Monday, November 23, 2009

Islam and Ethics

If you only learn one thing regarding Islam, learn about Islamic ethics. Islamic ethics do not share anything with our ethics. Islamic ethics are profoundly and foundationally dualistic. They have one set of rules for themselves, and another set of rules for everyone else, the kafirs. The treatment of kafirs varies from their being treated well to being beheaded. Both treatments reflect pure Islam. In Islam, kafirs can also be deceived, robbed, murdered and raped. There is even a word for sacred deceit---taquiyya.

On an ethical basis, there is no such thing as Islamic pacifism. Islam is a civilization of war and violence. The Sira and Koran show that Islam was a failure until it adopted violence. It then became overwhelmingly powerful. The Hadith (Traditions of Mohammed) is filled with details of the ethics of Islam.

Ethics is the great divide between Islam and all other cultures, but before we look at Islamic ethics, let's look at ours. Our ethics are based upon the Golden Rule---treat others as you would be treated. Who are the 'others?' The 'others' are ALL others. There's no elimination of someone because of race, sex, ethnicity, or religion. In our politics, everyone is to be treated fairly and equally before the law, and the Golden Rule leads to the concepts of what we call fair and what we call equal. Some may jump up and say, "But we don't do that all the time, do we?" No, it is true that we do not do that all the time, because every person is pulled between two contradictory ideas. One is to treat others as they should be treated. The other idea is purely selfish and to only look to ourselves. When we dwell on our own personal needs too much and start hurting or harming others, we can be corrected and brought back by saying, 'That is not fair,' and such 'fairness' is based upon the Golden Rule.

So the Golden Rule lies behind our legal and ethical system.

Islam does not follow the Golden Rule. Indeed Islam explicitly denies the Golden Rule. The Koran never addresses humanity as a whole. Instead, humanity is always divided into the kafir (the unbeliever) and the believer (the Muslim). The Koran is very clear that the kafir is to be treated differently from the believer, and this treatment can be very violent. So this division into kafir and believer eliminates the possibility of having a Golden Rule.

Islam, therefore, is dualistic. It has one set of rules for itself, and another set of rules for the kafir. There is no 'one humanity.'

The other difference between Islamic ethics and ours is that, fundamentally, there is no concept of right and wrong in Islam. All ethics in Islam are based upon what Mohammed did and did not do; therefore, the concepts inside of Islamic ethics are not 'right' and 'wrong,' but what is permitted and what is forbidden. Mohammed is viewed as the perfect ethical pattern. Every Muslim is to follow him and do what he did and say what he said. The ethics of Islam are determined by what Mohammed did and said---his Sunna. The rest of the ethics are found in the Koran.

Let's examine Islamic ethics regarding deceit, by reading some ideas that have been given to us by Muslims. Let's look at a quote from Ali Al Timimi, an internationally-known Muslim scholar and imam who had government clearance, who even worked with a former White House Chief of Staff and was invited to speak to the military about Islam.

Publicly, the imam denounced Islamic violence and said: "My position against terrorism and Muslim-inspired violence against innocent people is well known by Muslims." But privately, another picture emerged. Five days after the attacks on September 11th, he called them legitimate, and rallied young Muslim men in his mosque to carry out more Holy war and violent Jihad.

Another Islamic leader in this country, Abdurahman Alamoudi, who developed the Pentagon's Muslim chaplain corps, and acted as a good will ambassador for our State Department, also, denounced terror. "We are against all forms of terrorism," he claimed. "Our religion is against terrorism." Privately, he raised major funds for Al-Qaeda, and was caught on tape grumbling that Osama bin Laden had not killed enough kafirs in the U.S. Embassy bombings.

In our culture, we would call these men liars. But this does not apply inside of Islamic ethics, because what these men were practicing was deceit. They were talking to kafirs when they said those things. Let's examine what Mohammed said about deceiving the kafir.

In Medina, there was a Jew named al-Ashraf. Al-Ashraf wrote a poem in which he condemned Mohammed, and Mohammed, at the mosque, asked, "Who will rid me of Ashraf, the enemy of Allah and his prophet?" One of the Muslims said he would, but a few days later, Mohammed noticed that the task of killing al-Ashraf had not been done, so he went to the man and asked, "What are you doing?" The man said, "Mohammed, in order to kill Ashraf, I will have to tell a lie". Then Mohammed said, "Say whatever you need to say."

The Muslim took a couple of his friends and went to al-Ashraf and told him they were getting sick and tired of Mohammed, but before they could leave, they needed to have a little money, and were wondering if al-Ashraf could help. They wanted to borrow some money. Al-Ashraf said he would need some collateral to loan them money. And so, they suggested that perhaps they could bring him their weapons - their swords and knives - and leave them in pawn. He agreed.

So, the next night, the three Muslims showed up, their weapons in hand. But al-Ashraf was not concerned: they had come to pawn the weapons. They chatted with him in a friendly way and said, "It is night---a pleasant night; let us go for a walk and discuss things". So they did. But, in the middle of the walk, after they had recited some poetry, one of them grabbed him by the hair of the head, said to the other, "Kill him", and they knifed him in the stomach and killed al-Ashraf.

When they came back to Mohammed, Mohammed was delighted at the death of the enemy of Allah and the prophet. He had given them permission to lie, because they were dealing with a kafir, and the lie advanced Islam. Here we have dualism. A Muslim is told not to lie to another Muslim, but with a kafir, there is an option. The Muslim can tell the kafir the truth, or he can tell him a lie, if it will advance Islam. And this was repeated many times in Mohammed's life. So much so that, at one point he said, 'Jihad is deceit.'

Now let's go back to the idea that Islam does not use terror. And let's take a look at another story. This one happened in Russia, in Beslan, where there was a school, and the school had roughly a thousand people in it, including the children and the personnel. Some Muslim Jihadists attacked the school and took it over, and held everyone in it. The Jihadists took all of the children and put them in the gymnasium. They were kept there for days without food or water. Finally, the Russian special forces decided that they needed to go in. There was chaos, and as the children jumped out the windows and ran for safety, the Jihadists shot them in the back.

The attack continued. Once it became clear that they were going to lose the building, the Jihadists fell back from their original plan. They had brought explosives, so they placed them in such a way that, when they detonated them, the roof fell in on the children. This was the way that most of the children were killed. This was a terrible attack, but what happened after the attack is what we want to point out.

Muslim scholars and Muslim imams all said the same thing: "That was not Islam. In Islam, we are forbidden to kill women and children." And that is true; there are Hadiths which state that women and children are not to be killed. However, there are other Hadiths in which they were getting ready to attack a tribe, and the simple reason they were attacking is that the people were kafirs---who had done nothing wrong. They decided to attack at night, and they asked Mohammed, 'What if they made a mistake in the dark and wound up killing women and children?'---and Mohammed said, "They are from them." ("them" = unbelievers)

Well, now we have a contradiction. We have Mohammed saying, 'Do not kill women and children,' and we have Mohammed saying, 'Kill them, they are from them.' This is dualism. We have contradictory facts, but both of them are true. The Jihadists can choose whichever they want. And what did the Jihadists in Beslan do? They chose to kill the children. Why? "They are from them." That is, they are kafirs.

In Mohammed's time, in which he developed the ethics of Jihad, he always had the kafirs confused. The Arabs, just like everyone else, had rules for warfare. Since Mohammed was an Arab, they kept expecting him to follow the rules, but Mohammed did not follow the rules. He made them up as he went.

As far as terror not being Islamic, Mohammed said, in one of the most famous Hadiths, "I have been given five things that have never been given to anyone before me." One of these things he was given was that Allah allowed him to spread Islam by awe and terror.

Jihad is terror. So when Muslim scholars say terror is not the way of Islam, they are practicing deceit. Indeed, the practice of deceit even has a special name in Arabic, which we mentioned earlier---taquiyya. It means 'sacred deception.' To even have the concept of 'sacred deceit' is an amazing ethical thought.

Here's another example of deceit in Jihad. In modern times, we have grown used to the fact that a Muslim Jihadist can strap on dynamite and walk into a room filled with people---kafirs---and kill himself and everyone else. Muslim clerics say that is not Islam, because suicide is forbidden in Islam. And this is true. Suicide is forbidden in Islam. But there is a very famous Hadith in which Mohammed said that killing yourself while trying to kill kafirs sends you straight to Heaven; therefore, the ethical expectation of the person who kills himself in the face of killing others, is that he will go straight to Heaven. He is a martyr.

In the very term 'martyr' in Islam, we see the difference between the West and Islam, because the word 'martyr' in Islam means someone who dies while killing kafirs; whereas, in our language, a martyr is one who is killed because of what he believes.

Here's another example of the ethical divide. Currently, in America, there is debate over whether waterboarding is torture. Indeed, the idea of what constitutes torture has been talked about in the media. There is, however, no debate inside the Islamic world about torturing kafirs, and the reason is, Mohammed tortured kafirs. There's a famous story about when he attacked a tribe of Jews. After the Jews had surrendered, they took the leader of the Jews and staked him out on the ground at Mohammed's orders. The reason they did this was that they knew that the Jews had a buried treasure. Mohammed had a small fire built on the old man's chest, but the old man refused to speak. He would not give up the secret of the treasure, so, finally, Mohammed said, 'Cut him loose,' and he took him over to a Jihadist who had lost a brother in the attack on the Jews, and he gave the brother the pleasure of killing the leader of the Jews. So, as a consequence, inside of Islam, there are no questions about whether torture can be used against kafirs. It is Sunna. It is the way of Mohammed to torture the kafir.

Islamic ethics are clearly laid out in the Hadith. Here are some statements about Islamic ethics found in various traditions: 'A Muslim is to never cheat another Muslim in business.' 'A Muslim does not lie to another Muslim.' 'A Muslim does not kill another Muslim.' 'A Muslim does not bother another Muslim's wife.' These statements are very dualistic, because this behavior is only reserved for other Muslims. A Muslim is a brother to other Muslims. Anyone who knows Muslims says, "Wait a minute; I know a lot of Muslims, and they don't lie to me, and they don't cheat me in business. They don't come to work with dynamite and kill themselves and other people." This is duality. The kafir has two ways of being treated. He can be treated as a human being. The Golden Rule can even be applied to him if it will advance Islam, but the truth does not need to be told; the truth can be shaded. The most common form of this deceit is for Muslims to only discuss the Koran of Mecca. Only talking about the Koran of Mecca is telling a half-truth, not telling the whole truth.

In our courts, we swear to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 'Nothing but the truth' prohibits direct lies. But it's equally important to tell the whole truth, because telling half a truth is just another form of a lie. So, when a Muslim discusses with a kafir the Koran of Mecca---the 'good' Koran---this is a form of deceit. All Muslims obey an ethical code which is quite different from our ethical code.

Islamic ethics support how Muslims treat women. For instance, women can be beaten. Women are set apart in their own separate code. There is an ethical system for slavery. Mohammed was the perfect slave master. His Sunna laid out all the ways that slaves are to be treated. There is also an ethical system for the treatment of the dhimmi, that strange political creature who is not quite a slave, but certainly not a citizen.

So, Islamic ethics lie behind everything that a Muslim does---but it does bring up political questions: If a Muslim does not have to tell the kafir the truth, why would we use Muslim translators for Arabic documents inside of the FBI and the CIA? Muslim translators take an oath, but Islam has a very unique interpretation of oaths: that is, an oath can always be changed by a Muslim for something better, and there is a Hadith which explicitly states this. But the Hadith does not really say what is better. That is the choice of the Muslim. So if we have a Muslim policeman or a military man who takes an oath to serve and protect, he can change it anytime he wishes. And for that matter, this same changing of oaths is applied to treaties---political treaties. If the Muslim nation signs a treaty with a kafir, it can be abrogated at any time, as long as Islam comes out on top.

To deal with Islam, it is critical that we understand its ethics. We assume that they're the same as ours, but this assumption is based upon ignorance, because Islamic ethics are very different from ours. Ours are based on the unitary law of treating all people the same (which originally comes from the Bible). Islamic ethics are based upon the idea of kafirs and believers, and having a separate set of ethics for each one. One cannot understand Islam without understanding its ethical duality.

The above text is taken from the website Political Islam.

18 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

'The treatment of kafirs varies from their being treated well to being beheaded. Both treatments reflect pure Islam. In Islam, kafirs can also be deceived, robbed, murdered and raped. There is even a word for sacred deceit---taquiyya.'

Very telling. Scary even if only the radical elemnts of Islam closely follow this...

I will do a quick Part Three on my Satire post...

thekingpin68 said...

'To deal with Islam, it is critical that we understand its ethics. We assume that they're the same as ours, but this assumption is based upon ignorance, because Islamic ethics are very different from ours.'

The secular media typically does not deal with serious Islamic theological/cultural issues, which therefore keeps Islam rather unknown in the West.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Very telling. Scary even if only the radical elemnts of Islam closely follow this...

Yes.

I will do a quick Part Three on my Satire post...

OK, I'll have to drop by.

The secular media typically does not deal with serious Islamic theological/cultural issues, which therefore keeps Islam rather unknown in the West.

Yes, and not only that, but cases of honor killings in the U.S. and Canada are often ignored or not shown to be a part of Islam; and examples of jihad are often not shown to be a part of Islam. In the recent Ft. Hood jihad killing, insanity is going to be claimed.

thekingpin68 said...

Demon of poverty come out!!!

Jeff said...

Demon of poverty come out!!!

LOL!

Anonymous said...

here some videos

Arabs brainwashed little girls to hate Jews
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL0C2QvqIlo&feature=related

Hamas Mickey Mouse Teaches Terror to Kids
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi-c6lbFGC4&feature=related

Muslim Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WHdWgES-Uw&feature=fvw

Muslim Mickey Mouse: I Love Death and Mayhem!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTa99N_5aPc&feature=related

New Al-Aqsa TV Teddy Bear Nassur Vows to Join Military Wing of Hamas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nqtKdPqhyk&feature=related

Islam: Brainwashed Children Call for Genocide of Jews
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uherUeAGFHU&feature=related

Terrorist's children interviewed on Hamas TV about their mother's suicide attack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdG3PZndV_4&feature=related

Islamic Jihad Female Says She Will Proudly Become Martyr on her wedding day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3Y0FJnYarg&feature=related

Fatah official: Our goal has never been peace
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc-7GK6F4RI&feature=related


ackk

Jeff said...

Thanks, Anonymous.

Here are some more links, but these are websites, not videos:

Daniel Pipes

The Memri Blog

OK, well, this one has videos on it:
Truth Tube TV

Creeping Sharia

Prophet of Doom

Atlas Shrugs

Lying Christians said...

Fact of the matter is that Christianity from the very beginning was advanced by lying. No wonder, contemporary Christianity is full of contradictions. No rational being is willing to follow it.

See 1 Corinthians 9: 20-21

And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

Here is the icing, Romans 3:7

For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

Now whether they lie about Jesus (about whom one wonders if he ever existed glossing over history. Even if he existed, he was a fatherless child. Such children are aplenty in Ocala) or spread lies and hate about others, it comes as no surprise. Sitting complicitly on murders of hundreds of thousands of Iragis and Afghanis, they point out threats from others.

Jeff said...

Lying Christians,

Fact of the matter is that Christianity from the very beginning was advanced by lying. No wonder, contemporary Christianity is full of contradictions. No rational being is willing to follow it.

All three of your statements are false. Maybe you are just misinformed, or ignorant of the facts.

See 1 Corinthians 9: 20-21

And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.


1 Corinthians 9:20-21 is not talking about lying. That entire chapter is talking about the rights of an apostle, and those particular verses are talking about giving up your rights for the sake of those people to whom he is referring. The Jews were under the Old Testament law and religious practices. For the Jews' sake, Paul conformed to the Jewish law. Obeying a law that you do not feel obligated to obey---but you obey it anyway so that you will not offend the people around you---is not lying. It is basically giving up the rights that you believe you have, in order to please others. It is restricting your freedoms for the sake of others. "Them that are without law" refers to the Gentiles (non-Jews)---those who had not been raised under the Old Testament law. Paul accommodated himself to Gentile culture when it did not violate his allegiance to Christ Jesus, though he still reckoned that he was under God's law and Christ's law. (By "the law to Christ" Paul is probably referring to Christ's teachings, though the term is not necessarily restricted to them.) By "the weak," Paul is referring to those whose consciences are weak. For example:

"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ." (1 Corinthians 8:9-12)

Paul did not exercise his Christian freedom in such things as eating meat sacrificed to idols.

An example might be if I went to the Middle East, and I lived for a week with a Muslim family who believed it was against their religion to eat pork. Now, as a Westerner, I am not against eating pork. However, for the sake of that family, while I was staying with them, I would not eat pork, because I would know that doing so would greatly upset my hosts, and as a visitor, I would want to be friendly and get along with them, and not upset them. So, for their sake, I would give up my freedom when it comes to eating pork, and do as they do, and abstain from pork while I was living with them. This would not be lying. This would just be giving up my freedom in this area, for their sake. To eat pork in their presence, while I was living with them, would be rude.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Here is the icing, Romans 3:7

For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?


OK, I see you don't understand what Romans chapter 3 is talking about. I will try to explain it for you.

First, in Romans chapter 2, Paul is talking to the Jews, telling them that, even though they are 'religious' (i.e., they practice their religious ceremonies and rites, and follow the Jewish laws), they still need the gospel of Jesus Christ. For example, the Jews basically thought that, just because they were circumcised and were born Jewish, they were going to Heaven. Paul was correcting this incorrect thinking of the Jews, as well as other misconceptions the Jews had.

Jews would consider themselves superior to the Gentiles (non-Jews), since they were chosen by God, and were given His laws. Jewish men were taught to read and write using the Law. By the time adulthood was reached, a good deal of the Law was memorized by the Jew. They would have considered the Gentiles blind, foolish and childish in their understanding of God, an attitude which Paul is tackling on the basis of behaviors and hypocrisy.

In chapter 2, verses 28 and 29, Paul says to the Jews, "A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God."

In chapters 2 and 3, Paul is anticipating arguments that Jews might have, and he is addressing those arguments.

For example, in chapter 3, verses 1 and 2, Paul anticipates a Jew asking, "If God treats Jews and Gentiles alike, not showing favoritism (Romans 2:11), and if the only thing that makes one truly Jewish is an inward transformation by the Holy Spirit (Romans 2:29), then what advantage is there in being a Jew? Why did God bother to choose Abraham and establish his descendants as a special covenant people if there is no advantage to being Jewish? And why did God even bother to institute circumcision, then?"

A Protestant or Catholic person could ask the same thing. What advantage, then, is there in going to church, or in being baptized, or in taking communion, or in singing in the choir or serving as an usher or an acolyte?

Paul's answer is that circumcision and being Jewish are indeed good things. Similarly, attending and serving in church are also good things. The point is, however, that they are not advantages that can save us. No amount of 'good works' can ever be enough to get us to Paradise.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Then, Paul addresses another objection Jews might have: "If Jews are not saved by those things (i.e., circumcision, temple worship, the patriarchs, etc.) and are therefore perishing in unbelief (since the majority of Jews do not believe in Jesus), doesn't that prove that God is unfaithful to His people, since He has made an eternal covenant with them? If Paul is right, God would be unfaithful. But if God is faithful, then Paul's arguments about the Jew being lost without Christ is erroneous. Therefore, has God failed with the Jews? Is God unjust in His treatment of them?"

Paul answers that anticipated objection and says, "Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar." (verse 4.) By this, Paul means that God *is* faithful, and unbelief is never God's fault. It is *our* fault, which he points out using Psalm 51:4 - "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge." Because we are sinners, we try to manipulate God to save us regardless of what we believe or do. The Jew did this by claiming that God must save him because of God's promises to the nation. Protestants and Catholics do it by believing that God will save us because our dad is a preacher, because we were baptized as an infant, etc. God will save those He has chosen to save - but not apart from faith, and not mechanically. If a person is to be saved, it can only be by faith in Jesus Christ, God the Son, whom God the Father has appointed as the only Savior. Living a "good, moral life" or being "a nice person" is not enough. Having faith in another religion, or another religious figure, will not save you.

Verses 3-6 say, "What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge. But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?"

God’s faithfulness is not voided by man’s faithlessness. He judges the world because He is is the sinless Creator of it.

Verses 7 and 8 say, "Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?" Why not say--as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say--"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved."

Man’s lack of faith and obedience, and refusal to recognize Truth, does not change the righteousness of God or the Truth. This thinking simply illustrates the pride and limited understanding of men.

Basically, Paul is anticipating Jews arguing something like this: "So, Paul, according to your teaching, God is glorified by saving us, apart from any good works on our part. Well, then, if this is so, why shouldn't we just keep on sinning, even after becoming Christians, since God will get even more glory if we do?" This anticipated argument is a cheap debating trick which Paul probably heard many times, and therefore he anticipates this question and answers it. The answer is that Jesus came to save us from our sins, not to encourage us to sin more.

I know it's a lot to explain, but I hope that helps.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Now whether they lie about Jesus (about whom one wonders if he ever existed glossing over history.

Scholars of almost every theological persuasion attest to the profound care in which the New Testament books were copied. In the original Greek alone, there are over 5,000 manuscripts and manuscript fragments of portions of the New Testament, preserved from the early centuries of Christianity.

There is an unprecedented number of copies of the New Testament that have survived. Scholars wish they had 1/10 the number of documents for other ancient literature! There are only 9 copies of Josephus' The Jewish War, and these copies were written in the 10th - 12th centuries. Yet, this work is considered to be historically accurate.

Astonishingly, the second runner-up for the largest number of ancient documents goes to Homer's Illiad, which was the sacred literature of the ancient Greeks. There are fewer than 650 of these manuscripts and many are quite fragmentary.

Fragments of John's gospel have been found that date as early as 150 AD. This find has literally rewritten popular views of history.

Two of the almost complete New Testament documents date back to the 4th Century! These two texts play an important role in the NIV Bible. This means we have documents within 2 generations of the events, unlike 8 or 10 centuries for much of our other historical documents. In addition to the over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, there are about 24,000 other ancient New Testament documents in other languages found in areas such as Egypt and Ethiopia.

The evidence is simply overwhelming. The huge number of documents, many dating within 2 generations of the events, have allowed us to study them side-by-by side, comparing and analyzing the New Testament. While many documents are fragments, there is no part of the NT not represented by multiple documents. The history of the world is based on far fewer manuscripts and evidence!

“Luke, sort of a first-century investigative reporter, gathered information for his gospel from those around Jesus and also from his close companion Paul, who himself had encountered the resurrected Christ.” (p. 52, “Exploring the DaVinci Code,” by Lee Strobel and Garry Poole)

The scope of the Gospel of Luke is complete from the birth of Christ to His ascension; its arrangement is orderly; and it appeals to both Jews and Gentiles. Literary excellence, historical detail and warm, sensitive understanding of Jesus and of those around Him characterize the writing. Although Luke acknowledges that many others had written of Jesus’ life, he does not indicate that he relied on these reports for his own writing. He used personal investigation and arrangement, based on testimony from “eyewitnesses and servants of the word” (1:2)---including the preaching and oral accounts of the apostles.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

“None of the gospels mention the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. This is significant because Jesus had prophesied its destruction when He said, "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down," (Luke 21:5, see also Matt. 24:1; Mark 13:1). This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and burned the Temple. The gold in the Temple melted down between the stone walls and the Romans took the walls apart, stone by stone, to get the melted gold. Such an obvious fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy most likely would have been recorded by the gospel writers if they had been written after 70 A.D. Also, if the gospels were fabrications of mythical events then anything to bolster the Messianic claims -- such as the destruction of the temple as Jesus prophesied -- would surely have been included. But, it was not included suggesting that the gospels (at least Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were written before 70 A.D.

Similarly, this argument is important when we consider the dating of the book of Acts which was written after the gospel of Luke by Luke himself. Acts is a history of the Christian church right after Jesus' ascension. Acts also fails to mention the incredibly significant events of 70 A.D. which would have been extremely relevant and prophetically important and naturally would have garnered inclusion into Acts had it occurred before Acts was written. Remember, Acts is a book of the history of the early Christian church. The fact that the incredibly significant destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple is not recorded is very strong evidence that Acts was written before A.D. 70. If we add to this the fact that Acts does not include the accounts of "Nero's persecution of the Christians in A.D. 64 or the deaths of James (A.D. 62), Paul (A.D. 64), and Peter (A.D. 65)," and we have further evidence that it was written very early and not long after Jesus' ascension into heaven.”
http://www.carm.org/evidence/gospels_written.htm

The Gospels get a myriad of details (geographical, political facts, etc.) correct that only an eyewitness would have gotten.

If the Gospels were invented, the most likely culprits would be the early church (as most liberal scholars hypothesize). Yet, the Gospels include many unflattering details about the disciples, who would have been revered founders in these early churches.

There are more copies of the text dated closer to Jesus’ life than we have for any other ancient event.

Even Christianity’s early opponents - Celsus, Emperor Julian, etc. - conceded that the authors of the Gospels were indeed the respective traditional authors.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

The John Rylands Manuscript, a portion of the Gospel of John which has been discovered, dates to 130 A.D. Likewise, we have the Bodmer Papyrus, which dates to the middle of the second century and contains most of the Gospel of John. The Chester Beatty Papyri dates to just 200 A.D. and contains large portions of the New Testament.

Sir Fredric Kenyon writing in The Bible and Modern Scholarship said this about the Chester Beatty Manuscript:
“The net result of this discovery -- by far the most important since the discovery of the Sinaiticus -- is, in fact, to reduce the gap between the earlier manuscripts and the traditional dates of the New Testament books so far that it becomes negligible in any discussion of authenticity. No other ancient book has anything like such early and plentiful testimony to its text, and no unbiased scholar would deny that the text that has come down to us is substantially sound.”

Most scholars, both believers and nonbelievers, are willing to accept that the Gospels were written within 40-60 years of the actual events. This makes the Gospels to be among the most verifiable contemporary documents of ancient times. Thus, the fact that the earliest manuscripts date to within less than 100 years of their authorship is remarkable.

If the same standards the critics apply to the Bible were applied to other books of ancient times, we would have to reject as unreliable virtually all ancient literature. Just a sampling shows that the time gaps between works considered authoritative are much greater than those with the Gospels. Here are a few examples:

Caesar - 1000 year gap
Plato - 1300 year gap
Thucydides - 1300 year gap
Herodotus - 1300 year gap
Aristotle - 1400 year gap
Pliny the Younger - 800 year gap

There are more than 4,000 different ancient Greek manuscripts containing all or portions of the New Testament that have survived to our time.

Examples:
Codex Vaticanus and Codex Siniaticus -
These are two excellent parchment copies of the entire New Testament which date from the 4th century (325-450 A.D.).

Earlier still, fragments and papyrus copies of portions of the New Testament, date from 100 to 200 years (180-225 A.D.) before Vaticanus and Sinaticus. The outstanding ones are the Chester Beatty Papyrus (P45, P46, P47) and the Bodmer Papyrus II, XIV, XV (P46, P75).

From these five manuscripts alone, we can construct all of Luke, John, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Hebrews, and portions of Matthew, Mark, Acts, and Revelation. Only the Pastoral Epistles (Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy) and the General Epistles (James, 1 and 2 Peter, and 1, 2, and 3 John) and Philemon are excluded.

Perhaps the earliest piece of Scripture surviving is the one I mentioned earlier---a fragment of a papyrus codex containing John 18:31-33 and 37. It is called the Rylands Papyrus (P52) and dates from 130 A.D., having been found in Egypt. The Rylands Papyrus has forced the critics to place the fourth gospel back into the first century, abandoning their earlier assertion that it could not have been written then by the Apostle John.

This manuscript evidence creates a bridge of extant papyrus and parchment fragments and copies of the New Testament stretching back to almost the end of the first century.

In addition to the actual Greek manuscripts, there are more than 1,000 copies and fragments of the New Testament in Syria, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, and Ethiopic, as well as 8,000 copies of the Latin Vulgate, some of which date back almost to Jerome's original translation in 384 400 A.D.

A further witness to the New Testament text is sourced in the thousands of quotations found throughout the writings of the Church Fathers (the early Christian clergy [100-450 A.D.] who followed the Apostles and gave leadership to the fledgling church, beginning with Clement of Rome (96 A.D.).

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Even if we had no early manuscripts, there are other indications of early authorship. Consider the quotations from the New Testament found in the writings of the early church fathers. The likes of Polycarp, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr writing in the late first and early second centuries of the current era quote frequently from the New Testament writings often referring to them as scriptures. Even at this early stage of the growth of the church, some of the writings of the Apostles were considered on par with Old Testament writings. One scholar decided to try and reconstruct the entire New Testament from the writings of first and second century church fathers and succeeded.

Paul frequently speaks of the resurrection of Jesus. It's almost the core of his doctrine. At one point speaking to the question of whether or not Jesus rose from the dead he says:
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. “ (1Co 15:3-8)

The obvious question is where and when did Paul "receive" this doctrine of the resurrection? In all probability, he received it during the time he spent learning from Ananias and other Christians after his experience on the Road to Damascus. Because of the circumstances of the persecution of the Christians we can date this fairly precisely to about 2 - 3 years after the resurrection. So the first reports of the resurrection were not recorded by an overzealous believer in the Third Century. If so, how could Paul in the First Century have known about it? And if Paul had concocted the story of the resurrection on his own, then why did he in essence, challenge people to check out his story?

There is yet another route by which we can date at least one of the Gospels to an early date. It is less certain than what has been presented for the Epistles, but is still suggestive.
Luke writes the book of Acts as a sequel to his Gospel. He states this clearly in the introduction to the book:
“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach” (Act 1:1)
The interesting thing about the book of Acts is that by the ninth chapter, it becomes mostly a biography of the journeys of Paul. What makes this interesting is that at the end of the book, Paul is under house arrest in Rome. In other words, Luke had to have concluded writing the book before Paul's death. Otherwise, why would he have not written of Paul's death? And to argue that he would not have known of it is questionable, because the last chapter of acts is written in the first person. Luke accompanied Paul on the journey to Rome.

Thus, if Acts was written before 67 A.D. when Paul died, and if this is the second book written by Luke, the first being the Gospel bearing his name, then the Gospel must have been written earlier. If only a year earlier, that places a firm date of it being written prior to 66 A.D. or a mere 30 years or so after the events of Easter week. Again, hardly enough time for a complex mythology turning a provincial, local teacher into a divine avatar of the living God, who dies for the sin of the world, then is resurrected and ascends to heaven.

The writers of the Biblical accounts invited critical analysis, as revealed in 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; and Revelation 2:2. They wanted people to believe their testimony was true. It was imperative they provided accurate, objective and truthful information, because lives were at stake. Not just their lives, but also the lives of those who received their message.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Even if he existed, he was a fatherless child.

As far as an earthly biological father, I agree. The Bible states that Jesus was born of a virgin. Regarding this, Islam and Christianity agree.

Jeff said...

Lying Christians,

You left the same exact comment on 4 or 5 of my articles. You are spamming me. Therefore, I did not publish your other duplicate posts. What you are doing is wrong.

Jeff said...

Islamic Ethics and the Golden Rule