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Featured Can theological difference between the Gospels and the Qur'an be resolved?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Aug 12, 2018.

?
  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
    47.1%
  2. No

    7 vote(s)
    41.2%
  3. Possibly

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  4. I don't know

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  1. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I voted..... no

    religion must die first
     
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  2. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    Bible tells God dwells in Jesus, similarly as in disciples of Jesus. Jesus represents God on earth, makes deal in the name of God. That is his divinity, he has God’s authority on earth, from God.

    Trinity is not mentioned in the Bible.

    I think important question is, what does son mean. After all, disciples of Jesus can be also children of God. Bible tells God is spirit. If we are children of God, we are spiritually children.

    God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
    John 4:24


    Jesus answered him, "Most assuredly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can't see the Kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into the Kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don't marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born anew.'

    John 3:3-7

    If Quran is against that, I think it is not very reasonable.

    Jesus said:
    Most assuredly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me."
    John 13:20

    Now, if you receive me and I am sent by Jesus, you receive Jesus. Does that mean I am Jesus? Not really, I am not the one and only true Jesus. But I could represent him, I could speak in his name and that way I could be like Jesus on earth. Same is with Jesus. He acted in the name of God. It could be compared to a president of a country. President makes deals in the name of his country. He is not really the country, but he acts in his name and therefore is the county. Same is with Jesus. But as the Bible tells, Jesus is the image of one and only true God.

    in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
    Colossians 1:14

    This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
    John 17:3

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
    1 Timothy 2:5

    It all could be understood, if people would remain in truth and accept what the Bible tells. But that is not good for the world leaders, they need that people are ignorant and not free.
     
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  3. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    This is an excellent post thank you. I believe if there was a deeper understanding of both the Bible and the Quran and willingness to move away from beliefs that are essentially traditions, then the supposed theological differences between Islam and Christianity are reduced or completely vanish all together.
     
    #23 adrian009, Aug 13, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  4. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    The question isn’t about uniting Muslims and Christians so they hold the same views about each other’s religions. Of course that can not happen in the foreseeable future. The question is a personal one for each of us. Can we see the message in the Quran and the Gospels as being from the same God?

    For me personally the Crucifixion literally happened and the verse in the Quran that suggests Jesus wasn’t crucified is simply saying they didn’t kill His Spirit.

    The literal resurrection of Christ never happened. His spirit was lifted up to heaven that He could be seated at the right hand of His Father figuratively speaking.
     
    #24 adrian009, Aug 14, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  5. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    In a sense that is true. As we must die to ourselves to be born into the Spirit of God, so too must religion free itself from the fetters of dogma and superstition to allow the truth to shine resplendent.
     
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  6. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    The answer is yes but people tend to be entrenched in their own false beliefs.
     
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  7. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe you were not there and the Null hypothesis doesn't work in this instance because we can expect God to do the miraculous.
     
  8. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe God is a good judge so I let Him do it.
     
  9. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    If so, how?[/QUOTE

    For us, no. Once Christ arrives again, yes.]
     
  10. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I answered "yes", but only as long as we don't interpret the scriptures at the literal level.
     
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  11. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    So what will be the signs of His coming and what do you expect He would say to resolve the matter?
     
  12. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Why? It’s just a way of explaining context and elaborating. I’m not a forked tongue snake lol

    That’s reassuring. Some Jews on RF of a more orthodox perspective seem to believe Mosaic law in its entirety can be established in a modern setting.
     
  13. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    And some Muslims believe that the Qur'an was revealed by an archangel. Therefore?
     
  14. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    There seems to be similar ideas about a heaven and hell along with having angels and demons (or Jinn). How does the Baha'i Faith interpret the Quran's verses that talk about those things?
     
  15. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    As you may well know, the Q'uran and the Bible have many similarities regarding what they say about Jesus:

    1) He was conceived of a virgin
    2) He lived on earth as a great prophet (both agree that he was a human being)
    3) He performed many miracles
    4) He received divine revelations from God
    5) He is the spirit of God and the word of God
    6) He will come to earth a second time

    In terms of the miraculous works of Jesus, I do not think the Muslim or Christian have much dispute over this. The debate starts picking up when you start delving into the nature of Jesus Christ. Muslims strongly reject the notion that God can manifest himself as a human being, and so they reject many core doctrines of the Christian faith:
    1) The crucifixion (God cannot die)
    2) The resurrection (If God never died, there is obviously no resurrection)
    3) God does not need to sacrifice His Son to forgive sins. An omnipotent God would just forgive freely. Killing someone over it would be unjust.

    I think both parties can overlook superficial differences, such as whether Jesus really gave life to clay birds as stated in the Q'uran. But things like the death and resurrection of Jesus are central to the Gospel narrative and to the Christian faith. From my point of view, the fundamental theological differences are too great to be compatible, so my answer would have to be no.
     
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  16. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for your response.

    At the beginning of last month I asked the question what are the key theological diffrences between Islam and Christianity regarding concepts of God.

    What are the Key Theological Differences between Islam and Christianity Regarding Concepts of God

    Six theological differences were identified and the RF audience felt the differences in order of strongest to weakness were:

    (1) The Divinity of Christ (87%)
    (2) The Trinity (80%)
    (3) Jesus as the Son of God (73%)
    (4) The Resurrection of Christ (67%)
    (5) Salvation (60%)
    (6) The Crucifixion of Christ (47%)

    The opportunity was provided to identify if there was any other major differences and none were identified.

    So in your response I'm impressed that you have identified some essential similarities between Christianity and Islam. You have also mentioned three of the six theological differences between Christians and Muslims albiet the three that the RF poll (of just 15 participants) felt the least strongly about.

    In regards the Crucifixion of Christ there is just one verse in the entire Qur'an that makes any mention of Jesus being crucified.

    And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.
    Surah 4:157

    Looking at this one verse it would be very easy to conclude Muhammad really means, they killed His body (another made to resemble him) but they neither killed or crucified the essence of His Spirit which is the most important aspect of our being, would you not agree?

    As we both know, Muslims interpret this verse very literally. However that would imply another person who looks like Jesus was crucified and so its a case of mistaken identity. In a way that interpretation doesn't make too much sense.

    So who were the followers of Muhammad initially? They were uneducated nomadic tribesman on the Arabian penisula. The tribe Muhammad emerged from was the Quraysh tribe who were merchants and spent much time in Mecca. However most of them, like Muhammad Himself were illiterate. They were pagans, not Christians or Jews. Muhammad made enormous efforts to educate them. He endured great persecution as He tried to convince them He was a prophet with a message from the Angel Garbriel and they were to turn away from the worship and traditions of their ancestors and be like the Jews and Christian and worship the One true God. It took many years for them to accept His Message. Muhammad and His followers fled Mecca to Medina as their lives were in great danger and eventually the Muslims needed to defend thmselves in battle against the Qurarysh as they pursued Him. Eventually He defeated them and returned to Mecca near the end of His life. Muhammad then succeeded in uniting Arabian tribes and they became Muslims. It would be fair to say that learning the finer details about history and what was written in the gospels was not a priority to the early Muslims. In fact to this day the Muslims see the gospels as corrupted and obsolete and will not accept the most plausible account of events regarding the crucifixion that is clearly documented.

    Of course other than the gospels we can not be certain as to how Jesus died. However the crucifixion of Christ is one aspect of Christ's life that most historians are in agreement about.

    Historicity of Jesus - Wikipedia

    The Baha'i perspective on the matter is unambigious:

    "The crucifixion as recounted in the New Testament is correct. The meaning of the Qur'anic version is that the spirit of Christ was not crucified. There is no conflict between the two."

    (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 14, 1943; in Lights of Guidance, no. 1646)

    "Regarding your question relative to Surih 4, 156 of the 'Qur'an' in which Muhammad says that the Jews did not crucify Jesus, the Christ, but one like Him; what is meant by this passage is that although the Jews succeeded in destroying the physical body of Jesus, yet they were impotent to destroy the divine reality in Him."

    (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, March 19, 1938; in Lights of Guidance, no. 1669)
     
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  17. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    Another interpretation I heard from Muslims is that it was actually Judas, the disciple of Jesus, that was crucified in his place. Yes, there is strong historical evidence for the crucifixion of Jesus, but Muslims do not accept any other view besides what they are taught. Much like Jehovah's Witnesses, devotees are strongly advised against interpreting the holy scriptures for themselves, which I believe is much of the problem.

    Both of us can say that Surah 4:157 implies that Jesus was killed, but his spirit was not. However that is the Christian/Baha'i interpretation of this particular verse. I mentioned before that it is easy to interpret another religion's scripture to justify one's own worldview. Take for example Isaiah chapter 53. A Christian can easily say that the chapter refers to Jesus, but the Jew will say that they have a different interpretation. Who then has the final say as to what the scripture is actually referring to? Monotheists have a very simple solution to this problem, which is to say that our Scripture (and interpretation) is correct and all others are wrong. Harsh I know, but it actually makes the religion's doctrine more consistent and coherent, and not precarious like you mentioned before.
     
  18. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    We all have our non-negotiable beliefs that define us. It is difficult for a Christian to not believe in the Divinity of Christ, the Trinity, Jesus as Son of God, the exclusivity of Christ for salvation or the resurrection. Increasing those from a Christian background do feel free to question and that can lead for many of us to very different views from where we started. For Muslims that process of questioning is even more difficult. However truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtue and a wise man once said the truth shall set us free (John 8:32). Nor should we have any hesitation about seeking it out wherever it takes us (Matthew 7:7-8).

    The problem with that view is one religious group imagines themselve to be right and the others wrong. Yet we live in one world, share the earths resources, and are increasingly interdependent on each other. Many of us don’t want to live in our own theological bubble anymore. At some point it becomes impossible if we want to meaningfully engage with our neighbours and the world we live in.
     
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  19. Thinking Homer

    Thinking Homer Understanding and challenging different worldviews

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    Hearing you say that, I do not think that our worldviews are that different. All the world religions I have come across have a common thread regarding the nature of God, and it is ultimately through His grace that we attain salvation (Christianity, Islam and Hinduism all teach this).

    Fritz Ridenour puts this nicely: "Holding a biblical worldview based on the absolute truth of Scripture can sound like Christians believe they have all the truth. Christians do not claim to possess all the truth because only God knows all the truth perfectly and exhaustively. At best, we can know truth only partially as 1 Corinthians 13:12 clearly teaches. Neither do Christians claim that there is absolutely no truth in non-Christian religions and other worldviews. There are many truths that are common to all people. Nor do Christians claim that they alone are immune from cultural blinders or other errors. Error and foolishness is a common human problem, even among Christians."

    Despite all the theological differences, one can note that every religion recognizes the depravity of mankind, and the gap between God and humans. Islam tries to rectify that through the five pillars, Hinduism teaches that countless reincarnations are required to reach that holy state, and the Judeo-Christian view tells us that a sacrifice is required. In the end, it is only through God's manifestation and grace that we can be saved, and even the Bhagavad Gita recognizes that the Vedic rituals, meditations and asceticism are worthless in and of themselves without devotion to a personal God. I believe that this grace manifested in the person of Jesus Christ, as a mediator to bring all people to God, regardless of what religion you belong to. As Jesus says in John 10:16 - "I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."
     
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  20. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Who will be that One Shepherd bringing together the entire human race? What will be the signs accompanying His Holy Presence amongst us?

    I think Paul’s resurrection experience was profoundly mystical (2 Corinthians 12:1-4.) He was lifted up into the realm of Christ propelling his mission as an apostle until His final martyrdom.

    Many are called to a personal journey with our Lord. What are the qualities that enable us to walk the path with spiritual feet? Surely we must be prepared to follow Him wherever He wishes us to go. For me that took me outside of Christianity into a new faith. But then the early Christians needed to cast away the old to make way for the new. As Jesus once said you can’t pour new wine into old wine skins (Mark 2:18-22).
     
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