CHRISTIAN REBUTTAL TO one reason – Jesus in Islam
The Muslim article “Jesus in Islam” uses five lines of reasoning to dispute the Christian beliefs about Jesus.
They are as follows:-
1. JESUS NEVER CALLS HIMSELF GOD
The article contends that the Bible contains many verses in which Jesus speaks of God as a separate person to Himself
“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”
This verse is easily understood without the need to deny the divinity of Jesus.
What Jesus was saying to the man is this “Do you really know the One to whom you are talking?” or in other words “Do you know that you are talking to God?
Therefore Jesus is confirming His divinity rather than denying it.
John 5:30 “By myself I can do nothing, I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.”
This verse shows that in consequence of the close relation between Jesus and His Father that there is an entire harmony between the Will of His Father and Himself. In other words – there would be never any disagreement between these two distinct personalities of the Godhead.
God the Father and Jesus are not separate beings as Islam contends but are two distinct personalities of the same being. There are many examples in the Bible that show the divinity of Jesus.
Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23: 5-6; John 1: 1-5;
John 2 19:22; John 8:23; John 8:58; John 9:38, are but a few.
Therefore, there is no problem with Jesus (the Son) affirming that God (the Father) sent Him.
Contrary to what the article says Jesus did NOT disapprove of anyone worshipping Him for example – John 20:28: “Thomas said to Him – My Lord and my God.”
Notice Jesus did not chide Thomas for his exclamation.
Further, John 9: 38; “Then the man said: “Lord, I believe.” And he WORSHIPPED Him.
We can see therefore that Jesus never disapproved of anyone worshipping Him.
Also Titus 2:13 refers to Jesus as “ of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus 2 Peter 1:1 refers to “our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ”, 1 John 5:20 calls Jesus “ the true God and eternal life” and Hebrews 1:8-12 calls Him both God and Lord.
The verse Matthew 15:19 – “They worshipped Me in vain” has been taken out of context by Islamic apologists.
The true and full context refers to a verse from Isaiah 29:13 “These people honour Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men.”
Jesus used this verse from Isaiah in condemning the Pharisees for being hypocrites and not worshipping with a pure heart.
It is a hallmark of cults such as Islam and The Watchtower Society to delete sections of Scripture or quote them out of context in order to prove their point of view.
The article contends that if Jesus claimed to be God then there should be hundreds of verses in the Bible where it would have been mentioned.
Why do there have to a multiplicity of such verses when a smaller number will suffice?
Doctrine is what is important, not wishful thinking by twisting Scripture for the purposes of validating a spurious argument.
Jesus clearly claims His divinity in John 9: 57-58. “You are not yet fifty years old” the Jews said to Him, “And you have seen Abraham!”
“I tell you the truth” Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was born
When He said He existed before Abraham was born He undeniably proclaimed His divinity. Furthermore, He also applied God’s holy name,
I AM (Yahweh) (Exodus 3:14) to Himself.
The Jewish leaders then tried to stone Jesus for blasphemy because He claimed to be divine.
Consequently, this passage from the Bible demolishes the contention in the article for the need of a specific utterance such as “I am God, worship me.”
2. JESUS AS SON AND LORD
His disciples called Jesus “Lord” but this means much more than a person held in high respect, such as Joseph, because no one in the Bible believed Joseph to be divine. However, the disciples of Jesus did regard Jesus as divine. For example, Thomas referred to Him as “As my Lord and my God.” (John 20:28)
Again, in Hebrews 1:8-12 Jesus is referred to as Lord and God.
Further, in Matthew16 Jesus asks His disciples “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answers: “Thou art the Christ the Son of the Living God.” Peter refers to Jesus as Lord in other parts of Scripture but it is clear that from the above that it is MORE than a title of respect.
In other parts of the Bible Jesus is called a Servant of God. An example is in Acts 3:13.
This is because in His humanity Jesus did indeed take on the role of a servant.
The Servant and Master roles of Jesus stand in tandem
Philippians 2:4-11: “Do not merely look out for your own self-interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond servant and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the Name which is above every Name, that the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord to the Glory of the Father.”
Jesus is referred to as the “Son of God” and He made it clear that this relationship is unique and completely different from the relationship that believers have with God. In John 20:17 Jesus said “ I am ascending to my Father and YOUR Father and to my God and YOUR God.” Why did He not say “I am ascending to OUR Father and OUR GOD”? Further Jesus never spoke of the Father as OUR Father. In Matthew 6:9 Jesus instructed his followers that THEY should pray, “Our Father who art in Heaven…”but did not include HIMSELF in that prayer. He distinguished the two relationships between himself and the Father and others and the Father. He was God’s Son by nature whereas believers are God’s sons by adoption. Jesus was literally the Son of God whereas others are metaphorically sons of God.
Furthermore, Jesus is the only BEGOTTEN Son of God (John 3:16, 3:18).
God refers to Jesus as MY BELOVED SON and God does not refer to anyone else by this title.
Mark 1:11 “And a voice came out of the heavens: “You are my beloved Son in You I am well pleased.”
- THE NATURE OF JESUS
The article contends that the nature of Jesus is totally different to the nature of God. This is plainly wrong, for although the physical nature of God the Father and His Son Jesus are different, the CHARACTER of both is the same.
The verse “But nobody knows when the day or hour will come, not the heavenly angels and not the Son. Only the Father knows.” (Matthew 24:36) refers to Jesus in His limited human incarnation. Initially, Jesus had full equality with God the Father – John 1:1-2; John 17:5 and Philippians 2:6 BUT surrendered this equality (Philippians 2:7) to live among men for Thirty three (33) years, in order to preach the way to salvation (John 3:16) and to die for the sins of mankind in order that sinful mankind could be endowed with eternal salvation (Acts 4:10-12; Ephesians 2: 5-9).
When Jesus spoke the words in Matthew 24:36 he had not full equality of knowledge with the Father because this was prior to His crucifixion and ascension into heaven whereupon He regained the full equality of knowledge He had with God the Father in the Beginning (Revelation 21: 13-16).
Similarly, the arguments put forward by Muslim apologists that God the Father does not need to eat, drink, sleep, pray, or cannot be seen by humans, ignore the fact that Jesus surrendered his equality with the Father to become a man for a short while and that after his resurrection and ascension He became and remains as one with the Father.
2 Chronicles 6:18 states “ But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built.” This verse does NOT indicate that God cannot dwell on the earth. Rather, Solomon asks a rhetorical question and marvels that God did indeed dwell in the temple he had built.
God is omnipresent. In other words He is everywhere at the same time.
The Muslims apologists are in fact, limiting God‘s omnipresence by
arguing that God cannot dwell on the earth.
Consequently, the verse in 2 Chronicles does not make it clear that Jesus could not be God living on the earth, but confirms that the opposite.
Malachi 3:6 states “ I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” This passage is not referring to physical attributes such as height and weight, but to the endless patience of God in that He would not destroy the descendants of Jacob, even though they repeatedly disobeyed Him. Once again, the Muslim apologists have taken a Biblical verse out of context.
The article states the human and divine natures of Jesus are claims never made by Jesus and are in contradiction of the Bible. This is erroneous as there are a numerous passages in the Bible that attest to both His humanity and His divinity, namely John 1:1-14, Colossians 1:13-23, John 8:23, John 8:58 and Philippians 2:6-11.
- THE MESSAGE OF JESUS
The article contends that the Old Testament prophets never spoke of the Trinity or the need to believe in Jesus as their Saviour.
There is plenty from the Old Testament that God is indeed a plurality and this plurality is a unity of Only One God. This plurality is limited to a Triunity (Trinity) in that there are no more and no less than three persons comprising the Godhead.
Isaiah 42:1 “Behold my servant whom I uphold, My Chosen in whom my soul delights: I have put my Spirit upon Him, He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.”
Notice the three persons here. The first person is the speaker indicated by the pronoun “I” . The second person is the speaker’s servant, the servant of Yahweh indicated by use of the adjective “my”. The third person is the Spirit of God indicated by the use of the adjective “my.”
Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is upon Me, because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek, He has sent Me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”
This passage refers to the second person of the Trinity namely Jesus indicated by the pronoun “me” in reference to the speaker. The other persons are the Lord Yahweh, namely the Father and the Spirit of Yahweh namely the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 63:7-14 “I shall make mention of the loving kindnesses of Yahweh, the praises of Yahweh, according to all that the Yahweh has granted us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has granted them according to His compassion and according to the abundance of His loving kindnesses. For He said, “Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely.”So He became their Saviour. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them. Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses. Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them, Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, Who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, Who led them through the depths? Like the horse in the wilderness, they did not stumble; As the cattle which go down into the valley,The Spirit of Yahweh gave them rest. So You led Your people,
To make for Yourself a glorious name.”
Within the context of this passage three persons are mentioned. In verse 7 there is one person called Yahweh. In this case Yahweh is God the Father. The second person is mentioned in verse 9 this personality is the Angel of His presence. He is the same as the Angel of Yahweh. It was this angel who was responsible for saving them and redeeming them. As ordinary angels have no power to save and redeem people this angel is obviously a pre-incarnation of Jesus because only God can save and redeem people. A third personality is mentioned in the passage three different times and this is the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 48: 12 – 6 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. “Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together. “Assemble, all of you, and listen! Who among them has declared these things? Yahweh loves him; he will carry out His good pleasure on Babylon, And His arm will be against the Chaldeans. “I, even I, have spoken; indeed I have called him, I have brought him, and He will make his ways successful. “Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now Yahweh has sent Me, and His Spirit.”
In these verses it is clear that the speaker is God because the speaker refers to Himself as the One who is responsible for the creation of the heavens and the earth. Notice the Three Persons in verse 16. The Speaker, the Spirit and the Lord Yahweh. In verse 16 the Speaker is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and he refers to Himself by the pronouns “I” and “Me”. This Speaker distinguishes Himself to other persons. One person from whom He distinguishes Himself is the Lord Yahweh. The second person from whom He distinguishes Himself is the Spirit of Yahweh.
Therefore there is evidence of the Trinity in the Old Testament and this refutes the Islamic argument that God changes things “all of a sudden” in the New Testament in that God is part of a Trinity and people must believe in Jesus to be saved.
The Islamic argument ignores the fact that God’s timetable for mankind involves Seven (7) Dispensations. They are as follows:-
THE DISPENSATIONS OF GOD
1. AGE OF INNOCENCE
Started with creation ADAM AND EVE (Genesis 1:28) – ended with the fall of man (Genesis 3:8)
2.AGE OF CONSCIENCE
Started in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:9) ended with the flood (Genesis 8:14)
3. AGE OF HUMAN GOVERNMENT
Started with God’s covenant with Noah (Genesis 8:15) ended with the confusion of tongues of Babel (Genesis 11:9)
4. AGE OF PROMISE
Started with the call of Abraham (Genesis 12:1) and ended at Exodus 18:27)
5. AGE OF LAW
Started after coming out of Egypt (Exodus 19:1). Moses receiving the Law at Mount Sinai and ends with the establishment of the Church at Pentecost (Acts 1:26)
6. AGE OF GRACE
Started with Pentecost (Acts 2:1) and will also include the seven years of the Great Tribulation, includes the entire Church Age and ends with (Revelation 19:21) (NOT WITH THE RAPTURE)
7. AGE OF THE KINGDOM (1000 YEARS)
This Dispensation covers the period of (Revelation 20:1-10) Although it is only ten verses long it covers a span of 1000 years.
When Jesus said: “The greatest commandment of all was the first of all commandments is Hear O Israel, the Lord our God the Lord is One.” Mark 12:28,29. He was not contradicting the Trinity because God is One Being but consists of three personalities. The Trinity is not three separate beings. It is mere supposition on the part of Muslim apologists to say that Jesus would have asserted His divinity by saying “I am God, worship Me.” Jesus does in fact assert that He is God in John 8:58. “Jesus said to them, “Truly truly I say to you before Abraham was born I AM.”
As a consequence of this utterance His fellow monotheistic Jews accused Him of blasphemy because they were ignorant of His divinity.
The Islamic article contends that John 17:4 “I have glorified You on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do” is evidence that Jesus did not come to die for the sins of the world as He finished the work God gave Him before He was taken away to be crucified.
Once again the verse has been taken out of context and John 17:5 has been ignored.
Verse 4 must be read in context with verse 5 in order to convey the full context of what Jesus said in His prayer to the Father.
Verse 4 shows Jesus had completed His part of God’s work in glorifying the Father on earth with miracles, keeping the Mosaic Law perfectly (the only person to ever do so) and preaching the way to salvation. John 3
In verse 5 He then requests the Father to glorify Him this was fulfilled by the Father allowing Him to be killed for the sins of mankind, to be resurrected and to return to the Father and thus resume the glory He had with the Father in the beginning.
Furthermore, to say that Jesus did not come to die for sins of mankind contradicts many verses of Scripture namely:- Acts 4, 10-12; Romans 2:25; Romans 5:20; Romans 7:24-25; and 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and Ephesians 2:3-6.
5. THE EARLY CHRISTIANS
The article argues that in early Christianity there were many sects who had a range of beliefs regarding Jesus. Some believed He was fully divine others that He was partly divine and others that He was not divine at all.
This is not disputed and there are many pseudo Christian cults in existence today such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses (The Watchtower Society) and Christian Science who oppose Trinitarian Christianity. Quite simply their theology was erroneous as were the teachings of Arian and Nestorian Christianity. The teachings of these non-Trinitarian sects do not examine Scripture in its totality. Rather they select passages aphoristically to suit their view point.
The Muslim apologists are wrong when they say that Old Testament prophets did not refer to the Trinity and the need for salvation in Jesus.
Genesis 12:3 “AND I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” This is fulfilled in the New Testament by the following Scripture:
Galatians 3:8 “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and announced the Gospel IN ADVANCE to Abraham: “All the nations shall be blessed through you.”
Isaiah 48:12-16; and Isaiah 52:13 through Isaiah 53 prove otherwise.
The Islamic article refers to John 4:22 – “ Salvation is from the Jews” and opines that we don’t need to believe in the Trinity or that Jesus died for our sins to attain salvation since the Jews don’t have these beliefs. This verse has been taken aphoristically from the New Testament and does not look at the passage in its overall context.
John 4 relates to Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at a well and His recognition by the woman that He was a prophet.
When Jesus said salvation is from the Jews He decreed that only the Jewish Messiah could offer the whole world salvation. HE is referring to Himself as the source of that salvation and NOT from the Jewish race in general. God had promised that through the Jewish race “the whole world would be blessed” Genesis 12:3. Jewish prophets such as David, Isaiah, Micah and Zechariah, and had long predicted the coming of the Messiah.
The woman at the well may have known of these prophetic passages being a SAMARITAN (part Jewish part Gentile).
Jewish people who have not accepted Jesus as their God and Saviour are not saved anymore than Gentiles who do not believe.
Further, there are many Bible verses that show salvation is from Jesus alone such as Isaiah 53, Mark 10:45, 16:15-16, Luke 9:22-26, John 3:3-18, Acts 4: 10-12.
A UNIFORMITY OF YAHWEH (GOD THE FATHER) AND JESUS (THE SON)
USED OF YAHWEH DESCRIPTION USED OF JESUS
Exodus 3:14 YAHWEH (“I AM”) John 8:58
Genesis 1:1 GOD Titus 2:13
Isaiah 48:12 ALPHA AND OMEGA (Rev 1:8) Rev 1:17,18
Isaiah 45:23 LORD Philippians 2:10,11
Isaiah 43:11 SAVIOUR John 4:42
Isaiah 43:15 KING Revelation 19:16
Genesis 18:25 JUDGE 2 Corinthians 5:10
Psalm 27:1 LIGHT John 8:12
Deuteronomy 32:3,4 ROCK 1 Corinthians 10:3,4
Isaiah 48:17 REDEEMER Ephesians 1:7
Isaiah 45:24 OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS Romans 3:21,22
Isaiah 44:24 HUSBAND 2 Corinthians 11:2
Psalm 23:1 SHEPHERD John 10:11-16
Isaiah 44:24 CREATOR Colossians 1:16
Deuteronomy 32:39 GIVER OF LIFE John 5:21
Daniel 9:9 FORGIVER OF SIN Mark 2:12
Exodus 15:26 LORD OUR HEALER Acts 9:34
Psalm 139:7-12 OMNIPRESENT Matthew 28:19-20
1 Kings 8:39 OMNISCIENT John 16:30
Isaiah 40:10-31 OMNIPOTENT Mark 1:29-34
Genesis 1:1 PRE-EXISTENT John 17:5
Psalm 102:26,27 ETERNAL Isaiah 9:6
Malachi 3:6 IMMUTABLE Hebrews 13:8
John 4:24 RECEIVER OF WORSHIP Matthew 28:9