Sunday, 22 August 2010

Acts 17 Apologetics' Samuel Green is Silly

Samuel Green seems to be a reluctant member of David Wood's team. However this does not make him exempt from harsh rebuke for any nonsense he spouts. Green was over-burdening us with his unscholarly mannerisms (including his audacious attempt to re-write history) thus we had to intercept and respond with a harsh series of rebukes

Samuel Green:“Did Muhammad fight before the hijrah?

Initially when I gave Samuel Green’s article a cursory glance I felt Samuel Green produced one of the most pointless articles I have witnessed in my time investigating Christian outreaches to Muslims. However upon reviewing it further in detail I must revise my opinion. Samuel Green is attempting to (subtly) reinforce or even reintroduce shoddy conspiracy theories in a misguided attempt to re-write history!

Samuel Green, though gentle enough, is very much in league with the fundamentalist brigade of Christian apologists/haters on the internet such as Sam Shamoun and David Wood, thus our friend Sam Green warrants a forthright approach as subtlety is rarely an effective manner of reasoning with the Islamophobe-types who reside in Green’s camp.

I personally skipped over this until the YouTube video-maker, propagator and apologist of Islam, 1MoreMuslim, got involved in discussing Green’s article within the comment section. What happened next? 1MoreMuslim sends me an email informing me of his comments being unapproved (blocked?). I have since asked 1MoreMuslim to double check whether he has been blocked or if it is a case of Acts 17 Apologetics delaying in approving comments

IF he has been censored:

So Samuel Green and company allow some of 1MoreMuslim’s comments to go through but as soon as the dialogue threatens to become in depth and begins to show Green to be extremely erroneous Samuel Green’s friends decide to block 1MoreMuslim. This is extremely suspicious as 1MoreMuslim was contributing to the dialogue in a manner which was erudite and decent. In short there was no reason for him to be censored. It gets even more baffling as Samuel Green (now somewhat paradoxically) asked for feedback vis-à-vis his article:

“What do you think?”

Quite how Samuel Green expects to get feedback whilst his dishonest friend (most likely David Wood) blocks reactive comments behind Green’s back is beyond me. Perhaps Green would like to choose a better group of friends. Unfortunately this seems unlikely as he has been in union with the bigot Sam Shamoun for a good number of years so asking him to extradite himself from his current social circle is really asking.

Rebuking Samuel Green

In any case let’s focus on Green’s material and pick at the holes within. To do so I will adopt a two-pronged approach:

1. Briefly run through Samuel Green’s work myself whilst adding critique to it
2. Bring in 1MoreMuslim's dismissal of Green’s claims

In the way of a disclaimer I would like to state none of my analysis is designed to make Samuel look silly and I am pretty certain 1MoreMuslim’s comments were not designed for the purpose of ridicule. At this juncture I would also like to add the unscholarly nature of Green’s work warrants sharp rebuke

Analysis of Sam Green’s Conspiracy Theories and Conjecture

Green entitle his article; “Did Muhammad fight before the hijrah?

Samuel Green seems to have little regard for scholarship as scholarship tells us Muhammad did not fight prior to the Hijrah. The Muslims lacked any real capacity to do so.

Green, however, knows this but is trying to sow seeds for his conspiracy theories and conjecture.
Green goes on:

“In the histories I have read about Muhammad, I have been told that before the hijrah he endured suffering and shame from the Meccans and never fought or was violent. I may have misunderstood the Muslim claim but this is what I understand, that Muhammad did not fight before the hijrah.”

Green need not bother playing innocent here. Sam Green knows full well this is the Muslim claim as well as the Non-Muslim claim. All scholarship agrees on this fact. Thus it would appear Green is wasting his time. Nevertheless Samuel Green persists and even pulls out his ace from the pack:

However, I am reading my way through the qur'an and it seems this understanding of Muhammad's life does not work easily.

So Green is now arguing against expertise. Who exactly is Samuel Green? Green would do well to know his place. To Green’s credit he does bring an argument to cast doubt on the said scholarship. It must be noted his argument is laced in ignorance and is highly spurious:

In Sura 16 (the bee)Islamic scholars say that verse 110 comes for the Medinan period and has been inserted into this Meccan sura.

Then lo! thy Lord - for those who became fugitives after they had been persecuted, and then fought and were steadfast - lo! thy Lord afterward is (for them) indeed Forgiving, Merciful. 16:110

Sam Green fails to mention the scholars he speaks about but goes on to impute thought upon them (again without mentioning the scholars involved):

“The reason for saying this verse is inserted is that it refers to fighting in a Meccan period sura”

Samuel Green gets Interesting

OK, Green has laid out his cards and wants to concentrate on two points from his agenda. Here is Green trying to get us to follow his unorthodox thought pattern - a thought pattern which is merely employed in an attempt to deconstruct Islam and has nothing to do with intellectual integrity or scholarship:

“If the Qur'an is the best source for understanding Muhammad's life (and I think it is), then doesn't it appear that he was fighting before the hijrah? Maybe the hijrah happened not because Muhammad was the victim but because he was the unsuccessful aggressor?”

Is Green serious here? How can the Quran be the best source of understanding the life of Prophet Muhammad (p) when we have Ahadith literature which is more focussed on the personal activities of the Prophet Muhammad?

The Quran is the Book revealed by God (Allah) to the Prophet Muhammad. The Quran is not about Prophet Muhammad and is a Revelation for Mankind as Guidance. The Quran is the Book revealed by God (Allah) to the Prophet Muhammad.

Therefore this Book is not going to be more relevant in studying the life of Muhammad than the Ahadith literature which would factor in Muhammad’s sayings and daily activities amongst other things as Ahadith literature is essentially about Muhammad. A testimony to this fact would be the biographers’ predominant use of material from Ahadith literature in order to compile their respective biographies of Prophet Muhammad (p). Common sense tells you Green is mistaken. Sadly, common sense eludes critics as their desperate desire to have a pop at Islam blinds them

Green is either grossly negligent in this remark or is being intellectually dishonest in order to build a case according to his personal agenda. Please have a rethink, Sam, You do yourself no favours at all in operating at such a level.

Now let us focus on Green’s strange idea (dare I say “crack pot idea”, sorry Sam):

“Maybe the hijrah happened not because Muhammad was the victim but because he was the unsuccessful aggressor?”

From my experience it never takes too much reading before you come across a completely over-board suggestion/assertion from somebody who is linked with Sam Shamoun. Green does not buck the trend.

Sam Green makes this suggestion based on what? Nothing at all. The biographers do not document anything of such a nature and maintain the Hijrah was due to the Quraish’s persecution of the Muslims. As per usual Green makes his claim without bringing any evidence

Al Mubarekpuri, nor any other biographer, cites anything which supports Sam Green’s strange claim. Quite how Sam Green thinks such a small group of persecuted Muslims in Makkah can be the aggressors is beyond me this disbelief in the reasoning of Green is compounded by the fact no authority supports his conspiracy theory.

Effectively Samuel Green is doing away with all the experts in the field as well as all the source literature in favour of his conspiracy theory. You can imagine Green being amongst those Christians who believe the forgeries within the Bible are inspired too.

Here is Sam Green’s last conspiracy theory:

“Is it right for Muslim scholars to use the theory of "inserted verses" to explain why their reconstruction of Muhammad's life does not match up with what the Qur'an says?”

Essentially Green accuses Muslim scholars of dishonesty.

This is rich coming from Samuel Green, the man who is a partner of Sam “Muslims are black stone lickers” Shamoun. Those in glasshouses should not throw stones, Sam.

The “theory” of inserted verses

Samuel Green is an enigma. He is making a disparaging claim without any knowledge whatsoever. Green admits to his ignorance in the comment section:

“What evidence do we have that Muhammad moved verses around?”

Green fails to realise we DO have evidence of verses being arranged by the Prophet himself! I guess ignorance is bliss for Sam.

Firstly Al Azami, upon speaking of the Surahs and Verses, states:

It is commonly acknowledged that the arrangement of ayat (verses) and suras (chapters) in the Quran is unique. The layout does not follow the chronological order of revelation, nor does it follow subject matter.

Here is a narration (Hadith) which shows us verse insertion was carried out by the Prophet himself as Al Azami writes:

“Uthman states that whether the revelation consisted of lengthy, successive verses, or a single revelation in isolation the Prophet would summon one of his scribes and say, “Place this verse [of these verses] in the sura where such and such is mentioned”” [ Tirmidi Sunnan no 3086] [1]

Al Azami goes on to give further evidence of verse insertion being supervised by the Prophet (p) [1]. For our purposes of educating Green so he desists in spreading silly conspiracy theories this is sufficient.

I would also remind Green the Surahs were recited in daily prayers (and special Ramadan prayers) which meant the sequence of verses would have been agreed upon at the time of Prophet Muhammad. I mention this in order to pre-emptively quell any further unorthodox theories our friend Sam may have in mind.


[1] The History of The Quranic Text, M.M Al Azami, UK Islamic Academy, 2003 [pg 70-72]

1MoreMuslim Dismisses Samuel Green and his unorthodox ideas

1MoreMuslim makes a great refuting comment based on common sense and appeals to Sam's faculty of reason:

This verse is a madinah verse, not because the mention of fight, but rather for an obvious reason; the verse speaks about refugees. Muslims cannot be refugees before the Hijra to Medina. Are you not able to think?

The verse 126 begins with "IF" , God instruct how to retaliate in the future, IN CASE that the Muslims will have to, But God instructed them to be patient. So no fighting in there!

At this Sam Shamoun pops in to help Samuel Green and actually makes a half-decent point and manages to keep his calm; I guess all the critique of his attitude is paying dividends and the man is attempting to reform himself :

This verse is a madinah verse, not because the mention of fight, but rather for an obvious reason; the verse speaks about refugees. Muslims cannot be refugees before the Hijra to Medina. Are you not able to think?

Your argument doesn't follow since this verse can be referring to the Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia and sought asylum from the Negus. This event took place while Muhammad and the majority of Muslims still remained in Mecca.

So how do you know for certain this refers to the fugitives who settled in Medina?

However, Sam is soon shot down quite spectacularly by 1MoreMuslim:

To Sam;
"So how do you know for certain this refers to the fugitives who settled in Medina?"
Because those people are referred to as "Muhajirun"
And after all , what are you trying to prove? That Muhammad sent his followers to Abyssinia, and stayed in Makkah fighting, while living among the Mushrikeen? Was it a kind of street fight during the day, and when the night falls everybody go home? If you want to revise and rewrite history, try something believable.
Read the first and second comment to this article, you people can't understand an English Sentence, let alone the Hebrew and the Arabic.

Enter Samuel Green, I guess he must have felt a little silly at this point:

My point is, if we just read the sura 16, verse 110 flows with the rest of the sura, yet the sura is Meccan. What evidence do we have that Muhammad moved verses around?

My observation is simply this, that when Muslim scholars say different verses come from different periods within the one sura, it seems that they are trying to make the Qur'an fit into their reconstructed view of Muhammad's life. I cannot see any evidence for the idea that 110 verses in sura 16 are meccan and just one verse is medinan. I think the Qur'an is a better source for Muhammad's life and that the scholars are wrong.

1moremuslim, your argument is based on the scholars view of Muhammad's life. I am suggesting that this does not match up with the Qur'an at every point.

Note: Green’s quest for evidence of Muhammad (p) arranging verses has been satisfied in the article (see above), Green, embarrassingly, is still clinging onto his conspiracy theory which flies in the face of all expertise and scholarship. Samuel Green’s raison d’être, on this, evidence is to intimate unsupported and unorthodox claims and never back them up regardless of how silly he looks. 1MoreMuslim pours further admonition on our friend Green:

To Samuel Green:

Your whole argument is made of thin air, Be it Medinan or Meccan, Q 16:110 doesn't mention fighting AT ALL. The Arabic for fight is " Katalou" , but here we find the word "Jahadou" which means struggle and steadfast. You are committing a circular reasoning with ignorance: You are using a translation influenced by the idea that the verse is Medianan, and used that translation to prove that the verse is a Meccan.
Samuel, if you reject the view of the scholars and commentators, then you should translate the word "Jahadou" as Struggled, not fought.
David Wood, above, recommended M H Shakir translation, take his advice. It's not bad. You should remove this article and apologize for deceiving your readers.

1MoreMuslim also points out Samuel Green’s unwitting refutation of his fellow Christian critics! Welcome to the bizarre double-minded world of this particular band of internet fundamentalist-Christian apologists:

Samuel Green:
"My point is, if we just read the sura 16, verse 110 flows with the rest of the sura"

Thank you for that testimony Samuel, there have been critics which say that the Quran is incoherent

You can find 1MoreMuslim here:


There you have it folks. We have a Christian apologist in the form of Samuel Green ignoring all scholarship and authority and attempting to re-write history. I feel for Christians who support individuals with this type of disconnection from intellectual honesty and scholarship. For what it is worth I rebuke Samuel Green for this shoddy display of his and I join 1MoreMuslim in calling for Green to apologise.

All in all, I guess our friend, Green, is rather red (faced) now. Or should we coin a word from the limited vocabulary of his partner (Shamoun) and dismiss him as “pathetic”.

I want to further rebuke people like Samuel Green and ask them to focus on real issues related to salvation rather than wasting time on intellectually-dishonest ideas designed to have a poke at Muslims. Think!

Think: Jesus has a God and has brothers and sisters as well as a God.

I ask Green to focus on the One who Jesus was praying to (appendix 1). This is obviously God and a sincere Christian would be focussing on these issues which pertain to salvation and not idling time away in conjuring shoddy and unsupported theories

I invite Samuel Green and ALL Christians to worship the God whom Jesus worshipped. Obviously if Jesus has a God then he cannot possibly be God. Therefore common sense dictates we should do away with the claim of Jesus being God.

Christians, please think about it. This is extremely important. God does not want you to be worshipping a man. Look into the first commandment (Exodus 20)my friends and focus on your salvation rather than wasting time.

You shall have no other gods before Me (God)

I ask you to become Muslims and join us as the brothers of Jesus (appendix 2). Search for the Truth and the Truth shall free you. Learn more about the Truth here:


Appendix 1

Jesus (pbuh) praying to God in the Bible:

So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. (Mt 26:44) NIV

Jesus praying to his God in the gospel of Luke:

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. (Luke 6:12)

Appendix 2

Jesus has brothers and sisters (Mk3:35). Of course God does not have brothers or sister. These brothers and sisters of Jesus can ONLY be Muslims so please become a brother/sister of Jesus by becoming a Muslim:

Appendix 3

If you are Assyrian or Arab Christian and want some encouragement to convert to Islam (this is suitable for all Christians):

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

How Can God Die? (Acts 17 Apologetic's Claims are Debunked)

We post this response so Christians and Muslims can decide for themselves; who has the stronger arguments? Who has the Truth? The Muslims or the Christians?

We post BOTH sides of the argument. We are confident an individual of a sincere mindset will realise the Muslim position is the Truth. We also invite ALL to Islam.

So a Christian missionary group (acts 17 apologetics) attempted to convince Muslims to believe in a "man-god" and to preach their doctrines to Muislims. The Christian makes many absurd claims during the video; the purpose of the video was to correct the christian (David wood) on his claims. Here is a Muslim response (by Yahya Snow):


*The missionary claims Allah was in the fire (Quan 27:7-9). This is an unsupported claim. Discussed in the video. The missionary mentions this in order to convince Muslims of the Trinitarian Christian idea of a "man-god" (pagans were fond of "men-god" back in the days)

*The missionary also claims the Quran has two natures (physical and eternal). Muslims do not believe this. The missionary misunderstood the Muslim belief (deliberately?). The claim is debunked in the video.

*The video also highlights the fact that the missionary needs a bigger god. It points to the illogical nature of Christianity as well as the lack of reliability of Christian "proof-texts".

*The idea of God's love is discussed. In doing so we notice a contradiction within the Bible. We alos learn Allah is the Most Loving.

*The idea of God's Justice is discussed and we learn the god of Christianity is not just at all. Whilst Allah (God) is the Most Just.

*We also learn Jesus was praying to God (Allah) thus Jesus cannot possibly be God.

Here is Farhan's response to Acts 17 Apologetics (from the farhan00 channel):


Farhan begins with a stern rebuke of Acts 17 Aplogetics as he took umbrage to what he perceived to be dishonesty. You may be aware Nabeel Qureshi and his associates have been claiming Nabeel to be a former Muslim. Farhan states it is untrue as Nabeel was a former Ahmadi. (We invite Nabeel and his associates to be more honest in describing his former faith)

Farhan produces a fine general response and gives Christians real food for thought.

He considers it a downer for the Christian position to even claim God died; think about it - their belief does not follow logic. Acts 17 Apologetics are at loss in making the claim yet alone attempting a dubious support to their doctrine of God dying.

Here is Acts 17 Apologetics' original video (by David Wood):


David Wood attempts to utilize fallacious examples which he wrongly believed to be from Islamic theology in order to help Muslims relate to the doctrine of incarnation (idea of a man-god).

Wood uses the Gospel of John and does not teach us of the lack of reliabilty of the said Gospel.

Our general view is David Wood failed in his attempt to achieve his targets. We leave you to decide and we ask you to further your understanding of Islam:

Monday, 9 August 2010

Understanding Nabeel's Conversion Story: Intellectual? Spiritual? or Absurd?


It has come to my attention that Acts 17 Apologetics has been a little more than just honest with its readers - the question really is: have they been honest with themselves? What piqued my interest in this group is their audacious claims about the 'Islamization' of the West seeing how Muslims are in minority in these countries, though some places may be more densely populated than others. Nonetheless it wasn't difficult to see that a pattern was emerging in their lively jaunts throughout America. An interesting question popped up in my mind: "Why is it that the Acts 17 Team travels to events and places which are bound to be densely packed with Muslims? Why not go to an event where Muslims are a minority?" Though this is not the subject matter of the following essay I suggest all readers to deeply ponder over this question.

Understanding Nabeel's Conversion Story: Intellectual? Spiritual? or Absurd?

1.0 Introduction

I've always questioned Nabeel's honesty whenever he mentions his faith prior to his conversion to Christianity. Why? one may ask. Truth be told, I've never met a Muslim who has made an honest, intellectual and spiritual attempt to convert to Christianity for the 'right' reasons. The general trend is that young Muslims tend to cross over due to increased peer pressure from their environment or perceived supernatural experiences with natural phenomena such as dreams and 'visions'. Such events are subsequently taken as miracles or deliberate signs of a supernatural being working through his creation.

In Islam dreams and visions in themselves are meaningless unless stated otherwise by the Prophet Muhammad in his sayings, or Hadith. However, when Prophets of Islam dreamed they were usually 'revelations' or wahi. Therefore interpreting one's dreams was highly discouraged by the Prophet Muhammad and even sharing them among a group of people was an invitation to trouble. Like all good things, good dreams were gifts from Allah, which for others to hear would make them instantly envious. Bad dreams would be taken literally by the superstitious and therefore was forbidden by the Holy Prophet to place one's belief in such matters.

2.0 An Ahmadi Is Born

Here are a few excerpts from Nabeel Qureshi's conversion story that discuss his life and faith prior to his conversion to Christianity. The article can be found here.
My name is Nabeel. Born as a U.S. Citizen in California, I was raised by devout Muslim parents. My mother and father are immigrants from Pakistan and among the most dedicated Muslims I have ever known. My father was an officer in the U.S. Navy, and because of his career I have lived up and down the Atlantic Coast in the United States, as well as in the U.K.
From that time on, my life as a Muslim was used as a model for all the children in the local Islamic communities. Every morning, as soon as my eyes opened, I recited the prayer that was to be read upon waking, thanking Allah for saving me from the death of sleep and for giving me another day to live.
I loved Islam with all my heart. The reason for this was not only that Islam was the religion of my parents (though this was surely a factor), but for two other reasons. First, as I had learned it, Islam was a very peaceful religion[1] that taught me to worship God Almighty, and because of this, my family’s devoted practice was not in vain: we were the happiest and most tightly-knit family that I (and many of my friends) had ever seen. Second, I had learned to defend Islam using reason and evidence. My parents taught me never to believe anything blindly, and as such they provided me with an apologetic stance on Islam (i.e. one that focuses on reason and evidence as a defense of the faith). Being naturally inquisitive, I greatly appreciated this approach to religion.
Islam was not just my religion, it was the whole structure of my life. Born into and raised in Islam, it was my heart’s blood. Laying the foundation for how a youth should live, Islam was the framework and the blueprint of my life. Edified by apologetics, I challenged its opponents and called everyone else to it. It was here, standing atop the minaret of Islamic life, that Christ called out to me.
Aside from the articles' embellished jargon and enlightening prose I see several problems with these parts of his story:

[1] Nabeel Qureshi was an Ahmadi, never a Muslim and therefore would have been greatly ostracized from most of the 'Islamic communities' that he claims to have held him in the highest regards as a Muslim role model. Evidence for Nabeel Qureshi's Ahmadi faith prior to his conversion can be seen here (kindly watch from 0:00 to 5:55). His use of generic terms such as 'Islam', 'Muslim', and 'Islamic communities' are tell-tale signs of his dishonesty. Ahmadis barely make up 1% of Earth's Islamic populace and consider all those who reject Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as Jesus reincarnate to be kaffirs or nonbelievers. That would make more than 99% of all Muslim inhabitants of Earth to be nonbelievers. This is absurd, considering that the Prophet Muhammad prophesied that the 'majority' of Muslims would be the ones on the straight path. Ahmadis are not a majority anywhere.

[2] Why did Nabeel fail to make a distinction between the Ahmadiyya movement and Islam in its purest form as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad within the article? This is disconcerting, seeing how Christians are being fooled into believing that Nabeel's beliefs were rightly Islamic.

[3] Nabeel states that the Islam he had been taught by his elders was a 'peaceful religion' (denoted by [1]), in contrast to the violent extremism that occurs in war-torn countries such as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and many other 3rd world Muslim countries. To me, it seems, that Nabeel is pointing fingers at all Muslims - except for Ahmadis - for having violent convictions in their faith. We challenge him to produce a written piece that supports evidence of his claim which we'll gladly post on our site.  According to a well-known Jewish religious historian and critic of Islam, Bernard Lewis states the following in his book Islam, The Religion and the People (taken from here, note: we've only listed 5 out of 6 points to stay on topic):

1. "At no time did the (Muslim) jurist approve of terrorism. Nor indeed is there any evidence of the use of terrorism (in Islamic tradition)."

2. "Muslims are commanded not to kill women, children, or the aged; not to torture or otherwise ill-treat prisoners; to give fair warning of the opening hostilities; and to honor agreements."

3. "The emergence of the now widespread terrorism practice of suicide bombing is a development of the 20th century. It has no antecedents in Islamic history, and no justification in terms of Islamic theology, law, or tradition. It is a pity that those who practice this form of terrorism are not better acquainted with their own religion, and with the culture that grew up under the auspices of that religion."

4. "The fanatical warrior offering his victims the choice of the Koran or the word is not only untrue, it is impossible."

5. "Generally speaking, Muslim tolerance of unbelievers was far better than anything available in Christendom, until the rise of secularism in the 17th century."

[4] Nabeel claims that his parents taught him not to believe in anything blindly, but strangely he's ready to accept a 'dream' and a 'vision' - which are hardly evidences of Divine communication for a believing Muslim (discussed below).

3.0 Has Christianity Changed? To Put it Bluntly, Yes

Nabeel then goes on to discuss his fascination with Christianity, and how he met David Wood. Here are just a few of the most important excerpts from the passage, Christianity Challenged:
In August of 2001, I made a new acquaintance by the name of David Wood. Although he was a Christian and I a Muslim, we quickly became close companions due to our common set of morals. One evening I found him reading the Bible. This was very surprising. As a Muslim, I had read the Qur’an every day for most of my life, but I had never seen a Christian seriously reading a Bible in his free time. My interest piqued by this chance encounter, I decided to see how much he really knew about the Bible.
I challenged David, stating that no reasonable person could trust the Bible. As a Muslim, I knew that the Qur’an was the uncorrupted word of God transmitted from God Himself, through the Prophet of Islam. And although the Qur’an says that the Gospels (al-Injeel) were given by God, they had been irretrievably modified and corrupted in the centuries after Jesus. Why else would there be so many versions of the Bible throughout history, with constant editions and revisions even today? I advocated the position that Christ never claimed to be God, but rather that Christians had forged all verses that would indicate such a claim. And without a divinely inspired book worth trusting, Christians have no ground to stand on. False ideas were introduced into Christianity by power-hungry followers such as Paul, a self-proclaimed "apostle," and others like him.
 So when he heard this argument, he wasn’t overcome by its logic (as I had assumed) but instead was shocked that I had decided to enter into such a discussion without any prodding of his own. And so began our series of informal debates about the truth of Islam versus Christianity, as well as my intellectual journey towards the throne of Christ.
David’s response to my argument ran as follows. First, while there are indeed many variations of the Bible obtained from more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts, there is such a large amount of early manuscript evidence and such a concordance between those manuscripts that we can reconstruct the Bible and be certain of about 95% of the original content. Second, no doctrine of the Bible is in jeopardy by any of the variations. Third, there are so many quotations of and references to the New Testament from the ancient world that we can reconstruct practically all of it from early quotations alone. Fourth, there are multiple fragments of manuscripts that can be dated to within a couple of centuries after Christ’s death which we have in our possession even now (the earliest dating to less than 100 years after Christ, 125 AD). Fifth, he claimed that whole copies of the Bible are available from around three centuries after Christ’s death. Finally, the previously mentioned estimate of 95% accuracy was a conservative one; in actuality it is closer to 98 or 99%.
Blown away by the overwhelmingly convincing argument he provided, I determined that he had made it all up, and I decided to investigate the issue myself. The result of my investigation was that there is no evidential reason to believe that the modern editions of the New Testament are in any way substantially different from the original autographs themselves. To challenge the scriptural integrity of the New Testament after sincere investigation is to reflect a bias against it.
What's surprising is how Nabeel, who used to be a so-called Muslim, approached David Wood on the topic of Christianity and Islam:

[1] No true Muslim would ever challenge a Christian by stating, "no reasonable person could trust the Bible", especially to his own Christian friend. If Nabeel had read the Qur'an in its entirety he would have known that it's forbidden to make fun of, or mock another person's faith. The statement may have not have seemed brash at the time due to their close friendship, but even then, to pass such judgement is usually frowned upon by Muslims and non-Muslims. Considering that Nabeel was the 'Muslim child' his parents were proud of, he should have started the discussion differently.

[2] If you carefully peruse over David's arguments, he claims that despite the existence of variations in the Bible throughout the centuries, reconstruction is required. Once this task is finished one may be 98-99% certain that the Bible's content remains uncontested, but the question is: according to whom? David Wood?

There are several sub-points that need to be made:
  • Nabeel stated that his parents had brought him up not to accept anything without doing original research and investigating claims personally. Why  did Nabeel pass the following bold and audacious statement?: "no reasonable person could trust the Bible". He mentioned generalities such as Paul introducing new ideas, and the Bible having its text changed over centuries but nothing entirely specific. Did Nabeel not do his research as said he was taught? 
  • The Bible requires reconstruction while the Qur'an does not. The Qur'an has remained with Muslims in its original form, untouched down to its very letter. It is neither a point of contention among the Islamic 'Ulema' (religious authorities) or western religious historians. Contextual criticism is virtually nonexistent in the Islamic faith.
  • David states that according to most recent estimates we can be '98-99%' certain about the contents of the Bible, which is a ludicrous claim. To say one is '98-99%' certain about the preservation of religious scripture is akin to setting up a statistical hypothesis test to verify the Bible's divine authorship. For arguments sake we agree with David Wood but that would then mean that he's at least 1% uncertain about the Bible's preservation. The fact is, the Bible has not remained intact since it was revealed to mankind and there is no official report on the percentage of its preservation.
[3] How did Nabeel know that the Qur'an remained as the uncorrupted word of God if he had no proof to back his claims? Why didn't he discuss the relevant information regarding the Qur'an's preservation just as how David discussed his perspective? Doesn't his Christian audience have the right to know his side of the argument?

[4] Nabeel does admit that there are many fragments of manuscripts that date back to 125 A.D, but lest he knows very few manuscripts survived the 70 A.D destruction of Jerusalem. Once again, unlike the Bible, the Qur'an does not require reconstruction to verify its contents. This lessens the uncertainty of its preservation to nil, whereas the Bible's remains undisputed: it has changed.

4.0 'Cruci-fiction' and Prophet-hood, vs. God-hood  

What could be more unfair then to superimpose one's beliefs on religious text and then claim it to be truth? Lets delve in a little further and see how Nabeel dealt with David's arguments:
After being satisfied that the New Testament is trustworthy, I decided to take David to task on a different point. Nowhere, ever, did Christ claim that He was the literal Son of God, let alone God Himself. Christ, being the Messiah for Muslims as well as Christians, was a holy man. How dare the Christians ascribe such hubris to one of the greatest men of history, especially when He never claimed divinity in the Gospels themselves!

This discussion took more time than the first. David’s claim was that Christ did say that He was the Son of God, though He didn’t run around proclaiming it from the rooftops, as this would have gotten Him killed immediately. Here is some of the evidence David offered.
In the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesied that a child would be born who would be called "Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6). But this isn’t the only Old Testament support for the deity of Christ. Jesus’s most common title for Himself was "Son of Man," which referred back to a prophecy in the book of Daniel:
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (vv. 7:14-15, NIV)
According to the New Testament, Jesus was worshiped shortly after His birth (Matthew 2:11), during His ministry (Matthew 14:33; John 9:38), and after His resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:9, 28:17; Luke 24:52), yet He never told his worshipers to stop what they were doing. Jesus claimed to have existed before Abraham (who lived in the 18th century BC). When asked whether He was the Son of God, He answered, "I am . . . And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:62). Jesus also claimed to be the final Judge of all mankind (Matthew 25-31-32).
After actually reading parts of the New Testament itself instead of merely reading Muslim books on the topic, I came to agree with David’s claim: both the New Testament in general and Christ Himself claimed that Jesus is God.

[1] Nabeel was initially correct: the Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament never states that Jesus is God. In fact, if we take another look, there is no unequivocal statement where Jesus proclaims to be God; the Creator, the Sustainer, the Provider for all mankind.  David takes on the affirmative, believing there is evidence that Jesus claimed divinity but in such a way that he used subtle nuances in his speech to escape persecution and death.

Here are some sub-points you may want to consider:
  • All Mighty God, who's spirit was contained within an earthly carbon-based biped vessel had to be careful with his words to avoid certain death and persecution according to David Wood. This idea is entirely concocted by David Wood and is not cited as an argument by any major Biblical scholar.
  • All Mighty God was given birth to, had his prepuce removed, and was afraid of proclaiming his divinity for fear of death.
    [2] David then cites 'evidence' of Jesus' so-called divinity, most notably Isaiah 9:6, which reads, "for to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." According to David, this is the hallmark of the Christian Bible; the one-needed phrase that allegedly proves Jesus's divinity, despite the 1% uncertainty about the preservation of the Bible. 

    Some sub-points will make it clear that this isn't the only passage in the Bible that exclusively gives man divine privileges:
    • Psalm 82:6 (NIV) -  "I said, 'You are all gods; you are all sons of the Most High."
    • Exodus 4:22 (NIV) - "Thus saith Jehovah, Israel is my son, even my firstborn." 
    This should therefore make it clear that (vv. 7:14-15, NIV) has no distinct importance.
    [3] Nabeel claims that baby Jesus was 'worshiped' by those around him shortly after his birth in Matthew 2:11, but how far this is from the truth. If we read some contemporary commentaries we see that within historical context, the word 'worshiped' carries a different connotation than it does than today:

    Geneva Study Bible:

    And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and {h} fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their {i} treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

    (h) A kind of humble and lovely reverence.
    (i) The rich and costly presents, which they brought him.

    Wesley's Notes:

    2:11 They presented to him gifts - It was customary to offer some present to any eminent person whom they visited. And so it is, as travellers observe, in the eastern countries to this day. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh - Probably these were the best things their country afforded; and the presents ordinarily made to great persons. This was a most seasonable, providential assistance for a long and expensive journey into Egypt, a country where they were entirely strangers, and were to stay for a considerable time.

    ....To Be Continued