Sunday, November 15, 2015

Part 2: Jesus & Muhammed

In Review: Jesus is Peace

To review, last time I discussed that the Bible teaches Jesus is not only peace but the very embodiment of peace. After Jesus’ resurrection and before he ascended to Heaven, Jesus said that it was not God’s peace he was giving them but his peace: “My peace I leave with you” (John 14:27).   And that peace is obtained not by believing solely in God but by believing in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ (John 14:1).

We also saw that even the Qur'an teaches that with Jesus there is peace and, furthermore, that he is the embodiment of peace, that is, Jesus is Peace itself: “Peace is on me the day I was born” is what we read in Qur’an 19:33.

So, we have seen that the Qur'an and the Bible teach that Jesus is Peace, an attribute only God possesses in purity and fulness, and is experienced fully only in the Presence of God. Further, if it is true that Jesus is Peace and we affirm God is Peace, then it necessarily follows that Jesus is God.  Here's a simple logical formula to show what I mean:

First proposition:  God is Peace.
Second Proposition:  Jesus is Peace.
Logical Conclusion:  Jesus is God.

As with the idea of peace is found in both the Christian and Islamic writings, when it comes to Jesus being without sin, both the Bible and the Qur’an are in agreement.

Part 2: Jesus is Sinless

In the Qur’an, an angel announces to Mary “the gift of a holy son” (Sura 19:19), much in the same as we read of the angel’s announcement to Mary in the Bible that the child born to her of the Holy Spirit “will be called, Holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:37).

Two things I find interesting when we look at some verses in the Qur’an about God and humans.

First, the Qur’an teaches that God and only God is holy: “God is He, than Whom there is no other god…the Holy One…” (Surah 59:23).  In the footnotes on this verse (#5402, p. 1528), of the Qur’an translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, which I possess, it is noted that, “in the title, ‘the Holy One,’ we postulate a being free from all stain or evil, and replete with the highest Purity.”

In Surah 62:1, we read, “Whatever is in the heavens and earth, doth declare the Praises and Glory of God…the Holy One…”

Also, all throughout the Bible God is declared to be holy.  As an example, I will take one verse each from the Old and New Testament:
  • “you who are enthroned as the Holy One” (Psalm 22:3).
  • “he who called you is holy” (1 Peter 1:15).
More can be read about God’s holiness in the Bible here: http://atdcross.blogspot.com/2014/02/gods-holiness-permeates-bible.html

The first thing we’ve established is that both the Qur’an and the Bible agree that both Jesus and God are holy.

The second interesting thing is that both the Qur’an and the Bible teach that all men are not holy but are sinners.

In Sarah 47:19, God is recorded as saying to Muhammed, to “ask forgiveness for thy fault (sins).”  And in 40:55, where we read, again, God speaking to the prophet to“ask forgiveness for thy fault (sin).”

In a footnote #4428 under 40:55 on p.1277 of Abdullah’s translation of the Qur’an, he states, “Every mortal according to his nature and degree of spiritual enlightenment falls short of the perfect standard of God and should, therefore, ask God for forgiveness.”

Furthermore, in this footnote, Abdullah cites 16:61, which reads, “If God were to punish men for their wrong-doing, he would not leave on the (earth), a single living creature.”

The Qur’an agrees with the Biblical verdict that all men are sinners being incapable of having produced acts that are righteous in God’s sight:  “There is no one righteous, not even one…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10,23).  Men are such gross sinners that in the Old Testament, God announces through the prophet Isaiah that all their righteousness is like filthy (literally: menstrual) rags in God’s eyes (Isaiah 64:6).

However, what about Jesus?  Does the verdict that all men are sinners include Jesus?  Did Jesus sin and is he, therefore, a sinner?

The Qur’an and the Bible condemn all men as sinners, every man without exception, even Muhammed the prophet.  Logically, if Jesus were merely a man, would he not also be a sinner?

Yet, the Qur’an and the Bible insist that Jesus is holy, without sin.  One may say, “But Jesus was a prophet of God.”

My answer, “How is that relevant?  Although a prophet, is Jesus still not a mere man?  And are not all prophets men and all men sinners?  However, we have seen it is taught by both the Bible and the Qur’an that Jesus is without sin; as we saw in the Qur’an, Jesus is considered to be holy.

In consequence, the question can be asked, if Jesus, even as a prophet, is a mere man, how can the Qur’an claim that he is holy if all men are sinners?  It can only be reconciled by finding agreement with the Biblical claims that Jesus is God; only God is holy.

I am aware that there may be some Muslims that suggest Muhammed did not sin but, from my albeit little research thus far, this argument does not seem to be valid because it rests on mistranslations of relevant passages in the Qur’an, for example, translating the word used in the Qur’an for “sin” as “fault.”

Even if it is insisted that Muhammed may have merely committed errors and not sins or minor sins and not grave sins, it is still a valid argument that Jesus, unlike Muhammed, was also without the commission of any errors, mistakes, or minor sins.  Therefore, Jesus remains superior to Muhammed and every other man who walked the earth.

Now, only one being is holy and that being is God, both sinless and flawless.  And if Jesus, although a man, is sinless and flawless, can it be said that he is just a man?

Again, let’s put up a simple logical formula used for Jesus being Peace:

First proposition:  God is Holy.
Second Proposition:  Jesus is Holy.
Logical Conclusion:  Jesus is God.

One final word in this section of my discussion.

The Qur’an declares that God is holy.  It does not explain how God can be holy, but only states the fact that he is.  In the same way, the Qur’an declares the fact that Jesus is holy without any explanation of how he could be holy.

The Bible does the same; it does not explain how God can be holy; it only declares that in fact he is holy.  Holiness is a divine attribute, the eternal essence of the divine being.

Also, neither does the Bible explain how Jesus can be holy but only asserts that he is, as the Qur'an does.  One Bible verse that beautifully sets forth this truth about Jesus reads that he is “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners,” while simultaneously, he is also “exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26).

Well, I could go on with this topic regarding both Jesus and God being holy, but I will end here.

Be on the lookout for my next discussion why I believe Jesus is God, namely because he is declared as the “Anointed One.”

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