Christianity vs Islam: Who is the real Jesus? Prophet or God?
Hello! I am a Christian and have had plenty of conversations with Muslims they propose that Jesus never claimed Himself to be God.. But rather, He was a "prophet" or "teacher. I'm hoping that we can have an intelligent debate regarding this topic and I ask that any practicing Muslim willing to defend their beliefs in Islam would join me.
The rounds will be structured as such:
Round 1: Personal introduction/acceptance (No arguments)
Round 2: Introduction/opening statements (no rebuttals)
Round 3: 1st Rebuttal
Round 4: 2nd Rebuttal
Round 5: Last Rebuttal/Conclusion
I look forward to the upcoming debate and I will be arguing (Pro) Christianity, more specifically.. That Jesus is who He claimed He was.. God incarnate.
*Authoritive sources include.. the OT and NT of the Bible and the Quran.
Good luck to my friend, iTruthSeeker
Thanks PersianImmortal for the warm regards! I appreciate his willingness to share his beliefs so openly... I commend him for that. Nevertheless, my goal in this debate is to show that both a biblical and historical outlook provides the notion that Jesus DID claim His own divinity.. I will begin with my initial arguments:
1). Jesus claimed Himself to be God
All throughout the earliest gospels (Mark, Matthew) we see Jesus claiming to be "The Son of Man".. What does that refer to? Well lets take a look at Daniel 7
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”
In this account, Tacitus confirms several historical elements of the Biblical narrative: Jesus lived in Judea, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and had followers who were persecuted for their faith in Christ.
“Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (I.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.”
Celsus admits Jesus was reportedly born of a virgin, but then argues this could supernatural account could not be possible and offers the idea Jesus was the illegitimate son of a man named Panthera (an idea borrowed from Jews who opposed Jesus at the time). But in writing this account, Celsus does confirm several important claims: Jesus had an earthly father who was a carpenter, possessed unusual magical powers and claimed to be God.
In Dan 7:13, there is a clear distinction between the son of man and the Ancient of Days due to the wording of the verse. Grammatically, it would be incorrect to assume that 2 persons, as mentioned in the Bible, are 1, because that would contradict basic logic. If the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, how can He be the Ancient of Days when it explicitly says, that the Son of man CAME TO the Ancient of Days? Basically, what you are suggesting is that Jesus came to Himself. So, you see? It is impossible, illogical and a grammatical misunderstanding that can be forgiven :) So we should read it for what it truly says, which is, "...the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and CAME TO the Ancient of Days..."
Daniel 7:14 gives away the distinction in the fourth word of the verse (depending on the version you're reading). It says GIVEN. By whom? God. Why? Because He is the Appointed One (Messiah). So it's safe to conclude that without God given authority to Jesus (son of man), Jesus would have been just another lost in the sands of history. But clearly that has not happened, because God chose Jesus to carry his Message, bestowed Him with the title of Christ and gave Him full authority over the Sheep of Israel as their awaited Messiah. What I'm trying to say is that God and Jesus have a relationship but they're not the same, as the Bible clearly shows us.
2) "Mark 14:16"
Again, we should not overthink or misunderstand the verse; we should read it the way it's written. Jesus was asked if He was the Christ and the SON of the Blessed One. Jesus did not reply, "no, I'm in fact the Blessed One Himself". He replied, "Yes" to Pilate's question and continued, reinforcing His answer by saying, "the son of man will sit at the right hand of the mighty one", which again shows us a clear distinction between the mighty one and the son of man.
3) "Matt 11:27"
Again, the distinction between God and Jesus is clearly present in the first line of this verse. It says, "All things have been committed to me by my Father". I'll give you an example to clarify this better:
Let's say your dad comes to you and says, "son, listen, I wanted to give you this.", and gives you a key to a vault that has access to all his possessions. Pretty awesome, right? Well this is exactly what's happening in Matt 11:27. No matter what version of the Bible you read, you will see words such as, committed, entrusted, handed over, delivered, given up, turned everything over, and so on. So just like your dad committed, entrusted, handed over, delivered, gave up, or turned everything over to you by giving you that key, Jesus's Father had done the exact same by committing, entrusting, handing over, delivering, giving up, or turning everything over to Jesus. The next time your dad gives you something think about this example, put yourself in Jesus's position and your dad becomes God, then answer this question, "Is my dad giving me something, or am I giving myself something". The clear separation between God and Jesus should make more sense now :)
4) "blasphemy (making Himself equal to God)"
This is incorrect. His charges were, as you mentioned earlier, taking the title of Son of the Blessed One (God) and the Messiah, not claiming Himself to be God.
5) "Accounts outside the Bible 1: Tacitus"
I'm sure there is historical accuracy in such documents but it's mention has no relevancy to the title of this debate, which is, "Christianity vs Islam: Who is the real Jesus? Prophet or God?"
6) "Accounts outside the Bible 2: Celsus"
The last phrase of your argument states, "Jesus had an earthly father who was a carpenter, possessed unusual magical powers and claimed to be God." This is a description of Jesus's father, not Jesus Himself. So, this has a little more relevancy to this debate, but again, it does help your argument in proving that Jesus is God. These historical accounts challenge His Divinity but by no means address Him as God, because anyone who did, has to simply read the Bible and understand that there is a clear difference between God and Jesus.
7) "Your whole section on The Resurrection Phenomenon"
My friend, I respectfully have to say that we are not arguing the divinity of His Holiness Christ, nor am I objecting to His performed miracles as mentioned in the Bible. I fully believe in them and it is my religious duty to defend them from the anyone who misunderstands it, religious or otherwise. We are discussing whether Jesus is a Prophet or God Himself from a Christian and Muslim stand point. Regarding this whole section, I totally agree with you and I have no arguments against it, but please, with all due respect, stay on topic haha :)
8) "Overall, the sheer..........decide"
In this section, I will be talking about your whole conclusion, beginning with "Overall" and ending with "decide":
8a) In your first line, you stated that the evidence both Biblically and historically pointing to Jesus' divinity is insurmountable, to which I fully agree. I never accepted this debate to argue the Divinity of His Holiness Christ. I accepted this debate to show you that Christ Himself makes a clear distinction between Himself and God, so there should be no reason for you or anyone to think other wise :)
8b) I don't have to reconcile anything, because Christ has so graciously, done that for us. To my understanding and relating to my experience of studying Comparative Religions, I have a feeling that there is a misunderstanding on what Prophet means. It's important to know that Jesus referred to Himself as a Prophet in numerous places in the Bible, so to call Him a Prophet is not a bad thing, because Jesus does it. Let's look at a couple of the verses where He does that:
Mark 6:4 = "Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home." So we can see that, Jesus alluded to Himself as a prophet.
In the streets, people called out to Jesus and referred to Him as a prophet (Matt 21:11), to which He had not objection. In John 4:19-26, Jesus has a full on discussion with a woman who tells Him that He is a prophet, and again Jesus has no objection. He continues the discussion until He answers the question of whether He is the Messiah or not, to which Jesus replies, Yes, I am the Messiah (John 4:26). So calling Jesus a prophet is not bad :)
8c) "look at evidence objectively"
Brother, I have. For 5 long years I have studied the Writings, compared them, defended them, read them, memorized them, re-read them, dissected them and I have to say that my objective study has again and again, solved numerous misunderstandings that is currently circulating in the Christian community today, and this is one of them. I understand that you have done your best to show me Biblical and historical sources, but the interpretation of man is nothing compared to what the Bible actually says. I am definitely NOT claiming that you have done the following but, I have had many online debates and face-to-face debates where people simply copy and paste other peoples arguments and share it with me. This is absolutely wrong and go to prove James 5:1. It says, "If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn't find fault with them." Instead of asking God, they have asked those people that God warns us about in Titus 3:9-11.
8d) "John 14:6"
There's a bit of history behind this verse that is answered in the verses prior to John 14:6, which I will gladly go over. If we backtrack a bit, we can see 2 main characters, including Jesus, who's actions eventually lead up to John 14:6. Peter asks the opening question in John 13:36, "Lord, where are you going", and Jesus says, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later." There is clearly some confusion by this answer when Peter asks again in John 13:37, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." But Jesus say no way buddy, you're gonna reject me 3 times (13:38). So then Thomas brings the discussion back on topic and asks again in 14:5, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?". Jesus responds, to clarify for both Peter and Thomas that, He is the way and the Truth and the Life, nothing goes to the Father BUT through Him. He ends is answers in a bit of disappointment towards Phillip, who says show me the Father (14:9). Jesus frustrated at his lack of understanding goes on to explain that the Father is living in Himself (Jesus) and is doing His work. These works will be an example for everyone to follow if they want to go to the Father becauseeeee.......suspense....because, "I am the way and the truth and the life". So this was an answer to those who doubt at the time, the legitimacy of Christ.
My friend, in the Holy Bible nowhere does it say that Jesus claims to be God. Christian interpretation of verses are as the dust beneath the feet of Christ, for His Word is as clean and clear as the chime of a bell. So my question to you would be, "will you worship Jesus, or the one Jesus worshiped?" One glaring problem the Christians have is that Jesus prayed, & had a God Himself. This logically lets us conclude that Jesus cannot be God. Therefore, the right thing to do is worship & pray to the one Jesus prayed to. Second question, "If Jesus told you that he had a God, would you honestly take Jesus as God?" Answer is simply no. When Jesus prays to God & said explicitly that God is His Superior, it is pretty ungodly of him to indicate his complete devotion to the one true God if he was God in the first place. Here are some points to consider:
1 Tim 2:5
Thanks to my opponent for his response.. Let me begin with my first contention:
1). Jesus claimed Himself to be God
My opponent begins by stating: "Grammatically, it would be incorrect to assume that 2 persons, as mentioned in the Bible, are 1"
Lets see what Jesus has to say on this issue,
"I and the Father are one." - John 10:30
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? - John 14:11
"The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one" - John 17:22
Jesus is PAINSTANKINGLY clear on this issue... I'm sorry but my opponents assertion is flat out wrong.
My opponent continues by saying: "If the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, how can He be the Ancient of Days when it explicitly says, that the Son of man CAME TO the Ancient of Days?"
This is a common misunderstanding of the Trinity.. Let me show you an illustration
Christians believe (according to the bible) that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are 1 being in 3 different persons.
This is reflected in Jesus' statement. "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" Matt. 28:19
Therefore, my opponents assertion that the Ancient of Days and Son of Man cannot both be God because the Son of Man approached the Ancient of Days is not biblical whatsoever.. We see in the bible that both Jesus and God are both separate persons but both God.
John 1: 1-15
In the beginning was the (Christ)Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. - 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
This is also paralleled in Psalm 110:1 - "A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."
So wait? are there 2 Lords? No their is One Lord that is manifested in 2 persons according to the psalm
So when my opponent says.. "What I'm trying to say is that God and Jesus have a relationship but they're not the same, as the Bible clearly shows us." I need to ask.. What Bible are you reading? I say this with the utmost kindness but cmon.. This is clear as day!
I gave the Greek Word latreuó (λατρεa3;ω) which again, translates to "service rendered to God, perhaps simply: worship." Remember that the Greeks would only use this word when talking about worshiping God, They would never dare defile the word with a lesser being.. Although we see the translation "And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve (latreuó) him.
Why would the Son of man be worshipped with only a service rendered towards God? Not just Israel.. But EVERY NATION, TRIBE, and KINGDOM?
The answer is quite obvious.. Jesus gave himself that title for a reason.
My opponents objection to Daniel 19 holds no weight whatsoever..
In response to Mark 14:16 - my opponent replies: Jesus did not reply, "no, I'm in fact the Blessed One Himself". He replied, "Yes" to Pilate's question and continued, reinforcing His answer by saying, "the son of man will sit at the right hand of the mighty one", which again shows us a clear distinction between the mighty one and the son of man.
I have already shown how Son of man is a claim to Divinity... This renders my opponents counterargument null.
In response to Matt. 11:27 - my opponent replies: Again, the distinction between God and Jesus is clearly present in the first line of this verse. It says, "All things have been committed to me by my Father"
Again, we as Christians believe that Jesus and God the Father are distinct.. But 1 being. I've already explained this.. Look further at Jesus statement. "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
This is an intimate portrayal of John 1's account that I posted above.. Jesus is claiming to have a special relationship to God as his Son.. A further parallel is found at Matt. 28:19. My opponents response does nothing to further his case.
Listen to this... My opponent replies:
His charges were, as you mentioned earlier, taking the title of Son of the Blessed One (God) and the Messiah, not claiming Himself to be God.
...Oh no no. "31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
Another false assertion by my opponent.. I don't think I really need to elaborate.
1). So we see that my opponent has not reliably disproved that Jesus actually claimed to be God.. I can confidently say that my first contention still stands unharmed.
2). Jesus Trial and Crucifixion:
my opponent states: 'm sure there is historical accuracy in such documents but it's mention has no relevancy to the title of this debate, which is, "Christianity vs Islam: Who is the real Jesus? Prophet or God?"
I can agree to that.. I was expecting to debate Muslims. They claim that Jesus was not crucified. I was giving a historical source outside the bible to prove that point.. Since your not a Muslim and believe these things. This specific source really has no purpose.
He then states: The last phrase of your argument states, "Jesus had an earthly father who was a carpenter, possessed unusual magical powers and claimed to be God." This is a description of Jesus father, not Jesus Himself.
Another completley false statement..
She gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.”
I don't see where Jesus father is mentioned anywhere in this passage..
He continues by saying: These historical accounts challenge His Divinity but by no means address Him as God
I ask my opponent to read the bold words on the quote I displayed above.. I think its very clear..
2). So we see that my opponent hasn't denied the historical reliability of these sources and agrees that they aid my argument. Therefore history stands on the side of Jesus claiming to be God.
3). The Resurrection Phenomenon
Again.. I figured my opponent would take the Muslim standpoint that Jesus did not rise from the dead. I will concede this contention in that respect.
I want to point out that my opponent has not disproven any of my above contentions and his responses are nothing more then common misconceptions... Again I don't say this to spark anger.. I say this because I sincerely believe this with my whole heart.
*I will respond shortly to the rest of my opponents responses due to a lack of space.
"I accepted this debate to show you that Christ Himself makes a clear distinction between Himself and God"
I fully agree.. So does the bible :)
"It's important to know that Jesus referred to Himself as a Prophet in numerous places in the Bible, so to call Him a Prophet is not a bad thing, because Jesus does it."
I agree that Jesus is a prophet.. He is the Messiah.. He is also God. I have shown how these things all collaborate in the bible.. I don't find your arguments otherwise.. convincing.
"One glaring problem the Christians have is that Jesus prayed, & had a God Himself. "
Not at all.. We understand the Trinity and the relationship that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have.. I've already shown how the Old Testament and New Testament reconcile these ideas together.. This is all foreshadowed in Genesis 1:26 "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness"..
Overall, I find my opponents rebuttal very unconvincing... My opponent forgets that Jesus claim to be God is very obvious according to the culture of that day.. His claim to be the Son of Man or claiming I AM were all taken as divine claims.. Take it from C.S Lewis,
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
P.S my opponent spewed a huge list of Biblical quotes that "allegedly" go against the notion of Jesus divinity.. They don't.. But nonetheless.. I don't have time to rebut them all.. Here's some for further inquiry
1 John 5:7
1 Cor. 8:6
1 Peter 1:2
1) "John 10:30"
Earlier, I wrote that there is a grammatical error being made when assuming that 2 persons are 1. I will stay true to this because my opponent has confirmed this by citing John 10:30. I ask my opponent and anyone else if they wish, to read 1 verse before 10:30. Notice the distinction Christ makes by saying, "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." This becomes very clear that His Father has given His sheep to Him and the authority to do works in His Name.
The thing is that, this leads back to the verse where it all begins, in 10:24. In that verse, the Jews ask Him to just get on with it and say that He's the Messiah. Jesus says in the next verse that He doesn't need to because His works speak for themselves and they don't believe because they are not His sheep. He goes on to explain that His sheep know Him and that He will give them eternal life. So all this comes back to the Father providing Jesus with the necessary means to command the Lost sheep of Israel. Without the Father, Jesus could not have done that, so this ultimately leads us to 10:30, when Jesus says I and my Father are one.
What's also interesting that completely shatters the foundation of my opponent's argument is that, in the verse after 10:30, in 10:31-39, Jesus is accused of and thrown stones at, because of the very thing my opponent's argument is based on. Lets have a look:
Once again the people picked up stones to kill him.
Jesus said, "At my Father"s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?"
They replied, "We"re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God."
Jesus replied, "It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to certain leaders of the people, "I say, you are gods!"
And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered.
So if those people who received God"s message were called "gods," why do you call it blasphemy when I say, "I am the Son of God"?
After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.
Don"t believe me unless I carry out my Father"s work.
But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don"t believe me.
Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father."
It's interesting how the Jews are accusing Christ of saying something that He Himself never said and Christ repeats this. The crowd accuse Him of saying that He was God, but Jesus says, no guys I said I am God's Son, not God Himself. So this tells us that my opponent's argument takes the place of the Jews who confronted Jesus at the time. Please read those verses properly before using a verse that you think serves you best.
2) "John 14:11"
Again, to my opponent I say, read the verse(s) before 14:11 in order to better understand the history of your argument and where it stands. Looking at 14:10, Jesus explicitly tells us that I do NOT do these works on my own authority but of that of MY Father. Jesus is saying, MY Father, and NOT my authority but HIS. How can you still say that Jesus is God when He Himself makes a clear distinction. I think I'll stick with Jesus's explanation rather than yours haha (no disrespect)
3) "John 14:22"
Again, if you read the verse before, Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the awaited by the Jews, is talking to the Father! This leads us back to the grammatical point I brought up. If Jesus is speaking to His Father, on what world is His Father, referring to Himself? The verse reads, "that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me."
4) "flat out wrong"
You can call me anything you feel like, but when Jesus makes a distinction between Himself and His Father, I have no argument with that and neither should you. :)
My opponent says that I am making a common misunderstanding when I re-state the points Jesus Himself brings up. If we look at the Bible, we can conclude that the Bible is "Thus saith the Lord" while the Church councils say "Thus saith people." These 2 have a world of difference. The Bible does not proclaim the trinity; church councils do. But church councils do not carry the authority of God. So who is more important, the Bible or the Church councils? Clearly, anyone with the basic understanding of this question, would pick the Bible. To pick the Church council, would mean it has more value than the Bible. You could argue that the Church council, rely their authority on the Bible before making decisions, but that does not erase the fact that the Trinity is a Church council doctrine and not a Biblical one. So respectfully, to agree with the Trinity, would mean that you hold man-made formulations of concepts based on unqualified interpretations, more dear than the Bible which is the Message from 2 Messengers of God.
You could also argue that when it says in Matthew 28:19, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.", those 3 terms are the Trinity. But my response to you would be, that it is a reference to 3 names, and there"s no mention of "trinity" nor is there any God-given instruction that we should relate those names to each other in a philosophical mashup. If that were true and you were correct about the trinity, then any verse that mentioned the 2 terms the Father and the Son, or God and Jesus, would have a God-given instruction to create a philosophical mashup of "bi-nity." In addition to this, there are a LOT more verses that mention the two than mention the three " a LOT more. So at that point we would have an argument about whether to believe in the bi-nity or the trinity. Better to just take the Scriptures as they"re given to us and not add in man-made ideas like tri-nity and bi-nity. I challenge you my friend to find me the word Trinity or any instruction on combining them together in order to form a triune concept. Please remove your "trinity glasses" when referring to such verses.
6) "John 1:1"
Now that you know the Trinity is man-made and not instructed by God, I wld be very interested to know what you understand from this verse.
7) "My opponents response to my statement on Mark 14:16"
This was just a summary of the verses leading up to 14:16. So in conclusion read them and with your "trinity glasses" removed, tell me what it says :)
I am going to enter the conclusion stage of this response due my opponent's unfortunate integration of a sad, false, and man-made doctrine which is spoiling the very foundation of Christianity and the Message of Christ:
In conclusion, this whole debate is about whether Christ is God or not. I have clearly shown my opponent that the history behind the Trinity is not a Biblical one, but a man-made one (Look up Council of Nicaea). It seems that in my next argument I will have to go through the history of the Trinity and the reason of its creation. But in short, the Trinity has NO Biblical support and is a failed attempt at explaining a sequence of titles that refer to both God, Christ and their Bond between them. There is no Divine command or instruction in combining them into anything, so I could care less what Trinitarians say regarding this matter because, it all boils down to what Christ says, which is what most Christians unfortunately skim over. My opponent seems to also think that Jesus did NOT have God as His Superior, he responds by saying "Not at all". The Bible is sprinkled with verses that show us Jesus praying to God:
Luke 6:12 = "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
Matthew 26:36-56 = This is the Garden of Gethsemane, where is Jesus Christ, the Messiah awaited by the Jews, the Lord and Savior of the Jews, is begging...no pleading with God to "let the cup pass" from Him. Jesus is keen on living but understands that God's will is more important that His own. Jesus is most definitely not having a divine monologue with Himself, so the only and most logical and most sensible understanding of such verses, is that Jesus prays to and has a God Himself. If He was God, He wouldn't beg Himself to take away the cup of martyrdom; He would simply take it away.
I would like to also respectfully make my opponent aware, to read very carefully before and after a certain verse that will be posted. Most of them were simply posted in hopes of achieving a goal that is not Biblically supported, because the before/after of the verse, collapsed the point my opponent was making.
The verses I allegedly "spewed" were all referring to the distinction between Jesus and God. The verse that I wanted you to see more than the others what John 8:42-43, where Jesus Himself is fed up with everyone calling Him God. He tells them, In what language or tongue should I tell you that God sent me? I don't know about anyone else, but it seems that Jesus is quite frustrated about individuals calling Him something He is not. So this goes for my opponent and anyone else reading this to know that calling Christ something He's not, results in His anger.
your turn :)
I appreciate my opponents response but I must admit... I am a bit confused. My opponent says that I have not addressed his responses..? I have addressed EVERY SINGLE response! I need to ask my opponent to re-read my rebuttals and find a single statement that I did not respond to... He also states that I am trying to prove the "legitimacy" of Jesus.. Again, all of my responses are centered on Jesus claims of Godhood... I've used both historical and biblical sources that clearly show how the Muslim view of Jesus is not supported. I understand that both Muslims and Christians both believe that Jesus existed.
Even so.. My opponent has pinned himself in a corner, he claims that I take certain verses out of context, He lists:
He says: "Again, to my opponent I say, read the verse(s) before 14:11 in order to better understand the history of your argument and where it stands."
Ok lets do that.. I will go back to the very first verse in John and read all the way through in order to understand the context.. Lets see what it says:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. - 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
Ok wait? So the FIRST VERSES in John say that Jesus is God.. Everything was made through Him.. And Him being the only God beside the Father has made Him known..
Guys, we then need to read the entire context through these lenses... My opponent does the exact opposite. He forgets this verse or twists it in order to fit his understanding.. And then finds verses in John that he thinks contradicts the Trinity.. This verse is VERY CLEAR.. It was meant to be.
Now that we understand the context. I urge my opponent to re-read the verse's he gave with his "trinity glasses" on... That's how the Gospel of John sets it up...
Now on to John 10:30..
Notice the distinction Christ makes by saying, "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." This becomes very clear that His Father has given His sheep to Him and the authority to do works in His Name.
Again, I want to re-iterate that the Trinity understands God as 1 Being in 3 Persons..
A being is the "What"
A Person is the "Who"
So God in essence is 1 "Thing" with three "Who's"
Let me give this illustration.. Lets pretend PersianImmortal is my daddy.. I tell my friends that my "daddy" is greater than I. He plays a greater role in the family.. Does that however make my dad any more human than I? Not at all
So when Jesus says that God the Father is Greater than I or All.. That doesn't make Father any more "God" than Jesus.. just like me calling my "daddy" greater than I doesn't makes him more human.
Let me make this point clear.. Christians believe that God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit ARE DISTINCT.. Look back to my previous illustration.. Here's a list from Carm in order to understand this concept:
1.John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Here's the link for further inquiry: https://carm.org...
Remember that we don't just believe this out of nowhere.. John 1:1 gives us the context.
My opponent then attacks the word "trinity" as being a "church invention" at the council of Nicea. While the word Trinity is not found in the bible.. We find the Trinity (Father,Son,Holy spirit) both throughout the OT and the NT.. I've already stated these verses but I will do it again:
"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" (Gen 1:26)
"Then the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us" (Gen 3:22)
"Then the Lord [YHWH] rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord [YHWH] out of heaven." (Gen 19:24)
"Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows." (Psalm 45:6-7)
"Come near to Me [God], listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, from the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” (Isaiah 48:16)
Besides the overwhelming evidence in the OT for the plurality of Gods statements.. Lets look at one of the earliest creeds in early Christian theology...
(Jesus) Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
We know that Philippians was written 30 years after Jesus death in 60 A.D, Paul is citing a Christian Hymn that dated back long before the written of his letter. We see that the earliest Christians were worshipping Jesus as God and having a fundamental understanding of the Trinity before the NT was written..
Again my opponents claim is not historically and biblicaly supported that the Trinity is only a church invention.
My opponent then states that certain verses only show the Bi-unity of Jesus and the Father.. We have other verses that show the Tri-Unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit... I don't really see why my opponent has such a difficult time with this? So because some verses don't include the Holy Spirit means that God is not Triune? Not at all! If Jesus says: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
You better do what He says! You can reconcile why Jesus only talked about the Father to prove a point.. If you worship a bi-unity you would be disobeying Jesus.
*I want to note that my opponent has not responded to the Son of Man argument that I gave.. He did not refute as to why the Greeks used the word latreuó when talking about Jesus. This alone is enough to know that Jesus claimed to be God.. I urge my opponent to give a valid reason to the contrary rather then attacking my reliably supported Trinitarian view..."
In my opponents conclusion he states:
the Trinity has NO Biblical support and is a failed attempt at explaining a sequence of titles that refer to both God, Christ and their Bond between them
Check my above passages relating to the Trinity in the OT... I'm interested in hearing your response.
There is no Divine command or instruction in combining them into anything, so I could care less what Trinitarians say regarding this matter because, it all boils down to what Christ says.
False, What does Jesus say? Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
We see that Jesus wants his disciples to be baptized in the NAME of the FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT. My friend, Jesus gave us this command after He rose. I pray that you will begin to understand.
"My opponent seems to also think that Jesus did NOT have God as His Superior"
Relational yes.. Fundamentally No.. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all in essence God.. But the Son is Obedient to the Father (Hebrews 10:7), The Father sends the Son in the power of the Spirit (1 John 4:14).. The Father is superior to Jesus in the relation role.. But that does not mean God the Father is "more God".
"I would like to also respectfully make my opponent aware, to read very carefully before and after a certain verse that will be posted. Most of them were simply posted in hopes of achieving a goal that is not Biblicaly supported, because the before/after of the verse"
I understand where you are coming from.. However you did not take into account the very first verses in John rendering all of your interpretations as faulty. You cannot take out the first verse.. Render your own interpretation.. And then say that my view is false based on a couple other verse's.
All in All.. My opponent has not succefully rebutted my initial claim that Jesus is God... I will gladly hold the BOP.. My opponent has barely scratched the surface of my arguments but rather threw out of context verses to attack the Trinity view..
I might sound a little brisk but this is very important! Jesus is not just a prophet.. He is much more, my friend, I ask that you will approach the real Jesus.. The one who says: if you do not believe that I am He, you will indeed die in your sins." John 8:24
Back to Con
Please continue with your arguments and God willing in the next round, I will have more time to answer :)
I look forward to your argument
In order to respect my opponents lack of time for a response in the previous round, I will keep my conclusion shorter than intended.
Although I had to concede some arguments due to my opponent being of different faith than Islam.. I have held to a singular contention.
1). Jesus claimed to be God
I gave a non biblical historical source that shows Jesus claim to Godhood.. That of Celsius:
a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.”
Let me reiterate that my opponent gave a faulty interpretation of this quoting and also says that it aids my argument: "this is a description of Jesus' father, not Jesus Himself. So, this has a little more relevancy to this debate, but again, it does help your argument in proving that Jesus is God."
It stands on the side of history then that the early Christians worship Jesus as God which is also shown from early Christian hymn in Philippians 2:6 where it states: 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.. Which we know was created 5-10 years after Jesus death. .
We understand that this was written within 5-10 years of Jesus' death which discounts any hypothesis that the discples beleifs evolved from a prophet to divine Jesus.. I wonder.. Why did the early disciples worship Jesus as God if He so clearly emphasise that he was just a prophet? It doesent make sense. These Chrsitians were alive during Jesus teachings!
Therefore.. We see that history stands on the side of Jesus claiming divinity... We've seen no plausible rebuttal from my opponent...
Lets then turn to the biblical aspect of Jesus Godhood.. My opponent gives 2 essential rebuttals:
To say that Jesus Christ is God and point to a verse that supposedly backs up the claim, means that you either reject the rest of the New Testament or you don't know the rest of it. Let me explain what I mean. My opponent has mentioned multiple verses which he claims, reinforces the stance of Jesus = God. I have asked him to read the back a few verses and understand the circumstances in which the Bible words the verses as such. Ultimately, this was not done. There are numerous if not almost everywhere in the Bible, where Jesus Christ refers to a Higher Power and prays to Him, asks Him questions, and at one point, He pleads with Him so save His own life (Garden of Gethsemane). It also comes to a point that Christ Himself becomes upset at the people and His disciples for referring to Him as God (John 8:41-43). This presents an obvious answer to the debate; If Christ becomes upset for calling Him God, then why are the Christians continuing to do so? Do they not care if Christ becomes upset? Do they not care to understand the distinction between God and Jesus that Jesus so generously makes? So if Jesus is pleading, and asking God for His Blessings, and takes actions in His Name, then we eventually have a definite distinction between God and His Messenger, Jesus Christ. Ultimately that's why He is called a Messenger; because He has a Message. So let's look at the verses where there is a separation between God and Jesus:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This [Jesus Christ] is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
*God talking about Jesus*
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man [Jesus Christ], it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost [God], it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
*Speak against Jesus = forgiveness...Speak against God = well, that's not safe for your soul. This shows us the clear border between God and His Messenger, Jesus Christ*
And he [Jesus Christ] went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
*Jesus pleading on his hands and knees and His face on the ground in submission to God in the Garden of Gethsemane*
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son [Jesus Christ], but the Father.
*So the Day of Judgment is not known to Jesus but only to God*
So then after the Lord [Jesus Christ] had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
*Sitting on the right hand of God, does not imply that Jesus was sitting on His own right hand. Again, clear distinction.*
And the angel answered and said unto her [Mary], The Holy Ghost [God] shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
*angel sharing a word of caution from God to mary about the future coming of Jesus*
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
*None have seen God, but the only begotten Son, they have. So they're not the same.*
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him [Jesus Christ].
And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost [the gift of holy spirit].
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
*Jesus was not Annointed by Himself, He was Annointed by God*
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
*God loved the world so He gave us Jesus. It says God sent Jesus...not Jesus sent Jesus haha*
I [Jesus Christ] can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
*Jesus stating word for word that He can do nothing without the aid of the Father. Again, Jesus is just another man without God, but God chose Him to do His works on Earth so this puts Him above us mere humans but no where near God*
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
*Not mine...but His that sent me...If you believe in Jesus, then dont make up things from church leaders who say things contrary to that of Christ. Who do you hold more dear? Jesus or some guy?
Ye have heard how I [Jesus Christ] said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
*Father is greater than I...not I am greater than myself"
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
*Son of God...not Son of Himself...With all due respect, Jesus is not a sponge to partake in the biological process of budding...He's a human being that God chose to share His Message, hence Messenger from God.*
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.....so either you're saying God is sinful by putting Jesus on par with God, or you haven't read the Bible*
I Corinthians 8:6:
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
God - we are by Him and Jesus = we are by Him...If it was right to call Jesus God, then the printing shop wouldn't waste that much ink to separate Jesus and God. They would just write Jesus is God...period.*
I Corinthians 11:3:
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
*THe head of Christ is God,....enough said*
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
*Jesus made of a woman....= human*
I Timothy 2:5:
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Jesus is a mediator....not God Himself. If Jesus was God, then this verse and the rest of the Bible is useless*
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
*Jesus the SON of God...not Jesus, the God*
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.
*no need to explain*
I John 5:5:
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
*Again, no need to explain*
II John 3:
Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
*Son of the FATHER*
So in conclusion, either you haven't read the Bible or you reject what Jesus says entirely and His own argument and sepraration between Himself and His Father, His Master, His God.