Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
Exposing lies, misconceptions & misunderstandings
regarding John 17:3
This paper will serve (Inshallah) as an utter debunk to the lies, misconceptions, misunderstandings and outright abuses which Anthony Roger tried to knit at: (http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/true_shahada.html). I would discourage readers to read his article rigged with mordant remarks and filthy invectives on Allah and Mohammad, peace be upon him.
His paper specifically tries to establish deity of Jesus, peace be upon him, through:
(i) A comparative study of John 17:3 with Islamic shahada
(ii) Flimsy attempts to refute Muslim arguments on John 17:3 through:
(a) “The conjoining of Father and Son”
(b) “Father and Son are Coordinate sources of Eternal life”
(c) “Contextually Relevant Considerations”In the few passages to follow any unbiased reader would, Inshallah, witness truth. So, unbiased, I leave it at your objective perusal.
In the house of Islam there are no clouds of conjectures and doubts hovering above the head of this mighty “Son of Man” named Jesus, peace be upon him. For we read in Quran:
“…Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) An apostle of God…” (THE HOLY QURAN 4:171)
“The similitude of Jesus before God is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”: And he was.” (THE HOLY QURAN 3:59)
But the Christolator says, NO – “Jesus is God” discrediting the Last Testament. So, we show to them from their so called ‘Word of God’. (Reader would soon read my upcoming article proving logically that Bible, as a whole cannot be an inspired word of God)
Left over proof text
At this point of time let me make it absolutely clear that when I witness Biblical verses to Christians I do so because they mistake it to be the Word of God. I do not. I do not consider Biblical verses, I use, to be any type of “Left over Islamic proof text.” As Anthony wrote:
“…many Muslims believe that John 17:3 is a left over Islamic proof-text found in otherwise corrupted book.” (Emphasis mine)
Our proof text is Quran – Quran is our “Alpha and Omega”; the final authority. We only use Biblical verse because it helps us extricate millions of Christians carrying heavy yokes of associating partners to God – Almighty; POLYTHEISM.
What is in the box
“And eternal life means knowing you, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” (HOLY BIBLE, JOHN 17:3, TEV)
Roger writes in his paper that Muslims use the aforementioned verse to prove two points:
“1) a Unitarian – Islamic version of monotheism.., The first claim is immediately undermined by the fact that the one whom Jesus calls “the only true God” is the Father (John 17:1-2)”
To begin with, Muslims do not try to prove “Unitarian – Islamic version of monotheism”. They but strive to prove “Tawheed”. There is a difference of chalk and cheese between the two. The difference between these two concepts are beyond the scope of this refutation.
Then, this witty fabrication of a misconception to score cheap points over Muslims can be debunked by the fact that Muslims do not abhor the word “Father” per say given the knowledge of Jewish parlance and vernacular, that is, the way the Israelites used the word “Father.” Consider these verses for instance:
“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). Emphasis mine.
“Doubtless You are out Father,..” (THE OPEN BIBLE, ISAIAH 63:16, NKJV). Emphasis mine.
“Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?”(THE OPEN BIBLE, MALACHI 2:10, NKJV). Emphasis mine.
Conclusively then, the Jews never used the word “Father” with its literal import whenever referring to God. It was just a part of their living language that for some out of other reason they preferred calling God as “Father”. In this sense Muslims have no problems at all with the word – “Father”. 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.
Furthermore, because many may not be acquainted with Jewish colloquism added with the problem of variations of connotations of words with generations; Muslims play safe not to use the word “Father” to refer to ALLAH. Anyway, it does not make sense for a Muslim to use a vulnerable word when 099 attributive names are readily available in Quran. Let us take an example to close this argument. Now – a – days people generally call Nature as “Mother Nature”. Now if, somebody, Anthony Roger in particular, starts to understand it literally (!) then, I think, he should immediately consult a psychologist.
He wrote that Muslims use John 17:3 to:
“and 2) a denial of the deity of Christ.” He argued in this fashion to defend deity of Christ:
“As for the second claim, that Jesus is not God, it rests on a logical fallacy. The reasoning goes something like this: The Father is the only true God, Jesus is not the Father; therefore, Jesus is not God. When stated more formally, the argument takes the following form : A is B; C is not A; therefore, C is not B.
Even someone untrained in logic should be able to immediately see that this is fallacious. It is no different than arguing the following: Plato (A) is mortal (B); Socrates(C) is not Plato (A); therefore, Socrates(C) is not mortal (B). Both argument – the one against Christ’s deity and the one against Socrates mortality – take the same form; hence, both are fallacious.”. (Emphasis mine.)
What the ‘trained Logician’ did was he used another construction of PLATO (A), MORTAL(B) AND SOCRATES (C) to logically break the construction and interpretation of FATHER (A), ONLY TRUE GOD(B), JESUS(C) as used in John 17:3. A meticulous perusal of the 2 constructions will undoubtedly establish that the 2 constructions does not “take the same form”. The first argument was mischievously tailored to look “no different” than the second.
Where is the catch
Let us arrange the above constructions one after the other:
“As for the second claim, that Jesus is not God, it rests on a logical fallacy. The reasoning goes something like this: The Father is the only true God, Jesus is not the Father; therefore, Jesus is not God. When stated more formally, the argument takes the following form : A is B; C is not A; therefore, C is not B.”
So, we have:
A(1) = The Father
B(1) = Only True God
C(1) = Jesus
“It is no different than arguing the following: Plato (A) is mortal (B); Socrates(C) is not Plato (A); therefore, Socrates(C) is not mortal (B).”
So, here we have:
A(2) = Plato
B(2) = Mortal
C(2) = Socrates
So, were you alert enough while reading the above 2 breakups and constructions, if not, then re – read breakup numbered B(1) and B(2). When once adjective “ONLY” was used in B(1) (as used in John 17:3); logic and sincerity then demanded Anthony Roger to be consistent with it in B(2). But the insincere Logician was inconsistent for he is a sincere Christolator.
Then, a ‘sincere’ Construction will be:
A(2) = Plato
B(2) = Only Mortal
C(2) = Socrates
In a sentence, subsequently, it would read:
“Plato(A(2)) is ONLY Mortal(B(2)); Socrates (C(2)) is not Plato(A(2)); therefore, Socrates is not Mortal(B(2).
Well now, the argument and logic of Plato and Socrates is holding good; if Plato is ONLY Mortal then Socrates cannot be Mortal. On the same lines if Father is ONLY true God then Jesus, peace be upon him, cannot be God – Almighty. Therefore, stop the blasphemy right here right now.
Roger admitted that Jesus is not God – Almighty
Next, he wrote that Muslim claim on John 17:3 would have held if the text would have read that only the Father is God. Here are his own confessions:
““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.”
Ironically, Anthony Roger has himself admitted that the only true God is Father (!). To prove it, all I would do is to re – produce for you his own words:
““…. The first claim is immediately undermined by the fact that the one whom Jesus calls “the only true God” is the Father (John 17:1-2)”
What say? Who is the ONLY TRUE GOD?, according to Bible, Muslim exegesis AND Anthony Roger’s own words – The Only True God is Father.
Now, that it has been established that the Only True God is Father and consequently Jesus, peace be upon him, is not God; I need not write a word any more to his childish ‘article’.
Nevertheless, let me further clean his misconceptions so that he may be extricated from the mire or “Shirk” – associating god to God – Almighty.
To prove the deity of Jesus, peace be upon him, he wrote under various sub – headings (I would deal with each of them, Inshallah). First of them were :
1. “The Conjoining of Father and Son”: Inside this sub – heading he adduced 2 Biblical verses to establish the impossible, namely, the divinity of Christ, peace be upon him. First of the 2 was:
A. “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also (1 John 2:23)”
Well, there can be at least two fold refutations. They are as follows:-
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)
“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!
B1. The Conjoining of Allah and Mohammad, peace be upon him.
As we have just seen how ignorantly and misconceptually Anthony Roger had tried to conjoin Father and Son using 1 John 2:23 out of context. Similarly, I may ignorantly conjoin Allah and Mohammad, peace be upon him, there by deifying Mohammad, peace be upon him. Let me (mis) use, The Holy Quran 4:80, which states:
“He who obey The Apostle, obeys God” (Emphasis Mine)
“The desert Arabs say, “We believe.” Say, “Ye have no faith; but ye(only) say, ‘We have submitted Out wills to God, For not yet has Faith entered your hearts.’ But if ye obey God and His Apostle…” (The Holy Quran 49:14)(Emphasis Mine)
Now read this, have your ever heard a Muslim using the aforementioned Quranic verses to conjoin Mohammad, peace be upon him, and Allah. Obeying Apostle is obeying Allah not because Apostle is Allah but because the Apostle does nothing but what is commissioned to him by God – Almighty, similarly, rejecting Son is in effect rejecting Father because the Son, also, does not seek his will but the will of his Father who send him. Make sense?
He provided yet another Biblical verse to prove the deity of Christ , peace be upon him, under the same sub – heading, “The Conjoining of Father and Son”.
““…even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”(John 5:23)”
There can again be atleast 2 easy refutation for this gibberish argument, which are as follows:-
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!
B2. In this version of refutation let us read verse 22 along with verse 23:
“For the Father judges no one but has committed all judgement to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (JOHN 5:22-23, NKJV)
To paraphrase the above 2 verses, it says:
God has authorized (does someone “co-equal” needs an authorization!?!) or has commissioned Jesus, peace be upon him, with all judgments so that people may respect him for his lofty judgments – the judgments which he ultimately receives from God – Almighty. THEN, verse 23 comes and states that dishonoring Jesus, peace be upon him, is in turn dishonoring Father; Does this prove to be equal to God? Certainly, not in the remotest sense of it. But it does elicit the impotency of Jesus, peace be upon him, to take divine judgments.
Next to come in the support of Christ’s, peace be upon him, divinity was sub – heading No. 2, namely, Father and Son are coordinate Sources of Eternal life.
2. Father and Son are Coordinate Sources of Eternal Life
“The fact that eternal life consists in a saving knowledge of both the Father and the Son, not one without the other, also bespeaks the closest possible relation between them.”
Muslims agree that there can be no salvation without Jesus, peace be upon him. One will have to recognize Jesus as well as other prophets along with him to achieve salvation; as is written in the Word of God:
“To those who believe in God and His Apostles and make no distinction between any of the apostles, We shall soon give their (due) rewards…”(The holy Quran 4:152)(Emphasis Mine)
“And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias All in the ranks of righteous.” (The Holy Quran 6:85)
Furthermore, if we analyze Quran then we would learn that there can be no salvation without Mohammad, peace be upon him. Similarly a denial of Mohammad, peace be upon him, would be headlong acceptance of hell-fire. Consider a couple of verse:
“Those are limits set by God: those who obey God and His Apostle will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, To abide therein (forever)And that will be the Supreme achievement. But those who disobey God and His Apostle And transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: And they shall have a humiliating punishment.” (The Holy Quran 4:13-14)
Now, the pith of the argument is, Can I deify Mohammad, peace be upon him, just there is salvation is accepting him, peace be upon him, and doom in rejection? Can I, horrendously write a passage appelling “Allah and Mohammad are Coordinate Sources of Eternal Life!” Understand the status of each of these 2 ‘sources of eternal life ‘ and recognize the capacity in which they can provide you “Eternal Life”.
He named his last argument to prove the deity of Christ, peace be upon him, as:
3. Contextually Relevant Considerations
In the very first he wrote:
“Although the Muslim creed does not have a context to safeguard it from misinterpretation, Christ’s statement in John 17:3 is a part of larger context.”
Ironically, if HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN chapters of Quran does not build a context to natural and innate Shahada (Testification) then nothing does.
Then he argued that in John 17:3, if read in context proves deity of Christ, peace be upon him. So let us study the context of John 17:3.
“Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world.”
Anthony Roger’s ‘visionary’ eyes saw three arguments in the “context” of John 17:3(Cited above) to support divinity of Christ, peace be upon him.
He wrote, “And the context very clearly teaches that Christ pre-existed his incarnation…but he pre-existed from eternity…”
If pre-existence and presence before the beginning of world is one the criterion to prove divinity then prophet Solomon, peace be upon him, Jeremiah, and prophet Job, peace be upon him were all deities! Consider the following verses:
“The LORD created me first of all, the first of his works, long ago. I was made in the very beginnings, at the first, before the world began.” (HOLY BIBLE, PROVERBS 8:22-23, TEV)
“The LORD said to me, “I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I selected you to be a prophet to be nations.” (HOLY BIBLE, JEREMIAH 1:4-5, TEV)
“I am sure you can, because you’re so old and wee there when the world was made!”(HOLY BIBLE, JOB 38:21, TEV)
“He was given authority to wield, words to speak, a work to do, and people to save..”
In the first place, wielding, speaking words (as Jesus, peace be upon him, was speaking), working (as Jesus, peace be upon him, was working) and trying to save people (as Jesus, peace be upon him, was trying) are characteristics or prophets not to be attributed to God.. But even if he insists in proving the deity of Jesus, peace be upon him, through these points then he should pay care, firstly, almost all the Biblical prophets wielded, spoke, worked and tried to save people. Secondly, the fact that Jesus, peace be upon him, was “given authority” so there is nothing special, nothing divine in the exercise of second hand granted authority. It is against the majesty of true God to tarry to receive authority over his own creation; His erroneous creation(Genesis 6:6)-Humans. Or, put in other words, if he had to receive authority to exercise on his creation then that authority is not his own but of a ‘greater’ Power and thus, the receiver (of Authority) cannot be true God. As Jesus says in John 5:30, “I can of my own self do nothing.” Smell the impotency here.
[iii] Same Glory:-
“and in same glory that the Father has.”
To begin with, nowhere in the Biblical verse does it states Jesus having same glory as that of Father. If you do not believe me then re-read the verse he produced:
“…Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
Kindly realize very carefully that all the verse says is, firstly, the ‘request’ made by Jesus, peace be upon him, (By the way is it befitting for a ‘God’ to make requests!?!) to glorify him together with Father. Now the point to understand is that there can be 2 different levels of glorifications for 2 different ‘persons’ even if glorified at the same time. Secondly, what needs to be understood, is the beseech, request, wail of Jesus, peace be upon him, to return back the previous glorify which he possessed when he was with Father. The glory might still be different. But if at this stage the christolator Anthony Roger is contemplating to refute me then he should turn his face to ROMANS 8: 16-17, 26
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” (THE OPEN BIBLE, NKJV)(Emphasis mine)
“… we will also share his glory” (HOLY BIBLE, TEV)(Emphasis mine)
Cleaning the filth
In the last part of this paper I would draw your attention to one of Jesus’s, peace be upon him, teaching (Biblical) which can also be taken as a litmus paper test to filter out false prophets from a true one, he said:
“Be on your guard against false prophets; they come to you looking life sheep on the outside, but inside they are really like wolves. You will know them by what they do. Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briars do not bear figs. A healthy tree bears good fruit, but a poor tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in fire. So then, you will know the false prophets by what they do.” (HOLY BIBLE, MATTHEW 7:15-81, TEV)
So, let us put Paul and Mohammad, peace be upon him, to the above test. Let us check how does the “fruits” of each fair the test. On one hand, we have, Anthony Roger, a sincere follower of Paul’s teachings (mind you we are testing Paul’s candidacy for prophet hood) address ALLAH and Mohammad, peace be upon him with most gutter like words, he wrote:
“In the end, Allah turns out to be an idol and Muhammad a worthless prophet,…”
Nonetheless, we have Mohammad, peace be upon him, a veritable prophet, as gentle as dew drops, teach in Quran 6:108 to the world:
“Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides God, lest they out of spite Revile God In their ignorance.” (THE HOLY QURAN)
Conclusively, the difference between Mohammad, peace be upon him, and Paul is glaring to a meticulous eye. Finally, does not Paul fit into the category of false prophet? And should not he be “cut down and thrown in fire.”?