A response to 1.2.8

Summary: What is a 'Trinity'?


Al-Kadhi writes:

In order to answer the statement that Jesus claimed to be inferior to God, we need to look at what exactly Jesus taught about Himself
What Jesus said about Himself.

This is very brief, and definitely not complete.

a) Jesus on his pre-existence:

Jesus is the only man in the history of the world who existed before his birth. (I am not talking about
people who believe in reincarnation, since both Christianity and Islam reject it)
John 8:

     56   "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it,
     and was glad.
     57   Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and
     hast thou seen Abraham?
     58   Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before
     Abraham was, I am.
     59   Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and
     went out of the
          temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

The words "I am" are exactly the same God used when Moses asked Him who He was. Most
Muslims do not accept this, so let us just forget about the controversy about the "I am" for a moment, and focus on one astounding fact: Jesus claimed to have been alive before Abraham was born.

John 17:

     5  " And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self
     with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."

Again Jesus says that he existed before. In fact, he existed before the creation of the world.

Not even Mohammed claimed this, the closest parallel in Islam is the doctrine of the pre-existence of
the Qur'an.

b) The descent and ascent of Jesus:

Again we look at John 17:5:

      "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the
     glory which I had with Thee before the world was. "

Jesus had glory with God, but laid it aside (since he did not have it when he was praying this), and after his resurrection, he was reinstated in that glory.

Paul said exactly the same thing:

Philippians 2:

     5   Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
     6   Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal
     with God:
     7   But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a
     servant, and was
          made in the likeness of men:
     8   And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became
     obedient unto
          death, even the death of the cross.
     9   Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name
     which is above every name:
     10   That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in
     heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
     11   And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
     the glory of God the Father.

Paul teaches that:

This is exactly what Jesus teaches about himself in John 17 !

c) Jesus says that he can duplicate every act of God:

John 5:

     19 "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Truly, I say to you,
     The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for
     whatever the Father does, the Son also does."

Since Jesus said himself that he existed before the creation of the world, he has seen the creation.

THE CREATOR. This is why God says in His word:

 John 1:

     1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
     and the Word was God.
      2   The same was in the beginning with God.
      3   All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made
     that was made.

Whatever the Son sees the Father doing, he does.

All things were made by the Word of God:

Genesis 1:

     3  " And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."

God spoke His Word, and the Universe was created.
Even the Qur'an calls Jesus "Kalimatullah", The Word of God!

d)Jesus claims that God has made him the judge of the whole human race.

e)Jesus claims that the same honour due to God is due to him! f)Jesus claims to be uncreated, like the Father. With this overview of what Jesus really said about Himself in mind, let us now look at the verses Mr. Al-Kadhi has problems with:


This is not a statement of substance, but of rank. Like the crown prince is equal in substance to his father the king, and his father is greater in rank, so the rank of the Father is greater that that of the descended Son. Compare it to what Jesus said in the following verse:
John 5: Jesus says that he should receive the same honour his Father does, even as the crown prince, as heir to the throne, receives the same honour as the king! With all these verses, it is important to remember that Jesus taught that he lay down his existence of equality with God to become as a slave, to be born as a human being among humans, in order to bridge the gap between God and mankind. This inevitably meant that he limited his knowledge that he possessed as God, to be human. Jesus was a baby, had to learn to crawl, walk and speak. He had to go to school, just like any other human being. Since he was human, he was tempted like a human, and as a human, he had to be obedient to God.  He was not Deity disguised in a human body. He was Deity incarnated as a human being! Jesus was human in every sense of the word.

Some translations of the verse from Philippians 2 above say that "He emptied Himself to take on the form of a servant". Jesus emptied himself of being God, and became a man, in obedience to his Father.

This is easily understood if you read the relevant scriptures in context:
Hebrews 1 (NIV): In verse 2 we learn that God made the universe through the Son, and then He made the Son heir of all things. As we will point out later, Jesus' son ship is not biological but relational. It is in becoming Heir to creation that the Second Person of God  becomes Son to the Father. Remember that the terms "Father" and "Son" are metaphors to describe the functional relationship between the Persons of God. Even though both persons are eternal, at some stage in the history of God THEIR RELATIONSHIP became that of  "Father" and "Son".  It is very clear from this passage that the author regarded the Son as an eternal Being. ("But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever...")

Con substantiality:

In most of his arguments in this section, Mr. Al-Kadhi uses the fact that there are more than one person in God to prove that since these Persons interact, they cannot be the same being. Well, we will say something later on how one Being can be more that one Person. Remember that the word "God" is not synonym to "Father" because God is also the Son and the Spirit. "Son" and "Father" are not synonyms, because although both is the same one God, they are different Persons.

I have remixed the quotations from the book in this section, mainly to put it in a more logical sequence, but also to keep the best for last.

As I have stated above, we have interaction between the Persons of God, this does not prove that they are not both God. There is an important question here: Does the will of Jesus differ from the will of his Father? At first glance it may look like it. Let us first look at the verse: Jesus does NOT say that he actually wants to do his own thing, he states here that he wants to do exactly what his Father wants him to do. This means that his will is exactly equal to that of the Father.

So what about Jesus praying not to be crucified?

In order to understand the following, it is important that the reader should first read the article on the Blood Sacrifice. If you have not read it yet, please read it now!

Let me tell you a short parable to illustrate the point: (the persons of the father and son in this parable do not necessarily coincide with the Father and Son)

A man had a son, who became very ill. He took him to hospital and the doctor told him that his son would die if he did not receive a kidney transplant very soon. The problem was, there was none available. The father told the doctors that he would donate a kidney to save his son.
After they examined the father, they found that he was a poor anesthetic risk and would probably not survive the operation. Since it was the only chance his son had of survival, he decided to go ahead.

The night before the operation, the father became very scared, because he knew that there was a chance that he would die. He phoned the doctor, and pleaded him to find another way of saving his son. The doctor confirmed that the only way the son's life could be saved was if the father donated his kidney. So in spite of his fear and terror, the father went ahead with the planned kidney transplant. To save his son, possibly at the cost of his own life.

Of course this father did not want the operation. What he really wanted was for his son to be healthy and not to need the operation. But the fact was that his son would die without the operation. So because of the reality of  his sons disease, the father wanted the operation.

Did the Father want to sacrifice His own Son? What does God really want?

God wants mankind to be pure and holy, and to love Him:

 Deuteronomy 6: 4   Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
      5   And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with
     all thy might.

But the reality is that mankind is separated from God, and therefore morally diseased, unable to love God the way He intended. The law of God requires that  sinners (us!) be separated from God eternally (cast into hell). But since God loved us He decided to perform painful surgery:  The death of His Son on the cross, even though God would prefer not to do it! In Jesus' supplication not to be crucified we see Jesus' human terror of going to hell, but more important, we have a glimpse of God's horror at the sacrifice that was about to take place. In Jesus' decision to be crucified we see God's incomprehensible love for us: that He did not spare his only Son in order to save us.

Misha'al, your sin separates you from God, because God is holy. But this separation is not complete yet. The Biblical definition of hell is somewhat different from that of the Qur'an. Yes, the Bible does use the metaphor of a everlasting fire to describe the torment of hell, but in the following verse Jesus describes the bare essence of hell:

Matthew 8:
11   "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west,
and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of
 12   But the children of the kingdom (of Satan) shall be cast out into
outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

According to Jesus, hell is the "Outer Darkness". It is where God chooses not to be. It is the final, complete separation from God.

Jesus was forsaken by God. He was in hell. Because of our sin, that is where we all should go. Read the verses from Isiah 53 quoted in the Blood atonement article again. This was written hundreds of  years before Jesus came to earth.

Isiah 53:
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our
iniquities (sin); the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and
by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own
way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity (sin) of us all.

Jesus went to hell because I was heading that way. Because he went there in my place, and paid my debt, I can be certain of being with God in heaven for all eternity.

It is amazing that Mr. Al-Kadhi does not believe in the immortality of the soul (spirit) even if the Qur'an emphatically teaches it: Since the soul does not die with the body, and God is the soul of Christ, why should you wonder what happened to the universe while Jesus was dead?  This is easily understood if you remember that the Son and the Holy Spirit are two persons. It is necessary to know what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is.
The work of the Holy Spirit according to the Bible is Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to call Him a liar: Calling the Holy Spirit a liar is the only sin that cannot be forgiven, since it means rejecting the salvation that God so lovingly and freely offers us!

The "Mystery of the Trinity"
The Trinity is no mystery because God is omnipotent, this means He can do whatever He wants, and He can be whatever He wants. If He chooses to be a Trinity, or anything else that I cannot understand, then it is His choice, there is nothing I can do to force Him to conform to my idea of how He should be. An ant cannot deny the existence of my computer just because he cannot understand it!

Since when is "confusion" a synonym of "mystery"??
   Misha'al, to claim that God cannot be something because you cannot understand it is to be blind in the extreme. God is much bigger that our arithmetic and calculations. We must not believe everyone who claims to be a prophet blindly, but examine his claim in the light of the revelation that preceded him. It is ironic that Muslims say that Christians rely on blind faith when they themselves commit their souls to the teachings of one man, who gave absolutely  no proof that his message was really from God, apart from his own word.

As far as I am concerned, to trust one man on just his word alone with your eternal life is the definition of blind faith...

The Rebuttal to "What Did Jesus Really Say?"
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