Responses to Common Arguments Christians Use to Claim Jesus’ Divinity
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
In this post we’ll be examining some of the reasons that Christians assert that we should worship Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Missionaries and Evangelists usually promote these arguments to the layman in the Muslim community and while there is a bulk of resources out there (for example, see our numerous links) that do try to respond to these arguments, I’ve found them sometimes a bit too in-depth and scholarly for the layman, especially since they are in a more detailed form of English. I’ll be attempting to simplify and to demonstrate some quick counter-arguments in this series of articles. This is not intended to be highly detailed, scholarly argumentation, this is meant to aid the layman in responding quickly, correctly, and decisively to missionary claims. I’ll be updating this frequently, so keep an eye out for new additions.
Argument(s): Jesus is God because He is sinless OR Jesus is God because He is the only one to fulfill the laws of the Old Testament (mitzvot).
Counter Argument: If being sinless is a criteria for being God, then both Zechariah and Elizabeth are considered to be Gods, Luke 1:5-6 reads, “In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” Also, if following all the laws of the Old Testament is a criteria for being a God, then, since this passage states clearly that they fulfilled all the laws of the Old Testament, they too must be Gods.
Argument: Jesus is eternal, He existed from the beginning and has no end.
Counter Argument: Paul claims that Melchezidek, a High Priest is also like Christ in this aspect, does that then mean you have to worship Melcehzidek as well? Hebrews 7:3 reads, “ Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”
Argument: Jesus is God because only God can raise the dead. (Luke 7:13-15, Matthew 9;25, John 11:43-44, Matthew 27:52-53).
Counter Argument: If being able to raise the dead makes one a God, then Paul, Peter, Elisha and and Elijah are all Gods, we read:
1 Kings 17:17-24.
Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
2 Kings 4:3-5.
“Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.”
This miracle of raising the dead might be interpreted as being greater than Jesus’ raising of the dead, as Elisha who was dead, was able to raise the dead, Jesus only raised the dead while alive:
2 Kings 13:21.
“Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.”
Peter in Acts 9:36-42.
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widowsstood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
Paul in Acts 20:9-12.
“Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.”
Argument: Jesus is God because He is called God by God (Hebrews 1:8).
(a) God also calls men Gods in Psalms 82:6, are we supposed to worship them too?
“I said, ‘You are “Gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’
[Note: Christian translations try to hide this by using ‘gods’, the word used in Hebrew is Elohim, and is more properly translated as ‘God’ as it is the same word used for God in Genesis 1:1, pointing out this inconsistency might aid your argument.]
In Psalms 110:1, we have the same scenario again, the Lord is calling another person, ‘Lord’, which reads, “The Lord says to my Lord”.
[Note: Christian translations try to hide this by using ‘lord’, however see the citation at the end of the page which says, ‘or Lords’.]
(b) For a more detailed article, see this post here.
Argument: Jesus was worshipped (Matthew 8:2, Matthew 15:25, Matthew 28:17).
Counter Argument: Jesus was not worshipped, but bowed to in these verses. The word used is ‘proskuneo’ which means ‘to bow in reverence to’. See Strong’s Lexicon here. Abraham bowed to an entire nation, brothers bowed to kings, mother’s prayed for people to bow to her son in the Old Testament, but for some strange reason, Christians do not consider this bowing to be worship, even though it is the same act:
Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites.
Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land
May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”
Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them.“Where do you come from?” he asked.
Argument: Jesus is God because the Qur’an says he is the only sinless person.
Counter Argument: The verse commonly quoted is Qur’an Surah 19, Ayah 19, which reads, “He replied: “I am only a messenger from your Lord (sent) to bestow a good son on you.” The problem is, Christians assert that the word used means sinless, “زَكِيًّا”. However, the word used is “Zakiyyan”, which according to Lane’s Arabic Lexicon means “pure“. The same word is also used to describe John the Baptist in Qu’ran Surah 19, Ayah 13, which reads, “(We said:) “O John, hold fast to the Book;” and We gave him wisdom right from boyhood, And compassion from Us, and goodness. So he was devout,…”. Since the same word is used to describe John the Baptist, would Christians worship him too?
Argument: Jesus is God because the Qur’an says Allah is the First, the Last, the Truth and the Bible says Jesus is the same.
Counter Argument: That argument takes the form:
Joe is a man.
Jack is a man.
Therefore Joe is Jack.
Seems nonsensical? Let’s apply the Christian argument then:
Jesus is the Truth.
Allah is the Truth.
Therefore Jesus is Allah.
The argument takes the same form as the example above. We can even apply this reasoning to Hinduism:
Jesus is a God.
Lakshmi is a God.
Therefore Jesus is Lakshmi.
Use the above examples in how many ways you want and point out the absurd reasoning of our Christian brethren.
wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]