Bassam Zawadi on the Resurrection
Bassam Zawadi has essentially repeated the same error that his colleague Abdullah Smith made regarding who exactly raised Jesus from the dead. Zawadi writes:
Here is a verse from the Gospel, which states that Jesus said he would raise himself from the dead...
19Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
However, you have other verses that state that God raised Jesus from the dead...
24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
26When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the deadJesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Obviously Christians are going to reply back and say that Jesus was talking about the divine Son of God (part of him) that will raise his body. Since the Son of God is God there is no contradiction. However, the next verse destroys that argument completely...
Paul, an apostlesent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead
The verse says that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. However, Jesus who is supposedly God the Son said that he will raise his body up himself (John 2:29[sic]). God the Father and God the Son are different persons (even though Christians believe they have one essence as being one God).
Therefore, this contradiction cannot be reconciled unless you say that the Father and the Son are the same person, which will shatter the whole concept of the trinity.
The foregoing only shows that what is being shattered by all these biblical references is not the Christian belief in the Trinity, but rather Zawadi's gross misunderstanding of it. In the first place, none of the texts say that God the Father alone raised Jesus from the dead, or that Jesus by himself without the aid of the Father raised himself. Secondly, it doesn't follow that the Father and the Son must be one and the same person in order for all these statements to be correct, since all that is required is for them to have the same ability and power to raise the dead. Jesus himself said that he could do everything that the Father does, implying that he is co-equal in essence to the Father while also being personally distinct from him:
"Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; FOR WHATEVER HE DOES, THAT THE SON DOES LIKEWISE. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, SO ALSO THE SON GIVES LIFE TO WHOM HE WILL. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, EVEN AS they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.’" John 5:19-24
Jesus expressly claims that he can give life to others since he can do all that his Father is able to do. More on this shortly.
At this point we would like to reproduce our response to Abdullah Smith who raised a similar objection, since it sufficiently exposes Zawadi's desperate attempt of trying to find an error within the Holy Bible. Smith had mentioned Peter's words in Acts 5:30 regarding God raising Jesus from the dead, to which we said:
First of all, Peter did not say that Christ didnt have power to raise himself. That is reading something into the text which is not there, a classic case of eisegesis. Furthermore, this same Peter testified that Jesus is the very Author of Life:
"and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses." Acts 3:15
Being the Author of Life implies that Jesus is the very Source of Life. Thus, Jesus did have power to raise himself from the dead even according to Acts.
Third, the author has committed the fallacy of false dilemma since he presents these passages as an either/or situation, i.e. either God raised Christ or Jesus raised himself. The author apparently didnt bother to think whether he is dealing with a both/and scenario, that both God and Christ raised the Son.
In fact, it is passages such as these which drove the Church to formulate the doctrine of the Trinity. The Church saw from the Holy Bible that there are three distinct Persons who are identified as God and are able to do what God alone can do. For instance, the Holy Bible teaches that God the Father, Jesus Christ his beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit raised Christ and will resurrect the dead at the end of the age, a work which only God can perform:
God the Father
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know-- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it." Acts 2:22-24
"And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power." 1 Corinthians 6:14
"knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence." 2 Corinthians 4:14
"Paul, an apostle--not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead" Galatians 1:1
God the Son
"Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. The Jews then said, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will YOU raise it up in three days? But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken." John 2:19-22
"Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead WILL HEAR THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs WILL HEAR HIS VOICE and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:25-29
"For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father." John 10:17-18
"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." Philippians 3:20-21
God the Holy Spirit
"Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD." Ezekiel 37:12-14
"concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord," Romans 1:3-4
"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:11
The Church also saw that the Holy Bible plainly teaches that there is only one God. When the Church pieced all these references together they rightly ended up with the doctrine of the blessed and most holy Trinity! (Source)
Let us now return the favor. The Quran says Allah causes death:
It is God that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed verily in this are Signs for those who reflect. S. 39:42 Y. Ali
Yet elsewhere we are told that angels are the ones who actually bring death upon individuals:
Verily, those whom the angels cause to die while they are wronging their own souls, the angels will say to them: What were you after? They will say: We were treated as weak in the land. The angels will say, Was not ALLAH's earth spacious enough so that you could have emigrated therein? It is these whose abode shall be Hell, and an evil destination it is; 4:97 Sher Ali
Those whom the angels CAUSE TO DIE while they are unjust to themselves. Then would they offer submission: We used not to do any evil. Aye! surely Allah knows what you did. Those whom the angels CAUSE TO DIE in a good state, saying: Peace be on you: enter the garden for what you did. S. 16:28, 32 Shakir
Say, `The angel of death that has been put in charge of you will cause you to die; then to your Lord will you be brought back.' S. 32:11 Sher Ali
The next example is even more problematic:
Do you not know that Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and that besides Allah you have no guardian or helper? S. 2:107 Shakir
And you shall not escape in the earth nor in the heaven, and you have neither a protector nor a helper besides Allah. S. 29:22 Shakir
A believer has no other guardian or helper besides Allah. Yet this other reference says that angels are a believer's protector and helper:
In the case of those who say, "Our Lord is God", and, further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time): "Fear ye not!" (they suggest), "Nor grieve! but receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss), the which ye were promised! We are your protectors in this life and in the Hereafter: therein shall ye have all that your souls shall desire; therein shall ye have all that ye ask for! - A hospitable gift from one Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful!" S. 41:30-32 Y. Ali
If Zawadi is to apply his erroneous logic to these texts then he must conclude that either the Quran is contradicting itself or that Allah and the angels are actually one and the same person! There are no other options for Zawadi if he is to honestly apply his own method consistently, which he obviously will not, thereby proving that he is anything but consistent.
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