Answering Missionaries

May 24, 2006

Nazam Iqbal’s review of Shabir Ally and James White debate entitled: “Is the New Testament as it is today the inspired word of God?”

Filed under: Debate reviews,James White,Shabir Ally vs James White — answeringmissionaries @ 6:54 pm

Nazam Iqbal

After listening to the Debate between Dr James White and Shabir Ally, I was disappointed that Dr White could not give one reason as to why anyone should take the New Testament in the first place to be the inspired word of God especially when it does not make such a claim (the exception being the book of Revelation). Dr White, despite being given the platform to do so, came instead with an agenda to give his rebuttals to debates which Ally had done in the past with other Christians even though the topic of the debate was ‘Is the New Testament as it is today the Word of God?’

Dr White thought he could shift the burden of proof upon Ally by making him prove why we should believe in the prophethood of prophet Muhammed or the Quran to be the Word of God but obviously this was not the nights topic even though Ally did briefly address it.

The two passages (2 Peter 1:20 and 2 Timothy 3:16) which Dr White cited from the Bible which he claimed were speaking about the supposed inspiration of the New Testament turned out to be speaking about Old Testament instead.1 Specifically 2 Timothy is speaking about the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) a version which has a different canon and content from the one which Dr White recommended Ally to use in the future (New American Standard) and again begging the question as to why the New Testament should be taken as inspired documents since anyone could make any positive claim about any document but the burden of proof is to give reason and not just simply make claims.

The classic part of the whole event for me personally was when Dr. White cited New Testament scholar N.T. Wright in his opening statement but actually ended up shooting himself in the foot when Ally informed Dr White the implication of what he cited. For If we do not know when and by who and where and at what date the Gospels where written then why should anyone take these anonymous authors as inspired writers on behalf of God (paraphrased)? For which Dr White had no reply.

One thing which I felt that Ally could have done better is in the cross examination period he could have asked better questions, such as why Dr White believes the New Testament to be inspired Word of God in the first place and in what sense does he believe it to be inspired?

Overall I thought it was a good debate and both speakers remained courteous throughout the debate to each other, something which both Muslims and Christians today can model upon since it lacks in many Muslim and Christian discussions.

Following the debate it was found that the reference Dr White made to Ibn Masud allegedly dying a few days later as a result of a few beatings which he received because he allegedly refused to hand over his copy of the Quran turned out to be absolutely false. Dr White gave the reference for his source of information from the book by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran, but no such reference is ever made by the author and hence we are still waiting to hear from Dr White as why he made such a citation when no such passage exists in this book which he confidently cited as his reference.2 Instead, we read in this book precisely the opposite statement:

Although there are some reports that initially Abdullah ibn Masud did not agree with Uthman’s decision, it is also reported that he later changed his mind; cf. Ibn Abi Daud pp. 13-18. According to the famous historian, Ibn Kathir, Uthman wrote to Ibn Masud advising him to follow the consensus of the other Companions, which he agreed to do; cf. Al-Bidayaah wa an-Nihaayah, v. 7, p. 207.

[Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran, 1999, Birmingham: Al-Hidaayah, p. 137, n. 165]


1. Regarding 2 Tim. 3:16, a conservative scholar explains:

It was a Jewish parent’s sacred duty to instruct sons in the Law from their fifth year. Thus Paul knew that Timothy from in­ fancy had known the holy Scriptures (lit., “the Sacred Writings,” apparently a favorite term in rabbinic Judaism, which would have been a part of Paul’s own personal history). The term are able to make you wise, which probably reflects the usage of the LXX in Psalm 19:7 (“making wise the simple”), contrasts the “mindless­ness” and “deceptions” of the false teachers (vv.. 9, 13).

[Gordon D. Fee, 1 And 2 Timothy, Titus – New International Biblical Commentary, 1988, Based on the New International Version, Revised edition, Hendrickson Publishers, p .279]

Regarding 2 Pet. 1:19-20, we are told:

(B) 2 Pet 1:19-21. “We have the prophetic word made more sure….First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (RSV)…

The immediate context (1:12-21) guarantees Christian hope. Having reflected on the transfiguration (v v 12-18), the author cites “the prophetic word” (ton prophetikon logon, i.e., the entire Law, Prophets, and Writings – the three divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures; … as a firm foundation for hope insofar as God has confirmed its truth, and its message was in the process of being realized.

[Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Roland E. Murphy (Ed.), The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990) Nihil Obstat. Imprimatur: Reverend William J. Kane. Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Washington, Nov. 15 1988]

2. White now acknowledges that he made a mistake. He tries to argue that this was an innocent mistake on his part. But we find it incredible that White, who insists he read a lot regarding Ibn Masud and the surrounding issues, could not even vaguely mention one proper reference from memory to back his claim.



  1. I think Christians are destroying themselves and are destroying God’s world because of their spiritual blindness.
    Islam is the answer.


    Comment by Ali — December 21, 2006 @ 6:53 am | Reply

  2. Well done brother!


    Comment by Ali — December 21, 2006 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  3. Brother your grade will be high in Janatul Ferdus!


    Comment by Ali — December 25, 2006 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

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