Is Jesus Equal with God?

 

[Part One]

 

Sami Zaatari

 

 

 

 

Recently Sam Shamoun has released a rebuttal against me. His article was in response to this article of mine:

 

http://muslim-responses.com/Inferior_Jesus/Inferior_Jesus_

 

The above article was a direct refutation to Shamoun and his Trinitarian friends who like to argue that John 5:23 proves that Jesus is equal with God. Yet in the article I showed the Trinitarians played with the translation, and put a translation that suits their false dogma.

 

On top of that I showed that Jesus cannot be equal with God for 2 main specific reasons. 1) Jesus commanded the people to pray to the Father, not to him. 2) Jesus said the Father is greater than him, hence obviously they both aren't equal, and obviously you cant honor Jesus as you honor God for the precise reason that God is greater than Jesus, and Jesus told you to pray to God!

 

Shamoun was not happy, so he released a reply:

 

http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Osama/zaatari_honor_jesus.htm

 

Shamoun titles his article as follows:

 

Jesus is Equal to God!

This is the title of the Missionaries article. So before I refute his points, where he tries to show people praying to Jesus, let us indeed see if Jesus is equal to God:

 

GOD                                                                    Jesus

Eternal, doesn't die.

Jesus died, hence he is not eternal.

Eternal, is not begotten.

Jesus was born, came out of a womb, he is not eternal.

Is all knowing, knows everything.

Jesus grew in wisdom, was ignorant of the last day, and time of the figs. He is not all knowing.

Is perfect, no defects.

Not as good as God, by his own words, he said there is none good but God.

Is all powerful.

Had to flee to Egypt to escape from king Herod. Also used to hide from evil Jews who tried to kill him.

Is independent, and sovereign.

Always relies on God, prays to God for help and protection. Prays to God for miracles and wonders.

Is not like a man, doesn't need to eat, drink, sleep, and cry and so on.

Was a full man, needed to eat, needed to sleep, needed to drink etc.

Is Greater than all.

Is not greater than all, called God greater than him, and also called John the Baptist the greatest man to be born.

Is one, the only true God

Has a God! As he said, my God and your God

Is for all of mankind

Only for the children of Israel

 

I could carry on and bring many other points, but the above points are enough to show the point, that Jesus is not equal with God.

 

Shamoun himself will admit it, yet since he is brainwashed to believe in a Trinity, he will come up with all sorts of interpretations and explanations to try to get rid of the problems that I have raised in the table.

 

So with that said, let us now see what he had to write in his paper, his comments will be in dark red:

 

Furthermore, Matthew's Gospel itself makes it abundantly clear that Jesus receives the very same honor that the Father does. For instance, Jesus said that loving God unconditionally, wholeheartedly, is one of the greatest commands:

"One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ?Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied: ?"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'" Matthew 22:35-40

And yet Christ demands this very same unconditional love from his followers, expecting them to love him more than anything, even more than their very own lives:

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life FOR MY SAKE will find it." Matthew 10:37-39

 

RESPONSE

 

So Shamoun claims that Jesus demands the same love that God does. Well let us re-quote the passage he used, which Matthew 10:37-39:

 

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

 

So here we read it again without Shamoun's highlighting, and I ask, do any of you see Jesus saying love me as you love God?

 

So what do we see Jesus saying? He is saying you must love him more than your mother, and father, and more than you children as well. How does Jesus saying you must love him more than your parents and children mean he is saying love me as you love God?!

 

This is a very logical teaching to his people; he is their prophet and Messiah, so indeed they should love him more than their family, as he is sent from God.

 

Secondly, Shamoun highlighted the parts where Jesus says love me more than your parents, and children. What exactly is Shamoun trying to show us by highlighting these words? Is Shamoun trying to infer that the usage of parents, and children, and that we must love Jesus more implies that we must love him as God?

 

Well notice the passages say that we must only love Jesus more than our parents, and children, and Shamoun highlighted this as if it was meant to be something very special. Yet to show how weak Shamoun's thinking is, notice the passage doesn't say WIFE, the passage only says parents, and children. It says nothing about loving Jesus more than your wife!

 

The passages say nothing about food as well! It only says parents, and children, hence it is okay to love food more than Jesus!

 

What about animals?! It says nothing about animals neither; I guess its okay to love animals more than Jesus!

 

Since Shamoun is generally stupid, and he knows he is stupid, and he knows I often make him look stupid, he will now try to backtrack and say I am attacking STRAW MAN, which is what he usually does when he is made to look like a clown. Yet I will re-paste the verses he quoted, and I will paste it as he pasted it, with his highlights:

 

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;

 

Notice how he highlights the more worthy than me part, which comes right after parents, and children. Hence Shamoun is trying to show us something very special in the fact that we must love Jesus more than our PARENTS, and CHILDREN.

 

Hence I am countering his argument, and I am saying, you're using parents and children, so therefore I will counter and bring the wife as well, and even food, and animals!

 

Shamoun also thinks that just because someone dies for Jesus' sake, and will have his life granted back to him, which basically means paradise; Shamoun believes that this makes Jesus equal with God! It is common sense that if someone, a believer, dies for the cause of the prophet, and dies for the prophet himself, that that believer will go to heaven because he has died for God's cause, and for God's chosen messenger and prophet.

 

Is Shamoun telling us that the people who died for Moses and many other prophets will not be granted paradise for their martyrdom and fighting in God's cause?

 

Any true believer would be willing to give his life up for the prophet's sake and cause, as the prophet is sent from God. And God will grant these believers their life back, in paradise.

 

Shamoun continues:

 

The Lord Jesus also receives and accepts worship in situations where it is clear that Matthew is presenting Christ as more than a mere man:

"During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ?It's a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ?Take courage! I AM (ego eimi). Don't be afraid.' ?Lord, if it's you,' Peter replied, ?tell me to come to you on the water.' ?Come,' he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ?Lord, save me!' Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ?You of little faith,' he said, ?why did you doubt?' And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped (prosekynesan) him, saying, ?Truly you are the Son of God.'" Matthew 14:25-33

Here it is evident that the disciples worshiped Jesus in recognition of the fact that he is the Divine Son of God. Christ has just identified himself as the I AM in the context of walking on water and enabling Peter to do likewise, all of which point to his Divine identity.

RESPONSE

Your ?Lord' Jesus didn't receive any worship. The word that is used here, which is prosekynesan, does not exclusively mean worship. Rather it means when men make homage to other men of superior rank, they would kneel and bow down to them as a sign of respect. This was something very common amongst the people back then. To make Proskyneo to other higher ranking men.

This is exactly what the disciples were doing in this case, they were not worshipping Jesus. A better translation would read like this:

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat fell down and bowed to Jesus saying, ?Truly you are the Son of God'.

This is fairer, as they didn't worship him. Secondly, the fact the disciples call Jesus the Son of God proves my point. Being called the Son of God means you are a man of Honor, and a prophet. Hence the disciples bow in respect to Jesus of a higher superior rank.

Thirdly, the disciples called Jesus the Son of God, not the divine Son of God as the liar Shamoun says. Notice what a liar this man is! He quotes his own Bible, which says SON OF GOD, and then he says they say divine Son of God! From where did you get the word divine?

This all proves how mischievous these Trinitarians are, Shamoun knows what he is doing, he knows how easily his Christian readers will be duped and brainwashed by him simply putting in the word divine! And then Shamoun claims I am poisoning the well when I say you can't trust Trinitarians! You Trinitarian rep's time and time again prove why we can't trust you, you play with translations and you then play with words, and then you falsely add your own interpretation. So I ask Shamoun again, WHERE DID YOU GET THE WORD DIVINE FROM, THE DISCIPLES DIDN'T SAY DIVINE SON OF GOD.

Shamoun then says Jesus said ego eimi, I AM. Does that mean he is God or identifying himself as God?!

You see there is something called CONTEXT, which Shamoun has ignored. He basically is giving you a brainwashed Trinitarian answer, Jesus said EGO EIMI, I AM, and since God said the same thing Jesus must be God!

Yet what does the word EIMI mean? The word Eimi doesn't mean God, nor does it mean one is identifying himself as God, if that was the case every man from the past would be God.

This shows how simplistic and brain dead Shamoun is. He will argue otherwise, and yet again claim I am attacking straw man. However notice this folks, Shamoun gave NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE AS TO WHY JESUS SAYING I AM IN THIS CASE MAKES HIM DIVINE! Shamoun is simply arguing on semantics here, God said I AM, Jesus said I AM, hence Jesus is identifying his divine nature! PROOVE IT TO US! You have proved nothing, but simply argue on a word, which as I repeat, shows how simplistic and brain dead you are.

 As he himself wrote:

Christ has just identified himself as the I AM in the context of walking on water and enabling Peter to do likewise

So notice according to Shamoun the words I AM are like an identity, Jesus identified himself as I AM! WOW!

The funniest part of it all is Shamoun actually claims he is using context! Which brings me back to my first point, what does the word EIMI mean? The word EIMI does not mean God, rather the word EIMI means:

To be

To exist

To happen

To be present

This is what the word EIMI means. Now let us read the context in which Jesus used this word:

When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ?IT'S A GHOST,' they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ?Take courage! I am. Don't be afraid.

Notice the disciples are so scared, they think they are looking at a ghost. So Jesus tells them to not be scared, and he says ego eimi. As we saw the word EIMI means to be, to exist, to happen, or to be present. Hence when we put the word in this context, it makes perfect sense, the disciples think their looking at a ghost, but Jesus eases their fears and says I am, ego eimi, meaning it's me, I am present here, I exist, it's not a ghost!

 

This is the CONTEXT Shamoun, not the simplistic Trinitarian semantic game of I AM. It perfectly fits in with the situation, the disciples think they're seeing a ghost, Jesus refutes them by saying its him, it's not a ghost, a spirit, rather it is him who is present with them, and he exists, he is right there, not some spiritual ghost!

 

Fourthly, why do Trinitarians like to play the I AM game? Sometimes you translate EGO EIMI as I am he, yet for Jesus all of a sudden it is I AM. Why these games?

 

If Trinitarians were consistent they would translate it as I AM HE, which basically means I am the Messiah, not a ghost, so take courage and be calm!

 

The missionary continues:

 

this next example the disciples worship their risen Lord in a context where Christ will claim to exercise universal sovereignty:

"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him (prosekynesan); but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ?All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" Matthew 28:17-20

Not only does the Lord assert that he has complete authority over the entire created realm, i.e. "in heaven and on earth", he further states that he shares the same Divine name of the Father and the Holy Spirit, and promises to personally be with all of his followers till the end of the age, a rather explicit claim to omnipresence

RESPONSE

Shamoun has just proven that Jesus is not equal with God. Notice what Jesus says:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

This conclusively proves that     Jesus is both a) not God, b) not equal with God. The fact that power is given to Jesus proves this, God is all powerful, he already owns his power, and someone else doesn't give it to him. The fact that Jesus is acknowledging that God is giving him power is a sign of his inferiority to God.

As the Ministry of Biblical Unitarian also write:

Carefully reading a verse is the only way to begin to properly interpret it. In this case, it is clear that Christ's authority was given to him. Many other scriptures say the same thing: "God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). God "placed" everything under his feet and "appointed" him to be Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22). If Christ were really God, and co-equal and co-eternal with the Father as the Trinitarians teach, then it is illogical to say Christ was given authority. God, by definition, has authority. The authority Jesus now has is delegated and derived, and is not a function of his "divine nature." The wording of these scriptures is, in actuality, a refutation of the Trinity. Jesus is that man to whom God gave "all authority."(http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=76)

Secondly, not ALL the power was literally given to Jesus. The word for all that is used in Greek is PAS; it doesn't always have to literally mean everything:

'

The whole world is gone after him.' Did all the world go after Christ? 'Then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.' Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? 'Ye are of God, little children', and 'the whole world lieth in the wicked one.' Does 'the whole world' there mean everybody? If so, how was it, then, that there were some who were 'of God?' The words 'world' and 'all' are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture; and it is very rarely that 'all' means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts?some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted his redemption to either Jew or Gentile." (Charles H. Spurgeon, Particular Redemption, A Sermon, 28 Feb 1858).

 

Hence when it says all power is given to Jesus, it doesn't literally mean that ALL and every single act and power is for him now.

Shamoun then asserts that the fact that people are commanded to baptize in Jesus' name makes him equal to God as well, as the passage says:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son

That doesn't make Jesus God, nor equal go God. Baptizing people in the name of the Father and Jesus was like making the Shahahda, you have to affirm God, and his prophet. As Jesus himself taught:

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)

So the people must believe in God, and the one whom God sent. How futile is it to believe in God and reject his messenger?! It makes no sense.

Hence baptizing in the name of the Father, and Jesus, is not making them equal, rather it is affirming both God, and his messenger whom he sent to the children of Israel.

What about the ending of the passage, in which Jesus says:

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Does this make Jesus omnipresence as Shamoun claims? Not at all, there is no reason why we have to believe such a thesis. Has Shamoun provided any proof for us to come to such a conclusion? He just quotes the passage and expects us to believe his conclusion.

There can be another conclusion, which is that Jesus is not literally and physically with his disciples, rather it is something spiritual, as well as figurative. Many times we hear people saying I always be with you, I will never leave you etc etc. It doesn't have to be literal in a physical sense. The same here.

If the disciples hold onto Jesus' teachings, then he will be with them, not in a physical sense, but in a sense that they obey his teachings and so on.

Thirdly, let us assume that Jesus can somehow physically be with his followers at all times, then this is only because God has granted such a blessing to Jesus! As Jesus himself said, God had GIVEN him power and authority, hence if Jesus actually did have this power, it is only because God gave him this power, and hence the real power and gratitude should go to God.

It seems Shamoun wanted to ignore the part which came right before this part, I will quote it again:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Do you see the connection? Jesus says that power and authority has been given to him, THEN he says I am with you till the end of ages. This all means that it is only due to God granting Jesus this power and blessing that he is able to be with his followers till the end of time. Not by his own power and supposed divine nature which he doesn't have.

So whichever way you look at it, there is nothing divine about this, you can either go with the first interpretation that Jesus is making a figure of speech that he will be with his disciples, it is not physical. Rather it is something more spiritual.

Or you can go with the second interpretation, that Jesus will actually physically be with his followers wherever they are, yet this is not due to his own power and nature, rather this is due to God's power, and that God has bestowed such a blessing and power to Jesus.

The irony you must say, Shamoun is using Matthew 28:17-20 as proof that Jesus is both God and equal to God, when in point of fact Matthew 28:17-20 is some of the strongest proof that Jesus is completely inferior to God and cannot be God! The blind will be blind.

As if couldn't get any worst for Shamoun, he writes:

Matthew records the Devil tempting Christ to worship him in order receive authority to rule the kingdoms of the earth. Jesus rebukes Satan by saying that such worship is to be given to God

RESPONSE

So satan actually tempts Jesus (who is God) to worship him?! Can you imagine that, satan actually trying to get God to worship him! As the story goes in the Bible:

"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ?All this I will give you,' he said, ?if you will bow down and worship me.' Jesus said to him, ?Away from me, Satan! For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."'" Matthew 4:8-10

This incident raises a lot of questions. How could satan dare to even try and make Jesus (who is God) worship him?! On top of that, why would satan offer Jesus things he already owns, Jesus is God according to Shamoun, so why does satan offer things to Jesus that he already knows he has and owns?

For instance would it make sense for someone to offer me a whole garage of Ferraris and Mercedes' and Audis when I already own them all?

Would it make sense for someone to offer me all the money in the world when I already have all the money in the world? And on and on.

This makes no sense! It only makes sense if Jesus DOES NOT own the kingdoms of the earth, which is why satan makes such an offer, because it does sound appealing. But we know satan, satan only grants you something if you sin, if you obey him. Many people often sell their souls for materialism, because they want it all, people don't sell their souls to devil when the devil offers them something they already have!

This is precisely why satan is offering Jesus the kingdoms of the world if Jesus bows down and worships satan, because Jesus is a man, and doesn't own the kingdoms, and naturally men want such things, so satan is trying to tempt Jesus with these material gains, but on one condition, that Jesus worships satan, basically selling your soul to the devil.

So in reality the satanic hitch hiking trip proves Jesus is NOT God! And Shamoun raises this incident?! Perhaps Shamoun is trying to be cocky, and wants to show he is smart by saying

"Look at me! I will bring up the satanic hitch hiking incident because I am Shamoun and I am so smart, you think I care that people use this as a main argument?! No, I am Shamoun, I will show the world how smart I am by using this incident as a positive!"

Shamoun may deny it, but he knows I know how he thinks and acts, and deep down he knows I am right. You tried to be smart Sam, but it didn't work, in fact it NEVER works for you! As I said in a previous rebuttal, go become a pizza delivery man, which is best for you.

in Matthew 28:18 suggests that he was assuring the disciples that their worship of him was thoroughly appropriate in light of his having authority over the entire universe!

Hence, what Jesus refused to accept from Satan he received from his Father, namely, the authority to rule over the entire created realm. Moreover, Jesus refused to worship Satan, insisting that such worship belongs to God, and yet he received this very same kind of worship from his disciples!

RESPONSE

Have we all missed something? We all read and analyzed Matthew 28:17-20, Jesus was never given any worship; rather we saw how inferior Jesus is to God.

Shamoun also further proves Jesus is not God, notice what he writes:

Moreover, Jesus refused to worship Satan, insisting that such worship belongs to God

Exactly! Jesus said all worship belongs to God, as Jesus says:

?Away from me, Satan! For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."

Correct! All worship belongs to God, all worship does not belong to Jesus! Notice Jesus did not say away from me satan! All worship is for me! No, he says all worship is for God, not for me Jesus.

I really think from now on I should simply paste Shamoun's own words, and his own Biblical passages that he uses for proof, and just paste them alone with no addition from myself, as he does a FINE job in refuting himself! It's really amazing.

The missionary continues:

As if the foregoing wasn't clear enough that Jesus receives the very same kind of worship that his Father does, notice what he says in the following verses:

"But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, ?Hosanna to the Son of David!' they were indignant; and they said to him, ?Do you hear what these are saying?' And Jesus said to them, ?Yes; have you never read, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast brought perfect praise"?'" Matthew 21:15-16

The Lord Jesus justifies the praise he received from the children by quoting a Psalm that speaks of Yahweh receiving praise from the mouth of infants:

"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." Psalm 8:1-2

The only way for this quotation from the Psalms to count as valid justification for Jesus not to forbid, but to confirm, the praise of his own Person from those children is if he was equating himself with Yahweh God. In other words, Jesus is basically saying that to praise him is to praise Yahweh God!

 

RESPONSE

Shamoun yet again proves that Jesus is not God, he quotes the story of the children praising Jesus, yet Shamoun left out the best parts of the story, I will put those parts back into the story, and it goes like this:

And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (Matthew 21:10-16)

 

So as you can see, when Jesus entered Jerusalem the people were saying he was Jesus the prophet, not Jesus the God. Also when the children cry at Jesus they call him the son of David, not God!

 

Hence the children didn't believe that Jesus was God, so when they praised him they didn't believe he was God neither, hence to praise him isn't praising God when you don't believe he's God in the first place!

 

Secondly, Jesus is not making himself Yahweh; rather all he is saying is that the Psalms says that God has perfected praise through children! He is doing this to open the eyes of his enemies, that he is neither a heretic, nor a false prophet as they believe, and he cites the Psalms to show how the children's praises is something important and a positive in his case.

 

Thirdly, Shamoun says to praise Jesus is to praise Yahweh, this is partially true, as Jesus is a prophet of God, hence when you praise a prophet, you are also praising God at the same time as God sent this prophet to you. This applies to all prophets and not Jesus alone.

 

So in conclusion we have seen that Shamoun has conclusively failed (as usual) in showing that the Gospel of Matthew teaches that Jesus demands worship, and demands to be honored in the same way the Father is.

 

The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows Jesus teaching his people to worship God alone, not himself:

 

"This, then, is how you should pray:" 'Our Father in heaven,   hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (Matthew 6:9-13)

 

So Jesus clearly taught you to pray to God, not to himself. This conclusively proves that one cannot honor Jesus in the same exact way you honor God.

 

This ends part one of our rebuttal.

 

And Allah Knows Best!

 

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