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What is the Bible? Why do we say it's God's Word? How did we get it? What makes it so special?
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby Noble One » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:25 pm

> Sure they do. He speaks often of the death and resurrection of Christ. 1 Cor. 15.3-7 is primo.

> In 1 Corinthians 7.10 Paul mentions teachings of Jesus, as he does in 1 Timothy 6.3. He quotes the words of Jesus in 1 Cor. 11.24-25, and he specifies in 1 Cor. 7.12 that what he is saying does NOT belong to the body of Jesus's teachings, indicating he was familiar with that collection.

None of this is quoting the gospels let alone the gospel of Luke so my point still stands.

> You can't say it's disputed and then conclude it's apocryphal.

Disputed among scholarship. Apocryphal by me.

> We can easily go into more depth on authorship, but it would need a new thread.

Go ahead. Let's start here. Please do not tell me "Christians from the third century say so".

> You don't win the case by saying, "Nope." Evidence is in order.

You did not present any evidence.

> Allah says that if Mohammed has doubts about his revelations, he should consult those who read the Bible from before Mohammad's life

He does not say the bible but scriptures but I do not see how that means that the scriptures themselves are reliable.

> Surah 5:46, 66 promise that those who read the Torah and Injil will be showered with blessings.

No it does not say anything like that. I just read them.

> So when you say that the Bible has been corrupted, what are you saying about Allah? This Surah says nothing can change his words.

Correct. When you corrupt the bible, you are not going back and forcing Allah to say something differently. Allah is not saying anything differently. You are saying that Allah said something differently.

> Since Surah 3:50 instructs Muslims to obey Isa, the only way to do that is to read the Injil.

Right the Injeel of Jesus is not the gospels of matthew, make, luke and john.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby jimwalton » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:36 pm

> None of this is quoting the gospels let alone the gospel of Luke so my point still stands.

Your point was: "Nor does the authentic Pauline letters mention anything in the gospels so let's date the gospels after him." Then I proved to you that Paul mentions plenty of things in the Gospels, so your point doesn't stand.

It is thought that Paul quotes Luke 10.7 in 1 Timothy 5.18. So your point may not still stand.

> Go ahead. Let's start here. Please do not tell me "Christians from the third century say so".

We can't start here. We need a new thread. And I would never say, "Christians from the 3rd century say so." C'mon.

> You did not present any evidence.

That's because this conversation is about the date of the Gospels, not the authors (see original post and theme). A discussion about authorship would require its own thread. But you certainly don't win the case by saying, in response to my claim that the Gospels were written by the traditional authors: "No they're not." That's not a case, it's not evidence, it doesn't give weight to your position.

> He does not say the bible but scriptures but I do not see how that means that the scriptures themselves are reliable.

To what "scriptures" was he referring? Since the Qur'an was in the process of being revealed, it can only mean the Bible.

> I do not see how that means that the scriptures themselves are reliable.

Because in Surah 6:115 the Qur'an affirms the reliability of the "before Scriptures," the Bible.

> Surah 5:46, 66, "No it does not say anything like that. I just read them."

It says that isa confirmed the Law that had come before him (and the Gospels), and in those Gospels is guidance and light, and that those who continue in all that revelation will enjoy happiness from every side.

> When you corrupt the bible

We are reading the same Bible (Law, Psalms, Gospels) that Mohammad did. The Qur'an never says that the Bible has been corrupted. On the contrary, it affirms that the Bible is valuable for life (Surahs 4:136; 5:46, 66; 10.94). The Qur'an has many verses confirming the Bible's trustworthiness.

> Right the Injeel of Jesus is not the gospels of matthew, make, luke and john.

Islamic scholars disagree with each other about this claim of yours. I know that many agree, but many do not.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby Noble One » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:35 pm

> As I said, just because the name is on it doesn't make it trustworthy,

Sure. They could be lying.

> just because it's anonymous doesn't make it untrustworthy

That's not true. Especially, historical records you must know the author's identity. If the document does not identify the author, it is fine, I will take contemporary attribution (Pliny the younger and Tacitus). If you do not even have that but people making that claim centuries later, it is useless.

> but corroborating ancient sources are unanimous and without challenge in their traditional attributions.

Correct, by unanimous, you really mean 3 Christians writing finally agreeing with one another 120 years later assuming the gospels were written around the turn of the first century.

And you commit an argument from silence in the latter part.

> The earliest attributions of authorship come within decades, not centuries. Ignatius and Clement of Rome, in the 1st century, quote from the Gospels. Hermas, in The Shepherd (AD 97) mentions that there are four Gospels. Tatian, in about 170, 1 century after the Gospels, writes a harmony of the 4.

Um...? None of these people make any claims whatsoever about who authored the gospels, they only acknowledge their existence. None of the people you quoted help you since none of them tell us who wrote the gospels. They only quote its content with the exception of Ignatius and Clement who are quoting oral tradition. Here are all the quotations made by Ignatius. All of them are vague and are not even claiming to be Quotations (he does not claim to be quoting material in other sources) and he does not indicate that the source is written rather than just quoting oral tradition of the stories at the time. Here are Polycarp's quotations which suffer from the same issue.
Again, I reiterate, none of the sources you just mentioned make any claims whatsoever about the identity of the gospel authors. They only quote the content.

> He claims to be an eyewitness in 1.14 and here in 21.24.

21:24 is a claim by someone else in the postscript and 1:14 is a claim by the collective Christian community.

> The statement about his having written the book is a definite statement that the Beloved Disciple wrote the book.

That's not his statement. That's someone LATER making that statement about the author who wrote these things.

The we is making a claim about the his and we have no idea who the we are nor do we have any idea about when they made that claim.

> We don't know the identity of the authors of most ancient documents and written artifacts.

That's not true. Many sources have the identification of the author within them. The gospel authors do not identify themselves. This is unlike many other ancient literary works in which the author’s name is included within the body of the text (most often in the prologue), such as Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War (1:1), which states at the beginning: “Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, as they fought against each other.” The historians Herodotus (1:1), Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1.8.4), and Josephus (BJ 1.3) all likewise include their names in prologues. Sometimes an author’s name can also appear later in the text. In his Life of Otho (10.1), for example, the biographer Suetonius Tranquillus refers to “my father, Suetonius Laetus,” which thus identifies his own family name.

> Irenaeus lived from about 130-202: definitely 2nd century. His writings were in about 180, 2nd century.
> Clement of Alexandria was from 150-215. His books were probably written between 195-203. 2nd c. to the very beginning of the 3rd.
> Tertullian was around 160-220 or so. His writings date from 196-212. He is more possibly 3rd c., but not necessarily.

Ok well now you are the one disputing the scholarly consensus so you have to provide evidence for that. And Again, Irenaeus is writing in 180 CE and the consensus does not emerge until the third century writings.

> Clement circulated books throughout the churches. Irenaeus claims Clement knew the apostles. Tertullian says Clement was ordained by Peter. Ignatius mentions a Clement who is a helper of Peter. In his writings he acknowledges the authority of the Gospels by quoting from them, references Paul as a historical figure, writes of Peter's martyrdom, and tells us that the apostles fully believed in the resurrection of Christ. He nowhere contests the authorship of the Gospels (argument from silence, I know, but notable).

This is all unsubstantiated red herring. You made a claim that Clement tells us who wrote the gospels.
and here it is: "And you have completely neglected to mention Clement of Rome and Ignatius from the end of the 1st century."

None of what you said substantiates your original claim.

> Ignatius is said to have been a disciple of the apostle John. Theodoret reports that Peter appointed him to his position.

You provided no substantiation for the former and your latter is a 5th century source. Is it just me or are your arguments getting worse?

> We have a fragment of John from about 125.

No. Recent research puts it at 200 CE

> No one, but no one, says that Mark, Matthew and Luke were written that late.

There are a few proponents, but I would personally say that the evidence is not the most direct in both position with the later dating having the little bit more weight.

> The Church Fathers consistently and reliably quote from the Gospels as authoritative Scripture, starting at Clement (AD 90), continuing through the 2nd century (Ignatius, Barnabas of Alexandria,

Again, none of these people make any claims about the authorship of the gospels nor the identity of the authors and I would contest that they are quoting written sources. Scroll up for their "quotations".

> the Diatessaron, Justin Martyr—all 1st & 2nd century.) The Diatessaron all by itself proves my point.

Again, none of these people make any claims about the authorship of the gospels nor the identity of the authors. JM says that the apostles and disciples were illiterate.

> P104 (AD 150) has 7 verses of Matthew. Plus we have 9 fragments from the 3rd c. (P21, 64, 77, 103, 1, 45, 53, 70, and 101)

None have a title. Why did you bring this up?

> I have given you evidence of Matthean authorship. Where is your evidence of other authorship?

I do not know who wrote it. That's the scholarly consensus. It is really simple. The gospels do not tell us who wrote them nor the earliest Christians. It is Christians who come centuries later who tell us that. That solves two issues at once.

> As was elaborated, his concern was the Jewish law, Jewish ecclesiastical matters, Jewish prophecies, Jewish religious customs, the place of Moses, David, and Abraham, the history of Israel, and Jewish eschatology.

That does not mean that he himself was Jewish. That means that he had an interest in Jewish studies or Jewish proselytizing Jews. According to you white Egyptologists are Arab all of sudden because they have an interest in Egypt.

> and an Corinthian or Egyptian author don't fit anything else in the book. Palestinian is the most logical inference.

Palestinian is the best conclusion for an author who is fluent of Greek? You realize that we only have one example of one Palestinian Jew writing in Greek right? It is Josephus and even he himself says that he struggled. The most logical inference for a text written in Greek is and I hope this is not a surprise is a well-educated Greek Christian.

> Remember that part of your "evidence" for your point was writings written from 180 -1600.

Not sure what you are referring to? If you are referring to the extra-biblical writings then, I want evidence for that claim that they are from 180-1600.

> Of course you did, but that doesn't mean you're right. Because you say it doesn't make it so.

> And I agreed that it was an argument from silence, but the accumulation of silences is deafening.

You contradicted yourself there and I just told you that Several Extra-biblical writings do not record the same key events (like the Destruction of the temple) that are also not recorded in the gospels. I explained to you that an argument from silence is a fallacy and so you tried to salvage yourself by committing the fallacy several more times.

> Ignatius, Clement, Tertullian, Dionysius and Origen write of Peter's martyrdom. Polycarp, Origen, Eusebius, and Chrysostom confirm Ignatius’s martyrdom.

I will need some citations. The thing is that you keep making claims and claims without any evidence. Provide me the citation. Origen and Dionysus and Tertullian are writing too late that you might as well accept the extra-biblical accounts of the martyrdom of the other disciples like the martyrdom of Thomas in India in the Acts of Thomas, it is late unreliable evidence. Ignatius says nothing as far as I am aware and Clement only affirms that Peter died not that he was martyred. There is a huge difference. He died but did he die for his beliefs??

> 4th century?

I am giving you a range. You implied that it was written in the 16th century. I told you it was quoted before. You are the one claiming it is late. I am asking you why I should trust the canonicals over the extra-biblical accounts.

> Mark is quoted by Clement, Ignatius, Polykarp, the Didache, and Justin.

Oral tradition that later got recorded in Mark. Scroll up and you will realize that none of those people say that they were quoting anything let alone that they were quoting anything written let alone gMark.

Those "Quotations" are literally something like Ignatius saying that "Jesus came from Nazareth" and then claimed to be quoting Mark 1:9.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby jimwalton » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:36 pm

> That's not true. Especially, historical records you must know the author's identity.

Then, seriously, you need to throw out 90% of what we know from history. The Moab stele? Anonymous. The laws of Hammurabi? Anonymous. The Egyptian pyramid hieroglyphics? Anonymous.The Sennacherib prism? Anonymous.

> Correct, by unanimous, you really mean 3 Christians writing finally agreeing with one another 120 years later assuming the gospels were written around the turn of the first century.

No, that's not what I mean. I mean 3 Christians writing in the mid-1st century and the testimony of a dozen church fathers and the testimony of dozens of other writings through the early eras.

> None of these people (the Church father) make any claims whatsoever about who authored the gospels

Irenaeus mentions the Gospel writers by name, as does the Muratorian Fragment. P4 has "According to Matthew" on a flyleaf of the Gospel. Tertullian mentions the 4 authors. There is no ancient source that contests the traditional authors. All sources are unanimous in their attribution to Mt, Mk, Lk, and Jn.

> 21:24 is a claim by someone else in the postscript and 1:14 is a claim by the collective Christian community.

You can't prove either of those. They are an opinion.

> Ok well now you are the one disputing the scholarly consensus (on the dates of the lives of the Church Fathers), so you have to provide evidence for that

Irenaeus:

- Robert Walton, church historian: 2nd part of the 2nd century
- John Brush, church historian: 140-202
- Eerdman's Bible History: he was the bishop of Lyons in 177, wrote "Heresies" and "Proof" in about 180.

Clement of Alexandria

- Walton: 150 - c. 215
- Brush: 150 - c. 215
- Wikipedia: 150 - c. 215

Tertullian

- Walton: c. 160 - c. 220
- Eerdmans: c. 150 - ?
- Brush: ? - c. 230
- Wm Piercy, church historian: ? - c. 222-223
- Wikipedia: c. 155 - c. 240

> This is all unsubstantiated red herring.

Oh my goodness. Who am I talking with?

> "Ignatius is said to have been a disciple of the apostle John. Theodoret reports that Peter appointed him to his position." You provided no substantiation for the former and your latter is a 5th century source.

Ignatius as apostle of John: John O'Connor, The Catholic Encyclopedia. Theodoret: from "St. Ignatius of Antioch", Lives of Saints, John J. Crawley & Co.,Inc.

> Is it just me or are your arguments getting worse?

It's just you.

> "We have a fragment of John from about 125." No. Recent research puts it at 200 CE

Scholars disagree. The majority of estimations put P52 at 100-175; the outermost reaches put it at 200. You're in that field, which is no surprise to me, based on our discussions.

> The Diatessaron

My point in bringing up the Diatessaron was not to validate the authors but rather to show that they Gospels were regarded as authoritative writings, in response to your claim: "Your consensus comes from the third century." You keep moving the goalposts.

> JM says that the apostles and disciples were illiterate

The point of mentioning Justin Martyr, again, was to show that there was consensus about the authority of the Gospels in the 2nd c., not only in the 4th as you claimed.

> I do not know who wrote it. That's the scholarly consensus.

You are incorrect. There is no scholarly consensus, but wide debate and strong disagreement.

> According to you white Egyptologists are Arab all of sudden because they have an interest in Egypt.

Please. Let's not resort to insults and such inaccurate caricatures.

> "Ignatius, Clement, Tertullian, Dionysius and Origen write of Peter's martyrdom. Polycarp, Origen, Eusebius, and Chrysostom confirm Ignatius’s martyrdom." I will need some citations.

Ignatius: Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
Clement: Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5
Tertullian: Prescriptions of the Heretics, 36
Origen: Commentary on the Book of Genesis III, quoted by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History (III, 1)
That's enough. You get the idea.

> Oral tradition that later got recorded in Mark. Scroll up and you will realize that none of those people say that they were quoting anything let alone that they were quoting anything written let alone gMark.

We disagree on the date of the writing of Mark.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby Noble One » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:37 pm

> I agree with Habermas, however, that I put Mark early.

Why?

> MY evidence is here. It's the evidence to the contrary that is silent.

No, you said that nobody contested such attributions. There is no way of knowing. It is an argument from silence.

> I still have yet to see any evidence coming from you.

That's because I made no claims.

> Your "debunking" is only "No he didn't." Where your EVIDENCE?

I never said that. Your main argument for dating was Mark records this and that. Luke has a focus on this topic, Matthew records early this and that. That's literally evidence that the events recorded are pre-70 AD, that is not in the slightest sense evidence that the gospels were written pre-70 AD. Those same events could have been transmitted over oral tradition from pre-70 AD when they happened to the second century. BTW, Arrian and Plutarch (1st century CE) record events about Alexander the Great (4th century BCE), does that mean Arrian and Plutarch were writing in the 4th century BCE because they record events that happened in the 4th century BCE?

> My research, however, forces me to conclude it's probably Pauline.

Go ahead. I will not dispute any of the seven certain ones.

> I prefer evidence

You can go look for some in my citations.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:19 pm

> Why? (that I put Mark early)

As I mentioned in my first post, Acts doesn't mention mention the Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70), Nero’s persecutions (mid-60s), the martyrdoms of James (61), Paul (64), and Peter (65), the Jewish war against Rome from 66 on. It then ends surprisingly abruptly. Sure it's an argument from silence, but the accumulation of silences is deafening. There is good evidence (not only these but many more) that Acts was written in the early 60s. And Luke was written before Acts, and Mark before Luke. There are many other reasons to place Mark, Luke, and even Matthew in the late 50s. Such as:

1\. Mark preserved Aramaic expressions where Matthew and Luke do not. Aramaic expressions were replaced by Greek phrases in later years, showing Mark to have probably been early.

2\. Mark's theology is primitive in Christian development, which gives credence to the idea that it was written before Paul's letters were widely distributed.

3\. Some Markan material seems to concern the controversy over the status of Gentiles in the church, a concern in the 50s but not at all in the 70s.

4\. Clement of Alexandria says Mark was written while Peter was still alive.

> No you said that nobody contested such attributions.

Hmm. I'm looking through what I said and don't see that anywhere.

> that's because I made no claims.

Surely you did. That's the premise of your whole post:

- "The Gospels were not written before AD 70"
- Any anonymous text is not particularly reliable
- Papias is the only attribution the traditional view has
- etc.

> That's literally evidence that the events recorded are pre-70 AD, that is not in the slightest sense evidence that the gospels were written pre-70 AD.

See, I disagree with you. After 70, the mindset, worldview, and subject matter were different. The concerns were different. The destruction of Jerusalem was life-shattering to the Palestinian Jews. Everything changed.

It seems, though, that if you are affirming the reliability of the text ("That's literally evidence that the events recorded are pre-70 AD").

> does that mean Arrian and Plutarch were writing in the 4th century BCE because they record events that happened in the 4th century BCE?

Of course not, but they are writing in the style and language of 1st c. AD, so we can tell that.

> Evidence for 1 Timothy written by Paul

I know it's a highly-debated subject. I know there are strong evidences against Pauline authorship, but I think that the arguments for Paul are stronger. They are:

- There are constant personal references to Paul own life or his relationship with Timothy that spring out of their personalities, relationship, and situations. It would be very odd for a pseudonymic author to put this many and this kind in.
- Several Church Fathers (namely Irenaeus, Muratorian Fragment, and Eusebius) attribute it to Paul. Eusebius calls it "undisputed."
- No other author's name has ever been suggested. There is no evidence that any other author wrote the book. It is uncontested (though some, such as Tatian, Basilides, and Marcion, claim it shouldn't go in the Bible.)
- There is much in the contents that is Pauline: suffering, apostasy, independence, fulfilling his ministry, stewardship, loyalty, grace, etc. etc. etc.
- Many coincidences of language with the undisputed books of Romans, 1 Cor., Ephesians and Philippians.
- Uses the same OT texts for reference that Paul uses in his undisputed books
- Frequent coincidences of Paul's terminology and phraseology
- References to Timothy are consistent with the character of Timothy in his undisputed books
- His stress on organization and discipline
- Doctrine: goodness of creation, universal invitation to salvation, divine initiative in salvation, God as ruler of all, the nature of Christ, the resurrection, the Church as a family, the Church as inheritors of the promises made to the Jews.
- The style of writing has many Pauline attributes.

If this writer wasn't Paul, he "out-Pauled" Paul himself in mimicking his mind, worldview, theology, and writings.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby Noble One » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:12 pm

> Then I proved to you that Paul mentions plenty of things in the Gospels, so your point doesn't stand.

Paul mentions events circulating in the oral tradition that later got recorded in the gospels.

> In 1 Corinthians 7.10 Paul mentions teachings of Jesus, as he does in 1 Timothy 6.3. He quotes the words of Jesus in 1 Cor. 11.24-25, and he specifies in 1 Cor. 7.12 that what he is saying does NOT belong to the body of Jesus's teachings, indicating he was familiar with that collection.

You see all of this is great but you have to show me that when paul was speaking here, he was quoting written work and especially the gospels.

> To what "scriptures" was he referring? Since the Qur'an was in the process of being revealed

Muslims believe that God orally gave the injeel to Jesus and the Torah to moses. So it would be those revelations.

> Because in Surah 6:115 the Qur'an affirms the reliability of the "before Scriptures,"

OK here is the verse: "And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing." Where is the word bible in the whole thing?

> It says that isa confirmed the Law that had come before him (and the Gospels), and in those Gospels is guidance and light,

Right. Jesus confirmed the torah orally dictated to Jesus. What you cited here is the verse: "And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient."

> We are reading the same Bible (Law, Psalms, Gospels) that Mohammad did.

I agree. The Quran is talking about the previous original revelation.

> On the contrary, it affirms that the Bible is valuable for life (Surahs 4:136; 5:46, 66; 10.94).

The original revelation.

> The Qur'an has many verses confirming the Bible's trustworthiness.

I think I know why you are confused, so I will tell you what Muslims believe. Muslims believe that there are several prophets. Only 4 of those prophets had divine revelation. This revelation was not in the form of a written book descending from the sky. It was God speaking the content to his prophet who would memorize it and recite it back to his followers. Let's call this oral revelation, the original revelation. Overtime as the prophet and his followers recited the oral revelation around, it would get changed and altered, etc. until the corrupted version would be recorded in books later on. Let's call the content of these books the corrupted revelation.

In the case of Jesus, God gave him the Injeel, the oral revelation which he would recite on to his disciples. That is the original revelation. The Injeel got changed and corrupted until it was recorded down in the gospels of mark, matthew, luke and john.

Whenever, the Quran is affirming the Injeel, it is affirming the original oral revelation given to Jesus.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:13 pm

> Paul mentions events circulating in the oral tradition that later got recorded in the gospels.

This is probably true, but since no one knows for certain when the Gospels were written we can't claim too much with confidence.

> Muslims believe that God orally gave the injeel to Jesus and the Torah to moses. So it would be those revelations.

This is interesting, because the word "Scriptures" refers to written revelation. Surah 7:157 mentions that the Scriptures are the law and the injil, and in the explanation through the rest of the ayat are items that are in the written scriptures. How are we to know the injil if not through the written record?

> "We are reading the same Bible (Law, Psalms, Gospels) that Mohammad did." I agree. The Quran is talking about the previous original revelation.

So Mohammad was reading the written Gospels. I thought you the written Gospels were unreliable? I'm confused.

> Where is the word bible in the whole thing.

The "before Scriptures" are the tawrat, the zebur, and the injeel. There is no way to know them except what is recorded in writing. The writing is what Mohammad read.

> I think I know why you are confused, so I will tell you what Muslims believe.

Thank you. It's always difficult to understand a religion and its sacred writings as an outsider. So also with you trying to debate with me about the Bible. I can help you understand things that are confusing for an outsider.

> Muslims believe that there are several prophets. Only 4 of those prophets had divine revelation. This revelation...

Yes, I see what you are saying. You're right that a book did not descend from the sky for Musa, Dawud, Isa, or Mohammed. In all cases it was oral revelation. But if none of the written before-Scriptures are reliable, why does the Qur'an say in Surah 10:94 about "If you were in doubt as to what We have revealed unto you, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before you: the Truth has indeed come to you from your Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt"?
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