Christian Churches of God
Christ and the Koran
(Edition 5.0 19960511-20060310-20110504)
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have the same roots in Abraham. The great theologians (e.g. Calvin, Harnack, Brunner) agree that rational theism, Judaism, the Bible, and Islam are Unitarian. Theoretically, the faiths should be able to agree on the God they worship, and work towards a unified world family. Why is that not so? This paper examines similarities and conflicts in history and beliefs. It analyses the God of the Bible and the Koran, the names of God, historical developments, concepts and details of a Messiah, beliefs in a Millennium and resurrections. Many Christians will be surprised with the Arabian Prophet’s teachings in the Koran about the Christ of the Bible.
Christ and the Koran
Note: Muhammad is the name for the church.
Ahmed refers to the Holy Spirit.
The prophet's name was Qasim (termed Muhammad)
The two great religions of the world, Christianity and Islam, are at present opposed and on the verge of war. On the surface, the faiths concern Abraham and his descendants as the nucleus of one world family. Theoretically, Islam (which means the surrender) embraces the worship of the same God as that found in the pages of the Bible. We know this from study of the Bible and the Koran. The great theologians (such as Calvin, Harnack and Brunner) agree that rational Theism, Judaism, the Bible and Islam are Unitarian. The faiths theoretically should be able to agree on the God they worship. Similarly, we should be able to find some common threads in the works.
Why then are they at odds to the extent that, in Egypt for example, after an existence of some 1,545 years since the council of Chalcedon, the Egyptian Coptic Church is now so persecuted by Fundamentalist Islam in that nation that they have sought affiliation with Rome, from whom they had severed communication since the Council (c. 451). This very cause, from that Council (namely Trinitarianism), was the reason for the rise of Islam itself. Why after more or less fourteen centuries of peaceful coexistence should this be so? Would the Prophet Qasim based on the evidence of the Koran, support this position? What does the Koran teach concerning Christ, and is Islam faithful to the faith it once was given? Our task is to examine what the Koran teaches about Christ and look at the modern position of both Islam and Christianity.
The God of the Bible and the Koran
The claim that the Islamic concept of God is, despite superficial resemblances, very different from the Christian concept of God, arises from considerations of the theological structure of both systems, which have been altered from the original. In the Christian sense, the Godhead was altered by the influence of the mystery religions with syncretic adoptions along a triune or trinitarian model. Islam, on the other hand, was influenced from the metaphysical developments of later Indian Monism as an extension of Aryan theology. The original concept of both the Bible and the Koran was, however, the Abrahamic concept of God and the nations descended from him shared this common apprehension. This included Israel, Judah, the Arab nation and the sons of Keturah.
For all of the Abrahamic peoples, God was a spirit and a power that manifested Himself to His people and had a clear plan and purpose for the creation under His leadership. The expectation of a Prince, Lord or Messiah has been evident since Abraham and was shared by the tribal groupings descended from him. The Arab nation is descended from Ishmael to the twelve princes (Gen. 17:20) (thus parallelling Israel and also providing another twelve divisions for the twelve tribes). Their traditions, down to and through the Arabian Prophet are given to all Islam. From Isaac, the traditions were given to the nation, Israel, and thence carried in the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah (see also the Introduction to the Commentary on the Koran (No. Q1)).
The Jewish sects expected the Messiah in the 1st century and the Sons of Zadok (attributed, on probability, as the Essene) stated that there would be two Messiahs, the Messiah of Aaron and the King Messiah of Israel and that these two Messiahs were the one Messiah (see G. Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, re: Damascus Rule VII and the fragment from cave IV). Thus the expectation was that the Messiah was to be of two advents. After the death of Christ, the apostles, the seventy and their recruits carried the gospel to the lost tribes and thus the traditions were carried to Europe, Egypt, Asia and India. Christianity thus broke free of Judaism and extended salvation to the Gentiles, which by that time had come to be understood as non-Jews.
Jesus Christ as Messiah
The Messiah or anointed one of the Old Testament was fulfilled in the advent of Yahoshua or Jesus by birth from Mariam (or Mary) of Nazareth. The genealogy of Christ (see the paper Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119)) in the New Testament at Luke is understood by rabbinical Judaism as that of Heli, Mariam’s (Mary’s) father.
The term Christ means anointed one in Greek. This word has the same meaning as Messiah, as an anointed one, in Hebrew. Thus, The Christ and The Messiah have the same meaning. The Arabic form in the Koran has the same meaning of anointed one or God’s Messiah. The Arabian Prophet (termed Muhammad), refers to Jesus Christ as the Messiah at various sections of the Koran and noticeably in his condemnation of the then new heresy of the Trinity at Surah 4 Women 171 where he also called him the Word; and at Surah 4:172. The Surah 86, Al Tariq (The Morning Star - as translated by Pickthall) was given to explain the significance of the death of Christ, the new Morning Star, in that all men were created anew or reborn by his death, signified by the emanation of blood and water from the wound between the loins and rib.
Other original ancient meanings of Al Tariq are significantly He who comes in the night and He who knocks at the door. The significance of Christ’s statements to the Sardis Church and era and the churches generally at Revelation 3:3 and 16:15 and to the Laodicean Church at Revelation 3:20 are then more obvious. He is saying to the Laodocean Church and era that he is coming as Messiah. He is saying that he is Al Tariq, the Morning Star or the King Messiah. He is also saying that the churches, particularly the Sardis and Laodicean, will not expect him when he comes. Those church eras are thus extant at his return. The significance of this Surah Al Tariq is completely lost on modern day Islam.
Jesus, the Word, the High Priest after the order of Melchisedek is the Morning Star of the planet Earth. Unfortunately in English some of the deeper understanding of the name is lost and requires some light shed on the matter. It can be seen from Job 1:6; 2:1 and 38:4-7 that there were Morning Stars and Sons of God present at the creation of the world and that those Sons of God, which included Satan, had access to the throne of God on an ongoing basis. Christ alluded to who he was in the gospels, but the full significance of what he said was not understood. The name Morning Star in the original Hebrew and Arabic meant that which comes in the night or one who knocks at the door. This is preserved in the Arabic Al Tariq and is understood by them. The Koran shows a clear and definite understanding of who the Morning Star was. Let us examine Surah 86 Al Tariq (or The Morning Star):
Revealed at Mecca
“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
1. By the heaven and the Morning Star.
2. Ah, what will tell thee what the Morning Star is!
3. The piercing Star!
4. No human soul but hath a guardian over it.
5. So let man consider from what he is created.
6. He us created from a gushing fluid
7. That issued from between the loins and ribs.
8. Lo! He verily is able to return him (unto life)
9. On the day when hidden thoughts shall be searched out.
10. Then will he have no might nor any helper.
11. By the heaven which giveth the returning rain,
12. And the earth which splitteth (with the growth of trees and plants)
13. Lo! this (quran) is a conclusive word,
14. It is no pleasantry.
15. Lo! they plot a plot (against thee, O Muhammad)
16. And I plot a plot (against them).
17. So give a respite to the disbelievers. Deal thou gently with them for a while.”
Note verses 6 and 7, which clearly state of what we are created. This is a reference to that part of the crucifixion of the Morning Star when Christ was pierced and deemed dead. In other words, it was at this point in the death of Jesus, the Morning Star, that man was created. But as man was created at Adam, what did the Prophet mean? He was stating that from that moment man was created or reborn in the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mariam (Mary), as he usually called him. The Surah is clearly referring to the resurrection of the dead at verse 8, which is vested here in the Morning Star. Some of Islam attempt to explain the gushing fluid as semen. However, this is anatomically absurd.
It is held that Surah 4:157 denies the crucifixion. Indeed Professor A. H. Johns holds that position from the words:
They (The Jews) say, ‘We killed Christ, Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of God’. They did not kill him and they did not crucify him, but it was made to appear to them (as though they had). (A H Johns, The Koran Pt. II, Bulletin of Christian Affairs, No. 113, July 1981, p. 12.)
It does not follow that the Koran was denying that the attempt was made or that the physical death ensued. The Jews were claiming that they had killed Christ and he was not resurrected. They claimed at the time that he died and stayed dead. From the plain words of the text in Al Tariq it appears rather the contrary. It is equally possible that he was rejecting the claims of the Jews regarding the resurrection. The additions in brackets are not the original statement. If Prof. Johns’ interpretation is correct, then the Arabian Prophet is disqualified as a prophet as he contradicts the Law and the testimony (Isa. 8:20). There must, therefore, be another interpretation of the text.
(As the very words are part of the revelation within Islamic tradition, sometimes the individual style of the Bible writers is a cause of concern to Moslems. The concept of inspiration and accuracy of the Holy Spirit has been lessened by syncretic alteration and watering down of biblical law and teaching by Athanasian doctrine and is largely responsible for this view. See also Johns, ibid., page 19 for comments concerning the Muslim attitude and the variant biblical narrative and Oral Koranic forms.)
The Prophet makes the point at Surah 5 The Table Spread 17:
Those who say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary are infidels. Declare who has any power against God, even if he wished to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother and every one on the earth.
The trinitarian position had stated that Christ was God. But quite clearly, Christ in human form was not God. Moreover, the Bible states that there is only One True God who sent Jesus Christ. That understanding is critical to eternal life (Jn. 17:3). The concept of Christ as the firstfruits was overlooked and the trinitarian concept at the time of the Prophet was destroying the very concept of the spiritual unity of God. Moreover, as we will see, the name Allah is derived from Eloah and means in effect The Power. Christ was not Eloah and this point is supported by the Bible (see the series of papers on the Godhead, esp. The Deity of Christ (No. 147)) and The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243)). The names for God in Greek and Latin (and also English) do not carry the same complex meaning as Hebrew and Chaldean or Aramaic and Arabic.
From the Surah Al Tariq, Christians can now understand what was meant when Christ said he was the door (or, gate) at John 10:7. Further at Matthew 7:7 and Luke 11:10, the door is opened to anyone who knocks, and at Revelation 3:20, Behold I stand at the door and knock. All these texts are references stemming from and indicating the name and status of Christ as the Morning Star, the purpose of his ministry and that he was the Messiah.
At both Al Tariq and The Cow, the Prophet states that there will be no helper or intercessor. He is not refuting Christ’s command of human judgment, but rather the increasing practice of assuming human or other intercession by Mariam (Mary), the angels and by dead saints. Further example is that of The Night Journey 17:56-57 which states,
Pray if you will to those whom you deify besides Him. They cannot relieve your distress, nor can they change it. Those to whom they pray, themselves seek to approach their Lord, vying with each other to be near Him.
The biblical concept is the same, in that prayer is to God only (in Christ’s name), and no other.
By the time of the Prophet the following traditions had been adopted:
* Profaning the Sabbath from the Council of Elvira (c. 300 CE) and by Edict of Constantine in 321 CE.
* The doctrine of the Trinity and a Sunday resurrection, i.e. the Lord’s Day, established from the Council of Nicea at 325 CE. Accord was gained by Constantine marching in a cohort of Roman troops and arresting Theonas of Marmarica, Secundus of Ptolemais (with a host of other bishops). These bishops with Arius were exiled to Illyricum until 327/328 CE, when they were all recalled and re-established.
* Proscription of Sabbath worship by the Council of Laodicea in 366 CE.
* Veneration of angels and dead saints (c. 375 CE).
* Worship of saints and relics authorised at the Council of Constantinople in 381 CE. The two elements of the Trinity were formulated at this council and power was ceded to the Athanasian faction.
* Worship of Mariam (Mary), (or Mariolatry) and the use of the title Mother of God introduced by the Council of Ephesus in 431 CE.
* The Trinity was formulated finally with the Holy Spirit as the third element from the Council of Chalcedon (c. 451 CE).
* The doctrine of Purgatory established by Pope Gregory the Great in 593 CE.
Christ as Son of God
Texts from the Koran taken in isolation indeed appear to deny the fact of Christ as Son of God. Like the Bible, the Koran must be taken in context and cannot be read in isolation.
The Trinity was built on the lie of Binitarianism introduced at Nicea in 325 CE. The concept of the Duality of Christ and God stems from this error. The Prophet Qasim was faced with refuting this error continually, due to the spread of the false teaching. Let us examine the texts.
1. [4.171] O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.
Here we have, what begins as a valid argument against the doctrine of the Trinity. Then it states “far be It from His glory that He should have a son,” and so we are left with the argument that he denies the sonship of God. However, as we will see, the Koran is not denying that God placed Christ in the womb of Mariam by Divine Fiat. The Hadith thus misrepresents what the Koran is saying here.
Again we see these three texts in “Mariam”
[19.88] And they say: The Beneficent God has taken (to Himself) a son.
[19.91] That they ascribe a son to the Beneficent God.
[19.92] And it is not worthy of the Beneficent God that He should take (to Himself) a son.
So we are apparently confronted with this same denial again, and a denial of the whole principle of the Father having sons at all.
1. [21.26] And they say: The Beneficent God has taken to Himself a! son. Glory be to Him. Nay! they are honored servants
Again we have another denial of the principle of sonship and fatherhood. So, we can argue that the elect are servants, but can we also argue that we are also sons and heirs? Indeed we can from the Bible texts. Again, if that is the point, then the Koran is disqualified as a text in that it contradicts the law and the testimony (Isa. 8:20), and hence invalid. The Koran must have another explanation for what is being said here in the texts. We see also:
1. [23.91] Never did Allah take to Himself a son, and never was there with him any (other) god-- in that case would each god have certainly taken away what he created, and some of them would certainly have overpowered others; glory be to Allah above what they describe!
Thus Ditheism is condemned by the Koran. It is also condemned by the Bible. The Bible is quite clear that God did indeed take sons and create multiple sons of God, and that was standard understanding throughout the ancient systems. The explanation is that the sons of God were all created by God through Divine fiat, and not by any act of procreation. This will become clearer from the Koran itself as we will see below.
The texts below also seem to convey the denial of the sonship.
1. [9.30] ...... and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!
Ornaments of Gold
1. [43.81] Say: If the Beneficent God has a son, I am the foremost of those who serve.
It is also asserted that the Qur'an teaches the denial of the death, crucifixion and resurrection of the son of God from the following verse:
[4.157] And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Mariam, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.
The simple explanation of all these texts is found in the text of Surah 19:33-35 "Mariam."
33 So Peace is on me [Jesus] the day I was born, the day that I die and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again).
34 Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.
35 It is not befitting (to the majesty of) Allah that he should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter he only says to it, 'Be', and it is.
[61.6] And when Isa son of Marium said: O children of Israel! surely I am the apostle of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the Taurat [Law or Torah] and giving the good news of an Apostle who will come after me, his name being Ahmad, but when he came to them with clear arguments they said: This is clear magic.
[4.159] And there is not one of the followers of the Book but most certainly believes in this before his death, and on the day of resurrection he (Isa) shall be a witness against them.
The term “the Ahmed” is referring to the Holy Spirit as the Church and not to the Arabian Prophet, as is assumed by Hadithic Islam. We deal with these aspects in the Introduction to the Commentary on the Qur’an (QI).
In the seventh century we are still dealing with Heathenism that asserts that gods came down and fornicated with humans and begat children. That was the assertion that the Koran was combating. The Koran must be read in the light of the problems of the time. Paul’s letters also have to be read and understood in context.
The fact is, that God simply said, ‘Be’, and it was that Christ was implanted in the womb of Mariam. He died on the stake, was placed in the tomb, and was resurrected to life and ascended into heaven after three days and three nights in belly of the earth.
The Names of God
God is known by various names in the Semitic languages. This is a difficulty for English. The Hebrew root word is El. The singularity of God is Eloah. The plurality is elohim. In the Chaldean it is Elaha’ or Elahh with the plural form being Elahin. The Arabic form of Allah’ is derived from or equates with Eloah or Elaha’. The name of God given at Sinai was YAH[o]VAH. The root is Yah or Jah (SHD 3050) for the longer form Yehovah (SHD 3068) which is derived from ‘eyeh ‘asher ‘eyeh (I will be what I will become, Ex. 3:14 see Companion Bible). Yahovah (Jehovah) (SHD 3068) is the Jewish national name for God. Yehovih (Jehovih) (SHD 3069) is pronounced or read as Elohim so as not to confuse the entities and SHD 3068 is pronounced as Adonai (SHD 136). Eloah is the being that bears the name Yehovih or Yahovah of Hosts. He is the deity of the Koran and the name Allah or The Lah is the term meaning the power or deity as applied to this being.
God was given as the living God who wills to be the Lord of all man’s thinking and living and upon whom His very being is dependent. From Abraham He was seen as being hidden from mankind and revealed Himself to man at varying stages in history and in theophanies such as to Moses and the giving of the Law at Sinai. He was always stated as being present with His people and the people of Israel are seen primarily as a covenant people. The Prophet states this in the Koran (2:63,83ff.,93,246; 3:93; 5:12,90), and isolates the role and duty of this nation admonishing them at Surah 2:40ff. and 122.
Up until the 12th century, it was always held by Islam that Isaac had held the birthright and not Ishmael, but the xenophobia of the later Hadithic writings reversed this teaching and attributed the birthright to Ishmael. The Hadith was an explanatory text or texts which came to interpret the meaning of the Koran in the same way the Talmud and the Oral law came to interpret the Bible for rabbinical Judaism. These interpretations were often against the express words of the text. Christianity came to adopt the same system in the Roman structure and later Protestantism. Thus the three systems became hopelessly divided in understanding.
This Hadithic innovation in Islam has serious repercussion in that Christ’s teachings and those of the apostles were rendered in total contradiction and therefore the Bible had to be totally rejected as spurious. The purpose of the Arab nation in God’s plan also came to be misunderstood. The Koran’s description of the Arab people as the Middle People had to be reinterpreted, in the Middle Ages, as the Best of People, losing sight of what the Prophet meant by this term. This reversal was no doubt prompted by the Athanasian Christian Church’s military adventures against Islam and its total polarisation. Forgotten was the role of protectors of the People of the Book or Nasrani as the Nazarine Christians were called. Indeed, Omar had issued an edict of protection both in Mesopotamia for them and, when the invasion of North Africa and Spain occurred, this same edict of protection was extended. Unfortunately, the Inquisition was explicitly directed against them and caught up Jews and Muslims as well. Modern Jewish writers (such as Netanyahu) attempt to deny that the Inquisition was against the Christians that followed the Law and kept the food laws and Holy Days. They attempt to make claim that the Inquisition was against the Jews and that the so-called Judaising Christians, the Albigensians and Waldensians were really Jews in spite of the fact the rabbis of the day declared them not to be Jews. This conflict is not understood by either modern Christianity or Islam and is, seemingly, deliberately obscured by rabbinical Judaism.
Modern Islam does not understand that the Children of the Scriptures were also Israel. The reference to keep the covenant at Surah 17 is to the Children of Israel, including those of spiritual Israel and all of those of the surrender, including Islam.
In the post exilic period, the name Adonai was substituted for the covenant name Yahveh as a title also of honour and majesty, perhaps because of the inability to understand the roles of the subordinate Elohim of Israel who was the Great Angel of Israel’s redemption and deliverance and the Messiah (see Gen. 48:15-16; Ps. 45:6-7; Heb. 1:8-9).
The covenant name Yah[o]vah was introduced to Moses and from the traditions has become the written and unspoken name of God. From Exodus 6:2-3 this name was not known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and is only specifically used for Israel. But Yah[o]vah (under delegation from Yahovah of Hosts) is, however, the ruler of all mankind. Israel was given to Yahovah as his special portion from the allocation of the nations to the Sons of God by the Most High God (Deut. 32:8, see RSV).
Genesis 18 and 19 use the term Yahovah when referring to three Angels and the Yahovah in Heaven.
The concept of the existence of the one true God being surrounded by angels (who bore His name as sons) was constant throughout Old and New Testament writings and the Koran. The concept of an angel associated with Yahovah is found in the Old Testament at Genesis 21:17, 22:11, 15:16, 31:11-13; Exodus 3:2-5; Judges 6:11-23 etc., where the messenger is identified with Yahovah Himself and in these passages speaks alternately of the angel and of Yahovah and in one instance the name or very self of God or Yahovah is found to be in the guiding angel (Ex. 23:20-21). In these cases the angel is in the form of Yahovah’s appearance in each specific situation referred to and is in human guise but not as an incarnation. It is asserted, however, that no man has seen God so that the appearing angel became the face of God and is that being referred to when Moses was promised that Yahovah’s face (RSV presence) would accompany the people in the wilderness (Ex. 33:14-15). This figure was referred to as Elohim and El or called God but was not Yahovih or Yahovah of Hosts. This figure was referred to by Judah as the Archangel Michael but is now understood to be Jesus Christ or the Word, the outspoken fiat or presence of God.
It was from the actualisation of God in the singular apparition as the Word called Elohim (and El) that the spoken name of God occurred. This plural word elohim was applied to those angels or messengers that appeared for Eloah. It was from this concept that the Paulicians were accused of referring to Christ as an angel (see ERE, art. ‘Paulicians’, Vol. 9, p. 696).
The name Allah is derived from the spoken name of God, namely the Hebrew word Eloah. The plural elohim is also derived from this singular form. It is asserted, that traditionally, YHVH was not spoken but we know that is not true for the Temple period. Adonai was used for SHD 3068 and Elohim for SHD 3069 by post-Temple rabbis but the words were spoken in the Temple on a daily basis in public worship. Elohim, while sometimes in the singular, is in fact a plural word and often accompanied by a plural verb. To render the name of the being The God in the unambiguous singular, the form Eloah is used. Eloah in the generic sense can also refer to a negative concept of not God or no gods at all (Deut. 32:17) where the negation of power and Godhead is required. Eloah and Allah (or the Lah) are both used in the Koran. Such terms are used to differentiate between the Eternal God (termed as God the Father) and Elohim as the Word, the Face, or Presence of God. This Angel of the Presence is referred to at Exodus 23:20. He bears the name of God,
for my name is in him. A good example of this distinction is in Psalm 18:31:
“For who is God (Eloah), but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God (Elohim)?”
The concept of the word of God as a separate divine form is found in the custom of referring to magistrates as elohim in that their judgments were guided by God, as were the priests.
Eloah is used “forty-two times in the book of Job and only fifteen times elsewhere (e.g. Deut. 32:15,17; Ps. 18:31 (H 18:32); Prov. 30:5; Isa 44:8; Hab. 1:11)” (The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 2, p. 414). As the Koran was taken from the sayings of the prophet(s), the difference occurred. Allah, Elohim, Yahovah, the Eternal are one and the same except where Elohim is used as judge in reference to the Word, the Messiah or to the Council of the Elohim (see also the papers The Elect as Elohim (No. 1), The God We Worship (No. 2), The Deity of Christ (No. 147), The Holy Spirit (No. 117), The First Commandment: The Sin of Satan (No. 153) and the Law series (No. 252-No. 263)). The word Yahovah or Yehovah is a breakdown of the written Hebrew YHVH with later punctuation. Later Jewish tradition incorrectly asserts that they were never spoken so as not to confuse the two beings referred to in the texts as Yahovah and Yahovih. Indeed, the Sopherim, or rabbinical scribes, changed Yahovah to Adonai in the Masoretic text in 134 places to disguise the issue (see Companion Bible, Appendixes 31, 32 and 33) similar alterations were made regarding the term elohim (ibid.). These changes were made by post-Temple Judaism and such views were never held in the Temple period.
Hadithic Islam rejects Christ and hence denies the Koran
Modern Islam rejects comment on the Messiah and claims from some texts in the Koran that the Prophet made no distinction of Christ, i.e. from Surah 6 Cattle at verses 81-91 specifically at verse 86, Jesus is mentioned as of the Righteous. In fact, this grouping of texts shows clearly that wisdom is given by God and is not of man. God reveals to an elect the truth and gives the Scripture command and prophethood. Obedience to His revealed word is conditional for the retention of knowledge and authority; and removal of the authority to another obedient people, the punishment for disobedience. This echoes Christ’s statement at Matthew 21:43.
The following texts are important to understanding Christ’s role in the Koran and these texts reiterate the Bible position.
1. [5.43] And how do they make you a judge and they have the Taurat wherein is Allah's judgment? Yet they turn back after that, and these are not the believers.
2. [5.44] Surely We revealed the Taurat in which was guidance and light; with it the prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judged (matters) for those who were Jews, and the masters of Divine knowledge and the doctors, because they were required to guard (part) of the Book of Allah, and they were witnesses thereof; therefore fear not the people and fear Me, and do not take a small price for My communications; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unbelievers.
3. [5.46] And We sent after them in their footsteps Isa, son of Marium, verifying what was before him of the Taurat and We gave him the Injeel in which was guidance and light, and verifying what was before it of Taurat and a guidance and an admonition for those who guard (against evil).
4. [5.66] And if they had kept up the Taurat and the Injeel and that which was revealed to them from their Lord, they would certainly have eaten from above them and from beneath their feet there is a party of them keeping to the moderate course, and (as for) most of them, evil is that which they do
5. [5.68] Say: O followers of the Book! you follow no good till you keep up the Taurat and the Injeel and that which is revealed to you from your Lord; and surely that which has been revealed to you from your Lord shall make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief; grieve not therefore for the unbelieving people.
6. [5.110] When Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! Remember My favor on you and on your mother, when I strengthened you I with the holy Spirit, you spoke to the people in the cradle and I when of old age, and when I taught you the Book and the wisdom and the Taurat and the Injeel; and when you determined out of clay a thing like the form of a bird by My permission, then you breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission, and you healed the blind and the leprous by My permission; and when you brought forth the dead by My permission; and when I withheld the children of Israel from you when you came to them with clear arguments, but those who disbelieved among them said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.
At Surah 5 The Table Spread 46, 78 and 110ff., we see that the gospel was bestowed on Christ confirming that which was (revealed) before him, i.e. fulfilling the Law and we bestowed on him the gospel wherein is guidance and a light confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah - a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil).
The Koran states unequivocally at verse 47 that the People of the Gospel are to judge by that which is revealed therein and that unto: ... They have we revealed the scriptures with the truth, so judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed ...
An apparently confusing portion occurs at verse 51 because the Prophet is alleged to contradict himself here as he says: O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. They are friend one to another.
Here the Koran is making a clear distinction between the People of the Gospel (e.g. Sabians) and those generically called Christians. He differentiated between the Church of God, which at that time was in Upper Syria, Armenia and Mesopotamia, which kept the Law and the teachings of Christ and the larger mainstream Christian church sects which had adopted erroneous pagan customs espousing serious heresies, including the Trinity.
Later writers included the comments as Pickthall did in verse 53 after Then will the believers say (unto the people of the scripture), Are these they who swore by Allah their most binding oaths that they were surely with you? Their works have failed and they have become the losers. This text accords with Christ’s promise at Revelation to the church of Philadelphia, where those who say they are Jews, but are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan, will worship (proskuneo) the Elect. Refer also to the paper The Genetic Origin of the Nations (No. 265).
The Koran states, at Surah 42 Counsel verse 13, that the religion (of the surrender) was established by Abraham, Moses and Jesus and is not divided, being known from the days of Noah. This position is what we understand to be the basis of the faith from Noah and the laws as understood from Noah. Rabbinical Judaism refers to these as the Noahite law and holds it in distinction to the law of Torah as interpreted by the Oral tradition. The Law was extant from Adam (cf. the Law series: L1, and papers (No. 252-No. 263) and (No. 281). There is no biblical difference between the law given to Moses and that observed by Noah and Abraham and as kept by Melchisedek in Salem. The Koran holds that God Himself chooses and calls those established in the faith. This is exactly the position of Paul in Romans 8:29-34.
At verse 14 of Surah 42, the Koran states that the divisions in the faith occurred after the knowledge was given and turned by rivalry (or by worldly considerations) and that those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them, i.e. after the divisions, are verily in hopeless doubt concerning it. In other words, this mainstream church system became divided and apostate. It obviously is referring to the Diphysite /Monophysite schism and the doctrines of the Chalcedonians, and their fundamental errors in relation to the original doctrines as practised by the sect called Paulicians.
The Koran states, at Surah 43 Ornaments of Gold when talking of the establishment of the religion, that Egypt made light of Moses (v. 54). Here Pharaoh and Egypt are used in the classic biblical sense of sin and earthly power. It states also that people laugh out at Christ.
As revelation the Koran says of Christ: He is nothing but a slave (of God, i.e. Abd Allah, considered to be the highest designation) on whom we (i.e. Eloah, or Elaha’) bestowed favour and we made him a pattern for the children of Israel. It uses this in the sense of Romans 11 and it is from the Koran that the clear national identity and responsibility of the elect is seen. At verse 63, the Koran says that Jesus came with clear proofs (of Allah’s sovereignty - Pickthall). It said, I have come unto you with wisdom and to make plain some of that concerning which ye differ. So keep your duty to Allah and obey me. It also shows the bickering of the Jewish factions at verse 65. The Hadith uses Surah 3 The Family of Imran from verses 80-84. At verse 80, the Prophet says: And He commanded you not that ye should take the angels and the prophets for Lords. Would He commend you to disbelieve after ye had surrendered (to Allah); and from verses 83 and 84:
Say (O Mohammed): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.
And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.
The term surrender applies to Moses, Christ and the Prophet in the Old and New Testaments and the Koran. The Arabic for the surrender is Al Islam. The term loser in the Hereafter can only apply in the sense of obtaining an inferior resurrection and judgment.
From the comment, We make no distinction between any of them etc., modern Islam seeks to deny the Athanasian position and then, somehow, ignore Christ’s teachings which the Prophet does not allow them to do. This position is not altogether different from the words of Christ himself when he delivered the Revelation to John. At Revelation 22:7-9 he says:
“Behold I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
And I John saw these things, and heard them, And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”
The statements of Christ and the Arabian Prophet are the same. The use of the term kurios or Lord in relation to Christ is in the sense of leader or ruler, not as the Koran uses it here in the sense of God. The term making no distinction between any of them is a reference to the inspiration of the message, but the gospel of the Kingdom of God was a message of the firstfruits and of the Spirit at Pentecost, so the Arabian Prophet could not deny Christ as the firstfruits as this was his entire mission, and one acknowledged by the Koran, as Al Tariq so vividly portrays. What the Arabian Prophet does do is destroy completely the Athanasian concept of the Trinity, which was never held by the original Christian Church, and for which they have been continually persecuted (see Prof. Roth’s translation of The Edict of the Faith of 1512 by Andres Del Palacio, Inquisitor to Valencia – C. Roth, The Spanish Inquisition).
Islam cannot ignore Christ and still be of Islam. It must be remembered that the Arabian Prophet was writing to refute the trinitarian heresy. They claimed that Christ was a true God when the Bible was clear that there was only one true God and that Christ was His son whom He sent (Jn. 17:3; 1Jn. 5:20). The Koran must be read in that light but it must be read in the light of the texts available to the church in Arabia. The Prophet’s family had been under Christian influence and was Christian; but he was not Trinitarian and that was the issue on which Islam was founded and the Koran written.
At Surah 57 Iron, the Prophet, at verses 26-27, shows that the faith was given to Noah and Abraham and that the prophethood and the Scripture was placed in their seed, that the messengers (or prophets) were caused to follow in their footsteps and that Jesus was caused to follow and given the gospel and that the Lord placed compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who follow him. He uses those verses specifically to castigate monasticism as not ordained by God. The significance of this is great. The sects practicing this non-scriptural deviation at the time were both the Athanasians and the Monophysites. The Paulicians were the only sect not doing so as were this sect to the east from which sprang Islam. It is as unscriptural now as it was when the Prophet outlawed it with these words attributed to God: But monasticism they invented - We ordained it not for them.
From verse 25:
We verily sent our messengers with clear proofs and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance that mankind may observe right measure.
The People of the Scripture are reminded at verse 29 that they control nought of the bounty of Allah but the bounty is in Allah’s hand to give to whom he will. This was a direct refutation of the doctrines established in 590 CE by Gregory I when creating the temporal Holy Roman Empire, which was to last 1,260 years to 1850 CE ending completely in 1872. Rome decreed that temporal authority rested in the Church of Rome. From the Bull Unam Sanctam salvation was considered impossible outside of the Church of Rome. This, of course, was counter to the Bible and also here in the Koran.
The Scripture was preserved by Judah until Messiah and it and the New Testament are available today. The Dead Sea Scrolls show that the Scriptures are as they were at the time of Christ. Thus Islam cannot claim they have been distorted beyond recognition.
At Surah 61 The Ranks (The Congregation), at verse 6, the Koran says,
And when Jesus son of Mary said ‘O children of Israel Lo I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was (revealed) before me in the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me; whose name is the Praised One. Yet when he hath come unto them with clear proofs they say ‘This is mere magic’.
It is alleged that the term The Praised One (or Ahmed) is one of the names of the Prophet, as a referral to himself, but it is a reference to the Spirit or Comforter, and some say it means both and is evidence for the Prophet’s acceptance. It would be unusual for the Prophet not to understand the role of the Spirit and it is unlikely that he would attempt to appropriate to himself the role of the Spirit.
He refers, at verse 14, to a dispute between two parties of the children of Israel, when Christ asked the disciples who were his helpers, and there were those who believed and those who disbelieved, with the believers being strengthened by God and becoming uppermost.
One can only assume that he/it is here referring to the 40-year period of grace to give repentance within the framework of the sign of Jonah and its completion with the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE and the ruination of Jerusalem from 1 Nisan 70 CE to Nisan 71 CE, exactly 40 years after Christ’s death. The Church of God fled to Pella and was spared, whereas Jerusalem and the Temple with its adherents were destroyed. During this time converts were disinherited and disfellowshipped from Judah.
From Surah 19 Mary and Surah 21 The Prophets, we see that the Koran laid the lineage of the prophets with Isaac and Israel, into the kingship of David and Solomon. It claims no pre-eminence for Ishmael, but rather claims for him acceptance amongst them as mentioned in the Scripture and as a prophet (19:54f. and 21:85) and as one of the chosen at Surah 38:49.
From the Surah Mary [Miriam], we have a clear statement of Christ’s virgin birth, but the story appears to relate to the Egyptian Apocryphal Gospel, unless the comments are allegoric which is probably the case, and refers to the period of isolation (cf. the paper Purification and Circumcision (No. 251)). As Mariam (Mary) was certainly pregnant prior to marriage, the comments at verse 27 are probably a reference to this fact being observed by her outer family or village.
At verse 28, the text makes a most important observation where it refers to Mary as Sister of Aaron. From Matthew and Luke we are given Christ’s lineage, which is from David in Matthew through to Solomon; and in Luke, through Nathan (see the paper Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119)). Christ was of the line of Judah and both these lines are of Judah, but in order to fulfil the expectations that the Messiah would be of two advents, the Messiah of Aaron and the Messiah of Israel, lineage from Levi is required. The Judaic lineages alone would not be sufficient to complete those expectations, which we know were widespread from the writings of the sons of Zadok. Further, the prophecy in Zechariah 12:10-14 shows that when they look on me; the one they pierced the houses of his lineage appear to be of David through Nathan (v. 12) and Levi through Shimei (v. 13). As Mariam’s cousin, Elizabeth, was wife to Zechariah, high priest of the Division of Abijah, and because of the limitations imposed upon Levites by Numbers, Elizabeth and probably therefore Mariam (Mary) would have been full Levite in the case of Elizabeth and part Levite in the case of Mariam, allowing Zechariah to be fulfilled and Christ to be the Messiah of Aaron and Israel. Far from being an error or a generalised term, the statement is corroboration of this prophecy in Zechariah, perhaps showing that he had also read and understood Zechariah.
Confusion has arisen over the denial of the position by the text that God would take a son to Himself. Athanasian Christianity and modern Islam both do not understand the ultimate destiny of mankind as sons of God, and that Christ was the firstfruits of this activity.
The text was attempting to refute the Athanasian position of the Trinity which limited the spiritual concept of unity and eternal existence with God by limiting Christ to the concept of a single and isolated son in the human physical sense. If the Bible was read more carefully by both Christianity and Islam, the Prophet would be more readily understood. At no stage does the Koran deny that Christ was the Messiah and the firstfruits. Indeed, he proclaims it.
The early Hadithic traditions show that the Bible was copied at the time of the Prophet in Hebrew, and there are two sources for this. Origen’s Hexaplas was copied into Hebrew in a couple of instances and the Bible was available from Pella and Arabia in the earliest times, with the Church of God being well established in upper Mesopotamia. The Law and the Prophets would have been readily available in Aramaic and also from the Judaic dynasties in Mecca and Arabia Felix generally.
Modern Islam pretends that the books that the Prophet read are not the same as those extant today and hence they do not have to follow the orders of the Prophet in studying the Torah and the writings comprising the New Testament. The Dead Sea Scrolls show this teaching to be false.
From his writings, the Prophet clearly acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. The Sunni and Shiites did to his teachings that which Rome did to the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Indeed, it was because of this, and Arab idolatry, that the Prophet commenced his ministry. Islam today has a different dispensation; they profane the Sabbath against the express orders of the Prophet, and do not follow the food laws because they are ignorant of the expanded law in the Torah, because they do not read it. One cannot read the Koran in isolation from the whole Bible and arrive at understanding. This hiding of the truth, albeit unconsciously, occurs even now. In his otherwise eminently readable translation, N. J. Darwood has rendered Al Tariq as the Nightly Visitant from the most obscure of the meanings of the name. This name is used much less than the Morning Star or He who stands at the door and knocks, but was known and used in 1Thessalonians 5:2: For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
Although this name loses some of the impact in English readers, there is no doubt that Tariq is commonly understood throughout Islam. Ask any child named Tariq what his name means and if he knows at all, which is very likely, he will answer The Morning Star. Identification of the Surah, The Morning Star and He of the Pierced Side, with Jesus Christ is simple and unavoidable.
Thus we can see the development of this tradition from Moses who gave the first recorded prophetic comment at Genesis 17:19 and at the promise to Judah at Genesis 49:10: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. The prophecy of Moses at Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18:18-19 was stated as fulfilled by Christ.
The general expectation of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition is of the coming of the Messiah, the King of Righteousness, who will establish his rule for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:4) called the Millennium. The Christian tradition is that the Millennium (or Chiliad) will be preceded by the first resurrection of the Pelekizu (the martyrs, or the persecuted for Christ’s sake). The second or general resurrection of the dead occurs at the end of the Millennium.
Satan (also Azazel: Heb. or Iblis: Arabic) is bound for the 1,000 years and released at the end of the Millennium where he again deceives the world and the final war occurs.
This last deception is followed by the total destruction of the nations, and then the second or general resurrection of the dead. The Koran, at Surah 18 The Cave 95-101, refers to this last war of Gog and Magog by name and shows that it is at this time that the last trumpet is blown for the general resurrection of the dead and the judgment as we have seen. The last trumpet is actually two trumpets (Surah 39:68 The Troops, and Surah 79:6ff. Those Who Drag Forth). The Troops has the first blast for the destruction of the nations, and the second for the resurrection and at verses 69-75 shows the setting up of the Books of Judgment.
Isaiah 65:20 shows that a period of 100 years occurs after the second resurrection so that all may achieve salvation. After that the judgment and destruction of the unrepentant occurs.
The biblical prophecies indicate that Elijah (or one in the spirit of Elijah) would be sent to warn of the coming of the Messiah (Mal. 4:5). Matthew 17:11 shows that Elijah is to come and restore all things and that John the Baptist was a forerunner of this prophet. The Sons of Zadok referred to this prophet as the Interpreter of the Law (which may, in fact, be the Messiah of Israel rather than Elijah) and Jeremiah 4:15 indicated that the prophet or voice that issues the warning of the last days (see the paper The Warning of the Last Days (No. 44)) will be of Dan and Ephraim. Later Catholic prophecies refer to this Danite prophet as the Danite Antichrist because he is an iconoclastic Sabbatarian and preaches against the Sunday worshipping churches.
The Mahdist tradition of Islam states that the Last Day or Hari Kiamat is heralded by a period of universal catastrophe. Suffering and oppression are to be brought to an end by the appearance of the Mahdi as the restorer of order and the king of the Millennial (or Chiliastic) Kingdom. The Kingdom is to be destroyed by Daddjal, the demon (cf. Rev. 20:4-12) who is in turn defeated by the prophet Isa (Jesus) who is to restore justice. The Mahdists have confused the teachings of the Scriptures and the Koran and have placed Elijah, or the Imam Mahdi, the Interpreter of the Law of the DSS, as the restorer and king for the Millennium, and they then have Isa or Christ as coming after the release of Satan (in this case Daddjal) for the last war of Gog and Magog just prior to the general resurrection. They are thus unaware that there are two wars of Gog and Magog, one at the beginning and one at the end of the Millennium. The expectation of the prophet is nevertheless the same.
The Messianic expectations of Islam have been adopted by the Ahmadiyyah Movement which, founded by Mirza Ghulam Armad in the late 19th century has taken over Hindu as well as Middle Eastern Messianic concepts (see K. Cragg (cf. Ling 7.37 and 7.39), Islam and the Muslim, Open University Press, 1978, p. 70). They are thus corrupted.
From Surah 18 The Cave we find, from verses 95-111, that Gog and Magog (the Leader and the Nation) are firstly confined allegorically by a bank between the nations (mountains) and at verses 99 and 100 we find that they are released at the blast of the last trumpet and destroyed by the Lord prior to the Day of Resurrection at verse 106. The Gardens of Paradise are mentioned as a reward after the resurrection at verse 108, but it is assumed the second or latest garden is meant.
The symbolism of the mountains here has a variety of allegoric meanings. From the Bible we know that the nations (always symbolised by mountains) are levelled by Christ and destroyed, but that after the release of Satan, Gog and Magog re-emerge for the second and last war. It is likely that the Prophet was using this bank as a symbol of doing away with the distinction of national power under the Messiah but, nevertheless, being contained in genetic identities as is anticipated within the boundaries mentioned by Moses. The association with the natural boundary of the Caucasus would be inevitable to an Arab of the Prophet’s time and, hence, the statement would be considered an important allegory. The message of the Koran must be interpreted within the context of Scripture.
When taken and read in isolation, the Koran, like the New Testament, can be distorted and it inevitably became the source of division, hatred, persecution and war. When all three books are read together, as they should be, understanding is possible and a complete plan of salvation emerges which cannot be misinterpreted.