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IS THE BIBLE GODS WORD?

WHAT THEY SAY

CHRISTIANS CONFESS

Dr. W. Graham Scroggie of the MOODY BIBLE INSTITUTE, Chicago, one of the most prestigious Christian Evangelical Mission in the world, answering the question — "Is the Bible the Word of God?" (also the title of his book), under the heading: IT IS HUMAN, YET DIVINE. He says on page 17:

"Yes, the Bible is human, though some, out of zeal which is not according to knowledge, 1 have denied this. Those books2 have passed through the minds of men, are written in the language of men, were penned by the hands of men, and bear in their style the characteristics of men." (Emphasis added).

Another erudite Christian scholar, Kenneth Cragg, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, says on page 277 of his book, "The Call of the Minaret":

"Not so the New Testament3 . . . There is condensation and editing; 4 there is choice, reproduction and witness. The Gospels have come through the mind of the Church behind the authors. They represent experience and history." 5

If words have any meaning, do we need to add another word of comment to prove our case? No! But the professional propagandists, after letting the cat out of the bag, still have the face to try to make their readers believe that they have proved beyond the shadow of any doubt that the Bible is the "irrefragable 6 Word of God." Their semantic gymnastics — equivocating, and playing with words — is amazing!

1. Out of ignorance.

2. The Bible is not Just a Book. It is a selection and compilation of many books.

3. As opposed to the Qur’ân.

4. Another word for Interpolating.

5. Emphasis are mine.

6. Indisputable.

Both these Doctors of Religion are telling us in the clearest language humanly possible that the Bible is the handiwork of man, all the while pretending that the are proving to the contrary. An old Arab saying goes: "IF SUCH ARE THE PRIESTS, GOD BLESS THE CONGREGATION."

With this sort of drivel, the hot-gospeller and the Bible-thumper is "inspired" to harry the "heathen." 1 A theological student — a not-yet-qualified young evangelist — from the University of Witwatersrand, became a frequent visitor to the Newtown Mosque in Johannesburg, with the "noble" thought of "witnessing"2 to the members of its congregation. When I was introduced to him, (and having learnt his purpose), I invited him to lunch at my brother's residence — a stone's-throw from the Mosque. While discussing the authenticity of the Bible over the dinner table and sensing his stubborn dogmatism, I put out a feeler: "Your Professor Geyser, (The Head of the Department of Theology) does not believe the Bible to be the Word of God." Without the slightest surprise he answered, "I know." Now I personally had no knowledge of the Professor's conviction about the Bible. I had only assumed so from a controversy which raged around him about the "Divinity of Christ." 3 He had taken issue with the orthodox believers on this point some years ago. I continued further, saying, "Your lecturer does not believe the Bible as being God's Word." The young evangelist, responded again, "I know" but he continued this time-with the words, "but I believe that it is the Word of God!" There is no real remedy for such people. Even Jesus bewailed this sickness:

"... seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Matthew 13:13)

Al-Qur'an, the Holy Book of God, also condemns this mulish mentality:

Al-Qur'an 2:18
"DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND, THEY WILL NOT RETURN (TO THE TRUE PATH)

These pages are now addressed to those sincerely humble souls, who are genuinely interested in seeking the Light of God, and who wish to be guided by it. As for the other, with a sickness in their souls, the facts presented herein can only increase the disease of their hearts. 1. See "How Lost are the Heathen?" by the same MOODY PRESS of Dr. Scroggie. 2. When the Christian talks of "witnessing" he means propagating, proselytizng, converting.

-----------

MORE COMING SOON....



By: BILAL KHAN AFRIDI
Category: My Blog
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JESUS, THE PERSON

The Biblical scriptures, both New and Old Testaments, are unreliable sources and cannot, therefore, be used as an authentic means of knowing the truth about the man called Jesus Christ or about his mission and message.  However, a close examination of these scriptures in the light of Qur’aanic verses will reveal some of the truths about Jesus that have survived in the Bible.

A Messenger

            Throughout the Qur‘aan, Jesus is identified fundamentally as a Messenger of God. In Chapter as-Saff (61):6, God quotes Jesus as follows:

 

 “And [remember] when Jesus, son of Mary, said: ‘O Children of Israel, I am the messenger of Allaah sent to you, confirming the Torah [which came] before me.” 

There are many verses in the New Testament supporting the messengership / prophethood of Jesus. The following are only a few: In Matthew 21:11, the people of his time are recorded as referring to Jesus as a prophet: “And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth of Galilee.’ ”  In Mark, 6:4, it is stated that Jesus referred to himself as a prophet: “And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.’ ”  In the following verses, Jesus is referred to as having been sent as a messenger is sent. In Matthew 10:40, Jesus was purported to have said: “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”  In John 17:3, Jesus is also quoted as saying: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” [1][1]

A Man            

The Qur’aanic revelation not only affirms Jesus’ prophethood, but it also clearly denies Jesus’ divinity.  In Chapter al-Maa’idah, (5): 75, God points out that Jesus ate food, which is a human act, obviously not befitting to God.  

“The Messiah, Son of Mary, was no more than a messenger and many messengers passed away before him.  His mother was exceedingly truthful, and they both ate food.  See how I have made the signs clear for them, yet see how they are deluded.” 

There are numerous accounts in the New Testament which also deny Jesus’ divinity.            

For example, in Matthew 19:17, Jesus responded to one who addressed him as “O good master”, saying: “Why callest thou me good?  There is none good but one, that is God.”  If he rejected being called “good”,[2][2] and stated that only God is truly good, he clearly implies that he is not God.            

In John 14:28, Jesus was saying: “The Father is greater than I.” By stating that the “Father” is greater than himself, Jesus distinguishes himself from God.  Also in John 20:17, Jesus told Mary Magdalene to tell his followers: “I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God.”  Jesus’ reference to God as “my Father and your Father” further emphasizes the distinction between himself and God. Furthermore, by referring to God as “his God”, he left no room for anyone to intelligently claim that he was God.             

Even in some of the writings of Paul, which the Church has taken to be sacred, Jesus is referred to as a “man”, distinct and different from God. In 1st Timothy, 2:5, Paul writes: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”            

There are also verses in the Qur‘aan which confirm Prophet Muhammad’s humanity, in order to prevent his followers from elevating him to a divine or semi-divine status, as was done to Prophet Jesus.  For example, in Chapter al-Kahf (18):110, Allaah instructs the Prophet Muhammad (e) to inform all who hear his message:

} قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَاْ بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَا إلَـهُكُمْ إِلهٌ وَاحِدٌ {   “Say: ‘Indeed, I am only a man like you to whom it has been revealed that your God is only one God.’ ” 

In Chapter al-A‘raaf (7):187, Allaah also directed Prophet Muhammad (e) to acknowledge that the time of the Judgement is known only to God.  

“They ask you about the Final Hour: 'When will its apointed time be?’ Say: ‘Knowledge of it is with my Lord.  None can reveal its time besides Him.’ ” 

In the Gospel according to Mark 13:31-32, Jesus is also reported to have denied having knowledge of when the final hour of this world would be, saying: “Heaven and the earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away, but of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in the heaven nor the Son but the Father.”One of the attributes of God is omniscience, knowledge of all things.  Therefore, his denial of knowledge of the Day of Judgement is also a denial of divinity, for one who does not know the time of the final hour cannot possibly be God.[3][3]  

An Immaculate Conception            

The Qur‘aan confirms the Biblical story of Jesus’ virgin birth. However, in the Qur‘aanic account of Jesus’ birth, Mary was an unmarried maiden whose life was dedicated to the worship of God by her mother.  While she was worshipping in a place of religious seclusion,  angels came and informed her of her impending pregnancy.

} إِذْ قَالَتِ الْملآئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيْحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيا وَ اْلآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبينَ{

   “When the angels said: ‘O Mary, indeed Allaah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary.  He will be honored in this world and the next and will be of those close to Allaah.’ ” Qur’aan, (3):45 

} قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ قَالَ كَذَلِكِ اللهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ إِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ {  

“She said: ‘O my Lord, how can I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: ‘Even so—Allaah creates what He wishes. When He decrees something, He only has to say to it: “Be!”  and it is.’ ” Qur’aan, (3):47

However, the Qur’aan clarifies that Jesus’ virgin birth did not change the state of his humanity.  His creation was like the creation of Aadam, who had neither father nor mother.  

} إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِنْدَ اللهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِنْ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ {

“Surely, the example of Jesus, in Allaah’s sight, is like that of Aadam.  He created him from dust and said: ‘Be!’ and he was.” Qur’aan, (3):59 

The Miracles

The Qur‘aanic account of Jesus’ ministry confirms most[4][4] of his miracles mentioned in the Bible and identifies some not mentioned in the Bible. For example, the Qur‘aan informs that Jesus was a messenger of God from his birth, and his first miracle was speaking as a child in the cradle.  After Mary had given birth to Jesus, people accused her of fornication. Instead of responding to their accusations, she pointed to her newly born child:  

} فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مِنْ كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا {

“[When] she pointed to him, they asked, ‘How can we talk to a child in the cradle?’ He [Jesus] said: ‘Indeed, I am a servant of Allaah. He gave me the scripture and made me a prophet.’ ” Qur’aan, (19):29-30  

Among his other miracles of bringing the dead back to life, healing lepers, and making the blind see, the Qur‘aan records another miracle not mentioned in the Bible.  Prophet Jesus fashioned birds out of clay, blew on them and they flew away, living birds. But the point which is emphasized throughout the Qur‘aan is that whenever Jesus performed a miracle, he informed the people that it was by God’s permission. He made it clear to his followers that he was not doing the miracles by himself, in the same way that the earlier Prophets made it clear to those around them.            

Unfortunately, those who claim divinity for Jesus, usually hold up his miracles as evidence.  However, other prophets were recorded to have done the same or similar miracles in the Old Testament.  

Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fishes. Elisha fed 100 people with twenty barley loaves and a few ears of corn (II Kings 4:44) Jesus healed lepers. Elisha cured Naaman the leper (II Kings 5:14). Jesus caused the blind to see. Elisha caused the blind to see (II Kings 6:17&20). Jesus raised the dead. Elijah did the same (I Kings 17:22).  So did Elisha (II Kings 4:34).  Even Elisha’s bones could restore the dead (II Kings 13:21). Jesus walked on water. Moses and his people crossed the dead sea (Exodus 14:22).              

There are also texts in the New Testament which confirm that Jesus did not act on his own.  Jesus is quoted in John 5:30, as saying: “I can of mine own self do nothing...” and in Luke 11:20, as saying, “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the Kingdom of God is come upon you.”  In Acts 2:22, Paul writes: “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know...”

[1][1]  See also, John 4:34, 5:30, 7:16 & 28, 11:42, 13:16, 14:24.

[2][2] Jesus here rejects being called ‘perfectly good’, because perfection belongs only to God.  He was ‘good’, but, being the “Son of man”(Mat. 19:29)—as he liked to call himself—he was capable of error.

[3][3] It should be noted that, in spite of the Qur’aanic warnings and other statements of Prophet Muhammad himself, some Muslims have elevated him to semi-divine status by directing their prayers to or through him.

[4][4] The Biblical story of Jesus turning water into wine (John 2:1-10) is conspicuously absent from the Qur’aan.



By: BILAL KHAN AFRIDI
Category: My Blog
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The True Message of Jesus Christ

‘The Message of Jesus’, is perhaps the most important point to consider.  For, if Jesus was not God incarnate, but a prophet of God, the message which he brought from God is the essence of his mission.  

Submission             

The foundation of Jesus’ message was submission to the will of God, because that is the foundation of the religion which God prescribed for man since the beginning of time. God says in Chapter Aal ‘Imraan, the third chapter of the Qur‘aan, verse 19:  

} إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللهِ اْلإِسْلاَمُ {

“Truly, the religion in the sight of Allaah is Islaam [submission].” 

In Arabic, submission to God’s will is expressed by the word ‘Islaam’. In the Gospel according to Matthew 7:22, Jesus is quoted as saying: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.” In this statement, Jesus places emphasis on “the will of the Father”,  submission of the human will to the will of God.  In John 5:30, it is narrated that Jesus also said: “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”  

The Law            

The “will of God” is contained in the divinely revealed laws which the prophets taught their followers. Consequently, obedience to divine law is the foundation of worship. The Qur’aan affirms the  need for obedience to the divinely revealed laws  in chapter al-Maa’idah, verse 44. 

} إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا ... وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ {

“Indeed, I did reveal the Torah in which was guidance and light, by which the prophets, who submitted to God’s will, judged (the Jews) ... and whoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed is a disbeliever,” 

Jesus was also reported in the Gospel according to Matthew 19:16-17, to have made obedience to the divine laws the key to paradise: “16 Now behold, one came and said to him,“Good teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17So he said to him, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”[1][50] Also in Matthew 5:19, Jesus Christ was reported to have insisted on strict obedience to the commandments saying, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Divine law represents guidance for humankind in all walks of life. It defines right and wrong for them and offers human beings a complete system governing all of their affairs. The Creator alone knows best what is beneficial for His creation and what is not. Thus, the divine laws command and prohibit various acts and substances to protect the human spirit, the human body, and human society from harm. In order for human beings to fulfil their potential by living righteous lives, they need to worship God through obedience to His commandments.[2][51]            

This was the religion conveyed in the message of Jesus; submission to the will of the one true God by obedience to His commandments.  Jesus stressed to his followers that his mission did not cancel the laws received by Prophet Moses. As the prophets who came after Moses maintained the law, so did Jesus. Chapter al-Maa’idah, verse 46 of the Qur’aan indicates that Jesus confirmed the Laws of the Torah in his message.  

} وَقَفَّيْنَا عَلَى آثَارِهِمْ بِعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَآتَيْنَاهُ اْلإِنْجِيلَ فِيهِ هُدًى وَنُورٌ وَمُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ التَّوْرَةِ {

“And in their footsteps, I sent Jesus, son of Mary, confirming the Torah that had come before him, and I gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Torah that had come before it,”

In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus stated: “17 Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the [way of] the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18For, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” However, Paul, who claimed to be a disciple of Jesus, systematically cancelled the laws.  In his letter to the Romans, chapter 7:6, he stated, “But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.”

Unitarianism            

Jesus came as a prophet calling people to worship God alone, as the prophets before him did. God says in chapter an-Nahl (16):36, of the Qur‘aan:  

}وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الطَّاغُوتَ{

“Surely, I[3][52] have sent to every nation a messenger (saying): ‘Worship Allaah and avoid false gods.”              

In Luke 3:8, the Devil asks Jesus to worship him, promising him the authority and glory of all of the kingdoms of this world, “And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ ”  Thus, the essence of the message of Jesus was that only God deserves to be worshipped and that the worship of anyone or anything besides God or along with God is false. Jesus not only called people to this message but he also practically demonstrated it for them by bowing down in prayer and worshipping God himself. In Mark 14:32, it states: “And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray.’ ” And in Luke 5:16, “But he withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.”             

Jesus called them to worship the one true God who is unique in His qualities.  God does not have the attributes of His creation, nor does any creature share any of His attributes.  In Matthew 19:16-17, when the man called Prophet Jesus ‘good’, saying, “Good teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Prophet Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? No one is  good  but  One, that is, God.” He denied the attribution of ‘infinite goodness’ or ‘perfect goodness’ to himself, and affirmed that this attribute belongs to Allaah alone.            

The vast majority of Christians today pray to Jesus, claiming that he is God. The Philosophers among them claim that they are not worshipping Jesus the man, but God who was manifest in Jesus the man. This is also the rationale of pagans who bow down in worship to idols.  When a pagan philosopher is asked why he worships an idol which was made by human hands, he replies that he is not really worshipping the idol. Furthermore, he may claim that the idol is only a focal point for the presence of God, and thereby claim to be worshipping God who is manifest in the idol, and not the physical idol itself. There is little or no difference between that explanation and the answer given by Christians for worshipping Jesus. The origin of this deviation lies in the false belief that God is present in His creation. Such a belief justifies the worship of God’s creation.  Jesus’ message, which urged mankind to worship one God alone, became distorted after his departure. Later followers, beginning with Paul, turned that pure and simple message into a complicated trinitarian philosophy which justified the worship of Jesus, and then the worship of Jesus’ mother, Mary,[4][53] the angels[5][54] and the saints.  Catholics have a long list of saints to whom they turn in times of need. If something is lost, Saint Anthony of Thebes is prayed to in order to help find it.[6][55] St. Jude Thaddaeus is the patron saint of the impossible and is prayed to for intercession in incurable illnesses, unlikely marriages or the like. [7][56] The patron saint of travelers was Saint Christopher, to whom travelers used to pray for protection up until 1969, when he was officially struck off the list of saints by papal decree, after it was confirmed that he was fictitious. [8][57] Although he was officially crossed off the list of saints, there are many Catholics around the world today who are still praying to St. Christopher. 

            Worshipping ‘saints’ contradicts and corrupts the worship of One God; and it is in vain, because neither the living nor the dead can answer the prayers of mankind. The worship of God should not be shared with His creation in any way, shape or form.  In this regard, Allaah said the following in Chapter al-A ‘raaf (7):194:  

} إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللهِ عِبَادٌ أَمْثَالُكُمْ {

“Surely, those whom you call on in prayer besides Allaah are slaves like yourselves.” 

This was the message of Jesus Christ and all the prophets before him.  It was also the message of the last prophet, Muhammad—may peace and blessings be upon all of them.  Thus, if a Muslim or a person who calls himself a Muslim prays to a saint, he has stepped out of the bounds of Islaam. Islaam is not merely a belief, wherein one is only required to state that he or she believes that there is no God worthy of worship but Allaah and that Muhammad was the last of the messengers, in order to attain paradise.  This declaration of faith allows one who declares it to enter the doors of Islaam, but there are many acts which may contradict this declaration and expel the doer from Islaam as quickly as he or she came in. The most serious of those acts is praying to other than God.

Muslim not “Mohammedan” 

Since Jesus’ religion, and that of all of the earlier prophets, was the religion of submission to God, known in Arabic as Islaam, his true followers should be called submitters to God, known in Arabic as Muslims. In Islaam, prayer is considered an act of worship. Prophet Muhammad (e) was reported to have said, “Supplication is an act of worship.”[9][58] Consequently, Muslims do not accept being called Mohammedans, as followers of Christ are called Christians and followers of Buddha are called Buddhists. Christians worship Christ and Buddhists worship Buddha. The term Mohammedans implies that Muslims worship Muhammad, which is not the case at all. In the Qur‘aan, God chose the name Muslim for all who truly follow the prophets. The name Muslim in Arabic means “one who submits to the will of God.”  

} هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَفِي هَذَا {

“...It is He who named you Muslims both before and in this [scripture, the Qur’aan].” Qur’aan, (22):78              Consequently, the essence of Jesus’ message was that man should worship God alone.  He should not be worshipped through his creation in any way.  Consequently, His image cannot be painted, carved or drawn.  He is beyond human comprehension.

[1][50]  King James Version and The Authorized Version.

[2][51]  The Purpose of Creation, pp. 42-3.

[3][52] Literally “we”, known as the “royal we” or the “majestic we”, refers to Allaah.

[4][53] Called Saint Mary, she became an object of veneration in the Christian Church since the apostolic age.  She was given the title theotokos, meaning “God-bearer” or “mother of God” in the 3rd or 4th century.  Popular devotion to Mary—in the form of feasts, devotional services, and the rosary—has played a tremendously important role in the lives of Roman Catholics and the Orthodox. (The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 7. pp. 897-8 and vol. 16, pp. 278-9).

[5][54] The angels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael were made saints and the religious celebration known as Michaelmas (called, “the Feast of St. Michael and All Saints” by the Anglicans) was dedicated to them on the 29th of September by the Western churches, and 8th of November by the Eastern Orthodox Church. The cult of St. Michael began in the Eastern Church in the 4th century CE. Because of St. Michael’s traditional position as leader of the heavenly armies, veneration of all angels was eventually incorporated into his cult. (The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 8, p. 95).  He became the patron saint of soldiers.

[6][55]  The World Book Encyclopedia, vol. 1, p. 509.

[7][56]  The World Book Encyclopedia, vol. 11, p. 146.

[8][57]  Ibid., vol. 3, p. 417.

[9][58]  Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 1, p. 387, no. 1474.



By: BILAL KHAN AFRIDI
Category: My Blog
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One with God

Those who claim that Jesus was God, hold that he was not a separate god, but one and the same God incarnate.  They draw support for this belief from verse 30 of the Gospel according to John, chapter 10, in which Jesus is reported to have said, “I and the Father are one.”  Out of context, this verse does imply Jesus’ divinity.  However, when the Jews accused him of claiming divinity, based on that statement, “Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, Ye are gods?”[1][15]-[2][16] He clarified for them, with a scriptural example well known to them, that he was using the metaphorical language of the prophets which should not be interpreted as ascribing divinity to himself or to other human beings.            

Further evidence is drawn from verses ten and eleven of the Gospel according to John, chapter 14, where people asked Jesus to show them the Father, and he was supposed to have said: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?  The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.”              

These phrases would imply Jesus’ divinity, if the remainder of the same Gospel is ignored. However, nine verses later, in John 14:20, Jesus is also recorded as saying to his disciples, “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” Thus, if Jesus’ statement “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” means that he is God, then so were his disciples.  This symbolic statement means oneness of purpose and not oneness of essence. The symbolic interpretation is further emphasized in John 17:20-21, wherein Jesus said, “20 I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou has sent me.”[3][17]

[1][15] Jesus is quoting Psalms 82:6 “I have said, ‘Ye are gods: and all of you are the children of the Most High.’

[2][16]  John 10:34.

[3][17]  See also John 17:11.



By: BILAL KHAN AFRIDI
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“Evidence” presents by follower for Jesus’ Divinity ?

There are a number of verses which have been interpreted by the Catholic and Protestant Churches as evidence for the Divinity of Jesus Christ. However, on close examination of these verses, it becomes evident that, either their wordings are ambiguous, leaving them open to a number of different interpretations, or they are additions not found in the early manuscripts of the Bible.  The following are some of the most commonly quoted arguments.

 

   1. The Alpha and Omega

            In the Book of Revelation 1, verse 8, it is implied that Jesus said the following about himself: “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.” These are the attributes of God. Consequently, Jesus, according to early Christians, is here claiming divinity. However, the above-mentioned wording is according to the King James Version.  In the Revised Standard Version, biblical scholars corrected the translation and wrote: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  A correction was also made in the New American Bible produced by Catholics. The translation of that verse has been amended to put it in its correct context as follows: “The Lord God says: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’ ” With these corrections, it becomes evident that this was a statement of God and not a statement of Prophet Jesus.

 

   2. The Pre-existence of Christ             Another verse commonly used to support the divinity of Jesus is John 8:58: “Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.’ ”  This verse is taken to imply that Jesus existed prior to his appearance on earth. The conclusion drawn from it is that Jesus must be God, since his existence predates his birth on earth. However, the concept of the pre-existence of the prophets, and of man in general, exists in both the Old Testament, as well as in the Qur‘aan. Jeremiah described himself in The Book of Jeremiah 1:4-5 as follows: “ 5Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 5 ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ ”             Prophet Solomon is reported in Proverbs 8:23-27, to have said, “23Ages ago I was set up at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 24When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water, 25Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth; 26before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world 27When he established the heavens, I was there.”             

According to Job 38:4 and 21, God addresses Prophet Job as follows: “4Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding... 21You Know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!”            

In the Qur‘aan, Chapter al-A‘raaf, (7):172, God informed that man existed in the spiritual form before the creation of the physical world.   } وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِنْ بَنِي آدَمَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَى شَهِدْنَا أَنْ تَقُولُواْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَذَا غَافِلِينَ {

“When your Lord gathered all of Aadam’s descendants [before creation] and made them bear witness for themselves, saying: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They all replied: Yes indeed, we bear witness. [That was] so you could not say on the Day of Judgement: ‘We were unaware of this.’ ” 

Consequently, Prophet Jesus’ statement, “Before Abraham was, I am,” cannot be used as evidence of his divinity.  Within the context of John 8:54-58, Jesus is purported to have spoken about God’s knowledge of His prophets, which predates the creation of this world.

 

3. The Son of God
Another of the evidences used for Jesus’ divinity is the application of the title “Son of God” to Jesus.  However, there are numerous places in the Old Testament where this title has been given to others.

 God called Israel (Prophet Jacob) His “son” when He instructed Prophet Moses to go to Pharaoh in Exodus 4:22-23, “22 And you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Israel is my first-born son, 23and I say to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve me.’ ” [1][5]            

In 2nd Samuel 8:13-14, God calls Prophet Solomon His son, “13 He [Solomon] shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14I will be his father, and he shall be my son.”            

God promised to make Prophet David His son in Psalms 89:26-27: “26 He shall cry unto me, ‘Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation,’ 27Also I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.”[2][6]

            Angels are referred to as “sons of God” in The Book of Job 1:6, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.”[3][7]

            In the New Testament, there are many references to “sons of God” other than Jesus.  For example, when the author of the Gospel according to Luke listed Jesus’ ancestors back to Adam, he wrote: “The son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.”[4][8]

            Some claim that what is unique in the case of Jesus, is that he is the only begotten[5][9] Son of God, while the others are merely “sons of God”. However, God is recorded as saying to Prophet David, in Psalms 2:7, “I will tell the decree of the Lord: He said to me, ‘You are my son, today I have begotten you.’ ”

            It should also be noted that nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus actually call himself “Son of God”.[6][10]  Instead, he is recorded to have repeatedly called himself “Son of man” (e.g. Luke 9:22) innumerable times. And in Luke 4:41, he actually rejected being called “Son of God”: “And demons also came out of many, crying, ‘You are the Son of God!’   But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.”    

        Since the Hebrews believed that God is One, and had neither wife nor children in any literal sense, it is obvious that the expression “son of God” merely meant to them “Servant of God”; one who, because of his faithful service, was close and dear to God, as a son is to a father. Christians who came from a Greek or Roman background, later misused this term. In their heritage, “son of God” signified an incarnation of a god or someone born of a physical union between male and female gods.[7][11] When the Church cast aside its Hebrew foundations, it adopted the pagan concept of “son of God”, which was entirely different from the Hebrew usage.[8][12]               

Consequently, the use of the term “son of God” should only be understood from the Semitic symbolic sense of a “servant of God”, and not in the pagan sense of a literal offspring of God. In the four Gospels, Jesus is recorded as saying: “Blessed are the peace-makers; they will be called sons of God.”[9][13]

            Likewise, Jesus’ use of the term abba, “dear father”, should be understood similarly. There is a dispute among New Testament scholars as to precisely what abba meant in Jesus’ time and also as to how widely it was in use by other Jewish sects of that era.             

James Barr has recently argued forcefully that it did not have the specially intimate sense that has so often been attributed to it, but that it simply meant “father”.[10][14] To think of God as “our heavenly Father” was by no means new, for in the Lord’s prayer he is reported to have taught his disciples to address God in this same familiar way.

[1][5] See also, Hosea 1:10, of the King James Version.

[2][6] In the Revised Standard Version, it states: “And I will make him the first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth.” See also Jeremiah 31:9, “...for I am a father to Israel and Ephraim is my first-born.

[3][7] See also, Job 2:1 and 38:4-7.  Other references to sons of God can also be found in Genesis 6:2, Deuteronomy 14:1 and Hosea 1:10.

[4][8]  Luke 3:38.

[5][9] The term “begotten” in Old English meant ‘to be fathered by’ and it was used to distinguish between Jesus, who was supposed to be the literal son of God, from the figurative use of the term ‘son’ for God’s “created sons”.

[6][10] In the New Testament Book of Acts, there are several outlines of speeches of the early disciples of Jesus, speeches which date from the year 33 CE, almost forty years before the Four Gospels were written.  In one of these discourses, Jesus is referred to specifically as andra apo tou theou: “a man from God.” (Acts 2:22).  Not once do these early confessions of faith use the expression wios tou theou: “Son of God”, but they do speak several times of Jesus as God’s servant and prophet (Acts 3:13, 22, 23, 26).  The significance of these speeches is that they accurately reflect the original belief and terminology of the disciples, before the belief and terminology were evolved under the influence of Roman religion and Greek philosophy.  They reflect a tradition which is older than that used by the Four Gospels, in which Jesus is not invested with godship or divine sonship. (Bible Studies From a Muslim Perspective, p. 12).

[7][11] See Acts 14:11-13. In the city of Lystra (Turkey), Paul and Barnabas preached, and the pagan peoples claimed that they were gods incarnate.  They called Barnabas the Roman god Zeus, and Paul the Roman god Hermes.

[8][12]  Bible Studies from a Muslim Perspective, p. 15.

[9][13]  Matthew 5:9.

[10][14]  Journal of Theological Studies, vol. 39 and Theology, vol. 91, no. 741.



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The First Commandment?

The Bible does not support the Christian belief in trinity at all. One of the scribes once asked Jesus (pbuh) as to which was the first commandment of all, to which Jesus (pbuh) merely repeated what Moses (pbuh) had said earlier:

"Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adonai Ikhad."

This is a Hebrew quotation, which means:

"Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord."[The Bible, Mark 12:29]

It is striking that the basic teachings of the Church such as Trinity and vicarious atonement find no mention in the Bible. In fact, various verses of the Bible point to Jesus’ (pbuh) actual mission, which was to fulfill the law revealed to Prophet Moses (pbuh). Indeed Jesus (pbuh) rejected any suggestions that attributed divinity to him, and explained his miracles as the power of the One True God.

Jesus (pbuh) thus reiterated the message of monotheism that was given by all earlier prophets of Almighty God.

Note:All quotations of the Bible are taken from the King James Version



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Why God Sent Jesus?

The Bible mentions the prophetic nature of Jesus (pbuh) mission in the following verses:
(i)"… and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me."
[The Bible, John 14:24]

(ii)"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent."
[The Bible, John 17:3]



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What was the Mission of Jesus Christ (pbuh)? To Fulfill the Law or to distroy the Law?

Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity for himself. He clearly announced the nature of his mission. Jesus (pbuh) was sent by God to confirm the previous Judaic law. This is clearly evident in the following statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in the Gospel of Mathew:"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.""For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."[The Bible, Mathew 5:17-20]



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CONCEPT OF GOD IN CHRISTIANITY?

Position of Jesus (pbuh) in Islam

Before discussing position of Jesus peace be upon him in Christianity, I would like to discuss whats the position of Jesus in Islam.

(i)Islam is the only non-Christian faith, which makes it an article of faith to believe in Jesus (pbuh). No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in Jesus (pbuh).

(ii)We believe that he was one of the mightiest Messengers of Allah (swt).

(iii)We believe that he was born miraculously, without any male intervention, which many modern day Christians do not believe.

(iv)We believe he was the Messiah translated Christ (pbuh).

(v)We believe that he gave life to the dead with God’s permission.

(iv)We believe that he healed those born blind, and the lepers with God’s permission.

Did Jesus Christ (pbuh) claim Divinity? what Bible says?

One may ask, if both Muslims and Christians love and respect Jesus (pbuh), where exactly is the parting of ways? The major difference between Islam and Christianity is the Christians’ insistence on the supposed divinity of Christ (pbuh). A study of the Christian scriptures reveals that Jesus (pbuh) never claimed divinity. In fact there is not a single unequivocal statement in the entire Bible where Jesus (pbuh) himself says, "I am God" or where he says, "worship me". In fact the Bible contains statements attributed to Jesus (pbuh) in which he preached quite the contrary. The following statements in the Bible are attributed to Jesus Christ (pbuh):

(i) "My Father is greater than I."
[The Bible, John 14:28]

(ii) "My Father is greater than all."
[The Bible, John 10:29]

(iii) "…I cast out devils by the Spirit of God…."[The Bible, Mathew 12:28]

(iv) "…I with the finger of God cast out devils…."[The Bible, Luke 11:20]

(v) "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
[The Bible, John 5:30]

Jesus Refuted even the Remotest Suggestion of his Divinity

Consider the following incident mentioned in the Bible:"And behold, one came and said unto him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’And he said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ "
[The Bible, Mathew 19:16-17]

Jesus (pbuh) did not say that to have the eternal life of paradise, man should believe in him as Almighty God or worship him as God, or believe that Jesus (pbuh) would die for his sins. On the contrary he said that the path to salvation was through keeping the commandments. It is indeed striking to note the difference between the words of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and the Christian dogma of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus (pbuh).

Jesus (pbuh) of Nazareth – a Man Approved of God

The following statement from the Bible supports the Islamic belief that Jesus (pbuh) was a prophet of God.

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."
[The Bible, Acts 2:22]

CONCEPT OF GOD IN OLD TESTAMENT

1.God is One
The following verse from the book of Deuteronomy contains an exhortation from Moses (pbuh):"Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad".
It is a Hebrew quotation which means:
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord"[The Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4]


2.
Unity of God in the Book of Isaiah
The following verses are from the Book of Isaiah: 

(i) "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour." [The Bible, Isaiah 43:11] 


(ii)   "I am Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me." [The Bible, Isaiah 45:5] 

(iii)"I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me." [The Bible, Isaiah 46:9]

3.Old Testament condemns idol worship 

(i) Old Testament condemns idol worship in the following verses: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me.""Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:""Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God."
[The Bible, Exodus 20:3-5] 

(ii)A similar message is repeated in the book of Deuteronomy:"Thou shalt have none other gods before me.""Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that in the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath the earth.""Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God."
[The Bible, Deuteronomy 5:7-9]



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Christianity ?

Christianity is a Semitic religion, which is probably largest relegion of the world and have nearly 1.2 to 1.5 billion adherents all over the world. Christianity owes its name to Jesus Christ (peace be on him). The Holy Bible is the sacred scripture of the Christians:

a) The Bible is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the Holy Scripture of the Jews and contains records of all the prophets of the Jews that came before Jesus (pbuh). The New Testament contains records of the life of Jesus (pbuh).

b) The complete Bible, i.e. the Old Testament and the New Testament put together, contains 73 books. However, the Protestant Bible i.e. the King James Version, contains only 66 books as they consider 7 books of the Old Testament to be apocrypha, i.e. of doubtful authority. Therefore the Old Testament of the Catholics, contains 46 books and that of the Protestants, 39 books. However the New Testament of both these sects contains 27 books.



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