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IZHARUL HAQ READING CONTINUED

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THE GOSPEL OF LUKE WAS NOT SEEN BY PAUL

Similarly the gospel of Luke was not seen by Paul. This is true for two
reasons:
1. Firstly because the findings of the modem Protestant scholars are that
Luke wrote his gospel in 63 AD in Achaias. It is established that Paul was
released from prison in 63 AD. After that nothing is known about him up to his
death but it is most probable that he went to Spain in the West and not towards
the Churches of the East, and Achaias is one of the Eastern cities. Most possibly
Luke had sent his gospel to Theophilus who was indeed the real cause of
writing it.
The author of Murshid-u-Talibeen wrote on page 161 of volume two, printed
in 1840, discussing the history of Luke:
As Luke 44 did not write anything related to Paul after his release from
prison, we know nothing about his travels from his release to his death.
Gardner said in his Commentaries printed 1728 vol. 5, p. 350:
Now we want to write about the life of the disciple, from his release to his
death, but we are not helped by Luke in this regard. However we do find
some traces in other books of the modem time. The ancient writers do not
help. We find great dispute over the question of where Paul went after his
release.
In the light of the above, the contention of some of modem scholars that he
went to the Churches of the East after his release is not proved. He said in his
epistle to the Romans 15:23,24:
But now having no more places in these parts, and having a great desire
these many years to come unto you; Whensoever I take my journey into
Spain, I will come to you; for I trust to see you in my journey…
It is quite explicit from the above statement of their apostle that he had an
intention to go to Spain, and at the same time we know that he never went to
Spain before his imprisonment. It is therefore, quite logical that he might have
gone to Spain after his release, because we do not see any reason for him to
have abandoned his intention to travel to Spain. It appears in the Book of Acts
20:25: And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching
the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
This statement also indicates that he had no intention to visit the Churches of
the East. Clement, the Bishop of Rome, said in his letter:
Paul, in order to unveil the truth to the world, went to the end of the West
and then reached the sacred p1ace (i.e. died).”
This too obviously implies that he went towards the West and not to the East
before his death.
Lardner first reproduced the statement of Irenaeus as follows:
Luke, the servant of Paul, wrote in a book the tidings that Paul had
preached in his sermon.
He further said:
The context of the description indicates that this (Luke’s writing the
gospel) happened after Mark had written his gospel, that is, after the death of
Peter and Paul.
On the grounds of this statement it is physically impossible for Paul to have
seen the gospel of Luke. Besides, even if we assume that Paul saw this gospel, it
does not prove anything because we do not consider him to have been inspired
by God and a statement made by an uninspired person could not achieve the
status of inspiration simply by the fact of Paul having seen it.

HUMAN DISTORTION OF THE BIBLE: ALTERATIONS, ADDITIONS AND OMISSIONS

 
There are two kinds of biblical distortions: explicit distortions which are
directly related to clear changes in the text, which arise through alteration,
omission or addition to the original text; and implicit distortions which are
brought about by deliberate misinterpretation without any actual textual change.
There is no dispute over the existence of such distortions in the Bible since all
Christians, both Protestants and Catholics, admit their existence.
According to them the verses of the Old Testament containing references to
Christ and the injunctions which were, to the Jews, of perpetual value were
distorted by the Jews through misinterpretation. Protestant theologians claim
that the Catholics have distorted many texts of both the Old and the New
Testament. The Catholics similarly accuse the Protestants of having distorted the text of the Bible. We therefore do not need to include demonstrations of
implicit distortions as they have already been provided by the Christians
themselves.
As far as textual distortion is concerned, this kind of distortion is denied by
the Protestants and they offer false arguments and misguiding statements in
their writings in order to create doubts among the Muslims. It is therefore
necessary to demonstrate that all the three kinds of textual distortion, that is,
alterations in the text: the deletion of phrases and verses from the text; and later
additions to the original texts are abundantly present in both the Old and the
New Testaments.

ALTERATIONS IN THE TEXT OF THE BIBLE

It should be noted in the beginning that there are three acknowledged
versions of the Old Testament:
1. The Hebrew version which is acknowledged equally by the Jews and the
Protestants.
2. The Greek version which was recognized as authentic by the Christians
up until the seventh century. Until that time the Hebrew version was considered
by the Christians to be inauthentic and distorted, the Greek version is still held
to be authentic by the Greek and Eastern Churches. The above two versions
include all the books of the Old Testament.
3. The Samaritan version which is recognized by the Samaritans. This is in
fact the Hebrew version with the difference that it consists of only seven books
that is, the five books of the Pentateuch which are ascribed to Moses, the Book
of Joshua and the Book of Judges. This is because the Samaritans do not believe
in, or acknowledge, any of the other books of the Old Testament. Another
difference is that it includes many additional phrases and sentences that are not
present in the Hebrew version. Many Protestant scholars and theologians like
Kennicott, Hales and Houbigant recognize it as authentic and do not accept the
Hebrew version which they believe to have been distorted by the Jews. In fact
the majority of Protestant scholars prefer it to the Hebrew version, as you will
see from the following pages.
Here are examples of some of the alterations.

Alteration No. 1: The Period from Adam to the Flood

The period from Adam to the flood of Noah, as described by the Hebrew
version, is one thousand six hundred and fifty-six years, while according to the
Greek version, it is two thousand three hundred and sixty-two years 45 and the Samaritan version gives it as one thousand three hundred and seven years. A
table is given in the commentary of Henry and Scott where the age of every
descendant has been given at the time when he gave birth to his son except
Noah, whose age is given as at the time of the flood.
This table is as follows:
NAME HEBREW
VERSION
SAMARITAN
VERSION
GREEK
VERSION
The Prophet Adam 130 130 230
Seth 105 105 205
Cainan 70 70 170
Mabalabel 65 65 165
Jared 162 62 162
Enoch 65 65 165
Methuselah 187 67 187
Lamech 182 53 188
Noah 600 600 600
Total 1650 1307 2262 46
The above table shows extremely serious differences between the statements
of all three versions. All three versions agree that the age of the Prophet Noah at
the time of the flood was six hundred and the total age of Adam was nine
hundred and thirty. However according to the Samaritan version the Prophet
Noah was two hundred and thirteen years of age when Adam died which is
obviously wrong and goes against the unanimous agreement of the historians
and is also erroneous according to the Hebrew and Greek versions. For
according to the former, Noah was born one hundred and twenty-six years after
the death of Adam and, according to the latter, he was born seven hundred and
thirty-two years after the death of Adam. In view of this serious discrepancy, the
renowned historian of the Jews, Josephus, who is also recognized by the
Christians, did not accept the statement of any of the three versions and decided
that the correct period was two thousand two hundred and fifty-six years.

Alteration No. 2: The period from the Flood to Abraham

The period from the Flood of Noah to the birth of the Prophet Abraham is
given as two hundred and ninety-two years in the Hebrew version, one thousand
and seventy-two years in the Greek, and nine hundred and forty-two years in the
Samaritan version. There is another table covering this period in the Henry and Scott commentary where against every descendant of Noah, the year of the birth
of their sons is given except in the case of Shem, against whose name the year
of birth is given for his child who was born after the Flood. This table is as
follows:
NAME HEBREW SAMARITAN GREEK
Shem 2 2 2
Arphaxad 35 135 135
130 ــ ـــ Cainan
Salah 30 130 130
Eber 34 134 134
Peleg 30 130 130
Rew 32 132 132
Sherug 30 130 130
Nohor 29 79 79
Terah 47 70 70 70
Total 290 942 1072
This discrepancy among the three versions is so serious that it can not be
explained. Since the Hebrew version informs us that Abraham was born two
hundred and ninety-two years after the Flood and that Noah lived for three
hundred and fifty years after the Flood as is understood from Genesis:
And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years 48
This means that Abraham was fifty-eight years old at the death of Noah
which is wrong according to the Greek and Samaritan versions and according to
the unanimous decision of the historians. The Greek version places the birth of
Abraham seven hundred and twenty-two years after the death of Noah while the
Samaritan makes it five hundred and ninety-two years after his death. Secondly,
in the Greek version an additional generation is given that is not to be found in
the other two versions. The Evangelist Luke trusted the Greek version and
therefore included in the genealogy of Christ the name of Canaan.
This great discrepancy in the statements of the above three versions has
caused great difference of opinion among Christians. The historians rejected all
three versions and decided that actual period in this case was three hundred and
fifty-two years. Josephus, the renowned Jewish historian, also rejected the
above three versions and said that the correct figure was nine hundred and ninety-three years, as is evident from the Henry and Scott commentary. The
great theologian of the fourth century, Augustan, and other ancient writers
favoured the statement of the Greek version. Horsley, the commentator,
expressed the same opinion in his comments on Genesis, while Hales thinks that
the Samaritan version was correct. The scholar Home also seems to support the
Samaritan version. Henry and Scott’s commentary includes this statement:
Augustine held the opinion that the Jews had distorted the description in
the Hebrew version with regard to the elders who lived either prior to the
Flood or after it up to the time of Moses, so that the Greek version would be
discredited, and because of the enmity which they had against Christianity. It
seems that the ancient Christians also favoured this opinion. They thought
that this alteration was made by them in 130.
Horne says in the first volume of his commentary:
The scholar Hales presented strong argument in favour of the Samaritan
version. It is not possible to give a summary of his arguments here. The
curious reader may see his book from page 80 onward.
Kennicott said:
If we keep in mind the general behaviour of the Samaritans towards the
Torah, and also the reticence of Christ at the time of his discourse with the
Samaritan woman, and many other points, we are led to believe that the Jews
made deliberate alterations in the Torah, and that the claim of the scholars of
the Old and the New Testament, that the Samaritans made deliberate
changes, is baseless.
Christ’s discourse with a Samaritan woman referred to in the above passage
is found in the Gospel of John where we find:
The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that Thou arta prophet. Our
father worshipped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place
where men ought to worship 49
The Samaritan woman, convinced that Christ was a Prophet, asked about the
most disputed matter between the Jews and the Samaritans in respect of which
each of them accused the other of making alterations to the original text. Had
the Samaritans distorted it, Christ, being a Prophet, must have disclosed the
truth. Instead, he kept silent on the matter, implying that the Samaritans were right and showing that there must be human manipulations in the text of the
Holy Scriptures.

Alteration No. 3: Mount Gerizim or Mount Ebal

We find the following statement in Deuteronomy:
It shall be when ye be gone over Jordan that ye shall set up these stones,
which I command you this day, in mount Ebal, and thou shall plaster them
with plaster 50
On the other hand the Samaritan version contains:
…the stones which I command set them up in Gerizim.
Ebal and Gerizim are two mountains adjacent to each other as is known from
verses 12 and 13 of the same chapter and from 11:29 of the same book.
According to the Hebrew version it is clear that the Prophet Moses had
commanded them to build a temple on Mount Ebal, while from the Samaritan
version we know that he commanded this temple to be built on Gerizim. This
was a matter of great dispute between the Jews and the Samaritans, and each of
them accused the other of altering the original text of the Pentateuch. The same
dispute is found among Protestant scholars on this point. Adam Clarke, the
famous Protestant scholar, says on page 817 of the first volume of his
commentary:
The scholar Kennicott maintained that the Samaritan version was correct,
while the scholars Parry and Verschuur claimed that the Hebrew version was
authentic, but it is generally know that Kennicott’s arguments are irrefutable,
and people positively believe that the Jews, out of their enmity against the
Samaritans, changed the text. It is unanimously acknowledged that Mount
Gerizim is full of vegetation, springs and gardens while Mount Ebal is
barren without any water and vegetation in it. In this case Mount Gerizim fits
the description of ’the place of blessing’ 51 and Ebal as the place of curse.
The above makes us understand that Kennicott and other scholar have
favoured the Samaritan version and that Kennicott forwarded irrefutable
arguments.

 

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