Category Archives: Morality

Interfaith Weblinks

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Bible
An outstandingly comprehensive website that touches upon all the absurdities, contradictions & corruptions found in the Bible — scroll down for the list)
http://www.evilbible.com/ 
Certainly one of my personal favourite. They type of website which no Christian would want you to see. But be CAUTIONED! This is an Atheist website that attacks certain aspects of Isa al-Masih (as) and the Christian faith which Muslims regard as true (e.g. the virgin birth, miracles, etc). You must choose your arguments with great care.
This website is run by bro. Sami Zaatari, one of the internet’s foremost Muslim debater with vast knowledge of comparative religion & Christian polemics. Alhamdulillah! You can also find his videos in YouTube.
A comprehensive catalogue of horrors & atrocities committed by Christians throughout the centuries. Very good & factual response to those who allege Islam is violent & inhuman.
Every Muslim student of comparative religion needs to be acquainted to this remarkable website. It contains a series of articles as well as high-quality video lectures & debates by contemporary preachers & debaters of Islam. Take note of their presentations & use their arguments in your debates for resounding effect.
http://www.biblicalunitarian.com
Restoration Fellowship is dedicated to recovering the beliefs of the first-century disciples of Jesus, the Messiah. Sound theology begins with the creed to which Jesus subscribed in Mark 12:28-29 — the creed of Israel (Deut. 6:4) — and the Gospel about the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus commanded belief in that Gospel Message in contrast to much modern evangelism which often ignores Jesus’ Message about the Kingdom of God.


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Thomas Jefferson’s secret Bible of Jesus’s Moral code

Thomas Jefferson and his Bible
The ‘Jefferson Bible’ was Thomas Jefferson’s attempt to extract an authentic Jesus from the Gospel accounts.by Marilyn Mellowes.The White House, Washington, D.C. 1804.

Thomas Jefferson was frustrated. It was not the burdens of office that bothered him. It was his Bible. Jefferson was convinced that the authentic words of Jesus written in the New Testament had been contaminated. Early Christians, overly eager to make their religion appealing to the pagans, had obscured the words of Jesus with the philosophy of the ancient Greeks and the teachings of Plato. These “Platonists” had thoroughly muddled Jesus’ original message. Jefferson assured his friend and rival, John Adams, that the authentic words of Jesus were still there. The task, as he put it, was one of abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separate from that as the diamond from the dung hill.

With the confidence and optimistic energy characteristic of the Enlightenment, Jefferson proceeded to dig out the diamonds. Candles burning late at night, his quill pen scratching “too hastily” as he later admitted, Jefferson composed a short monograph titled The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth. The subtitle explains that the work is “extracted from the account of his life and the doctrines as given by Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.” In it, Jefferson presented what he understood was the true message of Jesus.
Jefferson set aside his New Testament research, returning to it again in the summer of 1820. This time, he completed a more ambitious work, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted Textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French and English. The text of the New Testament appears in four parallel columns in four languages. Jefferson omitted the words that he thought were inauthentic and retained those he believed were original. The resulting work is commonly known as the “Jefferson Bible.”
Who was the Jesus that Jefferson found? He was not the familiar figure of the New Testament. In Jefferson’s Bible, there is no account of the beginning and the end of the Gospel story. There is no story of the annunciation, the virgin birth or the appearance of the angels to the shepherds. The resurrection is not even mentioned.
Jefferson discovered a Jesus who was a great Teacher of Common Sense. His message was the morality of absolute love and service. Its authenticity was not dependent upon the dogma of the Trinity or even the claim that Jesus was uniquely inspired by God. Jefferson saw Jesus as
a man, of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, (and an) enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions of divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition by being gibbeted according to the Roman law.
In short, Mr. Jefferson’s Jesus, modeled on the ideals of the Enlightenment thinkers of his day, bore a striking resemblance to Jefferson himself.

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Editor’s noteMitch Horowitz is editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin and editor of Penguin’s new reissue of The Jefferson Bible. By Mitch Horowitz, Special to CNN
(CNN) – Imagine the following scenario: A U.S. president is discovered to be spending his spare time taking a razor to the New Testament, cutting up and re-pasting those passages of the Gospels that he considered authentic and morally true and discarding all the rest.
Gone are the virgin birth, divine healings, exorcisms and the resurrection of the dead, all of which the chief executive dismissed as “superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications.”
Such an episode occurred, although the revised version of Scripture remained unseen for nearly seven decades after its abridger’s death. Thomas Jefferson intended it that way.
During most of his two terms in the White House, from 1801 to 1809, and for more than a decade afterward, Jefferson  the third U.S. president and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence  committed himself to a radical reinterpretation of the Gospels.
With a razor and glue brush at this side, Jefferson lined up English, French, Greek and Latin editions of Scripture and proceeded to cut up and reassemble the four Gospels into an exquisitely well-crafted, multilingual chronology of Christ’s life.

Jefferson lined up different editions of Scripture.
In Jefferson’s view, this revision represented a faithful record of Christ’s moral code, minus the miracles that the Enlightenment-era founder dismissed as historical mythmaking.
The book eventually became known as The Jefferson Bible and is now being rediscovered in new editions, including one published this month by Tarcher/Penguin, and as the focus of a Smithsonian exhibit.
Ask most people today if they have heard of Jefferson’s Bible and you will receive blank stares. Indeed, for much of American history, The Jefferson Bible was entirely unknown. Jefferson intended it as a work of private reflection, not a public statement.
As contemporary readers discover the work, it is tempting to wonder how American history might look different had Jefferson’s radical document come to light closer to its completion.
Jefferson was still working on his Bible during his presidency, so its theoretical publication wouldn’t have compromised his electability. But if the book had been made public after its final completion in 1820, when Jefferson had only six more years to live, it likely would have become one of the most controversial and influential religious works of early American history.

A curator handles a “source” Bible from which Jefferson cut out passages.
That was a scenario Jefferson took pains to avoid. After being called an “infidel” during his 1800 presidential race, Jefferson knew the calumny he could bring on himself if word spread of his “little book.” Although he had his work professionally bound, he mentioned it only to a select group of friends. Its discovery after his death came as a surprise to his family.
Jefferson’s wish for confidentiality held sway until 1895 when the Smithsonian in Washington made public his original pages, purchased from a great-granddaughter. In 1904, Congress issued a photolithograph edition and presented it for decades as a gift to new legislators, a gesture that would likely cause uproar in today’s climate of political piety.
Because of the book’s long dormancy following Jefferson’s death, and its limited availability for generations after  arguably the first truly accessible edition didn’t appear until 1940 The Jefferson Bible has remained a curio of American history.
So how would the earlier publication of The Jefferson Bible have changed American history? It’s impossible to know for sure, but the 1820s inaugurated a period of tremendous spiritual experiment in America: It was the age of Mormonism, Unitarian Universalism and Shakerism, among other new faiths.
There’s little doubt that many Americans, who were already fiercely independent in matters of religion, would have seen The Jefferson Bible as the manifesto of a reformist movement call it “Jeffersonian Christianity”  focused not on repentance and salvation but on earthly ethics. Such a movement could have swept America, and also have spread to Europe, where Jefferson was esteemed.
A broad awareness of Jefferson’s work would have surely engendered a more complex view of the religious identity of Jefferson and other founders. Indeed, one of Jefferson’s most trusted correspondents while he was producing his Bible was his White House predecessor, John Adams, who in turn confided to Jefferson his distrust of all religious orthodoxy. These men were impossible to pin pat religious labels on.
Because Jefferson published relatively little during his lifetime, the appearance of The Jefferson Bible would have created a different, and more confounding, public image of the statesman as someone struggling deeply with his own religious beliefs. The Jefferson that appears behind his reconstruction of Scripture is someone who brushed aside notions of miraculous intervention and canonical faith.
As The Jefferson Bible conveys, however, Jefferson considered Jesus’ moral philosophy the most finely developed in history, surpassing the ethics of both the ancient Greeks and the Hebrews. He insisted that Christ’s authentic doctrine was marked by a stark, ascetic tone that clashed with the supernatural powers attributed to him.
“In extracting the pure principles which he taught,” Jefferson wrote in 1813, “we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms. … There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.”
Jefferson’s minimalist approach to the Gospels reveals an attitude that he disclosed only privately, just months before his death: “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”
In that sense, Jefferson the politician wouldn’t have stood a chance in the current presidential race, where faith and piety are on constant display. The political process might be more open today to candidates of varying degrees and types of belief if The Jefferson Bible were more central to the nation’s history.
The Jefferson Bible opens a window on Jefferson’s struggle to find a faith with which he could finally come to terms. It was this kind of intimate, inner search  not the outward pronouncement and establishment of religious doctrine  that the man who helped shape modern religious liberty sought to protect in America.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mitch Horowitz.
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Jefferson’s Bible – C-SPAN Video Library

c-spanvideo.org30 minIn his retirement years Thomas Jefferson compiled his own version of the four  Former President Jefferson 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 . The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth: Extracted Textually from the Gospels Greek, Latin, French, and English Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library| The entire work (15 KB) | Table of Contents for this work || All on-line databases | Etext Center Homepage |


  • Header
  • Front Matter
  • Chapter 1 CHAPTER 1
  • Chapter 2 CHAPTER 2
  • Chapter 3 CHAPTER 3
  • Chapter 4 CHAPTER 4
  • Chapter 5 CHAPTER 5
  • Chapter 6 CHAPTER 6
  • Chapter 7 CHAPTER 7
  • Chapter 8 CHAPTER 8
  • Chapter 9 CHAPTER 9
  • Chapter 10 CHAPTER 10
  • Chapter 11 CHAPTER 11
  • Chapter 12 CHAPTER 12
  • Chapter 13 CHAPTER 13
  • Chapter 14 CHAPTER 14
  • Chapter 15 CHAPTER 15
  • Chapter 16 CHAPTER 16
  • Chapter 17 CHAPTER 17
  • Courtesy: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/JefJesu.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Revealed Scriptures

    Introduction:

    The guidance to human is an important constituent of the process of creation by God, trial, justice and reward. God guides the humanity through different means. Firstly; much earlier than the creation of humanity, God first created all the spirits of humanity, which testified Him to be their Lord, this was the 1st Covenant, and then they were put to sleep. He brings the humankind into this world in succession, each at appointed time, spirit is breathed in to him, and true nature (hanefa fitr’ah) part of human conscious (the 1st Covenant) is part of human consciousness. This is the reason that even some of African tribes cut off from the civilized world worship One God without images. However majority of human, under the influence of Satan, are caught in the webs of customs, superstitions, selfish desires, and false teachings, thus getting deflected from the true nature. Man is endowed with instincts, forms and faculties exactly suited to what is expected of him. Through these faculties and instincts man can know about existence of God by observing His signs, thus reverting to the true nature. Finally He gives guidance, through His messengers and scriptures, so that the people should have no excuse to plead against Allah for lack of guidance. The messengers convey the message, people are not coerced, they use their intellect for reason and exercise their will, such that may reach the higher destiny of man. Finally; the reward for those who made right choice and punishment for those who fell pray to evil.
    God sent messengers to every community; some are mentioned by name in Bible and Qur’an. The message of all the massagers sent to different nations at different times had been same, to worship One God and follow His guidance for success in this life and hereafter. The messengers were required to convey the message only, they were not required to force the people: “Obey Allah and obey His messenger; but if ye turn away, then the duty of Our messenger is only to convey (the message) plainly.”(Qur’an;64:12). Among them Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him (flourished around1800 B.C) the great patriarch asserted the strict monotheism, God chose him as a leader of the mankind after success in trials, which was conditional to His obedience and not applicable to the evil doers among his progeny. His son Ishmael and Isaac were granted prophethood. After Abraham God continuously appointed messengers like Ishmael, Isaac his son Jacob (also known as Israel and his decedents as Israelites or Children of Israel), Joseph, Moses, Elisha, David, Solomon up to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them all) being the last among Israelites. 
    The sacred writings of religions, comprising a large portion of the religious literature of the world. The sacred scriptures containing the message of guidance are available to the people after the messengers are gone. Allah says: “He has spelled out His revelations for people who want to understand.”(Qur’an;10:5). Scriptures vary in form, volume, age, and degree of sacredness. Nearly all scriptures were originally oral and were passed down as memorized texts through several generations before being put in writing except Qur’an, the sacred scripture of Islam, which beside being memorized was also written down at the time of revelation. Qur’an, the latest  scripture mentions Torah, Zabur (Psalms) and Injeel (Gospel) by name, the scriptures revealed to Prophet Moses, David and Jesus Christ (peace be upon them all) respectively, however this does not preclude existence of other scriptures, like the one to Abraham (peace be upon him), now extinct. Allah says: “We have sent thee (O’ Muhammad) inspiration as We sent it to Noah and the prophets after him; We sent inspiration to Abraham Ishmael Isaac Jacob and the Tribes to Jesus Job Jonah Aaron and Solomon and to David We gave the Psalms. Of some Messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not; and to Moses Allah spoke direct.”(Qur’an;4:163-164). None of the present books of the Bible have reached through the manuscript of its author. The available manuscripts date from several centuries after the original books were written. The books of New Testament lack conformity, there are more than 5000 manuscripts, written during different periods by different authors mostly unknown. Hence the Muslims, while believing in all the previous prophets and ‘original scriptures’ adhere to Qur’an, the final preserved revelations available for the guidance of humanity which abrogated all the previous scriptures.


    Testament of Abraham:
    Qur’an mentions that the law of righteousness and godliness is not a new law, the spiritual truths have been renewed and reiterated again and again in the previous scriptures from Abraham to Moses: “And This is In the Books of the earliest (Revelation), The Books of Abraham and Moses.”(Qur’an;87:18-19); “Or has he not been notified about what was in the books of Moses and of Abraham who always kept his word:”(Qur’an;53:36-37). There is a book in Greek, which has been translated by Mr. G.H. Box, called the ‘Testament of Abraham’ (published by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, London, 1927). It seems to be a Greek translation of a Hebrew original. The Greek Text was probably written in the second Christian century, in Egypt, but in its present form it probably goes back only to the 9th or 10th Century. It was popular among the Christians. Perhaps the Jewish Midrash also refers to a ‘Testament of Abraham’.
    The Bible:
    The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is the scripture of Judaism; the Bible (Old and New Testaments together) is the scripture of Christianity. Word ‘Bible’, is derived from Greekbiblos (“book”) can be compared with byblos (“Papyrus”: The writing material of ancient times and also the plant from which it was derived). In the fifth century after Christ, name ‘Bible’ began to be given to the entire collection of sacred books, the “Library of Divine Revelation.” The name Bible was adopted by Wickliffe, and came gradually into use in the English language. Interestingly the word ‘Bible’ does not exist in the text of Bible. The order as well as the number of books differs between the Jewish Bible, the Protestant and Roman Catholic versions of the Bible. The sixty-six different books of the Bible were composed by many different writers, in three different languages, under different circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests, tax-gatherers, tentmakers; educated and uneducated, Jews and Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at various periods during the long period spread over 1600 years. No original manuscripts exist. There is probably not one book which survives in anything like its original form. There are hundreds of differences between the oldest manuscripts of any one book. These differences indicate that numerous additions and alterations were made to the originals by various copyists and editors. The earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures from the original Hebrew is known as Septuagint. Presumably this translation was made for the use of the Jewish community in Egypt when Greek was the lingua franca. The Pentateuch was translated near the middle of the 3rd century BC; the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures were translated in the 2nd century BC. The name Septuagint was derived from a legend that 72 translators worked on the project. Its influence was far-reaching. The Septuagint rather than the original Hebrew Bible was the main basis for the Old Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, and some Arabic translations of the Bible.
    The Bible comprise of Old Testament and New Testament. The word, ‘Testament’ comes fro the Latin ‘testamentum’, translating the Greek ‘diatheke’, the word chosen by Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word, ‘berith’, which strictly speaking means ‘Covenant’ or the covenant between human beings and God’. The Jewish Bible, which include the Hebrew scripture, the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, forming the covenant between God and the Jewish people that is the foundation and Bible of Judaism while for the Christians it constitute the Old Testament. The New Testament comprising the Gospels, Acts, Pauline and other Epistles, and the Book of Revelation, together viewed by Christians as forming the record of the new dispensation belonging to the Church. The authenticity, accuracy and originality of presently available Torah, Psalm, Gospel and other books as revealed scriptures is doubtful, which is also evident from the long history and complex process of compilation, transmission, revisions, translations and canonization.
    The Old Testament, containing thirty-nine books, and the New Testament, contains twenty-seven books. There is a break of 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The sixty-six books of Bible which include 39 books  of Old Testaments and 27 books of New Testaments were chosen, after a bit of haggling, by the Catholic Council of Carthage in 397 C.E; almost four hundred years after the time of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). The Bible of Protestants consists of total 66 books and the Bible of Catholic has 73 books. The literature of the Bible has played a special role in the history and culture of the Western & Christian world.
    Torah
    Torah is often restricted to signify the first five books of the Old Testament, also called the ‘Law’ or the ‘Pentateuch’. These are the books traditionally ascribed to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), the recipient of the original revelation from God on Mount Sinai. Jewish, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant canons all agree on their order as: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The written Torah, in the restricted sense of the Pentateuch, is preserved in all Jewish synagogues on handwritten parchment scrolls that reside inside the ark of the Law. They are removed and returned to their place with special reverence. Readings from the Torah (Pentateuch) form an important part of Jewish liturgical services. The term Torah is also used to designate the entire Hebrew Bible. Since for some Jews the laws and customs passed down through oral traditions are part and parcel of God’s revelation to Moses and constitute the “Oral Torah,” Torah is also understood to include both the Oral Law and the Written Law. Rabbinic commentaries on and interpretations of both Oral and Written Law have been viewed by some as extensions of sacred oral tradition, thus broadening still further the meaning of Torah to designate the entire body of Jewish laws.
    Torah comprises of those commandments and instructions raveled to Moses starting with his appointment of Messengers-ship till his death, spread over forty years. Allah says: “We gave Moses the Holy Book (Torah) and the criterion of right and wrong so that you might be rightly guided”( Qur’an;2:53). It include the Ten Commandments given by God on the stone tablets, while Moses got the remaining commandments written, twelve copies were prepared and handed over to each of the twelve tribes. One copy was given in the protective custody to the Levite, which is called Torah. This was intact in the form of Book till the first destruction of Jerusalem (586 B.C). The Levite’s copy of Torah along with stone tablets was kept in the box of covenant. It was so much ignored that during repairs of Temple the Hilki’ah, the chief priest found it and presented to king. It is due to this apathy that few copies of Torah lying in the Temple were lost for ever, during destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. After a captivity of many years, this restoration was begun (536 B.C.), Ezra  (Prophet Uzair, peace be upon him) with the help of other notables arranged the entire history of Children of Israel which is now available in the form of first seventeen books of Old Testament.
    In the broadest sense Torah (Taurat) is claimed to be the substance of divine revelation to Israel, the Jewish people: God’s revealed teaching or guidance for mankind. The actual Torah revealed to Moses is scattered in the books, which can be identified to begin with the phrases, where ever the writer writes; “the God said to Moses”  or” Moses said, the Lord your Lord says” and ends with other events. Wherever the author gets in to his explanations and exegesis, it becomes difficult for normal reader to distinguish the Torah from the exegesis. However the experts of ‘revealed scriptures’ can distinguish the divine revelations with some accuracy. Qur’an considers these scattered phrases as Torah and verifies them. If these scattered phrases are compiled and compared with Qur’an, it may be found that apart from some differences in parts, there is no difference in their basic teachings. Allah says: “And, verily, (the essence of) this (revelation, i.e. Qur’an) is indeed found in the ancient books of divine wisdom (as well) (Qur’an;26:196,link 2:42, 61:6); “(O Children of Israel) Believe in My revelations, which are confirming your scriptures; do not be the first one to deny My revelations, and do not sell them for a petty price, fear Me and Me alone”( Qur’an;2:41). Hence it becomes evident that the original source of both the books is the same. Allah says: “We have sent thee inspiration as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him; We sent inspiration to Abraham Ishmael Isaac Jacob and the Tribes to Jesus Job Jonah Aaron and Solomon and to David We gave the Psalms.”(Qura’n;4:163).
    Psalms:
    The book of Psalms in the Bible is widely known for the sacred song or poems. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek (the Septuagint), in the original Hebrew text the book had no name, it was titled Psalterion, referring to a stringed instrument that would accompany such songs. The collection contains much devotional poetry of a high order. Its 150 psalms, ranging in subject from songs of joyous faith and thanksgiving to songs of bitter protest and lamentation, rank among the immortal poems of all time. They have had a profound influence on the liturgies of Judaism and Christianity. Their dating and authorship are highly problematic. The distinction of King and Prophet David (peace be upon him) was the Zabur (Psalms), some of which are still extant. Though their present form is different from the original and they do undoubtedly also include Psalms not written by David.
    Talmud: 
    Apart from Hebrew’s Bible, Talmud (in Hebrew: Study, or Learning) is the intellectual work, it comprise the scholarly interpretations, systematic amplification and analysis of passages of the Mishna (Oldest authoritative collection of Jewish oral law, supplementing the written laws in the Hebrew Scriptures), the Gemara (commentary on Mishna), and other Oral Law, including the Tosefta (supplements to the Mishna, compiled around 300 C.E). The Talmud is, first and foremost, a legal compilation, although it deals with the matters of almost all areas of human interest. Two types of Talmuds exist, which have been produced by two different groups of Jewish scholars: the Babylonian Talmud (600 C.E) and the Palestinian Talmud (400 C.E). The Babylonian Talmud is more extensive and thus more highly esteemed. Both Talmuds formulate their own hermeneutics to convey their theological system by defining the Torah and by demonstrating its perfection and comprehensive character. The Talmud remains a text of central importance, particularly in Orthodox Judaism. Intensive modern Talmudic scholarship is pursued in Israel and the U.S. The religious study of the Torah in search of the God who makes himself known in that work is called ‘Talmud Torah’. It focuses on learning God’s message for contemporary times through inquiry into the books of Hebrew scripture or those that record the original oral Torah of Sinai, the Mishna, Midrash (large collection of writings that examine the Hebrew Bible in the light of oral tradition), and Talmuds. Talmud Torah is also the name given to an elementary school under Jewish auspices that places special emphasis on religious education.
    The New Testament:
    The New Testament is the second, later, and smaller of the two major divisions of the Christian Bible, and the portion that is canonical (authoritative) only to Christianity. It recounts the life and ministry of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and interprets their meaning for the early church, focusing especially on the new covenant created between God and the followers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). Like the Old Testament it contains a variety of writing, there are 27 books in the New Testament: four Gospels, or stories of the life and teachings of Christ; the Acts of the Apostles, a historical narrative of the first years of the Christian church; 21 epistles, or letters of advice and instruction to early Christians; and the Book of Revelation, a description of the coming apocalypse: “I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”(Revelations;18-19). Most books were written in the later 1st century AD, though none can be dated precisely. Only two authors are known for certain: Paul, credited with 13 epistles (some make it 14); and Luke, writer of the third gospel and the Book of Acts. Attributions of other authors range from highly likely (for the other three gospels) to completely unknown (for the Epistle to the Hebrews). These documents circulated among the early churches and were used as preaching and teaching sources.
    Saint Paul; (10-67 C.E), the alleged author of most of books of New Testament was the early Christian missionary and theologian, known as the Apostle to the Gentiles. His original name was Saul, born as a Jew in Tarsus, Asia Minor. Like many of the Jews there he inherited Roman citizenship, probably granted by the Romans as a reward for mercenary service in the previous century. He used his Jewish name, Saul, within the Jewish community and his Roman surname, Paul, when speaking to Greeks. He was trained as a rabbi but earned his living as a tentmaker. He never met Prophet Jesus while in Jerusalem. A zealous Pharisee, (the ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form) he enthusiastically participated in the persecution and killing of the early Christians. When one of them, Stephen, was stoned to death, the murderers “laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul”(Acts;7:58). Later he converted to Christianity claiming to have experienced a vision of Prophet Jesus, while on the road to Damascus. Three years later he met St. Peter and James and was henceforth became to be known as the 13th Apostle. From his base in Antioch, he traveled widely, preaching to the Gentiles (non Jews). By asserting that non-Jewish Disciples of Christ did not have to observe Jewish law, he helped to establish Christianity as a separate religion rather than a Jewish sect. On a journey to Jerusalem, he aroused such hostility among the Jews that a mob gathered, and he was arrested and imprisoned for two years. The circumstances of his death are unknown. Paul’s ministry and religious views are known largely from his letters, or epistles, collected in the New Testament, which are the first Christian theological writing and the source of much Christian doctrine. Paul, all but totally obliterated the teachings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) based upon the authority of his alleged “visions”. Paul’s teachings were based more upon his personal philosophy and beliefs than any attempt to cite words or actions of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) himself (e.g. Galatians 2). His followers slaughtered all Christians who would not forsake the teachings of the apostles for his teachings and he was later made the “majority author” of the New Testament (14 out of 27 books) and countless authentic gospels were burned and labeled apocrypha by his followers. It can be seen that the current religion of “Christianity” is based more on the doctrines and writings of Paul than anything else. The Gospels which are popularly believed to have been written first, were in actuality written long after the writings of Paul. It was due to Paul more than anyone else that Christianity became a world religion.
    The Gospels:
    The word ‘gospel’ is derived from the Anglo-Saxon term ‘god-spell’, meaning ‘good story’, a rendering of the Latin ‘evangelium’ and the Greek ‘euangelion’ (Arabic; Injil), meaning ‘good news’ or “good telling”. The 73 or 66 books of New Testament, include four Gospels. The Gospel, is any of four biblical narratives covering the life, the person, death (according to Christian belief) and the teachings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), as he was remembered by the Christian community. Traditionally their authorship (highly speculative) is attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (the four evangelists), they are placed at the beginning of the New Testament and make up about half the total text. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) conveyed orally to the people what God had originally revealed to him. His disciples, too, propagated it among the people by the spoken words in such a manner that they presented an admixture of their Prophet’s life-story and the verses revealed to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). None of this material was put into writing during the lifetime of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) or even in the period immediately following him. It fell to the lot of the Christians whose vernacular was Greek to transform the oral traditions into writing. It must be borne in mind that Christ’s native tongue was Syriac or Aramaic  and his disciples, too, spoke the same language. Most Greek-speaking authors heard these traditions in the Aramaic vernacular and committed them to writing in Greek. The oral traditions have been put into writing from Aramaic to Greek from 50-70 C.E.
    Ever since the period of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), there have been people who tried to follow the message preached by Prophet Jesus  i.e. To worship one God, adhere to the basic teachings of Moses and follow the law (Torah). They considered Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as a human, Messenger of God, not God. These groups survived in good numbers up to 4th Century, after Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) till the Trinitarians got upper hand by winning over Emperor Constantine of Roman Empire in early 4th century C.E. The Council of Nicea (Iznik-Turkey) in 325 C.E, besides declaring these groups illegal, selected four Gospels out of a minimum of three hundred available and the rest, including the Gospel of Barnabas (most authentic), were ordered utterly destroyed. However amazingly some copies of Gospel of Barnabas survived, one recently  discovered from a cave in Oloderay, a village of Turkey. A copy is also reported to have been found at the Vatican’s library. It has been prohibited by the church, because it is against the doctrine of Christianity (in contradiction to the teachings of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him) and the unambiguous prophecies mentioned in his Gospel regarding the advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). All Gospels written in Hebrew were also ordered to be destroyed. Council of Laodicea (364 C.E) added six books as believable, later in 397 C.E another conference at Carthage, added six more Books. Three more conferences were held after this in Trullo, Florence and Trent (1545-63 C.E). They confirmed the decision of the Council of Carthage and included nearly all the previously doubtful books in the list of acknowledged books. The status of these books remained unchanged until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The Protestants repudiated the decisions of the councils and declared that there are only 66 truly “inspired” books of God, and not 73 as claimed by the Catholics. If it is blasphemy to take even a word from the Bible, who is blaspheming? Those who added these seven books from the very beginning or those who expunged them.
    Since the late 18th century the first three gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke) have been called the Synoptic Gospels, because the texts, set side by side, show a similar treatment of the life of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). The four New Testament Gospels compiled as a single narrative by Tatian about 150 C.E is called Diatessaron. It was the standard Gospel text in the Syrian Middle East until about 400 C.E, when it was replaced by the four separated Gospels. Quotations from the Diatessaron appear in ancient Syriac literature, but no ancient Syriac manuscript now exists. A 3rd-century Greek papyrus fragment was discovered in 1933 at Doura-Europus, northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. Whether the original writing was done in Greek or Syriac is unknown. There are also manuscripts in Arabian and Persian and translations into European languages made during the Middle Ages.
    The Christian scholars, with extensive research are uncovering extensive evidence that these Gospels were not even written by their claimed authors. Bultmann, Rudolf (1884-1976), a German Protestant theologian and New Testament scholar carried out the analysis of the Gospels in ‘History of the Synoptic Tradition’(1921). He also examined the New Testament using historical criticism to demythologize it. He held that Christian faith should focus less on the historical Jesus and more on the transcendent Christ. John Biddle (1615-62 C.E), an English theologian was involved in English translation of Bible from Greek. His knowledge of the Greek text of the New Testament convinced him that the doctrine of the Trinity was not of scriptural origin, he published his Unitarian convictions in Twelve Arguments Drawn out of Scripture . . . (1647 C.E). He was repeatedly imprisoned and persecuted. Even the Popes themselves would sometimes recognize the falsehood about the dual nature of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and the fact that it was a later fabrication. One of these popes, Honorius I (Pope from 625 to 638 C.E), was officially cursed due to similar views forty eight years after his death by the Synod (council) which was held in Istanbul in 680 C.E.
    The first English version of the Scriptures made by direct translation from the original Hebrew and Greek, and the first to be printed, was the work of William Tyndale (1490-1536 C.E). He was of the view that the Bible alone should determine the practices and doctrines of the church and that every believer should be able to read the Bible in his own language. Fearing as an effort to undermine their monopoly and deceit, the church authorities in England prevented him from translating the Bible, he went to Germany. His New Testament translation was completed and printed in 1525, which was ordered to be burnt. He was finally betrayed into the hands of his enemies, and in October 1536, was publicly executed and burned at the stake. Yet Tyndale’s work became the foundation of subsequent English translations, beginning with the King James Version of 1611. Ever since the Bible has been translated in almost all the languages of the world. Yet the King James Version has grave defects. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the development of Biblical studies and the discovery of many manu­scripts more ancient than those upon which the King James Version was based, made it manifest that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision of the English translation. The task was undertaken, by authority of the Church of England, in 1870. The English Revised Version of the Bible was published in 1881-1885; and the American Standard Version, its variant em­bodying the preferences of the American scholars associated in the works was published in 1901. Thirty-two scholars have served as members of the Committee charged with making the revision, and they have secured the review and counsel of an Advisory Board of fifty representatives of the co-operating denominations. If in the judgment of the Committee the meaning of a passage is quite uncertain or obscure, either because of corruption in the text or because of the inadequacy of present knowledge of the language, that fact is indicated by a note. It should not be assumed, however, that the Committee was entirely sure or unanimous concerning every rendering not so indicated. The Revised Standard Version Bible Committee is a continuing body, holding its meetings at regular intervals. It has become both ecumenical and inter­national, with Protestant and Catholic active members, who come from Great Britain, Canada, and the United States. There are over forty different major versions of Bible, suitable to the doctrine of different followers, one claiming to be batter and more accurate than other. The main versions are: The King James (Authorized) Version, The English Revised Version, The American Standard Version, The Revised Standard Version, Jewish Versions, The New English Bible and The Catholic Versions. Encyclopedia Britannica mentions that; There is no reliable evidence of any pre-Islamic Arabic translation of Bible. Only when large Jewish and Christian communities found themselves under Muslim rule after the Arab conquests of the 7th century did the need for an Arabic vernacular Scripture arise. The first and most important was that of Sa’adia ben Joseph (892-942 C.E), made directly from Hebrew and written in Hebrew script, which became the standard version for all Jews in Muslim countries.
    According to Islamic traditions, Injeel (Gospel) is the name given to those revealed discourses and sayings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) during the last two and half or three years as prophet of God for the Israelites. There is no authentic information available about their recording and compilation before his accession. The Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are not actually Gospels but Gospel (Injeel) is the sayings and discourses of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) recorded in these books in uncorrupted form. The only method to distinguish them from other narratives, comments and exegesis is that wherever the author writes, “Jesus said…” or “Jesus taught…” may help to extract part of Gospel i.e. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”(Matthew;22:37); “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. . . . Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these Commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;” (Gospel-Mathew;5:17-20). Qur’an calls the original revelations (now almost extinct, distorted) of God to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as Injeel (Qur’an;5:46). Hence some parts of original Injeel (Gospel) may be retrieved through critical comparison of selected sayings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) matching with the narratives in Qur’an on similar subject.
    Despite all the revisions, the Bible is still full of contradictions, violence, obscenities and interpolations; many volumes are required to explain them; only few are mentioned here; First; the doctrinal aspects:  God dwells in light (1Timothy;6:16); God dwells in darkness (1Kings;8:12, Pslams;18:11).God is all powerful (Jeremiah;32:27,17, Mathew;19:26); God is not all powerful (Judges;1:19). God is not author of evil (Psalms;19:7-8, Deuteronomy;32:4); God is the author of evil (Ezekiel;20:25, Lamentations; 3:38, Jeremiah;18:11, Amos;3:6). God is peaceful (Romns;15:33, 1Corrintihans;14:33), God is warlike (Exodus;15:3, Isaiah;51:15). God cannot lie (Numbers;23:19, Hebrews;6:18), God lies (Jeremiah;4:10, 2 Thessalonians;2:11, 1Kings;22:23, Ezekiel;14:9). Heaven, no man hath ascended (John;3:13) contradicted by 2Kings;2:11, Elijah ascended, and Genesis;5:24 Enoch ascended. Judas (treacherous disciple of Jesus) hanged himself (Mathew;27:5), he did not hang himself but died other way (Acts;1:18). Mission of Jesus was to implement the Law of Moses (Mathew;5:17-19), Law superseded by Christian dispensations (Luke;16:16, Ephesians;2:15, Romans;7:6). Man is Not justified by faith alone (James;2:21,24, Romans;2:13), man is justified by faith alone (Romans;3:20, Galatians;2:16, 3:11-12). Jesus lost “None” of his disciples (John;18:9) contradicted by, he lost only “One” (John;17:12). All are sinners (2Chronicles;6:36) contradicted by: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” (1John;3:9).
    Secondly; the Biblical narrative of Creation is unscientific, replete with contradictions: On the first day, God created light, then separated light and darkness (Genisis;1:3-5) where as the sun (which separates night and day) wasn’t created until the fourth day (Genisis;1:14-19); trees were created before man was created.(Genesis;1:11-12,26-27), Man was created before trees were created.(Genesis;2:4-9); birds were created before man was created.(Genesis;1:20-21, 26-27), man was created before birds were created.(Genesis;2:7, 19). God was pleased with his creation (Genesis;1:31), God was not pleased with his creation (Genesis;6:5-6).
    Thirdly; Contradictions in the history and statistics, which are glaring: The story of flood  at Genesis 6-9 contradicts with Genesis 7:2-3. The “Lord” tempted David (2Samuel;24:1) or “Satan provoked David (IChronicles;21:1), David’s fight with Goliath differs with one an other (1Samuel;17:56, 16:18-23 & 16:18-19). The number 700 or 7000? “Horsemen” or “Footmen”?(2 Samuel;10:18) viz (1Chronicles;19:18). Solomon had 2000 baths or 3000 baths?(1Kings;7-26 viz 2Chronicles;4:5). Solomon had 4000 stalls of horses or 40000? (2Chronicles;9:25 viz 1Kings;4:26). Did Saul enquire of the Lord or didn’t he? (1Samuels;28:6 viz 1Chronicles;10:13-14).
    Bible does not mince words for the violent, ruthless and indiscriminate wars of extermination: “Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and Kill every woman (female) that hath known man by lying (having sex) with him.”But keep Alive for yourselves all the Girls and all the women who are Virgins.”(Numbers;31:17-18); “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”(1Samel;15:3); “slay utterly the old man, the young man and the virgin, and little children and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark: and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the old men that were before the house.”(Ezakhel;9:6); “and thirty-two thousand persons in all, women who had not known man by lying with him.”(Numbers; 31:35). “But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes,(Deuteronomy;20:16); ‘And they Utterly Destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep, and Ass, with the edge of the sword”(Joshua;6:21);”He (Joshua) let None remain alive.” (Joshua;10:28).  “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm;149:6-9). 
    In the New Testament the Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) says: “But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.”(Luke;19:27); “Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”(Mathew;10:34), “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and what do I desire, if it is already kindled?” (Luke;12:49),“Do you think that I have come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division.”(Luke;12:51); “And, behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his Sword, and struck a servant of the high priests, and cut off his ear.”(Mathew;26:51). Saint. Paul, in commending the worthy fruits of Faith, mentions the warriors of the Old Testament as his ideals: “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Hebrews; 11: 32-34).  The monkish morality of the Gospels in their present form has never been followed by any self-respecting Christian in the history. The Crusades (1095-1291 C.E), Spanish inquisition against Muslims, Jews and Church inquisitions against different Christian sects on the pretext of heresy resulted in the death and destruction of millions.
    There are many obscene and blasphemous narratives in the Bible, some of the obscene narratives in Bible can not be narrated here due to the vulgarity; hence only references are mentioned: Judges;19;16:30, Genesis;9:20-27, 19:30-38, Genisis;19:8,  Ezekiel; 23:1-4, 4:12-15, Isaiah;20:2-4,  2 Samuel; 6:20, 11:4, 11:6-25; 1Kings;11:4-7 & 11:9-11. Due to the contradictions, inaccuracies, interpolations, violence and obscenities one may then only accept the Bible as a faulty, inaccurate conglomeration of pseudo-historical and religious records that various chronicles have collated under the illusion of divine inspiration, which can not be taken as the authentic word of God to form basis of doctrines for a sound faith.

    The corruption and non adherence to the Old and New Testaments by Jews and Christians respectively forms the basis of their replacement with the Final Testament. Allah says: “God accepted a Covenant from the Children of Israel and appointed twelve chieftains from among them and said: “I am with you; if you establish Prayers (Salah) pay Alms (Zakah), believe in My Messengers, support them and give a generous loan to Allah (spend in charity), I will certainly forgive you your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which the rivers flow. However, if any one of you, after this, violates this Covenant, he will indeed go astray from the Right Way. Even after that, they broke their covenant; as a result, We laid on them Our curse and hardened their hearts. They tempered with words out of their context and neglected much of what they were enjoined. You will always find most of them deceitful except for a few of them. Yet forgive them and overlook their misdeeds. Allah loves those who are kind to others. Likewise We also made a Covenant with those who call themselves Christians, but they too have neglected much of what they were enjoined. As a result, We stirred among them enmity and hatred, which will last till the Day of Resurrection and soon God will inform them all of what they have done. O followers of Bible (People of the Book i.e. the Jews and Christians)! Now Our Messenger (Muhammad) has come to you to reveal much of what you have concealed from the Holy Books and to pass over much which is no longer necessary. There has come to you from God a new Light and a clear Book (Qur’an), with which God will guide to the ways of peace all those who seek His good pleasure and bring them out of the depth of darkness into the light of His grace and guide them to the Right Way.” (Qur’an;5:12-15).

    ·        Bible: A Short History: http://wp.me/p1dL2Q-dh
    ·        Bible: Questionable Precepts: http://t.co/jO5UfC6
    ·        Contradictions in Bible: http://t.co/n21ziXH
    ·        Bible Absurdities: http://t.co/EvcTZFQ
    ·        Intractable Errors in Bible: http://t.co/CsLRdHQ
    ·        Bible: Obscenities: http://t.co/fRsZtfP
    ·        Violence and Atrocities in Bible: http://t.co/XJusYKb
    ·        The Bible and homosexuality
    ·        Incest in the Bible
    ·        Morality of Bible http://t.co/0dBBX0J
    ·        The Last Testament: http://t.co/tpsfO9N

    History of Bible:
    Bible & Christianity- Problems:

    More:

    http://twitter.com/AbrahamsFaith 

    Morality of Bible

    The basis for modern christian belief is complex as it is based on many different versions of the bible. The bible has many different translations. Not all translations are the same.  Suppose a woman isn’t engaged to be married, and a man talks her into sleeping with him. If they are caught, they will be forced to get married. He must give her father fifty pieces of silver as a bride-price and can never divorce her.
    Deuteronomy 28:29 Contemporary English Version   If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives
    These two different versions of the same verses, contradict each other, as one version refers about “talking a girl into sleeping with one” and the other version “and rapes her”. These clear contradictions amongst the different versions of the bible, makes modern christian belief very complex. Another example of differences in belief amongst christians is many christians eat pork and take alcohol but certain denominations (Eg: Seventh Day Adventists) do not eat pork nor take alcohol.
    Injustice to women
    Accroding to the Bible a rapist must marry the girl he rapes.
    “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” Deuteronomy 22:28.
    Thus this verse of the bible allows a man to stalk the most beautiful girl in the town, rape her, sue her in court to become his wife so he can continue raping her for the rest of her life.
    Another verse in the same chapter orders the death penalty if a man rapes a married girl.
    “But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. Deuteronomy 22:25”
    Inadvertantly this verse promotes the raping of single (unmarried) women. As if somebody rapes a single woman the punishment is less severe.
    Bible also requires a woman to prove her virginity if the man (husband) challenges it.
    “If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the girl’s father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. The girl’s father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the girl’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.” Deuteronomy 13:19
    But bible does not require a man to prove his virginity as it is impossible. Scholars agree that there is no scientific basis for this as a women could lose (rupture) her hymen for many other reasons other than intercourse.
    Erotic text in the Bible
    The Song of songs or song of Solomon contains erotic literature
    Song of Songs 8:1-3
    1- If only you were to me like a brother,who was nursed at my mother’s breasts! Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me.
    2- I would lead you and bring you to my mother’s house, she who has taught me.I would give you spiced wine to drink, the nectar of my pomegranates.
    3- His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me.
    The song of Solomon the entire chapter is talking of sexual encounters between a man and a woman. It is not clear which denomination of Christians do not agree with these verses, but its found in all versions of the Bible.

    More on Bible:

    ·        Bible: A Short History: http://wp.me/p1dL2Q-dh
    ·        Bible: Questionable Precepts: http://t.co/jO5UfC6
    ·        Contradictions in Bible: http://t.co/n21ziXH
    ·        Bible Absurdities: http://t.co/EvcTZFQ
    ·        Intractable Errors in Bible: http://t.co/CsLRdHQ
    ·        Bible: Obscenities: http://t.co/fRsZtfP
    ·        Violence and Atrocities in Bible: http://t.co/XJusYKb
    ·        Incest in the Bible
    ·        Morality of Bible http://t.co/0dBBX0J

    ·        Jesus Christ
    o       Teachings
    o       Son of God
    o       Father (Abba), God
    o       Aberrant Doctrines
    o       Trinity, Polytheism
    o       Jesus and Divinity
    ·        Bible Refutes Doctrines
    ·        Jesus Christ & Islam
    ·        Was Jesus God?
    ·        Christian Groups/Sects
    ·        The Old Testament
    o       Torah and Talmud
    ·        The New Testament
    o       Gospels (Injeel)
    ·        Monotheism in Bible
    ·        http://www.ncccusa.org/
    ·        RSV Bible

    Faith or Works or Both?

    Faith or Works or Both?

    Too often in the faith/works debate, the participants selectively quote Scripture to prove their point. Any realistic interpretation must be consistent with all of Scripture.

    Salvation by Faith (Alone?)

    For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law. (Rm 3:28) 
    NB: this is the passage for which Luther took the editorial liberty of inserting “alone” after “faith”.

    So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. (Rm 11:5-6)

    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God– not because of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit (Tit 3:5)

    who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, (2 Tim 1:9)

    NB: In Romans, Paul is talking about “works of the law,” that is the Jewish law.

    Works Required

    “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Mt 7:21)

    Mt 25:31-44– At the Last Judgement, the Lord judges the sheep and the goats based on what they have done.

    The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Lk 6:45)

    Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (Jn 14:23)

    “For he will render to every man according to his works” (Rm 2:6)

    There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. (Rm 2:11)

    For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. (Gal 5:6)

    to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Col 1:10)

    Take care, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we share in Christ, if only we hold to our first confidence firm to the end,… (Hebrews 3:13-14)

    You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. (James 2:24)

    And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us. (1 Jn 3:23-24)

    And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. (Rev 20:12)

    Grace Alone

    While “faith alone” is invalid, “grace alone” still applies: the works we do are originate in God and are energised by him. This is entirely distinct from the “man clawing himself into heaven” works envisioned by Protestants quoting Eph 2:8-9.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

    1996 Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. [Cf. Jn 1:12-18 ; Jn 17:3 ; Rom 8:14-17 ; 2Pet 1:3-4.]

    1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an “adopted son” he can henceforth call God “Father,” in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church.

    A Betrayal of the Gospel :Statement by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Regarding the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/a/faith_works.html

    High Morals

    What is morality?  Morality refers to man’s conduct or standards and practices of daily living.

    Is the Christian life a high standard?

    Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Only God is perfect. He has the highest and holiest standard of all. But Christians seek to be like God. They constantly strive for His high ideals and principles. Christianity has the highest moral standard of any religion.

    Must a Christian live a perfect and sinless Life?

    No one is without sin. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Christians, therefore, cannot expect to be sinlessly perfect, for there is none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10).

    If a man refuses to keep Christ’s commandments, does he really love the Lord?

    Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). 1 John 2:3-6 says, “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that sayeth he abideth in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.” By a Christ-like walk, Christians show that they know Christ and are in Christ. Only by abiding in Him by keeping His commandments do we actually love the Lord.

    What are Christ’s commandments on marriage?

    Christian marriage is on a high moral standard. There are many commandments and principles in the New Testament to be followed. Jesus taught one wife for one man, as God planned in the beginning (Matthew 19:3-9). The apostles also taught every man to have one wife and every woman one husband (1 Corinthians 7:2). A Christian husband must love his wife as his own body (Ephesians 5:15,28,29), and honor her as a joint-heir in the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7). A Christian wife must be in subjection to her husband as the church is to Christ (Ephesians 5:22,24,33). A Christian home patterned after the Bible plan is a beautiful thing.

    What reason allows divorce of husband and wife?

    The sin of fornication is the only scriptural reason for divorce (Matthew 19:9). Even in the case of this sin an innocent partner is not forced to divorce the guilty partner. The guilty one may repent and be forgiven so as not to break up the home. The “innocent” partner may not be altogether blameless for his partner’s unfaithfulness. If he has treated her in such way as to make her seek another man, he is not innocent. But if one partner commits fornication for no reason but his own unfaithfulness, the other partner is allowed a divorce.

    Can an innocent partner, whose unfaithful partner has been divorced, remarry?

    Matthew 19:9 says that a man who divorces his wife, except for the reason of fornication, and marries another, commits adultery. It seems, on the other hand, that if he divorces her because of her fornication and marries another, that he does not commit adultery. In such case he must be entirely innocent of the reason for the divorce. He must have tried every way possible to prevent her unfaithfulness. He must have carefully examined before God .his own faithfulness to his wife so as to be sure that he in no way caused her to be unfaithful.

    How may divorce be avoided?

    Prevention is better than cure. The only way to avoid a broken marriage is to plan well for a good one. Since marriage is one of life’s most serious decisions, it must be given careful planning and long prayer. A hastily chosen partner is a poorly chosen one. A proper sense of values must govern the choice of a life partner. A mate should be selected who will help one live better the Christian life. A wife’s true beauty is not outward but inward (1 Peter 3:1-4). A godly woman adorns herself with modesty and good works (1 Timothy 2:9-11). A married couple must plan to center their lives around God’s Word. They must work and worship together in their Christian home. Their prayers must never be hindered (1 Peter 3:7). A marriage built upon knowing and doing the Word of God is like a house built upon a rock. But marriage built upon disobedience of God’s principles will fall, and great will be the fall of it (Matthew 7:24-27).

    What is lust?

    Lust is the fleshly desire and intention to commit an unlawful sexual act. Jesus said that a man who looks with lust upon a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28). This is a stricter commandment than the Old Law gave (Matthew 5:27). This shows how high the Christian standard is in sexual matters. Christians have crucified the flesh with the lusts thereof (Galatians 5:24). Full-grown lust brings forth sin (James 1:15). By guarding the source of adultery a Christian is able to overcome all unlawful outward acts.

    Does it matter who one’s associates are?

    1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” The Revised Version. says, “Evil companionships corrupt good morals.” Evil companions will corrupt a Christian’s morals, and good companions will help one’s morals. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 teaches strongly against evil association: “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousnss? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

    Is it important how a Christian uses his time?

    Ephesians 5:16 says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” “Redeeming” means “buying back.” Satan is bidding for a Christian’s time, and Christ is bidding for it also. We must yield our time to the Lord for His service. Time is precious to a Christian. An hour can be used to save a soul, or a wasted hour can mean that a soul will be lost. Wasting time is a sinful habit, and giving too much time to matters of less importance causes harmful neglect. Christians must redeem the time because the days are evil. There will come a day when time will be no more (see Romans 13:11,12).

    Does the Bible prohibit drunkenness?

    God’s Word condemns drunkenness and everything which leads to drunkenness. A drunkard is to be disfellowshipped by the church (1 Corinthians 5:11). Drunkards shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). Drunkenness is one of the works of the flesh which shall keep those who do such things from inheriting the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21). See also Proverbs 20:1; 23:29-35.

    Can a Christian drink without becoming drunken?

    Drunkenness begins with mild drinking. Strong drink has a way of making the drinker want more. It often brings the drinker under its power (Proverbs 23:35). Therefore, the only certain way to avoid drunkenness is to avoid strong drink completely. This is the safe and sure way (2 Peter 1:10). By abstaining from the very appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22) a Christian will not cause a weaker person to stumble by his example (1 Corinthians 8:13). In this way a Christian’s light can shine so as to glorify God (Matthew 5:16). Let us abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good (Romans 12:9).

    Is taking dope or selling dope sinful?

    Smugglers of drugs are everywhere. Men are becoming rich by selling illegal dope to unsuspecting users. Wine (or drugs) for medicine is scriptural (1 Timothy 5:23). But such things taken to make one “happy” or “carefree” are illegal and sinful. Christians must obey government rulers which condemn dope peddling (Romans 13:1,2). We must not defile our bodies which are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16,17; 6:19). Dope-taking is the same type sin as drunkenness. Galatians 5:21 condemns “drunkenness, revelings, and such like.” Dope addiction surely comes under “such like” sins as drunkenness.

    What is reveling?

    Galatians 5:21 lists revelings as one of the works of the flesh which keep men from inheriting the kingdom of God. Reveling is riotous merrymaking, carousing, or drunken feasting. Gentiles (or heathen) walk in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, abominable idolatries, and run in excess of rioting (1 Peter 4:3,4). Instead of this kind of high living, Christians walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkennes, not in chambering and wontonness (playing with sex), not in strife and envying (Romans 13:13). The sins of the night are not for God’s people who walk in the light of Christ (John 3:19-21). The prodigal son left his land of “riotous living” and returned to his father’s love (Luke 15:13-20). Likewise must we.

    What is modest dress?

    It is decency in one’s clothing. Women are commanded to adorn themselves in modest apparel (1 Timothy 2:9). They are also to dress with “shamefacedness” (a shrinking back from all that might cause shame) and “sobriety” (soberness, sensibleness). Christian women must not expose their nakedness, either partially or wholly. To do so they might cause men to lust after them and commit adultery in their hearts (Matthew 5:28). This sin would be partly their fault, and they would have to share the guilt. Modest apparel is the prevention which can often prevent lust and open adultery. Christian women must not dress like worldly women around them. They must by their modest example show the truth to others.

    Is it important how a Christian uses his tongue?

    Jesus said that one’s words show what is in one’s heart (Matthew 12:34,35). Men shall give an account in the day of Judgment of every idle word which they speak (verse 36). “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (verse 37).

    Why is the tongue so important?

    Because it can be used to praise God and save men by teaching them the Gospel, or it can be used to curse God and defile men and spread false teaching (James 3:1-12). It is very easy to sin with one’s tongue (verse 2). Though the tongue is small it can do great damage (verses 3-8). “It is a fire, a world of iniquity, it defileth the whole body, it setteth on fire the course of nature, it is set on fire of Hell” (verse 6).

    What are some of the sins of the tongue?

    1. cursing (James 3:9,10). 2. boasting (verse 5). 3. swearing (Matthew 5:33-37). 4. Back-bitting (2 Corinthians 12:20). 5. whispering (Romans 1:29; Proverbs 16:28). 6. blaspheming (James 2:7; Romans 2:24). 7. false teaching (2 Peter 2:1). 8. all evil speakings (1 Peter 2:1). The sins of the tongue are poisons which cause many other sins (James 3:6-8).

    What is honesty?

    Honesty is uprightness of character. An honest person is truthful, responsible, truthworthy, and honorable in his actions, words, and character. An honest person refuses to lie, bribe, steal, or deceive in any way.

    Must a Christian be honest?

    2 Corinthians 8:21 says, “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” Romans 12:17 says “Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”

    Did the Jews have to be honest in business?

    God commanded the Jews to deal honestly in business and forbade unjust weights and measures (Deuteronomy 25:13-16). A false balance was an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight was His delight (Proverbs 11:1). David said in Psalm 101:7, “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.”

    Which scriptures teach Christians to be honest?

    Romans 13:13 teaches Christians to walk honestly as in the day. 2 Corinthians 4:2 forbids walking in craftiness. Philippians 4:8 says to think on whatsoever things are honest. 1 Timothy 2:2 shows that we should lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. There are count-less other verses on Christian honesty.

    Should a Christian work honestly?

    1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 says, “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” A laborer or worker of any kind must give an honest day’s work for a day’s pay.

    Does the Bible forbid eye-service?

    Yes, in Ephesians 6:5,6, which says that servants must not give eye-service as men pleasers, but rather work as unto Christ, doing the will of God from the heart (see also Colossians 3:22,23).

    Should Christian employers deal honestly with employees?

    Ephesians 6:9 commands masters to deal fairly with servants, knowing that God is the master of all. Jesus taught that the laborer is worthy of his hire (Luke 10:7). See also Jeremiah 22:13 and James 5:4.

    Is gambling or playing pool un-Christian?

    Christians are commanded to do their own business and work with their hands so as to walk honestly toward those that are without (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12). Gambling is trying to get money without honest work, and it will not influence outsiders to be saved. We must provide for honest things in the sight of God and men (2 Corinthians 8:21). But God has said that man must earn his bread by the sweat of his face, or by his own labor (Genesis 3:19). Jesus said we must do to others as we would have others do to us (Matthew 7:12). A gambling man cannot take another man’s money by playing chance, because he would certainly not wish the man to take his money. Honest work, not gambling, is the way a Christian earns his livelihood.

    Is all lying sinful?

    Ephesians 4:25 commands us to put away lying and to speak truth to our neighbor. Christians must not lie since they have put off their old man with his deeds (Colossians 3:9). Revelation 21:8 says that “all liars” shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. “All liars” means so-called “little” lies and “innocent” lies or lies for a seemingly good purpose.

    Is a half-lie still a lie?

    When Abraham told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister, he was telling a half-truth, for she was a half-sister to him. But Sarah was also Abraham’s wife, and he was hiding the truth that she was his wife by saying that she was his sister (Genesis 20:2,11,12). Whenever a part-truth is used to deceive others into thinking that the whole truth has been told, it is really a lie.

    Is lying often practiced in buying and selling?

    “It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth” (Proverbs 20:14).

    Is it dishonest to fail to keep one’s promise?

    God has given Christians many great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4). He will keep these promises because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). But church members often make promises carelessly which they do not keep. Even congregations will make promises to pay their preacher which they do not intend to fulfill. As children of God we must strive to keep every promise and to fulfill our spoken or written word faithfully.

    Must a Christian pay his debts?

    Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no man anything,” meaning that Christians must not owe without paying their honest debts as promised.

    What is a bribe?

    A bribe is a gift given to corrupt the conduct or pervert the judgment of a person who is in a position of trust.

    Give some present-day examples of bribery.

    (1) A policeman who takes money from a driver so as not to report him.
    (2) A clerk who takes money to recommend a boy for employment.
    (3) A nurse who demands a “dash” from a patient before attending him. 
    (4) Chiefs and elders who receive gifts to influence their judgment in court. 
    (5) A headmaster who accepts a “dash” to admit a boy to his school.
    (6) A produce examiner who gives a false certificate for money paid him.
    Is paying a bribe wrong?

    Christians must “abhor” (strongly hate) that which is evil and cleave to that which is good (Romans 12:9). They must abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). By partaking of the sin of bribery a bribe-payer becomes guilty of the sin himself.

    Must one be honest in small things?

    “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). Also see Matthew 25:23.

    How can one be sure of being honest at all times?

    By studying and knowing from God’s Word what honesty is. Bible truth renounces the hidden things of dishonesty (2 Corinthians 4:2). By exercising oneself so as to have a conscience void of offense (Acts 24:16), or exercising one’s senses to discern good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). Then by prayer that in all things one may be willing to live honestly (Hebrews 13:18). Study, pray, and listen to conscience. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

    Does honesty bring happiness?

    “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues without right” (Proverbs 16:7,8). Jesus said that those who seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness have all necessary things added unto them (Matthew 6:33).

    This is an ‘extract’ of extract from the book: ANSWERS IN THE BIBLE TO PROBLEMS IN THE CHURCH, by – Jim Massey, Published by, J.C. Choate Publications, Winona/Singapore/New Delhi/Capetown: http://www.scripturessay.com/article.php?cat=&id=609
    Comments:
    Biblical emphasis on high morals is appreciable but it conflicts with the Church doctrine of Justification by Faith i.e Salvation based upon belief on death of Jesus on cross to redeem humanity from sins! Debate of Works and Faith. If faith is the only criteria then what is motivation for good works or high morals?

    More on Bible:

    ·        Bible: A Short History: http://wp.me/p1dL2Q-dh
    ·        Bible: Questionable Precepts: http://t.co/jO5UfC6
    ·        Contradictions in Bible: http://t.co/n21ziXH
    ·        Bible Absurdities: http://t.co/EvcTZFQ
    ·        Intractable Errors in Bible: http://t.co/CsLRdHQ
    ·        Bible: Obscenities: http://t.co/fRsZtfP
    ·        Violence and Atrocities in Bible: http://t.co/XJusYKb
    ·        Incest in the Bible
    ·        Morality of Bible http://t.co/0dBBX0J

    ·        Jesus Christ
    o       Teachings
    o       Son of God
    o       Father (Abba), God
    o       Aberrant Doctrines
    o       Trinity, Polytheism
    o       Jesus and Divinity
    ·        Bible Refutes Doctrines
    ·        Jesus Christ & Islam
    ·        Was Jesus God?
    ·        Christian Groups/Sects
    ·        The Old Testament
    o       Torah and Talmud
    ·        The New Testament
    o       Gospels (Injeel)
    ·        Monotheism in Bible
    ·        http://www.ncccusa.org/
    ·        RSV Bible

    ·        “.. Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyselfs..”(Matthew 22:39-40, similarly Leviticus 19:18)
    ·         “..be good to your parents, kinfolks, orphans, the helpless, near and far neighbors who keep company with you..” [Qur’an;4:36].
    ·        “You like for the people what you like for yourself, and you dislike for them what you dislike for yourself.”[Sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)Al-Tirmidhi Hadith,11, 1334]
    ·       “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. for this is the law and the prophets.[Matthew 7:12 similarly see Luke 6:31]