Apologist Bob Siegel adds new light to the discussion of Good Friday and Easter with historical evidence of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Bob is from a Jewish background. Perhaps for this reason he has spent time researching the ancient Jewish historical texts from the time of Jesus, as well as the better known Roman ones. As we discuss elsewhere in more detail, Muslims have difficulty accepting that Jesus died on the cross. Bob tells us that the fact is well documented by sources outside of the Bible. He also mentions that the Jewish histories and commentaries admit that Jesus did fantastic miracles, but attributed them to sorcery. They also say he was put to death for blasphemous statements, like claiming to be God.
This clip allows us to view the reality of a former Muslim’s first Easter. Huda here has the opportunity to experience Easter for the first time as a Christian, in church with other Christians. Hear part of the sermon by Dr. James Anderson on the hope we have in Easter. Because of Easter, even if life is hard, he tells us that the power of God and the hope of the resurrection give us a new perspective. Easter celebrates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The earth comes back to life in the spring, reminding us of the birth into new life experienced by someone who has become Christian from Muslim. Join us in singing along with the subtitles to Christ the Lord is Risen Today!
Why Follow Jesus of the Bible vs. Islam?
Dr. Cynthia made a presentation at California State University Sacramento on the topic “Why Follow Jesus of the Bible vs. Islam” on September 17, 2016.
Has the Bible been corrupted? Since one of the top four objections Muslims have to the gospel is the erroneous belief that the Bible has been corrupted, in this episode Dr. Cynthia asks expert Georges Houssney, “Has the Bible been corrupted?” Houssney is a Bible translator who has supervised translation of the Bible into Arabic. He has investigated the sources of the Bible to see if it has been corrupted. Houssney cites the thousands of manuscripts of the Bible showing just how accurate Bible and the message of the gospel is, coming down from the early years after Jesus. Houssney challenges all Muslims not to simply believe what they have been told about the Bible being corrupted- they must look for proof! They will discover that the bulk of the evidence to the question “Has the Bible been corrupted?” is an overwhelming NO!
Huda on Islam (English) is a video clip of Huda, a in reality. In it Huda, a former Muslim is driving Dr. Cynthia to a meeting about Islam when she starts talking about Islam. Dr. C grabs the camera to catch her in candid discussion. Huda relates with animation how she feels she was deceived in Islam for many years while she lived in a Muslim country with no access to the truth. She is very glad that now, due to the internet and websites (like this) Muslims across the world finally have access to the truth.
By watching debates, Huda has learned that the Muslim debaters and leaders do not have good answers to the objections put forward by Christians, atheists, and other critics of Islam. She says there are many ugly things about Mohammed and Islam which are hidden from the Muslim world. Because of this, Huda was well into adulthood before she came to America and discovered the truth about Islam. She challenges all Muslims to research through the internet, and every other ways to find out the truth about Islam.
This clip is the testimony of a former Muslim who for safety’s sake goes by “MBI.” MBI lets us know that before he became a Christian, he used to debate against Christians. He thought he had the truth and the good answers. This former Muslim shares with us two Bible verses that Christians shared with him that opened his mind to the truth and out of Islam: John 14:6 and Romans 5:8. He was stunned to hear that no one came to God except through Jesus, as is said in John’s gospel. He says when he learned that the God of the Bible loved us even when we were sinners, in the contrast of to Allah of the Qur’an who only loved the good, was so striking that it closed the door on Islam for him. Now he is a Christian, a former Muslim who is “sold out” for Jesus!
While Huda and Dr. Cynthia are on a trip they come across a mosque. This triggers a diatribe by Huda on Mosques in America. As Huda sees it, she had no choice about what religion she would follow until she came to America long into adulthood. She points out the impossible challenges Christians have in trying to build churches in the Middle East, compared with the ease with which Muslims can build mosques in America. She strongly feels this is unfair.
Huda states Muslims should build mosques in their own countries, not America. Dr. Cynthia points out (in the background) that the United States has freedom of religion. As Huda claims in other video clips as well as this one, she fears that Americans will loose their freedoms if Islam takes root by building Mosques in America. She has said, off camera, if Islam gains power in America, “Then women will be nothing again.”
Being candid reality, this video clip exposes Huda’s gut reaction to Mosques in America. It also reveals a glimpse of the Middle Eastern attitude, still held even now that she is a Christian, that not all religions should be allowed in a country. Do not fear however, we at www.ChristianfromMuslim.com are not saying that there should be no mosques in America. In a later instructional clip that was used in this same TV episode, Dr. Cynthia explains why we do indeed allow Mosques in America.
What Huda likes about the Bible in Arabic with subtitles.
In this clip of “Dr. Cynthia’s Side,” she discusses the place of disillusion with Islam in the process of Muslims leaving Islam and/or becoming Christian from Muslim. The nearly universal presence of violence and human rights abuses in Muslim countries have caused many to become disillusioned with Islam. When Huda was a Muslim, she looked at the Muslim world, its trials and abuses, from the view that since Islam was the true religion, it must be the best. “No country in the world practices true Islam,” she would say. Iran under the Shah before the revolution she felt was the closest to true Islam, because of the more open attitude there at that time.
However, when an Arab evangelist BE, who works with Dr. C, challenged Huda that the teachings of Islam actually reinforce the abuses in the Muslim world, she began to look into facts for herself. In this way, Huda’s disillusion with Islam because of its principles was added to her disillusion with Islam because of its practices. Her example underscores the teaching of BE that in order for a Muslim to have the courage to leave Islam, they must move beyond disillusion with Islam to knowing that it is wrong.
New believers commonly ask, “Where do I start reading the Bible?” This is an important question because the Bible is a very large book, and although every part is important, some places are definitely better for a new believer to start reading that others. For many Muslims a good place to start reading the Bible is the first book, Genesis. In Genesis are the stories of Adam, Abraham, and Noah – characters with which Muslims are already familiar and call “prophets.”
It is also important for seekers and new believers to learn about Jesus. The Gospel of John is great favorite among Christians for its beautiful and spiritual analogies. But the Sermon on the Mount is refreshingly powerful in is message, and Muslims should not miss it, so Matthew is an excellent place to start. And you could start reading the Bible with the Gospel of Mark, which being the shortest gospel is very fast paced and gives a quick view of the life of Jesus. Since it is held to be the earliest gospel, it is one that Muslim critics of Christianity are most likely to accept: yet even it shows the remarkable and unique person of Jesus Christ.
And finally, Dr. Cynthia says you can start reading the Bible based on what is being studied at your church or in your Bible study group.
Jesus or Mohammed? This is a question anyone who compares Christianity and Islam must ask. Who is the true prophet, Jesus or Mohammed? In this video clip Dr. Cynthia interviews Georges Houssney, coming from the Arab world, for his guidance in how we can determine who has the true message, Jesus or Mohammed?
Although Muslims claim that both Jesus and Mohammed are prophets, since they make opposite claims of what is true, how we should live, and how we get to heaven, a sincere seeker of truth must decide who brings the true message, Jesus or Mohammed? Houssney tells us to start with what both men claim about themselves. Mohammed claims to be “only a warner.” Jesus claims to be the Son of God and Savior. Since the difference between the two messages is extreme and impacts our eternal destiny, we must determine which brings the true message from God – Jesus or Mohammed?
How do I find the Truth? In this video clip Dr. Cynthia asks Luke Price for a method we can use to find the Truth. Seeing intense violence and violation of human rights in most Muslim countries, many in Islam are discouraged and doubting. First they doubt Islam, but since they believe that Islam is the final revelation of God with his final prophet, it makes them doubt the existence of God as well. They start to ask, “How do I find the Truth?” This clip is designed to provide tools for them – as well as any seeker – to learn how to objectively find the truth. Price provides us with tools of logic to help us find the truth. We can use these tools to help determine if anything, everything, or nothing is true.
Why is the crucifixion important? This is what Dr. Cynthia asks guest Bob Siegel in this video clip. Siegel, a Christian coming out of a Jewish background, adds to the historical proof that Jesus died on the cross, confirmation from the writings of Jesus’ Jewish enemies of the time, who also document that Jesus died on the cross.
Siegel explains to us that the crucifixion is important because through it Jesus not only fulfilled his prophecy that he would die and arise again, but the crucifixion is important because Jesus’ death was a blood sacrifice in our place. He quotes the apostle Paul in Corinthians about the essential importance of this doctrine in Christianity. The crucifixion is important because without it, the Christian hopes of forgiveness and resurrection from the dead are without basis.
Did Jesus only appear to die? In this video clip Dr. Cynthia directly asks Dr. Licona for his opinion of the possibility that Jesus did not die on the cross, but that Jesus only appeared to die on the cross. This is not a significant issue for non-Muslims. They readily accept that Jesus not only appeared to die on the cross, Jesus actually did die on the cross. Not so for Muslims.
The standard Muslim interpretation of the Qur’an is that Jesus only appeared to die on the cross (Surah 4:157). Most feel Allah cast his image upon someone else, possibly Judas, and that Jesus was taken to heaven directly from the cross, before death. So, in contrast to the secular world, which accepts that Jesus died on the cross but doubts the resurrection, Muslims accept a resurrection of sorts to heaven, but deny that Jesus died on the cross, saying that it only appeared to them at the time that he did.
Dr. Cynthia points out that if it is true that Jesus only appeared to die on the cross, and it was not until the time of Mohammed that Allah clarified the misunderstanding, we are left with the fact that God would have deceived his true followers (indeed, Christians are called Muslims in the Qur’an) for six hundred years. That would make Allah a deceiver, which, as Dr. C points out, is exactly what the Qur’an calls him as well (Surah3:54). If Jesus did not die on the cross, then Jesus is a false prophet and God is a deceiver.
Muslims are there left either with a god that deceives his sincere followers by making the believe that Jesus died when he only appeared to die on the cross, or that the truth actually is found in the Bible, and confirmed by historians, that Jesus did die on the cross.
Did Jesus die on the Cross? Part 2 is a video clip where expert on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Dr. Mike Licona, continues his discussion on the evidence that Jesus died on the cross. One of the top four disagreements that Muslims have with Christians is whether or not Jesus died on the cross. The Bible says that Jesus died on the cross. The Qur’an tells us Jesus is a great prophet, but says he did not die on the cross. Can we determine which is historically true?
Historically, we can show that Jesus actually did predict he would be taken by authorities, be killed, and rise again. In Mark 8:31-33 Peter rebukes Jesus for saying this, then Jesus rebukes him back saying, “Get behind me Satan!” For historians, even for those who are not believers, this would be accepted as something that really happened by the “Criterion of Embarrassment.” Invented claims flatter the cause. Jesus’ and Peter’s conflict is not something that would be made up because this event is not flattering to the cause. Dr. Licona gives two other reasons as well.
So, if Jesus did not die and resurrect as he predicted, he is not a great prophet, which the Qur’an calls him. If he did, then the Qur’an is wrong.
Did Jesus die on the Cross? Part 1 is a video clip where expert on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Dr. Mike Licona, discusses the evidence that Jesus died on the cross. One of the top four disagreements that Muslims have with Christians is whether or not Jesus died on the cross. In this clip Licona explains that the death of Jesus on the cross is one of the best attested facts of the ancient world, and mentions non-biblical sources. If Jesus did not die on the cross, Mike says, God deceived the Christians, who were called Muslims in the Qur’an.
Dr. Cynthia Summarizes the Bible and the Qur’an. This video clip summarizes the material Dr. C presents in the two more detailed clips on the Bible and the Qur’an. Here the focus is not on which book is true, but the different ways that Christians and Muslims approach the Bible and the Qur’an as their respective holy books. For example, to touch the Qur’an, one must be ritually pure, which is not necessary with the Bible. Non-Muslims, known as “infidels, or “kafir” are considered unworthy to touch a Qur’an in Arabic; whereas Christians are glad to have everyone read the Bible!
Another significant difference between the Bible and the Qur’an is that the actual Arabic words of the Qur’an are believed to have supernatural power in themselves. For Christians, it is the message of the Bible that holds the power, not the words specifically in the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic. So, the Bible has the same power in any language. Not so with the Qur’an! It must be read and memorized in Arabic to count.
These are some, but not all, of the important differences between the Bible and the Qur’an. By understanding these approaches to the Bible and the Qur’an, we can better understand each others’ religions.
How does God speak in the Bible? How God speaks in the Bible is important for everyone to know – especially those coming from a Muslim background. In Islam, almost every chapter begins with a direct claim to be speaking words from God to people (the first chapter, or Fatiha, is a notable exception). So, when a Muslim approaches a holy book, they are expecting everything to be written from that vantage. This causes significant misunderstanding and even offence when they read the Bible. In the Bible, God speaks in several different ways.
In “How Does God Speak in the Bible?” Dr. Cynthia discusses the primary three ways God speaks in the Bible: directly, indirectly, and implied. In this clip she focuses on how God’s voice is implied. The ways God speaks in the Bible is important for everyone to know – especially those coming from a Muslim background. Almost every chapter in the Qur’an begins with a claim to be speaking words directly from God, so when a Muslim approaches a holy book, they are expecting everything to be written from that vantage. This causes significant misunderstanding and even offence when they read the Bible – unless they learn that in the Bible, God speaks in several different ways.
In a few places in the Bible God speaks directly to the people, in other areas it is indirectly through a message given to a prophet. But in many areas God instructs us through examples in the lives of his people. Also, since the Bible shows Jesus to be God, we accept that his words are from God. See also “How Does God Speak in the Bible?”
“Come join us!” says Dr. Cynthia of this quick trip to Egypt. Take a whirlwind tour of the ancient and Islamic sites of Egypt, as you travel from Cairo beyond Aswan to Abu Simbel in only 3 minutes! Besides the remarkable tourist sites of colossal columns and statues, you will peek into Al Azhar University, the ultimate authority of Sunni Islam. Then Dr. C shows you the view out of finely latticed windows of the women quarters of old Islamic Cairo.
What you will not see are the persecuted Christians Dr. C visited with in Upper Egypt. One was literally trembling at the memory of his cousin’s murder. Although Egypt has one of the oldest Christian traditions, extending from the early mission work of St. Mark, (who wrote the gospel so named), and still has about 10% Christians, they have suffered increasing persecution over the last decade. But through the television ministry of Father Zakaria and others, thousands, some say over a million, Muslims have left Islam and are walking into the kingdom of God. After taking this video travel to Egypt with us, take a moment to remember the needs and suffering of its believers.
Barbie is a mature Christian sister with the spiritual gifts of encouragement and evangelism. Because of her inspirational style, she has been a favorite teacher of Dr. Cynthia and many others. Every year for decades Barbie has divided her time between America and various places in the Middle East. Her remarkable story includes backpacking and hitch-hiking from Israel to India, including through Iran and Afghanistan back in the 1960s, when it was still relatively safe for two young women to travel alone in Muslim countries.
Besides adventures around the world, Barbie has also suffered incredible hardships and losses. In this clip she shares with Huda, and with us all, a little about her life and her becoming Christian from an agnostic background. Through Jesus, Barbie has come to have peace. She shares with us the importance of reading the Bible and getting to know Jesus better.