Jonathan McLatchie calls gay marriage “madness” yet when it comes to terrorist attacks such as the Orlando shootings, it’s not called madness. It’s called Islam – this is the message we get based on the videos of one of his colleagues, David Wood*, which he shares on his FaceBook page. All this despite there being more support from Christian authorities for gay marriage than support from Muslim authorities for terrorism!

You have the modern phenomena of indiscriminate killings of civilians which all Muslim scholastic bodies have condemned to be against the spirit of Islam. Dr Timothy Winter of Cambridge University states “terrorism is the arbitrary targeting of the innocent in order to place pressure on governments, which is something which doesn’t have origins in Islamic culture or ethics and comes out of the French revolution and certain 19th century anarchist movements that used terrorism. As a doctrine in the Muslim world it’s very recent and it’s an expression of Westernisation. Terrorism, 9/11 for instance, according to classical Islamic Law is classified as hiraba which carried the death penalty”

An excellent quote from Muhammad Asad’s book rebuking McLatchie’s fellow evangelical Christians (Jeremiah Johnston and Craig Evans) who parse terrorist attacks in a similar manner to McLatchie and his friend David Wood:

“Simply put, every Muslim scholar – whether Sunni, Shia, Salafi, Deobandi – has condemned and spoken out against Daesh. Their arguments against Daesh and its acts are derived from traditional Islamic religious texts and  based firmly in Islamic jurisprudence”.

The evangelical Christian inconsistency

Contrast that with the equally modern phenomena of gay marriage. Although there is a growing number of churches, Christian leaders and lay Christians accepting gay marriage as being within the spirit of Christianity, Jonathan would dismiss gay marriage as “madness”.More Christians who are involved in the CoE believe gay marriage is right rather than wrong. A recent survey by YouGov suggested 45% of Church of England followers felt same-sex marriage was right, against 37% who believed it wrong [stats sourced from Huffington Post]. According to the Huff Post, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ and now the Presbytarian Church (USA) sanctify the marriage of two men or two women.

Rev. Dr. Mark Achtemeier, who has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 1984 as a minister, theology professor, and writer states there’s an overwhelmingly positive case for gay marriage in the Bible:

Fortunately, the church across the centuries has developed guidelines for interpreting Scripture that help keep our use of particular passages in touch with the true portrait of God’s love in Christ. When we apply these guidelines, the Bible’s teaching about gay people and their relationships appears in a whole new light. In my book I show how the application of these time-tested principles of biblical interpretation produces an overwhelmingly positive biblical case in favor of gay marriage. I came to realize how my former reliance on fragmentary, out-of-context quotes from Scripture had led me to lose touch with the “big picture” of God’s love that lies at the heart of the Bible’s witness.

All this in the eyes of Jonathan McLatchie is “madness”. Yet if he would just step back for a few moments he would observe the huge inconsistency he and his evangelical colleagues operate on. There’s actually much more support for gay marriage from Christian authorities, churches and lay Christians alike than there is for terrorist acts such as Orlando.

If McLatchie was consistent he would say, that gay marriage is CHRISTIAN not “madness”. I’d imagine for him, Christian proponents of gay marriage decontextualize and rely on fragmentary readings of the Bible. BUT he and his colleagues are not even cognisant to this being the case for Muslim terrorists despite:

In 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5’s behavioural science unit, was leaked to the Guardian. It revealed that, “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could . . . be regarded as religious novices.” The analysts concluded that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation”, the newspaper said.
[Mehdi Hasan]

I recently heard rabbi Tovia Singer, a man who has no horse in this race, say terrorists abuse texts from the Quran and Hadith. Ask yourself why a Jewish rabbi can be more scholarly, consistent and fair than Jonathan McLatchie and his evangelical Christian colleagues – a crowd who claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit?

There’s clearly an agenda at play here. Perhaps Jonathan McLatchie will enlighten us on this glaringly obvious inconsistency and why it is operated on. For now, smart and fair-minded people are not impressed.

* David Wood, in pretty much the immediate aftermath of the Orlando shootings made a video effort claiming Omar Mateen’s actions were in line with Islamic texts. Maeten’s former gay lover has now come out and said he thinks it was nothing to do with religion but a revenge attack concerning a sexual liaison with a man/men who did not inform him of  a HIV positive status – see the Independent. David Wood has a history of hurdling over facts and fair-minded analysis.



Young and Old Christian Apologists’ Mistakes on Genesis 1:26 – Gleason Archer and Luis Dizon


Luis Dizon contends Genesis 1:26 can only be concluded as a reference to plurality of persons in the being of God (with a strong intimation this plurality is the 3-self Trinity belief). Here’s his conclusion with the assistance of Gleason Archer:

It is also important to note that the Trinity does not occur exclusively in the New Testament, but can be traced back to the Jewish scriptures (the Old Testament, which came centuries before Christianity). Several times in these scriptures, God speaks in the plural. A prominent example of this is close to the beginning of the Bible, where God says, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” (Gen 1:26, cf. 3:22, 11:7). It also appears in the book of the Jewish prophet Isaiah. Here, God asks, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us” (Isa 6:8)? The common Muslim argument when faced with these verses is that God is using the plural of majesty, which is a custom in which a royal figure speaks in the plural. Muslims argue that since Allah frequently speaks this way in the Qur’an,141 then the same must be the case in the Old Testament. However, this explanation is anachronistic, because the plural of majesty is not used anywhere in the Old Testament. In fact, the concept did not even exist until after the Old Testament was completed. As biblical scholar Gleason Archer notes:

This first person plural can hardly be a mere editorial or royal plural that refers to the speaker alone, for no such usage is demonstrable anywhere else in biblical Hebrew. Therefore, we must face the question of who are included in this “us” and “our.” It could hardly include the angels in consultation with God, for nowhere is it ever stated that man was created in the image of angels, only of God. Verse 27 then affirms: “and God [‘elohim]created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them” (NASB). God—the same God who spoke of Himself in the plural–now states that He created man in His image. In other words, the plural equals the singular. This can only be understood in terms of the Trinitarian nature of God. The one true God subsists in three Persons, Persons who are able to confer with one another and carry their plans into action together—without ceasing to be one God.142

On the basis of this information, the only conclusion we can come to is that the passages where God speaks in the first person plural demonstrate a plurality of persons within the being of God.

Problems raised for Luis Dizon and Gleason Archer

1. There are other Christians with differing interpretations and thus do not share Luis Dizon’s view that an idea of plurality of personhood is the “only conclusion” nor Gleason Archer’s appeal to the Trinity belief (which ironically is anachronistic in itself!)

2. Plurality doesn’t necessarily mean 3. As we know the plurality of 3 did not become recognised until at least 381 CE. For those wondering why not 325 CE? “The Nicene Council only concluded that the Father and Son are ontologically one: it did not include the Holy Spirit in the co-substantial relationship supposedly obtaining between the Father and Son” [Edgar G Foster]

3. The suggestion there’s no other examples of a Majestic Plural in the Hebrew scriptures may well be inaccurate – see the discussion on this below. In any case, why would an absence of a “royal we” used by a king in the Hebrew scriptures demarcate the absence of such a usage in Hebrew all together? It wouldn’t. An absence of evidence is not absence of evidence. Luis Dizon is committing a logical fallacy; argument from ignorance.

4. Confusion for 14 centuries. This point of confusion is a philosophical headache for Trinitarian apologists. 1 Cor 14:33 states “for God is not the author of confusion” yet Luis’ conclusion would imply there was confusion for 14 centuries (evangelical Christians believe Genesis was written 1400 years ago). In fact the duration of confusion would be greater still as the Trinity was developed from the 4th century onwards so the implication in the Trinitarian Christian worldview is that God left people in confusion about Him and Genesis 1:26 for 18 centuries!

Thus all those faithful believers and Prophets, including Moses who is traditionally considered to be the author of Genesis amongst evangelical, were all left in confusion concerning this supposed plurality being taught in Genesis 1:26!


Let’s drive this problem home further still. In Exodus 33:11, it is taught Moses had the Lord speak to him face to face as one speaks to his friend. Despite this, the Trinitarian narrative contends Moses did not know about true the nature of God; that’s to say he had a deficient understanding of God because he was unaware of the Trinity belief.

Isaiah 41:8 describes “Abraham as God’s friend “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend,” yet Luis’ theory would have us believe Abraham, too, had a deficient understanding of God as the Trinity, according to the evangelical narrative was not revealed during Abraham’s time.

Do Luis and others who argue for the Trinity in Genesis 1:26 not see the problems that come with such assertions?

Let’s concentrate on providing some divergent views on Genesis 1:26 to show Luis’ view that it’s the “only conclusion” one can arrive at to be baseless:

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges o Genesis 1:26

Commentary from the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges surveys a number of explanations put forward over the years for “let us make” in Gen 1:26. Interestingly, the Trinity explanation is considered untenable:

Until recently, the traditional Christian interpretation has seen in the 1st pers. plur. a reference to the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. The requirements of a sound historical exegesis render this view untenable: for it would read into the Book of Genesis the religious teaching which is based upon the Revelation of the New Testament.

At the culmination of the list of various explanations the commentary concludes “The two last explanations appear to be the most probable”. The last two being:

1. Use of the Plural of Deliberation

2. The old Jewish explanation that God is addressing the inhabitants of heaven

Dr Michael Heiser on Genesis 1:26 and the name Elohim

Michael Heiser gives his explanation, which differs and agrees with the more common:

(27) So God created (the verb is SINGULAR) man in his own (a third masculine SINGULAR suffix in Hebrew) image, in the image of God – we know this is singular as well from context – the preceding suffix tells us he created (the verb is SINGULAR) him; male and female he created (the verb is SINGULAR) them.

Conclusion – from the TEXT: God announced to his council his idea to create mankind (“hey, guys, let’s do this!” – a sort of exhortational declaration), then HE (and he alone, by virtue of the GRAMMAR) created humankind in HIS own image (not theirs).

He also explains the history of the name Elohim which does away with the idea that Elohim refers to a plurality in personhood:

It is of course true that “elohim” is MORPHOLOGICALLY plural (morphology refers to the construction or “shape” of a word). The – im ending of elohim makes the noun plural. As Psalm 82 (see above) tells us, elohim CAN be plural in the Hebrew Bible. The same psalm, though, also has elohim as a contextually clear SINGULAR (the morphologically plural word came to be used as a proper name for a singular deity).

NIV Study Bible and Liberty University on Genesis 1:26

Rabbi Tovia Singer offers a list of authorities for evangelicals who do not espouse such conclusions about the Trinity being in Genesis 1:26. His list includes Liberty University’s commentary on the Bible, NIV Study Bible amongst others. You can check this for yourself. Here’s a snippet which shows another Christian authority siding with one the traditional Jewish views on Genesis 1:26 rather than what Luis Dizon and Gleason Archer contend:

Yet, the NIV Study Bible also confirms in its commentary on Genesis 1:26,
Us… Our… Our. God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court

Edgar G Foster on Genesis 1:26

Edgar G Foster discusses this in his summary of Alan J. Hauser’s views on Gen 1:26, which militates against the Luis Dizon’s “only conclusion”

Hauser expands on this argument. He does not think that the use of the Elohim in Genesis 1:26 proves that Genesis teaches God’s triunity. One reason that Hauser concludes this has to do with the Hebrew word Elohim. Granted, Elohim is morphologically plural as are “us” and “our.” But these words, while they might seem to indicate plurality, definitely do not suggest triunity. It must also be kept in mind that in Hebrew it is common for the plural noun to cause the verb to be plural (Cf. Genesis 20:13, 35:7). E.A Speiser therefore renders Genesis 1:26 as follows: “The God said, ‘I will make man in my image, after my likeness.'”

In the same piece, Foster also cites Charles Ryrie. Ryrie talks about the use of plural pronouns with relation to God; he offers a striking observation in that there is no limitation to indicate a plurality is only three (i.e. the Trinity). Problem. In addition, from Tovia Singer’s survey we see Ryrie considers Genesis 1:26 to be the Plural of Majesty, thus he too disagrees with Luis Dizon’s “only conclusion” hypothesis.

Plural of Majesty

Gleason Archer, as Luis Dizon mentions, believes there’s no other use of plural of majesty in the OT. Now, this is not a major point of contention but from Jason Dulle it appears there may be some candidates for the use of the royal plural elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures. Dulle gives possible examples from Ezra and Daniel

The second theory is that the plural pronouns are used as a “majestic plural.” This type of language was typically used by royalty, but not exclusively. Biblical examples include Daniel’s statement to Nebuchadnezzar, “We will tell the interpretation thereof before the king” (Daniel 2:36). Daniel, however, was the only one who gave the king the interpretation of his dream. King Artaxerxes wrote in a letter, “The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me” (Ezra 4:18). The letter was sent to Artaxerxes alone (Ezra 4:11), yet he said it was sent to “us,” and was read before “me.” Clearly the letter was only sent to, and read to Artaxerxes. When Artaxerxes penned another letter to Ezra he used the first person singular pronoun “I” in one place and the first person plural pronoun “we” in another (Ezra 7:13, 24).

I’d be interested in knowing people’s thoughts on these verses. I would like to reiterate, this is not the main thrust of my article, please do not allow this side piece to detract from the points above.


It is my hope this piece helps to give young Christian apologists and those who follow Trinitarian Christian apologetics some pause for thought.

Dale Tuggy considers the arguments for the Trinity in the Old Testament to be “crummy arguments”. He’s taken aback by evangelicals, who should know better, arguing for this position. In this video I interspersed clips of Tuggy with an evangelist – RZIM’S Nabeel Qureshi – discussing various standard Trinitarian contentions based on the Old Testament.

I’d appeal to Luis and others who may have been exposed to Trinitarian Christian contentions based on the OT like the one discussed in this piece to avail themselves of this video.

Edgar G Foster Refutes the Council of Nicea-Trinity Myth

The Nicene Council only concluded that the Father and Son are ontologically one: it did not include the Holy Spirit in the co-substantial relationship supposedly obtaining between the Father and Son. There was simply an implication that the Holy Spirit was in some way associated with the Godhead.

Yes there was an affirmation of belief in the Holy Spirit, but the Nicene Creed did not put forth a triune statement about God. It would take another fifty-six years and more “heretical” developments, before the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was clarified.

Although activities were predicated of the Holy Spirit that can only be predicated of God, the Trinity was still not explicitly called God. Further addenda or adjustments would be made before the church would explicitly state that the holy spirit was equal to the Father and the Son.

One early witness who testifies to these early developments regarding the Trinity doctrine is Gregory of Nazianzus. In the work _Epistles 58_ Gregory Nazianzus explained the absence of the Holy Spirit from the ancient discussions about the Godhead, by stating that “the Old Testament proclaimed the Father manifestly, and the Son more hiddenly. The New [Testament] manifested the Son and suggested the deity of the Spirit. Now the Spirit himself is resident among us, and provides a clearer explanation of himself.” As late as 380, he wrote, “to be slightly in error [about the Holy Spirit] was to be orthodox.” This statement too proves that the orthodox understanding of the Holy Spirit was not “clear” until 381. As a matter of fact, this statement further demonstrates that the church neither subscribed to nor affirmed the teaching of the Trinity until 381 C.E. It is clear that the “details” of the Trinity still had to be worked out (The Christian Tradition, Jaroslav Pelikan, Vol. I, p.

213. Cf. also Gregory Nazianzus–Orations 31.5).

From a brief look at these developments, it seems warranted to conclude that the NT does not present a clear expression of the Triune Godhead. Therefore, we could reasonably conclude that neither the primitive church nor the ante-Nicene fathers taught the Trinity. Gregory Nazianzus even proclaimed that Scripture did not, “very clearly or very often call him [the Holy Spirit] God in so many words, as it does the Father and later on the Son” (Gregory Nazianzus, Orations 31.12).

Gregory’s testimony is so important because he lived at the time when the Trinity assimilated its way into Christian didache. Concerning this prominent Christian “father,” Jaroslav Pelikan says: “In remarkable summary of the controversy within the orthodox camp, composed in the same year, he [Gregory Nazianzus] declared: “Of the wise men among ourselves, some have conceived of him

[the Holy spirit] as an activity, some as a creature, some as God; and some have been uncertain which to call him . . . And therefore they neither worship him nor treat him with dishonor, but take up a neutral position.” He did add, however, that “of those who consider him to be God, some are orthodox in mind only, while others venture to be so with the lips also.”

Tovia Singer on Genesis 1:26

The doctrine of the Trinity has no greater foe than the Hebrew Scriptures. It is on the strength of this sacred oracle that the Jew has preserved the concept of One, single, unique Creator God Who alone is worthy of worship. Missionaries undertake an daunting and unholy task as they scour the Jewish Scriptures in search of any text that can be construed as consistent with the doctrine of the Trinity.

No prophet remained silent on the uncompromising radical monotheism demanded by the God of Israel. The Jewish people, therefore, to whom these sublime declarations about the nature of the Almighty were given, knew nothing about a trinity of persons in the godhead.

Because the prophets relayed their divine message on the nature of God with such timeless, transparent, clarity, very few verses in Tanach could be summoned by the Church to corroborate their alien teachings on the doctrine of the Trinity. Understandably, though, the defenders of Christendom parade the few verses that they insist support the notion that there is a plurality in the godhead.

One of the most popular verses used by missionaries as a proof text in support of the doctrine of the Trinity is Genesis 1:26. This verse appears frequently in missionary literature despite of the fact that this argument has been answered countless times throughout the centuries and numerous Christian scholars have long abandoned it. Let’s examine the creation of man as described in the Torah:

And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and they shall rule over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

(Genesis 1:26)

With limited knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures, missionaries submit the above verse as evidence that there was a plurality in the godhead that participated in creation of our first parent. What other explanation could adequately account for the Torah’s use of the plural pronouns such as “us” and “our” in this verse?

This argument, however, is deeply flawed, and, accordingly, a great number of Trinitarian theologians have long rejected the notion that Genesis 1:26 implies a plurality of persons in the godhead. Rather, Christian scholars overwhelmingly agree that the plural pronoun in this verse is a reference to God’s ministering angels who were created previously, and the Almighty spoke majestically in the plural, consulting His heavenly court. Let’s read the comments of a number of preeminent Trinitarian Bible scholars on this subject.

For example, the evangelical Christian author Gordon J. Wenham, who is no foe of the Trinity and authored a widely respected two-volume commentary on the Book of Genesis, writes on this verse,

Christians have traditionally seen [Genesis 1:26] as adumbrating [foreshadowing] the Trinity. It is now universally admitted that this was not what the plural meant to the original author.1

If you had attended any one of my lectures you would know that the New International Version is hardly a Bible that can be construed as being friendly to Judaism. Yet, the NIV Study Bible also confirms in its commentary on Genesis 1:26,

Us… Our… Our. God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court (see 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; I Kings 22:19-23; Job 15:8; Jeremiah 23:18).2

Charles Caldwell Ryrie, a highly regarded Dispensationalist professor of Biblical Studies at the Philadelphia College of Bible and author of the widely read Bible commentary, The Ryrie Study Bible, writes in his short and to-the-point annotation on Genesis 1:26,

Us…Our. Plurals of majesty.3

The Liberty Annotated Study Bible, a Bible commentary published by the fundamentalist Reverend Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, similarly remarks on this verse,

The plural pronoun “Us” is most likely a majestic plural from the standpoint of Hebrew grammar and syntax.4

The exhaustive 10-volume commentary by Keil and Delitzsch is considered by many to be the most influential exposition on the “Old Testament” in evangelical circles. Yet in Keil and Delitzsch’s commentary on Genesis 1:26, we find,

The plural “We” was regarded by the fathers and earlier theologians almost unanimously as indicative of the Tr ini ty; modern commentators, on the contrary, regard it either as pluralis majestatis … No other explanation is left, therefore, than to regard it as pluralis majestatis5

The question that immediately comes to mind is: What would compel these conservative scholars – all of whom are devout Trinitarians – to categorically reject the notion that Genesis 1:26 supports the doctrine of Trinity? Why do they conclude that God is speaking in this famed verse in His majestic address to the angelic hosts of Heaven? Why are the commentaries of the above conservative Christian writers completely consistent with the age-old Jewish teaching on this verse?

The answer emerges from the Torah and its Prophets. If you search the Hebrew Bible you will find that when the Almighty speaks of “us” or “our,” He is addressing His ministering angels. In fact, only two chapters later, God continues to use the pronoun “us” as He speaks with His angels. At the end of the third chapter of Genesis the Almighty relates to His angels that Adam and his wife have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and must therefore be prevented from eating from the Tree of Life as well; for if man would gain access to the Tree of Life he will “become like one of us.” The Creator then instructs his burning angels, known as Cherubim, to stand at the entrance to the gate of the Garden of Eden, waving a flaming sword to prevent man from entering the Garden and eating from the Tree of Life. Let’s examine this famed text:

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” – therefore the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

(Genesis 3:22-24)

This use of the majestic plural in Genesis 3:22-24 is what contributed the NIV Study Bible’s annotation on Genesis 1:26 (above). At the end of its comment on this verse, the NIV Study Bible provides a number of biblical sources from the Jewish Scriptures to support its position that:

“God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court.” The verses cited are: Genesis 3:22, 11:7, Isaiah 6:8, I Kings 22:19-23, Job 15:8, and Jeremiah 23:18. These verses convey to the attentive Bible reader that the heavenly abode of the Creator is filled with the ministering angels who attend the Almighty and to whom He repeatedly refers when using the plural pronoun “Us.”6

Again, the NIV Study Bible’s concession in its commentary on Genesis 1:26 is particularly significant because this work of the product of conservative, Trinitarian commentary on the Bible. Its contributing authors had no incentive to support the Jewish interpretation of this verse. Its annotation relies on the simple context and exegesis of this verse.


An email I sent to Tony Costa

Dear Dr Tony Costa

You asked me a question – I have many demands on my time but I humbly ask you to read this response and reflect on some of the rhetorical questions and points therein. Please do this – only good things will happen if you do so.

I am not looking for a back and forth – I cannot commit to this – I am already lagging behind with responding to emails I receive from my blog and vids.

I’d like to from the outset urge Muslims to caution when using Ian Mevorach as he is seemingly motivated by bringing Christians and Muslims together – in my opinion that cannot be a framework to do serious theology and NT hermeneutics. In fact, his approach seems to be a gateway to liberalism and universalism. Both religions are exclusivist in terms of claims to the truth – anything that encroaches on that is not true to either faith.

Dr Costa before touching on your question addressed to me, with grace, I ask you to rethink your stance on the crowd who claim the Prophet p wore women’s clothing. This is actually a claim which originates from a crowd which claim Islam allows bestiality and is Satanic. When you have folk who want to present Islam as something from Satan they aren’t going to be overly concerned with accurately representing us and even showing any reverence and respect.

I can absolutely understand Ijaz’s disppaointment in you Dr Costa. I truly hope you can see this.

To add to what Ijaz has said about it I will tell you Cyril Glasse’s Encyclopedia of Islam has it translated as “coverlet”

There are two words germane to the topic. I am currently using a keyboard which does not have Arabic so I will tansliterate – I suspect it will be helpful for you and others. The first one is thawb. And yes it mentions in the thawb – which can mean material or cloth. The Hadith using this word would be translated as blanket. The Hadith doesn’t even use the word for wear (labasa) it uses in (fee)

The second one is MirT which means unsewn cloth.

At this juncture, it’s painfully obvious nobody should be thinking about a female dress.

However, crucially, what is often missed is that there are two other narrations of the same saying which use the word HOUSE (bayt) rather than cloth – these can be found in Musnad Ahmed and Sahih Ibn Haban.

So in reality it seems it was just a metaphor for house.

Sadly, David, who I assume got it from Sam Shamoun was just a victim of somebody else’s inability in the language and lack of desire to accurately represent the Muslim sources.

Dr Costa, I gracefully urge you to look into this issue – here’s a blog post I did in response a few years ago containing a couple of direct response vids. It will take you all of ten minutes to get up to speed on this issue:

You have now been informed on this issue by Ijaz and I. Please do correct any of your co-religionists you may come across who are promulgating this offensive claim.

I recently rebuked other Muslims for claiming Paul of Tarsus performed a homosexual act on Timothy while performing his circumcision. Obviously this is absurdly offensive to devout Christians. I did this at a cost to myself. In fact the response was; we only repeat these claims because they (evangelical Christians) do it to us (i.e. they make ludicrous and offensive claims about Prophet Muhammad p).

If you sincerely want Muslims to stop making those claims about Paul, you will educate your community on these issues and have a word with the toxic elements within your ranks who propagate such – there are many who promulgate suchlike.

How else can we get beyond malicious polemics against each others faith?

I’m shocked you, too, fell for such an outlandish polemic. I get a number of hostile Christians messaging/commenting at me with this polemic. I just send them a link to my refutation and there’s a deafening silence from them which screams they have been the victims of misleading evangelical polemics. It actually winds up to be a great avenue for me to gracefully talk to them about serious matters such as the ideas of the Trinity and Biblical inerrancy as well as discuss any other polemics their “leaders/apologists” have passed on to them.

Trust me, once they find out they aren’t being fed accurate information they will be less inclined to go back to that source – the evangelical camp. As the adage goes; fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

I highly suspect polemics of this nature are backfiring spectacularly. But hey, as long as certain people are getting donations and a few internet views out of such, is there a real concern here?

Tony, again, I understand Ijaz’s disappointment and utter shock. When you start making the claim about Lat which you did it becomes painfully obvious that you’re not drawing on Arabic proficiency. Please do accept his correction on this point.

Just to add, in one of Ijaz’s screenshots of dictionary refs there’s an allusion to a character in pre-Islamic history. Just to expanD on this – this is quite common knowledge amongst those who have studied Seerah (part of studying it is to look at Pre-Islamic Arabia). There was a man who used to be known for his hospitality to the pilgrims – each year he would set up camp and feed people a sort of soup. This is where the name Lat originates from.

Thus from a historical point of view your claim does not add up either. Think about this humbly.

We are human beings and we all make mistakes – the true character of a man is illuminated when he accepts correction gracefully and does what he can to ensure others don’t fall into the same misunderstandings.

You asked me about killing apostates. I am British and have never lived in any other country. Even if a load of Muslims in the M.E set up a Caliphate stipulating apostates should be killed it’s irrelevant to us. Quite why a Canadian is asking a British Muslim this question is beyond me. Sharia does not apply here nor in any other Non-Muslim country (which we all seem to be from).

I get it you want to throw in a bit of emotionalism – but emotionalism is not necessarily consistent nor Biblical (looking at Jay Smith’s recent video on slavery one can find ample examples of this)

I’d request you consider this train of thought humbly. I think the way you’re doing apologetics is setting people up to stumble – to stumble into Atheism in some cases too.

Let me elaborate, Dr Costa. When you make emotional arguments about killing apostates you must recognise there has to be a standard of consistency. If one was to read the Bible with a Trinitarian lens they will see Jesus (as a person in a Triune Godhead idea) allowed the killing of apostates in Deut 13:6-9. In fact one’s own family members. There’s also Deut 17:3-5 which teaches killing apostates. Would you, Dr Costa, if living in the OT age, have used such an emotional argument about killing apostates? I think if you had, a few stones would have been flung in your direction!

If you aren’t willing to condemn this teaching which presumably as a Trinitarian you believe to be according to Jesus’ will too, where’s the consistency?

The same applies to the bulk of Christian evangelicals who use the emotionalism behind this issue in attempts to sway emotional folk – not based on critical thought but purely emotional and inconsistent rhetoric.

To his credit, Dr White does not use this type of argumentation. I think this is one of the reasons why he is looked upon with more respect than other folk who shall remain nameless.

Dr Costa, do you not think this type of emotional argumentation directed at Muslims will simply set Christians up to leave Biblical Christianity?

What happens when they come across a Muslim who knows a bit about apologetics and the Muslim tells them the Bible teaches Jesus allowed the killing of apostates.

And what if they meet a graceless Atheist? You’ve sent the naive Christian out into the real world conditioned to thinking killing apostates is wrong, evil etc.. What happens if an Atheist goes to town on them with those refs from Deut?

Perhaps they will stumble into Atheism? At the very least, if they are consistent they will stop being Bible believing Christians.

I will furnish you with a couple of other examples really quickly from Jay Smith’s recent video on slavery and Islam as I’m responding to that right now in a piecemeal fashion via vids.

Smith and other evangelicals over-exaggerate the role of Wilberforce has in the abolition of slavery. I’m from near where Wilerforce was from – trust me NOBODY up in the North of England is claiming Wilberforce abolished slavery. people know about the industrial revolution and whathaveyou!

In fact, in my view Wilberforce was anti-slavery prior to his conversion to Christianity in 1784. Being sympathetic to slaves was not synonymous with Christianity – William Pitt put his career as Prime Minister on the line to help pass through a bill to improve the conditions on slaveships – he wasn’t a Christian as far as historians can make out. Thomas Paine wasn’t a Christian either and he was a pioneeer in the abolition movement in America. What about the 200 odd MPs who voted in favour of the bill in 1807, were they all Christians?

And what happens when the naive Christian comes across a semi-smart but graceless Atheist who shows them pamphlets from the pro-slavery lobby using the Bible to SUPPORT slavery? Oh yeah, such exist.

They don’t exist in the minds of those who want to do history with evangelical tinted shades on but for those who want to do serious-minded history; they do exist.

Last example, Smith spoke about slavery and claimed Jesus banned it. Not true – Paul allows it in Col 3:22 and 1 Timothy 2:6

And what of the Christian who is swayed by Smith and goes out into the real world with the belief slavery was evil? What happens when they meet a graceless Atheist who knows a bit about the Bible plus the Trinitarian framework and points out the Bible from a Trinitarian framework teaches Jesus, not only allowed slavery (Lev 25) but allowed the severe beating of female slaves in Ex 21:20-21. See here for a video on this:

Dr Costa, the question should not be whether I believe a group of Muslims have the right to self-determination and set up laws against apostates; the question should be whether you and others are setting your fellow Christians to stumble?

The arguments one uses, if not consistent and based on one’s Scripture, are ultimately going to be counterintuitive. Sure you may get a few emails from Iran (I highly suspect they are more likely folk angling for a stay here in the West rather than people sincerely interested in Christianity) but rest assured, you’ll lose far more than you will ever gain.

I also highly suspect Ijaz, Yusuf and I get more emails from people softening towards Islam from a Christian stance than you get vice-versa.

I suspect you have seen this shift away from Christianity in your country – we certainly have in Britain. It used to be a Christian country but most people here have zero interest in Christianity. In fact, the more vocal Christians over here nowadays seem to be a small band of racist bigots marching in certain areas of the UK – a group called Britain First. They yell “this is a Christian country” while trying to antagonise and intimidate poor Muslim immigrants. We all know they yell falsehood. Most people are not Christians here. Why did they leave Christianity and why do they continue to leave even within our lifetime?

Did some abandon ship after they were set up to stumble by emotional rhetoric and bad argumentation? The Dallas Theological Seminary is eager to get these folk back and is looking at these things in a more scientific manner – one thing I’ve noticed listening to Dr Bock’s podcast – they aren’t really employing the emotional and Biblically inconsistent rhetoric we are seeing from the likes of Smith. Is it because Dr Bock and co. suspect their predecessors set the previous generation up to stumble into Atheism by conditioning them with emotional rhetoric?

Food for thought, Dr Costa. Ask yourself, whether you and/or some of those ABN characters are part of this phenomena too..

Let’s talk about behaviour for a moment. You touched on the chap who was wearing his wife’s underwear on camera (yikes!), let me show you a comment I got from Negeen Mayel (a lady who left David’s Acts 17 group) reacting to David’s decision to wear his wife’s undies, just to show how brainless attention-seeking can push people away:

I honestly to this day have never viewed that video that David posted. I don’t need to, he is wearing a womans spaghetti strap and posted it on his website that is associated with his ministry that seeks to win Muslims to Christ. This degree of outlandishness displays a lack of sheer respect towards the muslim community and that video should not have been posted. Over time I have come to seriously doubt the wisdom behind certain things that David does. Self radicalization can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, I think David has self radicalized himself into having a perspective of Islam that is heavily influenced by evil actions committed by bad people. If I wanted to spend all day reading articles about evil actions committed by Afghanis I would begin to hate all Afghans, but because I have a broader understanding of the Afghan community, because I have been around Afghans who love, laugh, and give generously I understand that not all Afghans are terrorists who hate women. I really wish David would spend less time self radicalizing himself and spend more time amongst the homes of normal muslims who love the good things in this world

Wood has spread deranged sexual polemics such as “the Prophet had sex with a dead woman” and “he thighed (inter-crural sex) Aisha at the age of six because she was too small for sex” (I responded to that stuff via vids years ago) while Shamoun has propagated a ton of vile propaganda such as “Muslims are allowed to have sex with animals” (Bassam Zawadi rebuked him on that years ago).

Their behaviour is absurdly offensive to say the least. Shamoun and some of the other wild-eyed ABN types have histories of abuse spanning years. In Shamoun’s case it spans decades. Shamoun, just a matter of days ago called some bloke’s mother a “slut” (yes he was insulted first so there was some provocation – but his mother wasn’t insulted). Not exactly in accordance with 2 Timothy 2:24-26 or 1 Peter 3:15.

I do try to document some of this wild-eyed behaviour on my blog. It serves a few purposes. One of which; it shows sincere and serious-minded Christians that Muslims find this behaviour repulsive and it also serves as an apologetics tool for Muslims. Think about it, many Christians claim they have the Holy Spirit guiding them and for those who don’t follow the Westminster Confession of Faith they claim Jesus/God talks to them. In highlighting their mistakes in argumentation and mannerism it is effectively a practical demonstration these folk aren’t guided by the Holy Spirit or being spoken to by Jesus or God.

How can one say, somebody who calls somebody’s mother a “slut” or a bloke who ignorantly wears his wife’s undies on camera in defiance of Deut 22:5 is guided by the Holy Spirit? Not to mention the flaws in their actual polemics?

I know these issues in behaviour have been troubling other Muslims like Yusuf and Ijaz as well. They aren’t helpful for anybody who is serious-minded. Sure, pride is an obstacle and it gets in the way of self-rectification and apology.

Dr Costa, I grew up near a vicarage. I went to a Christian school. I grew up with a positive impression of Christians as humble, kind and loving people. From witnessing some of their nasty comments and behaviour on the internet over a prolonged period I am literally left with going to church periodically and sitting in on the service to rekindle this view. I genuinely believe there are humble and sincere Christians out there – I struggle to see this in many of your colleagues.

If I notice this problem, I think you will suspect observant and sincere Christians will see this too – is this not yet again another example of setting Christians up to stumble. In fact, I’ve seen comments from Christians who are appalled by such – perhaps some have left the church, I don’t know. My concern is more for Muslims – rest assured Muslims aren’t impressed.

Dr Costa, please reflect on this and follow my heart here – my heart is grieved not only by some of the things you seemingly championed as reasonable argumentation in this email chain but by many of the antics and claims from your colleagues at ABN and beyond. Look at it from our point of view, we are seeing claims that are obviously untrue being regurgitated year after year. How are our communities going to get beyond nasty polemics against each others faiths?

Not to palm you off, Dr Costa, I would like to reiterate I cannot get into a back and forth – if you want to send me a personal response you are more than welcome. I feel the avenue of email discussions like these which serve effectively as forum discussions are not the best avenue for helping people to accept correction, responsibility and adopt a more humble outlook.

Let’s not do our work as an in-house project looking for pats on the back from our colleagues and those who already agree with us.

We must do the Will of God as per Mark 3:35 in order to be the brothers/sisters/mothers of Jesus. May Allah give us the strength and inclination to strive for this. Ameen.

Quran’ic Exegesis of al-Ikhlas as a Corrective of Trinitarian Theo-Christology by Ali Ataie

(v. 1) As stated earlier, the word Allah is the proper Name of God that shares an etymology with the Hebrew (in pluralis majestatis) Elohim (אֱלֹהִים), probably from the root a-li-ha (ألِهَ) meaning “to go to and fro in fear and perplexity” or from aleph-waw-lamed (אול), meaning “strength and power” and related to the Arabic Form II awwala (أول), “to interpret” or “find the origin of.” Ash’arite theologians offer the following brief definition of Allah: “A proper name denoting the Essence (which is) the Necessary Existent; the one deserving of all perfection and transcendent above all deficiencies” (علم على ذات الواجب الوجود، المستحق لجميع الكمالات المتنزه عن جميع النقاءص).

The Qur’an is confirming in principle that the God of Muhammad is the same God of the biblical prophets, including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. The word Ahad (أحد) is taken by Suyuti as either a permutative (بدل) or a second predicate (خبر ثان), with Huwa as subject and the Exalted Expression (لفظ الجلالة), i.e. Allah, as first predicate.

Tantawi says that the Exalted Expression as predicate indicates the occasion of the surah’s Revelation (سبب النزول) in which a group of Jews approached the Prophet asking about the identity of his God – “Who is He (Huwa)?” This is described in detail by al-Wahidi. As discussed in chapter two, the pronoun Huwa, spelled ha-waw and meaning “He (is),” is close to the meaning of the enigmatic tetragrammaton (Shem HaMeforash) spelled yod-he-waw-he (יהוה), if we consider this to be the imperfect tense of the verb hawah (הוה), meaning to “to be,” thus “He is” (yihweh), and translated as ὁ ὤν ([“I am] He who is”) in the LXX (from the 1p sing. Ehyeh [Exo. 3:14]). According to the Mishnah, the Shem HaMeforash was only articulated in the Temple by the High Priest (HaCohen HaGadol) and was believed to be the most exalted Name of God, the actual Name of His Essence in distinction to “Allah/Elohim” which indicated His Essence. Thus Huwa, or Hahut (هاهوت) according to Ibn al-’Arabi, is believed to be al-Ism al-’Azam (الإسم الأعظم), the very Name of God’s Essence according to al-Razi.

 To put it in Philonic terms, Allah (الله)/Elohim (אֱלֹהִים) = Ho Theos (ο θεος) while Huwa (هو)/Yihweh (יהוה) = Ho On (ὁ ὤν).

The usage of Ahad as opposed to Wahid (واحد) is intended to confirm the fundamental creedal statement of the Children of Israel (بني إسرائيل), i.e. the Shema of Deut. 6:4: “Hear O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One (Echad)” (שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד); and confirmed by Christ in Mark 12:29 (ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι πρώτη ἐστίν ἄκουε Ἰσραήλ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν).
 Also, while wahid denotes one numerically and thus does not negate the existence of other “ones,” ahad, being also anarthrous, denotes utter uniqueness, one of a genus. In addition, Ahad negates the henotheism of the pre-Islamic Arabs who certainly affirmed that Allah was Wahid, but also acknowledged the existence of lesser deities.

With respect to Christianity, the Qur’an repudiates the belief that God has a “Son” (ولد) in the Trinitarian sense by stating that “Allah is only One (واحد) God” (Q 4:171.5). Thus while Allah is numerically one (واحد), the term wahid also denotes His “internal oneness,” i.e. He is only one person (hypostasis; Arab. nafs; Heb. nefesh); there is no multiplicity in the godhead and He shares His Essence with no one and nothing else.

 This is the heart of the Qur’an’s critique of Trinitarianism. There are not multiple hypostatic (personal) pre-eternals; the attributes (sifat) of God are not separate and distinct hypostatic entities. The usage of Ahad in this ayah (112:1), however, denotes God’s “external oneness” thus not allowing any creature to be the incarnation of that indivisible Essence (ousia) since He is transcendent of space, time, and materiality, contra both Incarnational Modalism (Monarchism) and Trinitarianism. In this vein, Hosea (11:9) says: “Indeed I am God and not man” (כִּי אֵל אָֽנֹכִי וְלֹא־אִישׁ).

Taken from Ali Ataie’s FB

A comment on a Hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud

Note: this is a weak Hadith. It’s been classified as weak by Al-Albani see here. If you come across an Islamophobe asking you to explain it, tell them it is weak.

A man from the Ansar called Basrah said:

I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet). The Prophet (ﷺ) said: She will get the dower, for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten (a child), flog her (according to the version of al-Hasan). The version of Ibn AbusSari has: You people, flog her, or said: inflict hard punishment on him.

Abu Dawud said: This tradition has been transmitted by Qatadah from Sa’d b. Yazid on the authority of Ibn al-Musayyab in a similar way. This tradition has been narrated by Yahya b. Abi Kathir from Yazid b. Nu’aim from Sa’id b. al-Musayyab, and ‘Ata al-Khurasani narrated it from Sa’id b. al-Musayyab ; they all narrated this tradition from the Prophet (ﷺ) omitting the link of the Companion (i.e. a mursal tradition). The version of Yahya b. Abi Kathir has: Basrah b. Aktham married a woman. The agreed version has: He made the child his servant.

Although it’s weak, there some explanation of the statement “the child will be your slave”:

The meaning of ” take the born child as your slave” has been explained by al-khattabi who said, ” I know no scholar who disgaree with the freedom of the child who came through adultery when the mother is free woman. Thus, the meaning of this statement , if this narration is proven authentic, that the prophet wanted him to look after the child and raise him well so and in return the child will serve hi like a slave due to his goodness and kindness towards him”.

See here for more discussion and explanation of this weak hadith here:

What is Isnad in Hadith Studies

Islamophobes: Think Before you Quote from Tareekh al Tabari

Explanation: Sun Sets in Murky Water Hadith (Sunan Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad)

False Stories About Prophet Muhammad – By Ehteshaam Gulam

Did Prophet Muhammad Say “Love of the homeland is part of faith”

Why Islam