Where is the Dialogue?
Several visitors to our site have asked us, "why do you call this Muslim-Christian dialogue when there are no Muslim views on the site?" So we thought we should explain it here.
This site is designed to be thought-provoking and to open up discussions. There are many discussions taking place behind the scenes. However, we do not make these discussions public because we find that such discussion is not constructive and becomes a forum for criticism. We also feel that it is important to hold such discussions confidentially, rather than in a public open discussion so that those who are genuinely seeking answers to questions can do so privately. It is not our intention to tell Muslims, Christians or anyone else what they should believe, but we are always happy to discuss the reasons for our beliefs and open to be corrected if we have got anything wrong. At times the discussions lead to us writing further material for the site when new questions come to light, so that others can benefit from the discussions.
Our External Links page has links to Islamic sites that may be of interest. If you think we should be linking to another site, which is relevant to our discussion, please let us know. However, you should note that we do not link to sites that are belligerent or have used foul language. If you find anything on our site offensive do let us know as that is NOT our intention.
What really the teaching about one true God or Monotheism is in the Bible and the Qur’an?
We find that the Qur’an presents God being One, Ahad, or as unitarian in the sense that it rejects the personal relationships within the Godhead (Sura 112:1-4 and others). On the other hand, we find that Christian monotheism or the belief in one true God in the light of many references in the Bible about God teaches that God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. From this Christians understand that although he is One True God, he is trinitarian.
Muslims indeed object that the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible for the understanding of the monotheism that Christians present. Well, the same goes for Islamic monotheism the word Tawhid as adopted in the Islamic law system indeed does not appear in the Qur’an either. For a Muslim, God is aloof and that He created us so that our relationship with Him will be always and only as of a Master and servant (Sura 19:33).
In opposition to that, the Christian understanding is that before creating the universe, God was already in a relational life. Within the Godhead, the Father related to the Son, the Son to the Father, the Father and Son to the Holy Spirit, and so on. God created us, our family and our community structure after his trinitarin image. Our relationship thus with Him goes beyond as of a Master and servant. In obedience to him our relationship with him is of a Father and son through His Holy Spirit. Now, it does not mean that Jesus is just a human being and son of God as we are. Jesus is the unique Son of God. How? The Christian Scriptures mentions him as leaving his divine status and becoming like us after the imprint of first Adam so to be the second Adam on this earth. And as through the first Adam we have inherited our physical being along with a fallen nature after the fall, now through faith by our belief in Christ as the second Adam we are being restored to the spiritual, the eternal life with God and in his realms again.
The Christian Scripture is quite clear about Jesus being in his eternal essence with God before even the foundation of the universe. As God is, Jesus as being His word or Son with the Holy Spirit in union was there. How? This has not been very much explained in the Scriptures. Why? Well if everything had been explained through the standard of reasoning we have, first of all it will still be impossible and we will lack the comprehension in the fallen state we are. However, the Day is coming when we will know Him as He is and will continue t know Him more and more. At present He has revealed as much as is enough for us.
You may want to read also another article, 'Who is God?' click here.
Why are the manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek when Jesus spoke Aramaic?
We don't know why God chose the Greek language for inspiration, but we should not lay restrictions on Him. However, it was the universal language of that time right up until1000 AD.
When we read the Qur'an, we find verses in Arabic which are said to be the words of Jesus (Surah 3:49-54; 5:114-118; 61:14 etc.). Indeed Muslims believe that they are words of Jesus. Now, if Jesus' words can be recorded as the word of God in Arabic, a translation, then surely his words can also be recorded in the Greek language of the Christian Scriptures.
One may also find words spoken by various prophets in the Qur'an. Most of these prophets spoke Hebrew but their words are also recorded in Arabic in the Qur'an. So one can see that Muslims don't have these people's original words either. In spite of this, if such a situation does not effect the integrity of the Qur'an, then nor should it be treated as evidence to question the integrity of the Bible.
How can Jesus be the Son of God?
Firstly, let's be clear about this, Christians do not use the title 'Son of God' to mean that God took Mary to be his wife. At the time of Muhammad it was widely believed that Allah had many sons and daughters. Muhammad, in rejecting this belief, thought that Christians had a similar belief. Christians and Muslims agree that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, and that Jesus is the word of God and and a spirit from God.
In the Bible we read: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:34,35)
Christians use the term 'Son of God' meaning that he is the eternal word of God as stated in the Qur'an (Surah 3:45), having been in existence from the beginning: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1,2) In calling Jesus the 'Son of God' we are merely stating our belief that Jesus is God's eternal Word, born of the Spirit of God to the Virgin Mary, to reveal God's likeness (John 14:9) and to save the world from the wages of sin (Romans 6:23 and John 3:17). We believe that through Jesus, God who is Al-baten - the hidden, became Az-zaher - the revealed. No one has seen the Father (al-baten) but the son has revealed him (as being his az-zaher).
A related article 'Jesus: Did he claim to be the Son of God?' is available here.
How can you quote from the Bible when it has been altered or corrupted?
This presents the question, when was the Bible altered or corrupted? It could not have occurred after the time of Muhammad as there is much evidence that the Bible is materially the same now as it was then. If it was before the time of Muhammad, Muslims have problems with their own scriptures for the Qur'an says: "The Word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: none can change His Words: for He is the one Who heareth and knoweth all." (Surah 6:116)
Elsewhere it states, "For them are Glad Tidings, in the life of the Present and in the Hereafter: no change can there be in the Words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme Felicity." (Surah 10:64)
Please read our article on similar subject, "The Bible is changed - Really" on this site here.
Why do Christians believe in three gods?
It is true that the Qur'an condemns who believe: "... Allah is the third of three ... " (Surah 5:73, tr. Pickthall). Elsewhere, we are told, "And behold! Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, 'Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?" (Surah 5:116, tr. Yusaf Ali)
What the Qur’an is condemning is a trinity made of God (Allah), Mary and Jesus. However, Christians do NOT believe in three gods as the Bible says: "The Lord our God, the Lord is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4).
It is recorded in the gospel of Mark that Jesus used this very verse himself when asked, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?": "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'" (Mark 12:29,30)
Indeed, we believe in ONE God and love him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. While our Muslim friends hold the idea of Tawhid, we as followers of Christ hold to God's unity in Trinity and thus one declares, I believe in one God who has revealed himself in the Scripture as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…..
We only know as much as what Jesus has revealed about God. That Great Day in His presence we will know more about HIM.