In this final segment of "Did Jesus Claim Divinity", Dr. Badawi reviews his (or in reality, the Jehovah's Witness) arguments against the deity of Jesus. In his introduction, Dr. Badawi claims that Christians can only respond to his (actually they belong to the Jehovah's Witnesses) arguments in two ways: (1) use apologetics to "get around" his claims or (2) be "scholarly and objective" and believe his claims with question. Dr. Badawi then takes the writings (dated 1960) of an "Egyptian Orthodox" [I assume he is Coptic Orthodox] Priest name Reverend Johanna and attempts to rebut them. I have not read Reverend Johanna's works and have not been able to locate a copy of them. If you are interested in a more recent refutation of Dr. Badawi's [Jehovah's Witness] beliefs, please read Patrick Zukeran's Jehovah's Witnesses and the Trinity . However, let us examine Dr. Badawi's [Jehovah's Witness] claims.
Jamal Badawi: There are some clergy and theologians which take two approaches:
1. Apologetic Approach: An approach that attempts to shake any way of discounting this very clear and obvious statement that referred to last time and as such might go into length trying to get around, it looks that the entire theological committee decides which approach to take.
2. Try to take it on a more scholarly and objective basis, that there is nothing that said Jesus is divine.
Even George Orwell would have cringed at such an abuse of semantics! According to Badawi, those who disagree with his interpretation of the Bible (or to be more precise, the Jehovah's Witness' interpretation which Badawi borrows) are trying to "get around" the issue. On the other hand, if we want to be "scholarly and objective", we need to simply nod or heads in agreement!
Jamal Badawi: There are many examples. An Egyptian Orthodox Priest named Reverend Johanna in 1960 wrote that in the quotation in John 14:28 my father is greater than I, he goes around it and says that Jesus speaks about his human side not his divine side. This kind of logic is like saying divinity and humanity have united in Jesus. This is a question of hierarchy, divine is higher than divine with human nature. This is not acceptable because when we say that humanity and divinity are united, then we cannot contradict it by saying that God is greater. Nothing is superior to the divine.
Another response from this priest was that he said that this quotation, Jesus said no father is greater that I, not my God who is father in a state of God. That is a strange excuse, because father has been used in a different sense.
First of all, Jesus was both man and God, human and divine. Second, this passage has nothing to do with the question of hierarchy. The term greater refers to position, not nature. For example, in Philippians 2:6-8:
If Jesus wanted to say that He was inferior to God in nature, He would have said, "The Father is better than I."
In contrast to this, if we read Hebrews 1:4, it says (speaking of Jesus),
Notice here that Jesus is better than the angels, so the term superior is used. Once again, the term greater refers to position, not nature.
Jamal Badawi: If we assume that there is a verse where Jesus says that God is in the state of Father, that does not prove divinity because others have called God Father. Yes he did,
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama SABACHTHANI?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Jesus spoke to God and God does not speak to or pray to God. According to the Bible, at the end of Jesus' mission on earth, after the resurrection, Jesus said that he was going ascent to his God and our God, his Father and our Father according to John 20:10. When we were talking about John 14:28, Jesus said my Father, not my God, which proves divinity now is shifting because it can be argued on different grounds.
Host: What different grounds are you referring to?
Jamal Badawi: In Mark 15: 34, Why have you forsaken me, Jesus said this by virtue of his human nature, and when he says why have you forsaken me, he speaks also by virtue of his divinity because he is sinless. Jesus is saying that I am not being punished because I am the Son of God, I am a substitute. This is what I mean by shifting grounds, father used to be more important because Jesus said Father and not my God, I doubt that anyone has made sense of this explanation.
How do the last words of Jesus negate his deity? Jesus knew that He would die on the cross and He mentioned this to His disciples many times (Mark 10:45, Matthew 26:2, and Matthew 26:28). Incidentally, to reach this point in the argument, we must accept the fact that Jesus was nailed to the cross. Are you now taking this position Dr. Badawi?
Jamal Badawi: In his [Reverend Johanna] commentary on Mark 13:32:
This is where Jesus denied that he knew the hour an attribute of the divine. He goes around by saying that Jesus did not know the hour in a way that he could tell you, he did not wish to declare it. That is putting too much wording in a text that was clear, if this were true, Jesus would have said that I and the Father know but we cannot tell you for whatever reasons.
If Jesus had known the hour, He would have either told His followers or told them that they did not need to know this information. 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.
Actually, these statements proved divinity. For example, John 5:19:
What Jesus is saying is these verses is that he can duplicate every act of God! This makes Him equal to God and, therefore, divine. Think about it for a moment! A good "son" is always obedient to his "father". He is always doing his father's will and acting like him ( John 8:37-47). Jesus often pointed to His works as clear and conclusive evidence of the fact that He is the Son of God. He said: "If I am not acting as my Father would, do not believe me. But if I am, accept the evidence of my deeds, even if you do not believe me, so that you may recognise and know that the Father is in me, and I in the Father" (John 10:37). Jesus did the works of God, His Father, acting exactly as God would have acted.
Once again, the will of God the Father and Jesus are the same. This is not only Reverend Johanna's personal opinion, this is exactly what the Bible says.
It does not negate divinity, Jesus was both God and man. His human nature caused Him to feel great fear and dread concerning His impending suffering and death on the cross.
The will of the Father is the same as the will of the Son.
There is no distinction: John 5:19:
There is only the will of God the Father which is the same as the will of God the Son.
No, His will was the same as His Father's, which is why He obediently went to the cross to die for my sins and your sins.
I had this same discussion with a Jehovah's Witness a few weeks ago when I was cutting my lawn. The fact is that the will of God the Father and God the Son were the same. Jesus went to the cross in obedience to this will.
No. Jesus was asking the man why do YOU call me good? In other words, what are YOUR motives for addressing me in this way? When Jesus said that only God was good, He was not suggesting the He was bad or not divine, He was simply telling this man not to use a term, such as good, unless the man truly wished to aspire to this virtue.
Jamal Badawi: He makes round about statements. He says that it does not reveal the trinity because the purpose was to negate false Gods, there is no statement about the Trinity or that God will at some point in history enter as a human, it is not sustained by the text.
There is a great amount of proof in the Old Testament for the Trinity
Jamal Badawi: It is amazing, Paul, as we quoted before, referred to Jesus as One God and my Lord 1 Corinthians 8:6:
and now he tries to answer that by saying that God and Christ are divine and in any case Paul referred to Jesus as Lord which means he is divine. As we discussed before, Lord means master not divine. Another example is Paul referred to Jesus as the image of the invisible God, in Galatians 1:15:
we know that image is not the same as reality. Image is less than reality. We have to read this in the context of the Bible because Adam was created in the image of God.
Of course Christians believe in One God, I doubt that Reverend Johanna denied that fact. We also believe that God has a Word [Jesus] and a Spirit. That is what the Trinity is!
Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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