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Criticism of the Bible - Collection 16

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Criticism of the Bible – Collection 16:

We have 10 titles in this upload:

- Ehrman - FORGED; Writing in the Name of God-Why the Bible’s Authors are not Who We Think (2011)
This the print version of the book that was previously uploaded as an audio book. Nothing more need to be said about this book; its title summarizes the conclusions of its author. It is a must-read.

- Haines-Eitzen - Guardians of Letters; Literacy, Power, and the Transmitters of Early Christian Literature (2000)
The book examines the roles played by the scribes in the transmission of early Christian literature. In particular, it examines the power of the scribes in either preserving the literature or corrupting it.

- Hoffmann (ed.) - Sources of the Jesus Tradition; Separating History from Myth (2010)
In this book we have 12 writers explaining the difficulties facing biblical research and those who try to prove the historicity of Jesus. In the words of one the writers it is like: .. a police investigation gone cold.
It seems that 200 years of biblical and Jesus research have created more questions than answers. As a result of biblical research, researchers and scholars are now less certain about Jesus and his tradition than they were 200 years ago.

- Jones - The New Testament in the 20th Century; A Survey of Recent Christological and Historical Criticism of the New Testament (1914)

- Kirsch - A History of the End of the World; How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization (2006)
The author of this book expose the influence of the book of Revelation on Christianity thought and on the western civilization throughout its history. This book is of unknown origins or authorship. Some claims that the book of Revelation is "the only biblical book authored by Christ," but the Gospels never mention that Jesus Christ ever wrote a book like this one.
The author also examines the role of this book in the rise of Christian fundamentalism.

- LeMon & Richards (eds.) - Method Matters; Essays on the Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible (2009)
This is a handbook of the methods of interpretation and criticism of the Bible.

- Seibert - Disturbing Divine Behavior; Troubling Old Testament Images of God (2009)
Confounded by the troubling images of God in the Old Testament, the author, an apologist, examines several theories in attempt to explain these disturbing texts. But, it seems he fails to admit that the Old Testament has suffered considerable amount of corruptions over the years. These troubling images of God were simply parts of the corruptions and forgeries in the Bible.

- Strange - The Bible; Is It the Word of God (1871)
A very nice book in which the author improvised a setup of a conversation between two persons: a reformed Pundit and a candid Student. Throughout this conversation, the problems of the Bible are discussed and exposed.

- Werleman - God Hates You, Hate Him Back; Making Sense of The Bible (2009)
- Werleman - Jesus Lied, He was Only Human; Debunking the New Testament (2010)
Atheists find an easy prey in the Bible; they can feast on it, and use it to attack all religions. Here is an example of an atheist author with the simple task of exposing the many errors, contradictions, corruptions and forgeries in the Bible. Unfortunately, after preying on the Bible and Christianity, the atheists usually generalize their findings and conclusions to other religions and especially Islam and the Qur'an

About 1400 years ago, the Qur'an has declared its verdict on the Bible. The Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad over a period of about 22 years between (610 AD -632 AD). It is interesting to compare the verdict of the Qur'an with the results of biblical research.

In Sura #2 (Chapter #2) in the Qur'an we read:
2:77 Do they (the Jews and Christians) not know that God is well aware of what they conceal and what they reveal?
2:78 Some of them are uneducated, and know the Scripture only through wishful thinking. They rely on guesswork.
2:79 So woe to those who write something down with their own hands and then claim, ‘This is from God,’ in order to make some small gain. Woe to them for what their hands have written! Woe to them for all that they have earned!

And in Sura #3, we read:
3:78 There are some who twist the Scripture with their tongues to make you think that what they say is part of the Scripture when it is not; they say it is from God when it is not; they attribute lies to God and they know it.

In the same Sura #3, a few verses before, we read:
3:69 Some of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) would dearly love to lead you (Muslims) astray, but they only lead themselves astray, though they do not realize it.
3:70 O' People of the Book, why do you deny God’s revelations when you can see they are true?
3:71 O' People of the Book, why do you mix truth with falsehood? Why do you hide the truth when you recognize it?

From the above verses we can summarize the verdict of the Qur'an:
The Bible is a mixture of truth with falsehood; it is corrupted and parts of it were forged. The corruptions in the Bible were caused by, either the rabbis and priests who wanted to hide the truth and deceive people, or the scribes who wanted to get more compensations (by adding to the Bible).

It took the biblical research an extensive effort from hundreds of researchers for the last 300 years to reach the same verdict the Qur'an has declared some 1400 years ago!

According to biblical research, the oldest Arabic version of the Bible came into existence in the year 867 AD (the Mt. Sinai Arabic Codex 151). So at the time of the Prophet, the Bible existed only in either Hebrew or Greek. Certainly, it was almost impossible for Prophet Muhammad, an illiterate person who only spoke Arabic, to have an access to the Bible.

It is indeed a miracle (info-miracle) for the Qur'an to declare such an accurate verdict about the Bible at that time. It is an info-miracle that should be more appreciated by the Westerners who know about the outcome of biblical research more than other people.

Some western writers claim that Islam has its roots in Judaism and Christianity and the Qur'an was copied from the Bible. This claim, however, fails to explain why the Qur'an is so critical of the Jews and the Christians and the Bible. It fails to explain how the content of the Qur'an often contradicts that of the Bible.

Here are few examples:

About the corruptions introduced into Judaism and Christianity, the Qur'an says:
9:30 (Some of ) the Jews said, ‘Ezra is the son of God,’ and the Christians said, ‘The Messiah is the son of God’: they said this with their own mouths, repeating what earlier disbelievers had said. May God confound them! How far astray they have been led!
9:31 They take their rabbis, their monks, and Jesus Christ - the son of Mary - as lords beside God. But they were commanded to worship only one God: there is no god but Him; Praise and Glory to Him; He is far above whatever they set up as His partners!

In another Sura, we read:
2:116 They have asserted, ‘God has a child.’ May He be exalted!
No! Everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him, everything devoutly obeys His will.
2:117 He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth, and when He decrees something, He says only, ‘Be,’ and it is.

The pure and absolute monotheism in the Qur'an is one of its main themes (one of its info-miracles). It is not corrupted with myths, legends, pagan beliefs or pagan images of gods. Here are a few examples:

Sura #112 is composed of 4 verses only; it is all about monotheism:
112:1 Say, ‘He is God the One,
112:2 God the Eternal
112:3 He begot no one nor was He begotten.
112:4 No one is comparable to Him.’

In Sura #2, we find the Verse of the Throne (considered by some Muslims as the greatest verse in the Qur'an):
2:255 He is God: there is no god but Him, the Ever Living, the Ever Watchful. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him.
All that is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Him.
Who is there that can intercede with Him except by His leave?
He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they do not comprehend any of His knowledge except what He wills.
His throne extends over the heavens and the earth; it does not weary Him to preserve them both.
He is the Most High, the Tremendous.

And in the last 3 verses in Sura #59, we read:
59:22 He is God: there is no god other than Him. It is He who knows what is hidden (unseen) as well as what is in the open (seen), He is the Lord of Mercy (Most Gracious), the Giver of Mercy (Most Merciful).
59:23 He is God: there is no god other than Him, the Sovereign, the Holy One, Source of Peace, Granter of Security, Guardian over all, the Almighty, the Compeller, the Supreme; God is far above anything they consider to be His partner.
59:24 He is God: the Creator, the Originator, the Shaper. The best names belong to Him. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him: He is the Almighty, the Wise.

Other points of major diversion between the Qur'an and the Bible include:

- That the earth is much older than humans, and that there were other creatures on earth before the creation of humans. This can be deduced from Verse 2:30 which says:
.. when your Lord told the angels, ‘I am putting a vicegerent (Adam) on earth,’ they said, ‘Why You put someone there who will cause destruction and bloodshed, when we celebrate Your praise and proclaim Your holiness?’ but He said, ‘I know things you do not.’

Actually from this verse we can also deduce that the angels were created before the humans.

- There is no genealogy of any one linking him in a chain of son-father to Adam with ages of people to suggest that the human race is only 5000 years old.

- That the creation was in six periods not six (24 hour) days.

- That Noah's deluge was a local incident not a universal one. It was simply a punishment to the disbelievers from Noah's people. Sura #54 gives short accounts of the stories of several prophets among them Noah. In Verses 9-15, we read the following:
54:9 The people of Noah rejected the truth before them: they rejected
Our servant, saying, ‘He is mad!’ Noah was rebuked,
54:10 and so he called upon his Lord, ‘I am helpless: help me!’
54:11 So We opened the gates of the sky with torrential water,
54:12 We burst the earth with gushing springs: the waters met for a preordained purpose.
54:13 We carried him along on a vessel of planks and nails
54:14 that floated under Our watchful eye, a reward for the one who had been rejected.
54:15 We have left this as a sign: will anyone take heed?

The purpose of the Ark was to carry pairs of the animals living in the area of Noah's people to guarantee the continuity of the livelihood of the people on the Ark after the end of the deluge; it was not to preserve all the animals on earth as portrayed in the Bible. So the animals on the Ark were pairs of the domesticated animals in the area from what you normally find in a small farm. (There are no lions, tigers, elephants, apes, kangaroos, lamas, ….)

- Rejection of all the doctrines that were introduced into Christianity on times much later than the time of Jesus, such as: the divinity of Jesus or his mother; the doctrine of the trinity, the original sin, the incarnation, worship of images, celibacy, ..

- That all the prophets were wise, pious men and women. They were selected from the people to carry God's message to the others. Their stories in the Qur'an are completely free from all the immoral activities associated to them in the Bible.