Hard Questions

frank, open and honest discussions

On Jewish Christianity, Islam, and the Gentiles

with 78 comments


by Rasheed,

Was Jesus sent to guide you? Was he sent to all nations? Did you feature in his original plan? These are important and a fundamental questions, that need to be considered carefully.

Let us start by laying down some bare facts:

During his ministry, Jesus himself, always maintained that he was sent to the Israelites and to the Israelites alone. There are numerous verses in the Bible that bear this fact. Examples are given below:

Matthew 15:24: “and he answering said, `I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”

Matthew 10: 5-7: “5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near”

This of course does not mean that non Jews are completely excluded or prohibited from following Jesus, it simply means it was not part of his mission statement to invite all the nations to the path of God.

Jesus’ message required followers to worship the God of Abraham and observe the Law (Torah). We can say that Jesus was the last prophet of Israel.

Jesus disciples and students understood this fact perfectly well, and were therefore opposed to the efforts of Paul (Saul) to re-invent the message of Jesus, a message which they heard directly from Jesus himself. (Remember that Paul NEVER met nor believed Jesus during his ministry).

I believe that the incompatibility between Jesus message and message which Paul successfully advocated, is what drove scribes to add into the Gospels verses requiring the disciples to preach to the gentiles, verses like Mark 16:9-20 that are widely accepted now to be later addition to the Bible.

The Quran, on the other hand, has been very explicit from the beginning in defining the universal nature of of its message and that of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh].

The verse 158 in Chapter 7 {Al- A’raf} is concise, sharp, leaves no room for doubt and is beautiful:

“Say: “O Mankind! I am the Messenger of Allah sent unto you all, to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He That giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, who believes in Allah and His words: follow him that ye may be guided.” The Quran, 7:158

The verse, to me, is a glorious and complete statement of faith.

So, what about Jesus mission? Again, the Quran is also very clear on this point. Jesus, in the Quran, was a prophet sent to the Children of Israel:

“And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was (revealed) before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is the Praised One. Yet when he hath come unto them with clear proofs, they say: This is mere magic.” The Quran 61:6

So, why was Jesus’ original message altered? Probably the rules governing authenticity of transmission were not strong enough. Too much reliance on the “inspiration of transmitters” and the confinement of knowledge to the elites at the Churches, suppression of dissenting voices for very long periods in the history of Christianity; all these factors contributed to the alteration of the message.

I am not saying that some of these factors were non-existent in Islamic history, but Muslim scholars, from and early stage adopted and agreed on a much more stringent rules governing transmission.

If, for example, Apostle Paul had been a Muslim, not a single word from him, about the life of the prophet or the doctrine of the faith, would have been accepted, let alone be included in the primary text, unless he explicitly said that he heard it spoken by a named companion of the Prophet who in turn said that the Prophet had said it. A vision claimed by anyone other than the Prophet himself can never be accepted as part of the religion.

Unless someone was a compatriot of the person whom he is quoting, his quotes are automatically excluded from the teachings of the religion. Only God has the authority to define religion and only his prophet has the authority and the mandate to deliver God’s message to the people.

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Written by Rasheed Gadir

November 2, 2007 at 1:33 am

78 Responses

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  1. Rasheed,
    Good post and some interesting points. What you miss is that while Jesus said he came for the Jews, he explicitly stated that he would be rejected by the Jews. There is also a similar passage to the one in Mark 16 that can be found in Matthew 28 in which Jesus tells his disciples to “go into all nations.” Israel was always to be the chosen nation of the Lord, but God knew they would reject Him. He had also intended Israel to be a model to the other nations that other nations would see the one true God.

    Additionally, Paul was actually not the first apostle that went to the Gentiles. It was actually Peter who first did. He had a dream that told him to go share the gospel with Cornelius, a captain of the Roman guard. Cornelius was a God-fearing man who in a dream was told to send for Peter. Peter went to Cornelius, a Gentile, who Jews were forbidden to associate with, and shared the gospel. Cornelius and many with him believed and were baptized. You can find the story in Acts 10.

    You see Paul did not reinvent the gospel. He had the support of the apostles. They were afraid of him at first because he had persecuted, imprisoned, and killed many Christians, but they eventually realized that he had been changed when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Even if you take away the books Paul wrote, nearly half of the New Testament, the gospel does not change. If you are wary of Paul, but want to learn about the gospel and how it was shared and applied in the early church, Acts would be a great starting point.

    Andrew

    November 9, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    • Very well put. It is frustrating when people select only chosen verses from the bible to establish an erroneous commentary. I would suggest they study the entire text before publically presenting themselves as authorities. They mislead and confuse people, and will be held accountable.

      Ralph Furgason

      March 7, 2014 at 2:57 am

  2. Andrew, Thank you once more for your kind remarks. I know that the passage about preaching to the Gentiles is repeated in other Gospels, but there is strong evidence that they were actually copied from Mark. I am sure you are familiar with the “Synoptic hypothesis” and the principle of “priority of Mark“.

    I always prefer to look for teachings of Jesus from Jesus himself, and from events that were described in the Gospel before his departure from earth, and therefore, I somehow feel that, Acts and the Epistles of Paul are the weaker link in telling the Jesus story, Especially if they seem to contradict statements attributed to Jesus himself.

    Rasheed

    November 10, 2007 at 1:42 am

  3. Rasheed,
    I can’t say I’ve heard of the Synoptic hypothesis. Probably because it is not accepted among many scholars. What I don’t understand is this… Why does Islam even bother claiming Jesus as a prophet or the Bible as a holy book if in the same sentence you turn around and say everything that could possibly contradict Islam is false? Why not just rewrite it all in the Qu’ran and change what needed to be changed to fit your purposes? It just strikes me as far too suspect to cherry pick what you like and ignore so much.

    I did some reading on the so-called Biblical prophecies of Muhammad today, and I must say I’ve never heard such roundabout logic and revisionist history. I don’t even know where to start on the errors, oversights, and changes. Why does Islam bother? Couldn’t Islam just stand alone?

    Andrew

    November 10, 2007 at 2:51 am

  4. Andrew, Islam says it is the same religion that Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets of God advocated. It says it is the same religion, worshipping the same God who created heavens and earth.

    Muslim premise is that whenever humanity goes astray, the Just and Merciful Owner of the universe, God, would send a prophet/s to warn wrongdoers and give good tidings to the pious believers.

    Remember that Jesus too reprimanded the Pharisees for changing the religion of God. Jesus did not deny previous prophets, he talked about them, he did not ignore the Torah, he upheld most of the LAW, his was not a new religion, but a continuation of the same message of God.

    The central theme of the religion of God, is the worship of, and obedience to the One, and Only God who created heavens and earth.

    Rasheed

    November 10, 2007 at 4:37 am

    • Rasheed, You might want to consider Jesus’ response to Nichodemus. John 05: 09 – 21. In talking about the Jews and the Gentiles. It is very true that Jesus did come for the return of the Jews as God’s chosen.

      They rejected him.

      You may like to read the exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan women. John 04: 04 – 26.

      (You will se in the text that the apostles did actually witness this conversation in Samaria. Where as you so rightly pointed out, the apostles themselves were instructed not to go in witness previously, and were actually perplexed that Jesus did go or even spoke to this woman.)

      This exchange alone clarifies that after the Jews rejected Jesus he did turn to the Samaritans, as well as the whole world, to save men of all nations that would accept his truth.

      If I may I will also point out that…… if you read the Old testament (or the Torah) you will discover that from the beginning it was prophesied that the Jews would reject the Messiah. Then he would reach out to all mankind with his saving message, and salvation, which only he has the power to impart.

      In fact the entire story of Jesus life, and witness in the flesh, is prophesied in amazing detain through the Old Testament. It describes the life, and story of Jesus, in magnificent detail just as it eventually happened.

      (Incidentally, even the ancient Roman political records of the time also corroborate the story of Jesus just as it unfolded as presented in the New Testament. The Romans were articulate record keepers.)

      The Old Testament also testifies that, “his own would receive him not,” then he would turn to the Gentiles who would accept him with open arms.” By this he would bring God’s salvation to the whole world.

      If you love Jesus’ own words, he himself explained that he came that “all men,” shall be saved. He also clarifies clearly that, “no man comes to the father except through him.” He declares that, “he is the truth and the way, there is no other way by which man may come to God.” Amen

      We are always grateful for all Godly prophets. They can bring encouragement, truth, guidance, inspiration, and even healing, but they cannot bring salvation to any man. We do not celebrate, nor follow, prophets that create confusion, rebelliousness, deceit, disharmony, division, fear, or present themselves as an alternate way to God, which he clearly did not establish.

      God bless you in your faith journey.

      Ralph Furgason

      March 7, 2014 at 3:49 am

  5. You are right in saying Jesus was a continuation of the message of God. In fact he was the fulfillment of that message. Jesus never tried to rewrite what the prophets before him said though.

    Islam in essence says: “We follow the same religion as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus except that one time where they said this… oh and don’t forget when they said this… and oh yeah we forgot one time where they said this…” In the end, Islam has rewritten more than it has accepted from the Bible. It seems like at that point, if the Bible is truly filled with so many lies, you have to dismiss it as a whole or rewrite it. It just seems too coincidental that the standard of what is not true is always what fit with Muhammad’s teachings.

    Andrew

    November 10, 2007 at 5:21 am

  6. After Jesus help a Roman (non Jewish) he says in Mathew 8:11:

    “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven”

    Eric

    February 12, 2008 at 4:35 pm

  7. Andrew,

    Where in Islam does it object to what the prophets say? Please give us an example. Just one example.

    عبده

    February 13, 2008 at 8:05 am

  8. Islam explicitly rejects any claims of Jesus’ divinity. He claimed to be the only begotten Son of God. Islam says God has no son.

    Andrew

    February 13, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    • How about the verses where it instructs followers to, “carry the sword, and strike down the heathen where you meet them?” Muslims are very wise. They proclaim that the Koran extends love to all men equally. Trouble is they don’t clarify that it’s love encouragements are directed to the followers of Islam and the Muslim traditions only. All other (heathens) are less than human and ought to be murdered on the spot.

      I was strongly attracted to the Koran first until I delved deeper into it and discovered all the haltered and exclusivity it appropriates to the followers of Mohammad while also clearly encouraging hatred, extinction, and violence to all people outside the Muslim faith. Sorry, I did not find God in that.

      Ralph Furgason

      March 7, 2014 at 4:02 am

  9. Andrew,

    Can you please point to me where/ when did Jesus himself claim to be divine, or the only begotten Son of God?

    Rasheed

    February 13, 2008 at 6:25 pm

  10. Rasheed,

    I would be glad to give you several citations.

    Jesus claims to be the Son of God:
    Matthew 26:63-64, 11:27
    Luke 2:49, 10:22
    John 8:20, 10:38, 11:4, 13:31, 14:7, 14:9, 17:25, 20:17

    Jesus asks the Disciples who they think he is and Peter replies that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” in Matthew 16:13-16.

    Demons call Jesus the Son of God:
    Mark 1:24, 5:7
    Luke 4:34, 8:28

    The Centurion at the Cross calls Jesus the Son of God:
    Mark 15:39

    In Luke 4:8 Jesus says “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'” Elsewhere in Matthew 28:9 Jesus is worshiped by two of his followers and accepts their worship implying that he is God and worthy of worhship.

    The Father (God) gives glory to the Son in John 8:54.

    It’s in the texts, both explicitly and implicitly; in Jesus’ words and the authors’ words.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    February 13, 2008 at 6:50 pm

  11. Andrew,

    Your initial claim was that Islam rejected what the “prophets” say. What I understand you meant by prophets are prophets before Jesus (and you listed a few of them, Noah, Moses, Abraham, etc.)

    Which one of those prophets made the claim that Jesus was divine?

    عبده

    February 13, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    • Andrew,

      Jesus upheld the Old Testament in it’s totality. Including the prophets of the Old Testament whom he accredited greatly.

      Remember, he is the “fulfillment” of the law, (Old Testament), not the doing away with it. By Jesus fulfillments it is simply “laid aside,” as it brought salvation to no man. Only the conviction of sin and our need of God.

      Jesus also clarifies indisputably that no man can know truth or understand truth except he be led by the Spirit.

      Again by Jesus own words we know this cannot happen until we accept him as our Lord and Savior, and receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who will guide us.

      Jesus clarified that Jacob brought water for the flesh, and we will thirst again.

      He said, “whoever drinks from the water I give him will never thirst again.” That “water,” is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit from God. No one can receive the Holy Spirit except through his faith in Christ. This blessing reconnecting man and God cannot come from any prophet. Jesus said, “no man can come to the father except by me,” also “believe, be baptized, and go on to the full likeness of Christ.” Amen

      Ralph Furgason

      March 7, 2014 at 4:23 am

  12. Andrew,

    I am writing this second comment because I wish for the main point of my question to you regarding Islam’s rejection of what other prophets say to retain the appropriate focus.

    Here I simply want to comment on your reply to Rasheed in which you cited passages where Jesus is described as the “Son of God”. How can you take the title “son of God” to be equal to “divine” when you know that so many people are called “son of God” in the Bible? Why can’t we consider them as well to be “divine”?

    عبده

    February 13, 2008 at 10:02 pm

  13. Andrew,

    One more thing.

    Luke 4:8 talks about “worship”. I want to ask you about this. What is “worship” in Christianity? Is it predefined by God? What is its purpose?

    Second, why was it that only two of Jesus’ followers “worshiped” him? What about the rest of them? Did they not worship Jesus? Are there places in the Bible which show that all Jesus’ followers worshiped him? What sorts of acts of worship did they perform?

    Could it be that the word “worship” here is a translation of a word that simply meant “serve”; meaning two of Jesus’ followers served him in the sense that they took care of him and worked to make him comfortable.

    I always wish we had the original text of the Biblical scriptures, because many questions come out when trying to understand Biblical scripture, and only when you have the original text that you begin to feel the meaning.

    This is why in Islam we rely only on the original Arabic source when we want to understand a certain passage of the Quran. Translations of the Quran are only to give you some sense of the text, but in discussions only the Arabic source is taken as a reference.

    عبده

    February 13, 2008 at 10:30 pm

  14. Abdo,

    The claim of Jesus’ divinity is secondary to the differences between Islam and Christianity. The primary question must be “Is Jesus the Messiah?” If he is not the Messiah, then neither is he a prophet. He is a deceiver. If he is the Messiah, then Islam is false because the faith was finished in Christ and did not need any additional prophet. So either Islam is wrong about Christ, or wrong altogether.

    Luke 4:8 and Matthew 28:9 are both the same word in the Greek. They both mean to bow down in reverence before someone or something, as men would prostrate themselves before an idol.

    For word questions and the original language check out:
    http://www.SearchGodsWord.org

    David prophesied of Christ’s divinity when he said in Psalm 110:1 “The LORD (Jehovah) says to my Lord (Adonai) “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” The prophecies of the Messiah are another topic for a different day.

    While we may not have original scrolls of the New Testament, we have several accurate texts Greek texts. Greek was the language of the commoner in that day, but just as not every Muslim speaks Arabic, not every Christian speaks Greek. So we get translations.

    Critical scholars are borderline dishonest when they speak of errors in the Bible. All but a few of these “errors” are spelling errors where an unnecessary letter was dropped or a name was substituted for the word “he” or “she” to clarify. These errors are then compounded because they count an additional error every time the original “error” is copied. Biblical scholars have known this for hundreds of years, but never felt the need to scream “fire!” as popular authors such as Bart Ehrman have done recently. His book is written in the name of making money and exposes nothing new.

    Here is a video that explains the difficulty with the idea that the manuscripts are corrupted:
    http://www.worldviewtube.com/video.php/2215/Dr_Voddie_Baucham

    If Islam has not rejected what the prophets say then explain these to me:

    Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. They say ‘Don’t steal.’ Muhammad raided caravans and stole. They also say ‘Don’t murder.’ Men and women are murdered in the streets in Muslim countries for professing Christianity according to Muslim law. Is that not rejecting what a prophet has said?

    Christ said that he would die and Isaiah (chap. 53) prophesied that the Messiah would die. Muhammad denied Christ’s death.

    Christ taught in Matthew 5:43-48 and elsewhere that his followers should love their enemies. Muhammad taught people to kill Christians and Jews who would not pay the hajj or accept Islam.

    I don’t see how we justify these differences.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    February 15, 2008 at 11:49 pm

  15. Andrew

    The Messiah simply means the “anointed one”. It is a term which was used for prophets and sometimes high priests. Jesus being the messiah, does not imply he was the final messenger of God. One thing I can relater to is that Jesus was the final prophet of Israel.

    The two verses your referred to contradict each other. In the one hand we have Jesus own words implying that only God is worthy of worship, on the other, the writer/ scribe made Jesus himself an object of worship. If you say there is no contradiction because you believe Jesus is God, I will remind you of something you claimed: That Jesus during his ministry was fulfilling “a suffering servant” role!. How can a god be a servant, and who does he serve, but your are talking not only about a servant but a suffering servant!!

    I think, because the gospels were written by humans, it is very difficult to write a reasonably long article without exposing contradictions>.

    I totally disagree with you that the claim of Jesus divinity is a secondary difference between Islam and Christianity. I consider it THE prime difference between the two faiths. There is no sin greater than worshiping an entity besides or with God, be it an idol, an angel or a revered prophet makes little difference.

    On the topic of prophet Muhammad (ص), I do not know why you want to insult the prophet without properly researching what you say, but since you brought this charge about three times so far, I will correct you:

    Prophet Muhammad (ص) was engaged in a 8 years long war with the polytheists of Mecca. They forced him to immigrate to Madina in the north, they persecuted the believers and forced them to leave their homes to Ethiopia and Madina. There was a declared state of war between Muslims and the polytheists of Mecca and their allies.

    The prophet was not only a spritual leader, but also a political leader, a governor and the leader of the army.

    If you ask any military man, he will tell that disrupting the supply lines of your enemies is not only a legitimate military tactic, but an essential one. Throughout history, and to this day, embargoes, sanctions, sieges have been used as legitimate military tactics.

    There were several tribes who received supplies and traded with Syria, but the prophet singled out the supplies of those who declared war on him.

    The war ended in year 8 AH, when the Muslim army conquered Mecca.

    As to your other claim of the prophet teaching his followers to kill Christians and Jews for professing their faith, this is a blatant lie. If you disagree, then please produce your evidence supporting your claim.

    When Jews and non conforming Christians were slaughtered in Europe, by Christians, they sought and found refuge in Muslim land, where they were granted protection and religious freedom <see Kare Armstrong’s Battle for God’.

    As for your charge that Christians and Jews were killed unless they paid “Jiziah” , I hope you are not getting your information from dedicated Muslim bashing websites.

    Islam is a complete, realistic system of life, that covers all aspects of human activities. One such activity is government and finance. Muslims are obliged to pay Zakat and are required to be drafted for the army if Muslim land is attacked. Non Muslim citizens are also required to pay Jiziah, but are not obliged to join the army. Both payment are a form of tax, and are obligatory (Just like any other system of public finance.)

    The word “Jiziah” is not derogatory as some Muslim bashers claim. It means “suffice” in other words by paying your dues, you are entitled to citizenship and protection from the state.

    Enforcement of of these rules are not exclusive to non Muslims. The first war undertaken by the prophet’s successor, Abu Bakr, was against Muslim tribes who withheld payment of Zakat, whilst the second successor, Omar, relieved the Christians of Jerusalem from paying Jiziah.

    I was hoping to have a respectful and meaningful dialogue on this blog, and I hope you are not deliberately dragging the level of the debate to insulting language about our great prophet.

    Judging by the amount of abuse the prophet Muhammad (ص) has suffered throughout the ages, there can be no one more deserving of the title of suffering servant the prophet Muhammad peace and blessings upon him.

    Rasheed

    February 18, 2008 at 12:39 pm

  16. Rasheed,

    I’m not intentionally insulting Muhammad. I’m sorry you understood it that way. My intention is not to bash or insult anyone. I can disagree vehemently, but still make my best attempt to do so respectfully.

    I realize the issue of Jesus’ divinity is not a secondary issue, but if we begin from Judaism and determine who Jesus was and what he claimed about himself, we can’t rightfully place him as a prophet of Islam. We must establish first Jesus’ claims. He claimed to be God and the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Either he is these two things and Islam is completely wrong, or he isn’t and Islam has chosen a false prophet. So either way Islam is mistaken.

    The two verses I gave about Jesus’ deity only contradict each other if you assume he cannot be God. Without making this assumption, they merely confirm Jesus’ claim. You also make the assumption that God cannot be a suffering servant. Why not? Is there anything about His character which disqualifies Him from doing so? In Judaism and Christianity His love for His people moves Him to great lengths, and this was His supreme act of love; to give up His place in heaven to die for the sin of mankind.

    None of this can fully make sense until you understand that it took the perfect sacrifice for sin to be forgiven. Jesus, as the only sinless one, is the only one capable of making that sacrifice. Only God is capable of being sinless.

    I must again ask for a direct answer to the problems I find. If Islam has not rejected what the prophets say then explain these to me:

    Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. They say ‘Don’t murder.’ Men and women are murdered in the streets in Muslim countries for professing Christianity. To my understanding this is according to Muslim law. Is that not rejecting what a prophet has said?

    Christ said that he would die and Isaiah (chap. 53) prophesied that the Messiah would die. Muhammad denied Christ’s death.

    Again, I’m sorry my previous comments were hurtful. It was not my intention.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    February 18, 2008 at 11:31 pm

  17. Andrew

    May be you did not read my previous reply. Can you tell in which Muslim countries Christians and Jews are killed for professing their faith. Have you heard of Sebrenica, Kosovo, The inquisition, the list is really very long …

    Christians have lived in the midst of Muslims for 14 hundred years. They continue and will continue to live in complete safety. There is NO religious duty to harm them, to the contrary, the prophet Muhammad (ص) has specifically mentioned that the lives, wealth and well being of Christians and Jews living in Muslim countries are afforded the same protection as their Muslim counterparts.

    I ask you one more time to substantiate your claim.

    BTW, I will be very busy in the next week or so, and replies might be delayed but I will do my best to follow the happenings in this blog.

    Rasheed

    February 19, 2008 at 2:59 am

  18. Rasheed,

    Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Egypt… Christians are killed or imprisoned. It is a crime for a Muslim to convert to Christianity. This “crime” carries the death penalty. A Christian bookstore owner was murdered in Palestine by Muslims just a few months ago. It is happening all over the world.

    I know there are times that “Christians” have killed Muslims, and I cannot tell you how sorry I am to have that stain on the name of Christ. The fact is, those people were acting in their own interests and using the name of Christ to legitimize murder. Most of these men were not Christians. They certainly weren’t following Christ’s commands to love their neighbor.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    February 19, 2008 at 6:06 am

  19. Andrew,

    The statement that “The claim of Jesus’ divinity is secondary to the differences between Islam and Christianity” is something that I really never expected to come from a Christian! In fact what you are taking as the primary difference is not a point of difference at all, in my opinion. Islam admits in the clear and explicit text of the Quran that Jesus is the Messiah. However, the problem is in your statement that “the faith has finished in Christ and did not need any additional prophet”. What do you mean by that? Are you saying that God completed the principles of faith only through Christ, and that before Christ the principles of faith were not complete? Does that mean that all throughout the history before Christ, God did not make Himself clear to the peoples and that those who believed in God did not really have the right and clear understanding of what God was?!! Even God’s prophets and messengers?!!

    I absolutely disagree with this. Faith has been defined and completed with Adam, the first human being. The main questions about God and what he wanted and our relationship with him were all answered and defined and taught to Adam and his offspring from day one. What kept evolving were only the laws and regulations. God kept sending messenger and prophets to remind people of the same principles of faith, but with different laws now and then. Mohamed came as the seal of the prophets (and therefore messengers) because he came with the final articulation of the faith (both doctrine and law). Jesus, even as the Messiah, was a Jewish prophet to the children of Israel (Jews and Samaritans, and any other remaining Israelite). If the Messiah was to be final he was final to the Israelites. The final prophet was promised by God to come from the Israelites’ “brethren” after the fig tree withers and becomes barren.

    So either you are wrong about the Messiah, or you are wrong about God!

    Now, I must thank you so much for the web site you referred me to, because it does provide a great reference on the words of the Bible. The really nice thing about the site is that it gives the original Greek or Hebrew for each English word along with a dictionary definition of the word. When I searched the word “worship” I got all its occurrences in both the NT and OT. It turns out that there are different origins for the word “worship” in the original texts. In other words, the English word “worship” is a common translation for different Greek/Hebrew words. The most important origins are these: a) to bow down in reverence with knees and forehead on the ground, b) to serve according to sacred rituals defined in religion, and c) to serve the demands of someone or something. The first meaning (a) is what is called in Arabic “سجود” (sojood) and that word is frequently translated in Islamic literature in English with the word “prostration”. Interestingly enough, this specific origin is the one used in Luke 4:8 and Matthew 28:9. Moreover, the Arabic Bible uses that word “سجود” (sojood) and its verb “سجد” (sajada) in its translation of these two particular passages in Luke and Matthew. This means that the reference here is not on worshipping Jesus as God would be worshipped according to predefined rituals (that’s what the meaning in ‘b’ implies), but rather on bowing down to Jesus in reverence and respect. This was a common practice in Biblical times. Unfortunately the English translation of the bible ambiguates the different meanings and therefore confuses the ideas. I feel that this was done on purpose in order to ascribe divinity to Jesus and imply that Jesus was to be worshipped, while in fact what was being done was only that people around him used to bow down in his presence as an act of reverence especially by Jews who thought of him as a king of the Jews.

    This again, is another case were we really miss the original texts of the scripture because that would be the final arbitrator in textual disputes. Your website helps a lot, but it still requires considerable effort to dig out the original meaning and clarify these disambiguates. I still wish the translations were more accurate, or that the original sources were readily accessible to us just as the Quran is.

    عبده

    February 19, 2008 at 6:40 am

  20. Andrew,

    David did not prophecy Christ’s divinity. Psalm 110:1 does not in any way imply any degree of divinity neither for Jesus nor for anyone else who might be there in the presence of God. There are millions upon millions of angels which are there in the presence of God, and none of them are divine. They are all but creatures of God who were created like all other creatures. Besides, sitting at God’s right hand does not mean sitting at the throne itself; or does it? Only God sits on the thrown because only he is divine and only he is The LORD. All other Lords are subject to him, especially human Lords such as Jesus, peace be upon him. Furthermore, you still need to present us with an example where Islam rejects something that David (or any other prophet) has taught, not where Islam rejects your interpretation of a prophecy ascribed to David. The prophecy does not mention Jesus by name.

    عبده

    February 19, 2008 at 6:40 am

  21. Andrew,

    Critical scholars publish their work in academic publications and receive academic critique to their work. Before his more popular book “Misquoting Jesus…”, Bart Ehrman wrote a 330-page book with the title: “The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament”. In this book (just as well in the other book) the goal is not to record an inventory of biblical discrepancies just for the sake of enumeration. Ehrman’s books show how Biblical Scriptures were deliberately manipulated by both authors and scribes alike from the early days of Christianity to defend against other schools of thought among the followers of Jesus. He discusses four examples of corruptions of scripture: Anti-Adoptionistic, Anti-Separationist, Anti-Docetic, and Anti-Patripassianist. Defending against other schools of thought is ok as long as it is published outside the scripture. But once these defenses are integrated in some way or another into scripture itself, this expires the divine nature of scripture and makes it just another piece of human literature. It becomes clear when reading this type of textual criticism, that although critics such as Ehrman might be a little pushing it sometimes, but the main conclusion is clear and obvious that the Bible is indeed a human book. It is not the word of God. In essence the bible is the culmination of the perceptions of one school of thought and not the message which God wanted to convey to us.

    The solution to this does not mean we should look for ways to revert to and retrieve every single piece of original scripture. God acted in the wisest way. He sent his final messenger Mohamed with the final message, the Quran. Mohamed was very well known for being the most trustworthy, and is incapable of claiming something that is not true. Thus the Quran came through the most trustworthy and has the ultimate truth in it. And what’s equally important is that God this time guaranteed to protect His word throughout time, and He did. God never said he will protect scripture prior to the Quran from corruption. God warned those who change that scripture. So, he knew that the there will be people who did and will continue to change the scripture. But in the case of the Quran, he explicitly declared that He will preserve it, and He did.

    عبده

    February 19, 2008 at 6:40 am

  22. Andrew,

    Greek was not the only language of the day when the scriptures were being written. The different peoples of Biblical Palestine (including Jesus himself) spoke western Aramaic, as well as Greek and Hebrew. Hellenic Jews spoke only Greek and were not strongly in touch with Hebrew or Aramaic. Which, by the way, means that the sayings of Jesus found in the Greek sources of the Gospels are in fact translations from the Aramaic words that came from Jesus’ mouth. This is one, and very important, layer of ambiguity that is intrinsically built-in in the Gospels; even the original sources of the Gospels.

    At least 20% of Muslims are native Arabic speakers (i.e. Arabic is their mother tongue), and the majority of the remaining 80% study Arabic as a second language. How much percentage of Christians are native speakers of Greek and Hebrew? And how much percentage of the remaining Christians study Greek or Hebrew as a second language? Translations are made to bring the meaning ‘closer’ to foreign audience, not to replace the original source. Currently, the different translations of the Bible (in the different living languages) have almost completely replaced the original.

    عبده

    February 19, 2008 at 6:40 am

  23. Andrew,

    Your charges against Mohamed (in relation to the Ten Commandments of Moses) is that Mohammed:

    1) murdered people (or that he came with a Quran that calls for the murder of people)
    2) raided caravans and stole

    and, regarding Isaiah, that he

    3) denied the death of Jesus (as stated in the Quran)

    and, in regard to Christ in Mathew, that Mohamed

    4) ordered the killing of Jews and Christians who did not pay the hajj (you certainly mean the ‘jezya’) or accept Islam.

    All four charges are nonsense! I doubt that you are making these charges yourself; apparently you just picked them up from somewhere. Here is my reply to each.

    1) Murder is the killing of human life without justification. Killing alone is not what is meant in the commandment; otherwise all the Israelite kings who were involved in battle against their enemies must have been disobeying this commandment despite the fact that they fought their battles with orders from God. Therefore, murder here refers to the killing of humans without justification. This my friend, Mohamed has never done, and nothing of such is taught in the Quran. When you say “men and women are being murdered in the streets in Muslim countries for professing Christianity” you make it sound as if there are daily incidents of such killing. If you cannot give me more than 10 examples of such incidents then we cannot take your claim seriously. Even if you can come up with that much cases or more, your claim is still not valid because there is nothing in the Quran that orders the killing of Christians just because they are professing Christianity (otherwise you have to show us proof of your claim). If, on the other hand, you are referring to apostates (i.e. people who revert from Islam) and not people who are born Christian, then the case is clearly different. In such case there is no murder here and there is no rejection to previous prophets! Please go back to Jewish law (which too must be in line with the Ten Commandments) and find out what it says about dealing with apostates, and if you find that Mohamed rejected those laws, then lets come back to the issue and discuss it once again. Because from what I know, Jewish law explicitly orders the killing of anyone who changes his religion, period.

    2) Mohamed was a leader, and that is a role that messengers and prophets of God can rightly assume when that’s part of the mission assigned to them by God Himself. Mohamed as prophet, Islam as religion, and Muslims as community were all targets of their enemies, who were ready to settle for nothing less than the obliteration of all three (Mohammed, Islam, and Muslims). These enemies were so brutal and cruel that Mohamed and his followers had to flee Mecca. Mohamed’s patience in Mecca for 13 years was even greater than Jesus’ patience in his only 3-year mission. For 13 years, Mohammed never answered back to any attack while in Mecca, whether directed at him or at any of his followers. The only thing he and his followers did was to be patient, avoid clashes, and when attacked turn to Allah for mercy. Remember how Jesus one day acted violently with the money exchangers near the temple, Mohamed did not even act in anyway close to that. But God had it decided that his religion will survive, grow, and conquer. So as you say in English, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. The going got so tough when the non-believers ultimately planned and attempted to kill Mohamed. God saved him and enabled him to migrate to Medina safely. Clearly now the state of affairs between the two sides is a state of war. Now please give us your advice on whether or not it is ok (in light of the Ten Commandments, of course) to fight your enemies in battle and defend yourself and the religion of God even if it involved killing those enemies. Also advice us on whether or not it is ok (again according to the Ten Commandment, or according to military experts anywhere in the world) to cut off the supply lines of your enemy especially when your enemy has already done the same to you before and confiscated all your properties before you had migrated to the new area. While you are contemplating the matter please pay attention that Mohamed’s enemies where only the Quraish of Mecca, and in no case did he pose any threat to the caravans of any other tribe or community in Arabia. As a matter of fact the Jewish tribes were living with Mohamed and the Muslims side by side in Medina without threat. One of the first things Mohamed did after he had arrived to Medina and was made ruler, he made a pact with the Jews which preserved everybody’s rights. So, before you make a judgment and use words such as “murdered” and “stole” you ought to know the truth first.

    3) Christ said that he would die, Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would die, the Quran says the Jesus will die. So where is your point? Where is Islam’s rejection of the prophets? When the Quran says Jesus did not die on the cross, this simply means he did not die yet. The Quran says that Jesus was lifted up into heaven and was saved by God from crucifixions. As a matter of fact this conforms to the prophets, because crucifixion was a curse and it should not be the way an honorable prophet’s life should end. Jesus will eventually die after his return, because he is a human and no human is immortal.

    4) Again the Quran does not order the killing of Jews and Christians if they do not accept Islam or do not pay the jezyah. If that were the case, then you would not find a single Christian still living in Muslim countries. Look at Egypt for example. Before Islam Egypt was predominantly Christian (and it was so by the way because all subjects of the Roman Empire had to pray to the same god to which the emperor prayed to, which means it was Christianity that spread by force, isn’t that right?) If Islam orders the killing of those who do not accept it or pay the jezyah, would you expect Egypt to have any Christians anymore? Would you expect Egypt to have any Church anymore? Christian Egyptians are there till this day because they remained ever since, and because they were permitted to practice their religion normally under Islamic rule. Jews and Christians lived with Muslims all the time everywhere in Muslim countries, and nothing in Islam says Muslims must kill them until they accept Islam. However, when it comes to enemies at the time of war, Islam’s teachings are no different than what the prophets taught. As for loving ones enemies, I must admit that this has always been one of the great mysteries of Christianity to me. First of all, I cannot trace it back to any place in the scripture before Jesus. But what is more important is that this rule seems to have never been practiced by Christians anywhere anytime. In what way can a Christian army “love” its enemy? Was the principle of “love your enemy” ever practiced by any Christian statesman, or military leader, or soldier when they were involved in any war? How do you as Christian defend yourself from your enemies? Do you use “loving” tanks or “loving” fighter aircrafts or “loving” snipers or “loving” minefields?

    عبده

    February 19, 2008 at 6:42 am

  24. Rasheed,

    You are well informed. Your textual criticism of the NT is on a level that many refuse to accept because they are not after truth, they are comfortable with their faith. I was a christian, and after much study and a theology degree, i have to say that your criticism is good, but you make giant leaps of logic. It is clear that the ending of mark was added and copied by the authors of mathew, luke and john. And you are correct in advocating that Yeshua did not come to destroy the law. But we know what is true according to sound logic and prophecy. Yeshua may have been a prophet, we can’t know because christianity hijacked the teachings of the Jewish man.

    All i’m saying is that i don’t see why you use this sound hypothesis to argue for your own bias.

    It’s prophecy i trust, because it’s what we know is from G-d. But just because christianity mishandled the jewish mans teachings, i do not allow logic to lead me to a prophet who was not foretold of in the past. i won’t trust anything that does not have proof of prophecy and fulfillment. such as the restoration of israel in 1949.

    all bias aside, i’m interested in what leads you to your conclusion to trust in the quran. in other words, in what scripture can i find this man?

    i was christian and now i consider myself a jew, and im following the trust the best i can, i don’t care about what my family taught me, or whats comfortable. i’ll follow the truth wherever it leads me. too many people trust in the faith of their fathers. it’s our whole mind and heart that G-d asks us to seek him.

    chris kozlowski

    March 1, 2008 at 2:24 am

    • Dear Chris if you do some reading all roads lead to islam ….. its garentead in the Quran.all that is requird is that you aprouch islam and contemplate with cincerity. cincerity is very important.if it makes you doubt its not the truth

      Rasheed you da man cuz selam
      Chris all the best bro

      Ferdi Sogutlu

      October 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm

  25. Dear Chris

    First, let me thank you for your comment. I apologise for the late response, but my mother died last Wednesday, may God have mercy on her, and I was unable to work on the blog for this reason.

    A person like yourself, who is obviously seeking the truth and have the courage to accept the findings of his research, is to be admired indeed, I ask God to guide you and myself to his straight path.

    I invite you to start reading the Quran, and I will respond to your questions as best as I can. The Quran is a book that that is intended to guide mankind, it will demonstrate its source on its own. You can find several translations at: http://www.al-islam.org/quran/

    Once more I welcome you here and hope to hear from you real soon.
    Rasheed

    Rasheed

    March 5, 2008 at 11:41 pm

  26. Rasheed,

    Sorry to hear about your mother. My condolences.

    Chris,

    If the ending of Mark was added late, how was it ALSO copied by other authors? Unless Mathew, Luke, and John wrote VERY late, you can’t have both as the case. I do agree it was added, but I find no evidence it was copied. John was an eyewitness. Why would he need to copy something he witnessed?

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    March 6, 2008 at 10:37 pm

  27. Abdo,

    In your first post I must clarify a couple things.

    Faith is complete. It is a trust in God being who He says He is, although we are gradually coming to a knowledge of who He is through His revelation to mankind. What Abraham had faith in versus the disciples had faith in is somewhat different because of the revelation of the Messiah.

    Salvation, on the other hand, was completed in Jesus Christ. The Old Testament points to a day when the Messiah would take upon himself the punishment for sin (Isaiah 53:4). Muhammad’s teachings for salvation differ from the completed work of Christ, and are no salvation at all.

    I’m glad you are enjoying the website, but you must be careful not to use it solely to confirm your own biases. You noted that the word for worship of God and the worship of Jesus were the same, but you chose different definitions to fit what you believe.

    In your second post, you must recognize the difference between honoring Christ at the right hand of God and being in the presence of God. It implies authority to rule to sit at the right hand of a king; especially the King of kings!

    In your third post, you cited Ehrman’s other book. Did you know that nearly 100% of the New Testament can be reproduced from letters and sermons of 1st and 2nd Century Church Fathers? Do you realize that if the theory of scribes changing the Bible was true that they would have to go back through hundreds or even thousands of copies in several different languages within the first 50 years of the New Testament being written to accomplish this? A scribe would have to conspire with other scribes, dupe people who were first or second generation Christians into believing a changed Gospel, and be fluent in Koine Greek, Aramaic, Coptic, and several other languages. All that to say…it’s just not a very good theory.

    In your fourth post, you completely missed the point I was trying to make. I know Jesus most likely preached in Aramaic. Greek was the language of trade. It was a common language that allowed the majority of the Roman Empire to hear and understand Jesus’ teachings. A translation is adequate because teachings don’t need to be word for word to hold true.

    In your final post, Isaiah prophesied Christ’s death on the Cross in detail. Jesus told his disciples that he would die, not eventually, but even saying the time for his departure had come! They didn’t believe him or get it at the time, but wrote it down later after they realized what he was talking about. They also saw a risen Christ with nail holes in his hands and feet! Explain that one to me…

    Do you approve of the killing of “reverts”? It’s OK to kill someone if they change their beliefs? Can you show me where Judaism teaches this? I would consider this murder. I could look up and give you example after example of Christians being killed for their faith by Muslims. I don’t have the time to find all that information, but it’s out there if you look.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    March 6, 2008 at 11:19 pm

  28. Andrew,

    This is is a reply to only your last point about apostasy in Judaism. You will get my reply to the other points later.

    Deuteronomy 13:6-10:

    “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which [is] as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; [Namely], of the gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”

    Please don’t ask me if I approve of something or another. We are discussing the scriptures and what they contain.

    عبده

    March 7, 2008 at 8:00 am

  29. Andrew,

    I will post my replies to the other points in your comments after I see your response to the passage above.

    *

    عبده

    March 13, 2008 at 11:52 pm

  30. Abdo,

    I must admit, I was unaware of the Deuteronomy passage, as it is not used in the Church. I would note one thing about it; this passage points to those leading people away to false gods and idols. If Yahweh and Allah are one in the same does the Qu’ranic mandate on killing reverts condemn those who convert to Christianity or Judaism since you say they worship the same God?

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    March 18, 2008 at 12:36 am

  31. Let me first say the following. The issue of killing reverts was brought up by you within the context of your accusations against Mohamed, in which you tried to show, among other things, that Mohamed did not accept what the previous prophets taught. I believe I have clearly shown that this accusation and all the others are simply baseless.

    Now back to your comment above, and I must say it is a very interesting one indeed.

    You were not aware of the passage because it is not used in the Church! This is really interesting, because it means that the Church gets to select which passages of the Bible are to be used and which are not. In Islam, the Quran is openly accessible to the average Muslim and nothing is put aside.

    When you say “false gods and idols” what do you mean? What is the definition of false gods and idols according to the passage? As I understand the passage it talks about gods “which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers”. So, if an Israelite wants to follow this passage he would definitely reject Christ as god, because nowhere in the Hebrew Bible or anywhere in the Jewish tradition is there anything about a divine Christ or a begotten Son of God, or a triune God, etc.

    It is also interesting when you speak about worshiping the same God. It is obvious that you are not saying that Jews, Muslims, and Christians worship the same God; you are merely saying that Islam says so. But this is not correct! Islam says that all the prophet and messengers (Noah, Abraham, Jonah, David, Jacob, Isaac, Ismail, Moses, Jesus, Mohamed, and all the rest) were appointed by the same God. They came to lead people into the worship of the one and only God Allah Almighty. Although the name of God should be preserved, I personally don’t see a major issue if someone wishes to call God a different name such as Yahweh. The problem is, however, when someone comes up with a new creed which was not taught by the messengers and prophets of God. God Almighty does not need to change in anyway; neither does He need to reveal His truth “gradually”. So, what Adam “knew” about God should be the same as what Abraham “knew” and the same as what all people in all times and places are to know about God. Different knowledge about who God is means different creed and that makes a different God.

    This passage in Deuteronomy shows that changing one’s religion/creed was an issue between Judaism and Christianity even before Islam came in. Was the issue resolved between Judaism and Christianity? Perception of the truth about God was also an issue among the different sects of Christianity, was it ever resolved there? How do the different Christian sects regard one another?

    It is amazing how the People of The Book (Jews and Christians) forget all their tragic history and differences as soon as Islam comes in, and project all their problems and differences on Islam while they themselves cannot agree on anything.

    Finally I would like to make the following correction. The Quran does NOT mandate the killing of reverts! There is nothing in the Quran that says anything of that nature, and you are welcome to cross-check me on that. It is, however, one of the debatable issues in Islam. Muslim scholars who support that position make their argument based on an incident when some people during the life of Prophet Muhammad in Medina converted to Islam with the intention of reverting back a few days later, and when they reverted from Islam they made the claim that after they got into Islam they found it to be a false religion and decided to switch back. Because of that, and to deny those people the chance to smear Islam they way they were trying to, Prophet Mohammed gave the order that anyone who changes his religion is to be killed. And only then the scheme of those people failed.

    عبده

    March 23, 2008 at 6:15 am

  32. Andrew,

    Here are my replies to your comments one by one. The quoted text is your original and it is followed by my response.

    You say:

    “In your first post I must clarify a couple things.
    Faith is complete. It is a trust in God being who He says He is, although we are gradually coming to a knowledge of who He is through His revelation to mankind. What Abraham had faith in versus the disciples had faith in is somewhat different because of the revelation of the Messiah.”

    My understanding of the “completeness” of faith has always been that the creed was always complete ever since Adam; i.e. God defined in full who He is and what we should have faith in long ago ever since Adam. Therefore the creed remains the same from the beginning to the end, and God’s revelations do not change that creed, but rather continuously reinforce it as the one and only creed there is.

    The way you define faith is that it is a “trust in God being who He says He is”, and therefore the completeness of faith, as you define it, is a believer’s “complete trust” in what God says who He is.

    I don’t have a problem that faith in God involves trust in who He says he is. My problem is with the concept that God reveals Himself gradually; which is your explanation for the difference between what Abraham had faith in and what the disciples had faith in.

    Why? Why would God choose to present who He is to humanity only partially, and later at some point in time, reveal the rest of the definition of who He is.

    I would be very interested to know your explanation.

    عبده

    March 23, 2008 at 6:19 am

  33. Andrew,

    This is another part of my replies to your comments. The quoted text is your original and it is followed by my response.

    You say:

    “Salvation, on the other hand, was completed in Jesus Christ. The Old Testament points to a day when the Messiah would take upon himself the punishment for sin (Isaiah 53:4). Muhammad’s teachings for salvation differ from the completed work of Christ, and are no salvation at all.”

    I say: salvation and faith are closely related. Faith tells us who God is and what He wants from you, and salvation is to accept the true faith and to live by it. You cannot mix Christian faith with Islamic teachings for salvation to conclude that they are no salvation at all.

    Islam’s teachings are based on its own articles of faith. There is no trinity in Islam, God does not have a son, no original sin, Adam was forgiven and no need for him to die for his sin, none of his offspring carries a mustard seed’s weight of his sin.

    The terms of the Islamic faith are taken from the Quran, not from the Bible. Again and again, we will always hit the same rock which is the two books and how they are different. Yet, I am starting to see another serious problem even before we start to compare the Quran and the Bible to figure out which one of them is the true word of God. That problem is the difference between the Christian and the Jewish interpretations of the Old Testament.

    I say this because I see many cases where Jews and Christians interpret the same verses of the OT differently. Isaiah 53:4, which you cited above is a good example. Christians have translated the Hebrew text into Greek then into English. But when we go to a direct translation for the Hebrew text into English we get different meanings. For example, this translation of Isaiah 53:4 (http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1053.htm), does not talk about taking the punishment for sin as you say above.. it merely talks about bearing diseases and carrying pains.

    عبده

    March 23, 2008 at 6:24 am

  34. Andrew,

    Another reply. Again, the quoted text is your original and it is followed by my response.

    You say:

    “I’m glad you are enjoying the website, but you must be careful not to use it solely to confirm your own biases. You noted that the word for worship of God and the worship of Jesus were the same, but you chose different definitions to fit what you believe.”

    To the contrary..

    I noted that the word used for the two disciple’s worship of Jesus was “bow down with forehead on the ground as an act of reverence”, while the other word for worship of God was “ritual worship of the divine”.

    It is the translators of the Bible who diluted all the differences when they used a single English word (“worship”) for the different words of the text. It is the translators who were doing this in order to imply what they believe (divinity of Jesus) when the original text did not support that.

    عبده

    March 23, 2008 at 6:27 am

  35. Andrew,

    One more reply.

    You say:

    “In your second post, you must recognize the difference between honoring Christ at the right hand of God and being in the presence of God. It implies authority to rule to sit at the right hand of a king; especially the King of kings!”

    I say: How did you reach the implication that sitting on the right hand of God implies “authority to rule”? I don’t see any connection. I don’t see why the King of Kings God Almighty would share his “authority” with anyone, especially with one of his creation!

    عبده

    March 23, 2008 at 6:28 am

  36. Andrew,

    Another reply.

    You say:

    “In your third post, you cited Ehrman’s other book. Did you know that nearly 100% of the New Testament can be reproduced from letters and sermons of 1st and 2nd Century Church Fathers? Do you realize that if the theory of scribes changing the Bible was true that they would have to go back through hundreds or even thousands of copies in several different languages within the first 50 years of the New Testament being written to accomplish this? A scribe would have to conspire with other scribes, dupe people who were first or second generation Christians into believing a changed Gospel, and be fluent in Koine Greek, Aramaic, Coptic, and several other languages. All that to say…it’s just not a very good theory.”

    I say:

    No, that’s not what one understands from Ehrman’s book. Ehrman clearly explains that alterations to the text were of two types: a) Unintentional writing mistakes typically made by scribes, and these constitute the overwhelming majority of the alterations. b) Intentional alterations made to reinforce a theological school against the rest; and these are what’s important.

    It is clear how the first type of alterations may take place; basically human error.

    As for the second type, your theory to show how impossible it is for the errors to be intentionally carried out is so complicated because it assumes that changes proliferated from bottom to top, which is not the right assumption in the case of the “intentional errors”.

    These theological alterations more likely spread from top to bottom, and here is a much simpler way for how they could be made:

    • Authorship of text is limited to a handful of authors.
    • These authors write and send out to target communities
    • Target communities produce local copies through scribes.
    • Whenever new modifications are necessary, the primary authors make the alterations, and pass them down the chain of followers.
    • When a new version arrives to a local community they demolish the old version and adopt the new one.

    عبده

    March 23, 2008 at 6:33 am

  37. Andrew,

    One more reply. You say:

    “In your fourth post, you completely missed the point I was trying to make. I know Jesus most likely preached in Aramaic. Greek was the language of trade. It was a common language that allowed the majority of the Roman Empire to hear and understand Jesus’ teachings. A translation is adequate because teachings don’t need to be word for word to hold true.”

    I say:

    Translating the word of God is not the same as translating teachings of this person or another. When it comes to translating the word of God, a translation is never adequate because: a) translations are a kind of interpretation, and the word of God should not be replaced by one of its interpretations, b) translations remove us from the original word of God which means all the power and beauty of the original text is lost. Not only are these two problems evident in the case of the Bible, but also the original text is not accessible anymore to the common believer.

    عبده

    March 23, 2008 at 6:35 am

  38. Andrew,

    My last reply. You say:

    “In your final post, Isaiah prophesied Christ’s death on the Cross in detail. Jesus told his disciples that he would die, not eventually, but even saying the time for his departure had come! They didn’t believe him or get it at the time, but wrote it down later after they realized what he was talking about. They also saw a risen Christ with nail holes in his hands and feet! Explain that one to me…”

    I say,

    Jesus never told his disciples that he would die!
    He once told them that he gives them the sign of Jonah. Jonah was inside the whale for 3 days and 3 nights.. but Jonah was “alive” inside the whale; not dead.

    When Jesus says that the time for his “departure” had come, it does not mean the time for his “death” has come. Departure can take place without the person being dead. The Quran confirms this and says that Jesus was lifted up to heaven (raised) alive.

    I can see where in the Bible Jesus showed the disciples his hand, feet, and the side of his body.. but nothing in the narrations explicitly confirms that Jesus did actually have imprints of holes on his hands and feet or a wound scar on the side of his body.

    I can interpret these passages differently: that Jesus was trying to show them that he had NOT been crucified, that his hands and feet and the side of his body did NOT have any holes imprints or wound scars. I am not sure which of the disciples were present at the crucifixion scene, but I believe most of them only heard about it from others. So, they had been convinced that he was crucified and this is why when they saw him at first they thought he was a spirit, because dead people resurrect only in the spirit. He showed them his body and asked them to touch it to make sure that it was a real body and that it did not have imprints or scars. He also asked them for bread and ate from it to show them that he was alive in the flesh. His aim was to show them that he had not been killed, that he had not died, that he had not been crucified. When they saw all that they believed.

    عبده

    March 23, 2008 at 6:40 am

  39. Abdo,

    I am responding to your first comment and going from there.

    I question Islam killing reverts because Islam presupposes that Allah and Yahweh are one in the same. Why then should you kill a former Muslim who becomes a Jew or a Christian if they serve the same God? In my understanding this is an inconsistency, but it is being used in countries in the Muslim world; from Iran to Burma.

    The passage in Deuteronomy is not used in the Church because it was specific to Jewish society. Judaism was a theocratic state; a nation ruled by God. The Church does not have the role of government in executing law breakers. That is why this passage is irrelevant to Christianity.

    Christ does not qualify as a God ‘unknown to the fathers.’ Your understanding of the Trinity separates Christ and God into separate gods. The proper understanding of the Trinity is one God in three Persons. John 1 presents this when it calls Christ the Word which was with God in the beginning and WAS God. If you continue to verse 14, it says “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” referring to Jesus.

    Any time you see God in the flesh it is Christ, for the Old Testament tells us that no one has seen or can see God and live. Abraham met with God in Genesis. This would have been Jesus, and not the Father.

    Isaiah 9:6 tells us, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Notice Isaiah calls the Messiah “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father” which are names for God. Isaiah also refers to the Messiah as Immanuel, which means “God with us”.

    God humbled Himself to take on flesh and become fully man in the person of Jesus Christ. He died a terrible death on the Cross to pay the penalty for sin that we couldn’t afford. He was the spotless lamb. He rose again to conquer Death and open the door to eternal life.

    As to a gradual revelation vs. an entire revelation: How is it possible for all men to know everything about God? Can we read Genesis and know everything about God? Or does it help to have more information? Can our understanding of God ever be complete in our finite minds?

    Compare this to a relationship with a friend. When you meet a new friend, you don’t instantly know everything about them. You must learn who they are, and you must also experience who they are. This is a process that is always continuing. God’s relationship with humanity is similar, and our knowledge of Him will not be complete as long as we are incomplete.

    I want to add this and clarify; I don’t believe Muslims worship the same God as Jews and Christians. I don’t find Allah’s character to be the same as Yahweh’s, and according to Christ’s warnings, I don’t consider Muhammad to be a prophet of Yahweh. I believe there is room for friendly discourse between us “People of the Book” and Muslims such as you and Rasheed. I hope to understand each other better, but don’t pretend that we will come to any agreement.

    You said, “Islam’s teachings are based on its own articles of faith. There is no trinity in Islam, God does not have a son, no original sin, Adam was forgiven and no need for him to die for his sin, none of his offspring carries a mustard seed’s weight of his sin.”

    This is directly contrary to the Biblical definitions of God’s character and the human need for salvation. If you have new “articles of faith” and you don’t affirm original sin, you obviously have a different God.

    The rest comes down to a matter of interpreting texts to fit what you already believe. This can be done going on a verse by verse basis, but when you step back to look at the big picture it doesn’t fit together.

    The Christian Bible is not wholly reliant on translations such as the Greek Septuagint. It’s not like early Christians didn’t understand the Hebrew Old Testament. Paul himself was trained as a Pharisee in the Old Testament. Jewish males were trained from childhood from the Old Testament.

    Your account of the New Testament writer changing texts constantly and burning old copies is an interesting theory, but has absolutely no scholarly support. We have no reason to believe there were any changes or any texts were burned. I doubt the Church would have stood for this practice anyway. Someone would have stood up and cried foul if they saw the New Testament authors constantly changing the texts. This didn’t happen. The New Testament is made up of letters. Do you write a letter to someone and then ask them to burn it so you can rewrite it?!

    The New Testament authors didn’t need to rewrite old letters to combat heresy in the Church. Instead, they would write a new letter and deal with the heresy directly. There are a few such letters.

    For your arguments, and ultimately Islam, to be true several unlikely things need to have happened all at once (and not a single can be missing):
    1) Jesus was an utter failure as a prophet, since not a single of his followers ever got the message right ( until Muhammad clarified it for them).
    2) The disciple John, Jesus’ mother Mary, and other followers did not actually see him die.
    3) Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus did not bury Christ’s dead body.
    4) The vast majority of the New Testament must be fabricated. It couldn’t be that they were changed, but they must have been a lie to start with.
    5) A large number of passages in the Old Testament must be wrong. The rest we have misinterpreted.
    6) The disciples went to their deaths for a lie or error. And probably something they knew was not true.
    7) The disciples interpreted passages wrong which they were responsible for writing (but Muhammad and Muslims have interpreted them correctly).

    The possibility that all of the above statements are true is next to none.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    March 26, 2008 at 12:02 am

  40. Andrew

    I find your assertion that Allah and YHWH are different astonishing and highly irrational. After all, Jesus himself knew God by the name Allah as evidenced by all Aramaic Bibles written prior to Islam. All Arabic speaking Christians and Jews do not share your view, as they worship Allah and the name is written in their Bibles, furthermore, Jews do not share your theology of original sin nor do they accept that Jesus was God in the flesh.

    The word YHWH is probably not the name of God, but a semitic expression that means ‘HE’. It is a word that is common to Hebrew and Arabic. – In Arabic, HWA means He, and the preceding Y is a prefix used to invoke or call a person.

    Similarly, the other name of God found in the Bible ‘Elohim’ is an invocation of Allah, which is also found in Arabic in the form ‘Allahum’

    If the Hebrew Bible says that no one can see God and remain alive, and then says that Abraham met with God, then this is discrepancy that can resolved by admitting that the passages about Abraham meeting God, or Jacob wrestling with God, are human additions/ alterations of the text rather than to assume that it was the yet unborn Jesus.

    Rasheed

    March 26, 2008 at 6:32 pm

  41. Rasheed,

    A name does not prove anything. Names are borrowed all the time in religions. Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses will tell you they serve the same God as Christians, but that’s not even close to the truth. They took the Bible and completely rewrote it to suit their purposes. They even use the names of Jesus and Jehovah (another name for God). I may call another man Rasheed, that does not make him you.

    Because a passage does not fit your understanding doesn’t mean it has been changed. That is a highly irrational assumption. Perhaps it is your understanding that is lacking. These cases of God in human form fit with what we know of Jesus. The Messiah was prophesied to be “Immanuel” which means “God with us”. This understanding helps us make sense of these passages.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    March 27, 2008 at 2:22 am

  42. So,you believe that the God/ Jesus met with Abraham, wrestled with Jacob and lost, then went back to become an embryo in his mother’s womb then grew up to become man again.

    I have to say these stories are very difficult to believe. No one can prevail against God. The Gospel of John says “No one has ever seen God”.

    Why did not the man who wrestled Jacob identified himself as the Son of God?

    Not once in the NT did Jesus identify himself to people he met as God or Elohim as in the story of Jacob.
    There are just too many inconsistencies in your theory about human form visits by God.

    You do accept that the Bible in its present form is not inerrant, i.e there are errors in the text, therefore, there is no reason to reject my assumption that these stories of God losing to Jacob or meeting with Abraham are mistakes.

    Rasheed

    March 28, 2008 at 1:29 am

  43. Rasheed,

    I believe that the biblical appearances of God to men must have an explanation and the most likely explanation is Christ, since Christ is God in human flesh, and no one can see God the Father. Within the Christian understanding of the Godhead, this makes the most sense.

    You must also understand that God taking on human form does not necessitate being born and reborn every time, but Jesus’ birth has a distinct purpose. God became fully human and experienced everything humans would experience; from birth to death, and even temptation. He did this to identify with us. So He can no longer be seen as some distant and perfect God. He knows exactly what it’s like to feel pain, sorrow, suffering, and temptation as one of us.

    I understand that the stories are difficult for you to believe because Allah is a different God with a different set of rules. You view concepts of Yahweh and Jesus through the lens of Islam. Remove this lens and the inconsistencies are stripped away.

    You said:
    “You do accept that the Bible in its present form is not inerrant, i.e there are errors in the text, therefore, there is no reason to reject my assumption that these stories of God losing to Jacob or meeting with Abraham are mistakes.”

    I accept that there have been slight errors in the Bible’s transmission, but I also reject your assumption that these errors are detrimental to the texts. There have been a few changes over the years, but when we go back to the older texts, it is easy to identify these changes and rectify the newest translations with the original. That’s how we know there are errors- because they’ve been identified and corrected!

    Consider this: Let’s say you write a book and make several thousand copies by hand over your lifetime that are 99.9% accurate, but you misspelled a few words, put a few “a’s” where there should be “an’s”, and decided to specify a name where you previously wrote “he” or “she”. Also, people love your book so much that they write college term papers and theses using quotes from it, such that we can assemble the entire text only using quotes. Two thousand years from now we still have over 5,000 copies of your book in its original form. We then match the quotes up with the original texts that you copied. We can be reasonably certain that we have an extremely accurate copy of your book!

    The same is true of the New Testament texts. The Old Testament texts have also been handed down over thousands of years, but I don’t see any reason to assume errors in them beyond your desire for them to be untrue, and thus validate Islam. Why should we assume mistakes rather than assume accuracy? Historians don’t treat any other ancient texts with that assumption. Julius Caesar, the works of Plato and other philosophers, the Iliad and the Odyssey, all of these texts we assume accuracy, though we have less copies and their copies date over a thousand years after they were published. What makes the Bible different?

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    March 28, 2008 at 5:07 pm

  44. Andrew

    You said:

    God became fully human and experienced everything humans would experience; from birth to death, and even temptation. He did this to identify with us. So He can no longer be seen as some distant and perfect God. He knows exactly what it’s like to feel pain, sorrow, suffering, and temptation as one of us.

    Is this something that God himself said about the reason behind the alleged human incarnations, or is it you guessing the motives of God?

    I do not believe that God needs to experience life as a human to know what it is like to suffer pain… etc. He is the One who created us and all our feelings and abilities.

    Also, are you saying that, now you have corrected all the mistakes in the Bible, it has become once more inerrant?

    Finally, what do you say about millions of Arab Christians and Jews who worship Allah? are they worshipping a false god? Remember that Arabs were introduced to Christianity before Europeans.

    All Jews before and after St. Paul did not recognise the triune godhead but worshipped Allah. It is the followers of St. Paul who changed the definition of Allah and claimed a trinity that is challenged by Islam and Judaism.

    Allah is the Creator of heavens and earth, you and me, and everything, He dose not really need your recognition.

    Rasheed

    March 28, 2008 at 6:14 pm

  45. Rasheed,

    We don’t have to guess at the motives of God. The paragraph you quoted all finds Biblical support. The key word in your response is “believe”. Because you refuse to believe something does not make it untrue. As John writes in 1 John 5:10 “Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.” And it may make more sense to look at this not that God needed to be like us, but we needed God to understand.

    Imagine with me if you would, you are going through a difficult time after losing a loved one. A friend comes to console you who has never lost a loved one. They have no idea what it’s like. Do you want them comforting you or do you want someone who understands what you’re going through and has been there?

    The mistakes we find in the Bible, if we know them to be mistakes, then obviously they are corrected. If you read a book and it has a few typos, do you immediately assume that there must be more typos? And how many times do you go back searching for them? The fact of the matter is scholars have been pouring over these manuscripts for the last two milennia. I daresay that the vast majority of the mistakes have been found. We shouldn’t assume a mistake then every time we don’t agree with something. And keep in mind that nearly ALL the mistakes to start with did not change anything in the meaning of the passages and would not have any effect on inerrancy.

    Millions of Arab Christians and Jews worship “Allah” which in their tongue means “God”. This does not imply they worship the Allah of Islam who came about long after Judaism and Christianity knew God as Allah. To them Allah is God and not a proper name for God.

    The Trinity was not invented by Paul. It was not a teaching of the early Church because the early Church understood and did not feel the need to explain. The facts were laid out individually beginning in the Old Testament… Jesus is God… the Holy Spirit is God… the Father is God… but never called the Trinity. The Trinity name was given later to help Christians understand the Biblical teachings and draw the line between Christian doctrine and false teachings.

    The reason Jews challenge the triune Godhead is that they missed the Messiah. God told the prophet Isaiah that He was hardening the hearts of the Jewish people to the point that they would reject their own Messiah. The Jewish understanding of God at the time of Jesus was incomplete and focused on their ability to obey the Law and not their need for God. The Jewish leaders attacked Jesus and eventually killed him to preserve their power over the people and their hypocritical lifestyles. Jesus called these men a “brood of vipers”. Not exactly the kind of men to get your Biblical teachings from.

    Islam, on the other hand, challenges the Trinity out of necessity. If Biblical teachings are true, Islam isn’t.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    March 31, 2008 at 4:40 pm

  46. “Allah is the Creator of heavens and earth, you and me, and everything, He dose not really need your recognition”.

    How do you know this? if he doesnt then why is he sending prophets one aftre the other.. why does he want people to bow five times a day & pray

    jpr (moderated)

    kabir

    April 1, 2008 at 8:06 am

  47. Andrew,

    Here are my responses to your comment.

    You said:

    “I question Islam killing reverts because Islam presupposes that Allah and Yahweh are one in the same. Why then should you kill a former Muslim who becomes a Jew or a Christian if they serve the same God? In my understanding this is an inconsistency, but it is being used in countries in the Muslim world; from Iran to Burma.”

    I have shown that the Quran never commanded the killing of reverts, and I have explained the context of the different positions of some Muslim scholars on this. Yet, you are still repeating your claim of inconsistency. I must say that the inconsistency is only in your logic, and here is why. There is nothing in Islam that orders the killing of Christians and Jews just because they are Christians and Jews. The issue we are discussing here is the prophet’s instruction as a measure for preventing anyone from playing the game of entering and exiting Islam with the purpose to smear Islam by claiming that after they got into Islam they found it to be a false or a bad religion. This is the context of the Prophet’s order.

    In order for the inconsistency which you are claiming to be there you need to show that Islam orders the killing of followers of the Jewish and Christian religions (whether reverts or indigenous) ‘while at the same time’ recognizing these two religions as two other valid paths accepted by God.

    I can assure you that you cannot find anything in Islam that could support this. Neither that Islam orders the killing of Jews and Christians (just because they are Jews and Christians), nor does it recognize these two religions as valid paths accepted by God. To the contrary, there are numerous verses in the Quran which commands Muslims to treat Christians and Jews nicely as long as they treat Muslims nicely.

    You have stated (further down in your comment) that you don’t believe that Muslims worship the same God as Jews and Christians. I personally agree, and would furthermore add that Jews and Christians themselves don’t worship the same God. The God of the Jews is not a triune God and He doesn’t have a begotten son, and He did not demand blood sacrifice as the only redemption for sin.

    So, again the inconsistency is in your logic and understanding of the issue, and therefore your accusation to Islam of inconsistency is false and invalid and bounces back unto you.

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:09 pm

  48. Andrew,

    My responses, continued.

    You said:

    “The passage in Deuteronomy is not used in the Church because it was specific to Jewish society. Judaism was a theocratic state; a nation ruled by God. The Church does not have the role of government in executing law breakers. That is why this passage is irrelevant to Christianity.”

    If the Church does not have the role of government then on what basis did the Church assume this role when it wedded with the state throughout its history in the past; starting from the days of the Roman emperors until the days of religious states of Europe? Furthermore, the passage in Isaiah 9:6 which you cited bellow as a description of the Messiah says “and the government will be on his shoulders.” If the Church does not assume this role, who does?

    So far I am following your interpretation of Isaiah 9:6 which you take as referring to Jesus. However, I believe you are aware that the Jews do not identify this passage in Isaiah with Jesus but rather with a child born during the reign of king Ahaz. So, once again, we are confronted with the serious issue of differences between the Jews and Christians in interpreting the OT. Both Christians and Jews are “People of the Book”, yet we cannot get a common agreement from them on barely anything with regard to the OT!! Even if we are to take an objective position and try to reach an objective interpretation of the OT passages, we will still be confronted with the issue of translation. It is absolutely useless to spend our time and effort discussing your English translation of the OT trying to interpret its passages, only to discover later that the original Hebrew text can be translated differently. Different translations lead to different interpretations, or in fact translations themselves are interpretations.

    I also have this one more comment about the name Immanuel, which you take to mean “God with us”. Ok, I accept your translation of the name because “Im” in Hebrew means “with” and “anu” indicates “us” and “el” is one of the Hebrew words used to imply “God”. But this does not necessarily mean that this name is given only to a person who is actually “God” who is living “with us”! What about “Immanuel Kant”, “Immanuel John”, “Immanuel Velikovsky”, “Immanuel Wallerstein”, and “Immanuel Ghareib”? I actually don’t know any of these people; I just found their names on Google! But are they also God with us? I believe Immanuel was just a name, and it does not in any way mean that the person is actually God with us.

    Finally, and most importantly, when I recall your earlier claim about Mohamed rejecting the previous prophets, it seems to me that it is the Church is in fact the one who rejects the previous prophets. The Church claims to accept the previous prophets but makes an exception here and an exception there wherever the scripture does not go in line with its theology and in effect cancelling major passages of the OT or dramatically reinterpreting them.

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:13 pm

  49. Andrew,

    My responses, continued.

    You said:

    “Christ does not qualify as a God ‘unknown to the fathers.’ Your understanding of the Trinity separates Christ and God into separate gods. The proper understanding of the Trinity is one God in three Persons. John 1 presents this when it calls Christ the Word which was with God in the beginning and WAS God. If you continue to verse 14, it says “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” referring to Jesus.
    Any time you see God in the flesh it is Christ, for the Old Testament tells us that no one has seen or can see God and live. Abraham met with God in Genesis. This would have been Jesus, and not the Father.”

    I say, please don’t worry much about my understanding of the Trinity. Let’s focus on Abraham’s understanding of the Trinity. Did Abraham really know anything about the trinity? Did he ever know anything about the new revelations about God which were revealed only with the Messiah? Did Abraham know God as three Persons or as one God in three Persons? Was Abraham aware when he met God in Genesis (as you say) that he was actually meeting with Jesus? Did Abraham know anything about John 1? Apparently, and as you stated in your previous response, Abraham was not aware of all this.

    This is truly amazing, Abraham the “friend of God” ( “الخليل” “חֶבְרוֹן”) kneow less about God than what the average Christian knows!!!!

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:15 pm

  50. Andrew,

    My responses, continued.

    You said:

    “God humbled Himself to take on flesh and become fully man in the person of Jesus Christ. He died a terrible death on the Cross to pay the penalty for sin that we couldn’t afford. He was the spotless lamb. He rose again to conquer Death and open the door to eternal life.”

    I say, it is a grave mistake to say that God humbled Himself. God did not take on flesh; He did not become fully man in the person of anybody. Jesus Christ was a man born of a virgin. Jesus Christ did not die on the cross. Sinners will either be forgiven when they repent, or receive their penalty individually, each will pay for his sin and his sin alone. No one carries sins of anyone else. Eternal life in Paradise is open for those who believe in and seek the One and only God, Allah Almighty, and worship Him according to the true religion, Islam.

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:16 pm

  51. Andrew,

    My responses, continued.

    You said,

    “As to a gradual revelation vs. an entire revelation: How is it possible for all men to know everything about God? Can we read Genesis and know everything about God? Or does it help to have more information? Can our understanding of God ever be complete in our finite minds?”

    I say, it is not possible for all men to know everything about God; yes true. But this is not the question!! The question is this: if God is ready to reveal a certain amount of his truth to humanity, why would He reveal only part of that amount at first, and then at a later point in time reveal the rest? If an average human being of our days, such as you, is able to digest what you say has been revealed about God in the New Testament, why was it not possible for the average human being of the Old Testament to receive the same revelations?

    You also say,

    “Compare this to a relationship with a friend. When you meet a new friend, you don’t instantly know everything about them. You must learn who they are, and you must also experience who they are. This is a process that is always continuing. God’s relationship with humanity is similar, and our knowledge of Him will not be complete as long as we are incomplete.”

    I say, I may not agree with the way you phrased the last sentence but I agree that we cannot know everything about God. But your example above is interesting because how would you feel if you think that you are friends with someone but later you find out that there are others who know about this person more than you do?

    When you talk about knowing God as a continuous process, you make it sound as if knowledge about God is the sort of knowledge as that of making airplanes and computers. That humanity had to go through stages of knowledge before it could reach the ability to make the next invention. Cleary this is not the case.

    Knowledge about God does not need to be cumulative over time. As I said above, if the trinity and Christ’s divinity are concepts that can be digested by the man of the current era, why couldn’t these concepts be revealed to the man of the OT times?! What sort of pre-requisite concepts were those people lacking and only after Jesus’ departure it became possible for humanity to be able to perceive of the new concepts?

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:17 pm

  52. Andrew,

    My responses, continued.

    You said:

    “I want to add this and clarify; I don’t believe Muslims worship the same God as Jews and Christians. I don’t find Allah’s character to be the same as Yahweh’s, and according to Christ’s warnings, I don’t consider Muhammad to be a prophet of Yahweh. I believe there is room for friendly discourse between us “People of the Book” and Muslims such as you and Rasheed. I hope to understand each other better, but don’t pretend that we will come to any agreement.”

    I say, as for Allah’s character, let me suggest for you to give the “learning process” a little more time because maybe there are things which you still don’t know about Allah, and maybe there are wrong things which you have been told about Him. Just give the “process” the adequate time and fair mind it deserves.

    As for “Christ’s warnings”, could you elaborate a little more on these “warnings” and how they apply to Mohamed?

    As for friendly discourse, there is of course room for that. As a matter of fact there has been more room for friendly discourse between Muslims and the “People of the Book” than has ever been room for friendly discourse among the “People of the Book” themselves.
    As for coming to agreement, I must say I find your statement a little disappointing. When you say “but don’t pretend that we will come to any agreement.” are you excluding “any agreement” whatsoever? If I were you I would have said “but don’t pretend that we will come to ‘total’ agreement.”

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:18 pm

  53. Andrew,

    My responses, continued.

    You said:

    “You said, “Islam’s teachings are based on its own articles of faith. There is no trinity in Islam, God does not have a son, no original sin, Adam was forgiven and no need for him to die for his sin, none of his offspring carries a mustard seed’s weight of his sin.”
    This is directly contrary to the Biblical definitions of God’s character and the human need for salvation. If you have new “articles of faith” and you don’t affirm original sin, you obviously have a different God.”

    Your concept regarding the “human need for salvation” is based on original sin. Original sin is contrary to logic because it says that God condemned Adam to death when Adam ate from the tree, and God further transposed Adam’s sin to all of his seed. This is contradictory to logic because: a) God will not inflict a grave punishment such as death for a small sin such as eating from a tree, b) it is contrary to God’s justice to impose the sin of the father on his seed, and c) God has a much better and a more ‘God-like’ way for handling sin, which is forgiveness based on repentance.

    It is indeed funny that you say that it is Islam that comes up with new faith. I see that it is Christianity which came with a new faith! The trinity, original sin, Christ’s divinity, etc. these are “new” articles of faith. Islam came only to reaffirm the original correct faith of Abraham and the prophets including Jesus himself who never claimed to be divine, and was never crucified on a cross. Of course Islam’s view of God is different from Christianity’s view, but it is the original and true view of God.

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:19 pm

  54. Andrew,

    My responses, continued.

    You said:

    “The rest comes down to a matter of interpreting texts to fit what you already believe. This can be done going on a verse by verse basis, but when you step back to look at the big picture it doesn’t fit together.”

    I say, this applies to you more than it does on me. And because of this I choose to skip parts of your comment which cite versus from the Bible. I have shown you earlier examples of how Christians and Jews cannot come to agreement on interpreting the Old Testament.

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:20 pm

  55. Andrew,

    My responses, continued.

    You said:

    “The Christian Bible is not wholly reliant on translations such as the Greek Septuagint. It’s not like early Christians didn’t understand the Hebrew Old Testament. Paul himself was trained as a Pharisee in the Old Testament. Jewish males were trained from childhood from the Old Testament.”

    I say, regardless of what the Christian translation of the OT was based on, and regardless of how proficient early Christians were in Hebrew, the Christian OT is in many ways different than the Hebrew Torah to the point that we now have two different religions and they are based on the same “Book”.

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:20 pm

  56. Andrew,

    My responses, continued.

    You said:

    “Your account of the New Testament writer changing texts constantly and burning old copies is an interesting theory, but has absolutely no scholarly support. We have no reason to believe there were any changes or any texts were burned. I doubt the Church would have stood for this practice anyway. Someone would have stood up and cried foul if they saw the New Testament authors constantly changing the texts. This didn’t happen. The New Testament is made up of letters. Do you write a letter to someone and then ask them to burn it so you can rewrite it?!”

    I say, yes, if my first letter suffered significant criticism I might have to rewrite it, and ask for the first version to be disregarded. Why not?!!!!

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:21 pm

  57. Andrew,

    Last, you said:

    “For your arguments, and ultimately Islam, to be true several unlikely things need to have happened all at once (and not a single can be missing):

    1) Jesus was an utter failure as a prophet, since not a single of his followers ever got the message right ( until Muhammad clarified it for them).”

    The number of followers of a prophet is never a measure of that prophet’s success or failure. How many people got Noah’s message right and believed him. Moses showed great signs to Pharaoh and the Egyptians but how many Egyptians got Moses’ message and followed him. Abraham left his people because none of them (even his father) did not accept his message. Even in the land of the Canaanites, how many people besides Lot believed in Abraham’s message.

    Jesus was a prophet and messenger from God. He had a mission and he fulfilled his mission. That mission was to deliver a clear and un-ambiguous message to the Israelites. He performed his mission completely, within the time given him by God. Whether the Israelites accepted his message or not, and how many of them accepted were not performance criteria for his mission.

    2) The disciple John, Jesus’ mother Mary, and other followers did not actually see him die.

    Yes, they did not see Jesus die, because if any one did actually die on the cross that day it was certainly NOT Jesus. Jesus did not die. One possible explanation is that he only disappeared alive for some time and then reappeared to his disciples. This is a very likely possibility.

    3) Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus did not bury Christ’s dead body.

    This point is tied with the previous one. Jesus did not die, so if a body was buried it was not Jesus’ body but was the body of someone else.

    4) The vast majority of the New Testament must be fabricated. It couldn’t be that they were changed, but they must have been a lie to start with.

    I cannot quantify the parts of the NT which are not true to judge whether they were vast majority or not, and cannot affirm whether they were intentionally fabricated lies or simply based on inaccurate reports of the events. What I am certainly confident of is that Jesus was not crucified, so the crucifixion is false and any creed connected to it is also false whether it is based on explicit text or based on implicit interpretations of text.

    5) A large number of passages in the Old Testament must be wrong. The rest we have misinterpreted.

    Anything authored by humans will definitely have mistakes, and when humans interpret texts they make mistakes. In the case of interpretations of the OT, there are major theological differences between the Christian interpretation and the Jewish interpretation. Either one of you is wrong or both of you are wrong.

    6) The disciples went to their deaths for a lie or error. And probably something they knew was not true.

    We have not discussed the deaths of the disciples before this time. I believe that the disciples and Jesus’ mother did get Jesus’ true message and believed in him as a prophet and messenger from God. If they had been martyred for their beliefs, it was this basic belief that they were martyred for, not for any claim of Jesus’ divinity. If you have accounts of the disciples deaths please put them forth for us to discuss them.

    7) The disciples interpreted passages wrong which they were responsible for writing (but Muhammad and Muslims have interpreted them correctly).

    Which disciples interpreted which passages? I will be looking forward for some examples. In all cases, if Mohamed is a true messenger from God Almighty, he is at a higher level than the disciples, and is in better position to interpret Gods Word. So, if you are talking about passages which are agreed to be words of God, then the answer to your point above is “why not” ?!

    The possibility that Jesus was crucified is the absolute zero. It is never a great effort for God to save a prophet of His from the hands of his enemies. It is not befitting Jesus Christ to die a shameful death on a stick. Trinity is an invention introduced after Jesus’ departure. Jesus was not anointed by God to die as a sacrifice for our sins. God takes care of our sins the same way he did throughout humanity.

    عبده

    April 5, 2008 at 10:25 pm

  58. Abdo,

    I cannot address all your comments this morning, but would like to address the last comment in which you responded to my 7 unlikely events.

    1) Jesus said, “I have come to seek and save that which was lost”. If no one got his message and was saved, he failed his purpose.

    2) Explain to me how Jesus’ mother, the disciple John, and others present at the crucifixion mistook him for someone else. I have yet to receive an explanation for this. It’s an interesting theory I must say, but I find it absolutely ludicrous that a man’s own mother would not recognize him.

    3) How did Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus get the wrong body? Why did they not recognize Jesus? He had been in Jerusalem and taught in the temple. Nicodemus came to him and spoke with him (John 3). These men knew Jesus. How did he also fool the Romans that crucified him?

    4) If you believe the NT to be inaccurate, explain to me the predictions of Jesus dying. He predicted his own death in several different places. It is also predicted in the OT.

    5) There are major differences between Christian interpretations and Jewish interpretations. I will concede that. There are also major differences between how Jews interpreted the OT texts; including Jews who lived before Christ. We have early Jewish rabbinical writings that are dead on for how the Church interprets the OT.

    To understand this, you have to see a few things. God told the prophet Isaiah to, “Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” This explains why Jewish interpretations were different and why many Jews missed the Messiah. God repeats this theme throughout the OT of His disappointment with the Jews at several points in their history. There are certain to be many invalid interpretations.

    You also must understand prophecy. Prophecy often has a dual meaning or use. Often when a prophet speaks, they address not only an immediately upcoming event, but also an event far in the future. Many of the Messianic prophecies of David refer actually to events in David’s life, but the figurative language that David uses to describe his own life had a literal meaning in the life of Christ. For example, David wrote the words, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani” meaning, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus uttered these words on the Cross. David also wrote about men casting lots for his garment as the centurions did for the garments of Jesus as he was hanging on the Cross. David wrote of his hands and feet being pierced. This has a dual meaning in Christ’s crucifixion.

    Finally, you must see that Jesus often chastised the teachers of his day. He called them a “brood of vipers” and condemned their interpretation of scriptures regarding the Law.

    6) Out of the 12 disciples, including Judas Iscariot’s replacement, 11 of them were condemned to death for preaching Christ crucified and resurrected. John was the only one not executed, but he did spend time in exile on the island of Patmos. The disciples and other followers of Christ were continuously arrested, beaten, tortured, and killed for preaching about Jesus. The Romans made sport of feeding them to the lions, killing them in the ring with gladiator, and even blamed them when Rome burnt under Nero. Christianity grew rapidly against all odds in its early period.

    7) I will have to come back to this point as I try to remember the passages I had in mind when I wrote my original post. You’ll have to forgive me, but it’s been a while.

    Your conclusion that “It is not befitting Jesus Christ to die a shameful death on a stick” is not based on a biblical understanding of God. If you read through the Bible, it was not unusual for the Israelites to persecute and kill the prophets God sent them. God allowed their rebellion throughout the OT and into the NT. What makes you so sure God should protect Jesus if he did not protect any of the earlier prophets?

    I want to add a few things to your other points. There is a huge misconception people have. The Church and State involvement from Constantine, to the Crusades, on down to modern times is not biblical. The Church was never called to rule the state. There have been terrible things done in the name of Christ and in the name of the Church, whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant. There are many tragic and terrible mistakes made which have unfortunately harmed the name of Jesus and the reputation of the Church. Many of these were perpetrated by men who knew of Christ but of whom Christ will one day say “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41)”

    When Isaiah spoke of Jesus governing there are two implications. The first implication is Jesus’ earthly kingdom. This has not yet begun and is prophesied at his return to earth. The second implication is the kingdom Jesus spoke of when questioned by Pilate before his crucifixion. In John 18:36 Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” There are three key passages that help us understand what Jesus is talking about. In Matthew 6:9-15 Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray and speaks of the Father’s kingdom coming. This kingdom is that of the Father’s will being done on earth. In Luke 17:20-37 Jesus responds to the Pharisees telling them when the Kingdom of God would come. The time he is speaking of has not yet occurred.

    The other passage we must understand is Jesus’ temptation. In Matthew 4:8-10 Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth. He tells Jesus he will give him power over every one of them in return for Jesus worshiping him. Jesus’ response tells us that Satan could come through on this promise. The Bible tells us that Satan rules the kingdoms of this world and will up until the time Jesus returns.

    I also want to clarify the idea of original sin. It is not Adam’s sin we are punished for. But if we read the Genesis account of sin it is obvious that ‘all sin entered the world through one man’ as the Apostle Paul said (Romans 5:12). The idea is that once Adam fell, the rest of us were born with a sinful nature that opposes God. This nature is passed down from father to son in every generation. It is not a matter of God condemning man to death as much as it is a matter of man committing sin which deserves death. Take for example a judge and a lawbreaker. When a judge sentences a lawbreaker to be punished, who is at fault? The concept of original sin says that we, as lawbreakers, are at fault.

    One last thing… Noah was not called to preach and call people to repentance. He was called to build a boat and load his family and the animals on it. Abraham was not called to warn anyone or tell anyone to come with him. He was called to leave his homeland and go to where God wanted him. Moses’ message was not to the Egyptians. He was a prophet to Israel. God said that Pharaoh would ignore him. You must understand the purpose of a prophet to determine whether or not they fulfilled that purpose. Jesus’ purpose to “seek and save that which was lost” was not fulfilled if the disciples got his message wrong. This would make Jesus God’s failure.

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    April 7, 2008 at 5:40 pm

  59. Andrew,

    Are you going to address my other comments? Because if you will, then I will wait. Otherwise I will go ahead and post replies to your response above.

    عبده

    April 18, 2008 at 7:33 am

  60. Abdo,

    It would take more time than I have to address each issue. Can you try and condense your comments for me so I can address each point?

    Thanks,

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    April 19, 2008 at 7:53 pm

  61. Andrew,

    You can take all the time you need; just as I take plenty of time responding to your comments in detail.

    I seperate my comments each in a separate posting so that you may address each one separately.

    I too don’t usually find adequate time to respond right away, but I prefer we take our time in dealing with the different issues and give them the time and attention they deserve instead of ignoring them and letting them pass by without any attention.

    If one of us skips an issue the other side won’t know whether it was skipped by mistake, for lack of time, or because there wasn’t an adequate response.

    -Abdo.

    عبده

    April 21, 2008 at 12:48 am

  62. Abdo,

    Fair enough. I can go back through and address more. Are there particular points you feel were not addressed?

    Andrew

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

    Andrew

    April 22, 2008 at 2:48 am

  63. […] Posts: On Jewish Christianity, Islam and the Gentiles Thoughts on The Crucifixion Posted by Rasheed Filed in Bible, Christianity, Crucifixion, Islam, […]

  64. Hello, I was reading my bible and was wondering if you could explain this;
    ISAIAH
    9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

    9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

    David

    October 28, 2008 at 1:01 am

  65. (cont.) Matthew 3:16–17: “As soon as Jesus Christ was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and landing on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ ” (also Mark 1:10–11; Luke 3:22; John 1:32)

    David

    October 28, 2008 at 1:17 am

  66. Matthew 28:17: “When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.” Under the Laws of Moses, no man could allow others to worship Him as God, which is blasphemy.

    1 Timothy 3:16 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

    Luke 1:35 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

    Philippians 2:1 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

    2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

    2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

    2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

    2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

    2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

    2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    # John 20:28: “Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!'” Due to the strict laws of Moses concerning blasphemy, Jesus and all of the apostles in the room were obligated to put Thomas to death for the blasphemy of calling a man God, unless that man truly was God. Jesus was similarly prohibited from receiving the worship of men as God, unless He was God. Thus the response of Jesus and others in the room indicates that all of them believed Jesus to be God, not only Thomas.[citation needed]

    Ihave many more scriptures on this subject but, I also have more questions on other subjects.

    David

    October 28, 2008 at 1:45 am

  67. Hello David and welcome to hard questions.

    Rasheed

    October 28, 2008 at 3:12 am

  68. Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

    2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

    Titus 2:13 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

    2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

    According to all four Gospels, Jesus died before late afternoon at Calvary, which was also called Golgotha.The Gospels state that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion,The Gospels state that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. Why is this not in the qur’an?
    Islam states that Jesus was not killed nor crucified, but that he had been raised alive up to heaven. Islamic traditions narrate that he will return to earth near the day of judgement to restore justice and defeat al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl (lit. “the false messiah,” also known as the Antichrist) and the enemies of Islam. As a just ruler, Jesus will then die.
    1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

    1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

    1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

    1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

    Revelation 1:18 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

    John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

    3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

    3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (JESUS)

    Isaiah59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

    Romans6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Luke10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

    Romans10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    John14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    I read these in the Bible, are they true? Also, there’s many passages in red (Jesus quotes). Did He really say these things? It also reads, Jesus was crucified, died, and was resurrected in 3 days. Is this true? Why is it not in the Qur’an?

    David

    October 28, 2008 at 5:46 am

  69. and moses after receiving the commandments committed much in the way of human atrocity did he not…
    he started by initiating the murder of three thousand souls of his own tribe in that very day,consolidating power and religious authority under a single tribe of the twelve and subjecting the other eleven tribes to his dominion by instituting among other things the law of consecration. which means he took every pot they had to piss in and claimed it for himself…..
    i guess i didn’t see mohammed go that far
    heck even the christians went there in the book of acts peter called upon the holy spirit to kill ananieos and his wife for not conforming to this reconstituted law of consecration.
    to make any type of claim that the followers of christianity post roman usurpation of theological authority, (as usual all things corrupt emanate from rome) did not continously persecute nonbelievers and spread the word by the sharp point of the sword would be to deny eighteen hundred years of recorded history.
    i say eighteen hundred not two thousand because it took 160 years or so for christian teaching to become watered down to the point they could justify killing or joining the roman army and it is approximately 160 years from the death of christ till we see people declared as christians resort to militancy and become recorded a soldiers in the service of the emporer
    my question to andrew is who is responsible for more death and destruction at the hands of religious authority the christians or the muslims please utilize references…. i will state that the blood lust of christianity was the overwhelming need for the revelation to mohammed somebody had to stand up in defence of religious freedom and it sure in the heck wasn’t going to be the christians till the concept of secular governance was embraced and the constitution of the united states was developed and adopted
    and i say this as a christian who believes in the fact that jesus attained his status as the most rioughtous teacher of all faiths through his devotion to the will god and service to his fellow man that culminated with his death upon the cross.
    i do not believe jesus died for our sins i believe that was a mithraic tradition proposed by paul who grew up in that faith and has been used since the adoption of christianity by the unholy roman empire to allow justifaction of heinous acts against ones fellow humans, politacal dissenters, prisoners of war religious heretics and material conquest on a scriptural basis
    for it is immoral to think that a rioughtous god would not hold you accountable personally for your failings and that would visit the sins of a father upon his son..
    and i will stake my claim on the record handed down through the book of hebrew that christ is to be regarded forever after as the high priest of the order of melchisedic and the melchisedic order is responsible for teaching abram and that is that.
    so i will go back in time to a teaching even the muslims and jews cannot deny we may all feel united by for truly truly i say to you that unity in conformance to the will as is personally revealed through prayer and communion with god is our ultimate goal as a peoples that claim to represent the teachings of religious understanding
    mohammed is the protector of humanities right to excercise free will in their quest to know and understand god for i am with rasheed on the historically tolerant nature of islam it is only the concept of jihad that is a corrupt teaching as it is perfectly acceptable to die in defence of the faith but it is wholly unacceptable (especially by those capable of understanding the purest form of teaching) to kill in the name of the lord, you are far better off dying than killing. thats why the concept of proud marines or a christian army is not copasthetic with true christian principal these are the ideals satan embraces not christ but hey people receive revelation according to their capacity for understanding it so everyones revelation is going to be skewed to their ability to comprehend and as long as it does nothing to embrace enmity towards your neighbor its yours to revel in and share with others
    but must state that the truth of the matter is as follows mohammed was a human receiving revelation and could not escape the human tendency to interject tribal and cultural euphamisms into his interpretation of his revelation
    it is only the christ through whom the purest form of gods consideration and expectations of and for humanity is expressed which would peace on earth and goodwill to all men.
    christ was the only human to ever be able to suppress his human desires and confer the most pure of teachings to his fellow man and stick with it personally he walked the walk that is why he is accepted by mohammed because at the end of the day the muslims try to follow christs two commandments within their own communities.
    mohammeds teaching was filtered by and subjected to human inclination
    christ did not say follow the commandments as taught by moses he said all of the law may be summed up in two commandments love the lord god with all your heart and all your might and love your neighbor as yourself and these commandments are wholly compatible with the concept of being muslim in islam if you follow these two basic commandments you will not have any enemies only respect even of your potential vanquishers and it is the overwhelming concept of the application of unconditional love for even your enemies that conquered rome not a christian sword.
    so christs real message is live amongst any who will accept your presence and through the efforts you put into his commandments you have the capability to shine like a diamond
    because all men and women are attracted to and captivated by the shimmering of light when directed through the most perfect of prisms, it is therefor your calling to become as perfect a prism as you can be
    bottom line god from the eternal isle of paradise transmits energy and knowledge through the unified field and you process this energy and information and transform it into positive or negative energy which becomes manifest in your expression of emotion whereby it is released back into gods creation so you produce the only real variable in gods creation and god would prefer this expression to come back to him in the form of faith and a joy borne of love and consideration for your god and your temporal bretheren
    love you both Kenneth Parent

    kenneth parent

    July 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm

  70. rasheed
    a comprehensive description of the trinity is available in the fifth epochal revelation to mankind
    but you better know your english and put on your comprehension cap
    for god ia a really complex entity. i will do my best to summarize my humble opinion of it all
    basically the trinity embraces the duality of gods mind and then the decision it renders after the appropriate level of divine contemplation
    it would make the most sense to explain it like this God = father Son = mother and the decision to take action manifests itself in the world as the spirit, sometimes the merciful and compassionate side of allah or what christians would call the personality of the son manifests itself in a teacher or holy man and sometimes we get to experiance the more stern or legalistic nature of the father as manifest in a teacher either one you experience whatever the decision is rendered as to the level or nature of the teaching or revelation it becomes manifest in experiential reality by the spiritual indwelling of a human and the pouring out of truth to that individual and conversly humanity and so it is the spirit that moves on the face of the earth and it is the spirit or compromise between the authority and compassion that becomes this truth and is revealed to humanity
    ie… sometimes we get a moses or mohammed with sword in hand sometimes we geta melchisedic or christ it all depends upon what the creator determines in his heart of hearts that we need.

    kenneth parent

    July 25, 2010 at 8:57 pm

  71. May the truth be manifest to all.

    Mohammad sani

    September 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm

  72. To me,islam is the best and only religion in the unverse.

    Mohammad sani

    September 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm


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