[A], [B], [C]
Johnny Bravo has "responded" to my critique of his paper regarding the accuracy of the NT. I have decided to answer to his assertions, yet in no particular order. But before doing so, I would first like to apologize to our readers for wasting their time. I know that it can get rather tiresome to read lengthy responses to issues that have already been addressed. Yet I felt it necessary to respond to Bravo's points in order to expose the weakness in his arguments and the inconsistency in his methodology.
|References:||Sam Shamoun's original rebuttal to Johnny Bravo's article <<
Johnny Bravo's response|
In this article I will deal with issues brought up in Johnny Bravo's response, Part 2.
Note: In his current response Johnny Bravo now writes under the name of Usman Sheikh. We will, however, continue to refer to him under his originally chosen name.
With that said, I do hope that our readers will appreciate what I have to say here in defense of God's perfect Word, the Holy Bible. We now begin our rebuttal by God's sovereign grace:
ABSTRACT: The Christian missionary Sam Shamoun, has written a series of "rebuttals" to my compilation of various citations dealing with the unreliability of the New Testament. In brief, Mr. Shamoun is attempting to respond to the compilation of various citations of New Testament scholars that can be found in: "Christian Scholars Refuting the Status of the NT as An Inspired Scripture" [*] [*]
This is my rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's second part of his response to my article. As earlier mentioned in the introduction, the missionary Sam Shamoun did not have the courtesy to inform me that he had written "rebuttals" to my article. I have therefore decided to follow his example and will thus allow the Holy Ghost god to lead him to my rebuttals through divine surfing.
Bravo should have said that this was his attempt of writing what he considers to be a rebuttal. We will see that he didn't rebut much apart from knocking down some straw men and employing other related fallacies.
Bravo accuses me of failing to inform him of my rebuttal. Yet, Bravo fails to inform his readers that he never informed me of his original writing, especially since he mentions me in his paper. And yes, by God's Spirit I did find his "rebuttal." But since I don't have much confidence in the ability of his god to inform him of my responses, I have taken the liberty to inform Bravo myself.
This second article by Sam deals with the issue of the BAD, LOW and STYLISTICALLY IMPERFECT GREEK of the Christian Bible. Of course, the missionary does not deny that his scriptures are written in bad, low and stylistically imperfect Greek, he has merely excuses to offer in order to legitimize the bad Greek of his scriptures! So I wonder why did he even bother to write this article, when clearly we both agree that the Christian Bible is in a bad, low and a stylistically imperfect Greek! Sam is attempting to respond to the following citations which I included in my article:
"In contrast to the stylistic perfection of the Kur'an with the stylistic imperfections of the older Scriptures the Muslim theologian found himself unknowingly and on purely postulative grounds in agreement with long line of Christian thinkers whose outlook on the Biblical text is best summed up in Nietzsche's brash dictum that the Holy Ghost wrote bad Greek." [B Lewis, V L Menage, Ch. Pellat & J Schacht (Editors), Encyclopedia Of Islam (New Edition): 1971, Volume III, E J Brill (Leiden) & Luzac & Co. (London), pp. 1020 (Under I'djaz).]
"In Christianity, besides, the apology for the "low" style of the Bible is merely a part of educational problem - what to do with secular erudition within Christianity; whereas in Islam, the central position of the Kur'an, as the focal point and justification of grammatical and literary studies, was theoretically at least, never contested within the believing community." [B Lewis, V L Menage, Ch. Pellat & J Schacht (Editors), Encyclopedia Of Islam (New Edition): 1971, Volume III, E J Brill (Leiden) & Luzac & Co. (London), pp. 1020 (Under I'djaz).]
As I mention above, Sam does not contradict these citations. He does not accuse me of distorting the above citations, misquoting them and misinterpreting them. Rather, Sam quite happily and eagerly agrees with the above observations! Thus one wonders why is he wasting our time, he could have just written a one line article with the following content: "Yes Bravo, I agree that my scriptures are in a bad, low and stylistically imperfect Greek." Well, this missionary's article is basically a frank admission of this claim, but nevertheless he wants to legitimize the imperfection of his scriptures and at the end, after admitting all that I said in my article, he decides to have a go at the Quran, which is rather entertaining.
It seems that Bravo missed the point. My admitting that certain books of the NT were written in "bad" Greek doesn't lead to Bravo's desired conclusion. Christians have never been bothered by the fact that certain writers exhibited a very basic level or lack of familiarity with Greek grammar. The following citations from the early Church Fathers, taken from Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, Hendrickson Publishers, Massachusetts, 1998, edited by David W. Bercot, affirm this point. All bold and capital emphasis mine:
Renouncing the error of your fathers, you should read the prophecies of the sacred writers, not expecting to find in them polished diction. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.288. (p. 603)
I was led to put faith in the Scriptures by the unpretentious nature of the language, the candid character of the writers, and the foreknowledge displayed of future events. Tatian (c. 160, E), 2.77. (Ibid.)
The divinity of the Scripture - which extends to all of it - is not [lost] because of the inability of our weakness to discover in every expression the hidden splendor of the doctrines veiled in common and unattractive phraseology. For we have the "treasure in earthen vessels" so that the excellency of the power of God may shine forth. For if the usual methods of demonstration used by men ... had been successful in convincing us, then our faith would rightly have been thought to rest on the wisdom of men - not on the power of God. However, now it is evident to everyone who lifts up his eyes that the word and preaching have not prevailed among the multitude "by persuasive words of wisdom, but by demonstrations of the Spirit and of power." Origen (c. 225, E), 4:354, 355. (p. 604)
[The Gospel of John] has been committed to the earthly treasure house of common speech - a writing that anybody can read. And, when it is read aloud, it can be understood by anyone. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.300. (Ibid.)
By "earthen vessels," we understand the humble diction of the Scriptures, which the Greeks are so ready to despise, but in which the excellency of God's power appears so clearly. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.345. (Ibid.)
If anyone gives himself to the attentive study of [Paul's words], I am well assured that he will be amazed at the understanding of the man who can clothe great ideas IN COMMON LANGUAGE. Origen (c. 248, E), 4.471. (Ibid.)
It should be the object of the ambassadors of the truth to confer benefits upon the greatest possible number ... everyone, without exception - intelligent as well as simple - not only Greeks, but also barbarians ... Therefore, it is apparent that they must adopt a style of address fitted to do good to all - that is, one to gain over to them men of every kind. On the other hand they [pagan philosophers and writers] turn away from ignorant persons as being mere slaves who are unable to understand the flowing intervals of a polished and logical discourse. Therefore the philosophers devote their attention solely to those who have been brought up among literary pursuits. So they confine their views of "the public good" within the very strait and narrow limits. Origen (c. 248, E), 4.573. (Ibid.)
Our prophets, the apostles, and Jesus Himself, WERE CAREFUL TO ADOPT A STYLE OF SPEECH that would not only convey the truth, BUT THAT WOULD BE SUITABLE TO GAIN OVER THE MULTITUDE ... For, if I may venture to say so, few have benefited from the beautiful and polished style of Plato and others who have written like him ... It is easy, indeed, to observe that Plato is found only in the hands of those who profess to be literary. Origen (c. 248, E), 4.573. (Ibid.)
Note that Origen says that Christians need to communicate the Gospel in ways that all levels of people can understand, contrary to the attitude adopted by the pagan philosophers. This also ties in with Paul's claim in 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 that it was God's specific purpose to reach those considered foolish by worldly standards.
Notice the difference between the polished diction of Plato concerning the "chief good," and the declarations of our prophets concerning the "light" of the blessed. Notice also that what truth is contained in Plato on this subject did not help his readers in any way to attain to a pure worship of God. It did not even help Plato himself, who could philosophize so majestically about the "chief good." In contrast, the simple language of the Holy Scriptures has led the honest readers of these Scriptures to be filled with a divine spirit. Origen (c. 248, E), 4.575. (Ibid.)
We are not to imagine that a truth adorned with the graces of Grecian speech is necessarily better than the same when expressed IN THE MORE HUMBLE AND UNPRETENTIOUS LANGUAGE used by Jews and Christians. Origen (c. 248, E), 4.634. (Ibid.)
See, then, if Plato and the wise men among the Greeks, in the beautiful things they say, are not like those physicians who confine their attentions to what are called the "better classes of society," and despise the multitudes. In contrast, the prophets among the Jews and the disciples of Jesus scorn mere elegances of style and what is called Scripture "the wisdom according to the flesh" ... They resemble those who investigate to provide the most wholesome food FOR THE LARGEST NUMBER OF PERSONS. FOR THIS PURPOSE, they adapt their language and style to the capacities of the common people. Origen (c. 248, E), 4.635. (Ibid.)
We therefore see that the early Church Fathers were honest and open about the simplicity of the NT writings. Interestingly, they saw this as proof of their divine authority since men were being transformed by these very writings that were not steeped in eloquent Greek Grammar! This is unlike the Muslims who had to distort Arabic Grammar in order to cover up the gross errors of the Quran, something that I shall examine more fully later on.
Hence, inspiration does not mean that the writers were required to write polished Greek, or to flawlessly observe the rules of Greek Grammar. Rather, biblical inspiration means that these men were guided by God to communicate his words in human language without any factual errors. By factual errors I mean spiritual and historical matters. Hence, the authors made no mistakes when it came to historical events and doctrinal issues. But this does not mean that the authors were required to express these truths in perfect polished Greek. One can express truths without necessarily being proficient in writing. So this is a non sequitur.
Furthermore, not all the books are written in simple or poor Greek. Bravo's unqualified statements give the impression that this is the case with all the books of the NT. For instance, many grammarians will point out the fact that Luke-Acts and Hebrews are written in high quality Greek, just to name a few.
As far as the reason for my response, it is rather simple. I chose to address this issue in order to expose Bravo's misunderstanding of the CHRISTIAN view of inspiration. What Bravo has done is to impose his own definition of what inspiration means in order to attack the NT books.
What are the proper criteria to judge a certain book? Does every book have the same criteria? Certainly one would not judge a book on physics regarding poetic quality but on correctness of its scientific statements as well as the clarity of its explanations. The other way around, a collection of poems will not be dismissed as bad poetry because its emotional language is not scientifically exact and logical in every expression. Each genre is judged according to its own rules. The Qur'an has set up some rules for itself by which it wants to be judged. Literary excellence and eloquence (inimitability) is one criterion. It is proper to evaluate the Qur'an at least by the criteria it gives itself. Whether these claims are then met is discussed in detail in the section on "The Miracle of the Qur'an." (As I shall demonstrate again later this argument actually refutes the Quran as an inspired book. Bravo's attempt of skirting the issue doesn't help him here, as I shall shortly prove.) On the other hand, the Bible never asked to be judged on grammar and style (outward form), but on content, and particularly the prophetic element, because detailed knowledge of the future is God's prerogative and one valid criterion to judge whether prophecies are from God or not. The concept of revelation that Bravo derived from the Qur'an he now wants to force on the Bible. The Qur'an and the Bible are, however, very different in their understanding of revelation and inspiration. They are in different categories. Bravo's approach is as illogical as to demand: If God were to write the ultimate book on physics, explaining all the laws which he put into operation in this physical universe, it would be all in rhymes and verses, it would also have to be the ultimate poetry. Or, even more ridiculous, if God were to write the greatest poetry, it would all be styled in mathematically correct formulas. If not, I am not going to accept that it is from God. Bravo commits a plain categorical fallacy.
Finally, Bravo has done what he has accused me of. Later in this rebuttal, Bravo will chide me for citing Ali Dashti. Yet here he cites individuals who are just as biased against Islam as they are against Christianity. For instance, one of the names mentioned is J. Schacht. To see a "favorable" review of Schacht, please read this Muslim article.
Bravo's source also cites Nietzsche, infamous for the "God is dead" slogan.
Bravo may object and say that it really doesn't matter what Schacht and Nietzsche believed. What matters is what they say since even unbelievers can speak the truth - something that I would agree with. If so, Bravo needs to retract his criticism of my sources. Otherwise, Bravo would be guilty of hypocrisy, using a double standard to suit his own purposes. I will have more to say about this in my response to Bravo's assault on the Orientalists.
Sam starts off by saying:
Bravo confuses several issues here. He first confuses the primary cause of Scripture with its instrumental cause.
I merely presented the citations which state that the Christian Bible is in BAD GREEK. How is that "confusing" anything or anyone? The "cause of Scripture" and its "instrumental cause" does not contradict the fact that the Christian Scripture, allegedly inspired by the Holy Ghost who happens to be a god, are in BAD GREEK with stylistic imperfections and LOW style.
Since Bravo quoted these citations with approval this entailed that I clarify Bravo's misunderstanding of the biblical view of inspiration. After all, Bravo began his section with the following snide remark:
If the Holy Ghost is indeed God, then one should expect him to at least SPEAK PROPER GREEK. However that is not the case at all, thus we read the orientalist admission comparing the feeble style of the Bible with that magnificence of the Quran:-
Hence, Bravo mockingly blames the Holy Spirit for speaking "bad" Greek. Herein lies Bravo's confusion. Let me repeat what Bravo failed to grasp. Bravo has confused the primary cause of Scripture with its instrumental cause. The Holy Spirit doesn't speak bad anything. Rather, the Holy Spirit sovereignly used individuals whose Greek writing skills weren't perfectly polished to record God's infallible Word. We will have more to say on this later.
And a correction to Bravo's straw man. The Holy Spirit isn't a god, but is the eternal God.
Sam continues, justifying the bad Greek of his scriptures:
Unlike Muslims, Christians believe that the Holy Bible is both divine and human in origin. It is divine because it is God-breathed revelation. It is human because God used humans as his instruments to record His perfect Word.
Thus, we have humans recording the "God-breathed...PERFECT word" revelation of God to the best of their ability, hence the end product is merely a bad copy of that which God originally revealed. It is therefore NOT "perfect Word" any more. Well, since it is admitted that the Christian Scriptures are in bad Greek, with a LOW style and stylistic IMPERFECTIONS, that logically means that they are not the "perfect Word" of God after all, because a "perfect Word" cannot be ridden with grammatical inaccuracies and imperfection and so on.
I am going to be generous here and assume that it is Bravo's ignorance that leads him to misunderstand my arguments. I did not say that humans recorded God's word to the best of their ability. Any clear reading of my articles would show that I cited dozens of passages where the authors clearly claimed that they were recording God's Words, not their own. Again, recording God's Word doesn't preclude the authors from expressing these truths in human language. After all, it is God who has chosen to speak on our level since God is aware that man cannot comprehend the incomprehensible language and mind of the Creator.
Bravo cannot seriously object to God speaking to his creatures through human language since this is precisely what Bravo believes about the Quran. The Quran was supposedly "revealed" in the seventh century Arabic dialect of Quraish, Muhammad's tribe, as the following tradition states:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were Waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur'an, so he said to 'Uthman, "O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before." So 'Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, "Send us the manuscripts of the Qur'an so that we may compile the Qur'anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you." Hafsa sent it to 'Uthman. 'Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, 'Abdullah bin AzZubair, Said bin Al-As and 'AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. 'Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, "In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur'an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur'an was revealed IN THEIR TONGUE." They did so, and when they had written many copies, 'Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. 'Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur'anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. Said bin Thabit added, "A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur'an and I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): 'Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.' (33.23) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 510)
Unless Bravo wants to claim that God's "mother tongue" from all eternity is seventh century Quraishi Arabic, then he cannot possibly have a problem with God using finite human language, along with all its limitations, to express his eternal truths.
Third, it does not follow that God's perfect Word needs to be written in perfect grammar. What is needed is an accurate transmission of those words without the mixing of falsehood, containing no historical and doctrinal errors.
Finally, this again shows the inconsistency of Bravo's methodology. If it were true that God's Word must be recorded in perfect grammar then Bravo needs to toss out the Quran with all its stylistic imperfections and grammatical mistakes. We will have more to say on this issue later.
Next, we have Sam's admission:
The fact that the instrumental causes of Scripture wrote "bad" Greek does not reflect negatively upon the perfection of the Holy Spirit, as we shall shortly demonstrate.
There we go! If the Holy Ghost, who also happens to be "God", was inspiring the authors of the New Testament, then how did the authors manage to put down the words in bad and low Greek? Didn't the Holy Ghost have enough power in his hands to make sure that at least the writers He is inspiring put the message down with grammatical accuracy and a good style? Thus, we have God who sends down "perfect Words" and then we have the humans who make a mess of these "perfect Word" and put the "perfect Words" down in a bad, low and stylistically imperfect style. In other words, whatever God originally revealed finally materializes through the "Holy Ghost inspired" authors of the New Testament in an altered and distorted form.
The simple answer to Bravo's point is that God could have caused these men to write perfect Greek, but didn't. The reason why he didn't is rather simple. God doesn't treat his servants as robots, robbing them of their personalities. It was God who specifically gave these men their personalities in the first place, and hence it was his will to employ such men in recording his Perfect Word. God guided these men to use their personalities to accurately record his words. Writing in less than polished Greek doesn't affect the content and the accuracy of the Words that were written down. We again see that Bravo needs to constantly chase after the wind.
The missionary then continues
Second, even though God did not override the individual author's personal style of writing, God sovereignly chose these very men and equipped them with the spiritual gifts and unique personalities necessary in accomplishing His purpose. After both choosing and equipping these men, God then employed their unique personalities to give us the different literary styles of writing found in the Holy Bible.
Very interesting, God chooses a bunch of men and equips them with the "spiritual gifts and unique personalities necessary in accomplishing His purpose", but this "God" of the Christians apparently does not have the means nor the ability to at least make sure that His "perfect Word" message gets written down through these "gifted" (gifted with what? Imperfect Greek?) men in an eloquent and grammatically correct form! One wonders what kind of a God this really is, who gives split personalities to these "gifted men" and does not even have the power to make sure He gets their grammar right! Sam says that God "equipped" these men.What did God "equip" these men with? BAD, LOW and STYLISTICALLY IMPERFECT Greek, that is why God equipped these men with! Didn't God have the power to at least give some linguistic gifts to these "gifted men" instead of having them write in totally bad and low style which would be mocked rightfully so in years to come?
Before responding, something needs to be said about Bravo's use of the term "missionary." As was noted in my response to MENJ, in Muslim vocabulary there can hardly be a worse insult than calling somebody a missionary. A person labeled a missionary will automatically be dismissed and not be taken seriously by Muslim readers. It is used to create anger towards that person. This is exactly what Bravo wants to achieve and why he uses this word. Understanding the Muslim use of language, it is the classical ad hominem.
Therefore, throughout my response I will at times use the term terrorist in reference to Bravo. This will be done in order to demonstrate to our readers the disrespect intended in the title "missionary." If Bravo objects to my labeling him a terrorist, then he needs to show more respect to the Christians he seeks to refute. This is strictly an educational device on my part, and should Bravo revise his articles accordingly, I will glady remove this term as well.
[Note: Just as "terrorist" is obviously a very negative word in the non-Muslim world, while for many Muslims those who "strike terror in the hearts of the unbelievers" are heros and should they even loose their life in the process are venerated as martyrs, so the word "missionary" is despicable word in the Muslim world, while it is a title of honor in the Christian church for those who take upon themselves much hardship to bring God's Gospel of salvation to the people who do not yet know it.]
Aside from the terrorist's blasphemous, snide remarks and his red herrings it should have been clear to the terrorist what I meant. But I see that I gave him too much credit. My point, as anyone can see, is that it was God's specific purpose to use such men and hence use their "personal style of writing." God's purpose was to include men of varying levels of education in order to demonstrate his sovereign ability to use even the base elements of this world to bring him glory and transform lives. Being gifted to accomplish God's work doesn't entail writing polished Greek. More on this below.
Next, in order to legitimize the bad, low and stylistically imperfect Greek of his scriptures, Sam is even able to cite a number of verses from his scriptures! I really thought, before reading this article by Sam, that he would come out all angry trying his best to prove that his scriptures are indeed in an eloquent and perfect style, but no, this missionary is hell bent in proving to us that his scriptures are authored in bad, low and stylistically imperfect style, thus, I should be thanking this missionary for agreeing with me on atleast this point, that his scripture is in a bad, low and a grammatically imperfect style!
I really thought that Bravo would use better arguments then ad hominem, but again this is because I gave him too much credit. There is no reason for me to be all hell bent since Bravo has said nothing of substance but has committed the fallacy of false dilemma. If anything, it is Bravo's responses that show that he is angry at my refutation of his unscholarly criticism of the NT. Otherwise, why would Bravo constantly mock, ridicule, blaspheme and commit ad hominems? As they say, if you can't handle the heat stay out of the kitchen.
Side remark: Most literary people would consider Bravo's highly repetitive style as much less than perfect, not to say deplorably bad. So far his own writings have hardly recommended him as an expert to evaluate the stylistic qualities of literary works.
Sam says and quotes
The Holy Bible itself testifies that God both chooses and equips all men for his sovereign purposes:
"The word of the LORD came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Ah, Sovereign LORD, I said, I do not know how to speak; I am only a child. But the LORD said to me, Do not say, "I am only a child." You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant." Jeremiah 1:4-10
In fact, the above verse can be easily used against the missionary argument. God does not produce imperfection, and God does not choose men who imperfectly deliver the message of God. If there are indeed some weaknesses within the men God has chosen to deliver His message, then God assists those men, gives them the power and the strength to do that which God wants them to do.
How does Bravo know that "God does not produce imperfection"? We certainly agree that God himself is perfect, but where is it written that everything God does is itself perfect IN EVERY IMAGINABLE ASPECT?
Is not every human being created ("produced") by God? Are not all human beings imperfect? Or have you recently seen even one perfect human being without any lack or fail? No physical imperfection, no psychological problems, and perfect moral behavior? Who is that person? Furthermore, many human beings, as well as animals and plants have physical illnesses, sometimes they are even born with them - genetic defects. Are they therefore not the product of God's work? Evidently, Bravo's whole assumption is wrong.
Even the Quran states that Allah created man weak (i.e. not as perfect as if he were strong) :
Allah doth wish to lighten your (difficulties): For man was created weak. S. 4:28
Second, this shows a simple naivete on the part of Bravo. After all, doesn't Bravo believe that his god used imperfect humans to record and memorize the Quran? Didn't his god use imperfect scribes who imperfectly recorded what he believes to be the perfect word of God? Or does Bravo naively assume that the scribes and companions perfectly wrote down and memorized the Quran? Evidently he does, and has even tried to defend the myth of the perfect memorization of the Quran, something which I have and will expose in my further rebuttals.
Furthermore, is there any human language around which is "perfect"? Not to my knowledge. When God speaks to these imperfect human beings he has created, why should the way of his communication not be on the same level of imperfect human beings with imperfect languages and ways of expression? God wanted his message to reach imperfect humans with imperfect languages and communicates on that same level with them.
Whether anything can be called perfect or imperfect is determined not by some abstract standard of perfection, but by the question what it was created for. If it perfectly fulfills its purpose, then it was created perfectly for that purpose. In that sense, all of God's work is perfect, but that doesn't mean that it has to be perfect in every possible and imaginable way - regarding aspects that have nothing to do with the purpose that it was originally created for.
Particularly then, if there was no need or intent of eloquence and perfect language for the revelation, then we cannot charge it with failing to achieve what it never set out to achieve in the first place.
Specifically, there is no perfect human language at all, there never was one nor is there any today, not even in theory, let alone the actually spoken language. All languages have their advantages and disadvantages in comparison to the other known languages. It is not only the issue that basically nobody can speak any language 100% perfect, the language itself is not perfect. I.e. even if I would reach 100% perfection in a certain language, there is still imperfection that cannot be overcome within that language. But if the language and its grammar is not perfect itself, then where does that leave Bravo's whole argument? Again, his assumptions are patently wrong.
Finally, what does the above quoted text in Jeremiah really say? Where did Bravo read that God gave Jeremiah eloquence and cleansed his expressions from grammatical imperfections? Bravo reads the Bible with a filter of Islamic theology before his mind and sees what he expects to see. However, none of that is actually there.
Jeremiah expresses his anxiety and gives two reasons. I do not know how to speak, i.e. I have not had any training as an orator, have no rhetorical skills. That this is Jeremiah's intended meaning is obvious since if Jeremiah literally meant he couldn't speak, then how was he able to say that he doesn't know how to speak? In other words, the fact that Jeremiah was speaking to God demonstrates that Jeremiah wasn't saying that he was unable to communicate at all, but rather that he wasn't a trained public speaker who could speak effectively to peoples of influence and power. Like most people, Jeremiah probably was just paralyzed by fear at the thought of speaking in public, even in front of a friendly crowd. Furthermore, even though this is not explicitly stated in Jeremiah's words, it seems to have been on his mind and God responds to it with "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you", he certainly had reasons to fear going to the powerful of this world. Even if he had been a skilled orator, he is a nobody, and going to nations (i.e. their kings and leaders) to announce God's judgment would definitely not be received cheerfully. What will they do to him? The next reason given is: I am only a child, i.e. I am too young for such an important message. Everyone will laugh at me saying "what does that child want from us?" They will dismiss me without even hearing me. It will be a complete embarrassment to me (and to you, God).
What was God's response? As already mentioned, God addressed his fear and promises to rescue him from attempts of those who would want to harm him. God gave him boldness and the confidence that words would not fail him when he stood up to speak for God. But what was said about those words? What is said to be the effect of it that God touched his mouth?
Nothing at all is said in these verses about eloquence and grammar and style. Nothing about the manner of his speech. It is all about the effect of his speech, which God promised would be powerful.
God's words in Jeremiah's mouth will be perfect in the sense that they will accomplish what God intends them to accomplish. But nowhere is Jeremiah promised to speak from now on without the normal imperfections of human speech.
Despite the many elements of faulty logic already displayed, which would be enough to dismiss the whole issue, let us for now apply Bravo's criteria to his own Prophet and see whether he passes Bravo's test:
"The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, had seen his people departing from him. He was one day sitting alone when he expressed a desire: I wish, Allah had not revealed to me anything distasteful to them. Then the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, approached them (Quraysh) and got close to them, and they also came near to him. One day he was sitting in their assembly near the Ka'bah and he recited: "By the Star when it setteth" (Quran 53.1), till he reached "Have ye thought upon Al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?" (Quran 53.19-20). Satan made him repeat these two phrases: These idols are high and their intercession is expected. The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, repeated them, and he went on reciting the whole surah and then fell in prostration, and the people also fell in prostration with him. Al-Walid Ibn al-Mughira, who was an old man and could not prostrate, took a handful of dust to his forehead and prostrated on it... They were pleased with what the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, had uttered. They said: We know that Allah gives life and causes death. He creates and gives us provisions, but our deities will intercede with Him, and in what you have assigned to them, we are with you. These words pricked the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him. He was sitting in his house and when it was evening, Gabriel, may peace be upon him, came to him and revised the surah. Then Gabriel said: Did I bring these two phrases? The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: I ascribed to Allah what he had not said." (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 237 emphasis ours)
And We have sent before thee no messenger or prophet but as he recited (a portion of the message) Satan cast forth (suggestions) in respect of the recital. Then Allah abolishes what Satan casts forth, and Allah continues His revelations; and Allah is Knowing, Wise. S. 22:52 Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi (2 volume set)
Here is Al-Zamakhshari's note on S. 22:52 taken Helmut Gatje's The Qur'an and its Exegesis, Routledge and Keagan Paul, London UK 1976, p. 53-55:
7. The faithful rendering of the revelation
Zamakhshari on Sura 22:52/51
We have never sent any messenger of prophet before thee, but that Satan cast into his fancy, when he was fancying; but God annuls what Satan casts, then God confirms His signs - surely God is All-knowing, All-wise ...
The occasion of the sending down of the present verse is the following: As the members of the tribe of the messenger of God turned away from him and took their stand against him and his relatives also opposed him and refused to be guided by what he brought to them, then, as a result of the extreme exasperation concerning their estrangement and as a result of the eager desire and longing that they be converted to Islam, the messenger of God sheltered the wish that nothing would come down to him that could make them shy away. Perhaps he should have been able to use that for the purpose of converting them and causing them to be dissuaded from their error and obstinacy. Now this wish continued in him until the sura called "The Star" (that is, Sura 53) came down. At that time he found himself with this wish in his heart regarding the members of his tribe. Then he began to recite, and when he came to God's words "and Manat, the third, the other" (Sura 53:20), Satan substituted something in accordance with the wish which the messenger of God had sheltered, that is, he whispered something to him which would enable the messenger to announce his wish. In an inadvertent and misleading manner, his tongue hurried on ahead of him, so that he said: "These (goddesses are the) exalted cranes. Their intercession (with God) is to be hoped for" ... Yet, the messenger of God was not clear at this point until the protection of God "isma" reached him and he then became attentive again.
Some say that Gabriel drew his attention to it, or that Satan himself spoke those words and brought them to the people's hearing. As soon as the messenger of God prostrated (for prayer) as the end of the sura, all who were present did it with him and felt pleased (that is, the unbelievers felt pleased that their goddesses had been accepted as intercessors with God).
The Quran continues:
And their purpose was to tempt thee away from that which We had revealed unto thee, to substitute in Our name something quite different: (In that case), behold! They would certainly have made thee (their) friend! And had We not given thee strength, thou wouldst nearly have inclined to them a little. S. 17:73-74
Once the Prophet was bewitched so that he began to imagine that he had done a thing which in fact he had not." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Number 400)
In fact, according to the Islamic traditions Suras 113 and 114 were revealed to set Muhammad free from a spell put on him a by Jew:
Magic was worked on Allah's Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not (Sufyan said: That is the hardest kind of magic as it has such an effect). Then one day he said, "O 'Aisha do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I asked Him about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other sat near my feet. The one near my head asked the other. 'What is wrong with this man?' The latter replied he is under the effect of magic. The first one asked, 'Who has worked magic on him?' The other replied 'Labid bin Al-A'sam, a man from Bani Zuraiq who was an ally of the Jews and was a hypocrite.' The first one asked, 'What material did he use?' The other replied, 'A comb and the hair stuck to it.' The first one asked, 'Where (is that)?' The other replied: 'In a skin of pollen of a male date palm tree kept under a stone in the well of Dharwan'." So the Prophet went to that well and took out those things and said, "That was the well which was shown to me (in a dream). It's water looked like the infusion of Henna leaves and its date-palm trees looked like the heads of devils." The Prophet added, "Then that thing was taken out." I said (to the Prophet ) "Why do you not treat yourself with Nashra?" He said, "Allah has cured me; I dislike to let evil spread among my people." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660; see also Number 661)
Here is a man whom Bravo believes was a prophet of God who came under bewitchment and mixed up "God"'s verses with Satan's! A true prophet of God does not succumb to witchcraft and curses. The Holy Bible emphatically teaches:
"There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, See what God has done!" Numbers 23:23
"The seventy-two returned with joy and said, Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name. He replied, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; NOTHING WILL HARM YOU. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:17-20
This demonstrates that Muhammad was a false prophet. Yet in spite of Muhammad being demon possessed and bewitched, Bravo still believes that Muhammad was able to convey the Quran perfectly. It gets even better. Muhammad went so far as to allow his scribes to tamper with "God"'s word:
"To me it has been revealed, when naught has been revealed to him refers to 'Abdallah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh, who used to write for God's messenger. The verse (23:12) that says, We created man of an extraction of clay was revealed, and when Muhammad reached the part that says, ... thereafter We produced him as another creature (23:14), Abdallah said, So blessed be God the fairest of creators! in amazement at the details of man's creation. The prophet said, "Write it down; for thus it has been revealed." Abdallah doubted and said, If Muhammad is truthful then I receive the revelation as much as he does, and if he is a liar, what I said is a good as what he said." (Quoted from the famous Tafsir Anwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Tawil by 'Abdallah Ibn 'Umar al-Baidawi)
Add to this the fact that Muhammad also forgot parts of the Quran and needed other imperfect men to remind him, and the problem gets worse for Bravo:
'A'isha reported that the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) heard a person reciting the Qur'an at night. Upon this he said: May Allah show mercy to him; he has reminded me of such and such a verse which I had missed in such and such a surah. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1720)
'A'isha reported that the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) listened to the recitation of the Qur'an by a man in the mosque. Thereupon he said: May Allah have mercy upon him; he reminded me of the verse which I had been made to forget. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1721)
The Prophet prayed (and the subnarrator Ibrahim said, "I do not know whether he prayed more or less than usual"), and when he had finished the prayers he was asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Has there been any change in the prayers?" He said, "What is it?' The people said, "You have prayed so much and so much." So the Prophet bent his legs, faced the Qibla and performed two prostrations (of Sahu) and finished his prayers with Tasiim (by turning his face to right and left saying: 'As-Salamu'Alaikum-Warahmat-ullah'). When he turned his face to us he said, "If there had been anything changed in the prayer, surely I would have informed you but I am a human being like you and liable to forget like you. So if I forget remind me and if anyone of you is doubtful about his prayer, he should follow what he thinks to be correct and complete his prayer accordingly and finish it and do two prostrations (of Sahu)." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 394)
If Bravo wants to claim that Allah caused Muhammad to forget, then what was the purpose of later reminding him of these passages? After all, it was Allah's purpose for Muhammad to forget these portions.
Bravo is now left in a vicious circle. If the "Messenger" forgets portions of the Quran then how would one know what truly belongs in the Quran? If it is stated that others had memorized the Quran then how would one know if what they had memorized was truly part of the Quran? After all, Muslim sources record that different memorizes argued over how many verses and chapters should be included in the Quran. We see that Muhammad was dependent on the scribes and memorizers to remind him of portions of the Quran he had forgotten; and yet these scribes and memorizers needed Muhammad to verify whether if what they had memorized was truly from God!
If Bravo doesn't believe that the scribes needed to perfectly write down the revelation, then he has conceded my point and Bravo has wasted our time by writing a refutation that has no substance to it.
Hence, not only does the Quran contain grammatical errors, it was also memorized and written down imperfectly! In light of the preceding considerations, Bravo really has some nerve to criticize the Holy Bible.
Let me reiterate my point so that Bravo doesn't mislead his readers again by attacking a straw man. God does use imperfect agents to accomplish his perfect will. Their imperfections do not nullify God's Word, since God is able to guide them to record his Word without any factual errors.
(Note: see the following articles for an in-depth look at the Satanic verses and external influences upon the Quran -  and .)
Therefore, if there is an individual chosen by God to deliver His message to the world, and if this individual happens to be an imperfect and a poor speaker, then God, by His Power, gives this chosen individual the ability to easily and eloquently deliver the message to the required people.
This is just a repetition of the same error that has already been addressed. Bravo now adds the adjective "easily" to the earlier claim of "eloquently", neither of which is found in the Biblical text. To the contrary, there are many examples that the office of a prophet weighed heavily on the prophets. It is a burden they rather not have. Jeremiah grew desparate at times and cries out to God if only I had died before I were born. The job you have given me is too hard for me. For many of the prophets it remained a struggle, even when God gave the strength to do what they could not have done just by themselves. And, some died as martyrs for delivering the message of God (something even the Quran acknowledges). So, where does Bravo get "easily" from? It is his assumption without any basis in the Word of God.
It is not at all the case that every man of God was given the ability to speak eloquently. Here is an interesting incident:
"On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "He's alive!" Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted." Acts 20:7-12
So, the apostle Paul was seemingly not an eloquent and highly interesting speaker, rather boring to listen to (see also 2 Cor 10:10 quoted below), but he clearly had the authority and power of God which is evident in his raising the dead man to life.
Bravo's underlying assumption in this whole discussion seems to be, that since God helped Jeremiah to overcome his speaking problem, so he should have helped the NT writers to overcome imperfections of their writing style. We have already shown that Bravo has misinterpreted the passage from Jeremiah, but even if it were so, it would not follow that because God empowers a person to speak eloquently that the person will then be able to write perfectly. If Bravo is consistent then he must apply this to his prophet. If Allah truly spoke to Muhammad then we would expect that Muhammad would not only preach the Quran eloquently but also write it down perfectly. But since Muhammad was allegedly illiterate this means that Bravo's logic is fallacious.
Similarly, in the verse cited by Sam, Jeremiah says that he is only a child and does not know how to speak eloquently and deliver the message of God to his people, but God tells Jeremiah not to be afraid and further gives Jeremiah the ability to deliver His message to his people. It is also interesting to read the commentary on the above verse:
Jeremiah's early call to the work and office of a prophet is stated. He was to be a prophet, not to the Jews only, but to the neighbouring nations. He is still a prophet to the whole world, and it would be well if they would attend to these warnings. The Lord who formed us, knows for what particular services and purposes he intended us. But unless he sanctify us by his new-creating Spirit, we shall neither be fit for his holy service on earth, nor his holy happiness in heaven. It becomes us to have low thoughts of ourselves. Those who are young, should consider that they are so, and not venture beyond their powers. But though a sense of our own weakness and insufficiency should make us go humbly about our work, it should not make us draw back when God calls us. Those who have messages to deliver from God, must not fear the face of man. The Lord, by a sign, gave Jeremiah such a gift as was necessary. God's message should be delivered in his own words. Whatever wordly wise men or politicians may think, the safety of kingdoms is decided according to the purpose and word of God.
Jeremiah therefore had a weakness, and God got rid of His weakness by bestowing upon him a gift, the ability to speak ELOQUENTLY to the people to bring them to God. Can you imagine people drawing close to God by speaking in a low bad and a stylistically IMPERFECT style? Absolutely not! The point is further strengthened in the John Wesley Commentary on Jeremiah, available online:
4: Then - When he was first called to his office.
5: I sanctified - I ordained thee for this public service. He speaks thus to Jeremiah, not to the other prophets, because he stood in need of greater encouragement than they, both in respect of the tenderness of his years, and the difficulties which he was to encounter with. The nations - To other nations besides the Jews.
7: Thou shalt speak - Fear not, I will make thee eloquent and courageous.
9: Then - God having excited the prophet by command and promise, now in a vision confirms him, either by the hand of an angel, or by himself in some visible shape.
Thus, Jeremiah needed encouragement, he was not an eloquent speaker, but God MADE HIM an eloquent speaker to his people, and Jeremiah latter eloquently and courageously delevered the message of God to his people! Note, God did not allow Jeremiah to deliver His PERFECT WORD AND MESSAGE in a low and bad style, as Sam insists God does, rather God removed the weakness of Jeremiah by making him ELOQUENT.
Here Bravo attacks a straw man since I never said that God's prophets spoke God's words in a low and bad style. My comments refer to the writing down of God's Word, that God didn't override the author's writing skills in order to communicate God's perfect truth. More on this below.
Second, again I need to reiterate that even though God helped Jeremiah overcome his inability as a speaker, God didn't do this for all his messengers. More on this below as well.
Maybe this is the right place to give a clarification on the language of the NT that Bravo claims to be bad and low.
Dr. James D. Price, professor of Hebrew language writes:
[Bravo is] misusing terms with respect to divine inspiration.
Eloquence refers to the skill of fluently delivering persuasive discourse. It implies sophisticated literary style. But a skilled sophist can persuasively tell lies in eloquent language. It is truth and clarity, not eloquence, that characterize divinely inspired literature. In Christian theology, divine inspiration does not necessarily mean divine dictation.
Furthermore, the Greek of the New Testament is not "bad" Greek but Koine Greek, the language of the common people of New Testament - the dialect of Greek in which divine truth could be expressed in clear terms easily understood by everyday people. Saying that the grammar of the Greek New Testament is "bad" is judging the grammar by the standards of Classical Greek, the language not used or well understood by everyday people of that time. God's Word is intended for ordinary people, not just the high-class elite. It is like saying the grammar of Modern English is "bad" based on the standards of Elizabethan English, or saying the grammar of the various Modern Arabic dialects is "bad" based on the standards of Classical Arabic.
Muslims may boast of an eloquent Koran, but eloquence is in the mind of the observer. Muslims also boast that the Koran is hard to accurately understand, that translations of it are very unreliable, and that only expert native speakers of Arabic can really interpret it accurately. I seriously doubt that the translations are unreliable. But, as one who has studied Classical Arabic rather thoroughly, I can agree that Arabic literature (including the Koran) is often obscure, ambiguous, and hard to make sense of. I prefer the revelation of the God who communicates His truth in the clarity and simplicity of the language of common people rather than alleged revelation from a god that communicates in the esoteric language of the elite few. Even so, I doubt that the grammar of the Koran is flawlessly perfect in every detail.
If the Muslims imply that the alleged eloquence of the Koran makes it clear and easy to understand, then they have a self contradiction. They can't have it both ways - either the Koran is esoteric and hard to understand or it isn't.
The following is an excerpt from the article on the Greek language in the digital Encarta Encyclopedia, written by Morton Smith and George E. Duckworth. It tells the story in nontechnical language. Smith is Professor of Ancient History, Columbia University, and author of Ancient Greeks; Duckworth is the late Giger Professor of Classics, Princeton University:
From the Ionic dialect developed the Attic, the standard form of classical Greek. It was the language of Athens and the surrounding district of Attica and differed from the other Ionic forms chiefly in its contraction of vowels. Because of the political supremacy of Athens during and after the 5th century BC and the dominant role of Athenian art, philosophy, and drama, the Attic dialect superseded all others and became the chief literary language. Its influence was enhanced through its use by the greatest contemporary intellects, including the playwrights Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles, the orator Demosthenes, Plato, and the historians Thucydides and Xenophon. With the conquests of Alexander the Great and the extension of Macedonian rule in the 4th century BC, a shift of population from Greece proper to the Greek settlements in the Middle East occurred. In this period, known as the Hellenistic, the Attic dialect, spoken by the educated classes as well as by the merchants and many emigrants, became the language common to all the Middle East. As the Greeks mixed with other peoples, linguistic changes took place, Attic became the foundation of a new form of Greek, Koine, which spread throughout all areas of Greek influence. Koine was the language of the court and of literature and commerce throughout the Hellenistic empires.
Koine soon became differentiated into two groups, literary Koine and the vernacular, or popular, tongue. The literary language was spoken and used by the educated upper classes, who until the Roman conquest maintained a vigorous and independent intellectual and artistic life and, while not forgetful of the great writers of earlier times, developed the language to meet their own needs, especially those of abstract thought on the fields of philosophy, grammar, and the social and physical sciences. At the same time the language was simplified by elimination of many irregular or unusual grammatical forms, and changes of pronunciation took place. The musical quality of pure Athenian Attic was lost; vowel values began to be leveled out and diphthongs to have a single sound.
The vernacular tongue, on the other hand, was less influenced either by classical reminiscences or by the new developments of Hellenistic thought. It borrowed more freely from the vocabularies of Middle Eastern languages and suffered more severely from breakdown of the traditional grammar. It is known mainly from letters and documents on papyrus, and only slowly came to be used in literary works by lower-class writers. Of these the most important are the four Gospels of the New Testament, which, however, show a peculiar form of Koine, with a strong Semitic admixture. Later church fathers wrote in the literary language. ["Greek Language," Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright (c) 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1994 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation.]
The following are quotations from A. T. Robertson, one of the world's foremost authorities on the Greek language. His book, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934), is regarded as the most comprehensive authority on the subject. His writing is peppered with occasional Greek expressions, but I have translated his Greek words and enclosed my translation in brackets.
"What is called [the Koine] was a world-speech, not merely a general Greek tongue among the Greek tribes as was true of the Achaean-Dorian and the Attic. It is not speculation to speak of the [Koine] as a world-speech, for the inscriptions in the [Koine] testify to its spread over Asia, Egypt, Greece, Italy Sicily and the isles of the sea, not to mention the papri. ... The [Koine] was in such general use that the Roman Senate and imperial governors had the decrees translated into the world-language and scattered over the empire." (page 54)
"The New Testament [is] Chiefly in the Vernacular [Koine]. Observe chiefly for not quite all of the N. T. is wholly in the vernacular [Koine] as will be shown. But the new point, now obvious to every one, is just this, that the N. T. is in the normal [Koine] of the period. That is what one would have looked for, when you come to think of it. And yet that is a recent discovery." (page 76)
The following is a quotation from H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1927).
"There was a time when scholars who dealt with the original text of the New Testament regarded its Greek as a special Holy Ghost language, prepared under divine direction for Scripture writers. When the fallacy of this conception began to grow evident, two opposing schools developed. The Hebraists contended that the Septuagint and the New Testament were written in a Biblical Greek, dominated largely by Hebrew or Aramaic modes of expression; the Purists contended that they represented variations of the classical Attic. But beginning with Winer in 1825 there came a revolution in the views of New Testament scholarship relative to this matter. As a result of the labors of Deissmann in Germany, Moulton in England, and Robertson in America all question has been removed from the conclusion that New Testament Greek is simply a sample of the colloquial Greek of the first century; i.e., the Koine Greek. The inspired writers of the New Testament wrote in the ordinary language of the masses, as might be expected." (pages 9-10).
It should be clear now, that judging the Koine Greek by the grammar, vocabularly and style of classical Greek is wrong. Koine Greek is an own genre, an own dialect. But most of the sources Bravo appeals to seem to commit that categorical fallacy. Certainly Nietzsche did, speaking at a time where Koine Greek was not understood yet.
In another commentry we read
9. touched my mouth--a symbolical act in supernatural vision, implying that God would give him utterance, notwithstanding his inability to speak (Jer 1:6). So Isaiah's lips were touched with a living coal (Isa 6:7; compare Eze 2:8,9,10 Da 10:16).
Another commentry, the Geneva Study Bible, has this to say
1:9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and k
touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
(k) Which declares that God makes them meet and assures them, whom he calls to set forth his glory, giving them all means necessary for the same, (Ex 4:12, Isa 6:7).
It is clear from the above commentries that Jeremiah had a weakness, and God eliminated and removed that weakness thus making it possible for Jeremiah to deliver the message of God to the his people.God did not let Jeremiah proceed in his uneloquent and feeble manner, but elivated Jeremiah in this department! On the other hand, this "God", the Holy Ghost, is able to give so many personalities to the writers of the Christian Bible, He is able to give these "gifted" men many "gifts", but one elementry thing He cannot do is that He cannot give them to ability to speak in a grammatically correct, accurate and eloquent manner. A god who does not have the ability to get his message delivered accurately and eloquently does not qualify to be a god!
Side Remark: In the above we find: "In another commentry we read ... Another commentry, the Geneva Study Bible, has this to say ... It is clear from the above commentries that Jeremiah had a weakness ..." Furthermore, in other sections he writes "and Jeremiah latter eloquently and courageously delevered ... but elivated Jeremiah in this department ... but one elementry thing He cannot do ...or a cow worshipping Hindu or an athiest etc."
Bravo is clearly a non-native English speaker. He writes constantly "commentry" when it should be "commentary" and "commentaries" and commits many more errors.
Despite those typos, still every reader will exactly understand what was meant. Bravo was still accurately able to communicate his message (as wrong as this message is in his case). Despite the imperfection in spelling nothing of the message got lost. [This observation refers to the first version he put online. Some of the errors have been corrected by him in the mean time. Some are still there at the time of publication of our response.]
Bravo's argument is, because of some typos and wrong grammatical constructions in the New Testament, we should dismiss its message. However, the real motivation is: He does not like the message of the Bible, and therefore he desparately seeks for reasons not to take it serious. Should we dismiss his arguments because they contain typos? Certainly not. But that is the level of his reasoning.
Now, he would respond, that he is not a prophet. That he is not inspired, and his demands for "no mistakes in spelling and grammar and style" only are put on writings that claim to be divine. But this we have basically answered already. God uses human messengers with all their imperfections. As long as the message remains clear, as long as the truth is not obscured, it seems not to have been important to God that their speech was not that of the philosophers. The Bible nowhere claims to be in "perfect language". Therefore it is not a strong argument against the Bible. The Quran claims to be "inimitable in its eloquence", as well as to be "in clear Arabic", therefore we have to measure it on its own claims. As we have seen and will see again in the following parts, the Quran fails according to its own criteria.
Back to the main discussion here. As I stated, it does not follow that because God empowered someone to speak eloquently this then means he could write perfectly. In fact, Jeremiah is a perfect example of my position. Even though God strengthened him for his mission, Jeremiah still needed a scribe to record God's words:
"In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now. Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin. So Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and while Jeremiah dictated all the words the Lord had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll. Then Jeremiah told Baruch, I am restricted; I cannot go to the Lord 's temple. So you go to the house of the Lord on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the Lord that you wrote as I dictated. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns. Perhaps they will bring their petition before the Lord, and each will turn from his wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the Lord are great." Jeremiah 36: 1-7
"After the king burned the scroll containing the words that Baruch had written at Jeremiah's dictation, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: Take another scroll and write on it all the words that were on the first scroll, which Jehoiakim king of Judah burned up. Also tell Jehoiakim king of Judah, "This is what the Lord says: You burned that scroll and said, Why did you write on it that the king of Babylon would certainly come and destroy this land and cut off both men and animals from it? Therefore, this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: He will have no one to sit on the throne of David; his body will be thrown out and exposed to the heat by day and the frost by night. I will punish him and his children and his attendants for their wickedness; I will bring on them and those living in Jerusalem and the people of Judah every disaster I pronounced against them, because they have not listened." So Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on it all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to them." Jeremiah 36:27-32
Furthermore, just because God granted Jeremiah the ability to overcome his weakness this does not mean that God did the same thing for all his messengers as the following example shows:
"For some say, His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing." 2 Corinthians 10:10
"I may not be A TRAINED SPEAKER, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way." 2 Corinthians 11:6
If anything, Paul is the complete opposite of Jeremiah since he could write better than he could speak! Paul demonstrates that being inspired doesn't mean that one must write perfectly or even speak eloquently, but that he conveys God's words without factual errors.
Hence, Bravo needs to come up with better arguments to refute my point. His examples only strengthened my argument.
The Sam has another verse to quote, this time from the New Testament:
"To this John replied, A man can receive only what is given him from heaven." John 3:27
And God did not give the writers of the Christian Bible the ability to deliver His message accurately and in grammatically correct, eloquent and perfect style. In fact, the above quoted words by John the Baptist were in response to a question posed by the Jews to him. I checked the online commentaries to this verse, and there is no mention of Jeremiah chapter 1 verses 4-10 in them. John the Baptist was replying in response to the following question:
25: Then a question came up between John's
disciples and a Jew about washing.
26: And they went to John and said to him, Rabbi, the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan, the man to whom you gave witness, is now giving baptism, and everyone is going to him.
27: And this was John's answer: A man is unable to have anything if it is not given to him from heaven.
How does the context refute my argument that everything good that one has is a gift from God? Since John clearly says that everything a person has comes from God this actually proves the point I was making; namely that even the very personalities of the NT writers were given to them by God! Hence, it was God's specific purpose to create and raise people with simple educational backgrounds in order to demonstrate his power through them. Here are some additional verses to support that everything good is from God:
"For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" 1 Corinthians 4:7
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." 1 Corinthians 15:10
"Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant - not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
We again see that Bravo seeks to confuse the readers by attacking a straw man.
Next, Sam presents to us a number of irrelevant verses, verses from Corinthians, Galatians and Timothy in order to justify the low, bad an stylistically imperfect style of his Bible.Of course, I have no qualms with that, if Sam agrees with me that the Bible is in low, bad and stylistically imperfect style, then I am all with Sam on this one. We are on the same side, we both agree on at least this point! The only problem is that Sam insists, after admitting the fact that his Bible is in a low, bad and stylistically imperfect style, that it is nevertheless still the inerrant words of God, wherese my point is that since the Bible is in such a bad low and imperfect style, it is surely a mockery of God if we were to assign this poor quality literature to God.There is however one interesting verse which Sam quotes, which is enough to prove my point:
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17
Thus, the logical conclusion is that every imperfect, low and bad material is most definately not from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights! Of course, the next part of the above verse can be used against the Trinity and the god becoming a man and walking on the earth bit, but thats another topic which will have to wait for another day!
First, that Bravo failed to see the significance of the verses from Corinthians, Galatians and Timothy is only an indication of his inability to understand the arguments. Here is why I quoted these passages:
The Holy Bible itself testifies that God both CHOOSES and equips all men for his sovereign purposes:
My point was to show that it was God who chose these messengers and granted them their unique personalities that made them different from one another. With this said, let me quote just two of the references to see if they have any relevance to my point:
"Paul, an apostle - sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead... But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus." Galatians 1:1, 15-17
"So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher." 2 Timothy 1:8-11
Since these passages clearly state that messengers like Paul were specifically chosen by God to be apostles, teachers, prophets etc. then we see that they do have relevance to my point. Lest Bravo objects to my claiming that God fashions people according to his purposes, here are some additional references:
"From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth-he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do." Psalm 33:13-15
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16
"This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares:" Zechariah 12:1
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring." Acts 17:24-28
These passages state that it is God who gives man his personality, determines when and where he will live and when he will die etc. Hence, it was God who fashioned Mark, Luke etc. and appointed them to record his Word without any factual errors, employing their personalities and varying levels of education in the process.
Regarding my citation of James, again had Bravo simply read the context of my statement he would see its relevance in establishing the point that God equips men to accomplish his purpose. Is faith good? Yes. Then it is a gift from God. Is preaching God's Word good? Yes. Then this is a gift from God. Is writing God's Word good? Yes. This is the gift of God. This is the point I was trying to establish, namely that doing the work of God is a good and perfect gift that comes from God and not from man. Man is the recipient of these gifts, which serves to prove that the men and women God chose were given their respective talents and gifts from God.
Furthermore, here is the context of James in order to silence Bravo' snide remark regarding the claim that "low and stylistically bad Greek" is not from God:
"When tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:13-17
"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." James 3:13-18
Since James is contrasting sin with the perfect gifts of God, we see that Bravo's snide remark has no relevance to James at all. Yet, James does establish my point. Furthermore, taking Bravo's logic to its conclusion would imply that all of us are guilty of sin when we fail to observe perfect grammar. This would then mean that the author of the Quran is the greatest sinner because he not only made grammatical errors but also attributed these errors to the dictation of God! Hence, Bravo's god would be guilty of sin as well if Bravo's snide assault is to be taken seriously.
Therefore, the conclusion is that every GOOD and PERFECT gift is from God, now Sam and I both agree that the Christian Bible is BAD, IMPERFECT and in a LOW style, thus it cannot be a "gift" from God.
Again, to take Bravo seriously here would also mean that the Quran is not from God, or worse, God committed sin since he failed to observe perfect grammar in the writing down of his alleged revelation.
The difference between Bravo and myself is that whereas Bravo believes that the Quran was dictated, this is not the Christian view of the Holy Bible. As I have demonstrated, God used human agents to record his word without any factual errors. At the same time God did not cancel out their writing methods, but rather employed them in order to give us the diverse writing styles found throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
Hence, by imposing the Muslim view of revelation upon the Holy Bible Bravo is guilty of committing the fallacy of false analogy, and if anything his criteria works more forcefully against the Quran.
Next we have a really entertaining statement by Sam:
Third, the reason why God chose men to write "bad" Greek is to demonstrate His sovereign power in taking men considered worthless and foolish by worldly standards to silence and confound those who presume to be scholars and wise men.
One should not be surprised reading and hearing the most high class eloquent and brilliant gibberish by these missionaries. Words usually do not have much meaning in their vocabulary, and we should not blame them for uttering such profound gibberish when we know they are brought up to believe that man is god, three is one and one is three, infinite is finite, bread is flesh and blood is wine and god kills innocent because He loves us so much.
This is the best Bravo can do, mock arguments that he is completely unable to refute and address. Yet, as I will document in the second part of this rebuttal it is Bravo who ends up speaking gibberish in his failed attempts of defending the Quran from its grammatical nightmares. Yet, this is to be expected from a religion that teaches its adherents to lie and reinvent grammar in order to cover up the errors of their man made religion.
And anytime Bravo wants to debate the Trinity and the Muslim concept of God I am ready to do so. But his red herrings won't help him here from hiding his shoddy response.
Actually, God choosing men with pathetic Greek qualifications is no problem at all, what however is the issue here is that God was unable to "gift" these already "gifted" men (gifted with what? "Bad Greek Diploma courtesy Holy Ghost"?) with the power to write down the perfect word of God in an eloquent, good and stylistically perfect style. Hence, God was unable to demonstrate His Sovereign power. It would indeed have been a miracle had these "worthless" and "foolish" men produced something which everyone knew they couldn't have accomplished on their own at any cost due to their bad mastery and command over the language in question (in this case Greek). For example, we would all be amazed and dazed were a person who does not speak proper English produce a literature in the English language that far surpasses the stylistic perfection and eloquence of Shakespeare! Yes, if such an individual were to claim that God inspired him, then we would take his claim seriously. However, it is no miracle at all if "worthless" and "foolish" people, who speak BAD Greek, produce EQUALLY BAD, LOW and stylistically IMPERFECT material and then proclaim to the people that God inspired them to produce this travesty! What "miracle" is this? If I speak bad Urdu, and then go on to write something in Urdu which contains numerous grammatical errors, is definitely not eloquent, and is imperfect, would Sam consider that a "miracle" of God? Of course not! But when it comes to his Bible, he is willing to go to any amazing ridiculous limit to prove that imperfection is actually perfection and that bad and low class Greek is actually a "miracle" of God!
Let me highlight Bravos' inability to think rationally:
If I SPEAK bad Urdu, and then go on to write something in Urdu which contains numerous grammatical errors, is definitely not eloquent, and is imperfect, would Sam consider that a "miracle" of God?
Since I never said that they spoke bad Greek, this exposes Bravo's diversionary tactics. But I realize that it is easier for Bravo to attack straw man then it is to actually refute my argument.
Second, if God wanted to take writings that were written in simple, common Greek and through these writings demonstrate his power to transform millions of lives, something that other more polished writings have failed to do, would this not in itself be miraculous? The fact that throughout the ages this has been the case only affirms the divine power invested in these writings, much to Bravo's dismay. In fact so powerful are these writings that Bravo spends many hours trying to refute their divine authority! Yet, so far he has failed to accomplish his purpose.
Fourth, if speaking eloquently means that one should therefore be able to write perfectly again what does Bravo do with Muhammad? Since he believes that Muhammad recited the Quran, then we would expect that Muhammad would be able to write perfectly. Would Bravo accept such logic? I didn't think so.
Fifth, since the Quran contains stylistic imperfections and grammatical errors this is a proof that it is not divinely inspired, let alone divinely dictated. Yet more to come later.
Then Sam goes on to quote Paul, from 1 Corinthians 1:18-29. The passage is actually dealing with the Christian concept of atonement (Jesus(P) died for the sins of mankind). All the passages which Sam cites do not say that because the writers of the New Testament got the Greek terribly wrong, it therefore follows it is the word of God! In fact, Paul knew very well that his selling product i.e.., Jesus(P) died for the sins of mankind, made no sense it all and to put it mildly, was extremely foolish.To anyone with even a gram of rationality and intelligence, this concept of Paul is simply ludicrous and gibberish. Paul knew very well how little sense he was making, therefore he asked that people blindly follow his whims and fancies. Because these gibberish concepts of Paul are senseless and foolish, Paul argued they must be true!
First, I never said that since the NT "got the Greek terribly wrong" it therefore follows that it is from God. I said that the reason why SOME of the books are written in less then polished Greek is because it was God's purpose to use such writings in order to demonstrate his ability to transform lives from such simple records. This indicates that Bravo cannot read context carefully.
Second, Bravo decides to toss out a red herring here. We are not dealing with the logic of the crucifixion here, and if Bravo wants to I would love to debate him on this issue. I would love to expose how his god fails to be perfectly just and perfectly merciful at the same time in contrast to the true God of the Holy Bible.
Third, Bravo indirectly testifies to the inspiration of the NT by his snide remarks. Paul clearly says that those whose minds are blinded by Satan cannot accept the cross, regarding it as foolish:
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Corinthians 4:4
Therefore, since Bravo has agreed that the cross is foolish, he actually proves that Paul was right when he wrote that this is how unbelievers who are perishing react! He has also proven Paul's statement regarding why God chose people considered foolish by the world to preach and record his message. In order to silence people like Bravo who think they are wise! Thank you Johnny! You have only served to prove my point as well as to prove that the NT is invested with God's power and authority to accomplish his purpose! The same cannot be said of the Quran!
This is precisely what the Apostles did, namely, astonish the world with their preaching which was not based on human wisdom or learning but on the power of God:
"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, THEY WERE ASTONISHED and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13
Now let us study the above verse in some more detail:
1: And while they were talking to the people, the
priests and the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees came up to them,
2: Being greatly troubled because they were teaching the people and preaching Jesus as an example of the coming back from the dead.
3: And they took them and put them in prison till the morning, for it was now evening.
4: But a number of those who gave hearing to the word had faith; and they were now about five thousand.
5: And on the day after, the rulers and those in authority and the scribes came together in Jerusalem;
6: And Annas, the high priest, was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all the relations of the high priest.
7: Then sending for Peter and John, they said, By what power and in whose name have you
8: Then Peter, being full of the Holy Spirit, said to them, O you rulers of the people and men of authority,
9: If we are questioned today about a good work done to a man who was ill, as to how he has been made well,
10: Take note, all of you, and all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you put to death on the cross, whom God gave back from the dead, even through him is this man now before you completely well.
11: He is the stone which you builders had no use for, but which has been made the chief stone of the building.
12: And in no other is there salvation: for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, through which we may have salvation.
13: Now when they saw that Peter and John were without fear, though they were men of no education or learning, they were greatly surprised; and they took note of them that they had been with Jesus.
14: And, seeing that the man who had been made well was there with them, they were not able to say anything against it.
15: But when they had given them orders to go out of the Sanhedrin, they had a discussion among themselves,
16: Saying, What are we to do with these men? for certainly it is clear to all who are living in Jerusalem that a most important sign has been done by them, and it is not possible to say that it is not so.
The question arises, why were the rulers and those in authority and the scribes greatly surprised and astonished? The answer is simple, because Peter and John were without fear and were making their case eloquently and had healed a sick person. We read that
13-17. perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men--that is, uninstructed in the learning of the Jewish schools, and of the common sort; men in private life, untrained to teaching.
The Geneva Bible study states
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and i ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
(5) The good liberty and boldness of the servants of God does yet this much good, that those who lay hidden under a mask of zeal at length betray themselves to indeed be wicked men.
(i) The word used here is "idiot", which signifies a private man when it is used in reference to a magistrate: but with reference to sciences and studies, it signifies one that is unlearned, and with regard to honor and estimation, it implies one of base degree, and of no estimation.
They were surprised and astonished because these people were doing something which they couldn't have done merely on their own and these rulers and those in authority and the scribes knew their limitations, yet despite these limitations, Peter and John did something out of their human reach, they accomplished that which they were not capable of accomplishing on their own. Therefore this is reason enough to be astonished and surprised. A miracle was also done, a sick person was healed, and the boldness and courageous stance of Peter and John amazed them.
In his zeal to find a "response" Bravo has actually proven my point by citing the context of Acts 4. Let me simply repeat Bravo's own sources, this time with added emphasis:
13-17. perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men--that is, uninstructed in the learning of the Jewish schools, AND OF THE COMMON SORT; men in private life, UNTRAINED TO TEACHING.
(i) The word used here is "idiot", which signifies a private man when it is used in reference to a magistrate: but with reference to sciences and studies, it signifies one that is UNLEARNED, and with regard to honor and estimation, IT IMPLIES ONE OF BASE DEGREE, AND OF NO ESTIMATION.
Since these commentaries actually prove my point I really don't see the relevance they have in proving Bravo's point. Interestingly, the last commentary states that the Greek word implies one who is unlearned, i.e. an illiterate or what the Quran would call an ummi. Hence, much like Muhammad was believed to be an ummi, so were these Apostles. Furthermore, much like Muhammad wasn't required to write perfectly in order to be a true Prophet (in Bravo's eyes at least), then neither were the Apostles required to write perfectly.
Continuing further Bravo writes:
Now suppose if I am known in the community to speak bad and faulty Greek, and then I go on to write a book which is riddled with bad and faulty Greek, would anyone be surprised and astonished at this? Of course not! No one would and should be astonished and surprised over this "accomplishmnet" of mine. That is because I speak bad and faulty Greek, and thus I logically produced bad, faulty and low style imperfect material in Greek! This is no miracle at all! However, people should be rightfully and quite understandably surprised and astonised were I to produce material in perfect, the most eloquent Greek, when everyone around me have always been aware of my bad command of the Greek language! If an individual is stupid and then he does stupid things then that is not a miracle, if an individual is ignorant and then goes on to do and say ignorant things, then that is not a miracle. However, if a person is known to have a bad command of the language in question, and then suddenly out of the blue one day he starts speaking and composing literature in the most eloquent, perfect and high style in that particular language, then that is indeed something to be astonished at. Also, if someone extremely dumb and stupid one day all of a sudden becomes a genius, then again, everyone would be surprised and astonished at that.
Bravo consistently commits a non-sequitur. Just because someone has been given the ability to speak boldly, it does not follow that he would then be able to write perfectly.
The example of Peter and John actually proves this. For instance, John's writings are written in simple basic Greek. Hence, just because John was empowered to speak boldly and to perform miracles didn't mean that God would then enable him to write perfectly.
The same goes for Peter. Peter used a scribe to write his first epistle:
"With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it." 1 Peter 5:12
Furthermore, the Greek of second Peter is not as polished as the first, either because Peter wrote it himself or had another scribe write it for him. Either way, this again demonstrates the point that I have made throughout this article, exposing Bravo's fallacy in argumentation.
In conclusion, both Sam and I agree with one another that the Christian Bible is written in bad, low and stylistically imperfect Greek. Muslims and Christians hardly stand united on any topic, but it is a good sign that we stand united on this instance, regarding the bad, low and stylistically imperfect style of the Christian Bible. Sam basically agrees with the observations made in the Encyclopedia Of Islam. Obviously, any material written in a bad low and stylistically imperfect style cannot be dubbed a "miracle" or the inerrant word of God. In conclusion, we have authors who have no command of the language in question producing quite understandably poor quality, bad, low and stylistically imperfect material! To remind what the Bible says:
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17
Since the Bible, as Sam and I agree, is not perfect, rather it is written in low, bad and poor stylistically imperfect manner, it there logically cannot be from "above" or from God.
As is typical Bravo confuses inerrancy with writing ability. One can write a document that contains no factual errors without having to write it perfectly. Several NT books are written in simple Greek and yet contain no errors of fact, contrary to the Quran.
In conclusion, we have found that Bravo was unable to refute my arguments, but instead tried to misrepresent my points and attacked straw man. Hence, my original argument still stands. Namely, it was God's specific purpose to demonstrate his power by inspiring such simple writings to miraculously transform the lives of sinners.
All Bravo has done is to waste my time and everyone else's by writing a lengthy "rebuttal" that contained little if any substance. But this is typical of Muslim apologists; they write much but have little to say by way of an actual response.
This fact will become more apparent in [Part B], my next response to his attempts of saving the Quran from grammatical errors. We will see for a second time that he didn't have much to say. And after the dust settles it will be shown that the Quran, unlike the New Testament, is not God's Word.
In the service of our risen Lord and eternal Savior Jesus Christ, for ever and ever. Amen. Come Lord Jesus, Come. We love you Lord forever.
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