Tag Archives: responding to sam shamoun

Refutation: Jesus said that all authority was given to him, … which means that Jesus cannot be God.

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Question:

It is reported in Matthew’s Gospel that Jesus said that all authority was given to him in heaven and earth (cf. Mat. 28:18), which means that someone else gave it to him. That someone else must be greater than Jesus, which means that Jesus cannot be God. After all, how can God be given all authority when he already has it to begin with?

Answer:

Sam’s answer is extremely similar to the others, at this point I’ve decoded the method he’s using:

  1. Claim that the person asking the question does not understand the nature of God.
  2. Claim that God can only exist in a multi-personal form.
  3. Does not prove that God is multi-personal.
  4. Since God is multi-personal, the questioner is wrong.
  5. The answer is that God does have X attribute(s) because questioner is wrong and God is multi-personal.

Therefore, Sam does not necessarily answer the question, as opposed to really denying that there could be a problem while claiming the solution to the question at hand is to repeat as many times as is possible that God is multi-personal. Now, we must understand that if God is multi-personal and for the sake of Sam’s argument I am going to accept this premise, then in order for one ‘person’ to give to another, it would have to mean that one ‘person’ possesses something that the other person does not. Sam does not explain how one person can give another person something he already has, if we are to assume that he already had it.

That is where the problem lies, Shamoun insists that Christ is God, and he claims that God already had authority:

It is true that no one outside of God can give God anything, since God is the One who owns everything and gives his creatures all that they have:

“…the Father, the Son (the Lord Jesus), and the Holy Spirit are all God, even though they are personally distinct from one another.”

“It is true that no one outside of God can give God anything, since God is the One who owns everything and gives his creatures all that they have…”

With the above having been said, if Christ is God, and God already has all possible authority/ dominion over all things, how can one God – person, give another God – person, something they both are already supposed to have. This has several ramifications, namely:

  1. Matthew 28:18 is a lie.
  2. God the Father is a Supreme God and Jesus is a lesser God missing an attribute of Power.
  3. (2) cannot be true since Christ is a full God in the Godhead which means (1) has to be true.
  4. (2) can be true since Sam admits their is a hierarchy and thus gives credence to the possibility of a lesser God.
  5. (1) and (2) can both be true as both the Bible and the Trinity are products of man.

Sam, realising the possibility of his logic being absolutely erroneous, he then tries to reason it out:

But this says absolutely nothing about God’s own inner life and internal communion. For instance, let us assume for the moment that God is a Triune Being, that there are three distinct Persons who exist as one Being. Then passages where Jesus is said to have received something from someone really pose no problem for Trinitarianism since you can have one of the divine Persons granting authority to another, or for one member of the Godhead to be in subjection to another (or to the others). After all, Christ is called God’s Son for a reason, since this relationship implies a subjection of some kind on the part of the Son to the Father. Yet, much like earthly fathers can be greater in authority than their sons without this implying that the sons are inferior beings, the divine Father giving authority to his divine Son in no way implies that the latter is not God or is an inferior Being.

I really wish that Sam would understand the meanings of the words he uses. If each person in the Godhead is co-equal, then one cannot be subject to another, as this implies that they are not co-equal, in other words, that is a contradiction. Therefore either they are co-equal to each other or they are not co-equal and are in a hierarchy. Since Sam accepts that they can be subject to each other, then they are in a hierarchy, with one God being superior to another God person. Since they are not co-equal and one is greater than the other, we can accept that the most superior God has some attribute or numerous attributes to make Him greater than the two lesser gods in the Godhead.

I can prove this, and thus prove that the latter two gods are less superior, as the Bible itself claims that God – the Father, gave another god – Christ, an attribute, the attribute of power. Thus by this verse, Matthew28:18, it subsequently proves that:

  1. Within the Trinity, there is one supreme God – the Father and two lesser gods who lack attributes the Father has.
  2. One attribute which one lesser god – Christ did not have, would have been the authority over heaven and earth which he was then gifted.

Sam then goes on to say:

“Having greater authority doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is greater in essence, or that the one who is in subjection to another is inferior in nature to the other. To assume otherwise is to make a categorical mistake, a category fallacy, treating two distinct categories (nature and authority) as if they were one and same.”

What he does not realise is that God’s nature is to be all powerful, part of being all powerful is also having authority over the heavens and earth. Since it is God’s nature to be all powerful, then it is impossible for God to not have power, also known as authority, over the heavens and earth. Thus if there exists a God which lacks this attribute, this nature, then this God can no longer be considered a God, but a lesser god or if we are monotheists, not a God at all, but subject to the power and authority of an all powerful God. He continues:

“”Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after DESTROYING every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘all things are put in subjection,’ it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

Here is a classic example of how one member of the Godhead can give to another member something without this implying that one of them isn’t God. Note that the Father subjected all things to the Son, and that the Son gives to the Father the kingdom. Christ’s sovereignty and supremacy is clearly seen in this passage since he has the ability to destroy all other powers and authorities, bringing them into complete subjection to the Father. Thus, the Son receiving authority to rule no more disproves that he is God then the Father receiving the kingdom from his Son disproves that he is God also. Another thing to keep in mind is that, according to the Scriptures, Christ voluntarily came down from heaven in order to assume the role of a slave, a servant.”

Sam is assuming that the kingdom in the aforementioned verse does not belong to the dominion of God. This is not the case, what the verse is simply saying is that in the end, all Kingdoms would be ruled by God’s law and not by pagan, infidel (unChristian) leadership. If Sam’s former logic is what he believes to be true, then he accepts that if a nation is not ruled by a Christian under Christian laws, then that nation is not under the power, authority or dominion of God. This would mean that the King of Saudi Arabia, or Barak Obama, or Emir of the UAE were rivals to his God as they have dominion where his God is powerless, therefore Sam’s God is powerless to man. This however, is inconsistent theology, as Sam’s Bible says that all rulers, rule by God’s power, see Romans 13:1-7.

Secondly, I’m not sure whether to laugh, or cry. Shamoun seems to think, and quite absurdly so, that by the Son being able to rule an earthly Kingdom, he is showing that God has the ability to receive authority. Seeing as the Son is an inferior God (as he received authority over all things from a God with all authority over all things), why is Sam then surprised that the Son will eventually rule over a Kingdom? If he is inferior in authority and will gradually assume authority over things that God already has authority over, this does not make him a God, rather it makes him subject to God’s already established and constant power, refer once more to Romans 13:1-7, or Jesus accepting God’s authority over him in John 5:30-31. Sam then decides to prove my point by demonstrating how the inferior god – the Son, obeys commands from a Supreme authority:

While on earth, the Lord Jesus subjected himself to the authority of the Father, doing nothing of his own initiative, but only doing the very thing that the Father commanded and desired:

“And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'” Matthew 20:24-28

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

Therefore, in conclusion, Sam has openly conceded to the fact that if there is a Trinity and Christ is a member of this Trinity, he is considered to be a lesser god, thereby lacking the attributes of a Supreme God – the Father. Since this is the case, Sam demonstrates the ways in which the Son subjugated himself to the power and will of an authority greater in nature and respect to him, a subject of God’s majesty. It is my understanding then, that Shamoun has not demonstrated Christ’s divinity, but he has demonstrated, and quite clearly so, explicit reasons for Christ’s human nature and lack of credence for Christ’s alleged divine nature.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

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.

Refutation: Is Jesus God because he did mighty miracles?

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Question:

Some Christians believe that Jesus’ miracles prove that he is God. The problem with this claim is that almost every single miracle performed by Jesus finds a parallel within the OT. There are many OT prophets that performed the very same kinds of miracles that Jesus did. If the miracles of Jesus make him God then why don’t the miracles of the other prophets prove that they are God/gods as well?

Answer:

Sam’s response is quite muddled, in the sense that while he does attempt to answer the question, he actually falls just short. I understand that this was an honest attempt at responding to the question, but Sam seems unable of directly answer questions. Whether this is due to a lack of faith or a lack of intelligence, I cannot say. but clearly he has lost the plot. He says, and I quote:

 In the first place, it isn’t so much the miracles which make Jesus God, but the divine claims of Jesus which the miracles serve to validate. Jesus made certain statements that no other true prophet before him ever did, and then performed supernatural miracles to back up the truthfulness and validity of those claims:

“‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE, and they will never perish, AND NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’ The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, “I said, you are gods”? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken– do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.” John 10:25-39

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,or else believe on account of the works themselves.’” John 14:9-11

If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.” John 15:24

“concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God IN POWER according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 1:3-4

Thus, the miracles do not make Jesus God, but rather it is Jesus’ own claims which demonstrate that he at least believed he is God. The miracles only served the purpose of providing divine validation for Christ’s claims.

According to Sam, it’s Jesus’ own words which make him into their God and the miracles Jesus did are simply done to validate Christ’s statements. However, this is a dogmatic answer, it is quite well known that these statements attributed to Christ in the Bible are not first person verbatim (Greek: grapho) statements. Meaning then, that they cannot directly be traced back to Jesus, but can be traced back to someone attributing them to Jesus. If I were to throw this piece of knowledge out of the discussion and assume that Jesus did speak these words, we would still reach at the conclusion that Christ is not a God. For example, using Sam’s quote from John 10 above, we read:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE, and they will never perish, AND NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand……I have shown you many good works from the Father;

If we also examine his quote of John 14, we see:

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,or else believe on account of the works themselves.’” John 14:9-11

While Jesus is able to do the miracle, he is claiming that the source of the miracle is not himself, but the Father (God). Jesus is making it clear that the authority who is permitting him to exercise these ‘miracles’ are from the Father (God). Sam’s quote of Romans is irrelevant as these are Paul’s words and not Christ’s. If he cannot prove Christ’s divinity without needing Paul, then clearly he has failed at proving Christ’s divinity, as this would mean that Christ’s words alone are not sufficient in determining his deity. There exists another problem, Sam’s argument can be summarised as such:

  • Christ is God because of what he says.
  • Miracles add validity to his claim of being a deity.

The logic being:

  • If Christ says he is a God.
  • Then miracles add credence to his claim.

Yet, none of Sam’s passages, whether they be Mark 2:5-12, Mark 3:9-11, Matthew 14:22-23, John 6:5-15, 26-42, 47-59, John 11:1-3, 23-27, 38-43 or John 5:2-10, 16-21, 25-26, 28-29, demonstrate that Christ is God, Sam has instead, skipped his initial premise and jumped into the second premise, foregoing his onus of having to prove that Jesus claimed to be a deity. He recognized this by labelling them miracles:

  • Miracles Proving that Jesus Forgives Sins
  • Miracles Proving that Jesus is Sovereign over both the Spiritual and Physical Realms
  • Miracles Proving that Jesus is the Sustainer and the Source of Life
  • Miracles Proving that Jesus is co-equal to the Father

Therefore by Sam’s purposeful ignoring of his own criteria, and because of his own actions, he has intentionally rested his case on miracles and not on Christ claiming to be a deity. This would then mean that because Sam has not proved Christ’s deity through Christ’s own words, then logically, the miracles do not add validity to the claim of Jesus being a deity. Thus rendering Jesus as a miracle worker and not a man-God. If we examine Sam’s ‘miracles‘, what do we see? If we take each of the miracles that Sam has used an example and refer them to Acts 2:22, which reads:

Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. – Acts 2:22.

and John 5:30, which reads:

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. – John 5:30.

Our resulting conclusion of those miracles should be that:

  • Jesus told someone that there sins were forgiven because the Father forgave the person.
  • Jesus was called the Son of God (a title given to many throughout the OT and NT), and his hand was licked like a dog licking its master’s hand (the word used for worship is  ‘προσκυνέω’ – Strong’s Lexicon, G4352, ‘From G4314 and probably a derivative of G2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand)’.
  • Jesus brings life to those who are spiritually dead, he will ‘resurrect’ their spirituality.
  • The Father has sent Christ to do works in His name.

Practically nothing that Sam has quoted or referenced, lends credence to the claim that Christ is a deity, in fact, what we’ve seen is the direct opposite. Christ constantly indicates that he is doing the work or will of God, by the authority of God. After not proving Christ’s deity and relegating Christ’s miracles as a sign that he is not a God (Note: Sam said that miracles do not make Christ a God, yet Sam constantly tries to demonstrate the miracles which allude to Christ being a God). Sam goes on to say:

No prophet or apostle ever made the claims that the Lord Jesus made, and none of their miracles were done to validate their claims of being Deity.

None of the passages above demonstrate any odd claims that Jesus made. Christ constantly indicates that he is doing the will of the Father (God), in fact, Christ never lays claim to deity, as opposed to his alleged ‘Triune Father’ – YHWH who boasted of it, and made it known to thousands constantly – see my article, “The Christian God: Non Compos Mentis“. Sam continues by saying:

The prophets went out of their to show that they were nothing more than fallible human beings whom God empowered to carry out his specific purpose and will. This is quite unlike the Lord Jesus.

How is this, ‘unlike Jesus‘? Jesus showed that he was weak and feeble, that he had to run and hide, as any other man would, when his life was threatened:

 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. – John 12:36.

Sam, realising that he can’t prove Jesus’ deity through Jesus’ own words, then tried to prove Jesus was God through another alleged miracle, he attempted to do so using Mark 9:38, which reads:

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

The phrase, ‘in your name’, is rendered as: ‘εν σου ονομα‘, which according to the Greek, also reads, ‘by your authority‘ (see: Strong’s Lexicon, G1722, G4675, G3686). Therefore Sam’s appeal to the text is fanciful at best as the text can be rendered both ways, which is in light of the Gospel’s account of him, which reads:

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. – Matthew 7:29.

Therefore, in Mark 9:38, the person was able to drive out demons, by the authority of Christ’s teachings. Similarly, the account in Acts which  Sam has appealed to are once again based on experiences of Paul and not from Jesus, thus directly contradicting his own criteria. If Sam needs more than what Jesus said or did to prove him to be a deity, as opposed to using examples of Christ-only events, then Christ’s own testimony is not sufficient to qualify his claims. Sam then says:

The Quran mentions many of the miracles of the prophets but fails to record a single miracle of Muhammad.

Which is a bit funny, as he then goes on to quote two ayat (verses) from the Qur’an, which says that the Qur’an itself is one of the miracles attributed to Muhammad [saws] (see quote below). That being a direct contradiction of his previous claim:

In fact, many passages of the Quran explicitly deny that Muhammad could perform any sign or wonder. Here are a couple of verses:

But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, “Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?” Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: “Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!” And they say: “For us, we reject all (such things)!” S. 28:48

Nay; rather it is signs, clear signs in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge; and none denies Our signs but the evildoers. They say, ‘Why have signs not been sent down upon him from his Lord?’ Say: ‘The signs are only with God, and I am only a plain warner. What, is it not SUFFICIENT FOR THEM that We have sent down upon thee the Book that is recited to them? Surely in that is a mercy, and a reminder to a people who believe. S. 29:49-51 A.J. Arberry

It should be noted that none of the ayat say that Muhammad [saws] could not perform any sign or wonder. I know that Sam can be desperate at times, but to quote something and then directly lie about what he has just quoted either demonstrates abject dishonesty or really horrible comprehension abilities. He continues his eisegesis of the Qur’an by saying:

The last passage expressly states that the Quran is sufficient as a sign, which means that no other sign or miracle was necessary. Thus, this surah poses huge problems for Muslims since if Muhammad did perform miracles then this means that the Quran is not sufficient, thereby falsifying the claims of the Quran!

In a previous response to Sam, I dubbed the term, “Shamounian Logic”, and it’s mostly certainly showed up again. The Qur’an clearly says that the Qur’an is a sufficient miracle for those who have knowledge and understanding, it does not say that it is the only miracle that is necessary, or that other miracles would be more sufficient, or that there would be no other miracles. In Sam’s reasoning, although the Qur’an says it is sufficient, if more miracles were done, this somehow makes the Qur’an less sufficient. His reasoning is not clear, the Qur’an does not say that nothing else is a sufficient miracle or that there would be no more miracles, but what it does say, is that by itself, the Qur’an is a sufficient miracle, if there are other miracles that are sufficient for other persons, that does not negate the appropriateness or sufficiency of the Qur’an. I’ll give an example of Sam’s reasoning using Paul and “the sufficiency of Christ’s Grace“. In 2 Corinthians 12 we read:

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.

Even though Christ’s grace was supposed to be sufficient enough for Paul to deal with the messenger of Satan tormenting him, Paul still begged and pleaded for the ‘thorn in his flesh’ to be removed. This thorn was never removed, does this mean that Christ’s grace was not sufficient? According to Sam’s reading, the answer is “Yes”. Sam then admits that while there are miracles that the Prophet Muhammad [saws] did do, that these are recorded in ahadith and they are therefore ‘all made up or false‘, an appeal to ignorance really. Sam does not understand Ulum al Hadith, of which is the basis for the modern science of Textual Criticism. Hadiths were not written later or hundreds of years after the Prophet [saws], but during and directly after his lifetime, see the following excerpt from this article by Brother Jibreel (a former Christian convert to Islam):

2. The Muslim Methodology of Preserving Information

The Jewish and Christian Scriptures suffered at the hands of the very people who should have guarded them. Because of this, the Muslim community felt a pressing need to safeguard the knowledge that was entrusted to them. To write a book using a false name is tremendously easy; in the literary world the use of pen names is commonplace. Similarly, it is possible to tamper with someone else’s work then republish it under the original author’s name…Muslims devised a working solution long ago, developing a watertight system which they employed faithfully for eight or nine centuries.[4] Starting from the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) him receiving the firs revelation, knowledge proliferation has been at the core of the Muslim nation. Upon reaching Madinah the prophet (peace be upon him) arranged schools and ordered scribes to write whatever he dictated. Many companions had copies of his letters dispatched to different people.[5] Not only those things were written down with the outmost care, but also at the same time information was being checked for reliability and content. From the affairs of the government during the reigns of the three caliphs to the administrative lessons, religious rulings, political and military strategies and all of the prophet’s traditions were passed on through a very strict system.[6] The Muslims methodology of gathering information, verifying it and passing it on had no match. The isnad systems that were developed to make sure that each incident or rapport is reported by an unbroken chain back to the original narrator[7]. Evidence for the transmission of knowledge in this manner comes from thousands of ahadith bearing identical wordings but coming from different corners of the Islamic world, each tracing its origin back to a common source – the Prophet, a Companion, or a Successor.[8] For example the hadith of Abu Huraira about the obligation of following the Imam is recorded at least 124 times, and reported by 26 third-generation authorities that unanimously trace its origin to Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).[9] However theisnad system was only the first step in establishing authenticity and preserving information. Establishing trustworthiness (morality, ability, memory etc.) of the narrator was another important step in the Muslim methodology of preserving information. Umar Al Khatab and Abu Bakr, when collecting the Quran in one book, they followed the instructions of Allah the Almighty:

“…and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice.”[10]

The people of ahlul suffah (companions of the rows) used to dedicate their whole lives just to record and propagate the teachings of Islam during the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Many companions such as Uthman, Ali, Umar and others memorized not only the sayings of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) but also the whole Quran. The knowledge they preserved was passed on in the forms of books through a very stringent system that involved different levels of information delivery such as Sama’ (teacher reading to student), Ardh(student reading to teacher), Munawala (hading someone a text and allowing transmission), Kitaba (a form of correspondence), and Wasiyya (entrusting someone with knowledge to be delivered). These are just a few examples of the strict methods taken by Muslims to preserve information and the early stage in which such began being implemented[11]. Now we turn our attention to the proofs of the documentation of the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his time.

3. Documentation of the Sunnah during the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time

It is agreed upon that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not fully recorded in written form during his life time, however as we have pointed out the Muslim methodology was not restricted to writing, and it relied heavily on memorization. However much of the ahadtih have been recorded in writing and books during the lifetime of the prophet (peace be upon him). There are many evidences showing that companions (in this case Abu Shah) used to write the speeches of prophet Muhammad such as the example of the speech of the inviolability of Makkah.[12] The prophet (peace be upon him) also wrote letters to many kings inviting them to Islam, some of them still being available today. Some critics have raised an objection by quoting the hadith of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, who narrates that prophet Muhammad said:

“Do not take down anything from me, and he who took down anything from me except the Qur’an, he should efface that…”[13]

They claim that prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not allow hadith to be recorded, however they selectively take what suits their agenda and ignore the whole corpus of ahadith. It is clear from the wording of prophet Muhammad that such a statement was general and it was during the time when the writing of the Quran was in it’s early stages. The prophet allowed and encouraged his companions to write ahadith once the system for recording Quran was in place. He did not want companions to mix the Quran with ahadith, and indeed we see today that such genius paid off. When some companions heard that Amr ibn Al As’s had scrolls of ahadith, they reproached him, however he went and told the prophet who said:

“Write from me, for by the One Who has my soul in His hand, nothing other than the truth has ever come out of my mouth”.[14]

The same Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al As’s collected the book called Al-Sahefah As-Sadiqah. This is a book that contained many ahdith of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and was spread amongst the companions and later generations. The Sahefah of Abu Hurayrah, which was proliferated by his student Hammam ibn Munabbih, that has survived till today and was published by Dr. Hamidullah.[15] It is without a doubt that there is sufficient information in the history of Islam to show that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was recorded and passed on with his permission and during his lifetime. Those who say that the Sunnah was recorded only centuries after prophet Muhammad during the time of Bukhari and Muslim are far away from the historical proofs that are widely available, wishing only to escape the strict security measures that were divinely implemented in guarding not only the Quran and the Sunnah, but also Islam as a way of life.

4. Documentation of the Sunnah after the Death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

After the death of Muhammad (peace be upon him), his companions took an even stricter approach in preserving and reporting the Sunnah. In this period, a number of leading companions wrote down narrations and preserved them. Abu Hurayrah to whom 5374 channels of hadith are attributed, had many books in his possession as reported by Hasan ibn Amr ad-Damari.[16] Abdullah ibn Abbas to whom 1600 channels of narrations are attributed used to write whatever he heard and used to hire his servants to write ahadith for him.[17] Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al Aas to whom 700 channels of narration are attributed recorded ahadith in his Sahefah, while Abu Bakr was also amongst those who used to possess written copies of the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).[18] After the companions of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), their students passed on the knowledge to their students. Abu Hurairah had nine students writing down from him, Ibn Umar had eight, Anas had sixteen, Aisha had three, ibn Abbas had nine, Jabir had fourteen, and others did the same as well.[19] The time in history is known as the era of the Tabi’oon and in this era the science of gathering ahadith became stricter, as people began inventing ahadith. It is very important to highlight here the fact that fabrication was discovered and dealt with. This shows the strict nature of the system and the strong filters it had for innovations and lies. Under the reign of Umar ibn Abdul Azeez[20] the scholars compiled books of ahadith containing biographical data on the various narrators of ahadith, exposing the liars and fabricators.[21] The hadith proliferation spread with such a great strength and precise science that the science began influencing the other branches of Islamic knowledge such as Aqeedah, Fiq and other. The people would not accept the authority of any teacher of any subject, unless he or she would possess the unbroken link till prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) coupled with the reliability criteria for that person in question. The collection of ahadith and knowledge was so intense and serious that some would not wait for the ahadith to reach them but they would travel for long periods of time to hear and verify ahadith. Jabir ibn Abdullah heard of a hadith and traveled on a mount that he had purchased, and after one moth of travel he gathered the hadith and returned back. The same happened to Abu Ayoob al Ansari.[22] The sciences have only intensified and crystallized as time advanced and following the ear of the companions, the followers and their followers came the ear of the Saheehs, which was the pinnacle of hadith sciences[23].

The following excerpt is from “The Compilation of Hadith, by Shaykh Abdul Ghafar Rahmanee“, wherein he mentions the earliest codices of ahadith, dating from the time of the Prophet [saws], to directly after his death, not several hundred years later as Sam has dishonestly stated:

The Written Works of the First Period

1. Saaheefa Saadiqaa
This has been attributed to Abdullaah Ibn Amr al-Aas (d.63H at the age of 77). He had a great love for writing and making notes and whatever he heard from the Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), he would write down. He personally had permission from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam).5 This treatise is composed of about 1000 ahaadeeth. It remained secure and preserved
within his family for a long time. All of it can be found in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah).

2. Saaheefa Saheehaa
This is attributed to Humaam Ibn Munabbeh (rahimahullaah) (d.101H). He was from the famous students of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu); he wrote all the ahaadeeth from his teacher. Copies of this manuscript are available from libraries in Berlin (Germany) and Damascus (Syria); Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah) has categorised all of this Saaheefa in his Musnad, under Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu).6 This treatise, after considerable effort by Dr. Hameedullaah, has been printed and distributed from Hyderabad (Deccan). It contains 138 narrations. This Saaheefa is a part of the ahaadeeth narrated from Abu Hurairah, most of its narration’s are in Bukhaaree and Muslim; the words of the ahaadeeth are extremely similar and there are no major differences between them.

3. Saaheefa Basheer Ibn Naheek
He was the student of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). He also gathered and wrote a treatise of ahaadeeth which he read to Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu), before they departed, and he verified it.7

4. Musnad Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
It was written during the time of the Companions. Its copy was with the father of Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu), Abdul Azeez Ibn Marwaan, the Governor of Misr who died in 86H. He wrote to Katheer Ibn Murrah instructing him to write down all the hadeeth he heard from the Companions and to send them to him. Along with this command, he told him not to send the ahaadeeth of Abu Hurairah as
he already had them.8 And the Musnad of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) was hand-written by Ibn
Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah). It is available in a library in Germany. 9

5. Saaheefa Alee (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
We find from Imaam Bukhaaree’s checking that this collection was quite voluminous and it had in it issues of zakah, and from the actions that were permissible or  impermissible in Madeenah, the Khutbatul-Hajjah al-Widah and Islaamic guidelines.10

6. The Final Sermon of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam)
On the conquest of Makkah the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) told Abu Shah Yamanee (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) to write down the final sermon. 11

7. Saaheefa Jaabir (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
His students, Wahb Ibn Munabbeh (d.110H) and Sulaymaan Ibn Qais Lashkaree, collected the narrations of Jaabir (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). In it they wrote down issues of Hajj and the Khutbatul-Hajjah al-Widah.12

8. Narrations of Aa’ishah Siddeeqa (radi-Allaahu ‘anhaa)
The narrations of Aa’ishah Siddeeqa were written by her student, Urwah Ibn Zubair.13

9. Ahaadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
There were many compilations of the ahaadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). Sa’eed Ibn Jubair would compile his ahaadeeth.14
10. The Saaheefa of Anas Ibn Maalik (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) Sa’eed Ibn Hilaal narrates that Anas Ibn Maalik (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) would mention
everything he had written by memory; whilst showing us he would say: “I heard this narration from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu alayhe wa sallam) myself and I would write it down and repeat it to the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) so that he would
affirm it.” 15

11. Amr Ibn Hazm (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
When he was made the Governor and sent to Yemen he was given written instructions and guidance. Not only did he protect the guidelines but he also added 21 commands of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and he made it into the
form of a book.16

12. Risaalah of Samurah Ibn Jundub (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
This was given to his son in the form of a will; this was a great treasure.17

13. Sa’ad Ibn Ubaadah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
He knew how to read and write from the time of Jahiliyyah.

14. Maktoob Naaf’i (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
Sulaymaan Ibn Moosaa narrates that Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) would dictate and Naaf’i would write.18

Citations and Sources:

5 See Mukhtasar Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm (pp. 36-37).
6 For further details see Saaheefa Humaam of Dr. Hameedullaah and Musnad Ahmad (2/312-318).
7 See Jaami al-Bayaan (1/72) and Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (1/470)
8 See Saaheefa Humaam (p.50) and Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad (7/157)
9 Muqqadimah Tuhfatul-Ahwadhee Sharh Jaami Tirmidhee (p.165)
10 Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Kitaab al-Ei’tisaam bil-Kitaab was Sunnah (1/451)
11 Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (1/20), Mukhtasar Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm (p. 36) and Saheeh Muslim (1/439)

12 Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (4/215)
13 Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (7/183)
14 ad-Daarimee (p. 68)
15 Saaheefa Ibn Humaam (p. 34) from Khateeb al-Baghdaadee and al-Haakim (3/574)
16 al-Wathaiq as-Siyaasah (p.105), Tabaree (p.104)
17 Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (4/236)
18 Ad-Daarimee (p.69) and Saaheefa Ibn Humaam (p.45) from Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad

You can see more of the Prophet’s [saws] miracles here and here:

Ergo, Sam Shamoun has been duly debunked, his incompetence demonstrated and his dishonesty made public. He has thus far, failed to answer the question, abused his own logic, and lied against common ahadith knowledge. His attempts to deceive and pervert basic historical information have been shown to be infantile, and I must conclude that Sam’s arguments have been thoroughly reduced to nothing more than an ignorant’s rants.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam,
and Allaah knows best.

More gods in Christianity

Further proofs that Christians bear divine attributes

Question Mark

Introduction

Sam Shamoun is out with a futile defense to our critique of biblical monotheism wherein we provided proofs that mere Christian believers also partake in divine functionality

As far as Shamoun’s paper is concerned, we would respond to it separately in near future (inshAllah) as there is nothing much than a lot of smokescreen, however, in this paper we would provide further biblical proofs that mere Christian mortals are not merely involved in divine functionalities but they even possess divine attributes!

Our basic premise being: Divine attributes and status fit only to God and cannot be shared with any part of His creation. We would consider some attributes and status which Trinitarians have allocated exclusively for divine Jesus (peace be upon him). Then we would expound how Bible has shared the same attributes and status with mere Christians. This would help establish either of the following two consequences:

(i) There are elements of polytheism (Arabic. Shirk) in the already suffering “Trinitarian” brand of monotheism.

Or

(ii) The attributes and status vested on Jesus (peace be upon him) are not divine enough but that they have been mistakenly considered so!

With that said, let us analyze the “monotheism” that Bible has to offer.

 

Instances of violated monotheism from the Bible

A.    Christian believers expected to be as perfect as God

The attribute of being perfect in an absolute sense is something which befits to God and God alone. No other mere creature can claim that s/he is as perfect as God. If anybody claims so then the claimant is either claiming divinity or breaching monotheism. However, biblical Jesus (peace be upon him) had unceremoniously expected his disciples to be perfect as God:

            “You must be perfect – just as your Father in heaven is perfect!” (Matthew 5:48)

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mat 5:48, King James Version)

Notice what Jesus (peace be upon him) had not asserted in the above passage. He did not say that the believers should be merely perfect or upright in their worldly life and dealings. Rather he said that believers must be “just as perfect as God – The Father”.

By claiming so Jesus (peace be upon him) did not merely factually want his disciples to be perfect but he desired comparative divine perfection in his disciples. He fixed a degree and a capacity of perfection for his disciples – that they should be just asperfect as God – The Father.  The context of the above passage lends further support. Consider the following “verses”:

“Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that, and if you speak only to your friends. Have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! You must be perfect – just as your Father in heaven is perfect!”  (Matthew 5: 46-48)

Unlike God, it is the petty human psychology to love and be amicable to only those people who are friendly – “even the pagans do that!”. However, this is not so with God. He, out of his immeasurable bounty and mercy makes no distinction between believer and disbeliever while pouring providences. His rain wets all – alike and equally.

It is possible that human being(s) may love another human being selflessly even though s/he has been offended, yet this would only account to the magnanimity of the person in worldly, non-divine realm. It cannot be said that the person has attained or had tried to attain the magnanimity (“just like”) of God!

Nevertheless, Jesus (peace be upon him) expects his disciples to transcend their human weakness, leave the realm of “ordinary”, in other words, become extra ordinary, and acquire the divine “perfection” of God! Their psychology and dealings should be at par (“just as”) with God!

We expect a Trinitarian reconciliation that Jesus (peace be upon him) was only exhorting his disciples to magnanimity; he did not intend his disciples any divinity. However, the problem with such an explanation is that Jesus (peace be upon him) did not merely required his followers to be magnanimous in human terms. He did not ask his disciples to be “perfect” in general worldly and human parlance rather he fixed a standard for them which was in itself divine.

In fact in monotheism it is impossible that a finite creature could ever attain the “perfection” of an infinite being! And thus to make (or expect) such an assertion would be idolatry in itself!

Accordingly, New Testament commentator B. W. Johnson asserts unequivocally that obeying the subject verse would elevate mankind to the status of divinity at par with God (!):

 

48. Be ye therefore perfect. To carry out fully this great law of love would lift man to the DIVINE standard of perfection. This must be the aim of life. We have before us as a pattern for the perfect God; we have the Divine perfection embodied in Christ. It will require a constant struggle while in the flesh to come near so high an ideal, but it must be our continual aim. This does not teach such sanctification that we cannot sin, nor that we, here on earth, attain absolute perfection, but we have placed before us, as a model, the perfect ideal, and we will constantly ascend higher by striving to attain it. (The People’s New Testament (1891), B. W. Johnson)

Notice the implication of the subject biblical verse; it elevates man to a level of “divine perfection”. Once elevated to the divinely perfect level, what difference did there remain between the Creator and the creation? Yet this “verse” is said to be in a book which teaches “Semitic – monotheism”?!

At this juncture, expect Christian [apologists] to twist and distort the obvious import of the verse which was otherwise candidly accepted by reputed Christian scholar – B.W. Johnson.

B.     Christians to share in divine nature of God

In the preceding section we saw how mere Christian believers were expected to be “just as perfect” as the biblical God! Continuing on the same note, we have another biblical instance wherein Peter was exhorting his audience to share the divine nature of God:

 

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might bepartakers of the DIVINE nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Pe: 1-4, King James Version, e-Sword Version)

Contemplating the idolatry of the above verse, Bible authority Albert Barnes candidly admits that the above phrase is “difficult” to understand. Nevertheless, he is quite optimistic that mere Christians could reach the status from where they canpartake in divine nature of God. Consider Barnes’ following comments:

Partakers of the divine nature – This is a very important and a difficult phrase

(1) Let anyone reflect on the amazing advances made by himself since the period of infancy. But a few, very few years ago, he knew nothing. He was in his cradle, a poor, helpless infant. He knew not the use of eyes, or ears, or hands, or feet. He knew not the name or use of anything, not even the name of father or mother. He could neither walk, nor talk, nor creep. He did not know even that a candle would burn him if he put his finger there. He knew not how to grasp or hold a rattle, or what was its sound, or whence that sound or any other sound came. Let him think what he is at twenty, or forty, in comparison with this; and then, if his improvement in every similar number of years hereafter “should” be equal to this, who can tell the height to which he will rise?

(2) we are here limited in our own powers of learning about God or his works. We become acquainted with him through his works – by means of “the senses.” But by the appointment of this method of becoming acquainted with the external world, the design seems to have been to accomplish a double work quite contradictory – one to help us, and the other to hinder us. One is to give us the means of communicating with the external world – by the sight, the hearing, the smell, the touch, the taste; the other is to shut us out from the external world, except by these. The body is a casement, an enclosure, a prison in which the soul is incarcerated, from which we can look out on the universe only through these organs. But suppose, as may be the case in a future state, there shall be no such enclosure, and that the whole soul may look directly on the works of God – on spiritual existences, on God himself – who can then calculate the height to which man may attain in becoming a “partaker of the divine nature?”

(3) we shall have an “eternity” before us to grow in knowledge, and in holiness, and in conformity to God. Here, we attempt to climb the hill of knowledge, and having gone a few steps – while the top is still lost in the clouds – we lie down and die. We look at a few things; become acquainted with a few elementary principles; make a little progress in virtue, and then all our studies and efforts are suspended, and “we fly away.” In the future world we shall have an “eternity” before us to make progress in knowledge, and virtue, and holiness, uninterrupted; and who can tell in what exalted sense it may yet be true that we shall be “partakers of the divine nature,” or what attainments we may yet make? (Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, 2 Peter 1:4)

Notice that in the particular citations, Barnes has not denied the divine partaking. In fact he is optimistic that Christian believers might reach a stage in the future, through continuous progression, where they can directly “look” on God’s works and comprehend it to a level where they “may attain in becoming a partaker of the divine nature”!

Omniscience, Absolute Virtue and Holiness are all qualities which befits God alone (c.f. Trinitarians use the following verses to deify Jesus: Matthew 11:27, John 16:30, Matthew 21:14-18) , however, Barnes repeated his assertions that in future when Christians would have “eternal” time in their hand, they will make infinite “progress in knowledge, and virtue, and holiness” – so much so that in some “exalted sense” they will become “partakers of the divine nature”.

In fact, many pre-Christian occidental religious philosophies like Hinduism and Buddhism had similar concepts in which mortals could unite with divine God, partake in his divine nature, through continuous development and progression towards Him:

“In this state [ultimate state of being in Buddhism knows as “Nirvana”], according to a branch of Buddhist thought, the ego disappears and the human soul and consciousness are extinguished. This concept also forms the core of philosophy known as “mysticism.” Mysticism is defined as an experience of union with God and the belief that man’s main goal lies in the seeking that union. The origins of mysticism can be found in the writings of ancient Greek philosophers like Plato’s Symposium in which mention is made of various ladders of ascent, composed of steep and hard steps, whereby a union of the soul with God is finally attained. A parallel concept can also be found in Hinduism’s identification of Atma (human soul) with Brahma (the impersonal Absolute), the realization of which is the ultimate goal or release from existence and rebirth.” (Dr. Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed, Pp 180-181)

 

Furthermore, Robertson, another New Testament authority, had no qualms and sincerely admitted that the subject verse (2 Peter 1:4) has pagan elements in it:

 Of the divine nature (theias phuseōs). This phrase, like to theion in Act 17:29, “belongs rather to HELLENISM than to the Bible” (Bigg). It is a Stoic phrase, but not with the Stoic meaning. Peter is referring to the new birth as 1Pe_1:23 (anagegennēmenoi). The same phrase occurs in an inscription possibly under the influence of  MITHRAISM (Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary). (Robertson’s Word Pictures, 2 Peter 1:4)

Note how Robertson alluded that the same phrase which became a “God breathed verse” in Bible (2 Peter 1:4) has been inscribed in pagan artifact under the influence of archaic Roman god Mithra.

Commenting on Mithraism and its parallels with Christianity, Robertson writes the following in his book Pagan Christs:

“…Mithra was believed to be a great mediator between man and GodHis birth took place in a cave on December 25th. He was born of a virgin and he travelled far and wide and had twelve disciples (that represent the twelve zodiacal signs). He died in the service of humanityhe was buried but rose again from his tomb and his resurrection was celebrated with great rejoicing. His great festivals were the Winter Solstice and the Equinox (Christmas and Easter?). He was called the savior and sometimes figured as a lamb and people initiated themselves into this cult through baptism andsacramental feats were held in his remembrance. (Robertson, Pagan Christs, p.338. As cited in Before Nicea, p. 46, Bowes and al-Ashanti)

Arthur Findlay concurs with Robertson in his book Rock of Truth:

 “It was not until the year 527 C.E. that it was decided when Jesus was born, and various monks equipped with astrological learning were called in to decide this important point. Ultimately, the Emperor decided that the 25th of December, the date of birth of the pagan Roman god, Mithra, be accepted as the date of birth of Jesus. Up to 680 C. E. no thought had been given to the symbol of Jesus crucified on the cross and prior to that date veneration was accorded to the Mithraic symbol of the lamb. From this time onwards it was ordained that in place of the lamb the figure of a man attached to the cross should be substituted.” (As cited in Before Nicea, p. 45-46, Bowes and al-Ashanti)

Sir James G. Frazier has a similar point to make in his famous work The Golden Bough:

“In respect both of doctrines and of rites, the cult of Mithra appears to have presented many points of resemblance to Christianity. Taken all together, the coincidences of the Christian with the Heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental. They mark the compromise which the church in its “hour of triumph” was compelled to make with its vanquished and yet still dangerous rivals.” (As cited in Before Nicea, p.46, Bowes and al-Ashanti)

Returning back to the verse where Christians would partake in the divine nature of God, Jonathan Edwards – a Christian author and theologian – writes that Christian believers would partake in the divine “excellency” and “glory” of the Christian god(s):

It is a confirmation that the Holy Ghost is God’s love and delight, because the saints communion with God consists in their partaking of the Holy Ghost. The communion of saints is twofold: ’tis their communion with God and communion with one another, (I John 1:3) “That ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” Communion is a common partaking of good, either of excellency or happiness,so that when it is said the saints have communion or fellowship with the Father and with the Son, the meaning of it is that they partake with the Father and the Son of their good, which is either their EXCELLENCY and GLORY (II Peter 1:4), “Ye are made partakers of the Divine nature”; Heb. 12:10, “That we might be partakers of His holiness;” John 17:22, 23, “And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one, I in them and Thou in Me”); or of their joy and happiness: (John 17:13) “That they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” (Jonathan Edwards, Unpublished Essay on the Trinity (i))

What distinction remained between gods of Trinitarian Christianity and creatures when they can share “excellency” and “glory” of their gods!

Also notice how Jonathan Edwards, while writing that Christians would partake in God’s glory alluded to John 17:22-23; this takes us to our third proposition.

C.    Christian believers enjoying the same honor which befits God

Once the believers sought to attain the divine “perfection” which behooves God and God alone, it was not too far – fetched that biblical Jesus (peace be upon him) vestdivine honor to them as well. Consider the following passage:

 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)

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 meso that they may be one, just as you and I are one:” (Holy Bible, John 17:21-22)

Many Trinitarians claim that Jesus (peace be upon him) shared the same honorand glory with God – The Father – as the second person in the godhead. However, according to the above biblical “verse” Jesus (peace be upon him) shared his honor – the same divine [Trinitarian] honor, with multiple mortals as well!

What is more embarrassing is that multiple celebrated Trinitarian commentators have concurred that Jesus’ (peace be upon him) divine glory has been shared with multiple mortals:

Christians who believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) is God, as expected, reserve for him certain prized and exclusive titles and status which befits Jesus (peace be upon him) alone. For example, the status and honor of being at the (i) right hand of God, the status of the (ii) divine redeemer and basking in the (iii) bosom of God.

Nevertheless with the authority of John 17:22, celebrated Bible scholar duo of Matthew – Henry has conferred all the prized and divine status to mere mortals (!):

  

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)

And according to commentator John Wesley, the honor which Jesus (peace be upon him) – the Trinitarian god – conferred upon his disciples was the honor of being the only begotten son (!):

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)

Let us explain John Wesley’s commentary briefly. In the biblical verse, Jesus (peace be upon him) is said to be conferring a particular honor to his disciples. John Wesley cogitates that this particular honor was the honor of being the “only begotten” of God – the Father.

Trinitarians claim that the glory of being the “only begotten” is a divine honor as not everyone can be only begotten of God, moreover, Jesus (peace be upon him) is exclusively entitled as the “only begotten son of God”. As such the subject verse invests a divine honor (not mere honor) upon multiple mortals thereby again breaching “monotheism”.

The preceding Christian Scholars are not pulling out commentaries out of thin air because as we go to the context of the subject biblical verse, we would find that this is indeed divine honor. Consider the following contextual verse(s) from a Trinitarian perspective:

“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. For you gave him authority over all mankind, so that he might give eternal life to all those you gave him…” (John 17: 1-2)

Notice the reason why Jesus (peace be upon him) had glory from Father – it was for having (i) authority over all mankind and (ii) for giving them eternal life. Both these acts are considered to be divine and rationales for the deification of Jesus (peace be upon him) – as such the glory for them must also then be divine!

Continuing on with the context we have,

Father! Give me glory in your presence now, the same glory I had with you before the world has made.” (John 17: 5)

According to orthodox Trinitarian position, Jesus (peace be upon him) pre-existed with God and shared the same honor with Him. And, in the foregoing “verse” he was referring to the same glory – the so called divine pre-existing glory to be bestowed upon him.

It was only after describing the divine capacity (Trinitarian understanding) of glory did Jesus (peace be upon him) said (or rather conferred),

I gave them the same glory that you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one:” (John 17:22)

Jesus (peace be upon him) gave away the same prized and divine glory to mere believers; in fact he specifically identified the glory – he said, “the same glory that you gave me” and we just saw in the context [v. 5] that Father gave him the glory of his pre-existence with Him as co-god!

The foregoing biblical incident once again breached the already dwindling “monotheism” of Christianity.

D.    Christian believers surpassing their god in achieving feats

Finally we have a bizarre case wherein the followers of Jesus (peace be upon him) are not just held at par with God but they even surpass the divine TrinitarianJesus (peace be upon him). Consider the following assertion of Jesus (peace be upon him):

I am telling you the truth: whoever believes in me will do what I do – yes, he will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)

Acknowledging the difficulty of literal interpretation of the above “verse” wherein the Christian believers would surpass Jesus (peace be upon him) in performing miracles, most Christian commentators, to avoid chagrin, have understood it to mean that Christian believers would surpass Jesus (peace be upon him) in converting people:

John 14:12  Greater works than these shall he do, because I go to my Father.Those who believe shall have power given to do works, in some respects greater; not greater miracles, but to effect greater moral and spiritual revolutions. At the time of his death, as far as we know, he had only aboutfive hundred disciples, but he “went to his Father” and “shed forth the things seen and heard” on Pentecost, and the eleven apostles convertedthree thousand in a single day. (The People’s New Testament, John 14:12)

Bible scholar Robertson also holds similar view:

Shall he do also (kakeinos poiēsei). Emphatic pronoun ekeinos, “that one also.” Greater works than these (meizona toutōn). Comparative adjective neuter plural from megas with ablative case toutōnNot necessarily greater miracles and not greater spiritual works in quality, but greater in quantity.Cf. Peter at Pentecost and Paul’s mission tours. “Because I go” (hoti egō poreuornai). Reason for this expansion made possible by the Holy Spirit as Paraclete (Joh 16:7). (Robertson’s Word Pictures, John 14:12)

However, the above standard Christian interpretation is not very precise. The being, the Greek word used at numerous places in John’s Gospel to refer to the miracles of Jesus (peace be upon him) is “erga”. For instance it has been used in John 5:36, 7:3, 21, 10:25, 32, 38 etc. And Jesus (peace be upon him) referred by the same Greek word “erga” while referring to his disciples!

Thus, according to standard textual/literal understanding of the Greek word, Jesus (peace be upon him) asserted that his disciples would surpass him in doing miracles, as opposed to converting people! The implications of this conclusion are very serious! In Christianity we have mere believers who would surpass the god of the Trinitarians to accomplish miraculous feats!

The most common defense which we expect is that Christian believers would not perform miraculous feats in and by themselves! The defense appears good however it should address the following two issues:

(i) When the status of Christian believers is not exalted to a divine level because they perform miracles on the authority of someone else (and not by themselves) then on what basis do Christian apologists claim deity for Jesus (peace be upon him) when he performs miracles declaring that  it is not he performing them but God – Almighty! (C.f. John 14:10, Acts 2:22 for instances).

Particular Christian apologist Sam Shamoun has been appealing to the same argument here: Shamoun: Time 06:04 – 06:48 and here: Shamoun: Time 00:49-01:46. (We responded him here.)

(ii) When it was so easy to explain the imminent embarrassment of John 14:12 that Christian believer would perform greater miracles on someone else’s authority then why did majority of New Testament commentators took pain to explain that Christian believers would not surpass Jesus (peace be upon him) in miracles but only in the count of converting men into Christianity? Seems like they accepted that working on someone else’s authority does not diminish the divine status as in the case of Jesus (peace be upon him) – he too works on God’s authority and yet he is divine.

Conclusion

We provided four propositions which help establish either the claims made in favor of deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) is not very strong or the same claims could be used to deify Christian believers particularly when,

A.    Jesus (peace be upon him) required his believers to be “perfect” to the effect of God Himself!

B.     Peter – one of the best Christian – taught to partake in the divine nature of God!

C.    Jesus (peace be upon him) rendered his divine glory upon his followers.

D.    Finally, we saw eccentric scenario wherein mere Christian believers would surpass the miraculous feats achieved by Jesus (peace be upon him) – the Trinitarian God!

We also saw how the Christian concepts deduced from biblical verses have parallels with Buddhism, Hinduism and Pagan Roman Mithraism.

We leave it to the Christians to solve the above rigmarole however we believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) was a purely Semitic, monotheistic Islamic prophet who could not have uttered any such statement which would either deify him or his followers. Albeit, these are statements which are interpreted in a certain way and forcefully attributed to Christ (peace be upon him) in his absence.

We seek refuge in Allah (SWT) from every aspect of associating partners with Him; whether knowingly or unknowingly. Amen.

Notes:

  • Unless otherwise mentioned, all biblical text taken from Holy Bible, Good News Edition, Today’s English Version.
  • All emphasize wherever not matching with original is ours.