Answering Infidel Shamoun on the Lie of Bible Preservation.

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Answering Infidel Shamoun

Part One

Written by Abdullah Smith

 

 

The sub-human Shamoun had deliberately lied in his public debate with Shabir Ally regarding the so-called preservation of Bible manuscripts, the allegation is unsupported by historical evidence. In fact, the evidence proves contrary to Shamoun’s delusions and theories. The infidel Shamoun said “Christians died to preserve the Bible manuscripts”. Yet early Christians failed to preserve the manuscripts from destruction. There are many facts about the New Testament which Shamoun is totally ignorant of. The Christians had no desire to preserve the autographs because they strongly believed Jesus would return shortly, there was no need to preserve the Christian scriptures; they relied on oral tradition and not written material.

 

At first, the Christian community expected an imminent return of Christ. We are told that during the first century AD, the Christian community looked forward to the imminent return of Christ in glory and the establishment of the Kingdom. This hope carried on in the second century. When the second coming failed to occur, the church organized itself as a permanent institution under the leadership of its bishops(Misha’al Ibn Abdullah Al-Kadhi, What Did Jesus Really Say? [online Source] 

Second Thessalonians was forged in Paul’s name shortly after his death or during the late stages of his imprisonment in Rome. Scholars believe it was written to offset the disappointment and unrest then rising in the Christian community resulting from the unfulfilled promise of an imminent second coming (2 Thes. 2:1-8). (Eddy, Patricia G., Who Tampered With the Bible?, p. 184)


During the early years of Christianity, the sayings of Jesus passed orally, and subsequently translated into Greek. Jesus spoke the language of Aramaic, a dialect of Arabic which was not commonly written. And the sayings of Jesus were circulated by his earliest followers in Aramaic, decades before the Pauline Church translated the Hebrew gospels into Greek.

 

In 325 A.D., the famous Council of Nicea was held. The doctrine of the Trinity was declared to be the official doctrine of the Pauline Church, and one of the consequences of this decision was that out of the three hundred or so Gospels exant at the time, four were chosen as the official Gospels of the Church. The remaining Gospels, including the Gospel of Barnabas, were ordered to be destroyed completely. It was also decided that all Gospels written in Hebrew should be destroyed. An edict was issued stating that anyone found in possession of an unauthorised Gospel would be put to death. This was the first well-organized attempt to remove all the records of Jesus’ original teaching, whether in human beings or books, which contradicted the doctrine of Trinity. (Muhammad Ataur-Rahim, Jesus Prophet Jesus of Islam, 1992 edition, p. 40)

 

The Jesus Seminar contends that Jesus’ original sayings were lost forever; the only records are the translations, the four Gospels, selected from a table of forgeries. The Pauline Church destroyed the Hebrew gospels of the Ebionites, eradicating the original sayings of Jesus. Only the four Gospels were accepted and the rest were destroyed as apocryphal forgeries. How do we know the Gospels are not also forgeries? The reason why the Church selected these Gospels is because they were favored by the Church fathers Origen, Clement, and Iranaeus.

 

Logically, the preservation of Bible manuscripts depends on the reliability of the early Christian community, yet the Church never considered the written Gospel to be authentic. The oral tradition is equally unreliable for obvious reasons, so the preservation of the Gospel is unstable.

"It is well known that the primitive Christian Gospel was initially transmitted by word of mouth and that this oral tradition resulted in variant reporting of word and deed. It is equally true that when the Christian record was committed to writing it continued to be the subject of verbal variation. Involuntary and intentional, at the hands of scribes and editors" Peake's Commentary on the Bible, p. 633

"The original copies of the NT books have, of course, long since disappeared. This fact should not cause surprise. In the first place, they were written on papyrus, a very fragile and perishable material. In the second place, and probably of even more importance, the original copies of the NT books were not looked upon as scripture by those of the early Christian communities." [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 1, pp. 599 (Under Text NT)]

"Many thousands of the variants which are found in the MSS of the NT were put there deliberately. They are not merely the result of error or of careless handling of the text. Many were created for theological or dogmatic reasons (even though they may not affect the substance of Christian dogma). It is because the books of the NT are religious books, sacred books, canonical books, that they were changed to conform to what the copyist believed to be the true reading. (ibid, p. 594)

The Church fathers preferred oral tradition over written works:

 

But I shall not be unwilling to put down, along with my interpretations, whatsoever instructions I received with care at any time from the elders, and stored up with care in my memory, assuring you at the same time of their truth. (The Fragments of Papias, online Source)

The oral tradition lasted to the 3rd century, and suddenly stopped. Many legends and false sayings were attributed to Jesus after his departure, especially by the Catholic Church:

 

When, therefore, enterprising spirits responded to this natural craving by pretended Gospels full of romantic fables and fantastic and striking details, their fabrications were eagerly read and largely accepted as true by common folk who were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity. Both Catholics and Gnostics were concerned in writing these fictions. The former had no other motive than that of a pious fraud. . . . But the heretical apocryphists, while gratifying curiosity, composed spurious Gospels in order to trace backward their beliefs and peculiarities to Christ Himself. (Catholic Encyclopedia, online Source)

 

LYINGLY FOUNDED on forgery upon forgery, as has been made manifest by manifold admissions and proofs, the Church of Christ perpetuated itself and consolidated its vast usurped powers, and amassed amazing wealth, by a series of further and more secular forgeries and frauds unprecedented in human history – faintly approximated only by its initial forgeries of the fundamental gospels and epistles of the "New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," and of the countless other forged religious documents which we have so far reviewed. (Joseph Wheless, Forgery in Christianity, p. 196)

 

"In the four Gospels, therefore, the main documents to which we must go if we are to fill-out at all that bare sketch which we can put together from other sources, we find material of widely differing quality as regards credibility. So far-reaching is the element of uncertainty that it is tempting to 'down tools' at once, and to declare the task hopeless. The historical inconsistencies and improbabilities in parts of the Gospels form some of the arguments advanced in favor of the Christ-myth theory. These are, however, entirely outweighed- as we have shown- by other considerations. Still the discrepancies and uncertainties that remain are serious- and consequently many moderns who have no doubt whatever of Jesus' real existence, regard as hopeless any attempt to dissolve out of the historically-true from the legendary or mythical matter which the Gospels contain, and to reconstruct the story of Jesus' mission out of the more historical residue." Mr. C.J. Cadoux "The life of Jesus"

 

Victor Tununenis, an African bishop of the sixth century, wrote a chronicle ending at the year 566. It records that in the year 506 at Constantinople, by order of Emperor Anastasius, “the holy Gospels were censured and corrected”. One of the Church Fathers, a Bishop Dionysius, complained that even his own writings “had been falsified by apostles of the devil”. No wonder, he added “that the Scriptures too were falsified by such persons”. Even Origen had noted that already the differences between copies of the Gospels in his day were “considerable”, partly because of the carelessness of individual scribes but also partly because of the impious audacity of “those who added or removed what seemed good to them in the work of ‘correction’. (Tom Harper, The Pagan Christ, p. 36)

 

"Orthodox theologians were tempted, by the assurance of impunity, to compose fictions, which must be stigmatized with the epithets of fraud and forgery. They ascribed their own polemical works to the most venerable names of Christian antiquity." (Edward Gibbon, History of Christianity, p. 598)

 

The Christian scriptures were destroyed by Diocletian in 303 CE, and the Gospels were changed in the year 506 CE. Also, one million Christians were put to death under Athanasius for possessing forbidden gospels. The Christians themselves burned the Ancient Wisdom and destroyed libraries, at least 15,000,000 books were destroyed in the Middle Ages:

 

“…The darkness fell, and for two thousand years it covered the Western world. All the wisdom-knowledge of the ages was burned in the market place; the “light of the world” had triumphed and the light of reason died. As Canon Farrar said: “The triumph of Latin theology was the death of rational exegesis”. This is hindsight; those with foresight might well have anticipated Early Grey: “The lights are going out all over Europe”. In the light of these facts, the “tyrants” Nero, Tiberius, Domitian, seem less monstrous; indeed they stand out as the defenders of truth. They tried to save the world from two thousand years of ignorance, but that ignorance was too much for them. They found themselves accused of the very things they tried to prevent, riot, arson, rebellion. The Christian priesthood, inheriting the libelous cunning and libelous cunning of its Semitic prototype, caused the burning and the fighting and blamed them on its enemies. Whether it burned Rome or not, it burned the truth and that is worse. (Lloyd Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, pp. 443)

 

The New Testament canon of 27 books was not officially established until the year 367 CE, the epistle of Athanasius listed the books in the same order we have them today. Subsequently, the NT books were canonized at the Council of Hippo (393 CE) and the Council of Carthage (397 CE) in North Africa. Today, the Churches around the world have different canons, and beliefs.

 

The idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning, that is from Apostolic times, has no foundation in history. The Canon of the New Testament, like that of the Old, is the result of a development, of a process at once stimulated by disputes with doubters, both within and without the Church, and retarded by certain obscurities and natural hesitations, and which did not reach its final term until the dogmatic definition of the Tridentine Council. (Catholic Encyclopedia, online Source)

 

God's words have been very liberally censored, edited, revised, glossed, and rewritten by human hands. The Bible, it must be remembered- and this applies to both the Old and New Testament. This list was ratified by the Church Council of Hippo in 393 and again by the Council of Carthage four years later. At these councils a selection was agreed upon. Certain works were assembled to form the New Testament. This list was ratified by the Church Council of Hippo in 393 and again by the Council of Carthage four years later. At these councils a selection was agreed upon. Certain works were assembled to form the New Testament as we know it today, and others were cavalierly ignored. How could a conclave of clerics infallibly decide that certain books "belonged" in the Bible while others did not? Especially when some of the excluded books have a perfectly valid claim to historical veracity? As it exists today, moreover, the Bible is not only a product of a more or less arbitrary selective process. It has also been subjected to some fairly drastic editing, censorship, and revision. (Michael Baigent, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, p. 318)

 

Today the vast majority of Christians assume that the New Testament accurately reflects the authentic words and teachings of Jesus. It is also the case, however, that the vast majority of Christians are unaware of the historical processes behind the formation of the New Testament canon. Many do not realise that there was a time when the New Testament canon (i.e., an authoritative collection of books) simply did not exist. Jesus did not write the New Testament; neither did he instruct his followers to write a New Testament. Thus, the New Testament canon did not come into being by the direct instruction of Jesus, nor of anyone so authorised by him. In fact, there is no one person, Church Council or Christian community which can claim to have originated the canon of the New Testament. The canonicity of many books of the New Testament were still being vigorously debated hundreds of years after the departure of Jesus, and, in fact, this debate continues to this very day. [1]

Why are there so many Bible versions? The affixed New Testament canon of the West relies on the 26th edition of Nestle Aland’s Greek text, the RSV (1952) and NIV (1972) are based on the Greek text derived from Westcott and Hort’s New Testament (1881), which is based on the Codex Sinaiticus (450 CE), the oldest Greek manuscript. This is the lineage of the NIV, and Shamoun is totally ignorant of these facts. The history of the King James Version is complicated, it was produced by a group of 54 scholars in 1611, and the English translation is derived from Erasmus’s Textus Receptus (1522), it represents the Byzantine text whereas the NIV represents the Alexandrian text. How many Christians know these facts?

 

The pre-Nicene manuscripts are not identical with the manuscripts written after the Council.

 

The events of the Council of Nicea indicate that the Pauline Church had every reason to change the four Gospels which survived. Clearly, the manuscript of the New Testament which were written after the Council of Nicea are different from the manuscripts which existed before the Council. It is significant that publication of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, when they do not verify the post-Nicene manuscripts, have been withheld. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus Prophet of Islam, 1992 edition, p. 196)

 

According to Greek philosopher Celsus, the early Christians deliberately altered the Gospels.

 

“Some of them, as it were in a drunken state producing self-induced visions, remodel their Gospel from its first written form, and reform it so that they may be able to refute the objections brought against it” (Lloyd Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, p. 445)

 

The Church father Tertullian also confesses:

 

You have now our answer to the Antitheses compendiously indicated by us. I pass on to give a proof of the Gospel -not, to be sure, of Jewry, but of Pontus-having become meanwhile adulterated; and this shall indicate the order by which we proceed. (Against Marcion, Book IV, online Source)

 

Tertullian notes that a Christian sect of his day "does not receive certain Scriptures; and whichever of them it does receive, it perverts by means of additions and diminutions, for the accomplishment of it[s] own purpose; and such as it does receive, it receives not in their entirety; but even when it does receive any up to a certain point as entire, it nevertheless perverts even these by the contrivance of diverse Interpretations." [1]

 

The MSS of the New Testament date from the 3rd century; and the oldest “complete” manuscripts date from the late 4th century, only fragments exist before the year 325 CE!

 

The Pauline letters are the earliest Christian documents (50-64 CE), yet the oldest manuscripts of Paul date from the 3rd century! The four Gospels were composed in the 2nd century, yet the oldest manuscript is John Rylands P52, a tiny fragment!

 

The NT was composed in Greek, the pagan language of Rome. But did Jesus ever visit Rome? The answer is no. There is no historical evidence to prove that Peter visited Rome and established the Church. Jesus never said anything about Rome being the center of his teachings.

 

Paul, the founder of Christianity, abolished the Law and concocted a new religion based on “faith and grace”. Yet Jesus said salvation comes through “prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21, James 2:26). The early Church selected books that favored the teachings of Paul, and destroyed the Hebrew Scriptures, which contained the true sayings of Jesus. The Jewish Christians were persecuted and exiled because they followed Jesus. Today the religion of Christianity should be called Paulianity.

 

 

Let us expose the following facts:

 

There was not a single Gospel written during Jesus’ life,

 

Jesus never ordered his followers to write a gospel about him 

 

The Church has failed to prove the Gospels existed before 150 CE.

 

The Hebrew gospels contained the original sayings of Jesus

 

The true sayings of Jesus were lost and destroyed

 

The Gospels are not based on eye-witness accounts.

 

We only have fragments of the New Testament prior to the year 325 CE.

 

The Gospels have no chain of transmission; the disciples were dead before any Gospel was written

 

The Gospels are anonymous documents

 

There is no reference to the Gospels by name until 200 CE.

 

There are no passages quoted by the early Church fathers (Papias, Polycarp, Clement, Ignatius, Justin Martyr).

 

The apologist Justin Martyr (d. 150 CE) speaks of events that are not recorded in the Gospels.

 

There is a 450 year gap between the originals and the oldest manuscripts, the Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.

 

The original manuscripts do not exist, the Church failed to preserve the autographs.

 

The New Testament was reproduced in the late 4th century.

 

The NT canon was not fixed until 400 years after Jesus

 

The most doubted books of the NT include: 2 Peter, 2 3 John, James, Jude, Hebrews, Revelations, 1 2 Timothy, Titus. These books have been doubted by the Church fathers, and they are still questioned today.

 


We conclude this article by exposing the Gospels some more:


The Gospels were composed after the early Christians had become divided into different factions. They were in fact composed to propagate the special teachings     of the various schools and their authors showed no hesitation in tampering with      the earlier documents and other traditional material regarding the life and teaching of Jesus to bring them in line with the views of their schools. (Ulfat Aziz-us-Samad, International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations, Islam and Christianity, p. 5)

“Thus Gospels were produced which clearly reflected the conception of the practical needs of the community for which they were written. In them the traditional material was used, but these was no hesitation in altering it or making additions to it, or in leaving out what did not suit the writer’s purpose. (T.G. Tuncker: The History of the Christians in the Light of Modern Knowledge, p. 320)

“…The Gospels, however, were religious dramas used for worship and as a form of evangelism. They were meant not to impart history but to buttress and convey belief. The editor of John’s Gospel (the least historical of them all) boldly and honestly states his aims in the text itself when he says, “But these things are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah”. The goal is to establish the faithful and to create new converts, not to create an authentic biography. (Tom Harper, The Pagan Christ, p. 126)

 

The Gospels were written by people more interested in a living Lord present in their midst than in Jesus the historical man from Nazareth. Many scholars now hold that much of what is placed on the lips of Jesus in the Gospels was put there by Gospel writers (just as the writers of Hellenistic history placed speeches on the lips of famous persons). It is really the understanding that Gospels are faith documents that has led to what is called the “quest for the historical Jesus”. (Bonnie Thurston, Women in the New Testament, p. 63)

 

 

 

 

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