Debate: Do the gospels portray a consistent picture of Jesus? (voting period)

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How consistent are the gospels? Can we rely on them to present the character of Jesus accurately? Follow my recent debate here as I challenge my opponent – Otakujorden that they aren’t at all consistent.

I do not wish to offend any Christian with this debate, such is not my intention. I hope those that read it will enjoy it and find it quite interesting. Thank you.

Posted from Saj’s Nexus

Divinity or Prophet-hood of the Biblical Jesus Christ Peace be upon Him

Ahmed Deedat - was one of the greatest Muslim apologist, scholar, writer and charismatic public speaker.

This has to be one of the most popular and oldest topics in Christian-Muslim debate. The divinity of Christ Jesus (pbuh), is Jesus (pbuh) God according to the Bible? Throughout history Muslims and Christians have endlessly been arguing this subject matter. I’m sure if one searches these titles on YouTube he/she can find plenty of debates to watch, the most admired ones (by the Muslim community) are probably including the late Ahmed Deedat. It is a great topic one has to agree, dealing with the very nature of God and His ability of becoming a man. What should we believe God can and cannot do? Can He do everything? The two most popular religions of the world are in disagreement here, both having Jesus (pbuh) in common but with such conflicting views. As a result of reading many works and watching so many debates and lectures on this topic, I have decided to give it a go myself. Now I’m sure most of you reading this article will have at least a basic understanding of the concept of God in Christianity and Islam, and know who stands on which side of the debate. However if you have no such knowledge then read no more! For now: leave this article and please do a simple study of God on both religions. Only then is it suitable to come back to this article, otherwise it would most probably be a waste of your time.

I have touched on this issue of Jesus’ (pbuh) divinity in some other articles I have posted on this blog, but I feel I now need to deal with this topic completely. I am not a scholar, professor or sheikh etc by any means, but I am a person who is fascinated by religion and theology, and I have been for most of my teenage and adult life. So you could say I am some how qualified to write concerning such a scholarly topic. And because I am a Muslim I will be defending the Islamic view of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and monotheism, but I also believe in playing fair (being unbiased towards the subject matter).

Is Jesus (pbuh) divine in his own words?

The question: ‘was or is Christ Jesus (pbuh) God?’ leads to another question: did he ever clearly claim to be God? And of course as many of us know, there is nothing in the Bible as such. This is the book which is supposed to contain four accounts of Jesus’ (pbuh) life story, yet no where can we find Jesus (pbuh) ever directly claiming to be God. If this is the case then surely the answer is no, Jesus’ (pbuh) was not divine.

Let us look at this in more detail, let us use logic. If the Lord all Mighty had come down to earth as a man, as Jesus Christ (pbuh) then wouldn’t He want the people to know? Wouldn’t He make it plain such as ‘I am your Lord; I have come down to earth so worship me’? This is a very basic argument but effective. Why leave the whole world in such confusion? If Jesus (pbuh) was God according to Christianity, then there should be some direct unambiguous statement in the Bible, made by him while he walked this earth confirming that. This is only logical. For example if you did not know Adam’s name was Adam because he never told you, how can you be sure what his name was? It’s so simple and basic.

There is a passage in the Christian Bible which comes close to claiming the divinity of Christ (pbuh). In the book of Revelation, where Jesus is supposed to have said “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”[1]. This verse seems convincing at first but when one should looked into the matter with more detail (who wrote this book, when was it written etc?), the problem is very clear. The book of Revelation was a dream of a man named John, now if this John was the same John who wrote the ‘Gospel according to John’ or ‘Gospel of John’, I’m not sure. But nevertheless the book was a dream of someone called John as many Christian scholars claim. The very idea that it was a dream written down weakens the statement (Revelation 1:8). A dream could mean anything, how reliable is a dream? Did this man John really have the dream, or did he make the whole thing up? No one can be one hundred percent sure. Also, we do not take events that take place within dreams and attribute them to reality as proof, this clearly doesn’t work. Everyone knows this.

The book of revelation was written many years later after Jesus (pbuh) as a result of a dream, around 70 – 95 C.E (some scholars vary on the time). If such a direct and clear statement was uttered by Christ (pbuh) in actual reality while he was on earth, then there would probably be no disagreement to whether Jesus (pbuh) claimed divinity or not in the Bible.

God becoming a man on earth

As many Christians would proudly boast that God all Mighty can do anything, even become a man. In this part, I am examining what it means for God to become a man, His very own creation.

First of all, it seems appropriate to refer to a particular verse from the holy Qur’an (regarding the matter of being a God-man as some Christians may say): “Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth[2]. The verse points out that Jesus (pbuh) and his blessed mother both eat food. Some may question so what if they eat food? Everyone has food. And that is exactly the point that Christ Jesus (pbuh) needed to eat daily to survive. As the creation of God: human beings, we constantly need to feed ourselves so that we have the strength and ability to live and do things. The Lord all Mighty is not needy like this. God does not need to feed Himself however Jesus (pbuh) had to, showing that he was a mere mortal, a creation or the all Mighty. If you eat, don’t you need to let it back out after a while? And the verse ends with mentioning how easy the signs are yet they (Christians) reject the truth. This explanation being from the Qur’an the Christian will not accept, and no matter how many reasons shown from the Qur’an, they would not be enough. So what is there to be done? We need to examine this issue in light of the Bible itself, which is the only way to convince a Christian. So that is what I have done in the following parts of this section. It only makes sense to do so.

It is obvious that we need to examine the personality and attitude of Jesus Christ (pbuh) according to the Bible, his nature and his attributes. And when we do so it is very noticeable that Jesus (pbuh) of the Bible presents himself as a modest servant of God who has no power without God. He presents himself as a simple human being and gives himself no divine attributes whatsoever. For example he completely humbles himself in such places in the New Testament: Jesus (pbuh) was called a good master but he refuses to be called as such and says there is none so good but the only Lord[3]. In another passage of the Bible he says: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me[4]. Also Jesus (pbuh) claims all his power is given to him by his Creator[5]. One more example out of the many I feel I should point out here, before resurrecting Lazarus Jesus (pbuh) absolutely humbled himself by calling to the Creator aloud. Ponder carefully over what he said here according the Gospel of John: Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth”[6]. Are these the sayings of God? Is the all Mighty not good? Is His power given to Him? Simple basic logic suggests that these are not the sayings of God but of a mere human being, a prophet of God.

Shabir Ally - well known Muslim debater and speaker on comparative religion.

Even in Christ’s (pbuh) day to day thinking, actions and doings do we see no sign of a divine being but a simple human. Here are some instants from the Bible to show this: Jesus (pbuh) had no knowledge of the hereafter[7]. He felt thirsty[8], and he cried in another instant[9]. He was tempted by the devil[10]. It is very clear these are not the attributes of God, they are attributes a human being. Can anyone imagine a thirsty or weepy or ignorant God? Can anyone believe God was being tempted by the devil? Everything we find in the Bible regarding Jesus (pbuh) clearly show that he was only a limited being, whereas God all Mighty is unlimited. You cannot have an unlimited and limited being at the same time. As the famous Muslim debater Shabir Ally puts it: “you cannot have a square-circle”, you are either limited or unlimited.

Even the supposed crucifixion of Christ (pbuh) creates problems with believing in his divinity. I have never heard a Christian claim that God got crucified. We all know God cannot die, yet it is believed that Jesus (pbuh) died on the cross while being God at the same time. Jesus (pbuh) the second person of the trinity (the son) according to Christendom died, not the father (the first person of the trinity) neither the Holy Ghost. But the Christian belief is that God is one person in three or three in one (something to this effect), and that these three persons are co-existing and co-eternal. So if one felt something the others would know and feel as well, if one dies then the others would die too, same for the Crucifixion right? If this isn’t the case then it means the trinity is made up three different Gods who are independent of one another. And this idea the Christian will not accept, but you can’t have both ways.

Defending the belief of a God-man

Nevertheless Christians haven’t given up in the argument, they still present their reasons to why Jesus (pbuh) would be God. The explanations they provide are as always based on Biblical passages. Passages which they seem to think are convincing, and purely their own interpretations. When closely examined and scrutinised one would realise that such passages or verses are completely uncertain and ambiguous open to many interpretations. As I wrote earlier in this writing that wouldn’t the all Mighty make it clear and plain if He came down to earth as a Man? The following are some of the most common arguments given from the Bible as proof of the divinity of Christ (pbuh).

In the Bible Jesus (pbuh) had claimed that he was in existence before his miraculous birth[11], so therefore somehow concluding that he must be divine. But this is nothing special when the same concept is also in the Old Testament regarding Jeremiah, Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations”[12]. There are other verses when read out of contexts are misinterpreted against what they mean when read in context. Such as: “I and my Father are one”[13] and “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”[14]. And finally one more: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”[15]. This verse wasn’t even uttered by Jesus (pbuh), in the red letter Bible this verse appears as black. Also notice how none of these passages are actually direct or unequivocal.

There is no direct statement, verse or passage in the Bible regarding Christ’s (pbuh) divinity. What would be most appropriate is a claim from the lips of Jesus Christ (pbuh) that ‘I am your Lord, worship me’, we don’t even have this in that Bible. What I myself at least see are ambiguous and vague passages provided by my fellow Christian with particular interpretations out the many that they can have. If God became a man in the Bible, then we need complete solid undeniable, indisputable proof, which no Christian scholar has been able to provide.

Conclusion

The Muslim understanding of Jesus Christ (pbuh) is that of any other prophet of the all Mighty in Islam. As some may not be aware Muslims believe in the miraculous birth of Christ and the many Miracles he performed (all by permission of God) during the course of his life. But these miracles do not imply that Jesus (pbuh) was God, it is very easy for the Creator of all things to will such miracles to take place, Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is”[16]. The first human Adam (pbuh) was created without no mother and father, a greater miracle to Christ’s (pbuh) birth. Where Christians and Muslims differ regarding Christ (pbuh) is the Trinity, Crucifixion and Divinity.

It can be said that there is no solid evidence to base a belief of the divinity Christ (pbuh). The Bible when studied, observed and scrutinised has nothing intellectually convincing to offer to prove such an idea. Rather we have at best very vague, indirect and ambiguous passages which Christians claim to be convincing proof. One must have solid incontestable evidence for giving such an attribute to Jesus (pbuh) or to God. We cannot base our beliefs on assumption. Also a Christian must consider verses which outright deny the divinity of Jesus (pbuh), such as: “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your father, which is in heaven”[17].

In a debate we expect proofs, solid evidences. But when it comes to this particular topic (Jesus’ Divinity) we hear the most loosely convincing arguments from the Christian side. Arguments implying that we believe decades later a person’s dream is actual proof of what we are questioning in reality. We hear arguments that imply us to believe that vague ambiguous statement are actually somehow solid proof. No real evidence has ever been shown. The famous late Ahmed Deedat used to challenge Christian scholars so strongly, he used to promise to embrace Christianity if someone could show him anywhere in the Bible where Jesus Christ (pbuh) directly claimed divinity. No one ever came forth with a single convincing verse. Of course some may disagree with Deedat’s tactics here, that this is not the way to debate. But it shows how one sided debates regarding this topic have become. Some may say that it is just a matter of believing when all else fails however, belief should be base on evidences and proofs right? I conclude with this: if Jesus (pbuh) was divine then most certainly he would have directly claimed so, but we find nothing of the kind in the entire Bible. There is no solid evidence; in fact there are passages which deny the idea. So the divinity of Jesus Christ (pbuh) can never be proven from the Bible, and if the Bible cannot prove this then nothing else can or ever will. It would be more natural to believe the Jesus (pbuh) was only a prophet of the all Mighty, on which both the holy Qur’an and the Bible agree. 

References

[1] Revelation 1:8

[2] Qur’an 5:75 

[3] Matthew 19:16-17, Mark 10:17-18, Luke 18:18-19 

[4] John 5:30 

[5] Matthew 28:18 

[6] John 11:41-43 

[7] Mark 13:32 

[8] John 19:28 

[9] John 11:35 

[10] Mark 1:13 

[11] John 8:58 

[12] Jeremiah 1:4-5 

[13] John 10:30 

[14] John 14:6 

[15] John 1:1 

[16] Qur’an 2:117 

[17] Matthew 23:9

A Reply to Those Who Try to Verify Jesus’ (pbuh) Divinity from the Qur’an

There are a number Christians today who use certain Qur’anic verses to prove to Muslims that Jesus (pbuh) is divine within the Qur’an. Very daft and outlandish indeed. This article is a response to such an allegation against the holy Qur’an made by Christian missionaries.

The fundamental belief

The first and primary quality a Muslim is taught is the unique oneness of God. Every Muslim in the world is in agreement that Allah (God) is unique and that nothing in the heavens and the earth could ever be compared to Allah, the creator of every thing and every being. There is a whole chapter in the Qur’an which is dedicated to explain the uniqueness of God in Islam. This chapter is called: ‘The Purity of Faith’ 112th chapter of the Qur’an. Also the Chapter is so short and easy to memorise that pretty much every Muslim on the face of the Earth have it known off by heart. The chapter is only four verses long and goes as such:

“Say: He is Allah (God) the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.”

Any Muslim who has this chapter memorised can easily refute the claim made by Christians: that Jesus (pbuh) is God according to the Qur’an, especially by using the last verse of the chapter: “And there is none like unto Him”. This verse declares that there is nobody/nothing like God in existence, or in other words: mankind kind cannot even imagine what God looks like. God is not like humans or animals, with arms and legs, the need eat and survive…etc. There is nothing like God in the Earth or Heavens above. This is what the Qur’an is telling the reader, so why then would the Qur’an claim that Jesus (pbuh) is God and contradict itself? Because we all have a rough idea how Jesus (pbuh) appeared like. He was a human being; and human beings depend on God (God is self governing and independent, unique).

Qur’an 112 also states that Allah/God does not have any parents or grand-parents; neither does He have any sons or daughters (“He begetteth not, nor is He begotten”). And everyone knows Jesus (pbuh) had a mother (Christians and Muslims alike): the Virgin Mary. As the Qur’an clearly states: “Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.”[1]. This verse immediately eliminates any idea of the Qur’an claiming Jesus (pbuh) of being divine.

And if chapter 112 isn’t enough to disprove the allegation, there is a verse in the Qur’an which deals directly with the issue: “They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.”[2]. This verse completely denies the divinity of Jesus (pbuh). What more proof does the Muslim need to provide? There is an additional verse where it is stated that Jesus (pbuh) and his mother both had food to eat indicating that they were both human, not divine (“And He (Allah) it is that feedeth but is not fed”[3]): “Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!”[4].

The methods

There are mainly two types of arguments Christians use to try and prove their allegation: the Qur’an claiming Jesus (pbuh) to be divine, 1) Using some names of the 99 names of Allah (God) and matching them with Biblical attributes (supposedly) relating to Jesus (pbuh). 2) Using verses from the Qur’an describing God’s al-mighty power and uniqueness and matching them which Biblical verses (supposedly) describing or mentioning about Jesus (pbuh).

The 99 names of Allah (God) are names or attributes of God almighty found in the Qur’an. For example: “That (is so). And if one has retaliated to no greater extent than the injury he received, and is again set upon inordinately, Allah will help him: for Allah is One that blots out (sins) and forgives (again and again).”[5]. The attribute used here for God (end of the verse) is: ‘One that blots out sins and forgives’ translated into Arabic: ‘Al-Afuww’.

A number of Christians will take some names/attributes from the 99 names of Allah and match them with the same/similar attributes given to Jesus (pbuh) in the Bible. For example: ‘Al-Haqq’ meaning ‘the Truth’ is one of the 99 names/attributes of God in Islam[6]. Christian missionaries will reply to this by showing that Jesus (pbuh) also supposedly claimed to be ‘the truth’: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”[7]. Therefore claiming: Jesus (pbuh) must be God because he “supposedly” uses the same attribute for himself in the Bible as Allah uses for Himself in the Qur’an. To the Muslim this is of course ridiculous. We are told in the Qur’an to take no one as a God but Allah. We read in the Qur’an: “They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.”[8]. This verse rules out any possibility of ‘Jesus (pbuh) being divine’ a doctrine in Islam. The 99 names of Allah are only meant to be attributed to Allah alone.

The other manner Christians use to prove divinity of Jesus (pbuh) from the Qur’an is: by matching verses from the Qur’an (which describe Allah’s oneness and power) with verses which are the same or similar in the Bible (relating to Jesus (pbuh). For example: the Qur’an states: “He (Allah) is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Hidden: and He has full knowledge of all things.”[9]. Christians boast that this verse of the Qur’an is referring to Jesus (pbuh) because it is similar to a verse in the Bible: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he (Jesus) laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.”[10]. Again, this is of course absurd. Using the Bible to commentate on the Qur’an is totally uncalled for. Even if we look at the context of Qur’an 57:3 (or any other verses of the Qur’an which talk about Allah), we would realise the verse is only describing/talking about Allah alone, not Jesus (pbuh). The Qur’an makes clear difference between Allah (God) and Jesus (pbuh) in 5:75 and 5:72.

One must realise that the Qur’an does not need comments from the Bible. The Qur’an can speak for itself. Also the Qur’an does not confirm that the Bible is accurate in what it teaches. So if there are any divine attributes given to Jesus (pbuh) in the Bible, then that is completely against the teachings of the Qur’an (Qur’an 5:72) and not a problem for the Muslim.

Conclusion

Jesus (pbuh) was one of the mightiest messengers of God in Islam. Muslims believe in his miraculous birth (which only took place by permission of God), and the miracles/signs he performed only by God’s help. But these qualities do not make Jesus (pbuh) God. The Qur’an clearly denies such an idea of Jesus (pbuh) being divine (Qur’an 5:75, 5:72). So it is foolish and ignorant to point out verses in the Qur’an which clearly talk about God alone and claim they are attributed to Jesus (pbuh). The Qur’an can speak for itself and does a very beautiful job at it. One should see what the Qur’an has to say about itself by examining it as a whole and in context. The Bible is not approved of by the Qur’an, so using the Bible to commentate on the Qur’an is just as ridiculous as having soup with a fork.

In Islam, anyone who claims divinity must match the four criteria given in surah Ikhlas[11]. Surah Ikhlas is one of the shortest chapters in the Qur’an, yet the chapter sums up in no more than four short verses the supreme oneness of God. Surah Ikhlas could be also called the touchstone of theology in Islam, meaning: it can be used as a standard of judging for anyone who claims divinity.

References 

[1] Qur’an 3:45

[2] Qur’an 5:72

[3] Qur’an 6:14

[4] Qur’an 5:75

[5] Qur’an 22:60

[6] Qur’an 6:62, 22:6, 23:116, 24:25

[7] Bible John 14:6

[8] Qur’an 5:72

[9] Qur’an 57:3

[10] Revelation 1:17

[11] Qur’an 112

Why Muslims use the Corrupted Bible as Evidence to Disprove Christianity

Through out debates among Christians and Muslims, Muslims are regularly asked: why they quote from the Bible as evidence if they believe the Bible has been corrupted? By using this question as an excuse, most of the time Christians reject the arguments put forward by Muslims. When I was debating online with some Christians called ‘The Confessors’[1], I was posed the same excuse/question. They even demanded that I prove the authenticity of the verses I quoted from the Bible just because I believed the book to be corrupted. This article is in answer to Christians who ask such questions to Muslims in debates regarding the Bible.

Asking for proof

Basically, The Confessors have been asking me to prove their own Bible to themselves, the same Bible which they believe to be the word of God. I am sure that such a demand entitles me to question their faith in the Bible. Do The Confessors believe the Bible to be 100% authentic? If yes, then why do I need to prove that to them?

Although it is generally logical for anyone to ask for evidence of authenticity, it is very illogical for one to ask for evidence of authenticity regarding something that he/she already believes to be authentic. For example: if person A knows that two plus two equals to four, then it would be really foolish of person A to demand proof for this from person B. Evenly, it is absurd for a Christian to insist evidence of authenticity concerning his/her Bible.

Produce your proof if ye are truthful

The reason why Muslims use the Bible to disprove Christianity (even though they believe the Bible to be corrupted) can be simply answered with a verse from the Holy Qur’an:

“And they say: “None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” Those are their (vain) desires. Say: “Produce your proof if ye are truthful.””[2]

The Muslim is told in this verse that Christians and Jews (will always) declare that no one can enter paradise without being a Jew or a Christian (or that Islam is wrong, etc.), to such a claim the Muslim is to demand proof. And the Christian has made the effort to meet this insistence of the Qur’an. Ultimately, the Christian will say that the Bible is his/her proof. According to the Christian, Islam is a false religion because they get this from the Bible, that Muslims are sinners and that they will never enter paradise. So because the Christian uses the Bible as evidence and proof for such claims, the Muslim is forced to examine the Bible (regardless of whether he/she believes it to be true or not).

Conclusion

Everyone agrees that the topic ‘Is the Bible corrupted?’ is a whole debate by itself and an interesting subject to discuss. But when a Muslim uses the Bible to prove something to the Christian (even to disprove Christianity itself), it is because the Christian believes the Bible to be 100% true, the Muslim will use this against him/her. And regardless of whatever a Muslim believes, any valid evidence from the Bible should be enough to convince a Christian right? Understanding that it is logical to ask for proof of authenticity regarding the Bible, but if this question is coming from a Christian then it shows that he/she is having doubts about the Bible.

References 

[1] http://theconfessors.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/is-john-167-14-referencing-the-holy-spirit-or-muhammad/

[2] Qur’an 2:111

‘I AM HE’ Does that really make Jesus (pbuh) God?

A Christian I recently got into discussion with asserted that Jesus (pbuh) claimed divinity by saying ‘I am he’, the same three words that God apparently said in Isaiah 41:4 (Bible).

We read in the Bible: “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way.”[1]

In short: some soldiers and officials from the chief priests and Pharisees were looking for Jesus (pbuh) but not knowing how to recognise him. Jesus (pbuh) asked these individuals who they were looking for, they replied: “Jesus of Nazareth”. To confirm that he was Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus (pbuh) then replied: “I am he”. There is no other explanation if we read in context.

In Isaiah 41:4, by saying: ‘I am he’ God is confirming that He is the Lord and He is the First and the Last. In John 18:4-8, by saying: ‘I am he’; Jesus (pbuh) is confirming that he is Jesus of Nazareth. Very different from what was said in Isaiah 41:4.

Claiming divinity by saying ‘I am he’ is a very unclear statement and I as a Muslim believe God is not the author of confusion which is also a teaching in the Bible[2]. Just because Jesus (pbuh) said the same three words as God said, it doesn’t make Jesus (pbuh) God.

If Jesus (pbuh) is God because he said the same word that God said, then why not apply this logic to anyone else that did or said the same thing that God said or did in the Bible? For example: God begat Jesus (pbuh)[3], Abraham also begat is son Isaac (pbut). Now does that make Abraham God? God begot a son and so did Abraham (pbuh) beget a son, of course not, these are not the standards of judging.

The question: Is Jesus (pbuh) God? Can be answered by asking a counter question: Did Jesus ever confess to be god? Did he ever say ‘I am God’ or ‘worship me’? And if we read the Bible, we will see that Jesus while he walked this earth, never made such claims.

References 

[1] John 18:4

[2] 1 Corinthians 14:33

[3] John 3:16

Why Muslims reject the Bible to be the 100% word of God

This article is mainly for the Christians in particular. Christians have always questioned Muslims why they consider the Bible not be the full word of God, even though the Bible apparently contains the Torah, Psalms and Gospel which the Qur’an mentions to be from God. In this piece of writing the reader will read some valid explanations to why Muslims make such a claim. By some Christians, this article might be viewed as an attempt to criticize and belittle the Bible and Christianity, rather this is an attempt to help Christians understand the Islamic viewpoint of the Bible. In no way is this an attempt to ridicule Christianity.

The Claim

The allegation which many Christians make is that the Qur’an itself commands Muslims to read the Bible. In answer to this: the Qur’an in no place mentions this. The reason why Christians make such an allegation is because the Qur’an mentions of four heavenly books which were revealed by God to specific, individual Prophets. And they are: the Torah revealed to Moses (pbuh), the Psalms revealed to David (pbuh), the Gospel revealed to Jesus (pbuh) and the Qur’an (or Fur’qan) revealed to Muhammad (pbuh). The Torah, Psalms and the Gospel are all in our current day Bible according to the Christian, this is the argument put forward. Now it’s up to the Muslim to come up with an answer or he loses the argument. The answer is to examine the Bible and the Qur’an and see what they both state about the scriptures: Torah, Psalms and Gospel.

The Torah
The holy Qur’an addresses the Torah to be the revelation revealed to the Prophet Moses (pbuh). But if we read the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament of the Bible) we will come across many passages which proof to the contrary. One of the many is so strong, that even some Christians themselves claim it could have been revealed to another prophet besides Moses (pbuh). The passage is as follows:

“So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” [1]

These verses indisputably indicate that the books were revealed after Moses’ (pbuh) death. Some Christians claim that the last few verses of Deuteronomy 34 could have been revealed to Joshua. Could of? Why so uncertain? And it begs another question: if these passages were revealed to Joshua, then why are they in the books of Moses (pbuh)? Isn’t this a sign of corruption? With such problems the supposed books of Moses (pbuh) in the Bible do not match the description given of the Torah in Islam; yes the Qur’an does state of the Torah but it doesn’t say we can find this Torah in the Bible. The Torah was revealed to Moses (pbuh) while he was alive not after he passed away, this is what Muslims believe.

The Psalms
The Psalms is addressed by the Qur’an as the revelation revealed to David (pbuh). Some Christians today claim that David (pbuh) may not be the only writer of the book of psalms. But Muslims all around the world believe that the Psalms was only revealed to David (pbuh), so therefore the Psalms according to the Bible is not the Psalms according to the Qur’an.

The Gospel
Muslims believe the Gospel to be the revelation revealed to Jesus (pbuh) or in short: the Gospel of Jesus (pbuh). Among the so many books of the Bible, as we all know not one is called the Gospel of Jesus (pbuh). The reason to this is because: Jesus (pbuh), in his lifetime never wrote a word of what he was preaching, nor did he instruct anyone to do so. Of course there are the Gospels according to: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but these were written years after Jesus (pbuh). What the Muslim is asking for is the Gospel of Jesus (pbuh) and we do not have such a gospel in the Bible. So the Bible does not contain the Gospel which the Qur’an mentions.

Guarding it in Safety
Even though the holy Qur’an mentions the previous scriptures, it never says that they were saved from alteration and corruption. Through history we ca find many examples of how the Bible has been changed, altered and added to.

“To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety*: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;”[2]

*The Arabic word used here is: Muhaymin, which is very flexible in meaning; it means one who safeguards, watches over, stands witness, preserves and upholds.

After the corruption of earlier revelations, the Qur’an was sent with the intention to verify the proper and original message and safeguard it or act as a check to its explanation. Whatever matches with the Qur’an, Muslims have no problem in agreeing with it.

Scientific Contradictions in the Bible

There are numerous scientific errors in the Bible which a learned Muslim will never dare to attribute to God. The Muslim believes that God has knowledge of all things and finding scientific errors in the book of God shows God is ignorant of his creation, Muslim cannot accept that God is ignorant.

According to the Bible, God created light before the Sun.
The 1st day: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”[3]

The 4th day: “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”[4]

Saying: light was created before its cause (the Sun) is illogical and unscientific. This must be marked corruption; if not then the Bible indicates that God almighty is ignorant of his own creation.

According to the Bible, the Moon has its own light
“And God made two great lights (the Sun and the Moon); the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”[5]

Again, if this is God’s word then God is ignorant. Today science tells us that the Moon does not have its own light but it gives off reflected light from the sun.

According to the Bible, vegetation existed before the Sun
The 3rd day: “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”[6]

The 4th day: “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”[7]

How can vegetation survive without sunlight? Again, if this is God’s word then God is ignorant.

(These contradictions are only in the first page of the Bible alone (Genesis page 1), we can find more scientific contradictions if we read further into the Bible.)

The Bible must have been corrupted
The verses that have been quoted clearly point out that they are the words of men, written by men. Thousands of years ago men used to think like this because they could only explain accurately what they saw with their naked eyes. Now that science and technology has advanced, we now know the truth. Men are ignorant of God’s creation but God is all knowing and can never be ignorant of anything. The Bible must have been corrupted regarding such passages.

Unnecessary Passages and Use of Language

In some parts of the Bible the language is atrocious. The language is so bad that it can makes impure thoughts creep into the minds of those who read it. Such thoughts drag the reader away from the path of God. The following are some of the many unholy/dirty passages from (one of the) the most read Bibles in the English speaking environment: The King James Version of the Bible.

“And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.”[8]

“And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee. Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.”[9]

“Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her…For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.”[10]

The Muslim will disagree that passages like these could in any way be the word of God. Such lewdness of language invites impure thoughts into ones mind.

Great Grandson of Incest

We read in the Bible: Genesis 38:15-30, Judahcommitted adultery (incest) with his own daughter in law named Tamar. As a result of this incident, Tamar had twins which were named Pharez and Zarah. Now Judah (the father of the twins) gets to become the great grandfather of Jesus (pbuh) according to the genealogy of Jesus (pbuh)[11]. The question arises: what is the moral behind this story? What can a mother say to her child after telling this story? That it is ok to commit incest? If it is not then why did God allow Jesus (pbuh) to be born as a result of it? Because ifJudah didn’t commit incest then he wouldn’t have begotten Pharez, then Pharez wouldn’t have begotten Esrom…and on and on. This is a question for the Christians to answer.

We read in the Bible: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”[12]

The Bible explains, all Scriptures revealed by God are gainful for:
• Doctrine  (teach principle)
• Reproof (rebuke us for our errors)
• Correction (offer us alteration)
• Righteousness (guide us to the right path)
Under which heading of above does the story of incest between Judah and Tamar fit into?[13]

Muslims cannot accept such blasphemy about a Prophet of God. The story is so dangerous that it can change the way children think about such matters. Therefore Muslims will never dare to agree that such a story to be true let alone to be a revelation by God.

Conclusion

This article is in answer to those Christians who question why Muslims reject the Bible even though it apparently includes the Torah, Psalms and Gospel which the Qur’an mentions about. In summary, Muslims reject the Bible because: If the Bible is analysed closely it does not contain the original Torah, Psalms and Gospel which the Qur’an talks about, therefore Muslim have no reason to read the Bible as obligatory. The Bible contains scientific errors and any errors in a book of God indicate corruption or that God is ignorant. The book uses unneeded language to explain certain happenings which may bring impure thoughts into the mind when read. The Book insinuates that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was born due to the action of sin (incest) which is blasphemy. These information were brought about in this article not to make a mockery of Christianity (apologies to those who may have felt offended by this writing), rather it is a response to those Christians who ask why Muslims reject the Bible to be the 100% word of God.

References 

[1] Deuteronomy 34:5-7

[2] Qur’an 5:48

[3] Genesis 1:3

[4] Genesis 1:16

[5] Genesis 1:16

[6] Genesis 1:12

[7] Genesis 1:16

[8] Genesis 19:33-35

[9] 2 Samuels 13:10-14

[10] Ezekiel 23:8-21

[11] Matthew 1

[12] 2 Timothy 3:16

[13] Genesis 38:15-30

The Comforter, Holy Ghost or Muhammad (pbuh)?

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” [1]

Christianity believes that this is a prophesy found in the Bible which  is only referring to the Holy Ghost. However, by looking at this prophesy with an unbiased point of view one could come to realise the Holy Ghost wouldn’t be the best candidate. A Muslim may argue that prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a better candidate for the prophesy than the Holy Ghost. As a Muslim, my intention of this writing is to prove to that the Holy Ghost is not the absolute perfect identity for the comforter prophesised in the Bible; rather the last and final Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) qualifies much better.

Though in John 14:26 of the Bible we read “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you”. This is a popular verse in such arguments regarding the Comforter. The verse clearly confirms the identity of the Comforter to be the Holy Ghost. But by accepting this verse one would find many contradictions in the Bible regarding the idea of the Comforter being the Holy Ghost. Throughout this article such contradictions in the Bible will be brought to the reader’s attention.

Spirit or prophet?

A learned Christian may point out that the phrase ‘the Comforter’ is used synonymously with the phrase ‘Spirit of Truth’ in this prophesy, the key word being ‘spirit’. So Muhammad (pbuh) could not be the comforter simply because he was a complete man, not a spirit. This is a logical argument, but there is reply to this from the very Bible itself. We read: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirit whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”[2]. In this passage, the word ‘Spirit’ is used synonymously with the word ‘Prophet’. So now, this allows us to understand that the Holy Ghost is not the only candidate for the prophesy, Muhammad (pbuh) could also be a potential candidate.

If I don’t go, he won’t come

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”[3]

Here we learn that the Comforter (also the Spirit of truth) will not come if Jesus (pbuh) doesn’t depart. This means that the Comforter was not present at the time of Jesus (pbuh). If the Holy Ghost is what the prophesy is referring to, then it doesn’t make sense. We read: “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.”[4]. And in John 20:22, we read: “And when he had said this, he (Jesus) breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:”. These passages indicate that the Holy Ghost was already present at the time of Jesus (pbuh). So the Idea of the Comforter being the Holy Ghost is already thrown out of the window, because John 16:7 points out that the Comforter cannot be present if Jesus (pbuh) doesn’t depart.

He will guide you into all truth

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”[5]

Jesus (pbuh) said according to the Bible: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”[6] Meaning: God had given Jesus (pbuh) guidance to guide his people till the end of the world, but his followers at the time were not fit to receive the message. Jesus (pbuh) continued by saying “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth”. In other words: when the Spirit of Truth (comforter) arrives, he shall provide solutions to all the problems of mankind.

If the comforter or Spirit of truth is supposed to be the Holy Ghost, then surely it is logical to ask: what guidance has the Holy Ghost given in two thousand years which Jesus (pbuh) hasn’t already given? What solutions have been passed on from the Holy Ghost in two thousand years, to problems such as racism, alcoholism, extremism, terrorism, poverty etc, which Jesus (pbuh) hasn’t already provided? There are so many influential Christians who claim to have the Holy Ghost helping them, but in so many years not one has been able to provide a solution to a problem and say: the Holy Ghost has provided him/her with this solution.

Conclusion 

By studying the life of the holy prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the scripture given unto him (the holy Qur’an), one would come to realise that the prophesy made in the Bible about the coming of the comforter fits no one better than Muhammad (pbuh). Because, he the last and final prophet provided the solutions and guidance to all the problems which mankind needed and still needs (by Allah’s will). One can argue against this and not accept the Comforter being the prophet Muhammad (pbuh), but that does not validate the idea of the Holy Ghost being the Comforter, because there are many contradictions in the Bible if such an idea is accepted. Those who are curious by this topic of (the prophesied Comforter), are recommended to study Muhammad’s (pbuh) life style and mission and ponder how closely the characteristics and qualities of the Comforter prophesied in the Bible relate to the holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which Muslims worldwide regard most dearly and revere.

References 

[1] Bible: John 16:7-14

[2] 1 John 4:1

[3] John 16:7

[4] Luke 1:41

[5] John 16:12-14

[6] John 16:12