As a Muslim, I honour and respect the Messiah Jesus (P) as an elect Prophet of God. The Islamic viewpoint of Jesus(P) lies between two extremes. The Jews, who rejects Jesus (P) as a Prophet of God, calls him an impostor. The Christians, on the other hand, considers him to be the God in flesh and worship him as such. This Christian viewpoint is further confirmed by Josh McDowell and Bart Larson when they say that:
“The Scriptures teach that Jesus was fully God while also being fully human. Paul declared of Jesus, “For in Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). Because Jesus is both fully God and fully man, He stands in a unique relationship in the Trinity to the Father and the Holy Spirit.”
The Qur’an, however, tells us that:
“They say: Allah has taken a Son. Glorified be He! He has no needs! His is all that is in the heavens and that is in the earth. You have no warrant for this, do you say regarding Allah that which you know not?” (Qur’an, 10:68)
Certainly, the Christian would simply not accept the Qur’anic declaration, since he or she believes that the Bible is the Word of God and not the Qur’an. However, if there is sufficient evidence from the Bible itself, then the Trinitarian Christian is forced to accept the conclusion that Jesus(P) was never a deity. The evidences shall be given as follows, insha’allah.
The following is the Athanasian Creed formulated at the Council of Nicea declaring the Trinity:
We believe in one God the Father, Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, only begotten that is, from the substance of the Father; God from God, light from light, Very God from Very God…
This, however, raises the question: If Jesus(P) is a God but not a different God then he must be God himself. If that is the case how can he be Begotten? Isn’t God eternal?
This “possibility”, apart from the fact that it is totally irrational and disproved by the words of Jesus(P) himself, is also in direct contradiction to the Bible.
The Points Against The Divinity of Jesus
The Bible tells us that God is One:
“The first of all the commandments is ‘Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is One.'” (Mark 12:29)
Christians claim that there is only one God and who came down to earth in the form of a man, and since God is indivisible, they conclude that God and Jesus(P) are one being not two. This indivisibility of God, necessitates that God and Jesus(P) must be one being. However, this does not conform with many verses in the Bible where Jesus(P) and God are clearly spoken of as two separate beings:
1. The very first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created….” introduces us to the God as the Creator. Anyone who has read just the first verse of the Bible knows God as The Creator. So, there is no need to call Him as Father, even to explain Him metaphorically, and try in vain to compare the One Who is Incomparable.
“Have we not all one father? Hath not One God created us?” (Malachi 2:10)
The above verse of the Bible is possibly the explanation for the unwarranted use of the word “Father” in the Bible to denote The Almighty’s function, attribute or power as The Sole Creator.
In the whole universe, He is the only Creator and everything else is His creature. In the book of Genesis, the Bible gives details of how the heavens, the earth, the light, the animals, the man, etc. were made by God. Everything came into being by His command.
“For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalms 33:9)
The Bible says that:
“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” (Psalms 33:6)
2. If God came down to earth as a man, one would expect that after the end of His life on earth, and upon His return to heaven, He would be One Being, not Two. This is not in agreement with the following verse:
“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:19)
This verse, which speaks about Jesus(P) after he was raised up into heaven, clearly indicates that God and Jesus (P) are not one being, for how can God be sitting on the right hand of Himself?
3. Jesus (P) attributed worship to the One True God.
“…and he often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:16)
“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up on a mountain by himself to pray” (Matthew 14:23)
These two verses which speak about Jesus (P) are of great significance. How can Jesus (P) be God if he was worshipping God as any other mortal? Who is he praying to?
The Christian may well suggest that Jesus (P) was only praying in a symbolic manner so as to teach the people how to conduct prayer. This argument is nevertheless unacceptable because the words “wilderness” and “by himself” indicate that at those specific times, Jesus was all on his own while praying. He could not have been teaching anybody!
4. Jesus (P) was tempted by the devil.
“….and Jesus for forty days in the wilderness was tempted by the devil” (Luke 4:1)
But in the Bible we also read that:
“God cannot be tempted by the devil”
If God cannot be tempted by the devil, and Jesus (P) was tempted by the devil, then Jesus (P) cannot be God.
5. Jesus (P) himself refused to be called ‘son of God’ on a number of occasions. In the following verse he rebukes the ones who called him ‘son of God’, preferring the title of ‘Messiah’:
“And devils came out of many, crying out and saying, ‘You are the son of God!’ And he, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that he was the Messiah” (Luke 4:41)
The refusal of Jesus to be called the son of God also occurred during the trial at the Sanhedrian. When he was asked if he claimed to be the son of God he replied:
“So you say. But I tell you this: from now you shall see the son of man seated at the right hand of God” (Matthew 26:64)
6. On numerous occasions Jesus (P) speaks of himself as a prophet:
“A prophet is not without honour except in his home town and his own house” (Matthew 13:57, Mark 6:4 and Luke 4:24)
We also read:
“I must journey today, tomorrow and the day following for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem” (Luke 13:33)
“This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” (Matthew 21:11)
7. Jesus (P) also spoke of himself as the Messenger of God:
“He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” (Matthew 10:40)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” (John 13:16)
The distinction in this verse is made very clear by Jesus(P) between himself and the One who sent him. This is again made clear in the following verse:
“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)
These verses clearly speak of two separate beings. To claim that Jesus(P) and God are one reduces these verses to mere nonsense!
8. In various other verses Jesus (P) is referred to as the servant of God:
“Behold my servant, whom I have chosen” (Matthew 12:18)
“To you first, God having raised up His servant Jesus, sent him to bless you” (Acts 3:26)
These two verses, which are a fulfillment of Isaiah 42:1-4, speak of Jesus as the servant of God and not as God.
The Christian will usually argue that the terms ‘prophet’ or ‘servant’ are symbolic and are not to be taken literally. That is fine as long as this principle is applied to other equally important issues. Why does it have to be that when it comes to the title of ‘Son of God’ the Christian insists on taking it literally?
All these verses that speak of Jesus (P) as a Prophet of God, a Messenger of God and indeed the servant of God if anything affirm the fact that Jesus(P) was a man who worshipped God like any other mortal.
9. Jesus (P) did not think of himself as being perfect, let alone divine. He knew in his heart that only God is perfect:
“Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is God.” (Mark 10:18)
These are hardly the words of someone who thought of himself as God come down to earth in the form of a man! In actual fact in these words Jesus makes a very clear distinction between God and himself.
10. In all of the Bible, there is not one verse where Jesus (P) says that he is God come down to earth, that he is divine or that he should be worshipped. On the contrary he taught the people to worship God in heaven:
“You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Luke 4:8)
If Jesus (P) is God who come down to earth, why did he made such a statement? Did he not know it himself?
The divinity of Jesus (P) is never taught by Jesus (P) and has no origin in the New Testament, but was adopted some time after the ascension of Jesus (P).
In addition to the previous evidence from the New Testament that refute the divinity of Jesus(P), it can also be demonstrated that the Jesus’ divinity is inconsistent with the prophecies contained in the Old Testament about the coming of the Messiah.
Jesus (P) was a Jew who lived and worshipped God according to the Law of Moses(P). Indeed, Jesus(P) himself is reported to have said:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17-18)
Thus we conclude that the evidences against the divinity of Jesus(P) is too enormous to ignore. Any sincere Christian reading the above should consider what did Jesus(P) really say and follow his words instead of submitting to doctrines that has no basis in the Bible. As the Qur’an tells us about the mission of Jesus(P):
“And (remember) when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! Verily! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was before me in the Torah” (Qur’an, 61:6)
And only God knows best!