So here is what happened. Dr. James White recently debated British Muslim apologist Zakir Hussain on whether or not Jesus was crucified. Zakir Hussain clearly won this debate. He didn’t win because his arguments were good, in fact, they were the exact opposite. They were arguments that were on par with Matthew Vines arguments for the Biblical blessing of homosexual relationships. They were that bad.
Dr. White got his lights punched out. First of all, it didn’t look like he cared much. I challenge anyone to watch the debate and try to see an enthusiastic James White. He looked simply like he didn’t want to be there. Obviously we all have off days but of all days, did he have to pick a debate day to do so? I guess we can’t pick when we have them.
Several times during the debate, White had a chance to bury Hussain. The best example is Mark 15. Hussain has this ridiculous argument that it’s Simon of Cyrene who was actually crucified and if you look carefully at the text, it testifies to this. James White’s prime objection was that if you read it in Greek it sounds like Jesus. Seriously? The English text is just as clear as the Greek. He didn’t quote verse 39 which shreds this ridiculous theory that Hussain is promoting. It’s even ironic that top notch Islamic apologist Shabir Ally disagrees with Hussain on this because Ally believes that Jesus was on the cross, but he just didn’t die. It’s not only Christians that Hussain is up against regarding this.
White did make a few good points. He exposed the inconsistency of quoting ultra-liberal scholars like Price, Ehrman, Bultmann, and others. I actually wonder if a Muslim can go through a debate with a Christian and not say the word scholar. Doubt it.
Zakir Hussain played the standard Islamic apologetics modus operandi. The Bible is good enough to prove Islam but not good enough to falsify it. Any verse quoted to support the crucifixion was simply dismissed; usually accompanied with a quote from an ultra-liberal scholar. He even claimed that the Simon of Cyrene swap theory existed before the Gospel of John was written. Naturally, no primary sources were quoted to support this, only quotes from “scholars”.
Overall I was disappointed. Hussain did what I though he would do but White was a disappointment. He’s done well in similar debates before. Recently he did a debate with Yusuf Ismail on this topic and he did very well. As I said earlier, it was probably an off day. We all have them, it’s just that the timing was bad. Maybe next time.
A debate that I would like to see is David Wood vs. Zakir Hussain on this same topic. White is in the UK for “Reformation” issues as it is the 500th anniversary of that event in a couple of months. He has his mind on other things. Wood focuses solely on Islam and has actually debated Zakir Hussain before on a very interesting topic. That’s what I would recommend. Either way, Hussain got the win this time. It’s probably the first time in the history of Islam that a Muslim has won a debate on this topic. I guess there is a first for everything.