Jesus 9 – Comparative Christology 1 Methodology
Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Jesus
File Size: 7.12MB
AsSalamu Alaikum and welcome to Islam and focus.
This program will be our ninth on Jesus, the beloved messenger of Allah. Our topic tonight is a new one, it will be on comparative Christology. I'm your host, Shannon ish. And here will be from St. Mary's University is Dr. Jamal By the way, I sound like
we have a wrap up of last week's program. Okay, last weekend program actually was
the first segment of that topic, broad topic, Jesus, messenger of Allah.
Because it's continued discussion about the profile of Jesus in the Quran, and according to the saying of the Prophet,
continuing with the Second Coming, especially the nature of life, when he comes the period of time when he is going to live on Earth,
the end of his human life on this earth and how we will be buried next to the grave.
And when a question was raised as to what was the reaction of Christian reverence, artistry to the profiles, provided in the Quran, and again, we indicated that some have no idea what the Quran say about Jesus some get the erroneous information through secondhand sources or erroneous sources, some appreciate it and some even have been so touched by the beauty and the truthfulness of the story in the Quran, that they've been since turned to Islam and get the story of the Nagas the kingdom
and the seventh century were actually embraced Islam after hearing the section on the part of chapters 19 in the Quran, Surah 19, may marry about Jesus. And we ended the program with citation of that section in the surah, as well as another section from Surah. Number three, that deals also with Jesus and his profile.
First of all, how do you see
the relevance of comparisons or how Jesus is perceived?
Well, I think a comparison here could be quite helpful and useful,
provided that it should be put into the right context and hopefully using also the
It could be quite informative. But if we were to discuss
competitive histology, or how Jesus is viewed in the Bible, as compared with the Quran, or to open any dialogue between the two communities of believers,
then I think the first point to realize is that comparison actually, by definition means that you must examine areas of similarities and differences.
Now, I realize that to talk about similarities is a lot easier, and definitely more pleasant
than speaking about the areas of differences.
But I think it would be worthwhile to examine both really, if you examine the areas of similarities, then both communities perhaps will be aware of each other's view,
which are similar to theirs. And that may provide some common ground for understanding for both sides. As far as the points of differences in understanding or conduction. Obviously, that requires a great deal of openness. It requires less of dogmatism and approaching the matter with an open mind and open heart, which is a bit more difficult, but you'll accept the change.
Now, what do you see as the main areas of similarities between the Muslims and the Christians in in terms of their perception of Jesus? Well, I would say that the most important area of similarity between Muslims and Christians, Jesus peace be upon him. His acceptance of Jesus, respecting him, loving him.
I have given already throughout the previous programs,
substantial evidence to show that we have seen that first of all, there is a complete absence of a single word in the Quran, that may be construed to be unfavorable or disrespectful to Jesus peace be upon him.
But it's not just the negative part or the absence,
we find that in numerous verses in the Quran, the profile of Jesus is very highly honorable. And I would just say even in some cases, it is more honorable and more respectful even than the New Testament itself. I think I might have been given an example before about the story of Jesus, when his mother went to him and asked him to, you know, when she was complaining that there's not enough wine in the wedding that was mandated, for example, in john chapter two, verse four, and he addressed his mother woman, which of course, no one would expect the prophet to speak like that to towards his mother, you don't find an energy to that story in the not only because of Bruce, which
has nothing to do with voice. But if you compare it with the Quran, for example, in Surah 19, where he speaks about Jesus as a person who was extremely respectful and kind and considerate to his mother, so I'm saying, I dare say that the Quran even shows more respect diseases than the New Testament itself, which some construe today for him.
Not under this, you find a great deal of positive things, also an honor bestowed on Jesus, without mixing humanity with divinity again, keeping stem human as a human and the creators in the conversation, how the Quran called him or anointed,
a pure child or Holy Child, and mercy from Allah, and honored in this life and the hereafter. Among those who are close to Allah. We have seen him, called him
a messenger and a prophet of Allah, which is a title much greater than a more modern teacher. It's a great deal more than what a teacher or preacher, a prophet and messenger is a title which is reserved in Islam for the purest of the pure among human beings according to the Quranic profile of prophets.
The Quran speaks about his birth from a version, that he was the Word, a word from Allah spirit proceeding from Allah. And we explained previously the meaning of those honorary tenten.
A common practice among Muslims is that whenever the name of any prophet to that include Jesus peace be upon him, is mentioned, inshallah Hassan Peace be with him or peace be upon him. The same formula
used even for
all other great profits, a formula that I don't know of any Jew or Christian, who uses that formula not to refer to him as a reference on property. I've never heard the Jew for example, repeatedly say peace be upon him when he mentioned that he was a Christian saying that about Jesus speech.
I wonder, given this
what more tolerance, what more accommodation and what more respect can be expected of Muslims,
the Christian or Jewish gathering, or writers will write about Islam to the Western Buddhists were they to show a small fraction of the respect that the Quran expresses about Jesus, when they speak about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him while they were there to speak with the prophet in a more objective and aesthetic way and the Quran speaks about Jesus the situation could have been far better than what it is okay. Now, how about the differences?
What there are
in both profiles, when you talk about again, comparative psychology,
somebody made to the scope of the message of Jesus peace be upon him was wasn't exclusively or specifically for the Israelites or for the whole world, as Prophet Mohammed was. Secondly,
differences pertaining to the understanding and interpretation of what happened in the events of the or what was believed to be the crucifixion. What happened with respect to the notion of ascension to heaven?
differences pertaining to the second coming of Jesus that
In what capacity is coming as we discuss that to some extent, and what he's going to do on Earth,
differences that might relate also as to whether he came
to shed his blood as the only begotten Son of God so that God may forgive humanity and reconcile them to himself?
Or did he come ready to guide humanity like all other Israelite prophets before him, and like the last prophet after him, to guide humanity to the right path of the Creator? Now,
you can enumerate these and other differences, but it would appear to me that perhaps the center's
central difference in Christology between Muslim and Christian thinking pertains to the question of divinity of Jesus, was he a human, on demand? or both, as some people may clearly?
And before I leave that question, I think I should make a distinction here between holy and divine.
A Muslim has no problem at all, saying that Jesus was holy. Or Muhammad was holy, that all prophets, in fact, they are referred to like holy prophets. There is no difficulty with that at all. But I think God does not mean divine because we need some divine to mean something that has godhood in it, or as a person in God's good or is God incarnate in some form or the other. That's where the Muslim, you say, this is the line.
So yes, honey, but I think the problem is divinity to believe that Jesus was in some form of divine God incarnate, Son of God in one way, the way it was interpreted, more commonly adopted, well, what methodology
would you suggest for somebody when he goes out to study and analyze these areas of difference? Well, that may include some of the villages that are most addressed and others that also suggest them in Jesus survey, what usually happens when this issue of comparative Christians between Muslims and Christians is brought up.
One approach is simply to avoid discussion or to suppress any discussion sell it, people have that belief, when we have that belief, either side together, Let's not discuss about it. Of course, this may reflect
an act of motives to learn or explore, as well as the reason behind that only God knows. Some people may say, I don't want to understand anything that might cause any confusion to me. Some people might say, I do not want to understand or explore or discover anything more because just the fear of the unknown.
The fear of feeling that I have lived so many years and has believed in one thing as a Muslim or as a Christian, and now
you're telling me something that might make me reconsider.
critically examine some cherished beliefs that I had, as a Muslim, or Christian, for that matter, for too long, is one approach.
There are some cases where Muslims and Christians discuss the issue of Jesus peace be upon him.
But the discussion becomes no more than
it cites, quoting from his holy book.
So the Christian would come and read from the New Testament and say, Look, this is what Jesus is and what Jesus was.
And the Muslim would say, No, the Quran says this. That discussion could be quite informative and useful in terms of at least acquainting one side or the other with what the Scriptures say about Jesus.
But on the other hand, it doesn't fully satisfy a person who's, you know, seeking the truth, or trying to understand or come up with more clarity on this important topic. Because in one sense, you could say, all right, when the Christian say I'm quoting to you are Muslim, from the New Testament, the Minister might say, all right, but I didn't fully recognize that so much of what you're quoting from, you're cutting the opinions of followers of Jesus. And that's not authoritative to me.
And when the Muslim also quotes from the Quran, the Christian also might say, well, you're quoting from your book that has no authority easy for me. So that could be informative, but it doesn't lead to any
clear dialogue or understanding.
What I might suggest, however, would be to approach it on perhaps in multiple ways, more than one approach perhaps, other than discourage to
consider for example, let's move aside the subjects
the mind scripture or your scripture?
And let us try to scrutinize both holy books, in that case, the Bible and the Quran
to find out which of them are both, if that is true, is indeed the word of Allah His revelation? Or is it the word of humans and their own biographies and interpretation which could be right or wrong.
This might call for analysis, both of the authenticity and authenticity of both scriptures authority by seeking internal and external evidence in each scripture that claims internally that this is indeed the Word of God. And to see whether there is any corroborating external evidence to show that the contents of that scripture is totally free from error, scientific or otherwise totally free from contradiction, or in consistencies. And as such, one can say like this, something really deceptive to be said that it is from A to Z, the Word of God,
that also calls for examination of authenticity, that even if there is the claim of its authority, that it is God's revelation one has to make sure also,
whether it was written down in the lifetime of its Prophet, was it written in its original language?
Was it preserved ever since? Is there any evidence historical, magical or otherwise, that shows that the words we have today are exactly as uttered by their prophets in their times, whether it was Jesus or Muhammad peace be upon them both.
This also could be quite productive. But again, it requires a great deal of input impartiality, and objectivity on both sides, and the willingness to take the most sacred books in sacrilege writings, and to examine evidence of both authority and authenticity, which is not easy again, for many.
Another possible approach which could be productive also,
would be to study the consequences of the deification, or lack of deification of Jesus, to examine the set of beliefs or documents, which are based on either assumption, and to see whether those beliefs in themselves are consistent. Do they make any sense?
Do they provide any satisfactory explanation of the nature of God, or something about the nature of God because we can fully comprehend the nature of God? Is there any proof, reasonable proof of the validity of those beliefs are not. So that could be by analysis, analysis of the content based on either christological assumptions, you might say.
Another way, is to encourage both sides, really, to re examine their own body books even as they stand, even if we leave aside the question of authority or authenticity, or if it cannot be fully resolved to the satisfaction or just to examine their own books, a Muslim, examine his own book, The Quran, and asking the Christian children, the Bible also, just to make sure whether there is any firm, conclusive and clear, scriptural foundation for claiming, either that Jesus is divine or not divine.
And I think all this musty approach is perhaps could be used
to arrive at some kind of
explanation or understanding, actually, all of the forces are very interesting, but I'm going to ask you to elaborate on that very last one, because that seems to be the most interesting of all three, it's mine, because my perhaps take might not require as heavy research like question of authenticity and authenticity might require, for example,
what I meant by that, to be more explicit is that, for example, if the Christian brethren saying Jesus was divine, Jesus was God incarnate or God made himself man or emptied himself from divine attributes and became man.
And the Muslim upholds,
again, strongly that Jesus was a prophet and messenger of Allah, and that he was not the one that leaves us with to one of two approaches or two ways.
Either that the Muslim claim is not founded on the Quran, that there's no basis for Muslim saying that Jesus was not the right that indeed the Quran, for example, say that Jesus is defined that the Muslims were not aware of that. So they don't have a firm ground to say that he was not divine. That's one possibility to examine.
The second possibility to examine is the executive
That. It is also conceivable that what a Christian claims that the divinity of Jesus is based on the Bible, in fact, next in Scripture, and this is that if the Bible examined carefully, it negates that Jesus was divine and there is no coherent foundation to say that Jesus was God, or God incarnate or Son of God in the specific unique that has been normally presented.
That's what I meant by this re examination on the part of both sides of either assumptions.
And I think that would be quite useful provided of course, that if
somebody's suggesting to the other side, to re examine this or that passage, it has to be re examined, of course, within the framework and terminology used in that particular scripture within the context of that scripture.
Okay, let's begin with the crime first. Okay. Now, is there any passage in the Koran
that Christian scholars use to show Muslims that Jesus is divine that is divine, according to the Quran, there is a lot of literature about that. And I probably will not be doing justice,
summarizing it in headlines, but I think it might help and then if you wish, we can explore it further as we go on.
Some for example, and said that many times, Gods when speaks or Allah when he speaks in the Quran, uses the plural
and we say that this is a proof from the Quran itself. When God says v that means persons in godhood.
They also say that, in the Quran acknowledges the virgin birth. And if Jesus has a human mother, then his father must be God.
They also say the Quran and we recited that in the previous program, that Jesus was
sinless, or holy. And since all human beings are sinful, then he is different from human is something about human is divine.
Firstly, they say that in the Quran,
there is no command for Jesus to seek forgiveness of Allah whereas in the Quran, we find that several prophets were taught to seek forgiveness of Allah, which means again, that is sinless. That's why he's not asked to seek any forgiveness, ie His divine. Five. The Quran refers to him as Messiah. And they say Messiah is one who really died for the sins of humanity, he is the Messiah, capital M.
Six, they say the Quran acknowledges that Jesus is a word from God.
And this is consistent with what john, the gospel of john said that the God became flesh, the Word became flesh, because the Word of God was with God. So it is divine, the Word of God is divine.
Seven, they also say that the Quran called Jesus as the spirit from Allah, or proceeding from Allah. And they say, yeah, that's what what it means.
That's what it means when you really speak about the Holy Spirit is the third person in the triangle godhood.
As they say, the forearm
simply negates only the physical sonship of Jesus to God, or the belief in Christ theism or three gods are the deification of Mary. But there is nothing in the Quran really, that rejects a trinity the way we understand that we understand that the Christians say,
as some of these points, as you might have noticed, we have discussed before in some form with others in some of the previous problems, but it may provide some symmetry of some of the main issues that are usually presented for Muslims to reconsider visibly their own scriptures. Holy Book, now that you've mentioned these points that are made by the Christian scholars, maybe I'll ask you to respond to them. When I spoke briefly again, because some of these, as indicated before we have discussed in some other points, but just to put them together since the topic seem to call for this slight overlap. Of course, the question of God's using or Allah in the Quran using the term we this
is simply Iranian language claims when they issue ethics. They don't say I the king, they say we the king. And if human kings can do that, the King of Kings Allah definitely is entitled to as we say plurality doesn't mean plurality of persons within God's word. Secondly, the question of version verse has nothing to do with divinity and indicated before that Adam was created without a mother or father, not from a woman side or father side doesn't
That he was divine. One was created.
Without the normal methods, that's Adam. One was born without the normal method that's Jesus. Those are miracles of Allah.
the question of describing Jesus as holy and say or sinless as some translated which is okay.
The Muslim believes that all prophets are as such, not of course, in the absolute sense because absolute perfection is only God's, but in the human sense, all prophets are symbols, they are all pure, the purest of the pure, as we called them, and the very exact term is a cat, which is a derivative from the same route
was given in the Quran in the description of Prophet john the baptist, in chapter 19, verse 12. So nobody would say that john the baptist also because he said, this is divine.
No Muslim or Christian say that
force the question of seeking their forgiveness of Allah. The argument, as I said before, is that no other Prophet was stood.
For Jesus only was never taught in the Quran to seek forgiveness. But we find that the same applies to other prophets like john the baptist, there is no verse in the Quran that says to john the baptist seek forgiveness, that doesn't mean that he's divine at all, or that we should define him.
On the other hand, when we did God with the Quran, teaching prophets in the say to the Prophet seek forgiveness, it is basically teaching his followers so that followers would say, look, this is the purest of the view of the Prophet himself, is commanded to seek forgiveness, even though you see him doing nothing wrong, then we should be more humble and you should always seek forgiveness of Allah.
The fact that they say he's called them the Quran, Messiah, the Arabic word in the Quran used his mercy, from math, which means and related, but this is not the same meaning as they want to get to it as the one who cares
so much, and doesn't imply the Divinity or
some form with others.
And if the question is just as to why only Jesus was called Messiah, or Messiah, what the answer to that is very simple that some prophets were given a specific title, which applied to everybody else, all prophets, but the most famous for them. Abraham was called the servant of Allah, it doesn't mean that Allah prophets are the enemies of Allah, they are also friends of Allah, that this happened to be the name. Moses was called the one to whom Allah spoke, or an Arabic can name Allah. It doesn't mean that Allah didn't speak to any other prophets at all. In other words, it has certain relevance struggling prophet but could be applicable also to others, especially if we take the essence of one
who was appointed.
The other point about Jesus being mentioned in the Quran as a word from Allah, we explained that before that, it is the crime is the term word to serve the commands of Allah to the word can or be when Allah wishes to create something. And this has absolutely nothing to do with the what john says in his gospel, or the Greek philosophy about the Nagas.
Similarly, we discussed in a previous program, that the mention of Jesus as being a spirit from Allah has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit as a component of the or one person eternity.
But he said that the Quran indicates like in 32, nine and 1629, that all human beings have something of the spirit of Allah in them.
And finally, to say that the Quran only rejected heretical ideas like try theism,
or believing in the physical sonship of Jesus is not correct. And he indicated before that there is evidence in the Quran, like in Surah, four passage 170 and surah five passages 76.
negating also Trinity in some translators actually translate selesa as Trinity which is appropriate in the context of what the Quran speaks. And this is sort of a slimmed down in rather quickly. I know some of these points might require further clarification, but
that once we can do for the time being.
Well, thank you very much, Dr. Jamal, and thank you all for joining us here in Islam and focus. We would appreciate any of your comments or any questions, our phone number, and our address will be appearing on your screen.