A response to

II Corinthians 13:14 (grace, love & communion)

II Corinthians 13:14

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, [be] with you all. Amen."

Mr. Al-Kadhi has a fair amount of difficulty with this passage, since it gives a clear definition of the Trinity. He begins by setting up a false analogy: "If I say: "May the genius of Einstein, the philosophy of Descartes, and the strength of Schwarzenegger be with you all" does this require all three to be joined in a "Trinity"? Does it require that Einstein is Descartes (or a different "side" of Descartes)? Does it require that Descartes is Schwarzenegger (or a different "side" of Schwarzenegger)?"

Einstein, Descartes, and Schwarzenegger are three separate and unique human beings, each with their own attributes of strength and intelligence. Al-Kadhi's rhetorical question, concerning if these three men could be joined in a "Trinity", is completely absurd and reflects Al-Kadhi's inability or unwillingness to understand the concept of the Trinity. Mr. Al-Kadhi and many other Muslims misunderstand the concept of the Trinity. Christians do not worship three separate Gods, nor do they consider Mary a member of the Trinity as the Koran (Sura 5:116) incorrectly implies. The Trinity is God, God's Word, and God's Spirit - not three Gods.

Christian Trinitarianism is not 'associating' any being with God, since Christianity does not divide the single divine essence of God and does not propose that there is a plurality of divine essences. Christians affirm that there is an inseparable distinction within the unique divine essence of God. There was never a time when the Jesus did not exist, nor is His essence different in any way from that of the Father (or from that of the Spirit). The charge of 'association' demands a division of the divine essence, or a plurality of such essences, and neither proposition has ever been held by Christians.

I find it rather strange that Muslims object so much to the concept of the Trinity. Muslims believe that God is a spirit (as do Christians), and they believe in the "inliteration" of the uncreated speech of God (in the form of the Koran) which, like the Christian belief of the incarnation of God's word in Jesus, has always existed. In fact, Islam verges on separating the divine essence of God because Muslims (unlike Christians) believe that the angels were created from the Light of God Himself. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the angels originated in the essence of God, especially since one of the names of Allah (and therefore, one of His attributes) is 'the Light'.

Mr. Al-Kadhi continues to attempt to discredit this passage by dangling the ever present rhetorical question of Biblical corruption: "However, even at that, we find that this verse, as was the case with so many other similar verses of the Bible where the trinity is claimed to be "alluded to" is in fact now recognized by Christian scholars as further examples of Church efforts to insert fabricated verses into the Bible in order to make the trinity doctrine "clear" to the Bible."

First, the Trinity is not "alluded to" in this passage, it is presented in a fairly explicit way.

Second, who are the Christian scholars who claim that this verse was fabricated and inserted? Since it is difficult for Mr. Al-Kadhi to quote this Biblical passage out of context to make his point, he quotes the Oxford Companion to the Bible out of context:

"The earliest New Testament evidence for a tripartite formula comes in 2 Corinthians 13.13, where Paul wishes that 'The grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit' be with the people of Corinth. It is possible that this three part formula derives from later liturgical usage and was added to the text of 2 Corinthians as it was copied..." The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Bruce Metzger and Michael Coogan, p. 782

Note that the key word "possible". The authors of the Oxford Companion to the Bible were presenting a "pro and con" argument for this passage. If Mr. Al-Kadhi had continued reading, the next sentence (the pro portion of the argument) says: "In support of the authenticity of this passage, however, it must be said that the phrasing is much closer to Paul's understanding of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit than to a more fully developed concept of the Trinity." (Ibid.)

Mr. Al-Kadhi ends this section with the always present (but never proven) Muslim conspiracy theory of Biblical corruption which he has not proven in this section or in any other section of his book.

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