Muhammad: Final Prophet or Apocalyptic Preacher?

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DANIEL JANOSIK: Director of Islamic Studies, Adjunct Professor of Apologetics, Historical Theology, and Islamic Studies at Southern Evangelical Seminary, and the adjunct professor in Apologetics at CIU Columbia International University (A.B., College of William and Mary; M.Div., Columbia International University; M.A., Columbia International University; Ph.D., London School of Theology) Dissertation: John of Damascus, First Apologist to the Muslims.

Who was Muhammad? Is every word and action attributed to him verifiable, or were some biographical details added in the years following his death? This is a question that must be asked when examining the records of almost any historical figure, and the issue is as complex as it is significant. The life of Muhammad is obviously an essential part of Islam —not just for understanding its origins but also because his life serves as the foundation for Islam’s legal code (Sharia law).

This chapter recounts the traditional view of Muhammad’s life, as it would be told by most Muslims or found in a general book on Islam, which would emphasize both Muhammad’s actions and his character. It then examines the historical record as it stands today and highlights arguments of both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars on the identity of the historical Muhammad. The chapter concludes with discussion questions for a group study as well as suggestions about how to approach a conversation between a Christian and a Muslim.

The Traditional View of Muhammad’s Life

The following pages recount the view of Muhammad as accepted by Muslims in general. According to this traditional view, Muhammad was born in the year 570 AD in the city of Mecca. His parents were ‘Abdu’llah ibn ‘Abdu’l-Muttalib and Amina bint Wahab of the Quraysh, the tribe that served as caretakers for the Kaaba shrine.  Muslims believe that this was a very important responsibility because Mecca relied on trade for survival, and veneration of the purported 360 gods housed in the shrine was its primary attraction. According to the Muslim sources, Abdullah died before Muhammad was born, and his mother died when he was six. Muhammad then lived with his uncle Talib and his cousins, and he was said to be an honest boy and a hard worker. Later he accompanied his uncle on some caravan journeys where he learned about other beliefs and traditions. It was during one of these journeys that a Nestorian monk named Bahira told Muhammad that he was chosen by God to be a prophet (which the monk deduced from an unusual mole on Muhammad’s back). In the years to follow, Muhammad became known for his integrity, honesty, and wisdom, which earned him the title Al Amin, or “the trustworthy one.”[1]

These qualities enabled him to be employed as a camel driver for a wealthy widow, named Khadija, who was Muhammad’s cousin and 15 years his senior. In time his exemplary character won over Khadija, and they were married in 595 AD when Muhammad was 25. Relieved of financial pressure, Muhammad had time to go up into the mountains near his home and contemplate the injustices that he saw around him, such as widespread paganism, the live burial of infant girls, discrimination (especially in regard to women), and fighting among the different tribes. In 610 AD, as he sat in a mountain cave called Hira, where he often had dreams, an angel came and stood before him with writing on a piece of cloth and commanded him to read. However, Muhammad, like most of the people at that time, did not know how to read. When Muhammad said that he could not read, the angel embraced him and forced the air out of his lungs, and then commanded him again to read. Again, Muhammad said he did not know how to read. This sequence occurred three times before the angel finally told him what the words were on the cloth.

“Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-
Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,
Who taught (the use of) the pen,
Taught man that which he knew not.” (Qur’an 96:1-5)

This passage was the first revelation of what has become known as the Qur’an, which is a term related to the command to read, or to recite.

Muhammad was initially terrified by this vision —even to the point of contemplating suicide, some accounts say —but his wife Khadija recognized his experience as being from Allah. She encouraged him to visit her cousin Waraqah ibn Newfal, who some believe may have been a Christian. Upon hearing of Muhammad’s experience, Waraqah concluded that it was a genuine experience from God and testified that Muhammad must be a prophet from God.

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Muhammad eventually accepted this call and began preaching against paganism, discrimination, and injustice (613 AD). His main message was that there was only one God, named Allah and that all people should submit to this God. Initially, Muhammad faced much resistance and persecution. His first convert was his wife, followed soon thereafter by a merchant and trusted friend, Abu Bakr. Through the next 20 years Muhammad continued receiving revelation from Allah through the angel Gabriel, sometimes in visions, sometimes while in a trance, and sometimes from a man claiming to be Gabriel. Muhammad faithfully proclaimed the message he received, but the people of Mecca strongly opposed his teachings. The major reason for this was that the concept of submission to one God struck at the very heart of the city’s economy. If the Kaaba’s gods were no longer revered, the flourishing trade in Mecca would be jeopardized. The resistance grew to the point that even his own relatives decided that Muhammad needed to be dealt with.

However, Muhammad was warned about the impending treachery and escaped to a city 200 miles north of Mecca called Yathrib (later called Medina), where some of the city leaders had invited him to become the chief arbiter between the Arabs and the Jews. This “emigration” to Medina is known as the “Hijrah,” and marked the beginning of Islam and the Islamic calendar (622 AD). Various conflicts had been raging in Medina for decades, but the five main tribes were finally unified when they assented to a series of articles that Muhammad drew up. This agreement was called the Constitution of Medina, and it served as the blueprint for later treaties that would stipulate the roles of believers and non-believers, especially for Muslims with the “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians).

Although the agreement at Medina initially procured peace, Jewish scholars soon began to criticize Muhammad for plagiarizing his messages from other sources. Ridicule followed by animosity arose between the Jews and the Muslims, and over the years, as Muhammad and his followers gained more power, the Muslims eventually banished two of the three largest Jewish tribes from the city and seized the vacated properties for themselves.

In addition to these tribal contests of power in Medina, Muhammad and his followers simultaneously became involved in skirmishes with tribes of other cities. During the flight to Medina, when the Muslims were essentially defenseless fugitives, Allah had given Muhammad permission to lead offensive battles in times of need. Soon, Muhammad and his men expanded the application of this message to allow raiding Meccan caravans, justifying their actions with the words from Allah.[2] The raids allowed the Muslims to acquire wealth and power, but they also initiated conflict between the Quraysh tribe of Mecca and the Muslims of Medina. In time this led to armed battles between the two groups.

During this period in Medina, Muhammad ordered at least 87 raids, although he himself was only personally involved in 27 of them.[3] These raids brought in needed funds for the believers as well as helping them to increase the ranks and were used as a measure of faithfulness to Allah. Over the 10 years Muhammad was in Medina, these raids, also known as maghazi, increased revenue greatly, and Muhammad’s leadership and his role as a prophet were solidified. Of the many maghazi raids and battles, there were four that became an integral part of the story of Muhammad’s life, as not only the growth of his nascent religion but also his political and religious leadership was demonstrated in all of them.

The first took place in the spring of 624 near the town of Badr when a group of Meccans attacked Muhammad and 300 of his men in retaliation for an earlier caravan raid. Though the Muslims were outnumbered 3:1, they soundly defeated the Meccans, killing 70 and taking 70 prisoners for ransom, while only losing 14 of their own.[4] This victory was interpreted as confirmation of Allah’s favor, and it strengthened Muhammad and his followers’ position over the Jews in Medina, especially when the Jewish Banu Qaynuqa tribe was accused of violating the Constitution of Medina. The tribe was promptly banished from the city and their property was confiscated.[5]

The second military encounter between the Meccans and the followers of Muhammad took place the following March of 625, outside of Medina on the slopes of Mount Uhud. This battle was a deliberate attempt by the Meccans to destroy Muhammad and his followers, and though the Muslims had an initial tactical advantage, they suffered defeat due to poor discipline. Only a false rumor of Muhammad’s death kept the Muslim army from being decimated by the Meccan generals, who considered Muhammad’s death to be sufficient victory. Once Muhammad had revived from his wounds, he explained to his demoralized army that disobedience and a desire for loot had led them out of Allah’s will and protection. This became a standard theme or doctrine: fighting for Allah’s glory brought victory while fighting for selfish gain would be divinely punished by defeat. A further example of Muhammad’s combined role of prophet and warrior occurred a few months after this when Muhammad received a revelation from Gabriel that a certain Jewish tribe (the Banu Nadir) was plotting to assassinate him. The Muslim army besieged the tribe, which surrendered two weeks later, and the Banu Nadir were subsequently banished and their lands and goods were seized.

The third notable conflict occurred in March of 627 when the Meccans called for a “rematch” and Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Meccan army, set out for Medina with 10,000 men. When the Muslims heard about the threat, they began to make preparations. However, they could only muster 3,000 men. Fortunately, a Persian convert suggested that the Muslims dig a trench between the two mountains near the entrance to the city. In a short time, with Muhammad working beside his men, the Muslims dug a trench nearly 2 kilometers in length. When the Meccans arrived, the ditch was too wide for their horses, and they could only pitch volleys of arrows and engage in small skirmishes outside the city. After 27 days, the confederacy gave up this inglorious battle and left abruptly in the morning. The Muslims were left to rejoice in what they considered a victory. Hearing a rumor that some of the Jews of the Banu Qurayza tribe had plotted with these enemies, Muhammad acted quickly to remove this last tribe of Jews from the city.[6]

These conflicts moved toward resolution beginning in 628 when Muhammad and 1,400 of his men marched to Mecca for the annual pilgrimage and negotiated a peace agreement with the city leaders that would allow them to attend the hajj rituals. This agreement, called the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, called for a 10-year truce between the two cities beginning the following year, at which point each party would agree to peaceful relations with each other conducted with honesty and honor. Although some of the Muslims were initially angry at Muhammad’s leniency in the agreement, since they felt it brought humiliation upon the prophet, Muhammad assured them in private that it would bring them victory in the end. Indeed, the treaty was only active for two years and actually benefited the Muslims. This benefit arose in 630 AD when a Quraysh-allied tribe violated the terms by attacking a tribe allied with the Muslims. In a response justified by the treaty, Muhammad marched on Mecca at the time of the next hajj with an army of 10,000 Muslims and local allies. The Meccans capitulated without a fight, and Muhammad then demonstrated his mercy by having only a small number of his opponents killed and sparing the remaining inhabitants of the city. He also destroyed the idols in the Kaaba and rededicated it to Allah alone. Muhammad did not force anyone to convert, but many did, since it had become apparent to even Muhammad’s staunchest opponents, such as Abu Sufyan, that the power had shifted over to the Muslims.

For the next two years, Muhammad led his followers in a campaign to unite all the Arabian tribes in a universal tribe, or ummah. By the time of his death in 632, most of the tribes in Arabia had sworn their allegiance to Muhammad and converted to Islam. The many conflicts, of which the three described above are some of the most famous, are said to demonstrate Muhammad’s prestige in battle as well as his merciful conduct toward his adversaries and his devotion to the cause of Allah. The Hadith is said to attest to Muhammad’s life as being marked by generosity, his elevation of the status of women, his ability to unify people with a vision that reached beyond the divisions of tribe or region, and his ability to motivate his followers to victory in battle. By the end of his life, Muhammad had realized his dream of bringing peace to his war-torn people, and even more importantly, he was used to initiate the true path of Allah that would grow to be the second largest religion in the world. Turning now from the traditional story of Muhammad’s life, the next section examines scholar’s views and critical arguments on the subject.

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The Counterview According to Historical Documents and Archeological Evidence

The traditional view of Muhammad, summarized above, is the account that almost every Muslim knows by heart. Most Muslims would also sincerely believe that there is overwhelming evidence for Muhammad’s life. One modern author presents the most common Muslim understanding of the historical documents of Muhammad’s time:

 “The life of Muhammad is known as the Sira and was lived in the full light of history. Everything he did and said was recorded. Because he could not read and write himself, he was constantly served by a group of 45 scribes who wrote down his sayings, instructions and his activities. Muhammad himself insisted on documenting his important decisions. Nearly three hundred of his documents have come down to us, including political treaties, military enlistments, assignments of officials and state correspondence written on tanned leather…. Within a few decades of his death, accounts of the life of Muhammad were available to the Muslim community in written form. One of the earliest and the most famous biographies of Muhammad, written less than [sic.] hundred years after his death, is Sirat Rasul Allah by ibn Ishaq.”[7]

The issue, then, that must be considered is whether the documents that describe the life of Muhammad are complete and authentic in comparison to other ancient documents, or whether the written record overall is too unreliable to make categorical claims of validity. Muslims and many modern non-Muslim scholars argue for the former, while others —including Christian scholars —have made a case for the latter. The arguments generally revolve around historical records penned by Muslims, records penned by non-Muslims, and archeological evidence in the form of coins and inscriptions.

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Historical Documents Written by Muslims

The first major issue that should be considered in evaluating the historical identity of Muhammad is the strength or weakness of documents from his time. Four types of historical documents that have been written by Muslims are used to support the traditional view: early biographies of Muhammad, the Hadith, the Qur’an, and copies of the treaties made during Muhammad’s lifetime. Muslims and other traditional scholars see these sources as being trustworthy and argue that any chronological gaps can be explained by an oral culture and the effects of time. Scholars who take the opposite side claim that too many discrepancies and unknown factors exist to accept all the claims about Muhammad’s actual life or even his true identity.

Early biographies of Muhammad’s life support the traditional view of Muhammad and the early days of Islam by providing information outside of the accounts in the Qur’an and Hadith, which are not chronological or narrative works. The very first biography of Muhammad is attributed to ibn Ishaq (d. 767), but this significant work only survives in a shortened version written down by another author, ibn Hisham, before his own death in 827 AD.  Although this biography provides invaluable supporting evidence about the life of Muhammad, non-traditional scholars point out several flaws in this source. First, the actual copy of this work that can be studied today was not penned until almost 200 years after Muhammad’s death. Patricia Crone remarks that this is comparable to “reconstructing the origins of Christianity on the basis of the writings of Clement or Justin Martyr in a recension[8] by Origen.”[9] Second, the Muslim historians who wrote after this date — including the eminent chroniclers Ibn Sa’ad (d. 845), Baladhuri (d. 892), al-Tabari (d. 923), and Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406) — used this early work as the basis for much of their own material. This situation places a heavy weight on the accuracy of not merely the work of ibn Ishaq, but also of his copier ibn Hisham.

In writing the first biography of the prophet, ibn Ishaq (Ibn Hisham), interestingly presents a rather different version of Muhammad than that of the standard narrative. While today Muhammad is considered the most perfect man who has ever lived,[10] it was not until the 13th century that this idea actually arose. The idea originated with Ibn Arabi, a Sufi mystic, who said that Muhammad was “Al-Insan al-kamil,” or the perfect man. Ibn Ishaq (through ibn Hisham), however, presented a much different picture of the prophet. Seeking to give context to the Qur’an and some of the traditions circulating at that time, ibn Ishaq’s biography, according to historical scholar D.S. Margoliouth, summarized Muhammad as follows:

The character attributed to Muhammad in the biography of Ibn Ishaq is exceedingly unfavorable. In order to gain his ends he recoils from no expedient, and he approves of similar unscrupulousness on the part of his adherents, when exercised in his interest. He profits to the utmost from the chivalry of the Meccans, but rarely requites it with the like. He organizes assassinations and wholesale massacres. His career as tyrant of Medina is that of a robber chief, whose political economy consists in securing and dividing plunder, the distribution of the latter being at times carried out on principles which fail to satisfy his follower’s ideas of justice.

He [the prophet Muhammad] is himself an unbridled libertine and encourages the same passion in his followers. For whatever he does, he is prepared to plead the express authorization of the deity. It is, however, impossible to find any doctrine that he is not prepared to abandon in order to secure a political end … This is a disagreeable picture for the founder of a religion, and it cannot be pleaded that it is a picture drawn by an enemy.[11]

A key example of Muhammad’s unscrupulous actions presented by ibn Ishaq involved the aftermath of the Battle of the Trench when some of the Jews in the tribe of the Banu Qurayza were accused of treason. Muhammad chose to follow the advice of one of the non-Jewish tribal leaders and have all of the Banu Qurayza punished. The men were taken out to a newly dug trench in the middle of the city and beheaded, eight at a time. When it was all over 600-800 men filled the trench. The women and the children were then sold into slavery or exchanged for weapons.[12] Apparently, in the time of ibn Ishaq, these kinds of actions were considered proper and praiseworthy. However, there is evidence to show that today these kinds of stories of Muhammad are often marginalized in order to uphold the preferred image of the perfect man.[13]

The second type of historical documents that inform and support the traditional view are the Hadith or the collected sayings of Muhammad. Neither Muhammad nor any of his close associates are known to have recorded any of the prophet’s words, but, according to some Muslim scholars, a group of scribes is believed to have traveled with him and written down everything he said.[14] However, the earliest copies of Hadith available are included in collections by scholars such as al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, and abu-Da’ud, and date from the end of the 9th century or later. Again, this creates a gap of over 200 years between the times that Muhammad allegedly spoke the words and the first copies that are currently known.

Treaties are the third type of historical documentation. According to the traditional view, the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah and the Constitution of Medina represent significant events in the development of Islam and Muhammad’s life. Written copies of these exist, but unfortunately, the earliest of them does not pre-date ibn Hisham’s mention of these documents in the early 9th century. In other words, there is no mention of these documents until the biography itself. This makes it difficult to determine with any accuracy whether the copies changed in content or form at any time, and theoretically makes it possible that ibn Hisham could have gotten many or most of the details wrong in his account, and then the later copies would have reflected those errors. At any rate, the historical strength of the major treaties as corroborative documentation is lessened because of this two-century gap.

Finally, the Qur’an itself, which Muslims claim was written down within 20 years of Muhammad’s death, is said to support the traditional view to some extent because it includes Muhammad’s name and certain events that are linked to the life of the prophet. Non-traditional scholars point out, however, that the name “Muhammad” only occurs four times in the text, and three of those times could just as easily refer to a position or title as to an actual person.[15] The events linked to the life of the prophet mentioned in the Qur’an are also somewhat vaguely identified and have no known contemporary supporting evidence. Because of this, it has been suggested that the Hadith (sayings of Muhammad) were actually derived from early commentaries on the Qur’ān, beginning sometime in the latter half of the 8th century, as believers tried to make sense of various passages in the Qur’ān; and then this material was used to write the Sira (history of the Prophet’s life), as well as explain the Qur’an in a more sustained narrative form.[16]

A number of these Muslim documents, therefore, exhibit a common feature ­­— a chronological gap of at least 100 years between the time in which they should have been created and the date of the earliest known copy. Should this be considered a serious flaw in the historical reliability of Muhammad’s life and the origins of Islam? Several considerations must be noted.  First, traditional scholars point out that the Arabic culture of the 7th century was an oral one, and writing functioned mainly as a way to validate what a person should remember from oral communication. People were expected to memorize rather than to read, and much of the education process was carried out through rote memory. Thus, these scholars conclude, it is perfectly reasonable to assume an accurate passing on of knowledge orally until the time that it could be set down on paper. A 100‑200-year gap is thus not only understandable but perhaps the most logical outcome.

However, an additional consideration which Christian and non-traditional scholars emphasize is that an oral culture only addresses the issue of a lack of written documentation. It does not answer the question of how reliable the transmission was originally or what kinds of adaptations it underwent as it was passed on. Written versions of texts permit a better analysis, allowing scholars to study alterations and gauge how much the text really changed over years of being re-told and passed on to different peoples and places. The closer to the date of origin a copy can be dated, then, the more likely it is to be the authentic version. Ultimately, therefore, it is certainly possible that many of these stories concerning Muhammad circulated orally for a long time, but the lack of seventh-century documents makes it very difficult to validate many of the claims made by ninth-century Muslim sources.

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Archeological Evidence of Muhammad

Archaeological evidence reveals that the earliest reference to Muhammad by Muslims[17] is in the form of inscriptions on coins.[18] Around 687 AD, fifty-five years after Muhammad’s death, a rival of the caliph Abd al-Malik named ibn Zubayr minted a coin bearing the phrase “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” After defeating Zubayr, Abd al-Malik began minting his own coins in 691 with the same phrase.[19] Looking more closely at these early Arabic coins mentioning Muhammad, a curious detail is that a number of them feature figures holding crosses, which would seem to indicate a Christian influence. Later coins dispense with both the figures and the crosses. This has caused some scholars to wonder if there was a conscious effort to erase any traces of Christianity from these later coins, indicating a deliberate transition to Islam.[20]

The other early evidence of Muhammad’s existence is in an inscription on a building. In the late 7th-century, around the same time as the coins were minted, Abd al-Malik had the Dome of the Rock built and prominently inscribed on the walls what is known as the Shahada, or the basic Islamic creed, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” This inscription is considered by many to be an exceptionally solid piece of evidence that verifies that a specific person named Muhammad not only existed but was also the acknowledged prophet of the new religion of Islam.

The traditional Muslim view is that when “Muhammad” appears in any historical documents or inscriptions, it is the name of an actual person. However, specialists in the fields of historical documents, epigraphy (inscriptions), and numismatics (study of coins) have expressed concern over this traditional interpretation. They argue that the evidence strongly suggests that the Arabic word “Muhammad” in these inscriptions, both on the early coins and the walls of the Dome of the Rock, is actually a title that may refer to Jesus Christ and not the prophet of Islam. This is because the root of the term “mu-hammad” is “Ahmad,” which means, “praise.” Therefore, “Muhammad” could be translated as “the one (mu-) who is praised (Ahmad),” or the “chosen one.”[21] Thus, when the Dome of the Rock inscriptions proclaimed that “there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,” the inscription could be referring to someone besides Muhammad the prophet. Taking this a step further, some scholars have even argued that these inscriptions may very well be evidence of a transitional phase in the development of Islam, in which elements of Judaism and Arian Christianity held sway. In this case, the inscriptions would refer to Jesus as the “praised one” of God.[22]

Traditional and Muslim scholars object to this view by pointing out that many of the inscriptions on the walls of the Dome of the Rock reflect a rejection of Jesus as the Son of God (Allah “has no associate”) as well as a strong refutation of the Christian concept of the Trinity (“say not three”). They argue that the term “Muhammad” could not refer to Jesus as the “chosen one,” or “praised one” because of this clear rejection of the Trinity. However, this argument only refutes the idea of the inscriptions referring to an orthodox understanding of Jesus. Heretical Christian views of Christ would actually agree with such rejections of the Trinity. Thus, this “Jesus” may not be referring to the Jesus Christ of orthodox Christianity, nor the later Isa of Islam, but rather the Jesus of an intermediate monotheism where “Jesus” is praised as the chosen messiah but not the Son of God. [23] Robert Spencer concurs and concludes, “It is therefore possible that the Dome of the Rock inscription is a surviving expression of the theology of a heretical Christian group that viewed Jesus solely as a divine messenger, not as the Son of God or Savior of the world.”[24]

Whatever the origins of these inscriptions, within five years (696 AD), the removal of figures and crosses from the coins seems to indicate that Abd al-Malik consciously began transforming the title referring to Jesus into a proper name for the prophet of a new religion. Thus, while the material evidence supports Muhammad as the acknowledged prophet of Islam, it also leaves room for questions concerning the development of Islam and the exact origins of historical references to the name “Muhammad.”

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Historical Documents by Non-Muslim Sources

While historical documents written by Muslims before the time of Abd al-Malik are scarce, there are a number of extant documents from the 7th century written by non-Muslims that DO provide early information concerning Muhammad and the origin of Islam. However, these documents often give a very different view of events and chronologies compared to the Muslim traditional account. For example, a document dated around 634 AD, called the Doctrina Jacobi,[25] mentions a prophet among the Saracens, riding on a horse leading his men, proclaiming the advent of the anointed one, the Christ who was to come, and preaching an apocalyptic message based on Jewish legalism. However, he is unnamed, and if this refers to Muhammad, then the date would indicate that he was still alive two years after the traditional date of his death. This prophet also claimed to have keys to the kingdom, which Muhammad never mentioned. Some scholars believe this is probably a different prophet or this may hint that the true origin of the Muslim prophet began as an apocalyptic leader of a Jewish-Christian heretical religion that promoted Jesus Christ as the Messiah but not as the Son of God.[26] Robert Spencer even speculates that the unnamed prophet of the Doctrina Jacobi may have been one of several religious figures later subsumed into a single figure under the name of Muhammad.[27]

Another account, attributed to Thomas the Presbyter[28] (written about 640 AD in Syriac), tells how nomadic Arabs, or “tayyaye d-Mhmt,” invaded and took Syria in 635-636, storming monasteries and even killing a number of monks. If the Syriac word “Mhmt” refers to Muhammad, then Thomas could be the first to mention Muhammad by name. However, there is evidence that this document was revised in the 8th century, and since we do not have the original manuscript, the name of Muhammad could have been inserted in later copies of the document.[29] It is also possible that these early references to a “Muhammad” may be references to the Jesus of an intermediate monotheism who was worshiped as the Messiah of the Old Testament but not as the Son of God of the New Testament.

In addition, around 687, a Christian named John bar Penkaye wrote that Muhammad was a guide and teacher for those who followed him. Though he does not use the word “prophet,” this reference to “Muhammad” fits well with what we know of the rise of Abd al-Malik during this time and his proclamation of Muhammad as the prophet after 691. As noted above, the name “Muhammad” was unknown in any of the writings of the Arabs. In addition, there was no mention of a book called the “Qur’an” or a religion known as “Islam.”[30] Thus, the written testimony of the non-Muslims seems to corroborate the view that Muhammad as a person and prophet developed in the time of Abd al-Malik, perhaps from a composite drawn from some of the earlier religious figures mentioned, or perhaps from a deliberate effort to transform the “Jesus” of an intermediate monotheism into a distinct prophet of a new Arab religion.

One of the Christian eyewitnesses of these events was John of Damascus, who served as the chief tax collector for Abd al-Malik around 700 AD. Writing several decades later (743 AD) in a treatise called the Heresy of the Ishmaelites, John indicates that he is aware of Muhammad (“Mahmed”) as a person, though he refers to him as a “false prophet” leading the “coercive religion of the Ishmaelites.” He also indicates that this false prophet “fabricated his own heresy” after conversing with an Arian monk.[31] This assessment corresponds well with the view that Islam developed from a heretical monotheism of a Jewish-Christian cult, and that by the time John wrote his treatise Muhammad had been fully transformed from a title representing Jesus Christ as the “praised one” in an intermediate monotheism to a full-blown prophet of a new Arab religion.

Implications

What difference do these critical arguments make? First of all, the traditional narrative is not an inerrant record, as many modern summaries often imply. Documents purportedly written during the time of Muhammad do not, as far as can be discovered, exist today, and the documents we do have – copies from at least a century later – offer fragmentary accounts that can contradict the traditional narrative as well as support it. Also, the archeological evidence of the 7th century that refers to Muhammad is limited, and the inscriptions can be interpreted in several ways. Thus, reliable evidence that Muhammad really did live when and how the Sira and the Hadith claim that he did is not nearly as plentiful as most people assume that it must be. In fact, there is enough evidence to reasonably question numerous details about the traditional account of Muhammad. Some would even go so far as to reject entirely the traditional narrative on the basis of flawed information.

Depending on how strongly the evidence is questioned, other issues must, in turn, be raised for consideration: Where did the traditions all come from? How much of Muhammad’s teaching can be historically verified? Is the basis for the Qur’an really revelation to a single person? This opens up the door to considerations that the Qur’an came instead from many sources over a long period of time, undermining the authority of Islam and precluding any claims of divine origin.

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Apologetic Conclusions

What is the overall conclusion here for our apologetic approach with Muslims? No one can know perfectly all the answers about Muhammad’s exact identity or whether Islam as a religion was still developing from a transitional monotheism decades after Muhammad’s death. However, it is known that there are good arguments based on real evidence that Muhammad’s life and teachings are not what is commonly believed. As Christians, we want to take that evidence and use it first to consider the various implications of a different origin of Islam, and second to apply those implications to how we view the life of Muhammad and how we view our role in engaging Muslims.

Building Bridges to Understand

When discussing Muhammad, it is important for a Christian to not speak disrespectfully of him or of Islam. This prevents the conversation (and maybe the relationship) from being rejected. Thus, try to couch your discussion firmly in the more neutral realm of evidence – saying something like, “This is what the traditional view states, but other evidence suggests something else.” Let the evidence raise good questions rather than trying to force them yourself.

A good way to reach out to Muslim friends and colleagues in regard to Muhammad is to compare him to Jesus Christ. Discussing the differences between evidence for the life of Jesus and the life of Muhammad is a good conversation to have but should be done respectfully and carefully. (The chart below highlights some of the major differences and should help you focus your discussion.) This comparison should not be done to denigrate Muhammad, but rather to demonstrate that the Jesus Christ of the Bible is a much greater person than the “Isa” described in the Qur’an. This bridge toward understanding – using evidence to discuss the differences between Jesus and Muhammad – should always be used with the goal of showing Muslims the personal nature of Jesus in Christianity. Muslims need to know how Jesus Christ should be our focal point because he is the only one who can teach us the truth and lead us to the Father (John 14:6). Christians, on the other hand, need to understand what Muslims believe about Muhammad, as well as what details historical records do and do not support, in order to wisely discuss the life of Muhammad. This allows us to defend what we believe by answering the questions that Muslims ask as well as offer piercing questions that will help Muslim friends realize that their assumptions are not always true. Keep in mind that at the end of the conversation you want to leave them with a clearer understanding of Jesus Christ.

Study Questions:

  1. What are the major sources Muslimsuse in order to learn about the life of Muhammad? What is problematic about these sources?
  2. What are some of the points of evidence you would use in discussing the life of Muhammadwith your Muslim friends?
  3. Read an online article concerning the life of Muhammadfrom a Muslim  What are some of the things that are mentioned that would be difficult to support historically?
  4. Muslimshold Muhammad in high esteem, and many are offended when non-Muslims are critical of their prophet. How would you be able to balance Truth and Love in a discussion with them concerning Muhammad?
  5. Class Activity: After reviewing the Comparison Chart between Muhammadand Jesus Christ, how would you use this information in your witness to Muslims? If you are in a class setting, break up into partners and practice what you would say to a Muslim. Critique each other and then share your results with the rest of the class.

Comparison between Jesus and Muhammad

Jesus Muhammad
1.     Born of a virgin (Mt. 1:18-25, S. 19:20) 1.     Born normally from a mother and father (Ibn Hisham, 68-69)
2.     Read the Scriptures (Lk. 4:16-21?) 2.     Was illiterate (S. 7:157)
3.     Fulfilled over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament 3.     Was not mentioned in any prophecy in the Old Testament
4.     Prophecies of Jesus are recorded in the Bible (Matt. 24) 4.     Gave no prophecies in the Qur’an
5.     Performed miracles (Mk. 3:9-10; S. 3:49) 5.     Never did miracles (S. 29:50)
6.     Jesus is the Word of God (Jn. 1:1; S. 4:171) 6.     The Qur’an was considered the word of Allah and Muhammad was only a messenger (S. 3:144)
7.     Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity (Lk. 9:35; Rom. 1:4; 2 Cor. 1:19) 7.     Muhammad is only considered a messenger of Allah (S. 3:144)
8.     Jesus said, “For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matt. 26:52) 8.     Muhammad was a warrior; involved in at least 27 battles (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah)
9.     Jesus received and heard the direct voice of God (Mk. 1:10-11) 9.     Muhammad heard only from the angel Gabriel (note: Galatians 1:8)
10.   Mentioned by name in the Qur’an 25 times in over 90 verses. 10.   The word “Muhammad” is found only 4 times in the Qur’an. (Q. 3:144; 33:40; 47:2; 48.29)
11.    Mentioned in the Bible hundreds of times. 11.    Muhammad is not mentioned in the Bible (contrary to S. 7:157; S. 61:6)
12.   Jesus was a prophet according to Deuteronomy 18:14-22 12.   Muhammad was not a prophet according to Deuteronomy 18:14-22
13.   The message of Jesus supported the Old Testament (Matt. 5:18) 13.   The message of Muhammad often contradicted the Old and New Testament
14.   Was sinless (Jn. 8:46; S. 19:19) 14.   Was sinful (S. 40:55; 47:19; 48:1-2)
15.   Died to save sinners (Jn. 1:29; 10:18) 15.   Could not save himself (S. 46:8-9)
16.   Rose from the dead on the third day just as he predicted (Mk. 8:31-38; Lk. 23-24) 16.   Died and was buried in Medina (al-Tabari 9:208)
17.   Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16), and is coming again for his followers (Matt. 24:27) 17.   Muhammad was the prophet of Islam and cannot save any of his followers (S. 46:9)
18.   Jesus is the only way to the Father (Jn. 14:7) and the only one who can save (Acts 4:12) 18.   Muhammad denied the Father, and he denied that Jesus is the Son of God. (See 1 John 2:22)

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Prayer Life

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Christian Apologetics and Evangelism

HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELSHOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS?

Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q?  Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source.  From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.

REASONABLE FAITHREASONABLE FAITH: Saving Those Who Doubt

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.

THE GREAT TEACHER Jesus ChristTHE GREAT TEACHER JESUS CHRIST: What Made Jesus Christ’s Teaching, Preaching, Evangelism, and Apologetics Outstanding Effective?

How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.

THE APOSTLE PAULTHE TEACHER THE APOSTLE PAUL: What Made the Apostle Paul’s Teaching, Preaching, Evangelism, and Apologetics Outstanding Effective?

How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE TEACHER the Apostle Paul. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE TEACHER the Apostle Paul will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.

DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIPDEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP: The Word of God Is Authentic and True

How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?

Mosaic AuthorshipMOSAIC AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY: Who Really Wrote the First Five Books of the Bible?

Who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? If Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, then how was his own death and burial written in Deuteronomy Chapter 34? Many mainstream Bible scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch since he likely existed many centuries earlier than the development of the Hebrew language. When was the origin of the Hebrew language? Popular scholarship says that if Moses had written the Pentateuch, he would have written in the Egyptian language, not the Hebrew. Moreover, most of the Israelites and other people of the sixteenth century B.C.E. were illiteral, so who could have written the Torah, and for whom would it be written because the people of that period did not read?

Finally, analysis of the first five books demonstrates multiple authors, not just one, which explains the many discrepancies. Multiple authors also explain the many cases of telling of the same story twice, making the same events appear to happen more than once. The modern mainstream scholarship would argue that within the Pentateuch we see such things as preferences for certain words, differences in vocabulary, reoccurring expressions in Deuteronomy that are not found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, all evidence for their case for multiple authors.

What does the evidence say? What does archaeology, linguistic analysis, historical studies, textual analysis, and insights from Egyptologists tell us? Again, who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? Andrews offers his readers an objective view of the evidence.

Agabus CoverDEFENDING AGABUS AS A NEW TESTAMENT PROPHET: A Content-Based Study of His Predictions In Acts by Sung Cho

Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM-1UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of View

Islam is making a significant mark on our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.

is-the-quran-the-word-of-godIS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD?: Is Islam the One True Faith?

IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.

the guide to answering islamTHE GUIDE TO ISLAM: What Every Christian Needs to Know About Islam and the Rise of Radical Islam by Daniel Janosik

The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …

Reasons for FaithREASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and Mind

If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, … If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, straightforward style, Salisbury covers such issues as: Does God exist? Can I trust the Bible? Does Christianity oppress women? Can we know truth? Why would God allow evil and suffering? Was Jesus God and did He really rise from the dead? How does or should my faith guide my life?

a-time-to-speak-judy-salisburyA TIME TO SPEAK: PRACTICAL TRAINING for the CHRISTIAN PRESENTER Authored by Judy Salisbury, Foreword by Josh McDowell

A Time to Speak: Practical Training for the Christian Presenteris a complete guide for effective communication and presentation skills. Discuss any subject with credibility and confidence, from Christian apologetics to the sensitive moral issues of our day, when sharing a testimony, addressing a school board, a community meeting, or conference. This exceptional training is the perfect resource for Christians with any level of public speaking ability. With its easy, systematic format, A Time to Speak is also an excellent resource for home-schooled and college students. The reader, in addition to specific skills and techniques, will also learn how to construct their presentation content, diffuse hostility, guidance for a successful Q&A, effective ways to turn apathy into action, and tips on gaining their speaking invitation.

BIBLICAL CRITICISMBIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism

Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation (Historical Criticism), and why is historical criticism so popular among Bible scholars today? Its popularity is because biblical criticism is subjective, that is, based on or influenced by personal feelings or opinions and is dependent on the Bible scholar’s perception. In other words, biblical criticism allows the Bible scholar, teacher, or pastor the freedom to interpret the Scriptures, so that God’s Word it tells them things that they want to hear. Why is this book so critical for all Christians? Farnell and Andrews will inform the reader about Biblical criticism (historical criticism) and its weaknesses, helping you to defend God’s Word far better.

BIBLICAL CRITICISM - Beyond the BasicsBIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the Basics

Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and is destructive in its very nature. Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …

APOLOGETICSCHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion

APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of over seventy books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan apologetics and evangelism. They will learn what Christian apologetics is. They will be given a biblical answer to the most demanding Bible question: Problem of Evil. The reader will learn how to reach hearts with are the art of persuasion. They will use persuasion to help others accept Christ. They will learn to teach with insight and persuasiveness. They will learn to use persuasion to reach the heart of those who listen to them.

REVIEWING 2013 New World TranslationREVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Examining the History of the Watchtower Translation and the Latest Revision

REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively. We can also have preconceived ideas that have been a part of our thinking for so long; we do not question them. Preconceived is an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth. If we are to be effective, we must season our words, so that they are received well. Then there is the term preconception, which means a preconceived idea or prejudice. Seasoned words, honesty, and accuracy are distinctive features of effective apologetic evangelism.

REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURESREASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES: Sharing CHRIST as You Help Others to Learn about the Mighty works of God

Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on the message of God’s Word that we share but also the method in which we do so. Our message, the Gospel (i.e., the good news of the Kingdom), this does not change, but we do adjust our methods. Why? We are seeking to reach as many receptive people as possible. “You will be my witnesses … to the End of the Earth.” – ACTS 1:8.

REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONSREASONING WITH THE WORLD’S VARIOUS RELIGIONS: Examining and Evangelizing Other Faiths

Why should we be interested in the religion of others? The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, and values, as well as many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. There are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8) That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions. …

CONVERSATION EVANGELISMCONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM, [Second Edition]

Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. …

THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGISTTHE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]

MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist’s words should always be seasoned with salt as he or she shares the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example in helping the unbeliever to understand the Bible has been provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Whether dealing with Bible critics or answering questions from those genuinely interested, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and at times used appropriate illustrations, helping those with a receptive heart to accept the Word of God. The apostle Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving” what was biblically true. (Ac 17:2-3) The material in THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST can enable us to do the same. Apologist Normal L. Geisler informs us that “evangelism is planting seeds of the Gospel” and “pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of people’s minds and hearts to help them be more willing to listen to the truth (1 Cor. 3: 6).”

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOKTHE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God’s Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the Kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, he or she could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians have a determination to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.

divine-appointmentsDIVINE APPOINTMENTS: Spontaneous Conversations on Matters of the Heart, Soul, and Mind

“Absorbing, instructional, insightful. Judy Salisbury’s book Divine Appointments embodies examples of truly speaking the truth in love. The stories she weaves together provide perfect examples of how to relate to others through conversational evangelism… Divine Appointments is an apt companion to any apologetics book, showing how to put principles into practice. It’s an apologetics manual wrapped in a warm blanket. Snuggle up with it.”— Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters

YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE_Third EditionYOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]

The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for which he can build throughout his Christian life. These eight sections with multiple chapters in each cover biblical interpretation, Bible translation philosophies, textual criticism, Bible difficulties, the Holy Spirit, Christian Apologetics, Christian Evangelism, and Christian Living.

“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”(p. xiii)—Dr. Lee M. Fields.

THE CULTURE WAR-1THE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From Within

The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the 1960’s has permeated the Western culture and weakened its very core. The West is now characterized by strict elitist media censorship, hedonism, a culture of drug abuse, abortion, ethnic clashes and racial divide, a destructive feminism and the dramatic breakdown of the family. An ultra-rich elite pushes our nations into a new, authoritarian globalist structure, with no respect for Western historical values. Yet, even in the darkest hour, there is hope. This manifesto outlines the remedy for the current malaise and describes the greatness of our traditional and religious values that once made our civilization prosper. It shows how we can restore these values to bring back justice, mercy, faith, honesty, fidelity, kindness and respect for one another. Virtues that will motivate individuals to love one another, the core of what will make us great again.

EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus’ Witnesses to the Ends of the Earth

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the Kingdom of God? What was their worship like and why were they called the Truth and the Way? How did 120 disciples at Pentecost grow to over one million within 70-80-years? What was meant by their witness to the ends of the earth? How did Christianity in its infancy function to accomplish all it did? How was it structured? How were the early Christians, not of the world? How were they affected by persecution? How were they not to love the world, in what sense? What divisions were there in the second and third centuries? Who were the Gnostics? These questions will be answered, as well as a short overview of the division that grew out of the second and third centuries, pre-reformation, the reformation, and a summary of Catholicism and Protestantism. After a lengthy introduction to First-Century Christianity, there is a chapter on the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today, followed by sixteen chapters that cover the most prominent Christians from the second to fourth centuries, as well as a chapter on Constantine the Great.

CRISIS OF FAITH_PaperbackCRISIS OF FAITH Saving Those Who Doubt

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A half brother of Jesus warned us against doubting: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6) When insidious doubts begin to creep into the mind and the heart, it is only a matter of time before a CRISIS OF FAITH gives way spiritual shipwreck. Since we have been warned that “some will fall away from the faith,” we should be ready “to save some,” even ourselves. …

INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSESINVESTIGATING JEHOVAH?S WITNESSES: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s Witnesses

The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which they say occurred in 607 B.C.E. The Witnesses conclude that Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel prophesied a 2,520 year period that began in 607 B.C.E. and ended in 1914 C.E. They state, “Clearly, the ‘seven times’ and ‘the appointed times of the nations’ refer to the same time period.” (Lu 21:24) It is their position that When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the Davidic line of kings was interrupted, God’s throne was “trampled on by the nations” until 1914, at which time Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven. …

THE CHURCH CURETHE CHURCH CURE: Overcoming Church Problems

In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.

FLEECING THE FLOCK_03FLEECING THE FLOCK: Setting the People of God Free From the Lies of Tithing

Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, do you find continuous demanding appeals for money disturbing, perhaps even offensive? FLEECING THE FLOCK by Anthony Wade is an exhaustive examination of all of the popular tithing arguments made from the pulpit today. …

Deception In the ChurchDECEPTION IN THE CHURCH: Does It Matter How You Worship?

DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.

LEARN TO DISCERNLEARN TO DISCERN: Recognizing False Teaching In the Christian church Today

Plunkett exposes the errors corrupting the Christian church through the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation, and extreme charismatic movements. LEARN TO DISCERN, by author Daniel Plunkett highlights how an encounter with a rising star in the Word of Faith / “Signs and Wonders” movement was used by God to open his eyes to the deceptions, false teachings, and spiritual abuses running rampant in the charismatic movement today. These doctrines are thoroughly explored as taught by some of today’s most prominent speakers and evangelists and contrasted with the clear teachings of Scripture. LEARN TO DISCERN is an invaluable resource …

Translation and Textual Criticism

King James BibleTHE KING JAMES BIBLE: Do You Know the King James Version?

The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.

The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition]

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use. The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly because it carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. It is CGBT’s desire to take challenging and complex subjects and make them easy to understand. CGBT will communicate as clearly and powerfully as possible to all of its readers while also accurately communicating information about the Bible. …

DO WE STILL NEEDA LITERAL BIBLE_DO WE STILL NEED A LITERAL BIBLE?: Discover the Truth about Literal Translations

We have come a long, long way from the time that the KJV was The Bible in English and the many translations available today. Finding the right Bible for the right person can be daunting, with almost too many choices available. However, it is still possible to divide the options into two broad categories: literal translations and dynamic equivalents. What is the difference, and why should you care? Bible publishers used to say that literal translations are good for study purposes, and dynamic equivalents are better for reading. So literal translations were advertised with terms like “accurate,” “reliable,” and, of course, “literal.” For dynamic equivalent translations, terms like “contemporary,” “easy to read,” and “written in today’s English” were used. Naturally, publishers do not advertise the negatives, so they did not point out that the literal translations might be a little harder to read, or that the dynamic equivalents might not be entirely faithful to the original languages of the Bible. However, more recently, some scholars have been taking this analysis in a new direction, assessing literal translations as less desirable than dynamic equivalents even for accuracy and reliability.

Choosing Your BibleCHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation Differences

There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word of God. Then, there are dynamic equivalents, where the translator determines what the author meant by the original language text, and this is what they give the reader. There is also a paraphrase translation, which is an extremely interpretive translation. Exactly what are these differences? Are some translations better than others? What standards and principles can we use to determine what makes a good translation? Andrews introduces the readers to the central issues in this debate and presents several reasons why literal translations are superior to dynamic equivalent and paraphrase translations. We do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand these issues, as well as the importance of having the most accurate and faithful translation that is reflective of the original text. …

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENTTHE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (TTNT) is an introduction, intermediate and advanced level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews introduces the new and relatively new reader to this subject in the first few chapters of the TTNT. Andrews deepens his handling of the material, while still making it easy to understand in the next few chapters of the TTNT, all the while being very informative in both sections. All of this prepares the reader for Wilkins’ advanced chapters. THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews offer the reader an account of the copying by hand and transmission of the Greek New Testament. They present a comprehensive survey of the manuscript history from the penning of the 27 New Testament books to the current critical texts. What did the ancient books look like and how were documents written? How were the New Testament books published? Who would use secretaries? Why was it so hard to be a secretary in the first century? How was such work done? What do we know about the early Christian copyists? What were the scribal habits and tendencies? Is it possible to establish the original text of the NewTestament? …

Introduction to New Testament Textual CriticismINTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: From The Authors and Scribe to the Modern Critical Text

INTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is a shortened 321 pages of Andrews and Wilkins 602 page TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT without losing the value of content. The foremost thing the reader is going to learn is that the Greek New Testament that our modern translations are based on is a mirror-like reflection of the original and can be fully trusted. The reader will learn how the New Testament authors made and published their books, the secretaries in antiquity and their materials like Teritus who helped Paul pen the epistle to the Romans, and the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early copyists. The reader will also discover the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament. The reader will also learn how textual scholars known as paleography determine the age of the manuscripts.

The reader will learn all about the different sources that go into our restoring the Greek New Testament to its original form. Then, Andrews will cover the ancient version, the era of the printed text, and the arrival of the critical text. After that, the reader will be given a lengthy chapter on examples of how the textual scholar determines the correct reading by his looking at the internal and external evidence. Finally, and most importantly, the reader will find out the truth about the supposed 400,000 textual errors within the Greek New Testament manuscripts. The last chapter will be faith-building and enable you to defend the Word of God as inerrant.

THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENTTHE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Making and Copying of the New Testament

THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT intends to examine and evaluate the making of New Testament books, the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early Christian Scribes, the original or earliest text of the New Testament, and the secretaries in antiquity and their materials. We will also assess the early Christian copyists, the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament, scribal tendencies or habits, as well as the sources of New Testament textual criticism, which would include a lengthy chapter on ancient versions of the New Testament. We will also look into how paleographers date the ancient manuscripts and how did textual variations and manuscript families arise? Just how many textual variants are there and how are they to be counted? All of this to determine what guarantee do we have as to the reliability of the Greek text. What sort of changes did scribes make to the text and can we restore the Greek New Testament to its original state.  NOTE: If you have read THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT by Andrews and Wilkins, you need not read this publication, as it is select chapters from TTNT.

MISREPRESENTING JESUS_Third EditionMISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” [Third Edition]

Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the biases, assumptions, and shortcomings supporting Ehrman’s arguments. Using sound reason, scholarly exegesis, and the Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation, as well as New Testament textual criticism, Andrews helps both churchgoer/Bible students, as well as scholars, overcome the teachings of biblical errancy that Ehrman propagates.—Easy to read and understand. …

Biblical Studies

CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISMCALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM: The Bible Answers

CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM goes back to the early seventeenth century with a Christian theological debate between the followers of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius, and continues today among some Protestants, particularly evangelicals. The debate is centered around soteriology, that is, the study of salvation, and includes disputes about total depravity, predestination, and atonement. While the debate has developed its Calvinist–Arminian form in the 17th century, the issues that are fundamental to the debate have been discussed in Christianity in some fashion since the days of Augustine of Hippo’s disputes with the Pelagians in the fifth century. CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM is taking a different approach in that the issues will be discussed as The Bible Answers being that it is the centerpiece.

How to Study Your BibleHOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of God

A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.

How to Study by TorreyHOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit [Updated and Expanded]

How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.

Deep Bible Study Cover_Torrey-1DEEP BIBLE STUDY: The Importance and Value of Proper Bible Study [Updated and Expanded]

Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)

THE NEW TESTAMENTTHE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded]

The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …

THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded]

Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. Stalker’s work includes a section at the back entitled “Hints for Teachers and Questions for Pupils.” This supplement contains notes and “further reading” suggestions for those teaching on the life of St. Paul, along with a number of questions over each chapter for students to discuss. In addition, seventeen extra chapters have been added that will help the reader better understand who the Apostle Paul was and what first-century Christianity was like. For example, a chapter on the conversion of Saul/Paul, Gamaliel Taught Saul of Tarsus, the Rights, and Privileges of Citizenship, the “Unknown God,” Areopagus, the Observance of Law as to Vows, and much more.

The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST: Jesus’ Final Ministry at Jerusalem [Updated and Expanded]

With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.

INTERPRETING THE BIBLEINTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly level, yet making it understandable to all. He has sought to provide the very best tool for interpreting the Word of God. This includes clarification of technical terms, answers to every facet of biblical interpretation, and defense of the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture. Andrews realizes that the importance of digging deeper in our understanding of the Bible, for defending our faith from modern-day misguided scholarship. Andrews gives the reader easy and memorable principles and methods to follow for producing an accurate explanation that comes out of, not what many read into the biblical text. The principal procedure within is to define, explain, offer many examples, and give illustrations, to help the reader fully grasp the grammatical-historical approach. …

How to Interpret the Bible-1HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics

Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or a more scholarly level needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics, which is of immense importance in Biblical Studies and Theology. How to Interpret the Bible takes into consideration the cultural context, historical background and geographical location in which the text was originally set. This enables us to obtain clarity about the original author’s intended meaning. Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as …

The Church Community_02THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People

Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded as the start of a major historical transition to something new and promising and hailed as a major paradigm shift. Is it a philosophy that has passed its “sell-by” date? No! The radical fringe has become the dominant view and has been integrated into all aspects of life, including the Christian church. With the emergence of multicultural societies comes interaction with different belief systems and religions. Values like tolerance and a dislike of dogmatism have become key operating concepts, which reflect a change in worldview. …

Developing Healthy ChurchesDEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation

In an age obsessed with physical and psychological health the author emphasizes the importance of spiritual well-being as an essential element of holistic health for the individual Christian and for Christian communities. This work constitutes a template for a spiritual audit of the local church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the author, aware that throughout the history of the church there have been a number of diverse views about how Revelation ought to be interpreted, presents the reader with four distinct interpretive models. These are the idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. Beville explains these interpretive approaches simply and critiques them fairly.e …

Dying to KillDYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

This is a comprehensive study of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It traces the historical debate, examines the legal status of such activity in different countries and explores the political, medical and moral matters surrounding these emotive and controversial subjects in various cultural contexts. The key advocates and pioneers of this agenda-driven movement (such as the late Jack Kevorkian, popularly known as “Dr. Death” and Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International) are profiled. Not only are the elderly and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable but children, psychiatric patients, the depressed and those who are simply tired of life are now on a slippery slope into a dystopian nightmare. The spotlight is brought to bear on the Netherlands, in particular, where palliative care and the hospice movement are greatly underdeveloped as a result of legalization. These dubious “services” are now offered as part of “normal” medical care in Holland where it is deemed more cost-effective to be given a lethal injection. The vital role of physicians as healers in society must be preserved and the important but neglected spiritual dimension of death must be explored. Thus a biblical view of human life is presented. …

journey-with-jesus-through-the-message-of-mark_ebook-onlyJOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK

Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark’s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use of illustrations to be helpful in preparing their own messages and as such, it will find a welcome place in the preacher’s library. Simply, powerfully, with great precision, and exegetical accuracy, Kieran Beville masterfully brings us on a life-transforming journey. Readers will be both inspired and challenged as they hear the words of Jesus speaking afresh from the page of Scripture and experience the ministry of Jesus in a spiritually captivating way. The author has a pastor’s heart, a theologian’s mind, and a writer’s gift. His style is gripping, as he beautifully explains and illustrates Mark’s Gospel. Kieran Beville has done a great service to the church, and especially to true believers, who desire to grow in grace, increase in their knowledge of truth, and experience the intimacy, joy, and underserved and unspeakable privilege of walking, as disciples, with Jesus. This book is ideal as a study companion for Mark’s Gospel. One can read a section from the gospel and then read the corresponding section to receive a fresh viewpoint and a practical application.  …

ANGELSANGELS & DEMONS The Bible Answers

What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control humans? How can we win our struggle against dark spiritual forces? How can you resist the demons? Do evil spirits exercise power over humankind? Is Satan really the god of this world and just what does that mean? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [i.e., Satan]”? Andrews using the Bible will answer all of these questions and far more. …

AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT The Christian Worldview

Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian worldview from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.

Bible Doctrines

ezekiel, daniel, & revelationEZEKIEL, DANIEL, & REVELATION: GOG OF THE LAND OF MAGOG, KINGS OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH, & THE EIGHT KINGS OF REVELATION

The Bible describes the events that will occur before and after the destruction of Gog of Magog. Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11? Find out in a verse-by-verse explanation of Daniel Chapter 11, as you discover who the kings of the North and the South are from before Jesus’ day throughout the last days. You will benefit from paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy about the battle between the two kings? Taken together, the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation not only identify eight kings but also show the sequence in which they would appear. We can explain those prophecies.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIEWHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE?: Should You Be Afraid of Death or of People Who Have Died?

People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?

Identifying the AntiChristIDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast Revealed

Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …

Understaning Creation AccountUNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” (Isa 45:18) He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last ThingsEXPLAINING the DOCTRINE of LAST THINGS Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell

second coming CoverThe SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.

What Is HellWHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.

miraclesMIRACLES – DO THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY? God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith Healing

Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place? There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.

Homosexuality and the ChristianHOMOSEXUALITY – The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.

Daily Devotionals

40 day devotional (1)40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS Coming-of-Age In Christ

If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.

DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHSDEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Growing Up In Christ

Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach. Terry Overton was determined to find out what problems middle school children and teens were worried about the most. While visiting her grandchildren one weekend, she asked her granddaughter to send topics to her so that she could write a devotional about the topic. In a matter of weeks, not only did her granddaughter send her topics, but the other grandchildren and their friends sent topics of concern. Once the author wrote a devotional for a topic, it was sent to the teen requesting the devotional. Soon, these requests were happening in real time. Students sent text requests about problems happening in school and asked what the student should do? How should this be handled?

DEVOTIONAL FOR TRAGEDYDEVOTIONAL FOR THOSE COPING WITH TRAGEDY: A Journey Back to God

This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.

DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERSDEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS: Finding Strength Through Faith

Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.

Daily_OTDAILY DEVOTIONAL Daily Musings From the Old Testament

Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.

Daily Devotional_NT_TMDAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musing From the New Testament

Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.

Daily Devotional_DarkerBREAD OF HEAVEN: Daily Meditations on Scripture

BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior. Kieran Beville’s daily devotional combines down-to-earth, unstuffy humanity in today’s world with a biblical and God-centered approach, and draws on rich theology in a thoroughly accessible way. He addresses not just the intellect and the will but gets to the heart, our motivational center, through the mind. If your Christian life could benefit from a short, well-written daily blast of Christ’s comfort and challenge, get this book and use it!  These short Bible-based meditations are fresh and contemporary. Beville gives to the twenty-first-century reader what earlier authors have given to theirs. Here is practical wisdom that is a helpful guide to stimulate worship and set you thinking as you begin each day with God.

theconversationcoverTHE CONVERSATION: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter

The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter is a unique and riveting reconstruction from the unnamed disciple’s account found in Luke 24 regarding his journey with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, along with hearing claims of His empty tomb. Suddenly, a Stranger begins walking with them. With their eyes “prevented” from recognizing Him as the risen Lord Jesus Christ—Yeshua the Messiah, their new, wise Traveling Companion correlates the Old Covenant Scriptures, by way of Moses and the prophets, with what they witnessed.
This “journal” is your opportunity to eavesdrop and learn what that conversation might have been like, as pertinent prophecies unfold revealing evidence that the Messiah’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were, in fact, specifically foretold.

More Than DevotionMORE THAN DEVOTION: Remembering His Word, Apply It to Our Lives

Unique and life-changing, More Than Devotion, through a melding of accounts from both the Old Covenant and New, proves that our trustworthy God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All fifty convicting devotions draw from a rich scriptural context, concluding with a practical, achievable call to action, plus journaling space for personal reflection. New believers and veteran followers of our Lord can grow in the innermost areas of their lives and enjoy a more intimate walk with the Savior.

Christian Fiction

Oren Natas_JPEGOREN NATAS: Satan Incarnate As the Antichrist

AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.

Sentient-FrontTHE SENTIENT a Novel

A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.

ONLINE REVIEW: “Very fun read. Fast paced and honest. Tons of evolution occurs during the process thru the story. Wonderful girl trying to become an adult Christian in a world that also pits her superpowers against terrorists with the help of her own special forces team. Buy this book and just enjoy!”

Judas DiaryTHE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length

In June 1985, an excavation project was undertaken by The British Antiquities Volunteers (BAV) at a plot of rocky land where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet near the eastern side of Old Jerusalem. That year many hundreds of (mostly redundant) ‘small finds’ were recovered in the Judean desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of Judas Iscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings of Judas, a disgruntled disciple, as he accompanies Jesus of Nazareth during His ministry, and uses this fable and allegory to explore some of the ways a person might resist becoming a Christian.

The RaptureTHE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed Wrath

Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of the beast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up with an unlikely trio who befriends him. Together, they set out towards Garbor. Unfortunately, however, they are soon faced with their first major catastrophe, which sparks debate among them as to whether or not they really are in the Great Tribulation. On their journey, the group meets up with many people, some of them good and some of them evil. …

Seekers and DeceiversSEEKERS AND DECEIVERS: Which One are You? It Is Time to Join the Fight!

There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to embrace the Light because it exposed their wickedness. They rejected the Light of the Word and ruled themselves. Those few who had embraced the Light and hated the darkness were killed. Since that time anyone who embraced the Light of the Word, pursued or talked about it were arrested. Those arrested were sentenced to death by stoning. The last prophet gave a prophecy before he was martyred. “The whisperer will come and empower three witnesses that will make manifest the works of darkness and destroy it, and deliver my people from the grip of darkness to the freedom found in the light.” All the Children of the Light were killed off or went into hiding living among the Children of Darkness in secret, not mentioning the Light for fear of death. Generations grew up being ignorant of the Light of the Word and never knowing the difference. No one ever mentioned the Light or dared to even talk about the Light. …

[1] Ziauddin Sardar and Zafar Abbas Malik, Introducing Islam (Cambridge: Icon Books, 2001), 9.

[2] Q22.39: “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged; and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid.” Q2:217: “They ask you concerning fighting in the sacred months (i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islamic calendar). Say, ‘Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid-Al-Haram (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.”

[3] David Cook, Understanding Jihad (University of California Press, 2005), 6.

[4] Sahih Bukhari 4:52:276.

[5] Tabari, vol. VII, 86.

[6] Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, ed. Alfred Guillaume (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1955), 450-469.

[7] Ziauddin Sardar, Introducing Islam, 30.

[8] Recension: a revised edition of a text; parts of an earlier text adapted and included in a later one.

[9] Patricia Crone, Slaves On Horses: The Evolution of the Islamic Polity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 202.

[10] Maududi calls Muhammad the “greatest revolutionary,” and goes on to say of Muhammad that, “In the cavalcade of world history, the sublime figure of this wonderful person towers so high above all the great men of all times that they appear to be dwarfs when contrasted to him.” A.A. Maududi, Towards Understanding Islam (U.K.I.M Dawah Centre).

[11] D.S. Margoliuth, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, volume 8, Ed. James Hastings (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1915), 878.

[12] Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, ed. Alfred Guillaume (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1955), 450-469.

[13] See W.N. Arafat, “New Light on the Story of Banu Qurayza and the Jews of Medina” (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1976), 100-107; and Ahmad Barakat, Muhammad and the Jews (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1979); Daniel Janosik, “The Real Story Behind the Massacre of the Banu Qurayza” (CSIOF Occasional Papers, No. 3, 2012).

[14] Sardar, Introducing Islam, 30.

[15] Q. 3:144; 33:40; 47:2, 48:29.

[16] Fred Donner, Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing, (New Jersey: The Darwin Press, 1998), 24-25.

[17] Note: Muslims were not known by this name at this time. For the first 100 years they were called Saracens, Ishmaelites, Hagarenes by others. They referred to themselves as “mum’nin” (believers), and sometimes the “Muhajirun” (emigrants, or those on pilgrimage). They did not refer to themselves as “Muslims” until the middle of the 8th century.

[18] The specific field of Archaeology that studies coins is called “numismatics.”

[19] Karl-Heinz Ohlig, ed., Early Islam: A Critical Reconstruction Based on Contemporary Sources (NY: Prometheus Books, 2013), 72-75.

[20] Karl-Heinz Ohlig and Gerd-R. Puin, eds., The Hidden Origins of Islam: New Research into its Early History (NY: Prometheus Books, 2010); Volker Popp in Ohlig, Early Islam, 68-87.

[21] Ohlig, The Hidden Origins of Islam, 63-64; Robert Spencer, Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins (Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 2012), 45-46, 55-56.

[22] This transition may be reflected in the Qur’an as well. There is a difference between the first three times when the term “Muhammad” is mentioned as a title (Q. 3:144; 33:40; 47:2), and the final time when “Muhammad” is used in reference to a particular person (Q. 48.29). Yehuda Nevo, a Jewish Archaeologist, believes that this reference to Muhammad as a person may have been written in the 8th century, and therefore documents a transition from a time when the title “Muhammad” was used in reference to Jesus as the “chosen one,” and a later time when the term “Muhammad” is used in reference to the prophet of a new religion.

[23] Yehuda Nevo, and Judith Koren, Crossroads to Islam: The Origins of the Arab Religion and the Arab State (NY: Prometheus Books, 2003), 258-267.

[24] Robert Spencer, Did Muhammad Exist?, 56.

[25] Robert Hoyland, Seeing Islam as Others Saw It (Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press, 1997), 55-60.

[26] Yehuda Nevo, Crossroads to Islam, 208-209.

[27] Spencer, Did Muhammad Exist?, 22-23.

[28] Hoyland, Seeing Islam as Others Saw It, 118-120.

[29] This apparently became a common practice, as we shall see with other examples. This would be understandable since it would be easy for us to discuss the Muslims in Medina with Muhammad when actual history demonstrates that the early followers of Muhammad were not called “Muslims” until after 691 AD.

[30] Spencer, Did Muhammad Exist?, 25.

[31] Bonifatius Kotter, Die Schriften Des Johannes Von Damaskos, II, translation by author (NY: Walter De Gruyter, 1981).

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