Nabeel Qureshi: Jesus in Islam vs. Jesus in Christianity – Apologetics to Islam

Nabeel Qureshi: Jesus in Islam vs. Jesus in Christianity - Apologetics to Islam



Jesus is the pivotal point between Christianity and Islam stop let's think about this for a second islam teaches monotheism islam teaches following god worshiping god islam teaches a lot there's a lot of violence there but again a lot of violence look similar somewhat to the old testament what is the pivotal point as far as we're concerned well when we talk about Jesus life in Islam what does Islam deny well first we've seen that Islam denies Jesus crucifixion chapter 4 verse 157 amok at the Lu hua masala boo he was not killed and all was he crucified but so it was made to appear to them so Jesus did not die on the cross according to Islam if he did not die on the cross he could not have been raised from the dead so Jesus resurrection is denied by Islam and then of course we have chapter 5 verse 72 of the Quran where if you believe Jesus is God then you will go to hell chapter 5 verse 116 of the Quran where Jesus denies ever claiming to be divine so what do we have in the Quran chapter 3 you can believe Jesus cleansed the lepers that He healed the blind he healed the deaf he raised the dead he is the virgin born Messiah son of Mary he is the one who's going to come back at the end of times you can believe all that but don't you believe that he died on the cross or that he rose from the dead or that He is God what does Romans chapter 10 verse 9 tell us if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved the exact three things that Islam denies about Jesus are the exact three things we have to believe in order to be saved death deity and resurrection of Jesus Christ that's not a coincidence in my book so the polemic then hinges the Islamic polemic against Christianity hinges on Christology who was Jesus did he die on the cross did he claim to be God the issue the resurrection is usually presented in a secondary fashion and that makes sense secondary to the crucifixion but did he rise from the dead that matters these are important issues and so what we're going to go through right now is what some of you would term Christian apologetics but it's intimately related to Islamic apologetics and we're going to be looking at this from an Islamic lens but the same issues you would see elsewhere the first one we want to talk about is did Jesus die by crucifixion here's the verse in chapter 4 verse 157 and because of their saying we slew the Messiah Jesus son of Mary allows messenger they slew him not nor crucified him but it appeared so unto them and lo those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof they have no knowledge thereof safe pursuit of a conjecture they certainly slew him not I call this the Islamic litmus test I believe that if you're dealing with a Muslim who is providing an apologetic against Christianity you can test whether that Muslim is sincere or not through this issue and that's why I call it the litmus test this issue is so starkly in favor of the Christian position that if a Muslim argues against it after having seen the evidence I have to conclude that they're not being genuine there's nothing you could say to them that could that could convince them of the strength of the Christian claim let's take a look at the reasons why there's two lines of evidence that I use this is the evidence I'm providing here is basically a recap of a debate I had in 2009 I believe maybe 2010 with a man named ossama Abdullah on the issue of the resurrection of Jesus two lines of evidence historical evidence in supporting evidence that we're going to provide first the historical evidence did Jesus die by crucifixion well first it is the unanimous written testimony concerning what happened to Jesus when we look at Jewish references we have multiple Jewish references we've got the Talmud we've got Mara Bar sir a peon who's writing a letter we've got Josephus the Jewish historian who's writing for the Romans all of these Jewish sources say Jesus died by crucifixion as it were we have Gentile sources we've got Tacitus and Lucian both of whom say that Jesus died of course you've got first-generation Christians and by that I mean Matthew Mark Luke John Paul Peter these folk all say Jesus died on the cross it is the unanimous testimony of early Christianity and it's the unanimous testimony of second-generation Christianity folks like Pappas Clement Polycarp Ignatius that this is what people say happened to Jesus mattered it does matter on the flip side the fact that there is no reference to the fact that Jesus may have survived crucifixion also matters nobody even dares to say Jesus survived crucifixion and the reason why is because people knew what crucifixion was back then today when we'll say perhaps Jesus survived the crucifixion we are basically showing ignorant of what the crucifixion process was for those of you who have not I would highly suggest you get into acquainted with Martin angles book crucifixion Martin Hengel great European scholar what was really great about him is that he wrote a really tiny book it was called crucifixion easy to read gives you a whole new perspective on how ghastly the crucifixion was how difficult the process was as it turns out people used to say let no Roman citizen even hear the word crucifixion it is so horrendous the word crucifixion is where we get our word excruciating from ex crews off the cross you had to invent a word to describe how bad the crucifixion is the process of crucifixion starts with flogging it is called the pre death in some works because people were flogged not with just a stick but with a Roman whip called the cat-o'-nine-tails this whip often had about six leather cords that came off of it and at the end of these leather cords were leather balls which had shards of bone and metal dumbbells attached to them well what was the point of these shards of bone in these metal dumbbells when striking a victim the metal dumbbells would cause vasodilation it would cause pain receptors to become acute it would cause blood vessels to dilate thereby weakening people even more when those shards of bone would grab into the skin and pull it off so the skin was literally pulled off and blood was profuse because of those metal dumbbells it was very intelligently designed for the purpose of weakening a victim in the process of flogging it has been said that intestines were spilt because the abdominal wall was weakened so much the intestines came out this happened on a few occasions people sometimes died during the flogging process the whole body was flogged the whole body was flogged it was horrific to say the least the point of the flogging was so that people would not be able to kick and fight when they would be nailed to the cross they would be on the verge of death as it were already now what we know about flogging is that Jews were not allowed to flog more than 40 times according to Old Testament law you could flog 40 and no more and what the Jews would do is they would stop at 39 just to make sure that they didn't accidentally miscount while they're flogging they didn't want to break God's law the Romans in spite of the Jews would therefore flog more than 40 times to show them hey we're not bound by your silly little laws we're going to flog as much as we want and so the flogging was often very protracted it is at this point that the victim would then be made to sometimes carry the cross beam to the point of the cross not the entire cross just the cross beam and they would walk to that place by the way they're being flogged while naked and they're being crucified while they could cheers really so all those wonderful paintings we have of Christ with a loincloth on our lessening the humiliation that our Lord suffered he was naked on the cross when being placed on the cross nails were driven through the arms not the hands as his often picked depicted in medieval statements the reason why is because back in those days when someone said hand they pictured this whole area not just this area so it was it was okay to say hands and still mean here this is the only place the weight of a person could be supported here between the Radia radius and the ulna and guess what runs right through there the median nerve all right so if you've ever hit your elbow on your funny bone imagine piercing it with a nail it destroys your hands the the median nerve is the main sensory motor nerve of the hand and it destroys your hands as you're nailed they're your feet are your knees are bent slightly and one ankle is placed over the other and a nine inch nail is driven through your feet this is for more than just torture though this is to give you a means to push yourself off of the nail when you are hanging in this position if you hang if you're just hanging you will not be able to breathe out you'll breathe in and then to breathe out you have to have some room you have to have some positive pressure develop and so your rib cage needs to collapse in order to do that you have to push out that is what the nail in your feet was for so you push up to be able to breathe out otherwise the victim would die very quickly and so that nail was actually an additional torture device to make sure that your death was protracted it was long and by the way every time you're pushing up to breathe out you're scraping a back that has no skin against splintered wood this is not a fun process and when you are at the point of death all the Roman soldiers have to do is see that you're not moving anymore if you're not moving you're not breathing you're dead but they didn't stop there because if they weren't sure that you were dead you could the Roman soldier could lose their job be killed if they weren't sure you were dead so what they'd often do is they'd administer death blows this is why the knees of the robbers alongside Jesus were broken by breaking their knees they were not able to push up they would stop breathing and they would die Jesus had already given up a spirit and so they pierced his heart with a spear other forms of deathblows included crushing the skull with a sledgehammer included lighting people on fire all kinds of horrific ways to crucify people anyone who knows the process knows that you will die by crucifixion there is no account of anybody in history surviving a full Roman crucifixion there is an account of Josephus seeing two of three friends being crucified they weren't done being crucified they were on the cross but they weren't given a deathblow or anything of that sort their knees had been broken and he asked for them to be taken down immediately they were taken down and two of the three of them died anyway even though they were given the best Roman medical treatment one of them survived but guess what he didn't have a full crucifixion he didn't have a deathblow there is no account of anyone surviving a full Roman crucifixion so to argue that Jesus survived the cross or that he did not die on the cross is to argue against the facts strongly against the facts and this is why no one says that Jesus survived crucifixion is unthinkable it's unthinkable that someone would survive crucifixion that's the historical evidence that we have but there's also supporting evidence scholarship has repeatedly affirmed today that Jesus death on the cross is the one thing we can be most certain about concerning his life Paula Fredrickson has said that Bart Ehrman has said that Gertrude Amon has said that so many people have said that it's silly to even think that scholarship might think otherwise it's the unanimous testimony of scholarship if we can know anything about Jesus life is that he died on the cross that's what they'll say so the scholarly consensus is quite strong in addition the centrality of Jesus death on the cross to the Christian message kind of mandates that Jesus have died on the cross in order for Christianity to have spread the way it did that he died on the cross and rose is central to the Christian propagation of the message had he not died on the cross then it wouldn't have been possible for Christianity to have spread the way it did again this is supporting evidence it's not as strong as the historical evidence was we also have the issue of prophecies in the Old Testament in the Old Testament it seems that the righteous one would be crushed for the sins of many you have Isaiah 53 you have an image in Psalm 22 what Jesus himself quotes on the cross when he says my God my God why have you forsaken me he's quoting Psalm 22 the righteous servant that is suffering that is pierced so you have prophecies in the Old Testament that support this as well again supporting evidence the primary evidence is the historical evidence historically speaking there is not one shred of evidence that Jesus survived crucifixion not one when people began to propose that theory it was lovingly titled by Josh McDowell the spoon theory when people began proposing the swoon theory back in the 18th century and atheist by the name of David Straus wrote a critique it's called the Straus critique and he said that the swoon theory he didn't call this one theory but the idea that Jesus did not die on the cross is untenable because not only would Jesus then have had to break out of the tomb with broken hands and feet and you know go through and fight these guards and move out of there you know that's virtually impossible for a man who had just survived crucifixion but he would also have to convince the disciples that he was the risen Lord well if you've got a man who barely survived crucifixion he doesn't look like the risen Lord the disciples might say we got to get you to the hospital or whatever they had you know we got to get you to medical care that's how they would respond if Jesus had just survived crucifixion the fact that he was considered the risen Lord precludes the option that he had just survived crucifixion that's called the strauss critique and in western scholarship that ended the swoon theory and data david strauss was not a Christian he wrote one of the most inflammatory works against Christianity for the time but the strauss remains the strongest critique of the swimming theory or the apparent death theory as it's often called so the Islamic explanations for 4:157 how do they respond to all this what is their case the primary one that's used and the one that was used initially by Muslim scholars is the substitution theory it says that Jesus was not killed nor was he crucified so Muslims will often say Jesus was never even put on the cross and the next part of the verse says but so it was made to appear to them they say Allah made it look like Jesus was put on the cross how did he do that the earliest Muslim explanations for this is that Allah put Jesus face on somebody else and somebody else was crucified in his place whom you might ask Judas is one example that Muslims use in a case of cosmic justice Juju's was put on the cross in place of Jesus another assignment of cyrene some of the more apologetically minded folk will say look simon of cyrene had to carry jesus' cross at that time they confused Simon with Jesus nevermind the bloody mess that Jesus was they confused simon of cyrene with Jesus and he was placed on the cross instead these are the substitution arguments that are used and Muslims by the way have the advantage over atheists and agnostics to say that God made it look like that and certainly God has the potential to do that the next most common theory and I see this being espoused more and more by Muslim apologists is the theistic swoon theory it's a swoon theory with feasting bent on it that Allah allowed for Jesus survival on the cross if a lot can raise him from the dead as you Christians say he can why could he not save him from dying in the first place a legitimate argument but it yields a dilemma and the dilemma is and I think it's a dilemma for both of these positions it stems from chapter 3 verse 55 of the Quran now chapter 3 verse 55 of the Quran says that Jesus disciples would be uppermost until the day of resurrection Jesus disciples would be uppermost until the day of resurrection in other words Christians especially those who immediately came from him would be on top they would be superior in whatever way to say that Jesus did not die on the cross but it looked like he died on the cross would explain why the disciples then went and started preaching the risen Jesus they thought he died and then they saw him alive now they're preaching the risen Jesus that makes sense okay that fits but they're doing that because a lot Rick them you have a deceptive God at this point in other words the Christian faith was started because Allah deceived the disciples if Allah put somebody else's face on Jesus or if Allah miraculously kept Jesus alive the disciples who then went out and preached the risen Jesus they were tricked by Allah they were deceived are they to be blamed is it their fault well maybe maybe the blame should be on them and not on Allah no the Quran says 3:55 that they were uppermost the disciples weren't bad they were good guys according to 3:55 so deception has to be on a law in this case or perhaps perhaps Allah left that up to Jesus Jesus explained to them that you didn't die on the cross and Jesus didn't do it then we're left with an incompetent Messiah then we're left with an incompetent Messiah would Jesus really have done that in fact we're left with an incompetent Messiah anyway because Jesus wasn't able to adequately explain to his disciples no I'm not God no I didn't die on the cross for your sins he wasn't adequately able to explain that so the dilemma were left with here by the Islamic position is we're either given an incompetent guy I'm sorry i deceptive God or an incompetent Messiah regardless in either case Allah is responsible for Christian entity and if Christianity is is the unforgivable sin then Allah is responsible for creating the religion which led the most people to hell in all of history call this the Islamic dilemma yes sir poorly you can you can watch it in debates whenever we have debated the issue of Jesus death on the cross or his resurrection this issue comes up and a common Muslim taga this is why I had so much respect for Bassam Zawadi he didn't do this a common Muslim tactic in debates is to simply ignore what you said ignore it pretend it wasn't said and Islamic rhetoric is so good because you have Muslims are still a lot of them are coming from oral societies not necessarily that they don't know how to read that's not what I'm saying but oral prowess is highly revered and so they have good rhetorical skill and you're in the middle of this debate and they just won't respond and they'll you know dazzle you with smoke and mirrors over here and a lot of people won't notice the lack of response but if you watch the debates you'll see that they have not been able to respond to this well that's a great question it is one of the 99 names the question was that isn't one of the 99 names of Allah that he is a deceiver in the Quran there's a verse I forget where which says that they planned to deceive you talking about the enemies of Muhammad and then it says but Allah plan to deceive them and the law is the best of deceivers so from that you get the name for a lot the idea is you know I think from that kind of social context the idea is look they're trying to be resourceful in this way against you and Allah is more resourceful against them but it's still deceptive but deception wasn't as negative back then as it is to us now so now what Muslims are often doing is we're changing that word from deceiver to schemer gamer's not quite as bad as deceiver and then people are going a step further and they're going from schemer to planner and they planned against you a NOLA planned against them and all as the best of planners so that's kind of how they're taking it and they'll try to defend that translation so that's how they respond to that any other questions here extremely important to be well-versed with this now when you the reason I bring this up and spend so much time on it is if you read for example the case for the resurrection of Jesus back there that Michael Kona and Gary have a massive book they don't spend as much time on the death of Jesus on the cross most Christian apologetic works just simply don't because they assume you already believe it everyone already believes used on the cross right so here you go let's move on let's talk about the fact that he rose even in the the four point response that Mike gives you know fact number two you know fact number one no suspect number one fact number one Jesus died on the cross it just gives it as a fact like here's a basis that we're starting with okay this is the fact that everyone agrees with let's move on it's like he doesn't spend too much time on it and he really ought not to it's so obvious but when you're debating Muslims or when you're dialoguing with Muslims this is an important point to bring up that's a great question so the question was could their view of God's divine determination affect whether or not my Allah as a planner or a schemer her deceiver and I would say indirectly yes they never feel like they have to defend God's character because God can be whoever he wants to be there's a lot more of a a lot more of an arbitrary nature to Allah in Islam and there is in Christianity now some some Islamic philosophy has dealt with that but a lot of the beautiful Islamic philosophy was under taken by Muslims called the Mazzilli the mullahs illy were around early in Islamic history and they they imported a lot of Greek philosophy Aristotle especially and they were putting together some coherent thoughts they were they were introducing reason into the faith and the uh shut E's who fought against them said you're doing this all wrong you're bringing foreign thought and that's not what Islam is about there was a big battle between the UH cities and the mullahs Ilyas and usher ds1 so some of the really good philosophy that tried to reconcile this stuff was early on and no one pays any attention to it yes sir yeah the virgin birth definitely I mean you see that the virgin the question was does do Muslims believe in the virgin birth and some kind of ascension of Jesus and the answer is yes the Quran says Jesus was virgin born clears day he was born of a virgin no purpose is given it was just God demonstrating his power he could he could have a you know he could have Jesus born without a father if he wanted to um so yeah no necessary purpose for that and I'm not gonna get into that yeah and it also says in the Quran wha da fiel a and we lifted him up to ourselves and Muslims believe that means that Jesus ascended into heaven and that is why he will return at the end of times again from that Tower in Damascus to start the latter days so Muslims believe Jesus is going to start the latter days initiated by his return so Muslims and Christians are waiting for the return of Jesus yeah that's it's in the Quran we lifted them up to ourselves now some Muslims argue that that means in status we raised Jesus up to ourselves they'll say that means in status because there's another verse which kind of implies that Jesus did die here on this earth that he wasn't raised so some most we'll say that meant God lifted him up in status other Muslims will say the verse that says Jesus died that's talking about in the future just going to come back and then he'll die so you have some disagreement there again I'm I'm not big on Islamic eschatology so if you want to look into this a bit more read the work of David Cooke out of Rice University I focus more on the historical aspects is that Joel Richardson I thank you yeah I haven't read it okay yeah there's a lot of parallels in eschatology but there's a lot of disparity not much unity in Islamic eschatology I asked my friend the same friend who who said he couldn't be my friend anymore I asked him what he thought about the afterlife he sent me a 33 CD lecture series on al-qaeda I tried to listen to him I just I couldn't bear it after a while I don't I don't know much about Islamic eschatology so I apologize now I know what I was taught which is not too indicative of what everyone else was taught because our sect of Islam believe different things about eschatology than others did our sect was pacifist and so we didn't have an image of Jesus coming and killing all kinds of people and fighting that wasn't what ours was taught but ours was idiosyncratic so the math being the Messiah yeah Thanks appreciate the consideration yeah I saw another question I'm gonna go okay so we have covered the issue of Jesus crucifixion extremely important don't overlook it when dealing with Islamic apologetics but even more important than that in Muslims eyes is the claim to Jesus deity now I would say the case for Jesus deity is very strong very strong I would say the case for Jesus death on the cross is airtight you see the difference there there's no room to say Jesus did not die on the cross from coming from a historical perspective so that's why I call the issue of Jesus crucifixion the litmus test the Islamic litmus test if you have a friend who's arguing various issues with you Islamic issues with you and he is willing to say that Jesus did not die on the cross you present all the evidence to him when he comes back and he says I don't think Jesus died on the cross you asked him why and he says well the evidence is just not strong enough like I said before you cannot show him anything from that point forward there's nothing he will agree with if you didn't agree with that but if he comes back and says I don't agree that he died in the cross and you say why he says I admit the historical evidence is in your favor but it just doesn't fit my image of Jesus I would have to I would have to be convinced of a lot more in order to think that you died on the cross so I'll concede that the evidence is in your favor if he says that then you've got someone you can start reasoning with so a question is often asked to me in the bill when when I share the gospel with Muslims is so difficult I don't get any headway you know should I be talking about these things should I be discussing these things I never by the way suggest stop being friends with that person stop witnessing I say stop discussing these issues with them if they're not showing a willingness to hear you out still share the love of Christ with them still walk with them still be friends with them but the issue of discussion might need to come to a close at least for a while until they can be a little bit more intellectually honest that make sense that's because it's airtight there's no two ways about it history is absolutely clear about Jesus death on the cross if a Muslim wants to believe he did not die he has to concede that it's a theological presupposition not a conclusion of the evidence the argument for Jesus deity though it's still very strong though not airtight it's still very strong chapter 5 verse 72 of the Quran we talked about it earlier this is where you find out that if you believe Jesus is God you will go to hell they surely disbelieve who say lo Allah is the Messiah son of Mary the Messiah himself said Oh children of Israel worship Allah my Lord and your Lord lo whoso ascribes partners unto Allah for him has Allah forbidden paradise is a boat is a fire for evildoers there will be no helpers what is it saying they are the disbelievers who say Jesus is God for them is hell paradise has been forbidden so here those who disbelieve here that's the word there is Mushnik those who commit shirk shirk the unforgivable sin he's here defined as believing Jesus is God chapter 5 verse 116 I mentioned it earlier and when Allah says oh Jesus son of Mary did you say unto mankind take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah he said be glorified it was not mine to utter that to which I had no right if I used to say it then you would have known it you know what was in my mind and what is not in my mind so Jesus essentially is asked are you saying did you say to worship you and your mother Mary alongside me so the image of Trinity here is one where its father mother and son very interesting so that's what the Quran says that's how the Quran depicts the deity of Jesus Christ that he denied it and that he would never have said it and this was something that they said after him now I don't use this approach when I argue the deity of Christ with non-muslims I use a different approach but when I talking about the deity of Christ with Muslims I focus on a holistic gospel message I think the case where the deity of Christ is made far stronger when we involve Paul I think it approaches airtight when we involve Paul when we when we were just looking at the Gospels I say it's very strong but Muslims will often want to go to the Gospels and they distrust Paul they think Paul hijacked the religion they got a there got to pin the blame on someone right they can't pin it on the disciples we saw because it's chapter 3 verse 55 the disciples are uppermost so they can't pin the blame on the disciples they can't blame the blame on Jesus someone corrupted Christianity and corrupted it early on who could it be ah here's a man who's persecuting Christians he never saw Jesus all of a sudden he accepts Christ and he's preaching his gospel and other people are preaching Gospels against him this man must have hijacked Christianity he's untrustworthy Paul so Muslims especially Muslim polemicists hate Paul and to try to quote 1st Corinthians or second Philippians 2 or anything like that show the deity of Christ would be moot with them on the flip side they're generally okay with the Gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John you've got some Muslim scholars were beginning to move away from that Shabbir Ali for example has espoused Bart Ehrman's approach of our urban argues that the Gospels have an evolution of Christology mark being the lowest in Christology john being the highest in Christology that they were evolving Shabbir Ali has has kind of embraced that approach and so he won't take all the Gospels he won't take John when discussing the deity of Christ generally speaking though Muslims will take all four I'll address that in a moment shabbir Ali's approach so when I discuss with Muslims I will say it when you're talking about the Gospels it's easy to see that Jesus claims to be God from four different angles so we take a four pronged approach here what Jesus said and what Jesus did what others said about Jesus and what others did about Jesus these things only make sense if Jesus is claiming to be God are we talking about well first and foremost what most what matters most to Muslims is what Jesus said they want to hear Jesus say I am God and you will hear that objection a lot where does Jesus say I am God worship me as a Muslim and I was looking into these issues the thing that convinced me was Mark chapter 14 verse 62 I wanted to see it in the earliest of the Gospels and here's mark showing Jesus being interrogated by the high priest the high priest says are you the Christ – some of the Blessed one in Jesus response is I am and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the power and coming with the clouds of heaven here you have at least two if not three divine references all at once the question will one is the I am response here in mark it's questionable but we've seen Jesus say I am in John especially where it's not questionable at all Jesus responds in John chapter 8 to the Jews the Jews are saying to him you are not yet even fifty years old yet you claim to have seen Abraham Jesus responses nuts hey I'm just talking figuratively it's not his response it's not no no no no no you didn't catch me right he says I tell you the truth before Abraham was born I am there is no way to interpret that verse apart from a divine I am statement what are these divine I am statements are found in Exodus chapter 3 verse 14 to begin with Moses is talking to God in the burning bush and he doesn't want to call God bush so he says to him who shall I say has sent me what's your name and understanding those days especially preliterate dynamics you got to keep these in mind in those days names really Mao it mattered there was power in a name you would pray in a name you would you would do rituals in a name your deity's power was often shown through their name and so he wanted to know God's name he said who shall I say has sent me when I go talk to the Hebrews and God responds I am that I am or I am Who I am tell them I am has sent you gods like my name doesn't matter what matters is that I am God I am eternal I am self subsisting I am that I am and from that point forward in the Old Testament God uses the I am to propound his sovereignty multiple times especially Isaiah 40 through 55 God says over and over again I am I am that's how he propounded sovereignty Moses asks God who are you and he responds with I am here in mark high priest ask Jesus who are you and Jesus responds with the I am I wouldn't think that that was an I am statement by the way because the question was are you the Christ and Jesus responds I am but I hesitate because mark chapter 6 verse 50 has another I am statement here Jesus is walking on the water something that the Old Testament says only Yahweh can do job chapter 9 and the disciples are afraid and Jesus comes up to the disciples and he says take courage hey go away me take courage I am so here's Jesus doing something that only God can do and he's giving courage to the disciples by saying the words I am a very divine context at a very divine statement by the way we have a similar statement in Psalms I believe where God is Yahweh passes over the waters and gives courage to Israel by saying I am strong parallel or at least a parallel if you want to be want to be careful in our scholarship here it's at least parallel and so the I am statement in mark 14 62 if it stood alone I would say probably not an I am statement he's just responding to the question but you've got mark 650 here plus a scholar by the name of Raymond Brown in his death of the Messiah volume 2 or 1 I don't remember which one it was it was definitely Messiah he says that John and using the I am statements probably has a historical basis because mark has something reminiscent of that so even some scholars are saying there's something here there's something here and we would hesitate to say it's a legit I am statement but there is something there let's let's say it's not an iamb statement what's the rest of the verse say jesus says you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the power and coming with the clouds of heaven all right now we have definitely two references to the Old Testament there's no question that these are references ones almost a quotation the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven what's the reference here Daniel chapter 7 verses 13 and 14 here in Daniel Jesus is looking in the Daniels looking in the sky and he has just seen a vision of the Ancient of Days there's a Ancient of Days sitting on the throne being worshipped by angels the Ancient of Days the God the Father he's sitting there on the throne being worshipped and then Daniel says and I looked in my night visions and behold one like a son of man approached the Ancient of Days okay so it's one who looks like a son of man approaching the father and to him not the father into the Son of man the one who looked like a seven-man was given glory power and a kingdom people of every nation and language will serve him his kingdom is one that will Pat not pass away and be destroyed wait a minute so there's a father sitting on the throne you've got someone who looks like a human that's what it means the one who looked like a son of man who's given glory and the kingdom of heaven for all eternity and in that Kingdom people of every nation language are going to serve him what kind of service of this is this you look at the word service in the in the Hebrew there it's pay law I guess would be in the Aramaic and in the Greek the Septuagint the word isla true every single time the word looked rule is used in the Septuagint and in the New Testament it's used of a service due only to God this service is due only to God same with the the word pay law it's due only to God there's one instance in the book of Romans where it was given to someone other than God and God became furious because it was due to him but here we have that service being given to one who looks like a son of man he's going to be worshipped served as it were by all people of all nations in his own kingdom for all eternity by the way he's coming on the clouds the son of the man and only God is introduced in the Old Testament as coming on the clouds so the entrance is a divine entrance Jesus when he calls himself the Son of Man throughout the Gospels he calls himself the Son of Man over 80 times if you count all four Gospels nobody else ever calls Jesus the Son of Man not once there's one occasion in the book of John where the dust where people say who is this son of man that's it I mean that's as close as they get to calling him the son of the man so the term son of man here is used explicitly by Jesus it doesn't exist before let me put it this way they weren't expecting the Messiah to call himself the Son of Man no one was expecting the Messiah to call himself the son of man and after Jesus no one no one refers to him as the son of man afterwards they're not going around calling the Son of Man they're calling the Christ why does that matter that Jesus called himself the Son of man passes the criterion of double the similarity or the criterion of dissimilarity as it were this criterion is the most stringent criterion used by historians to determine whether Jesus actually said something the most stringent one there is there's nothing more stringent than that so that Jesus called himself the Son of Man is virtually certain barmen disagrees with it he's Bart and then we got the statement that you're sitting at the right hand of God what does that mean well this is a reference to Psalm 110 verse one Psalm 110 verse one David's writing the psalm it says the Lord said to my lord sit at my right hand and actually make the enemies a footstool for your feet what's the big deal here no one in the second temple period was ever portrayed as sitting at the right hand of God no one the reason why is to say that you're sitting at the right hand of God essentially means you're sitting on his throne alongside him which means you're Co sovereign you're co-heir you are in charge with God if you're sitting on Israel on his right hand that means you are entitled to the same things God is entitled to you might not have the same office he's first you're second but his substance is shared with you you were Co heir and people recognized that at that time and that's why they never depicted anyone sitting with God now I had people standing some people had Moses standing at the right hand of God some people had Azra standing at the right hand of God but no one ever put anyone sitting at the right hand of God in the Second Temple period this is probably the most convincing of the three statements here to show exactly what Jesus was saying at first I found the Son of Man stuff more convincing the more I look into this the more I realize that sitting at the right hand of power is even stronger which is why by the way Christians quoted this verse of the Old Testament Psalm 110 verse 1 they quoted this more than anything else in the new test twenty four times this verse is quoted in the New Testament it meant a lot to them at a very early phase in Christian history we see it in Matthew as well when Jesus is asking them he's asking the people who do you think is superior David or the Messiah and then he quotes this so we find it throughout the Gospels so right here by the way when Jesus says that he can sit at the right hand of God you understand the image that's being drawn here you've got you've got the Holy of Holies which is kind of the inner sanctum it's a reflection of God in heaven correct you guys with me losing you do we need to take lunch okay so you got the you got the Holy of Holies this is kind of the reflection of God's place in heaven what is the throne what is the reflection of the throne in the Holy of Holies the mercy seat the Ark of the Covenant Jesus is saying that he can go into the Holy of Holies and sit on the Ark of the Covenant yeah yeah that's where Hebrews gets a lot of its Christology from Hebrews just quote Psalm 110 verse 1 now let's stop and think about this for a second he's talking to the high priest who's the high priest this is the guy who can only go into the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement and when he does that he wears a rope around his leg in case he actually didn't Lee does something blasphemous and they have to drag his dead body out that is the guy he's talking to he says I can march in there right now and sit down right on that throne he's he's not saying anything like here he is going all out so in Jesus words then Mark 1462 he claims to be the I am if you think that's strong enough definitely claims to be the Son of man coming on the clouds and definitely claims to be sitting at the right hand of the power potentially a threefold claim to deity I am the god of Moses I am the god of Daniel and I am the god of David which is why they rip open their robes and they say what more reason is there to question this man he's committed blasphemy before all of you let's crucify him abundantly clear that Jesus here claims to be divine people who argue with that for example Bart Ehrman I keep reading upper man not because he's you know my my my punching bag but because he was my professor at UNC and so I got to interact with him a lot I asked him I said what do you think of Mark 1462 he says it doesn't make sense and I said what do you mean it doesn't make sense he said in order for this verse to make sense mark would have to think Jesus claimed to be God yes yes and he says it doesn't make sense mark doesn't mark doesn't know what he's talking about is what Herman says urban in order to get around that urban says that Mark said that our Mark had an improper view of blasphemy he says mark had an improper view of blasphemy this wasn't actually a blasphemous mark was actually thinking that claiming to be the Messiah was blasphemous and therefore he was crucified for blasphemy whereas claiming to be the Messiah was not blasphemous in that time we know that there were all kinds of people who claim through the Messiah and they were beaten often they were considered stupid and they were let go but they weren't crucified for blasphemy you're only crucified for blasphemy for either uttering the divine name or according to Philo for according divine prerogatives for yourself so Herman says he thought that claim to the Messiah is blasphemy no no mark knew that a claiming divine prerogatives for yourself is blasphemy and that's what he's showing Jesus doing okay anyhow so that's what Jesus said and there's a lot more that we could put in there but I focus on mark 1462 what did Jesus do to this end well according to the Gospels he forgave sins mark chapter two so that you may know the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins he said to the paralytic I say to you arise chapter 2 verse 10 and Mark he heals a paralytic forgive his sins what did everyone respond at that time what did the scribes and Pharisees I think it was in that event what did they respond by saying this man blasphemes this man blasphemes why are they saying that because Jesus is according a divine prerogative for himself the forgiveness of sins in addition Jesus does miracles in his own name he will lepers will come to him and they will say can you clean cleanse us to lepers come to him in Matthew I think it's chapter 8 they said can you cleanse us and he says do you believe that I can do this and they say yes and he says by your faith it shall be done faith in whom in him he said you believe I can do this he's doing his this miracle in his own name and that's extremely important you don't see anyone doing that in the Old Testament you don't see Elijah doing a miracle in his own name you don't see a life show doing a miracle in his own name they're doing it in Yahweh's name Jesus does it in his own name what do others say about Jesus okay what do you have John saying about Jesus you have John saying that Jesus is the word of God and that he is God John chapter one and that nothing came into being except through him plus you and the word became flesh and dwelt among us he makes it abundantly clear that he's talking about Jesus and then in verse eighteen he says that Jesus is the only begotten God John 1:18 so John makes it very clear that Jesus is God and so does Thomas at the end of John's Gospel Thomas paused down I believe it's 2028 he boughs down and says to Jesus my Lord and my god Couty a smoke – smoke the same construction is used in Psalms it's inverted but it's referring to Yahweh my Lord and my god oh my god – my lord in Psalms here it's made really clear in fact some people believe that this is the climax of John's gospel the proclamation from Thomas that Jesus is God and what is the others did about Jesus okay well this only makes sense if Jesus claimed to be God you have some people who worshiped him we see the disciples worshiping him in the boat frost kaneto you see well there are plenty who bowed down to Jesus in its and the word proskuneo can be translated worship Muslims will often respond to that by the way they'll say look in the Old Testament people are bowing down before others prosecco no means just bowed down they didn't actually worship him they just bowed down well not necessarily because what does Matthew and Luke say they say you must worship the Lord your God and serve him only believe that's 4:10 Jesus says you must worship the Lord your God and serve him only well the word worship there you must worship the Lord our God only that's prosecco nail so Jesus says don't bow down anyone which is exactly why in acts you see when people start bowing down to Paul and Barnabas that they ripped their clothes and they say we are not gods don't do that when when Cornelius paused down before Peter he says don't do that I'm just like you and John in the book of Revelation when he boughs down to the angel the angel says no no no I'm just a servant don't bow down to me don't prosecute Netto because jesus said you must press kaneto to god alone and yet people bowed down to Jesus in the Gospels and he was fine with that in fact in 2028 in John when Thomas does that he says it's about time you know on the other hand those who were against Jesus what did they do they crucified him for blasphemy well what was blasphemy at the time you can read Darrell box work on blasphemy it's probably the most comprehensive I think it's called blasphemy and exaltation in Judaism I think this name of the book a shorter work is by Adela Yarborough Collins called the blasphemy in mark 1462 both very good works what was blaspheming at the time it was either uttering the divine name Yahweh that would be blasphemy at that time or it was according divine prerogatives to yourself and we get that through Philo Philo was writing in his writings he indicated that simply saying that you have things that belong only to God is considered blasphemy pH ILO one of my favorite scholars on this issue is Richard baucom and if you can he has a small book called God crucified small book quick to read what he points out is that Jesus is claiming for himself and the early Christians claim for Jesus those attributes specifically those attributes with which distinguish Yahweh from everything else so he says there are two things which distinguish Yahweh from everything else creator and sovereign creator and sovereign and he says in early Christianity both titles were ascribed to Jesus creator and sovereign and his work I think is pretty convincing he has a parallel slightly different but Larry Hurtado so Richard Baucom is the first guy ba you see k-h am richard Baucom just retired out of Edinburgh God crucified Axios larry Hurtado just retired enema and larry Hurtado read larry Hurtado as well the one i would read a product shortest and most concise is how on earth did jesus become god it's a tongue-in-cheek title larry Hurtado Hurtado hur ta do larry Hurtado argues that the titles accorded to jesus wait I'm sorry that was welcome Larry Hurtado argues that the rituals performed in Jesus name the actions that were performed those are something that were only for God so for example baptism communion these were actions that were done for God alone in the fact that we see them in first Corinthians 11 and we see it in pre New Testament writings explain that in moment shows that they did it extremely early on so Hurtado and baucom two extremely well respected scholars Hurtado and baulkham both very well respected argued early deity of jesus christ early high Christology and they do so very convincingly both just retired though it's kind of sad any questions on that I saw some hands and some confusion general aura of confusion emanating one last thing I want to look at though is the early history of the New Testament why did I put this here oh I shouldn't put this here oh well I'll do it anyway let's take a look and stop for a second at some of the earliest stuff so what I just gave you was an argument from the Gospels for Muslims okay so we think about it for a second Muslims are okay with the Gospels generally speaking some of them are not okay with John like Shabbir le but they're okay with the Gospels in general that's why I gave you that case but let's stop and let's take a look at the case holistically not just from a Muslim perspective let's look at the case for the deity of Jesus Christ we have in our possession and this is extremely critical for you to know if you're interested in New Testament studies and apologetics in the least you need to know this in the New Testament there are references to hymns and creeds that were written before the New Testament was written what do I mean by that certain things are found in the New Testament that are quotes that had been composed earlier one of the most famous of those is 1st Corinthians 15 verses 3 to 8 where Paul says for what I received I delivered to you as of first importance that Jesus died on the cross for our sins according to the scriptures etc and he says that he was raised and he appeared to Peter into the disciples and then to the 500 and then last of all to me as one untimely born what is Paul doing well according to the Jesus Seminar so these aren't folks who are evangelicals to say the least according to the Jesus Seminar what Jesus is doing I'm sorry what Paul is doing is he's quoting something that he received from the disciples early on so early in fact that it probably comes from the first 10 years of Christian history and that's a very conservative statement John I'm sorry James DG done in his book Jesus remembered says that this section of the New Testament so this Creed from first Corinthians 15 3 through 8 is no later than a few months after Jesus crucifixion and James needs you done as no one to mess with either very highly respected New Testament scholar so months after the crucifixion what how many months one year 18 months I don't think he would have said the word months if he meant more than two years so I asked I asked Michael okona what he thought and he thinks that I couldn't be any later than 18 months then again we could just email dr. Dunn see what he says so we have this Creed which mentions the death of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection within 18 months of Jesus death according to Dunn and no one says any later than 40 AD no one I've read and O'Connell also says he doesn't know he's a scholar he doesn't know anyone who puts it later than 440 AD and you can get a lot of this from hammer masters book in the back we also have a Creed in Philippians 2 verses 6 through 11 here Paul is quoting a hymn if you read Philippians carefully Paul's going through and he's saying be humble stop trying to put yourselves above one another start serving each other and then he says your attitude should be like that of Christ who although he existed in the form of God did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped and so we emptied himself and so you have this picture of the canosa the divine emptying of God to the point of becoming a human and dying on the cross and then because of this God raises him up and he exalts him and at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord well what's going on here Paul's writing to the Philippians and in the middle of writing to them he quotes a hymn how can he quote it unless he knows that they already know it which means he's either said it to them before or he told it to them when he established the church well if he said it to them when he established the church that means it was composed even before that so this hymn in Philippians 2:6 through eleven is extremely early how early some people have argued that you can retro vert this Creed I'm sorry this him into Aramaic if you put it in Aramaic it forms a hymn of five stanzas three lines each with metre there's one intrusion in there even death on a cross doesn't fit the scheme other than that the rest of it fits perfectly according to some scholars if that is the case if this hymn was actually composed in Aramaic we probably have the earliest teaching of the Christian Church Jesus was in very nature God and he lowered himself to the point of a man died on the cross and then was raised he was exalted is what it says and at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that's a quotation from Isaiah which describes Yahweh in Isaiah it says every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to Yahweh here it's saying it will happen to Jesus in a Creed which may have come from the Aramaic speaking church as early as it gets it doesn't get any earlier there are also arguments that marks passion narrative is extremely early I plan on covering this later but I'll cover it now in mark's passion narrative you can get this by the way from Gert Tyson GE Rd Gert Tyson th e I th e is Sen Gert Tyson he German scholar Gert Tyson argues that in mark's passion narrative you have names that are conspicuously missing for example in the Garden of Gethsemane somebody strikes the ear the high priest I'm sorry the ear of a servant of the high priest who is it it's kind of important would be good to know we find out in one of the later Gospels that is Peter why isn't it said in March time okay why don't we get the name of the servant in Mark's Gospel marks passion narrative and who is this boy who runs away naked what's that about you know who is this guy why don't we get his name you really want to know his name you want to know who he is you know and so why don't we know who it is why is the name not given Girt Tyson argues that mark didn't provide these names for protective anonymity if you were to say Peter was the person who struck the ear guess what they would go get Peter because they were still looking for him they still wanted to know who did it if they say this was the boy who evaded police arrest they would go get him because he was still wanted if they said Malchus was the name of the servant they would go ask him who cut off your ear and he'd be able to point to the right person so according to Kurt Tyson the reason why the names are not mentioned is because this is so early that it could be not mentioned for reasons of protective anonymity richard Baucom takes the argument further and I think convincingly so in his book Jesus in the eyewitnesses Richard baulkham Jesus and the eyewitnesses he says that you have names that are present that are rather stark we take a look at for example bartemaeus why in the world is blind Bartimaeus name mentioned there's a ton of blind people who are healed why was bartemaeus his name mentioned you also have in the passion narrative you've got simon of cyrene mentioned and he's mentioned in the other gospels – but here it says whose sons are rufus and alexander in mark 15 why mentioned Rufus and Alexander I mean the other Gospels didn't mention in Matthew Luke they don't mention Rufus Alexander why does Mark mention Rufus Alexander any ideas go talk to him mark is saying hey you guys no roofs no exam there dad was simon of cyrene go ask him about this that's what richard Baucom is saying Simon of Alexander's sons are still around to verify the claim that's being made Bart Bartimaeus is still around to verify that he was healed therefore their names are mentioned that's what Richard baulkham argues Richard baucom is very interested in automatics the study of names so you can read his work on that it's in Jesus and the eyewitnesses very interesting so what are we saying here we're saying the passion narrative is so early that some people are still wanted in some people who are there are still around there are other other reasons to think Mark's passion narrative is extremely early many of the elements of Mark's passion narrative are found in Paul's works for example first Corinthians 11 talks about the Last Supper which is in mark 14 you have on the night he was handed over in first Corinthians that kind of assumes that the people Paul is talking to have already heard this story of a night that Jesus was handed over right he says on the night he was handed over to the Corinthians he thinks that they already know what he's talking about and that's what mark talks about there was a night in which Jesus was betrayed Jesus suffering in Paul Paul makes it very clear that Jesus suffered mark talks a lot about Jesus suffering so you've got a lot of parallels between Paul's writings and mark's passion narrative which make you think that mark's passion narrative was extremely early for all these reasons mark's passion narrative can be dated potentially not with a lot of confidence but with some confidence to an early early date perhaps even in the 40s or 50s maybe even in the 30s there's one argument that it was in the 30s I don't know about this but the argument is who mentions Caiaphas is named Matthew who doesn't mention it mark when mark says the high priest why doesn't he say the high priest caiaphas the argument goes because Caiaphas was still the high priest so all he had to say was the high priest and they knew he was talking about well Caiaphas stopped being the high priest in 37 ad so if that argument is sound then marks passion narrative is before 37 ad how early who knows but it's really early according to these arguments and definitely predates the actual writing of mark so what do we have we have the earliest layer of new test layer of Christian history in the New Testament and what do those layers proclaim 1st Corinthians 15 3 through 8 proclaims the death and resurrection of Jesus Philippians 2 6 through 11 proclaims a death deity and resurrection of Jesus and mark death deity and resurrection of Jesus the earliest layer of Christian history in the new testament proclaims exactly those things we ought to believe in order to be saved according to romans 10:9 coincidence I don't think so this is good to know for your own personal edification this is also good to know for Islamic apologetics if you're going to converse with Muslims it's good to be able to say with confidence the earliest level of Christian history is that which proclaims the deity of Christ his death on the cross in his resurrection from the grave that is precisely the things that Muslims don't want early Christianity to proclaim Biola University offers a variety of biblically-centered degree programs ranging from business to ministry to the Arts and Sciences visit biola.edu to find out how Biola could make a difference in your life

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