A point I would like to make to all readers is that Sam Shamoun likes to write very long rebuttals to his opponents, he does this to simply make an impression on the reader that he has a lot to say and a lot of refutations to his opponent's points. Yet most of Shamoun's supposed rebuttals are filled with red-herrings, which basically mean that he writes about issues that are not relevant to the discussion at hand. He goes off on a tangent bringing up several dozens of different topics to try and act like he has made a point, and he very well knows that since he has written so much, that half way through the article the reader will forget what the article's origin was all about!
Such cheap tactics are very sad, but you can't really blame him for it, when you don't have the truth you must resort to such weak tactics.
So with that said I would like to familiarize everybody with the discussion at hand, so as to see if Shamoun ever DIRECTLY refutes or addresses it. Now Trinitarians bring up Hebrews 1:8 which reads:
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
So from this they conclude that the Father did call Jesus God. Yet the word for God in Greek is Theos, and can also be applied to men as well, the word Theos is used on satan! So therefore just because God called Jesus Theos doesn't make Jesus the all mighty and true God. Therefore we must let the context do the talking, and when we do let the context speak we see that in verse 9, which comes right after this verse, we see the context refute the Trinitarian contention:
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, EVEN THY GOD, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Hebrews 1:8-9)
Notice the verse says that Jesus God the son has a God, and that God anointed Jesus! Can God have a God who anoints him!? Off course not! Therefore a proper translation and reading of Hebrews 1:8 should say god, not God with a capital G, as verse 9 shows that Jesus has a GOD referring to the all mighty and all powerful God.
Notice in verse 9 they even translated it as God with a capital G, they write:
'Therefore God, Even thy God"! So God has a God?! An accurate translation should read like this:
'Therefore god, even thy God", this makes the text more clear. In the Bible people who are referred to god with a small g means they are a prophet, a judge, or the Messiah.
So therefore with the context an entire accurate translation of Hebrews chapter verses 8-9 should read as follow:
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O god, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore god, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Hebrews 1:8-9)
So let us see if Shamoun DIRECTLY refutes this contention.
The missionary writes:
. Jesus is Lord (or Yahweh) God, the very One who brought all creation into existence and is currently sustaining it.
"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made theuniverse. [the Son is] sustaining all things by his powerful word. He [the Father] also says, ?In the beginning, O Lord [the Son], you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.'" Hebrews 1:1-2, 3b, 10-12
The book of Hebrews is not alone in stating that the Father used Christ to make and sustain all creation
So the missionary starters by quoting Hebrews 1 verses 1-2 which read:
1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Notice the verse says that God spoke to the people in various ways in the past, and that he has now spoken to us through his Son Jesus. Yet how can this be? If Jesus created the universe and the worlds as the Trinitarian claims then this means that God also spoke to us through Jesus in the past, yet the text says that God spoke to us through Jesus in the last days! Hence Jesus could not have made the universe, because God only talked to us through Jesus in the LAST DAYS, not in the past, which means that Jesus did not create the universe. If Jesus did create the universe then surely God spoke to us through Jesus as well, yet Hebrews two obviously says the opposite of that.
Secondly, notice that God speaks to us in various ways, through prophets, and now through Jesus, basically this means these people represent the mouth piece of God, that they are his spokespeople, that they are not God! Notice also that Jesus is being compared with the other prophets, God spoke through prophets, and now he speaks through Jesus.
The text doesn't say that now God has spoken to us in the last days by sending himself to us! It says he has talked to us THROUGH JESUS just like he did with other prophets!
Thirdly, notice the text says that God appointed Jesus the heir of all things, there are a lot of problems with this! If Jesus is co-equal and co-eternal with God as the Trinitarian claims, then shouldn't have Jesus already had the rights and ownership to everything with the Father?! The Father APPOINTED Jesus as the heir, meaning Jesus didn't own anything, but the Father gave him everything, which proves they aren't equal at all. For the son to be appointed as the heir means there was a time when he didn't own anything!
Remember a heir is someone who inherits something, you cannot be a heir if you already own that something, go open any dictionary and read it for yourself.
In fact it must also be said that the verse is improperly translated in verse 2, it should not end with WORLDS, but with AGES. Ironically Shamoun writes this:
To establish his case that Jesus is the Creator of the cosmos the writer quotes the following OT citation:
Notice Shamoun said cosmos which means the universe, the worlds etc. Yet in Hebrews 2 it does not say cosmos! As the ministry of Biblical Unitarian notes:
The Greek word translated "universe" (or "world" in many translations) is the plural of the Greek word aion, and actually means "ages." There are other Greek words that mean "world," such as kosmos and oikoumene, and when the Devil tempted Jesus by showing him all the kingdoms of the "world," these words are used. This verse is referring to the "ages," not the "world." Vine's Lexicon has, "an age, a period of time, marked in the N.T. usage by spiritual or moral characteristics, is sometimes translated ?world;' the R.V. margin always has age.'" Bullinger's Critical Lexicon has:
"Aion [age], from ao, aemi, to blow, to breathe. Aion denoted originally the life which hastes away in the breathing of our breath, life as transitory; then the course of life, time of life, life in its temporal form. Then, the space of a human life, an age, or generation in respect of duration. The time lived or to be lived by men, time as moving, historical time as well as eternity. Aion always includes a reference to the filling of time"
Since most translators are Trinitarian and think that Jesus was the one who made the original heavens and earth, they translate "ages" as "world" in this verse. But the actual word in the Greek text means "ages," and it should be translated that way.
The Missionary then writes:
Jesus rules forever as God at the Father's right hand, in contrast to angels who are creatures that change and serve God's elect and accomplish his will:
". he [the Son] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father'? Or again, ?I will be his Father, and he will be my Son'? . In speaking of the angels he says, ?He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.' But about the Son he says, ?Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. To which of the angels did God ever say, ?Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet'? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" Hebrews 1:3b-5, 7-8, 13-14
Sitting at the right hand of God does not make you divine nor does it make you God! In fact this is why Jesus sits on the right hand of God, not at the centre throne! Jesus sitting on the right hand of God emphasizes his close relationship with God, and the honor that he is bestowed, it in no way shape or form means that Jesus is divine.
Shamoun then tries to get rid of the problem of Hebrews verse 9 which shows that God has a God, he writes:
Zaatari is still not finished since he thinks that Hebrews 1:9 proves that Jesus is god with a small "g," but not God with a capital "G." He bases this on his erroneous assumption that since the text says that Jesus' God has anointed him he therefore cannot be God in the same sense that the Father is (the One doing the anointing):
"?. therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.'"
Instead of repeating ourselves ad nauseum ad infinitum we will simply let the following Evangelical scholars answer this objection for us:
"One common objection to understanding verse 8 to mean that Jesus is God is that verse 9 (also a quotation from Psalm 45) calls someone else (presumably the Father) his God: ?Therefore God, your God.' This objection is no more valid than the similar objection we considered earlier against understanding the Son of God in the Gospel of John to be God (John 1:1, 14, 18; 20:28, 31). In Hebrews, as in John, affirmations of Jesus as God and of the Father as Jesus' God are placed side by side (John , 28; Heb. 1:8, 9) with no sense of contradiction. By virtue of the Incarnation, Jesus became a human being, part of the created order (John ; Phil. 2:6-7), and as such he properly honors the Father as his God (see also Rev. 3:12). At the same time, by virtue of his original, uncreated divine nature, Jesus was and still is God." (Bowman & Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place, Chapter 12. Immanuel: God With Us, p. 150; underline emphasis ours)
And here is what they concerning John's Gospel:
"John's conclusion, at which he wants his readers also to arrive, that Jesus is the Son of God (-31) is not at odds with understanding Thomas's statement in John as a model of confession of Jesus as Lord and God. In the prologue as well, John insists that Jesus is both God (1:1, 18) and the Son of God (, 18). As D. A. Carson has observed, ?This tension between unqualified statements affirming the full deity of the Word or of the Son, and those which distinguish the Word or the Son from the Father, are typical of the Fourth Gospel from the very first verse.' Those who find these descriptions of Jesus impossible to reconcile without denying or diminishing one in favor of the other are laboring under the assumption or presupposition of a unitarian view of God (i.e., the view that God can only be a solitary person)." (Ibid., p. 143; underline emphasis ours)
As to the first scholar whom Shamoun quotes, their opinion is irrelevant for one main reason, where did Jesus ever teach what they just said?!
You see Christians have invented this doctrine up, that when Jesus says my God, it is the man nature of his talking, yet where did Jesus say or teach such a thing? The answer is very simple, he never did, Christians made this up to get rid of such major problems and inconsistencies.
Secondly the problem with Hebrews 1:9 is much different, since it doesn't say Jesus has a God, it says God with a capital G has a God! Basically God has a God! So therefore we know this cannot be, and this allows us to know that Jesus is not the God with a capital G, but a god with a small g, which is why it can then say that god has a God, since god with a small g refers to a prophet.
Shamoun then writes:
9. Jesus is worshiped by all of the angels.
"And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, ?Let all God's angels worship him.'" Hebrews 1:6
The word that is used for worship in Hebrews 1:6 is called proskyneo in the Greek language. The word proskyneo can be used in reference to worship, and it is used as such at certain times.
Yet since we have already seen from the context of Hebrews 1 that Jesus is NOT God we understand that the term proskyneo here doesn't refer to worship, but is a homage to him due to his superior rank to the angels. For instance in the Quran Allah commanded the angels to do the same thing to Adam, yet it didn't mean worship:
002.034 YUSUFALI: And behold, We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam" and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith.
The missionary then writes:
3. Jesus is the exact imprint of God's substance, which means that he is fully God in essence.
"The Son is THE RADIANCE of God's glory and THE EXACT REPRESENTATION (charakter) of his being." Hebrews 1:3a
Yet again Shamoun has no case as the Greek word Chackter does not explicitly mean an EXACT expression or representation.
We must also remember the context, so far everything we have seen from the context of Hebrews has shown that Jesus is NOT God, therefore we know Jesus cannot possibly the exact expression and representation of God.
Secondly, ask yourself, if Jesus is the exact representation of God this would then mean that God:
-Uses the bathroom
So and so on. Now Shamoun will say all of these attributes were part of the man Jesus, yet that doesn't matter. When you say Jesus is the EXACT representation of God then it doesn't matter if that is a man nature or a divine nature, he is the EXACT representation of God hence they are identical and 100% similar. You cannot have your cake and eat it, either he is or he isn't. Secondly, Shamoun can never show us Jesus saying I am man and God, or I have human attributes and a divine attribute, or that I am fully man and fully God.
This is all that Shamoun has brought for us concerning the context of Hebrews 8, and I'm afraid that Shamoun has miserably failed in showing us that the context of Hebrews 8 refutes my contention. Let us summarize what we have:
-Jesus is the Heir
-Which means he didn't own everything at one point in time
-Which shows he isn't equal to the Father
-Which shows he isn't God since God ALWAYS owns everything
-God spoke to us through his Son Jesus in the last days
-God spoke to us through his other prophets
-Hence Jesus is compared with the prophets
-God does not say he has spoken to us by becoming a man and coming down to earth for us in the last days
-Hebrews 1:9 makes it explicitly clear that Jesus the God has a God
-If we believe such a teaching this is pure polytheism, God does not have a God
-Therefore an accurate reading of the text should call Jesus a god
-A god with a small g refers to a prophet, the Messiah.
The missionary lastly writes this:
Therefore Unitarians and Muslim neophytes like Zaatari must come to the truth and accept that Muhammad was a false prophet and that Jesus Christ is the risen and eternal Lord at whose feet Muhammad will one day bow down and worship
It is obvious that Shamoun is trying to be insulting. Yet the irony is this, Shamoun claims the prophet Muhammad will bow and worship to Jesus' feet, something which will never happen, yet Shamoun's false God Jesus has already bowed to Allah according to his own book:
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.(Matthew 26: 36-44)
So therefore I will re-phrase Shamoun's advice back on him:
Trinitarian neophytes like Shamoun must come to the truth and accept that Jesus did not die nor is he God and that Muhammad is a true messenger of Allah, the true God to whom Jesus bowed and fell to his face in fear and prayer. Ameen!