Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Jesus Christ – the Heavenly Sent One

Sam Shamoun

Sami Zaatari has produced some more “replies” to my responses that address his distortion of Biblical truth. We invite the readers to go to his website and read his “answers” for themselves (entries for 9 and 11 December 2008 here) since it will become evident that all Zaatari has done is to produce even more bluster and provided more documentation that he has no qualms about twisting and perverting sources. He is only interested in trying to save face and to give the impression that he is actually refuting his opponents.  

In one of these recent “rebuttals” (*) he enlists the aid of so-called “Christian” unitarians in his crusade against the explicit Biblical witness to the absolute Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have decided to address their comments here since by doing so I will not only be exposing Zaatari, but also these other anti-Trinitarians who have no shame in mishandling and manhandling God’s inspired Word.

What follows is to be understood as an addendum to my recent article “My Lord and my God” as it deals with two of Zaatari’s specific objections to this article.

Zaatari references an article from unitarians who try to engage the text of John 1:10-11:

Biblical Unitarian responds to John 1:10-11:

This verse is a reference to the Father, not to Christ. A study of the context reveals that this section opens in verse 6 by telling us, "There came a man who was sent by God." We are told, "God is light," and that God's light shown through Jesus Christ and made him "the light of the world." Though God was in the world in many ways, including through His Son, the world did not recognize him.... The fact that the world did not receive Him is made more profound in the context as Scripture reveals how earnestly God reached out to them He made his plan and purpose flesh and shined His light through Christ to reach the world but they did not receive Him (

This is a blatant distortion of the passage since the immediate context shows that John 1:10-11 is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, even though it is true that the Holy Bible says that God is light nowhere is this mentioned in this particular chapter. Both the prologue and the Gospel itself inform us that Christ is the true Light who was coming into the world and that he is the One that John the Baptist was sent to bear witness.

Here is a chart which shows that all throughout this prologue the Apostle John is describing and focusing specifically on the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, not the Father.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (kai ho logos een pros ton theon), and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (houtos een en arche pros ton theon); all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-3


“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father (pros ton patera), having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end… Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come FROM God and was going back TO God (pros ton theon),” John 13:3

“for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came FROM God. I came FROM the Father and have come INTO THE WORLD, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father (pros ton theon).” John 16:27-28

“And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you (kago pros se erchomai pater hagie). Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” John 17:5, 11

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.” John 1:4-5, 9

No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.” John 3:13-21

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will… Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, 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,” John 5:21, 25-26

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5

“So Jesus again said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them. I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’” John 10:7-10

“Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.’ When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them… ‘I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.’” John 12:35-36, 46

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.” John 1:6-8


And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. John testifies concerning him [the Incarnate Word]. He cries out, saying, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’” John 1:14-15

“‘I baptize with water,’ John replied, ‘but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ … The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, “A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.’ Then John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.’” John 1:26-27, 29-34

He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him. But to all who received HIM, who believed in HIS NAME, HE gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:10-13


“do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God'?” John 10:36

“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.” John 3:35

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst… For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day… Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.’” John 6:35, 40, 47

“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.’” John 11:23-27

“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end… Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,” John 13:1, 3

All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:15

“I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; they were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you; for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you did send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours; all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” John 17:6-11

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:30-31

We now move on to Zaatari’s second objection.

Zaatari further quotes from the unitarians to prove that Jesus coming down from heaven doesn’t mean what it says.

Is Jesus God because he came down from heaven? Biblical Unitarian explains this:

The Jews would not have taken John's words to mean that Christ "incarnated." It was common for them to say that something "came from heaven" if God were its source. For example, James 1:17 says that every good gift is "from above" and "comes down" from God. What James means is clear. God is the Author and source of the good things in our lives. God works behind the scenes to provide what we need. The verse does not mean that the good things in our lives come directly down from heaven. Most Christians experience the Lord blessing them by way of other people or events, but realize that the ultimate source of the blessings was the Lord. We should apply John's words the same way we understand James' words that God is the source of Jesus Christ, which He was. Christ was God's plan There are also verses that say Jesus was "sent from God," a phrase that shows God as the ultimate source of what is sent. John the Baptist was a man "sent from God" (John 1:6), and it was he who said that Jesus "comes from above" and "comes from heaven" (John 3:31). When God wanted to tell the people that He would bless them if they gave their tithes, He told them that He would open the windows of "heaven" and pour out a blessing (Mal. 3:10 - KJV). Of course, everyone understood the idiom being used, and no one believed that God would literally pour things out of heaven. They knew that the phrase meant that God was the origin of the blessings they received. Still another example is when Christ was speaking and said, "John's baptism where did it come from? Was it from heaven or from men?" (Matt. 21:25). Of course, the way that John's baptism would have been "from heaven" was if God was the source of the revelation. John did not get the idea on his own, it came "from heaven." The verse makes the idiom clear: things could be "from heaven," i.e., from God, or they could be "from men." The idiom is the same when used of Jesus. Jesus is "from God," "from heaven" or "from above" in the sense that God is his Father and thus his origin.

Contrary to the above assertion that the Jews would not have taken Jesus’ words in that manner the evidence shows that this is precisely how they understood Jesus’ words:

“So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven (ho katabas ek tou ouranou).’ They said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, “I have come down from heaven (’ek tou ouranou katabebeeka)”?’” John 6:41-42

But of course Zaatari is going to squirm his way out of this one by saying that these Jews misunderstood Jesus! He’ll say this despite the fact that Jesus never corrected them, even though Jesus did not hesitate to correct the Jews whenever they misunderstood his words or twisted the Scriptures (cf. Matthew 15:1-20; 22:23-33; 23). 

And, quite significantly, there is not one instance where the Evangelist John (or any of the other Evangelists, for that matter) states that these Jews misunderstood Jesus. Their problem is not that they misunderstood Jesus, but that they did not believe in Jesus and did not accept the claim that he made for himself. Interestingly, we find the Gospels saying that it was the disciples that were rather slow to understand or completely accept Jesus’ words. The inspired writers often comment on their misunderstanding, and record instances where they are scolded that they did not grasp earlier who Jesus really was (cf. Mark 6:45-52; 8:13-21; Luke 9:44-45; 24:25-27; John 12:12-16). But when the Jews understood Jesus as claiming Deity, they are never reproached for that; they are only censured for their disbelief.

And this is the part that Zaatari doesn’t want to come to grips with, just as his recent bluster on this subject shows (*). He often claims that the statements/responses by the Jews cannot be used as corroborating evidence since they are disbelievers and oppose Jesus. As much as he tries he cannot simply dismiss their testimony since he is going to have to address the reason why the Evangelists decided to include these stories. He needs to seriously deal with the purpose and function that these episodes serve within the Gospels. The writers couldn’t have included these statements solely to show how wrong Jesus’ enemies were since we would expect that either Christ himself or the authors would correct this misunderstanding or at least say something to their readers, much like we find John doing:

“The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign have you to show us for doing this?’ 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 spoke of 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 which Jesus had spoken.” John 2:18-22

Zaatari’s own article shows that this is what we would expect Jesus to do since he references places where Christ didn’t hesitate to rebuke his opponents going so far as to call them liars, brood of vipers, evil, hypocrites etc. And yet when it came to his Divine Identity Jesus all of a sudden remains silent and does absolutely nothing to correct their gross misunderstanding!(1)

It is obvious from all of this data that the reason why the Evangelists included these stories is because they wanted to show that EVEN JESUS’ OPPONENTS correctly understood what he was actually claiming to be and that they drew the right implications from his Divine claims and actions.

Furthermore, can there be any clearer indication of just how desperate the anti-Trinitarian position truly is than what we find here? Citing passages such as James 1:17 which speak of God pouring out blessings from heaven or giving gifts from above as a way of refuting the plain statements of Jesus to his prehuman existence?

It is obvious from the respective contexts of these particular texts that the point being made is that God is the Source of all of these blessings, gifts, ministries etc. But is this in any way analogous to the manner Jesus speaks of his mission? Not at all since Jesus doesn’t merely say that he was sent from God but that he actually came down from heaven itself, that the Father sent him from his heavenly presence into the world. This language is never used for the commission of prophets or apostles; it is never applied to any mere mortal.

In light of this, we have some more challenges for Zaatari to answer.

  • Quote a single Biblical passage where any prophet or apostle of God such as John the Baptist said that he came down from heaven and would return there.
  • Provide a statement from Jesus where he describes the commission of the Baptist or his Apostles in the same way that he described his own. Cite a passage where Jesus says that God sent John into the world from heaven, or that the Apostles came down from heaven itself to do the will of God or Christ.  

We won’t be holding our breath for his answer since he completely failed to respond to our challenges in his recently published “replies”, and made up some lame excuses to cover up his inability to address them. We therefore expect that he will again try to find a way of running away from dealing with the above challenge. After all, he has shown that truth doesn’t matter much to him; what is more important for him is to save face and win his debates at any cost.

Moreover, instead of referencing irrelevant passages that do not use the same language which Christ does in speaking of his heavenly preexistence, a better comparison would be to contrast the verses that mention Jesus’ ascent to and descent from heaven:

“No one has ascended into heaven (anabebeeken eis ton ouranon) except he who descended from heaven (ho ek tou ouranou katabas), the Son of Man.” John 3:13

“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven (ho katabainon ek tou ouranou) and gives life to the world… For I have come down from heaven (hoti katabebeeka apo tou ouranou), not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” John 6:33, 38

“This is the bread that comes down from heaven (ho ek to ouranou katabainon), so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven (ho ek to ouranou katabas). If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:50-51

“Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending (anabainonta) to where he was before?” John 6:62

“So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, ‘You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent (apesteilen) me.’” John 7:28-29

“I speak of what I have seen with my Father (para to patri), and you do what you have heard from your father… but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God (para tou theou); this is not what Abraham did.’ … Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God (ek tou theou exelthon); I came not of my own accord, but he sent (apesteilen) me.’” John 8:38, 39, 42

“do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent (apesteilen) INTO the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” John 10:36

“for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came out from God (hoti ego para tou theou exelthon). I came forth from the Father (exelthon para tou patros) and have come INTO the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” John 16:27-28

With references that refer to the Holy Spirit coming down or being sent from heaven:

“And John bore witness: ‘I saw the Spirit descend from heaven (to pneuma katabainon… ek ouranou) like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, "He on whom you see the Spirit descend (to pneuma katabainon) and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.”’” John 1:32-33

“But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father (para tou patros), even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;” John 15:26

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth (exapesteilen) his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth (exapesteilen) the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” Galatians 4:4-6

“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 (pneumati hagio apostalenti ap ouranou), things into which angels long to look.” 1 Peter 1:12

And with the angels ascending to and descending from heaven, or being sent from God’s presence:

“And he said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending (anabainontas kai katabainontas) on the Son of Man.’” John 1:51

“And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven (angelos gar kyriou katabas ek ouranou) and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.” Matthew 28:2

“And the angel answered him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent (apestalen) to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.’” Luke 1:19

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent (apestale) from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.” Luke 1:26-27

These examples prove that Jesus’ words cannot be twisted to mean something other than that he truly believed that he was actually dwelling in and came down from heaven itself. Just as the language used in reference to the Holy Spirit and the angels shows that they must have been in heaven before they came down Christ must have also come down from there in order to become man since the Bible writers apply the very same terms to describe his ascent to and descent from heaven. There is simply no getting around this fact. 

It seems that the reason these unitarians didn’t bother mentioning these specific texts is because they may have realized that their readers would be able to see through their deception and desperation.

Zaatari comes up with an alternate explanation just in case his first one doesn’t work:

Number 2, if Shamoun is not happy with the above, then another answer can be given. Jesus did not come about through sexual action, rather he proceeded as a Word from God, God said be, and he was. God sent his angel Gabriel, and angel Gabriel by God's permission, breathed Jesus into Mary. So in that sense you could say that Jesus came from heaven, as he did not proceed from a man through the act of sexual intercourse.

Either of the above two interpretations are enough to answer this point.

The problem with Zaatari’s explanation is that not only does he distort what the Gospel of John actually says – despite being corrected on this time and time again – he even has the audacity to pervert what his own Muslim scripture states concerning this issue!

In the first place, Zaatari ignores the fact that in John 1:1-2 the inspired author uses the preposition pros (“with”) to describe the fellowship which the Word enjoyed with God before the beginning:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (pros ton theon), and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (pros ton theon).” John 1:1-2

Nor is this the only time where John speaks of Christ being with (pros) the Father:

“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father (pros ton patera), having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end… Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come FROM God and was going back TO God (pros ton theon),” John 13:3

I came FROM the Father and have come INTO THE WORLD, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father (pros ton theon).” John 16:28

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life -- the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you THE ETERNAL LIFE which was with the Father (ten zoeen ten aionion een pros ton patera) and was made manifest to us -- that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3

Do note that John here identifies Jesus as the very Eternal Life which was with the Father and who had manifested himself to the disciples, which is a rather astonishing and highly exalted claim! And:

“My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father (parakleeton echomen pros ton patera), Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2

When this preposition is used with the accusative or direct object (as is the case with all of these passages, especially John 1:1-2) this then refers to a face-to-face relationship, to intimate discourse and fellowship. As the late renowned Greek NT scholar A.T. Robertson wrote:

Though existing eternally with God the Logos was in perfect fellowship with God. Pros with the accusative presents a plane of equality and intimacy, face to face with each other. In 1 John 2:1 we have a like use of pros "We have a Paraclete with the Father" (parakleton ecomen pros ton patera). See prosopon pros prosopon (face to face, 1 Corinthians 13:12), a triple use of proß. There is a papyrus example of pros in this sense to gnoston tes pros allelous sunetheias, "the knowledge of our intimacy with one another" (M.&M., Vocabulary) which answers the claim of Rendel Harris, Origin of Prologue, p. 8) that the use of pros here and in Mark 6:3 is a mere Aramaism. It is not a classic idiom, but this is Koine, not old Attic. In John 17:5 John has para soi the more common idiom. (Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament; sources: 1, 2)

The translators of the NET Bible concur with Robertson:

The preposition … (pros) implies not just proximity, but intimate personal relationship. M. Dods stated, “Pros means more than meta or para, and is regularly employed in expressing the presence of one person with another” (“The Gospel of St. John,” The Expositors Greek Testament, 1:684). See also Mark 6:3, Matt 13:56, Mark 9:19, Gal 1:18, 2 John 12. (Source)

Furthermore, in John 1:2 the Evangelist uses the masculine pronoun houtos in reference to the Word being with God:

HE (houtos) was in the beginning with God.”

The use of the masculine pronoun provides further corroboration that the Word is not simply an impersonal thought of God, but an actual Person. John, thus, pictures the Word as a living, dynamic Being who was existing in eternal fellowship with God and then became man.

Now as far as the Quran is concerned, even though it indirectly says that Jesus’ conception in his mother’s womb was by God’s command,

When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. He shall speak to men in the cradle, and of age, and righteous he shall be.' 'Lord,' said Mary, 'how shall I have a son seeing no mortal has touched me?' 'Even so,' God said, 'God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing He does but say to it "Be," and it is. S. 3:45-47

It nowhere says that this is the reason why he is called the Word of God, i.e. the Muslim scripture never claims that Jesus is God’s Word solely because he was created by God’s creative command. In fact, if this was the reason for Jesus receiving this title then we would surely expect that Adam would also have been given this name seeing that his creation is likened to Jesus’ conception: 

Truly, the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, 'Be,' and he was. S. 3:59

But the Quran never calls Adam God’s Word, which means that there is something more to the title than Zaatari and his fellow co-religionists would have us believe. As noted Christian apologist John Gilchrist put it:

Once again it is said of Jesus that he was created by God purely through the expression "Be" but this time it is said that "the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam", implying that both were made by the single word of God "Be" in the same way. If Jesus is called the Word of God purely as a result of the manner of his conception, then Adam too must be the Word of God for according to the Qur'an they were both created in the same manner. Now a real difficulty arises because Adam is not called the Word of God in the Qur'an. Nor are the angels, nor is any other creature so called in the Qur'an. Jesus alone is called the Word of God.

The very exceptional nature of the title, by which Jesus is distinguished from all other men and all creatures, demands that there is some other meaning and significance behind it. The very fact that the title is given to Jesus alone in both the Qur'an and the Bible clearly shows that there is something about the person of Jesus that makes him the Word of God in a way in which no other man or creature can compare. Jesus himself is called the Word of God and the title relates to his person and not to any feature or circumstance of his life. (Gilchrist, The Titles of Jesus in the Qur'an and the Bible, Christianity and Islam Series No. 5, 2. THE WORD OF GOD (Kalimatullah); source; underline emphasis ours)

Furthermore, not once does the Quran ever record that it was Gabriel who breathed Jesus into Mary, but rather it was Allah’s Spirit who caused Mary to conceive her Son:

And mention in the Book Mary when she withdrew from her people to an eastern place, and she took a veil apart from them; then We sent unto her Our Spirit that presented himself to her a man without fault. She said, 'I take refuge in the All-merciful from thee! If thou fearest God ... He said, 'I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure. S. 19:16-19

And Mary, Imran's daughter, who guarded her vulva/private part (farjaha), so We breathed into it of Our Spirit, and she confirmed the Words of her Lord and His Books, and became one of the obedient. S. 66:12; cf. 21:91

Nor does the Quran ever identify this Spirit as Gabriel.

In light of this we demand that Zaatari be consistent and apply his own criteria to himself by quoting a single verse from the Quran where it says that Gabriel is the Holy Spirit. In fact, we demand that he produce a citation where Gabriel says, “I am the Holy Spirit,” or where the Holy Spirit says, “I am Gabriel.”  

Again, we won’t be holding our breath for Zaatari’s reply and expect that he will come up with some ingenious ways to mask his inability to directly answer any of these challenges.

So much for the distortions of Zaatari and his sources. Lord Jesus willing, more refutations to his perversion of Biblical truth to follow shortly.

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Was Thomas even addressing Jesus?

Zaatari added an addendum to his original article stating that Thomas may have not been addressing Jesus at all. Thomas may been glorifying God the Father for raising Jesus from the dead.

To call this explanation desperate would be a wild understatement. Had Zaatari bothered to carefully read the verse he would have seen that the passage itself provides the refutation to his utter desperation to explain away this rather explicit testimony to the absolute Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ:

“Thomas ANSWERED AND SAID TO HIM (Apekrithe Thomas kai eipen auto), ‘My Lord and my God!’” John 20:28

The Greek construction Apekrithe ... kai eipen auto ("answered and said to him") is a common idiom in the New Testament. This idiom always precedes a statement directed to the referent of the dative auto ("to him"). In other words, the statement "answered and said" refers to the referent signified by the indirect object ("to him") which in this context would be Jesus Christ. There is no lexical support in any of the standard Greek references (BAGD, M&M, and Louw & Nida) where this idiom is to be taken as a relative address, as not addressing the object that the pronoun auto points to, but to someone else. There is no grammatical support in any of the standard grammars for claiming that such a construction is to be understood as referring to someone other than the addressee of the indirect object.

In fact, here are some examples from John where the words eipen auto are used since they will help demonstrate that Thomas was directing his words to Jesus, not to the Father:

“They came to John and said to him (eipan auto), ‘Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him." John 3:26

"When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him (eipon oun auto), ‘The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.’ Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him (eipan auto), ‘Your son will live.’ So he and all his household believed." John 4:52-53

"Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him (eipen auto), ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’" John 5:14

"Jesus’ brothers said to him (eipon oun pros auton), ‘You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do.’" John 7:3

"‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to him (eipon oun hoi Ioudaioi pros auton), ‘and you have seen Abraham!’" John 8:57

"The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him (eipen auto) the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’" John 21:17

"Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him (eipon legei auto), ‘Follow me!’" John 21:19

The above examples conclusively prove that Thomas was directly addressing Jesus as his Lord and God.

Hence, contrary to Zaatari's concluding remarks, the only interpretation that makes sense and which doesn't butcher the text is that Thomas was confessing Jesus Christ as the Almighty God.


(1) Here again Zaatari exposes his blatant dishonesty and inconsistency. Zaatari often appeals to the very testimony of these disbelieving Jews to prove that they were not expecting a Divine Messiah. And yet when these same Jews are quoted to prove that Jesus did claim to be God their testimony all of a sudden becomes suspect and completely worthless in establishing the Divine Identity of Christ! Zaatari is simply proving over and over again that he has absolutely no regard for truth or honesty.