Purpose of this Booklet
Muslims receive regular visits from Jehovah's Witnesses. The two religious
groups are in constant doorstep dialogues. This booklet is an aid to the
act of dialogue. 101 Questions to Ask Jehovah's Witnesses
Witnesses are trained to deal with Muslims. In their handbook entitled
Reasoning from the Scriptures they are taught what they should
say to Muslims (see especially pages 23 and 24; 1989 edition). On page
24, for example, Jehovah's Witnesses are instructed to use the following
the Muslim says what Islam teaches, ask him to show you the point in the
Qur'an. (Wait while he searches for it). When he cannot find it, he may
be more willing to let you speak.
and other tactful strategies gives Jehovah's Witnesses an unfair advantage
in dealing with some Muslims who are not equipped to explain their faith.
The purpose of this booklet is to correct the imbalance. I feel that just
as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has taken the pains to teach
Jehovah's Witnesses on how to overcome Muslims in discussion, the Islamic
Centre should likewise equip Muslims so that they should be at least equal
to the task. Then we pray that God will let the discussions bear fruit.
Through such discussions the truth, we pray, will become evident.
point. Jehovah's Witnesses come fully equipped with reading materials
to give Muslims. And Muslims often accept such materials. As a result,
long after the Witnesses are gone, their influence and teachings remain
in the homes of Muslims. To be fair, Muslims ought to likewise present
some reading materials to their visitors. Perhaps this booklet would serve
as a beginning.
doubt, however, that Jehovah's Witnesses would accept this booklet. My
experience has taught me that Jehovah's Witnesses would not accept anyone
else's literature. This I find rather unfortunate. How does one learn
anything new with a closed mind? Our visitors may feel that they already
truth and therefore need to search no more. But I think a closed attitude
is a wrong one. Nevertheless, I hope that some of the Jehovah's Witnesses
will prove me wrong by accepting this booklet. I hope they will also go
one step further in composing a reply to the points I make here. I appreciate
I expect, then, that this booklet will help Muslims feel more confident
that they too have something to offer anyone who is prepared to examine
things. Some of Jehovah's Witnesses may still be prepared to study a different
view, because they read in their Bible the following passage:
sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
are instructed in that verse to check things out and then to hold on to
what proves good. Notice that it cannot work the other way. You cannot
on to what is good unless you first test it out for yourself.
this Sort of Booklet?
are many booklets that explain Islam. Some of these are really excellent
materials. However, the Muslim who is involved in a dialogue at his doorstep
finds himself confronted with questions those booklets are not meant to
booklet will teach Muslims how to ask the right questions instead of struggling
to find answers. It is a matter of reverse psychology. Respond to a question
by asking another one. If Muslims can learn this technique they will be
in a better position to explain
when they are faced with persistent questions from their visitors.
us make it clear that the purpose of this booklet is not to attack or
belittle the faith of the Jehovah's Witnesses. It is only a response to
writings already published by Jehovah's Witnesses and given to lots of
Muslims. One such writing is a booklet entitled The Time for True Submission
to God, published 1982, in which they urge Muslims to become Jehovah's
such piece is a book entitled Mankind's Search for God, containing
a section on Islam. In that chapter the true nature of Islam is distorted,
but I don't intend to deal with that in this booklet. It is enough to
note here that this book too has been left in many Muslim homes. Here
I only intend to help readers to deal with such situations.
another example is a colourful brochure written specifically for Muslim
readership. It even takes on a Muslim appearance with a picture of a mihrab
(an architectural design favoured by Muslims).
short, Jehovah's Witnesses have gone to great lengths to convey their
religion to Muslims. The time is now ripe for Muslims to repay that kindness
by offering them the chance to understand the religion of God. The series
of questions in here are designed to help the Witnesses to think more
deeply about some of the matters they may have taken for granted. The
idea is to ask the right questions to help them reach the right conclusions.
booklet does not encourage a hostile attitude in dealing with people.
The idea is not to bombard them with hard facts or dazzle them with puzzling
questions, but rather to lead them gently to the truth.
of the questions in this booklet may be asked of any Bible teacher, not
just Jehovah's Witnesses. However, this booklet is designed specifically
for use with Jehovah's Witnesses.
most of the points relating to the Bible apply to almost any Bible, the
points are being made specifically for the benefit of Jehovah's Witnesses,
and all the Bible quotations are taken from the Jehovah's Witnesses' own
Bible. The reason I make this distinction is that the Jehovah's Witnesses
have their own distinctive set of beliefs and this requires a different
approach in dealing with them.
Christians, for example do not need to hear from Muslims that the Bible
contains mistakes. They may already know that for themselves. Now, if
you go out of your way to show people what they already know they may
take offence to it.
other Christians, therefore, the general approach should be to emphasize
common beliefs and to explore differences in an extremely gentle fashion.
Better still, you would leave aside differences and show a person the
true teachings from God right in the Qur'an, God's final revealed Book.
such an approach does not work with the Jehovah's Witnesses. They are
too overly confident that their belief is the only correct one. Any attempt
to lead them to something else fails unless you can first get their attention
and help them to rethink their present position.
Witnesses feel that their belief system is rock solid because of two reasons.
Firstly, because it is based on the Bible which is the inerrant Word of
Jehovah. Secondly, because Jehovah guides them to the correct interpretation
of that book. So, we may as well start by discussing that book if we hope
to get anywhere with them.
to Begin an Exciting Series of Dialogues with Jehovah's Witnesses
you're like me, you see Jehovah's Witnesses all the time busy in their
door-to-door preaching work. On the other hand, if you're not like me
perhaps they knock on your door too. I have been denied such visiting
have no grudge against them. I love the Jehovah's Witnesses as fellow
human beings. We are one family, all descendants of our ancestor Adam.
I feel they are, despite their hard work, heading in the wrong direction.
I would like the opportunity to share with them my understanding of the
truth, but I am deprived of this opportunity. Some of them have in the
past suggested that if I wish to teach them anything I should go to their
place just as they go around teaching other people. I took this as an
encouragement, but when I asked for their address they wouldn't give any.
They said I must find it as they go out and look for the homes of the
admire the Jehovah's Witnesses for their sincerity and hard work for the
sake of their beliefs. I also feel the same sort of compassion for them
which the Caliph Umar felt for a Christian monk. He came across a monk
in his cell showing all the signs of hardship that go with his monastic
way of life. Umar (R.A.) shed tears when he saw this. When he was asked
why he wept, Umar (R.A.) explained that according to the Qur'an some people
will come on the Day of Judgement laden with good works and yet meet a
dreadful end because they were on the wrong path. Compassion for this
man made Umar (R.A.) weep.
feel the same compassion, and the same need to help Jehovah's Witnesses
learn the truth. Since they do not visit me anymore, I can only hope that
if I share my information with you then you will be able to pass it on
to where it is intended.
starters, if you hope to make proper use of this booklet, you need to
develop the kind of compassion I described above. Even if you don't have
it, just assume that you have it and it will come naturally. That's the
power of positive reinforcement. Assume a virtue and you will acquire
with that correct attitude, begin to ask these questions of Jehovah's
Witnesses and give them a chance to convince themselves that Islam is
to Lead a Conversation in the Right Direction
Witnesses receive some of the best possible training on the use of psychological
techniques in dealing with their prospects. They will come to you trained
and prepared to succeed in every meeting. But you, with the help of this
booklet, can change all that.
secret is to take control of the conversation. Let me show you how.
Witnesses will start by saying that they are speaking to people about
the possibility of world peace, or some such matter of general interest.
Then they will ask your opinion about the matter. But don't be fooled.
Your visitors are not conducting an opinion survey. They are leading you
in conversation the way they are trained.
you are to get anywhere with them you have to be willing to seize control
of the conversation. What you must do is reply with a question. That's
right! A question. That will certainly break the conversation out of the
mould which the Jehovah's Witnesses expect it to fit into, and help you
to proceed on the track you are now being trained to follow.
they ask for your opinion and give you time to speak they are preparing
you to listen to them. Psychologically, once you have spoken you will
feel that just as they listened to you with patience you must now return
the courtesy. You will then have to listen to them telling you what the
Word of God says about the matter. By this time, your position appears
weak. You gave your opinion and they reply with God's teachings. Let's
see how we can reverse this situation.
first step is for you to realise that you don't have to give your opinion
when they ask for it. So say something like this:
am glad you asked. But I think the answer should come from God. Do you
know where we can find God's answer to our problems?
That's how you do it. With only a few words you've turned the situation
around. Instead of giving your opinion you have established that their
attempt to seek your opinion was a misguided one. Furthermore, you've
put a question to them. They must now tell you where God's answer is to
they say, "The Holy Bible," or whatever else they choose to
call their Bible, you are ready to ask a whole series of questions about
the Bible. Now you can really teach them something.
on the other hand, they turn the question back to you, you have an option.
Let me assure you at this point that you have nothing to lose no matter
which option you choose. For example, if you decide to not answer the
question you can turn the question back to them by saying something like
I was hoping you would be able to come up with an answer, especially since
you specialize in speaking to people on this subject.
that doesn't get them to speak, don't forget that you can always ask them
politely to leave you alone. You may say something like this:
you don't seem to have an answer for me, I would like to thank you for
coming. Please come again when you have the answer. Bye for now.
this point you may begin closing the door to show your firm resolve to
end the conversation. As I have said, you lose nothing with this option.
You gain! You maintained control and felt confident. You felt no anger,
no frustration. Privately, you were having fun putting these proven techniques
the other hand, they lose. They lost time to visit you and accomplish
nothing. They also lost some of the confidence they were charged up with
when they left their kingdom hall.
you haven't run out of options yet. When they ask you where you think
God's answer can be found you may reply, "The Glorious Qur'an,"
if you feel confident that you can explain yourself further. Bear in mind
that you can always learn more or obtain more written materials from your
Da'wah Centre if necessary. Read, for example, Common Questions People
Ask About Islam, or Science in the Qur'an. These will help
equip you for the challenge.
go ahead. Do your job of spreading Allah's message, and drop me a line
to let me know how much success you are having.
you are going to really do this job right you have to stay cool. Keeping
your cool is an attitude that can be developed. It starts with realising
that you cannot guide the people you are trying to convince. That remains
for Allah to do. Your job is only to convey the message.
may often find this task frustrating. But stick with it. Sometimes you
will find it hard to understand why your visitors cannot understand your
message. But persevere. Read below what Allah says:
how We make the revelations clear to them, and see
they are turned away! (Qur'an 5:75)
see? Even the Words of Allah, plain as they are, will not convince everyone.
Much less the humble attempts we make. If you keep this in mind you will
save yourself a lot of frustration and be in a better position to apply
the techniques described in this booklet.
the questions given here are to be used in a particular way for maximum
success. Don't use them as sledgehammers to clobber your opponents. Use
them as fly-swats to sting them a little and wake them up. In other words,
use them gently. Give your visitors time to adjust to the new information
you are offering them. You will open up new horizons in their thinking
with the questions you ask them. Be patient with them while they take
time to overcome information-shock.
first they will resist any information coming from you as being from the
devil. After all, how could you know anything more about the Bible
they and their Bible teachers? So rather than give them the information
in the form of statements of your own, ask them a question to stimulate
their thoughts. For example, instead of saying "A is true,"
say, "Suppose someone says that A is true. How would you react to
that?" This shifts the focus away from you and allows your visitors
to think only about the question. As they struggle to come up with an
answer they will convince themselves of what you wanted them to learn.
disposition toward them is very important. You must show them that you
have compassion for them, and you really want to help them. You must avoid
every chance to ridicule them or their faith. So, do not take on the attitude
of a prosecutor obviously trying to tie them up in verbal knots or to
prove them guilty. Take the attitude of a sympathetic news reporter who
is sincerely trying to understand the case for fair reporting.
is how this works. They say, "A is true." They are accustomed
to hearing their opponents saying, "No, A cannot be true." But
you are not their average prospect. You must rise above the situation
by saying something like this, "If you say A is true, that leads
me to conclude that B is also true since A implies B. Do you also believe
B?" Now, if they are unable say, "Yes!" quickly, know that
they are struggling to make sense of their own contradictions. There are
many examples of A and B in the questions that follow.
is another pattern. Say, for example, "Previously you told me C and
I understood you. Now that you are saying D, I would also like to understand,
but since C and D are opposites I cannot believe them both. How do you
explain this?" Let them deal with the contradictions in their own
mind. What you are doing here is helping them to save face by allowing
them to think for themselves. Don't tell them they
wrong. Show them how to believe in their own minds that they are wrong.
may agree with you and yet not admit it. Don't worry about that. Remember
that they always come in pairs. If one of them shows inclination to agree
with you, the other one will report him back at their kingdom hall as
one who is now wavering in his faith. Even if they both agree with you
neither of them dares to make the first move to reveal it for fear of
what the other may think. So both will appear to maintain their position,
but you ought to be satisfied that you did your best in presenting the
truth. Rest assured that Allah has imbued these persons each with a conscience.
When they lie in bed at night they may remember your words and secretly
affirm true faith before they fall asleep.
keep your discussions cool. When you ask the following questions ask them
politely. The tone of your voice should reflect courtesy. Let me explain
it this way. Imagine for a mo
that you are a police officer. You have just arrested a dangerous criminal.
Now, in your inner voice hear yourself saying to him, "Drop your
weapon." Do you hear the force of your voice? That's a condescending
voice the voice of a powerful individual speaking to a powerless
for an exercise involving the right use of voice for your situation. Imagine
yourself at the airport. You are ready to board your flight. But you don't
know which way to find your gate number 39. So you approach a clerk and
ask her politely, "Can you please tell me where I can find gate number
39?" Do you hear the sound of that question? That's the tone you
should try to maintain when asking the questions in this booklet. Practice
that tone of voice with this question: "What if I show you a verse
in the Bible which claims to be not inspired?" Do the same with all
the other questions. May Allah help you and me, and all those who call
to His way.
to Get You Started
100% of the Bible inspired by God?
will say, "Yes! All scripture is inspired of God." They will
also quote from the Bible where it says exactly that in Paul's 2nd Letter
to Timothy, chapter 3, verse 16 . They may then smile happily because
they showed you the answer straight from the Bible.
verse they show you is quoted without regard for its real meaning.
people really ever think before they quote. If they find something that
seems close to what they believe there is no stopping them from quoting
it. Let us see now what the passage really means.
really understand the passage we
to know who wrote it, what he meant by it, and what he expected his first
readers to understand by it.
wrote it? Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Paul wrote that passage in
a letter to his student Timothy.
did Paul mean by `all scripture'? Did he mean `the whole Bible'? Many
people assume so. But Paul did not say that. He did not say, "the
entire Bible is inspired." He said "All scripture is inspired."
So, back to our question. What did Paul mean by "all scripture"?
people may say, "But `all scripture' means `all scripture,' don't
you understand?" Say, "Should I understand that the Hindu Scripture,
the Buddhist Scripture, the Muslim Scripture, the Christian Scripture
and all other scripture is inspired by God?"
will say, "No, because Paul would not have meant all that."
But that makes us ask again, "What exactly did Paul mean?"
at this point they say, "The whole
this takes us back to the beginning of this discussion. Just say, "I
feel that we are going around in a circle here. I have already shown that
Paul never said, "The whole Bible."
you may need to help them understand that the verse they showed you was
read out of context. By taking the verse in isolation, they give it a
different meaning than what the author had intended. To see the proper
context, let us read the verse again, this time starting with the verse
that comes before it. Here are verses 15 and 16:
. . . from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to
make you wise for salvation through the faith in connection with Christ
All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching . . . (2
where noted, all Bible
in this study are from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures;
this is the Bible used by Jehovah's Witnesses.
to them that if they look at the previous verse (i.e. 2 Timothy 3:15)
they will realise that Paul was speaking to his student Timothy about
the scriptures which Timothy knew from his infancy. It was definitely
not the whole Bible. The whole Bible was not yet complete.
Bible is made up of basically two sections. The first is called the Old
Testament, and the second is called the New Testament. Many books of the
New Testament section were written after Paul's death. Paul was not telling
Timothy that Timothy knew from infancy about books which are not yet written,
show how many books Paul was not referring to here, ask your visitors
to look at the Table of Books of the Bible which is shown in their Bible
the back. In their usual pocket edition published 1984, this appears on
pages 1546 to 1547. Now look with them at page 1547 which displays a list
of the Christian Greek Scriptures. In that chart the approximate dates
when these books were written are shown in the 4th column. The approximate
date given for the writing of 2 Timothy is the year 65 C.E. (i.e. A.D.
but contemporary users prefer C.E. instead of A.D.). Now we can see that
many books were written much later than that. Consider this list of Books
of the New Testament together with their approximate year of authorship
as given on the same chart:
96 C.E. (A.D.)
98 C.E. (A.D.)
John 98 C.E. (A.D.)
John 98 C.E. (A.D.)
John 98 C.E. (A.D.)
Paul was not telling Timothy to hold on to the above books which did not
exist at the time.
many other books were
too close to the year 65 C.E. for Timothy to have been familiar with them
since his infancy. I leave this for you to explore with your visitors.
scripture Paul was telling Timothy about was the Old Testament, which
Jehovah's Witnesses call the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures. These ancient
scriptures in the oldest form in which they exist today are written in
the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Chaldee languages.
problem, however, is that Timothy was familiar with that book not in its
original languages, but in its Greek language translation (the translation
of the Old Testament into the Greek language is called the Septuagint
Version). That Greek translation was prepared about three hundred years
before Christ to enable those who could not read Hebrew to still benefit
from the scriptures. This is the version which the early Christians like
Timothy were reading. And Paul was telling him to hold on to that book.
is that a problem? Yes! A double problem. First, the translation disagrees
with the original in many points. Which should we take as the inspired
book the original or the translation? This presents a dilemma.
If the Hebrew original is inspired then the Greek translation is wrong.
But if the Greek is wrong then Paul is wrong to call it inspired
unless Paul thinks that a book is still inspired even if it contains mistakes.
second problem is that the Septuagint Greek version contains seven more
books than the Hebrew version. These seven books are included in the Catholic
Bible but not in the Jehovah's Witnesses' Bible. But they were included
in the Scriptures which Timothy knew from childhood. And Paul said all
of it is inspired.
Paul is right here, then Jehovah's Witnesses are wrong. But if Jehovah's
Witnesses are right, then Paul's words are wrong even though they are
found in the Jehovah's Witnesses' Bible.
truth is that neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament is 100%
from God. But if you believe Paul, then you have to understand that Paul
was saying only that the Greek Septuagint Old Testament is inspired. Paul
did not say more than this, and it would be wrong to say you believe in
the man and then put words into his mouth.
of Jehovah's Witnesses unknowingly do exactly that. They believe so much
in Watchtower teachings that they assume those teachings must be found
in the Bible. Unfortunately, the Bible often disagrees with Watchtower
teachings. What we are discussing here is one example of this. Although
the Watchtower teaches that the Bible is 100% inspired, the Bible says
only that its Old Testament is inspired. The Bible does not say that its
entire New Testament section is inspired. If Jehovah's Witnesses chose
to believe what they believe, they must realise that it is a man-made
Bible does not teach that the entire New Testament is inspired. And that
is a very significant part of the Bible.
does the Bible teach that the Hebrew text of the Old Testament is inspired.
Paul's statement quoted above only proves that the Greek Version is inspired.
But Jehovah's Witnesses do not follow the Greek Version because they realise
it would make no sense to disregard the original and follow a translation.
So they rightly choose the Hebrew text. But this choice disagrees with
what Paul says in their Bible!
them out of this confusion. Tell them about Islam with love.
Qur'an says that the entire Qur'an is from Allah (see surah 3:7).
if I show you a verse in the Bible that claims to be not inspired?
is no such verse.
are many such verses. Here is an example which will become clear after
you read the following two statements found in the Bible in Paul's letter
to the Corinthians:
the married people I give instructions, yet not I but the Lord . . ."
(1 Corinthians 7:10).
to the others I say, yes, I, not the Lord . . ." (1 Corinthians 7:12).
that in the first statement Paul claims that the Lord is speaking. Jehovah's
Witnesses believe Paul was telling the truth.
how about the second statement? Here Paul is saying that the statement
is his very own, and that the Lord does not say it. Would Jehovah's Witnesses
please believe Paul in this statement too?
that would mean that at least one verse of the Bible is not inspired.
Then the Bible cannot be 100% inspired by God. Perhaps 99%, or 99.9% but
not 100%. Agreed?
are many other examples. Some books of the Old Testament claim only to
be the words of a man, while others claim to contain words of God also.
New Testament passages claim to be the opinion of men. Check these out:
resolved also . . . to write . . ." (The Gospel According to Luke
concerning virgins I have no command from the Lord, but I give my opinion
. . ." (Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 7:25).
I think . . ." (1 Corinthians 7:26).
. . according to my opinion" (1 Corinthians 7:40).
certainly think . . ." (1 Corinthians 7:40).
I, Paul, am telling you . . ." (Paul's Letter to the Galatians 5:2).
some people do not want to see. Here lies the problem.
save space, and to focus on the point we are making, I have not quoted
the above verses in full. But the references are given so that you and
your visitors can read them one at a time from the Bible. The same result
will emerge. Many verses of the Bible claim to be from man but not from
God. Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe these verses? If so, then how can
they say that the Bible is 100% from God when the Bible itself says it
may say that the fact that the writers gave their opinion does not make
a difference, because their teachings agree with the rest of the Bible.
This is not a good argument, for that would mean that anything that agrees
with the Bible is also inspired. There
if a Hindu writes a brief poem about the importance of charity that should
be taken as inspired Word of God. Do Jehovah's Witnesses accept this?
point here is not that the opinions of men are good or bad. Paul and Luke
quoted above may have been teaching even things which Muslims believe
in. That does not make a difference. Many Muslim authors write about teachings
which Muslims believe in. We do not call such writings inspired Word of
God, do we?
we must stress with our visitors that if they believe Paul they must also
believe him when Paul said that he was writing his own opinion; they must
also believe Luke when he said that he was writing as a result of his
own resolution. Luke did not claim to be inspired to write. Look again
at what he said (quoted above).
point we do make here is that human writings, no matter how good and how
accurate, must not be attrib
to God. Let us keep the Words of God separate and distinct from the words
of Man. Ask your visitors to read the following verses in their Bible:
the thoughts of you people are not my thoughts, not are my ways your ways,"
is the utterance of Jehovah. "For as the heavens are higher than
the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than
your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).
let us not confuse the thoughts of men for the Words of God.
also that the letters which Paul wrote to various churches and individuals
are part of the Bible. Help your visitors to realize that the letters
which the prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace, and blessings of Allah)
dictated to various kings and leaders do not appear in the Qur'an. The
Qur'an is the Word of God. It does not contain any human writings, not
even the inspired
of Muhammad (pbuh) himself. The inspired teachings of Muhammad (pbuh)
are found in separate books called hadith.
Paul inspired when he said that all scripture is inspired?
how do they know? If you ask how they know that the Bible is inspired
they say, "Because Paul said so." Now if you ask how can we
trust Paul on this they say "Because Paul's words are in the inspired
Paul's words are inspired too." This is circular reasoning.
is like a witness who defends his countryman by saying, "All men
from my country are honest." Then, when you ask why you should believe
the witness, the witness replies, "Because I am a man from my country."
Obviously, this circular reasoning will not convince a thinking individual.
the contrary, we have already seen in the previous question that Paul
said many things as his own opinion. When he said that all scriptures
are inspired (2 Timothy 3:16) he may have been right. But how can you
say so for sure?
Paul know that his letters are part of the Word of God?
y-yes (actually, not sure).
people have not considered this question. The letters of Paul were collected
and later made part of the Bible without consulting Paul (Paul was, of
course long dead by this time).
Paul himself was quite conscious that he often wrote his own opinions
(see question 2). In one case, Paul was even aware that he made an error
in one of his letters which is now part of the Bible.
the following passage:
am thankful I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no
one may say that you were baptized in my name. Yes, I also baptized the
household of Stephanas. As for the rest, I do not know whether I baptized
anybody else (1 Corinthians 1:14:16).
should be clear in the above passage that Paul made a mistake and then
a correction. But the mistake and the correction both remain in the Bible,
Obviously, we do not object to the correction, but what about the mistake?
Is that the Word of God too? If you look at the passage again, you will
notice that Paul made the following three statements:
I baptized no one else but Crispus and Gaius.
Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas.
I do not know whether I baptized anybody else.
mistake Paul made is his first statement that he baptized no one else
except two persons named Crispus and Gaius. Then he recalled that he had
also baptized the household of Stephanas, so he made this slight correction
in his next statement. But the mistaken statement is still there. Is this
third statement shows that he is not sure of the facts:
do not know whether I baptized anyone else (1 Corinthians 1:16).
see, Paul is not sure who else he baptized. He cannot remember. He knows
he needs to correct his statement further by adding more names, but he
cannot remember who to mention.
the first statement was a mistake. The second statement is a slight correction
to the first. The third state
is an admission that the correction is not complete. All three remain
in the Bible. Are these Words of God?
them the Qur'an:
they not considered the Qur'an with care? Had it been from other than
Allah they would surely have found therein much discrepancy (surah 4:82).
happened to Paul's first letter to the Corinthians?
do you mean? We have it right here in the Bible. Look!
don't have it. What they show you is not the first letter Paul wrote to
the Corinthians. In this very letter, Paul reminds the Corinthians that
he had already written to them a letter before this one. Read verses 9
and 11 in the folowing passage from Paul's so-called first letter to the
Corinthians, chapter 5:
In my letter I wrote you to quit mixing in company with fornicators .
. . .
But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called
a brother that is a fornicator . . . .
in verse 9 above, Paul is referring to what he had written in a previous
verse 11, Paul is making a change to his previous instruction. Compare
below the following two instructions from Paul's previous letter and his
so-called first letter:
Paul's previous instruction on this side
Pauls new instruction on this side
letter I wrote you to quit mixing in company with fornicators
. . . .
now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called
a brother that is a fornicator . . . .
we are discussing here is not the change in instruction issued by Paul.
I have spelled out the matter in detail only to equip you to deal with
anyone who tries to say that even in verse 9 Paul is referring to his
current letter. Some people will try to convince you that there was no
previous letter. But now you know how to demonstrate this truth to such
now, where is that previous letter? Obviously, it is lost.
if someone believes that Paul's letters are the words of God, he or she
has to also believe that some of the Words of God are lost forever. But
will Jehovah's Witnesses believe this? Ask them to read this Bible verse.
green grass has dried up,
blossom has withered;
as for the Word of our God,
will last to time indefinite (Isaiah 40:8).
does this reconcile with the fact that one letter of Paul has disappeared?
understand that God can reveal a message and then allow it to be forgotten.
But a Jehovah's Witness does not accept that belief. They think once revealed,
always preserved. So they have to deal with this question. The loss of
Paul's letter is a good indication that the recipients of Paul's letter
did not take it as the Word of God. If they did, wouldn't they try to
preserve it? Why did they let the Word of God disappear like that? Now
someone may say that the rest of Paul's letter were preserved, and this
proves that the people who preserved them regarded them as the Word of
God. Let us not stretch things so far.
no one knows how many other letters of Paul are really lost, and we still
have no satisfactory answer for that problem. We have just stumbled upon
evidence of one letter being lost. What other evidence will yet turn up?
Secondly, people keep letters and other writings for all kinds of reasons.
Perhaps people thought the letters of Paul contain important things. Others
may have kept such letters with a view to refute the teachings they contain.
We have not enough details to settle this mater, but we can safely conclude
that just because someone kept some letters of Paul does not mean they
took the letters as coming from God. They knew the letters were from Paul.
them the Qur'an:
We have revealed the scripture (the Qur'an) and surely We are its guardian
explain to them that God protects the Qur'an so that none of it will ever