Response to Ghounem’s Critique of my Rebuttal of Shabir Ally's Article
"Some Forgotten Sayings of Jesus (Peace be Upon him)"
My response to Shabir Ally's article is found here.
Mohamed Ghounem attempts to rebut my article but instead chases straw men, throws red herrings, makes categorical fallacies, commits the fallacy of false dilemma, as well as making out of context quotations. We will demonstrate that he has failed to rebut any of my points and has not addressed the issues addressed in my initial response to Shabir. Ghounem's claims below were made via email to me. He has so far not published his critique on the web.
This ignores a basic fundamental Christian teaching, namely that the Bible does not teach that Jesus is only God, but rather that Jesus is God who also became man for our salvation.
If Jesus was both God and a servant to humans for the purpose of saving us, then at the very least, Jesus would save the children, which the Bible describes Jesus as having apathy for the lives of children as detailed in [Mt. 2:8-16] King Harrod ordered all the children of Bethlaham to be killed in hopes of slaying Jesus, instead of Jesus stopping the genocide of 2 year olds, Jesus prolonged it by hiding in Egypt until all the kids were killed.
Jesus did not come the first time to save us from the temporal effects of sin, but from eternal separation caused by disobedience to the will of God. Hence, Christ came to serve God and man by laying his life down as a ransom for others, saving them from the eternal wrath of God:
"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, BECAUSE HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS." Matthew 1:21
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45
"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him." 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
The Lord Jesus is coming again, this time to destroy the wicked and the morally corrupt, delivering his people from the hands of the enemies of God:
"Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you." 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10
"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Hebrews 9:27-28
Furthermore, God in his sovereignty has determined that man shall suffer on earth the penalty that is brought on through the misuse of his will. This includes the effects that wicked men such as Herod and Hitler bring upon humanity due to their rebellion. Yet, God has appointed a day when such men will be called into account for every filthy, vile, wicked act they have committed and receive the due reward for such abominations:
"In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." Acts 17:30-31
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God GAVE THEM OVER IN THE SINFUL DESIRES OF THEIR HEARTS to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO SHAMEFUL LUSTS. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, HE GAVE THEM OVER TO A DEPRAVED MIND, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:18-32
This passage affirms that one consequence of God’s wrath is to hand sinners over to their filthy desires. This implies that God determines that the wicked continue to act corruptly, indulging in their own immoral desires where God will then unleash the fullness of his divine wrath upon them on the day appointed for judgment.
"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Finally, this is an excellent example of red herring argumentation since Herod’s slaughtering children from 2 and under has no correlation to the issue at hand, namely the Deity of Christ.
By becoming man, Jesus completely subjected himself to his Father and became his servant.
Jesus became a servant to himself? Who is in control of who? Does Jesus control God or does God control Jesus, this is a loop where detailed examination reveals that God controled Jesus, hence Jesus was less than God.
Here Ghounem commits the straw man fallacy since historic Trinitarian Christianity does not teach that Jesus served himself, since this implies that Jesus is the only person who is God to the exclusion of the Father and the Holy Spirit. Rather, Jesus was serving the person of the Father who, along with the Holy Spirit, is a member of the triune Godhead.
Ghounem also commits a categorical fallacy, confusing function with essence. This also entails the fallacy of false dilemma, that Christ cannot be God in nature while functioning in the role of a servant. Christ is equal with the Father in nature, yet subject to him in position.
This is a clear demonstration of the infinite love of God for his people. Simply put, God has chosen to assume the role of a servant in order to demonstrate both his transcendence and immanence:
"For this is what the high and lofty One says- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'" Isaiah 57:15
The Incarnation of the eternal Son is the greatest demonstration of God's love for the lowly in spirit and his desire to dwell with them:
"When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, 'Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and "sinners"?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" Matthew 9:11-13
Thus far, Ghounem has not dealt with the real issues.
In his role as a servant, Jesus could only do that which his Father commanded him to do.
Does God obey commandments? Was God speaking to Himself? Why would God order himself to do things? Especially to order himself to be killed by Jews? Why would God order himself to die? Isn't suicide a sin in Christianity? Or is it;
Again, Ghounem commits the straw man fallacy since Jesus was not obeying himself, which would again imply that he is the only person in the Godhead. Rather, he was obeying the Father who is a distinct person from the Son. Ghounem once more commits the fallacy of false dilemma, namely that Jesus cannot be God if he came to obey commands given to him by God. Yet, the Holy Bible clearly teaches that there are three distinct, yet inseparable persons who are this one eternal God. As such, the three persons have interpersonal communion amongst themselves, being the objects of the others' love.
Since there are three persons, it is not surprising that one person gives commands for the others to fulfill. This is the whole purpose of the Incarnation of the Son, namely to fulfill the will of the Father that sent him.
"And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched" Mark 9:43
This of course was a common practice in recent centuries by Christian Monks who would often castrate themselves.
Another red herring since Mark 9:43 has absolutely nothing to do with the Deity of Christ. Furthermore, it is irrelevant to discuss the practice of monks in correlation to this verse, since the verse must be interpreted in light of its immediate historical and cultural context. When this is done, it then becomes evident that Jesus was using common Semitic expressions that included metaphor, allegory, parable, hyperbole etc. The passage is not to be taken literally.
Yet, two passages that are taken literally is the Quranic injunction to chop off the necks, hands and feet of unbelievers:
"The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom;" S. 5:33
"When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger." S. 8:12
First, it is not true that everyone can call God their Father, but only those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Messiah:
In other words, Abraham is going to Hell because he never knew Jesus yet called God his Father in the Bible, along with many other -Prophets from God- ;
Let us see if whether Abraham did not know Jesus:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad." John 8:56
"The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, AND ANNOUNCED THE GOSPEL IN ADVANCE TO ABRAHAM: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’" Galatians 3:8
The Holy Bible clearly testifies that the prophets and believers of old knew of the redemption that was to come in the person of Christ, and based on the faith they had in the fulfillment of that promise they were declared righteous by God:
"But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it." Matthew 13:16-17
"You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life." John 5:39-40
"Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me." John 5:45-46
"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, TO WHICH THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS TESTIFY. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." Romans 3:21-26
"The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched AND INQUIRED ABOUT THIS SALVATION; they inquired what person or time was indicated BY THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST WITHIN THEM WHEN PREDICTING THE SUFFEREINGS OF CHRIST AND SUBSEQUENT GLORY. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look." 1 Peter 1:10-12
That God could justify them on the merits of Christ stems primarily from the fact that the death of Jesus for sinners had already transpired in eternity, and was then revealed in time and space:
"but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake." 1 Peter 1:19-20
"All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast- all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." Revelation 13:8
Secondly, Ghounem attacks a straw man and quotes out of the intended context in which I wrote my statement. I was responding to Shabir's assertion that according to the NT, and more specifically the apostle Paul, anyone can call God their father. Here is what I did in fact say to demonstrate Ghounem’s red herrings and straw man arguments:
Jesus, at the end of his mission, made it clear that God is not only His father, but father of all, and God of all, and even his own God whom he worshipped throughout his earthly career.
First, it is not true that everyone can call God their Father, but only those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Messiah:
Jesus indicates that the reason why these unbelieving Jews were of the devil is because they had rejected his divine, messianic claims. Hence, all who reject the deity of Christ is not of God: Please read THIS ARTICLE.
Had Ghounem also continued to read the same article carefully, he would have found the following qualification:
(It should be stated that we are not implying that no one before Christ ever addressed God as their Father since there certainly were individuals that did. [Cf. Psalm 89:26-27; Isaiah 63:16-17; Malachi 2:10] Rather, after the advent of Christ no one can come into a relationship with God as Father without believing that Jesus is the divine Messiah)
I had already anticipated Ghounem’s response and that is why in the very same article I had given the above clarification. So far, Ghounem has chased after straws.
"... What shall I do when my heavenly Father hath so commanded me? (Sifra to Lev; Qedoshim 20,26)
"... Since I have done the will of Abba who is in the Heavens "(Lev R para 32)
".... These buffetings have made me Love my heavenly father" (Midr.Tehillim 12:5)"
"I will exalt the lord saying 'thou art my father" (ibid 51:10)
"Beloved are Israel for they are called Son of the Highest" (Aboth 3:3)
lets now see what the Jews wrote in their Apocryphal books .
"But thy providence O Father Governeth it" (Wis. 14:3)
"O Lord , Father and God of my life.."(Eccl 23:4)
The term "Our Father which art in Heaven" is one of the three major forms of the address in Jewish liturgy.
(The following verse is God talking to David about Solomon)" I will be His Father and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. (Chronicles 17:13)
It is the Christians arrogance towards their own Bible which makes them assume the world revolves around Jesus and that only those who knew he was born can call God their "father", contrary to the Christian's beliefs, Prophets in the Bible were calling God their "Father" centuries before Mary was even born.
Actually, had he read my article clearly Ghounem would have seen that the Holy Bible teaches that after the advent of the Messiah no one can enter into a relationship with God as Father without embracing Jesus as Lord. Furthermore, in the very same article I noted that whereas others enter into a relationship with God as their Father, Jesus' relationship with God is not something derived but eternal:
"The reason for the distinction is that whereas the disciples' sonship is derived through faith in Christ, Jesus' sonship is not something derived but is eternal:
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." John 6:38
"I am the living bread which came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh." John 6:51
"for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father. I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and going to the Father." John 16:27-28
"And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world." John 17:5
Finally, whereas the Father has always been the God of the disciples, he was not always Jesus' God since Christ was not always man. Before the Incarnation, the relationship was one of Father and Son, not of God and servant."
Perhaps Ghounem can address the real issues, instead of chasing after straws.
No one can come into a relationship with God as Father without believing that Jesus is the divine Messiah
the word -divine- is inserted here, there are no verses in the Bible demanding to believe Jesus is a -divine- Messiah, only to believe he is the (Messiah for the Jews) a annointed one, which also means rubbebd with oil. Furthermore, Christians here belittle the relationship between God and his other servants; to call God your Dad is all fine and dandy, but I would rather have a *EverLasting Covenant* as Abraham who was before Christ had;
The divine Messiah is something inferred from the Holy Bible, since the scriptures clearly teach that the Messiah is not just a human messenger. Rather, the inspired scriptures teach that the Messiah is God coming in the flesh. As we quote the Hebrew text, we will also give the rabbinical interpretation to avoid the accusation that these passages do not refer to the Messiah:
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Father of Eternity (abi ad), The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
"For to us a Son is born, to us a Son is given; and His name is called from of old, Wonderful, Counselor, Eloha (God, Arabic- Allah), The Mighty, Abiding to Eternity, THE MESSIAH, because peace shall be multiplied on us in His days." Targum Jonathan
"Behold the days come, saith the LORD that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch... And this is his name whereby he will be called: JEHOVAH (YHWH) OUR Righteousness." Jeremiah 23:5-6
"What is the name of the KING MESSIAH? R. Abba son of Kohana said, 'JEHOVAH', for it is written: This is HIS name whereby HE shall be called, JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Midrash On Ezekiel 48:35; Targum Jonathan
This in itself is sufficient to establish the case that the Messiah is the eternal God who was to become man for our salvation. Hence, the epithet "Divine Messiah" is thoroughly biblical. Ghounem proceeds to introduce red herrings, bringing up the issue of the everlasting covenant into our discussion of the Deity of Christ:
Ge 17:13both he that is born in your house and he that is bought with your money, shall be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant."
Father son relationships are mortal, I would rather have an Imortal relationship with God. No matter how intimate the relationship was between God and Jesus or the followers of Jesus, Abraham has something that is EverLasting, that is what I would rather have :-)
How this relates to Jesus' divinity is beyond me.
" But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins' Mark 2:3, 5-12
Jesus was given this authority by God as other Prophets were given authority to do things only God can do;
Wrong. Jesus in this passage does not say that the authority to forgive sins was something given to him by God. In fact, if anything this is what he should have said since the accusation against him was that he was claiming to do something that only God could do. Yet, Jesus never corrects this notion but proceeds to reinforce it.
"For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak." [John 12:49]
Again, Ghounem obviously has not read the article he claims to be responding to since I had already addressed this issue. Here it is again in case Ghounem missed it:
"Shabir commits a categorical fallacy, since he fails to distinguish between Jesus as God and Jesus in his role as a servant. As God's servant, Jesus willingly made himself nothing and subjected his will to the Father. Hence, as God's faithful servant Jesus did only what his God and Father commanded.
Furthermore, since Jesus was man as well as God he could both learn and grow in relation to his human consciousness.
Therefore, Shabir commits the fallacy of false dilemma since he takes the limitations of Jesus' human nature and imposes it on his divine nature.
Finally, Shabir exposes an ignorance of what Trinitarian theology entails. Trinitarians do not believe that the three Persons function independently, but rather they work in perfect harmony and unity. Hence, any references of Jesus doing what is commanded of him reinforces the Trinitarian understanding of God."
To reinforce the last part of my argument, here is my response to Badawi's paper where he uses the same argument against the Deity of Christ:
"It is here where Badawi exposes his lack of credibility to seriously critique the Holy Bible. Had Badawi done any type of in-depth scholarly research he would have realized that the belief in the deity of Christ does not require the fact that Jesus acts on his own authority. Instead, the biblical teaching is that the three Persons of the Godhead do not act independently or on their own authority. Rather, the three Persons work in perfect harmony and unity, since they are one in all things. For them to work independently would imply that they were three separate beings as opposed to three distinct Persons inseparably united in one Being. Hence, these references serve to reinforce, rather than deny, the biblical witness to the tri-unity of God.
In fact, this is precisely the whole point of Jesus' discourse in John 5:19-23:
"Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, THE SON DOES LIKEWISE. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, SO ALSO THE SON GIVES LIFE TO WHOMEVER HE WISHES. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, SO THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON JUST AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him."
Jesus does nothing on his own, but everything that his Father does he can do. Much like his Father, Jesus is able to give eternal life, raise the dead and judge all men. In order for Jesus to be able to do all the works that his Father can do, he must be God since the Father does things that only God can do. This is precisely what Trinitarians believe, that Jesus works in perfect unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit since all three are equally God in nature, having the same infinite power to accomplish all that they purpose to do. (cf. John 16:13) (Please read this article for more information)
Hopefully, Ghounem will no longer misrepresent what Trinitarians believe and stick to the real issues.
Only God can control the Universe, yet God gave previous Prophets the authority to control the Universe;
Joshua stopped the sun and moon for one whole day (Joshua 10:12-13)
First, nowhere does this passage say that JOSHUA CONTROLLED THE UNIVERSE. Rather, the passage states that GOD caused the sun to remain still in response to Joshua’s prayer:
"So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The LORD said to Joshua, 'Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.’ After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, THE LORD HURLED LARGE HAILSTONES DOWN ON THEM FROM THE SKY, AND MORE OF THEM DIED FROM THE HAILSTONES THAN WERE KILLED BY THE SWORDS OF THE ISRAELITES. On the day THE LORD GAVE THE AMORITES OVER TO ISRAEL, Joshua SAID TO THE LORD in the presence of Israel: 'O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.' So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, A DAY WHEN THE LORD LISTENED TO A MAN. SURELY THE LORD WAS FIGHTING FOR ISRAEL!" Joshua 10:7-14
Ghounem had to misinterpret the passage in order to arrive at the fact that Joshua had control over the universe.
Second, Ghounem again attacks a straw man since I never said that Jesus was God due to his miracles. Hence, to bring up the fact that other prophets performed miracles is completely irrelevant. For a discussion on this very topic see: This article
Third, Jesus, unlike Joshua or anyone else for that matter, actually sovereignly sustains and controls the universe:
"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.'" Matthew 28:18
"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:16-17
"but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." Hebrews 1:2-3
Hence, Jesus can do what God alone is able to do. Interestingly, the Quran also claims that it is Allah who inherits the earth:
"And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death, and We are THE HEIRS." S. 15:23
"Lo! We, only We, inherit the earth and all who are thereon, and unto Us they are returned." S. 19:40
Question. Since Allah claims that he is the heir of the earth, what does this make Jesus?
(Note- In case Ghounem wants to argue that in Matthew 28:18 Jesus is given authority please read my response to this argument: and as well as this one)
"Consequently, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." Mark 2:28
For Jesus to be the Lord of the Sabbath meant that he was Yahweh God since the Sabbath was instituted for the service of Yahweh. (cf. Leviticus 2:23)
Christians commonly take verses out of context as they do in Mark, if they had read the following verse, they would see that Jesus is saying all men are Lords of the Sabath;
"And he said to them, The sabbath was made on account of man, not man on account of the sabbath; so that the Son of man is lord of the sabbath also." [Mark 2:27-28] (Darby Bible)
"And he said to them, The sabbath was made on account of man, not man on account of the sabbath; so that the Son of man is lord of the sabbath also." [Mark 2:27-28] (Darby Bible)
There is not a single place in the entire Bible where it says that men are Lords of the Sabbath. This is false. We challenge Ghounem to present just one verse where it says this. Ghounem assumes that since Sabbath was made for man, this makes man the Lord of the Sabbath. This is simply erroneous.
Whereas the Sabbath was designed to benefit man, allowing him to rest from his physical labor and be refreshed, the fact is that Yahweh alone is sovereign over the Sabbath. Man was to rest on the Sabbath by worshiping God and experiencing the peace and tranquility that comes from serving the Creator. It is in this aspect that man was to benefit from the Sabbath. (cf. Exodus 31:12-17)
This is similar to Jesus calling all Jews "Gods";
Joh 10:34"Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?"
Furthermore, Surely God would not call himself a God and a son of man in the same verse, if so, he would be contradicting what was previously written in the Bible;
Ghounem again twists the scriptures since Jesus NEVER CALLED THE JEWS GODS! Christ was quoting Psalm 82:6-7 where it speaks of the Israelite Judges as Gods in a figurative sense due to their representing God and enforcing his commands. For a thorough look at the way the term God is used in the Holy Bible, read our Biblical Monotheism Examined.
Secondly, whereas the term "God" is used to refer to different persons with different meanings in different contexts, the term "Lord of the Sabbath" is never used of anyone beside the Lord Jesus Christ. So Ghounem commits a false analogy. He attempts to attribute the different usage of the term "God" to "Lord of the Sabbath" in order to arrive at his conclusion.
Nu 23:19 "God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?
We wonder what does this passage have to do with the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ? In case Ghounem is trying to prove that Jesus cannot be God since he was also man, we defer him to our following article.
This also commits the fallacy of false dilemma, namely that Jesus cannot be God since he was also man. It seems to have never dawned on him that Jesus is God who chose to become man, while never ceasing to be God.
Jesus Is David's Lord:
"And Jesus answering them began to say, as He taught in the temple, 'How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself said in the Holy Spirit, "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, until I put Thine enemies beneath Thy feet.'" David himself calls Him "Lord"; and so in what sense is He his son?'..." Mark 12:35-37
This is another common phrase in those days which is taken way to literally by Christians;
Many other Prophets were called Lord for example;
Abraham (Genesis 18:12)
Esau (Genesis 32:4)
Joseph (Genesis 44:20)
David (1 Samuel 25:24)
Once again, it seems that Ghounem has either not read my arguments carefully or chooses to deliberately misrepresent my points. I had made the following statement in relation to Jesus being David’s Lord:
"The only way for the Messiah to be both the son of David and his Lord is if he was both divine and human at the same time."
So my original point still stands, namely how could David have addressed Messiah as his Lord when Messiah had not come upon the scene at the time David had written this particular Psalm? Furthermore, here is an additional argument relating to John 20:28 but which also ties in with the above passage taken from my second response to Badawi alluded above:
Secondly, the phrase "My Lord and My God" (Greek- ho kyrios mou kai ho theos mou), and its various forms, is used elsewhere in relation to one person, not two:
"Wake up! Bestir yourself for my defense, for my cause, my God and my Lord! (ho theos mou kai ho kyrios mou)" Psalms 35:23 (As translated in the Greek Septuagint Version [LXX])
"You are worthy, our Lord and God (ho kyrios kai ho theos hemon), to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." Revelation 4:11
The fact that the phrase is used to refer to one person as opposed to two, along with the fact that Christ blesses Thomas' declaration affirms that John 20:28 is clearly addressing Christ as Lord and God. For a Jew to call anyone his Lord and God would be blasphemy because to the Jew only Jehovah could ever be addressed in such a manner. (please read this article for more information)
The point is that the phrase "My Lord" is used only once in the Hebrew text of the Psalms, whereas the Greek Septuagint also uses it in Psalm 35:23 to refer to Yahweh. For David in the Psalms to then use the title in relation to the Messiah affirms the Deity of the son of David.
Secondly, Ghounem equivocates on the term Lord and assumes that it has the same meaning when used of Christ as it does in relation to the prophets. Yet, it seems to have never dawned on him that the term Lord carries the same meaning when used of Christ as it does when used for God. We have already documented elsewhere that Lord when used of Christ refers to his Deity: (Please read this article)
Yet, for the sake of response we provide just one example here for our readers:
"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." 1 Corinthians 8:6
Paul uses the terms "God" and "Lord" interchangeably in affirming that both the Father and Son are the one God, Yahweh. This is evident in light of the fact that the Old Testament states that Yahweh alone created all things:
"This is what the LORD says- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who ALONE stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by MYSELF…" Isaiah 44:24
Furthermore, Paul claims that our existence and life come from the Father through the Son, implying equality in essence and nature. Hence, Lord here can only mean that Jesus is Yahweh God.
Is Jesus actually teaching people not to praise him more than a human being deserves to be praised? Well, let us see what Jesus actually says:
Instead Christians praise statues of the human Jesus?
Wrong! Christians do not praise the human Jesus, but glorify the person of Jesus who was both God and man at the same time. So again, Ghounem attacks another straw man.
Jesus demands a devotion that is to be given solely to God. It should be stated that this request from Jesus was made right after the man had indicated his total devotion to the Mosaic law. For Jesus to then come back and demand that the man should abandon all he has and follow him is either blasphemous, or affirms that Jesus believed that he was God.
When Moses told the children of Israel to follow him, this was no indication that Moses believed he was a God. Moses was led by God similar to the way Jesus was led by God;
I guess Ghounem failed to appreciate my point in spite of the fact that he read it. Let me repeat it again this time highlighting the main arguments:
"Jesus demands a devotion that is to be given solely to God. It should be stated that this request from Jesus was made right after the man had indicated his total devotion to the Mosaic law. For Jesus to then come back and demand that the man should abandon all he has and follow him is either blasphemous, or affirms that Jesus believed that he was God."
Can Ghounem show us a single place where any prophet in the Holy Bible called individuals to wholehearted devotion to himself or herself as opposed to the Law? Can Ghounem show us where Moses demanded such devotion seeing that he himself was under the Law, not above it as Jesus was? Here are few examples:
First of all, Jesus explicitly said he came to inaugurate the New Covenant, which, according to the passages in the Tanakh/OT, replaced the Old Covenant.
"And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.'" Luke 22.20
Secondly, he explicitly declared the ritual issues of food, which was a major component of the Mosaic Law, obsolete!
"And when leaving the multitude, He had entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He said to them, 'Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him; because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?' (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, 'That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.'" Mark 7.17-23
Third, he ordered someone to disobey the Law in Matthew 8.21-22:
"And another of the disciples said to Him, 'Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.' But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me; and allow the dead to bury their own dead." Matthew 8:21-22
E.P. Sanders, an expert on Pharisaic Judaism, comments about how strong this is:
Fourth, his very "I say unto you" passages, put him above the Law. Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner goes so far as to say:
Fifth, he physically touched a leper, which was forbidden under Law:
Sixth, he stayed in the home of a leper, which was supposed to be quarantined under the Law:
Seventh, he specifically indicated that a change had occurred with his appearing:
"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it." Luke 16:16
The preceding points were taken from Christian philosopher and apologist Glenn Miller's excellent response to a Muslim regarding the views of Jesus and Paul concerning the Mosaic Law: http://www.christian-thinktank.com/musly2.html
Hopefully, Ghounem can answer these issues.
"And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt." (Mark 14:36)
Trinitarians do not believe that the three Persons function independently
If this were true, then there would be no need for one part of God to give commandments and the other part of God to follow them and name themselves a servant of the Master. It is either One Master or a Master with 3 parts, some parts with lower self esteem than the others.
First, Trinitarians do not believe God is made up of parts, so this is again straw man. Second, since there are three PERSONS we would expect interpersonal communion and fellowship amongst them. Hence, it is not three parts, but three persons communicating with the others in infinite and eternal love.
Third, Ghounem again commits a categorical fallacy since he assumes different positions imply inferiority of essence. You can have the three persons assuming different positions without this denying their essential equality and inseparable unity.
but rather they work in perfect harmony and unity.
But obviously not in equality fore one calls Himself the Master and the other calls himself the servant, unless of course it is a God - Prophet relationship as any logical person can see.
Again, a categorical fallacy. Using Ghounem's logic, this would mean that the President is a better person than the vice-president by virtue of his superior position. This would make masters essentially greater than slaves who would then have to be considered inferior human beings by virtue of their inferior position.
This again should demonstrate the foolishness of such argumentation. The Holy Bible teaches that the three persons of the Godhead are fully and perfectly God in nature, yet they are not equal in position.
Jesus was on earth in the form of a slave.
This must be why Jesus states slave owners the most Faithful in Israel;
"I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." [Luke 7:9]
The red herrings never stop. If we were to talk about slaves we would have a field day with Muhammad and all his black slaves. But since the issue at hand is the Deity of Christ, not slavery, we will ignore this red herring.
In case Christians don't realize this, all Prophets were slaves of God, does this make them God in slave form? When Christians are cornered into admitting that Jesus was not as powerful or as omniscient as God, they resort to their excuse that Jesus was only a man, when will they make up their minds?
First, Christians do not need to realize anything, since we are aware that prophets were God's slaves/servants. Secondly, Ghounem again attacks a straw man since I never said Jesus being a slave makes him God. In fact, I challenge Ghounem to show where I said that Jesus is God because he was a slave. So his statement above is completely absurd.
Third, Ghounem has failed to show us where exactly does the Holy Bible deny that Jesus is "as powerful or as omniscient as God." So we Christians do not need excuses, Ghounem does by arguing in an illogical fashion.
8. Jesus did not know the tree had no fruit
He [Jesus] was hungry. And on seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. (Mark 11:12-13)
When he saw that the tree had leaves, he thought that he might find fruit on it. But when he came up close to the tree he realised there were no fruits. After all, it was not even fig season.
Actually, it does not follow that since Jesus did not know that the tree had no figs and that it was not fig season he therefore could not have been omniscient. Jesus could have known in his divine consciousness that the fig tree was barren and based on that fact could go ahead and curse it for being useless.
Why would Jesus who is supposedly God to some Christians, yell and curse at a tree (Mark 11:14) for not producing figs offseason? I wouldn't want someone that temperamental to be my God.
Had Ghounem read the Holy Bible, he would have seen why:
"Then he told this parable: 'A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, "For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?" "Sir," the man replied, "leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down."’" Luke 13:6-9
The fig tree symbolized spiritually barren Israel whom Christ had come to receive the spiritual fruit they owed God. Yet, he found them spiritually dead instead. As such, Christ was to bring judgment upon the nation for their spiritual condition before that final Day of Judgment where all men will stand before God to give an account for their deeds:
"He then began to speak to them in parables: 'A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed. He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, "They will respect my son." But the tenants said to one another, "This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.'" Mark 12:1-9
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" Matthew 23:37-39
"As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, 'If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you.'" Luke 19:41-44
Far from the slanderous picture that Ghounem portrays of Christ by twisting scriptures out of their intended context, we find that it broke the heart of Christ to bring judgment upon his people who reluctantly refused to come into repentance.
"So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.'" Acts 6:12-14
Although these Jews were trying to falsely accuse Stephen, there was some truth to what they said since Jesus did speak of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. Hopefully, Ghounem will get the point now.
Furthermore, Jesus did not know it was barren, because in his slander to the tree, he yelled and cursed it not to produce anymore, therefore Jesus had the assumption that it was fertile, not barren.
I had assumed that my response was clear, but I guess I need to repeat myself once more. Here it is, so that Ghounem has no excuse after this:
"Actually, it does not follow that since Jesus did not know that the tree had no figs and that it was not fig season he therefore could not have been omniscient. Jesus could have known in his divine consciousness that the fig tree was barren and based on that fact could go ahead and curse it for being useless."
F. F. Bruce notes:
"The other miracle is the cursing of the barren fig tree (Mk. xi 12 ff.), a stumbling block to many. They feel that it is unlike Jesus, and so someone must have misunderstood what actually happened, or turned a spoken parable into an acted miracle, or something like that. Some, on the other hand, welcome the story because it shows that Jesus was human enough to get unreasonably annoyed on occasion. It appears, however, that a closer acquaintance with fig trees would have prevented such misunderstandings. 'The time of the fig is not yet,' says Mark, for it was just before Passover, about six weeks before the fully-formed fig appears. The fact that Mark adds these words shows that he knew what he was talking about. When the fig leaves appear about the end of March, they are accompanied by a crop of small knobs, called taqsh by the Arabs, a sort of fore-runner of the real figs. These taqsh are eaten by peasants and others when hungry. They drop off before the real fig is formed. But if the leaves appear unaccompanied by taqsh, there will be no figs that year. So it was evident to our Lord, when He turned aside to see if there were any of these taqsh on the fig-tree to assuage His hunger for the time being, that the absence of the taqsh meant that there would be no figs when the time of figs came. For all its fair foliage, it was a fruitless and a hopeless tree." (Bruce, Are The New Testament Documents Reliable? [Intervarsity Press; Downers Grove, Ill, fifth revised edition 1992], pp. 73-74)
No further comment is necessary.
The fourth Gospel is that of John, one of the disciples.
The Gospel of John is the most unreliable as shown here;
Not only do Christian Scholars agree on it's unreliablity, but an examination of it's content as outlined in the above link, plainly reveals this also.
Ghounem ignored the evidence from the early Church, archaeology and the internal witness to the early composition and eyewitness authority of the fourth Gospel. He thinks that by citing the liberal wing of Christianity that deny inspiration and revelation he managed to debunk the authority of the fourth Gospel.
This forces me to cite sources that are deemed reliable to Muslims in order to establish the authority of the fourth Gospel. Here it is. Ibn Ishaq quotes the Gospel of John as THAT Gospel that was given to Jesus and that also mentions Muhammad. Yet, Ibn Ishaq never even hints that this particular Gospel is inauthentic or corrupt:
"The Munahhemana (God bless and preserve him!) in Syriac is Muhammad; in Greek he is the paraclete." (Ibn Ishaq, Life Of Muhammad, trans. Alfred Guillaume, pp. 103-104)
First, it should be noted that this particular citation is taken from John 15:23-16:1. This implies that the Gospel of John was believed to be that Gospel conveyed by Jesus to his disciples. Secondly, Ibn Ishaq affirms that the apostle John wrote the fourth Gospel, debunking both Shabir's and Ghounem's attempts of trying to appeal to liberal scholarship to deny Johannine authorship. This indicates that Shabir and Ghounem are not even faithful to the testimony of their own Muslim sources that agree with conservative Biblical scholarship and the early Church on the authorship of certain NT books.
Hopefully, Ghounem's double standard appeal to liberal scholarship will cease.
This essentially means that if these same scholars were to examine the Quran, they would also question the traditional Islamic view of its origin. In fact, this is already being done as can be seen in the recent article which appeared in Atlantic Monthly .
an reply to this article can be found here.
In what way does this article rebut the point I was making, namely that liberal scholarship would also debunk the integrity and purity of the text of the Quran, something that they are actually doing? Furthermore, if you are seeking proof for the fact that the Quran is vastly inferior to the authority and preservation of the Holy Bible in terms of evidence, here are two links: , and 
Peace and Blessings,
Your brother in Islam: Mohamed
Indeed, may the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ extend to all flesh, including Ghounem.
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