Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hezekiah Quarter in Hebron

The Spring 2011 (Adar 5771) issue of the Hebron Now & Forever newsletter contains the following teaser under the heading Hezekiah Quarter:

"The general plan, which commenced years ago, is to build 32 residential housing units. This plan is currently being promoted at the Ministry of Housing, and includes the construction plans from start to finish; this means we can begin searching for a contractor whenever the present political constraints are lifted."

The entire newsletter is currently available online in PDF format at this link.

Not likely it would ever happen, but that would be cool to be able to say I live in the Hezekiah Quarter of Hebron!

G.M. Grena

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Hello Helios

Todd Bolen brought a sensational article by Nick Pryer to my attention:

"Is this the first ever portrait of Jesus?..."

"The image is eerily familiar: a bearded young man with flowing curly hair. After lying for nearly 2,000 years hidden in a cave in the Holy Land, the fine detail is difficult to determine. But in a certain light it is not difficult to interpret the marks around the figure’s brow as a crown of thorns. The extraordinary picture of one of the recently discovered hoard of up to 70 lead codices – booklets – found in a cave in the hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee is one reason Bible historians are clamouring to get their hands on the ancient artefacts. If genuine, this could be the first-ever portrait of Jesus Christ, possibly even created in the lifetime of those who knew him."

Here's a crop of the image:

The first thing I thought of when I saw this picture, was the common image of Helios on coins of Rhodes I've been studying for several years in preparation for my LMLK vol. 2 book since it's related to LMLK 2-winged icons. Here are some samples that you can compare for yourself:

Those are rays of light, not a crown of thorns! Helios did not die for our sins!

Robert Deutsch posted a completely independent message on ANE-2 earlier today thoroughly deflating this fraudulent artifact, which he appropriately described as a "chimera".

UPDATE 4-16-2011:
This week I learned that 3 days before I posted the above photos, William J. Hamblin had already posted similar photos on his blog. Personally I think the first of my photos is closer to the one used on the lead plate, but the big-picture pont is that several people detected this forgery independently. And I should clarify that even though Robert Deutsch related the lead-plate image to that of Alexander the Great's coins, these Helios coins used those earlier images of Alexander to represent their false god, Helios. So now you know why he's been named "the Great"--he's been associated with false gods & the real One!

G.M. Grena

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Muhammad the False Prophet, Jesus the True King

[Alternate spellings for search engines: Koran, Kuran, Qoran, Quran, Qur'an, Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammad, Muhammed, Moslem, Muslim, Surah, Sura.]

"Then High above all be Allah, the True King. And be not in haste with the Qur'an before its revelation is completed to you, and say: 'My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.'"--Surah 20:114

Back in September of 2009, I posted a comment about coinage on demonstrating the inaccurate/unreliable nature of the alleged divine revelation in the Quran. Recently I've been listening to a series of lectures by the late Christian philosopher, Dr. Greg Bahnsen (available at Covenant Media Foundation), one of which dealt with irrational belief systems such as Islam. He gave several examples similar to what you'll find on websites such as Islam Watch & CARM, all of which are actually refutable in one way or another since they're subject to interpretation/translation.

One example is that Suras 19:28 & 66:12 obviously confuse Mary the mother of Jesus with Mirian (same name in Hebrew) the sister of Aaron (brother of Moses), daughter of Imran (Amran). However, it could possibly be that Allah was figuratively equating the OT Miriam & NT Mary the same way Jesus declared that John the Baptist had fulfilled the Malachi 4:5 prophecy that Elijah would return (Matthew 11:14 & 17:12). Note that even the Baptist himself didn't realize he was fulfilling the role of Elijah in John 1:21. None of these are true logical contradictions because of their complex, multi-faceted contexts.

But the Koran's own challenge is truly irrational:

"Or [disbelievers] say, '[Muhammad] forged it.' Say: 'Bring you then ten forged Surahs like unto it, & call whomsoever you can, other than Allah, if you speak the truth!'"--Surah 11:13

In other words, "Prove I'm a liar by demonstrating you yourself are an equally good or better liar." That's what I'd expect from a violent, self-serving liar like Muhammad. Notice that it doesn't say prove your point using logic (Isaiah 1:18), or prove your point by presenting an internally consistent revelation from God (Acts 17:2-3). This is a clue that Muhammad never studied Aristotle!

A favorite rescuing device Muslims use to defend their irrational religion is, "If one passage seems to contradict another, the later one supersedes the earlier one."

"Whatever a verse do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?"--Surah 2:106

Read, "Look at me, I'm a god, I can make a rock so big I can't lift it, & then actually lift it!"

"And when We change a verse in place of another, & Allah knows the best of what He sends down, [disbelievers] say: 'You are a forger!' Nay, but most of them know not."--Surah 16:101

That certainly makes it difficult to disprove any verse, or to demonstrate any contradictions! Read, "I'm a god, the great & powerful Oz-Allah! I know how to contradict myself & get away with it because I'm so much smarter than you, silly disbelievers!"

But as I was going through my Quran to check on some of the problems mentioned by Dr. Bahnsen, I discovered what I believe to be an irrefutable proof that Muhammad was a false prophet representing a false god named Allah. And although I only did a cursory search of the Internet, I did not see this one presented elsewhere (feel free to comment on this blog pointing to other people who have published this proof). Since I've debunked evolutionists on so many other occasions at so many venues (as have far more intelligent & knowledgeable people than me), I thought it would be fun to also formally debunk Islam herewith (especially after noticing "the True King" claim in 20:114)!

"Do [people who disobey Muhammad] not then consider the Qur'an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions."--Surah 4:82

[Note to LMLK fans: An easy way to remember this verse if you ever converse with a Muslim, is the chronological order of royal-jar classifications with LMLKs being 484, then Rosettes 483, then this 4:82.]

This translation is from my 1994 Arabic/English edition by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali & Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (both from Islamic University, Saudi Arabia). Other translators use "Much discrepancy", "much incongruity", & "many a discrepancy". The words in Arabic convey an emphasized plural, but I'm not literate in Arabic, so if someone with the appropriate academic credentials would like to argue that it's actually singular, be my guest in the Comments section.

Remember that 4:82 was supposedly spoken by the almighty creator of the universe. Now if I were a god, I would challenge all comers to show a single contradiction in my revelation. Because let's face it, if my prophet's 6,000+ verses contained 1 contradiction, I'd be embarrassed for having created a universe subject to The Law of Non-contradiction.

Besides, how many are "much"? 600? 60? 6? Muslims may think they can escape this problem, because if one critic demonstrates there are 7 contradictions, the Muslim can say, "Oh, what Allah really meant was that it would have to contain 8 contradictions to be false", & so on if a challenger shows it has 61 or any actual number. In reality, the Koran does contain numerous problems, but Surah 4:82 represents nonsensical babble if it can't be tied to a specific quantity greater than 1 (at least 2).

But my argument below is irrefutable because it won't matter what number a Muslim picks! Pick 2 or 2-trillion for all I care! The only thing Surah 4:82 prohibits you from choosing is 0 or 1 ... & "one" is the only correct quantity for satisfying the claim of how many contradictions a false revelation "would surely" contain if it had any!

Muhammad may have been eloquent & knowledgeable, but he was not a philosopher, or apparently Allah was not acquainted with the laws of logic in this universe. You see, it only takes a single contradiction to invalidate any proposition, not "much contradictions" (plural)! Why? Because from a single teeny-weeny contradiction, you can claim anything!

Allah & Muhammad are trapped, & there are no subsequent surahs to save them!

For example, let's pick any obviously false claim "C" that any rational person would agree to: "Hitler loved Jews." (If you don't like this example, feel free to assert any claim you're confident any rational person would agree is false, such as 1+2=5 or Earth is flat, etc.)

Now let's allow a single little contradiction. (For those of you who have a difficult time thinking abstractly, this may be painful, but bear in mind that this is only a test to demonstrate my earlier point.)

A) Muhammad was a prophet.


B) Muhammad was not a prophet.

(Again, I could've made any assertion "A", then performed a copy/paste operation & inserted a "not" after "was" in the 2nd one.)

Non-contradiction can be stated algebraically as, "It's impossible to hold to A and not-A simultaneously in the same context." In my example above, "A and B" is untrue (a contradiction) because "B" is "not-A" (assuming "Muhammad" & "prophet" mean the exact same thing in both statements, neither a different person nor a different kind of prophet).

Now after allowing that single itsy-bitsy contradiction to actually be true, we're going to return to the real world & use simple addition (a legal law of math) to form a Boolean disjunctive, "A or C". We're allowed to do that because as long as one variable is true & the other false, the overall statement will always be true. In this case we know what "A" is (using "B"), so we'll be able to rationally test "C" to determine its validity (imagine a devout Muslim making the following statement):

"Either Muhammad was a prophet or Hitler loved Jews."

Given our single contradiction "B" that Muhammad was not a prophet (imagine a Christian pointing this out to the Muslim who agreed to the contradiction), we are logically obligated to agree that Hitler loved Jews (C). But the Muslim doesn't like that conclusion, so we test "C" using "B" (imagine a devout Christian making this statement):

"Either Muhammad was not a prophet or Hitler loved Jews."

Again, the way we test the claim's validity is by using our agreed-upon contradiction (A) that Muhammad was a prophet (imagine the Muslim reminding us of this stipulation), therefore Hitler loved Jews (C).

This form of argument is named a Disjunctive Syllogism. Here's a quick review:

A is true by stipulation.
B is true by stipulation.
(A and B are not actually true because B is not-A.)
A or C is true.
B or C is true.
Therefore C is true (despite the fact that we know C is false).

Everything is perfectly logical there except that we illegally allowed "A and B" to be true. In reality we cannot legally state "A or C is true" and "B or C is true" unless we already know that "B" is not "not-A" (i.e., that "A" is true on its own merit & "B" is true on its own merit, both conditions existing simultaneously in the same context).

We both know C isn't true, but that's where the entire discussion breaks down because conversation becomes meaningless when a single contradiction is allowed. If any of the above confused you, use this less-controversial real-world example:

A) Red apples are red.
B) Green (i.e., non-red) apples are not red.

Either red apples are red, or Hitler loved Jews.
Either green apples are not red, or Hitler loved Jews.

Analyze this syllogism by saying, "Since red apples are red, & green apples are not red, therefore Hitler did not love Jews."

Likewise, "Since Muhammad was a prophet, & Muhammad was not a prophet, therefore Hitler loved Jews."

Putting aside whether Muhammad was or wasn't a prophet, we can see that a single contradiction invalidates any argument. Any rational person would have to wonder why Muhammad's deity would idiotically brag that a false revelation "would surely" have to contain "much contradictions" or "many a discrepancy" rather than a single one. Oh, I know, it's B-cause Muhammad was an arrogant A-hole!

Let's reduce it to absurdity: If someone invented a false revelation full of multiple contradictions, Allah would be obligated to say, "Well okay, so that verse is a real contradiction, but that doesn't disprove the revelation since there have to be more contradictions."

Uh, no Mr. Allah, there would only need to be one. You can come out from behind that curtain now, we're not in a Kansas-movie anymore.

But it gets even worse for the devout-but-deceitful Muslim... Actually, a false revelation would not have to contain any contradictions, & it could still be false!

For example, it could be purely arbitrary. Here's a fake revelation I just dreamed up: "There's a god named is ZSMH. ZSMH expects people to do something. People who don't do something will be punished by ZSMH; people who obey will be rewarded by ZSMH." This is an utterly false revelation, & yet it contains zero contradictions. It cannot be tested or falsified because it's so vague & ambiguous (note that the famous FSM satire "embrace[s] contradictions").

Surah 4:82 is thoroughly falsified because it only allows for 2 or more contradictions & requires them, yet I demonstrated that a false revelation requires only 1 or 0 contradictions. (Of course it might contain more, as the Qur'an obviously does, which is why Muhammad included the silly "abrogation" clauses, probably in an attempt to cover his guilty conscience.)

By the way, Aristotle's thoughts were published & circulated centuries before Muhammad was born; & Arabs began using the concept of "zero" way before Muhammad faked the Qur'an, so there's no excuse for him not to have known any of this.

Another false creed is Atheism: "I do not believe God exists because nobody has demonstrated to me that God exists." Again, no contradictions present, but the trick here is that they avoid defining "demonstrate", or define it in a safe way that their opponents can't satisfy. A ludicrous example would be, "I'll believe your god exists if this glass of water changes into wine right now."

The way to handle arbitrariness & ambiguity is with a specific, complex supposition such as Christianity, which is internally consistent, with falsifiable claims, supported by complementary evidence experienced in our world. It's the only religion that actually meets these requirements. What atheists wish God would do is irrelevant; they're living in God's world, not vice versa. Most atheists refuse to grasp/acknowledge this concept. That's their problem, not God's.

Before concluding, I'd like to emphasize that I don't hate Muslims, atheists, or evolutionists (I used to be one before I became a "free thinker"!), nor do I intentionally belittle them for not knowing they're wrong. I belittle their beliefs, & hope they'll pause long enough while attempting to refute me for their mind to open to the possibility that they're wrong, & re-evaluate the basis of their beliefs. It's in that moment of contemplation that the Holy Spirit of the Christian God might perform open-"heart" surgery on them. If they reject the truth, & cannot correct any error in my reasoning, they earn the titles of "fool", "liar", & other colloquial synonyms authorized in the Holy Bible by God.

If my method is unclear or offensive, please consider Dr. Bahnsen's presentation of the Transcendental Proof of the Christian God's existence. This line of reasoning has been published in a variety of ways by a bunch of scholars & apologists before him & after he died in 1995, but I think he explained it best, so here are links to the first & last clips of a 5-hour video series he taught back in the summer of 1991:

Here's a link to what is known as the Principle of Explosion on Wikipedia, & how to prove that "1=2" by a Duke University professor.

As for Muhammad, the true test of prophets can only be performed on their predictions (Deuteronomy 18:22). In the Old Testament, all prophets made short-term & long-term predictions for obvious reasons. Anyone can make a prediction, & as time goes by without it being fulfilled, the false prophet can simply say they have to wait longer.

The problem is that time will eventually run out. With the above demonstration of Allah's ignorance of the importance of a single contradiction, the game's over for Muhammad, & the crown comes off Allah.

"And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.'"--Revelation 15:3

G.M. Grena