Biblical Taqiyyah (Dissimulation)

The Bible teaches and promotes dissimulation

by Ibn Anwar BHsc. (Hons), MCollT

To accuse Islam of teaching dissimulation(taqiyyah) and its adherents of practising it is one of the most common tactics employed by critics and detractors of Islam in their relentless crusade to demonise the faith. Many Christians gladly hop on the bandwagon peddling the mantra at every street corner, shouting to one and all, “Muslims do taqiyyah. Never believe them!”.  Do Christians never lie? “No, real Christians will not lie!” answers the deluded cultic Christian. The more edified ones will concede saying, “yes, Christians do lie as well, but the difference between Islam and Christianity is that the Bible does not teach or promote lying in any way while the Qur’an and Sunnah do.” Really? Even a “white lie” is sinful according to the Bible? “Yes, even a white lie is wrong. No such thing as a white lie!” says the confident Christian.

In this article we will not concern ourselves with what taqiyyah truly means in Islam and whether its representation by its critics is accurate or not. That execrcise can be done at a later date. In the meantime, it is sufficient to mention here that most Muslims have never heard of the term in their entire life as is readily admitted by so called ex-Muslims themselves (refer to the video at the end of the article). In this article we will unpack the question of whether the Bible is truly immune from promoting dissimulation or deception. Our first subjects are Shiphrah and Puah, the midwives of Exodus 1. Who were these fine women exactly? Let us turn to Exodus 1:15-22.

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,“When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”

So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous.And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.” (Exodus 1:15-22)

In summary, Pharoah instructed Shiphrah and Puah to murder newborn Hebrew male babies. They did not follow through with the order as they feared God. They let the boys live. The Phraoah found out that they did not complete their task and summoned them to answer for their failure. They feigned innocence and ignorance by deceiving the king that they could not reach the women on time when they gave birth. Their lives were clearly spared by their deception and God rewarded them for their deed without reproaching their lie in any way. Is this not a clear example of dissimulation? President of the Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregan, Dr. Daniel R. Lockwood writes:

“The faith of the midwives, named Sephirah and Puah, is a breathtaking story (Exod. 1:15-22). Pharoah personally gives them their ghoulish assignment, probably to discourage any disobedience. But surprisingly they conspire to disobey Pharaoh and deceive him. And their plan works.


Furious, Pharoah declares an all-out genocide on Hebrew male infants. Yet he accepts the midwives’ story with little investigation, and we are privy to the reason why. These women fear the Lord and obey him; and, though they likely expect to die, God favors them with both life and prosperity.” [1] (emphasis added)

Biblical scholar Jopie Siebert-Hommes writes:

“Because the midwives fear Elohim, they allow the children to live. To them there is no room for killing a son.

Identifying the story as a ‘deception story‘, Culley maintains that the midwives ‘stand between the king and the people’.” [2] (emphasis added)

Siebert-Hommes also notes that it is due to their deed that they are praised writing that “The midwives alone earn themselves a name by their conduct”. [3]

Rabbi Drorah O’Donnel Setel commenting on Exodus 1 and the actions of the midwives identifies what they did as deception:

“Their work entails an understanding of the connection between transformation and risk, although the means by which they rebel against Pharaoh reiterates a biblical pattern of female deception…” [4]

A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament states:

“The Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, deceive the pharaoh and thwart his genocidal command to destroy Israel’s male children (Exod. 1:15-22).” [5] (emphasis added)

It is clear then that most scholars do agree that Exodus 1:15-20 portray two women who saved children through deception. But does that mean that lying is permitted simply because those two women did it? We have already seen that Lockwood for one recognises that the women are blessed because of their deed which was without a doubt deception to reach a righteous goal. Why would God favour those who commit a heinous sin if indeed lying is in every case without exception a heinous sin? In Exodus 1:15-20 it is clear that not every kind of deception is dishonourable and condemned by God. There can be exceptions especially when life is at stake. Lockwood is not alone in his understanding. Conservative Jewish scholar and rabbi Reuven Hammer writes:

“Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives who resist Pharaoh’s command to kill male babies, are the very symbol of righteous conduct (Exod. 1:17). They are given the highest compliment when the Torah says that “they revered God.”” [6]

Even the conservative apologist Norman Geisler acknowledges the deed of the midwives as a lie:

“Some would prefer calling this not a “lie” but an “intentional falsification.” Call it what we will, it does not change the fact that it would be morally wrong —unless, of course, one is obeying a higher moral law in so doing. I prefer calling it a “lie” so that it is clearly understood that lying as such (without a higher conflicting law) is wrong.” [7]

What Geisler is saying is that in a case where there is a higher moral law at stake the law on lying is superseded hence making it permissible. In the case at hand the sanctity of life and mercy supersede the general unlawfulness of lying. It is through the deception or manipulation of the midwives that God’s plan came to fulfillment as noted by The IVP Women’s Bible Commentary:

“Masters and mistresses of the art of manipulation abound in the biblical story. In some instances manipulation is condemned within the narrative —David’s attempt to manipulate Uriah after impregnating his wife or Jezebel’s orchestration of Naboth’s murder—but some manipulative measures enable the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham. This is true particularly of manipulative actions by women.

In almost all of these stories the character and role of the women as women enables their manipulation to succeed and God’s purposes to be fulfilled…Shiphrah and Puah are by virtue of their midwifery able to save Israelite baby boys…” [8]

Did God approve of their manipulation, dissimulation, lying, deception? According to the Christian and Jewish biblical scholars He certainly did. Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her The Woman’s Bible writes:

“The children of Israel multiplied so rapidly that Pharaoh became alarmed, lest the nation should become mightier than the Egyptians, so he ordered all the males at birth to be slain. To this end he had a private interview with the midwives, two women, Shiphrah and Puah, and laid his commands upon them. But they did not obey his orders, and excused themselves on the ground that the Jewish women seldom needed their services. Here we have another example of women who “feared God,” and yet used deception to accomplish what they deemed right.

The Hebrew God seemed well pleased with the deception, and gave them each a house for their fidelity in saving the lives of his chosen children.” [9] (emphasis added)

Glen H. Stasses from Fuller Theological Seminary and David P. Gushee who is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University write:

“Bonhoeffer’s stance can be supported by numerous biblical texts that explicitly or implicitly offer divine approval to acts of deception or even dishonesty in conditions of oppression, injustice or war. The most important of these is the story of the Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah lying to Pharoah in order to save the lives of the male Hebrew babies ((Ex. 1:19); God responded by blessing them with children of their own.” [10] (emphasis added)

Stasses and Gushee in the above clearly recognise the biblical permissibility for lying and deceiving in certain cases of adverse difficulty in times of oppression, injustice and war. Why should God hold you accountable for saving a life even if it involves manipulation? If you were tied up by a Nazi officer who intends to kill your parents who are hiding in the basement and the Nazi believes that you know their whereabouts are you obliged to reveal their location and forbidden from giving the evil Nazi false directions through dissimulation? Any sane and reasonable minded individual will acquiesce that in such an instance it would be permissible, nay the right thing to do to mislead in order to preserve the sanctity of life which is one of the greatest gifts from God. And by saving your parents’ lives you would be upholding the age old command to “honour thy parents.”

Christian theologian and apologist Paul Copan writes:

The Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah in Egypt (Exod. 1:15-21) engaged in deception. Because they “feared God,” they resisted Pharaoh, who wanted to put innocent Hebrew male babies to death. These women “did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live” (v. 17). When confronted by Pharaoh, they used deception: “Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the widwife can get to them.” The divine response? “God was good to the midwives”; and “because the midwives feared God, He established households for them” (vv. 20,21). Note the close connection between fearing God, resisting Pharaoh (including using deception), and receiving God’s approval” [11] (emphasis added)

Paul Copan agrees with the other Christian commentators and scholars that the reason why God blessed the two women is because they saved the Hebrew children through deception.

Commenting on the verses The Applied Old Testament Commentary states:

“Lying is almost always wrong in God’s sight, but there are rare exceptions. The Egyptian midwives deceived Pharaoh, but God honored them for it (Exodus 1:19-21)…” [12] (emphasis added)

Let us now turn to our second case namely, Rahab of Jericho. In the story of Rahab and the two spies we see yet another clear example of deception that is not condemned, but is in fact regarded as an act deserving of praise. The story is found in Joshua 2:

“Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.”So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”

But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.

Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Seafor you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

 “Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure signthat you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.”

“Our lives for your lives!” the men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land.”

So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. She said to them, “Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.”” (Joshua 2:1-16)

In summary, the two spies found sanctuary in Rahab’s  house. The king of Jericho suspected that they had gone into her house and called on Rahab to give them over to him. Rahab hid them and lied to the king and misled him about their whereabouts. She then helped the spies to escape. Before they did escape however, we learn from the story the real motive behind Rahab’s deception to save their lives. Besides recognising the reality of the God of the Hebrews the reason why she decided to risk her life to save them by deceiving the king was because she wanted the lives of her family and herself to be spared when they the Hebrew people would conquer the land in the future. In short, God did not punish her for her deception that she constructed to save herself and her family, rather her name is preserved in Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25. God saved her due to her deception which saved the spies.

Identifying Rahab as a true heroine Phyllis Silverman Kramer writes:

“Surely Rahab is to be classified as a heroine who acted independently, endangering her life three times for the spies: she first hid them among the flax of her roof (2.4), then deceived the king of Jericho by having him think he was pursuing the spies when actually they were still in her home (2.5-7), and finally helped them escape over the city wall (2.15). Rahab’s deception followed a motif seen in the books of Genesis and Exodus, where women lied in order to save someone. An example from each book was Sarah pretending to be Abraham’s sister, and Shiphrah and Puah telling Pharoah the Hebrew women delivered their babies before arrival.” [13]

Copan after commenting on the midwives writes about Rahab as well:

“The same is true of Rahab of Jericho (Joshua 2). She is commended elsewhere (Heb. 11:31; James 2:25) as one who displayed “faith” in God by hiding two Hebrew spies, deceiving the authorities, and sending the spies off in a different direction. According to James 2, she is praised in part for her deception: “she received the messengers and sent them out by another way.” [14] (emphasis added)

Stasses and Gushee utilises Rahab’s story also as an example of divinely approved act of dishonesty and deception:

“Bonhoeffer’s stance can be supported by numerous biblical texts that explicitly or implicitly offer divine approval to acts of deception or even dishonesty in conditions of oppression, injustice or war… Rahab the prostitute lied to protect the Israelite spies (Josh 2:4-6; cf. Heb 11:31).” [15] (emphasis added)

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University Philippa Carter writes:

“Rahab is also a liar and a traitor— or more benignly, a part of the complex of biblical stories that relate how God’s plan is forwarded by means of deception. The biblical view of deception is complex. It seems that God can use even deception to forward divine purposes.” [16] (emphasis added)

The above shows that Carter agrees with the others that God Himself according to the Bible uses deception to fulfill His plan and reward Rahab with life and security for her deed  despite the fact that she was not a righteous saint. Conservative scholar and Professor of Bible at the conservative Moody Bible Institute, W. H. Marty  under the entry of ‘deception’ writes:

“Deception is the intentional misleading of another person through word or deed. Though deception can be used for good purposes (such as when the Hebrew midwives deceived Pharaoh to save the lives of the newborn makes [Exodus 1:19]), it is most often used to describe the unethical exploitation of another person or the teaching of erroneous doctrine.” [17]

It is clear from the above definition that some acts of deception are exempted from being labelled as evil or sinful. And the example Marty gives of one such deceptive deed that is regarded as good is the midwives of Exodus 1. He concludes his article with the following:

“Deceit, the deliberate misleading of another person, can serve good or evil purposes. When it is used for evil it is a deadly sin.” [18]

Lying according to Marty insofar that it serves evil purposes is sinful. If it aims at good and harms no one then it is permitted and is even classified as good.

Let us turn to our third case, 1 Kings 2:22 which is somewhat different from the previous two as here we have the biblical God actively participating and decreeing the deception Himself.

“”‘By what means?’ the LORD asked. “‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.'” (1 Kings 22:22)

In this narrative we find the biblical God commissioning a lying spirit to lie and deceive Ahab. The Christian apologist will shout, yell and stomp their feet saying that we are misrepresenting the verse and misinterpreting it. Anyone who reads the text for himself can see that the plain meaning that it imparts is that the biblical God directly commanded an entity to deceive someone. This is in fact a very Christian understanding and interpretation. Minister, theologian and Dean of Graduate Studies at the Christian college New Saint Andrews College, Peter Leithart writes:

“Dismissing the distinction between God’s permission and God’s doing as an “evasion,” Calvin insists that God does as he pleases, including in his dealings with Ahab: “Whatever men or Satan himself may instigate, God nevertheless holds the key, so that he turns their efforts to carry out his judgments. God wills that the false King Ahab be deceived; the devil offers his services to this end; he is sent, with a definite command, to be a lying spirit in the mouth of all the prophets.” This cannot be reduced to a bare permission: “It would be ridiculous for the Judge only to permit what he wills to be done, and not also to decree it and to command its execution by his ministers” (Calvin 1960, 1.18.1). Calvin’s suggestion that the volunteer deceiver is the devil cannot be sustained; but Calvin is right to insist that Yahweh wills to deceive Ahab. Yahweh does not merely step aside to permit the spirit to deceive Ahab, but actively solicits a volunteer and orders him to follow through with his plan. The deception of Ahab is an expression of God’s purpose, not mere allowance. [19] (emphasis added)

In the above we see that the great protestant father John Calvin strongly believed that God Himself instructed the spirit to lie and deceive to fulfill His judgment. Though the identification of the spirit may be questionable the interpretation is spot on as Leithart makes clear.

Even the conservative apologetic work Hard Sayings of the Bible whose goal is to clear up difficulties found in the Bible authored by such scholars as F.F. Bruce is forced to concede that the biblical God did indeed deceive Ahab and the plain meaning of the text shows that He did more than just permit the lying spirit’s mission:

“God can be described as deceiving Ahab only because the biblical writer does not discriminate between what someone does and what he permits. It is true, of course, that in 1 Kings 22 God seems to do more than permit the deception. Without saying that God does evil that good may come, we can say that God overrules the full tendencies of preexisting evil so that the evil promotes God’s eternal plan, contrary to its own tendency and goals.” [20]

Notable biblical commentators Jerome T. Walsh and Christopher T. Begg in the New Jerome Biblical Commentary comments on the verse:

“Micaiah’s third speech is unsolicited; he recounts a scene he witnessed in Yahweh’s heavenly court to explain the disagreement between his oracle and that of Ahab’s court prophets. The prophets are truly inspired; but the spirit sent by Yahweh is a deceiver. It is Yahweh’s purpose to mislead Ahab and so lure him to destruction. Yahweh’s opening question to the heavenly court is already duplicitous: “Who will lure Ahab to fall upon [i.e., both “attack” and “die upon”] Gilead Heights?” The prophets’ ambiguous oracle ( v 6) is due to the “misleading spirit” whom Yahweh commissions to the deed.[21] (emphasis added)

Walsh and Begg are even more explicit in their recognition that the text says that Yahweh was duplicitous (deceiving) and commanded an entity to commit deception so that His plan can come to fulfillment.

Other examples of deception by God’s elect include 2 Kings 8:10, Jeremiah 38:24-27, 1 Samuel 16:1-5, 1 Samuel 21:1-3 and 1 Samuel 27:8-12. In all of these instances God did not condemn what they did in any way. The Christian now will be vexing and say, “But you see those are all in the Old Testament! We are now under the New Covenant and we follow the New Testament!” This is the kind of response one often gets from Christians when they are cornered by their own Bible which includes the Old Testament. However, we have saved the best for the last. We do in fact have an example from the New Testament as well. It comes from none other than Jesus himself in John 7.

“Go to the feast yourselves; I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” So saying, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.” (John 7:8-10)

One does not have to be a biblical scholar to easily discern from the above narrative that Jesus tells his companions that he is not going with them, but immediately after they go he follows suit but does so quietly away from prying eyes. If this is not lying what is? The difficulty posed by the narrative was felt early on by Christian scribes and writers. If you were to compare the above verses which are taken from the New Revised Standard Version to other versions of the Bible you will see that there is a minor yet significant difference. While the above has Jesus saying “I am not going up to this feast” other versions add “not yet” to it hence dissolving the apparent difficulty and exonerating Jesus from deception. Admittedly there are very ancient manuscripts that attest the reading “not yet,” but they are not beyond suspect. Many scholars in fact dismiss them as later scribal alteration. Wayne Campbell Kannaday who is Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Newberry College, Newberry, South Carolina has an excellent detailed treatment on the subject. To objectively weigh the value of variant readings let us turn to Kannaday’s careful scrutiny.

Not to go” or “Not yet to go“? That is the question broached by the variant reading located at John 7:8. Does Jesus flatly deny that he is going to Jerusalem, or does he merely indicate a delay in his travels? Response to this question assumes some urgency when the reader notices in verse 10 that Jesus does, in fact, travel “in secret” to Jerusalem and arrives there shortly after his brothers. Of course, no problem exists if the reading οὔπω is regarded as “original,” as is indicated by several of our most reliable manuscripts; but if ουκ issued from the writer’s pen, the inconsistency between his words and deeds in verses 8 and 10 makes Jesus vulnerable to accusations of deceit, duplicity, or indecisiveness.” [22]

What we learn from the above is that if indeed Jesus did not say “I am not going yet” and simply said “I am not going” then Jesus can be construed as having deceived his brothers. In fact, the vast majority of scholars believe that “not yet” is a later addition of scribes who wanted to reconcile the clear difficulty that the verses pose. Kannaday continues:

“Substituting οὔπω in place of ουκ in verse 8, of course, resolves this problem, which is why the majority of scholars believe this to be the product of a concerned scribe. Yet, not everyone concurs. The UBSGNT Committee, in spite of Metzger’s confident assertion that οὔπω was early on introduced by a scribe seeking to ameliorate the conflict between verse 8 and 10, still assigns it to only a {C} rating.” [23]

Though a minority of scholars disagree with the conclusion that “not yet” is a later addition, the preeminent textual critic Metzger makes it plain that:

“The reading οὔπω was introduced at an early date (it is attested by P, ) in order to alleviate the inconsistency between ver. 8 and ver. 10.” [24]

His conclusion as stated by Kannaday is held by most scholars. Let us proceed with Kannaday’s evaluation of the external manuscript evidence.

“With regard to external evidence, Ernst Haenchen points out that οὔπω boasts an impressive set of credentials, among them P66 p75 B L T W. Other apparatus in addition marshal θ ψ 070 0105 0250 ∫1.13 Maj f g q syp.h ac pbo in support of οὔπω as “original.” Supporting ουκ in its claim to priority are some similarly reliable witnesses: א D K 1241 lat sy&c bo. Here, as is often the case, mainly “Western” witnesses (reading ουκ) oppose the remaining lines of transmission. Still, the most striking sources in support of οὔπω are the two ancient papyri, p66 and p75. The weight of their testimony requires closer scrutiny.

P66 is generally ascribed a date around 200 C.E.; the editors of P75 place it between 175-225 C.E. Both stand as ancient and important witnesses to the textual tradition. Scholars some time ago became mindful of the unparalleled excellence of the testimony shared by the pair of manuscripts, p75 and Codex Vaticanus (B), and frequently view it as representing the best type of the third-century texts. Some scholars even regard P75 as the de facto exemplar of Vaticanus. Perhaps, though, the p75—Vaticanus line of tradition is best understood as the quintessential representative of the “Alexandrian” text, which, it should be recalled, bears characteristics of a highly polished, skillfully edited text. P66, similarly, has been described as the product of a scriptorium, a composite recension manufactured by a “careless” scribe who was evidently correcting his own work against at least two other manuscripts. This copyist frequently abandoned Johannine style in an effort to impose on the text a more vernacular Greek, “thereby revealing at a very early period a scribal attitude that removes difficulties and seeks the best sense of the text rather than showing a rigid concern for the preservation of the ‘original text.'” Therefore, both P66 and P75 report a text that is both very old, on the one hand, but that bears marks of intentional shaping or polishing, on the other. Both papyri reflect the concern of their scribes to produce an improved (in their view) text, not just preserve an “original” one. This statement is not intended to diminish the importance of these papyri as witnesses. I simply mean to specify that no pair of manuscripts, even ones as old and reliable as these papyri, can be assumed to harbor the “original” text.

So we are left, as stated earlier with a familiar plight: a “Western” reading standing virtually alone against the rest of the corpus. Textual criticism, though, is not a numbers game; variants must be evaluated on the basis of the quality of witnesses and not their quantity. A Johaninne reading that locates its lineage in Sinaiticus, Bezae, and the Old Latin tradition bears a reasonable claim to antiquity, and a “Western” reading that does not reflect expansion or embellishment must be taken particularly seriously. In short, external evidence will not decide this case.” [25]

The above shows that just because there are very old manuscripts that contain attestation for “not yet” (οὔπω) that does not mean that they are original. The two manuscripts that are often used to propel the idea of the originality of “not yet” are evidently unreliable. It should be reiterated that most scholars affirm that “not yet” is an addition to the original text. Kannaday goes on to cite R. H. Lightfoot who favours οὔπω as the original word of the evangelist based on intrinsic probabilities. In opposition to Lightfoot, Kannaday cites Rudolf Schnackenburg who “finds this approach untenable…” Later, Kannaday cites C. K. Barret who agrees that οὔπω is not original and is a later insertion: “C. K. Barret on the basis of transcriptional probabilities expresses certainty that οὔπω represents the modification, one grounded in the efforts of early copyists to reconcile the “superficial contradiction” between verse 8 and 10.” [26] Kannaday also cites Raymond Brown who agrees with Barret and the others on the originality of ουκ over οὔπω. Though neither Barret nor Brown see the absence of οὔπω as proof of Jesus’ deception, they nevertheless agree that it is something that was added later.

Kannaday continues:

“Apart from the v. l. under dispute, οὔπω is employed in the Fourth Gospel ten times. Of those instances, a full half of them are associated with prophetic allusion to the hour/time of Jesus, and two others are related to things that occur when his hour does come (the giving of the Spirit and his ascension). Moreover, three of the four times the evangelist places the term on the lips of Jesus it is in the declaration, “My hour/time has not yet come.” Thus, the majority of the occurrences of οὔπω in the fourth Gospel refer to the hour of Jesus.

In terms of informing intrinsic probabilities, these data seem compelling. The writer-editor of the Fourth Gospel appears to have been very deliberate in his use of the term, οὔπω, incorporating it into his pronouncements about the hour of Jesus almost as a formula. This much seems evidence: the author of the Fourth Gospel consistently used  οὔπω whenever he wished to signal that the arrival of the καιρος was still pending; and, when the writer placed it on the lips of Jesus, the term is used exclusively in the sense of a prophetic formula.

Unless, of course, the occurrence in John 7:8 (first occurrence) is taken to be “original.” If this is so ἐγὼ οὔπω [rather than οὐκ] ἀναβαίνω εἰς τὴν ἑορτὴν ταύτην, ὅτι ὁ ἐμὸς καιρὸς οὔπω πεπλήρωται stands as the singular exception to John’s otherwise careful and reserved use of this term. Presumably, one could argue that it is the entire sentence that constitutes the prophetic formula, so that the Johannine pattern actually consists of a doublet form of  οὔπω. No such doublet appears, however, in John 2:4 or John 20:17, to cite just two examples. John’s pattern is that the prophetic formula punctuates the second half of a sentence; nowhere else does οὔπω invade the prefacing remarks of Jesus.

So the question remains. Is this the only instance in John’s narrative where he violates an otherwise carefully prescribes and consistent use of the term οὔπω? Is this the conclusion best drawn from the data that has been presented? Or is it more likely that οὔπω is not “original” in the first instance of 7:8, and that its entry into this verse us the result of a scribe’s perspicacity rather than the author’s lassitude? In my judgment, the latter appears more likely.” [27] (emphasis added)

Kannaday expertly shows that John methodologically uses “not yet” in specific cases that deal with prophetic pronouncements and that John 7:8 with οὔπω (not yet) singularly departs from John’s consistent use of the term. As Kannaday points out this is indicative of the fact that the evangelist most probably did not depart from his consistent method and that the use of “yet” in John 7:8 is a later scribal addition.

Further more, Kannaday makes an exceptionally important point in the following:

“On the other hand, ample reason to motivate an informed scribe to the effect this particular change in the text did exist in the form of a pagan intellectual who drew attention to this verse to the detriment of the Jesus movement. Among the extant fragments of his work that are most clearly attributable to Porphyry is one that called attention to his very verse, and called into question the Jesus described there. Here Porphyry noted that Jesus first denied that he would visit Jerusalem, but then proceeded to arrive there (John 7:8-10). His words have survived in Jerome’s Adv. Pelag. (II.17), and read as follows:

Jesus iturum se negavit, et fecit quod prius negaverat. Latrat Porphyrius; inconstantiae ac mutationis accusat, nescius omnia scandala ad carnem esse referenda.

Judging from these remarks, it is easily ascertained that Porphyry’s text read οὐκ in verse 8. Moreover, he percieved between verses 8 and 10 either a breech of etiquette or an act of erratic vacillation (inconstantiae ac mutationis). In either case, Jesus’ behavior as recorded in this rendering of John’s narrative hardly reflected that of a holy figure boldly and decisively executing a foreordained, divine plan. This passage, then, is a text that was specifically elisted by a pagan critic to denounce either the wavering disposition of Jesus or the historical infelicities of the gospel accounts. In any event, Porphyry adduced this text to the detriment of Christians.

The simple change of οὐκ (not) to οὔπω (not yet), however, effectively quelled any impression of inconsistent action on the part of Jesus as seen in the comparison of verses 8 and 10. No longer, then, did the text present Jesus one moment asserting his decision not to journey to Jerusalem, only to change his mind and go there; rather, through the technology of scribal revision, John’s narrative stated without equivocation that Jesus would not yet go up to Jerusalem along with his disciples, suggesting that he would, as he did, find his way there later. That move would have rendered impotent efforts on the part of pagan critics like Porphyry to adduce this text for antagonistic purposes.” [28]

It would seem that the preponderance of data rule in favour of Metzger. Kannaday as it appears concludes that it is indeed a scribal addition where οὔπω is concerned in John 7:8. The fact that someone as early on as the philosopher Porphyry could have picked up on the problem posed by John 7:8 without the addition of οὔπω shows that early scribes most probably reacted by substituting “not” with “not yet” to resolve the difficulty. Taking into consideration the historical propensity of early scribes to edit biblical texts to suit their agenda it becomes even more probable that John 7:8 with οὔπω is certainly a scribal addition. Without the saving value of οὔπω (not yet) in John 7:8 as Kannaday rightly points out,  “the inconsistency between his words and deeds in verses 8 and 10 makes Jesus vulnerable to accusations of deceit, duplicity, or indecisiveness.”James Ronald Royse cites the biblical scholar Comfort:

“Comfort, Encountering the Manuscripts, 286, states: “In John 7:8, the scribe added ‘yet’ to Jesus’ statement, ‘I am not [yet] going to this feast,’ in order to avoid any misconception about Jesus’ character.” [29]

Biblical scholars Keith Elliott and Ian Moir write:

“At John 7:8 do we read ‘I am not going to this festival’ or ‘I am not yet going to this festival’? The manuscripts divide between ouk (not) oupo (not yet). ‘Not’ (in Sinaiticus and Bezae) makes Jesus contradict himself – see verse 10- and thus might be the original, although many critics would prefer the alternative reading oupo in Papyri 66 and 75, Vaticanus and the Majority Text.” [30] (emphasis added)

As we have seen in Kannaday’s detailed treatment on the textual evidence for John 7:8, papyri 66 and 75 are suspect and cannot be used as definitive proof for the originality of οὔπω. In the absence of substantive backing for “not yet” and the retention of “not” we are reduced to Elliott and Moir’s recognition of Jesus contradicting himself which paves way for deception on his part. The plain meaning of the text does show that Jesus was being dishonest and deceptive which is what the early scribes noticed and that motivated them to change the text. Catholic author Stephen K. Ray recognises this as well as he writes:

“In fact, some of the Greek New Testament manuscripts appear to have been tampered with to “cover” for Jesus’ apparent dishonesty, by adding the word “yet”, as in, “I do not go up to the destival yet”.” [31]

New Testament scholars Eugene Boring and Fred Craddock in their The People’s New Testament Commentary plainly state that “yet” is a later scribal addition and having the verse with only “not” is the original:

7:8 (yet): Some manuscripts reflect scribal efforts to keep Jesus from contradicting himself or changing his mind, by inserting “yet” (see v. 10 and NRSV note) but the original text read simply “not.” As in 2:4-7 and 11:5-11, the point is not duplicity or pettiness, but the divine initiative so important to Johannine theology. Jesus never does anything at the behest of others but, as the one who represents God, acts only unilaterally.” [32] (emphasis added)

The reconciliatory excuse proposed above that “Jesus never does anything at the behest of others” is simply not true. In Matthew 15:22-28 Jesus after some prodding by the woman and his disciples gives in and responds to the woman’s petition. In Mark 5:22-23, Luke 8:41 and Matthew 9:18-19 we have Jesus answering the call of Jairus and agrees to do as he asks. In Mark 12:29-30 Jesus responds to a challenge levelled against him by a scribe. These and many other such examples indicate that Jesus did indeed perform deeds at the behest of others. Thus the amelioratory tact is untenable and duplicity on Jesus’ part according to John 7:8 remains strongly viable.

The late minister and Bible translator Jay P. Green says without any ambiguity that the verse as it stands without the addition of “yet” makes Jesus out to be a liar:

“Besides the instance of an omitted word making Jesus to be a sinner liable to Judgment (Matt. 5:22), there is another verse where six of the new versions make Jesus to be a liar. In John 7:8, in the NASK, NRSV, REB, NAB, GNB, CEV, by rejecting the little word yet (ouro – # 3768), Jesus is reported as telling a lie… The NASB, NRSV, REB, NAB, GNB, CEV, AND JWV all also have Jesus saying flatly: ‘I am not going up to this feast.’ By leaving out the word yet these versions make Jesus to tell a lie, as is proven by the fact that shortly thereafter He did go up to the feast.” [33]

John 7:8 shows that Jesus deceptively went to the feast when he had told his disciples that he would not go. In the foregoing discussion we have seen clear examples of deception on the part of major and well known biblical figures with many of their deceptive actions having been blessed by the biblical God. We have also seen a clear example of the biblical God ordering an entity to commit deception in order to deceive Ahab. Christian detractors should think twice before they try to attack Islam on dissimulation or taqiyyah as it is a practice that is deeply rooted in their own books, history and tradition.

Though we do not condone every single detail of the following video the so called “ex-Muslim” presenter does make an excellent case in refuting the nonsense that Muslims go around doing ‘taqiyyah’:




To be fair we should note that not all Christian thinkers believe that lying is permissible in certain circumstances. One such individual is Saint Augustine who was vociferously against deceit of any kind according to most commentators on his thoughts on the subject. That absolutist position however received little support from other Christians of his age. The textual critic Bart Ehrman in his recent publication Forgery and Counterfeit writes:

“When Augustine wrote his two famous treatises on lying — the two most famous discussions from all of Christian antiquity — he staked out clear and precise positions both on what constituted a lie (a fissure between thought and utterance that is evident to the speaker in an act of speaking undertaken precisely with the intent of creating the fissure) and when telling a lie was admissible (never, under any circumstances whatsoever). But it is important to recall, with Paul Griffiths, the most compelling commentator on Augustine’s position, that especially with respect to the latter point, “Few Christians agreed with him when he wrote.”

On the contrary there was a widespread notion among thinkers from Socrates to Chrysostom — that is, throughout the entire period of our concern, and considerably prior — that lying was in some circumstances acceptable and not, necessarily, morally condemned.

Christian authors could and did appeal to numerous instances from Scripture itself in order to justify their own practices of lying and deception (as Augustine notes, disapprovingly): the midwives of Exodus 1:15-22, who protected the Hebrew babies from the unjust wrath of Pharaoh; Abraham and Isaac, who saved their own skins, and the posterity of Israel, by lying about their wives (e.g., Genesis 22); Rahab, who lied about the spies in Joshua 2; Michal, whose deception in 1 Samuel 19:11 saved David, the father of the future messiah; Jonathan, who lied to protect him a chapter later; and Jesus himself, who declared he was not going to Jerusalem in John 7, knowing full well that he was; and after his resurrection when he deceived his two followers on the road to Emmaus by assuming a false appearance in Luke 24. Even God is said to have employed deception in Scripture, most famously in Jeremiah’s lament, “O Lord, you have deceived me and I have been deceived” (Jer. 20:7).

We do not know, of course, what explanations or excuses forgers made to themselves when they engaged in their acts of conscious deception. But it has plausibly been argued by such scholars as Norbert Brox and Armin Baum that these authors — some of them? most of them? — subscribed to the secular and biblical idea of the “noble lie” — that it was better in some circumstances to practice deception so that a greater good might result. As Brox stresses:

Notions that those kinds of deceptions, lies, and tricks carried out for the sake of truth and for the effective communications of truth, were expressly permitted were widespread, even if other contemporaries held different views… Thus we cannot continue to say that all forgers (including Christian ones) must have forged with a troubled conscience. [34] (emphasis added)

What we learn from Ehrman is that many if not most Christian thinkers and teachers dissented from Augustine’s absolutist approach and felt that in certain occasions to weave a lie is permissible. These included among others Origen, Didymus, Chrysostom, Jon Cassian and Theodoret. [35]

The fact that the master theologian Origen permitted deceit is also mentioned in the A General Index to the Paublications of the Parker Society and it also mentions that another major church father Jerome followed the same view along with Tyndale and the prominent Catholic intellectual body the Jesuits:

“Lying… allowed by Turks and Jesuits, Rog. 120; Origen permitted lying in some cases, and Jerome seems to follow him, 2 Bul. 115; Tyndale thinks there are cases in which dissembling is allowable, 2 Tyn. 57;…” [36]

The Catholitc Encyclopedia also notes:

“Origen quotes Plato and approves of his doctrine on this point (Stromata, VI). He says that a man who is under the necessity of lying should diligently consider the matter so as not to exceed. He should gulp the lie as a sick man does his medicine. He should be guided by the example of Judith, Esther, and Jacob. If he exceed, he will be judged the enemy of Him who said, “I am the Truth.” St. John Chrysostom held that it is lawful to deceive others for their benefit, and Cassian taught that we may sometimes lie as we take medicine, driven to it by sheer necessity.” [37]

Declared as Doctor of the Church Saint John Chrysostom who was  Archbishop of Constantinople as mentioned above taught that lying in certain cases is allowed. In fact, he not only believed in its permissibility, rather as we shall see he also considered it a noble practice in an appropriate context. Let us refer to his own words:

“But my admirable and excellent Sir, this is the very reason why I took the precaution of saying that it was a good thing to employ this kind of deceit, not only in war, and in dealing with enemies, but also in peace, and in dealing with our dearest friends.

Do you see the advantage of deceit? And if any one were to reckon up all the tricks of of physicians the list would run on to an indefinite length. And not only those who heal the body but those who attend to the diseases of the soul may be found continually making use of this remedy. Thus the blessed Paul attracted those multitudes of Jews: with this purpose he circumcised Timothy, although he warned the Galatians in his letter that Christ would not profit those who were circumcised. For this cause he submitted to the law, although he reckoned the righteousness which came from the law but loss after receiving the faith in Christ. For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention.

And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone up by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived.” [38] (emphasis added)

Chrysostom felt unabashed to champion the cause of deception as we see in the above quotation. What is also very interesting is that he uses Paul as one of his examples to illustrate the goodness of deception in certain cases. Chrysostom is in accord with Muslims who indicate instances in Paul’s letters and elsewhere of his cunning and deceptive methods (Philippians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 12:16 and Romans 3:7).

Bishop of Caesarea Eusebius who is dubbed “Father of Church History” is another major patristic figure who also permitted lying. Edward Gibbon the noted historian comments and reports from Eusebius:

“I shall only observe, that the bishop of Caesarea seems to have claimed a privilege of a still more dangerous and extensive nature. In one of the most learned and elaborate works that antiquity has left us, the thirty-second chapter of the twelfth book of his Evangelical Preparation bears for its title this scandal proposition, “How it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived.”Ὅτι δεήσει ποτὲ τῷ ψεύδει ἀντὶ φαρμάκου χρῆσθαι ἐπ´ ὠφελείᾳ τῶν δεομένων του τοιουτου τροπου” (Page 365, edit. Graec. Rob. Stephani. Paris, 1544.)” [39] (emphasis added)

Some Christian apologists have tried to exonerate Eusebius from the idea that he promoted deception in a number ways. New Testament historian Michael Licona and the New Testament scholar Gary Habermas in their The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (pp. 274-277) have both tried to assuage the plain meaning of the text by arguing that the context of the chapter does not promote deception, but something other than that. They also suggest a different translation for the word “falsehood” in the verse to “useful fiction” appealing to one translator. In our view after reading their explanation carefully it is hardly convincing and seems quite disingenuous. Michael Licona’s desperation to clear up Eusebius’ name is evidently clear elsewhere as we shall see. It is not the context of “”How it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived.” that determines a different interpretation than the obviously plain meaning of the title , but rather Mike Licona’s preconceived bias which is self-evident in the following:

“So I hope we can lay to rest this crazy thought that Christians, including me, think it is okay to lie to others to accomplish good. Christians do not believe this, as is clear throughout our scripture.” [40]

The above is Licona’s conclusion in a Q & A session after answering a question on the claim that Eusebius permitted lying. It is his uncompromising belief that it is inconceivable for Christians to lie that motivates him to believe that Eusebius did not mean deceive when he wrote the word deceive. It is a delusion of the highest order to believe that Christians do not lie or believe in lying as we have clearly proven that they certainly do in the foregoing discussion. It is not only conceivable but probable that Eusebius believed deceiving meant deceiving when he used the word in the title in question especially in light of the fact that his own hero (refer to the Catholic Encyclopedia which describes Origen as Eusebius’ hero) Origen taught just that. Moreover, at the time hardly anyone sided with the absolutist viewpoint that lying is always wrong no matter what as was later prescribed by Augustine. It was a commonly held position that lying in duress or to promote Christian ideology was allowed and not blameworthy as Ehrman notes in his work above. In addition, American theologian, minister and academic Timothy Dwight who was also the president of Yale University writes:

“There have not been wanting persons in every age, who have holden the doctrine, that Lying is in some cases lawful. Among these, have been many professed Moralists, and at least some Divines. Particularly, the very respectable Writer, whose opinions I have several times questioned, Archdeacon Paley has taught this doctrine in form in his system of Moral Philosophy. At the head of these men we find the celebrated name of Origen. This Father, with an indistinctness of discernment, which characterizes not a small number of early writers in the Christian Church, as well as most others at the same period, appears to have believed, that a falsehood might be lawfully told, in order to promote the cause of Christianity.” [41] (emphasis added)

Licona is clearly misguided in his false belief that Christians do not believe that lying is permissible in order to advance Christian causes or to protect life under duress. Let us move a few centuries forward. Thomas Aquinas is another important figure in Christian thought. Though Acquinas is often identified as an absolutist when it comes to the question of lying, he does not in fact label every kind of lying as mortal sin as he writes, “But a lie is not always a mortal sin.” [42]

Commenting on Aquinas’ position Herant Katchadourian writes:

“St. Thomas Aquinas had a more qualified view and subsumed lies under three categories: lies that serve a good purpose; lies told in jest; and lies that are malicious and do harm. Only the last constituted a mortal sin; the first two could be pardoned.” [43]

The celebrated Saint Alfonso Liguori who was an Italian theologian and Catholic bishop believed that equivocation which means “to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive” (Merriam-Webster dictionary) is in some cases permitted. John Henry Newman writes:

“St. Alfonso Liguori, it cannot be denied, lays down that an equivocation, that is, a play upon words, in which one sense is taken by the speaker, and another sense intended by him for the hearer, is allowable, if there is a just cause, that is, in a special case, and may even be confirmed by an oath.” [44]

Saint Ignatius Loyola who is the patron saint of many Catholics is quoted to have said:

“We should always be disposed to believe that which appears to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides.” [45]

The father of the reformation Martin Luther himself condoned lying:

“What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church… a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.” [46]

The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery under the entry Stories of Deception which gives a non-exhaustive list of stories about deception in the Bible after including the Egyptian midwives of Exodus 1 as one of the examples states the following:

In the Bible then, deception can be either good or bad. It can be God’s means of deliverance and retribution on evil kings or nations. ” [47] (emphasis added)

Rodney Basset, David Basinger and Paul Livermore in the Psychology & Christianity Integration write:

“There are three types of cases, then, in which a form of deceit is approved within Scripture and Christian theology: (1) Deception may be necessary to protect life or the integrity of life. (2) God may deceive a person who had determined to go contrary to the divine will in order to further his plan of salvation. (3) Deception may be used to test or reveal the truth about character and behavior.” [48]

In The Friend. A Religious and Literary Journal edited by Robert Smith we read the following:

“If wars are to be waged at all, they must be carried on by such means as their nature demands. Falsehood to any extent, when required for the purpose of deceiving an enemy, must be tolerated. In fact, the necessity of of uttering falsehood in order to carry on the stratagems of war, is assigned, by Milton, to show, not that wars are anti-christian, but that uttering falsehood, with the unquestionable intention to deceive, is sometimes justifiable.” [49]

The well known conservative Christian apologist Norman Geisler whom we have already cited in the main text elsewhere writes:

“…the Bible indicates that there are occasions when intentional falsifying (lying) is justifiable. Rahab intentionally deceived to save the lives of Israel’s spies and was immortalized in the spiritual hall of fame (Heb. 11). Nowhere does the Bible condemn Rahab for this deception; second her falsehood was an integral part of the act of mercy she showed in saving the spies’ lives; third, , the Bible says, “Rahab … shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent” (Josh 6:17). But the real concealment was accomplished by deceiving the authorities at her door. God blessed her because of the deception, not in spite of it. Hence, her “lie” was an integral part of her faith, for which God commanded her (Heb. 11:31; James 2:25).

In the story of the Hebrew midwives we have an even clearer case of divinely approved lying to save a life. For Scripture says, “God dealt well with the midwives; and … he gave them families” (Exod. 1:20-21 RSV). Nowhere in the text does God ever say they were blessed only for their mercy and in spite of their lie. Indeed, the lie was part of the mercy shown. For mercy sometimes supersedes Justice (James 2:13).” [50] (emphasis added)

In the above we learn that Geisler understands that the cases of the midwives and Rahab are clear examples of deception used for righteous purposes. He disagrees with Augustine’s understanding that the blessing given to the midwives was simply on the mercy they showed and not with the act of deception which as Geisler points out is integral to the application of mercy that they displayed. Geisler makes it clear that God blessed their lying/deceiving action as a good thing and rewarded them for it. Saving a life then is paramount and if lying facilitates the protection of life then it is justifiable and good.

Bernard Hoose cites Ronald Preston in his article Truth and lies in the book Christian Ethics: An Introduction:

“It seems clear that there are occasions when it is right to tell a lie, but most of the time people tell lies when they should not.” [51]

The above shows that lying is not in and of itself evil and sinful. Rather, there are appropriate instances when lying is justifiable and there are instances when it is not.

The so called “Shakespeare of Divines”, theologian of the Church of England  Lord Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore, Jeremy Taylor writes:

“To tell a lie for charity, to save a man’s life, the life of a friend, of a husband, or a prince, of a useful and a public person, —hath not only been done in all times, but commended by great and wise and good men. Ου νέμεσις χαϊ ψευδός υπέρ ψυχής αγορείειν, “To tell a lie to save a life is no harm,” said old Pisander. Thus the Egyptian midwives are commended, because by their lie they saved the Israelitish infants: “O magnum humanitatis ingenium! O pium pro salute mendacium.” says St. Austin of them: “It was an excellent invention of kindness, and a pious lie for the safety of the innocentes:” and St. Ambrose and St. Jerome commend them so, that they supposed them to receive eternal rewards. The same was the case of Rahab; to whom it should seem that Phinehas who was one of the spies, had given instruction and made in her fair dispositions to tell a lie for their concealment. For when she had hidden Caleb, Phinehas said to her, “Ego sum sacerdos.’ Sacerdotes vero, quippe angelorum similes. si volam, aspectabiles suntl si nolunt, non cernuntur.” She made no use of that, but she said directly they were gone away. Concerning which lie of hers St. Chrysostom cries out, “Ω καλου ψευδος, ω καλου … ου προδιδοντος τα εια αλλα Φυλαττοντος την ευσι βειαν, “O excellent lie! O worthy deceit of her that did not betray the divine persons, but did retain piety!” thus we find St. Felix telling a lie to save his life from the heathen inquisitors.

Felicem sitit impietas ——

Felicemque rogant, Felix ubi cernitur: et non

Cernitur ipse, nec ipse ver est, cum sit prope. longe est.

——— persensit et ipse faventis

Concilium Christi, ridensque rogantibus infit,

“Nescio Felicem quem quaeritis:” ilicet illi

Praetereunt ipsum; discedit at ille platea,

Illudente canes Domino frustratus hiantes.

They asked where Felix was; himself answered, that “he knew not Felix whom they looked for:” and yet no man finds fault with this escape. “Deceptio et mendacium semper alias mala res, tunc tantum sunt usui quando pro remedio sunt amicis curandis, aut ad vitandum apud hostes periculum:” they are the word of Celcus in Origen: “A lie is otherwise evil, only it is then useful when it is for remedy to cure the evils of ours friends, or to avoid the evils from our enemies.” [51]

What is interesting about the above is that we have a quotation from Augustine  cited by Taylor that seems to suggest that he was not after all completely against the idea of lying. The addendum has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the practice of deception is a deeply rooted Christian tradition that can be traced back to the early days of Christianity. Major Christian thinkers and figures have all conceded and some even excitedly promoted the idea that deception, dissimulation and lying in certain cases are not only permitted, but also highly praiseworthy.



[1] Lockwood, D. R. (2012). Unlikely Heroes: Ordinary People with Extraordinary Faith A Biblical and Personal Reflection on Hebrews 11. Portland, Oregan: Multnomah University. p. 187

[2] Siebert-Hommes, J. (1998). Let the Daughters Live! The Literary Architecture of Exodus 1-2 as a Key for Interpretation (Janet W. Dyk, trans.). The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill. p. 113

[3] Ibid. pp. 112-113

[4] Setel, D. O. (1998). Exodus. In Carol A. Newsom & Sharon H. Ringe (eds.), Women’s Bible Commentary. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 34

[5] Birch, B. C., Brueggemann, W., Frethem, T. E. & Petersen, D. L. (2005). A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press.

[6] Hammer, R. ( 2011). The Torah Revolution: Fourteen Truths that Changed the World. Woodstock, Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishing. p. 87

[7] Geisler, N. (1981). Options in Contemporary Christian Ethics. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. p. 91

[8] Powell, C. M. (2001). Ephesians. In Catherine Clark Kroeger & Mary J. Evans, The IVP Women’s Bible Commentary. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press. p. 700

[9]  Stanton, E. C. (1895). The Book of Exodus. In The Woman’s Bible. New York: European Publishing Company. pp. 69-70

[10] Stasses, G. H, & Gushee, D. P. (2002). Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press. pp. 386-387

[11] Copan, P. (2008). When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. p. 34

[12] Kramer, P. S. (2000). Rahab: From Peshat to Pedagogy, or: The Many Faces of a Heroine. In George Aichele (ed.), Culture, Entertainment and the Bible. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press Ltd. p. 157

[12] Hale, T. & Thorson, S. (2007). The Applied Old Testament Commentary: Applying God’s Word to your Life. Great Britain: David C. Cook. p. 448 fn. 14

[14] Copan, P. Op. Cit.

[15] Stasses, G.H., & Gushee, D. P. Op. Cit.

[16] Carter, P. (2001). Joshua. In Catherine Clark Kroeger & Mary J. Evans, The IVP Women’s Bible Commentary. Op. Cit. p. 119

[17] Marty, W. H. (2004). Deception. In Tim Lahaye & Ed Hindson (eds.), The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers. p. 77

[18] Ibid. p. 78

[19] Leithart, P. J (2006). 1 & 2 Kings: Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible.Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press.

[20] Kaiser Jr., W. C. K., Davids P. H., Bruce, F. F. & Brauch, M. T. (1996). Hard Sayings of the Bible. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press. p. 230

[21] Walsh, J. T. & Begg, C. T. (1990). 1-2 Kings. In Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer & Roland E. Murphy (Eds.), The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. p. 174

[22] Kannaday, W. C. (2004). Apologetic Discourse and the Scribal Tradition: Evidence of the Influence of Apologetic Interests on the Text of the Canonical Gospels. Atlanta, Georgia: Society of Biblical Literature. p. 91

[23] Ibid.

[24] Metzger, B. (2002). A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibeldesellschaft. p. 216

[25] Kannaday, W. C. Op. Cit. pp. 91-92

[26] Ibid. p. 93

[27] Ibid. pp. 95-96

[28] Ibid. pp. 96-97

[29] Royse, J. R. (2008). Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri. The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill. p. 541 n. 738

[30] Elliott, K. & Moir, I. (1995). Manuscripts and the Text of the New Testament. London: T&T Clark Ltd. p. 54

[31] Ray, S. K. (2002). St. John’s Gospel: A Bible Study Guide and Commentary for Individuals and Groups. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. p. 175

[32] Boring, M. E., & Craddock, F. B. (2004). The People’s New Testament Commentary. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 312

[33] Green, J. P. (1994). The Gostics, The New Versions, and The Deity of Christ. Lafayette, Indiana: Sovereign Grace Publishers. p. 108

[34] Ehrman, B. D. (2013). Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 134-136

[35] Ibid. p. 134 n. 134

[36] Gough, H. (n.d.). A General Index to the Publications of the Parker Society. London: Cambridge University Press. p. 502

[37] Anon. (n.d.). Lying. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

[38] Chrysostom, J. (2007). Treatise Concerning the Christian Priesthood (W. R. W. Stephens, trans.). In Philip Schaff (ed.), Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers First Series Volume IX. New York: Cosimo Inc. p. 38; See also Ehrman, B. D. Ibid. pp. 545-546

[39] Gibbon, E. (n.d.). The Miscellaneous Words of Edward Gibbon, Esq. London: B. Blake. pp. 766-767

[40] Licona, M. R. (2006). Paul Meets Muhammad: A Christian-Muslim Debate on the Resurrection. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. p. 82

[41] Dwight, T. (1825). Theology; Explained and Defended, in a Series of Sermons, Vol. III. New-Haven: S. Converse. p. 496

[42] Acquinas, T. (2007). Summa Theologica, Volume V – Part III, Second Section & Supplement. New York: Cosimo Inc. p. 2800

[43] Katchadourian, H. (2009). The Bite of Conscience: Guilt. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. p. 44

[44] Newman, J. H. (2006). Apologia pro Via Sua. Middlesex: The Echo Library. p. 177

[45] O’Clock, G. D. (2005). Isaiah’s Leper: A Catholic Asks the Question: “Would Jesus Have Anything to do With the Roman Catholic Church?”. Lincoln, Nebraska: iUniverse. p. 48

[46] Given, M. D. (2001). Paul’s True Rhetoric: Ambiguity, Cunning and Deception in Greece and Rome. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International. p. p. 81 n. 170; See also Katchadourian, H. ibid.

[47] Anon. (1998). Stories of Deception. In Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit & Tremper Longman III, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery: An Encyclopedic Exploration of the Images, Symbols, Motifs, Metaphors, Figures of Speech and Literary Patterns of the Bible. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press. p. 200

[48] Basset, R. L., Basinger, D. & Livermore, P. (2007). Lying in the Laboratory: Deception in Human Research from Psychological, Philosophical, and Theological Prespectives. In Daryl H. Stevensen, Brian E. Eck & Peter C. Hill (eds.), Psychology & Christianity Integration: Seminal Works that Shaped the Movement. Batavia, Illinois: Christian Association for Psychological Studies. p. 341

[49] Anon. (1837). Observations on War. In Robert Smith, The Friend. A Religious and Literary Journal, Vol. 10. Philadelphia: Adam Waldie. p. 322

[50] Geisler, N. L. (2010). Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues & Options. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic. pp. 105-106

[51] Hoose, B. (1998). Truth and lies. In Bernard Hoose, Christian Ethics: An Introduction. London: Continuum. p. 274

[52] Taylor, J. (n.d.). The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, Vol. III. London: Frederick Westley and A. H. Davis. pp. 428-429

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45 Responses to “Biblical Taqiyyah (Dissimulation)”

  1. Alms says:

    Assalamu alaikum. Brother, you have done a great job of meticulously establishing the fact of ‘dissimulation’ (lying and deception under necessity) in both the Old and New Testament. This is the most in-depth academic treatment of this issue I witnessed. Previously, I placed Loonwatch’s talented Danios own classic on top but now realised that yours is more authoritative; certainly, each is more than enough to silence the Islamic detractors on the ‘Taqiyya’ issue which they grossly distort and misrepresent. Well-done job, respected brother! Besides, I am glad to learn that you now joined the Calling Christian site’s team as an author there. May Allah help you, may He reward you with the best. Amen.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Wa’alaikum salam warahmatullah,
      Jzk akhi. I am glad to see that you are still following the site :D. Yes, I have joined CC at the behest of brother Ijaz lol. May Allah reward us all, ameen.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      I have just completed an addendum section. Hope you like it. 😀

      • Alms says:

        Assalamu alaikum. I went through the Addendum section many times as I do the whole of the article. The article proper established the fact that ‘lying and deception under necessity’ is an uncontestible teaching of both of the Testaments, while the Addendum proved beyond any doubt that this biblical teaching is ever deeply rooted in Christian tradition. A perfectly balanced article, unique, awesome. 😀

  2. John the Baptist says:

    Alms is totally right…this is really awesome and the most authoritative work on the subject online. Ibn Anwar always produces quality articles that benefit me. JZK!

  3. Jesus says:

    Great , just great . Another well analysed , through article .

    Keep it up master shifu !!


    Bart D. Ehrman in his latest book ‘ Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics ‘ brilliantly exposes all the deceit which early Christians practiced to drive their theology .

    So it the Christians who lied on a lot that too on central issues of their faith and as Bart Ehrman showed in this book .

    The Bible , their holy book itself is made up of such lies .

  4. Jesus says:

    You should have used the above mentioned Bart Ehrman book to further drive your point .

    What do you think bro ? Ehrmans above book would be perfect to use here.

    Anyway EXCELLENT ARTICLE , especially the last part whee you analysed John 7:8-10 in detail , vophhhhhhhhhhhhh , i read it 3 times to understand it !!

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      lol yes bro, but I have not purchased that book yet. It was recently published last December. Insha’Allah when I do have it in hand i’ll make use of any relevant material that is in it ;).
      haha yes, I thought you’d like the part on John 7 ;).

      • Jesus says:

        With addendum the article is looking even better brother , thanks for it

      • Jesus says:

        Also , i want to say one thing brother your articles are definetly a giant leap in the arguments brought forth by Muslim apologists .

        Your articles are bringing an academic depth , scholarly views on the given subject , bringing new domains altogether .

        You are an example which Muslim apologist should follow and your articles are an example for the type of articles which Muslim apologists should be producing .

  5. Muhammad al-Hakeem says:

    As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatu Allāhi wa-barakātuh, bro.

    Calling Christians website has called your article a “masterpiece, but in my opinion this word doesn’t do it any justice. Jazāka Allāhu kulla khayr.

    How about this:

    “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.

    To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.”
    – 1 Corinthians 9:20-21

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Wa’alaikum salam brother,
      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I did think of adding Paul’s specific teachings on the matter, but I decided not to as I want the readers to focus more of the example seen in Jesus. I have however in the addendum section indicated that the great Christian thinker St. John Chrysostom believed that Paul did indeed use deceit to achieve his goals. Thank you for your feedback bro. 😉

  6. rocky says:

    how about this?

    I spoke OPENLY …

    THe priests heard me in the temples and synagoues

    i had no secret teachings

    jesus did have IMPORTANT teachings which he did not teach /reveal in the open. he DELIBERATELY his the real meaning of his teachings because he didn’t WANT THE outsiders to understand

    jesus covered his words with parable because he himself said he wanted to keep the outsiders in the dark

    to further prove this, his deciples ALONE with him, ask him “EXPLAIN to us what you said in the open because we don’t understand”

    so jesus DECODES his coded words in the open and then reveals why he coded it in the open

  7. KAZ says:

    Awesome article!

    No way can anyone disagree with the logic in this article unless he/she is a fool who wants to hide/deny what is right. To do so would be a great crime against humanity and God!

  8. rambo says:

    gospel of mark is an italian book


  9. Jesus says:


    In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors.

    According to cherished church tradition and popular belief, before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century, early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction. As the story goes, vast numbers of believers were thrown to the lions, tortured, or burned alive because they refused to renounce Christ. These saints, Christianity’s inspirational heroes, are still venerated today.

    Moss, however, exposes that the “Age of Martyrs” is a fiction—there was no sustained 300-year-long effort by the Romans to persecute Christians. Instead, these stories were pious exaggerations; highly stylized rewritings of Jewish, Greek, and Roman noble death traditions; and even forgeries designed to marginalize heretics, inspire the faithful, and fund churches.


  10. Civitate_Dei says:

    So what? a revisionist scholar believes these persecutions were a myths. There are also revisionist scholars who question many Islamic traditions especially hadith as being fabrications and being wholly unreliable.There are scholars who question all sorts of historical events such as the holocaust or the Armenian genocide. Just because a scholar questions something you must not accept it but rather examine the evidence which you have not even done since you havent even read the book but are parroting something from an atheist site. The vat majority of scholars accept these persecutions as being historical anyway.
    @rambo that is probably because church tradition place it as being written in rome and records peter’s teachings.
    @ rocky well that verse in john in it’s context is about not being secretive thus he taught publicly in synagogues. Other verses about people not understanding his parables are in context of god’s divine election which prevents some from understanding the full meaning of his words due to their hardheartedness
    @mohammad paul’s comments are about sympathising and understanding the position of those who abide by the law and those who don’t when interacting with them and following conventions so as not to offend them. No lie here

  11. rocky says:

    “@ rocky well that verse in john in it’s context is about not being secretive thus he taught publicly in synagogues. Other verses about people not understanding his parables are in context of god’s divine election which prevents some from understanding the full meaning of his words due to their hardheartedness”

    your meat god said that he DID NOT TEACH IMPORTANT TEACHINGS in private
    he did have important teachings which he did not reveal in public , but coded them and explains IN PRIVATE , when he was ALONE with the deciples, why he coded his important teachings in public
    he LIED when he said “i taught OPENLY…”

    YOU MUST be such a bloody idiot , u just accused the deciples of heardheatedness because the deciples ask jebus ” explain to us what u said in public because we don’t understand it”

    meat god says, ” i coded my IMPORTANT teachings because i didn’t want the outsiders to get it and here is the decoded i REVEAL to you now…”

  12. Civitate_Dei says:

    @ rocky you behave very disgracefully by calling me a “bloody idiot”. When jesus and not “jebus” (more evidence of your low character insulting jesus) said in john about not teaching in secret it was in reference to teaching publicly in synagouges. This is the verses context. Also Jesus used parables with hidden meanings so that those with honest sincere hearts would understand the true meaning due to poor religious situation at the time. Yes the disciples were heardhearted at times don’t forget Jesus even went as far as to call peter satan

  13. rocky says:

    UR pagan gOd used parables to justify his LIES


    “Go to the feast yourselves; I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” So saying, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.” (John 7:8-10)

    he goes PRIVATELY to a feast when intially he said that he isn’t going to the feast and he gives the reason for why he isn’t going to the feast.

    IF THE high priest is inquiring about the teachings of jebus , he (high priest) WANTS TO know IMPORTANT parts of jesus’ claims ect. jesuz DENIES HAVING made claims in SECRET ,claims which were IMPORTANT to his ministry. DOESN’T MATTER WHERE he TAUGHT . if he had made IMPORTANT CLAIMS in secret about his ministry, he LIED.

    his DECIPLES CAME TO him and said, “EXPLAIN to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

    there is no proof that when jesus made up this parable and spoke about it infront of the crowds , the deciples hearts were hard. this is just bs you have cooked up to save your liar god.

    the reason why the deciples DIDN’T get the parable because jesus hid its true meaning in the open and explains why

    “the SECRET of the kingdom of god has been given to you”

    1. not to the high priest
    2. not to the crowds

    like i said, IMPORTANT secret teachings taught in PRIVATE

    ” i have spoken OPENLY to the world… ” i always TAUGHT in synag/temples, where all the jews came together . i SAID NOTHING IN SECRET

    read mark again

    he TAUGHT IMPORTANT things in SECRET IN a different location i.e IN a house ALONE with his DECIples.

    IMPORTANT teachings which THE high priest OBVIOUSLY wanted to know about were not TAUGHT in THE OPEN, but in private in a HOUSE.

    the deciples did not UNDERSTAND , not because of their “hard hearts” or any BS like that , but because jesus DELIBERATELY coded the message and disCLOSED the meaning in secret.

    “secret/ IMPORTANT STUFF has been given to you. to the outsiders the message is CODED ”

    SO WHY did your god LIE to the high priest?

    why didn’t he say something like

    ” hey man, i have secret teachings, but i cannot reveal thier meaning because you aint gonna get it because of your hard heart”

    HOW do you expect the deciples to “get it” when your god outright says that he isn’t going to a destination x, but later goes to destination x in private?

    what kind of a confused god is this?

    one more thing

    lets assume people had hard hearts and important teachings were taught in secret

    how does that rescue/save jesus?

    a LIE IS A LIE

    he didn’t TEACH openly THAT which was taught in SECRET

  14. rocky says:

    ” hey man, i have secret teachings, but i cannot reveal thier meaning because you aint gonna get it because of your hard heart”

    but that’s not what mark says,

    he told
    them, “The secret of the kingdom of god

    has been given

    to you. But

    those on the outside everything is said in parables 12

    so that,
    (LOOK @ THE SO THAT , jesus DELIBERATELY wants to hide the true meaning because he doesn’t want everyone in on the SECRET)

    may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never
    understanding; otherwise they might turn and be

  15. Civitate_Dei says:

    Again jesus’ statement on not teaching in secret relates in it’s context to where he is teaching not whether people can truly understand his teaching due to hardheartedness. Jesus is defending himself against the high priest and later states “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” so jesus is saying in context I have spoken publicly about my teaching please produce a witness or some evidence that i am guilty of treason. This is the verse’s context which you conveniently ignore. Yes jesus’ teachings were hard to understand and even the uneducated disciples struggled at times but this is due to the state of people’s hearts and receptiveness as we see many people do understand his teaching such as the roman centurion who he says has the greatest faith he has found. As for the other verse jesus simply changed his mind once his disciples went. You have not proved that my religion is pagan and you are resorting to namecalling like a hateful bigoted child. I will not waste anymore time on you hatefulness

  16. Civitate_Dei says:

    “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never
    understanding; otherwise they might turn and be
    forgiven!’” Jesus is actually quoting from Isiah here with the intention to show that he uses parables as there are many who are hardhearted who cannot truly, see, hear or understand his message. Only those who are receptive and are openhearted to the answers he give them through these parables understand them. Jesus explained his parables to people who could not understand them. Jesus says to the crowd in Mark 4:9 “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” So Jesus wanted those who were open to his message to understand but used parables so these people would understand but those who would be opposed to his message did not. Also Everything hidden is meant to be disclosed Mark 4 “22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” However as Jesus tells us elsewhere many are called but few are chosen. As we see the context is very different from in john where Jesus was talking about teaching in public and if he was guilty for evidence to be produced. These verses in mark relate to how open they are to the message. Jesus explained more to his disciples who were also hardhearted at times but still more receptive than many others in the religious situation of the time which Jesus was at odds with. So when comparing these verses you must pay particular attention to the context which you ignored. I am bored of your name-calling, anti-christian bigotry and hate. I will not bother replying anymore unless you grow up as so far you have not been able to have a civilized discussion but just spew hate at your opponents. I know little children who behave better and i cannot be bothered with dawah trolls only those who want a proper dialogue.

  17. rocky says:

    all you are doing as a pagan polythiestic triplet worshipping pagan christian is reinforcing my case, but you are too blind too see it.

    HOW can a police officer accuse someone of lying /untruths when THEY WERE NOT thier in the SECRET MEETING? how could the high priest have produced witnesses who had heard jesus SPEAK IN SECRET when his deciples ran like COWARDS? you liar for krist, the TEXT clearly says jesus DELIBERATELY CODED his message because he DELIBERATELY DIDN’T WANT people/OUTSIDERS to get it. the SECRET is only REVEALEVED to his INNER circle and the high priest wouldn’t know what anti judaism message jesus was preaching IN SECRET .

  18. rocky says:

    “es jesus’ teachings were hard to understand and even the uneducated disciples struggled at times but this is due to the state of people’s hearts and receptiveness as we see many people do understand his teaching such as the roman centurion who he says has the greatest faith he has found”

    they were hard to understand? why are you a stupid IDIOT? jebus MADE THE PARABLE HARD TO UNDERSTAND DELIBERATELY because he didn’t want the people in on the secret. prove to us that the CROWDS who received the parable , ALL OF THEM , had hard hearts. now lets see, why DIDN’T THE deciples UNDERSTAND the parable when they were OUTSIDE?

    WHY did jesus have to go in a house to DECODE?


    if the deciples had a HARD heart why would they SEEK an explanation for a CODED message?

  19. Civitate_Dei says:

    Rocky you are really despicable and really know nothing of which you speak you constantly ignore the context of these texts and read into them according to your own agenda. You read them both together as if they are both talking about the same thing which they are not at all. The high priest could not produce any evidence because he was innocent not because of some secret meetings. Jesus was saying my teachings are there for all to see produce something and the high priest failed. Jesus quotes Isiah to show how the people are blind , deaf and cant understand but previously says to the crowd let those with ears hear meaning he wants those who can to understand from the crowd. yes even the disciples did have hard hearts and abandoned and denied Jesus. You have failed to prove one single thing you just had a big tantrum and spewed hate which i am surprised the moderator of this site allows. I don’t care if you call me a pagan meat god triplet worshiper. It just reveals how bigoted you are and your utter lack of knowledge. Is that how your parents raised you? It is nice to see your religion has made you such a loving individual but i will not stoop to your level. please grow up! I cant be bothered with your absolute nonsense anymore

  20. Civitate_Dei says:

    and id rather be a stupid meat pagan triplet god worshiper than the twisted hater you are . Bye

  21. rocky says:

    8You go to the Feast. I am not going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not come.” 9Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.

    10However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, “Where is that man?”

    what was the bs u uttered? “changed his mind” ?


    SO it would be IMPOSSIBLE FOR him to BUMP into one of his deciples

    u c if he didn’t go secretly and if the deciples saw him @ the feast , then they would have seen that he CONTRADICTED himself.

  22. rocky says:

    “esus is actually quoting from Isiah here with the intention to show that he uses parables as there are many who are hardhearted who cannot truly, see, hear or understand his message. ”

    no, jesus uses parables because the SECRET of the kingdom of god has been given to his inner circle and not to the outsiders. are you an IDIOT that u cannot see the word “SECRET” wtf does “SECRET” MEAN ? and why would a meat god WANT TO SHARE his SECRET with the OUTSIDERS?

    “gain Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat …”

    so he goes in the house to decode his parable/secret and share it with the deciples, but not the crowds.

    so he DID HAVE important teachings which he KEPT SECRET .

    ” i have spoken OPENLY to the world… ” i always TAUGHT in synag/temples, where all the jews came together . i SAID NOTHING IN SECRET”

    IF he KNEW that he taught IMPORTANT stuff IN SECRET , IN ANY LOCATION, then he DID have SECRET teachings and did say IMPORTANT THINGS in secret.

    a lie is a lie

    when the high priests question jesus, the DECIPLES were not there and peter DENIED that he had any connection with jebus .

    where DID your god TEACH his SECRET TEACHINGS IN THE HOUSE to the outsiders/crowds?

    “Only those who are receptive and are openhearted to the answers he give them through these parables understand them. ”

    AND where was the TEACHING in the HOUSE/IN PRIVATE , taught to the CROWDS which had forced jesus into a boat?

    “Jesus explained his parables to people who could not understand them.”

    BS, where did your 3 minded/3 person with 3 wills god /TRIPLEt god EXPLAIN his SECRET teachings to the CROWDS WHO HAD forced him into a boat?

    THE POINT is that he says that

    “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables”

    so he has SECRET TEACHINGS which are for his DECIPLES and not for the CROWDS. jesus had IMPORTANT SECRET TEACHINGS.

    “Jesus says to the crowd in Mark 4:9 “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    THEY cannot have ears if what they hear is NOT MEANT FOR THEM, BUT for the people who are ALONE IN a house with jesus. THE SECRET of the kingdom of god is not for the EARS OF THE OUTSIDERS, SO jesus’ ” he who has ears” is REDUNDANT /USELESS.

    WHAT KIND OF a bs do you keep on repeatin g about “hard hearts”

    WHY NOT put the words in plain and simple EASY TO understand words so people get it immeditately, why reserve EXPLANATION for deciples IN PRIVATE and not let EVERYONE ON in the secret?

    “So Jesus wanted those who were open to his message to understand but used parables so these people would understand but those who would be opposed to his message did not.”

    WHERE DID jesus TEACH /EXPLAIN his parable to the OUTSIDERS WHO HAD forced him into a boat?

    why would he explain it wheN he said that the SECRET IS NOT for them BECAUSE IT IS A DAMN SECRET AND NOT FOR THEM?


    ” Also Everything hidden is meant to be disclosed Mark 4 “22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    WHERE DID jesus DISCLOSE his SECRET teachings which he KEPT A SECRET IN mark , above? where was it DISCLOSED when IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE DISCLOSED because it is GIVEN not the the crowds, but to the deciples?

    “However as Jesus tells us elsewhere many are called but few are chosen.”

    because the secret is NOT FOR the outsiders . NO EXPLANATION IS given to them. NO EFFORT is made by jesus TO EXPLAIN TO them because the secret is given to a few. a secret is ONLY for the chosen and not for ALL.

    that is why it is CODED .


    21He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

    notice “f0r anyone who has EARS TO HEAR” IS not for the CROWDS WHO HAD FORCED jesus into a boat, it is for the READERS OF MARK, not the freakin CROWDS.and which CROWDS WAS READING mark ?

    “He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.”

    BECAUSE the secret is not for the OUTSIDERS , but the inner circle.
    WHAT does this verse say about jesus?

    he EXPLAINS EVERYTHING when he is ALONE with his OWN deciples
    if judas CAN get an EXPLANATION, THEN WHY not the crowds? because as jebus said, the SECRET is not for the CROWDS

    ” As we see the context is very different from in john where Jesus was talking about teaching in public and if he was guilty for evidence to be produced.”

    look @ my other response to this bs

    if a guy KNOWS he has SECRETS WHICH are IMPORTANT SECRETS and secrets not for the high priests, then jesus LIED. doesn’t matter WHERE he taught. IF he had SECRET teachings he LIED.

  23. rambo says:







    lets ASSUME THE high priest grabs a deciples and finds out jesus had SECRET teachings TAUGHT IN SECRET , in a HOUSE, WHY shouldn’t the high priest accuse jesus of lying ?

  24. rocky says:

    jesus said to the high priest that he ALWAYS TAUGHT in…

    “gain Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat …”

    WHERE did jesus TEACH this crowd WHAT he had TAUGHT IN SECRet to the deciple?

    i SPOKE openly

    where did he SPEAK OPENLY WHAT he spoke in secret in the house?

    “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables”

    he did not TEACH /EXPLAIN IT OPENLY because he DELIBERATELY WANTED TO keep people in the DARK .

  25. Civitate_Dei says:

    Matthew 13

    14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

    “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
    15 For this people’s heart has become CALLOUSED;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
    Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
    and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]

    16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it

  26. Civitate_Dei says:

    look at what Jesus says in Matthew chapter 13 as to why they cannot understand.Jesus says in his own words it is because the crowd are hardhearted not because he wants to keep it some secret.

    14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

    “‘You will be ever hearing but never UNDERSTANDING;
    you will be ever seeing but never PERCIEVING.
    15 For this people’s heart has become CALLOUSED;
    they hardly HEAR with their ears,
    and they have CLOSED their eyes.
    OTHERWISE they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    UNDERSTAND with their hearts
    and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]

    16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it

    So we see from the above passage in Matthew that Jesus was not keeping it a secret but that the people had callous hearts ,could not see or hear which if they could then they would understand. His disciples though far from perfect Jesus says they can see and hear this is why they have more of an understanding not due to esoteric knowledge jesus wants to keep hidden. Jesus literally says “15 For this people’s heart has become CALLOUSED” So you cant say it is “BS” you are just ignorant of the verse’s meaning and are guilty of interpreting out of context really badly. End of discussion your argument has been refuted completely.

  27. rocky bal boa says:

    ibn anwar has NOTHING to say on this, so i decided to show ex-christian doug krueger your crosstian nonsense. before you read kruegers reply to you, read this post created on

    March 4, 2013 – الاثنين 23 ربيع الثاني 1434 at 10:26 pm

    i have looked carefully @ marks usuage of SECRET AND OUTSIDERS

    SINCE u are a stupid bum who has realised that your god is a LIAR, u have to use matthew to come and rescue his words in mark LOL

    krueger has replied to christians like james holding and other on this topic. he debated jason gastrich aswell.

    look, i showed him your nonsense

    and here is his reply

    I ASKED him first

    greetings Doug

    here is a christians reply to your article about jesus lying to the high priest
    i have a question
    was the parable created so that the people /crowds do not get it?

    According to the New Testament, the answer is “yes,” Jesus spoke in parables so that the people would not get it:

    See Mark 4:11 “And He said to them, ‘To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables.’

    So it is “given” to people whether they will understand the parables, i.e., it is not up to the individual, it is up to God.

    See Mark 4:11 “And He said to them, ‘To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables.'”


    So the people do not understand, and Jesus keeps secret the explanation of his parables:

    Mark 4: 33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

    DOUG KRUEGER Cont’d:

    So Jesus told the explanation of the parables only when he was alone with his disciples. He does not explain the parables to the non-disciples.

    You wrote:
    they do not understand it because
    1. it is not EXPLAINED
    explanation is for the deciples in a house because the secret is given to them.

    Yes, exactly.

    You wrote (or quoted): <—-quoting the pagan bum

    “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never
    understanding; otherwise they might turn and be
    forgiven!’” Jesus is actually quoting from Isiah here with the intention to show that he uses parables as there are many who are hardhearted who cannot truly, see, hear or understand his message.

    Yes, Jesus is quoting Isaiah here, but not just to show that he uses parables and some people cannot understand them. Why would someone use parables just because he thought people would not understand his message? That makes no sense.(ROCKY :READ MY POST ABOVE PEOPLE AND SEE THAT I SAID THE SAME THING BEFORE) No, Jesus quotes Isaiah to explain that he used parables to KEEP SECRET the meaning of his teaching.

    Mark 4: 10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’”

    Note also in Matt:13:35 Jesus quotes Psalm 78:2 and says: “I will open My mouth in parables; 'I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.'” These are secrets, and he keeps the explanations of the parables secret by never explaining them to the general public.

    You wrote: (QUOTING THE pagan bum)
    Only those who are receptive and are openhearted to the answers he give them through these parables understand them.

    Then since he only explained the parables to his disciples, only 12 people in the world were "receptive and are openhearted to the answers."
    See Mark 4:10-11 and Mark 4:33-34. And Matt. 13:10-11 and Luke 8:9-10.

    (rocky : read my legnthy response above and see how i said the SAME THING , but the pagan IGNORED IT)

    You wrote/quoted:
    Jesus explained his parables to people who could not understand them.

    No, Jesus did not explain the parables to "people," except his disciples. See the quotations I cited: Mark 4:10-11 and Mark 4:33-34. And also see Matt. 13:10-11 and Luke 8:9-10. His disciples did not understand the parables either, but Jesus made sure to explain his parables ONLY to them. So says the New Testament, as the quotations show. Why is it that I can cite verses that support me but you only speak in generalities and provide no support?

    You wrote/quoted:
    Jesus says to the crowd in Mark 4:9 “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” So Jesus wanted those who were open to his message to understand but used parables so these people would understand but those who would be opposed to his message did not.

    Then, again, it is amazing that only 12 people in the world were not "opposed to his message."

    You wrote:
    Also Everything hidden is meant to be disclosed Mark 4 “22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    Then explain why the text is explicit that Jesus did not explain his parables to "those who are outside" (Mk. 4:11), outside of his group of disciples.

    You wrote:
    However as Jesus tells us elsewhere many are called but few are chosen. As we see the context is very different from in john where Jesus was talking about teaching in public and if he was guilty for evidence to be produced.

    Yes, the gospel of John contradicts the synoptic Gospels.

    You wrote:
    These verses in mark relate to how open they are to the message. Jesus explained more to his disciples who were also hardhearted at times but still more receptive than many others in the religious situation of the time which Jesus was at odds with. So when comparing these verses you must pay particular attention to the context which you ignored.

    Jesus did not explain "more" to his disciples, he explained ONLY to his disciples. Again, I cite specifics and you cite generalities unsupported by textual evidence.


    in his pagan pride he thinks he won, but as you can see i am not here for winning but carefully analysing marks use of his terms. christians are a deluded people and it is not suprising they speak delusion from thier pagan minds.

  28. rocky bal boa says:

    “Rocky you are really despicable and really know nothing of which you speak you constantly ignore the context of these texts and read into them according to your own agenda”

    you stupid bum, you should bend over and let me kick the heck out of you considering that you should be praying for me when i take you out in 5th gear lol.

  29. rocky bal boa says:

    i always TAUGHT….

    THE crowds who heard jesus’ parables in mark 4:10 must have ATTENDED synagoues and TEMPLES

    THEY did not hear jesus’ EXPLANATION of his parables, because as mark says , jesus

    Mark 4: 33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

    explained OUTSIDE teachings IN PRIVATE in a house.

    i spoke openly…

    an EXPLANATION for a parable GIVEN IN PRIVATE cannot be an OPEN EXPLANATION for all ears

    if the high priest found out about jesus’ secret EXPLANATIONS , WHY WOULDN’T HE ACCUSE jesus of lying to him?

    no deciple was there to question and the one question DENIED jebus.

    i saID NOTHING in secret

    with HOLDING information in the OPEN and explaing it in SECRET infront of 12 is SECRET TEACHINGS .

    lets plug in the crap that civitate utters (what is civitate , a cereal ?)

    “you will reject me if i give you the explanation i give in private , so i have to withhold information in the OPEN”

    IF THE HIGH PRIEST found out that jesus had with held infomation in the open and explained in SECRET/PRIVATE , why wouldn’t he accuse jesus of lying?

  30. rocky bal boa says:

    the secret /mystery/ explanation of the kingdom of god has been given to you ( to the 12 and from among the 12 1 is going to turn traitor AND sell his god for few bucks.LOL. and one is going to DENIE that he knew jebus and the others RUN like chickens) BUT to those on the OUTSIDE everything is said in parables . SO they do not receive EXPLANATION OF THE mystery/secret . and those poor crowds all have “hard hearts” LOL

    how pathetic can these crosstians get?

    and even if the crowds had “hard hearts” jesus STILL has EXPLANATIONS IN PRIVATE IN A FREAKIN HOUSE alone with his deciples and taught his parables in private and did not SPEAK OPENLY ABOUT t hem because the mysteries has been GIVEN TO THE 12 only

  31. Jeff says:

    This should be seen as metaphorical.

    This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
    -1 John 1:5 (NIV)

    The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
    -John 1:9 (NIV)

    When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
    -John 8:12 (NIV)

    See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.
    -Luke 11:35 (NIV)

    But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
    -John 3:21 (NIV)

    This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
    -John 3:19 (NIV)

    But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
    -John 16:13

    And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
    -Romans 8:11 (NIV)


    Dissimulation is considered darkness metaphorically, and their is no darkness in the light.

    Disclaimer: Since this conclusion has come from me a mere human, I accept that I might have presented a lie. Although, I feel confident that the logic behind this conclusion will stand.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      It is your assertion that dissimulation is darkness metaphorically. The Bible makes no such connection. None of the verses that you have cited make that connection either. We have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that dissimulation is a biblical practice and major Christian scholars believed that it was praiseworthy in certain cases.

      • Jeff says:

        I will maintain that from a certain perspective dissimulation can be considered darkness metaphorically. Yet from a biblical New Testament perspective I now believe that the biblical metaphor of darkness was not used this way. I believe this because Jesus said “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Matthew 7:6 NKJV) and also “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3 NKJV).

        I now believe that Spiritual Darkness is fulfilling the Laws of Opposite Equal Reaction with the Flesh. While Spiritual Light, is allowing God “with the word of truth” to fulfill the Laws of Opposite Equal Reaction, by “Not deciding to fix the threatening behavior.”

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