What they believed about Jesus

 

Examining the eye witness account of the believers

 

Sami Zaatari

 

 

 

Sam Shamoun of Answering-Islam has produced a three part (1, 2, 3) rebuttal to my initial article in which I showed that the believers around Jesus did not believe in his divinity, they did not believe he was God, rather they believed he was a prophet and I showed this all from the Gospel of John which is often called the most Christological Gospel of the four.

 I advise all readers to first go and read my initial article so that you can see the clear evidences I brought, the evidences which showed that the believers did NOT believe in any divinity of Christ.

 Before going into this rebuttal I must make one point clear, ALL red-herrings by Sam Shamoun will be ignored, my initial article simply dealt with the Gospel of John hence we are only debating the Gospel of John. Unfortunately Shamoun has raised a lot of red herrings to simply add more quantity to his rebuttals, something very common. If you are going to refute my arguments concerning the Gospel of John then stick to the Gospel of John and what is in the Gospel of John concerning the eye witness accounts, going into other New Testament books outside and after the Gospel of John have NO RELEVANCE to my arguments nor do they serve as a rebuttal.

 Secondly, Shamoun has to refute my thesis, which is that the believers DID NOT BELIEVE THAT JESUS WAS GOD, and he has to also show us a counter where eye witnesses around Jesus' life time believed he was God. Remember the arguments folks, I am arguing that the believers around Jesus did NOT believe that he was God; they believed he was a prophet, and the Messiah. Shamoun has to come up and show us evidence that my citation of those believers is actually wrong and that they actually did believe that Jesus was God while he walked with them, that is the whole point of a rebuttal so do not forget these important facts.

 So with that said let us see if Shamoun has managed to actually refute my thesis, he writes:

 Zaatari erroneously assumes that the only way that the Lord Jesus and his contemporaries could ever identify Christ as God is by using this exact phrase, e.g. Jesus must say that "I am God" or his contemporaries must call him God.

RESPONSE

 A straw man argument, I never once mentioned anything about Jesus having to say this or that, hence this is the first straw man, my entire argument is based on what the believers said.

 Secondly, Shamoun erroneously assumes that I believe that Jesus' believers must identify him in clear explicit ways such as saying ?Oh God' or ?Oh Jesus God the Son' etc. Yet this is not my argument, off course the disciples do not have to always refer to Jesus in those explicit terms, but can refer to him in other terms.

Yet here is the problem for Sam, Jesus' contemporaries NEVER explicitly went up to him and called him God! NOT ONCE, therein lies the problem, off course they do not always have to explicitly state it, but to NEVER state it?! Let us make it clear my friends, not ONCE do these believers go up to Jesus and say God, hence the entire wording of Shamoun's argument is faulty. He makes it seem that ?hey these guys dont always have to go and be so explicit, they can use other ways sometimes when talking to Jesus' Yet they NEVER used the other clear and explicit way hence Shamoun really has no argument here.

 Thirdly, as I said before, off course the disciples do not always have to explicitly call Jesus God, however so they NEVER DID IT ONCE, hence when they do call Jesus as the Son, prophet, and Messiah we cannot say they are simply calling him or identifying him with other names and titles as there is no basis to do so as Shamoun has not proven his thesis.

 For Shamoun to have a case he must show us one clear instance where a consensus of believers came and explicitly called Jesus God during his lifetime, after he does this THEN we can say off course when Jesus is called the Son, Messiah, and prophet that these are simply other terms to identify him.

 However so the problem for Sam is that Jesus is never identified in clear explicit terms, NOT ONCE, hence we have no basis to say that when he is called Son, prophet, and Messiah that these are other titles and terms for Jesus beside his divinity. I repeat, Shamoun has to first PROVE and SHOW Jesus being explicitly called God in clear terms, then he can use this argument and say ?they do not always have to call him God, they can call him by other titles as well in other areas'

 You have to prove and show it, not argue from silence. I am showing clear verses where they call him Son, Prophet, and Messiah. All of these titles do not denote divinity, Shamoun is coming along and saying well these are other titles, they don't have to always call him God, they call him by other titles and identifications, I say well wait a minute, how do you know that? Have you shown me where they once clearly and explicitly call Jesus God? Shamoun will say no if he is honest, hence Shamoun is arguing from silence and assuming something that he has not proven, that when Jesus is called Son, Prophet, and Messiah that there are other titles and identifications for him.

 Let me clarify this more, we know Jesus is a prophet, the reason being is because the Gospel clearly mention this point, so it is not a contradiction when Jesus is called a Messiah as well. We know that being called a Messiah is simply another title and identification of Jesus, and that it does not negate him being a prophet because he is called a prophet as well. So you see the difference? Shamoun is saying well being called the Messiah and Prophet are other terms

and titles for Jesus, yet unlike myself Shamoun does not come and show us the proof to balance this out, which are the supposed verses where Jesus is called GOD in explicit and clear terms.

 Hence Shamoun's entire upper sentence is faulty and filled with holes from the start!

 Shamoun causes further problems when he writes:

 The second problem with Zaatari's fallacious reasoning is that Jesus was speaking to a specific community and had to communicate his Deity in a manner which would be appropriate to his target audience in order prevent any misunderstanding from taking place. As one apologist puts it:

"It is true that in Scripture we never see Jesus say the words, ?I am God.' But this does not mean that Jesus did not claim to be God. In the first century, much like today, to say ?I am God' would be almost meaningless. Even Roman Emperors were ascribed deity or claimed deity for themselves. What Jesus did do was claim to be a very specific God to a specific people in a very specific way. And the way in which He made His claims was unambiguous and unmistakable to those people.

"In making this claim, Jesus spoke idiomatically, meaning He spoke in a way that was peculiar to His audience, first-century Jews. With this in mind we see that Jesus claimed to be the God of the ancient Hebrews as described in the Old Testament. He made this claim explicitly in ways that would have rightly been considered blasphemous if He were, in fact, not God. He also made this claim in more implicit ways by exercising prerogatives that belong solely to God himself, such as forgiving sins and accepting worship." (Doug Powell, Holman Quick Source Guide to Christian Apologetics [Holman Reference, Nashville, TN 2006], pp. 310-311; underline emphasis ours)

 

RESPONSE

 This is a desperate and faulty argument; Shamoun's very own Bible refutes this desperate thesis, the reason being is that if this was the case then why would God in the OT time and time again say he was God?

 Gen 35:11 And God said unto him, I [am] God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins

 Exd 16:12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD your God.

 Jer 32:27 Behold, I [am] the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

 If it was meaningless to simply say you are God, then why did God always do it?! Obviously he didnt think it was meaningless, rather he identified himself as God in clear ways, and then proved it by clear signs and evidences. Jesus could and should have done the same thing, state he was God, and then go prove it to the people.

 Secondly, BOTH Shamoun and his source are wrong, they act as if there are people who were around Jesus who heard his claims and then believed he was God during his life time, yet that is EXACTLY WHAT I AM REFUTING AND HAVE REFUTED IN MY INITIAL ARTICLE! The believers around Jesus DID NOT BELIEVE HE WAS GOD, rather he was a prophet, and the Messiah, hence I really dont know what this Mr. Doug Powell is talking about other than being as desperate as desperation can be.

 To re-quote Doug, he writes:

What Jesus did do was claim to be a very specific God to a specific people in a very specific way. And the way in which He made His claims was unambiguous and unmistakable to those people.

"In making this claim, Jesus spoke idiomatically, meaning He spoke in a way that was peculiar to His audience, first-century Jews

 Do you care to show us any of these Jews? You the reader can decide, do these believers seem to have taken things as Doug and Shamoun claim, read and judge yourself:

 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. (John 4:13-19)

And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. (John 6:10-14)

Strange, according to Doug and Shamoun, these eyewitness were supposed to actually start calling and believing that Jesus is God, yet they call him a prophet instead, very strange indeed.

 

If that's not enough, then let us go to John 16:29-31

His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

 

This is right before Jesus is captured and his earthly ministry comes to an end, as you can see, right at the end the disciples FINALLY BELIEVE that Jesus is a) God b) Divine son of God c) Sent from God, came from God.

 Which one? A, B, or C? Which one did they believe? The answer is C, they finally believed that Jesus came from God, that he was sent from God! Not that he was God or the divine son of God.

 Shamoun will now argue from silence and say the disciples believed A, B, and C. Yet Shamoun cannot get ONE CLEAR EXPLICIT PASSAGE WHERE THE DISCIPLES CALL JESUS GOD! He only argues from silence.

 I say Jesus is a prophet, I show it; I say Jesus is a Messiah, and I show it! Shamoun says Jesus is God, he does not show it; rather he says the verses I quote are references to Jesus' divinity! He READS INTO THE WORDS AND MAKES OUT WHAT IS NOT THERE!

 Shamoun then writes:

 In fact, for Jesus or any of his contemporaries to simply come out and say that he is God, in those exact words, would have caused confusion since to first-century monotheistic Jews the term "God" meant the Father who was in heaven. Thus, both Jesus and those who bore witness to him such as the Baptist had to speak in a manner that would not convey this wrong notion that Jesus is the same Person as the Father, since he was not, while at the same time making sure to communicate the point that Christ is in fact fully God in nature.

 

RESPONSE

 I would like to thank Shamoun for his sincerity, and his honesty. It takes a lot of courage to admit that the Jews who held the OT did not believe in the Trinity, nor did they believe that God was going to become a man, nor did they believe that the Messiah would be that God man. It takes A LOT TO ADMIT THIS and Shamoun must be applauded.

 As Shamoun rightly pointed out, the Jews thought God was simply the Father, hence no Trinity, if the OT taught a Trinity then why would it be hard for Jews to grasp about God the Son and God the Father?

Secondly, why would Jews misunderstand Jesus at all, I mean does not the OT teach that the Messiah would become God himself and come to earth? According to Shamoun it does, so why would they get confused and so on? Shamoun's own admission shows that these Jews HAD NO IDEA OF A TRINITY, NOR A GOD MAN MESSIAH!

 Shamoun will try to refute me now by quoting verse after verse from the OT which talks about the Trinity, and God becoming man, yet this is PRECISELY what I want him to do. For if the OT (Old Testament, Jewish Bible) taught all these things then why would the Jews in Shamoun's own words do the following:

 In fact, for Jesus or any of his contemporaries to simply come out and say that he is God, in those exact words, would have caused confusion since to first-century monotheistic Jews the term "God" meant the Father who was in heaven. This wrong notion that Jesus is the same Person as the Father, since he was not, while at the same time making sure to communicate the point that Christ is in fact fully God in nature.

 Obviously the two do not go together, if the Jewish Bible so clearly taught about the Trinity, God the Messiah etc, THEN THE JEWS WOULD HAVE NO CONFUSION AT ALL, RATHER THEY WOULD OPENLY EMBRACE IT, HECK THEY WOULD EVEN BE WAITING FOR IT!

 Does Shamoun want us to believe that all the Jews from 2000 years ago where a bunch of no good idiots? That they suddenly got a bad dose of amnesia forgetting what their Jewish Bible taught them? Shamoun will most likely say ?Well the Jews had their hearts away from God so they were blinded and could not see the truth' this my friends would not be a real answer in any and I MEAN ANY real field of debate. Off course Shamoun can believe it, no problem, I believe such things are possible as well, but it is not an answer and cannot be used as an answer while engaged in a scholarly discussion/debate.

 The only conclusion we can take from all this is that the Jews of 2000 years ago were simply brain dead idiots who could not understand their own clear and explicit Bible.

 Now obviously I don't believe that, because the OT never taught a Trinity, nor a man God Messiah, Trinitarians simply twist the OT to suit their own dogmas.

 Although the following point by Shamoun is irrelevant, I will still quote it:

 Finally, and more importantly, Zaatari is inconsistent since there are several NT passages where Jesus is explicitly called God

 

RESPONSE

 Truly this comment by Shamoun amazes me, how in the world am I being inconsistent? Shamoun seems to think I am being inconsistent because according to him other external books outside the Gospel of John call Jesus God, yet I refer Shamoun back to the title and opening of my initial article:

 

What did they believe about Jesus?

Testimonies from the Gospel of John

Sami Zaatari

 

It is often said that the most Christological Gospel is that of John. It is this Gospel that is often quoted and used by Christians when they try to prove the divinity of Jesus.

 As you can see, my initial argument which Shamoun is to refute is SPECIFICALLY AND ENTIRELY ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN! Hence how in the world am I being inconsistent! My article is not on the NT, but ENTIRELY on the Gospel of John, hence there is no inconsistency on my part at all.

 Shamoun continues:

 This shows that Zaatari is not interested in truly understanding what God's inspired written Word has to say concerning the Person of the Lord Jesus. He has an agenda to disprove the explicit witness to the Deity of Christ and will do anything to make sure he accomplishes his agenda, even if this means that he has to distort the Holy Bible and come up with weak and desperate explanations.

 And you my friend have an agenda to poison the well against me. I have not distorted anything from the Gospel of John, I have quoted the eye witness accounts WORD FOR WORD, if you do not believe me go to www.biblegateway.com, go to the verses I listed, and click on the King James Translation. You my friend are just angry that all my references showed that the earliest witnesses who were alive during the life time of Jesus did NOT believe he was God, rather he was a prophet, and the Messiah.

 Shamoun claims his book is ?inspired' yet I don't believe that, hence this is not an argument that will compel me nor any other objective person. I am going about this topic in the true and scholarly way, I am going to the FIRST, I REPEAT, THE FIRST EYE WITNESSES who were walking and hearing Jesus while he was alive, and as we saw not ONE of them believed Jesus was God, rather the opposite.

 Shamoun now moves to the point concerning Jesus being called the son of God, my argument was that being called the son of God does not make you God due to the fact that this term did not denote divinity as understood to the Israelite nation, the nation Jesus was sent to. Shamoun writes:

 

there are places where the expression sons of God refers to supra-human beings, to heavenly creatures such as the angels:

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. Job 1:6; cf. 2:1

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements -- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Job 38:4-7

"For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the sons of God resembles/is like the LORD, a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible above all that are round about him? O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness round about you?" Psalm 89:6-8; cf. 29:1

Clearly, in these particular contexts the phrase cannot be referring to "a man of God, a true believer, a prophet, a messenger, and the Messiah."

 

RESPONSE

 And where in my article did I state that the term Son of God simply meant ?a man of God, a true believer, a prophet, a messenger, and the Messiah'? Yes I stated that these were some of the meanings when mentioning the Son of God, but I never said they were the only meanings, my main point in total was that:

 Anyone who knows Jewish and Israelite understanding will know that the term son of God does not denote divinity, nor does it make one God.

 That was my entire point, which I followed up by some of the meanings concerning this title, the main point in essence was that this term does not make you God nor does it denote divinity.

 Shamoun in the above references 3 separate chapters from the Jewish Bible, for what reason I have no idea, as none of the above references show that the term son of God refers to God himself! So all he does is provide more argument ammunition to my arsenal!

Shamoun finally does quote a biblical verse from the Old Testament in which he thinks it refers to the term Son of God as being God himself, he writes:

"Nor have I learned wisdom, Yet the knowledge of Holy Ones (qadoshim) I know. Who went up to heaven, and cometh down? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound waters in a garment? Who established all ends of the earth? What [is] His name? and what His SON'S name? Surely thou knowest!" Proverbs 30:3-4 Young's Literal Translation


Here the inspired author uses the plural qadoshim, "Holy Ones," as opposed to the singular qadosh, "Holy One." It is apparent that within the context the plural for "Holy One" is not being used as a plural of amplitude or of fullness, denoting that God is holy in the absolute and fullest sense, which he certainly is. Rather, the plural is used because the inspired writer has two distinct entities in view, namely God and his Son, both of whom he considers to be absolutely holy. Moreover, by asking who has control over the physical realm and what are the specific names of God and his Son the author clearly believed in the incomprehensibility and essential equality of both of them.


RESPONSE

To start off, nowhere in the above passages does it say anything about the Son being God, nor equal with God, on the contrary if Shamoun wants to claim that this verse is referring to Jesus and that it proves that he is God, then all Shamoun has managed to do is provide further evidence for me and others that Jesus is not God. Let us re-quote the passage:

"Nor have I learned wisdom, Yet the knowledge of Holy Ones (qadoshim) I know. Who went up to heaven, and cometh down? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound waters in a garment? Who established all ends of the earth? What [is] His name? and what His SON'S name? Surely thou knowest!"

Notice what the passage says, it says who has gathered the winds, who has bound the waters, and who has established the earth, obviously this cannot be the son Jesus as the ending of the verse then asks AND WHO IS HIS SON?

Secondly, Shamoun claims the passage reads as ?Holy Ones' and is titled as Qadoshim in the Hebrew, not Qadosh for singular, hence it is two persons.

Before we go to the Strong's Hebrew lexicon, let us re-quote this passage by other English translations, because I knew from the start that there was going to be a problem, For instance if you notice Shamoun specifically quoted from Young's Literal Translation, well let us quote the other translations and see if they put Holy Ones or Holy one, we read:

I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. (NIV)

Neither have I learned wisdom, Nor do I have the (A)knowledge of the Holy One. (NASB)

I have not mastered human wisdom nor do I know the Holy One. (NLV)

I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy. (KJV)

I have not learned to be wise,  and I don't know much about God, the Holy One. (NCB)

And I have not learned wisdom, Neither have I the knowledge of the Holy One. (ASV)

If Shamoun would like, I could quote other English translations of Proverbs 30:3, and he will see that they too say Holy one and not Holy Ones.

Shamoun may reply back by saying well I don't need the translation, that we should just go to the Hebrew, and we will see the Hebrew says Holy ones (qadoshim) and not Holy One (Qadosh).

Well I'm afraid that will not work neither since Strong's lexicon of the Hebrew concerning this verse states that the Hebrew word that is used here is QADOSH singular and NOT Qadoshim in the plural, here is the link itself:

http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=holy&t=KJV&page=11

If one goes on the above link you will see that the 2nd passage referred to on the page is Proverbs 30:3, which is the verse in question. You will also notice there is a small number on the above right of the word Holy one, click on the number and you will be referred to another page, where the Hebrew word is given, and the Hebrew word is QADOSH in the singular.

So Shamoun still fails in showing the term Son being used as a title of divinity when applied in the Old Testament. Shamoun is not done yet thought, he now proceeds to the Gospel of John and quotes a passage in which he thinks refers to the title of Son being used as a reference for divinity, he quotes the following passage:

"No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:13-16


I ask Shamoun where in this passage does it say anything about the Son being divine? Again, since Shamoun already has a preconceived idea, he reads into texts.


The verse states that God sent his son, yet how does that make the son divine? How does that refute my claim that the term Son of God does not mean a prophet, and a messenger of God? Or does Shamoun want us to infer that in John 3:16 Jesus is God's literal own Son, which is the difference between this and others. It seems that Shamoun does believe that, because he sees something special and different with the fact that the verse states that God sent his son.


Yet as I already stated, the term Son of God means a prophet, so yes God sent his son, meaning God sent his prophet and messenger, Shamoun has to show us how the term Son being used here means divine, yet he knows he can't, he just assumes and reads what is not there.

Shamoun then proceeds to a red herring, he writes:


Zaatari is constantly overlooking the fact that the NT uses the term Son of God in reference to Jesus to communicate the point that Christ is absolute Deity, that he is God's unique and eternal Son. The inspired Christian Greek Scriptures emphatically and unambiguously teach that Jesus is the only Son of God of his kind since he is the only One who is fully God in nature and therefore coequal with the Father in essence.


RESPONSE


My article has nothing to do with what the authors of the NT interpreted about Jesus, my article concerns what the disciples said about Jesus while he was alive, not what they said about him concerning their own opinions after he left.


It is very easy for Shamoun is it not? Can he not simply quote one disciple applying John 1:1-18 to Jesus while Jesus was alive? The answer is no he cannot, hence he really has no case.

Secondly, I have already addressed this issue in other articles of mine:


http://muslim-responses.com/The_Logos/The_Logos_


Also visit the following links for a further discussion on John 1:1-18:


http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=85

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=61

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=87

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=86

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=88

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=89

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=90


Shamoun finally brings up a counter, trying to show that someone did believe that Jesus was God during his life time, and did call him God, his name is doubting Thomas, Shamoun writes:


The Evangelist then concludes his inspired Book by making the same proclamation:


"Although Thomas the Twin was one of the twelve disciples, he wasn't with the others when Jesus appeared to them. So they told him, ?We have seen the Lord!' But Thomas said, ?First, I must see the nail scars in his hands and touch them with my finger. I must put my hand where the spear went into his side. I won't believe unless I do this!' A week later the disciples were together again. This time, Thomas was with them. Jesus came in while the doors were still locked and stood in the middle of the group. He greeted his disciples and said to Thomas, Put your finger here and look at my hands! Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and have faith!' Thomas replied, ?You are my Lord and my God!' Jesus said, ?Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!' Jesus worked many other miracles for his disciples, and not all of them are written in this book. But these are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. If you have faith in him, you will have true life." John 20:24-31 CEV


the Evangelist immediately follows up Thomas' confession by mentioning the reason why he wrote his Gospel, namely, to invite his readers to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in order that they might obtain eternal life.


RESPONSE


If you carefully notice what Shamoun quoted and said, one will see that he refuted himself. Notice Shamoun claims that John wrote the reason as to why he wrote the Gospel of John, which was to invite his readers to believe that JESUS WAS THE SON OF GOD, not to invite them to believe that Jesus was God!

Now what about doubting Thomas? Well Shamoun has committed another error yet again, he has read into the verse.


Anyone who has read the entire Gospel of John will see that no one during Jesus' lifetime, not even his disciples believed that he was God, so why would Thomas in this instant all of a sudden call Jesus as the almighty true God? The answer is simple, it's that he WOULDNT, Shamoun simply wants us to ignore the entire Gospel context and take this very narrow weak interpretation.


Now the Word that Thomas used for Jesus is Theos in the Greek, as Shamoun and any other Biblical student will know, the term Theos does not always refer to the Almighty true God, rather the word Theos is and can be used of men and representatives of God, Strong's own lexicon writes:


whatever can in any respect be likened unto God, or resemble him in any way

a) God's representative or viceregent

1) of magistrates and judges

 

So on what basis does Shamoun reject the fact that when Thomas called Jesus Theos, he did not use Theos as referring to the Almighty God, but used Theos in the sense of Jesus being God's representative and prophet? The answer is simple my friends, Shamoun has no basis to refute this explanation, all he has is his presupposed belief which he reads into Thomas' statement.


Again, do not forget this my friends, NO WHERE IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN IS JESUS BELIEVED TO BE GOD BY ANY BELIEVER, INCLUDING HIS DISCIPLES! Hence Shamoun has absolutely no basis whatsoever to all of a sudden believe that Thomas would call Jesus God in the absolute sense. Meanwhile for myself, I have a complete basis and ground to state that Thomas was referring to Jesus as Theos in the sense of being God's representative and prophet, the same for Moses and other men who were called Theos as well.


As Biblical Unitarian also writes:


Jesus never referred to himself as "God" in the absolute sense, so what precedent then did Thomas have for calling Jesus "my God"? The Greek language uses the word theos, ("God" or "god") with a broader meaning than is customary today. In the Greek language and in the culture of the day, "GOD" (all early manuscripts of the Bible were written in all capital letters) was a descriptive title applied to a range of authorities, including the Roman governor (Acts 12:22), and even the Devil (2 Cor. 4:4). It was used of someone with divine authority. It was not limited to its absolute sense as a personal name for the supreme Deity as we use it today. the expression used by Thomas is certainly understandable. On the other hand, to make Thomas say that Jesus was "God," and thus 1/3 of a triune God, seems incredible. In Concessions of Trinitarians, Michaelis, a Trinitarian, writes:

I do not affirm that Thomas passed all at once from the extreme of doubt to the highest degree of faith, and acknowledged Christ to be the true God. This appears to me too much for the then existing knowledge of the disciples; and we have no intimation that they recognized the divine nature of Christ before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I am therefore inclined to understand this expression, which broke out in the height of his astonishment, in a figurative sense, denoting only "whom I shall ever reverence in the highest degree".Or a person raised from the dead might be regarded as a divinity; for the word God is not always used in the strict doctrinal sense" [Michaelis is quoted by Dana, ref. below].


Remember that it was common at that time to call God's representatives "God," and the Old Testament contains quite a few examples. When Jacob wrestled with "God," it is clear that he was actually wrestling with an angel (Hosea 12:4?For more on that, see the note on Genesis 16:7-13).


There are many Trinitarian authorities who admit that there was no knowledge of Trinitarian doctrine at the time Thomas spoke. For example, if the disciples believed that Jesus was "God" in the sense that many Christians do, they would not have "all fled" just a few days before when he was arrested. The confession of the two disciples walking along the road to Emmaus demonstrated the thoughts of Jesus' followers at the time. Speaking to the resurrected Christ, whom they mistook as just a traveler, they talked about Jesus. They said Jesus "was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God.and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel" (Luke 24:19-21). The Bible is clear that these disciples thought Jesus was a "prophet." Even though some of the apostles realized that Jesus was the Christ, they knew that according to the Old Testament prophecies, the Christ, the anointed of God, was to be a man. There is no evidence from the gospel accounts that Jesus' disciples believed him to be God, and Thomas, upon seeing the resurrected Christ, was not birthing a new theology in a moment of surprise.


(http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=108)


So I'm afraid that doubting Thomas' statement in no way helps Shamoun, nor does it refute my thesis and claim that NO ONE BELIEVED AND CALLED JESUS GOD WHILE HE WAS ALIVE AND WALKED WITH THEM!


Now we move to the next part of this article, Where Shamoun seeks to address incidents I raised.

 

John The Baptist and his belief concerning Jesus

 

In my initial article I made the point that John the Baptist did not believe that Jesus was God, I made this point based on two Biblical passages which came from the first chapter of John, these two passages record what John the Baptist said and believed about Jesus, which were the following:


The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God (John 1:26)

And:


And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. (John 1:34)

As you can notice John the Baptist never identified Jesus as God, rather he called Jesus the Lamb OF God, as well as calling Jesus the Son of God (not divine son of God or God the son).


So if John the Baptist really did believe that Jesus was God, then why would he simply not say it? Why would he not say I bare record that you are God, or God the Son? Why could he not say behold God the Lamb!


Shamoun tries to respond back by quoting the entire ?context' from John 1:14-15, and 19-36, Shamoun believes that throughout John 1:14-15, as well as verses 19-36 show that John the Baptist did believe that Jesus was God, well let us read these passages and see if that is the case. Starting with John 1:14-15:


And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (John 1:14-15)

Shamoun believes that since John states that Jesus is preferred before him, and that Jesus was before John the Baptists this some how makes Jesus a pre-existent divine son of God. Is it just me or has Shamoun read into that?!

Just because the Baptist says that Jesus was before him means that the Baptist is calling Jesus a pre-existent divine son of God?! Again, Shamoun is reading what is not there, rather he is reading into it, he is forcing his own dogma into the verses to make it suit his own beliefs.

The Christian ministry site BiblicalUnitarian provides an accurate response as to what ?Before me' means, they write:

This verse is occasionally used to support the Trinity because it is assumed that for Jesus to come "before" John he would have had to exist before John. While it is true that the Greek word "before" (protos) can mean "before in time," it can just as easily be "first," "chief," "leader," etc. The "first" and great commandment was not the first given in time, but the first in rank. There are many examples of this in Scripture, including: Matt. 20:27; 22:38; Mark 6:21; 10:44; Luke 11:26. John the Baptist recognized that Jesus was above him in rank, and said so plainly. (http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=89)

So as you can see the term that Jesus was ?Before' John the Baptist in no way means he pre-existed. Secondly, again, let us assume that Jesus existed before John, how does that mean that Jesus is a divine son of God!

Let us now proceed to John 1:19-36, Shamoun believes that these passages show that John the Baptist affirmed Jesus' divinity, let us see:

 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! (John 1:19-36)

I ask Shamoun where in ANY of that does John the Baptist call Jesus God? Shamoun seems to not get it, if John said all those things, believing that Jesus was God, then he would have ended it by saying Behold this is God! Rather instead of this he says Behold the Lamb of God, this is the Son of God.

Shamoun seems to be missing the point, which is that it Shamoun's OWN INTERPRETATION that is wrong, and my proof of this is that John the Baptist crystal clearly states that Jesus is the lamb of God and the Son of God, not God himself.

Shamoun also shows how inconsistent he is, for instance he writes:

Moreover, by calling Christ the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world John was alluding to the highly exalted Servant-King of Yahweh mentioned in Isaiah 53

RESPONSE

Here is the problem for Sam, he states that this is a fulfilment of the prophecy from Isaiah 53, Shamoun correctly points out that Isaiah 53 talks about a SERVANT OF GOD, this is how the Jews understood it, that it was in reference to a servant of God, not God himself!

Now the problem for Shamoun is that he believes that Isaiah 53 is talking about God himself, yet if that was the case then why did no Jew believe that? Shamoun himself acknowledged that the Jews did not believe such a thing, Shamoun in the same article wrote:

In fact, for Jesus or any of his contemporaries to simply come out and say that he is God, in those exact words, would have caused confusion since to first-century monotheistic Jews the term "God" meant the Father who was in heaven. Thus, both Jesus and those who bore witness to him such as the Baptist had to speak in a manner that would not convey this wrong notion that Jesus is the same Person as the Father, since he was not, while at the same time making sure to communicate the point that Christ is in fact fully God in nature.

Wait a minute! Why would there be confusion?! Shamoun is now appealing to Isaiah 53 to prove that it prophesised of the God man Jesus coming to earth, yet if it taught that then why would Jews be confused when it happens? They wouldn't be confused, rather they would be WAITING FOR IT.

So Shamoun is being very inconsistent and simply wants to play games here. The fact is this, no monotheistic Jew believed that Isaiah 53 was talking about a God-Man, neither did John the Baptist, Shamoun himself ADMITTED this in the above. It is Sam Shamoun and his fellow Christians that believe that Isaiah 53 refers to a God Man, and then they force this interpretation on the Baptist!

When John the Baptist referred back to Isaiah 53, he didn't refer back to it to affirm any divinity, rather he referred to it because he believed that Isaiah 53 was referring to a servant of God, who would suffer, and would be like a lamb, that lamb according to John is Jesus.

Shamoun however believes something else, Shamoun believes the servant in Isaiah 53 is God, and he believes the Lamb is God. Yet he has not shown it to us, he is being very inconsistent, Shamoun wants to fool us, he wants to simply quote Isaiah 53, and without giving any proof as to why it refers to God he simply wants us to accept such a belief because that's what he believes!

It does not work like that, Shamoun has TO PROVE WHERE IN ISAIAH 53 THAT IT MENTIONS ANYTHING ABOUT THE SERVANT BEING GOD, AND SHOW US JEWS WHO BELIEVED IT WOULD BE GOD!

So yes, John the Baptist referred to Isaiah 53, but Isaiah 53 says nothing about a God man, it is about a suffering servant, and indeed the Baptist believed that Jesus was the suffering servant, not the suffering God.

For the sake of convenience I will quote Isaiah 53 in full, and we will all see it talks about a suffering servant, not God becoming a man and dying for you. It reads:

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

That is Isaiah 53, it is all about a suffering servant of God, it says nothing about God becoming a man. As you can also notice the prophecy in Isaiah likens the suffering servant to a lamb, the Baptist believes that Jesus is that lamb, hence he calls Jesus the Lamb of God. The Baptist does not call him God the Lamb, or Lamb God!

Shamoun has not given a SHRED of evidence as to why Isaiah 53 teaches that Jesus is God, that's his own dogma, yet I am sorry to say this is not Bible preaching class, this is a debate and dialog, you have to prove your claims not just preach and expect us to believe what you preach based on no evidence but your own thoughts.

So to summarize what we have so far:

1-      Jesus is called the Lamb of God

2-      In Isaiah 53 there is a prophecy of a suffering servant

3-      The suffering servant is likened unto a Lamb

4-      John the Baptist applies this term on Jesus

5-      Isaiah 53 has nothing about a God man

6-      John the Baptists usage of Isaiah 53 is for a fulfilment of a suffering servant, not a fulfilment of a God man

Shamoun then writes:

And here is the other place in John's Gospel where the fourth Evangelist quotes the words of the Baptizer:

"And they came to John, and said to him, ?Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you bore witness, here he is, baptizing, and all are going to him.' John answered, ?No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony; he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit; the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.'" John 3:26-36


In the above references the Baptist identifies himself with the voice of Isaiah 40 who comes to prepare for the coming of God:


"A voice cries: ?In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.'. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ?Behold your God!' Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:3-5, 9-11


RESPONSE

So Shamoun believes that Isaiah 40 prophesizes that there will be a man in the wilderness who preaches to prepare the way of the Lord, and that man is John the Baptist in John 3.

There is nothing in Isaiah 40 that says anything about God coming to the earth.

Indeed whenever God sends a prophet to save his people, the Glory of God is revealed for the people, and they can witness it. The reason for this is because the prophet is sent by God, he performs great miracles and wonders by the power of God, and he also teaches the people a doctrine from God. Hence the people are indeed witnessing the power and glory of God through that prophet, this is precisely why God sends prophets, so that God may reveal the truth through them!

This is exactly what Jesus' mission was as he himself stated in John 17:3:

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

And this is EXACTLY why his disciples believed at the end:

His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?


So it is through the prophet that people know the truth about God, and are able to witness the power of God because God works through the prophets by giving them mighty miracles and doctrines.

This is why Jesus even said if you have seen him you have seen the Father, not literally, but because the Father gave Jesus all the miracles and all the doctrines, the people were a witness to that and could see the glory of God being worked through the prophet.

So indeed when Isaiah 40 states the following:

And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:5)

Very true, the glory of the lord will be revealed, and the people will be witnesses to it, this glory is revealed through the prophet of God, because as I said, they witness the divine miracles and the divine teachings from God. This in no way means that God has to become a man and reveal his glory.

What about Isaiah 40:10-11, does it state that God will become a man and come to earth? Well let us read what it states:

Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:10-11)

Again, this verse does not have to mean that God will become a man named Jesus. The verse states that God will come with a strong hand; we can easily say that that strong hand is figuratively referring to a prophet he will send. If you notice the verse does not state that God will come with HIS strong hand, it states that God will come with a strong hand, hence the hand does not have to be his, and hence we can say that this hand is a prophet.

Number two, just because God says he is coming does not literally have to mean he is coming as a man, the only reason why Shamoun interprets it as such is because he believes in a God-man, yet the Jews never believed in such a thing hence the fact is this, the verse does not have to literally mean that God will come. It can mean that God is sending a prophet, since the prophet is working directly for God, and is directly being used by God through miracles and wonders, then it can also be stated as God is coming but not in the literal sense that he coming here to earth as a man named Jesus.

So indeed, John the Baptist is the one who cries in the wilderness as Isaiah 40 prophesized, John the Baptist was preaching and telling his people that a prophet and Messiah was coming, and indeed the glory of God would be revealed because God works through prophet, God gives the prophets mighty signs and miracles, and the people are witnesses to that hence they see the power and glory of God.

Shamoun then states that the Baptist must have believed that Jesus was God because he stated that he was from above, from heaven, and must be above all. Again, in no way does that make Jesus divine! Stating that Jesus must be above all could and does mean that he was their leader, their king, hence he would be above them as their ruler. Stating he is from heaven does not make him God, rather as we know Jesus had no Father, God sanctioned Jesus by simply saying BE from the heavens, hence in that sense Jesus is from the heaven!

Shamoun then contends that John the Baptist believed that Jesus was God because he stated that Jesus would baptize people with the Holy Spirit, something that God does. This again is a weak argument, Shamoun forgets, and HE EVEN QUOTES a passage where we see that God gave Jesus everything, hence if Jesus can do such a thing it's not really from himself, rather it is from God and it is God who is really doing the work, and he is doing the work through his prophet Jesus. And indeed, Jesus does put the spirit of God within the people, why? Well because he is a prophet, he teaches people about God, how to live in a righteous manner, hence indeed just like ALL THE OTHER PROPHETS he puts the spirit of God within the people.

So with that said Shamoun has failed to show any reasonable beyond a shadow of a doubt proof that John the Baptist believed that he was God.

 

The Samaritan Lady

 

Now Shamoun seeks to address the Samaritan lady, the same lady who I quoted in my initial article, the lady who testified and believed that Jesus was a prophet. Shamoun writes:

Zaatari also appeals to the confession of the Samaritan woman to prove that Jesus is a prophet, something which no Bible-believing Christian disputes. However, Zaatari doesn't quote all of the relevant verses and tries to brush aside certain statements that Jesus made which only God could make:


"There came a woman of Samar'ia to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give me a drink.' For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, ?How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samar'ia?' For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, ?If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink," you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.' The woman said to him, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?' Jesus said to her, ?Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.' The woman said to him, ?Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.' Jesus said to her, ?Go, call your husband, and come here.' The woman answered him, I have no husband.' Jesus said to her, ?You are right in saying, "I have no husband"; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly.' The woman said to him, ?Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.' . So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?'" John 4:7-19, 25-26, 28


RESPONSE

With all due respect to Shamoun, I advise that he pays attention next time while he reads my article. Had he bothered to have read closely, he would have seen that I did not brush anything aside, I even SPECIFICALLY addressed the parts which Shamoun is highlighting, on top of that I even QUOTED those parts of the passages.

This is what I said:

What makes this most interesting is that Christians often quote the first part of the story, from verse 14 to try and prove that Jesus is God because he says he will give her water that gives eternal life, and from this statement they say that Jesus must be God for making such a claim! Yet notice that even after Jesus made such a statement the lady did not believe that he was God, rather she said she believed that he was a prophet!

So as you can see, I addressed the issue which Shamoun claims I brushed aside! What makes this more interesting is Shamoun does exactly what I said Christians do, they argue that Jesus must have claimed to be God since he claims to give water that gives eternal life, yet if that is the case then why did not the lady call Jesus God but a prophet?

Shamoun then asserts that the Samaritans did eventually believe that Jesus was God, he writes:

Moreover, after spending two days with them the Samaritans came to the conclusion that Jesus is the Savior of the world:


"Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, ?He told me all that I ever did.' So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, ?It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.'" John 4:39-42


RESPONSE

I don't which translation Shamoun is using, because his translation conveniently leaves something out in verse 42, for instance Shamoun translates verse 42 as follows:

and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world

Yet Shamoun conveniently left something out of this verse, here is the verse in its true translation from the King James itself:

And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

This is the part Shamoun left out when he quotes verse 42, and I don't blame him since it proves my case. Notice what the people say about Jesus, THAT HE IS THE CHRIST, the saviour of the world, they do not say that he is GOD THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD!

Shamoun purposely left the term Christ out because he knew it would destroy his case, Shamoun keeps insisting that Jesus is God, yet Jesus over here is identified as the CHRIST, and the Christ is not God, hence the people still did not believe that Jesus was God.

Shamoun assumes that since Jesus is called the saviour of the world this must make him God, yet that is his own opinion, my entire argument is based on the opinions of THE EYE WITNESS BELIEVERS, and as you can see they identified Jesus as the Messiah, the saviour of the world, not God, the saviour of the world.

So my point with Samaritan lady remains, on top of that Shamoun has strengthened my argument with verse 42, so not only do I have the Samaritan lady now, but I have her people as well!

Shamoun then tries to tackle this verse which I brought up in my initial article:

And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. (John 6:10-14)

So as you can see, after Jesus performed a mighty miracle the people did not say wow he is God! Rather they identified him as the prophet of Deuteronamy 18:18, and the prophet of Deuteronamy was a man, and no Jew believed that it would be God!

So does Shamoun offer a real response? Not at all, all he does is try to prove that Jesus' miracles in this incident makes him God! Yet that is exactly my point, if these miracles make Jesus God then why did not the eye witness believers believe he was God, but a prophet of God right after he did the miracles?

I mean common Sam, if your going to write a REBUTTAL you must specifically deal with the passages I brought up and bring contrary evidence showing that these people did believe that Jesus was God, yet you have not. You simply argue that hey these miracles of Jesus make him God! Yet my case is well the people did not believe that, you offer no rebuttal to this point, you simply preach and try to interpret Jesus' actions as making him God, yet that is irrelevant as in no way does that refute the fact THAT THESE PEOPLE DID NOT BELIEVE HE WAS GOD!

And furthermore what Shamoun is doing is EXACTLY what I want him to do, you see folks Shamoun reads the Gospels and due to his dogma he reads into things, he interprets things according to his Trinitarian belief, yet the fact is this, the believers who were around Jesus, saw and heard what he did, they did not believe he was God, they did not interpret things as Shamoun does, they did not say that Jesus was God, rather they said and believed he was a prophet. So the whole point to this is that Shamoun and his crew have no real case, just their biased made up interpretations, and my greatest proof of that is the very people who were alive during Jesus' time.

Shamoun then tries to address another eye witness who did not believe that Jesus was God, the disciple Peter:

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

So as you can see, Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, not that he was God. Shamoun writes:

Yet Zaatari ignores what else Peter said in this very same Gospel:


"He said to him the third time, ?Simon, son of John, do you love me?' Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ?Do you love me?' And he said to him, ?Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, ?Feed my sheep.'" John 21:17


RESPONSE

Yet Shamoun ignores the fact that Jesus did not know everything! Peter's statement makes a lot of sense, but since Shamoun is a Trinitarian, he fully reads into the verse and takes it literally. When Peter said that Jesus knows everything this was not literal, this is something very common in spoken languages, especially when you are talking to your leader, you will figuratively say you know everything, but of course you don't literally mean it!

Shamoun will say well I am arguing from silence, however so I am not, because we know that Jesus himself stated that he is ignorant! Hence you cant have it both ways, if Jesus openly said he was ignorant, and here we have Peter saying he knows everything, then that is a contradiction. Yet is isn't a contradiction because since we know that Jesus is ignorant, then we know that Peter was only speaking figuratively here, not literally.

If Shamoun is still not happy then I refer him to the Greek, in the Greek the word translated as everything is PAS, here is the verse with the Translation:

"He said to him the third time, ?Simon, son of John, do you love me?' Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ?Do you love me?' And he said to him, ?Lord, you know everything (PAS); you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, ?Feed my sheep.

If anyone studies the word PAS, the word PAS does not literally have to mean ALL and EVERYTHING, for instance a Christian scholar himself writes:

'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).

So as you can see, the very same word that Peter used, PAS, does not literally have to mean everything. As the Christian scholar himself writes, there are passages in the Gospels which claim that the WHOLE WORLD went after Jesus, yet did the WHOLE WORLD literally go after him? Off course not.

Also when the Gospels say that ALL OF JUDEA were baptized in Jordan, well did all of Judea literally baptize Jordan? Off course not.

Hence the fact is this, the word PAS does not literally have to mean all. So when Peter stated that Jesus knows PAS, he did not literally mean that Jesus knew everything

That was basically it from Shamoun concerning Peter in the Gospel of John. Shamoun did try to use John 16:25-31 to somehow show that this proved that Peter believed that Jesus was God, yet I have ALREADY BEEN QUOTING THAT VERSE TO PROVE THAT THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THAT JESUS WAS GOD!

The verses state that the disciples believe that Jesus was FROM GOD, not that he WAS GOD. Two different things, yes, Jesus was a prophet, so he was from God, he was SENT BY GOD as he himself testified! So the disciples finally believe he was sent from God, meaning his prophet.

With all of that said this brings the rebuttal to an end, Shamoun has failed to properly address the verses I brought, the verses I mention remain as they are, all of them affirming that Jesus was a prophet and Messiah, none of them calling him God.

And Allah Knows Best!

www.muslim-responses.com