from the age of infancy to adolescence; by implication a servant; also (by interchange of sex), a girl (of similar latitude in age): – babe, boy, child, damsel [from the margin], lad, servant, young (man).

        The next one is in verse 24

        yeled
        yeh’-led
        From H3205; something born, that is, a lad or offspring: – boy, child, fruit, son, young man (one).

        The reason why this is important is because the word for little children is used of the following men. little children = young men. Hebrew. na’ar. Used of Isaac (twenty-eight years old); Joseph (thirty-nine); Rehoboam (forty).

  29. As for the hadiths,if you are familiar with David Wood and Nabeel Qureshi’s debates,they point out that a historian can’t accept miracle stories that were written down 200 years later,after Mohamed’s death.A historian uses the historical method and the farther in time from the original event the more likely it is an invention for propaganda reasons..That is why Mohamad’s miracles in the hadiths,including splitting the moon,do not conform to the following criteria of the historical method:early attestation,criterion of embarassment(on the contrary it is for promotion of Moh.’s image),criterion of coherence(the Quranic verses where Moh.says he won’t do a miracle).
    Then there is the produce a sura like it challenge.That the Quran is a literary miracle,it is from Allah,and at the same time Allah says you will never produce a sura like it,even with the help of others.The idea is expressed here:suras 10:37-39,11:12-14,2:23-24,17:88..But it is a circular argument,it states the conclusion along with the affirmation,it is like saying the Bible is true,and the Bible says such-and-such,so it is true because the Bible is true.A Muslim has to believe it no matter what.

  30. Hi Abbas
    I have heard so many times that Allah send prophets to all the different people and you make the comment of the people of the Amazon forest would go to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus.

    I thought Allah sent them a messenger with the truth so from what I see is according to Islam they don’t need Jesus because Allah should have provided a prophet for them and by the way who is that prophet?

    In regards to those who have never heard…

    Rom 2:11    For there is no respect of persons with God.
    Rom 2:12    For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
    Rom 2:13    (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
    Rom 2:14    For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
    Rom 2:15    Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

    As for babies and mentally disabled children i don’t think you understand what Christians really believe in the bible David’s son is dying and listen to what he says after the boy dies

    2Sa 12:22    And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
    2Sa 12:23    But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

    I shall go to him…how? Obviously when he dies. David believed his son was in heaven with God and when David dies he believes he will see him again.

    Your point about Abraham and Joseph going to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus, you got it wrong again.

    1. Those men look forward to the promises of God in faith

    2. Christians look back to the cross of Christ in faith

    The issue that you Muslims don’t understand is the righteousness that comes by faith

    • Who told you Abraham, Noah, Jacob, Aaron, Joseph, Moses etc. believes Jesus is God?

      They would have preached to their followers that God will come and die for their sins. All these noble prophets of God just like Muslims preached to their followers to worship only ONE God who is eternal, infinite, everlasting etc.

      These noble prophets never preached to their follower to worship a mixture of man and God.
      Man-God is not a God but hybrid God.

      There can only be 100% God. Anything persontage added to God will render God unGod.

      I repeat, Christians believe anyone who does not accept Jesus as his personal saviour will go to hell and I proved it can’t be true because the prophets never believed in that.

      Your response is looking backwards and looking forward, and that sounds ridiculous because you know it is something you can’t answer.

      My question was will babies who did not know Jesus to even accept him as their personal saviour go to hell after death? All of you could not answer-you explanations are incomprehensible.

      Where did Joseph or Moses said to his follower; followers wait the Almighty God will come down to earth and die for your sins?

      • Hi
        I said if Islam is true didnt Allah send prophets to these people so who were those prophets and what is the message they were given and how come they are not serving the true God?

        I didn’t say anything about the prophets old believing in Jesus I said in the promises you obviously didn’t read what I said

        Heb 11:8    By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
        Heb 11:9    By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
        Heb 11:10    For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
        Heb 11:11    Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
        Heb 11:12    Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
        Heb 11:13    These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
        Heb 11:14    For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
        Heb 11:15    And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
        Heb 11:16    But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
        Heb 11:17    By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
        Heb 11:18    Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
        Heb 11:19    Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

        What is this dealing with? This is a picture of Gd giving his only son which was seen as a type when Abraham was about to give up Isaac

        To answer your question we believe every baby is in heaven which is why I quoted the text about David’s son dying…I can go him but he can’t come back to me. This is talking of David meeting his son in heaven one day.

      • “This is a picture of Gd giving his only son which was seen as a type when Abraham was about to give up Isaac”

        did god have psycological problems when he gave up his son? did he need counciling? how can an all everything god who owns everything give up anything? was god putting importance on gods created flesh? what was the big deal of the creator of flesh to give up his created flesh? please explain

  31. My Dear defend christ.

    In Islam Allah has sent so many prophets-some of them was made known to us, and many was not made known to us. The essential part of God’s message to all his creations is to worship and believe in only ONE creator.

    That is what all the prophets taught to believe and worship ONE GOD (the prophets did not teach dead God, 3 in one, essence and hypostasis, waiting for God to come and die, one should accept Jesus as his personal savior to go to heaven, God reincarnate, etc. and all the later Christian exclusive believes you can think of).

    If you consider all people in the remotest areas of the world who did not hear about Jesus or Mohammed, you realize just like the civilized world, they have believe in ONE creator who controls everything-that is Islam and that is what all the prophets taught.

    They (remote people) might have gotten their messenger long time even before Jesus or Mohammed who sent them the same message. Because according to the Quran those messengers from God who he did not publicized are more than the ones he publicized.

    Again the essential message is God the creator is ONE and he alone is to be worshiped and no other. That is the Message all the prophets including Jesus taught.

    That is why the verse in the Quran is specifying that no one will be punished unjustly until God has sent his message to deliver the message.

    In Islam Allah(God) is all knowing and knows when and how he sent the message and the messenger to these remotest people.

    The important thing to remember is that if you go to the Amazon forest you will find some of them who believe there is one creator and they are worshiping him and that is Islam not Christianity.

    • You did not answer my questions with regards to the Christian God unjustly throwing babies who died by not accepting Jesus Christ as their personal saviour.

      You did not answer my questions on all prophets of God will certainly go to heaven but they of course did not believe and accept Jesus as their personal saviour.

      Like all the prophets we Muslims will go to heaven by worshipping only ONE God but not accepting Jesus Christ as our personal saviour.

      Actually your answers to my questions by quoting some unintelligible passages in the bible makes things worse because only you can understand what those verses are saying.

      • If you believe babies will go to heaven after dying then, you did not believe Jesus died for the sins of mankind. You believe all mankind are born with sin and it is the only the blood of Jesus that can save them, but now you dialing back and accepting the blood of Jesus cannot save babies because they did not accept him as their personal savior.

        Blood of Jesus cannot save prophet Aaron because he did not accept Jesus as his personal saviour.

        After mankind(babies and prophets) can go to heaven without Jesus, defendchrist, you now accept.

        If other mankind can go to heaven without Jesus, I do not see the reason why as mankind believing in one God can’t go to heaven without Jesus.

        Why should God discriminate me from the other mankind who will go to heaven without Jesus?

  32. You have as much proof for your moon split fairy tale as Matthew does for the appearances, namely none. It is just a matter of revelation. Your test of whether or not it was reported means nothing.

    • “You have as much proof for your moon split fairy tale as Matthew does for the appearances, namely none. ”

      Actually no. The moon-splitting is recorded in multiple attestations. The saints resurrection fairy tale is reported by Matthew and NOT A SINGLE OTHER AUTHOR OF THE 27 BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. This of course, is apart from the fact that there are no non-Christian authorities that report the event.

      Check mate.

  33. a christian bum wrote:
    There were no zombies in Matthew. Matthew does not say that they visited anyone.
    They would have appeared as normal people. Probably no one living knew them as they had probably died long before. We are not told how long they stayed around. It was probably only a short time

    mz: wtf was the point for an unknown bum like matthew to inform his readers about a people who popped out of thier graves while your god was hanging dead on a stick? what was the point? matthew provides you christians with a few lines and you belive it? did matthew have on his mind your stupid dumb ass “probably” no he didn’t he spewed unverified bs because he knew that his bs would have BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO check LOL

  34. Matthew 27:51-53 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

    READING 2

    Matthew 27:51-53 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves , and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

    with the omission we clearly see that the dead saints beat jebus . jebus was hanging DEAD on a cross while the saints were making there EXIT

    matthew didn’t have alzons probably scenarios in mind, the unknown BUM was firing MIRACULOUS claims because he wanted to tell his readers why nailing a dead and defeated “messiah” was a bad thing.

    alzon, john completely omits this miracle and according to you bums, john was there at the scene taking notes lol

  35. i see the big guns are coming out to play 🙂

    I’ll have to buy me a telescope and take a closer look at the moon. There must be some scars there on the surface where Allah put it back together again like humpty dumpty.

    alzon, john completely omits this miracle and according to you bums, john was there at the scene taking notes lol

    so what, big deal.

    • for bums like alzon

      quote:
      I showed above that these “factors” are really quibbles that explain nothing. If just one saint was raised at that time, why wouldn’t this have been significant enough to warrant mentioning in a gospel allegedly written by an eyewitness to the events of that day? Where were they raised? Well, the implication is certainly that they were resurrected in the general area where the crucifixion took place, because “Matthew” said that these “many saints” went “into the holy city and appeared to many,” so if they went into the city, they were resurrected somewhere outside the city. The crucifixion of Jesus took place outside the city. The “fact” of this was clearly implied in the synoptic gospels, but “John,” who didn’t bother to mention the midday darkness, the earthquake, or the resurrection of the saints, somehow found enough space on his scroll to say that “the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city” (19:20). If this place was “near” the city, it wasn’t inside the city, and the writer of Hebrews clearly said that Jesus “suffered outside the city gate.”

      Hebrew 13:11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood.

      From all this, one can reasonably conclude that “Matthew” meant for his readers to understand that the resurrection of these “saints” happened somewhere outside the city, presumably close enough to the crucifixion site for spectators to witness the miracles that made the Roman soldiers declare that this man [Jesus] was surely the son of God. Why would God have wasted a miracle as extraordinary as the resurrection of “many saints” in a place located on another side of the city where those who might see it wouldn’t recognize its significance?

      At any rate, the where and when they were raised are irrelevant, because if “many”–or ten–were raised and if these “many”–or ten–went into the city where they were seen by “many”–or ten–this would have created a furor that would surely have attracted enough attention to bring more than just one brief mention in one of the gospels. Is Turkel really so ignorant that he actually believes that if ten people known to have been dead should suddenly appear to ten people, they wouldn’t have excitedly told others, “I saw Joe and Bill and Mary and Jane walking about alive in the city”? Turkel’s mission, should he accept it, is to explain why “John” who was present at that place and time would have omitted such events as this from his account of what happened that day so that he would have enough space on his scroll to report such trivial things as the location of the crucifixion site somewhere “near the city.” And he should keep in mind that yelling, “Till is upset because God didn’t kiss is patoot,” is still an unsatisfactory explanation for this inconceivable silence.

      As for what form the “saints” were in, I showed above that Matthew’s text clearly said that the bodies of many of the saints were raised, so their “form” would have been… well, their bodies, just as the New Testament seemed clear in communicating that the body of Jesus and not his spirit was resurrected (Luke 24:39).

  36. for alzon

    “so let Turkel give us a logical reason why “God” would have caused this extraordinary event if it wasn’t done to let the people present that day know that he had caused it. In other words, as I noted above, why would “God” have caused this event except for the purpose of demonstrating to the people present what the Roman soldiers allegedly came to realize, i. e., this man [Jesus] was the son of God. Why, then, would God have intervened to cause a puny little earthquake that most people present were not even aware of and why would he have resurrected “many”–or just ten–saints if he was going to keep the event so unobtrusive that for all intents and purposes it amounted to a nonevent?

    This is the kind of silliness that would-be apologists like Turkel have to resort to in trying to defend their untenable belief in biblical inerrancy.”

  37. http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/ava368013.shtml

    There is a new movement of holocaust denialists, and the prime architects of this movement are biblical scholars. I am speaking not of the Jewish Holocaust under the Nazi regime, but of the Canaanite holocaust reported in biblical texts.

    These Canaanite holocaust denialists argue that the Canaanite holocaust did not really happen. And if it did happen, then it was justified and not analogous to the Nazi holocaust.

    Quote:
    Now the Bible is as clear as can be. Canaanites, Amalekites and others, being unacceptable because of their wanton behaviour, were exterminated
    christians claim that they are not in the old covenant so what ever behaviour they have, the old cov will not be applied unto thier skins. yhwh did not REVEAL any thing to the canaanites and amalekites, not one messenger from yhwh was SENT to these people . the israelites shook hands with yhwh to do the old cov, not the canaanites and amalekites. yhwh is israeli worshipper and worshipper of land.
    the ot says the canaanites + amalekites did not have “wanton behaviour” in the days of abraham, but land obessed yhwh did not SEND them any messengers even @ this time.

    read the ot. the only reason yhwh wants to take out non-jews is because

    1. jews would leave him for pagan gods
    2.revenge for what the forefathers of the amalekites did to the israelites on there way out from egypt.

    Quote:
    Exodus 23:27-32 says that G-d was driving them out of the land and not that the main goal was to kill them all off.
    if i were to use violence to drive out israelies from israel would that be considered genocide?
    is the destruction of peoples culture and forcing them out of their land destruction of a people? what happened if the canaanite got into the way of the israelite? why did yhwh say to the israelites “show them no mercy.”

    deuteronomy 7:22 Yhwh your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able
    to make a quick end of them, otherwise the wild animals would become too numerous for you.

    But Yahweh your God will give them over to you, and throw them into great panic, until they are de-
    stroyed. He will hand their kings over to you and you shall blot out their name from under heaven;
    no one will be able to stand against you, until you have destroyed them.

    Moreover, Yahweh your God will send the pesti-lence against them, until even the survivors and the
    fugitives are destroyed. Have no dread of them, for Yahweh your God, who is present with you, is a
    great and awesome God.

    the main goal was to kill them all off

    Exodus 23:27-32 says that G-d was driving them out of the land and not that the main goal was to kill them all off.

    Kenneth Greifer
    Even if we assume that the objective wasn’t to exterminate every single part of that groups from the face of the earth or to kill all of those who were living there, but “merely” the ethnic cleansing of the “holy land”, why does that matter? It’s still genocide.

    To continue with the Nazi-analogy: Let’s imagine that the Nazis had won the war against the Soviet union and had conquered all the European part of the USSR (the line from Archangelsk to Astrakhan). The plans called for the almost total extermination of the native population there (and I don’t think the Nazis would mind they just fled to Siberia to starve). Their main goal wasn’t to kill every single ethnic Russian on the planet. Again: Why does that matter? It would still be genocide.

    Kenneth, are you an apologist for genocide?

    Of course, the story is fictional and implausible, whether one judges by archaeological and historical evidence or simply by the literary evidence in the texts themselves.

    But within the context of the story, there are countless ways it could have otherwise been written. Any competent writer could have come up with a way for settling a nomadic people in a region the size of Palestine that didn’t require genocide right down to the killing of helpless children and the kidnapping of virgin girls as sex slaves.

    What we have at work in the text is a ruthless and repugnant theological doctrine of cultural and ethnic purity that is obsessed not with morality but with real estate.

    To add insult to injury, Yahweh’s plan to keep the Israelites religiously and ethnically pure by ethnic cleansing of the land is a complete failure. The Israelites spend the next few centuries marrying foreigners and worshipping foreign gods. Did Yahweh not see this coming? Could he not have devised a plan that would have actually worked, and preferably one that didn’t require the Israelites to commit mass murder as a national pastime?

    As enlightened exegetes of the text, we can acknowledge that none of this actually happened and let God off the hook (if one is so inclined), but we cannot ignore the intentions of the writers either. The writers (some of them, at least; other OT writers were just as critical as we are) imagined a Canaanite Holocaust as a glorious event they wished had really happened, and one they hoped (one can only presume) would happen again in the future.

    Could he not have devised a plan that would have actually worked, and preferably one that didn’t require the Israelites to commit mass murder as a national pastime?
    this diety is not making much sense.

    in gen 15:16 canaanites were not morally corrupt.god waited till they became morally corrupt and their sins hit sky high

    according to the apologists, in moses’ time canaanite sins hit sky high and god wants to wipe them off the map. god wants to wipe off their children also.

    if children were wiped off because THEY DID NOT SIN, then why didn’t god give the command to wife them off in gen 15:16?

    god tells the jews to to stop worshipping idols over night
    god tells them to stop doing detestable practices over night
    but god was unable to tell them to stop killing children in combat

    1 Samuel 30:1 Then it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire; 2 and they took captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great, without killing anyone, and carried them off and went their way. 3 When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive.

    if the amalekites could have thought of sparring the children, then why couldn’t the hebrew god who had told the hebrews to be DIFFERENT from the people around them?

    The Israelites spend the next few centuries marrying foreigners and worshipping foreign gods. Did Yahweh not see this coming?

    in the book of kings the israelites did more sins than the nations yahweh had destroyed before the israelites, but yhwh did not wipe off the israelites because the worshipped becomes the worshipper of “chosen” people

  38. Thom Stark:

    The hyperbolic reading of the Joshua genocides (the first of the aforementioned strategies) is wholly untenable for a number of reasons, as I have pointed out in the past. For instance, in Judges 20-21, there is a story in which the allied tribes of Israel launch an attack against the Benjamites, another Israelite tribe, because some men from the tribe of Benjamin refused to turn over a handful of criminals to meet justice for their rape and murder of the concubine of a Levite man who was passing through their territory. The response of the allied Israelite tribes, as instructed and affirmed by Yahweh, was to utterly wipe out the tribe of Benjamin for the crimes of a few men. They attacked the Benjamite soldiers, a small number of whom escaped from the battle. The Israelites then proceeded to massacre every last woman and child in the land of Benjamin.

    The problem for the hyperbolic reading of such slaughters comes with the second half of the story. The Israelites decided to show mercy on the tribe of Benjamin, not desiring to blot them out forever. The problem they face, however, is that there are only a few hundred remaining men (the soldiers who escaped), who no longer have wives and children. Why? Because the slaughters were not exaggerated. The Benjamite women and children were literally annihilated, completely. So to solve their little problem, the Israelites decide to attack a neighboring town; they slaughter all of the men, women, and children, with the exception of a few hundred virgin girls who are captured and forced to become wives to the surviving Benjamite soldiers. This is just one example of several to show that a hyperbolic reading is wholly untenable.

    This theme is spelled out in the stories of Rahab and Achan. Rahab has three things going against her: she is a Canaanite, she is a prostitute, and she is a woman. But because of her faith and loyalty to Yahweh (she betrays her own people by helping the Israelite spies to escape, and by not warning the people of Jericho about its impending doom), she and her family are integrated into Israel. An outsider comes in. On the other hand, Achan, who is a pure-blooded Israelite, disobeys Yahweh’s orders and takes some spoil from the destruction site of Jericho. Everything in Jericho was to be devoted to destruction, and was therefore off limits. But Achan coveted, and as a result, he and his whole family (not to mention his animals) were executed by the community on orders coming straight from the top. An insider goes out.

    The claims of hyperbolists like Flannagan and Copan are undermined by Earl’s reading of Joshua in another way. They often attempt to use contradictions in the text in their favor. For instance, populations that were said to have been utterly destroyed in Joshua 10-12 are still alive and mounting resistance in the latter half of Joshua, as well as in the book of Judges. The hyperbolists say that, since the author wasn’t stupid, the contradictions indicate that the language of total destruction is not to be taken literally. If it says in one part of the book that an entire population was killed, but that population is still alive later on, then it is clear that the earlier statement was hyperbolic in nature, not to be taken literally. The earlier claims were exaggerated, but the more realistic statements later on are cues to read the earlier claims as hyperbolic.

    But Earl argues that the book of Joshua is composite in nature. The first half of the book, chapters 1-12, was written by the Deuteronomistic historian,1 but chapters 13-22 were written by the Priestly writer.2 Chapter 23 returns again to the concerns of the Deuteronomistic historian, and according to Earl, chapter 24 (the final chapter) represents a more generic summary. *

    Once again, hyperbolists will not find a helpful resource in Earl. If Earl is correct that Joshua is two-part composite, that sufficiently explains the contradictions between the summaries of military victories. The latter half of Joshua does not contradict the former in order to provide a cue to read the earlier statements as hyperbolic; they are contradictory because they represent two different sources with two different agendas.

    To this latter question, Earl answers, “no.” He argues, and will argue more thoroughly in a forthcoming book, that there is no evidence that the Book of Joshua was used to justify the Crusades, or the Conquest of the Americas, and so on. I will have to read this book. Essentially what his argument amounts to is that Joshua seems never to have been explicitly cited or quoted in these campaigns, but this is only a half-truth. It was most certainly alluded to. It is heavily documented that the Christian settlers in North America saw themselves as a New Israel, saw the Natives as the Canaanites, and America as the New Promised Land. Nevertheless, regardless of the proper answer to this latter question, the former question remains. Even if it wasn’t used to justify later conquests, genocides, and holy wars, that doesn’t resolve the problem of the narrative itself being thoroughly morally problematic—as even Evangelical scholar Christopher J. H. Wright insists in his response chapter at the end of the book (142).

    To this latter question, Earl answers, “no.” He argues, and will argue more thoroughly in a forthcoming book, that there is no evidence that the Book of Joshua was used to justify the Crusades, or the Conquest of the Americas, and so on. I will have to read this book. Essentially what his argument amounts to is that Joshua seems never to have been explicitly cited or quoted in these campaigns, but this is only a half-truth. It was most certainly alluded to. It is heavily documented that the Christian settlers in North America saw themselves as a New Israel, saw the Natives as the Canaanites, and America as the New Promised Land. Nevertheless, regardless of the proper answer to this latter question, the former question remains. Even if it wasn’t used to justify later conquests, genocides, and holy wars, that doesn’t resolve the problem of the narrative itself being thoroughly morally problematic—as even Evangelical scholar Christopher J. H. Wright insists in his response chapter at the end of the book (142).

    Note also that the town they destroyed was renamed “Hormah” which is derivative of the herem root, and means “destruction.” So herem used in this sense is certainly not unique to the Deuteronomistic historian, and this undermines his contention that it only functions in a symbolic way

    Earl’s contention that herem is only ever used in reference to the distant past or the distant future is also fallacious, since it is used in 1 Samuel 15 when Saul is given instructions to apply herem to the Amalekites. Moreover, as noted, this kind of warfare was common, whether it went by the descriptive term herem or not. For instance, David practiced herem style warfare, as seen in 1 Sam 27:9, although the term was not used in that instance.

    We’re seeing more and more of Earl the Apologist here. He doesn’t actually display Deuteronomy 7:1-5. If he did, it would undermine his claim quite patently:

    When Yahweh your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you—the Hittites, the Girga****es, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations mightier and more numerous than you—and when Yahweh your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you must utterly destroy [herem] them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for that would turn away your children from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of Yahweh would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But this is how you must deal with them: break down their altars, smash their pillars, hew down their sacred poles, and burn their idols with fire.

    According to Earl, the prohibition of making covenants with the people of the land is an indication that the prescription to kill them all should not be taken literally. After all, if they’re all dead, how could they make a covenant with them! This argument is bordering on ridiculous, to be frank. Note that right after the text says, “make no covenant with them” it says, “show them no mercy.” To make a covenant with them would be to show them mercy. The opposite of showing them mercy is to kill them. What the text is doing is holding up herem and covenant-making as alternatives. If they didn’t kill everybody, then they would have made a covenant of peace with them. They are not to do this; rather, they are to kill everybody.

    Earl never mentions Deuteronomy 20. There a distinction is made between the people of the land of Canaan and those outside the borders allotted to Israel by Yahweh. Those inside the borders are to be utterly destroyed and no covenant is to be made with them. Conversely, Israel is permitted to make covenants of peace with the people outside the allotted borders. Earl keeps stretching to make a case for a figurative understanding of herem, and he keeps failing.

    (On a side note with regard to the prohibition of peace treaties with the Canaanites in Deuteronomy 7, it is noteworthy that Josh 11:18 seems to indicate that peace treaties were in fact offered to the Canaanites, even if only to make the point that the Canaanites refused to make any peace treaties because, as verse 20 states, Yahweh hardened their hearts to prevent them from doing so, so that Yahweh could accomplish his purpose of giving the land to Israel.)7

    For Earl this is significant because it underlines his theme that Joshua is not about warfare; rather, it is about what it means to have right relationship with Yahweh through observance of the law. But in fact the majority of critical scholars see the reference to Torah observance in this passage to be a later interpolation. Let’s look at the text:

    Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go.

    Most critical scholars who deal with this text believe that the portion in italics above is a later addition to the text, because it does not fit the broader context of the passage, which is certainly a commission to warfare. The military terminology used throughout (which Earl notes) makes this clear. For a full argument in this regard, and for the relevant scholarship, see Lori L. Rowlett, Joshua and the Rhetoric of Violence, 137-141. Joshua could hardly meditate on the law day and night if he is to be spending the days and nights ahead in battle! The exhortation to Torah observance is very foreign to the context. Earl does not note the scholarly discussion here.

    CANAANITES CONTAMINATED

    As a result of Achan’s sin, Israel lost their next battle because Yahweh’s anger was “burning against Israel” on account of Achan. In other words, Achan contaminated the camp when he brought the spoil from Jericho into it; the spoil was supposed to be devoted to destruction and when it came into contact with the camp, it brought Yahweh’s wrath against all of Israel. The camp was infected with the forbidden spoil.

    Earl contends that the herem was not a contagion, but simply that Achan’s sin was disobedience to the covenant. “Achan thus symbolizes the non-Israelite as one who disregards Yahweh” (75). But Earl’s reading is belied by the text itself. Achan was not just punished for his disobedience. Let’s look at what the text really says. After Achan was found out and he confessed his sin, he told Joshua that the herem objects were hidden under his tent.

    So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and there it was, hidden in his tent with the silver underneath. They took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites; and they spread them out before Yahweh. Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, with the silver, the mantle, and the bar of gold, with his sons and daughters, with his oxen, donkeys, and sheep, and his tent and all that he had; and they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? Yahweh is bringing trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him to death; they burned them with fire, cast stones on them, and raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then Yahweh turned from his burning anger. Therefore that place to this day is called the Valley of Achor. (Josh 7:22-26)

    The nature of the reaction of Joshua and the rest of the camp makes it clear that the herem objects are seen as a contagion. Everything they touch becomes herem as well. “Why did you bring trouble on us?” Achan’s name, as Earl rightly notes, is a play on the word achar, which means “trouble.” So too with the Valley of Achor—trouble. Not just Achan, the troublemaker, but his entire family, his livestock, his tent, and all of his material possessions are stoned, destroyed by fire, and then covered up with a pile of stones for good measure. This is because they were contaminated by their proximity to the herem objects. Again, Earl attempts to evade the obvious in order to make his case that Joshua is essentially about covenant loyalty. For Earl, Achan’s sin is not bringing the contagion into the camp, but his disobedience to the covenant. Earl claims that “it is disobedience to Yahweh that is the contagion, and not herem” (76). But Earl makes it an either/or when it is not.

    Yes, Achan’s sin was disobedience, but, significantly, the herem objects were also contagions. Achan, his family, his livestock, and all his material possessions had to be destroyed, not because Achan was disobedient to the covenant generally speaking, but because his disobedience entailed exposure to the contagion. Otherwise, there would be no need to burn his tent and his daughter’s underwear and bury the ashes thereof under a pile of rubble. The herem objects were a contagion because they were Canaanite wares. By bringing it into his tent, Achan had made himself and his family a Canaanite family, and by bringing into the camp, he had threatened to make Israel as the Canaanites to Yahweh. There is certainly symbolism here, but there is also a great deal of standard ancient superstition. After all, Deuteronomy 7 and 20 did warn them that the Canaanites were contaminated

    Earl then contends that Achan’s family is only killed in order “to make the contrast complete”—that is, the contrast between Achan and Rahab (76). Rahab’s family is spared along with her, and Achan’s family is killed along with him. But this is tenuous. We have already noted that it was not only Achan and his family who were killed, but also his animals; additionally, all of his material possessions were destroyed. They were killed and destroyed because the herem objects were a contagion, not in order to make the contrast complete. Moreover, Rahab’s family was spared not for any symbolic reason, but because Rahab asked the spies to swear on oath that she and her family would be spared when Israel returned to destroy Jericho. It would be the natural thing for her to insist upon. She may have been a traitor to her own people, but she wasn’t so bad as to allow her own kin to perish, too.

    In chapter 8, Israel, now free of contamination, fights another battle and wins. Earl notes that in this next battle, Israel is permitted to take spoils, although the humans are still to be utterly destroyed.

    ISRAELITES AGRESSORS

    Earl writes that in these “most developed ‘battle accounts’ in Joshua, the conquest proceeds as a defensive reaction against military aggression” (80). That is certainly the way the text portrays the events, but Earl offers no critique of this perspective. I have done so in my book.8 Claims of “defensive wars” in the text reek of apologetic justification. Israel is the aggressor here. They are commissioned to take the entire land of Canaan from all of its inhabitants, and they were ordered to do so whether the Canaanite kings fought back or not. If we’re to take these accounts at face value, the Canaanite kings are only responding to Israelite aggression. Israel’s first battles are surprise attacks, and they were moving throughout the land attacking one city after another. It would only be appropriate for the other Canaanite cities to be worried and to mount counter-attacks in response. Earl wants the aggression of the Canaanite kings to count as evidence that Joshua is not about genocide, but while it may be true that Joshua is not “about” genocide, that certainly isn’t because some of the battles are (deceptively) portrayed as defensive

    Israel was ordered to annihilate them long before they got aggressive, long before they were even aware of Israel’s existence

    And as noted, although Josh 11:18 seems to imply that peace treaties were offered to these kings, Yahweh prevented them from making peace, by hardening the kings’ hearts, in order to give the land to Israel

    Josh 23:5. To say that Yahweh will drive them out is not to say that no warfare is in view. Rather, it is the standard language of divine warfare in the ancient Near East. Yahweh does the fighting for Israel. Throughout the book of Joshua, this is in fact the way that the battles are frequently portrayed

    Genocide is always justified by reference to cleansing the land of the negative influence, and is championed in the name of faithfulness to this or that ideology. Joshua is no different in this respect from the Nazi propaganda materials that avoided portrayals of the violence and focused instead on anecdotes and stories of heroic individuals who were symbols of what it meant to be a “true German.”

    1 Sam 27:9, where David and his men are killing women and children in skirmishes, with Yahweh’s support

    Rowlett shows how much of the language and descriptions of violence in the Book of Joshua is taken from notorious Assyrian warfare practices, practices with which the average Israelite was very familiar. For instance, in Joshua 10, Joshua executes five Canaanite kings and hangs their corpses from trees on public display. This was an Assyrian practice that was used to incite terror in their enemies. Thus, the Book of Joshua uses the most terrifying images of violence available in order to terrify the Judean populace into obedience. As the ideal leader after the model of Joshua, Josiah was to be seen as a ruthless and merciless enemy to those who commit infractions against the new law. But in that way, Josiah is to be seen as the ideal king who does the will of Yahweh completely. Thus it is said of Joshua:

    As Yahweh had commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did; he left nothing undone of all that Yahweh had commanded Moses. (Josh 11:15)

    Before him there was no king like him, who turned to Yahweh with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him. (2 Kgs 23:25)

    the Israelites say to Joshua at the opening of the book, “Whoever rebels against your orders and disobeys your words, whatever you command, shall be put to death” (Josh 1:18).

    Here is a warning to the populace in Josiah’s day: if you rebel against Josiah’s new law, you will be executed. In short, the violence and the herem in the Book of Joshua are not incidental to the story. They are there to incite terror in the hearts of the seventh century Judean populace

    *

    No serious biblical scholar would identify Joshua as the author of the
    book of Joshua, not even Evangelical scholar Lawson Younger,
    whom the apologists frequently use in their favor. Younger, unlike
    Copan (it seems), is aware that the book of Joshua had multiple
    authors and was composed over a matter of centuries. Moreover,
    Israelites didn’t even have writing in Joshua’s day! Writing didn’t
    develop in Israel until the eleventh century BCE at the earliest,
    about two hundred years after the period of the purported con-
    quest of Canaan.

    As noted, the book of Joshua is composite.

    It contains different sources, composed by different authors and
    shaped by different editors, over a matter of centuries. And the
    same goes for the book of Judges. Source and redaction critics


    would not take Copan’s argument seriously, not for a second, be-
    cause they understand that ancient redactors did not abide by
    modern standards of narrative consistency. Apologists will often
    make the uninformed claim that if a redactor put two contradicto-
    ry sources together, either the redactor was really stupid, or the
    redactor wasn’t affirming both sources in a literal sense. But this
    is an utterly false dichotomy.

    This calls for an extended digression on source and redaction
    criticism:

    What source critics understand is that (1) ancient redactors
    weren’t as bothered by these sorts of contradictions as we
    moderns are, and (2) for the most part their M.O. was to faithfully
    preserve their source material, allowing contradictions to stand.
    (They hadn’t heard about the doctrine of inerrancy yet.) So a few
    tiqqune sopherim (pious scribal alterations of the text) notwith-
    standing, scribes were interested in preserving their source mate-
    rial intact.

    Redactors compiled source materials not as a modern would,
    in order to weave a seamless, consistent narrative, but rather to
    bring together various traditions into one body. Their reasons for
    doing this were often political. As one people with one set of tra-
    ditions came together with another people with another set of
    traditions, redactors would combine the traditions so that the
    new unity of the two peoples is reflected in the new unity of their
    various traditions. This political motivation is seen especially in
    the combination of traditions from the Yahwist and the Elohist,
    reflecting the period after the fall of the Northern Kingdom when
    many Israelites migrated south to live among their Judean kins-
    men.

    This is abundantly clear all over the Hebrew Bible, perhaps
    nowhere more so than in the flood narrative. The flood narrative
    preserves two separate accounts of the flood, spliced together in a
    loose chronological order, each of which reflects a very different
    account of the flood. They are contradictory, but they stand to-
    gether in one composite narrative, contradictions intact.

    Now look at the two flood traditions from the Yahwist and the
    Priestly Writer. Take a few minutes to read the composite, final
    form of the flood narrative first (download here), and then take a
    few additional minutes to read the two sources as source critics
    have teased them out, side-by-side (download here). Come back
    when you’re done.

    Now, as is clear from the reading, both sources present virtu-
    ally complete flood accounts in their own right, but with numer-
    ous contradictions from one to the other. If the redactor of these
    two traditions thought the texts weren’t contradictory, then he
    really must have been stupid! But source critics don’t think the
    redactor was stupid. The redactor’s purpose was not to combine
    the sources into a coherent, internally consistent narrative, but
    rather to combine the narratives in a way that allows them to
    maintain their distinctiveness while at the same time uniting
    them. Redactors cared about their source material, not because
    they thought it was “inerrant,” but because the source material
    reflected the traditions of the peoples. When the post-exilic redac-
    tor compiled these two flood narratives, he was doing so on be-
    half of two traditions both of which continued to be represented
    by the inhabitants of a post-exilic Judea.

    Whenever we read the Hebrew Bible, we must remember that the literature was entirely
    within the domain of the elites. Only a small minority of the popu-
    lation was literate, and those were the elites. The vast majority of
    the population could neither read nor write, so apart from their
    oral traditions, folk and campfire tales (think Deborah; think Lot’s
    daughters seducing him and giving birth to two of Israel’s biggest
    enemies—the Moabites and the Ammonites), the population de-
    pended upon the elite to read to them from the official literature,
    and the elite were able to choose what was read, when it was
    read, how it was read, and what wasn’t read. Just because we have
    it in the fourteen different Bibles on our bookshelf in the living
    room doesn’t mean that was the case for the average Israelite and
    Judean. Writing was the domain of the elites, and it is easy for us
    to forget that and just assume that the average Israelite had it all
    laid out right in front of her at her ready disposal. So that’s anoth-
    er reason why contradictions weren’t such a big deal to redactors.

    There are clear contradictions all over the Hebrew Bible, but
    that in itself isn’t a big deal, except for inerrantists who anachro-
    nistically project their own standards of truth back onto an an-
    cient Near Eastern context (emphasis on the eastern, as opposed
    to the western).

    But there’s another really problematic point to be made here
    about this assumption. As noted, the Hebrews didn’t have writing
    until about two hundred years after the time of Joshua, at the ear-
    liest. And think about it. Copan claims that Joshua 9-12 is written
    using standard literary devices from ancient Near Eastern war-
    fare literature (172). Sure, but here’s the real question: how on
    earth would Joshua, who was only a young man in the wilderness
    period (Num 11:28), and who was most assuredly illiterate, have
    access to or any knowledge of ancient Near Eastern warfare litera-
    ture? This is absurd. So to posit Joshua as the author, and then to
    claim that he was just using the language of a standard literary
    genre, is just incredibly naïve.62

    62 On the origin of writing and the nature of literacy in ancient Israel, see the
    seminal monograph by my former professor, Christopher A. Rollston, Writing and
    Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel: Epigraphic Evidence from the Iron Age (Socie-
    ty of Biblical Literature, 2010).

    Second, Copan keeps insisting that “Joshua” wasn’t being de-
    ceptive when “he” painted a portrait of total annihilation. How
    does Copan know this? How does Copan pretend to know that the
    author of this portion of Joshua didn’t intend for the rhetoric to be
    believed? The only thing Copan can do here is conflate the two
    sources in Joshua and claim that the contradictions should direct
    us to read the picture of total annihilation as hyperbole. But Co-
    pan can’t know that the author wasn’t being deceptive, or that the
    author wasn’t intentionally painting a portrait of total annihila-
    tion to serve an ideological agenda. And here Copan’s scholarly
    source, Lawson Younger, is very instructive. Younger rightly iden-
    tifies the motivation for such a portrait:

    The historical narrative in which Joshua 9-12 is
    cast utilizes a common transmission code observa-
    ble in numerous ancient Near Eastern conquest ac-
    counts, employing the same ideology. [T]he ideolo-
    gy which lies behind the text of Joshua is one like
    that underlying other ancient Near Eastern con-
    quest accounts—namely, imperialistic.63

    63 K. Lawson Younger, Ancient Conquest Accounts, 255.

    64 Ibid., 234.

    65 Ibid., 235.

    Younger writes that under this imperialistic ideology, “victory
    must be described in black and white terms since there is only a
    ‘them’ vs. ‘us’ relationship.”64 Regarding the ideology underlying
    the ancient Near Eastern warfare texts, Younger says that it is
    about the “‘establishment’ of the particular culture, i.e., in the elite
    power structures of the culture,” and he concludes that this is
    what’s going on in Joshua 9-12 as well.65

    Copan wants to read the exaggerated rhetoric as innocuous,
    just a way of talking that didn’t have any particular agenda behind
    it, like saying, “Man, the stadium was full!” when in reality there
    were still two hundred scattered empty seats in the stadium. But
    this ignores the class and political dynamics of this kind of dis-
    course. Remember that in the ancient world, it was the elite ruling
    classes who controlled the literature, and it was only they who
    had reading and writing capabilities. Exaggerated warfare rheto-
    ric needs to be understood as an expression of imperial power,
    and it emphatically cannot be taken for granted that the populace
    understood this rhetoric to be hyperbolic. It was propaganda!
    When a king had his servants record his battles, they were
    trumped up precisely to inspire fear and obedience in his subjects
    and in his enemies. And sometimes, kings even had outright lies
    recorded as history, in order to save face. (Copan denies that such
    exaggeration constitutes “falsehoods,” at least in Joshua. But I’d
    like to know Copan’s definition of a “falsehood.” If the exaggera-
    tion were that Joshua killed 20,000 noncombatants, when in fact
    he only killed 19,768, fine. That’s not a falsehood. But if the exag-
    geration involves claiming that he killed every last Canaanite in
    the land, when in fact the Canaanites continued to live in the land
    for hundreds of years and were still strong enough to keep on en-
    gaging Israel in battle, then that constitutes a falsehood.) Thus,
    when Copan says that the average ancient Near Eastern “reader”
    was clued in to this sort of thing, and that they would have easily
    identified this sort of language as hyperbolic, and concluded that
    the accounts weren’t mean to be literally true (171), he’s only
    displaying his naïveté about these class dynamics. The popula-
    tion, first of all, weren’t “readers”—they were hearers. The texts
    were read to them by the elite, and the texts were designed to
    glorify the king, and to inspire fear and obedience within the
    king’s subjects and his enemies. And this is the case with the
    rhetoric in Joshua 1-12.

    Their presense is there because the izrael’s could not do what was commanded

    I have already pointed out that Canaanites were still in the land as late as the reign of Solomon. Their presence means only that the Israelites didn’t do what Yahweh had presumably commanded. That command, as we have noted numerous times now, was to destroy totally the Canaanites (Deut. 7:2) and to leave none of them alive to breathe (Deut. 20:16; Josh. 10:40; Josh. 11:12-15), so the presence of Canaanites in the land years after the alleged conquest could mean only that the Israelites did not do as Yahweh had commanded them, but it would in no way prove that Yahweh really didn’t want the Israelites to destroy totally the Canaanite nations. I have a simple question for Mr. Miller, which I really don’t expect him to answer: If Yahweh didn’t want the Israelites to kill the Canaanites, why did he command them to destroy them TOTALLY, as the passages that I cited immediately above plainly show that he did?

    he had selected the Israelites to be his “chosen people” (Deut. 7:6) above “all the peoples on the face of the earth.” With that assumption, we can determine that if he commanded the Israelites to destroy totally the Canaanites and to leave none of them alive to breathe, as passages that we have repeatedly quoted plainly say (Deut. 7:1-2; 20:16-17; Josh. 10:40; 11:10-12,14-15), then he would have been displeased with the Israelite failure to carry out the command. We can conclude this by Yahweh’s reaction when king Saul disobeyed his command to destroy totally the Amalekites and to spare none of them, including children and infants and livestock (1 Sam. 15:1-3). When Saul kept just one Amalekite alive, i. e., their king, and the best of their livestock, Yahweh threw a tantrum, sent the prophet Samuel to reprimand Saul and to hack king Agag to pieces (1 Sam. 15:10-33). If Yahweh was this angry about the Israelite failure to destroy totally the Amalekites, as he had commanded them, why should we not think that he was also angry at the Israelite failure to destroy totally the Canaanites? Mr. Miller evidently wants to see the lingering presence of Canaanites in the land as an indication that Yahweh had been merciful toward them, but I assume everyone noticed that he neither cited nor quoted any scripture that so claimed. I, however, have quoted or cited where Yahweh ordered the Israelites to show no mercy to the Canaanites (Deut. 7:2,16). As Mr. Miller pursues his attempt to make Yahweh Mr. Nice Guy, notice that he consistently fails to support this claim with biblical citations.

  39. Mansubzero said the evidence shows the book of Joshua would be from 200 years after his time,putting the writing of Joshua at 1100 BC,since the Israelites had no writing before then..I don’t see how considering that most of what was written since Antiquity has been that that’s definite proof.Really.COnsider this:

    The Quran says a/the book (kitab) given to Moses (2:53,87; 6:91,154; 11:17,110; 17:2; 19:51; 23:49).It also says books of Moses/suhufi Musa(53:36; 87:19)..In sura 28:7-9 it says Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s wife,so he would have been taught to read and write.

    Well,well.It doesn’t call it the Torah,never in the Quran does it says Moses was given the Torah,but it is assumed.Then in sura 61:6 it says the Torah in Jesus’ time was approved by Allah:

    “And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming the Torah which is between my hands (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayya min al-tawrati), and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is the Praised One. Yet when he hath come unto them with clear proofs, they say: This is mere magic. “

  40. COntuining,in sura 3:48-50,refering to Jesus,it says:
    “And he will teach him the Book, the Wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel, to be an apostle to the Children of Israel, “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by Allah’s leave. I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by Allah’s leave. I will inform you of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. And I confirm the Torah that is between my hands (Wa musaddiqan lima bayna yadayya mina al-tawrati), and to make lawful to you certain things that before were forbidden unto you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord; so fear you God, and obey you me.”

    The onlt Torah in Jesus’ time was the one we have today,we have incomplete copies from the 1st century C.E.,found in Qmran,used by the Essenes.So the Quran says some book comes from the time of Moses and was still available in Jesus’ time.

    • I forgot to add that the Quran specifically talks about the “sending of the Torah” in the following suras:3:3,65,93; 5:44,68; 62:5..It doesn’t mention Moses but it is assumed.

  41. Regarding Judges 20-21 and the Benjamites,I had read it before it is true that in chapter 20 it says that God approved of the attack on the Benjamites,they asked him for his opinion and he said yes(Judges 20:18,20:23,20:28).But then if you read chapter 21 the Benjamites,told by the other Israelites, commit a great injustice against a different group,and never does the chapter say they asked God for guidance,there is no order from him.In fact it ends with an implicit condemnation,Judges 21:23-25(end of book of Judges).

    ” And the Benjaminites did so, and took their wives, according to their number, from the dancers whom they carried off; then they went and returned to their inheritance, and rebuilt the towns, and dwelt in them. 24 And the people of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance.

    25 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.

  42. Regarding the saints resurrected in Matthew and specifically not appearing in John,the book of John itself says it does not say everything,in John 20:30-31:
    “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.”Then in John 21:25:”But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”.So I don’t see why Luke and Mark would not have known about it yet decided not to say it.

    • “”Then in John 21:25:”But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

      This has nothing to do with what Jesus did in the presence of his disciples. This is something that was done in the presence of “many” in Jerusalem. Therefore the lack of written evidence is incomprehensible – unless it never happened in the first place.

      “So I don’t see why Luke and Mark would not have known about it yet decided not to say it.”

      Because it would have strengthened their case for the resurrection of Jesus, yet they chose not to say it, which means it probably never happened.

      • i am not in britian anymore so i don’t have time to respond to this christian missionary because i am studying arabic morroco.time is not on my hands anymore. notice in johns gospels and the marks + lukes gospels REACTIONS of people ARE RECORDED. for examples jebus says he is x, jesus’ words make the jews angry and they REACT by picking up stones to stone jebus, but jebus the krist RUNS away . notice a REACTION IS recorded. now the guards who stand by the dead and defeated god REACT TO WHAT THEY HAD SEEN.

        Matthew 27:51-53 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves , and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many

        when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “truly this man was god’s son!”

        and the REACTION IS WITH a exclamation mark. i guess the translators was trying to render the reaction of the shocked guards using exclamation mark.

        john failed the record the claims of the disbelievers and he writes that his PURPOSE for writing his shoddy gospel is because he wants to CONVINCE people that jebus is the son of god. so why did he LEAVE OUT THE reaction of the SHOCKED guards who had witnessed the miraculous

        how does “jebus did many miracles” writEN IN AN UNKNOWN LOCATION by an unknown authour automatically mean that the listners in johns UNKNOWN location NEW about the russurected saints and other SMALL details ? if they knew matthews few LINES , then one wonders what the hell was the POINT OF john to record the following

        jebus drove out the traders from the temple
        jebus changed water into wine

        i guess when the ppl saw this they said “truly this was the son of a god !” lol

        in my humble opinion none of these incidents/events were worth recording by the last unknown biographer because ppl , according to the crosstians, would have already known about these SMALL one liner miracles/details ect

        but lets be honest people

        when the father was beating the hell out of jebus by having his persons (fathers) person mauling jesus’ spirit, jesus was clearly disfunction person

        so jesus DIDN’T DO anything because his person was being torchered by the loving father in the trinity

        so the father was the RAISER of the dead saints , whiles jesus was receiver of a drubbing by the same father

      • “when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “truly this man was god’s son!”

        what is interesting here is that the guards who were ZAPPED by the angel were not the SAME guards who were keeping watch over jesus. those who kept a watch over jesus WERE NOT HEARD FROM EVER AGAIN. THEY ARE EJECTED OUT OF THE ACCOUNTS. matthew converts the guards into christian believers. one would think that matthews guards would have been free to transmitt information about what had happen at the tomb and report SECRETLY to the other guards making the information MUTAWATTIR , but they are dropped from the story. never to be heard of ever again. this leaves one scratching his head and asking “was the event at the tomb in a huge bubble/black hole” ? one other thing to note is that matthew uses a word in greek that means “seek SAFETY in flight” mark records the words of the ceURION and the changes in the sky, but the juicy bits about dead saints rising are not included. notice that the whole point behind the guards rising is a REFUTATION of the jews. it is an answer to the jews for murdering jebus. luke always ATTACKS/reacts to the jews and says that the gentiles are better and more receptive to the pagan religion called christianity. one wonders why this unknwon “historian” who had CHECKED everything from the BEGINNING decided to drop the golden nugget ?

  43. why do christian bums ignore this? are they blind bums and cannot read?

    quote:

    I showed above that these “factors” are really quibbles that explain nothing. If just one saint was raised at that time, why wouldn’t this have been significant enough to warrant mentioning in a gospel allegedly written by an eyewitness to the events of that day? Where were they raised? Well, the implication is certainly that they were resurrected in the general area where the crucifixion took place, because “Matthew” said that these “many saints” went “into the holy city and appeared to many,” so if they went into the city, they were resurrected somewhere outside the city. The crucifixion of Jesus took place outside the city. The “fact” of this was clearly implied in the synoptic gospels, but “John,” who didn’t bother to mention the midday darkness, the earthquake, or the resurrection of the saints, somehow found enough space on his scroll to say that “the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city” (19:20). If this place was “near” the city, it wasn’t inside the city, and the writer of Hebrews clearly said that
    Jesus “suffered outside the city gate.”

    Hebrew 13:11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood.
    From all this, one can reasonably conclude that “Matthew” meant for his readers to understand that the resurrection of these “saints” happened somewhere outside the city, presumably close enough to the crucifixion site for spectators to witness the miracles that made the Roman soldiers declare that this man [Jesus] was surely the son of God. Why would God have wasted a miracle as extraordinary as the resurrection of “many saints” in a place located on another side of the city where those who might see it wouldn’t recognize its significance?

    At any rate, the where and when they were raised are irrelevant, because if “many”–or ten–were raised and if these “many”–or ten–went into the city where they were seen by “many”–or ten–this would have created a furor that would surely have attracted enough attention to bring more than just one brief mention in one of the gospels. Is Turkel really so ignorant that he actually believes that if ten people known to have been dead should suddenly appear to ten people, they wouldn’t have excitedly told others, “I saw Joe and Bill and Mary and Jane walking about alive in the city”? Turkel’s mission, should he accept it, is to explain why “John” who was present at that place and time would have omitted such events as this from his account of what happened that day so that he would have enough space on his scroll to report such trivial things as the location of the crucifixion site somewhere “near the city.”

    As for what form the “saints” were in, I showed above that Matthew’s text clearly said that the bodies of many of the saints were raised, so their “form” would have been… well, their bodies, just as the New Testament seemed clear in communicating that the body of Jesus and not his spirit was resurrected (Luke 24:39).

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