Zakir Naik On Bible Contradictions

The following is a list of biblical contradictions that were used by Dr. Zakir Naik in his debate against Dr. William Campbell. We will allude to each specific contradiction and proceed to give our response.

Naik on Genesis

The following are a list of problems from Genesis that Naik used in his debate against William Campbell.

Naik first began with a series of attacks on the Creation account that he claimed led to irreconcilable differences.

We have already addressed these claims elsewhere, providing a full rebuttal to all the alleged problems Naik brought up in his debate. The reader can find our response here:

"Avoiding the Mistakes of Genesis"
"Six Days of Creation or Six Periods?"
"How Old is the Earth?"

The following are some articles showing that the problems Naik finds with the biblical description of creation are actually problems found within the Quran and Muhammad's interpretation of key Quranic passages:

"From a Gaseous Mass to the Heavens and the Earth"
"Comparing Apples and Oranges"
"The Sun & Moon and Their Orbits"

Naik also complained regarding the universality of the Flood and that Noah's ark would not have been large enough to contain all the land animals. These points have already been dealt with elsewhere:

"Noah's Ark"

Interestingly, the Quran itself teaches a universal flood contrary to the false claims of Naik:

"The Flood"

With this said, we now proceed to respond to the other issues raised against the accuracy of the Genesis account.

Naik on the Two Great Lights

We are told that God made two great lights to govern the day and the night:

"And God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.' And it was so. God made two great lights - the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the fourth day." Genesis 1:14-19

According to Naik, the Holy Bible is wrong to call the moon a great light, albeit a lesser light, since the moon has no light of its own.

This no more proves that the Holy Bible is unscientific than a person today is unscientific for speaking of the "moonlight." The Holy Bible is using phenomenological language to describe creation, language used by man throughout the ages. That is why even today we find people referring to the time of sunrise and sunset even though we all know that the sun does not actually rise or set.

There is also another possible reason why Moses refrained from mentioning the sun and moon by name, and instead simply referred to them as two great lights. Moses was writing at a time when the pagans had their own creation accounts in which the sun and moon along with the planetary hosts were deified and worshiped. As such Moses, under inspiration, simply referred to these two objects generically as lights created by God under his sovereign control to do with them as he saw fit. In fact, according to Robert M. Bowman Jr. one major feature of Genesis 1 is its attempt to de-mythologize the creation accounts prevalent in Moses' day:

The "Demythologizing" of Creation

Forces and features of the created world divinized in polytheistic religion, naturalized in Genesis

Reference Item Comment
1:1 The heavens Not the home of the gods, but created by God
1:2 The deep (tehom) Compare Tiamat, female monster of the deep in Babylonian cosmogony; now depersonalized
1:3 Light Not an emanation of the divine, but created by God's fiat
1:14-18 Sun and moon Called by generic term "lights" to avoid using the common names by which they were also known as divinities; God's creating them and placing them in the sky de-divinizes them; they are "signs" only
1:16 Stars Astral worship and astrology common in ancient world
1:21 Sea monsters
In Canaanite myths, part of the powers of the chaos before creation; here, mere sea animals created by God
1:26-27 Man No humans are gods over others; instead, all humans share God's "image"; no other image (idol) of God
2:1 Everything One God created the world and everything in it
3:1, 14 Serpent Land animal most divinized in ancient polytheism; here shown as a rebel against God, humbled by God

(Source: Apologetics from Genesis to Revelation by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.)

Once Genesis is understood from this perspective we really can see how the Quranic account of creation pales in comparison and falls way short of the standard set by Genesis 1 in elevating God to his rightful position as the sovereign Creator of all things.

In Muhammad's time, the sun, the moon and the stars were considered deities by some Arab tribes and some neighbouring nations. Muslims are not allowed to swear in their oaths by anything or anyone other than Allah, because that would constitute shirk. Against this background it is more than strange to observe that in the Qur'an Allah himself swears by the sun, the moon, and some of the stars (S. 91:1-2, 74:32, 53:1, 85:1, 86:1-3, etc.), thereby, seemingly, giving those pagan views credibility, and promoting an implicit polytheism.

On the scientific aspects regarding the light from the sun and the moon, see for contrast also our discussion on the source of the moon's light in the Qur'an.

Finally, there are biblical passages which hint to the fact that the moon reflects the light from the sun:

"‘And when I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud and the moon will not give its light. All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you and will set darkness on your land,’ declares the Lord GOD." Ezekiel 32:7-8

"Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’" Matthew 24:29

Notice the connection between the sun being darkened and the moon not giving light. One can argue that these passages are suggesting that the moon's light is derived from the sun, and hence the reason why the darkening of the sun leads to the moon not giving any light. If anything, the language of these passages are more compatible with modern science than the Quranic statements that the moon gives off light, which Muslims erroneously twist to mean reflected light.

Naik on the command to eat of every tree and shrub

According to Naik, the author of Genesis did not have an accurate knowledge of botany, since the author claims that man can eat from every shrub and tree with its seeds:

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.' Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green plant for food.' And it was so." Genesis 1:26-30

First we observe that this was never a command, but a provision and permission. Certainly even Dr. Naik would not read this passage as if Adam had to personally eat from every single tree and shrub in the Garden or throughout the whole earth. Neither was there a deadline given by which each plant had to be eaten from by at least one human being. Naik tries to stack the deck and ridicule the Holy Scriptures by arbitrary conclusions based on changing the plain meaning of the text. Realizing that this was God's offer to mankind, not his demand on mankind, most of the problem has already disappeared.

According to Naik, this "command" would have entailed that both man and animal eat from poisonous plants, thus jeopardizing their health.

The problem vanishes completely when one remembers that this permission was given before the fall of man. This is important since the ground only became cursed after Adam and Eve fell from God's favor:

"To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, "You must not eat of it," Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.'" Genesis 3:17-19

Prior to this event everything meant for the beneficial use of man, which includes vegetation, was essentially good and nothing was harmful to eat. In fact, this is precisely the point made at the conclusion of Genesis right after God had given the permission to eat from every tree and shrub!:

"God saw all that he had made, AND IT WAS VERY GOOD. And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day." Genesis 1:31

Interestingly when God reinstates the covenant promises made to humanity after the flood, the specific permission that mankind may eat from every tree or shrub is no longer found:

"Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. 'But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.' Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 'I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you - the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you - every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.'" Genesis 9:1-11

Furthermore, it is not true that God had allowed man to eat from every plant or tree since God made an exception right from the start:

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees that were pleasing to the eye AND GOOD FOR FOOD. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil... The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'" Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17

Notice that this passage clearly indicates that every plant that God created for the purpose of food was good. The sole exception was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil since this was not meant for food but as a test for man to see if he would obey the divine decree. This reinforces the point made earlier on the pre-Fall condition of creation being good.

Hence, when we interpret Genesis in light of its own context we discover that the permission to eat from every tree or plant does not necessarily imply that every single type of shrub was meant. Rather, only those plants that would benefit man's survival were meant to be eaten as food. Man would be able to discover what plant was and was not beneficial to his health through the use of his God-given intellectual faculties.

Naik on Cain the Wanderer

Naik contends that Genesis 4 contains a false prophecy. God had told Cain that he would wander restlessly on the earth:

"When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth." Genesis 4:12

Yet, later we are told that Cain settled in his own land, which later was named Nod in his honor since Nod means "wandering". (cf. Genesis 4:16)

The problem is not with Genesis, but with Naik's misreading of the biblical text. The term "earth" can also be translated "land."

Therefore, God was not claiming that Cain would wander aimlessly throughout the whole earth. Rather, God was indicating that Cain would be thrown out from the land in which God's visible presence dwelt. This point becomes clear from the context itself:

"Cain said to the LORD, 'My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from THE LAND, and I will be hidden FROM YOUR PRESENCE; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.' But the LORD said to him, 'Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over. Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out FROM THE LORD's PRESENCE and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden." Genesis 4:13-15

In light of this, the only contradiction that exists is the one imposed upon the text by Naik's critical presuppositions.

Naik on Noah's Rainbow

Naik claims that Genesis 9:13 is wrong to claim that God created the rainbow only after he had flooded the earth. Rainbows are nothing more than the refraction of sunlight with rain or mist. Hence, Genesis 9:13 implies that prior to the flood the law of refraction did not exist.

Here, Naik is guilty of misquoting the Holy Bible. Let us see what the passage actually says:

"And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.' So God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.'" Genesis 9:12-17

Nowhere does the passage claim that the rainbow was created after the flood or that the rainbow first appeared after the flooding of the earth. Rather, the passage is simply stating that after the flood the rainbow took on a whole new significance. As the NIV Study Bible correctly states:

9:13 Rain and the rainbow doubtless existed long before the time of Noah's flood, but after the flood the rainbow took on new meaning as the sign of the Noahic covenant. (italics ours)

Therefore, Naik is guilty of eisegesis, reading his preconceived views and assumptions into the text as opposed to letting the text interpret itself.

Naik on Proverbs 6:6-7

Naik claims that Proverbs 6:6-7 is wrong in claiming that ants have no ruler supervising them since modern science has demonstrated that ants do in fact have such a leader. The following is taken from J.P. Holding's Tekton Apologetics:

Regular reader "C." brought up this amusing complaint from the Grand High Weasel Farrell Till that I thought was worth exposure...if only to remind us how silly the old boy is getting in his are the verses of concern: Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

C. tells me that Till says that it is "blatantly untrue" that ants have no ruler, because ants are divided up into castes and have a queen. But Farrell is missing the point here, as usual. We refer to ants having a "queen" and "castes" but that is no more than a case of us imposing human terms analogically...i.e., anthropomorhpizing. The queen ant is mostly just an egg factory the ants care for; she doesn't make decisions like sending embassies to other anthills, etc. (unless in response to an attack, which is also something instinctual) -- the ants don't rule each other, or make decisions; it's all instinct, which is sort of the point of Prov. 6:6! To compare the ant's "authority structure" to that of a human government as though they were the same is simply ludicrous. C. also figured this out and adds: ...(I)n context, Solomon is comparing human life (and the tendency to be lazy) to ant life. Ants have an inborn industriousness that does not need to be forced by having an overseer and ruler lord over them...ants are born into a certain caste and just operate within that caste. They don't need to be constantly be put back in their place by an overseer or told to not be lazy by a commander. The queen...controls the numbers of ants born into a particular caste according to the needs of the colony and is basically the storehouse of information on cave-ins, food supplies etc. The ants come to her and do the various jobs according to an innate purpose.

C. has hit the mark. And Farrell? Well, it appears to me that he's been watching Antz or A Bug's Life and been thinking that they are documentaries! (But then, I've always compared Farrell's level of Biblical scholarship to that of a Disney movie!) (Source: J.P. Holding's article; bold emphasis ours)

Zakir Naik also attacks the Holy Bible in regards to biblical passages suggesting that serpents eat dust, that there are four legged insects, or rabbits chewing cud or the fact that the purification rites of a woman is double when conceiving a baby girl. Here is our response to all of these contradictions taken from our article Shabir Ally's Anomalies:

Snakes Don't Eat Dust

"So the LORD God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life." Genesis 3:14

Snakes do not eat dust. Yet, snakes do take particles into their mouths on their tongues to "taste" the air. This is the sense in which snakes smell things.

Furthermore, eating dust is a Hebrew idiom signifying humiliation and defeat.

"The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust." Psalm 72:9

"Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed." Isaiah 49:23

"They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens; they will turn in fear to the LORD our God and will be afraid of you." Micah 7:17

The snake "eating dust" is a metaphor that implies that God has humbled the serpent for instigating the fall of man.

Rabbits Don't Chew the Cud

"The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you." Leviticus 11:6

Rabbits do not regurgitate food (i.e. cud). Hence, this seems to imply an error. Yet, when we look at the original Hebrew words we discover an entirely different picture.

The term for cud is gerah, a word that is never used elsewhere in Scripture besides here and in Deuteronomy. Gerah can mean, "grain, berry," even "a 20th of a shekel". Hence, gerah can imply something of little value. Rabbits go through a process called reflection wherein they take their dung and chew on it in order to get at the remaining partially digested food. In this way, rabbits are able to get the most nutrients possible from the food they digest.

The term "gerah" conveys the fact that what rabbits chew has some value. Yet, the Hebrew word for "dung" is used in Scripture to imply something defiled, unclean or useless and would not be suitable in describing what rabbits eat.

Secondly, the term used for "chew" is alah and literally means to "bring up." Here are some passages highlighting this point:

"It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt..." Joshua 24:17

"While Samuel was offering up the burnt offering..." 1 Samuel 7:10

"...while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets." 2 Samuel 6:15

"...therefore the Lord is about to bring (up) against them the mighty floodwaters of the River..." Isaiah 8:7

"He makes clouds rise (up) from the ends of the earth..." Psalm 135:7

These few examples sufficiently demonstrate that the term does not necessarily imply regurgitation, but can refer generally to any type of movement such as lifting or bringing up an object. Hence, Leviticus 11:6 is completely acceptable and poses no serious problem with what we know of rabbits.

Four-Legged Insects

"There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest." Leviticus 11:21-23

The argument goes that insects such as locusts have six legs, not four. Yet, there is a simple reason why the Holy Bible describes these particular insects as having four legs. The NIV Study Bible states it best:

"11:20 all fours. Although insects have six legs, perhaps people in ancient times did not count as ordinary legs the two large hind legs used for jumping."

This is supported by the fact that the passage seems to imply that along with four legs, these insects are "those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground," suggesting that the legs for hopping are seen as distinct from the rest. Furthermore, these insects were to be eaten by the Israelites. This being the case, the Israelites would definitely have been able to see the insect's six legs. Hence, the NIV explanation makes sense in light of the preceding factors.

Leviticus 12:1-5

Muslims complain that the ritual purification of a woman who conceives a baby girl is twice as long as that of a baby boy. Admittedly, this is a difficult passage and is not easily resolved. The Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary provides a possible reason for the command in counterbalancing cultural influences:

"In many countries girls are less desired than boys. Thoughtless husbands might have taken better care of baby boys and their mothers; so a longer time at home might have been positive help for a mother with a baby girl. No difference is made in the temple ritual between the birth of a boy or a girl. The only difference is in the periods of uncleanness and seclusion." (Kenneth L. Barker & John R. Kohlenberger III, ed. Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary - Volume 1: Old Testament [Zondervan Publishing House; Grand Rapids, MI 1994], p. 139)

Yet, this is no more difficult then the following purification rite that Muhammad enjoined on Muslims:

"Ali narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: 'The urine of a baby boy should have water sprinkled upon it. The urine of a baby girl is to be washed off.' Says Qatadah, 'This refers to a male baby that has not yet begun to eat. If he already eats, then the garment is to be washed.'

"This hadith is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. In al-Fath, Ibn Hajar says its chain is sahih.

"Sprinkling is sufficient as long as the boy is still nursing. If he eats solid food, his urine must be washed from the clothes and body. There is no disagreement on this latter point. Perhaps the reason for this exemption to the male baby's urine is that people have a tendency to carry their male babies around, and it would have been difficult to clean the clothes after their frequent urinations." (Fiqh us-Sunnah Volume 1 Purification and Prayer [American Trust Publications, Indianapolis Indiana 1991], pp. 9-10)

The explanation above doesn't work since infant girls are also carried around. So why the difference? Perhaps Shabir, or in this case Naik, can answer. (See this article.)

The Flat Earth Bible

Naik claims that passages such as Matthew 4:8, Luke 4:5 and Daniel 4:10-11 all teach a flat earth. Here is our response taken from our article The Flat Earth Bible:


Actually the only thing that is required is for one to presuppose that the Bible teaches a flat earth and therefore passages such as Daniel can only mean that the earth is flat. It seems to have never dawned on the author that the Holy Bible is steeped in Semitic thought and idiom. Hence, the Bible writers employ literary techniques that were common in their day such as allegory, metaphor and hyperbole. Hence, Daniel's statement that the tree stood at the earth's center is a hyperbolic expression used to describe the extent of Nebuchadnezzar's rule which included all the then known world. In fact, had the author bothered to read the context of Daniel he would have seen that this is precisely the meaning given by Daniel to the king:

"...Belteshazzar answered, 'My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you, and its interpretation for your enemies! The tree that you saw, which grew great and strong, so that its top reached to heaven and was visible to the end of the whole earth, whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundnat, and which provided food for all, under which animals of the field lived, and in whose branches the birds of the air had nests- It is you O king! You have grown great and strong. Your greatness has increased and reaches to heaven, and your sovereignty to the ends of the earth..." Daniel 4:19b-22 NRSV

Obviously, neither Nebuchadnezzar nor his kingdom had literally reached the heavens which means that the phrase "the center of the earth" is also hyperbolic, not to be taken literally.

Matthew 4:8 does not prove that the earth is flat. Had the author read carefully he would have seen that Satan showing Christ all the kingdoms of the earth was something that occurred instantly, implying that this was something experienced in a vision. This point is brought out in Luke:

"Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world." Luke 4:5 NRSV

The fact that Satan showed Christ all the kingdoms in an instant strongly supports the view that this was something that occurred miraculously in a vision. Even if the earth had been flat, it would still have been impossible for Christ and Satan to see the extent of the earth from Jerusalem especially in light of the fact that the Gospel writer was clearly aware that Rome was in control of Jerusalem. Yet, Rome's capital was thousands of miles away in Europe and could not possibly be seen from a mountaintop located in Jerusalem!

Finally, in relation to Revelation 1:7 the author again does not allow for the fact that the writer was obviously using hyperbole. This can be seen by the fact that the book of Revelation is apocalyptic literature. This kind of literature heavily employs symbolism, imagery, metaphor, hyperbole etc. To then interpret this kind of writing literally is unscholarly since each piece of literature must be interpreted in light of its genre.

Furthermore, the Bible often employs the terms "every" and "all" in contexts where clearly not every single individual or thing is intended. Note the following examples:

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs - we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Acts 2:5-11

Luke could say that Jews from every nation had come to Jerusalem on Pentecost even though the list he gives only extended throughout the Roman Empire.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. Romans 1:8

Obviously, not all the world had heard of the faith of these Christians Paul was writing to.

"...that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth." Colossians 1:6

Clearly, not everyone has heard the gospel and therefore cannot be bearing fruit in places where the message has not been proclaimed.

Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

We obviously know that the whole world has not believed in Jesus. This is obviously hyperbole. Better yet, the author is speaking of the then known world, namely Rome and its empire.

You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 2 Timothy 1:15-16

Paul can say that everyone had abandoned him despite the fact that Onesiphorus was at his side.

Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments. Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. 2 Timothy 4:9-17

Again, no one supported Paul since everyone had abandoned him even though Luke was still with him.

Therefore, in light of the evidence the fact that every eye will see Jesus at his second coming is hyperbole and does not prove that the earth is flat. For further discussion, please read the full article.

Naik also attacks the Biblical statement that the earth has foundations or pillars as mentioned in 1 Samuel 2:8, Job 9:6 and Psalm 75:3. Again, our response taken from the article on the Flat Earth:


Actually, what the author and those he sites as his authorities have failed to do is to take into consideration that the Hebrew term for earth, eretz, does not always refer to the earth as a globe per se. The term has different meanings in different contexts. Hence, the author has committed a word fallacy, also known as the etymological fallacy, attributing the root meaning to a word as opposed to allowing the context to define what the word means.

For instance, the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon defines eretz as:

Strong's No. 776 :   'erets {eh'-rets}

Word Usage in KJV:
land 1543, earth 712, country 140, ground 98, world 4, way 3, common 1, field 1, nations 1, wilderness 1;


1) land, earth

a) earth 1) whole earth (as opposed to a part)
2) earth (as opposed to heaven)
3) earth (inhabitants)
b) land 1) country, territory
2) district, region
3) tribal territory
4) piece of ground
5) land of Canaan, Israel
6) inhabitants of land
7) Sheol, land without return, (under) world
8) city (-state)
c) ground, surface of the earth 1) ground
2) soil
d) (in phrases) 1) people of the land
2) space or distance of country (in measurements of distance)
3) level or plain country
4) land of the living
5) end(s) of the earth
e) (almost wholly late in usage) 1) lands, countries a) often in contrast to Canaan
(Source: Blue Letter Bible)

Examples of the different ways the Holy Bible uses the term include:

"And God said let the waters under heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let dry land (eretz) appear; and it was so. And called the dry land (eretz) Earth (eretz); and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas and God saw that it was goo." Genesis 1:9-10 KJV

The Holy Bible clearly states that God specifically named the dry land "earth". This strongly implies that when a Bible writer speaks of the earth's foundations or that the earth is fixed it does not necessarily imply that the global structure of the earth is in view. As noted Christian Scientist Dr. Henry Morris states in his commentary on Psalm 104:5, a verse cited by the author above:

"foundations of the earth. The earth's 'matter,' the 'dust of the earth' or its physical elements, was created on the first day of the creation week, evidently suspended in the pervasive waters. The earth's foundations, solid, continental blocks of material, were not laid until the third day, rising out of the waters. Once formed, this planet earth was destined to continue forever." (Morris, The Defenders Study Bible-King James Version [Word Publishing, Grand Rapids MI, 1995], p. 649)

Hence, we see that the verses which the author sites in his article do not necessarily refer to the planet as being a fixed object, but rather to the earth's physical elements which cannot be shaken except by God Almighty himself. Another time where eretz is used to refer to something other than the globe is Genesis 38:9:

"And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground (eretz), lest that he should give seed to his brother." KJV

According to the Holy Bible the foundation upon which the landmass is situated is water:

"The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters." Psalm 24:1-2

Dr. Henry Morris notes:

24:2 upon the seas. Initially the created earth was all water, but on the third day of the creation week, God "laid the foundations of the earth" (Job 38:4) and it was founded "above" (a better translation of the Hebrew word in this context than "upon") the seas and the great rivers ("the floods"). (Morris, The Defender's Study Bible, p. 610; italic emphasis ours)

Therefore, it becomes clear that the term "earth" - eretz is referring to the landmass and not to the global structure of the earth. In fact, according to the Quran the earth is actually held up by mountains serving as tentpegs:

"And We have set on the earth firm mountains, lest it should shake with them..." S. 21:31

"And He has cast onto the earth firm mountains lest it should shake with you..." S. 16:15

"He has created the heavens without supports that you can see, and has cast onto the earth firm mountains lest it should shake with you..." S. 31:10

"Have We not made the earth an expanse, and the mountains as stakes." S. 78:6-7

"Do they (the unbelievers) not look... at the mountains, how they have been pitched (like a tent)" S. 88:17-19

Using Naik's fallacious reasoning, we would be forced to conclude that the term "earth" refers not to the ground but rather to the global structure of the earth itself. Therefore, these passages must be interpreted to mean that mountains serve to anchor the earth and prevent it from floating in outer space!

Interestingly, when the Holy Bible does speak of the suspension of the global structure of the earth it is in complete agreement with modern science:

"He spreads out the northern [skies] over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing." Job 26:7

This is why Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe can make the following comments in regards to Psalm 24:2 and Job 26:7:

"...The first text (writer-Psalm 24:2) speaks about the obvious fact that the earth is situated above the seas so that they cannot overflow and destroy it. The verse in Job may refer to the scientific fact that the earth is suspended in space, something that could be inferred from observation of other heavenly bodies visible to the eye, and inferences made from eclipses. Indeed, Aristotle (4th century B.C.) concluded that the earth was round in a similar way." (Geisler & Howe, When Critics Ask - A Popular Handbook On Bible Difficulties [Victor Books A Division of Scripture Press Publications Inc.,1992], p. 236; bold emphasis ours)

Dr. Henry Morris also makes the following comment on Job 26:9:

26:7 earth upon nothing. Not only was the earth rotating, but it also began orbiting in space, suspended from the sun by "nothing" except the mysterious force of gravity, acting at a distance. This verse was written at least 3500 years before Isaac Newton identified and described this force. (Morris, The Defender's Study Bible, p. 584)

Naik on the pillars of Heaven

Naik attacks the Holy Bible for claiming that the heavens have pillars:

"The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke." Job 26:11

What Naik does not allow for is the use of poetic and metaphorical descriptions that were commonly used by both biblical and Ancient Near Eastern writers. The rule of literal interpretation entails that one interprets a passage or a book in the manner the author intended it to be interpreted. Job is Wisdom literature and as such employs metaphorical, hyperbolic, symbolic and poetic imagery throughout. Therefore, one must take these points into consideration when interpreting such literature and cannot mechanically employ the same rules one uses in interpreting a historical narrative upon a document rich in symbolism and metaphor.

That the above statement is merely a poetic way of describing the durability of the heavens above, not that the heavens actually have pillars, can be seen from the verses that immediately precede it:

"He spreads out the northern [skies] over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing." Job 26:7

Job has already stated that the northern skies are spread over empty space with nothing supporting them. In light of this fact the mentioning of pillars is a poetic description of the durability of the heavens that can only be shaken by God.

Interestingly, it is the Quran that seems to suggest that the heavens do in fact have pillars supporting them:

"He has created the heavens without supports THAT YOU CAN SEE, and has cast onto the earth firm mountains lest it should shake with you..." S. 31:10 Pickthall

"He created the heavens without any pillars THAT YE CAN SEE; He set on the earth mountains standing firm..." A. Y. Ali

"He created the heavens without pillars AS YOU SEE THEM, and put mountains upon the earth lest it might convulse with you..." Shakir

"He has created the heavens without any pillars, THAT YOU SEE and has set on the earth firm mountains, lest it should shake with you." Al-Hilali & Khan

"He created the heavens without pillars THAT YOU CAN SEE. He established on earth stabilizers (mountains) lest it tumbles with you..." Rashad Khalifah

"He created the heavens without pillars THAT YOU SEE, and cast mountains on the earth lest it should be convulsed with you..." Muhammad Ali

"He created the heavens without pillars THAT YE CAN SEE, and He threw upon the earth firm mountains lest it should move with you..." E.H. Palmer

"He raised the heavens WITHOUT VISIBLE PILLARS, and set firm mountains on the earth lest it should shake with you." N.J. Dawood

"He has created the heavens WITHOUT ANY VISIBLE SUPPORT. He has cast headlands on the earth lest it sway with you..." T.B. Irving

"He created the heavens without pillars YOU CAN SEE, and He cast on the earth firm mountains, lest it shake with you..." A.J. Arberry

In light of the preceding translations, we are left with the conclusion that the heavens do in fact have pillars but that these supports are not visible to the human eye. Interestingly, in his debate against Campbell Naik tried to use this verse to show that the Quran, unlike the Holy Bible, teaches that the h eavens have no pillars supporting them!

Naik on the Genealogical Record of Ezra and Nehemiah

Naik claims that there are 18 contradictions between the numbers given in Ezra 2:2-63 and Nehemiah 7:7-65 of individuals that returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. Norm Geisler & Thomas Howe respond:

"...First, it is possible that each of these is a copyist error. One of the most problematic areas of transcription for the Jewish scribe was copying numbers. It is certainly conceivable that out of these rather large lists of names and numbers there would be a number of copyist errors (see Appendix 2).

"Second, it is also possible that Ezra and Nehemiah compiled their lists at different times. Ezra may have compiled a list of those who left Babylon with Zerubbabel, while Nehemiah compiled his list of those who actually made it to Jerusalem. In some cases, people who left Babylon with the intention of going back to rebuild Jerusalem may have turned back or died along the way. In other cases, a family may have enlisted recruits to bolster their numbers. Perhaps family members in other lands got word of the migration and rendezvoused with their relatives along the way from Babylon to Jerusalem." (Ibid, p. 214; bold emphasis ours)

Naik also claims that both Ezra and Nehemiah made a mistake in claiming that the total number of individuals returning were 42,360 since when you add the numbers of each respective list, you end up with 29,818 for Ezra 2:64 and 31,089 for Nehemiah 7:66.

In his haste to find a contradiction, Naik overlooked a key passage that answers his very own assertion:

"And from among the priests: The descendants of Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name). These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. The governor ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there was a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim. The whole company numbered 42,360, besides their 7,337 menservants and maidservants; and they also had 200 men and women singers." Ezra 2:61-65

And from among the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name). These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim. The whole company numbered 42,360, besides their 7,337 menservants and maidservants; and they also had 245 men and women singers. Nehemiah 7:63-67

It is obvious from reading the context that the total number of 42,360 included individuals who were not included by name in the list of returnees. Because these individuals were unable to prove their line of descent both Ezra and Nehemiah excluded them from the list.

The final problem Naik has with the accounts of Ezra and Nehemiah is that Ezra 2:65 claims that only 200 singers returned whereas Nehemiah 7:67 states that it was 245. Again, as Geisler and Howe already suggested Ezra may have recorded those singers that registered to go up to Jerusalem, with Nehemiah recording those that actually made it.

Naik on the duration of the Earth

Naik asserts that the Holy Bible contradicts itself when in one place it claims that the earth is to remain forever (Ecclesiastes 1:4; Psalm 78:69), yet in another place it claims that the earth is perishing (cf. Hebrews 1:10-12; Psalm 102:25-27).

First, the term used in Hebrew for "eternal," "everlasting" or "forever" is olam. This term can mean different things in different contexts. When used for individuals or events, it usually carries the meaning of an indefinite time period that is unforeseeable from man's perspective. When used of God, it means eternal. Notice the various meaning given by Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, listed under Strong's # 5769:



1) long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world

a) ancient time, long time (of past)
b) (of future) 1) for ever, always
2) continuous existence, perpetual
3) everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity

King James Word Usage - Total: 439
ever 272, everlasting 63, old 22, perpetual 22, evermore 15, never 13, time 6, ancient 5, world 4, always 3, alway 2, long 2, more 2, never + 0408 2, misc 6; 439

(Source: Blue Letter Bible)

One example where olam clearly does not mean forever is:

"On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever (olam);" Nehemiah 13:1 KJV

According to Nehemiah neither an Ammonite nor a Moabite could ever enter the congregation of Yahweh. Yet, according to Deuteronomy 23:3-4, olam refers to a period of time lasting till the tenth generation:

"No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation. For they did not come to meet you with bread and water on your way when you came out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim to pronounce a curse on you."

Therefore, the fact that the Holy Bible states that the earth will last forever does not necessarily imply for all eternity, but rather an indefinite period of time that seems forever from man's perspective.

Second, an even more plausible explanation in light of the other passages of scripture is that the earth, although perishing, will in fact last forever. This is due to the fact that God himself will intervene at the consummation of the age to restore the earth to its original Edenic perfection, preventing it from completely perishing:

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself WILL BE LIBERATED FROM ITS BONDAGE TO DECAY AND BROUGHT INTO THE GLORIOUS FREEDOM OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:18-25

"When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth." Psalm 104:30

Therefore, when the Holy Bible states that God will make all things new, or that he is going to create a new heaven and new earth the term new does not mean a completely different cosmos. Rather, new implies a complete transformation and restoration of this old earth much like believers are said to be a new creation in Christ without this entailing an annihilation of our mortal bodies. (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:1-11)

Geisler & Howe nicely sum up the points made above in response to the earth lasting forever:

"First, the Hebrew word for "forever" (olam) often simply means a long period or an indefinite time. Hence, one need not to take the verses that speak of the earth lasting 'forever' as literally meaning without any end. Further, even taken literally an important distinction must be made. While the earth will not abide forever in its present form, its constituent elements will remain, and it will be reformed into a 'new heaven and a new earth' (Rev. 21:1) which will never pass away. In this sense, both are true - the basic elements of the universe God created will last forever, but not in their present shape which has been infected by sin and decay (Rom. 8:18ff). God will one day destroy the universe in its present form and reconstruct it into a perfect world, 'a new heaven and a new earth' (Rev. 21:1) which contains no disease, death, or decay (cf. Rev. 21-22)." (Ibid., p. 241)

So much for Naik's contradiction.

Naik on Female Sperm

According to Naik, Leviticus 12:1-2 is wrong in claiming that females have seed, i.e. sperm. Here is the passage in question taken from the King James Version:

"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean."

A common fallacy Naik often makes is the etymological or root fallacy, constantly assuming and insisting that only root meanings be applied to specific words. The word for "seed" in Hebrew is zera. This term means different things in different contexts as the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon points out:

Strong's # 02233 : zera`


1) seed, sowing, offspring

a) a sowing
b) seed
c) semen virile
d) offspring, descendants, posterity, children
e) of moral quality 1) a practitioner of righteousness (fig.) f) sowing time (by meton)

King James Word Usage - Total: 229 seed 221, child 2, carnally 1, fruitful 1, seedtime 1, sowing time 1

(Source: Blue Letter Bible)

As the BDB indicates, zera can and often does mean offspring, children, descendants etc. Therefore, Leviticus 12:1-2 is not speaking of a woman's sperm but rather of her children or offspring. Both the context itself and the following translations point this out:

"The LORD said to Moses, 'Say to the Israelites: "A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised."'" Leviticus 12:1-3 NIV

"Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the sons of Israel, saying: "When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean. On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised."'" NASB

"The LORD said to Moses, 'Say to the people of Israel, If a woman conceives, and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.'" RSV

"Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying: "If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised."'" NKJV

What is astonishing is that it is Muhammad that believed females had sperm that help determine the gender of a child. Muhammad declared,

"As for the resemblance of the child to its parents; if a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets a discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets her discharge first, the child will resemble her." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Number 546)

"Narrated Zainab bint Um Salama: Um Sulaim 'O Allah's Apostle! Verily Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. Is it essential for a woman to take a bath after she had a wet dream (nocturnal sexual discharges)?' He said, 'Yes, if she notices discharge. On that Um Salama laughed and said, 'Does a woman get a (nocturnal sexual) discharge?' He said, 'How then does (her) son resemble her (his mother)?'" (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 113)

That Muhammad is speaking of female sperm becomes clear from the following hadith:

Thauban, the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), said: While I was standing beside the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) one of the rabbis of the Jews came and said: Peace be upon you, O Muhammad. I pushed him back with a push that he was going to fall. Upon this he said: Why do you push me? I said: Why don't you say: O Messenger of Allah? The Jew said: We call him by the name by which he was named by his family. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: My name is Muhammad with which I was named by my family. The Jew said: I have come to ask you (something). The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Should that thing be of any benefit to you, if I tell you that? He (the Jew) said: I will lend my ears to it. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) drew a line with the help of the stick that he had with him and then said: Ask (whatever you like). Thereupon the Jew said: Where would the human beings be on the Day when the earth would change into another earth and the heavens too (would change into other heavens)? The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: They would be in darkness beside the Bridge. He (the Jew) again said: Who amongst people would be the first to cross (this bridge)? He said: They would be the poor amongst the refugees. The Jew said: What would constitute their breakfast when they would enter Paradise? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: A caul of the fish-liver. He (the Jew) said. What would be their food after this? He (the Holy Prophet) said: A bullock which was fed in the different quarters of Paradise would be slaughtered for them. He (the Jew) said: What would be their drink? He (the Holy Prophet) said: They would be given drink from the fountain which is named "Salsabil". He (the Jew) said: I have come to ask you about a thing which no one amongst the people on the earth knows except an apostle or one or two men besides him. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Would it benefit you if I tell you that? He (the Jew) said: I would lend ears to that. He then said: I have come to ask you about the child. He (the Holy Prophet) said: The reproductive substance of man is white and that of woman yellow, and when they have sexual intercourse and the male's substance prevails upon the female's substance, it is the male child that is created by Allah's Decree, and when the substance of the female prevails upon the substance contributed by the male, a female child is formed by the Decree of Allah. The Jew said: What you have said is true; verily you are an Apostle. He then returned and went away. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: He asked me about such and such things of which I have had no knowledge till Allah gave me that. (Sahih Muslim, Book 003, Number 0614)

Dr. Lactantius comments:

"In the verses listed above nutfah is used when describing the fluid which gushes out during sexual intercourse and clearly this can only refer to semen. However, Prof. Moore is keen to translate nutfah in sura 76:2 as "mingled fluid" [3] and explains that this Arabic term refers to the male and female fluids which contain the gametes (male sperm and female egg). While it is true that the ancient Greeks would not have been able to see individual sperm or eggs, these only being visible through the microscope, the Qur'an emphatically does not mention sperm or eggs; it simply says nutfah. This can reasonably be translated semen, or at a push, germinal fluid - which was a term used as early as Hippocrates [4] who spoke of male and female reproductive fluids (but obviously could not have been aware of the cells contained in the fluids). If Moore wishes to translate nutfah as germinal fluid, he inadvertently reinforces that the Qur'an is borrowing this term from the Greeks.


Another Hadith says "If a male's fluid prevails upon the female's substance, the child will be a male by Allah's decree, and when the substance of the female prevails upon the substance contributed by the male, a female child is formed"[25]. Surely this is not referring to dominant and recessive genes at all, as certain Muslims have claimed [26], but is simply repeating the incorrect belief of Hippocrates that both men and women produce both male and female sperm. The sex of the resulting child is determined by which sperm overwhelms the other in strength or quantity:

"...both partners alike contain both male and female sperm (the male being stronger than the female must originate from a stronger sperm). Here is a further point: if (a) both partners produce a stronger sperm then a male is the result, whereas if (b) they produce a weak form, then a female is the result. But if (c) one partner produces one kind of sperm, and the other another then the resultant sex is determined by whichever sperm prevails in quantity. For suppose that the weak sperm is much greater in quantity than the stronger sperm: then the stronger sperm is overwhelmed and, being mixed with weak, results in a female. If on the contrary the strong sperm is greater in quantity than the weak, and the weak is overwhelmed, it results in a male" [27].

Earlier in the Hadith, Muhammed says that the reproductive substance of men is white and that of women is yellow. This sounds very much like the content, white and yellow, that is found inside developing chick-eggs, and which Aristotle was known to dissect [28]. (Source: Embryology in the Qur'an; bold emphasis ours)

Therefore it is Muhammad, not the Holy Bible, that believed females had sperm that contributed to the gender of a fetus. This is an idea that Muhammad clearly took from the Greek physicians as indicated by Dr. Lactantius.

We see that an argument posed by Naik against the Holy Bible actually backfires against him and serves to demonstrate that Muhammad is a false prophet.

Naik and Unicorns

Naik has a seeming fascination with unicorns since he states that the Holy Bible in such places as Isaiah 34:7 is in gross error for claiming that such a mythical animal exists. What Naik often does is to use the King James Version in his assault against the Holy Bible. Naik consistently fails to consider other modern translations to allow for a wide range of meanings for key Hebrew words. The Hebrew word in question is re'em and has the following range of meanings:

Strong's # 7214 :

1. probably the great aurochs or wild bulls which are now extinct. The exact meaning is not known. (Source: Blue Letter Bible)

In light of the preceding, note how the following Bible versions translate Isaiah 34:7:

And the wild oxen will fall with them, the bull calves and the great bulls. Their land will be drenched with blood, and the dust will be soaked with fat. NIV

Wild oxen will also fall with them And young bulls with strong ones; Thus their land will be <*3> soaked with blood, And their dust become greasy with fat. NASB

Wild oxen shall fall with them, and young steers with the mighty bulls. Their land shall be soaked with blood, and their soil made rich with fat. RSV

The wild oxen shall come down with them, And the young bulls with the mighty bulls; Their land shall be soaked with blood, And their dust saturated with fatness. NKJV

And the buffaloes shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. Darby

And come down have reems with them, And bullocks with bulls, And soaked hath been their land from blood, And their dust from fatness is made fat. Young's Literal Translation

We again find one of Naik's alleged contradictions vanishing into thin air.

Naik on the sanitation laws of Leviticus

Naik suggested that the command in Leviticus 14:40-53 to disinfect an infectious house with blood is completely unsanitary from a medical perspective. The only problem here is not with Leviticus, since it nowhere claims to use blood as a disinfectant. Rather, the problem lies with Naik's misreading of the passage:

"The LORD said to Moses, 'These are the regulations for the diseased person at the time of his ceremonial cleansing, when he is brought to the priest: The priest is to go outside the camp and examine him. If the person has been healed of his infectious skin disease, the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the one to be cleansed. Then the priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over fresh water in a clay pot. He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the infectious disease and pronounce him clean. Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields. The person to be cleansed must wash his clothes, shave off all his hair and bathe with water; then he will be ceremonially clean. After this he may come into the camp, but he must stay outside his tent for seven days. On the seventh day he must shave off all his hair; he must shave his head, his beard, his eyebrows and the rest of his hair. He must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water, and he will be clean. On the eighth day he must bring two male lambs and one ewe lamb a year old, each without defect, along with three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, and one log of oil. The priest who pronounces him clean shall present both the one to be cleansed and his offerings before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Then the priest is to take one of the male lambs and offer it as a guilt offering, along with the log of oil; he shall wave them before the LORD as a wave offering. He is to slaughter the lamb in the holy place where the sin offering and the burnt offering are slaughtered. Like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; it is most holy. The priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. The priest shall then take some of the log of oil, pour it in the palm of his own left hand, dip his right forefinger into the oil in his palm, and with his finger sprinkle some of it before the LORD seven times. The priest is to put some of the oil remaining in his palm on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering. The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed and make atonement for him before the LORD. Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering And offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering, AND MAKE ATONEMEN FOR HIM, AND HE WILL BE CLEAN. If, however, he is poor and cannot afford these, he must take one male lamb as a guilt offering to be waved TO MAKE ATONEMENT for him, together with a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, a log of oil, and two doves or two young pigeons, which he can afford, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. On the eighth day he must bring them for his cleansing to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, before the LORD. The priest is to take the lamb for the guilt offering, together with the log of oil, and wave them before the LORD as a wave offering. He shall slaughter the lamb for the guilt offering and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. The priest is to pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand, and with his right forefinger sprinkle some of the oil from his palm seven times before the LORD. Some of the oil in his palm he is to put on the same places he put the blood of the guilt offering - on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, TO MAKE ATONEMENT FOR HIM BEFORE THE LORD. Then he shall sacrifice the doves or the young pigeons, which the person can afford, one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, together with the grain offering. IN THIS WAY THE PRIEST WILL MAKE ATONEMENT BEFORE THE LORD ON BEHALF OF THE TO BE CLEANSED. These are the regulations for anyone who has an infectious skin disease and who cannot afford the regular offerings for his cleansing.' The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mildew in a house in that land, the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, "I have seen something that looks like mildew in my house." The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mildew, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house. He is to examine the mildew on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall, the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days. On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls, he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house. If the mildew reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mildew has spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew; the house is unclean. It must be torn down - its stones, timbers and all the plaster - and taken out of the town to an unclean place. Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening. Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash his clothes. But if the priest comes to examine it and the mildew has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the mildew is gone. To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and HYSSOP. He shall kill one of the birds over fresh water in a clay pot. Then he is to take the cedar wood, t he HYSSOP, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. He shall purify the house with the bird's blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the HYSSOP and the scarlet yarn. Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. In this way he will make ATONEMENT for the house, and it will be clean. These are the regulations for any infectious skin disease, for an itch, or mildew in clothing or in a house, and for a swelling, a rash or a bright spot, to determine when something is clean or unclean. These are the regulations for infectious skin diseases and mildew." Leviticus 14:1-57

In light of the context, several comments are in order:

1. The use of blood was for ceremonial, not medical, purposes. The blood was used for atonement, to make one clean before God. Notice that blood was only applied after the person or house had been freed from the infectious disease or leprousy. This indicates that the blood had nothing to do with the healing of the infectious disease.

As Gordon J. Wenham indicates:

"The procedure described in this chapter are not curative but ritual. The priests did not do anything to cure the sick person. Their duty was to diagnose when a man was unclean and when he was clean again, and to make sure that the correct rituals were carried out when the disease cleared up and the man was readmitted to the community. To use a modern analogy, the priest in ancient Israel was more like a public health inspector than a physician. He determined whether a person was infected; he did not attempt to cure him. In this respect Israel differed from her neighbors, who went in for exorcism and magical rites in attempts to cure disease. In Israel a man had to seek help directly from God in prayer, not rely on the dubious remedies of folk medicine.

"The rites prescribed here are long and complicated, as befits the great change in status involved in becoming clean. When someone was pronounced ritually clean with a skin disease he was excluded from the covenant community. When his complaint cleared up he was readmitted to a life of fellowship within the holy nation. The transition from death to life is marked first by ceremonies outside the camp. Then readmission to full membership of Israel is secured by offering the four main types of mandatory sacrifice - the purification offering, the burnt offering, the reparation offering, and the cereal offering." (Wenham, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament-The Book of Leviticus [Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI 1979], p. 207; bold emphasis ours)


"These laws form part of the teaching that the priests had to be familiar with, so that they could instruct the people in the difference between clean and unclean (v. 57; cf. 10:10-11). Holiness, as we have already seen, is defined in Leviticus in terms of wholeness. Skin diseases disfigured the surface of things and thereby destroyed their wholeness. Only the perfect and holy could enjoy the presence of the holy God, therefore the unclean were expelled from the camp. In the case of material objects this meant destruction either by fire or by dumping outside the city in an unclean place. In the case of persons they were compelled to live outside the camp and ipso facto out of contact with the tabernacle through which God's grace was made present with men. As outcasts they were dead to the community and cut off from divine grace.

"Such persons could be readmitted only if their complaint cleared up. As was usual in ancient Israel, their ritual cleansing and sanctification was secured by the offering of sacrifice.

"... It seems likely that even in OT times 'skin diseases' and their treatment were regarded as symbolic of sin and its consequences. When a man was afflicted with a disfiguring skin disease he did visibly 'fall short of the glory of God' (Rom. 3:23), the glory that he had been given in his creation (Ps. 8:6 [Eng. 5]). His banishment from human society and God's sanctuary was a reenactment of the fall, when Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden (Gen. 3). The infection of garments and houses with 'skin diseases' served as a reminder of the interaction of man with his environment. Throughout Scripture, human sin has implications not just for mankind but for the rest of creation (Gen. 3:17-18; 6:13-14; Deut. 28:15ff.; Amos 4:7ff.; Rom. 8:20ff.). If a connection between sin and skin disease was recognized in OT times, it is natural that healing from such disease should be coupled with offerings prescribed for sinners." (Ibid., pp. 212-213)

Hence, we see that the ritual purification pointed to man's inability to satisfy and dwell with a holy God apart from atonement. This in itself served to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah who by one sacrifice would make perfect forever all who would come to God through him. (cf. Hebrews 7:25-27; 9:12-14; 10:11-14)

2. The command to quarantine a person or house with an infectious disease completely agrees with modern medical fact and prevents others from being contaminated. In fact, the laws concerning prevention of leprosy impressed one author. Arturo Castiglione in his book, A History of Medicine writes:

"The laws against leprosy in Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the first model of sanitary legislation." (Ibid., p. 71)

3. Part of the ceremony of ritual purification included the use of hyssop. As one Christian author states, the use of hyssop:

" actually a very effective antiseptic and antibacterial agent. Hyssop oil contains 50 percent carvacrol which is an antifungal and antibacterial agent still used in medicine..." (Grant Jeffrey, The Signature of God: Astonishing Biblical Discoveries,, p. 153)

Therefore, in light of the preceding factors we find nothing in Leviticus that conflicts with modern medical facts.

Let us contrast this with Muhammad's conviction that there does not exist anything like an infectious disease:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:

There is no infection, no safar, no hama. A desert Arab said: Allah's Messenger, how is it that when the camel is in the sand it is like a deer - then a camel afflicted with scab mixes with it and it is affected by scab? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Who infected the first one? (Sahih Muslim, Book 25, No. 5507)

And again,

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:

Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said: There is no transitive disease, no ill omen, no ghoul. (Sahih Muslim, Book 25, No. 5514)

In both the above ahadith, the phrase translated first as "no infection" and then as "no transitive disease" is the same in the Arabic original: "la 'adwa". It is not clear why Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, the translator of Sahih Muslim into English, has chosen two different translations, unless he was himself so embarrassed about the scientifically false statement that he wanted to cover it up by a very obscure way of expressing the meaning.

Ghoul, or Ghool, is an Arabic word for a monster that does not exist, and which Arabs use to scare their kids with. Muhammad, in fact, puts the Ghoul and the "transistive disease" on the same level, into the category of superstition and fairy tales - even giving a "scientific reasoning" for his classification in the first of these two quoted hadiths. Do we need to say more?

Naik on the failed prophecy of Jeremiah 36:30

According to Naik, Jeremiah 36:30 falsely predicts that Jehoiakim would have no son sitting on the throne of David. Yet, we are told in 2 Kings 24:6 and 2 Chronicles 36:9 Jehoiakim's son Jehoachin reigned in his place. Dr. Gelason L. Archer responds:

"The point of this sentence of doom on Jehoiakim (who had just sliced up Jeremiah's written prophecies and cast them into the fire) was that he would have no dynasty to succeed him. In fulfillment of this condemnation, it turned out that in 597 B.C., when Jehoiakim died, his son Jehoiachin took over Jerusalem for a mere three months, before it fell to the besieging armies of Nebuchadnezzar. Probably there was no official coronation ceremony during that time period of unrest as the siege continued. At any rate, that son was not permitted to remain on the throne of Judah from that time on; rather, it was Zedekiah, his uncle, who was installed as a vassal king under the Chaldean Empire, and Jeoiachin was dragged off to captivity in Babylon, from which he never returned.

"It should be noted that when the Hebrew verb yasab ('sit enthroned') is used of a king, it implies a certain permanence rather than so short a time as ninety days. As Jehoiakim's son, Jehoiachin was not permitted to sit on the throne and carry on the career of the Davidic dynasty. On the contrary, he was removed; and no son, or descendant of his was ever permitted to reign as king thereafter on the throne of David. Zerubbabel may have been descended from Jehoiachin through Shealtiel (see Matt. 1:12), and he may have exercised a leadership role after the restoration of captive Judah from Babylon; but he never achieved the status of king. (The later Jewish kings of the second and first centuries B.C., the Hasmoneans, were of the tribe of Levi and had no connection whatever with Jehoiakim.)" (Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties [Zondervan Publishing House; Grand Rapids Michigan 1982], p. 275; bold emphasis ours)

John W. Haley adds:

Jehoiachin's reign lasted but a few months, and was, perhaps, subject to his mother's tutelage. He was then carried captive to Babylon, and his uncle made king in his stead. The Hebrew term rendered 'sit', in Jeremiah, implies to some degree of permanence; hence there is no collision between the passages." (Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible [Whitaker House, New Kingston PA 1992], p. 346)

Geisler & Howe concur:

"This is not a contradiction. Although Jehoiachin did take over after the death of his father, he was in Jerusalem only three months before the city fell to the invading armies of Nebuchadnezzar. After reigning in Jerusalem for only three months, Jehoiachin was taken into captivity, and Zedekiah was placed on the throne in his stead. The Hebrew idea expressed in the phrase 'it on the throne' indicates a more permanent enthronement. God was telling Jehoiakim that his family name would not continue in the place of leadership, and that no dynasty in his name would continue. The extremely short reign of Jehoiachin, and his almost immediate removal and captivity, were a fulfillment of this prophetic statement." (Ibid., p. 280; bold emphasis ours)

Had Naik taken into consideration the original languages of the Holy Bible, as opposed to basing his arguments upon a translation, he would have discovered another one of his objections fading into thin air.

Naik on Ezekiel's Prediction of Tyre's Destruction

Naik made the erroneous claim that Ezekiel 26:3-14 was mistaken in predicting that Nebuchadnezzar would be the one to destroy Tyre, since history records that it was Alexander the Great that destroyed the coastal city. Naik again is guilty of either misquoting or misreading the biblical text. Here some relevant portions highlighting this point:

"In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 'Son of man, because Tyre has said of Jerusalem, "Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper," therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring MANY NATIONS AGAINST YOU, like the sea casting up its waves. THEY will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock.'" Ezekiel 26:1-4

Notice that the prophecy clearly states that God would bring many nations to destroy Tyre, not just Babylon. Continuing further:

"For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. HE will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; HE will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise HIS shields against you. HE will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with HIS weapons. HIS horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the war horses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. The hoofs of HIS horses will trample all your streets; HE will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground." Ezekiel 26:7-11

After singling out Nebuchadnezzar with singular pronouns, "His" and "He", the prophecy then shifts to the plural indicating that others would finish the job begun by Nebuchadnezzar:

"THEY will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; THEY will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD." Ezekiel 26:12-14

Therefore, what was claimed to be a false prediction turns out to be one of the most stunningly accurate prophecies ever made, which came to be perfectly fulfilled centuries after the prediction had been given! As Geisler & Howe note:

"Nebuchadnezzar did destroy the coastal cities. However, the people of the port of Tyre had obviously relocated to the island city, which they were able to successfully defend against the Babylonian invaders. Nebuchadnezzar had defeated and plundered the cities on the shore, as Ezekiel prophesied in Ezekiel 26:7-11, but he could not defeat the island city. This fact is reported in Ezekiel 29:18. "Further, verse 12 marks a shift from the prophecy concerning Nebuchadnezzar to prophetic declarations about other invaders. Verse 3 had already introduced the idea of many invaders in the statement, 'I... will cause many nations to come up against you.' As history records, many nations did come up against the island city of Tyre, but it was Alexander the Great, laying siege against the island city of Tyre in about 332 B.C., who finally conquered the city and left it in total ruins so that it was never rebuilt. When rightly understood, Ezekiel's prophecy perfectly fits the historical record." (Ibid., p. 287; bold emphasis ours)

Naik on the formation of clouds

In his attempt to discredit the scientific accuracy of the Holy Bible, Naik stated that the Holy Bible promoted the false view that water was gathered into the air and then distilled as rain. The problem Naik had with this view is that the Holy Bible allegedly was not aware that water vapor formed clouds in which rain was then distilled upon the land.

First, we present Dr. William Campbell's book The Qur'an and the Bible in light of History and Science from the section on the stunning accuracy of the biblical description of the water cycle:

1. Water Cycle

Dr. Bucaille[4] and Dr. Torki[4] both discuss this and claim that the Qur'an has foreknowledge of the water cycle by which water: (1) evaporates from the seas and the earth; (2) becomes clouds; which (3) give rain; which (4a) causes the land to bring forth, and (4b) replenishes the water table which reveals itself by gushing springs and full wells.

Dr. Bucaille declares that until the late sixteenth century "man held totally inaccurate views on the water cycle", and considers that several statements in the Qur'an which reflect a knowledge of the water cycle could not therefore have come from any human source.

He quotes Suras 50:9-11, 35:9, 30:48, 7:57, 25:48-49, and 45:5, as verses which include steps (2), (3), and (4a). As an example we will look at the Late Meccan Sura of the Heights (Al-A`rúf) 7:57,

"(God) is the One Who sends forth the winds like heralds of His Mercy. When they have carried (2) the heavy-laden clouds, We drive them to a dead land. Then We cause (3) water to descend and thereby (4a) bring forth fruits of every kind. Thus We will bring forth the dead. Maybe you will remember."

To demonstrate step (4b) he brings verses from Suras 23:18-19, 15:22, and the Late Meccan Sura of The Crowds (Al-Zumar) 39:21 which reads,

"Have you not seen that God sent water down from the sky and led it through (4b) sources into the ground? Then he caused sown fields of different colors to grow."

These verses are accurate, of course, but the question is do they show special foreknowledge and thereby prove Divine Revelation? The answer must surely be "no". Every man or woman, even those living in a city, could describe steps (2), (3), and (4a). And every person in contact with farmers during a drought will hear them say that their wells and springs have dried up, thus showing common knowledge of step (4b) that rain is the source and origin of underground water.

But what of step (1) - evaporation as the source of rain clouds? This would be much more difficult to understand by observation and it is not mentioned in any of the Quranic verses cited.

Dr. Torki has recognized this lack and has proposed the Early Meccan Sura of the News (Al-Naba') 78:12-16, as a remedy. We read,

"And we have built above you seven strong (heavens) and made a dazzling lamp, and have sent down from the clouds water in abundance that with it we may bring forth grain and plants and gardens of luxurious growth."

Here he wishes to make the basic assumption that reference to the sun, ``a dazzling lamp'', followed by rain demonstrates the missing step (1). This is not absolutely impossible, but it seems very unlikely. The sun and rain are the 8th and 9th items in a whole list of blessings from God, a list which includes such completely unrelated things as mountains and sleep and marriage. There is no reason that either a 7th century Arab or a 20th century person should understand a cause and effect relationship between the sun and the rain.

On the other hand when we turn to the Torah-Old Testament we find three references which clearly include the difficult step (1).

In the book of the Prophet Amos 5:8, written 1300 years before the Hejira, we read,

"He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns blackness into dawn and darkens day into night, who (1) calls for the waters of the sea and (3) pours them out over the face of the land - the Lord is his name."

In the book of the Prophet Isaiah 55:9-11, also 1300 yrs before the Hejira, it says,

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the (3) rain and snow come down from heaven and do not (1) return to it without watering the earth and (4a) making it flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

Thirdly, from the book of Job (Aiyùb) 36:26-28, a Prophet who lived on the Northern borders of Arabia we find this very detailed description of the water cycle. Written at least 1000 years before the Hejira, it says, "How great is God - beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out." He (1) draws up the drops of water, which distill from the mist as (3) rain. The (2) clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind.''

These verses have mentioned all the steps except (4b), and in the book of the Prophet Hosea 13:15, almost 1400 years before the Hejira, we find these words showing knowledge of this step also,

"...An east wind from the Lord will come, blowing in from the desert; his spring will fail and his well will dry up..."

No rain in the dry east wind, with the result that the well and spring dry up, is clearly the reverse of rain replenishing the water table. Thus the Torah-Old Testament describes all 4 steps including the difficult step (1). (Campbell, The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of History & Science [Middle East Resources 1992], pp. 162-164; see the online edition)

And now for the scientific statement that Naik claimed does not appear in the Holy Bible:

"And Elijah said to Ahab, 'Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.' So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 'Go and look toward the sea,' he told his servant. And he went up and looked. 'There is nothing there,' he said. Seven times Elijah said, 'Go back.' The seventh time the servant reported, 'A CLOUD AS SMALL AS A MAN'S HAND IS RISING FROM THE SEA.' So Elijah said, 'Go and tell Ahab, "Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you." Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on and Ahab rode off to Jezreel." 1 Kings 18:41-45


"And He made darkness canopies around Him, A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky." 2 Samuel 22:12 NASB


"How great is God - beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out. He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind." Job 36:26-28

Dr. Henry Morris comments on Job 36:26-28, referred to by Campbell and also above:

"Water is converted by solar energy into the vapor state. Since water vapor (droplets) is lighter than air, the winds can first elevate, then transport the water from the oceans to the lands where it is needed. There, under the right conditions, the vapor can condense around dust particles, salt particles, or other nuclei of condensation. When this happens, clouds are formed." (Dr. Henry Morris, Remarkable Record of Job: The Ancient Wisdom, Scientific Accuracy, and Life-Changing Message of an Amazing Book, [Master Books; December 1988, ISBN: 0890511403], p. 38)

Dr. Morris continues:

"The water droplets coalesce to form larger and larger drops, which finally become so large that their weight is greater than the drag forces of the uprushing atmospheric turbulence, causing them to fall to ground as rain or snow. Once more, we find the book of Job right on the money when it says, 'By watering He wearieth the thick cloud.' (Job 37:11) KJV" (Ibid.; bold emphasis ours)

The following are Dr. Morris' comments taken from his The Defender's Study Bible. Morris on Job 26:8:

26:8 cloud is not rent. Only in recent centuries has this 'balancing of the clouds' (Job 37:16) been explained. It refers to strong updrafts of air providing the force necessary to keep the water droplets in the clouds from falling to the ground. (Ibid., p. 584)

Dr. Morris on Job 36:27:

36:27 maketh small the drops. Here is remarkable scientific insight. The drops of water which eventually pour down as rain are, indeed "made small," first being molecules in the vapor state, then condensing to tiny liquid water droplets in the clouds. These finally coalesce into drops large enough to overcome the updrafts and fall as rain when "by watering he wearieth the thick cloud" (Job 37:11). (Ibid., p. 591)

Finally, Dr. Morris on Job 37:11:

37:11 wearieth the thick cloud. Although the language is figurative, the meteorology is accurate. The mystery of the "balancing of the clouds," keeping them aloft against the force of gravity, is mentioned in Job 26:8 and 37:16. This mystery has been solved by modern science, so that it is now understood that the droplets of liquid water in the clouds are kept aloft by the force exerted by updrafts of the wind. When the droplets coalesce to form large drops of water, however, then their weight can overcome these forces and the drops will fall to the ground as rain or snow. That is, by increased the clouds become thick and can no longer maintain their stability, being wearied so to speak (Job 36:27,28). The condensation of water vapor into droplets and then into raindrops or snowflakes is apparently facilitated by electrical discharges in the atmosphere - the lightning, then thunder, then rain or snow (Job 37:3-6). (Ibid., p. 592)

We are actually thankful that Naik brought this argument up since the more we examine the Holy Bible the more astonishing and amazing its pages appear before our eyes. Praise God for his Word!

Naik on Numerical Discrepancies

Naik attacks the Holy Bible for numerical discrepancies that occurred as a result of hand-copying the biblical text throughout time. Hence, he falsely attacks the Holy Bible for transcriptional errors made by scribes!

Here is a list of errors posed by Naik and their responses taken from the article 101 Cleared up Contradictions in the Bible found at

2. 2 Samuel 24:9 gives the total population for Israel as 800,000, whereas 1 Chronicles 21:5 says it was 1,100,000.

(Category: misunderstood the historical context or misunderstood the author's intent)

There are a number of ways to understand not only this problem but the next challenge as well, since they both refer to the same passages and to the same census.

It is possible that the differences between the two accounts are related to the unofficial and incomplete nature of the census (which will be discussed later), or that the book of Samuel presents rounded numbers, particularly for Judah.

The more likely answer, however, is that one census includes categories of men that the other excludes. It is quite conceivable that the 1 Chronicles 21:5 figure included all the available men of fighting age, whether battle-seasoned or not, whereas the 2 Samuel 24:9 account is speaking only of those who were ready for battle. Joab's report in 2 Samuel 24 uses the word 'is hayil, which is translated as "mighty men", or battle-seasoned troops, and refers to them numbering 800,000 veterans. It is reasonable that there were an additional 300,000 men of military age kept in the reserves, but not yet involved in field combat. The two groups would therefore make up the 1,100,000 men in the 1 Chronicles 21 account which does not employ the Hebrew term 'is hayil to describe them.

(Archer 1982:188-189 and Light of Life II 1992:189-190)

3. 2 Samuel 24:9 gives the round figure Of 500,000 fighting men in Judah, which was 30,000 more than the corresponding item in 1 Chronicles 21:5.

(Category: misunderstood the historical context)

Observe that 1 Chronicles 21:6 clearly states that Joab did not complete the numbering, as he had not yet taken a census of the tribe of Benjamin, nor that of Levi's either, due to the fact that David came under conviction about completing the census at all. Thus the different numbers indicate the inclusion or exclusion of particular unspecified groups in the nation. We find another reference to this in 1 Chronicles 27:23-24 where it states that David did not include those twenty years old and younger, and that since Joab did not finish the census the number was not recorded in King David's Chronicle.

The procedure for conducting the census had been to start with the trans-Jordanian tribes (2 Samuel 24:5) and then shift to the northern most tribe of Dan and work southward towards Jerusalem (verse 7). The numbering of Benjamin, therefore, would have come last. Hence Benjamin would not be included with the total for Israel or of that for Judah, either. In the case of 2 Samuel 24, the figure for Judah included the already known figure of 30,000 troops mustered by Benjamin. Hence the total of 500,000 included the Benjamite contingent.

Observe that after the division of the United Kingdom into the North and the South following the death of Solomon in 930 BC, most of the Benjamites remained loyal to the dynasty of David and constituted (along with Simeon to the south) the kingdom of Judah. Hence it was reasonable to include Benjamin with Judah and Simeon in the sub-total figure of 500,000, even though Joab may not have itemized it in the first report he gave to David (1 Chronicles 21:5). Therefore the completed grand total of fighting forces available to David for military service was 1,600,000 (1,100,000 of Israel, 470,000 of Judah-Simeon, and 30,000 of Benjamin).

(Archer 1982:188-189 and Light of Life II 1992:189)

4. 2 Samuel 24:13 mentions that there will be seven years of famine whereas 1 Chronicles 21:12 mentions only three.

(Category: misunderstood the author's intent, and misunderstood the wording)

There are two ways to look at this. The first is to assume that the author of 1 Chronicles emphasized the three-year period in which the famine was to be most intense, whereas the author of 2 Samuel includes the two years prior to and after this period, during which the famine worsened and lessened respectively.

Another solution can be noticed by observing the usage of words in each passage. When you compare the two passages you will note that the wording is significantly different in 1 Chronicles 21 from that found in a 2 Samuel 24. In 2 Samuel 24:13 the question is "shell seven years of famine come to you?" In 1 Chronicles 21:12 we find an alternative imperative, "take for yourself either three years of famine..." From this we may reasonably conclude that 2 Samuel records the first approach of the prophet Gad to David, in which the alternative prospect was seven years; whereas the Chronicles account gives us the second and final approach of Nathan to the King, in which the Lord (doubtless in response to David's earnest entreaty in private prayer) reduced the severity of that grim alternative to three years rather than an entire span of seven. As it turned out, however, David opted for God's third preference, and thereby received three days of severe pestilence, resulting in the deaths of 70,000 men in Israel.

(Archer 1982:189-190 and Light of Life II 1992:190)

5. Was Ahaziah 22 (2 Kings 8:26) or 42 (2 Chronicles 22:2) when he began to rule over Jerusalem?

(Category: copyist error)

Because we are dealing with accounts which were written thousands of years ago, we would not expect to have the originals in our possession today, as they would have disintegrated long ago. We are therefore dependent on the copies taken from copies of those originals, which were in turn continually copied out over a period of centuries. Those who did the copying were prone to making two types of scribal errors. One concerned the spelling of proper names, and the other had to do with numbers.

The two examples of numerical discrepancy here have to do with a decade in the number given. Ahaziah is said to have been 22 in 2 Kings 8:26; while in 2 Chronicles 22:2 Ahaziah is said to have been 42. Fortunately there is enough additional information in the Biblical text to show that the correct number is 22. Earlier in 2 Kings 8:17 the author mentions that Ahaziah's father Joram ben Ahab was 32 when he became King, and he died eight years later, at the age of 40. Therefore Ahaziah could not have been 42 at the time of his father's death at age 40! Such scribal errors do not change Jewish or Christian beliefs in the least. In such a case, another portion of scripture often corrects the mistake (2 Kings 8:26 in this instance). We must also remember that the scribes who were responsible for the copies were meticulously honest in handling Biblical texts. They delivered them as they received them, without changing even obvious mistakes, which are few indeed.

(Refer to the next question for a more in-depth presentation on how scribes could misconstrue numbers within manuscripts)

(Archer 1982:206 and Light of Life II 1992:201)

6. Was Jehoiachin 18 years old (2 Kings 24:8) or 8 years old (2 Chronicles 36:9) when he became king of Jerusalem?

(Category: copyist error)

Once again there is enough information in the context of these two passages to tell us that 8 is wrong and 18 right. The age of 8 is unusually young to assume governmental leadership. However, there are certain commentators who contend that this can be entirely possible. They maintain that when Jehoiachin was eight years old, his father made him co-regent, so that he could be trained in the responsibilities of leading a kingdom. Jehoiachin then became officially a king at the age of eighteen, upon his father's death.

A more likely scenario, however, is that this is yet another case of scribal error, evidenced commonly with numbers. It may be helpful to interject here that there were three known ways of writing numbers in Hebrew. The earliest, a series of notations used by the Jewish settlers in the 5th century BC Elephantine Papyri (described in more detail below) was followed by a system whereby alphabetical letters were used for numbers. A further system was introduced whereby the spelling out of the numbers in full was prescribed by the guild of so-perim. Fortunately we have a large file of documents in papyrus from these three sources to which we can refer.

As with many of these numerical discrepancies, it is the decade number that varies. It is instructive to observe that the number notations used by the Jewish settlers in the 5th century BC Elephantine Papyri, during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, from which this passage comes, evidences the earlier form of numerical notation. This consisted of a horizontal stroke ending in a downward hook at its right end to represent the numbers in tens (thus two horizontal strokes one above the other would be 20). Vertical strokes were used to represent anything less than ten. Thus eight would be /III IIII, but eighteen would be /III IIII with the addition of a horizontal line and downward hook above it. Similarly twenty-two would be /I followed by two horizontal hooks, and forty-two would be /I followed by two sets of horizontal hooks (please forgive the deficiencies of my computer; it is not the scholar Dr. Archer is).

If, then, the primary manuscript from which a copy was being carried out was blurred or smudged, one or more of the decadal notations could be missed by the copyist. It is far less likely that the copyist would have mistakenly seen an extra ten stroke that was not present in his original then that he would have failed to observe one that had been smudged.

In the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, the corrections have been included in the texts. However, for clarity, footnotes at the bottom of the page mention that earlier Hebrew MSS include the scribal error, while the Septuagint MSS and Syriac as well as one Hebrew MSS include the correct numerals. It only makes sense to correct the numerals once the scribal error has been noted. This, however, in no way negates the authenticity nor the authority of the scriptures which we have.

Confirmation of this type of copyist error is found in various pagan writers as well. For example in the Behistun rock inscription set up by Darius 1, we find that number 38 gives the figure for the slain of the army of Frada as 55,243, with 6,572 prisoners, according to the Babylonian column. Copies of this inscription found in Babylon itself, records the number of prisoners as 6,973. However in the Aramaic translation of this inscription discovered at the Elephantine in Egypt, the number of prisoners was only 6,972.

Similarly in number 31 of the same inscription, the Babylonian column gives 2,045 as the number of slain in the rebellious army of Frawartish, along with 1,558 prisoners, whereas the Aramaic copy has over 1,575 as the prisoner count.

(Archer 1982:206-207, 214-215, 222, 230; Nehls pg.17-18; Light of Life II 1992:204-205)

7. Did king Jehoiachin rule over Jerusalem for three months (2 Kings 24:8), or for three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)?

(Category: misunderstood the author's intent)

Here again, as we found in challenge number 2 and 4, the author of the Chronicles has been more specific with his numbering, whereas the author of Kings is simply rounding off the number of months, assuming that the additional ten days is not significant enough to mention.

8. Did the chief of the mighty men of David lift up his spear and killed 800 men (2 Samuel 23:8) or only 300 men (1 Chronicles 11:11)?

(Category:misunderstood the historical context or misunderstood the author's intent)

It is quite possible that both authors may have described two different incidents, though by the same man, or one author may have only mentioned in part what the other author mentions in full.

(Light of Life II 1992:187)

Naik on the adultery test of Numbers 5:11-31

Naik mockingly alluded to the command that a husband who accused his wife of unfaithfulness had to go before the priest. The priest would then give the woman a drinking jar consisting of a mixture of water and dust from the tabernacle floor. According to the passage, if the woman was guilty the mixture would cause her thigh to waste away and her abdomen to swell.

We really do not see the problem since this is supposed to be a miraculous sign from God in condemning or acquitting the accused wife. Seeing that Naik also believes in the supernatural, what objection could he possibly have with this passage is beyond us.

Furthermore, as the NIV Study Bible indicates this test was actually an act of mercy from God:

5:15-28 The actions presented here seem severe and harsh. But the consequences would have been worse for a woman charged with adultery by an angry husband if there was no provision for her guilt or innocence to be demonstrated. That she was taken to the priest (v. 15) is finally an act of mercy. The gravity of the ritual for a suspected unfaithful wife shows that the law regards marital infidelity most seriously. This was not just a concern of a jealous husband. The entire community was affected by this breach of faith; hence, the judgment was in the context of the community.


5:18 ... brings a curse. Or "curse-bringing water of bitterness." It is not just that the water was bitter tasting but that the water had the potential of bringing with it a bitter curse. The Lord's role in the proceedings (vv. 16,21,25) is emphasized repeatedly to show that this potion was neither simply a tool of magic nor merely a psychological device to determine stress. The verdict with respect to the woman was precipitated by her physiological and psychological responses to the bitter water, BUT THE JUDGMENT WAS FROM THE LORD.


5:21 your thigh to waste away and your abdomen to swell. See NIV text note. The figurative language here (and in vv. 22,27) speaks of the loss of the capacity for childbearing (and, if pregnant, the miscarriage of the child). This is demonstrated by the determination of the fate of the woman wrongly charged (v. 28). For a woman in the ancient Near East to be denied the ability to bear children was a personal loss of inestimable proportions. Since it was in the bearing of children that a woman's worth was realized in the ancient world, this was a grievous punishment. (bold emphasis ours)

Thus, we see that this test was meant to prevent a woman from being falsely accused and maintain both her integrity and her right in bearing children.

Compare this with the Qur'an where the husband has the right to beat his wife upon his mere suspicion of disloyalty (S. 4:34) even in minor issues. In the Torah, the husband who has the suspicion of infidelity of his wife cannot take matters in his own hand, cannot punish his wife. He has to wait on God's judgment. This is true protection against injustice inflicted by fallible human beings so often guided by false suspicions. The Qur'an commands that adulterers are to be lashed with a hundred lashes (S. 24:2) upon conviction by fallible human judges, despite some precautions against misjudgment in the Qur'an, the judgment is made by fallible human beings (and 100 lashes not only extremely cruel and painful, but often are a deadly measure, and the Qur'an even emphasizes "let not compassion move you..." (S. 24:2)). In the Torah, only the Lord God who alone knows the truth of the charge against the woman can make the harmless mixture of water and dust from the floor poisonous if the woman is indeed guilty. Otherwise she is free and unharmed.

Despite the quranic demand on witnesses, in practice, as we all know, thousands of women die in honor killings all around the Islamic world. They are killed by their families just because of some suspicion that she might have had indecent contact to a man. No witnesses, no proper court trial. The girls are just murdered and the Islamic authorities hardly ever prosecute or punish the murderers.

This concludes our responses to the contradictions presented by Dr. Naik. We have only two concluding remarks to make.

First, the more the Holy Bible is attacked the greater its credibility becomes. This is due to the fact that every attack thus far has crumbled before our eyes, demonstrating the Bible's authority and accuracy throughout the ages. Hence, we are grateful for Naik since his attacks only gives us the opportunity to demonstrate the Bible's stunning accuracy and its ability to stand the test of time. This is based primarily on the fact that unlike the Quran the Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word God. Because of this, God in his love towards his elect has committed himself to preserving and defending it against all unbelievers. For this we are eternally grateful to Him who lives forever and ever!

Second, Naik fails to realize that to attack the Holy Bible is to debunk Muhammad's credibility. The reason being that Muhammad believed in the authority and reliability of the Holy Bible and never claimed that its message had been corrupted. (See these related links: [1] and [2])

Yet, to accept Muhammad's testimony to the Holy Scriptures is to essentially reject Muhammad as a true prophet since he contradicts the very testimony of the God-breathed scriptures, the Holy Bible.

This is a problem that Muslims like Naik must resolve. As far as we are concerned, we will always uphold the Holy Bible as the only revelation given by the true God for the salvation of mankind.

We are forever in the service of our Great and Savior, the Risen Lord of glory, Jesus Christ. Amen. Come Lord Jesus. We love you always and thank you for your Word, the Holy Bible.

Sam Shamoun

Responses to Zakir Naik
Further articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page