Islam & Christianty

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  • Islam & Christianty

  • The Divinity of Jesus

    The second Christian dogma is that of the Godhood of Jesus. The Athanasian Creed states:


    "Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ."


    Christians (both Roman Catholics and Protestants) believe that Jesus Christ is God from all eternity, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity; that nearly two thousand years ago he chose

    to appear in a human body and was born of the Virgin Mary.


    The author of Catholic Teaching asserts the Godhood of Jesus in these words:


    "This teaching about Christ's divinity which is to be found in so many places of scripture, has always been proclaimed by the Church as one of the most important truths of Catholic Faith. The Council of Nicaea, which was the first General Council after the persecutions, solemnly condemned Arius who contended that Christ was not God but a creature.'[1]


    The Protestant author of The Truth of Christianity expresses himself on this subject as follows:


    "Evidently then this expression, the Son of God, meant to him (i.e., John), and therefore presumably to other New Testament writers, who use it frequently, that Christ was truely God - God the Son in the fullest and most complete sense."[2]


    This dogma also has no support of the words of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospels. The truth is that Jesus strongly disclaimed Godhood or divinity. Here are his own words:


    "Why callest thou me Good? There is none good but One, that is, God"

    (Mark 10:18)


    He spoke of God as "My Father and your Father, and my God and your God."[3]These words of Jesus reported in the Bible show that Jesus stood in the same relation to God as any other man. He was a creature of God.


    In his agony on Cross, Jesus cried out:


    "Eloi, Eloi, Lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, my God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?"

    (Mark 15:34)


    Can any one imagine these words coming out of the mouth of God? Here we have the cry of a helpless man in agony addressed to his Creator and Lord.


    God is the object of our worship, the Supreme Being to whom we, creatures, address our prayers. We cannot imagine God praying to anyone. Yet about Jesus it is written in the Gospels:


    "And when he had sent the multitude away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray."


    "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."

    (Mark l :35)


    "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed."

    (Luke 5:16)


    The fact is that Jesus never claimed to be God, but only a Prophet or Messenger of God. He was a man to whom God had revealed His Message for the guidance of other men. To give his own words:


    "Jesus saith unto them, if ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard from God."

    (John 8:39, 40)


    "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent."

    (John 17:3)


    These words of Jesus prove, firstly, that there is only one Divine God and that Jesus knew nothing of the Trinity ("Thee, the only true God"); secondly, that Jesus laid no claim to

    Godhood, for he referred to a Being other than himself "Thee") as the only God; thirdly, that Jesus only claimed to be a Messenger of God ("Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent").


    Like the Trinity, the doctrine of the Incarnation was also developed long after Jesus. In fact, one can trace the stages through which Jesus was gradually deified. In 'Q' he was regarded as a Prophet of God, as a human being and nothing more, in 'Urmarcus; there was an attempt to glamorize his person and attribute many miracles to him; in works of the first and second centuries he was presented as a mighty angel, the first born of all creatures, but still a creature; and finally in the preface to John's Gospel and other works of the third and fourth centuries he was made into a God. In the Nicene Creeds (325 A.C.) it is affirmed against those Christians who still denied the divinity of Jesus:


    "I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. Begotten not made; being of one substance with the Father."


    Reason refuses to accept a man who was born of a woman, suffered from human wants, ignorance and limitations, and gradually grew in stature, power and wisdom, like all other human beings, as God. To put human limitations upon God and to believe in His Incarnation in a human body is to deny the Perfection of God.


    The dogma of the Incarnation was taken into Christianity, like many other Christian nations, from paganism. In pre-Christian mythologies we often read of the hero being regarded as a God. The Hindus of India even today worship their ancient heroes, Rama and Krishna, as incarnations of Vishnu, the second person of the Hindu Trinity.


    Islam has liberated its followers from the bondage of such superstitions by rejecting the dogma of the Incarnation.


    The Glorious Qur'an rejects the divinity of Jesus in these words:


    (They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! God is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah himself said: O children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord.)


    (The likeness of Jesus with God is truly as the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then he said unto him: Be! and he was.)



    According to the Sacred Book of Islam, Jesus was a Prophet of God - sinless, pure and godly, like all other prophets – but every bit a human being:


    (He (Jesus) said: Lo! I am a servant of God. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a prophet.)



    The Islamic view is that the prophets, one and all, were human beings, who by virtue of their devotion to truth and sinless life became worthy of being chosen by God as His Messengers. They had made themselves so completely one with God that in everything they said or did they carried out His Will. The Message which they gave to men was not their's but God's. God conveyed His Word to them, so that they might shape their own lives according to it and become models for their fellow-men. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) declared:


    (I am only a mortal like you. It is inspired in me that your God is One God, therefore take the straight path unto Him, and seek Forgiveness of Him.)

    (Quran, 41 :6)



    [1] Rev. J. F. De Groot, Catholic Teaching, p. 149.


    [2] W.H. Turton , The Truth of Chrisrianity, p. 507.


    [3] The Gospel of St John, 20:17.


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