Posted by Zia Shah
Written and collected by Zia H Shah
The earliest surviving manuscripts of the New Testament go back to only the fourth century. The surviving manuscripts from the second century are incomplete. In the 5500 ancient manuscripts discovered so far, no two are alike. Scholars have pointed to more than 30,000 deficiencies in just 100 of these manuscripts. If we take all 5500 manuscripts into consideration, there are perhaps more than 300,000 mistakes or at least more mistakes in them than there are words in the New Testament. Yet the believing and the disbelieving textual critics of the New Testament and their Christian fans, keep debating each other about the Bible and are not paying attention to the Holy Quran, which prophesied its eternal preservation, when the Muslims were a small persecuted minority struggling for her very survival in Mecca:
Indeed, We (Allah) Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian. (Al Quran 15:10)
So, one wonders, why are the Christians so penny wise and pound foolish? One wonders, when will the Christians start reading the Holy Quran? Prof. Phillip Cary, professor of Christian theology, in his lecture series for the Teaching Company course on the Christian theology, stated that Christianity is an obsession with the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Perhaps, it is not easy to give up obsessions especially if they come with a free ticket to heaven. I believe they need strong intellectual jolt to bring them out of their fog and slumber. When the Christian apologists debate atheists regarding the Bible or other topics, the Muslims are seldom invited. So, here is a strategy to wake up our Christian brethren and sisters from their slumber. Muslim women, with their Hijab should picket such debates with displays of one liners about the Holy Quran and related topics. It is easy to know about such debates on University campuses and in other places and picketing should be organized in a friendly and a peaceful manner:
We can find precedence for us from civil rights movement and Vietnam war protests:
Bart D. Ehrman (born 1955) is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While Ehrman is a leading New Testament scholar, he has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring four New York Times bestsellers. His best-known works at the popular level are Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted. Ehrman’s work focuses on New Testament textual criticism and early Christianity.
Below is an interesting debate between Prof. Ehrman and Prof. Daniel Wallace. Wallace is the Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) and Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the senior New Testament editor for the NET Bible and has traveled around the world preserving Greek New Testament manuscripts. Ehram takes Wallace, who is a Christian apologist, to task and for good reasons:
It should be easy to look up the speaking engagements of Prof. Bart Ehrman and use these as opportunities to introduce Islam in America. In a similar fashion one can pick and choose suitable scholars and debators in different Western countries for special attention, by the Muslim women with Hijab and suitable posters with one liners.
Many a Biblical scholars fail to see the forest as they focus on individual trees. So, here is a word about the big picture, atheists and agnostics are right in exposing the irrationality of the Christian dogma. However, the Christians are right in as far as their claim that there needs to be a Creator of this universe, Who employed natural means to do His work. However, both parties in their self-conceit are not listening to how Islam resolves their conflict; Islam as understood by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.