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Jesus said he's just a prophet. Why do you think he's God?

Postby G3 - Muslim » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:58 pm

Jesus(pbuh) said he is just a Prophet, so why do you say he is the literal son of God?

If you want to know the truth about a truthful person, the best thing to do is speak to that individual directly and get the truth from them. To see what they have to say about themselves, not what others attribute to them. Which is why we will try and establish who Jesus(pbuh) is based on the textual evidences and try and determine his true nature. What does Jesus(pbuh) say he really is, a Prophet of God or God.

For this, we'll refer to some very often misrepresented verses.

John 10
[28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
[29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
[30] I and my Father are one.

Jesus(pbuh) tells the Jews, that because God gave the followers to him, no one can take them away from him, because they can't take them away from God. This is why they are considered "one". Again showing that he's not God. Yet the Jews misunderstood.

[31] Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him

Jesus(pbuh) was confused as to why they were stoning him. So he asked them:

[32] Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
What about the good, the miracles that God did through him are they stoning him for, was his question. Again, he's clearly showing that he's representing God, much like other Prophets. They replied:
[33] The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

The Jews falsely accused Jesus(pbuh) of blasphemy, saying that he claimed to be God. What the Jews misunderstood, Trinitarians are taking as doctrine. But look at what Jesus(pbuh) says:
[34] Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
[35] If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

According to the law, those people, Prophets, who were given scripture are considered gods. The word gods here isn't to signify deity or that they should be worshipped, but to signify status and authority as a Prophet based on the fact they received scripture. Not only that they received scripture, but that scripture is binding.

Look at the following evidence which proves this.

Exodus 4
[15] And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.

God was going to teach Moses(pbuh) what to say, meaning receive scripture, and in turn teach Aaron(pbuh) God's instructions.
[16] And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

They were both Prophets of God, but here God is clearly showing a process, with one Prophet greater in status because of the scripture. Here Moses(pbuh) is considered a "god" because of the scripture, as Jesus(pbuh) described. Further evidence is shown next:

Exodus 7
[1] And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
[2] Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.

Same thing here, Moses(pbuh) is a "god" to Pharaoh, but Aaron(pbuh) is not, because Moses(pbuh) received scripture, whereas Aaron(pbuh) is to just propogate what Moses(pbuh) was given. Therefore Jesus(pbuh) is just like Moses(pbuh), a Prophet that was given scripture.

Jesus(pbuh) according John 10 when accused of claiming to be God or a literal son of God, refutes their accusation and clearly states that he is just a Prophet like Moses(pbuh) before him.

Trinitarian Christians, why are you like the Jews and falsely attribute divinity to Jesus(pbuh) when he refuted them and clearly stated he is just a Prophet like Moses(pbuh)?
G3 - Muslim
 

Re: Jesus said he's just a prophet. Why do you think he's Go

Postby jimwalton » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:43 pm

Glad to dialogue. Thanks for bringing up this issue. Let's talk.

> Jesus(pbuh) said he is just a Prophet

First up to bat, this is untrue. If we're going to "speak to that individual directly and get the truth from them," there is no place where Jesus said he is just a prophet.

But let's look at your verses.

> John 10.28-30... "This is why they are considered 'one'."

Your exegesis is a little shorthanded. Jesus says he is the one who gives eternal life, a prerogative of God alone (Jn. 10.28). Jesus says no one shall pluck his children out of his hand, pointing to his divine power. He is the one who grants and preserves salvation.

In verse 29, he acknowledges the role of the Father as the underwriter of the security Christ offers. Jesus can grant security because the Father has given them to Jesus. In that arrangement, security is unquestionable and unassailable.

Then in v. 30 where he says, "I and the Father are one," he is making the clearest statement of divinity he ever made. Jesus and the Father are not the same divine action, but they are the same divine essence. They are one God.

The Jews pick up stones to stone him for making himself equal with God, which is blasphemy if it's untrue. Jesus is not at all confused about why they are doing that, but is challenging their hypocrisy. They have seen his miracles and have admitted that they are from God (Jn. 3.1-2). So Jesus is confronting them them for their contradiction between affirmation and action.

Notice that Jesus doesn't deny their accusation that he claimed to be God. There is no refutation of it from Him. He never denies the basis of their charge, but rather to legitimize his right to such a claim even more solidly based on the way these religious leaders interpret the law. He uses typical and accepted Jewish rules of biblical interpretation. He takes them back to Psalm 82.6, where the judges of Israel called themselves elohim as part of God's council, since they were allegedly representatives of God on Earth. And if the Scripture is true, and can apply the term to men, should not Jesus himself, who shares the essence of God, be allowed to use the term also? It's a rhetorical question expecting an affirmative answer. He's not making himself equal to the prophets, but rather making a qal vahomer argument showing that if these flawed men can be called "sons of God" in a certain way, then certain Jesus, who is the only begotten Son of God (Jn. 3.16), can be called the Son of God. Jesus is not equating himself with the prophets, but instead is showing that His superiority to the prophets is substantial (Jn. 10.36).

Your quote from Exodus 4 doesn't prove your position. It rather shows that Moses was a true prophet. "Here Moses(pbuh) is considered a 'god' because of the scripture, as Jesus(pbuh) described" is an incorrect juxtaposition. Jesus is not God because of the Scripture, but rather because "the Father set him apart as his very own and sent him into the world" (Jn. 10.36). Every word counts heavily here in contrast with the mere judges of Ps. 82.6, and also in your case of Moses in Ex. 4. You'll notice that Jesus's argument is not "Psalm 82 speaks of men as gods, therefore I, in common with other men, may use the term of myself," but rather, "If in any sense the psalm may apply this term to me, then how much more easily it can be applied to me who is one with the Father." Jesus is not classing himself as one of the prophets, but as distinct from other men and prophets in being the one the Father set apart for himself as his very own. Jesus has not made himself God; He always is God but who has now become man.

> Ex. 7.1

Such a statement would come across as odd even to the ancient Egyptians who perceived pharaoh as god. Moses was not claiming deity or equality with deity, but that his word was spoken with the authority of deity behind it. He is saying that as God's ambassador he has the authority of God to act with the signs and wonders he will reveal as acts of God.

> Trinitarian Christians, why are you like the Jews and falsely attribute divinity to Jesus(pbuh) when he refuted them and clearly stated he is just a Prophet like Moses(pbuh)?

Therefore your accusation and conclusion are false. Jesus attributed deity to himself ("I and the Father are one"). He set himself complete apart from the prophets (Jn. 10.36), and the verses you chose from Exodus are clearly about something different than anything Jesus was teaching.
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Re: Jesus said he's just a prophet. Why do you think he's Go

Postby G3 - Muslim » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:25 pm

> In verse 29, he acknowledges the role of the Father as the underwriter of the security Christ offers. Jesus can grant security because the Father has given them to Jesus. In that arrangement, security is unquestionable and unassailable.

Just as the Jews misunderstood, so do you. You can't be divine if you're having to rely on someone else as you admit Jesus(pbuh) did.

> The Jews pick up stones to stone him for making himself equal with God, which is blasphemy if it's untrue.

What are you talking about? Deuteronomy 13 does not leave any room for a man god or any concept of God except what was taught to Moses(pbuh).

> Notice that Jesus doesn't deny their accusation that he claimed to be God. There is no refutation of it from Him.

Jesus(pbuh) absolutely refutes them when he says:

John 10
[34] Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
[35] If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Jesus(pbuh) is refuting them by saying he is just like the ones who were given scripture, who were all Prophets, regular men. That is an unequivocally clear refutation.
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Re: Jesus said he's just a prophet. Why do you think he's Go

Postby jimwalton » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:05 am

Let's talk as friends. Surah 5.82-83 enjoins us to be near in love and to discuss as learned men.

> Just as the Jews misunderstood, so do you.

My friend, I learned LONG ago that evaluating another religion as an outsider is almost impossible. As I read and study to understand Islam, there's only so much I can understand as a non-Muslim. Not having been raised in Islam, and not sitting under the constant teaching of Imams, my understanding of Islam is always through filtered glasses.

Obviously, I assess that you are quite mistaken to claim that all Jews and Christians misunderstand Jesus, but you Muslims are the only ones who understand Him. Christianity is the people of Jesus as Jews are the people of the book. The Qur'an came 600 years later, and your understanding of Jesus is through the eyes of Islam, not through the eyes of the people of Jesus.

Let's go back to the text.

> You can't be divine if you're having to rely on someone else as you admit Jesus(pbuh) did.

The concept of "given" is a common theme in John. It's prominent especially in the section of chapters 14-17, where we see a much fuller development of the teaching. So if you want to talk about understanding what the Injil are teaching us about Isa, we must look at all of what they teach, not just one verse. We find out that The Father, (Allah) has given Isa authority, his name that means "salvation," his salvific work to do, and the souls whom Isa saves. At the same time we find that Isa gives eternal life to those Allah has given him, He gives His followers the words Allah has given him, and he gives His followers the glory Allah gave him. But we must look further.

Isa also claims here (as He does in John 14.28) that Allah is greater than He. Instead of looking at it by itself and going "AHA!", we have to look at it all. "Greatness" has a wide range of possible meanings: (1) spatially larger (measure: greater height; greater size), (2) larger number (quantity), (3) greater intensity (a great calm, for instance, a great deed), (4) higher rank or dignity, (5) greater power, (6) greater importance, (7) more extraordinary, (8) older. (9) more deserving of honor.

That Allah is superior to Isa is not a point that Isa has been making nor a concept He has been developing. He has been clear that Allah has a particular role to play, and the Son (Isa himself), in turn, also has a particular role to play. He has also been clear that He and the Allah are one (Jn. 1.1; 10.30; 14.9).

What then did Isa mean by “the Father is greater”? John 14.28 is a re-cap of vv. 1-4: I am going away; I am coming back; you should not be troubled but be glad; I am going to the Father. Then Jesus emphasizes his own uniqueness and his own status: Jesus is the preparer, the way, the truth, the life, the revelation of the Father, the one who is “in” the Father, etc. The Father is the home owner (2), the goal and destination (6), the One at work (10), the sender (16, 25).

What we have is a scene of equality in essence but distinction in activity (in their roles). When Jesus says “the Father is greater than I,” He can mean nothing other than during Jesus’s incarnation, the Father has a role as Sender that outranks Jesus’s role as the One sent. Isa is not relying on Allah. Instead, they are of one essence (Isa's own words in Jn. 10.30) but differ in their activity and their roles while Isa is on Earth.

> What are you talking about? Deuteronomy 13 does not leave any room for a man god or any concept of God except what was taught to Moses(pbuh).

Again, we must take all of Allah's revelation. First of all, there are places as in the Zabur (Ps. 2, and Ps. 110.1) where Allah is speaking to His Son and giving His Son authority equal to His own. The Qur'an says Isa is holy (Surah 3.45-46) that he has the Spirit of Allah in him (4.171)—something no other prophet has, not even Muhammad. The Word and Spirit are part of Allah Himself. Allah demonstrated His power through Isa (3.49), even power over death (no other being has power over death, but only Isa). Isa is the only one who can lead us to heaven (3.50-55). Even Muhammad didn't know where he would go after death (Surah 46.9).

You question why Musa didn't leave any room for a man god, but you as a Muslim distinctly believe in progressive revelation. Is that not why you believe the Qur'an supersedes all previous revelation—because revelation is progressive? Then we allow Allah to reveal himself differently in Isa than He did through Musa. Surah 3.50 makes clear that Isa would bring about change to the Old Testament laws.

> John 10.34-35; "Jesus absolutely refutes them

You are misreading. Isa never says, "I am not God." Isa never asserts that they misunderstood when they perceive he's making himself equal to Allah. Notice the flow.

    * Isa says, "I and Allah are one."
    * The Jewish leaders pick up stones to kill him for blasphemy.
    * Isa reminds them that they have seen his divine miracles.
    * The leaders say explicitly: We are not stoning you for miracles, but because you "claim to be God."
    * Isa never says "No I didn't," or "that's not what I meant." He says, "But your own law says even human beings can have that term in certain circumstances. Why should you object to my having it?" (Jn. 10.36). He never refutes their understanding that He made himself equal to Allah. He says, as the Qur'an does, that Isa was sent directly from heaven (Surah 3.47). Most Muslims accept that Isa Katimatullah or Isa Ruhallah was sent directly from heaven by Allah as the child of the virgin Mariam. Isa is not refuting their identification of Him, but rather their charge of blasphemy (Jn. 10.36).

> Jesus(pbuh) is refuting them by saying he is just like the ones who were given scripture, who were all Prophets, regular men. That is an unequivocally clear refutation.

In Jn. 10.36 He is separating Himself from all other men as the one "set apart [by Allah] as his very own and sent into the world." In Jn. 6.69 Isa is called the holy one of God, a title the Qur'an also uses for him (3.45-46). But in the Injil Isa is not just "Set apart," but set apart as Allah's "very own." But in Jn. 17.19, we read that Isa has the authority to sanctify Himself, a prerogative of deity alone. In this way also Isa is saying that He and Allah are one God with distinction in role and activity. John writes carefully to show us that Isa is no mere prophet; he is not like the prophets or the angels. Isa was pre-existent (Jn. 1.1-3). Allah sends Isa into the world to do His work: to offer life, to have power over death, and to lead believers to heaven (Surah 3.49-55; the Gospel of John ). It shows that Isa is much more than a prophet.


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