Christianity

Debate Video: Can We Trust Today’s Torah?

On April 11, 2014 in Scarborough, Ontario, CANADA, Sadat Anwar (MDI Canada) and Alex Kerimli (RCCM) debated the trustworthiness of today’s Torah. The Torah is a book used by Jews and Christians to base much of their theology upon. The Quran mentions that the preservation of the original word of God as came to the Hebrews, does not correspond to the book currently known as the ‘Torah’. Christians contend that the Torah has preserved the word of God, and forms the basis for their theology (based upon their own particular interpretation of it).

So which claim is correct? Watch the stimulating and evidence filled debate between Sadat Anwar (MDI Canada) and Alax Kerimli (RCCM) on this fascinating debate!

28 replies »

  1. Sadat Anwar killed all the arguments of Mr Alex Kerimli in this debate. Very very good presentation by brother Sadat Anwar.

  2. Sadat unfortunately presents arguments that are not only inconsistent with one another, but also inconsistent with the Islamic worldview.

  3. He used the unproven documentary hypothesis to say that The Torah we have today was not put together by Moses but instead by 4 other sources (i.e. J-E-P-D). I can count at least two problems he has as a Muslim when doing this:

    Firstly, If he is consistent in his stated belief that some of the Torah as revealed by Allah to Moses is still intact and currently in our Bible today, then according to the documentary hypothesis, he would have just contradicted himself. The unproven hypothesis, as presented by Sadat, says that Moses didn’t write the Torah, rather four other sources did. Therefore nothing in it is from Moses ‘the prophet of Islam’. Further meaning that whatever theology Sadat agrees to in today’s Bible is actually from men who were not inspired by Allah.

    Secondly, The Quran quotes, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (7:45). It does this and affirms that Allah was the one who ordained that quote. The Quran attributes Moses as being the source of the ‘original’ Torah. So according to the Quran Allah revealed this saying through His prophet Moses. The problem that Sadat and any Muslim that agrees with him is this;
    Since the reference from the Quran is what’s available in today’s Torah and has been there before Mohamed’s time, than that would mean Moses is behind that quote. The J-E-P-D hyptohesis leaves no room for Moses having any input into todays Torah. So as a Muslim the Quran mutes the documentary hypothesis, yet Sadat wants to use it as an argument to say that the Torah we have today isn’t what was given to Moses. Either that quote is from Allah by way of Moses or it was according to Sadat’s presentation of the documentary hypothesis from one of the 4 sources not attributed to Moses. He can’t have it both ways.

    Sadat is a great speaker and posses good rhetoric. But beyond his showmanship his arguments are full of holes by way of contradictions and inconsistencies even from within the Islamic worldview. 

  4. IL-Nasrani, you like many other Christians attempt to place emphasis on certain points in the debate while failing to (or conveniently side-stepping) the main points raised against the claim that the Torah remains unchanged. The Muslim speaker Sadat Anwar does not actually rely on or rest his entire debate or his arguments on The Documentary Hypothesis and this is very clear for all to see in this debate.. especially between 11mins and 14 mins in the Intro of the debate as presented by Sadat, he states the following (or words to the effect):

    <<<>>>

    Pity Alex was unable to respond directly to most if not all of the points raised under each of these reasons outlined. Consequently, you like other Christians obviously feel prompted to do a little damage control.on this one. It is crystal clear which way the debate went based on the quality of arguments presented, not simply based on the fact that Sadat Anwar presented so clearly and concisely..

    • I fail to see how your comment actually addresses any of the issues I’ve just raised. I find it ironic that your message about failing to address points is in fact failing to address my point.

  5. Muhammad had numerous exchanges with the Jews. The majority of the Jews consistently rejected him and his Quran as a fraud. So can Muslims cite a single instance, anywhere from the entire corpus of Islamic scripture where Muhammad even once said to the Jews ‘You have corrupted the Torah’?

  6. Sadat Anwar quotes modern scholars in his attempt to discredit today’s Torah. Yet can he cite a single independent Old Testament scholar who believes that later Jews corrupted the Torah written by Moses in 1440 BC?

  7. The fact that many leading Muslim apologists in their desperate attempts to discredit the existing Torah resort to the Documentary Hypothesis, a theory which is lethal to Islam itself shows how hopeless the Muslim position is.

  8. Another very serious problem for Sadat Anwar is that despite intensive and unprecedented research by scholars to discover the historical Jesus, they have found zero evidence that Jesus or his early followers rejected the Torah of the first century as corrupt.

  9. According to Anwar the Documentary Hypothesis is today the most dominant hypothesis among scholars concerning the composition of the Torah. According to this Hypothesis, however, no part of the Torah existed in written form before approximately 950 BC!!! If that is true then it proves that Muhammad was a false prophet. Anwar really needs to quote scholars who do not refute his own position.

  10. Anwar needs to recognise the fallacy of his argument. He is quoting scholars who reject the Mosaic authorship of the Torah in an attempt to prove that the Jews corrupted the Torah that Moses wrote!!!

  11. Anwar’s claim that there is a convergence between what Islam is saying and what modern Old Testament scholars are saying is total fantasy. No Jewish, Christian or independent.scholar believes that there existed an original Torah given to Moses by Allah in 1400 BC which taught purely Islamic doctrine. Neither do these scholars believe that such a Torah was then corrupted by later Jews. If Anwar has any evidence that such a Torah has ever existed then he needs to present it.

    New Testament scholars like Bart Ehrman are just as fatal to Islam as Old Testament scholars like R E Friedman. For example, according to Ehrman, Jesus and his early followers accepted the Torah that existed in the first century as divine scripture. Anwar needs to recognise that the views of these scholars can be extremely damaging to not only the Bible but also the Quran. . .

  12. Can Sadat Anwar cite a single independent or recognised New Testament scholar who has found evidence that Jesus, like today’s Muslims, rejected the Torah existing in the first century as corrupt?

  13. Can Sadat Anwar cite any evidence that Muhammad, like many of today’s Muslims, even once admitted the truth i.e. that the Torah existing in the seventh century seriously contradicted and undermined the validity of his Quran?

    Can Anwar show any evidence that Muhammad clearly even once told the Jews that only PARTS of the Torah were authentic and the rest was corrupt?

    Can he also offer any evidence to show that the Jews then understood either of the above to be Muhammad’s message?

    Is it credible that Muhammad for 23 years could have condemned the Torah as seriously corrupt without the Jews ever becoming aware of it. Is it credible that in these 23 years the Jews did not even once respond to such attacks on their scripture.

    In Anwar’s words. “Something fishy going on here”.

  14. Anwar quotes Deuteronomyn13:6-10 and Exodus 31;15 in an attempt to show that the Bible prescribes the death penalty for those who do not BELIEVE. This in fact is not the case. These verses are not prescribing punishment for THOUGHT-CRIME.. These verses are condemning ACTIONS (or lack of them) not beliefs. .For example a person could abide by the commandment to observe the Sabbath, be safe from the punishment prescribed for non-observance and still be a disbeliever. The Torah requires no confession of faith. It only requires OBEDIENCE to laws.

    Unlike Muhammad no Jewish prophet required the Israelites to make a declaration of faith in themselves. The Jewish prophets never asked the Israelites to confess a creed like the following:

    ‘There is no god but YHWH and Moses is the messenger of YHWH”.

  15. Sadat Anwar asks the question: Did Jesus affirm the Torah wholesale?

    Let me also ask a question or two:

    Can Anwar cite any independent New Testament scholar who believes that Jesus affirmed the Torah existing in the first century, only to the extent that most of today’s Muslims do?

    Can he cite any evidence which shows that Jesus rejected the Torah to the same extent as most of today’s Muslims do?

    Can he cite any credible evidence to show that Jesus taught from “the Torah that Allah taught him” as opposed to the Torah that existed in the first century?

    Can he cite any evidence which shows that Jesus came into conflict with the Jews for rejecting the Torah as being seriously corrupt?

    Can he cite any evidence to show that the Jews tried to stone Jesus to death for blaspheming the Torah?

    Could Jesus have entered or lasted five minutes in the Temple if he had blasphemed the Torah?

    Why would the Jews not have dealt with Jesus themselves instead of handing him over to the Romans if he had blasphemed the Torah? The Romans could not have cared less if Jesus had blasphemed the Torah.

    if Jesus had blasphemed the Torah then would Allah have not had to save Jesus from being stoned to death by the Jews rather than crucifixion by the Romans? It should be remembered that in first century Palestine crucifixion was purely a Roman form of execution.

    Can Anwar cite any evidence which shows that the early followers of Jesus also came into conflict with the Jews for blaspheming the Torah?

  16. Anwar tells us that among the Dead Sea Scrolls there are manuscripts supporting the Septuagint Torah, the Masoretic Torah and the Peshitta. Can Anwar tell us if among the Dead Sea Scrolls there are any manuscripts supporting “Allah’s Torah”?

    “Which Torah did Muhammad affirm”? Anwar asks. Well I have not seen any evidence that Muhammad was aware of different versions of the Torah. It appears he was only aware of just the one Torah. So this must have been the Torah he was affirming.

    According to Anwar, if I understand him correctly, neither Jesus nor Muhammad were picking a fight with the text of the Torah of their day. I totally agree with Anwar on this one. However they SHOULD have picked a fight with the text of the Torah that existed during their day, because this text denounces Muhammad and the Muslim Jesus to be complete and utter frauds.

    I do appreciate Anwar’s honesty here.

    Both Muhammad and the Muslim Jesus had to make it absolutely clear in no uncertain terms, to their contemporaries, that the text of the Torah was seriously corrupt, because if the Torah was not corrupt then Islam is a lie. What IS absolutely clear is that this is something they totally failed to do.

    In addition to claiming that the Torah is corrupt, both the Muslim Jesus and Muhammad needed to provide credible evidence for this claim to become acceptable to their audiences. This is also something which they completely failed to do. The Quran threatens those who reject its message with eternal punishment, but evidence must precede threats as no can be expected to believe a claim for which zero evidence is given.

    Anwar needs to understand what the MUSLIM CHARGE OF CORRUPTION is. That is there existed in 1400 BC a purely Islamic text of the Torah given to Moses by Allah and THIS was the Torah that was corrupted by later Jews.

    None of the “evidence” he has presented so far supports this charge. The corruption of a NON-Islamic text cannot prove the MUSLIM charge of corruption.

    Anwar needs to realise that the Documentary Hypothesis does not recognise that the present Torah has its or origins in or is a corruption of a, 1400 BC, purely Islamic text of the Torah. What is more is that if the Documentary Hypothesis is correct then Islam is a false religion.

  17. Quran 2:79

    According to Anwar this verse is accusing the Jews of textually corrupting the Torah.But this verse is saying nothing of the sort. What this verse is actually saying is that some Jews have written verses themselves and then dishonestly passed them off as divine scripture.

    This is similar to the Meccan charge against Muhammad. The Meccans said “Allah has sent down nothing” By this they meant that Muhammad was composing verses himself and then passing them off as divine scripture. Neither Quran 2:79 or what the Meccans were saying here is saying anything about corrupting already existing scripture.

    In addition Quran 2;79 must be interpreted in the light of the overwhelming testimony of the Quran which is that the Torah existing in the seventh century was authentic.

    We should follow the principle i.e. that we should interpret the few and ambiguous verses of the Quran in the light of the clear and many and not the other way round. But desperate situations require desperate measures.

  18. Muhammad challenged his contemporaries to “Produce a Surah like”.

    I should first like to note that the bulk of mankind have never been in a position to try and “Produce a Surah like it” because when it comes to Arabic they were totally illiterate. So the “Literary Excellence” of the Quran has been and is completely meaningless to the vast majority of people in the world.

    Even if nobody in the world COULD produce a Surah like it we still cannot ignore the mountain of evidence which proves that Islam is a false religion.

    However in the history of Islam there has never been a better judge of Muhammad’s claim of “Miraculous Eloquence” than the Meccans in whose language the Quran was recited.

    So were the Meccans totally gobsmacked by the Quran’s eloquence? What was their verdict?

    According to the Islamic sources, the vast majority of Meccans rejected Muhammad as a complete fraud and his Quran as a total fabrication.

  19. According to Anwar there is no one official Islamic view on when, where, how, and by whom the Torah was changed.

    That is strange if the Quran is a Book where nothing has been neglected (6;38), fully explained (6;114), in which everything is made clear (6;89).

    Now the issue of corruption is absolutely crucial to Muhammad’s credibility. If the Torah is not corrupt then Muhammad was a fake. That is why today and for a long time a debate has been raging between Christians and Muslims over this issue.

    Given that Muhammad’s credibility hung upon this most important and pivotal issue we would have expected the Quran to have given a full, clear and detailed explanation of when, where, how and by whom the Torah was corrupted. But we find nothing of the sort.

    In addition nowhere does the Quran offer any evidence for the claim that the Torah was corrupt. Did Allah expect the Jews to simply accept without question the claim that the Torah was corrupt and kiss the Black Stone? The truth is that nowhere does Allah even claim that the Torah is corrupt. Muslim apologists put this claim into Allah’s mouth to save Islam from the Quran.

    Yet despite the very annoying and upsetting Jewish rejection of his claim to prophethood Muhammad did not once tell the Jews that their Torah was corrupt. Does Anwar not find it astonishing that the issue of the corruption of the Torah that is raging today was a total non-issue between Muhammad and the Jews? Should this issue have not been the mother of all arguments in seventh century Medina?

    Muslim apologists are refuted not only by modern scholarship but also by the Islamic sources.

  20. Oh my God. Look at all the comments hahahaha. Someone seems to be bothered about it.

    Good debate, alhamdullillah. The truth is, the truth always wins.

  21. Sadat Anwar quotes 2 Kings:

    8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it.

    11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.

    We note that

    “Scholars almost universally agree that the book Hilkiah “found” was the Biblical Book of Deuteronomy” (Wikipedia)

    According to 2 Kings this “Book of the Law” led King Josiah to return the Israelites to Monotheism.

    Would Anwar then agree that the Book of Deuteronomy that Hilkiah found was part of the original Torah?

    Can Anwar also tell us why, if the Torah, is largely a man- made book, it teaches such strict Monotheism? Should Monotheism not have been the primary target of those who corrupted it, in the words of some Muslims,”beyond recognition”? Does Anwar not find this very odd?

  22. The question that Sadat Anwar needs to ask is not “Can we trust today’s Torah? but rather “Is today’s Torah a corruption of an original and pure Islamic text?” or “Does today’s Torah have its origins in an original and pure Islamic text?”.

    Since Muslims are totally unable to provide any REAL evidence for the Islamic origins of the Torah, they try to ‘prove” this Islamic origin by showing that the Torah contains contradictions, anachronisms, moral flows etc!!!

    However it simply does not follow that a book that contains contradictions, anachronisms, duplicates or moral flows must originally have been a pure Islamic text.

    Desperate Muslim apologists are forced to resort to this fallacious reasoning because there is zero evidence that the Torah originally taught pure Islamic doctrine..

  23. Anwar Sadat believes there are contradictions in the Torah concerning the divine name YHWH. I would like to bring to Anwar’s attention that the Torah gives YHWH as its god’s only proper name. In addition the Torah tells the Israelites that YHWH is god’s eternal name for every generation.

    God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, YHWH the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Exodus 3:15)

    The Torah refers to its deity as YHWH an amazing 1600 hundred times. Unlike YHWH, Allah is never given as a proper name for deity in the Torah.

    Let me quote one of Anwar’s Old Testament scholars, R E Friedman from his article “Does Israel have no roots there”.

    “In the first place, the land (of Israel) is filled with Hebrew inscriptions, so I begin with that. These are not just an occasional inscription on a piece of pottery or carved in a wall. Nor should we even start with one or two of the most famous archaeological finds. Rather, there are thousands of inscriptions. They come from hundreds of excavated towns and cities. They are in the Hebrew language. They include people’s names that bear forms of the name of their God: YHWH. This means names like:

    • Hoshaiah, which means “YHWH Saved”

    • Ahijah, which means “YHWH is My Brother”

    • Shemariah, which means”YHWH Watched”

    The inscriptions also refer to their kings. They include stamps and seals from official documents. They come from tombs where that land’s people were buried. They name people who are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. They include wording that also appears in the Hebrew Bible. They reflect a widespread community whose dominant language was Hebrew, who didn’t eat pork and who worshipped a God named YHWH.

    I happened to be present at the time of the discovery of another important inscription in Jerusalem. Right below the Church of Scotland in Jerusalem, in a Jewish tomb from the seventh century B.C.E., was a silver cylinder with the words inscribed in it:

    “May YHWH bless you and keep you. May YHWH make his face shine to you and give you peace.”

    It is the words of the Priestly Blessing in the Hebrew Bible (Numbers 6:24-26). That’s just one inscription. The distinguished scholar Jeffrey Tigay of the University of Pennsylvania sums up:

    “The names of more than 1,200 pre-exilic Israelites are known from Hebrew inscriptions and foreign inscriptions referring to Israel.” Of these, 557 have names with YHWH as their divine element, 77 have names with El”

    End of quote.
    .
    If there is one thing we know about the Israelites (Bani Israil?) it is this: They worshipped a god named YHWH not Allah.

    It should also be noted that names like Jesus (Isa?), John (Yahya?), and Zechariah (Zakaria?) also contain YHWH as their divine element.

  24. Since Muhammad and Jesus affirmed the Torah in the possession of the Jews, Anwar asks the question:

    Did Muhammad or Jesus affirm the Torah wholesale or only parts of the Torah?

    Can Anwar then cite any evidence which shows that either Muhammad or Jesus in any of their exchanges or debates with the Jews even once made it clear that they were affirming only PARTS of the Torah and not the whole or that they rejected the textual integrity of much or even most of the Torah?

    Muhammad threatened the Jews with eternal damnation for rejecting his claim of divine selection. However since the Torah seriously undermines and contradicts Muhammad’s Quran, he, like today’s Muslims, could have tried to convert the Jews by giving them proof that their Book was not only seriously corrupt but also originally a pure Islamic text. The Jews though could not be expected to accept such a claim and abandon their beloved Torah simply because Muhammad CLAIMED it was corrupt. He would have needed to provide them with some irrefutable evidence to support such a claim..

    SURELY MUSLIMS WOULD AGREE THAT IF ALLAH IS A JUST GOD THEN HE CANNOT SEND DISBELIEVERS INTO HELL TO BE TORTURED FOREVER WITHOUT FIRST HAVING GIVEN THEM UNDENIABLE EVIDENCE FOR WHAT HE IS ASKING THEM TO BELIEVE.

    Quran 2:111 …”Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

    Given that his credibility hung upon this absolutely critical and decisive issue we would have expected Muhammad to have made his position on the reliability of the Torah known to the Jews in the clearest manner. Also given the unthinkable consequences with which those who reject Muhammad are threatened with we would have expected him to have made his views on this issue repeatedly and continuously crystal clear and in a language no Jew or anyone else could fail to understand. The possibility of mistake or doubt must not exist in a matter where the consequences are so vast and dreadful.

    Even IF Muslim apologists could prove the claim that the Torah has been corrupted, intellectual integrity should compel them to admit that this claim was ‘astonishingly’ never presented in any exchange or debate to the Jews by Muhammad. Neither did Muhammad (like Anwar) ever offer any evidence to support such a claim.

    Had Muhammad accused the Jews of corrupting the Torah a debate would have undoubtedly erupted between them. It would have been their biggest bone of contention, the mother of all arguments in seventh century Madina. The Rabbis were not debate-shy and could even be scathing and derogatory towards Muhammad and his religion as the Islamic Sources attest. However we find no debate between them over THIS particular issue.

    Although corruption was a non-issue in seventh century Madina, it has become one of the biggest bones of contention between Christians and Muslims today.

    Can Anwar then cite any evidence to show that Muhammad even once went to the Jews and offered them indisputable or any evidence to support the contention that the Torah was textually corrupt?

    Can he also tell us what was the Jewish response to the supposed charge against the textual integrity of their Book? The truth is there never was any Jewish response because this charge was never made.

    Why do we never find in the Islamic Sources anything like:

    Debate: Can We Trust Today’s Torah? Muhammad v Jewish Rabbis

    There can only be one answer: The trustworthiness of the Torah was never an issue between Muhammad and the Jews.

    The majority of seventh century Jews would have required more that an eloquent Quran to abandon their beloved Torah and prostrate towards a House full of idols or kiss a stone that could neither help them nor harm them. They would have required undeniable, irrefutable and indisputable proof that the Torah was originally a pure Islamic text. Neither Allah nor Muhammad provided any evidence whatsoever for such a claim and neither have today’s Muslims. .

    Anwar needs to explain why, unlike today’s Muslims, Muhammad (for 23 years?) and Jesus (for 33 years?) never once told the Jews in any exchange or debate between them that the Torah was textually corrupt? Is it credible that the most crucial and critical issue in a Muslim v Jewish debate was NEVER touched upon during decades of exchanges? Are we to believe that the core issue in the Muhammad/Muslim Jesus v Jews debates was NEVER addressed? Islam is not credible nor does it make any sense.

    The only credible explanation for the absence of debate over this issue is that it was NOT an issue.

    The evidence is compelling, both Muhammad and Jesus affirmed the Torah in total. The charge of corruption is a later development in the history of Islam, concocted to save Islam from the Quran.

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