When Muslims seek to tie you up in knots concerning the Law of Moses and the Apostle Paul


The Muslim Argument – Jesus and the first Christians kept the Law of Moses

The original Christians observed the dietary and ritualistic laws of the Torah and required non-Jewish converts to do the same. In doing this they were faithful to the teachings of Christ. Jesus confined his preaching to Israel, but in his message to all mankind in the Sermon on the Mount he said that their would be no change in the Mosaic system till the end of time:

> “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18)

He preached the strict keeping of the law even beyond the bounds of his contemporaries:

> “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

The Apostle Paul eliminated these obligations in order to make Christianity more attractive to the Gentiles. He not only extended the physical confines of Christ’s teaching beyond Israel but also changed his doctrine so that the new Christian had no longer to submit to the rituals of the Jewish religion.

Paul claimed to have received visions even though he, himself was unsure what the visions contained apart from the fact that they were ‘unspeakable words that are unlawful to utter’ (2 Corinthians 12:1-5) but then he goes on to say that these were visions of Jesus and that they were the authentic teachings of Christianity. No one, not even the disciples who had been with Jesus had access to this revelation of the gospel except Paul and so now he was free to make disciples conform to this teaching. Nothing, no power, was going to stop him.

> “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

He became so arrogant in his new found faith that he boasted that he worked far harder than any of the earlier followers of Jesus > “but I laboured more abundantly than they all“ (1 Corinthians 15:10).


The Christian Response – Did Jesus teach that the Mosaic system should remain unchanged for all time?

The two quotations above are misrepresented.

1) > “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17,18)

This first reference is interpreted by Muslims to mean that the law will remain unchanged but it finds its true meaning when it is recognised that Jesus himself, fulfils the Law and the Prophets in that they point to him and he is their fulfilment. The term Law is used in different ways in the New Testament here it refers to the whole of the Old Testament in its prophetic function. This is confirmed when Jesus says in the same gospel ‘For all the prophets and the Law prophesied.’ (Matthew 11:13)

2) > “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

Muslims provide this reference to support the importance of strict keeping of the law yet the text shows that despite the Pharisees and the scribes being the most punctilious in restricting themselves to the law they still failed to reach the standard of behaviour and righteousness to which the law pointed!

The teaching of Christ emphasises moral rather than ceremonial purity (Matthew 15:1-20 Mark 7:17-23) his strongest denunciations were against those who elevated the ritual and external over the moral.


The early church

The Christian Jews in Jerusalem strictly observed the Mosiac law. They counted it was their responsibility to win the strict Jews of Jerusalem to the Messiah so they continued in the law’s requirements. However, those Gentiles who accepted Christ as the Messiah were expected to submit to the moral standard of the law but were never expected to follow the Jewish ordinances.

The church in Jerusalem was made up predominantly of Galilean Jews together with those who had responded to the apostolic message in Jerusalem. Externally a professional narrator called them Nazerenes (Acts 24:5) but they called themselves ‘the Way.’ It was mostly tolerated in Judea except when it began to fraternise with non-Jewish churches in other parts of the Roman empire. The leadership was under the Galilean twelve especially Peter and John but they soon gave way to the regular Jewish manner of elders under the presidency of James until his execution in AD 62.

Their distinctive belief was that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, that God had raised him from the dead and that he had suffered for Israel’s redemption and that the great day of the Lord had come already and would be culminated by the manifestation of the Messiah in judgement and glory. They baptised in the name of Jesus, received regular instruction from the apostles, and had fellowship in households daily remembering the Lord by the breaking of bread and in prayer (Acts 2:41-46).

The church became large: > “And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: even priests and Pharisees” (Acts 21:20). >“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7)

Right from the beginning the Jerusalem church included many Greek speaking Jews (Hellenists) who for various reasons had to come to Jerusalem from other parts of the Roman Empire. The church experienced united fellowship and mutual support and the committee of seven appointed to look after those in need were probably Hellenists.


Did the early Christians expect Gentile converts to keep the law?

Although Peter preached to and baptised the uncircumcised Cornelius and his household, the teachings of the church were firstly spread by the Jewish Hellenists Stephen and Philip. Later the Jewish Hellenists went from Jerusalem to Antioch and there preached to Gentiles without any stipulations regarding the law. Officially the Jerusalem church gave its approval to these developments and supported the new church policy in Antioch. It was formerly laid down at the Jerusalem Church Council in Acts 15.

Because of the Jewish opposition to the preaching of the gospel to Gentiles the Hellenistic group were forced to leave Jerusalem while the law-abiding Jewish Christians were able to remain. Some however, from the Jerusalem church disapproved that the gospel should be preached to Gentiles without an obligation to keep the law: > ‘And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.’(Acts 15:1).

The whole procedure outlined above reflects the primacy of the Church at Jerusalem in matters of faith and morals. Jerusalem was the church par excellence. The Jerusalem church approved the keeping of the law to the Jew and the non-keeping of the law for the Gentile.


Did Paul eliminate the legal obligations to make an easier Christianity for the Gentiles?

Paul acted in line with the teachings of Jesus and the early church as a basis for Christian conduct:

> “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean” (Romans 14:14)

It was Peter, not Paul, who was the first person to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. In the home of Cornelius he saw a vision and was told to eat both clean and unclean animals.

Paul, along with his Jewish companion Barnabas, were sent out by the church of Antioch and they always preached to the Jews first. (Acts 15:22-23) The Jewish leadership of Antioch was responsible for sending them and they he always reported back to them and had their approval.

Paul was always careful to walk in the same way as the Church in Jerusalem both in practice and doctrine. He visited them several times and supported them when they were going through famine. To isolate Paul as an individual who acted independently of the true church misses the point of the teaching of the New Testament.


Did the visions of Paul make him so arrogant that he split off from other Jewish Christians and developed a new splinter Christianity?

To say that Paul became arrogant to the point that he disregarded the eye-witness apostles is facile. The truth of the matter is that Paul was most reluctant to talk about his visions and revelations. We know that Paul did receive a number of visions, for Luke records them as a testimony to the kindly guidance of God (Acts 9:12; 16:9-10 18:9-10; 22:17-21; 23:11; 27:23-24). What is remarkable is that in his epistles Paul does not share the content of any revelation or vision, he preferred to keep it private. Only when he felt forced to, because of the fickle spiritual state of the Corinthian church, did he reluctantly go on to mention his visions. Paul was far from arrogant, he knew that there was nothing to be gained by talking about his most intimate spiritual experiences, but for the sake of the believers he concurs emphasising “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory” (2 Corinthians 12:1); hardly the words of an arrogant apostle.


10 Responses to “The Renegade Paul”

  • Faraz:

    Okay firstly I ll answer all of your questions
    1) According to Quran the scriptures are changed ……….. I started reading the bible in May I read it by believing it to be the word of God, I haven’ t yet read the whole Quran with Translation ……….. I’ m really good in science that s why I can point out some as I point 7 from the bible, the rest 22 I pick from Dr Zakir naik debate with Dr William Campbell, and As for Quran I have read 5 Surahs and as I have school to attend it will take me a while to finish reading it
    2) if you claim your book to be from God, then it surely can t contain errors, it mostly contain greek ideas like of Unicorn, moon having it s own light, human being made of cuddle and cheese, Earth being flat, this is the plagiarism from Greeks however Quran doesn’t contain these errors…………..

    3) Being a muslim I agree in what Jesus Christ say, so i believe in Red card Bible,the words of Jesus Christ, that s from where I extensively Quote( john 14:28, John 10:29, john 5:30, Luke 11:20, Matthew 5:17 to 20, john 17 :3 ) or from the words of Peter( acts 2 : 22 ) who according to Jesus will hold the keys of Heaven, as for rest as I myself is quoting from bible, I m even agreeing to what you quote from the bible, I m not saying that only my quotations are right and your s are wrong, so no matter I believe in it or not, here I m accepting everything you quote from the Gospels, I don t believe in Paul, so you ll never find me quoting from his words to defend my point,
    4) as for Inkeel of the Gospel, you ll find that Gospels state that Jesus went there and preach his mission, Jesus went there and give his preachings, his preaching or the message that he gave to people was known as the Gospel of the Injeel we believe, it wasn t in a compiled or in a book way, it was a message meaning Good news, what was the Good news, that Jesus has come to fulfill the old laws of Moses, to confirm what come before him and to teach people the original meaning of Commandments, not to change them but to derive them to God, to tell that the Messiah has arrive, this was the good news, That the saviour of the world has arrive, it wasn t a book just a mission and according to muslims the other good news he gave was of coming of Mohammed after him but leave it for now, it wasn t a book, juat a mission he has to deliver to people, the good news…………………
    5) if Mohammed create his own history, try to prove it wrong, a single error, Quran speaks about Moses, just the same as bible speaks about him, Quran speaks about Noah, Adam.Jonah, Elijah, how can Mohammed know about all these prophets, about the sign of Jonah, about the flood at the time of Noah, about Adam, he was born in a country of pagans, who weren t having any knowledge of this, you can t say that he copy it from the bible as firstly he was illetrate and secondly the first copy of bible in Arabic was way after hiw death, so he surely can t copy it, where he get these things from, that John was sent to tell people about Jesus, Jesus having miraculous birth, Eve eating the forbidden fruit, Moses miracles, Jesus miracles.

    • admin:

      Thank you for addressing some of these issues we raised unfortunately your response creates more questions than you answers provide and so is clearly inadequate. Please address them.

      1) a) It is completely inadequate just to say ‘According to Quran the scriptures are changed’ for you need to provide appropriate references to support this assertion. Why would Allah have allowed the scriptures to be changed when it is his word? Rather than dealing with the subject, you go off at a tangent again romancing about Dr Zakir Naik; you need to show in what way the scriptures were changed, who changed them, when were they changed and what was the purpose of these changes? You also need to show how it was physically possible for these scriptures to be changed when they had been disseminated widely throughout the world. You need to explain why Muhammad thought so highly of the early scriptures when you don’t?

      2) As far as your allegation that the Bible is plagarised Greek thinking you need to re-think this. Your examples of this plagiarism are all connected with the Old Testament which was of course written in Hebrew, way before the Greek thinking of Aristotle and Plato and other Attic philosophers emerged. Greek culture was only later dissemination under Hellenism.

      3) We congratulate you for keeping to the subject in the area of Creation for the Quran has basically copied the concept of the Mosaic revelation. You insist that the Quranic plural word ayaam, means a very long period and that may well be, but if you read Dr Bucaille chapter 1 carefully, you will be aware that he admits the possibility that the Biblical ‘day’ could also stand for an undefined period.’ – so it is a matter of interpretation. As you rely considerably on the work of Maurice Bucaille we would encourage you to read Dr William Campbell’s response in which he gives a page and a half to the subject of ayaam and yom.

      4) a) As usual you are being selective by referring to what you call the Red card Bible version which has the words of Jesus Christ in red. You say you believe John 14:28 but do you believe the equally red words of the Lord Jesus:“ I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6) – here is an exclusive claim that only through Jesus can we know God. Christ was able to say such things because he came from the Father in heaven. You accept John 10:29 which states that Jesus and the Father are one but do you accept the verse immediately before it that he gives to those who follow him eternal life? You accept John 5:30 that Christ has perfect judgement because he perfectly does the will of the one who sent him but do you accept the earlier verse that at just as the Father gives life so the Son gives life to whom he pleases (John 5:21) etc, etc, – these are all what you like to call ‘red letter words of Jesus’ but as usual you continue to be selective in your use. What you are basically saying is that as far as the New Testament is concerned you only accept those verses spoken of Jesus that agree with Islam and are written in a red-letter English Bible version. It it is a great travesty that you not only do to the Christian faith but also to Islam by suggesting Allah was not able to keep and protect his divine word which was named the Injil, the good news. The Quran is suppose to confirm the early books rather than reject the majority of its contents b) When turning to the Old Testament we know that there is no such red-letter versions in existence so we need to ask you what part of the Torah and Zabur do you accept which is so highly thought of in the Quran? c) clearly what you write is just not true “I m accepting everything you quote from the Gospels” if that were the case you would accept Christ’s words from the cross and the many, many other statements where he speaks about his true nature and identity. You only believe those things that are in agreement with Islam and this is where ‘the rubber hits the road’.

      5) Well, here you surprise us when you write “…….of the Injeel we believe, it wasn’ t in a compiled or in a book way, it was a message meaning Good news” and again “ it wasn’ t a book just a mission” and once again “ it for now, it wasn’ t a book, just a mission he has to deliver to people, the good news.” What you express is basically what Christians believe i.e. the gospel is a message of good news which was recorded and collected because of its vital message. However, one of the basic tenets of Islam is that the Muslim must believe in Allah’s books (Al-Baqarrah 2:285). If these books are not the Torah, Zabur and Injil what are the books you believe in? Why were the Jews and Christians called ‘the people of the book’ if they had no book? Why does Yusuf Ali (and others) interpret Ar-Rad 13:i38 as “For each period is a book (revealed) if there were no previous books? The view of most Muslims is that every age has its book in the form of writings. One hundred and four of these writings have been given to prophets; four in the form of ‘books’ (kutub) and one hundred in the form of ‘leaves’ (suhuf). The four books are the Taurat (Law), the Zabur (Psalms), the Inlil (Gospel) and the Quran which Muslims believe to be the final and most perfect revelation. From what you say your views are entirely unorthodox. Muslims seem very reluctant to explain what happened to the book they say was originally given to Jesus?

      6) You wrote “How can Mohammed know about all these prophets i.e. Jonah, Noah, Adam? You will know that initially when Muhammad went to Medina he recognised the Jews as the ‘People of the Book. It was here he learnt about the biblical prophets and was able to name a few of them. As he was unable to read he was dependent upon hearing alone and got some issues confused. Likewise, he learnt about Christianity from the Christian tribes, some of whom were unorthodox but he believed their views. There is no miracle here just deception.

      • Faraz:

        By book it doesn’t literally means a book in a compiled form, were there book compiled at that time, no, they were written on different things. The Book of Moses now I don t know what happens to it but the old Testament isn’t the Torah, as if you read it, it s in the third form, means God says this to Moses, Mosas says this to God, so that means that it surely isn t the word of God but it isn t even the word of Moses, the first six books which are known as the books of Moses aren t even the book written by Moses, someone else wrote it, the laws which Moses tells, the orders and his statement was Torah, they weren t compiled in the life of Moses that we may say that at first it was written in a book then people change it, they were compiled in that way,
        The word Bible come from the greek word meaning biblos, the book of books, it contains the word of prophets, it contain the word of Historians, it even containes pornography and incest, like Ezikeel chapter 23, the incident of Loot, how his daughters took advantage of her, similar stories are in Quran without these things

        By the book given to Jesus was given in the same manner as it was given to Mohammed, and when the Quran was compiled, after two years of Holy prophet s death, as for Injeel, it was written in a same manner, like on trees branches, stones but the disciples of Jesus never compiled it, why because they thought that the end is here, they were expecting Jesus in their life time, so they never thought that it is neccessary to compile it, why because they thought he ll come but here we are, two thousand and 17 year have pass and we are still waiting, so Paul came after 50 years of Jesus and I don’t know for sure but the bible was compiled atleast after 40 years, way after the death of the disciples, the letters of Peter aren’t even confirmed to have been written by him, as for Old Testament, I’ ll again say it, it’s author isn’t God, neither Moses is the author of his first six books because if you read it, it s all is in third form, that like Moses said this to God and God replied Moses this, and that, so it s author is anoymous, nobody knows who wrote it, it is assumed to be Moses but it isn’t, so how can we trust the book when we don t even know who has wrote it ………….. “

        • admin:

          We are conscious that the subject of this page is the Apostle Paul but your argument is much wider as you continue to stumble over the basic issue of trying to prove the Bible has been changed. We can only, because of the undue length which would be required, deal with the issues of the Torah and the Injil, so we have edited-out your other comments on the Creation and the Apostle Paul and ask you to submit them again in the appropriate places after we have made progress in these subjects. In respect of the deity of Christ we have continuosly shown, over many responses, that the divinity of Jesus shines through in the Gospels and the remainder of the New Testament. As mentioned many times, your selective reading of these documents prevent you from seeing the truth. Please be kind enough to keep to the subject on the page heading as this just leads to confusion for other visitors.

          1a) Concerning the Torah you seem to be suggesting that the original has disappeared (quite why or where you cannot say) and the ‘Book of Moses,’ as found at the beginning of the Bible, was not written by Moses, but by someone else (who wrote it, when it was written, where it was changed from the original lost copy you do not say). You add that the Bible ‘biblos’ in Greek means “the book of books’ actually, you are giving the title more credit than Christians do for the word ‘biblia’ signifies ‘the books’ so the Bible is a collection of books. Regretably, you only mentioned one of the divisions of the Bible, namely, the Prophets, but disregard both the Law and the Writings.

          1b) You wrote “but the old Testament isn’t the Torah?” Let us expalin: the term Torah is a Hebrew word which in its widest sense means ‘instruction’ and can be used as a synonym for the whole of the revealed will of God (see Psalm 119). Since all the scriptures of Israel are the authoritative word of God, in one sense it can be said that the Torah refers to the whole of the Old Testament. However, the New Testament writers followed the Septuagint translation which used the Greek word ‘nomos’ for Torah and followed the threefold description used by the Jews of the time in describing the Old Testament as the law, the prophets and the Psalms/Writings. The New Testament agrees with this designation Luke 24:44. On this basis the books of the Hebrew Bible are grouped under the above heading, commencing with the law (Torah) books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

          1c) You argue that the Torah cannot be the word of God only on the basis of grammar. You claim the divine books need to use the first person singular only while the Bible uses both the first person and the third person. While you, and many Muslims, may consider the use of the first person is a given imperitive Christians do not view revelation in this way. May we suggest you read our article under Apologetics called ‘Revelation:two distinct ways’ which describes the two different views of inspiration held by Muslims and Christians. We reject therefore your proposal that the word of God always has to be in the first person holding that scripture is of divine influence which enabled the human organs of revelation – prophets, poets, wise men and apostles to speak as well as to write the words of God.

          1d) what are the implications of what you are saying? Rather than being more influenced by your own Quran in assessing the worth of the Old Testament, its authors and dates you seem to be relying on what was called the ‘documentary hypothesis’ which began to circulate in the early 19th century and became identified most prominently with Wellhausen. According to your Quran we know that Muhammad believed that Allah sent down the law of Moses (Al-Imran 3:3); that it was in the hands of the People of the Book (in Medina and elsewhere) and that they were carefully studied in Muhammad‘s time. Rewards are promised to “The People of the Book” if they continue to obey its teachings and they are urged to judge Muhammad’s claims on the basis of their uncorrupted books. Now, if Muhammad believed the law of Moses was not only written by Moses but is the word of God why don’t you ? What evidence can you provide from your Quran that the Torah has disappeared? It is just an unsustantiated theory.

          1e) The Bible, on this point agrees with the Quran that the Torah was written by Moses (As-Sajdah 32:23 cf Al-Baqarrah 2:53, 87; Hud 11:110; Al-Anbiya 21:48; Al-Furqan 25:35; Ghafir 40:53 and etc). The Law of Moses (torah) is foundational to the Old Testament for it containes the basic law for Israel with all its statutes and ordinaces designed to make clear God’s demands and blessings on his covenant people. All those of the Old Testament after Moses were commanded to observe everything according to all that was written in the Law of Moses (Joshua 1:8). The Quran recognises this and the New Testament also concurs “the law was given by Moses (John 1:17).

          2a) Turning to the New Testament we don’t know where you get the idea that the ‘Injil’ “was written in a same manner, like on trees branches, stones” It is true that for the Old Testament that the most important writing material was leather or skins but at the time of the New Tesatment papyrus was in general use.

          2c) Once again you come up with another theory devised by higher criticism that the disciples of Jesus never compiled the New Testament because they were expecting the return of Jesus in their life time and therefore it was not neccessary to compile the record. You are most welcome to substantiate this claim by putting your supporting evidence and we will address it when we hear your comments but rather than deal with theory let us deal with facts. The books of the New Testament were authoritative letters addressed to different chrches and individuals. They emboddied the central events of the life of Jesus. At first oral accounts of his work by eyewitnesses filled the needs of the infant church, but as the years passed the eyewitnesses lessened and there was a demand for authoritative written narratives and in fulfillment of this demand Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (Luke 1:1-4; John 20:30-31). It’s as simple as that there is no need to develop a conspiracy theory.

          3) So where does this leave us and what things do you need to address? a) You need to go back to the Quran and under our explantion of what the Torah is reconsider your position that the Torah is the word of God used by the Jews in the time of Muhammad; b) You need to develop your unsubstantiated theory that the Torah has simply disappeared. You need to tell us when it disappeared and who was responsibe for its disappearance; c) If the Jews were reading the Torah in Muhammad’s day then it must have been changed later and you need to tell us when it was changed and who changed it; d) you claim Moses did not write the book of Moses but give no suggestion as to who wrote it and when – you say “it was someone else” please tell us who is this anonymous person or persons were; e) this speculation must stop for you are a person who prefers to follow the claims of higher critics, who when they turn to the Quran, are equally critical, or even more so; f) You have claimed continuously that Deuteronomy 18:17-20 which is of course from the Book of Moses, is a prophecy concerning Muhammad. Throughout your argument is that Muhammad is like Moses how can you possibly argue this point and then deny these verses have no divine legitimacy?

  • Faraz:

    Paul changes the law of Jesus. Matthew chapter 19 verse 16 to 17, a man can obtain salvation by keeping the law and the commandments. Once a man came to him and ask that how can I obtain salvation, his response was by keeping the law and commandments, so what commandments was he talking about, did he produce his commandments, no, these were the ten commandments of Moses ….. when he came to this world, he never introduced any new law but said, he hasn’t come to destroy any law, so Paul certainly destroys the law by saying Alcohol isn’t prohibited.

    Jesus never said that you can obtain salvation by believing in my Crucification, he knew he was going to be crucified, he told from the very beginning that all of you are loyal, all except one, even in his final meal he told them that one of you is going to betray me. He knew that crucification is inevitable yet he never said to believe in it, one thing strange about the whole Christianity is that in it according to now peoples in order to obtain salvation you’ve to believe in him as being God and being crucified, if you don t believe in his Crucification all of your deeds are in vain. Christians often told us that all of our zakaat, prayers aren’t going to give us anything except we believe in his Crucification but this was something Jesus never told, so why today’s Christian believe in Cross because their Church said this. Why their Church say this is because it was Created by Paul and Paul say this as he said in Colossians 2:14.Paul says that salvation can be obtained by believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus………… So coming to the self appointed Apostle Paul …………..” (Edited by Admin)

    • admin:

      There are so many issues in your opening comments that need attention before coming to your assesment of Paul and it is to those we must firstly come – unfortunately this gives us no opportunity on this occasion to discuss your main argument at the moment.

      1) So what law has Paul changed? Rather than address that issue you refer to the incident of Matthew 19:6-22 where a Jewish man asked Jesus about good deed he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus reminded him that there was no good deed fit for him to enter the kingdom. Jesus lists the 5th to the 9th of the ten commandments as found in Exodus 20. Jesus added that the love of one’s neighbour (Leviticus 19:18) was essential also. The man claimed he had in fact kept all these commandments but still did not have the assurance of salvation. For this individual, something more was needed. He was indeed willing to discipline himself to conform to the law but his monet was competing for his attempts to please God. Keeping the individual commandments of God is no substitute for readiness to submit one-self to God it just leads to a lack of assurance of sins forgiven. Jesus then turns to his disciples and teaches them about the difficulties of rich men entering the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:23-26). He does not teach that salvation is by keeping the commandments but of having a heart that loves God which will want to keep the commandments.

      2) You wrote “Paul certainly destroys the law by saying alcohol isn’t prohibited” ———- Now where do you get this idea from? Does the Law (ten commandments) prohibit alcohol? Did you not read the earlier verses in Matthew 11:18,19 “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.”?

      3) You wrote “Jesus never said that you can obtain salvation by believing in my crucification” —— the whole purpose of the gospels is that it leads to the clima of the death and resurrection of Jesus. As you correctly say he had been preparing his discples for this event which would happen in Jerusalem. In his final Passover meal, which you also mentioned, he explained that the implications of his death (crucifixion ) would be the means of the forgiveness of sins. Again we refer you to Matthew (26:27-28) “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

      4) You wrote: “One thing strange about the whole Christianity is that in it according to now peoples in order to obtain salvation you’ve to believe in him as being God and being crucified, if you don’t believe in his Crucification all of your deeds are in vain.” ———– This is a very amateurish understanding of Christianity. The Gospels tell us the historical life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These gospels inform us that the claims of Jesus were rejected by the Jewish religious authorites as being blasphemous. Christians believe what he said about himself in these gospels: that he was the Jewish Messiah; the son of God; the Son of man; that his birth was of a virgin; that he was without sin etc, etc. It is the magnificence of his person including his crucifixon, resurrection and ascension that Christians rejoice in. Through his crucifixion our sins are atoned for and we do not come into God’s judgement because of his propitiary death. The forgiven Christian seeks to live a life pleasing to God by doing deeds consistent with a righteous life. The gospels were written so that after understanding the afore mentioned things the believer should have everlasting life “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). These are not inventions of the modern Christian but they are the very fabric of the testimony and confession of believers from the very first days. The historical church has consistently taught these truths it is no innovation.

      5) You wrote “because it was created by Paul” —————— surely you must know that you are talkng nonsense for we know you have read the Book of Acts which clearly tells us that the first believers in the crucifixion and resurrestion of Christ were his intial disciples, his mother etc (Acts 1:13,14); the first to make pubic confession of the things that occurred in the gospels was Peter (Acts 2); he was a first hand witness of the events concerning Jesus and spoke publicly in Solomon’s portico about the things which are in total agreement with what we read in the gospels: “ But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses (Acts 3:14-15). It might be better first for you to think again about your argument your objection to the Christian teaching of the crucifixion and resurrection. Your attack should be against the first believers not Paul but all those mentioned in Acts before Paul ever came on to the scene – such people as Peter, John, James, the one-hundred and twenty believers (Acts 1:15); the Hellenist believers of Acts 6 including Stephen and Philip, Ananias etc – all actively proclaiming the faith before Paul was converted.

      6) You wrote “So coming to the self appointed Apostle Paul ………” You may have some legitimate arguments in your detailed assessment of Paul, you may like to re-submit them, but having begun on the wrong premise you have already drifted into falsehood and you need to think again.

      • Faraz:

        Before I start, I should make a few things clear, the reason of me debating here is not to attack your religion or to say that I’m right and you’re wrong but to provide my point of view, and learn more, as I m really interested in religions and I like having friendly religious debates, the whole reason of me to read bible was to learn.

        1) Jesus in three places tells us on how to obtain salvation he said: Salvation according to Jesus comes from observing the commandments (Mat. 19:16-17, Luke 10:25-28, and “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mat 5:20 NASB. If you say that no salvation isn’t by this, but by believing in Jesus Crucification, you’ re trying to say that he lied (God forbid) since he was really explicit, keep the commandments. If you read the 10 commandments, the first are on love ….. having a heart that loves God which will want to keep the commandments so at the end of day, you still have to keep the commandments and this is the only way to salvation.

        2) when Jesus said that think not I’ve come here to destroy any law or prophet but to fulfill, anyway firstly analyze what this verse says, as many claims that Jesus fulfilled the laws, so firstly analyze it then we’ll discuss the argument on alcohol. If you look at the original greek word for fulfil, it actually means to “fill to the top” or to “cause to abound”. In other words, to bring full meaning to the law, or to exalt it! Now for clarity, let’s reword that Bible verse with the new meaning ….. ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to BRING FULL MEANING TO IT AND EXALT IT.’ Romans 3:31 …..’Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.’ Now does that sound like Jesus abolished the law? Of course not.

        Christ Jesus, in no way, came to abolish the law. He came to give His life for us as a ransom, because as Paul confirmed in Romans 6:23 …..’For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ ….. But Jesus also came to show us the true meaning of the law, the ten commandments. He came to help us understand the spirit of the law, as the Jews only really understood the law in a physical way. Now many Christians will say that they keep the “spirit” of the law, not the “letter” of the law. Well, what law are we keeping in spirit? The Bible Ten Commandments!

        So now coming to alcohol, I know that alcohol isn’t in the 10 commandments but it is in the law of Moses, as in various occassions of Old Testament we read that alcohol is prohibited. Christians drink because they believe that there is nothing wrong when one drinks moderately alcoholic beverages. ……………. And by instituting the cup of the Lord’s Supper he commanded its use until eternity. In other words for the Christians, Jesus’s (PBUH) example and teachings form the belief and practice. Logically and rationally if wine was good for Jesus (PBUH) it is also good for his followers. “The Biblical terms for wine (yayin in Hebrew and oinos in Greek) are used in Scripture to refer to the juice of the grape, whether fermented or unfermented. This significant finding discredits the popular claim that the Bible knows only fermented wine, which it approves when used moderately. The truth of the matter is that the Bible knows both fermented wine, which it disapproves, and unfermented grape juice, which it approves ……………….

        • admin:

          We have had to look at your earliest comments and respond but not yet got round to talking about Paul which is supposed to be the subject of this page!

          1) We have already replied to Mat. 19:16-17 your addition of the parallel passage in Luke 10:25-28 only enhances the situation that Jews were expected to keep the covenant which had been given them failure to do so would involve judgement. The same applies to Matthew 5:20 where the punctilousness of the Pharisees and teachers of the law failed to impress Jesus. He explains that the purpose of the Law is righteousness but that they failed to achieve this as they fell into legalism.

          2) What we are saying is that the Jews were expected to keep the Mosaic covenant, in fact initially they swore to keeping it and recognised they were cursed if they failed. The Law was not their means of salvation they were saved by the grace of God and they kept the law in order to fulfill their obligations to God. Jews along with Gentiles are considered sinners, falling short of God’s requirements, through the sacrificial system outlined in he Mosaic Law forgiveness could be found through the shedding of blood and God provided the way of salvation for all mankind by sending his son into the world to be a propitaiton for sin. The earliest believers that Jesus was the Christ were Jewish Christians, they understood they were saved by grace and responded to this grace of God by continuing to keep the Mosaic commandments. The Mosaic Law was never imposed on Gentile believers but both Jew and Gentile came to salvation through the same Jesus Christ.

          3) Now to your interesting interpretation of Matthew 5:17 in saying fulfill means “ to bring full meaning to it and exalt it.” Well certainly the Greek verb ‘Pleerow’ can signify to fill, or to fulfil, complete. In the New Testament it is often spoken of in respect of time e.g.when a certain period was fulfilled or had expired; it can also mean to preach fully, or complete the ministry. The text is infoming us hat Jesus fulfills the Law and the Prophets in that they point to him, (they find their completion in him) for the prophetic nature of the Old Testament points to Jesus.

          4) It is great to hear you agreeing with the Apostle Paul and quoting from one of his letters, namely Romans. He in agreement with Jesus, and the rest of New Testament writers maintained the Law was not annulled/abolished but fulfilled i.e. found its fulfilment in Christ. Perhaps he is not the renegade you thought he was!

          5) You wrote “But Jesus also came to show us the true meaning of the law, the ten commandments” – yes you have got it. Then you add “Now many Christians will say that they keep the “spirit” of the law, not the “letter” of the law.”—— – Yes, this would be correct. Gentiles did not have the Jewish law imposed upon them but by following the teachings of Jesus in the law of love and being found in Christ, and having the Spirit of God in their lives they can fulfill the laws demands. They can live a righteous life that pleases God and measures up to the standards of the Law.

          6) The remainder of your response centres on wine where you seem to be arguing that non-alcohic wine was used by the righteous. This subject seems important to you so we better look at it.

          The general word for wine in the New Testament is as you correctly say ‘oinos’ – quite how unfermented wine would burst out of wineskins (Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37) is a puzzle. Quite how Noah became drunk after taking fermented wine (yayin) is equally a puzzle (Genesuis 9:18-24). Quite why opponents of Jesus would call him a winebibber (Matthew 11:16, Luke 7:34) is equally strange. You suggest alcohol was not meant for “the word wine is missing” while this is correct, it is clearly understood from the context that fermented wine is meant why else would they use the Greek word Oinopotees’ in a negative way.

          While it is true certain individuals abstained from wine like John the Baptist (Luke 1); or others made a vow ,such as the Nazerite vow to abstain from wine, intoxicating drinks, vinegar and raisins; and while Hosea 4:10 mentions ‘the new wine’ which suggests it is not fermented (as you propose) these seem to be exceptions rather than the rule. Additionally, the Hebrew word ‘sekar’ is used twenty-two times in the old Testament and translated strong drink, its root being the basis for drunkeness. Many Christians, acting under the law of Christ, see that drinking alcohol may be a stumbling-block to other Christians or for that matter Muslims) so choose abstinence but they do so fully aware that it is not abstinence is not prohibited in the scriptures.

          • Faraz:

            Sir, your reply isn t clear, so do you agree that the law was never changed, that Jesus didn’t abolish the law, do you agree that drinking wine was never allowed, and Jesus never drinked it. If I quote from Paul s letters doesn t at all means that I agree with him, I quote extensively from the bible although I didn’t believe it to be the word of God, it’s to convince you. Now Coming to Paul ………………. edited for reasons given below.

          • admin:

            Before we begin to consider your latest e-mail I need to remind you that we have unfinished business which you need to respond to. You are very good at asking questions and providing lists of scripture but not very good at answering responses. So kindly do not ignore our responses but answer the following points then we can look at the other issues you have with the apostle Paul. The initial response was given in the Apologetics section, so kindly place your reply there.

            1) So we were right when we said ‘It sounds as though you believe some parts but reject others.’ You wrote “As I state in my previous message, there are portions, that match with Quran, maybe they are word of God, the thing which agrees with modern science, maybe it’s the word of God” ————– Response: This is just not good enough what do you mean “maybe they are word of God” they are either the word of God or not – which portions are they? If Muhammad thought so highly of the Bible why don’t you? Where is the book which has allegedly been given to Jesus?

            2) You wrote: “but what about the illogical part, contradictions, errors, they can’t be word of God, can they, no, as the author of Bible, claiming to be God can’t even do a simple addition, that’s ridiculous” —- Response: you need to be very careful here the Bible works in a historical context unlike the Quran which apart from having its focus in 6th century Arabia has little historical content and blatant mistakes – God has worked his salvation out in history and that record is found in the Bible. Short jibes against the biblical writers are not becoming, we do not want to resort to such tactics but we could equaly play the same game if we wish, such as, how many days were involved in the creation period eight days (4+2+2)? Sura 41:9,10,12. Many scientists reject completely a creator God so Islam as well as Christianity stands condemned by them in this area.

            3) You wrote “The reason I quote from the bible doesn’t mean I agree on it, but it’s to convince Christian. They don’t believe in Quran but they do believe in Bible, right?” ………. Response: So finally after all this time you admit you don’t agree with the Bible. You now forfeit your right to argue from the Bible as you are using it in a deceptive and cunning way. This is not worthy of righteous behaviour. Where is this spirit of desiring to learn which you emphasised in an earlier response in the following way: “Before I start, I should make a few things clear, the reason of me debating here is not to attack your religion ……”.

            4) Ah, so its finally come, the only thing you can do is resort to is the completely unconvincing argument: “But Christians don’ t have answer, it’s plain simple, the scriptures of old Testament were changed.” You produce no evidence just a bland statement. So now we request to know when was it changed? Who changed it? Why was it changed? Where was it changed? So you must believe that Allah cannot protect his word for in the Quran he praises the Torah, Zabur, and Injil as coming from himself – if he cannot protect these scriptures he will not be able to protect the Quran from adulteration!

            5) As far as contradictions in the Quran (and the traditions which explain the Quran) are concerned you are indeed on slippery ground. Even at its basic level Muhammad failed to understand the biblical story-line and developed a pseudo-history all of his own. That is the reason why the Quran has so many mistakes in the biblical arena and all you can do is throw your hands up in the air and say its been changed. How sad!

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