Friday 18 December 2015

Defense of Paul of Tarsus: Response to a Muslim 5

In this article I shall be tackling more objections raised by the Muslim author I am responding to.

What this Muslim fellow fails to mention to the people he is seeking to write to is Paul mostly quotes from the Septuagint reading of the TANAKH, rather than the Masoretic text.

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy"
(Ex. 20:8)


"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days"
(Col. 2:16)."

The subject of the Sabbath I have dealt with in another article:


...For it is written....The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain"
l Cor. 3:20

Paul misquoted Psalm 94:11
"The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity"."
The wise that Paul has in mind are wise in the sense of worldly wisdom rather than Godly wisdom. The individuals are plotting schemes with God knowing their hearts and their plans being brought to ruination.
The context of the same even makes that clear:
"8 Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
9 Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile."
God wants those who are truly wise in his sight, not those who pretend to be.


"And again, Isaiah saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust")
Rom. 15:12

Paul misquoted Isa. 11:10

"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek....).
Isaiah does not say he shall reign or rule over the Gentiles
Isaiah refers to "it" not "him." This seems to be a trick taught by Paul which Christians have learned well and they apply it to the Comforter."

What the Muslim fails to mention is that the root and branch mentioned in the passage is a reference to the Messianic King, which even Rabbinic Jews would recognize, despite differing with Christians on who the Messiah is. The Gentiles who trust in the Messiah and come to him will accept him as their king and ruler. Both Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity acknowledge that the Messiah will rule over all mankind, Jew and Gentile alike.


"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him")
1 Cor. 2:9

he misquoted Isa. 64:4

"From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides thee, who works for those who wait for him".
Nowhere in Isa. 64:4 does it say, "neither have entered into the heart of man."
Paul states, "the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Yet, Isaiah 64:4 does not state or even imply that there will be a future reward for those that love God. It merely states that God will work for those who wait for him.
Paul also omits, "no eye has seen a God besides thee,""

Coffman notes the following in his commentary on this issue:

""Neither hath the eye seen ..." (Isaiah 64:4). Lowth noted that commentators generally suppose that Paul was quoting from this passage in 1 Corinthians 2:9, adding that, "It seems very difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile them."[7]

All such suggestions, implying that Paul garbled, misquoted, or otherwise erred in such alleged quotations are based upon a common error, noted frequently in comments on Paul's writings. As an inspired, plenary apostle of Christ, Paul was not "quoting" Scripture at all here, he was "writing" Scripture. What was more natural than that some of the phraseology of earlier prophecies should also occur in his own? The purpose of Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:9 was utterly unlike that of Isaiah here. Isaiah was saying that "eye had not seen," etc. and the things God had already done for Israel. Paul was speaking of the wonderful things that "eye had not seen," etc. the wonderful things that God had laid up in the future for them that love him. There also are a number of instances of this same error on the part of commentators which we have cited in the New Testament. (See Vol. 8 (Galatians) in my New Testament Series of Commentaries, pp. 186-188.) It would be well to keep this in mind every time one encounters an allegation that Paul "misquoted" some passage of Scripture!"

That is one particular point raised.

Another was raised by Paul Apoc Elijah of Answering Islam in response to a muslim group and this is what he said:
"Placing a certain emphasis into a quotation can mislead readers to not carefully read the rest of the text. Let us change the emphasis in the above quotation to reveal that this quotation is actually not supporting the case of TM as much as it may appear at first sight.

1 Cor 2:9:[But as it is written] This passage is quoted from Isa 64:4. It is not quoted literally; but the sense only is given. The words are found in the apocryphal books of Elijah (Elias); and Origen and Jerome supposed that Paul quoted from those books. But it is evident that Paul had in his eye the passage in Isaiah; and intended to apply it to his present purpose. (bold and underlined emphasis ours)
It is obvious that Albert Barnes, the author of the above statement, is convinced that Paul quoted from Isaiah in paraphrase. As such Barnes is a witness against the hypothesis of TM, not in support of their claim. As is common in scholarly literature, Barnes also informs the reader of dissenting opinions. According to Barnes, Origen and Jerome SUPPOSED that Paul quoted from the apocryphal books of Elijah, but apparently these authors have not given sufficient evidence to convince Barnes of this opinion.
Thus, the only text that was explicitly quoted by the Muslim authors in support of their claim actually states the exact opposite of what they want the reader to believe. TM would have done much better if they had quoted Origen or Jerome directly in order to have at least a quotation that supports their case. As it is, they have none at all.
However, the TM team authors are not done yet with their blunders and misrepresentations. They claim: "The same commentary can also be found at Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament".Since TM have given us already plenty of reason to be suspicious of their claims, let’s see whether this is indeed so. Robertson writes:
... It is not certain where Paul derives this quotation as Scripture. Origen thought it a quotation from the Apocalypse of Elias and Jerome finds it also in the Ascension of IsaiahBut these books appear to be post-Pauline, and Jerome denies that Paul obtained it from these late apocryphal books. Clement of Rome finds it in the LXX text of Isaiah 64:4 and cites it as a Christian saying. It is likely that Paul here combines freely Isaiah 64:4; Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 52:15 in a sort of catena or free chain of quotations as he does in Romans 3:10-18. (Source; underline emphasis ours)
Robertson explicitly states that these books are probably post-Pauline, and he does NOT think they are the source of 1 Cor. 2:9, i.e. TM are misrepresenting this author as well.
Furthermore, had the two Muslim authors carefully read the statement by Robertson, they would have realized that he also contradicts their quotation taken from Barnes. According to Robertson, Jerome actually argued against Origen’s opinion. This leaves TM with only one instead of the claimed two early Christians holding to this opinion."

See also Barne's notes on this particular section:


"Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men")
Eph. 4:8

Paul misquoted Psalm 68:18

"Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men....")
Psalm 68:18 says "received gifts" not "gave gifts."
It also says "thou" not "he."
Jesus never led captivity captive, led others to a high mount, or gave gifts unto men.
There is a big difference between "giving gifts to men" and "receiving gifts for men.""

The gift that Jesus gives to mankind is forgiveness of sins and a new heart to do what is right in the sight of God and he leads men out of the captivity of sin and back to the Father.


" it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged")
Rom. 3:4

Paul misquoted Psalm 51:4

"...that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest").
Psalm 51:4 says "judgest" not "art judged."
Psalm 51:4 also says "and be clear" or "blameless," not "and mightest overcome" or "prevail.""

Jamieson Fausset-Brown has an interesting perspective on Psalm 51:4 and Romans 3:4 which is worth quoting here:
"4. Against thee—chiefly, and as sins against others are violations of God's law, in one sense only.

that … judgest—that is, all palliation of his crime is excluded; it is the design in making this confession to recognize God's justice, however severe the sentence."


"4. God forbid—literally, "Let it not be," that is, "Away with such a thought"—a favorite expression of our apostle, when he would not only repudiate a supposed consequence of his doctrine, but express his abhorrence of it. "The Scriptures do not authorize such a use of God's name as must have been common among the English translators of the Bible" [Hodge].

yea, let God be—held

true, and every man a liar—that is, even though it should follow from this that every man is a liar.

when thou art judged—so in Ps 51:4, according to the Septuagint; but in the Hebrew and in our version, "when thou judgest." The general sentiment, however, is the same in both—that we are to vindicate the righteousness of God, at whatever expense to ourselves."

"But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand")
Rom. 15:21

Paul misquoted and misapplied Isa. 52:15

"...the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they have not heard shall they consider").
Isaiah 52:15 says nothing about "he was not spoken of"; it says "that which had not been told them." It says "that," not "he."
"They that have not heard shall understand" is not the same as "that which they have not heard shall they consider." Because something is considered does not mean it is understood."

The Pulpit commentary says the following on this subject:
"Verse 15. - So shall he sprinkle many nations. The Septuagint has, "So shall many nations marvel at him;" and this translation is followed by Gesenius and Ewald. Mr. Cheyne thinks that the present Hebrew text is corrupt, and suggests that a verb was used antithetical to the "astonied" of ver. 14, expressing "joyful surprise." It is certainly hard to see how the idea of "sprinkling," even if it can mean "purifying," comes in here. Kings shall shut their mouths at him; rather, because of him. In reverential awe of his surpassing greatness (comp. Micah 7:16). That which had not been told them shall they see. They will learn the facts of Christ's humiliation, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven - events that it had never entered into the heart of man to conceive, and of which, therefore, no tongue had ever spoken. "

"Then said I, Lo I come [in the volume of the book it is written of me] to do thy will, O God")
Heb. 10:7

Paul distorted Psalm 40:7-8
"Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart"). He left out the last phrase ("thy law is within my heart") which shows God's will is the law."
I have an article on Psalm 40 which I have written which I recommend people taking a look at.


"...then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?).
1 Cor. 15:54-55

Paul misquoted Isa. 25:8

"He will swallow up death forever")


Hosea 13:14

"...O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction").
Isaiah says death will be swallowed up "forever" not "in victory."
Hosea says "thy plagues" not "thy sting."
"Hosea was not written in interrogatory form.
Hosea says "thy destruction" not "thy victory." It is difficult to see how Paul's words could be accurately derived from Isaiah and Hosea."

Isaiah 25 has Isaiah praising YHWH for his mighty works. We read:
"6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
    a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
    the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
    the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8     he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
9 In that day they will say,

“Surely this is our God;
    we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
    let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
10 The hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain;
    but Moab will be trampled in their land
    as straw is trampled down in the manure.
11 They will stretch out their hands in it,
    as swimmers stretch out their hands to swim.
God will bring down their pride
    despite the cleverness[a] of their hands.
12 He will bring down your high fortified walls
    and lay them low;
he will bring them down to the ground,
    to the very dust."
The subject being mentioned here is Moab's destruction and there is also an end time application here in the passage, that many of the Israelites and possibly Gentiles will worship YHWH forever and death is removed from the world forever. The historical application refers to the Israelites having deliverance from their enemies in a physical sense.

In Hosea 13, YHWH will rescue only a few Ephraimites who place their trust in YHWH but destroy those who refuse to repent and turn from their evil ways.


" might receive thy promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry")
Heb. 10:36-37

Paul perverted Hab. 2:3

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry").
Habbakuk says nothing about "he." The "it" in the verse is a vision, not Jesus. Hab. is referring to the maturation of a vision he has. The "it" referred to has nothing to do with the arrival of any individual.
Where in the OT, esp. Hab., did God promise "he will come and not tarry?""

Jamieson Fausset-Brown has made the following point in his commentary:
"36. patience—Greek, "waiting endurance," or "enduring perseverance": the kindred Greek verb in the Septuagint, Hab 2:3, is translated, "wait for it" (compare Jas 5:7).

after ye have done the will of God—"that whereas ye have done the will of God" hitherto (Heb 10:32-35), ye may now show also patient, persevering endurance, and so "receive the promise," that is, the promised reward: eternal life and bliss commensurate with our work of faith and love (Heb 6:10-12). We must not only do, but also suffer (1Pe 4:19). God first uses the active talents of His servants; then polishes the other side of the stone, making the passive graces shine, patience, meekness, &c. It may be also translated, "That ye may do the will of God, and receive," &c. [Alford]: "patience" itself is a further and a persevering doing of "God's will"; otherwise it would be profitless and no real grace (Mt 7:21). We should look, not merely for individual bliss now and at death, but for the great and general consummation of bliss of all saints, both in body and soul."

More objections may be answered in another article.

Answering Judaism.

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