A response to 1.2.5

Historical origin of the "Trinity" myth

Mr. Al-Kadhi's A priori (and unsubstantiated) Assumptions

Mr. Al-Kadhi begins this section by saying : "As we shall now begin to see, humanity has over the ages taken great liberties with the text of the Bible. This has ultimately resulted in countless contradictions between the verses. This means that as a result of this continuous unrelenting tampering, the message of the Bible can no longer be trusted as the original 100% unchanged word of God."

Where is your proof Mr. Al-Kadhi? Which verses are contradictory?

Al-Kadhi continues: "Please go back to such verses as "I and my father are one" and the many others which we have just dealt with in the last two sections and see whether Muslims or the Church quote the Bible out of context?"

Please do go back and check such verses as "I and my Father are One". Mr. Al-Kadhi excels in the art of quoting verses out of context!

Al-Kadhi asks: "Please show me where I have been unjust or unfaithful in my presentation of the verses."

All right, here are some examples where Mr. Al-Kadhi quotes the verses out of context:

John 10:30
John 14:8-9
John 10:33 and 5:18

Al-Kadhi also uses many false analogies and "straw man" arguments:

I Corinthians 12:4-6
II Corinthians 13:14
Jude 1:20-21
John 20:28

And, Al-Kadhi is also poor at translation:

Genesis 1:26
John 1:1

Al-Kadhi claims: "If the Bible had remained 100% the word of God then it would be impossible for its verses to contradict each other, however, if mankind has been taking liberties with the words of God then the verses will indeed contradict themselves"

First, Al-Kadhi claims, without providing any examples, that Biblical verses contradict each other. Second, if man edited the Bible so many times, why would even the slightest discrepancy exist? If these contradictions are as prevalent as Mr. Al-Kadhi suggests (but does not demonstrate) and the Bible was "edited", what prevented the "editors" from removing these alleged discrepancies. Removing "errors" is the very purpose of editing, right? Al-Kadhi's conclusion simply does not follow his argument!

Al-Kadhi quotes the Koran: "Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would have surely found therein much discrepancy." The Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):82. Why not apply the same test to the Bible?"

Christians have analyzed and debated the Bible for centuries, Muslims have not done the same with the Koran. Why not apply the same test for contradictions in the Koran?

Al-Kadhi continues: "The Christian message about Jesus revolves around three facts: the incarnation, the crucifixion, and the resurrection." Have we now totally given up on such matters as the "Trinity," the "original sin," the "atonement," and so forth...? We have already disproved all of these. "Prove from the Bible or otherwise that any one of these three things are not true, and like a three-legged stool the truth of the message would collapse." Please go back and have another look at your stool. Does it not need the doctrines of "Trinity," "begotten son of God," "original sin" and "atonement." In order to remain standing?"

I urge all readers to honestly consider the topics of the "Trinity", "begotten son of God", "original sin" and "atonement". Perhaps Al-Kadhi has given up on these issues of faith, but I pray that you will ponder them.

Al-Kadhi ploughs ahead by saying: "If you would like, you can find many very serious discrepancies in the narration of the crucifixion and many other matters in Ahmed Deedat's books "The Choice," and "Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction," as well as his many other publications."

Mr. Al-Kadhi raises the issue of "serious discrepancies" in the accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus, but he does not mention any! He does refer us to the works of Ahmed Deedat, who claims, in stark contradiction to the teachings of the Koran, that Jesus was actually hung on the cross, but he fainted! Please read what Deedat says and compare his words with the Koran (Sura 4:157-159)! One of the saddest aspects of having theological debates with some Muslims (such as Mr. Al-Kadhi) is that they will reach for anything, and I mean anything, to attempt to make their point - even if their "evidence" is un-Islamic. For example, some Muslim apologists adopt the arguments of Ahmadiyya (in this case), atheists, Jehovah's Witnesses, or any other heretical thought just to make a point. This implies, at least in my mind, that Islam really has no good arguments of its own!

The Council of Nicea

Al-Kadhi believes that the differences between Christianity and Islam began at the First Church Council of Nicea: "But someone may now say: "If the Trinity was not revealed by God Almighty or Jesus (pbuh) then why does Christianity believe in it?" The answer lies in the council of Nicea of 325 CE."

Al-Kadhi, and many other Muslim apologists, believe that the Council of Nicea was a vehicle by which the Emperor Constantine foisted the concept of the Trinity on Christianity. This viewpoint reflects Mr. Al-Kadhi's a complete misunderstanding (or intentional distortion) of Church history. The Council of Nicea was not called to debate the Trinity, in fact no such controversy even existed at that time. During this first age of the Christian Church, the main topic that was debated by orthodox Christians and various heretics, was the issue of the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. These debates did not extend beyond the consideration of the second Person of the Trinity, Jesus. The formulation of the Trinity was a explanation of the nature of God that was derived completely from the Bible. For those of you who are interested in this topic, read the primary documents of the Nicean Council. Mr. Al-Kadhi makes a great amount of noise over the fact that the term "Trinity" did not exist during the lifetime of the Apostles. The Apostles would not have been aware of the term, however, they were most certainly aware of the concept of God, God's Word (Jesus), and God's Spirit (Holy Spirit).

For example, Al-Kadhi brings his evidence: ""The New Catholic Encyclopedia" (Bearing the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, indicating official approval) we get a glimpse of how the concept of the Trinity was not introduced into Christianity until close to four hundred years after Jesus (pbuh):

".......It is difficult in the second half of the 20th century to offer a clear, objective and straightforward account of the revelation, doctrinal evolution, and theological elaboration of the Mystery of the trinity. Trinitarian discussion, Roman Catholic as well as other, present a somewhat unsteady silhouette. Two things have happened. There is the recognition on the part of exegetes and Biblical theologians, including a constantly growing number of Roman Catholics, that one should not speak of Trinitarianism in the New Testament without serious qualification. There is also the closely parallel recognition on the part of historians of dogma and systematic theologians that when one does speak of an unqualified Trinitarianism, one has moved from the period of Christian origins to, say, the last quadrant of the 4th century. It was only then that what might be called the definitive Trinitarian dogma 'One God in three Persons' became thoroughly assimilated into Christian life and thought ... it was the product of 3 centuries of doctrinal development" (emphasis added). "The New Catholic Encyclopedia," Volume XIV, p. 295

Now, Al-Kadhi is really excited: "They admit it!. Jesus' twelve apostles lived and died never having heard of any "Trinity" !"

No, Mr. Al-Kadhi! You are deliberately mixing terms and concepts. They did not know of the term "Trinity", but they most certainly knew of the concept. Please refer to the numerous verses that I mention in the text and table (below) and read them! The Apostles and early Christians were very familiar with these verses and the ideas that they conveyed. Incidentally, for those of you who want to know what the Catholic Encyclopedia says about the Trinity, please read the on-line version - this entry (as well as the rest of the book) is excellent. Read this entry and decide for yourself if Mr. Al-Kadhi has an adequate understanding of the Trinity. Please remember that Mr. Al-Kadhi endorses this book because it bears Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur!

The Bible teaches the Triune Nature of God

The one true God, was well established in the Old Testament (Isaiah 43:10 and Deuteronomy 6:4), and is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is called "God" in the Bible. The Father is God (Galatians 1:1 and Titus 1:4); the Son (or Word), is repeatedly called God (John 1:1,14, Acts 20:28, John 20:28, Titus 2:13, and Hebrews 1:8); and the Holy Spirit is identified as God in various Scriptures (Acts 5:3-4, 1 John 4:2,3, and Hebrews 10:15,16). The concept of the unity within the Trinity is seen in Matthew 28:19, where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit comprise one "name" because the term is singular in Greek. Incidentally, the Koran also testifies to the existence of the Holy Spirit as a separate manifestation of the godhead: "We gave Jesus the Son of Mary evidence, clear [signs] and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit" (Sura 2:87) and "To Jesus the Son of Mary We gave clear [signs], and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit" (Sura 2:253). If Mr. Al-Kadhi wishes to read about the nature of God in the Bible, the account of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist clearly reveals the existence of a Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

Matthew 3:16-17

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

Biblical Evidence of the Trinity

Called God Phil. 1:2 John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9 Acts 5:3-4
Creator Is. 64:8;44:24 John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17 Job 33:4,26:13
Resurrects 1 Thess. 1:10 John 2:19, 10:17 Rom. 8:11
Indwells 2 Cor. 6:16 Col. 1:27 John 14:17
Everywhere 1 Kings 8:27 Matt. 28:20 Ps. 139:7-10
All knowing 1 John 3:20 John 16:30 1 Cor. 2:10-11
Sanctifies 1 Thess. 5:23 Heb. 2:11 1 Pet. 1:2
Life giver Gen. 2:7 John 1:3; 5:21 2 Cor. 3:6,8
Fellowship 1 John 1:3 1 Cor. 1:9 2 Cor. 13:14
Eternal Ps. 90:2 Micah 5:1-2 Rom. 8:11
A Will Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42 1 Cor. 12:11
Speaks Matt. 3:17 Luke 5:20; 7:48 Acts 8:29; 11:12; 13:2
Love John 3:16 Eph. 5: 25 Rom. 15:30
Searches the heart Jer. 17:10 Rev. 2:23 1 Cor. 2:10
We belong to John 17:9 John 17:6 . . .
Savior 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10 2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 1:4; 3:6 . . .
We serve Matt. 4:10 Col. 3:24 . . .
Believe in John 14:1 John 14:1 . . .
Gives joy . . . John 15:11 Rom. 14:7
Judges John 8:50 John 5:21,30 . . .

The Early Church preached the Triune Nature of God

The Didache (35-60AD) is the earliest doctrinal example of the Triune nature of God taught by the Church : "baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Irenaeus (115-190AD) wrote: "The Church ... [believes] in one God, the Father Almighty ... and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God ... and in the Holy Spirit." Tertullian (190-200AD), whom Al-Kadhi claims coined the term "Trinity" said: "Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These Three are one essence, not one Person." Please notice that Tertullian was dead for over a century BEFORE the Council of Nicea took place!

Enter Emperor Constantine

Al-Kadhi tells us that "About this time, two separate events were about to lead up to the official recognition of the church by the Roman empire. On the one hand, Emperor Constantine, the pagan emperor of the Romans, began to notice the increasing number of converts to the new faith among his subjects. They were no longer a petty fringe sect of no great concern to the empire, rather, their presence was becoming increasingly noticeable, and the severe division and animosity between their ranks was beginning to pose a serious threat to the internal stability of the empire as a whole."

It is true that Christianity was very popular in the Byzantine Empire and that Constantine did realize the political implications of religion and unity. Constantine was a Pagan who may, or may not, have been baptized on his death bed. These facts have very little to do with the concept of the Trinity.

Al-Kadhi continues: "On the Christian front, controversy over the matter of the Trinity had in 318C.E. once again just blown up between two church men from Alexandria, Arius, the deacon, and Alexander, his bishop. Now Emperor Constantine stepped into the fray. The emperor sent these men many letters encouraging them to put aside their "trivial" disputes regarding the nature of God and the "number" of God, etc."

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! The early Christians believed in the Triune Nature of God. The idea of the Trinity WAS NOT an issue at the Council of Nicea. The issue at the Council of Nicea was the nature of Jesus Christ and the arguments presented did not go beyond this issue. The main enemy of traditional Christian thought at this time was Arianism, whose adherents believed that the Christ had two separate natures, one divine and the other human. The Emperor Constantine summoned the first general council of the Christian Church, the Council of Nicea in 325AD, to promote religious peace within the empire. Caliph Uthman had a similar political motives when he complied the Koran.

Paganism and Christianity

Al-Kadhi goes on with his ideas concerning Pagan influences on Christianity. There is a section on this issue.


Muhammad and the Pagans

Al-Kadhi proclaims: "This is indeed why God's last prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) was once again cautioned to never give the slightest concession in God's religion no matter how tempting the pagan polytheists might make their offers."

Really?? Why did Muhammad tell his followers to adopt the Pre-Islamic Pagan Arabs practices of the Pilgrimage to Mecca, fasting during the month of Ramadan, running around the Ka'aba seven times, kissing the black stone, shaving their heads, practicing animal sacrifices, running up and down two hills, throwing stones at stone pillars that represented the devil, snorting water in and out their noses, praying several times a day toward Mecca, giving alms, and saying Friday prayers. The great translator and Koran scholar Yusuf Ali said "...the whole of the [pagan] pilgrimage was spiritualized in Islam..." (Yusuf Ali: fn. 223 pg. 80). Worst of all, Muhammad commanded his followers to participate in these pagan ceremonies while the pagans were still in control of Mecca (See Yusuf Ali, fn. 214, pg. 78) and told his followers to pray towards the Ka'aba, instead of towards Jerusalem, while the Ka'aba was full of 360 Pagan idols!

In fact, it was Muhammad who, at one point, attempted to compromise with Paganism! Sura 53:19 says 'Have you considered al Lat and al-Uzza and Manat the third other?' This passage was originally followed by the words 'Verily they are the exalted maidens and their intercession is to be hoped for'. The polytheistic Pagans of Mecca were delighted when Muhammad delivered this passage because it was a chant recited by the Quraish (tribe) as they circled the Ka'aba while worshipping these three principle goddess of pre-Islamic Mecca. This compromise also caused some companions to doubt Mohammed and leave his fold. The earliest authority on the life of Muhammad (Ibn Hisham) claimed that these words were uttered by Muhammad at the "instigation of Satan" and are considered to the be Satanic Verses (not to be confused with Salman Rushdies' book). When Muhammad realized that his attempt to appease the Pagan Meccans was causing his followers to leave, he quickly made a slight alteration and a major omission to this passage by dropping the sentence about the exalted maidens. To make matters worse, Gabriel allegedly came to Muhammad and denied that he had revealed the word to him. ('Sirat'ul Rasool' as revised by Ibn Hisham, (vs. 239), and Tabari pp. 1 192).

God Swears by His creation?

An incidental, but interesting, issue is a quote that Mr. Al-Kadhi gives us from the Koran: "Noon. (God swears) By the pen and what the (angels) write (in the Records of men). You (O Muhammad pbuh) are not, by the Grace of your Lord, a madman. And verily, for you will be an endless reward. And verily, you are upon an exalted character. Verily, you will see, and they will see, Which of you is afflicted with madness. Verily, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He knows best those who are guided. So obey not the deniers. They wish that you should compromise (in religion) with them, so they (too) would compromise with you. The noble Qur'an, Al-Qalam(68):1-9 "

WHAT??? Almighty God swears by a pen?!? I was taught, as a child, that God created the entire universe. Why would God swear by His creation. Is creation equal to or greater than God, and therefore, He swears by it? In fact, God swears twenty-four times in the Koran! He swears by the Koran (Suras 36:2, 38:1, 43:2, 44:2, and 50:1) , the angels (Suras 37:1-3 and 79:1-4), the winds (Suras 51:14 and 77:1), the Ka'aba (Sura 52:16 - keep in mind that the Ka'aba contained 360 Pagan idols at this point!), the star (Sura 53:1), the pen (Sura 68:1), the moon, night, and dawn(Sura 74: 32-34), the day of resurrection (Sura 75:1-2), the sky (Sura 86:1), the day of judgment, men, and odd numbers (Sura 89: 1-4), the sun, earth, and soul (Sura 91:1-8), the creation of male and female (Sura 92:1-3), the fig and olive (Sura 95:1-3), and the city of Makkah (Sura 90:1). How important is the pen, the sun, the moon, the fig or the olive compared to God? The belief that God swears by His creation verges on polytheism!

What about Uthman?

Al-Kadhi spends a great deal of time discussing the persecution of dissenting Christians by the Byzantine authorities. As a Christian, I am very sad that people were persecuted for their beliefs- however wrong they may have been. This behavior is contrary to what the Bible teaches. But, as usual, Al-Kadhi is quick to point out the sins of others. What about Islam? Uthman compiled the Koran and burned all other copies. He also persecuted dissenters.

Even today, Muslims persecute the Baha'is and the Ahmadiyya because their beliefs are considered heretical. Why notice the splinter in your brother's eye while you ignore the beam in your own?

The Incarnation

Notice that it took the Church close to five hundred years after the departure of Jesus to build up, justify, and finally ratify the "incarnation." Also notice that the apostles, their children, and their children's children for tens of generations were too ignorant to recognize the existence of an "incarnation." Jesus' (pbuh) very first and very closest followers were too ignorant to recognize this "truth."

Huh? The Church, going back to the Apostles, believed in the incarnation of Christ! Please read John 1:14,and 20:28, Romans 9:5, and Titus 2:13.

Christian Polygamy?

To make the debate even more bizarre, Al-Kadhi claims: "Nowhere in the New Testament is there any explicit commandment that marriage should be monogamous or any explicit commandment forbidding polygamy." Father Eugene Hillman, Polygamy Reconsidered: African Plural Marriage and the Christian Churches, Orbis Books, 1975, p. 140.

Mr. Al-Kadhi and his sources are wrong again! Please read the Old and New Testament's teachings concerning polygamy.

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