Skip navigation

(Repost For Christmas. Originally here)

In our place we don’t do Santa.

We have informed the children that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’s birthday and that Santa is a way people have of remembering the very nice man St Nicholas of Patara who would give presents to poor children for Jesus’s birthday because they had no one to give them presents.

Just The Facts

Objectively this is a factually historically sound precis of the identities of the major personages associated with Christmas and far closer to the truth than the western secular culturally approved Christmas story which is that Christmas is a day when the entirely mythical Santa Claus pilots a team of magic reindeer around the planet and distributes presents to children on the basis of good behaviour, completing his global mission in one night assisted by a team of magical elves.

So on a factual basis my family explanation of ‘Why Christmas?’ beats the objectivity index of the major alternative explanation by about 100-NIL.

Even if you think that Jesus Himself is a myth it is nevertheless true that Christmas Day came into being a celebration of Jesus’s birthday. Yes, yes I know, the actual day was appropriated from a pagan midwinter festival but it wasn’t called Christmas then.

Name That Stereotype

Now if you’re a hard core atheist you despise myths of all kinds so you wouldn’t be wanting to be feeding the children’s minds up with Santa nonsense. You’ll be telling them that Christmas (without the deliberate mis-spelling with ‘X’) is a celebration of the birthday of a mythical person called Jesus ’cause that’s factual, but that in your family Christmas is just about whatever you want to do at Christmas.

And if you’re an agnostic you’ll have no objection to Jesus as a putative historical personage or even as God, so you would have at least no objection to be going with the basic facts about ‘Why Christmas?‘, but you might decide to go with the Santa story because its fun for kids to play make-believe.

I guess the ‘Christmas is about Santa’ story would also be adopted to easy-going or less dogmatic atheists like Julia Gillard, Prime Minister Of Australia, who don’t believe in God but who don’t share the relentless atheist insistence on eliminating Jesus from public consciousness associated with, say, Richard Dawkins, and just like to see the kids get entranced in ‘the magic of Christmas’.

And from personal observation it would also apply to the general Australian public for whom neither Jesus nor atheism nor agnosticism registers at any meaningful resonance.

As far those who believe Jesus is God, such as myself, we obviously want to emphasize that Christmas is about Jesus’s birthday. Some Christian families also integrate Santa into their Christmas Family narrative but in my opinion this makes Christmas worse, not better.

Why Santa makes Christmas Worse

When our kids get a Christmas present they know that Mummy and Daddy have bought it for them, not Santa. So this is tangible evidence that M&D love giving them great stuff, and the greatest stuff that kids get, materially speaking, comes on Christmas Day. Pooh-pooh it if you like but gift-giving is a practical demonstration of love. Why should my kids think that Santa loves them more than M&D ? I think that its a positive for the children that they know that M&D bought them the big shiny bike or the Hot Wheels Trick Tracks Mega-Dino Challenge or the Dora The Explorer magnetic toothbrush with built in compass.

Secondly, the kids express their joy for the gift directly back to M&D and it goes like this WOW! THANKS DAD! THAT IS AWESOOOOMMME! Sorry Santa, you don’t deserve that gratitude since you don’t even exist anyway and I’m sure as eggs not letting you have it. So the M&D’s get to express the full volume of their children’s delight at the Christmas gifts, instead of vicariously filtered via Santa.

Third, we as M&D give Christmas presents to our children because we love them, not on the basis of whether or not they have been good. Our children get validated for who they are, not on the basis of their transitory behaviour. Our children know they do not have to earn the love of M&D unlike that fickle impostor Santa whose favour can at any time evaporate like summer mist.

Fourth, the children get facts not fiction. No matter how you slice it, Santa is made up. A truthful explanation of Why Do We Give Presents At Christmas must include some reference to Jesus, even if He is relegated to myth. Face it, Santa entered the Christmas narrative at some point many centuries after Jesus and doubly so the magic reindeer and elves.

Much as many hate it Jesus IS the ORIGINAL reason for the season and the reason why Christmas exists. Here’s a theoretical question your child may ask:

Child: ‘Mummy, Why DO people go around saying ‘Christmas is a time of peace and goodwill to all men’ ?
Incorrect Answer A: Because Christmas is a time when we get together as a family.
Correct Answer B: Its because that’s what the Angels said to the shepherds on Jesus’s birthday.

Quite simply, an integrated understanding of Christmas requires reference to Jesus.

Fifth, for those who are Jesus-friendly, awarding Christmas to Santa robs Jesus of richly deserved recognition. Americans have a thing called Martin Luther King Day. Contrary to current popular preferential meaning, this does not commemorate the day when Santa led a Freedom march on Washington DC to eloquently demand equal rights for African-Americans assisted by a team of magical elves. I think you get what I mean. Even if you think Jesus is just a man or even just a myth, why not let the kids admire and learn from His example ?

Santa Is Not All Bad

Ejecting Santa from Christmas is not without cost. My kids do miss out on the awestruck wonder of waiting for Santa to visit and some really great make-believe. And yes, my kids are almost the only ones at school who don’t think Santa is real, which can make them seem like Alien Life-Forms to the others who have been fed the 100% guaranteed Santa myth. Ironic that, but it doesn’t seem to lead to teasing.

But even without Jesus, Christmas is better without Santa (see reasons one, two and three above). Of course WITH Jesus there is another kind of awestuck wonder which happens to be based in historical truth, but even if you really wish to persist with Jesus is A Myth, at least you can tell tell the myth that is related to the actual origins of Christmas rather than the one that originated with Coca-Cola Inc.

Hindus say: The Truth is One, but the sages speak of it in many different ways.

Buddha said: Follow my eight-fold path and you will discover The Truth.

Mohammed said: The Truth has been revealed to me.

Jesus said: I am The Truth

 

I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.  

No one comes to the Father except through me.

(Jesus, John 14:6)

Acknowledgement – I first saw this schema of Comparative Religion in a book I read when I was in my early 20’s when I was trying to figure out if Jesus Is God. The book was published by an Anglican publishing house but I can’t remember the name of the book or who the authors are.

My Muslim friends often challenge me to prove that Jesus said that He Is God. Specifically they want me to find a place in The Bible where Jesus Himself said the exact words ‘I am God. Worship me.’ Just Google this Where did Jesus say I am God Worship Me’ for dozens of examples of Muslims issuing this challenge.

My Muslim friends will not accept as proof anyone else in The Bible saying that Jesus is God, or anyone worshiping Jesus who was not explicitly commanded by Jesus to worship Him, or Jesus saying any other words or doing any other actions (such as forgiving sins which Jesus did and which only God can do) that indicate that Jesus is God. They demand that I show them in The Bible only Jesus Himself saying these exact words ‘I am God. Worship me’.

If these exact words do not exist in The Bible from Jesus own mouth, my Muslim friends say, then Jesus never claimed to be God and therefore Christians are not justified in saying that Jesus is God and therefore Jesus must be only a man.

Muslims insist on being shown one specific type of proof of Deity expressed in only one exact and specific formulation. Nothing else is acceptable.

Jesus Never Said ‘I am a Man. Do Not Worship Me.’

Well, where in The Bible does Jesus say the exact words ‘I am a man. Don’t worship me.’.

By the standard of proof demanded by Muslims If Jesus didn’t say the exact words I am a man. Don’t worship me. then Muslims are not justified in saying that Jesus is a man and therefore Jesus must be God.

Could Muslim readers please provide their proof from The Bible that Jesus said ‘I am a man. Don’t worship me’.

I will only accept these exact words as proof. I will not accept anyone else calling Jesus a man as proof that Jesus is a man, nor will I accept Jesus saying other words indicating that He is a man, nor will I accept Jesus performing actions indicating that He is a man (such as eating or sleeping) and I will not accept as proof anyone not worshiping Jesus except if they have been explicitly commanded by Jesus to not worship Him.

The only acceptable proof is Jesus saying these exact words: ‘I am a man. Don’t worship me.’.

I insist on being shown one specific type of proof of humanity expressed in only one exact and specific formulation. Nothing else is acceptable.

Thanks.

How Muslims Prove That Jesus Is Not God

Of course Muslims do not rely on finding the exact words I am a man. Do not worship me. stated by Jesus in order to prove that Jesus Is Not God. Muslims prove that Jesus is not God by finding equivalent words said by Jesus, or by finding Jesus doing things that humans need to do, such as eat and sleep, in order to make their proof.

Here is the well-known Islamic polemecist Zakir Naik proving that Jesus is human and not God by showing that Jesus needed to eat in order to stay alive

Human beings require to eat – God does not require to eat, to survive – They are not the same…And this is testified by Jesus Christ… in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter No. 24, Verse No. 36 to 39…­­­­­­And he said that… ‘Do you have any meat to eat ?’­­­­­­And they gave him broiled fish and a piece of honeycomb – And he ate.

In the same article Zakir Naik proves that Jesus is not God by finding words said by Jesus which are equivalent to Jesus saying I am a man. Do not worship me. Naik quotes Jesus from Matthew 12:28 where Jesus says…‘I cast out devils with the spirit of God’. Naik finds here (though I do not) that Jesus makes Himself distinct from God by this statement and therefore Jesus is simply a human being.

So Muslims do not limit themselves to finding Jesus saying one exact statement in order prove that Jesus is human. Nor should they. Inferential proofs that demonstrate humanity are indeed proof of humanity and need to be accepted by reasonable persons that Jesus was indeed human. And on the other hand, nor should Muslims or any person limit themselves to finding Jesus saying one exact statement in order prove that Jesus is Divine. Inferential proofs of Jesus’ Divinity need to be accepted just as readily as inferential proofs of Jesus humanity.

Indeed it would be frankly hypocritical of Muslims to accept inferential proofs of Jesus humanity and not to accept inferential proofs of Jesus’ Deity.

Proofs Of Jesus Deity

As stated above Muslims use the fact that Jesus needed to do what humans do in order to prove that Jesus is a human. By the same logic, if Jesus does what only God can do then Jesus is Divine. First, then, here is Jesus performing a Divine action, forgiving sins, which only God can do. See Mark 2:5-10

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things… 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”…

Secondly, here is Jesus claiming to be God by saying He is the same person as God. Jesus does this by taking the name of God ‘I AM’ and applying it to Himself. Here is John 8:51-58

51 [Jesus said] Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”…[The Jews replied] Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

54 Jesus replied…. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”

58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

Jesus claims to be greater than Abraham and all prophets, to have existed prior to Abraham and to have an eternal existence. The phrase ‘I AM’ is the name of God by which God revealed to Moses and which God says is His name forever and the name by which He, God, is to be called by His people. Jesus gives this name I AM as the answer to the question of the Jews ‘Who do you think you are ?’.

Jesus thus to claims to have the same name as God and is therefore claiming to be God. This is shown by the Jews who were listening to Jesus who picked up stones to stone Him for Blasphemy.

Jesus says His own name is the name of God. This infers that Jesus is God. This is what his listeners understood to be Jesus’ meaning.

Notice that Jesus does not correct the Jews for having a wrong understanding. Imagine if someone tried to stone Mohammed for Blasphemy because Mohammed said his name was Allah. Mohammed would immediately stop and correct that person and clear up the misunderstanding. Mohammed would never allow anyone to think that he was calling himself by God’s name.

But Jesus does. Jesus allows his listeners to go on thinking that He, Jesus, had used God’s name as His own name. This means that Jesus validates the understanding that He is God as a correct understanding.

Jesus has claimed to be God. His listeners heard and understood that claim and tried to stone Jesus for blasphemy. Jesus did not correct their understanding.

Notice that Jesus also allowed people to think He, Jesus is God, when he healed the paralysed man in Mark 2, recounted above. Jesus knew what the Jews were thinking that He, Jesus, was committing blasphemy by forgiving sins which only God can do. Jesus does not try and correct their understanding. In fact, Jesus does the opposite. Jesus confirms their understanding that He, Jesus, claimsto be God, by specifically saying that He, Jesus, has authority to forgive sins.

Again, imagine if Mohammed had said to someone ‘I have the authority to forgive sins’. Of course Mohammed would never do so, because Mohammed is not God.

But Jesus is God.

So Jesus does what only God can do and forgives people their sins.

Jesus Many Times Accused Of Blasphemy And Accepted Worship

Jesus was many times accused of blasphemy. This shows that he was repeatedly telling people that He was God. He never said to people ‘Stop. You misunderstand me. I am not claiming to be God.’ Surely as an honourable man Jesus would have corrected any person who had such amazing ideas about Him. But instead Jesus allowed people to believe that He, Jesus, was claiming to be God.

Imagine if people said to Mohammed You are committing blasphemy! Mohammed would immediately correct the wrong understanding of that person. There is no way that Mohammed would allow anyone to think that he was claiming to be God. If anyone did think that way, Mohammed would certainly correct them.

But Jesus never stopped anyone believing He is God. On the contrary, Jesus accepted worship and commended people for worshiping Him.

Jesus Directly Claimed To Be God

I stated above that inferential proofs must be accepted just as readily as direct proofs. But in reality Jesus directly claimed to be God. Jesus did this by performing actions which only God can do, such as forgiving sins, and by claiming God’s name as His own name.

Jesus listeners understood that Jesus was claiming to be God. Jesus never corrected them, but instead repeatedly confirmed their understanding. See John 10:33-39

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

 We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 

Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

Summary

  • Muslims will only accept Jesus saying the exact words ‘I am God. Worship Me.’ as proof that Jesus claimed to be God
  • But Muslims do not limit themselves to Jesus saying the exact words  ‘I am man. Do not Worship Me.’ when attempting to prove that Jesus is simply a human
  • Muslims therefore utilise a hypocritical double-standard of proofs
  • Muslims use inferential proofs to say that Jesus is human
  • This is reasonable and fair. Inferential proofs are just as valid as direct proofs.
  • There are many inferential and direct proofs that Jesus claimed to be God
  • Muslims must accept inferential proofs of Deity just as they accept inferential proofs of humanity
  • Thus we can see that The Bible contains two sets of proofs: Proof that Jesus is human and proof that Jesus is God
  • This is exactly what one would expect if God entered the world as a human being. He would retain His divinity and yet also exhibit humanity.
  • This is who Jesus is: God incarnate as a human being.

 

Appendix: God’s Name Is I AM As Revealed To Moses And Used By Jesus

See Exodus 3:13-15

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[b] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[c] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

This is my name forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.

John 8:53-58

53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? …Who do you think you are?”

58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I AM!

 

American Astronaut Neil Armstrong Became A Muslim

My Muslim friend recently told me that American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, became a Muslim after hearing the Muslim Call To Prayer while standing on The Moon.

This is totally untrue. It is simply a Muslim myth.

Neil Armstrong did not become a Muslim after hearing the Muslim Call To Prayer while standing on The Moon.

Neil Armstrong is not a Muslim at all.

Neil Armstrong has never been a Muslim.

Armstrong himself repudiates this story in his own biography. Here is an excerpt:

I have found that many organizations claim me as a member, for which I am not a member, and a lot of different families — Armstrong families and others — make connections, many of which don’t exist. So many people identify with the success of Apollo. The claim about my becoming a Muslim is just an extreme version of people inevitably telling me they know somebody whom I might know

The myth that Armstrong became a Muslim is in fact denied in a Fatwa authourised  by the Muslim scholar Shaykh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid and published on his website, Islam Q&A.

Shaykh Al-Munajjid makes the obvious point that if Neil Armstrong became a Muslim after hearing the Islamic Call To Prayer on The Moon then he would go around telling everyone all about it and that they should become Muslims too. Since Neil Armstrong has  does none of these things it is obvious that he never became a Muslim or heard the call To Prayer on The Moon.

Here is the Fatwa:

The story about Neil Armstrong, who they say was the first man to step onto the surface of the moon, becoming a Muslim is one of the stories that are passed around among people. We have researched this story and we did not find any reliable source for it.

We have got used to hearing stories like that which then turn out to false, and it seems that this is a deliberate attempt to shake the faith of the ordinary Muslims[…]

If the story of such a famous person becoming Muslim was really true, you would see him calling people to Islam and you would see the scholars and daa’iyahs and the Islamic media meeting him and talking to him, none of which happened in this case.

If you compare the story of Armstrong supposedly becoming Muslim with the story of Yusuf Islam (the former Cat Stevens, the famous British singer), you will see the difference between lies and truth, imagination and reality.

You can read all about the Armstrong Myth here:

First Astronaut To The Moon Worshiped Jesus

In fact, what Armstrong did on the Moon was respectfully watch his crew-mate Buzz Aldrin worship Jesus. As the link above states:

Before Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. stepped out of the lunar module, the Apollo they observed a moment of silence whilst Aldrin read from the New Testament and administered Communion to himself. The Christian ceremony is described in an article by Aldrin in a 1970 copy of Guideposts magazine:

It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements which celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus and which are symbolically eaten in an act of worship to Jesus.

Astronauts Who Have Become Christians 

While there is no record of any person becoming a Muslim in outer space or on The Moon, there are several records of people coming to a deeper faith in Christianity and Jesus Christ while in outer space or on The Moon.

Astronaut James Irwin Became A Christian On The Moon

Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin was what is termed a nominal Christian before his time on The Moon in 1971. A nominal Christian is a person who comes from a Christian family or who may even occasionally attend church, but who has no personal faith in God or true connection to Jesus. Such a personal is not actually a Christian, but James Irwin became a believer in God through Jesus Christ, a Christian, while on The Moon.

While James Irwin was on The Moon he was having trouble getting an experiment to work. He decided to pray God I need your help right now.

Suddenly Irwin experienced the presence of Jesus Christ in a remarkable way, unlike anything he ever felt on earth. “The Lord showed him the solution to the problem and the experiment erected before him like a little altar,” Mary Irwin, his wife, said.

“He was so overwhelmed at seeing and feeling God’s presence so close,” she says. “At one point he turned around and looked over his shoulder as if He was standing there.”

This unusual encounter with Jesus – some 238,000 miles from earth, changed Irwin’s life forever.

Within a year of Irwin’s return from space, he resigned from NASA and formed High Flight Foundation, which is a Christian Missionary organisation

“God decided that He would send His Son Jesus Christ to the blue planet,” James Irwin said, “and it’s through faith in Jesus Christ that we can relate to God. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes unto the Father except through me.’

“As I travel around I tell people the answer is Jesus Christ, that Jesus walking on the earth is more important than man walking on the moon.”

[Information about James Irwin from the article “Encounter with Jesus on the moon left astronaut changed”, GodReports website , March 7, 2011. Link here.]

 

Astronaut Becomes Christian Missionary After Walking On The Moon

Charles Duke, an Astronaut on Apollo 16 in 1972, had his faith in Jesus Christ immensely strengthened as a result of going to The Moon. He later became active in missionary work. As he explained:

“I make speeches about walking ON the moon and walking WITH the Son [of God].”

Astronaut Becomes A Believer In God While Reading The Bible In Outer Space

Frank Borman was commander of the first space crew to travel beyond the Earth’s orbit, Apollo 8, in 1968. Looking down on the earth from 250,000 miles away, Borman radioed back a message, quoting Genesis Chapter One, the first words in The Bible “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

As he later explained,

“I had an enormous feeling that there had to be a power greater than any of us-that there was a God, that there was indeed a beginning.”

[Information about Frank Borman in this section comes from the article “Astronauts Who Found God” by Chuck Colson on the website ActsWeb. Link here.]

 

Summary

Neil Armstrong did not become a Muslim after hearing the Muslim Call To Prayer while standing on The Moon.

Neil Armstrong is not a Muslim at all.

Neil Armstrong has never been a Muslim.

Muslim scholars agree that Neil Armstrong is not and never has been a Muslim.

Muslim scholars describe the story of Armstrong becoming a Muslim as ‘lies’, ‘false’, ‘imagination’, ‘unreliable’ and a story designed to stop Muslims believing in Islam.

The first act of worship on the Moon was actually a Christian worship service in honour of   Jesus Christ.

The first Holy Book read in outer space was The Bible

The only Astronauts who came to believe in God while on The Moon became Christians, not Muslims.

Holy Light From The Ka’aba

A Muslim friend recently told me that Holy Light coming out of The Kaaba is visible from outer space. Because of this, my friend said, humanity can know for sure that Islam is the true religion of God.

The source of his assertion appears to be the comments of some Russian cosmonauts on You Tube who saw Mecca from space and apparently said that the light from Mecca was cleaner and brighter than the light coming from European cities such as Paris

The comments of the Russian cosmonauts do not prove that Mecca has purer or brighter light than other cities of the world. In fact, the video shows a rotating Earth with all of the cities lit just as brightly or brighter than Mecca.

Also, it is obvious from the You Tube video that the light coming from Mecca is simply electrical light, the same as any other city in the world. There is no extra light coming from the Ka’aba at all, just the normal electrical lights of the city of Mecca.  In fact, no light at all comes from the Ka’aba because it is not supplied with electrical lighting.

If Holy Light is streaming from The Ka’aba one would expect a gigantic blinding, shining light to be pouring forth from The Ka’aba. This is what one expects when told Holy Light Comes Out Of The Ka’aba. But no light is visible from The Ka’aba at all as is plainly shown by the cosmosnauts photographs.

Why should anyone be surprised that light from electrical lamps located in Mecca, identical to that which exists in every other city in the world, emanates into outer space ?

According to the text written under the You Tube video, the cosmonaut says that the superior,  pure quality of the light from Mecca was only evident when he took photographs of Mecca.  It would be interesting to see if his result could be repeated by other people or if it could be explained by various settings on his camera such as exposure times, filters, angle of the picture or other camera settings or by relative levels of air pollution above these cities.

I would also note that the video is completely in Russian. It would be useful if the video could be translated and have subtitles so that the comments of the cosmonaut can be verified and understood in context.

I also note that the Cosmonaut who took these pictures,  Anton Schkaplerov, was born in the Crimea, which has a significant Muslim population. Is he a Muslim and if so, is he simply providing an Islamically-sourced expectation of what he hoped to see rather than an objective account of what he really did see ?

Also, to re-state, the only light in the cosmonauts photographs is the ordinary electrical light coming from street lights in the city of Mecca. No light at all is shown coming from the Kaaba itself, though, of course, the Grand Mosque in which The Ka’aba is situated is well-lit with electrical light.

Finally, if Holy Light really is streaming out of The Kaaba, why isn’t it visible from Mecca itself or any other place on Earth ? Why can’t people standing next to The Ka’aba see light streaming out of it ?

Apparently the Holy Light streaming from the Ka’aba is invisible when standing next to it in Mecca, invisible from Saudi Arabia, invisible from The Middle East, invisible from any and all places on Earth, invisible even from Outer Space, but only when someone takes a picture of Mecca from Outer Space, then the Holy Light becomes visible in the photographs. But the Holy Light does not actually come from The Ka’aba. Only electrical lights in the city of Mecca.

Imagine if I told my Muslim friends that Holy Light is continuously streaming out of the roof of The Vatican but that this light not visible from Italy or indeed any place on Earth and that this light is not visible from outer space either, but that an American Christian astronaut had taken a picture of The Vatican from space and that it was only visible in this picture. Furthermore no-one else had ever taken such a picture. And again furthermore, the picture of this light from The Vatican shows only the normal electrical lights and no special light coming from St. Peter’s Church itself or from any other place in The Vatican.

Would my Muslim friends then believe me that Holy Light is streaming out of The Vatican and that therefore Christianity is the true religion of God ?

Of course not.

In summary,

  • No light at all is emitted from The Ka’aba
  • Mecca emits electrical light, not Holy light.
  • The same kind of light is emitted by every other city in the world
  • Other cities are just as brightly lit as Mecca

Ka’aba Emits  An Infinite Amount Of Short-Wave Radiation

Another variation of the story that pure and holy light streams from the Ka’aba is described by Dr. Abd Al-Baset Sayyid of the Egyptian National Research Centre and shown on Saudi TV in January 2005.

Dr. Sayyid said that NASA has proven that The Ka’aba emits a gigantic amount of Short-Wave radiation which streams to an infinite distance from The Ka’aba. Dr. Sayyid said that NASA had observed this phenomenon during a Mars mission.

Unfortunately Dr.Sayyid gives absolutely no evidence for this assertion. Dr.Sayyid says that NASA put this information up on their website put then mysteriously pulled it down again after 21 days. Dr Sayyid does not provide any hard-copy of the report or, indeed, any evidence at all for this supposed NASA report.

Why should anyone believe him ? Quite simply, no light or radiation comes from The Ka’aba at all.

Since Dr. Sayyid does not provide any evidence for his assertion that The Ka’aba emits an infinite amount of short-wave radiation there is no evidence for anyone to believe. He is quite simply making up the story from his own imagination.

Imagine if I told my Muslim friends that The Vatican emits an infinite amount of Short-Wave radiation and that this was proven by Muslim scientists from the Egyptian National Research Centre during the first moon sighting of Ramadan of 2005. I then say that The ENRC put this report up on their website but then pulled it down 21 days later to try and conceal the fact that Christianity is the true religion of God. I then tell them that I have no hard-copy of the ENRC report and in fact no evidence at all.

What would my Muslim friends say to me ? Would they believe me ?

Of course not.

Muslims are eager to assert that Mecca is located in the center of the Earth. Mecca is, of course, of paramount importance to Muslims, being the location of the Ka’aba which is the large cubic structure which all Muslims face while reciting their five daily prayers.

The Ka’aba is highly venerated in Islamic thinking, for example said to be located directly under a heavenly Ka’aba at which uncounted thousands of Angels worship, also that the Ka’aba was created 2000 years before the rest of the Earth was created and that the city of Mecca was the first city on Earth which was created, the rest of the Earth spreading itself out from there as the process of creation took effect.

Proof via The Golden Mean

One way  that Muslims like to assert that Mecca is the center of the Earth is to say that the ratio of the distance from Mecca to the South Pole as compared to the distance from Mecca to the North Pole is exactly 1.618.

This ratio, 1.618, is a special number in Mathematics known as The Golden Mean, which appears many times in nature. For this reason, some people call The Golden Mean ‘The Divine Mean’ showing that God the Creator is the source of whatever object displays this ratio. For example, Flowers, sea-shells, pineapples, and even honeycombs all exhibit this ratio in their proportions.

Since the Golden Mean is observed in the ratio of Mecca’s distance between the Poles this, Muslims say, is proof that Allah created Mecca as the perfectly located and holy city, first of all cities and the so-called Navel Of The Earth.

Unfortunately for Muslims, the ratio of Mecca’s distance to the poles is not the Golden Mean. It is close, but not exact, being approximately 20 kilometers distant from the Golden Mean point. Since Muslims like to claim that the location of Mecca is a miraculous location exactly exhibiting the Golden Mean, it is not good enough for Mecca to be actually 20 km distant from this point. If the ratio is supposed to miraculous and exact, then let it be miraculous and exact.

Unfortunately Mecca’s location is not exactly on the Golden Mean, so it is not miraculous by that criteria.

Provably, There is no miracle in the location of Mecca. Mecca does not lie on a Golden Mean ratio point between the North and South Poles.

Detailed Proof

The fact that Mecca does not lie on the Golden Mean point is only the beginning of the problems with the Islamic assertion of a miracle in the location of Mecca.

Firstly, because the Earth is a sphere, all cities on the same latitude as Mecca are also on the Golden Mean point, especially allowing for the plus or minus 20km error exhibited by Mecca. So, in the Northern Hemisphere, cities such as Honolulu in Hawaii and Cancún in Mexico also satisfy the Golden Mean Ratio within the same error tolerance as Mecca. This means that all these cities are equally miraculous in their location, or in fact, equally non-miraculous.

Secondly, since the Earth has both a Northern and a Southern Hemisphere, then there are cities in the Southern Hemisphere which also satisfy the Golden Mean Ratio within the same error tolerance as Mecca. Francistown in Botswana is one such city.

Do Muslims accept that the location of Honolulu, Cancun and Francistown are also miraculous since they satisfy the Golden Mean ratio just as well as Mecca does ?

Finally, a moment’s thought shows that there are actually an infinite number of points on the Earth’s surface which satisfy the Golden Point Ratio, these points being all points  on the Earth’s circumference on the same Northern or Southern Latitudes as Mecca.

Do Muslims accept that there are an infinite number of miraculous locations on the earth’s surface of equal miraculous validity as Mecca ? If not, why not ?

Doubly-Miraculous Proof

If the Golden Mean point of Latitude is miraculous, then the Golden Mean Point of Longitude is also miraculous. Since the Earth has both an Eastern and Western Hemisphere, there are two Golden Mean points of Longitude in the Northern Hemisphere, one East of zero degrees Longitude and one West of zero degrees Longitude.

These doubly-miraculous points, exhibiting the Golden Mean in both Latitude and Longitude are far away from Mecca, the closest one being some 277 kilometres distant from Mecca.

Of course, there are also two more doubly-miraculous locations exhibiting the Golden Mean in both Latitude and Longitude in the Southern Hemisphere. Examining these, we find the city of Rio De Janeiro in Brazil is closer to the doubly-miraculous Golden Mean location than is Mecca. The most prominent feature in Rio De Janeiro is a huge statue of Jesus. This in combination with its doubly-miraculous location must indicate that Rio De Janeiro is the holiest place on earth and that the true religion of God is Christianity.

Jerusalem Is The Center Of The Earth

Muslims are obliged to accept the authority of The Tawrat since the Qu’ran tells them to believe that The Tawrat was written by God.

The Tawrat says that Jerusalem is the Center Of The Earth, hence Muslims are obliged to believe this. Here is the scripture which states Jerusalem’s centrality in the Earth:

Ezekiel 5:5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. 

By inspection of any map, you can see that Israel lies at the intersection of four significant land masses –  Africa, Asia, Europe and Arabia – and acts as a bridge or crossing point between all of them. This ideal location made Jerusalem a perfect launching point for the propagation of God’s final and completed message, the Injeel of Jesus.

Jesus, in the The Injeel, spoke of the centrality of Jerusalem as follows:

In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! (Jesus, Luke 13:33, Holy Injeel)

Muslims also recognise the high significance of Jerusalem. Mu’awiyah, the first Umayyad caliph, for example, proclaimed himself caliph in Jerusalem, rather than in Damascus, his capital. Why did he not proclaim his caliphate in Mecca when he controlled both Jerusalem and Mecca ? Obviously the proclamation of the caliphate had to be done in the city he judged to be most significant on The Earth.

Mohammed himself said that the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem is a sign of the last day and many Muslims believe that Jerusalem will become the capital of the final Islamic caliphate. This being the case, a more important city than Jerusalem cannot be imagined.

Jerusalem, City Of The Great King

As it happens, Muslims are correct that Jerusalem will be the seat of God’s eternal Kingdom and that therefore Jerusalem will be the capital city of The Earth and the center of the world, the focus and destiny of all nations.

But the Kingdom that will be established in Jerusalem and Israel will not be an Islamic Caliphate but the Kingdom Of Jesus Christ, Messiah and Lord, King Of The Jews and Gentiles. This Kingdom will be ruled according to the principles of The Bible, not The Qu’ran.

There are many Bible prophecies which associate the Messiah as King ruling from Jerusalem in Zion and many scriptures which identify Jesus as this King. Good examples are Psalm 2:2-6 and Psalm 132:13-18, though there are many more in addition to these.

Psalm 2:2-6 says:

The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his Messiah, saying,
 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

Psalm 132:13-18 Speaks of God’s fulfillment of the God’s promises to David. When the Messiah,“anointed one…the horn of David” who “reigns from Zion:. God says
“His crown will shine, and He will make Zion His “resting place forever”for He will dwell there. This Psalm and prophecy is especially significant because the Messiah is identified as The Lord God Himself.

 

The New Testament identifies Jesus as this Messiah, who (by definition) is the promised ruler from David’s line who will establish the eternal kingdom of God in Zion (Jerusalem). Since Jesus is The Messiah, then He obviously fulfills all the attributes of The Messiah which means that Jesus Messiah is God Himself.
Here is Luke 1:31-33, just one place in the New Testament where Jesus is identified as The Messiah who rules God’s eternal kingdom. In this scripture, the angel Gabriel is describing to Mary that she has found great favour with God and will give birth to The Messiah:
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
So, the Tawrat and Injeel testify that Jerusalem is the spiritual center of Earth, the city of God, Lord, King and Messiah whose name is Jesus. Jesus will rule all nations from Jerusalem and all nations will worship and serve Him there.
Conclusion
Just to recap, one of the ways that Muslims wish to assert that Mecca is the center of The Earth is to state that Mecca lies at the Golden Mean ratio point of Latitude between the North and South Poles.
But it doesn’t. Mecca is 20 kilometers distant from the Golden Mean point.
So there is no miracle whatsoever in the location of Mecca.
If Muslims insist that Mecca is miraculously located because of its proximity to the Golden Mean point they must also accept that Honolulu in Hawaii, Cancun and Francistown in Botswana all share the shame proximity to the Golden Mean point and are equally (non-) miraculous in their location.
Similarly, Rio De Janeiro in Brazil should be considered to have greater credentials as the holiest city on Earth as it is the city closest to the doubly-miraculous Golden Mean of both Latitude and Longitude.
Finally, Islamic scholars point to Jerusalem as the city which will host the final Islamic Caliphate. Surely this makes Jerusalem the holiest city on Earth. The identity of Jerusalem as the spiritual center of Earth would bring Muslims in line with the true books of God which are the Old and New Testaments of The Bible, which clearly state that Jerusalem is the center of the Earth and the capital of God’s Earthly Kingdom from which His Messiah, Jesus, will reign forever.
As Isaiah 9:6-7 puts it:
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.

Muslims often assert that Christians corrupted The Bible at The Council Of Nicea in 325 AD

Sometimes Muslims assert that, at this Council, Christians were in hopeless confusion about what Gospels should be included in The Bible, there being dozens or hundreds of conflicting Gospels in their possession at that time. In order to select the true Gospels of Jesus, say these opponents of Christianity, the Niceans resorted to throwing the contending Gospels on or under the main table in the debating hall of The Council, then prayed to God that the true Gospels would  overnight miraculously move to the top of this hopelessly confused mess of hopelessly confused books.

The ultimate source of this story, told in several colourful variants,  is a document known as the Synodicon Vetus, an anonymous document written in about 900 AD. The Synodicon Vetus gives a one chapter summary of every major Council and Synod of the Christian Church up until 887 AD.

The Synodicon Vetus says of The Council Of Nicea

The canonical and apocryphal books it distinguished in the following manner: in the house of God the books were placed down by the holy altar; then the council asked the Lord in prayer that the inspired works be found on top and–as in fact happened–the spurious on the bottom. (Synodicon Vetus, 35)

Unfortunately for Muslims, the Synodicon Vetus is an unreliable document and is not considered trustworthy by historians. In addition, Synodicon Vetus also fails the  tests of reliability required by Islamic Sciences.

The flaws of the Synodicon Vetus are many. They are:

  • It is anonymous
  • It is written many centuries after the early Councils
  • It gives a different account of Councils than witness accounts and records written at much earlier times
  • It references Councils that never took place
  • It includes events considered doubtful and even imaginary
  • It uses documents known to be forged and considers them to be factual.

 

While the Synodicon Vetus does contain some information which is verified by earlier historical accounts and its information about the later Councils is often sound, its major drawbacks mean that it cannot be used as an authoritative source. Its recount of the earlier Councils, including the Council of Nicea are very often unreliable. For this reason the Synodicon Vetus is described variously as pseudo-historical, not to be trusted for Councils prior to the 7th Century unless corroborated by better sources, containing information which is doubtful or imaginary, the product of careless research…containing numerous errors and depending in part on forged documents.

The account in the Synodicon Vetus of the four accepted Gospels floating to the top of a huge pile of forgeries in response to prayer is not mentioned in any document prior to the Synodicon Vetus itself. Since the SV was written about 570 years after the Council Of Nicea and the account of the miraculously appearing Gospels is not mentioned by any other source including the several records from very close to the time of Nicea, then this alone is enough to dismiss the SV’s account of Nicea as a fanciful invention and not at all based in fact.

In fact, the proceedings of The Council Of Nicea are well-known and the decisions and the agenda of the Council are common knowledge. Contrary to myths believed by Muslims and other opponents of Christianity, the canon of scripture (i.e. what Books should or should not be in The Bible) was not decided at Nicea, nor was Nicea called for the purpose of discussing the Canon of Scripture. The list of accepted Gospels and Letters in The Bible was exactly the same after Nicea as before Nicea. The church leaders that disagreed with the decisions of Nicea used the same Bible as those that agreed with Nicea.

The reason Nicea was called was to discuss the meaning of Jesus’s title as Son Of God, not to determine the contents of The Bible.

The Unmentioned Miracle

An astonishing miracle such as the True Gospels selecting, discarding, declaring and elevating themselves would surely be recorded as the major event of the Council, but no such miracle or decision is recorded. Again, this alone is proof that the story of miraculously appearing Gospels as stated by the Synodicon Vetus simply never happened.

You can read many accounts of the proceedings of Nicea from the Histories listed on this site (here’s a short summary), the statement of faith produced at Nicea here and a list of the other decisions of Nicea here. There is simply no mention of any discussion about which books should be in The Bible nor is there any decision taken regarding The Bible. This is because the Biblical Canon (what books and letters should be in The Bible) was well-known by both sides well before Nicea. It was simply not in dispute.

Synodicon Vetus Invalid According To Islamic Sciences

The willingness of Muslims to accept a myth based on the Synodicon Vetus is actually opposed to Islamic Sciences of evaluating reliable traditions and history. First, the SV is anonymous. The first principle of authenticity in Islamic Sciences is that the author of the text be fully identified and be known as a trustworthy witness.

The fact that the SV is anonymous disqualifies it immediately from being considered reliable or authentic by Muslims. Muslims are obliged to reject the SV on this basis alone. As Shabbir Ally explains in relation to The Gospel Of Barnabas (which he rejects) a document or tradition which appears suddenly and anonymously centuries after the event it is supposed to describe and which has no chain of narration back to eyewitnesses of the event is simply invalid and must be rejected by Muslims. This is why Shabbir Ally does not consider The Gospel Of Barnabas valid. He would reject the Synodicon Vetus for the same reason.

In passing, other respected Islamic Scholars also reject the Gospel Of Barnabas. For example: Yusuf Estes says simply ‘There was no Gospel Of Barnabas…If you think there was such a Gospel you are deluded…’ Estes goes on to infer that the Gospel Of Barnabas is somehow the product of drunkenness and leaves no doubt that he does not consider the Gospel Of Barnabas of value to either Muslims or Christians.

Use Of Forged Sources

Returning again to the Synodicon Vetus, the document is severely compromised by its use of sources known to be forged. The forgeries in question are known as the Seven Forged Letters of Peter The Fuller. These letters owe their production to a theological debate of the 5th Century. You can read all about it here. Since SV references forged documents as if they are true then there is no way that SV should be considered reliable.

The Qu’ran Was Recited By 114 Heavenly Eagles

Imagine if I told Muslims that the Qu’ran was put into its current form by 114 Heavenly Eagles which appeared to Mohammed on the night before his death and recited each of the 114 true Surahs in turn in order to verify to Mohammed that his own recitation of the Qu’ran was correct. Imagine if I told Muslims that this was necessary because Mohammed had accumulated over 1000 Surahs and had no idea which ones were valid and which ones were forgeries. Imagine if I told my Muslim friends that the Eagles had appeared in response to a desperate prayer from Mohammed to Allah in order to help him determine which Surahs of the Qu’ran were forged and which were real.

My Muslim friends would laugh at this story and demand proof for my assertion.

Imagine if I told them that this proof was contained in a anonymous Hadith contained in a book of Hadith assembled by an anonymous authour who had also assembled Hadith using sources which were known forgeries and that my anonymous source wrote down his Hadith in the year 1420 AD, 570 years after Imam Bukhari had made his Sahih collection of trusted and authenticated Hadith and that my account was not accepted by or known to any other Islamic Scholar.

I then tell my Muslim friends that they should reject the Hadith of Bukhari and accept my anonymous, forged, and obviously fanciful account of the Recitation Of The Heavenly Eagles, written 800 years after the death of Mohammed  even though it is in complete contradiction to reputable Islamic history.

Their response would be: Why should we accept such rubbish ?

And yet some Muslims ask Christians to accept the myths of the Synodicon Vetus.

Irredeemable

The major flaws in the SV render it irredeemable. It cannot be judged to be authoritative for Christians in any way. The story of the floating Gospels which miraculously appear at the top of the pile of competing Gospels is an obvious fabrication and a myth, one which is rejected by reputable scholarship.

Muslims assert that Christians have deliberately corrupted The Bible, changing the original teaching of Jesus so as to obscure the original Islamic message that He supposedly bought.

In order to prove this allegation, Muslims need to bring the supposed original Islamic Bible, or a copy of it, so that we can compare the supposedly Islamic original Bible with the supposedly corrupted version that exists today.

Unfortunately for Muslims there is no evidence that an original Islamic Bible ever existed. There are approximately 25,000 ancient manuscripts and fragments of The Bible dating back to 125 AD, 500 years before the coming of Islam. All of these ancient manuscripts support the text of the current Bible and not one of them is a copy or fragment of the supposed original Islamic Bible.

Muslims thus have no proof, no evidence at all, that an Islamic Bible ever existed. On the contrary, all proof of the ancient manuscripts, which amounts to more than 2.6 million pages of text, is for the current Bible.

What Was Changed, Exactly ?

But what exactly do Muslim scholars claim was removed from or added to the supposed original Islamic Bible ? The website Islamic Q&A gives a specific answer to this. It says

they erased everything from their Books that foretold the coming of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and they concealed what knowledge they had of this matter.

IslamQ&A goes on to say:

Al-Baghawi (an Islamic scholar ) said the rabbis of the Jews were afraid of losing their livelihood and position of leadership, when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to Madeenah. So they tried to prevent the Jews from believing in him. They went to his description in the Torah, where he is described as having a handsome face, with handsome hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and being of average height, and they changed it, writing instead: Tall, blue, with straight hair.

When their foolish ones asked them about the description of the Prophet, they read what they had written and said that he was different from this description, so they disbelieved him and rejected him. So Allah said (interpretation of the meaning): “Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands” [al-Baqarah 2:79].

Thus IslamQ&A provides us with a time and place when the Bible was supposedly changed, giving even a general idea of the place where the text was changed (The Torah) and details of exactly what was changed, this being details of the physical description of Mohammed.

Mohammed arrived in Medinah in 622 AD. This means that according to the scholar Al-Baghawi, who is apparently reliable enough to be quoted as an authority by IslamQ&A, that the original supposed Islamic Bible was in existence prior to 622 AD and said that the prophet to come would have a handsome face, with handsome hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and would be of average height and that the current Bible says that the prophet to come would be Tall, blue (presumably blue-eyed) , with straight hair.

Bibles Ancient And Modern

Unfortunately for IslamQ&A and Al-Baghawi we possess virtually complete Bibles from prior to 622 AD and they all support the text of the current Bible. I speak specifically here of Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus written in approximately 330 AD in different parts of the ancient Near East. The small part of the Torah missing from Codex Vaticanus is supplied by numerous other ancient Bible manuscripts and Christian writings of the period. The portions of the Torah missing from Codex Sinaiticus are supplied by Codex Vaticanus.

So the manuscript evidence is contrary to the claim of IslamQ&A and Al-Baghawi that the Bible was changed in 622 AD. Al-Baghawi has quite simply made things up out of his own mind or repeated erroneous teaching that he has received from his own predecessors. IslamQ&A has repeated these errors of Al-Baghawi without bothering to check his scholarship.

Secondly, no manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam records a prophet to come who has a handsome face, with handsome hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and who would be of average height. So there is no evidence whatsoever for a change in The Bible as decscribed by Al-Baghwai.

Furthermore, no manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam records a prophet to come who is tall, blue-eyed with fair hair. The current Bible does not say what Al-Baghawi says it does. What is this man talking about ? He is obviously in complete ignorance on his subject. It is amazing that IslamQ&A would choose to relay such arrant nonsense to their readership.

Same Error In Reverse

Even more embarrassing for IslamQ&A is that they then go on to record the opinion of another Islamic scholar, Al-Qurturbi, who says that The Bible was altered in more or less  the exact opposite manner to that described by Al-Baghawi.

Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Ibn Ishaaq and al-Kalbi said: The description of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in their Book said that he was of average height and white, but they changed it to say that he was dark with long, straight hair, and they said to their companions and followers: Look at the description of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) who will be sent at the end of time; he does not resemble this one.

Again, to the detriment of Al-Qurtubi, no manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam says that the prophet to come would be white and of average height and neither does any manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam says that the prophet to come will be dark with long, straight hair.

As with Al-Baghawi, the current Bible does not say what Al-Qurturbi says it does. These scholars are simply inventing untrue assertions about supposed changes in The Bible or passing on baseless rumour that they themselves have received from their predecessors.

Thus, these scholars, supposedly among the best of Islamic history, simply have no idea what they are talking about in relation to supposed corruption of The Bible. How can the scholars of Islam state that The Bible has been corrupted when they don’t even know what The Bible says ?

How can the scholars of Islam be believed about ‘what The Bible says’ when the things they say are written in The Bible are simply not there ? Who could believe or trust or follow such blind and ignorant guides ?

It is clear that the scholars of Islam have no certain knowledge of their subject and follow nothing but conjecture. They are in the same hopeless position as that described by their own scripture, that of simply repeating baseless rumour.

And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of ‘Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)] 4:157 Hilal-Khan Translation

This grasping onto rumour, conjecture and invention of falsehood is demonstrated by Islamic scholars not only in relation to supposed corruption of The Bible but also in Islamic accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus which you can read here.

Muslims Have Changed The Qu’ran

It is not sufficient for Muslims to simply state without evidence that Christians have changed The Bible. Anyone can spout baseless accusation like that. What if I told my Muslim friends that the original Qu’ran had been changed to conceal the divinity of Jesus and that the original Qu’ran contained a description of Jesus to the effect that he would be a tall old man with straight white hair and that the current Qu’ran had been changed in the city of Petra in the year 833 AD to say that Jesus would be short with green eyes and curly red hair ?

Muslims would of course laugh at such ludicrous statements and demand that I bring proof. Yet their own scholars are making, and continue to make, equally ridiculous claims in regard to The Bible.

Change Must Be In Accordance With Prediction

Furthermore, for Muslims to prove their allegations of corruption of The Bible they must demonstrate corruptions corresponding to the way they say it has changed. It is not sufficient to demonstrate any supposed change at all and say that therefore the Bible has been changed in order to eliminate Islamic belief.

For example, if Muslims say that there are multiple different versions of The Bible and that therefore The Bible has been corrupted to conceal the coming of Mohammed, they must demonstrate that these supposed different versions show the elimination of  Islamic belief. That requires production of originals which contain the Islamic beliefs so that comparisons can be made with the supposed different versions. Spelling or copyists errors and other trivial manuscript variants are proof of nothing.

That is why the IslamicQ&A article is so instructive. It contains descriptions by Islamic scholars of the supposed changes to The Bible and gives a specific time and place where these changes were supposed to have been made. But as we have seen, the changes described by Islamic scholars do not exist and neither do any copies of the supposed Islamic originals, despite the existence of many thousands of ancient Bible manuscripts from both before and after the time of Islam.

Quite simply, Muslims have no evidence at all to support their oft-repeated assertion that The Bible has been corrupted.

On the contrary, all evidence, of which there is mountainous quantities, is for the current Bible.

Many Muslims state that the true Injeel (Gospel as taught by Jesus) is found in The Gospel of Barnabas which was later excluded from The Bible by Christian leaders who wished to put fake and corrupt teaching into The Bible. You can read a Muslim making that claim here.

The Gospel Of Barnabas is not the true Injeel. Rather, it is an obvious forgery.

In fact, unfortunately for Muslims who insist that the The Gospel Of Barnabas is the true word of God,  The Gospel was Barnabas contradicts Islam and the Qu’ran. It states that Jesus was not the Messiah when the Qu’ran says that Jesus is The Messiah. The Gospel Of Barnabas says that Maryam suffered pain in childbirth whereas the Qu’ran says Maryam did not suffer pain during childbirth. The Gospel Of Baranbas says that men are limited to one wife whereas the Qu’ran permits Muslims to four wives. Finally the Gospel Of Barnabas says there are nine heavens whereas the Qu’ran says there are seven heavens.

Muslim Scholars Reject The Gospel Of Barnabas 

Muslims may be surprised to learn that prominent Islamic scholars have rejected The Gospel Of Barnabas.

Shabir Ally makes the point that The so-called Gospel Of Barnabas carries no internal authentication and thus is not acceptable as a Holy Text as its source cannot be proven according to the Islamic scholarly methods which are used to authenticate Hadith and other religious traditions.

Specifically Shabbir Ally says:

the chain of authorities for The Gospel Of Barnabas is missing…for centuries The Gospel Of Barnabas was not seen anywhere but then suddenly it turned up in The Middle Ages

What Shabbir Ally is saying is that in the same way that a Hadith without a chain of authorities (Isnad) is instantly rejected as unreliable and has no status as a Holy Text so also The Gospel Of Barnabas lacks any chain of authorities and therefore has no status as a Holy Text and must be rejected by Muslims.

The question then arises ‘Which Christian Gospels DO have a reliable chain of authorities which connect them down through the centuries all the way to Jesus Himself ? And the answer to that is that the Gospels of the current Bible, including the writings of Paul have exactly that chain of authority.

The  current Bible has internal authentication which connects it to Jesus, then authentication in the second and third generation of Christian believers and then in all subsequent Church Councils down to the present day.

If Shabbir Ally or any Muslim wishes to know which are The Gospels of Jesus that are connected by an unbroken chain of authority all the way to Jesus, then those Gospels are the Gospels contained in the current Bible. That chain of authority includes Mohammed and The Qu’ran both of whom gave unqualified support and validation to the truth of the Bible. You can find proof of that here.

Another well-known Muslim scholar who rejects the so-called Gospel Of Barnabas is Yusuf Estes. Estes is quoted on the Islamic web-site Islamic Newsroom dismissing The Gospel Of Barnabas as  a sad joke, a trick, and a fake as follows:

[The Gospel Of Barnabas] is a sad joke on many Muslims. Some have been tricked into believing this has something to do with the New Testament and it is more or less the “Lost Gospel” … But that is all  nonsense, because the so-called “Gospel of Barnabas” is “Bogabas” (fake).

Estes then gives a description of the reasons that The Gospel Of Barnabas is a fake, most of which accords exactly with reliable scholarship. Muslims who accept the Gospel Of Barnabas are violating their own scholarly rules. In any case the obvious errors, contradictions and violations of both Islamic and Christian doctrines prove that the so-called Gospel Of Barnabas is an obvious fraud.

In another video, Yusuf Estes says simply ‘There was no Gospel Of Barnabas…If you think there was such a Gospel you are deluded…’ Estes goes on to infer that the Gospel Of Barnabas is somehow the product of drunkenness and leaves no doubt that he does not consider the Gospel Of Barnabas of value to either Muslims or Christians

The fact that both Shabbir Ally and Yusuf Estes reject The Gospel Of Barnabas is significant. These two are highly prominent as anti-Christian polemecists this being something of their speciality. Their engagement with Christian Scholars on this issue has exposed them to the fraudulent nature of The Gospel Of Barnabas and enabled them to reject it both as irrelevant to Islamic belief and a forgery of the true teachings of Jesus.

You can learn more about The Gospel Of Barnabas here

Muslims believe that Christians falsified and destroyed the real Bible, often asserting that this occurred at The Council Of Nicea in 325 AD.

Some Muslims believe that the supposed original, real Bible, which supports the teaching of The Qu’ran,  was discovered in the year 2000 in Turkey. The basis for this belief is a story published on Feb. 23 2012  by the National Turkish news service. You can read the report, which describes a 1500-2000 year old Bible seized from smugglers by Turkish police here.

This supposed ‘Bible’ is an obvious fake.

Firstly, the document was not written 1500 years ago. The document itself says it was written in the year 1500 A.D. which would make it about 500 years old, not 1500 years old. We know that the document was written in 1500 AD because it says so on the front cover. The text on the front cover has appeared in many photographs and is easily read in the Modern Assyrian language.

But the fact that the document was written in Modern Assyrian proves that the document is actually less than 200 years old. The language Modern Assyrian, was standardized in the 1840s. The first bible in Modern Assyrian was produced in 1848. If this book were written in 1500 A.D. it would have been written in Classical Assyrian, not Modern Assyrian.

More to the point, a document written in 1840 cannot possibly be said to predict the coming of Mohammed in 610 AD.

From this alone, the language that the document was written in, we therefore know that this document is an obvious fake.

Secondly, this document has been rejected as a fake by Islamic scholars. The Islamic website Islamic NewsRoom describes how the document contradicts The Qu’ran as follows (see http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/1800-ancient-bible-proves-muhammad

In late 2012 the Turkish culture and tourism minister Ertugrul Gunay quoted from the book saying that in it,  Jesus says, “How shall the Messsiah be called? Muhammad is his Blessed name”.

 Yet, The Qu’ran says that Messiah is the name of Jesus, NOT the name of Mohammed.

The Islamic article goes on to describe other contradictions between the document and The Qu’ran and then closes with a quote from Yusuf Estes, the well-known Islamic scholar, who rejects the document as follows:

I’m sorry for those who believe this book is the authentic written word of Jesus, peace be upon him. The most I can say about this book other than being an ancient manuscript of somebody’s writing – it should not be seriously considered as anything more than another discovery of ancient rubbish.

http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/1800-pope-read-ancient-bible-a-quit-why

No wonder the Turkish Theology professor Omer Faruk Harman told said the Turkish Newspaper Today’s Zaman, “Muslims may be disappointed to see that this copy does not include things they would like to see and it might have no relation with the content of the Gospel of Barnabas“.