The Instigator
Jacob_Apologist
Pro (for)
Losing
26 Points
The Contender
ijazahmad
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Do Christians have the real Bible? Christian Vs Muslim Perspectives

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after 8 votes the winner is...
ijazahmad
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/8/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,782 times Debate No: 25508
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (8)

 

Jacob_Apologist

Pro

I appreciate Ijaz, for taking up my challenge, we will be debating on other topics as well in future, hopefully. I will try to use as much sources with facts and use as clear reasoning in my arguments as I can.

I will be defending two contentions:

  • Christians Scriptures are preserved to an overwhelming Textual reliability
  • The analysis of Bible proves Islam to be a paradox regardless of whether it is preserved or not

Their book, the Qur'an, is believed to have been 'sent down' from heaven unfettered by the hands of men. It is this belief in scripture as a revelation which has been 'sent down' (Nazil or Tanzil) which they then impose upon the Bible as well. But it is wrong for Muslims to assume that the Bible can be measured using the same criteria as that supposed for the Quran. It is wrong for skeptics to test the textual reliability of the Bible as scripture by presuming a standard which the Bible itself does not hold.


Definition of Inspiration: In 2 Timothy 3:16, we are told that all Scripture is inspired. The word used for inspiration is theopneustos which means "God-breathed," implying that what was written had its origin in God Himself. In 2 Peter 1:21 we read that the writers were "carried along" by God. Thus, God used each writer, including his personality to accomplish a divinely authoritative work, for God cannot inspire error. At the same time we do not believe that doctrine of inerrancy means that the original 'autographed copies' should survive till today, for even if they existed, skeptics would doubt whether they are really the originals; nor do we hold that the minor and insignificant changes, roughly around 2-3% in the New Testament texts make any contradiction with our doctrine of inerrancy as those variations have no implication to any theology at all. So I will not let any muslim attack strawman.


Historiography is a branch of study which focuses on the logical, conceptual, and epistemological aspects of what historians do. Critical historiography studies, among other things, the different tests which should be applied to a document to determine whether or not it is historically reliable. When many of these tests are applied to the New Testament documents, they show themselves to be as reliable as, or superior to, most other ancient documents.[1]

Versions (Translations)

We have today in our possession 5,300 known Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, another 10,000 Latin Vulgates, and 9,300 other early versions (MSS), giving us more than 24,000 manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament in existence today! (taken from McDowell's Evidence That demands a Verdict, vol.1, 1972 pgs.40-48; and Time, January 23, 1995, pg.57)


Early Church Fathers

A further witness to the NT text is sourced in the thousands of quotations found throughout the writings of the Church Fathers (the early Christian clergy [100-450 A.D.] who followed the Apostles and gave leadership to the fledgling church, beginning with Clement of Rome (96 A.D.) There are also some 86,000 quotations from the early church fathers and several thousand Lectionaries.


It has been observed that if all of the New Testament manuscripts and Versions mentioned above were to disappear overnight, it would still be possible to reconstruct the entire New Testament with quotes from the Church Fathers, with the exception of fifteen to twenty verses![2]


Those numbers of manuscript keep increasing every year. The new discoveries of mss this year in 2012 have made the textual integrity of the NT even more astonishing. We now have abour 33% of NT dated from first century to second half.


Moreover we continue to discover more ancient and old manuscript even today, very often which makes the textual integrity and reliability stronger. On 10 February 2012 Daniel B. Wallace says, Quote" I mentioned that seven New Testament papyri had recently been discovered—six of them probably from the second century and one of them probably from the first. These fragments will be published in about a year. These manuscripts now increase our holdings as follows: we have as many as eighteen New Testament manuscripts (all fragmentary, more or less) from the second century and one from the first. Altogether, about 33% of all New Testament verses are found in these manuscripts. But the most interesting thing is the first-century fragment. " (The Center for the Study of NT Manuscripts)[3]



Since this debate is between Christianity Vs Islam, it would be unfair if we do not talk about the implications to Islam. Coming to my second contention: Even if the Bible corrupted or preserved; we will see that in both cases, Islam appears to be a paradox, and incoherent to be taken as meaningful. Muhammad maintained that the scripture of Jews & Christians are revelation of Allah; he did not claim to found a new religion but another prophet of the same God of the Bible. Ijaz needs to refute the following argument to defend Islamic position.


a) Either the Bible is corrupted, having lost its original message or it is preserved

b) In both cases the claims of Muhammad or his God proves to be wrong.

c) Therefore it follows that Islam is false


Evidence:

(1) Quran allegedly "confirms & verify" the previous books supposedly the Bible of Allah (Sura 2:40-42,126,136,285,89,91,97,101; 3:3,71,93; 4:47,136; 5:47, 6:92; 10:37; 12:111; 35:31; 46:30 and so on)


(2) Allah claims to guard his dhikri in Surah 15:9. Same word Dhikri/ Dhikraan is used for previous books also; S 16:43, 21:7, 21:48, 53:36. So Its obvious in Islamic perspective that he would "guard" and preserve his Bible too.


(3) Quran claims the scriptures/books of Allah are unalterable (6:34,115 and 18:27)


(4) Quran calls the Bible or previous books of Allah as Equal with Quran-- he makes no distinction btw ANY of his books (3:84, ; 2:136 ) it also appeals to them S 10:94 etc. and since Quran also confirm the whole previous books(1), thus when it talks about alleged corruption of books by some people (S 2:79) it is reasonable to assume it is referring only a small group twisting and changing it for limited period and not ultimate corruption for whole Books.


In Conclusion, if Bible is corrupted and lost forever from believers, Islam is false because the claims, promises of Allah are refuted, he could not save his eternal revelation. If it is preserved then we clearly see that whole book of Muhammad contradicts the Bible; this is why we had actually a new religion founded by Muhammad.



[1] A sample chapter from the book "Scaling the secular city" by J P Morland http://www.bethinking.org......

[2] Jimmy Williams http://www.leaderu.com......

[3] The Center for the Study of NT Manuscripts http://www.csntm.org......

ijazahmad

Con

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

The topic at hand specifies that we're examining both the Christian and Muslim claim in respect to the Christian origins of the Biblical texts and their textual reliability (preservation). From the onset, we must identify several foundations for my later argumentation, namely:
  • There is no original Bible canonical codex in existence (first complete canons and codices date from the 4th century: Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus).[1]
  • There is no original manuscript from the scribes of whom they are attributed to, in current existence (Papyri 52 is the earliest, dated to roughly 125 CE, that is to say empirically decided). [2]
  • My opponent has to name the canon or codex and the reasoning as to why he believes the named canon or codex is the 'real Bible'.
  • The Qur'an does not say the Injil or Torah became corrupted, however it does say eisegesis was done (5:13) and an alternate text developed by scribes (2:79) to be used.[3]

The dogma that the Bible was inspired (viz a viz 2 Tim. 3:16 [4]) is exactly that, a dogma, not empirical evidence, since we are examining the textual nature, further study into that verse is irrelevant. However a simple understanding is that it refers to the Old Testament (as it says in verse 15, Peter was a child when he studied those scriptures), the NT did not exist during his childhood or adulthood (Pastorial authorship is heavily disputed).

While the NT is the most populous of old world manuscripts, it does have more contradictions between the texts, than their are words [5]. This presents a problem as the Biblical God addresses Himself as the anti-thesis to confusion (1 Cor. 14:33), since these manuscripts and contradictions are revised every few years under the guise of the GNT by the Nestle Aland group, it is testament to the fact that the 'scripture' of the Christians is indeed dynamic and therefore constantly in contradiction with previous editions. If the Bible is indeed inspired by God, why is there no original text, or one constant text always in use?

Christians boast of 1000's of manuscripts. Of what use are these manuscripts if there is no original to compare them to? If I had $1 in Monopoly money and $1 in USD, and I photocopied the Monopoly dollar while I destroyed the USD, how would anyone be able to counter my argument that the Monopoly was not an authentic USD, if there existed no original to compare it with? How can you compare something with nothing and claim something to be authentic? Similarly, since there are many varying canons and codices with virtually none in agreement with each other, how can anyone claim that there is one 'scripture that is the Bible'?

The role of the Patristics (early Church Fathers) adds more evidences to the claim that the Christians do not possess an authentic 'Bible', in fact; of the 27 NT canonical books no Patristic accepts them all according to the empirical evidences we possess [6]. As for the manuscripts that do contain Patristic quotes of what later came to be known as the NT, we read the following:

"It is as true of the New Testament quotations in the Church Fathers as it is of the versions that they are often misjudged and consequently misused. The route from a modern edition of a Church Father's works back to the text which he read in his New Testament may be long and tortuous... But even when a modern critical edition is available there is no certainty that it preserves the New Testament quotations of a work as they occurred in its original form." - K. Aland & B. Aland (Trans. E. F. Rhodes), The Text Of The New Testament: An Introduction To The Critical Editions And To The Theory And Practice Of Modern Textual Criticism, 1995 (2nd Revised Edition), op. cit., p. 171.

"Patristic sources provide primary evidence for the history of the text but only secondary evidence for the original text itself." - B. D. Ehrman, Didymus The Blind And The Text Of The Gospels, 1986, op. cit., p. 5. See the footnote 2.

While Christians boast of possessing those NT quotes from the Patristics, they are essentially worthless, save for proving that; that version of the next was historically in existence at its time of writing. Yet it does not bolster the text's authenticity or accuracy.

On the Muslim perspective, the Qur'an and Sunnah state:

  1. Allaah confirmed He sent previous revelations, but never mentions the Bible (Kitab ul Muqaddas or Majmu ul Kutub) as one of them.
  2. Allaah's words were never changed or cannot be changed since it is an asma wa sifaat of Allaah. However people wrote words and claimed it to be from Him (2:79, as is testament to the Targum and Talmuds which became like scripture to the Jews: [7]).Therefore God's word was not altered but hidden/ lost (see: Anti Ochus' invasion of Yirusalem, during the reign of Josiah the son of Ammon and when Nebuchadnezzar invaded).
  3. The Christian claim that Allaah verifies the Bible is mere conjecture as, the Injil was given to Jesus (Qur'an 19:30), no Christian believe the Bible was given by Christ but that it was written in 'inspiration' after him.


Sources:

  1. K. Aland and B. Aland, The Text Of The New Testament: An Introduction To The Critical Editions & To The Theory & Practice Of Modern Text Criticism, 1995, op. cit., p. 29
  2. Ibid.
  3. 2:79, "So woe to their learned people, who write the law with their own hands and then say to the people, "This is from Allah," so that they might gain some paltry worldly end. (They do not see that) this writing of their hands will bring woe to them and what they gain thereby will lead to their ruin."

    5:13, "Then, for their breach of the covenant We cast them away from Our mercy and caused their hearts to harden. (And now they are in such a state that) they pervert the words from their context and thus distort their meaning, and have forgotten a good portion of the teaching they were imparted, and regarding all except a few of them you continue to learn that they committed acts of treachery. Pardon them, then, and overlook their deeds. Surely Allah loves those who do good deeds."
  4. 2 Tim. 3:15, "and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
  5. Novum Testamentum Graecum, cum lectionibus variantibus MSS.
  6. The Development of the NT Canon, http://www.ntcanon.org...
  7. The Spark of All Truths, Chabad, http://www.chabad.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Jacob_Apologist

Pro

Let me address the arguments of Ijaz one by one. He called 2 Tim 3:16 as mere dogma which according to him is not empirical evidence. But I quoted those refs to show the doctrine of revelation according to the Bible; so that Muslims may not attack strawman by judging the Bible by some false criteria for revelation. Such verses did not considered the OT alone to be “scripture” rather apostle knew each other's letters as they were in circulation among their Churches. For example Peter referred to Paul’s letters as “scripture” 2 Peter 3:15-18. Please see the early tradition and Canonization of the New Testament.[1]

He says “NT does have more contradictions between the texts, than their are words” citing John Mill’s Novum Testamentum of 1707 as source. He is badly mistaken; confusing the textual variations with some sort of textual and doctrinal “contradictions”. Mill proved nothing new, he only showed the textual variances in some mss at that time, which was uncomfortable to Catholic Church. Other scholars proved that not a single doctrine is affected by Mill’s work [2]. So Mill’s work was to some orthodox believers in 1707; what Ehrman’s work is today to some unaware naïve believers when they get threatened by those arguments.

The argument that we don’t have original autographed compilation and independent mss of the NT is a poor objection. It doesn’t prove that we don’t have the original text of the NT; moreover this is not historian's criteria for any ancient document. The oldest codex we have actually strengthens the textual integrity. Codex Sinaiticus is available online, you can read and study it. That objection is out of desperate skepticism, for how would we even unanimously agree on a mss that it’s really the autographed document in the first place? Such expectation of Muslims goes against their own Quran’s textual integrity, for neither they have the original mss. The oldest surviving Quran's mss drastically differs with today’s Uthman's copy. See what Dr Puin says about the oldest Quran, Sana mss of Yemen [3]. The Sira (biographies) and Sunna which survive in the historical works by writers of third and fourth century of the Muslim era (900−1000 AD) So if the most important sources of Islam dates 3 and 4 centuries after Muhammad, how can they expect such radical skepticism on Biblical text?

Moreover the NT has independent mss of the books that dates way older than the full codex. I showed earlier, as on this year 2012 we have discovered the mss dating from the very first century and in total we have 33% of the NT dating from first to second half century, this discovery has astonished the skeptical world. So P52 is not the oldest papyri now as he claims.

Aland’s short quotation that he quoted says very small about the lectionaries; don't get swayed away by such quotes. Ijaz quoted Ehrman saying the Patristic texts are only secondary evidence for the original text itself. Of course, no one argued that, it only proves that we have ample external sources that attest the original text of NT overwhelmingly.

There are 86,000 quotations from the early church. These are found in several thousand Lectionaries that are church-service books contain Scripture quotations used in the early centuries of Christianity. None of the New Testament canon we have today is lost or missing, not one verse. You could destroy all the manuscripts of the New Testament, and destroy all the New Testaments in existence in the world, and you could reproduce all but 11-17 verses of the whole New Testament from early church writings. Sir David Dalrymple once asked himself the question, “Suppose that the New Testament had been destroyed, and every copy of it lost by the end of the 3rd century, could it have been collected together again from the writing of the Fathers of the second and third centuries?” His answer was “...as I possessed all the existing works of the Fathers of the second and third centuries, I commenced to search, and up to this time I have found the entire New Testament, except eleven verses.” (Evidence that demands a verdict, J. McDowell, Vol. I, pp. 50-51)

The currency analogy against historiography methods was an absurd and false analogy. That is not similar with the method textual critics use to obtain the original texts and message of ancient documents. Not only that analogy falls on the head of muslim scripture it again left them to think where are the original holy books of Allah that he sent to Christians, along with the original Quran to early Muslims? So where are all the “real” revelations of Allah?

Now let’s come to my second contention that Ijaz did not defend. He did not defend the Islamic Dilemma which proves his God to be the author of confusion and religion a paradox; he said Allah confirmed previous revelation but never mentioned the Bible as one of them. But you can see the Quranic ref I gave. What should we conclude from Muhammad’s words when he repeatedly refers to the books of Jews and Christians, the books they possessed between their hands, even naming them Torah Jabur Injil? Obviously he talked about the scripture of Christians when he explicitly claimed so.

He said the God’s words are lost. As I argued in my opening case, this only disproves Islam. For how can a muslim argue that 1% corruption in NT entails that Christianity is false; when actually his own God claimed to send those books as eternal and the same time muslims admitting their God completely lost his revelations? Notice from the verse he gave S 5:13 says that “..you will still observe deceit among them, except a few of them.” Again it proves that it talks about a particular group of particular time, not all of them. Quran claimed some kept their scripture preserved. As I argued we have to interpret 2:79 the same way; with respect to the fact that whole Quran confirms and appeals to the same scripture of Christians all along. Assuming the author of 2:79 knew the rest of Quran, he could not have meant that the people of the books have corrupted them ultimately, and Allah God has lost his holy revelation.

Allah claimed that all previous scripture he sent to Christians and Jews. Early Muslims never got to see the previous revelation of their Islamic expectations hence always speculated as to what the books are that Quran speaks. See the variety of beliefs[4]

You can judge by the evidences yourselves, I have demonstrated the astonishing textual reliability of the NT and proved that when Muslims attack the reliability of Bible, eventually they should realize they are cutting the very branch on which Muhammad is sitting.





Sources:

[1] Books of NT Canon http://www.letusreason.org...

[2] John Mill - Novum Testamentum http://www.csntm.org...

[3] Querying the Koran, Guardian, 2000. http://www.guardian.co.uk...

[4] http://www.injil.org...

ijazahmad

Con

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

2 Tim. 3:16 refers to the Old Testament as scripture, for it reads:

"and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures", the only scripture that existed during the infancy of Paul or Timothy would be the Tanach, Adam Clarke's exegesis agrees with me:

"The apostle is here evidently speaking of the Jewish Scriptures; and he tells us that they are able to make us wise unto salvation provided we have faith in Jesus Christ. This is the simple use of the Old Testament.[1]" As for the claim that Peter refers to Paul's writings as scripture, the Pastorial of 2 Peter is well known not to have been authored by Peter, it's a homonymous pastorial:

"A generation after Jude's vigorous letter was written, it was taken over almost word for word into what we know as II Peter. By the end of the second century, or soon after, so many books had been written in Christian circles about the apostle Peter, or under his name, that one could have collected a whole New Testament of works bearing his name. There arose a Gospel of Peter, Acts of Peter, The Teaching of Peter, The Preaching of Peter, The Letters of Peter, and The Revelation of Peter. Most of these laid claim to being from the pen of Peter himself. The one that claims this most insistently is II Peter. It comes from a time when Christians were seriously doubting the Second Coming of Jesus. A hundred years had passed since his ministry and death, and men were saying, "Where is his promised coming? For ever since our forefathers fell asleep, everything has remained as it was from the beginning of creation.[2]"

Jacob then indicated that John Mill's works were not affecting his doctrine, rather the source he gave [3], proposed otherwise:

"This apparatus revealed 30,000 variants among the witnesses, causing Roman Catholic scholars to decry the Textus Receptus as a ‘paper pope’ which was contradicted by the MSS of the New Testament. Some Protestants, too, attacked Mill’s work because they saw it as a threat to the Reformation principle of sola scriptura."

In fact according to Jacob's source only one person as opposed to RC scholars and Protestant scholars supported Mill's work. Apparently one person is more important that most of Christendom at that point in time. What's worse is that the variation in 'scripture', amassing more than 30,000 variants contradicts the Bible's statement, "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints." in 1 Cor. 14:33, since there are no two manuscripts which agree 100% and John Mill found 30,000 + variants, how can we know the 'truth' if the scripture is 'in confusion'? What's worse is that only one codex can be true, as the Bible attests to their only being one eternal scripture, "Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.", see Psalm 119:89. Jacob never answered which canonical codex was the real word of God, instead he conceded to it being a confused, contradictory, perpetual mess of variants and interpolations.

Jacob insisted that there was no need for an original manuscript autograph as it is not a criteria for any textual critic, what he seems to be forgetting is that the reason no one asks is because they don't exist and they're constantly trying to decipher what the original could have been, Bart Ehrman says [4], "The necessity of applying textual criticism to the books of the New Testament arises from two circumstances: id) none of the original documents is extant, and ib) the existing copies differ from one another. The textual critic seeks to ascertain from the divergent copies which form of the text should be regarded as most nearly conforming to the original. In some cases the evidence will be found to be so evenly divided that it is extremely difficult to decide between two variant readings." The very reason for Textual Criticism is to develop an original reading, so his saying that we don't need to have the original is absurd, as the original would nullify having the need for the Science of Textual Criticism.

Jacob's argument that because Muslim's don't have the original MSS of the Qur'an is a faulty one, not only do we have them [5], our liturgical transmission is independent of it and has preserved it alongside the massive amounts of textual transmission which occurred alongside it. His claim of Gerd Puin's variants is specified to only 3 MSS (which the NT also has: palimpsest) of 35,000 in Yemen and relegated to an Alif being written different and Surahs in other orders [6]. His claim of the Seerah and Sunnah being based on the 3rd and 4th centuries is due to abject ignorance of Ulum al Hadith, wherein the oral and aural (liturgical) transmission of ahadith (literally: narration) was a practise of Islam from the beginning [7].

Jacob then claims that P52 is no longer the oldest MSS as there was a discovery of older MSS, however no such evidence has been provided. I know of the claim, but the person who made the statement has not shown the alleged MSS to anyone. Therefore I am asking if Jacob has any empirical (physical) evidence of the existence of those MSS to present it, otherwise he's appealing to wishful thinking. To inform Jacob, my quote from both Aland and Ehrman referred to the entire corpus of Patristic writings and it's relevance in determining an original text's authenticity and as demonstrated, they are worthless. As for the claim that you can rebuild the original NT from the Patristic sources, this is easily debunked as any Bible from the time of Textus Receptus to the NA 28th GNT does not use Patristic sources, that's because Aland himself codified the NA editions along with Nestle. Any Bible produced from 1898 would be based on that GNT codex. I therefore challenge Jacob to produce one Bible that has been assembled solely on Patristic statements (he can't as none has ever been produced on such a criteria because it is impossible).

He claims I did not 'defend' the Qur'an, but he does not say how or where. The Qur'an never mentions the Bible (Kitab al Muqaddas or Majmu ul Kutub), his reference refers to what Allaah sent to His Prophets which Jacob rejects (Qur'an 19:30). The Qur'an never refers to the books of the Jews and Christians, but to the revelation of Allaah (which he rejects, Q: 19:30). The book 'between' his hands refers to the Qur'an [8]. The Torah, Zabur and Injil were books given by Allaah to the Jews and Christians, not the books written by the Jews and Christians after being lost [9]. S. 5:13 is an incomplete quote, other verses rebuke them for corruption [10]. As for 2:79, see my opening statement.


Sources:

  1. Adam Clarke's Exegesis, 2 Tim. 3.
  2. Edgar Godspeed's, An Intro. to the NT.
  3. CSNTM, http://bit.ly...
  4. Bart Ehr., The Text of the NT, 4th Ed, Preface.
  5. Islamic Awareness, http://bit.ly...
  6. Hamza Tzortzis, http://bit.ly...
  7. Sahih al Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 1.
  8. CC, http://bit.ly...
  9. Round 1, Myself.
  10. http://bit.ly...
Debate Round No. 2
Jacob_Apologist

Pro

I'm sure all enjoyed the debate & it'll help many. Recall my 2 contentions:

  1. Christian Scripture are preserved in their original form
  2. The analysis of Bible’s integrity proves Islam to be a paradox

Ijaz could neither give positive arguments against 1, nor could he defend Islamic implication 2.

From the evidence and graph; If you're rational, you’d definitely believe all those ancient writings to be historically reliable, just as any historian does. At the same time if you then doubt the textual authenticity of the NT, you can calculate in numbers how much hypocrisy & double standards it takes to doubt it.

I never said 2 Tim. 3 refers to NT, but it refers to the Scriptures as whole. It was quoted to give the “doctrine of inspiration” that Bible holds. Even though the authorship of 2 Peter is debated among liberal scholars, we do have good external evidence and some internal evidence that affirms the epistle.[1]

Questioning on the authenticity of the MSS discovery of this year is naïve. I even gave the source to quote Dan Wallace. This is no bluff guys but real:

"On 1 Feb 2012, I debated Bart Ehrman ... I mentioned that 7 NT papyri had recently been discovered— 6 of them probably from the 2nd century and one of them probably from the first. These fragments will be published in about a year. It was dated by one of the world’s leading paleographers. He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the 1st century. If this is true, it would be the oldest fragment of the NT known to exist. Up until now, no one has discovered any 1st century manuscripts of the NT. The oldest manuscript has been P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century. It was discovered in 1934." Read more (csntm.org)

Ijaz is still confused as to what are variances in the mss. Do those 30000 variants means ‘contradictions’ in the meaning and texts? Not sure about Mill but Ehrman does mislead his layman audience into thinking they’re fatal textual errors, however Bart Ehrman himself in his book admitted that they are completely insignificant.

Let me quote Dan Wallace on clearing that misleading claims of Bart to the laymen:

"Ehrman overplays the quality of the variants while underscoring their quantity. He says, “There are more variations among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.” Elsewhere he states that the number of variants is as high as 400,000. That is true enough, but by itself is misleading. Anyone who teaches NT textual criticism knows that this fact is only part of the picture and that, if left dangling in front of the reader without explanation is a distorted view. Once it is revealed that the great majority of these variants are inconsequential—involving spelling differences that cannot even be translated, articles with proper nouns, word order changes, and the like—and that only a very small minority of the variants alter the meaning of the text, the whole picture begins to come into focus. Indeed, only about 1% of the textual variants are both meaningful and viable.The impression Ehrman sometimes gives throughout the book—and repeats in interviews—is that of wholesale uncertainty about the original wording,a view that is far more radical than he actually embraces.

We can illustrate things this way. There are approx 138,000 words in the Greek NT. The variants in the mss, versions, and Fathers constitute almost three times this number. At first blush, that is a striking amount. But in light of the possibilities, it actually is rather trivial. For example, consider the ways in which Greek can say “Jesus loves Paul”:

1. ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀγαπᾷ Παῦλον

2. ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀγαπᾷ τὸν Παῦλον

3. ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀγαπᾷ Παῦλον"( 4,5 & so on)[2]


Quoting James White in his debate with Ehrman:

"Given first of all, that there are as of November of 2008, 5,752 cataloged, handwritten NT manuscripts, and given that there are approx 400,000 textual variants amongst these Greek mss—leaving off the Latin, Coptic, Syriac, etc— graphically we can see the situation as presented by Dr. Ehrman like this. Sadly, for the majority of those who hear these numbers or see a graph like this, it is assumed that this means there are three options for every single word in the New Testament. This is the conclusion of many atheists and Muslims, with whom I’ve had dialogue. But is this the case? Surely not, the repetition of the bare fact that there are more variants in the NT than there are words in the New Testament without proper historical context is grossly misleading. The fact is that the vast majority of these variants are utterly irrelevant to the proper understanding and translation of the text. Let’s note the truth of the matter. The more manuscripts you have, the more variants you will have amongst them. If you only have a small number of manuscripts, you have fewer variants; you likewise have less certainty of the original readings. These go hand-in-hand. Obviously, having mss coming from different areas at different times, yet all testifying to the same text is strong evidence that you possess the document in its original form. The more manuscripts you have and the earlier they are is important. The fewer manuscripts you have, the higher possibility of major emendation, editing, and corruption. The New Testament has more manuscripts than any other work of antiquity, approx 1.3 million pages of handwritten text.” [3]

So Ijaz’s myth that no two mss agree 100% is utterly deceptive, he says “only one mss or codex can be true”, this is a huge misconception based on ignorance and desperate skepticism. We know there is theological motivation lies behind this denial in the muslim world, as showed from my 2nd contention. Muslims cannot imagine accepting the truth of Bible, since it’d expose their prophet’s new religion of Islam. He defends the textual history of Quran & Sunnah by saying muslims had great oral tradition! As if the early Christians did not have that. Even in the late time of 7th century, Muslims could not develop their codex until third or fourth century, and the oldest codex Sana Mss contradicts the Uthman’s version yet they manage to have faith in Quran’s textual integrity.

He just admits the original (previous) revelations of Allah got “lost”. “The Torah, Zabur and Injil were books given by Allaah to the Jews and Christians, not the books written by the Jews and Christians after being lost. Hence according to the evidence and reasoning I gave (a, b and c) Islam proves to be false religion when the claims of Allah/Muhamad are falsified; and we see immense contradiction between Quran and all it’s so called prev books of Allah. Islam proves to be a paradox, and the truth of the Christian Bible prevails.


Sources

[1] Wayne Stiles http://bible.org...

[2] This is a must read http://bible.org...

[3] James White Vs Bart “Does the Bible Misquote Jesus?” mp3 & pdf http://www.apologetics315.com...

ijazahmad

Con

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

My opponent has thus far failed to answer the following list of contentions:
  1. Provided evidence for an authentic Biblical canonical codex.
  2. Provided a single Bible formed based on solely Patristic quotes.
  3. Provided empirical evidence for MSS predating P52.
  4. Provided a single canonical codex that is in harmony with any other canonical codex.
  5. Provided any two MSS which agree with each other.

To add to this, he repeats that the NT is historically reliable but was unable to prove so, instead what he has done is alter the meaning of the word 'contradition' to that of being a 'variant'. To educate him, a variant is a contradiction bewteen two MSS, because...they 'vary'! What's most important however is that he never qualified his argument in support of the main topic: "Do Christians have the real Bible?", if he had the real Bible, why didn't he name it? He was unable to produce a single canonical codex's name or link or picture. Therefore conceding to my argument that it does not exist, for if it did, he could have showed us.


The use of 2 Tim. 3 was ignorant on his own behalf and does not reflect on the 'inspired nature' of the NT, as the text is in sole reference to the Tanach. Therefore he misapplied a verse from his own Bible as I amptly demonstrated. As for the case of 2 Peter, his link refers to a Mr. Wayne Stiles who's own work concedes to it's inauthenticity:

"Quite probably the churches which originally received it, knowing it not to be Peter’s own work, would not have granted it the same status in their own use as they did, e.g., to the Pauline letters. . . . Whatever the reasons for its lack of wide use in the second century, this seems to have contributed to its very slow progress toward general acceptance into the canon."[1]

What's worse is not only could Jacob not provide any evidence for a coherent, non-varying codex of the NT, he was relegated to spurious claims of fragmented MSS:

"On 1 Feb 2012, I debated Bart Ehrman ... I mentioned that 7 NT papyri had recently been discovered— 6 of them probably from the 2nd century and one of them probably from the first.These fragments will be published in about a year."[2]

No physical evidence, just someone claiming that they 'probably' have something. These MSS being probable does not make the pro-argument absolute, as it is equally likely to be 'probably' not from the first or second centuries. In either case it's irrelevant as it's not a full MSS, just a partial fragment of one papyri. Jacob then repeats the claim that variants are not contradictions. A contradiction is defined as: "Inconsistency; discrepancy.a statement that is at variance with itself".[3] He then claims that Bart Ehrman says they are insignificant but does not qualify this claim. However I can provide ample claims to the contrary:

  1. The Trinity Verse of 1 John 5:7 [4]:

    "It is missing in all the earlier Greek manuscripts, for it is found in no Greek manuscript written before the 16th century. Indeed, it is found in only two Greek manuscripts of any age - one the Codex Montfortianus, or Britannicus, written in the beginning of the sixteenth century, and the other the Codex Ravianus, which is a mere transcript of the text."
  2. Ending of Mark 16, verses 9-20 [5].

    "The passage from verse 9 to the end is not found in the two most ancient manuscripts, the Sinaitic and Vatican, and others have it with partial omissions and variations."
  3. The stoning of the Prostitute story. [6]
  4. The entire book of Revelation. [7]
  5. No two Patristics ever agreed on all 27 books being scripture. [8]

Would Jacob call those insiginificant errors? Most definitely not. In fact if God is perfect, and God's revelation is an extension of God's guidance for mankind, should it not reflect the perfect nature of God? This is "God's word" after all. Any variant in God's word would mean Jacob's God is imperfect and would Jacob not be a heretic for disputing that variances don't affect his doctrine when his own God says there can only be one eternal word:"Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.", see Psalm 119:89.


In Jacob's case, it get's worse as he made this claim:"So Ijaz’s myth that no two mss agree 100% is utterly deceptive, he says “only one mss or codex can be true”, this is a huge misconception based on ignorance and desperate skepticism." As it contradicts the aforementioned verse from Psalms 119:89, therefore he has labelled his own God to be deceptive, ignorant, desperate and a skeptic. As for his comments on the Muslim 'oral tradition', they are easily dismissed as it is known Christians abandoned liturgical transmission in light of textual transmission, hence why no such oral tradition as documented for Jews and Muslims is seen in Christian history. The Muslim canon and codex was developed during the time of Muhammad [saws] and completed within his lifetime, by over 30 scribes under the authority of Muhammad [saws], [9]. As already noted the Sanaa Codex differed only in arrangement of the order of Surahs and a variation in the writing of Alif, found only in 3 of 35,000 MSS, which does not affect the text in anyway, as it is comparable in English to writing in 'italics' as opposed to 'normally' [10].

His final reproach on the Qur'an is the statement:

"He just admits the original (previous) revelations of Allah got “lost”. “The Torah, Zabur and Injil were books given by Allaah to the Jews and Christians, not the books written by the Jews and Christians afterbeing lost”." [11] I pray that Jacob learns to read as my statement of books being lost, refers to the Judaic admittance of 'hiding scripture' or 'losing it', during:
  1. AntiOchus' invasion.
  2. Nebuchadnezzar's invasion.
  3. Josiah Son of Ammon's rule.

For which Allaah did send Prophets to remind them of God's message, see Qur'an 2:132, 5:20, 20:24, 51:38, 73:15 and 79:17, for which the Bible says they were killed: " “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you.... Look, your house is left to you desolate." - Matthew 23:37-38.

In closing, I have provided ample evidence to counter Jacob's claims. He has been unable to answer the 5 contentions listed at the start of this closing statement and he has not answered any of the counter claims I have presented, nor has he been able to provide an physical of a single 'manuscript', 'codex' or 'canon' of any Bible to be presented as 'authentic' and being God's word. Thus refuting himself.

He even sent a message during the debate, begging me not to use certain arguments, look at his dishonesty!



Sources:
  1. Bible.org: http://bible.org..., cit. #6.
  2. Jacob, Round 2.
  3. www.thefreedictionary.com/contradiction
  4. http://barnes.biblecommenter.com...
  5. http://sco.biblecommenter.com...
  6. http://bit.ly...
  7. http://www.newadvent.org...
  8. http://www.ntcanon.org...
  9. The History of the Qur'anic Text: From Revelation to Compilation, by MM Azami, preface, pages 15-16.
  10. http://bit.ly..., Round 2.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by awnoor 4 years ago
awnoor
Jacob_ApologistijazahmadTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: more sources, better arguments, stronger evidences. Also, counter votebomb by Jacob friends.
Vote Placed by johnnyboy54 4 years ago
johnnyboy54
Jacob_ApologistijazahmadTied
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Reasons for voting decision: counter votebomb
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
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Reasons for voting decision: countering the votebomb.
Vote Placed by Fawicted 4 years ago
Fawicted
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Reasons for voting decision: Ijazahmad ka argument zyada acha hai!
Vote Placed by NAPAKistan 4 years ago
NAPAKistan
Jacob_ApologistijazahmadTied
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Reasons for voting decision: bettre argeuments, will tell my freinds!
Vote Placed by famer 4 years ago
famer
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Meh, I'll do KRFournier's vote for him. As said, "I'd give arguments and sources to PRO". There we go.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
Jacob_ApologistijazahmadTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con insisted that Pro must provide the original documents to even debate this issue, utterly ignoring the tenants of historiography. Con also insisted that the 30,000 NT differences amounted to "confusion" despite Pro's repeated refutations. Why didn't he show me that these differences led to confusion rather than just stating it repeatedly? I'm giving argument and sources to Pro. UPDATE: Countering Wallstreetatheist's vote bomb.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
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Reasons for voting decision: ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!