John Fontain has written a little booklet scrutinizing various themes making large claims concerning the Bible, Jesus and the Christian understanding of the Gospel. I do not endeavour in this evaluation to look at everything Mr Fontain mentioned and as far possible tried to keep it short and precise, assessing his claims from a Biblical Christian and Scholarly understanding .
About the cover:
Just an interesting observation about the cover of this little booklet. The quality of the Booklet is excellent and it contains a passage from John’s Gospel Chapter 1:29 [b] which reads; “Ἴδε ὁ Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου” [“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”]. These words are a direct invitation to John Fontain and the readers of this booklet.
About the Author:
“John Fontain was raised as a Christian but always believed in the concept of One God. In 2006 he started looking into Islam after coming in contact with Muslims in West Africa. Having researched the religion he finally embraced Islam in 2008, in Cairo, Egypt. Since then he has been actively involved in Da’wah work (inviting people to Islam). John also runs his own charity organisation “Volunteer Sierra Leone” which helps support over 65 Muslim schools throughout Sierra Leone. After researching extensively some of the oldest scriptures of the Bible he discovered some key points that will ultimately change the way Muslims and Christians view Jesus and his Message. All of these points and more will be discussed further in the book “Jesus & the Injeel…the Untold Story.”
Critique of the Author:
Please note that the author was “raised as a Christian” and he maintains that he always “believed in the concept of One God”. (From the back cover). The underlining premise the author [Mr. Fontain] refers to is therefore made clear and set up in three points:
A. The author was raised “AS A CHRISTIAN”.
The author does not emphatically make it clear that he ever embraced Christ or Christianity but rather infer that he was raised as a Christian. To be fair to the author we should therefore conclude that his immediate context was Christian but he was never a Christian. Biblically Jesus makes it emphatically clear in John 6:44 (NIV) that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…”. As a general rule of thumb this indicates that God is the Savior and NOT man’s free choice which means that whoever God saves HE keeps. John MacArthur writes: “All believers are eternally secure because God holds us in His hand and no one can snatch us from it” Again Jesus makes it emphatically clear that He “give[s] them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29 NIV). Jesus saves those who hear His call (V/26). Thomas R. Schreiner affirms that “there are many texts which teach that those who truly belong to the Lord will never finally and ultimately fall away, since the Lord has promised to keep them (see e.g., John 10:28-29; Rom.8:23-39; 1 Cor.1:8-9; Phil.1:6; 1 Thes.5:23-24). Hence, the loss-of-salvation view should be rejected.” Being a Christian is not as a result of one’s upbringing or because one have chosen by free choice to follow Christ, but a Christian is one whom the Father draw to the Son. God alone saves! (Jon.2:6).
B. He always believed in the concept of “ONE GOD”.
The Author does not define which concept he believed but again makes it appear that his understanding of Islam is what he always believed. In the preface we will look at the authors believes surrounding “the Oneness of God” but allow me just to make an “off-cuff” remark in that the idea of strict monotheism is not quintessential only to the Semitic understanding of God but widely acknowledged even in some pagan religions predating the Christian era. Therefore any assumption that Islam (pre or post hoc) has the monopoly on the idea of the oneness of God is simply just ignorant. As Athanassiadi & Frede asserts “it is our view that monotheism, for the most part quite independently of Judaism and Christianity, was increasingly widespread by the time of late antiquity, certainly among the educated and in particular in the Greek east. And we are inclined to attribute much of the success of Christianity in that world to its advocacy of a way of seeing things, of thinking and acting, which it shared with a growing number of pagans”. Dr. Michael F. Bird therefore states that “Pagan monotheism may have even prepared for the spread of Judaism, the rise of Christianity, and eventual conquests of Islam in the East”. Let me add that the insistence that pure monotheism is only Islamic monotheism is again contrary to history and ignorant of antiquity. Celsus (2nd century), a pagan monotheist acclaims that there was no real difference whether one pays homage to “Zeus, Adonai, Sabaoth or Amoun” because they were all the same One God.” This does not necessitate the idea that all types of monotheistic religions predating Islam was “Islamic” in their conception because when we look at the very anatomy and definition of the pagan God[s] worshiped in all these traditions there are incredibly diverse ideas and ideals and the only similarity amongst them is that there is only One God numerically. If the Muslim insists that Islamic monotheism was apparent in these pagan traditions it actually implies that Islamic Monotheism is derived from pagan though and by its own conclusion makes Islam the most inclusivist/syncretistic faith ever.
John starts of by writing in his preface that:
“Jesus Christ is the common link between the two biggest religions in the world Christianity and Islam, and there is no doubt that Jesus is one of the most significant personalities in history. Narratives of who he really is differs amongst his followers, on one hand the Christian Unitarians view of Jesus agrees with the Muslims view of him being a Prophet of God, and on the other hand the Christian Trinitarians view him as being the Begotten Son of God and in some cases even seen as God himself.
A. “Narratives differ amongst His followers … Christian Unitarians view of Jesus agrees with the Muslims view of him being a Prophet of God”.
This I find bemusing? From a Christian Orthodox perspective the Scriptures makes it clear that Jesus said “unless you believe that I am he [YWHW] you will die in your sin” (John 8:32). This statement obviously excludes Unitarianism as well as Islam. A common misconception is that the Unitarian Christ is similar to the Muslim Christ. This is simply a very shallow understanding of both Unitarianism and the Muslim Christ. The Unitarian Christ is known as the Son of God. Professor Dale Tuggy writes “the Bible teaches God is a singular person—the Father—and that Jesus is a distinct being, his son.” Contrary to this Islam teaches: “Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, “Be”, and it is”. Foundationally, Unitarians hold that Jesus was the Created Son of God where as Muslims hold he was a mere “rasul” or Prophet of God and that Christians imply Him [Christ] to be the “offspring” of God which is just a gross misinterpretation of the Orthodox Christian understanding in both these instances.
B. “Christian Trinitarians view him as being the Begotten Son of God and by some denominations even seen as God himself”.
Scripturally, the “only begotten Son” that is described as “monogenes” in the original Greek simply means “unique”. When we look at the Gospel of John’s use of the word in his overall writing we can establish that the way he used it was to describe an intimate relationship between God the Father and Jesus. This should not affirm the Muslim misconception that it shows a literal biological offspring of the Father and Mary as many Muslims believe. Christian terms should be translated as the Biblical text describes it! When we assert that Jesus was the “Begotten Son of God” we do not do so in an anthropomorphic sense. Paternity can be understood in more than just a biological sense? The phrase “Son of God” or “Beget” does not imply that Jesus was the offspring of physical relations? The Bible actually says about the miraculous conception of Jesus without any sexual relations (Matt. 1:18—24; Luke 1:26-35). Geisler and Saleeb write; “There are two Arabic words for “son” that must be distinguished. The word “walad” denotes a son born of sexual relations. Jesus is definitely not a son in this sense. However, there is another Arabic word for son, “ibn” that can be used in a wider figurative or metaphorical sense. A traveler, for example, is spoken of as a “son of the road” (ibnussabil). It is in this wider sense that it makes sense to speak of Jesus as the “Son / “ibn” of God.”
In The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia in Five Volumes we find: “BEGOTTEN (BEGETTING) Various forms of the roots and “beget,” are frequent in the OT both in the literal sense (Deut 23:8) and the metaphorical (Job 38:28; of the deposit of dew). Psalm 2:7 uses the word of God’s relationship to the Messianic king. Perhaps, in its application to a Davidic king, this was originally divine “adoption” to sonship; if so cf. Galatians 4:5. When understood prophetically of Christ, the word passes far beyond the adoptionist sense. In the NT, the literal sense is still common (e.g. Matt 1:1-16) but the metaphorical use is greatly extended. For instance, in I Corinthians 4:15 an evangelist may be said to have “begotten” his converts to new spiritual life. Corresponding to this “begotten” is the usual word to describe the relation of the believers to God (John 1:13, 1 Pet 1:3, etc.) This means that Christians are, “children” of God (John 1:12). Further we find Greek Scholars Smith, Arndt and Gingrich writes “Christ, by contrast is , “son” of God, to John, but this verb is not used in the NT to describe God’s relationship to Him. “Only-begotten” (1:14, etc.) is a mistranslation in older VSS of “only,” “unique” probably corresponding to Hebrew of which “beloved” is another New Testament translation”. This means in particular that the term “only begotten” found in some translations of John 1:14, 18, John 3:16, 1 John 4:9, Hebrews 11:17, etc. is a mistranslation and needs to be better translated as “one and only” or “unique”. Let me make it emphatically clear. Christian Trinitarians do not see Christ as the physical offspring of God and Mary.
C. “I found some very important points, which to my knowledge, have not been covered before”.
In general I would offer a precautionary note to Mr. Fontain. John Piper wrote “Adjust your doctrine – or just minimize doctrine – to attract the world, and in the very process of attracting them, lose the radical truth that alone can set them free.”  I would be very weary to follow anyone that has discovered a “new” doctrine or “revelation” concerning any constitutes of faith. Mr. Fountain is not a qualified theologian to my knowledge and has not attended any seminary or institution to make claims of “new” biblical discoveries. As far as I could find he has dome no professional research with any theological institution to legitimize his claims.
D. “Jesus had a Scripture in His lifetime”.
This is the central axes of Mr Fontain’s assessment! Early in Church History the Church Fathers Jerome and Augustine stated that Jesus did not leave anything in writing. Theologian F.F. Bruce wrote “A body which depends so largely as the early Christian Church did on a succession of teachers will find it useful to have manuals of instruction. Such manuals, indeed, are not indispensable; the Jewish Rabbi’s for several generations relied chiefly on oral instruction and retentive memories; the ideal disciple was compared by one Rabbi to “a well-cemented cistern which does not lose a drop”. Jesus, whom his contemporaries recognized as a rabbi, committed none of his teaching to writing; whether he taught the crowds publicly or his disciples privately, he taught by word of mouth. It has been suggested that some of his hearers made written notes of what he said; this possibly cannot be excluded, but there is no positive evidence to support it.”
The assumption Mr Fontain has is not substantiated by the overall narrative of Scripture and cultural setting of the Jews at the time but anachronistically undermines the verbal culture of the day by assuming a modern view of memory and preservation. Jesus could write (John 8:6) and scripture clearly indicates he could read (Luke 4:17-19) but as a Torah observing Jew Jesus would not have attempted to be His “own witness” or mandate His own teaching. In Bronze age Palestine the cultural imperative would have been to allow at least two other witnesses to validate ones teaching as this was standard practise in a Jewish court of Law (Deut.17:6; 19:15, Matt.18:16, 1 Cor.13:1). As a quick reflection on the reliability issue in oral tradition amongst the Jewish community a Jewish Historian from Jesus’ time by the name of Philo wrote “For all men guard their own customs, but this is especially true of the Jewish nation. Holding that the laws are oracles vouchsafed by God and having been trained in this doctrine from their earliest years, they carry the likeness of the commandments enshrined in their souls”.  Many authors in antiquity did not write “about themselves” [Socrates] and when we look at the oral culture and the preservation of sayings we see that orality was seen as a far superior way to recall what the teacher have said.
E. “the Scripture given to Jesus according to the oldest manuscript of the Bible is Euangelion”.
Theologian C.E. Hill states absolutely that “the four Canonical Gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke and John] are acknowledged by.. the vast majority of Scholars of all persuasions to be the earliest ‘known’ Gospels”.  What John is suspecting is just contrary to Historical Scrutiny and affirmed academia in the field of early Christian written materials. This is a claim without any merit at all and is a pure argument from silence. The “Euangelion” was clearly laid out in the New and Old Testament and proclaimed by Jesus’ closest followers. R.V.G Tasker Professor of New Testament Exegesis at the University of London remarks that; “There were at least thirty five years of Christian teaching and Christian missionary activity before the believers were in possession of the written records of Christ’s life and teaching, which we know as the four Gospels”… “He adds; “Our faith today is bound to be conditioned by the four Gospels. The faith of the earliest Christians was independent of them.” Even today a lot of emphasis is placed on the time that transpired between the “verbal” teaching of the Apostles and the “written” narrative of the Life and teaching of Jesus Christ. The earliest Christians concerned themselves with the instruction of Jesus to herald the gospel to all (Matt.28:19, Acts 1:8) and did not waver to do this effectively with the reality of persecution (Act 8). “What was paramount in the apostles’ earliest motives was oral proclamation of the gospel.”  I have written earlier on what exactly the “Euangelion” was at the following link: Here
F. From the preface John writes: “After researching extensively some of the oldest scriptures of the Bible he discovered some key points that will ultimately change the way Muslims and Christians view Jesus and his Message”.
Another nebulous statement that does not clearly define exactly what he has discovered nor does it say ‘which’ “older Scriptures” lead him to believe that he might reveal these newly found sources/points?
G. John writes under the title “Books of God” that: “Throughout time various revelations from God have been revealed to mankind through Prophets, of which the Quran is the final revelation” (Pg.1).
If John in any way or form suggests that the revelation of the Old Testament Prophets were in agreement with the Quran he has missed the plot. Dr. John D. Morris gives us an indication of what exactly the Old Testament expectation was and what it said from Genesis to the Prophets. He writes:
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22). Ever since sin entered into God’s created world, His message to all people of all ages has been the same. At the time of the curse, God prophesied that there soon would be a coming Redeemer–the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent, although the Redeemer Himself would be made to suffer in order to do away with the effects of sin (Genesis 3:15). “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).God repeatedly warned the people of His hatred of sin and wickedness (see, for example, Psalm 5:4-6; Proverbs 6:16-19), but He recognized that humankind was totally incapable of measuring up to His standard of perfection. That great statement of righteous requirements, the Ten Commandments, demonstrated the utter impossibility of complete compliance (Exodus 20; Psalm 14; etc.) Conversely, God repeatedly extended His invitation to be rescued from sin and its effects and its necessary judgment by confidence in His plan for mankind. In our text, we see that “all the ends of the earth” have the opportunity to be “saved.” “Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come” (Isaiah 45:24). This plan of God focuses on the promised Redeemer who would come to buy back humanity from its enslavement to sin. “A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: . . . and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6).
When Mr. Fontain suggests that The Quran is the final revelation? But we see clearly in the Old Testament that the overall expectation was for a Redeemer not for a new book or revelation? Job writes for instance that “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:25 NIV). Isaiah the Prophet writes as well that “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7). The Prophet Zechariah writes “For the Lord of Hosts says this: “He has sent Me for His glory against the nations who are plundering you, for anyone who touches you touches the pupil of His eye. I will move against them with My power, and they will become plunder for their own servants. Then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me. “Daughter Zion, shout for joy and be glad, for I am coming to dwell among you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day and become My people. I will dwell among you, and you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me to you. The Lord will take possession of Judah as His portion in the Holy Land, and He will once again choose Jerusalem. Let all people be silent before the Lord, for He is coming from His holy dwelling.” (Zechariah 2:8-13). Christ constitutes the final act and witness from the Father as Prophesied by the Old Testament Prophets and is the ultimate consummation of God acting towards mankind. There is therefore no new revelation needed 600 years after Christ. In Acts 10:43 Peter writes “All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.” The central theme of Scripture is the prediction of the coming of Christ, and with His arrival consummates that promise concluding the expected hope. The Bible does not anticipate the Quran or Muhammad AT ALL and assures us of its own completion in its prediction (Old Testament) and fulfilment (New Testament) (Deut.4:1-2, Prov.30:5-6, Rev.22:18-19).
H. “We see in the Quran there is also a mention of a revelation given to Prophet Jesus called the Injeel” (Pg.1).
Again, at this stage of Mr Fontain’s argument we need to reiterate that there is NO proof for this at all. All we have is just his assumption without an ounce of Scholarly/Scriptural backup.
I. Lastly, under the title “Books of God” Mr. Fontain asserts that “Muslims… should understand that the Tawrat is not the first five books of the Old Testament, the Zaboor is not the Psalms and the Injeel is not the Bible, the New Testament nor the Gospels” (Pg.1).
We would concur with this point, we know that Muhammad had no contact with any of these Christian Scriptures and his knowledge of the Old and New Testament as we can see it is non-existent.
J. Under the Title “The Bible” John writes: “There are many versions of the Bible, such as the Catholic Bible containing 73 books, the Ethiopian Bible containing 81 books, the Protestant Bible containing 66 Books and the Jewish Bible containing 39 Books” (Pg.2).
Dr. Lehman Strauss writes that only “In 1545, at the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church voted to add all the volumes of the Apocrypha to God’s Book”. John F. is right in that some traditions include “Apocryphal” and “Deuterocanonical” books. Some books were included in the 16th century in the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches that were not part of the original Hebrew Bible. It should be noted that these books did not impact the essential doctrines the Church of Jesus Christ. John F. must also understand that the catholic and orthodox traditions do not hold that these books on the same parity as the Canonical Scriptures. An interesting fact is that the amount of books does not determine any variation in the global Church’s’ understanding of the cardinal doctrines like: The doctrine of God, atonement, Trinity, crucifixion, resurrection or Biblical preservation. We are still assured by Christ that “heaven and earth shall pass away” but His words and teaching will remain with His followers (Mark 13:31; John 14:26). We can therefore see even today in persecuted countries people possess only portions of Scripture without these cardinal constitutes of the faith being affected. As Muslims believe we believe; God preserves His Scriptures (Jer.1:12, Isa.55:11, Ps.12:6-7, Surah 15:9).
K. “None of the 27 books were written anyone who had first-hand contact with Jesus yet they narrate the life and teachings of Jesus’ short ministry period” (Pg.2).
Theologian Mark D Roberts writes, “Did the gospel writers know Jesus personally? With confidence, we can say “no” in the cases of Mark and Luke. But these writers clearly had access to reliable traditions about Jesus. Moreover, the fact that Mark was so quickly accepted by the early church (including Luke and Matthew, it seems) lends credence to the notion that Mark based his writing on reliable source(s), like Peter, for instance. Luke is clear in the introduction to his gospel that he used both oral and written sources for his narrative, with some of these going back to eyewitnesses of Jesus. In the case of Matthew or John, it’s possible that the evangelist was an eyewitness of Jesus Himself, and even one of the Twelve. There was a time when critical scholars seemed to discard this possibility energetically, almost glibly. But in recent years many have come to believe that the first and fourth gospels reflect the memory and the perspective of Jesus’s own disciples, both Matthew and John (or the Beloved Disciple, at any rate). Matthew and John may not have been the actual writers of the gospels, but they, their memory, and their authority stand behind them. If the writers of the first and fourth gospels actually knew Jesus personally, this does increase their reliability somewhat. But, given the fact that these gospels depend on earlier sources, both written and oral, their reliability does not depend on their authorship. (The same is true, by the way, for their spiritual authority. One could affirm the utter inerrancy of Scripture without affirming the traditional authorship of the gospels, which isn’t claimed in the biblical text.) So, did the gospels writers know Jesus personally? Mark and Luke did not. Matthew and John might have, but we can’t be positive. Yet the reliability of the New Testament gospels does not depend on the question of who wrote them so much as on the nature and purpose of the writings themselves. If Luke, for example, did what he claimed to do in the prologue to his narrative, then he can be considered a reliable witness to Jesus even though he never actually saw Jesus in the flesh. We also need to add that some of the New Testament authors make it emphatically clear that some of them were actual Eyewitnesses. There is explicit evidence for actual eyewitness evidence in the New Testament.
Professor J.P. Moreland writes “Prima facie it would seem that a strong case could be made for the fact that much of the New Testament, including the Gospels and the sources behind them, was written by eyewitnesses. This is mentioned explicitly in a number of places (Luke 1:1-4; Galatians 1; 2 Peter 1:16). Further, apostolic position in the early church was widely known to include the qualification of being an eyewitness (Acts 1:21-22; Hebrews 2:3), a qualification which shows that the early church valued the testimony of eyewitnesses and believed she had eyewitnesses leading her. The early speeches in Acts refer to the knowledge of unbelieving audiences (e. g., Acts 2:22), and no historian I know of doubts that Christianity started in Jerusalem just a few weeks after the death of Jesus in the presence of friendly and hostile eyewitnesses. Finally, there is indirect testimony to eyewitness evidence in the Gospels. For example, if a number of pronouns in Mark (see 1:21, 29) are changed from the third-person plural they to the first-person plural we, they can easily be seen as eyewitness reminiscences of Peter, who gave Mark much of the material for his Gospel. I would agree when I consider explicit statements as follow:
“The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe”. (John 19:35).
“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20).
“For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty”. (2 Peter 1:16).
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life”. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ”. (1 John 1:1,3).
“As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father”. (1 John 2:24).
L. Lastly, John writes that “From the dates of the Scriptures we can see that it was many centuries after Moses and Jesus that the formation of the Bible took place” (Pg.2).
This again is simple nonsense. Two illustrate this point, former liberal William F. Albright and radical critic John A.T. Robinson and Professor Lee W. Woodard wrote:’We can already say emphatically that there is no long any basis for dating any book of the New Testament after about A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today.’ (Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands, 136). Elsewhere Albright said, ‘In my opinion, every book of the New Testament was written by a baptised Jew between the forties and eighties of the first century (very probably sometime between about A.D. 50 and 75)’. This scholar went so far as to affirm that the evidence from the Qumran community show that the concepts, terminology, and mind set of the Gospel of John is probably first century (‘Recent Discoveries in Palestine’). ‘Thanks to the Qumran discoveries, the New Testament proves to be in fact what it was formerly believed to be: the teaching of Christ and his immediate followers between cir. 25 and cir. 80 A.D.' John A. T. Robinson wrote a revolutionary book titled “Redating the New Testament” in which he posited revised dates for the New Testament books that place them earlier than the most conservative scholars ever held. Robinson places Matthew at 40 to after 60, Mark at about 45 to 60, Luke at before 57 to after 60, and John at from 40 to after 65.Dr. Lee W. Woodard: Date and Place of Completion of Final Versions: “Matthew, Greek manuscript first issued in A.D. 37, with some editing done in 43 A.D, in Damascus, Syria, but revised and expanded somewhat in Aun (On, or An, ancient Heliopolis) Egypt in A.D. 67.Mark, First Edition during circa 68 A.D. in Antioch of Syria, but edited and expanded to current condition in A.D. 73, and perhaps with some re-penning of pages in A.D. 95. Luke, penned in 74 A.D. in Antioch of Syria. John, First Edition Dated in A.D. 65, 67, but with some editing or re-penning of some pages in A.D. 97, In Ephesus.
M. “Christians claim that the New Testament is either revelation of God, The word of God, inspired by God, written by Disciples or eyewitnesses. These claims come from various beliefs within Church doctrines rather than biblical scripture itself” (Pg.3).
I think John has never seriously read the Bible and as we have displayed under point “K” we can see ample evidence for actual eyewitness authorship.
N. John writes “The Oldest Manuscripts of the New Testament are in fact untitled and unsigned narrations written in Greek capital letters, with no punctuation, accent marks or spaces between the words. We must therefore not take these narrations as revelation from God; rather we must take them at their face value of simply being narration written decades after the event” (Pg.3).
John makes a really unnecessary point when he objects to the Books of the New Testament because they did not bare a title and because they were written in an “uncial style of calligraphy”? He even states that the earliest manuscripts were written in “scriptio continua” (no gaps between words). Here is the objection phrased differently: “Unknown authors of antiquity writing in a specific style without quotation marks and adjacent punctuation should not be trusted”. An interesting question is if John applies this to the earliest Quranic manuscripts if he would treat it with the same suspicion?
O. The Oldest manuscripts of the New Testament are in Greek, yet the language that Jesus spoke was Aramaic.
The problem guarantees inaccuracies because we have nothing in the language of the original revelation of Jesus” (Pg.4).
This is a claim many Muslims repeat that Ahmed Deedat made popular. First we need to understand that the earliest Christians read the Greek Masoretic Text since Greek was the “lingua fraca” of the ruling Roman Empire at the time. Also interesting is that the prevailing reading in the temples of the time was the Jewish Septuagint because the language of the Greco-Roman Church (Aramaic was the language of Syriac Christianity, which used the Targumim). John F. further also assumes that Jesus or His Disciples could not speak Greek; yet, we find Jesus encountering multiple different cultures which implies that he was multilingual.
P. It was later compiled as part of the New Testament altogether in the 4th century, over 300 years after the ministry of Jesus!” (Pg.4). “The New Testament evolved gradually over several centuries [3-5]… before early Churches formulated the final 27 books, presently comprising the New Testament” (Pg.5).
Mr Fontain maintains that the Gospels specifically were a later invention? Unfortunately that is not the factual Historical description. When he even asserts that the New Testament was compiled only in the 4th century we have to ask why he says this? John obviously misses the presence of apostolic authority in the New Testament community and seems to forget the actual modus operandi of the Jewish community. Due to the Eschatological nature of the early Christian community we see their conceptual understanding of the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus to be the conclusive message of the Old Testament Scriptures. N.T.Wright affirms that “the great story of the Hebrew Scriptures was therefore inevitably read in the Second temple period as a story in search of a conclusion”.  The first Christians therefore understood Jesus the whole life of Jesus and His pursuits to have been the culmination of God’s promise and purposes in the Old Testament. D Moody Smith writes that Jesus in the gospel of Matthew for instance is shown that “Jesus represents the restoration of that dynasty and therefore the History of Israel and the History of salvation. Thus, Jesus continues the Biblical history”. Davis and Alisson also affirm that Matthew thought of his Gospel as a “continuation of the biblical History”. We see therefore that the prevailing idea was that “a New Israel… will require New Scriptures”.  “A New Testament containing Gospels and Epistles is the logical outgrowth and materialization of … an event and the proclamation that follows”.  We can therefore agree with Dr Michael Kruger when he writes “we see obvious connection between the role of the apostles and the beginning of the canon. If apostles were viewed as the mouthpiece of Christ, and it was believed that they wrote down the apostolic message in books, then those books would be received as the very words of Christ Himself. Such writings would not have to wait until second, third or fourth century ecclesiastical decisions to be viewed as authoritive – instead they would be viewed as authoritive from almost the very start. For this reason, a written New Testament was not something the Church formally “decided” to have at some later date, but was instead the natural outworking of the early Church’s view of the function of the Apostles”.
John uses Dr Bruce Metzger as a source so let us see what Dr Metzger wrote on the “late” formulation of the Canon. He writes “For the early Christians the supreme authority was not the Old Testament but Jesus Christ, their Master and risen Lord… in the early Church the Words of Jesus were treasured and quoted, taking place beside the Old Testament and being held as of equal or superior authority to it (Acts 20:35, 1 Cor.7:10;12,9:14, 1 Tim.5:18)… [Words of Jesus and the apostolic explanations] …were drawn up in written form, the documents would be circulated and read in services of worship 9Col.4:16, 1 Thes.5:27, Rev.1:3). In the early third century we see there were “disputed” books that made early Fathers like Eusebius, Athanasius and Augustine to solidify the use of accepted books versus the mention of doubtful books. Metzger writes that “Various external circumstances assisted in the process of canonization of the New Testament books. The emergence of heretical sects having their own sacred books made it imperative for the Church to determine [officially] the limits of canon”. As a result of heretical sects Synods like “Hippo Regius (397 A.D.)” and “Carthage (A.D.397 & 419)” affirming the sole use of the now 27 Books of the New Testament Canon. There was already a consensus as to which books were authoritive. In John’s mind he thinks that the New Testament Canon was created by men, but as Bruce Metzger affirms “neither individuals or councils created the Canon; instead they came to recognize and acknowledge the self-authenticating quality of these writings, which imposed themselves as canonical upon the Church”.
Q. John makes the following statement “Although Muslims do not accept the Bible as a revelation from God, there are still many things that agree with Islam.
How convenient! We deny that which contradict us and affirm that which affirm what we believe in. What an absurd mindset.
R. Within the Bible itself Jesus declares that he has a God, describes Himself as a Prophet, prays in the manner of a Muslim, gives charity, fasts and even mentions Mecca and its well as a place of pilgrimage.” (Pg.6).
Mr Fontain then mentions the following Scriptures to proof His points mentioned:
“Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” (John 20:17).
“Jesus declares he has a God” – Matt Slick considers this point very clearly when he writes: “The answer to the question is yes and no. In order to more properly address this question, we have to learn a little Biblical theology and a little logic. First of all, Jesus has two natures: divine and human. This is called the Hypostatic Union. Second, as a man, Jesus was made under the law (Galatians 4:4) and was made for a while little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9). As someone who is under the law and who is a good Jew as Jesus was, it would be necessary for Jesus to obey the law and worship God (in this case, the Father–see John 17:5). Third, we have to be careful with the word “God.” We don’t want to commit the logical fallacy of equivocation where the meaning of a word changes as we are using it. Let me clarify. Please read the next two sentences carefully and notice who the word “God” is used for in each. The Trinity is the teaching that the one God of all existence, consists of three divine persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. In sentence number one, the word “God” is a quantitative, dealing with how many gods there are. In sentence two, the word “God” is qualitative, dealing with nature, that is, the nature of divinity. So when someone asks if Jesus has a God, there is a huge risk here of the fallacy of equivocation or confusing the quantitative sense with the qualitative sense. This is why it is important to understand Biblical theology, so that a proper answer can be given. Here it is: Yes, Jesus, who is the second person of the Trinity and divine by nature, worshipped God the Father as a good Jew who was under the law (Galatians 4:4). Remember, Jesus had humbled himself and emptied Himself in the incarnation and was cooperating with the limitations of being a man while acting under Jewish law (Philippians 2:5-8). Also, Jesus is still a man (1 Tim. 2:5; Col. 2:9) and will be a man forever (1 Cor. 15:28; Heb. 6:20; 7:25). Therefore, it can be said that Jesus, the man, had someone He would call His God, and His was a reference to the Father. Since He will always be a man (as well as divine), He will always have someone He will call His God–but this is in reference to God the Father. That does not mean that Jesus does not share the same divine nature as God the Father since the Bible says that Jesus is also God made man (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:8).
“But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” (Matthew 13:57).
“The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matthew 21:11).
“Describes Himself as a Prophet” – The Biblical Jesus is not just a Prophet. He makes it clear that he will receive the same honour that the Father has received (John 5:23). We are to honour Jesus “just as” (Kathōs) the Father. Bowman and Komoszewski writes “we are to honour Jesus as the one who holds our eternal future in His hands – as the one who has the power of life and death. We can assign no higher honour or status to someone that that of our ultimate, final Judge”. The Father has entrusted to the Son the responsibility as the One giving eternal Judgement (V/22) and the Son is also the life giver to whom He chooses to give life (V/21). Are the fates of humanity in the hand of a mere man? Only God is just and righteous enough to judge fairly and truthfully and Jesus here shows he was not a mere man. Would Mr. Fontain honour Muhammad in the same way or extend as he honours Allah? Yahweh exclaims “I am Jehovah, this is My name, And Mine honour to another I give not, Nor My praise to graven images” (Isa.42:8 Y.L.T). Jesus is therefore not a deified being given custody of God’s honour and glory but Yahweh Himself displaying it. Further Jesus receives the Worship due only to Yahweh as we see in the Apocalypse of John (Rev.5:8-14). This Scripture reveals that Jesus is the very recipient of Heavenly Worship by everyone. And as Matthew Henry declares; “It is matter of joy to all the world, to see that God deals with men in grace and mercy through the Redeemer. He governs the world, not merely as a Creator, but as our Saviour… What words can more fully declare that Christ is, and ought to be worshipped, equally with the Father, by all creatures, to all eternity! Happy those who shall adore and praise in heaven, and who shall for ever bless the Lamb, who delivered and set them apart for himself by his blood. How worthy art thou, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of our highest praises! All creatures should proclaim thy greatness, and adore thy majesty”. Another thing John Fontain missed is that if Jesus was only a Prophet then why is He depicted as the “Pre-Existing One” that existed with the Father in Glory (Phill.2:6-11, John 8:58). These are just a few passages John missed when looking at the Biblical picture of who Jesus is and he simply demands the Islamic perspective to be the true norm.
Jesus fell with His face to the ground and prayed” (Matthew 26:39).
“Prays in the manner of a Muslim” – John demands that posture trumps intention. The Jewish custom could facilitate specific prostrations and we even see Abraham Maimonides (Son of Moses Maimonides) bringing specific postures to Temple Worship and Prayer. It is also important to know the differences between the supposed harmony John aims to establish between Islam and Jewish prayers. The posture Matthew mentions is a full prostration and not just one with His head to the ground but here we must mention that John is belittling the actual intend of Jesus’ posture. The Pulpit Commentary mentions that “He prostrated himself on the ground in utter abasement and desolation, yet in submission withal. In this terrible crisis there is no resource but prayer. The shadow of death enveloped him, wave and storm rolled over his soul; yet out of the deep he called unto the Lord. Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson shows quite emphatically that Jews were not encouraged to kneel in Worship due to the Pagan practice in the days of Moses (Lev.26:1). Further, kneeling was prescribed only to specific Jewish Holy Days like Yom Kippur etc. Also, when it comes to the daily 3 Jewish prayers [morning prayer (shacharit), afternoon prayer (minchah) and evening prayer (arvith or maariv)]. Jews are discouraged to kneel to kneel in prayer and lastly as it is prescribed in the Talmud Jews are not to prostrate themselves merely as an act of “outward piety”. John Gill writes in his commentary that “This was a prayer gesture used when a person was in the utmost perplexity. The account the Jews give of it, is this, “when they fall upon their faces”, they do not stretch out their hands and their feet, but incline on their sides. This was not to be done by any person, or at any time; the rules are these: “no man is accounted fit , “to fall upon his face”, but he that knows in himself that he is righteous, as Joshua; but he inclines his face a little, and does not bow it down to the floor; and it is lawful for a man to pray in one place, and to “fall upon his face” in another: it is a custom that reaches throughout all Israel, that there is no falling upon the face on a Sabbath day, nor on feast days, nor on the beginning of the year, nor on the beginning of the month, nor on the feast of dedication, nor on the days of “purim”, nor at the time of the meat offering of the eves of the Sabbath days, and good days, nor at the evening prayer for every day; and there are private persons that fall upon their faces at the evening prayer, and on the day of atonement only: they fall upon their faces because it is a time of supplication, request, and fasting”. Again the claim that Jewish /Muslim prayers are identical is simply an exaggeration that Mr Fontain is using to make Judaism more Islamic.
Sell your possessions and give it to the needy. (Luke 12:33).
“Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:3).
“Gives charity”/Fasts” – Giving to the poor or fasting is simply an ideal that is shared by all major religions. To therefore claim that it is purely an Islamic motif is simply elitist and again incongruous.
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in you, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the valley of Bacca/Mecca, make it a well (Psalm 84:4-6).
It should be noted that Mr Fountain inserted the word “Mecca” into the quotation from the Psalm. This is also NOT a statement directly from Jesus but as we have seen a quotation from the Psalms. Bacca being Mecca is simply a Quranic claim (Surah 3:96).
Toby Jepson clearly refutes even the slightest idea that the Biblical Bacca and the Muslim Mecca is the same aforementioned in the context when he makes the following points:
“In Surah 3:96, Mecca is given the name Bakkah:
“Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-`Alamin (the mankind and jinns)”.
The Bible, in Psalm 84:5,6, mentions the valley of Baca:
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs: the autumn rains also cover it with pools”. (NIV)
These two quotes, taken together, have been seen to imply that Psalm 84 is talking about making the pilgrimage to Mecca. One notable example is an article by Dr. M S M Saifullah. But the argument is made by many Muslim speakers including Dr. Jamal Badawi.
Is the Claim Justified?
There are several reasons why this claim cannot be sustained. Even without reference to scholarly works, a brief look at the passage itself makes the situation clear.
The whole psalm focuses on God’s sanctuary and how the writer loves to spend time there. The author is one of ‘the Sons of Korah’ and internal evidence points to it being written after the building of the temple in Jerusalem by Solomon. Because of the psalm’s focus on the sanctuary, there are several phrases which describe features of it, enabling us to evaluate the claim that it is Mecca:
v.1 – ‘How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!’
v.3 – ‘… a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty …’
v.4 – ‘Blessed are they who dwell in your house’
v.7 – ‘They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.’
v.10 – ‘I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God …’
These five points count heavily against the claim outlined above.
Firstly (I am open to correction on these points), I do not suppose that Muslims would accept the idea of Allah dwelling in the Ka’aba. I certainly am not aware of this way of thinking in Islam. On the other hand, the Bible repeatedly mentions the temple in Jerusalem as God’s dwelling place, even though he is not limited to a building. In 1 Kings 8:27, Solomon, on the completion of his great temple, said this:
‘But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!’ (NIV)
This makes it clear that the idea of God dwelling in the temple is figurative and not that he is limited to one building. However, it shows clearly that this way of thinking is found in the Bible.
Secondly, I am unaware of any altar which is given prominence at the Ka’aba, whereas the altar was an integral part of the tabernacle and then the Jerusalem temple, necessary for the sacrificial system instituted by God. (Exodus 27:1-8, 1 Kings 8:64).
Thirdly, the Ka’aba is empty and certainly no humans dwell in it. Yet Psalm 84 mentions those who dwell in God’s house. This makes no sense unless it is the Jerusalem temple, which had rooms within its courts (1 Chronicles 28:11,12) for those who were responsible for its upkeep and ceremony.
Fourthly, the pilgrims in Psalm 84 are certainly not on their way to Mecca, as their destination is given as Zion. Mount Zion is one of the hills on which Jerusalem is founded. In the Bible Zion is often used synonymously with Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2).
This point is made even stronger by examining the word used for ‘pilgrimage’ in Psalm 84:5. I don’t claim to know much Hebrew or Arabic, so someone who does is welcome to correct me on this. However, I do know that both languages are Semitic and close in many ways, having the same or similar words for lots of things. That being the case, we might expect the Hebrew word translated here as ‘pilgrimage’ to be similar to the Arabic hajj. In fact, it is not. The only similar Hebrew word that I could find in my exhaustive concordance was hag, which is often translated as ‘festival’ and therefore seems to me to be in some way related to the Arabic hajj.
The Hebrew word used in Psalm 84:5 is from a completely different root to this and is usually translated as ‘road’ or ‘highway’. Thus it seems from a brief consideration that the phrase is literally like saying in English ‘those … who have set their hearts on the highway’, meaning the way they must take to get to Jerusalem. So even the ideas of pilgrimage in the Bible and the Qur’an have a different emphasis. Just because the English translation of Psalm 84:5 says ‘pilgrimage’ we can’t simply equate it with the Hajj.
Fifthly, there is no recognised function of doorkeeper for the Ka’aba, as far as I am aware. However, this was an official job at the Jerusalem Temple (2 Kings 25:18).
What then is the Valley of Baca?
Baca has been translated either as ‘weeping’ or ‘balsam trees’ (which grow in dry places). It could be a real place, in which case it was a valley through which the pilgrims passed during their journey. Alternatively, it could be figurative. In this interpretation, even the dry, arid places through which the pilgrims pass are brought alive by their expectant joy as they near their destination. In either case, their pilgrimage is clearly to Jerusalem, as evidenced by the rest of the psalm. Why on earth would Jews, living in Israel and on their way to Jerusalem, take a huge detour through Mecca?
Whatever our conclusion as to the true identity of the valley of Baca, I think that I have made it fairly clear that the only link between it and the Bakkah of the Quran is a superficial similarity in name. The further details about the location point away from the two being identical. Since that is the case, why should we not link the Bakkah of surah 3:96 with any other place having a similar sounding name? Here is a quote from the article mentioned above:
…we often find this word in the names related to rivers and wadis, such as Wadi al-Baka in the Sinaitic district and Baca on the wadi in the central Galilee area, W of Meroth.
This shows that there are other places with similar names. Why then, do we not hear people claiming that the Quran is referring to these? It seems to me that it is because there is a prior commitment on the part of some to finding evidence for the Quran in the Bible. This, if found, would strengthen the claim that Islam is completely in line with all God’s earlier revelations. However, in this case, it cannot be sustained.
I hope that this short paper has made it clear that the Baca of the Bible cannot be the Bakkah of the Qur’an. Rather than being a justifiable theory, it seems that some people, in their zeal to verify the Qur’an by using the Bible, have jumped all too quickly to a mistaken conclusion. A few superficial similarities are offset by several clear contradictions. It is often easy to bend the facts to fit our own theories, rather than forming our theories around the facts. This is never easier than in religion. Both Christians and Muslims are open to this temptation: I hope that fair-minded people will see this as a case in point”.
S. “When translated into English it becomes totally unrecognisable with translations of “Gospel” and “Good news.” With the translation changing the word Euangelion into “gospel” or “good news” we lose sight of the whole message, thus giving it a totally new interpretation” (Pg.7).
Is there any confusion as to the actual interpretation of the word “Euangelion” in the Christian context? John’s insistence without actually looking at the use of the Biblical word reeks of an extraordinary confusion of his use of the actual term. John is committing the fallacy of special pleading. He demands his interpretation of the word “Euangelion” to be the way it should be interpreted as a general definition without any other exception. It is fascinating to note that the very use of the Word in the New Testament is mainly connected with an action like “proclaim” or “preach” where John makes it solely about a written decree. In fact it is John that is giving the word a “new interpretation”. Thomas Sheldon Green, Greek Scholar describes the use of the Word as an action where the speaker “addresses with good tidings” or “good and joyful news”. He notes that the word could be rendered as an “announcement of glad tidings”. Joseph Thayer also looks at the Word in its Biblical Context and affirm that “Euangelion” means “a reward for good tidings” nl. “the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus, the Messiah, the founder of this Kingdom”. He mentions that the word denotes the following facts: “After the death of Christ the term το ευαγγελιο comprises also the preaching of (concerning) Jesus Christ having suffered death on the Cross to procure eternal salvation for men in the kingdom of God, but as restored to life and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven”.
T. “it is clear from the Oldest Manuscripts from Mark that Jesus was in fact preaching the Injeel in His lifetime, therefore Mark’s Gospel could not be the Injeel” (Pg.7).
John in fact insists that the message proclaimed was the “Injeel” and not the Gospel as Mark pointed it out. But we know that the Proclamation of the Gospel is not a different book or message that was lost but IS the Gospel message predicted in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New as we see the Gospel of Mark indicating (See: Mark 1:1& 14; Isa.40:3,5,8-10, Ex.23:20, Mal.3:1). The “Injeel” John insist upon is actually already proclaimed “before” the arrival and birth of Christ and is clearly depicted as being fulfilled by the telling of Christ’s story in the Gospel of Mark.
U. John then posts the following quote from Graham Stanton:
John says that Theologian Graham Stanton points out the confusion regarding the use of the word “Euangelion”. Allow me to show here that Mr. Fontain is pulling a bit of a “sleight of hand” concerning Graham Stanton’s Quote. Professor Stanton wrote: “One of the most surprising developments of the Christian use of the noun ‘Gospel’ took place towards the end of the century, or early in the second. In Paul’s days and at least for a decade later, Euangelion was used by Christians in the singular to refer solely to oral proclamation. A century later (c. AS 160) Justin Martyr referred to written accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus as “gospels”. At some earlier point ‘oral gospel’ became ‘written gospels’.” First, Professor Stanton is not saying something new. In fact this is exactly what we would expect from an oral Jewish culture. What John is not saying is that Professor Stanton is telling us what the first written Gospel is. “When was the noun “Gospel” first used to refer to a writing? …the Evangelist Matthew took the First step”. John’s mention of a pre-existing “Gospel/Injeel” given to Jesus is simply refuted even by Stanton and the quote is made to say what John attempted for it to say. Again, the authors of the Gospels were acquainted with the Messianic expectation and clearly denotes that the Prophets spoke of Christ to come (2 Pet.3:1-2, Heb.1:1-2, Matt.1:23, 2:6, 3:3; Mar.1:2-3; Luk.3:4-6, 4:18-19; Joh.1:23, 6:31, 45, 12:13-15, 38-40).
V. “Some Christians claim that the word Euangelion has its roots in the Hebrew language, however, this is refuted by Friedric-Kittel page 270: … Euangelion appears to be a loan-word introduced into Judaism to describe the New Testament Gospel.” (Pg.8).
It should be noted that Kittel makes a few good points. The actual word is not derived from the LXX (Septuagint) but Kittel affirm that the “Euangelion” was use to denote both the “action as well as content” He writes that “The proclamation of Jesus is undoubtedly Good news, and he Himself is its proclaimer, so that we have an obvious transition from verb to noun”… He adds “Jesus realizes that He is not just bringing a new teaching but bringing Himself as the content of his message, so that for the Disciples Euangelion implies disclosure of the messianic secret”… Kittel goes further; “while the verb may be the better term for Jesus Himself, the noun is apt for the direct continuation of His proclamation by the community”… “Jesus both proclaims the Gospel and … actualizes it”.  If John F. seriously considers the point Kittel is making, he should understand that the “Euangelion” was the message Christ proclaimed of Himself which was then transmitted from an oral form to a written text. Herman Ridderbos describes the reason for the process so beautifully when he writes “it is equally obvious that within the wider circle of the oral apostolic tradition, rather quickly the narrower, written tradition began to be delineated very clearly…such a development proves that the church did not live nor did it wish to live by anything other than what it had received through the apostles in the name of Christ…the church, concentrated on apostolic tradition that was fixed in writing, the only form of that tradition it could utilize in the long run without hesitation… By falling back on written tradition, the church did not make a Holy Scripture; it did not proclaim something to be canon. Rather, it established itself on its foundation, insofar as that foundation was available in fixed form… it was not the transfer of the authority of the Old Testament to the New but the original and inherent authority of Christ and His Apostles that gives rise to the New Testament Canon”.
W. “The Quran 4:165 states that all Prophets were given good news, but specifically Jesus was given the Injeel, thus highlighting that the Injeel was more than just a “good news” it was also the name of the Revelation which parallels the Biblical understanding”. (Pg.8).
Here John F. has to deal with the quran dilemma. First, the author of the Quran assumes that the central message corresponds with the central message of the Christian Scripture. This is simply not true, and John has to account for it as to why this is so. If John F. claims that it is due to corruption or a change of the overall narrative, he has to account for the Quranic imperative that states that Allah’s message cannot be altered (Surah18:27) and we as Christian’s are encouraged by the author to judge by what has been revealed in our own Scriptures (Surah5:47;68). Also John F. must ask us what we believe (Surah 10:94) which in fact does not parallel the quran at all. Christians are assured that they see a clear picture from the Old to the New Covenant and as C.H Dodd writes; “the N.T. writers do not, in the main, treat the Prophecies of the O.T. as a kind of pious fortune-telling, and seek to impress their readers with the exactness of correspondence between forecast and event”. This was not an invented reality or an acute case of parallelism. In the Old Testament we see that the Prophets anticipated the arrival of the Kingdom of God and the Davidic King (Deut.18:15-19, Psalm 16:10,11, Micah 5:2, Zec.11:12,13, Hos.11:1, Is.26:19, 29:18-19, 35:5-6, 52:13, 61:1-2, Luk.4:21, Joh5:46). A.G Herbert writes; “It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that whenever a New Testament writer quotes or alludes to the Old Testament, it is in order to exhibit some aspect or other of the Divine Purpose that had been fulfilled in Jesus”. Allow me to mention that the very foundational reason Christians deny the quran is because we see a clear trajectory from the Old to the New Testament. Nowhere do the New Testament authors, Christ or the Prophets of the past expect “another” to come after Jesus. Jesus was it! John F. claim that these have predicted or even assumed a message other that the coming of Christ is simply vicarious to the overall context of History and the Bible. As Henry M. Shires stated emphatically about the Prophets of the Old Testament’s conviction; “They were thus convinced that the true meaning of the O.T. is Jesus Christ and that he alone provides the means of understanding it”… In the Christian view the O.T. cannot be fully understood without the New. But the reverse is equally true. The Christian writings do not stand by themselves but draw much of their substance from Jewish Scriptures”. We can disagree wholeheartedly with John’s assumption; the Biblical understanding does NOT underscore or affirm his supposed interpretation!
X. “When we research the word Euangelion being mentioned throughout the Bible, we see that it becomes very clear that the Euangelion is more than just good news, and even supports the narrative in the Quran by describing the Euangelion as a message, a Law and teaching left by Word of mouth and letters” (Pg.9).
When we look at the use of the Word in the NT I would agree with John F. that the Scriptures clearly assigns a “proclaimed” and a “written” “Euangelion” as described in section “W”. We will therefore just disagree as to the actual quality and content of the “Euangelion”.
Y. “the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (MMLJ) which are entitled “The Gospel according to MMLJ” are clearly not a part of the Euangelion that Jesus himself taught, neither are the additional letters of Paul” (Pg.10).
This is quite a bold claim! Did the New Testament authors and Paul “get” Jesus right? As we have seen the Biblical imperative is that Jesus was the message and the fulfillment of the overall pericope of the Scriptures. That is why the Gospel authors can wholeheartedly confirm about Jesus. When we reflect on just the Gospel of Mark the author reports that this is “The Beginning of the Gospel [Euangelion] of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” and “Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news [Euangelion] of God: “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news [euangelio]!” (Mark1:1&14). The Euangelion is all about Jesus Christ and what he accomplished. Luke Timothy Johnson writes; “Mark was the first to connect the notion of “good news”, euaggelion- first understood as what God had accomplished in the death and resurrection of the Messiah-to a narrative of what Jesus himself had said and done, calling it too, “good news, “euaggelion” (1:1)… “Mark set out the traditions about Jesus in narrative form, the term “gospel” would henceforth have the sense of a literary medium as well as a message”. In fact when we look at the very heart of the four Gospels and the Writings of Paul we see clearly “by Gospel is meant good news, and by Gospels, the presentation of that good news by the writers of these records. The Good News of these records is the message of salvation, so that, in reality, there is but one Gospel”. We see this displayed in the following Scriptures: Mark.1:1&14, Matt.4:17&23-25, Luk.4:14-20, Joh.3:14-21, Acts 2:14-40, 10:34-43, Rom.1:1-17, 1 Cor.15:1-11).
Z. “Words in the Bible, where substantial confusion has arisen are; God and god, He and he, LORD, Lord and lord, Son, son and sons Word and word. These words, along with others, have been used interchangeably between God and Jesus creating mass confusion and variations of doctrines within Christianity on a global scale.” (Pg.11).
I agree somewhat with John F. We need to interpret specific words in its specific context. When Jesus is referred to as God (John 1:1, 2 Pet.1:1&11 etc.) we need to stick with the context that in the mentioned passages show Him to be God and not a demi god or emanation of the true God. The same should be purported to how we use lord, Lord, Son, son, Word and word.
AA. “These issues with translation are the key reasons why there is so much confusion within the Christian faith as to date the Bible has been translated in over 3,000 languages worldwide”. (Pg.11).
This again is simply wrong? It must be said that orthodox Christianity has no problems with the cardinal doctrines of the Church, and the fact that Joh F. thinks there are “much confusion” is simply indicating that he has created a false dilemma. F.F. Bruce wrote, “The New Testament was complete, or substantially complete, about AD 100, the majority of the writings being in existence twenty to forty years before this.” Like we have seen in the above mentioned studies the Scripture went from oral form to a literal text quite quickly. We also find that communities familiar with these narratives were still in close proximity with the actual events attesting to the fact that it was reliable. John F. might imply that the number of variants in the manuscript evidence indicates a “confusion”. F.F. Bruce mentions that “Fortunately, if the great number of MSS [manuscripts] increases the number of scribal errors, it increases proportionately the means of correcting such errors, so that the margin of doubt left in the process of recovering the exact original wording is not so large as might be feared; it is in truth remarkably small”. It also needed to be added that the effect variants have on the cardinal doctrines of the Church is very minute. This leads Professor Keith E. Gephart affirming that; “It is a commonly recognized fact that 80-85 percent of all the manuscript evidence is in total agreement even on such matters as spelling and punctuation. [He added in a footnote that the percentage “rises considerably” when spelling and punctuation differences are eliminated.] …. some of these variants do affect the theology of those particular verses. But even in these instances, our doctrine is not affected since there are so many other verses which teach the doctrine in question. I cannot see the Logic in John’s argument, which leads me to believe that he is not familiar with the process of translation or the attestation of early biblical manuscripts. John F also neglects to account for the standard we use to evaluate the reliability of Gospel manuscripts. I have written quite clearly on the nature of variants in the Biblical manuscripts as well as the reliability of these early New Testament fragments. Professor Mark D. Roberts give us a few hints on how we can determine reliability
1. Antiquity – The Older the manuscript, the better!
2. Multiplicity – The more manuscripts we have the better!
3. Trustworthy scholarly methodology – The utilization of reliable and fair methods.
4. Quality & quantity of textually ambiguous passages – here we look at the actual quality and quantity of variants.
Even Bart D. Ehrman writes about these variants and mention “of all the hundreds of thousands of textual changes found among our manuscripts, most of them are completely insignificant, immaterial, and off no real importance for anything other than showing that scribes could not spell or keep focused any better than the rest of us”. He adds “The changes they made—at least the intentional ones—were no doubt seen as improvements of the text, possibly made because the scribes were convinced that the copyists before them had themselves mistakenly altered the words of the text. For the most part, their intention was to conserve the tradition, not to change it”.
BB. “The New Testament we have today is not the direct revelation that was revealed to Jesus from God but collection of biographies that were written by unknown men after Jesus. (Pg.11).
John F. makes quite a sublime observation here in that the New Testament was the revelation OF Jesus. The question John F. should be asking is if what they wrote were true and if they offer a trustworthy basis for faith in the person of Jesus Christ? Further, John F. (A supernaturalist believing in Inspiration) applies a secular naturalistic standard to the biblical text [which he would not apply to the quran] that denies the authors to describe Jesus assuring us that He did not speak on His own but gave the direct instructions of God (John12:49-50; 7:16; 14:10) and forgets that Jesus is recorded to have said that His very words spoken will not be changed or corrupted (Mark13:31; John 14:26). One should ask why the double standard? Another point to consider is if Jesus is God (like Christians affirm) the very words attributed to Him is authoritive, but even IF he was not God, the context shows quite emphatically that he gave the instruction from the Father and according to John F’s own standard this should be sufficiently authoritive. To assume the words of Christ are not authoritive simply because they do not contain “thus saith the Lord” in front of every statement is simply ludicrous and irrelevant to its own context. John F. misses the fact that “in the world of Jesus and Mary and Simon Peter, written records were second to spoken narratives”. We see for instance Paul uses the words “handed over” [paradidōmi] and “received” [paralambanō] to capture the essence of oral traditions of the time. What is suggested is that the actual recension of the Four Gospels actually capture and preserves the actual “voice” of Christ [ipsissima vox]. The early Christians affirm what Peter confirms when he said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Timothy P. Jones writes “Within months of Jesus’ death, a consistent oral account of Jesus’ resurrection emerged amongst His followers. What’s more, this tradition did not change from person to person, like a game of telephone gone terribly wrong. To the contrary, the tradition remained relatively unchanged throughout the first two decades of Christian faith”.
As for the alleged claim that the authors were unknown and therefore the writing are unreliable; I think it is important to note that the historical accuracy of any document is not dependent on the authorship of the document. Plutarch, Lucian, Porphyry, Plato ect. are never mentioned in one of their writings as the original authors, yet, we do not doubt the validity of Greek or Hellenic History? Scrolls in antiquity simply did not bother to write their names on the documents and many times authorship were unanimously resumed. Evidence that the Gospels were written by its mentioned authors are quite extensive; for instance Justin Martyr (150 A.D.) refers to the “memoirs of the Apostles” (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) sixteen times as well as other independent sources. Even more we have not one person from antiquity write “and the Four letters are Matthew, Mark, Luke and Bob”?? No! Every time the four Gospels are affirmed as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!
Traditionally the Authorship of the Gospels are said to be attributed to:
Matthew – Disciple of Jesus.
Mark – Secretary to Peter.
Luke – Historian and collector of actual accounts.
John – Disciple of Jesus.
For the Gospels we have the following Historical attestations:
Papias (120 A.D.) – Mentions Matthew & Mark.
Marcion (145 A.D.) – Mentions Luke.
Justin (150 A.D.) – Mentions Mark and Luke.
Irenaeus (170 A.D.) – Mentions Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Anti- Marcionite Prologue to Luke (175 A.D.) – Mentions Luke.
Theophilus of Antioch (175 A.D.) – Mentions Luke.
Clement of Alexandria (200 A.D.) – Mentions Mark and John.
Tertullian (200 A.D.) – Mentions Mark.
P75 (200A.D.) – Mentions Luke.
Clement of Alexandria (200 A.D.) – Mentions Mark and John.
Muratorian Canon (200A.D.) – Mentions Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Origen (225 A.D.) – Mentions Mark.
It is also noteworthy that there is no indication that these manuscripts were authored by anyone else and simply no evidence for it?
Armin D. Baum argued that the Gospels were intentionally written as anonymous works in order to reflect the practice of the Old Testament historical books which were themselves anonymous (as opposed to other Old Testament writings, like the prophets, which included the identity of the author). It seems like this allows the authors of the gospels “to disappear” and to give “highest priority to their subject matter.” Thus, the anonymity of the Gospels, far from diminishing their scriptural authority, actually served to increase it by consciously placing the Gospels “in the tradition of Old Testament historiography.” In my opinion there is little reason to doubt the titles of these gospels and thus little reason to doubt the authorship of these books. Baum’s position along with the evidence you presented strongly suggests that the most likely authors are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
CC. They are not the words of God not words that Jesus conveyed from God, rather they claim to be records of some words, deeds and miracles of Jesus that we have no way of authenticating due to the corruption of the text and lack of preservation.(Pg.11). “This misunderstanding has been responsible for the inconsistencies and differences in doctrines within the Church of Christendom (Pg.12).
As we have noticed in the point above, the authors of the Gospels were pretty assured that the words (ipsissima verba) they recorded was the actual voice of Jesus (Ipsissima vox). Again John F. assumes that the Gospels are unreliable and mentions that we have no way of authenticating that what they say was true? First, for a supernaturalist that holds to inspiration this is simply an amazing claim? Secondly, we can know with quite a degree of certainty if what the author’s record is true. Theologian R.T. France comments on the fallaciousness of this sort of scepticism when they assume that “the writing of the gospel[s] excludes a concern for authenticity [for the sayings of Christ]. He adds; “Your conclusion depends on your starting point. If you start as a sceptic, you end as a sceptic”. John F. does not go into great depths as to the nature of the corruption he presupposes. As a Muslim he is presuppositionally assumes corruption because the quran says so (Quran 2:75, 79). France notes that we can have relative certainty that “the early Christians were concerned to preserve essentially what Jesus said, because He said it”.
He mentions 5 points that shows this:
a) “The Stylistic form of Jesus’ sayings” – He adds “Very many sayings of Jesus in the synoptic Gospels fall into poetic or otherwise easy memorisable form”
b) “The Terminology tradition” – “If Paul, a pharisaic Jew, can use such language, [paralambanein, paradidōmi and paradosis to denote what he received from Jesus or men] this suggests that there was in the Christian Church a concept analogous to the Jewish idea of transmission”.
c) “The function of the Apostles” – “The Apostles were regarded as the guardians and transmitters of an authoritive tradition about Jesus”…
d) “Respect for the sayings of Jesus” – “the Words of Jesus are treated as “sui generis” [of its own kind].
e) “Dissimilarity of interests” – “the criterion of dissimilarity …show that, if the synoptic Gospels were compiled with a view only to answer contemporary questions and expressing contemporary theology… their aim was to preserve what Jesus said and did..”
John F. assumes that “these words” resulted into differences in doctrinal issues. This is a bit of an oversimplification of the overall facts and we could rather say that it is as a result of “hermeneutical differences” or a misunderstanding of the “author’s intentions” in the Synoptics and the GJohn.
DD. The first such miracle ascribed to him [Jesus] was in infancy when he spoke in defence of his mother who was accused by the Rabbis of bearing the child, Jesus, illegitimately without a husband!” (Pg.14)
This is a purely Quranic claim and not a biblical one (Surah10”29-32). St. Clair Tissdal reports that this is a later fabrication that was interpolated into the Quran. From the “Answering Islam” site they write: This “probably came from the Injilu ‘t Tufuliyyah better known as the Arabic “Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ”. It is a 2nd century Arabic apocryphal fable from Egypt. This is the possible source for the referenced verse in the Qur’an. Here is the similar passage from the Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ: … Jesus spoke when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother: “Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God, the Word, which thou didst bring forth according to the declaration of the angel Gabriel, and My Father hath sent me for the salvation of the world.” Comparing the two verses, it’s another obvious plagiarism of Muhammad’s. In #1, Muhammad revised what he had heard, to bring it into accord with his own beliefs and teachings. #2 comes from “The Gospel of Thomas the Israelite”. (Not the same document as the “Gospel of Thomas” that claims to be a real biblical Gospel. “The Gospel of Thomas the Israelite” is a known and documented book of fables, that only happens to have a similar name to the “Gospel of Thomas”.)
Here is the similar passage:
The child Jesus, when 5 years of age, was playing on the road by a dirty stream of running water; and having brought it all together into ditches, immediately made it pure and clean; by saying a single word. Then having moistened some earth, he made of it twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath day when he did these things. There were many other children playing with him. Now a Jew, seeing what Jesus did, that he was playing on the Sabbath day, went his way to (Jesus’) father Joseph. He said, “Behold, your son is at the stream of dirty water, and having taken up some mud, has made of it twelve sparrows, thus desecrating the Sabbath. On this Joseph went to the spot, and cried out, “Why did you do these things on the Sabbath day which it is not lawful to do?” Jesus then clapped his hands at the sparrows and cried aloud to them, “Go off!” So they, clucking, flew away. The Jews seeing it were astonished, and went and told their rulers what they had seen Jesus do.” Again, note the similarities. Another Christian fable, another story circulated by the Christians living in the Mideast. And, another fable that made its way into the Qur’an.
EE. “The concept of God in Islam is that God is One, Self-Subsisting, Unique and beyond our comprehension” (Pg.16).
John F. is not a Theologian, he is a parrot. That being said he takes very little time to explain to us what the God of Islam is. John does not mention the numerous problems with Islamic Monotheism. For the sake of time I have written a short article on the problems within Islamic Monotheism here
FF. “All the revelations contained the same core message to Worship the One True God without partners. The Quran is the final message revealed to the Prophet Muhammad with moral and spiritual guidance for the whole of Humanity” (Pg.19).
John F. assumes that “all revelations” have called to the Worship of the One God without partners. He did not specify what these supposed revelations are and I think for Christianity he alludes to the Biblical imperative mentioned in Deuteronomy 6:4 ““Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One”. John F. might think we mean the same thing, but that is simply a shallow reading of the overall understanding of the text. Allow me just to mention what the Biblical perspective is. Simon J. Sherwin asks the question: “What does it mean to be monotheistic?” His reply from the Biblical perspective is that “it is simply exclusive devotion to one particular Deity – this is what is known as “monolatry” or “henotheism” – nor is it the acknowledgement of a single divine principle behind all the various deities- “monism”. Monotheism has been defined as “a religion in which the adherents express belief in the existence of and venerate only one High God.” When John F. mentions that “all the revelations contained the same core message” he has missed the Biblical central understanding completely. The Jews understood these ideas to establish exclusive worship of the One God of Israel not a numerical understanding of the Being of this God?
N. T. Wright mentions that “Jewish-style Monotheism meant living in this story, trusting in this one true God, the God of creation and covenant, of exodus and return. This God was utterly different from the pantheist’s “one god”. Utterly different, too, from the faraway ultra-transcendent gods of the Epicureans…This Monotheism was never, in our period, an inner analysis of the inner being of the One God. It was always a way of saying, frequently at great risk: our God is the true God, and your gods are worthless idols. It was a way of holding onto hope.” When John F. asserts his definition of Monotheism is the prevailing idea he need to consider as Wright observes that “we have very few examples of ‘pure’ monotheism anywhere, including in the Hebrew Bible… from the Maccabaean revolt to Bar-Kochba – there is no suggestion that ‘monotheism’, or praying the Shema, had anything to do with the numerical analysis of the inner being of Israel’s god Himself. It had everything to do with the two pronged fight against paganism and dualism. Indeed, we find strong evidence during this period of Jewish groups and individuals who, speculating on the meaning of some difficult passages of Scripture (Dan.7; Gen 1) suggested that the Divine being might encompass a plurality…but none of these show any awareness that they are transgressing normal Jewish monotheism. Nor are they. The oneness of Israel’s God, the creator, was never an analysis of this god’s inner existence, but always a polemic doctrine over against paganism and dualism. It was only with the rise of Christianity, and arguably under the influence of Hellenizing Philosophy, that Jews in the second and subsequent centuries reinterpreted ‘monotheism’ as ‘the numerical oneness of the Divine Being.”  When John F. asserts that exclusive monotheism was a prevailing Islamic idea he has a dilemma, as Michael F. Bird mentions “There was a long tradition of pagan monotheism well before the Christian era…Monotheism entails monolatry, the worship of the one true God to exclusion of all others” The idea of Islamic Monotheism was nothing new and even further the Christian idea was not a numerical assumption.
GG. “Many people are leaving Christianity and turning to Islam as it provides a logical explanation for life. This is often because Christianity only requires “mere belief”, and they had not been presented with an alternative system based on Proof, Logic and Reason (Pg.21).
What John F. is inferring is that Christianity does not demand reasonable faith nor the mind but “mere-belief”. Professor Jeffrey B. Russell mentions that “Jewish and Christian thinkers have maintained that the mind can begin to understand the cosmos through the use of reason. The Christian Tradition emphasized will and intellect. A growing number of people, Christian and otherwise, prefer emotion and even consciously oppose rationality. It is fascinating to note though that we are commanded to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut.6:5). John F. needs to understand that “the ultimate grounds of faith [for the Christian] life in God’s self-revelation in Christ through Scripture” but this does not mean that we do not think about issues of faith intellectually or evaluate them logically. Professor J.P. Moreland writes that “the role of intellectual development is primary in Evangelical Christianity, but you might not know that from a cursory look at the Church today”. I do agree with John F. that today’s popular Christianity has not been fuelled by a “reasonable intellectualism” but is rather based on entertainment and stardom but, we always need to make God’s commands our standard and not our observation of popular society and Church. As Prof. Moreland writes “As our Saviour has said “love the Lord your God with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind” (Matthew 22:37). To do this, we cannot neglect the soulful development of the Christian mind”. Christianity should not be a religion that offers guidance at the expense of reasonable questioning. As Chuck Colson writes “genuine Christian faith doesn’t infect your mind; it respects your mind. Christians ought to be the most tough-minded people of all. If truth is truth, then any honest question should not be a threat to us…Indeed, great Christians down through the ages have demonstrated that Christianity is anything but anti-intellectual”.. I would sincerely suggest to John F. that Christian History shows clearly that it is not based on “mere-belief” and it is filled with incredible thinkers like Augustine of Hippo, Athanasius, Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, C.S. Lewis, Richard Swinburne, John Lennox, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias etc. just to mention a few. If John F. thinks Christianity is not reasonable he should heed Rick Kennedy’s words when he wrote “Reasonableness involves careful examination and evaluating the testimony – in personal experience, in law courts and in history”. Christianity has stood the tide of questioning and will prevail. As Russell observes “Christianity is reasonable, and it may well be more reasonable than anything else”.
Mr Fontain makes claims in this booklet that simply exceeds his grasp; the very premise the booklet is based on is conjecture and seems to lack scholarly honesty. The author tries to appeal to point of authority that substantiate and in some instances also refutes his very own ideas. I would not recommend this as a scholarly study but rather a “fictional” hypothesis that is not based on the facts.
 “Our Sufficiency in Christ” MacArthur J. Pg.197. 1991.
 “From heaven He came and sought her” Edited by Gibson J. & Gibson J. Pg.388.
 “Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity” edited by Polymnia Athanassiadi & Michael Frede
 “Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity” edited by Polymnia Athanassiadi & Michael Frede Pg.1.
 “How Jesus became God” Pg. 29 Edited by Dr. Michaela F. Bird.
 “Contra Celsus 5:41”, Origen.
 Tuggy, Dale, (2009). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Accessed 10-30-2010
 Surah19:34-35, (Yusuf Ali).
 “Answering Islam” Norman Geisler & Abdul Saleeb Pg.249.
 The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia in Five Volumes, 1975, Vol A-C, p. 510.
 G. Abbot-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon of the NT (1937); W. F. Arndt and F. W. Gingrich, Greek-English Lexicon of the NT (1957). [R. A. COLE]
 “My Anguish: My Kinsmen Are Accursed”
 F.F. Bruce. “The Message of the New Testament” Pg.62.
 “On the Embassy to Gaius”. 210. The Works of Philo.
 Tony Lentz, “Orality and Literacy in Hellenic Greece”.
 “Who chose the Gospels” C. E. Hill. Oxford University Press. Pg.8.
 Tasker R.V.G. The Nature and purpose of the Gospels. Pg.9.
Reinventing Jesus Pg.26.
 “We Can Trust the Bible” by Lehman Strauss, Litt.D., F.R.G.S.
 ‘Towards a More Conservative View,’ Pg.3.
 From Stone Age to Christianity, Pg 23.
 This is his fifth book. Previous publications: 2002 Kodex W: Old And Holy and three French Colonial History books involving Robert Cavelier De La Salle: “7 Noms” At Wicked Fork Where La Salle Died; Secret La Salle Monument And Historical Marker, and a related sequel involving early French in Arkansas, Petit Jean’s Mountain
 N.T. Wright “New Testament and the people of God” Pg.217.
 D Moody Smith “When did the Gospels become Scripture” JBL .119 (2000):7.
 W D Davies & Dale C. Allison “The Gospel according to St Matthew”. Pg.187.
 David Meade “Ancient Near Eastern Apocalypticism and the Origins of the N.T.” Pg.315.
 Francois Bovon “Canonical Structure” Pg.516.
 Michael J. Kruger “the Question of Canon” Pg.69-70.
 Bruce Metzger “The New Testament, it’s background, growth and content”. Pg.274.
 Bruce Metzger “The New Testament, it’s background, growth and content”. Pg.276.
 Ibid Pg.276.
 Putting Jesus in His place R.M Bowman & E. J Komoszweski. Pg.31.
 Talmud, Megillah 22b.
 Gloss. in T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 34.
 Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 5. sect. 14, 15.
 T S Green “Greek-English Lexicon” Pg.76.
 J H Thayer “Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament” Pg.257
 G Stanton “Jesus and Gospel” Pg.12
 G Stanton “Jesus and Gospel” Pg.12
 Herman N. Ridderbos “Redemptive History and the New Testament Scriptures” Pg.39.
 C H Dodd “According to the Scriptures” Pg.48.
 A G Herbert “the Authority of the Old Testament” Pg.200).
 H M Shires “Finding the Old Testament in the New. Pg.33.
 L T Johnson “The Writings of the New Testament: An interpretation.” pg.148.
 W Graham Scroggie “A Guide to the Gospels” Pg.128.
 F.F. Bruce The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? 6th ed. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1981), 9.
 Bruce, The New Testament Documents, 14.
 Keith E. Gephart “Are Copies Reliable?” in God’s Word in Our Hands, ed. James B. Williams and Randolph Shaylor (Greenville, South Carolina: Ambassador Emerald International, 2003), 164.
 Mark D. Roberts “Can we trust the Gospels” Pg 28.
 B D Ehrman “Misquoting Jesus” Pg.207.
 T P Jones “Misquoting truth” Pg. 84.
 Ibid., Pg.91.
 Ibid., Pg.94.
 Armin D. Baum, “The Anonymity of the New Testament History Books: A Stylistic Device in the Context of Greco-Roman and Ancient Near Eastern Literature”.
 R T France “The Authenticity of the sayings of Jesus” from the book “History, Criticism, and faith” edited by Colin Brown. Pg.104-105.
 Ibid., Pg.112.
 R T France “The Authenticity of the sayings of Jesus” from the book “History, Criticism, and faith” edited by Colin Brown. Pg. 123-124.
 “The Sources of Islam” J. C. Blair. Pg.61.
 “Sources of Islam”, St. Clair-Tisdall, p. 58, and “Islam Revealed”, Anis Shorrosh, p. 216
 “Sources of Islam”, St. Clair-Tisdall, pp. 57-58.
 Simon J. Sherwin “Israel” edited by Daniel I. Block. Pg. 262-263. cl. D.L. Peterson “Israel and Monotheism” Pg.87
 N.T.Wright “The Meaning of Jesus” Pg.159-160
 N.T.Wright “The New Testament and the people of God” Pg.258-259.
 Michael F. Bird “How God became Jesus” Pg.28-29.
 J B. Russell
‘Exposing Myths about Christianity” Pg. 145-146.
 A McGrath “Intellectuals don’t need God” Pg. 35
 “J P Moreland “Love the Lord with All your mind” Pg.15.
 C W Colson “Though questions about God, faith and life Pg.121.
 R Kennedy “History of reasonableness”