Tag Archives: muslim vs christian

Debate Video: Was Jesus the Son of God or Only the Prophet of God – Br. Ijaz Ahmad & Dr. Tony Costa


The debate video has been added to our ‘Debates page‘, and is available on YouTube:

I’ve received a ton of positive feedback about the debate. There are a number of reviews expected to be published soon. The following review is from a Muslim YouTube user who watched all of the debates from the Trinity Channel’s Debate Marathon, featuring Dr. Shabir Ally, David Wood, Dr Costa and myself, he says:

I just found this channel, and during the past week or so watched all these debates against Muslims.

As a Muslim convert from Christianity, I must say that the Christians on here are good at debating but they do it in a slick way. That is that they always take the Qur’an and twist it back onto the Muslim by saying things like “According to your book, blah blah blah.”

This debate was the best one so far because Ijaz went into it know this was going to happen and in his initial statement didn’t even mention the Qur’an and used just Christian ideology to make his point. I was thinking that we would finally get a good discussion going.

Unfortunately, right in the first rebuttal, the Christian side went right into the same tactics as in all the previous debates. This is what made this one feel like a big rehash of the previous week.

Another popular Muslim author, and convert from Christianity, Br. Abu Zakariya of Many Prophets One Message posted on Facebook:

A big congratulations to our brother Ijaz Ahmad on last night’s debate with Dr. Tony Costa. It was a resounding victory for Ijaz, despite lacking the academic credentials and decades of experience that his opponent possesses.

May Allah increase Ijaz in goodness. Ameen.

One other mini-review which took place directly after the debate, is as follows by our esteemed and scholastic, Br. Mansur:

Dr. Costa misunderstood your arguments. He misunderstood the topic of the debate. Perhaps he had not given enough thought on the subject. It is strange indeed to see his logic at play here. Suppose the debate title was: ‘ Is the Qur’an the word of God’ or ‘is Muhammad a Prophet of God?’ Merely quoting the Qur’an or the early followers of Islam, or even contemporary non-Muslims who stated this belief of Muslims does not prove any of these propositions. Dr. Costa presumed wrongly that the debate was ‘ Does the Bible claim that Jesus is the son of God or …’. I can accept that the laity can be a victim of poor comprehension on this but I don’t expect that from learned individuals.

The approach I took in this debate has piqued the interest of the inter-faith dialogue community. I chose not to use the historical/ Biblical interpretation route (Son of God has many meanings). Rather, I accepted that my opponent believes that Jesus was God/ the Son of God. From that, I argued based on the philosophy of religion and on the ontology (nature of his God), that Jesus did not meet or fulfill the criteria of God (defined in the debate as a maximally perfect being).

In other words, I asked very important questions. If Jesus is God, does he demonstrate the qualities of a deity? Do the beliefs of Christians regarding the Son of God’s place in the Trinity, make any sense? Are those beliefs consistent, are they rational? Do they contain heretical teachings? Do Christians appeal to heresies to defend the Trinity?

P1: If the beliefs about the Son of God by Christians are inconsistent and irrational, then Jesus is not the Son of God.

P2: The beliefs about the Son of God by Christians are inconsistent and irrational.

C: Therefore Jesus is not the Son of God.

The debate was absolutely wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with Dr. Costa, and I was very much pleased with the outcome. Quite a lot of Muslims thanked me for introducing these arguments, and for not repeating the same arguments that have traditionally been used for debates about this topic since time immemorial. I always try to introduce new information, new arguments, new research when I debate. The goals are to raise and advance the level of intellectual discourse, to discuss the fundamental and essential beliefs about our respective faiths, and finally to educate the public.

May Allah reward all those who take their time to watch the debate, Ameen.

And Allah knows best.

Upcoming Debate: Is the Muslim Denial of Jesus’s Death by Crucifixion Valid? – Br. Ijaz and Keith of Answering Islam

Quick Information:
Topic: Is the Muslim Denial of Jesus’s Death by Crucifixion Valid?
Debaters: Br. Ijaz Ahmad of Calling Christians and Keith Thompson of Answering Islam.
Date: Saturday 26th of September, 2015.
Time: 10 PM EST.
Location: Paltalk, Answering Christianity Room.
Moderator: Sister Waduha.
A little background on the Christian debater:
keith thompson

Keith Thompson of Answering Islam

Keith Thompson is a Christian apologist who runs Reformed Apologetics Ministries and has been writing for Answering-Islam.org since 2008. He is a debater having debated opponents such as Inamullah Mumtaz, Sami Zaatari, Nadir Ahmed, Peter Dimond and others. He resides in Canada and will be completing his seminary studies shortly.
This will be my (Br. Ijaz’s) third debate for the year, with one final (fourth) debate to be announced shortly. The final debate will be with a well known Christian scholar and will be televised (and is expected to be streamed live). The debate is to be held on Friday October the 9th, 2015 (tentative dating).

If you don’t use Paltalk and would still like to view the debate between Keith and myself, alternative arrangements may be made for a YouTube streaming of the event (tentative), or a recording should be available within a week’s time (on YouTube via Nazam44’s and MuslimByChoice’s channels).
If you or someone you know is interested in debating me, do send a request via our contact us form.

and Allah knows best.

Double Debate Release: Br. Zakir Hussain vs Richard Lucas

These two debates were recorded earlier in 2015, but only one of them was video recorded. The video recorded debate was released earlier last month: Who was Jesus?

The second debate has just been uploaded (audio only, with photos instead of video): Islam or Christianity – Which is the One True Religion?

Br. Zakir did an excellent job for both debates, I’ll be posting a review soon on the first debate.

and Allah knows best.

Fantastic Debate with Pastor Samuel Green

Last night’s debate with Samuel was absolutely splendid. The events could not have gone better than I’d hoped and the experience was certainly uplifting and motivating. Here are two quick incidents from last night:

Pastor Samuel: Ijaz you keep asking me for a verse which demonstrates the incarnate Christological (man-God) creed, well I’ve been providing it all along, here it is:

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him.” – Daniel 7:13-14.

Me: Pastor, did you even LOOK at the verse? It literally says that GOD was GIVEN authority, glory and power. That’s funny, because the very definition of God is an all powerful deity, how can an all powerful deity be GIVEN power?

If you that that was bad, this was even worse!

Pastor Samuel: Ijaz you’re confusing Greek mythology with Greek Philosophy, the belief in the Son of God in the Greek culture was mythology not philosophy, you need to study ancient Greek culture.

Me: Reminds the kindly Pastor that Plato and Pythagoras were seen as ‘the Sons of God’ and in Greek Philosophy (as quoted by the Apostle Paul himself!), all men were ‘like’ God because we all possess the faculties of ‘reason’.

I should have the debate uploaded to our channel in a day or two, God willing. There were a few technical glitches and timing issues last night, but we were able overcome these trials and have an eventful debate. At one point I lost internet connection and was unable to hear Samuel’s second rebuttal. The room itself was packed with 120+ persons, and to be quite honest I’m certain it went beyond this number, but because I was busy having a debate – I didn’t think to keep checking the room count, in any case there certainly was a significant turn out from both the Muslim and Christian communities.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Sister Waduha, our moderator who was fair and unbiased. This makes it 3/3 debates in which I’ve worked with her and she pulled out all the stops last night by gifting both Samuel and I a week’s worth of Paltalk Extreme, i.e. we get a full week’s service of the paid Paltalk experience.

In relation to the debate and my performance, I’ve been told by Muslims and Christians alike that perhaps my quotations and my use of them in my arguments seemed to have gone over the heads of most people. I presented an unbiased Christian historical perspective on the development of the incarnate Christology, something in which Pastor Samuel was not prepared for and it clearly shows in his rebuttals that he really didn’t know how to respond and so he went into a hundred and one directions and gifted me three smashing cross fire questions that seemed to put him into the hot seat!

Many have been asking for the sources of the quotes I used during my Opening Statement, rest assured that in the coming days, perhaps after my debate with Bob Siegel, I’ll put something together for the public’s use inshaaAllaah.

wa Allaahu ‘alam.

Christian Viciously Abuses, Insults and Attacks Br. Ijaz and Innocent Muslim Female on Paltalk

Today, I bring you approximately 10 minutes of a Bible believing, Christ loving, Church going, Muslim hating Christian named Larsen. He doesn’t like Muslims, actually, he hates us. To quote him, he says, “We are your enemies, we hate you and we hate you with a passion“. As you’d notice I reacted to his abuse in the way I react to all Christian abuse. I remained calm and collected, answered his questions, questioned his methodology and behaviour, this however, led to him stopping me from speaking and increasing in his anger, which caused him to verbally abuse me more.

At first he confused me with someone else, I for myself, do not own any rooms on Paltalk, then he confused me with someone else who he’s afraid to debate, therefore I asked him if he’d debate me, to which he gave a very strange and laughable reply. Feel free to listen to the audio. Once more, please remember that the ‘clicking’ sound in the background is me typing text responses to him.

Notice, he begins to call a Muslim sister:

  • Stupid
  • Scumbag
  • Disgrace
  • He even says, “I spit on you”.
  • Shame on you.
  • Nasty
  • Disgusting Filthy

Imagine, this is how a Bible believing Christian speaks to Muslim women, simply because they are not Christian!

and Allaah knows best.

Criticism of CL Edwards’ Debate Methodology versus Br. Shadid Lewis

Br. Shadid Lewis and CL Edwards recently had a debate entitled, “Can We Trust the Islamic Jesus“, this is not a review of the debate (the review shall be published soon), but this is a criticism of CL Edward’s methodology of which he employed during the debate. I base my informed criticism about CL, on my experience as a debater who has also previously engaged with him in a recorded debate and on my past rebuttals to him.

The Scope and Delimitations of the Debate

It’s all in the title. When two debaters sit down to discuss a topic, they are agreeing to leave off all other discussions and to focus on what the subject of the debate is. So for example, if I sit down with an opponent, and we agree to debate oranges, we are agreeing to discuss nothing but oranges, we will not discuss any other fruit such as an apple, or a banana. This therefore is what we refer to as the scope (depth) and the delimitations (boundaries of the debate). The scope of the debate, is that we have agreed to discuss everything about oranges, as much as we can. The delimitations (or boundaries) of the debate, mean that we limit ourselves to the discussion of oranges. CL would have to explain if he did not agree to debate this topic, to atleast release himself from the criticism against him.

What’s in the Title?

The title of the debate was and up to the start of the debate, declared to be, “Can We Trust the Islamic Jesus“. Let’s break the title up to understand what the scope and delimitations of the debate was:

  • Can we trust
  • the Islamic Jesus

Who is being referred to as, ‘we‘, here? Well, let the evidence show that the we, includes solely Christians and Muslims. Why do I say this? Well for one, the organization which CL Edwards represented was a Christian organization, the Center for Religious Debate. The audience was a Christian audience. The debate was held inside of a Church and the debate began and ended with Christian prayers.

Secondly, they were debating the Islamic Jesus, not the sources of the Islamic Jesus, but whether or not Christians, can trust the Islamic Jesus, not the Islamic faith, the Islamic scriptures, the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but the Islamic Jesus.

What was Shadid’s Methodology?

Since this was a Christian opponent, and a Christian audience and given the scope and delimitations of the debate title, Br. Shadid’s methodology was quite simple. It can be demonstrated in set notation:

Let Set M represent the attributes of Islamic Jesus:

  • Set M = {Man, Prophet, Sent by God, Did Miracles, Virgin Birth, Messiah}.

Let Set C represent the attributes of the Christian Jesus:

  • Set C = {Man, Prophet, Sent by God, Did Miracles, Virgin Birth, Messiah, God}.

Set C represents what Christians trust about Jesus, therefore, Shadid’s methodology is to demonstrate the intersection of Islamic beliefs and Christians beliefs about Jesus, imply that they already believe what Muslims believe, and since they already trust their own beliefs about Christ, they then already trust the Islamic beliefs about Christ.

Let M ^ C be the intersection or what is commonly trusted among the beliefs of Muslims and Christians about Christ:

  • Set M ^ C = {Man, Prophet, Sent by God, Did Miracles, Virgin Birth, Messiah}.

The Muslim beliefs about Christ, are therefore declared to be a subset of the beliefs which Christians have about Jesus Christ. I’m using set logic, or set notation, since this is the easiest way to explain Br. Shadid’s methodology. I’m also using this form of explanation, since CL Edwards claims to have studied logic, or atleast attempted to explain (without reason), the definition of several logical fallacies during the debate. It is therefore the case, that CL clearly is an inane ignoramus, a sophomore (bookful blockhead), who although being a claimant of utilizing logic, he clearly did not understand the clear and consistent logic as used by Br. Shadid. My criticism against CL shows that he either intentionally misled himself into thinking he was a logician, or he fooled his audience by claiming to understand Br. Shadid’s methodology.

What was CL’s Methodology?

CL Edwards focused his argument on the following points:

  • The Qur’aan is not from the first century, thus it is not a reliable witness to the personhood of Christ.
  • The Qur’aan does not contain first person eyewitness reports, thus it cannot be trusted as to what it says about Christ.
  • The Qur’aan’s claim that Jesus had a scripture which has never been seen or proven to exist, proves that the Islamic Jesus cannot be trusted.

His methodology however, fails to live up to the scope and delimitations of the debate title, for which both speakers agreed upon. Let’s look at the first argument. The debate is not about the reliability of the Qur’aan, therefore the first argument of CL is outside the scope and delimitations of the debate, not to mention it contradicts his own beliefs as the New Testament itself is outside of the first century via empirical evidence (P52 dated to 125 CE), theoretically though it is dated to have existed in some form during the 70 – 80 CE, however there is no physical manuscript (for which CL argued for) which proves this.

His second argument, once again falls outside of the scope and delimitations of the title. The debate is not about the reliability of eyewitness reports. Br. Shadid during the debate also successfully demonstrated that the New Testament was written decades after Christ, by persons unknown to Christ, the names of the Gospels are mere attributions as handed down by tradition and not by fact.

Lastly, his final point, the existence of the Injeel also fails to be relevant to the title. The debate is not about whether the Injeel existed or not, or what the evidence for the Injeel is, therefore this argument of CL is highly irrelevant and clearly outside the scope and delimitations of the agreed debate title.

A Change of Scope and Delimitations

At some point during the debate, CL realised that if he were to argue against trusting the Islamic Jesus, he’d have to argue against what Christians already believe about Christ – since the Muslim beliefs about Christ are a subset of what Christians already do believe (this was demonstrated above). CL, realising this, decided to alter the scope of the debate, by asking Br. Shadid to assume he was an atheist, and therefore from this angle, challenged him to prove that the Islamic Jesus existed.

Once again, this only goes to demonstrate that CL is not a professional debater, nor is he educated. To begin with, if we are to discuss the topic that CL proposed, then we’d be discussing the origins of Christ, since atheists do not agree that Christ may have even existed at all. This is outside the scope of the debate, as the title does not indicate that either speaker was to prove Christ existed, but rather to show that Christians who already believed in a Jesus Christ, can also believe or trust in the Islamic Christ.

A Hypocrite of Unforeseen Proportions

During the debate CL Edwards found himself claiming several fallacies of Br. Shadid, to which he himself is victim of:

  1. Confirmation bias.
  2. Straw man argumentation.
  3. Cherry picking.

CL’s confirmation bias, was demonstrated when he declared that the Bible came from eyewitnesses during the first century. This is clearly a false notion and none of the NT texts have been transmitted as first person verbatim.

By pretending to be an atheist and asking Br. Shadid to prove that Christ existed at all and then condemning him when he chose not to – and to instead stick to the debate, this is in itself a straw man argument.

Lastly, Br. Shadid, practised the Christian methodology of typology, in which they read from their own text/ scripture (the New Testament) about the Christ and then they return to the Old Testament to demonstrate that he was mentioned there, or that the Old Testament offers proofs about him. Br. Shadid applied this same methodology to the New Testament, he declared the Christ of the Qur’aan to be trustworthy and then using typology, demonstrated the Qur’aanic Christ from the New Testament. One of the strangest arguments from CL is that he asked, how could Br. Shadid seek for evidences of an Islamic Christ in a book he himself believe to be corrupted, when CL himself and many Christians believe that Jews corrupted the Torah to hide the truth about the Christ’s prophecies within them. He lowly can he go?

Very Low

In a last ditch attempt to salvage a debate in which the methodology of Br. Shadid flew over his head, in a debate to which he could not commit himself to be relevant, and to a crowd who was anxious – waiting for him to make a single valid point, CL went to the lowest low. He began to insult and use derogatory terms. How are these questions relevant to the trustworthiness of the Islamic Christ?

  • Does your God have a penis?
  • Your Prophet had sex with a child.

These have nothing to do with the debate, but rather these were low blows in attacking the faith of Br. Shadid, in order to escape the reality that CL cannot stand up and defend his faith, so he rather cast insults to make himself feel better. In contrast, doesn’t CL believe in a deity who is a man, and therefore does have genitals? We also pray that CL has taken a biology class or two, but again, his level of intelligence is yet to be established, therefore it is no wonder he has labelled a young adult as a child, he does not know that at the age of sexual maturation, a child can no longer be labeled as such.

The Reality of the Debate

If CL had to argue that the Islamic Jesus was not trustworthy, seeing as the Islamic beliefs about Christ, are a subset of Christian beliefs about Christ, he’d be relegated to arguing against his own religion. Therefore, for a majority of the debate, he focused on things outside of the scope and delimitation of the topic – the existence of the Injeel, the Qur’aanic claims about Christ, the eyewitnesses, God’s genitals, explaining the meanings of some logical fallacies, etc. CL did not have the courage to discuss the topic directly and therefore found himself fiddling around with largely irrelevant arguments, pretending to be atheist and mocking his opponent.

I’ve always held that the debate with Bob Siegel was the worst of the series, but to me, CL took the cake for this title. Bob was uninformed, inexperienced, but we cannot offer the same excuses for CL. He’s debated before, this is his field of interest, he’s a seminary student, he claims to be an ex-Muslim, he has no excuse for his lackluster performance, his shameful behaviour and his lack of mental fortitude to cope with the methodology and logic of Br. Shadid.

CL Can’t Change

I experienced the same with CL during my debate with him. Like any other dud, he tried to explain that Christ was God from evidences in the Bible, the debate however was titled, “Is Jesus God, man or both”?, it never asked according to the Qur’aan or Bible! I caught him out, demonstrated that his evidences and opening were useless, I used the secular historical method, never once quoting the New Testament or the Qur’aan. I’d presented an argument, with a methodology that he hadn’t prepared for, so his counter arguments were nuanced, he couldn’t salvage the debate because he didn’t prepare for it in the way I did.

Similarly, he wrongly assumed the arguments Br. Shadid would offer, so when Br. Shadid offered something logical, and clear, something CL didn’t think of – he had to go all out to not lose a second debate in a row. CL lost one debate, perhaps we could excuse him as it was his first, but to lose a second in a row because he was unprepared to deal with his opponent’s arguments – demonstrates that he is not a debater, he cannot hold his own and when he’s put to defend his religion, he can’t.

The Challenge

I know CL cannot debate me, I know that he’d try to mock me or insult my religion or cast aspersions about my character. Regardless of these things, he cannot hold his own in a debate, so here I am, challenging CL to debate me, let’s debate the topic Bob failed to impress on, “Is the NT Reliable“? Can you defend your religion against a person who’s not only significantly younger than you, but who’s unfazed by your theatrics? The challenge has been issued, all we need now is to see if CL can stand up and hold his own…? I’ve issued an email challenge to him, this is the message verbatim:

Good day Mr. Edwards,

Please see the following article assessing your performance, and also see the challenge towards the end:


Can you hold your own?

Let’s see what his next move is.

and Allaah knows best.

Debate: Was Muhammad (peace be upon him) Foretold in the Bible? Zakir Hussein vs Samuel Green

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Another excellent debate from the up and coming debater, Br. Zakir Hussein. Eloquent in his speech, spot on in his arguments, well articulated rebuttals and most importantly he stayed on topic. Samuel Green attempted to refute him a few times, but got carried away, you’ll notice that Br. Zakir played a bit of logic on Samuel and used the same method of finding prophecies of Christ in the Old Testament and applied it to his own agenda. Thereby allowing Samuel to argue against his own methodology, pure brilliance from Br. Zakir.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

Video: Jesus the Christ, Man, God or Both? – Ijaz Ahmad vs CL Edwards

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Post Debate thoughts:

Debate Information:


Feel free to leave your thoughts, suggestions and comments! I’d also like to thank CL Edwards for having the video provided so quickly. The video was taken from his website’s posting.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam!

John 5:23 – The Sweetest Trinitarian Honey!

Visiting the darling Trinitarian argument from a neutral perspective.

Question Mark


One of the best argument which a Trinitarian would brandish in support of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) deity is the appeal to John 5:23. The flagrantly high “Christology” in the youngest of all gospels – the gospel of John – has in it Jesus (peace be upon him) asserting that he is to be honored “just as” the Father.

Under most circumstances, Trinitarians would love to use it to worship a mere man; however, this could be done after comfortably neglecting or rejecting the (i) immediate and (ii) overall context of the Bible and (iii) the contemporary prevailing beliefs of “orthodox” Christians.

Once the verse is seen in its proper perspective either, Jesus (peace be upon him) could not be deified unless otherwise resorted to slanted exegesis; or, multiple mere mortals would also have to be deified, accordingly!

With that said, let us test the viability of one of the best Trinitarian argument!

Honor the Son in the “same way” as Father

 The following is the text used as a proof to deify Jesus (peace be upon him):

Nor does the Father himself judge anyone. He has given his Son the full right to judge, so that all will honor the Son in the same way as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. (John 5: 22-23, Good News Bible)

The following transliteration of the video clipping would prove how desperately Trinitarian apologists have been mishandling the above verse towards their polytheistic agenda:

“Why did the Father appointed his Son to be the Judge of all? All creation, all flesh. Here is the answer. Here is the reason from the lips of Jesus Christ our Lord; from the very chapter that Zakir Naik misquoted – that all my honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Let me just stop here for a moment. Notice what the Lord Jesus Christ did not say. He did not say, “the reason why the Father appointed me judge is so that everyone honors me as a prophet”. That’s not what he said. He didn’t say, “that the reason why I have been appointed judge of all is so that you can honor me as you honor the righteous or your parents or a messenger. No, he says, the reason why I judge everyone is so that everyone honors me in the same way they honor the Father. ” (Shamoun Time 07:24 – 08:14)

Before we dissect the argument for closer examination, we will make certain very important observations from the above adduced verse. These observations would sufficiently allude that the otherwise obvious “Christology” (for Trinitarians) of the verse, is not, in reality that obvious!

Observe that Jesus (peace be upon him) is to be honored the “same way” as God for the following two reasons:

1.      Father (God) has made or appointed Son (Jesus, peace be upon him) to judge on His behalf on this Earth. In other words, Jesus (peace be upon him) would be representing God’s sovereignty in this world, he has been given that privilege. In other words, the attribute of judging does not come intrinsically from him. Consequently, elsewhere in the Bible such a deferred privilege is portrayed as a non-divine act of Jesus (peace be upon him):

“If people hear my message and do not obey it, I will not judge them. I came, not to judge the world, but to save it. Those who reject me and do not accept my message have one who will judge them. The words I have spoken will be their judge on the last day! This is true, because I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has commanded me what I must say and speak. And I know that his command brings eternal life. What I say, then, is what the Father has told me to say.” (John 12: 47-50)

Moreover, New Testament also declares that mere Christian believers would also judge on the judgment day! This further proves that judging others was not a task to deify a candidate.

2.      Also observe that Jesus (peace be upon him) has been “sent” by Father; he was commissioned into this world. This particular act of “sending” somebody has the imports of non divine prophet-hood on the one who is send. Moreover, in biblical context such a commissioned person is yet again portrayed as somebody lesser than God. Consider the following few verses regarding Jesus (peace be upon him) as substantiation for this notion:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone the messengers God has sent you! How many times I wanted to put my arms around all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me! (Matthew 23:37)

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. (John 4: 34)

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. (John 5:30)

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (John 7:16)

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. (John 8:29)

(King James Version)

This gives us a good picture that neither (i) judging on behalf of God as His representative nor (ii) being the one sent by God can be treated as divine phenomenon and yet we find our subject phrase – to honor Son just as Father – smack dab at the middle of  mutually opposing clauses – the two non-divine functionalities or attributes.

Therefore it still has to be enquired why the controversial subject phrase was placed in between two necessarily non-divine context. The answer to this query was “shadowed” in the Old Testament!

The way the Old Testament portrays its Prophets

Trinitarians would accept that Jesus (peace be upon him) was not merely a New Testament “God” but he was also a messianic prophet; a Davidic prophet; a royal prophet (c.f. Matthew 1:1, 17, 9:27, 13:55-57, 21: 5-9, 10-11, 45-46. Luke 1:30-32, 13:32-33, 24:18-19, John 6:14, Acts 2:22, 30)

So whatever was attributed and applicable to the Old Testament prophets, especially those who were Davidic and royal, could be applied at par for Jesus (peace be upon him) as well!  With that said let us observe very closely how the Old Testament portrayed its prophets and what was attributed to them.

1.      Davidic royal Prophets were required to be worshipped:

“Then David said to the whole assembly, ‘Bless Yahweh your God.’ And the whole assembly blessed Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads low and worshipped Yahweh AND the king (wayyiqadu wayyishtahawu YHWHW walammelek).” (1 Chronicles 29: 20)

“You have delivered me from the strivings of the people; You have made me the head of the nations; A people I have not known shall serve me (ya’abduni). As soon as they hear me they obey me; The foregners submit to me.” (Psalm 18: 43-44)

“Give the king your justice, O God, and your rightenouness to the royal son!…May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! …May all kings fall down before Him (wayishtahawulow); May all nations serve Him (ya’abduhu).” (Psalm 72:1,9, 11)

They will serve(wa’abadu) Yahweh their God AND David their king whom I will raise up for them.” (Jeremiah 30:9)

Notice the construction of the Old Testament “verses”: It has instructed its believers to worship and serve Yahweh and the prophet(s) in the same breath.

The “verses” do not make any qualification that God is to be worshipped the way befits Him and the worldly kings are to be honored the way which suits the mortals. In fact it does not even differentiates the word – it uses the same word “worship” while referring to both God “and” mortal kings.

Furthermore, observe the Hebrew words used for worship (and services) and compare them with the following words as used while referring to Yahweh. They are either identical or a derivative of the root word:

Serve (‘ibdu) the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Psalm 2:11

Serve (‘ibdu) the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Acknowledge that Yahweh is God. He made us, and we are His—His people, the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:2-3

“All nations whom You have made Shall come and worship (wayishtahawu) before You, O Lord (adonay), And shall glorify (wikabbadu) Your name.” Psalm 86:9

“‘From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh will come and bow down (lahishtahawot) before Me,’ says Yahweh.” Isaiah

Thus, we see that the Old Testament had a peculiarly high “prophetology” for its prophets. They were to be “worshipped” alongside Yahweh (“and”) and to express this notion Hebrew Bible uses the same root word which it uses for Yahweh.

2.      Mere prophets were praised “just as” Yahweh

The Old Testament requires its believers to exalt and praise Yahweh,

“Give to Yahweh, O families of the peoples, Give to Yahweh glory (kabod)and strength. Give to Yahweh the glory (kabod) due His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship (hishtahawu) Yahweh in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. (Psalm 96:7-9)

Let the peoples praise You, O GodLet all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, And govern the nations on earth. Selah Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us, And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.” (Psalm 67:3-7)

Yet it also requires that mere prophets be also exalted and praised:

His glory (kabodo) is great in Your salvation; Honor and majesty You have placed upon him. For You have made him most blessed forever; You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.” (Psalm 21:5-6)

“So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord (adonayik), worship Him (wahishtahawilow)… I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever. (Psalm 45:11, 17)

Notice that it is not merely the usage of same Hebrew words (“Kobodo”) for glorifying prophets as was used for Yahweh but that the last verse even requires its followers to praise a mere king “forever and ever” – something which falls in the genre of divinie praise! We do not “kobod” (praise) mere mortal prophets “forever and ever”, yet, biblically these are allowed phrases without breaching its brand of monotheism.

3.      Mere prophets sharing the same title with Yahweh

In the same adduced Psalm verse (45:11, above) notice that Davidic prophet(s) was referred as “Lord” using the Hebrew word “adonayik”. Comparatively, the same word is elsewhere used for Yahweh as well:

Thus says your Lord (adonayik), Yahweh and your God, Who pleads the cause of His people: ‘See, I have taken out of your hand The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it.’” Isaiah 51:22

Thus we have instance where Yahweh – the “God” of the Bible – has even shared his title with mere mortals. No wonder, Yahweh is also portrayed as sharing his throne as well:

Prophets on the Throne of God Himself:

Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. All the officials, the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David pledged allegiance to King Solomon. The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him royal majesty which had not been on any king before him in Israel.” (1 Chronicles 29:23-25)

“Blessed be the Lord your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king for the Lord your God; because your God loved Israel establishing them forever, therefore He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.” (2 Chronicles 9:8)

All of the above Old Testament verses by allowing its prophets,

  1. To be “worshipped” alongside Yahweh,
  2. To be glorified  just as Yahweh,
  3. To share same title as Yahweh,

creates good ground for correct and congenial interpretation of John 5:23. In the backdrop of foregoing Old Testament verses if Jesus (peace be upon him) asserted that son is to be honored “just as” Father then he had the Old Testament pretext in which he was asserting! He knew that the Jewish traditions allow that mere prophets be “worshipped”, “glorified” alongside Yahweh “just as” He is worshipped and glorified. Similarly, Jesus (peace be upon him) even knew that Old Testament prophets even shared Yahweh’s titles to their end and yet none of it violated any Old Testament monotheism.

Therefore, if Jesus (peace be upon him) supposedly demands “same honor” with Father then it could not possibly be taken to establish divinity for Jesus (peace be upon him) given the Old Testament framework. Yet if Trinitarians want to do it then either (i) they want to reject the overall Old Testament context in which Jesus (peace be upon him) was speaking or (ii) they have to deify multiple Old Testament prophets (or at least the royal, Davidic prophets for that reason)!

The problem does not end here with the best-argument. Consider the following section.


What did Jesus (peace be upon him) do with the “honor” he demanded? 

Even if we reject all of the Old Testament pretext to claim that because Jesus (peace be upon him) demanded “same honor” with Father, therefore, he must be divine; yet it does not help the Trinitarian agenda in any way since it is very interesting to observe what Jesus (peace be upon him) later did with the “honor” – the so assumed “divine” honor – once it was vested on him. In the following passages we explore it.

Later in the same gospel, towards the end of his life, Jesus (peace be upon him) picks up the topic of his honor and glory once again. In fact John dedicates an entire chapter towards the honor and glory of Jesus (peace be upon him). We pick it up from there:

John portrays Jesus (peace be upon him) demanding the glory which he had initially – even before the world was ever made:

After Jesus finished saying this, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son, so that the Son may give glory to you. I have shown your glory on earth; I have finished the work you gave me to do. Father! Give me glory in your presence now, the same glory I had with you before the world was made. (John 17: 1, 4-5)

Trinitarian exegetes are unanimous upon it that the primordial glory of Jesus (peace be upon him) was particularly divine!

However, later in the same chapter, after praying for his followers, Jesus (peace be upon him) interestingly (or embarrassingly) gave away the same glory to his multiple disciples:

“I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message. I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me. I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one: (John 17: 20-22)

Observe it once again that Jesus (peace be upon him) gave his followers the “same glory” which God vested on him. Don’t forget, verses 4 and 5 informed us that, according to Trinitarian exegesis, Jesus (peace be upon him) was seeking his “divine” primordial glory from Father!

Acknowledging the “high” status of followers, Trinitarian commentators have following to remark:

John 17:22  The glory which thou hast given me, I have given them – The glory of the only begotten shines in all the sons of God. How great is the majesty of Christians. (John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes, John 17:22)

Notice the Wesley’s exclamatory note towards the end of his comment. He exclaims about the extra high esteemed status of Christians – why? Because they enjoy thesame glory which Christ (peace be upon him) was conferred with for being the “only begotten” of the God!

It is very disturbing that within the purported realms of “monotheistic” Christianity, the supposed divine and special glory of the alleged Trinitarian god is shared with multiple mere mortals!

Another set of Trinitarian Scholars – Matthew Henry – go a step ahead of John Wesley to claim more divine qualities and positions for mere mortals which assumedly befits Christ (peace be upon him) alone:

Those that are given in common to all believers. The glory of being in covenant with the Father, and accepted of him, of being laid in his bosom, and designed for a place at his right hand, was the glory which the Father gave to the Redeemer, and he has confirmed it to the redeemed. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, John 17:20-23)

As a proof for Jesus’ (peace be upon him) divinity, Trinitarians down the ages have been appealing to the biblical verses wherein Jesus (peace be upon him) is portrayed as “laid in God’s bosom” and “at His right hand”.

The “right hand” of the God is an exclusive, divine place suitable only for Christ (peace be upon him) appeals most Trinitarians, nevertheless, we saw above thatTrinitarian scholars had no scruple into vesting these “divine” status on mere mortals implying either (i) the “glory” of Jesus (peace be upon him) was not divine or (ii) there are numerous individuals in Trinitarian Christianity enjoying such “glory”!

Furthermore, honor of being the “redeemer” of the entire world has to be divine at least in the Trinitarian parlance yet Trinitarian scholars confirm it on multiple mere creatures! This once again establishes that honor of Jesus (peace be upon him) although special and prized but was not divine.

The problem with the best argument continues…


 Earliest “Orthodox” Beliefs 

We are now to the very last argument against Trinitarian misuse of John 5:23. In this section we would consider the writings of earliest, “orthodox”, church father Ignatius. Remember that Ignatius is as old as contemporary to gospel of John and a student of John himself!

Consider then what Ignatius had to portray about the “orthodox” belief system of theearliest Christians regarding the status of church bishops:

“Be subject to the bishop as to the commandment” (Ign. Trall. 13.2)

We are clearly obliged to look upon the bishop as the Lord himself” (Ign. Eph. 6.1)

Since the mortal “bishops” were to be seen as “Lord” himself and their commandments were to be treated at par with the Laws of Yahweh, Ignatius of Antioch gave no religious freedom to the laity:

“You should do nothing apart from the bishop” (Ign. Magn. 7.1)

On the preceding, New Testament authority Bart Ehrman rightly asserts the following:

Each Christian community had a bishop, and this bishop’s word was LAW [Mosaic]The bishop was to be followed as if he were God himself. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p.141)

Even if we neglect that the writings of the earliest, “orthodox” church father – Ignatius as outright polytheistic yet it can still be used to fathom the then prevailing state of affairs with regards to the status of celebrated people inside church walls. If mere church bishop(s) can be viewed as “God himself” then we do not see much appeal if “Jesus” (peace be upon him) – the supposed “head of the Church” demanded merely “same honor” with Father! It was just part and parcel and legacy of “orthodox” Christianity.

Therefore, to declare Jesus (peace be upon him) as God – Almighty just because somewhere he had allegedly demanded “same honor” with Father comes more as an act desperation in the wake of absence of conclusive proofs.

Christians could not conveniently brush aside Ignatius’ writings since (i) he is the very prototype of all “orthodox” Christians (ii) a student of John (the evangelist) himself and most importantly (iii) he – the “Saint” Ignatius – considered his words to be divinely inspired. Check this out:

For even if some people have wanted to deceive me according to the flesh, the Spirit is not deceived, since it comes from God. For it knows whence it comes and where it is going, and it exposes the things that are hidden. I cried out while among you, speaking in a great voice, the voice of God, “Pay attention to the bishop and the presbytery and the deacons!” But some suspected that I said these things because I knew in advance that there was a division among you. But the one in whom I am bound is my witness that I knew it from no human source; but the Spirit was preaching, saying: “Do nothing apart from the bishop; keep your flesh as the Temple of God; love unity; flee divisions; be imitators of Jesus Christ as he is of his Father.” (Ign. Phil., 7)



Our concern was to understand if there is any viability in one of the most celebrated Trinitarian argument in support of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) deity, namely, John 5:23.

In the very first place we saw that the subject verse of honoring son just as Father was placed amidst two mutually opposing phrases which essentially portray Jesus (peace be upon him) in a non divine light.

Later we realized that let alone Jesus (peace be upon him) demanding (merely) “same honor” with Father, Old Testament prophets had centuries ago enjoyed colossal privileges than that. In it, (i)they were to be worshipped alongside Yahweh (ii) they were to be glorified “same as” God so much so that (iii) they were to even share the titles and throne of God – Himself with Bible making no distinction in the construction of the sentence or the choice of words in any of the above! Furthermore (iv) contemporary (to New Testament), “orthodox” church writings declare mere Christian believers in church offices to be looked upon as “God himself” and their fleeting sayings at par with Yahweh’s own words!

If there is a lot of Trinitarian hue and cry over Jesus (peace be upon him) demanding “same honor” with God then, on the preceding biblical proofs, there should be even greater voices raised for worshipping numerous Old Testament prophets and multiple church bishops in various parts of the world and down the ages.

With that said, we request Christians to look upon the alleged Jesus’ (peace be upon him) assertion in its proper biblical perspective and come to conclusions accordingly.


  • Unless otherwise mentioned all biblical texts courtesy Sam Shamoun. Jazakallah khair, Shamoun. May Allah (SWT) guide you towards monotheism for this service!
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