I continue with my response to Tim Winter (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/refuting-a-muslim-pseudo-scholar-pt-1/).
In Mark’s Gospel Jesus’ essential goodness is even attested by unclean spirits who fully know he truly is, despite this being their first earthly encounter with Christ:
“And they went into Caper′na-um; and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’ And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.” Mark 1:21-28
“And he told his disciples to (A)have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had (D)diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.’ And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.’” Mark 3:9-11
“Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran AND WORSHIPED (prosekyneesen) HIM. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.’” Mark 5:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)(1)
Amazingly, these unclean spirits respond to Jesus in the very way that James states the demons react towards the one true God:
“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—AND SHUDDER!” James 2:19
Unlike Tim Winter’s false prophet, these evil spirits realize and confess that Jesus is the Holy Son of God who is worthy of their worship and has the power to destroy them. This shows that even wicked spirits are smarter than Muhammad and know more than he did.
The demonic realm’s awareness of Jesus’ true inner abiding nature indirectly attests to Christ’s divine prehuman existence. After all, seeing that this was their first earthly confrontation with Jesus, the only way they could have known all these things about him is because they would have seen him in the heavenly realm from which they originate, where they would have beheld his divine glory as the only Begotten of the Father whom God had authorized to banish and punish them for their wickedness and rebellion:
“For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 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
“And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed… Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:5, 24
And here is what the Lord Jesus says concerning himself in the Gospel of John:
“He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.” John 7:18
“So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him… Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?’” John 8:28-29, 46
“So Jesus again said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.’… Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among MY sheep. MY SHEEP hear MY VOICE, and I know them, and they follow me. I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE, and they will never perish, AND NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’” John 10:7-11, 14-15, 25-30
Hence, Jesus in John is perfectly righteous and absolutely good, so good that he even attributes to himself one of the functions of Yahweh, namely, the Shepherd of his people who preserves his flock from ever perishing:
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” Psalm 23:1-2
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, AND THE SHEEP OF HIS HAND. Today, if you hear HIS VOICE, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,” Psalm 95:6-8
Since Winter himself cites John he cannot call these texts into question, especially when they refute his shallow and shameful misinterpretation of John’s Gospel.
What makes this all the more astonishing is that the Quran itself testifies to the essential purity of Jesus!
He said: “Nay, I am only an apostle from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.” S. 19:19 Yusuf Ali
“… He said, ‘I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure.’” Arberry
This now puts both Winter and his crony Williams in a major dilemma. Since Mark, John, and the Quran attest that Christ is absolutely good, so good that he is completely sinless, pure and holy, and since God alone is essentially good, this means that Jesus must be God Almighty in the flesh.
This is further confirmed from the fact that both the Muslim scripture and Sunni theology agree that God alone is absolutely pure and holy, and that he alone has the power to forgive sins:
The Divine Names Related to Perfection
As-Subbûh, Al-Quddûs: The All-Perfect, Utterly Pure
Subbuh is from Subhan, which is glorification and tanzih, disconnecting and elevating Him above any others. He is All-Perfect, All-Pure, All Glorious, far removed from everything evil and imperfect.
Quddus means pure (tahir, munazzah), pure and free of any imperfection. He is far removed from every imperfection or impurity or from anything that would detract from His glory, and disconnected from every description perceived by the senses and thought, All-Holy, All-Pure, All-Perfect.
Some say Subbuh denies imperfection and Quddus affirms perfection.
Al-Quddus is one of the Ninety-Nine Names.
“He is Allah. There is no god but Him. He is the King, the Most Pure.” (59:23)
“Everything in the heavens and everything in the earth glorifies Allah, the King, the Most Pure, the Mighty, the Wise.” (62:1)…
Al-Ghâfir, Al-Ghafûr; Al-Ghaffar: The Forgiving, The Ever-Forgiving,
The Endlessly Forgiving
Al-Ghafir who pardons a particular sin; Al-Ghafur who is in the habit of forgiving sins and covering them up; Al-Ghaffar is the One who does not cease to pardon them, one after the other. Ghafr, in the root, means to cover, veil, so to make hidden (unlike ‘afw, to efface), not to punish, to cause them to be undisclosed. The One who covers and forgives the sins of His servants.
Al-Ghafur and Al-Ghaffur are two of the Ninety-Nine Names.
“You are our Protector, so forgive us and have mercy on us. You are the Best of Forgivers (ghâfirin).” (7:155)
“The heavens are all but rent asunder from above when the angels glorify the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those upon the earth. Allah is the Ever-Forgiving (ghafur), the Most Merciful.” (42:3)
“Lord of the heavens and the earth and everything between them, the Almighty, the Endlessly-Forgiving (ghaffar).” (38:65) (Aisha Bewley, The Divine Names http://bewley.virtualave.net/names.html)
Here is a breakdown of the logical implications of the testimony of Mark, John and Islamic theology in respect to Jesus’ essential goodness in order to help both Winter and Williams see the problems they now face for misquoting the Holy Bible:
- God alone is intrinsically good, pure and righteous.
- Jesus Christ is intrinsically good, pure and righteous.
- Jesus must, therefore, be God in the flesh.
There’s simply no way of getting around this dilemma that Murad and Bilal caused for themselves by daring to misinterpret God’s Word.
More to come in the next part of our discussion (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/16/refuting-a-muslim-pseudo-scholar-pt-3/).
(1) Interestingly, this same Greek word for worship is used in another context where Jesus heals a blind man and attributes to himself another divine characteristic, which Islamic theology teaches can only be ascribed to God:
“As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.’ Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing… So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, ‘Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.’ He answered, ‘Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.’ They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He answered them, ‘I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?’ And they reviled him, saying, ‘You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.’ The man answered, ‘Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God (theosebees) and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.’ They answered him, ‘You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?’ And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered, ‘And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.’ He said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he WORSHIPED (prosekyneesen) HIM.” John 9:1-7, 24-38
According to the Quran and the Sunni view regarding the divine names and attributes, God alone is the light of the heavens and earth:
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) (Bewley, The Divine Names)
And yet the historical Jesus stated that he is the very Light which illuminates the entire creation!