Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Original Sin, Messiah & Salvation of Humanity

Bible and Qur'an al Kerim both narrate Adam's creation; his wife; his first dwelling in a garden and the many freedoms he and his wife enjoyed in this garden. Only one prohibition they had to live with: The fruit of a specific tree wasn't allowed for them to eat.

The Bible then says, in Genesis 3, how man was seduced by woman to eat the fruit, after the woman had been seduced by Satan to eat it. The text actually doesn't say, why Satan picks her first, or why she responds first. It has, however, big consequences for them both. Eve and Adam are described as if they represent humanity. After their disobedience, which rests on both of them, they repent. They are forgiven, but they are dismissed from the garden and sent down to Earth, where they receive a new assignment, different for men and women.

Judaism doesn't recognize an original sin shared by humanity as a whole. Judaism relies on personal responsibility and intent of each believer to abstain from Satan and sin. Moses, Musa, said this in a sermon, Deuteronomium 30:1-14, verses present in every Bible:

10 when you obey the Lord, your God, to observe His commandments and His statutes written in this Torah scroll, [and] when you return to the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul. 11 For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?" 14 Rather, [this] thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.

In Christianity, however, there's a gap between Adam and Jesus. It's only to be filled centuries later, when Jesus arrives. Jesus is God's only child, only son, and God's manifestation on Earth as a living man. He has come to live with people; to introduce himself as the One God who will later, at the Day of Resurrection, raise people from death and judge them. Christianity says, that Jesus had come to put it right: The first sin, committed by the first human couple. It still weighed upon the fate of all mankind. Humanity had never been fully exonerated of the disobedience in Eden, until Jesus came. The original sin story is a Christian concept. It suggests, that God had corrected Himself by sending His only son, to remove imperfection from humanity: Negative behaviours and inclinations. Jesus also restored good relations between man and woman, as we may see in Paulus' letters, NT.

Many Christian commentators say, the Old Testament mentions several predictions of Jesus' arrival on Earth with the aim to exonerate mankind of this first sin. Such as Ps 16:8-11 and Dan 9:24-27:

Psalm 16:8-11 New International Version (NIV):
'8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful [a] one see decay. 11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.' Jesus speaks directly here, according to some commentators.

Daniel 9:24-27 Tanakh Online:
24 Seventy weeks [of years] have been decreed upon your people and upon the city of your Sanctuary to terminate the transgression and to end sin, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring eternal righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. 25 And you shall know and understand that from the emergence of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed king [shall be] seven weeks, and [for] sixty-two weeks it will return and be built street and moat, but in troubled times. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one will be cut off, and he will be no more, and the people of the coming monarch will destroy the city and the Sanctuary, and his end will come about by inundation, and until the end of the war, it will be cut off into desolation. 27 And he will strengthen a covenant for the princes for one week, and half the week he will abolish sacrifice and meal- offering, and on high, among abominations, will be the dumb one, and until destruction and extermination befall the dumb one.

Old Testament translations aren't always identical. For instance, verse 7:13, Daniel, says in the English Tanakh: 'I saw in the visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of the heaven, one like a man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was brought before Him.' The King James Bible uses different words: 'I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.' Same thing we see in verse Ps 16:10. The Tanakh mentions 'Your pious one' and King James Bible mentions 'thine Holy One'. So, there's no unanimous approach towards Jesus. Christian Bible translations see predictions of Jesus in certain Biblical verses, where the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, refrains from such comment.

Jewish commentators, such as Rabbi Baruch, say that Christian commentators must have made translation errors and must have been mistaken in dating the events. They neglected the difference between the Jewish and their own calendars. Therefore, the messiah mentioned in book Daniel 9 must have been someone other than Jesus. Generally, with exception of Messianic Jews, Jewish scholars doubt that Jesus was the messiah mentioned in the Old Testament. They deny that Jesus was supposed to remove sin from humanity, but do acknowledge a Messiah. This Messiah can't be Jesus, as Messiah will rebuild the Temple and restore Jerusalem as city of power, and he will restore justice. This is a future event, not yet happened. And, Jesus didn't acquire worldly power; he was executed and Jerusalem was destroyed soon after that. Jewish sources doubt Jesus' execution as a Jewish act. The Romans must have tried and convicted him for an offense that would require other punishment method in Jewish law. The New Testament says, Jesus was executed without proper trial, in the Pesach-season, at whimsical popular request. The Romans executed many Jews, among whom many with messianic claims, but not without trial. Jewish sources do not deny Jesus' crucifixion (with some exceptions); they do question or debate a Jewish role:

'From the Jewish point of view, the crime of which Jesus was convicted by the Jewish priests is greatly in doubt (see Jesus). If it was blasphemy, lapidation should, according to Jewish law, have been the penalty, with suspension from the gallows after death (Mishnah Sanh. iii. 4; Sifre, iii. 221). Nor were any of the well-known measures taken (Sanh. vi.) which provide before execution for the contingency of a reversal of the sentence. Neither was the "cross"—i.e., the gallows for hanging—constructed as usual after lapidation, and as ordained in Sanhedrin vi. 4. His hands were not bound as prescribed; the "cross" was not buried with his body (Maimonides, "Yad," Sanh. xv. 9). Whether the Jewish law would have tolerated a threefold execution at one and the same time is more than uncertain (Sanh. vi. 4; Sifre, ii. 221).' ( | Crucifixion)

Then, later again, comes the Qur'anic story, in verses 7:10-27. It doesn't have the same high degree of mysticism as the Biblical story, in my opinion. Adam's story is brought to us rather as a generalised allegory about the human lifecycle ~ though there's nothing wrong with seeing Garden of Eden just as it is: a garden away from Earth. All people can relate to his journey. No differences is made between Adam and his wife. Every human being, or at least most of us, enjoy a sheltered childhood environment, at the latest until puberty. Childhood is an age of great freedom to experiment, also for the mind. Puberty is the age where the human brain gains awareness of sin, evil. It's an age of testing boundaries; getting caught by supervisors or not; finally repenting. At some moment, the lesson is taken that it's better to abstain from breaking rules, because not everything was meant for us, or me, to use, own, or eat. Which is valid for each creature, human or not. And: Puberty and adolescence are the age where people gain awareness of two life aspects: That it's their life assignment to enter the world, and they gain awareness of their specific stance. They become self-conscious. However, their assignment to lead a specific, decent life on Earth, in obedience to Allah swt, has been given from the first moment they existed. And, it is not a safe life without enemies. Personal responsibility and intent of each believer decide forgiving of sins, and many sins are forgiven. Like Judaism, Islam doesn't recognise a collective, inherited sin. A believer must acknowledge the prophets, especially the messiah, who will collect humanity at judgement day.

My own conclusion after reading several texts about the (proverbial) original sin is that, as faitful, we should read each others' books, if only for verification of certain facts and quotes. It would be great to come to better understanding and knowledge. And hence, hopefully, to better relations.

A few Qur'anic verses concerning sin, forgiveness and Adam:
2:30-39, 2:134, 2:286, 4:1, 4:28, 4:31, 6:98, 7:10-35, 8:28, 33:35&36, 64:15

Biblical verses about Adam and OT-verses understood by commentators as prophesies about Jesus:

Gen 3:15, 9:27, 12:2-3, 16:13, 17:1, 19:1, 49:8-12; Ex 3:6; Num 24:15-19; Deut 18:15-18; the Psalms, but mostly Ps 16:8-11, Ps 2, 16, 22, 40, 45, 68, 69, 69:25, 72, 109, 110, 118, 118:25,26; Judg 13:2-25, 20; Isa 2:3,4, 9, 12, 40:3-5, 53:6,9a, 63:9; 1 Samuel 2:1-10,35,36; 2 Samuel 7, 24; 1 Chron 21; Job 33:23-28; Mt 1:33, 2:1, 6, 3:3, 21:9; Mal 3:1; Dan 2:44, 7:13,14, 9:24-27; I Pt 2:21-25; Zech 9:9,10, 10:12; Mic 5:2

Sources & Further Read: 

Quran Explorer
The Noble Quran

Jews for Jesus 
Official King James Bible Online
Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
The Complete Tanakh | Shaytan
Outreach Judaism | Original Sin
Torah Class | Daniel and the Messiah I
Torah Class | Romans Chapter 5 | Crucifixion

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Islam, Jesus, & the Cross

'And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise. There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them -' (4:157-159)

Qur'an al Kerim denies here an important topic in Christianity: The Crucifixion of Jesus. What thoughts may this lead to?

Here's a quotation of Wikipedia, which mentions the best known Muslim replies to questions about Jesus' crucifixion:

'The issue of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus (Isa) is rejected by most Muslims, but similar to Christians they believe that Jesus ascended to heaven and will return before the end of time. Most Muslims believe Jesus was not crucified, but was raised bodily to heaven by God. The general Islamic view supporting the denial of crucifixion was possibly influenced by Manichaenism (Docetism), which holds that someone else was crucified instead of Jesus, while concluding that Jesus will return during the end-times.[1]:41

Depending on the interpretation of the following verse, Muslim scholars have abstracted different opinions. Some believe that in the Biblical account, Jesus's crucifixion did not last long enough for him to die, while others opine that God gave someone Jesus's appearance or someone else replaced Jesus and the executioners thought the victim was Jesus, causing everyone to believe that Jesus was crucified. A third explanation could be that Jesus was nailed to a cross, but as his soul is immortal he did not "die" or was not "crucified" [to death]; it only appeared so (this view is rare). In opposition to the second and third foregoing proposals, yet others maintain that God does not use deceit and therefore they contend that crucifixion just did not occur.'

Islam may have a 1 - 0 setback behind Christianity, because the Crucifixion is a well-documented event, with many witnesses. Even though not all their stories fully match. But any police officer can explain us, that this is a classic issue of eye witness accounts: Contradictions. On one topic, there's no contradiction: many people were witness of Jesus' death on the cross; the empty grave next day; his appearances later; his ascension to heaven. His followers died for this story at the hands of authorities who couldn't believe their story.

What would be my suggestion? How to deal with this difference between Bible and Qur'an?

We are nearly twenty centuries later now. We notice a difference between both stories, but in all honesty, we can't explain it. We have no forensic evidence. I'd say, there's only one possible attitude: 

Do not judge.

It's one word against the other. It's very well possible, there's been a switch of men, just before captivity. Allah swt is the almighty and is most sure capable to introduce a stand-in. This may be anyone, even an angel. We also know, Qur'an al Kerim contains verses of unspecific meaning, as is mentioned in verse 3:7. It is possible to believe, that indeed Jesus didn't die at the cross. None of us know for sure, what exactly happened. Both Bible and Qur'an give reports of miraculous events. It's not up to us to dismiss them without evidence. And evidence, we don't have -- in the scientific, forensic sense of the word. Qur'an al Kerim doesn't give enough detail to give a scientific report of events. Shouldn't that be enough to abstain from filling in gaps.

There's perhaps a second aspect. The Qur'anic text mentions 'they' and 'we' killed the Messiah. It could mean, that humans have no say in life and death. They lack the authority here to claim taking the life of this important messenger of Allah swt. What do Muslims think of Jesus?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Birth Of Jesus Christ in Qur'anic Verses: Christmas

As known, Muslims don't celebrate Jesus' birth. There's even debate, whether Muhammad's birthday should be celebrated, but that's another topic in itself. Qur'anic verses 3:42-46 and 19:16-27 narrate Jesus' birth. These words '... Then (one) cried unto her from below her, saying: Grieve not! Thy Lord hath placed a rivulet beneath thee, And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee, thou wilt cause ripe dates to fall upon thee. So eat and drink and be consoled...' may indicate, that Jesus was born in Summer. Indeed Jesus had no father, like the Biblical story. 'We made the Son of Mary and his mother a portent', says verse 23:50. The Qur'anic story about Jesus' miraculous birth is only short and largely confirms the Biblical story -- but for the season. Christianity celebrates Christmas at 24 and 25 December, or at 6 and 7 January -- in Winter. There's been much speculation, whether these dates are correct. Are they chosen only to correspond with ancient Midwinter celebrations? Astronomers and other scientists have tried to pinpoint the apparition of the symbolic Star of Bethlehem. This star is an important Christian symbol, meant to announce an important birth: The birth of the King of humanity, Jesus Christ. They didn't reach a unanimous answer, as illustrates this article in Daily Mail, or this article at Earth Sky, that the actual Birth might have taken place some six to four years earlier than current year 0 AD.

Verses 4:157-159 and 19:27-36 confirm the miracle, yet also emphatically deny Jesus divine qualities -- Jesus is a man without a father. He and his mother are important personalities in human history. They are sent to humanity as a warning for a day to come, Yawm al Qiyamah, when Jesus will testify for or against each human soul, and as witnesses of Divine kindness, providence and mercy. A Muslim is, therefore, asked to revere Jesus, but not worship him as God. And, therefore, see his birthday in a more modest perspective. Verses 29:46-47 exhort us to abstain from arguing with 'the People of the Scripture', unless they do wrong, because the Scripture was revealed to them and to us, and their God is our God.

Therefore, whoever you are: Merry Birthday of Christ. Enjoy @}}-

Friday, November 3, 2017

Jesus and Trinity

Many of the World's religions, have, at least, some kind of monotheistic view on God, but it's a complicated multiplicity. God may have several personifications or manifestations, even when only one and the same god and creator is referred to. People have tried it, but haven't found out, whether their definition or concept was right. I'll try to give some kind of comparative parable and start with Christianity.

The Bible defines God as one true god, made up of three individuals: God the Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Here's a compilation of relevant Biblical verses: Genesis 1:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Colossians 1:15-17; Colossians 2:9; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 44:6; John 1:14; John 10:30; John 10:30-36; John 14:9-11; John 14:16-17;  1 John 5:7-8; Luke 1:35; Luke 3:21-22; Matthew 1:23; Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; Romans 14:17-18; 1 Peter 1:1-2; Ephesians 4:4-6; and Philippians 2:5-8. God the Son, the Lord Jesus, wasn't just Prophet Jesus during his lifetime. The Bible says, there's 'one God, the Father from whom all things came and for whom we live', and there's 'one Lord, Jesus Christ, from whom all things came and for whom we live':

'For there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are in agreement.'
(1 John 5:7-8)

'I and the Father are one.' (John 10:30)

31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’[a]? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?' (John 10:30-36)

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)

According Christianity, Jesus now sits at God the Father's right hand, next to His throne:

And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. (Luke 24:50-51)

(He) who has gone into heaven and xis at the right hand of God, ywith angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. (Peter: 3:22)

If I may take some liberty, while avoiding dogmatism ~ I'd say, Christian Trinity may best be explained as the devine force, the devine wisdom, and the devine creation, if we see devine creation as perpetual matter, and God as living and working within creation, with His wisdom. In this case, it's impossible to separate God, devine force, and devine creation from each other. The Son, the Father, and the holy Spirit are the same and forever. Also Jesus is forever, and, also today, very much alive. For me, it makes sense to see Jesus as creation as a whole, the universe. Then, also Eucharist makes sense, because the bread and the wine are part of Jesus, as much as is the rest of creation.

Jesus will return, says the Bible, and at His arrival, Resurrection starts:

'For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.' (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

'... and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.' (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)

Islam doesn't recognize Trinity. Islam sees God as the perpetual creative force behind creation and the holy Spirit. This, because creation is a systematic structure of separate items, each with a temporary lifespan; they all are, directly or indirectly, made by God, even if people, or other creatures, function as productive intermediaries. They are God's protected property. God doesn't resemble creation in any way imaginable. To humans, and other creatures, creation and the holy spirit are tools, and a tool has to answer to God the same way as that humans have to.  Qur'an looks at creation as Allah SWT's immediate property, directly linked to Him. Thus, it's not possible to worship creation. Creatures are created to serve, not worship, each other. Reality is, that people are inclined to worship one item, or a person in creation, as a God, or manifestation of God. This would injustly favor one creature over other creatures, or a human-made concept, and that would create chaos, unjustified competition that's bound to be lost by the human-made god figure, or distortion. It would cause a wound to it all. Jesus was elavated alive, towards Allah, in heaven, without being crucified. Note well, that Jesus, Isa, is the only living prophet, now. The Holy Spirit is God's wisdom, which is revealed in the scriptures, including Qur'an; to the prophets, including Mohammad; and to the faithful. Qur'an al Kerim says:

'Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.' (2:255)

'And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise. There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them -' (4:157-159)

'O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Cease! (it is) better for you! - Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender. The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah, nor will the favoured angels. Whoso scorneth His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him; ...' (4:171-172)

'They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers. They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not from so saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve. Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away! Say: Serve ye in place of Allah that which possesseth for you neither hurt nor use? Allah it is Who is the Hearer, the Knower. Say: O People of the Scripture! Stress not in your religion other than the truth, and follow not the vain desires of folk who erred of old and led many astray, and erred from a plain road.' (5:72-77)

'Say: The holy Spirit hath revealed it from thy Lord with truth, that it may confirm (the faith of) those who believe, and as guidance and good tidings for those who have surrendered (to Allah). (102) And We know well that they say: Only a man teacheth him. The speech of him at whom they falsely hint is outlandish, and this is clear Arabic speech.' (16:102-103)

'They will ask thee concerning the Spirit. Say: The Spirit is by command of my Lord, and of knowledge ye have been vouchsafed but little. (85) And if We willed We could withdraw that which We have revealed unto thee, then wouldst thou find no guardian for thee against Us in respect thereof. (86) (It is naught) save mercy from thy Lord. Lo! His kindness unto thee was ever great. (87) Say: Verily, though mankind and the jinn should assemble to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof though they were helpers one of another.' (17:85-90)
'And she (Maryam) who was chaste, therefor We breathed into her (something) of Our Spirit and made her and her son a token for (all) peoples.' (21:91)

Allah hath not chosen any son, nor is there any God along with Him; else would each God have assuredly championed that which he created, and some of them would assuredly have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above all that they allege. Knower of the Invisible and the Visible! and Exalted be He over all that they ascribe as partners (unto Him)! (23:90-91)

Lo! Allah is the Knower of the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. Lo! He is Aware of the secret of (men's) breasts. He it is Who hath made you regents in the earth; so he who disbelieveth, his disbelief be on his own head. Their disbelief increaseth for the disbelievers, in their Lord's sight, naught save abhorrence. Their disbelief increaseth for the disbelievers naught save loss. Say: Have ye seen your partner-gods to whom ye pray beside Allah? Show me what they created of the earth! Or have they any portion in the heavens? Or have We given them a scripture so they act on clear proof therefrom? Nay, the evil-doers promise one another only to deceive. Lo! Allah graspeth the heavens and the earth that they deviate not, and if they were to deviate there is not one that could grasp them after Him. Lo! He is ever Clement, Forgiving. (35:38-41)

'When thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to create a mortal out of mire, (71) And when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My Spirit, then fall down before him prostrate,' (38:72)

'The Exalter of Ranks, the Lord of the Throne. He casteth the Spirit of His command upon whom He will of His slaves, that He may warn of the Day of Meeting, ...' (40:15)

'And thus have We inspired in thee (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our command. Thou knewest not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith. But We have made it a light whereby We guide whom We will of Our bondmen. And lo! thou verily dost guide unto a right path, (52) The path of Allah, unto Whom belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Do not all things reach Allah at last.' (42:52-53)

'Were We then worn out by the first creation? Yet they are in doubt about a new creation. We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. When the two Receivers receive (him), seated on the right hand and on the left, He uttereth no word but there is with him an observer ready.' (50:15-18)

'Thou wilt not find folk who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, even though they be their fathers or their sons or their brethren or their clan. As for such, He hath written faith upon their hearts and hath strengthened them with a Spirit from Him, and He will bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide. Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him. They are Allah's party. Lo! is it not Allah's party who are the successful?' (58:22)

'On the day when the angels and the Spirit stand arrayed, they speak not, saving him whom the Beneficent alloweth and who speaketh right. That is the True Day. So whoso will should seek recourse unto his Lord.' (78:38-39)

'Say: He is Allah, the One! Allah, the eternally Besought of all! He begetteth not nor was begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him.' (112:1-4)

There is a disclaimer ~ Thank God, it's not up to us, to decide whether the difference between Bible and Quran is only words and naming, or whether there's a genuine difference in meaning. I'd say, Qur'an and Bible describe God and His creation as one cluster, created in wisdom, but the Bible gives a bigger place to Jesus, 'Isa. There's no compulsion in religion, because we can't picture or perceive God. Allah SWT knows, and we don't. We can let loose reason on the unseen, but miss observation to back up our reasoning. This isn't always necessary, when logic is used properly. But in this case, our logic can't reach far enough to get to the truth. And, it's better to live and let live, instead of trying to falsify religious teachings about their very core. Nevertheless, what's my conclusion? Islam, accepts only one, unambiguous God. God has defined creation, but not the other way round.

Both the Bible and Qur'an say, Jesus is alive and in heaven now and, at the Day of Resurrection, Jesus will testify for, or against, each one of us. Jesus' present and future role matters, to those who believe. Qur'an and Bible resemble, and should be taken at heart, though we may question Trinity.

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