The Jesus of Islam is not the Jesus of the New Testament. Christians know that, and that is the reason they will never submit to Allah. Paul and John wrote in the NT that if anyone preaches a different Jesus that they are a false teacher and anti-Christ.
Muslims do not understand many things about the Jesus of the New Testament. For example when the NT speaks of God having children, they are children of the Spirit not children of the flesh.
God chose to live among us and became a man (Jesus). Christians do not teach that a cursed, sinful man (offspring of Adam) is God. Big difference.
Jesus is the Son of God because just as Adam was called the Son of God (created directly by God, not through human reproduction), the body of Jesus was a new creation completely sinless and not under the curse of sin. The body was placed within the womb of Mary and God let His fullness dwell within the body.
Also, Jesus is called the Son of God because in Psalm 2 God says to His anointed (Messiah), “You are my Son, Today I have begotten You.” And Isaiah writes, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6).
Christians believe that Jesus, being God, He has always existed and will eternally exist. He has no beginning and no end.
Let me explain a little more what I mean by saying that God “became a man.” Prior to Christ’s physical existence on this world, He always existed as God. God is spirit and does not have a human body. Our spirits were created in His image, not our bodies.
When Jesus was born He became a man. He was not a man before that because as God He is spirit. He took on an additional nature so he “became” in that sense. He entered our world and lived here among us teaching us the truth.
And as I said previously He did not become a man through human reproduction. He did not become a human that was cursed and sinful like those of us who have descended from Adam and Eve. God created a new sinless, human body like the one that He created for Adam. Then He let His fullness indwell that body and placed it inside Mary’s womb.
Jesus is called the Son of Man because Daniel wrote:
“I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).
Jesus prayed to His Father because Jesus is the right arm of God, just as the Holy Spirit is the left arm of God. They are one body and one God in essence without division or separation of any kind. The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, even though they are one have self-awareness and have an eternal relationship as one.
Isaiah wrote, “My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, And My arms will judge the peoples; The coastlands will wait upon Me, And on My arm they will trust” (Isaiah 51:5).
Isaiah wrote, “He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him” (Isaiah 59:16).
Isaiah wrote, “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1).
The plurality of Elohim is not easily understood by singular beings like us, but God can be and do whatever He wants. This is what He has revealed through His prophets. Before Jesus was here on the Earth He existed as God, with God, and is the Word of God. He proved everything He said and did was true by His resurrection from the dead.
Muslims will not like this… When we Christians are with Jesus (God) in resurrected bodies and in spirit, we will be one with Christ just as Christ is one with the Father. We are the body of Christ, the Temple of His Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30).
Jesus said, “Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are” (John 17:11b).
Paul wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
“And He [Jesus] is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church [those called out], who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:17-19).
“For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:17).
Those Muslims who choose violence against Christians should well remember this. The violence they commit is against the very body of God. We are also known as the Bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7), so the violence is against God’s bride. Of course this language is symbolic of our oneness with Him.
The Jewish and Christian scriptures are not corrupt as Muslims claim. The Bible has the most manuscript evidence of any other ancient document(s).
We know it is not corrupted because we have copies of the OT that go all the way back to 200 B.C. and that was a 1200 year gap from the oldest we had before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. They were exactly the same outside of a spelling changes to existing words.
We have portions of the New Testament that go back all the way to the first century, and they are perfectly preserved. We have the NT in its entirety preserved for us all the way back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The two complete manuscripts of the New Testament date back to the 300s. They reside at the British Muesum and the Vatican.
Do Christians believe in 3 Gods? No.
Christians believe there is one God. I think you will find an in depth study of the Shema very interesting.
“Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.”
Transliterated from Hebrew: “Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Eḥad.”
Adonai means Lord, which stands in for the true name of God. God’s true name is “I am” (YWYH) meaning the self existent one. He exists.
Eloheinu is a compound word for Elohim and -einu. Elohim means God or Gods. It is a word that includes a plurality within a singular noun. A friend of mine who knows Hebrew says it is like saying “class.” It is a single unit but with a plurality of students within. The words Elohim -einu means our God. Also, with the noun being plural it indicates majesty.
One very interesting note is that echad is used for “one” instead of yachid. Yachid is used when the meaning is the only one or unique. Echad means united as one.
For example, in Exodus 26:6 the various parts of the Tabernacle are to be constructed so that “it shall be one (echad) Tabernacle.”
Ezekiel spoke of two sticks representing the divide between Israel and Judah being reunited into one (echad) (Ezekiel 37:19).
Moses also used echad in Genesis 2:24 when he wrote that the husband and wife shall be one flesh (basar echad).
So, the fact that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one God means they are unified as one without division or separation of any kind. The plurality of God united as one God is built into the command of the Shem in Deuteronomy 6:4.
Moses could have easily used the word “yachid” instead of “echad” if it was the truth, but in reality it speaks to the revelation that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit united.
I hope these answers were helpful to Muslims who don’t understand what Christians really believe. I also hope that God will open your eyes and hearts so that you may truly know Him and His plan of salvation. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
If you reject God’s chosen path to salvation in Christ Jesus, then you will remain in your sins and be condemned by the Righteous Judge who sits on the Great White Throne. God will hold every person accountable for every single act of evil.
Either Christ will have taken God’s wrath in your place for your sin, or you will experience God’s wrath for your sin.
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books” (Revelation 20:11-12).
Repent of your sin and believe in Jesus so that you might live. I want you to live.
Discussions with Muslims:
@Muslim #1 – In regard to worshiping Jesus…
Daniel had a vision of the Messiah (Daniel 7:13-15), “…one like a son of man.” In his vision he saw, “…all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him.” So the Messiah will be worshiped by His people.
And we know that the Messiah is God in flesh because Isaiah writes, “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” (Isa 9:6).
Thus the Messiah would be a son, a child born, and He would be called Mighty God.
Summing up those two verses, the Messiah will be a son born as a human who will be called God and His people will worship Him.
@Muslim #2 – Christians believe that God has always existed and will eternally exist. He has no beginning and no end. As Jesus is God all of that describes Him as well.
@Muslim #3 – In regard to Jesus being equal with God as He was God…
Paul wrote, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:5-7).
Jesus is God. He is equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He teaches us humility because He made Himself into a human being. He lived a sinless life, served God, and was obedient unto death. Jesus is the highest example of humility ever demonstrated by someone. Selfless and humble. That was our Jesus.
But… when He comes back at the 2nd Coming, He is coming in power, authority, and the glory of God. We who believe in Him will be at His side. He will conquer this world and rule it with an iron rod. Every knee will bow and confess that this Jewish King is Lord.
You wrote: “God challenged humankind four times to produce a book like the Qur’an, and they couldn’t do it…. The challenge is still there in the Qur’an, and everyone who disbelieves the Qur’an can still pool together their abilities and resources to try and produce one like it. But they cannot. Isn’t this an awesome miracle?”
I would say that the Jewish and Christian scriptures found in the Bible fulfill Allah’s challenge. And the Bible was written before the Quran. And there were 44 people who wrote books that were included. So 44 times Allah’s challenge was met before it was proposed.
You wrote, “The Bible that we have today is not the exact words that Jesus spoke.”
That is a false statement. The words of Jesus recorded in the Bible are absolutely accurate and what He said.
Jesus told His followers, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).
You wrote: “The result is that what Christians have today is very far from the Message which Jesus brought.”
That is not true. It is the message that Jesus brought. It didn’t matter if they wrote it a year, five years, ten years, or even fifty years after Jesus was here. The prophet Jesus promised them that the Holy Spirit of God would help them and bring to rememberance every single thing He had said.
You need to research the manuscript evidence for the New Testament. It contradicts everything you believe about the NT and its formation.
You wrote, “This is one reason why there is so much disagreement among them, even on the very nature of Jesus. Some say he was a man, others say he was the son, others say he was God incarnate, and others say he was a man who became God.”
No, actually the reason why there is so much disagreement among Christians is some people don’t actually read, understand, or believe the New Testament. Or they don’t want to accept what it says about Jesus. Or they believe their traditions instead of the Bible.
Also, people have taken the New Testament and what Christians believe and pervert it into false doctrine. They twist scripture, teach falsehoods, and teach traditions of men as if it is God’s word.
I can’t speak for all Christians, but I believe the Bible alone. I don’t believe in tradition or anything else. If it is not in the Bible then I reject it. That is one reason why the Church split between Catholics and Protestants. The Protestants actually believed the Bible and saw that the Church was teaching false doctrines even to our day.
Oh yes, and we can’t forget all the false prophets and false teachers that have rose up over time. Those who preach a different Jesus than the Jesus of the New Testament. Or those who write their own books and try to make us Christians believe that its the words of our God.
One example would be Joseph Smith who wrote his own holy book and fooled people into believing it was true. The Jesus of Mormonism is not the same Jesus of the New Testament. They claim to be Christians but their “book” contradicts the Bible.
You wrote, “The vast majority of Muslims all agree on the foundations of our creed. That God is One and Alone and that Muhammad is His Final Messenger. The reason for such consensus and unity is that we have our source text preserved.”
The Bible has been preserved perfectly. You really should look at the manuscript evidence and everything about the preservation of the Bible over the centuries. I wrote about that back up in this conversation.
Islam has one Quran because all the variants were burned by Caliph Uthman in 667 AD. Islamic historical douments prove there were other variants from those who were with Mohammed. They burned the most important Quran, the one that was written down 2 years after Muhammed died.
My conclusion is we have a Quran that was written down 35 years after the death of Mohammed that was written by four scribes who were under the authority of the Caliph. We don’t even know if the Quran holds the accurate teachings of Mohammed, rather they may hold the teachings of those in power at the time. We can’t check because all of the variants were burned to ash.
The Quran contradicts revelation given by God to His prophets for over 1600 years. We have plenty of copies to go way back and check to make sure there were not errors or changes made to the manuscripts. The Bible stands as a solid mountain from ancient times, and we can absolutely trust it has been preserved with accuracy.
You say there is unity among the Muslims, but in reality that is not true. There may not be as many denominations in Islam, but it has its disunity too.
There is Shi’a, Sunni, Sufism, and Ahmadiyya. I’m sure that list is not complete. There has been plenty of disagreement and fighting.
We can’t forget that group here in America led by Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
And I really don’t understand how Muslims can deny the truth of the 44 prophets of the Bible.
The Quran says, “And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it” (Surah 5:48).
The Quran is supposed to confirm the revelation of God that came before it. The 44 prophets with their books in the Bible came before, so the Quran is supposed to confirm that which they have recorded for us.
Yet, the Quran contradicts the Bible completely. Then Muslims decide that they are going to attack the authenticity and perfection of the Bible, and they slander it and the prophets who wrote within it.
Slander you ask? Yes, when Muslims attack and disrespect John, Paul, and the other prophets who have books in the New Testament it is slander. These were godly men who were eyewitnesses of the prophet Jesus, and Islam claims that what they wrote is not true. Islam claims that it has been corrupted when all evidence shows that the Bible has been perfectly preserved over the centures with fragments that go all the way back to the 1st century that are word-for-word and matches what we have in our Bibles.
Do Muslims really believe that Almighty God who inspired and moved the prophets by His Spirit would allow 44 authentic books written by His prophets to be corrupted? Would God allow His truth to be destroyed by mere human beings? Absolutely not. God Himself has preserved the written truth He had His prophets record for us.
You wrote, “Daniel , i see your point. I did read the Bible (ESV 2007) and yes it is quite amazing ,the hard part ( for me ) was to accept that there are so many versions of it, and WITHOUT access to the original text it is very difficult if not impossible to really appreciate it originally .To make it even worse some of its key words ( like the word God ) also was revised.”
My comments about the exemplary preservation of the Bible over the centuries is in regard to the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Not the English versions.
There are numerous English translations, but the same can be said about the Quran. See this wiki article.
I prefer a static translation of the Bible. I want to get as close as I can to the original languages as possible.
If you were to take all the common English translations and compare them, you would still see the same message from every author line-by-line even if they are worded differently depending on the translator’s approach (static or dynamic).
My goal is to learn Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Greek, and Aramaic so I can go directly to the original languages. I have some verse-by-verse Interlinear Bibles that have the original languages and the translations right under it. Like some of the Quran websites I have seen online.
You wrote, ” I would like to understand from you , what or why was the need to translate ‘proper nouns’ like names from the Bible eg Adonai is the name ( names are unique sounds ) ,why was it seen fit to revise that unique name to another . the word God now dominates the world of Christanity ( even Islaam ) but its not originally found in earlier Biblical texts. What is the ‘wisdom’ behind that ?”
That is actually a very good question. I personally don’t believe that there was a need to translate the proper nouns. I’d rather have the untranslated proper nouns myself. Though I am saying that from a point in time where the knowledge of the proper noun meanings in the original is readily available.
I think that the reason they were translated into Lord or God is that it gives the English readers the ability to understand what those words mean in the original.
They did the same thing with the idea of an eternal prison that in the Hebrew is called Sheol. In the Greek, they took a term that everyone would understand and used that. Hades is used in the original NT language, and Gehenna is Greek for Lake of Fire. In English, they translated that idea into the word Hell, which was the name of the northern European concept of an underworld or eternal prison.
You wrote: “…if you had to comment on the history of the Quran text, how would you respond?”
I am happy to answer the question, and I have read the entire Quran.
I don’t believe we can trust that the Quran is the true teachings of Muhammed because the current Quran is the one that was commissioned for political reasons. They wanted a “perfect” set of teachings, and then they burned all the rest. We know from historical research that there were other versions.
The Quran was passed on orally for a couple of years after Muhammed died (632 AD – 600 years after Jesus walked the Earth). No one person had the entire oral teachings memorized. Also, there was a battle between Muslims where close followers of Muhammed (Salim for example) who had memorized much of Muhammed’s teachings were killed by other Muslims due to politics.
The first Quran (Hafsah Codex) was drawn together in writing by 634 AD and every passage had to be witnessed by two men. However, this most important original manuscript of the Quran was destroyed by Muslim leaders in 667 AD. As well as many other Qurans with variants to this one.
The Hadith (Sahih Bukhari. In Volume 6, Book 61, Number 510) records how the Muslims were very concerned of the different recitations of the Quran. Muslim source materials report that at least four different versions (all different and written by direct followers of Muhammed) of the Qur’an existed before the political order was given to have them burned. (Refer to “Al-Tamhid 2, 247). Once Caliph Uthman had his scribes write down the “perfect” version of the Quran, they had all the variant manuscripts burned. Why? It goes back to the Hadith, “Hudhaifa was afraid of the different recitations of the Qur’an.”
The Quran that we have today was the one motivated by political leaders who wanted a “perfect” manuscript. It was not the original that was recorded so carefully (Hafsah Codex). Since there are no other manuscripts to examine, we can’t know for sure if the current Quran really records the teachings of Muhammed accurately. Perhaps it records the teachings of the political leaders instead.
Rashad, the text of the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramic) have been just as preserved as the text of the Quran. If you study the manuscript evidence you will see what I am saying is true. The texts in the original languages are readily available to examine and scholars do so regularly.
As to the Hebrew Scriptures our oldest copies are around 200 B.C. Prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls the oldest copies of the Hebrew Scriptures was around 1000 A.D. By finding such ancient copies we were able to check the manuscripts for any kind of changes. The 1000 A.D. copy and the copies that date back to 200 B.C. were exactly the same. The only thing they noticed was some spelling changes of existing words. That is a major deal, a 1,200 year gap. You really should study the extraordinary, complex, and highly testable process that the Jewish scribes have taken to preserve the text of the Hebrew Scriptures.
As to the New Testament we have portions that date back all the way to the first century when it was written. Those portions are in the original languages and are word-for-word when compared to the Bibles that have come down through history to us. We have manuscripts that date back to the second and third centuries representing most of the New Testament books. And we have complete New Testaments from the 300s.
Again, they are word-for-word to what we have in our Bible today. Also, if there is a variance discovered, we can check them because there are thousands of copies of the New Testament that came later down through time. If a change is discovered it is discarded to keep the text preserved and intact. The Christians have worked extremely hard to keep the text of the New Testament perfect and free of corruption. You should study the work of the Christians in regard to the NT preservation.
As I said previously, translations outside of the original text are done by multiple teams of people. They do not corrupt the text by translating it into English or any other language. There are various English translation that have been completed over time just as there are a number of English translation of the Quran. If you were to compare them the Quran would be different as well when compared to other translations in English.
Bottom line is Jews and Christians have been extremely concerned and have worked very hard to keep the texts of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures pure and true to the original. The success of these dedicated people is extraordinary and magnificent. When it comes to the original languages I have no idea what you are referring to when you speak about revisions or changes. The original texts in the original languages are just as perfect as the Quran.
In regard to Jeremiah 14:14, in my view that text is talking about anyone who comes claiming to be a profit and the person’s teachings contradict what has already been revealed to God’s profits. Jesus warned us clearly as did most of the writers of the New Testament that false prophets and false teachers would continually arise to try to corrupt the truth about Jesus Christ. That is how we test a prophet by searching the scriptures of the Hebrews and Christians to test that which is being prophesied.
“Now these Jews [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Muslims have to understand that because Muhammed arrived 600 years after Jesus and the prophets who were inspired and moved by God to write the New Testament, we must reject Mohammed’s teachings. The Quran completely contradicts the New Testament about Jesus. We will never accept the Quran because it destroys the truth about our Lord and Savior. The warnings of Jesus Himself tells us to reject the Quran because they contradict what has already been revealed.
Speaking about manuscript evidence I did some research today.
It is a historical fact that the current Quran was put together in 667 AD and the rest of the copies burned. That puts the earliest writings of Muhammed’s teachings in the Quran that we have at a minimum of 35 years. Do we have complete manuscripts of the Quran that go back to that period? No.
Paul’s writings in the New Testament were written from 48-60 AD. Paul’s first letters were only 18 to 19 years after Christ was here on the Earth versus the 35 years of the Quran to Muhammed. A number of the New Testament books including at least one of the Gospels can be dated to less than 35 years after Jesus.
I really recommend studying the manuscript evidence and the textual criticism of the New Testament to really come to a solid understand that the New Testament is the most well preserved book to be written that we have from ancient times. Proven meaning the age of the copies and the purity of the text.
The oldest complete Quran manuscripts available are the Samarqand MSS is in Tashkent, and the MSS housed in the TopkapiMuseum in Istanbul. They are both at a minimum 200 years old, possibly older. Before that there are fragments and portions of the Quran that date back to the same century it was written.
The oldest 100% complete New Testament manuscript that we currently have dates back to the 300s, and there are two of those. They are in the BritishMuseum and Vatican library. We have other various partial manuscripts that date from 100-300 AD including most of the books, but no one manuscript has the entire New Testament represented. Then of course we have smaller portions that go back to the first century, which is the same century it was written.
Also, this is fascinating, the early church fathers, which were the generation that followed the Apostles of Jesus wrote from 90-130 AD or so. They quote and refer to many of the New Testament books, which shows they were in existence and that the complete message of the New Testament is intact within the first 100 years after Jesus was here.
My conclusions are simple. Both the New Testament and the Quran are in the same category when it comes to manuscript evidence and textual criticism. The New Testament though is 600 years older and there are far more manuscripts available.
In your studies, I do recommend taking the path of conservative scholarship for both the Quran and New Testament. They have to be measured by the same standard.
Scholarship done by any unbelievers or atheist in regard to the Quran and New Testament should be rejected. Most are terrible examples of scholarship, and those who do it are highly biased. They will stop at nothing to destroy the foundations of our holy texts due to their prejudiced, subjective opinions.