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Archive for the ‘Muslims’ Category

Brief_Illustrated_Guide_To_Understanding_Islam

INTRODUCTION

There is a popular colorful pamphlet arguing for Islam titled, A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam.  Not too long ago I looked into one of the evidences it gave for Islam here, while for this post I want to consider another argument the booklet presents for Islam in which the author(s) claims that the Bible made a prophecy pointing to Muhammad.  At the outset, I want the readers to know that this discussion cannot be divorced from one’s methodology of apologetics and I think the best method of Christian apologetics interacting with Islam is to begin with the Bible as the authoritative and infallible Word of God.  No doubt Muslims will object, saying the Bible has been corrupted while some Christians will dismiss this strategy as ineffective in light of the predictable Muslim reaction to such an apologetic.  However, as I have argued here on this blog, the Muslim is not permitted to dismiss the Bible as corrupt and no longer authoritative because the Quran’s teaching is contrary to this, expounding explicitly the view and appealing directly to the Bible as authoritative and a reliable text.  Thus, the benefit of this methodology is three-fold: (1) it makes the Muslim conscious of the issue of authority, and allow the Christian to quickly press them on the internal tension within the Muslim’s own worldview concerning the Bible, (2) while the Christian continues to have the Word of God as his foundation even in his apologetic (3) and also exposes the Muslims to the Bible, God’s Word, which does it’s work among the hearers and readers. (Note: This approach would be consistent with the apologetic methodology of Presuppositional apologetics.)  Of course, when the Muslims read the Bible they will read it as a Muslim and might be inclined to see it pointing to and validating Islam which require a Christian to look more closely at their own Scriptures concerning these claims.

THE PROPHET AN ISHMAELITE?

Such a claim for the Bible as evidence for Islam appears on page 33 of the booklet: “The Biblical prophecies on the advent of the Prophet Muhammad  are evidence of the truth of Islam for people who believe in the Bible.”  It then quoted Deuteronomy 18:18-19 as evidence.  Whereas Muslims believe Deuteronomy 18:18-19 predicts the coming of Muhammad, Christians believe that that this passage was fulfilled by Jesus.  Deuteronomy 18:18-19 as quoted from the New American Standard Bible states,

 I will raise up a prophet from among their [l]countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.

The book then tries to extrapolate from Deuteronomy 18 that this coming prophet

must have the following three characteristics:
1) That he will be like Moses.
2) That he will come from the brothers of the Israelites, i.e. the
Ishmaelites.
3) That God will put His words into the mouth of this prophet
and that he will declare what God commands him.

Of these three characteristics, the second seems to be the most problematic: that the prophet must be an Ishmaelites (which Muslims believe Muhammad was a descendant of).  Ishmael was the son of Abraham through his wife’s slave Hagar, as the Bible in Genesis 16 records.  Since the nation of Israel was a descendant of Abraham through the line of Issac, one might say that Issac and Ishmael were “half-brothers.”  So the Muslim argument here is that Deuteronomy 18 teaches this “Prophet” will be coming from their “brothers,” that is from the Ishmaelites, and since they say Muhammad is a descendant of Ishamel, he must be the Prophet predicted.

The Muslim no doubt will object to the NASB translation of “countrymen” in verse 18 and prefer it to be translated “brothers” which they do have a point.  The Hebrew word that the NASB translated as “countrymen” is the Hebrew word אֲחֵיהֶם.  Literally, אֲחֵיהֶם is from the Hebrew word meaning “brother” in the plural form with a third person masculine plural suffix that’s functioning possessively  thus a woodenly literal translation would be “their brother.”  The NASB here interprets “their brother” to refer to fellow Israelites, hence the translation of “countrymen.”  Just because the Hebrew word translated literally would be “their brothers” does not necessarily entail this is a prophecy for Muhammad however, since “brothers” can possibly refer to Ishmaelites or the Israelites themselves.  Determining the referent must be done in light of the consideration of the context of Deuteronomy 18, which suggests that Moses here has in mind that the Prophet will be Jewish rather than an Ishmaelite.  There are three reasons that opposes the interpretation that Deuteronomy 18 is talking about an Ishmaelite.

The first reason against the Muslim interpretation is the fact that the context of Deuteronomy 18 has no reference to Ishmaelites.  There is nothing explicit (“Ishmaelites” or “Ishmael”) or implicit (“Hagar,” etc).  The Muslim then has no warrant to suddenly assume “their brothers” to refer to Ishmaelites.  No doubt the Muslim might say this is an argument from silence for the view that Deuteronomy 18 refers to a Jew, but here I am not using an argument for silence to prove that Deuteronomy 18 is referring to a Prophet of Jewish descendant  but I am only showing that the Muslim has no justification to read into the text that an Ishmaelite is the referent.  The other two points below is my basis for interpreting the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18 must be a descendant of Israel.

The second reason against the Muslim “Ishmaelite” interpretation is within Deuteronomy 18:18 itself.  The Hebrew word following אֲחֵיהֶם (“their brothers”) is כָּמֹוךָ, which has a preposition of comparison (“like, as”) coupled with a second person plural suffix.  The second person plural refers to those whom Moses is addressing, which specifically were the second Generation Israelites that left Egypt and waiting to enter into the Promise Land.  This Prophet will be as an Israelite, a Jew, and not an Ishmaelite.

The third reason against the Muslim “Ishmaelite” interpretation is from the contextual flow leading up to Deuteronomy 18:18-19.  Deuteronomy 18:15 is similar to Deuteronomy 18:18-19:

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your [j]countrymen, you shall listen to him.

And like Deuteronomy 18:18, the NASB translation of “your countrymen” here is the same Hebrew word in verse 18 that refers to “brothers.”  Verse 15 narrows and specify whom Moses meant by “brothers” when he said “from among you.”  The phrase “from among you” in Hebrew is מִקִּרְבְּךָ, which is a construction of a preposition indicating source coupled with the noun קרב and second person plural suffix.  According to Holladay’s concise Hebrew lexicon, the noun קרב always refer to something internal as opposed to outside or external in all it’s lexical range of meaning whether it refers to the inward nonphysical parts of a person (compare Genesis 18:12, 1 Kings 17:21, Isaiah 19:3, Jeremiah 4:16), the inner physical body (compare Genesis 41:21), inner part of a city (Genesis 18:22), or sacrificial animal (Exodus 12:9).  This is also true when it is referring to people (for example, Exodus 34:12, 1 Samuel 16:13).  When the preposition מִ appears before the nounקרב, it has the idea of “from among” (for example, compare Numbers 14:13), that is, internal from within one’s group.  The source of the Prophet’s origin is indicated by the second person plural suffix, which again refers to the second generation Israelites that left Egypt waiting to enter into the Promise Land.  Thus, this Prophet can only be from among the Jews and not some external group of non-Jews.  Though it is not visible in our English translation, in Hebrew the construct מִקִּרְבְּךָ (“from among you”) is even nuanced, appearing before the phrase “like me,” or “from your countrymen.”  That is, the author Moses was emphasizing to his readers so that they won’t miss the truth that this Prophet will be from among their own kin, effectively ruling out Muhammad as a candidate for fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18.

A DENIAL OF JESUS’ FULFILLMENT OF DEUTERONOMY 18

As demonstrated above, Muhammad cannot be the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18 because he is not a Jew.  The other reason why Deuteronomy 18 cannot point to Muhammad is because Jesus fulfills the prophecy in Deuteronomy as “The Prophet.”  Of course, most Jews would disagree but Christians following the New Testament are obligated to believe this, since the New Testament teaches that Jesus is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18.  Likewise, Muslims are also obligated to believe this since the Quran teaches that the Bible  including the New Testament is authoritative and not corrupted (as it is established elsewhere in our blog).  Muslim however reject this conclusion, instead arguing against Jesus as the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18.  On page 34 of A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, the author (s) argued

If we look in a Bible with cross-references, we will find in the marginal notes where the words “the Prophet” occur in John 1:21, that these words refer to the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18:18.1  We conclude from this that Jesus Christ is not the prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:18.

The footnote in the book indicates that the source used for cross-referencing John 1:21 is from the NIV Study Bible.  Reading John 1:21, one wonders how the book can conclude from this passage that Jesus is not the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18.  For context, John 1:19-23 states:

19 This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not [q]the Christ.”21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he *said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

Note that this passage records the conversation John the Baptist had with the Jewish priests and Levites from Jerusalem (v.19).  From verses 19 to 23, the Jewish religious leaders were trying to figure out who John was, by first asking him “Who are you?” (v. 19), then specifically whether he was Elijah (v.21a), or the Prophet (v. 21b).  In both instances, John denies being Elijah and “the Prophet” (v.21), with the Prophet being an allusion to Deuteronomy 18.  Instead, John identifies himself as the one predicted in Isaiah 40:3 as preparing the way for the Messiah.  Yet how could the booklet then “conclude from this that Jesus Christ is not the prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:18″ when the passage record John the Baptist denial of himself being the Prophet?  John the Baptist’s denial of being the Prophet is not the same thing as him denying Jesus as the Prophet of Deuteronomy and neither is it the equivalent of Jesus denying Himself to be the prophet.  This is rather fuzzy thinking on the part of the author (s) of A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam where once again there is a confusion of referent nor does the conclusion follow from the text.

JESUS IS THE PROPHET OF DEUTERONOMY 18

The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus is the one who fulfilled Deuteronomy 18.  If the New Testament does teach this, as re-iterated before, the Muslim is obligated to believe this because of the Quran’s bibliology.  Any Muslim who deny Jesus as the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18 faces the internal tension between the Muslim’s interpretation of Deuteronomy 18 and the Quran’s teaching concerning the truth of the Bible.

In a sermon that Peter preached to the Jews during the early days of the church after Pentecost, Peter paraphrased Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19 in Acts 3:22-23:

Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet [k]like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. 23 And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’

The contextual flow of Peter’s sermon is the preaching of Jesus Christ to the Jewish people (v. 12-21). For instance, right before verses 22-23, Peter states in verses 19-21:

Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the [i]Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the [j]period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

For the Muslim critic, Peter’s inspired message from God cannot be taken to refer to Muhammad as the referent of the Prophet since verse 24 makes it clear the timing of everything he is talking about (the Suffering Servant, the Prophet to be listened to, etc) were taking place “these days” (that is during the time of Peter’s contemporary) rather than six hundred years later (Muhammad and Islam):

And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days.

What other event could be more central to Peter and the early believers than the suffering and death of Jesus Christ which Peter keeps on talking about in chapter 3?  It is important to remember that Peter’s citation of Deuteronomy 18 is situated in a context dominated by the centrality of Christ.  Note again how verse 24 mentioned that “all the prophets who have spoken…announced these days.”  This is similar to how Peter have said earlier in verse 18 that “all the prophets” were making prophecies in the Old Testament that Jesus has now fulfilled:

 But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.

Because Jesus have fulfilled these Messianic prophecies, Peter assigns Messianic titles to Jesus such as “His Servants” (v.13 and 26, an allusion to Isaiah’s prophecies), “the Holy and Righteous One” (v. 14), “Prince of life” (v.15) and Christ (v.18 and 20).  In such a context the reference to “that Prophet” of Deuteronomy 18 is just one more Messianic Old Testament titles that Peter is saying Jesus fulfilled.

If Jesus is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18, verse 15 of that chapter makes it clear that He must be listened to, which Acts 3:23 paraphrases.  That’s exactly what God Himself announces during the Transfiguration.  The same author of Acts, the Physician Luke, also recorded in Luke 9:35 echoes of Deuteronomy 18:15, when God declared that Jesus is the one whom people must listen to:

Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”

Thus, Jesus is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18 according to Acts 3.  Since Jesus is the referent in Deuteronomy 18, this does not give room for Muhammad to fulfill this prophecy especially since Muhammad is not Jewish, a criteria of Deuteronomy 18.  Muslims should read the Holy Bible (both Old and New Testament) and come to know Jesus as their Lord God, and Savior of their sins.  Have faith (trust) in Jesus and repent (turn away) from your sins.  Trust in Jesus as your Prophet, Priest and King.

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Earlier this fall the Christian apologist James White had a tour in London engaging in a lot of debates and teaching concerning Christian apologetics concerning Islam.  One of the debates was on the topic of whether Jesus was crucified, which video done by the Muslim Debate Initiative is featured here.

Don’t forget to check out James White’s other debate on whether the Bible prophecied about Muhammed here.  For those interested in our blog’s small feeble attempt at providing resources on Christian apologetics addressing Islam with this summer’s marathon series on Islam, click here.

 

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It’s an important season for Muslims around the world, and are you aware of it?  It’s Ramadan. And as Christians it’s a great opportunity for us to talk to our Muslim friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Ramadan is a time of fasting during the day (though they eat at night).  This year, Ramadam began in the evening of Thursday, July 19, 2012, and ends in the evening of Saturday, August 18, 2012.

The following are some tips in making the most of opportunities to share your faith with a Muslim you know.

(1) Asks Questions about your Muslim friends’ faith.

It’s okay to admit that you don’t know everything about Islam.  Take the time to asks questions about Islam.  And asks a lot of questions for the sake of understanding!  I think doing this will also help build a bridge–and also allow deeper communication next time with the same individual or with others.  Furthermore, it invites Muslims to be comfortable enough to asks questions about Christianity as well.

(2) Forgo Lunch–to talk to your Muslim friend about spiritual matters.

The gesture shows that there are also other things more important than physical food only too, in your life.  This allows for the allocation of more time to talk to a classmate or co-worker rather than a short passing comment or question.

(3) Suggests your Muslim friend come over to your place for dinner when they break their fast.

True Christian hospitality in evangelism goes a long way, even if they decline.  Since good spiritual discussions often requires time, having your friends over for dinner allows you the oppourtunity to talk about matters more in depth than during break time or lunch time at work or school.  Don’t forget that this allows your whole family to be a Christian testimony to your friend as well.

(4) Purchase your Muslim friend a Bible.

I’ve found in my experience that Muslims have a high view for the Quran–and I think they can understand Christians ought to have a high view of the Bible too, seeing it as the revelation from God.  Get them a Bible–and personalize it with a written note to them so that way it’s not you just thumbing your Bible at them as something seen as a smack down.  Even consider getting them an Arabic Bible if it’s needed (though find out first–it’s a stereotype to assume all Muslims know Arabic just as it is that all Christians knows English).

(5) Don’t forget to emphasize Jesus as the Savior of Sins for those who come to him.

Sharing the gospel might be hard–and offensive.  Of course we ought not be unnecessarily offensive ourselves with our personality and conduct.  Share with them how your life’s attempt to deal with guilt of sins before Jesus–and how Jesus redeemed us with His death and Resurrection.  Don’t forget that in all things, to share the Gospel as the remedy of our failure to be able to perfectly obey God’s requirement.  Make the Good News the Good News in light of the Bad News of our sins.

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You attacked us first, ………………. !

Messed with the wrong politician.

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The Palestinian Muslims came out to celebrate the massacre of the Fogel family which includes a 3-month-old baby.

The family of the Fogel family released the pictures of the murdered family and asked to publish it.

Udi and his 3-month old daughter.

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The whole family were murdered by Muslims while they slept. The father, Udi Fogel (36), his wife Ruth (34), 11-year-old Yoav, 4-year-old Elad and 3-month old Hadas. Their young daughter, Tamar, returned home to find their bodies.

The Muslims who massacred the family believe in what the Quran teaches,

  • “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. … lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way …” (9:5)
  • “Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter, fight for the cause of God; whether he dies or triumphs, We shall richly reward him. … The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan …” (4:74,76)
  • “Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme” (8:39)
  • “Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given … and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued.” (9:29)

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These Christians were arrested in Iran.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elam Ministries reported that the Governor of Tehran has vowed to arrest more evangelical Christians. Armed, plain-clothes, special security officers forcefully entered the homes of Christians while they were asleep, and verbally and physically abused them. They were handcuffed and taken for interrogation. Among those arrested were five married couples. One couple was separated from their two-year old baby. Another couple was also forced to leave their baby that the mother was breastfeeding. A number of single young women were also among those taken.

The security forces broke into at least five such homes, ransacking them, taking personal possessions, changing the locks and placing a government seal on the door. Family members of these Christians have been called by the authorities and threatened and harassed. They were instructed to tell the Christians to surrender themselves. None of them have been granted any legal representation. No charges have been made, though it is clear that they were arrested for their active Christian faith. There has been a gross lack of due process. The government authorities have not provided any written documents as to the reason for the arrests, any record of the items confiscated, and family members are not allowed to visit the detained.

The recent speech made byAyatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic republic of Iran, for the first time, warned his followers of the dangers of the rapid growth and expansion of home-based churches as the threat to the Islamic regime.

There is a great need for Christians to pray for these Christians who were arrested in Iran.

More news,

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Juan Williams, a former NPR political analyst was fired for his comments on Fox News that he gets “nervous” when he sees people in “Muslim garb” boarding a plane. The President and CEO of NPR (National Public Radio) stated that Williams was not fired for that particular incident, but for offering his controversial opinions on several occasions, which she deemed a breach of journalistic ethics for an NPR analyst. Schiller intensified the existing controversy over Williams’ dismissal when she added that Williams should have kept his Muslim comments between himself and “his psychiatrist or his publicist—take your pick.”

Ron Schiller, the man in the video who is the Vice-President of one NPR’s department voiced his true beliefs about Christians, Tea Party, Republicans, America, Jews and Islam. The video is part of an undercover operation where Ron Schiller was recorded heavily criticizing Conservative groups such as the Tea Party movement, describing them as “fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamentally Christian—I wouldn’t even call it Christian…basically, they believe in white, middle America, gun-toting—it’s pretty scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people”. He also stated that NPR “would be better off in the long run without federal funding”, defended the firing of Juan Williams, and criticized “anti-intellectual” elements within the Republican Party.

Should they re-hire Juan Williams back now?

Nothing is neutral, not even news. Everyone has a bias.

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HT: AM

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Why do “people” say that Islam is a religion of peace?

5:54 “O ye who believe. Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjust.”

8:65 “O apostle! Rouse the believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred. If a hundred they will vanquish a thousand of the unbelievers, for these are a people without understanding.”

9:5 “… fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) …”

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How to Beat Your Muslim Wife

This Iman went further to say that a husband can even kill his wife.

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Islam Teaches to Beat Your Wife

Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme. Sura 4:34

Update: I am inserting the surat in Arabic. The verb to “beat” or to “strike” is underlined.  


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Forced to be Muslims

When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to [accept] Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. … If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them. Sahih Muslim, Book 19, Number 4294.

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“And slay them (the infidels) wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out, for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter” 2:191

“And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and Faith in Allah; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression”. 2:193

“Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not” 2:216

“Seize them and slay them wherever you find them: and in any case take no friends or helpers from their ranks.” 4:89

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Qur’an 9:123—O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.

Qur’an 48:29—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.

Qur’an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Sahih al-Bukhari 6924—Allah’s Messenger said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and whoever said La ilaha illahllah, Allah will save his property and his life from me.”

 

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