The Truth about Jesus in English

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The Truth about Jesus in English Powered By Docstoc

                    Dr. ManehHammad

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           NO. 1


Dr. Mlnch Hemmrd Al-Johrnl
Dr. Maneh Hammad AI-Johanl

                                the pcrsonality
     The controversy about the personality of Jesus Christ is the major
      The controvsrsy                                 Jcsus         is thc
lifference between Islam and Christianity. This difference keeps the followers
lifferencc betwecn        and                      differcnce keepsthe followers
.r the two religions apart. Muslims look at Jesus Christ as a great Prophet of
lf thc      religions                          Jesus        as a grcat
:Iod and love and respect him as much as they love and respect Abraham,
iod and love and respcct          as much as thcy love and respcct
~oses and Muhammad. Christians on the other hand consider Jesus as God or
Vloses  and               Christians     thc othcr hand considcr Jcsusas
.on of God. a concept that Muslims cannot accept. Islam teaches that Jesus
        God, a conccpt                          acsept.        teachcs      Jesus
lever made such a claim for himself. As a matter of fact all the cardinal
rcver made such a                 himsclf.     a mattcr     fact
loctrines of Christianity that are rejected by Islam center around the
loctrines                           are rejected             center           the
.ersonality of Jesus. Specifically these are:
rcrsonality     Jesus. Specifically these arc:
 . The Trinity
~'. The Divinity of Jesus
!..The              Jesus
~. The Divine Sonship of Christ
l.              Sonship
k Original Sin. and
f.           Sin, and
i. Atonement.
f. Atonement.

     It is clear that all these dogmas are the result of over-exhalting Jesus Christ
        is clcar          thcsedogmasare the rcsult over-exhaltingJesusChrist
lbove what God wants him to be. These differences focusing on the personality
rbove              wants          bc. Thesediffercncesfocusing
)f Jesus have overshadowed the many similaritic:s between Christianity and
rf Jesus haye overshadowcdthe many similaritics between Christianity and
slam. Some examples are the moral system and the emphasis on humane
slam. Some examples are the moral system and the emphasis                   humane
)rinciples. They have even over-shadowed the beliefs that Muslims associate
rrinciples.         have even over-shadowed     the beliefs      Muslims associatc
vith Jesus Christ such as the Virgin Birth of Jesus, being able to speak in the
vith Jesus           such as the                  Jesus,being able spcak the
:radle, performing miracles, and the second coming of Jesus Christ.
                       miracles,and the second coming         JesusChrist.
      The following two articles aim at presenting a true picture of Jesus in Islam
                         articles                         picture Jcsus lslam
.nd explaining why the Christians deviated from his original teachings. The first
,nd explaining       the Christiansdcviated       his original teachings. Thc first
Irticle also indicates that many scholars and thinkers, who are still within the
rrticle also indicatcs      many scholarsand thinkers,          are              the
         Christianity,arc gradually coming                   the lslamic points
old of Christianity, are gradually coming to agree with the Islamic points of
'iew about Jesus, many cases
'iew about Jesus, in many cases without realizing it. This corresponds to my
                                            realizing           corresponds
                 the more scientificand biblical studiesadvance,the morc they
 onviction that the more scientific and biblical studies advance, the more they
                Islam. other words,thc Islamic
viii agree with Islam. In other words, the Islamic truth is more evident with the
vill agree                                                is more evident        the
)assage time.              the
lassage of time. God in the Holy Quran hints to this in the following verse:
                                    Quran hints               the            verse:
         shall show                         horizons and in themselves,
    We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and in themselves, till it
           them      it
s clear to them that it is the truth. (41:531
                                      (41 :53)

                                                                   lt. J.
     Thc lslamic view        Jcsus lics bctwecntwo cxtrems. The Jcws, who
     The Islamic view of Jesus lies between two extremes. The Jews, who
rcjcctedJcsusas a Prophet God, calledhim an impostor.The Christianson
rejected Jesus as a Prophet of God., called him an impostor. The Christians on
the other hand, considerhim to bc the son God and wonhip him as such.
the other hand, consider him to be the son of God and worship him as such.
Islamconsidcrs   Jesus onc thc grcat Prophets God and respccts as
                       as                                                   him
Islam considers Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and respects him as
much as Abraham, Mosesand Muhammad.This is in conformity with the
much as Abraham, Moses and Muhammad. This is in conformity with the
Islamicpoint of vicw thc oncness God,theoncncss Divineguidancc,               and
Islamic point ofview of the oneness of God, the oneness of Divine guidance, and
the complimcntary    role thc subscqucnt     mcssages God'smcsscngcrs.
the complimentary role of the subsequent messages of God's messengers. The    Thc
csscnce lslam,whichis thc willingsubmission the   to             God,wls revealcd
essence of Islam, which is the willing submission to the will of God, was revealed
to Adam who passed on to his chidlrcn. followingrevelations Noah,
to Adam who passed it on to his chidlren. All fohowing revelations to Noah,
Abraham,Moses,      Jesus and finally Muhammadwerein conformitywith that
Abraham, Moses, Jesus and finally Muhammad were in conformity with that
messagc addition somcelaboration definetherelationbetween                man and
message in addition to some elaboration to define the relation between man and
God, man and man, man and his environment,        and live.according God's
God, man and man, man and his environment, and to live.according to God's
instructions. Thus, any contradiction among revealed r~ligions is viewed by
instruc'tions. Thus, any contradictionamong rcvealcdreligionsis viewcdby
Islam as a man-madc    elcmentintroduced    into thcscreligions.   The position
Islam as a man-made element introduced into these religions. The position of
Jesus the threemajor religions:      Judaism, Christianityand Islam,shouldnot
Jesus in the three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, should not
be an cxoeption.
be an exception.
     Although the Qur'an docsnot prcscnta dctailedlife-account Jcsus,
    Although the Qur'an does not present a detailed life-account of Jesus, it
highlightsthe important aspccts his birth, his mission,his asccnsion
highlights the important aspects of his birth, his mission, his ascension to
heaven and passess judgcmcntson the Christian beliefs concerning him.
hcaven  and passessjudgements on thc Christianbcliefsconcerning    him.

     The Qura'nicaccount Jesus       startswith the conception his mother,
     The Qura'nic account of Jesus starts with the conception of his mother,
Mary. Thc wife Imran, Mary's mother,vowedto dedicate child to the
Mary. The wife of Imran, Mary's mother, vowed to dedicate her child to the
scrvice God the temple.Zacharia,who took charge Mary, used find
service of God in the temple. Zacharia, who took charge of Mary, used to fiRd
food with Mary. Whenheasked howshcgot she
                                hcr                            that wasfrom
food with Mary, When he asked her how she got it she answered that it was from
God. The Quranicverscs     read:
God, The Quranic verses read:
     When                           'Lord,                 you, dedication,
                        lmran said.         have
     When the wife of Imran said, 'Lord, I have vowedto you, in dedication,
         within     womb. Pleaseaccept            mq yott are the
what is within my womb. Please accept it from me, you are the Hearer and
 Knower'.             shegave hirth                   'Lord,l
Knowe,', And when she gave birth to her she said, 'Lord, I have given birth
          And                               she said,         havegiven
ta her, female... And have namcd her               dnd commend
to her, a female... And I have named her Mary and commend her to You    toYou
          seed, protacttham           the accursedSatan.'       Lord received
with her seed, to protect them from the accursedSatan. ' Her Lordreceived
the child with gracious favour, and by His goodness she grew up comely,
                          favour,            goodnasssDa              comely,
Zacharia          charge of hel Whenever Zacharia
Zacharis taking charge of her. Whenever Zacharia went to her in the
senctuary,                 provisioned 'Mary',      said, 'how comes this
sanctuary, he found her provisioned.. 'Mary', he said, 'how comas this to
youT 'From God', sha answa red. Truly Godprovisions for whomsoever He
you?'        God, she answered. Truly God provisions whomsoevar
will without reckoning. (3:35-71
will without reckoning. (3:35·7)

                                     - 5 s_
       Whcn Mary bccameIa womrn, thc Holy Spirit (the Archangcl Gabricl)
       When Mary became woman, the Holy Spirit (the Archangel Gabriel)
appcaredto her as ra mrn bringing her the ncwsof a son.We readthe following
 appeared to her as man bringing her the news of a son. We read the following
dialoguein thc Qur'an bctwecnMary and thc angcls:
 dialogue in the Qur'an between Mary and the angels:
                                 'MEry, God gives you good
       Whan the angels said, ·Mary. God gives Yougood tidings of a Word
       When         dngels said,                                           of a Word
from Him whose name is A'fsssre Jesus. son of MarY;high honoured shall
from    Him whose iamers Messiah Jesus, son ofMary; high honouredshall
he he in this world and thd next. near stationed to God. He shall speak to
he be in          world and the next, near stationed to God. He shall speak to
                cradle. and of age.and righteoushe shall be.''Lord', saidMary'
man in the cradle,and of age. and righteous he shallbe. • ·Lord·. saidMary.
men in
 'how shatt have a son seeing no mortal has touched me?· 'Even so' he
 ·how shall II have a son seeing no mortal has touched me7 ·Even so· he
said. 'God creates what He will.'• When He decrees a thing He does but say
 said,·God creates              will.             decrees               does      sa|
        uBe • and it is.'(3:45'4
 to it. "Be"n and it is.' (3:45-7)
to it,
                                                                  distant place wherc
       Mary conccivcd child miraculopsly retircdto a distantplacewhere
               conceived the
                         the      miraculoJ,lsly and retired
shcawaitedhcr dclivery.The Qur'anin a chapter
she awaited her delivery. The Qur'an            chapter entitled'Mary'tellsus how
                                                        entitled 'Mary' tells us how
Mary felt and what the Jcwstold her when shebrought the child home:
         felt and what the Jews        her when she brought the child home:
     She concaived him and withdrew with him to a distant place. And the
      Sheconceived him           withdrew with him                 place. And
birthpangs surprised her bY the trunk of the palm-tree.She said. ·would I
 birthpangssurprised          by the trunk     the palm-tree. She said,'would
had died before this. and become a thing forgotten.' The one from below
had         hefore this,       hecome           forgotten. • The
her cal:~d to hp.... ·00 not grieve; see, your Lord hasset below you I rivulet
     tal!.td he,,                    see.       Lordhas set               a
                                                there shallcometumbling upon
and shake toward you the palmtrunk, and there shall come tumbling upon
and shake              you thepalmtrunk,
                                                  drink, and be comforted;and if
you dates fresh and ripe. Eat therefore, and drink. andbe comforted; andif
you dateslresh          ripe. Eattherefore.
                        mortal, say,"l have vowed             All'Merciful fast,
you should see any mortal. say, "1 have vowed to the All-Merciful a fast,
you should see
      today wilt not speak any man." Then shebrought
and today I will not speak to any man. " Then she brought the child to her
                                        'Mdry, you have surely
folk carrying him; and they said. 'Mary. you have surely committed a
folk                         they said,
                                                      was not wicked man,
monstrous thing. Sister of Aaron, your father was not a wicked man, nor
 monstrous thing.               Aaron, Your
was your mother a woman unchaste. • Mary pointed to the child; but they
 was your mother a woman unchaste.'                 pointed to the child;     they
       'How shall we speak to one who is still in the cradle. a little child?' He
said, 'How shattwe speakto one who         is stitlinthe cradle,a little child?'He
       'Lo. am God's servant;God hasgiven me the Bookand made me a
said. 'Lo, II am God's servant; God has given me the Book and made me a
 Prophet.Blessed hasmade me, wherever may be;and He hasenioined
Prophet. Blessed He has made me, wherever II may be; andHe has enjoined
me to pray, and to give the alms, so long as live, and likewiseto cherish
me to pray. and to give the alms, so long as II live. and likewise to cherish
my mother; He has not made me arrogant or wicked. Peace he upon me,
my mother; He has not made me arrogant or wicked Peace be upon me,
 th,edaV was born, and the day die, and the day am raised up alive-'
the day II was born, and the day II die. and the day II am raised up alive.'

     In the same chapter, following the above quotation, God assured
    In the same chapter, following the above quotation, God assured
 Muhammadand the wholeworld that what wasmentioned            aboveis fhe truth
Muhammad and the whole world that what was mentioned above is the truth
                                    might not bclicve Jcsus not thc sonof
                                                       it.       is
about Jesus although the Christians might not believe it. Jesus is not the son of
about Jesus althoughthe Christians
God. Hc was,obviouslyenough,the son of Mary. The verses           continue:
God. He was, obviously enough, the son of Mary. The verses continue:

    Thatis Jesus, son of Mary, in word of truth, concerning which they are
    That Jesus, son ofMary,                oftruth,
doubting. lt is not for God to take a son unto Him, Glory be to Himl When He
doubting. It            Godto take             Him.             Himl
decrees a thing, He but says to it "8e", and it is. (l9:34-Sl
decrees thing.          but says       "Be",        is. (19:34-5)
   After this strong statementabout thc nature of Jesus,God directed
         this strong statement about the nature     Jesus, God directed
Muhammad call the Christians a fair dcal:to worshipthe one God:
Muhammad to call the Christians to fair deal:   worship the one God:
    Surely God is my Lord, andyour Lord, so sarveHim. Ihis rs the straight
     Surely          Lard,and your Lord, serve Him. This is       straight
path. f l9:36)
path. (19:36)
      The rejection of the idea God having son is reported laterin thc samc
      The rejection the idcaof God havinga sonis rcported  later the same
chapter with even stronger words:
chaptcrwith cvcnstrong€r
                      'The All-merciful
     And they say, 'The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son.' You
     And         say,                       taken                 son.' You
have indeed advancedsomething hideous. The heavens dre well nigh rent
              advanced               hideous. The heavensare
of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains well nigh fall down
           the        split asunder,     the mountains
crashing for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son: and it
crashing        that they have                the               son:
behoves not the All-merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens
behoves        the All-merciful take son.None there                heavens
                                                as servant.(l9:88-931
and earth but he comes to the All-merciful as a servant. (19:88-93)
      earth         comes the
                                                had no humanfather but this
     The Qur'an recognizes the fact that Jesus had no human father but this
     The Qur'an recognizes fact that Jesus
docs not make him the son God God            Himself.By this criterionAdam
does not make him the son of God or God Himself. By this criterion Adam
would havebeen more entitled be the son God because he had neithcra
would have beenmore entitled to be the son of God because had neither a
                                          attention themiraculous     creation
father nor a mother. So, the Qur'an draws attention to the miraculous creation
fathernor a mother.  So,the  Qur'an draws
of both in the following verse:
   both the followingverse:
               likenesso/ Jesus, God's sight, r'sas            likeness;He
    Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight. is as Adam's likeness: He
                                         him, "8e",          was. (3:59)
created him of dust. then said He unto him, "Be", and he was. (3:59)
created      ol dust, then said He
      The Qur'an rejccts concept the Trinity as stronglyas rejects
                        the                                                  the
     The Qur'an rejects the concept of the Trfnity as strongly as it rejects the
sonship Jesus.This is bccause        God is One. This is the cssence all
sonship of Jesus. This is because God is One. This is the essence of all
                          Thrce,by reason   and by simplearithmetic, notare
monotheistic revelations. Three, by reason and by simple arithmetic, are not
monotheistic rcvelations.
one.The Qur'anaddresses Christians thc followingvcrses thc chapter
                           the           in                      in
one. The Qur'an addresses the Christians in the following verses in the chapter
entitled "Women".
     People the Book, go not beyond          bounds your religion,
     People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion. and saysay
    as to God but the Truth. TheMessiah, Jesu,s, of Mary, was only the
not as to God but the Truth. The Messiah. Jesus, son ofMary, was only the
Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a spirit
Messenger God,              His Word that He committed to Mary,        a spirit
from Him. So believe God and His Messengers,                sdy not.'Three',
from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not. 'Three',
                          you. God         One God. Glory be to     -      He
Refrain. better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be to Him - that He
Refrain, better is
should have a sonl To Him belongsall that is in the heavensand in the
should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the
earth, God suffices for a guardian.
earth, God suffices for a guardian.
     The Messiah will not disdainto be a servantof God,neither the angels
     The Messiah will not disdain to be a servant of God, neither the angels
 who are closeto Him. Whosoaverdisdainslo serva Him and waxesproud,
who are close to Him. Whosoever disdains to serve Him and waxes proud,

                                    -7 -
He will .ssuredly muster them to Him, .11 of them.
Ha will issuradly mustcr thcm                dl   them.
             thc bcliavcrt ,     do dccds righteousnass,He will paythem
     As for the believers, who do deeds of righteousness, He willpay them
thair rewards           and He will givc thcm mora, of His bounty; as
their rewards in full, andHe willgive them more, ofHis bounty; liS for them them
who disdain lind wax proud, them He will punish with a SIlVllre
       disdain and wax proud. thcm Hc will punish                      E scvcrc
punishment, and thllY shall not find for them, aparl from God, a friend or
punishment,          thay shall     find lor       apart       God, efriand
 helpar. l4:t 7l -Jl
helper. (4:171-3)
     The vcrses  continuc draw theattcntionof pcople, pcople, the proof
     The verses continue to draw the attention ofpeople, all people, to tbe proof
which Muhammadbrought.God knowsthat pcoplefrequentlyinhcrit certain
which Muhammad brought. God knows that people frequently inherit certain
ideas and bcliefs which include, among other things, the mistakesand
ideas and beliefs which include, among other things, the mistakes and
interpretations prcviousgenerations.      They haveno way discovcring
interpretations of previous generations. They have no way of discovering suchsuch
mistakcs       thcmsclvcs.   Thus God prescntsthc Qur'an as a
mistakes for themselves. Thus God presents the Qur'an as a proof to such     such
peoplc.He says:
people. He says:
     o  men manifest proof hasnaw come toyou
     O men, a manifestproofhas now come to you from your Lord; We have
                                                             Lord; We have
              you clear light.
sent down to you a clear light. As for those who believe in God, and hold
 sent                                   those      believe God,
fast Him, Ha will surely admit them                   Him, and bounty,
fast to Him, He will surely admit them to mercy from Him, andbounty, and
     guide                     straight path. l4:173-51
will guide them to Him on a straight path. (4:173-5)
     The dcnial Jesus's      divinity (and      that matter Mary's divinity) is
     The denial of Jesus's divinity (and for that matter Mary's divinity) is
presented the Qur'anasa topic dialogue the Day of Judgemcnt
presented in the Qur'an as a topic of dialogue at the Day ofJudgement between
God Alniighty and Jesus. the mcsscngers the nationswillbcgathcred
God Almighty and Jesus. All the messengers and the nations will be gathered in
hont       God and Hc                           how
                            ask the messengcrs thcy wercrcccived their
front of God and He will ask the messengers how they were received by their
pcoplcsand what they said           them. Among thosc who are going
peoples and what they said to them. Among those who are going to be            be
qucstioncd Jcsus:
questioned is Jesus:
                              'O                             you sdy
     And when God said, '0 Jesus son of Mary, did you say unto men,        men,
     And          God said,       Jesus          Mary,
 "Take               mother gods, dpart from God7" He said,'ToYou he
"Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God?" He said, 'To You be
        lt    not       tu say         have           to. lf         said it, Yw
gloryl It is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, You
*new it.                                soul, and do
knew it, knowing what is within my soul, 8nd I do not know what is within
Your soul; You          thc         unseen.
Your soul," You know the things unseen. I only said to them what You did Yw
command me: "serve God,                      your                was witnegs
command me: "serve God, my Lord and your Lord." And I was a witness
      them, whila                                but when Yw
over them, while I remained among them; but when You did t8ke me to  take
 Yanrsnlf,Yw         Ywr*lt the Watchgr                  You          witness
 YourseN, You were YourseN the WatchJfJr over them; You are the witness of
everything. lf Yw           them,        areYwr seruants,ilYw forgivethem,
everything. If You punish them, they are Your servants, if You forgive them,
You are the Almighty, the All-wise.' God said,'This             day the
You are the Almighty, the All-wise.' God said, 'This is the day the truthful
 shall protited            truthfulnass.For         await gardensunderneath
shall be profited by their truthfulness. For them awaitgardens underneath
        rivers       therein            forevar,      heing wall-pleased
which rivers flow, therein dwelling forever, God being well-pleased with
                  well-plcased with Him; That             mighty tiumph'.
them and they well-pleased with Him: That is the mighty triumph'.

     Now onc might ask If thc Qur'an dcnicr thc           and thc sonrhip
     Now one might ask : If the Qur'an denies the Trinity and the sonship of
 Jcsus,what was thc real mission Jcsusaccording thc Qur'an?
Jesus, what was the real mission of Jesus accordins to the Qur'an?

     Jesuswas a link in a long chain of prophets and messengcrs
     Jesus was a link in a long chain of prophets and messengers sent by God to
                                                                  scnt by God to
various societiesand nations whenever they neededguidance or deviated from
various societies and nations 'whenever they needed guidance or deviated from
the teachingsof God, Jesuswas espcciallyprcpared by God to be sent ro thc
the teachings of God. Jesus was especially prepared by God to be sent to the
Jews who had dcviated from the teachingsof Mosesand other Messengers.
Jews who had deviated from the teachings of Moses and other Messengers. As    As
hc was miraculously supported by God in conception,birth and childhood, hc
he was miraculously supported b.y God in conception, birth and childhood, he
was also supportedby numcrousmiraclesto prove that he wasa m€ssenger
was also supported by numerous miracles to prove that he was a messenger from
God. However, the majority of the Jews rejectedhis ministry. The Qur'an tells
God. However, the majority of the Jews rejected his ministry. The Qur'an tells
us aboutJesus'smission the following verses
us about Jesus's mission in the following verses which are a continuation of the
                          in                     which are a continuation the
verscsquoted earlier in which the.glad tiding was brought to Mary:
verses quoted earlier in which the, glad tiding was brought to Mary:
      And He wilt teach
     And He will teach him the 800k, the wisdom, the Torah, the Gospel
                               the Book, the wisdont, the Torah, the Gospel
            him Messenger        the childrbn      israel saying, "l
and make him a Messenger to the child/en of israel saying, "1 have come to
you with a sign from your Lord I will create for you out of clay as the
      with                     Lord. will
 likeness       bird;       will breathe
likeness of a bird: then I wl?1 breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by the
                                                it.         witl            hy
power       God. will also heal
power of God. I will also heal the blind and the leper and bring to life the
                                      hlind                        hring   tife
dead,      the power     God. t will inform
dead, by the power of God. I will inform you too of the things you eat, and
                                                              things      eat, and
what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you if you
                                 houses. Surely       that       sign        if
                 Likewise will confirm the uuth
are believers. Likewise I will confirm the t."uth of the Torah that is before
                                                        the Tarah        rs
me. and       make lawful
me, and to make lawful to you certain things that before were forbidden
                                   certain things that before were forbidden
unto you. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: so fear God, and
                                 with        from          Lord;         God, and
obey me. Surely God is my Lord and your Lord; so serve Him. This is a
                                Lard                        serye        fhis
straight path", (3:45-51 l
straight path". (3:45-51)
        another verse the Qur'an, Jesusco.nfirmed validity the
     In another verse of the Qur'an, Jesus cqnfirmed the validity of the Torah
which was revealed Mosesand he also brought the glad tidings thc coming
which was revealed to Moses and he also broughtthe glad tidings of the coming
           messenger aftcr
of a final messenger after him. This is clearly indicated in the following verse:
                                     is clearly indicated the                versc:
     And when Jesus son of Mary said, 'children of Israel, I am indeed the
     And when Jesas son of Mary                        of lsrael,      indeed the
Messenger to you, confirming the Torah that is before me, andgiving good
Messenger           confirming the           that before          and giving good
tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be the
        of Messenger who shall                                 name shall      the
praised one (note that this is translation of Ahmad which is Prophet
               (note that this is translation         Ahmad which is Prophet
M u hamma d ' snam e) ( 61: 6)
Muhammad's name). (61:6)
     The messe   nger.of whom Jesus gaveglad tidingsis referred in both the old
     The messenger.ofwhom Jesus     gave glad tidings is referred to       the old
and new tcstamentsrof Bible.The old testament
and new testaments~of the Bible.
                         the                          contains several prophecies
                                           testament containsseveral   prophecies
that apply only to fhe Prophet Muhammad. I quote only one of thosewhich
that apply          the Prophet Muhammad. I quote              one   those which
applies to none except Prophct Muhammad. This prophecy which was
applies       none except Prophet Muhammad. This prophecy which was
addressedto Moses said that God will send among the 'brethren' of the
addressed        Moses said that             send among the "brethren'         the
Israelites, prophet like Moseswho will be a foundcr,a leader,and an exemplar
Israelites, a prophet like Moses          be founder, leader, and       exemplar
of a community of believers. rcad this in the following verses Deut. Ch.
of community         believers. We read this the following verses of Deut.
      I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren;
        will raise        them 8 prophet like     from among       brethren;

and II witt put My words in his mouth, and he shall spaat tothem all that II
and will put My words in hismouth" and he shall speak to them allthat
                                     giva heed to My words which he shall
command him. And whoever will not give heedto My words which he shall
command him. And whoever will
speak in My name, II Myself will reguire it of him. (Deut l8:18-2O)
        in My nam8~ MyseH will require it of him. (Deut 18:18-20)
     Any onc who is familisr with Prophet Muhammad's lifc, can easily secthat
     Anyone who is familiar with Prophet Muhammad's life,               see that
no onc fits thc above description better than Prophet Muhammad. It was
no one       the                     better than Prophet Muhammad. It was
Prophct Muhammad, not Jesus, who like Moses was born from ordinary
Prophet Muhammad, not Jesus, who like Moses was born from ordinary
parcnts, got marricd, founded a faithful community, establisheda great law and
parents,     married,           faithful community, established
died           death.
dicd a natural death.
     Carcful study of thc New Tcstament shows that this same prophet is
     Careful         of the      Testament shows           same
referred       Jesus         14:16,17:
referred to by Jesusin John 14:16,17:
     And t witt pray the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, to
     And I will pray the         and     will give    dnother
be with
ba with       for ever~ even the Spirit of
         you for ever, even the Spirit of truth.
     l^ater in John specificdcscription of this Spirit of Truth and his role is given
     Later            specific description ofthis Spirit of Truth               given
as we read       John 1 6 13,14.:
a s we r c ad in J oh n 16: :1 3 ,1 4 .:
     When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for
     When the Spirit of fruth comes~ he will guide you into a/l the truth, fOI
ne witt not speak            his own authority~ but whatever
ne will not speak on hfs own authority, but whatever he hears he willhears       will
speak and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify
speak and        witl dectare            the things                      will glorify
                                              the conclusionusuallyattributed
     The terms of the prophecy do not warrant the conclusion usually attributed
         terms the prophecy
to this prophecy, namely that it refers to the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost
   this prophecy, namely that refers        the       Ghost. Thc          Ghost
                                                      which reads:
explanation is excludelt by a previous verse in John which reads:
cxplanation is excluded     a previous versc
                                                        advantages that
     Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantages that I go
     Nevertheless / tell           truth: fi rs
away, for if I do not go away, the counselor will not come to you.
           if     not                 counselor will not come      you.

                                               Ghost used visit men beforeand
    It is clear from the Bible that the Holy Ghost used to visit men before and
       is clcar       the Bible that the
                                                             Ghost beforc he was
during the life-time of Jesus. John was filled with the Holy Ghost before he was
       the              Jesus.       was            the
                                                        the shape a dove.
born and Jesus himself received the Holy Ghost in the shape of a dove.
     and Jesushimsclf reccivedthc             Ghost
                                                                   the prophecy,
     The characteristics of this counselor, as can be derived from the prophecy,
     The characteristics         counselor, as can be derived
are the following:
are thc
1. He will not come until Jesus leaves.
 l. Hc      not come        Jesusleaves.
2. He will stay forever, with the believers.
2. He       stay forever,      the believers.
3. He will glorify Jesus.
3. Hc will glorify Jesus.
4. He will speak what he hears from God.
4. Hc will speak what he hears from God.
                            are applicable only to Prophet Muhammad, as the
     These characteristics are applicable only to Prophet Muhammad, as the
     Thesc characteristics
following brief remarks show:
following bricf remarks show:
 l.                                                   that cameafter Jcsus.There
      Prophet Muhammad was the only messenger that came after Jesus. There
       Prophct Muhammad was the only mcsscnger
       was a period of six centuriesbetweenthem.Jesus'smission limited to
      was a period of six centuries between them Jesus's mission was limited to
      thc "lost sheepof the children of Israel", but Muhammad's was a universal
      the Mlost sheep ofthe children of Israel", but Muhammad's was a universal

      message. This explains the second characteristic.
      mcssagc.This explains thc sccond characteristic-

2.    Only Prophet Muhammad's messagewas intcndcd by God to be a
      Only Prophet Muhammad's message was intended by God to be a
      universal and everlastingmessage.This agreeswith the statemcntthat thc
      universal and everlasting message. This agrees with the statement that the
                 will             with the
      counselor will stay forever with the faithful.

3.    No other prophet glorified Jesusas much as Prophet Muhammad did.
                           glorified Jesus as      as Prophet Muhammad
      The Jews called him an impostor and accused mothcr of immorality.
           Jews called                        accused his mother of
      They tricd to crucify him. Prophet Muhammad consideredJesus asgreat
             tried to                                  considered Jesusas great
      Prophet and the "Word of God". The Qur'an attributedto him miracles
      Prophet and the "Word of                Qur'an attributed       miracles
      that are not menti<,ned the Bible. Mary is consideredthe most chastc
           are       mentiuned in      Bible.        considered         chaste
      woman and the best of all women in paradisc. Thus did Muhammad
                 and     best of      women    paradise.
      really          Jesus.
      really glorify Jesus.

4.    The fourth characteristic appliesneatlyto Prophct Muhammad.Thc
                  characteristic also applies neatly Prophet Muhammad. The
      Qur'an was revealedto Prophet Muhammad through the angelGabriel.
      Qur'an  was revealed      Prophet                             angel Gabriel.
      When thc angelfinishedrecitingthe Qur'an, Prophet Muhammad usedto
             the angel finished reciting the Qur'an, Prophet               used
      convey verbatimto his companions what he heardfrom the angel without
      convcy verbatim      his companions    what he heard      the angelwithout
                                                           Qur'an also describes
      adding, changing or forgetting anything. The Qur'an also describes
      adding, changing         forgetting anything.
      Prophet Muhammad saying "He does not speak out of his own fancy. He
      Prophet Muhammad saying"Hi does               speak       his own fancy.He
                                        (53:4,5). we comparethis with, *He
      utters what is revealed to him." (53:4,5). If we compare this with, "He will
      utterswhat is revealed                     tf
           speak his own authority", we seethe strikingsimilaritybetween       the
      not speak on his own authority", we see the striking similarity between the
                         the counselorand those Prophet Muhammad. These
      characteristics of the counselor and those of Prophet Muhammad. These
                                                           predict unequivocal
      and other prophecies in the old and new testaments predict in unequivocal
      and other prophecies the old and newtestaments
      termsthe advent ProphetMuhammad who is rejected the Jewsand
      terms the advent of Prophet Muhammad who is rejected by the Jews and
      Christians                                      and bias rather than
      Christians on the basis of misunderstanding and bias rather than on the
                      the basis misunderstanding                               thc
      basis carefulstudy the Bible,the Qur'an and modern findingsin the
      basis of careful study of the Bible, the Qur'an and modern findings in the
      field of comparative religion.
      field    comparativc religion.

                                                        *the straight
     It is a sad fact of history that not many follow "the straight path", to which
     It is a sad fact history
people wcre called by Jesus. He was followed by a few disciples who wcre
people were called by Jesus. He was followed by a few disciples who were
                                         only that, but thc non-bclicvcrsplottcd (as
inspired by God to support him. Not only that, but the non-believers plotted (as
inspired by God to support him.
they did to Muhammad six ccnturies later) to kill Jesus,but God had a bctter
they did to Muhammad six centuries later) to kill Jesus, but God had a better
plan for him and his followcrs as thc Qur'an tclls us in thc following verscs:
plan for him and his followers as the Qur'an tells us in the following verses:
                                                                   'who will
     And when Jesus perceived their unbelief, he said, 'wfJo will be my
     And when Jesus perceived their unbelief, he said,                       be my
helpers in the cause of Godl The Apostles said, 'we will be helpers of God. '
 helpers in the cause of G od? fhe Apostles said,'we will be helpers of G od.'
 We believe in God; be witness of our suhmission. Lord, we believc in that
We believe in God; be witness of our submission. Lord, we believe in that

                                     - ll -
 Youhave scnt down, and we followthe Messenger. lnscribe us therefore
You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger. Inscribe us therefore
       those         hcar witness.'             devised.       God devised,
with those who bear witness. ' And they devised, and God devised, and
 God is the best devisers.When God said.'Jesus. will take you to me
God is the best of devisers. When God said, 'Jesus, II will take you to me
      will raise you to Me,                   you those whodo notbelieve.
and will raise you to Me, and II will purify you of those who do not believe. II
 will set                               unbelievers till     Ressurrection Day.
will set your followers above the unbelievers till the Ressurrect;on Day.
 Then                   you return,            decide between you, as
Then unto Me shall you return, and I will decide between you, as to what
you were variance on.                    unbelievers,        punish
you were at variance on. As for the unbelievers, I will punish them with a
          punishment this world and the next; they             have
terrible punishment in this worldand the next; they shall have no helpers. '
      As thc aboveverses     indicate,Jesuswas raiscdto heaven
      As the above verses indicate, Jesus was raised to heaven before he died.
                                                                  beforche died.
This means    that according the Qur'anhewasnot crucified. wastheplan
This means that according to the Qur'an he was not crucified. It was the plan of
thc enemies Jesusto put him deathon thc cross, God saved
the enemies of Jesus to put him to death on the cross, but God saved him and
                                                           but           him and
somebody     elsewas crucified.This plot and the falseaccusation Mary arc
somebody else was crucified. This plot and the false accusation of Mary are
considered thc Qur'an to be some thc sins the non-believing
considered by the Qur'an to be some of the sins of the non-believing Jews. All
this is clear in thc following quomtion:
this is clear in the following quotation:
      And              unbelief,
      And for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty
                     their saying, 'We slew
calumny, and for their saying, 'We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary,
the Messenger God'... yet they                 slayhim,
the Messenger of God'... yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him,
                                                                  crucified him,
         likeness that was shown            them. Those who are
only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance   variance
concf:tning him surely are in doubt regarding him, they have no
knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they did not slay     slay
      ol certainty...    indeed; God
him of certainty... no indeed,' God raised him up to Him; God is Almighty,
            There not one          the people
All-wise. There is not one of the people of the Book but will assuredly
                                                         Book         assuredly
                          his ddath,        tha f,essunection
believe in him before his death, and on the Ressurrection Day he will be II
                                                                        will    a
witness againstthem. (4:t 56-91
witness against them. (4:156·9)
     Who was the personcrucified instead Jesus?
     Who was the person crucified instead of Jesus? The Qur'an does not
                                                       The Qur'an does not
elaborate this point nor does give any answcrto this question.
elaborate on this point nor does it give any answer to this question. The
interpreters the Qur'an have suggested few names.But
interpreters of the Qur'an have suggested a few names. But all these are
                                           a                        theseare
individualguesses supported thc Qur'an the sayings the Prophct
individual guesses not supported by the Qur'an or the sayings of the Prophet
     This means that Jcsus      comcbackbeforethe Day of Judgement.
     This means that Jesus will come back before the Day ofJudgement. Again
thc SecondComing is           clcarly mentioned thc Qur'an. However,thc
the Second Coming is not clearly mentioned in the Qur'an. However, the
explanators the Qur'an understood last vcrsc the abovequotation:
explanators of the Qur'an understood the last verse of the above quotation:
there is not one of the people of the Book but will assuredly believe in him
         not ona                 ol    Eook    will assurcdlybelieva
before his dcath,         the ResurrectionDay will he witness against
belore his death, and on the Resurrection Day he willbe a witness against
tham, to mcanthat Jcsus comcbackandall theChristians theJcwswill
them,     mean      Jesus will come back and the Christians andthe Jews
believein him bcfore he dies. This undcrstandingis supportedby authentic
believe        before he dies. This understanding supported        authentic
Bylngs of thc Prophct Muhammad.
sayings    the Prophet Muhammad.

                                  _ 12_
      After rcading this prescntation a believing Christian might say .This is
     After reading this presentation a believing Christian might say "This is
 what the Muslims, whom we always considered as heathens or infidcls, say
what the Muslims, whom we always considered as heathens or infidels, say
about Jcsus." But the point of view which the Qur'an presentsdeserves
about Jesus." But the point of view which the Qur'an presents deserves serious
consideration, to say thc least, by those who are really concerned about God,
consideration, to say the least. by those who are really concerned about God,
faith and even Christianity itself for the following reasons:
faith and even Christianity itself for the following reasons:
I.    The Qur'an is the last vcrsion of God's revelarionand what it saysis the
      The Qur'an is the last version of God's revelation and what it says is the
      ultimate truth. This might not mean much for those who do not believein
      ultimate truth. This might not mean much for those who do not believe in
      the Qur'an as such. However, the history of the Qur'an, modern textuai
      the Qur'an as such. However, the history of the Qur'an, modern textuai
      criticism and scicntific researchof the content of this scripture lcave no
      criticism and scientific research of the content of this scripture leave no
              about the
      doubt about the truth it contains. The frequently made statements that
                                  contains. The frequently made statementsthat
      the Qur'an is the word
      the Qur'an is the word of Muhammad who copied his information from
                                   Muhammad who copiecihis                   from
      Jcwish and Christian sourcesis made by people who
      Jewish and Christian sources is made by people who do not know the
                                                                    not        thc
      history     the           the Qur'an
      history of the world, the Qur'an or Muhammad. The first Arabic
                                                 Muhammad. Thc first Arabic
      translation     the Bible appeared
      translation of the Bible appeared two centuries after Muhammad's
                                                  c€nturies        Muhammad's
      mission. If we add
      mission. If we add to this Muhammad's illiteracy and the scarcity of
                                this Muhammad's illiteracy and the scarcity
      religious books any languageoutsidechurchesand temples the sixth
      religious books in any language outside churches and temples in the sixth
      ccntury we can understand the absurdity
      century we can understand the absurdity of this allegation.
                                                     this allcgation.
2.    The oneness and universality of God's message requires that people
            onenessand universality      God's messagcrequires          people
      accept      the mcssengcrs God. Rcjecting one
      accept all the messengers of God. Rejecting one of them amounts to
                                                            thcm amounts
      rejecting them all. The Jews reject Jesus's mission and Muhammad's
                              Jcws reject Jesus's mission
      mission; the Christians reject Muhammad's mission; whereas the
      mission; the Christians reject Muhammad's mission; whereas the
                accept thcnt all,
      Muslims accept them all, but reject incorrect historical interpretations
                                    reject incorrect historical intcrpretations
      and human elements these missions.
      and human elements in these missions.

3..   Becauseof the Qur'an, Muslims love and rcspectJesusas they love and
      Because     the                   lovc and respect Jesus as they love and
      respcctthe Prophet Muhammad. Morcover, the Qur'an rcports some of
      respect the Prophet                Moreover, the Qur'an reports some
      Jesus's miracles which are not reported in the present gospcl. For
      Jesus's miracles          are      reported     the present gospel.
      example,the Qur'an tells that Jcsusspokcin thc cradleand wasable to tell
      example,            tells     Jesus spoke the cradle       was able
      pcople what they ate or trcasuredin their houses,to mcntion just a few.
      people                   treasured         houses,    mention        few.

4.    It is common knowledge that the divinity of Jesus was introduced by
      It            knowledge                    of Jesus was introduced
      Saint Paul and his followers and was establishcdon thc dead bodics of
                          followers     was established    the dead bodies of
      millions of Christians through history which evokcd thc Castillo's well-
               of Christians                        evoked the Castillo's
      known remark "To burn a man is not to provc a doctrine."
      known          "To burn            not to prove doctrine."

S.    Thc choicc of the present four gospels was imposcd in the conferenceof
      The choice of the present four gospels was imposed in the conference of
      Nicca 325 C.E. undcr thc auspiccs of thc pagln Empcror Constsntinc for
      Nicea     C.E. under the auspices of the pagan Emperor Constantine for

                                    -13- _
      politicel purpolcs. Litcrally, hundreds of gorpelc and religious writinp
      political purposes. Literally,           of gospels               writings
      wcrt considcred apocqryha, i.c. books of doubtful aufhenticity. Some of
      were considered apocrypha, i.e. books of doubtful authenticity.         of
                                                        If they were not more
      thorc books wcrc writtcn by Jesus's disciples. If thcy wcrc not morc
      those books were written         Jesus's
      authcntic than the four gospcls they were of equal authcnticity. Some of
      authentic than       four lospels they      of      authenticity.       of
      them still arc availablc such as the Gospel of Barnabas and the
              still are available               Gospel of Barna6as
       thapherd of Hermas which agree with
      Shepherd of Hermas which agrcc with the Qut'an.Qur'an.

6.    Thc Unitarian concept and thc humanness of Jssus is not only held by
      The Unitarian                the humanness of Jesus not only
      Muslims brrt also by Jewsand by somc early groups of christianity suchas
                b\lt also Jews          some               ofchristianity such as
      the Ebionites.     Cerinthians, the Basilidians, the Capocratians and thc
      thc Ebionites, the Cerinthians, thc Basilidians,thc C;apocratians      the
      Hypisistarians to namc scveral early sccts.The Arians, Paulicians and
      Hypisistarians     name several         sects.             Paulicians
      Goths also acccptcd Jcsus as a prophet of God. Evcn in the modcrn age
                  accepted Jesus as             of      Even         modern age
      thcrc are churchcs in Asia, in Africa, the Unitarian church, and Jehova
      there are churches             Africa.                church.      Jehova
      Witnesses who do not worship Jesus as God.
      Witnesscs                          Jesus as

7     Most scrious studies of the Bible have shown that it contains a large
             serious studies of          have                  contains large
      portion                                                       the gospels
      podion of additions which neither Jesus nor the writers of the gospels
                  additions which neither Jesus      the writers
                                          said, *put words
      said. The church. as Heinz Zahrnt said, "put words into the mouth of
      said.      church, as Heinz                                 the
                                                                       he ncver
      Jesus which he never spoke and attributed actions to him which he never
      Jesus        he nevcr spoke                actions
                                                         somc members
      performed." Those conclusions were arrived at by some members of the
      performed." Those conclusions were
                                                                 the specialists.
      church. However, they are kept secret or available only to the specialists.
      church. Howevcr, thcy arc kept sccrct available
                                                  what the church saysabout
      One of ,those, who has shown that most of what the church says about
      One .those,          has shown     most
      Jesus is baseless is Rudolf Augustein in his book Jesus Son of Man,
      Jesusis basclcss  is        Augustein his                   Son of
      (published in Germany 1912 and translated into English 1911).
      (published Gcrmany 1972and translated             English 1977).

8                          presentChristianity is the personality Jesuswhich is
      The problem with present Christianity is the personality of Jesus which is
      The problem
      completely misunderstood Jesus's nature,, mission and claimed death and
      completelymisundcrstood,Jesus's       nature missionand claimcd death and
                             challengedby studies the field. One thosc is a
      resurreCtion, are all challenged by studies in the field. One of those is a
      rcsurreCtion,   are
                                          lncarnate which appeared I977 (edited
      book entitled The Myth of God Incarnate which appeared 1977 (edited
             entitlcd The Myth
      by John Hick) and written by seven theologian scholars in England. Their
         John           and written seventheologianscholars England.
      conclusion is that Jcsus,was*a man approved                     specialrole
      conclusion is that Jesus .was "a man approved by God, for special role
                                                                           as God
      withiQ the divine purpose. and..... the later conception of him as God
      withiq the divinc    purpose, and..... the later conception
      incarnate .... is a mythological poetic way of expressinghis significance
      incarnate .... is a mythological or poetic way ofexpressing his significance
      for us."
                                                            refutc thc findings
      The best George Carey could say in his attempt to refute the findings of
      Thc bcst Gcorgc C-areycould say in his attcmpt
      those theologians is that unless one takes Jesus as God Incarnate one
      those theologians is that unless one takcs Jesusas God Incarnatc one
      won't bc able to understandJesus'smission or explain its impact on
      won't be able to understand Jesus's mission or explain its impact on
      people.This definitely is avery weakargumentbecause great prophcts
      people. This definitely is a very weak argument because all great prophets
      such as Abraham, Moses, and Muhamqad have had a tremcndous
      such as Abraham, Moses, and Muhammad have had a tremendous
      impact on peoplc and nonc of thcm claimed           hc was God or a son of
      impact on people and none of them claimed that he was God or a son of

                                    _ 114_
                                    _ 4_
9..       concept thc Trinity is            coursc, available cven thc prcsent
      The concept of the Trinity is not, of course, available even in the present
      Bible. There are statem~nts which negate it such as "The Lord our God is
      Biblc. Therc arc statemqnts        negate such as'The Lord               is
      one Lord (Math. 12:29)
      one Lord (Math. 12:29) and many others.

10.   It is worth noting that Jesus never claims divinity even in the present text
         is       noting      Jesusncver claims            evcn the prcsenttcxt
      of the Bible. The expression "Son of God" cannot be said to have come
          thc Biblc.     cxprcssion           God" cannot bc said have comc
      from Jesus himself. Hasting in The Dictionary of the Bible says
             Jesus himsclf.                 fhe Dictionary of the BrDle says
      "Whethcr Jesusused
      "Whether Jesus used it of himself is doubtful."ln my reading of the Bible,
                                 himsclf is doubttul." In     rcading the Bible,
      I found only two instances in John Chapter 5 and II where Jesus uses "son
        found                             Chapter and I I whereJesususes
                                            instanceswere used
      of God" to refer to himself. Other instances were used by others. Even
                   rcfer    himself.                                 others. Even
      those arc vcry limited. Howcver, cvcn thc          "son
      those are very limited. However. even if the title "son of God" was used by
      Jesus himself one should remember the following points:
      Jesushimself one should rcmember thc                   points:

        a biblical scholar said,*semitic usage        nev€rhaveall.owed   literal
  a) As a biblical scholar said. "semitic usage would never have allowed literal
                                                   be interpretcdliterally the
     sense even though such an expression would be interpreted literally in the
     sensc eventhough such an expression
     Hellenistic world of Jesus followers".
     Hellenistic           Jesusfollowers".

                                                            are pias and paida,
  b) The New Testament Greek words used for "son" are piss and paida,
     The        Tcstamcnt Greck words uscd
     which means 'servant' or 'son in the sense of servant. are translated son in
     which means'servant'   or'son the sense servant, translated
     reference to Jesus and servant in reference to others in some translations
     reference Jesusand                 refcrencc others sometranslations
        thc Biblc (Mufassir, P. l5).
     of the Bible (Mufassir, P. IS).

  c) The title "son
  c) The title "son of man" which is a self-designation of Jesus and occurs 81
                         man" which is a self-dcsignation Jesus  and occurs8l
     times the gospclsis thc clearest
     times in the gospels is the clearest description and emphasis by Jesus on
                                          descriptionand emphasis Jesuson
     his humanity. The classical    interpretationgiven this title is that is
     his humanity. The classical interpretation given to this title is that it is
               emphasizcthe human side
     used to emphasize the human side of Jesus. Now the question which
     used                                       Jcsus.      thc question which
     suggests itself is : Do contemporary Christians emphasize this aspect of
     suggests  itsclf is     contemporaryChristiansemphasize      this aspect

                                                    crucillxion is
     The traditional Biblical account of Jesus's crucifixion is that he was
                      Biblical account     Jesus's                      he was
                                the orders and plans                 pricst and
     arrested and crucified by the orders and plans of the chief priest and
     arrested and crucified                                 the
     Jewish elders. This account was denied in the 1960's by the highest
     Jewish clders. This account was denied          the 1960's     thc highest
     Catholic Christianauthority, the Pope. He issued statemcnt which he
     Catholic Christian authority, the Pope. He issued a statement in which he
     said the Jews had nothing         withJesus'scrucifixion.
     said the Jews had nothing to do with Jesus's crucifixion. This definitely
                                                                 This definitcly
     does contradict thc Biblical account.You might say This is a political
     does contradict the Biblical account. You might say:: This is a political
                                what Muslims are saying: thc church had
     decree. This agrees with what Muslims are saying: the church had
     decree.       agrees
     introduced many elements into christianity and was influenced by many
     introduccd many elements        christianity and was influenced many
     factors which madc its view      christianity not
     factors which made its view of christianity not only changeable but, by
                                                             changeable but,
     and large, contradict the early forms of christianity.
     and large, contradict the early forms     christianity.

                                   _ 15_
                                   - 15-
      Thc religious vicws concerning Cod, the Bible, and Man's rclation to God
      The religious views concerning God, the Bible, and Man's relation to God
 which the church prescnted forccd people into an unfortunate choicc: cithcr
which the church presented forced people into an unfortunate choice: either
 scienceor God. Most cducated people have come to the conclusion that onc
science or God. Most educated people have come to the conclusion that one
 tnn't bc a scientist or an educated person and be a christian. Thus many
can't be a scientist or an educated person and be a christian. Thus many
philosophers, scientists and the majority of the people lost hope of reconciling
                          and the majority of the people lost hopc of reconciling
 rcligion and scinence.
religion and scinence. This unfortunate understanding later on was generalized
                         This unfortunate undcrstandinglater on was generalized
    includeeyeryreligion as a result the inlfuence wcsterncivilization, whiclr
to include every religion as a result of the inlfuence of western civilization, which
was mainly christian. This whole issuewould not have risen the first place
was mainly christian. This whole issue would not have risen in the first place if
the teachings Jcsuswere not distorted tamperedwith. This is because,
the teachings of Jesus were not distorted or tampered with. This is because, as    as
Islam views the mattcr, there is no contradictiori whatsoeverbetweenreligion
Islam views the matter, there is no contradiction whatsoever between religion
and science.  Scientific facts are
and science. Scientific facts are just one source of our knowledge of God. The
                                        one source          knowledge God. The
othcr sourccis rcvelationas is containedir-r original teachings Jesus
other source is revelation as it is contained i" the original teachings of Jesus and
                                                  the                            irnd
   ihe presenttcxt the Qur'an. Both religion and true scientificknowledgeare
in the present text of the Qur'an. Both religion and true scientific knowledge are
       the samc sourcc: God. So He won't contradict Himself.
from the same source: God. So He won't contradict Himself.
      Thus, concepts
     Thus, concepts like the Trinity, The Son of God, Original Sin. the
                            thc            The son       God, original sin. the
Atonement,etc.,which were the product of distorti-on and mis-understanding in
                         werethe product distortionand mis-understanding
the history    Christianity,drove peoplc away
the history of Christianity, drove people away not only from Christianity but
also from other religions, including Islam, which is not afflected with these
also        other religions, including Islam, which is         afflected      these
problems. This is due the fact that many peoplc
problems. This is due to the fact that many people think that because Islam is a
                                                                because  Islam is
religion (the meaning the very
religion (the meaning of the very word is limited in western languages) it must be
                                        is limited westernlanguages) must be
$imilar Christianity. Very few people
similar to Christianity. Very few people will have the interest and the ability to
                                                havethe interestand the          tu
discover the falsehood
discover the falsehood of this assumption.

      T'his implicit assumption is one of the causes of hesitation and
      This             assumption is one of the causes           hesitation and
unwillingnessof many people to accept the Qur'anic view of Jesus.This is in
unwillingness      many people     accept the Qur'anic view     Jesus.      is
spite of thc fact that this point of vielv is supported by:
spite    the fact                    vic;.w is supported by:
a)          early history   Christianity          continued                after
                                                             three decades aftcr
       The early history of Christianity which continued for threc decades
       Jesus's disappearance as sect             Judaism.
       Jesus'sdisappcarance a sect within Judaism.

b)    Thc practiccof many Christian sectsand scholarsthroughout the history
      The practice of     Christian sects and scholars          the
      of Christianity.

c)    The findings of many Biblical scholarsand scientificrescarchwhich was
          findings of       Biblical scholars and scientific research   was
      applied to the Bible.
      applied    the Bible.

                                    _ _
                                    _ t 616_
d)    The instinct of many peoplc (some of whom think they are Christians)
      The instinct of many people (some of whom think they are Christians)
      who belicve in the One God, but can't acceptJcsusas God or Thc Son'of
      who believe in the One God, but can't accept Jesus as God or The Son'of
      It is worth noting that the main differcnces bctween thc Qur'anic account
      It is worth noting that the main differences between the Qur'anic account
and what modern researchand scholars have found is that the Qur'an said what
and what modern research and scholars have found is that the Qur'an said what
 it says now about Jesus and his rnission fourtecn centurics ago and never
it says now about Jesus and his mission fourteen centuries ago and never
changcd its stand.
changed its stand.

    Some of the other reasonswhich might account for the rejcction of the
    Some of the other reasons which might account for the rejection of the
Qur'anic account include:
Qur'anic account include:
a)    The time-honored brasagainstIslam which was partly the product the
      The time-honored bias against Islam which was partly the product of the
      Crusades and        the product the Arab-lsraeli conflict in the Middle
     Crusades and partly the product of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle

b)    Confusion.       people although they
      Confusion. Many people although they do not accept Christianity. do
                                              not accept Christianity,
      not      where the
      not know where the truth is.

c)     Social Pressure
      Social Pressure and Academic Reputation. Many people were afraid
                                           Reputatian.         people were afraid
          acccpt Islam bccause
      to accept Islam because they felt they would be mocked, alienated from
                                 they felt they would be mocked, alienated
      their relativesand peers thcy openly rejectedChristianity and accepted
      their relatives and peers if they openly rejected Christianity and accepted
      Islam. At the academiclevcl, especially
      Islam. At the academic level, especially among orientalists, if one writes
                                                 among orientalists, one writes
      favourably about Islam and the
      favourably about Islam and the Qur'an no body will review his work,
                                                                 rcview his
      quote              even consider
      quote from it or even consider it a scholarly work. He could be even
                                              scholarly work. Hc could be evcn
      destroyed professionally. The Washington Post (January 5, 1978)
      dcstroyed professionally. The washington Post (January i, l97E)
      reported that a Universityof Richmond Professor,Dr. Robert Alley lost
      reported         University Richmond Professor,                         lost
      the chairmanship the Department
      thc chairmanship of the Department of Religion there becausche holds
                                                  Religion there because he holds
      the view that Jcsusneverclaimed to be the son of God. Afterconsidcrable
      the view       Jesus never claimed be the son of         After considerable
      rcsearchinto newly found ancient documents,Dr. Alley concludedthat:
      research       newly          ancient documents.            concluded that:
           The (Eiblelpassages whereJesus ralts about the son of God are
           The (Bible) passages where Jesus talks                      of      are
     later additions..... what the church said about him. Such a ctaim of
     Jater                 what the church said about him. Such claim of
      deity for himself would not have been consistent with his entire life-
      deity for himself would not have been consistent with his entire life-
      stlla as we can reconstruci For
      style as lt/e can reconstruct. For the first three decades a{terJesus'
                                                     three           after Jesus'
      death Christianity continued as a sea within Judaism. The first
      death Christianity continued as           sect within Judaism.
      three decades of its
      three decades of its existence of the church were within the
                                              of      church were within the
     synagogue. That would have been bevond belief if they lthe
      synagogue.            would have             beyond belief if they (the
      followers) had boldly proclaimed
      followers) had boldlv proclaimed the deity of Jesus.

                                   _t 717_
                                   -     -
     Dcspitc thescfactors, and some others which II did not mention, there have
     Despite these factors, and some others which did not mention, there have
beenmany peoplewho havc submittedto truth. The Islamic point of view about
been many people who have submitted to truth. The Islamic point of view about
Jesusand othcr major issuesstrikes thosc who getintroduccd to it assomething
Jesus       other major issues strikes those who get introduced to it as something
which makes lot of sense and somethingwhich they hold implicitly without
which makes a lot of sense         something which they hold implicitly without
knowing it. This, and othcr characteristicsmade lslam the fastest growing
           it.            other characteristics made Islam the fastest growing
religion in thc world throughout history. lt appealseven to faithful Christians
religion in the world               history. It appeals even             Christians
because        discover
bccausethey discover that:
a)    lslam does not abolish Jesus,it rather puts him in the right position in the
      Islam does      abolish Jesus,         puts                  position
      long line of men who brought real salvation to humanity. In reality they
                of                        salvation humanity. In reality they
      arc adding a new dimension to their understandingof God, prophct-
      are                  dimension          understanding of           prophet.
      hood, and revclation.
5)    When Christianity and Judaism (or for that matter any religion) are
                               Judaism                             religion) are
      lookcd at from the tslamic perspectivethey fit in neatly in thc universal
      looked              Islamic perspective           neatly the universal
      framcwork of the oncness God and Hip plansfor mankind. Moreover,
      framework of the oneness of       and Hi,S plans   mankind. Moreover,
      onc will understand clearly why there ar€ some gaps or discrepancicsin
      one will understand              there are some gaps    discrepancies
          Biblical account about certain issues.
      the Biblical account about certain issues.

c)                                                   the long chain revelation. lt
      lslam does consider itself the final link in thc long chain of revelation.It
      Islam docs consider          the
      promisesthe followcrs previousfaiths Ereat        rewards they add belief
      promises the followers of previous faiths great rewards if they add belief in
      Islam to their belief in their previous faith. The Prophet Muhammad said,
      Islam          belief          previousfaith.      Prophct
                                                                      is revealed
      "He who has believed in his religion then believed in what is revealed to
                has believed his religion then believed
                                                                believing his faith
      me will be rewarded twice (by God)." That is once for believing in his faith
      me      be rewardedtwice         God).''fhat is oncc
                                               and bclieving Islam.
      and the other for recognizing truth and believing in Islam.
      and the other       recognizing

                                                        God's great prophets.
      To sum up, Islam considers Jesus as one of God's great prophets. His
          sum up, Islam considersJcsus as one
mission                                     and lead man his
mission was to preach the Oneness of God and to lead man to his Lord. He never
          was preachthe Onencss                                               ncver
              be other than a servant and a Mcssenger God. Thc
claimed to be other than a servant and a Messenger of God. The Qur'anic
                                                     overwhclming evidence.
account of his life and mission is supported by overwhelming evidence. The
account       his      and mission is supported
                                                                      Jesus. He
Muslims do believe in and are awaiting the Second Coming of Jesus. He will
               believe and are awaiting the Second
                                                            as Jesus,God's servant.
come back not as God to judge the non-christians, but as Jesus, God's servant.
come back         as God           the non-christians,
                                                     people have dcvelopedabout
His coming is to correct the misconception which people have developed about
His           is correct the misconccption
his pcrsonality and his mission. According to a saying of the PrOphet
his personality and his mission. According to a saying of the Prpphet
Muhammad, he will stay for forty years which is going to be the happiest years
Muhammad, he will stay for forty years which is going to be the happiest years
of life on this earth. At that timc everybody will beleivein him as the mcss€ngct,
of life on this earth. At that time everybody will beleive in him as the messenger,
not the Son of God. However, what about thosc who will not be able to livc till
not the Son of God. However, what about those who will not be able to live till
his second -coming? They better do it now!
his second coming? Thcy better do it now!

                                    - 18_
M. M. Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Our'an
        Pickthall, The              the Glorious Aur'dn
T. B. Irving, et aI., The Our'an : Basic Teachings
T. B. Irving, et al., The Aur'an Easic Teachings
HamudaAbdulati, lslam Focus
Hamuda Abdulati, Is/am in Focus
    Qutb, lslam : The MisunderstoodReligion
M. Qutb, Is/am: The Misunderstood Religion
      Bawany,lslam : The First
B. A. Bawany, Islam: The First and Final Religion
Maurice Bucaillc,The &ible, THe O,ur'an
Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, THe Our'an and Science
Mauricc Bucaille, fhe
Maurice Bucaille, The Origin of Man
Lordsaleand laura Ragg, The Gospel Barnabas
Lordsale and Laura Ragg, The Gospel of Barnabas
MuhammadAta-ur-Rahman,       Jesus : Prophet lslam
Muhammad Ata-ur-Rahman. Jesus: A Prophet of Is/am
Rudolf Augustein,
Rudolf Augustein. Jesus Son of Man
                   Jesus Son
John Hick (ed), The          God lncarnate
John Hick (ed). The Myth of God Incarnate
S. S. Mufassir,Jesus     the Q,ur'an.
S. S. Mufassir. Jesus in the Qur'an.

Some these     booksand othersabout Islamcan be obtained
Some of these books and others about Islam can be obtained from:
     World Assembly Muslim Youth (WAMY)
    World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY)
     P. O. Box 10845
     P. O. Box 10845
    Tel. (01)4et1663
    Tel. (01)4641663
    Riyadh I1443,SaudiArabia
    Riyadh '11443, Saudi Arabia
   the nearest IslamicCenterin your part the world.
Or the nearest Islamic Center in your part of the world.

     Thc lrlamic rocount Jccur'r           and mislion ir quitc rcaronebleand puts
    The Islamic account of Jesus's life and mission is quite reasonable and puts
                      plape rmong thc grcat mceccngcrg God
Jesus in his right place among the peat messenaen of God to humanity.
Jcrur      hir                                                          humanity.
Although the lthmic vicw Jeuu aSrccs               whet mrny pcoplc inrtinctively
Althoup the Islamic view of Jesus agrees with what many people instinctively
           is romctimes rcjcctcd becaurc this is what lrlam reys about him.
think, it is sometimes rejected because this is what Islam says about him.
Howcvcr,thosewho comc Islam                  an opcn mind and freefrom bits
However, those who come to Islam with an open mind and free from bias will
subr1it thc logc and belicvabillty thc Isbmic accountof Jesus.
subm,it to the logic and believability of the Islamic account ofJesus. The Islamic
                                                                       The Islamic
position is erpociallyappreciated thore who havestrugglcd
position is especially appreciated by those who have struggled with the various
                                                                       the various
Christian dogmasthat sre ccntcredaround thc pcrronality JesusChrist.
Christian dogmas that are centered around the penonality of Jesus Christ.
     Thc following is a lcttcr which receivcdfrom one the vicwerswho
     The following is a letter which I received from one of the viewers who
follow my program:
follow my program: ISLAM IN PERSPECTIVE, televised by the Saudi
                                    PERSPECTIVE, tclevisedby the Saudi
Arabian Telcvision, Sccond Channel.
Arabian Television, Second Channel. It is a response to a two-episode
                                             is a r€$ponsc a two-episodc
discussion Jegus    callcd:JESUS
discussion of Jesus called: JESUS IN ISLAM. I include this letter here for the
                                                 includethis lettcr here the
following rcasons:
following reasons:
I.    The writer is an expeft on this topic as a studcnt religion and an
      The writer is an expert on this topic as a student of religion and an
      objcctiveseeker truth.
      objective seeker of truth.

2.    The writcr wasa belicvingChristianwho knowsChristians'feelings
      The writer was a believing Christian who knows Christians' feelings and
      belief concerning Jesus Christ.

3.    Thc writer's explanation how the ChristiansdeviatedfromJesus's
      The writer's explanation of how the Christians deviated from Jesus's
      instructionsand missionis quite plausiblcand accounts the prescnt
      instructions and mission is quite plausible and accounts for the present
      Christianbeliefabout Jesus.
      Christian belief about Jesus.
       would like thank thc writer hcr kind pcrmission includeherletter
     I would like to thank the writer for her kind permission to include her letter
   this publication.
in this publication.

                                                                   t. J.

       CHRISTIANS                     THE SON     GOD?
Dear sir,
Dcer rir,
Arsalamo Alrilum rile Rahmrtullah
Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah
I nas vcry intcrcstodin your discussionon TV sinccthis is a topic which
  was very interested        discussion         since      is a     which
  ha-/e discussed rnany times, both as studcnt of religion, and outsidc the
I hevc discucsGd   many times,       as student     relliion, and outside the
lcarning cnvironment, in many parts of thc world.
lcarDinI environment, many parts of the world.
    As sn English Muslim convcrt, now living in Saudi Arabia, | find the sharp
       an Enalish          convert,    liviDI Saudi           I      the sharp
contrat between societies, thought-provoking from many new points.
contrut betwecnsocieties,  thoulht-provokinl       many new points.
     Focussingupon thc naturc of Jesusand Mary as cxplainedin thc Koran,
     Focussinl upon the nature Jesus and             as explained the Koran,
        the Gospel the New Testamcnt,wc $oe        tu,o opposingvicws -
and in the Gospel of the Ncw Testament, we see two oPposinl views - that of
                              is'Sonof God'andthat thc Koran neglectingall
Christian teachinl that Jesus is 'Son ofGod' and that of the Koran neglecting all
Chrigtiantcachingthat Jcsus
ruch cleims. thcn, becomes ncaessary ask thc qucstion
such claims. It then, becomcsnecessary to ask the question WHY was it     was
nccccsary thc eerly Christhns makesucha claim about Jcsus,whenafter
necessary for the early Christians to make such a claim about Jesus, when after
all he never made any such claim himselfl
ell hc ncvcr rnadc any such          himself?
     tt                                       clcar if wc study thc basis
                              answerbecomes clear if we study the basisfor the
     It is my opinion that answer bccomec                                       thc
rcligions Is}rm and Christianity.As Muslimswc base our              uponGod and
reliaions of Islam and Christianity. As Muslims we base faith upon God and
            alone,and upon thc Koran God'sword His ProphctMuhammad
upon Him alone, and upon the Koran - God's word to His Prophet Muhammad
              whom we also bclievc as I truc Prophct
(PBUH) in whom we also believe - as a true Prophet of the one God.  the one God.
Muhammad (PBUH) is God's scnfant, raitMul and obcdicnt and
Muhammad (PBU H) is God's servant, - faithful and obedient and totally
human hc rcmainsthe instrument God'spurposc lcad His peopleback
human - he remains the instrument of God's purpose to lead His people back to
Him apin.
      Now, asI total contrast turn Christianity a religionbuilt not around
     Now, as a total contrast we tum to Christianity - a reliaion built not around
                          thcre vvrs no'book'until 150ycarsaftcrJesus'sdcath.
God, or His book - for there was no 'book' until ISO years afterJesus's death.
God, His book
Christianity becamebuitt around thc personality Jcsushimsclf. By leying
Christianity became built around the personality of Jetus himself. By laying
morc and morestress   uponthe magncticand wonderfulpcrsonalityof Jesus
more and more stress upon the magnetic and wonderful personality ofJesus and   and
unableand un-willing dcscribcthc Prophet'scffcctupon who came him
unable and un-willing to describe the Prophet's effect upon all who came to him
   evcrydaytcrms morc and morcattributcsarc addcd his rcputation- a man
in everyday terms - more and more attributes are added to his reputation - a man
who could perform miraclcs,bring back thc dead lifc, hcalthc lcpcr,curcthc
who could perform miracles, bring back the dead to life, heal the leper, cure the
                           is indecda wondcrful man - blesscd God - born by
blind - all by God's will, is indeed a wonderful man - blessed by God - born by
blind          God's
               do His scrvioc. after his dcath,thc'magicd'personalitymust
God's will to do His service. But after his death, the 'magical' personality must
God's                           But
bc kept dive and 'Son God'Eppcar$ suitably qualify                 his actions.
be kept alive and 'Son of God' appears to suitably qualify all his actions.
                         stronglyflavouredby theGreco-Roman    gods,all'super
    Living in a society, strongly flavoured by the Greco-Roman gods, aU 'super
    Living a socicty,
hum8n,' thc cducatcdcarly Chrirtians mustsurelyalso havebeeninfluenccd
human; the educated early Christians must surely also have been influenced in
thought by their surroundings.Paul himsclf, onc          thc grcat teachcn
thouJbt by their surroundings. Paul himself, one of the great teachers of

                                   _ 2 21 _
                                   _ t -
Christianity, was a Hellenized Jew, who never saw or met Jesus during his
Christienrty, wrs   Hellcnizcd Jcw,             saw         Jcsus during
lifetime. Vet many of his reported sayings show the influence of the times in
lifetime. Yet      of              saylngs                    of     timcs
                'The Living Lord'was vcry real
which he lived. 'The Living Lord' was very real to him.
        hc                                         him,
     The miraculous nature ofJesus's birth, also could help to give credence to
          miraculous          ofJesus'sbirth,                           credence
                                                                      I* I :
the idea of Jesus identity as son of God. But it is child-like in its 1+ 1 = 2 type
    idea of Jesus          as son                is                            typc
                                              Mary - Mary
philosophy. i.e., G~ blew into the womb of Mary - Mary had Jesus, therefore
             i.G.,God                                              Jcsus,thcrefore
God is Jesus's father and Jesus is His son.
      isfcsus'sfathcr      Jesus is     son.
    What Christians fail to see, and to understand is that in Jesus's birth and
                             scc,       undcrstand is      inJesus'sbirth
conception we see a touching and wonderful revelation ofthe Kindness of9od.
              $ee                          revelation of thc Kindnessof God.
     We are told by both K.oran and Christian writings that Mary was a young
          are              Koran                             Mary wari
woman of exceptional purity of both mind and body, brought into the world
             exccptional        of                                     thc
already pledged as God's servant, blcssed
already pledged as God's servant, blessed by God, while in His service in the
synagogue so that she herself could produce small 'miraculous' occurrences by
synagoguc so        she herself               small'miraculou$' occurrences
God's will. How natural then, that God, having chosen her to be the vehicle by
                                                  choscn hcr be       vehicle
which His new Prophet should be born on earth - chooses a means by which
                                   bc                 chooses means
none of her blessed purity is touched. She serves her God, but in so doing He in
nonc          blesscd      is touched. She serves                 so
His infinite kindness preserves her prec;ious purity. Surely this needs no
     infinite kindness preserves        precious                       needs
embellishment -      claims 'Sonship'
embellishment - no claims to 'Sonship' of God. God's creation yes, but not Son
                                                God's creation yes,
by Paternity. That is obviously not the intention.
      The fact that so much time elapsed before any of the sayings of Jesus or his
                    so             elapsedbefore               sayings Jesus his
teachings were written, also allows for the "Oral tradition', by which they were
teachings were             also             thc "Oral tradition',                  were
passed on, to have substantially changed the original. And yet through the three
passcd          have substantially changcd                      yct               three
synoptic gospels (John being written last and obviously full of religious dogma)
          gospels         being writtcn last                         religious
                                           altcration - picture Jesusas quiet,
Mathew, Luke and Mark despite any alteration - a picture of Jesus as a quiet,
                  and Mark despite
     magnetic personality -                                           great
yet magnetic personality - a Prophet inspired by God, with a great love o.f 8/1   of a//
humanity, sent to sharpen out awareness of God, in all the aspects of life; Jesus
             s€nt sharpen         awarenessof                     aspectsof       Jesus
                                              greater awarcness           - an unselfish
tries to open our eyes' and our hearts to a greater awareness of God - an unselfish
tries opcn         cycs'and      hearts
appraisal of ourselves from our thoughts, to our actions, and to enlarge Faith
appraisal of oursclves             thoughts,           actions,          enlarge
and Trust in God. Only by so doing by the simple Faith and Trust of a child is
and            God.            so            the simple        and                    is
                                      - this idea is repeatcdmany times
God's K.ingdom to come on Earth - this idea is repeated many times in many of
God's Kingdom        come
his reported sayings. His closeness to God was evident from the strength that he
his reportcd sayings.       closeness           was evident        the strcngth      he
                                                                    pcrform miracles.
drew from prayers, and the power he was given by God, to perform miracles.
              praycrs,                  he was givcn
Yet in all this power and in the performance of God's wonders NEVER does he
                                  performance God's wonders NEVER does he
                                                                     'Son" we are
proclaim himself Son of God. In Jesus sense of the word 'Son" we are all
            himself                     Jesus scnse the
children of God, His sons and daughters, here on earth, and as such Jesus taught
children               sonsand daughters,here earth,and assuchJesustaught
the people to pray to 'Our Father, which art in Heaven'.
     peoplc                                            Heaven'.
     Of the actual volume of words he spoke or must have spoken in his
            actual volume       words he spoke        must have spoken     his
teachings only a pitiable few, and not all reliable, have been recorded. Jesus
teachings        pitiable few, and         reliable, have becn recorded. Jesus

                                      _ 2 22_
                                      _ 2 _
seemcdto bc primarily concerncdwith thc poor, thc oppresscd, outcast,the
 seemed to be primarily concerned with the poor, the oppressed, thc outcast, the
                                                               religious 'cant' of
        and not tolerant of the sanctimonious and meaningless religious'cant' of
sick -- and not tolerantof thc sanctimonious mcaninglcss
sick                                          and
 the so-called *pious.' His call was to the hearts of ,men, and his theme was
the so-called"pious." His call was to thc heartsof ,tnen,and his thcme was
humanity and lovc. Did he mcanto establisha church?II bclievehc did --but not
 humanity and love. Did he mean to establish a church? believe he did but not
in the scnscwe scethc churchtoday - Jesuswas practicalaswell asspiritual.II
in the sense we see the church today - Jesus was practical as well as spiritual.
believche wantcdto crcatca societyof peoplewhoscFaith in God bound thcm
believe he wanted to create a society of people whose Faith in God bound them
to one anothrr rcgardless raceor creed,in e family-typccaring relationship
to one another regardless of race or creed, in a family-type caring relationship
 under God's guidance. It is not really evident from his teachings that hc saw
undcr God's is not really evidentfrom his teachings      that he saw
himselfas a grcatshininglight in this process. tendedmore to rcgardhimsclf
 himsC?lf as great shining             process. He tended morc regard himself
as a tool in the handsof God,
as            the hands of God.
          raising              unbelievable heights,the early Christianfollowers
      By raising him up to unbclicvable      heights, the early Christian followers
                                          problems of theoretically explainingthe
brought upon themselves the endless problemsof theoretically
brought upon themselves endless                                       explaining the
crucifixion - and from this comesthe doctrincof the sufferingservants,
crucifixion and           this comes the doctrine of the suffering servants, raiscd
from the Jewishancicnttexts- spokenof in Isaiah,thc doctrine of Sacrificefor
       the Jewish ancient texts spoken          Isaiah, the doctrine of Sacrifice
                                            exclusiveness of Jesus - which very
              man, and the consequential exclusivencss Jesus- which is vcry
the sins of man, and the consequential
the sins
important to the early Christians. pagancould be cquallyfaithful to many
important       the early Christians. A pagan could be equally faithful many
'gods'- but in Christianitythis could not bc - ONLY by faith in Jesus th€
'gods'           Christianity this could      be -             faith Jesus can the
                                    -         by accepting death the sake
Christian hopc to gain salvation - ONLY by accepting hisdeath for thesake of
Christianhope gain salvation                                his
manh sin -and ONLY by bcliefin his resurrection(foras of God, God must
man's sin                    belief his resurrection (for as son God,God must
     him up again)can thc Christianhopc gain Paradise.                 othcr path i3
lift him up again) can the Christian hope to gain Paradise. Any other path is
death                                                                     pcoplc- a
        - although this places Jesus absolutely between God and His people - a
death although this placcsJesusabsolutelybctwccnGod               and
                                      life on Earth.
position he never occupied in his life on Earth.
position he neveroccupied his
                                        intertwined, wcfind thehistoryof the
     Doctrine on doctrine becomes intertwined, and we find in the history ofthe
      Doctrineon doctrinebecomcs                     and
church,cndlcss                         and argumcnts to thc Nature Jesus he
church, endless meetings, theories and arguments as to the Nature of Jesus - he
                 mcctings,    thcories                 as                      -
has bccomc now, fact, lessa tangible          reality, and more ln uncarthly scmi'
has become now, in fact, less a tangible reality, and more an unearthly semi-
spiritual bcing, wrappcd endle$ doctrinc and dogma- far indeedfrom the
spiritual being, wrapped in endless doctrine and dogma - far indeed from the
simple,gcntlcpersonality, whomGod placed muchpowcr'in orderthat he
simple, gentle personality, in whom God placed so much power, in order that he
could bring awarcncss His peoplc.Has not thc church thcn defcatcdJesus's
could bring awareness to His people. Has not the church then defeated Jesus's
own objcctive - rimplicity?
own objective - simplicity?
      We find in thc "Trinity' - Father - Son.and Holy Ghort, pcrhapsthc
     We find in the "Trinity" - Father - Son-and Holy Ghost, perhaps the
culminarion of thc cfforts of pcoplertnrggling for l'supremacy' in religiour
culmination of the efforts of people strugling for a 'Supremacy' in reliJious
expressionand achievingan enigma, few Christiam can adcquetclyexplein
expression and achievinl an eniJllUl, few Christians can adequately explain
      God's spirit ir ar real in the daysof Moscsard Abrahem ar it is in thc titDc
     God's spirit is as real in the days of Moses and Abraham as it is in the time
 of Prophet Muhemmed(PBUtl). It doccnot nccdto bc hcH in theconfinerof r
of Prophet Muhammad (PBU H). It does not need to be held in the confines ofa
*man-mrde- trienglc. Nor did Jcsusrsrociatc himrclf with any theory of thir
Mman-made" trianale. Nor did Jesus associate himself with any theory of this

                                     _23 _
      It is sad,that in the coming of Islam, Chrirtianr fclt thcy cewthc coming
      It is sad, that in the coming of Islam, Christians felt they saw the coming (r
 thc'frkc prophet'or Anti4hrist told ofin thc Boot of RcvehtiontoJohn(Ne'
the 'fake prophet' or Anti-ehrist told ofin the Book of Revelation to John (Ne1
Tcstamcnt). It is evensadderthlt thc noble who orgenizrd thc 2nd Crurad
Testament). It is even sadder that the noble who organized the 2nd Crusad
againsttheMuslims was offered a copy of a translated Koran to read •-and au
against the MuelimswasofferedI copy of a tranststodKoren to read andcal
 it aside.It is sad bccausc reflcctsan attitndc to lclam soen
it aside. It is sad because it reflects an attitude to Islam seen even until today
                                                                    cvcn until today
kept alivc in thc hietory of thc Cnrsadec, foundedon a total ignorancc.It
kept alive in the history of the Crusades, and founded on a total ignorance. It ii
for Musliml, now to rsscrttheir faith and for Christians st lcastbc willingt
for Muslims, now to assert their faith and for Christians to at least be willing t
be madc aw&rcof the mcaningof Islam. I am surethat to mlny Islam and il
be made aware of the meaning of Islam. I am sure that to many Islam and i1
teachings     will bc as a mountainstrcamin the descrt,to the parchedsoulso
teachings will be as a mountain stream in the desert, to the parched souls (J
many scarching truth.
many searching for truth.


                                Yourr rincercly,

                                    AZIZ (Mnl
                              ZAHRA AZIZ (Mr.)
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Description: Presents series of studies on the question of the historicity of Jesus, presented from time to time before the Independent Religious Society in Orchestra Hall