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  1. #1
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    Quran warns about "the politics of naming"

    Shalom and peace,

    It's always the first question that I receive: "Quran denies that Jesus is the son of God. Right?"

    and I respond: What do you exactly mean by "son" ?

    Situation A:
    Are you taking the word "son" as "physical male descendant of God" ? If this is the case, your answer is that not only Quran but also Torah denies the assumption that God has any physical descendant in either form of a son, daughter, niece, cousin, sister, uncle, you name it. Then they usually reply by sending Genesis 6:2! And I reply back with if they know what does the Hebrew word "elohim" and the Hebrew word "ben" really mean?! And if they have listened to arguments or read different translations of Genesis 6:2 from different scholars?

    Situation B
    Are you taking the word "son" figuratively? implying a connection to Jesus's divine appointment as a prophet by God? If this is the case, your answer is a little bit longer, because you are stepping into the realm of figuration. You see, we should be careful about using words, especially when it comes to our creator, or in daily life even:

    God has not provided two hearts in the chest of a man, nor made your wives, whom you pronounce "mothers", your real mothers, nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. This is only what your lips pronounce. God says what is just, and shows the right way. (Quran 33:4)

    This teaches us that names have meanings, and names and meanings should not get politicized or get shifted into the realm of relativity, although societies tend to play and shift meanings. Your adapted son is not your real son, because there is a big difference between him and your real son from God's point of view. Even if you feel down your heart that you are truly showing kindness by misusing words, but God's commands overrides our personal emotions and beliefs! He doesn't command in respect to our feelings! He commands based on what He sees as just, not what WE see as right! Because He is the only all-knower, not us! We are all human beings. Thus, the usage of the word "son", in its figurative part, is condemned equally by Quran as well.

    Summary: Both literal and figurative usage of the word "son" for Jesus Christ is rejected by Quran as well as Torah of God.

    So where is the problem:
    "Only a small minority of Bible students ever achieve the ability to read the original biblical languages. " Quoting Hendrickson Publishing House.

    If this is the case for Bible students, then we should cry for the rest of common reader!! But before that here are some questions for the common readers of the bible to ponder:

    1. How many bible readers have actually checked couple of recent Greek to English lexicons in order to study the origin of the word "son"?

    2. How many of the bible readers actually dare to move on and see if they can find more "first hand" references to study the word of divine?
    Lets take a look at the famous Strong's Greek concordance:

    Greek Strong's Number: 5207
    Greek Word: υἱός
    Transliteration: huios
    Root: apparently a primary word
    apparently a primary word; a 'son' (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figurative kinship :- child, foal, son. —Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

    Oh! apparently!! not even the famous Strong's concordance is certain about the origin of this controversial word!!

    Last word:

    If the majority of us have not yet managed to read the Bible as deep and certain as it should be read in original Greek or Hebrew language, why don't we take our time to do so?? Because life is short you know! Instead of arguing with other people, politicizing everything, rejecting the word of those who know what exactly they are talking about...we better get started by learning and reading the original language and leave out the classical translations alone!

    Did I say Quran doesn't assert the virginity of Mariam and the miraculous birth of her son? Not at all !
    Did I say Quran doesn't assert the miracles that God did by the hand of Jesus Christ? Not at all !
    Did I say Quran doesn't assert that Jesus was a righteous prophet sent to Israelites? Not at all !

    I said Quran has warned those who tend to play with politics of naming in order to make doctrines, it has warned the people that use the word "son". Because God of the universe is too exalted ! he doesn't beget son, literally or figuratively. He sends his beloved servants and righteous prophets to warn people, to reset the language of injustice. And don't forget that any false word, comes from a distorted ontology...so watch out!

    Thank you,
    Ali.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ali View Post
    Shalom and peace,

    It's always the first question that I receive: "Quran denies that Jesus is the son of God. Right?"

    and I respond: What do you exactly mean by "son" ?

    Situation A:
    Are you taking the word "son" as "physical male descendant of God" ? If this is the case, your answer is that not only Quran but also Torah denies the assumption that God has any physical descendant in either form of a son, daughter, niece, cousin, sister, uncle, you name it. Then they usually reply by sending Genesis 6:2! And I reply back with if they know what does the Hebrew word "elohim" and the Hebrew word "ben" really mean?! And if they have listened to arguments or read different translations of Genesis 6:2 from different scholars?

    Situation B
    Are you taking the word "son" figuratively? implying a connection to Jesus's divine appointment as a prophet by God? If this is the case, your answer is a little bit longer, because you are stepping into the realm of figuration. You see, we should be careful about using words, especially when it comes to our creator, or in daily life even:
    God has not provided two hearts in the chest of a man, nor made your wives, whom you pronounce "mothers", your real mothers, nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. This is only what your lips pronounce. God says what is just, and shows the right way. (Quran 33:4)

    This teaches us that names have meanings, and names and meanings should not get politicized or get shifted into the realm of relativity, although societies tend to play and shift meanings. Your adapted son is not your real son, because there is a big difference between him and your real son from God's point of view. Even if you feel down your heart that you are truly showing kindness by misusing words, but God's commands overrides our personal emotions and beliefs! He doesn't command in respect to our feelings! He commands based on what He sees as just, not what WE see as right! Because He is the only all-knower, not us! We are all human beings. Thus, the usage of the word "son", in its figurative part, is condemned equally by Quran as well.

    Summary: Both literal and figurative usage of the word "son" for Jesus Christ is rejected by Quran as well as Torah of God.

    So where is the problem:
    "Only a small minority of Bible students ever achieve the ability to read the original biblical languages. " Quoting Hendrickson Publishing House.


    If this is the case for Bible students, then we should cry for the rest of common reader!! But before that here are some questions for the common readers of the bible to ponder:
    1. How many bible readers have actually checked couple of recent Greek to English lexicons in order to study the origin of the word "son"?

    2. How many of the bible readers actually dare to move on and see if they can find more "first hand" references to study the word of divine?
    Lets take a look at the famous Strong's Greek concordance:
    Greek Strong's Number: 5207
    Greek Word: υἱός
    Transliteration: huios
    Root: apparently a primary word
    apparently a primary word; a 'son' (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figurative kinship :- child, foal, son. —Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

    Oh! apparently!! not even the famous Strong's concordance is certain about the origin of this controversial word!!

    Last word:

    If the majority of us have not yet managed to read the Bible as deep and certain as it should be read in original Greek or Hebrew language, why don't we take our time to do so?? Because life is short you know! Instead of arguing with other people, politicizing everything, rejecting the word of those who know what exactly they are talking about...we better get started by learning and reading the original language and leave out the classical translations alone!

    Did I say Quran doesn't assert the virginity of Mariam and the miraculous birth of her son? Not at all !
    Did I say Quran doesn't assert the miracles that God did by the hand of Jesus Christ? Not at all !
    Did I say Quran doesn't assert that Jesus was a righteous prophet sent to Israelites? Not at all !

    I said Quran has warned those who tend to play with politics of naming in order to make doctrines, it has warned the people that use the word "son". Because God of the universe is too exalted ! he doesn't beget son, literally or figuratively. He sends his beloved servants and righteous prophets to warn people, to reset the language of injustice. And don't forget that any false word, comes from a distorted ontology...so watch out!

    Thank you,
    Ali.
    Hi Ali,

    Thanks for the very interesting post. You have touched the heart of the issue. In my discussions with Christians over the years, and even just today, there is one fact that stands out above all others - the words of the Bible are never accepted as "face value" unless they support the preconcieved dogma held by the interpretor. It doesn't matter how plainly something is written. If it contradicts what the interpretor wants to believe (or has been told to believe through tradition) then it is rejected. This makes debates about the Bible utterly futile because most Bible believers are not interested in the truth at all. The one thing they care about is proving their preconceived dogma to be true.

    Your post brings up an excellent example. The phrase "son of X" in the Bible means "of the quality of X" or "an exemplar of X." For example, the "son of perdition" does not mean that there is some being named "Perdition" who literally begat a son! And you are correct that the Torah flat-out denies that God is a "son of man" and this is particularly ironic since "son of man" is a common title of Jesus in the New Testament.

    So there is much support for you case. But there also is much that contradicts it. For example, the Bible connects the phrase "son of God" to the virgin birth and says that's the reason Jesus was called the "Son of God":

    Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

    And Colossians says that Christ is "the image of God" and CREATOR!

    Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

    Your explanations must address the actual reasons Christians concluded that Christ is God. They didn't just make it up for fun! They wrestled with what the Bible actually teaches and tried to find a resolution.

    Now here is the fundamental problem: If the Bible really is from God, and God "doesn't beget son, literally or figuratively," then why did God produce a book that emphatically states that Jesus is the only-begotten son of God? Was he just having fun confusing us?

    Great chatting!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  3. #3
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    And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. Gen22:8

    The example of Abraham offering Isaac should certainly establish that the 'son' is a physical male offspring; as well as "Lamb" -- not to mention Word, Vine, Rock, Bridegroom, and many other metphors. The 'SON' was planted in the womb and in the tomb, as an example of how BELIEVERS would have "Christ formed in them", Gal 4:19, Colossians 1:27.
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

  4. #4
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    Oct 2008
    Posts
    275
    Hello Ali,
    Jesus is called the Son of God , and the image and form of God. He also came in the likeness of men. God is not to proud to take on this form and there is nothing wrong or defiling about it. People may worry that seeing God as a man will taint His glory, but all it would take is a few seconds in Jesus' presence to see that God cannot be defiled or limited by any form He chooses to take. Jesus knew the stigma man attaches to physicality and the problems that would arise from Him accepting the job of coming as a man, to save man.

    If God is averse to being a man, how will He ever be all in all? (1 Cor. 15:28)

  5. #5
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    111
    So there is much support for you case. But there also is much that contradicts it. For example, the Bible connects the phrase "son of God" to the virgin birth and says that's the reason Jesus was called the "Son of God":

    Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

    ....will be called the son of God.

    This does not necessarily mean that he is the son of God.

    The dispute between christians and muslims is Jesus (pbuh). If muslim will accept Jesus as son of God, then they will convert to Christianity. But, if christians realise that Jesus (pbuh) is only a messenger then they have to accept Islam.

    Let's see what the Quran says about Jesus(pbuh)!

    "Behold! The angels said: O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a WORD FROM HIM: his name will be Christ Jesus. The son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those Nearest to Allah.[Al-Qur’an 3:45]

    "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Jesus Christ the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, And His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not ‘Trinity’: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is One God: glory be to Him: (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs." [Al-Qur’an 4:171]

    The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was.
    The Truth (comes) from Allah alone; so be not of those who doubt.
    If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge Hath come to thee, say: "Come! let us gather together,- our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!" [Al-Quran 3:59-61]

  6. #6
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    Because the Koran has copied so much of its language and personalities from the Christian Bible,it isn't always easy to point out the many variations and wrong conclusions, especially when we're not much inclined to study in detail a book we don't believe. Obviously Mohammed didn't understand the allegories and hidden wisdom of the 66 books of the Bible.

    Quran[4.171] O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son..
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by culi26 View Post
    So there is much support for you case. But there also is much that contradicts it. For example, the Bible connects the phrase "son of God" to the virgin birth and says that's the reason Jesus was called the "Son of God":

    Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

    ....will be called the son of God.

    This does not necessarily mean that he is the son of God.

    The dispute between christians and muslims is Jesus (pbuh). If muslim will accept Jesus as son of God, then they will convert to Christianity. But, if christians realise that Jesus (pbuh) is only a messenger then they have to accept Islam.

    Let's see what the Quran says about Jesus(pbuh)!

    "Behold! The angels said: O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a WORD FROM HIM: his name will be Christ Jesus. The son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those Nearest to Allah.[Al-Qur’an 3:45]

    "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Jesus Christ the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, And His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not ‘Trinity’: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is One God: glory be to Him: (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs." [Al-Qur’an 4:171]

    The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was.
    The Truth (comes) from Allah alone; so be not of those who doubt.
    If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge Hath come to thee, say: "Come! let us gather together,- our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!" [Al-Quran 3:59-61]
    Hey there culi26,

    Very interesting post. It brings up something I thought about long ago. Christians write massive volumes trying to "harmonize" the problems and apparent contradictions within the Bible. Many of the accepted "explanations" require a tremendous amount of highly questionable "hermeneutical gymnastics." It occurred to me that if Christians and Muslims got together and put the same effort into "harmonizing" the apparent contradictions between the Bible and the Quran, they might might be able come to agreement. This possibility seems even more likely when we consider the amount of things that Christians and Muslims hold in common. Last year I began to write a "common confession of faith for Muslims and Christians" that contained nothing but verses from the Bible and the Quran that said the same thing. I never finished it, but your post inspired me to start a new thread called A Common Confession of Faith for Christians and Muslims. It would be interesting to know what you think. And it would be fun to post a new shared belief every day to see how long the list really is.

    But there are some real challenges when trying to harmonize the Quran and the Bible. The Quran states that Allah gave both, yet most Muslims insist that the Bible has been corrupted. Now it's true that there has been some corruption, but not of the kind needed to resolve the differences it has with the Quran. Case in point: The Bible repeatedly states that Jesus is the "Son of God." We know, by studying all the existing copies of the Bible, that this was not added later and it's not a corruption. It is what the original New Testament said. I would be very interested to know how you deal with the verses that plainly state that Jesus is the son of God. There are so many, I don't need to list them all. Let's just start with this one:
    John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
    Great chatting!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by duxrow View Post

    Because the Koran has copied so much of its language and personalities from the Christian Bible,it isn't always easy to point out the many variations and wrong conclusions, especially when we're not much inclined to study in detail a book we don't believe. Obviously Mohammed didn't understand the allegories and hidden wisdom of the 66 books of the Bible.

    Quran[4.171] O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son..
    That's the heart of the dispute. Here is perhaps the most commonly quoted passage from the Quran on this issue (source):


    بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ


    1. قُلۡ هُوَ اللّٰہُ اَحَدٌ
    2. اَللّٰہُ الصَّمَدُ
    3. لَمۡ یَلِدۡۙ وَ لَمۡ یُوۡلَدۡ
    4. وَ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ لَّہٗ کُفُوًا اَحَدٌ


    Transliteration:
    Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem
    1 Qul huwa Allah hu ahad
    2 Allah hu 's-samad
    3 Lam yalid wa lam yulad
    4 Wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad


    1. Say, “The truth is: Allah is One.
    2. Allah is Besought of all, needing none.
    3. He neither begot anyone, nor he was begotten.
    4. And equal to Him has never been any one.”

    The highlighted words are particularly interesting because they use the same Semitic root "yalad" (to give birth) as we find in the prophecy of Isaiah 9 -
    Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born (ki yeled yullad lanu), to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
    So it looks to me that this passage of the Quran was written in response to the Christian doctrine. But this seems to directly contradict the assertion that Allah gave the Torah and the Gospels to the Jews and Christians.

    But this shouldn't be a big deal. I mean, the Bible is sufficiently self-contradictory to allow for Bible believers to disagree if Jesus is God or not. It seems like a significantly less serious problem to disagree about whether or not he is the "son of God." Therefore, I think that non-Trinitarians may be much closer to Islam than to traditional Christianity. Interesting, ain't it?
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

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