A Closer Look at Christianity

    Introduction

    Since I was young I always loved discussing religion with others. I always wanted to know where the truth lay. The more discussions I had the more I learned about Islam. More and more I found Islam to be a truly great religion.

    In 1988 I went to the United States of America where a new world of religious information was available to me. I found Christianity. A religion that encompassed the greatest number of people around the world. I wanted to talk to other people about it. I wanted to learn more about this religion. That was when I met a Christian group that invited me to their home. They were a very kind group of people.

    Their aim was to invite me and my friends into Christianity, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about this religion. At the dinner table they started talking to us about the Bible, and started to give us some idea about Christianity. The person who was talking had a Bible in his hand, so I asked if I could take a look at it.

    I remember flipping through the Bible until I reached an objectionable point. I stopped with amazement! I couldn’t believe that the word of God could have such a problem. (I don’t recall the details of the problem.) I started discussing the point with one of the hosts. A few minutes into the discussion and he was cornered with no way of responding. His face turned red and he got very upset! Nevertheless, every time a Christian couldn’t respond to objections I raised after that, I would either be told that I would have to believe in Christianity, and thus be inspired first in order to understand it, or the version of the Bible I was using was not the proper one for discussion.

    So I found out I would have to believe in Christianity before I could believe in it! This was a dilemma! Then I reflected on this situation and with more research on the Christian community, I found that there were hundreds of denominations holding different and quite opposite views from one another. The strange thing was that many members of most denominations were talked to or inspired by God. Yet these messages were contradictory. I couldn’t understand why God delivered a message to one denomination telling them that Jesus was His son and only His son, another that Jesus was Himself, and another that Jesus was neither. All these people swore wholeheartedly they were talked to by God.

    I finally decided I should really look at the Bible closely and decide with the power of my own God given mind. I, therefore, started to listen to tapes and preachers, read the Bible, and discuss different topics from the Bible with Christian Fathers, Brothers, Preachers, and laymen.

    As far as the other objection in relation to the version of the Bible, I couldn’t find a real solution to the problem. If I talked to someone using one version he told me to use another, and if I used the other I was told to use another, and so on. I even asked a Brother, my teacher of religion in a Christian university, if he would direct me to the most accurate version of the Bible.

    He said, “Do you want the most accurate historically or the most spiritually uplifting?” I responded, “If the most accurate historically is not the most uplifting then we have a problem!”, and we both laughed. That’s when I decided to use the most common and widely accepted version of the Bible, the King James version. It dropped most of the objections raised with regards to the version.

    Most Christians (and I admire this quality in them) are very emotionally involved with Christianity. They love their religion and are moved by some of its ideas. However, most Christians don’t know very much about their own religion. It is not because they lack any capability to learn, but they always depend on preachers to deliver the different concepts to them, never question the Bible, and look at Christianity from one angle only.

    This was why I wrote these few pages. I wrote them not to provoke the feeling of anger but to heighten the sense of awareness in my Christian brothers. These few pages include the net experience of my discussions that which cannot be refuted. I have tested these ideas in many discussions, and I have even posted them on the Internet where I had to confront lots of people responding to the points I made. None was successful in refuting a single one of these points, and I hope they will make sense to you. I also hope that after reading these pages you will make real steps towards learning more about Islam, the final religion to humans handed down from God Almighty.

    Mohamed Qasem

    Was Jesus Sent to be Crucified

    One of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity relates that Jesus died and allowed for the shedding of his blood for the sake of granting forgiveness to people. In other words Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Let us investigate this topic from the Bible, and find out whether Jesus was sent to be crucified and whether he was crucified at all.

    Willingness of Jesus Christ to die for our sins

    Peter and the two sons of Zebedee were with Jesus Christ before the elders of the people and the chief priests came to take him to be crucified. Jesus at this point talked to Peter and the two sons of Zebedee as in Matthew 26:38 “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.”

    Then Jesus went a little further away from them and prayed to God as in Matthew 26:39 “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

    It is very clear from the above verse in Matthew 26:39 that Jesus had no intention of dying. In this verse it is shown that Jesus was praying strongly (Matthew mentions Jesus repeating this prayer three times) to have this death removed from him. Had Jesus Christ been sent to be crucified, he would not have hesitated to be killed at all.

    When I raise this point in front of my Christian brothers, they tell me that this hesitation came from the flesh side of him (in other words he was tempted), and that his soul which is godly did not have this hesitation at all. When we look at Matthew 26:38 we see that Jesus was contradicting this idea by saying, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” (Matthew 26:38). He himself said that it’s really his soul that was hesitating and not his body. These were Jesus’ own words.

    God answered the prayers of Jesus Christ

    After Jesus made the above mentioned prayer he was answered by God according to Hebrews 5:7 “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.”

    These words clearly show when Jesus was praying strongly to God, God granted him his request. The words “heard in that he feared” (Hebrews 5:7) mean that God granted him what he requested. So the above verse shows when Jesus asked of God to “let this cup pass from” (Matthew 26:39) him, God responded to his prayer and saved him from death or crucifixion.

    The post crucifixion prophesied events never happened

    When people were asking Jesus Christ if he was going to show them a sign, he replied by saying that the only sign they should expect is the sign of Jonas. Jesus also made sure to specify what exactly this sign was. The details are shown in the following verses:

    Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

    Matthew 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

    Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

    Jesus here emphasized what will happen to him by specifically saying that he will be like Jonas in terms of the number of days and nights he will be in the heart of the earth, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40). Now let us see if this prophecy came to pass.

    Jesus was crucified on Friday, this is certainly known among all Christians, and it’s the reason for calling that Friday by “Good Friday.” Jesus was buried on Friday night. Now let us start counting:

    1. Friday night Jesus was buried. This is night #1.

    2. Saturday day Jesus was still in the grave. This is day #1.

    3. Saturday night Jesus was still in the grave. This is night #2.

    Mary Magdalene, very early in the morning before sun rise and after the Sabbath (Saturday), went to see Jesus, and found that he was not there. The following verses describe this event:

    Mark 16:1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

    Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.

    Mark 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher?

    Mark 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

    Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

    Mark 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

    The number of days and nights Jesus spent in the heart of the earth is 1 day and 2 nights. This challenges what Jesus had prophesied.

    When I tell this to my Christian brothers, some of them responded by saying that what Jesus wanted to really say was that he will be gone for a while, and not that he will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. This is clearly not the case. Had Jesus meant that, he would have said it, but it is clear that he wanted people to know this was a sign (miracle) and it will be like Jonas’ sign, and he will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. These were his own words.

    Another argument is that the Jews used a different system for the day and night which makes the prophecy come true. The idea says that Jews used to consider a day shorter than we consider it now. If you would ask a Jewish person about their calendar you would find that this is not the case, and a day does not become shorter at all. The difference between a Jewish day and a regular day is the time when the day starts and ends. Jewish people considered the day over when the sun went down, whereas now we consider midnight to be the end of a day. There is no difference in the length of the day, and accepting the Jewish day would only make things worse as far as the prophecy goes.

    Why would Jesus have to die on the cross?

    According to the Christian doctrine, Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Every human is born with sins, or all humans will eventually sin, and therefore it was necessary that someone as pure as Jesus would be crucified to nullify these sins. The question is; why does anyone have to die for our sins when God, the all merciful, could as easily grant us forgiveness if we asked for it? Why does He have to make someone suffer for our sins or for someone else’s sins? Isn’t that unjust of Him? According to the Bible the way to redemption could be obtained without the need for sacrifice. The Bible says:

    Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

    Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

    Clearly the soul that sins shall die. Clearly, no one shall bear the iniquity (sins) of others. So Jesus cannot bear the sins of others either. If one is righteous then it shall be upon him, and if one commits a sin then it shall be upon him, and not on Jesus. Finally, the way to repentance and forgiveness is by turning from all sins, doing what is right, and keeping the commandments.

    Also we see the same message given by Solomon. He says in the book of Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” This is the whole message, and this is the conclusion of messages. It is that one should fear God, keep His commandments, and nothing else.

    Again in II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” This clearly states that to seek forgiveness from God we have to humble ourselves, pray, seek God, and turn away from wickedness.

    Finally the Bible says in I Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

    This clearly states that obeying God is better than sacrifice whether this sacrifice is of objects, animals, or humans, or any other type. What God likes is for us to heed and obey Him, and if that is what God likes then it is not of Him to come later and change His mind and His ways. God says in the Holy Quran, “Verily God is All-Knowing, All-Wise” (Ch 9: Vr 28).

    Now that we have seen this, Christians say that Jesus has changed some of these laws. Did Jesus come to change laws? Let’s look at what Jesus says. In Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Jesus clearly states that he was not sent to abolish the law, the law of which had already existed. What is mentioned above cannot be discounted.

    Then Jesus continues to say, in Matthew 5:18 and 19 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus here asserts that not even as much as a tittle (dot) shall pass from the law. Every thing is kept the way it was. This is why the previous laws cannot be removed or discarded, and those who willfully change these laws “he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.”

    Is Jesus the Same as God?

    In John 10:30 Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” This verse, according to Christians, shows God and Jesus Christ to be same. On the other hand, we read in John 20:17, “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”

    Here Jesus stated that there was a distinction between him and God. In other words that Jesus himself had a God. Also, Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Here Jesus Christ cried in loud voice calling for his God.

    These are two different and opposite ways Jesus relates himself to God. The first one, he and God are one, and the second, he refers to a higher authority than him which is God. Now assuming that both are correct statements then we have a contradiction. If, for example, Jesus Christ was God himself as in John 10:30 then it would be more appropriate for him to say “...and to myself, and your God.” in John 20:17, or “Myself, Myself, why hast thou forsaken me?” in Matthew 27:46. If, on the other hand, one of them is wrong and the other is correct then we have to discard the one we believe to be incorrect! Since God does not make mistakes then we no longer believe the Bible is the word of God (because we believe there is a contradiction of God’s words in the Bible).

    A third possibility is that we have to look at how we can interpret the words of Jesus in those verses. As far as John 20:17 and Matthew 27:46 it is very clear Jesus had a God whom he prayed to and Whom had a higher authority than his own. We can back this up with other verses from the Bible that say, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30). Also Jesus said, “...for my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28). If Jesus and God were the same then he would not have said what he said in the above verses.

    Now, the only verse that can be interpreted is John 10:30. It is the only one that does not render itself clear. The only way John 10:30 could be interpreted such that it does not contradict all the other verses is by saying that Jesus meant he and God had something in common.

    To find out what the common grounds were, we have to look at the context in which this verse came:

    John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

    John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

    John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

    As can be seen from John 10:28 and John 10:29 Jesus was telling the Jews that he and God share something in common, and it was: no one can pluck the faithful from either of their hands. This was the common factor between Jesus and God in this case, and not that Jesus was himself God, or that they were exactly the same.

    Let us go on to see what Jesus says in John 10:

    John 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

    John 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

    John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

    John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

    John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

    John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

    John 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

    John 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

    John 10:39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

    John 10:40 And went away again beyond Jordan…

    In John 10:31 we see that the Jews misunderstood what Jesus had meant by “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30). And in John 10:33 they accused him of blasphemy. Now, had Jesus been God, or had he and God been one in a literal sense then he wouldn’t have hesitated to clarify the matter at that point. Jesus at that point said, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” What he was trying to say was that if the Jews called “I and my Father are one” blasphemy then they should call what was written in their law “Ye are gods” blasphemy too.

    The reasoning behind this is “Ye are gods” does not mean that you, the Jews, are Gods, it is rather an expression. It just means that you are godly people. The same applies to “I and my Father are one.” It does not mean that Jesus is God or that he and God are the same literally. It’s just an expression. (The same goes for calling himself “the Son of God.” This statement should not be taken literally either).

    The Holy Quran says,

    “...Nothing whatsoever (is there) like the like of Him, and He (alone) is All-Hearing and All-Seeing” (Ch 42: Vr 11).

    Nothing at all is like God, not Moses, not Jesus, not Muhammad, and certainly nothing of His creation.

    What about all these verses?

    After I discuss the above with my Christian brothers they ask me, “but what about the other verses that say Jesus is God?” and they show me some of them. Some of these verses are:

    • John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” My Christian brothers associate this verse to the words God had said to Moses in the Old Testament when He said to him in Exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” What Jesus said is similar to what God said to Moses. Therefore they are the same.

    • Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Here Jesus gives himself a divine quality, being present as God.

    • Revelation 1:17-18 “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 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.” Jesus says that he is the first and the last. This is clearly a divine quality. He also says that he has the keys of hell and of death. This is also a divine quality.

    I really don’t know how many more verses like these are available, but let us assume that there are more. I reply to them that what they showed me proves my point even further, and before I explain how, I relate the following verse to them:

    • Mark 13:32 “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” It is shown here that God and only God and not the son (Jesus) has the knowledge of the time of the Judgment day. Jesus here denies his divinity (since God knows everything).

    • John 5:19 “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Here Jesus also says that his powers do not belong to him, and he alone, without the help of God, can do nothing. Again Jesus is denying divine qualities.

    • John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Here Jesus also denies any divine qualities. He (Jesus), without God can do nothing.

    • John 20:17 “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” Also, in Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Here Jesus, in the first verse, says that he has a God, and in the second he cries out for his God. Surely God does not have a god. Jesus clearly shows that he has a God and that he is not divine.

    • John 5:37 “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” Jesus clearly states that no one had even heard God’s voice, and not even seen His shape. This is Jesus talking, his voice heard, and his shape seen by those he is with at the moment, so it cannot be him that he is referring to as the divine character, and that means that they (Jesus and God) are not the same.

    • John 14:28 “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” Here Jesus also says that God is greater than Jesus. Again he is disclaiming divinity.

    • Matthew 19:17 “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” When a man referred to Jesus by good master, Jesus replied to him by saying that there is only one good that is God. If Jesus cannot even claim that he is good, then why should he claim that he is God?

    These are all verses from the Bible. Some show Christ to be God or having some qualities of God and others show that he is not God and that he does not have divine qualities. Which should we believe? Aren’t these contradictions? I say to all my Christian brothers that brought me verses that claim Christ’s divinity, “now you have to explain to me how this is possible. What does all this mean?”

    Is Jesus the Son of God?

    One of the fundamental beliefs in Christianity is the literal sonship of Jesus Christ to God. This belief comes from the verse in John 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.” Also in I John 5:1 “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” these verses clearly state that Jesus is the only begotten, and born Son of God.

    Let us look at other verses from the Bible to find out whether Jesus was the only begotten son of God, or that there were more than one. Also let us investigate whether Jesus was the only one born of God. Finally, let us investigate whether the word begotten is to be taken literally.

    Was Jesus the only begotten son of God?

    In the book of Psalms 2:7 we find “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” David, in this verse, is saying that God had told him he was the son of God and God has begotten him. Clearly Jesus is not the only begotten son of God.

    Of course, one could say that although Jesus was not the only begotten son of God, he had no human father in contrast to David who had a human father. That is true! Since Jesus had no human father it makes the relationship between him and God a closer one. The question is what about Adam? Adam had no human father nor a human mother, and according to the Bible he too was the son of God.

    The Bible says, “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.” (Luke3:23) The Bible goes on to mention the supposed genealogy of Jesus Christ. At the end of this genealogy the Bible comes to Adam, and it says, “Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” (Luke 3:38).

    So Adam is also the son of God. According to the assumption: “because Jesus had no human father then he is closer to God than David who had a human father,” we can safely conclude that Adam is better than Jesus because he did not have a human father or mother.

    The truth is Jesus and Adam do not differ in God’s sight. They were a mere creation of God. The Holy Quran says in clear terms,

    “Verily, similitude of Jesus with God is as the similitude of Adam; He created him out of dust then said He unto him BE, and he became.” (Ch 3: Vr 59).

    Was Jesus the only born son of God or the only son of God?

    The verse in I John 5:1 says, “...Jesus is the Christ is born of God....” This indicates that Jesus was born of God, but was Jesus the only born son of God? Let us look at what the Bible says:

    God talking to Moses:

    Exodus 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

    Exodus 4:23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

    Also, God talking about David:

    Psalms 89:27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.

    In both Exodus 4:22-23 and Psalms 89:27 Israel and David, respectively, were regarded as the first born sons of God. This means that Jesus was not the only born son of God. This means that the word “born” does not mean conception. It’s just a form of expression God used to show the closeness of people to Him.

    Finally, there were many other people mentioned in the bible as sons of God, and one of them was Solomon:

    I Chronicles 22:9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.

    I Chronicles 22:10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

    Also, remember that some of these verses are taken from the Old Testament, and that this book was originally written in Hebrew. Had the word born or son meant born or son in a literal sense then the Jews would have been ahead of everyone else in claiming their literal sonship to God, or in claiming the literal sonship of Solomon to God. The Jews know their language, and they know what son means. They know that the word “son” should not be taken literally.

    The Quran says in chapter 112 “In the name of God the Beneficent the Merciful. Say: ‘He, God, is ONE (alone). God, the Absolute, He begetteth not, nor is He Begotten, And there is none like unto Him.’” God does not beget, and does not need to beget. He is ONE and only ONE, and nothing is equal to Him.

    What does begotten mean?

    If Jesus is not the only begotten son of God and not the only born son of God, then what does begotten or born mean? Should the two words be taken literally? The only way we can justify these words is by looking at the Bible again. In I Peter 1:3 the Bible says, “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.” The word begotten is also used here. God can beget us unto lively hope. Does the word “begotten” here mean conception? No. It is a form of expression. This word means “gave rise to” or “brought”.

    Also in Job 38:28 the Bible says, “Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?” Can the drops of dew be begotten? No. It’s just a form of expression. Rain does not have a father nor are drops of dew begotten in a literal sense.

    If we cannot take the word begotten in literal sense with David, the drops of dew, or “us unto a lively hope” then why should we take Jesus as the literal begotten son of God?

    Finally, in the book Revelation 1:5 says, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Why is it that when Jesus is mentioned as being begotten of God it is taken literally, and when he is mentioned that he is begotten from the dead it is not taken literally? The truth is because the word begotten here does not mean any one could be conceived of the dead; it is a form of expression. The same thing with God, He begets not, and this word “begotten” is only a form of expression.

    Who was Jesus if not the literal son of God?

    According to the Bible in Matthew 21:11 “And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” This was Jesus. He was a prophet of God. He was sent like other prophets to deliver the message of his ONE and only ONE God (glory be to Him). Also, in Luke 24:19 the Bible says “And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.”

    Jesus was a true messenger of God Almighty. He was sent by Him to deliver His will. The Bible says in John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” These are the true characteristics of a prophet. They do as they are commanded.

    They are sent to deliver a message, and the only difference between them and other humans is their utmost righteousness, “mighty in deed and word” (Luke 24:19). They are the best of all the people of their time. They are the only ones who could bear and act upon the commandments of God completely and fully. They are loved by God because of that, and their nearness to God comes from that.

    The same applies to all other prophets. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, Jacob, Jonah, Moses, Jesus, Jonas, Muhammad and all the other prophets shared the same qualities. The qualities of those who could withstand all forms of tribulations in God’s name. They all fully abided by what God has commanded them. The Quran says,

    “Say: (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad!) (unto the People) ‘We believe in God, and what hath been sent down to us, and what hath been sent down to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes, and what was given to Moses, and Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord, we make no difference between any of them, and we unto Him are muslims’” (CH 3: Vr 84).

    (Note that “what was given to Moses, and Jesus” is not the same as the current Bible written by Paul, John, Luke, Matthew, and so on. Rather they were the true books of Moses and Jesus. These are not to be found today.)

    Oneness of God

    One of the main doctrines in Christianity is the trinity. This idea comes from I John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” This verse indicates that God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one. These words are John’s words and not Jesus’ words nor God’s, but according to the Christians John was inspired by God, and that is the reason for taking his words as the truth. Let us investigate the Bible to see if God is One and only One, or that He is, or they are three in one.

    Are Jesus and God the same?

    I have already talked about this topic in the second chapter, and showed the difference between God and Jesus. If you have not read that yet please do so.

    Let us see what Jesus himself says

    One of the scribes asked Jesus, Mark 12:28 “…Which is the first commandment of all?” Clearly from the question the man wanted to know the first of all commandments, and the most important one. Jesus replied to him in the following verse:

    Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

    Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

    • Jesus was not talking to this man only, but he made sure to call the attention of all Israel “Hear, O Israel.” This indicates the importance of this message.

    • Jesus says, “the Lord our God.” This clearly indicates that God is not only the God of the people Jesus is talking to, but He is also Jesus’ God (“our”).

    • Jesus continues to say, “is one Lord.” This clearly indicates the Oneness of God.

    • Finally, in Mark 12:30 Jesus reiterates that this is the first commandment “this is the first commandment .” A commandment before all others.

    Jesus in these verses showed how important this message was by calling the attention of the Israelites, and when he talked about the Oneness of God he excluded himself from that “Oneness” when he said, “our God.” He stated that this One God is his God as well as every one else’s. Had he been one of the three mentioned in John (according to John) then he would not have said “the Lord our God,” but he would have said “the Lord your God.”

    Then it continues in Mark after Jesus told the second commandment:

    Mark 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

    Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

    Mark 12:34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

    When the scribe reiterated the message Jesus delivered, and said, “there is none other but he” (Mark 12:32), Jesus told him that he was not far from the kingdom of God. Certainly the scribe understood that there is only one God, and had his understanding been wrong, Jesus would have told him, or Jesus would have clarified to all who were listening that it is really three in one. This was supposed to be an important commandment. It was the commandment that came before all others.

    According to my understanding the verse in I John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one,” is the only record of the idea that God is three in one rather than One and only One. The rest of the Bible is filled with verses indicating the absolute Oneness of God, and they carry no record of the idea of John in such way.

    The Absolute Oneness of God from the rest of the Bible

    In many instances in the Bible, God and His prophets mention that God is only One, and not three in one. The following are some of the many verses from the Bible:

    • Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” God is one and not three in one.

    • Isaiah 43:10-11 “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” God wants us to “know,” “believe,” and “understand” that He is the LORD, and “beside” Him there is no other. Had there been any other “beside” Him then He would have said it.

    • Ephesians 4:6 “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

    • I Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

    • James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” What makes the devil tremble is the belief that God is one, and not three.

    • Deuteronomy 4:35 “Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.”

    • I Samuel 2:2 “There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.”

    • Isaiah 44:6 “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”

    • Isaiah 44:8 “Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”

    • Isaiah 45:5 “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.”

    • Isaiah 45:6 “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.”

    • Hosea 13:4 “Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.”

    Some of these verses testify that God is “one,” others attest that there is nothing “beside” Him, one of them declares that nothing is “like” Him, and so on. None of the above verses include anything that describes that God is three in one. Jesus did not say that he was one of three, nor did God in His own words.

    I am told that although God and Jesus never mentioned the idea of the trinity, yet John who was inspired by God clarified this idea for all of us, the idea that God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one.

    My argument is: God never said that He is three in one, never were any prophets of God ever instructed to say that God is three in one, not even Jesus was instructed to say that, yet John who was not a prophet of God (he was an apostle of Jesus, or a disciple) said that God is really three in one, and the whole world of Christians believe him! I am wondering, who has more authority? What is more powerful? That which was quoted from Jesus’ mouth and God’s words, or the interpretation of John?

    Before I end this section, “The Absolute Oneness of God from the rest of the Bible,” I would like to raise some points about the idea of inspiration:

    • If the idea that the Bible is the book of God because it was inspired is to be believed, then we should disregard the book of Luke if we are willing to take Luke for his own words, when we read Luke 1:1-3 “For as much as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus.” Luke tells us that he saw it good to write his book. It was his own choice, and not an inspiration.

    • If we should believe that the Bible is the book of God because it was inspired, then we should also believe in the book “The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” The Author of this book, Joseph Smith, claims he too was inspired by God. Why should we stop at the Bible alone?

    • There are hundreds of different denominations in Christianity, and many in almost all denominations claim to be inspired by God, yet they are all different in their beliefs and convictions. Who are we to believe? Who is right and who is wrong? Especially when some of these denominations differ with others on the most crucial points in Christianity. Also, why does God deliver different message to each denomination, is God the author of confusion? I Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

    What about worshipping God through Jesus?

    The worship of God should be aimed directly to God. God does not need a medium for prayers to come to Him. This is clear from the Bible. When God says in such a bold manner:

    Exodus 20:1-5:

    “And God spake all these words, saying,

    I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

    Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”

    We should not make any images or likeness of any thing that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth as something to worship. God is the only One that we should bow down to. God, the God of everything, is a Jealous God, and he does not like us to worship anything but Him, not even Jesus. God shows how jealous He is when people worship images in Exodus 34:14 “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

    Romans 1:21-32:

    “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

    Who is Jesus?

    If Jesus is not God, not the son of God, and not one of three (trinity), then who is Jesus? I have briefly discussed this in Chapter Three “Is Jesus the Son of God?” This time I would like to expand on Jesus’ life (peace be upon him). I want to talk about Jesus from birth, starting with his mother (peace be upon them both) till the day he was taken up to God.

    Who was his mother?

    His mother was The Virgin Mariam (Mary) the daughter of Imran (father) and Hinnah (mother). When Hinnah carried Mariam in her womb she vowed to offer Mariam to God by letting her serve Him in one of His houses of worship. When Mariam was born her mother wrapped her in a piece of cloth, and took her to Al-Aqsa Mosque where she was handed over to the priests.

    When the priests looked at her, and found out that she was the daughter of their lord and leader Imran they all wanted to take care of her. Although Zachariah the prophet (P.B.U.H.) was the person in charge of sacrificial offerings he was not allowed to take charge of Mariam’s matter this time. After a long quarrel over her, they all decided that the person who wins the lottery is the one that takes her in.

    Zachariah won, and sponsored Mariam. He gave her a place to live, assigned her a female caretaker and personally watched over her until she was old enough to take care of herself and didn’t need the caretaker anymore.

    When Zachariah came to Mariam in her place of worship he used to find fruits that would normally grow in other seasons. When he asked her where she acquired these fruits from, she would say that it was from God Almighty. The following verse relates the story of Mariam after she was born and offered by her mother to God:

    “So her Lord accepted her with gracious acceptance and caused her to grow an excellent growth and made Zachariah her guardian. Whenever Zachariah visited her in the chamber, he found with her provisions. He said, ‘O Mary whence hast thou this?’ She replied, ‘It is from ALLAH.’ Surely ALLAH gives to whomsoever HE pleases without measure.” (CH 3: Vr 37)

    Angels used to always come to Mariam and tell her of her purity, and chastity. They also used tell her that God has chosen her above the women of the world, and that He has protected her from all types of corruption. She was constantly inspired to work harder and apply herself more in worship, supplication, and prostration for God. The Quran says,

    “And remember when the angels said, ‘ALLAH has chosen thee and purified thee and chosen thee above all women of the time. `O Mary, be obedient to thy Lord and prostrate thyself and worship the one God with those who worship HIM.’” (Ch 3: Vr 42-43)

    How was Jesus born?

    The following verses from the Chapter 19 (Mariam) narrate the story of the birth of Jesus Christ the prophet who was born without a father:

    And relate the story of Mary as mentioned in the Book, when she withdrew from her people to an eastern place; [16] And screened herself off from them. Then WE sent OUR angel to her and he appeared to her in the form of a well proportioned man. [17] She said, “I seek refuge with the Gracious God from thee if indeed thou dost fear HIM.” [18] The angel said, “I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may give thee glad tidings of a righteous son.” [19]

    She said, “How can I have a son when no man has touched me, neither have I been unchaste?” [20] The angel said, “Thus it shall be.” But says thy Lord, “It is easy for ME; and WE shall do so that WE may make him a Sign unto men, and a mercy from US, and it is a thing decreed.” [21]

    So she conceived him, and withdrew with him to a remote place. [22] And the pains of child-birth drove her unto the trunk of a palm-tree. She said, “O, would that I had died before this and had become a thing quite forgotten!” [23] Then the angel called her from beneath her, saying, “Grieve not. Thy Lord has placed a rivulet below thee; [24]

    “And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree; it will drop upon thee fresh ripe dates; [25] “So, eat and drink and cool thine eye. And if thou seest any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to the Gracious God; I will, therefore, not speak this day to any human being.’” [26]

    Then she brought him to her people, mounted. They said, “O Mary, surely, thou hast committed a monstrous thing! [27] “O sister of Aaron, thy father was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother an unchaste woman!” [28] Thereupon she pointed to him. They said, “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” [29]

    Jesus said, “I am a servant of ALLAH. HE has given me the Book, and has made me a Prophet; [30] And HE has made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and has enjoined upon me Prayer and almsgiving so long as I live; [31] And HE has made me dutiful towards my mother, and has not made me arrogant and graceless; [32] And peace was on me the day I was born, and peace will be on me the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised up to life again.” [33] That was Jesus, son of Mary. This is a statement of the truth concerning which they entertain doubt. [34]

    This was the story behind Jesus’ birth. Two of the most magnificent miracles were connected to his birth: the first was the birth to a chaste mother, and without the need for a father. This miracle shows that God has the ability to do anything He wishes. God says after the above verse, “It does not befit the Majesty of ALLAH to take unto Himself a son. Holy is HE. When HE decrees a thing, HE says to it, ‘Be,’ and it comes into being.’” (Ch 19, Vr 35).

    The idea of Sonship is ambiguous. What does it mean for God to have a son when everything in this world is His creation, and a mere command of His?

    The other miracle was that Jesus spoke when he was in the cradle. God gave him the ability to talk to people to fend off any accusations made to his virtuous mother, and to notify the world that he was a prophet of God. That was Jesus. He was sent to tell people about the true God. The One and only One God of this universe. It was people who then changed this idea, and took Jesus as the Son of God. The Quran relates,

    “said Jesus, ‘Surely, ALLAH is my Lord and your Lord, so worship HIM alone, this is the right path.’” (Ch 19: Vr 36).

    Who was Jesus sent to?

    Jesus was sent to the entire world. It is known that the total number of prophets that God sent were 124,000. Five of these prophets were considered to be the best, and they were called o-loo Al-Azm. These prophets were Nooh (Noah) Ibraheem (Abraham), Mousa (Moses), Ee-saa (Jesus), and Muhammad (Peace be upon them all, and Muhammad’s progeny). Being one of the five o-loo Al-Azm prophets meant that Jesus was sent to the entire world of mankind and Jin (other beings living amongst us that can see us without us seeing them).

    Did Jesus have a heavenly book?

    Yes. God sent down to Jesus the In-jeel (the gospel). The book is non-existent today, and the Bible that we have today is authored by people who came after Jesus (P.B.U.H.). The proof is simple: none of the books in the Bible is named after Jesus (the book of Luke, John, and so forth). All the books were written by people other than Jesus the prophet of God. It is a known fact amongst scholars that not a single word in the Bible was instructed to be written or written by Jesus himself during his time on earth. The Bible was written after Jesus was risen.

    What were Jesus’ miracles?

    Jesus (P.B.U.H.) had many miracles. They are mentioned in the Holy Quran, and I have already mentioned two of them: the first being his birth without a father, and the other being his speech while he was in the cradle. God says in the Holy Quran,

    “And will send him as a Messenger to the Children of Israel with the Message, ‘I come to you with a Sign from your Lord, which is, that I will fashion out for you a creation out of clay after the manner of a bird; then I will breathe into it a new spirit and it will become a soaring being by the command of ALLAH; and I will heal the night blind and the leprous, and I will quicken the dead by the command of ALLAH; and I will announce to you what you will eat and what you will store up in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you, if you are believers.’” (Ch 3: Vr 49).

    • He was able to make birds out of clay, and breathe life into them.

    • He was able to bring back the dead to life.

    • He was able to predict what people stored of food.

    • He was able to heal the blind, and the leprous.

    • He was able to do all this by God’s permission and will.

    Was Jesus crucified?

    No. Jesus (P.B.U.H.) was raised to God.

    On the night that Jesus was supposed to be taken up by God he called the 12 apostles for a meeting. He advised them, and told them of what he wanted from them. Then he asked if one of them would volunteer to take his place (form) after he left. God would then make that person look like Jesus. That apostle would have to endure killing, and crucifixion by the Jews, and in return he would be in the same level in paradise as Jesus.

    One of the apostles agreed to sacrifice himself, and Jesus was taken up from one of the corners of the house while the apostles were watching. When the Jews came looking for Jesus, God made the volunteer look like him, the Jews took him, and crucified him.

    Is Jesus coming back again?

    Yes. Jesus will have a second coming. Jews and Christians together will follow him and become Muslims.

    The discussion of this topic is long. Therefore, I will leave it up to you to find out more about Jesus’ second coming and the events associated with his arrival.

    What is My Responsibility Now?

    I remember once in my callow years when I did not pay attention to a call for help from a friend in the US. He asked me if I would give him a copy of the Holy Quran. When I asked why, he said something to this effect, “The Bible doesn’t make sense to me. It’s too mythical. I want to read the Quran and see if it’s any different.” I never gave him a copy of the Holy Quran. I was too busy being selfish! I was busy playing! Now, I sincerely regret my inaction, and hope I can someday reach him again.

    I feel sorry because people like him are hard to find. It is very hard to find people who are self motivated to look for the truth. People who need very little direction in order to make serious decisions about their future. People who have an open mind!

    And this is why I present these pages to you. I present them to you so you would seize the opportunity. After reading these few pages surrounding Jesus Christ (P.B.U.H.) you should take more steps to find the truth about the Bible and the Quran. I guarantee if you keep an open mind, and make some effort in searching for the truth, God will come to your aid and help you. I guarantee you will find Islam to be your choice for your “hereafter” investment.

    People on a daily basis invest money and time towards their well being in this short life of seventy years or so. What about your infinite life that starts right after death? Are you willing to invest in it?

    For more information please visit the al-Islam.org webpage on the Internet:
    http://www.al-islam.org/

    There you will find many people who are more than willing to help answer any of your questions and steer you in the right direction.

    English

    Authors(s):

    Old url: 
    http://www.al-islam.org/short/closerlook/
    Important notice: 
    This booklet may be freely reprinted and copied, with the condition that the text in the booklet is not altered in any way.

    Comments

    Assalamu alikum wa rahmatoullhi wa barakatahou,
    I don't know if you heard , but I want to tell you something about the so much talked verse of Bible which explains trinity, The John 1 , Chapter 5 , verses 7 of King James Version, which says "These 3 are One " , actually this verse has been thrown out from All bible now, because The highest scholar of Christianity declared that this verse was an "insertion". They said This verse never appeared in the ancient manuscript before the 15th century, It was actually someone who added in small in the starting of the line, and people who translate the Bible liked it because it looks closer to the Trinity doctrine. You can also check it yourself, this manuscript available on the Internet.
    May Allah Guide all Christians brothers who have good hearts and trying to look for the Truth.
    After all, Allah knows better.
    Allahu akbhar!

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