In this section, Dr. Badawi spends a great deal of time attempting to re-interpret the meaning of John 10:30 where Jesus said:
This passage provides major problems for those who wish to disprove the divinity of Jesus. I have heard many arguments made by Unitarians and Jehovah's Witnesses which attempt to deny the meaning of this verse. Muslim apologists, including Badawi, Al-Kadhi, and Meherally have borrowed these arguments and have used them in their apologetics. When we examine this verse in context, it provides many problems for Dr. Badawi and his arguments for Islam.
Jamal Badawi: There is the foundation of the monotheistic faiths that there is one creator of the universe. For that faith to be strong and unshakable, that faith must also be on a foundation that is strong and unshakeable. Not on statements that are not conclusive. It is blasphemy to associate others with God. We have to make sure about what Jesus said and meant about himself. It is inconceivable that Jesus or any Prophet would speak with some clarity and conclusiveness about the mater of divinity any vague statements would not be conceivable. It is inconceivable that Jesus or any Prophet would keep divinity as a guarded secret from people for hundreds of years. If Jesus were God or the Son of God, he would have said it clearly that he was God incarnate, or I am God and worthy of worship. God speaks clearly in the Bible in no unmistakable terms. Allegories are used in some religious teachings and Jesus did use parables.
We must definitely examine the claims made by any religion [including Islam] in order to determine if they are true.
Jamal Badawi: John 10:30:
It appears that a great deal of mileage has been made out of this statement that the context is different than what has been interpreted from it. In the Interpreters Bible "this is the clearest and most succinct expression of the Logos doctrine of the prologue, but the declaration is now on the lips of the incarnate Christ" this is not sustained by the text that I and the Father are one. It is reading too much into it when interpreted in the boundaries of the Bible itself. The basic question is what does this mean? I and the father are one in identity, or that we are one in nature or divine essences, or we are one in purpose as a faithful servant? Let's look and see which one is consistent with the Bible.
One in identity: This is the mainstream view of Christian heresy. It means that the Father and the Son are the same person, not two distinct persons. It means that God died on the cross if they are fully identical.
Christians do not accept this interpretation.
Is Jesus claiming to one in purpose only? We need to read this verse in context.
This passage begins as Jesus was on his way to the Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Dedication, a holiday that we know as Hanukkah. A crowd, which was full of men who wanted to destroy Jesus, gathered around him and asked if he was the Christ - the long awaited Messiah of the Jews. Jesus accused them of disbelief because they were "not his sheep" since his sheep (or followers) listened to His voice. In verse 28, Jesus not only says that no one can snatch them from his hand, he also gives them "eternal life"! Giving eternal life is something that only God can give, therefore, Jesus implied that He and God are One. The Jewish crowd that heard these words knew exactly what Jesus was saying and they believed that Jesus had committed blasphemy by claiming to do what only God can do - making Himself equal to God. In verse 30, Jesus claimed to be One with God.
Why did the Jews want to kill Jesus? Because He said that He and God, or He and his followers are one in purpose? No! They wanted to kill Jesus because they believed that He committed blasphemy by claiming to be One with God, not because He preached unity of purpose! Reading further:
In verse 33, the crowd clearly said why they wanted to stone Jesus : "because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
Jamal Badawi: John 10:30 is really the only one which says that Jesus is one with the Father. No single verse has an exclusive claim. When the verses are understood in context. John 17:11:
If you look in John 17:20-23:
It is so obvious here that Jesus did not mean that they would all be one in him because all of the disciples would be divine, it is the same term as in the Greek [hen]. In fact, Jesus included Judas when he said that they would all be one.
The Greek term "hen" means "one in unity" (the Arabic equivalent is Wahid and the Hebrew Eschad), whereas, the term "heis" means one numerically (Arabic Ahad and Hebrew Yachid).
If Badawi wants to deny Jesus' equality with God the Father, we would need to find the word 'heis' to indicate a numerical oneness of the unity. In other words, the term 'heis' would discount any possibility of a "compound unity" and would negate any argument of a plurality of persons within the unity. But, 'hen' is the word used by Jesus in this verse! This is a strong proof the Jesus and God are One and is also proof for the plurality of God as the One represents a plural unity of the one God. So the three persons revealed to us by the Bible are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) existing in the one God, which agrees with the way that God is described in the Bible as being one, 'hen' in Greek, which is used to describe the oneness of God in the New Testament , 'echad' in Hebrew, which is used to describe the oneness of God in the Old Testament. God and Jesus are One and there is absolutely no indication that there is inequality between the Lord Jesus Christ the eternal Word of God and God the Father.
We also need to take a closer look at John 17:20-23:
In verse 21, Jesus says that the Spirit of the Father and the Son is the perfect union - something that Dr. Badawi has been trying to disprove all along. What does this union accomplish? First, it brings all believers into a living unity, and then this unity goes one step further - with the Father and the Son. Please note that Jesus never mixed Himself up with His disciples when He associated Himself with God the Father, but said I in THEM and THEY in US.
In verse 22, Jesus prays that the Christian community of believers may be one as God and Jesus are One. Verse 23 continues with a prayer for Christian unity.
It is interesting to note that Badawi omitted verses 24-26:
These verses, especially verse 24, clearly say that God and Jesus are one since they were both together before creation and that Jesus knows God.
Jamal Badawi: There was more than one time when this nearly happened. Jesus was quit frank in his criticism of the religious leaders of his time. They hated him and were trying to implicate him to trap him, put words in his mouth to get rid of him by proving that he was blaspheming and deserved the death penalty. John 10:33 where the said that this man is making himself God, read verse 34:
So he is defending himself based on the Psalms where human beings are referred to as Gods in a literal sense. In Exodus it says that God sent Moses as a god to Pharaoh, it does not say that he became God, but he represented God. They did not believe that Jesus said that he was equal, they were trying to trick him and his response was obvious.
Alright, let's look at this statement in context
Now the enemies of Jesus accused him of claiming to be God. How did Jesus respond? If these accusations were false, Jesus would have refuted them as he refuted all of the false accusations made against him. Jesus made no attempt to refute this accusation.
Jesus's answer is that it is not blasphemy based on the Law (Psalm 82) to call certain people 'gods', and it is definitely not blasphemy if applied to Jesus since Jesus was more worthy to be called 'god' than any of the others in Psalm 82. In other words, it was not blasphemous for Jesus to claim divinity because he was, in fact, divine.
Jesus clearly acknowledged that he did say that he was God's Son. This was not a statement fabricated by his enemies, Jesus clearly said it and asked why it was blasphemous for him to claim this title.
Jesus proceeds to show his opponents that he did deserve the title, by describing himself as "the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world", "God's Son", and by saying "the Father is in me, and I in the Father". Once again, the mob knew what Jesus said and they attempted to kill him for saying it.
Jamal Badawi: Referring to the context of the Bible, did Jesus mean divinity or that he and God were in each other in the spiritual or allegorical sense. John 17:21:
Again if we say that the disciples are one, they are divine. Jesus is saying that as he is in them in the spiritual relationship, they will all be in us. The same is true when Jesus said that the Father abides in him, he abides in the disciples Letter to 1 John 4:12 the term God abides in us is used. We can not take this as proof of incarnation.
Jamal Badawi: John 14:9
Actually, this verse reads:
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
One part says see and the other known. The term only son does not mean only son, literally. The other example is in 1 John 4:12:
John is writing this letter after Jesus, so if it were true why did John write this? If you interpret it literally, then seeing Jesus was the same as seeing God.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
This makes it abundantly clear that Jesus is saying that whoever has known me has known the Father. Every Prophet in his time is the spokesman of creator, knowing him is knowing the creator, not to divinity and is consistent with John 14:7, which means known.
We need to understand and distinguish between the humanity of Jesus and the deity of Jesus. Jesus was both God and man and His "physical body" was a visible part of His humanity. The Bible is very clear that "God" is spirit and does not have a body "by nature". This does not mean he cannot "assume a body" since He is All-powerful. However, He in and of Himself is not "matter" but is "spirit". For additional information on this topic, please read John 14:8-9 (hath seen the father)
Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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