Hard Questions

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The Chosen One (2) …what is the evidence?

with 25 comments


Can we use fragment 4QElect (ك4المصطفى) , from the Dead Sea Scrolls, to identify Muhammad (ص) as the Chosen One, The Prophet described in the Dead Sea Scrolls? The Qumran community were expecting this prophet and many of the documents and fragments discovered in the desert attested to this fact.

In my previous post: (The Chosen One in the Dead Sea Scrolls and The Quran), I reproduced two fragments and suggested that both perfectly fit the description of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him.

Definitions:

  1. A Companion is someone who believed AND met/ saw the Prophet [PBUH]
  2. A Follower is someone who never met the Prophet [PBUH], but has met with a companion
  3. A Contiguous Narration is one where all the narrators are known to have lived at the same time and/ or known to have met each other.

The Fragment 4QElect=4Q534:

Let us look at the first paragraph from fragment 4Q534:

{[…] of his hand, two […] a mark. His | hair will be red and he will have moles on […] | and small marks in his thighs. }

The paragraph gives two important physical features of the expected prophet:

  1. The prophet is described as having red hair
  2. The prophet has moles somewhere in his body

Two features which were well documented about the beloved prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings are upon him:

The Evidence:

(I) The Moles on Prophet Muhammad’s shoulder [PBUH]:

There are several authentic, contiguous accounts of the prophet peace and blessing upon him which describe moles between his shoulders.

Imam Ahmed said in his “Supported Sayings”:

I was told by Hashim son of Al-Qasim and Aswad son of Amir, both said they were told by Shareek, quoting Asim quoting Abdallah, Son of Sarjas, he said:

I saw the Prophet peace and blessings upon him, I visited him, and ate from his food and drank from his drink and I saw the seal of prophethood. Hashim said:{they are} black moles on his left shoulders.”

.

(II) The Red Hair of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]:

A) Imam Muslim wrote in his book, “The Authentic”, quoting the Companion Jabir, son of Abdallah, that the Prophet [PBUH}, after performing the ‘farewell Hajj’, shaved his head and distributed all the hear to his followers.
Several of the Followers of the companions and others from subsequent generations testified to have seen some of the Prophet’s hair.

B) Those Followers described the Prophet’s hair they saw as red, They thought the color as caused by the use of Henna and Katam (Plant leaves mixture used for dying hair)

Imam Bukhari wrote in his book: Athentic Sayings, Hadith (Saying No 5340) said:

Ibn Bakir told me, he said: I was told by Al-Laith, he heard it from Saeed Ibn Abi Hilal, he heard it from Rabi’a, son of Abi Abdel Rahman, he said: I heard Anas, son of Malik describe the Prophet [PBUH], he said:

“The Prophet was neither conspicuously tall, nor short; neither, very white, nor tawny. His hair was neither much curled, nor very straight. Allah sent him at the age of forty, he stayed for ten years in Mecca and for ten more years in Medina. Allah took him unto Him at the age of sixty and he scarcely had ten white hairs on his head and in his beard.” Rabi’a said: I then saw some of the Prophet’s hair, and it was red, I asked about it and was told it was because of perfume.”

Imam Ahmed and Imam Bukhari wrote in their books, both on the authority of Othman, son of Abdallah,

Ahmed said: “ I was told by by Hashim son of Al-Qasim, he said: I was told by Abu Moaiwa (Shaiban), quoting Othman son of Aballah, he said:

We went to Um Salamah (The Prophet’s wife) and she showed us some of the Prophet’s hair, It was red from Henna and Katam.”

C) However, a major companion, Anas, son of Malik, was quoted by Imam Muslim in an authentic, contiguous narration that the prophet did NOT dye his hair.

Anas was a young boy who lived with the prophet as his domestic assistant and was one the companions who knew the prophet (PBUH) very closely, therefore Anas’ words carry significant weight.

Imam Muslim wrote in “The Authentic Sayings”:

I was told by Mohamed son of Bakar son of Al Ryan, he said: I was told by Ismail son of Zacharia, he quoted Asim Al Ahwal, he quoted (Mohamed) son of Sirin, he said:

“I asked Anas, son of Malik if the Messenger of Allah [BUH] dyed his hair, he (Anas) replied: ‘He did not get to that, he had a few white hairs in his beard’, he (Mohamed son of Sirin) said, then I asked: Did Abu Bakr?: Anas said: ‘Yes with Henna and Katam.’ “

We can conclude that:

  1. Prophet Muhammad distributed his hair to his companions only a few months before his death.
  2. The Prophet hair was indeed red, a realisation of another description of the Chosen One in the fragment of the Dead Sea Scroll.

Read Also from this series: The Chosen One (1), The Chosen One (3), The Chosen One (4)

25 Responses

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  1. Rasheed,

    A good question I would have to ask is this:

    What do you believe makes the Dead Sea Scrolls authoritative?

    From which would follow: What does it really mean if they indeed do predict Muhammad? Is there more to this fragment where it addresses who this man is? Could we be perhaps missing parts where there is talk of one who only appears to be a prophet or who is a false prophet (a term used in the Bible)?

    It seems you are rushing to a conclusion here without asking all the right questions.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    January 22, 2008 at 4:55 pm

  2. Andrew

    The fragment speaks of the Chosen One, whose “wisdom will reach out to everyone”, and the one whose “plans will succeed because he is the one picked by God.”. I don’t see how this Elect person can be a false prophet.
    Can you think of a false prophet who writes the words of God in a Book?

    I did not assume any authority or lack of, for the Dead Sea Scrolls, they are, however, important ancients texts that pre-date Islam and possibly Christianity. They are less likely to have been tampered with, because, for two thousands years, they were lying undiscovered in caves.

    Allah told us in the Quran, that Muhammad was foretold by Jesus, Moses and the Prophets, and that Jews knew about his emergence. Christians and Jews were instructed to believe and follow him. We were also told that many recognised him but preferred to follow their personal interests and deny him. Ancient texts, like the Dead Sea Scrolls are important because they tells us what people knew in times gone by.

    Rasheed

    January 23, 2008 at 2:29 am

  3. Rasheed,

    You are right. This fragment could not refer to a false prophet. I did not have the full context.

    While these texts are early, why should we recognize them as authoritative? We have early texts of the Bible from only 30-50 years after it was written, but you would not concede these being authoritative, would you? These early texts show to be the same as what we have today.

    What do we know about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the men who wrote and stored them?

    Why would Jews or Christians follow Muhammad? He was not a Jew and was therefore excluded from the Jewish religion. Christianity also warns against any teacher that comes after Jesus and denies his deity. Each of these religions would label Muhammad as a false prophet. He may meet a couple qualifications in the Dead Sea Scrolls prophecies, but he is explicitly disqualified by being a Gentile.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    January 23, 2008 at 3:30 am

  4. Andrew

    I do not accept that being a gentile disqualifies Muhammad (ص) from being a prophet: As I said before, Noah ,ُEnoch, Abraham, and Ishmael were not Jews. The bible speaks of Hager, mother of Ishmael as receiving an message from an angel of God. There are numerous verses in the Hebrew Bible which allude to idea of God’s favour departing from Israel and bestowed on other nations. There are also other ancient texts which say the same.

    God is the God of everyone, The scepter was moved from Israel because of their continued disobedience, their killing of prophets and finally their attempt to kill the Final prophet of Israel, Jesus Christ(ع). That is what Allah told us in the Quran. He also revealed in Isaiah that the Gentiles, and more specifically, the Children of Kedar, son of Ishmael will receive a new law. The children of Kedar are non but the Arabs.

    see also my post on the Book of 4 Ezra:
    https://hardquestions.wordpress.com/2007/10/10/the-book-of-4-ezra-from-the-dead-sea-scrolls/

    God had sent more prophets to Israel but He sent prophets to EVERY nation. He sent Muhammad (ص) to ALL Nations as His final messenger with His final message that will not decay.

    Rasheed

    January 23, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    • There was always some born of the Jewish nation who were faithful to God. It is the same with all nations. God is love and he who does not love does not know God. God is the God of all peoples who love him. Can a person love god whom he has not seen whilst hating persons whom he shares the planet with? How can say we love God and shut out our tender compasions towards those whom we see suffering and not do a thing to help? I believe God will soon act to stop all the suffering on earth I also believe God will bring about peace on earth to all men and women who Love Him and love their fellow humans. Those who work towards keeping his commandments and seeking peace and protection of the weak and inocent of all nations.

      J Manders

      September 4, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    • Greetings Rasheed. You say God is not the God of everyone and that is true. God is the God of all who love him and are guided by his truth. Judgment day is near and all people who do not listen to the word of God will be corrected and if necessary disciplined. Andrew says God came to the Israelites but it was the minority who worshiped the true God. Almost all the prophets sent to the Israelites were put to death by them. Having said that Elijah said to the Israelites in 1st Kings 18:22 “I myself have been left as a prophet of the True God I alone while the prophets of Baal are 450 men. When Elijah was told by God that the Israelites were to fall by the sword in 1st Kings 19:18 God told Elijah that 7,000 were to remain in Israel “all the knees that have not bent down to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him”. There was not one King of the 10 tribe Kingdom of Israel who worshiped God they all took part in false worship either of golden calf and or Baal. The two tribe Kingdom of Judah had a minority of kings who were faithful

      J Manders

      September 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm

      • Hello L Manders:
        I’ve been a research mission on who this “Chosen One” identity is. After reading your response, I too have come to a possible conclusion. Many mystery’s about the Prophet Elijah. He is written in both the Quran and the Bible, A Man who has the best of both Worlds.
        In Malachi 4:5 Behold God will send the Prophet Elijah before the great dreadful day of the Lords return. Other reference to this return. Mark 2,3 and again in Mark 9:11 (HMMM) Old and New testament battles with Baal. Rev 2 who hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans a sect of Balaam who tolerate that Woman Jezebel. It looks to me that Elijah fights the same battle against Baal. Yesterday and Today. Conquering them with the sword of his mouth, Whom restores all things, ruling them with an Iron Scepter Psalms 2, Rev. 12 etc.. I have to ask where in the World would you find the Leaders and Rulers in today’s time who practice this teaching??? Bohemian Grove California??? I value your input???

        MarcusJohn

        May 30, 2011 at 4:37 am

      • In Reply to MarcusJohn

        I wish to thank you sir for your input. Can I ask if you have any thoughts or bible based belief regards the return of Elijah. Elijah did die and although certain religious preachers quote scripture that the dead are conscious of nothing Ecclesiastes 9:5 “For the living are conscious that they will die but the dead are conscious of nothing at all”. That being true these preachers then make the claim that God would not have permitted Elijah to be brought up by the widow of Endor from his resting place and believe this phenomena to be Satanic, However the reading of 1st Samuel 28:11-20 indicates to my comprehension that Elijah or a vision of Elijah did reveal the true outcome of events for Saul’s disobedience and the account does indicate in view of my understanding the word of the true God by means of a spirited vision of Elijah. What I now wish to ask if I may, “do you believe the Elijah of the bible will return, or that a person with the same attributes will be identified as an anointed Elijah and be alive on earth at this time”?

        Will be grateful to receive a reply.

        J Manders

        June 11, 2011 at 2:56 am

  5. Rasheed,

    You don’t have to accept it. From the beginning of the nation of Israel there was never a Gentile prophet. Noah, Enoch, Abraham, and Ishmael lived before the covenant between God and His people, the Jews. Ishmael is not considered a prophet in Judaism or Christianity, and the prophecies concerning Ishmael were not very favorable.

    The verses alluding to God shifting His favor against the Jews were realized with the founding of the Church when all men could enter into His favor. This did not fully renege His promises to the Jews as it is prophesied that there is still more to come for them. If you accept the prophecy of the favor shifting to the Church, Muhammad is outside the Church and is still disqualified.

    The verse you speak of in Isaiah 4 doesn’t say that the new law will come from someone in Kedar, but that the Gospel will reach Kedar. It takes some large leaps to make find Muhammad and his message in that.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    January 24, 2008 at 12:28 am

  6. Andrew

    Jesus is quoted in the Gospel of Matthew saying “I was not sent except for the lost sheep of Israel

    So in his own words Jesus mission had nothing to do with the gentiles. These words are sufficient proof that the church can not be the tool to deliver God’s guidance to the gentiles.

    As for Ishmael:

    According to Genesis:

    1- God blessed him.
    2- God heard him crying and sent an angel to his mother to provide him with comfort and water
    3- God promised to make him the father of a great nation
    4- Genesis 21: There is a great discrepancy in account of Genesis here which speak of Ishmael, who is supposed to be 13 years old, as if he was an infant, that his mother held him on her shoulder and later threw!! Moreover, the promise of the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants “for ever” can only mean the land of Arabia which was NEVER occupied by foreigners unlike the land where Isaac and his descendants lived.

    To us Muslims, there is no difference between Ishmael and Isaac. Both were great prophets and the sons of an even greater prophet. The sacrifice was requested from Abraham, most probably concerned him slaughtering his “Only son”, which can only mean Ishmael because he was the Only son for 13 years while Isaac was never the only son of Abraham.

    Before Isaac;s birth, God told Abraham that his forthcoming son, i.e. Isaac, will be the father of a great nation. It is therefore meaningless to test Abraham by requesting him to kill his son, whom God had already promised to make into a great nation!

    Muhammad (ص) was a descendant of Ishmael and Abraham, and heir to his great grand father’s religion, Islam.

    Rasheed

    January 24, 2008 at 1:44 am

    • Dear Andrew and Rasheed, The scriptures say Hagar despised Sarah and it is believed that Hagar was persecuting Sarah but was it the circumstances that brought about persecution to these two women considering the situation?. Putting self in situation how do you perceive Sarah had felt towards her handmaiden and the child she carried? Think how any woman would have felt in that situation! The handmaiden was blessed by God and the wife of her Lord as Sarah called Abraham was barren. Would there not have been many painful emotions for both women one feeling smitten and scorned the other being forced into a situation not of her own devising.

      A work companion, my mother and I were spoken to by a person claiming to be sent from heaven. I believe she was. I was told that God intended Ishmael to be born before Isaac. Galatians 4:22-31 is as testified relating to the 2 covenants. God did not disapprove of Hagar and Ishmael as Christian belief dictates. in GENESIS 21:20 God continued to be with the boy. God does not continue to be with or support the wicked or those who are unwholesome. In Galatians 4:28 The apostle Paul was referring to those born of the free woman who was Sarah symbolising the heavenly promise whereas Hagar and Ishmael symbolise the earthly promise. If it were not for this covenant peace on earth (the new Jerusalem) and the promise of everlasting life on earth which I and the majority of humans have set before us providing we are faithful to God would not be possible. These things and much more were spoken to me many years ago.

      J Manders

      September 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm

  7. Rasheed,

    You are missing a couple of points here.

    Jesus was sent only to Israel. His ministry was to the Jews, although he did heal some Gentiles. His disciples’ ministry was broader. The plan for salvation began with the Jews, but it was never intended to end there. The Jewish nation was chosen by God to be a light and example to the world. They failed that duty and God began using the Church and the disciples to take His message to the nations.

    God did bless Ishmael, comforted him, saved his life, and promised to make him the father of a great nation. He kept this promise as Ishmael had many children and his tribe grew greatly. The story in Genesis is not a discrepancy. I don’t have time to explain it right now though. The promise made to Abraham was always conditional. God would give them the land and allow them to possess it as long as they followed Him. He kept His promise, and every time the nation of Israel turned from God they were punished and sent into exile.

    The sacrifice requested from Abraham was most definitely Isaac as the text specifies. “Only son” in this case meant only son by his wife Sarah. Ishmael had been sent away by this point. Abraham being willing to sacrifice his only son was meant to be imagery to the nation of Israel of what God would do in the future. God sacrificed His own Son, Jesus Christ, willingly. It is not meaningless as you say, but was a test of Abraham’s belief in God. Abraham knew that even if he sacrificed Isaac, God could raise him up from the dead.

    Is there a genealogy tracing Muhammad to Ishmael? You do realize there were other tribes and people groups living in Arabia in Ishmael’s day right? And even if Muhammad is traced to Ishmael, Ishmael is not the son of the promise. The promise to Abraham was that his wife Sarah would give him a son in her old age. God favored Abraham and made Ishmael into a great nation as well, but His plan was always recognized through Isaac’s descendants.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    January 24, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    • This is just one evidence of corruption from within the bible. The Genesis Account says: “your son, your only son”; and it would be understandable how great is the trail when God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son at that time Ishmael. It is illogical to say that “your only son” actually means “your only son, i.e.: by your wife Sarah”, plus you’ve got no evidence of that. PLUS Hagar is also called Abraham’s wife, not only his concubine, Sarah tells Abraham to take Hagar as his WIFE.
      This is similar to another part of the bible where it is evidently corrupted. God tells Abraham that he will make a covenant with him and HIS SEED forever, and the symbol of that covenant will be circumcision. So, and here’s the catch, Abraham AND HIS SON ISHMAEL are circumcised. Then few verses later we are told that the covenant belongs to Isaac and his progeny solely. Then after that we read how Esau the son of Isaac is tricked out of the blessing and is forbidden from the covenant all to the inclusion of Jacob. Can you see where this is going?
      We know that Job is a prophet from the progeny of Esau. So why can’t Ishmael have a prophet from his progeny when all the believing descendants of Abraham are in the covenant?

      Mo

      February 20, 2014 at 8:53 pm

  8. Andrew]

    Sorry for the late response to your comment, I was quite busy upgrading the computer network at the office.

    I am quite pleased that you aknowledge that Jesus was only sent to Israel, something that not many Christians understand.

    I will not argue with your insistence that Issac was the object of the sacrifice, I happen to think that it was Ishmael, but there are more Muslim scholars, past and present, who agree with you and not me on this particular point. The Quran does not give the name explicitly. As far as Muslims are concerned, it is not a major doctrinal matter, as both of Abraham’s sons are considered important prophets.

    When I cite the Dead Sea Scrolls, I am starting from the premise that prophet Muhammad was described in previous scriptures, however, scribes and others tried to obliterate any mention of him in their books. I postulate that, this effort to ‘hide’ the truth of Islam is not perfect, and occasionally documents are discovered here or there that shed a light on the truth of Islam. It is therefore, not a valid argument, for you to cite the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament in its present canonised form to disprove prophecies/ texts from an earlier source like the Dead Sea Scrolls,

    As you know, the current Hebrew Bible is not identical to the one given to Moses. It too underwent some changes.

    Rasheed

    February 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm

  9. Rasheed,

    I understand. I have been busy as well.

    Acknowledging that Jesus was only sent to Israel does not mean that the disciples were as well. In both Matthew 28 and Acts 1 it is recorded that Jesus sent the disciples to ALL NATIONS. The Church is God’s plan for sharing the Good News with all nations; that Jesus was the perfect lamb, the final sacrifice to take away the sin of every man who would repent and believe in him.

    I doubt many Christians would argue with the notion that Jesus was only “sent to the lost sheep of Israel.” What they would disagree with is the idea that he only CAME and DIED for the nation of Israel. There is a huge difference.

    The importance placed on Ishmael by Muslims ignores the facts of the story. Ishmael was the son of a slave and Abraham and Sarah’s attempt to help God fulfill His promise. It was their display of a lack of faith in God’s power to give them a child. Ishmael was not the son of the promise, and though he was made into a great nation, God’s favor was not upon him. He was blessed only because he was Abraham’s son. This did not make him a prophet of any sorts. Nor is Muhammad even necessarily a descendant of Ishmael.

    Your premise that Muhammad was described and then omitted from previous Scriptures is completely unfounded. There is no support for this hypothesis, and little reason to believe it. It is a conspiracy theory, and as much as I love a good conspiracy theory, there is rarely any merit to it. In short, it makes for good TV, but poor scholarship. (Have you seen or heard about James Cameron’s recent documentary on the Jesus ossuaries?)

    That being said, we have to address what the Dead Sea Scrolls are before we accept what they say. To my understanding, the Dead Sea Scrolls include many of the books of the Bible and help display how accurately the Bible has been transcribed. They are a collection of documents of varying ages. Additionally, the scrolls include many documents that are rabbinic commentaries. The scroll you quote from would most likely fit this category. Rabbinic commentaries are seldom considered authoritative, but are a teacher’s attempts to grasp and explain Scripture. So, even IF this particular fragment describes Muhammad, it does not have the proper authority to address the subject.

    In regards to your statement: “As you know, the current Hebrew Bible is not identical to the one given to Moses. It too underwent some changes.”

    There are a couple of fundamental flaws here. First off, the Hebrew Bible was not “given to Moses.” The Torah was the section of the Hebrew Scriptures written by Moses. The Law was given by God, but the Bible is distinctly different from the Qu’ran in that much of it is a historical document written at or near the time the events took place. The stories of Genesis are one exception to this, although some scholars believe that Moses was only compiling these stories from previously recorded sources. I have seen little proof that the Torah has been altered in any way. To suggest that it has, you should provide proof.

    Your presentation lacks any weight because of repeated insinuations of unfounded conspiracy theories. Your entire argument is based upon your premise being true, and without any proof of your hypothesis, your theories crumble.

    Christianity and Judaism have nothing to ‘hide’, and would not have foreseen the need to ‘hide’ Muhammad until well after the 7th Century. We have unaltered documents from the 1st Century and before which do not describe Muhammad. What could we possibly be hiding?

    Take care my friend,

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    February 4, 2008 at 8:01 pm

  10. Andrew

    I am afraid Scholarly arguments and traditional belief that you hold on Moses authorship of five books of the Torah as we read them today, are mutually exclusive. The ‘Documentary Hypothesis’ that is the prevailing theory amongst Hebrew Biblical Scholars states that the Books of the Torah were written by, at least, two distinct writers. The Books were written hundred of years apart and compiled later, possibly by Ezra. This is not a conspiracy theory of mine, it is the prevailing thinking amongst non-Muslim Jewish and Christian Scholars.

    If you want to explore the matter further, I recommend the book ‘Who Wrote the Bible’ by Richard Elliott Friedman.

    Do you really believe that Moses could have written a phrase like ‘Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face’ [Deut 34:10]

    You say that there is little proof that the Torah has been altered at all, I am afraid this wishful thinking, and it is not my opinion alone. Just research the subject for yourself.

    As for Ishmael, he was the legitimate first born of Abraham, his mother was Abraham wife. You accuse Abraham of being of diminished faith in God!

    Please see the section of the covenant at http://www.jews-for-allah.org/ for some interesting opinions

    As for the genealogy of Muhammad (ص), I have to tell you my friend, that there is a much higher possibility that Muhammad was a descendant of Ishmael than there ever was a chance for Jesus to be a descendant of David. You and I accept that Jesus had no biological father, yet you insist in your scriptures that he was a descendant of David.

    One last thing, have you ever wondered why the ministry of the disciples to ALL NATIONS was only announced after the alleged crucifixion? I mean, if there was no crucifixion and no appearances afterwards there will be no Christianity as we know it today.

    Rasheed

    February 5, 2008 at 12:22 pm

  11. Rasheed,

    The Documentary Hypothesis is a hypothesis on one side of the argument. Yes, there are some passages that were added after the death of Moses, such as the Deut. 34:10 and the passage about Moses’ death. The vast majority was Moses’ work.

    Everything you espouse is dependent on the multitude of Biblical errors you claim to find. Scholars can say what they want, but all the theories in the world cannot change the truth. The Bible points toward Jesus Christ as the Messiah and his death and resurrection testify to his deity. It is there for all to hear. We choose whether we want to believe it or not. If not, we can choose all the theories and “evidence” in the world.

    Jesus Christ rose to life to conquer death that ALL men may repent, believe, and be saved!

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    February 8, 2008 at 7:44 pm

  12. Assalamualaikum brothers (Rasheed & Andrew),

    I salute both of you for trying to discuss in a gentle and civilized manner. Keep it up. I was just wondering what brother Andrew thinks of all the discrepancies found in “Today’s” Bible. I will show them at a later stage.

    amalekz

    April 6, 2008 at 10:06 am

  13. amalekz,

    We have discussed so-called discrepancies at large in previous posts. The vast majority of these discrepancies are cases where a letter was added or omitted where it did not effect word meaning such as ‘a’ and ‘an’ in English. There are many cases in the Greek where a letter is the ending of one word and the beginning of the next. The short hand trick is to drop the letter from the ending of the first word, but this is called a discrepancy by scholars because it deviates from the original texts. It changes nothing in regards to the meaning. Many others are cases where a name replaced a pronoun, such as saying ‘Jesus’ instead of ‘he’.

    There are only a few significant variants and they only appear in later texts.

    In 1 John 5:7-8, “Spirit, water, and blood” were changed to “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” in some later texts. This was probably an attempt to provide evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity, but was not necessary, since the doctrine had been established several centuries prior to this change.

    The story in John 7:53-8:11 is not included in early manuscripts. The story establishes no doctrine and does not conflict with any other New Testament teaching. Most likely, this was a true story that the Church wanted to preserve without making a book out of it, so it was tacked on to the book of John. Again we don’t depend on this text so whether or not it is included makes little difference.

    The end of the Gospel of Mark is the other significant “discrepancy”. The ending was not in the original texts and is noted as such in most of today’s Bibles. The ending for the most part is consistent with what we have in the other gospels and does not establish new doctrines. This fragment is found in early manuscripts also in the Gospel of John. It may or may not be a true account and is treated as such by knowledgeable scholars and Churches. The only churches which cling to this passage are those known as “snake handling churches” which hold poisonous snakes during their services. These are not mainstream churches.

    Obviously you must note that the discrepancies we know about should not be considered an issue against Biblical credibility. Copyists are prone to mistakes and we recognize that. Even English translations of the Bible have a few minor misspellings or misprints. If we know about discrepancies and have the ability to correct them, they are no longer an issue. We have in existence over 5,000 copies of New Testament manuscripts which date far earlier than any other classic literature we consider accurate from this time period. We also have enough writings from early Church fathers to piece together the entire New Testament from them alone.

    The fact of the matter is when we count a discrepancy such as Bart Ehrman does in his book entitled Misquoting Jesus, the numbers can be misleading. Each time we count a discrepancy it is not one, but it is multiplied by however many thousands of manuscripts also copied ‘a’ instead of ‘an’. Those numbers can be deceivingly high. So if we have an change of ‘he’ to ‘Jesus’ copied into 3,000 later manuscripts and it is changed 5 times in one story, we have instantly 15,000 discrepancies which are different from having 15,000 errors. In essence we don’t have a single error, but 5 times where a pronoun was replaced with its noun.

    This argument also neglects to see the difficulty a scribe would have in changing the text significantly. Scribes after the first copies were sent out would not have had access to all the copies and the originals would have survived. They would have no way to cover their tracks since the texts were being copied and translated at a rapid rate. This would have required them to chase down and manipulate several thousand texts and be fluent in Greek, Coptic, Latin, and so forth.

    I hope that addresses your question. I’d be happy to give it a more thorough treatment at a later date.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    April 6, 2008 at 10:55 pm

  14. In the fragments it says that this chosen one will write three books–apparently these are special books, for he went from knowing nothing to something we are told. Are there three special books out there?

    Child of God

    June 5, 2008 at 9:34 pm

  15. Thank you Lance for your comment.

    I believe the scroll says:

    “…someone who knows nothing, until he 5knows the three Books”

    So it is said that the chosen one will know and not that he will write three books

    Rasheed

    Rasheed

    June 6, 2008 at 1:46 am

  16. Dear Andrew and Rasheed, I believe arguing about what is right is futile. God alone knows the truth. A work companion, my mother and I were spoken to by a person claiming to be sent from heaven. I believe she was. I was told that God intended Ishmael to be born before Isaac. Galatians 4:22-31 is as testified relating to the 2 covenants. God did not disapprove of Hagar and Ishmael as Christian belief dictates. in GENESIS 21:20 God continued to be with the boy. God does not continue to be with or support the wicked or those who are unwholesome. In Galatians 4:28 The apostle Paul was referring to those born of the free woman who was Sarah symbolising the heavenly promise whereas Hagar and Ishmael symbolise the earthly promise. If it were not for this covenant peace on earth (the new Jerusalem) and the promise of everlasting life on earth which I and the majority of humans have set before us providing we are faithful to God would not be possible. These things and much more were spoken to me many years ago.

    J Manders

    September 20, 2010 at 2:23 am

  17. This is a comment by J Manders: for some reason the comment wont display when approved so I am publishing it :
    ——————————————————————————–

    Greetings Rasheed. You say God is not the God of everyone and that is true. God is the God of all who love him and are guided by his truth. Judgement day is near and all people who do not listen to the word of God will be corrected and if necessary disciplined. Andrew says God came to the Israelites but it was the minority who worshipped the true God. Almost all the prophets sent to the Israelites were put to death by them. Having said that Elijah said to the Israelites in 1st Kings 18:22 “I myself have been left as a prophet of the True God I alone while the prophets of Baal are 450 men. When Elijah was told by God that the Israelites were to fall by the sword in 1st Kings 19:18 God told Elijah that 7,000 were to remain in Israel “all the knees that have not bent down to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him”. There was not one King of the 10 tribe Kingdom of Israel who worshipped God they all took part in false worship either of golden calfs and or Baal. The two tribe Kingdom of Judah had a minority of kings who were faithful

    Rasheed Gadir

    September 21, 2010 at 3:46 am

  18. I do not believe it is the will of the True God of all creation that “Christians” should oppose those having a devout faith believing in God and Christ. So long as they endeavour to do the will of the Father. I do not know much about the Muslam beliefs. According to what Rasheed brings to light Muhammad was a prophet of God to the Arab Nation. The Gentiles have Christianity but where is the truth and unity in so called Christianity? Does the God of all creation not say ” 2nd Timothy 2:23,24 Turn down foolish and ignorant questionings knowing they produse fights. But the slave of God does not need to fight but needs to be gentle towards all” etc… Rasheed is speaking from the Muslim perspective in servitude to the True God. If those of the Muslim faith bow down in unity 5 times a day and follow the teachings of their prophet who are you to know that these worshippers of God are displeasing to Him? Who knows the mind of the True God? Romans 11:34 as long as people give homage to God and live up to the standards Christ and Muhammad have set before their followers who is free to judge? Ther is so much disunity among so called Christians dictating their beliefs are the only means of salvation. What does God say to that ideology?

    J Manders

    September 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    • J manders The Messenger Muhammad SAWS The Beloved of Allah is sent for All creation As the Messenger of Allah to all creatures not just for the Arab nation

      Muhammad

      February 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm


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