A response to

John 1:1 (the Word was God)

In this section, Mr. Al-Kadhi employs a propaganda technique, which he uses throughout his book. He attempts to dilute the meaning of the Bible, using Bible verses quoted out of context, in order to create a meaning that he believes is closer to Islam. The most ridiculous outcome of this technique is that Al-Kadhi's diluted version of the Gospels continues to be in stark disagreement with the teachings of Islam and the Qur'an!

Al-Kadhi begins by informing us that: "Another verse quoted in defense of the "Trinity" is the verse of John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.""

When I first learned of this verse it appeared to me that I had finally found my elusive goal. However, after substantial research into Christian theological literature, I would later come to learn that this verse too can not be interpreted to justify a "triune" God. My own experience has shown that this verse is the one most popularly quoted by most Christians in defense of the Trinity. For this reason I shall spend a little more time in its analysis than in the analysis of the other verses.

Once again, Al-Kadhi sets up a "strawman" argument - an argument which is false to begin with, and is, therefore, easy to dismiss. I also do not believe that this passage demonstrates the existence of the Trinity, although there are many passages that do, and I have never heard any Christian suggest this meaning from this verse. What does this passage say? What does the Bible mean when it says "In the beginning"? This was before time was created and existence was known, in other words- eternity. Who was the Word? Jesus is the Word. He is to God what man's word is to himself, and Jesus is the manifestation and expression of God. (John 1:18). "The Word was with God" and has a conscious and personal existence distinct from God (as one is from the person the He is "with"), but is inseparable from Him and associated with Him (John 1:18, John 17:5, and 1 John 1:2). "The Word was God" tells us that Jesus was in substance and essence God - or was possessed of essential or proper divinity. Thus, each of these brief statements is the complement of the other, correcting any misapprehensions which the others might occasion.

After Al-Kadhi knocks down the "strawman" argument, he proceeds to attempt to discredit this verse:

1) Mistranslation of the text (Or it's all Greek to me)

Al-Kadhi says: In the "original" Greek manuscripts (Did the disciple John speak Greek?)

Yes, John spoke Greek. John lived and preached in Greek speaking regions of Asia Minor.

"The Word" is only described as being "ton theos"(divine/a god) and not as being "ho theos" (The Divine/The God). A more faithful and correct translation of this verse would thus read: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was divine"

WRONG! I am an ardent champion of recycling, however, Al-Kadhi takes this noble practice to extremes when he recycles an old, and completely wrong, argument from Ahmed Deedat cited in the publication Ahmed Deedat. Al-Kadhi copied Deedat's mistranslation of "ton theos".

It should first be noted that all of known manuscripts and fragments of John's gospel contains this passage without any variation. It should also be noted that John 1:1 was quoted on several occasions by early Christian theologians and Church Fathers.

The Greek text (with transliteration):

   En arche ên ho logos, kai ho logos ên pros ton theon,
   kai theos ên ho logos. Houtos ên en arche pros ton theon.
                                           (John 1:1-2)

Clearly, there is no "ton theos", in this text as Al-Kadhi and Deedat claim. Both sentences have the phrase "ton theon". "Ton theon" is used because it is the accusative case (the nominative case is "ho theos" = "the God",) In this case we must use the accusative case, since the text uses the preposition "pros" which means "with" in this context.

Al-Kadhi and Deedat should know that the article "ho" (nominative case) and "ton" (accusative case) both translate as "the". Incidentally, the Greek word for "divine" is "theios, theia, theion", depending on the gender.

As always, Al-Kadhi provides us with several "Christian" scholars, and their translations, to support his point of view. Other sections discuss the scholarship of these "scholars" and their biases.

Al-Kadhi continues: "If we look at a different verse, 2 Corinthians 4:4, we find the exact same word (ho theos) that was used in John 1:1 to describe God Almighty is now used to describe the devil, however, now the system of translation has been changed:

"the god of this world (the Devil) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not."

According to the system of the previous verse and the English language, the translation of the description of the Devil should also have been written as "The God" with a capital "G." If Paul was inspired to use the exact same words to describe the Devil, then why should we change it? Why is "The God" translated as simply "the god" when referring to the devil, while "divine" is translated as the almighty "God" when referring to "The Word"? Are we now starting to get a glimpse of how the "translation" of the Bible took place?

Well, what is the difference between saying "the word was God," and between saying "the word was a god (divine)"? Are they not the same? Far from it! Let us read the bible:

"I have said, Ye (the Jews) are gods; and all of you are children of the most High" Psalms 82:6:

"And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh" Exodus 7:1"

So, if Al-Kadhi objects to calling Jesus "God", would he then approve of calling Him "a god", or "divine"? Is this what he is suggesting by citing these verses? I doubt it! Al-Kadhi has twisted and diluted the message of the Bible, however, the meaning that he has distorted from the text continues to contradict the Qur'an and teachings of Islam! This issue of others being called gods has been examined in another section.

Al-Kadhi continues: "What does all of this mean? Let me explain.

In the West, it is common when one wishes to praise someone to say "You are a prince," or "You are an angel" ..etc. When someone says this do they mean that that person is the son of the King of England, or a divine spiritual being? There is a very slight grammatical difference between saying "You are a prince" and between saying "You are THE prince," however, the difference in meaning is quite dramatic."

Al-Kadhi continues with many more colloquialisms and clichés which, out of mercy for the reader, I have not included! The fact is that no Jew, before, during, or after the time of Jesus would use the word God, or god, lightly. They would never call another person "a god" as Al-Kadhi appears to be suggesting. I seriously doubt that Al-Kadhi refers to anyone other than God in such terms!

Al-Kadhi continues:

"Further, it is necessary when translating a verse to also take into account the meaning as understood by the people of that age who spoke that language."


"One of the biggest problems with the Bible as it stands today is that it forces us to look at ancient Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures through Greek and Latin glasses as seen by people who are neither Jews, Greeks, nor Romans."

A similar problem exists for Islam. The Qur'an forces the majority of Muslims, who are not Arabs and cannot read Arabic, to look at ancient Arabic texts through the glasses of 7th century Arabs. I believe that the Bible has been translated accurately for all of the world's major languages and many of the world's secondary tongues. Also, if one reads the Bible along with a good commentary, he or she can understand the message of God.

Al-Kadhi turns his attention away from textual analysis for a moment to focus on a bit of bigotry and conspiracy theory: "It is the continuous filtration of these manuscripts through different languages and cultures as well as the Roman Catholic church's extensive efforts to completely destroy all of the original Hebrew Gospels (see last quarter of this chapter) which has led to this misunderstanding of the verses.

I am not a Roman Catholic and do not agree with some of the teachings of the Catholic Church. However, I find it very discouraging and disappointing that humanity stands at the threshold of the 21st century, and we continue to hear echoes of 19th and early 20th bigotry!

Al-Kadhi continues with some more examples of others being called "god" in the Bible and then leaves us with a final thought: "This was a common theme in the Bible whereby on many occasions God would send a representative to mankind in order to speak in His name and present His command to them. "Behold," declared God to Moses, "I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way ... beware of him, and obey his voice ... for My Name is in him" (Exod. 23:20). The angel was God's messenger, but not God Himself."

God DID speak to Moses directly according to the Bible and the Qur'an. Even you admitted this in another section!

2) Basic message of John

Once again, Al-Kadhi reaches for more Bible passages to attempt to make his point and, once again, these passages blow a hole in his arguments: "Now that we have seen the correct translation of the verse of John 1:1 (although Al-Kadhi's/Deedat's translation was not the correct one!), let us go a little further in our study of the intended meaning of this verse. This verse was taken from the "Gospel of John." The very best person to ask to explain what is meant by a given statement is the author of that statement himself. So let us ask "John" what is his mental picture of God and Jesus (pbuh) which he wishes to convey to us:"

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him." John 13:16.

So the author of John tells us that God is greater than Jesus. If the author of this Gospel did indeed wish us to understand that Jesus and God are "one and the same," then can someone be greater than himself?

"Similarly, "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I." John 14:28.

Can someone "go" to himself? Can someone be "greater" than himself?"

This issues was addressed in another section.

Al-Kadhi now skews several passages to distort the eternal fact that God and Jesus are ONE: "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:" John 17:1.

If John meant to tell us that "Jesus and God are one and the same" then shall we understand from this verse that God is saying to Himself "Self, glorify me so that I may glorify myself"? Does this sound like this is the message of John?

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.
For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus is the Word of God made flesh and can give eternal life - something only God can do. Notice that Al-Kadhi did not cite verse 5 where Jesus said that He and God were glorified before the world began.

"While I (Jesus) was with them in the world, I kept them in thy (God's) name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." John 17:12.

If the author of John wanted us to believe that Jesus and God are one person then are we to understand from this verse that God is saying to Himself "Self, while I was in the world I kept them in your name, self. Those who I gave to myself I have kept ..."? Is this what the author intended us to understand from his writings?"

Once again, Al-Kadhi deliberately misses the message! Clearly, Jesus and the Father are working for the same purpose.

"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." John 17:24.

Similarly, did the author intend us to interpret this as "Self, I will that they also whom I have given myself be with me where I am; that they my behold my glory which I have given myself, for I loved myself before the foundation of the world"?

Once again, Al-Kadhi misses the point! According to this passage, God loved Jesus before the universe was created. Does Al-Kadhi believe that Jesus existed before creation? If so, is He really just another messenger as the Qur'an tells us?

Al-Kadhi leaves us with yet another gem of a quote. After misinterpreting John 1:1 and quoting several passages out of context, he says: "So, we begin to see that in order to understand the writings of a given author, it is necessary to not take a single quotation from him in a vacuum and then interpret his whole message based upon that one sentence (and a badly mistranslated version of that sentence at that)."

I can only laugh at this statement!

3) Who wrote the "Gospel of John"?

Al-Khadhi brings out his usual group of so called "Christian" scholars and partial (edited) quotations from a variety of dictionaries, and claims that: The "Gospel of John" is popularly believed by the majority of regular church-goers to be the work of the apostle John the son of Zebedee. However, when consulting Christianity's more learned scholars of Church history, we find that this is far from the case. These scholars draw our attention to the fact that internal evidence provides serious doubt as to whether the apostle John the son of Zebedee wrote this Gospel himself.

What is the history of the debate concerning the Gospel of John? No one seriously doubted the authenticity of this Gospel until the late eighteenth century. The first formal attack on the Gospel of John was made by Bretschneider, in 1820, in his famous treatise entitled Probabilia. It is very important to note that Bretschneider was honest enough to latter admit that the conclusions made in his book had been satisfactorily disproved by Christian scholars! Years latter, the Tubingen school revived this discredited theory to claim that this Gospel was written after the death of John and some Unitarian critics clung, and still cling, to this argument.

4) Who "inspired" the author of this gospel to write this verse?

Al-Kadhi boldly claims (based on theoretical assumptions gleaned from an encyclopedia entry): "The words of John 1:1 are acknowledged by most reputable Christian scholar of the Bible as the words of another Jew, Philo of Alexandria (20BC-50AD), who claimed no divine inspiration for them and who wrote them decades before the "gospel of John" was ever conceived. Groliers encyclopedia has the following to say under the heading "Logos"("the word"):

"Heraclitus was the earliest Greek thinker to make logos a central concept ......In the New Testament, the Gospel According to Saint John gives a central place to logos; the biblical author describes the Logos as God, the Creative Word, who took on flesh in the man Jesus Christ. Many have traced John's conception to Greek origins--perhaps through the intermediacy of eclectic texts like the writings of Philo of Alexandria."

Once again, who are these scholars and what is their evidence? Also notice that this entry DOES NOT say that Philo of Alexandria wrote, or inspired, this passage! Philo and John lived during the same time period (but in different places) and there is no evidence that John read any of Philo's works. I find it highly amusing that Al-Kadhi, in the beginning of this section, asked if John spoke Greek (implying that he did not), yet, in this argument, he assumes that John could read the scholarly works of Philo of Alexandria which were written in Greek! Al-Kadhi quotes T. W. Doane in the next paragraph. Doane's dubious scholarship has been discussed elsewhere.

6) What was "The Word"? (or what happened to #5?)

Now Al-Kadhi brings in the Qur'an to "clear this up"! "O people of the book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which he bestowed upon Mary, and a spirit preceding from him so believe in Allah and his messengers. Say not "Three," desist! It will be better for you, for Allah is one God. Glory be to him. Far exalted is he above having a son. To him belong all things in the heavens and the earth. And enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs." The noble Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):171


In the Qur'an we are told that when God Almighty wills something he merely says to it "Be" and it is.

So (according to the Qur'an) God said "Be" to a young virgin named Mary and she gave birth to Jesus. In spite of this, Al-Kadhi and the Qur'an claim that Jesus was "no more than a messenger"! No man, before or after Jesus was born of a virgin, so can we honestly say that Jesus is "no more than a messenger"?

The Rebuttal to "What Did Jesus Really Say?"
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