Response to Dr. Norlain Dindang Mababaya's

God: Is not the Author of Confusion

By way of a quick overview of the article, I believe Dr. Mababaya makes two main points: 1) that today's Bible is the end product of "revisions after revisions and translations after translations" resulting in something totally unreliable, and 2) that, as a result, it is full of contradicting statements about the character and nature of God. His conclusion is that these two factors "confuse all sensible readers" and therefore the Bible cannot be God's Word, since (quoting the Bible against itself) "God is not the author of confusion."

In trying to carefully analyze Dr. Mababaya's thinking, I was first of all confronted with the very disconcerting carelessness with which he has written this article. Even allowing for the probability that English is not his native language, there is no excuse (in these days of spell checks, etc.) for the overwhelming number of grammatical and spelling mistakes - even to the point of occasionally being completely incomprehensible (e.g., "You shall not after gods, the gods of the people who ar all around you." "....dwelling in unapproachable light, whom be honor and everlasting forever. Amen." "Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who is strains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle - ").

His mistakes are so frequent that I actually took the time to count them! Within the four pages of his own writing Dr. Mababaya makes a total of 39 spelling mistakes plus 39 grammatical mistakes! What is even more unbelievable and quite offensive is the huge number of such mistakes in the following 11 pages where he supposedly copied directly from the Bible. In quoting 94 Bible references he managed to make 60 spelling and grammar mistakes, to skip a total of 49 words from 25 different references, to leave out one whole verse, and even combine half of two other verses to produce the following: "I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephaim. For I am God, and not man, the Holy lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent."! In the midst of all this distracting carelessness and confusion it is difficult to hear his argument about God not being the author of confusion!

Now a few comments about the content of his two arguments.

In the first one, Dr. Mababaya displays a certain confused closed mindedness in his understanding of what scholars have done in translating the Bible into English. From his use of terms, it is hard to discern any clear distinction in his thinking between a "translation" a "revision" or a "version." He also leaves his readers with the impression that there is no difference between "God's Book" in its original language and in its translations. From the following statements we can deduce that Dr. Mababaya believes that:

1) revising a TRANSLATION of the Bible is in fact revising God's Book and correcting the work of the Creator, and

2) if any translation of the Bible could possibly be made into English it can only be called God's Word if: a) it is the one and only translation accepted by all, and b) if it is never revised:

"...these revisions serve as concrete proofs that all the Biblical books are not at all divinely inspired. This is because it is beyond man's ability to correct the work of his Creator, who alone is Almighty and perfect... no man nor any group of men should ever revise God's Book."

"Why should any sensible man be the object of glaring deception when different men have revised the Bible for many times? How come the Bible has undergone many revisions?" (grammar mistake is his)

"Concerning the translation of the Bible, the English speaking peoples until now could not agree with a real standard translation of the Bible."

"When will the Christian World stop revising and translating the Bible? Will they ever comew up with a final standard verion of the Bible?" (spelling mistakes are his)

These concepts are based on more basic beliefs not clearly expressed, but nevertheless implied: 1) the language in which God's Word is given can never change and cannot be translated into any other language, 2) each individual word in God's Book can only be "pure" if it is never altered in any way, 3) God himself will preserve his Word by not allowing any alteration of any word in the original language, and 4) Every believer needs to learn the original language so that he/she can fully understand God's Word.

Needless to say, the Biblical concepts of inspiration and preservation of Scripture differ considerably from this mind set. A good book on Bible Introduction, such as 'The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of History and Science' (especially pp.96-158) by Dr. William Campbell or 'A General Introduction To The Bible' by Geisler and Dix, is recommended for a better understanding of this whole subject. It is sad that so few Muslim writers refer to these very helpful reference materials.

In the latter section of his article, it seems obvious that Dr. Mababaya is using someone else's list of supposedly contradicting Bible verses. He mentions several authors of such material, but doesn't give credit to a specific author. It is also apparent that he did not bother to read the verses included in the list being borrowed. How else could he possibly have assembled this list of verses himself without noticing all these mistakes and omissions? He even sometimes left out key words and phrases which are the very ones he needed to make his point!

I was tempted to try to answer each of these supposed contradictions, but the more I looked at them, the more clear it became that he has no interest in understanding the truth. He is only looking for anything that might add weight to his belief that the Bible is corrupted and can't be God's Word.

For example, in presenting his first "inconsistency," Dr. Mababaya offers the following verses (among many similar ones) as "proof" that the Bible teaches that there are many gods:

  • "You shall not after gods, the gods of the people who ar all around you." (Deuteronomy 6:14). (grammar and spelling mistakes are his)
  • "And the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods." (2 Chronicles 2:5).
  • No one who reads the Bible with a desire to understand it could possible believe that it teaches there are many gods! There are 23 clear declarations throughout the Bible of the fact that there is only one God. There are clear statements that the "gods" of the nations "are no gods." (Jeremiah 2:11; 5:7; II Kings 19:18), but are idols which "do not speak ...see ...hear ...smell ...feel ...walk ...(or)..make a sound" (Psalm 115:5; 135:15-17).

    In his second supposed inconsistency, he asks us to consider whether the Bible teaches that there is "a man greater than or equal to God"! He says, "The Bible characterizes Melcizedeck (sp.) as greater than God for it says that `he has no beginning of days nor end of life'; Whereas, God is merely the `First'." But he says this right after quoting Isaiah 48:12 where God says, "I am the First , I am also the last". He certainly did not look very carefully at what he has quoted!

    Then Dr. Mababaya asks the profound question, "Does God dwell in darkness or in light or in heaven?" As a follower of Islam, he certainly should know that God is omnipresent. He is in the darkness, in the light, in heaven, and everywhere else! I'm surprised that he missed including the following verses in his "proof" texts showing how the Bible confuses us as to the dwelling place of God: "Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!" (Psalm 139:7,8).

    I am not going to continue with his list. Although a few of the items on the list are indeed genuine problems of understanding, with which believers themselves struggle, most of his so called inconsistencies in the Bible are the glib responses of a man who has no desire or intent to understand God's Word, the Holy Bible. He is approaching the Bible with a closed mind due to his pre-determined Islamic convictions.

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