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Answering the claims of Dr Zakir Naik part 1

Answering the claims of Dr Zakir Naik part 1
Dr Zakir Naik is a world renowned scholar of Islam who is famous for his public talks, many of which include criticisms of the Christian faith.I have been watching Dr Naik for over 5 years now.Infact, it was his lectures that prompted me to undertake research on such issues.

Although I do commend this man for his amazing speaking talent, this doesn't automatically prove his claims to be true.

And though I am not a scholar, I would try to answer to many of his claims regarding the Bible and the Christian faith in general.


I'll start by answering some of his claims made in the following video:


(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGmo5cp8te0&feature=player_embedded)

In his most famous debate against Dr William Campbell, Dr Zakir Naik, in his rebuttal period cites many alleged scientific errors in the Bible .And here are brief answers to all of them.

1) Leviticus 11:6-the hare does not chew the cud.

Dr Naik claims that the Bible is attributing a wrong feature to hares.They donot chew the cud and hence this is an error.

Now before making a reply, it must be noted that the Bible doesn't claim to be a book providing modern scientific details.It sometimes uses figurative language and also displays primitive knowledge of nature of the Hebrew writers.

Now lets analyze the issue.What is meant by "cud chewing".Cud is food that is regurgitated from the stomach into the mouth so that it can be chewed again.

However, what rabbits do is called refection, which means that the indigestible material is passed out of the body and chewed once again.So, we can see that in both processes, indigestible material is chewed once again.

It is the modern world that can make the distinction between the two processes, but to the ancient Hebrews back in 1400 B.C, both processes appeared to be the same and as noted above, the essential features are the same.

Also, the Hebrew language in this verse also doesn't imply a literal reading of this verse as really ascribing regurgitation to rabbits.So, there is not scientific error here, only a failure to understand the cultural and literary context behind this verse.


2) Proverbs 6:7-Ants have no rulers.

Dr Naik claims that ants do have a structure just like human beings (a ruler, workers etc) whereas the above verse says that ants do not have rulers.Therefore, another scientific error.

However, when we read the verse, Solomon is actually telling the reader to get rid of his lazy life by comparing him to an ant.He says that an ant works hard despite any rulers or supervisors urging them to do so.

And that is exactly the case.There is no clear ruler of ants.These terms such as a "queen" ant are human terms imposed on these creatures and somethings that are not quite apparent for a mere observer.Who can see a ruler ant forcing other ants to work?

So again, this is not an error.Infact, a similar problems with ants can be also found in the Qur'an.According to Surah 27:18, ants talk to Solomon! (Ironically, it was Solomon who wrote Proverbs-so if he was talking to ants, how did he get it wrong?!).So is this also unscientific?


3) Genesis 3:14 & Isaiah 65:25-Serpents eat dust.

These verses seem to suggest that serpents eat dust and according to Dr Naik, this is also a scientific error.

But again, this is not to be taken literally.It implies humiliation (like bringing someone down to ground).God punished the serpent for tricking humans to commit the sin of eating the forbidden fruit and the word "eat" is used in relation to the "eating" of the fruit.

However, even if we take this literally, this would still be acceptable.Josh Mcdowell and Don Stewart write:

"Research has shown that snakes do eat dust.It helps them to navigate-they "see" through the dust they ingest" (Reasons, pg 37)

4) Leviticus 11:20-Insects with 4 feet?

Dr Naik says that no insects have four feet, they have six, and thus another error in the Bible!

However, a close reading of the verse solves the problem:

20 “‘All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you. 21 There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground

You see, the Bible is not saying that insects HAVE four legs.The writer firstly makes a general comment on the insects as walking on fours just like other creatures.It is not to be taken literally.

And it important to note that the verses do talk about the additional "jointed" legs.So again, there is no error at all.


5)Isaiah 34:7-Do unicorns exist?

Dr Naik says that the Bible talks about unicorns (imaginative creatures) as existent animals.


Well firstly, this word is only found in the King James Version.But whichever translation you use, this is not literal.We only interpret a passage literally only if the the context allows it.But here it doesn't.Consider verse 4:


All the stars in the sky will be dissolved
   and the heavens rolled up like a scroll;
all the starry host will fall
   like withered leaves from the vine,
   like shriveled figs from the fig tree.


So the context itself shows that this is passage is not to be taken literally, hence, this is not scientific.


So hereby I end my brief response to Dr Naik's claim made in the above link.

More to come soon.

God Bless You.
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