In this post, I will be responding to the following article, which argues that John 17:3 poses a serious challenge for the Trinity https://unveiling-christianity.net/2017/12/07/john-173-stumbling-block-trinity/. I will begin by showing how this very passage ends up exposing Muhammad as a false prophet.
Here is the verse in question, along with some of its immediate context:
“When Jesus spoke these words, He lifted His eyes toward heaven and said: ‘FATHER, the hour has come. GLORIFY YOUR SON, that YOUR SON may also glorify You. As You have given Him authority over all flesh, He will give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work You have given Me to do. And now, O FATHER, GLORIFY ME in Your own presence with the glory which I had with You BEFORE THE WORLD EXISTED… All that are Mine are Yours, and all that are Yours are Mine. And I am glorified in them.” John 17:1-5, 10
According to the words of the Lord Jesus, the only true God is the Father, specifically the Father of Christ who glorifies Jesus his Son in the same way that the Son glorifies the Father. Jesus further claims to be the Son who existed with the Father in the same divine glory from before the creation of the world, to whom the Father has given sovereign authority over all flesh, being the King that possesses everything that his Father owns,
“On the next day a great crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. They took branches of palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” The King of Israel!’ Then Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written: ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; see, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.’ His disciples did not understand these things at first. But when Jesus was glorified, they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.” John 12:12-16
“All that the Father has is Mine. Therefore I said that He will take what is Mine and will declare it to you.” John 16:15
“Again Pilate entered the Praetorium, called Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you speaking of your own accord, or did others tell you about Me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would fight, that I would not be handed over to the Jews. But now My kingdom is not from here.’ Therefore Pilate said to Him, ‘Then are You a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’” John 18:33-37
“From then on, Pilate tried to release Him. But the Jews cried out, ‘If you release this Man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar!’” John 19:12
And who will give immortal, incorruptible life to all whom the Father brings to him:
“This is the will of the Father who has sent Me, that of all whom He has given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:39-40 – cf. 5:25, 28-29
This is precisely the reason why our glorious Lord stated that eternal life depends on personally knowing God AND HIM, thereby making himself a necessary object of saving faith. In other words, a person must love, trust, and hope in Christ to the same extent that they love, trust and hope in the only true God if s/he wants to receive eternal life:
“‘Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also. You know where I am going, and you know the way.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.’” John 14:1-7
And yet in saying this, our Lord implies his essential coequality with the Father, since trusting in a mere creature to the same extent that one trusts in God would be both idolatrous and blasphemous. After all, no mere creature is capable of granting eternal life to all those who would place their trust in him, since s/he would have to be omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent to be able to do so:
The Latin Fathers (Aug(230), Amb., Hil(231)), anxious to avoid the inference unwarrantably drawn by some from this verse against the Godhead of Christ, construed: ἵνα γιν. σε κ. ἰ. χ. ὃν ἀπ., τὸν μόνον ἀλ. θεόν,—which is of course inadmissible. Others (Chrys., Euth.), construing rightly, yet regarded Jesus Christ as included in the words μόν. ἀληθ. θεόν. But all such violences to the text are unnecessary. For, first, the very juxtaposition of Jesus Christ here with the Father, and the knowledge of both being defined to be eternal life, is a proof by implication of the Godhead of the former. The knowledge of God and a creature could not be eternal life, and the juxtaposition of the two would be inconceivable. Secondly, the ὃν ἀπέστειλας most distinctly expresses the ἐξελθεῖν from God, John 17:8—implies the ἡμεῖς ἕν of John 17:22, and cannot, in connexion with what follows, possibly be understood in a Socinian, or an Arian sense. I do not scruple to use and preach on the verse as a plain proof of the co-equality of the Lord Jesus in the Godhead. (Henry Alford, Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-17.html; bold emphasis ours)
Seeing that Ibn Anwar’s prophet was flesh whom God owns, this means that Muhammad belongs to the Lord Jesus who has now been placed under the glorious feet of Christ!
“Then comes the end when He will deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He will reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For He ‘has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says, ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is revealed that He, who has put all things under Him, is the exception. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
Now does any of this comport with what Ibn Anwar’s prophet taught concerning God and Christ?
Not at all, since Muhammad’s monad is most definitely not the Father of Christ, who shares his sovereignty with his beloved Son.
In fact, Muhammad expressly taught that his god wasn’t a father to any one, especially Jews and Christians,
The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say: Why then doth He chastise you for your sins? Nay, ye are but mortals of His creating. He forgiveth whom He will, and chastiseth whom He will. Allah’s is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto Him is the journeying. S. 5:18 Pickthall
Since he is too glorious to have a son,
If Allah had willed to choose a son, He could have chosen what He would of that which He hath created. Be He Glorified! He is Allah, the One, the Absolute. S. 39:4 Pickthall
Which is why the only relationship a creature can ever have with the Islamic monad is that of a slave and master relationship:
And they say: The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son. Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing Whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins, That ye ascribe unto the Beneficent a son, When it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should choose a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave. S. 19:88-93 Pickthall – cf. Q. 21:26
Muhammad further stated that his god would kill anyone who would dare believe that Christ is the Son of God:
The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the Son of God’; the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the Son of God.’ That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. God assail them! How they are perverted! S. 9:30 Arberry
Muhammad also proclaimed that his deity does not and will not share his authority over all creation with anyone, let alone a son:
Say: “Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge of) the unseen of the heavens and the earth. How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)! They have no Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector, etc.) other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule.” S. 18:26 Hilali-Khan
He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Who has begotten no son (children or offspring) and for Whom there is no partner in the dominion. He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements. S. 25:2 Hilali-Khan
This puts Ibn Anwar in a dilemma since the only true God according to the biblical verse he referenced is the Father of the Lord Jesus who glorifies and exalts his Son over all flesh, and who requires all creatures to intimately know the Son in the same way they know the Father, since it is the Son who will raise the dead at the last day and give all believers eternal life, all of which Muhammad rejected!
Therefore, according to the very passage appealed to by this polemicist, Muhammad was nothing other than a false prophet and deceiver who did not know the only true God revealed by/in Jesus Christ.
In fact, the NT clearly teaches that anyone who denies God’s Fatherhood and Sonship of Christ is an antichrist:
“Who is a liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? Whoever denies the Father and the Son is the antichrist. No one who denies the Son has the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father.” 1 John 2:22-23
Muhammad was, therefore, an antichrist who stands eternally condemned since he basically turned God into a liar by denying God’s very own witness to Jesus’ being his uniquely beloved Son:
“And a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘You are My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’” Mark 1:11
“Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.’” Mark 9:7
“For we have not followed cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when a voice came to Him from the majestic glory, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we ourselves heard this voice, which came from heaven, when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18
“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God which He has given concerning His Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this witness in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he does not believe the testimony that God gave about His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life, and whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:9-13
We again want to thank Ibn Anwar for again employing an objection that ends up condemning Muhammad as a false prophet whom Satan used to lead people away from knowing the true God and Jesus Christ his beloved Son.
We’re not through just yet since we have more woes for Ibn Anwar in the next part of our rebuttal.