A Few Simple Questions for Muslim Visitors
1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The Jesus of the Qur’an, or the Jesus of the Bible — which is correct? The Islamic Jesus (Isa) is viewed as nothing more than an “apostle of Allah”, a mere man whose virgin birth, life and death had no real significance other than to simply be a slave and messenger for the deity of Islam. The Messianic-Christian Jesus (Yeshua), a Jew from Nazareth, is viewed as the fulfillment of ancient Jewish Messianic prophecies, as the eternal Word of God manifested in the flesh who came into the world as the Lamb of God to be the final sacrifice for sin, the only way of salvation and fulfillment of the Law. We don’t need to perform detailed comparisons before we begin to realize that the Jesus of the Qur’an is not the same Jesus of the Bible. Although two opposing views can both be wrong, two opposing views cannot both be right.
False Prophets, False Teachings, False Signs and False Miracles Foretold
As a Christian, I have been forewarned by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:4 against accepting the teachings of those who “preach another Jesus” or “another gospel” than that which we have already been given by the Apostles of Biblical Scripture. Whether it be the Jesus and teachings of Mormonism, or the Jesus and teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Jesus and teachings of Islam, they all fall well short of the Jesus and teachings of the historic Christian faith that was delivered to the saints. In fact, if anyone “or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9). Yet according to Islam, the angel “Gabriel” gave another gospel to Mohammed which, instead of rejecting, he decided to accept.
Jesus forewarned His believers that “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” who would even “perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible” (see Matthew 24:11,24). The Apostle Paul calls them “counterfeit miracles” or “lying wonders” in his epistle to the believers in Thessalonica (2 Thessalonians 2:9) whereby many would be deceived — not just a few, but a large number of people who would be lead down a road of serious theological error by the false teachings, false signs and false miracles of false prophets. Have you wondered why Islam teaches that the Qur’an itself is a “living miracle”? Or why it is taught that Mohammed’s war victories and his ascent into Heaven during the “Night Journey” were “great signs”? Questioning these “great signs and miracles” and viewing them through the lens of critical thinking is paramount to questioning the “Word of Allah” to the Islamic mindset, evidenced by the fact that the history of Islam itself has been one of “anti-intellectualism” whereby Muslims are discouraged from asking difficult questions about Mohammed or about the Qur’an and its teachings. On one hand, the God of the Bible encourages difficult questions and reason as this will inevitably strengthen one’s faith (Isaiah 1:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 John 4:1), but according to Islam reason and difficult questions will lead many Muslims to lose theirs on the other (Qur’an 5:101-102). Why?
The teachings and commands in the Qur’an and the Hadiths are diametrically opposed to the teachings and commands of the Biblical Jesus. In Matthew 5:44-45b Jesus commands His followers to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven …”. Does the Jesus of the Qur’an also teach this? Does even Mohammed — Islam’s very own prophet and history’s most authoritative according to Muslims — teach anywhere in the Qur’an or Hadiths to love and pray for one’s enemies? To the contrary, Mohammed’s final marching orders for all Muslims was that they must never befriend Jews and Christians and must instead wage war against all unbelievers for the cause of Allah until Islam became the only religion on earth. In fact, the Hadiths teach that Jews and Christians must all be forced to submit to Islam, or one day experience mass slaughter for the glory of Allah if they refuse. It is therefore no coincidence that Jesus forewarned us well in advance of Mohammed that a time would come “when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God” (John 16:2b). Christians are being persecuted and killed by Muslims in increasing measure today in the name of Allah, yet even despite this many Christians still choose to respond to their Muslim aggressors with forgiveness time and again.
The Bible and the Qur’an — Which is More Reliable?
Muslims are taught to believe that the Bible we have today was altered and corrupted. Archaeological discoveries, however, have repeatedly confirmed that Biblical manuscripts and fragments dated even hundreds of years before Mohammed are virtually identical to the canonized Biblical texts we have today. Given the fact that Mohammed did not believe the Bible was corrupt while he was “reciting” the Qur’an and even called upon Christians to adhere to the Scriptures they had already possessed, such archaeological evidence is extremely problematic for honest Muslims and begs the question: Since the Scriptures we have today are the same Scriptures that Christians had even well before the time of Mohammed, when do you believe the Bible could have possibly been corrupted, who corrupted it, and how was it corrupted?
When it comes to the reliability of the Qur’an, however, many aberrations are known to exist in old Qur’anic texts. A 1999 article titled “What is the Koran?” by Toby Lester, for instance, highlights the fact that pieces of the earliest Qur’ans known to exist were clearly written over earlier, washed-off versions. Muslim archaeologists readily admit that these discoveries suggest the Qur’an was an evolving text rather than the “Word of Allah” as revealed in its entirety to Mohammed, a forthright admission that runs counter to the Islamic claim that the Qur’an is unchanged and eternal. Moreover, the Qur’an also distorts and incorrectly defines some very basic Christian doctrines, is at odds with factual and observable science, and even makes embarrassing historical errors. For example:
“The Qur’an has confused Jesus’ mother with Aaron’s sister because both of them carry the same name, though there are several centuries between them. The Qur’an indicates that Mary (Christ’s mother) had a brother whose name was Aaron (chapter 19:28) and a father whose name is Imran (chapter 66:12). Their mother was called ‘the wife of Imran’ (chapter 3:35) which eliminates any doubt that it confuses Mary, mother of Jesus, with Mary, sister of Aaron. Muslim scholars acknowledge what happened and they are confused and fail in their desperate attempts to justify this grave error.”
We can go on and on, but the seriousness of the issues outlined above alone forces Muslim apologists to somehow reinterpret, rationalize and otherwise explain away such glaring problems, which should itself be forcing all Muslims to wonder just what else the Qur’an may be wrong about.
The Son of God – What Does It Mean?
The Qur’an teaches that, according to Christianity, God acquired a son through procreation with Mary. In the eyes of Muslims, the term “son of God” is believed to be, and is therefore understood, in a literal sense. But this misrepresentation is so far from the basic tenets of Christianity that any serious student of the Qur’an should begin questioning the veracity of some of the teachings of Islam on this error alone. The Biblical term “son of God” is an anthropomorphism and is intended to be understood in a figurative sense, not in a wooden literal sense. It is a metaphor to describe a relational identity. For example, angels are called “sons of God” in the Bible (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). Adam is called the son of God as well (Luke 3:38). As believers in Christ and Him crucified, all Christians are called God’s children (Matthew 5:9; Romans 8:16; Galatians 3:26; Galatians 4:5-6; Ephesians 1:5). But this term is an analogy to describe our relationship to our Heavenly Father. We are not literal “sons” and “daughters” in any biological sense. Likewise, Jesus is also called the son of God, but there is something extremely different in His case. In John 3:16, Jesus is called the only “begotten” son of God — the Greek word “monogenēs” — which means “unique” or “one of a kind.” And for a very good reason. In the Old Testament, before Jesus came as a child into this world, He appeared before His people as the “Angel of the Lord.” He revealed Himself in the burning bush that spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. He appeared before Joshua as the Commander of the Hosts of Heaven. And now, in the New Testament, Jesus is called the “unique” son of God because He is God in the flesh and there is no one else like Him:
John 1:1,14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten [monogenēs] of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Trinity – Monotheism or Polytheism?
Because of Mohammed’s misunderstanding of what Christians believed and practiced, Islam also teaches that the Biblical concept of the Trinity is a polytheistic teaching of “three gods” characterized as the “Father” and the “Son” and the “Virgin Mary.” Not only does the “Virgin Mary” have absolutely nothing to do with the Trinity (it is the Holy Spirit, not Mary), we believe in One God only and One God that is Triune, not in three gods. To use an analogy to illustrate this, let’s consider a star. When we observe our sun, for example, we observe three distinct things: light, heat, and a flame. Yet, the light is the sun. The heat is the sun. The flame is the sun. Although these three are distinct, do we orbit three stars, or only one? Likewise, the Father is called God in Scripture (Philippians 2:11), and so is the Son (John 1:1,14; Colossians 2:9), and so is the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). Even though there is a clear distinction, there is only One God.
In a book titled “The Jewish Trinity” by Yoel Natan, the author demonstrates how Moses and other Bible writers wrote strikingly and often about the Triune nature of God and about the deity of the Messiah. In his review, Roswell T. Bonovitz, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Languages, points out how “Gravity was always there, but it took a Newton to discover it. Lightning was always electrical. It took a Franklin to recognize it, and a Steinmetz to tame it, and an Edison to light up our lives with it. The fact is now indisputable that the Jews in Jesus’ day believed in the Triune God. The proof was always there in the Bible. Many theologians even suspected it. But it took Yoel Natan to dig it out and prove it beyond dispute… our Hebrew forebears understood and worshipped the Holy Trinity as clearly as the writers of the Apostles’ Creed… All the evidence has been there staring us in the face for two millennia.” And indeed, it has. As Deuteronomy 6:4 declares, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” Literally translated, “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh and our Elohim are a united one.” The Old Testament demonstrates a plurality in the Godhead that is a united One, and this distinction is reaffirmed in the New Testament: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23). Feel free to read The Jewish Trinity Sourcebook here.
One Messiah — One Truth — One Way of Salvation
Romans 5:8, “… God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Whether one is Christian or Muslim, we agree that we have all sinned and that the end result of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) and, since God is the Giver and Sustainer of life (Genesis 2:7), separation from Him means that eternal death in the Lake of Fire will inevitably follow (Revelation 21:8). But because of His love for you and I the God of Heaven came down to us (John 3:16), was born in the flesh (John 1:14), lived a sinless life (1 Peter 2:22; Hebrews 9:14), and though sinless He willingly bore the punishment of sin — death — upon Himself and died in our place upon a Cross so that we could live with Him forever (Philippians 2:5-8; Revelation 22:12). All you have to do is simply believe in your heart from this day forward the very thing that the teachings of Islam tell you to completely deny: The death and resurrection of the only begotten Son of the Living God (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Then, and only then, can you be saved from eternal damnation.
1 John 1:7b, “… the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Acts 4:12, “And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.”
There is only one true Jesus, and as Christians we believe that it is the One that the “People of the Book” believed in many centuries before Mohammed, and still believe in to this very day. He is our Messiah. He is our Deliverer. He is our Salvation. And He can be yours, too. Any teachings that claim to be the “truth” or another “revelation” or a new “gospel” that denies or opposes the Scriptures that “the people of the Book” had already been given — the true Word of God whom the Lord has protected from corruption (Isaiah 59:21) throughout the ages — is to be rejected. Islam teaches another “Jesus.” Islam teaches another “revelation.” Islam teaches another “gospel.” Islam is to therefore be rejected.
This is by no means an exhaustive comparison between Islam and Christianity, but please think about this very carefully. In light of the fact that even Mohammed himself did not know for certain what would happen to him in the afterlife, why should any Christian who knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are guaranteed eternal life through faith in the Jesus of the Bible give up the Christian faith of Jesus for the Islamic faith of Mohammed which we know will guarantee us nothing? You, too, can have the same guarantee that we as Christians share. All you have to do is believe in and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Seek the Lord while He may be found, for today is your day to truly believe. Tomorrow may be too late. Would you be willing to pray with an open heart and ask God to guide you to His truth, even if that truth is found in the Jesus of the Bible, and not in Islam?
Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Isaiah 12:2-4, “Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD, the LORD, is my strength and song; and he has become my YESHU’AH. Therefore with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of YESHU’AH. In that day you will say, ‘Give thanks to the LORD! Call on HIS NAME. Declare his doings among the peoples. Proclaim that HIS NAME is exalted!’”
Matthew 1:21, “She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name YESHUA, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”
John 4:14, “… whoever drinks of the water that I [YESHUA] shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Isaiah 62:11, “Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy YESHU’AH cometh; behold, HIS reward [is] with HIM, and his work before him.”
Revelation 22:12, “And behold, I [YESHUA] am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”
John 14:6, “YESHUA said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.'”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
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Caution: Only Watch the Videos Below If You’re Not Afraid of Being Challenged