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IZHARUL HAQ READING CONTINUED

December 4, 2018 Book Reading Events 1

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The Second Evidence

The king who was entrusted with the rule of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar,
rebelled against him. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem a second time,
imprisoned the king, slaughtered his children before his eyes which were
gouged out 168. And in the words of Chronicles he:
…had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man or him that
stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the
house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord,
and the treasures of the king and of his princes; all these he brought to
Babylon
During this calamity the Pentateuch and all the books written before it were
absolutely destroyed. This is also admitted by the scholars of the Christian
world as has been shown earlier in this book.

The Third Evidence

When the prophet ‘Ezra’ recompiled the books of the Old Testament, as is
claimed by the Christians, they were subjected to another disaster at the hands
of Antiochus, a king from Europe who, after conquering Jerusalem, burnt and
tore up all the available copies of the books of the Old Testament. The
following is from I Maccabees chapter 1:
Never a copy of the Divine law but was torn up and burned; if any were
found that kept the sacred record or obeyed the Lord’s will, his life was
forfeit to the king’s edict. Month by month such deeds of violence were done.
This calamity befell them one hundred and sixty-one years before the birth
of Christ and lasted for a period of three and a half years. These events were
described by Josephus and historians of the Christian world. All the copies of
the Old Testament written by Ezra were absolutely destroyed as we discussed at
the beginning of this book. The following remarks are quoted from the Catholic,
John Mill:
When the correct copies of these books appeared through Ezra, these too
were lost during the invasion of Antiochus.

John Mill further remarked:
In this case these books cannot be considered authentic without the
witness of Christ and his apostles to them.
We may remind the readers that we have sufficiently explained the situation
regarding the witness of Christ and of his apostles.

The Fourth Evidence

After this persecution by Antiochus, the Jews were subjected to many more
historical calamities at the hands of other kings who destroyed whatever was
left of the writings of Ezra. One famous event is the invasion of the Roman
emperor, Titus. This was a painful event of Jewish history and happened thirty-
seven years after the ascension of Christ. In this incident hundreds of thousands
of Jews were killed by sword, fire or hunger. Josephus described this event in
great detail, Ninety-seven thousand Jews were enslaved and sold in other
countries.

The Fifth Evidence

The ancient Christians, from the very beginning, were not very much
inclined towards the Hebrew version of the Old Testament. The majority of
them believed it to have been distorted by the Jews. They trusted and
acknowledged the Greek version, especially up to the end of the second century.
The same version was also followed by the Jews up to the end of the first
century. Since the Christians had a natural indifference towards the Hebrew
version, there were few copies, and those were mostly with the Jews. We have
already discussed this in detail under the heading of the first contention.

The Sixth Evidence

All the versions of the sacred books that were written in the seventh or
eighth centuries were destroyed and obliterated by the Jews simply because they
were not in accordance with the copies that they possessed. This is why the
scholars entrusted with the work of the revision of the Old Testament could not
obtain even a single copy written in these two centuries. The result was that the
Jews possessed only the copies that they thought were correct. They could
easily have changed the texts of these copies without any fear of being found
out or criticised.

The Seventh Evidence

The early history of the Christians was one of distress and trials, especially
in the first three hundred years when they were subjected to great afflictions and
faced massacre at many hands.

First Calamity

The first calamity they faced was in the year 64 in the reign of the emperor,
Nero 171 Peter, the apostle, his wife and Paul 172 were murdered in this event
in Rome. To express faith in Christianity was a great offence at that time. This
state of affairs remained unchanged until the emperor‘s death.

Second Calamity

This event took place in the reign of the emperor Domitian, who, like the
emperor Nero, was known for being hostile to the Christian faith. He issued an
order to kill the Christians which was followed by such a great massacre of the
Christians that the existence of Christianity was endangered. John, the apostle,
was exiled and Philip Clement was murdered.

Third Calamity

Another great trial of the Christians started in the year 101 at the hands of
the emperor Trajan 173 and continued for eighteen years. Ignatius, the bishop of
Corinth, Clement, the bishop of Rome. and Simon, the bishop of Jerusalem,
were all murdered.

Fourth Calamity

A great massacre of the Christians was recorded by history starting in 161 at
the hands the emperor Marcus Antonius. This homicidal period lasted for ten
years. A great number of the Christians were killed in the East and the West.

Fifth Calamity

This event took place in the period of the emperor Septimius. Thousands of
Christians were killed in the land of Egypt alone. Similarly in France and Carthage the Christians were massacred barbarously, to the extent that the
Christians thought that the time of the Antichrist had arrived.

Sixth Calamity

In 237 the Emperor Maximus started killing the Christians. The majority of
the Christian scholars were killed at his orders, as he estimated that it would be
easier for him to rule them after the elimination of their scholars. The Popes
Pontian and Fabian were killed.

Seventh Calamity

This terrible calamity of the Christians started in 253, in the period of the emperor Decius who had firmly resolved to root out the Christian faith and obliterate all signs of its existence. He issued orders to his governors to fulfil his intention. A great number of Christians had to abandon their faith. Egypt, Africa, Italy and cities of the East were, the main centres of this calamity. 

Eighth Calamity

This trial of the Christians started in 274. The emperor Aurelian also issued
orders for killing the Christians but was killed before much damage to the lives
of the Christians had taken place.

Ninth Calamity

Another general massacre of the Christians started in 302. The whole land
was red with blood. The city of Phrygia was burnt to ashes, leaving no single
Christian alive.

Tenth Calamity

Diocletian, the famous Roman emperor who reigned from 284-305
persecuted the Christians because he felt that the increasing power of the
Church endangered his kingdom.
If the above historical events are true, they leave little possibility of the
sacred books having been preserved, it was also an ideal situation for people
who wanted to change or alter the text we have already shown that there were
many heretical sects present in the first century who were busy making
alterations in the texts.

The Eighth Evidence

The emperor Diocletian intended to obliterate every trace of the existence of
the sacred books. He tried hard to achieve this goal and issued orders to
demolish churches, burn all the books, stop the Christians from worshipping in
the form of a congregation. These orders were carried out. The churches were
levelled and all the books that he could find after an extensive search were
burnt. Any Christian who was suspected of possessing a book was punished and
tortured. This deprived the Christians of congregational worship. The details of
these events can be found in the books of history. Lardner said on page 22 of the
seventh volume of his book:
Diocletian passed orders that churches be abolished and books be burnt.
He further said:
Eusebius has given an eye-witness accounts of the event in a painful tone,
saying, “I have seen with my own eyes the demolition of the churches and
the burning of the sacred books in public places.”
We do not claim that in these events all the sacred books were completely
lost. What these events confirm is the fact that the existence of the copies of the
sacred books remained very limited in number and, of course, many correct
versions were completely lost.
The possibility cannot be denied that a certain book could have been totally
lost and that some other books have been published in its name, since such
occurrences were quite possible before the existence of the modem printing
press. We have just shown that the copies written in the seventh and eighth
centuries ceased to exist. Adam Clarke said in the introduction of his
commentary:
The original of the exegesis that is attributed to Tatian has been
completely lost, and the book which is ascribed to him now is doubtful to the
scholars, and they are absolutely right in their doubts.
Watson said in the third volume of his book:
The exegesis attributed to Tatian was present in the time of Theodoret
and was recited in every church. Theodoret abolished all its copies so that it  could be replaced with the Evangel.
This shows how it was easy for Theodoret to abolish all the copies of a
certain book and how another could be substituted in its name. There can be no doubt that Diocletian was more powerful than the Jews and stronger than
Theodoret. It would not, therefore, be surprising if some books of the New
Testament were completely destroyed at the hands of Diocletian or ceased to
exist during other calamities before, him, and if other books were substituted in
their names, as we have seen in the case of the exegesis of Tatian.
This assumption, when seen in the light of the statement giving them
religious license to change the holy texts for the sake of the truth, is quite
feasible and logical.
The historical events described above arc the main cause for the non-
existence of any authority supporting the books of the Old and New Testaments.
Neither the Jews nor the Christians possess anything to prove the truth of their
scriptures. As we said earlier, when we asked some contemporary Christian
scholars to produce authenticated proofs for the truth of their books in our
famous public debate, they had to admit that, due to the calamities of the
Christians in the first three hundred and thirteen years of their history, all such
proofs had been destroyed. We also tried to find authorities to support the truth
of the Biblical books but all our efforts ended in despair as what we found was
no more than conjecture, which does not help prove the truth of these books.

The Fifth Contention

Sometimes the Christians make statements to the effect that the copies of the
sacred books written in the period prior to the emergence of Islam are still in
existence and that the present books are in accordance with them. This
statement, in fact, consists of two separate claims, first that those versions were
written before the emergence of Islam and second that the present books are
identical copies of them. We intend to show that both claims are false and
incorrect.
Let us first remind ourselves of the clear statement of Dr. Kennicott and
others that the Jews themselves destroyed all the copies of the sacred books
written in the seventh and eighth centuries, and that no copy of the Hebrew
version written in these two centuries could be obtained. There were no copies
to be found in any period preceding the tenth century. The oldest copy that Dr
Kennicott was able to get was the Codex Laudianus which he claimed was
written in the tenth century while de Rossi situated it in the eleventh century.
Van der Hooght published a copy of the Hebrew version with a claim that it was
the most correct of all the Hebrew versions. One can guess the profusion of
errors that this copy contained.

 

 

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