Monday, 7 June 2010

Sarira Reading the Bible? An Intro...

Asalamu aliakuam wa rahmat Allah wa barkatoo and Hello Everybody!
How is everyone? The title of this post may have surprised some of you. Reading the Bible? What has Sarira gotten into her mind?
Let me start from the ….middle (lol, it’s because this post is really long enough as it is!)
Basically, I decided to read the Bible. My intention is only to understand Christianity better and to understand it truly within its context (and not from say, what people say Christians believe).
Now, not to offend my Christian readers, though, but I just want to clarify that I am in no way reading it because I believe in the Christian creed or have a single doubt about the Islamic one- Alhamdillah, I am more than satisfied as a Muslim. And I believe in Islam 100%, Praise be to Allah.
 I would like to point out though that we, Muslims, know that the Bible was Divinely Inspired and therefore, I know that there are beautiful passages in it. Yes, for those who do not know, we Muslims believe that it was Inspired by God but that it was altered (meaning Jesus, who is a Prophet in Islam, was Divinely Inspired, but when the individual books of the Bible were collected together as one book, all those years later, way after his death, the words were altered. Thus for us, the Qur’an is the only final complete perfect scripture.)  
However, it would be misleading though to say that I am reading the entire “Bible”.   I originally intended to start from the Old Testament (as some of you may remember), but I ended up changing my mind and I began with the New Testament- specifically, I started reading Matthew.  
So in a bit of time, I post up my ‘first thoughts’ on what I’ve read so far and every other while, I’ll continue to post, inshaAllah, unless it bores you all too much (the thoughts of a Muslim on the Bible, that is- I would never be as offensive to my readers as to refer to the Bible as boring!)
The idea of this post then is just to let you know how I am doing  it and to share some really interesting facts I found before I started reading the Bible.
Before I get ahead of myself:
Part I: The Method-
 I want to clarify that I am reading it from online –I decided on this so that I could compare translations as I go along and so that I could also ‘quickly’ search for verse explanations if I had any major questions. So basically, I’m using a website called Bible Gateway and it has more than 100 translations (of course not all English ones). I’ve been reading it in English and also comparing it in Arabic (originally I intended to read it in Arabic but then when I found this website and the information I’ll be putting below later, I changed my mind :D)
Part II: Some Interesting Things about the Translations Available
Now, before starting to read the Bible, I thought it would enrich my reading of the Bible if I understood a little bit more about it- the original language it was written in it, who translated it, who wrote what, who Matthew is, who John is, etc, so I searched a bit on google books  (hey, it’s like having a library in your HOME :P) on ‘the history of the Bible’. (Remember, I’m a literature student and that’s one of the first things we used to do when reading a piece- work on understanding its context.) Anyways, for this part, I’ll share the interesting things I learned regarding the translations. :
The book that I leafed through for this is: 

ETA- the computer has gone crazy. The formatting of this post is entirely not readable! Everytime I try to edit this post, it doesn't work. I've given up and I'm uploading my notes to a site. I'll be back with the link :)

Click here to read all that I found out!

[Trying again to paste it into the post]

The book that I leafed through for this is: History of the Bible in English. The author Frederick Bruce certainly grabbed my attention when he put this nice Italian quote that says that ‘all translators are traitors’, hehe!

So the first thing I found interesting in the book was how the book immediately demonstrated ‘the importance of translation’.

Take a look at this (I typed it up for you- I hope this isn’t considered copyright infringement.)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was towards the God, and God was the Word. This was in beginning towards the God. Everything through him became, and part-from him became not-even one-thing.

What is wrong with that? It is a word-for-word rendering of the Greet text of the 1959 edition published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. There is obviously one thing wrong with it: it is not English. And there is something else wrong with it: it does not faithfully represent the writers’ meaning
(page xi).”

Pretty, interesting, huh? This was in the beginning and it was one of the reasons I continued reading (I’ll tell you later what I found when I decided to research this verse later, after putting this book away…)

But for now, let’s talk about the two most interesting thing I read in that book.

The first one was on page 143. It features a bit the discussion on the translation of the verse 1 John 5:7-v8.

First, let’s read it from the King James Version:

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Now, let’s see it from the New International Version

For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

So rather than mentioning ‘the trinity explicitly’, this version only writes this as a footnote: “Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century)”

So that the footnote makes a little more sense to you, I print screened the book’s explanation (the RV refers to the Revised Version- and yeah, I was that lazy :P)

The thing though that I really thought was interesting that the King James Version, when I checked that translation on the online website’ I am reading, failed to include any footnote or any mention that the ‘verse’ may these have been altered/added.

The second most interesting part of the book, for me, was this tiny little footnote, hehe (Excuse the overly capitalized words. I was trying to remain faithful to how it was written in the book.)
On page 247: “Dr. Paisley also issued an eight-page folder (The New English Bible- A Corruption of the Word of God) which lists ‘222 passages in which the Scriptures of Truth are corrupted through the ALTERNATIONS-ADDITIONS-DELETIONS by the translators of the New English Bible.” The standard by which alternations, additions, and deletions are detected in the AV,: the majority of the criticisms are basically criticisms of the Greek text, not the translations.

(I tried to find out a bit about this person and apparently he is what is basically a “Biblical literalist”. Quite the character, though…I mean calling the Pope the “Anti-Christ?!):

Anyways, back to point 1 where it was addressing “The Word was ‘towards’ God”. As you probably noticed, the author of the book pointed out, that the word to word translation didn’t make much sense in English- I find that interesting because it means to me that in order to make it make sense, in English, at least, the ‘authors’ had to write their ‘interpretations’, ‘filling in the blanks’, so to speak.

So that today, we have:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.

But is that really what was intended by the ‘authors’? Frederick Bruce had piqued my curosity! I thought I would look to see what other translations there were available. I meant only to find some other translations but instead, to my shock, I stumbled on so much information/misinformation out there on this single verse! There are major controversies- I mean I sat down for hours reading about this verse! You can blame Bruce” for the next few pages of info :P)

First, the other versions:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was divine"

(The New World Translation)

Similarly, in "The New Testament, An American Translation" this verse is translated as:

"In the beginning the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was divine."

The New Testament, An American Translation, Edgar Goodspeed and J. M. Powis Smith, The University of Chicago Press, p. 173

What’s the big deal about using ‘divine’ or God? I honeslty didn't think it mattered! But apparently it does. The idea is that this verse relates fundamentally to the Christian creed. No one wants to interpret it in a way that might just be blasphemous:

As David A. Reed states:
“The text of John 1:1 has a sordid past and a myriad of interpretations. With the Greek alone, we can create empathic, orthodox, creed-like statements, or we can commit pure and unadulterated heresy. From the point of view of early church history, heresy develops when a misunderstanding arises concerning Greek articles, the predicate nominative, and grammatical word order. The early church heresy of Sabellianism understood John 1:1c to read, "and the Word was the God." The early church heresy of Arianism understood it to read, "and the word was a God.”

The theological difference is this: The two competing beliefs which cause great controversy over this scripture center on whether Jesus was the one and only God, or was a god, lesser than and completely distinct from God, a subordinate to God as his Chief agent.

Now, everytime I read about the translations, the Coptics would come up. I wondered why! (Yup, I am going to share this- as an Egyptian, I have to, LOOOL:)

[First, why it matters what the Coptics think]“ The distinguished grammarian and Coptic scholar John Martin Plumley, former professor of Egyptology at Cambridge University and author of Introductory Coptic Grammar, (London: Home & Van Thal, 1948), had this to say about the significance of the Sahidic Coptic version:

"While there are limitations to the use which can be made of the Coptic version as an aid to the recovery of the original Greek text of the New Testament . . . it should also be recognized that by and large the Coptic version can be a valuable aid to the scholar engaged in textual criticism, and because in certain passages it preserves very ancient traditions of interpretation, it ought to be of considerable interest to the scholar working on the history and development of Christian doctrine." -- Quoted in The Early Versions of the New Testament, by Dr. Bruce M. Metzger

Eisegesis refers to interpreting a text by reading into it one's own ideas, or other ideas foreign to the text itself. Some apologists continue in a futile attempt to do that with Coptic John 1:1c.

For example, it is claimed that the indefinite ou.noute of Coptic John 1:1c should be translated as 'the one and only God,' because the indefinite article denotes unity, not 'a god.' As a "proof," 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Ephesians 4:6 are quoted, where ou.noute n.ouwt is usually rendered as "one God."

But that is erroneous eisegesis. It is a blatant attempt to read philosophical dogma into Coptic grammar. The Coptic indefinite article ou does not of itself 'denote unity.' It simply means "a" when bound with a common or count Coptic noun like noute, "god." The Coptic text of the New Testament contains hundreds of examples that prove this. (For example, see Coptic Acts 28:6, where the anarthrous Greek theos is rendered by ou.noute in Sahidic (Sahidica) and ou.nouti in the Coptic Bohairic version. Horner and Greek-based English versions including the KJV render this as "a god.")

Further, it is not the Coptic indefinite article ou that means "one," but the bound idiom ou______n.ouwt. This idiom literally means "a single, an only," and is used in Coptic to denote "one," adjectivally: "one god," "one man," "one spirit," etc. (For example, see Coptic Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 6:16, 17)

Therefore, ou.noute n.ouwt simply means "one god." It is the context, not the grammar, of 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Ephesians 4:6 that mandates the translation "one God" because the specific and definite reference in those verses is p.eiwt, "the Father," whom the Lord Jesus identifies as p.noute m.mauaa.F , "the true God alone" (John 17:3 Horner), "the only true God."

Neither the grammar nor meaning of Coptic 1 Corinthians 8:6 or Ephesians 4:6 is the same as Coptic John 1:1c, so those verses cannot be used to exegete Coptic John 1:1c. Whereas ou.noute n.ouwt means a single god, i.e, "one god" or "one God" (in context, with reference to the Father), the fact remains that ou.noute means "a god." It does not mean some philosophical unity that calls for translating it as 'the one and only God.'

It would be far more honest to read Coptic John 1:1c for what it says, instead of trying to import foreign concepts into it.

[The conclusion- finally!] And what Coptic John 1:1c clearly says is "the Word was a god." Or, if you prefer, "the Word was divine." But definitely not, "the Word was God."

Am I finally done with this verse? Let me tell you something, that isn’t even the half of it. I swear there was so much info on the ‘translations’ of this verse, my brain felt like it was going to explode! (LOL!) I mean check this link out: (this time the ‘prepositions’ are translated differently). Remember, that is what sounded funny (the whole ‘towards’ thing) in English in the first place: How Prepositions Make all the Difference "towards God" or something else?

 Finally, good old Wikipedia!

On the other hand, some people seem to even think this verse doesn’t even belong in the Bible:

“The words of John 1:1 are acknowledged by most reputable Christian scholars of the Bible as the words of another Jew, Philo of Alexandria (20BC-50AD), who claimed no divine inspiration for them and who wrote them decades before the "gospel of John" was ever conceived. Groliers encyclopedia has the following to say under the heading "Logos"("the word"):

"Heraclitus was the earliest Greek thinker to make logos a central concept ...In the New Testament, the Gospel According to Saint John gives a central place to logos; the biblical author describes the Logos as God, the Creative Word, who took on flesh in the man Jesus Christ. Many have traced John's conception to Greek origins--perhaps through the intermediacy of eclectic texts like the writings of Philo of Alexandria."

T. W. Doane says:

"The works of Plato were extensively studied by the Church Fathers, one of whom joyfully recognizes in the great teacher, the schoolmaster who, in the fullness of time, was destined to educate the heathen for Christ, as Moses did the Jews. The celebrated passage : "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word Was God" is a fragment of some Pagan treatise on the Platonic philosophy, evidently written by Irenaeus. It is quoted by Amelius, a Pagan philosopher as strictly applicable to the Logos, or Mercury, the Word, apparently as an honorable testimony borne to the Pagan deity by a barbarian...We see then that the title "Word" or "Logos," being applied to Jesus, is another piece of Pagan amalgamation with Christianity. It did not receive its authorized Christian form until the middle of the second century after Christ. The ancient pagan Romans worshipped a Trinity. An oracle is said to have declared that there was 'First God, then the Word, and with them the Spirit'. Here we see the distinctly enumerated, God, the Logos, and the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, in ancient Rome, where the most celebrated temple of this capital - that of Jupiter Capitolinus - was dedicated to three deities, which three deities were honored with joint worship."

From Bible Myths and their parallels in other religions, pp. 375-376.

Do I believe that this was entirely a myth or a pagan insertion? Not, exactly. Islamically, of course, we do have references to Jesus (or Isa, as we say, alyhee as salam), as being the Word (from) God, and ‘a Word of’ God (in one verse). We believe that Jesus had a miraculous birth- Allah created him by simply saying “Be” and he was- thus, he was literally ‘Allah’s word’, in that sense, but we also clearly believe, (unlike for the Qur’an, for example), he was created (if you want verse references, I can get them for ya :P). Thus, for us, he was a wonderful prophet to revere but not a physical part/attribute/etc. of God.

Sarira, are you done, yet?
NO, but the rest you can find in the document. If you can't download it, don't worry. I'll be putting it up tomorrow, inshaAllah!

*Hey my signature disappeared. All sad*

Manually then- love, Sarira.
P.s. I can't see the comments properly, yet. It says 7 but 5 appear. I'll wait till I can see them to respond, but I've edited my beginning, Susanne :D It did sound wrong! Thanks for being there to correct me :)


  1. Naz, sweetie, I need to apologize to you! While I was editing my post, you apparently commented. But what happened was that instead of 'editing my post', the crazy computer made it a 'new draft', so I ended up having to delete the old post which had your comment. I didn't even get a chance to read it- what with all the confusion of why there were posts up- I'm so sorry, though, and I truly appreciate your taking the time to read and comment.

  2. Sorry you had problems with this post. I cannot open the link for some reason, but I'll be interested in reading what you have to say on future posts. I hope you had a good weekend!

    A couple of things from the post:

    "Now, not to offend my Christian readers, though, but I just want to clarify that I am in no way reading it because I believe in the Christian creed or have a single doubt about the Islamic one- Alhamdillah, I am more than satisfied as a Muslim. And I believe in Islam 100%, Praise be to Allah."

    That's not offensive to me. I totally understand as this is exactly how I approached my current reading of the Quran and my faith. So we are the same in this! :-)

    "but when the Bible was written down, all those years later, way after his death, the words were altered."

    Well, the OT was already written down. When you read the NT and see them refer to "the Law" or "Scripture" you know they are referring to OT books which were already written and in circulation at the time of Jesus. As for the Bible being bound into one big book, yes, that was years later, but not the individual books themselves. Just wanted to clarify this a bit as your statement makes it seem the whole Bible was written after Jesus' life on earth. :)

    Have a great day, Sarira!

  3. P.S. I think it's a good idea to read the Bible just for the sake of knowing where your Christian friends are coming from. This is one reason I decided to read the Quran. So it's a learning experience for both of us. I think you would enjoy some in the OT as well especially stories about Moses, Abraham, Noah, Lot, Joseph, David and so forth as the Quran only gives short glimpses of these men and not their fuller stories. So maybe reading through Genesis and Exodus would be "fun" just to read what the Jewish Scriptures have to say about those men. :)

  4. @Sariira Habibtii dont worry about it, lol computers are jerks sometimes, i was saying i found your research to be very interesting , right now i am busy with some stuff but when i get the chance id love to do research in that field for myself , i also read the bible previously, i bought it home read acouple of pages but was confused due to lack of any background knowledge e.g. i had no idea who half the people mentioned where i think i am more familiar with the arabic names, like i was thinking throughout who is rachel? what is going on etc, and i was also reading the new testament , i think there are lots of similarities between our religions as wel as major differences and its always interesting to understand things from another perspective i dont beleive researching other religions means wanting to leave your own, more often then not it reaffirms your own personal beleifs to you, as well as increasing your knowledge of the diversity of the world. I am very interested in religions ever since i was younger, and i even attended a programme where you would meet muslims, hindus, jews scientologists bahaism followers very interesting lol
    Naz (sry 4 extremely long comment)

  5. I just wanted to tell Naz who Rachel was. Hehehehe.

    She was one of Jacob's wives...his favorite one. Jacob (Yacob) is the one called Israel (as in the father of the "children of Israel". Rachel is also the mother of Joseph (Yousef) and Benjamin. She died during childbirth.

    I thought you should at least know who one person is that you read about! :-) Your comment was cute and I agree with what you said about studying other faiths.

  6. As usual, I can't see the comments here properly, Amina, (it says 5, but I see 3?) but I took a look at your document and had to let you know that I could download it and I can see why you were, as you said, glued to the screen.

    This was the most interesting thing to me in your research:

    The translation of the verse 1 John 5:7-v8. from the King James Version and the other version:
    For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

    The explanation the book provided of the difference was pretty/really interesting, also.

    I wish I could comment on the whole controversy of the translation of the verse 1: John 1 but in the end I was completely lost. I had no idea a single verse could have that much information on it.

    The Gospel of Barnabos (spelling) was also very interesting. I guess we Muslims would believe that was correct and he was correct. I mean, that book is saying some followed Paul and some followed Barnabos, right? It seems to me we believe the same as Barnabos. Please forgive my spelling of his name. I closed the document, lol, and really cannot download it all over again to know how to spell.

    Anyways, Amina, thanks for sharing. I guess translators are traitors. I feel that way about the Qur'an as well. I don't like reading translations.

    I'm interested to see the rest of your notes.

    ---guess who, katSokoa (missed me much?)

  7. Hahha @Susanne Thankyou so much lol, yes i was a bit confused , i dont think her name is mentioned in the quran, but atleast now i know who she is lol :)

  8. Naz, glad I could help. At least you know Rachel now, right? :)

  9. sarira, sorry i can't comment much about this. all the english versions of bible are hard for me to read. i have read bible in finnish already years ago and studied it in school, so I know a bit of what you're talking about anyway.. so here comes a few words from a reverts point of view. i hope i don't offend anyone here.. english is not my language and some things i say may sound different than i meant.

    adding/removing stuff to/from bible is one of the resons many people turned to islam. the trinity is another one and it wasn't even mentioned in the original version. many of us found it hard to understand how there's three but it's one. also Jesus never told people to pray for him, nor he said he's god.. i don't understand what god is so scary that you have to pray for him through his 'son'?

    i'll keep an eye on this post and comment again if i understand what you're saying haha.. i have a bad english day + it's 5 am and i didn't sleep yet :O

  10. Susanne, hehe, my weekend starts on Wednesday (it’s like your Friday), so on Monday, I was in the middle of the week. But I hope you did have a good weekend!

    Anyways, I knew you would understand and you approached it the same way! You were also one of the reasons that inspired me to finally go and read it! But yes, I wrote that warning, lol, because I didn’t want any worried Muslims sending me emails, hehe. (Just as I imagine I might have done if I thought the person was reading it out of doubt of Islam- I would have wanted to know why/what happened/etc.) So yeah, I just wanted to clarify that point :D

    You were so right about how ‘wrong’ that sentence sounded in my post! I went and edited it. Thank you for being there to correct me!

    That was also a nice suggestion to read it to understand my friends better! And I thought it was the cutest thing ever that you explained to naz who Rachel was.

    Naz, my computer is officially the biggest jerk ever! But thank you for totally understanding. I so didn’t expect you to take the time again and write a comment again. But I am so glad you did because I loved your comment. (And u’re hilarious. I can’t believe you apologized for writing a long comment!! You’re more than welcome to do that and to write as many as you want!)

    i dont beleive researching other religions means wanting to leave your own, more often then not it reaffirms your own personal beleifs to you, as well as increasing your knowledge of the diversity of the world

    So true! Yes, so far that I have been reading, I have been finding myself reflecting more on our own faith, seeing it again reaffirmed. Also, I learned new things- ‘the diversity’ of the world.

    Wow, so cool that you attended that program!

    Guess who- you are so lucky, girl, that I already exposed my real name here in the name game thread. Otherwise… would have been in trouble, missy! LOL. Anyways, yes I was so intrigued by the Gospel of Barnabos myself! I really really really wish I could get my hands on a copy of it, lol. I think it is interesting (and of course sad) that according to the book, after the Trinity Doctrine was ‘accepted’, a massacre of the monotheistic Christians occurred. Of course, to me, and God knows best, those monotheistic Christians were ‘Muslims’.

    I hate reading translations, too. Including my own! (Not of the Qu’ran, but in the translation courses I’ve taken. Translation just gives me a big headache! LOL)

    Oldie goldie, I truly appreciate your taking the time and commenting. Yes, I was really interested in reading the Bible because I had always heard that the word ‘trinity’ didn’t exist in it. In fact, I had done a search (in those 'bible search websites) and it had come up with zero results. I understand though that they have verses which they interpret to implicitly imply the trinity.

    So far, I haven’t read anything in which Jesus told people to pray to him, either! I wonder how come they choose to pray to Jesus and not to the “Father”? Maybe Susanne can explain (if she’s reading this- since she’s being so helpful and explaining things :D)

    For 5 am, and bad English day, your comment was so awesome. It made perfect sense! You don’t want to read what I write when I need to sleep, LOL.

    Thanks, all of you <3

  11. So far, I haven’t read anything in" which Jesus told people to pray to him, either! I wonder how come they choose to pray to Jesus and not to the “Father”? Maybe Susanne can explain (if she’s reading this- since she’s being so helpful and explaining things :D)"

    I can answer this in regards to myself. :)

    The Words tells us that the three are One. So while, Jesus used the Lord's prayer to address praying to the Father, they are all God.

    I pray to all three, depending on what request I am making, how I am feeling (praying to Jesus, feels more personal and intimate because, to me, because He became Man and understands what I'm going through). I pray to the Spirit sometimes when I'm asking for peace or comfort or discernment Jesus promised us when He left the Earth, He would send His Spirit.

  12. I saw the Gospel of Barnabas mentioned. I've read not even some Muslims scholars like it as it's also not very quranic. Here is one quote about it.

    The Muslim scholar Cyril Glassé states:

    As regards the "Gospel of Barnabas" itself, there is no question that it is a medieval forgery. A complete Italian manuscript exists which appears to be a translation from a Spanish original (which exists in part), written to curry favor with Muslims of the time. It contains anachronisms which can date only from the Middle Ages and not before, and shows a garbled comprehension of Islamic doctrines, calling the Prophet "the Messiah", which Islam does not claim for him. Besides its farcical notion of sacred history, stylistically it is a mediocre parody of the Gospels, as the writings of Baha'Allah are of the Koran.

    The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, Harper & Row, 1989, p. 64

  13. If you want to read GoB, I think you can find it online. Here are a few contradictions between it and the Quran though. So I'd take what I read with a grain of salt. :)

    Contradictions between "Barnabas" and the Qur'an:

    1) the Quran (2:29) says that the Heavens are seven in number,
    while "Barnabas" gives the number as nine (178).

    2) according to "Barnabas", man is endowed with a free will.
    (164). On the contrary, man only does what Allah wills him
    to do (Quran - 76:30, 37:96, 17:13, 10:99-100).

    3) Adam was not the first man circumcised (23). Abraham was.

    4) according to "Barnabas" (3), Mary brought forth her son without
    pain. This is contradicted by the Quran (19:23).

    5) the Quran follows the Mosaic law of "an eye for an eye, and a
    tooth for a tooth", whereas "Barnabas" says "... ye shall not
    overcome evil with evil, but rather with good" (81). "Woe unto
    them that call for vengeance ..." (63). "... kiss the hand of
    those who revile thee, and present gifts to those who persecute
    thee and strike thee much" (64).

    6) the Quran approves of poligamy. "Barnabas" does not tolerate
    it (115).

    7) the Quran approves of the teaching of abrogation. "Barnabas"
    condemns it (38).

    8) the Quran condemns eating pork but "Barnabas" says "that which
    entereth into the man defileth not the man, but that which
    cometh out of the man defileth the man" (32).

    9) "Barnabas" totally ignores the existence of the prophet John
    the Baptist (Yahya ibn Zakariyya).

    10) according to "Barnabas", Jesus expressly denies that he is the
    Messiah. In the Quran, the only Messiah is Jesus.

    Still, "Barnabas" further compounds his confusion. For while
    he has Jesus denying that He is the Messiah, yet, amazingly,
    the first words of "Barnabas" following his introductory title,

    Barnabas, apostle of Jesus the Nazarene, called Christ ...

    According to "Barnabas", then, Jesus is called Christ, but he
    is not called Messiah. Despite his obvious familiarity with
    the Bible, "Barnabas" does not know that Messiah (Hebrew) and
    Christ (Greek) are identical in meaning.

  14. Sarira, I keep seeing things to comment on. :)

    About're right that the word isn't in the Bible, but we believe the concept is. Just like the concept of atheism, monotheism and even

    "the word "bible" is not found in the Bible, but we use it anyway to describe the Bible. Likewise, "omniscience" which means "all-knowing," "omnipotence" which means "all-powerful," and "omnipresence" which means "present everywhere," are words not found in the Bible either, but we use them to describe the attributes of God. We don't have to see a specific word in the Bible in order for the concept it describes to be true."

    Trinity is a mixture of "Tri" (three)and "unity" to describe three persons in one.

    Just so you'll know a bit more. :)

  15. I just noticed these replies :)

    I pray to all three, depending on what request I am making, how I am feeling (praying to Jesus, feels more personal and intimate because, to me, because He became Man and understands what I'm going through).
    Does that mean that you do not think that the Father could understand what 'man' 'feels'? Is that the difference between the Son and Father?

    This relates to my last question where I asked if Jesus constitutes God' completely in himself? Or they are 'parts' and not individually each actually God, in themselves?

    Likewise, "omniscience" which means "all-knowing," "omnipotence" which means "all-powerful," and "omnipresence" which means "present everywhere," are words not found in the Bible either, but we use them to describe the attributes of God.
    Yes, that is why I said that even though it's not explicitly there, you 'find verses' to support it, right :)

    But Susanne, I think I've mentioned several times before that we are given free will. We have 'will, desire and choices of our own, yet these are not outside the Will of Allah. He has bestowed upon intelligence to facilitate between 'good and bad'. So if we decide [our will] to do something 'bad', e.g. 'steal' He may allow it to happen [His Will.

    In fact, this 'argument' that we cannot make choices has been given by the non-believers numerous times in the Qur'an. "Those who associated partners with Allah will say, 'If Allah had willed, we would not have associated anything and neither would we have prohibited anything'. The Qur'an refutes that- we have been given free will and we have to bear the consequences of our decisions in life. This is the 'basic' essence of the 'test' of life.

    But thank you for pointing out the other differences :) I may read it/or at least skim it myself :D

  16. Re: free will....

    I've been pointing out verses on my Quran posts that seem to speak of it. yet there are a number that speak against it even to the extent that God chose not to guide some people so maybe that's where the confusion stems.

    I didn't compile that list. I copied it from a website that I imagine is blocked where you live. I know how Muslim countries often censor things so their people cannot have freedom to search out things for themselves. Maybe your country is not this way, but I know even in UAE which I consider somewhat liberal has blocked many of these sites. I just thought you might like to know that not even all Muslims scholars believe the GoB. You can see that on Wikipedia as well. But read GoB for yourself and see what you think. Maybe you'll come to a different conclusion than others. :)


Hey :D So am I talking to myself or...? Tell me what you think :D