One of the most important titles of Jesus in the New Testament is "Son of God." It is an essential, uncompromisable kernel of the Gospel: "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life." (John 3:16) Muhammad unequivocally rejects Jesus as the son of God, displaying, in all its darkened colors, the spirit of antichrist.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - In this series of articles on the Antichrist in Muhammad introduced in an earlier article, we will be exploring Muhammad's deep-seated anti-Christian animus. We will begin our series on Muhammad's rejection of the title "Son of God" for Jesus.
One of the most important titles of Jesus in the New Testament is "Son of God." It is an essential, uncompromisable kernel of the Gospel: "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Jesus is referenced as "Son of God" at least sixty times in the four Gospels. It is obvious that we cannot list them all in this article, so we will attend to only a smattering of citations, focusing on the variety of witnesses.
First, God the Father Himself revealed Jesus as his only begotten Son, both in Jesus' Baptism and in his Transfiguration: "And a voice came from the heavens, 'You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'" (Mark 1:11; see Luke 3:22; see also Matt. 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35.)
Second, Jesus himself refers to himself as the only Son of God. To the Jews who sought to stone him for blasphemy, Jesus said, "[C]an you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemed because I said, 'I am the Son of God?'" (John 10:36)
Third, the angel Gabriel (whom, by the way, Muhammad claimed as the one who revealed to him the Qur'an) told Mary at the Annunciation: "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High." (Luke 1:32)
Fourth, Peter identified Jesus as the Son of God in response to the question, "Who do you say that I am?" "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matt. 16:16). This is particularly important, because Jesus makes clear that this is a revealed truth of God: "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 16:17)
Fifth, all of Jesus' apostles identified Him as the Son of God. After Jesus and Peter returned to the boat having walked on water and the storms stilled, the Scripture tells us: "Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying 'Truly, you are the Son of God.'" (Matt. 14:32-33)
Sixth, the very high priest of the Jews recognized the importance of Jesus' claim about himself when he asked Jesus, "'I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.' (Matt. 26:63-64; Mark 14:61-62)
Seventh, the Roman centurion, a pagan, recognized Jesus as the Son of God, after his death and after the earthly prodigies, such as the earthquake and darkening of the sky: "Surely he was the Son of God." (Matt. 27:54; Mark 15:39)
Lastly, St. Paul, and the apostles and their successors, such as Silas and Timothy, preached Jesus Christ, the "Son of God," who was "not 'Yes' and 'No," but in him has always been 'Yes.'" (2 Cor. 1:19). St. Paul understood that Jesus' title as "Son of God" was revealed. (Acts 9:20).
(One might also point out that even madmen and those possessed by unclean spirits recognized Jesus as the "Son of God." Cf. Mark 3:11, 5:7; Matt. 8:29; Luke 4:41; 8:28.)
All of Christ's believers have universally exclaimed: "We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) This is a truth of the People of God from the very inception of the Church.
The teaching Church unquestionably has found the doctrine that Jesus is the "Son of God" revealed de fide divina et ecclesiastica, and absolutely true because revealed by a God who cannot be deceived and does not deceive. And so the Church includes the belief in her Creed: We say therein that we believe "Jesus Christ, His [God the Father's] only Son, our Lord."
As the Catechism summarizes the Church's understanding of the Scripture's revelation that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God: "The title 'Son of God' signifies the unique and eternal relationship of Jesus Christ to God his Father: he is the only Son of the Father. To be Christian, one must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." CCC § 453.
Without question, the title, and indeed the person it describes, is hugely important, and, what is more, clearly revealed by God as the manner in which Jesus ought to be understood as uniquely and eternally being one in essence (homoousios) with God the Father. Without it, Jesus is not Jesus. This is the keystone doctrine in the Christian arch of associated doctrines such as the forgiveness of sins, the divine grace-filled life on earth, and--following death and judgment--eternal life and the beatific vision.
"For the Son of God became man so that we might become God," as St. Athanasius boldly stated. If Jesus is not the "Son of God" who assumed human nature as he stated, the whole edifice of Christianity and our divine (adopted) filiation or sonship is unintelligible.
Christians know that when they proclaim that Jesus is the "only Son of God the Father," they are using the term "son" in an analogical manner, not in what would be called a univocal manner. In other words, the relationship between God the Father and God the Son is similar to, but certainly not identical with, the relationship between a human father and son. For all the similarity between the relationship between God the Father and God the Son to the relationship between a human father and human son, the similarity must be understood to include an even greater dissimilarity.
Muhammad, however, rejected the revealed doctrine that Jesus was the "Son of God" in all its senses, univocal or analogical. Of course, no one knows exactly why, but it appears to have been the conjunction of three weaknesses or prejudices or idées fixes in his thought.
First, it is apparent that Muhammad understood the Christian idea of Christ's filiation or "sonship" to be a literal, almost fleshly concept. In other words, he understood the "sonship" of God the Son to be univocal, or identical with, the "sonship" of a human son. The Qur'an asks rhetorically: "How could he [Allah] have a son when He does not have a consort and He created all things?" (Qur'an 6:101)
The simpleminded and self-acclaimed "prophet" Muhammad evidently believed, or at least publically argued, that the Christian doctrine of divine filiation required that God the Father take a wife and have sexual relations with her. His spiritual imagination was rather mundane in this area.
Beyond this simplistic vulgar, pagan, materialistic concept of filiation which Muhammad never overcame, and which is clearly a misunderstanding of the Christian doctrine, there seems to have been no effort on Muhammad's part to understand the Christian concept. He painted, with the black paint of his unsubtle and uncompromising monotheistic doctrine, the polytheistic pagan and the Trinitarian Christian using the same unholy Qur'anic paintbrush.
In so doing, he foolishly condemned what he did not know and did not try to know. This was the work of a misled man, not of a prophet, and certainly not the work of God the Father who would not work at cross purposes with himself and impugn his eternal relationship with God the Son after he had divinely revealed it in the Gospel.
Second, Muhammad's horror with the concept of divine filiation may have been engendered by Muhammad's horror of polytheism, though whether this horror was political (as an expression against the ruling tribe of Mecca) or theological it is hard to tell. All the pagan gods around him--including the pagan god Allah before Muhammad cleansed him--seemed to have companions, partners, or sons and daughters. This sort of horror is displayed in the Meccan aya: " But they [the pagans at Mecca] have attributed to Allah partners--the jinn, while He has created them--and have fabricated for Him sons and daughters." (Qur'an 6:100)
We can understand Muhammad's discomfort with polytheism, and appreciate his jealousy for monotheism, but not at the misguided expense of the revealed truth of the Trinity.
Third, Muhammad seems completely ignorant of the Old Testament use of "son of God," which should have allowed him to understand its Scriptural basis. The term "son" and even "son of God" is not foreign to the Old Testament. (E.g., Ex. 4:22, Job 1:6; 2:1; Ps. 88:7, Wisdom 2:13). That's one reason Jesus and all the other witnesses to the term in the Gospels used it, though, to be sure, with reference to Jesus it was intended as a unique description of his relationship to God the Father.
In any event, only some (since they are numerous) of the supposed Qur'anic revelations which clearly contradict the Scriptural teachings and the de fide teachings of the Catholic Church on the divine sonship of Jesus will be cited:
"They [the Christians] have said, 'Allah has taken a son.' Exalted is He; He is the [one] free of need. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. You [the Christians] have no authority for this [claim]. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know? Say [to the Christians], 'Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed.'" (Qur'an 10:68-69) (Meccan)
"And say, 'Praise to Allah, who has not taken a son and has had no partner in [His] dominion and has no [need of a] protector out of weakness; and glorify Him with [great] glorification.'" (Qur'an 17:111) (Meccan)
"And to warn those who say, 'Allah has taken a son.' They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers. Grave is the word that comes out of their mouths; they speak not except a lie. (Qur'an 18:4-5) (Meccan)
"It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, "Be," and it is." (Qur'an 19:35) (Meccan)
"And they [the Christians] say, 'The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son." You [Christians] have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation that they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.(Qur'an 19:88-91) (Meccan)
"Allah has not taken any son, nor has there ever been with Him any deity. [If there had been], then each deity would have taken what it created, and some of them would have sought to overcome others. Exalted is Allah above what they describe [concerning Him]." (Qur'an 23:91) (Meccan)
"They [the Christians] say, 'Allah has taken a son.' Exalted is He! Rather, to Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All are devoutly obedient to Him." (Qur'an 2:116) (Medinan)
". . . [T]he Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah." That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?" (Qur'an 9:30) (Medinan)
Muhammad seems singularly antipathetic to authentic Christian teaching of Jesus as the "son of God," calling it a heinous sin. This is an attitude that one would expect from one who was an antichrist.
"God does not forgive association with Him; but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin." (Qur'an 4.48) (Medinan)
Indeed, it seems unassailable that Muhammad virulently rejected the Christian teaching of the divine sonship of Jesus. From "people of the Book," ahl-al-Kitab, Christians appeared to have fallen very close to the category of the mushrikun, espousers of "shirk," the worst of all sins, unforgiveable if unrepented of, and at complete odds with the supposed virtue of Islam: tawhid, monotheism.
Muhammad appears to have taken a progressively hostile position against the Christians in preparation for (and as a justification for) the attacks on Christian lands held under Byzantine and Persian rule, accusing them of the worst possible sin--associating partners with God--shirk as a pretext for invasion.
In his later years, Muhammad affirmatively advocated violence against the Christians and their suppression to Islam as dhimmis, as we see in what is supposed to be among his last supposed revelations, compiled in the Surat at-Tawbah, the "Repentance," the surah with the famous "verse of the sword" that abrogates all peaceful verses predating it:
"Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth [Muhammad's Islam], (even if they are) of the People of the Book [i.e., Christians and Jews], until they pay the Jizya [tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
. . . . [T]he Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth . . . Fain would they extinguish Allah's light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it)." (Qur'an 9:29-30)
So, whose words ought we take as evidence of the divine sonship of Jesus? Those of God the Father, of God the Son, of the Holy Spirit (who authored the Gospels), of the angel Gabriel, of St. Peter, of the Apostles, of the righteous pagans, of the Church in Tradition and in Council? Or of a rather limited visionary and spiritual thinker, Muhammad?
Christ? Or Antichrist?
The evidence against Muhammad as a result of his own admissions cannot be controverted. Muhammad, by denying Christ's divine sonship, was a precursor of the Antichrist and followed the spirit of antichrist. He was dreadfully misguided, to the unfortunate bane of all mankind (most particularly the Muslims that operate under his antichristian thrall--may the Lord open their lands to the free propagation of the Gospel, and may the Gospel be preached even within the Masjid al-Haram at Mecca!).
Muhammad preached vehemently not only against the precious doctrine of the Gospel that Jesus was the Son of God, but also called down curses and advocated violence against the believers of the Gospel. He promoted, like his more sedulous followers still do, active suppression of the saving truths of the Gospel as a result of the anti-Gospel in the Qur'an. It is under these that our Christian brethren in Muslim lands suffered and still suffer. But we must not forget the Muslim, for, insofar as the Gospel is concerned, the Muslim is the greatest victim of Islam.
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at email@example.com.
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