yah... well it is really an example of awfull web design.
Why believe the bible?
you stated in post #2489: "if you by evidence mean eye-witness accounts only recorded in the bible which was written down long after the fact by people who were allready "christians" (or proto-christians), is that evidence then really stronger than that of the miracles the prophet muhammed has said to have carried out?"
...there IS no mention of mohammed performing any miracles, afaik...there is mention of a night journey where he is said to go on a miraculous trip from mecca to jerusalem. once there he assended into heaven from the temple mount and spoke to other prophets while riding a half mule half donkey with wings. first heaven he is met by adam who pays his respects to mohammed. second heaven JtB and Jesus who welcome him and pay their respects. third heavenjoseph pays him his respect. fourth and fifth heaven mohammed is greeted and paid respect. sixth heaven mohammed is greeted by moses who cries when mohammed leaves and mohammed asks him why he weeps and moses replies, "I weep because after me there has been sent (mohammed as a prophet) a young man, whose followers will enter paradise in greater numbers than my followers. seventh heaven abraham greets mohammed and proceeds to have more visions where he receives the command that muslims must pray 50 times a day. on his way back down moses tells him, "your followers cannot bear fifty prayers a day, and by allah, I have tested people before you, and I have tried my level best with bani israel. go back to your lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers' burden." so mohammed got them reduced to 40 and again moses told him to go back and finally they were reduced to 5 daily prayers and moses still figured that was too much and moses then said that he would be ashamed to ask a further reduction and would surrender to allahs orders. later he described to his followers the way that the prophets looked. He was given 2 cups and was told by gabriel to drink (milk or wine)and mohammed chose and drank the milk over the wine and gabriel said, "you have chosen what is natural." (true religion ie. islam) and if you had chosen the wine your followers would have gone astray. when the people of quraysh heard these things they said, "By God, this is plainly absurd." (because it takes longer for most people to get to jerusalem) they then asked him to explain what jerusalem looked like and mohammed explained to them what it looked like and what their caravans looked like and some were convinced by this but his descriptions of jerusalem were not completely convincing as some of his followers abandoned thier islamic faith. 'ibn sa'd, vol 1, 248'...apparently this night journey was given to mohammed not to relay any thing relating to the faith but as a test..."Behold! we told thee that thy lord doth encompass mankind round about: we granted the vision which we showed thee, but as a trial for men, as also the cursed tree in the koran: we put terror into them, but only increases their inordinate transgression!" surah 17:60...later he advised that this was not a bodily journey because his wife aisha explained, "the apostle's body remained where it was but God removed his spirit by night."(ibn ishaq, 183)
you said: "Just to note... I only just recently got a Quran, and I am just starting to look at it. As far as I am concerned, Allah is the same God... just according to a different people and their understanding - although showing mercy and God favoring the merciful seems to be quite prevalent, at least in the beginning of the Quran, which is as far as I have read."
Allah is not according to other people, he is according to mohammed only(through, allegedly, the angel gabriel)...mohammed teaches that muslims are forgiven their sin depending on whether their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. which denies the biblical doctrine of Jesus Christ completely. mohammed denies substitution of any kind completely. the cross shows both the righteousness and love of God. the koran has no explaination as to how allah is righteous or merciful.
"then guard yourselves against a day when one shall not avail another nor sahll intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped." surah 2:48...then in total contradiction mohammed states..."those who sustain the throne and those around it sing glory and praise to their lord; believe in Him; and implore forgiveness for those who believe" our Lord! thy reach is over all things, in mercy and knowledge, forgive, then, those who turn in repentence, and follow thy path; and preserve them from penalty of the blazing fire!" (surah 40:7)..."the heavens are almost rent assunder from above them: and the angels celebrate the praises of their Lord, and pray for fogivenes for beings on earth; behold! verily God is He, the oft-forgiving, most merciful". (surah 42:5)
as the Lamb of God Jesus is called our passover lamb...nowhere in the koran is there any mention of the passover or any other feast that Jesus is said to "represent" so to speak. when OT prophets are mentioned they have little to "say" and without knowing the context of the story (from the bible) you would have no idea of what, if any "message" COULD be gleaned.
please...allow me to send you an extra copy of a book that I have called, "Jesus Christ or Mohammed?, The Bible or the Koran?" by F.S. Coplestone.
It's embarassing, but after studying the Bible my whole life through JW glasses, I never did see the contradictions or the failed prophecies on my own. But one day on e-Watchman's forum several years ago, a poster who had been missing for awhile came on to explain why he had been away: because of the Bible's failed prophecies. I was like, "where?", "which one"? He then started listing them, beginning with the one that says Tyre would be destroyed and never inhabited again. Then he hit us with Damascus. Same thing. Both cities are thriving and well today. Then he mentioned the one about Egypt being desolated for 40 years. That never happened either.
The funny thing is, I had read these prophecies many times, but because of ingrained WatchtowerThink, I just figured that their destruction at Armageddon would apply and fit nicely. Well, that guy played a huge part in my waking up from JW slumber-land. It was an "aha" moment.
Funny how we learn to apply "anti-typical" fulfillments to prophecies that never even had a "typical" one!
So anyways, just one of those three failed prophecies are enough to trash the entire Bible, at least in the literal sense. It's either 100 percent "inspired" or it isn't at all. Otherwise, good luck trying to figure out which of those prophecies are reliable and which aren't. Armageddon may turn out to be just as true as the desolation of Damascus.
you said as well..."There is no reason to think that there have not been prophets or miracles or teachings from God sent to other people as well - but that is between them and God."...
true enough but "God is not man that He should lie"...and so it STANDS TO REASON that He would have the same message for everyone in every place in every tongue...right? as it is we have many different religions that promote many different ways to live in this world...but only the religion of Jesus Christ shows the approved way to be forgiven by God to enter into His "world" and stand in the presence of the Holy God. If God gave us the ability to reason and to come to CONCLUSIONS given different and opposing data, then we must use this God given gift to the betterment of our fellow man and not allow them to live in ignorance...that is what satan wants. that is not what God wants, He has given us the way and the means to "go" to these people and tell them the truth and because it is NOT just a casual suggestion...Jesus commanded us to "go"...
Michelle - I wasn't trying to advocate the Quran or Islam over Christ. But the God they claim is the creator of the universe; the same God of Abraham as the Jews claim, as Christians claim. That doesn't mean that they understand His true nature (as shown through Christ)... I only commented that from what I had started to read, they do -or should- also hold mercy and forgiveness in high regard. (But I have only just begun to read, so I should probably have kept my comments to myself until I read the whole thing)
and so it STANDS TO REASON that He would have the same message for everyone in every place in every tongue...right?
It does... but not every nation had a covenant with Him, as Abraham and his descendants did. So He could have sent some, or some could have understood naturally, things such as the importance of peace and mercy and forgiveness - and that these are things that God holds in highest regard. That's all I was trying to say.
I wasn't trying to advocate that one could get to God without going through Christ. But some can have the laws written on their hearts (naturally).
Peace to you,
you said: "It does... but not every nation had a covenant with Him, as Abraham and his descendants did."... mohammed came after Jesus and ratified what Jesus said...his claim was that he WASN"T ignorant of what was taught in the gospel. so to say that his "true" ascendancy is from abraham through ismael, yet skipping the new covenant, is really just a convienent excuse to veil his religion as a "form" of "truth" apart from judaism...which it isn't..mohammed borrowed stories from both the jewish OT and the gospel to the gentiles to gain legitimacy...according to the bible israel/the jews are God's chosen and everyone else is a gentile subject to the gentile method of "conversion" to the Holy God.
I realize that you haven't read the whole koran yet but please keep these "questions" in mind. it is too easy to be swayed by the notion of tolerance to the effect that we as a people will let the most vulnerable people down...many if not most muslims have never even read the koran and don't understand that they are essentially willing to die and in some horrific instances kill for what they think and believe that the koran says. education is key in correcting this. however, since most muslim majority "lands" are closed to the gospel it is very important to try to educate western muslims in the hope that they stand up en mass and claim responsibility for educating their own to the greater degree until these hungry lands open up...I am convinced that any honest muslim would rather know the truth about THESE grave problems than perpetuate to next generations the problems inherant in other parts of the text. especially since, unfortunately, it is these poor uninformed "youth" that are the target of radicalization....babies.
I fully agree with:
A person should be 'Educated' about the Bible and understand the dynamics of this historical record which was used to shape Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the regions of Asia. Study it well enough to avoid its traps and pitfalls but definitely understand it well enough to recognize its influence on the culture you live in.
It is good to keep 3 things in mind when thinking about or discussing the bible.
1.The Western world (that most of us were born into) has been steeped in profound bible belief for the last 2000 years.
2.Almost no cradle to adulthood education about OTHER ideas are systematically inculcated into young people.
3.Few of us escape the religious ideas of our family as a foundational influence on our values and emotions.
That is what we bring to the table.
We are "tainted" by presuppositions even in an effort to be neutral.
Last, but by no means least: MOSTLY when we say we "read" or "study" the bible we are really reading and studying somebody's INTERPETATIONS and BIAS about it.
There is no God. So, the Bible is not his word. And even if God exists, he would not transmit his word through a collection of obscure texts.
I would only go beyond DagothUr, and say that we can study the Bible and even like some parts of it, but we should not believe it is for real. And our study of the Bible should necessarily include the works that go against it. I would also study the books that were left out, and the reasons why they were left out. And, the actions of the people who claim they were inspired by the Bible.
myelaine -- i stand corrected, i only thought muhammed flew between two cities, not that he made a stop in heaven and made moses cry.
As the good atheist i must add: It make him seem slightly more creepy, considering he had a 9 year old wife. I imagine the line: "will you come and see my magic pony?" might have been used at some point, but i digress-
Instead of miracles, i think it might be better to say: "Supernatural events requiering the intervention of God"?. At any rate, if anyone feel this affect my argument, i am quire sure i can reword it.