To the Glory of God the Son: Refuting A Common Arian Canard Pt. 3

In this final segment (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/16/to-the-glory-of-god-the-son-refuting-a-common-arian-canard-pt-2/), I am going to take a further look at the text of Philippians in order to show that the very context of this verse refutes the notion of Jesus being a creature exalted by God.

Note carefully what the blessed Apostle wrote:

“for which very reason God raised him supremely high (hyperhypsosen) and granted him the name above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY knee of what is IN HEAVEN and what is ON EARTH and what is UNDERGROUND should bend and EVERY tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 The Bible in Living English (https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/b/r1/lp-e/by/E/1972/50/2#study=discover) 

Much like Revelation 5:13, this passage emphatically and unambiguously affirms that Jesus is no mere creature but is separate and greater than the entire creation. Similarly to John, Paul virtually exhausts the language in highlighting the fact that every creature in the entire created order must and eventually shall worship Christ as the exalted Lord. 

This means that Jesus cannot be a mere creature seeing that he is differentiated from every created thing and is worshiped by the whole creation. Otherwise, Jesus would have to also be worshiping and confessing himself as Lord to the glory of God the Father if here a mere created spirit being, as Arian heretics like Stafford believe.  

Here is a break down of the reasoning employed, which highlights the inescapable conclusion that according to this inspired passage, God’s beloved Son is no mere creature but is, in fact, Jehovah God Almighty in the flesh:

  1. Every created being in all of creation shall worship Jesus as Lord (Cf. Romans 14:9-12; Revelation 5:13).
  2. Jesus is, thus, separated and distinguished from every created thing that exists.
  3. This, in turn, shows that Jesus must be uncreated by nature.
  4. Yet only Jehovah is uncreated by nature.
  5. Jesus must, therefore, be Jehovah God in the flesh.
  6. At the same time, Jesus is personally distinct from the Father who himself is Jehovah God.
  7. Jehovah must, therefore, be a multi-Personal Being who eternally subsists in at least two divine Persons, namely, the Father and the Son. 

This, in turn, explains why Paul attributed to Jesus the very worship, which the prophet Isaiah ascribed to Jehovah,

“By myself I have sworn; The word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, And it will not return: TO ME every knee will bend, Every tongue will swear loyalty” Isaiah 45:23

And further helps us to appreciate why the Father exalted Jesus to the highest position imaginable and bestowed on him the name above every name in existence,

“and how surpassing the greatness of his power is toward us believers. It is according to the operation of the mightiness of his strength, which he exercised toward Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE EVERY government and authority and power and lordship and EVERY NAME that is named, not only in this system of things but also in that to come. He also subjected all things under his feet and made him head over ALL THINGS with regard to the congregation, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23

“because in him is dwelling down all the fullness of the divinity bodily, and YOU are in him, (ones) having been filled, who is the head of all government and of authority,” Colossians 2:9-10 KIT (https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/b/r1/lp-e/int/E/1985/51/2#study=discover)

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold on to our public declaration of him.” Hebrews 4:14

“who has become such, not by the legal requirement that depends on fleshly descent, but by the power of an indestructible life… but because he continues alive forever, his priesthood has no successors. So he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them. For it is fitting for us to have such a high priest who is loyal, innocent, undefiled, separated from the sinners, AND EXALTED ABOVE THE HEAVENS.” Hebrews 7:16, 24-26

“For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with hands, which is a copy of the reality, but into heaven itself, so that he now appears before God on our behalf.” Hebrews 9:24

“He is at God’s right hand, for he went to heaven, and angels and authorities and powers were made subject to him.” 1 Peter 3:22

Even though the Hebrew Bible is emphatically clear that it is Jehovah who is exalted as head over all creation,

“Yours, O Jehovah, are the greatness and the mightiness and the beauty and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah. You are the One exalting yourself as head over all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11

“For you are the Lord most high over all the earth; you are greatly exalted (hyperhypsothes) above all gods.” Psalm 96:7 LXX

And who alone possesses the name that is high above everyone else’s:

“Let them praise the name of Jehovah, For his name ALONE is unreachably high. His majesty is above earth and heaven.” Psalm 148:13

Here’s the Greek rendering of this text:

“let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name ONLY is exalted; his praise is above the earth and heaven.”

 This also explains why Jesus can be described as the glorious Lord enthroned in heaven,

“It is this wisdom that none of the rulers of this system of things came to know, for if they had known it, they would not have executed the glorious Lord.” 1 Corinthians 2:8

“My brothers, you are not holding to the faith of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ while showing favoritism, are you?” James 2:1

Despite the fact that it is Jehovah who is the glorious King that reigns from on high: 

“Lift up your heads, you gates; Open up, you ancient doorways, That the glorious King may enter!i  Who is this glorious King? Jehovah, strong and mighty, Jehovah, mighty in battle.  Lift up your heads, you gates; Open up, you ancient doorways, That the glorious King may enter! Who is he, this glorious King? Jehovah of armies—he is the glorious King. (Selah)” Psalm 24:7-10

Since Jesus is Jehovah in the flesh, even though he is not the same Person as the Father, it only makes sense that he would be granted the very status and glory that belongs to Jehovah alone, and why he receives the very worship that is to be given only to Jehovah.(1)

So much for the claim of Arian cultists such as Greg Stafford that the Father does nothing to and for the glory of another.

Unless noted otherwise, scriptural quotations were taken from the New World Translation (NWT) of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/study-bible/books/).

Endnotes

(1) To respond to another typical Arian objection, the reason why Jesus had to be given such an exalted position is because he voluntarily humbled himself to take on the status of a slave in order to die a humiliating and painful death: 

“in order to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, who said: ‘Look! My servant whom I chose, my beloved, whom I have approved!q I will put my spirit upon him, and what justice is he will make clear to the nations. He will not quarrels nor cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the main streets. No bruised reed will he crush, and no smoldering wick will he extinguish, until he brings justice with success. Indeed, in his name nations will hope.’” Matthew 12:17-21

“For even the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.” Mark 10:45

“For which one is greater, the one dining or the one serving? Is it not the one dining? But I am among you as the one serving.” Luke 22:27

“For you know the undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sake, so that you might become rich through his poverty.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

“Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and became human. More than that, when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake.” Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus was, therefore, given a status that already belonged to him by virtue of his being Jehovah God, but with one major difference. When Christ voluntarily set aside his exalted position in order to come to the earth, he did so as Spirit, meaning as a bodiless, spaceless, immaterial Being. When he returned to the glory that he possessed from before the creation of the earth,

“So now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.” John 17:5

He did so as embodied Deity, as God incarnate, entering heaven with a glorified physical body of flesh due to his resurrection from the dead where he will forever remain a flesh and bone human being, and a physical descendant of David: 

“While they were speaking of these things, he himself stood in their midst and said to them: ‘May you have peace.’ But because they were terrified and frightened, they imagined that they were seeing a spirit. So he said to them: ‘Why are you troubled, and why have doubts come up in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have FLESH AND BONES just as you see THAT I HAVE.’ And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. But while they were still not believing for sheer joy and amazement, he said to them: ‘Do you have something there to eat?’ So they handed him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it before their eyes.” Luke 24:36-43

“But Thomas, one of the Twelve, who was called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were telling him: ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them: ‘Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will never believe it.’ Well, eight days later his disciples were again indoors, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and he stood in their midst and said: ‘May you have peace.’ Next he said to Thomas: ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop doubting but believe.’ In answer Thomas said TO HIM: ‘My Lord and MY GOD!’ Jesus said to him: ‘Because you have seen me, have you believed? Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’” John 20:24-29

“Men, brothers, it is permissible to speak with freeness of speech to you about the family head David, that he died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one of his offspring on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he forsaken in the Grave nor did his flesh see corruption. God resurrected this Jesus, and of this we are all witnesses. Therefore, because he was exalted to the right hand of God and received the promised holy spirit from the Father, he has poured out what you see and hear.” Acts 2:29-33

“True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance; but now he is declaring to all people everywhere that they should repent. Because he has set a day on which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by A MAN whom he has appointed, and he has provided a guarantee to all men by resurrecting him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31

“My aim is to know him and the power of his resurrection and to share in his sufferings, submitting myself to a death like his, to see if at all possible I may attain to the earlier resurrection from the dead…But our citizenship exists in the heavens, and we are eagerly waiting for a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our humble body to be like HIS GLORIOUS BODY by his great power that enables him to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:10-11, 20-21

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, A MAN, Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5 

“But one of the elders said to me: ‘Stop weeping. Look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered so as to open the scroll and its seven seals.’” Revelation 5:5

“I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to you about these things for the congregations. I AM the root and THE OFFSPRING of David and the bright morning star.” Revelation 22:16 

This means that Christ now reigns as the God-Man, the divine Son of God who rules as a glorified human being with an immortal physical body. 

To the Glory of God the Son: Refuting A Common Arian Canard Pt. 2

 I resume my refutation of Greg Stafford and his fellow Arian heretics (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/15/to-the-glory-of-god-the-son-refuting-a-common-arian-canard-pt-1/).

As I had noted previously, the glorification of the Father and the Son is reciprocal in that it isn’t merely the Son that glorifies God. Rather, the Father himself is committed to glorifying the Son in like manner:

“‘But I am not seeking glory for myself; there is One who is seeking and judging.’… Jesus answered: ‘If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, the one who you say is your God.’” John 8:50, 54

“When, therefore, he had gone out, Jesus said: ‘Now the Son of man is glorified, and God is glorified in connection with him. God himself will glorify him, and he will glorify him immediately.’” John 13:31-32

“The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his Servant, Jesus, whom you handed over and disowned before Pilate, even though he had decided to release him.” Acts 3:13

The Spirit is also involved in glorifying the Son:

“I still have many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now. However, when that one comes, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own initiative, but what he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come. That one will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine and will declare it to you. All the things that the Father has are mine. That is why I said he receives from what is mine and declares it to you.” John 16:12-15 

In fact, not only is the Father committed to honoring and glorifying his beloved Son,

“No, it was not by following artfully contrived false stories that we made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather, we were eyewitnesses of his magnificence. For he received from God the Father HONOR AND GLORY when words such as these* were conveyed to him by the magnificent glory: ‘This is my Son, my beloved, whom I myself have approved.’ Yes, these words we heard coming from heaven while we were with him in the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18

He also demands that every creature honor the Son in the exact same way that they honor God:

“For the Father judges no one at all, but he has entrusted all the judging to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:22-23

This explains why John had a vision in which he saw the Son receiving the exact same worship that God himself receives from all of creation: 

“When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, and each one had a harp and golden bowls that were full of incense. (The incense means the prayers of the holy ones.) And they sing a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue* and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.’ And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, and they were saying with a loud voice: ‘The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength AND HONOR AND GLORY and blessing.’ And I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, AND ALL THE THINGS IN THEM, saying: ‘To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and THE HONOR and THE GLORY and the might forever and ever.’ The four living creatures were saying: ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshipped.” Revelation 5:8-14

Now, this places Arian heretics such as Gregory Stafford in a dilemma. The fact that Jesus is distinguished from every created being in existence proves that he is no mere creature. Rather, the Son is exactly like God in that he is separate from the entire creation, and is therefore eternal by nature, having no beginning to his life or existence. 

This helps us further appreciate why doxologies, or ascriptions of praise and glory, are offered to both the Father and the Son,

They exchanged the truth of God for the lie and venerated and rendered sacred service to the creation rather than the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.” Romans 1:25

“Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:20

“No, but go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

and from Jesus Christ, ‘the Faithful Witness,’ ‘the firstborn from the dead,’ and ‘the Ruler of the kings of the earth.’ To him who loves us and who set us free from our sins by means of his own blood—and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—yes, to him be the glory and the might forever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6

Since the Son is uncreated by nature, being essentially one with the Father, and therefore worthy of the exact same worship.

The God-breathed Scriptures further proclaim that God is glorified in union with his Son:

“Now a man named Lazʹa·rus was sick; he was from Bethʹa·ny, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the Mary who poured perfumed oil on the Lord and wiped his feet dry with her hair; it was her brother Lazʹa·rus who was sick. So his sisters sent a message to him, saying: ‘Lord, see! the one you have affection for is sick.’ But when Jesus heard it, he said: ‘This sickness is not meant to end in death, but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’… Jesus said to her: ‘Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’” John 11:1-4, 40

“Most truly I say to you, whoever exercises faith in me will also do the works that I do; and he will do works greater than these, because I am going my way to the Father. Also, whatever you ask in my name, I will do this, so that the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

“Whatever it is that you do in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

“If anyone speaks, let him do so as speaking pronouncements from God; if anyone ministers, let him do so as depending on the strength that God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. The glory and the might are his forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11

This shows that God will never allow himself to be glorified apart from Christ since he has bound his glorification with the glorification of his Beloved. 

In other words, a person who seeks to honor God without acknowledging, confessing, honoring, and loving the Son will not be accepted since to reject the Son is to reject the Father, to hate the Son is to hate the Father etc., since it is the Son who mediates God’s presence and unites us to the Father:

“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” John 1:18 New International Version (NIV)

“‘All those whom the Father gives me will come to me, and I will never drive away the one who comes to me; for I have come down from heaven to do, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose none out of all those whom he has given me, but that I should resurrect them on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who recognizes the Son and exercises faith in him should have everlasting life, and I will resurrect him on the last day.’ Then the Jews began to murmur about him because he had said: “I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ And they began saying: “Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’ In response Jesus said to them: ‘Stop murmuring among yourselves. No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him, and I will resurrect him on the last day. It is written in the Prophets: “They will all be taught by Jehovah.” Everyone who has listened to the Father and has learned comes to me. Not that any man has seen the Father, except the one who is from God; this one has seen the Father. Most truly I say to you, whoever believes has everlasting life.’” John 6:37-44

“However, Jesus called out and said: ‘Whoever puts faith in me puts faith not only in me but also in him who sent me; and whoever sees me sees also the One who sent me.’” John 12:44-45

“Jesus said to him: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6

“Remain in union with me, and I will remain in union with you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you unless you remain in union with me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever remains in union with me and I in union with him, this one bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing at all. If anyone does not remain in union with me, he is thrown out like a branch and dries up. And men gather those branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in union with me and my sayings remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will take place for you. My Father IS GLORIFIED IN THIS, that you keep bearing much fruit AND PROVE YOURSELVES MY DISCIPLES… Whoever hates me also hates my Father.” John 15:1-8, 23

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. But whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23  

“If we accept the witness of men, the witness of God is greater. Because this is the witness God gives, the witness that he has given about his Son. The person putting his faith in the Son of God has the witness within himself. The person not having faith in God has made him a liar, because he has not put his faith in the witness given by God concerning his Son. And this is the witness, that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is in his Son. The one who has the Son has this life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this life.” 1 John 5:9-12

This simply confirms what I stated in the first part of my discussion, namely, it is simply not true that the Father does nothing to and for the glory of another. Rather, the Father does all things to and for the glory of his Son to the extent that he even refuses to be glorified apart from his Beloved. The Father has made it that he can only be glorified in union with and in reference to the Son.

I am still not through dismantling Greg Stafford’s blasphemous assault against the risen Lord of glory since I have more for him and his fellow Arian heretics in the next part of my rebuttal (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/17/to-the-glory-of-god-the-son-refuting-a-common-arian-canard-pt-3/).

To the Glory of God the Son: Refuting A Common Arian Canard Pt. 1

There are certain Arian (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism) apologists, specifically Gregory Stafford, the founder of a cult group called Christian Witnesses of Jah that recently sprung into existence (http://elihubooks.com), that employ the following passage,

“and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:11 

To argue for their belief that Christ is a subordinate deity since they take him to be the very first divine son of God that Jehovah created among a host of other gods and sons of God. They also believe that the other divine beings were created through the agency of Jehovah’s firstborn son, the prehuman Jesus. (Cf. Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Pss. 29:1; 82:1-8; 86:8-10; 89:5-8; John 1:1-3, 10; 10:34-36; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2-3).

Stafford claims that the risen Jesus is confessed and worshipped as Lord to the glory of the Father, whereas the Father does nothing to the glory of another. He then assumes that this somehow proves that Jesus is not ontologically equal to God the Father.

In this post, I am going to refute the assertion that the Father does nothing to the glory of another since the God-breathed Scriptures testify that the Father does all things for the glory of his Son. I will demonstrate that the individual members of the Godhead, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, never do anything for their own personal glory but seek to glorify one another since they have eternally existed in perfect communion, and have been the object of one another’s infinite love. 

For example, we are told that not only does the Son love the Father and carries out his will,

“Jesus then said: “After you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing of my own initiative; but just as the Father taught me, I speak these things. And the One who sent me is with me; he did not abandon me to myself, because I always do the things pleasing to him.’” John 8:28-29

“But for the world to know that I love the Father, I am doing just as the Father has commanded me to do. Get up, let us go from here.” John 14:31

“Just as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. If you observe my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have observed the commandments of the Father and remain in his love.” John 15:9-11 

But that the Father also loves the Son, and has loved him from even before the creation of the world, which is why he bestows on him his very own personal glory:

“And a voice came out of the heavens: ‘You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.’” Mark 1:11

“And a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud: ‘This is my Son, the beloved. Listen to him.’” Mark 9:7

The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.” John 3:35 – Cf. 5:20; 13:3

“Jesus spoke these things, and raising his eyes to heaven, he said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your son so that your son may glorify you… So now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was… Father, I want those whom you have given me to be with me where I am, in order that they may look upon my glory that you have given me, because you loved me before the founding of the world.’” John 17:1, 5, 24

In this last passage, the Father glorifies the Son in the same way that the Son glorifies the Father, showing that it is reciprocal. The text further affirms that the Son personally existed alongside the Father in the very same glory from before the creation of the world, even though the Hebrew Bible is emphatically clear that this is a glory that Jehovah does not bestow on anyone:

“For my own sake, for my own sake I will act, For how could I let myself be profaned? I give my glory to no one else. Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I have called. I am the same One. I am the first; I am also the last.” Isaiah 48:11-12

Astonishingly, the exalted Christ ascribes to himself the very expression that Jehovah describes himself with:

“When I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet. And he laid his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last,  and the living one, and I became dead, but look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of the Grave.’” Revelation 1:17-18

Could the Scriptures, therefore, be any clearer that Jesus is ontologically equal to the Father?

In fact, it is precisely because the Father loves the Son that he appointed his Beloved to create all things for himself and to be the very One upholding all creation by his powerful word,

“Who drew out to self us out of the authority of the darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the Son of the love of him, in whom we are having the release by ransom, the letting go off of the sins; who is image of the God the invisible, firstborn of all creation, because in him it was created THE ALL (things [ta panta]) in the heavens and upon the earth, the (things) visible and the (things) invisible, whether thrones or lordships or governments or authorities; THE ALL (things [ta panta]) through him and INTO HIM (eis auton) it has been created; AND HE IS BEFORE ALL (things [kai autos estin pro panton]) and THE ALL (things [ta panta]) in him it has stood together, and he is the head of the body, of the ecclesia; who is the beginning, firstborn out of the dead (ones), in order that might become in all (things) he holding the first place,” Colossians 1:13-18 The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/b/r1/lp-e/int/E/1985/51/1#study=discover)

“All [other] things have been created through him and FOR HIM.” Colossians 1:16 New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures with References (https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/b/r1/lp-e/Rbi8/E/1984/51/1#study=discover)

“Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power. And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… But about the Son, he says… And: ‘At the beginning, O Lord [the Son], you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works OF YOUR HANDS. They will perish, but you will remain; and just like a garment, they will all wear out, and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as a garment, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never come to an end.’” Hebrews 1:2-3, 8a, 10-12(1) 

Even though the Hebrew Bible emphatically declares that Jehovah personally created all things by and for himself, and is the One who gives life to all creation:

“You alone are Jehovah; you made the heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens and all their army, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. And you preserve all of them alive, and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you.” Nehemiah 9:6

“This is what the true God, Jehovah, says, The Creator of the heavens and the Grand One who stretched them out, The One who spread out the earth and its produce, The One who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk on it:” Isaiah 42:5

“I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’i And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back. Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by my name And whom I created FOR MY OWN GLORY, Whom I have formed and made.’… The wild beast of the field will honor me, The jackals and the ostriches, For I provide water in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert, For my people, my chosen one, to drink, The people whom I formed FOR MYSELF So that they might declare my praise.” Isaiah 43:6-7, 20-21

“This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, Who formed you since you were in the womb: ‘I am Jehovah, who made everything. I stretched out the heavens BY MYSELF, And I spread out the earth. WHO WAS WITH ME?’” Isaiah 44:24

“‘I made the earth and created man on it. I stretched out the heavens with my own hands, And I give orders to all their army.’… For this is what Jehovah says, The Creator of the heavens, the true God, The One who formed the earth, its Maker who firmly established it, Who did not create it simply for nothing, but formed it to be inhabited: ‘I am Jehovah, and there is no one else.’” Isaiah 45:12, 18

Once again, what more do the God-breathed revelations need to say in order for Arians like Stafford to admit that Jesus is identified as Jehovah God Almighty in the flesh?

With the foregoing in perspective, it is time to proceed to the next part of my discussion (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/16/to-the-glory-of-god-the-son-refuting-a-common-arian-canard-pt-2/).

Endnotes

(1) Remarkably, Paul has taken the following Psalm, where Jehovah is glorified for being the unchanging Creator and Sustainer of all things,

“O Jehovah, hear my prayer; Let my cry for help reach you… But you remain forever, O Jehovah, And your fame will endure for all generations… Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth, And the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; Just like a garment they will all wear out. Just like clothing you will replace them, and they will pass away. But you are the same, and your years will never end.” Psalm 102:1, 12, 25-27

And ascribed it to the Son, thereby identifying Jesus as that very Jehovah God praised by David!

I need to again ask, what more could the inspired Scriptures say before Arians realize that Christ is identified as Jehovah God Almighty in the flesh, even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit?

Origen – Dialog with Heracleides

The following is an excerpt from Origen’s dialogue with a bishop, which further confirms that he was a Trinitarian who believed in the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son. Origen also affirmed the physical, bodily resurrection of our Savior, condemning as heresy the denial that our Lord’s resurrection was physical, bodily in nature.  All bold emphasis is mine.

Dialogue of Origen with Heraclides and the Bishops with him concerning the Father and the Son and the Soul (https://sites.google.com/site/demontortoise2000/Home/origen_dialog_with_heracleides).

Dialogue of Origen with Heraclides and the Bishops with him concerning the Father and the Son and the Soul.

After the bishops present had raised questions concerning the faith of the bishop Heraclides, that he might confess before all the faith which he held, and after each one had said what he thought and asked questions, Heraclides said:

I also believe what the sacred Scriptures say: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him nothing was made.” Accordingly, we hold the same faith that is taught in these words, and we believe that Christ took flesh, that he was born, that he went up to heaven in the flesh in which he rose again, that he is sitting at the right hand of the Father, and that thence he shall come and judge the living and the dead, being God and man.

Origen said: Since once an inquiry has begun it is proper to say something upon the subject of the inquiry, I will speak. The whole church is present and listening. It is not right that there should be any difference in knowledge between one church and another, for you are not the false church. I charge you, father Heraclides: God is the almighty, the uncreated, the supreme God who made all things. Do you hold this doctrine?

Heracl.: I do. That is what I also believe.

Orig.: Christ Jesus who was in the form of God, being other than the God in whose form he existed, was he God before he came into the body or not?

Heracl.: He was God before.

Orig.: Was he God before he came into the body or not?

Heracl.: Yes, he was.

Orig.: Was he God distinct from this God in whose form he existed?

Heracl.: Obviously he was distinct from another being and, since he was in the form of him who created all things, he was distinct from him.

Orig.: Is it true then that there was a God, the Son of God, the only begotten of God, the firstborn of all creation, and that we need have no fear of saying that in one sense there are two Gods, while in another there is one God?

Heracl.: What you say is evident. But we affirm that God is the almighty, God without beginning, without end, containing all things and not contained by anything; and that his Word is the Son of the living God, God and man, through whom all things were made, God according to the spirit, man inasmuch as he was born of Mary.

Orig.: You do not appear to have answered my question. Explain what you mean. For perhaps I failed to follow you. Is the Father God?

Heracl.: Assuredly.

Orig.: Is the Son distinct from the Father?

Heracl.: Of course. How can he be Son if he is also Father?

Orig.: While being distinct from the Father is the Son himself also God?

Heracl.: He himself is also God.

Orig.: And do two Gods become a unity?

Heracl.: Yes.

Orig.: Do we confess two Gods?

Heracl.: Yes. The power is one.

Orig.: But as our brethren take offence at the statement that there are two Gods, we must formulate the doctrine carefully, and show in what sense they are two and in what sense the two are one God. Also the holy Scriptures have taught that several things which are two are one. And not only things which are two, for they have also taught that in some instances more than two, or even a very much larger number of things, are one. Our present task is not to broach a problematic subject only to pass it by and deal cursorily with the matter, but for the sake of the simple folk to chew up, so to speak, the meat, and little by little to instill the doctrine in the ears of our hearers. . . . Accordingly, there are many things which are two that are said in the Scriptures to be one. What passages of Scripture? Adam is one person, his wife another. Adam is distinct from his wife, and his wife is distinct from her husband. Yet it is said in the story of the creation of the world that they two are one: “For the two shall be one flesh.” Therefore, sometimes two beings can become one flesh. Notice, however, that in the case of Adam and Eve it is not said that the two shall become one spirit, nor that the two shall become one soul, but that they shall become one flesh. Again, the righteous man is distinct from Christ; but he is said by the apostle to be one with Christ: “For he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” Is it not true that the one is of a subordinate nature or of a low and inferior nature, while Christ’s nature is divine and glorious and blessed? Are they therefore no longer two? Yes, for the man and the woman are “no longer two but one flesh,” and the righteous man and Christ are “one spirit.” So in relation to the Father and God of the universe, our Saviour and Lord is not one flesh, nor one spirit, but something higher than flesh and spirit, namely, one God. The appropriate word when human beings are joined to one another is flesh. The appropriate word when a righteous man is joined to Christ is spirit. But the word when Christ is united to the Father is not flesh, nor spirit, but more honourable than these —God. That is why we understand in this sense “I and the Father are one.” When we pray, because of the one party let us preserve the duality, because of the other party let us hold to the unity. In this way we avoid falling into the opinion of those who have been separated from the Church and turned to the illusory notion of monarchy, who abolish the Son as distinct from the Father and virtually abolish the Father also. Nor do we fall into the other blasphemous doctrine which denies the deity of Christ. What then do the divine Scriptures mean when they say: “Beside me there is no other God, and there shall be none after me,” and “I am and there is no God but me”? In these utterances we are not to think that the unity applies to the God of the universe . . . in separation from Christ, and certainly not to Christ in separation from God. Let us rather say that the sense is the same as that of Jesus’ saying, “I and my Father are one.”…

Offering is universally made to Almighty God through Jesus Christ inasmuch as, in respect of his deity, he is akin to the Father. Let there be no double offering, but an offering to God through God. I shall seem to be speaking in a daring manner. When we pray let us abide by the agreements. If the word: “Thou shalt not respect the person of man, nor allow thyself to be impressed by the person of the mighty” is not realized.  If this is not realized . . . these agreements, it will give rise to fresh disputes. . . . If a man is a bishop or a presbyter, he is not a bishop, he is not a presbyter. If he is a deacon, he is not a deacon, nor even a layman. If he is a layman, he is not a layman, nor is there a meeting of the congregation. If you assent, let these agreed usages prevail.

Some people raise the objection that, with reference to the problem of deity, while I have thus attributed deity to Jesus Christ substantially, I have professed before the church my faith that at the resurrection the body which rose had been a corpse. But since our Saviour and Lord took a body, let us examine what the body was. The church alone in distinction from all the heresies that deny the resurrection confesses the resurrection of the dead body. For from the fact that the firstfruits were raised from the dead, it follows that the dead are raised. “Christ the firstfruits”; on that account his body became a corpse. For if his body had not become a corpse, capable of being wrapped in a grave-cloth, of receiving the ointment and all the other things applied to dead bodies, and of being laid in a tomb—these are things that cannot be done to a spiritual body. For it is entirely impossible for that which is spiritual to become a corpse, neither can that which is spiritual become insensible. For if it were possible for that which is spiritual to become a corpse, we would have reason to fear lest after the resurrection of the dead, when our body is raised, according to the apostle’s saying, “It is sown animate, it is raised spiritual,” we shall all die. . . . In fact “Christ being raised from the dead dies no more.” And not only Christ, but those who are Christ’s, when they are raised from the dead, die no more. If you agree to these statements, they also with the solemn testimony of the people shall be made legally binding and established.

What else is there to be said concerning the faith? Do you agree to this, Maximus? Say.

Maximus: May everyone hold the same doctrines as I do. Before God and the Church I both give my signature and make my oath. But the reason why I raised a certain question was in order that I might be in no doubt or uncertainty at all. For the brethren know that this is what I said: “I need the help of my brother and instruction on this point.” If the spirit was truly given back to the Father, in accordance with the saying, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” and if without the spirit the flesh died and lay in the tomb, how was the tomb opened and how are the dead to rise again?

Orig.: That man is a composite being we have learnt from the sacred Scriptures. For the apostle says, “May God sanctify your spirit and your soul and your body,” and “May he sanctify you wholly, and may your entire spirit and soul and body be preserved unblameable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This spirit is not the Holy Spirit, but part of the constitution of man, as the same apostle teaches when he says: “The spirit bears witness with our spirit.” For if it were the Holy Spirit he would not have said: “The spirit bears witness with our spirit.” So then our Saviour and Lord, wishing to save man in the way in which he wished to save him, for this reason desired in this way to save the body, just as it was likewise his will to save also the soul; he also wished to save the remaining part of man, the spirit. The whole man would not have been saved unless he had taken upon him the whole man. They do away with the salvation of the human body when they say that the body of the Saviour is spiritual. They do away with the salvation of the human spirit, concerning which the apostle says: “No man knows the things of man except the spirit of man that is in him.” . . . Because it was his will to save the spirit of man, about which the apostle said this, he also assumed the spirit of man. At the time of the passion these three were separated. At the time of the resurrection these three were united. At the time of the passion they were separated—how? The body in the tomb, the soul in Hades, the spirit was put in the hands of the Father. The soul in Hades: “Thou shalt not leave my soul in Hades.” If the spirit was put into the hands of the Father, he gave the spirit as a deposit. It is one thing to make a gift, another thing to hand over, and another to leave in deposit. He who makes a deposit does so with the intention of receiving back that which he has deposited. Why then had he to give the spirit to the Father as a deposit? The question is beyond me and my powers and my understanding. For I am not endowed with knowledge to enable me to say that, just as the body was not able to go down to Hades, even if this is alleged by those who affirm that the body of Jesus was spiritual, so also neither could the spirit go down to Hades, and therefore he gave the spirit to the Father as a deposit until he should have risen from the dead. . . . After he had entrusted this deposit to the Father, he took it back again. When? Not at the actual moment of the resurrection, but immediately after the resurrection. My witness is the text of the gospel. The Lord Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. Mary met him and he said to her: “Touch me not.” For he wished anyone that touched him to touch him in his entirety, that having touched him in his entirety he might be benefited in body from his body, in soul from his soul, in spirit from his spirit. “For I am not yet ascended to the Father.” He ascends to the Father and comes to the disciples. Accordingly he ascends to the Father. Why? To receive back the deposit…

Before the resurrection the righteous man is with Christ and in his soul he lives with Christ. That is why it is better to depart and to be with Christ. But according to you who say that the soul remains in the tomb with the body, it has not left the body, it does not rest, it does not dwell in the paradise of God, it does not repose in the bosom of Abraham. According to you who maintain such absurd doctrines it would not be better to depart and to be with Christ. For one is not with Christ as soon as one departs if the soul is the blood. If the soul remains in the tombs, how can it be with Christ? But according to my view and that of the word of God, the soul which has departed from the troubles, the sweat, and the body, that which can say, “Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,”  is that which departs in peace and rests with Christ. It is thus that the soul of Abraham understood the words: “As for thee, thou shalt go in peace to thy fathers, having lived to a good old age.” He departed to his fathers. What fathers? Those of whom Paul says: “For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of whom all fatherhood is derived.”  In our view it was in this sense that Aaron was set free.  Also it is written in Ecclesiastes concerning the just man who has fought a good fight, who is departing from the fetter of the body, that “From the house of the prisoners he will go forth to be a king.” Thus I am persuaded to die for the truth, thus I readily despise what is called death. Bring wild beasts, bring crosses, bring fire, bring tortures. I know that as soon as I die, I come forth from the body, I rest with Christ.

Therefore let us struggle, therefore let us wrestle, let us groan being in the body, not as if we shall again be in the tombs in the body, because we shall be set free from it, and shall change our body to one which is more spiritual. Destined as we are to be with Christ, how we groan while we are in the body!

Bishop Philip came in, and Demetrius, another bishop, said: Brother Origen teaches that the soul is immortal.

Orig.: The remark of father Demetrius has given us the starting point for another problem. He asserted that we have said the soul is immortal. To this remark I will say that the soul is immortal and the soul is not immortal. Let us first define the meaning of the word “death,” and determine all its possible senses. I will try to show all its meanings not by appealing to the Greeks, but all its meanings as found in the divine Scripture. Perhaps one more learned than I will point out other senses also. But for the present I am aware of three kinds of death. What are these three kinds of death? According to the apostle, a man may live unto God and die unto sin. This death is a blessed thing. A man dies to sin. This death my Lord died. “For in that he died, he died unto sin.” I know also another sort of death, according to which a man dies to God; concerning this it was said: “The soul that sins, it shall die.” And I know of a third kind of death, according to which we commonly suppose that those who are separated from the body die. For “Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years and died.” There being, then, three kinds of death, let us see whether the human soul is immortal in respect of the three kinds of death, or if not in respect of the three, yet in respect of some of them. The death that is a matter of moral indifference all men die. It is that which we consider dissolution. No soul of man dies this death. For if it did so, it would not be punished after death. It is said: “Men shall seek for death and shall not find it.” In this sense every human soul is immortal. But in the other meanings, the soul in one sense is mortal, and blessed if it dies to sin.

It is of this death that Balaam spoke when he prophesied, praying by divine inspiration: “May my soul die among the souls of the just.” Concerning this death Balaam made his astonishing prophecy, and by the word of God he made for himself a splendid prayer. For he prayed that he might die to sin that he might live unto God. And this account he said: “May my soul die among the souls of the just and my posterity be like their posterity. There is another death in respect of which we are not immortal, although we have the power by exercising vigilance to avoid death. And perhaps that which is mortal in the soul is not for ever mortal. For in so far as it gives way to sin, so that the word is realized which says, “the soul that sins, it shall die,” the soul is mortal and dies a real death. But if it is found firmly established in blessedness so that it is inaccessible to death, because it has eternal life, it is no longer mortal but in this sense has even become immortal. How is it that the apostle says of God: “He who alone has immortality”? On investigation I find that Christ Jesus “died for all apart from God.” There you have the explanation how God alone has immortality.

Let us therefore take up eternal life. Let us take up that which depends upon our decision. God does not give it to us. He sets it before us. “Behold, I have set life before thy face.” It is in our power to stretch out our hand, to do good works, and to lay hold on life and deposit it in our soul. This life is the Christ who said: “I am the life.” This life is that which now is present in shadow, but then will be face to face. “For the spirit before our face is Christ of whom we may say, In his shadow we shall live among the nations.” If the mere shadow of life that is yours offers you so many good things, that shadow which Moses had when he prophesied, that shadow which Isaiah possessed when he saw the Lord Sabaoth sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, which Jeremiah had when he heard the words: “Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee, and before thou didst come forth from the womb I sanctified thee,” which Ezekiel had when he saw the Cherubim, when he saw the wheels, the  ineffable mysteries: what sort of life shall we live when we are no longer living under the shadow of life but are in life itself. For now “our life is hid with Christ; but when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.”

Let us haste towards this life, groaning and grieving that we are in this tent, that we dwell in the body. So long as we are present in the body, we are absent from the Lord.  Let us long to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord, that being present with him we may become one with the God of the universe and his only begotten Son, being saved in all things and becoming blessed, in Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

THE DEITY OF THE MESSIAH

By Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

INTRODUCTION

In this manuscript, the deity of the Messiah and the evidences for it is divided into seven specific areas and the last section deals with the meaning of kenosis.

I. THE DIVINE NAMES OF THE MESSIAH

The first evidence is the divine names of the Messiah. Yeshua (Jesus) was given certain names that either implied deity or actually meant deity. There are seven such divine names used of Jesus in the pages of the New Testament.

A. God
The first of these divine names is God. Yeshua is called God in John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In verse 14, John makes it very clear that the One he is speaking about in terms of the Word is Jesus. Verse 1 states: “the Word was with God and, therefore, distinct from God.” Then John said, “the Word was God.” This means that He is the same God. How this is possible comes only with the understanding of the Trinity. He was with God in that Yeshua is not the Father, nor is He the Holy Spirit. But He was God in that He is the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity.

A second example of this divine name is found in John 20:28: Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Thomas, who was the doubting disciple, saw the resurrected Jesus and addressed Him as My Lord and my God. Yeshua did not try to correct him by saying, “No, Thomas, I am your Lord, but I am not your God.”

A third example is found in Hebrews 1:8: but of the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever; And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of your kingdom.
In this verse, Jesus is called God. The writer of the Book of Hebrews states that the verse he quoted from the Old Testament, Psalm 45:6, refers specifically to the Son. The Hebrew text uses the name Elohim, meaning “God,” and the New Testament clearly applies it to Yeshua.

B. Son of God
A second divine name is Son of God. Whereas in English usage, the term by itself does not imply deity, it did to the ancient Jewish mind. The name Son of God was very much a Messianic title, and as a Messianic title, it emphasized His deity.

Jesus is called the Son of God in many places. One example is in the context of Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:16. In that chapter, Yeshua asked His disciples: Whom do men say that I am? Peter responded for the disciples and said: You are the Christ, the Son of God. The Greek is much more emphatic, it reads, “You are the Son of the God, the living one.” This is a divine name used of Jesus.

C. Lord
A third name for Yeshua that emphasizes His deity is Lord. In Greek, the term “lord” is used of both men and God. Jesus is referred to as Lord in the New Testament in the sense of God. The reason this is true is because, in those passages where the term “Lord” is used of Yeshua, it is often a translation of Old Testament passages where God’s personal name, Jehovah, is used.

Two examples where Jesus is called Lord in the sense of deity, in the sense of the Jehovah of the Old Testament, are Matthew 22:43-45 and Acts 9:17.

D. Alpha and the Omega
The fourth name that emphasizes the Messiah’s deity is Alpha and the Omega, which are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In Revelation 1:8, Yeshua is called the Alpha and the Omega, meaning that He is the beginning and the end of all things. This is not unlike the statement made in John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word,…and the Word was God. In other words, for as long as God has existed, the Word, the Messiah, has existed. If the Messiah has existed forever in eternity past, that means He must be God. That is the point of this fourth name, Alpha and the Omega; He is the beginning and He is the end. As long as God was in existence; the Son was in existence. God existed in eternity past; the Son existed in eternity past. For someone to have eternally existed means that He is God.

E. The First and the Last
This fifth name that emphasizes Jesus’ deity is found in Revelation 1:17: the first and the last. This is similar to Alpha and the Omega. Whereas Alpha and the Omega emphasized the beginning and the end, in this name He is the first and the last. He always was in existence and always will be in existence. This, too, clearly implies deity.

F. The Image
The sixth name emphasizing the deity of the Messiah is found in Colossians 1:15: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
The word image means “prototype,” “the image in its revealed reality.” It is the visible manifestation of the invisible, specifically, the invisible God. He is the exact image of the invisible God. He is the image in its revealed reality. He is the visible manifestation of the invisible God. It is an image that specifically emphasizes His divinity.

G. The Very Image
The seventh and final divine name of the Messiah is found in Hebrews 1:3: who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
This name is very similar to the sixth name, but there is a crucial difference. Whereas in Colossians 1:15, He was called the image of the invisible God, in this verse, a different Greek word is used, which means “an exact image.” This is an image in the sense of an impression made upon clay. It is as if someone took an object and pressed it into clay and then took it off. The clay has an exact imprint of what has been pressed into it. When Yeshua is called the very image, it means He is the exact impression of the divine nature. Since the Father is fully God, the Son is also fully God. Everything that is true of the divinity of the Father is also true of the divinity of the Son.

II. THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES OF THE MESSIAH

The second evidence of the deity of the Messiah is that He has all the attributes of God. There are ten attributes, which only God has. Yeshua also has these same attributes, which means that He is also God.

A. Eternality
The first attribute is that of eternality. Eternality does not merely mean that He will exist eternally in the future ­ something that is also true of angels and saints ­ eternality also means that He eternally existed in the past.
Concerning the Messiah, Micah 5:2b states: whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.
In this verse, Micah uses the strongest possible Hebrew term for eternity past to emphasize the eternality of the Messiah.

John 1:1 states: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The point of John 1:1 is that, for as long as God has been in existence, the Messiah has been in existence. Because God has existed forever, even so, the Son has existed forever.

Other passages that teach the eternality of the Son include: John 8:58; Colossians 1:17; and Hebrews 1:11.

B. Immutability
The second attribute that emphasizes the deity of Yeshua is immutability; He never gets old. The fact that He is immutable means that He is changeless. He stays the same in His divine nature without any decrease in His divine power. The immutability of the Messiah is taught in two passages of the Book of Hebrews.
The first passage is Hebrews 1:10-12: And, You, Lord, in the beginning did lay the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of your hands: They shall perish; but you continue: And they all shall wax old as does a garment; And as a mantle shall you roll them up, As a garment, and they shall be changed: But you are the same, And your years shall not fail.

The second passage is Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and to day, yea and for ever.
Contextually, this refers to His divine nature. Jesus has the attribute of immutability.

C. Self Existence
A third attribute that emphasizes His deity is self existence; His existence does not depend upon any other subject. Our existence is dependent upon the work of preservation which God does. But the Son is self existent according to John 1:1-3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that has been made.
These verses emphasize His self existence in that He was not created; He always existed. Through Him everything that was created is now in existence.

A second passage that emphasizes His self existence is John 5:26: For as the Father has life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself.
The fact that the Son has life in himself shows that the Son is self existent.

D. Life
A fourth attribute that emphasizes His deity is the attribute of life. John 1:4 states: In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
This was not a life that was created. It was not a life that was generated through natural means; He has life within Himself. This emphasizes deity. The same point is taught in John 14:6 and Acts 3:15.

E. The Fullness of the Godhead
The fifth divine attribute of the Messiah is found in Colossians 2:9: for in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
This attribute emphasizes that everything that is obligatory to deity, everything that proves the deity of the Father and the deity of the Spirit, is also true of the Son; therefore, He, too, is deity. Everything that is true of the divine nature of the Father and the Spirit is therefore also true of the divine nature of the Son.

F. Holiness
The sixth attribute that emphasizes the deity of the Messiah is the attribute of holiness. This is found in Hebrews 7:26: For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.
This verse clearly teaches that Yeshua has holiness within Himself. The holiness that the saints have is an applied holiness; it is a holiness that comes from Jesus the Messiah. It is a holiness that is reckoned when we are “reckoned righteous.” Yeshua does not have a righteousness that was applied to Him or that was reckoned to Him; His holiness is a holiness that is true within Himself. Therefore, He has this attribute of holiness.

G. Sovereignty
The seventh attribute of the Messiah is sovereignty; He is in total control. For example, in Matthew 5:27-28, He has the authority to execute judgment. The fact that Yeshua has the authority to do the work of divine judgment proves that He is sovereign.

This is also taught by Matthew 28:18: And Jesus came to them and spoke unto them, saying, All authority has been given unto me in heaven and on earth.
Jesus stated that His authority is not only on earth, but in Heaven also.

This is also taught by John 17:2: even as you gave him authority over all flesh, that to all whom you have given him, he should give eternal life.
A created being, such as an angel or a man, could never give eternal life to someone else.

The sovereignty of the Son is also taught in Acts 2:36; I Corinthians 12:3; Philippians 2:9-10; Colossians 1:18; I Peter 3:22; and Revelation 19:16.

H. Omnipotence
The eighth attribute of the Messiah is omnipotence; Yeshua is all powerful. To be all powerful means that He must be God. The fact that He is omnipotent is taught in John 10:18: No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from my Father.
The fact that He has the power over His own life, both to take it and to raise it, shows omnipotence of a unique degree. All men have authority to take their own life, but not to raise themselves back to life.

The omnipotence of the Son is also taught in Luke 8:25; I Corinthians 15:25-28; Philippians 3:21; Colossians 1:16-17; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 1:3; 7:25; Jude 24; and Revelation 1:8.

I. Omniscience
The ninth attribute of the Messiah is omniscience; He is all knowing. He knows all there is to know; He knows everything in reality and possibility.

The fact that Jesus is omniscient is taught by: Matthew 11:27; John 1:48; 2:25; 10:15; 13:1, 11; 16:30; 18:4; 19:28; I Corinthians 4:5; Colossians 2:3; and Revelation 2:23.

J. Omnipresence
The tenth attribute of the Messiah is His omnipresence; He is everywhere at the same time. To be everywhere at the same time could only be true of God.

The fact that Yeshua is omnipresent is taught in: Matthew 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13; 14:18, 20, and 23.

III. THE DIVINE WORKS OF THE MESSIAH

The third evidence of Jesus’ deity is that He does the work of God. In other words, Yeshua is doing works that only God can do. If Jesus is doing the works that only God can do, this again is evidence of His deity. There are six works of God to be considered.

A. In Creation
The first divine work is Creation. Creation is a work that only God can do. Yet it is stated that Yeshua did the work of Creation in John 1:3 and 10:
Verse 3 states: All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that has been made.

Verse 10 states: He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not.

Paul reaffirmed what John had taught in I Corinthians 8:6: yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.

Paul repeats this truth in Colossians 1:16: for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him.

The same truth is taught by the writer of the Book of Hebrews in 1:3 and 10. From these passages, it is clear that the Son does the work of Creation. To do the work of Creation means that He is God.

B. In Preservation
The second work the Son does that is a work of God is preservation. This is taught in two New Testament passages.
The first passage is Colossians 1:17: and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.
This verse teaches that the Messiah is the One who is holding the universe together and preserving it. He is the “atomic glue” that scientists talk about that mysteriously holds the atoms together to keep them from exploding in all directions.

And the second passage is Hebrews 1:3: who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Not only is the Creation of the universe a work of God, but the preservation of Creation is a work of God. Jesus does the work of preservation, which means that He must be God.

C. In the Forgiveness of Sin
A third work the Messiah does that is a work only God can do is that He forgives sins. Having authority to forgive sins emphasizes His deity. He is seen forgiving sins in Matthew 9:2, 6; Luke 5:24; and 7:47-48.

D. In the Sending of the Holy Spirit
The fourth work the Messiah does that is a work of God is that He sends the Holy Spirit according to John 15:26: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall bear witness of me.
For someone to be able to send the Holy Spirit, He must either be an equal or greater. The Holy Spirit is God, and for Jesus to be able to send the Holy Spirit means that Yeshua must also be God.

E. In Resurrection
The fifth work that is the work of God is that the Messiah will be responsible for raising people from the dead. He will be responsible for raising both the righteous and the unrighteous from the dead according to John 6:40: For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholds the Son, and believes on him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Since the resurrection of the dead is a work of God, it means that Yeshua Himself must be God.

F. In Final Judgment 
The sixth work that is the work of God is that the Messiah will execute the final judgment. Throughout the Old Testament, it is clearly taught that some day God will render final judgment. The work that was ascribed to God the Father in the Old Testament is ascribed to the Son in the New Testament. Obviously, if the Old Testament says that God is responsible for final judgment, and the New Testament says that Jesus is responsible for final judgment, then Yeshua must be God. Some passages that teach that Jesus will be responsible for final judgment are: Matthew 25:31-46, which deals with the judgment of the Gentiles, and it is the Son who is doing the judging; in John 5:22-27, the Son has been given the right to judge the righteous and the unrighteous; in Acts 17:31, Paul announced that some day God would judge all men through the Son. This is also taught by Acts 10:42; II Corinthians 5:10; and II Timothy 4:1.

IV. WORSHIP ASCRIBED TO THE MESSIAH
The fourth evidence concerning Yeshua’s deity is that worship is ascribed to Him. Jesus is worshipped in a way only God can be worshipped. Furthermore, when He was worshipped, He received it and welcomed it, showing that He claimed to be God and accepted worship as God.

Some examples of this in action are Matthew 14:33; John 9:38; and 20:28. In John 20:28, Thomas, the doubting disciple, is finally convinced concerning the Resurrection. He not only believed that Yeshua was a man resurrected from the dead, he believed Jesus was “his Lord and his God.” In that context, Yeshua did not correct Thomas by saying that he should not call Him God or worship Him. On the contrary, Jesus accepted Thomas’ worship.

Yeshua is worshipped as God in Philippians 2:10 and Hebrews 1:6, which reads: And when he again brings in the firstborn into the world he says, And let all the angels of God worship him.
Not only is Jesus worshipped by other men such as Thomas, He is also worshipped by the angels. To be worshipped by the angels clearly implies deity.

V. THE GIVING OF IMMORTALITY

The fifth evidence of the deity of the Messiah is that He gives immortality or eternal life. The fact that the Son is able to give eternal life clearly shows His deity; He has the divine capacity to give immortality. This is taught by four passages.
The first passage is John 5:28-29: Marvel not at this: for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.

The second passage is John 6:39-40: And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholds the Son, and believes on him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

The third passage is John 17:2: even as you gave him authority over all flesh, that to all whom you have given him, he should give eternal life.

And the fourth passage is Philippians 3:21: who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself.

VI. THE DIVINE ASSOCIATION WITH THE TRINITY

The sixth evidence for the deity of the Messiah is that He is closely associated with the Trinity in two ways.

A. His Association with the Father
The first way is that He is associated with God the Father in the closest possible way. This is taught by two passages.
The first passage is John 10:30: I and the Father are one.
This verse teaches that the Father and the Son are one in essence, the essence of divinity itself.

And the second passage is John 14:23: Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Notice that the Father will indwell the believer and, at the same time, the Son will indwell the believer. He is associated with the Father in the closest possible association. Such an association is only possible by sharing the same divine essence.

B. His Association with the Holy Spirit
The second way that shows His divine association with the Trinity is that Jesus is also closely associated with both the Father and the Holy Spirit. This is taught in Matthew 28:19, where the Great Commission is given. Yeshua also went on to say that after one leads a person to the Lord, one should baptize him in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. In this passage, Jesus is clearly associated with both the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Another example that shows the association with the Father and the Holy Spirit is in II Corinthians 13:14: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

VII. THE DIVINE CLAIMS OF THE MESSIAH

The seventh evidence of Yeshua’s deity is His own claims of divinity. In light of these claims, there are only three options from which to choose.

The first option is that Jesus was a false teacher; He was deceptive. He knew what He was teaching was not true, but He claimed it anyway.

The second option is that Yeshua was self deceived. While He really believed the statements He made, He deceived Himself, and the statements were not true.

The third option is the only real biblical option; the claims He made were really true of Himself. What are some of these claims? He made four very specific claims of divinity.

A. To Have the Closest Possible Relationship with God
The first claim was that He enjoyed the closest possible relationship to God. This in itself can be seen in five ways.

1. To Know the Messiah is to Know God
Jesus said that to know the Messiah was to know God. This statement was made to unbelievers according to John 8:19: They said therefore unto him, Where is your Father? Jesus answered, Ye know neither me, nor my Father: if ye knew me, ye would know my Father also.

He made a very similar statement to believers in John 14:7: If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also: from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

2. To See the Messiah is to See God
A second way that He claimed this close relationship was that to see the Messiah was also to see God. This claim was made in John 12:45: And he that beholds me beholds him that sent me.
The Messiah was sent by God. He said that the anyone who saw Him also saw the One who sent Him, and that was God.

The claim was also made in John 14:9: Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and do you not know me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; how say you, Show us the Father?

3. To Receive the Messiah is to Receive God

A third way by which He claimed to enjoy the closest possible relationship with God was His teaching that to receive the Messiah was to receive God. This claim is found in Mark 9:37: Whosoever shall receive one of such little children in my name, receives me: and whosoever receives me, receives not me, but him that sent me.
The One who sent the Messiah was God. To receive the Messiah is to receive God.

4. To Honor the Messiah is to Honor God
The fourth way Jesus claimed to have the closest possible relationship to God is His teaching that to honor the Messiah is to honor God. This claim is made in John 5:23: that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father that sent him.
Not to honor the Son meant not to honor the Father, but to honor the Son meant to honor the Father.

5. To Have a Unique Oneness with God
The fifth way by which He claimed to have the closest possible relationship to God is His clear claim to have a unique oneness with the Father. Yeshua made this claim in John 10:30: I and the Father are one.

B. To be the Object of Saving Faith
A second claim of divinity made by the Messiah is that He claimed to be the object of saving faith. He made this claim in Matthew 11:28: Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

He made this claim again in John 3:36: He that believes on the Son has eternal life; but he that obeys not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

He taught this again in John 14:1: Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me.

Also John 17:3: And this is life eternal, that they should know you the only true God, and him whom you did send, even Jesus Christ.

C. To Have Absolute Dominion over His Followers
His third claim of deity is that He had absolute dominion over His followers. This is brought out in Matthew 10:37-39, where He claimed absolute dominion over those who owned Him as Lord.

D. To Have Sovereignty Over the Laws and Institutions of God
His fourth claim of deity is that He had sovereignty over the laws and institutes of God.

Some examples of this are: first, that He claimed lordship over the Temple in Matthew 12:6; secondly, He claimed lordship over the Sabbath in Matthew 12:8; thirdly, He claimed lordship over the Kingdom of God in Matthew 16:19; fourthly, He claimed to be the Lord of the covenant in Matthew 26:28; and fifth, He claimed absolute sovereignty over the laws and institutions of God.

VIII. THE MEANING OF KENOSIS

In dealing with the deity of the Messiah, Philippians 2:5-11 should be discussed. This passage deals with something theologians call “kenosis.” This term is used because the Greek word that is found in one of these verses is a word from which kenosisoriginates. It is a word that means “to empty oneself,” “to empty,” or “to evacuate.” Some kind of “emptying” took place at the time that the Son became incarnate. Some have taught that what Yeshua emptied Himself of, what He gave up when He became a man, was being God. If it were possible for someone to give up being God, then that person was not God to begin with. Does this passage teach that Jesus gave up His deity while He was on earth, so that He wasn’t God? Or is it trying to teach something else? These questions can be answered by a study of the text.

In this passage, verse 5 is a transitional statement between what was being said in verses 1-4 and what is about to be said in verses 6-11. Verse 5 reads: Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
This is in the present tense, and Paul is saying, “Keep on minding” and “Keep on having the mind of the Messiah.” The Messiah is to be imitated in the sense that there should be a habitual, daily direction of the mind to the distinctive virtue of the likeness of the Messiah.

The first part of verse 6 emphasizes His pre-existence when it says: who, existing in the form of God.
The way He has always existed in eternity past is in the form of God. This has been a continuous, eternal existence. Yeshua has had a previous existence in the form of Godbefore He became a man. To exist in the form of God means to be God Himself.

Indeed, in the second part of verse 6, His deity is clearly taught: counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped.
While the first part of verse 6 teaches the pre existence of Jesus, the second part of the verse teaches His equality with God. He was existing in a form that naturally means being an equal with God. To be an equal with God means to be God. The mind of the Messiah was exercised in such a way that He did not consider His exalted God-equal existence a warrant for seizing and grasping the glory for Himself; the glory that comes with the fact of being God. In other words, He did not count equality with God as something to be used selfishly for His own enrichment. He was willing to exist in another form other than the form of God.

What that form was is brought out in verse 7, where the Incarnation of the Messiah is taught: but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.
There are two things to notice in this verse. First, what this verse does not say concerning the act of self emptying. The Messiah did not empty Himself of the form of God, nor did He exchange the form of God for the likeness of men. The concept is not “to give up,” rather, it is “to add to.” The statement of the Greek text emptied himself is in itself an incomplete thought. What follows next in the sentence is describing the nature of His Humiliation in that He took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. The form of a servant was not an exchange of the form of God, not an exchange of being equal with God, but in addition to. The picture is that He added to His divine form; He took upon Himself the addition of humanity.

Secondly, what did He empty Himself of, then, if He did not empty Himself of the form of God or equality with God? The answer is that He emptied Himself of the right to have the independent use of those ten divine attributes that were discussed earlier in this manuscript. As God, He had the perfect right to independently use those attributes, but He would no longer use them except in accordance with the will of God the Father.

That is why the writer says that He not only took upon Himself the likeness of men, but specifically He took upon Himself the form of a servant, the servant role. Of course, a servant means someone who has a lord whom he obeys. That is the picture of what He emptied Himself of; He emptied Himself of the independent right to use His divine attributes. He now became an earthly servant of God the Father. He would use His attributes only in accordance with the will of God the Father. He would not use His omnipotence unless God the Father willed it. He would not use His omniscience unless God the Father willed it. Consequently, there were things Jesus did not know in His humanity. For example, He did not know when He was coming back. The reason He did not know this is because He did not use the attribute of omniscience; it was not God the Father’s will for Him to do so. When Yeshua became a man, He did not become less than God. Rather, by becoming a man, He took on humanity in addition to His divinity.

Verse 8 describes His Crucifixion: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.
The condition of Jesus beheld by man is: in fashion as a man. When humankind saw Yeshua, they did not see Him in a divine essence; they saw Him as a human being. He was recognized by all to be a man. This was part of His Humiliation, part of His obedience to God the Father. He emptied Himself of His omnipotence in that He did not use His omnipotence to keep people from putting Him to death. Because the Son was willing to give up existing only in the form of God ­ not in exchange of existing in the form of God, but in addition to that form ­ He took on the form of a man.

Because He was willing to empty Himself in that way, there is a promise of His Exaltation in verses 9-11: Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
As a result, He was exalted when He ascended into Heaven. In verse 9, He was raised from the dead to unusual dignity and power. In verse 10, there is the recognition of His universal sovereignty. And in verse 11, there will eventually be universal homage to the Messiah as Lord. What does the kenosis mean? First, it does not mean that He divested Himself of the form of deity. Secondly, it does mean that He laid aside the independent exercise of His divine attributes by which the form of God expresses itself. Instead, He took on and assumed human form, flesh, and nature by means of the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth. The self emptying brought about a change of status from the position of God to the position of a servant. In the exchange, He did not divest Himself of or give up His deity. In His human form, He retained all the attributes of His deity, but He never manifested His deity apart from the will of the Father. Thus, even in His earthly sojourn as a man, He was still God.

JEWISHNESS AND THE TRINITY

By Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Founder/Director of Ariel Ministries

“Shema Yisroel Adonai Elochenu Adonai Echad”

(Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.)

Rabbi Stanley Greenberg of Temple Sinai in Philadelphia wrote:

“Christians are, of course, entitled to believe in a Trinitarian conception of God. but their effort to base this conception on the Hebrew Bible must fly in the face of the overwhelming testimony of that Bible. Hebrew Scriptures are clear and unequivocal on the oneness of God The Hebrew Bible affirms the one God with unmistakable clarity Monotheism, an uncompromising belief in one God, is the hallmark of the Hebrew Bible, the unwavering affirmation of Judaism and the unshakable faith of the Jew.”

Whether Christians are accused of being polytheists or tritheists and whether or not it is admitted that the Christian concept of the Tri-unity is a form of monotheism, one element always appears: one cannot believe in the Trinity and be Jewish. Even if what Christians believe is monotheistic, it still does not seem to be monotheistic enough to qualify as true Jewishness. Rabbi Greenberg’s article tends to reflect that thinking.

He went on to say, “… under no circumstances can a concept of a plurality of the Godhead or a trinity of the Godhead ever be based upon the Hebrew Bible.” It is perhaps best to begin with the very source of Jewish theology and the only means of testing it: Hebrew Scriptures. Since so much relies on Hebrew Scripture usage, then to the Hebrew we should turn.

GOD IS A PLURALITY

The Name Elohim

It is generally agreed that Elohim is a plural noun having the masculine plural ending “im.” The very word Elohim used of the true God in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” is also used in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods (Elohim) before Me,” and in Deuteronomy 13:2, “Let us go after other gods (Elohim)… .”While the use of the plural Elohim does not prove a Tri-unity, it certainly opens the door to a doctrine of plurality in the Godhead since it is the word that is used for the one true God as well as for the many false gods.

Plural Verbs Used With Elohim

Virtually all Hebrew scholars do recognize that the word Elohim, as it stands by itself, is a plural noun. Nevertheless, they wish to deny that it allows for any plurality in the Godhead whatsoever. Their line of reasoning usually goes like this: When “Elohim” is used of the true God, it is followed by a singular verb; when it is used of false gods, it is followed by the plural verb. Rabbi Greenberg states it as follows:

“But, in fact, the verb used in the opening verse of Genesis is “bara,” which means “he created” – singular. One need not be too profound a student of Hebrew to understand that the opening verse of Genesis clearly speaks of a singular God.”

The point made, of course, is generally true because the Bible does teach that God is only one God and, therefore, the general pattern is to have the plural noun followed by the singular verb when it speaks of the one true God. However, there are places where the word is used of the true God and yet it is followed by a plural verb:

Genesis 20:13: And it came to pass, when God (Elohim) caused me to wander (Literally: THEY caused me to wander) from my father’s house …

Genesis 35:7: … because there God (Elohim) appeared to him … (Literally: THEY appeared to him.)

2 Samuel 7:23: … God (Elohim) went … (Literally: THEY went.)

Psalm 58 Surely He is God who judges … (Literally: THEY judge.)

The Name Eloah

If the plural form Elohim was the only form available for a reference to God, then conceivably the argument might be made that the writers of the Hebrew Scriptures had no other alternative but to use the word Elohim for both the one true God and the many false gods. However, the singular form for Elohim (Eloah) exists and is used in such passages as Deuteronomy 32:15-17 and Habakkuk 3:3. This singular form could easily have been used consistently. Yet it is only used 250 times, while the plural form is used 2,500 times. The far greater use of the plural form again turns the argument in favor of plurality in the Godhead rather than against it.

Plural Pronouns

Another case in point regarding Hebrew grammar is that often when God speaks of himself, he clearly uses the plural pronoun:

Genesis 1:26: Then God (Elohim) said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness …”

He could hardly have made reference to angels since man was created in the image of God and not of angels. The Midrash Rabbah on Genesis recognizes the strength of this passage and comments as follows:

Rabbi Samuel Bar Hanman in the name of Rabbi Jonathan said, that at the time when Moses wrote the Torah, writing a portion of it daily, when he came to the verse which says, “And Elohim said, let us make man in our image after our likeness,” Moses said, “Master of the universe, why do you give here with an excuse to the sectarians (who believe in the Tri-unity of God)” God answered Moses, “You write and whoever wants to err, let him err.” (Midrash Rabbah on Genesis 1:26 [New York NOP Press, N.D.])

It is obvious that the Midrash Rabbah is simply trying to get around the problem and fails to answer adequately why God refers to himself in the plural.

The use of the plural pronoun can also be seen In the following:

Genesis 3:22: Then the LORD God (YHVH Elohim) said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us”

Genesis 11:7: “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language.”

Isaiah 6:8: Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

This last passage would appear contradictory with the singular “I” and the plural “us” except as viewed as a plurality (us) in a unity (I).

Plural Descriptions of God

Another point that also comes out of Hebrew is the fact that often nouns and adjectives used in speaking of God are plural. Some examples are as follows:

Ecclesiastes 12:1: Remember now your Creator … (Literally: CREATORS.)

Psalm 149:2: Let Israel rejoice in their Maker. (Literally: MAKERS.)

Joshua 24:19: … holy God … (Literally: HOLY GODS.)

Isaiah 54:5: For your Maker is your husband. (Literally: MAKERS, HUSBANDS.)

Everything we have said so far rests firmly on the Hebrew language of the Scriptures. If we are to base our theology on the Scriptures alone, we have to say that on the one hand they affirm God’s unity, while at the same time they tend towards the concept of a compound unity allowing for a plurality in the Godhead.

The Shema

Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

Deuteronomy 6:4, known as the SHEMA, has always been Israel’s great confession. It is this verse more than any other that is used to affirm the fact that God is one and is often used to contradict the concept of plurality in the Godhead. But is it a valid use of this verse?

On the one hand it should be noted that the very words “our God” are in the plural in the Hebrew text and literally mean “our Gods.” However, the main argument lies in the word “one,” which is the Hebrew word, ECHAD. A glance through the Hebrew text where the word is used elsewhere can quickly show that the word echad does not mean an absolute “one” but a compound “one.”

For instance, in Genesis 1:5 the combination of evening and morning comprise one (echad) day. In Genesis 2:24 a man and a woman come together in marriage and the two “shall become one (echad) flesh.” In Ezra 2:64 we are told that the whole assembly was as one (echad), though, of course, it was composed of numerous people. Ezekiel 37:17 provides a rather striking example where two sticks are combined to become one (echad). Thus, use of the word echad in Scripture shows it to be a compound and not an absolute unity.

There is a Hebrew word that does mean an absolute unity and that is YACHID, which is found in many Scripture passages, (Genesis 22:2,12; Judges 11:34; Psalm 22:21: 25:16; Proverbs 4:3; Jeremiah 6:26; Amos 8:10; Zechariah 12:10) the emphasis being on the meaning of “only.” If Moses intended to teach God’s absolute oneness as over against a compound unity, this would have been a far more appropriate word. In fact, Maimonides noted the strength of “yachid’ and chose to use that word in his “Thirteen Articles of Faith” in place of echad. However, Deuteronomy 6:4 (the Shema) does not use “yachid” in reference to God.

GOD IS AT LEAST TWO

Elohim and YHVH Applied to Two Personalities

As if to make the case for plurality even stronger. there are situations in the Hebrew Scriptures where the term Elohim is applied to two personalities in the same verse. One example is Psalm 45:6-7:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever: A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

It should be noted that the first Elohim is being addressed and the second Elohim is the God of the first Elohim. And so God’s God has anointed him with the oil of gladness.

A second example is Hosea 1:7:

“Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword or battle, by horses or horsemen.”

The speaker is Elohim who says he will have mercy on the house of Judah and will save them by the instrumentality of YHVH, their Elohim. So Elohim number one will save Israel by means of Elohim number two.

Not only is Elohim applied to two personalities in the same verse, but so is the very name of God. One example is Genesis 19:24:

“Then he LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah from the LORD out of the heavens.”

Clearly we have YHVH number one raining fire and brimstone from a second YHVH who is in heaven, the first one being on earth.

A second example is Zechariah 2:8-9:

“For thus says the LORD of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me.”

Again, we have one YHVH sending another YHVH to perform a specific task.

The author of the Zohar sensed plurality in the Tetragrammaton (1) and wrote:

“Come and see the mystery of the word YHVH: there are three steps, each existing by itself: nevertheless they are One, and so united that one cannot be separated from the other. The Ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads, which are united into one, and that head is three exalted. The Ancient One is described as being three: because the other lights emanating from him are included in the three. But how can three names be one? Are they really one because we call them one? How three can be one can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit .” (Zohar, Vol III, 288; Vol II, 43, Hebrew editions. (See also Sonclno Press edition, Vol III, 134.)

GOD IS THREE

How Many Persons are There?

If the Hebrew Scriptures truly do point to plurality, the question arises, how many personalities exist in the Godhead? We have already seen the names of God applied to at least two different personalities. Going through the Hebrew Scriptures we find that three, and only three, distinct personalities are ever considered divine.

1. First, there are the numerous times when there is a reference to the Lord YHVH. This usage is so frequent that there is no need to devote space to it.

2. A second personality is referred to as the Angel of YHVH. This individual is always considered distinct from all other angels and is unique. In almost every passage where he is found he is referred to as both the Angel of YHVH and YHVH himself. For instance in Genesis 16:7 he is referred to as the Angel of YHVH, but then in 16:13 as YHVH himself. In Genesis 22:11 he is the Angel of YHVH, but God himself in 22:12. Other examples could be given. (2)

A very interesting passage is Exodus 23:20-23 where this angel has the power to pardon sin because God’s own name YHVH is in him, and, therefore, he is to be obeyed without question. This can hardly be said of any ordinary angel. But the very fact that God’s own name is in this angel shows his divine status.

3. A third major personality that comes through is the Spirit of God, often referred to simply as the Ruach Ha-kodesh. There are a good number of references to the Spirit of God among which are Genesis 1:2; 6:3; Job 33:4; Psalm 51:11; 139:7; Isaiah 11:2; 63:10,14. The Holy Spirit cannot be a mere emanation because he has all the characteristics of personality (intellect, emotion and will) and is considered divine.

So then, from various sections of the Hebrew Scriptures there is a clear showing that three personalities are referred to as divine and as being God: the Lord YHVH, the Angel of YHVH and the Spirit of God.

The Three Personalities in the Same Passage

In the Hebrew Scriptures you will also find all three personalities of the Godhead referred to in single passages. Two examples are Isaiah 48:12-16 and 63:7-14.

Because of the significance of the first passage, it will be quoted:

“Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together. All of you, assemble yourselves, and hear! Who among them has declared these things? The LORD loves him; he shall do His pleasure on Babylon, and His arm shall be against the Chaldeans. I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him, I have brought him, and his way will prosper. Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit have sent Me.”

It should be noted that the speaker refers to himself as the one who is responsible for the creation of the heavens and the earth. It is clear that he cannot be speaking of anyone other than God. But then in verse 16, the speaker refers to himself using the pronouns of “I” and “me” and then distinguishes himself from two other personalities. He distinguishes himself from the Lord YHVH and then from the Spirit of God. Here is the Tri-unity as clearly defined as the Hebrew Scriptures make it.

In the second passage, there is a reflection back to the time of the Exodus where all three personalities were present and active. The Lord YHVH is referred to in verse seven, the Angel of YHVH in verse nine and the Spirit of God in verses 10, 11 and 14. While often throughout the Hebrew Scriptures God refers to himself as being the one solely responsible for Israel’s redemption from Egypt, in this passage three personalities are given credit for it. Yet no contradiction is seen since all three comprise the unity of the one Godhead.

Conclusion

The teaching of the Hebrew Scriptures, then is that there is a plurality of the Godhead. The first person is consistently called YHVH, while the second person is given the names of YHVH, the Angel of YHVH and the Servant of YHVH. Consistently and without fail, the second person is sent by the first person. The third person is referred to as the Spirit of YHVH or the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit. He, too, is sent by the first person but is continually related to the ministry of the second person.

If the concept of the Tri-unity of God is not Jewish according to modern rabbis, then neither are the Hebrew Scriptures. Jewish Christians cannot be accused of having slipped into paganism when they hold to the fact that Jesus is the divine Son of God. He is the same one of whom Moses wrote when the Lord said:

“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries For My Angel will go before you and bring you in to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will cut them off” (Exodus 23:20-23).

New Testament Light

In keeping with the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament clearly recognizes that there are three persons in the Godhead, although it becomes quite a bit more specific. The first person is called the Father while the second person is called the Son. The New Testament answers the question of Proverbs 30:4: “What is His name, and what is His Son’s name If you know?” His Son’s name is Yeshua (Jesus). In accordance with the Hebrew Scriptures, he is sent by God to be the Messiah, but this time as a man instead of as an angel.

Furthermore, he is sent for a specific purpose: to die for our sins. In essence, what happened is that God became a man (not that man became God) in order to accomplish the work of atonement.

The New Testament calls the third person of the Godhead the Holy Spirit. Throughout the New Testament He is related to the work of the second person, in keeping with the teaching of the Hebrew Scriptures. We see, then, that there is a continuous body of teaching in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament relating to the Tri-unity of God.

(1) “Personal Name of God of Israel,” written in Hebrew Bible with the four consonants YHWH. Pronunciation of name has been avoided since at least 3rd c. B.C.E.; initial substitute was “Adonai” (“the Lord”), itself later replaced by “ha-Shem” (the Name). The name Jehovah is a hybrid misreading of the original Hebrew letters with the vowels of “Adonai.” Encyclopedia Dictionary of Judaica, 593.

2) In Genesis 31 he is the Angel of God in verse 11, but then he is the God of Bethel in verse 13. In Exodus 3 he is the Angel of YHVH in verse two and he is both YHVH and God in verse four. In Judges 6 he is the Angel of YHVH in verses 11,12, 20 and 21, but is YHVH himself in verses 14, 16, 22 and 23. Then in Judges 13:3 and 21 he is the Angel of YHVH but is referred to as God himself in verse 22.

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Responding to Ahmed Eldin

A Post By Quennel Gale

It seems like “answering Christianity”, the laughable pseudo-Islamic propagandist website, whose apologetics can be likened to the “National Enquirer” of scholarly debate, has added yet another ill-informed amateur known as Ahmed Eldin. Mr. Eldin seems to have the reading comprehension of a four-year-old and this response will show you just how laughable his article truly is. He begins by saying:

You can find his article here:

 http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/q_jesus_kurios.htm (read his article first and then mine).

ELDIN:

To begin with, we must realize that the word “Kyrios” also has other meanings in the Greek language.

kurioV
kurios
koo’-ree-os
from kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Master (as a respectful title):– God, Lord, master, Sir.

Source : http://www.sacrednamebible.com/kjvstrongs/index2.htm

Also visit: http://www.whoisjesus.com/yhwh-LORD.html

Jesus is called “Lord” because is a respectful title for him. He is called “Lord” in the same way as Prophet Abraham called.

“Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord (Abraham) being old also?” Genesis 18:12

Also, like Esau:

“And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:” Genesis 32:4

Like Joseph:

“And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.” Genesis 44:20

Like David: “And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, [upon] me [let this] iniquity [be]: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.” 1 Samuel 25:24

GALE:

Apparently Mr. Eldin fails to realize that even if you address someone as Lord “even a respectful manner” it is considered polytheism according to Islam and the Quran:

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. THEY IMITATE THE SAYING OF THOSE WHO DISBELIEVE OF OLD. ALLAH (HIMSELF) FIGHTETH AGAINST THEM. HOW PERVERSE ARE THEY! They HAVE TAKEN AS LORDS BESIDE ALLAH their rabbis and their monks AND THE MESSIAH son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One Allah. There is no Allah save Him. Be He Glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)! Fain would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah disdaineth (aught) save that He shall perfect His light, however much the disbelievers are averse. He it is Who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to PREVAIL OVER ALL RELIGION, however much the idolaters may be averse. O ye who believe! Lo! many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks devour the wealth of mankind wantonly and debar (men) from the way of Allah. They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom, On the day when it will (all) be heated in the fire of hell, and their foreheads and their flanks and their backs will be branded therewith (and it will be said unto them): Here is that which ye hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what ye used to hoard. S. 9:30-35

Mr. Eldin fails to realize that even the Quran acknowledges that Christians called Jesus “LORD” in a manner that equates him with God. The Quran itself says that to call Jesus Lord is to identify him as God, is to take him as God in place of Allah! The more he tries to explain the usage of “Kyrios” away, the more he exposes his Quran as being a fraud!

What more can I say? The Greek translation of the Quran will clearly show you that the Muslim scripture will not allow anyone to use “Kyrios” even in this manner, as a title of respect, since it takes this to be shirk. Mr. Eldin apparently thinks that by posting verses in the Bible (note he is using context to denote the meaning, which is the first step in learning to accurately understand words and concepts) which shows others being addressed as “lord”, this would invalidate its use as a title of Deity for Jesus. However, Mr. Eldin forgets to look at the context closely to see that Esau, Joseph, David or any other individual are never referred to as LORD in the same context as God Almighty and Jesus.

He also thinks that he is refuting Shamoun believing that Sam only relied on the word “Kyrios” itself when Shamoun clearly said:

It isn’t merely the fact that Jesus is addressed as Kurios that leads Christians to believe he is YahwehBUT IN THE MANNER in which the NT writers use this Greek word for Christ that leads them to this conclusion. (http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/q_jesus_kurios.htm)

It is absolutely hilarious to try and make Shamoun adhere to a theory of “relying purely on Kyrios to prove that Jesus is God” when Shamoun himself rejected this theory. Shamoun stated that it is the way the NT uses “Kyrios” that demonstrates that Jesus is Yahweh!

To illustrate why this is quite serious and important for the truth claims of Islam imagine what would happen if a Muslim were to apply to himself a title or function which belongs to Allah alone; why that Muslim would be put to death for shirk! How, then, can Jesus apply to himself the very Divine covenant name of God if he were merely a man without God condemning him? In fact, God raised him from the dead in vindication of Jesus’ Divine claims! Why would God raise Jesus as a supernatural verification of his claims if Jesus was lying?

Mr. Eldin has no answer whatsoever for what Shamoun presented which is why he had to resort to using the “Kyrios only” example above. He continues by saying:

Let us analyze now the strategy that Shamoun used in his article. Below you will understand that Shamoun very hardly quoted from the words of Jesus and he mainly quoted from the doctrine of Paul who corrupted the true religion that Jesus brought to humanity by the will of God.

For more information about Paul and Christianity visit:

http://islamic-answers.com/jesus__words_only

http://l.b5z.net/i/u/6053592/i/Pauline_Corruption_of_Biblical_Analysis.pdf (a must read)

http://l.b5z.net/i/u/6053592/i/Jude_s_Epistle__More_Evidence_of_Rift_Between_
Jerusalem_and_Paul__.pdf

http://l.b5z.net/i/u/6053592/i/Was_Paul_or_James__Church_the_more_succesfull_Evangelist.pdf

http://islamic-answers.com/jesus_or_paul_____audio_lecture_

http://islamic-answers.com/christianity

Paul words are irrelevant; the only thing that matters is the words of Jesus and especially what he said about himself not what others believed about him.

GALE:

Don’t you just love it when ignorant Muslims use the “Paul corrupted Christianity” argument and “We will only listen to Jesus”? Let’s, therefore, hang him with what Jesus said about Paul:

“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I AM JESUS, WHOM YOU ARE PERSECUTING,’ HE REPLIED. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he answered. The Lord told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. IN A VISION HE HAS SEEN A MAN NAMED ANANIAS COME AND PLACE HIS HANDS ON HIM TO RESTORE HIS SIGHT.’ ‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’ BUT THE LORD SAID TO ANANIAS, ‘Go! THIS MAN IS MY CHOSEN INSTRUMENT TO CARRY MY NAME before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’ Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord – Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.‘ Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in DamascusAt once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. Acts 9:3-20

Listening to the words of Jesus we see that:

  1. He personally chose Paul.
  2. Ananais was the second witness that Jesus himself spoke to which helps validate Paul.
  3. Jesus used Paul to carry his name to the gentile world.

Hence, we see that Mr. Eldin is the one not paying attention to what Jesus actually says and claims. What’s even more amusing is that after his conversion, Paul spent days WITH JESUS’ ACTUAL DISCIPLES, AND AFTER MEETING WITH THEM BEGAN PREACHING his message to the world. It’s amazing that none of Jesus disciples or his followers accused Paul of any corruption of Jesus’ teachings and message. In fact Luke, the most descriptive and historically verifiable of the NT writers, says this:

Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch WITH PAUL and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with OUR DEAR FRIENDS Barnabas and Paul – men WHO RISKED THEIR LIVES FOR THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.” Acts 15:22-29

Paul and Barnabas risked their lives for the message of the disciples and Jesus, and were called dear friends! In fact, the disciples agreed that Paul should follow in his mission to the Gentiles, as Jesus had commanded him:

James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, GAVE ME AND BARNABAS the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to meTHEY AGREED THAT WE SHOULD GO TO THE GENTILES, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. Galatians 1:9-10

The position of Jesus’ disciples, who obviously knew him and his message, that Paul should go to the Gentiles perfectly agrees with what Luke records Jesus saying to Ananais regarding Paul’s mission:

BUT THE LORD SAID TO ANANIAS, ‘Go! THIS MAN IS MY CHOSEN INSTRUMENT TO CARRY MY NAME before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’ Acts 9:15

Peter, one of Jesus closest disciples, addresses Paul as a “dear brother” and classifies his writings as inspired Scripture, placing them on the same level of authority as the other divinely revealed Scriptures.

“Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, JUST AS OUR DEAR BROTHER PAUL also wrote you with the WISDOM THAT GOD GAVE HIM. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:15-16

The problem with Eldin’s statements is that his whole argument stems from his believing the presuppositions of some silly Arab prophet “who needed hooked on phonics” named Muhammad and his alleged claims of what Jesus said.

What makes this even worse for Eldin is that Jesus’ disciples were supposed to be Muslims according to the very Quran. Note here what his own pagan god, Allah, says in reference to Jesus and his message:

And behold! I INSPIRED THE DISCIPLES to have faith in Me and Mine Messenger. THEY SAID, ‘We have faith, and do thou bear witness that we bow to Allah AS MUSLIMS‘. S. 5:111

Here we have Muslims who were following in the faith of Allah, who believed Jesus, choosing Paul as one of the apostles because Jesus commanded them to do so! Amazing!

Moreover, not only do Mr. Eldin’s conspiracy theories about Paul fall flat to the ground, it gets much worse since early Islamic sources do not have anything bad to say about Paul, but plenty of good:

“God has sent me (Muhammad) to all men, so take a message from me, God have mercy on you. DO NOT HANG BACK FROM ME AS THE DISCIPLES HUNG BACK FROM JESUS SON OF MARY. They asked how they hung back and he said, ‘He called them to a task SIMILAR TO THAT WHICH I HAVE CALLED YOU. Those who had to go a short journey were pleased and accepted. Those who had a long journey before them were displeased and refused to go, and Jesus complained of them to God. (T. From that very night) every one of them was able to speak the language of the people to whom he was sent.’ (T. Jesus said, ‘This is a thing that God has determined that you should do, so go.’)

“Those whom Jesus son of Mary sent, BOTH DISCIPLES AND THOSE WHO CAME AFTER THEM, in the land were: Peter the disciple AND PAUL WITH HIM, (PAUL BELONGED TO THE FOLLOWERS AND WAS NOT A DISCIPLE) to Rome. Andrew and Matthew to the land of the cannibals; Thomas to the land of Babel, which is in the land of the east; Philip to Carthage and Africa; John to Ephesus the city of the young men of the cave; James to Jerusalem which is Aelia the city of the sanctuary; Bartholomew to Arabia which is the land of Hijaz; Simon to the land of Berbers; Judah who was not one of the disciples was put in place of Judas.'” (Ibid. p. 653; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Other Muslim sources that affirm the preceding statement include:

“Among the apostles and those disciples around them, whom Jesus sent out, there were Peter and his companion Paul.” (Al-Thalabii, Qisas al-Anbiyaa, pp. 389-390)

And,

“Among the apostles, and the followers who came after them were the Apostle Peter and Paul who was a follower and not an apostle; they went to Rome. Andrew and Matthew were sent to the country whose people are man-eaters, a land of blacks, we think; Thomas was sent to Babylonia in the east, Philip to Qayrawan (and) Carthage, that is, North Africa. John went to Ephesus, the city of the youths of the cave, and James to Jerusalem, that is, Aelia. Bartholomew was sent to Arabia, namely, the Hijaz; Simeon to the land of the Berbers in Africa. Judas was not then an apostle, so his place was taken by Ariobus. He filled in for Judas Iscariot after the latter had perpetrated his deed.” (The History of al-Tabari – The Ancient Kingdoms, Vol. IV, trans. Moshe Perlmann [State University of New York Press, Albany 1987], p. 123; bold emphasis ours)

The translator, Moshe Perlmann, comments on the above statement that Paul was not an apostle:

  1. In Islamic terms the messengers or apostles pave the new path. Their work is continued by the tabi’un, the followers, members of the next generations, who lead the Faithful. (Ibid.)

Hence, according to al-Tabari Paul was a faithful follower of the Apostles, especially the Apostle Peter. In fact, al-Tabari lists Paul as one of those martyred for the faith:

“Abu Ja’far says: They assert that after Tiberius, Palestine and other parts of Syria were ruled by Gaius, son of Tiberius, for four years. He was succeeded by another son, Claudius, for fourteen years, following which Nero ruled for fourteen years. He slew Peter and crucified Paul head down. For four months Botlaius [Vittelius] ruled thereafter. Then Vespasian, father of Titus whom he sent to Jerusalem, ruled for ten years. Three years after his rise to power, forty years after the ascension of Jesus, Vespasian sent Titus to Jerusalem. Titus destroyed it and slew numerous Israelites in his wrath over the fate of Christ…” (Ibid., p. 126; bold emphasis ours)

The massacre still doesn’t end here! The Quran testifies that Christ’s true believers would prevail and remain dominant until the Day of Resurrection:

Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee SUPERIOR to those who reject faith, TO THE DAY OF RESURRECTION: Then shall ye all return unto Me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.” S. 3:55

O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of Allah: as said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the Disciples, “We are Allah’s helpers!” then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, AND THEY BECAME THE ONES THAT PREVAILED. S. 61:14

According to these passages, Allah gave Christ’s followers the power to prevail over the disbelievers, and made them superior till the day of resurrection. Yet the ones that prevailed were Apostles such as Paul along with his followers. This means that if the Quran is correct then Paul’s message is the truth since it has dominated and prevailed over all other opposing messages.

Yusuf Ali, in his translation The Holy Qur’an- Text and Commentary, p. 1543, footnote 5448, states:

A portion of the Children of Israel – the ones that really cared for Truth – bbelieved in Jesus and followed his guidance. But the greater portion of them were hard-hearted, and remained in their beaten track of formalism and false racial pride. The majority seemed at first to have the upper hand when they thought they had crucified Jesus and killed his Message. But they were soon brought to their senses. Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus in A.D. 70 and the Jews have been scattered ever since. “The Wandering Jew” has become a bye-word in many literatures. On the other hand, those who followed Jesus PERMEATED the Roman Empire, brought many new races within their circle, and through the Roman Empire, Christianity became the predominant religion of the world until the advent of Islam… (bold and capital emphasis ours)

What Ali failed to note is that the form of Christianity that permeated the Roman Empire is what Muslims degradingly call “Pauline” Christianity. Hence, Paul’s message dominated is a sign that his Gospel was that which God had entrusted to Christ’s true followers. If it were argued that Paul’s version of Christianity is an aberration of the truth this would then imply that the Quran is wrong for claiming that God had caused Christ’s true followers to prevail and had made them superior UNTIL THE DAY OF RESURRECTION. This would also mean that Paul was able to thwart Allah’s purposes, and was able to undo what Allah claimed would be done. Interestingly, noted Muslim commentator, Ibn Kathir was forced to contend with this fact:

“This is what happened. When Allah raised ‘Isa to heaven, his followers divided into sects and groups. Some of them believed in what Allah sent ‘Isa as, a servant of Allah, His Messenger, and the son of His female-servant.

However, some of them went to the extreme over ‘Isa, believing that he was the son of Allah. Some of them said that ‘Isa was Allah Himself, while others said that he was one of a Trinity. Allah mentioned these false creeds in the Qur’an and refuted them. The Christians remained like this until the third century CE, when a Greek king called, Constantine, became a Christian for the purpose of destroying Christianity. Constantine was either a philosopher, or he was just plain ignorant. Constantine changed the religion of ‘Isa by adding to it and deleting from it. He established the rituals of Christianity and the so-called Great Trust which is in fact the Great Treachery. He also allowed them to eat the meat of swine, changed the direction of the prayer that ‘Isa established to the east, built churches for ‘Isa, and added ten days to the fast as compensation for a sin that he committed, as claimed. So the religion of ‘Isa became the religion of Constantine, who built more than twelve thousand churches, temples and monasteries for the Christians as well as the city that bears his name, Constantinople (Istanbul). THROUGHOUT THIS TIME, the Christians had the upper hand and dominated the Jews. ALLAH AIDED THEM AGAINST THE JEWS BECAUSE THEY USED TO BE CLOSER TO THE TRUTH THAN THE JEWS, even though both groups were and still are disbelievers, may Allah’s curse descend on them.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 2, Parts 3, 4, & 5 (Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, Verse 147), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: March 2000], p. 171; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir’s explanation doesn’t solve the problem since the Quran claims that the true followers of Christ would prevail and yet the Christianity that prevailed is the one that Ibn Kathir attacks as false. At the same time, Ibn Kathir admits that this aberration is that which God caused to prevail!

Hence, much like Ibn Kathir, Eldin is in a dilemma that he cannot resolve since to accept the Quran is to accept Pauline Christianity!

What’s worse for Eldin is that Allah himself quotes Paul in the so-called sound hadiths of Islam:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “ALLAH SAID, ‘I have prepared for My righteous slaves (such excellent things) as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human heart can ever think of.'” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 589)

According to this hadith, Muhammad purportedly claims that Allah revealed the preceding quotation about the eternal rewards that his righteous servants shall receive. Compare what Allah is supposed to have revealed to Muhammad with what Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.'” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Paul is paraphrasing the following citation from Isaiah:

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4

Hence, according to the hadith the one who inspired Paul’s saying, which Muhammad alludes to in virtually identical language, is none other than God! Notice that Allah didn’t directly quote Isaiah but added Paul’s words, “No mind has conceived” as “no heart can ever think of”. This is referring to thinking which isn’t present at all in Isaiah but later developed in Paul’s own sayings!! Since Paul is considered a deceiver by Mr. Eldin, we must be forced to conclude that Jesus, Muhammad and his Allah are also deceivers! Muslims hate this quote since it undermines their thinking about Paul.

This basically means that Muslims have no basis to object to Paul’s writings since Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq and al-Bukhari attribute Paul’s work to God, clearly illustrating that Paul was a legitimate representative of Christ’s teachings. It is obvious that Mr. Eldin doesn’t know Christianity or Islam and is very misinformed on these matters.

SHAMOUN:

For instance, the Hebrew Scriptures teach that salvation comes from calling on the name of Yahweh:

And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.” Joel 2:32

Yet according to the NT, believers are to call on the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation:

“Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’” Acts 22:14-16

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Romans 10:9-13

ELDIN:

Shamoun quoted the words of Paul NOT the words of Jesus, but even in that way, Shamoun fails to realize that Lord also means Master or Sir in the Greek language. In addition, other individuals in the Old Testament are called Lord. So both quotations that Shamoun presented as evidence is not by Jesus but from others. At least if Shamoun wants to be honest, he must quote the words of Jesus and what he says concerning the meaning of the word “Lord” not by others.

GALE:

Mr. Eldin is obviously a blithering fool. If you look at the Hebrew for Joel 2:32 you will find that “sir” or “Master” isn’t present but the divine name YHWH, translated in the English as “LORD”:

And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.” Joel 2:32

VHYH KL ‘aShUr-YQUr’a BShM YHVH YMLT KY BHUr-TShYVN VBYUrVShLM ThHYH PhLYTH K’aShUr ‘aMUr YHVH VBShUrYDYM ‘aShUr YHVH QUr’a. Joel 2:32 Hebrew Transliteration

American Standard Version
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as Jehovah hath said, and among the remnant those whom Jehovah doth call. Joel 2:32

Darby’s English Translation
And it shall be that whosoever shall call upon the name of Jehovah shall be saved: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Jehovah hath said, and for the residue whom Jehovah shall call. Joel 2:32

World English Bible
It will happen that whoever will call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved; For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, As Yahweh has said, And among the remnant, those whom Yahweh calls. Joel 2:32

Young’s Literal Translation
And it hath come to pass, Every one who calleth in the name of Jehovah is delivered, For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there is an escape, As Jehovah hath said, And among the remnants whom Jehovah is calling! Joel 2:32

I think Shamoun knows pretty well that “Lord” means master. However, it is God’s very name that is being mentioned, not “master” or “sir”. Notice that Joel is saying that you must call upon the name of YHWH to be saved, or in other words, if you call upon someone’s name for salvation in the Bible you are literally making him/her/it God since he is the only one who can save people from their sins!

Then they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer. Psalms 78:35

For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, YOUR SAVIOR; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Isaiah 43:4

Doubtless You are our Father, Though Abraham was ignorant of us, And Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O LORD, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name. Isaiah 63:16

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-WHO FORGIVES ALL YOUR SINS and heals all your diseases,” Psalm 103:2-3

“O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. HE HIMSELF FROM ALL THEIR SINS.” Psalm 130:7-8.

The above verses clearly say that God himself will come and save the people of Israel from their sins. However, the angel Gabriel says this to Joseph:

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:20-23

Not only do we find out that Jesus was to be the name of this child who is equated with God, since he does what the OT says God alone can do, but it was Gabriel, not Joseph, who interpreted the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 as a reference to Jesus, calling him THE VERY GOD TO WHOM PEOPLE WERE TO CALL ON FOR SALVATION!

Hence, when the NT writers use “Kyrios” in the context of Jesus bringing salvation, and then apply an OT text, specifically Joel 2:32 which refers to calling upon Yahweh for salvation, to Christ such as in the following:

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’” Romans 10:9-13

It is clear that these inspired authors meant to use “Kyrios” as a synonym for YHWH. Mr. Eldin can’t find a single example in the entire Bible where believers are told to call upon someone other than God or Jesus as Kyrios in order to be saved.

And since we already demonstrated from the words of Jesus, his disciples, and even from the Islamic source material that Paul was a divinely commissioned spokesperson we, therefore, challenge Mr. Eldin to show us one statement from his false god Allah or his false prophet Muhammad agreeing with him that “Paul was wrong or a deceiver”. Good luck buddy!

Side note: Since Mr. Eldin is so stuck on trying to equate “Kyrios” to “sir” or master” all the time let’s show him this in relation to the above:

For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, YOUR SAVIOR; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Isaiah 43:4

Is. 43:3, 11-15 LI’ANNI ANA YAHWAH ILAHUKA QUDDUWSU ISRA’ILA MUKHALLISUKA. JA3ALTU MISRA FIDYATAKA KUWSHA WASABAN 3IWADHAKA. ANA ANA YAHWAH WA LAYSA GHAYRI MUKHALLISUN. ANA AKHBARTU WA KHALLASTU WA A3LAMTU WA LAYSA BAYNAKUM GHARIBUN WA INTUM SHUHUWDI WA ANA ALILAAHU, YAQUWLU YAHWAH. AYDAN MINA ALYAWMI ANA HUWA WA LA MUNQIDUN MIN YADI, AF3ALU WA MAN YARUDDU. HAKADA YAQUWLU YAHWAH FADIYKUM QUDDUWSU ISRAILA… ANA YAHWAH QUDDUWSUKUM KHALIQU ISRAILA MALIKUKUM

For I [am] Jehovah thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee…11 I, I [am] Jehovah; and besides me there is no saviour.
12 It is I that have declared, and have saved, and have shewed, when there was no strange [god] among you; and ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, that I [am] God.
13 Yea, since the day was, I [am] HE, and there is none that delivereth out of my hand: I will work, and who shall hinder it?
14 Thus saith Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought all of them down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.
15 I [am] Jehovah, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.

If Allah was the God of Israel then the Arabic Bible clearly would’ve said this:

Is. 43:3, 11-15 LI’ANNI ANA ALLAH ILAHUKA QUDDUWSU ISRA’ILA MUKHALLISUKA. JA3ALTU MISRA FIDYATAKA KUWSHA WASABAN 3IWADHAKA. ANA ANA ALLAH WA LAYSA GHAYRI MUKHALLISUN. ANA AKHBARTU WA KHALLASTU WA A3LAMTU WA LAYSA BAYNAKUM GHARIBUN WA INTUM SHUHUWDI WA ANA ALILAAHU, YAQUWLU ALLAH. AYDAN MINA ALYAWMI ANA HUWA WA LA MUNQIDUN MIN YADI, AF3ALU WA MAN YARUDDU. HAKADA YAQUWLU ALLAH FADIYKUM QUDDUWSU ISRAILA… ANA ALLAH QUDDUWSUKUM KHALIQU ISRAILA MALIKUKUML

There is only one God, YHWH. And since there is only one God whose name is YHWH there can be no Allah. Furthermore, since you can only “call on the name of YHWH” to be saved any being or entity who claims that you must call on their name for salvation is clearly saying that s/he/it is YHWH God.

SHAMOUN:

NT Christians even prayed to Jesus the same way OT believers prayed to Yahweh:

“Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.” Genesis 21:33 – 12:8

“Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.” Psalm 31:5

“Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the LORD and he answered them.” Psalm 99:6

“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:59-60

“To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2

ELDIN:

It seems that Shamoun didn’t read the following passages from the Bible:

Going a little farther, he [Jesus] fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’  (From the NIV Bible, Matthew 26:39)”

he fell with his face to the ground and prayed….(From the NIV Bible, Matthew 16:39)”

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  (From the KJV Bible, Matthew 6:5-8)”

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.  (From the NIV Bible, Luke 6:12)”

This is what I mean when I say the words of Jesus are really maters for an evaluation and not the false words of Paul and others. Clearly as you see above Jesus taught to pray and call the Father not to pray to Jesus. So to whom you will call or pray? To Jesus as Paul said or to the Father the true God as Jesus said. Jesus prayed to God simply because he recognized him as the true God.

 John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

GALE:

Mr. Eldin did nothing to address the fact that people of the NT prayed to Jesus in the very exact way people prayed to God in the OT. Instead, Mr. Eldin assumes that just because Jesus asks men to pray to the Father, this somehow refutes his claim to Deity or denies that we can also direct our prayers to Christ. Apparently, Eldin is ignorant of the fact that Jesus gave his followers the following instructions:

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my namethat will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16

“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full… At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you.” John 16:23-24, 26

You will notice that in all of these passages Jesus tells His disciples to pray to the Father in His (Jesus’) name. We know that the way we talk to God is through prayer. However, in order to pray to the Father, it must be done in Jesus’ name WITH JESUS ANSWERING THE PRAYER!

In 14:13-14 Jesus expressly says that he will do whatever they ASK HIM DIRECTLY IN PRAYER and yet 15:16 says that “the Father will do it”. Hence we have both God the Father and the Lord Jesus answering prayers. If Jesus strictly told men to pray to the Father alone then why is he including his name in the supplication of prayer WITH GOD? This is “shirk” (associating partners with God or Allah) according to Islam for no creature can answer prayer but God!

Moreover, performing something in someone else’s name has two implications. First, it is the authority of another person that allows someone to perform the work. In other words, it is because someone else authorized you to take these actions that you are able to perform them; a person is not doing them in his own authority. For example, when David fought Goliath he came unto him “in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied” (1 Samuel 17:45). He was not coming in his own power or authority but in that which belonged to God alone. This gave David the authority and ability to fight against the giant Goliath… and win!

Second, when you come in someone’s name, you come in his stead. The person to whom you come is expected to respond to you, not on the basis of who you are, but on behalf of the one you represent, in whose authority you have come. They are to treat you as they would treat the one who authorized you to come. For instance, when David sent servants to Nabal to ask for food, “they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David” (1 Samuel 25:9). Therefore, when Nabal insulted David’s servants (who came in David’s name) he insulted David just as if he had spoken directly to his face.

Hence, the apostles performing miracles and having their prayers answered in Jesus’ name shows that Christ is God and co-equal with the Father. This is because the name of Jesus carries an authority which only God has since he alone is capable of answering prayers and can empower persons to perform miraculous feats. As for his usage of John 17:3, Mr. Eldin seems actually quite ignorant of what Jesus’ words truly mean:

“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” John 17:1-5

Let’s point this out:

“And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had WITH YOU before the world began.” John 17:5

Jesus claimed to have the very same glory that God himself had before the beginning of creation. Moreover, what Mr. Eldin will be shocked to know is that Jesus even gives God a command. In his high priestly prayer, Jesus commands the Father to glorify him with the glory Christ had with him before he became flesh:

“And now, Father, GLORIFY ME (Greek- doxason Me) in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” John 17:5

The phrase, “glorify me” is a Greek imperative, with the word “glorify” being in the aorist tense. Noted Greek Grammarian Dr. Daniel B. Wallace comments on the Greek imperative with the aorist tense:

“The imperative is most commonly used for commands, outnumbering prohibitive imperatives about five to one. As a command, the imperative is usually from a superior to an inferior in rank. It occurs frequently with the aorist and present (only rarely with the perfect tense).

The basic force of the imperative of command involves somewhat different nuances with each tense. With the aorist, the force generally is to command the action as a whole, without focusing on duration, repetition, etc. In keeping with its aspectual force, the aorist puts forth a summary command…” (Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics [Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI, 1996], p. 485; bold emphasis)

As Wallace noted, the imperative is a command usually given from a superior to an inferior in rank, but not always. In the case of John 17:5, it is two equals addressing each other. The very reason why Jesus can demand to be glorified by the Father is that Christ is equal to the latter in his Divine nature, being fully God also. This is why Jesus emphasized the following:

only true God, and Jesus Christ

To place Jesus on the very same level and rank of God Almighty is blasphemy in Islam. For more information on this point please go here: http://answer-islam.org/OnetrueGod.html

He continues:

SHAMOUN:

Moreover, these believers invoked Jesus for favors and healing in the same manner that the saints of the OT beseeched Yahweh:

Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.” Psalm 12:1

“But you, O LORD, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them.” Psalm 41:10

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.” Psalm 86:3, cf. 123:3

O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.” Psalm 118:25

“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.'” Matthew 8:23-25

“And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'” Matthew 14:28-31

“And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.'” Matthew 15:22

“And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!‘ The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!'” Matthew 20:30-31

ELDIN:

Sam Shamoun compares Gods [sic] power with the God-given powers that Jesus had. Shamoun propably [sic] never read the following passages of the NT:

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.

Also:

Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

The quotations that Shamoun gives illustrate the help that people wanted was the miracles of Jesus, which God did by him. Therefore God was the source not Jesus.

GALE: 

Mr. Eldin apparently doesn’t understand the context of John 5:30, since if he had simply bothered to read a couple of verses beforehand he would have discovered the following:

Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, THE SON DOES LIKEWISE. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, SO ALSO THE SON GIVES LIFE TO WHOMEVER HE WISHES. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, SO THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON JUST AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.’ John 5:19-23

Much like the Father, Jesus is able to give eternal life, raise the dead and judge all men. In order for Jesus to be able to do all the works that his Father can do he must be God since the Father does things that only God can do. This very passage presents further problems for Mr. Eldin because Jesus claims that:

FOR THE FATHER JUDGES NO ONE, BUT HAS COMMITTED ALL JUDGMENT TO THE SON, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. John 5:22-23

By focusing on John 5:30 Mr. Eldin failed to see that in the context Jesus claimed to be the eschatological Judge, a function which equates him with God according to both the OT and the Quran! Both of these Scriptures say that God will judge mankind on the last day. In fact, here are some references from the Quran that say Allah and Allah alone will judge on the Day of Judgment:

The Jews say: “The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: “The Jews have naught (to stand) upon.” Yet they (profess to) study the (same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; BUT ALLAH WILL JUDGE between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment. S. 2:113

Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto Me, and I WILL JUDGE between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. S. 3:55

(These are) the ones who wait and watch about you: if ye do gain a victory from Allah, they say: “Were we not with you?”- but if the unbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): “Did we not gain an advantage over you, and did we not guard you from the believers?” BUT ALLAH WILL JUDGE BETWIXT YOU on the Day of Judgment. And never will Allah grant to the unbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers. S. 4:141

According to the OT, it is God who will gather the nations in judgment, separating them as one separates the sheep from the rams:

“As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats.” Ezekiel 34:17

“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land… Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.” Joel 3:1-2, 12

Now compare this with what Jesus says here:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world’… Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ Matthew 25:31-34, 41

Jesus is performing the same function that the OT says Yahweh will perform!

Now that we have looked at the context of John 5:30 we can better understand the point Jesus was making: The reason why Jesus couldn’t do anything on his own is because he works in perfect unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit since all three are equally God in nature, having the same infinite power to accomplish all that they desire.

As for Eldin’s usage of Acts 2:22, it only gets worse for him since the context of this specific text reveals several truths about Jesus which Islam denies. Let us highlight them:

“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, PUT HIM TO DEATH BY NAILING HIM TO THE CROSSBUT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him:

‘I SAW THE LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will live in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the factExalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. Acts 2:22-34

Now Mr. Eldin is trying to use Acts 2:22 to disprove the divinity of Jesus; however, this very same passage contradicts Islam on the issue of the crucifixion of Christ! It is very amusing for Muslim propagandists to use passages which disprove their own religion in trying to convince others to believe it!

Amazingly, Mr. Eldin doesn’t see the ramifications that this passage has in refuting his case regarding the use of “Kyrios”. Quoting David in Psalms 16:8-11, Luke uses the word “Kyrios” in the place of YHWH, the divine name of God from the Hebrew OT:

I have set the LORD (YHWH – Hebrew) always before meBECAUSE HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, [c] nor will you let your Holy One [d] see decay. You have made [e] known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalms 16:8-11

We need to help Mr. Eldin see that “Kyrios” in the context of Acts 2 refers to the covenant name of God Almighty!

Hence, if Mr. Eldin wants us to understand from this verse that Jesus performed the “miracles and other acts only through God” then he must also believe that in the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ! He must further believe that Jesus is the exalted Lord of all who sits enthroned at God’s right hand:

“For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both LORD (Kyrion) and Christ.” Acts 2:34-36

It is obvious from the foregoing that Mr. Eldin needs to leave religious debate alone; he is drowning and needs a life raft to rescue himself from his stupidity!

SHAMOUN:

The NT further says that every knee will bend to Jesus as Lord just as they do to Yahweh:

“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.” Isaiah 45:22-23

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

ELDIN:

Did Jesus said these words? Of course not. Again Shamoun quotes from the doctrine of Paul not from the words of Jesus. Jesus said:

 John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Note: The words “worshippers” and “worship” is wrongly translated. The Greek word is “ “ proskinite” and “ proskinisousin” which the true meaning in English is “ those who prostrate” ( proskinite) and “ to prostrate” (proskinisousin).

Therefore, Jesus said to prostrate to the Father not to him. Jesus never said “I am your God” and never said “worship me”. 

GALE:

Actually quoting from the doctrine of Paul is quoting the words of Jesus since Jesus said in Acts:

BUT THE LORD SAID TO ANANIAS, ‘Go! THIS MAN IS MY CHOSEN INSTRUMENT TO CARRY MY NAME before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’

What makes this even worse is that Mr. Eldin makes some false claims regarding the meaning of the Greek words that John 4:23 uses for worship. Here is what the word for worshipers is:

Proskunetes

 Definition

a worshipper (http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=4353&version=kjv)

Now look at the definition for worship:

Proskuneo

 Definition

  1. to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence
  2. among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence
  3. in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication
  4. used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank
  5. to the Jewish high priests

Word Usage – Total: 60

worship 60 (http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=4352&version=kjv)

Mr. Eldin can’t tell the difference between up or down on this one! The NT uses Proskunetes to mean worshiper and Proskuneo to denote worship.

Even if he tries to use the “prostrate, not worship” argument notice what the Quran says about this issue:

  1. [2.125] And when We made the House a pilgrimage for men and a (place of) security, and: Appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing-place of Ibrahim. And We enjoined Ibrahim and Ismail saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves.
  2. [9.112] They who turn (to Allah), who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who keep the limits of Allah; and give good news to the believers.
  3. [22.77] O you who believe! bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord, and do good that you may succeed.
  4. [26.219] And your turning over and over among those who prostrate themselves before Allah. (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=prostrate&size=All)

It is very obvious that prostrating, even in the Quran, is an act of worship!

Since we’ve shown extensively throughout this article that Jesus is identified as God, even using the very verses which Mr. Eldin raised to refute this essential Biblical truth, we will now show where Jesus accepted worship and even commanded the people to worship him as God:

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, AND WORSHIPPED HIM. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Matthew 28:8-10

The word for “All Hail” in Greek is chairo and is used in salutations. What makes this rather interesting is that the women disciples didn’t return Jesus’ greeting but worshiped him instead. And once we examine the use of the Greek word we can appreciate why they responded in this manner.

The word “hail” is used for majestic figures such as kings just as the following examples demonstrate:

Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, HAIL, MASTER; and kissed him. Matthew 26:48-49

And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, HAIL, KING OF THE JEWS! and they smote him with their hands. John 19:2-3

The Jews even used “hail” to mock Jesus before his crucifixion for claiming to be Christ, the King.

Hence, this word “hail”, which is chairo in the above examples, indicates that this is a sign of reverence shown to a king. What this implies is that Jesus’ use of this word was intended to draw his disciples to worship him as their risen Lord and King; he wasn’t simply greeting them but calling their attention to the fact that they were in the presence of One who is the Sovereign Lord of all creation. This explains why they responded in worship since this is the only appropriate response to One who is a majestic Divine being!

SHAMOUN:

There are other factors which further substantiate that the NT writers were identifying Jesus as Yahweh when they called him Kurios or Lord.

For example, like Yahweh Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings:

“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.” Deuteronomy 10:17

“Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:3

“and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,” Revelation 1:5

“They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” Revelation 17:14

“On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:16

ELDIN:

Where it says that Jesus is God of Gods as the O.T God describes himself? He can be lord of the lords, which can be also translated as the most respectful personality but not God. Anyway again Shamoun fail to quote Jesus. Does Jesus said “I am the Lord of the Lords”?OR, the King of the Kings? Moreover, if there is such a quotation it does not mean that he is God. 

GALE:

Mr. Eldin never ceases to amaze me. After being shown that God is called King of Kings and Lord of Lords he absolutely ignores these titles and proceeds to demand that someone show him where Jesus actually says this! But wait, this isn’t enough, even if Jesus had said this himself, Eldin would still claim that “it doesn’t mean that he is God”, EVEN THOUGH THIS IS A TITLE USED FOR GOD TO SHOW THAT HE THE SUPREME OWNER AND RULER OF ALL CREATION. He is basically admitting that no matter what is shown to him he still won’t believe it. This further demonstrates that he is lying when he says that he wants to be shown where Jesus said it since he will still reject it anyway!

Ladies and gentlemen, do you see how stupid and deceitful these evil Muslim propagandists are? They demand evidence of the contrary and then they discard it just because they want to believe what they want to believe. So let’s make this easy for Mr. Eldin. He claims that:

Anyway again Shamoun fail [sic] to quote Jesus. Does Jesus said [sic] “I am the Lord of the Lords”?OR, the King of the Kings?

Since these titles are found all over the book of Revelation for God, we are going to point Mr. Eldin to the very first verse:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants–things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is the one who READS the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is WRITTEN IN IT, because the time is near.” Rev. 1:1-3

“I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: ‘WRITE ON A SCROLL what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.’ I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone ‘like a son of man,’ dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I WAS DEAD, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. WRITE, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.’” Rev. 1:9-19

According to the very introduction to the book itself, John is recording THE VERY WORDS THAT THE RISEN AND EXALTED JESUS GAVE HIM TO WRITE DOWN AND PASS ON TO THE CHUCHES! To further drive this point home, here are some additional passages:

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Rev. 22:16

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Rev. 22:20

Now let us compare what the OT says about Yahweh with what Jesus told John in Revelation:

Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, AND HIS REDEEMER, the LORD of hosts: “I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6

Here in Isaiah, YAHWEH and HIS REDEEMER claim to be the first and the last and that there is no other God besides either one.

Did Jesus say something similar to this in John’s Apocalypse? He sure did:

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Rev. 22:12-16

Here, Jesus is claiming to be the first and the last just like God did in the Old Testament! Both the NIV Bible Dictionary and the New Bible Dictionary expound on the usage of “alpha and Omega” and the usage:

Combined with alpha (omega) it signifies completeness, as from “A to Z” in modern usage. SO GOD IS THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Rev. 1:8), AS IS ALSO CHRIST (21:6, 22:13). COMPARE ISAIAH 41:4, 44:6. (New International Bible Dictionary, J. D. Douglas & Merril C. Tenney, Alpha, 1987, pg. 36)

And,

This juxtaposition of the first and last letters of the Gk. alphabet, corresponding to the Heb. aleph and taw, is used in Rev. alone AS A SELF-DESIGNATION OF BOTH GOD (REV. 1:8, 21:6, WHERE ‘THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA’ IS EXPLAINED BY THE PARALLEL’ THE BEGINNING AND THE END’) AND CHRIST. THE SON’S DIVINITY IS CONFIRMED BY APPLYING TO HIM WHAT IS SAID OF THE FATHER. In each of these dynamic and comprehensive activity OF GOD OR CHRIST IN CREATION OR SALVATION. (New Bible Dictionary, J. D. Douglas & F. F. Bruce, Alpha & Omega, p 26)

This is just one of the many explicit claims to Deity made by the Christ himself.  What more do we need to say at this point?

SHAMOUN:

Like Yahweh, Jesus has prophets who prophesy in his name:

“If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:19-22

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23

ELDIN:

Amazingly the quotation that Shamoun posted is against all of the Christians that say that Jesus is Lord ! Read carefully on Jesus words where he will insult the Christians and drive them away for the reason that they call him Lord!

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heavenMany will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23

Therefore, Prophesizing in the name of Jesus and calling him Lord is a sin according to Jesus and Christians that they commit this sin are evildoers.

GALE:

Mr. Eldin tries to correct Sam Shamoun on Matthew 7:21-23 by claiming that calling Jesus Lord is a sin according to Jesus himself. However, the verse says:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven

Notice that he says “not everyone,” and didn’t say not “all” who calls him Lord. If this referred to everyone who called Jesus Lord then why does Jesus say in this very same passage, 

MANY WILL SAY TO ME on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?

If this referred to all who called him Lord then why does Jesus only say “many”? Why did he further say in a similar context,

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”? (Luke 6:46-49 – cf. Matthew 7:24-27)

This shows that Jesus wasn’t prohibiting people from calling him Lord, but prohibiting individuals from calling him their Lord without obeying him as Lord.

And here are some additional examples showing that Jesus accepted the title Lord for himself:

I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:6-8

No prophet would ever dare say that he is the Lord of the Sabbath or claim to be greater than God’s Temple. The only person who is sovereign over the Sabbath and greater than the Temple of God is God himself! Thus, for Jesus to say that he is greater than the Temple and Lord of the Sabbath means that he truly believed he was God in the flesh! In other words, Jesus was claiming that he is the visible appearance, the very human manifestation of Yahweh God, the One for whom the Temple was fashioned.

This point is brought out more clearly from Jesus’ own words elsewhere:

“As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: ‘What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.”‘” Matthew 11:7-10

Jesus claims that John is the Messenger that Malachi had predicted would come to prepare the way for the Lord:

“‘See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before meThen suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:1

According to Malachi John was sent to prepare for the appearance of the Lord of the Temple. Seeing that Jesus is the One whom John prepared the way for, this makes Jesus Yahweh God, that he is actually the very One for whom the temple had been erected!

Now if Jesus didn’t believe he was God while knowing that this passage from Malachi referred to the coming of Yahweh God to the Temple, then why would he identify John the Baptist as that messenger who was to prepare for Yahweh’s appearance when he knew that the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for him? The only way that he could make this identification between John and the messenger of Malachi 3:1 is if Jesus believed that he was indeed Yahweh God, the very Lord of the Temple that the Baptist came to make the way for!

And here is a final example of someone calling Jesus “Lord” without Christ rebuking them for it:

Jesus said to her, “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. He WHO BELIEVES IN ME, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and BELIEVES IN ME shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:25-27

Notice that this is blasphemy according to the Quran! Jesus didn’t say to simply believe him but TO ACTUALLY BELIEVE IN HIM AS THE VERY RESURRECTION AND LIFE, two functions and titles which belong to God alone!

SHAMOUN:

And just like Yahweh Jesus is the Sovereign Lord of all:

“To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” Deuteronomy 10:14

“See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you… And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD –the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” Joshua 3:11, 13

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Matthew 28:18

“You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” Acts 10:36

“If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.” Romans 14:8-9

ELDIN:

Shamoun quoted Jesus by saying:

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Matthew 28:18

Exactly! The question is WHO gave him this authority? The answer is GOD if Jesus was God then he would already had this authority. Every time that Shamoun quotes Jesus, supports the Muslim view. Thank you Shamoun. The quotations from the books of Acts and Romans are irrelevant because these are not the words of Jesus.

For more information read:

http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/jesus_sending_prophets.htm (dealing with the prophets of Jesus)

http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/jesus_being_given_all_authority.htm (Jesus given all authority makes him God?)

http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/is_jesus_yahweh.htm (Is Jesus Yahweh?)

The rest of Shamoun article is irrelevant because repeatedly he quotes the words of Paul and not the words of Jesus. The important points are addressed. Jesus it [sic] the Prophet and the messenger of God. He is not God !

And Allah the true God knows best !

SHAMOUN:

Mr. Eldin believes that Jesus can’t be God simply because “something” was given to him by God, such as authority in this instance. Apparently, he is ignorant of this verse:

All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” John 17:10

According to Jesus, everything that God has also belongs to him. This would make him equal with God! This is blasphemy according to Islam. For more on this issue please read the following article: http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/q_authority_given.htm

What’s even more problematic for Mr. Eldin is the fact that while Jesus has the Father to give him something, Allah, on the other hand, is said to be an heir even though he is supposed to be a unitarian deity:

“And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death, and We are THE HEIRS.” S. 15:23

“Lo! We, only We, inherit the earth and all who are thereon, and unto Us they are returned.” S. 19:40

Who is Allah receiving something from and why does he need to inherit anything when he is supposed to be the creator and owner of everything that exists? We’ll leave that for Mr. Eldin to figure that out.

In light of the above, it is absolutely amazing that Muslim propagandists such as Mr. Eldin are quick to throw out such arguments against Christianity which can be used more forcefully against Islam. Since Islam suffers from the same problems which Muslims raise against Christianity can we expect that Mr. Eldin will now abandon his false religion and false prophet? We seriously doubt that he is honest and consistent enough to do so, to reject Allah and his false prophet.