Early Christianity: Diverse Doctrines and Beliefs
Our Brother Alexus, from Lebanon, has braved the threats of his Christian neighbours and has been able to compile a succinct yet extremely detailed introduction to Christianity. If you’re a Christian or Muslim, it presents the beliefs of Christianity in an objectified format, comparing some of the propositions of the Bible with the proclamations of the Qur’aan. As part of our Christmas Special, this post will be made into a page and this will be made into a freely downloadable and distributable PDF file, God Willing. Please look forward to the updated link in this post for the PDF download link.
Download this in PDF form: [Currently Offline]
Christianity: A Brief Introduction
Opening Statement: Seriously, did you know?
Did you know that ancient Christians—dating from the very earliest centuries, believed there were 2 different Gods, 12, 30, or even 365?
Obviously, many people today would argue that such views could not be Christian. Yet, what is striking is that these people who believed in such things claimed to be “Christians”. They even insisted that their teachings were taught and maintained by Jesus (may God be pleased with him) himself. Ironically, they could appeal to written proof, for they, each group, possessed documents allegedly penned by Jesus’ own apostles.
So how diverse was Christianity, one may ask?
What is Christianity: The Creed?
In order to define Christianity, one would have to examine its creeds. Firstly, what is a creed? A creed is a statement of belief—usually a statement of faith that describes the beliefs shared by a religious community and is often recited as part of a religious service. The word derives from the Latin: credo for “I believe” (because the Latin translation of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed both begin with this word).
Of course there are many creeds, including:
-Old Roman Creed
-Apostles’ Creed (based on the Old Roman Creed).
-Credo of the People of God.
One of the most widely used creeds in Christianity is the Nicene Creed, first formulated in AD 325 at the First Council of Nicaea. It is the first council which explicitly stated the imperative belief in the divinity of Jesus and the trinity.
It could be summarized as follows:
- Jesus Christ is described as “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,” proclaiming his divinity. When all light sources were natural, the essence of light was considered to be identical, regardless of its form.
- Jesus Christ is said to be “begotten, not made”, asserting his co-eternalness with God, and confirming it by stating his role in the Creation. Basically, they were saying that Jesus was God, and God’s son, not a creation of God.
- He is said to be “from the substance of the Father,” in direct opposition to Arianism. Eusebius of Caesarea ascribes the term homoousios, or consubstantial, i.e., “of the same substance” (of the Father), to Constantine who, on this particular point, may have chosen to exercise his authority.
The council did not completely solve the problems and establish the criteria of the Christian faith—this is why many councils were executed later on such as the First Council of Constantinople and the council of Ephesus and many others.
So what do Christians exactly believe: The six points.
In light of the aforementioned, the Christian set of belief can be simply divided as follows:
- The Divinity of Jesus—He is at the same time fully Divine and fully human.
- The Trinity—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Three persons yet One God who share equally the Glory and substance of the one and only God, Almighty.
- The Original Sin
- The crucifixion—aka the Cross.
- The resurrection
Before we begin: The Structure.
My focus during this lecture will be based on the first 3 points: The Divinity of Jesus, the Trinity and the Original Sin. I shall discuss these three topics in light of:
1) The Biblical Scripture—the Old and New Testament.
2) The Quranic Scripture.
3) The Logical Perspective.
The Divinity of Jesus: A Fact or a Fiction?
It is noteworthy to mention that there is not a single verse in the Biblical Scripture where Jesus says he is the Almighty God or order worship. This very statement should give us a long pause. If Jesus was indeed God, why didn’t he simply say so? Was he shy? Did he feel awkward? Or maybe was he afraid? A Christian might say: Jesus did not immediately proclaim divinity simply because it is a hard concept on humans to grasp—hence, he did it in a gradual manner. Many difficulties arouse from that response:
1) There is no gradual process as Jesus did not claim divinity. How could there be a gradual process when the end result is not attained?!
2) Jesus claimed inferiority rather than equality par rapport to the Creator.
Jesus (pbuh) was a Jewish prophet sent to the Jewish community, a follower of the Jewish law and a devout worshipper of the Jewish God. What’s the issue with Divinity then? The idea that God became a man, a God-man is not a thing just reserved to Christians. Buddhists teaches that God revealed himself in Buddha, Druze claim Al Hakem was God incarnate and Alawites assure that Ali is simply, the Almighty. Ironically, even today, you still find some people declaring divinity. Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda who recently appeared during a Cnn interview is an example. As a matter of fact, this notion stems from the idea that out of humility and love, the Almighty God decided to take human form to feel and experience what humans go through. To that view, the Holy Quran clarifies, in Surah 67, Ayah 14:
أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ
“Should He not know what He created? And He is The Ever-Kind, The Ever-Cognizant.”
We ask why would God need to be a human in order to understand us? Does God really require becoming what He created to understand every aspect? A weird and incomprehensible concept.
Humility? Are we to perceive humility by seeing God, Almighty going to the toilet? Having a round of beat? Or by being spat on? Is this what defines humility. To this blasphemous and atrocious notion, we say:
سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا
“Glorified is He, and High Exalted above what they say!” (Holy Quran 17:43).
The List: Christianity, a tale?
Before moving in depth, I would like to share the following list. These are religious icons whose myths share many or most of the attributes of Christianity fairy tale most of them including resurrection:
* Chrishna of Hindostan
* Budha Sakio of India
* Salivahana of Bermuda
* Zulis, or Zhule, also Osiris and Orus, of Egypt
* Odin of the Scandinavians
* Crite of Chaldea
* Zoroaster and Mithra of Persia
* Baal and Taut “The only Begotten of God,” of Phenecia
* Indra of Tibet
* Bali of Afghanistan
* Jao of Nepal
* Wittoba of the Bilingonese
* Thammuz of Syria
* Atys of Phrygia
* Xamolsix of Thrace
* Zoar of the Bonzes
* Adad of Assyria
* Deva Tat, and Sammonocadam, of siam
* Alcides of Thebes
* Mkado of the Sintoos
* Beddru of Japan
* Hesus or Eros, and Bremrillah, of the Druids
* Thor, son of Odin, of the Gauls
* Cadmus of Greecde
* Hil and Feta of the Mandaites
* Gentaut and Quexalcote of Mexico
* Universal Monarch of the Sibyls
* Ischy of the island of Formosa
* Divine Teacher of Plato
* Holy One of Xaca
* Fohi and Tien of China
* Adonis, son of the virgin Io, of Greece
* Ixion and Quirinus, of Rome
* Prometheus of Caucasus
Some specifics on a few in ascending order of age (ALL of which predate christianity):
Dionysus, Greece, 500.B.C.
* Born of a virgin, on Dec. 25th
* Performed miracles with his disciples, such as: turning water into wine
* Common names: “king of kings”, “god’s only begotten son”, “alpha and omega”
* Upon death, resurrected
Krishna, India, 900 B.C.
* Born of a virgin
* Birth heralded by a star in the east
* performed miracles
* Upon death, resurrected
Attis, Greece, 1200 B.C.
* Born of a virgin, on Dec. 25th
* Dead for 3 days
Mithra, Persia, 1200 B.C.
* Born of a virgin, on Dec. 25th
* Had 12 disciples
* Performed miracles
* Dead for 3 days
* Nicknames: “the truth”, “the light”
(Sacred day of worship of Mithra was Sunday)
Horus, Egypt, 3000 B.C.
* Born of virgin, on Dec. 25th
* Birth heralded by star in the east that was followed by 3 kings
* Teacher at 12
* Baptized at 30 and began ministry
* Had 12 disciples
* Performed miracles: healing sick and walking on water
* Nicknames: “the truth”, “lamb of god”, “the light”, “the good shepherd”
* Dead for 3 days
A God-man: Debunked!
I shall present now 15 main points arguing why Jesus cannot be divine tackling it from 3 ways accordingly as already explained.
The Judgment Day.
1) Mark 13:32 read:
“”No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
This statement not only assures to us that Jesus is ignorant concerning the Judgment day—a thing which is incomprehensible—it raises another problematic issue: How does Jesus know and doesn’t know? It is like saying a part of God knows while the other has no idea! How can this be?
Adam Clarke, a biblical scholar, who wrote the famous “Commentary on the Bible” says:
“To me it is utterly unaccountable, how Jesus, who knew so correctly all the particulars which he here lays down, and which were to a jot and tittle verified by the event – how he who knew that not one stone should be left on another, should be ignorant of the day and hour when this should be done. I cannot comprehend, but on this ground, that the Deity which dwelt in the man Christ Jesus might, at one time, communicate less of the knowledge of futurity to him than at another. However, I strongly suspect that the clause was not originally in this Gospel. Its not being found in the parallel places in the other evangelists is, in my opinion, a strong presumption against it.”
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible read:
“Neither the Son – This text has always presented serious difficulties. It has been asked, If Jesus had a divine nature, how could he say that he knew not the day and hour of a future event? In reply, it has been said that the passage was missing, according to Ambrose, in some Greek manuscripts; but it is now found in all, and there can be little doubt that the passage is genuine. Others have said that the verb rendered “knoweth” means sometimes to “make” known or to reveal, and that the passage means, ‘that day and hour none makes known, neither the angels, nor the Son, but the Father.’ But then it is natural to ask where has “the Father” made it known? In what place did he reveal it?’”
Where did the Father makes it known asks Barnes—No where.
Therefore, how come God does not know when the hour of Judgment is? Allegedly speaking and for the sake of the argument—did He lose His powers when He became a man? If yes, then are we still to consider Him as God? If not, what makes him divine then?
The Glorious Quran strictly refutes this absurd statement:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَخْفَىٰ عَلَيْهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ
“Indeed, from Allah nothing is hidden in the earth nor in the heaven.” (Holy Quran 3:5)
وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّا
“And your Lord is not forgetful.” (Noble Quran 19:64)
إِنَّمَا إِلَٰهُكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا
“Your Ilah (God) is only Allah, the One (La ilaha illa Huwa) (none has the right to be worshipped but He). He has full knowledge of all things.” (Glorious Quran 20:94).
A helpless unreliable God?
2) John 5:30-2
“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. “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.”
Indeed, one huge can of worms is opened by this verse. Firstly, how can God do nothing by Himself? This is truly a weird unsolved enigma. Secondly, the Biblical Jesus is declaring that his judgment is right—why? Because he is following not his will but the will of God which is according to Christians his will. So in other words, not his will but his will. In short, why are his words true—simply because he abide not by his will but by his will. Do you perceive the difference?
Did anyone, seriously anyone, grasp what was being said here? I guess not.
Finally, the last part—“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid”. Can anyone imagine God testimony as invalid? Does this refer to “Lying”? Are we really to believe that? Nonetheless the ultimate problem here is the issue that God is testifying about himself yet insisting that if it relates to Him— “If I testify about myself”—it is wrong. Illogical.
A possible desperate Christian answer might be that God/Jesus is referring to his human nature. I would say, it would have been better to remain silent than to give this ridiculous answer, simply because:
– You are asserting that by becoming a man, God testimony became invalid yet he was still God whose testimony is even above the word “Valid”—how can this be? How can God words or worse—his testimony valid and not valid at the same time?
– How can we know when Jesus is talking in his human or divine nature?
– By assuming that God words became unreliable, this would mean that He would have uttered lies. Istaghfor Allah.
– Whether it was his human or divine nature—that does not refute the mere fact that it was God—hence still God testimony.
Now, what does the Quran says concerning God testimony:
قُلْ أَيُّ شَيْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَادَةً ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۖ
Say (O Muhammad SAW): “What thing is the most great in witness?” Say: Allah. (Holy Quran 6:22)
While in what relates to the statement “I can of mine own self do nothing”, Allah, the greatest says:
قُلْ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا ۚ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
Say, “Do you worship besides Allah that which holds for you no [power of] harm or benefit while it is Allah who is the Hearing, the Knowing?” (Holy Quran 5:76)
So how many Gods are there?
3) Mark 12:29
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord”
“Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brothers, and say to them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”
Apparently, according to both these verses, Jesus has a God. How is that so? Doesn’t Christians believe in just one God—a Three Godhead? Or is it Two Gods now? Jesus and his “God”? Nonetheless, It is shiny clear according to Mark 12:29 which is basically a quote of Deuteronomy 6:4 that God is One.
Strikingly, Adam Clarke and Barnes are quite silent about this verse. I will quote another commentary, the well known Gill’s exposition of the entire Bible, as it seems to be exclusively interesting:
“God was his Father, not by creation, as he is to angels, and the souls of men, and therefore is called the Father of spirits; nor by adoption, as he is to the saints; nor with respect to the incarnation of Christ, for, as man, he had no father; or with regard to his office as Mediator, for as such he was a servant, and not a Son; but he was his Father by nature, or with regard to his divine person, being begotten of him, and so his own proper Son, and he his own proper Father;”
According to Gill, Jesus is not a “created” son as par rapport to his Father yet the Bible mentions Jesus as God firstborn—in other words, a created being. Obviously, God is not born, nor will He ever will be. Additionally, this latter tells us that God was a Father to Jesus by nature—What does Father by nature really means, one may ask? The Almighty God is at the same time a Father to himself and a Son—to himself? Surely, Christianity is one big mes.
Finally, Jesus is described and believed to be “Begotten”, a word which literary refers to the sexual mean of reproduction. Not only Jesus was shaped and created in his mother’s womb—this word unfortunately denotes an unworthy description related to the Almighty one really do not wish to open that door.
We have noticed how Jesus refers to his God, “My God and your God”, it is fascinating now to see what the Quran says concerning that issue:
لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ۖ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
“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.” (Holy Quran 5:72)
ذَٰلِكَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ۚ قَوْلَ الْحَقِّ الَّذِي فِيهِ يَمْتَرُونَ مَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ مِن وَلَدٍ ۖ سُبْحَانَهُ ۚ إِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ۚ هَٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ
“That is Isa (Jesus) son of Maryam, in word of truth, concerning which they are wrangling. In no way is it for Allah to take to Him a child. All Extolment be to Him! When He decrees a Command, then He only says to it, “Be!” and it is. And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight Path.”
He is blaming himself now?!
4) Mark 15:34
“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
To me, it is one of the best biblical verses. I will draw first what is happening here. As a matter of fact, after being sentenced to death by crucifixion by Pontius Pilate, Jesus was nailed to the cross, where according to the Gospel of Mark; he was silent—unknowing what was happening to him—in a complete state of Shock!
Back to our issue, two points are actually raised here:
-To whom is Jesus talking to?
-Why is he blaming himself?
Apparently, either the Biblical God talk with himself—ask himself or even now blame himself—or something is really fishy going on here? I would say both.
Yet ironically, the bigger critical point here: Why is God blaming himself that he left himself to feel pain—all by himself? How could any normal, rational being believe this?
What do Christian missionaries present as response to this serious dilemma? A smart response is that Jesus was simply quoting Psalms 22, an Old Testament verse which to some extent is similar to that verse—a quote said by David. It may sound as a smart response from a shallow look but we examined carefully—it would seem so ridiculous. Ironically even though it is incomprehensible how David suddenly became Jesus—the passage if read carefully, one would undoubtedly note that it could not refer to Jesus—nonetheless, even if I would want to take it as a Prophecy—I am too nice—still that does not solve the issue. Just saying it is a prophecy simply means that it was known to happen yet it does not present a logical answer why Jesus was blaming himself?! In other words, a prophecy or not—Jesus still blamed why God left him, oddly himself—on the cross? The problem still stands!
To sum up: Difficulty arouse not only with the idea of a suicidal God—we have a biblical God that is not aware of what is going on, talking with himself and strikingly blaming himself why he killed himself—Fantastic.
وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَلَدًا لَّقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئًا إِدًّا تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الْأَرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدًّا أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ وَلَدًا وَمَا يَنبَغِي لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا إِن كُلُّ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا آتِي الرَّحْمَٰنِ عَبْدًا لَّقَدْ أَحْصَاهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدًّا وَكُلُّهُمْ آتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَرْدًا
“They say: “(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!” Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant. Indeed He has already enumerated them, and He has numbered them with (exact) numbering. And everyone of them will come to Him singly on the Day of Judgment. (Noble Quran 19:88-95).
5) Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”
Out of the four Gospels—only three mentions this incident and just two of them describe specifically what happened. While Mark is content with a general statement—John completely omits it. Therefore, our focus will be stressed on Matthew and Luke who narrate this fascinating story but with a slight difference which we will examine it shortly.
Apparently, the Spirit which is understood to be the Holy Spirit—One of God’s distinct personality that forms the trinity—has directed Jesus (himself?) for his temptation. One by just reading this would normally ask: God lead himself for his own temptation? Really?
We are told that Jesus was tempted for 40 days and during this period he fasted (Matthew 4:2; Luke 4:2)—obviously, so that his concentration be focused and ultimately avoiding sinning. Seeing Jesus has not succumbed—the Devil then uses his last three most powerful moves:
-He tells him to change stones into bread so that he could eat (Matthew 4:3; Luke 4:3)
-He takes him to the top of the temple and order him to jump (Matthew 4:5-6; Luke 4:9) saying if you are the son of God—you will not be harmed—as the angels will prevent you from falling.
-Finally, he takes him (again?) to a very high mountain, showing him all the kingdom of the world and assuring him if he worships him—all what he has seen will be his. (Matthew 4:8-9; Luke 4:5-6).
From where do I begin—ah that seems a hard task.
I will divide my argument into five points:
I) Mark, Matthew and Luke flat out contradict what James tells us in his epistle. As a matter of fact, according to James (1:13) “God cannot be tempted and nor does he tempt with evil”. A simple straightforward contradiction.
II) As already mentioned, Jesus fasted for 40 days. Quite interestingly, after that period, it is said that he became “Hungry”. Can anyone imagine a hungry God?
III) We read that Jesus was one time taken to top of the mountain and another to the high mountain—I honestly ask: Is Jesus a sack of potato that Satan throws from one place to another? Wake up Christians!!! This is the Almighty we are talking about.
IV) How could Satan have any effect on God, Almighty? How can he have power over His creator? And telling God to worship him? Seriously? Christians, do you realize what you are saying?
V) The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was tempted “in every way just as we are” (Hebrews 4:15). Now this is one bizarre terrible statement. Every way? Are we to believe that God thought of raping a woman? Throwing an old woman from a cliff? Or maybe dancing naked?
One way to reconcile this is to claim that Jesus did not sin, thus temptations did not have any effect any him. The issue is not whether he sinned or not—rather, the temptation. Whether he fell to Satan or not is irrelevant to the point discussed here. Finally and as usual, you have the man part answer. It was the human part of God that was tempted. I don’t understand how that really solves the issue. First, do Christians, each time they face a difficulty, immediately shout: HUMAN PART! Second, on what basis? Third, even if we would want to accept that it was the human part that was being tempted—still it means that GOD WAS TEMPTED!According to the basic Christian belief, both the human and divine nature is both God.
وَرَبُّنَا الرَّحْمَٰنُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَىٰ مَا تَصِفُونَ
“And our Lord is the Beneficent Allah, Whose help is sought against what you ascribe (to Him).” (Noble Quran 21:112)
Good or not?
6) Luke 18:19; Matthew 19:16-17 and Mark 10:17-18
Consider the story of the rich young ruler. A story narrated by the first three Gospels. John here too—omits that story. Actually, the man is rich according to all three accounts, but only in Matthew he is said to be young and only in Luke he is said to be a ruler. Does that mean we are facing a contradiction here? Not the least. A contradiction occurs when two (or more) statements in relation to a subject conflict—one of them has to be wrong—which is not the case here.
Now, this young rich ruler approached Jesus by referring to him by the words: “Oh good teacher”. Jesus then asks him: Why are you calling me good? Only God is good! In other words, Jesus refused to be set on the same level of the Almighty—to be even put in a comparison. So how could God be not good but still good? He is not good but yet only he is good? A World of contradictions.
Another striking point to be considered is to compare these accounts. A process called by Christian scholars “Redaction Criticism”—which aims to point out how a Gospel author modified a story and why? It is noteworthy to mention that scholars believe that Mark was the first Gospel to be written, Luke and Matthew followed it and finally John. It is also believe that Matthew and Luke have considered Mark as one of their source. By comparing, we find that Luke agrees with Mark word for word. Yet let us read how Matthew renders the story:
“Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
One of the interesting things about this passage is that the man who approaches Jesus uses the term “good” in both accounts but in Matthew he uses it to refer to the deed he must do, whereas in Mark and Luke he uses it to refer to Jesus. As a result the ensuing dialogue in Mark makes sense: Jesus by asking refuse to be compared to God while in Matthew the flow of dialogue seems a bit flow: Why would Jesus object to the man asking about what is good, on the ground that God is only good?
One may ask, why did Matthew alter the text? Obviously, Matthew did not like the issue that Jesus was claiming to be inferior to God and realized that this would cause a serious problem so what did he do? He changed the text.
Jesus, a prophet?
7) Luke 24:19:
“What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.”
“The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”
In the first two verses, we notice Jesus being referred to as a “Prophet” once by Cleopas, the brother of Joseph, the huband of Mary and another by the crowds. Yet what is striking is that in the last quotation, Jesus even refers to himself as a Prophet!!! As a matter of fact, when Jesus began preaching in the Synagogues, in his hometown—Nazareth, he was immediately rebuked by the Jews—his own people. Hence his words: “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”
Hence, the question now begs itself: Is Jesus a Prophet or God? Or could he both? Firstly, what is a Prophet? A Prophet is a person who conveys another person message. In religion, it refers generally to an individual who delivers a certain revelation to people. If Jesus was God, how would he be a Prophet? A prophet to whom? To himself? That seems pretty much absurd and illogical.
One answer I presume would be: Jesus was a prophet to the Father. He was delivering his Father message.
Yet Jesus and his Father are the one and same God. Hence, when a person says Jesus as a Prophet was simply transferring what the Father or his Father said is like saying God is transferring his own words.
Therefore, logically Jesus has to be either God or Prophet—and obviously, from the Biblical and logical perspective, the latter is to be picked.
Let’s go to the Holy Quran:
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْحَقَّ ۚ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ ۖ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَقُولُوا ثَلَاثَةٌ ۚ انتَهُوا خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ ۚ إِنَّمَا اللَّهُ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ ۘ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا
“O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allah aught but the truth. The Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, (“Be!” – and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Ruh) created by Him; so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not: “Three (trinity)!” Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allah is (the only) One Ilah (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.” (4:171)
Circumsized, ate and evidently went to W.C?
8) Luke 2:21
“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”
Is anyone not familiar with the meaning of the word “circumcised”? Just in case, circumcision simply means:
“Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or the entire foreskin (prepuce) from the penis.”
Seriously, I am even ashamed of myself by saying this. How could anyone attribute such a thing to the Almighty God? He had the dirty part of his genitals cut? Dirty and this part? Unfortunately, Christians do not realize the extent of blasphemy they are uttering by believing that God was a man, a fully human being. We Muslims cannot but to say:
سبحان الله و تعالى عما يصفون
Praise is He highly on what they describe.
Now concerning the issue of Jesus eating and hitting the toilet, I would like to quote the Quran to show how God, Almighty deals with such subject, we read:
مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ ۖ كَانَا يَأْكُلَانِ الطَّعَامَ ۗ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الْآيَاتِ ثُمَّ انظُرْ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ
“The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded away from the truth.” (Glorious Quran 5:75)
Consider the eloquence of the Quran and how it smoothly and intellectually delivers the message. The verse says that both Mary and Jesus ate food and obviously what does the person do next? It’s the toilet’s time.
Hence, the Quran strictly refute that nonsense but as we have seen in a beautiful eloquent manner. Al Hamdulilah.
The Quran says:
قُلْ أَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَتَّخِذُ وَلِيًّا فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ يُطْعِمُ وَلَا يُطْعَمُ ۗ قُلْ إِنِّي أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ أَسْلَمَ ۖ وَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
“Say, ‘Is it other than Allah I should take as a protector, Creator of the heavens and the earth, while it is He who feeds and is not fed?” Say, [O Muhammad], “Indeed, I have been commanded to be the first [among you] who submit [to Allah ] and [was commanded], ‘Do not ever be of the polytheists.’ ” (Holy Quran 6:14)
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
“There is nothing whatever similar unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).” (Noble Quran 42:11).
God changed his mind?
9) Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
According to the Christian teachings, specifically the Original Sin, no matter what a person does, no matter how much he prays, fasts, does good deeds—he is doomed to eternal Hell. What was the solution according to Christianity? God had to take human form—Jesus, to be crucified and ultimately to take all the sins of the world with him by dying. That may seem a bit weird but according to this faith—God did it according to his very own will. That was the only solution after all.
Ironically, Luke 22:42 tells us another thing. Here we notice Jesus praying to God, Almighty (himself?) not to die by taking away this “Cup of suffering”. In Luke, he simply asks once while in Mark, he insists three times!!!Now, doesn’t that K.O all the Christian faith apart? If God, Almighty willingly decided to go on a suicide mission—considering that it was the only solution plausible—Why did he suddenly change his mind? Are we to believe that God changes his mind now too? Although the Bible clearly mentions otherwise (Numbers 23:19).
Finally, Jesus says:”Your will to be done and not mine”.
We again here face a terrible nonsense. We note that:
-Jesus is talking with himself.
-Praying to himself.
-Asking himself to spare him from the mission.
-And for the final touch down, hoping that God’s will which is his will be done but not his will.
There is nothing I could say apart: Fantastic!
The Quranic perspective:
God is not a man: Is it that hard to understand?
10) Numbers 23:19; Samuel 15:39
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should change his mind.”
A simple straightforward fact: God is neither a man nor the son of a man. Why can’t Christians understand that? Who was Jesus? A pious God-fearing man and the son of Mary. Actually, God, Almighty since the beginning of time has sent Prophets with good news, with the message of Tawheed, the message of La Ilah illa Allah—there is no god but Allah warning mankind not to associate partners with God and not to worship the sun, the moon, the nature and of course—humans. Nonetheless, thanks to Christianity—we are wrapped back to the ancient times.
A Christian rebuttal to this point might simply be:
“The verse says that God is not a man and not the Son of man—however, it does not say that God can never be a man or the Son of Man.”
This argument fails to perceive that the Old Testament is filled with verses that say that God is this or that and those verses remain true for eternity as Christians themselves will concede in their theology. What do I mean?
Let us take Deuteronomy 6:4 as an example.
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!”
To be consistent the proponents of the first rebuttal must now say that it is possible for God to be 1000 instead of echad(one) in the future if He so wishes. I do not think any reasonable Christian will agree to that.
And finally for my K.O point, Psalms 102:27 assures that God is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow:
“But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”
Muslims sometimes when shocked by a certain thing say:
سبحان الدي يغير و لا يتغير
Praise is to Him that [causes] change but is never changed.
wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]