Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Jesus
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Assalamu alaikum I welcome you once again to astound focus. This is our 13th program on Jesus to beloved messenger of Allah. I topic today will be a continuation on did Jesus claimed divinity. I'm your host, Rashad Minish, and here with me once again from St. Mary's University is Dr. Jamal Arsenal a conductor? Well, I hope you find today.
Could you please give our viewers a summary of last week's program? Okay. In the last week's program, we started to analyze some of the quotations that are attributed to Jesus peace be upon him as a proof that he claimed divinity, or equality with God.
And even if we assume that these statements are both authoritative and authentic, which is an issue that we haven't discussed, yet, assuming even for the sake of understanding, it was indicated that in the context of the Bible, none of those famous commonly quoted statements clearly indicate conclusively that Jesus claimed to be divine, and indicated that this is a very serious matter, because it's the foundation of the face and the matter of divinity should have been put in a very conclusive and very clear terms, as in the Old Testament, the statements were made.
We give a number of examples by analyzing various statements like I and the Father are one and we indicated that it is one purpose, that the Father is in me and I in the Father, and I said, he has the same thing to refer to the disciples. Whoever has seen media has seen the Father and He said that it's used in a sense of not seeing physically, but seeing in a sense of knowing, because the Bible itself say that nobody has ever seen God. So none of these really, in the context of the Bible itself, seem to indicate any conclusive claim really, divinity as some try to interpret it to appreciate if you would comment on a very popular quotation. And what Jesus says that he is the way,
the truth and the life. Is that not conclusive? I almost memorized it. I heard it several times. And the reference, I think it to the gospel, according to john, in chapter 14, more specifically, I think it's in verse six, I am the way, the truth and the life no one comes to the Father, but by me.
In fact, this was an answer that was given by Jesus to Thomas, who was asking him about the way how do we know that way, so he answered him in this manner.
This statement has, in my humble understanding, absolutely nothing to do with the divinity of Jesus, because it is explained already. If we research to the verse, immediately after that 14 seven, which we quoted, at the end of the previous program, in which Jesus says, if you had known me, you would have known my Father also. Henceforth, you know him and have seen him. It is in the context of this
statement that we can understand what Jesus meant by being the the way, the truth and the life, which means that whoever knows me, obeys me, and follows me. Indeed, he is knowing God, obeying God, and following God, because God is He who sent me in the first place. Indeed, this statement, attributed to Jesus peace be upon him applies to every great prophet and messenger in his time. Because the Prophet is not following his own whims or ideas. He's following the revelation that he received from God from the Creator, because God sent him.
And since the Word of God, or his truth, the ultimate truth is one there is they can't be too different and contradictory, ultimate truth, because God is the ultimate truth. It means then that there is no other way that leads to God, by way of philosophical ideas or theological ethics in our speculations, it is only the revelation or the teaching of God. In that sense, then every prophet in his time
among his people is the way Yes, the truth and the life and that broad sense, especially if we follow or find out exactly what his true teachings are the pristine pure teaching without change or without Miss interpretation.
Some people might say, but Jesus here is not says I am away I am z, we're using the definitive article that.
But again, this should not be taken literally. Because we all know that, for example, when you say, hey, the king, the king has come, it doesn't mean that he is the only King, for example, or the president, we simply means that the king has come, but there are others also,
Sue, which means also that all other prophets, since they followed the same way of God can also be called that way in this time.
There is a great danger if we take this
statement in john, in a literal sense, because if it says no buddy comes unto the Father, but by me, and we take it literally, also, it means that all the great prophets in history, the aunt and sisters of Jesus, peace, be upon him, are lost, even the friend of God, as the Bible calls him, Abraham, the greatest patriarch of faith and monotheism, it has to be lost also, because all of these great prophets were sent, they lived and died before Jesus even was born. So I think the meaning here cannot be taken in that literal sense at all. Because those great prophets, messengers, who are very highly praised in the Bible, did not follow Christ, who came after them. So there is no
implication really, he is that Jesus is divine, or God incarnate, but simply that he is the messenger of God, His faithful servants like other prophets, me were in addition to this day, I just committed myself even to the context, but there is some linguistic problem even which very few people will touch on, touch upon when they discuss statement like that.
it is claimed, that even if Jesus did not say that he was God, he claimed qualities which are divine. How would you respond to that? Well, some people, for example, claim that Jesus, in one occasion, or more than one occasion, said to person, for example, that you are forgiven, and they say forgiveness is the providence of the Creator. And as such, he claimed a divine quality.
Now, there's nothing that prevents us from understanding that this could have been on the basis of telling the person that is God revealed to Jesus that this man was forgiving, so he told him, You are forgiven on the basis of the information, or revelation that he received from the Creator. And this is not really far fetched, because we all know and the Bible testifies to this fact that many prophets, were given this gift of prophecy that actually the term prophet comes from that. And prophecy is not astrology or guesswork. It is revelation that God gives to the prophets and tell them of things that will happen in the future. So there's there's one implication here, it could
mean that God informed me that you are forgiven, but you just simply say, you are forgiven for simplicity, because people were quite simple in his time, and you want to just to convey the message to them quickly.
And this is quite consistent with the repeated statements of Jesus peace be upon him, in which he always say that I do nothing by myself, what I'm doing is the one of he who sent me.
Some people, for example, refers to the book of Revelation, the very last book in the New Testament, the Bible,
and in which john claims that Jesus appears to him in his sleep, or in his vision, and told him I am the Alpha and the Omega, are the first and last that is found in the book of Revelation chapter one, and verse one, and in verse 17.
And they really wonder, to what extent can we base a very serious matters, foundation of faith, belief in God and divinity of God on a vision or dream by a person after the ending of the ministry of Jesus on earth?
One has to understand this or appreciate that by reading the rest of the book of Revelation also see what kind of other visions are mentioned there. Because it's in the same spirit in the same kind of description, or that context that john claimed to have seen. Jesus. Of course, nobody says that john was not entitled to, to his own dreams or visions, but visions by humans. It's far from such
Actually basis to establish a foundation of faith. This is something that the Prophet during his ministry should have made crystal clear.
But even during his ministry,
it was attributed to Jesus. Also if he said that he existed before Abraham,
before Abraham. Now does that not prove eternity, which in itself is a divine attribute? This is also a very familiar argument that I heard frequently. And the reference usually is mean to the gospel, according to john, in chapter eight, especially verses 56 to 59. So I think I better read it first. Okay, before commenting on it makes sense.
Your father Abraham,
rejoice that he wants to see my day. Jesus is addressing
he saw it, and was glad that you then said to him, you are not yet 50 years old. And have you seen in Abraham, Jesus said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was I am.
And then it says, so they took up stones. So I said, it was not the only answer. He took up stones to throw at him. But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
That's the text refers to it is interesting to notice that in a footnote in the Revised Standard Version,
it says, In other ancient authorities also It reads, instead of Abraham, or Isaac, Abraham, it simply says,
Abraham, to me,
which is quite interesting. What does that really possibly mean? Well,
the fact that Jesus say that he was before Abraham does not mean at all, that he is eternal.
Because all human beings, Jesus, Muhammad, Abraham, Moses, all other prophets hadn't
existed, at least in the mind of God, or the will of God, before they were physically created.
Their knowledge was there with God, and they existed, at least in his own mind. And as many philosophers also say, and theologians, of course, the mind of God, is even more important than the physical existence. You see, because the mind of God is the source, or the will of God is the source of his will, of everything that will happen on this earth. The physical manifestation takes place in the appointed time, but the the source and the essence really, the more important thing is the, what existed in the will of God. So yes, Jesus, and all others existed in the mind of God, before they were created, or they before they came into physical existence. There is another interesting thing,
also linguistic issue, which some writers refer to one of whom is Gary Miller, who was a former Christian activist, and he's now
decided to embrace Islam. And he says that
some people make an argument and they say that, when Jesus and john it, he says that I am, before Abraham, I am. And he says, the term I am some people argued, is the same term that God's used to refer to himself. I am what I am, as it appears in the book of Exodus, in chapter three, verse 14,
there is a bit of confusion here, because it is known that since the third century before Christ, so that is more than 200 years before Jesus, the Jews used a translation of their original Hebrew Scripture, a Greek translation, which is known as the Septuagint.
And this translation, the Greek term used to refer to god that's an exodus 314 is the Greek term Hold on, ah, or, or in, hold on? Okay. However, in the New Testament, we find that it is not available in the original language in which Jesus spoke, except for very few words here and there, which was Aramaic. But otherwise, the oldest manuscripts are also in Greek.
And the Greek term, the Greek term which is used to refer to Jesus Iam, which he used in the Gospel According to john
Chapter Eight. Verse 58, is a different Greek word. It's Eagle
II, I am I in
if it was true as Gary Miller and others argue that the writer of the gospel of john wanted to tell his audience and his audience were Greek speaking audience, that Jesus really was imitating God, and claiming equality with God,
he would have used the same Greek term her own, which appears in Exodus 314, but uses a different term.
I know this might be like sort of difficult to follow in terms of the linguistic aspect. But I think the obvious point here is that there are two different terms that are used in terms of I am in the Exodus verses I am in the Gospel of john, which shows that that was not really in the mind, even of the light of the gospel, but people try to put them in the way darkness has developed afterwards.
How about his statement, to the effect that he is from above? And not from this world? How would you explain that? When the Bible I don't have to explain because the Bible itself explains it.
In the Gospel, according to john, in chapter eight, verse 23.
It says, You are, Jesus said to them, that is said to the to the disciples, you are from the law, I am from above, you are of this world, I am not of this world.
That's in one place. That's the foundation that's used to say that Jesus claimed a unique thing that's only applicable to the divine. But if we turn to the Bible itself in chapter 17, in verse 14, we'll find that Jesus is using identical terms to refer not to self but to hit the second, it says, I have given you that again, Chapter 17, verse 14, gospel of john, I have given them by word, and the word has hated them, because they are not of the word. They are not of the word. And then to make it clear, he says, even as I am not,
of the world,
so clear. And another citation in the Gospel, according to john, also, in chapter 15, and verse 19, it says, if you will have the word, the word would have loved with love, its own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the word, therefore, the word hates you. So he called his disciples also that they are not of this world. One that's very similar, and expression. And if we take it literally, in one case, we have to take it literally also in the other case, which means that the disciples were divine because they are not of this word. But we all know, of course, that the term, he is not of this word, it means that he's a person who's our human being who's so pious,
who doesn't care much about this word is caring about serving his Lord. So that applies to Jesus, it applies to any other person who follows suit in this kind of spiritual purification.
Lovely divine. Yes, examine another important area, by deferring to the titles of Jesus in the Bible. First of all, he was called the Son of God, is that not an indication of divinity? According to the Bible itself, it is not why Jesus was speaking to Israelites. He never abrogated the Old Testament actually said I can not to destroy the law of prophets I can.
And if we work to understand what Jesus meant by referring to himself as the Son of God, or to God as his father, we have to see how the term Son of God has been used in the Old Testament, the background, in which Jesus Himself peace be upon him was raised.
And if you check the Old Testament, you'll find that numerous other individuals were also called Son of God.
Abraham was called Son of God, the reference the book of Jeremiah, chapter 3931, verse nine,
Jacob or Israel was called the Son of God, the reference, the Book of Exodus, chapter four, verse 22.
David was called Son of God, reference, the second book of Samuel, chapter seven, verse 14, Solomon was called Son of God. The reference is the first Chronicles chapter 20.
Verse 10, which means that any person who is holy especially the prophets will call except Son of God. Interestingly enough,
the term Son of God appears in the Bible, not only in the singular, but also in the Florida. daughters. For example, the children of Israel were called sons of God.
The reference the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 14, verse one, and also chapter 32, verse 19, with plural is used in the book of Isaiah, chapter 30, verse one, in the book of Hosea,
chapter one, verse 10, when it says, sons of the living God, in the book of Genesis, chapter six, verse two, in all of these, the terms Son of God is used, including sons of God. No wonder
speaker once was saying that God has sons by the time
anyone actually was good could be called Son of God, indeed, even the term the First Born to God, which is used of course in metaphoric sense, not literal, has been used for people other than Jesus peace be upon him. Israel, for example,
was called the firstborn son of God.
The Book of Exodus, chapter four, verse 22, David also was called the first born son of God, Psalms of David number 89, verse 27, Abraham before then, Jeremiah, chapter 31, verse nine,
another variation of the term Son of God, the only son of God, again, it was used in the Bible in a way that shows that it cannot be taken literally.
Why? For example, in the book of Genesis, chapter 22, verse two, for example, Isaac was called the only son of Abraham, and it is well known that Isaac was never the only son of Abraham, the only son of Abraham for 14 years at least was.
So it cannot be taken literally. Even the term they gotten son, even the term forgotten son, has been used in the Bible for those other than Jesus peace be upon him. about David, for example, in the Psalms of David, number two, verse seven, it says, are God speaks to David and says, quote, you are my son, today, I have begun you. Today, I have the guts in you. Of course, we cannot think of getting here in the physical sense.
The conclusion we come up from this analysis, then, is that the term Son of God has been used in the Old Testament without any implication of divinity. It has been used in neuron, the term only son was used, the term firstborn was used, the term begun, has been used, but nobody ever claimed that those individuals other than Jesus peace be upon him, were divine. Why in the case of Jesus, even though it's exactly the same term, and against the same background,
you've just explained the use of the term of God in the Old Testament? Has that explanation also be convened, confirmed in the New Testament, even in the New Testament, it doesn't imply divinity at all and has been used for other than Jesus and that's quite facility, because many people will tell right, maybe the Old Testament will just predicting the coming of Christ but now the New Testament explains it. No, that's not the case. Actually, for example, in the in the genealogy of Jesus, it is said that Jesus was the descendant of Adam, the Son of God. That is in the Gospel according to Luke, chapter three, verse 38.
Jesus peace be upon him also was quoted as saying, according to the gospel, according to Matthew, chapter five, verse nine, bless be the peacemakers they will be called the children of God
in heaven, so the peacemakers will call also the children of God.
It is also reported
in Matthew, chapter five, especially verses 45 and 48, that Jesus again tells his disciples that you should love your your enemies, you should pray for those who has done wrong to you so that you could be the children of your God, the complete or perfect children of your God in heaven of your father. So the same term has been used when he was addressing the Jews also. He says, If truly God's your father's or if God were your father's, you should love me. The gospel of God
john chapter eight, verse 42.
In the first letter of john,
he also explains that no one was born of God,
or no one was born of God commit sin for God's nature abide in him. The first letter of john chapter three, verse nine, a similar statement was made also in the first letter of john and chapter five, verse one, again, indicating that anyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God. It is quite clear from this that the term ghosts in the old or new testament doesn't mean deification at all. Let me comment also briefly, on the term which is opposite to that counter, the Father, the term father, it is obvious also that when Jesus refers to God as the Father, he's also using allegorical meanings. We have seen, for example, in the quotations I made before that he used the
term father to refer to the Father of all human beings, like john 841, Matthew 545, and 48. Many times Jesus, when he used the term father, he said, my father, and new father, sometimes even use my God, or my Lord, and your Lord, even towards the very end
of his ministry, according to the gospel of john, for example, Chapter 20, verse 17, that he says, I am going to ascend to my father, and your father, my God, that's quite significant, my God, and your God. And this is not really new. Because these statements in the New Testament are quite consistent with the Old Testament word, the term father was used to refer to God, examples in the book of Isaiah, chapter 36, verse 16, and chapter 64, verse eight, it refers to God as our father,
briefly speaking, then, it is used only as allegory that God is our father, or the father of Jesus, in the same sense that he is the father of all humanity, because we are all in that sense, according to the biblical context, children of God, and God is the father of all. One observation, very interesting observation was made by Gary Miller was name I mentioned before, is that some people, however, claim that yes, it is obvious from both the Old and New Testament that Jesus speaks about God as the father of all humanity, that is our father. And of course, in the Lord's Prayer is our Father in heaven. So they say we don't deny that. However, the claim sometimes is
that there is one specific reference are specific references where Jesus used the specific term ABA, not just for the ABA, ABA, and they say that this is really intimate evidence, differences made to the gospel, according to Mark in chapter 14, verse 36, when Jesus refers to God as above,
but sometimes it is forgotten that the exact term above was used to refer to other disciples also, as we find in the book of Romans, the letter of Paul to the Romans, in chapter eight, verse 15, in his letter to the Galatians, in chapter four, verse six, the term above is also still there in there, we can safely conclude from this, that all of this terminology of Jesus, calling himself or being called the Son of God, or God, being called the father of Jesus, or the father of humanity is something which was not really restricted to Jesus peace be upon him, but to others. And to this, again, a matter of belief on a term like that would be insufficient, and we'd be contradictory to
how the term has been used, both in the Old and the New Testament. Thank you very much, Dr. Jamal.
And thank you all for joining us here once again in Assam focus. If you have any questions or any comments, please refer them to the address and the phone number that will be appearing on your screen for a lot of us