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I have watched the YouTube video whose link you sent me as below.
Dr Zakir Naik speaks well and appears to give a very powerful case here. However I have some problems with his approach to the Bible as seen in this video.
As you know, if one takes words out of their context then they very often become meaningless as they are cut out from their original intent. However Dr. Naik often seems to pluck verses, and even phrases, out of the context in which they belong, and then uses them to support a particular line of argument. I do not know if that would work for the Qur’an, but since that book is very different from the Bible, it doesn’t work there. The Bible was not written as a series of isolated statements, but as a coherent whole and thus cannot be ‘mined’ for quotes in this fashion. This is a common enough practice but it is still incorrect.
So I would like to address his remarks about sonship in the Bible. The Bible contains different concepts and categories of sonship. All those who believe in, or rely on, Christ’s sacrificial sufferings on the cross, are saved from God’s judgment of their sins, have new life and are called the children of God (John c1v12 (1); Galatians c3v26 (2)). However, there is a uniqueness to Christ’s relationship to the Father. As the RSV rendering of John c3v16 (3) (which Dr. Naik misquotes) says, God sent his ‘ONLY Son’ into the world. Christ’s position as “the Son” did not come from his virgin birth but is something that He has eternally possessed as part of the Trinity (John’s Gospel c1v1-2 (4); 1 John c4v14 (5)). He was sent as the Son of God from heaven before He was born of the virgin. The term “Son of God” is a title, as seen from Romans c1v4, “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” John’s Gospel c10v27-36 (6) shows that the Lord Jesus publically claimed to be the Son of God and the Jews understood that.
The fact that He was the Son of God, claiming not ancestry or adoption but equality with God the Father, was one of the reasons the Jews sought to kill him (John c5v17-18 (7)). There was no doubt that while Jesus Christ was on the earth He publically claimed to be God, but they refused to accept the authenticity of this claim.
Dr Naik misquoted the RSV, claiming that it’s reading of John c3v16 downgrades Jesus from being the Son of God. Does he appreciate that as the verse uses the word ‘only’, it further emphasises that Christ is the unique Son of God?
Dr Naik also misquoted John c3v16 when it says “… that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.” Dr Naik replaced “perish” with “die”. Did he do that without checking what the word “perish” meant? To “perish” means loss of well being under God’s judgment in eternity which is what happens to unbelievers after they physically die.
As to other aspects of the video, Dr Naik said that by using a form of words (‘Peace be upon Him’) when he mentions Jesus, it means that he loves Jesus more than a Christian. Those who really love the Lord Jesus realize His sovereignty over all and seek to obey His Word, the Bible, from the heart but not with specific forms of words which are ritualistic. Also how can a sinful human being who knows various forms of fear and lack of peace effectively bring the eternal God of peace into a more peaceful situation by repeating a very few ritualistic words? Therefore does not saying “Peace be upon Him” about the Lord Jesus Christ essentially mean nothing? Nowhere in the Bible does God encourage us to speak of anyone, whether they are prophets, angels or even the Lord Jesus, in this fashion. God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance (see 1 Samuel c16v7 (8)).
The Lord Jesus said in John’s Gospel c14v15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Dr Naik claims that he follows the Old Testament law, but when the law is examined does he measure up to its requirements? Does he wear a blue fringe on his clothing (see Numbers c15v38 (9))? Has he ever worked on a Saturday (see Exodus c20v10 (10))? When was the last time he offered a sacrifice for sins (see Leviticus c5 for example (11))? This last one is particularly important since it underpins the fact that man is not justified before God by his following God’s laws or doing good works (see Romans c3v19-20 (12); c4v2 (13)) and can only be accepted by Him on the basis of sacrifice (see Romans c3v25 (14)). In the Old Testament, sacrifices were ‘figures’ of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross (see Hebrews c9v24 (15)). Deuteronomy c11v1 says, “Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.” Has Dr Naik, or you, kept God’s commandments during all of his, or your, life in thought, word and deed?
Dr Naik appears to be unfamiliar with the Biblical reasons why Christians don’t circumcise their children because he only quotes Old Testament verses. Circumcision was peculiarly, though not exclusively, a Jewish rite. It was commanded by God to Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, as the token of God’s covenant where He would make the nation fruitful and give them the land of Canaan (Genesis c17 (16)). So it was made a necessary condition of Jewish nationality. Every male child was to be circumcised when eight days old (Leviticus c12v2-3 (17)). The Biblical notice of the rite describes it as distinctively Jewish; so that in the New Testament “the circumcision” and “the uncircumcision” are frequently used as synonyms for the Jews and the Gentiles. Although I know that circumcision is a strong tradition among those who follow Islam, Mohammed did not command it in the Qur’an. The Bible writes about it quite specifically in the New Testament. For example in Romans c4v1-3 (18) Abraham trusted in God and so God gave righteousness to him which made him righteous in God’s sight. But did that happen before or after he was circumcised? In the following verses we are informed his faith was before he was circumcised which shows that circumcision is not necessary for God’s salvation. Romans c4v9-12 says, “Comes this blessedness (v6-7 being justified, or made righteous, and being forgiven in God’s sight) then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.” That circumcision is not necessary for God’s salvation is again emphasised in Galatians c5v6 (19). Therefore for believers in the Lord Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision makes any difference to God’s salvation that comes through faith in Christ. Consequently there is no command for Christians to circumcise their children.
Dr Naik seems similarly unfamiliar with the Biblical reasons why Christians feel free to eat pork. It is true that eating pork was forbidden by God in Leviticus c11v4 & 7 “Nevertheless these shall you not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. … And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he chews not the cud; he is unclean to you.” However in the New Testament the Lord Jesus died for our sins on the cross and rose again (see 1 Corinthians c15v3-4 (20) and many other Bible verses (21-24)) and so became the basis of salvation. So when talking about the subject of what meats to eat 1 Corinthians c8v8 says “But meat commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.” The main reason for many of the Old Testament laws was to distinguish the Jews from their Gentile neighbours, and provide a physical representation of the separation of a Holy God from un-holy man. When Christ died, the sin barrier between God and believers in the Lord Jesus Christ was removed, and in the Church, the distinction between Jew and Gentile was also taken away (see Ephesians chapter 2 (25)). God gave the apostle Peter a vision in Acts c10 (26) where he showed him a whole host of ‘unclean’ animals and commanded him to take one of them for food. Peter, like a faithful Jew refused, but God’s reply came back “What God has cleansed, that call not you common” which showed that in God’s eyes the barrier between Jew and Gentile had been removed.
Dr Naik’s final comments offer a further illustration of the main problems of his approach to Christianity. He claims that the Bible prohibits the consumption of alcohol, yet this is not the case. The verses he refers to contain injunctions against drunkenness but not all drinking full stop (Proverbs c20 v1 (27), Ephesians c5 v18 (28)). It is interesting that he should make an issue out of this since the Lord Jesus himself drank alcohol and His first miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding (John c2 (29)).
Another of Dr Naik’s claims was that the Comforter is Mohammed. He refers to John’s Gospel c14v16 where the Lord Jesus said “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” The Lord Jesus further said in c14v26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Has Dr Naik has not read the relevant passage very well? Or has he decided that he knows better than God by taking the verses out of their context and adding an interpretation that contradicts what the Lord Jesus clearly said? John’s Gospel also quotes the Lord Jesus saying in c14v17, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you”.
Also as Mohammed was born about 600 years after the last disciple died:
1. How could he even be with the disciples, let alone be with them forever?
2. How could he teach the disciples all things and bring all things to the disciples’ remembrance as he was neither there nor even existed at that time?
3. Also how could Mohammed dwell with the disciples and be in them?
The Lord Jesus is quite clearly referring to a Spirit being, who is the Holy Spirit and God Himself, that came to dwell in His people.
Therefore the above quotations and comments by Dr Naik show that he: really does not understand the Bible, does not do it even literary justice by taking the quotations in their context and even worse he also misquotes it. Is he therefore a reliable commentator about God’s Word?
Ross Road Gospel Hall
John chapter (c )1 verse (v)12 “But as many as received him (Christ v3 & 10), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
Galatians c3v26 “For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
John c3v16 (RSV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John c1v1-2 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.”
1 John c4v14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
John c10v27-36 ““My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?” The Jews answered him, saying, “For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, I said, ‘You are gods?’ If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say you of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, You blaspheme; because I said, I am the Son of God?””
John c5v17-18 “But Jesus answered them, “My Father works hitherto, and I work.” Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”
1 Samuel c16v7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.””
Numbers c15v38 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue.”
Exodus c20v10 “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates.”
Leviticus c5v1-6 for example “And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty. Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled, and it be hid from him; when he knows of it, then he shall be guilty. Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knows of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing: And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he has sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.”
Romans c3v19-20 “Now we know that what things soever the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Romans c4v2 “For if Abraham were justified by works, he has something to glory about; but not before God.”
Romans c3v25 “Whom (Christ v24) God has set forward to be a propitiation (i.e. a mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”
Hebrews c9v24 “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us (i.e. believers in Him as Saviour).”
Genesis c17v6-10 “”And I (Almighty God v1) will make you (Abraham v1) exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto you, and to your seed after you. And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God”. And God said unto Abraham, “You shall keep my covenant therefore, you, and your seed after you in their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your seed after you; every man child among you shall be circumcised.””
Leviticus c12v2 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, “If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child… And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.”
Romans c4v1-3 “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham were justified (meaning made righteous in the sight of God) by works, he has something to glory about; but not before God. For what says the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”
Galatians c5v6 “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.”
1 Corinthians c15v3-4 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Matthew c1v21 “And she (Mary v20) shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Galatians c1v4 “Who (Christ v3) gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”
Hebrews c9v27-28 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.”
1 Peter c3v18 “For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,”
Ephesians c2v11-18 “Wherefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made both (i.e. Gentile and Jew) one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having by it slain the enmity: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
Acts c10v10-16 “And he (Peter v9) became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, “Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” And the voice spake unto him again the second time, “What God hath cleansed, that call not you common.” This was done three times: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.”
Proverbs c20v1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
Ephesians c5v18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”
John’s Gospel c2v1-11 “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said unto him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said unto her, “Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour is not yet come.” His mother said unto the servants, “Whatsoever he says unto you, do it.” And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece (a firkin was about nine gallons or forty litres). Jesus said unto them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said unto them, “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.” And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not where it came from: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and said unto him, “Every man at the beginning does set forward good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”