Enjoy this informative and passionate review of the debate Joe had with a Muslim. Joe spends time explaining the Trinity, the Quranic dilemma, the nature of Jesus and much more!

Some thoughts on Opening Talk

  1. All prophets from the Bible have their history in the Bible.
  2. There is no historian that uses the Quran to learn about the prior biblical characters.
  3. The Quran has no direct quotes from the Bible- only Jewish/Christian folklore.
  4. The Quran denies the need for Jesus to crush Satan and be the passover lamb, for the sacrifice for sins (Gen. 3:15, Is 9:6 & Is. 53).

Thoughts on the Quran

(1) Protestants have the same Bible (OT) as Jesus did and the Jews have today.

(2) The Quran affirms the Torah and Gospel:

  1. Allah Promises to Preserve His Word: Surah 16:43 | Yusuf Ali: “And before thee also the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message.” Many Muslims erroneously believe that the Qur’an claims the corruption of previous scriptures. However with this erroneous belief comes a new set of problems.
  2. The Bible is a Preserved Dhikr (Reminder): The Qur’an says in 15:9, “We have revealed the dhikr (reminder) and we surely will preserve it,” but which “reminder” is Allah referring to, and who decided it only applied to Qur’anic text?” The Taurat and Injil are also referred to as dhikr in 21:48, 21:7, and 40:53-54. So if Allah could not protect these dhikrs as he promised in 15:9, how can we expect him to protect the last dhikr? Allah said he will preserve the dhikr, either he preserves all the dhikr (Taurat, Injil, and Qur’an) or None.
  3. Ask People of the Book | Sura 10:94 | Muhsin Khan: So if you (O Muhammad SAW) are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed unto you, [i.e. that your name is written in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] then ask those who are reading the Book [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt (it). More verses, http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_q15_9.htm
  4. We Believe in What was Revealed To You | Surah 29:46 | Sahih International: “And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”
  5. The Torah and Gospel Were Revealed | Surah 3:3-4 | Sahih: 3 He has sent down upon you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel. 4 Before, as guidance for the people. And He revealed the Qur’an. Indeed, those who disbelieve in the verses of Allah will have a severe punishment, and Allah is exalted in Might, the Owner of Retribution.

(3) The Quran has perseveration problems

  1. Uthman Revisions | Sahih Al-Bukhari: ‘Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. ‘Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. Said bin Thabit added, “A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur’an and I used to hear Allah’s Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): ‘Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.” Sahih Al-Bukhari, 6.507, 509-510. Main part from Al-Buhhari online, http://www.alim.org/library/hadith/SHB/510/6
  2. None Has the Full Quran | Ismail ibn Ibrahim from Ayyub from Naafi from Ibn Umar who said: “Let none of you say ‘I have acquired the whole of the Qur’an’. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur’an has disappeared? Rather let him say ‘I have acquired what has survived.'” (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur’an, p.524).
  3. Missing Surah | Sahih Muslim | Abu Musa al-Ash’ari: We used to recite a surah which resembled in length and severity to (Surah) Bara’at. I have, however, forgotten it with the exception of this which I remember out of it: “If there were two valleys full of riches, for the son of Adam, he would long for a third valley, and nothing would fill the stomach of the son of Adam but dust”. (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, p.501).
  4. Missing Surah | Abu Musa went on to say: We used to recite a surah similar to one of the Musabbihaat, and I no longer remember it, but this much I have indeed preserved: ‘O you who truly believe, why do you preach that which you do not practise?’ (and) ‘that is inscribed on your necks as a witness and you will be examined about it on the Day of Resurrection’. (as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur’an, p.526).
  5. Missing Verse | Sahih al-Bukhari | Anas ibn Malik: “We used to read a verse of the Qur’an revealed in their connection, but later the verse was cancelled. It was: “convey to our people on our behalf the information that we have met our Lord, and He is pleased with us, and has made us pleased.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, p.288).
  6. Missing Verse | Zaid bin Thabit: “A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur’an and I used to hear Allah’s Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al Ansari. (That Verse was): ‘Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah’.”
  7. Verse of Stoning | Zirr ibn Hubaish reported: “Ubayy ibn Ka’b said to me, ‘What is the extent of Suratul-Ahzab?’ I said, ‘Seventy, or seventy-three verses’. He said, ‘Yet it used to be equal to Suratul-Baqarah and in it we recited the verse of stoning’. I said, ‘And what is the verse of stoning’? He replied, ‘The fornicators among the married men (ash-shaikh) and married women (ash-shaikhah), stone them as an exemplary punishment from Allah, and Allah is Mighty and Wise.”‘ (As-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur’an, p.524).
  8. Aisha’s Goat ate It: Reported ‘Aisha (RA): ‘the verse of stoning and of suckling an adult ten times was revealed, and they were (written) on a paper and kept under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) expired and we were occupied by his death, a goat entered and ate away the paper.’ (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 1944)
  9. More examples: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Corruption_of_the_Qur’an

Thoughts on the Trinity

(1) Not man made, but given by God and defined by men of God (just like every important doctrine in Islam, “The Shahada,” “The Direction and Amount of Daily Prayers,” and “Tawheed” for Muslims, which are not found in the Quran).

(2) The New Testament, along with the Old, clearly teaches the triune nature of God.  Though it was not until the Council of Nicea that all the terms were defined and clearly written out for everyone to understand, it can be most easily seen in the writings of the earliest church Fathers.  It was a core belief to the early church that Jesus and Holy Spirit was as much God as the Father was.  Therefore, in their writings the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are always seen as the one divine being which is called God, and yet three distinct persons with different roles and activity.

Matthew 28:19-20, “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

2 Corinthians 13:14, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

God the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost 

Here are the writings of the fathers and their view of the nature of God, also known as the trinity.

Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter 6 | 160AD

In Justin’s letter of defense to the Romans he clearly states that Christians are not “atheists” on account they do not worship the Roman pagan gods, but rather worship the one true God revealed in Scripture.  And in this chapter Justin clearly defines that he and the Christians of his day worshipped and adored the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit as the “most true God.”

“Hence are we called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this sort are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all impurity. But both Him, and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him), and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught”.

Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 4, Chapter 20, Verse 5 | 180AD

In this letter Irenaeus clearly shows the difference in the persons and roles of the one true God.  This proves that the early church had no problems believing that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were one and the same God, but at the same time were different persons with different roles.  Irenaeus states that the one God has been seen through the Spirit, the Son, and the Father and that each divine person complements the other and works together to bring eternal life to man.

“For God is powerful in all things, having been seen at that time indeed, prophetically through the Spirit, and seen, too, adoptively through the Son; and He shall also be seen paternally in the kingdom of heaven, the Spirit truly preparing man in the Son of God, and the Son leading him to the Father, while the Father, too, confers [upon him] incorruption for eternal life, which comes to every one from the fact of his seeing God.”

Tertullian, Letter on Modesty, Chapter 21 | 198AD

Tertullian was known to be the first to adopt the term “trinity” to define the unity of the three divine persons.  This is not to say he was the first to believe that the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit were the true God, but he was the first to begin to try to explain the nature of God with terms that people would remember.  Therefore, he is the first father to use the term “trinity” to describe God’s nature.

It is good for the reader to note that he is not in a place in this letter of stating new doctrine but rather he is making a point about the state of the church and he then refers to the nature of God as an example for the unity of the church.  This proves that equality and unity of God within the three divine persons was not “new doctrine,” but rather accepted as common and was understood to be true by ever Christians of his day.

“For the very Church itself is, properly and principally, the Spirit Himself, in whom is the Trinity of the One Divinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

Tertullian, Letter Against Praxeas, Chapter 9 | 213AD

At the end of Tertullian’s life he could clearly define and defend the orthodox Trinitarian view of God’s nature.  Here in this letter against the heresies of Praxeas Tertullian writes chapter after chapter on the triune nature of God.  He uses many scriptures and examples from the Bible to prove that God is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  His teachings would prove very instrumental in the coming years against such attacks like those of Arius who would deny Jesus’ and the Holy Spirit’s divinity.

Also, Tertullian was useful in defeating the heresy that God was one person who took different forms called the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  He states in this passage that the Father, Son, and the Spirit are “inseparable,” but yet they are distinct from each other as persons.  This is important to know because some people of his day tried to say that the Father was the Son in the form of man and the Son was the Spirit in spiritual nature, thus making them all one person, but appearing in different forms.[1]  Tertullian clearly states that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the same one God, but yet three distinct persons, meaning, the Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet they are the one in the same God.

“Bear always in mind that this is the rule of faith which I profess; by it I testify that the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit are inseparable from each other, and so will you know in what sense this is said. Now, observe, my assertion is that the Father is one, and the Son one, and the Spirit one, and that They are distinct from Each Other.”

Cyprian, Treatises, Chapter 1, Verse 6 | 250AD

Cyprian was a great defender and teacher of the trinity.  As with the other church fathers Cyprian understood the belief for the trinity as being orthodox and accepted by all Christians.  Many times in his writings he uses the trinity to defend other points, such as the unity of the church.  Therefore, his writings serve along side of Tertullian as another example of the wide and uniformed acceptance of the trinity.

Here in this verse he states that Jesus was one with the Father in the same sense the Spirit is one with the Father and Son.  And thus all three persons- the Father, Son, and Spirit are all one God.

“The Lord says, “I and the Father are one;” and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, “And these three are one.”   And does any one believe that this unity which thus comes from the divine strength and coheres in celestial sacraments, can be divided in the Church, and can be separated by the parting asunder of opposing wills? He who does not hold this unity does not hold God’s law, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation.”

(from carm.org) 

Thoughts on Jesus Not Knowing the Hour (or Supposedly the Holy Spirit)

Taken from carm.org

  1. (Mark 13:30-32), “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31″Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.  32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone,”
  2. (Matt. 24:36), “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

This statement is found in the gospel of Mark and Matt. 24:36.  The answer is simple.  Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1, 14; 20:28; Col. 2:9), and during His ministry in Jerusalem, He was cooperating with the limitations of being a man.  As a man, Jesus walked and talked.  As God He was worshipped (Matt. 14:33; 28:9; Heb. 1:6), prayed to (Zech. 13:9; 1 Cor. 1:2), etc.  This is called the Hypostatic Union.

During His earthly ministry He moved in the power of the Holy Spirit and did His miracles by the Holy Spirit and not by His own divine power.  This is because He was made for a little while lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9) and had emptied Himself and taken on the form of a man (Phil. 2:7).  This would explain why in Matt. 12:22-32, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the devil, Jesus said that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would never be forgiven?  Why?  Because Jesus, as a man who was ministering completely as a man under the Law (Gal. 4:4-5), did His miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This demonstrates that Christ was completely human and dependent upon God and that He was cooperating with the limitations of being human.  That is why He said He didn’t know the day or hour of His return.

However, we see that after the resurrection of Christ that it is said of Him that He knows all things (John 21:17) and that He is omnipresent (Matt. 28:20).  Therefore, after His resurrection and glorification, the Lord Jesus did know all things.

Jesus being handed authority

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 (NIV) “45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.”
  2. John 5:19-23 (NIV) “19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”