Saturday, 28 June 2014

Challenge and Examination of some of Gomerozdubar's claims

Gomerozdubar, a Muslim on Paltalk, claims often to be this great apologist, but his assertions are often bombastic and often doesn't provide a source or a scholar to back them up. I say often because there are times where he would provide a source, but this is not common.

This paper is a request to Gomer to actually provide evidence for the claims that he makes regarding the NT writings. For examples of his lack of providing sources or minimal posting of citations, see the following videos by Nakdimon316: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCE63E5B6421B2A6B (Nakdimon: Gomerozdubar's 20 minute rant on Paltalk).

Valentinian Gnosticism in John
One of the claims of Gomerozdubar if my memory serves me correctly is the claim that John's usage of pagan terms, namely logos. Just because John uses the term logos, that doesn't mean that the term logos is pagan itself, the term logos refers to a study of things, like biology, technology, physiology, psychology etc. There is also Christology, study of Christ. Christ himself is called the logos and it refers to him being the reason why things exist. Jesus is the logos, the reason that earth exists and that without him, Nothing was made that has been made.

Gomer, like many others, including Anthony Buzzard whom a lot of Muslims have utmost respect for, often say, not in these exact specific words, but make it clear that arguments for the Trinity and the Deity of Christ only come from the Gospel of John and cannot be defended in the other Gospels. Gomer even accuses Christians of "running" to this Gospel to prove their case rather than the other Gospels

Firstly, If you want evidence not just from the Gospels, read the following articles:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/response-to-tovia-singer-on-did-authors.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/classical-trinitarian-objections.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/challenge-from-facebook-unitarian.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/the-trinity-is-not-truth.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/deuteronomy-13-question-of-vindication.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/deuteronomy-13-question-of-vindication-2.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/contra-blumenthal-examination-of-contra.html

Second, when studying a compendium, which is what the TANAKH and the NT are, you cannot throw out one book in your studies and keep only one book you like, you need to look at ALL 66 books of the scriptural canon.

Third, Gomer appeals to the Valentianians as supposedly the earliest commentators on the Gospel of John. However, Ignatius of Antioch, a student of the apostle John refers to Jesus as God in his letters:
"For some are in the habit of carrying about the name [of Jesus Christ] in wicked guile, while yet they practise things unworthy of God, whom ye must flee as ye would wild beasts. For they are ravening dogs, who bite secretly, against whom ye must be on your guard, inasmuch as they are men who can scarcely be cured. There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible,-50 even Jesus Christ our Lord." Ignatius' Letter to the Epheisans: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/ignatius-ephesians-lightfoot.html"

His view of the word would certainly be different from that of the Gnostics themselves and the Gnostics themselves, of all stripes, would denounce the idea of Christ truly existing in the flesh.

Satan's timeless existence in 1 John 3:8
Another assertion made is based on the word arche or from the beginning or in the beginning that if Jesus is eternal, that Satan must also be eternal on that basis. This is just flat out incorrect and is an abject refusal to acknowledge the two different contexts.

Jesus existed from eternity with the Father in heaven and had no beginning, he always existed even before the beginning of time. Satan however is a created being and was not eternal. The Greek I would need to look into in another article if the Lord Wills but lets take a look at the contexts of John 1:1, John 8:44 and 1 John 3:8

"John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it."

"John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

"1 John 3:8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work."

The texts do not tell us when Satan began sinning, other books tell us, namely when Jesus refers to Satan's fall out of heaven when he applies the judgement words of Isaiah 14, of the King of Babylon to Satan. It is also important to note that as an angel, Satan DID NOT ETERNALLY EXIST. The phrase "from the beginning" in John 8:44 and 1 John 3:8 have no connection to John 1:1 just as John 1:1 and 2 Corinthians 4:4 have no connection too each other.

Satan has been sinning, plotting and scheming ever since he fell from heaven and tempted Adam and Eve into sinning against God. Jesus DID exist from eternity, he has no beginning and at the beginning of creation, was ever present with the Father in heaven.

New Testament is merely Greek Folklore
It is actually discovered more and more how the NT has Jewish roots rather than having a paganistic origin. Any comparison to pagan myths such as Horus, Mithra and other myths of the ancient world are ridiculous and are untenable to begin with.

See this video by James White where he responds to apostate Rob Bell:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsVkeMZCkOg

See also this article by the devineevidence.com website:
http://thedevineevidence.com/jesus_similarities.html

Jesus' appearance to Hagar: What is the point made?
Genesis 16 marks the appearance of Jesus in the OT appearing to her functionally as an angel, which he also did in Genesis 18. The angel in both 16 and 18 is identified as YHWH, not merely as a representative, but as YHWH God manifesting himself in a human form, since Hagar refers to the angel as the God who sees me.

I honestly have no idea why Gomer made this point at all, If he is using this as a proof text for Islam, tough luck, that is not the case at all.

Epistles: Why and to whom were they written?
Gomer makes a big deal about the letters of the NT being written to the specific churches and if my memory serves me correctly points out that there are instructions that needn't be carried out and even went as far as asking "Are there any Colossians in the room". So? There are examples of general universal instructions and specific instructions. There are instructions on how to deal with heretics and what a teacher should be and that deals with the subject of how church leaders and members are to behave. The specific instructions would refer to Titus and Timothy being exhorted or the congregations being told to prepare for Paul's arrival. The universal commands still apply whereas the specific do not. Just because an epistle is written to a specific group, that doesn't mean it is not for others to read themselves.

Irenaeus: Jesus' death at the age of 45?
The claim that Jesus was 45 or 50 is cited in Irenaeus' book "Against Heresies 2" which actually says:
"5. They, however, that they may establish their false opinion regarding that which is written, "to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," maintain that He preached for one year only, and then suffered in the twelfth month. [In speaking thus], they are forgetful to their own disadvantage, destroying His whole work, and robbing Him of that age which is both more necessary and more honourable than any other; that more advanced age, I mean, during which also as a teacher He excelled all others. For how could He have had disciples, if He did not teach? And how could He have taught, unless He had reached the age of a Master? For when He came to be baptized, He had not yet completed His thirtieth year, but was beginning to be about thirty years of age (for thus Luke, who has mentioned His years, has expressed it: "Now Jesus was, as it were, beginning to be thirty years old," when He came to receive baptism); and, [according to these men, ] He preached only one year reckoning from His baptism. On completing His thirtieth year He suffered, being in fact still a young man, and who had by no means attained to advanced age. Now, that the first stage of early life embraces thirty years, and that this extends onwards to the fortieth year, every one will admit; but from the fortieth andfiftieth year a man begins to decline towards old age, which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information. And he remained among them up to the times of Trajan. Some of them, moreover, saw not only John, but the other apostles also, and heard the very same account from them, and bear testimony as to the [validity of] the statement. Whom then should we rather believe? Whether such men as these, or Ptolemaeus, who never saw the apostles, and who never even in his dreams attained to the slightest trace of an apostle?

6. But, besides this, those very Jews who then disputed with the Lord Jesus Christ have most clearly indicated the same thing. For when the Lord said to them, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad," they answered Him, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham? " Now, such language is fittingly applied to one who has already passed the age of forty, without having as yet reached his fiftieth year, yet is not far from this latter period. But to one who is only thirty years old it would unquestionably be said, "Thou art not yet forty years old." For those who wished to convict Him of falsehood would certainly not extend the number of His years far beyond the age which they saw He had attained; but they mentioned a period near His real age, whether they had truly ascertained this out of the entry in the public register, or simply made a conjecture from what they observed that He was above forty years old, and that He certainly was not one of only thirty years of age.For it is altogether unreasonable to suppose that they were mistaken by twenty years, when they wished to prove Him younger than the times of Abraham. For what they saw, that they also expressed; and He whom they beheld was not a mere phantasm, but an actual being of flesh and blood. He did not then wont much of being fifty years old; and, in accordance with that fact, they said to Him, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham? "He did not therefore preach only for one year, nor did He suffer in the twelfth month of the year. For the period included between the thirtieth and the fiftieth year can never be regarded as one year, unless indeed, among their Aeons, there be so long years assigned to those who sit in their ranks with Bythus in the Pleroma; of which beings Homer the poet, too, has spoken, doubtless being inspired by the Mother of their [system of] error".

Ignatius is not saying that Jesus was that age at all and one article I would recommend has been written on tektonics.org:
http://tektonics.org/guest/irey50.html

Dismissal of the demons and Pharisees testimony of Jesus
Gomer dismisses the Deity of Christ and the identification of Jesus as the Son of God as a doctrine of demons and a doctrine of the synagogue of Satan simply because the demons and Pharisees are liars.

Demons DO NOT tell outright lies, they and their leader Satan mix truth with error. From a Biblical perspective, Islam has things right about Jesus being the Messiah (which they don't understand the significance of) and a prophet of God. These two things Christians proclaim, but Islam also denies the Trinity, Deity of Christ, his crucifixion, denies Allah is a Father to his people even spiritually and many other things, only showing that Islam has no kinship to Christianity in practice despite lip service being given to the prophets of the TANAKH.

The demons knew who Jesus was and the only reason they were silenced when they confessed him as Son of God was not because Jesus was rebuking them for lying about him, but telling them not to reveal his identity to the people as it wasn't time for him to disclose his true nature.

The Pharisees, while hypocrites and liars (some but not all), were convinced that some of Jesus' claims about himself were blasphemous. Rather than refuting their points, Jesus actually uses their right conclusions and bolsters his claims of deity, confirming the points that the Pharisees' made. I don't mean their claims he blasphemed where confirmed, but their assertions that he was claiming to be YHWH was confirmed.

Keith Thompson has penned an excellent article responding to Muslim polemicist Sami Zaatari and demonstrates that one can use the Pharisees to show the Deity of Christ:
http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2013/11/answering-sami-zaatari-on-pharisaic.html

Conclusion
Whenever Gomerozdubar makes a claim about a particular subject, be very careful to check out what he says to see if his points stand up to scrutiny. Studying the issues he raises will better equip you against him should he raise some points to you.

Hope this article has been a blessing, thank you for reading.

Answering Judaism.

Addendum
More points may be added later. Any points I have missed that come to mind through Gomer himself or by other means will be added later.

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