Christianity, Judaism and Islam are great Abrahamic religions, While there are many differences, there are also many commonalities, which can form basis for mutual peaceful coexistence. People with little knowledge of Islam with ignorance and malice make efforts to misguide the people by twisting the scripture. Stephen Blanton is one of such Islamophobes, who has drawn a fallacious comparison titled: “COMPARE CHRISTIANITY TO ISLAM” at his website. It is considered prudent to unveil the reality for the benefit of people of all faiths, to clear the doubts created through malicious propaganda. While full rebuttal is available <here>. This is the first article in series, in which the first claim out of fifteen has been responded.
Christianity: God is One in Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Islam: Allah is One; he has no Son. The Holy Spirit does not exist.
Analysis-Trinity and Bible:
Trinity, is defined as: “The three Persons (The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) are Co-Equal and Co-Eternal: all alike are Uncreated and Omnipotent (supreme).”
While majority Christians now believe in Trinity, there has always been a group of Christians who reject it being extra biblical and later insertion. One must read the Bible with open mind, there are clear verses without any ambiguity on oneness of God, monotheism in Old Testament and New Testament. People leave these clear verses and try to extract desired meanings for some ambiguous verses which are twisted. It is against common-sense and logic to identify God in such dubious way. Anthony Buzzard, the renowned Christian scholar has researched the Bible, his findings are:
In the New Testament seventeen passages, wherein the Father is styled one or only God, while there is not a single passage in which the Son is so styled.
There are 320 passages in which the Father is absolutely, and by way of eminence, called God; while there is not one in which the Son is thus called.
There are 105 passages in which the Father is denominated God, with peculiarly high titles and epithets, whereas the Son is not once denominated.
There are 90 passages wherein it is declared that all prayers and praises ought to be offered to Him, and that everything ought to be ultimately directed to his honor and glory; while of the Son no such declaration is ever made.
Of 1,300 passages in the New Testament wherein the word God is mentioned, not one necessarily implies the existence of more than one person in the Godhead, or that this one is any other than the Father.
The passages wherein the Son is declared, positively, or by clearest implication, to be subordinate to the Father, deriving his being from Him, receiving from Him his power, and acting in all things wholly according to His will, are in number above 300.
In NO verse in the Bible (and there are some 31,102 verses) is the word three ever associated with the word God. God is never said to be numerically three. None of the 810,677 words of the Bible provides a sample of the word “God” meaning a triune God. Yes, of course, the Father, the Son and the Spirit are mentioned together often in the New Testament, but never once does any Bible writer arrive at the proposition that God is to be defined as three Persons. It is one thing to speak of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit together. It is quite another to say that each of these three is co-equally God and that together they amount to one God!
In a word, the supremacy of the Father, and the inferiority of the Son, is the simple, unembarrassed, and current doctrine of the Bible; whereas, that of their equality or identity is clothed in mystery, encumbered with difficulties, and dependent, at the best, upon few passages for support after twisting and manipulation.
Here effort has been made to present the true picture about ambiguity of dubious claims to consider Jesus Christ as deity while totally ignoring clear verses on One Single God. Please spare time to think and ponder, you are answerable to God to identify Him as He is, as He wants you to do. While praying to God to open your mind to the Truth, use your intellect sincerely to discern truth from falsehood.
“I ALONE AM GOD! I AM GOD and there is NONE LIKE ME”[Isaiah 46:9]
“There is ONE God and one mediator between God and man, the HUMAN BEING Messiah Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).
According to John, Jesus carefully distinguished himself from the Father who is “the only true God” (17:3; cp. 5:44; 6:27).
There is no clear verse in the bible which support the doctrine of ‘Trinity’, except 1 John; 5:7,8; “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.” (in some volumes this changed as : “There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree”. In the foot not of this verse in ‘New International Version Bible’ it is written; ‘not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century. Dr C.I, Scofield, D.D. backed by eight other D.D.’s in a footnote to this verse opine: “It is generally agreed that this verse has no manuscript authority and has been inserted.”The fundamentalist Christians still retain this fabrication whereas; in all the modern translations including the Revised Standard Version (RSV) this pious deceit has been unceremoniously expunged.
L.L. Paine, at one time Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Bangor Theological Seminary, summarises: “The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a Trinity is to be found there or even in any way shadowed forth, is an assumption that has long held sway in theology, but is utterly without foundation. The Jews, as a people, under its teachings became stern opponents of all polytheistic tendencies and they have remained unflinching monotheists to this day. On this point there is no break between the Old Testament and the New. The monotheistic tradition is continued. Jesus was a Jew, trained by Jewish parents in the Old Testament Scriptures. His teaching was Jewish to the core; a new Gospel indeed, but not a new theology. He declared that He came ‘not to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill’ them, and He accepted as His own belief the great text of Jewish monotheism: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God.’ His proclamation concerning Himself was in line with Old Testament prophecy. He was the ‘Messiah’ of the promised Kingdom, the ‘Son of Man’ of Jewish hope…If He sometimes asked ‘Who do men say that I the Son of Man am?’ He gave no answer beyond the implied assertion of Messiahship” (A Critical History of the Evolution of Trinitarianism, 1900, pp. 4, 5).
The other verses from Bible, which have been interpreted by the Catholic and Protestant Churches to support the Divinity of Jesus Christ are vague. Critical analysis of these verses, reveals that, either their wordings are ambiguous, leaving them open to a number of different interpretations, or they are later additions not found in the early manuscripts of the Bible. Hence many Christians like Dr.Anthony Buzzard don’t believe in Trinity, they are called Unitarian Christians.
Monotheism in Bible and Quran:
“SAY: “He is the One God: “God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being. “He begets not, and neither is He begotten; “and there is nothing that could be compared with Him. (Quran;112:1-4)
Monotheism is fundamental to Abrahamic faith and all the scriptures, Bible [Old & New Testament] and Quran emphasise strict monotheism. Just One God with no partner or helper.
“Abraham was neither a “Jew” nor a “Christian”, but was one who turned away from all that is false, having surrendered himself unto God; and he was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him.”(Quran;3:67)
“Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham.”(Galatians;3:6-7).
“If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did.” (Jesus, John; 8:39).
“In fact, your religion is one religion, and I am your only Lord: so fear Me Alone. Yet people have divided themselves into factions and each faction rejoices in its own doctrines”(Quran;23:52-53).
“Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) Prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed. And only those unto whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred one of another. And Allah by His will guided those who believe unto the truth of that concerning which they differed. Allah guides whom He will unto a Straight path.”(Quran;2:213).
Islam is based on the strict adherence to monotheism (The doctrine or belief that there is only one God) called Tawhid, which was preached by Abraham (peace be upon him);
Allah, the One and Only God, the Creator, Cherisher and Sustainer of all the Worlds: “And He is Allah: there is no god but He. To him be praise at the first and at the last: for Him is the Command and to Him shall ye (all) be brought back.”(Quran;28:70)
“Thus said the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”(Isaiah;44:6)
“No just estimate have they made of Allah: for Allah is He Who is strong and able to carry out His Will” (Quran;22:74)
Abraham (peace be upon him) said:
“For me I, have set my face firmly and truly toward Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.”(Quran;6:79).
Moses (peace be upon him) said:
“Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad ”[“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”] (Deuteronomy;6:4)
Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) said:
“Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad ”[“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”](Mark;12:29
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was commanded:
“Your God is one God; there is no one worthy of worship except Him, the Compassionate, the Merciful.(Quran;2:163).
Tawhid, the basis of Islam, needs deep understanding. Tawhid relates to the oneness of God, in the sense that He is one and there is no god but He, as stated in the “witness” creed (shahadah): “There is no one worthy of worship except Allah (God) and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His messenger”. Tawhid further refers to the nature of God, that He is a unity, not composed, not made up of parts, but simple and uncompounded:
“Say, He is the One God” (Qura’n;112:1).
The doctrine of the unity of God and the issues that it raises, such as the question of the relation between the essence and the attributes of God, reappear throughout most of Islamic history. Tawhid can not be visualized in a pantheistic sense: (Pantheism; a doctrine identifying the Deity with the universe and its phenomena) that it is wrong to say that; “all essences are divine, and there is no absolute existence besides that of God”. To majority Muslims, the science of Tawhid is the systematic theology through which a better knowledge of God may be reached.
Trinity in not Biblical Doctrine:
Trinity doctrine described as fundamental to Christianity lacks direct scriptural support. Proponents of the doctrine assert that although the doctrine is not stated directly in the New Testament, it is instead an interpretation of elements contained therein that imply the doctrine that was later formulated in the 4th century. William Barclay, a Church of Scotland minister, says: “It is important and helpful to remember that the word Trinity is not itself a New Testament word. It is even true in at least one sense to say that the doctrine of the Trinity is not directly New Testament doctrine. It is rather a deduction from and an interpretation of the thought and the language of the New Testament.”
The New Catholic Encyclopedia states:
“The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught [explicitly] in the [Old Testament]”, “The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established [by a council] … prior to the end of the 4th century.”
Similarly, Encyclopedia Encarta states:
“The doctrine is not taught explicitly in the New Testament, where the word God almost invariably refers to the Father. … The term trinitas was first used in the 2nd century, by the Latin theologian Tertullian, but the concept was developed in the course of the debates on the nature of Christ … In the 4th century, the doctrine was finally formulated”.
Encyclopædia Britannica says: “Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4). … The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies. … by the end of the 4th century, under the leadership of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus (the Cappadocian Fathers), the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since.”
The Anchor Bible Dictionary states: “One does not find in the NT the trinitarian paradox of the coexistence of the Father, Son, and Spirit within a divine unity.”
Nontrinitarianism always existed, it is a form of Christianity that rejects the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity—the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases or persons who are coeternal, coequal, and indivisibly united in one being, or essence. Nontrinitarian views differ widely on the nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Various nontrinitarian philosophies, such as adoptionism, monarchianism, and subordinationism existed prior to the establishment of the Trinity doctrine in AD 325, 381, and 431, at the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Ephesus. Nontrinitarianism was later renewed by Cathars in the 11th through 13th centuries, in the Unitarian movement during the Protestant Reformation, in the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, and in some groups arising during the Second Great Awakening of the 19th century. The doctrine of the Trinity, as held in mainstream Christianity, is not present in the other major Abrahamic religions. There are many intellectuals and scholars who did not believe in Trinity like Isaac Newton did not believe in trinitarianism as documented in a letter to a friend, now preserved in The New College Library in Oxford, UK. Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture (part 1: ff. 1–41). He listed “worshipping Christ as God” in a list of “Idolatria” in his theological notebook. However, he never made a public declaration of his anti-Trinitarian beliefs for fear of losing his position. There are many Nontrinitarianism groups at work in USA and all over the world.
Allah [One God]
Allah [God] is one, Allah is Arabic for God, also used in Arabic Bible, read by millions of Arab Christians. …. “ELAH” is another name for God, used about 70 times in the Old Testament. It is very similar to Arabic “Allah” or ‘Eelah’. Elahh [hla]’ (Aramaic; el-aw’): corresponding to God. In Hebrew [hwla] ‘elowahh el-o’-ah; probably prolonged (emphat.) from [la]’el ale; a deity or the Deity:–God, god. Again, when combined with other words, we see different attributes of God. Some examples: Elah Yerush’lem – God of Jerusalem: (Ezra;7:19), Elah Yisrael – God of Israel: (Ezra;5:1), Elah Sh’maya – God of Heaven:(Ezra 7:23). Elah Sh’maya V’Arah – God of Heaven and Earth: (Ezra;5:11).
The Holy Spirit [Ruh Al-Quds]:
Its blatant lie to say that Holy Spirit does not exist in Islam. If someone could have read Quran, would never give such a false statement.
In “Islam the Holy Spirit [Arabic: Ruh Al-Quds] is Archangel Gabriel, who brings Revelations of God to the Messengers and Prophets of God. Holy Spirit [Ruh Al-Quds] has been mentioned four times in Quran directly , 2:87, 2:253, 5:110,16:102
“And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah’s sovereignty), and We supported him (Jesu Christ) with the Holy spirit. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from God) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay? (Quran 2:87)