In this segment, Dr. Badawi continues to use [mostly] Jehovah's Witness arguments to undermine the claim that Jesus is divine and that He is the Son of God. He cites many Bible passages in his attempt to "prove" that terms such as the son of God, Lord, Messiah, son of man, and perfection have referred to other people in the Bible as well as to Jesus and, therefore, do not prove divinity.
Jamal Badawi: John 3:16 is a very famous statement. For nearly 2000 years it has been one of the most frequently quoted verses, and in the past, many theologians insisted that Jesus was begotten not made, that He was divine. Check the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, you will notice in the footnote that other ancient authorities do not include the term begotten. In fact, in the RSV it simply says the only Son of God and the term begotten is dropped. The term begotten was dropped. The term begotten would not have been dropped had it not been for the discovery made by the Biblical scholars that occurred when this word was not authentic. But only if you take the word only son, it makes a big difference. One must understand the context of the Bible cannot be taken literally, saying that others who are called the son of God are different. Because in the Bible, Abraham was called the first born son of God, Moses was also the don God, or my first born, Israel and David, were called the first born sons of God. If we take it literally, we are in an impossible situation, they all cannot be first born.
Dr. Badawi is very excited that the RSV edition drops the word "begotten" and says:
The key term here, which is often made into an issue by the Jehovah's Witnesses, and Muslims who borrow their arguments, is the Greek word "monogenes". The Greek manuscripts of John 3:16 are consistent. The word "begotten" is one of English translations of the Greek word "monogenes" which means "only", or "one of a kind" and the scholars are debating whether it also can mean "only begotten". For a detailed discussion see this dictionary entry. Jesus is called God's "only Son" in any case.
Jamal Badawi: If we take the term and equate it to divinity, the British Parliament is full of Gods because they are Lords. The term Lord means human master. In the Hebrew tradition, it refers to a teacher. When we talk about Lord as equal to divinity, we are talking about the one and only Lord of the Universe and that is God. The fact that Jesus was called Lord has nothing to do with divinity.
Once again, we need to look at the context. The logic used by Badawi and the Jehovah's Witnesses are (premise a) the title "Lord" is used to refer to men; (premise b) the Lord Jesus used this title - therefore, the Lord Jesus is a man. This logic is highly flawed. As Dr. Badawi mentioned, the term "Lord" can be used to refer to Jesus and as a title of peerage in the United Kingdom. Lord also refers to God, as Jesus used the term in Luke 4:18-21:
The fact that the term"Lord" is used to refer to Jesus does not negate His divinity, the term actually proves His divinity when read in context. How does the Bible use the term "Lord" (or kurios in Greek) to refer to Jesus?
According to Matthew 12:8, Jesus claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath:
The Sabbath is the day God Himself created and set aside. In this verse, Jesus clearly claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath. Therefore, the Lord Jesus claimed that the Sabbath is a holy day to Himself, thereby making Himself equal to God and divine.
According to Acts 10:36, Jesus is the Lord of all:
Who, other than God, can be the Lord of all things?
According to John 13:14, Jesus is the Lord of the believers:
Not only is Jesus claiming to be the Lord, He also claims to be the Master! Have any other Prophets made this claim?
According to Revelation 17:14, Jesus is the Lord of Lords:
According to 1 Corinthians 2:8, Jesus is the Lord of Glory:
According to John 5:22, Jesus is the Lord of Judgement:
According to John 5:21, Jesus is the Lord of Life:
And last, but most certainly not least, Jesus is both Lord and God according to John 20:27-29:
Now Dr. Badawi, has the term "Lord" been used in the Bible to refer to anyone other than Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is these ways? It is amazing how Dr. Badawi, and the Jehovah's Witnesses who originated many of these arguments, conveniently ignore these passages while they are attempting to "argue from the Bible"!
Jamal Badawi: It can never be equated with divinity or with God. Go back to the origin in the Bible. The Hebrew word Moschiach which is equivalent to Masih in Arabic and Christos in Greek. If you refer to the original Hebrew, it means someone who is appointed, chosen or anointed. It was a custom to anoint kings with oil. It has nothing to do with divinity. Psalm 2:2, David was referred to as anointed. In Isaiah 45:1, Cyrus is the anointed. There are many Messiahs in the Bible. The thing that causes confusion is that when the Bible speaks of Jesus it use capital M in Messiah. It talks about other people and it is translated as anointed. There seems to be an attempt to put Jesus in a different category even though the terms are identical.
Once again, Badawi uses the same flawed logic: Men (and even objects) are called Messiah in the Bible, Jesus is call Messiah in the Bible - therefore, Jesus is a man. Wrong again! The term Messiah, or Mashiach (meaning "Anointed One") in Hebrew, is both a title as well as an action performed.
The Qur'an uses the term without any clue of its meaning. The Jews believed that the Messiah would be greater than any other prophet who came before Him and He would be the long-awaited Ruler and Deliverer, God's supremely Anointed One, whose origin was from of old and whose rule over the whole universe would last forever. They expected him to arrive from heaven.
When Jesus was born, the Jews were awaiting the coming of this Messiah. After all, the Jews had been ruled by foreign powers for centuries beginning with the Persians, then the Greeks, and finally the Romans. The Jews hated foreign (gentile rule) and hoped for their coming Messiah. They believed he would come as a conquering king and would establish a Jewish nation on earth. What was the Jewish concept of the Messiah during the time of Jesus? In Matthew 26:63, the High Priest of the Jews used the titles Messiah and Son of God simultaneously when asking Jesus if he was the Messiah:
Sadly, many Jews did not read their own scriptures to get an accurate picture of the Messiah and His mission. Like the Muslims, they used a term that they simply did not understand. Honestly Dr. Badawi, do any of the other people (or objects) that were called Messiah in the Bible equal the Glory of Jesus Christ?
Jamal Badawi: The first thing to discuss is if it is true and from my knowledge of the Bible it is not true. In 2 Kings 14:5 we find that Joaz was called the savior. Not only this savior has nothing to do with divinity, it is use in the plural. In the Book of Obadiah 1:21, it says saviors shall go up to Mount Zion. In Nehemiah 9:27 its says thou gave them saviors. But even if we take the term to save from sin, the Old Testament, Isaiah 43:2 and 11 God says I am the Lord and besides me there is no savior. In verse 13, no one can deliver from my hand. Verse 14, God is the redeemer.
Actually, 2 Kings 14:15 says:
Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the LORD's
Where is the forgiveness of sins mentioned here?
So you handed them over to their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.
This passage refers to the delivery from the enemies, not sin!
When Jesus said that He could forgive sins, He showed His divinity since, as the Old Testament clearly says, only God can forgive sins.
Not true, there is a great deal of evidence of the triune nature of God in the Old Testament
Now Dr. Badawi brings out the old Muslim argument that the Bible has been changed or "corrupted". Do the different wordings of Mark and Matthew make any difference in the meaning of the Bible and the understanding of the nature of Jesus?
The places are for those for whom this has been prepared. Compare this to the same story in Matthew 20:23:
One addition appears, for whom it has been prepared by my Father. My father is added, showing the elevation.
The passages both say that it is not for God the Son to grant. The passage from Mark does not mention the Father, however, one could logically deduce that He is the One who prepared the places.
One important addition : the Son of the living God. It does not exist in Mark.
Once again, a distinction with a difference. The term Christ implies that He is the Son of God.
compare Matthew 17:4:
A stronger term Lord is used.
You mentioned in another segment that Lord can also mean teacher, so what is the difference here?
compare Matthew 16:28:
The Son of Man is different. This is also not true because those in His lifetime did not see the second coming of the Son of Man.
First, the "kingdom of God come with power" and the second coming of the Son of Man describe they same prophecy according to Daniel 7:13-14 :
Second, when Jesus said that some would not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom, He was promising that those alive at that time would see the firm establishment and victorious progress of His Church, the establishment of the new kingdom of Christ, which was destined to work the greatest of all changes on this earth. This was also a pledge and promise of His final coming in glory.
Jesus is addressed as teacher
compare Matthew 17:15:
He is addressed as Lord
As in the earlier example, this is a distinction without a difference. The first time that I heard these arguments was from my Jehovah's Witness classmates in Junior Highschool.
Jesus is used
Son of David is used. In the RSV, there is a mention that some editing took place.
Mark 1:1 The RSV says that other ancient authorities omit the Son of God.
Yet, the RSV retains this term!
In the RSV, it says that some early authorities add your sisters. When you say that your brothers are waiting, it could be as Jesus said that anyone who does the will of God is my brother, but when you add sisters, it could mean that Mary had children after Jesus. Somebody wanted to tone it down because if Jesus had brothers and sisters that would be a problem for the Son of God.
Jesus did have brothers according to the Bible! These brothers and sisters were conceived in the normal way and their existence does not detract from, or negate, the divinity of Jesus.
Jamal Badawi: The reference to perfection is what has been said about Jesus by Peter and to what extent can we accept statements made by others? In 2 Peter 1:19, Jesus is described as a lamb without blemish. However, if you look at Matthew 5:48 it says you therefore must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. It is obvious that Jesus was not speaking about perfection in the absolute sense, that applies to God alone. When we say that Jesus is perfect, he is not the only human, nor does perfection mean divinity at all. When we speak about prophets, we are talking about human perfection.
Once again, Dr. Badawi cannot see the forest for the trees! The theme of blood sacrifice is very important in the Old Testament, and was the method by which God instructed the Hebrews to atone for their sins. The animals that were brought for the blood sacrifice had to be spotless. Following this theme, Jesus is the pure sacrifice upon which our sins were placed, and through whom we are forgiven by God. It amazes me that the Qur'an says very little about this important theme of the Bible. If God is the author of the Qur'an, why did He forget this important idea which He previously stressed for thousands of years?
Jamal Badawi: If we say that the Bible prophesied the coming of Jesus and this means divinity, how do we explain Malachi 4:5 we find a prophecy of John the Baptist, if we say that this means divinity? To say that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, we find that the Bible says that there were others who were filled. Acts 11:24, St. Barnabas was filled of the Holy Spirit, there are other references. In Mark 1:15 it says that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother's womb.
Dr. Badawi conlcudes with another example of his faulty logic. Other men were filled with the Holy Spirit (who is at work today), Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit - therefore Jesus is a man. Once again, this is wrong.
Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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