I. Some Basic Facts About Islam II. Five Pillars of Faith (The Central Duties of Islam) III. Five Articles of Faith (The Central Doctrines of Islam) IV. Background of Islam V. Pagan Origins of Islam VI.. The Qur'an and Questioning VII. The Rejection of the Qur'an by Arabs VIII. Christ in the Koran IX. Misconceptions About Trinity X. Studying with Muslims
I. Some Basic Facts About IslamTop
- Islam is the fastest growing religion in the U.S. (U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, Oct. 8, 1990). It is growing at a rate of 400% per year in the USA .
- Half of all the Muslims in the U.S. are African Americans.
- Islam has mosques in every major city in Europe and is the second largest religion in the world with 1.1 billion followers.
- Islam has been a dominant force in Asia and Africa for hundreds of years. It is spreading mostly through marriage and breeding in these countries.
- Countries with a high population of Muslims ( Indonesia , Pakistan , Saudi Arabia , etc.) have a reputation for persecuting Christians.
- Christian nations in the West tolerate Islam, but Islamic countries are unwilling to tolerate Christianity.
- Islam is a theocracy, which means that Moslem laws govern both religion and civil state: both personal and public laws
"There is no way that Islam can reform itself and remain Islam, no way it can ever be made compatible with pluralism, free speech, critical thought and democracy. Anyone convinced they already possess the truth have no need for such things. Although Muslims resident in non-Muslim countries clamour for every kind of indulgence for their own beliefs and customs, there can be no doubt that given any kind of power they would impose their own beliefs and eliminate all difference."
(Ibn-al-Rawandi, Review of "Why I Am Not a Muslim,"
- Muslims today claim that Islam can bridge the gap between Jews and Christians.
- Islam presents the only serious competition to Christianity of any major world religion.
- Will it be the trends in Islam or in our own world that make Muslim evangelism such a challenge?
"I am convinced that the greatest obstacles are the trends in our own world: trends that render churches impotent; that view the aliens in the country as a threat more than an opportunity; and loss of sheer evangelistic and mission zeal. Christian stereotypes of Muslims can only damage relations and discourage evangelism. Muslims were 'camel jockeys' in the 1960's; 'oil sheiks' in the 1970's and 'terrorists' in the 1980's."
(Evertt W. Huffard, TRENDS IN ISLAM,
II. Five Pillars of Faith (The Central Duties of Islam)Top
- The Creed : To testify that, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." This creed must be confessed in order to become and remain a Muslim.
- Prayer : To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly. They originally prayed facing Jerusalem until Mohammed fell out with the Jews.
Bible : [Mat 6:7] And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
- Almsgiving : Muslims are required to give one fortieth of their income to Allah as Zakat (obligatory charity). The recipients of such benevolence feel no gratitude towards the giver. They believe they are giving him the opportunity to fulfill his responsibility.
Bible : [2Cor 9:7] Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
- Fasting : To observe fast during the month of Ramadan; this is the month that Mohammed performed his meditation.
- Pilgrimage : It is the duty of every Muslim to perform a Hajj (Pilgrimage) to Mecca at least once in his lifetime. The pilgrim runs around the Ka'aba seven times, drinks from the well, Zimzam, and performs other running exercises and acts of devotion.
Hadith. A custom of the teachings or practice of the Prophet: one of the main sources of Islamic law.
Sharia. Islamic law consisting of the teachings of the Quran, the sunna of the prophet which is incorporated in the recognized traditions; the general agreement of the scholars of the orthodox community; the method of reasoning by equivalence.
Sunna. Properly, a custom or practice, and later narrowed down to the routine of the Prophet or a tradition stating the same.
"Islam" means to "surrender." "Muslim" means "those who submit."
Bible : Mindless submission is discouraged, instead the Bible encourages obeying God, in love and gratitude, as a response to His love and grace.
[Mat 22:37] The Greatest Commandment is: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."
[2Cor. 5:14-15] "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
III. Five Articles of Faith (The Central Doctrines of Islam)Top
A. There is only one true God who name is Allah.
- He is the source of both good and evil and controls everything that happens. That is why Muslims often say, "It is the will of Allah."
Bible: God does not cause evil to happen because in Him there is no sin.
[Jas 1:17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.
[1John 3:5-6] You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.
- Allah will judge the world at the Last Day.
Bible: [Acts 17:31] ...Because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.
B. Angels are supernatural beings who are inferior to God, but superior to man.
- Angels can be either good or evil
- They are messengers of Allah
- They can influence man directly
C. There are four inspired books of Scripture which God has revealed to man.
- The Law of Moses
- The Psalms of David
- The Gospel of Jesus Christ
- The Koran (Quran or Qur'an)
Whenever the first three disagree with the Koran, the Moslem believes they have been corrupted.
The Koran supercedes all other revelations and is Allah's final word to mankind.
D. Allah has spoken to man through many prophets.
- Shiites claim that God has sent at least 124,000 prophets.
- Twenty eight prophets are mentioned in the Koran; 22 are from the Old Testament; three are from the New Testament.
- Even Alexander the Great is considered to be a prophet of Allah.
- According to Islam, the six greatest prophets are:
- Mohammed, the last and greatest
E. There will be a resurrection of the dead and a judgement day at the end of the world.
- Allah will reward men according to their deeds. One's good works must outweigh the bad in order to go to Paradise . Otherwise he will go to Hell.
- If a Moslem dies in a holy war or "Jihad," he is guaranteed eternal life in Paradise .
- Paradise is a physical place of sensual pleasures where each man will have a harem of beautiful women who will bear children for him.
IV. Background of IslamTop
Through their contacts with Jews and Christians, the Meccans acquired a certain awareness of monotheism and developed vague notions of a Supreme Being. They believed, however, that they could gain access to the Supreme Being only through intercessors--gods and goddesses in the form of idols. So they installed 360 such idols in the Ka'bah, which remained there until the Prophet Muhammad destroyed them and reconsecrated the Ka'bah, which subsequently became the holiest shrine of the Islamic religion. (Diller, Daniel C.; The Middle East, Congressional Quartely Inc: Washington, D.C.; 1994, p. 173)
- Judaism and Christianity were the only religions, before Islam, which believed in the One God.
- Islam has borrowed heavily from both Judaism and Christianity.
- Muhammed, the founder, was born in 570 AD in Mecca in Arabia .
- Mecca was the site of a sacred shrine, "the Ka'aba" which was the center of idol worship. They had 360 gods and the Moon-god was the chief deity.
- The Ka'aba contained a black stone (probably a meteorite) which is still regarded as a holy object for the Moslems.
Visions of Muhammed
- At the age of 25, he married his 40-year-old, wealthy, widowed employer (Khadijah).
- His newfound wealth allowed him the leisure to purse his interest in religion.
- He spent the month of Ramadan each year in a cave in meditation.
- He became disgusted with idolatry and desired to rid Arabia of idol worship.
- He claimed that he started receiving visions at age 40 from the angel Gabriel, which continued for the rest of his life.
- In one of these visions, he claimed, he went to heaven and was told that he was the greatest man on earth.
Spread of Islam
"Another important achievement of Ibn Warraq is that he explodes the myth of Islamic tolerance, a myth largely invented by Jews and Western freethinkers as a stick with which to beat the Catholic Church. Islam was never a religion of tolerance and it is not tolerant by nature. Despite the way the apologists would like to depict it, Islam was spread by the sword and has been maintained by the sword throughout its history, not to mention the scourge and the cross. In truth it was the Arab empire that was spread by the sword and it is as an Arab empire that Islam is maintained to this day in the form of a religion largely invented to hold that empire together and subdue native populations. An unmitigated cultural disaster parading as God's will. Religious minorities were always second-class citizens in this empire and were only tolerated on sufferance and in abject deference to their Arab/Muslim masters; for polytheists and unbelievers there was no tolerance at all, it was conversion or death."
(Ibn-al-Rawandi, Review of "Why I Am Not a Muslim,"
- Possibly, after Mohammed's contact with Christians, he became upset with idolatry and determined to rid Arabia of idol worship.
- Due to his opposition to idolatry, Mohammed and his followers were initially persecuted for their beliefs. His flight on July 16, 622, from Mecca to Medina ("city of the prophet") is called the "Hejira" and marks the beginning of the Moslem calendar.
- The Jews at Medina first welcomed him, but later turned against him. Mohammed killed them and no longer prayed towards Jerusalem .
- Mohammed gathered an army and conquered the surrounding tribes and forced them to accept his religion at swordpoint. This spirit of conquering and converting eventually lead to the idea of Jihad or 'holy war' which was the primary means of the spread of Islam in the early stages.
The Islamic commonwealth now began to emerge and take shape through raids and conquests in which the Bedouin's free spirit and love for movement and booty were channeled to the call of Jihad . (Diller, Daniel C.; p. 174)
- At the time of his death in 632, all of Arabia was under Mohammed's control and ruled by the teachings of Islam.
- In one century after Mohammed, Islam spread throughout Northern Africa and Middle East; eventually they conquered Spain , Turkey , India , and part of China .
- Islam was defeated at the Battle of Tours in 732, and prevented from conquering all of Europe .
Divisions in Islam
- After Mohammed's death, the great struggle for control of this new religion resulted in the murder of Abu Bakr, the leader of Islam after Mohammed.
- Islam split into three major divisions:
- Sunnis : Majority of Moslems belong to this 'moderate' Sunni division. Generally, the Sunnis are not as radical as other Moslems. Taken from "Sunni" which refers to the practice of Mohammed. They look to Mohammed's example for enlightenment when situations arise which have no precedent in the Koran.
- Shiites : They are a radical and militant division of Islam. This division is the fundamentalists who are involved in much of the terrorism in the Middle East . "Shiite" is an Arabic word meaning "party" or faction. Ali, who married Mohammed's daughter, was the first leader of this party. He and his two sons were murdered by other Moslems. They control Iran and had Ayatollah Khomeini as their leader. Their claim is that they are the only true followers of Islam.
- Sufis : They are the mystic sect of Islam. They oppose a rigid interpretation of Qur'an and seek a personal relationship with Allah through 'experiences,' such as religious dancing. The "Whirling Dervishes" are of this sect who practice this type of religious dancing.
V. Pagan Origins of IslamTop
Issue of Continuity:
"Whenever someone tells them: 'Believe in what God has sent down;' they say: 'We believe [only] in what has been sent down to us,' while they disbelieve in what has come after that, even though it is the Truth confirming what they already have." (Qur'an 2:87 )
- Muslims claim that Allah is the same God of the Bible, and the message of the Koran is consistent with that of the Bible.
- Therefore, their claim for converting Jews or Christians to Islam rests on this issue, otherwise if their deity is a different 'god' with a different message, their claims are refuted.
Who is Allah?
The word Allah was derived from al-ilah which had become a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god. Each Arab tribe used Allah to refer to its own particular high god. This is why Hubal, the Moon god, was the central focus of prayer at the Kabah and people prayed to Hubal using the name Allah. (Dr. Robert Morey; http://www.cultbusters.com/allah.htm )
"Islam also owes the term "Allah" to the heathen Arabs. We have evidence that it entered into numerous personal names in Northern Arabia and among the Nabatians. It occurred among the Arabs of later times, in theophorous names and on its own."
Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not A Muslim,
(Prometheus, Amherst, 1995) p. 42.
- The worship of the Moon-god "Suen" (also called Nanna or Asimbabbaar) was the most wide-spread religion in the Middle East (Hall, Mark. 1985, A Study of the Sumerian Moon-god , Nanna/Suen; University of PA)
- The symbol of this Moon-god was the crescent moon, and was constantly found on ancient pottery or artifacts of worship. Islam adopted the crescent moon as its religious symbol.
- In Mesopotamia the word "Suen" was transformed into the word "Sin" by the Sumerians as their favorite name for the Moon-god by the Sumerians (Austin Potts, 1971, The Hymns and Prayers To The Moon-god, Sin , Dropsie College, p. 2)
- The Old Testament rebuked the worship of the Moon-god (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; II Kings 21:3,5 etc.) because it often caused Israel to commit idolatry.
- While the name of the Moon-god was "Sin," his title was "al-ilah" meaning "the deity." "Ilah" is a generic Arabic word for "god" or "deity."
- "The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God." (Coon, Carleton S.; 1944. Southern Arabia , Washington D.C. : Smithsonian, p. 398)
- The pre-Islamic Arabs shortened 'al-ilah' to Allah. They used 'Allah' in the names of their children. For instance, Muhammed's father and uncle had Allah as part of their names.
- "Similarly, under Muhammed's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being." (Coon, p. 399)
- Mohammed never defined "Allah" in the Qur'an because he assumed that the pagan Arabs already knew who Allah was.
- Mohammed rejected all the deities of Ancient Arab such as Ilah's wives and daughters. But he kept the black stone which represented Allah.
Arabic Pagan Worship
- Islam's origins and practices have been tracked back by scholars to the ancient fertility religion of the moon god of Arabia .
"The moon god was worshipped by praying toward Mecca several times a day, making an annual pilgrimage to the Kabah which was a temple of the moon god, running around the Kabah seven times, caressing an idol of a black stone set in the wall of the Kabah, running between two hills, making animal sacrifices, gathering on Fridays for prayers, giving alms to the poor, etc. These were pagan rites practiced by the Arabs long before Mohammed was born." (Dr. Robert Morey; http://www.cultbusters.com/aorigin.htm)
"The Forms of Pagan Worship... It will be noticed that the sun and the moon and the five planets got identified with a living deity, god or goddess, with the qualities of its own.
Moon worship was equally popular in various forms...It may be noted that the moon was a male divinity in ancient India; it was also a male divinity in ancient Semitic religion, and the Arabic word for the moon (qamar) is of the masculine gender. On the other hand, the Arabic word for the sun (shama) is of the feminine gender. The pagan Arabs evidently looked upon the sun as a goddess and the moon as a god. If Wadd and Suwa represented Man and Woman, they might well represent the astral worship of the moon and the sun...
The Pagan deities best known in the Ka'ba and round about Mecca were Lat, Uzza and Manat...They were all female goddesses." (Yusuf Ali: pgs. 1619-1623)
- In his explanation of why the Qur'an swears by the moon in Surah 74:32, "Nay, verily by the Moon," Yusuf Alli comments, "The moon was worshipped as a deity in times of darkness." (fn. 5798, pg. 1644)
- Muhammad commanded his followers to participate in these pagan ceremonies while the pagans were still in control of Mecca . (See Yusuf Ali, fn. 214, pg. 78.)
- Islam went on to adopt these pagan religious rites.
"...the whole of the [pagan] pilgrimage was spiritualized in Islam..." (Yusuf Ali: fn. 223 pg. 80)
- Al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat called "the daughters of Allah". Yusuf Ali explains in fn. 5096, pg. 1445, that Lat, Uzza and Manat were known as "the daughters of God [Allah]".
- The stars were used as pagan symbols of the daughters of Allah.
- The Qur'an at one point told Muslims to worship al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat in Surah 53:19-20.
- Those verses have been "abrogated" out of the present Qur'an. They were called "The Satanic Verses."
- The Arab tribes gave the Moon-god different titles: Sin, Hubul, Ilumquh, Al-ilah.
- The title "al-ilah" (the god) was used for the Moon-god.
- The word "Allah" was derived from "al-ilah."
- The pagan "Allah" was a high god in a pantheon of 360 deities worshipped at the Kabah.
- Allah was only one of many Meccan gods in the Kabah.
- The Muslims placed a statue of Hubul on top of the Kabah, at that time Hubul was considered the Moon-god by the Arabs.
- The Kabah was the "house of the Moon-god" and the name "Allah" eventually replaced that of Hubul as the name of the Moon god.
- They called the Kabah the "house of Allah."
"Historians like Vaqqidi have said Allah was actually the chief of the 360 gods being worshipped in Arabia at the time Mohammed rose to prominence. Ibn Al-Kalbi gave 27 names of pre-Islamic deities...Interestingly, not many Muslims want to accept that Allah was already being worshipped at the Ka'bah in Mecca by Arab pagans before Mohammed came. Some Muslims become angry when they are confronted with this fact. But history is not on their side. Pre-Islamic literature has proved this." (G.J.O. Moshay, Who Is This Allah? Dorchester House, Bucks, UK , 1994, pg. 138)
VI. The Qur'an and QuestioningTop
Muslims are discouraged from asking questions about their own faith.
" O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith." (Surah 5:101-102)
- Please note: The above quote states that when the answers are "made plain" people lost their faith in Islam. What does that imply about the religion itself?
- It appears that questioning or inquiring about Islam is forbidden because it can cause you to loose faith in Islam!
- Generally, when someone has something to hide, they do not want you to ask questions. A famous commentator on the Qur'an, Maududi, warns Muslims against probing too deeply into Islam:
"The Holy Prophet himself forbade people to ask questions--so do not try to probe into such things." (Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur'an, Vol. III, pgs. 76-77)
- Bukhari's Hadith tells us how Mohammed responded to those who asked questions:
"The prophet was asked about things which he did not like, and when the questioner insisted, the Prophet got angry." (Vol. 1, no. 92)
" The prophet got angry and his cheeks or his face became read." (Vol. 1, no. 91)
"We must ask ourselves, What kind of god is Allah who hates people for asking questions? This is not like the God of the Bible who encourages us to seek, to ask, and to knock! Why is Muhammad pictured as hating those who asked him questions? Why were people warned not to ask any questions? What is Islam trying to hide? Is Islam so weak that merely asking questions threaten to destroy it? Do Muslims assume that blind faith is the way to Islam?" (Dr. Robert Morey; http://www.cultbusters.com/allah.htm)
- What does the Bible say about inquiry?
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)
VII. The Rejection of the Qur'an by ArabsTop
According to the Qur'an, the unbelievers of Mohammed's day rejected the Qur'an because it was composed of old stories and myths.
But the unbelievers say, "This is nothing but a lie which he has forged, and other have helped him do it...Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written; and they are dictated before him morning and evening." (Surah 25:4-5)
- The Accusation : The Qur'an is not a "revelation" brought down out of heaven to Muhammad but it is a forgery formed from previously existing stories.
- The Qur'an's Response: Surprisingly, all they did was attack the character of those who made the accusation and then simply repeat that the Qur'an was brought down from heaven.
In truth, it is they who have put forward an iniquity and a falsehood. (Surah 25:4)
Say: "The Qur'an was sent down by Him who knows the mystery that is in the heavens." (Surah 25:6)
In his commentary, Yusuf Ali states:  In their misguided arrogance they say, "We have heard such things before: they are pretty tales which have come down from ancient times: they are good for amusement, but who takes them seriously?"
 The answer is that the Qur'an teaches spiritual knowledge of what is ordinarily hidden from men's sight, and such knowledge can only come from God to Whom alone is known the Mystery of the whole Creation.
- The question of the sources of the Qur'an is crucial to whether Islam is true or false. Why? The famous Muslim commentator Maududi explains,
"Apparently this is a weighty argument. For there can be no greater proof of the "fraud" of Prophethood than to specify its source. But it looks strange that no argument has been put forward to refute this charge except a mere denial, as if to say, 'Your charge is an impudent lie: you are cruel and unjust to bring such a false charge against Our Messenger; for the Qur'an is the Word of Allah Who knows all the secrets in the heavens and the earth.'" (The Meaning of the Qur'an, Maududi, vol. III, pgs. 178-179)
- The question of whether Islam derived its beliefs and ceremonies from heaven or from this world is crucial. If it obtained its god, its rites, and its doctrines from pre-existing pagan religions, then the claim that it was "brought down from heaven" falls apart.
VIII. Christ in the KoranTop
- Jesus is mentioned 35 times in Qur'an, one of the most mentioned individuals.
BIBLE - The two important characteristics about Jesus were:
- His deity: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins. John 8:24
"I" (Greek: egw): Word Origin : a primary pronoun of the first person "I" (only expressed when emphatic)
Am (Greek: eimi): to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
The same words are used in the following passages:
[Rev 1:8] " I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."
[Exod 3:14.8] God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM ." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel , ' I AM has sent me to you."
- His sacrifice or death on the cross: For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son , how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:10
Jesus is only a prophet, not the Son of God.
"The originator of heavens and earth! How can He have a child, when there is for Him no consort (spouse)" Qur'an 6:102
"He has not fathered anyone nor was he fathered, and there is nothing comparable to Him" Qur'an 112:intro
- In the time of Muhammed, pagan Meccans believed that God had daughters.
- Al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat called "the daughters of Allah." Yusuf Ali explains in fn. 5096, pg. 1445, that Lat, Uzza and Manat were known as "the daughters of God [Allah]."
"The name Allah, as the Qur'an itself is witness, was well known in pre-Islamic Arabia . Indeed, both it and its feminine form, Allat, are found not infrequently among the theophorous names in inscriptions from North Africa ." (Arthur Jeffrey, ed., Islam: Muhammad and His Religion, New York: The Liberal Arts Press, 1958, p. 85.)
- False Assumption
: Muslims believe that words like father and son necessarily mean that the Father must have a wife in order to have a son. So they ask, How could Jesus be the son of God when God has no wife?
(The Qur'an uses the phrase "son of Mary" majority of the time)
: The phrase 'Son of God' is establishing a relationship between Christ and the Father. 'Son of God' excludes paternity in the physical sense. Christ was the manifested Word of God. John 1:14-18
The Bible only uses the phrase "Son of Mary" once in the New Testament. The statement "Son of Mary" was made by the Jews who did not believe in Jesus.
[Mark 6:3.7] Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
The Catholic view of Mary, as the "Mother of God," has caused confusion for the Muslims regarding the phrase "Son of God."
Counter-Examples from Qur'an:
- Muhammed had an uncle whose name was Abdul Uza, but in the Qur'an he is called Abu Lahab - the father of a flame. Obviously this does not mean that he sired a flame. Qur'an 111:1
- A wayfarer is called, Ibn as-sabeel - son of the road. This does not mean that the road has a wife. Qur'an 2:177
- Christ did not die on the Cross.
"Assuredly they have disbelieved who say that God is the Messiah, son of Mary." Qur'an 5:17
"They only believe a little because of their disbelief and their talking such terrible slander about Mary and (also) for their saying: 'We killed God's messenger Christ Jesus, the son of Mary!' They neither killed nor crucified him, even though it seemed so to them. Those who disagree about it are in doubt concerning it; they have no [real] knowledge about it except by following conjecture. No one is certain they killed him!" Qur'an 4:154-158
- Muslims believe there was a substitute made for Christ on the Cross.
- They do not understand the Biblical need for Christ's sacrifice.
- History : Historians have recorded and verified Christ's crucifixion.
Jesus and His crucifixion are mentioned by the Roman historians Cornelius Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Seutonious, by non-roman historians Thallus and Phlegon, by the satirist Lucian of Samosata, by the Jewish Talmud, and by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.
Here is an extract from Tacitus (The Annuals, book 40, para. 44, line 5):
"Therefore, to scoth the rumor, Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men, loathed for their vices, whom the crowd styled Christians. Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus, and the pernicious superstition was checked for a moment, only to break out once more, not merely in Judaea, the home of the disease, but in the capital itself, where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and find a vogue. First, then, the confessed members of the sect were arrested; next, on their disclosures, vast numbers were convicted, not so much on the count of arson as for hatred of the human race. And derision accompanied their end: they were covered with wild beasts skins and torn to death by dogs; or they were fastened on crosses, and, when day light failed were burned to serve as lamps by night. Nero had offered his Gardens for the spectacle, and gave an exhibition in his Circus, mixing the crowd in the habit of a charioteer, or mounted on his car. Hence, in spite of a guilt which had earned the most exemplary punishment, there arose a sentiment of pity, due to the impression that they were being sacrificed not for the welfare of the state but to the ferocity of a single man."
Flavius Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, book 43, chap. 3, para. 3) writes:
"Now about this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it be lawful to call him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of men who receive the truth with pleasure; and drew over to him many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the information of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at first did not cease to do so. For he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold this and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."
- Bible : All four Gospels as well as Old Testament testify to His crucifixion.
IX. Misconceptions About TrinityTop
Fallacy of Equivocation
- Muslims' misunderstanding of the Trinity, causes them to equate the Christian belief in the Trinity as a worship of three different Gods: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
"Believe in God [alone] and His messengers, and do not say: 'Three!' Stopping [it] will be better for you. God is only One God; glory be to Him, beyond His having any son!" Qur'an 4:171
"They disbelieve who say that God is one of three." Qur'an 5:73
- Muslims worship a unitarian deity. Unitarian refers to a deity who exists in one person.
- Christians worship the Triune God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Christians do not worship 'three gods', but believe that the one God exists in three different persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- [Genesis 1:1] "In the beginning God (Elokim) created the heavens and the earth."
The Hebrew word "Elokim" in this sentence is a plural name for God, implying the Triune nature of God.
- Lest this Name be mistranslated as Gods, however, the Hebrew Bible states that Kel (a singular name of God) created the universe:
[Isaiah 42:5] Thus says God [Kel], the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth....
- There are also other scriptures which state that there is only one God.
[Deut 6:4.9] "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.
[1Tim 2:5.4] For there is one God , and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
[Mal 2:15.4] Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth.
X. Studying with MuslimsTop
- It is important for us to focus on the important issues: Christ's deity, crucifixion, and the inspiration of the Bible. Let us not forget the important issues by 'chasing rabbits.'
- We should view them as friends in need of truth, rather than as enemies.
[Eph 6:12.7] For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].
- God's people (sheep) will always listen when His Gospel is presented.
[John 10:27.2] Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
- Historical Precedent:
- Burden of proof rests on those who bring new theories.
- Islam came after the Bible and with a new message.
- Christianity does not have to prove itself to Islam, since it has already been established.
- Islam has to justify why it comes with a new message that contradicts both the Old and New Testament, if it is also came from the same God.
Arguing in a circle (circular reasoning):
Muslims often use circular reasoning to justify their beliefs. For example, "I believe because I have faith" (faith and belief have the same meaning). Another example: proving Allah by the Qur'an and then proving the Qur'an by Allah--"Muhammed is from Allah because the Qur'an says so, and the Qur'an is from Allah because Muhammed said so."
The Bible clarifies by stating that faith is based on evidence, rather than blind belief which has no foundation.
[Hebrews 11:1] Faith is the assurance of things not seen and the evidence of things hoped for.
- False Irrelevance:
Muslim Claim: "The Qur'an is the Word of God because the text of the Qur'an has been preserved perfectly." This argument is incorrect for two reasons:
: The text of the Qur'an has not been preserved perfectly. The text has additions, deletions, conflicting manuscripts, and variant readings like any other ancient writing.
: It is irrelevant whether the text has been preserved because preservation does not logically imply inspiration. A book can be copied perfectly without indicating inspiration.
- Becoming all things to all Men (Understand their Terminology and Doctrine):
- Use the Koran to share the gospel.
- In the Qur'an in Sura as-Saffat, where this incident is related, it says "For this was obviously A trial - And We (God) ransomed him (Abraham) With a momentous sacrifice:" (Qur'an 37:106-107)
- What was the momentous sacrifice that ransomed Abraham?
- The details are not given in the Qur'an.
- For the complete story we have to go to the Kalam-e-Muqaddas (the Holy Bible).
- The Kalam-e-Muqaddas informs us that God's Messiah, the 'Isa (Arab for Jesus), was made the Kurban (sacrifice) and the ransom for the whole world. Hazrat Yahya (John the Baptist) said of Him: "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the world's sin!" [John 1:29]
- Speaking of himself Jesus said, "... the Son of Man didn't come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life instead of many as a ransom" [Matthew 20:28]. Jesus has been presented as a sacrifice and a ransom in the Torah (the Law), in the Injil (the Gospel), in the Zabur (the Psalms) and in the Sahaif-e-anbia (the writings of the prophets).