Produce A Sura Like It?

Whenever we present the many blunders in the Quran to Muslims, their favourite reply is that their Quran is a divine book because no one can produce a book like it. At times when I ask why this is so, they will say “because the Quran says so!” Well, that is a fallacy of circular reasoning which proves nothing. Such an assertion can only be accepted by those who have already assumed the divine origin of the Quran. Here is what the Quran itself says on the issue:

Sura 2:23 “And if you (Arab pagans, Jews and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e the Qur’an) to Our slave [Muhammad], then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) beside Allah…”

Sura 17:89 “If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur’an; the could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.”

These were Muhammad’s “defenses” against the critics of his time and they are still the same verses Muslims like to trot out today. Demolish these “defenses” and the divine origin of the Quran along with the integrity of Muhammad go down the tubes.
This line of argument fails at least 3 major tests.

1. The Test of Logic

The claim that there can’t be a book like the Quran begs the question because every book is unique. Every human being is unique and different. In fact, no two people are exactly the same. Even in writing or other abilites, each person’s style is different and unique.

For instance, there is a particular way I write, which could also be linked to the way I think. Even if you read what I read, you can’t write exactly like I do. So when someone then says “until you write a book like the Quran you can’t beat it” such a line is puerile and silly. We don’t need to write a book like the Quran.

Muslims claim Al-Quran is beautiful and eloquent that no one can produce its like. This is a fallacy of irrelevance. First of all, beauty or elegance is subjective and cannot even be a measure of truth. You can look at a book and call it beautiful while I see it as ugly. That is why we are unique.

If a man says “find a lady as beautiful as the one I love,” hardly can his challenge be met because his love for her blinds him to her defects. The same thing applies here. Muslims have blindly believed the Quran as divinely inspired and have refused to see the many absurdities in it: they even call them “beauty.” In reality, no book can match the Quran in its confusion and negative influence.

2. The Test of Textual Stability.

When Muhammad was alive, the texts of the Quran he was reciting were anything but stable. He would recite a verse today from Allah and edit or change it the next day. This raised the suspicions of many of his people, then ‘Allah’ explained:

“When We (Allah) substitute (or change) one revelation for another (in place of another)- and Allah knows best what He reveals- They say ‘Thou art a forger’: But most of them understand not.” (Sura 16:101)

“Such of our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring (in place) one better or like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is able to do all things?” (2:106)

These verses are quite revealing. They show that Muhammad came under so much fire from the people that he had to find a way to excuse the constant changes in his recitations. You can see that his listeners rightly dismissed him as a forger for this. Though they were illiterates, they would not be taken for a ride. They knew that a supposed divine revelation that keeps changing must be a fraud. Muhammad had to do some damage control- “most of them understand not“– understand what? That God swallows His words? He says they don’t know that “Allah is able to do all things“– Really? Changing verses like a failed redactor? What kind of god is that?
Wait a minute, why would the all-knowing God be bringing “a better verse?” Why didn’t Allah save us the confusion and lengthy explanations by giving a better verse from the start?

Obviously, if Muhammad had lived longer, with the way his “revelations” kept changing, the Quran wouldn’t be what it is today. Perhaps, it would have been a bigger book with a different content entirely. Islamic biographers even admit that Satan spoke some verses through the prophet praising the pagan deities (daughters of Allah) mentioned in Sura 53:19-20 (see Bukhari 2:19:177 and Sirat, 165-166). If Satan can also produce a sura like the Quran, then the challenge has been met and that makes the Quran quite cheap.

3. The Test of Originality.

There is simply nothing new in the Quran. Allah revealed nothing that had not been unknown in older religions or Scriptures. The only “new” thing the Quran said is that Muhammad is the prophet of God.

There is simply no shred of originality in the Quran. Many of the stories and ideas relayed in it were slight modifications of Pagan, Jewish and Christian legends and some stuffs Muhammad gleaned from the Bible. For example, the story of Abraham being thrown into the fire of a wicked king (Nimrod) in Sura 21:69-71 was an old Jewish legend found in Midrash Rabba.

The two angels “Harut and Marut” mentioned in Sura 2:102 were the very names of two idols mentioned in Talmudic fairytales. The idea of seven heavens and seven hells in Suras 15:44 and 17:44 were adopted from the Jewish Hagigah and Zohar. The story of the 7 sleepers in the cave which kept Allah at the guessing table was an old Christian fairy tale found in the writings of Jacob Sarug (d. 521 AD).

The idea of the bridge of Sirat over hell was stolen from Zoroastrianism. They called their bridge “Chinavad.” The so-called “99 names of Allah” was a patent plagiarism of the “75 names of Ahura Mazda” in the Avesta. The idea of balances weighing the works of the dead in Sura 101:5-6 was stolen from a Gnostic work called the Testament of Abraham and the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Is it really a hard work to collect old stories from different religions, modify them and use them to build your own fiction?

As if repeating something over and over magically makes it true, the editor of the hadith Mishkat’ul Masabih wrote:
“It [the Quran] repeatedly challenged the people of the world to bring a chapter like it, but they failed and the challenge remains unanswered up to this day…” (Vol III, p 664).

We cannot blame them for this mulish mentality. If the Quran is a challenge, how come Islamic leaders today get violent and issue death penalty whenever it is criticized or challenged? Is that not a sign of weakness? Even after Muhammad told the people to write a sura like it, he quickly adds:
“But if ye cannot and of a surety ye cannot [produce a sura like it]- then fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones- which is prepared for those who reject faith” (Sura 2:24).

On one hand they were told to “produce a sura like it” and at the same time, he said those who cannot do so must surely burn in Hell. This was a psychological weapon because no one would want to “produce a sura like it” since Muhammad has attached a clause to it. Smart old Mo.

No, the Quran has never “repeatedly challenged” the people of the world. These are just empty, propagandist, cliches meant to psyche the naive
Middle East scholar, Canon Sell agrees:

“Men can produce its like in eloquence and arrangement. A man, named Nadir ibn Haritha, was bold enough to accept the challenge, and arranged some stories of the Persian kings in chapters and Suras and recited them.” (Studies in Islam, Diocesan Press, London, 1928, 208).

A Case Study of Watchtower Falsehood (Part III)

Part two

The Watchtower Society being so desperate to indoctrinate their readers against the Trinity doctrine really tried to link it with Paganism (pp 9-12). But their fabric kept falling apart at its seams. On pg 9, under the heading “The Triads of the Great Gods,” they quoted the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology to prove that ancient Babylonia and Assyria believed in triad of deities which influenced the Christian Trinity but they left out this part:

“He [Anu] was god in the highest sense the supreme god. All other deities honoured him as their ‘Father’ that is to say their chief…” (pp 54-55). This wasn’t included because the Babylonian triad actually looks more similar to the Jehovah’s Witness theology of a supreme Father called Jehovah and other lesser gods – Jesus, angels, devil and men – than the historic, orthodox doctrine of the Christian Trinity.

On pg 10 are pictures of triad deities and the “Christian Trinity” aimed at ‘proving’ that the Trinity came from paganism. This is actually a fallacy of appeal to emotion. For one, these deities didn’t influence the Trinity doctrine in any way. All scholars agree that ancient Babylon religion was polytheistic, not “trinitarian.” The same goes for ancient Egyptian, Greek, Canaanite and Sumerian religions. The Egyptian Osiris, Isis and Horus belonged to a large family of gods like Set, Nut, Seb, Apnu etc with their head being Amon-Ra. Is this the Christian Trinity? Absolutely not.

The tactic of trying to fault the Trinity by pointing to pre-Christian pagan cultures with similar beliefs is not only a fallacy of wrong parallel, it is in fact, lame. In another publication, they stated that: “The universality of the flood accounts is usually taken as evidence for the universal destruction of humanity by a flood …So we can confidently conclude that the Flood legends confirm the reality of the Biblical account” (The WT. Jan 15, 1992, 8).

Notice the double standard. If the flood legends in many pagan cultures confirm the Biblical account, why can’t the trinity beliefs in many cultures confirm the Divine Trinity? Another thing to note is that, most of the sources they used in an attempt to link the Trinity with paganism were either heretical or anti-Christian works. In other cases where this wasn’t done, they resorted to their favourite tactic- misquotation.

On pg 9, the Encyclopedia Americana (Vol XXVII, 294) was quoted: “Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching. [p. 301] Neither will Unitarians accept any dogma as true because Scripture teaches it…The Unitarian church…maintains that [the Bible] writers were subject to errors.”

Here they were quoting an article on the Unitarians as an authority on the history of the Trinity! How preposterous! Why is the Watchtower so desperate to the extent that they resort to the opinions of those who despise Bible for what Christians are to supposed to believe? Also, on pp 3, 6 and 11, they quoted from Arthur Weigall’s The Paganism in Our Christianity (1928, 197) – a Unitarian cultist book:

“The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan…[final paragraph of the book] The mistaken attitude of Christianity is very largely the fault of St. Paul…Paul was not very interested in Christ the Teacher; he was more concerned with Christ the divine Human Sacrifice.”

Why in the name of integrity will a scholar quote a cultist as authority of Christian belief? It seems to me that JWs couldn’t find works by reputable Christian scholars they could use to attack the Trinity, so they had to use anti-Christians like Alvan Lamson, Andrew Norton or E.W Hopkins. Such a feat shows that the Watchtower Society disobeys its own commands in Qualified to be Ministers (1967. 199):
“Be very careful to be accurate in all statements you make. Use evidence honestly. In quotations do not twist the meanings of a writer or speaker or use only partial quotations to give a different thought than the person intended…And use reliable, capable authority.”

On pg 14, there is a section titled “Jesus a Separate Creation”. A part of it reads:
“…Jesus was a created spirit being, just as angels were spirit beings created by God…[He] was ‘the first-born of all creation.’ (Colossians 1:15 NJB) He was ‘the beginning of God’s creation.’ (Revelation 3:14, RS)…Yes, Jesus was created by God as the beginning of God’s invisible creation.”

These are clap traps arguments. First, nowhere did the Bible ever say “Jesus was created.” The idea of Jesus being an archangel is totally false and has been addressed here. That Colossians 1:15 used as “proof” is invalid because the word “firstborn” does not imply “first created”. Two different Greek words are used for them (prototokos and protokistos) respectively. JWs have craftily added the word “other” in brackets 4 times to Col. 1:14-18 in their translation to support the error that God created Jesus and Jesus made all other things. But the “firstborn” means “preeminence” and “eternal preexistence” (Strong # 4416). It doesn’t mean ‘first created’. According to Greek scholar Marvin Vincent:

“‘First-born’ points to eternal pre-existence…We must carefully avoid any suggestion that Christ was the first of created things, which is contradicted by the following words: ‘in Him were all things created'” (Word Studies in the New Testament, 1946, 3:468).

The Greek word translated as “beginning” in Rev 3:14 is “arkhe” which denotes the Creator, Originator or the One Who starts and stops time. In Re 21:6 and 22:13, God Himself is called Alpha and Omega, the Beginning [ar-khe] and the End. Therefore, the title applies to God as it applies to Jesus.

From pgs 14-20, most of what the booklet attacked are strawman arguments about the Deity of Christ. The Watchtower Society may have convinced JWs that they are demolishing the Deity of Christ there, but what they did all through was slash away at strawmen points. Let me dig up three more misquotations.

Page 16: The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel (1967, Vol IV, 736) says: “[Monogenes] means ‘of sole descent’ i.e without brothers or sisters…But the word can also be used more generally without reference to derivation in the sense of ‘unique’, ‘unparallel’, ‘incomparable.'”

Page 20: “The fact has to be faced that New Testament research over, say, the last thirty or forty years has been leading an increasing number of reputable New Testament scholars to the conclusion that Jesus himself may not have claimed any of the christological titles which the Gospels ascribe to him, not even the functional design ‘Christ’ and certainly never believed himself to be God” (G. H. Boobyer in John Ryland’s Library Bulletin 1697-8, 50: 251).

This was a work written by another cultic group attacking Christian belief but the magazine cleverly omitted the points which trashes their belief in Jesus as Christ but steal their arguments!

Page 22: “Although the NT concepts of the Spirit of God are largely a continuation of those of the OT, in the NT, there is a gradual revelation that the Spirit of God is a person. The majority of NT texts reveal God’s spirit as something, not someone, this is especially seen in the parallelism between the spirit and the power of God.” (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 13:575)

In their conclusion on p 30, they wrote: “…Trinitarians have often persecuted and even killed those who rejected the Trinity doctrine…They have killed their fellow Trinitarians in wartime…all in the name of the same Trinitarian God?…Thus the teaching of confusing doctrines about God has led to actions that violate his laws”

This mode of argumentation is called “poisoning the well.” It’s an attempt to create a negative image of your opponent such that you don’t even want to consider what he really believes or to listen to what he has to say. By making these vague or exaggerated accusations against Christians who believe in the Trinity, the Watchtower Society seals up the trap to prevent JWs from seeing their own deception. Interestingly, this statement is coming from a religion that is horribly stained with the blood of its own adherents who have chosen to die for their heresies instead of accepting blood transfusion.

They continued: “By honouring God and worshipping him on his terms, we can avoid the judgement that he will soon bring on apostate Christendom” (p 31).

What a hypocritical statement coming from a religion cultivated on such tissues of lies! A religion that misrepresents people’s words to spread its messages. Does it honour God to promote falsehoods in His name? Does it honour God to hack up quotations and hide scholarly evidences that refute your views? Does it honour God to quote His enemies who oppose His Word and deny His nature as authorities? Do you worship God on His own terms by getting around your own rules and misleading your followers? This booklet says it all: the Jehovah Witness religion is a false religion.