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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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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?

 

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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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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Is the Didache Apostolic?

Taken from here: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/info/didache.html

“Of apostolic origin no one should presume to speak, since the text of the document makes no such claim, and internal evidence is obviously against such a suggestion”


 

The Didache cannot be taken as a reliable source for tradition received from Jesus’ disciples, because it was written (as is the opinion of the majority of scholars) in the second half of the second century, by an unknown author who had not, obviously, met the disciples. [28]

We cannot take the Didache as a proof for the existence of the canonical Gospels as we know them today, even if we accept, for the sake of argument, that the Didache was written in the first century. This is because, due to the noticeable differences between the Didache text and our four Gospels, the opposite view should lead us to one of two options: either to believe that the text of the Gospels used by the Didachist was too different from the canonical version we know, or that the Didachist felt free to reshape Jesus’ sayings by mingling them with extra-canonical material and attributing its words to himself, not to Jesus.[29]

Aaron Milavec, who is an authority in the Didache studies, insists after thorough and careful consideration that the Didache is totally independent of the Gospels in the internal logic, theological orientation, and pastoral practice that runs decisively counter to what one finds within the received Gospels. [30]

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Early Church Fathers and Writings that Differed On Matthew 28:19

Taken from Here: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/e-catena/matthew28.html

 

Matt. 28:19 – NIV, NAB – in Recognitions of Clement II

In the first place, I shall answer your assertion, that I set forth the words of my Master, and from them resolve matters about which there is still doubt. Our Lord, when He sent us apostles to preach, enjoined us to teach all nations[29]

Matt. 28:19 – NIV, NAB – in Clementine Homily XVII

“Knowing therefore that we knew all that was spoken by Him, and that we could supply the proofs, He sent us to the ignorant Gentiles to baptize them for remission of sins, and commanded us to teach them first.[16]

Matt. 28:19 – NIV, NAB – in Origen Commentary on Matthew Book X

And the Apostles on this account left Israel and did that which had been enjoined on them by the Saviour, “Make disciples of all the nations,”[123]

Value of the Apostolic Fathers’ Quotations

value of the apostolic Fathers’ quotations before getting into their details.

  • Vincent Taylor: “Until about A.D. 150 the quotations are of little value for textual purposes.” [13]
  • Frederic George Kenyon: “Quotations from the New Testament are found in the earliest writers of the sub-apostolic age, but they are so scanty as to be of little service for our present purpose.[14]
  • A. T. Robertson: “Little help is gained from the Greek Apostolic Fathers for the text.”[15]
  • Bruce Metzger: “The Apostolic Fathers seldom make express citations from New Testament writings.”[16]
  • Marvin R. Vincent: “The Apostolic Fathers are of little value for patristic quotation, since they do not so much quote as blend the language of the New Testament with their own.[17]
  • William L. Petersen: “It is clear that the vast majority of passages in the Apostolic Fathers for which one can find likely parallels in the New Testament have deviations from our present, critically reconstructed New Testament text. It must be emphasized that the vast majority of these deviations are not minor (e.g., differences in spelling or verb tense), but major (a completely new context, a substantial interpolation or omission, a conflation of two entirely separate ideas and/or passages).” [18]
  • Caspar René Gregory professes, despite his apologetic tone, that “the very earliest of the Christian writers did not make a point of quoting the New Testament with any precision.”[19]

Early Church Fathers On Scriptures being Final Authority-Catholics Refuted

Scripture Alone is final Authority

  1. Irenaeus, (130-202), “We have known the method of our salvation by no other means than those by whom the gospel came to us; which gospel they truly preached; but afterward, by the will of God, they delivered to us in the Scriptures, to be for the future the foundation and pillar of our faith,” (Adv. H. 3:1).
  2. Clement of Alexandria (150?-213?), “They that are ready to spend their time in the best things will not give over seeking for truth until they have found the demonstration from the Scriptures themselves,”(Stromata 7:16:3).
  3. Origen (185?-252), “No man ought, for the confirmation of doctrines, to use books which are not canonized Scriptures,” (Tract. 26 in Matt.).
  4. St. Cyprian of Carthage (200?-258), “Whence comes this tradition? Does it descend from the Lord’s authority, or from the commands and epistles of the apostles? For those things are to be done which are there written . . . If it be commanded in the gospels or the epistles and Acts of the Apostles, then let this holy tradition be observed,” (Cyprian of Carthage, Ep. 74 ad Pompeium).
  5. Athanasius (300?-375),
    1. “The Holy Scriptures, given by inspiration of God, are of themselves sufficient toward the discovery of truth. (Orat. adv. Gent., ad cap.) The Catholic Christians will neither speak nor endure to hear anything in religion that is a stranger to Scripture; it being an evil heart of immodesty to speak those things which are not written,” (Athanasius, Exhort. ad Monachas).
    2. “5. Again it is not tedious to speak of the [books] of the New Testament. These are, the four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Afterwards, the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles (called Catholic), seven, viz., of James, one; of Peter, two; of John, three; after these, one of Jude. In addition, there are fourteen Epistles of Paul, written in this order. The first, to the Romans; then two to the Corinthians; after these, to the Galatians; next, to the Ephesians; then to the Philippians; then to the Colossians; after these, two to the Thessalonians, and that to the Hebrews; and again, two to Timothy; one to Titus; and lastly, that to Philemon. And besides, the Revelation of John. 6 These are fountains of salvation, that they who thirst may be satisfied with the living words they contain. In these alone is proclaimed the doctrine of godliness. Let no man add to these, neither let him take ought from these. For concerning these the Lord put to shame the Sadducees, and said, ‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures.’ And He reproved the Jews, saying, ‘Search the Scriptures, for these are they that testify of Me.’ ” (Athanasius, Festal Letter 39:5-6).
    3. “Vainly then do they run about with the pretext that they have demanded Councils for the faith’s sake; for divine Scripture is sufficient above all things; but if a Council be needed on the point, there are the proceedings of the Fathers, for the Nicene Bishops did not neglect this matter, but stated the doctrine so exactly, that persons reading their words honestly, cannot but be reminded by them of the religion towards Christ announced in divine Scripture.” (Athanasius, De Synodis, 6).
  6. Ambrose (340?-396), “How can we use those things which we do not find in the Holy Scriptures?” (Ambr. Offic., 1:23).
  7. Cyril of Jerusalem (315?-386),  “Not even the least of the divine and holy mysteries of the faith ought to be handed down without the divine Scriptures. Do not simply give faith to me speaking these things to you except you have the proof of what I say from the divine Scriptures. For the security and preservation of our faith are not supported by ingenuity of speech, but by the proofs of the divine Scriptures,” (Cat. 4).
  8. Jerome (342?-420),  “Those things which they make and find, as it were, by apostolical tradition, without the authority and testimony of Scripture, the word of God smites. (ad Aggai 1) As we deny not those things that are written, so we refuse those things that are not written. That God was born of a virgin we believe, because we read it; that Mary did marry after she was delivered we believe not, because we do not read it,” (Adv. Helvidium).
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