Thursday, January 15, 2015

Islamic Bible Fraud: Lies about Slavery

In a recent defense of Islamic Slavery practices,
an online Islamic apologist made some gross misrepresentations
of both the Holy Scriptures and the position of both Judaism and Christianity.

In his explanation, he did not condemn slavery at all,
but made the lame (read indefensible) argument that slavery was okay
because both Jews and Christians thought it was okay!

This approach can only have been inspired by years of immersion
in one of the worst, and ungodly writings ever penned by an illiterate moron:
The Quran.

Leaving aside the morally shocking excusing of slavery inherent in his position,
he dares to pull a fast one and suggest that "Slavery" is not even in the New Testament!

The question he raises is what Paul actually said in 1st Tim 1:10.
He fraudulently suggests Paul never mentioned "slave traders" here.

To protect himself from an accusation of deception,
he involves himself in a chain of quotations as follows:

He quotes what Dr. Siddiqi said,
about what a pastor said,
about what Paul said,
about slavery.

In fact Dr. Siddiqi claims the pastor ADDED a word to the text of 1st Timothy,
and 'supports' this with a (mis)quote from the Revised Standard Version (RSV).

The unidentified pastor is not available to respond,
and the online apologist acts as if the case is proven.

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America and Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County...states the following:

'The author claims that “the Bible condemns slavery” and “one who practices slavery contradicts right teachings.” In order to prove his point he even adds “the slave traders” in 1Timothy 1:10. There is no such word there in the Revised Standard Version.'

Actually in the whole Bible this word does not exist.

Did the pastor really add a word?
Does the RSV have a shorter text at 1st Timothy 1:10?


There is no textual variant of significance regarding this verse here.

All the Greek texts (TR and Nestle/Aland etc.) have the same words.

1st Tim. 1:10
πόρνοις, ἀρσενοκοίταις, ἀνδραποδισταῖς, ψεύσταις, ἐπιόρκοις, καὶ εἴ τι ἕτερον τῇ ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλίᾳ ἀντίκειται,
'for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine' - NIV

The issue isn't the presence of a word, but the interpretation of that word.

Some popular renderings for ἀνδραποδισταῖς (andrapodistais) are:
'slave traders' - NIV, NLT, KJV 2000, World Eng.,

'slave dealers' - Weymouth,

'kidnappers' - NET, ISV, Holman, Darby RV, God's Word,

'enslavers' - ESV, Amer KJV,

'menstealers' - KJV, ASV, Douay-Rheims, ERV, Websters, YLT,
It is true that this particular word and form only appear once in the New Testament.

But its meaning is easily established because in secular literature
it is a very common word, with a clear meaning and usage in a wide
variety of contexts.

As a Compound Greek word it breaks into two simpler parts:

(1) ἀνδραποδα- ("andrapoda") = 'slave' i.e., as a result of war, capture, or breeding. This meaning rather than a mere (indentured) "servant"
or "footman" (hired squire etc.) is easily shown by its usage among many ancient authors.
(although etymologically formed from "man"(andros) and "foot"(poda),
it does not carry the English meaning of 'footman' or soldier.)

Thucydides - "sheltering runaway slaves", "onboard the ships were the slaves", "they sold the slaves", "20,000 slaves deserted", all using ἀνδραποδα.

All this word's cognates, derivatives, nouns and adjectives are
connected to slavery throughout the literature.

One can understand how the KJV translators (circa 1600)
arrived at 'menstealers', since more modern terms didn't exist.
'kidnapper' was popularized later in reference to pirates,
while 'slave' apparently came from 'Slav' i.e., Eastern Europeans
who were enslaved by muslim hoards after 630 A.D.

'enslavers' may describe part of what slave-traders do,
but its too narrow a word to carry the intended meaning of the Greek here.
Overall, 'Slave-traders' is the best fit for an English rendering of this word,
and the modern claim of our online Muslim apologist that it is
'not in the Bible' is simply smokescreening and hand-waving.

The general idea of the compound word is 'slavery', 'slave trading'.
One could use one form for making or buying a slave, and another for selling.

But there is no special notion of "making a free man into a slave".
This is wholly artificial, and interpreters who try to insert this meaning
here, do so for one of two reasons:

(a) To make the crime appear more wicked, i.e., a violation of Roman law,
and make it into essentially 'freeman-stealing' or 'kidnapping'.
This would make it harmonize better with other crimes
in Paul's list, to those inclined to view them worse than slavery.

(b) To excuse the 'legitimate' buying and selling of legal slaves, in an attempt to harmonize the verse with other statements by Paul,
who appears more tolerant of slavery in other passages.

Stealing was indeed expressed in Greek by klepto (κλεπτω),

The Greeks also used the word ανθρωπωκλεπτιας (literally man-stealer),
but reducing a (free) man to slavery was a different
and specialized legal idea entirely.

But a slaver was normally covered by Paul's choice of word.
Had Paul meant 'man-stealing' unconnected to slavery,
he would would have used analogous language.

Thus the word 'slaver', 'slave-trader' is indeed in the Bible,

where it is listed as a heinous crime, equivalent to bearing false witness,
adultery, etc., all death-penalty offences.

The Muslim claim that Paul approved of slavery is completely destroyed
by Paul's use of this word in this passage, listing heinous crimes.

(see Studies on Slavery: In Easy Lessons, By John Fletcher 1852, pg 566 fwd)