The nature(s) of Jesus. Catholicism says "Jesus is divine and human. God is His Father." Islam says "Jesus was human, a prophet. He had no father. He is not divine."greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
On two other "current" threads -- "general" threads about Catholicism and Islam -- certain specific and very important topics have arisen.
I am opening a new thread here that has to do with one of those topics. I am going to copy in (below) many key quotations from various contributors to those other two threads, "sifted" out of the mixture of topics, in order to help the conversation continue here.
St. James, pray for us.
God bless you.
The topic is: The nature(s) of Jesus.
Catholicism says "Jesus is divine and human. God is His Father."
Islam says "Jesus was human, a prophet. He had no father. He is not divine." ------------------- from "similarities" thread -----------------
[From "MEMO" May 13:]
CHRIST WAS NOT A SON OF GOD OR EVEN CRUSIFIED.
[From Levent, May 14:]
In Islam, we believe that Jesus is a Prophet and not God's son. ... In Islam, we do think highly of Prophet Jesus .... In the Quran there only 25 Prophets who are mentioned and 250,000 prophets who have been sent before Prophet Muhammed. Prophet Jesus will resurrect but will not Judge everybody, that will be done by Allah (God). Prophet Jesus resurrecting will "sign" of the day of judgement.
[but Levent said later on the same day:] In Islamic belief, Prophet Jesus did not "die on the Cross", therefore he can not be resurrected. I just had to clear that up ...
[From Eugene Chavez, May 14:]
The Son of God and only King and Judge on the last day is Our Lord Jesus Christ. Not to insult you or the tenets of your faith, but Jesus Christ will judge Mohammad himself at the last judgment; and will surely judge you and me. Although both Mohammad and Jesus were living men on earth, Mohammad has already prostrated himself before Jesus Christ in his afterlife. He has seen the Son of God in His eternal glory at the right hand of God, whom you know as Allah. What Mohammad's eternal reward will be, I don't presume to say. It is for God to judge. I can only relate to you the truth that is revealed in the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ -- He is God the Son, One with the Father (Allah) in the Holy Spirit. One God, Three Holy and Distinct Persons."
[from John Gecik, May 14:]
Levent, you said that Jesus was not crucified, did not rise from the dead, and is not God's son. Nevertheless, you esteem him highly as a prophet. Can you explain this seeming absurdity -- that you would highly esteem a man who claimed that he DID rise from the dead and that he IS God (and the son of Allah)? He must be one of three things -- (a) an insane man, or (b) a liar, or (c) truly God-made-man. There is no room for him to be a "good man, a prophet."
[from Levent, May 14:]
I should start off by saying that in Islam we consider all the Prophets infallible and they did not commit any type of sins. ... Prophet Jesus was not crucified. It was made to believe that he was nailed on the cross towards the Romans because there was a lot of confusion. But he was ascended up to Heaven. This is why in Islam we don't feel that Prophet Jesus died for our sins, we are accountable for our own sins and must repent. From our believe Prophet Jesus' birth was a miracle and If I remember correctly, his name is mentioned the most in the Quran. He is not here on earth but (how should I say this) in a different dimension. (Heaven). Prophet Jesus' dissension to earth will be one of the signs of Judgment day nearing.
[from John, May 15:]
I think that you forgot to answer my ... question ... . Please let me state my concern in a different way. In the gospels of the New Testament of the Christian Bible, and according to other early Christian writings, Jesus himself declared that he IS God, that he truly died, and that he truly rose from the grave. You say that Jesus was a sinless prophet, but that he is not God and did not die. Does this mean that you think that the New Testament is a book of fiction (or a mixture of lies and truth)? Does this mean that you give greater trust to stories told about Jesus by Muhammed (600 years after Jesus was on Earth) than to narratives written down by men who actually knew Jesus, saw his miracles, and touched him after he rose from the dead? Can you not see that it would be better to trust the gospels, if you want to know the facts about Jesus?
[from Levent, May 15:]
[W]e as Muslims feel that the Bible and Torah of been altered by men. ... Just the other day I met an American Convert and he knew the New Testament very well and he said that Prophet Jesus said, don't worship me. Are you reading a different version and is this person reading a different version of the New Testament? The Question I have for you is, if Prophet Jesus is Lord. How can a God Die? And why would he die for my sins? Or if my parents were sinners, Why should I be born with sin for their actions? Questions like these I have asked and I do not receive a consistent answer. Maybe the people I asked were not knowledgeable. ... I had posted that Jesus was not crucified nor resurrected or any part of the Trinity. Because Prophet Jesus will be descend from the heavans and kill the anti-crist is one of the reasons His birth was a miracle and his ability to speak as a child. Even Prophet Muhammed has hadiths "sayings" that say respect Prophet Jesus and his sayings. Not because he is God's son nor is he Lord.
[from Eugene, May 15:]
You may reject the truth, or you may search for the truth until you find it. Here you have found it. Not from my words, or this forum. From the Holy Gospel, which you know as the Christian New Testament. Even historically, according to documentary sources, the true death of Jesus is never disputed. If anything, His glorious resurrection is the only thing disputed; mainly by His enemies, who were the Jews of His day. They all knew He died!
[from Bobak, May 29:]
Jesus is GOD's son??? GOD???????? son of GOD???????? that doesn't even make sense, if God's looks, gender, etc. are unknown then saying that Jesus is the son of god means that God is male, and that a male human created all that we see around us.. that's smart to live by. What do you call your priests? Father right? Jesus called God father because God was his created, not because he was the ACTUAL father, thats just dumb to believe. Why do you call your dad father? simply because he played a role in your creation, and that's exactly why jEsus refered to god as father, even a retarded 2 year old could figure that out.
[from Eugene to Bobak, May 29:]
You might think it's dumb to believe God would have His Son born of a woman. But then, God seems to only do what you expect, not whatever He wills. You say He can't, so it's dumb. We believe He can and did, since nothing is impossible to God.
[from Eugene to Levent, May 31:]
Islam doesn't accept the Son of God. If you do not, you cannot be saved, according to the Gospel. All salvation comes through Jesus Christ. I worry much for Muslims, who reject the Gospel of Christ. It is written in the Bible the man of perdition, the anti-Christ who is coming to rule the world will be one who denies the Father and the Son. It sounds very much like denying that Jesus is the Son of God. Now, who would want to follow a leader like the anti-Christ? BUT, Muslims do believe in Allah, who IS the Father. We can play this like a tennis match: The Father is Allah -- Jesus calls Him My Father many times in the gospels. Not like a father of all the race of men, but MY Father. ... How can one ''respect'' Christianity, if the Gospel clearly teaches God has ONE Son, Jesus Christ? Also when it teaches that the Son gave His life on the cross to save all men? Then that He was raised from the dead, by the Father? You are called to BELIEVE this; without belief (faith), there is only the appearance of respect. From the beginning, God has demanded faith of His people, unwavering FAITH.
[from Eugene, August 4:]
We have the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, that He is ONE God, (Allah!) living in Three distinct, equal and eternal Persons-- Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Islam has not taught this truth. Therefore, Muslims can learn it here, if they are sincere and receptive to God's truth. If not, then I'm sorry; I have given you all I have to give. Jesus Christ is more than a prophet; He is God the Eternal Son. He became man because the world had [fallen from grace through the sin of Adam, our father. Mankind deserved death instead of eternal life, for the one Original sin of our first parents. We share in their humanity and in their death.] Jesus gave His own life as a man-- to save all of us, Christians as well as those of other faiths.
[from Larry, August 16:]
The Qur'an tells us that Jesus was not God nor the Son of God (in the orthodox sense), but only a very pious and elect servant and messenger of God. This is even testified to by Jesus ... himself in John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know YOU the ONLY true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have SENT."
[from Eugene, August 16:]
Alongside the writings, which were preserved very meticulously, the Apostolic Tradition also testifies to the authenticity of Our Lord's resurrection, all His teachings, and His divinity-- He is equal to God, being God's only-begotten Son. Not only this, Larry; but in the act of testifying to these truths, almost all of the witnesses were killed; martyred either by the enemies of Jesus Himself (Jews) or by the Roman state. In this we know their claim to the truth is genuine. They were not afraid to die for it. No man dies in vain, to uphold something he knows is false. In the 17th chapter of John, you quoted Jesus saying how God "sent Him," as if that could mean Jesus was separate and under God. But the 5th verse, same chapter -- has Him say to His Father: "Glorify me with thyself, with the glory that I had with Thee, before the world EXISTED." In John, 8 :14, Jesus speaks to the Pharisees, "Even if I bear witness to myself, my witness is true, because I know where I came from and where I go. You judge according to the flesh, ... and MY judgment is true, because I am not alone, but WITH ME is He who sent me, the Father." In chapter 21 of John, he relates how Jesus, after He had arisen from the dead, showed an Apostle, Thomas, the "holes" in His hands and in His side, where the soldier's lance had entered his heart! The apostle went to his knees, saying, "My Lord and my God." In these words, Jesus saw no reason to correct Thomas. He is God-- and He only said, "Because thou hast seen me thou hast believed. Blessed are they (US) who have not seen, and yet have believed." (John, 21:26 to 29.) Jesus is truly God the Son, Larry and Levent. But He is One with the Father, Allah. There is only ONE God, One God, who lives eternally in some mysterious way as Three Persons in ONE God, and Jesus is the Second Person. The Third Person, also equal and UNDIVIDED with the Father and Son, is the Holy Spirit. All of this is revealed by Our Lord Jesus Christ, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. It is Divine Revelation, and it is True. God be with you, keep you from all harm and misfortune, through Jesus Christ, Amen!
[from Larry, August 17:]
Christianity as it is taught and practice today is not the faith that Jesus(pbuh) taught. The faith that is being taught now was established by the Nicea council, about 400 years after Jesus(pbuh). The original teaching were past down through word of mouth, so the argument that it was written down by people that knew Jesus(pbuh) is not true. The concept of the trinity was not taught by Jesus(pbuh) but rather established at the council. Matt. 18:49-50 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother." So Allah is the father of all.
[from Eugene, August 17:]
These words of Christ [Matt. 18:49-50], though rhetorical are true. We DO become His immediate brethren, when God's Holy Will is done by all of us! Jesus is inviting all into the intimacy of His own Father's love. How many prophets, in any context could dare suggest this to us? Christ said very clearly to His apostles: "I am the way, and the truth and the life. --No one comes to the Father but through me. If you had known me you would have also known my Father (in the Trinity), and henceforth you do know Him, and you HAVE seen Him. (John 14,:6, through :12) He answers Philip in verse 8-8, same chapter: "Philip, he who sees me sees also the Father. How canst thou say, 'Show us the Father'? Dost thou not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?" -- Larry, what more can Jesus tell us to declare He is God, God the Son? The words are a holy revelation of God's interior life. Nobody knew or believed these things about Allah, (GOD) until Jesus came down to teach us. Only He didn't just say it-- He backed it up, with a life so HOLY and great, that even the pagans admire His goodness. He showed He was telling us the truth-- by healing lepers in the streets; raising people from the dead, and even commanding the storms and the winds at sea. No one can do all these things IN PUBLIC, where everyone can see them; except God. That is why a Christian must believe.
[from Larry, August 22:]
Who is Deut 18:18-19 referring to? ... I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
[from Eugene, August 22:]
The verses you quote here are from the Old Testament; many hundreds of years before the coming of Jesus Christ. The words are precisely the PROMISE of a Messiah -- a man above all men -- Jesus, who is the Anointed One, the Christ. The prophets who came after Moses also spoke of this same man. Daniel saw Him in visions, at the right hand of the Almighty using a term "a Son of Man" -- which Jesus appropriated for Himself many times. (Daniel 7:13-14) "One like the son of man, came with the clouds of heaven, and He came even to the Ancient of Days, and they presented Him before Him. And He gave him power and glory and a kingdom; and all people, tribes and tongues shall serve Him. His power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away, and His kingdom that shall not be destroyed." This is Jesus, Larry. He is that KING. The Quraan is not His book. Mohammad is not a king, but a prophet. Mohammad has no kingdom. He never claimed to have one, so it could not have been he whom Daniel prophesied. Only Jesus Christ; a descendant in the flesh of King David. Jesus, born in the City of David, Bethlehem. Jesus, He who takes away the sins of the world. All the holy Prophets prophesied the coming of Jesus. Not the coming of another. Jesus Himself did predict the coming of many prophets; and He warned they are all false prophets! We are warned of the coming of Mohammad, you see. By Christ Himself.
[from Larry, August 22:]
How can this be Jesus? Jesusis not like Moses, you say Jesus is G-d. You say Jesus died for the sins of man. These do not fit Moses. Moses was of natural birth and so was Muhammed. Moses was married and had children, so did Muhammad. Moses and Muhammed were accepted by there people in their lifetime. Jesus was not and it is said in the bible by Jesus, He (Jesus) came unto his own, but his people recieved him not. To this very day the Jews as a nation do not except Jesus. So you are telling me G-d is a failure Jesus said, " I have not come to change the law but to fulfill the law". Moses brought the Torah and Muhammed brought the Quran. "I will but my words in his mouth", so if Jesus is G- d , he is not putting his words in another mouth. If you read John 1:20-21 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No The Christ, Elias, ART THOU THAT PROPHET. Three separate persons that they are expecting. (By the way in the bible Jesus said John was Elias but here John denies it). So Muhammed was expected, so if you think that Muhammed does not speak the words of G-d.
[from Eugene, August 22:]
You quote a verse saying of Jesus, "His own received Him not." As if this was a way of showing He is God's Son, but then--(?)-- God is a "failure"? The verse is in Ch. 1, John :11-- and if you simply read the verse right before this one, V. 10-- you'll see: "He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world knew Him not." John had no doubt that Jesus was God. He says plainly, "the world was made (by His Father) through HIM." No prophet, not Moses, nor Muhammad, ever had the world "made through" them. Because Jesus, the Son of God is Himself the God of Moses, and of Isaac and Jacob. You are a descendent, through Ismael of Abraham Our Father. Jesus declared to the Pharisees in plain words, "Before Abraham came to be, I am." (John 8, :58) He is the God of Abraham as well then; and therefore your God and Muhammad's God! But Muhammad has led your people into a heresy. Now you deny the One who came to redeem you because Muhammad convinced you the Holy Bible had been "tampered with." Go on! This is too ridiculous ...
[from Larry, August 23:]
Jesus represents the original nature that Allah has put into ALL of us. When Adam was created Allah simply said be and he was. The same was done with Jesus. Adam was made with clay and Allah breathe into him something of his spirit. You do not call Adam the son of G-d. Who is the the father of Adam? As far as Muslims believing the prophets are upstanding men without the sins that have been put on them. This is true but we do not believe the men that wrote and translated it centuries after Jesus were without sins. Yes, the bible has Jesus saying that he is the Son of G-d. Jesus also says in the bible, My father and your father, My G-d and your G-d, does he not. Jesus is also quoted in the bible as saying, that which I do even greatter things you shall do. So if Jesus is G-d, what is it that man can do better than G-d.
[from Eugene, August 23:]
You continue to stall when you are asked how a ''prophet'' Jesus can state He was together with Allah (His Father) even before the existence of the world. Is He mad? Is He a liar? Or is He speaking the truth? How is a true prophet allowed by Allah (God the Father) to proclaim that "Before Abraham came to be, I am?" if it isn't true? I AM is the name that God called Himself before the Prophet Moses. If Jesus is truly I AM; He must be God. In fact, just as He boldly said it to them, the Pharisees wanted to stone Him, (John, 8:58-59) they understood perfectly what you are finding hard to face now. Jesus said I AM God. Is it strange to you now, that Catholics see the words, and believe them? It should be. You have said Muslims "respect" and "honor" the prophets, including Jesus -- But you are respecting either a liar-- a madman -- or the Son of God Himself. Which is it? If He spoke the truth, He is the Son of God; existing with Allah and the Holy Spirit, and without beginning or end, One God, eternal and all-powerful for ever and ever. That is the faith of Christians. Do you have any idea what Muhammad would say? Would Muhammad condemn Jesus? Or the Church founded by Jesus?
[from John, August 27:]
All true Christians, whether Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant, believe in the Blessed Trinity -- One God in three divine Persons. God the Father himself revealed this truth to us through his Son, Jesus. Jesus is not only God, but a Jewish man, a descendant (through his mother, Mary) of King David. Before Jesus revealed Himself and the Holy Spirit to be Persons of the godhead, God had made known to the Jews only one Person of His Trinity. But since Jesus revealed the whole Trinity to mankind, we know that the Jewish belief about God was and is incomplete. And since Jesus made clear that He was ending all public revelation of religion to mankind by founding His Church, we know that all future religions that might appear after His time on earth are simply manmade religions, not founded nor revealed by God. Clearly, once God revealed himself as a Trinity through his Son Jesus, mankind could know that all religions that believe in just one divine Person (no matter how good and holy they may be) are incomplete religions. We Catholics pray that people in those religions (most notably Judaism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Oneness Pentecostals) will come to know and unite themselves to the fullness of the truth, which is found only in Catholic Christianity. The Catholic Church is the only Church that Jesus, the Son of God, founded. Since the Church is animated by the Holy Spirit of God, who preserves her from death and error, she will last until the end of time.
------------- from the "dialogue" thread -----------
[from John, quoting Pope John Paul II in "Crossing the Threshold of Hope":]
"Some of the most beautiful names in the human language are given to the God of the Koran, but He is ultimately a God outside of the world, a God who is only Majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us. Islam is not a religion of redemption. There is no room for the Cross and the Resurrection. Jesus is mentioned, but only as a prophet who prepares for the last prophet, Muhammad. There is also mention of Mary, His Virgin Mother, but the tragedy of redemption is completely absent. For this reason not only the theology but also the anthropology of Islam is very distant from Christianity."
[from John, quoting Cardinal Arinze's Ramadan 2000 message:]
For Christianity, Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, born of the Virgin Mary. He is a prophet, but more than a prophet. ... You know that, for Christians, this Jesus causes them to enter into an intimate knowledge of the mystery of God and into filial communion by his gifts, so that they recognize him and proclaim him Lord and Saviour. This way of understanding Jesus does not in any way infringe upon the monotheism of Christians. In fact the Christian profession of faith begins: "I believe in one God, Creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible". According to the Christian vision, the oneness of God is not lived in isolation, but rather in a communion of life and love: this is the inscrutable mystery of the Trinity.
[from Levent, August 30:]
We respect Jesus for many reasons, as well as other Prophets. The Prophets main objective was to spread the word of God. We believe the birth of Jesus was a miracle and he is the Son of Mary, who we has a high stature in Islam.
[from Larry, August 31:]
How many son does G-d have? Jacob is God's son and firstborn: "Israel is my son, even my firstborn" Exodus 4:22. Solomon is God's son "He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son": 2 Samuel 7:13-14. Ephraim is God's firstborn: "for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn." Jeremiah 31:9 (who is God's firstborn? Israel or Ephraim?). Adam is the son of God "Adam, which was the son of God." Luke 3:38. Common people (you and me) are the sons of God: "Ye are the children of the LORD your God" Deuteronomy 14:1. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" Romans 8:14. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:" John 1:12. "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: ... now are we the sons of God" 1 John 3:1-2. "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Job 38:7. "Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD," Job 2:1. "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD," Job 1:6. "when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men," Genesis 6:4. "That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair" Genesis 6:2
[from Eugene, August 31:]
You've taken lots of pain to quote all these passages and texts. They are all correct on a figurative level. We are all sons of God, who is the Father of all creation. He created us, and we became His own. Christ is not a created Son. Jesus Christ is equal to, co-existent with the Almighty Father from all ages. He is without beginning and without end. He is God's only-BEGOTTEN Son. The Father Almighty personally stated it to the world, saying, "This is my beloved Son." Jesus said clearly, "I and the Father are ONE." He stated clearly He has existed with his Father before the existence of the world. All is clear in the Holy Scriptures. You won't accept them, but I do. All Catholics and most Christian non-Catholics do. He said it-- I believe it, and that settles it.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), September 02, 2001
-- (_@_._), September 02, 2001.
I hope that you have had (or will have) a chance to review all of the above messages (as I did yesterday in the course of putting this new thread together) -- so that you have been able to assemble a mental picture of where Catholics and our visiting Muslims stand on the subject of Jesus's human nature (and, Catholics would add, his divine nature).
I would now like to make a series of comments -- in separate messages -- about certain "problem areas" that I found within what we have been told here is the Islamic doctrine. I urge all Catholics to join me in this effort to consider what has been written about Islam and express much-needed comments and corrections. I cannot do it alone.
[from "MEMO" May 13:] CHRIST WAS NOT A SON OF GOD ...
[from Levent, May 14:] In Islam, we believe that Jesus is a Prophet and not God's son.
[from Bobak, May 29:] Jesus is GOD's son??? GOD???????? son of GOD???????? that doesn't even make sense, if God's looks, gender, etc. are unknown then saying that Jesus is the son of god means that God is male, and that a male human created all that we see around us. that's smart to live by. What do you call your priests? Father right? Jesus called God father because God was his created, not because he was the ACTUAL father, thats just dumb to believe. Why do you call your dad father? simply because he played a role in your creation, and that's exactly why jEsus refered to god as father, even a retarded 2 year old could figure that out.
[from Larry, August 16:] The Qur'an tells us that Jesus was not God nor the Son of God (in the orthodox sense), but only a very pious and elect servant and messenger of God.
[from Larry, August 17:] Christianity as it is taught and practice today [including the doctrine of Jesus's divine Sonship] is not the faith that Jesus taught. The faith that is being taught now was established by the Nicea council, about 400 years after Jesus.
[from Larry, August 23:] You do not call Adam the son of G-d. Who is the the father of Adam? ... Yes, the bible has Jesus saying that he is the Son of G-d. Jesus also says in the bible, My father and your father, My G-d and your G-d, does he not. Jesus is also quoted in the bible as saying, that which I do even greatter things you shall do. So if Jesus is G-d, what is it that man can do better than G-d.
[from Larry, August 31:] How many son does G-d have? [Larry goes on to quote the following passages that refer to various people, other than Jesus, as "son(s) of God"] Exodus 4:22 ... 2 Samuel 7:13-14 ... Jeremiah 31:9 ... Luke 3:38 ... Deuteronomy 14:1 ... Romans 8:14 ... John 1:12 ... Philippians 2:15 ... 1 John 3:1-2 ... Job 38:7 ... Job 2:1 ... Job 1:6 ... Genesis 6:4 ... Genesis 6:2
[My comments:] In the statements that I've quoted above, the oft-repeated refrain involves a misunderstanding of the terms, "son(s) of God" (applied to various people) and "Son of God" (applied to Jesus only).
My curiosity is raised about this. I guess that I would want to ask our Muslim friends this question: Why are you all making the same assumptions (wrong ones, we Catholics would say) about these terms [son(s) of God and Son of God]? Why do you so adamantly post these assumptions here, without first having spoken to Jewish or Christian people to find out what those terms really mean in the Old and New Testaments? Did you all read the same anti-Catholic writings about those terms? Do all Muslims attend classes in Islamic doctrine, placing full trust in teachers who also are unfamiliar with the correct understanding of those terms and thus pass along the same errors from one generation of Muslims to the next?
Now to respond to the statements I've quoted above, I will try to summarize the responses given by Catholics in May through August.
When we (and the many Bible passages quoted by Larry) refer to Adam and many other people (other than Jesus) as "son(s) of God," this is "correct on a figurative level. We are all sons of God, who is the Father of all creation. He created us, and we became His own." [Eugene 08/31]
But when we refer to Jesus as "Son of God," we have something very different in mind. Why? Because "Christ is not a created Son. Jesus Christ is equal to, co-existent with the Almighty Father from all ages. He is without beginning and without end. He is God's only-BEGOTTEN [and eternally begotten, never created] Son." [Eugene 08/31]
Whenever Jesus uses language that tends to indicate that God the Father is greater than he is, that is a reference to the divine nature of the Father being greater than the human nature of Jesus. Jesus knows full well (and expresses elsewhere) that his own divine nature is perfectly equal to the divine nature of the Father (and the Holy Spirit, of course). Jesus did not say that man can do things "better" than He (as Larry wrongly stated), but that God would help man, after the Ascension of Jesus, to do "greater" works than he had performed, because of the Holy Spirit whom he would send. By "greater" works, he did not mean "more sensational, more miraculous," but rather "greater" in number (as there would be millions of great works done by countless people through all future ages) and "greater" in scope/magnitude (e.g., more people being convered after St. Peter's first sermon on Pentecost than were converted during Jesus' entire public ministry).
All of what I have stated above is not something that I invented, nor that Eugene made up, nor that the Catholic Church concocted -- neither recently nor some centuries after Christ's ascension. No. It was directly revealed to mankind by Jesus. He taught his apostles and other disciples, and they in turn handed down the truth to succeeding generations. That truth has never been lost or corrupted, because God protected His truths. The truth about Jesus's humanity and divinity is quite apparent in the prophesies of the Old Testament and the accounts of the New Testament. But even if all the Bibles on the earth had been destroyed in the year 500, we would still have the exact same and entire truth -- passed down to us by word of mouth, called Sacred Tradition.
If anyone should care to comment on the reliability of the Bible, that is a subject, not for this thread, but for the thread on Divine Revelation as believed by Islam and Catholicism. In this thread, so that we can discuss the subject intelligently, I request that we assume that all those biblical texts that Catholics use to speak of Christ's natures remain in the pure state in which they were originally written -- roughly between 50 and 100 A.D..
Here are some of the things God has revealed that show that Jesus was both (the Son of) God and (the son of) man:
At Jesus's baptism, God the Father Almighty declared, "This is my beloved Son."
Jesus said clearly, "I and the Father are One."
He stated clearly He has existed with the Father for all eternity, claiming, "Before Abraham came to be, I AM." ["I AM" = "YaHWeH", which God revealed as his own name to Moses. No wonder the Jewish people tried to stone Jesus! He declared that he was God.]
Jesus said to His Father: "Glorify me with thyself, with the glory that I had with Thee, before the world existed."
Jesus told some of the Pharisees: "Even if I bear witness to myself, my witness is true, because I know where I came from and where I go. You judge according to the flesh, ... and my judgment is true, because I am not alone, but with me is He who sent me, the Father."
As Eugene reminded us ... "John ... relates how Jesus, after He had arisen from the dead, showed an Apostle, Thomas, the 'holes' in His hands and in His side, where the soldier's lance had entered his heart! The apostle went to his knees, saying, 'My Lord and my God.' In these words, Jesus saw no reason to correct Thomas. He is God -- and He only said, 'Because thou hast seen me thou hast believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.'"
When St. Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied," Jesus replied: "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?"
As Eugene reminded us ... "Only He didn't just say [these things] -- He backed it up, with a life so HOLY and great, that even the pagans admire His goodness. He showed He was telling us the truth-- by healing lepers in the streets; raising people from the dead, and even commanding the storms and the winds at sea. No one can do all these things IN PUBLIC, where everyone can see them, except God."
St. Paul tells the Philippians about the two natures (human and divine) of Jesus: "Have this attitude among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
In the prophecy of Isaiah, God is called the "First and Last": "Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel ... : 'I am the First and I am the Last; besides me there is no god." So what do the first and last chapters of the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) say of Jesus: "Fear not, I am the First and the Last" and "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
Early in the Book of Revelation, the following is said of the Jesus's Father, which shows that Jesus too is God, since he later calls himself by the same title: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
But if we do not restrict ourselves to the Bible (which some falsely claim to have been corrupted), do we have any other proof of Christianity's consistent belief in the divinity of Jesus prior to the founding of Islam? If called upon to do so, I could produce more than 20 quotations from pre-500 A.D. Christian writings that attest to this belief. I will quote just one. It comes from a great martyr, St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, who was writing around 110 A.D.:
"Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church at Ephesus in Asia ... united and chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ our God." (Letter to the Ephesians 1)
St. James, pray for us.
God bless you.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 02, 2001.