I’ve had a number of interfaith discussions with some of my Christian friends which most of the time didn’t quiet work out that well due to the lack of importance we tend to give to our religious beliefs. Though ironic, the truth is that religion has taken a backseat in the lives of many, becoming a custom that has to be simply inherited from our forefathers.
But really, will it suffice to blindly believe in what we believe? What about the Hereafter? Irrespective of the religion a person belongs to, male or female, young or old, rich or poor, born in the 1st century or the 21st century or probably centuries later from now, he will have to return to the One and only Creator.
God Almighty says in the Noble Qur’an,
Does man think that he will be left uncontrolled, (without purpose)?
Had he not been a sperm from semen emitted?
Then he was a clinging clot, and [ Allah ] created [his form] and proportioned [him]
And made of him two mates, the male and the female.
Is not that [Creator] Able to give life to the dead?
(Surah al Qiyamah, 75:36-40)
So, in pursuit of reaching to the truth, here’s an awesome video of The Deen Show interviewing Joshua Evans, a former Christian Youth Minister, who highlights the top ten reasons why Jesus (pbuh) isn’t God.
[04:00]Reason #10 – God Can not be Born!
[05:05]Reason #09 – There is unequivocal textual evidence
[09:20]Reason #08 – No one has seen God!
[11:31]Reason #07 – This was the not belief of early Christians
[14:38]Reason #06 – Jesus Ate, Slept, and Prayed
[16:44]Reason #05 – Jesus claimed that God’s Knowledge is greater than his
[20:10]Reason #04 – Jesus Explicitly states that he is not God
[22:50]Reason #03 – Son of God?
[29:29]Reason #02 – God does not change
[43:05]Reason #01 – God is the object of Worship!
Here are some points that I jotted down while listening to the video…
Islam is the only religion that requires its believers to have faith in Jesus pbuh as a Messenger of God Almighty. No Muslim is a Muslim who does not believe in Jesus. We’re required to have faith in what he was sent with, to love him and believe him to be one of God’s Messengers. The reason this topic is important is because it concerns the salvation.
Reason No. 10: God does not have a “beginning”, Jesus (pbuh) had a beginning.
God did not “come into existence”, He was always existent, He did not come into existence from non-existence, He was not born, He was not created. He has always been before there was even a thing called as “time”. And, as is well-known Jesus (pbuh) was born. Though he was born without a father, and yes that is one of his true miracles, but indeed he was born. He was in the womb of his mother for nine months and therefore was born. So, that by its very nature shows that he does not have the same qualities and characteristics as God. God cannot be born, Jesus was born. Therefore the two cannot be one and the same.
Reason No. 9: No Scriptural evidence for Jesus’ “divinity”.
There are no explicit verses in any scriptural text, especially the Bible that say that Jesus was God. When God Almighty speaks of things, when He talks of His own characteristics and who He is, He’s very explicit. For instance, in Isaiah 46:9, God says that I am God and there is none else. Also, the verses that Jesus (pbuh) quoted, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is but One God and there is none else.” One will find many such examples in the Old Testament wherein God is very explicit in describing Himself. Although, there are some verses in the new Testament which can be implicitly interpreted as Jesus (pbuh) having claimed some type of divinity, but if it was such a big deal, that if he was truly God, if he was the only way to salvation, if he was “God in flesh come to sacrifice himself for the sins of humanity”, then it’d be something that God would’ve been explicit about. Because, after all it’d be the issue of salvation. God does not beat around the bush about such issues, when it comes who He is. He is very clear regarding this with the children of Israel, “I Am God, there is none like Me. Do not worship anything besides me”. Period. And, Jesus (pbuh) came and quoted the very same verses, so if it would’ve been the issue of salvation that he was God, he would’ve very clearly stated “I am God”. He wouldn’t have told the Jews, when they said you call yourselves God, he said, “You say that I am”. Instead, he could have very clearly said, “yes, I am God and I’m here to save you from your sins,” But, as a matter of fact, he never stated it anywhere and it is never referenced in any scriptural text of any religion whatsoever. So, therefore if God is so explicit about His nature, the why when it comes to Him becoming a man, why did He not explicitly state so? It is not something that needs a scholar to interpret, and if it was really the truth, God Himself would have clearly stated it, that even a five-year old would be able to understand.
There are some theologians and Bible scholars who quote certain verses of the Bible claiming that they’re explicit about Jesus being God. The most famous being John 1:1 (…). The interpretation of these verses depends on from what standpoint you look at those verses as. If you look at them from an aspect that you’ve never heard of the trinity, that you’ve never held the Christian belief that Jesus was God, then these verses would not say that to you! These verses would not say anything other than what they are meant to say. For instance, “In the beginning was the Word, and the word became…,” Muslims also believe that Jesus (pbuh) was God’s Word made manifest. That’s what he was. God said, “Be, and he was,” Jesus pbuh was God’s Spoken word on this earth. So we believe in that verse. Also, “I am the way to the father, no one can come to God except through me” (…), we believe in this too. We just interpret it in the light of everything else that God has said. If one puts the verses in the light of what God has always said, it always makes sense, but if you want to take those verses out and try to prove a point with them then that’s not right. One can say that God doesn’t exist, and go and select certain verses from the Bible, out of context and try prove his point! One can make the Bible say anything he wants it to. One can make any religious Scripture say anything if he knows how to pick and choose correctly and interpret it in the light of preconceived notions. But if one looks at these verses analytically, along with the explicit verses with which God describes His nature and the verses which Jesus pbuh quotes about God, then they become clear-cut. Overall there are NO explicit verses where Jesus pbuh said I am God or worship me. Not one.
Reason No. 8: No one has ever seen God.
The Bible says by God’s own word that no one has ever seen God. This is very clear. In John 1:18, 1 John (…). Even in the words of Jesus (pbuh), John 5:37. And, Jesus was standing right there amongst them, had he been God, why would he have said, “you’ve never seen God or heard him”? This is very explicit. He could have said, “You’re looking at God right now,” or “If you want to see God, look at me,” and similar statements. There are some verses in the Bible that some people quote like, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father”, “I and the Father are one”. But if you read the verse in context, rather than just taking a sentence out of it, if you read the context of four or five verses together, you’ll see that he was speaking of being “one in purpose”. Even, in the verse where he said, “I and the Father are one,” (…) he was speaking about, just as no one can pluck the children of God from His Hand, no one can pluck them out of my hand, because I and the Father are one, meaning, we’re one in purpose, we have the same exact mission, I am coming as God’s message bearer to humanity; we are one and the same in what we want from you. I’m God’s representative. Anything that He wants is my will. So, if one understands them in that light explicitly, then one would understand that Jesus (pbuh) said no man has ever seen God at any time.
And, this is also there in the Qur’an. Moses (pbuh) asked to see God, and God said, “Look at the mountain…” (…). So, Prophet Moses repented. We cannot stand to see God. He isn’t something that can come in the form of a human being. A human body cannot contain Go’s essence in it. This is to lessen God beyond extent, to put Him inside of a physical for. He is too great to be put in any form, in any dynamiters, in any parameters, in any dimensions, in any box! One cannot put God inside a box.
Reason No. 7: This was not a belief of the early Christians.
This concept was not taught by Jesus or his disciples, nor was it believed in by the early followers of Christianity. From the Dead Sea Scrolls which were found in Qumran, we see that the early Christians were still apart of Judaism. For instance, if one reads the Bool of Acts, when Jesus (pbuh) had departed from this earth, the disciples still daily went to the temple of Jerusalem and worshipped there as Jesus worshipped, because this is what Jesus Christ brought. He brought the renewal of the Laws of Moses. So, if the disciples were running around teaching people that Jesus (pbuh) was God, they would’ve been banished out of the temple the day they walked in, or they would’ve started their own church. But, neither Jesus nor the disciples built their own church. In fact, Jesus (pbuh) himself went to the temple and worshipped God and he did not build his own temple and nor did he ask people to worship him. rather, he worshipped God Almighty the same way Moses worshipped God, the same way Abraham worshipped God, the same way david worshipped God, the same way Zachariah worshipped God. He did the exact same thing and the disciples followed him. And, if one looks at the 1st and the 2nd century Christians, they also did the same. They considered themselves practising Jews and believed Jesus (pbuh) to be God’s Prophet. Nothing had changed. The whole concept of the trinity did not come about until the 3rd century of the church and it was not formulated as a doctrine that must be believed in until about 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicea, when the scholars of Christianity after Paul, came together and decided that they had to follow it as a doctrine. As a matter of fact, the first person to expound this doctrine of trinity was Paul, who himself never saw Jesus, never walked with him, never talked to him, never ate with him, never learned from him. It was something that he formulated from the religion, he said that he had, while he was on his road to Damascus to actually persecute the Christians. So, he was the first person to ever come up with the title “Christians,” to ever come up with the trinity, the “god-ship” of Jesus, or the idea that he was the “only-begotten son” of God etc., all of these things started with Paul.
The word “trinity” is not mentioned in the Bible. There is only one verse, that even barely mentions, that is 1 John 5:7, “There are three that bear record in Heaven…” (…), but, if one goes and researches that verse, almost all Biblical scholars have removed it from the Bible, because it was never a part of the Bible in the first place. RSV, NSV, all of these versions have removed this verse, as it is explicitly not from the Bible, it is; in fact, not found in any manuscripts before 1200 A.D.
Reason No. 6: Jesus ate, slept and prayed.
Prophet Jesus (pbuh) ate, slept and prayed, and we know that God Almighty by His very nature is Self-Sufficient. He does not need anything to continue His existence. God does not need to eat, sleep or pray. God is not in need of anything, because if He was in need of something, then He’d not be God. He would need something else other than Himself to exist, that would take away His God-ship. And, we know that Jesus was born, we know that he ate, and we know that he prayed. Hat he not ate, slept or drank any water, he’d have died. Therefore, he was not self-sufficient., he needed something to continue his existence. Hence, by his very nature of not being self-sufficient, and God being Self-Sufficient, those two qualities cannot exist in one being simultaneously. One cannot be self-sufficient and not self-sufficient at the same time. And, Jesus (pbuh) also prayed. He was in need of prayer. Any time he had an issue, he’d tell his disciples, “I need to go pray”, or “Wait here while I pray” and as such, he’d go to the temple and pray, prostrating on his face on the ground. This shows that Jesus was in need of something greater than himself, because that is the essence of prayer. So, if Jesus was God, why was there a need for his prayer? He could have told his people to worship him, why didn’t he do so? So, therefore by his very nature of necessity, him being in need of something greater than him, he cannot be God.
Reason No. 5: Jesus claimed that God’s Knowledge is greater than his.
We Jesus (pbuh) was asked about the Hour, the Day of Judgement, he said, “of that Day, knoweth no man, nor the angels in the Heaven, nor the sun, but only the Father has knowledge of that Hour.” So, if he would’ve been God, he would have know that. If the trinity was indeed true, and Jesus was God, and God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were one and the same person, then how could one not know the same information that the other knows, if they were the same person? If God Knows the Hour, then Jesus should have know the Hour too, if he was God. In another verse Jesus said, “The father is greater then I” (John 14:28) He admitted that God is greater than him. So, if they were equals, how could one be greater than the other? So, knowing that Jesus (pbuh) did not have the same knowledge as God, how can it be said that he was God?
These are statements that are very explicit, and if one weighs all of these clear-cut statements against the ambiguous one, which one’s going to weigh more; the point-blank, explicit, to-the-point statements, or the unclear, ambiguous statements that can be interpreted by anyone to give it any meaning they want to? But, indeed the clear verses cannot be interpreted to mean anything else than that Jesus (pbuh) was not God, he was definitely lesser than God.
[Note: These are just five of the reasons mentioned in the video, I’ll add the rest later inshaAllah]