Post by Altway
"Alan Cossey" wrote > For followers of Jesus, the next three days are the
highlight of our year.
Post by Alan Cossey
Today we celebrate Good Friday, the day when Jesus died for our sins, and
on Sunday we celebrate his rising to life again, which demonstrated God's
power over death and the acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice of himself for us.
The trouble with this is that Islam confirms that Jesus did not teach that
he was God,
that God is a trinity and that salvation is through the crucifixion of
The trouble with this is that Islam came along 600 years later, claimed that
the Christian and Jewish scriptures (aka New and Old Testaments) were
inspired by God, taught its people to believe them then ignored much of what
they actually said. In the context of our discussion, it is "Islam alleges
that Jesus did not teach that he was God...".
Post by Altway
You can verify this from reading the Gospels.
Afraid not. The gospels are quite clear that Jesus is God. That's why his
followers taught that he was God. See long spiel marked * at the end of this
Post by Altway
As for sacrifice, the Prophet Muhammad sacrificed/devoted his life to the
service of God
and man as did Jesus and Moses and other Prophets. But the sacrifice
consisted of bringing us the Message of God, not the worship of the
The Quran and Jesus tell us that Salvation is through obedience to God:-
"Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of
heaven, but He THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN. Many
will say to me in that Day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophecied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful
works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME,
YE THAT WORK INIQUITY." Matthew 7:21-23
There is some common ground here between us (as there is in other areas).
The bible teaches that we should obey God. There are various reasons for
this, the two most important being our relationship with God himself and
also with our fellow human beings. Jesus said the two most important
commandments were "Love the Lord your God with all our heart and with all
your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest
commandment. And the secod is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself'.'"
If we ignore God, then we can hardly have a relationship with him. This is
similar to if I ignore my wife, I can hardly call it a relationship. God
knows what is best for my life. Much of the time I can see why he says
something, but sometimes I have to take it on trust. As for rules for our
society, we need them just as you do in a game of football. If we were to
argue about where the touchline is or just ignore it if the ball goes out of
play, we will get into an awful muddle. If we were all Roy Keanes, it would
be anarchy. Ditto our life. If we cheat on our wife/husband, steal, ignore
the state of the poor and needy etc., life will be mess.
I don't think we disagree on the rightness of obeying God. However, where we
diverge is what the bible teaches about God is holy and the requirement to
be like him. Islam and Christianity both teach a fall (Adam and Eve), but
the bible makes more of it. It teaches that its effects are more serious. We
don't live up the standards God demands of us (I don't even live up to the
standards I expect of other people). Islam teaches that Allah says (and I
know this is a bit of a caricature, but you will get my gist), "It's
alright, Hamid/Alan. I can forgive your sin straight off. You've repented.
That's enough. The fact that you lied/cheated/killed/committed
adultery/stole/ignored 30,000 people dying from hunger-related illnesses
each day/ignored the madmen in your Islamic/Christian religion and settled
for the cosy atmosphere of a newsgroup/whatever doesn't really matter.
Despite the eternal consequences of some of your actions, I am going to
ignore them and treat eveything as if they never happened." The bible
recognises our actions for what they are and some of them have huge
consequences. God can't/won't just say, "Well that's alright then, you're
forgiven." Sin requires a penalty. That may sound harsh, morbid or whatever,
particularly to a Western ear where we reckon we have a right to the pursuit
of happiness/pleasure/a decent car, but if that is what God says, then that
is what God says (and people living outside the cosiness of Western
Europe/America will be more inclined to agree than softie Westerners). This
where Jesus paid for our sin by dying on the cross. He took our sins on
himself. Don't ask me to explain it fully because I can't, but somehow there
was some sort of separation between Jesus and his Father. "My God, my God.
Why have you foresaken me?" he cried. Though the physical pain was immense,
even that was not the main thing. It was this sinless God-who-was-and-is-man
taking my sins upon him. You may disagree with this teaching, but if there
is even the faintest chance that it is correct, how can you and I ignore it.
If God loves me that much - that he would send his son to die like this for
you and me - how can I do anything but turn to him in awe, thankfulness and
repentance? And if I do that will my actions, my life as a whole, not be
somewhat different to how it used to be? In the New Testament, James writes
that if someone claims to have faith without the resulting actions then
there is something horribly wrong with my so-called faith. You can't have
one without the other.
To sum up, if a person claims to have faith without
actions/deeds/works/obeying God, then their "faith" is not truly faith.
However, it is our turning to God in faith and repentance that is the actual
turning point, the bit that gets us forgiven. Jesus paid the price on the
cross to make it possible. Our faith and repentance do not earn us the right
to be forgiven. No way. It is the route in though and as a response to God's
truly wonderful, awe-inspiring forgiveness, we want to live a life pleasing
to him. Our response will be to "do the will of our father who is in heaven"
and not "work iniquity". Our obedience will not earn us the right to
forgiveness, the pass mark in the exam is 100% and I only score 40% or
whatever, but being forgiven means I want to do what God wants much more
Post by Altway
"And this is Eternal Life that they might know THEE THE ONLY TRUE GOD and
Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent." John 17:3
When discussing the Trinity, Christians avoid phrases like "makes up" to try
to avoid giving the impression that the Father, Son or Holy Spirit were in
any way created/made, but let's use that phrase. God consists of / is made
up of/ exists as three persons. "Person" is the best word we can find in the
English language and any word describing God is going to be incomplete, but
let's use it. The Father (part of the tri-une God) is the only true God;
Jesus (part of the tri-une God) is the only God; the Holy Spirt (part of the
tri-une God) is the only God. I am not God nor are you. Father, Son and Holy
Spirit together are the only true God. They are not totally separate
entities like I am separate from you, but the Son is not the Father and the
Holy Spirit is not the Son etc. Look at a photo of my head and someone who
knows me will say, "That's Alan Cossey." Show someone a photo of me as a
whole and they will say, "That's Alan Cossey". Show someone my left leg from
behind (where you can see my birthmark) and they will say, "That's Alan
Cossey". My head is not all of me and my left leg is not my head but they
are all Alan Cossey.
Post by Altway
"While I was with them in the world I kept them in THY NAME..." John 17:12
A bit of context helps. Jesus is praying to the Father and praying for his
disciples. He protected them with the authority the Father gave him. That is
what "in the name" of someone means. In English we only use it in a similar
fashion if we were policemen and say "Open up in the name of the law". We
don't mean the "forename and surname" of the law as that just does not make
sense; it means "I demand you open up because the law allows me to demand
Post by Altway
"He that hears my word and believes on Him that sent me, hath everlasting
life, and shall not come unto condemnation, but is passed from death into
life." John 5:24
I do wish translations of the bible (and Qu'ran) would use English English,
not posh, feigned English. No-one says, "I believe on" something. We say, "I
believe in" something. What does that mean? Everyone believes in Tony
Blair/George Bush/Margaret Thatcher, i.e. that they exist, so is Jesus
saying we just need to believe in God's existence. Nope. Even Satan does
that. Again we are talking about putting our faith in God. If I get on a
plane, I need to do more than believe in the existence of the pilot; I need
to have faith in his ability. Same with the faith Jesus is talking about. I
need to have faith in God and what he has done, particularly sending Jesus
to die for my sins. I need to put my trust in him. This verse doesn't tell
me not to put my trust in Jesus.
Post by Altway
"And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one,
that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Mt
Yes, God alone is truly and completely good. The Father is God; Jesus is
God; the Holy Spirit is God. This verse does not have Jesus denying that he
himself is good. He is making the man think about what he is saying and, if
anything, is a hint to him that Jesus is more than what the man was taking
him for. "You call me good, God alone is good, so who does that make me?
Post by Altway
"..I do nothing of myself; but as the Father hath taught me, I speak these
things." John 8:28
This may not be the whole answer, but the gospels taught that there were
things Jesus did not know, e.g. when he would return to earth after his
ascension to heaven after his resurrection (the Second Coming). When he
became man he was obviously restricted in some ways, e.g. being in only one
place at a time, having to go to the loo, being hungry, needing sleep. We
are also taught that he had to learn stuff, e.g. when he went to the Temple
with his parents. What this verse is saying is that Jesus is claiming to be
totally in tune with the Father (unlike any other human being in history).
I acknowledge that the verses you quoted are capable of being understood in
the manner you are implying. However, I would contend that they could also
be understood in the manner I explained. To understand which is the correct
way, we need to look at them in the context of the whole of the bible, in
particular in the context of the New Testament. See below for more details.
Post by Altway Post by Alan Cossey
May all who frequent these newsgroups come to know the truth of the Gospel
and the riches we have in Christ Jesus.
May all Christians come to know the Truth about God and the way to
Hamid S. Aziz
A couple of questions for you now.
1) Why do Muslims quote the New Testament when it is meant to be corrupt?
Why do Muslims ignore what the Qu'ran teaches about the New Testament, e.g.
4.136, 5.68 and so on? No hint there of "corruption".
2) When Jesus rose from the dead, one of his disciples, Thomas, refused to
believe it until he saw Jesus. When he did, he exclaimed to Jesus, "My Lord
and my God!" (John 20.28). What would Mohammed's response have been if
someone had said that to him? What does that tell us about about who
Mohammed thought he himself was and what Jesus thought he himself was?
* Long spiel promised early on
The bible, original texts and translations alike,
teach that God is one. Christians believe in one God. The Christian creeds
teach one God. Even the Church of England teaches one God! It is wrong to
say that Christianity teaches otherwise. To say that Christianity teaches
polytheism or anything-else-ism is to present a caricature of the Christian
faith. Our disagreement is not on how many gods there are, but who he is and
what he is like (to some extent). It is clear to me that you want to have an
intelligent discussion with Christians and it will make it much easier all
round if none of us tries to argue against beliefs that the other discussion
members don't believe anyway. I hope that doesn't sound like a lecture and
do feel free to let me know if/when I do something similar! It is just that
there is enough misunderstanding in this world (and this newsgroup in
particular) that we could do with not arguing about things we actually agree
On Jesus being part of the Trinity, i.e. on him being God, below is part of
a post I made a while back. Hope it helps you see where Christians are
The Jewish followers of Jesus did not rush to believe that Jesus was God.
They understood that there was one God, much like you do. It was only after
spending time living with Jesus, hearing what he taught and seeing what he
did that they came to the conclusion that Jesus was indeed God. The word
"Trinity" and the creeds, particularly the Anathasian Creed, that were
formulated later are a (good) summary of what the bible, particularly the
New Testament, said about who God is. Have a look at
http://www.creeds.net/ancient/Quicumque.html for example,
More biblical passages:
a.. John 1.1 & 2 say, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with
God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning", i.e. he was
already there when God started creating things.
b.. John 1.18 explains this further, "No-one has ever seen God, but God
the only [Son], who is at the Father's side, has made him known."
c.. John 20.28 Thomas, who had real doubts up to that point, was driven to
the response "My Lord and my God" when he saw Jesus after his death and
resurrection. If Jesus was not his Lord and his God, his appropriate
response under Jewish law would have been to have got Thomas stoned to
death. Instead, he accepted his worship and chided him for being slow on the
d.. John 5.23 Jesus says that he is worthy of the same honour as the
e.. In John 10, Jesus spoke of him and the Father being one. The Jews knew
what this meant and went to stone him for blasphemy (John 10.30-33). Jesus
didn't say, "Hang on chaps! You misunderstand me. I'm not God" when they
said to him, "...you, a mere man, claim to be God." Why not? If someone was
about to stone me because they thought I was claiming to be God, I would
certainly have pointed out the misunderstanding! Wouldn't you?
f.. Similarly John 8.58 where Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am." See
the rest of that chapter to get the context. The importance of this saying
of Jesus is that "I am" is the meaning of the name of God, i.e. Yahweh (or
YHWH without the vowels). Here again, the Jews fully understood what Jesus
was saying. Jesus did not just say, "Before Abraham, I was" (though that
would have wound them up any way claiming to exist a couple of thousand
years beforehand), but instead he used God's name for himself.
g.. John spoke of Jesus as being YHWH. See John 12.41 where he says,
"Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him" referring
to a quotation from Isaiah 6.1-10 where Isaiah said he saw YHWH.
h.. Matthew (3.3) speaks of John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus,
"A voice of one calling in the desert,
`Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.' "
This is a quote from Isaiah 40.3, i.e.
"A voice of one calling:
'In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.'"
a.. Jesus is the First and the Last. See Isaiah 44.6 and Revelation 1.17,
"This is what the LORD says--
Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God."
(John speaking) "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he
placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and
the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever
and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."
a.. Have a look at Philippians 2 which is describing Jesus.
"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something
to be grasped (hung onto), but made himself nothing, taking the very
nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in
appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--
even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and
gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every
knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every
tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
a.. Again John speaks of Jesus as the true God.
"We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding,
so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in
his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. " 1 John 5.20.
a.. John 5.18 says that the Jews knew who Jesus was claiming to be.
"For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he
breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making
himself equal with God."
a.. God is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords according Paul in 1 Timothy
"God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, "
Hello, that's Jesus, isn't it, in Revelation 19.13-16?
"He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
... On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS. "
a.. 1 Samuel 2.2 from the Old Testament tells us that there is no-one holy
like the LORD.
"There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God."
Peter, speaking on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the
early believers and speaking about Jesus, said:
"You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be
released to you. 1You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the
dead. We are witnesses of this. "
a.. Isaiah 9.6 tells us that the Messiah will be called, "Mighty God".
Christians and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, so the logical
b.. etc, etc.