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The true message of jesus christ

THE TRUE MESSAGE
OF
JESUS CHRIST
BY
DR. BILAL PHILIPS
(St. David’s College, University of Wales,U.K.)
© Copyright 1996 Dar Al Fatah
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise—without prior permission of the copyright owner.
Printed in the United Arab Emirates
Dar Al Fatah Printing, Publishing & Distribution Co. Llc.
P.O.Box 23424, Sharjah, U.A.E.
Tel: (9716) 322308 / Fax: 322526

Content:
Introduction
Chapter One: The Scriptures
Authentic Manuscripts
Contradictions
Chapter Two: The Person
A Man
"Evidence"For Jesus Divinity
Chapter Three: The Message
Chapter Four: The Way
Conclusion
Bibliography


CHAPTER TWO:
JESUS, THE PERSON
As has been shown in the previous chapter, the Biblical scriptures, both New and Old Testaments, are unreliable sources and cannot, therefore, be used as an authentic means of knowing the truth about the man called Jesus Christ or about his mission and message. However, a close examination of these scriptures in the light of Qur’aanic verses will reveal some of the truths about Jesus that have survived in the Bible.
A Messenger
Throughout the Qur‘aan, Jesus is identified fundamentally as a Messenger of God. In Chapter as-Saff (61):6, God quotes Jesus as follows:
“And [remember] when Jesus, son of Mary, said: ‘O Children of Israel, I am the messenger of Allaah sent to you, confirming the Torah [which came] before me.”
There are many verses in the New Testament supporting the messengership / prophethood of Jesus. The following are only a few: In Matthew 21:11, the people of his time are recorded as referring to Jesus as a prophet: “And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth of Galilee.’ ” In Mark, 6:4, it is stated that Jesus referred to himself as a prophet: “And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.’ ” In the following verses, Jesus is referred to as having been sent as a messenger is sent. In Matthew 10:40, Jesus was purported to have said: “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” In John 17:3, Jesus is also quoted as saying: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” [1]
A Man
The Qur’aanic revelation not only affirms Jesus’ prophethood, but it also clearly denies Jesus’ divinity. In Chapter al-Maa’idah, (5): 75, God points out that Jesus ate food, which is a human act, obviously not befitting to God.
“The Messiah, Son of Mary, was no more than a messenger and many messengers passed away before him. His mother was exceedingly truthful, and they both ate food. See how I have made the signs clear for them, yet see how they are deluded.”
There are numerous accounts in the New Testament which also deny Jesus’ divinity.
For example, in Matthew 19:17, Jesus responded to one who addressed him as “O good master”, saying: “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.” If he rejected being called “good”,[2] and stated that only God is truly good, he clearly implies that he is not God.
In John 14:28, Jesus was saying: “The Father is greater than I.” By stating that the “Father” is greater than himself, Jesus distinguishes himself from God. Also in John 20:17, Jesus told Mary Magdalene to tell his followers: “I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God.” Jesus’ reference to God as “my Father and your Father” further emphasizes the distinction between himself and God. Furthermore, by referring to God as “his God”, he left no room for anyone to intelligently claim that he was God.
Even in some of the writings of Paul, which the Church has taken to be sacred, Jesus is referred to as a “man”, distinct and different from God. In 1st Timothy, 2:5, Paul writes: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
There are also verses in the Qur‘aan which confirm Prophet Muhammad’s humanity, in order to prevent his followers from elevating him to a divine or semi-divine status, as was done to Prophet Jesus. For example, in Chapter al-Kahf (18):110, Allaah instructs the Prophet Muhammad (e) to inform all who hear his message:
} قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَاْ بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَا إلَـهُكُمْ إِلهٌ وَاحِدٌ {

“Say: ‘Indeed, I am only a man like you to whom it has been revealed that your God is only one God.’ ”

In Chapter al-A‘raaf (7):187, Allaah also directed Prophet Muhammad (e) to acknowledge that the time of the Judgement is known only to God.
“They ask you about the Final Hour: 'When will its apointed time be?’ Say: ‘Knowledge of it is with my Lord. None can reveal its time besides Him.’ ”
In the Gospel according to Mark 13:31-32, Jesus is also reported to have denied having knowledge of when the final hour of this world would be, saying: “Heaven and the earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away, but of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in the heaven nor the Son but the Father.” One of the attributes of God is omniscience, knowledge of all things. Therefore, his denial of knowledge of the Day of Judgement is also a denial of divinity, for one who does not know the time of the final hour cannot possibly be God.[3]

An Immaculate Conception
The Qur‘aan confirms the Biblical story of Jesus’ virgin birth. However, in the Qur‘aanic account of Jesus’ birth, Mary was an unmarried maiden whose life was dedicated to the worship of God by her mother. While she was worshipping in a place of religious seclusion, angels came and informed her of her impending pregnancy.
} إِذْ قَالَتِ الْملآئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيْحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيا وَ اْلآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبينَ{

“When the angels said: ‘O Mary, indeed Allaah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He will be honored in this world and the next and will be of those close to Allaah.’ ” Qur’aan, (3):45

} قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ قَالَ كَذَلِكِ اللهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ إِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ {
“She said: ‘O my Lord, how can I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: ‘Even so—Allaah creates what He wishes. When He decrees something, He only has to say to it: “Be!” and it is.’ ” Qur’aan, (3):47
However, the Qur’aan clarifies that Jesus’ virgin birth did not change the state of his humanity. His creation was like the creation of Aadam, who had neither father nor mother.

} إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِنْدَ اللهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِنْ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ {
“Surely, the example of Jesus, in Allaah’s sight, is like that of Aadam. He created him from dust and said: ‘Be!’ and he was.” Qur’aan, (3):59

The Miracles
The Qur‘aanic account of Jesus’ ministry confirms most[4] of his miracles mentioned in the Bible and identifies some not mentioned in the Bible. For example, the Qur‘aan informs that Jesus was a messenger of God from his birth, and his first miracle was speaking as a child in the cradle. After Mary had given birth to Jesus, people accused her of fornication. Instead of responding to their accusations, she pointed to her newly born child:

} فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مِنْ كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا قَالَ إِنِّي ...
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