Format:

1. Opening statement by P1. (1500 Words)
2. Opening statement and rebuttal by P2. (2500 Words)
3. Counter rebuttal by P1. (2000 Words)
4. Response by P2. (3000 Words)
5. Response by P1. (2000 Words)
6. Conclusions published same date. (1500 words).



Introducing Saaib Ahmed:
Shah Saaib Ahmed Rabbani is an experienced debater having countless informal debates and tens of formal debates under his name. This is Saaib Ahmed's 6th formal debate with a Christian. Out of these, 5 yeilded no results because the Christian side pulled out in the middle of the debate. We hope this doesn't happen this time around. Saaib Ahmed has authored many articles on Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Atheism and Politics/History. As far as faith is concerned Saaib Ahmed is a Muslim following Hanafi fiqh. Saaib is a pro-freedom Kashmiri.


Saaib Ahmed’s Opening Statement.

I couldn’t do justice to the topic in just 2500 words. I had to revisit my planning and I thought that I would use this paper for setting a base for my next paper. My intention is not to win or ridicule my opponent or her faith but to present a case against divinity of Jesus. For this I need not see what my opponent has just said, but what I need to do is to build my case separately. In no way am I expecting Christians or Muslims to change their belief after this debate, but I am expecting them to study the subject out of curiosity which we plan to create through this debate.

Jesus lived almost 2000 years ago and we have no means to go back in time and ask him the question of his divinity. What we can do right now is to see what traditions tell us about his nature. As the traditions kept on building people started writing them and build a story out of it. Many such stories were written within a few centuries of Jesus’ ministry etc. gospel of Thomas, Mark, Mathew, Luke, John, Judas etc. These authors built stories out of traditions which had reached them through different people who were definitely separated by distance and traditions that reached them were different in their details sometimes (many times?) and obviously these differences crept in their writings as well. That’s why we find contradictory reports between all these works. Read a story for one such work and then read the same from another and you will notice the differences which eminent Christian scholars have agreed to. Jesus and his disciples spoke Aramaic (possibly) and thus the earliest saying circulated in this language, however, the Gospels were written in entirely different speech, common Greek. Thus we cannot even be sure about the exact wordings Jesus used. Moreover, these writings are not a sketch of Jesus’ entire life but only a small portion of it and out of these hardly anything can be ascribed to Jesus with 100% certainty. That’s why as we go on reading more about Jesus we realize that we know less about him. Such great personality didn’t leave his self much open to us that we can reach a serious conclusion on it. In such a chaos we can at least be sure about certain things and this can be done by rebuilding a probable past and then trust those who lived then and then view our findings according to laws of nature together with logic. In this study one question remains more important than the divinity of Jesus and that question is inspiration of scripture. Are the works we have inspired by God? They don’t say they are inspired, others didn’t say they are inspired, they contradict each other and on and on and on. The writers themselves did not know one another to be receiving inspiration from God, as is evident from their debates in the council of Jerusalem and from Paul’s blaming of peter. Moreover it is clear that the ancient Christians did not consider them innocent and free form faults, since they sometimes made them subject to their criticism. This is obvious from Acts 11:12,3 and also Acts 21:20-24. Having said this we can still treat them as something from antiquity which can be used as sources for a historian to study the life of Christ.

So what we realize by now is that if the Bible says “Jesus is God”, I can simply say the Bible is wrong. Thus, with the base which I have set by now I have laid a question mark on all the Gospel sayings which supposedly support Jesus’ case for divinity and thus I have refuted my opponents opening statement.

Moving on let us go to the people who lived at the times of Jesus Christ. The disciples should be the best people to tell us about the divinity of Jesus. Peter was one of the disciples who denied Jesus. [1] Though this doesn’t prove that Jesus wasn’t divine but it does show us how much faith Peter had in Jesus. If Jesus had claimed divinity and proved it to the disciples and the disciples really believed him, I find no reason for Peter to deny him. If he really knew Jesus was God he would not have done so. Same is the case with Judas who rebelled against Jesus for some money. If Jesus wasn’t able to convince his closest disciples about his divinity how can a Christian convince us 2000 years after his (supposed) death? Later in Mathew 28 we read that some disciples worshipped Jesus but some doubted. Note that this is even after the alleged resurrection of Jesus Christ for which he had come, the thing which was prophesized (allegedly) in the Old Testament, the thing which he (allegedly) taught for his entire life. If disciples doubt their Lord even in his presence, even after all the proofs are presented how can we be sure about his divinity living 2000 years apart? Contrary to this we see the disciple worshipping whom Abraham, Moses and Jesus worshipped. [2] Even Paul makes us doubt Jesus’ divinity by the kind of language he uses on at least two different occasions. [4] For Paul, God first created Jesus, and then used Jesus as the agent by which to create the rest of creation. Paul differentiates between God and Jesus on several occasions. [14] Paul maintains that Jesus is the servant of God, [5] and this is what Peter also thought, [7] and this is also echoed by Mathew [8] and if Mathew is right that the Isaiah prophecy refers to Jesus then even Isaiah refers to Jesus as “servant” of God. [10] Throughout the Acts of Apostles we find Jesus given human titles and we also notice the disciples differentiating between God and Jesus.

What about the other contemporaries of Jesus, we see that they too rejected Jesus. Imagine if God himself is unable to prove that he is God how can we accept him to be God after 2000 years when he is no more between us? The Gospels record that Jesus was put on trial on charges for blasphemy and this somehow proves that he had claimed divinity, but at the same time it also proves that the concept of God Incarnate was new to the Jews and they believed in one God not three Gods. If only they believed that God is Trinity they would definitely have given an ear to Jesus but they didn’t and this is a sufficient proof that the idea was new. Masses rejecting Jesus actually proves that he was not God because the only reason that we doubt God’s existence is that we don’t see him. But if we see him roaming down the streets, into the markets and round the city we have no reason to doubt. We can ask him, touch him, hear him, stay with him, smell him, feel him and if these things prove to us that he is not God what else will prove. Therefore we realize that Jews are a living proof that Jesus is not God.

Jesus’ own words “My father is greater than I” [6] are good reason for me to doubt his divinity. How can Jesus and Father be one if Father is greater than Jesus? All these doubts would have been erased if Jesus would have been very clear as God actually is. See for example Isaiah 43:11 where God is straight forward, “I, even I, am the God, and apart from me there is no savior”. This is how God dictates but we see that Jesus doesn’t make such a clear cut claims. We even see that God and Jesus have a different psychology, as much as we have the Old Testament full of violent commands we have New Testament full of Love. If Jesus really was the God of Old Testament how come his attitude is totally different when he comes on to the earth? The only explanation is that he was afraid and this is a sufficient proof for me to accept him as a mere mortal human. As much as we see people worshipping Jesus in the New Testament we see Jesus worshipping God. This again casts doubts on Jesus’ understanding of himself as God. If worshipping (not going into the details of what actually lies between the verses) proves one is God we have to accept that Jesus himself had a God.

What if Jesus just appears to you and you ask him “Oh Good Master, Are You God”? What do you think his answer will be? Take a hint from Bible. He will reply “Why do you call me GOOD, no one is GOOD but the God”? Thus he answers you in clear cut terms. And we find this recorded in three out of four Gospels and that raises its authenticity. [3] Jesus makes distinctions between himself and God on several occasions [16] and one such example is John 17:3, “And eternal life means knowing you, the only true God and knowing Christ, whom you sent”. The Acts of the Apostles in the Bible details the activity of the disciples over a period of thirty years after Jesus was lifted up to heaven. Throughout this period they never refer to Jesus as God. They continuously and consistently use the title God to refer to someone other than Jesus. Peter stood up with the eleven disciples and addressed the crowd saying: "Men of Israel, 'listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited to you by God with miracles, wonders and signs which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know" (Acts 2:22)

When we look that the person of Christ we see all human qualities and we can be sure that he indeed was a human being. The Christian position on this is that he was both God and human being at the same time. Far from being true the statement is self contradicting. If he is God he can’t be man and if he is man he can’t be God. As a human Jesus had some human characters like eating, drinking, laughing, crying, call of nature or even sex. But God doesn’t need such things. We ask did Jesus need such things, the answer can never be a simple one and moreover the answer will always be extra-Biblical having no basis either in the teachings of Jesus or in the teachings of his disciples. God has infinite knowledge but man has limited knowledge. If Jesus is both human and God how can he have infinite and finite knowledge at the same time. When we read the Bible it actually shows us Jesus was lacking knowledge [15] about some subjects which include knowledge of the hour [10] or growing up in wisdom [11] or learning obedience [12] or learning things from God. [17] The dual nature theory also fails on other grounds. Take the example of Jesus cursing the fig tree. The story goes something like this. “Jesus was hungry. Seeing a fig tree at some distance he went to find out if he had any fruits. He reached it and found nothing but leaves because it was not the season for figs”. Therefore Jesus curses the tree and it withers never to give fruits again. [13] Though the verses prove that Jesus was powerful (Christian explanation = God nature) but these verses also prove that he was ignorant of seasons and he also did not know from some distance that the tree had no fruits (Christian explanation – Human Nature). If the Christian explanation is accepted we find that God acted at the behest of the ignorance stemming from human nature. But surely God doesn’t act out of ignorance. Countless examples can be given, take for example God being all-powerful and humans having limited power. How can Jesus have limited powers and be all powerful at the same time. God is creator and man is creation, how can Jesus be creator and creation at the same time. Did he create himself? Doesn’t that make us question his eternal existence? When we investigate we find that Jesus indeed was a creation, take a hint from Book of Revelation 3:14 and 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Colossians 1:15.

Let us move on to my last argument which comes from the Gospels. By this argument I want to prove that when the New Testament talks about God it talks about Father only. By this I mean that according to the NT only the Father is God.  Let us read Mathew 10:29 and compare it with Luke 12:6. We see that Mathew and Luke have used “Father” and “God” synonymously. Mathew 10:29 reads, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father” while Luke 12:6 reads, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” If it is not clear by this verse the next example makes it clearer. Mathew 12:50 reads, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” And when the same story is repeated in Mark 3:35 it reads something like this, “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” Thus we see that the titles “Father” and “God” are used to designate one individual, not three and never Jesus and we already know that Jesus was not Father.

I have almost 100 words and I would like to make a few comments on my opponents opening statement. I was surprised to see that Melanie used Mathew 28:18 as a proof for divinity of Christ while it actually it proves something totally opposite to it. If Jesus was given all authority over heaven and earth this would mean he didn’t have it before that. Does that mean Jesus became God somewhat later in his life? Same is the case with John 5:22-23 which Melanie uses later. Moreover forgiving and passing judgment is not something great, people already knew that God can give such power to men and this is clear from Mathew 9:8.

The Trinitarian formula given at the end of Mathew 28 is known to be a forgery and later insertion. I don’t know how Melanie dared to use it to prove Jesus is God. The insertion of another Trinitarian formula in 1 John is proof that Christians knew that Trinity is not being taught explicitly in the Bible.

I have covered almost each and every argument and if I left anything I’ll cover them in my next paper(s) (insha llah).

Till then Good Bye.


References:

[1] Mathew 26
[2] Acts 3:13
[3] Mark 10:18; Matthew 19:17 and Luke 18: 19
[4] Colossians 1:15 and 1 Corinthians 8:6
[5] 1 Corinthians 15:28 and 1 Corinthians 11:3
[6] John 14:28
[7] Acts 3:13 and Acts 3:26
[8] Mathew 12:18-20
[9] Isaiah 42:1
[10] Mark 13:32 and Mathew 24:36
[11] Luke 2:52
[12] Hebrews 5:8
[13] Mark 11
[14] 1 Timothy 5:21 and 1 Timothy 6:13-15
[15] Mark 5:25-35
[16] John 20:17, 14:28, 6:57, 5:30, 14:10. Luke 22:40-43, 23:46. Mathew 27:46, 12:50. Mark 10:18

Reactions: 
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

1 Response to "Is Jesus God? Paper 2. Saaib Ahmed's Opening Statement."

  1. saif sayed Said,

    awesome bro!!!

    Posted on 27 August 2012 at 08:09

     

Post a Comment