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Old 04-08-2002, 18:14
Lulua Lulua is offline
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60 Questions for the Christians

Assalaamu alaikum ya muslimeen.

Greetings and good day to all.

Some points to take ur time and ponder upon.

Lulua.

=======================


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

60 Questions For
The Christians


Alharamain Foundation
E-mail:haramain@alharamain.org
P.O.Box: 92684
Riyadh 11663
Saudi Arabia
Phone: 966-1-4652210
Fax: 966-1-4565813






TRINITY
According to most Christians, Jesus was God incarnate, full man and full God. Can the finite and the infinite be one? "To be full" God means freedom from finite forms and from helplessness, and to be "full man" means the absence of divinity.

1.To be son is to be less than divine and to be divine is to be no oneís son. How could Jesus have the attributes of sonship and divinity altogether?

2.Christians assert that Jesus claimed to be God when they quote him in John 14:9: "He that has seen me has seen the Father". Didnít Jesus clearly say that people have never seen God, as it says in John 5:37: "And the father himself which Has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE AT ANY TIME NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE"?

3.Christians say that Jesus was God because he was called Son of God, Son of Man, Messiah, and "savior". Ezekiel was addressed in the Bible as Son of Man. Jesus spoke of "the peace makers" as Sons of God. Any person who followed the Will and Plan of God was called SON OF GOD in the Jewish tradition and in their language (Genesis 6:2,4; Exodus 4:22; Psalm 2:7; Romans 8:14). "Messiah" which in Hebrew means "Godís anointed" and not "Christ", and "Cyrus" the person is called "Messiah" or "the anointed". As for "savior", in II KINGS 13:5, other individuals were given that title too without being gods. So where is the proof in these terms that Jesus was God when the word son is not exclusively used for him alone?

4.Christians claim that Jesus acknowledged that he and God were one in the sense of nature when he says in John 10:30 "I and my father are one". Later on in John 17:21-23, Jesus refers to his followers and himself and God as one in five places. So why did they give the previous "one" a different meaning from the other five "ones?

5.Is God three-in-one and one in three simultaneously or one at a time?

6.If God is one and three simultaneously, then none of the three could be the complete God. Granting that such was the case, then when Jesus was on earth, he wasnít a complete God, nor was the "father in Heaven" a whole God. Doesnít that contradict what Jesus always said about His God and our God in heaven, his Lord and our Lord ? Does that also mean that there was no complete god then, between the claimed crucifixion and the claimed resurrection?

7.If God is one and three at a time, then who was the God in heaven when Jesus was on earth? Wouldnít this contradict his many references to a God in Heaven that sent him?

8.If God is three and one at the same time, who was the God in Heaven within three days between the claimed crucifixion and the claimed resurrect ion?

9.Christians say that: "The Father(F) is God, the Son(S) is God, and the Holy Ghost(H) is God, but the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost is not the Father". In simple arithmetic and terms therefore, if F = G, S = G, and H = G, then it follows that F = S = H, while the second part of the statement suggests that F Ļ S Ļ H (meaning, "not equal"). Isnít that a contradiction to the Christian dogma of Trinity in itself ?

10.If Jesus was God, why did he tell the man who called him "good master" not to call him "good" because accordingly, there is none good but his God in Heaven alone?

11.Why do Christians say that God is three-in-one and one in three when Jesus says in Mark 12:29: "The Lord our God is one Lord" in as many places as yet in the Bible?

12.If belief in the Trinity was such a necessary condition for being a Christian, why didnít Jesus teach and emphasize it to the Christians during his time? How were those followers of Jesus considered Christians without ever hearing the term Trinity? Had the Trinity been the spinal cord of Christianity, Jesus would have emphasized it on many occasions and would have taught and explained it in detail to the people.

13.Christians claim that Jesus was God as they quote in John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". This is John speaking and not Jesus. Also, the Greek word for the first occurrence of God is HOTHEOS which means "the God" or "God" with a capital "G", while the Greek word for its second occurrence is "TONTHEOS", which means "a god " or "god" with a small "g". Isnít this dishonesty and inconsistency on the part of those translating the Greek Bible? ? Isnít such quotation in John 1:1 recognized by every Christian scholar of the Bible to have been written by a Jew named Philo Alexandria way before Jesus and John?

14.Wasnít the word "god" or "TONTHEOS" also used to refer to others as well as in II Corinthians 4:4 "(and the Devil is) the god of this world" and in Exodus 7:1 "See , I have made thee (Moses ) a god to Pharaoh"?


SALVATION:
Christians say that "GOD LOST His only son to save us". To whom did God lose Jesus if he owns the whole universe?

15. If it was agreeable with Godís Majesty to have sons, He could have created a million sons the like of Jesus. So what is the big clear deal about this only son?

16.Why does the Bible say that Jesus wanted to die on the cross, when the one on the cross was shouting "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" according to Matthew 27:45 and Mark 15:33?

17. If God had wanted to save us, couldnít He have done that without sacrificing Jesus?

18. God is Just, and justice requires that nobody should be punished for the sins of others, nor should some people be saved by punishing other people. Doesnít the claim that God sacrificed Jesus to save us because He was Just, contradict the definition of justice?

19. People sacrifice things they have to get something they donít have when they canít have both. Christians say that "God SACRIFICED His only son to save us". We know that God is Almighty; to whom did He sacrifice Jesus?

20. A real sacrifice is when you canít get back what you have offered , so what would be the big deal about such a sacrifice if God could recover the same offering? (according to the Christiansí terminology)?

21. If all the Christians are saved through Jesus and are going to Heaven no matter what they do, then the teachings of Jesus are irrelevant and the definition of good and bad are also rendered irrelevant. If this is not so, then do Christians who believe in Jesus yet do not follow his teachings nor repent go to Hell?

22. How can Christians take deeds as irrelevant after becoming one when Jesus says in Matthew 12:36; "But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. For by the words thou shalt be justified, and by the words thou shalt be condemned"?

23. Christians say that people go to Heaven ONLY THROUGH JESUS, yet Paul says in 1 CORINTHIANS 7:8-16 that the unbelieving husband is acceptable to God because he is united with his wife and vice versa, and their pagan children are also acceptable to God. So people can go to heaven without believing in Jesus according to this.

24. How come the Bible says that ALL Israel is saved although they donít believe in Jesus? Doesnít that contradict the claim in the Bible that the only way to heaven is through Jesus?

25. According to Christians, those who have not been baptized will go to Hell. So even the infants and babies go to Hell if not baptized, since they are born with an inherited original sin. Doesnít this contradict the definition of justice? Why would God punish people for sins they never committed?


HOLY SPIRIT:
The only place in the Bible where the Paraclete was called the Holy Spirit is in John 14:26 "But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you". What has the Holy Spirit brought or taught for the last 2000 years?

26.Christians say that the Paraclete means the Holy Spirit (John 14;26). Jesus said in John 16:7-8 "If I do not go away the Paraclete will not come to you". This could not mean the Holy spirit, since the Holy spirit was said to have been there before Jesus was even born as in Luke 1:41 "Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit". Here, the Holy spirit was also present during Jesus life time. So how could this fit with the condition that Jesus must go away so that the Holy spirit will come?

27.In John 16:7-8, it says: "But if go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of sins and of righteousness and of Judgment". What do "he" and "him" refer here? Donít they refer to a man?

28.Does the Holy Spirit talk to good Christians and bad Christians as well? Is the Holy spirit with them all the time or just at certain times? When does it start visiting a person who wants to become a Christian?

29.How can you as a Christian tell if the Holy Spirit is inside another Christian? How come many Christians fooled people by claiming that the Holy spirit was inside them only to be converted to another religion later on ?

30.Does the Holy Spirit dictate what Christians should do without choice or freedom at all or does it only guide them and they have the freedom to follow or not ?

31.If the Holy Spirit dictates what Christian should do, why do Christians commit sins and make mistakes ? How can you explain the conversion to other religions and atheism of many Christians? Are they told to do that by the Holy Spirit?

32.If the Holy Spirit guides Christians only, and they are free to do what they want, then how do we know that the writers of the Gospels didnít make mistakes in writing them?

33.If Christians believe that the Holy Spirit comes and talks to them everyday, why donít they ask the Holy Spirit about which version of the Bible to follow since there are too many versions floating around?


MISSION OF JESUS:
Without borrowing from other religions and systems, can Christianity provide people with a complete way of life? Since Christianity is limited to spiritual life and does not provide law, how can a society decide which laws are right or wrong?

34.Why do the Christians say that Jesus came with a universal mission when he said that he was sent to the Jews only? He said to the Canaanite woman who asked him to heal her daughter from demon-possession: "I was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of Israel" and also said: "It is not right to take the childrenís bread and toss it to their dogs", Matthew 15:21-28.


RESSURECTION:
If you read Matthew (28:1-10), Mark (16:1-20), Luke (24:1-12), and John (20: 1-18), you will find contradicting stories. They all agreed that the tomb was guarded for three days. However, they reported the discovery of the empty tomb differently.

Matthew (28) and John (20) reported that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were the first to discover the tomb.
Mark (16) reports that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were the first to discover the empty tomb.
Mark (28) reports that there was an earthquake that removed the rock from over the tomb. He says that an angel caused it. The other gospels do not mention of an earthquake.
Matthew and Mark say that only ONE man in white clothes was sitting on the tomb when the woman arrived, and that he was an angel.
Luke says that TWO men in white clothes, who were angels, were sitting. Johns says that the two women did not meet anybody the first time they came to the tomb, but when they returned, they saw TWO people, ONE was an ANGEL, and the other was JESUS.
Matthew reports that when the guards reported this to the chief priest, the chief priest paid them a large sum of money, telling them: "You have to say that his disciples came at night and stole his body." He claims that the soldiers took money and spread the story around and since then, the story had been circulating among the Jews until today (according to Matthew). The other gospels do not report of any such thing.
35. Which narration now is more authentic?

36.Why is the appearance of Jesus after the crucifixion taken as a proof of his resurrection when there is an explanation that he was not dead because someone else was crucified in his place when God saved Him?

37.How did Matthew know of the claimed agreement between the soldiers and the chief priest? Canít someone say that someone paid the women a large sum of money and told them to spread the word around that Jesus rose from the dead, with the same authenticity as that of the story of Matthew?

38.Why did they believe that man in the white clothes? Why did they believe he was an angel? Johnís narration is too strange, since he says that Mary did not recognize Jesus (one of the two) while talking to him, and she only recognized him when he called her by her name.

39.How does an empty tomb prove that Jesus was crucified ? Isnít it that God is capable of removing another man from the tomb, and of resurrecting him too?

40.The Gospels are believed to be the verbatim words of God, they are supposed to be dictated by the Holy Spirit to the Disciples who wrote them. If the source were the same, why shouldnít they correspond with each other in reporting such an important event?

41.How could Matthew, Mark, Luke and John be considered eyewitnesses of resurrection when the Bible implies that nobody at all saw Jesus coming out of the tomb?


BIBLE:
If the Christians consider the Old Testament as Godís Word, why did they cancel the parts of the Old Testament that dealt with punishment (example: the punishment for adultery)?

42.Why doesnít Mark 16:9-20 exist in as many versions of the Bible while it exists as a footnote or between brackets in some other versions? Is a footnote in the Bible still considered as Godís word, especially when it addresses an important feature like the Ascension?

43.Why does the Catholic Bible contain 73 books while the Protestant Bible has only 66? With both claiming to have the complete Word of God, which one should be believed and why?

44.Where do those new translations of the Bible keep coming from when the original Bible is not even available ? The Greek manuscripts which are translations themselves are not even similar with each other.

45.How can you take two gospels from writers who never met Jesus, like Mark and Luke?

46.Why is half of the New Testament written by a man who never even met Jesus in his lifetime? PAUL claimed with no proof that he had met Jesus while on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus. PAUL was the main enemy of Christianity. Isnít that reason enough to question the authenticity of what he wrote? Why do the Christians call those books of the Old Testament "Godís Word" when the revisors of the RSV Bible say that some of the authors are UNKNOWN? They say that the author of SAMUEL is "UNKNOWN" and that of CHRONICLES is "UNKOWN, PROBABLY COLLECTED AND EDITED BY EZRA"!


CONTRADICTIONS:
47.Concerning the controversial issues in the Bible, how can Christians decide by two-thirds majority what is Godís Word and what is not, as the prefaces of some Bibles say like that one of the RSV ?

48.Why does Luke in his gospel report the Ascension on Easter Day, and in the Acts, in which he is recognized as the author, FORTY days later?

49.The genealogy of Jesus is mentioned in Matthew and Luke only. Matthew listed 26 forefathers from Joseph to David while Luke enumerated 41 forefathers. Only Joseph matches with Joseph in those two lists. Not a single other name matches! If these were inspired by God word by word, how could they be different? Some claim that one is for Mary and one is for Joseph, but where does it says Mary in those two Gospels?

50.If Moses wrote the first books of the Old Testament, how could Moses write his own obituary? Moses died in the fifth book at age 120 as mentioned in Deut. 34:5-10.

51.In the King James Version, why does it report SEVEN years of famine in II SAMUEL 24:13 while it reports THREE years of famine in I CHRONICLES 21:12? Why did they change both to THREE years in the New International Version and other versions?

52.Still In the same King James Version, why does it say that Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign in II CHRONICLES 21:12, while it says EIGHTEEN years in II KINGS 24:8? Why did thessey change in both to EIGHTEEN in the new Versions?

53.In all versions, why does it say that David slew the men of SEVEN HUNDRED chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand HORSEMEN as evidenced in II Samuel 10:18 while its says SEVEN THOUSAND men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand FOOTMEN, in I CHRONICLES 19:18?

54.In all versions, why does it report TWO thousand baths in I KINGS 7:26 while II CHRONICLES 4:5 reports THREE THOUSAND?

55.In the King James version, why does it report that Solomon had FOUR THOUSAND stalls for horses in II CHRONICLES 9:25 while it accounts that Solomon had FORTY THOUSAND stalls of horses in 1 KINGS 4:26? Why did they change both to FOUR THOUSAND in the new versions?

56.In GENESIS 1, Godís creation progresses from grass to trees to fowls, whales, cattle and creeping things and finally to man and woman. GENESIS 2, however, puts the creation of man before cattle and fowl and woman subsequent to beast. How can this be explained?

QURíAN AND CHRISTIANS
This section does not inquire or interrogate, but rather provides the reader with some of the Quríanic verses that address the Christians in particular, and the people of the scripture in general. A great portion of the Qurían pertains to or involves the Christians and the Jews and I decided to just choose verses that are related to the topic of this manuscript.


"Lo! The likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then said unto him: Be, and he was." Al-Qurían 3:59.
"Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for Lords besides Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto him).
"O People of the Scripture! Why will you argue about Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were revealed till after him? Have you then no sense?

Abraham was not a Jew, nor yet a Christian; but he was an upright man who had surrendered (to Allah), and he was not of the idolaters.

Lo! Those of mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and his Prophet and those who believe (with him); and Allah is the Protector of the believers.

A party of the People of the Scripture longs to make you go astray; and they make none to go astray except themselves, but they perceive not.

O People of the Scripture! Why disbelieve you in the revelations of Allah, when you (yourselves) bear witness to their truth?

O People of the Scriptures! Why confound you truth with falsehood and knowingly conceal the Truth? (Al-Qurían 3: 64-71)

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him and in the hereafter, He will be one of the losers (Al-Qurían 3:85).
And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, and Allahís messenger. They slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them, and Lo! Those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain:
But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise. (Al-Qurían 4:157-158).

O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter ought concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him, so believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three"! Cease! (it is ) better for you! Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as defender.
The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah, nor will the favored angels. Whosoever scorns His service and is proud, all such will assemble unto Him.

Then, as for those who believed and did good works, unto them will He give them their wages in full, adding unto them of His bounty; and as for those who were scornful and proud, then He will punish with a painful doom." (Al-Qurían 4:171-173).

"And with those who say Lo! We are Christians, We made a covenant, but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefore We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork.
O People of the Scripture! Now has our messenger come unto you, expounding unto you much of that which you used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much. Now has come unto light from Allah and plain scripture:

Whereby Allah guides him who seeks His good pleasure unto paths of peace, He brings them out of darkness unto light by His decree, and guides them unto a Straight Path.

They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then can do aught against Allah if he had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? Allahís is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He creates what he wills. And Allah is able to do all things. (Al-Qurían 5:14:17).

"They surely disbelieve who say; Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O children if Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and you Lord. Lo! Whosoever ascribes partners unto Allah, for him Allah has forbidden Paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evildoers ,there will be no helpers.
They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of the three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not from so saying, a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve.

Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful.

Say: Serve you in place of Allah that which possesses for you neither hurt nor use? Allah is the Hearer, the Knower.

Say: O People of the Scripture! Stress not in your religion other than the Truth, and follow not the vain desire of folks who erred of old and led many astray, and erred from a plain road." (Al-Qurían 5:72-77)

"And when Allah says: O Jesus, son of Mary: Did you say unto mankind: take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah?, he says: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then You Knew it, You know what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Your mind. Lo! You, only You, are the knower of things hidden.
I spoke unto them only that which You commanded me (saying); worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when You took me, You were the Watcher over them. You are witness over all things.

If You punish them, Lo! They are Your slaves, and if you forgive them (Lo! They are Your slaves). Lo! You, only you are the Mighty, the Wise.

Allah says: This is a day in which their truthfulness profits the truthful, for theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they are secure forever, Allah taking pleasure in them and they in Him. That is the great triumph. (Al-Qurían 5:116-119)

"And the Jews say: ĎUzair (Ezra) is the son of Allahí, and the Christians say: ĎThe Messiah is the son of Allahí. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah fights against them. How perverse they are!
They have taken as Lord besides Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no God save Him. Be He glorified from all that they ascribe as partners (unto him)!

Faint would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah disdains (aught) save that He shall perfect His light, however much the disbelievers are averse.

He it is Who has sent His messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to cause it to prevail over all religions, however much the idolaters may be averse.

O you who believe! Lo! many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks devour the wealth of mankind wantonly and debar (people) from the way of Allah. They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom.

On the Day when it will (all) be heated in the fire of Hell, and their foreheads and their flanks and their backs will be branded therewith (and it will be said unto them): Here is that which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard." (Al-Qurían 9:30-35).



MUHAMMAD OR JESUS?
Christians claim that the prophecy in Deut. 18:18 refers to Jesus and not Muhammad. The verse says: "I will raise them up a prophet from among THEIR BRETHREN, LIKE UNTO THEE, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." The only reason they resort to such interpretation is that both Moses and Jesus were prophets. Even this one contradicts their claim that Jesus was God and not a Prophet. Many prophets of the Jews had the similarity with Moses. However, if we compare Muhammad to Moses, we will find that:

Muhammad was an Arab, and the Arabs are from Ishmael, son of Abraham, while Moses was a Jew, and the Jews are from Isaac, son of Abraham. Hence, the term THEIR BRETHREN refers to the children of the first son being brethren of the children of the other. This couldnít apply to Jesus, since he was a Jew.

According to the Christians, Jesus went to Hell for three days while Moses did not. Therefore, Jesus is not like Moses. (In Islam, none of the three Prophets went to Hell)

Moses and Muhammad were born to fathers and mothers while Jesus was born to a mother alone.

Moses and Muhammad got married and had children, while Jesus did not marry at all.

Moses and Muhammad got problems and difficulties from their people initially, but were accepted by them at the end., whereas Jesus was rejected by his people at the start and is still rejected by the Jews until today. "He (Jesus) came unto his own, but his own received him not".( John 1:11)

Moses and Muhammad had power, besides being prophets. They both performed some capital punishments, for example, while Jesus had no power over his people. "My kingdom is not of this world", Jesus said in John 18:36 .

Moses and Muhammad brought new laws while Jesus did not.

Moses was forced to emigrate in adulthood to Median while Muhammad was forced to emigrate at that stage in his life too, towards Madina . Whereas Jesus did not have such forced emigration in his adulthood .

Moses and Muhammad both died of natural deaths after which they were buried ,while the same could not be said of Jesus. He was neither killed nor crucified at all, according to the Qurían and did not die a Ďnaturalí death as could be affirmed by Christians who believe in Crucifixion.

FINAL QUESTIONS:
57.Why wonít you, Christian reader, come to hear and learn of the true religion of Jesus?

58.Have you, as a Christian , learned of Islam and if so, was it from the true Muslims?

59.As a Christian, do you agree that out of fairness and honesty you must investigate what Islam says about God, Jesus, including this life and the hereafter?

60.Being a Christian, do you also believe that we must all stand accountable to our Creator and that the Creator is Perfect and Just? As a sincere believer in God, donít you owe it upon yourself to find out the entire unadulterated truth regardless of the consequences?






In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

60 Questions For
The Christians


Alharamain Foundation
E-mail:haramain@alharamain.org
P.O.Box: 92684
Riyadh 11663
Saudi Arabia
Phone: 966-1-4652210
Fax: 966-1-4565813






TRINITY
According to most Christians, Jesus was God incarnate, full man and full God. Can the finite and the infinite be one? "To be full" God means freedom from finite forms and from helplessness, and to be "full man" means the absence of divinity.

1.To be son is to be less than divine and to be divine is to be no oneís son. How could Jesus have the attributes of sonship and divinity altogether?

2.Christians assert that Jesus claimed to be God when they quote him in John 14:9: "He that has seen me has seen the Father". Didnít Jesus clearly say that people have never seen God, as it says in John 5:37: "And the father himself which Has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE AT ANY TIME NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE"?

3.Christians say that Jesus was God because he was called Son of God, Son of Man, Messiah, and "savior". Ezekiel was addressed in the Bible as Son of Man. Jesus spoke of "the peace makers" as Sons of God. Any person who followed the Will and Plan of God was called SON OF GOD in the Jewish tradition and in their language (Genesis 6:2,4; Exodus 4:22; Psalm 2:7; Romans 8:14). "Messiah" which in Hebrew means "Godís anointed" and not "Christ", and "Cyrus" the person is called "Messiah" or "the anointed". As for "savior", in II KINGS 13:5, other individuals were given that title too without being gods. So where is the proof in these terms that Jesus was God when the word son is not exclusively used for him alone?

4.Christians claim that Jesus acknowledged that he and God were one in the sense of nature when he says in John 10:30 "I and my father are one". Later on in John 17:21-23, Jesus refers to his followers and himself and God as one in five places. So why did they give the previous "one" a different meaning from the other five "ones?

5.Is God three-in-one and one in three simultaneously or one at a time?

6.If God is one and three simultaneously, then none of the three could be the complete God. Granting that such was the case, then when Jesus was on earth, he wasnít a complete God, nor was the "father in Heaven" a whole God. Doesnít that contradict what Jesus always said about His God and our God in heaven, his Lord and our Lord ? Does that also mean that there was no complete god then, between the claimed crucifixion and the claimed resurrection?

7.If God is one and three at a time, then who was the God in heaven when Jesus was on earth? Wouldnít this contradict his many references to a God in Heaven that sent him?

8.If God is three and one at the same time, who was the God in Heaven within three days between the claimed crucifixion and the claimed resurrect ion?

9.Christians say that: "The Father(F) is God, the Son(S) is God, and the Holy Ghost(H) is God, but the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost is not the Father". In simple arithmetic and terms therefore, if F = G, S = G, and H = G, then it follows that F = S = H, while the second part of the statement suggests that F Ļ S Ļ H (meaning, "not equal"). Isnít that a contradiction to the Christian dogma of Trinity in itself ?

10.If Jesus was God, why did he tell the man who called him "good master" not to call him "good" because accordingly, there is none good but his God in Heaven alone?

11.Why do Christians say that God is three-in-one and one in three when Jesus says in Mark 12:29: "The Lord our God is one Lord" in as many places as yet in the Bible?

12.If belief in the Trinity was such a necessary condition for being a Christian, why didnít Jesus teach and emphasize it to the Christians during his time? How were those followers of Jesus considered Christians without ever hearing the term Trinity? Had the Trinity been the spinal cord of Christianity, Jesus would have emphasized it on many occasions and would have taught and explained it in detail to the people.

13.Christians claim that Jesus was God as they quote in John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". This is John speaking and not Jesus. Also, the Greek word for the first occurrence of God is HOTHEOS which means "the God" or "God" with a capital "G", while the Greek word for its second occurrence is "TONTHEOS", which means "a god " or "god" with a small "g". Isnít this dishonesty and inconsistency on the part of those translating the Greek Bible? ? Isnít such quotation in John 1:1 recognized by every Christian scholar of the Bible to have been written by a Jew named Philo Alexandria way before Jesus and John?

14.Wasnít the word "god" or "TONTHEOS" also used to refer to others as well as in II Corinthians 4:4 "(and the Devil is) the god of this world" and in Exodus 7:1 "See , I have made thee (Moses ) a god to Pharaoh"?


SALVATION:
Christians say that "GOD LOST His only son to save us". To whom did God lose Jesus if he owns the whole universe?

15. If it was agreeable with Godís Majesty to have sons, He could have created a million sons the like of Jesus. So what is the big clear deal about this only son?

16.Why does the Bible say that Jesus wanted to die on the cross, when the one on the cross was shouting "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" according to Matthew 27:45 and Mark 15:33?

17. If God had wanted to save us, couldnít He have done that without sacrificing Jesus?

18. God is Just, and justice requires that nobody should be punished for the sins of others, nor should some people be saved by punishing other people. Doesnít the claim that God sacrificed Jesus to save us because He was Just, contradict the definition of justice?

19. People sacrifice things they have to get something they donít have when they canít have both. Christians say that "God SACRIFICED His only son to save us". We know that God is Almighty; to whom did He sacrifice Jesus?

20. A real sacrifice is when you canít get back what you have offered , so what would be the big deal about such a sacrifice if God could recover the same offering? (according to the Christiansí terminology)?

21. If all the Christians are saved through Jesus and are going to Heaven no matter what they do, then the teachings of Jesus are irrelevant and the definition of good and bad are also rendered irrelevant. If this is not so, then do Christians who believe in Jesus yet do not follow his teachings nor repent go to Hell?

22. How can Christians take deeds as irrelevant after becoming one when Jesus says in Matthew 12:36; "But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. For by the words thou shalt be justified, and by the words thou shalt be condemned"?

23. Christians say that people go to Heaven ONLY THROUGH JESUS, yet Paul says in 1 CORINTHIANS 7:8-16 that the unbelieving husband is acceptable to God because he is united with his wife and vice versa, and their pagan children are also acceptable to God. So people can go to heaven without believing in Jesus according to this.

24. How come the Bible says that ALL Israel is saved although they donít believe in Jesus? Doesnít that contradict the claim in the Bible that the only way to heaven is through Jesus?

25. According to Christians, those who have not been baptized will go to Hell. So even the infants and babies go to Hell if not baptized, since they are born with an inherited original sin. Doesnít this contradict the definition of justice? Why would God punish people for sins they never committed?


HOLY SPIRIT:
The only place in the Bible where the Paraclete was called the Holy Spirit is in John 14:26 "But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you". What has the Holy Spirit brought or taught for the last 2000 years?

26.Christians say that the Paraclete means the Holy Spirit (John 14;26). Jesus said in John 16:7-8 "If I do not go away the Paraclete will not come to you". This could not mean the Holy spirit, since the Holy spirit was said to have been there before Jesus was even born as in Luke 1:41 "Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit". Here, the Holy spirit was also present during Jesus life time. So how could this fit with the condition that Jesus must go away so that the Holy spirit will come?

27.In John 16:7-8, it says: "But if go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of sins and of righteousness and of Judgment". What do "he" and "him" refer here? Donít they refer to a man?

28.Does the Holy Spirit talk to good Christians and bad Christians as well? Is the Holy spirit with them all the time or just at certain times? When does it start visiting a person who wants to become a Christian?

29.How can you as a Christian tell if the Holy Spirit is inside another Christian? How come many Christians fooled people by claiming that the Holy spirit was inside them only to be converted to another religion later on ?

30.Does the Holy Spirit dictate what Christians should do without choice or freedom at all or does it only guide them and they have the freedom to follow or not ?

31.If the Holy Spirit dictates what Christian should do, why do Christians commit sins and make mistakes ? How can you explain the conversion to other religions and atheism of many Christians? Are they told to do that by the Holy Spirit?

32.If the Holy Spirit guides Christians only, and they are free to do what they want, then how do we know that the writers of the Gospels didnít make mistakes in writing them?

33.If Christians believe that the Holy Spirit comes and talks to them everyday, why donít they ask the Holy Spirit about which version of the Bible to follow since there are too many versions floating around?


MISSION OF JESUS:
Without borrowing from other religions and systems, can Christianity provide people with a complete way of life? Since Christianity is limited to spiritual life and does not provide law, how can a society decide which laws are right or wrong?

34.Why do the Christians say that Jesus came with a universal mission when he said that he was sent to the Jews only? He said to the Canaanite woman who asked him to heal her daughter from demon-possession: "I was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of Israel" and also said: "It is not right to take the childrenís bread and toss it to their dogs", Matthew 15:21-28.


RESSURECTION:
If you read Matthew (28:1-10), Mark (16:1-20), Luke (24:1-12), and John (20: 1-18), you will find contradicting stories. They all agreed that the tomb was guarded for three days. However, they reported the discovery of the empty tomb differently.

Matthew (28) and John (20) reported that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were the first to discover the tomb.
Mark (16) reports that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were the first to discover the empty tomb.
Mark (28) reports that there was an earthquake that removed the rock from over the tomb. He says that an angel caused it. The other gospels do not mention of an earthquake.
Matthew and Mark say that only ONE man in white clothes was sitting on the tomb when the woman arrived, and that he was an angel.
Luke says that TWO men in white clothes, who were angels, were sitting. Johns says that the two women did not meet anybody the first time they came to the tomb, but when they returned, they saw TWO people, ONE was an ANGEL, and the other was JESUS.
Matthew reports that when the guards reported this to the chief priest, the chief priest paid them a large sum of money, telling them: "You have to say that his disciples came at night and stole his body." He claims that the soldiers took money and spread the story around and since then, the story had been circulating among the Jews until today (according to Matthew). The other gospels do not report of any such thing.
35. Which narration now is more authentic?

36.Why is the appearance of Jesus after the crucifixion taken as a proof of his resurrection when there is an explanation that he was not dead because someone else was crucified in his place when God saved Him?

37.How did Matthew know of the claimed agreement between the soldiers and the chief priest? Canít someone say that someone paid the women a large sum of money and told them to spread the word around that Jesus rose from the dead, with the same authenticity as that of the story of Matthew?

38.Why did they believe that man in the white clothes? Why did they believe he was an angel? Johnís narration is too strange, since he says that Mary did not recognize Jesus (one of the two) while talking to him, and she only recognized him when he called her by her name.

39.How does an empty tomb prove that Jesus was crucified ? Isnít it that God is capable of removing another man from the tomb, and of resurrecting him too?

40.The Gospels are believed to be the verbatim words of God, they are supposed to be dictated by the Holy Spirit to the Disciples who wrote them. If the source were the same, why shouldnít they correspond with each other in reporting such an important event?

41.How could Matthew, Mark, Luke and John be considered eyewitnesses of resurrection when the Bible implies that nobody at all saw Jesus coming out of the tomb?


BIBLE:
If the Christians consider the Old Testament as Godís Word, why did they cancel the parts of the Old Testament that dealt with punishment (example: the punishment for adultery)?

42.Why doesnít Mark 16:9-20 exist in as many versions of the Bible while it exists as a footnote or between brackets in some other versions? Is a footnote in the Bible still considered as Godís word, especially when it addresses an important feature like the Ascension?

43.Why does the Catholic Bible contain 73 books while the Protestant Bible has only 66? With both claiming to have the complete Word of God, which one should be believed and why?

44.Where do those new translations of the Bible keep coming from when the original Bible is not even available ? The Greek manuscripts which are translations themselves are not even similar with each other.

45.How can you take two gospels from writers who never met Jesus, like Mark and Luke?

46.Why is half of the New Testament written by a man who never even met Jesus in his lifetime? PAUL claimed with no proof that he had met Jesus while on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus. PAUL was the main enemy of Christianity. Isnít that reason enough to question the authenticity of what he wrote? Why do the Christians call those books of the Old Testament "Godís Word" when the revisors of the RSV Bible say that some of the authors are UNKNOWN? They say that the author of SAMUEL is "UNKNOWN" and that of CHRONICLES is "UNKOWN, PROBABLY COLLECTED AND EDITED BY EZRA"!


CONTRADICTIONS:
47.Concerning the controversial issues in the Bible, how can Christians decide by two-thirds majority what is Godís Word and what is not, as the prefaces of some Bibles say like that one of the RSV ?

48.Why does Luke in his gospel report the Ascension on Easter Day, and in the Acts, in which he is recognized as the author, FORTY days later?

49.The genealogy of Jesus is mentioned in Matthew and Luke only. Matthew listed 26 forefathers from Joseph to David while Luke enumerated 41 forefathers. Only Joseph matches with Joseph in those two lists. Not a single other name matches! If these were inspired by God word by word, how could they be different? Some claim that one is for Mary and one is for Joseph, but where does it says Mary in those two Gospels?

50.If Moses wrote the first books of the Old Testament, how could Moses write his own obituary? Moses died in the fifth book at age 120 as mentioned in Deut. 34:5-10.

51.In the King James Version, why does it report SEVEN years of famine in II SAMUEL 24:13 while it reports THREE years of famine in I CHRONICLES 21:12? Why did they change both to THREE years in the New International Version and other versions?

52.Still In the same King James Version, why does it say that Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign in II CHRONICLES 21:12, while it says EIGHTEEN years in II KINGS 24:8? Why did thessey change in both to EIGHTEEN in the new Versions?

53.In all versions, why does it say that David slew the men of SEVEN HUNDRED chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand HORSEMEN as evidenced in II Samuel 10:18 while its says SEVEN THOUSAND men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand FOOTMEN, in I CHRONICLES 19:18?

54.In all versions, why does it report TWO thousand baths in I KINGS 7:26 while II CHRONICLES 4:5 reports THREE THOUSAND?

55.In the King James version, why does it report that Solomon had FOUR THOUSAND stalls for horses in II CHRONICLES 9:25 while it accounts that Solomon had FORTY THOUSAND stalls of horses in 1 KINGS 4:26? Why did they change both to FOUR THOUSAND in the new versions?

56.In GENESIS 1, Godís creation progresses from grass to trees to fowls, whales, cattle and creeping things and finally to man and woman. GENESIS 2, however, puts the creation of man before cattle and fowl and woman subsequent to beast. How can this be explained?

QURíAN AND CHRISTIANS
This section does not inquire or interrogate, but rather provides the reader with some of the Quríanic verses that address the Christians in particular, and the people of the scripture in general. A great portion of the Qurían pertains to or involves the Christians and the Jews and I decided to just choose verses that are related to the topic of this manuscript.


"Lo! The likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then said unto him: Be, and he was." Al-Qurían 3:59.
"Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for Lords besides Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto him).
"O People of the Scripture! Why will you argue about Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were revealed till after him? Have you then no sense?

Abraham was not a Jew, nor yet a Christian; but he was an upright man who had surrendered (to Allah), and he was not of the idolaters.

Lo! Those of mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and his Prophet and those who believe (with him); and Allah is the Protector of the believers.

A party of the People of the Scripture longs to make you go astray; and they make none to go astray except themselves, but they perceive not.

O People of the Scripture! Why disbelieve you in the revelations of Allah, when you (yourselves) bear witness to their truth?

O People of the Scriptures! Why confound you truth with falsehood and knowingly conceal the Truth? (Al-Qurían 3: 64-71)

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him and in the hereafter, He will be one of the losers (Al-Qurían 3:85).
And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, and Allahís messenger. They slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them, and Lo! Those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain:
But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise. (Al-Qurían 4:157-158).

O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter ought concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him, so believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three"! Cease! (it is ) better for you! Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as defender.
The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah, nor will the favored angels. Whosoever scorns His service and is proud, all such will assemble unto Him.

Then, as for those who believed and did good works, unto them will He give them their wages in full, adding unto them of His bounty; and as for those who were scornful and proud, then He will punish with a painful doom." (Al-Qurían 4:171-173).

"And with those who say Lo! We are Christians, We made a covenant, but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefore We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork.
O People of the Scripture! Now has our messenger come unto you, expounding unto you much of that which you used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much. Now has come unto light from Allah and plain scripture:

Whereby Allah guides him who seeks His good pleasure unto paths of peace, He brings them out of darkness unto light by His decree, and guides them unto a Straight Path.

They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then can do aught against Allah if he had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? Allahís is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He creates what he wills. And Allah is able to do all things. (Al-Qurían 5:14:17).

"They surely disbelieve who say; Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O children if Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and you Lord. Lo! Whosoever ascribes partners unto Allah, for him Allah has forbidden Paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evildoers ,there will be no helpers.
They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of the three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not from so saying, a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve.

Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful.

Say: Serve you in place of Allah that which possesses for you neither hurt nor use? Allah is the Hearer, the Knower.

Say: O People of the Scripture! Stress not in your religion other than the Truth, and follow not the vain desire of folks who erred of old and led many astray, and erred from a plain road." (Al-Qurían 5:72-77)

"And when Allah says: O Jesus, son of Mary: Did you say unto mankind: take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah?, he says: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then You Knew it, You know what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Your mind. Lo! You, only You, are the knower of things hidden.
I spoke unto them only that which You commanded me (saying); worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when You took me, You were the Watcher over them. You are witness over all things.

If You punish them, Lo! They are Your slaves, and if you forgive them (Lo! They are Your slaves). Lo! You, only you are the Mighty, the Wise.

Allah says: This is a day in which their truthfulness profits the truthful, for theirs are Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they are secure forever, Allah taking pleasure in them and they in Him. That is the great triumph. (Al-Qurían 5:116-119)

"And the Jews say: ĎUzair (Ezra) is the son of Allahí, and the Christians say: ĎThe Messiah is the son of Allahí. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah fights against them. How perverse they are!
They have taken as Lord besides Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no God save Him. Be He glorified from all that they ascribe as partners (unto him)!

Faint would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah disdains (aught) save that He shall perfect His light, however much the disbelievers are averse.

He it is Who has sent His messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to cause it to prevail over all religions, however much the idolaters may be averse.

O you who believe! Lo! many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks devour the wealth of mankind wantonly and debar (people) from the way of Allah. They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom.

On the Day when it will (all) be heated in the fire of Hell, and their foreheads and their flanks and their backs will be branded therewith (and it will be said unto them): Here is that which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard." (Al-Qurían 9:30-35).



MUHAMMAD OR JESUS?
Christians claim that the prophecy in Deut. 18:18 refers to Jesus and not Muhammad. The verse says: "I will raise them up a prophet from among THEIR BRETHREN, LIKE UNTO THEE, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." The only reason they resort to such interpretation is that both Moses and Jesus were prophets. Even this one contradicts their claim that Jesus was God and not a Prophet. Many prophets of the Jews had the similarity with Moses. However, if we compare Muhammad to Moses, we will find that:

Muhammad was an Arab, and the Arabs are from Ishmael, son of Abraham, while Moses was a Jew, and the Jews are from Isaac, son of Abraham. Hence, the term THEIR BRETHREN refers to the children of the first son being brethren of the children of the other. This couldnít apply to Jesus, since he was a Jew.

According to the Christians, Jesus went to Hell for three days while Moses did not. Therefore, Jesus is not like Moses. (In Islam, none of the three Prophets went to Hell)

Moses and Muhammad were born to fathers and mothers while Jesus was born to a mother alone.

Moses and Muhammad got married and had children, while Jesus did not marry at all.

Moses and Muhammad got problems and difficulties from their people initially, but were accepted by them at the end., whereas Jesus was rejected by his people at the start and is still rejected by the Jews until today. "He (Jesus) came unto his own, but his own received him not".( John 1:11)

Moses and Muhammad had power, besides being prophets. They both performed some capital punishments, for example, while Jesus had no power over his people. "My kingdom is not of this world", Jesus said in John 18:36 .

Moses and Muhammad brought new laws while Jesus did not.

Moses was forced to emigrate in adulthood to Median while Muhammad was forced to emigrate at that stage in his life too, towards Madina . Whereas Jesus did not have such forced emigration in his adulthood .

Moses and Muhammad both died of natural deaths after which they were buried ,while the same could not be said of Jesus. He was neither killed nor crucified at all, according to the Qurían and did not die a Ďnaturalí death as could be affirmed by Christians who believe in Crucifixion.

FINAL QUESTIONS:
57.Why wonít you, Christian reader, come to hear and learn of the true religion of Jesus?

58.Have you, as a Christian , learned of Islam and if so, was it from the true Muslims?

59.As a Christian, do you agree that out of fairness and honesty you must investigate what Islam says about God, Jesus, including this life and the hereafter?

60.Being a Christian, do you also believe that we must all stand accountable to our Creator and that the Creator is Perfect and Just? As a sincere believer in God, donít you owe it upon yourself to find out the entire unadulterated truth regardless of the consequences?








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Old 20-08-2002, 23:18
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RE: 60 Questions for the Christians

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 21-08-02 AT 07:49 PM (GMT)]Greetings All!

I've been away for a couple of months I guess, and I return to find these 60 questions.

Honestly, Lulua, I would have hoped we could progress past this type of dialogue. Didn't we already tackle the 101 contradictions of the Bible, and the "Who Invented the Trinity?" articles.

Don't get me wrong...I am not upset that you or anyone else has questions about Christianity -- just as I have questions about Islam. However, when we're hit with 60 questions at once, I have to wonder whether you actually intend to read the answers seriously.

But, on the off chance someone really is interested in how a Christian would respond to these questions, here goes....

TRINITY
According to most Christians, Jesus was God incarnate, full man and full God. Can the finite and the infinite be one? "To be full" God means freedom from finite forms and from helplessness, and to be "full man" means the absence of divinity.


Where does the author of these questions derive his definitions? I would agree that God is free from finite forms, but I am not certain that the very definition of "full man" means the absence of divinity. Indeed, when speaking of devinity, since we agree that the divine is infinite, it is best to let Allah define himself. If Allah should deign to become a man, that is his perogative.

1.To be son is to be less than divine and to be divine is to be no oneís son. How could Jesus have the attributes of sonship and divinity altogether?

The author is not following the New Testament argument. A Son is one who inherits everything from the Father. A Son is not less than the Father, but is equal to the Father as the successor to the Father.

2.Christians assert that Jesus claimed to be God when they quote him in John 14:9: "He that has seen me has seen the Father". Didnít Jesus clearly say that people have never seen God, as it says in John 5:37: "And the father himself which Has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE AT ANY TIME NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE"?

The author is quoting out of context to suit his own purposes. It is quite clear in context that Jesus is criticizing those to whom the word was spoken, but who did not listen.


3.Christians say that Jesus was God because he was called Son of God, Son of Man, Messiah, and "savior". Ezekiel was addressed in the Bible as Son of Man. Jesus spoke of "the peace makers" as Sons of God. Any person who followed the Will and Plan of God was called SON OF GOD in the Jewish tradition and in their language (Genesis 6:2,4; Exodus 4:22; Psalm 2:7; Romans 8:14). "Messiah" which in Hebrew means "Godís anointed" and not "Christ", and "Cyrus" the person is called "Messiah" or "the anointed". As for "savior", in II KINGS 13:5, other individuals were given that title too without being gods. So where is the proof in these terms that Jesus was God when the word son is not exclusively used for him alone?

The Bible is quite clear that Jesus is the Son of God in a different way than the rest of us. In John's gospel, he is called "monogeneses" of God, which is to say he is the only begotten of God (Jn 1: 14). This implies that he is of the same substance or being as the Father. "Mono" means "same", and "genesis" refers to origins. It is rooted in the same word from which we derive the english "genetics". In Colossians 1: 15, he is called the firstborn, implying that Jesus is the legal heir to the Father's authority. In turn, the rest of us are children of God by adoption (see Romans 8: 15).

4.Christians claim that Jesus acknowledged that he and God were one in the sense of nature when he says in John 10:30 "I and my father are one". Later on in John 17:21-23, Jesus refers to his followers and himself and God as one in five places. So why did they give the previous "one" a different meaning from the other five "ones?

We don't. The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms the teaching of Saint Iraneas in the second century that through Christ, humanity is divinized. We are united to the Father through Jesus Christ. God became human so that humanity might be divinized.

This does NOT mean that we each become A god, equal to THE God. Rather, it means that God takes up his dwelling within the believer, making us sharers in his life.

5.Is God three-in-one and one in three simultaneously or one at a time?

Yes. Just as I am the person of husband to my wife, and the person of son to my father simultaneously, so to, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three in one and one in three simultaneously.

6.If God is one and three simultaneously, then none of the three could be the complete God. Granting that such was the case, then when Jesus was on earth, he wasnít a complete God, nor was the "father in Heaven" a whole God. Doesnít that contradict what Jesus always said about His God and our God in heaven, his Lord and our Lord ? Does that also mean that there was no complete god then, between the claimed crucifixion and the claimed resurrection?

This question is based on a confusion of philosophical categories between "person" and "being". The category of "person" refers to an identity formed and completed ont he basis of relationship. It answers the question "Who?". The category of "being" refers to the nature or essence of something, it's underlying reality, the answer to the question "What?". In the category of "being", I am human. In the category of "person", I am husband, son, etc...Personhood is not "parts" of the whole. Rather, it is the expression of the whole within the context of a relationship.

7.If God is one and three at a time, then who was the God in heaven when Jesus was on earth? Wouldnít this contradict his many references to a God in Heaven that sent him?

I hate to do this, but I need to answer this question with a question: Are Muslims saying that it is impossible for Allah to be in two places simultaneously? To a Christian, all things are possible for God.

8.If God is three and one at the same time, who was the God in Heaven within three days between the claimed crucifixion and the claimed resurrection?

The Logos or Christ was not dead for three days, and the Scriptures are quite clear in this regard. To the thief on the cross in Luke's gospel, Jesus says that they will share in poaradise that very day. In 1 Peter, Christ preaches to the souls of Noah's time while the body lie in the tomb. In other words, as Jesus breathed his last breath on the cross, the Logos transferred (died) into eternal life, or was born into eternal life.

9.Christians say that: "The Father(F) is God, the Son(S) is God, and the Holy Ghost(H) is God, but the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost is not the Father". In simple arithmetic and terms therefore, if F = G, S = G, and H = G, then it follows that F = S = H, while the second part of the statement suggests that F Ļ S Ļ H (meaning, "not equal"). Isnít that a contradiction to the Christian dogma of Trinity in itself ?

Again, the author is confusing philosophical categories. I am not son to my wife, nor am I spouse to my father. Yet, I am son and spouse without dividing my being. See question 6 above.

10.If Jesus was God, why did he tell the man who called him "good master" not to call him "good" because accordingly, there is none good but his God in Heaven alone?

This question is based on a rather wooden interpretation of the text. Christians see an obvious rhetorical question in the phrasing. The rich young man comes to Jesus calling him "good master", and Jesus asks the young to think through what he is saying. "Why do you call me good, when one alone is good?" It is as though Jesus is inviting the young man to develop his own thought a bit further,...,as though Jesus were saying, "By calling me good, are you finally admitting that you recognize me as God?"

11.Why do Christians say that God is three-in-one and one in three when Jesus says in Mark 12:29: "The Lord our God is one Lord" in as many places as yet in the Bible?

Christians do not deny for one second that there is only one being rightly called God. Again, we must not confuse the philosophical category of personhood with being (see question 6). Even human beings are more than one person in one being. What is unique in the persons of God is the identities formed and completed on the basis of relationship are formed in eternal relationships with each other, rather than soley with humanity. This reminds us at all times that the one God is beyond complete human comprehension.

12.If belief in the Trinity was such a necessary condition for being a Christian, why didnít Jesus teach and emphasize it to the Christians during his time? How were those followers of Jesus considered Christians without ever hearing the term Trinity? Had the Trinity been the spinal cord of Christianity, Jesus would have emphasized it on many occasions and would have taught and explained it in detail to the people.

The more and more I meditate on the New Testament, the more and more clear it becomes that the Jesus presented in the various narrations is affirming the Trinity over and over again. It must be kept in mind that Jesus audience was limited by the fact that they spoke first century Aramaic and perhpas a smidgen of Koine Greek or Latin. In first century Aramaic, there were no words to convey the concept of the english verb "to be". If I wanted to say, "I am a man", they way I would do so is to say "I act as a man". Over and over, Christ is DOING things only God can DO and saying that he DOES the will of the Father. In first century Aramaic, this is the equivalent of saying "I am God". His listeners understood this, and tried to stone him several times for blashpemy, and finally crucified him for it.

13.Christians claim that Jesus was God as they quote in John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". This is John speaking and not Jesus. Also, the Greek word for the first occurrence of God is HOTHEOS which means "the God" or "God" with a capital "G", while the Greek word for its second occurrence is "TONTHEOS", which means "a god " or "god" with a small "g". Isnít this dishonesty and inconsistency on the part of those translating the Greek Bible? ? Isnít such quotation in John 1:1 recognized by every Christian scholar of the Bible to have been written by a Jew named Philo Alexandria way before Jesus and John?

This is based on a complete misunderstanding of Koine Greek. First off, the word for "a god" is not TONTHEOS. Rather, the concept of "a god" is conveyed better by THEIOS. The issue the author is trying to convey is that in the first instance, HO THEOS (actually two words) would be translated "The God". In the second instance, the actual Greek reads TON THEON, and Theon would be translated "God".

However, there is a common rule (not an absolute rule, but a common one) of using an indefinite article (such as "a") if a definite article is missing. In the New Testament, THEOS and its forms are usually preceeded by the definite artice (such as "The"). Since there is no definite article in the second instance of this phrase, some Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses like to assert that the proper reading should be "a god".

This is an odd argument for a Muslim, since it would imply there is more than one god. However, it is also a false argument. As stated already, if the intent of the author were to convey the notion that the Word is "a god" or "divine", the word THEIOS would have been far more clear. Furthermore, the literary style of the passage is a "staircase parallelism" where the last word of one line becomes the first word of the next line. thus, as the preceeding verse ended with reference to THEOS, the line in question must begin with THEOS used in the same sense. The ommission of the definite article is an intentional device to distinguish the person of the Word from the person of the Father, whithout any separation in nature or essence.

Furthermore, lest the reader have any further doubts, the author of the same gospel reaffirms that he means to say that Christ is God in several other passages of the same gospel:

In Jn 8: 58, Christ says "before Abraham, I AM". The reference in Greek is "Ego Eimi", which is used as God's name in the Greek Septuagint version of Isaiah 43: 25. In English, Is 43: 25 is often translated as "I, I am he..." In Koine Greek, it reads, "Ego Eimi, Ego Eimi". In turn, Is 43: 25 refers to Exodus 3:14, where YHWH reveals his name as "I AM Who AM".

The passage also reveals the difficulty the author would have conveying a direct sentence that translates literally as "I am God". Though the gospel is written in Koine Greek, Jesus spoke Aramaic. In Aramaic, there were no verbs of being, since the concept of being was reserved for YHWH alone. If one wanted to say "I am a man" in Aramaic, one would say, "I act as a man." So, for ANYONE to use "Ego Eimi" in reference to himself was considered blasphemy!

Though the Exodus passage uses HO ON in the Septuagint, the author of John's gosple is refering to Is 43: 25. The clear inferrence that Jesus is claiming divinity passage is verified in the fact that his listeners seek to stone him for making such a claim!

Returning to the idea that Aramaic does not allow verbs of being, if a person wanted to say literally, "I am God" in Aramaic, the way to do it would be to say something like, "I act as God". In John 14: 10, Christ invites us to believe that the Father is in him based on the works he does!

In Jn 10: 30, Jesus says, "I and the Father are one."

In Jn 14: 8, Phillip asks Jesus to show the Twelve the Father. In verse 9, Jesus replies, "Have I been with you for so long and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father." How much more clear can we get that the Father and the Son are one in being?

In Jn 20: 28, Thomas declares that Christ is "My Lord and my God", and the resurrected Christ does not rebuke or correct him. Rather, he says that those of us who have not seen the glorified body of the resurrected Lord, yet believe in him will be blessed!

As a side note, the humanity of Christ is affirmed in passages such as Jn 1: 14, and in Jn 14: 28, Christ even says that the Father is greater than he is in his humanity. This latter verse sometimes trips people up who are trying to understand what the author of John's gosple is saying. The intent is something like saying "I am more than my body". In the context of the gospel as a whole, Jesus is not claiming that he and the Father are separate in being. However, he is clearly asserting that he and the Father are distinct, and the Father is greater than his humanity. It is possible for us to make a distinction in persons without a separation of being, just as I can distinguish myself as the person of spouse to my wife, and son to my father without becoming two separate beings.

Now, it is entirely possible for the author of John to just be mistaken about Christ. However, it is NOT possible that the author was not claiming that Christ is the true God in human flesh. Either the entire gospel of John is false, or the entire gospel is true. However, the argument that Christians are misinterpreting the single verse of Jn 1: 1 is patently absurd.

14.Wasnít the word "god" or "TONTHEOS" also used to refer to others as well as in II Corinthians 4:4 "(and the Devil is) the god of this world" and in Exodus 7:1 "See , I have made thee (Moses ) a god to Pharaoh"?

Actually, the answer to this question is NO. In 2 Corinthians, TON-THEOS is applied to Christ, whil HO-THEOS is applied to the devil. The devil is NOT said to be "A god of this age", but IS said to be "THE God of this age". Of course, nobody, Christian or Muslim, believes that the author intended to say that devil is the one and only true God. Rather, Paul is stating that the devil has been given some limited authority in the world during the present age, making him "THE God of this age". Regarding the Old Testament, the Hebrew would be considered more definitve than the Greek Septuagint.


SALVATION:
Christians say that "GOD LOST His only son to save us". To whom did God lose Jesus if he owns the whole universe?


I've been a Christian 37 years, and I've never heard anyone say "God LOST His only son to save us" (with emphasis on the word, "lost"). The author of these questions seems to imply that God the Father could not find his Son, which is admittedly absurd. If by "lost", we mean that the Son died on the cross, OK. But if by lost, the author is implying that the Father could not find His Son, he is misrepresenting Christianity.

15. If it was agreeable with Godís Majesty to have sons, He could have created a million sons the like of Jesus. So what is the big clear deal about this only son?

Jesus is not a creature. The Son of God who became incarnate in Jesus was not created. Rather, he is eternally generated from the Father, like heat from a flame. Through Christ, God DID create many other sons -- all of us. However, only Christ is the eternally begotten Son who is one being with the father. In this sense, "Son of God" is clearly a metaphor to imply a relationship of generation, and speaks to the unfathonable mystery of God.

16.Why does the Bible say that Jesus wanted to die on the cross, when the one on the cross was shouting "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" according to Matthew 27:45 and Mark 15:33?

If you say to a Catholic Christian, say an "Our Father", or a "Hail Mary", they know that you mean an entire prayer, and not just two words. The devout among the first century Jews prayed the Psalms seven times per day. The Psalms were recited and sung on street corners. The Bible, with the Psalms, was the only and the best reading material for many first century Jews. Psalms were often known by their first line. This tradition has been preserved not only in Judaism, but in Christianity. Catholic priests know that the "Miserere" is Psalm 51, and "miserere" is the first line in Latin. The ANglicans know this as well. Any first century Jew hearting "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me" would know that it was the first line of Psalm 22. In turn, Psalm 22 is a clear prophecy of the death of the Messiah by what appears to be crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. While the Pslam starts as a lament, it ends in praise. Certainly Jesus felt real pain on the cross. However, his choice to recite Psalm 22 is more an indication that he is the fullfillment of prophecy than any denial of such.

17. If God had wanted to save us, couldnít He have done that without sacrificing Jesus?

Maybe Allah could have saved us some other way. However, God chose to do it in a way that is meaningful to us. What could be more a beautiful expression of Allah's love for humanity than that he would join the human condition, enter into our sufferings, bear the penalty for our sins, and conquer the power of death by rising from the dead as a human person!

18. God is Just, and justice requires that nobody should be punished for the sins of others, nor should some people be saved by punishing other people. Doesnít the claim that God sacrificed Jesus to save us because He was Just, contradict the definition of justice?

The laws of aerodynamics seem to defy the laws of gravity. However, we know that gravity still operates on a plane in flight. Likewise, the law of grace can appear to contradict the law of justice. However, it is only an apparent contradiction.

In the realm of human experience, we tend to know mercy best with our children. When a child does wrong, we don't seek to destroy the child. Rather, we simply want to shape the child's behavior and attitudes to act appropriately for their age. We ARE God's children.

The cross is less about Allah's need for a blood sacrifice, and more about our NEED to see a concrete expression from God that we have been forgiven. The cross tells us in symbolic language that God loves us enough to give us his only Son on our behalf -- to give his very self on our behalf. The cross says that God loves us to death!

19. People sacrifice things they have to get something they donít have when they canít have both. Christians say that "God SACRIFICED His only son to save us". We know that God is Almighty; to whom did He sacrifice Jesus?

In the Book of Revelations 12: 10, we learn that Satan is the accuser. He is the prosecuting attorney before the judgement seat of God. Satan's charge is not only against each of us as individuals, but against the whole human race. Satan appeals to God's justice, saying that the whole human race is sinful and therfore deserves eternal death. But Satan is caught on a technicality. One man is perfect, and yet was punished for sins. His entire case is thrown out of court.

I'll grant that this is a meataphoric interpretation of the crucifixion and resurrection event. However, it is an interpretation that makes sense to me. It is NOT God who needed blood sacrifices. Rather, it is the devil demanding human blood. By becoming human and accepting death, Christ saved humanity from the charge of the devil.

20. A real sacrifice is when you canít get back what you have offered , so what would be the big deal about such a sacrifice if God could recover the same offering? (according to the Christiansí terminology)?

I'm not sure what the author means by this question. However, I'm guessing that he does not understand that Jesus was fully human, and his death on the cross was a real human death, as real as any martyr. What higher sacrifice can a human person offer?

21. If all the Christians are saved through Jesus and are going to Heaven no matter what they do, then the teachings of Jesus are irrelevant and the definition of good and bad are also rendered irrelevant. If this is not so, then do Christians who believe in Jesus yet do not follow his teachings nor repent go to Hell?

Roman Catholics do believe that both faith and works are necessary to salvation. Roman Catholics outnumber all other Christians combined. Based on sheer numbers, the assertion that Christians are saved "no matter what they do" is not the belief of the vast majority of Christians.

However, Catholics DO believe that all works that merit salvation are really Christ working in the believer, so that Roman Catholics, along with Protestants can say that salvation is by grace alone. Likwise, while Protestants do not believe works have any merit on their own, they do see works as a sign that a person believes in Christ.

In either theology, what Christians are emphasizing is that we cannot be saved without God's help, and we should place our trust on what Christ HAS done, rather than what we do on our own. Any person who is honest with him or herself should be able to see that his or her individual sins merit punishment, and that left to ourselves, we would not deserve paradise.

22. How can Christians take deeds as irrelevant after becoming one when Jesus says in Matthew 12:36; "But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. For by the words thou shalt be justified, and by the words thou shalt be condemned"?

This question was asked and answered in question 21. Catholics take the verse for what it says, and say grace inspired works are a necessary component of the salvation process. Protestants see the works as a sign that salvation is at work in the believer, but emphasize that a persons works do not EARN eternal salvation. In Protestant theology, at best, works can increase the degree of reward, but salvation is won through faith alone.

23. Christians say that people go to Heaven ONLY THROUGH JESUS, yet Paul says in 1 CORINTHIANS 7:8-16 that the unbelieving husband is acceptable to God because he is united with his wife and vice versa, and their pagan children are also acceptable to God. So people can go to heaven without believing in Jesus according to this.

Protestants and Catholics will answer this question differently as well. Catholics believe that people are being saved by Christ, even though they do not know Christ by name. Think of it like a lifeguard on a beach. I do not need to know the life-guard's name before he jumps in the water to save me. Indeed, Catholics hold as a doctrine of their Church that there are some Muslims being saved!

Protestants emphasize that we are saved by trsuting faith in Jesus Christ. While we should take joy in knowing that each and every person will face an infinitely just and infinitely merciful God at judgement, most Protestants do not believe that salvation can occur for an adult without a conscious decision for Christ.

Both Catholics and Protestants believe that a person who knows Christ is God and savior, and deliberately rejects Him through his or her own fault, that person will be damned.

24. How come the Bible says that ALL Israel is saved although they donít believe in Jesus? Doesnít that contradict the claim in the Bible that the only way to heaven is through Jesus?

See answer to question 23 for the catholic response. Protestants who believe that Israel is saved believe that Christ was prophecied so clearly that even those who lived before him had a good idea who was coming. Thus, they were saved looking forward to Christ, while we are saved by looking back to Christ.

25. According to Christians, those who have not been baptized will go to Hell. So even the infants and babies go to Hell if not baptized, since they are born with an inherited original sin. Doesnít this contradict the definition of justice? Why would God punish people for sins they never committed?

Actually, few if any Christians believe that unbaptized babies literally go to hell. However, what we DO believe regarding Original Sin is that God created a perfect world. When Adam and Eve fell into sin, the perfection of the entire universe was marred. Think of it like a beatiful painting with a an oil stain in the middle. The whole painting isn't literally ruined, but the perfection of the painting is marred by that one spot.

Original sin effected all of creation. One of the effects of original Sin is that we die. Another effect of Original Sin is that we are born with an inclination to sin, called "concupiscience". This inclination to sin is not Original Sin, in and of itself. However, it IS a universal effect of Original Sin, and we DO see that even children can act in the most selfish and mean spirited fashion.

Throuhg immersion in the water, Baptism represents an immersion in the death of Christ to rise with him. Symbolically, we are cleansed of Original Sin by our union with Christ. We reject the example of Adam, to embrace the life of the Redeemer. We are initiated into the community of faith, accepting the free gift given us in Christ.

The practice of baptizing infants is not universal among ALL Christians. However, it is done by the largest Christian body (the aforementioned Roman Catholics), as well as by the Eastern Orthodox, and several major Protestant sects (such as the Anglicans). The baptism of infants represents that grace is a free and unmerited gift, that is not even won by our act of conscious faith. While a response to grace will be required in life in order to actualize salvation, infant baptism represents that salvation begins with God's initiative -- not our own!

HOLY SPIRIT:
The only place in the Bible where the Paraclete was called the Holy Spirit is in John 14:26 "But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you". What has the Holy Spirit brought or taught for the last 2000 years?


Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglicans believe that the Holy Spirit guides the entire Church in a dialogue between Sacred Scripture and history. This is called Sacred Tradition.

Protestants reject Tradition for a doctrine called sola scriptura meaning "The Bible alone". Protestants believe that the action of the Holy Spirit is less in the formation of a communal tradition, and more in the heart of the individual believer in personal reflection on Scripture.

26.Christians say that the Paraclete means the Holy Spirit (John 14;26). Jesus said in John 16:7-8 "If I do not go away the Paraclete will not come to you". This could not mean the Holy spirit, since the Holy spirit was said to have been there before Jesus was even born as in Luke 1:41 "Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit". Here, the Holy spirit was also present during Jesus life time. So how could this fit with the condition that Jesus must go away so that the Holy spirit will come?

This is a very good question. The answer lies in the fact that the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, and even in the beginnings of the gospel was not fully recognized as "a person". We do see hints of "personhood" in the Holy Spirit in the book of Proverbs (where the Spirit is also feminine). However, the jews typically thought of the Holy Spirit less as a personal encounter with God, and more as the power and glory of God emanating from God.

IN Jesus, we see God with a human face, and begin to think of the infinitely transcendent One as one that we can also know as an intimate friend. Jesus leaves us with the promise that he will send forth the Holy Spirit as the abiding PERSONAL precence of God dwelling in our hearts.

Had he not left this world in his humanity, we would continue to focus on the physical person of Jesus. Only after ascending to the father could the Spirit be pooured forth in our hearts so that we can cry with the only begotten Son, "Abba" (that is father). Through the Paraclete (which means advocate or counselor, sort of a combined defense lawer and psychologist) we are made participants in the divine life.


27.In John 16:7-8, it says: "But if go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of sins and of righteousness and of Judgment". What do "he" and "him" refer here? Donít they refer to a man?

Absolutely not. Verse 13 of the same chapter makes clear that Jesus is referring to the Spirit. Indeed, in John 14: 16-17, the word "Paraclete" and "Spirit" are used in the same sentence equivocally! The personal pronouns are used to demonstrate that the Holy Spirit is a PERSONAL presence of God, from which we derive the Trinitarian language of three "persons" in one being called God.

28.Does the Holy Spirit talk to good Christians and bad Christians as well? Is the Holy spirit with them all the time or just at certain times? When does it start visiting a person who wants to become a Christian?

The Holy Spirit talks to everyone who will listen. Are you listening?

29.How can you as a Christian tell if the Holy Spirit is inside another Christian? How come many Christians fooled people by claiming that the Holy spirit was inside them only to be converted to another religion later on ?

Jesus warns us against judging the hearts of others. It goes against Christian teaching to try to discerne whether the Holy Spirit is inside another person claiming to be Christian.

30.Does the Holy Spirit dictate what Christians should do without choice or freedom at all or does it only guide them and they have the freedom to follow or not ?

Yes. God never overides human freedom. However, through the Holy Spirit, we are inspired to reform our lives.

31.If the Holy Spirit dictates what Christian should do, why do Christians commit sins and make mistakes ? How can you explain the conversion to other religions and atheism of many Christians? Are they told to do that by the Holy Spirit?

Four possibilities: First, a person may have claimed to be Christian who never had the Holy Spirit. Second, a person CAN have the Holy Spirit, but not have devloped an ear for hearing her voice (gained through prayer and meditation on the Bible). Third, a person CAN have the Holy Spirit, and simply refuse to listen to her for a time -- remember, in answer to question 30, I said God never over-rides human freedom. She allows us to wonder sometimes. Finally, a person CAN blaspheme the Holy Spirit -- that is knowingly reject her in an ongoing and deliberate act of rebellion. This is the only sin that Christ taught is unforgivable!

32.If the Holy Spirit guides Christians only, and they are free to do what they want, then how do we know that the writers of the Gospels didnít make mistakes in writing them?

It's called FAITH. But our faith is not entirely without reason. There is strong extra-Biblical evidence that the claims of the Bible are true. There is also the beauty of the Bible when taken as a whole. There are the rationalistic arguments of the philosophers and theologians down through the ages. Indeed, I would argue that the claims for the Qur'an are no more rational than the claims for the Bible.

33.If Christians believe that the Holy Spirit comes and talks to them everyday, why donít they ask the Holy Spirit about which version of the Bible to follow since there are too many versions floating around?

The Holy Spirit seems to be saying to me that I am to use several versions. What I am hearing the Holy Spirit say is that the Word of God is difficult to confine to finite human language, and there are nuances and connotations that are best conveyed by reading several translations of the Bible.


MISSION OF JESUS:
Without borrowing from other religions and systems, can Christianity provide people with a complete way of life? Since Christianity is limited to spiritual life and does not provide law, how can a society decide which laws are right or wrong?


This is an absurd claim about Christianity. Many Christian societies have existed that had perfectly good sets of laws. Has the author opened a history book?

34.Why do the Christians say that Jesus came with a universal mission when he said that he was sent to the Jews only? He said to the Canaanite woman who asked him to heal her daughter from demon-possession: "I was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of Israel" and also said: "It is not right to take the childrenís bread and toss it to their dogs", Matthew 15:21-28.

The interpretation the author of these questions gives this passage is so absurd that a child can get the point. Jesus heals the Canaanite women's daughter, demonstrating that his mission was extended to the gentiles. Perhaps the person writing these questions was unaware that Canaanites were not Jews? But then, this same person claims to know Greek. Hmmm. Sounds like he has an axe to grind to miss something so patently obvious.

But let's give the author of thes ethe questions some benefit of the doubt. It is "orthodox" Christian theology to say that Jesus' omniscience as God was not fully available to his human brain. Just as the rest of humanity has the experience of unconscious knwoledge (like when you recognize a face, but can't immediately remember the name), so too, Jesus can be said to have moments of "comming to awareness" of his divine mission. Thus, we can say that Jesus' primary mission was to the Jews, which he recognized prior to meeting the Canaanite woman. In his encounter with this woman, he came to awareness of the depth of his universal mission that was already present in his unconscious divine knowledge.


RESSURECTION:
If you read Matthew (28:1-10), Mark (16:1-20), Luke (24:1-12), and John (20: 1-18), you will find contradicting stories. They all agreed that the tomb was guarded for three days. However, they reported the discovery of the empty tomb differently.


You do not really see direct contraditions. Rather, you see different details remembered by each different author.

Matthew (28) and John (20) reported that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were the first to discover the tomb.
Mark (16) reports that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were the first to discover the empty tomb.
Mark (28) reports that there was an earthquake that removed the rock from over the tomb. He says that an angel caused it. The other gospels do not mention of an earthquake.
Matthew and Mark say that only ONE man in white clothes was sitting on the tomb when the woman arrived, and that he was an angel.
Luke says that TWO men in white clothes, who were angels, were sitting. Johns says that the two women did not meet anybody the first time they came to the tomb, but when they returned, they saw TWO people, ONE was an ANGEL, and the other was JESUS.
Matthew reports that when the guards reported this to the chief priest, the chief priest paid them a large sum of money, telling them: "You have to say that his disciples came at night and stole his body." He claims that the soldiers took money and spread the story around and since then, the story had been circulating among the Jews until today (according to Matthew). The other gospels do not report of any such thing.


The author of this question inserts the word "only" in the narrative where it does not exist in the text. For example, he says that Matthew and Mark state ONLY one man in white was present, while Luke says two men were present. The word "Only" is not in either Matthew or Luke. Likewise, none of the gospels say that ONLY Mary came to the tomb, or that ONLY Mary and ONE other women came. Indeed, all gospel narratives imply that they leaving out some details.

Most scholars see the very things that the author of these questions is pointing out as EVIDENCE that the authors of the gospels were being honest. Had they been making up stories, they would have colluded to get all their facts in perfect alignment. Instead, they sound like eye witnesses in a court case. They don't contradict one another, but they do see things differently and remember slightly different details from what actually occurred.

35. Which narration now is more authentic?

The combined whole.

36.Why is the appearance of Jesus after the crucifixion taken as a proof of his resurrection when there is an explanation that he was not dead because someone else was crucified in his place when God saved Him?

This is even more absurd than believing that a man rose form the dead, and it makes Allah deceptive to believe that Allah allowed a man to look like Jesus....

37.How did Matthew know of the claimed agreement between the soldiers and the chief priest? Canít someone say that someone paid the women a large sum of money and told them to spread the word around that Jesus rose from the dead, with the same authenticity as that of the story of Matthew?

Matthew knew of the claimed agreement because it actually happenned. Howver, the point of Matthew's relating this story is that even the Jews and Romans admitted that the tomb was empty and nobody could find the body of Jesus. The Jews and Romans said that someone must have stolen the body. The Apostles said that the tomb was empty because he had risen. Yet, both sides agree that the tomb was empty!

38.Why did they believe that man in the white clothes? Why did they believe he was an angel? Johnís narration is too strange, since he says that Mary did not recognize Jesus (one of the two) while talking to him, and she only recognized him when he called her by her name.

They believed it because it happenned something like what they record. Yet, I will admit that there is an nuance that the authors of the gospels are conveying that experiencing the Risen Lord is something beyond description. This is true even in my own life. It is hard to put into words how I know Christ's real presence in the Eucharist, but I do know it.

39.How does an empty tomb prove that Jesus was crucified ? Isnít it that God is capable of removing another man from the tomb, and of resurrecting him too?

The empty tomb does NOT prove that Jesus was crucified. Rather, it proves that the man that everyone saw crucified on good Friday was not in the tomb where they laid him on Easter Sunday. There are two possible explanations for the empty tomb. Either the body was stolen, or he rose from the dead.

Regarding how they knew Jesus was crucified, there is no evidence that he was NOT crucified, even by the opponents of early Christianity. Everyone that was there says he was crucified, died, and was buried. The Islamic idea that another person died in his place does not show up anywhere in any written texts until more than a century later.

40.The Gospels are believed to be the verbatim words of God, they are supposed to be dictated by the Holy Spirit to the Disciples who wrote them. If the source were the same, why shouldnít they correspond with each other in reporting such an important event?

Christians do NOT believe the Bible is the DICTATED word of God verbatim. Rather, they believe that the Holy Spirit inspired every word through human agency. Each author wrote in human freedom, using his or her own unique human communication style and human mind. However, the inspiration for the writing and the guidence for the truth of what was being communicated is guarenteed by the Holy Spirit.

Christians find the entire notion that God DICTATES a book offensive. If God spoke directly to us through some other agency than human agency, he could not be understood, because his ways are not our ways. We are incapable of understanding God's langage directly.

On the other hand, if God DOES communicate with human beings at all, the condition for the possibility of such communication is that he allows human beings to hear his communications in their own languages and to phrase his communications in their own words! Since God is infinite, and humanity is made up many people, it follows logically that such communications would be made employing several different people with different languages, different perspectives and different communication styles. Why should God be limited by one human language, one cultural expression, one person's point of view. From a Christian point of view, limiting God to one person's revelation places limits on the infinite One, which is just absurd.

41.How could Matthew, Mark, Luke and John be considered eyewitnesses of resurrection when the Bible implies that nobody at all saw Jesus coming out of the tomb?

It is correct that nobody witnessed the Resurrection event itself. When we speak of the Apostles as witnesses to the resurrection, we do not mean that they witnessed Jesus in the act of rising from the tomb. Rather, we mean that they saw the risen Lord at some point after Easter Sunday.

BIBLE:
If the Christians consider the Old Testament as Godís Word, why did they cancel the parts of the Old Testament that dealt with punishment (example: the punishment for adultery)?


It was not cancelled. The law of justice still holds true. Yet, the law of grace and mercy supercedes the law of justice just as the law of aerodynamics seems to supercede the laws of gravity to make an airplane fly.

42.Why doesnít Mark 16:9-20 exist in as many versions of the Bible while it exists as a footnote or between brackets in some other versions? Is a footnote in the Bible still considered as Godís word, especially when it addresses an important feature like the Ascension?

There are some variant readings in our oldest manuscripts. We mark these out with footnotes so that the reader can see this for him or herself. There is no attempt to hide the difficulty. Yet, there are some important things to bear in mind regarding this:

First, it is the Church that discerns that the Word of God was revealed in a particular writing. These variants were accepted in the Canon of Scripture, and even if they were added by an editor, they are considered inspired.

Second, what one finds if you compare all variants is that there is no substantial change in the overall meaning of the gospels if they are left out.


43.Why does the Catholic Bible contain 73 books while the Protestant Bible has only 66? With both claiming to have the complete Word of God, which one should be believed and why?

This is a complex question. Writing as a Roman Catholic, I would preface my comments by saying that the 7 additional writings found in our Bibles which are not found in Protestant Bibles are not ABSOLUTELY necessary to read in order to be saved. Yet, I find them consistent in their message with the other texts, and helpful (though not necessary) for understanding some unique doctrines within Catholicism.

The books of the Old Testament were originally written in Hebrew and gathered into one sacred text centuries after they were written. Indeed, the very word "Bible" comes from a later Greek word meaning "library". The Bible is not a single book, but a collection of books.

We know that by the time of Jesus, there was fairly common agreement about most books of the Old testament. The Jews universally accepted the books of Moses, or the Torah. They also universally accepted the Psalms. There was some dispute about some of the prophets and historical books.

Around 200 years before Christ, during the Greek occupation of Israel, the Jews translated a collection of their writings into Greek. This became known as the Greek Septuagint (meaning 70), because according to legend, 70 scholars were kept in separate cells, and all translated the Hebrew into the exact same Greek. The catholic Old testament is found in this version.

However, the Jews did not officially determine exactly which books were part of the Old Testament until after the time of Christ. In a Council at Jamnia, around 110 AD, they decided on what would become the Protestant Old Testament, that excluded 7 writings found in the Greek Septuagint. The reason they excluded these 7 writings is that by this time, they could no longer find the Hebrew originals (if such existed).

When Christianity spread into the Greek speaking world, the Apostles referred to the Greek Septuagint because that was the Old Testament Jews outside of Palestine were familiar with. Indeed, most of the New Testament quotations of Old Testament passages are taken from the Septuagint rendering (especially the prophecy of a virgin birth in Isiah, or Jesus' referneces to God's name of I AM in the form found in Isiah 43).

During the Protestant reformation, the Protestants sided with the arguments made by the Jews of Jamnia in the second century. They said there were no Hebrew originals for such texts, and the 7 writings seemed to have a different literary quality than the rest of the Old Testament. Furthermore, they were only quoted in Palestinaian Jewish sources (including the NT) with rare frequency. Because of their infrequent quoting in the NT and other sources, Protestants argue that it is unlikely Jesus considered them inspired.

The Catholics took the argument that the Septuagint had been in constant use by the Church since apostolic times. Though the 7 specific writings were quoted infrequently, it is clear that the New Testament relies heavily on the Septuagint version of the Old Testament as a whole. Thus, it seems pretty clear that most of the early Church DID consider these works inspired, even they were used infrequently within Palestine.

The issue became even thornier between Catholics and Protestants because Catholics were able to appeal to verses in these 7 writings to justify such notions as purgatory, where evidence is less abundant in other Biblical texts. Yet, even an idea such as purgatory CAN find some implicit justification in texts such as 1 Cor 3: 15, which both Protestants and Catholics accept.

In answer to the second part of your question regarding which Bible to use, being a Catholic, I'm going to tell you to use the Catholic Bible. However, that being said, there is nothing in the 7 writings that I cannot justify with other books of the Bible. It's just a little clearer in those 7 writings. If you find a Protestant translation a little easier to read, that's fine with us Catholics. Indeed, since the 1950's, Catholics and Protestants have been collaborating on translating Bibles together, and some Protestant Bibles now include the 7 writings as a sort of appendix.

44.Where do those new translations of the Bible keep coming from when the original Bible is not even available ? The Greek manuscripts which are translations themselves are not even similar with each other.

We do not accept the notion that the Greek New Testament is a translation. Rather, we believe that the Aposltes themselves (including Apostles who not members of the Twelve) learned to speak and write in Greek.

Also, while the autographa of each texts no longer exists, there is such abundant manuscript evidence that we can faithfully work back-words to the original Greek. For example, if 100 people copied this post, some people will inevitably make a mistake. However, they won't all make the same mistake. This is why scholars will refer to a "majority text". In some cases, a good argument (such as antiquity) can be made for a minority text on a variant. Many Bibles include footnotes to help the reader identify potential variant readings, and none are substantial when the Bible is taken as a whole.

There are over 2000 different manuscripts from the third and fourth century, some full manuscripts from the second century, and fragments form the first century. From this enormous manuscript evidence, scholars are able to reconstruct the original New Testament more faithfully than any other ancient document from the time period or earlier. Indeed, no other text several centuries after the composition of the original New Testament can be as faithfully reconstructed due to a lack of manuscript evidence. In some cases, secularist scholars have converted to Christianity precisely because the manuscript evidence and the consistency between these manuscripts is so great that it appears to be miraculous compared to other ancient texts!

Inevitably, Muslims will raise the issue that their Qu'rans can all be traced to the official Uthmanic version, which is considered a sort of autographa. However, the Uthmanic texts was not compiled in the life-time of Mohammed, and the hadith reveal some considerable controversy, even wars, in the formation and establishment of this version as the official texts. In other words, the Qur'an cannot claim any superiority in purity accept by a leap of faith, not unlike a Christian's faith -- both of which is based on evidence, though neither of which can claim ABSOLUTELY conclusive and compelling evidence.

45.How can you take two gospels from writers who never met Jesus, like Mark and Luke?

According to ancient sources dating to the early second century, Mark was the un-named bystander who ran from the garden at Jesus' arrest in the gospel according to Mark. In other words, he may have known Jesus. His gospel shows linguistic evidence of being written in rudimentary Greek by an Aramaic speaking Jew from Palestine. He seems to be addressing a Roman audience. If Mark is the same person Peter calls "son" in his epistles, he may have been Peter's actual son, or a secretary of Peter. At any rate, a strong argument can be made that he knew Jesus, or was faithfully recording Peter's message -- and Peter knew Jesus.

The author of Matthew clearly seems to place himself in the narrative. Yet, most Christian scholars question whether he was a member of the Twelve.

The reasons for this questioning is that his Greek is more refined than Mark's. Likewise, his use of the Old Testament is less sophisticated than the author of John. Thus leads many scholars to believe that he was possibly a Gentile convert to Christianity and a later disciple after the resurrection.

However, there are arguments that Matthew was indeed a member of Jesus' inner circle -- perhaps not one of the Twelve, but possibly a close disiple. While his use of the Old Testament lacks the rabbinic sophistication of John, it also revelas a high probability that his primary audience was Jewish, rather than Gentile. Likewise, his gospel is quoted in earlier extra-Biblical sources than any other gospel, indicating a potentially earlier origin than Luke or John. Yet, in places, he seems to be borrowing from Mark.

In any case, there is no solid evidence that he did not have some first hand dealings with Jesus at some point in his life, and there is strong evidence that he knew the first generation of Christians. His gospel is quoted so much earlier than any others, even though Mark's was likely written first. Thus, we know he write in the first century. It would be odd for any Christian writing such a detailed account in the first century NOT to have some first hand dealings with Christ or Christ's inner-circle.

46.Why is half of the New Testament written by a man who never even met Jesus in his lifetime? PAUL claimed with no proof that he had met Jesus while on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus. PAUL was the main enemy of Christianity. Isnít that reason enough to question the authenticity of what he wrote? Why do the Christians call those books of the Old Testament "Godís Word" when the revisors of the RSV Bible say that some of the authors are UNKNOWN? They say that the author of SAMUEL is "UNKNOWN" and that of CHRONICLES is "UNKOWN, PROBABLY COLLECTED AND EDITED BY EZRA"!

Peter and James accepted Paul's vision of Christ as authentic, and they DID know Christ personally. What other "proof" would you accept that he DID indeed see the Risen Christ at the point of his conversion??


CONTRADICTIONS:
47.Concerning the controversial issues in the Bible, how can Christians decide by two-thirds majority what is Godís Word and what is not, as the prefaces of some Bibles say like that one of the RSV ?


All of the decrees of the 21 Ecumenical Councils of the Roman Catholic Church were decided by a two-thirds majority by men who can trace a direct line back to Christ through Peter through the laying on of hands (ordination). Catholics refer to these Counciliar decrees as Sacred Tradition, and believe that conscious rejection of this Tradition leads one to misunderstand the Bible. With over a billion baptized members, Roman Catholicism is larger than all other Christian bodies combined, and it is also larger than Islam!

The Eastern Orthodox also trace their leadership through the laying on of hands back to members of the Twelve, though not exclusively to Peter. They accept the first 8 Ecumenical Councils (I am counting the Jersalem Council described in Acts). To an outsider, the similarities between the Orthodox and Catholics are so great that most outsiders cannot tell the differences. Catholics and Orthodox do accept that each other offer salvaific truth.

The Protestants reject the authority of all Councils on principle, claiming that the Bible alone is the sole rule of faith. Yet, the vast majority of Protestants accept that the decrees of the first five Councils are so rooted in the obvious meaning of Scripture, that they accurately reflect Christian faith. IN other words, the first five Councils are true, even though they are not authoritive. With later Councils, Protestants think that the Catholic leaders came to their two-thirds majority votes based on ambiguous or even erroneous use of Scripture.

So, the bottom line is that the first five Councils are accepted by well over two-thirds of Christians as authentic statements of what Christians believe based on the Bible. Furthermore, based on sheer numbers, Roman Catholicism wins on a vote by simple majority for later Councils as well.

48.Why does Luke in his gospel report the Ascension on Easter Day, and in the Acts, in which he is recognized as the author, FORTY days later?

It is not clear at all in the ending of Luke's gospel that the ascension is occurring ON Easter Sunday. Though the action seems to flow from the appearence to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus to the upper room right into the ascension, there is absolutely no statement of the exact amount of time that is occurring between each of these events. To read this as though it is all happenning in one day is a POSSIBLE reading, but NOT a NECESSARY reading.

The exact date of the ascension is not considered doctrinally to be the most important point of Scripture. The authors of Scripture knew that Jesus ascended in to heaven and stopped appearing in his glorified state at some point after Easter. Luke admits that he did not know Jesus first hand, and that he is compiling various accounts. Furthermore, it is clear to most scholars that Luke crafts his narratives to make theological points.

Luke probably wrote the gospel account first, and filled in details in his later book of Acts. In the narrative recorded in Acts, the choice of 40 days probably carries more theological significance than actual historical significance. Moses was on the mountain for 40 days, the Israelites spent 40 years in the desert, Elijah fasted and prayed for 40 days, and even Jesus was said to have fasted 40 days.

It is highly unlikely that anyone present at the ascension counted the exact number of days since the resurrection. Luke's sources probably gave various accounts that came out more like, "It was about a month after the resurrection", and "I think it was a week before pentecost", or "I wasn't at the ascension, but I last saw him a few weeks after he died". Luke recognized as he was compiling various accounts that his earlier gospel recorded events in too little detail, and he chose forty days for its theological significance rather than its historical accuracy. This was common literary style in the first century.

49.The genealogy of Jesus is mentioned in Matthew and Luke only. Matthew listed 26 forefathers from Joseph to David while Luke enumerated 41 forefathers. Only Joseph matches with Joseph in those two lists. Not a single other name matches! If these were inspired by God word by word, how could they be different? Some claim that one is for Mary and one is for Joseph, but where does it says Mary in those two Gospels?

It was not uncommon in Hebrew thought to skip generations when providing genealogies. Each story teller of the family history would selct which ancestors he wanted to highlight. Thus, if we assume that both accounts were literal attempts to provide an accurate genealogy, it is entirely possible within the Jewish mindset that they each fill in the gaps of the other.

However, I think their is even more going here than that. Luke traces his genealogy all the way back to Adam through the family of David and Levi. He is demonstarting that Jesus is the new king of Israel and the great high priest. Yet, by going back to Adam, he is also demonstrating that Jesus' mission is to the whole human race. Luke is partially making theological points about who Jesus is and what his mission will be.

Matthew writes to a Jewish audience, and is only concerned with going back as far as Abraham to establish that Jesus is a Jew. Like Luke, he also places Jesus in the line of David. However, he also includes some women in his narration. The women he selects are Tamar (who was a prostitute), Ruth (who was a Gentile foreigner), the wife of Urriah (Beth Sheba, the adulteress), and Mary (an unwed pregnant woman). What Matthew is trying to do is demonstrate that in Christ, sinners, Gentiles, and women of ill repute are saved. As with Luke, Matthew's purpose in relating a genealogy is more theological than historical. The genealogy is meant less to tell us history than to tell us what Jesus' mission will be.

50.If Moses wrote the first books of the Old Testament, how could Moses write his own obituary? Moses died in the fifth book at age 120 as mentioned in Deut. 34:5-10.

I don't believe that Moses wrote all of the Torah, nor do I think it is imperative to believe that Moses wrote all of the Torah to accept the text as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

51.In the King James Version, why does it report SEVEN years of famine in II SAMUEL 24:13 while it reports THREE years of famine in I CHRONICLES 21:12? Why did they change both to THREE years in the New International Version and other versions?

The King James Version is an English TRANSLATION. Christians do not claim infallibility for a translation of the autographa anymore than Muslims claim infalliblity for the various English translations of the Qur'an, such as Yusafali, Dawood, Pickthall, etc...

The King James Version is a good translation, but it is highly debatable whether it is the BEST tranlsation. In one early version of the KJV issued in 1611, the commandment "Thou shall not commit adultery" was mistakenly translated as "Thou shall commit adultery".

The New International Version is also a translation, but bases the Old testament on older texts than were available to the KJV translators. There have been some advances in linguistic studies and Biblical studies as well. The NIV is likely the more accurate translation, though it is difficult to determine what substantial or theological difference is made whether this verse is translated as THREE or SEVEN.

Furthermore, even admitting that the NIV is more accurate for this particular verse, there must be some allowance for the fact that the NIV is a thought for thought translation, where some other translations attempt a more literal word for word rendering. There will be instances where the KJV is more literal than the NIV.

What should be done for those who cannot read Koine Greek, Hebrew, or other ancient mid-east languages is to compare several translations. In most instances, like the example in this question, the variants have little if any theological significance.

52.Still In the same King James Version, why does it say that Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign in II CHRONICLES 21:12, while it says EIGHTEEN years in II KINGS 24:8? Why did thessey change in both to EIGHTEEN in the new Versions?

The answer to this question is the same as the previous answer.

53.In all versions, why does it say that David slew the men of SEVEN HUNDRED chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand HORSEMEN as evidenced in II Samuel 10:18 while its says SEVEN THOUSAND men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand FOOTMEN, in I CHRONICLES 19:18?

There ARE a few Christians who believe that the correct number can be found in the autographa, and we are forced to use our best translations of the oldest texts available, which are admittedly not the autographa.

On a deeper level, I want Muslims to explain to me what theological significance does this have?

Seriously! Christians admit that the authors were human agents writing under inspiration, and NOT writing from dictation. The only way a human agent writing with full human freedom could know the exact number of soldiers is if he were at the battle counting them. Does anyone think that there was someone standing on the side-lines of the battle counting the exact number of charioteers and foot soldiers?

These are the best rough guesses of those who were there, but not to be taken as literal numbers. Christians do not claim for a second that God cared to infallibly reveal the exact number of soldiers. What would such trivia have to do with our salvation?

54.In all versions, why does it report TWO thousand baths in I KINGS 7:26 while II CHRONICLES 4:5 reports THREE THOUSAND?

See answer to preceeding question 53 (the same principles apply).

55.In the King James version, why does it report that Solomon had FOUR THOUSAND stalls for horses in II CHRONICLES 9:25 while it accounts that Solomon had FORTY THOUSAND stalls of horses in 1 KINGS 4:26? Why did they change both to FOUR THOUSAND in the new versions?

See the answer to question 53, and consider the possibility as well that the counts were taken at different times.

56.In GENESIS 1, Godís creation progresses from grass to trees to fowls, whales, cattle and creeping things and finally to man and woman. GENESIS 2, however, puts the creation of man before cattle and fowl and woman subsequent to beast. How can this be explained?

The first chapter of Genesis is a poem written with rythm and meter in a style of Hebrew literature called "chiactic structure". In line 2, God is portrayed as hovering over an abyss, which employs a Hebrew word similar to the Babylonian god of chaos named "Tiamet". The poem continues with God creating the world through the power of his word and through dividing things properly. What is being portrayed is a god of order taking charge of chaos. Each act of creation progresses to "higher" or more sentient beings, culminating in the creation. With each act of creation, God sees what he has made, and declares it good. This is a hymn to the goodness of creation and the dignity of the human person. It also pokes fun at the Hebrew neigbors by placing YHWH above Tiamet, order above chaos, and so forth. It was probably composed at the time of the Babylonian exile, and added to Genesis when the canon first began to formulate after the exile.

It would not be until the second century after Christ that the canon would be firmly established, including Genesis 1 and 2 along-side of each other. The original authors did not intend for this poem to be read as though it were a scientific account of how the world was made. In the words of Saint Augustine, 1,400 years before Darwin, "The Bible was written to tell us how to go to heaven, not to tell us how the heavens go."

The second creation account is an older Hebrew creation account, and may have origins in their time in Egypt. Thus, in verses 10 through 14, the names of African rivers are included along-side the Tigres. The key theological point of this older account is God breathing his spirit into humanity to give us life. In the culmination of this account, humanity will image the divine.

From a theological point of view, both accounts have their main purposes as 1) affirming that there is only one God, 2) That God created everything, 3) that this one God is a good God, and a God of order, 4) that this God has created humanity as the height of his creation, 5) that humanity as a whole is heir to one set of parents, meaning that we are all family.

There are attempts by some Christians to harmonize these two accounts even further with each other and with science. While I have not pursued these harmonizations here, some are quite worthy of reflection. Personally, I feel no need to harmonize every detail.

It seems to me pretty obvious that the style of literature used in either account is more poetic and figurative than scientific and historical. It seems that God wants to reveal a truth that is expressed more in terms of beauty than a bunch of raw facts. As a Christian, I believe that God is a poet, and he could care less whether we ever know the exact process of his creation.

FINAL QUESTIONS:
57.Why wonít you, Christian reader, come to hear and learn of the true religion of Jesus?


Why should I believe that God revealed himself directly to only one man, in one language, in one culture? How can I know that Muhammad got it all right? Or that his followers faithfully recorded what Muhammad actually said? I am especially troubled that Muhammed denies the crucifixion, and claims another man was made to appear like Isa in his place (Sura 4.157).

If Allah caused this appearence, then the God of the Qur'an is a liar I cannot trust. Even if Satan caused this deception, there is absolutely no historical evidence for this claim, while there is abundant eye witness testimony from multiple sources in the New testament that Jesus DID die on the cross. Even the early opponents of Christianity admitted Jesus died on the cross. This is a bizzare claim in Qur'an that makes the entire book suspect to a Christian.

58.Have you, as a Christian , learned of Islam and if so, was it from the true Muslims?

I do have many Muslim friends. Most are from Africa, living in the United States. I also have read the Qur'an, and visited the IWC website with frequency. While parts of the Qur'an are beautiful, and most of it is unobjectionable, I am very troubled by Sura 4.157 and some passages that seem to incite violence (though I have the same difficulaty with some Biblical passages of the Old testament). I am also troubled by the role of women in Islam portrayed on Western telivision, and the stereotype of terrorists persists due to actions by many claiming to be true Muslims.

59.As a Christian, do you agree that out of fairness and honesty you must investigate what Islam says about God, Jesus, including this life and the hereafter?

Sure. Out of fairness, we should be willing to hear each other out. Even if we don't change each other's minds, maybe we can come to appreciate each other as human beings sincerely seeking the truth.

60.Being a Christian, do you also believe that we must all stand accountable to our Creator and that the Creator is Perfect and Just? As a sincere believer in God, donít you owe it upon yourself to find out the entire unadulterated truth regardless of the consequences?

Absolutely.

And being a Muslim, do you also believe that we must all stand accountable to our Creator and the Creator is Perfect and Just and Merciful? As a sincere believer in God, don't you owe it to yourself to find out the entire unadulterated truth regardless of the consequences? And don't you know in your heart of hearts that your own sins would earn punishment if you could not rely on the Mercy of the Allmighty? And is it really that unbelievable that the Allmighty would want to demonstrate how love, mercy and justice can come together and be synthesized in one concrete act? And doesn't the life of Christ as portrayed in Christian Scriptures portray just such a love?

Peace and Blessings!
jcecil3
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Old 21-08-2002, 17:42
Lulua Lulua is offline
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RE: 60 Questions for the Christians

Hello, jcecil3.

And welcome back.

Firstly, I would like to explain my reasoning for even posting such a post. To begin with, I do not personally care for such long posts, but this 'questionairre' was sent to me via email, and as I was cleaning out my inbox one day, I came across it, and found that it might draw some questions of value in some people's minds.

Truly, although the questions are presented here in an obvious manner, I did not post for the reason basically of getting answers one by one to all of the questions listed. But rather for the reason of creating some question and thought process for those who are still insistent upon the faith in the trinity, among some of the other dogmas of modern-day Christianity.

Since you have so honored my post by such a thorough and concise answer to all of the questions contained, I would like to reassure you that I have, in turn, taken the time and consideration to study your answers-each and every one.

But in an attempt to condense of space as well as time necessary in reading, I have chosen to reply to you in a more general manner, and not addressing each point in particular number sequence. I hope that you are not offended by this method of discussion.

I have been accused in the past of taking on a stance of 'too stiff', or 'too scholarly' (not to try to describe myself as a scholar-but rather in meaning that I am not revealing my personal stance on matters). And perhaps it is time that I take an approach of a more personal stance, or revealing my own beliefs. And not using so much in book quotes. Although I am still of the belief that the quotes from Quran and even the hadith can and do speak louder and more clear and concise than I can or others for that matter.

You mentioned the previous threads of '101 contradictions' and 'trinity' among others, including this one...as though they are a bother to you, or offensive or whatever. Believe me, in posting such posts, it is not of intent of offending you or other Christians. In fact, it is of the desire of the opposite.

You see, you may recall, that I was once myself a Christian, and come from a Christian family, and so insults upon Christianity (although admittedly I am no longer of that belief) is something of a personal nature to me, and I can understand fully the offensive stance that you may take from such posts. And so, I must repeat how many times...the intent is NOT to insult or to aggravate you, but to hopefuly thwart you into a more thinking mode.

This is something that we are reminded from time to time throughout the Quran: that these verses, and this book of revelation is for those who think. Those who will take the evidences at hand, and consider all the possibilities, and put one and one together and come out with the right answer in direction.

If you will recall the thread '101 contradictions'...it was posted first of all in response to a user on this forum who was arrogant in his interactions with us, and who in fact challenged us that we could not present him with contradictions...much less the great list that was provided.

But...more than a sense of pride in posting such a post...for it is not a thing of pride to prove to someone the errors or contradictions found in their book which they consider as divine revelation...but rather out of the sense of showing the inconsistencies, and if there is even one inconsistency, then the rest is in dire question. Much less the great numbers of inconsistencies to be found. And yet people take this book to be that of divine revelation and guidance. And yet there is much within that book which Christians to this day not only do not follow, but do not know exists between it's covers.

That is not a good example of Christianity as a whole...for a major argument that I must remind ppl so many times is not to look to muslims themselves to know Islam ... for so many muslims do not know their own religion themselves...and even those who DO know the religion...are not necessarily following it. So...if muslims are not following the teaching of Islam...then who is to expect that all Christians should follow the Bible?

That said...I would like to go back to the point of the '101 contradictions' and others: the reasons for posting such messages...again...is not meant as an aggravation...sincerely...but rather as an eye-opener...and something to start the thinking process.

In particular, among all of your answers, there is one which strikes me as quite odd...although not new...(for I am quite familiar with the Christian doctrines):

((17. If God had wanted to save us, couldnít He have done that without sacrificing Jesus?

Maybe Allah could have saved us some other way. However, God chose to do it in a way that is meaningful to us. What could be more a beautiful expression of Allah's love for humanity than that he would join the human condition, enter into our sufferings, bear the penalty for our sins, and conquer the power of death by rising from the dead as a human person!))

Now...this whole aspect of this outlook is indicative that with the belief in Christiniaty, that means that no one is responsible for their sins and mistakes. The way to salvation is through belief alone-without the need for deeds. That considered, that means that even the ten commandments have no value. That means that a total atmosphere of chaos is acceptable-on the grounds that people state their belief in the trinity, and their belief in the son-ship (and as well God-ship) of Jesus. Therefore, even a statement claimed in the Bible to be said by Jesus, that he himself mentioned that he had not come to change the laws (that delivered to the children of Israle, i.e. the ten commandments, among others)-but rather to fulfill them. How can that be? If salvation is truly dependent ONLY on belief??

Can you understand where this is going? And where it is coming from?

Another point which I would like to expand upon:

((20. A real sacrifice is when you canít get back what you have offered , so what would be the big deal about such a sacrifice if God could recover the same offering? (according to the Christiansí terminology)?

I'm not sure what the author means by this question. However, I'm guessing that he does not understand that Jesus was fully human, and his death on the cross was a real human death, as real as any martyr. What higher sacrifice can a human person offer?))

Surely, the greatest human sacrifice that anyone can offer is to dedicate himself/herself to the service of his/her Creator. That means to get to know what is expected/required of him/her, and to implement those requirements into daily life. This in itself is a sacrifice, for it is in fact denial of the simple and passing pleasures of this world.

(( 25. According to Christians, those who have not been baptized will go to Hell. So even the infants and babies go to Hell if not baptized, since they are born with an inherited original sin. Doesnít this contradict the definition of justice? Why would God punish people for sins they never committed?))

For the sake of saving space-I have not included your answer here. Please refer to your answer, if need be.

In reference to this question, and including your answer, I find it strange and interesting...that although according to this, the concept of the 'original sin' was from the beginning of mankind (i.e. Adam and Eve), yet...no method of salvation from it was delivered to man until the event of the baptismal by John. What about those many generations before them? Surely-God would not be so merciless as to condemn those many generations to Hell because they were not fortunate enough to experience the opportunity of baptism!!

You see...this is in great contradiction from Islamic teachings which explain to us that each people and each nation or group or generation is to be judged upon it's own merits, and not according to the teachings of others. As well, there is a great sense of justice for all...in that those who are not aware of the message of truth will not be held accountable for that.

In other words, I would like to make an emphasis here upon Islamic teachings...that each soul is responsible for it's own doings and non-doings, and each soul will carry it's own weight of responsibilities. And no soul will be held accountable for that which is beyond it's own control nor will any soul be given the weight of responsibility of others.

Quite a very logical and sensible theology.

And in answer to your last answer, for #60, I would like to say that the life of Jesus as portrayed in Christian scriptures makes no sense nor logic. The many contradictions in the Bible itself and the questions that those contradictions raise make room for too much question of the theology to begin with. As well, questions such as the origin of the 'apostles creed' which is commonly read in many churches (non-catholic...not so sure of the catholics...my family is not catholic). There are just too many unanswered questions in christianity to make any sense of it at all. Whereas, on the other hand...in Islam...there is much sense and logic. But the problem lies in the refusal of the christians themselves to explore and try to understand the message of Islam.

Truly, it is no different than that of our forefathers and the many prophets of all time. They all professed belief to and worship for One God. Then why should others come along and insist upon a trinity? (among other points which are in denial of that original and simple and clear message)

In essence, and in a wrap-up...I would like to invit you, jcecil, as well as all others viewing...to read the Quran. And I am not asking this for myself...but for you. Within it you will find much in the way of revelation, history, reminders, warnings, scientific proofs, comforts, and much much more.

I hope that you shall investigate for yourself. It is quite different from the Bible, which I am sure you are aware of. But do not be afraid of exploring something new and different. Or are you afraid of what you will find?

Do not become arrogant and let pride get in your way. This is something quite serious, and beyond and above this discussion board.

I hope that you shall take up such an offer.

Lulua.



  #4  
Old 27-08-2002, 07:22
menj
 
Posts: n/a
RE: 60 Questions for the Christians

Greetings;

This is my response to jcecil3's response to the Sister's post. My remarks are in bold.



>TRINITY
>According to most Christians, Jesus was God incarnate, full
>man and full God. Can the finite and the infinite be one?
>"To be full" God means freedom from finite forms and from
>helplessness, and to be "full man" means the absence of
>divinity.

>
>Where does the author of these questions derive his
>definitions? I would agree that God is free from finite
>forms, but I am not certain that the very definition of
>"full man" means the absence of divinity. Indeed, when
>speaking of devinity, since we agree that the divine is
>infinite, it is best to let Allah define himself. If Allah
>should deign to become a man, that is his perogative.
>


Jesus being "fully God" and "fully man" at the same time is strictly from the Athanasian Creed. I wonder how "jcecil3" is unaware of this. And speaking of the so-called "divinity" of Christ, peace be upon him, Muslims reject the notion that God was a man not because He is unable to become one. We reject it because God Himself said that He does not wish to be a man, so why ascribe to something to which He is not? In other words, it is an abberation to think or believe that God is a man, when He himself have never declared as such. This can also found in the Bible.



>1.To be son is to be less than divine and to be divine is
>to be no oneís son. How could Jesus have the attributes of
>sonship and divinity altogether?

>
>The author is not following the New Testament argument. A
>Son is one who inherits everything from the Father. A Son is
>not less than the Father, but is equal to the Father as the
>successor to the Father.
>

In the New Testament, we see Jesus denying to be God, so how can you claim that Jesus is equal to the Father?

http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/Jesus/deny.htm

In light of the above, where is the justification for the claim that Jesus is equal to the Father, since he loudly proclaimed that his message is from the Father?



>2.Christians assert that Jesus claimed to be God when
>they quote him in John 14:9: "He that has seen me has seen
>the Father". Didnít Jesus clearly say that people have never
>seen God, as it says in John 5:37: "And the father himself
>which Has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have NEITHER
>HEARD HIS VOICE AT ANY TIME NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE"?

>
>The author is quoting out of context to suit his own
>purposes. It is quite clear in context that Jesus is
>criticizing those to whom the word was spoken, but who did
>not listen.
>



Perhaps you need to show us what you mean by "context", instead of merely asserting as such.

<snip for brevity>




>5.Is God three-in-one and one in three simultaneously or
>one at a time?

>
>Yes. Just as I am the person of husband to my wife, and the
>person of son to my father simultaneously, so to, God the
>Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three in
>one and one in three simultaneously.
>


This is not the same thing. A husband can never be equal to a wife, and the son certainly cannot beget the Father. Can the marriage exist without the wife, or the son exist without the husband and wife? Can the son beget the husband and wife, or can the husband beget the son without the wife? In other words, all are dependent upon one another, and therefore are NOT EQUAL.

<more on Trinity snipped for brevity>




>7.If God is one and three at a time, then who was the God
>in heaven when Jesus was on earth? Wouldnít this contradict
>his many references to a God in Heaven that sent him?

>
>I hate to do this, but I need to answer this question with a
>question: Are Muslims saying that it is impossible for Allah
>to be in two places simultaneously? To a Christian, all
>things are possible for God.
>


The verse that question 7 refers to is when Jesus "...sat at the right hand of God" (no verse numbers off my head, sorry). I would think that this is rather silly, even for an analogy. How could someone sit at the right hand of himself? It certainly shows some sort of distinction between Jesus and The Father (God), and hence both are NOT EQUAL.

<this is getting very lengthy>

I'm snipping the rest of the responses by "jcecil3" because most are a repetition of the above. If I had left out anything, please let me know.




>In Jn 8: 58, Christ says "before Abraham, I AM". The
>reference in Greek is "Ego Eimi", which is used as God's
>name in the Greek Septuagint version of Isaiah 43: 25. In
>English, Is 43: 25 is often translated as "I, I am he..." In
>Koine Greek, it reads, "Ego Eimi, Ego Eimi". In turn, Is 43:
>25 refers to Exodus 3:14, where YHWH reveals his name as "I
>AM Who AM".
>

Regarding the "I AM" claim which Christians say that Jesus is somehow equating himself with God, this has been refuted in the following article:

http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/Bible/Commentary/i-am.htm

The evidence speaks for itself.


[b]I see that there are a lot more to respond, and I've only covered about 1/4th of the whole article! I'm afraid that I would have to end here...for now. I admit that even the above response was a bit hastily written - I have to go for my classes in a few minutes' time. Nevertheless, the observations I've given are still sound. I'll continue where I left off tomorrow, insha'allah.

Wassalam.
  #5  
Old 29-08-2002, 00:36
xioncrow xioncrow is offline
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RE: 60 Questions for the Christians

To Both Christians & Muslims.
A simple answer to a complex web of questions & responses.
The Temple is within, Christ (divine consciousness) is within.
Submitting to the will of God is being the Son of God. Jesus Christ
was the first to widely awaken us to this. Through Love, Unconditional Love is the conduit to our higher selves.
We are not pyhisical beings trying to be spiritual, we are Spiritual beings who are blinded by our physical.
We are all divine sparks of the Source, the one True God/Allah.
We choose to supress it, hide it & live in the illusion of difference.
If there is any sin more paramount to the People of the Book, it's their continual debate of who is more correct & who is false.
Such is the way of illusion of Self. Such is the problem & our crossroad, as a human race.

As long as the people of the book continue to compete over who will win & who will lose as the one true faith, they will continue to follow the false prophet of seperation & competition. None of the competing brothers can win over the other. Like any family it would be better to find harmony through your differences than competition & self destruction. But I claim no authority & no scholarly legacy. I just observe what we do & where it will lead us if we continue this way.
We humans are very stubborn & when we have an unshaking faith another unshaking faith will not change it but will spark strife & war. Worth pondering in the age of weapons of mass destruction.



  #6  
Old 05-09-2002, 21:37
lummirick lummirick is offline
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Peace be with you, and may our minds edify the purpose of our Creator. There are so many complexities and paradoxes to the study of religion, that people devote a lifetime to doing just that. Scholars keep the bookshelves full of speculation as to what it means. People are confounded by the simplest things, yet alone the mysteries of the Universe or the composition of God. While it can be interesting to further speculate what it all means...there allready is plenty of debate going on. As to the clarity of mathimatical logic..it need not apply to the working of God's actions as we understand it. Human understanding is limited in many ways. Men and women are very much the same in many ways, and yet different in others. We share many characteristics of animals, and yet are different. The children inherit many traits from their parents and ancestors, and yet also bring a new uniquenes with them. The abilities of the Most High God of all Creation, need not conform to our pathetic human intellect. As for myself, I resort to sacred texts as a teaching guide, but my faith is not dependant on the books..they are valuable tools...but when I die, will I be able to take them with me? All I can take with me is my love, respect and obedience to God...In whatever imperfect form that survives the trials and tribulations of life in a fallen world beset with ignorance and the rage of Shaitan. When I have prayed to God in a Mosque, it was not to a Moslem God..but rather the God of all things. When I prayed to God in a Christian church, it was not to a Christian God, but rather the God of all things. When I prayed to God in a Jewish synogogue, it was not to a Jewish God, but to the God of all things. When I prayed to God in a Hindu temple, it was not to a Hindu God, but to the God of all things. When I prayed in a Buddhist temple, it was not to a Buddist God, but to the God of all things. If God the merciful, deigned to share any of his wisdom, or listen to my prayers...it was his perogative, not mine or any one of us...regardless of what religion we profess.

Last edited by lummirick : 05-09-2002 at 21:40.
  #7  
Old 07-09-2002, 04:54
alhamdliyesua
 
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all things are possible for G-d

don't limit G-d
 


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