Did Paul really meet Jesus?

The Problem of Paul

by Sami Zaatari

In today’s court of law any information given by a person that is contradictory, and is also illogical, then this information is thrown out of the court and the speaker who gave the information is discredited and cannot be taken as a reliable person at all. We find this precisely to be the case with Paul, when Paul talks about his supposed meeting with Jesus, he contradicts himself and is also illogical. So we shall just quote the passages that bring into question the credibility of Paul supposedly meeting Jesus, and once we see the contradictory statements it will be safe to say that whole episode cannot be taken seriously, neither can the entire book of Acts and neither can Paul. So we now proceed to the verses:

The first mention of Paul meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus is mentioned in Acts 9: 1-7:

1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man

So few things to note, Paul is on a journey, he then sees a light and hears a voice, this voice is supposedly Jesus. Paul then asks Jesus what do you want me to do? The response by Jesus is for Paul to go to the city and it will be made known to him over there. Now lets read what Acts 26: 12-18:

12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me

So note the difference, in the first account all Jesus tells him is go to the city to find out what you must do, in this account in Acts 22 we see Jesus already telling Paul what he must do! So which one is it? Will Paul know what his purpose is in the city? Or did he already know?

In fact in the account version of Acts 22: 5-10, there is no mention of Jesus telling Paul all this information:

. 5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. 6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. 7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. 9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. 10 And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do

This account agrees with the version of Acts 9, Acts 26 is the only different one in this case; Acts 26 contradicts Acts 9 and 22.

It is very easy to notice the contradiction, in Acts 9 and 22, Jesus tells Paul that he will know what to do in the city, in Acts 26 Jesus already tells Paul what he will do and mentions nothing about going to a city to find out. So which one is it? We already have enough proof to discredit the entire account of Paul meeting Jesus, however so there is more.

Acts 9: 1-7:

1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man

So as we can see, Acts verse 7 says that the men who accompanied Paul heard a voice, but saw no man, they saw nobody. Now let us compare this with Acts 22 5-9:

. 5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. 6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. 7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. 9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

So now as you can see, in Acts 22 Paul says the men saw a light, but heard no voice! In Acts 9 Paul says the men so no man, but heard a voice!!!! The obvious contradiction is there for all to see, there is no denying it. So this piece of information also throws doubt into the entire episode, it shows that this story is not credible at all. We already have 2 contradictions, it is safe to say that if we were in court this information would be thrown out and Paul would be exposed as a liar for all the jury to see.

So based on this information we can also say that the entire book of Acts is now in doubt, and is also unreliable, we can also say the entire character of Paul is in doubt and is unreliable, as we clearly see he cannot stay consistent at all. It does not end there; there is still another contradiction left and a logical fallacy, first the contradiction:

Acts 26: 12-14:

12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

So as you can see, the verse says that Paul and the men with all fell down, easy to see and understand. Let us read what Acts 9 and 22 have to say.

Acts 9: 5-7 :

5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man

So as you can all see, Acts 9 shows the men did not fall to the ground, but stood speechless, they were shocked that they stood still. No one fell down hence we have another contradiction. So which one was it? Did the men with Paul all fall down? Or did they stay standing? It seems Paul cannot give a straight answer! It doesn’t end there, let us read Acts 22.

Acts 22:5-7:

. 5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. 6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. 7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

So we now see Paul saying that he fell! Not everyone, but him alone, so now Paul again contradicts himself. So which one is it? Acts 22 and 9 agree that only Paul fell, Acts 26 says that they all fell, which one is it? The answer is none of them are correct, it is all a big lie, a hoax made up by Paul. He most likely paid those men with him to act like he saw something. You want proof? Sure I will show you the proof.

You see, when a liar has a plan, he always fails, they always forget something small, and Paul forgot something small here, this leads to the logical fallacy, this logical fallacy does show that it could be said that Paul made the whole thing up and paid those men with him to lie about it and act like it did happen, anyway here is the proof:

Acts 9: 1-9:

1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

So as we can see, the supposed light that Paul saw blinded him for three days, this is supposedly to show how strong this light was and how great and glorious it was that Paul went blind.

Here is the logical fallacy:

Acts 22: 5-11:

5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. 6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. 7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. 9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. 10 And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. 11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus

The logical fallacy is for all to see, Paul looks at the light and gets blind, yet the men with him also saw the light and did not get blind! Why is that? Why was Paul the only one who got blind? Why not everyone else, they saw the same light, so hence if Paul got blind so should have the men with him. This is Paul’s blunder, he forgot it wouldn’t make sense that he gets blind by looking at the light, while the other men don’t get blind. This is all a hoax, Paul faked it all with the help of the men with him, Paul wanted to make it seem like he met Jesus, he made a blunder when he said he got blind because other men DIDNT get blind and they also saw the light. Paul couldn’t even remember the story he fabricated which is why he kept on contradicting himself. So three contradictions and a logical fallacy, Paul lied, Acts is unreliable, the Bible is corrupt, the Quran said so, the Quran is true, come to Islam!

Appendix

Ways Paul could have avoided this big mess:

1- Write down his fabricated story so he could have remembered it.

2- Should have made the story a bit simpler, shorter so he could easily memorize it.

3- He should have not made the part up about him being blind.

4- He should have made another person act like he was blind to make it seem that Paul was not acting since he was the only blind one, if you had two blind men then it would be a bit more believable.

Those 4 things would have easily have gotten Paul of the hook, but liars always expose themselves. Paul is false, Allah is true.

Allah knows best!

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44 Responses to “Did Paul really meet Jesus?”

  1. Kite says:

    This is my first my comment i have postd but ive been comming to your website for long time and ive really like it.

    keep up the good work

  2. Ibn Anwar says:

    Thank you Kite..we hope to see more feedback from you.

  3. Holly says:

    wow this is so true when you look at the whole story WOW, I really believe the word BLIND is for us because every service is towards Paul who sounds like a POPE I have cried seeing and following this lie for many years. Thank you for your site,, I have been searching online for info to add to my newsletter and it has truly been a blessing to see the TRUTH.
    Bless U

  4. Ibn Anwar says:

    Assalamu’alaikum,
    Congratulations sister! masha’Allah. May Allah give you more guidance and light and showyou the path to truth. Ameen.

  5. E.T. says:

    Acts was supposedly written by Luke who attempted to document the stories for our benefit. Luke travelled with Paul. I’m sure he didn’t take written documentation and/or record when Paul spoke. It is understandable that he would not get the stories precisely right when trying to recall them in exact detail to what Paul told him.

    How many times have you heard a story from a friend, that if you have to write it down afterwards you wouldn’t get every detail correct? Luke was human.

    I believe many of the gospels had several authors and not all have been indentified. This is somewhat evident by the same story being recited several times within the same chapter. The repeated overkill of some of the stories rings this truth.

    Paul in his own writing says he saw the lord. 1 Corinthians 15:8

    • Jim Doemer says:

      “Acts was supposedly written by Luke who attempted to document the stories for our benefit. Luke travelled with Paul. I’m sure he didn’t take written documentation and/or record when Paul spoke. It is understandable that he would not get the stories precisely right when trying to recall them in exact detail to what Paul told him. ”

      Christians often tell us that the Bible is God inspired. If so, then how could such error slip through the cracks? If it is “understandable that he would not get the stories exactly right”, then what about the rest of the Gospel, much of which were not penned for decades after Christ’s death?

  6. Ibn Anwar says:

    Greetings,
    Thank you for your thoughts E.T. Did Paul really meet Luke? That question is briefly explored here http://unveiling-christianity......meet-paul/

  7. alvin says:

    if u would like me to comment, this is it.
    your article is a logical fallacy. i do not want to insult this piece of writing which is already contradicting itself, please email me to understand from me, what i really need to share. And i find that if you have not gotten ur facts right, it is unfair to discredit any historical source. hope you will learn to write with tact.

  8. Zayed Ahmed says:

    hey alvin…you know what…last year when i was in my home country i was walking on a footpath at midnight…i was all alone and then i met the holy spirit…CAN YOU BELEIVE IT!!…i got inspiried by the HOLY SPIRIT…and since then i started writing a book…and beleive or not it is god breathed…do u know what is the name of the book>>>>21st century revelation

    I BET THE READER OF MY COMMENT MIGHT BE LAUGHING BY NOW BUT THIS IS THE TRUTH THAT CHRISTIANS DO HAVE BLIND BELEIF

  9. Haman says:

    hey mrrrrrrr zzayed…woe to u muslims…u have no respect for other faiths…u people are so ill mannered…u cannot even speak properly…thats why i saw the webmaster of this site speaking to me as if he is about to shoot me…its okay…its not your fault?i know where the main problem is coming from

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      You may claim to be an atheist, but you certainly sound a lot like a CHristian hiding behind the guise of an atheist. You would critice Muslims for their manners, but when Christians are ill-mannered like Sam the Sham Shamoun it’s not that you just do not care, but you even tried defending him lol. When I answered you it sounded like I was going to shoot you? Oh really? Maybe it’s you who’s trying to shoot yourself? These are nothing more than smokescreens. Anyone can go to the article on Muslim hate aka haman to see how he has been totally refuted.

  10. Polycarp says:

    This is a common ploy among those who go on the offensive with the Bible. They point to varying accounts saying,”this indeed throws the story out, as there is conflicting reports of how the story is told, thus it did not happen!” This however is not how history is determined my dear friend… Take the stories of the Punic Wars, the Romans tell their side and Carthage tells their side. Both accounts contradict each other, yet no one disputes the Punic Wars occured. This is extremely common in historical accounts; especially ancient historical accounts where the historians seemed to be more blatent about their biases. I can also give you another account of this happening, in fact today this occured. An aquaintance of mine had a sort of humorus thing happened to him today, so he began to tell others. I heard him tell the story two different times to various people with slightly varying details, as Pauls slightly varied…however the event still happened despite these varying details, as I myself witnessed it. So by your logic, this event could not of happened because it does indeed contradict itself in some of the details. As a historian, I can attest that history does not disregard events because “secondary details” conflict. The “primary details” being Paul’s vision of Jesus, the secondary, the details surrounding that vision, i.e. the exact number of people he was with or who they were, the exact characteristics of the vision, word for word what Jesus would have said to him, or in this case, when Jesus gave him the details of his mission to the gentiles. Even the highly critical New Testament scholar Gerd Ludemann believes this vision to be something that really happened to Paul, as evident in the change of Paul’s beliefs ( he just takes a slightly different approach to it).

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Assalamu’alaikum and Greetings,
      The conflicting reports without a doubt lead to any reasonable and critical person to conclude that they are not reliable and very doubtful. If one cannot established what really happened, then how can someone be so certain that it did happen in the first place? Such conflicting reports would be thrown out of any civilised court of law. I’m sure you know this. I have discussed the passage with my history professors, who I will assume have better credentials than you and they have concluded as many others have that the story was faked. No you have summarily cited conflicting historical accounts on a single event by two different parties and say that the history behind those conflicting details do not render it ahistorical. Well, first of all it is a FALSE ANALOGY. Why? Because the narratives about paul’s meeting on the road to damascus are all found in Acts which was written by a SINGLE author, though anonymous. And this single author who is supposed to be Luke and a companion of Jesus as tradition goes(though critical scholarship rejects this) how could he have not gotten the story right? Was he stupid? What mental deficiency or ailment did he suffer that he can’t even narrate a simple story consisting of no more than 10 lines accurately? My 10 year old cousin can do a better job and the author of the book is supposed to be INSPIRED by the Holy Spirit even! Some inspiration that was! The history about Carthage and the Romans do not render the fact that they did fight in the Punic Wars untrue because there is something called multiple-attestation. In addition, the conflicting reports was probably because of the biasness that each side had. This is no different from how Caesar painted the Celts. It was not a very pleasant portrayal. Historians generally do not regard everything Caesar said to be true even though it was written because there is hardly any corroborative evidence and the archeological facts seem to conflict with what he claimed. Likewise, here is one ANONYMOUS person who reported on an event, but did not even get the story straight! Further more, this supposed vision is not mentioned anywhere by Paul himself. Paul supposedly experienced it, but, he never wrote about it! Instead somebody else did and he didn’t even narrate it coherently! It is difficult to comprehend how a reasonable person can still say that the event did really take place after reading the article and my explanation here. Who cares about Gerd Ludemann? William Ramsay who was an atheist and converted to Christianity(a favourite of evangelists) was so sure of himself and said everything in Luke’s historical..today he is the laughing stock of modern scholarship. http://unveiling-christianity......y-of-luke/

  11. Polycarp says:

    First, off, who cares about Gerd Ludemann?! Are you at all familiar with New Testament studies or is this a copy and paste game from “the biblesfalse.com.” Gerd Ludemann is a leading expert on New Testament history, probably has more experience in Greek and New Testament histocial writing techniques and methods then your history professors combined, and is an athiest, which means he doesn’t share in any sort of Christian bias. Second, this is a sort of pick and choose your authorities here my friend, “who cares about Gerd Ludemann?” Well who cares abot Marcus Borg, N.T. Wright, Bart Ehrman, Bruce Metzger, John Dominic Crossan, Larry Hurtado, and the list can go on and on. You throw one professor out with no good reasoning behind it, while accepting those who’ve you’ve read/copied and pasted… we call that cafeteria criticism. I’m pretty sure I gave a good reason as to why I do not accept somethings the Jesus Seminar scholars say (incidently Gerd Ludemann is one). Secondly, who cares about your history professors? What are their backgrounds, both religious and scholarly? What sort of biases do they hold? Have they put the verse in context, have they even studied the Bible, have they even studied Greek styled of historical documenting? The list could go on and on as to why I don’t have to take their opinions…simply put, they probably are not authoritative in this sort of subject field. I wouldn’t ask a Modern Western History expert on his evidence for believing Xerxes was King of Persia and the historical methodology used to prove that. At least not unless he gave me something tangible for me to believe that he has experience in that field. Various credentials mean a hill of beans unless they’re actually related to the subject, which is why your choice of words in this line of argumentation is borderline genetic fallacy, and most certainly a strawman. I once debated a philosophy professor who had more credentials then me, however his arguments in some of the things we were dealing with were lacking, simply because his credentials were not in that field. Third, you really haven’t given any good reasons to not accept this testament. What you’ve done is spouted opinions, worded in such a way that it could make perfect sense, especially to those who lack knowledge in how this process works. Just like the Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris’ of the world…those who cling to their arguments have very little background in philosophy, and those arguments only stump the theist who lacks basic philosophical knowledge . History works on probability based on a set of criteria established and not the logic of philosophical arguments. Fourth, if all four Gospels told the tale exactly the same, their testamonies could be thrown out in a court of civilized law as well, due to the witnesses “collaborating evidence.” Fifth, if you notice Luke wasn’t recording the same event being told over and over again. What he was recording was different situations that Paul’s story ended up being told. For instance, the account in Acts 9 is telling the initial event, while the other two instances, in Acts 22 and 26, are being told by Paul on trial. Acts 9 is clearly lacking Jesus’ mission statement to Paul, even after he arrives at Ananias’ house. However, we get the details from Ananias’ end, so this could be revealing to the historian that Luke probably got this information from someone other then Paul, like in an interview with Ananias. How Luke obtained the information for writting Luke and Acts is revealed at the beginning of Luke, he asked eyewitnesses. So this is more then a single account, it is Luke essentially making a report of what he gathered from the eyewitnesses and what they experienced. Sixth, I think its a good analogy I gave dealing with the “logic” you used, simply because people have situations happen to them all the time where they remember only the core facts, change the secondary details or the order of the story, and yet the story will remain true. So hopefully if you recap a discussion we have you don’t leave out any details, mix any details up, change the order of the details, or pretty much change anything from the actual story itself, or I’m goin to have to call “objection, conflicting reports!” ;-) . Seventh, Luke is not held to be a follower of Jesus by tradition, but Paul’s personal doctor. If you have something saying companion of Jesus, I’d be delighted to see this. In a couple of weeks when I’m back to my civilization with access to my study, I can give very good reasons to take Paul’s statement as truth, that he really believed he saw Jesus speaking to him. Just curious, where do you get your sources?

    Godbless you

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      What you have written is full of red-herrings. I did not reject Gerd Ludemann just because I felt like rejecting him. I reject what he concluded based on what I discussed in my previous response on your fallacies that you mostly have not responded to. You totally ignored my points on Luke 1 and 2 together with Raymond Brown and the other numerous scholars that I cited to back my contentions. If you are truly a historian i.e. an academician, by God you are quite a shoddy one. It’s very clear to me that you cannot discern meaning from my writings even though they’re straight forward and uses quite elementary words and expressions. You said that you’re pretty sure you gave good reasons for rejecting the conclusion of the Jesus Seminar on the verse..reasons which I have rebutted time and again. In the above response of yours you have totally ignored my latest response and I suppose your saying that ‘i’m pretty sure i gave good reasons’ totally concludes the whole affair. I think not. I’ve explained the analogy you gave regarding the Punic wars and i don’t see any cogent refutations by you on it. You say that in a court of law if several witnesses give exact testimonies of an even theirs will be rejected? What are you talking about? In a court of law conflicting witness accounts will result inevitably in reasonable doubt which is cause enough to acquit the case. The witness accounts will be counted as unreliable. You accused me of fallacies(which i have not really committed), yet you have committed a fallacy yourself again and again by resorting to Ludemann as if he is the pope that one must adhere to. You have not quoted his words or the reasonings behind his conclusions. You have merely cited him and now you’re stating his credentials. This is appealing to authority which is a clear logical fallacy. I on the other hand have not just quoted scholars, but went on further to explain their positions. You have conveniently ignored the example of the piercing story in John and what Raymond Brown has said about it. You have also conveniently ignored the point that I made about the author of Luke commiting a clear error in Luke 2 and the lie of Luke 1. I have argued that this causes any reasonable person to doubt the reports that he gives in his writings, especially if they conflict between each other. And it is the same author! Did the anonymous author of Luke get his information from Paul? I have already written an article on this and linked it in my previous response. Here’s the link again http://unveiling-christianity......meet-paul/

      Oh btw, that was a slip from me about Luke being Jesus’ companion. I was supposed to have said Paul. The above link discusses the issue.

  12. Polycarp says:

    I’m going to have to hold on responding to this and your other blog counter responses until I get home. I have very little sources available to me other then the internet and a few snippets here and there. So in about 2 weeks or so I’ll be cookin up a response for you. Until then, God Bless

  13. Polycar says:

    Assalamu’alaikum,

    Well I made it home, and so I look forward to continuing our dialogue as time permits on both ends. I’m going to start from scratch with regards to this post, since it has been about two weeks or so since we’ve dialogued about Paul’s visionary experiences listed in Acts. Now that I’m back home, I can actually give you quotes from sources and an actual dialogue that is idiosyncratic, rather than jotted down thoughts and ideas from memory.

    The Oxford Guide to the Bible describes Paul’s Christian conversion as something that was not a disenthralling from Judaism, since he was clearly dedicated to a biblical faith (Galatians 1:14; Philippians 3:4b-6). Instead it was the “conversion experience that changed his life and played a major part in the development of his theology…he discovered that Jesus was no longer dead, but alive”(Metzger pg.578). Gerd Ludemann in “The Resurrection of Christ,” reinforces the idea that Paul had zealousness towards the law, as “evident…by his condemnation of their [Christians] proclamation of a crucified Messiah and… their [Christians] de facto disregard of the Torah”(Ludemann pg. 167). This of course raises the question again, what caused Paul to convert from his deeply rooted Jewish beliefs? Answering this question, Bart Erhman states in his book, “Peter Paul and Mary Magdalene,” that “there is little doubt, historically, about what converted Paul. He had a vision of Jesus raised from the dead” (Ehrman pg.111). Gerd Ludemann reverberates this by never denying Paul had a visionary experience of the risen Lord; rather, Gerd Ludemann likens it to a personal hallucination of the risen Christ. This idea can be seen in his debate with William Lane Craig, which is available in book form (Jesus’ Resurrection Fact or Figment?). He expounds on this notion a little more in his book “The Resurrection of Christ,” where he puts Paul’s vision in the same category as the Old Testament Prophets and affirms the hallucination theory by stating, “rather I adopt a psychological viewpoint in proposing the Paul experienced something that many people from his culture did…”(Ludemann pg.48). Continuing on, John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg in their book, “The First Paul,” describe Paul’s transformation of church persecutor to saint, as a “dramatic experience” Paul had with the risen Christ. They also point to the scholar, Peter Berger’s findings that, “Saul becomes Paul in a moment of religious ecstasy” (Borg pg.18).This of course is a reference to Paul’s visionary experience in Acts. The only explanation for Paul’s conversion is a dramatic experience such as this. As no credible scholar will deny that Paul was a pious Jewish Pharisee who was extremely devoted to the Torah and detested the new Jewish sect, Christianity. So whether the visionary experience was in fact a physical event or a hallucination, there is no denying that Paul experienced something arcane on the road to Damascus. If you continue to read the paragraph in Bart Ehrman’s book, “Peter Paul and Mary Magdalene,”you will find that he does not dismiss the visions themselves as not happening because of the differences in the narratives, like Sami Zataari does or as your history professors do. Rather he notes, “There are differences among these three accounts, making it difficult to know what, exactly, the author of Acts wants us to think happened. But the basic story line is similar” (Ehrman pg. 111). Borg and Crossan both echo Ehrman’s words that the primary details of the story are the same; Paul saw a light, he heard a voice and addressed it as Lord, the voice identified itself as Jesus, and the experience transformed him (Borg pg.22). This of course is what I have iterated once before, the differences in the secondary details do not necessarily throw something out. Granted, if you’re looking at it from a historical perspective, you may have to accept that some details did not occur or perhaps not in that order. This does not dismiss the event as not happening though. Bart Ehrman, in an email discussion I had with him, essentially agrees with what I just stated. The eyewitnesses maybe valuable as to what happened, but the eyewitnesses may not have recorded/remembered the events correctly and thus may not be accepted as getting it down to perfection. I fully accept that all three accounts may not be 100% historically accurate, as is the case in many of antiquities historical writings. However, the point is the main points do not sway, nor do they differ. At the very least, yours and Mr. Zataari’s conclusions are incorrect on this matter.

    I do want to touch upon a point you brought up in regards to the beliefs of Marcus Borg. If you read his book “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time,” he sort of outlines his views on how to take the Bible. A Wikipedia article sort of summarizes this if you want to get the most basic idea of his view. But he takes a “metaphorical historical” view of the Bible, and on page 46 of this book; he gives a list of ideas that he considers to be symbolic in the relationship of God and man. If you notice, the events he labels as metaphoric, both in the New and Old Testaments, are all stories that would involve miracles. He further defines his criteria of knowing if something is metaphoric by what he calls, “limits of the spectacular.” In other words, if the event goes beyond what we think is possible, it falls into this category. With that being said Marcus Borg is one of the more “conservative” members of the Jesus Seminar, still more “liberal” then what I consider myself to be, which is seen on page 47 of his book, where he does paint a more open view towards miracles. He further states, that because no one else has performed miracles or these miracles, such as the virgin birth, multiplying loaves of bread, or turning water into wine, he cannot fully accept that Jesus did these miraculous actions, labeling these actions as “metaphorical narratives.” So despite that he is more “open” to miracles, he still goes into the text presupposing they did not occur. My view is similar to that of Dr. William Lane Craig’s which is, natural explanations should be what we turn to first, but if there are no natural explanations that can explain the “miracle” event without the explanation becoming ad hoc or outrageous, we may have to turn to a supernatural explanation. Even though it sounds like Marcus Borg’s belief, it isn’t. Borg doesn’t accept miracles from the get go, and won’t unless it can be historically certain the supernatural events occurred before.

    1. Borg, Marcus J. Reading the Bible Again For the First Time Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002. Print.
    2. Borg, Marcus J., and John D. Crossan. The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church’s Conservative Icon. New York: Harper collins, 2009. Print.

    3. Ehrman, Bart D. Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene the followers of Jesus in history and legend. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006. Print.
    4. Jesus’ resurrection fact or figment? : A Debate between William Lane Craig & Gerd Lüdemann. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 2000. Print
    5. Ludemann, Gerd. The Resurrection Of Christ A Historical Inquiry. New York: Prometheus Books, 2004. Print.
    6. Metzger, Bruce M., and Michael D. Coogan, eds. “Paul.” Oxford Guide to the Bible. New York: Oxford UP, 1993. 578. Print.

  14. ARMY OF JESUS IS ISLAM says:

    I have read the full article and i have also read the Christians response from Polycarp who failed miserably trying to address sami zatrawi yet like ibn anware said he just used red herrings and appealed to authority. I would like to respond to Polycar who said he and Bart Ehrman agree that the account is not 100% accurate????????
    Poly carp quotes: Bart Ehrman, in an email discussion I had with him, essentially agrees with what I just stated. The eyewitnesses maybe valuable as to what happened, (but the eyewitnesses may not have recorded/remembered the events correctly and thus may not be accepted as getting it down to perfection). (I fully accept that all three accounts may not be 100% historically accurate, as is the case in many of antiquities historical writings). However, the point is the main points do not sway, nor do they differ. At the very least, yours and Mr. Zataari’s conclusions are incorrect on this matter (end quote)

    Notice what he said in brackets? Eye witness may not have remember everything perfectly? I thought they were inspired by the holy spirit to write the account down guided by the Holy spirit within them? Thank you for exposing Mr. polyracp that the Bible is not the inspired word directly by God because God is perfect in divine revelation and man is not! hence mans Word can not in anyway or shape be gods word.. And since the bible is men’s accounts mixed in with Gods word renders the Bible from being the 100% inspired word of God. You have just unveiled your bible at this web site thank you again.
    I would like to add further arguments to why Paul is a fake and never met Jesus: First of all: Jesus said in the upper room that the holy spirit that will be sent to guide people to the truth will be the comforter: And Jesus clearly said the one you will be sent will be (ANOTHER) meaning someone (ELSE) beside Jesus will appear and guide people to the truth. So this clearly indicates someone beside Jesus. So the Question is Why did Jesus come back to Paul? Since Jesus said i will not send my self but another will be sent?

    Read: John 14:16-17 (King James Version) 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you (another) Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    -as you can see ANOTHER meaning someone else beside Jesus.

    So if Jesus is clearly saying: he must Go and if he doesnt (he will) not come read:
    ’Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away for if I do not go away the Comforter(parakletos) will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send him unto you’’.(John 16:7

    So again as you can see Jesus must depart or else (he) will not come meaning for some particular reason Jesus and this speacial holy spirit can not be on earth at the same time!! So why is Jesus contradicting this and he himself comes back to PAUL on Earth! as the Comforter as the spirit guiding PAUL? This doesn’t make any sense and Proves Paul is lying. If Paul claimed he only SAW a spirit who was not JESUS hovering around Paul and descending like a DOVE to him it would make perfect sense, yet this unfortunately didn’t happen contradicting everything so again Paul has been exposed.

    To further destroy Paul’s Credibility: one must investigate the man’s Personality and characteristics. This is how we judge people by looking into there behavior, and what I do find interesting is that Paul held the characteristics of not a truthful person in his actions but one that walks in the shadows and misleads and deceive’s people.
    Let’s look at a example of that: 2 Corinthians 12:16Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you. Yet, crafty (panourgos) fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery (dolos)!

    As you can clearly see Paul was spying and catching his own disciples out by using trickery methods upon them this surely is not the characteristics of a truthful person by nature. I challenge any Christians to show me where Prophet Muhammad(saw) tricked his own companions.

    Lets look at some more evidence: 1 Corinthians 9:20-22 (New International Version) PAUL SAID: 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
    Point one: He pretended to follow the law? Of other faiths.
    Point two: he pretended to be a Jew.. So if a person said are you a Jew to Paul? or Christian? he would lie and say his a Jew to deceit the Jews, I mean when these Jews find out that Paul was lying to them how would these Jews feel if they were meant to believe Paul was a truthful person by Character im sure this Jews would never accept Christianity by the very nature of PAUL!!!
    Can you imagine how they Jews would have felt knowing this person they harbored was indeed a hypocrite amongst them? Paul said : “I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee” – Acts 23:6 , A fact which Paul very proudly repeats on more than one occasion. To which Jesus (pbuh) responds: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Since Paul was a ex-Jew Pharisee after accepting Christianity you would think he Paul would let go of being a hypocrite Pharisee as Jesus claims yet: Paul shows as that even accepting Christianity he has trouble letting go of his hypocrisy?

    Point three: Its like me going to a shop buying Jewish clothes I go get my self the torah I walk into a Jewish synagogue I sit with the Jews and I say im a Jew and we read the 10 commandments and the torah laws and we say how we should implement these laws and how we should reject Jesus? Yet in my heart im only deceiving and lying to them? Is this the founder of Christianity Paul a liar serpent? Look at the 9th commandment: you shall not bare false witness I.e you should not lie.
    And not to forget Paul was also a Murder by nature I mean he used to simply kill people because they were Christian: read I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, Acts 22:4
    So even by nature Paul was a serial killer who killed and persecuted thousands of Christians a bit like Hitler: can you imagine if one day Hitler killing all the Jews, and one day claimed in a vision he saw Moses and started writing books and went to the Jews and said I saw Moses and here are my books and I am your new guider do you think for a second this would be acceptable to the Jews? Well if you think this is unreal and silly well Christians have accepted this similar story!!
    Conclusion Paul was a killer, hypocrite deceiver and a liar by nature hence renders him from all the Qualities and credentials from being a truthful person, even amongst our modern day society if one man has a bad criminal record and is a untruthful person its unlikely he would get a job, especially if its in government. Yet Christians turn a blind eye and accept a criminal to not only work for them but to be there Company leader!! something which I really find interesting indeed..

  15. Roger says:

    The inaccuracy of this article is declaring Paul to be a liar. If anyone is a liar it must be St Luke who wrote the book of Acts.
    Chapter 9 is in the third person; it is Luke’s version of the events; but he is not an eyewitness and could have made mistakes. Clearly Luke did not notice his variation when quoting Paul in chapters 22 and 26. Things written years after the event may easily get distorted. This is not common to religion. After all, some of believe King John was not so bad a king and Richard 1 pretty atrocious.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Roger…you might want to look at Billy’s comment. He rejects Acts as very unreliable ;) . If Acts is a lie then what else is a lie in the New Testament Roger? If the story was distorted then what else was distorted? If Acts was truly written by Luke then this guy must have been one incompetent physician! aren’t physicians supposed to be astute? But of course the idea that Luke was a physician is church tradition. You might want to look at my article on whether Luke met Paul. If the stories reported in Acts are untruths then we hav no record at all for Paul’s alleged meeting with Jesus which would make him nothing more than a self-appointed false prophet which is what we’ve been trying to tell you all along ;) .

  16. Billy says:

    I think this article can be misleading because of the ambiguity over the authenticity of Acts…Look to Paul’s letters – especially Corinthians – for more valid answers. Paul’s list of those who met Christ after his resurrection is one of the earliest lists. Acts is very unreliable.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Thank you for admitting that a canonised book of the NT is “very unreliable” Billy! ;) . As for Paul’s mentioning of witnesses to the resurrection you might want to look at my article on the crucifixion where I have briefly discussed that.

  17. Bfoali says:

    As-Sallamu-Alaykom,

    Is it just me, or Brother Anwar are you as shocked as I am in regards to these ”answers” by alleged bible believing Christians?

    It seems to me that the only way a Christian can reply to any of the major discrepancies found within the text of the bible, is by either, completely avoiding the problem, ”harmonizing” the problem, or plain old rejecting the books found within the bible.

    Unfortunately in regards to Roger, and Billy their defense comes in the form of rejecting the reliability and validity of Acts which is a huge problem given that, Christians are supposed believe that this is the inspired word of God !

    Sallam

  18. Robert says:

    No Alaykom-san,
    The Word is the truth.
    When you understand what the “Word” is, then you will know, and if you ever come to understand and follow that truth – it will make you free.
    Now you are bound by your earth-bound laws of understanding but once the Holy Ghost begins to revelate knowledge to you then you can open eyes that will see, ears that can hear. As for now you are not saved.
    Choices are forever. My life everlasting has begun already – yours may never…

  19. Roberta says:

    Here is a thought-
    Paul was a Roman Citizen and could have ADMITTED in the end that what he proclaimed about Jesus was a lie and saved himself from prison and from death on the cross, but he held firm to the end his beliefs about Jesus, and he accepted the death and suffering he would go through. Why would he do that? No one would do that except they really profoundly believe. To the author of these comments I hope you too find Jesus. You talk a good talk, but you misquote and misunderstand so much. I am sincere believer, and faith is what makes the difference.

  20. Ibn Anwar says:

    Bethany said
    April 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm e

    You say, “then we hav no record at all for Paul’s alleged meeting with Jesus which would make him nothing more than a self-appointed false prophet”
    If you take out the meeting with Jesus, does that really make him a false prophet? It seems that you are riding too much on this one story.

    Ibn Anwar says:

    Yes, it makes him a false prophet since he is recorded to have claimed that he met Jesus in 1 Corinthians 15:8

  21. Mason Bane says:

    What you say is true about Paul lying and hallucinating the whole thing. However, your argument at the end that we should trade one brand of primitive mysticism, the Bible, for another, the Quran, which came later than the Bible and is derivative copy of the Biblical people and ideas, is highly illogical. The Quran was written 600 years after the Bible with many of the same characters and is clearly derivative lies as well.

  22. simon says:

    I didn’t find this very convincing.

    When Paul was on the road to Damascus he saw a light and heard a voice. Did those who were with him hear the voice (Acts 9:7), or did they not (Acts 22:9)?

    Although the same Greek word is used in both accounts (akouo), it has two distinct meanings: to perceive sound and to understand. Therefore, the explanation is clear: they heard something but did not understand what it was saying. Paul, on the other hand, heard and understood. There is no contradiction.

    When Paul saw the light and fell to the ground, did his travelling companions fall (Acts 26:14) or did they not fall (Acts 9:7) to the ground?

    There are two possible explanations of this point. The word rendered ‘stood’ also means to be fixed, to be rooted to the spot. This is something that can be experienced whether standing up or lying down.

    An alternative explanation is this: Acts 26:14 states that the initial falling to the ground occurred when the light flashed around, before the voice was heard. Acts 9:7 says that the men ‘stood speechless’ after the voice had spoken. There would be ample time for them to stand up whilst the voice was speaking to Saul, especially as it had no significance or meaning to them. Saul, on the other hand, understood the voice and was no doubt transfixed with fear as he suddenly realized that for so long he had been persecuting and killing those who were following God. He had in effect been working against the God whom he thought he was serving. This terrible realization evidently kept him on the ground longer than his companions.
    Did the voice tell Paul what he was to do on the spot (Acts 26:16-18), or was he commanded to go to Damascus to be told what to do (Acts 9:7; 22:10)?

    Paul was told his duties in Damascus as can be seen from Acts 9 and 22. However in Acts 26 the context is different. In this chapter Paul doesn’t worry about the chronological or geographical order of events because he is talking to people who have already heard his story.
    In Acts 9:1-31 Luke, the author of Acts, narrates the conversion of Saul.

    In Acts 22:1-21 Luke narrates Paul speaking to Jews, who knew who Paul was and had actually caused him to be arrested and kept in the Roman Army barracks in Jerusalem. He speaks to the Jews from the steps of the barracks and starts off by giving his credentials as a Jew, before launching into a detailed account of his meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ and his conversion.
    In Acts 26:2-23 Luke, however, narrates the speech given by Paul, (who was imprisoned for at least two years after his arrest in Jerusalem and his speech in Acts 22,). This was given to the Roman Governor Festus and King Herod Agrippa, both of whom were already familiar with the case. (Read the preceding Chapters). Therefore they did not require a full blown explanation of Paul’s case, but a summary. Which is exactly what Paul gives them. This is further highlighted by Paul reminding them of his Jewish credentials in one part of a sentence, “I lived as a Pharisee,” as opposed to two sentences in Acts 22:3. Paul also later in the Chapter is aware that King Agrippa is aware of the things that have happened in verses 25-27.

    For more info: http://debate.org.uk/topics/apolog/contrads.htm

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      The above harmonisation attempt is a classic example of what Dr. L. Michael White describes in his ‘Scripting Jesus’ as the “car wreck fallacy”. As Bart Ehrman aptly says in his ‘Misquoting Jesus’ instead of presenting the stories as they are you have in fact created something new i.e. a new story/narrative that the original author never intended. Congratulations to the author of the site you have simply regurgitated for introducing a whole new story to the book of Acts

  23. Ibn Anwar says:

    Simon said:
    “Actually, Ibn Anwar, I think you need to take a closer look at what Polycarp said. I don’t think you have answered his refutation of you.”
    I have already refuted every single point that he brought up here http://unveilingchristianity.w.....-polycarp/

  24. Amira says:

    Assalamalaykum,
    Dear brothers and sisters we should always remember one thing that is that Christians and the Jews will never be satisfied with us and to my dear Christian brothers and sisters why is that the Christians always want to attack Muslims.I have visited Jewish religious websites before and you will hardly find Christians commenting there.The attack is always bias and anti ISLAM.Apparently the Jews “crucified” Jesus(pbuh) then why aren’t the Christians hating on the Jews?If u say THE NOBLE QURAN has been copied from the Bible then the Bible has been copied from the Torah since Judaism was the first Abraham religion.So Judiasm should be the “truth” right?
    Faith is to believe something without doubt literally blindly but not illogically there should be reasoning.After all a blind person follows and believes in their strong instincts and intelligence to get through their daily life.So as humans we should be unbiased and seek the truth about religion the same way.
    I am not telling anyone’s beliefs are wrong because in our Quran Allah says there are good people among the Christians and the Jews and they will go to heaven.I mean the Jews and Christians who follow the true religions respectively.
    Simply in Islam we are not supposed to hate anyone because they are not Muslims.People have all the freedom to choose what they want because Allah’s kingdom will not loose anything if you reject Islam and Allah’s Kingdom will not gain anything either because WE NEED ALLAH,He does not need us.He created us.If u believe your GOD is 3 in 1 then Allah knows best.I believe ALLAH is only 1 and Allah knows best!
    As Christians you say you are meant to love everyone so why do really hate Muslims and back bite them?Why do u make rude remarks about us behind our backs and mock us?I am a Muslim and if i hate you i will tell because Islam teaches me that if you back bite someone it is like you have bitten a piece of flesh out of the person you spoke about.In Islam if you kill 1 innocent human you have killed the whole of humanity and if you save 1 human you have saved the whole of Humanity.I say this because my family is Christian and they do that and so do their preachers.

    FYI i was a former Hindu child,grew up to be a Christian Teenager and now i am a happy MUSLIM ADULT! Alhamdoulilah

    Lastly if Christianity is the truth please go and convert some Jews and harass them too just the way you keep harassing us all the time.Judaism is racist that you can’t be a jew unless you are born a jew.In the Quran we are told the Christians are the closest to us.

    Dear administrator you article did help me out in engaging in dialogue with my Christian family.
    Salam

  25. God creation says:

    Hi all,

    We all here can debate about what is the truth and what is not. We can all debate why Christians attack Muslims, or why Muslims bomb places of Christian worship. We can all debate about Paul and suddenly tomorrow debate about Prophet Muhammad. Come one day, who knows, we may be debating about Buddha and some other hindu or chinese gods. I believe “scriptures” are God breathed. Depending which god you believe in, all believers will always agree “scriptures” are God breathed. However, manuscripts are written by humans through some kind of experience with God. If you have a tape recorder, you will be able to write down every single Word of God that was spoken. Too bad that in those early days there isn’t any tape or video recorder. Hence all so-called scriptures today are produced (with many different versions or languages) through some form of referencing, translation and interpretation of that particular time and culture and were presented as “God-breathed” scriptures for today’s listeners. Are they (today’s scriptures) still considered “God-breathed” reliable scriptures speaking the intended messages after so many years of translation and interpretation, passing through so many hands? Your guess is as good as mine.

    The problem we are facing today is not about Paul nor Muhammad nor Luke nor anyone else’s. The problem lies in all of us who have made comments in this page. Everyone wants to win. Then who will lose ? If we believe there is a God and creator in this universe, the creator of you and me – who gave us a body, a soul and mind, let us have a heart to revered and worship God, our creator. Let us not spend a single minute or second to argue about who is right or wrong. Let us change for once to look back at ourselves and ask “if God created me and my neighbour and now we are “fighting” amongst God creation, does this please God?”. If we start to have the right attitude towards God and God’s creation, and have a heart totally exhorting God, I believe one day we all will have the same experience that Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Paul, Muhammad, Buddha, or any other people had whom you believe have “seen” God. And when anyone of us do encounter that personal experience with God, he or she will know what is right and wrong in God’s eyes. I’m sure when that happens all of us will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will sets us free.

    May God bless and open our hearts to God’s voice.

  26. aetna dental says:

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  27. Believer says:

    Paul never met Jesus, sorry but he just simply and factually didn’t…and I don’t know why this is a bad thing, lots of people never met Jesus as he was only alive for a short amount of time. This doesn’t mean that Paul was a bad person because he didn’t meet him or anything, but he simply didnt know Jesus pesonally and didn’t know him personally any better than I do, why is that a problem for some people? Do some people actually think he did? If so, how? Maybe a time machine or magic? Also, we live in a huge universe, or which we are a very very small part, why do some peopl think that we know wenough about this very complicated universe that we would actually be able to understand God and who God was and that God would actually be a person as God can probably do a lot better than taking the form of a very flawed human form, seems like a huge downgrade if u ask me…also who believes everything they read, especially a boom like the bible who was written by people that I have never met, seems pretty dumb to believe I something written by some stranger almost 2,000 years ago

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