Counter Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun: Is the Holy Spirit Omniscient? - Part 2.

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Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun

On the “Deity” of the Holy Spirit”

Abdullah Smith

[Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV] [Part V]

 

 


HE WROTE:

This is not the only inspired writer to attribute all the essential attributes of God to the Holy Spirit:

"The Spirit of God has MADE ME, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4

"how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through THE ETERNAL SPIRIT offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." Hebrews 9:14

 

RESPONSE:

 

The Bible states the exact opposite of Job 33:4. God is the creator of human beings.

 

So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." (Genesis 6:7)


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. (Psalms 139:14)

I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before methe breath of man that I have created. (Isaiah 57:16)

 

God is the Creator of mankind and the Spirit is created from God. 

 

Let us examine the verse closely

 

"The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath (ruach) of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4

 

The Hebrew word for “spirit” is Nashamah, according to Strong’s Number 05397, it also means breath:

Strong’s Number: 05397

Transliterated Word:

Nashamah

Phonetic

nesh-aw-maw' 

Definition: breath, spirit

    1. breath (of God)
    2. breath (of man)
    3. every breathing thing
    4. spirit (of man)

(online Source)

The Hebrew word means “spirit of man”, so Job 33:4 cannot be referring to the Spirit of God, because Nashamah denotes a human spirit.

The Bible translation is distorted because it renders the Hebrew Nashamah as “spirit”.

Let us quote the verse using “breath” and not “spirit”

 

"The breath of God has made me, and the breath (ruach) of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4

 

The writer of Job is speaking of God alone, the Bible says:

 

When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath (ruach), they die and return to the dust. (Psalms 104:29, NIV)

Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath (ruach), they die, and return to their dust. (KJV)

When their spirit (ruach) departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. (Psalms 146:4, NIV)

His breath (ruach) goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. (KJV)

The breath (ruach) of God gives him life, and God takes away the breath (ruach) of the human being.

Also, the Hebrew word Nashamah (Job 33:4) is applied to humans (Genesis 7:22).

All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. (1)

Basically, the breath which God breathes into His creatures (Ps. 104:29-30, 146:4, Ecc. 12:7) is the same Hebrew word used in Job 33:4 for “Spirit of God”, so logically Job 33:4 could  be interpreted to read:

“The breath (Nashamah) of God sustains me…

Job is using the Hebrew word to signify the breath of God in human beings (Gen. 7:22)

The following example clarifies:

The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath (Nashamah) of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

The latter text of Job 33:4 reads:

…and His breath (ruach) gives me life”

The following example clarifies this:

When you send your Spirit (ruach), they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. (Psalms 104:30)

And the LORD said, My spirit (ruach) shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. (Genesis 6:3)

Since the Hebrew word is applied to both God and man, it means God is the Highest spirit (ruach) above the human, who is also ruach.

God breathed into Adam the breath of life:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed (Nashamah) into his nostrils the breath (Nashamah) of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

According to this verse, God breathed his Nashamah into Adam, so the “Spirit” of Job 33:4 is referring to God’s breath, not Spirit. The word Nashamah cannot be signifying God’s Spirit because the Hebrew is feminine [1], God is not feminine.

The Crosswalk does not capitalize the Hebrew word Nashamah, which directly implies this Hebrew word is not masculine; therefore it cannot apply to God.

Let us assume the Hebrew word is masculine, the correct translation of Job 33:4 then should read:

“The Spirit of God sustains me, and his breath gives me life”.

Cleary the words “his breath gives me life” can be reconciled with Gen. 2:7.

Since the Bible teaches only God is the Creator of man (Ps. 139:14), Job is not saying the Spirit made him, it only sustains him.

We repeat the verses quoted above:

So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." (Genesis 6:7)


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. (Psalms 139:14)

I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before methe breath of man that I have created. (Isaiah 57:16)

The book of Job is doubtful because Job was not the author:

"Although most of the book consists of the words of Job and his counselors, Job himself was not the author."  (The NIV Bible commentary, p. 722)

Hebrews 9:14 merely says Jesus died on the cross while “filled with the Holy Spirit” and the Holy Spirit left his body after he died:

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (Pneuma) (1) . (John 19:30)

Jesus gave up the Holy Spirit.

God is the Eternal creator of the universe, not his Spirit, a created being.

Paul wrongly deifies Holy Spirit by using the Greek word Aionios which means eternal.

 

HE WROTE:

The Spirit is eternal and yet God alone is eternal!

"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." Psalm 139:7-12

A person cannot escape from God’s Spirit since he is present in all of creation!

 

RESPONSE:

The Psalms is not speaking of the Spirit but describing the eternal presence of God in all creation. There is no reference to the Spirit as a separate entity, so where does Shamoun get his idea? God is the only character spoken here; He is present over all creation.

 

HE WROTE:

The Spirit is even called God!

"The Spirit of the LORD SPEAKS BY ME, his word is upon my tongue. The God of Israel HAS SPOKEN, the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God," 2 Samuel 23:2-3

The Spirit speaking to David is none other than God speaking!

 

RESSPONSE:

Here is the explanation, the spirit of God speaks by Samuel, the spirit of God does not speak by its own authority, and God speaks through the Prophets who are inspired by His Spirit.

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again. (Numbers 11:25)

Here is brother Osama Abdallah’s response on 2 Samuel 23:2-3

In 2 Samuel 23:2-3 above, the "Spirit" is no more than the spirit of Inspiration!   Here are few types of the "Spirit" in the bible:

Isaiah 11:1-3
1. A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him (Jesus)-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD
(Jesus fearing his GOD)--
3. and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;

As we see in Isaiah 11:1-3, there is:

1-  Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding.

2-  Spirit of Counsel and of power.

3-  Spirit of Knowledge.

4-  Spirit of the fear of the LORD. (source)

 

The Bible separates the Spirit from God, the Spirit emanates from God, and they are distinguished:

 

Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is HE that PUT his holy Spirit within him? (Isaiah 63:11)

 

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will PUT my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)

 

God puts his spirit upon the Prophets (42:1-2, 63:11) and they speak prophecies by the Spirit (Quran 17:85, 40:15), but God is the source of its power.

For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

God is speaking to David through the Spirit, yet deceptive Shamoun says God is the Spirit.

 

St. Augustine taught that the Spirit proceeded not from the Father alone but also from the Son. The Greek theologians believed that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son; this is called ‘double procession’. It found its way into the Nicene Creed by the addition of the Filioque (Latin, “and the Son”).

 

To comprehend the doctrine of Christian Trinity requires a mind that can harbour self-contradictory perceptions and yet solicit harmony and tranquility. It is easy to conclude the Father and the Son as two distinct ‘Persons’, but is difficult to conclude that the Spirit it also a ‘Person’ like the other two. The Greek word pneuma, meaning “spirit”, comes from pne’o, meaning to breath or blow. This word is in neuter gender. In the King James Version of the Bible, the word translated appears as “the Spirit itself” (Romans 8/16 and 26).

 

Christianity professes that the Holy Spirit emanates from God and yet is God. The Koran teaches that Allah is self-sufficient, self-existing and totally independent. God does not emanate from any other source. From a simple and rational point of view, anything that is used from, or emanates and comes from a source without (not within), cannot be recognized as a primary source but a secondary source. Hence, the Holy Spirit that has emanated cannot be the same as its source.

 

If someone argues and says that the Holy Spirit is same as its source then what he is saying is that there was total emanation or 100 % transfer. If that be the case, then the primary source has either annihilated itself (or Himself) or has reproduced a clone. (Akbarally Meherally, Understanding the Bible through Koranic Messages, p. 51)

 

The Spirit is not God, he is the messenger sent by God.

 

The angel Gabriel was empowered to carry Revelations to the Prophet, so 2 Samuels 23:2-3 repeats:

 

And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him (Saul); and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. (1 Samuel 10:10)

 

The Spirit of God came upon Saul and he prophesied – the Spirit emanated from God.

 

 

HE WROTE:

Finally, the NT authors ascribe OT references where Yahweh is speaking to the Holy Spirit. Note, for instance, the following texts:

"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ And he said, ‘Go, and say to this people: "Hear and hear, but do not understand; see and see, but do not perceive." Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed. Isaiah 6:8-10

Yahweh appears to Isaiah and commands him what to say to the people. Yet according to the NT it was the Holy Spirit who spoke to Isaiah:

"So, as they disagreed among themselves, they departed, after Paul had made one statement: ‘The Holy Spirit was right IN SAYING to your fathers THROUGH ISAIAH THE PROPHET: "Go to this people, and say, You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive. For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them."’" Acts 28:25-27

 

RESPONSE:

Paul has confused the Holy Spirit with God, because the Apostles never believed the Holy Spirit was God, they believed God spoke through the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit spoke through God’s inspiration:

When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? (Acts 4:24-26)

God spoke by the mouth of the Holy Spirit to command David what to say, so the Holy Spirit is subordinate to God and carries the inspiration to His prophets, but God never leaves His throne, and he does not change (Mal. 3:6).

The Holy Spirit spoke through David’s mouth:

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David (Acts 1:15-17)

From a rational point of view, God is not speaking through David’s mouth, but rather God is speaking through the Holy Spirit, as God works through others (Isa. 42:1-10, Deu. 32:2, Ex. 15:3).

God works through humans, but they are not divine

God works through the Spirit, but it’s not God.

God speaks indirectly because no one can see God and live (Ex. 33:20)

God cannot fit on earth, (2 Chron. 2:6)

God does not change (Mal 3:6)

God sent the Holy Spirit to speak to Isaiah, it was the Holy Spirit speaking by the inspiration of God, and that is exactly what Paul says!

Paul never believed the Holy Spirit was God:

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:5)

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, (Romans 14:17)

In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. (Ephesians 3:4-5)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:3)

Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:8)

God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:4)

God and the Holy Spirit are distinguished, they are not the same, but completely separate from each other by nature. God is the creator and the Holy Spirit is the created; the latter depends on the former, the former sends the latter to carry out its commands.

Paul is saying the Holy Spirit spoke to Isaiah, and God spoke through the Holy Spirit, it does not prove they are equal, the Holy Spirit emanates from God, who is the source. God never incarnates His non-physical creation, not even flesh (Jesus).

Let us study Isaiah 6:8-10, the languages Arabic and Hebrew have “we” and “us” as plural of respect, God is speaking figuratively.

In the Eerdmans Bible Dictionary we read the following explanation of the word "Elohiym":

"As a name or designation of the God of Israel, the term is understood as a plural of majesty or an intensive plural, indicating the fullness of the supreme (or only) God ... the canonical intent is clearly monotheistic, even where the accompanying verbs or adjectives are grammatically plural (e.g. Gen. 20:13, Exod. 22:9 [Mt 8])"

Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, edited by Allen C. Myers, William B. Eerdmans Publishers, p. 331 (1)

 

HE WROTE:

Again:

"For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts, as at Mer'ibah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers tested me, and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. For forty years I loathed that generation and said, ‘They are a people who err in heart, and they do not regard my ways.’ Therefore I swore in my anger that they should not enter my rest." Psalm 95:7-11

RESPONSE:

The writer of Psalms is playing the mouth of God, using the word “me”, God never speaks directly in the Psalms, and they are poems written by MEN who may insert words into God’s mouth. For example, did God inspire the words of Psalms 20:6 where He promises to save Jesus? Did God inspire the words of Psalm 137:8-10 where it says “murder babies?” 

The passage never mentions the Holy Spirit.

 

HE WROTE:

Yahweh warns Israel not to disregard his voice and test him as their fathers had done. But the author of Hebrews says that it was the Holy Spirit whom they tested:

"Therefore, as the Holy Spirit SAYS, ‘Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put ME to the test and saw MY works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, "They always go astray in their hearts; they have not known my ways." As I swore in MY wrath, "They shall never enter MY rest."’" Hebrews 3:7-11

 

RESPONSE:

Hebrews quotes Psalms 95:7-11, the passage Shamoun has just quoted:

For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.       Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, "They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways." So I declared on oath in my anger, "They shall never enter my rest."

Any fool can see that God is not speaking, rather it is the writer of Psalms expressing the words of God in the first person, using the words “me” and “my” as personification (poetic device). For example, Isaiah describes God as a “man of war” (42) and “mighty man of war” (Ex. 15:3) yet we know these are figurative speeches to signify the power of God!

Hebrews wrongly attributes the Psalms to the Holy Spirit when the Psalms itself does not mention the Holy Spirit as its orator. The Psalms is a collection of poetry written by anonymous MEN, they record many shocking verses.

Psalms 95:7-11 was obviously not orated by the Holy Spirit, because the Psalms also says:

Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you
for what you have done to us- he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks. (Psalms 137:8-10)

Did God say these words? No, not even the Spirit, so Psalms 95:7-11 is irrelevant.

 

HE WROTE:

Here is the final example:

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jeremiah 31:31-34

Yahweh swears to make a new covenant with his people where he will no longer remember their sins. The One who made this promise, says the writer to the Hebrews, was the Holy Spirit:

"And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,then HE ADDS, ‘I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more.’" Hebrews 10:15-17

 

RESPONSE

Despite the passage, the author of Hebrews believes the Holy Spirit is not God:

God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:4)

Hebrews attributes sayings to the Holy Spirit that are not found in the Old Testament:

So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, (Hebrews 3:7-8)

The question is where (and when) did the Holy Spirit say this? The words do not exist in the OT, not even the Gospels. There are unknown sayings attributed to Jesus:

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39)

There’s no verse in the Old Testament about “streams will flow from within him”.

Since the writer of Hebrews does not equate the Holy Spirit with God, he was alluding to the Divine inspiration; the Holy Spirit inspired the words of God spoken in Jeremiah 31:31-34, and he wrote it down.

 

HE WROTE

Let us summarize what we have seen thus far:

  1. The Holy Spirit is the Creator.
  2. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent.
  3. The Holy Spirit is eternal.
  4. The Holy Spirit is called God.
  5. The Holy Spirit is identified as Yahweh.

This by itself is sufficient to refute Smith’s pathetic attempt at rebutting my article. Yet we will go along with his rabbit trails in order to further expose just how utterly shallow his "response" actually is.

 

RESPONSE

We have no choice to repeat ourselves that God speaks through His prophets by the Spirit, he is not the Creator, and therefore he is not omnipresent and eternal. The Holy Spirit is misunderstood by Christians to be God, which is sheer paganism!

The concept of the Holy Spirit was perverted over time:

The religion revealed to the prophets of various nations was the same, but in the course of time it had been misinterpreted and become mixed up with superstitions and degenerated into magical practices and meaningless rituals. The conception of God, the very core of religion, had become debased by (a) the anthropomorphic tendency of making God into a being with a human shape, (b) the association of other persons with the one and only God in His Godhead (as in Hinduism and Christianity), (c) by the deification of the angels (e.g., the Devas in Hinduism, the Yazatas in Zoroastrianism and the Holy Spirit in Christianity), (d) by making the prophets into avatars or incarnations of God (e.g., Jesus Christ in Christianity, the Buddha in Mahayana Buddhism, and Krishna and Rama in Hinduism), and (e) by the personification of the attributes of God into separate Divine Persons (e.g., the Christian Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, the Hindu Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and the Amesha Spentas of Zoroastrianism). (Ulfat Aziz-us-Samad, Islam and Christianity, p 45)

The Holy Spirit is simply God’s messenger to His prophets; he is not Divine or the Creator of the universe.

 

HE WROTE:

Do the Gospels deny that Jesus is all-knowing? Let us take a look and see:

"Now we know that you know all things, and need none to question you; by this we believe that you came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe?’" John 16:30-31

"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;

The Gospel of John deliberately portrays Jesus as a divine figure, and it’s the least historical Gospel of the four gospels:

The most difficult of all the Gospels to date accurately is the fourth Gospel, known as John. It is a book that appears to have been written over a number of years, perhaps even in layers… In other ways it reflects a long-developing tradition. Many of its theological discourses reveal a level of sophistication that could only have taken place in a time well past that of Mark, Matthew, and Luke. (John Shelby Spong, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? p. 87)

Scholars have concluded that this gospel was originally written in a simple form.  But this gospel was later on, as the New Jerusalem Bible says, amplified and developed in several stages during the second half of the first century.”  (The New Jerusalem Bible: Introduction to John, p. 1742)

“It would seem that we have only the end-stage of a slow process that has brought together not only component parts of different ages, but also corrections, additions and sometimes even more than one revision of the same discourse.”  (The New Jerusalem Bible, p. 1739)

“The speeches in the Fourth Gospel (even apart from the early messianic claim) are so different from those in the Synoptics and so like the comments of the Fourth Evangelist himself, that both cannot be equally reliable as records of what Jesus said. Literary veracity in ancient times did not forbid, as it does now the assignment of fictitious speeches to historical characters.”    [Life of Jesus, C. J. Cadoux, Mackennal Professor of Church History at Oxford p. 16]

The Gospel of John is probably a Gnostic document:

“..The earliest copies of the Gospel of John are also from Gnostic sources that include overtly Gnostic writings, implying that John was read by Gnostic groups. One school of interpretation distinguishes between "Johannine Christianity" and "Pauline Christianity". The gnosis in Gnosticism is secret information that is available only to initiates. In the Gnostic view, salvation comes through "knowledge" that Jesus is the Christ -- those who understand his true nature are saved, those who don't "stand condemned already."  (1)

John's gospel is different from the other three in the New Testament. That fact has been recognized since the early church itself. Already by the year 200, John's gospel was called the spiritual gospel precisely because it told the story of Jesus in symbolic ways that differ sharply at times from the other three. (2)

The Gospel of John was written for pagan converts who professed to believe in a “man god”

In John we find the culmination of Greek philosophy that has created the Jesus that we are the most familiar with today. A fully-formed Hellenized Jesus has emerged to become an equal with God. The Gospel of John (ca. 120 CE) is complex and mystical. It's purpose is to propagandize the message that Jesus is God Himself, creator of the universe, and so powerful that "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (3:16).

We see in John a desire to use Greek pagan concepts and philosophies as a tool for communicating Jesus as the Logos to a Christianized Gentile audience. John’s Logos would not be understood by Jews and his book would only be familiar to someone practiced in the pagan mystery cults that flourished in the Hellenistic world. Heraclitus of Ephesus used the word Logos around 500 BCE to describe his concept of the regularity with which the universe seemed to operate. The universe was a divine machine and Heraclitus credited the Logos (literally the reason) as the ultimate rationale which secretly operated the universe and the heavens above. (3)

See the Contextual Problems with John  

Modern scholars agree that John is unreliable:

“It is today freely accepted that the fourth Gospel underwent a complex development before it reached its final form.”  (The New Jerusalem Bible: Introduction to John, p. 1742)

Let us continue.

The Gospels deny Jesus was All-knowing:

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52)

His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish." He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. (Matthew 15:33-25, Mark 8:5)

He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. (Mark 5:7-10, Luke 8:29-31)

So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?" "From childhood," he answered. "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." (Mark 9:20-22)

 

HE WROTE:

The disciples correctly concluded that Christ knows everything.

"And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.’ And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, ‘This man is blaspheming.’ But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil IN YOUR HEARTS? For which is easier, to say, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Rise and walk"? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins’ -- he then said to the paralytic – ‘Rise, take up your bed and go home.’ And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men." Matthew 9:1-8

Not only does this passage state that Jesus knows what is in a person’s heart, an ability that God alone has:

"then hear you in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you ONLY, know the hearts of all the children of men);" 1 Kings 8:39

"And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever." 1 Chronicles 28:9

He also does the very works which the OT says Yahweh performs:

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy," Psalm 103:2-4

The obvious conclusion is that Jesus is God:

  1. God alone knows the hearts of men.
  2. Jesus knows the hearts of men.
  3. Therefore, Jesus is God.

 

RESPONSE:

We have quoted several passages that prove Jesus is not All-knowing.

The Gospel of John portrays Jesus as divine, and this explains why the gospel was easily accepted by the Church fathers, who worshipped a man-god before they became Christian.

 “A true Jew would have immediately recognized the teaching of Jesus as a reaffirmation of what Moses had taught. But to many a pagan, it must have seemed new and strange and perhaps a little complicated. Most of the pagans still believed in a multitude of gods who, it was thought, mixed freely with human beings, mated with them, and took part in every sphere of human life. To the common people of Greece, any description of Jesus must have seemed like a description of one of their gods, and they were probably quite ready to accept Jesus in this capacity. There was always room for one more god. However, the actual teaching of Jesus negated all their gods, since it affirmed the Divine Unity”. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus: Prophet of Islam 1992 edition, p. 62)

The Jewish converts did not believe Jesus was all-knowing, they considered him a Prophet of God only.

Ebionites: Jewish-Christian sect of rural ancient Palestine, of the first centuries after Jesus…The Judaic Ebionites held closely to Mosaic law and regarded Jesus as a miracle-working prophet and St. Paul as an apostate. [1]

The Gospel of Matthew is a mixture of pagan and Jewish material; Jesus is partially human and partially divine. The “divine” material was inserted by pagan scribes over the centuries.

The Gospel of Matthew is not Matthew’s. The present Gospel of Matthew which is ascribed to him, and happens to be the first Gospel, and is considered to be the earliest, was certainly not written by Matthew. The original Gospel written by him was destroyed long ago. All the ancient Christians and a number of later scholars are unanimous on the point that the original Gospel of Matthew which was in the Hebrew language was destroyed because it had been distorted by some of the Christian sects.

(Izhar- Ul-Haq (Truth Revealed, By Rahmatullah Kairanvi [1864]

 

The Christian sects who distorted the Hebrew Matthew were pagan converts, scholars say the present-day Matthew is translated from the Hebrew version. Yet many scholars reject this notion. 

Although the phraseology is not more Hebraic than in the other Gospels, still it not much less so. To sum up, from the literary examination of the Greek Gospel no certain conclusion can be drawn against the existence of a Hebrew Gospel of which our First Gospel would be a translation; and inversely, this examination does not prove the Greek Gospel to be a translation of an Aramaic original. (1)

"It does not seem probable to me that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, since no one testifies that he has seen any trace of such a volume."  (Erasmus of Rotterdam) (2)

The Church father Origen says:

I have learned by tradition that the Gospel according to Matthew, who was at one time a publican and afterwards an Apostle of Jesus Christ, was written first; and that he composed it in the Hebrew tongue and published it for the converts from Judaism (1)  

Logically, Matthew 9:1-8 is part of the pagan material inserted later.

Here is an example of pagan influence:

The stories of the angels and the shepherds, in Luke, and of the wise men, in Matthew, are rewrites of Egyptian mythical themes from at least two thousand years earlier. They are portrayed in the art at Luxor. There is no historical record of Herod’s alleged edict regarding the “slaughter of the innocents” either. Common sense tells us that such an order was an impossibility in any case. Did Herod intend to kill the children of his friends, his soldiers, his civil servants, tourists passing through, and so on? You know for certain the whole matter is symbolic once you realize that an attempt to slaughter a holy child appears in all the ancient hero myths. (Tom Harper, The Pagan Christ, p. 126)

Matthew is copied from the Buddhist scriptures:

When Buddha was about to go forth "to adopt a religious life," Mara' appeared before him, to tempt him, Mara said unto Buddha: Go not forth to adopt a religious life, and in seven days thou shalt become an emperor of the world."' Buddha would not heed the words of the Evil One, and said to him: Get thee away from me. After Mara had left Buddha, "the skies rained flowers, and delicious odors pervaded the air."" Buddha fasted for a long period." Buddha, the Saviour, was baptized, and at this recorded water, baptism the Spirit of God was present; that is, not only the highest God, but also the "Holy Ghost," through whom the incarnation of Gautama Buddha is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of that Divine power. (T.W. Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions, p. 292)

According to this passage, notice how Buddha says “Get thee away from me” which parallels what Jesus said in the Gospels “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Luke 4:8, Matthew 4:10)

Also, the gods of the Mystery Religions were considered “all-knowing”, who could also forgive sins, and these god-men died for the sins of the world, centuries before Jesus was born.

 

HE WROTE:

The foregoing demonstrates that the pagan Smith has only exposed his ignorance of biblical teaching since the Holy Scriptures teach that Jesus is God and man simultaneously. Christ is omniscient in reference to his Deity, but limited in knowledge in relation to his humanity. This accounts for why he could say that he didn’t know the day or hour.

RESPONSE:

Jesus is not All-knowing!

Shamoun alludes to the Athanasian Creed by claiming Jesus is God and man!

According to Orthodox Christian belief, Jesus was perfect man and perfect God at the same time.  This belief is necessary for salvation according to the Athanasian creed held dear by most Christians.  Modern Christian scholars reject this idea not because it is difficult to understand but because it cannot be meaningfully expressed.  The doctrine cannot be stated in any way that is free from contradictions.  It is impossible for Jesus to have been perfect man and perfect God at the same time, for this would mean that he was finite and infinite at the same time, that he was fallible and infallible at the same time.  This cannot be.

What the creed denies is also quite significant.  The creed was formulated in response to the claims of various early Christian groups, and so includes clauses that deny the beliefs of those groups.  In response to the Arians who believed that Jesus was not God, the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) decreed that he was fully God.  In response to the Apollinarians who believed Jesus was God but not fully human, the council of Constantinople (381 A.D.) decreed that Jesus was fully human.

Then there was Nestorianism: the belief that started when Nestorius denied that Mary could be called “Mother of God.”  To him, Mary was  mother of the human Jesus only.  This implied that there were two Christs: one divine, the other human.  Against Nestorius, the council of Ephesus (431 A.D.) decreed that the two natures of Jesus cannot be separated.  Everything Jesus does is done by both the humanity and divinity in him.  Likewise, everything that happened to him happened to both the man and God that he is.  Therefore Mary gave birth to both, both died on the cross, etc.

At yet another council, the council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) the creed received some finishing touches and the Athanasian creed was declared official church teaching.  Most Christians are not familiar with the detailed implications of the creed and in their own minds conceive of Jesus in the very ways the creed was formulated to deny.  This tendency results from the fact that the creed’s definition of Jesus is impossible for any human mind to comprehend.  One can only repeat the words, but cannot grasp the meaning of the required belief.  Therefore most just repeat the creed with their lips but in their minds turn to views of Jesus that are less taxing on the intellect, even though those views were declared by the Church to be heretical.

The orthodox doctrine is logically impossible.  As Huston Smith, scholar of comparative religion, points out, it would not have been logically impossible if the creed said that Jesus was somewhat divine and somewhat human.  But this is expressly what the creed denies.  For orthodox Christians, Jesus cannot possess only some human qualities; he must possess all.  He must be fully human.  At the same time, he cannot possess only some divine qualities; he must have all.  He must be fully divine.  This is impossible because to be fully divine means one has to be free of human limitations.  If he has only one human limitation then he is not God.  But according to creed he has every human limitation.  How, then, can he be God?  Huston Smith calls this a blatant contradiction.  In his book The World’s Religions, he writes:

We may begin with the doctrine of the Incarnation, which took several centuries to fix into place.  Holding as it does that in Christ God assumed a human body, it affirms that Christ was God-Man; simultaneously both fully God and fully man.  To say that such a contention is paradoxical seems a charitable way to put the matter — it looks more like a blatant contradiction.  If the doctrine held that Christ was half human and half divine, or that he was divine in certain respects, while being human in others, our minds would not balk.  (The World’s Religions, p. 340).

If it was said that Jesus was partly human and partly divine that would not be logically impossible but only scripturally impossible.  The Bible nowhere teaches that Jesus was divine in any way.  Furthermore, if he was only partly divine then he was not the One True God of the Old and New Testaments.  God is All-Powerful, not somewhat all-powerful; God is All-Knowing, not somewhat all-knowing. (Shabir Ally, Is Jesus God? The Bible Says No!)

Furthermore, the Athanasian Creed was formulated in the 6th century; the status of Jesus’ divinity evolved over time and was distorted by emperor Constantine who first ascribed divinity to Jesus in 325.

Shamoun follows the Nestorian Creed which reflects the Athanasian Creed.

The scholar Randolph Ross explains, destroying the creed:

To say someone is perfect and imperfect is like saying that you saw a square circle. This is an impossibility.  Are you saying the circle was not round, in which case it was not a circle?  Or are you saying the square was circular?  This is not a paradox; this is meaningless nonsense, however imaginative it might be.  (Ross, Common Sense Christianity, p. 82) 

The Athanasian Creed is not based on logic and reason; Jesus cannot be God and man! 

 

HE WROTE:

We will now deal with the specific examples that Smith produced which he thinks proves his case against the Deity of the Lord Jesus:

"So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, 'If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed. Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, 'Who touched my clothes?' 'You see the people crowding against you,' his disciples answered, 'and yet you can ask, "Who touched me?"' But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith as healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’" Mark 5:24-34

By reading the context we see that Jesus was not asking who touched him because he did not know, but rather he wanted the woman to make a public confession. The reason why the woman kept her identity hidden was due to the Mosaic Law that forbade Israelites from making contact with women who suffered from blood flow, whether from menses or from a bleeding disorder:

"When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. Whoever touches them will be unclean; he must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the LORD for the uncleanness of her discharge. You must keep the Israelites separate frm things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them. These are the regulations for a man with a discharge, for anyone made unclean by an emission of semen, for a woman in her monthly period, for a man or a woman with a discharge, and for a man who lies with a woman who is ceremonially unclean." Leviticus 15:25-33

The Lord wanted her to come forward and acknowledge her faith in order to demonstrate his compassion on individuals who were considered unfit to associate amongst the children of Israel.

 

RESPONSE:

The woman touched Jesus’ clothes and the power went out of him, her intention was to beg Jesus if touching his clothes did not heal her bleeding disorder. Obviously, the woman did not believe merely touching the clothes will automatically heal her bleeding, she “thought” (verse 25) it would stop her bleeding, but when it actually stopped she did not want to expose herself by making a public confession.

Why did Jesus want the woman to make a public confession? Shamoun’s explanation is not reasonable because Jesus would have placed the woman (if he knew) in danger by exposing her to the Jews; the woman did not reveal herself for the same reason, also because she was forbidden (Lev. 15:25-33). Many people were afraid of the Jews, and they were quiet:

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. (John 9:22)

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; (John 12:42)

Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others replied, "No, he deceives the people." But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews. (John 7:12-14)

Jesus warned not to tell anyone he was the Christ, because they would be persecuted,

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. (Matthew 16:19-21)

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ." Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. (Mark 8:29-30, Luke 9:20-22)

Jesus warned people to keep the miracles secret:

Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened. (Luke 8:55-57)

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, "See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." (Matthew 8:3-5, Luke 5:13-15)

At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." (Mark 7:35-37)

Surprisingly, the woman eventually showed herself because Jesus did not know who touched him, and she told him the truth. If Jesus knew who touched him, why didn’t he expose the woman after she refused to show herself? We know the answer, yet the woman broke the law to satisfy Jesus’ curiosity. Jesus did not know the woman had a bleeding disorder, she had to tell him (verse 33), also Jesus didn’t know whether it was male or female, so the woman revealed her sex (verse 33) Notice how Jesus never said “where is the woman who touched me?” instead he asked “who touched me” which indicates his limited knowledge.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" "You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' " But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. (Matthew 5:30-32)

 
Moving on to Part III.

 

 

 

 

Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to Sam Shamoun's Articles section.

Back to Contradictions and Errors in the Bible.

Articles by Abdullah Smith.


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