The Instigator
Rasheed
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mr.Infidel
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Ishmael was the real child of promise, not Isaac

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mr.Infidel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/16/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,430 times Debate No: 19318
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Rasheed

Pro

Resolution

Ishmael was the true child promised to Abraham, not Isaac. The pro will prove this argument through historical and scriptural evidence.
Mr.Infidel

Con

I would like to thank my partner for instigating this debate. I look forward to an excellent debate!

For a side note, theologicaly I am Jewish.

I assume this first round is just for acceptance, so good luck!

:-)
Debate Round No. 1
Rasheed

Pro

Thank you so much for accepting this challenge, I hope that we will have a productive sharing of ideas.

It is widely assumed that Hagar, the slave of Abram, was not his wife, therefore making Ishmael illegitimate. This was not the case because the Bible clearly states that she became his wife; "And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to husband to be his wife" (Genesis 16:3).

According to the Bible Ishmael was born when Abram was 86 years of age (Genesis 16:16) but was 100 years old when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). This would make Ishmael 14 when his younger brother was born.

When Isaac was weaned (at about 2 years of age) Sarah convinced Abraham to throw Hagar and Ishmael out of the house. Ishmael would have had to be about 16 during this period, but in the Biblical account it describes him as though he were an infant at the time of this event.

"And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the widlerness of Beer-sheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs (but he was at least 16!!). And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as if it were a bow shot; for she said, let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation" (Genesis 21:14-18).

So what we have here is a clear misstep in the telling of the story, which calls into question the reliability of the text as it relates to who was in fact the child of promise, but for arguments sake I will continue.

In Genesis 22:2 it says "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."

When was Isaac Abrahams only son? Ishmael was his only son for 14 years, but Isaac never had that honor.

I contend that the names were switched, and I supply this statement as my foundation: "It is related that a renowned traditionalist of Jewish origin, from the Qurayza tribe, and another Jewish scholar, who converted to Islam, told that Caliph Omar Ibn 'Abd al-Aziz (717-20) that the Jews were well informed that Ismail was the one who was bound, but that they concealed this out of jealousy. The Muslim legend also adds details of Hajar, the mother of Ismail. After Abraham drove her and her son out, she wandered between the hills of al-Safa and al-Marwa (in the vicinity of Mecca) in search of water. At that time the waaters of the spring Zemzem began to flow. Her acts became the basis for the hallowed custom of Muslims during the Hajj" (Encyclopaedia Judaica, Volume 9, Encyclopaedia Judacia Jerusalem, pp. 82 (Under 'Ishmael).


It is argued that because Sarah was Abrahams first wife that this is the reason for the child of promise coming through her. The Biblical scripture has a contrary view. "If a man have two wives, one beloved and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he has, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he has: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his" Deuteronomy 21:15-17.

It is for these reasons that I contend that Ishmael was in fact the true child of promise.
Mr.Infidel

Con

Thank you for your interesting and well thought out arguments. In this debate, I am attempting to refute my partner's suggestion that Ishmael was the promised son of Abraham.

To remind everyone, this is NOT about the truth of the Bible, nor is it about the truth of the Koran; rather, this debate is about which of Abraham's sons weas the promised child.

Genesis 22

My partner uses this chapter to suggest a "corruption", which is begging the question what the Hebrew means. Below, I have submited both the Hebrew and English version of the text:

And He said, "Please take your son, your only one, whom you love, yea, Isaac, and go away to the land of Moriah and bring him up there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains, of which I will tell you." ב. וַיֹּאמֶר קַח נָא אֶת בִּנְךָ אֶת יְחִידְךָ אֲשֶׁר אָהַבְתָּ אֶת יִצְחָק וְלֶךְ לְךָ אֶל אֶרֶץ הַמֹּרִיָּה וְהַעֲלֵהוּ שָׁם לְעֹלָה עַל אַחַד הֶהָרִים אֲשֶׁר אֹמַר אֵלֶיךָ:

Ah, so now we see that the King James Per-version is in error, not the Bible as a whole. When we do a quick analysis of the Hebrew text, we see that the text has the words "Please take your son, your only one, whom you love..." Issac was the only son that Abraham loved. Indeed, Abraham had 2 biological children, but loved only Issac and did NOT love Ishmael.

The great scholar and commentator Rashi says, "He [Abraham] said to Him,“ I have two sons.” He [God] said to him,“ Your only one.” He said to Him,“ This one is the only son of his mother, and that one is the only son of his mother.” He said to him,“ Whom you love.” He said to Him,“ I love them both.” He said to him,“ Isaac.” Now why did He not disclose this to him at the beginning? In order not to confuse him suddenly, lest his mind become distracted and bewildered, and also to endear the commandment to him and to reward him for each and every expression. — [from Sanh. 89b, Gen. Rabbah 39:9, 55:7]" [1]

Moreover, my opponent argues that the scribes knew that the text clearly said Ishmael, but nonetheless they changed it in their vainglory. The question begged is how my partner knows this. To refute this assertion, all what one must do is look at the dead sea scrolls (a lot older than Islam), which clearly puts Issac as the promised child.

In conclusion, we see that my partner's arguments fall under a quick analysis of Hebrew.

Thank you.

Reference

[1] Rashi's Commentaries on Genesis 22
Debate Round No. 2
Rasheed

Pro

Thank you for your speedy response.

My opponent says that "this is NOT about the truth of the Bible, nor is it about the truth of the Koran; rather, this debate is about which of Abraham's sons was the promised child."

If the very source from which we draw our conclusions cannot be questioned for validity, where then do we draw our information about Ishmael and Isaac? My opponent then goes forward and quotes the very source that he says should not be examined for errors. This is a curious way to argue a point.

I reject his argument that the Bible or Qu'ran should not be examined for errors in our pursuit of the truth, unless he can offer other sources concerning these individuals.

I thank my opponent for using the Hebrew to further clarify my point. He quotes the Torah as saying; "Please take your son, your only one, whom you love..." He goes further and says that "Isaac was the only son that Abraham loved. Indeed, Abraham had 2 biological children, but loved only Isaac and did NOT love Ishmael."

I have several arguments about this point;

1. My opponent proves the errors in the text by first quoting the phrase "your only son", which Isaac never was, no matter how much he may have loved him, and admitting that "Indeed, Abraham had 2 biological children."

The only son that could ever claim to be Abraham's only son was Ishmael.

2. Whether or not Abraham loved Isaac and not Ishmael (a horrible charge to level at any parent, especially the Patriarch of three major religions) is immaterial to the fact that Ishmael was the firstborn and must be honored as such according to Deuteronomy 21:15-17.

DEAD SEA SCROLLS

My opponent makes reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls and states that they say Isaac as well. Without knowing it he has advanced my argument that the Torah is a corrupted source. how else to explain the statement "only son" in reference to Isaac when we know that it is factually incorrect?

ANSWERING THE CHARGE OF CORRUPTION IN THE HAGAR STORY

In my initial argument I showed how the story of Hagar being thrown out of Abraham's house was flawed, but my opponent chose to dismiss the error by saying that the truth of the Bible should not be in question during this debate. This is a self serving statement that has no logical foundation. I contend that the very source from which he draws his conclusion about Isaac being the child of promise is flawed in several areas, to which he has not answered.

PROMISES THAT WENT UNFULFILLED IN ISAAC BUT WERE FULFILLED IN ISHMAEL.

In the Torah God is made to say; "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" (Genesis 22:17).

If God did promise Isaac that his descendants would be in number as the dust of the Earth, as the stars in the sky, and as the sand in the seashore, this was a false promise which has not been fulfilled.

Another promise that was not fulfilled, if indeed it was made, was the promise to give Isaac all of the Land of Canaan. The Arabs, the descendants of Ishmael, have occupied Canaan from that day to this. Canaan is the valley on the right and left banks of the Jordan River. Today, the Right Bank is controlled entirely by Arabs. More than 90% of the population of the Left Bank is Arab as well. The Jews only recently re-arrived as rulers of part of that area after an absence of nearly 3,000 years.

For these reason Isaac is not the child of promise, it was Ishmael.



Mr.Infidel

Con

Thank you for a fun debate!

To use the textual corruption answer, my partner needs to do two things: (1) He needs to show an earliermanuscript that shows the non-corrupted text; and (2) He needs to explain just howthe alteration of alerations were achieve without anyone noticing. Because my opponent has not produced viable evidence to show either of the two, we can discredit his argument .To show the part about the "only son", the King James Per-version makes it appear that way. Take a look again at how the KJV translates it:In Genesis 22:2 it says "And he said, Take now thy son, thineonlyson Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."If we take away the first comma, we see that it is clear what the author had intended. Compare this to the Living Torah Translation which reads, "Take your son, the only one you love-Issac..."

In Judaism, men could have more than one wife (as they can in the Koran)--as wel as concubines (or lesser wives). A first wife did not necessarily have precedent over ater wife if they were of equal status. Hence, when King David married Bathsheba, she became the mother of David's heir--even though David aready had otehr wives and children.

In the case of Hagar, Judaism places her in a position of honor. We know that she was an Egyptian princess--so she was indeed respected, even though she was the handmaiden to Sarah. G-d made a promise that he son (Ishmael) would not be forgotten--but he was not given the covenant.

The assumption that because Ishmael was born first is false, or else Esau would have inherited the covenant instead of Jacob.

Genesis 22

My opponent cites Genesis 22:17 as proof: "That I will surely bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand that is on the seashore, and your descendants will inherit the cities of their enemies."

This is figurative and is to show that the offspring of Issac would be inumerable (wich indeed they are). My partner has not shown viable evidence to prove that this covenant could not be fuflled. Remember, this covanent is STILL in effect today.

Thanks for a fun debate. Sadly, this is a faith debate and is hard to convince either side. I ask the voters to vote not on your bias, but who did the better job at debating.

Good luck
:-)
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 6 years ago
Mr.Infidel
Lol. Indeed!
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 6 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
I love seeing the Star of David under Con contrasted with the Star and Crescent under Pro, it gives so much more meaning to the argument.
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
InsertNameHere
Oh boy...

Should be an interesting debate though.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 6 years ago
Mr.Infidel
I seriously may accept this.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 6 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
RasheedMr.InfidelTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: A very slight win by Con, although both Pro and Con made several great arguments and rebuttals. Pro, did however, in the end, provide a better argument.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 6 years ago
airmax1227
RasheedMr.InfidelTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Well debated by both and an interesting read. Pro fails on his BOP however, as con was able to refute most of PROs points. This debate mostly comes down to the translation of Hebrew text, which is unambiguous in its original form as Con effectively shows a more accurate translation for the verses. Con also points out the cultural/biblical importance of various wives and the 'heir legitimacy', which is undisputed and crucial to the overall argument. Kudos to both for an interesting debate.