Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"

"Authority and Authenticity of Scriptures" I


Dr. Badawi will attempt, in this segment, to convince us that the Bible is not the authoritative or authentic Word of God, and, by default, that the Qur'an is. We will analyze Badawi's claims against the Bible as well as his claims for the Qur'an. However, a more detailed analysis of Badawi's claims for the Qur'an will be written (God willing) for the section "The Qur'an, the Ultimate Miracle".

Host: Why is the question of sources relevant to this series?

Jamal Badawi: We are studying the differences between Muslims and Christians in terms of what they believe about Jesus. We analyzed the topic accepting the Qur'an as it is, we analyzed Jesus from Biblical sources and the problems, we took the Bible as is, didn't ask who wrote it. This was useful because even if we assume that the Bible is authoritative, there is nothing conclusive about deification. There could be other interpretations. We examined the conflicting claims, the entire Qur'an is divine, was not written by people after the Prophet, it was not even the word of Muhammad and this is universal. The Bible has been shown to be a human document which may contain the word of God, but there are some among the fundamentalists who claim that the Bible is the word of God making it a conflict between the Bible and Qur'an. Which of the two have more weight to decide the truth? I respect the right of every human to believe what they which, the Qur'an says "Let there be no compulsion in religion". To some, the evidence does not matter.

Issue 1: Does the Qur'an contain only the words of God?

What about Sura 27:91:

For me, I have been commanded to serve the Lord of this city, Him Who has sanctified it and to Whom (belong) all things: and I am commanded to be of those who bow in Islam to Allah's Will,-

Who is commanded to serve the Lord of this city? It cannot be God!

Issue 2: The Qur'an was not written by people after the "Prophet"?

The Qur'an was compiled after the death of Muhammad and the Ahadith support this.

Second, even after Uthman "standardized" the Qur'an, Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf Al-Thakafi made additional changes! If you want to learn more about how the Qur'an has changed over time, please read A 'Perfect' Qur'an OR "So it was made to appear to them"?.

Issue 3: What is the true source of the Qur'an?

An excellent book which shows the true source of the Qur'an is THE ORIGINAL SOURCES OF THE QUR'AN By W. St. Clair Tisdall

Host: What criteria is relevant to the scriptures?

Jamal Badawi: There are two questions:

Authority : Is it the word of God? This can be divided into two issues: Internal and External evidence. Internal means that we have to examine to see if the claims are from God, it must be consistent. External evidence means that when we examine the contents, is there evidence that it is the word of God? If it is totally the word of God, it must be clean from any factual error - contrary to a well known scientific fact. There must be complete absence of contradictions. For example, both uphold that God is merciful and kind, and free will. There should be no clear contradictions. If any of the prophecies are incorrect, then it is not the word of God. If these conditions are met, there may be evidence that the contents could not have been written by human beings, it had to have a divine source.

I agree that the Word of God must be internally consistent and not be disproved by external evidence. Perhaps Dr. Badawi should examine the Internal Contradictions and the External Contradictions of the Qur'an!

Authenticity : Is exactly what the Prophets taught? When was it written, in which language, who wrote it, were they eyewitnesses, are there different versions, how did they come to us, who translated, what are the oldest copies?

To be considered the Word of God, the person must be a true Prophet. How do we know if someone is a Prophet? Obviously, we cannot take their word for it, so the Bible gives us a test:

"When a prophet speaks in the Name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken, the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.".(Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

Did Muhammad and the Qur'an pass this test?

Muhammad predicted the defeat of the Byzantines in Syria by the Persians as well as the "rematch" which the Byzantines won.

Sura 30:1-4 :

"The Romans have been defeated in the nearest part of the land and they shall conquer in a small number of years after their defeat."

Personally, I consider this statement more of a military and political assessment instead of a prophecy. However, when we look at this passage more closely, we see that the defeat of the Persians should take place soon - "in a small number of years". The question is : how do we define "a small number of years"? The traditions, as well as Muslim commentators, tell us that Abu-Bakr made a bet with Ubai-ibn- Khalaf that this prediction would be fulfilled within three years. Muhammad, who rarely had an unspoken thought, told them that the "small number" is between three and nine years (Source: al-Baizawi). Muslim and western historians tell us that the Byzantines defeated Persia in A.D. 628 (according to al-Baizawi's commentary). That was TWELVE YEARS after the prediction of Muhammad - who incorrectly predicted that this would happen between 3 and 9 years!

Muhammad fancied himself a Prophet like Jesus and the Prophets of the Old Testament. The problem with Muhammad's claim is that a Prophet must give prophecies (detailed predictions of future events which must come true) in order to be called a Prophet. One does not bestow the title on himself as Muhammad did.

Muhammad failed the Bible's test and, therefore, cannot be considered a Prophet.

Host: Can others use the same criteria to examine the Qur'an?

Jamal Badawi: I am prepared for that, in another series, I examined the Qur'an - I invite the challenge. Any fair minded person who followed that series will conclude that the Qur'an did pass the test. I have never received any challenges to the evidence presented.

And we will answer these arguments in another section.

Host: What does authority refer to?

Jamal Badawi: Whether there is evidence that the scripture is the word of God. Not all of the passages of the Bible are claimed to be divine revelation. There are some passages that are claimed to be the word of God. Ezekiel, Micah, Jonah and others begin with this is the word of the Lord that came to.... The second category speaks about visions that came to the Prophets Habbakuk and Malachi. The third category is history written by people. Another category is it is obvious that the words are the words of the author without divine revelation. Nehemiah, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Jeremiah, Amos. If the Bible is the word of God, how can these be there? The internal evidence is not consistent like the Qur'an.

The Bible does indeed contain the words of men and women. These people wrote the Bible under the divine inspiration of God. God did record His Words in many books of the Bible and He inspired others to write other books. The Prophets of God were not human tape recorders. Therefore, the authors wrote God's Words in the light of human history and their personalities are often reflected in these books.

On the other hand, Muslims claim that the entire Qur'an is the Word of God, without human influences. The problem with this claim is that the Qur'an contains grammatical errors, borrows from other sources, and often presents "revelations" which allow Muhammad to have his way with money (Sura 58:12), women (Sura 66:3-5), and power (Sura 5:33).

Host: How about the New Testament?

Jamal Badawi: Same problem. Luke 1:3:

Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,

Notice that Luke does not claim to be an eyewitness and he admits that his Gospel is based on existing material and wrote an orderly account. There may be some deficiencies so he organized it. J.B. Phillips says that Luke admitted that he carefully compared and edited existing material suggesting that he had access to much material. Editing should not apply to the word of God and if someone claims that everything in the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, that should be enough, no order needed.

Dr. Badawi is confusing the concept of Divine Authorship and human authorship. If the Bible is divinely inspired, which it is, the identity of the human author is not very important. Another area were Badawi is confused is in the way in which God reveals His message and divine will. God speaks to us, in the Bible, in a variety of ways - He does not always hit us with "We did this" and "We did that". God does give us His Word in the Bible, however, He also communicates His Will through human and historical events.

Host: What about other examples?

Jamal Badawi: 2 Peter 3:15 :

Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.

He did not say revelation or the teaching of the Holy Spirit came to Paul.

No, Peter said that God gave Paul the wisdom, through his vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:2 Paul says:

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

This is different then the Old Testament that says that it is the word of God.

No, that is not what Paul is saying. The righteousness of works and justification by faith cannot co-exist. Paul is telling us that a man who is circumcised [for justification] is doing so because he fears the law, and he who fears, does not believe in the power of grace. The man who disbelieves cannot profit by grace since he does not disbelieve in grace, but the law.

1 Cor 7:25 Paul says:

Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.

This is Paul's opinion!

Yes it is Paul's opinion! Paul was honest and did not attempt to pass off his opinions as God's Word. Compare this to Muhammad, who rarely had an unspoken thought, when he was asked why a child resembled one parent or the other:

"As for the child, if the man's discharge precedes the woman's discharge, the child attracts the similarity of the man, and if the woman's discharge precedes the man's, then the child attracts the similarity of the woman." Vol. 5:275

Do you think that God gave Muhammad this tidbit of information?

Romans 3:7-8

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

So on this evidence the Bible is not consistently the word of God.

Is Paul condoning lying? No, in verse 7 Paul is making a hypothetical argument that someone could use in order to justify deception. After Paul makes this hypothetical argument, he refutes it! Dr. Badawi cannot honestly accuse Paul of deception if he had actually read this passage in context.

Andrew Vargo

Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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