Is the Bible corrupted? vs James White
Channel: Adnan Rashid
File Size: 65.28MB
Good evening, I welcome not just one, but two two debates here. It's one Baptist Church. I'm the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Mike Gilbert Smith. And it's a great privilege to welcome all of you here this evening. I hope as well as the conversation that we'll all be part of to hear. There'll be opportunities for conversations that will start this evening, but do be passing on cards and swapping email addresses, because I do hope that these conversations will go beyond this evening. And that as we hear one another, we will grow to understand one another better, and therefore to have respect for one another as human beings. While it's not denying that the great
differences that that our respect involves both recognizing similarities, but not under estimating differences. And there are two major differences. They're going to be debated tonight. In our first debate. The question will be proposed by Dr. James White's was the New Testament reliably transmitted from its authors. And in the second debate, the question will be proposed, from Adnan Rashid, was the Quran reliably transmitted from the Prophet Muhammad's, we have quite a long evening ahead of us. Each debates will have 25 minutes each for proposers, 10 minutes each for answering statements, and then a 10 minutes, back and forth. And then five minutes each for closing
statements, which is a full 90 minutes for each debate. And we are going to take back 10 minutes, at nine o'clock between the two debates, there will be some refreshments served. So do please go through into the hole to my left for some refreshments. And if you need to use the revolutionaries, then to my right at the back there. So please do
recognize we're not going to get all of that done in 10 minutes. So let's just try and come in and out quietly if we're going into the second debate, as we're coming in from that. Let me just introduce the two debaters this evening. On my right is Adnan Rashid, a historian with a speciality in the history of Islamic civilization, comparative religion, and how the literature he has known as degree in history from the University of London is currently pursuing further studies. He's also gained ages in Hadith from a number of scholars. He also takes a keen interest in Islamic numinous metrics, is that right? numismatics thank you and ancient manuscripts is debated many high profile
figures figures in the field of politics, history, and Christian Islamic theology.
And on my left is James White's Dr. James White is the director of the Alpha and Omega ministries, based in Phoenix, Arizona. It's a apologetic miseries he received a Bachelor of Arts from Ghana Grand Canyon College. Was it hard to study without just looking out the window, a Grand Canyon college?
Okay, it's pretty easy then.
An ma from fuller Theological Seminary, and a th M and PhD and demon from Columbia evangelical seminary,
and unaccredited distance learning school. He has served as a professor of Greek Hebrew systematic theology and various apologetics topics at the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. His extension campus in Arizona, and in the Columbia evangelical seminary is also a critical concern Sultan for the Lockman Foundation's New American Standard Bible is a great privilege to have both of you here. I'm going to be quiet quite soon. Just to say that when I sat down, Dr. James White is going to begin with his 25 minutes.
Well, good evening to you, thank you for being here this evening. I want this evening to be a night of education for all of us. My goal this evening is not so much quote unquote winning a debate, as it is making sure that everyone in this room when you leave has at least the beginning of a sound understanding of what the issues are that we need to deal with, to honestly accurately and fairly analyze the means by which each one of us has come to be in possession of the Scriptures that we call the Word of God. And that is a fundamental issue between us if we are going to have a conversation about the gospel about what we believe about what it means to worship God, how many
times in these debates that we've done, does it all come back to us
Well, what really is the word of God. And so this evening, that is my goal. My goal this evening is to make sure that there is clarity in the part of everyone here as far as as possible, and it relies upon me on these particular issues now, few today understand the history of ancient documents how they came to be in our possession, the process of transmission antiquity is vast differently vastly differently than how works are transmitted today. I mean, you can write a book today and have it on people's Kindles and computers all across the world in a matter of hours. That's pretty new in human experience. Let me put it that way. Hand copying was the only way to produce documents or
distribution until relatively recent times the vast majority of human history. That is how written documents were transmitted, and every document produced prior to printing. And even after printing, printing is not a flawless process has been corrupted in his transmission. What is corruption mean? Well, in scholarly use, corruption is any variation or alteration in the text, no matter how minor it might be. So when the King James Version of the Bible was first printed, there were certain mistakes. For example, in the commandments, in one edition, Thou shalt not commit adultery, the printer forgot the word not. And that was a pretty major problem. That was a corruption and the
transmission, but it wasn't exactly something that would cause you to wonder what the Bible was actually saying. It was obviously a printer error. But corruption means any variation whatsoever, or alteration in the text, no matter how minor it might be. Now, this evening, the first debate we're talking about the New Testament, there are over 5700 cataloged Greek manuscripts in the New Testament comprising ancient propietary, containing only a few lines of text to complete manuscripts from as late as the 15th century, now, including ancient translations, such as lat, Latin, Coptic etc. There are more than 24,000 manuscripts that have been cataloged in regards to the text of the
New Testament in a hand written form. Now, you need to understand no ancient work comes close to the New Testament, with reference to the number of witnesses and the number of early witnesses that it possesses. And by the way, the Quran is not considered to be an ancient text, it's a medieval text. And so it's not in the comparison with the New Testament because it comes 700 years later, at a much closer time period to us. So for example, in this graphic, you can see here, if if, if this is the origin of a book, this is the number of years out to we have the first witnesses out here and then the size of the of the circle indicates how many witnesses we have. So for example, Homer here,
Homer comes about the earliest witnesses we have are 500 years after it's written, we have about 643, manuscripts porath acidities out here, he's all the way out at 1300 years before we have the first copy of it, we only have eight manuscripts of it. So you can see that works written at the time of New Testament. Very few manuscripts, and they come long after this big huge thing is not the sun. That's the New Testament. And it comes that close to the time of its original writing, you have about 24,000 manuscripts in Greek and other translations, in comparison to any other contemporary work any work of integrity. The New Testament is by far the earliest attested and best attested
document of antiquity. Now, the problem is the more manuscripts witnesses that wait one has the more variants one will have, if you only have one witness, if you only have one text, you will have no textual variants. But you will likewise have little basis upon which to believe that you have the original text if you only have one copy. Are you sure that one copyist got everything right? What if he messed up? What if he What if he actually wanted to change the text, if we don't have anything to compare it to, we'd have no way of knowing the more witnesses you have. The confidence you have that you possess the original text increases. So more witnesses, more confidence, more witnesses, more
textual variants that you have to examine. You need to keep that in mind when we consider the history of the New Testament text. Now taking the most liberal estimate, we have about 400,000 variants in the manuscript tradition and the New Testament. However, 99% of these variations cannot be translated out of Greek. That is they do not impact the meaning of the text. For example, there is something in Greek called the movable new in English, you're supposed to say an apple or a bat, you're supposed to put that in there so it's easier to pronounce. Greek had something similar to that the movable new and later copyist just didn't get that rule very well sort of like people from
the south in my country. And so very often they they would skip it or they would
Put it someplace where it wasn't supposed to be. But every time one little manuscript has an extra little new in it, that's a variant. So 99% of the variants simply do not impact the meaning of the text whatsoever.
All the remaining variants, the vast majority are simple areas of sight or hearing, depending on how the manuscript was produced if it was produced by a person copying another manuscript, or in a scriptorium, where someone's reading the manuscript and other people are writing it down, you get more manuscripts done that way. But then you introduce errors of hearing at that point. One particularly common error was homeboy tell you Tom, and that is similar endings, similar to when we were in school. And we were, we were copying out something from a book, we were writing a report, and you see a word that ends in i n, g in English, or ti o n. And so you type that out and you look
back, and your eyes catch a ti o n, and you continue on, except it was on the line below where you were, you just work that kind of seeing similar endings and accidentally skipping stuff as a result, very, very common for us today. And of course, it happened in the copying of New Testament texts and any ancient texts as well. For example, here's an example from first john three one play Fellman Chi Essman, you see that new excellent new right here is in red, if you can sort of see that. And there is a variant in New Testament where it's certain manuscripts don't have this phrase. And we are, well, it's pretty obvious that it came from home, we tell you a ton since we have so many
manuscripts, were able to recognize that. And that is a part of the practice of textual criticism. These kinds of scribal errors are common and expected in any widely transmitted dock. And the only place you're not gonna get them is if you chisel your book on a rock. But that's sort of hard to carry around very difficult to distribute, and you have to ask everybody to come read your rock, and it just doesn't really work well if you're trying to present the gospel all across the world. Now, as long as one has a robust manuscript tradition representing various geographical areas, and containing early witnesses, these kinds of variations are rather easily detected. But of but all of
these considerations relate primarily to a freely transmitted text, not to a controlled, edited or redacted text. This is the key issue this evening. Please listen to me at this point, so you can understand the conversation tonight.
A freely transmitted text is one whose transmission is not controlled by an external authority, such as a government, it is widely copied without constraint. A controlled text is one that is copied under the guidance of an external authority. A freely transmitted text will have more textual variants, but will have greater confidence as to originality, a controlled text will have more uniformity, but much less confidence as to originality. Now, why would that be? Because if you have a bunch of witnesses coming from a wide variety of sources, all saying the same thing about your text, then you have great confidence that that's the original text. But if you only have one text
coming from a group of people that get to control the text, what if they decide to change it, and then destroy what they had before? I mean, for example, I would not want a US government produced Bible. I really don't know that I would, I would trust the any government for that matter, but I live in the US. So a US produced Bible, I want to freely produce one Thank you very much. It would increase my confidence in its originality, a freely transmitted text can promise to present the original readings in its manuscript tradition, a controlled text cannot promise the original text past the last redaction or revision, especially if previous versions are destroyed. That's very,
very important. In a freely transmitted text, the original readings will still be able to be found in the manuscript tradition, even when people even when a copyist has a bad day. His isn't the only copy, you'll be able to find the original reading in the entire manuscript tradition. But if you are redacting your text, editing your text, you come up with official text and then destroy everything else. You can't go back to the original anymore. You've got to believe that people making that redaction got it absolutely right. That's the difference between a freely transmitted text and a controlled text. Now the New Testament
was a freely transmitted text, the initial Gospels and epistles the New Testament written at various places at various times, some were written for distribution within the community such as the Gospels
and then it just simply disappears. I'm not sure where that went, did someone
someone just hacked in my MAC I'M SURE anyways.
Some are written for distribution within the community such as the Gospels others were epistles sent to very specific locations. Then copies were made and sent elsewhere. Often Christians traveling from one
Place to another would encounter a book they had not heard of before, and hence would make a copy to bring back to their own fellowship. And then a graphic that will represent how many different lines of transmission there were, and how often they were interconnected with rapidly become useless due to the number of manuscripts that would be on the screen, the fact of that complex history of transmission should be kept in mind. Over time, single books will be gathered into collections. This is especially true of the Gospels and the epistles of Paul. Hence, we have p 75, and P 66, which are gospel collections from around 175 to 200 p 46. containing the epistles of Paul, all dating from the
middle to the end of the second century. These collections would then come together until finally after the peace in the church in 313. You could have entire copies of the Scriptures such as we find in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex vaticanus. But the important point to note is the multi vocality of this process. multiple authors writing it multiple times to multiple audiences produced a text that appears in history already displaying multiple lines of transmission. This results in the textual variants we must study, but it also illustrates in something else that is very important.
It truly is something we need to recognize that the transmission of the text in New Testament did not follow a single line of transmission. The New Testament originated in multiple places was written by multiple authors with books being sent to multiple locations. This means the text was never under the control of a single individual or group. At no time in its history, at the time of authorship, or any point during its time of transmission. Were the New Testament documents under the control of an individual or group. This is vitally important. When people tell you that entire doctrines were taken out or inserted in the New Testament, it is impossible, there was never a time
when the New Testament was in a situation where any individual or group of people could make that kind of change. If anyone did try to gather up all the manuscripts, they could find and make wholesale changes in them. There are already manuscripts buried in the sands of Egypt. And so once they were dug up, you would see the vast differences between the altered texts and the text that they could not get their hands on. And so there was simply was never a time when the New Testament could undergo that kind of textual corruption. As a result, we can look forward to finding even earlier manuscripts and New Testament documents, as the free transmission of the text has provided
us with a solid basis for asserting that we continue to possess the original readings of the authors themselves. In fact, we're looking forward to a book coming out in February of next year, it's been announced that there has been a new Popeye refund. And in fact, the argument of the book and no one's been able to check it out yet. But some very trustworthy scholars have said that the argument book is they have found a pirate now that go back to the first century for the Gospel of Mark. These would be the earliest manuscripts that we have of the New Testament, and a great increase the second century manuscripts which again would only make the New Testament exceed even farther, any work of
antiquity in the testimony that we have for its reliability.
This is a quote it says the transmission of the New Testament textual tradition is characterized by an extremely impressive degree of tenacity. Once a reading occurs, it will persist with obstinacy. It is precisely the overwhelming Matt overwhelming mass the New Testament textual tradition, assuming the who guy and Noosa did ask Ilia of New Testament textual criticism, which provides an assurance of certainty and establishing the original text. We can be certain that among the New Testament manuscripts, there is still a group of witnesses, which preserves the original for the text despite the pervasive authority of ecclesiastical tradition, and the procedure of the later
text. That Those are the words of Kurt and Barbara olund. In their book the texts in New Testament, pages 291 through 292. The Olins Of course recognized as some of the greatest experts in the subject of New Testament textual criticism in the world before his passing anyways. And they of course set up the the New Testament center in Munster, where all the New Testament manuscripts are cataloged today. Now, one of the reasons I asked that we get together this evening is because I listened to a debate between Adnan and J. Smith, which was at Trinity College in Dublin. It wasn't.
I've not made a number of statements in that particular debate that I have a feeling we might be hearing again this evening. In a debate at Trinity College, Amnon said, Can we trust the gospel records? I believe that we don't even have what Matthew, Mark, Luke and john and Paul even wrote, let alone what God might have revealed to them. He also said there are more variant readings in the New Testament than there are words. We do not have to similar manuscripts of the New Testament in their contents. And it is impossible to know today what Matthew, Mark, Luke and john and Paul
Might have written. Now I would call that a position of radical skepticism. These statements represent skepticism beyond that even of unbelieving scholars like Bart Ehrman, the picture of the New Testament that was given to that audience that night, is never presented by anyone who has done first hand study of the New Testament documents. For example, here on the screen, I asked my computer to compare the two most dissimilar printed editions of the Greek New Testament, for those of you that know anything about New Testament textual criticism, this is a comparison of the alexandrian text with the Byzantine text. These are the two edges of the spectrum. And it's might be
a little bit difficult to see. But actually, I think it's pretty clear. There are this is Hebrews chapter six, verses eight through 20. There are exactly three places right there, right there, and right there marked in green, were the most dissimilar
printed editions of the Greek New Testament vary from one another. That doesn't mean that it's difficult to determine what the original reading was there. But look at how much of the text there is absolutely no variation whatsoever. None.
When we hear about the idea that Well, there's there's more variations than there are words and New Testament? Well, let's say there are 400,000 variations. And there happened to be 138,162 words, and that's the all on 27th edition of the Greek New Testament. So here's a graphic. And so this is the red would be the total number of variants and the blue be the total number of words that people hear that and go, that's like three possibilities for every word. No, it's not. That's not what that means in any way, shape, or form.
Let's let's keep a few things in mind. As we think about this. As I said, 99% of all variants do not impact the meaning of the text variations and spelling and word order make up the vast bulk of the variations. Hence 1% of 400,000 is 4000 meaningful textual variants, out of 138,162 words is 2.9%, or one meaningful variant every three pages. But only half of these are viable, that means that they only half of them have an opportunity of actually having been the original readings. So they're about 1500 to 2000, viable, meaningful new text, New Testament textual variants, that's quite a different picture. In fact, if we were to look at the graphic with the with the With that in mind,
now the blue is the number of words. And that little red line over there is the number of meaningful variants in comparison to the number of words. And so think about with me for just a moment 1500 to 2000, meaningful and viable variants, over 2 million pages of hand copied text spanning approximately 1500 years prior to the invention of printing is an amazingly small percentage of the text, reflecting an amazingly accurate history of transmission, one might well say it is completely miraculous in what you have there. Now, what then do we need to be thinking about this evening,
three things, free transmission of the text versus control transmission.
The free transmission in the New Testament, Christian believers want everybody to know the gospel. And so they put their text out and remember the first 250 years of Christian history, the Christian people are persecuted.
And eventually, very early on in history, the Romans outlaw the Christian scriptures as well. And so we have evidence of literally 1000s of manuscripts being destroyed by the Romans.
Now, that's going to be different than the destroying of manuscripts that we're going to see in regards to the history of the Quran. Because the destruction of New Testament manuscripts wasn't of a certain text type. The Roman soldier didn't know what he was destroying, he could care less. In fact, some Christians fooled Roman soldiers by giving them secular books, which they couldn't tell from being Christian books. And they got away with it.
1000s of manuscripts destroyed so Christians are having to produce a lot of manuscripts, there's a lot of copying going on. Because Christians love their scriptures, and they want other people to have the message of Jesus. And so you have this wide transmission, and it's going on in France, and it's going on in Spain and Italy and Asia Minor and Sesa Ria, and it's going on in Egypt, and it's going on in North Africa, and it's going on all over the place. And at no time, does anyone have control over that text? The result is only 1500 to 2000 meaningful variants we really have to do some work on and remember, the original is still there. Our job is to examine the manuscripts and
find out which one the original is the original is still there. Nothing's disappeared. In fact, later manuscripts tend to be a little bit longer because scribes
tended to expand names of deities. So if, if in the earlier manuscripts you had Jesus, later scribes tend to put the Lord Jesus, or if it was Lord Jesus and the original then became Lord Jesus Christ, they tend to be a little bit longer. As as a friend of mine has put it, that's a really good way of putting it in dealing with the New Testament text, because we have such a rich amount of manuscripts. Basically, what you're dealing with is a jigsaw puzzle with with 1000 pieces with it's 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, but we have 1010 pieces. It's not that there's something missing. It's not like one of those horrible situations, you get to the end, and there's a hole in it because the cat
ate one of the pieces and you didn't realize that happened. That's not we have the New Testament. Instead, the issue is what was added later on, in a sense of a word or a phrase, nothing more than that. That is, in reality, the best way to transmit a document from antiquity. The best way, the only other more accurate way is to chisel it on a rock someplace, then you gotta hope is on earthquake, or you got to hope that doesn't get weathered and worn away, or vandals don't come along and destroy it. There are other ways that that can be destroyed, the best way to get a message out was the way the New Testament was transmitted. The result was you had people who weren't
professional scribes who made copies, their handwriting may not have been so good that people made a mistake copying what they wrote. Okay, we can deal with that. And we're wide open about that you can go online today. That's the 28th edition is going online. You can look at every variant there is Christians are wide open with their text
versus controlled transmission. What if someone had come along and gathered up all the New Testament manuscripts couldn't do it, but what if it had happened?
And then they put out the official version.
And then it destroyed everything before that.
Now you can't get past that point. Now you have to trust the person who made that redaction. That revision got it absolutely perfectly right.
That's controlled transmission.
The multi vocality in the New Testament, multiple authors various times different audiences, means again, there could not have an any type of controlling authority.
And then the tenacity of the text. The original readings are still there. When I debated Bart Ehrman on this subject.
I asked him to give me one place, one place and all the New Testament here is the the biggest critic of the New Testament in the world today. Bart Ehrman, show me one place where you believe that the original reading the New Testament is no longer found in the New Testament manuscripts. Well, you would think he'd have hundreds of them, right? No,
he had one.
And it was the difference between nl Chi and Enoch, in Peter, and there's a single manuscript that supports his conjectural emendation. That place that's only had one
and it had nothing to do with anything.
It had nothing to do with God or Jesus or anything else. Because you see Bart Ehrman recognizes he's even said, New Testament Textual Criticism today. All we're doing is we're tinkering. We're playing around. We know what it said.
We know what it said. And you see his problem is he doesn't believe that God still speaks.
And I hope there's nobody in this room tonight that would agree with him on that no matter what your position is.
So there you have, or we're dealing with this evening.
What we're gonna need to do in the second debate is apply the same standards to the Quran
that we did the New Testament, we what you need to do your role tonight, hold the two of us to the same standard. The Quran even says use equal weights right? On the scales. We need to do the same thing in a debate. That's how we honor the truth. That's how we honor our scriptures. That's how we honor one another. Thank you very much for your attention.
hamdulillah salat wa salam, O Allah, Allah.
All praises are due to God. Allah,
the God of Moses, the God of Abraham, the God of Jesus, and the God of Muhammad.
God told us in the Quran in chapter two verse 79,
that bow beyond to those who write books with their own hands and say these books are from God.
This is exactly what I'm going to discuss today. James has effectively argued my case for me, thank you very much.
As we will see, in due course, he has actually confirmed what I'm going to argue that the New Testament was indeed not transmitted reliably from its authors. I will quickly
to address some of his contentions he raised in his opening statement, he stated that the New Testament is by far the best attested document from antiquity, which is true. But what he didn't tell you was that most of these testimonies and attestations come from the ninth century onward. 94% of the New Testament manuscripts in the Greek language come from the eighth century onwards, even after the Quran.
So, there are only few manuscripts from the early centuries of the New Testament, which do confirm what may be in the New Testament.
99% of these variant readings make no difference to the meaning. That's not what we debate debating today. The debate today is whether the New Testament was corrupted or not. That's the question. And if it was corrupted, then it was not reliably transmitted from his alleged authors. Free transmitted text equals more confidence. That was one of the biggest blunders I've heard in my life. I don't understand how that can be true. How can be free transmission of a text, which was written by someone in the past, and was copied by hundreds and 1000s of people be authentically can be attributed to the original authors. This does not make sense to me at all. So if 1000s of people are
copying a document, which was written in the first century by someone, and all of these 1000s of people are adding their own view on the verses or their own words, or their own expressions, or their own glosses on the text, how do we know what was originally written by those people who wrote in the first century. So in my view, free transmission means less confidence, and controlled transmission by those who wrote the text means more confidence. So imagine if Mark himself was the manager of copying of these manuscripts. If john himself was responsible for dictating the gospel of john to the scribes, this is what you call controlled transmission. And then he made sure that these
copies were transmitted to the other copies reliably, he left instructions, he told them how to copy how to read how to recite, this is what you call controlled transmission, done by the person who is responsible for writing the text in the first place. And this means more confidence, not what James White claims today,
multi vocality James has a theory called multi vocality different authors writing different books, different documents in different places. And that means a good thing. No, that doesn't mean a good thing. That means a big problem. How do we know that? How do we know who wrote the Gospels in the first place? Where did they write them? When did they write them? In what language were these documents written? multi vocality comes with his own problems, you will have to show us how multi vocality is a good thing? Or is an argument in your favor, because with multi vocality can big problems.
I will move on to my presentation. Now, first of all, James did not tell us as to what New Testament is. What is the New Testament?
What does it mean? What is the document called the New Testament? Who decides what it is? Is the Unity on the New Testament today, there are so many New Testaments today. To mention few. We have the Ethiopian New Testament, which is different to what James reads. We have the Syriac New Testament, which is still followed by some of the Christians in South India, which differs to what James reads today. We have the Protestant New Testament today and the Catholic New Testament, which is exactly the same as what James reads as the New Testament. Then,
in the early church, we had many differences among the church fathers. First of all, the earliest Church Fathers never referred to the books of the New Testament as scripture.
The New Testament did not exist in its current form, until the mid third century.
The first person to mention the four gospels together in one place was Irenaeus, who was an early church father who lived about the year 200 ce II when he was writing. He is the first person pay attention please. He is the first person to mention the four gospels together. The New Testament was constructed carefully
The first three Christian centuries. So Clement of Rome
does not refer to the New Testament as scripture. Ignatius of Antioch does not refer to the New Testament, as scripture.
Papyrus of hierapolis does not mention the New Testament scripture. Barnabas does not refer to the New Testament, or any of the books of the New Testament, as scripture.
Polycarp does not refer to the books of the New Testament and homeless of Rome, the same thing. These people when they refer to the writings of the New Testament, they would call them Memoirs of the apostles, period. They wouldn't say these were inspired words of God, or these books were inspired by God. And Matthew, Mark, Luke and john were inspired authors, they never claimed this themselves. And another question is, who are these people? How do we know who they are, where they lived? And what they wrote, we will see in due course what I mean by that. Then the later church fathers who did refer to the New Testament or some of the books of the New Testament as scripture,
they are different in the canon. They are lists of books different with each other from each other. I really is omits. For example, two and three, john, humans, James Jude, Second Peter x, and contains on top of that, an apocryphal book called The shepherd of hermas. Then we move on Clement of Alexandria, omits 123 john.
We're at one and two, Peter, Revelation and James, and contains on top of that, Barnabas and apocalypse of Peter origin omits James, Jude and x. Now, how do we know these people who wrote these books in the first century are in the second century, allegedly as the Christians claim, we're actually writing,
defending God or on behalf of God, they never claimed to be inspired. They never said that I am writing because God told me to write, that's not true. And that cannot be substantial. In fact, the canon of the New Testament was not agreed upon until the Reformation. Now Lee Martin MacDonald, in his book, The biblical canon, page 383, he states only during the Reformation did the Catholics achieved unity on the New Testament canon with the decree by the Council of Trent. But by that time, Luther had already denied full canonical status of James, Hebrews, Jude and Revelation. Here, here, we were being told by one of the authorities in the field, in the big biblical canon, that as late
as the 16th century, Martin Luther was questioning the validity of some of the books of the New Testament. So to this day, the Christians don't have a document called the New Testament in the sense that they're not united upon it. To this day, people who refer to themselves as Christians don't have a united document called the New Testament. So you have to define what you mean by the New Testament. Who are the authors of these Gospels and epistles? This is another question I wish to address. Now, James is aware of these disputes? I'll give you a few examples. Second, Peter is one of the most highly contested books in the New Testament. Some of the early church fathers didn't
even consider it to be canonical, and they considered it to be a forgery.
The Gospel of john had a very controversial status in the early church. Some of the early Christian Christian Church Fathers believed that it is a heretical gospel, because a lot of the heretics were actually referring to is referring to this gospel as canonical, as authoritative.
And then the debate about his order, if we don't know who the author is, how do we know what he wrote? And if we don't know what he wrote, how can we even claim to have the original? What does having original mean, when you say we have the original we can reconstruct, you reconstruct the original? What do you mean by the original? Where is it we cannot see it, all the original
documents, manuscripts have been lost. We do not have one original copy, written written by any of the New Testament offers.
Not one, not even one copy.
And the earliest we have is p 52. A small fragment as big as a credit card, which has the gospel of john chapter 18, some parts of it, it's a small fragment from the 125 if we were to be generous with data,
and then the first complete copy of the New Testament, we find is the fourth century, mid fourth century,
almost almost 250 years away from the authors who originally are thought to be the authors of the New Testament. So who are these authors? Who is john, there is a dispute about the gospel of john as to who wrote the gospel. Was it the john
The Son of God, was it the john of Ephesus? Or was it the john the presbyter? Who, which when how way? These are the questions, the Christians are still debating. So how do we know that john even wrote the gospel? And if we don't know who wrote the gospel, if we are not certain about that, how do we know what he wrote? And if we don't know if we cannot be certain as to what he wrote, how can we even contemplate or conceive or even imagine an original?
This is a question I asked.
So the earliest manuscripts are
from, for example, p 45, is the earliest manuscript of the Gospel of Mark, which is thought to be the earliest gospel, the first gospel ever written.
And the first manuscript of this particular gospel is from the year 220. Again, if we were to be generous with dating to 20, ce, Mark, is thought to have been written in the year 60, somewhere between 60 to 70. So we have a difference, a distance of 150 years between the first copy the legend of
then P 46. Two Corinthians, written by Paul allegedly, dates, the first manuscript we have is from the year 200, ce II, then we have p 52,
which I've already discussed. So now, what do these varying meter readings mean? Why were these texts copied by 1000s of people? And how did so many corruptions, so many differences? So many variants actually came in? This is the question I'd like to address. If First of all, if we don't know who the all the who the authors are and what they wrote, and where the originals are? How can we even imagine an original? If we don't know what an original looks like? How can we imagine trying to reconstruct that original if we don't know what it looks like? Because all scholars, almost all scholars are unanimous on this point, that majority of the corruptions made in the biblical the New
Testament manuscripts were made before the year 200.
Before the earliest manuscripts we have, so if that is the case, when all the differences were made, then all the additions and corruptions and subtractions were made, then how do we know what we are looking for in these manuscripts?
So what does these manuscripts actually mean? And what do these variant readings mean, for Christians?
So the problem is, according to interpret this dictionary of the Bible,
the New Testament is now known whole, or in part in nearly 5000 Greek manuscripts alone. Every one of these handwritten copies differ from every other one. In addition to these Greek manuscripts, the New Testament has been preserved in more than 10,000 manuscripts of the early versions, and in 1000s, of quotations of the church fathers. These manuscripts of the versions and quotations of the Church Fathers differ from one another just as widely, as do the Greek manuscripts do. only a fraction of this great mass of material has been fully collected, collated, and carefully studied. Until this task is completed, the uncertainty regarding the text of the New Testament will remain.
This is a Christian source, by the way,
compiled by a number of Christian scholars.
And I continue. It has been estimated that these manuscripts and quotations differ among themselves between 150,250 1000 times this number has increased by the way to 400,000 times, according to the the most recent estimates, and I continue, the actual figure is perhaps much higher. A study of 150 Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke has revealed more than 30,000 different readings. The question is, which one was written by Luke, Luke couldn't have possibly written these 30,000 different readings. The point here is that Luke was definitely not reliably transmitted. And this is exactly what the problem is with every single New Testament document. All of them have these 1000s
of differences in various readings, whether in wording or meaning.
It is true, of course, that the addition of the readings from another 150 manuscripts of Luke would not add another 30,000 readings to the list. But each manuscript studied does add substantially to the list of variants, it is safe to say pay attention please, it is safe to say that there are there is not one sentence in the New Testament in which the manuscript tradition is wholly uniform, many 1000s of these different readings or variants in orthography,
or grammar, or style, and how our effect upon meaning of the text.
There are many 1000s, which have a definite effect upon the meaning of the text. It is true that not one of these variant readings affects the substance of Christian dogma. It is equally true that many of them do have theological significance, and were introduced into the text intentionally. It may not
affect the substance of Christian dogma to accept the reading, Jacob the father of Joseph and Joseph tomb, the virginity, Mary was to whom Mary was
betrothed, the father of Jesus, who is called Christ as the sign etics Syriac but it gives rise to theological problem. It has been said that the great majority of the variant readings in the text of the New Testament arose before the books of the New Testament were canonized, and that after those books were canonized, they were very carefully copied because they were scripture. This, however, is far from being the case. It is true, of course, that many variants arose in the very earliest period. There is no reason to suppose that the first person who ever made a copy of the autograph of the Gospel of Luke did not change his copy to conform to the particular tradition with which he was
familiar. But he was under the compulsion to do so. Once the Gospel of Luke had become scripture, however, the picture was changed completely the copyist was under compulsion to change his copy to correct it, because it was scripture, it had to be right. The interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, volume four, page 594, to 595. This is the reality. This is what multi vocality and free transmission does to you.
James is a prolific, prolific speaker, he has amazing speaking skills much better than I can ever imagine to be. And
he is employing his speaking skills to suppress a big problem. A big problem is no matter scripts,
flashy terms, beautifully sounding words are not going to change the problem. The problem is that these variants do affect the meaning in some cases, significantly.
So what does Bruce Metzger has to tell us what does he have to tell us? Bruce Metzger is a believing Christian before I mentioned ermine, because urban, but urban is an apostate and James White has debated him. How much time do I have? Because I'm not timing myself.
Thank you. Thank you. So Bart Ehrman is an apostate from Christianity. He was a Christian. So he claims in the beginning when he studied the manuscripts, he apostatized because he saw so many varying readings, and he came to realize that this cannot possibly be the Word of God. Why would God reveal something, inspire something to people and then change it? Or let it be changed to such an extent that we have simply lost the original meaning? And what was written by those people? Now how do the Christians reconstruct
the Bible? How do they attempt to reach
at an original reading?
What is the process? Who decides? What goes in the Bible you read today in your churches in English language? Who decides? Does it come from Matthew? Mark? Luke, john, Peter, Paul, is that true? Absolutely not.
They have nothing to do with the Bible you read today in your churches. Why do I say that? Because the people who prepare this Bible for you have this to say, Bruce Metzger is one of the leading members of one of these committees which constructed the Greek New Testament, including this one in front of me, the fourth edition of the Greek New Testament. He stated in his book, a textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition page 11. of the introduction he states of the approximately 5000 Greek manuscripts of all or part of the New Testament that are known today, no to agree exactly in all particulars, confronted by a mass of conflicting readings, editors must decide
which variants deserve to be included in the text and which should be relegated to the apprentice. Although at first it may seem to be a hopeless task amid so many 1000s of variant readings to sort out those that should be regarded as original that should be regarded as original textual scholars have developed certainly generally acknowledged criteria of evaluation.
But these considerations depend it will be seen upon probabilities, not certainties, probabilities, and sometimes the textual criticism or critics must weigh one set of probabilities against another. The range and complexity of textual data are so great that
neatly arranged, and a mechanically contrived set of rules can be applied with mathematical precision. Each and every variant reading needs to be considered in itself and not judged merely according to a rule of thumb, effectively what Bruce Metzger is telling you here is that editors decide as to what goes in this Bible you read in English language, which is later on translated from Greek to English, editors must decide. The question is who gives this authority to these editors to tell you as to what Matthew, Mark, Luke and john may have written? This in itself is clear indication that we have simply lost what was written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and john. And the
scholars now have to apply a set of probabilities against other set of probabilities to construct the original text, how can someone in the 21st century and the 20th century construct a text which was written by allegedly someone in the first century, and even especially when you don't have the original copies? You don't even know what the original look like? You don't even know who wrote it, where when how we to this day have debates ensuing about the the language of the Gospel of Matthew, the earliest testimony we have is from Papyrus from the early second century, and he stated Matthew was originally written in the Hebrew language, if that's true, and that's more devastating than any
other claim I'm going to make. If that's true, the earliest copy of Matthew we have is in the Greek in the Greek language. So where is the original Hebrew language? If we were to think about a book being transfer transferred in its entirety, to another language? Are we not going to lose the meaning? Are we not going to lose the expression? I'm not going to lose the actual words written by Matthew, if he in fact wrote in Hebrew? Yes, we will. Definitely. We will I move on.
Now, there are many internal problems to suggest that the gospel of john in his current form was written, at least by two people, scholars are almost unanimous on that point scholars not fundamentalist. I'm talking about scholars here, people who are serious about these studies, and I will apply the same criteria to the Quran. If the Quran shares any history with the New Testament, which is not the case, but we will try our best to apply the same criteria to the Quran. Because the Quran has a distinct history, it's a different document altogether. It doesn't have the history the New Testament has. So now, the gospel of john is thought to have been written by at least two hands,
because the chapter 21.
assumes, and other author of that particular chapter, at least.
And even the prologue, the most important part, according to some Christians, were the gospel of john clay, the States, in the beginning of the Word, the Word was with God and word itself became God. This passage is thought to be a later edition by a redactor.
Thank you, by reductor, someone who edited the gospel of john, and it's in its current form, it is thought to have been written by at least two hands, if not more, and the problems continue. Problems continue, and problems will continue. Even in the rebuttal when I come back, thank you very much for listening to me. Well, hello, Donna Al hamdu, lillahi Rabbil alameen
can almost see that I'm gonna go ahead and use that. That's it.
Since Bruce Metzger was just read in your hearing,
let me read to you a quote from Bruce Metzger.
Who did the studies looked at the inflammation that odd Nan was just talking about? And then he was asked, has your study of the manuscripts of New Testament weakened or strengthened your faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and your faith in Christ? And he said, Oh, it has increased the basis of my personal faith to see the firmness with which these materials have come down to us with a multiplicity of copies, some of which are very, very ancient. I've asked questions All my life I've dug into the text. I've studied this thoroughly and today I know with confidence that my trust is
Jesus has been well placed, very well placed. So you have odd anons interpretation of Bruce Metzger and you'd have Bruce Metzger, his interpretation of Bruce Metzger. I'm going to go with Bruce Metzger, his interpretation of Bruce Metzger.
I hope you just heard the wildly radical position that was just taken. I submit to you that Adnan will not take that position regardless. You don't have the originals the Quran, you don't have the originals, the New Testament, we don't know what it says you don't have the originals of Quran either. Do you know what it says? Yeah. Oh, how do you how do you get away with that? We need to apply the same standards. It was said for example, that because I pointed out and this is this is basic scholarship, folks, this is this is what mesker says, This is what ermine says, This is what Allah says. This is what I've taught when I've taught these subjects in the past. It's basic, simple
scholarship that the more copies you have of an ancient work, the better. The fewer you have, the worse the more you have, the better. That was called the biggest blunder of my presentation. That's an amazing, you're telling me it's good to have all these people making all these additions actually even let me grab my computer with
Bart Ehrman. He's no friend of a fundamentalist.
Later scribes were producing our manuscripts, on the other hand, were principally interested in copying the text before them. They for the most part did not see themselves as authors who are writing new books, they were scribes reproducing the old books, the changes they made, at least the intentional ones were no doubt seen as improvements to the text possibly made because the scribes were convinced that the copyist before them themselves, mistakenly altered the words, the text, for the most part, their intention was to conserve the tradition, not to change it. And so you see this idea?
Why didn't we have any examples put up there on the screen of these massive amounts of difference? Who in fact showed you He said, I'm trying to suppress the the big problem that there's textual variants Who told you about the 400,000, who showed you the variant of first john three, one between clay Thelma and Kai asmin? That was me. Don't Don't accuse me of trying to suppress something that I've lectured on and talked about for most of my adult life. I'm not suppressing anything, I'm trying to explain to you that that is the byproduct of the best way of preserving the text. What we've had here is a radical attack on the most documented earliest attested manuscript. Yes, 94%
come from that far longer. But do you remember the graphic? No work of antiquity? Has any witnesses any earlier than New Testament? None?
So to say, Oh, well, there's 150 years between when when Paul wrote in our first manuscript copier when Mark wrote in a first manuscript copy, that is miniscule in comparison to any other work of antiquity that no one questioned the accuracy of our copies of miniscule compared to It's ridiculous. I asked Bert barter, and I said, you said that's a large amount of time, what would you consider the amount of time between the first the writing and the first copies of playing your tasks if there's something like that you said, ginormous, even laugh? Even he recognizes this. So folks, you need to recognize there was just been said here is basically God couldn't have given this
revelation till 1949. You know, what happened in 1949. Somebody invented the photocopier.
So if there's gonna be any changes, there's gonna be any variations. And folks, every work of antiquity, every work, including the cut on has variants in it. If you're going to make that type of assertion, then there can be no revelation prior to the coming of the photocopier so that you can make sure to plunk it down make photocopies. I don't know about you, but I've had some pretty bad photocopiers in my past and I sometimes I couldn't read what was photocopied on that either. So who knows, maybe until modern scanners or something, I don't know. But that kind of standard is not what scholars use to determine the accuracy of something that has been transmitted to us over time. Now,
I'm not get into all sorts of issues that have almost nothing to do with our debate this evening. If he wants to debate about
the fact that even Second Peter mentioned who the scribe was that wrote it, and that explains the stylistic differences if he wants to debate canon issues and things like that, I'm not even gonna get into the issues of, you know, more servers and lesser as in regards to the Quran we get into that. If he wants to get in that stuff. We can definitely address all those things and have done so. There's a brand new book out Dr. Krueger at reformed Theological Seminary in has just put out an excellent work on the canon of Scripture very thoroughly documented in depth. And it's written by someone who actually believes God speaks most of Adnan's sources are from people who don't believe
God speaks my Muslim friends, why do you quote them?
Why do you quote scholars who begin with the assumption God is you
He can't talk anymore? Because they don't think he talked in the Quran either. Why are you quoting them? Why the different standard? I don't understand. I don't have to do that when I analyze your stuff. Why are you doing that to me? at all? They are Christians? Well, you know, I keep pointing out to folks, do you believe that someone who doesn't believe Muhammad was a prophet? is a Muslim?
Even though they claim to be one, are they Muslim? I don't think so. So if someone doesn't believe that Jesus Christ was divine and rose from the dead, are they really a Christian? Just because they use the name? I mean, seriously, what I think we really, really need where is the original, we have no originals at all. We have no originals in the Quran. We have no originals from the ancient world.
scholarship does not say we can't know because we have no originals. scholarship recognizes that the manuscript tradition is what we rely upon. Anybody ever read tacitus? Any, any of the Greek historians?
Those books were copied long after their originals? Do we just simply dismiss them? If we do, we don't know anything happened the ancient world, everything you think you knew was going on back then you don't actually know it. Evidently, given what we've been told this evening.
I also point out something else, the Quran is much younger than New Testament, it had 600 years less time to be transmitted by hand than the New Testament did and the Old Testament is much older. So we have to recognize that honest scholarship will require us to recognize the differences between our texts, if as I said, our goal this evening is to honestly approach each other's texts and to handle these things, the way that they need to be handled. We were told that every manuscript differs from every other one.
Does that mean we don't know what the original said? No, that's not the case. The differences are minor, they're tiny, there would be like my, my passing out something here at the front row, and having you all copy it and all the way to the back, would we be able to figure out at the back what was written at the front? As long as the people along the way were trying to come make a copy? Yes, we could. And that's exactly what the scribes were doing. The idea that because there's one variant, okay, if because there's one variant, we don't know what the original was, keep that standard in mind for the next debate.
Because once I show one variant, the Quran and Islamic scholars recognize this and admit it, then it's all over with, isn't it? I reject the idea that because there is one variant in a manuscript, that means you can no longer know what the original was there Miss printings in any book today. I found Miss printings in my own book that mean, I didn't write the book.
Of course not. Keep keep just keep these these in mind. For example, it was also mentioned variants that were introduced intentionally. And the reference that was being read was in regards to Luke chapter two. There were later scribes who were concerned about the fact that Joseph was called his father at a later point. Well, he grew up in Joseph house, what else you gonna call him, Bob?
I mean, so a later punctilious scribe was like, oh, someone might misunderstand. So I won't put father here I'll put parents or something other than that, okay. If we only had if we only had
a controlled transmission of the text, we wouldn't know that was a change. You know, why odd not knows there was a change there. Because we have a freely transmitted text, which means we have earlier manuscripts, which means we can detect those things. And aren't we glad we have them? You see, he has the he has the UBS fourth edition corrected there. And he looks down at the bottom of the page. And there's all these notes. He says, editors tell you what's in your Bible. No, I can look at all those notes and tell you what's in all the manuscripts too. That's all available online. We don't hide it. Those editors are not the ones finally deciding what the Word of God is. Those
editors are using the wealth of material that God has given to us to help us to determine what john and Paul and Peter wrote and what they transmitted to us in the Gospel. Thank you very much.
Okay, so a lot of mana Rahim. I told you he's a good speaker. He's a good speaker. Absolutely. Absolutely. Now
Now, look at this particular collection of what the editors thing is the New Testament.
on page three of the introduction of this very fourth edition of the Greek New Testament, constructed by a number of editors, they stayed. And I quote on the basis of generally accepted principles of textual analysis, the committee took into account the widest possible range of manuscript readings as well as all internal considerations concerning the origin and transmission of the text. But since in a number of instances, the evidence from such sources points to the possibility of different solutions, and thus involves different degree degrees of certainty with respect to the form of the original text, the letter ABC, or D has been employed within braces at
the beginning of each apparatus item, so as to mark one of four levels of certainty, as representing in large mergers the difficulties encountered by committee in making textural decisions, the letter A indicate that the text is certain. The letter B indicates that the text is almost certain. The letter C, however, indicates that the committee had difficulty in deciding which variant to place in the text. The letter D, which occurs only rarely indicates that the committee had great difficulty in arriving decision.
This is what the reality is, they are doing their best to construct what may have been written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and john, they do not know what was written by them, they can never know my claim is we cannot possibly we cannot possibly construct what was originally penned by Matthew, Mark, Luke and john and the rest, it is impossible for us to know what they're owed unless a copy signed by Mark was found somewhere buried in Jerusalem, or Galilee, or wherever he wrote.
Until that happens, we cannot be certain. And even if that happens, how do we know it was actually signed by Mark? How do we know who was Mark? How can we even know that?
Because you see, the biblical testimony and authority relies on one person, for example, for the Gospel of Mark, who is Mark, we don't know, how he lived, where he lived, and how he wrote where we wrote and who he wrote for, we don't have these details. One person somewhere writing in the middle of nowhere, we don't know who he is. But when we come to the Quran, and I'm happy to apply the same criteria to the Quran, you see when it will come to the Quran, you will see a change in the tone of James White, he will take his gloves off, the gloves off, ruthless, you know, approach will come out, and you will see how the standard changes. But But stay put, stay put. Now, this, this doesn't
help James wide. This doesn't help him. You flick through the pages, you will see the text is there, which is constructed by editors, not by the original authors. And the apprentice is full of variant readings full of 1000s upon 1000s. And James is saying that we know what is the variant reading we know. But my question is which one was written by Mark, Luke and john? How do we know which was which there are hundreds of 1000s of words attributed to them? How do we know the New Testament was definitely not transmitted reliably from his alleged authors? Now to my classical
presentation, here we have some specific examples of corruptions made in the Bible.
intentionally. These are intentional corruptions, changes made by scribes through the ages. Some beautiful faces always ask this question asked us because this this question, when was the corrupted? Who corrupted it? And why? One of them is my dear friend, Jay Smith, isn't he beautiful?
And some books are written on this topic. Put an aside, if James doesn't like him, which is very, very clear and evident that James doesn't like, but we can put him aside and we can concentrate on Bruce Metzger, whom he quoted, what he says about his conviction and faith is not relevant to the case here. What is relevant is what he said about the construction of the New Testament. And he said it was it was constructed by editors, not by Matthew, Mark, Luke and john.
That tells us clearly that the text of the New Testament was changed. So now the questions are,
who tampered with the Bible. Why did they make these changes? And when
the facts are, as already clearly stated in some of the quotes I had
read in your presence.
that not one sentence is wholly uniform in the manuscript tradition, these changes were made some intentionally some by error.
Okay, why were intentional changes made changes involving spelling and grammar correcting them humoristic corruptions, people were trying to harmonize one verse with another edition of natural complements and similar adjuncts, then clearing up historical geographical difficulties that we will see in due course conflation of readings, alterations made because of the doctrinal considerations, addition of miscellaneous details. Okay.
Now, in the third story, the third origin, an early church father, he noticed massive number of variant readings differences in the manuscripts and he stated, I quote, The differences among the manuscripts have become great, either through the negligence of some copies, or through the perverse audacity of others, they either neglect to check over what they have transcribed, or in the process of checking, they make additions or deletions as they pleased origin in the third century, this was already taking place and origin was looking at his copies.
So Codex Sinaiticus is a classical example of some of the changes. This particular document is the earliest complete copy of the New Testament, and it's from the mid fourth century. And this document in itself has 12,000 corrections 12,000 corrections made by at least four hands, and different times and places. Why, when how we don't know. But they were made corrections were made. And this particular collection has two extra books which cannot be found in the New Testament of James White Epistle of Barnabas and Shepherd of hermas. Why these two books are thrown out and when they were put in we don't know. Then the ending of Mark James asserted that no intentional changes were made
reading, ermine, I don't know whether that's what he meant. But I understood it that way. That ermine woman was trying to claim that intentional, that scribe didn't intend to change the Bible. Most of these errors were unintentional. But here we have the longer ending of mark in Codex Washington, he says, and when we go to the next
manuscripts, the earlier ones, that economists and Codex Sinaiticus, we do not have the longer end of the Gospel of Mark, chapter 16, verse nine to 20 is missing. And biblical scholars, even the conservative biblical scholars, those we regard as fundamentalist, except that this wasn't originally written by Mark, this was not originally this passage, this portion wasn't written by Mark. My question is, why is it still in your Bible? Why do you still read it as the word mark, and by extension, the Word of God,
then we have some manuscripts with different endings, no ending, long ending with intro, some other comments, only the short ending, only the long ending, expanded long ending, first short than long ending, and different manuscripts. So who's doing all of this, who is playing around with the Word of God in different places in different times, multi vocality, as James White puts it, this is what multi vocality does to the Scripture, and to the Word of God, then a famous corruption in the text of the Bible. One john five, seven, it does not exist anywhere in the early Greek manuscripts. And I'm not going to spend much time on this famous story of the adulterous taken in the act, and he was
brought to Jesus Christ to be stoned. And we know the story. This story, guess what, ladies and gentlemen doesn't exist in any of the early Greek manuscripts up to the ninth century?
This story, which has theological as well as doctrinal significance, does not exist. In any of the early manuscripts. It was corrupt, it was changed, or it was added into the text by someone who decided to put it in. Was the New Testament reliably transmitted. This is the question, was it reliably transmitted from his alleged authors?
This is a question I'm addressing today. And it is evident, ladies and gentlemen, that was not definitely not considering all these facts, which have been put in front of you today.
And the same story is missing from Codex vaticanus and Sinaiticus, which can be found in the Bible, which James reads today. My question is James, you know, this wasn't written by john, why do you still read it as the Word of God in your Bible? Why do you not come out and be brave enough to tell the Christians that this is not the word of God, hence, the Bible was not reliably transmitted from his elected office. Thank you very much for listening.
Alright, so you're ready to start over again. Okay, let's my first minute.
I wish I had made all those presentations in his opening statement, so I'd have a chance to rebut them. You actually not supposed to do new material in your in your rebuttal, but that's what happened. Every single reference he brought up I have written about in my book, the King James Bond controversy. Why not be brave enough to tell people? I've been lecturing on this stuff for years, I've done debates on this stuff. Part of my debate with Bart Ehrman mentioned, john, chapter seven, verse 53, through 811, and the obey adultery, and I gave all the information on when it was first found everything. I've been falsely accused of suppressing falsely accused, not having the bravery
of standing up and doing what I've been doing for decades. So I would direct add on to my published works, where he would discover that actually, scholars have been addressing these things for a very long period of time, I simply want to point out that what odd man has just said was, you have no evidence that I would ever accept, because he said, Hey, unless you get assigned gospel mark, but even that wouldn't be good enough. Amazing standard.
Well, you have to show
who, when, when we don't have this information, you know, we only have speculations, written by scholars, and assume all of these things, all of these conclusions are based upon the assumptions.
Now, thank you. So all of these conclusions are based upon me assumptions. You haven't responded to my question. With regards to the authorship of john, you will struggle, you know, James, to answer that question, the most authoritative sources here, I have one of the games may turn around and say this is a liberal source. Well, I would like to have a life change to paint from ad hominem and address the points and arguments raised in this particular so the new general biblical commentary, some of the biggest authorities in the Christian world have contributed to this. And they are telling us as to what the debate is about. We don't even know. Louder. Thank you.
Know, it's my turn. Of course, I would love to address a lot of these issues, it'd be it would be nice to to debate these issues, especially in regards to cannon, I'd love to debate anyone who would like to try to prove that the prologue of john is later edition, show me a single manuscript. It's easy folks to come up with liberal theories about redaction criticism, because you don't have to come up with any evidence, very difficult to debate those things. There is a film just aired here in England, about the Quran and the origins of Muhammad and things like that. And most of the Muslims have gone Hey, how about some? How about some actual evidence? How about some citations in the
Quran, I'm saying to you show me a manuscript that does not have the prologue of john, he just said, the prologue of john, is later redaction show me a single manuscript that does not have the prologue of john in it. It's a theory and nothing more than a theory based upon stylistic influences, that does not make it sound in any way, shape, or form. You wouldn't accept it if I did that to you.
So that I can show you what I'm talking about. You don't have it. So it helps me not you this point where you don't have a minister of the gospel of john, you have one small fragment as big as a credit card chapter 18, of the gospel of john, and we don't have the prologue. So how can I show you?
The point here is, we have manuscripts of john showing that the story of the adulterous doesn't exist. Why don't you throw it out of the Bible? Why don't you tell you have? Yes. Have you told the church that they should throw it out? Yes.
It's not in the critical edition, the text there. We're not supposed to be interacting. We're not supposed to be interacting.
But why is the Why?
Why, when the scholars like James, white, respected scholars know that this passage is not the word of john, let alone the Word of God. Why is it still in the Bible?
If anyone has a modern translations Bible, if you will turn to john chapter seven, verse 53. What do you have in the bottom? You have a footnote telling you that this does not appear in the earliest manuscripts of the gospel of john, don't you? You all do look at the ESV. Look at the nasb. It's there. It's not hidden. We're not hiding anything. I have said many I've been asked many times in public places. What if I was preaching to the gospel of john what I preached on 753 811 as scripture, and my consistent answer has been, I would not I would explain why not I would explain the background. But everybody in my church knows everything about the prica pay adulterate and the
longer ending of Mark, I can guarantee you that they're stuck with me and they know all about it. So again, he says, Well, I can't answer that question till you show me
gospel of john, the gospel of john is the earliest attested book of antiquity. Do you hear the radical nature of this? No work of antiquity would pass Audubon's test nothing, we know nothing about antiquity.
Now we have a book from late antiquity, the Quran, which the scholars do agree that comes from the period, called in late antiquity period, and the Quran will be scrutinized in due course in the next debate, and we will see whether my criteria actually does support the Quran or the Quran actually stands up to that scrutiny, we will see that and I'll apply the same criteria. My question to you now is, how can you now construct what was allegedly written by some people, unknown people, anonymous people in the first and the early second century?
And how can you even think about an original? How can we construct what they wrote? can we can we ever with certainty, construct what was originally actually written by them?
There's absolutely no question that we can do. So I just quoted you, Bruce Metzger, I've quoted you Kurt Allen, it just doesn't seem that that odd non understands the practice of textual criticism, the transmission of ancient documents, it just it just, I don't know how much more clearly, I can attempt to express the fact that if you take the most differing manuscripts we have, even if the gospel of john, you do not have a different message in the one than the other, if you apply the same rules of interpretation, you're gonna get the same message. And when you say, well, we don't have any of these elements. Yes, we do. We have entire gospel manuscripts closer to the time of their
writing than any other work of antiquity. And so the standards being used here is again, a standard that is beyond scholarship, it is not anything that anyone accepts as being scholarly to say that you have to have a signed manuscript, and even that's not enough, what do we need a DNA sample?
Somebody wrote mark, didn't they?
Well, somebody wrote mark, but who is Mark? And where did you write it?
First of all, you have to tell me who mark is. Where is he? Where did he write? What language did he use? Greek, Greek. Okay, this, that's an assumption again, you see, I will read again, for James to pay attention from this Greek New Testament, they have given four categories A, B, C, D, A, the most certain category B, less than, than that C less than that, and d is uncertain. Now, how can you have ABC for the Word of God?
How can you have that? How can you have higher level of certainty for the Word of God, and then a B category for the Word of God of certainty, and then the C, and then the D, which is obnoxious. Okay. Now, the point is, how can we possibly construct what was actually written by if Mark ever existed by a man called mark, the fact of matter is, what you have at the bottom of those pages is a rich treasure trove of information that Christians are very open about in discussing, and some textual variants are harder to work through than others. That's all that rating system is about. You still have all the witnesses right there at the bottom of the page, nothing is being hidden from you, you
have the opportunity, I have the opportunity of examining those things. We're open about it, because the free transmission of our text, would anyone in the audience, please hold up the critical edition of the cut on that has the same information.
There is no such thing. So you're stuck with what your editors told you. And they don't tell you what sources they use. That's we're going to find out in a second debate. That's the difference, folks, I want to have the information right there in front of me. I want to know what the sources are. So I can check those editors. And I frequently do and when I preach, you can listen to my preaching. I bring those issues up. First of all, Are you finished sorry. Okay, first of all, such an addition of the Quran wouldn't help your case because that wouldn't help you proved that the Bible was not reliably award reliably transmitted from the alleged author even if such an addition
existed from the Quran or off the Quran. Okay, secondly, we don't need an edition of the Quran because the Quranic transmission was fully completely 100% controlled. That's why we have more confidence in it. That's why we know exactly what came from the prophet and who transmitted it and who these people were who was off man they've been surveyed Abdullah bin so bear with me in Cobb, Alabama with Ali Baba Baccarat, Miranda de Jalisco. Okay. We know exactly who these people are. Do you know who john is the one who wrote the gospel? No, you don't.
First of all, let me thank you all for being here for this first debate, we have one more to go. So don't, don't wander off. I think the second debate will illustrate really what's been going on in the first debate, we have here, the historical understanding of how we understand the transmission of ancient texts. That's what I've presented to you. And that's what's used in analyzing classical texts. That's what's used in analyzing the New Testament. That's how we do scholarship. And that's how we determine that's how we'd be very careful to know what was originally written, not what our religious tradition tells us should have been originally written. That's what we do when we do
textual critical scholarship. On on one side, you have an absolutely unscholarly and unreasonable standard that no one not even the most radical skeptics adopts, that you would have to have a notary public in a time machine that could go back and notarize the Gospel of Mark, and then take a DNA sample from Mark and photographs before you'd accept it to be from Mark, you have nothing like that for the Quran. And that's what we're about to see. And so you have two completely different scales being used. Now much of what I've done is referred to
comes from scholarship that has been very thoroughly refuted. But unfortunately, places like well, over here, the BBC, isn't really big on talking to conservatives about what they believe you notice that even amongst Muslims, you know, you always get the radical view, you don't necessarily get the conservative view that's really given much, much of a, you know, an opportunity. And in the United States, we have CNN and MSNBC and things like that. And then it's the same thing, and they're always quoting the the liberals. But we had a lot of our own scholars, I think, at one point, said, well, we're not fundamentalists, we're true scholars. You know, I guess the idea being if you really
believe God spoke, and you believe the gospel, then you're not really a scholar, I guess I'm not sure if that was what was being implied. I hope not. This book would demonstrate otherwise. It's called the heresy of Orthodoxy. How contemporary cultures fascination with diversity, has reshaped our understanding of early Christianity. Michael Kruger, again, a tremendous scholar, edited this, this goes through many of the popular errors that are out there today, some of which we heard this evening. And so for your great benefit, I'm not I'm going to provide it to you.
And may I please say something, please say something, despite how
firmly on and I talk, I like he looks better than me and his I wish. I wish I had hair like that. That's all I can say.
Enjoy it while you have it. Because you never know. You never know.
I thought I was gonna have it for a long time too. But it didn't work out that way.
Two texts, two different ways of transmission.
If you do not want to believe that the wide dispersion of the New Testament,
in its very earliest time, leads to a more firm text because we have many more witnesses in different places. And they are telling us the same story. The variations are understandable variations due to copyist errors and the vast majority of instances. If you don't want to believe that I can't force you to believe that I am here for people of truth.
One of the 99 Beautiful Names is all Hawk.
And if God is truth, and we as his creatures had better love that truth,
and I do, and I have studied this issue, and I have studied it in depth, and I have defended the reliability of the text in New Testament against the leading scholars in the English speaking world Bart Ehrman, john Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg men who have written many books on this subject.
And I'm simply here to tell you that when you allow the facts to speak for themselves, there is one thing that is absolutely self evident,
that God revealed himself in a special way in Jesus Christ. 2000 years ago, his disciples wrote down that gospel, they wrote to the churches, and God has preserved that word for us. We still have what they wrote, despite the persecution, despite the deaths, we still have what they wrote. And yes, we are very open about the fact that there are variations. But one of those variations is the original and we tell you about what all of them are. So it's you may hear the message of Christ. There is no other work of antiquity that comes even close to that. And that, to me is evidence that God has indeed spoken and preserved his word. I cannot force you to believe that I can simply present it to
you and pray it the Spirit of God
Well bless you this evening. Thank you very much.
Thank you very much for attending today's debate, ladies and gentlemen, it's been a very warm interaction between myself and James. And I, at no point in any way, meant to hurt anyone's feelings, I was simply here to address what I perceive to be the truth. And I have done my best to put it as I deem fit. And
the reality is, ladies and gentlemen, that the New Testament can never be reconstructed. Even if we were to employ all our faculties, intellectual material, and philosophical, we simply wouldn't be able to reconstruct what we know today as the New Testament. It is simply the work of man. The text we read today, as the New Testament is manmade, there is no doubt about that. Absolutely manmade, made by editors somewhere in the US or in the UK, depending on where they are. And what goes to the process.
is, we know today as are the various readings. Now, we will never know what was originally written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and john, for reasons already given to you. Now, amazingly, ladies and gentlemen, the question I ask is, how would the prophet of Islam Prophet Mohammed know this peace be upon him? The first time the Christians came across this catastrophe? In the manuscripts known as the variant readings, was in the early 18th century? The real extent was known then, in 1707, a scholar called john mill published a book on the variant readings of the New Testament, and he only studied 100 manuscripts, and he came up with 30,000 variant readings. And he was rebuked,
condemned, criticized for that, for doing that.
And the Quran 14 centuries ago, tells us in chapter two verse 79, how do we live in a shutdown regime? Between larhonda infoway lunalilo Dena Yakubu kitabi de familia colonna has Amina and De La Liga taru, bhai Samana kalila
for a llama cassava at him of a llama Moxie Boone will be on to those who write books with their own hands and say, These books are from God,
literally to the urn, from these actions will be on to what they write, and will be on to what they earn. This is what the Quran states, Prophet Muhammad was not
a Greek textual,
New Testament critic, he was not a scholar. He was not a theologian. He never went to an academy. He never went to a school or a university to study the Greek manuscripts or the Hebrew manuscripts in the various readings they're in. Rather, what he received was the revelation. Amaya, Antigua and El Hawa in who are allowing you are Ahmed, you speak not from yourself, rather, you speak from an inspiration. And he was inspired to state when he said that the book or the books of the people of Scripture, the Jews and the Christians have been changed. They have been corrupted, and they have lost the original teachings and writings of the prophets and those who wrote these books. In the
later age. They have been lost. And the Quran is absolutely accurate in this regard. absolutely accurate. The Christian scholars will tell you that the atheistic scholars will tell you that and the Jewish scholars will tell you that Muslims word in this is not important. I think the word of the Muslims is not important. Muslims have the Quran to believe in for us the Quran is enough. The Quran tells us that the scriptures were changed. This is enough for us. But in order to show you ladies and gentlemen, Christian brothers and sisters in humanity, we have to bring the Quran in and show you the evidence from your side that the Quran is absolutely accurate. Thank you very much for
listening today. May God guide you to the truth wherever it may be. Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa Alhamdulillah.