Jesus, John’s Gospel and the Names of Allah

In light of my recent series of posts on Bart D. Ehrman and the Trinity (https://bloggingtheology2.com/2019/01/28/guest-article-by-sam-shamoun-bart-ehrman-and-the-trinity/; https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/bart-ehrman-and-the-trinity-pt-1/), where I focused primarily on the witness of John to the essential Deity of Christ, I’ve decided to take this a step further by showing how Jesus ascribes to his very own Person the very functions and titles, which Islamic theology teaches belong to God alone. This in turn will refute the utter futility and inanity of the Muslim assertion that John does not depict Jesus as eternally coequal with the Father in essence, glory and honor, but rather portrays him as a secondary, subordinate deity whom the Father created before all other created things. 

All of the names for Allah are taken from Aisha Bewley’s article “The Divine Names,” which can be accessed here https://bewley.virtualave.net/names.html.

HE WHO IS/ THE I AM

ALLAH 

Al- Kâ’in: The One Who Is

Allah is Existing, firm, realised. He is Being. Ka’in is derived from the verb ‘kâna ‘ (to be), usually connected with other attributes, as:

“Allah has knowledge of everything. (lit. Allah is Knowing of everything)” (33:40)

JESUS 

“The woman said to him, ‘I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am he,[b] the one who is speaking with you.’” John 4:25-26

Footnotes:

a. 4:25 The expectations of the Samaritans are expressed here in Jewish terminology. They did not expect a messianic king of the house of David but a prophet like Moses (Dt 18:15).

b. 4:26 I am he: it could also be translated “I am,” an Old Testament self-designation of Yahweh (Is 43:3, etc.); cf. Jn 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5–6, 8. See note on Mk 6:50. New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE; underline emphasis mine)

“He said to them, ‘You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM,[a] you will die in your sins.’”

Footnotes:

a. 8:24, 28 I AM: an expression that late Jewish tradition understood as Yahweh’s own self-designation (Is 43:10); see note on Jn 4:26. Jesus is here placed on a par with Yahweh. NABRE

“‘Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it[a] and was glad. So the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?’[b] [c]Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.’” John 8:56-59

Footnotes:

a. 8:56 He saw it: this seems a reference to the birth of Isaac (Gn 17:721:6), the beginning of the fulfillment of promises about Abraham’s seed.

b. 8:57 The evidence of the third-century Bodmer Papyrus P75 and the first hand of Codex Sinaiticus indicates that the text originally read: “How can Abraham have seen you?”

c. 8:58 Came to be, I AM: the Greek word used for “came to be” is the one used of all creation in the prologue, while the word used for “am” is the one reserved for the Logos. (NABRE; underline emphasis mine)

“Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them, ‘Whom are you looking for?’ They answered him, ‘Jesus the Nazorean.’[a] He said to them, ‘I AM.’ Judas his betrayer was also with them. When he said to them, ‘I AM,’ they turned away and fell to the ground.” John 18:4-6 – cf. 6:20; 8:28; 13:19

Footnotes:

a. 18:5 Nazorean: the form found in Mat 26:71 (see note on Mt 2:23) is here used, not Nazarene of Mark. I AM: or “I am he,” but probably intended by the evangelist as an expression of divinity (cf. their appropriate response in Jn 8:24); see note on Jn 8:24. John sets the confusion of the arresting party against the background of Jesus’ divine majesty. (NABRE; underline emphasis mine)

THE JUDGE

ALLAH

Al-Hakam: The Judge

The Arbiter, Allah judges and there is no reversing His judgement.

Al-Hakam is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

Jurisdiction belongs to Him alone.” (6:63)

“Then you will all return to Me, and I will judge between you regarding the things about which you differed.” (3:55)

JESUS

“The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son… and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” John 5:22, 27

THE TRUTH, THE RESURRECTION, AND THE LIFE (HE WHO GIVES LIFE)

ALLAH

Al-Haqq: The Truly Real

The Truth, the Real, the Really-existing, He whose existence and divinity are true, the One who creates according to the requirements of wisdom, justice, right, rightness, the Necessarily-existing by His own Essence, He whose existence is undeniable. Every reality exists from His essence and nothing has any intrinsic reality except Him.

Al-Haqq is one of the Ninety-Nine Names. 

“That is because Allah – He is the Truth, and what you call upon besides Him is falsehood Allah is the All-High, the Most Great.” (31:29)

“On that Day Allah will pay them in full what is due to them, and they will know that Allah is the Clear Truth.” (24:25)

“That is because Allah is the Real and gives life to the dead and has power over all things and the Hour is coming without any doubt and Allah will raise up all those in the graves.” (22:6)

Al-Bâ’ith: The Raiser

The Raiser, Resurrector. To re-create, like Mu’id; revive; also to send. The One who Quickens mankind after death. To cause something to be. 

Al-Ba’ith is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

“Allah will raise up all those in the graves.” (22:7)

Al-Muhyî, Al-Mumît: The One Who Gives Life, The One who Makes Die

The Life-Giver or Quickener who makes something alive, to be a living thing; He quickenes him or endues him with life or revives him. He revives the earth with rain and endues with intelligence. Al-Mumit is the One who causes to die.

Al-Muhyi and Al-Mumit are two of the Ninety-Nine Names.

“How can you reject Allah, when you were dead and then He gave you life, then He will make you die and then give you life again, then you will be returned to Him?” (2:27) 

JESUS

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He will… Truly, truly I say to you, THE HOUR IS COMING, and is now here, when the dead will hear THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, and those who hear will live… Do not marvel at this. For THE HOUR IS COMING in which all who are in the graves will hear HIS [the Son’s] VOICE and come out—those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:21, 25, 28-29

“‘For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 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.’ The Jews then murmured about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, “I have come down from heaven”?’ Jesus therefore answered them, ‘Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who has sent Me draws him. AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP ON THE LAST DAY… Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life. AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP ON THE LAST DAY. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on Me also will live BECAUSE OF ME. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not as your fathers ate manna and died. He who eats this bread will live forever.’” John 6:38-44, 54-58

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life. They shall never perish, nor shall anyone snatch them from My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them from My Father’s hand. My Father and I are one.” John 10:27-30

“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am THE RESURRECTION and THE LIFE. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he 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 11:23-27

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6

“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.’” John 17:1-2

Remarkably, Jesus not only attributes to himself the very names that Islamic theology ascribe to God alone, he even claims to be the One who comes to judge and raise the dead from their graves at the last day/hour by the power of his sovereign and majestic voice!

 

SELF-EXISTENT

ALLAH

Al-Qayyûm: The Self-Sustaining

The Self-Sustaining, Self-Subsisting, Self-Existing, the One who is in charge of things and preserves them and manages them. Also the One whose power over His creatures is unchangeable and will never end. He requires nothing to exist.

Al-Qayyum is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

“Allah. There is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining.” (2:255)

“Faces will be humbled to the Living, the All-Sustaining.” (20:108)

JESUS 

“For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself,” John 5:26

THE LIVING ONE

ALLAH

Al-Hayy: The Living

Ever-Living, i.e. Deathless.

Al-Hayy is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

“Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining.” (2:253) 

“Put your trust in the Living who does not die and glorify Him with praise.” (25:58)

JESUS 

I am THE LIVING bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. The bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.” John 6:51

“Yet a little while and the world will see Me no more. But you will see Me. Because I LIVE, you will live also.” John 14:19

 

THE ONE AND ONLY/UNIQUE

ALLAH 

Al-Wahîd: The Unique

“Leave the person to I created on his own to Me alone. ” (74:11) 

JESUS

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only (monogenous), who came from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (monogenes), who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” John 1:14, 18 New International Version (NIV) 1984 edition

ALL-KNOWING 

ALLAH 

Al-‘Âlim, Al-‘Alîm, Al-‘Allâm: The All-Knowing

The Knower. He who knows what has been and what will be, who ever has known and ever will know what has been and what will be, from whom nothing is concealed in the earth nor in the heaven, whose knowledge comprehends all things in the most complete manner. His knowledge is timeless and essential.

Al-‘Alim is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

“Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour and sends down abundant rain and knows what is in the womb. And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow and no self knows in what land it will die. Allah is All-Knowing (‘alîm), All-Aware.” (31:33) 

“That is the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible, the Almighty, the Most Merciful.” (32:5) 

“Allah knows the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. Allah knows (‘âlam) everything the breasts contain.” (35:38) 

“If I did say it, then You would have known it. You know what is in my self but I do not know what is in Your Self. You are the Knower (‘allâm) of all unseen things.” (5:118)

JESUS  

“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men, and did not need anyone to bear witness of man, for He knew what was in man.”

“His disciples said to Him, ‘Yes! Now You are speaking plainly and with no figure of speech. Now we know that You know everything and do not need anyone to question You. By this we believe that You came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe?’” John 21:17

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He asked him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Lord, You know everything. You know that I love You.’” John 21:17

THE ALL PRESENT AND HEARING ONE

ALLAH

Al-Qarîb: The Near

Near.

“If My slaves ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me. (2:185)

“So ask His forgiveness and then turn in repentance to Him. My Lord is Close and Quick to Respond.” (11:60)

JESUS

“‘I WILL DO whatever you ask in My name, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I WILL DO ITI will not leave you fatherless. I will come to you. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are IN ME, and I AM IN YOU. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father. And I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.’… Jesus answered him, ‘If a man loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and WE will come to him, and make OUR home with him.’” John 14:13-14, 18, 20-21, 23

 

THE LIGHT 

ALLAH 

An-Nûr: The Light

The light, guide, the One who illuminates; the One who is manifest, clear. 

An-Nur is one of the Ninety-Nine Names. 

“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of His light is that of a niche in which there is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon light.” (24:35)

JESUS

The true Light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not know Him.” John 1:9-10

“Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” John 8:12“I must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5 – cf. 12:35-36, 46

 

THE HEIR 

ALLAH

Al-Wârith: The Inheritor

The One who inherits and continues after all others have ceased to be; thus all returns to Him. He is the true owner of all.

Al-Warith  is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

“It is We who will inherit the earth and all those on it and. They will be returned to Us.” (19:39) 

“We will inherit from him the things he is talking about and he will come to Us all alone.” (19:81) 

“It is We who give life and cause to die and We are the Inheritor.” (15:23) 

JESUS

“The Father loves the Son, and has placed all things into His hand.” John 3:35

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands and that He came from God and was going to God,” John 13:3

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

“All that are Mine are Yours, and all that are Yours are Mine. And I am glorified in them.” John 17:10

 

THE PEACE

ALLAH

As-Salâm: Perfect Peace

The Flawless, sound of every imperfection or deficiency, peace for His creatures. He is the Author of Safety, because He has rendered all His creatures safe from unsoundness and from injustice from Him, the Giver of peace.

As-Salam is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.

“He is Allah. There is no god but Him. He is the King, the Most Pure, the Perfect Peace.” (59:23)

JESUS

Peace I leave with you. MY peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

“I have told you these things so that IN ME you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Since Islamic theology in general, and more specifically the branch of Tauhid called tauhid al-asma wa-sifaat, teaches that none of the unique names and functions of Allah can ever be attributed to a mere creature, and since in John’s Gospel Jesus ascribes these very names and functions to his very own Person this means, that according to the Fourth Evangelist Jesus is God Almighty in the flesh who is equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit in essence, glory, honor and majesty.

Unless noted otherwise, all scriptural references taken from the Modern English Version (MEV) of the Holy Bible.

 

 

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