25 replies

  1. It’s amazing how Tovia singer gives the same critique to Paul’s methodological approach as every other christian does and has…

  2. also 1:40:00 179 references to wine!

  3. The conflict about “tahreef” of Jewish scripture, and the emotional reaction to it was very interesting.

    “this [accusation of corrupting scripture] breaks our hearts” – said the Rabi, passionately, more than once.

    I empathise with this Jewish grief.

    Whilst it is true according to Islam, God selected Israel and gave them a special place and privileges, traditionally it is also true that according to Judaism, Jews are an ‘ethno-religious’ nation. (the quick response to selecting Judiasm over Islam for the wary God searching gentile was quite surprising, all things considered, since Paul effectively negotiated a ‘Christian’ deal for the Gentiles to covenant the Old Testament under a new religion for exactly that reason i.e. they were not Jews and did not require a prophetic messenger “rasool”).

    Let us assume that God created a conspiracy to preserve his message within the Jews, along the lines of “holy blood, holy grail” to encapsulate His message in time.

    We may find a rational explanation to the Jewish grief of being accused of corrupting text; how can they if they are from ‘the’ sacrate lineage?

    It is possible that an individual Jew may offend God, and repent, preserving the balance of sacrilege within the tribe, but to have corrupted the scripture cannot be reconciled, because this would be an offence which is set to be repeated indefinitely.

    This conspiracy is plausible to the extent that God knew, being All Knowing, that the world would evolve into an increasingly atheistical world-view (i.e. die-hard secularism, anti-religious establishments, the ‘scientific method’ and its implications on search for Truth, without compliment from abstract / Platonic ideas that may end up anchoring real moral purpose and values, which seep into behavioral economics, and with it the same real world that is being rigorously observed).

    Under this scenario, the conflict can be seen as having some of its root causes in the conspiracy that God created, with said Jewish grief causing a kind of instinctive emotional disturbance within the Jewish soul.

    Why would God design such a scenario?

    Well, the answer to that is a much longer story, but going back to the Jewish grief, the Qur’aan does give both the Jews and the Christians a special place, by acknowledging their scriptures, which is in fact a critical tenant of Islamic faith (Iman bi Rusulihi wa Kutubihi – Belief in His Messengers and His Books), elevating their prophets and the peoples that followed them (Moses and Jesus are very prominent in the Qur’aan), and even creating a category of people called “the People of The Book”, amongst other uniting themes, where shared values can be universally recognized, and encouraging these societies can come to common terms (Qur’aan 3:64).

    We can actually all get along very well, if we wanted to.

    Thank you and Rabi Tovia Singer for your time and insight.

    • It is interesting. However, the idea of ( tahreef ) is not that wild idea that muslims came up with as the Rabbi seemingly suggested. In fact, it is found in the Hebrew bible itself! For example, “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.” ( Jeremiah 8:8). Also, “But ‘the burden of the LORD’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the LORD answered you?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ But if you say, ‘The burden of the LORD,’ thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the LORD,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the LORD,’” ( Jeremiah 23:36-38), so again it is not that wild idea that muslims came up with. In history of Isreailites, there have been periods in which words of God got perverted or even lost completely until a prophet of God comes to rebuke them and restore the words of God. It is interesting to know the word used in Hebrew for ( perverted) is aphak whose cognate in Arabic is afak = to lie and slander against something.
      Rabbi Tovia can’t say that the torah which was revealed to Moses ( which Qur’an speaks about with highly respect) is the same things as pentateuch. The latter one talks about death of Moses. It it talks about how Moses was born. It is like books of seerah or hadiths. He can say it contains the main ideas of Moses’ torah or the commandments are true.

      From an Islāmic point of view, you need at least a prophet ( in this case it is the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) to clarify for you what went wrong with these scripture as the prophet Jeremiah did before. And that does not mean the origin of torah is false or everything in the scriptures now are wrong.

      There’s a lot that can be said about the subject, but I just want to point out that is not a novel idea that the scripture got tampered with as the Rabbi wanted to imply.

      Also, it seems that the Rabbi was saying that muslims are relying on jews’ arguments against Pauline Christianity. I am not sure about that. In history, many jews were relying on muslims’ arguments against Christianity. Ibn Ezra was relying on Ibn Hazm’s writings, and Ibn Hazm is considred the father of comparative religions field.

      Finaly, May Allah guide this Rabbai, I hope he will read the sīrah of Rabbai Abdullah ibn Salām and ponder why he converted to Islām.

  4. I do wish the conversation did not touch upon the Quranic view of the Torah, since the verses used in reference to the Torah that Jews currently in a positive view could be in regards to one or two things specifically about the Torah rather than the Torah in its entirety.

    Also the arguments for Judaism and the Torah being unchanged via by attacking the prevailing academic consensus in mainstream academia is understandable though not convincing. Yes I do think academia does have an agenda but is that enough to discredit scholars who believe that Judaism is a by-product of evolution as well as the Torah suffering from textual corruption? I don’t think so, like James White it seems Rabbi Singer can’t objectively analyze or assess Judaism, not his fault, that’s just how religious people in all religions are.

  5. I enjoyed it even though it was quite long.

    My thanks to PW for setting it up.

    Just to clarify on the gospel of Luke and show that it fits in with the idea that Jesus is a sacrifice for sin:

    “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

    45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

    46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

    47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

    48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

    The words death and remission conjure up the idea of sacrifice don’t they, especially in the temple context?

    Of course all the usual Christianity bashing was found in the discussion but for me a few highlights to take away that come to mind, quoting from memory, which may err somewhat as two hours of content is hard to hold in one memory :

    “If I believed that Mohammed was a prophet I would be a Muslim”.

    Just shows to me that Mohammed’s approach to the Jews was irrational. He should have just left them alone to believe in their own way. Why did he call the Jews unbelievers?

    “[2.89] And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah’s curse is on the unbelievers.

    [2.101] And when there came to them an Apostle from Allah verifying that which they have, a party of those who were given the Book threw the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they knew nothing.”

    Singers rejection of critical scholars as valid sources of truth. This is one of PWs “five pillars”, figuratively speaking, of his theological worldview.

    Paul proudly held up his Jewish Study Bible to no effect.

    Singer denies that the OT is corrupted.

    Of course the wine thing is amusing and Singer found PW’s explanation less than convincing I think.

    I’d like to know how the Jews defiled the holy place if they couldn’t get in to it. There was already a sacrifice for inadvertent defiling of the temple, on the part of the priests or the offerers, so there was no need to specifically repeat it on the day of atonement as I see it.

    My own understanding would be that the holy place, as the dwelling place of the Shekinah, needed to be ceremonially cleansed from the sins of the people as a whole.

    Why is it always the second goat from which it is argued that no blood sacrifice is required for sin and the first goat is ignored?

    A christian interpretation of the second goat would be that it symbolizes the coming of Christ in to the wilderness of this sinful world. I would view it as a kind of prophecy but that is my admittedly prejudiced view.

    Sorry this comment is so long but there was a lot of food for thought.

    Tuggy next for shaving 🙂

    • Rabbi Tovia Singer :
      “If I believed that Mohammed was a prophet I would be a Muslim”

      And If he is a Muslim that’s mean he also have to believe that Jesus (pbuh) is a prophet and messiah.

      That’s one thing is hard for him to accept as a Jew.

  6. Considering that all world religions seek justice, peace and common understanding amongst its peoples, whilst claiming to derive from scripture at the same time, perhaps the Islamic point of view is that it does indeed group itself into the Abrahamic religions, and as a result encourages them come to common terms, providing a route to empathy, love, and compassion.

    The themes relating to sin & punishment, non-repentance & non-return [to God], from Jeremiah 8, should be considered within context; Jeremiah 8:5 tells us that if we fall we should stand up and if we leave home we must also return, and Jeremiah 8:6 – 7 tells us that God is cognizant of the shortcomings of his peoples’ understanding, despite the air of deceit, and has been patient.

    Perhaps the reason for this extended patience from God stems from knowledge that his people were in a state of flux, like horses charging into battle; even migrating birds take the weather and its seasons into consideration when they flock back and forth between extraordinary distances. Moreover there was a very high level of responsibility required, considering the shepherds from Jeremiah 23 who destroyed God’s sheep and scattered them.

    Times were tough, there was a siege and Jerusalem fell, so it must have been traumatic for everyone, and the probabilities of making mistakes, even strategic ones, is on balance higher.

    What if wisdom requires a continuous cleansing of the arrogance of intelligence?

    Jeremiah 9:23 – 24 tells us that God does not like ‘bankrupt’ pride, such as a wealthy man who boasts of his riches, or a powerful man who boasts of his strength, but instead, ‘bankable’ pride is knowledge and understanding of God, and recognition that kindness, justice, and righteousness is how God is known.

    Certainly the Qur’aan warns of the arrogance of “Iblis” (Satan), and it is fair to say that in the Abrahamic faiths, a single act of defiance by Satan upon the creation of Adam, precipitated into an eternal conflict with humankind, resolved only by Divine intervention, such as the return of the Messiah.

    Yet in the Abrahamic faiths, strong adjectives such as vengeance, belong to God, and not to humankind. Indeed, temptation from the satisfaction of revenge swirls around its subjects’ hearts and minds like the scents of addictive sins of past, now that one has been atoned. Both should be resisted.

    Hence God is Just, Righteous, and Kind, and for all things, a perfect balance has been ordained; all that theological jurisprudence can hope to do is reflect God’s preferences into the practical application of religion.

    May the ties that bind free our minds and relieve us from the burdens of conflict.

  7. Sam: “And also its hard for you to accept it”

    It seems strange to me that there is no record in the Koran of any individual conversation between Isa and his disciples. In the Koran there are no records of any individual personal encounters of the islamic Isa with anyone.

    When his disciples speak they speak as a group and they are all nameless.

    Seems to be characteristic of the book as a whole.

    This looks highly suspicious to me.

    Do you equate the four gospels with the Injeel or not?

    • Islam has pillars of faith, and these are grouped in two; the five pillars of Islam, and the six pillars of piety.

      The second and third pillars of piety are belief in God’s Books, and belief in God’s Messengers.

      Islam goes further, when the Qur’aan groups Christianity and Judaism within “The People of the Book – Ahl Al Kitab”).

      The Qur’aan also recommends a certain etiquette for dialogue, such as in Qu’raan (6:68) and (4:140) where Muslims are told to stay away from discussions with folk that make fun of or are disrespectful to God’s Book, until the discussion changes into something else.

      It is noteworthy that whilst the second pillar of piety is belief in God’s Books, the naming of “The People of the Book” denotes a singular book.

      This is because, in the same spirit that allows Rabi Singer to state that his belief in Mohamed can only be binary and in his case nonexistent, the Qur’aan asserts that Abraham was a Muslim (3:67), and by default so was Adam.

      An Islamic argument is thus; God cannot have sent a book that has become completely corrupted, because this is not a Divine strategy, given that God is forever present, there is no point in sending a message that disappears and then reappears, unless God wanted to ‘switch off’ and then ‘switch on’ within the context of the interactions between God, humankind, and the rest of the world.

      All that is required is one thread of scripture, and this would be considered the most superior information available in the world, and by extension God’s Truth could be found. This is not so when the scripture is completely corrupted or non-existent.

      Whilst God has the ability of taking such action (availability versus lack of any Divine scripture), our understanding of God is continuous, both historically with religious scripture dating back thousand of years, and in our collective conscious when it is understood that God is The Creator and has an age that cannot be defined.

      Hence when God mentions the books, it is in reference to the same book, which as far as Islamic scripture is concerned, has had an element of corruption, and required a corrective, definitive text once and for all.

      Having said that, the cooperative strategy that God in Islam deploys is not unique; Islam recognizes Christianity and Judaism, Christianity recognizes Judaism. Judaism on the other hand does not recognize either, asserting that it has the only book, the one that all three members of the Abrahamic faith seek.

      The naming of the group “The People of the Book” should therefore denote a sign of consistency in the strategy of the God of Abraham, from the perspective of Islam.

      There is debate about who exactly are “The People of the Book”, and whether this definition covers all Christians and Jews, or a subgroup who may or may not even exist today.

      However, it is inconceivable for the Islamic perspective to be that practicing Christians and Jews have no special labeling such as “The People of The Book”, because the Quráan states that God does not punish a people until they have been sent a messenger (17:15), and Islamic jurisprudents have acknowledged that the function of this messenger when there is no prophet, is served by the knowledge the individual person in question has, about the true nature of Islam and its message (“Qiyam Al Hijja”). Qiyam in Arabic is to rise, and Hijja in Arabic is proof, hence the furnishing of proof is required for each individual before they can comprehend, which in turn is dependent upon state of mind, upbringing, and other biases that each person carries when considering the subject.

      Since Quráan (17:5) is applicable to all peoples of the world, it is most certainly applicable to “The People of The Book”, and whilst there can be debate about the Abrahamic faith, there should be no definitive judgement cast on any individual person, and as a consequence the individual person’s group; only the theology is challenged but no one can exactly label a person, or a group of individual people accept God, since he is All Knowing and is The Most Just.

      When it comes to original sin, in the Quráan God teaches Adam some wisdom after the sin, and then confirms to him that God is The Most Forgiving and The Most Merciful by forgiving his sin, and giving him a second chance (2:37).

      Islam’s view of Jesus is that he is the Messiah who was foretold to come in the Torah. The subject of a miracle birth, whose mother is considered to be one of the most pious women in the world, with an entire chapter in the Quráan dedicated to her (19).

      There is more to say about Jesus, who is probably the most mentioned person in the Quráan (more than 187 times). John the Baptist is mentioned five times, and Moses is mentioned at least 136 times. All of these people are of high esteem in the Quráan.

    • Everything is strange for you. The problem is we have different belief who is The One and Only God, because all the scriptures are from one source, The God Of Abraham. Once we accept or at least we understand that, everything is clear or at least make sense.

  8. Hey Paul,
    I finally found some time to listen to this. Sorry I have not had time to engage here much lately. I also listened to most of your recent video with Richard Zetter (Steelman Apologetics).

    Getting back to Tovia Singer – what is so good about him is that he destroys your main thing – exalting secular modern higher critical scholarship, “university scholarship”, “Oxford, Yale, Cambridge” – ROTFLOL – Tovia Singer said basically, “religion is not about majority vote or democracy” and “higher critical scholarship is higher anti-Semitism”. He destroyed the JEPD theory and secular scholarship.

    “those are scholars who turned their backs on God” – Tovia Singer

    “gays and homosexuals have their “scholars” who have Phds who play with the text – “would you trust those scholars?”

    Boom !!

    “Jewish Study Bible and JEDP theory” = garbage !!” (Singer)

    He also clearly believes the book of Daniel was written by Daniel around 530 BC, just as the book asserts.
    Also, in his other video about “why do atheists claim the book of Daniel is a forgery?” – he destroyed your assertion that it is a forgery and a made up story – which you emphasized in your discussion with Richard Zetter. (Thanks for mentioning me – what an honor to be known as a “fundamentalist” ( = one who holds onto the true faith” – the fundamental doctrines of the faith.)

    Also, it is very very interesting that Rabbi Tovia Singer admits that Daniel 9:27 is about the Romans (Vespasian and Titus) who destroyed the second temple in 70 AD. That is a massive confession!!
    So, he is admitting the the 70 periods of seven years brings history up to the time of the Romans – the time of Jesus of Nazareth, (even though he rejects that the Messiah who is “cut off” before the destruction of the temple is Jesus) – Tovia Singer makes a great point that the word used twice for “destroy” is not the same concept as “desecrate” for the pig offered on the altar in 167 BC by Antiochus Epiphanes. (Daniel 11:31 and 12:11).


    Singer notes that Ezekiel 14:14, 20 and 28:3 mentions Daniel and his piety / righteousness and wisdom!!

    about Luke 22:19-20:

    “All Greek manuscripts except D [Codex Bezae – 5th century] testify to the presence of Luke 22:19-20 in the account of the Last Supper.” (Philip Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary”, p. 232 (see page 231 for the Greek manuscripts that DO have it; and many are older than Codex Bezae.)
    see extended discussion and about the order of the Passover meal – the cup first, etc.

    p. 75 – @ 200 AD
    Codex Siniaticus – 300s
    Codex Vaticanus- 300s
    Code Alexandrinus – 400s
    Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus – 400s

    see for yourself if you dare! (many of the most important ones, and earlier than Codex Bezae)

    Thank you for admitting your NT professor – Lesbian liberal atheist Bridget Upton – that she did the same thing as what Singer was saying about liberal Jewish and atheist scholars.

    Paul, you need to read the epistle of James again – see James 2:1 – “the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ”

    Tovia Singer about Jonah – he failed to mention Jonah 1:17 where the pagans offered blood sacrifices to Yahweh.

    Jonah mentions that if God will save him, he will go to the temple and offer sacrifices – Jonah 2:7-9

    Jonah cried out from the depths of Sheol – 2:2 – he died. he was resurrected – 1:17, 2:10

    The point is that there must also be repentance along with the ritual of blood sacrifice – BOTH.

  9. Jonah 1:16

    “They (the Canaanite sailors) feared the LORD (Yahweh) greatly and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD (Yahweh) and made vows.”


  10. about wine and alcohol –


    “wine and alcohol are not intrinsically sinful because in the Qur’an they drink wine in paradise”

    Boom !

    It can be abused (drunkeness), but it is mentioned about 150 times in the OT and is positive – a joyful happy thing that God created for mankind, even though mankind abuses it most of the time.

    moderation is key

    Singer mentions the wine of love in the Song of Solomon

  11. Rabbi Tovia Singer :
    “If I believed that Mohammed was a prophet then I would be a Muslim”

    But I am not, so, no, I don’t believe he was a prophet from God.

    He tried very hard to be gentle.

  12. In Leviticus 16:15-17 and 19

    the slaughter, blood sacrifice “for the holy place” is also “for the people”, and “because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions”

    “and for all the assembly of Israel”

    15 “Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. 16 He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities. 17 When he goes in to make atonement in the holy place, no one shall be in the tent of meeting until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household and for all the assembly of Israel.

    Leviticus 16:15-17

    With his finger he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times and cleanse it, and from the impurities of the sons of Israel consecrate it.

    Leviticus 16:19

    The two goats and their atonements are combined in the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, who was slaughtered as a guilt offering and sin offering, and also who carried sins away, bore them away.

  13. The background of where Leornard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) of Star Trek got the Vulcan sign for peace and live long and prosper was great – the Jewish blessing from the priest onto the people in Numbers 6:23-26.

    very interesting!

    My favorite TV show for many years, and still is.

  14. Thank you for admitting your NT professor – Lesbian liberal atheist Bridget Upton – that she did the same thing as what Singer was saying about liberal Jewish and atheist scholars.

    – they destroy faith

  15. Along with Luke 22:19-20 and 24:25-27 and 24:44-47 and Acts 3:18 and 17:2-3 and 26:22-23, (all the prophets and Moses testify that the Messiah had to suffer and die for sins, and be raised from the dead)

    Another massive verse in Luke-Acts that demonstrates substitutionary blood atonement:

    Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

    Acts 20:28

    Also clearly teaches the Deity of Christ – it is saying that Jesus is God. “The church of God = the church of Jesus Christ, which He purchased with His own blood”

    Boom !!

  16. Also, Acts 8:31-35 quotes from Isaiah 53:7-8 and Luke tells us, “beginning from this passage of Scripture, he preached Jesus to him” (Acts 8:35)

    So, stop saying Luke did not believe in substitutionary atonement.


  17. “to suffer” comes from the Greek, “pasko”, “pathein” παθεινm- where we also get our English word, “passion” (to suffer intensely, desire for someone to be willing to suffer for them)

    and is used several times in Luke about the sufferings of Christ the Messiah

    Luke 9:22; 17:25; 22:15; 24:26; 24:46

    so, where does Singer get this crazy idea that Luke is absent of passion?

  18. Here are the most relevant verses of Leviticus 16 concerning the Day of Atonement and the scapegoat:

    20 “When he finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat. 21 Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness.22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:20-22)

    34 Now you shall have this as a permanent statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year.” And just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so he did. (Leviticus 16:34)

    A very important point I want to make is about the word “bear” or “carry” in verse 22. This is the Hebrew word Nasa’ = נשא and it also used several times in Isaiah 53.

    Surely our griefs He Himself bore [Hebrew: נשא]
    And our sorrows He carried;
    Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
    Smitten of God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)

    Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
    And He will divide the booty with the strong;
    Because He poured out Himself to death,
    And was numbered with the transgressors;
    Yet He Himself bore [ נשא ] the sin of many,
    And interceded for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12)

    There is also another Hebrew word for “carry” and “bear” or “take away” [ סבל – “sabal” ] used in Isaiah 53:4 and 53:11, that would emphasize the taking away aspect of the scape-goat (literally: “the goat of sending away”, or “the goat of escaping” = עז- אזל = “Az” = goat; “azel” [ אזל ] = sending away or escaping)

    So, the two goats of Leviticus 16 are illustrating 2 aspects of atonement:
    1. blood sacrifice of the innocent being for the sake of the guilty humans – substitutionary atonement
    2. The carrying away of our sins, the bearing of our sins

    Jesus the Messiah / Al Masih / the Christ fulfilled both aspects of atonement for sin


  1. Response to Paul Williams and Tovia Singer | Apologetics and Agape

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