Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"

Did Jesus Claim Divinity VI : Jesus Denies Godhood


In this segment, Dr. Badawi attempts to prove, through the misquotation of the Bible, that Jesus denied that He was divine.

Host: Is there corroborating evidence from the Bible?

Jamal Badawi: The evidence is overwhelming, let us begin with some basic points of agreement between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is my understanding that these three community, there are divine attributes which are indisputable:

1. The divinity of the creator is always with him

2. It cannot be tested, he tests. The divine should know the unseen.

3. The divine is not like the creatures, no change.

4. We pray to a power greater than us, one who prays cannot be divine

Jesus indicated clearly in the Bible that he was a man and not divine.

Then please explain Matthew 26:63-65:

But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.""Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.

Matthew 4:1-11. We are told that Jesus was tempted by Satan who offered Jesus the kingdoms and after he failed, the angels came to minister to Jesus. It is pointless for Satan to try to tempt his creator. And what does he tempt him with, the things that he has already created? This doesn't seem to hold. Angels come to minister to the one who created them?

Jesus was fully God and fully man. His human body felt the hunger, thirst, and loneliness of 40 days of fasting and prayer. Satan believed that he could tempt Jesus and In the end, it was pointless for Satan to tempt the Son of God! In fact, Jesus told Satan:

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' Matthew 4:7

There is no denial of divinity in this verse! Also, by "ministering" to Jesus, the angels most likely brought Him food to eat. The Angels were created by God to serve. Even the throne of God is surrounded by angels (Revelation 7:11).

James 1:13

When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

He could not have been divine.

He was (and is divine) and Satan's plan to try to tempt Jesus failed - as Satan's plans [in the end] will always fail!

In Mark 13:32

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

and a similar statement in Matthew 24:36. And the knowledge of the unseen is a divine quality and Jesus was trying to say that he was only a human.

Perhaps Jesus did not know the hour because he assumed our human nature and, like all of us, needed to live by faith and obedience. Jesus could have been unaware of the hour simply because He did not want to know. I believe that Jesus was trying to tell us that it is presumptuous, for humans to attempt to determine ( by mathematical calculation and over-analyzing prophecy) what the Son of God did not know, or did not want to know.

In more than one occasion, we are told that Jesus prayed. In Mark 14:32, in verse 35 it said that he fell on the ground and prayed. To whom was Jesus praying? God does not pray to God. In verse 36, Jesus prayed to God that if he wished that God remove the cup, so that shows that even he did not know what was happening in spite of the claim that he foretold his death elsewhere, but here he did not know.

God the Son was speaking to God the Father. Jesus knew exactly what was to come and told His disciples on several occasions that He would be executed.

The question of non changeability of God, in Luke 2:52 :

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Is it possible of the divine to increase in knowledge and wisdom? Could God increase in favor with himself? In Luke 2:21:

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. /

Obviously the divine does not go through this process. The New Testament upholds the unchanging nature of God.

God told us, through His Prophet Isaiah:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel [God with us].Isaiah 7:14

The Word of God became flesh through Jesus Christ. Jesus was, as I said earlier, fully God and fully man. His human nature obviously means that He will grow, learn and be circumcised. By the way Dr. Badawi, when you say that Obviously the divine does not go through this process , are you telling God what He can do and what He cannot do? Do your definitions limit God?

In Mark 10:18 :

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.

Of course we believe that Jesus was good, but the one who was absolutely good is God. This means that Jesus was human, a submissive servant.

Once again, in his haste to distort the Bible in order to extract the meaning the that he desires, Dr. Badawi completely misses the point of the passage. Jesus does not deny that he is divine or that He is good. Jesus is simply asking this man, who praised Jesus: "Why do YOU call me good?" Jesus wants to know this man's motivation for praising Him. Is Jesus claiming the He is not good? No, he is simply telling this man not to attribute to Him any quality which he [the man] is ultimately not willing to accept and act upon in obedience. Jesus did not reject the attribute of goodness, which is appropriate for him. Jesus does not want "any praise", Jesus demands that the praise that is given to Him is genuine.

Host: Was Jesus actually referred to as a Prophet?

Jamal Badawi: Luke 7:16, Luke 24:19, John 6:14, John 6:40, Hebrews 3:1, Luke 13:33-34. Another terms is servant which is found in Acts 3:13, Acts 4:27 and 30. In Matthew 12:18 he referred to Jesus as God's servant as a prophecy in Isaiah. This means that he was submissive to god and not divine.

No. Jesus was a Prophet because, like other Prophets (and unlike Muhammad), He gave detailed predictions of future events which came true. Jesus was also the Son of God. That fact that Jesus was a Prophet, or that He was human, does not negate His divinity.

Jesus himself made a distinction between himself and God and that he never claimed equality.

He did?

What about John 10:30 where Jesus clearly said:

"I and the Father are one."?

Host: Can you show us that Jesus and God were not equal?

Jamal Badawi: In the letters of Paul 1 Corinthians 11:3:

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

The head of every man is Christ because he was the Prophet or spokesperson of his people, so Jesus is the head of those who believed in him. The head of Christ is God means one is superior to the other. The divine can have no superior. That means that Jesus was claiming to be a servant.

We are not talking about superior and inferior in these case. This passage refers to the concept of equality in nature. Jesus Christ submitted Himself to the Father. In other words, the principle of headship and submission is clearly established by God and this displayed both in marriage and in the Trinity. For example, the head of the woman is man. Is Paul telling us that the husband is a superior being to his wife? Of course not! The husband is greater than his wife by way of position but not by nature and the same applies to the Father and the Son. The Father is greater by position, but not better by nature.

1 Corinthians 8:6

yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

This is a clear distinction between God and Lord (Jesus). This is interesting, all prophets are creatures of Allah but the statement is clear that there is only one God.

Is it really a distinction? Paul is telling us that all things come from God AND Jesus and that we live for God AND for Jesus! Please read the Bible more carefully.

Host: Did Jesus make a distinction between God and himself which negates any claim of divinity?

Jamal Badawi: Matthew 23:8-10:

"But you are not to be called `Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth `father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called `teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.

This is revealing, when Jesus said you have only one teacher, he refers to himself. He referred to himself as master, and now the master is quit distinct from God because we only have one father who is different. If Jesus had the notion of Trinity or divinity, he would not have called God Father, he would have said that you only have one God a one person is God the Father. In the basic concept of Trinity or divinity, the assumption is that God is one but in the oneness there are three persons. The Father is one person of the three, so if Jesus meant that he is divine, he would not have used the term God as Father because Father is only one of three. Master does not mean divinity. The original Greek used the term for master meaning teacher Matthew 23:8-10 which translates as teacher or leader which does not mean divine. In the Arabic Bible neither be called teacher for you have one teacher who is Christ. Matthew 10:24:

"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.

Master was always used for Jesus, he was never called a disciple. In the first part, he describes his relationship with them, in the second part, he describes his relationship with God showing complete servitude. A great Christian author mentioned in a previous program who write articles in the Muslim world said that the first Christian preachers did not draw the conclusion that Jesus was God but was a man sent by God for an eternal role. This is from the book entitle "The Myth of God Incarnate" by John Hick. He adds that there are no themes of the Trinitarian doctrine in the Gospel according to Luke. Jesus was not God even though he was divine in some ways which doesn't really make sense. He said that Luke gives us a genealogy which shows Jesus subordinate to God, the rest of the New Testament use Christ. This is not a new interpretation to say that Jesus did not claim divinity.

The fact that Jesus is called a teacher, Rabbi, master, Son of God, Son of man, does not negate His divinity. Jesus was the Word of God, therefore He said what God would have said and did what God would have done. Also, I would hesitate to call John Hick a "great Christian author". Anyone who denies the divinity of Jesus cannot properly call himself or herself a Christian. I wonder how Dr. Badawi would respond if I quoted the "Ministers" of the "Nation of Islam" as great Muslim scholars? I would never do such a thing because this tactic is intellectually dishonest. I wonder also ask Dr. Badawi to take the same approach.

Andrew Vargo

Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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