Monthly Archives: September 2011
The Qur’an is the most often-read book in the world. Revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the 7th century, and revered by Muslims as being God’s final Scripture and Testament, its words have been lovingly recited, memorised, and implemented by Muslims of every nationality ever since. The faithful are inspired, consoled often moved to tears by its eloquence and poetic imagery, especially when recited aloud. And yet, the Qur’an is unique in being the only Scripture that is free of scientific inaccuracies, whose historical authenticity can be verified, and whose text has been so carefully preserved that just one authorised version (in Arabic) exists. Approximately the length of the New Testament, the Qur’an is also the only holy book that can be memorised in its entirety by people of all ages and intellectual abilities – including non-Arabic speakers – which Muslims consider to be one of its miracles. We invite you to take a few minutes to learn something about a book that is the foundation of the world-view and culture of almost one-fourth of the people on this planet.
A scientific Scripture for a scientific age
One of the most remarkable things about the Qur’an is that it contains many verses which accurately describe natural phenomenon in various fields such as embryology, meteorology, astronomy, geology and oceanography. Scientists have found its descriptions to be inexplicably valid for a book dating from the 6th century; in fact, many of the processes and functions mentioned in the Qur’an have been discovered only recently. This fact alone has been the cause of a number of distinguished scientists embracing Islam. It also explains why the conflicts that emerged in Europe during the Middle Ages between faith and reason, religion and science, never arose in Islam; the Qur’an repeatedly encourages people to reflect and use their intelligence, and most Muslim scientists and inventors have also been pious believers.
Some of the Qur’an’s ‘scientific’ verses include an accurate description of embryonic development during the first forty days of life; an explanation that the roots of mountains are like pegs which help to anchor and stabilise the earth’s crust; that a natural barrier exists wherever two seas meet (each maintains its own salinity, temperature and density); that waves occur in layers in the depths of the ocean; that the heavens and earth were first joined together before being split apart; and that the heavens emerged from ‘smoke’, i.e. the gases and dust that characterise nebulas as stars are forming.
The Qur’an was never meant to be a ‘science textbook’; whether highlighting the wonders of nature or the lessons of history, its verses direct us to reflect on the glory of God. However, no other ancient book or Scripture is accurate in this way. Muslims believe that this is one of the Qur’an’s proofs; one of the things that makes it a credible, ‘living revelation’ for a modern age, and allows it to reveal itself afresh with passing time.
The Qur’an and the development of knowledge
The word ‘qur’an’ means ‘recitation’, and the first verse of the Qur’an to be revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad was a command to ‘Read (or recite)! In the name of your Lord…’ This directive to a man who, like most people of the time, could neither read nor write, marked the beginning of a new age in human communication, learning, and development. Whereas earlier Scriptures had been written and passed down by elite circles of priests and scribes – usually long after the death of the religion’s founder – the preservation of the Qur’an was a community effort from the beginning, and it was completed during the Prophet Muhammad’s own lifetime. The Prophet’s early followers eagerly memorised and recorded each new revelation as it was revealed; by the time he passed away, thousands had memorised the entire Qur’an by heart. Within two years after the Prophet’s death, the first caliph Abu Bakr requested the Prophet’s secretary Zayd to collect all existing copies and fragments of the Qur’an in one place, in order to compile a standard edition. This manuscript became the basis for the authorised editions that were distributed to each Muslim province during the rule of ‘Uthman, third caliph; remarkably, a few of those early manuscripts have been preserved and can still be viewed in museums today.
Following the example of the beloved Prophet, who encouraged all Muslims, male and female, to seek beneficial knowledge, mosques became centres of learning as well as prayer. The concept of universal, free basic education originated in Islam; children learned to read, write, memorise the Qur’an and do basic maths at village mosque schools; bright students were sent to cities to pursue higher education. The world’s first universities, hospitals, and postal services were established by Muslims. Early caliphs set up institutions like the ‘House of Wisdom’ in Baghdad, where scholars were paid to translate scientific, literary and religious works from every known language into Arabic. It was this open-mindedness that inspired Jews and Christians under Muslim rule in Spain to translate classical Roman and Greek texts from Arabic into European languages, sparking the European Renaissance.
A book with a message and a purpose
Like all books, the Qur’an is a means to convey a message – in this case, a very special message from the Creator to all humanity. The Qur’an is an ‘owner’s manual for the human being’; whoever wonders about the purpose of life and their own existence will find it to be a guide par excellence. Building on prior revelations, this Final Testament confirms the age-old truths of previous Scriptures, but clarifies points of faith where error or confusion have crept into them over the centuries. Those who have read the Bible will find much that is familiar: descriptions of God’s handiwork; stories of the Prophets, Satan, angels and the Day of Judgement; moral and ethical guidelines; and spiritual practices like prayer and fasting. Yet the Qur’an is not just a re-hashing of old stories; its perspective is unique and fresh, and its worldview eminently suited to people of today.
To give one example, according to the Qur’an, God held Adam and Eve jointly responsible for tasting the forbidden fruit; no special curse was laid on Eve for leading Adam astray, and no ‘original sin’ came into being, to be inherited for all time by innocent children. Adam and Eve simply sought His forgiveness and were forgiven, and Adam (peace be upon him) is respected in Islam as the first Prophet.
There are other important distinctions between the Qur’an and the Bible; the Qur’an asserts that much of the original books of the Bible and other Scriptures have been lost or corrupted over time (whether through warfare, political intrigue, religious schisms or other reasons). One only has to consider the number of different versions of the Bible in use today, the lack of ‘first’ originals, and the late discovery of long-lost Scriptures like the Dead Sea Scrolls to realise that this viewpoint is an objective one. The Qur’an rejects the concept of salvation or special privilege based on ethnicity; God does not discriminate on the basis of race or colour. It also denies the need for the sacrifice of innocent life – animal or human – in order for people to attain salvation. It states that Jesus (peace be upon him) was not crucified as claimed, but that God saved him from his enemies, as one would expect of God’s honoured and beloved Messenger; his life was meant to be an inspiring example. Spiritual salvation is to be achieved solely through humble repentance, coupled by an attempt to make amends for one’s sins, and a sincere intention not to repeat one’s mistakes in the future. There is no official priesthood in Islam, and the Imam is no more than a knowledgeable prayer-leader and brother in faith; one’s sins need only be confessed directly to the Creator.
The Qur’an’s main message is to call people to turn to the Source of all being and the Giver of life, and to serve Him with a pure heart, free of idolatry or superstition. In Islam, ‘One God’ means just that: there is no concept of trinity, or anything else to complicate one’s understanding. Like the single nucleus of a cell or an atom, He Alone is the ‘control centre’ behind it all; anything else would lead to chaos and confusion. God is Unique and without partner; He was not born and did not give birth; He is All-Compassionate and Merciful, Almighty and Just, and the only One we need turn to for guidance and help. Anything that we allow to come between ourselves and our Creator – even our own egos – is an idol. Wealth, fame, physical attraction and all the pleasures of this world will someday fade, and we will not be able to take them with us when we die. Only our faith and good deeds will remain, to light our graves and be a beacon for us on the Day of Judgement.
Although no translation of the Qur’an can faithfully capture its Arabic meaning (and all Muslims are encouraged to learn Arabic), the following excerpt illustrates these points beautifully:
‘Recite to them the story of Abraham,
When he asked his father and his people, ‘What do you worship?’
‘We worship idols,’ they replied, ‘and we are ever devoted to them.’
He said, ‘Do they hear you when you cry?
Or do they benefit or harm you in any way?’
They said, ‘No, but this is what we found our forefathers doing.’
He said, ‘Do you see, then, what you and your forefathers have been worshipping?
Truly, they are all my enemies, except the Lord of the Worlds,
Who created me, and Who guides me,
And Who feeds me and gives me to drink,
And when I am ill, He heals me,
And Who will cause me to die, and give me life again;
And Who, I ardently hope, will forgive me my sins on the Day of Judgement.
O Lord, grant me wisdom, and unite me with the righteous,
And grant that I may be remembered well in future generations,
And make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Delight;
And forgive my father, for he is one of those who is lost;
And do not disgrace me on the Day when all will be resurrected,
The Day that wealth and children will not avail anyone,
Except one who brings to God a clean heart.’
(The Qur’an, Chapter of ‘The Poets’, 26:69–89)
The Qur’an specifically points to the positive beliefs and moral characteristics of Christians. God has revealed that for Muslims, Christians are “the people most affectionate to those who believe” and “not arrogant.” (Qur’an, 5:82) According to Islam, Christians are not deniers, but are a People of the Book, together with the Jews. In other words, they are faithful people who believe in God’s earlier revelations.
However, the Qur’an does point to one major error by Christians. That is the error of the Trinity, the ascribing of divinity to Jesus. God warns Christians in this regard in the Qur’an:
O People of the Book! Do not go to excess in your religion. Say nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God and His Word, which He cast into Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. Do not say: “Three.” It is better that you stop. God is only One God. He is too Glorious to have a son! Everything in the heavens and in Earth belongs to Him. God suffices as a Guardian. (Qur’an, 4:171)
Indeed, when we look at the historical facts, it can be seen that the Trinity is a myth which entered into Christianity at a later date.
Monotheism: The Essence of Christianity
Christianity was originally born among the Jews living in Palestine. All of those around and who believed in Jesus were Jews and lived according to the laws of Moses. The most fundamental feature of Judaism was monotheism, the belief in one God.
However, Christianity began to grow rather different after the ascension of Jesus into the presence of God and with its spread from the Jewish world into the pagan one. Monotheistic belief, the essence of the law of Moses, underwent a great change and Christians began regarding Jesus as divine.
The belief in the “Trinity” emerged at the end of this process. This concept describes, for Christians, a three-way belief in God as “Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” The Trinity is one of the fundamental conditions of faith for traditional Christians. The belief in the Trinity regards our Almighty Lord from a superstitious perspective and is a mistaken concept which ascribes divinity to Jesus, sent by God to mankind as a prophet. Despite harboring a great many inconsistencies and being totally incompatible with monotheism, it occupies a central role in the Christians’ corrupted system of beliefs. Someone who does not believe in the Trinity, and therefore that Jesus is the son of God, is not regarded as a real Christian by the supporters of traditional Christianity.
The Pressure on Those Who Denied the Trinity
One interesting point is that the various individuals and movements which have opposed belief in the Trinity and maintained that Jesus was only a prophet of God were subjected to great pressure during the course of Christian history. These monotheists fiercely opposed those who said that Jesus was the son of God, and openly stated that this was “ascribing partners” to God. For that reason, they were for hundreds of years described as “heretics” and even “enemies of Christianity,” and those who supported them met with the same reception. Yet those who believe in the oneness of God have always been in a minority compared to the proponents of the Trinity in the Christian world.
Even those neutrals who have researched the subject have established that real Christianity is the monotheistic Christianity that was suppressed throughout history. A large part of the independent Bible researchers, which began in the 18th century in particular, concluded that the Trinity, confession of sins and other Christian dogmas had no place in true Christianity. In their studies of the Old and New Testaments and other Christian sources, experts have revealed that traditional Christianity has very different features to that of the time of Jesus, and was shaped centuries after that time.
Christians Who Have Denied the Trinity
It is under the influence of these sources that some Christian sects today reject the Trinity. The Unitarian Church, for example, which maintains churches all over the world, is one major Christian community which rejects belief in the Trinity. Although they may hold various different views, the members of that congregation deny that Jesus is the son of God and say that Christianity demands belief in a single God. Many of them emphasize the mistaken nature of the claim that Jesus was crucified to redeem the sins of the world.
One can find opponents of the Trinity among Christians of various different persuasions and churches. The opponents of the Trinity are growing in numbers, particularly in America, every day, and there is a rapid rise in the numbers of people who are openly expressing the truth in the Christian world. Among these, the “Worldwide Church of God” is particularly noteworthy. Herbert W. Armstrong, the founder of the church, maintains that the Trinity is a pagan doctrine which entered Christianity from pagan cultures.
The most noteworthy point on this subject is that there is no trace of the belief in the Trinity, portrayed as the foundation of Christianity, anywhere in the Bible. It appears neither in the Old Testament, the holy book of the Jews, nor in the New Testament, the Christian sacred text. Belief in the Trinity depends on the interpretation of a number of statements in the Bible, and the word itself was first used by Theophilus of Antioch at the end of the 2nd century. This belief became fully incorporated into Christian belief long after that. For that reason, Bible researchers and those opposed to the Trinity concentrate on the questions of “Should not belief in the Trinity, described as the basis of the Christian religion, be openly stated in the Bible?” and “If this belief were really true, should not Jesus have openly spoken of it?” The answer they provide is clear: No belief which does not appear openly in the Bible and was thus unknown to the first Christians can form the basis of Christianity. This is nothing more than a myth which formed after Jesus and under the influence of Greek culture. It has nothing to do with the essence of Christianity.
This truth can be seen from a careful reading of the Bible.
The Basis of the Bible Is Also “Belief in One God”
It is revealed in the Qur’an that Jesus issued the following message to the Jews:
…”O Tribe of Israel! Worship God, my Lord and your Lord…” (Qur’an, 5:72)
The expressions of Jesus calling to oneness of God are present even in the gospels of the New Testament, which were exposed to distortion and falsification. For instance, Jesus answered a teacher of law who asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” as “The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:28-30)
The following passage, again from the gospel according to Mark, shows that Jesus prevented not just the ascription of divinity to him but even praise of him:
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good-except God alone.” (Mark 10:17-18)
In fact, this passage alone is sufficient to show that belief in the Trinity is a violation of the New Testament. Rejecting praise and stressing that only God is worthy of praise Jesus openly stated that he too was a servant of God.
In fact, Jesus is a prophet of God, sent to tell people of the oneness of God following the corruption of the revelation brought by Moses and that there is no other god but him. He called upon the Jews, who had corrupted the true religion brought by Moses, to abandon their bigoted traditions and superstitions and to submit solely to God. This message of Jesus to the Children of Israel is revealed thus in the Qur’an:
And when Jesus came with the Clear Signs, he said, “I have come to you with Wisdom and to clarify for you some of the things about which you have differed. Therefore fear God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord so worship Him. This is a straight path.” (Qur’an, 43:63-64)
“I come confirming the Torah I find already there, and to make lawful for you some of what was previously forbidden to you. I have brought you a Sign from your Lord. So fear God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord so worship Him. That is a straight path.” (Qur’an, 3:50-51)
It is the duty of Muslims, Christians, Jews and everyone in the world to abide by this divine call.
Does the belief in Jesus (peace be upon him) as a ‘son of God’ really make sense?
What exactly does ‘son of God’ mean?
Can true salvation from God, be the punishment of someone else who is innocent from any of these crimes, to be punished as though he were guilty?
Does God need someone to suffer severe punishment, even though they are trying, day after day.
Did Jesus (peace be upon him) tell the people to take him as a god, or to worship him?
Let us find the answer to these and other important questions about the nature of Jesus of Christianity and Islam.
“Look to the Books”
To begin, let us do a sample comparison of the teachings of the Holy Books of Almighty God.
QURAN OF ISLAM
“Say: Oh my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins, for he is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Noble Quran 39:53]
“If anyone does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Noble Quran 4:110]
“O you people! Adore your Guardian lord, who created you and those who came before you that you may become righteous.” [Noble Quran 2:21]
“You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. For such He has written faith in their hearts and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to well therein (forever). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Truly it is the Party of Allah that will achieve Felicity.” [Noble Quran 58:22]
New Testament of BIBLE
“Why do you call me good? answered Jesus, No-one is good but God alone!” [Mark 10:18]
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but rather to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until Heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of the pen; will by any means disappear from the Law until all things are accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever keeps the commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-19]
“Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the Will of the Father who is in Heaven. Many will say to me on the day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” [Matthew 7:21-23]
Some leaders claimed, “This probably refers to the Mormons or somebody else. Don’t worry about it.”
“Gabriel says Jesus will be “called the son of God” and he would be “given the Throne of David” to “rule the House of Jacob forever.”” [Luke 1:35]
“Enos was the son of Seth, and Seth was the son of Adam, and Adam was the son of God.” [Luke 3:38]
Note: Adam, not Jesus, is listed in this genealogy of Jesus as the son of God, not Jesus.
Later on, the priests are asking Jesus (peace be upon him) if he claims to be the son of God. He tells them in fact, it is they who are making this claim.
“You say that I am.”
Gospel of John contains the greatest number of references to “son of God”
Jesus, speaking in the third person talked about the “Son of God” in [John 3:17 – John 5:24 – John 11:4 – John 11:27]
Martha, one of the followers, calls Jesus, peace be upon him, “The Messiah, the Son of God”
“The Messiah, the Son of God.” [John 20:31]
But no verse makes the exact statement “Jesus is the Son of God and as such he is divine or God.”
“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah anything but the truth. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not “Trinity”: desist: It will be better for you: For Allah is One God: Glory be to Him: (Far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.” [Noble Quran 4:171]
Notice in the Bible, the frequent link between the position of Jesus, peace be upon him, as the Messiah and the ‘son-ship.’
The term ‘son of god’ can not, in itself, be considered enough to declare anything unique about Jesus, peace be upon him, as this term is used for many people throughout the Old and the New Testament.
refers to the entire house of Israel as being, ‘Sons of God’.
Paul tells us about those who are led by the spirit:
“because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” [Romans 8:14]
The word “Messiah” is one that more particularly seems to represent the station of the person predicted to appear and lead the people to the victory over this world.
Oxford Companion of the Bible states Jews prior to Jesus (peace be upon him) hoped for a prophesied ruler, reigning with everlasting justice, peace and security for the “Sons of Israel.”
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The spirit of the Lord will be on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” [Isaiah 11:1-2]
“The days are coming, declares the Lord, When I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness. For this is what the Lord says: David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, nor will the priests, who are Levites, ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offering and to present sacrifices.” [Jeremiah 33:14-18]
“My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. The will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them, it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.” [Ezekiel 37:24-28]
“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the rules staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.” [Genesis 49:10]
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth. Edom will be conquered; Seir, his enemy, will conquer, but Israel will grow strong. A ruler will come out of Jacob and destroy the survivors of the city.” [Numbers 24:17-19]
God Incarnate? NOT HERE
Nathan the prophet (son of Solomon) said:
“The Lord declares to you that the Lord Himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father and he will be my son.”
(New Testament book of Hebrews stops here)
“When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” [2 Samuel 7:12-15]
“You are my Son; today I have begotten you.” [Hebrews 1:5]
Does this support the case the doctrine that Jesus, peace be upon him, is the “begotten Son of God?”
Old Testament BIBLE
David is stating what God has proclaimed regarding David’s relationship to God
“I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: he said to me, you are my Son; this day have I begotten you.” [Psalms 2:7]
Note: The New International Version says the verse could be translated either as “become your Father” or as “begotten you” into English or Greek.
New Testament BIBLE
“He will be called the Son of God.” [Luke 1:35]
Note: This does not state he “is” the son, but rather, he will be “called” the son of God.
Or was he the “one anointed to preach Good News to the poor.” prophesied by Isaiah, and the Messiah proclaimed by Gabriel, the followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, Jesus, himself and the remained of the New Testament, he evidently would not be God.
New Testament BIBLE
“I tell you the truth”, Jesus answered, “before Abraham was, I am!” [John 8:58]
“I am” is the term used to identify God to Moses, peace be upon him.
New Testament BIBLE
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believed in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16]
This does not actually define Jesus, peace be upon him, as God, or as the Messiah or as a Prophet.
Note: This verse was actually modified by Jerome in the 4th century.
ARIUS (Early history of the Church) a popular leader from Alexandria, Egypt.
He argued, Jesus (peace be upon him) was created and not ‘begotten.’
He was charged with heresy and his followers were horribly oppressed by the Church.
After the matter was ‘decided’ and ‘confirmed’ by the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and in an effort to consolidate both beliefs, Jerome altered the original version of the Gospel of John 3:16 by changing the word ‘monogenes’ (unique) and substituted the word ‘ingenious’ meaning ‘only begotten.’
What other ‘interpretations’ did the early Church Fathers invent to satisfy their claims of the divinity of Jesus, peace be upon him?
New Testament BIBLE
“But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles that you may learn and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” [John 10:38]
“Don’t you know that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me? The words that I say to you are not my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me who is doing this work.” [John 14:10]
But further reading in the very same chapter:
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” [John 14:20]
So how does he live in his disciples and how do they live in him? And if so, are they also, sons of God or Gods?
Another good question.
“But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him. Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” [1st John 2:5-6]
(This is an epistle [letter] written by another ‘John,’ not John the Gospel er nor John the Baptist)
Note: This indicates, living ‘in God’ means, ‘Obeying God’ commandments and following the Way of Jesus, peace be upon him.
Twice in the New Testament, Jesus (peace be upon him) tells his followers how to pray saying, “When you pray, say this…”
And the words are very clear, God’s Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one; I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” [John 17:22-23]
The word used throughout chapter 10 and 17, for unity or one was the same, ‘heis’ meaning the number one. There is another word ‘hen’ which means a unity of essence. However, ‘hen’ is nowhere to be found in these chapters.
Note: Conclusion is this is a prayer from Jesus, peace be upon him, to God that all of his followers would have the same relationship that he (Jesus) had.
Understanding the word ‘one’ meanings understanding the way in which it is being used. For example a man and a woman become ‘one’ when they marry; someone might say, ‘One hopes for success’ or ‘We are one in agreement.’
Jesus, peace be upon him, is supposed to have said,
“If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”
In the very part of the Bible we find the verse wherein Jesus (peace be upon him) tells his followers, if they accepted a little child, then they also accepted Jesus, peace be upon him. Naturally, he did not mean the child was God or that he was a child.
Christians are taught early in life, by doing good deeds and service for others, they are in fact allowing others to see Jesus in them.
Why do we hold so tight to doctrines, even after realizing the incorrectness and false teachings?
Yet another good question
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus, peace be upon him, is a man, born of a woman without any father, strengthened by a Spirit from God (Gabriel), sent by God to teach the Children of Israel the true meaning of belief and proper actions (following the commandments) that God would accept from them and as such, their ‘road to salvation.’
One more time:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God at the beginning.” [John 1:1]
Jesus (peace be upon him) was the very “Word of God”.
“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah anything but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) A Messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him; so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not ‘trinity’: desist.” [Noble Quran 4:171]
It is difficult for us to admit that we have been deceived for so many years by some many people, some of them very near and dear to us. The truth is, ‘Someone has been lying to us’ – on purpose.
It is also difficult to consider the consequences of loosing faith in the doctrine of the Church, out of fear of loosing faith in God altogether.
But there is wonderful hope, Grace, Mercy and Salvation for those who come to the correct belief and obey the commandments.
Wisdom or Word?
Oxford Companion to the Bible
The words “wisdom” and ‘word’ were synonymous (exactly the same words) in Jewish thought at the time of Jesus.
Old Testament BIBLE
“The lord brought me forth at the beginning of his work before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side.” [Proverbs 8:22-30]
“By Wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.” [Proverbs 3:19]
APOCRYPHA (hidden books of the Bible)
Wisdom I and Wisdom II
Sirach (also called: “Ecclesiasticus”) written by Jesus ben Sira, a devout Jew of Jerusalem, 200 years before Christ.
These texts were a part of the Bible until the time of the Calvinists and the Protestant Reformation (hence the word – protest).
Scrolls found at Wadi Qumran and Masada confirm these were always a part of the ancient version of the Bible, but obviously not something Protestants wanted anything to do with.
“Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory in the midst of her people. In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory: ‘I came forth from the mouth of the Most High and covered the earth like a mist. I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my throne was in a pillar of a cloud. Alone I compassed the vault of heaven and traversed the depths of the abyss. Over waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway. Among all these I sought a resting place; in whose territory should I abide? Then the Creator of all things gave me a command, and my Creator chose the place for my tent. He said, ‘Make your dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel, receive your inheritance.’ Before the ages, in the beginning he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be. In the holy tent I ministered before him, and so I was established in Zion. Thus in the beloved city he gave me a resting place, and in Jerusalem was my domain. I took root in an honored people, in the portion of the Lord his heritage.” [Sirach 24:1-12]
“For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing evil gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of His goodness. Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets.” [Wisdom of Solomon 7:25-27]
Did the beginning of the Gospel of John indicate John believed the Spirit was sent by God to Jesus (peace be upon him) that it was the Spirit of Wisdom, Spirit of Prophecy, sent to all the prophets, with the same commandments and wisdom?
Could the Spirit of Wisdom be with God since creation? Or perhaps the Spirit was the ‘Word of God’ that was uttered or breathed by God in the Beginning and then continued along with God in the rest of Creation?
“For wisdom, the Fashioner of all things, taught me.” [Wisdom of Solomon 7:22]
Could the Spirit of Wisdom be the Holy Spirit that spoke to Mary about having her baby? And the same Holy Spirit that descending upon him at this baptism?
“Then John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit’” [John 1:32]
All of this confirms without doubt the writers of the Old Testament and the New Testament were definitely on the lookout for a “Messiah” or “chosen leader of the way to salvation in this life and the next life.”
The word in Hebrew for the ‘chosen one’ or ‘anointed one’ or ‘appointed one’ is ‘Messiah.’
The word in Koine Greek for ‘Messiah’ is ‘Christos’ (became ‘Christ’).
The word in Arabic for it is “Massih”
Did Jesus, peace be upon him, ask people to pray to him, or to pray with him, to the God who sent him?
Did Jesus, peace be upon him, claim to be God?
Can the term “son of God” in English really present the meaning intended by the writers of the Bible?
Now let us compare with compassion and wisdom in our hearts. Which of the two concepts make the most sense between Islam and Christianity when it comes to the subject of Jesus, peace be upon him?
Let us compare the two and see what our wisdom and common sense tell us:
According to the teachings of Islam in the Quran and the words of the last prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, Jesus, the son of Mary, was predicted, he came to earth as a baby with a mother but no father, he did amazing miracles by the permission of Allah, including even bringing a dead man back to life; he did demonstrate for his followers the very best of behavior and obedience to the commandments of God. And according to the Bible he personally prayed and ask God Almighty to save him from the fate of going to the cross.
The Bible indicates Jesus prayers at Gethsemane went unanswered, even though he stayed up through the night crying and asking God, “Let this cup pass from me, even so, Your will be done.”
Yet, according to Quran, Almighty God did answer his prayers. He did not go to the cross, but rather the likeness of him was put on another person who did go to the cross and Almighty God, caused Jesus, peace be upon him, to be saved, protected and he is with God and will return in the Last Days to lead the true believers to victory over the evil ones.
Some have even speculated the one on the cross was the very one (Judas Thomas Iscariot) who sold out Jesus and his followers for thirty pieces of sliver.
By: Br. Yusuf Estes