Friday, 25 March 2016

The Arabic Bible – Islam’s Friend or Foe?

The Arabic Bible – Islam’s Friend or Foe?
The pagan origins of the Islamic god
It is no secret to those who have studied the history and origins of Islam that Muhammad was born to a pagan tribe who worshiped a host of gods and goddesses, the chief of whom was Allah. For example, the hadith literature states that the pagans had 360 idols placed around the Kabah which Muhammad subsequently destroyed when he conquered Mecca:
Narrated Abdullah:
When the Prophet entered Mecca on the day of the Conquest, there were 360 idols around the Ka'ba. The Prophet started striking them with a stick he had in his hand and was saying, "Truth has come and Falsehood will neither start nor will it reappear.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 583)
Muhammad’s pagan tribe further believed that their god Allah had at least three daughters whom they worshiped as goddesses. The names of Allah’s daughters were Allat, al-Uzza and Manat.
Moreover, according to the Islamic sources Muhammad’s father’s name was Abdullah, which means “slave of Allah.” However, despite his name being “slave of Allah” Muhammad’s father still went to hell according to Muhammad since he was a pagan:
Anas reported: Verily, a person said: Messenger of Allah, where is my father? He said: (He) is in the Fire. When he turned away, he (the Holy Prophet) called him and said: Verily my father and your father are in the Fire. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0398)
In light of the fact that Muhammad’s family and his tribe were pagans it is reasonably certain that the Allah whom the Meccans worshiped was nothing more than a pagan god whom Muhammad took and sought to transform into the one true universal God worshiped by the prophets of the Holy Bible.
Moreover, the Holy Bible indicates that idolatry is clearly satanic and that there are demons associated with idols:
“They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. They sacrificed to demons, which are not God — gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your fathers did not fear.” Deuteronomy 32:16-17
“Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” 1 Corinthians 10:19-21
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
In this last passage idols are connected with Belial the prince of demons and contrasted with God’s temple.
Thus, since Muhammad’s tribe was pagans who worshiped idols this means that their beliefs were satanic in origin. This also means that the Allah which these pagans worshiped was not the one true God of the Holy Bible but a pagan deity used by Satan to lead them away from the true God.

The Arabic Bible to the rescue?
It is not uncommon to find Muslim dawagandists appealing to the Arabic translation of the Holy Bible in order to prove that the Allah worshiped by the pre-Islamic pagans of Mecca was not a false god and/or Satan himself. The following articles are representative of this fact:
One Muslim dawagandist in particular referred to the Arabic translation of John 3:16 and to the Aramaic translation of John 1:1-4 to prove that Christians also worship the Muslim god! He then reasons that if the Islamic Allah which was derived from pagan beliefs is actually Satan then this proves that the God of the Bible is the Devil as well since he is called Allah in the Arabic Bible!
At this point the Muslims are guilty of committing several logical fallacies, most notably the fallacies of equivocation and false analogy. It also attacks straw man and brings up a red herring.
The following Christian apologist explains it best:
3. False Analogy: Comparing two things as if they are parallel when they are not really the same at all.
#1 Many Muslims erroneously assume that Muslims and Christians share the same concepts of God, revelation, inspiration, textual preservation, the Bible, prophethood, biblical history, conversion, etc...
#2 Because a false analogy is drawn between Islam and Christianity, some Muslims think that any argument which refutes the Qur'an will likewise refute the Bible; any argument which refutes Muhammad will also refute Jesus Christ, etc...
#3 For example, many Muslims claim that Muhammad and all prophets were sinless. They even deny that Abraham was an idol worshipper. Thus when a Christian points out all the wicked things that Muhammad did (mass murder, child abuse, lying, etc.), the Muslims will say,
"If you are right, then you must also reject your biblical prophets for doing wicked things as well."
What he is really saying is, "If you reject my prophet, then you must reject your prophets as well. If Muhammad was a false prophet, then your prophets are false as well."
The root problem is that the Muslim concept of prophethood is not the same as the Christian concept of prophethood. We teach that prophets sin like anyone else. Thus while Islam is refuted by the sins of Muhammad, Christianity is not jeopardized at all. The Muslim is guilty of setting up a "false analogy."
Whenever a Muslim responds to a Christian attack on the Qur'an, Muhammad, or Allah by flipping the argument around and applying it to the Bible, Jesus or the Trinity as if Islam and Christianity either stand or fall together, he is guilty of the fallacy of false analogy. Islam can be false and Christianity be true at the same time.
4. The Fallacy of Irrelevance: When you introduce issues which have no logical bearing on the subject under discussion, you are using irrelevant arguments…
#5 The present meaning of a word is irrelevant to what it meant in ancient times. The word "Allah" is a good example. When confronted by the historical evidence that the word was used by pagan Arabs in pre-Islamic times to refer to a high god who was married to the sun-goddess and had three daughters, some Muslims will quote dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. to prove (sic) that "Allah means God." They are thus using modern definitions to define what the word meant over a thousand years ago! What "Allah" means now has no bearing on what it meant before Muhammad.
5. The Fallacy of Equivocation: If we assume that everyone has the same definition of such words as God, Jesus, revelation, inspiration, prophet, miracle, etc., we are committing a very simple logical fallacy…
#4 When a Muslims tells you that the word "Allah" has only one meaning: "the one, true, universal God," he is assuming a fallacy. The word "allah" has many different meanings.
a. It can be used as a generic term like the English word "God." Thus it can be applied to any god or goddess regardless if a true or false god is in view. (ex. The "Allahs" of Hinduism.)
b. The Nation of Islam uses it to refer to Wallace Dodd Ford, Elijah Muhammad, and Louis Farrakhan as "Allah" and teaches that all black people are "Allahs."
c. It has been used by some Christians in Arabic speaking countries as a generic name for the Holy Trinity.
d. It was used in pre-Islamic times by pagan Arabs to refer to the moon-god who was the father of al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat.
e. It is used by Muslims to refer to their god.
Islam and Christianity do not worship the same God. The Christian worships the Holy Trinity while the Muslim worships a unitarian deity. (Dr. Robert A. Morey, Common Logical Fallacies Made By Muslims)
Moreover, in their haste to prove that Muhammad’s god is the one true God worshiped by the Biblical prophets these dawagandists overlooked the fact that their objection is based entirely on A TRANSLATION of the Holy Bible! The inspired Scriptures were not written in Arabic but in Hebrew and Greek, with parts of the OT being written in Aramaic. As such, it is utterly fallacious to appeal to what some translators decided to use or do when translating God's inspired Word in another language. In fact, we will see what happens when we apply this same method to a Greek translation of the Quran.
To make matters worse the Muslim argument presupposes that the Allah mentioned in the Arabic Bible is actually the same as the Islamic Allah or the Allah worshiped by the pagans. This erroneously assumes that just because Arabic speaking Christians, Jews, Muslims etc. use the word Allah this somehow proves that they are all worshiping one and the same Being. However, such is not the case since the Muslims are worshiping a false god as our examination here will prove.

The Arabic Bible on the multi-personal nature of Allah
The Arabic Bible not only identifies the Father as Allah it also claims that Jesus Christ is Allah as well. The Arabic Bible further teaches that Jesus Christ is the beloved Son of Allah and his eternal Word who became flesh:
“In the beginning was the Word (al-Kalima), and the Word was with God (Allahi), and the Word was God (wa kana al-Kalima Allaha). He was in the beginning with God (Allahi); all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life (al-hayatu), and the life (al-hayatu) was the light of men (noora al-nasi). The light (al-nooru) shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The true light (al-nuru al-haqqiqu) that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father (majdan kama li-wahidin min al-Abi).” John 1:1-5, 9-10, 14
In this passage Jesus is identified as the Word that became flesh who exists with Allah and who is Allah! As the Word Jesus is also said to be the Life and the true Light, statements which he himself makes all throughout the Gospel:
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the Light of the world (ana huwa noor al-alam). Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (noor al-hayat).’” John 8:12
“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world (ana huwa noor al-alam).” John 9:4-5
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life (ana huwa al-qiyamatu wal-hayatu). He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” John 11:25-26
I have come into the world as Light (noor), so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life (ana huwa al-tariqu wal-haqqu wal-hayatu). No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6
What makes Jesus’ statements rather remarkable is that according to the Quran these are some of the very names and attributes which belong exclusively to Allah!
That is because AllahHe is the Truth (Allahu huwa al-haqqu), and it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who is Able to do all things. S. 22:6 Hilali-Khan
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth (Allahu nooru al-samawati wa’al-ardi). The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things. S. 24:35
Look, therefore, at the prints of Allah's mercy (in creation): how He quickeneth the earth after her death. Lo! He verily is the Quickener of the Dead, and He is Able to do all things. S. 30:50
He is the Living (One) (Huwa al-hayyu): There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds! … It is He Who gives Life and Death; and when He decides upon an affair, He says to it, "Be", and it is. S. 40:65, 68
Islamic theology teaches that Allah’s unique names and characteristics cannot be ascribed to any creature, no matter how exalted. In light of this it is apparent that Jesus Christ was making himself out to be God by claiming some of the very unique and exclusive names which the Quran itself testifies belong only to Deity!
For more on this topic please consult the following articles:
Here are some additional statements from the Arabic Bible where Jesus is expressly said to be the Son of Allah:
“In the sixth month, God (Allahi) sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord (al-Rabu) is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God (Allahi). You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus (Yasu’a). He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High (ibn al-‘Ali)The Lord God (al-Rabu al-Ilah) will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’ ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit (al-Ruhu al-Qudusu) will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One (al-Qudusu) to be born will be called the Son of God (ibn Allahi).” Luke 1:26-35
In fact, the Arabic Bible claims that Allah loved the world so much that he sent Jesus Christ his only Son to save it:
“For God (Allahu) so loved the world that he gave his only Son (ibnahu al-wahida), that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God (Allahu) sent the Son (ibnahu) into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God (ibni Allahi al-wahidi).” John 3:16-18
Any person who is even remotely familiar with the teachings of the Quran can easily see the problem at this point. The Allah that Muhammad worshiped is not the Father nor is Jesus Christ his beloved Son:
And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah (ibnu Allahi). That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! S. 9:30
“And they say, 'The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son. You have indeed advanced something hideous! The heavens are well-nigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains well-nigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but he comes to the All-merciful as a servant;” S. 19:88-93
The Quran also says that anyone who claims that Allah is Jesus the Son of Mary is a disbeliever who will go to hell:
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? Allah's is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He createth what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things. S. 5:17
Indeed, they are disbelievers who say, `Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary,' whereas the Messiah himself said, `O Children of Israel, worship Allah who is my Lord and your Lord.' Surely, whoso associates partners with Allah, him has Allah forbidden Paradise, and the Fire will be his resort. And the wrongdoers shall have no helpers. S. 5:72
Now this leaves these Islamic propagandists in an awkward position. By appealing to the Arabic Bible to prove their case they will now have to admit that the Quran is wrong for denying that Allah is the Father or that he is Jesus Christ. Or, even worse, they will have to accept the possibility that the Islamic scripture has been corrupted and doesn’t reflect the original teachings of Muhammad. After all, if Muhammad believed in the same Allah that the Arabic Bible mentions then he must have believed that both the Father and the Son are Allah. And since there are passages in the Quran which deny that the Father and the Son are both Allah these texts must have therefore been added sometime after Muhammad’s death.
There’s more to the story.

The Aramaic Bible and Allah
Seeing that one of the dawagandists that we mentioned earlier appealed to the Aramaic Bible in one of his videos to prove that God is called Allah we have decided to quote from the very link which he used in order to show how this actually backfires against him.
The following is the Assyrian translation of John 1:1-4 written in Roman script with the English translation provided right underneath.
B'rašit itwa milta,
In the beginning was the Word (milta),
u'aw milta lkis Alaha wa,
and this Word was with God (Alaha)
u'Alaha wa aw milta.
And this Word was God (Alaha).
Aha b'rašit lkis Alaha wa.
This one was in the beginning with God (Alaha).
Kulle mindiyanÿ biyÿ pišlun widÿ.
All things were made by him.
D'la diyÿ up xa mindi la wily
Without him not one thing was made
min ani d'pišÿ na biryÿ.
From the things which were made.
Biyÿ xayyÿ wa,
By/from him was life,
u'annÿ xayyÿ bara wa l'bnenaša.
And that life was the light of mankind.
According to the Aramaic Bible both the Father and Jesus Christ the eternal Word who created all things are identified as Alaha, the Aramaic word for God, which the Arabic translates as Allah. Hence, the Aramaic Bible completely agrees with the Greek of John’s Gospel since it states that the Word was with God (Alaha) and WAS God (Alaha).
Again, do these Islamic propagandists really want us to believe that the Allah of the Quran is the same as the Allah of the Arabic Bible? If so are they willing to accept that both the Father and the Son are Allah? Are they also willing to admit that the Quran is mistaken or has been corrupted since it denies that Allah is the Father and Jesus Christ?
It gets even worse for these dawagandists.

Jesus Christ – The Rab of all Creation
The Arabic Bible further testifies that Jesus Christ is the Rab or Lord of all creation:
“You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all (hatha huwa Rabu al-kulli).” Acts 10:36
As the Lord of all Jesus sovereignly rules over both the living and the dead:
“For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the living and the dead (likay yasouda ala al-ahya' wal-amwat).” Romans 14:9
The same Arabic translation also says that a person must confess Jesus as his Rab and believe that God has raised him from the dead in order to be saved:
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus (b’al-Rabi Yasu’a) and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
However, the only way one can truly confess that Jesus is Rab is if the Holy Spirit enables him/her to do so:
“Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit (Yasu’a Rabun illa b'al-Ruhi al-Qudusi).” 1 Corinthians 12:3
In fact, according to Jesus the prophet David himself was inspired by the Holy Spirit to confess that the Christ was his Rab:
“While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, ‘How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit (al-Ruh al-Qudus), declared: “The Lord said to my Lord (Qala al-Rabu li-Rabi): “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’” David himself calls him “Lord (Raban).” How then can he be his son?’ The large crowd listened to him with delight.” Mark 12:36-37
Jesus was quoting the following Psalm:
The LORD says to my Lord (Qala al-Rabu li-Rabi): ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’” Psalm 110:1
One of Jesus’ disciples also quoted this Psalm to prove that Christ is Rab:
“Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God (Allaha) had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ (al-Masiha), that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus (Yasu’a) God (Allahu) raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God (Allahi), and having received from the Father (al-Abi) the promise of the Holy Spirit (al-Ruhi al-Qudusi), he has poured out this which you see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord (Qala al-Rabu li-Rabi), Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God (Allaha) has made him both Lord and Christ (Raban wa Masihan), this Jesus (Yasu’a) whom you crucified.’” Acts 2:33-36
Not only is Jesus the Rab of all he is also the Ilah (God) and Heir who rules forever and who created and sustains all things:
“Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God (Rabi wa Ilahi)!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Yasu’a huwa al-Masih ibn Allah), and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:28-31
“In the past God (Allahu) spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son (ibnihi), whom he appointed heir of all things (ja‘alaho warithan likuli shai’in), and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven… But about the Son (al-ibn) he [the Father] says, ‘Your throne, O God (Ya Allahu), will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God (Allahu Ilahuka), has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.’ He also says, ‘In the beginning, O Lord (Ya Rabu), you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.’” Hebrews 1:1-3, 8-12
Muhammad, on the other hand, taught that his god is the only Rab and that Allah would never allow any person to take a prophet or angel as aRab in place of him:
Say (O Muhammad): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords (arbaban) besides Allah.” Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” S. 3:64 Hilali-Khan
Nor would he order you to take angels and Prophets for lords (arbaban) (gods). Would he order you to disbelieve after you have submitted to Allah's Will? (Tafsir At-Tabari). S. 3:80 Hilali-Khan
This next passage has been traditionally interpreted to mean that Allah has even forbidden people from taking Jesus as one’s Rab:
They have taken as lords (arbaban) beside 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 partner (unto Him)! S. 9:31 Pickthall
We say traditionally since the grammar and structure actually imply that Jesus is supposed to be taken as Lord alongside Allah. For the details please consult the following articles:
Moreover, according to Muslim scholars Rab is actually the greatest name of Allah:
The Meaning of Ar-Rabb, the Lord
Ar-Rabb is the owner who has full authority over his property. Ar-Rabb, linguistically means, the master or the one who has the authority to lead. All of these meanings are correct for Allah. When it is alone, the word Rabb is used ONLY for Allah. As for other than Allah, it can be used to say Rabb Ad-Dar, the master of such and such object. Further, it was reported that Ar-Rabb is Allah's Greatest Name. (Tafsir Ibn KathirQ. 1:2; capital and underline emphasis ours)
Muhammad also taught that Allah is the one who inherits all things:
But as for those who are niggardly with the bounty Allah has given them, let them not suppose it is better for them; nay, it is worse for them; that they were niggardly with they shall have hung about their necks on the Resurrection Day; and to Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and earth (wa lillahi meerathu al-samawati wa al-ardi); and Allah is aware of the things you do. S. 3:180
And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death and We are the Inheritors (wa nahnu al-warithoona). S. 15:23
Verily! We will inherit (nahnu narithu) the earth and whatsoever is thereon. And to Us they all shall be returned, S. 19:40
Again, do these Muslims want us to seriously believe that their Allah is the same Allah worshiped by Arabic speaking Christians? Do they really want us to accept that the Allah spoken of in the Arabic Bible is the same Allah worshiped by Muhammad when the Arabic Bible teaches the following?
Allah is the Father and the Son.
Allah so loved the world that he sent his only Son to save it by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.
Jesus is the Rab or Lord of all creation and the Heir of all things.
A person must confess that Jesus is Rab and that God raised him from the dead in order to be saved.
It is the Holy Spirit who enables a person to confess Jesus as Rab.
The Holy Spirit even inspired the prophet David to worship and confess Jesus the Messiah as his Rab.
Since Islam clearly denies all of these Biblical truths how can these dawagandists use the Arabic Bible to prove that Muhammad's god cannot be a false god or even Satan himself since the word Allah is used in the Arabic translation of the inspired Scriptures?

Many False Prophets and Antichrists have Gone into the World
These Muslim propagandists are apparently unaware of the fact that according to the Holy Bible Muhammad is a false prophet and an antichrist which means that his god who inspired him is actually the spirit of antichrist.
The Scriptures plainly speak of false apostles who are/will be deceived and inspired by Satan to mislead people by proclaiming another Jesus and/or preaching a different Gospel:
“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enoughI will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 12-15
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” Galatians 1:8-9
The Holy Bible also warns of antichrists that will come denying the Father and the Son:
“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. … Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is THE ANTICHRIST—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:18, 22-23
Muhammad denied that Allah is the Father and that Jesus is his Son. He also refused to believe that Jesus is Allah and our Rab. As if that wasn’t bad enough Muhammad further rejected Jesus’ vicarious death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. Muhammad is therefore one of those antichrists and false apostles which the Bible warns of, and therefore could not have been inspired by the true God. Muhammad was clearly influenced and taught by an evil, wicked spirit, even Satan himself.
In fact, what makes this rather interesting is that Muhammad himself initially thought that the spirit being who came to him and physically manhandled him was an evil spirit. Moreover, after his first encounter with this spirit Muhammad actually feared that he was demon-possessed and had gone mad and wanted to commit suicide because of it:
I. The beginning of the revelation to the Messenger of Allah was the true dream
6581. 'Urwa related that 'A'isha said, "The beginning [of the revelation] to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took the form of the true dream in sleep. Whenever he had a dream, it was clear like the break of day. He used to go to Hira' and there he devoted himself to worship for a number of nights. He took provisions with him for that. Then he would return to Khadija and take provisions for the like of that again. This continued until the Truth came to him suddenly while he was in the Cave of Hira'. The angel came to him in it and said, 'Read!'
"The Prophet said, 'I said, "I do not read." He seized me and squeezed me until all the strength went out of me and then released me and said, "Read!" I said, "I do not read." Then he seized me and squeezed me a second time until all the strength when out of me and then released me and said, "Read!" I said, "I do not read." Then he seized me and squeezed me a third time and then released me, and then he said, "Read in the name of your Lord who created man from a blood clot. Read, and your Lord is the Most Generous. He Who taught the use of the Pen" and the ayats up to "Taught man which he knew not." (96:1-5)'
"He returned with that and his heart was quaking. He went to Khadija and said, 'Wrap me up! Wrap me up!' They wrapped him up until the state of terror had left him and then he said to Khadija, 'What is wrong with me?" He told her what had happened and said, 'I am afraid for myself.' She said, 'No, it is good news. By Allah, Allah would never bring disgrace upon you. You maintain ties of kinship, speak the truth, bear people's burdens, give hospitality to your guests and help those who have been afflicted by calamities.'
"Then Khadija then went with him to Waraqa ibn Nawfal ibn Asad ibn 'Abdu'l-'Uzza ibn Qusayy, Khadija's cousin (the son of her father's brother), who had become Christian during the Jahiliyya. He could write in Arabic and wrote as much of the Gospel in Arabic as Allah willed. He was an old man who had gone blind. Khadija said to him, 'Cousin! Listen to your nephew.' Waraqa asked him, 'Nephew, what have you seen?' The Messenger of Allah told him what he had seen. Waraqa said to him, 'This is the Namus [Jibril] which Allah sent to Musa. I wish that I were still young. I wish I might still be alive when your people drive you out!' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Will they drive me out?' Waraqa said, 'Yes, no man has brought anything similar to what you have brought without being treated with hostility. If I am still alive on that day, I will give you my strong support.'
"Shortly after that, Waraqa died and there was a pause in the revelation until the Prophet became so sad that we heard that his sorrow several times made him want to throw himself off the tops of the mountains. Whenever he reached the peak of a mountain, Jibril would appear to him and say, 'Muhammad, you are truly the Messenger of Allah.' So his agitation was stilled by that and he would be at peace and then would return home. When the gap in the revelation was long for him, and he was moved to act as before. When he reached the peak of he mountain. Jibril would appear before him and say the like of that to him."
Ibn 'Abbas said that "(faliq al-isbagh) It is He Who splits the sky at dawn," (6:96) is the light of the sun in the day and the light of the moon at night. (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari95. Book of Dream Interpretation; underline emphasis ours)
So I read it, and he departed from me. And I awoke from my sleep, and it was though these words were written on my heart. (Tabari: Now none of God's creatures was more hateful to me than an (ecstatic) poet or a man possessed: I could not even look at them. I thought, Woe is me POET OR POSSESSED - Never shall Quraysh say this of me! I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest. So I went forth to do so and then) when I was midway on the mountain, I heard a voice from heaven saying ‘O Muhammad! thou are the apostle of God and I am Gabriel.’ (The Life of Muhammad – A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasulallah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume translation [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth Impression 1995], p. 106; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Then he went to Khadijah and said, “Khadijah, I think that I have gone mad.” “No, by God,” she said, “Your Lord would never do that to you. You have never committed a wicked act.” Khadijah went to Waraqa b. Nawful and told him what had happened. He said, “If what you say is true, your husband is a prophet. He will meet adversity from his people. If I live long enough, I shall believe in him.”
After this, Gabriel did not come to him for a while, and Khadijah said to him, “I think that your Lord MUST HAVE COME TO HATE YOU.” Then God revealed to him:
By the forenoon, and by the night, when it is still, your Lord has not forsaken you, nor does he hate you.
… I recited it, and then he desisted and departed I woke up, and it was as though these words had been written on my heart. There was no one of God’s creation more hateful to me than a poet or a madman; I could not bear to look at either of them. I said to myself, “Your humble servant (meaning himself) is either a poet or a madman, but Quraysh shall never say this of me. I shall take myself to a mountain crag, hurl myself down from it, kill myself, and find relief in that way.” (The History of al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt & M.V. McDonald [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1988], Volume VI, pp. 70-71; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Even Waraqa ibn Nawful, the Christian monk that Muhammad consulted after his encounter with the demon, initially suspected that the spirit who appeared to Muhammad may have been a devil masquerading as Gabriel:
“Waraqa was dumbfounded at this, and said, ‘If Gabriel has actually placed his feet upon the earth, he has done so for the best of people thereupon. And he never came down for anyone except a prophet. For he is the companion of all the prophets and messengers, the one whom God sends down to them. I believe what you tell me of him. Send for ‘Abd Allah’s son, so that I may question him, hear what he says and talk to him. I am afraid it may be someone other than Gabriel, for certain devils imitate him and by so doing can mislead and corrupt some men. This can result in a man becoming confused and even crazy whereas before he had been of sound mind.’” (Ibn Kathir,The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), Volume I, pp. 296-297; bold emphasis ours)
As far as the evidence from the Holy Bible is concerned both Waraqa and Muhammad were correct in fearing that the being who came to Muhammad was actually an evil spirit.

Two Can Play that Game!
Since Muslims are fond of appealing to the Arabic translation of the Holy Bible to prove their case we have decided to turn to the Greek translation of the Quran to see what happens when we apply the Muslim logic against Islam.
We will be quoting from the Greek version of the Quran that is found here.
What makes this translation unique is that the translators have kept the Arabic word Allah by transliterating it as Allach (alpha-lambda-lambda-chi), as opposed to simply translating it by its Greek equivalent, i.e. ho theos (“the God”). This indicates that the translators did not view Allah as a generic noun but as the actual proper name of the Islamic deity, much like Yahweh is the name of the true God revealed in the Holy Bible.
Be that as it may, this version does use the Greek word theos whenever it refers to Allah as the only God:
Your God (ho theos) is One God (henas theos); there is no God (theos) save Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful. S. 2:163
Allah bears witness that there is no God (theos) but He -- and the angels, and men possessed of knowledge -- upholding justice; there is no god but He, the All-mighty, the All-wise. S. 3:18
He is Allah, the God (ho theos) in the heavens and in the earth. He knoweth both your secret and your utterance, and He knoweth what ye earn. S. 6:3
Lo! I, even I, am Allah (Ego eimai ho Allach), There is no God (theos) save Me. So serve Me and establish worship for My remembrance. S. 20:14
And He it is Who is God (ho theos), in heaven and God on earth; and He is full of Wisdom and Knowledge. S. 43:84
And one of them who should say: Lo! I am a god (theos) beside Him, that one We should repay with hell. Thus We Repay wrong-doers. S. 21:29
Hence, according to the Greek Quran Allah is the only ho theos or theos since no other ho theos or theos exists.
Now if we were to apply the exact same method employed by these Muslim dawagandists we would have to conclude that Allah is the pagan god Zeus since according to Greek mythology Zeus was called ho theos or theos. Note the logic here:
A.    According to the Greek Quran Allah is ho theos.
B.     In Greek mythology Zeus was called ho theos.
C.     Therefore, Allah is actually the pagan god Zeus.
We could even use this to prove that Muhammad’s Allah is actually the Father and Jesus Christ his Son since the Greek NT calls both of them ho theos and theos:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (ton theon), and the Word was God (theos). He was in the beginning withGod (ton theon).” John 1:1-2
“For God (ho theos) so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God (ho kyrios mou kai ho theos mou)!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” John 20:28-29
“while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (tou megalou theou kai soteros hemon ‘Iesou Christou), who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:13
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ (tou theou hemon kai soteros ‘Iesou Christou) have received a faith as precious as ours:” 2 Peter 1:1
“For he received honor and glory from God the Father (theou patros) when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” 2 Peter 1:17
Once again, if the Muslim logic were applied consistently then this means that the Father and the Son are Allah, the God of Muhammad!
A.    According to the Greek Quran Allah is called theos with or without the article.
B.     In the New Testament both the Father and the Son are called ho theos or simply theos.
C.     Therefore, Muhammad’s Allah is a multi-personal being who simultaneously exists as both the Father and Jesus Christ the Son.
We are pretty certain that these Islamic dawagandists would reject our logic on the grounds that the Quran wasn’t written in Greek but in Arabic. We are sure that they would argue that just because individuals use the same words for their G/god(s) this doesn’t mean that they are necessarily worshiping the same G/god. Thus, just because the Greeks called Zeus ho theos this doesn’t mean that Greek speaking Muslims are worshiping Zeus since they also call Allah ho theos. Nor would this imply that Greek speaking Muslims are worshiping the Father and Jesus Christ the Son as Allah despite the fact that both the Greek New Testament and the Greek translation of the Quran use the same words to describe them all.
In the same exact way, just because an Arabic translation of the Holy Bible uses the word Allah this doesn’t mean that Christians and Muslims are worshiping the same God. Nor does this disprove that Islam derived its god from paganism and that the pagan Allah is actually Satan masquerading as God. The Biblical data is clear that the Allah of Islam is the spirit of the antichrist and that Muhammad was one of those antichrists whom the true Apostles of God said would come to deceive people away from the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As such, the Arabic version of the Holy Bible does not help Islam or confirm Muhammad's claims, and Muslims need to therefore stop using it to prove their case.


Are there problems with John 3:16?

Are there problems with John 3:16?
In an article on John 3:16, Sami Zaatari does his best to raise some doubts and questions concerning the meaning of the verse. (See here.) He quotes the verse several times as follows from an article of mine in the attempt to mock God’s love. Sami forgot to mention a reference to the article I wrote and in which I quoted the verse. (I presume it is this one.) Here is the verse: "God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die." (John 3:16 CEV) However, Sami quotes the King James Version which is 400 years old rather than modern translations and he changes the translation deliberately as we shall see later.
Sami raises the question of truth in these words:
This indeed is a huge step in one's life to convert to the faith of Christianity, hence the step must not be blindly taken, rather the one who is seeking the truth must first examine the evidence and then see if it is the truth.
I am glad to agree with Sami on this statement. However, I cannot help but wonder what kind of evidence Sami presents for converting to Islam. What is the truth about Mohammed? Is the character of Mohammed free of all sin and crimes? What is the truth about ethics in Islam? What is the truth about the Qur’an in its many versions? Are these issues set forth to the prospective convert? What is the truth about jihad against non-Muslims? What is the truth about honor killings?
Sami begins:
For starters, there is nothing about universal love in this verse; the verse is being general, and not specific. The verse says for God loved the WORLD, it doesn't say God loved EVERYONE, or God loved EVERYONE ON EARTH, rather it says God loves the world, a general claim, not a specific claim which refutes the false myth that this verse proves that God loves everybody.
Question: Are you from another world or planet? Are you not included in this world? The verse declares such a love for the world that whosoever believes – an act of personal commitment to Jesus Christ – will have eternal life. What is the difference between universal love and general love? Are there people who are in the world that are not included in the statement, “God loves the world.” What people are not included in “God loves the world”? If you admit that the verse is general, and not specific, who then is excluded? This makes no sense. If you want a specific application, the list would encompass the whole of mankind. Mankind and the world are synonymous.
The dictionary (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary) defines general as: “1, involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole, 2, involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group.” The term universal is defined as: “1. Including or covering all or a whole collectively or distributively without limit or exception.” If you have a general declaration of love for all, you don’t need a specific declaration.
I suspect that real problem for Sami is that the God of the Bible loves the world. The deity of the Qur’an only loves the Muslims, the submitters. The fact that God loves and comes in the person of the Son is humiliating to the Muslim mind. The fact is that Allah does not love the world, but pronounces jihad against non-Muslims, either to submit to dhimmitude, or convert to Islam, or be killed. This seems to me to be the reason Sami wants a “specific” reference to the love of God – namely Allah loves only Muslims who are obedient. The forgiveness of sinners is a difficult concept for Muslims to grasp, but that is what John 3:16 is all about.
Sami is beating the air trying to come up with a limited definition for John 3:16.
For an example Sami related the following;
For instance if I say I love animals, it is a general claim, but it doesn't mean I like every specific type of animal, such as a pig, I don't like pigs. Or if I say I love food, which I indeed do, I love food very much, but I don't like lasagna! So as you can see, I am being general in my claim, not specific. The same with this passage, when God says he loves the world it is a general claim, not an absaloute (sic) and specific claim that he loves us all.
Sami gives an exception to his love of food, lasagna. But it is good to know that Sami is not God and the verse does not give exceptions. Sami wants to make exceptions in the text, but there are none. Over and over, the New Testament affirms God’s desire that all people come to Him.
The Lord isn't slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost. (2 Peter 3:9 CEV)
There are no exceptions in which God rules out the possibility of their being loved by Him. The terrible thing is that humans reject His love and if His love is rejected there is no place for their future other than away from God, in hell.
Sami then turns to indictment:
Now as a truth seeker I am compelled to ask my Christian missionary friends this question. Why have you lied to me for so long? Why have you constantly used this verse as a proof that God loves EVERYONE including ME when the verse doesn't teach that? How can I trust anything you say now when you lie to me about this verse and give a false meaning to myself and billions of others?
Sami, you have not proven a lie! You have only presumed it. The World and Everyone in it are the same. You are trying to distort the passage to make it seem wrong. The words about God loving the World include everyone in it in all generations, even you!!! You have been distorting Christianity all along and you have been mocking it and fighting against it, and you do not understand it, and if you did you would have become a follower of Christ a long time ago.
You are trying to build a case on a foundation that does not exist. The so-called “lie” is in your mind, not in the Scripture verse.
Sami turns then to an interesting maneuver.
Christians claim that God sent his son for us. Yet since we have established the fact that the verse is general, and not specific, it also means that Jesus was generally sent for the world, and that he wasn't SPECIFICALLY sent for EVERYONE.
Sami, you are reasoning like a sausage. If the verse is general and not specific then Jesus wassent for everyone.
Surprisingly, Sami strays into theology,
What this means is that this verse teaches LIMITED ATONEMENT, meaning the son was not sent to save us all, but for some people only! So how can a Christian use this verse as a proof for me when I might not be included in one of these saved persons?! As far as I'm concerned I could be a human whom God doesn't like, and a person whom the son was not sent for.
Sami omits so much of the story we have to fill in some of the details. Let’s look first at the beginning of the Gospel of John:
The true light that shines on everyone was coming into the world. The Word was in the world, but no one knew him, though God had made the world with his Word. He came into his own world, but his own nation did not welcome him. Yet some people accepted him and put their faith in him. So he gave them the right to be the children of God. They were not God's children by nature or because of any human desires. God himself was the one who made them his children. The Word became a human being and lived here with us. We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us. (John 1:9-14 CEV)
The universal appeal of John’s gospel, both here in chapter one, and in chapter 3 is based on God’s love and man’s response. There is no limited atonement in these verses. The idea of a limited atonement is a construct coming from John Calvin and others following him. Moreover, the real issue is the response of people – will you believe and receive Christ as Lord of your life? There is no distinction between a general claim of God’s love and a specific claim of God’s love. God’s love is without qualifications to anyone who will receive it.
There is hope for you, Sami, as long as you are breathing. If you are damned it is your own doing, not God’s desire. His love for you continues even when you are rebelling against Him. “Whosoever will…” still includes you. Your problem is not a theological debate about predestination and free will, but that you are mocking the Gospel and actively distorting the meaning of simple and straight-forward statements in the Bible. The invitation of this verse includes you, and all Muslims, and all who seek to belittle it for whatever reason. It is only your own rejection of God’s offer by which you exclude yourself.
Sami then quotes a passage from Charles Spurgeon who declared that “all” does not mean all.
I don’t think quoting Spurgeon is helping you. For example, Sami quotes the use of the Greek word “pas” to show that it does not include “all.” One example is that “all” Judea and Jerusalem went out to hear John the Baptist. So it is concluded that really not all went, there were lots of people did not go.
Spurgeon is right in saying that not everyone went and it is a figure of speech used to imply a large number of people went, but many did not. In contrast, there is a word of Jesus in which all certainly means “all.” At the end of the gospel of Matthew we have these words:
Jesus came to them and said: I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20 CEV)
“The people of all nations” leaves nobody out. Sami, you are not left out. The invitation to become a disciple of Christ is still here. The word “make” in the verse is teaching, enrolling, instructing, it is not a word of force or coercion.
The Gospel of Luke ends with a similar charge:
Jesus “said to them, "This is what is written: the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later, and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:46-48 GNB)
I think that the phrase, “all nations” is pretty revealing.
Moreover, the missionary did not lie to you. You merely picked up a particular theological expression and try to use it as a weapon rather than studying the New Testament to see if what is said was true. Moreover, you must put your trust in the New Testament, not anyone coming along saying this or that.
Next Sami raises the issue of God sending his Son…
Okay, I see many more problems now. God loves some of so much so he sends his son?! Why didn't he send himself? The only LOGICAL explanation and conclusion one can reach is that God is a coward. I don't mean to sound offensive, but the fact is this, no Father sends his son to do his hard and dangerous work for himself. A father doesn't put his son in harm's way, but he takes the harm and pain of his son so his son doesn't have to suffer.
First, we have to correct the limited assumption that God love some of us only. That is not faithful to the Scriptures. If you persist in this error you are headed for an unloving God, a biased being who chooses favorites and rejects others. This is more like Allah than the idea of God in the New Testament. In Islam no one knows what Allah is going to do. Not so here.
Second, you must realize what you are asking. You require God to come. If God came without the incarnation you and I would not live. God is holy and his holiness would kill us sinners. Moreover, the Infinite God would be so great that you could not comprehend Him. God’s love is expressed in a way that we can understand, being like us in a body, but being God in our presence.
Third, God did not come in his Infinity to keep the world from dying. He is not a coward.
Fourth, the Apostle Paul describes it as follows:
Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others. What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace. We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-20 CEV)
So, the bottom line is that God was in Christ in the most profound way even when we speak of the Son and the Father.
Perhaps you could ask the same question with reference to Allah and Mohammed? Why did not Allah come instead of sending a prophet? Is Allah a coward? Can Allah really reveal himself, not just commands?
Sami moves on to the issue of “begotten” in the verse.
Secondly, what is your Bible trying to say when it says God has a BEGOTTEN son of God? If the term son of God is not meant to be taken literally then why is a literal word of offspring through sexual intercourse being used? There are 2 solutions to this, either your God physically had sex with a lady to have Jesus, hence he is called BEGOTTEN. Or someone lied and made this up, and if someone did lie, then your book isn't from God, and it is all doubtful.
There is an interesting twist that has taken place here. The translation that I used was the Contemporary English Version and my original quote was from it. (See here.)
However, Sami introduced a different version, probably the King James Version, to introduce the word “begotten” to suggest that God had a consort for the birth of Jesus. Most modern translations do not use the word “begotten” rather the phrase “unique” or “only” Son. The issue of “begotten” is a red herring for Muslims and they use it to mislead people, attempting to smear Christianity.
Although Sami can hardly be ignorant of the various articles on this issue that we have had on Answering Islam for many years (e.g, 12), he is not interested in understanding the meaning of the verse but only in abusing the formulation in an outdated translation for polemical purposes.
It should be underlined that the Greek text has not changed, nor been corrupted as Muslim claim, but our understanding of the words have deepened and been clarified. There are
Reasons why monogenes should not be translated as “only begotten”:
The word monogenes also appears elsewhere in the New Testament:
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only [monogenes] son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. — Hebrews 11:17-19 (NIV)
The same Greek word monogenes appears here Hebrews 11 as in John 3:16. To say Isaac was Abraham’s only-begotten son would make no sense since according to the Bible, Abraham begat Ishmael as well as Isaac. But monogenes meaning "one of a kind", "one and only", or "unique" would fit because Isaac was special and it was through Isaac that Yahweh would bless the world, not through Ishmael. Abraham's wife, Sarah, was too old to have a child but she nevertheless became pregnant and bore Isaac.” (Source)
The reason that Jesus is unique, one of a kind, is his message: “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father.” (John 14:6 CEV) Whether Sami or you or I go to heaven or hell it is up to us. God has already acted and dealt with the humanly impenetrable barrier, our sin. The way is provided for all of us. If you ignore the way, or insult the provider what is there left to be said?
Sami draws out his misunderstanding of the issue:
Since there can't be any lies in the Bible as Christians tell me, I am forced to come to the first conclusion, that your God literally had sex to beget Jesus his son. This now makes me ask, who did God sleep with? Mary? It must have been her since she is the mother of Jesus, Catholics who are the majority of Christians call Mary the mother of God. So Mary is the mother of Jesus, God is the father of Jesus, Jesus is the begotten son, therefore we have God and Mary having sex to beget Jesus, hence he is called the begotten son of God.
Did the Son of God exist before the birth of Jesus? Absolutely! This involves the whole issue of the nature of God being Trinitarian. God the Father has been a father from eternity. The Son of God has been a son from eternity. Moreover, the Holy Spirit exists from eternity. So how did the birth of Jesus take place? If Sami would read the Bible, rather than Muslim propaganda, he would find the answer.
One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. The angel greeted Mary and said, "You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you." Mary was confused by the angel's words and wondered what they meant. Then the angel told Mary, "Don't be afraid! God is pleased with you, and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end." Mary asked the angel, "How can this happen? I am not married!" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God's power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. Nothing is impossible for God!" Mary said, "I am the Lord's servant! Let it happen as you have said." And the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38 CEV)
It is ironic that Muslims believe that Allah can say, “Be” and it happens, but in the case of Mary the word of the angel is rejected. The power of the Spirit coming over her has nothing to do with physical sex. It is the power of God in the virgin birth. It is strange that the Qur’an affirms the virgin birth of Jesus, but Sami insults the Qur’an and Christianity by implying God going to bed with Mary. The Qur’an affirms the Virgin Birth of Jesus.
Moving along Sami has some unusual reasoning:
So if I accept the Son, meaning Jesus, and sincerely believe in him, then I get eternal life! Now what if I don't accept the FATHER? What happens? It seems nothing; I found a loop hole it seems! The verse clearly says that I must believe IN THE SON to have eternal life, it doesn't say I must believe in the son AND the father! It just says I must accept the son!
On top of that, the verse says nothing about the Holy Spirit; the verse doesn't say you must believe in the Son AND the Father AND the Holy Spirit! So why do I need the Father if I don't even have to accept him? I guess I should just disregard both him and the Holy Spirit and just take the Son.
The story goes around that Mark Twain was once reading the Bible and the reason for his reading was he was looking for loop holes. Sami seems to be looking for loop holes as well. But the answer to his question is found in the Gospel of John.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life!" Jesus answered. "Without me, no one can go to the Father. If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him." Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need." Jesus replied: "Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don't you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? Don't you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn't said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things. Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honor to the Father." (John 14:6-13)
Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don't see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you. I won't leave you like orphans. I will come back to you. In a little while the people of this world won't be able to see me, but you will see me. And because I live, you will live. Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you. If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like. The other Judas, not Judas Iscariot, then spoke up and asked, "Lord, what do you mean by saying that you will show us what you are like, but you will not show the people of this world?" Jesus replied: If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. But anyone who doesn't love me, won't obey me. What they have heard me say doesn't really come from me, but from the Father who sent me. I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you.” (John 14:16-26 CEV)
Sami would probably want to raise the usual Muslim reply that the Holy Spirit refers to Mohammed. However, the Holy Spirit was to be given to the disciples of Jesus and the record of Acts shows the reality of that promise. The Holy Spirit was not delayed for 600 years to the time of Mohammed. Such a conclusion is senseless.
So, in the words of a song, you can’t have one without the other. You can’t reject the Father and have the Son, nor can you reject the Son and have the Father.
In reality I wonder how many Muslim men think about Allah at all. The emphasis on martyrdom and the reward of 72 virgins raises questions about the real nature of Allah and really knowing him. Is there any regard for Allah at all? Is it a matter of doing what is thought to be his will in hopes of the virgins?
Sami concludes:
So I have read and examined John 3:16, I have seen no truth in it, nothing special, nothing that made me say wow this is the truth! All I saw was confusion, insults, and mockery to God. If this is meant to be THE verse for Christianity, then I really don't know what to say
And Allah Knows Best!
This is not a correct observation. Sami, you distorted the issue. And the mockery came only from your side. You quoted an old version of the verse creating a false objection. You created false distinctions between general and specific allowing that general does not cover all. You made a mockery of God by deliberately ignoring the Christian Gospels in your charges. You even mock the Qur’an in the process.
Your conclusion, “And Allah knows best!” reminds me of a phrase that occurs over again in The Life of Mohammed by Ibn Ishaq. A story is narrated and then there is a conclusion relating to its accuracy, “But God knows what the truth is.” In this case, Sami has raised questions and given his answers, but God knows what the truth is and it does not seem to be what Sami is proposing.
One last comment about God’s love. Love requires a response. If a man tells a woman he loves her he is anticipating a response, i.e. that she responds to his love. In their responses to each other there is a commitment to one another. God’s love also requires a response. God loves you, will you respond to Him?
John 3:16 is followed by some serious implications:
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son. The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light. People who do evil hate the light and won't come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done. But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do. (John 3:17-21CEV)
Nevertheless, Sami, I do pray for you almost daily. My prayer is that you have an experience with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the beloved of the Father, that you know now his gift of everlasting life.