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Scholar Relates Gospel Traditions to the “Telephone” Game!

Question Mark

Speaking candidly on the historicity of the gospel traditions, especially its transmission, New Testament Scholar Bart Ehrman makes the following intriguing comparison:

“You are probably familiar with the old birthday party game “telephone.” A group of kids sits in a circle, the first tells a brief story to the one sitting next to her, who tells it to the next, and to the next, and so on, until it comes back full circle to the one who started it. Invariably, the story has changed so much in the process of retelling that everyone gets a good laugh. Imagine this same activity taking place, not in a solitary living room with ten kids on one afternoon, but over the expanse of the Roman Empire (some 2,500 miles across), with thousands of participants – from different backgrounds, with different concerns, and in different contexts – some of whom have to translate the stories into different languages. The situation, in fact, was even more complicated than that.” (The New Testament – A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, Chapter 3, Where it All Began: The Traditions of Jesus in Their Greco-Roman Context, p.44)

One of the very reasons why Qur’an had to be revealed with narrations of Jesus (peace be upon him) in it was because, as evident from above, the actual revelations given to or the words uttered by Jesus (peace be upon him) were lost in their transmission. With this the actual message of Christ (peace be upon him) was also lost. As on mere conjectures eternal fates could not be banked, the final Messenger (peace be upon him) was given divine glimpses of the life of Jesus (peace be upon him).

We also need to make a healthy parallel comparison of the transmission of Gospel traditions to that of Qur’an and Hadith. It was an extremely imperative, prudent and monumental task undertaken by Muslim scholars to protect the chain of transmission of Qur’an and Sunnah in the form of “Isnads”.

We have detailed biographies of all the people involved in the transmission of Islamic narratives right from the beginning. Just vicariously imagine the chaos which was circumvented by preserving transmission chains of Qur’an and Hadith – it was not let to take form of some “Telephone” game!

Examining the Engineering behind Jesus’ title as the “Lamb of God”

 

Question Mark

Introduction

We have been arguing on good grounds that gospels elicit internal evidences – in fact, hard evidences – which alludes that its verses have been penned to meet biased theological agendas; as such on one hand where the gospels compromise with historical facts, on the other hand, it defies the very concepts of divine “inspiration”.

Thus, in this paper we would bring to light another intriguing incident which shows that gospel of John’s portrayal of “doctrine of vicarious atonement” through the alleged death of Jesus (peace be upon him) was the result of that conscious engineering which was meant to bolster one of the fundamental “orthodox” doctrine, albeit, at the cost of conflict with Mark’s gospel!

Mark’s “Passover” did pass!

 

Mark narrates that before being trialed by the Sanhedrin and subsequent crucifixion, Jewish Jesus (peace be upon him) ate the famous “Passover” feast with his disciples:

“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the day the lambs for the Passover meal were killed, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and get the Passover meal ready for you?” Then Jesus sent two of them with these instructions: “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house he enters, Teacher says,Where is the room where my disciples and I will eat the Passover meal?’ Then he will show you a large upstairs room, prepared and furnished , where you will get everything ready for us.” The disciples left, went to the city and found everything just as Jesus had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening, Jesus came with the twelve disciples.While they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I tell you that one of you will betray me – one who is eating with me.” The disciples were upset and began to ask him, one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, do you?” Jesus answered, “It will be one of you twelve, one who dips his bread in the dish with me. The Son of Man will die as the Scriptures say he will; but how terrible for that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would have been better for that man if he had never been born!” While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. “Take it,” he said, “this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and handed it to them; and they all drank from it. Jesus said, “This is my blood which is poured out for many, my blood which seals God’s covenant.” (Mark 14:12-24)

It is vitally important to observe a few incidents as it turned out in the above passage:

Firstly, note the day. It starts with the day before the Passover is to be eaten. In other words, it is the day when the sacrificial animal would be slaughtered for the Passover meal: “the lambs for the Passover meal were killed

Secondly, Jesus (peace be upon him) specifically directed his disciples where they should prepare the Passover meal for him: at the house where the man with the pitcher of water enters.

Thirdly, the disciples prepared the Passover meal for Jesus (peace be upon him)and they ate it.

Fifthly, on the foregoing, Jesus (peace be upon him) symbolized that the food and drink is like his body and blood!

From all of the above, we want to stress that Jesus (peace be upon him) ate the Passover meal with his disciples at his chosen place before any case and conviction by Pontius Pilate. In fact immediately after the meal, Jesus (peace be upon him) goes to the well-known garden of Gethsemane where he is subsequently arrested by Roman authorities with Jewish elders (c.f. Mark 14:27-49). Thereafter he was convicted to be finally, biblically, crucified to death.

This is good enough a narration on the face of it; however, when this is juxtaposed with John’s narration of the same incident it starts to create problems!

John’s “Passover” never passed!

  

Quite contrastingly, John claims that Jesus (peace be upon him) was captured, litigated, convicted and crucified before the Passover meal was ever eaten by him:

“When Pilate heard these words, he took Jesus outside and sat down on the judge’s seat in the place called “The Stone Pavement” (In Hebrew the name is “Gabbatha.”) It was then almost noon of the day before Passover. Pilate said to the people, “Here is your king!” They shouted back, “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Do you want me to crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “The only king we have is the Emperor!” Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took charge of Jesus. He went out, carrying his cross, and came to “The Place of Skull,” as it s called. (In Hebrew it is called “Golgotha.”) There they crucified him; and they also crucified two other men, one on each side, with Jesus between them. (John 19: 13-18)

Notice that Jesus (peace be upon him) is being prosecuted when it was “almost noon of the day before Passover”, in other words, more or less the exact time when the slaughter animal would be made ready for sacrifice and simultaneously preparations for other associated rituals would be made. This in turn implies that John’s Jesus (peace be upon him), unlike Mark’s Jesus (peace be upon him), did not ever had chance to eat the Passover meal.

In fact, John’s narration gets internal support for his timing of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) prosecution; this is so because John alludes that the Jewish elders who conspired against Jesus (peace be upon him) did not enter into Pontius’ hall. They tarried outside while Jesus (peace be upon him) alone was standing in front of the Roman governor:

Early in the morning Jesus was taken from Caiaphas’ house  to the governor’s palace The Jewish authorities did not go inside the palace, for they wanted to keep themselves ritually clean, in order to be able to eat the Passover meal.(John 18:28)

Note the reason why the Jewish priests did not enter into Pontius’ hall; so that they might not be defiled for being into the chambers of a pagan gentile – Pontius Pilate. And, they wanted to remain “ritually clean” so that they “be able to eat the Passover meal”! So, Passover feast is yet to materialize and Jesus (peace be upon him) ingospel of John is being prosecuted.

To further bolster John’s position, we can observe that Jesus (peace be upon him) is not portrayed as symbolizing his body and blood to the food and drink of the Passover meal respectively as he did in Mark’s gospel; simply because he was never present in the Passover meal! Probably, by the feast time, he was in his alleged tomb!

 

 

What did author of John achieve?

It is extremely difficult to resolve the conflict between the two so-assumed god breathed “injeels”. However, what exactly were these “orthodox” authors achieving by these well-thought manipulations of data. In fact in the passages to follow we would realize that the author of John did achieve an “orthodox” theological agenda which happens to be the cornerstone of the “orthodox” Christianity which, otherwise, would have been impossible to achieve:

Remember that we were talking about the Passover meal. And in Jewish culture it was marked by slaughter of an animal – a lamb for that reason.

Quite interestingly, John’s gospel happens to be the only gospel which symbolizes Jesus (peace be upon him) as a (sacrificial) animal – a lamb:

The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

So when author of gospel of John manipulated the timing of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) crucifixion from after Passover meal to before Passover meal when the “lamb” is traditionally “prepared” for slaughter, he was able to draw a strong theological link between the crucifixion of Jesus (peace be upon him) as the “lamb” slaughtered for the traditional Jewish “Passover”!

In other words, when Jews in Jerusalem were slaughtering their “lambs” for Passover meal, Jesus (peace be upon him) – the Lamb of Lambs, so to say – was also slaughtered for the “Passover” of the sins of the world unto himself. Not surprisingly, of this happening just at the exact time when traditional Jewish slaughter takes place, namely, just after noon so that when sunsets, i.e., when the Passover day really sets in, the Passover meal would be ready! Obviously this strong figurative correlation would have been impossible given the way Holy Ghost “inspired” Mark; thus, a manipulation of “God’s word” was inevitable and necessary.

In all of these, do keep in mind that when John’s gospel was being written, Pauline epistles with its outstanding emphasize on the alleged death and resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him) than his life, was already available for at least half – a – century!

Therefore, if author of John’s gospel was one influenced by Pauline philosophy or used his epistles as source, then it certainly makes sense why Jesus’ (peace be upon him) crucifixion was meticulously shifted before the Passover meal in John’s gospel!

Conclusion

 

It is not the blatant contradiction between so called god-breathed “scriptures” which intrigues; rather, it is the hefty price of allowing flagrant contradiction(s) between gospels to meet skewed theological agendas – that has to be observed!

On this regard, it would be best to end this brief investigation with New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman’s note:

“The main point is that the stories that Christians told and retold about Jesus were not meant to be objective history lessons for students interested in key events of Roman imperial times. They were meant to convince people that Jesus was the miracle-working Son of God whose death brought salvation to the world, and to edify and instruct those who already believed. Sometimes the stories were modified to express a theological truth. For the early Christians who passed along the stories we now have in the Gospels, it was sometimes legitimate and necessary to change a historical fact in order to make a theological point. These are the stories that the Gospel writers inherited.” (The New Testament: A Historical Introduction, The Traditions of Jesus in their Greco-Roman context, Chapter 3, Pp 48-49)

We need to think about a certain aspects! If gospel author(s) can manipulate the timing of alleged crucifixion for mere correlation with a Jewish custom, then is it possible that they can modify other aspects of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) life and alleged death as well! How about manipulating his words too which ended up in thecurrent New Testament? How about exaggeration of his status and miracles? In fact the possibilities just open up like opening of floodgates. We leave that for readers to cogitate further when they pick up New Testament.

Finally an exemplification at par for the treatment of “Scriptures”:

Then We made you heirs in the land after them, to see how ye would behave! But when Our Clear Signs are rehearsed unto them, those who rest not their hope on their meeting with Us, Say: “Bring us a reading other than this, or change this,” Say: “It is not for me, of my own accord, to change it: I follow naught but what is revealed unto me: if I were to disobey my Lord, I should myself fear the penalty of a Great Day (to come).” (Qur’an 10:14-15, Yusuf Ali)

In the hostile situation where Prophet (peace be upon him) preached it was easier for him to compromise the revelations he was inspired with at least at nominal level, yet it was not in his authority to change God’s word.

Notes:

  • Unless otherwise mentioned all biblical text taken from Good News Edition.
  • Textual emphasize wherever not matching with original is ours.

Why the gospel of Matthew is not the-oldest?

The age of gospels is not as straight forward as they look! 

Question Mark

Introduction

Virtually all the scholars of Christian antiquity and New Testament now accept that gospel of Mark was the oldest gospel written originally in Greek by Peter’s assistant in Rome – St. Mark. And approximately after a decade and a half, Matthew and Luke penned their gospels. It is also accepted that both Matthew and Luke copied much of their text from Mark’s already available gospel. The information look pretty simple on the face of it but there are a few interesting, if not intriguing, queries to be pondered over:

  • Does not it come a little ironic, if not a tad fishy, that it was the disciple of the disciple writing the first gospel (or “receiving” the first gospel from Holy Ghost)! Is not it highly expected that it should be one of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) self chosen apostle to “receive” the first gospel?
  • Jesus’ (peace be upon him) very first target audience were the Jews of Palestine. So, should it not be expected that the first gospel be in the local tongue – may be Hebrew, Aramaic – catering to the general mass rather than in Greek – an otherwise alien language for an everyday Jew in Palestine.

In this paper, therefore, we would be concentrating over these concerns and would try to correlate its implication over the age as fixed by Christiandom for the gospels. We would be keenly interested into noting the purpose it served by adjudging gospel of Mark as the oldest gospel.

Why the gospel of Matthew is not the oldest.

Out of the four gospels vetoed as “canonical” by the church, only two are attributed to the “apostles” Jesus (peace be upon him) chose, namely, Matthew – the tax collector in first century Palestine and John, of course, the son of Zebedee. Mark and Luke were disciple and companion of Peter and Paul respectively. They were certainly not the immediate disciples of Jesus (peace be upon him).

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense based on seniority (an immediate apostle of Jesus (p)), knowledge (received preaching from Jesus (p) directly) and social setup (first century Hebrew/Aramaic speaking Palestinian) that if Matthew (or John) was anyhow to write a gospel then it should have been at least before Mark’s and Luke’s.

In fact if we have to pay any respect to the earliest and “orthodox” church fathers then they almost unanimously agree that it was Matthew who wrote his gospel first (!):

“Eusebius in his history (6.25.4) quotes Origen as saying that he had learned that “The first Gospel was written by Matthew, who was once a tax collector, but who afterwards was an Apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for converts from Judaism, and published n the Hebrew language.” (The Qur’an and the Gospels – A comparative Study by Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah, pp.85)

A couple of information should be immediately captured. Firstly, Matthew wrote the first gospel. And, secondly, more importantly, that Matthew’s gospel was prepared for Jewish converts from Judaism in Hebrew language.

Origen is not the only early Christian figure, Augustine also concur the same:

Augustine in his work on the agreement of the evangelists (1.2.4.) writes: “Of these four it is certain that only Matthew is regarded as having written in the Hebrew language, while the others wrote in Greek” and he says that Mark “followed closely in his footsteps, as his imitator and epitomizer.” (The Qur’an and the Gospels – A comparative Study by Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah, pp.85)

Furthermore, another early “orthodox” church figure Irenaeus writes the following in his famous book “Against Heresies” (3.1.1):

“Matthew also published a book of the Gospel among the Hebrews, in their own dialectWHILE Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel in Rome and founding the Church.”

(W.Barclay, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 149; Bar-Hebraeus, p. 4; see also Meyer, The Gospel of Matthew, part 1, vol. 1, p. 6 and Brown, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, (J.B.C.), vol. 2, p. 65.)  (1.)

Observe that not merely does Irenaeus re-confirm that Matthew originally wrote his gospel in Hebrew, but he also substantially alludes to the time period in which it was written. He expressly states that Matthew wrote his gospel “while” Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome! This indicates Matthew’s gospel was contemporary to Paul and traditionally we know that Paul’s books predate every book of the New Testament including the gospels! (That’s another weird phenomenon).

Finally, Bible authority Barclay seals the matter for us:

As we have said, and was we have now seen, the tradition of the early Church is clear, consistent and unanimousIt was believed that Matthew wrote the first Gospel, and he wrote it first of all the gospels and that it was originally written in Hebrew.” (A. Plummer, An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, p. VIII.) (2.)

Therefore, if Matthew’s gospel was the-oldest then why is Mark’s gospel touted as the most primitive gospel amongst all?!; in the same way if the “early Church” was “unanimous” that Matthew’s gospel was oldest then why was it later “discovered” that Mark’s was the oldest?! And, if Matthew was originally written in Hebrew as the circumstances and earliest testimonies indicate, then why do we have current gospel of Matthew in Greek?

The answer to all such queries lays beneath the fact that original gospel of Matthew, the one which was written in Hebrew for Hebrews, has long been lost. And, in the absence of this document, the very next gospel – the gospel of Mark was “prioritized” as the-oldest.

Subsequently, when a concerted effort was made to reconstruct gospel of Matthew, the Greek gospel of Mark was used. No wonder, no less than an egregiously exorbitant 600 verses from Mark were copied into Matthew in the name of reception of “inspirations” from the so-called “Holy Ghost”!

However, such an unscrupulous copying entailed with it that Matthew – the Hebrew/Aramaic speaking Palestinian Jew – was now had to be assumed as an expert level Greek author; notwithstanding the basic premise that he was to write for the first century Palestinian Jews and not Greek speaking Europeans!

On this note, Muslim scholar Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah’s makes very insightful remark:

“Origen, for example, tells us that Matthew’s Gospel was written for believers who had come from Judaism and the same view is held by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius. The above information suggest an Aramaic origin for Matthew’s Gospel which has been generally abandoned on account of theuse of Mark and the LXX version of the O.T.”

According to the principle of the priority of Mark established 200 years ago in biblical criticism, the present Matthew is a Greek, not an Aramaic or Hebrew Gospel, and was composed in Greek, and could not have been composed except in Greek, that is because it has evidently copied 600 verses from the more primitive Gospel of Mark, which is purely Greek.

There is no indication that the Apostle Matthew wrote the existing Gospel; indeed, it is almost impossible, because the present Gospel was authored in Greek and copied 600 verses from Mark. (The Qur’an and the Gospels – A comparative Study by Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah, pp.86-88)

The way to refute this critique!

 

In the following passage we have five queries. If these queries are satisfactorily answered then we think this critique would be falsified:

  1. Why would “Holy Ghost” go out of its way to bypass Jesus’ (peace be upon him) self chosen “apostle(s)” – Matthew – to first “inspire” Mark?
  2. On the same logic as above, why would “Holy Ghost” first consider a non Jewish audience for the gospel message. It is because Mark wrote his gospel in Greek which was not the vernacular of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) immediate Hebrew speaking audience in Palestine!
  3. Why would Matthew go out of his way to write his gospel in Greek for non-Jews when as noted by virtually all early church fathers that Matthew was to write “for believers who had come from Judaism” as a result of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) preaching in Palestine.
  4. If Matthew was divinely “inspired”, then why did the gospel of Matthew have copied texts from Mark’s gospel (and even ‘Q’ source for that reason)?
  5. What about the numerous testimonies of multiple early, “orthodox” church fathers? If scholarship deems Mark’s gospel to be the-oldest then were these “orthodox” church fathers shoddy historians to claim Matthew’s gospel as the oldest and in Hebrew language?

Conclusion

It was not gospel of Mark the-oldest “canonical” gospel written; however, there was a definite need under which it needed to be deemed as the oldest of all gospels. We sought out to investigate this need and it turned out as follows:

  1. The criterion of Matthew’s seniority as an “apostle” and his Palestinian culture strongly indicated that he should have been the person, before Mark, to write his gospel.
  2. On the foregoing, we found that many important “orthodox” early church “fathers” accepted that Matthew’s gospel was the first gospel written, even before Mark, in Hebrew language!
  3. Nevertheless, quite strangely, Matthew’s gospel in possession today is neither older than Mark’s nor in Hebrew. It is in Greek!
  4. Add to the above observation that the original, Hebrew gospel of Matthew is now lost.
  5. Therefore, when the lost gospel of Matthew was to be reconstructed using Mark’s gospel (and the ‘Q’ source), quite obviously, chronologically Matthew’s gospel had to fall after Mark’s – that’s fundamental calendar arithmetic. This reconstruction also entails that now Matthew’s gospel would not be in Hebrew but in Greek since its source, namely, Mark’s gospel, was in Greek!

Therefore, on one hand where we now have a well devised reason for gospel of Matthew being younger than Mark’s gospel; on the other hand, we also have the bitter truth that original gospel of Matthew is lost. And this embarrassment has ever since been sold as “principle of the priority of Mark” in the markets of biblical criticism amongst the Christians; and then pathetically stamped as “inspired”, “unchanged word of God”!

Footnote:

(1.) As cited in The Qur’an and the Gospels – A comparative Study by Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah, p.85) 

(2.) As cited in The Qur’an and the Gospels – A comparative Study by Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah, p.86)                                                                                                              

Notes:

  • Emphasize wherever not matching with original, is ours.

 

What about Bible’s Mayan-like Hoax?

What about Bible’s Mayan-like Hoax?

Exactly how accurate was Bible’s calendar

 

Question Mark

Introduction

 

On 21 December, 2012, people at answering-islam were mocking about the fiasco of Mayan calendar and its incorrectness in predicting the end of the world. In the process they obviously took their shot at Islam:

“21 December 2012

Millions of people believe that the world is going to end today, because the Mayan calendar comes to an end – the calendar of a civilization that has ended a long time ago. However, Jesus says: Nobody knows the time or the hour (Mark 13). Jesus will come back as Lord and Judge, but certainly not when a multitude of people who do not even believe in him expect the world to end. (When faith in the true God is thrown out of the window, superstition creeps in by the backdoor.) Even though Islam has many cracks in its foundations, and many more people will eventually recognize this and abandon Islam, neither Islam nor the world as a whole has come to its end just yet. It is still necessary and worth the time and effort to provide our readers with a clear presentation of the Gospel and good arguments that are relevant to the discussions between Christians and Muslims. Therefore, here are our latest articles…:”

However, hardly did they realize that a similar, if not a greater, debacle had already materialized in the pages of Bible. Nevertheless, it understandably goes tacitly in the pages of Christian history year after year – now for at least 2000 years.

Thus, in this paper, while accepting that the Mayans were indeed flawed with their reckoning of the end of world; we would like to do justice that the authors of Bible,attributing words upon Jesus (peace be upon him), were also flawed in their calculation of the end of world.

 

The “Son of man” who never came, let alone with army of “Angels”!

Consider the following instance where Jesus (peace be upon him) predicted about his second coming:

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and thenhe shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:21-28) (1.)

The point that we want to argue is obvious. However, before we get to it, observe the flow of the passage. Jesus (peace be upon him) intimated about his suffering in Jerusalem so much so that he would “be killed and be raised again the third day”.  Therefore, he insisted that his disciples should expect similar fates for themselves as well. They would have to undergo hardship as well; they will have to “deny themselves, take up their cross…” etc.

Nevertheless, Jesus (peace be upon him) immediately consoled his disciples by informing them that because of their rather ephemeral suffering, they would be sufficiently rewarded since he is soon returning (i) “in the glory of his Father and (ii) “with his angels” when (iii) “he shall reward every man according to his works”. And all of this would happen in life time of “some” standing then; (iv) and thus they would see his “kingdom”.

However, we know for a fact that none of it ever happened!  And, in contrast to “some” of them present there, categorically all of them have tasted death for good now! Thus, it is one of those Mayan-like hoaxes in the fabulous history of “orthodox” Christianity (2.) which never came to happen.

Later in the same gospel, Jesus (peace be upon him) gave even more vivid account of his second return [although the verse quoted below is long, but it worth it’s read]:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till ALL these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.  (Matthew 24:3-35)

It is very important to observe that the query of disciples was very specific, “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” To which Jesus (peace be upon him) gave various signatures like “darkening of sun”, “falling of stars” etc and amidst such supernatural events would he appear!

Nevertheless, Jesus (peace be upon him) again qualified that the generation then would not die before they have witnessed all of it. He was so confident about his prophecy that he emphatically asserted that heaven and earth would be destroyed but his words would/should come to pass!

Disappointingly, none of the events occurred, Jesus (peace be upon him) is yet to return and all the New Testament figures are dealing with their fate in their graves; and to add to it, heaven and earth, luckily, have not passed as yet!

Mark also relates a similar assertion from Jesus (peace be upon him) in his brand of gospel:

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed,when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. (Mark 8:38, 9:1)

Scholars accept that Mark 8:38 where Chapter 8 ends, and the very next verse, namely, Mark 9:1 are part of one and the same passage and should not be separated:

Mark 8:38

When he cometh (hotan elthēi). Aorist active subjunctive with reference to thefuture second coming of Christ with the glory of the Father with his holy angels(cf. Mat_16:27). This is a clear prediction of the final eschatological coming of Christ. This verse could not be separated from Mar_9:1 as the chapter division does. These two verses in Mar_8:38; Mar_9:1 form one paragraph and should go together. (Robertson’s Word Picture)

Observe Robertson accepts that Jesus (peace be upon him) asserted that some from his generation would remain alive to witness his “future second coming”!

Albert Barnes also concords that some from Jesus’ (peace be upon him) would remain alive to witness the “day of judgment”:

Mark 8:27-38

In the glory of his Father – In the day of judgment. See the notes at Mat 26:64. The meaning of this verse is, Whosoever shall refuse, through pride or wickedness, to acknowledge and serve Christ here, shall be excluded from his kingdom hereafter. He was lowly, meek, and despised; yet there was an inimitable beauty in his character even then. But he will come again in awful grandeur; not as the babe of Bethlehem, not as the man of Nazareth, but as the Son of God, in majesty and glory. They that would not acknowledge him here must be rejected by him there; they that would not serve him on earth will not enjoy his favor in heaven; they that would cast Him out and despise him must be cast out by him, and consigned to eternal, hopeless sorrow. (Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

As Jesus (peace be upon him) oft asserted that some from his generation would remain alive to witness his “second coming” and other supernatural events entailing the end of the world, we see it as a case of inaccurate prophecy because all the people of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) generation are dead and yet he is to return and the world is yet to end! Just like the Mayans miscalculated the end of the world, so did biblical authors attributing the statements to Jesus (peace be upon him)!

Luke also reports a verbatim instance in his version of gospel! And quite expectedly Jesus (peace be upon him) asserts the same condition there as well:

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.  (Luke 9:26-27)

Jesus (peace be upon him) repeated his “prophecy” for the second time in Luke’s gospel!

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Andthen shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (Luke 21:25-33)

Based on the simple observation that multiple Bible authors repeated over and over again about Jesus’ (peace be upon him) second coming, end of the world, the trailing symptoms with it, and the condition that the generation then would be witness of all such preternatural events – we can conclude that they were very sure about it. Nevertheless, this “prophecy” failed just as the Mayan calendar and their reckoning of end of the world failed!

Conclusion

 

It is not that the historical Jesus (peace be upon him), the son of Maryam (may Allah (SWT) be pleased with her), was erroneous in his prophecies, nevertheless, the above (failed) prophecies shows that Bible has gone through human adulteration and the subject instances are just a few examples of it.

In all other cases, we would have to painfully accept that gospel authors wrote of failed prophecies – just like the Mayans and their calendar – and in such situation “Christianity has many cracks in its foundations, and many more people will eventually recognize this and abandon Christianity, neither Christianity nor the world as a whole has come to its end just yet.

In fact rather than searching for “cracks” in Islam, it would be better if these stalwarts at answering-islam put some concrete in the gaping fractures throught the pages of Bible.

Footnotes:

(1.) One of the most reliable biblical commentator, John Gill, has expectedly tried to “reconcile” the verse as follows:

 

Matthew 16:28

Verily I say unto you….. This is a strong asseveration, Christ puts his “Amen” to it; declaring it to be a certain truth, which may firmly be believed: there be some standing here; meaning either his disciples, or some of the audience; for it is clear from Mar_8:34 that the people were called unto him with his disciples, when he said these words: which shall not taste of death: that is, shall not die; a phrase frequently used by the Jewish doctors: they say (y), “All the children of the world, טעמין טעמא דמותא, “taste the taste of death”.”

That is, die: till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom; which is not to be understood of his personal coming in his kingdom in the last day, when he will judge quick and dead; for it cannot be thought, that any then present should live to that time, but all tasted of death long before, as they have done; for the story of John’s being alive, and to live till then, is fabulous, and grounded on a mistake which John himself has rectified at the close of his Gospel: nor of the glorious transfiguration of Christ, the account of which immediately follows; when he was seen by Peter, James, and John, persons now present; for that, at most, was but an emblem and a pledge of his future glory: rather, of the appearance of his kingdom, in greater glory and power, upon his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to heaven; when the Spirit was poured down in an extraordinary manner, and the Gospel was preached all over the world; was confirmed by signs and wonders, and made effectual to the conversion and salvation of many souls; which many then present lived to see, and were concerned in: though it seems chiefly to have regard to his coming, to show his regal power and authority in the destruction of the Jews; when those his enemies that would not he should reign over them, were ordered to be brought and slain before him; and this the Apostle John, for one, lived to be a witness of.  (John Gill’s Exposition on the Entire Bible)

At best we can say that it was a very desperate reconciliation we have read of Gill: Firstly, he compares Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to heaven as equal to Jesus (peace be upon him) descending from heaven in the glory of his Father with angels! Obviously the two are quite different.

Secondly, Gill equates the mere “preaching” of Gospel and conversion of people with Jesus’ (peace be upon him) assertion of “judging” people for their deeds, let alone the falling of stars and other astral events. Gill conveniently assumes the two to be the same, obviously, for the sake of “reconciliation”.

Nevertheless, the last part of Gill’s exegesis is most exposing. Note that Gill concedes that the verse’s main objective was to show “his coming, to show his regal power and authority in the destruction of the Jews; when those his enemies that would not he should reign over them, were ordered to be brought and slain before him; and this the Apostle John, for one, lived to be a witness of.” Gill is obviously referring to an instance in Luke’s gospel:

“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” Luke 19:27

Notwithstanding that Jesus (peace be upon him) gave other details like coming with Angels and in the honor of his Father etc, Gill has tried to somehow relate Jesus’ (peace be upon him) allusion of authority and regality with the above Lukan verse. However, quite contrary to his comments here, Gill wrote the following inconsistent “exegesis” for Luke 19:27:

bring hither, and slay them before me; which had its accomplishment in the destruction of Jerusalem, when multitudes of them were slain with the sword, both with their own, and with their enemies; and to this the parable has a special respect, and of which Christ more largely discourses in this chapter; see Luk_19:41 though it is true of all natural men, that they are enemies to Christ; and so of all negligent and slothful professors, and ministers of the word, who, when Christ shall come a second time, of which his coming to destroy the Jewish nation was an emblem and pledge, will be punished with everlasting destruction by him; and then all other enemies will be slain and destroyed, sin, Satan, the world, and death…(John Gill’s Exposition on the Entire Bible)

 

Initially when commenting on Matthew 16:28 Gill reported that Christ’s (peace be upon him) regale authority was evinced when he ordered Jews to be slain “before him”. Nevertheless, while commenting on Luke 19:27 Gill had to change his words to write that Jews being slain by the order of Jesus (peace be upon him) found “its accomplishment in the destruction of Jerusalem”!

But, we would ask, was the destruction of Jerusalem done “before him”; was Jesus (peace be upon him) present in the glory of his Father; in the company of Angels; “judging” people for their life-time deeds when the destruction of Jerusalem was being affected? Did destruction of Jerusalem set judgment day? The obvious answer is no.

 

(2.) It must be noted that the “orthodox” Christianity we know of was not the only form of Christianity competing for orthodoxy. Separate factions with separate set of books laid their claims on orthodoxy. So it is probable that such verses as Matthew 16:28 were never present in their gospels and in such situation they were more close to truth than their “orthodox” counterparts!

 

Notes:

  • Unless otherwise mentioned all biblical text taken from King James Version.

When Christianity met Tawhid al Asma wa Sifat

When Christianity met Tawhid Al Asma Wa Sifat

Gauging the monotheism of Christianity

Question Mark

Introduction to Tawhid Al Asma Wa Sifat

There is a very interesting (and stringent) concept in Islam with regards to monotheism; it is called as Tawhid Al Asma Wa Sifat, often translated as monotheism or uniqueness of God’s attributes and names. According to this criterion of monotheism, the attributes and names of God are unique to Him alone and as such cannot be shared by any creature. On the same corollary, the attributes of creatures cannot be invested on Creator.

We assume that as far as monotheism is considered, there should not be any objection with any person who claims to be a monotheist, even more so, when s/he follows Bible, as Bible explicitly teaches this concept. Consider one such biblical instance:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Exodus 20:4, King James Version)

Quite obviously Bible is denying that attribute of any creation can be imputed upon the Almighty. This is logical since such restriction differentiates One God from rest creation lest obvious elements of polytheism, if not pantheism, would creep into monotheism. So far so good!  However, just at this point we want to analyze the stand of Christianity, especially of the Trinitarian strand, and its take on this criterion of monotheism.

Tawhid Al Asma Wa Sifat in Trinitarian Christianity

As claimants of monotheism it is highly expected that every Trinitarian would support the concept of monotheism with God’s names and attributes. No wonder to prove the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him), Trinitarians (mis)use the Old Testament titles which were used for the God of the Old Testament. Consider a typical Trinitarian polemics:

For instance, Jesus applied an Old Testament title “I Am” to himself, which is significant since he was basically making himself out to be the OT figure known as the Angel of the Lord, the “I Am” of Exodus 3:14! There were many different Jewish strands at that time that already maintained thatthis figure was God and yet distinct from God.(2) Thus, by using the title “I Am” Jesus was affirming both His deity as well as His distinction from the Father since in the Old Testament “I Am” was applied to both God (cf. Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 43:13) and the Angel of the Lord (cf. Exodus 3:14). (Keith Thompson)

The argument is very simple: Jesus (peace be upon him) was applied the “divine” titles of the Old Testament and since only God can take up those divine titles therefore Jesus (peace be upon him) ought to be “God”.

The argument looks good on the surface but a further bit analysis exposes the inconsistency which is inherently practiced in it:

By now we know that in Trinitarian Christianity divine titles could only be given to Jesus (peace be upon him) and to nobody else since God’s divine titles cannot be shared by creatures, and, Jesus (peace be upon him) is not a creature – he is “God”!

On the same reasoning, Jesus (peace be upon him) cannot be imputed with some of the attributes which ill-fits a “God”, say like, Jesus (peace be upon him) of Trinitarians would not marry. Here are the words of another Trinitarian Christian on the same issue:

Although Christians do not believe that God is literally a father in the crude way presented in the Qur’an, where divine fatherhood implies a consort, copulation, and possibly even cohabitation with a female deity, one of the signal proofs that the author(s) of the Qur’an couldn’t escapethinking in terms of pagan categories

“The point here is that the authors of the Qur’an could not hear any mention of things like divine paternity (i.e. the fatherhood) or filiation (i.e. sonship) without interpreting them in the sense that the pagans intended by such words.” (Anthony Rogers)

It is understandable why Trinitarians object to such notions; whatever proceeds after marital pledges befits humans (or let us say animals) but it certainly does not behoove that God be imputed with such connections of marriage and whatever entails with it. Quite obviously the monotheistic side of Trinitarians well understands the absurdity if the “Son of God” would procreate his “Son”!

However, if attributes of procreation, connubial connections etc cannot be attributed to God then, consistently, we cannot apply other attributes also upon God. For example,

1)      God being procreated out of the womb of Mary “in the crude way”.

2)      God contained inside His “mother’s” womb

3)      God sucking his life of his mother.

4)      God producing biological waste.

5)      God almost made naked on cross.

6)      God made to bleed and wounded.

7)      God being spat on his face.

8)      And, on top of all of that, “God” dying on the cross

9)      And, “God’s” dead body being enshrouded and placed in cave.

 

So on and so forth. Is not all of the above just a mockery, if not blasphemy, in “monotheism”?

What is disappointing in all of this is that Bible strictly speaks against any such idolatrous humanization of God. Consider the following Old Testament verse:

Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, (Deuteronomy 4:16, King James Version)

Quite obviously with the premises of monotheism in God’ attributes, the above Old Testament verses makes it very clear that true God cannot assume (or have) any similitude to any of His creation which includes humans – “males or female”. The Qur’an reverberate the same:

(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things). (The Qur’an 42:11, Yusuf Ali)

Once the Bible states that the God cannot have “similitude of any figure, the likeness of male…” included; or, when the Qur’an asserted that there is “nothing whatever like unto Him” – they quite explicitly reject any concept that God would have/take a male/human form and then roam around in the streets of Palestine as Mary’s biologically sired – “in the crude way”!

Trinitarian scholar have a standard approach, albeit, inconsistent when dealing with Old Testament verses of the order as cited above. Consider the following two scholarly comments:

Deuteronomy 4:16

The likeness of male or female – Such as Baal-peor and the Roman Priapus, Ashtaroth or Astarte, and the Greek and Roman Venus; after whom most nations of the world literally went a whoring. (Adam Clarke’s commentary on the Bible)

the likeness of male or female; of a man or a woman; so some of the Heathen deities were in the likeness of men, as Jupiter, Mars, Hercules, Apollo, &c. and others in the likeness of women, as Juno, Diana, Venus, &c. Some think Osiris and Isis, Egyptian deities, the one male, the other female, are respected; but it is not certain that these were worshipped by them so early. (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)

As we have been stating that Trinitarians as claimants of monotheism denounce worship of false gods who were in the likeness of men; however, why to be flagrantly biased and inconsistent to denounce only some particular human-gods like Apollo and Hercules etc whereas Jesus (peace be upon him), another human, is easily accepted as the “God”.

In all these fast and loose, Trinitarians miss out on the spirit of Deuteronomy 4:16 (and other verses of the order) that it denounces any humanization of God be it in the form of Apollo and Hercules of the European cultures or, Jesus (peace be upon him) of the Middle Eastern setting!

Conclusion

 

We would be dumbfounded if at least a monotheist claims that concept of Tawhid Al Asma Wa Sifat or monotheism with regards to God’s attributes and names is illogical or too complex to understand. It is simply that God’s attributes cannot be vested on any of His creation nor the attributes of His creation be imputed on the divine God. We saw how both Qur’an and Bible expressly speak against it.

Very truly Trinitarians apply it, however, only on selected areas and personalities. As an instance, they do reject the notion that God could or would sire offspring since this is “thinking in terms of pagan categories”. Nevertheless, they have no qualms when they ring their church bells about “God” being delivered out of Mary’s womb “in the crude way” or, “God” being poked on cross while he was almost naked or, still more weirdly, a dead “God” hanging on the cross with probably scavenger hovering over “His” head until his “dead body” was to be placed in a cave. Out of definite Trinitarian agenda, Trinitarians somehow see all these “in terms ofmonotheistic categories”.

Trinitarians would easily accept it as “monotheistic” that their god had birth right to produce biological waste and relieve “Himself” off it. Yet when Qur’an criticizes Christians that God cannot sire offspring, Trinitarians like Anthony Rogers would become monotheistically prude to comment that, “The point here is that the authors of the Qur’an could not hear any mention of things like divine paternity (i.e. the fatherhood) or filiation (i.e. sonship) without interpreting them in the sense that the pagans intended by such words.” In the name of “divine paternity”, Rogers and the likes do not hesitate to sell the idolatry and blasphemy with regards to “Son’s” humanity.

Finally, we would quote from the Qur’an where, we believe, Allah (SWT) is insinuating towards the same biological nature of Jesus (peace be upon him) which ill-fits God:

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth.They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! (Qur’an 6:75, Yusuf Ali)

We don’t think that it needs to be expressly stated what Allah (SWT) wanted to allude by stating that Christ (peace be upon him) ate food.

That was for consistency and “monotheism” of Trinitarian Christianity.

Exposing how Trinitarian Apologists Misuse Thomas’ “My Lord, My God” Expression

Question Mark

Introduction

Christian polemist Sam Shamoun considers Dr. James White a “reformed Christian scholar and apologist”. As such he quotes him towards a common agenda – the viability of Trinity, especially, the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him):

Unfortunately there are those that oppose the doctrine of the glorious and blessed Trinity who seek to diminish Thomas’ declaration to the essential Deity of our risen Lord. Yet noted reformed Christian scholar and apologist Dr. James R. White demonstrates why such feeble attempts by these anti-Trinitarian groups simply do not work:

“Thomas’s answer is simple and clear. It is directed to the Lord Jesus, not to anyone else, for John says, ‘he said to Him.’ The content of his confession is plain and unambiguous. ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus is Thomas’s Lord. Of this there is no question. And there is simply no reason–grammatical, contextual, or otherwise–to deny that in the very same breath Thomas calls Christ his ‘God.’

“Jesus’ response to Thomas’s confession shows not the slightest discomfort at the appellation ‘God.’ Jesus says Thomas has shown faith, for he has ‘believed.’ He then pronounces a blessing upon all who will believe like Thomas without the added element of physical sight. There is no reproach of Thomas’s description of Jesus as his Lord and God. No created being could ever allow such words to be addressed to him personally. No angel, no prophet, no sane human being, could ever allow himself to be addressed as ‘Lord and God.’ Yet Jesus not only accepts the words of Thomas but pronounces the blessing of faith upon them as well.” (White, The Forgotten Trinity – Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief [Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN 1998], Chapter 5. Jesus Christ: God in Human Flesh, pp. 69-70) (http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/identity1.html)

By quoting Dr. White from his book “The Forgotten Trinity”, Shamoun wants to support the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) through Thomas’ proclamation of him being his “Lord and God”!

Thus, we would concentrate specifically on this darling Trinitarian argument to expose how Shamoun and White have been twisting their own “Scriptures” merely to suit a sectarian agenda.

Note that White is confident that the grammar and context around “Thomas’ confession” does not yield anything else but that Jesus (peace be upon him) was his “Lord and God”. Therefore, we would use White’s own yardsticks to check the viability of the argument. We take context first and then grammar.

Context

We are glad that Dr. White has appealed to the context of Thomas’ confession since the context itself dispels most of Trinitarian mist. Thomas’ so-called confession is specific to immediate scenes after Jesus’ (peace be upon him) alleged post crucifixion resurrection. Consider the following “verses”:

It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!” (John 20: 19-29)

Notice the set up very carefully. The same day – Sunday – when Jesus (peace be upon him) had allegedly risen from death, he meets all his disciples in a closed quarter except Thomas.

When the other ten disciples inform Thomas that they have had actually witnessed the “risen Jesus” (peace be upon him) physically – he belied them: “I will not believe”.

In fact, Thomas provided his own whimsical yardstick that unless he has put his fingers through Jesus’ (peace be upon him) wounds, he would not believe in as foundational a doctrine as Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrection!?

In Thomas we have a man torn between two emotions: On one side he – the best and earliest Christ “believer” –  could not believe the super natural event of resurrection, while on other hand, he has the testimony of categorically all of his colleagues. It was under these confused and agitated circumstances that Thomas had to spend one full week praying for peace of heart.

It was under this context that Jesus (peace be upon him), after a week’s period of tested patience, appears to Thomas pandering to his demand, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side.

Initially Thomas was sure of the falsity in the reports of the Apostles and now he did not merely witnessed the allegedly post crucifixion resurrected Jesus (peace be upon him) but he was also given a chance to put fingers in his wounds – exactly as he demanded. In fact, Jesus (peace be upon him) himself pacified him towards belief: “Stop your doubting, and believe!

On the foregoing, the doubting-Thomas was but naturally taken by surprise and when he was confirmed of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) alleged so-called resurrection, he inadvertently exclaimed at the moment, in his conversation, to his interlocutor – Jesus (peace be upon him), “My Lord and My God!

No wonder White also makes a big argument that Thomas said specifically to Jesus (peace be upon him) as His Lord and God:

Thomas’s answer is simple and clear. It is directed to the Lord Jesus, not to anyone else, for John says, ‘he said to Him.’

Although we believe we have already responded it above yet we revisit it. Thomas and Jesus (peace be upon him) were in conversation where the latter was trying to put faith in the former. Under such circumstances Thomas’ inadvertent exclamation upon belief would have to be towards Jesus (peace be upon him) with whom he was conversing, although, not necessarily for him. And any third party recording the conversation would apparently have to claim that Thomas said to Jesus (peace be upon him) what he said (for the simple fact that they were in conversation).

Taking parallels from daily life, while conversing with somebody else we often come across surprising moments and we do exclaim, “My God” at the interlocutor yet this is not specifically targeted for him/herself.

Jesus’ (peace be upon him) further response to Thomas’ exclamation further corroborates that the exclamatory remark was not meant for Jesus (peace be upon him). Consider the following explanation:

Once Jesus (peace be upon him) had received positive exclamatory remark from Thomas, awing at the wonders of “His Lord and His God” – the biblical Father – Jesus (peace be upon him) praised Thomas for him finally believing in the resurrection! He connected Thomas’ exclamatory remark to the belief in hisresurrection than on accepting his deity! This can be further evidenced by Jesus’ (peace be upon him) statement wherein he said, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!

Notice the rationale in Jesus’ (peace be upon him) query; he questions Thomas that he has believed because he has seen him! Therefore, how much more blessed would be those who not witness his physical resurrected body and yet believe in his resurrection! Now, we have seen in the contextual “verses” that all other disciples of Jesus (peace be upon him) had witnessed/seen physical resurrected body of Jesus (peace be upon him) except Thomas. Thus, Thomas also “believed” in the resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him) once he saw him (“you see me”) after resurrection.

Therefore, any attempt to connect Thomas’ exclamation to anything else (like Jesus’ deity) than his belief in Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrection would only evince the dire desperation of Trinitarians to prove his deity! As such White was only twisting and forcing his interpretations when he “exposited” as follows:

“Jesus’ response to Thomas’s confession shows not the slightest discomfort at the appellation ‘God.’ Jesus says Thomas has shown faith, for he has ‘believed.’…There is no reproach of Thomas’s description of Jesus as his Lord and God. No created being could ever allow such words to be addressed to him personally. No angel, no prophet, no sane human being, could ever allow himself to be addressed as ‘Lord and God.’ Yet Jesus not only accepts the words of Thomas but pronounces the blessing of faith upon them as well.”

However, such “exegesis” is expected in given weak situation of Christianity undermined by the lack of concrete, explicit evidence even in their best chosen scriptures.

The problem with White’s flawed “exegesis” does not stop here since rather than doing any good it backfires to jeopardizes the very base of Trinity-ism:

Let us agree with Dr. White’s “exegesis” that when Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and My God”, he had actually “shown faith” and “believed” in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him). On the light of this explanation we would have to infer that, a couple of “verses” earlier, Thomas disbelieved in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) since he claimed the following “gospel-truth”:

Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!” (John 20: 25-27)

If Jesus (peace be upon him) ratified and “Apostle” Thomas’ belief in his deity, then he must have been rebuking, a couple of verses ago, Thomas’ disbelieve (“I willnot believe”) in his deity!! So then we have the earliest of all Christians, an apostle himself, the so-called twin brother of Jesus (peace be upon him), “not believing” in Jesus’ (peace be upon him) deity; so much so that, Jesus (peace be upon him) had to revisit after his alleged death to re-baptize Thomas’ hitherto maverick belief!!??

To further exacerbate the situation, it was not merely doubting-Thomas but,according to White’s explanation, all other ten disciples were not willing to “believe” in the “deity” of Jesus (peace be upon him)!  This is so because just like Thomas, all other disciples, initially disbelieved in the resurrection until they witnessed it firsthand:

He is not here; he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.’ “Then the women remembered his words, returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; they and the other women with them told these things to the apostles.But the apostles thought that what the women said was nonsense, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; he bent down and saw the grave cloths but nothing else. Then he went back home amazed at what had happened. (Luke 24:6-12)

They returned and told the others, but these would not believe it. (Luke 16:13)

As Jesus (peace be upon him) was irked at Thomas’ disbelief “in-his-deity”, similarly he also chided the other ten “apostles” for their unbelief (!):

Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them, because they did not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen him alive. He said to them, “Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all people.  (Mark 16: 14-15)

And,

And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened. Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb, but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.” Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?” And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets. (Luke 24:21-27)

Accepting White’s “exegesis” would imply that none of the disciples of Jesus (peace be upon him) were willing to believe in his deity unless they saw and spoke to him after his resurrection. As New Testament manuscript scholar D.C. Parker asserts:

“…that the disciples did not believe (neither source has such a reference), and that when Jesus does appear, he rebukes ‘their unbelief and hardness of heart’. It is only when they see and speak with Jesus that they believe.(D.C.Parker, The Living Text of the Gospels (1997), p.140)

On foregoing, as a Muslim all we want to say to Mr. White is – Thank you very much!

Grammar

So much with the “context” of the verse! In this section we would deal with White’s second argument that the grammatical construction of Thomas’ exclamation also proves nothing but deity of Jesus (peace be upon him). Note that Dr. White is a learned scholar of the Greek language. To refresh here are White’s words once again:

 And there is simply no reason–grammatical, contextual, or otherwise–to deny that in the very same breath Thomas calls Christ his ‘God.’

According to classical Trinity-ism there are three distinct persons in the godhead! As such it was considered heretical to blur the distinction between the 3 distinct persons in the godhead:

Modalism is probably the most common theological error concerning the nature of God.  It is a denial of the Trinity. Modalism states that God is a single person who, throughout biblical history, has revealed Himself in three modes, or forms.  Thus, God is a single person who first manifested himself in the mode of the Father in Old Testament times.  At the incarnation, the mode was the Son and after Jesus‘ ascension, the mode is the Holy Spirit.  These modes are consecutive and never simultaneous.  In other words, this view states that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never all exist at the same time, only one after another.  Modalism denies the distinctiveness of the three persons in the Trinity even though it retains the divinity of Christ.

Present day groups that hold to forms of this error are the United Pentecostal and United Apostolic Churches.  They deny the Trinity, teach that the name of God is Jesus, and require baptism for salvation.  These modalist churches often accuse Trinitarians of teaching three gods.  This is not what the Trinity is.  The correct teaching of the Trinity is one God in three eternal coexistent persons:  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Source: CARM)

With that understood, let us see how White’s “exegesis” has led him to efface the important Trinitarian distinction between the persons in the godhead!

The literal translation for the English expression, “My Lord and My God” in Greek would be: Mou Kurios Kai Mou Theos. In other words, Greek word “Kurios” is for “Lord” in English and “Theos” is equivalent to English word “God”. And, standard Trinitarian “exegesis” to which White also endorse, both the words have been addressed to Jesus (peace be upon him).

However, this is exactly where the problem lies. According to standard Trinitarian belief, the three persons (gods?) in the godhead (polytheism?) are distinct from each other. The Father is not the son and vice versa. And technically, New Testament, especially in the epistles of “apostle” Paul has always applied the titles “Kurios” (Lord) to the person of son (and therefore not to the father) and “Theos” (God) to father (and therefore not to the son). Consider the following Pauline verse as substantiation of the notion:

yet there is for us only one God (Theos), the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live; and there is only one Lord (Kurios), Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:6)

Luke also made similar distinction:

“All the people of Israel, then, are to know for sure that this Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one that God (Theos) has made Lord (Kurios) and Messiah!” (Act 2:36)

Observe the theological nuances in the above quotations. In the Pauline quote, God – the Father is the creator (not the Son), however, the creation is facilitated through the person of Son. As such Father is termed as God and Son as Lord – to make distinctions clear. As such the appellation of God and Lord to the same person would diminish the distinction between the Creator (Father) and the means of creation (Son); of course such ignorance cannot be attributed to “apostle” Thomas.

In the Lukan quote, God (Father) has not made Jesus (peace be upon him) as Godand Messiah. Rather, he wrote that God has made him “Lord” and Messiah; indicating that although where Jesus (peace be upon him) was referred to as Lord, he was never entitled as God even when Jesus (peace be upon him) was to be appealed for his (Trinitarian) divinity.

On the foregoing, it is rather interesting to observe that where Father has been referred to as “God” at numerous places in the Bible (including New Testament) and Jesus (peace be upon him) has been referred to as lord elsewhere; at not one place do we find Jesus (peace be upon him) referred as God prior to this Trinitarian misunderstanding. This lends more support to the notion that Thomas, based on the biblical literary traditions, could not possibly have entitled Jesus (peace be upon him) as God.

Thus, it can be argued on good grounds that the New Testament authors aptly reserved the title “God” for the “person” of Father and lord for Jesus (peace be upon him). They hardly mixed the two titles together to avoid “heresy” of the Sabellistic kind!

“In the very same breath”

White made an interesting remark that Thomas called Jesus (peace be upon him) God in the very same breath as he called him his Lord!

…in the very same breath Thomas calls Christ his ‘God.’

We showed the Sabbelistic perils in calling Jesus (peace be upon him) Lord andGod “in the very same breath”. However, if White would be at all consistent with his argument of “same breath” then we have several instances in the Bible where God and mere mortals have been conjoined together in divinity, in the same breath. Consider few of such for instance:

 “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 worshiped Yahweh AND the king (wayyiqadu wayyishtahawu YHWHW walammelek).” 1 Chronicles 29:20

And,

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

Notice in the above citations the congregations are bowing, worshipping Yahwehand in the same breath bowing and worshipping the king of the state too! They served Yahweh and in the same breath, served David (peace be upon him) as well.

Thus, if White is consistent then he got to use his argument to bow, worship and serve worldly kings as did his Israeli forefathers! Probably he has forgotten to take note of it and thus we may assume The Forgotten Polytheism is on its way.

Let alone the term “God”, Thomas’ referral to Jesus (peace be upon him) as Lordwould also hardly do any good to the Trinitarian argument. Since in Old Testament the term “Lord” has been assigned to Yahweh,

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)

And the same term – Lord (adonayik) – in the same breath, has been assigned to worldly kings too:

“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)

So much for Dr. White’s claim that Thomas claimed in the same breath that Jesus (peace be upon him) is his Lord and God!

Conclusion

We were amazed to see how a “scholar” of New Testament – Dr. James White – claimed that there is nothing in the context and grammatical construction of “Thomas’ confession” to prove other than he claimed Jesus (peace be upon him) as his Lord and God.

As far as context was concerned, Thomas was too much a “disciple” to merely believe in the resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him); he wanted to tangiblyexperience of  Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrected body. As such when, after one week of boiling confusion, Jesus (peace be upon him) appeared to Thomas, he couldn’t help but give words to his hitherto half baked belief in the resurrection with a exclamatory remark of remembering God: “My Lord My God”. Jesus (peace be upon him) after hearing the exclamatory remarks of alluding to Thomas’ acceptance of his resurrection, confirms him that he has believed, not to former’s deity, but the belief in his resurrection!

Therefore, if Trinitarians like White (and Shamoun) would argue that Thomas believed in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) through his “confession”, then they would also have to agree that one of the closest disciple, the so-called “twin brother”, disbelieved in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) for good long period! Embarrassingly, on the same corollary, not merely Thomas but all other disciple initially disbelieved in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him).

Grammatical construction also does not avail much as appealing to it would diminish the important Trinitarian difference between the persons of Father and Son since New Testament has reserved the title of God for Father and lord for Jesus (peace be upon him).

On the contrary, appealing to the grammatical construction, would deify multiple kings.

We expect from scholars like Dr. White that although they have full right to profess their faith yet they need to be more sincere while propagating it. In the mean time,there is no God but Allah (SWT) and Mohammad (peace be upon him) is His messenger and slave.

John 5:23 – The Sweetest Trinitarian Honey!

Visiting the darling Trinitarian argument from a neutral perspective.

Question Mark

Introduction

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)

 

Conclusion 

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.

Notes:

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

The Obvious Theological Biases driving Gospel of Mark!

Exposing the concerted motives behind the two endings of the gospel 

Question Mark

Introduction 

The Gospel of Mark is purportedly the oldest gospel now present in the New Testament. On one hand where it enjoys the antiquity, on other hand, it intrigues Bible students too! In this paper we are concerned with one such perplexing issue related with the gospel and a fundamental Christian doctrine.

Gospel of Mark, unlike any other gospel, has two endings to it – as weird as it sounds – in one version it ends at Chapter 16, Verse 8, however, in another version it continues thereafter to end at verse 20. Various Bibles now in print often provide both the endings with sufficient notifications on the issue. For instance, The Good News Edition marginalizes/brackets verses 9 through 20 which we would be referring to as extraneous-verses throughout this paper.

Christians generally explain the matter as manuscript differences. However, is the issue so straight forward? When we tried to look into the matter a little closely, it turned out to be that it was not merely an issue of manuscripts! There were ponderous, controversial doctrinal issues hovering around the two narratives. Thus, in this paper we would address the objectives behind otherwise innocent looking two endings of Mark’s gospel(s) (1.).

 

The two endings

 

In this section we would briefly paraphrase the two endings which we have in gospel of Mark today.

 

Longer/Extraneous ending (Mark 16:9-20)

In this version, Jesus (peace be upon him) appears to his disciples after his alleged resurrection from death and commands them various things:

 

After Jesus rose from death early on Sunday, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven out seven demons. She went and told his companions. They were mourning and crying; and when they heard her say that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe her. After this, Jesus appeared in a different manner to two of them while they were on their way to the country. They returned and told the others, but these would not believe it. (Mark 16: 9-13)

 

For various passionate Christians this ending of the gospel is very sensational since in this account, upon (alleged) resurrection, Jesus (peace be upon him) appears and informs his disciples that they would be able to achieve extraordinary feats:

 

“Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them, because they did not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen him alive.

Believers will be given the power to perform miracles: they will drive out demons in my name; they will speak in strange tongues; if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed; they will place their hands on sick people, and these will get well.” (Mark 16: 14, 17-18)

 

[Friendly Appeal: We strongly request our “believing” friends at ‘answering-islam’ not to try handling vipers or drink the venom of rattlers.]

 

After addressing the disciples thereafter, Jesus (peace be upon him) is portrayed to have been lifted to the heaven:

 

After the Lord Jesus had talked with them, he was taken up to heaven and sat at the right side of God. The disciples went and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and proved that their preaching was true by the miracles that were performed. (Mark 16: 19-20)

Here the longer version ends. So this longer version, in general terms, is more or less similar to the other gospel accounts except the sensational blessings for the believers. So far so good!

 

Shorter ending (Mark 16:1-8)

In the shorter version of the gospel however, Jesus’ (peace be upon him) female disciples, who also served him as his masseuse on occasions, from Galilee and Bethany hurries to the tomb on early Sunday morning to massage Jesus’ (peace be upon him) alleged corpse once again.

 

However, upon visiting the tomb, abnormally, they find a man already present inside it; although the tomb was sealed by a massive stone!

 

This mysterious man informs them that Jesus (peace be upon him) is no more in the tomb since he has been raised. He also commanded them to inform to other apostles especially Peter that, as planned, Jesus (peace be upon him) has been raised from the tomb:

 

Very early on Sunday morning, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they said to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” (It was a very large stone.) Then they looked up and saw that the stone had already been rolled back. (SEE 16:3) So they entered the tomb, where they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe—and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here—he has been raised! Look, here is the place where he was placed. Now go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter: ‘He is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ “(Mark 16: 2-7)

 

However, the biblical “disciples” of Jesus (peace be upon him) acted contradictorily to run away from the tomb; moreover, they did not inform to any other apostle that Jesus (peace be upon him) has been raised!

 

So they went out and ran from the tomb, distressed and terrified. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Mark 16:8)

Just at this point, the shorter version of Mark’s gospel ends!

At this junction of the paper, we could feel that something fishy was transpiring in the pages of the so-called “Injeel”. Before we dig further into the issue, it is relatively important to know about the authenticity of the two narratives.

Authenticity of the two endings

  

According to biblical scholarship, the first or shorter narration of the gospel is foundonly in oldest and best Markan manuscripts:

 

 

…the last twelve verses of Mark, in which Jesus appears to his disciples after the resurrection, telling them to preach the gospel to all the nations and indicating that those who believe in him will speak in strange tongues, handle snakes, and drink poison without feeling its effects. But this amazing and startling ending is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of Mark.Instead, these manuscripts end at Mark 16:8, where the women at Jesus’ tomb are told that he has been raised, are instructed to inform Peter, but then flee the tomb and say nothing to anyone, “for they were afraid.” And that is the end of the story. (Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, p. 78)

 

We will talk about the authenticity of the longer, extraneous-version soon but at this instant let us assume that the so-called Holy “Ghost” did inspire the writer (whoever s/he was) with the extraneous-verses. With that said, let us do some inquiry into the two differing endings.

 

Notice that the “best” and the “oldest” manuscript did not had the extra-verses (9 through 20). On the foregoing, we propose the following queries:

 

1)      Why the extra “verses” were not present in the “oldest” and “best” manuscript?

2)      Does the presence of extraneous-verses in later manuscripts imply that they were “inspired” to younger writer(s)?

3)      Subsequently, we ask: why were the extraneous-verses not inspired to earlier author(s)?

 

The truth of the matter is that the appended extraneous-verses are inauthentic and forged in the name of Mark. Biblical authority is almost unanimous about it. The introduction to gospel of Mark has the following to say:

 

The two endings of the Gospel, which are enclosed in brackets, are generally regarded as written by someone other than the author of Mark. (The Gospel according to Mark, Introduction, Good News Edition, p. 44)

 

Consequently, if the extraneous-verses were inauthentic then why were they forged in the first place? Why were they inserted into “God’s words”? Like any other forging, these counterfeit “verses” served basically two fundamental Paulineobjectives:

 Objective 1: To confirm that Jesus (peace be upon him) was indeed resurrected.

Objective 2: To further corroborate that Jesus (peace be upon him) was raised.

The two objectives look very similar on the face of it, however, the there are subtle but very important difference between them; we would explore them in the passages to follow to finally see how important it was for the Pauline Christianity to achieve these objectives and how menacing it could have been for Pauline Christianity if the extraneous-verses were absent.

Objective 1: To confirm that Jesus (peace be upon him) was indeed resurrected

 

Remember that in the shorter version of Mark it was the mysterious man in the tomb apprising the ladies that Jesus (peace be upon him) has risen. In other words the ladies were not firsthand, eye witnesses of the resurrected Jesus (peace be upon him).

 

The unknown identity of the informing man in the tomb; lack of firsthand eyewitness account for resurrected Jesus (peace be upon him) – these were enough ground to reduce the veracity of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrection which in turn had negative repercussions on his (alleged) death and would have in turn undermined the (alleged) crucifixion as well!

 

Therefore, to fill the obvious gaps, Bible redactors conveniently added the extraneous-verses and attributed them to God. So now we have the longer version in which Jesus (peace be upon him) is being witnessed by several of his disciples after his resurrection – problem was immediately solved!

 

However, the redactors supposedly working under the influence of Holy “Ghost” did an utterly gauche job when they out of need appended extraneous-verses. Initial Mark – the shorter version – ended with ladies not witnessing resurrected Jesus (peace be upon him) in the tomb. In fact the preternatural men inside the tomb exhorted them that resurrected Jesus (peace be upon him) would be witnessed on-road to Galilee:

 

 

So they entered the tomb, where they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe—and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here—he has been raised! Look, here is the place where he was placed. Now go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter: ‘He is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him, just as he told you.‘ “(Mark 16: 5-7)

 

However, contradictorily, (appended) verse 9 stated that the ladies did witness Jesus (peace be upon him) on Sunday – his resurrection day:

 

After Jesus rose from death early on Sunday, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven out seven demons. (Mark 16:9)

 

The presumably “resurrected” Jesus (peace be upon him) did not meet Mary Magdalene on Galilee highway but at very close proximity of the tomb, in fact, at the entrance of the tomb itself.

 

Mary stood crying outside the tomb. While she was still crying, she bent over and looked in the tomb and saw two angels there dressed in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and the other at the feet. “Woman, why are you crying?” they asked her. She answered, “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!” Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing there; but she did not know that it was Jesus. “Woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who is it that you are looking for?” She thought he was the gardener, so she said to him, “If you took him away, sir, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned toward him and said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (This means “Teacher.”) (John 20:11-16)

 

On the foregoing, it can be conclusively asserted that the appended “verse(s)” do not fit snugly to the flow of the chapter (Mark 16) and therefore it incurs sufficient proofs on its human production. No surprise, gospel manuscript authority D.C. Parker notes as follows:

 

It has been pointed out that verse 9 sits very uneasily with verses 1-8. There is no resumption of the theme of fear and silence in verse 8, and Mary Magdalene is introduced afresh in verse 9, as though she were not already on stage.” (D.C.Parker, The Living Text of the Gospels (1997), p.138)]

 

The very fact that verse 9 sits “very uneasily”with verses 1-8 alludes that it has been extrapolated. This extrapolation also paved path for the gospels to be written in future; as such none of the younger gospels committed the mistake of not providing eyewitnesses accounts of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrection! (Don’t we learn from our past mistakes?)

But one important query still lingers that why were the Bible redactors and compilers (corrupters?) so keen on adding the extraneous-verses of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) post resurrection personal interaction with his disciples? Why was it not enough when verses 1 through 8 informed that Jesus (peace be upon him) was raised?  The answer of this query takes us to the next analysis of next objective.

 

Objective 2: To further corroborate that Jesus (peace be upon him) was raised

As already mentioned, verses 1 through 8 did inform under God’s “inspiration” that Jesus (peace be upon him) had been (allegedly) resurrected yet there was need forfurther corroboration to resurrection phenomenon. This was so because thebelieving disciples of Jesus (peace be upon him) were in no mood to believe the resurrection news of Jesus (peace be upon him) from their own colleagues,vicariously:

 

He is not here; he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.’ “Then the women remembered his words, returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; they and the other women with them told these things to the apostles.But the apostles thought that what the women said was NONSENSE, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; he bent down and saw the grave cloths but nothing else. Then he went back home amazed at what had happened. (Luke 24:6-12)

 

They returned and told the others, but these would not believe it. (Luke 16:13)

 

The disbelief of the disciples led Jesus (peace be upon him) to scold them:

 

Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them, because they did not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen him alive. He said to them, “Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all people.  (Mark 16: 14-15)

And,

And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened. Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb, but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.” Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said!Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?” And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets. (Luke 24:21-27)

“Apostle” Thomas, the “My-Lord-My-God” fellow, put an even stringent condition to believe in the resurrection. He would not have believed unless he would put his fingers through Jesus’ (peace be upon him) wounds!

 

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” (John 20: 24-25)

 

We need to wait here for a moment to think why were the “loyal” disciples of Jesus (peace be upon him) had so much difficulty in accepting his resurrection (?).

 

Notice that there is one similarity in Luke’s account of disbelieving disciples and in John’s account of disbelieving Thomas. In both the narratives the audience was bereaved of firsthand experience. In Lukan narrative it was the ladies who gavesecondhand information about resurrection to the other disciples and in John’s account, it was the other disciples giving vicarious information to Thomas!

On the foregoing, it can be deduced that disciples tangibly wanted to see and experience Jesus (peace be upon him) to believe in his resurrection. D.C. Parker asserts the same:

 

“…that the disciples did not believe (neither source has such a reference), and that when Jesus does appear, he rebukes ‘their unbelief and hardness of heart’. It is only when they see and speak with Jesus that they believe.(D.C.Parker, The Living Text of the Gospels (1997),p.140)

 

However, this exact condition of firsthand experience was missing in Mark’s shorter version! None of the disciples, including the ladies at the site (tomb), had firsthand experience; which in turn implies that they hitherto had no belief in resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him)!

 

In order words, had Mark’s gospel ended at verse 8 it would have established beyond doubts that none of the disciples ever believed in the resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him); which in turn would have casted sufficient doubt on the death of Jesus (peace be upon him); which in turn would have rendered crucifixion and Christianity to be dubious!

 

Nevertheless, since Paul’s epistles, which predated Mark’s gospel, had already set “orthodox doctrine” that without resurrection there was Christianity (1 Corinthians 15:14), this left the “custodians” of the so-called “Injeel” to append Mark’s “incomplete” and doctrinally menacing shorter account with verses tailor made to fit in succinctly with Paul’s theology. Now, as expected, disciples were portrayed to have had firsthand experience of the “risen” Jesus (peace be upon him)!

All this fast and loose was done to render credit to the alleged crucifixion (and resurrection) which, otherwise, even first of all gospels and Christians doubts!

In fact Parker takes a step forward to expose the truth that the additions were made in the gospel to tailor it according to particular (Pauline) agenda:

“This aside, the full contents of verses 9—20 provide a programme which, when interpreted in a certain way, is extremely congenial to a particular kind of conservative Christianity. Conversely, those who argue that these verses are spurious might be charged by their opponents with a hidden ‘liberalising’ motive.

And,

The Long Ending is best read as a cento or pastiche of material gathered from the other Gospels and from other sources, slanted towards a particular interpretation. This may be demonstrated by going through it verse by verse. Verses 15-16: In Matthew 28.19 the disciples are commanded ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ The same pair of verbs, ‘preach’/’baptise5, is found here. The main idea here (beliefs-baptism—salvation) may be seen as a development of what is found in the New Testament (see Acts 16.31 and 33; 1 Peter 3·2ΐ)”. (D.C.Parker, The Living Text of the Gospels (1997),pp.103-131, p.140)

 

Not merely did Parker assert that the extraneous-verses have strong doctrinal biases but he even recognizes the sources which fathered theses “verses”. He points out that other gospels and epistles laid the framework for the extraneous-verses. This in itself raises several questions on the textual integrity of the New Testament.

 

The later/younger gospels had narratives for firsthand experience of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrection quite in line with Pauline theology. Thus it was not too difficult to mould the odd one out – gospel of Mark – so that its “Long ending is best read as a cento or pastiche of material gathered from other Gospels and from other sources, slanted towards a particular interpretation”.

 

In the wake of the above sleight maneuverings, well known author Kenneth Cragg claims the following:

“There is condensation and editing, there is choice production and witness.The Gospels have come through the mind of the church behind the authors. They represent experience and history.” (Kenneth Cragg, The Call of the Minaret, p. 277)

Respectful resource Encyclopedia Brittanica has a similar note to chime:

“Yet, as a matter of FACTEVERY BOOK of the New Testament, with the exception of the four great Epistles o St. Paul is at present more or less the subject of controversy and interpolations (inserted verses) are asserted even in these.” (Encyclopedia Brittanica, 12th Edition, Vol. 3, p.643)

 

Also remember that Paul’s various epistles primarily stressing on the (alleged) resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him) and consequent salvation thereby were already available and in circulation among various Christian churches all around the area yet Mark did not include confirmed firsthand resurrection phenomenon in his “gospel”. This concerns whether Mark believed in the resurrection of Christ (peace be upon him); whether resurrection incident was a mass phenomenon; whether resurrection was indispensible part of Christianity, if so, Mark would have never missed to mention it especially given the unbelieving attitude of the “believers” and direct guidance from “divine” Holy “Ghost”. On this note, Bible Professor Dr. A. Meyer (2.) makes a rather justified assertion:

 

“If by ‘Christianity’  we understand faith in Jesus Christ as the heavenly son of God, who did not belong to Earthly humanity, but who lived in the divine likeness and glory, who came down  from heaven to earth, who entered humanity and took upon himself a human form through a virgin, that he might make propitiation for men’s sins by his own blood on the cross, who was them awakened  from death and raised to God as the Lord of his own people, who believe in him, who hears their prayers, guards and leads them, who shall come again to judge the world, who will cast down all the foes of God, and will bring his people with him unto the house of heavenly light so that they may become like his glorified body – if this is Christianity, the[n] such a Christianity was founded by Paul and not by Jesus.” (Meyer, Jesus or Paul, p. 122)

 

Finally, and very importantly, as if stating distinctly on the subject in hand – the (alleged) resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him) – the group of scholars at the “Jesus Seminar” claim that death, resurrection and vicarious atonement are mythical roles attributed falsely to historical Jesus (peace be upon him):

 

“Biblical scholars and theologians alike have learned to distinguish the Jesus of history from the Christ of faith. It has been a painful lesson for both the church and scholarship. The distinction between the two figures is the difference between a historical person who lived in a particular time and place and a figure who has been assigned a mythical role, in which he descends from heaven to rescue mankind and, of course, eventually return there.” (Jesus Seminar, Robert W. Funk and Roy W. Hoover (translators and eds.), The Five Gospels (1993), pp.533-537)

Conclusion

  

According to the methodology of the best and earliest Christians – the “apostles” themselves –  they were not supposed to believe in the resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him) unless they themselves had a firsthand witness of it.

 

Now, as per best and earliest version of the oldest of all gospels – the gospel of Mark – not a single disciple ever had firsthand witness of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) purported resurrection phenomenon. This expressly implied that none of the earliest Christians ever believed in the (alleged) resurrection.

 

However, such a Jesus (peace be upon him) tradition emanating from oldest gospel itself contradicted Pauline theology which predated it and dominated Christianity. Therefore, a concerted effort was required to add an appendix to “God’s inspiration” itself. (Of course, this fast and loose had its own gauche limitations.) And this is exactly we wanted to prove that although gospel of Mark is not specifically an “inspiration” identified by Qur’an yet even it was not spared of tampering. Menmodified it to suit their sectarian belief (3.).

 

Indeed God spoke the truth in this regard:

 

Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:”This is from Allah,” to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.(Qur’an 2:79, Yusuf Ali’s Quran Translation)

 

If such is the state of affairs with the gospel(s) then, as a non – Christian, we feel it is extremely dangerous to venture our souls and eternal salvation in the so-called “Injeel” purported by missionaries.   

Notes:

  • All biblical text taken from Good News Edition.

Footnote:

 (1.) Mark has not just authored the “canonical” gospel. There have been other gospels around like the “Secret Gospel of Mark” which is also authoritatively attributed to him by scholars.

 (2.) He is Professor of Theology at Zurich University

(3.) What we now know as “orthodox” Christianity was not the only form of Christianity in the incipient days of the churches. Many Christian groups did not endorse Paul or his coined doctrines. Whereas some rejected him as a corruptor of religion of Jewish patriarchs while others hardly believed in the death and resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him) let alone the salvation, if any, it entailed.

Refutation: The True Shahada Indeed: Revisited [Part 3]

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Analyzing deity of Christ under the light of John 17:3

Question Mark

In Part 1 of the True Shahada Indeed series we dealt with issues which were accidental or not immediately related to the point of disagreement, that is, John 17:3. In Part 2 of the same series we proved that Muslims can and should appeal to John 17:3 to prove seemingly Semitic monotheism of biblical prophets withstanding that “text speaks of the father”.

In Islam there cannot be any ghastly sin than worshipping Jesus (peace be upon him) (#fn1) besides/with Allah (SWT). However, for some Christian sects it is a cardinal point in their faith to worship Jesus, peace be upon him, as their God Almighty; that there cannot be any salvation without this assumption.

Such being the case, this paper, which is the third installment in the series, would be of paramount importance because it would be analyzing the deity of Christ, peace be upon him.

The scope of the paper would be to refute all the “proofs” put forth by Rogers who thinks he worships the same God worshipped by all prophets, who was ironically circumcised on the 8th day (!), peace be upon all of them.

Logically Illogical

To negate Muslim appeal of monotheism through John 17:3, Rogers produced his so thought logical illustration…to try and make the point easier to apprehend”.

Somewhere down the line he thinks that John 17:3 minus his “illustration” is Rocket Science!

Anyhow, he produced his “illustration” of “Plato – Mortal – Socrates” which was thoroughly refuted under “Where is the catch” section of the TRUE SHAHADA INDEED.

Although his article is “A Reply to “The True Shahada Indeed” – Part Three”,however, he never replied to our breakdown of his “Plato – Mortal – Socrates”illustration! Moreover, he brought up an entirely new perspective to his “illustration”; that of the absence of the adjective “alone”. We would consider even this later in this paper but for time being we note that he has not responded directly and distinctively to our refutation of his “Plato – Mortal – Socrates” argument.

All that he had to offer was the following sapless, self – styled and biblically unsupported response:

“Given a Trinitarian metaphysic the only legitimate way the deity of Christ could be ruled out is if the text said, “The Father alone is the only true God.” It was this that I aimed to bring out with the illustration I chose, where not the word “only” used to modify the predicate term of the major premise, but the word “alone” used to restrict what is predicated to the person of the Father, is what is all important.”

Firstly, no matter which Christian metaphysic one abides by, however, s/he needs to restrict himself to the scriptures, that is, Bible. And we would, Allah – willing shortly experience that no Christian metaphysic, “Trinitarian” or otherwise, supports Rogers’ claim that “deity of Christ could be ruled out if the text said, “The Fatheralone is the only true God.”” The biblical verse Rogers brought up, that is, John 10:30, to support his branded “Trinitarian metaphysic” does not support his case as we would soon realize in the subsequent section(s).

Secondly, Rogers’ explanation that “only” does not “modify the predicate term of the major premise” is unsupported by any evidence. Such an explanation is at best his very own personalized explanation uncorroborated through any biblical verse, nevertheless, if Rogers’ is itching for John 10:30 then he should have patience until we examine it in the subsequent section(s).

Or else, Rogers should provide us reason(s) why we should believe his branded explanation that biblical word “only” does not “modify the predicate term of the major premise”, especially when the biblical proof (John 10:30) he bases his explanation on, cripples on a closer examination:

Christ is yet not God – Almighty

For Rogers Muslim argument against the deity of Christ, peace be upon him, is “fallacious” because:

“…the Muslim argument against Christ’s deity at this point rests on argumentation that is fallacious. The argument goes like this:

The Father is the only true God;

Jesus is not the Father;

Therefore, Jesus is not the only true God.

To infer such a conclusion from the above premises is fallacious because it assumes that Jesus is not one with the Father, which begs the question against the Christian understanding of the Trinity, and flatly contradicts what Jesus said in John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.” (Bold emphasize ours) In other words, inferring the above conclusion from the stated premises fails to take into account the unique features of Trinitarian ontology or the fact that the Father and the Son are distinct persons but not different gods or beings. In other words, although Jesus is not the person of the Father, they are one in essence, and thus both can be the only true God.”

Specifically, Rogers’ arguments for the deity of Christ (peace be upon him) are:

  1. Father and Jesus (peace be upon him) “are one”.
  2. Father and Son are one in essence.

Let us examine the above arguments to analyze the weight in them.

Father and Jesus (peace be upon him) “are one”

This over used Christian quotation of John 10:30 could be easily responded rhetorically through other biblical quotations; consider this biblical quotation, for instance:

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, THAT THEY ALSO MAY BE ONE IN US: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” (King James (1611), John 17:21-22, Capital and Bold emphasize ours)

Or

“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…I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one:” (Holy Bible, John 17:21-22, TEV, Bold and Capital emphasize ours)

In this particular citation Jesus (peace be upon him) invests the same “oneness” to the people as he has with father. He expressly inducts his people in their (father and Jesus) oneness. There is just no difference between the “oneness” between him and father and the “oneness” that Jesus (peace be upon him) wants to have between him, father and people. This clearly refutes Rogers’ argument that because Jesus (peace be upon him) and father “are one” so Jesus is God – Almighty otherwise and conversely if Jesus (peace be upon him) is God – Almighty since he is “one” with father then sadly to the chagrin of Christianity many others would have to be accommodated in the space between father and Jesus, peace be upon him.

In other words, if our conclusion and inference of John 17:3 that Jesus is not God – Almighty “flatly contradicts what Jesus said in John 10:30” then John 17:21-22 “begs the question against the Christian understanding of the Trinity” for they should somehow accommodate the then followers of Jesus (peace be upon him) in the trinity transmuting it to “multi-nity”.

Rogers’ problem does not seizes here since even if we take his much celebrated verse, namely, John 10:30 separately and not in relation with any other verse of the Bible yet it would not be proven that Christ was God – Almighty because the context of John 10:30 will militate against all such (im)possibilities:

Context of John 10:30

The preceding few verse of John sets the context for John 10:30. Jesus, peace be upon him, states that he is the shepherd of his flock and therefore he would provide them all the security they need, in other words, because Jesus’ (peace be upon him) sheep follow him (verse 27), “…they shall never perish” (verse 28) and therefore no man would be able to pluck them (his sheep) out of his hand.

It is the obedience of Jesus’ people to his commandments that saves them and circumvents them to be “plucked off”.

A step further, because Jesus’ (peace be upon him) words and commandments are not his own but of his father’s (see, John 14:24) therefore by following Jesus they are indirectly following father and thus “no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (verse 29). And thus we see a “oneness” of purpose in the verse! This was expressly cited by famous Bible commentator Darby:

“If the Son has accomplished the work, and takes care of the sheep, IT WAS THE FATHER WHO GAVE THEM TO HIM. The Christ may perform a divine work, AND FURNISH A MOTIVE FOR THE FATHER’S LOVE, BUT IT WAS THE FATHER WHO GAVE IT HIM TO DO.  THEIR LOVE TO THE SHEEP IS ONE, as those who bear that love are one.” (Darby’s Commentary, Joh 10: 1-42, Bold, Italics, Capital and Underline emphasize ours)

Notice that according to commentator Darby, the “oneness” being (allegedly) said by Jesus (peace be upon him) is the “oneness” of love. Both Jesus (peace be upon him) and father love the flock and therefore they are one or expressly “their love to the sheep is ONE”. In other words Jesus (peace be upon him) and father are one in purpose.

We might contemplate, for instance, the love of parents; the mother and the father love their child does not mean that mother and father are one! Their love for the child may be one, nevertheless.

The author of “Jesus Christ” writes to prove that Jesus and father were “one” because of their “oneness” of work or purpose:

“This charge of blasphemy arose as a result of Jesus’ having said: “I and the Father are one.” (Joh 10:30) THAT THIS DID NOT MEAN THAT JESUS CLAIMED TO BE THE FATHER OR TO BE GOD IS EVIDENT FROM HIS REPLY, already partly considered. The oneness to which Jesus referred must be understood in harmony with the context of his statement. He was speaking of his works and his care of the “sheep” who would follow him. His works, as well as his words, demonstrated that there was unity, not disunity and disharmony, between him and his Father, a point his reply went on to emphasize. As regards his “sheep,”he and his Father were likewise at unity in their protecting such sheep like ones and leading them to everlasting life. (Joh 10:27-29; compare Eze 34:23, 24.) Jesus’ prayer on behalf of the unity of all his disciples, including future ones, shows that the oneness, or union, between Jesus and his Father was not as to identity of person but as to purpose and action.” (Bold, Italics and Capital emphasize ours.)

Inferably then, Jesus and father “are one” in love, purpose and/or work (and not in essence we would elaborate it shortly).

Lest Rogers and others would impute us of our own interpretation of the context of John 10:30 we quote you more classical Christian scholars and commentators on this particular verse disabusing all the claims of the tri-theist(s).

Furthermore it is Rogers typical thinking and shallow grasp of his own scripture that he writes John 10:30 proves that Jesus (peace be upon him) and father are “one” because, otherwise, there are umpteen scholars who still doubt the precise nature of the “oneness” being talked about in John 10:30. Erasmus, Calvin, Bucer are only to name a few of them:

I and my Father are one – The word translated “one” is not in the masculine, but in the neuter gender. IT EXPRESSES UNION, BUT NOT THE PRECISE NATURE OF THE UNION. IT MAY EXPRESS ANY UNION, AND THE PARTICULAR KIND INTENDED IS TO BE INFERRED FROM THE CONNECTION. IN THE PREVIOUS VERSE HE HAD SAID THAT HE AND HIS FATHER WERE UNITED IN THE SAME OBJECT THAT IS, IN REDEEMING AND PRESERVING HIS PEOPLE. IT WAS THIS THAT GAVE OCCASION FOR THIS REMARK.  Many interpreters have understood this as referring to union of design and of plan. The words may bear this construction.” (Barnes’ Commentary, Joh 10:30, Capital, Bold and Underline emphasize ours except for the first phrase)

Note yet again that the celebrated Christian scholar Barnes along with other scholars doubts the union or sharing of divinity through John 10:30 which Rogers so untenably quotes. All that Barnes suggest is the common or “one” purpose of the two – that of saving the people. That being the suggestion we should not forget that all prophets came to save their/the people from Adam to Mohammad, peace be upon them.

If the common or “one” purpose is to be construed as Rogers interprets it to prove the deity of Christ (peace be upon him) then all the biblical prophets needs to be worshipped categorically.

A step further, Jamison Faucet (JFB), another leading proponent of Bible commentary expressly denies what Rogers cherishes to interpret – The oneness of “essence” of Jesus (peace be upon him) and father:

I and my Father are one — Our language admits not of the precision of the original in this great saying. “Are” is in the masculine gender – “we (two persons) are”; while “one” is neuter – “one thing.” PERHAPS “ONE INTEREST” EXPRESSES,as nearly as may be, the purport of the saying. There seemed to be some contradiction between His saying they had been given by His Father into His ownhands, out of which they could not be plucked, and then saying that none could pluck them out of His Father’s hands, as if they had not been given out of them. “Neither have they,” says He; “though He has given them to Me, they are as much in His own almighty hands as ever – they cannot be, and when given to Me they are not, given away from Himself; for he and I have all in common.” Thus it will be seen, that, THOUGH ONENESS OF ESSENCE IS NOT THE PRECISE THING HERE AFFIRMED, that truth is the basis of what is affirmed, without which it would not be true.” (JFB’s commentary, Joh 10:30, Underline, Bold and Italics emphasize ours except the first phrase)

Moreover, we would like to quote how cogently Sheikh Jalal Abualrub ofwww.islamlife.com had responded to this hackneyed argument of John 10:30 raising a new set of problems to Christian tri – theists:

“I and my father are one” (John 10:30).
Christians claim that this statement proves that Jesus is one or united with God and, consequently, Jesus is God.  However, when Jesus died, he did not give up the Father, he only gave up the ghost, “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost” (Mark 15:37).

This claimed unity was not available to Jesus when he died; what happened to this unity and why did not the Father die when Jesus died, if Jesus and the Father are one? 

Hopefully, no one will claim that when Jesus said that he and the Father are one, it was Jesus the human not Jesus the divine who said it.  It this is suggested, then one would be saying that God is human.  And where is the Holy Ghost in John 10:30?  He is missing, again.  Key-Word: Twinity!
It seems the unity between God and Jesus can include many more people.  Jesus is claimed to have said, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:21-23).  If, as we are told, John 10:30 proves that Jesus is God, then, John 17:21-23 prove that the disciples and possibly many other people are also God.  Also, if God and Jesus are one, why would Jesus keep calling himself, ‘My God’: “I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God” (John 20:17)?  The Quran states that Prophet `Esa said,
{Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allâh I) did command me to say: “Worship Allâh, my Lord and your Lord.” And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them; and You are a Witness to all things.} (5:117) (Source, Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Lastly, we would like to re – visit Rogers’ argument of “one essence” of Jesus and father but before that take note once again that according to, Jamison Faucet,“oneness of essence” is not affirmed.

There are many differences between Jesus and father even on the grounds of “essence” and at the end of this section one would only think that which “essence”do the Christian apologists brag which is one and the same between Jesus (peace be upon him) and father:

  1. Firstly, Jesus (peace be upon him), did not had any idea of the hereafter or of future event(s). Specifically, he did not knew the “hour”:

He, peace be upon him, clearly said:

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Sonbut the Father.” (Mark 13:32, Bold emphasize ours)

Notice how carefully and humbly (biblical) “Son of God” has distinguished himself from “Father”.

If the essence of Jesus (peace be upon him) would have been the same with father then he must have known the hour.

  1. God is not a creation. He is separate from His creation – He is the Creator, however, Jesus was created, he was made:

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, MADE of a womanMADE under the law,” (Galatians 4:4, Bold and Capital emphasize ours)

Thus, in essence Jesus was a creation, nevertheless biblical God was the Creator:

“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made ithe hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:18, Bold emphasize ours)

And,

“For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth,…” (Amos 4:13, Bold emphasize ours)

In the entire Bible we do not find a single verse which unequivocally states that Jesus created any of the creations made by God. Surely, for the essence of creation, Jesus (peace be upon him) lacked way behind God as a true prophet and servant; not a Co – Creator.

  1. If Jesus would have been one in essence with father then he would have never denied the attribute of goodness vested on him:

“And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark 10:17-18, Bold emphasize ours)

For many scholars the “Goodness” stated in the above cited verse alludes toperfection. However, Jesus (peace be upon him) diverted it to God alone because he knew that he was not perfect to the same extent or “essence” to blaspheme God.

  1. Tri – theist Christians claim that Jesus (peace be upon him) was a mixture of humanity and divinity, at the same time! For them, when he was answering nature’s (#fn2) call his divine part used to hide out somewhere and would re – appear when he used to finish his purpose.

However, on other instances, the divine Jesus (peace be upon him) used to manifest his divinity through words such as “I and the Father are one.” The problem is that such an apology does not take into consideration biblical verses such 1 John 4:12:

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (Bold and Underline emphasize ours)

Christians would incessantly apologize that it was Jesus (peace be upon him) – the god who gave life back to Lazarus or it was divine Jesus (peace be upon him) who uttered “I and the Father are one.”

Nevertheless, such an understanding contradicts 1 John 4:12 because people sawand watched Jesus (peace be upon him) saying “I and the Father are one”, they saw Jesus (peace be upon him) – The mistaken god, giving life to Lazarus (we would like to add, “By God’s permission”), however, as per 1 John 4:12 none at no time has seen god (Remark the important phrase “at any time” 1 John 4:12).

It is the faulty understanding of Christian apologists that engenders contradiction between John 10:30 and 1 John 4:12. Since “I and the Father are one” of John 10:30 neither mentions that Jesus (peace be upon him) and father are one nor can it be inferred. On the other hand, according to principle set by 1 John 4:12, God cannot be seen. This visionary “essence” of divine collides head on with the presumptuous assumption that Jesus (peace be upon him) and father are one in essence.

  1. Another “essence” which finds difference between Jesus (peace be upon him) and father is that of “immortality”. Bible clearly states that God is immortal:

Who ONLY hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (1Timothy 6:16, Bold and Capital emphasize ours)

The fact that Jesus, peace be upon him, died and thus was a mortal, and the fact that the verse adds that “no man hath seen” (Jesus (peace be upon him) was visible) the ONLY immortal proves that Jesus (peace be upon him) was not of the same essence of the father.

If Rogers think that he would reply back with the same absurd and face hiding reply that Jesus (peace be upon him) the man died (not the god) then he should take into account that it was the same mouth, the same organs, through which, according to tri – theist Christianity boast that Jesus (peace be upon him) claimed divinity through the words “I and the Father are one” ceased to work or else died.

Actually, Rogers cannot play the coward game that when it suits his end of proving Jesus (peace be upon him) god – he becomes god, and when Jesus (peace be upon him) bleeds or sweats he becomes man!

There are numerous other facts which prove that Jesus, peace be upon him, was not God, however, we keep them for a more fitting place when we would analyze the divinity of Christ (peace be upon him) in our future papers, God willing. For now, it is verifiably established that Jesus and father were not of the same essence – a myth unsupported through Bible.

The Polytheism between “Only and Alone”

The next argument which would be analyzing could be called as an apotheosis of straw man argument. We would observe how Rogers tries to canvass his polytheism between the dexterity of the words “Only” and “Alone”. We would soon read how he would fuss that the text has used “Only”; it should have used both “Only” and “Alone” in order that restrict father alone in the godhead – all to prove how childish his arguments are. He wrote:

“Given a Trinitarian metaphysic the only legitimate way the deity of Christ could be ruled out is if the text said, “The Father alone is the only true God.” It was this that I aimed to bring out with the illustration I chose, where not the word “only” used to modify the predicate term of the major premise, but the word “alone” used to restrict what is predicated to the person of the Father, is what is all important.”

Here Rogers has provided us a way how we could disprove the deity of Christ (peace be upon him) from his standards which we would do, God willing. Nevertheless, we would like to first consider other important points here.

Since Rogers is playing with words and twisting text. We will re – produce John 17:3.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)

In the first place, notice once again that between the person of Jesus (peace be upon him) and the person of father – the person of father is the “ONLY” true God since the pronoun “thee” specifically refers to the person of father. This is further corroborated by the fact that Jesus (peace be upon him) distinguishes himself, in the same text, from the father by stating, “AND JESUS CHRIST whom THOU hast sent”.

Notice that once Jesus (peace be upon him) has qualified the person of father “ONLY” to be the “true God” he did not continue it for himself. He did not state that I am also “ONLY” true God for Jesus (peace be upon him) knew that it would be an irrevocable contradiction.

To continue on the above argumentation, if the person of father is the “ONLY” true God then, firstly, all other persons are immediately ruled out of divinity and secondly, Rogers’ statement is met, “The Father alone is the only true God.”

Secondly, Rogers’ argument is based purely on “Trinitarian Ontology”, as he himself mentions it. The weakness of argumentation that the text should have mentioned that father alone is the only true God lies in the basis of Trinitarian supposition. Why does Rogers expect us to look into biblical texts through his “Trinitarian Ontology” glasses? Because otherwise his argument would fall apart,

  1. Rogers has assumed us to believe that Christian godhead comprises of three persons which, as we have seen in glimpses above in, “Christ is yet not God – Almighty” section, is biblically unsupported.
  1. “The Father alone is the only true God.” From the construction of the ‘test’ sentence it is clear that when Rogers says that our case would have been valid had the text shown that Father “alone” is “only true God” he stresses the fact that the word “alone” should have excluded all other heads from the Christian godhead.

For him the adjective “only” does not exclude Jesus to include Father “alone” which is, at best, stark, by any stretch of English language. Trinitarians should notice the separation which Jesus (peace be upon him) puts between him and father when he attributes father to be the “ONLY” true God through the usage of the pronoun “thee”.

Notice once again that Jesus (peace be upon him) did not continue to say something like father is the “ONLY” true God and Jesus is the “ONLY” true God and Ghost (‘holy’) is the “ONLY” true God but Rogers did!:

“i.e. that the only true God is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God in three persons.”

This further exposes that how desperately Rogers wants to read texts into his scriptures to support his flimsy case unsupported through so called scriptures.

It is for this reason that if we keep aside the so called “Trinitarian Ontology” and let the texts speaks for them then they would certainly voice against all such “Trinitarian Ontology”.

Thirdly, we would now provide Rogers his die hard word “alone” from his Christian sources which would undoubtedly establish Rogers demand that “The Father aloneis the only true God.”

A perusal of the Greek text reveals that the word used for “only” was “monon”. Surprisingly, according to Strong’s Note numbered G3441, “monon” means “remaining, i.e. sole or single; by implication, mere:–alone, only, by themselves”. Therefore, “monon” does mean “alone”.

 

A step further, “monon” is not restricted to its usage in John 17:3, nevertheless, it can be found rigged all over the Bible, John 16:32, for instance:

“Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me aloneand yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”(King James (1611) Bible. Italics and Bold emphasize ours)

From the above adduced verse the biblical usage of the word “alone” or “monon”can be easily grasped. Notice that in the first place, (a) Jesus (peace be upon him) complains that every man shall leave him “alone”, in other words, he would be absolutely alone without any man for or with him. Similarly, when Jesus (peace be upon him) says that …thee the only (alone) true God,” he means that father is absolutely alone without any other deity with him.

The second part of the above cited verse is even more interesting; (b) Jesus (peace be upon him) says that because Father is with him therefore he is not alone, “and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. Conversely, if Father was notwith Jesus (peace be upon him), he (Jesus, peace be upon him) would have beenalone i.e., Jesus (peace be upon him) without Father! Therefore, when Jesus (peace be upon him) refers to father as “only/alone” he segregates himself from father.

In conclusion then, “alone” has been used in Bible, specifically, John 16:32, by Jesus, peace be upon him, to restrict persons.

Another very interesting example for the usage of “alone” can be found at 1 John 5:6.

“This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water onlybut by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (King James (1611) Bible. Bold and italics emphasize ours)

The Greek word used for “only” is again “monon”. Out of the two things with which Jesus (peace be upon him) came, the text makes it clear, that he did not come with“water only”. In other words the usage of the word “only” in the text clearly would have separated Jesus with water alone leaving behind blood had he come with water only? This fact is further supported through the construction of the sentence to accommodate blood as well – “and blood”. Notice how “and” completes the two things with which Jesus (peace be upon him) came, biblically.

Now let us make an analogy of 1 John 5:6 with John 17:3. In John 17:3 we had, according to Trinitarian interpretation, two persons, father and Jesus (peace be upon him). Nevertheless, in 1 John 5:6 we have two substances, namely, water and blood:

a)      In 1 John 5:6, in a sense, water is separated from blood through the statement“not by water only”; the separation is reached through the usage of the word“only”. Similarly, in John 17:3, father – the only true God, has to be separated from Jesus (peace be upon him) through the usage of the same word “only” or “alone”.

b)      Moreover, in 1 John 5:6, “blood” was joined with “water” through the usage of the conjunction “and”, “…but by water and blood”. Notice that it is the usage of the same “and” which puts separation between “water” and “blood”. On the same lines, “and” puts a separation between – “the only true God” and Jesus, “…know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ”

To infer, we have the usage of the key words “only” and “and” in 1 John 5:6 that puts a separation between the substance of “water” and “blood”. Similarly, and logically, the same key words “only” and “and” will have to put a separation betweenthe person of “Father” and “Jesus” (peace be upon him).

Now, when the separation of person has been established in John 17:3 then, inferably, “thee the only true God” has to distinctively and separately allude to father.

Matthew 17:8

“And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only

When people had lifted up their eyes they found Jesus (peace be upon him) only, in other words we can say that they saw none but Jesus alone. Their affirmation that they saw Jesus (peace be upon him) only, indirectly meant that they saw none beside.

People were not seeing father or ghost but Jesus (peace be upon him) only, and how do we know; we know it through the usage of the word “only” thus, the usage of the word “only” discards all other persons of the Trinitarian theology.

Similarly, the same “only” also discards all other persons from the position of the“only true God” in John 17:3.

Another biblical verse which would bring forth the true meaning and import of the word “only” is found at Mark 6 verse 8. It reads:

“And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staffonlyno scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:” (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

The commandment to carry a staff only negated the carriage of scrip, bread or money. Generally, appurtenances such as bread and money are essential to undertake any journey; however, the usage of the word “only” discarded them all. Similarly, as per Trinitarian (fallacious) interpretation, although father, Jesus (peace be upon him) and ghost (holy) might form family of god (!) yet the usage of the word“only” restricts the same to father alone.

Conclusively, if “monon” means “alone”, then by substituting it in Roger’ statement we have, “The Father is (the) alone true God” where the application of the word alone, according to Bible, is to segregate persons.

Therefore, whether we have alone or only the crux of the matter is that Father is theonly/alone true God which the Christians should be worshipping.

Brushing on the already refuted argument of Socrates – Man – Mortal, Rogers wrote that:

“It was this that I aimed to bring out with the illustration I chose, where not the word “only” used to modify the predicate term of the major premise, but the word “alone” used to restrict what is predicated to the person of the Father, is what is all important.”

We would like to state once again that the readers must visit “Where is the Catch”section of our first refutation TRUE SHAHADA INDEED.

At this instant only three queries would expose the weakness in Roger’ argument:

Firstly, why should we believe Rogers explanation that “not the word “only” used to modify the predicate term of the major premise, but the word “alone” used to restrict what is predicated to the person of the Father, is what is all important.” After all, it is the turn of which ghost (holy) to inspire Rogers?

Secondly, why should we trump the many biblical usages of the word “only”produced above which speak the opposite of Rogers supposed explanation to save the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him).

Lastly, to make our query redundant, why can not the word “only” modify the predicate term of the major premise? (Given that Rogers weak argument of John 10:30 has already been answered.)

We expect better responses from Rogers in his future installments.

Rogers admitted that Jesus is not God – Almighty

In his original paper Rogers gave a criterion meeting which would prove the denial of the deity of Jesus, peace be upon him:

“Things would be different if the text said “only Father is God”, or “the Father alone is the only true God”, but it does not.”

We have already dealt with this criterion to the embarrassment of Rogers under the section “Roger(s) admitted that Jesus is not God – Almighty” of our original paper. Here we would respond to the criterion once again and we would also reply to Rogers comments on this issue. The response here would be different from what we have already responded earlier so a reading of former is desirable.

As can be clearly seen, through Rogers confession, that the denial of Jesus’ deity (peace be upon him) could be achieved if the text would have read “only Father is God”, now to the chagrin of Trinitarian polytheists the text exactly speaks the same. Here is a terse explanation and proof.

John 17:3 reads:

“And this is life eternal, that they might know THEE the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (Bold and Capital emphasize ours)

One does not need to be a doctor of divinity to construe our point! The archaic pronoun “THEE”, as use in the text, alludes directly and distinctly to the father; no Trinitarian would deny this. That being the case, if we substitute subject “father” for the pronoun “THEE” we get:

“And this is life eternal, that they might know FATHER the only true Godand Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (Peace be upon him)

If we pander back to Rogers’ demand which was that the text should have read“only Father is God” (to make him monotheist) and compare it with our above deduction, that FATHER the only true God” then, they both turn out to be one and the same! Rogers must turn a true monotheist now.

What is even more stark for Rogers is his two ironically similar statements:

            “Things would be different if the text (that is, John 17:3) said “only Father is God”,”

And

“The first claim is immediately undermined by the fact that the one whom Jesus calls (in John 17:3) “the only true God” is the Father”

It seems that the sub – title which Rogers chose “Fuzzy-Wuzzy Wuz A Muzzy” suits more to his arguments yet he had the temerity to call our arguments as “bogus”.  As a matter of fact we will now show readers what can be called as hilariously bogus argument.

Contemplating content that he has saved his polytheism, Rogers continued to write:

“…he quotes me saying that the only true God is the Father, something entirely consistent with classical Trinitarian monotheism, i.e. that the only true God is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God in three persons.”

The immediate trouble with such a weak argument are that (a)the essence of the word “only” and its biblical usage is militated against once somebody claim only true God is the Father, AND the Son, AND the Holy Spirit, one God in three persons.”Three beings, entirely different, can not possess an exclusive and only position of divinity. Add to it that Jesus (peace be upon him), according to Trinitarian understanding, is a complete god, father is also a complete god so is ghost (holy). Three complete, absolute, and different gods cannot be entitled as the “only true God”; it has to be one of them, to say the least.

Rogers thinks that his confused arguments were textually supported, for he wrote:

i.e. that the only true God is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God in three persons. It is also entirely consistent with the Johannine corpus, which calls the Father the only true God, as it does here in John 17:3, and the Son the only true God, as it does in 1 John 5:20.

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.1 (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

It is absolutely erroneous to impute divinity to Jesus (peace be upon him) through 1 John 5:20 since the important pronouns “HIM” and “HIS” has to refer to father only lest “HIS Son Jesus Christ” would be absurd in its import.

Furthermore, according to the Today’s English Version (TEV), the same verse reads:

“We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we know the true God. We live in union with the true God – in union with his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and this is eternal life.” (Italics emphasize ours)

According to TEV rendering whoever the pronoun “Him” refers to is the True God and from the second part of the verse we learn that “Him” has to refer to father since “His” refers to father’s son. Since all the pronouns refer to father, therefore, the protagonist of the phrase: “This is the true God” has to be father. Plus, observantly, Jesus (peace be upon him) has never been entitled as “GOD”, however, father has been, John 17:3, for instance.

Rogers further tried to prove the deity of Christ (peace be upon him) through the usage of the “Eternal Life” title found in the verse:

“This understanding is confirmed in the context of the epistle by the fact that “this one” is called “the true God and eternal life,” a title used for Jesus in the opening prologue of the epistle: “…the eternal life that was with the Father.”

We have already shown that “this one” refers to father and not to Christ (peace be upon him), however, the two words, i.e. “eternal life” is not used as any title but as a phenomenon or way. This can be concluded from TEV rendering where “eternal life” is preceded by “this is”. “This is eternal life” refers to the acknowledgement of (a)the arrival of biblical “Son of God”, (b)the recognition of “True God” through him and (c)the passage of a life in union with the “True God” AND “His Son”.

Any person would have “eternal life” if he possess the aforementioned three qualities. Thus, “eternal life” as used in the text is an achievement to be courted and not a title to be imputed.

Rogers decisively writes in footnote number 1 that according to Greek grammar rules “this” refers to Jesus (peace be upon him):

“The word translated “This [is]” in some versions is a pronoun that refers to a person and is better translated as “this one”. Furthermore, according to the usual rules of Greek grammar and syntax, the pronoun “this one” refers back to the nearest antecedent, which in this case is Jesus.”

He forgot for a moment that the bulk of New Testament Scholars are still confused for the subject to whom the pronoun refers to:

This is the true God – o There has been much difference of opinion in regard to this important passage; whether it refers to the Lord Jesus Christ, the immediate antecedent, or to a more remote antecedent – referring to God, as such.(Barnes’ commentary, Bold, Italics and Underline emphasize ours)”

Barnes inadvertently also refutes Rogers for his boasts of Greek grammar rules:

I admit that his argument is NOT ABSOLUTELY DECISIVE; for cases do occur where a pronoun refers, not to the immediate antecedent, but to one more remote;”

Notice that for Barnes it is not absolutely decisive that the pronoun refers to which person! And the pronoun may refer to remote antecedents as well. Hope Rogers would do a better research next time to take some Greek classes.

Family Of gods!

In the process to call the kid who was circumcised on the eighth day (biblical) as God – Almighty (peace be upon him), Rogers came out with an absolutely grotesque argument if not blasphemous. For him, how can you not have a divine son when his father is divine (peace be upon him).

after all, if God is not the Father, then neither can Jesus be the divine Son of the Father. And so, Anonymous has it backwards; affirming the deity of the Father is an implicit affirmation of the deity of Christ, the Son; you simply can’t have a divine Father without a divine Son or a divine Son without a divine Father.” (Bold, Italics emphasize ours)

It has become Rogers’ habit to come out with tenuous arguments which only further jeopardizes his position and the above citation is just another example of it.

The principal argument that one cannot have a divine father without a divine son begs enquiries to the many biblical, none divine sons, Solomon (peace be upon him) for instance,  interspersed all over the Bible:

  1. “I will be his Father, and he shall be my SON. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:” (2 Samuel 7:14, King James (1611), Bible)
  1. “I will be his Father, and he shall be my SON: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:” (1 Chronicles 17:13, King James (1611), Bible)
  1. “He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my SON, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.” (1 Chronicles 12:10, King James (1611), Bible)
  1. “And he said unto me, Solomon thy SON, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my SON, and I will be his Father.” (1 Chronicles 28:6, King James (1611), Bible) (Capital and Bold emphasizes ours)

Moreover, what makes Rogers argument blasphemous and pagan like is the fact the Mary (May Allah be pleased with her), according to Rogers think process, must also be divine for if a divine father cannot beget a none divine son so should be with the mother; a none divine mother cannot sire a divine son thus, Rogers “has it backwards”.

He along with Trinitarians should either accept Jesus (peace be upon him) to be none divine and a mere human being or worship Mary (May Allah be pleased with her) along with father, Jesus (peace be upon him) and ghost (holy) and convert to quad – theists.

No wonder in Islam Allah (SWT) who is All – Knowledgeable and is Most – Forbearing pre-empted all Pagan-Christian notion of God having sons, daughters, wives etc. In a nut shell, Allah (SWT) obviated all worldly and/or humanistic relationships to His sublime Self:

“And exalted is the Majesty of our Lord: HE HAS TAKEN NEITHER A WIFE NOR A SON” (The Holy Qur’an 72:3, Yusuf Ali’s translation, Al – Alim CD Rom Version, Capital, Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

And,

“Yet they make the Jinns equals with Allah though Allah did create the Jinns; andTHEY FALSELY HAVING NO KNOWLEDGE ATTRIBUTE TO HIM SONS and daughters. Praise and glory be to Him! (for He is) above what they attribute to Him!. (The Holy Qur’an, Yusuf Ali’s translation, Al – Alim CD Rom Version, Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

And,

They say: “(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a SON!”

Indeed ye have put forth A THING MOST MONSTROUS!

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.” (The Holy Qur’an 17:88, Yusuf Ali’s translation, Al – Alim CD Rom Version, Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

Notice that the last verse besides repudiating all non – sense arguments of sons to Allah also establishes the true status of every being besides Allah to Allah. The status of every being, Jesus (peace be upon him) included, to Allah is as good asservant.

Further in the same argument he charged us of having nullified the deity of Allah (SWT):

“let him look no further than his own words where he admitted that, according to “Muslim exegesis,” the passage teaches that “The only true God is father”.Now that is an admission. Here is what follows: since the only true God is the Father, and since Muslims anathematize divine paternity in this sense, as Mr. Anonymous also previously admitted, then according to the Bible, Christian exegesis, and Anonymous’ own words, Allah is not the only true God.” (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Once again Rogers has exposed his uncouth and childish polemical abilities. Very unsuccessfully he has tried to blend the Qur’anic concept of Allah with Muslims with biblical concept of God with Christians. For Muslim exegetes it is more important that Christians be extricated from the mire of worship of three gods rather than carp, in the first place, whether or not God can be referred as father.

When we wrote that according to Muslim exegesis the only true God is father we meant it in relation to the first person in the god head, as “little children” understand it. The logical fallacy committed in generalizing it with Muslims as well would not take into account that in Islamic theology we do not have absurd and pagan concepts of persons in god head. So, when we said that the only true God is Father according to Muslim exegeses we meant it for Christians only, in Christian context; – who worship three beings.

Re-read our response and pay care to the thought process and flow of the response to learn that we meant Muslim exegesis of the Bible for Christian would be that biblical God who is entitled as father is the only true God. The point that out of the two protagonists of the biblical verse John 17:3, namely, Father and Jesus, whoever Father is – is the only true God. We never said that according to the Muslim exegesis of The Qur’an or authentic Hadith Father is only true God. It is a blatant misinformation and distortion of our argument.

Moreover, Rogers would have to edify which sense is he talking about in his statement Muslims anathematize divine paternity in this SENSE”? If it is the crude sense then Muslims do anathematize it and Rogers is expected to do the same. However, if it is about paternal care, protection etc in a transcendent and unmatchable sense which will suit to His might then we do not abhor it but we would still not entitle Allah as “father” since neither had He called Himself with such a title nor has He inspired Mohammad (peace be upon him) to entitle Him so. We look forward for a response from Rogers.

Lastly, Rogers has certainly not read our Part – 2 of the series for this had been dealt therein.

Proofs Serving No Cause

In an attempt to aggravate the straw – man argument of the deity of Christ (peace be upon him) from John 17:3; Rogers puts forth other biblical verse viz., 1 John 2:23 and John 5:23. We wish to state once again here that 1 John 2:23 and John 5:23, for Rogers, should serve to prove deity of Christ in conjunction with John 17:3. Nevertheless, we would soon observe that most part of Rogers’ response does not even come close to prove deity of Christ (peace be upon him), biblically.

1 John 2:23 reads:

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he thatacknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” (Italics emphasize ours)

For Rogers there is enough “close association” between Jesus (peace be upon him) and Father which would engender the sin of “Shirk” in Islam which otherwise is a positive proof for tri-theists to worship Jesus, peace be upon him:

“It is sufficient in this regard to note just two examples: “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also (1 John 2:23)”;… This kind of close association between the Father and the Son is tantamount to the sin of shirk in Islamic theology (were it not true), and if it is not, then nothing is.” (Italics emphasize ours)

In the first place take heed that the text speaks of some kind of acknowledgment of Jesus (peace be upon him). When the preceding verse to the verse under citation is read it clarifies that the acknowledgment is the recognition of Jesus (peace be upon him) as Messiah:

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus IS THE CHRIST? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22, Bold, Italics and Capital emphasize ours)

The office of Messiah ship was conferred by none other but biblical Father. Therefore, what logically flows is the denial of “acknowledgment” of Jesus (peace be upon him) as Messiah is indirectly a denial or not acknowledging the Father. We had already expounded this explanation in our original refutation:

“A1. Biblical context of 1 John 2:23.


Kindly read the verse preceding 1 John 2:23, i.e., verse 22, to know that anybody denying the “Messiah ship” of Jesus, peace be upon him is to be considered as an enemy of Messiah (Christ), peace be upon him, “Who, then is the liar? It is anyone who says that Jesus is not the Messiah. Such a person is the enemy of Christ – he rejects both the Father and Son.”(TEV)

Various points needs to be immediately noted here. Firstly, denying Messiah ship of Son is the rejection of Father. Secondly, why is the denial of Messiah ship of Son tantamount to gainsaying Father! Why? It is because it was God’s (Father) eternal plan to crown Jesus, peace be upon him, with the exclusive title of Messiah and to send him in the world. Remember Messiah (Jesus), peace be upon him, was send in this world by Father


“… I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent me” (John 5:30, NKJV)(Emphasis Added)


And again,


“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now God’s salvation has come! Now God has shown his power as King! Now his Messiah has shown his authority!” (REVELATION 12:10)(Emphasis Mine)


Conclusively denying Jesus, peace be upon him, got to be denial of Father who dispatched Jesus, peace be upon him, on this earth. OR, if this is not the explanation for the combined denial of Father and Son, then, you would have to agree with me that Father was also Messiah!”
  (True Shahada Indeed)

We further supplemented the above rationale with a practical example:

“Suppose, George Bush (who does not know him!) has sent Condoleezza Rice (now who does not know her) on a delegation to my country. And if suppose my countrymen and / or chieftains dishonor her; then it would certainly be an insult to George Bush himself. OR, agree insanely that Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice are one and the same. Will you dare to “conjoin” Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice!”

To the above reasoning Rogers replied back with three outlandish rationales:

“First, in the name of following the context Mr. Anonymous fails to follow the flow of thought, for according to John anyone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah is denying the Son, and anyone who denies the Son is denying the Father. It is because a denial that Jesus is the Messiah is a denial of the Son, that a denial that Jesus is the Messiah is tantamount to a denial of the Father. In other words, Sonship is the crucial, all-determinative link between the two. The connection is simple enough:

To deny that Jesus is the Messiah  →  is to deny the Son

To deny the Son  →  is to deny the Father.”

Even if we act magnanimously to accept what Rogers said, we, however, yet do not (and will not) find how Jesus (peace be upon him) is divine from the above argument! Since Messiah denied is son denied is father denied; but how is son of Mary (peace be upon him) God – Almighty proved!? We are yet to see that and we are well into third part of this series!

Barnes, a leading proponent of Bible commentary, while commentating on 1 John 2:23 jeopardizes Rogers’ case to support “Mr. Anonymous…an enemy of Messiah (Christ), peace be upon him” in that a denial of “Son” is tantamount to denial of “Father” because it is through the “Son” that the “Father” was made known:

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father – That is, has no just views of the Father, and has no evidence of his friendship. It is only by the Son of God that the Father is made known to people, Mat_11:27; Heb_1:2-3, and it is only through him that we can become reconciled to God, and obtain evidence of His favor.” (Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

Observe that according to Barnes, because the “Son of God” had the “Father” known to people that a denial of Son (Jesus, peace be upon him) would be a denial of the Father. Barnes, unlike Rogers, did not argue that because Jesus (peace be upon him) is “co – equal” or “one with Father” or “divine” that his denial would be equivalent to the father’s denial.

Robertson’s Word Pictures states that because Jesus (peace be upon him) according to the will of father was making the father known that Jesus’ (peace be upon him) denial would, in effect, would be a denial of the Father:

He that confesseth the Son (ho homologōn ton huion). Because the Son reveals the Father” (Italics emphasize ours)

Christianity’s famous commentator Matthew Henry comments that whosoever controverts the witness of son denies the testimony and “seal” of the father upon Jesus (peace be upon him):

He that opposes Christ denies the witness and testimony of the Father, and the seal that HE hath given to his Son; for him hath God the Father sealed, Joh_6:27.And he that denies the witness and testimony of the Father, concerning Jesus Christ denies that God is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ,…”(Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

Notice that according to Matthew Henry the “seal” of the father was not that Jesus (peace be upon him), his obedient servant, was co – equal with him rather he through the designation of God’s “seal” was a prophet and a priest, as commentator Clarke construes:

Him hath God the Father sealed – By this expression, our Lord points out the commission which, as the Messiah, he received from the Father, TO BE PROPHETand PRIEST to an ignorant, sinful world.” (Clarke’s Commentary, Joh 6:27,Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

Observe again (in the bold sentences) that Matthew Henry explicitly states that the denial of the witness and the testimony of the father concerning Jesus (peace be upon him) is a denial of the fact that “God is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ”,and noticeably, nothing as such that Jesus is divine and consequently Jesus’ denial (peace be upon him) is God’s denial.

Therefore, it is absolutely absurd, if not emotional, to interpret that Jesus (peace be upon him) is God – Almighty, co – equal with the father, only because his (peace be upon him) denial is a denial of the father.

[Side note: The “seal” of the God upon Jesus (peace be upon him) further militates Rogers untenable claim for the deity of Christ (peace be upon him). For according to leading commentators “seal” as designated to Jesus (peace be upon him) meant either as “ambassador”, “intercessor” etc.

He has sealed him, that is, has given him full authority to deal between God and man, AS GOD’S AMBASSADOR to man and MAN’S INTERCESSOR WITH GOD, and has proved his commission by miracles.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Joh 6: 22-27, Capital, Italics and Bold emphasize ours)

Mark that all substitute titles for “seal” prove nothing else but Islamic fact that Jesus (peace be upon him) was no more than a prophet of Allah (SWT) disproving Rogers claim that Jesus (peace be upon him) was God – Almighty.

 Furthermore, it is contradictory assumption about Jesus (peace be upon him) to beman’s intercessor WITH God and to be God – Almighty at the same instant.

To compound Rogers case we would like to enquire, firstly, to which higher authority would Jesus (peace be upon him) beseech for men and secondly, why would he at all plead at all to his higher authority is not he co – equal with father? ]

If the so labeled first response was weak then his second reasoning to defend deity of Christ (peace be upon him) was even more fragile:

“Second, as I pointed out before, Mr. Anonymous does not believe in “the Son”; indeed, he rejects such a notion as a blasphemous misconception that needs to be “cleaned”. Accordingly, Mr. Anonymous cannot claim to believe in “the messiahship of the Son”, and, therefore, “is to be considered as an enemy of Messiah (Christ), peace be upon him.”” (Italics emphasize ours)

Once again the above adduced argument does not prove deity of Messiah (peace be upon him) by any stretch of exegesis. Nevertheless, the misleading argument has been dealt in under the sub – sections “Comprehension Complications”“Son of God” and elsewhere of The True Shahada Indeed: [Part 2].

No wonder his third argument had to be the worst:

“Third, as I also pointed out before, Mr. Anonymous doesn’t have a clue what the true import of the word “Messiah” is, and so, when he acts as if he affirms “the messiahship of the Son”, his words ring hollow. (Note: the point here is not that Anonymous does not know what the mere word means, i.e. anointed one, but that He doesn’t have any clue what the concept of the Messiah is, or why Jesus is uniquely singled out, even in his own Qur’an, as the Messiah, for his completely detailed Qur’an never tells him.)” (Italics emphasize ours)

We would like to enquire Rogers that to which import of the word “Messiah”, he presumes, would invest divinity to Jesus, peace be upon him?

In the process, he complained that we “blithely overlooked” some important issues. In other words had we considered what we “blithely overlooked” it would have proved us the deity of an all most naked man on the cross. That being the case let us consider all his complaints.

 We would first consider the “overlooked” argument numbered “1)” and “3)”respectively:

            “1) who it was that the Father appointed;…

1) The fact is, according to the book of First John, it was Jesus, variously designated as “the life”, “the eternal life”, and “the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1-2), as well as “His Son” (1 John 1:3, 7; 3:23; 4:10; 5:9, 10, 11, 20), “His only Son” (1 John 4:9), “the Son” (1 John 1:24; 4:14; 5:12), and “the Son of God” (1 John 2:8; 4:15; 5:5, 10, 12, 13, 20), who was appointed to be the Messiah.”

“3) the purpose for which He was sent.

3) Finally, the reason that Jesus was sent as the Messiah, and the task that He, as the Messiah, was given to perform, was: “To be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14), to be “the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2), “to take away sin” (1 John 3:5), to be “our Advocate with the Father” (1 John 2:1), “to destroy the Devil’s works” (1 John 3:8), and to give us “eternal life” (1 John 2:25; 5:11-12).” (Italics emphasize ours)

Again, since I am such a nice and considerate boy we would comply with Rogers to accept that “Father” appointed Jesus (peace be upon him) as “the life”, “the eternal life”, and “the Word of Life”, “His Son”, “His only Son”, “the Son”, and “the Son of God”, who was appointed to be the Messiah” “To be the Savior of the world”, “to be “the propitiation for our sins”,” “to take away sin”, “to be “our Advocate with the Father”, “to destroy the Devil’s works”  yet it cannot be proven that Jesus was God – Almighty!

For another noticeable point, Rogers wrote that “Father APPOINTED” Jesus (peace be upon him) for the list of jobs. It is incongruous that one of the two “persons” of allegedly same status “appoints” and confer duties to the other; especially when the converse is not to be found throughout the sixty six books. Statements of such notions elicit the subservience of Jesus (peace be upon him) to his higher authority. (Praise be to Allah.)

Let us now examine his point number “2)”:

“2) Furthermore, the sense in which John speaks of Jesus being “manifested” (1 John 1:2), or “sent” (1 John 4:10, 14), or “appearing” (1 John 2:5, 8), or having “come” (1 John 4:2; 5:20), is from heaven where he existed “with the Father” (1 John 1:2) “from the beginning” (1 John 1:1, 13, 14), which reflects the first several verses of the opening prologue of John’s Gospel (John 1:1-3), and also the divine title – “the Beginning and the End” –  indiscriminately applied by the apostle John to the Father (Revelation 21:6) and the Son (Revelation 22:13) in the book of Revelation.”(Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

1 John 1:1 states that Jesus (peace be upon him) was “manifested” as the “Life”. The usage of the word “Life” has to be metaphorical more than literal. Metaphorical usage of the word “Life” most closely alludes to “salvation”, thus, Jesus (peace be upon him) was sent as salvation for the deviants. However, so was the case with numerous other prophets of Allah (SWT). All came to save their nation or, in other words, to provide salvation to the people they were sent for. Therefore, Jesus (peace be upon him) being “manifested” as “Life” does not prove that he was God – Almighty lest other prophets might object (peace be upon them all)!

The Sense In which biblical Jesus (Peace be upon him) was Manifested

 Additionally, Jesus (peace be upon him) was “sent” as “the propitiation for our sins”(1 John 4:10). Nevertheless, a referral to Old Testament traditions bring forth that even Goats were used as atonement for the propitiation of Israelite sins:

The Scapegoat: He (Aaron) shall put both his hands on the goat’s head andconfess over it all the evils, SINS, and rebellions of the people of Israel, AND SO TRANSFER THEM TO THE GOAT’S HEAD. Then the goat is to be driven off into the desert by a man appointed to do it. THE GOAT WILL CARRY ALL THEIR SINS AWAY WITH HIM INTO SOME UNINHABITED LAND.” (Holy Bible, Leviticus 16:21-22, TEV, Bold, Capital, Underline and Italics emphasize ours)

Evangelical author P.D. Bramsen bolsters:

“The underlying principle of the law of the sacrifice can be summed up in a word:substitutionAn innocent animal would die as the condemned sinner’s substitute

And

“The person placing his or her hand on the head of a sacrifice symbolized thetransfer of sin to the flawless creature. The sin-bearer then perished in the place of the sinner.” (One God One Message, P.D. Bramsen, ROCK International, Page No. 203)

Bramsen then cites the scapegoat (rather “scape-lamb”) of New Testament:

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”, (John 1:29, One God One Message, P.D. Bramsen, ROCK International, Page No. 232)

P.D. Bramsen finally concurs that The Lamb of God, that is, Jesus (peace be upon him) was (allegedly) nailed on the cross to incur the sins exactly as the scapegoats of the Old Testament days did:

“During those hours on the cross, as the planet was enveloped with darkness, theLORD LAID ON HIS WILLING, SINLESS SON THE CONTAMINATION AND CONDEMNATION OF OUR SINS. What actually transpired between the Father and Son we may never comprehend, but one thing is sure: IT WAS THE GREATEST TRANSACTION OF ALL TIME.” (One God One Message, P.D. Bramsen, ROCK International, Page No. 248Italics and Capital emphasize ours)

Based on the above argument we conclude that the similitude of Jesus (peace be upon him), with respect of him being “sent” as the “propitiation for our sins”“to take away sin”, was that of the sacrificial animals like goats, bulls, oxen etc, biblically. And, subsequently there is nothing divine to be proved from this argument. On the contrary it again back fires severely against Christianity’s stand with respect to divinity of Jesus (peace be upon him) for Jesus’ (peace be upon him) similitude was not that of a true God, however, of an animal -, lamb, goat etc, biblically!

The Beginning And The End

Rogers own Christian brethren have provided a fitting response to Rogers’ claim:

and also the divine title – “the Beginning and the End” –  indiscriminately applied by the apostle John to the Father (Revelation 21:6) and the Son (Revelation 22:13) in the book of Revelation.”

The Unitarians explain:

“It is clear why Christ would be called the “Beginning and the End” in association with these concepts. He is the firstborn from the dead, and he will be the one to call the last people out of their graves, he is both the Author and Finisher of faith, he is the Man by whom God will judge the world and he is the one who will then create and bring to completion the next ages (see the notes on Heb. 1:10). There is no compelling reason to assume Jesus is God simply because of the title, “the Beginning and the End.” (rev 21:6)” (Source, Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Therefore, one possible reason, according to Unitarians, why Jesus (peace be upon him) was biblically entitled as “Beginning and the End” because he is the first born of dead and would be the caller to the last person from his/her grave! It does not prove he is God – Almighty. We would, Allah – willing, take such topics in greater detail in our future articles enquiring divinity of Christ (peace be upon him).

Finally Rogers summed up his weak argument in support of Christ’s divinity (peace be upon him) in most self destructive manner:

“1 John 4:9-10 may be cited as representative of the teaching of 1 John:

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Soninto the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10).

It is more than evident that according to John’s first epistle, the reason a denial of Jesus the Messiah is a denial of the Father is because Jesus is the Father’s Son and Word, who was set apart and sent from heaven to be the Messiah, the Savior of the world. In fact, this is precisely what we read in the context of John 17:1-5, which should be cited again so Mr. Anonymous has no excuse for not seeing the connection the next time around. According to John 17:1-5: 1) Jesus is the Son (and God is His Father); 2) Jesus was sent from heaven (where he existed before time); and 3) Jesus was sent to be the Christ (the Son of God come in the flesh to accomplish the work of redemption and give eternal life to God’s people)” (Bold, Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

We must admit that Rogers is more Christian than logical here since:

  1. Jesus (peace be upon him) being “Father’s Son and Word” does not prove he is God – Almighty. So is the case with him being “Messiah”, and “the Savior of the world”. In fact we believe Jesus (peace be upon him) was a righteous man and a mighty prophet, we believe he was Messiah and like all other prophets was/would be the savior if we only heed to his teachings.
  1. 2.      “Jesus was sent from heaven (where he existed before time)”: If abode in heaven or having being sent from heaven is a license to worship then Rogers should immediately start to worship Angels since they also reside in heaven from where they are “sent” for various jobs:

 

  1. a.      But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, NOT THE ANGELS WHICH ARE IN HEAVEN, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32, Capital and Underline emphasize ours)

 

  1. b.      Nevertheless, if Rogers tried to argue that Jesus’ (peace be upon him) pre – existence is any proof for his divinity then he should consult brother Sami Zaatari’s following documentation; we are not going to invent any wheel in this article:

What about Conjoining of Allah (SWT) and Mohammad (SAW)?

 

To our appeal of Qur’an 4:80 and 49:14 to prove, through analogy, that since one cannot conjoin servant Mohammad (peace be upon him) to Allah – Almighty, similarly, it is illogical and nonsense to conjoin another servant Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) to God – Almighty; Rogers, firstly, repeated:

  1. 1.      A number of Muslims seem to recognize this pattern of thought when they refuse to confess the second half of their own creed, i.e., the words pertaining to Muhammad. This was alluded to earlier as one of the perennial disputes between the main body of Muslims and a smaller but growing and vocal group of Muslims known as Submitters who follow the teachings of Rashad Khalifa.3 These Muslims recognize that to associate Muhammad too closely with Allah, as most Muslims seem to do in practice when they repeatedly recite and intensely chant their Shahada, is to run perilously close to making a deity out of Muhammad. They may not call Muhammad God by name, but here the old adage applies: actions speak louder than words. Indeed, outright fetishism for Muhammad is not unknown in the Islamic world and the seeds for it are found right here, not to mention many other places in Islamic teaching. (Italics and Bold emphasize ours)

Here we have a typically presumptuous response. Rogers unabashedly assumed that for some unknown reasons, which he desisted to provide, “the main body of Muslims…associate Muhammad (peace be upon him) too closely with Allah”. This is a pure assumption, as discernable; unsupported through any proof!

The only reasons that Rogers could think of was (a) repeated recitation and intense chanting of the Shahada and (b) the usage of the Arabic word WA, the conjunction of partnership – “Allah AND his Apostle””

Both the arguments only backfire against this ignorant apologist because (a) when Muslims “repeatedly” and “intensely” enchant their “Shahada” they never “associate Muhammad too closely with Allah” (peace be upon him). If some deviant sect, namely, Submitters (to imposter Rashad Khalifa) think subversively then it is their problem not of the “main body of Muslims”. On the contrary, Mohammad (peace be upon him) always taught about his subservience (to Allah (SWT)) and hismessenger hood (from Allah (SWT)):

“Narrated Sa’d ibn AbuWaqqas

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: If anyone says on hearing the Mu’adhdhin: I testify that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has not partner, AND THAT MUHAMMAD IS HIS SERVANT AND HIS MESSENGER, (and that) I am satisfied with Allah as my Lord, WITH MUHAMMAD AS MESSENGER, and with Islam as din (code of life), his sins would be forgiven. In the narration transmitted by Ibn Rumh the words are: He who said on hearing the Mu’adhdhin ‘and verify I testify.’” Qutaybah has not mentioned his words: ” And I.” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith Number 179, Al – Alim CD-Rom Version, Capital, Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Ignorant Rogers should take heed and notice that in the above adduced Hadith literature, the testimonial (or Shahada) clearly and explicitly states the status of Mohammad (peace be upon him) as SERVANT and MESSENGER only. We check Rogers to establish his claim that Muslims conjoin Mohammad (peace be upon him) too closely with Allah (SWT) thereby deifying him.

We do not know of any so called “main body of Muslims” who has associated Mohammad (peace be upon him) too closely with Allah thereby jeopardizing “Tawheed” even after having a knowledge of above Hadith along with myriad others (at Rogers’ service):

“Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to teach us tashahhud as he taught us a Surah of the Qur’an, as following: `In the name of Allah and with the grace of Allah, the adorations with the tongue, acts of worship and good things are due to Allah. Peace be upon Thee, O Apostle, and Mercy of Allah and His blessings; let there be peace upon us and upon the PIOUS SERVANTS of Allah. I testify that there is no god but Allah and I also testify that MUHAMMAD IS HIS SERVANT AND HIS MESSENGER; I beg of Allah Paradise and seek refuge with Allah from the Hell-fire.’

Transmitted by Nasa’i.” (Al – Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 285, Al – Alim CD-Rom Version, Underline, Italics, Bold and Capital emphasize ours )

Notice that prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) taught his status to be that of a SERVANT AND A MESSENGER only along with all other pious servants, that is,earlier prophets including Jesus (peace be upon him).

There, thus, remains no reason, no rationale with absolutely no scriptural proof why anybody would closely associate Mohammad (peace be upon him) with Allah – Almighty unless he be a “Submitter” or any “Anthony Rogers”.

We would quote one last Hadith which would take in account of Rogers’ much celebrated argument of close association between Mohammad (peace be upon him) and Allah (SWT) explicitly:

“Narrated Anas ibn Malik

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If anyone says in the morning: “O Allah! in the morning we call Thee, the bearers of Thy Throne, Thy angels, and all Thy creatures to witness that Thou art Allah than Whom there is no god, THOU BEING ALONE AND WITHOUT A PARTNER, AND THAT MUHAMMAD IS THY SERVANT AND THY APOSTLE,” Allah will forgive him any sins that he commits that day; and if he repeats them in the evening. Allah will forgive him any sins he commits that night.” (Sunan of Abu – Dawood, Hadith Number 2400, Al – Alim CD-Rom Version,Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

Observe very assiduously that the text unequivocally speaks that, firstly, Allah (SWT) is ALONE and WITHOUT ANY ASSOCIATE, PARTNER etc. Secondly, the immediate continuation of the Hadith text with Mohammad’s status (peace be upon him) as a SERVANT AND APOSTLE only further endangers Rogers’ ill – founded and bleak argument that the main body of Muslims associate Mohammad (peace be upon him) too closely with Allah (SWT).

If Mohammad (peace be upon him) would have been too closely associated with Allah (SWT) then the text, firstly, would not have explicitly mentioned thatAllah(SWT) is without a partner of an associate and, secondly, the text would not have, immediately, stated Mohammad (peace be upon him) as servant and an apostle. Therefore, both the clauses of the Hadith, namely, Allah (SWT) without an associate and Mohammad (peace be upon him) only a servant and an apostle, one after the other, prepare solid proof against all hokum and gibberish claims that main body of Muslims associate Mohammad (peace be upon him) too closely with Allah (SWT).

If this was not enough then Rogers stooped even lower with his reasoning and polemics:

a)      They may not call Muhammad God by name, but here the old adage applies: actions speak louder than words. Indeed, outright fetishism for Muhammad is not unknown in the Islamic world and the seeds for it are found right here, not to mention many other places in Islamic teaching.”

And

b)      “The notion of Muhammad encapsulated in the Shahada where his name is joined to God’s as the ultimate expression of faith, and which comes to fuller expression in the Qur’an and Sunnah where Muslims are required to yield Muhammad absolute submission and are to slavishly imitate his every action or inaction, with certain limited exceptions of course, such as those that belonged to the perks of prophethood, an observation that really only strengthens the point being made, is far less consistent with monotheism than anything any pagan ever dreamed up in his wildest imagination.” (Italics emphasize ours)

What Rogers labeled as “Outright Fetishism” is “Outright LOVE” which we have for the exalted person of Mohammad (peace be upon him) and his character. Loving somebody does not mean worshipping him and Rogers seems to forget that we even love Ibn Maryam (peace be upon him).

As for the trashy complaint that Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) name is joined to God’s name as ultimate expression of faith; then, it should be clearly distinguished that Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) name is joined with God’s name as a messenger, apostle, prophet and servant and not as a second person in the Godhead with Allah (SWT):

“Narrated Zayd ibn Arqam

I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) saying (the version of Sulayman has: The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) used to say) after his prayer:- “O Allah, our Lord and Lord of everything, I bear witness that Thou art the Lord alone Who hast no partner; O Allah, Our Lord and Lord of everything, I BEAR WITNESS THAT MUHAMMAD IS THY SERVANT AND THY APOSTLE; O Allah, our Lord and Lord of everything, I bear witness that all the servants are brethren; O Allah, our Lord and Lord of everything make me sincere to Thee, and my family too at every moment, in this world and in the world hereafter, O Possessor of glory and honour, listen to me and answer. Allah is incomparably great. O Allah, Light of the heavens and of the earth”. (Sunan of Abu – Dawood, Hadith Number 594, Al – Alim CD-Rom version, Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

Observe carefully that Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) name has been joined with the Lord’s name as His servant and His apostle. Therefore, it does not allude to the sin of “Shirk” even in the remotest sense. Below are some more references to further corroborate the fact:

Narrated AbuHurayrah

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: When the dead body (of a Muslim) is buried in the grave there appear before him two Angels, both having black faces and blue eyes. One is called Munkar and the other is called Nakir and they say:

Say what you have to say about this person and he will say: He is the servant of Allah and His messenger. I bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger and they both will say: We already knew that you would say this. Then his grave will be expanded to the extent of 4900 square cubic feet and it will be illuminated, then it will be said to him: Go to sleep and he will say: I intend to go to my family in order to inform them and they would say: Go to sleep like the sleep of a newly wedded bride whom no one awakens but one who is dearest to her amongst his family members. Only Allah would resurrect him from his resting place. If he (the dead) were a hypocrite he will say: I heard people making a statement (pertaining to the oneness of Allah and the apostlehood of Muhammad) and I said the same but I do not know.

And they would say: We already knew that you would say this and the earth will be told to press him and it will press him till his ribs are clasped together and he will not be relieved of the torment till Allah resurrects him from his resting-place.

Transmitted by Tirmidhi.  (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 44, Al-Alim CD-Rom version. Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

 

There cannot any clearer and more direct Hadith explaining the status of Mohammad (peace be upon him) than the above Tirmidhi Hadith. Notice that upon the query of two Angels regarding the prophet (peace be upon him) the reply of a true believer will be that Mohammad (peace be upon him) is the SERVANT OF ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER.

Observe that he would not reply that there is some kind of “close association” between SERVANT Mohammad (peace be upon him) and Allah (SWT) rather he would only proclaim that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammad is His Messenger.

 

To further confound Rogers’ snafus we ironically have names of Allah’s angels, books, and other messengers beside Mohammad (peace be upon him) as expression of faith:

The Apostle believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah His angels His books and His Apostles “We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His Apostles.” And they say: “We hear and we obey; (We seek) Thy forgiveness Our Lord and to Thee is the end of all journeys.” (The Holy Qur’an, 2:285, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom version. Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

The above quotation from Glorious Qur’an should help Rogers gloat but only in his misunderstanding that Muslims worship or “closely associate” angels, books and other apostles to Allah (SWT).

Rather, as a sincere truth seeker, Rogers should stop carping that main body of Muslims too closely associate Mohammad (peace be upon him) with Allah and pay attention to the capacity in which Mohammad (peace be upon him, angels, books, other prophets etc) construct the expression of faith in Islam.

Expression of belief which also encapsulates belief in Allah (SWT) AND His angels AND His books AND His apostles AND rendezvous AND resurrection is further presented in the Sahih:

“One day while Allah’s Apostle was sitting with the people, a man came to him walking and said, “O Allah’s Apostle. What is Belief?” The Prophet said, “Belief is to believe in AllahHis AngelsHis BooksHis Apostles, and the meeting with Him, and to believe in the Resurrection.” The man asked, “O Allah’s Apostle. What is Islam?” The Prophet replied, “Islam is to worship Allah and not worship anything besides Him, to offer prayers perfectly, to pay the (compulsory) charity, i.e. Zakat, and to fast the month of Ramadan.” The man again asked, “O Allah’s Apostle. What is Ihsan (i.e. perfection or benevolence)?” The Prophet said, “Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not achieve this state of devotion, then (take it for granted that) Allah sees you.” The man further asked, “O Allah’s Apostle. When will the Hour be established?” The Prophet replied, “The one who is asked about it does not know more than the questioner does, but I will describe to you its portents. When the lady slave gives birth to her mistress, that will be of its portents; when the bare-footed naked people become the chiefs of the people, that will be of its portents. The Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah. Verily, the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs.” (31.34) Then the man left. The Prophet said, “Call him back to me.” They went to call him back but could not see him. The Prophet said, “That was Gabriel who came to teach the people their religion.”” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Hadith Number 300, Al-Alim CD-Rom version. Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

According to the above Hadith we find that the belief in (1.) Allah (SWT), (2.) His angels,(3.) His books,(4.) His apostles, (5.) meeting with Him, and the (6.) belief in our resurrection does not mean that Islam has five more gods besides Allah (SWT) due to their “close association” or their “encapsulation” in the article of belief. Such an interpretation can be either of Rogers or of his submitter buddies.

Once again we will have to understand the capacity in which angels, books, apostles etc are mention or “encapsulated” in belief with Allah. The effect in which angels, books etc are “encapsulated” in belief can be anything but their divinity.

Absolute Submission

As far as the question of absolute submission to Mohammad (peace be upon him) is concerned Rogers did not provide us any Islamic proof to support his claim. All he could think of is as follows:

“Furthermore, the very passages Mr. Anonymous cited above, tending as they do in the same direction, also lead to shirk, not only according to Christians and what might be considered an aberrant Muslim group like the Submitters, but according to the logic of orthodox Muslims themselves, for not only does the latter passage use the Arabic word WA, the conjunction of partnership – “Allah AND HIS Apostle” – but they both elevate Muhammad to a position of absolute authority, a position where absolute submission is due to Muhammad in addition to God, rather than the position of a mere messenger who communicates God’s commands.” (Bolded Capitalized emphasize ours)

Unfortunately for Rogers the latter verse he talks about and even quotes, provides an answer to his dilemma. The phrase “Allah AND his Apostle” is a response in itself. Notice that the verse commands to follow “Allah and HIS Apostle”. The pronoun “HIS” was more important to be highlighted than the conjunction “AND” since the pronoun “HIS” returns the case back to Allah.

Mohammad (peace be upon him) – as an apostle of Allah, did not decide or promulgate anything out of his own whims rather everything that he said related to Islam was directly or indirectly a revelation revealed to him:

“But when Our Clear Signs are rehearsed unto them those who rest not their hope on their meeting with Us say: “Bring us a Reading other than this or change this.” Say: “It is not for me of my own accord to change it: I FOLLOW NAUGHT BUT WHAT IS REVEALED UNTO MEif I were to disobey my Lord I should myself fear the Penalty of a Great Day (to come). Say: “If Allah had so willed I should not have rehearsed it to you nor would He have made it known to you. A whole lifetime before this have I tarried amongst you: will ye not then understand?”, (The Holy Qur’an, 10:15-16, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-ROM version. Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

Therefore, Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) injunction was not his but Allah’s decrees.

Commenting on Qur’an 4:80, a similar verse Rogers would have loved (mis)using, Yusuf Ali explains Rogers’ rigmarole very cogently:

“The Messenger was sent to preach, guide, instruct, and show the way, -not to drive people to good. That is not Allah’s Plan, which trains the human Will. The Messenger’s duty is therefore to convey the Message of Allah, in all the ways of persuasion that are open to him. If men perversely disobey that Message, THEY ARE NOT DISOBEYING HIM BUT THEY ARE DISOBEYING ALLAH. They are not obliging the Messenger: they are merely doing their duty.” (Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

In the above adduced passage all the so thumped “close association” argument to deify Mohammad (peace be upon him) is immediately refuted by the fact that Mohammad (peace be upon him) fears the Chastisement of the Judgment Day if he were to disobey Allah (SWT). This clearly proves that Mohammad (peace be upon him) can never be interpreted to have any sort of “close association” of co – equality with Allah (SWT), as Rogers unsuccessfully wants to prove. And therefore, it is fallacious to interpret that absolute submission is due to Muhammad in addition to God”

Rogers’ interpretational perversion from “obedience” to “absolute submission” can be further explained by the fact that The Holy Qur’an enjoined obedience or the so called “absolute submission” to the followers of earlier prophets as well:

We sent not an Apostle but to be obeyed in accordance with the will of Allah. If they had only when they were unjust to themselves come unto thee and asked Allah’s forgiveness and the Apostle had asked forgiveness for them they would have found Allah indeed Oft-Returning most Merciful.” (The Holy Qur’an, 4:64, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom version. Bold, Underline and Italics emphasize ours)

Commenting on the above verse, Ibn Abbas (RAA) quotes an anecdote of Abdullah Ibn Ubayy who had similar disease as that of Rogers’ in his heart. Abdullah Ibn Ubayy carped that Messenger (peace be upon him) wants the multitude to heed to his commandments rather than obeying Allah’s (SWT) decrees:

“When the verse (We sent no messenger save that he should be obeyed by Allah’s leave) was revealed, ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubayy said: ” Muhammad commands us to obey him instead of obeying Allah ” , so Allah revealed the following: (Whoso obeyeth the messenger) in that which he commands (obeys Allah) because THE MESSENGER NEVER COMMANDS ANYTHING UNLESS ALLAH HAS COMMANDED IT, (and whoso turneth away) from obeying the messenger: (We have not sent thee as a warder) a custodian (over them).” (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas. Bold, Italics and Capital emphasize ours)

Observe, firstly, the reply given to Abdullah Ibn Ubayy’s futile objection, the messenger (peace be upon him) was/is to be obeyed not because he possess any sort of divine authority besides/with Allah (SWT) but because the apostle (peace be upon him) does not command anything unless Allah (SWT) has commanded him to command his people. Therefore, he is just another agent of Allah (SWT) through which Allah (SWT) interacts with his creation, thus, a rejection of the prophet (peace be upon him) has to be, in effect, a rejection of The God Himself and, similarly, an obedience to the messenger(peace be upon him) is, in effect, a fealty to Allah (SWT).

Secondly the verse reads that NO MESSENGER was sent but to be OBEYED.Therefore, either, as per Rogers’ contention every previous messenger has to be in “close association” with Allah (SWT) or Rogers’ has once again proved the hollow grasp of The True Word of God.

As yet another instance to expose Rogers’ incompetence with Qur’anic knowledge is that he totally misunderstood the import of the word “obedience” and the injunction to obey Allah (SWT) and His messenger (peace be upon him). When Allah (SWT)Himself commanded believers to obey prophet (peace be upon him) he did not command them to worship him. Allah (SWT) did not state that believers should obey the messenger (peace be upon him) since he is in any sort “close association” (of co – equality) with Himself; those are Rogers’ sly interpretation. Rather the prophet was to be obeyed since he (peace be upon him) as an agent of Allah (SWT) would guide them to the truth, especially, in cases of disputes amongst people.

In fact many such incidents of disputes, a case of which is quoted below, paved path for the revelation of such verses which would imply that obeying messenger (peace be upon him) is obeying Allah (SWT):

“Allah said,

[فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ]

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them,) Allah swears by His Glorious, Most Honorable Self, that no one shall attain faith until he refers to the Messenger for judgment in all matters. Thereafter, whatever the Messenger commands, is the plain truth that must be submitted to inwardly and outwardly. Allah said,

[ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجاً مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً]

(and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.) meaning: they adhere to your judgment, and thus do not feel any hesitation over your decision, and they submit to it inwardly and outwardly. They submit to the Prophet’s decision with total submission without any rejection, denial or dispute.

Al-Bukhari recorded that `Urwah said, “Az-Zubayr quarreled with a man about a stream which both of them used for irrigation. Allah’s Messenger said to Az-Zubayr,

«اسْقِ يَا زُبَيْرُ ثُمَّ أَرْسِلِ الْمَاءَ إِلى جَارِك»

(O Zubayr! Irrigate (your garden) first, and then let the water flow to your neighbor.) The Ansari became angry and said, `O Allah’s Messenger! Is it because he is your cousin’ On that, the face of Allah’s Messenger changed color (because of anger) and said,

«اسْقِ يَا زُبَيْرُ ثُمَّ احْبِسِ الْمَاءَ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ إِلَى الْجَدْرِ،ثُمَّ أَرْسِلِ الْمَاءَ إِلى جَارِك»

(Irrigate (your garden), O Zubayr, and then withhold the water until it reaches the walls (surrounding the palms). Then, release the water to your neighbor.) So, Allah’s Messenger gave Az-Zubayr his full right when the Ansari made him angry. Before that, Allah’s Messenger had given a generous judgment, beneficial for Az-Zubayr and the Ansari. Az-Zubayr said, `I think the following verse was revealed concerning that case,

[فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ]

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad ) judge in all disputes between them.)”’ Another Reason In his Tafsir, Al-Hafiz Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin `Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim bin Duhaym recorded that Damrah narrated that two men took their dispute to the Prophet , and he gave a judgment to the benefit of whoever among them had the right. The person who lost the dispute said, “I do not agree.” The other person asked him, “What do you want then” He said, “Let us go to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.” They went to Abu Bakr and the person who won the dispute said, “We went to the Prophet with our dispute and he issued a decision in my favor.” Abu Bakr said, “Then the decision is that which the Messenger of Allah issued.” The person who lost the dispute still rejected the decision and said, “Let us go to `Umar bin Al-Khattab.” When they went to `Umar, the person who won the dispute said, “We took our dispute to the Prophet and he decided in my favor, but this man refused to submit to the decision.” `Umar bin Al-Khattab asked the second man and he concurred. `Umar went to his house and emerged from it holding aloft his sword. He struck the head of the man who rejected the Prophet’s decision with the sword and killed him.” (One Does not Become a Believer Unless He Refers to the Messenger for Judgment and Submits to his Decisions)

And,

“Allah chastises those who claim to believe in what Allah has sent down to His Messenger and to the earlier Prophets, yet they refer to other than the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger for judgment in various disputes. It was reported that the reason behind revealing this Ayah was that a man from the Ansar and a Jew had a dispute, and the Jew said, “Let us refer to Muhammad to judge between us.” However, the Muslim man said, “Let us refer to Ka`b bin Al-Ashraf (a Jew) to judge between us.” It was also reported that the Ayah was revealed about some hypocrites who pretended to be Muslims, yet they sought to refer to the judgment of Jahiliyyah. Other reasons were also reported behind the revelation of the Ayah. However, the Ayah has a general meaning, as it chastises all those who refrain from referring to the Qur’an and Sunnah for judgment and prefer the judgment of whatever they chose of falsehood, which befits the description of Taghut here.” (Referring to Other than the Qur’an and Sunnah for Judgment is Characteristic of Non-Muslims. Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

We provide yet another perspective of response to Rogers’ argument of obeying Allah (SWT) and His messenger (peace be upon him). According to our interpretation the one possible wisdom behind the revelation of the verse “Obey Allah (SWT) AND His messenger (peace be upon him)” is that Obeying Allah (SWT) is following His final Book, that is, The Holy Qur’an and obeying messenger has at least two fold interpretations:

Firstly, obeying messenger (peace be upon him) is incumbent because it is the messenger (peace be upon him) who made Allah’s (SWT) commandments, that is The Holy Qur’an known to mankind. If people are to obey Allah (SWT), that is The Qur’an then they have to heed to the prophet (peace be upon him) since Allah (SWT) does not inspire holy verses directly to common people but through his worldly agent(s), peace be upon them.

Secondly, it seems unnecessary and superfluous that Allah – Almighty intervenes with a verse every time an Ansar and a Qureishite or a Muslim and Jew etc quibbled over mundane matters so much so that it find its place in the final word of Allah (SWT) – The Holy Qur’an. Mohammad (peace be upon him) as a prophet of Allah was fit enough to handle that with Allah’s (SWT) leave.

Or, in other words, there are two sets of revelations revealed in Islam. One that which found its way in The Holy Qur’an – Allah’s (SWT) final word and second is Hadith which is a second hand revelation (so to say).

Furthermore, The Holy Qur’an gives Rogers an opportunity to pettifog and increase the number of claimants of “close association” with Allah (SWT) since in a verse, which Rogers would relish to misunderstand; Allah (SWT) also includes authoritative people in “close association” with Him!:

“O ye who believe! obey Allah AND OBEY the Apostle AND  those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves refer it to Allah and His Apostle if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best and most suitable for final determination.” (The Holy Qur’an, 4:59, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom version.Bold, Capital, Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

Commenting on it Imam Ibn Kathir states:

“Allah states that whoever obeys His servant and Messenger, Muhammad , obeys Allah; and whoever disobeys him, disobeys Allah. Verily, whatever the Messenger utters is not of his own desire, but a revelation inspired to him. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ أَطَاعَنِي فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَقَدْ عَصَى اللهَ، وَمَنْ أَطَاعَ الْأَمِيرَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَنِي، وَمَنْ عَصَى الْأَمِيرَ فَقَدْ عَصَانِي»

(Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah; and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah.Whoever obeys the Amir (Leader, Ruler), obeys me; and whoever disobeys the Amir, disobeys me.) This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs. Allah’s statement,

[وَمَن تَوَلَّى فَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَـكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظاً]

(But he who turns away, then We have not sent you as a watcher over them.) means, do not worry about him. Your job is only to convey, and whoever obeys you, he will acquire happiness and success and you will gain a similar reward to that he earns. As for the one who turns away from you, he will gain failure and loss and you will not carry a burden because of what he does. A Hadith states,

«مَنْ يُطِعِ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ رَشَدَ، وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَضُرُّ إِلَّا نَفْسَه»

(Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, will acquire guidance; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, will only harm himself.” (Obeying the Messenger is Obeying Allah. Bold and Capital emphasize ours)

The logic of the above obedience to “Amir” (leader) is as follows:-

  1. Obeying Amir (Leader) is obeying prophet (peace be upon him).
  2. Obeying Prophet is Obeying Allah (SWT)

Logically,

  1. Obeying Amir is obeying Allah (SWT)

And, thus we have a scenario where if we abide by Rogers’ weak objection then the “Amirs” must also have some sort of “close association” with Allah (SWT) which of course is be totally absurd, nevertheless, we expect Rogers to use this argument as a ground for his further attacks on deification of Mohammad (peace be upon him). Let him do it which would enable us to further destroy his tenuous objections.

Ironically, it is not that people with authority who have been included in any sort of “close association” with Allah (SWT) through the usage of the Arabic word “WA” used in the text nevertheless it exposes the Arabic incompetence of Rogers – an English speaking Nevadan. It also unmasks the dabbling nature of this apologist especially in an academic circle such as this. As an explanation we only mention here that the capacity in which the “Amirs” are to be followed is to be looked for.

Finally, to expose lies, distortion or outright ignorance we challenge Anthony Rogers to prove us that “absolute submission is due to Muhammad IN ADDITION TO GOD” because it is clear from Islamic scripture teeming with information that Mohammad (peace be upon him) – The prophet of Allah (SWT) – was indeed “a mere messenger who communicates God’s commands”:

MUHAMMAD IS NO MORE THAN AN APOSTLE: MANY WERE THE APOSTLES THAT PASSED AWAY BEFORE HIM. If he died or were slain will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve him) with gratitude.” (The Holy Qur’an, 3:144, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom version. Bold, Italics and Capital emphasize ours)

Not only does the verse explicitly mentions that Mohammad (peace be upon him) was only a messenger of Allah (SWT), it also mentions that his (peace be upon him) status was similar to that of “apostles that passed away before him”. Until Rogers ignorantly fabricate some so called “close association” between Allah (SWT) and earlier prophets; the above adduced verse completely destroys all smutty allegations that there was any “close association” between Allah (SWT) and Mohammad (peace be upon him).

To further jeopardize Rogers’ case of “close association” we quote yet another verse from God’s word:

“Say ye: “We believe in Allah and the revelation given to us and to Abraham Isma`il Isaac Jacob and the Tribes and that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord WE MAKE NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ONE AND ANOTHER OF THEM AND WE BOW TO ALLAH (IN ISLAM).” (The Holy Qur’an, 2:136, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom version. Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

Notice The Holy Qur’an yet again responds to Rogers’ allegation by stating that there is no difference between one prophet and the other. Therefore, implicitly, there has to be absolutely no difference in status between Mohammad (peace be upon him) and all other earlier prophets. Thus, it is absolutely nescient to claim any sort of “close association” between Allah (SWT) and prophet (peace be upon him) unless Rogers can produce any proof that all earlier prophets (peace be upon them) had the same “close association” with Allah (SWT).

Another important point worthy of notice is the phrase “AND WE BOW TO ALLAH (IN ISLAM)”. Although, it has been stated that Muslims, as believers, believe in all earlier prophets without any discrimination yet they bow to Allah (SWT) only, therefore, educating the pseudo – intellectual that believing in prophets (peace be upon them) is conceptually totally different from worshipping Allah (SWT).

Another beautiful verse which succinctly responds to Rogers’ allegation and establish that Mohammad (peace be upon him) was “a mere messenger who communicates God’s commands” is:

“And to rehearse the Qur’an: and if any accept guidance they do it for the good of their own souls and if any stray say: “I AM ONLY A WARNER.” (The Holy Qur’an, 27:92,Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom version. Bold and Capital emphasize ours)

And,

“We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin) but most men understand not.” (The Holy Qur’an, 34:28, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom version. Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

The above quoted verse clearly states that Mohammad (peace be upon him) was sent only communicate God’s “glad tidings” and “warnings”. Kindly observe the usage of the phrase “not sent thee but” which shows that status Mohammad (peace be upon him) in Islam, however, The Holy Qur’an also states that most men like Rogers do not understand Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) status and falsely impute allegations on his lofty self (peace be upon him).

Miscellaneous

Rogers continued with his ignorant and hollow polemics to bellow some ad hoc attacks on Islam. In this section we briefly take them into account since they do not even deserve a second look let alone, a response.

Slavishly Attack

Rogers wrote:

“The notion of Muhammad encapsulated in the Shahada where his name is joined to God’s as the ultimate expression of faith, and which comes to fuller expression in the Qur’an and Sunnah where Muslims are required to yield Muhammad absolute submission and are to slavishly imitate his every action or inaction,…” (Bold emphasize ours)

Since we have already responded to the claim of Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) name joined to God’s and absolute submission to him (peace be upon him), we would, therefore, only consider Rogers allegation that Muslims are required to “slavishly imitate” Mohammad (peace be upon him)

For brevity of this paper and as a rhetoric response we would enquire Rogers how does “slavishly imitating” Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) action or inaction prove that he is a second deity in Islam alongside Allah (SWT)? WE CHALLENGE ROGERS TO BE MAN ENOUGH TO PROVE THE ABOVE CLAIM HE MADE.

Presumptuous apologists like Rogers forget to analyze their own cultic creed before attacking the integrity and monotheism of Islam. He wrote:

“Even if the above observation is a hurdle Muslims can leap without any pangs of conscience, something that tells us more about their ability and willingness to rationalize problematic notions than it tells us about the internal coherence of their view of Tawhid, it is not at all something that Christians could find palatable,for our submission is to God only.” (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

The tri – theistic apologist, while boasting of his non – existent monotheism, informed us partially that his “submission is to God only”, however, what he did not embarrassingly state was that his “submission” is to which God; Is it god – The “Abba” OR god – The son OR god – The dove or spook? We expect for a more comprehensive answer in his next “article”.

Straw man of John 5:23

In the original “article”, John 5:23 was used to support the non – existent Christian claim of deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) in John 17:3. We have already provided two through refutation to the argument of John 5:23 in our original response, nevertheless, in the counter rebuttal Rogers brought up several red herrings but a response to our refutation(s). Therefore, we would analyze his mottled counter response herein.

According to the argument of “Shirk” as brought up by the tri – theist:

“That the apostolic writings repeatedly join the Father and the Son,… likewise, we are told that all who want to honor the Father will also honor the Son “… even asthey honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” (John 5:23, Bold emphasize ours).”

It is not very complex to understand the Trinitarian response. In effect, the argument is that because a dishonor to the son is a dishonor to the father therefore, there is, for tri – theists, an “essential unity of the Father and the Son.”

In our original response we argued and reasoned that because Jesus (peace be upon him) was sent, commissioned or dispatched by someone else (namely, father) therefore a disgrace to Jesus (peace be upon him) would be a dishonor to the dispatcher. To grasp the concept better we provided an example of George Bush and Condolezza Rice. If Rice was dispatched to our country by Bush and if she has been disgraced here then it would certainly be dishonor to Bush him lest Rogers “conjoin” Bush and Rice:

“A2. ‘G’od was send by God: If read carefully then the author of John 5:23 conceded to end of verse with “…Father who sent Him.” So, Jesus, peace be upon him, was an ambassador, a chosen man. So, by disgracing Jesus – the sent man one would be discrediting the one who has sent Jesus, namely, Father! It does not prove that Father and Son are the same; but it does prove the contrary that Father and Son are not the same. Let me explain with one practicle day to day example. Suppose, George Bush (who does not know him!) has sent Condolezza Rice (now who does not know her) on a delegation to my country. And if suppose my countrymen and / or chieftains dishonor her; then it would certainly be an insult to George Bush himself. OR, agree insanely that Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice are one and the same. Will you dare to “conjoin” Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice!” (True Shahada Indeed)

Haplessly, to the above refutation Rogers could only respond with this feeble response:

“The bare fact that someone is sent doesn’t tell us whether he or she is the former, the latter, or something else altogether. Unfortunately for Anonymous, Jesus doesn’t just tell us that He was sent by God, He tells us that He was sent by His Father (John 5:17-18),…” (Italics emphasize ours)

There are two statements in Rogers’ response. Notice that in the first one, he claims that “someone is sent does not tell” him that who is former, latter etc. The point to be noted here is that we are not here to distinguish former or latter, the previous or the next etc, however, what we are interested in is who the dispatcher and who is the dispatched is and it is not very difficult to perceive from the text, that is, John 5:23 that the dispatcher is God and the dispatched is Jesus (peace be upon him). Therefore, the above “response” was nothing more than a messy trick to elude our main argument.

To make matters worse he made a second attempt from a different perspective to “respond” to our main argument (on John 5:23). Observe, how pathetically and absurdly, if not ludicrously, Rogers argued that Jesus (peace be upon him) does not say that “He was send by God” rather he (Jesus, peace be upon him) informs that“He was sent by His Father”. Rogers would have presumed his straw man argument to be an intellectual one until we enquire:

  • Has Rogers started any new Christian cult which makes a difference between the biblical father and God since the Bible is filled with references which proves that God has been referred to as father in his book.
  • Furthermore, how does the reasoning that he (Jesus, peace be upon him) did not mention that he (peace be upon him) was sent by God but by his (peace be upon him) father “conjoin” Jesus (peace be upon him) with father?

To his chagrin, Rogers went on pulling red herrings in an attempt to respond to our argument of John 5:23. He wrote:

“Unfortunately for Anonymous, Jesus doesn’t just tell us that He was sent by God, He tells us that He was sent by His Father (John 5:17-18), that He can do whatever His Father does (John 5:19-22), and that all judgment has been given into His hands (5:23ff.), all of which shows the essential unity of the Father and the Son.”(Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

To recapitulate, Rogers was going to prove the “essential unity of the Father and the Son” through John 5:23 which stated that a dishonor to Jesus (peace be upon him) would be a dishonor to the father.

However, Rogers have seemed to have lost the track somewhere in his dismay of falling short of substantial arguments thus he had to recourse to new arguments of Jesus (peace be upon him) potentate of doing that entire father can do and all judgment given into his (peace be upon him) hands. We would again check Rogers’ subterfuge to point out that he should ‘try’ to prove that dishonoring Jesus (peace be upon him) is dishonoring father to the effect that Jesus (peace be upon him) and father can be “conjoined”.

By bringing new arguments of all judgments in Jesus’ (peace be upon him) handsetc Rogers further compounds his problems because in order to support his originalargument of conjoining Jesus (peace be upon him) and God of John 17:3 he was obliged to bring in the help of John 5:23, however, when John 5:23 was scrutinized Rogers was forced to ambulance in John 5:19-22 and “5:23ff.”; all this prove the flimsy nature of the so called biblical arguments to prove the deity of servant Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) where no verse stands a scrutiny on its own, even worst, every supportive verse brought in fails more miserably, thereby demolishing every argument until we reach John 17:3.

As we mentioned above that no verse stands up the challenge of establishing the much cherished sin of associating partners to Allah (SWT) in Christianity; moreover, because we are considerate for people dying hard in “Shirk” we would allow Rogers to use his new arguments of John 5:19-22  “and all judgment has been given into His hands (5:23ff.)”

It is incumbent for us to quote the text of John 5:19-22 to expose the distortions and/or lies which was tried to be knit above.

John 5:19-22

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto youTHE SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

For the Father loveth the Son, AND SHEWETH HIM all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:” (Capital, Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Based on the above text Rogers tried to establish that “He can do whatever His Father does (John 5:19-22)”, nevertheless, Rogers forgot that we might question him how can he conclude so?

Because, firstly, the text does not explicitly state that Jesus (peace be upon him) “can do whatever His Father does.”

Secondly, neither does the text implicitly mentions that Jesus (peace be upon him)can do whatever His Father does rather, on the contrary it states that “THE SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF”. The impotency, as expressed by the lord and master of Rogers, of doing works by himself negates all attempts to prove that he can do whatever father does; however, yet again it proves the dependency of Jesus (peace be upon him) on father.

The restrictions upon Jesus (peace be upon him) in doing works, is further corroborated by the fact that father has to “show him” (peace be upon him) works so that he (peace be upon him) can do them, “and sheweth him”. Add to it that Jesus (peace be upon him) can do only that much work which he was allowed or showed, not more than that:

“but what he seeth the Father do”.

When the above facts that Jesus (peace be upon him) can do only that bit which hesees under the permission of father and that he cannot do anything more than that are juxtaposed then it would be abysmally ignorant to claim that  Jesus (peace be upon him) can do whatever his father does!

Even Christian scholars of eminence comport with us to state that doing works that has been shown to Jesus (peace be upon him) is actually, obeying father like any other servant. Authoritative biblical commentator Matthew Henry explains:

“That the Son conforms to the Father (Joh_5:19): The Son can do nothing of himself but what he sees the Father do; for these things does the Son. The Lord Jesus, AS MEDIATOR, is First, OBEDIENT TO HIS FATHER’S WILL; SO ENTIRELY OBEDIENT THAT HE CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF, in the same sense as it is said, God cannot lie, cannot deny himself, which expresses the perfection of his truth, not any imperfection in his strength; so here, Christ was so entirely devoted to his Father’s will that it was impossible for him in any thing to act separately.Secondly, He is observant of his Father’s counsel; he can, he will, do nothing but what he sees the Father do. No man can find out the work of God, but the only-begotten Son, who lay in his bosom, sees what he does, is intimately acquainted with his purposes, and has the plan of them ever before him. WHAT HE DID AS MEDIATOR, THROUGHOUT HIS WHOLE UNDERTAKING, WAS THE EXACT TRANSCRIPT OR COUNTERPART OF WHAT OF THE FATHER DID; that is, what he designed, when he formed the plan of our redemption in his eternal counsels, and settled those measures in every thing which never could be broken, nor ever needed to be altered. IT WAS THE COPY OF THAT GREAT ORIGINAL; IT WAS CHRIST’S FAITHFULLNESS, AS IT WAS MOSES’S, THAT HE DID ALL ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN SHOWN HIM IN THE MOUNT.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary, John 5:19, Capital, Bold and Underline emphasize ours)

Notice that according to Henry, Jesus (peace be upon him) was obedient so much so that he cannot do anything of himself and whatever he did was done as mediator and not as God – Almighty.

At this point Rogers might be excited to counter argue that, however, Jesus (peace be upon him) can do all things that father does, as the text states. The fallacy that would be committed in such an argument would be that Jesus (peace be upon him) still had to be “shown” those works by the father, in other words Jesus (peace be upon him) is not independent enough to bear the tag of God – Almighty. Conversely, we find no proofs in the entire Bible where such a dependency is liable on father with respect to Jesus (peace be upon him).

Another very important observable statement made by the commentator is that the similitude of Jesus (peace be upon him) in doing all the works that father shows him to do is that he obeyed and did all things according to the will of the father. In other words Rogers’ erroneous interpretation that “He can do whatever His Father does (John 5:19-22)” is disabused here by a Christian scholar that Jesus (peace be upon him) merely copies or obeys the actual “pattern shown” to him.

Following father in doing works “likewise” should not be misinterpreted to be capable of doing whatever father does; such an interpretation would jeopardize the concept of God in Christianity because commentator Henry further goes on to explain that doing works “likewise” (after being shown) is similar to Moses (peace be upon him) doing works as he was shown, on the mount Sinai. If Rogers disagree then he should come up and declare that even biblical Moses (peace be upon him)“can do whatever His Father does”! and thus, even he is God-Almighty for Christians.

Noted Bible commentator Henry further corroborates our point that father showing Jesus (peace be upon him) works tantamount to father directing Jesus (peace be upon him) towards works which in conjunction with above comment concerning Moses that even Moses was directed on the mount clearly disproves every Christian claim that Jesus (peace be upon him) can do whatever father can do:

“He shows him all things ha autos poiei – which he does, that is, which the Sondoes, so it might be construed; ALL THAT THE SON DOES IS BY DIRECTIONFROM THE FATHER; he shows him. 2. IN WHAT HE WILL COMMUNICATE; HE WILL SHOW HIM, THAT IS, WILL APPOINT AND DIRECT HIM TO DO GREATER WORKS THAN THESE. (1.) Works of greater power than the curing of the impotent man; for he should raise the dead, and should himself rise from the dead.” (Capital, Bold, Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

From the above citation we have at least two fold refutations to Rogers’ claim that Jesus (peace be upon him) can do whatever father can.

If, (1) Jesus (peace be upon him) does any work, “likewise” his father, after being shown, then it means, that Jesus (peace be upon him) is only obeying the“directions” which were “communicated” to him – similar (2)”communications” which were “shown” to Moses (peace be upon him) on the mount, however, that did not establish Moses (peace be upon him) on the seat of omnipotence!

(Side remark:- Many emotional Christian apologists and Church ministers claim that because Jesus (peace be upon him) gave life to the dead thus he got to be God – Almighty (God forbid), however, little that they consider Henry’s comments who clearly explains that it would be God – Almighty who would “direct”/“communicate”Jesus (peace be upon him) into executing greater works, that of animating dead bodies. By “directing”/ “communicating” God – Almighty will empower Jesus (peace be upon him) into undertaking such feats of miracles. This is supported by Jesus’ (peace be upon him) impotency of doing works; John 5:30 , “I CAN OF MY OWN SELF DO NOTHING:…” and rightly disabused in Qur’an by the addition of the phrase/clause miracles were made possible by “My (God’s) leave”:

“…And behold! thou makest out of clay as it were the figure of a bird by My leaveand thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave and thou healest those born blind and the lepers by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the Clear Signs and the unbelievers among them said: `This is nothing but evident magic’.” (The Holy Qur’an, 5:110, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom version)

So far we have realized that the arguments that Jesus (peace be upon him) being sent by “His Father”, “equality of potency with His Father” and “Judgment” prowess does not work to establish any kind of “close association” with father.

However, Rogers did not exhaust off arguments. He brought up biblical verse which, for him, would suggest that dishonoring the son would be dishonoring the father, hence Jesus (peace be upon him) is god – at par with father:

“He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” (John 5:23).” This kind of close association between the Father and the Son is tantamount to the sin of shirk in Islamic theology (were it not true), and if it is not, then nothing is.” (Source)

To the above gibberish argument we replied that because Jesus (peace be upon him) was an agent or ambassador of father therefore a disgrace to Jesus (peace be upon him) would, in effect, reflect as a dishonor of father himself:

“A2. ‘G’od was send by God: If read carefully then the author of John 5:23 conceded to end of verse with “…Father who sent Him.” So, Jesus, peace be upon him, was an ambassador, a chosen man. So, by disgracing Jesus – the sent man one would be discrediting the one who has sent Jesus, namely, Father! It does not prove that Father and Son are the same; but it does prove the contrary that Father and Son are not the same. Let me explain with one practicle day to day example. Suppose, George Bush (who does not know him!) has sent Condolezza Rice (now who does not know her) on a delegation to my country. And if suppose my countrymen and / or chieftains dishonor her; then it would certainly be an insult to George Bush himself. OR, agree insanely that Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice are one and the same. Will you dare to “conjoin” Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice!” (Source)

Observe that we provided a practical example of George Bush and Rice to explain the argument better. No wonder Rogers did not comprehend it and replied back in haste:

“It is more than an understatement, then, to say that Jesus is worthy of honor merely because He was sent by God, ignoring as it does that it wasn’t just some guy found in a cave that the Father chose and sent, for no mere creature could claim to be God’s Son by nature; no mere creature could do whatever the Father does; and no mere creature could possibly say that He is worthy of equal honor with the Father.”

In the first place, we have already seen how helplessly special Jesus (peace be upon him) was when he came to judging which, in itself, questioned the “nature of God’s Son” and we would take into account Rogers’ scapegoat of “equal honor” later in this response, however, for the time being we would only concentrate on Rogers’ comment that, according to him, It is more than an understatement, then, to say that Jesus is worthy of honor merely because He was sent by God”.

Rogers’ fuss is irrelevant since biblical scholars of authority comport with us that dishonoring the son is dishonoring the father since son was an ambassador of father. Not just this, they also add that because the mission, objective etc of ambassador Jesus (peace be upon him) was the same as that of his dispatcher father, therefore, a dishonor of Jesus (peace be upon him) would be, in effect, a dishonor of the father:

“…He that honours not the Son honours not the Father who has sent him. Some pretend a reverence for the Creator, and speak honourably of him, who make light of the Redeemer, and speak contemptibly of him; but let such know that the honours and interests of the Father and Son are so inseparably twisted and interwoventhat the Father never reckons himself honoured by any that dishonour the Son. Note, (1.) Indignities done to the Lord Jesus reflect upon God himself, and will so be construed and reckoned for in the court of heaven. The Son having so far espoused the Father’s honour as to take to himself the reproaches cast on him(Rom_15:3), the Father does no less espouse the Son’s honour, and counts himself struck at through him. (2.) The reason of this is because the Son is sent and commissioned by the Father; it is the Father who hath sent him. Affronts to an ambassador are justly resented by the prince that sends him. And by this rule those who truly honour the Son honour the Father also;” (Henry’s Commentary, John 5:17-30, Capital, Bold, Underline and Italics emphasize ours)

Observe what notable commentator Henry says in most simple words. A rejection or dishonor of son would be, in effect, an ignominy to father not because ‘son and father are one’ (in god-head), as Rogers mistakenly interprets, but because it was father who “commissioned” son on the mission.

There is a striking resemblance of our argument of George Bush and Rice to scholar Henry’s “Prince” and “Ambassador”. Henry argues that because “Prince” dispatches “ambassador” subsequently an affront on “ambassador” should/would reflect on “Prince”; nevertheless, if we were to follow Rogers’ fallacious logic then we would have to concur that Henry’s ‘Prince and Ambassador are (also) one’, which of course would be awfully ignorant!

Biblical Jesus: A Marionette Judge

So much for Jesus’ (peace be upon him) impotency disparity as God – Almighty. Let us now move on to Rogers’ next argument, namely, “Judgment”. This is another rife argument sometimes over used by Christian apologists to pull out their fast ones, nevertheless, we are again going to experience, as usual, the sheer hollowness in it to hallow Jesus (peace be upon him).

For Rogers, “and that all judgment has been given into His hands (5:23ff.)” and thus Jesus (peace be upon him) is God – Almighty.

To examine Rogers’ case let us quote the texts in question:

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” (John 5:22-23, King James (1611) Bible. Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Or,

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.”(John 5:22-23, TEV. Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Rogers would die hard to point out two arguments in support of alleged divinity of Christ (peace be upon him) in the above quoted verses, however, here we are only interested in “Judgment” argument. We would take up the case of honor to son and father in the subsequent section.

Firstly, observe that the texts states that Father has COMMITTED or GIVEN the rights of Judgment to Jesus (peace be upon him) that is even conceded by Rogers when he wrote that “…judgment was given into His hands”. This in turn, proves that the prerogatives of Judgment was/did not, essentially belong to Jesus (peace be upon him) rather they had to be conferred on to him from higher authority.

Furthermore, even when Jesus (peace be upon him) was practicing Rogers’ blended divine Judgment (which would entitle him to god) he was truthful to menace Christian claims; he conceded that his judgments are not his judgment but of “Father”:

“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, King James (1611) Bible. Capital, Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

As a matter of fact, Jesus (peace be upon him) categorically disowns any divine judgment on his behalf. He clarifies that he does not has any judgment of his ownbut as he hears it or that he does not has his personal will but the orders, decrees etc of the father who has sent him.

In other words, even if Jesus (peace be upon him) was to judge the entire world he would judge them as he would “hear” it from father. Therefore, in so many different words the biblical texts insinuates that Jesus’ (peace be upon him) judgments are only vicarious, second hand judgments which can be anything but divine.

As we have already read in John 5:30 (above) that Jesus (peace be upon him) judges according to the will of God – Almighty, however, John 5:30 is not the only place in the Gospel which declares so.

After declaring that his (peace be upon him) judgments are not his, Jesus (peace be upon him) categorically proclaims that there is only father who judges:

“And I seek not mine own glory: THERE IS ONE THAT SEEKETH AND JUDGETH.” (John 8:50, King James (1611) Bible. Capital, Bold, Underline and Italics emphasize ours)

Notice that unlike John 5:30 where Jesus declares that his judgments are not his but as he “hears” them; in John 8:50 Jesus (peace be upon him) clearly declares that there is someone else who judges, namely, father.

It is yet observable that unlike Jesus (peace be upon him) father has not to “hear” from any other source to pass judgments. This once again builds strong argument against the deity of Christ (peace be upon him) on the grounds of “judgments”.

Moreover, the Books of Acts distinctly supports Jesus’ (peace be upon him) statement of John 5:30 that he (peace be upon him) would only be an agent in God’s judgments:

“Because he hath appointed a day, in the which HE WILL JUDGE THE WORLD in righteousness BY THAT MAN WHOM HE HATH ORDAINED; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31, King James (1611) Bible. Bold and Capital emphasize ours)

There cannot be any clearer statement than the one adduced above adjudging that the God – Almighty who is ONE (John 8:50) will JUDGE THE WORLD through Jesus, (“that man”, peace be upon him).

When the above cited verse which comprises of important clauses that father will judge the world by Jesus (peace be upon him), is read in conjunction with John 5:30 which reads that Jesus (peace be upon him) judges as he “hears” from his father then the only interpretation crops up which is that Jesus (peace be upon him) was/would be just a device, an agent through which God – Almighty will facilitate his judgments.

As if it was not enough, Bible inherently responds to Rogers’ argument if he persists to argue that Jesus (peace be upon him) has divine authority to pass judgments.

To make matters more embarrassing for Rogers, his so called Scriptures declare that even apostles and saints will have authority to judge, not mortals, but aerial creatures, namely, Angels, which would certainly establish these judging saints and apostles to no lower position to Jesus (peace be upon him) at least on the yardstick of “judgment”:

“Do ye not know that the SAINTS SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that WE SHALL JUDGE ANGELS? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3, King James (1611) Bible. Bold, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

If Jesus (peace be upon him) is god (God forbid) because he would judge man then in Rogers’ polytheistic Christianity saints are at par with Jesus (peace be upon him) as claimants of God head and apostles should be greater ‘Gods’ than Jesus (peace be upon him) because they would be judging greater beings than men, namely, the Angels! Let Rogers go to his Church and proclaim this new “good news” to his pastor.

Things get worst for Rogers (and Christianity) when leading Bible commentator Barnes comments. Not only does Barnes declare that saints should judge angels but they would also be ASSOCIATED with Jesus (peace be upon him) in his (alleged) judgment:

“it is the only one which gives a fair interpretation to the declaration that the saints should judge angels in 1Co_6:3. If asked “in what way” this is to be done, it may be answered, that it may be meant simply that Christians shall be exalted to the right hand of the Judge, and shall encompass his throne; that they shall assent to, and approve of his judgment, that they shall be elevated to a post of honor and favor, as if they were ASSOCIATED with him in the Judgment.” (Barnes’ Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:2. Bold, Italics and underline emphasize ours)

In the first place notice that Barnes starts with an assertion that there is absolutely no equivocation to the fact that “saints should judge angels” as per 1 Corinthians 6:3, therefore, there is nothing divine if Jesus (peace be upon him) judges mere humans.

However, more importantly than judging angels; Barnes elicits the capacity in which the saints would judge. He comments that the saints would be “elevated” to such “honor” from where they would be “ASSOCIATED with him in the Judgment”. In other words, Christians would share and associate with Jesus (peace be upon him) – the alleged god of Rogers.

Ironically for Rogers, who until now, was championing the “close association”between Mohammad (peace be upon him) Allah (SWT) (pertaining to “submission”) to negate single and only deity of Allah (SWT) – forgot to give his ‘scriptures’ a thought where “saintS” would be “ASSOCIATED” with Jesus (peace be upon him) in his judgments. Therefore, before Rogers would attack Islam, he should reconsider his faith and join one of the many cults in his Christianity which has already understood the “close association” between saints and Jesus (peace be upon him) and started worship of saints alongside Jesus (peace be upon him)!

Another observable point is that Barnes states that “Christians” would be ‘exalted’ to the “RIGHT HAND of the Judge”. Now here is something very intriguing and polytheistic. We often read many claims from Christian apologists that Jesus (peace be upon him) is god because he would be exalted on the right hand of God (Acts 7:55, Romans 8:34) nevertheless, such claims are only hollow because even “Christians” would be “exalted to the right hand of the Judge” or else even lay “Christians” are gods in the pagan inspired Christian godhead.

No wonder numerous respected Christians of the likes of Johnson, Mc Garvey etc respectively, acceded to acknowledge the “close association” between saints and Jesus (peace be upon him) in their own words:

“The saints shall judge the world, BECAUSE OF THEIR UNION WITH THE MESSIAH, to whom all judgment is committed” (Source. Capital, Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

And,

“The saints will only participate AS MYSTICALLY UNITED WITH CHRIST the judge.” (Source, Capital, Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

It is not just the exclusive right of Jesus (peace be upon him) or saints to judge, nevertheless, even the twelve apostles would be “associated close” enough to judge:

“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, YE SHALL SIT UPON TWELVE THRONES, JUDGING THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL.” (Matthew 19:28, King James (1611) Bible. Capital and Bold emphasize ours)

So much for Jesus acting as Judge, we give list of recommended articles on the same issue:

Jesus the Judge?

Who Judges?

Is Jesus God Because He Will Judge The People?

To recapitulate, Rogers’ argument that Jesus (peace be upon him) is God because he would/will/was judge is unjustified on the following grounds:-

  1. Father – the sole and main judge through whom Jesus, peace be upon him, would derive his judgments.
  1. Jesus (peace be upon him) would only be a device to facilitate fathers judgment. In other words, Jesus (peace be upon him) would practice vicarious judgments.
  1. Bible speaks that even “Saints” and “Christians” would judge, let alone higher beings than humans, namely, “Angels”.
  1. Moreover, “Saints” would collaborate to “associate” with Jesus (peace be upon him) to judge thereby further endangering Jesus’ (peace be upon him) absolute capacity to judge.
  1. Lastly, not to skip that the so called biblical “Saints” and “Christians” would be‘exalted’ to the right hand” of God – a place, which for many Christians, including apologists, is a reserved place for second deity in the godhead!

Equal Honor with Father

After the “judgment” episode let us now move on to Rogers’ next argument, namely, “Equal honor”.

Rogers contended:

“Jesus isn’t simply to be honored in the same way or to the same degree as other creatures sent by God are to be honored, or even to a degree that is slightly or even significantly greater than other creatures but which still falls short of the honor that is due to God; instead, Jesus says that He is to be honored “just as” the Father is honored.” (Bold emphasize ours)

It is perspicuous that Rogers centralizes his sin of “Shirk” around the phrase “just as”. For him, because the son is to be honored “just as” the father therefore son isalso god. If that is the case then it becomes of paramount importance to analyze the “just as” phrase.

Contextual Response

To understand the proper usage of the phrase “just as” we will have to consider the context, that is, John Chapter 5, verses 20 through 23.

In verses 20 through 22, John informs that father will “show” or in other words teach/allow Jesus (peace be upon him) for greater miracles even more so that father would permit Jesus to judge people. All these favors from father for Jesus (peace be upon him) was compensation of Jewish persecutions upon him, (John 5:16).

As a result, father, through his favors upon Jesus (peace be upon him), wanted people to acknowledge him so “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”

Subsequently, the emphasize is not upon the degree or capacity of honor for the son, nevertheless, the stress is upon the recognition of the son as father’s sent ambassador so much so that his acknowledgment is equally important as the acknowledgement of father. This is further elicited and supported by latter sentence which states that one who dishonors son dishonors father.

As celebrated Bible commentator Henry explains why a dishonor to son is an injury to father:

The reason of this is because the Son is SENT and COMMISSIONED by the Father; it is the Father who hath sent him. Affronts to an ambassador are justly resented by the prince that sends him. And by this rule those who truly honour the Son honour the Father also;” (Henry’s Commentary, John 5:17-30.Bold, Italics and Capital emphasize ours)

However, if we were to take the textual phrase “even as they” to mean honor of equal capacity to son as applicable to father then we would have its serious implications to further compound Christianity’s problem of count of deities. This is because we find biblical instances elsewhere where Jesus (peace be upon him) literally exhorts his disciples to be “just as” father:

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, King James (1611) Bible. Bold and Capital emphasize ours)

The above biblical verse is as limpid as it could be. Jesus (peace be upon him) expects his disciples to be perfect “just as” their father. At this point there can be two interpretational bifurcations:

Firstly, when “perfection”, as used in the text, is not taken in it’s literal capacity or degree but objectively and/or qualitatively.

Secondly, when we interpret “perfection” in its literal capacity as Rogers tried to interpret in John 5:23. That is equal “perfection” to disciples as befitting to father. Such an interpretation would then attribute the divine quality of perfectness to, at least, twelve disciples of Jesus (peace be upon him), thereby, elevating them to the same platform where Christianity’s first god (!) – the father stands. Notwithstanding Christianity’s already aggravated monotheism, Rogers has culled out, at least, twelve more gods for his religion, otherwise!

Therefore, the only way how Rogers can reconcile the above rigmarole is by interpreting the “even as” phrase (in Matthew 5:48) and “just as” phrase (in John 5:23) objectively and/or qualitatively, and not in capacity or degree.

Yet because Rogers would gloat in his adamant tri – theism there by chanting and re – chanting words of “Shirk” such as these,

“…the same honor that is due to the Father is to be given to Jesus. Those who refuse to do so do not honor the Father, for the honor that is to be given to both is one and the same, and the reason both are to be honored is one and the same: The Father and the Son are one in power, glory, and judgment.” (Bold emphasize ours)

Let us quote another biblical verse which would, yet again, impute divinity to innumerable, if not the twelve immediate disciples, if we were to interpret the “just as” phrase as Rogers interprets:

“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 on, 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: I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them (JUST) ASyou love me.” (Holy Bible, John 17:21-23, Today’s English VersionBold, Capital, Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

Ironically and embarrassingly for Rogers, we find in the above cited verse, “same glory” being shared between Jesus (peace be upon him) and his disciples and this verse specifically responds to Rogers’ “just as” fuss. If we comport with Rogers’ argument in support of deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) from John 5:23 that because people are to tender “same honor” to Jesus (peace be upon him) as they offer to father then according to John 17:22 (above) the “same honor” was furthered to Jesus’ (peace be upon him) disciples, thereby, exalting them to such a jeopardizing level where the disciples would be deified besides already three gods in Christianity.

We enquire Rogers that if Jesus (peace be upon him) can be deified just because he is to be honored “just as” the father, or, in other words, because the capacity of honor offered to Jesus (peace be upon him) and father is the same thus, a proof that Jesus (peace be upon him) is a deity. Then, why not on the same argumentative lines even disciples, if not more Christians, be also deified because even they possess the “(same) glory” just as Jesus (peace be upon him) possess. In other words, the degree of glory, respect etc in Jesus (peace be upon him) and disciples is the “same”.

Therefore, Rogers’ argument, “…the reason both are to be honored is one and the same: The Father and the Son are one in power, glory, and judgment.” backfires abruptly against him and his religion since even Jesus (peace be upon him) and disciples “are one in glory.

As a matter of fact celebrated Gospel commentator Wesley alludes to the over perilously exalted status of disciples in his own words:

“Joh 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.” (Wesley’s Commentary, John 17:22. Capitalized, Bold and Underline emphasize ours)

It is not Wesley alone but even commentator Henry implies to the deification of Christians in even stronger terms:

“Those that are given in common to all believers. The glory of being in covenant with the Father, and accepted of himof being laid in his bosomand 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.” (Henry’s Commentary, John 17:20-23. Bold, Capital, Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

Acknowledge that Jesus (peace be upon him) would have to share (1.) his exclusive cozy corner in his father’s big bosom with his disciples (2.) He would even have to renounce his exclusive right of a place in father’s right hand (3.) Lastly and most importantly, he would have to apportion his so called ‘divine’ glory with laities of Christianity.

No wonder, if we interpret the matter of “same honor” according to Rogers’ perspective then the amplified greatness of the majesty of Christians should certainly deify them since they (disciples, at least) share the “same honor” with Rogers’ MYTHOlogical “god – man”.

Therefore, because of the reasons, explanations and problems expounded in the sections, namely, “Biblical Jesus: A Marionette Judge” and “Equal Honor with Father” and elsewhere, it is weightless to consider any argument whether Jesus (peace be upon him) would judge few or “all” people or whether he would have to be honored by few or many,

The view that Anonymous holds would be slightly more believable if only a certain group of people were required to honor the Son (a limited number of people over whom such judgments held sway), and if only a certain circumscribed right to judge was given to Jesus (one that fell short of the final judgment of God Almighty, where all men will be raised up and when all men throughout history, from Adam to the last person born, will be judged for every thought, word, and deed, a feat that requires nothing short of omniscience). Yet, as it is, the text requires all men to honor the Son, and it says that all judgment has been committed to the Son; and, thus, the right of universal judgment that was given to him was not for the purpose that people would “make no distinction” between Jesus and any or all other persons who are worthy of respect, but so that all men would honor Jesus just as they honor the Father.” (Bold emphasize ours)

Conclusion

As Rogers announced that he is yet incomplete and therefore “several matters” pertaining to Jesus’ (peace be upon him) divinity would have to be dealt in his “fourth and final rebuttal”, he would also take up Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood and Paul’s apostleship in his final installment. That being the case we welcome his responses with an expectation that he would come up with something better in his ultimate “rebuttal”; at least, better than what we have read in his last three “rebuttals”.

As for now we have seen that rather than doing any good to Christianity – Rogers’ arguments have failed to establish any so called imputed divinity to Christ (peace be upon him). Moreover, it was not hard to realize how drastically Rogers’ argument in support of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) divinity recoiled and backfired upon him and his religion erecting myriad more deities besides, creating pagan like family of gods, however, these were only expected.

Footnotes:

#fn1: As a matter of fact the enormity of crime in worshipping beings or stocks besides Allah does not only end up with Jesus, peace be upon him. We do not have any personal animosity against Christians or Christ, peace be upon him. We repel worship of Mohammad, peace be upon him, to the same extent as with Jesus or any other prophet, peace be upon them all.

#fn2: In Islam, it is an act of outright blasphemy to disgrace any prophet. We wrote it just to elicit the fact that Jesus, peace be upon him, cannot be God.

All biblical verse, unless otherwise mentioned, quoted from King James (1611) Bible.

Note: Anthony Rogers quoted Christian scholar William Hendriksen to support deity of Jesus (peace be upon him), God-Willing we would include a response to it in our fourth rebuttal.

Refutation: The True Shahada Indeed: Revisited [ Part 2]

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Question Mark

Can Muslims appeal to John 17:3? This is the specific subject that this second installment of True Shahada Indeed series will focus on. Anthony Rogers provides his own reasons as to why Muslims cannot appeal to John 17:3. Is he correct in his reasoning? Or is it more of a desperate attempt of Trinitarian(s) to hide himself/themselves from the ignominy of worshipping three gods! In this paper, which is a refutation to Anthony’s article, we would, inshallah, examine all the arguments provided by my confused interlocutor to provide him yet another chance to save him from the worship three gods.

Reasons why Christians should trump John 17:3 to continue simmering in worship of 3 gods!

As one of the weakest argument a Christian would ever put forth to defend their polytheism against the monotheism of John 17:3, Rogers writes that since the text speaks of the Father as God something altogether foreign to Islam” (thus) Muslims cannot appeal to John 17:3.

There are more than just a couple of problems with this untenable and ludicrous argument:

Firstly, the term “Father” is not the proper name of the biblical God rather it is the tetragramatton YHWH or Jehovah. “Father” is just a title and not the proper name of the God of Bible. And, we are not discussing whether or not we can call him “Father” rather the point of debate is whether or not the deity who is entitled as “Father” is one or three under the light of John 17:3.

Kindly realize the diversion in the topic from oneness of God who is biblically labeled as “Father” to a new subject – whether or not He can be labeled as “Father” biblically? Such an (illogical) argumentation is engendered either through pulling out red herring or simply ignorance.

Furthermore, such an argumentation tantamount to us discussing how we can saveNature from pollution and somebody coining a new topic (and thus digressing) in between “whether or not we can call Nature as “Mother Nature”.

Yet another example would expose the argumentative hollowness in Rogers reasoning (as to Muslims cannot appeal to John 17:3 since the “text speaks of the Father as God something altogether foreign to Islam”) is by supposing a scenario where we are arguing the divinity of Jesus and all of a sudden Rogers moots that Muslims cannot appeal to Jesus (peace be upon him) since the text speaks of Jesus something altogether foreign to Islam, since in Islam Jesus is called as Isa, peace be upon him.

Just like it does not matter whether we call Nature as Mother Nature or otherwise since the point at hand is to save it from pollution or, similarly, as it does not matter whether we debate divinity of Christ with the name of Isa or Jesus since the pith is to prove the non divinity of Christ similarly it absolutely counts to nothing (at least for this paper) whether God can be called as “Father” or not since the point to be proven (or disproven) is whether or not biblical God is One or Three(!).  To summarize then the Muslim appeal to John 17:3 is for the count or number of God and not for His name or title at least for this particular paper.

But because I am such a nice boy I will allow Anthony Rogers to hide behind his flimsy argument and concord with him that text speaks of the Father as God something altogether foreign to Islam”. Now, after this assumption, let us examine Rogers’s claims and check how much of this would save my opponent.

Namesake

When the “text speaks of the Father” in the verse, it does not impute the lowly act of begetting to God (it is the Christians who do so)which is denounced in Islam,nevertheless, the Israelites preferred to entitle God as Father than calling him by His proper name for the reasons of their own.

We may assume that they called God as Father because of the transcendent paternal care which He provides similar to that which a human father provides, same goes with protection, providence, sustenance, love etc.

Rogers, my opponent, would have had a case (actually still not) if Father as used in the text would have implied the filthy act of siring to God, but it certainly does not, rather the use is more metaphorical than literal. And, to elicit this point of ours we quoted verses from Bible which Anthony Rogers responded by saying that those are only “three” verses we provided him (!):

“The first thing to observe here is Mr. Anonymous’ hasty generalization. On the basis of three passages of the Old Testament, Mr. Anonymous asserts that the Jews never used the word Father with its literal import when referring to God.”

The problems with such weak argument are that Rogers overrides the authority of Bible. That is, if Bible is the word of God then even one so called God – breathed verse would be enough to settle the case but much to his chagrin he has scoffed off three. That being the complaint we would, inshallah, provide Rogers with more verses to digest but before that let us look at the second problem in his argument.

As he is dying hard to prove that Jews did use the word Father with its literal import when referring to God otherwise he would have never made this statement:

“…Mr. Anonymous asserts that the Jews never used the word Father with its literal import when referring to God.”

This immediately intrigues us to ask him that Sir, what is the “literal import” of the word Father? Since are you not the same person to charge Muhammad (peace be upon him) of thinking in pagan lines when Qur’an denounced the same imputation ofliteral connotation of Father to God, i.e. begetting act:

“Although Christians do not believe that God is literally a father in the crude way presented in the Qur’an, where divine fatherhood implies a consort, copulation, and possibly even cohabitation with a female deity, one of the signal proofs that the author(s) of the Qur’an couldn’t escape thinking in terms of pagan categories”

Let us make a point here that we will again comeback to the aforementioned charge of Anthony Rogers to further see him en messed in his own argument. For now, let us provide him more verses from the Bible where Israelites have used the term Father for God and see whether they were literal or otherwise:

  1. “Doubtless thou art our FATHER, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our FATHER, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.” (Isaiah 63:16, King James (1611) Bible)

Anybody visiting the context of the above adduced verse from Isaiah would realize that the usage of the term “FATHER” is metaphorical and figurative than anything else. Nevertheless, we provide more verses:

  1. “They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a FATHER to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.” (Jeremiah 31:9, King James (1611) Bible)

Here again we find that the usage of the term Father is precisely not literal but figurative. Till now we have not come across a single verse from the Bible which implies any literal import to the term FATHER which would substantiate Rogers claim to obviate Muslims from the appeal to John 17:3.

Here are few more verses:

  1. “I will be his FATHER, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:” (2 Samuel 7:14, King James (1611), Bible)

Gill’s exposition on the above adduced verse from 2nd Samuel expressly supports our argument that the Israelites preferred to call their God as Father because of the vicarious sense of protection, sustenance, love, care etc they received from God-Almighty which at some lower level is also found in earthly human fathers (of course, but protection etc as provided by Almighty is unmatchable):

“2Sa 7:14  I will be his father, and he shall be my son,…. That is, I will be as kind unto him, and careful of him, as a father of a son; or he shall be, and appear to be my son, by adopting grace, as no doubt Solomon was, notwithstanding all his failings.”

  1. “I will be his FATHER, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:” (1 Chronicles 17:13, King James (1611), Bible)
  1. “He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his FATHER; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.” (1 Chronicles 12:10, King James (1611), Bible)

The “son” referred to in the above cited verse is Solomon (peace be upon him). However, the verse yet again does not imply anything more than figurative sense to the title “FATHER” as used in the text.

  1. “And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his FATHER.” (1 Chronicles 28:6, King James (1611), Bible)

The article “thy” in the above adduced verse is referring to David (peace be upon him), on the other hand, “my” alludes to God Himself. If we were to think like Anthony Rogers then we would have a serious problem here of two fathers of Solomon (peace be upon him) which we know is not the case. The only way to understand the above usage of the term “FATHER” is that it is used figuratively or metaphorically.

So far we have produced six (more) verses from the Old Testament against the complaint that we generalized the usage of Father upon three verses (only). However, we are yet to see literal usage or import of the term “FATHER”. All the NINE verses imply only figurative or metaphorical usage of the term. Now then if biblical usage of the term “FATHER” is metaphorical in most places then Muslims can appeal to John 17:3. Since what is fulminated in Islam is the literal import of the term Father and the subsequent act of Fathering.

And this is not just the end since the so called New Testament also contains similar verses which only points to Fatherhood in a “spiritual” and metaphorical sense. We need to refer to Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6, respectively:

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (King James (1611) Bible)

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (King James (1611) Bible)

The interesting point here is the Aramaic, Arabic and Hebrew word “Abba” used in the text. “Ab” or “Abi”, the root from which “Abba” evolved, is the same root used in the nine Hebrew quotations we quoted above, moreover, the same “Abba”  was used by (ironically) volunteering (for sacrifice) Jesus pleading his “Abba” to save him from crucifixion!:

“And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” (Mark 14:36, King James (1611) Bible)

Therefore, the common usage of “Abba” or Father by Paul and (allegedly) by Jesus (peace be upon him) settles the matter that “Father” as used in Bible (at least in most cases) is “spiritual” and figurative in nature and thus Muslims have all the warrant to call their Christian brethren towards total monotheism through appeal to John 17:3 even if the text speaks of “Father”.

But why are we arguing to prove that “Father” is not carnally used in John 17:3 since my opponent expressly states that Father is “spiritually” used and not “carnally”(!):

“As these (and other) passages indicate, God is literally a Father, though in aneternal and spiritual rather than a temporal and carnal sense.

If the “passages indicate” God to be Father in an “eternal and spiritual” sense and not in “temporal and carnal sense” then what is Anthony Rogers fussing about. As already stated that Qur’an criticizes the carnal sense and usage of the term “Father”, albeit, the text uses “Father” in a “spiritual sense”. So what is the argument about?

If that is the case then why is Anthony Rogers arguing so confusedly. We will analyze it below where we would also take in to account the “proofs” (and attacks) he gave why Muslims cannot to John 17:3 to prove monotheism to the “People of the Book”!

Confused proofs of obfuscated Apologist

In order to respond to our argument that John 17:3 does not use the term “Father” literally, Rogers reposes to Psalm 2. He thinks that Psalm 2 uses the term “Father” in “more than just the narrow metaphorical”. Let us quote what exactly he had to say:

“the fact is that the word Father is used for God in the Old Testament in more than just the narrow metaphorical sense that Mr. Anonymous’ three carefully (craftily?) selected passages indicate. For example, Psalm 2 uses the word “Father” for God in relation to the Messiah (vs. 7),…”

I wonder why and how Rogers chose Psalm 2 to prove his case since entire Psalm 2 just does not contain the term “FATHER” in it! May be in future we expect better verses from Rogers.

However, anybody reading his response would realize that this was not the only occasion when he chose a wrong verse (chapter) as we will expose it further in this refutation.

He claimed that, “…and it is clear from the whole Psalm that the Messiah is more than just an ordinary human being, for He is the Heir of all things and the kings and rulers of the earth are commanded to worship Him (vss. 10-12).”

We would like to ask a question here that how does Messiah being more than ordinary human being and being the heir of all things etc make “Father” and it’s import repellent to Muslims. Once again Qur’an criticizes the literal connotation of begetting act of God.

He provided a second proof to prove his claim “…that the word Father is used for God in the Old Testament in more than just the narrow metaphorical… sense that Mr. Anonymous’ three carefully (craftily?) selected passages indicate.” His proof was:

“As for another example, the concept is clearly present in the Old Testament book of Proverbs where mention is made of God’s “Son,” which term is simply the correlative of “Father”:

Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know! (Proverbs 30:4)”

In response we would only make a query as to how does Proverbs 30:4 prove that the term “Father” is more than metaphorical let alone “narrow metaphorical”?

Begetting the Filth

Certain portions of this section might not go palatable to lay Christians. It might be offensive. However, it must be noted that this section is purely responsive. It is a response to the baseless claim made by Anthony Rogers, which one would read below. It is not our intention to offend any lay, sincere Christian believer through this section, unlike Christian apologists who write vulgar articles against Islam.

It is of paramount importance to take into account to an allegation which Anthony Rogers made on Allah regarding Qur’an 19:88. He said:

Although Christians do not believe that God is literally a father in the crude way presented in the Qur’an, where divine fatherhood implies a consort, copulation, and possibly even cohabitation with a female deity, one of the signal proofs that the author(s) of the Qur’an couldn’t escape thinking in terms of pagan categories,…”

Further to elaborate this point he wrote at footnote number two:

“The point here is that the authors of the Qur’an could not hear any mention of things like divine paternity (i.e. the fatherhood) or filiation (i.e. sonship) without interpreting them in the sense that the pagans intended by such words.”

Thus, let us analyze who is thinking in pagan lines.

Would Christians including Anthony Rogers explain us what is the meaning of the term “Begotten” which is so oft used in the Bible and in reference to Jesus, peace be upon him. For instance it is used at John 3:16, Psalm 2:7 (according to Christian appeal) etc, respectively:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only BEGOTTEN (QM: monogenh)Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (King James (1611) Bible)

One possible hackneyed response which we might expect is the Christian appeal to the original Greek word used for “Begotten”. It is “monogenh” which, according to Strong’s note, means, “only-born”. Etymologically “monogenh” also means “one of a kind” or “special” this is exactly how it is used in Hebrews 11:17.

Originality amalgamated with embarrassment of the usage of the dirty term “Begotten” has engendered many recent biblical versions to render it as “only Son”(Holy Bible, Good News Edition, Today’s English Version, ISBN 81-221-1082-7)

However, problem still lingers with such an explanation.

  • Firstly, if “monogenh” means/t “only” or “one of a kind” of “special” then why did biblical translators chose the abject English word “Begotten” since “Begotten” by no stretch of English language means “only” or “one of a kind” or “special”.

To further exacerbate the ill translation of the Greek word “monogenh”, the Greek for “Begotten” is not “monogenh” rather it is “UEVVW” (γεννώ) or“PROKALW”(προκαλώ) which is certainly not “MONOGENH”.

The only reason for such hard and fast with translation is the literal comprehension and usage of the dirty term “Begotten” in Christiandom. (We would provide more proofs to support this assertion a little later).

 

  • Conversely, if “Begotten” is the correct translation then why are some of the authoritative so called versions doing away from it and replacing it with renderings such as “only son” etc. It looks more like a damage control.

Not just this, the above explanation goes head on against the Nicene Creed which states:

“…And in one Lord Jesus Christ, BEGOTTEN of the Father uniquely, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God,

BEGOTTEN, NOT MADEconsubstantial with the father…” (Jonathan L. Keene,CHHI 521 History of Christianity I). How will you replace begotten with only son here as you have replace it in the Bible?

If “Monogenh” which means “unique”, “one of a kind”, “only”, “especial”, “only-born” or “sole” also means “Begotten” then they should be replaceable with each other. Therefore, let us put each of the adjectives into the Nicene Creed, in place of “Begotten” and see what evolves:

“…And in one Lord Jesus Christ, unique of the Father uniquely, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God,BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE, consubstantial with the father…”

“…And in one Lord Jesus Christ, “one of a kind” of the Father uniquely, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God,

BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE, consubstantial with the father…”

“…And in one Lord Jesus Christ, “only” of the Father uniquely, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God,

BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE, consubstantial with the father…”

“…And in one Lord Jesus Christ, “only-born” of the Father uniquely, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God,

BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE, consubstantial with the father…”

“…And in one Lord Jesus Christ, “sole” of the Father uniquely, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God,

BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE, consubstantial with the father…”

As is easily discernable, none of the above rendered substitutions have worked to save Christian dignity. All the renderings are incongruous and fly off to face proclaiming that “one of a kind” or “especial” does not mean “Begotten” or “Sired”.

Thus once again “Monogenh” does not mean “Begotten” or “Siring”. Subsequently, why did the translators translate “Begotten” for Greek “Monogenh”. Obviously the translators used it as per the ecclesiastical tradition and comprehension.

Furthermore, as “Monogenh” means “only” or “unique” or “one of a kind” or “sole” then we should ask how and why is “BEGOTTEN” used in the phrase “…,BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER UNIQUELY”? What is the import of the word “Begotten” in the above cited quotation?

Furthermore, one should again ask the same question what does and how is “Begotten” used in the phrase “BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE”? Christians should state what are they trying to emphasize when they testify that Christ is “BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE”.

One may make a possible and logical response to the above queries by considering the construction of the creed. It says that Christ is “BEGOTTEN” of the Father such that Christ is of the same substance (homoousios) of the Father so that we have “God of God”, “Light of Light” and “true God of true God”.

It tantamount to the same earthily usage of the term begotten when a Father begets a child, S/he is “Flesh of Flesh”, “Blood of Blood” etc. No wonder Athanasius, an important Early Church figure, who, was present in the Nicene council, believed the same:

“Athanasius believed ONE DIVINE PERSON WAS BEGOTTEN FROM ANOTHER DIVINE PERSON,…” (A History of Christian Doctrine in Three Volumes by David K. BernardISBN 1-56722-036-3, Volume 1, The Doctrine of Christ)

 

More proofs of god begetting a kid god (?)

When Gabriel informed Mary, “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” (Luke 1:31, King James (1611) Bible), he (Gabriel) also informed her (Mary) how this conception would be materialized.  Three verses later Gabriel explicitly explained that Mary would conceive in her womb because:

Luke 1:35

“… The Holy Ghost shall COME UPON THEEand the power of the Highest SHALL OVERSHADOW THEEtherefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (King James (1611) Bible)

The above adduced verse is composed of different profound euphemisms and it is imperative to analyze each one of them separately to expose how Christianity has been abusing the Most Merciful for centuries together.

Firstly, to “COME UPON (THEE)” was a common phrase amongst the Jews and it explicitly implied the act of COPULATION. Such phrasal use is still extant at Misn. Sanhedrin, c.7,sect. 4. & passim alibi.

John Gill, a reputed Christian scholar and Bible commentator explicitly writes so when commenting on the aforementioned verse. He writes:

“The phrase (QM: That is to COME UPON (THEE)”) most plainly answers to בא על, in frequent use with the Jews (x), as expressive of COITION,” (John Gill’s commentary)

Br. Anthony Opisso, M.D., further explains the explicit meaning of the verse as follows:

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Holy one to be born shall be called the Son of God” (Lk 1:35). By stating it in those terms the archangel declared to Mary that GOD WOULD ENTER INTO A MARITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HER, CAUSING HER TO CONCEIVE HIS SON IN HER WOMB,” (Source)

Thus to “Come upon (thee)” literally and patently means to get into the act ofCOITION. Firstly to get in to a MARITAL RELATION then through the animal act ofCOITION God caused Mary to CONCEIVE His son in HER WOMB. This is the “sacred Christianity” inviting you to its “sacredness”. Should any sane accept it?

We move forward in the same verse to encounter another phrase, namely, to“OVERSHADOW (THEE)”

Biblical scholars have provided a variety of interpretations to this word of“overshadowing”. Let us analyze each one of them and see which one fits best to the might of God-Almighty (!):

  1. In the word, “OVERSHADOW”, many suggest that there is an act of sitting over or, to be more specific and technical, the animal act of “brooding”implied. As a hen broods over her eggs :

“In the word, “overshadow”, some think there is an allusion to the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters, in Gen_1:2 when, מרחפת, he brooded upon them, as the word may be rendered; and which is the sense of it, according to the Jewish writers (y) as a hen, or any other bird broods on its eggs to exclude its young:” (R. Sol. Jarchi, R. Aben Ezra, & R. Levi ben Gerson in Gen. 1. 2.)

As stated above that there are “some” conscientious Christians who do not scruple to impute lowly animal act of brooding (over Mary) to God-Almighty. Ironically, yet there are others who claim that author(s) of the Qur’an couldn’t escape thinking in terms of pagan categories”. Nevertheless, we would certainly expose who really is thinking in pagan categories.

Let us move on to other “scholarly” interpretations of the phrase – “OVERSHADOW (THEE)”

  1. “…and others have thought the allusion may be to הופת חתנים, (z), “the nuptial covering“: which was a veil, or canopy, like a tent, supported on four staves, under which the bridegroom and bride were betrothed;” (Gill’s commentary)

If we allow the interpretation of the phrase “OVERSHADOW (THEE)” to be as “The NUPTIAL Covering” then such an interpretation would engender grotesque imports.

In the first place, such an interpretation would transfigure the ghost god of Christianity to transfigure like a marriage “TENT” or “CANOPY”.  When the spook god of Christianity has so transfigured then he would cover Mary and take her“under” him. Since “the nuptial covering” was one “under” which the bride and bridegroom were betrothed.

The problem does not end here; now when the phantom god has become like a“NUPTIAL covering” or a “TENT” or a “CANOPY” and hovered over Mary to take her “UNDER” him then as the explanation says that under such a “Tent” or “Canopy” the bride would be betrothed. So we ask to whom would be Mary betrothed? The only logical answer one gets is that Mary would be BETROTHED to the “Holy” Spirit or, in other words, Mary would be married to one the gods of Christianity but why would she be married; to beget Jesus, peace be upon him.

As, Br. Anthony Opisso, M.D. writes:

Marriage to the Holy Spirit

We also have to take into consideration that when Mary was told by the archangel Gabriel “Behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus” (Lk 1:31), he also added that this was to come about because “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Holy one to be born shall be called the Son of God” (Lk 1:35). By stating it in those terms the archangel declared to Mary that GOD WOULD ENTER INTO A MARITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HER, CAUSING HER TO CONCEIVE HIS SON IN HER WOMBFOR “TO LAY ONE’S POWER <(RESHUTH)> OVER A WOMAN”<(TARGUM TO DT> 21:4 WAS A EUPHEMISM FOR “TO HAVE A MARITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HER.” LIKEWISE “TO OVERSHADOW”(LK 1:35) Y SPREADING THE “WING” OR “CLOAK” OVER A WOMAN WAS ANOTHEREUPHEMISM FOR MARITAL RELATIONS.” (Source)

  1. According to Dr. Lightfoot, yet another leading proponent of the Bible, the phrase “OVERSHADOW (THEE)” was a humble euphemism for SPOUSAL HUGGING! And the sacred Christianity teaches its followers (in pagan lines) that in such a SPOUSAL HUGGING the protagonists were GOD Himself and Mary -The MOTHER of god:

“Dr. Lightfoot thinks, it is a modest phrase alluding to the CONJUGAL EMBRACES, signified by a man’s spreading the skirt of his garment over the woman, which Ruth desired of Boaz, Rth_3:9 though the Jewish writers say (a), that phrase is לשון נישואין expressive of the act of MARRAIGEor taking to WIFE.” (John Gill’s commentary)

At this point we urge readers to think why Dr. Lightfoot has expressed“OVERSHADOW” as a “MODEST phrase”. Why the usage of the term“MODEST”? Was he, as a learned man, ashamed of stating bluntly that “OVERSHADOWING” meant “CONJUGAL EMBRACES”? Dr. Lightfoot safeguarded his exegesis with the usage of the term “MODEST” because it would be shameless and immodest to proclaim in Churches that “OVERSHADOWING” meant GOD enjoying marital bliss with Mary and thus “BEGETTING” the infant god Jesus.

Dr. Lightfoot’s explanation is supported by Anthony Opisso. Br. M.D. who also asserts that to “OVERSHADOW” someone by spreading one’s wing or cloak was representative of entering into connubial relationship with that person.

Both the scholars allude to Ruth’s statement to Boaz when she (Ruth) requested Boaz to get into marital relation with her by saying to him “I am Ruth thine handmaid:spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.” (Ruth 3:9)

Cloak is a translation of the Aramaic-Hebrew word “Tallith”. “Tallith” is derived from “Tellal” which means “SHADOW”. Thus to “OVERSHADOW” someone by spreading his “Tallith” or cloak signifies to get into a marital relation with that person. More specifically, and according to Kiddushin, 18b and Mekhilta (on Exodus 21:8) to“OVERSHADOW” someone by spreading one’s cloak “means to COHABIT WITH HER”.

“Likewise “to overshadow” (Lk 1:35) by spreading the “wing” or “cloak” over a woman was another euphemism for marital relations. Thus, the rabbis commented <(Midrash Genesis Rabbah> 39.7; <Midrash Ruth Rabbah> 3.9) that Ruth was chaste in her wording when she asked Boaz to have marital relations with her by saying to him “I am Ruth you handmaid, spread therefore your cloak ( literally, “wing”: <kanaph)> over your handmaid for you are my next-of-kin” (Ruth 3:9). <Tallith>, another Aramaic-Hebrew word for cloak, is derived from <tellal> = shadow.Thus, “to spread one’s cloak <(tallith)> over a woman” means to cohabit with her <(Kiddushin> 18b, see also <Mekhilta on Exodus 21:8)>.” (Source)

If any uninitiated Christian claims that the text of Luke 1:35 does not state that god “OVERSHADOWED” Mary by spreading his cloak over her and therefore it does not prove that god entered into a marital relation with Mary. In such a case, it would be interesting for us to quote what the god of Christianity did say to his bride Israel that “…I am MARRIED unto you” (Jeremiah 3:14, King James (1611) Bible) and “…thy Maker is thine HUSBAND” (Isiah 54:5). And very surprisingly god of Christianity got ultimately intimate with his bride when he “revealed” that:

“I made you grow like a healthy plant. You grew strong and tall and became a young woman. Your BREASTS WERE WELL-FORMED, AND YOUR HAIR (QM: of course, the god of Christianity is talking about pubic hair) HAD GROWN, but you were naked. As I passed by again, I saw that the time had come for you to fall in love. Icovered your naked body with my COAT and promised to love you. Yes, I made aMARRIAGE COVENANT with you, and you became mine.” This is what the Sovereign LORD says.”  (Ezekiel 16:7-8, Holy Bible, TEV)

Observe again that god (of Christianity) entered into a “MARRIAGE COVENENT” and he symbolized this marriage pact by covering her bride’s naked body with his coat (or cloak). Thus, when the god of Christianity talks about overshadowing he does not necessarily have to mention that he overshadowed by his cloak. As we have seen before that god of Christianity has “OVERSHADOWED” somebody else with his cloak and entered into a “MARRIAGE COVENANT” with her. In any case god of Christianity enters into a marriage relation with the overshadowed one.

We think that it is imperative to make certain side remarks to the Ezekiel 16:7-8 verse adduced above. It might be that above verse is metaphoric in nature, however, firstly, god choosing a very congenial time to love his bride when her breasts are well – formed and her (pubic) hair had grown tenders more of a literal import or at least vividly picturesque than metaphoric and thus cannot, at least, convince Muslims to be revealed verse from God-Almighty. Observe yet again that when god witnessed that her bride’s “breasts are well – formed and her (QM: pubic) hair had grown” then “he saw that the time had come for you to fall in love”(!?).

Secondly, even if we accept that Ezekiel 16:7-8 is metaphoric yet we would be intrigued to enquire why does the so sovereign, pure, holy, good god etc uses such down to earth, lowly, nude, menial phrases like “breasts well – formed”, “breasts like towers” (Song of Solomon 8:10), “(QM: pubic) hair”,“…FLESHLY MEMBER (genitals) is as the FLESHLY MEMBER (genitals) of male asses (donkey) and whose GENITAL ORGAN is as the GENITAL ORGAN of male horses (Ezekiel 23:1-49, New World Translation), in his inspired and so called “Holy” book.

Yet more proofs…

In this section we would consider the original Hebrew – Aramaic text of the verses containing the word “Begotten”. Inshallah, this section would prove to be shocking evidence against today’s neo Christians who are ignorant of what the “Holy” spirit inspired to the “apostles”.

Arab Muslims along with their Arab Christian and Jewish counterparts know what their Arabic language means. So with this pre-information, we read Qur’an 112:3,

“He begetteth not nor is He begotten

The Arabic transliteration of the above adduced verse reads as follows:

“Lam YALID wa- Lam YOLAD

If observed carefully the English word Begotten (or Begetteth) is translated for the Arabic word “YOLAD” (or “YALID”).  So, Allah says in Qur’an 112:3 that He does not “YALID” or was “YOLAD”. That is Allah says that He does not “BEGETS” nor was “BEGOTTEN”.  “Begotten” with whatever it means has been severely condemned in the above noble verse.

With this idea let us move to our Bible. We wait to analyze Psalm 2:7. It says:

“I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I BEGOTTEN thee.”

Things get really interesting, grotesque and literal when we get to the Hebrew text of the above cited verse. The Hebrew transliteration of Psalm 2:7 reads:

“Asphre al chq ieue amr al.i bn.i athe ani e.ium ILDTHI.K”

The above Hebrew word “ILDTHI” is translated as “begotten” in English. Intriguingly, according to Strong’s Note“ILDTHI” is derived from the root “YALAD” or “YAW-LAD” (Number H3205)(!) Strong provides various shades of meanings for the word“ILDTH”. They are as follows:

TO BEAR YOUNGCAUSATIVELY, TO BEGET; medically, to act as midwife;

specifically, to show lineage:–bear, beget, birth((-day)), born, (make to) bring

forth (children, young), bring up, calve, child, come, be delivered (of a child),

time of delivery, gender, hatchlabour, (do the office of a) midwife, declare

pedigrees, be the son of, (woman in, woman that) travail(-eth, -ing woman).

Thus “YALAD” of Psalm 2:7 means “BEGOTTEN”. “YALAD” literally means “SIRING”. There is no euphemism what so ever, just hard core earthly animal language and act imputed to the “Most Merciful”. This time Christians cannot even fret that “BEGOTTEN” is not begotten since the original Greek text talks about “Monogenh” i.e. “one- of- a- kind”; they cannot complaint such a thing because the word in hand is Hebrew –“ILDTH” and not Greek –“MONOGENH”.

Another important observation is the close similarity of the root “YALAD” of Psalm 2:7 to “YALID” of Qur’an 112:3, both mean the same, both are pronounced the same with only a subtle dialectical difference of “i” between the Hebrew “Yalad” and Arabic “Yalid”. No wonder Hebrew/Aramaic and Arabic are sister languages.

Although not one of the various meanings provided by authoritative Strong would fit to the Majesty of the “Most Merciful” by any stretch of fast and loose yet we can very easily zero down to the exact option because the same Hebrew word “ILDTH” (or its variant) has been used at myriad other places in the Bible.

1 Samuel 4:20

“And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast BORN A SON. But she answered not, neither did she regard it.” (King James (1611) Bible)

Westminster Leningrad Codex transliteration provides the transliteration of the verse as, “u.k.oth muth.e      u.thdbrne       e.ntzbuth      oli.e      al      –thirai      ki      bn      ILDTH      u.la      onthe      u.la     -shthe      lb.e”

Concordant Hebrew English Sublinear -idiomatic- version 2.0, provides the sub-linear of the above cited verse as follows:

“and. as. time-of      to-die-of.her      and.they-are-speaking      the.women-being-stationed  on.her      must-not-be      you-are-fearing      that      son      YOU-GAVE-BIRTH      and.not      she-responded      and.not      she-set      heart-of.her”        

Thus it is perspicuous that “ILDTH”- a derivative from the root “YALAD” or “YAW-LAD”, literally means to “GIVE BIRTH”. Or in baser words to procreate, sire, beget, bring forth etc.

In order that there remains no room for any fuss about “ILDTH” and its meaning as “GIVING BIRTH” or “SIRING” we provide myriad more proofs from our Bible.

Judges 13:3

“You have never been able to have children, but you will soon be PREGNANT AND HAVE A SON” (Holy Bible, TEV)

And according to King James version of the Bible, the rendering reads:

“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.” (King James (1611) Bible)

So far it can be easily deduced that the verse is talking about a women turning pregnant and conceiving a son; more technically, as we would soon observe, the verse is talking about the forecast of a pregnant GIVING BIRTH to a son, and to describe it the same Hebrew word “ILDTH” is used.

Westminster Leningrad Codex transliterates a phrase as “ILDTH” and for the same “u.ILDTH”, in the same verse, Concordant Hebrew English Sublinear -idiomatic- version 2.0  provides the sub-linear as “AND. YOU-GIVE-BIRTH”

So we have a context in the so called “word of god” where there is a PREGNANT WOMEN who has conceived a “son”, and would be DELIVERING him. And all which the ‘majestic’ god of the Bible found to describe this action was by the same Hebrew word “ILDTH” which he used for himself in Psalm 2:7 when he was about to sire someone.

Ezekiel 16:20

“Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borneunto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter,” (King James (1611) Bible)

“Westminster Leningrad Codex” provides the transliteration of the above verse as:

“u.thqchi     ath-bni.k     u.ath-bnuthi.k     ashr     ILDTH     l.i     u.thzbchi.m     l.em     l.akul     e.mot     m.thznth.k     m.thznuthi.k”

Mark that yet again the Hebrew word “ILDTH” is used and we would soon know what it means when we will read Concordant Hebrew English Sublinear.

According to “Concordant Hebrew English Sublinear -idiomatic- version 2.0” the English sub-linear of the above cited verse is:

“and.you-are-taking     sons-of.you     and.     daughters-of.you     whom     YOU-GAVE-BIRTH     for.me     and.you-are-sacrificing.them     to them     to.to-devour-of     ?.little     from.prostitution-of.you     from.prostitutions-of.you”

It needs no further explanation that “ILDTH” means “TO-GIVE-BIRTH” and it is literal as per the context of the verse(s).

Ruth 4:15

“And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons,HATH BORN HIM.” (King James (1611) Bible)

We have a “daughter in law” who “HAS BORN” a kid who would be a restorer of life and on and on. Our point of consideration is that a “daughter in law” has given birth to a kid. Unless Anthony Rogers uses his sixth sense to come out with any idiosyncratic reasoning it is absolutely clear that ‘giving birth’ or ‘being born’ is literally used in the verse. One may go to the context of the verse to realize that “HATH BORN HIM” means literal birth or begetting of a kid.

Let us now delve a little deeper to check which word has god of Bible used to inspire the act of siring a kid.

Firstly, please have the Hebrew transliteration:

“u.eie     l.k     l.mshib     nphsh     u.l.klkl     ath-shibth.k     ki     klth.k     ashr-aebth.k     ILDTH.u     ashr-eia     tube     l.k     m.shboe     bnim” (Westminster Leningrad Codex)

And with no surprise “ILDTH.u” as used in the verse means ‘she gave him birth’:

“and.he-becomes      to.you     to.one-restoring-of     soul     and.to.to.-sustain-of     grey-hairs-of.you     that     daughter-in-law-of.you     who she-loves.you     SHE-GAVE-BIRTH.him     who     she     good     to.you      from.seven     sons” (Concordant Hebrew English Sublinear -idiomatic- version 2.0)

Over and over again we have found that “ILDTH” has meant “TO GIVE BIRTH”literally and biblically.

So much for Anthony Rogers misconception that “author(s) of the Qur’an couldn’t escape thinking in terms of pagan categories” while referring to Qur’an’s denunciation that God begot a son. There are yet many more proofs still littered in the Bible which we would be using to overwhelm Rogers if he fusses any further. But for now and for brevity of this paper let us move on to his other arguments as we savor to dismantle them categorically.

Therefore the paraphrase of Luke 1:35 according to scholar’s interpretation would be:

“…The Holy Ghost shall come for COITION (“Shall come upon thee”) andCONJUGAL EMBRACES therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

Indeed it has been proved that Christians have been abusing the Most-Merciful with the worst swearing so much so that He adjured these abusers once and for all at Qur’an 19:88,

They say: “(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!”

 Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous!

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.” (Yusuf Ali Translation)

 

Exposing Gauche Qur’an exegete

In order to somehow express his Qur’anic prowess Anthony Rogers made an ignorantly overweening statement. To prove his statement that Qur’an never entitled God as father, neither literally nor metaphorically, he chose outrageously wrong verse from the Qur’an and made a mess of his argument. We would be proving all this but first let us read what he wrote:

“As for another example, the concept is clearly present in the Old Testament book of Proverbs where mention is made of God’s “Son,” which term is simply the correlative of “Father”:

Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!(Proverbs 30:4)

As these (and other) passages indicate, God is literally a Father, though in an eternal and spiritual rather than a temporal and carnal sense. But all of this is really neither here nor there, for not only does the Qur’an never refer to God as Father, whether literally or metaphorically, but it explicitly rules out any notion of God as Father, even in the metaphorical sense Mr. Anonymous is willing to allow for in order to try to rescue the claim that John 17:3 comports with the teaching of Islam:

“(Both) the Jews and the Christians say: “We are sons of Allah, and his beloved.” Say: “Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay, ye are but men, – of the men he hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all)” (Surah 5:18)”

As usual there are fundamental mistakes in the above passage we quoted from Anthony Rogers.

Firstly, what does his statement mean that “God is literally a Father, though in an eternal and spiritual rather than a temporal and carnal sense.” If God is Father (literally) in an “eternal and spiritual sense” then this ought to be a metaphorical sense. The above statement is self contradictory because:

If “God is literally a Father” then he should possess and practice the qualities of a Father that is the act of begetting and co-habiting. That is he would be exhibiting his fatherly traits in “temporal and carnal sense”. Now it is grotesque to impute carnality to God-The Most Merciful therefore what does the statement mean that“God is literally a Father, though in an eternal and spiritual… sense.”

Once again for the statement that “God is literally a father, though in an eternal and spiritual…sense” God must exhibit his fatherly qualities. Through his fatherly traits he must beget kids, not children made out of flesh and bones and blood, since that would impute carnality to God, but “spiritually”.  At this point“spiritually” may be interpreted something like “smoky” and “gaseous”-like spirits or “metaphorically”.

We know that whether God begets fleshly kids or gaseous beings, may be something like angels, the lowly act of siring still lingers so “spiritual” begetting of kids has to mean “metaphorical”. So it seems that Rogers cannot make out the difference between literal fatherhood and spiritual fatherhood. If this is not so then Rogers should further explain what does “Spiritual fatherhood in a literal sense mean”?

Let us now turn to a more important issue of the usage of Qur’an 5:18 to prove that Qur’an “explicitly rules out any notion of God as Father, even in the metaphorical sense Mr. Anonymous is willing to allow for…”

We solemnly request Rogers to immediately stop dabbling at The Qur’an since Qur’an 5:18 is not the verse which “explicitly rules out any notion of God as Father”, nevertheless, Qur’an5:18 backfires against Rogers to prove our case that terms “Father” and “Sons” are all metaphorical in nature.

When the Jews and Christians used the term “sons” as mentioned in Qur’an 5:18 for themselves they tried to emphasize on their closeness, favor etc of Allah on themselves. They thought that they are the chosen, beloved “sons” of Allah not because Allah begot them but because they assumed to follow His religion, His commandments etc. They also would have thought that they are the heirs of Allah’s religion on earth –the inheritors of His remnant true religion and that way they would have boasted themselves to be His “sons”.

The term “Sons” of Qur’an 5:18 is used to show nearness, closeness, beloved etc to Allah can be further ratified by the fact that the same Qur’an 5:18 accuses the same Jewish and Christians “SONS” of their iniquities. Qur’an 5:18 explicitly accuses the “sons” in a way that would puncture their boast of being BELOVED “SONS”, that is, if as you say that you are “sons” of Allah, beloved ones of Allah, chosen ones of Allah then why does he punishes you. And if Allah-The Most Merciful punishes you so severely then you are not “sons” or chosen people of Allah but haughty transgressors.

Classical commentaries on Qur’an 5:18 make the above points limpid clear:

“(The Jews) the Jews of Medina (and Christians) the Christians of Najran (say: We are sons of Allah) we are the sons and prophets of Allah (and His loved ones) who follow His religion; it is also said that this means: WE FOLLOW ALLAH’S RELIGION AS IF WE WERE HIS SONS AND LOVED ONES; AND IT IS SAID THAT THIS MEANS: WE ARE TO ALLAH LIKE HIS SONS AND WE ARE FOLLOWERS OF HIS RELIGION.(Say) to the Jews, O Muhammad; (Why then doth He chastise you for your sins) due to worshipping the calf for 40 days, if you are like sons to Him; have you ever seen a father torturing his sons with fire? (Nay, ye are but mortals) created servants (of His creating) like all His other created beings. (He forgiveth whom He will) whoever repents of Judaism and Christianity, (and chastiseth whom He will) whoever dies professing Judaism or Christianity. (Allah’s is the Sovereignty) the stores (of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them) of created beings and marvels, (and unto Him is the journeying) returning to Him is the end result of those who believe and those who do not.” (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas)

Similar points were also expounded by yet another classical commentator:

“The Jews and Christians, both of them, say: ‘We are the sons of God, that is, [WE ARE] LIKE HIS SONS IN TERMS OF CLOSENESS AND RANK, AND HE IS LIKE A FATHER TO US IN TERMS OF COMPASSION AND CARE AND HIS BELOVED ONES’. Say, to them, O Muhammad (s): ‘Why then does He chastise you for your sins?, if what you say is true. For, the father does not punish his son, nor the loving his beloved; but He has punished you, and therefore you are saying lies. Nay; you are mortals from among, all, those, mortals, He created, you shall be rewarded as they are rewarded and you shall be requited as they are requited. He forgives, him for, whom He wills, forgiveness, and He chastises, him for, whom He wills’, chastisement, and there can be no objection thereto. For to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them; to Him is the journey’s end, the [final] return.” (Tafsir al-Jalalayn)

Another very important point should not be missed in the argument of Qur’an 5:18. The grandiose claim of the Jews and Christians were that they are the “sons of Allah”. It would be very interesting to re-consider the response which Allah gave to this overinflated claim. Allah-Almighty (rhetorically) responded (through Mohammad, peace be upon him) that if that is the case, i.e. if you are really my “sons” then why do I “punish you”, markedly, so severely.

In other words, if you (Jews and Christians) think that you are really “sons of Allah”, i.e. favored, chosen, beloved, righteous, near ones to Allah then why do I punish you. If I punish you the same way as I punish other communities then you are not a chosen, favored, beloved, righteous etc community to me rather you are a wicked community simmering in iniquities since all earlier communities punished by Me were also gloating in their sins.

Kindly note that in the rhetorical reply Allah-Almighty did not state that you are not my “sons” since it is against my majesty to beget sons. He did not say that – rather He put forth the argument that you are not near, favored, beloved, righteous etc to me since I punish you like I punish hardcore recalcitrant.

Thus yet again we can observe that “sons” as used by Jews and Christians in Qur’an 5:18 meant to express their nearness, righteousness etc to Allah. This serves our twofold goal, firstly, it exposes the shallow grasp which Anthony Rogers has of Qur’an much like his own Bible and secondly, the Jews and Christians didused the word “sons” to express nearness, favored, beloved etc, that is, they did use the word “sons” metaphorically.

Exposing Lies

Dying hard to accompany him in Hell, Anthony Rogers reasoned why I cannot enter paradise according to Islamic sources. I gloatingly proved that I am a person committing the most hideous sin, namely, “Shirk” (!). Such pompous claims are insignificant and can be smoked off as ad hominem, nevertheless, the ill usage and misrepresentation of arguments needs to be given a second thought since this is one of primary tactics of lying missionaries.

In order to land me in Hell Anthony Rogers argued that:

“…calling Allah “Father” is to call him something he is not reported to have called himself and is not called by Muhammad. This is contrary to Tawhid, according to Islamic authorities; this is shirk, pure and simple. What is more, this is not only enough to land him at the bottom of a pile of rocks here; it is enough to prevent him from entering paradise hereafter.”

According to his understanding of Islamic theology I cannot call Allah as “Father” since Allah never called himself with this label and Anthony is so correct.

Anthony Rogers further labored really hard to quote us several hadith literature teaching that:

“If somebody claims to be the son of somebody other than his father knowingly, he will be denied Paradise (i.e. he will not enter Paradise).” (Bukhari, 5:59:616)”

Along with the above cited Hadith he quoted for us Bukhari, 4:56:711,712; Muslim 1:120,121, which state similar teachings. Then he finally rounded off his argument by stating:

“If it is wrong to call someone our earthly father when they are not, then a fortiori it is wrong for a Muslim to call Allah father when he is not. Since Mr. Anonymous knows that the Qur’an does not call Allah the father of anyone – not of Jesus in a transcendent sense, not of gods and goddesses in a pagan sense, and not of anyone in any sense, including Mr. Anonymous, and he still calls him father anyway, then according to the above Hadith, he will be forbidden to enter paradise. If Mr. Anonymous really believes what he has said above, and if he has the courage to stand by his convictions, then let him go down to his local mosque and call upon Allah as father.”

I must admire Anthony’s budding knowledge of Islam; he has started to learn. On the face of it Anthony’s argument are perfectly correct and in compliance of Islamic theology. However, I would be condemned to Hell only IF I called Allah as “father”. Anthony should be sincere and man enough to show us where in my paper did I ever called Allah as “father” or he should produce proofs where I averred that Muslims can also call Allah as “father”.

 Readers should take note, all I said was that if Jews called Allah as their “Father”, not in a literal sense, but in a metaphorical sense then I as a Muslim would have no problem with that.

I challenge Anthony Rogers to provide me my words where I said that Muslims can also refer to Allah as “Father” if he is not able to produce it and of surety he will not be able to produce it (inshallah) then his grandiloquent demands such as: “If Mr. Anonymous really believes what he has said above, and if he has the courage to stand by his convictions, then let him go down to his local mosque and call upon Allah as father” has not weight.

Comprehension Complications

Time and again we have proved Anthony’s mishandling of my argument. We have yet another instance of it. He said:

“Having said that Muslims have no problem using the word “father” for God in a metaphorical sense, which we just saw is patently false, at least according to the Qur’an and the systematic understanding of Tawhid that has been hammered out by Muslim authorities, Anonymous goes on to say:

However what a Muslim seriously repels is the LITERAL understanding and usage of this blasphemous word “Father” when used for ALLAH (John 3:16 abuses ALLAH with the same. Kindly read John 3:16 in conjunction with Quran 19:88). This kind of rendering is anathematized in Islam and we will continue to eschew it.

Unbelievably, in an attempt to prove that John 17, where Jesus, the Son, calls God His Father, is not contrary to the Islamic conception of God, Mr. Anonymous points to a verse in the same Gospel, recorded by the same author, and spoken by the same Jesus, which affirms the special, unique, eternal, and transcendent father-son relationship that exists between the first and second persons of the Trinity, as an example of what Muslims deny. If this is the kind of fatherhood that Muslims anathematize, then it is proof positive that my first and second contention are true: 1) John 17:3, in context, does not teach any kind of Islamic unitarianism, all specious, undefined, unproven distinctions between Islam and Tawhid notwithstanding, and 2) it teaches that Jesus is the divine Son of God. After all, it is just this special use of the terms “Father” and “Son,” which anonymous eschewed as blasphemous, that is found in John 17 and throughout John’s Gospel.”

Kindly catch the subtle and surreptitious maneuvering of what I originally wrote and how Anthony Rogers has misrepresented it. I wrote that Muslims have no problem with JEWISH usage of the term “Father” for God if used in the right and pertinent way not profaning but withstanding His Majesty. However, our sincere Anthony Rogers wrote that I, “said that MUSLIMS have no problem using the word “father” for God in a metaphorical sense,”. So here we have an instance where Rogers mistakenly claims something about me which I never claimed! So we again solemnly request Anthony Rogers to support his claim, namely, where did I say that“Muslims have no problem using the word “father” for God” and prove to us that he is man enough to be sincere and truthful.

Furthermore, Anthony Rogers “unbelievably” carps:

“Unbelievably, in an attempt to prove that John 17, where Jesus, the Son, calls God His Father, is not contrary to the Islamic conception of God, Mr. Anonymous points to a verse in the same Gospel, recorded by the same author, and spoken by the same Jesus, which affirms the specialuniqueeternal, and transcendent father-son relationship that exists between the first and second persons of the Trinity, as an example of what Muslims deny. If this is the kind…that is found in John 17 and throughout John’s Gospel.”

To paraphrase Anthony’s complaint, he niggles that on one hand we use John 17:3 which, according to him, contains “father-son” relationship and comport it with Islamic monotheism, while on the other hand, we repel John 3:16 which also contains “father-son” relationship.

The important point that Anthony Rogers missed is that the “father-son” relationship of John 17:3 (if it is there) is totally different from the “father-son” relationship of John 3:16.

We explicitly wrote (and much to the chagrin of Anthony Rogers he even quoted it) that John 3:16 and the relative terms “father” and “son” alludes  to the abusive and literal interpretations of the word “father” unlike John 17:3 which might be speaking about the specialuniqueeternal, and transcendent father-son relationship” :

“However what a Muslim seriously repels is the LITERAL understanding and usage of this blasphemous word “Father” when used for ALLAH (John 3:16 abuses ALLAH with the same. Kindly read John 3:16 in conjunction with Quran 19:88). This kind of rendering is anathematized in Islam and we will continue to eschew it.”

It should be noted that we did not object to the “special, unique, eternal and transcendent father-son relationship” rather, as we already wrote, Muslims abhor the LITERAL import of the word “father” which is implied in John 3:16.

We have to call the careful blend and bluff from literal “father-son” relationship of John 3:16 to “specialuniqueeternal, and transcendent father-son relationship” as Anthony tried to put forth. No wonder this Christian is shying away from the filthy word “Begotten” of John 3:16.

A step further and very importantly, Anthony Rogers, claims variety of meanings for John 3:16, namely, “specialuniqueeternal, and transcendent father-son relationship”, however, he did not include all important word “Begotten” which is present in the text. Was Anthony Rogers shy of what the holy-spirit inspired to some John or was he playing fast and loose with our argument because we already wrote that we repel the abusive literal import of John 3:16 on one hand and endorse seemingly sound monotheism of John 17:3. Thus, although John 17:3 and 3:16 are present in the in the same Gospel, recorded by the same author…” yet they are poles apart.

He also argued:

”2) it teaches that Jesus is the divine Son of God. After all, it is just this special use of the terms “Father” and “Son,” which anonymous eschewed as blasphemous, that is found in John 17 and throughout John’s Gospel.”

If we are not mistaken then the “special use of the terms “Father” and “Son,””Anthony Rogers is talking about is “specialuniqueeternal, and transcendent father-son relationship”, however, in Islam we abhor the “LITERAL understanding”(!) which we explicitly mentioned! How then Anthony Rogers claimed that I eschewed “this special use of the terms “Father” and “Son,” where once again, “THIS” refers to “specialuniqueeternal, and transcendent father-son relationship”.

Therefore, let me once again call Anthony Rogers to produce his proof and show us where did I eschewed the “specialuniqueeternal, and transcendent father-son relationship”. This is yet another instance where he has been caught lying flagrantly.

Son of God

Basing the arguments on unfounded, unsupported claims Anthony Rogers moves forward to provide us three points – points which according to him would establish that Muslims cannot appeal to John 17:3. This response in many senses would be redundant in nature because we have already responded to a similar argument above. But because Rogers may not complain that we have left his “crucial remarks” unattended thus we analyze this as well.

He wrote that:

“After all, it is just this special use of the terms “Father” and “Son,” which anonymous eschewed as blasphemous, that is found in John 17 and throughout John’s Gospel. Consider the following points:…

The Prologue: “In the beginning was the Word [i.e. Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known..…” (ESV, John 1:1, 14, 18)”

Kindly notice how subtly my opponent has tried to blend the questionable “Father” and “Son” relation implied through “BEGOTTEN” of John 3:16 with ““special,uniqueeternal, and transcendent father-son relationship” “ found in John 17”.

He did not have courage to write the truth that I eschewed the earthly father-son relation implied through the “begotten” word used in John 3:16. To quote my words:

However what a Muslim seriously repels is the LITERAL understanding and usage of this blasphemous word “Father” when used for ALLAH (John 3:16 abuses ALLAH with the same. Kindly read John 3:16 in conjunction with Quran 19:88). This kind of rendering is anathematized in Islam and we will continue to eschew it.”

The proof that he gave under the heading of “The prologue” does not support his case. The verses cited under “The prologue” are more metaphorical and/or symbolic in nature than literal and he helped my case by explicitly citing phrases from those verses, for instance, “the only Son from the Father” and “who is at the Father’s side”

 As already mentioned and ample number of times that Muslim repels the LITERAL understanding, nevertheless, the above verses are not literal in nature: “only Son from the Father” and “who is at the Father’s side” I assume does not imply that God-The Father was fathering, siring, bringing forth, delivering god-the son! If that is the case then Anthony has no ground why he should write, “Unbelievably, in an attempt to prove that John 17, where Jesus, the Son, calls God His Father, is not contrary to the Islamic conception of God, Mr. Anonymous points to a verse in the same Gospel, recorded by the same author, and spoken by the same Jesus, which affirms the special, unique, eternal, and transcendent father-son relationship that exists between the first and second persons of the Trinity, as an example of what Muslims deny.”, and then try to support through sub-headings like “The Prologue”.

(Side remark: Very interestingly the verse that he quoted, namely John 1:14, to prove that it has the same import as that of John 3:16 (which is evidently mistaken) DOES NOT contain anything even in the remotest to show any so called father-son relationship! The verse reads:

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (King James (1611) Bible)”

Notice that the phrase containing “Father” has been bracketed which is an implication to the fact that it is not the part of the manuscript but an addition by say the translators. If this were not true then Anthony Rogers should explain us that why did the doctors of divinity who mulled hard before publishing “King James (1611) Bible” bracketed the part of verse containing all important word “Father” of Christianity.

The problem with the ‘word of god’ does not end here; observantly, John1:14 of “King James (1611) Bible” (bracketed words included) contain the controversial word “begotten” in it however, the prudes of the version which Rogers referred to evaporated it and came out with “Only Son from the Father”. Thus, Rogers should explain how does “only BEGOTTEN of the Father” fits in the shoes of “Only Son from the Father”! What was the authority behind messing with god’s word?)

To further elasticize his already refuted argument he wrote another subheading, namely, “The Thesis Statement”. Under it he wrote:

“Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31)”

According to the verse Bible thumpers have to believe that Jesus, peace be upon him, was “the Son of God” – but we ask in what capacity?  How we are to interpret the title “Son of God”? If “the Son of God” of John 20:30-31 has a “LITERAL understanding and import” then he might have a case, however, as we would see the particular verse does not necessarily has a literal import and thus no case for Anthony Rogers.

 Firstly, we presume to receive a unanimous NO from Christians when asked whether Jesus (peace be upon him) has been called as “the Son of God” because God-The Father (!) has sired, begotten God-The son (!). If “no” is the answer then my opponent’s proof (i.e. John 20:30-31) does not support his case that weunbelievably pointed “to a verse in the same Gospel, recorded by the same author, and spoken by the same Jesus, which affirms the special, unique, eternal, and transcendent father-son relationship that exists between the first and second persons of the Trinity, as an example of what Muslims deny.”

Mind you once again that John 20:30-31 might imply “special, unique, eternal, and transcendent father-son relationship”, however, John 3:16 apparently does not show any “…transcendent father-son relationship”.

Moreover, myriad biblical verses only point to metaphorical, figurative or symbolic nature of the title “Son of God”. For examples:

“He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:25, King James (1611) Bible)

Interestingly, in the above adduced Daniel verse the title of “Son of God” has been given to an “ANGEL” of God. To infer that the fourth one was an angel we will have to cross refer to Daniel 3:28 which reads:

“Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.”

Moreover, the respected JFB commentary also comments on Daniel 3:25 that “Son of God”, in the verse, means ONLY to an angel from heaven:

like the Son of God — Unconsciously, like Saul, Caiaphas (Joh_11:49-52), and Pilate, he is made to utter divine truths. “Son of God” in his mouth means ONLY an “angel” from heaven, as Dan_3:28 proves.”

The Geneva Bible commentary also confirms that the “Son of God” title of Daniel 3:25 refers to angel(s) of God:

“He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the (k) Son of God.

(k) For the angels were called the sons of God because of their excellency. Therefore the king called this angel whom God sent to comfort his own in these great torments, the son of God.

All above proofs establish that the title “Son of God” was not specific to Jesus, peace be upon him, alone rather it was also used for angel(s) of God. This implies that “Son of God” meant for the servants of God, righteous followers of God. In this sense, Muslims have no objection to the Jewish usage of “father-son” terms; however, we would like to state again that:

“… Muslim seriously repels is the LITERAL understanding and usage of this blasphemous word “Father” when used for ALLAH (John 3:16 abuses ALLAH with the same. Kindly read John 3:16 in conjunction with Quran 19:88). This kind of rendering is anathematized in Islam and we will continue to eschew it.”

If the title “Son of God” is not literal in nature but metaphorical (as has already been established through Daniel verses) then Anthony Rogers ill chosen verse of John 20:30-31, where the father-son relation is metaphorical in nature does not comply with John 3:16 where the father-son relationship is abusive and literal in nature. Thus, John 20:30-31 does not support Anthony’s niggling that we appealed to John 17 and rejected John 3:16. Once again the imports of the father-son relationship were/are entirely different at the two places. Let us again explicitly remind that John 3:16 is abhorred by Muslims for its literal and earthly imports.

Scholars of authority have already stated that the title “Son of God” in the biblical and Jewish settings implied metaphorical, symbolic or figurative meaning:

“The Gospel of John and the First Epistle of John have given the term a meta-physical and dogmatic significance. Many hold that the Alexandrian Logos concept has had a formative and dominant influence on the presentation of the doctrine of Jesus’ sonship in the Christian writings. The Logos in Philo is designated as the“son of God”; the Logos is the first-born; God is the father of the Logos (“De Agricultura Noe,” § 12; “De Profugis,” § 20). In all probability these terms, while implying the distinct personality of the Logos, carry ONLY A FIGURATIVE MEANING.” (Source)

Furthermore:

MANY biblical scholars hold that in the Synoptic Gospels, JESUS NEVER STYLED HIMSELF THE SON OF GOD IN A SENSE OTHER THAN THAT IN WHICH ANYRIGHTEOU PERSON MIGHT CALL THEMSELVES “SONS” OR “CHILDREN OF GOD. However Christians believe the Resurrection vindicates Jesus’s claim to a unique relationship to the Father. (Source)

Note that the SCHOLARS are not few but MANY who hold that Jesus NEVER presented himself in a way other than what a righteous person might portray when referring to oneself as “son of God”. On the same corollary if a righteous person was entitled as “son of God” more so with prophets of God as Jesus certainly was; prophet and obviously “righteous” at the same time. This also establishes that “Jesus NEVER styled himself the son of God in a sense other than that in which any ‘prophet’ (“righteous person”) might call themselves “sons” or “children” of God.

We have yet again proved that the “Son of God” title which Anthony Rogers gleaned from John 20:30-31 is metaphoric, figurative in nature, however, we complained about the earthly and literal presentation of the same “son-father” relationship – two totally different connotations; yet Anthony Rogers tried to blend them together in order to deceptively argue that we endorsed the “father-son relationship” of John 17:3 while disregarding the “father-son relationship” of John 3:16. He thought readers would not be able to call his bluff that we execrated the LITERAL import of John 3:16 and not the metaphorical or figurative connotation of John 17:3.

To prove that the title of “Son of God” is metaphorical or figurative in nature we provide readers with a BIBLICAL PROOF that the title “SON OF GOD” is synonymous to “SERVANT OF GOD” exactly as prophets were servant or righteous people of God:

Acts 3:26

“Unto you first God, having raised up his SON Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (King James (1611) Bible)

Compare the above verse with:

“To you first, God having raised up His SERVANT Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” (Acts 3:26, The New King James Version, The Open Bible)

“Son of God” – a title of paramount importance in Churches yet the “doctors of divinity” and “scholars of sacred scriptures” did not hesitate to relegate Jesus (peace be upon him) from Son to Servitude. The transformation from son to slave is the only truth to exist; as the Qur’an says:

Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a SERVANT.”(19:93, Yusuf Ali, Al-Alim CD-Rom Version)

John 5:30, 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.” This particular verse clearly exposes the “Son of God’s” impotency, contrary to a True God, to take decisions and to things.

Mark 13:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”  Yet again the “Son of God”has generalized himself with common man, angels etc (let alone a claimant of Godhood) for the knowledge of the “hour”, thereby establishing that the title “Son of God” is purely figurative.

Peters confession of Acts 2:22 that is, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:” clearly generalizes “Son of God” with every other agent of God or more technically, a prophet. Kindly mark that the verse says that Jesus was a man (NOT A GOD), approved by God(!) yet again Jesus cannot be God approving himself and that his miracles were not his by God’s which again establish that he was not God but just another agent of God -a prophet.

John of Damascus on of SAINTLY authority emphasized on the Jesus’ total submission and dependency on the greater God –the Father:

Whatsoever the Son has from the Father, the Spirit also has, including His very being. And if the Father does not exist, then neither does the Son and the Spirit; and if the Father does not have something, then neither has the Son or the Spirit. Furthermore, because of the Father, that is, because the Father is, the Son and the Spirit are; and because of the Father, the Son and the Spirit have everything that they have. (Source)”

Kindly realize with equanimity that St. John of Damascus clearly wrote that the “Son of God” has NOTHING of his own but has been given to him by the Father who consequently is more powerful and more authoritative. There is no mention of the converse that is, whatsoever the Father has from the Son. In fact, if the Father does not EXIST then the “Son of God” will also cease to exist; once again the converse is not mentioned.

A step further St. John of Damascus ends the passage by emphasizing once again that it is only because of the Father that the Son (and the spirit) has everything that they have. Carefully mark that St. John does not says that because of the “Son of God” that the Father has whatever he (Father) has. Such statements prove beyond any tri-theistic explanation that Jesus is not on the same podium with God-Almighty. It also establishes that “Son of God” in these contexts only mean righteous servants, prophets or messengers of God.

Therefore, the biblical verses such John 5:30, Mark 13:32, Peter’s confession of Acts 2:22, St. John of Damascus’s teachings and interpretations clearly establishes that the biblical title “Son of God” was purely figurative and metaphorical in most verses. That being the case then Anthony Rogers should know that we abhorred the literal understanding and import of John 3:16 and not the figurative renderings of John 17:3 or John 20:30-31. Therefore, Anthony’s claim that, Unbelievably, in an attempt to prove that John 17, where Jesus, the Son, calls God His Father, is not contrary to the Islamic conception of God, Mr. Anonymous points to a verse in the same Gospel, recorded by the same author, and spoken by the same Jesus, which affirms the special, unique, eternal, and transcendent father-son relationship that exists between the first and second persons of the Trinity, as an example of what Muslims deny.” , is totally unwarranted and absurd if not guileful. By the way at this point we would again enquire Anthony Rogers to explain us how do the apparently offensive import of John 3:16 turn out to be “special, unique, eternal, and transcendent father-son relationship” to him.

To further corroborate our point that the terms “father” and “son” of John 17:3 (if they exist there) are figurative, symbolic or metaphorical something totally different from the repellent “father-son relationship” where the import is more literal, earthly and animal like; we provide readers with behind the scripture translators dexterities:

Translators usually choose to use the word “father” because of the intimacy implied by the word which is not carried in other English word like “ancestor” though this is a much more precise translation. The word translated “son” has a similar problem. Any male descendant to any number of future generations is still just a son. Discovery of this translation choice can be found by looking up the underlying meaning of the root words, or by reading footnotes in certain translations. In this article we take a different approach and look at how the word is actually used in some ways that define the way the word father (or son) really means ancestor (or descendant).” (http://www.bibletime.com/theory/father)

We observe from the above citation that the translators of the so assumed “sacred scriptures” translated the original Greek or Hebrew word(s) with “father” which more technically should have been “ancestor”. They assert that “ancestor” is “much more precise translation” than not so perfect translation “father”.

If the translators would have translated God as “ancestor” (rather than “father”) of Jesus (peace be upon him) then there have to have been more “sons” in between Yahweh and Jesus (peace be upon him). As the scholars they noted (above):

“ANY MALE DESCENDANT TO ANY NUMBER OF FUTURE GENERATIONS IS STILL JUST A SON”

Consequently, it proves that Jesus is not the only son or more precisely “descendant” from God of Bible. There were/are other sons or “descendents” of God preceding Jesus (peace be upon him). This conclusion in turn would generalize Jesus’ “Son of God” title with other “descendents”. Subsequently, it will again revert back to our 1400 year old appeal that Jesus was a righteous man and messenger of God like other (biblical) “Sons of God”.

Returning back to our main argument; we have yet again proved that “Son of God”title was by and large general in nature except for a few places like John 3:16 (according to Christian perception). Subsequently, if metaphorical “Son of God” of Bible is different from literal “Son of God” of John 3:16 then Anthony’s fuss that,

“Unbelievably, in an attempt to prove that John 17, where Jesus, the Son, calls God His Father, is not contrary to the Islamic conception of God, Mr. Anonymous points to a verse in the same Gospel, recorded by the same author, and spoken by the same Jesus, which affirms the special, unique, eternal, and transcendent father-son relationship that exists between the first and second persons of the Trinity, as an example of what Muslims deny.”

is totally unwarranted.

A number of biblical verses have been quoted under point number “2)”. All the verses support a false notion. These verses try to prove the “father-son relationship” of Jesus (peace be upon him) and God which delights Anthony Rogers to argue that we cannot appeal to John 17:3 while spurning John 3:16. However, as already argued above, the “father-son relationship” sense in the two verses is quite different.

Nevertheless, Anthony has provided two verses explicitly, namely, John 5:18 and John 10:30. We would analyze each one of them lest Anthony might fuss that we did not consider his “crucial remarks”. He wrote:

“It was this practice of Jesus that so irked the Jewish religious leaders; not because Jesus said God had a divine Son, which we saw the Old Testament itself teaches, but because Jesus, standing before them as a man, claimed to be the Son.

“For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5:18)”
Anthony claims that the Jews were galled at the very reason that Jesus (peace be upon him) referred to God as “Father”. Even if we consider this biblical referral yet it does not support his claim since Jesus, in John 5:18, did not call God as “Father” in a crude, literal sense, nevertheless, the author of John did exactly the same in John 3:16. We did not complain about the metaphorical biblical referral to God as “Father” but the complaint was against the literal “Fatherliness” as elicited through John 3:16.

If at this stage Anthony has made his mind to argue that John 5:18 express God aspersonalized father of Jesus (peace be upon him) through the usage of the phrase His “own” Father; then yet it does not support his claim. The point to be noted is that a personalized father could yet be referred in metaphorical, figurative and/or symbolic way.

On the other hand the appeal to John 5:18 has further aggrandized Anthony’s problem since Anthony’s John 5:18 try to personalize God as Jesus’ (peace be upon him) father (through the usage of the word “own”) not so with the “King James (1611) Version Bible” or “The New King James Version”. They render respectively:

“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

AND

“Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.”

Notice that in both the biblical renderings the star studded custodians of God’s word did not include the word “OWN”. That is they did away with Anthony’s renderingGod His own Father” unceremoniously. Could we know which holy-spirit is inspiring these translators to play fast and loose with the so assumed word of god.

Anthony’s John 10:30 reads:

“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (John 10:30)”

Here again the problem is the same. We do not think that Jesus (peace be upon him) referred as “Father” with a literal sense in his mind something strongly opposed by Qur’an. Jesus (peace be upon him) being a Nazarene only emulated his ancestors and his Jewish custom and tradition:

“Do you thus deal with the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not yourFather, who bought you?” (THE OPEN BIBLE, DEUTERONOMY 32:6, NKJV).

“Doubtless You are out Father,..” (THE OPEN BIBLE, ISAIAH 63:16, NKJV).

“Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?”(THE OPEN BIBLE, MALACHI 2:10, NKJV).

Moving on, we analyze Anthony’s point number “3)”

He wrote:

“Finally, one of the ways John points up the uniqueness of Jesus in his Gospel is by exclusively using the word “Son” (Gr. huios) for Jesus in relation to God the Father, the same word that Jesus uses twice in the immediate context of John 17:3 (i.e. verse 1). Though as the rest of the New Testament writings bear out, there is a sense in which others can be called “sons” of God – having been created and redeemed through Jesus Christ, God’s true Son, and having the Spirit of His Son, the Spirit of adoption, poured out upon them – when the apostle John speaks of others as God’s “children” (e.g. 1:12; 11:52), he uses a different Greek word altogether (Gr. teknon). Even when the rest of the New Testament is considered, believers are only referred to as “sons of God” in the plural, never is anyone exclusively singled out as the Son of God in this way.”

Let us not make this response a reading tyranny for the readers. There is nothing as such in his point number “3)” which needs to be responded afresh. We keep in mind that Anthony has provided point number “3)” (“2)” and “1)”) to support his baseless and ill-argued claim that we cannot appeal to John 17:3 while doing down with John 3:16 because, according to Anthony Rogers, the same “son” has referred to the same “father” at both the places in the same Gospel.

He did not pause to realize that even though (for the sake of argument) the same “son” and “father” had been referred to in the same Gospel yet the imports are poles apart. The point of contention is whether the “father-son” referral is same or not but whether the imports and understanding are same or different; which of course is different.

Thus, as a response to Anthony’s point number “3)” we rhetorically ask him what does his proof number “3)” prove or disprove. What purpose is his “3)” serving?

 

First Lie then Hide

Anthony outrageously and childishly claimed once again:

“Having said that it is okay to call Allah a father of believers, especially for informed Muslims like himself,…”

Firstly, and as the name of this sub-heading reads, Anthony lied blatantly when he attributed to me that I Okayed Allah as “father” of Muslims (“believers”). Therefore, we challenge Anthony Rogers to provide us proof and establish his credence to his flamboyant.

Secondly, and as the name of this sub-heading reads, Anthony ran away from our “Mother Nature” analogy and the danger one would run into if the phrase it taken in the literal sense.

As one could read his response, instead of responding to our “Mother Nature” analogy he made a beeline through off-topics such as “circling the Kaaba, throwing rocks at the Devil, and kissing the black stone,” insinuating that there are pagan incorporations in them. He also made some “psychological assessments”, unfortunately, they do not even deserve a response. There are two points to be made here firstly, we are not discussing whether Islamic rites have pagan ingredients in it or not and secondly, if we embark to discuss it then Anthony has not provided any proof to support his gasconade that ALL of Islam’s religious rites were picked up from pagans like crumbs off a table,”.

We challenge Anthony Rogers to prove us that ALL of Islam’s religious rites were picked up from pagans like crumbs off a table,” and establish his manliness. Come on prove us that we are pagans. We invite him for our next series.

The only place where he came close in responding to our “Mother Nature” analogy is when he wrote:

“So, although I certainly do not take the phrase “Mother Nature” literally, I doUNASHAMEDLY and confidently confess, along with my believing brothers and sisters in the present and throughout all ages, “God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and Jesus Christ HIS ONLY SON”, and would say, with all due respect, if anyone was in need of psychological help, it was Anonymous’ self-proclaimed prophet.”

Very interesting! Although Anthony confessed “confidently” that he along with his tri-theist brothers and sisters are unabashed and “UNASHAMED” into believing that“Jesus Christ HIS ONLY SON”. Nevertheless, the embarrassing point is that ‘god’s scripture’ does not say that Jesus (peace be upon him) was “HIS ONLY SON” rather it says that Jesus was “HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON”:

  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, King James (1611) Bible)
  • I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I BEGOTTEN (ildthi.k) thee. (Psalm 2:7, King James (1611), Bible) (“Unashamed” Christians interpret the “son” to be SIRED according to Psalm 2:7 is Jesus, peace be upon him.)

Why did the god breathed word “BEGOTTEN” turned Anthony’s cheek red! We do not expect him to blush here. Notice that Anthony Rogers had qualms in using the BIBLICAL word “BEGOTTEN”- we ask why?

What is more, Anthony did not even regard the creed of his ancestral “brothers” and “sisters” which clearly stated that Jesus was “BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE”. As you would carefully mark that their creed did not state that Jesus was “His ONLY Son”rather they believed in cruder form, namely, “BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE”:

…And in one Lord Jesus Christ, BEGOTTEN of the Father uniquely, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God,BEGOTTEN, NOT MADE, consubstantial with the father…” (Jonathan L. Keene, CHHI 521 History of Christianity I)”

For more on this discussion kindly refer “Begetting the Filth” section of this paper.

Conclusion

All prophets from Adam to Mohammad, Jesus included, came for to promulgate Islamic monotheism and nothing else. Their sole mission was to call people from Idolatry, hero – worship, prophet – worship etc towards worship of their Creator, namely, Allah (SWT) and Allah alone.

Since we do not have the original scriptures of the prophets today yet we can discern and glean the Islamic monotheism taught by prophets prior to Mohammad (peace be upon him) from whatever the followers of those prophets have saved for us, say Bible and John 17:3 is one such case.

This verse is enough for proof and guidance for the innate monotheism in humans which Allah (SWT) has bestowed withstanding the dissuading arguments that “text speaks of the father which as we have observed does not stand any sincere analysis.

The call is for the worship of Allah and Allah alone, call Him Jehovah if that is what your texts teaches you, call him father (in a transcendent way) if that pleases you, however in the end, worship him alone. Do not associate his biblical “son” in worship with him since as John 17:3 teaches that “father” alone is “the only true God”.

Nevertheless, personally, the most important thing to be learnt here is the truth of Qur’an. When Qur’an asserted that Christians have abused the “Most Merciful” it has to be so and we have already found it to be exactly in the same manner. No matter how much the prudes of Christianity try to prove themselves Semitic; they have diverted to the lines of the pagans to abuse that Allah begot a son. Allah forbid.

With these said we look to “part 3” (and 4) to dismantle them.

Note: Emphasize wherever found is ours.

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