Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog


Part Four


By Richard P Bailey


THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS OR OBJECTIONS that Muslims ask Christians are related to the following four general areas:

  1. The Person of Jesus (God incarnate, Son of God, Trinity, etc.)
  2. The Crucifixion of Jesus
  3. The Bible (contents, changes, etc.)
  4. The Nature And Character of God



#1.  “HOW CAN YOU BELIEVE IN THE ‘TRINITY’?  God is one, not three!”









With each question we will first try to understand why Muslims ask the question.  Then we will look at both short and longer answers, and then finally, in some cases, we will look at answers from the Qur’an.  (All Qur’an quotations are from the Yusuf Ali translation)

QUESTION #1: “HOW CAN YOU BELIEVE IN THE ‘TRINITY’?  God is one, not three!  You are guilty of idolatry!”

WHY DO MUSLIMS OBJECT TO THIS?  See The Qur’an’s Teaching:

(Sura 4:171) “Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him.  So believe in God and His apostles.  Say not, ‘trinity.’  Desist!  It will be better for you, for God is one God ...”

[from Yusuf Ali’s notes 675 & 676: “… the Christian attitude is condemned, which … invents the doctrine of the trinity … Christ’s attributes are mentioned: (1) that he was the son of a woman, Mary, and therefore a man; (2) but an apostle, a man with a mission from God, and therefore entitled to honour; (3) a Word bestowed on Mary, for he was created by God’s Word ‘Be’ (kun) and he was (3:59);  (4) a spirit proceeding from God, but not God … The doctrines of Trinity, equality with God, and sonship are repudiated as blasphemies …”]

“Shirk”- the unforgivable sin:  (Sura 4:48,116) “God forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth.  To set up partners with God is to devise a sin most heinous indeed … God forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him, but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this.”

(Sura 5:76,119) “They do blaspheme who say, ‘God is one of three in a trinity: for there is no god except One God… O Jesus, the son of Mary.  Didst thou say unto men, ‘Worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of God’?  He will say, ‘Glory to Thee!  Never could I say what I had no right (to say).’”

(Sura 2:163) “And your God is one God: There is no god but He ...” (see also Sura 16:22; 16:51; 37:4-5; 38:65)

ANSWER #1:  Messiah Jesus Himself Said That There is Only One God:

“‘The most important one [commandment], answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”’” (Mark 12:29)

ANSWER #2:   Christianity Does Not Teach That There Are Three Gods!  The Bible Categorically States at Least 30 Times That There is Only One God!:

In the Torah (Taurat):  "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”   (Deuteronomy 6:4,5 - see also Deuteronomy 4:35 & 39; 2 Samuel 7:22; I Kings 8:60; 2 Kings 19:19)

In the Psalms (Zabur):  "For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God." (Psalm. 86:10)

In the books of the prophets:  “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.  I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:10,11); "This is what the Lord says ... I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God … You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” (Isaiah 44:6,8 - see also Isaiah 37:16,20; 44:24; 45:5,6,18,21; 46:9; 48:12; Hosea 13:4)

In the New Testament (Injil):  "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.” (1 Timothy 2:5,6a - see also Mark 12:29; John 5:44; Romans 3:30; I Corinthians 8:4; Ephesians 4:6; I Timothy 1:17; James 2:19; Jude 25)

ANSWER #3:  The Trinity Is Clearly Seen in God’s Act of Creation.  Although the word, “trinity” itself does not appear in the Bible, the triune (three in one) nature of God appears repeatedly.  As an example, look at what is written about God’s method of creation:

First of all the Bible Says That God Created all Things Alone: 

“I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24).

And yet, in the Torah’s account of creation we see the triune nature of God’s creating work:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light …” (Genesis 1:1-3)

The three “members” of the “Trinity” involved in creation seen in these verses are:

- God the Father (“God”),
- God the Spirit (“the Spirit of God”) and
- God the Son, who, according to John 1:1-14, is the Word of God (“God said”)

Secondly, God Uses Several Human Metaphors to Describe the Means He Used to Create Everything.  These metaphors are used not only to explain to us God’s meaning, but they also indicate the “members” of the “Trinity” involved in creation.   God created everything alone by means of Four “Parts” of Himself …

1) by His Right Hand - His hand of Power:  God also said,

My own hand laid the foundations of the earth and my right hand spread out the heavens.” (Isaiah 48:13)

Does this mean that God's right hand is the creator and not God, or that God’s right hand is a second God in addition to God Himself?  Of course not!  God alone created everything but He did it by His own right hand, which is a human metaphor for His Power.  Thus we read that God,

“… made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.” (Jeremiah 10:12)

When Mary was told by an angel that she would have a son, she asked how that could be possible.

“And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.’” (Luke 1:35)

It is clear from this verse that God the Holy Spirit is also called God’s Power.  We also see from this verse that Jesus the Messiah (God’s eternal Word) was brought into this world by God’s Power.  Remember that we have already seen that the Spirit of God was present and involved in creation:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light …” (Genesis 1:1-3)

And we read that Messiah Jesus also is God’s power:

“… Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:24).

2) by His Wisdom:

“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence ... The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth ... I was there when he set the heaven in place ... Then I was the craftsman as his side ...” (Proverbs 8:1-31)

Did God ever exist without His wisdom? Of course not!  Did God create his own wisdom? No!  Is God’s wisdom a second God in addition to God Himself?  Absolutely not!  God says that his wisdom is "from eternity, from the beginning." God’s wisdom was "brought forth,” (brought into use) and “appointed” (selected for use) at the time of creation, and so God alone created everything but He did it by His own wisdom.

Then we read that Messiah Jesus is also God’s wisdom:

“… Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:24).

3) by The Word of God:  God further said,

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made ... For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” (Psalm 33:6,9)

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light …” (Genesis 1:3)

“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-3)

These verses clearly show that God alone created everything by His Word.  The Word of God is the communication or manifestation of God.  God’s Word is God Himself; not a second God. God created everything simply by commanding it to “Be!”  Yes, God alone created everything, but He did it by His Word.

Messiah Jesus is the eternal Word of God, who “became” a human being by the power of God:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us ...”  (John 1:1-3,14)

4) by The Breath of His Mouth; The Breath of Life:   Also God said,

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. (Psalm 33:6)

“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

These verses clearly show that God alone created everything, but He did it by breathing into it the Breath of Life. 

Many Verses Indicate that Jesus the Messiah is God’s Life:

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies …’” (John 11:25)

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life - the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us.” (1 John 1:1,2)

ANSWER #4:  Two Illustrations From Nature:

Human beings:  When we humans talk about ourselves we refer to ourselves as “I.” When a man dies, his body goes into the grave, but his soul doesn’t.  Which one is the real person - his body or his soul?   A man might say, "I said I would do it." or "I gave you my word."  In the first statement he identifies his word (“said”) as himself (“I”).  In the second statement he distinguishes his word (“my word”) from himself (“I”).  He is one person, yet he exists in several entities – word, body, spirit and soul, mind, etc. and he talks about his spirit, his mind, his word, etc, as if they are all separate entities, although he is only one being.  Human beings are triune beings – body, soul/mind and spirit – three in one.

The sun:  When I look toward the sun I might say, “I see the sun,” but I actually see only the light of the sun which makes things visible on the earth.  In the same way, when I feel the warmth of the sunshine I might say, “I feel the sun,” but I actually feel only the heat of the sun which gives life to the plants and animals of the earth.  Science tells me that in reality the sun is burning gases, which I can neither see nor feel.  What I see is the light from the burning gases and what I feel is the heat from the burning gases.  The one sun has three distinct entities – gas (source), light and heat – all existing simultaneously, and I refer to each of them as “the sun.”  We could say that the sun is a triune being – gas (source), light and heat – three in one.

We could compare God “the Father" to the gas, which is the source of the light and the source of the heat.  God the Father is the source, whom we cannot see nor feel:

No one has ever seen God. (John 1:18)

“And the Father…His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen.” (John 5:37)

“… who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see …” (1 Timothy 6:16)

We could compare God “the Son" to the light of the sun, which reveals the sun so that we can see it:

No man has ever seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.” (John 1:18 - ASV)

He is the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15)

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” (Hebrews 1:3)

And we can compare God “the Holy Spirit" to the heat of the sun, which we feel and which has power to give life:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …” (Acts 1:8)

“And the angel answered her [Mary], ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.’” (Luke 1:35)

All three are one God, but they each have their functions.  For example, the only way we can know about the sun’s source is through the sun’s light and heat, but without the source there could be no light or heat.  Likewise the only way we can know God is by His revelation of Himself to us through His Word (Jesus) and through His Holy Spirit.

[Other illustrations from nature are: 

- Space is a trinity with three dimensions (height, length, and depth).  Without all three dimensions, there is no space.

- Time is a trinity with three aspects (future, present, past).  Without all three aspects, there is no time.]

ANSWER #5:  God’s Oneness (Tauhid) is Not as Much Singleness As it is Uniqueness and “United-ness”:

In the well-known “Shema” found in the Torah we read,

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4,5)

When the Bible says that “God is One” is doesn’t mean simply that He is the only God, which He certainly is.  The Shema clearly shows that His oneness means:  1) He is totally distinct or unique from all other entities – one of a kind; and  2) He is completely united in Himself:

1)  He is Totally Distinct and Unique:   Notice that what the Lord is saying in this passage is not a command to believe that God is one.  His oneness is stated as a fact, not to be disputed.  Instead the command is to love God will all of our being!  It is a logical deduction that if there is only one God – the Almighty Creator of all that exists, we must respond by loving Him with all of our being (heart, soul and strength)!  To say we believe there is one God, and yet share our love for Him with several other entities (self interests, idols, personal beliefs, etc.), is not only idolatry, it is an open act of rebellion, putting ourselves in the same state as Satan and his demons:

You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” (James 2:19)

2)  He is Completely United in Himself:   In the original text, the Hebrew word for “one” is e’had, which is used to describe other things that are united.  For example:  God used the same word in the following verses:

“God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And there was evening and there was morning, one (e'had) day. (Genesis 1:5, RSV)

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one (e'had) flesh.” (Genesis 2:24).


WHY DO MUSLIMS THINK THIS WAY?  Western converts to Islam often say they were relieved to find that Islam’s teaching about God is straight forward, simple and void of the “mysteries” of Christianity, such as the Trinity and the deity of Christ, which they claim never made sense to them.

ANSWER:  If, after so many years of scientific research, the physical universe, in which we live, is still beyond our complete understanding, why should we think it strange that we cannot fully understand the nature of the invisible Creator of this universe?  In fact if we could completely understand God, then we would be equal to Him!   Every honest person will admit that there are many things about God that he/she believes but does not fully understand.  The Bible tells us:

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.  ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”  (Isaiah 55:8,9)

How unsearchable his judgments and his paths beyond tracing out.” (Romans11:33)

The very idea that there is a God, requires belief in the supernatural.  Believing that Allah created everything out of nothing simply by saying, “Be!”, or that the Lord Jesus was born of a virgin, or that Moses parted the Red Sea by stretching out his rod, is totally unscientific and mysterious!  Who are we to tell God that He cannot be a Triune being and Jesus cannot be God because those ideas are beyond our comprehension?  Muslim scholars also have long said that Allah is unlike anyone or anything, and that those who think they know what Allah is like, can be sure He is not at all what they are thinking He is.

A “mystery” is something we cannot understand ourselves, because we lack some particular knowledge vital to understanding it.  Therefore a mystery about God can only be understood when God reveals it to us.


a)  The Qur’an Agrees That God is Beyond Our Comprehension:

Sura 6:102,103:  “That is God, your Lord! ... No vision can grasp Him, but his grasp is over all vision.  He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things.”

Sura 2:255:  “… He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth …”

[Yusuf Ali’s note # 6296: “… The first thing we have to note is that His nature is so sublime, so far beyond our limited conceptions, … Fifthly, He is not like any other person or thing that we know or can imagine: His qualities and nature are unique.”]

b)  The Qur’an – the Uncreated Speech of God:  Is the Christian teaching about the deity of Christ really any different from Islam’s teaching about the Qur’an being “the uncreated speech of God”?  After many years of struggling over the question as to the true nature of the Qur’an, Muslim theologians finally concluded that the Word of God is “the eternal, uncreated speech of God.”  Even though some would argue that this conclusion means that there are two Gods, they further concluded that this truth in no way affects God’s Tauhid (oneness, unity).  God is still one God.

  Angels are spirits and all spirits are created beings, so we believe the ‘Spirit of God’ is a created angel.  God is not a spirit, he is God!”

ANSWER:  The Bible teaches that God’s Spirit is not a created being.  He was never created, but was present at the time of creation:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1,2)

The Bible also teaches that God is spirit:

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

Therefore, while most spirits (angels) are created beings, God Himself is a Spirit being, and He is certainly not created!  The Bible also teaches that the Spirit of God is God Himself:

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with every-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17,18)

“Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Psalm 139:7,8)

[Notice in the last reference that the words, “your Spirit,” “your presence” and “you,” are all used synonymously for God.  He is not divided.  He is One, and He is Spirit.]

At the same time the “Spirit of God” (the “Holy Spirit” or “God’s Spirit”) is united with the Son of God and God the Father as one triune God.

[For a fuller explanation of the trinity, go back to Question #1.]

ANSWER FROM THE QUR’AN:  Notice that the Qur’an states that God breathed “something of His Spirit” into Adam when he created him.  This shows that the Spirit of God is inside of God, and cannot be a created angel:

(Sura 32, verse 9) “But he fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of his spirit.”

(Sura 15, verse 28)  “Behold!  Thy Lord said to the angels, ‘I am about to create man, from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape.  When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of my spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.’



(Sura 112, verses 1-4) “Say: He is God, the one and only; God, the eternal, absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.”

[Yusuf Ali’s note # 6296: “… Fifthly, He is not like any other person or thing that we know or can imagine: His qualities and nature are unique.”]


The Bible agrees that God is not physical, but is Spirit; He has no physical body:

God is spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)

And yet the Bible says that mankind was created in God’s “image.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  (Genesis 1:27)

Since mankind was created “in the image of God” and God is not physical, the “image of God” cannot be physical.  It is absurd to think that we physically look like God.  We were created to be like God in some other way.

Also it is clear we could never be like God in His unlimited capabilities (creative power, complete wisdom, etc.).  There is certainly no other eternal creator like Him:

I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24)

“I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.  Who is like me?  Let him proclaim it.” (Isaiah 44:6,7)

So in what way were we created to be like God?  We can see from the following verses that God created us to be like himself in character; not in physical appearance or in his powers as God.  For example, God told the people of Israel through his prophet Moses,

I am the Lord your God.  Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy for I am holy You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44; 19:1,2).

Almighty God is saying that the reason mankind should be holy is because he created mankind to be like Himself in character – to be holy like God is holy.  Many years later God spoke to his people through his apostles Peter and Paul repeating what he had said to Israel through the prophet Moses:

as he who called you in holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written [in the Torah], ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15,16).

“… put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)

God created us to be like Himself in the same way a son should be like his father.  He created us to be just like He is – loving, indiscriminate, kind, merciful, just, forgiving, pure, etc.

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.  For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44,45)

“But love your enemies, and do good and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:35,36)

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Sadly, we are not living lives of holiness and purity, but often have chosen to reject being what God created us to be!  We have followed the rebellion of our first forefather, Adam, and have violated God’s purpose in creating us.  That is why Almighty God, in His love for us, sent His Son to become like us in order to enable us to become more like Himself, as He originally intended us to be:

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man”  (Romans 8:3)

”And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man (Adam), so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven (Jesus).” (1 Corinthians 15:49)

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”  (Romans 8:29)

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

ANSWER FROM THE QUR’AN:  Notice that the Qur’an also indicates Adam was created by God breathing into him His own Spirit; instilling within him something of himself – something God-like (in His image).  The Qur’an even goes so far as to say that God demanded that the angels fall down and worship man:

(Sura 15, verse 28,29)  “Behold!  Thy Lord said to the angels, ‘I am about to create man, from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape.  When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of my spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.  Not so Iblis.  He refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.  (God) said, ‘O Iblis! What is your reason for not being among those who prostrated themselves?’ (Iblis) said, ‘I am not one to prostrate myself to man, whom thou didst create from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape.’

(Sura 32, verse 9) “But he fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of his spirit.”

QUESTION #5: "ISN'T IT WRONG FOR US TO SING OR LAUGH DURING OUR WORSHIP OF GOD?  Such emotions are human, and God is far above and totally separate from all human emotions such as laughter, joy, grief, or love."

WHY DO MUSLIMS OBJECT TO THIS?  The Qur’an’s Teaching:

(Sura 112:1-4) “Say: He is God, the one and only; God, the eternal, absolute… and there is none like unto him.

Islam teaches that God is very great (“Allah-u-Akbar”).  In fact, He is so great He is totally unique and not in any way like anything or anyone in all of His creation.  Muslim theologians take it one step further when they say God is so unique that He could not have any of our human emotions such as laughter, joy, grief, love, etc.  These emotions, they argue, are expressions of our human deficiencies and human needs.  For example, we humans love because we need to be loved.  God needs nothing!


a)  Yes, God is Unique:  The Bible also teaches God’s uniqueness in several verses in Isaiah:

“’To whom, will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ Says the Holy One.” (Isaiah 40:25)

“To whom will you compare me or count me equal?  To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?” (Isaiah 46:5)

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God;, and there is none like me.” (Isaiah. 46:9)

b)  But We Were Created to be Like God in Some Way:  Certainly there is no other God; no one completely like God or equal to Him in that sense.  But does that mean we are not similar to our Creator in any way?  The Bible tells us that we were created to reflect His image:

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26,27).

c)  God was not created in our image; we were created in His image!  Certainly God is not like us created human beings, but we created human beings were created to be like God!  Sadly, because of our sin that image of God in us has been largely blurred, but it is still evident.

The real reason we have emotions is because God has emotions!  I love because God loves, and God’s love is 100 times deeper and more profound than my love.  God’s love is perfect love while my love is deeply flawed by sin.

As I study the Scriptures I see more and more that God is certainly very emotional!  He has many emotions.  Here is a list of some of God’s deep emotions mentioned in Scripture:

grief“The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” (Genesis 6:6) -  [Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who firmly believed that God shares the suffering of his people (Isaiah 63:9, Acts 9:5), said we need to "stand by God in his hour of grieving".]

distress“He said, ‘Surely they are my people’ … In all their distress he too was distressed …” (Isaiah 63:8,9)

wrath, indignation“Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:6);

“God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day.”  (ESV: “… a God who feels indignation every day.”)  (Psalm 7:11)

hatred“For I the Lord … hate robbery and iniquity”;  Malachi 2:16  “’I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel, ‘and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence…’” (Isaiah 61:8)

jealousy“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I , the Lord your God, am a jealous God …” (Exodus 20:5);  “Thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath’.” (Zechariah 2:8)

envy“Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?” (James 4:5)

laughter in derision“The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them” (Psalm 2:4);

“But the Lord laughs at the wicked …” (Psalm 37:13)

rejoicing“as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5)

singing for joy“The Lord you God is with you… He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

delight “… may they always say, ‘The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.’” (Psalm 35:27)

pleasure“It pleased the Lord for the sake of his righteousness to make his law great and glorious.” (Isaiah 42:21)

compassion –  “My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.  I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim.” (Hosea 11:8); “…your tenderness and compassion are withheld from us.” (Isaiah 63:15)

love“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God … because God is love.” (1 John 4:7,8);  “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:11)

The Bible indicates that God has all these emotions, and we have them because we were created in His image. We sing, laugh, cry, get angry, grieve, love and rejoice because God does!

d)  So what does this mean for you and me today?  Why did God give us these emotions?  As far as I can understand this, Almighty God must want us to have an intimate relationship with Him, and so He created us with the capacity to experience the same emotions He has.


ANSWER: God is so great (Allah-u-Akbar) and His love is so complete, that He was able to create us to have an intimate relationship with Himself.  It seems clear from Scripture that God Himself wants that relationship with us.  Just look at what God's Word says:

1)  God has always intended to live with and among His people:

(a)  With Adam & Eve In the Garden of Eden:

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day …” (Genesis 3:8)

(b)  Among the People of Israel:

“I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you.  And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.” (Leviticus 26:11)

“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron; ‘The Israelites are to camp around the Tent of Meeting (where God put His special presence) some distance from it, each man under his standard with the banners of his family.  On the east (three tribes) …On the south (three tribes) …On the west (three tribes) … On the north (three tribes) …” (Numbers 2:1,33);

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has an infectious skin disease… send them outside the camp so they will not defile their camp, where I dwell among them’.” (Numbers 5:1-3)

(c)  Among Humanity:

“In the beginning was the Word … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us …” (John 1:1,14)

(d)  With Those Who Repent and Submit to Him:

"This is what the high and lofty One says, He who lives forever, ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit.’" (Isaiah 57:15)

2)  Now God in His Holy Spirit has chosen to live in the life of believers – those who trust in Jesus their Messiah:

(Jesus said to His disciples)  “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth … for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16,17);

“You… are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (Romans 8:9)

"We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his son, Jesus Christ.” (I John 1:3)

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.” (Rom. 8:15,16)

3)  Moreover, this relationship with God has the potential of being more intimate than any human relationship!  The most intimate human relationships (married spouses or mother and child) are limited to verbal and physical communication, but when God’s Spirit lives inside us and communicates spiritually with our spirit we are able to be closer and more intimate with Him than with any human being:

"For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the Spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” (I Cor. 2:11,12)


ANSWER:  The Almighty’s Name In Three Languages:

It is true that “God” is a generic word for any kind of deity in English.  However, normally it is capitalized to distinguish it from “gods,” and thus it conveys the concept that He is The God, meaning the only true God.  Some Christians have tried to transliterate a Hebrew name into English to make it more specific, but “God” is the English name.

In Hebrew the name most commonly used for God in the Torah (Old Testament) is “YHWH.” Out of reverence the Jews never pronounce God’s name, and so the sound and Roman spelling of these four Hebrew letters is unknown.   It is sometimes pronounced, “Jehovah,” but more commonly, “Yahweh.”  It literally means “He Is” or “He (who) Is.”  It was first introduced to Moses by YHWH Himself:

God said to Moses, ‘I Am Who I Am.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I Am has sent me to you.”’  God also said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, “YHWH [He (Who) Is], the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.”  This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.’” (Exodus 3:14,15)

Likewise, the Arabic name, “Allah” is viewed by some as a contraction of the Arabic definite article “Al” (the) with the generic word “ilah” (deity, god).  Thus “Al-ilah” became “Allah,” meaning, The Deity or The (Only) God.  Part of the Islamic creed is “There is no ilah but Allah,” which could be translated, “There is no god except The God.”  Others believe “Allah” originally came from the Aramaic/Syriac “Alaha” meaning “God” or “The God.” (see this article).

Actually, when we begin to think about it, personal names are used for people as a means of distinguishing one from all the others.  Since there is no other God, to give Him a personal name is like saying He is one out of many, which would be blasphemous!  That is why God has said, “I am” so just “call me ‘He (Who) is.’”  He is simply The God!


WHY DO MUSLIMS THINK THIS WAY?  See the Qur’an’s Teaching:

(Sura 4:28)  “God doth wish to lighten your (difficulties) for man was created weak.”

(Sura 6:164)  “… Every soul draws the reward of its acts on none but itselfNo bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another …”

(Sura 15:39-42) “(Iblis) said: ‘O my Lord!  Because thou hast put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in the wrong, except thy servants among them, sincere and purified (by thy grace).’  (God) said: ‘This (way of my sincere servants) is indeed a way that leads straight to me.  For over my servants no authority shalt thou have, except such as put themselves in the wrong and follow thee.’

[translator Yusuf Ali’s note #1968: “Note here the emphasis… (3) that this evil only touches those who yield to it, and has no power over God’s sincere servants, purified by His grace ”]

ANSWER #1:  What Is The “Original Sin” And How Does it Affect Us?

The term, “Original Sin” is not found in the Bible and it was created by theologians to describe the truth taught in the Bible that because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, we have inherited their judgment and “fallen sin nature.”  The Bible teaches that Adam and Eve were created innocent of any sin, and they were given freedom to obey or disobey what God told them.  They chose to disobey and because we were in them when they sinned, that “original sin” has negatively affected us, their descendents (all mankind).  [Read Genesis chapters one, two and three.]

What the Bible really talks about is not so much the original sin itself, but the negative effects of that sin in all of our lives.  The affects of that original sin are manifested in several ways: 1) The earth we live on seems to be cursed in various ways – weeds and bugs destroy our crops, there are floods and other disasters, we are subject to many diseases, women suffer pain in childbirth, etc.  2) We have an inherited tendency toward evil, causing selfishness, wars, deceit, hatred, etc. and  3) We all die sooner or later.  The Bible tells us that in the beginning God created everything and “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”  (Genesis 1:31).  Although the Lord God had warned Adam that death would result from disobedience (Genesis 2:17), He did not create death nor did He create anything evil. Where did those things come from?

The Bible says these negative affects have come from our first parents, Adam and Eve:  The things parents do affect their children, and we have inherited these negative things from our original parents, who chose to disobey God.  However, we cannot simply blame Adam and Eve.  Yes, we have inherited the inclination to sin from them, but we still have a free will, and we ourselves choose to sin against God and against each other.  The Bible says:

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned (Romans 5:12)

If you don't want to call it “original sin,” then call it something else, but we have to accept the fact that we all suffer the consequences of what Adam and Eve did.

ANSWER #2:   Is It Fair or Just For God to Punish Us For What Adam Did?

a)  Does it seem just or fair that we were born on this corrupt, cursed earth instead of in Paradise where our ancestors Adam and Eve originally lived?   Why were we born on this earth with its disease, floods, earthquakes and weeds?  Why couldn’t we have been born in Paradise like our first parents were?  Some might say that God created the earth in this cursed condition, but God doesn’t create evil.  He created everything good.  We share the same fate with Adam and Eve of having to live on this cursed earth because we were in them – in their bodies – when they sinned and when they were banished from Paradise by God.  That may not seem fair or just, but it is a reality we can’t deny:

Therefore, cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you and you shall eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread ...” (Genesis 3:17-19)

b)  Does it seem just or fair that we all have a strong inclination from childhood to be selfish, to lie, steal, cheat, etc.?  People have been fighting and killing each other from the beginning when Adam’s son, Cain got jealous and killed his brother Abel.  Mankind not only has been killing each other, but also creating even more damage to the natural environment of the earth in our selfish pursuit of more money.  Why were we born evil in this way?  Some people say we are this way, but God created mankind weak. God did not create us weak.  He created man to be His viceroy to rule the earth.  Everything God created was good.  Others say children are born innocent and sinless, but later get corrupted by their society and environment.  Anyone who has a child knows that the smallest child is driven by a basic selfishness long before he/she even begins to understand right and wrong.  Parents continually have to teach their children to do what is right, but they never have to teach them to do what is wrong.  We have these in‑built, evil and selfish tendencies because we have inherited them from our ancient ancestors, Adam and Eve.  They corrupted their noble and pure nature by disobeying God, and became sinners by nature.  They have passed this nature on to us their children.  You may not want to believe this, and it may not seem fair, but you have to face the reality of our own evil nature:

... the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men …” (Romans 5:18);  

... through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners ...” (Romans 5:19);

c)  Does it seem just or fair that we are all destined to die one day because of Adam’s sin?  Death was the heart of God’s punishment for Adam and Eve’s disobedience.  He warned them, “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die (Genesis 2:17).  God created mankind to live forever, free to eat from the tree of life He put in the middle of Paradise.  Adam and Eve would still be alive if they had not disobeyed Him.  You may not want to believe we face death because of Adam’s original sin, but death is a reality we have to face no matter what you believe:

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

Death has two parts:  The first part is physical death when our spirit is separated from our body and our body decays in the grave.  The second part is spiritual death, when our spirit is separated from God and tormented for eternity in hell.

“Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.  Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.  This is the second death, the lake of fire.  And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:13,14)

“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” (2 Thessalonians 1:9)

d)  God is not unjust, and because of His love for us, He has provided a way for us to escape this death sentence imposed on us by the sin of our ancestors, Adam and Eve, as well as by our own sin.  He sent Jesus the Messiah to conquer death for us:

“For if, because of one man’s (Adam) trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

“For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep (have died).  For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)

ANSWER FROM ISLAM:   The same three results of Adam’s “Original Sin” are also found in the Qur’an’s account of Adam’s “fall” in Sura 7:19-25 (also Sura 2:35-38), where we see Adam and Eve:  1) being cast down on the earth,  2) being cursed with a sinful, evil nature (“enmity between yourselves”), and  3) destined to face death.


ANSWER #1: God Rested “From” His Work, Not Because of it:  God didn’t rest because He was tired, but because He had finished His work.  The Torah says:

“... God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. So God blessed the seventh day [later called the Sabbath day] and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:2,3)

“Rested” is a human metaphor used here to convey the truth of His having completed His work.  Another similar example is found in both the Bible and the Qur’an depicting God seated on His throne.  In this metaphor, being “seated” is used to convey the fact that God has all authority, not that He got tired of standing and had to sit down!

ANSWER #2: The Bible Clearly Teaches That God Never Gets Tired:

“Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary.” (Isaiah 40:28); 

“Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:4)

ANSWER #3:  Jesus Said That Although God Completed His Work of Creation, He Has Other Work, and Has Never Stopped Working.  In Fact, He Even Works on The Sabbath:

“So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him.  Jesus said to them, ‘My father is always at his work to this very day, and I too, am working.’” (John 5:17)

God does not need a day of rest.  We do, and He created the Sabbath for us to set apart for Him:

Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man …’” (Mark 2:27)

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work.” (Exodus 20:8-10)

God has been doing a different kind of work ever since He finished his work of creation.  What kind of work do you think God is doing?:

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  (Ephesians 2:10)

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

“To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” (Colossians 1:29)