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The Divinity and Worship of Mary as promoted by the Church Fathers

وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلْتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَٰهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلَا أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ

And behold! Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah’?” He will say: “Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden. (5:116)

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Augustine of Hippo bothered by John 17:3

“But this, saith He, is life eternal, that they may know Thee [the Father] the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent. The [proper] order of the words is: That Thee [the Father] and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent, they may know to be the only true God.” 

(Augustine (1849). The Gospel According to St. John, and His First Epistle, Volume 2 (Henry Browne, trans.). Oxford: John Henry Parker. p. 952)

VERSUS

John 17:3 New International Version (NIV)
3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Apostolic Writings just as CORRUPT as New Testament

Taken from  Christopher M. Tuckett and Andrew Gregory’s, The Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers:

By way of conclusion, I will simply summarize my findings and restate my thesis. Over the entire course of their transmission, the texts of the Apostolic Fathers were not copied with anything like the frequency of the books that made it into the New Testament—even though in the early centuries of the church some of them (such as the Shepherd) were at least as popular and widely copied as several books that became canonical (such as Mark). When these books were copied, however, they were subject to the same kinds of textual corruption that one finds attested among the manuscripts of the New Testament. They were accidentally altered on occasion, by careless, tired, or  inept scribes, to probably about the same degree as were the writings of Scripture. And they were intentionally changed by scribes in light of their own historical, theological, and social contexts: on rare occasions they were changed because of regnant liturgical practices; they were changed to lower the status and role of women in the churches; and they were changed in light of theological controversies that raged in the worlds of the scribes who were copying their texts. In short, the factors that affected the transmission of the texts of the New Testament played a similar role in the transmission of the early proto-orthodox writings that came to be excluded from the canon of sacred Scripture.

 

Apostolic Writings are a ‘MODERN FABRICATION’

From Bart Ehrman’s The Apostolic Fathers, Volume I: I Clement. II Clement. Ignatius. Polycarp. Didache, page 11:

The collection, as we have seen, is a modern fabrication. Some of the books were clearly not written near the time of, let alone by companions of, the apostles (e.g., 2 Clement and the Epistle to Diognetus), whereas other books that are not included in the collection probably do go back to at least the first part of the second century (e.g., the Gospels of Thomas and Peter, which have never been included in the corpus).

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Problems with Church Father Quotations…. do we actually have them?

  1. Like the NT, we don’t have the “originals” of any of the writings of the church fathers.  They were also handed down in manuscript form as scribes had copied them.  And changed them in places.  And among places most prone to being changed were the quotations of Scripture.  If a scribe was copying a book by a church father and the original author quoted the text in a form unfamiliar to the scribe living centuries later, the scribe was sometimes inclined to change the text to make it read in the more familiar form.  But that means that in such cases we don’t have the form of the text known to the father, but the form of the text known to the later scribe!
  2. Even if we can reconstruct with reasonable certainty the quotation of the text as the father originally wrote it, it is difficult in many instances to know whether he is quoting from memory or whether he has consulted a manuscript of Scripture before writing down the quotation.  If he’s quoting from memory – what if he remembers the text incorrectly?  Then his quotation does not show what the manuscripts available in his time and place read.
  3. Moreover, in many, many instances, it is clear that the church father is not trying to give a precise word-for-word quotation of the text, but that he is either simply alluding to it – for example, by paraphrasing it to make his point – or is altering it himself in order to make its words fit better into the context in which he mentions it (e.g., changing the grammar to make it conform with his discussion at that point).   If the father is not quoting the text precisely (or is not trying to), then it is very difficult to know how to use his paraphrases or altered quotations in order to reconstruct what his manuscripts probably read at that point.
  4. Only rarely does a church father indicate *where* he has drawn his quotation from.  That is a real problem when dealing especially with the Synoptic Gospels.  If a church father quotes a parable of Jesus, for example, how can one know whether he is quoting it from its form in Matthew, in Mark, or in Luke (if the parable is slightly, or greatly, different in the three forms)?  Or if he is doing it from memory, whether he has accidentally combined the different versions of the parable in his own head?
  5. There are also big problems attendant to each individual father, depending on his own circumstances.   For example, did he live in the same place all his life?  If not – i.e., if he moved at some point – did he take his manuscripts with him from his place of origin or did he start using manuscripts found in the place to which he moved?

 

Was Polycarp a disciple of John?

(To be added at a later date)

HUNTING FOR THE WORD OF GOD: The Quest for the Original Text of the New Testament and the Qur’an in Light of Textual and Historical Criticism

http://www.aricr.org/ar/hunting

Almost a century ago, scholars were debating the authenticity of some passages of the New Testament. After a revolutionary renaissance in the field of biblical textual criticism, however, they began to doubt the genuineness of the entire text.

No longer are we able to claim the authenticity of even one passage from the New Testament. The whole Christian edifice is now in danger. Conversely, today the authenticity of the Qur’ānic text is also being challenged by questioning the Islamic version of the preservation of the Muslim holy book, and the preservation of the canonical readings of the original text.

In the last decade, some missionaries started using the recent discovery of Qur’ānic manuscripts in Sana’a (Yemen) to claim that there had been an early corruption of the text.

This book aims at taking its readers on a journey through the latest academic research on the topic, in the hope of bringing them as close as possible to the heart of the debate. It also has, as its objective, to provide the most satisfactory answers to the most bewildering questions readers may have about the authenticity of the two texts in question—the New Testament and the Qur’an.

The author’s expertise in both areas, the Biblical and Qur’ānic, will enable the reader to gain solid knowledge of the subject matter tackled in this book.

كتاب “Hunting for the Word of God” للدكتور سامي عامري 2013.
الكتاب يناقش علماء النصارى في الغرب في إمكان استعادة النص الأصلي للعهد الجديد، وعلى رأسهم زعيمهم (Daniel B. Wallace).
يكشف أنّ التحريفات التي اعترف بها علماء النصارى تطعن في كثير من عقائد الكنيسة.
يرد على القائلين بتحريف النص القرآني، ويفصّل في تاريخ حفظه كتابة ومشافهة.
يردّ على من يستدلّون “بمصاحف صنعاء”.
يقدّم اعترافات كثيرة للمستشرقين بحفظ النص القرآني من التحريف.
يدفع النكارة التاريخية عن وجود إنجيل خاص بالمسيح استنادًا إلى أبحاث “المشكلة الإزائية” “Synoptic Problem”، ودلالاتها.
وتفاصيل أخرى كثيرة متعلقة بمشاكل المخطوطات اليونانية، والترجمات القديمة، والاقتباسات الآبائية..
للمؤلّف كتاب باللغة العربيّة في مناقشة موضوع استحالة استعادة النص الأصلي للعهد الجديد دون بقية مباحث الكتاب الإنجليزي.. وفيه توسّع أكبر من الكتاب الإنجليزي في هذا الموضوع. وهو بصدد الاتفاق مع ناشر على طبعه السنة القادمة بإذن الله.
أخيرًا.. نرجو أن تساهموا في نشر الكتاب في المواقع الدعوية الإنجليزية لبيان حجّة الإسلام في عصمة النص القرآني وضياع النص الأصلي للعهد الجديد.
-الكتاب متاح للبيع على الأمازون: https://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Word-God-Testament-historical/dp/0988565900

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Can the ‘Heretical’ Church Fathers be trusted?

Many Christians are satisfied with the claim that if all the Biblical manuscripts did not exist, they could rely on Church fathers to reconstruct the Bible.

Now we have already shown that even if we take the assertion that the Church fathers and their quotations can be trusted both as a source of knowledge,(and their authenticity) , we still wont be able to get a Bible until the fourth century

An upcoming post, will question the authenticity of the Church Fathers writings themselves, and can they rightly be attributed to their respective authors.

This post, however, will assume for the sake of argument that these writings are authentic to their respective author. But it will question whether we can rely on such authors to quote the Bible.

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Clarification by Wallace on Using Patristic Witnesses to Re-Construct the New Testament

Calling Christians

Many evangelical Christian apologists use an argument attributed to the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, which goes as follows:

We can almost completely restore the New Testament off of the early church fathers alone.

This argument posits that based on the writings of the early Church Fathers (Patristics), in their quotations, we can use those quotations of the New Testament to reconstruct the entire New Testament. However, as Dr. Dan Wallace clarifies, this is not a claim he makes, and he specifically qualifies that although such a reconstruction can be done, it cannot be done using the early Patristics:

cc-2015-wallaceonpatristictc

As Dr. Ehrman points out, this cannot be done using the early Patristic writings (1st to 3rd centuries). Unfortunately, this is quite a popular argument used by Christian apologists, and it’s long overdue that either Dr. Wallace or Dr. Ehrman corrected lay…

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Can the New Testament be Reconstructed from the Writings of the Church Fathers?- Muslims Answer

Have you ever heard it said that if all the Bibles and Biblical manuscripts in the world were destroyed tomorrow, we could reconstruct all but 11 verses of the NT from the writings of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers alone?  Recently, in an interview featuring NT textual critic, Daniel Wallace, we learn that this claim is demonstrably false.

Daniel Wallace mentions the following :

I’m embarrassed to say that sometimes there are Muslim apologists who have done really decent research on the nature of the New Testament or on the transmission of the text or things along those lines, and they have cleared up kind of an apocryphal story that Christians believed in.

There was one example: a number of scholars have passed on saying someone had pointed out that in the first three centuries of Christianity, only eleven verses of the entire New Testament had not been able to be found in those Church Fathers’ writings. Well, that was a garbled story that went back to the early 1800s, and it was a third-hand story of a fellow by the name of David Dalrymple. He was the one who actually was doing the research, and somebody heard about this at a party and not directly from Dalrymple but from somebody else, and then put into a book, and it’s been stated for the last 200 years as though it was Gospel fact.

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