A response to

Who did the disciples call 'God'?

Al-Kadhi starts out with:

"As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him." 1 Corinthians 8:4-6

Here we have it in black and white! The disciples knew of only one God.

It is amazing to observe Al-Kadhi's thoughtless inconsistency. He vilifies the apostle Paul mercilessly in other sections - starting in the introduction [see points 6) - 11) of the "stages"], culminating in calling him a liar and fabricator and definitely opposed to the true disciples - but here he quotes a statement from Paul's letter as being representative of "the disciples".

Al-Kadhi has experience in these discussions and is aware of the problem that Jesus is called Lord in this passage. Therefore he tries to deflect the issue:

For those who attempt to put "hidden meanings" in the disciples mouths or to try and say the the reference to Jesus as "lord" means that he too is God we only say to them please read section

However, that section doesn't help him in the least. Sure, sometimes people of authority are called lord(s) by others in the Bible. Al-Kadhi overlooks that the text says that there is only ONE Lord. If he separates Jesus and God, and wants to insist that Jesus is not God, would he agree that Jesus is the one and only Lord?

This formulation naming him the one and therefore ultimate Lord shows in itself his deity. There are many sub-lords, but none of them can be called Lord to the exclusion of others. Only the Lord of lords (Rev. 17:14, 19:16) can rightly be attributed with the term the "only one Lord". In an Islamic environment Al-Kadhi would not have any problem to recognize that this attribute is only appropriate for God Almighty. When he turns to the Bible he suddenly seems to lose all common sense. The necessity of denial blinds him to the obvious.

This attempt to separate "God" and "Lord" is even more amazing since Al-Kadhi himself quotes Jesus confirming the Shema in Mark 12:29 -

"...The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord."

Clearly, this one Lord is God. For Jewish believers there is only one true Lord. Read the powerful passage of Isaiah 45:5-24 which stresses one Lord, one God, one Savior, one Creator, and ask yourself what else it can possibly mean when a zealous Jew then calls Jesus `Lord'?

This leads to the next issue. Al-Kadhi overlooked the subordinate clause, giving the definition of what kind of Lord Jesus is. He is the one Lord Jesus Christ "by whom are all things, and we by him." This means that he is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, which is confirmed again by Paul in his letter to the Colossians and also by the apostle John and the writer of the letter to the Hebrews (Col. 1:16, John 1:3, Hebrews 1:3). May we ask who this could possibly be?

The very text Al-Kadhi chose as his proof refutes the purpose for which he had chosen it.

In addition there are other passages where the disciples do indeed use the word "God" when speaking about Jesus. Those are written by the apostle/disciple John (John 1:1,18; 20:28), Paul (Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:13), Peter (2 Pet. 1:1), and the writer of Hebrews (Heb. 1:8).

John 1:1
   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 
   and the Word was God.

John 1:18
   No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, 
   who is at the Father's side, has made him known. 

John 20:28
   Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

Romans 9:5
   Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced 
   the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, 
   forever praised! Amen.

Titus 2:13
   while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious  
   appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

2 Peter 1:1
   Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, 
   To those who through the righteousness of 
   our God and Savior Jesus Christ 
   have received a faith as precious as ours: 

Hebrews 1:8
   But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, 
   will last for ever and ever, and righteousness 
   will be the scepter of your kingdom. 

Anyone who wants to object to the above translations should first consult the definitive scholarly treatment in Jesus as God by Murray J. Harris, Baker Book House, 1992, ISBN 0-8010-4370-0.

Thankfully, the web provides us with scholarly discussion of the Greek grammar TO determine whether "Jesus is called God" in Titus 2:13 and 2 Pet. 1:1 at these pages: [1], [2].

We conclude that Al-Kadhi has neither understood the text he himself presented, nor has he shown shown integrity because he has silently ignored all the texts that are relevant to the topic of the section asking whether any of the disciples call Jesus by the title `God'. Whom did the disciples call God? In the above verse they call Jesus `God'.

Admittedly, this is not easy to understand and can be confusing. But that does call for the effort to study more and understand better, not for the denial of the facts which seems to be Al-Kadhi's favorite approach. The reader is invited to take this effort and read the article What Christians mean when they say "Jesus is God".

The above would be sufficient for an Al-Kadhi, but it might be helpful to point to one more passage from the same letter, 2 Corinthians. After Paul has stated that there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, since in his mind Jesus is the Lord God, it is natural for him to write:

10:17  But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 
10:18  For it is not the one who commends himself 
       who is approved, 
       but the one whom the Lord commends. 

Who is this Lord in whom only you should boast? This refers 
back to a passage from the prophet Jeremia

Jr. 9:24 but let him who boasts boast about this: 
         that he understands and knows me, 
         that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, 
         justice and righteousness on earth, 
         for in these I delight," declares the LORD.

After stating that there is only one Lord (2 Cor. 8:6), Paul applies the command to only boast in Yahweh, God, to Jesus, using the same word "Lord".

That "Lord" and "God" in this passage by Paul are not to be seen as contrasting terms excluding each other, but are instead as supplementary parallelism stating a similar thought in two different ways (very common in Hebrew poetry) can also be shown by some similar quotations from Revelation:

Revelation 21:
22  I did not see a temple in the city, 
    because the Lord God Almighty 
            and the Lamb are its temple. 

23  The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, 
    for the glory of God gives it  light, 
    and the         Lamb    is its lamp. 

First, "Lord" and "God" are part of the same name (v. 22). Verse 23 has the very clear parallelism: Who gives the light? God. Who? The Lamb (the incarnation of God). Furthermore, they are one as indicated again in verse 22 by stating God and the Lamb are its temple (singular). It is only one temple, but both fulfill this role. As Jesus expressed it: "I and the Father are one."

Revelation 22:
1  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, 
   as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 

3  No longer will there be any curse. 
   The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, 
   and his servants will serve him. 

6  The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. 
   The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, 
   sent his angel to show his servants the things 
   that must soon take place." 

Again, God and the Lamb have together one throne (v. 1, 3). The Lord (Jesus = the Lord of Lords, Rev. 19:16) is "the God of ... the prophets", i.e. the God of Moses, David, etc.

Why the mentioning of the Lamb here? It is the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29) making it is possible that then we can hear with John:

Revelation 21:
3  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 
   "Now the dwelling of God is with men, 
    and he will live with them. 
    They will be his people, and God himself
         will be with them   and be their God. 

It is the Lamb that reestablishes fellowship between God and man as it was in the garden before sin destroyed this fellowship. It is God himself who has done it. Glory be to Him.

It only remains one question for you: Will you be with the Lamb on this new earth? Are you in the Lambs book of life? (Rev. 20:12,15)

The Rebuttal to "What Did Jesus Really Say?"
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