Dr. A. R. Javed

Jesus in the Qur’an: The Person of Jesus and the Holy Trinity

This is Book Review of Chapter 2 of THE MUSLIM NEXT DOOR

ABSTRACT:

      The personhood of Jesus Christ is limited to a prophet in the Qur’an. Muslim who believes in the Qur’an love Jesus, honor him and believe in him. They believe that he is born of a virgin; that he spoke while he was still only a baby; he healed the blind and lepers by God’s permission. Jesus is the Messiah. He is a word from Allah. He is honored in this world and in the hereafter; and he is one who is nearest to Allah. The Qur’an tells us that Jesus came to teach the same basic message which was taught by previous prophet of God- that we must shun every false gods and worship only the true God. Jesus taught that he is the servant and messenger of one true God, the God of Abraham. With all these attributes and teachings about Jesus, still the Muslims consider Him only as a prophet.* They love Jesus because Muslim cannot be Muslim if he or she does not love Jesus. The acknowledgement of Jesus by the Muslim is not enough. They need to know why he came to earth and why he was crucified, that he gave his life for sins of mankind. They have never heard of the atonement or salvation, so they could not know until you share with in the Good News of Jesus Christ.

       The Qur’an uses the word Trinity to condemn the Trinity. According to the Qur’an 4:171-173 Surah An-Nisaa(The Women)- “O people of the Book commit no excuses in your religion; nor say Allah aught but truth. Christ (Maseeh) Jesus the son of Mary was no more than an apostle of Allah and His words which He bestowed on me and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Apostle. Say not “Trinity;” desist; it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah; glory to Him; (for Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heaven and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of Affairs.” The emphasis on the absolute oneness of Allah is the primary reason Muslim rejects Christian doctrine of Trinity and Jesus divinity.** They take the phrase “Son of God” quite literally, and they believe it implies that Allah is a father. To call Allah a father is blasphemous because  it amounts to saying that Allah had sexual relations to produce a son- Jesus Christ (see Sura 6:101; 19:35). When Muslims bring up the subject of Trinity, they typically describe it in terms of tritheism, which espouses the idea of three Gods. Muslim thus accuses Christians of worshipping three Gods (see Sura 4:171). Muslim often say the doctrine of Trinity is contradictory- how can something be both three and one at the same time. According to Ron Rhodes in his book Reasoning from Scripture with Muslims, we have to clearly define what is meant by the term Trinity.

The Christian Doctrine of the Trinity is based on:**

  • Evidence that there is only one true God.

  • Evidence that there are three persons who are one God and

  • Scriptural indications for three –in-oneness with in the Godhead.

Before the three lines of evidence be examined let us first discuss the two errors to avoid

about discussing the word “Trinity”. First, we must not conclude that the Godhead is composed of three separate and distinct individuals, such as Peter, James, and Paul, each with their own unique characteristics and attributes. Such a concept would lead to tritheism- the belief that there are three Gods rather than three persons within the Godhead. Second, we must not conclude that the God head is one person only and that the triune aspect of His being is no more than three fields of interest, activities, or modes of manifestation- a view known as modalism.

  • Evidence for One God

  • Old Testament

  • Deuteronomy 6:4- “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

  • Deuteronomy 32:39-“See now that I myself am He: There is no god beside Me.”

  • 2nd Samuel 7:22- “How great you are, O sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you.”

  • Psalm 86:10- “You are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.”

  • New Testament

  • 1st Corinthians 8:4- “An idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one.

  • James 2:19- “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that –and shudder.”

  • Other scriptures- John 5:44; 17:3; Romans 3:29-30; 16:17; Galatians 3:20; Ephesians 4:6; and others.

  • Evidence for the three Persons who are called God.

    The three possess the attributes of deity.

  • All three persons possess the attribute of OMNIPRESENCE (that is, all three are everywhere-present): the Father (Matthew 19;26), the Son (Matthew 25:18-20), and the Holy Spirit (Psalm 139:7).

  • . All three have attribute of OMNISCENCE (all-knowingness); the Father (Romans 11:33), the Son (Matthew 9:4), and the Holy Spirit (1st Corinthians 2:10).

  • All three have the attribute of OMNIPOTENCE (All are powerful): the Father (1st Peter 1:5), the Son (Matthew 28:18), and the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:19).

  • Holiness is ascribed to each of the three persons: the Father (Revelation 15:4), the Son (Acts 3:14), and the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-14).

  • Eternalness is ascribed to each of the three persons: the Father (Psalm 90:2), the Son (Micah5:2, John 1:2, Revelation 1:8,17), and the Holy Spirit ( Hebrews 9:14).

  • Scriptural Indication for three-in Oneness.

  • Matthew 28:19 “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

  • 2nd Corinthians 13:4- “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God (the Father), and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Hope that Muslims can see that Trinity does not involve three gods in one god, nor does not involve three person in one person. It may not be easy to understand but it should not be surprise us that finite minds cannot fully comprehend the nature of an infinite GOD.

CONCRETE RESPONSE:

I grew up in a Roman Catholic family. In my High School education, I went to a Catholic High School Institute. I lived a very wicked life as a young man and the only good that came out of it was my marriage to Erlinda de Luna who first introduces me to Jesus Christ. I am one among those who was not saved by evangelistic approach, but through the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit regarding my sin in my life and my eagerness to know Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am so thankful to God for His grace, mercy and forgiveness extended and given to me. Now, I’m free!

Also, I am thankful to God that He gives me the opportunity to come to the United State of America. Before hand, I know that there is a big chance to grow spiritually here in America because of churches, people and the availability of so many spiritual books and other reading materials. Upon arrival here in America my wife and I went to a small Christian Church in Woodside, Queens, New York run by a Filipino Pastor. We did not stay long in that church so we went to Astoria Baptist Church in Astoria, New York. In Astoria Baptist Church I learned and grow more spiritually because not only that we have regular Bible study but also I attended on Bible Special Courses offered. I learned a little basic knowledge in preaching and was able to preach while the Church was looking for a new pastor. When the new pastor was installed, it was not long the church erupted with a problem because the new pastor committed sin to one member of the church, thereby, made a divorced to his wife. As a result, more members was scattered and only few remained.

It’s been a long time that I stop preaching but I know that God is calling me because deep inside me there is a burning desire and eagerness to study preaching  and even going to school at New York School of the Bible. Presently I also enrolled on the subject of Jesus in the Qur’an because I realized that Muslim population has been increasing in our country, the Philippines.  Hoping and praying that with this study I will be able to reach out our Muslim brothers and sisters with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

REFLECTION:

Chapter 11 is a long chapter to read in one sitting. It needs two or three sittings to finish reading and absorbing it. What I like in this chapter is reading about the personhood of Jesus Christ and the Trinity in the Qur’an side. I would say that the Muslims perspective of Jesus and the Trinity are very narrow. They translate literally the term Trinity- 3 Gods not one God in three person. Some of the reasons maybe are that the people are illiterate- they rely on hand me down information; the Qur’an is worded in Arabic- not all Muslims can read or speak Arabic. Muhammad being the apostle of Allah did not understand about Trinity because he himself is not educated. My comment about the formed questions is that why should Muhammad be included in this chapter when the title says-Jesus in the Qur’an: The Person of Jesus and the Trinity. There are formed questions that are not pertinent to the chapter. To mention a few:

  • Q#124- Is it true that extreme Muslims find justification of their action in the Qur’an?

  • Q#125- Are majority of Muslims in the world are moderate Muslims?

  • Q#130- What is Muhammadism?

  • Q# 131- How did Muhammadism develop?

  • Q#132- What else does the Qur’an teach about Muhammad?

There are still other formed questions about Muhammad that should have been given another chapter and not be included in chapter 11. Chapter 11 should have been exclusively discussed about Jesus and Trinity and nothing else.

ACTION:

  • Pray for the opportunity to reach out our Muslim brothers and sisters with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Bought additional books (The Muslim Next Door) to be given to Church Pastor in the Philippines and also flyers (Jesus and the Qur’an) to be distributed to our Muslim friends, thereat.

  • Make a follow up or monitor the results.

FOOTNOTE

*Ron Rhodes. The 10 Things You Need To Know About Islam, Harvest Home Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 2007. Pp. 50-51; 55-57.

**Ron Rhodes. Reasoning From The Scriptures With Muslim, Harvest Home Publisher, Eugene, Oregon 2002. Pp. 98-120.

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Dominador Ubaub

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