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bunter
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Quote bunter Replybullet Posted: 29 November 2012 at 1:55am
Originally posted by bunter

[QUOTE=Beebok] All the readings are of the same words.The differences are not in the words, but rather in things like where to pause to inhale.This shows how carefully we perserved the original - that we even kept track of where to pause for breath."Variant readings of the Quran" by Ahmad Ali Al-ImamThat book apparently debunks the claims that Bunter makes.It sounds like Bunter is not familiar with the book that he recommends.A review on the books states, "...the claims that the qira'at represent evidence of textual corruption is a common claim that is made against the Qur'an - a claim which Dr. Ahmad al-Imam thoroughly
You have not read Al-Imam's book have you? Sure, different ways of recitation do not necessarily imply corruption but there is more to consider than just that. Let's consider some points: we don't even know for sure how many copies of Uthman's recension were made and none, as far as is known, of the ones that were made now exist. Secondly, NONE of the fragments made during your prophet's life time now exist - that is there is no chain of written manuscript back to your prophet, you don't have originals of anything - you seem to say you have originals but where are they?

Perhaps you can explain the supposed fact that Umar (see page 22) only accepted verses brought to him IF there were two witnesses to it. This can surely only mean that various versions were circulating and known to be circulating. On page 16 we read about Uthman burning only copies that varied from the final revelation, kept that was AGREE upon. How he did this is a mystery since there were supposed to be thousands of such copies.

Regarding you comment on unpointed words - the problem here is not that words look different in different texts but because vowel signs are missing it is possible to confuse one word with another and hence understanding depends on the skill of the reader.

Can you explain how an oral transmission is checked? Well it's easy, you refer to a written text. I have yet to see a Quran learning session take place WITHOUT a written copy of the Quran being present.

For the Bible we have around 20,000 manuscripts and so it is easy to reconstruct the original to a high degree - no one seriously doubts this.

The point about all this, and it has been made by notable Muslim scholars as well as Christians is that no matter how it got to us, what we have is all we have and so though we may discuss what our respective scriptures say we must do it with respect.

Edited by bunter - 30 November 2012 at 7:30am
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Quote honeto Replybullet Posted: 29 November 2012 at 10:50am
Originally posted by Caringheart


Abu,... if ye seek after truth...




I feel the question fits more to be asked of you.
Hasan
39:64 Proclaim: Is it some one other than God that you order me to worship, O you ignorant ones?"
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Quote Beebok Replybullet Posted: 02 December 2012 at 8:16pm
Bunter says in one place that none of Uthman's copies exist, and then he says that they didn't have vowel signs. How can he know that they don't have vowel signs if none exist?

Bunter's words show an extreme desperation.

Let's look at them in detail.
Bunter, "For the Bible we have around 20,000 manuscripts..."
And most of them are different.

Bunter, "... and so it is easy to reconstruct the original to a high degree ..."
And so it is impossible to reconstruct it because most of them are different. There are more differences than there are words in the New Testament.

Bunter, "...no one seriously doubts this."
That's wishful thinking, and divorced from reality.
Bible scholars doubt it. Honest people who look at the evidence doubt it.
The Bible scholar Ehrman says, "In some places, as we will see, we simply can not be sure that we have reconstructed the original text accurately. It's a bit hard to know what the words of the Bible mean if we don't even know what the words are."
Also, the Bible even admits that it has been corrupted in the book of Jeremiah.
It is only willfull blindness that ignores that there is no way to reconstruct the original words of Jesus. Even the current gospels contradict themselves, and the Aramaic words of Jesus don't exist.

"Can you explain how an oral transmission is checked?"
If ten people have memorized something, and one forgets a part of it, the others can remind him. The Quran is so easy to remember, that even children who don't speak Arabic frequently memorize it.

"I have yet to see a Quran learning session take place WITHOUT a written copy of the Quran being present."
How many Quran learning sessions has he gone to, I wonder.
I've often been taught verses with no text present. I've seen it frequently.

Bunter, "Well it's easy, you refer to a written text."
And we had written texts for that also.

Bunter, "vowel signs are missing it is possible to confuse one word with another and hence understanding depends on the skill of the reader."
And there were highly skilled readers, so there is no problem.
Also, Bunter says in one place that none of Uthman's copies exist, and then he says that they didn't have vowel signs. How can he know that they don't have vowel signs if none exist?
Also, even a reader of modest skill could understand it. For example, "bsmlla" could only be bismilla. That's obvious. There's nothing else it could be. It couldn't be basmalla, for instance. Thare's no such thing.
And there were many who memorized it perfectly, and they could correct any potential confusion, if there even were any. And we can know they memorized it perfectly because it is easy to memorize and there was a support system to correct occasional people who might have forgotten something.
The text and frequent memorization supported each other.

Bunter, "Umar (see page 22) only accepted verses brought to him IF there were two witnesses to it. "
So we can be sure now that no one brought something invented of himself.

Bunter, "This can surely only mean that various versions were circulating and known to be circulating. "
That's not logical at all, but as we've seen, it has been shown that Bunter has trouble with logic.
Having two witnesses is a frequent practice in Islam. We can have two witnesses to increase the confidence in a thing.
There is no necessary connection, or even probabl necessity between requiring two witnesses and the alleged existence of multiple versions.
That should be obvious.

Bunter, "On page 16 we read about Uthman burning only copies that varied from the final revelation, kept that was AGREE upon."
If that is indeed the case, then since the copies kept were ones that everyone agreed on, then that increases the strength of proof that what was kept was correct.

Bunter, "you seem to say you have originals but where are they?"
No, I don't seem to say that.
I said we can reconstruct the originals because none of the current texts differ (as do the Christian Bibles), and many people memorized a Quran that was miraculously easy to memorize.
Christians, on the other hand, are utterly unable to memorize the originals of their gospels. They don't even have it in the original language.

Bunter, "You have not read Al-Imam's book have you?"
I didn't say that I did. But the publisher writes, as I've mentioned before, that it debunks the claims of anti-Quran critics.
The books own description states that it does, "...demonstrate the completeness and trustworthiness of the Quran and that no verses are missing..."
A review on the books states, "...the claims that the qira'at represent evidence of textual corruption is a common claim that is made against the Qur'an - a claim which Dr. Ahmad al-Imam thoroughly debunks."
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/52257268
So, if Bunter is using a book that debunks his claims to try to support his claims, then it shows a type of trickery which has been pointed out from him before.

Bunter, "Sure, different ways of recitation do not necessarily imply corruption..."
I'm glad he finally understands that.

Bunter, "Secondly, NONE of the fragments made during your prophet's life time now exist"
And neither do they exist from the Bible, and for the New Testament they were written in a different langauge than Jesus spoke.
But at least with the Quran, we had people memorize it in the original language, whereas there is no evidence that Jesus followers did not memorize his teachings.
With the Quran, the earliest copies we have are in the original Arabic, but the New Testament they are not in Jesus' language.
With the Quran, Muhammad's words were known to be written, but we don't know that with the New Testament.

As the Quran states, the devils teach their followers to argue. Bunter's words show an extreme desperation and seperation from reality.

There is no comparison of the Bible to the Quran.
The Quran has definitely been maintained as the original. The Bible has definitely been altered. There is no way to honestly and intelligently deny either of those two truths.

The New Testament was decided by a council of Nicea nearly 300 years after Jesus by people who never saw Jesus. The Quran, on the other hand, was gathered while Muhammad was still alive by people like his cousin Ali, and after Muhammad died, there was an official review by a government that knew him personally to review the Quran and make the existing version official.

The New Testament was altered by competing factions like the Gnostics, Manicheans, Arians, and the followers of Athunasias which became the official version. The Muslims didn't have competing factions with alternate versions. Even after the first formation of the New Testament, the Church had other councils to add or remove verses hundreds of years later. And then there are the Protestant and Catholic versions of the Bible, and the Old Testament has the septuagint and masoretic versions.

The current gospels of the New Testament even contradict. There were lost gospels like the Gospel of Thomas that didn't make it in. There were the Apocrypha that didn't make it in. The Quran had one version that was memorized and written while Muhammad was still alive, and then reviewed and made official after he died by an organized administrative review. There just isn't any comparison between the integrity of the Quran and the chaos of the Bible.


Edited by Beebok - 03 December 2012 at 9:34am
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Quote bunter Replybullet Posted: 03 December 2012 at 9:53am
Originally posted by Beebok

"For the Bible we have around 20,000 manuscripts..."And most of them are different.Bunter, "... and so it is easy to reconstruct the original to a high degree ..."And so it is impossible to reconstruct it because most of them are different. There are more differences than there are words in the New Testament.Bunter,

The FACT is that with so many manuscripts - do you not see the advantage of that? There are differences but the vast majority are minor dealing with such things as spelling or obvious scribal errors. You quote Ehrman as if he is the ONLY Biblical scholar - you trouble is that you find someone who says what you want to hear and take that person as totally authoritative - why not look at Professor F.F. Bruce or Professor C. A. Evans? Professor Evans for example say there are ONLY 3 tiny sections in the Greek NT which are in doubt and none of those is significant doctrinally.

Also, the Bible even admits that it has been corrupted in the book of Jeremiah.

Please quote the passage so we can check what it is you are saying - you have actually read it have you not? You say the NT has contradictions so suggest one and lets look at it together.

"vowel signs are missing it is possible to confuse one word with another and hence understanding depends on the skill of the reader."And there were highly skilled readers, so there is no problem.Even a reader of modest skill could understand it. For example, "bsmlla" could only be bismilla.

I think you are missing the point made by Al-Imam in the book "Variant Reading' - today there may well be many with the right reading skills but that was not so in the very early days of Islam and its rapid expansion and many deaths in battle. Hence Uthmans new copies and and the sending of Qurra with the copies so obviously what you say about how 'easy' is was is false.

Look, if you want to base all you arguments on what the published said, fine, that shows you dedication to finding the truth. You also appear to not understand the word 'necessarily' because you miss the point of misreading a text and hence corrupting it.

"Secondly, NONE of the fragments made during your prophet's life time now exist"And neither do they exist from the Bible, and for the New Testament they were written in a different langauge than Jesus spoke.

But do not you see that those fragments would be invaluable in ensuring the authenticity of the text - so WHY BURN the VERY COPIES your own prophet is supposed to have checked - WHY given the terrible consequences of burning Quran today?

What is you point about the NT not being in say Aramaic - are you arguing that God can ONLy communicate his message in a particular language? Let's take you point about two witnesses - well your prophet's revelation has zero witnesses, none at all, it all depended on Mohammed - does that raise a problem for you? Sure devils may mislead but if you think muslims are exempt then the devil has you exactly where he wants you to be.

It is just TOTAL rubbish to say the NT was decided by Nicea since we have manuscripts dated well before that for the whole of the NT. You speak ignorantly because looking at what you have written anyone might supposed that no two manuscripts has anything in common, which is so far from the truth as to be a lie. It is true the cannon was agreed upon. If I argued in this silly manner I would say that Uthman decided what was in and what was not in the Quran and if you know anything you will know that not everyone agreed with him.

The Quran really does not use the NT as a source but it does use the extra canonical writings that the church at Nicea universally rejected - does that make you wonder how it was compiled?

But no matter, its what is in the Bible or Quran that matters.
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Quote interpretariat Replybullet Posted: 05 December 2012 at 1:29am
Arthur Guyton 's Textbook of Medical Physiology states that "the total amount of water in a man of average weight (70 kilograms) is approximately 40 litres, averaging 57 percent of his total body weight. In a newborn infant, this may be as high as 75 percent of the body weight, but it progressively decreases from birth to old age, most of the decrease occurring during the first 10 years of life.
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Quote Beebok Replybullet Posted: 05 December 2012 at 7:04am

The corruption of the Bible and preservation of the Quran is historical fact. It is silly to argue other wise.

"The
FACT is that with so many manuscripts - do you not see the advantage of that?"
That's wishful thinking and distorted fantasy.
That is a warped reasoning that states that many contradictions are better than a whole consistency.
With so many conflicting manuscripts, you have no idea what was really said.

 I have others like James L. Kugel and Israel Finklestein that I haven't even gotten to yet here.
As Ehrman points out, there are "not many evangelicals among the (secular) highly educated scholars ...” which shows that the majority don't take the Bible's authenticity seriously enough to follow it. Ehrman is echoing the opinion of the majority of Bible scholars.
The majority of real Bible scholars have already pointed out that the Bible is corrupted beyond repair. It is absurd to argue otherwise. All I need to do is point out one among the many representative scholars.

Clinging on to the "only a few significant differences" is false. But as I've pointed out, any significant differences casts doubt on the whole. It shows that God did not preserve what you have.
Even if Christians had a consistency in the old Greek, they don't have the original Aramaic or Hebrew, a point which Bunter has repeatedly ignored to his convenience. Also, all these fragments don't even point to the original Q document from which the Synoptic Gospels are based; and the Q document was probably not even written by anyone who actually knew Jesus. And then, even the Q document is probably in old Greek, not in the Hebrew or Aramaic which Jesus wrote or spoke in.


In the early days of Islam there were many with excellent reading skills. To say otherwise is incredibly ignorant and deceptive.

Bunter stated, "those fragments would be invaluable in ensuring the authenticity of the text"
As has been explained before, the authenticity of the existing tests were already verified. Keeping other fragments would be useless, and getting rid of non-authoritative bits ensures that there can be no confusion, as there is with the Christian texts. Getting rid of non-authorized texts, even when they are the same ensures is valuable so that we can have absolute certainty that the copies that exist are the ones that are authoritative and no doubt can be on them.

Bunter stated, "It is just TOTAL rubbish to say the NT was decided by Nicea since we have manuscripts dated well before that for the whole of the NT."
It is documented historical fact that it was decided at Nicea. That's what happened. Christians should learn to deal with reality. There were also texts that didn't make it in such as the Gospel of Thomas among the lost gospels and the apocrypha.

The pre-existing fragments are just fragments.
quote:

"the most distinguished body of academic opinion ever assembled" (Catholic Encyclopedias, Preface) admits that the Gospels "do not go back to the first century of the Christian era"

(Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 137, pp. 655-6).

"the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament], it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD" (Catholic Encyclopedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7).

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/biblianazar/esp_biblianazar_40.htm

Bunter stated,
"It is true that the cannon was agreed upon."
There was widespread dissension among the Christians. I've pointed out the competing groups like the Gnostics and the texts that didn't make it into the New Testament.
Constantine suppressed dissent as is recorded in "When Jesus Became God" by Rubenstein.
quote:

In an account of the proceedings of the conclave of presbyters gathered at Nicaea, Sabinius, Bishop of Hereclea, who was in attendance, said,

"Excepting Constantine himself and Eusebius Pamphilius, they were a set of illiterate, simple creatures who understood nothing"

(Secrets of the Christian Fathers, Bishop J. W. Sergerus, 1685, 1897 reprint).

 

That certainly sounds like a lack of confidence in the council by one who was present.

With the Muslims, there wasn't major dissenting groups like there was in Christianity. The gathering of the Quran was just a formality to stamp authority on what was already accepted.
Uthman and the others at his time knew and spoke and learned directly from Muhammad.
Constantine and the wide spread dissension among competing factions within Christendom had not lived in the time of Jesus, but rather were living hundreds of years later. If Uthman had kept the non-authorized copies, then people later might have said, "how do we know that the authorized and non-authorized didn't get mixed up?" But now there can be no doubt that what we started from was authorized by the top experts and no serious doubt can remain.

"I think you are missing the point made by Al-Imam in the book"
I'm missing the point? No, Bunter is missing the point. The point of his book is that the Quran was preserved correctly. Trying to use fragments of his argument out of context is deceptive and dishonest.

"Please quote the passage so we can check what it is you are saying"
That's actually already been argued at leangth on this thread. You clearly are not even reading this thread.
Bunter's arguments are illogical and have already been refuted by things I've stated in the past.
Contradictions in the gospels have also been pointed out here such as the contradictions in Jesus' geneology.

A final word on the corruption and alteration of the New Testament, even the end of Mark is a later addition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16

 

"Many scholars take 16:8 as the original ending and believe the longer ending (16:9-20) was written later by someone else as a summary of Jesus' resurrection appearances and several miracles performed by Christians."

....

"Most scholars, following the approach of the textual critic Bruce Metzger, hold the view that verses 9-20 were not part of the original text.[1] Textual critics have identified two distinct endings—the "Longer Ending" (vv. 9-20) and the "Shorter Ending," which appear together in six Greek manuscripts, and in dozens of Ethiopic copies."

....

And if anyone thinks that is not important, the Wikipedia article goes on to state:

"Martin Luther used Mark 16:16 as the basis for a doctrine in his Shorter Catechism."

and

"The Council of Trent, reacting to Protestant criticism, defined the Canon of Trent which is the Roman Catholic biblical canon. "Decretum de Canonicis Scripturis," issued in 1846 at the fourth session of the Council, affirms that Jesus commanded that the gospel was to be preached by His apostles to every creature—a statement clearly based on Mark 16:15."

The above is just one of the examples of how Christians still have not decided what is to comprise the content in the Bible and the current confusion persists.

Even there own Bible, in the book of Jeremiah states that it has been corrupted by the lying pens of the scribes. The details have been noted previously on this thread. Anyone interested should read this whole thread from the beginning.



Edited by Beebok - 05 December 2012 at 9:33am
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Quote bunter Replybullet Posted: 10 December 2012 at 9:29am
Originally posted by Beebok

The corruption of the Bible and preservation of the Quran is historical fact. It is silly to argue other wise.

Let me ask you, if we compared say two distinct manuscripts of say the Gospel of Mathew that they would be unrecognisably different, so different in fact that its impossible to reconcile them? Perhaps you would tell us what you mean by 'corruption'? YOu talk about conflicting manuscripts but in fact there are only three small section of the NT still in doubt. For you to argue that a multiplicity of manuscripts is 'wishful thinking' is so absurd as to only point at you wilful ignorance of these matters.

One notices you only select authors who agree with you as if there are no other views - why is that? You mention the 'majority of Bible Scholars - how do you know this because that is not what I find and that fact is the BIble has been reconstructed from the manuscript collection - you absurdly seem to think they just made it up, invented it and have been doing so dishonestly for centuries.

You just quote nonsense. Of course there are secular scholars who don't follow the Bible in the same way there are large numbers of highly respected scholars who study the Quran and hadith who don't follow Islam - why do you think this is if the Quran is such a perfect example transmission - do you see the point? If the transmission could be proved beyond any doubt to originate with Allah, God then I would have to believe it - I don't believe in Islam, ipso facto you don't have the proof.

The Old Testament was primarily written in Hebrew with some Aramaic (do you know that Aramaic and Hebrew look identical?) The New Testament was written in Greek, there is no secret about this as you seem to imply. It was produced in Greek for the obvious reason that Greek was the lingua Franca of the age - so what is wrong with writing it in Greek? The Quran is not pure arabic and has many foreign words and of course it was written in one particular dialect though even in that respect it is not totally constant. Tell me, do you think that God's message cannot be formulated in ANY language, that the God who is all powerful would or could be limited to one particular language? Has anyone ever found Q, do you know if ANY actual manuscript evidence exists for it?

In the early days of Islam there were many with excellent reading skills. To say otherwise is incredibly ignorant and deceptive.

Sadly, it is you that is incredibly ignorant and even a simple reading of Islamic history will tell you how concerned the early leaders of Islam were that sound readers would be decimated because of wars and battles and indeed large number of readers were lost in various battles..

Bunter stated, "those fragments would be invaluable in ensuring the authenticity of the text" As has been explained before, the authenticity of the existing tests were already verified. Keeping other fragments would be useless, and getting rid of non-authoritative bits ensures that there can be no confusion, as there is with the Christian texts. Getting rid of non-authorized texts, even when they are the same ensures is valuable so that we can have absolute certainty that the copies that exist are the ones that are authoritative and no doubt can be on them.

So at last you admit that variant texts were in circulation. No you cannot verify anything, you only have what you have and no originals so its really no different that the biblical case except that Utham destroyed all copies he regarded as inauthentic as well we suppose as the copies actually authorised by you prophet.

I dont know where you get this information on Nicea. Firstly, the cannon was not even discussed at Nicea and an authorised cannot was not constructed until Carthage some 50 years after Constantin's death. Nicea was a conference that discussed church doctrine as various heretical doctrines were in circulation that outcome was the famous Nicean creed. The cannon as I said was authorised much later and given the very large number of Biblical and extra biblical books it is not even surprising that there were difference of opinion. But any honest reading will tell you that the cannot was not invented at Carthage but Carthage simple affirmed what already existed. One wonders what you think of the several thousand inauthentic hadith and that someone had to decide which was which or Uthamn looking at variant and deciding what ones to keep - if you are blinkered you will never find the truth.

You quote the Catholic Encyclopaedia but you seem to be looking at the 1960 version and many new manuscripts have been discovered since then. Now it is obvious that hardly any manuscripts would actually go back to the first century as physical entities but that does not means they were not written then. Dating manuscript involves several kinds of tests and I suggest you go and look at such methods. Uthman's codex no longer exist as far as anyone knows - so does that it never existed, do you know or have you even ever thought about how you can feel sure it did exist?

I note you cannot quote the Jeremiah passage and you do not seem to understand that a contradiction only applies when no explanation can be found. There are contradiction in the Quran and even a simple search of the new will find them as well as in most cases explanations. Tell me, surely an abrogated verses is a contradiction? Just for the record which edition of Metzger's book do you have so we can check the context of what is being said? I have the second edition.

I am unclear what you point is about Mark 16:15 - as you point out, christians have know for centuries that vv9-20 are in doubt (it is one of the three sections I mentioned earlier) but unless one has weird believe no doctrine hangs on them. Its hardly a compromise to know there is some doubt and almost every Bible translation will point this out in foot notes.
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