Christian Muslim Dialogue

Christians believe that Jesus (pbuh) came to teach all of mankind the religion of God and to show them the path to guidance. All mankind is therefore required to follow his message and only those who believe in the crucifixion and the redemption will be saved. They believe that the Jews are also required to convert to Christianity because they are the most qualified to recognize the word of God and the signs of Jesus (pbuh) to be found in their own book. The Jews, on the other hand, tell us that Jesus (pbuh) was not a messenger of God, but rather a false prophet, a sorcerer, an offspring of adulterers, and many other allegations. They claim that there are no prophesies of Jesus (pbuh) in their book and that he was not the promised "Messiah"/"Christ" (anointed one). Their "Messiah" is yet to come. For this reason, they claim that they are not required by God to follow Jesus (pbuh).

Muslims believe in both Moses and Jesus (pbut) as prophets of God. They believe that both Moses and Jesus as well as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and all of the other prophets of God were all truthful messengers as well as faithful and faultless servants of God (Allah) almighty. They also believe in the miracles of Jesus (pbuh) and his miraculous birth. Muslims believe that each time a messenger of God would pass away, mankind would begin to slowly fall back upon their evil deeds until they had managed to corrupt His original message. When this would happen, God almighty would send a new prophet to renew His original message to these people and return them to the straight path. In this manner, the true message of God would always be available to all those who searched for it until the day of judgment. This can be seen in the Bible in such verses as Matthew 5:17-18 we read: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

The Jews know God as "Elohim" or "Yahweh." The Christians know Him as "God," or "Father," or "Jehovah," etc.. Muslims know him as "Allah" (and more than 99 other venerable names). Muslims believe that Allah almighty did not send down many messages to mankind but only one: The religion of the submission to His will, the uniqueness of Himself, and the fact that He is the only one worthy of worship. The details of the religion were molded to suite each individual people, but the message was one message: "God is one. Worship Him alone!" This is made apparent in the verse of Aal-Umran(3):84 which states that which means: "Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah, and that which is sent down unto us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the sons of Jacob, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have surrendered." Also, in Al-Nisaa:138 we read that which means "O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger, and the Scripture (Qur'an) which he has revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whosoever disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the last day, he verily has wandered far astray."

Muslims are told in the Qur'an that the unscrupulous few had managed to pervert the words of God almighty sent down to Jesus (pbuh) and the previous prophets after the passing of their prophets. The masses were then misled by what was claimed to be 100% the "inspiration" of God. The changes made by these people have resulted in countless contradictions between the verses. As we shall see, these contradictions and changes have been well recognized and documented in the West for centuries now. However, many of their apologists claim that these people were well meaning and were only trying to "clarify" that which was obscure and so forth when they changed the word of God (See chapter 2). Whatever their motives, these apologists conveniently forget the command of Deuteronomy 4:2 "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God." The liberties mankind has taken with God's previous scriptures are the reason God sent down the Qur'an as His last message to mankind and took it upon Himself this time to preserve it for all time from corruption or modification

Professor Arthur J. Arberry writes: "Apart from certain orthographical modifications of the originally somewhat primitive method of writing, intended to render unambiguous and easy the task of reading the recitation, the Koran (Qur'an) as printed in the twentieth century is identical with the Koran as authorized by Uthman more than 1300 years ago."

On the other hand, Mr. C.G. Tucker Says in "The history of the Christians in the light of modern knowledge" p. 320: " Thus Gospels were produced which clearly reflected the conception of the practical needs of the community for which they were written. In them the traditional material was used, but there was no hesitation in altering it or making additions to it, or in leaving out what did not serve the writer's purpose."

Mr. C.J. Cadoux has the following to say in his book "The life of Jesus" : "In the four Gospels, therefore, the main documents to which we must go if we are to fill-out at all that bare sketch which we can put together from other sources, we find material of widely differing quality as regards credibility. So far-reaching is the element of uncertainty that it is tempting to 'down tools' at once, and to declare the task hopeless. The historical inconsistencies and improbabilities in parts of the Gospels form some of the arguments advanced in favor of the Christ-myth theory. These are, however, entirely outweighed- as we have shown- by other considerations. Still the discrepancies and uncertainties that remain are serious- and consequently many moderns who have no doubt whatever of Jesus' real existence, regard as hopeless any attempt to dissolve out of the historically-true from the legendary or mythical matter which the Gospels contain, and to reconstruct the story of Jesus' mission out of the more historical residue" .

Prof. J.R. Drummelow says in Commentary on the Holy Bible, page 16: "A copyist would sometimes put in not what was in the text, but what he thought ought to be in it. He would trust a fickle memory, or he would make the text accord with the views of the school to which he belonged. In addition to the versions and quotations from the Christian Fathers, nearly four thousand Greek MSS of the Testament, were known to exist. As a result, the variety of reading is considerable."

Before this book was written, I had published a series of articles in a local publication which had been progressing slowly from exhibiting some of the more minor examples of human modification of the Bible, such as the fact that the authors of the Bible are not who they claim to be, and had been working up to more fundamental issues. One of our readers (whom we shall henceforth refer to only as Mr. J), asked us to publish his viewpoint in our publication.

Unlike this lowly author, Mr. J. is a "professional" Christian in the sense that preaching Christianity is his job. He is a very devout Christian. He also has a history of strong evangelical activity. Mr. J made himself known to us through written letters to us, calls to our Muslim chaplain, and his appearance before us on other occasions wherein he called upon us to believe in Jesus (pbuh) and to accept his sacrifice (some of this long before we started our series of articles). We have since come to know each other quite well and have managed to remain friendly and outgoing towards one another even with our differing beliefs. However, the fact that this author is not a "professional" religious person or a professional preacher, but rather a simple graduate science student, has made it necessary to schedule these matters around other more immediate scholarly concerns. It was first and foremost the will of Allah, then the continuous evangelical activity of Mr. J. and his claims against Islam which forced me to step up my research of the Bible and publish this book. I therefore thank Allah almighty that he sent Mr. J. to me as a blessing in disguise.

Mr. J believes that the examples presented do not affect the founding beliefs of Christianity and had provided us with literature by men such as Mr. F.F. Bruce stating such things as " Does it matter whether the New Testament documents are reliable or not? Is it so very important that we should be able to accept them as truly historical records?" and also" the story of Jesus as it has come down to us may be myth or legend, but the teaching ascribed to him- Whether he was actually responsible for it or not - has a value all it's own," and so forth. Muslims know for a fact that Jesus (pbuh) was neither a myth nor a legend but a true prophet of God, but we do feel that an inspired book of God should contain no contradictions, historical or otherwise. For this reason we do not believe that his book has reached us as it was originally submitted by him.

Mr. J believes that such matters as knowing the true authors of the books of the Bible are not crucial to a Christian's faith and has challenged us to prove that a Christian's basic faith is at all in error. In compliance with his request, we sent him four very brief questions concerning the founding beliefs of Christianity. We asked him to provide us with carefully researched and weighed answers to these questions. They were:

1) IS THERE A TRINITY? If so then please present us with as many Biblical references as you possibly can and briefly explain it's fundamental concept.

2) Is the great and faithful messenger of Allah, Jesus the son of Mary (peace be upon them both), the PHYSICAL (BEGOTTEN/SIRED ...etc.) SON OF ALLAH OR NOT? If he is, then give us as many biblical references as you possibly can. If not then why does the majority of Christendom believe that he is the physical/begotten/sired son of Allah?

3) Did Jesus (pbuh) HIMSELF ever say in the bible "I am a god!," or "Worship me!"? If so then give us as many Biblical references as possible. If not, then why does the majority of Christendom believe that he is a god (not a mortal), and the son of God? Jesus (pbuh) is invoked daily as God to forgive sins, cast out devils, and generally sought after in prayer. UPON WHO'S AUTHORITY do Christians believe that Jesus (pbuh) is God? Jesus (pbuh) or others? Give as many references as possible.

4) If it can be proven, through the Bible, that Jesus (pbuh) is not God, nor the physical/begotten/sired son of God, neither is there any trinity, then will this prove that the unscrupulous few have corrupted the word of God or not?

What we were looking for was not flowery sermons on belief and blind faith, but only plain vanilla proof from the Bible itself that Christ (pbuh) himself ever had anything to do with the current beliefs of "Christianity." Muslims believe that Jesus (pbuh) was one of the most pious and elect messengers of God almighty for all time. However, they do not believe that he is himself a god, the physical son of God, nor do they believe in a "trinity," but only in the uniqueness of God almighty, that He is the only God in existence and the only being worthy of worship. Muslims also do not believe in an original sin or an atonement but believe that an individual's actions are the only things that will decide his final abode, either in heaven or in hell. This is the reason why God almighty sent Muhammad (pbuh); In order to rectify these misconceptions which have crept into His previous message. We can find no more fundamental differences between Islam and Christianity than these. Mr. J's response follows:

0 0

Post a comment