Conjunction of monotheism in Quran and gospel of Matthew and John.
1-Posing the problem:
Thank One God, the only eternal who has no end boundary and the outcome that is endless. Each of the three monotheistic religions have their own set of scriptures, the documents are as the material recording of divine revelation for these believers. Ibrahim (AS) and Moses (AS) who received Decrees from God Himself is called direct revelation, but Jesus (AS) and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received an indirect revelation because Jesus said that he had spoken as name of the Father and Muhammad (SAW) said he received Revelation through Angel (Boca p 3). We as Muslims believe that Jesus invited people to worship One God and to the clear principles in this area and he was harmonious with the other prophets in terms of monotheism, so that believing God and faith to Him wouldn't be unfamiliar to human wisdom. Although more than fourteen centuries of shared life of Islam and Christianity pass, a large number of followers of these religions are unfamiliar to each other's religious teachings. They sometimes reach to wrong information by relying on unreliable sources or partial reports and analysis. Today there can be found systematic comparative studies and safe researches and away from other purposes only a in a limited number of scientific societies and academies, whether Islamic or Christian, of course, this measuring is something like comparison of the drop with the sea. One of the challenging issues among the Muslims and Christian is monotheism. In this article, it is tried to study the connection between Christian and Islamic Monotheism to explore similarities and differences according to the Quran and the Gospel and it attempted to interpret the differences between them to eliminate some doubts.
2-Monotheism in the Holy Quran and Gospel (Matthew and John):
"say: "o people of the book! come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, lords and patrons other than Allah." if then they turn back, say ye: "bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's will)" (Al Imran, v 64).
The foundation of the command of the Qur'an is on the basis of monotheism, as it is emphasized in different places of Qur'an. The Prophet Jesus (PBUH) was the herald of monotheism, as it was mentioned in Gospel (John) " Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." (John 3.17), in spite of the emphases on monotheism, some of the followers of Jesus (AS) deviated from the right path and fell into trinity, and one of the problematic issues in the Christian is the doctrine of trinity because deviated Christians believe in the trinity.
2.1 The Holy Quran and monotheism and conjunction with Gospel:
The oneness of God and monotheism has been mentioned more than 60 times in the Qur'an:
"There is no god except Him" (Baqara, v 163), " There is no god except Allah" (Safat, v 35), " There is no god but Allah" (Al-Imran, V 62), " your lord has ordered you to worship none except Him, ..." (Al-Isra, v 23), it has been interpreted that your lord has certainly ordered you to worship none except Him (Tabaresi, Javame Al-Jame, v3, p 451), " they say: 'Allah has taken (to himself) a son" (Baqara v 116). This holy verse implies unity of God and rejects any child of God and He is Unique. It has explicitly been mentioned in the Qur'an that it was revealed to the Prophets before Muhammad that God is One. "We never sent a messenger before you except that we revealed to him saying: 'there is no god except me, therefore, worship me" (Al-Anbiya, v 25), and also to Jesus that God is one as; "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only (Matthew, 10,4). He also refers to the point that he is messenger as, "yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me" (John, 22-25). These are similar to the verse "the messiah, the son of Mary, was not except a messenger, other messengers had gone before him. His mother was in the state of sincerity, they both ate food. See how we make plain to them our signs. Then, see how perverted they are" (Maeda, v 75).
There are other statements in the Gospel of Matthew and John that is similar to the verses mentioned above implies monotheism as in; "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life" (John, 24,5), " Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17,3), " I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth" (Matthew, 11, 25), " Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will proclaim justice to the nations (Matthew ,12,18). All this implies the oneness of God and denies the deity of Messiah and also: "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew, 17, 19). This is an obvious statement to resolve the trinity darkness and signifies the unity of God and His worship and Jesus slavery; it is close in meaning to the above verses. In response to the Pharisees in Matthew as saying, Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment" (Matthew, 22;37,38). Here Jesus with this commandment showed his belief in the oneness of God, and he did not say that the greatest commandment and the first precept is to believe in the trinity (Malekawi,pp. 21 and 22).
So according to above verses and statements, the belief in the trinity did not exist in Messiah (As), but it may be invented 300 years or more after his ascension. (Fekri, p. 104) And monotheists in Christianity are those who reject the Trinity because it is incompatible with complete monotheism and Christian scientific theory. The new monotheism began in the reform era and then it opened swath in the church, and this movement leaped from radical left-wing elements of the reform and some of these intellectuals of this group wanted to develop the Criticism of the church's traditional teachings to incarnation of God in human form, which they believed it is contradictory with the New era and the findings of wisdom and thought. Although this school has been rejected by the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformed Church and they believed it is devastative of the Christian faith basis(Mulend p. 309) but this monotheism was not new in Christianity rather it existed in other religions.
2.2 father and son in teachings of the Gospels and ancient times and interpretations in this context:
Although trinity is superficially implied in some of the Gospels, but with reference to the teachings of the Bible, this belief is proven to be untrue. Some of them are as follow;
1. New era emphasizes that Messiah (AS) was humble to say;" I praise you", At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children (Matthew, 11,25). "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I" (John, 14,28).
These statements and teachings imply that these three hypostases aren't absolutely equal to each other. Rather, Father is only authority and the Son is unable to do anything without the Father's power and this meaning is understood by wisdom (Rezvani , pp. 84 and 85).
2. Many cases in modern times introduced God as the father of the believers and pious men. "Your father is in the heaven"(Matthew 6,11), "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you" (Matthew 6,14).
3. These cases were told in old times as; "For I am a father to Israel" (Jeremiah, 31,9), "Tell Pharaoh that how God says, Israel is my firstborn and my son and I tell you leave my son to worship me (exit, 14 7), "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me" (2 Samuel 7:14). Even numerous cases have been mentioned among Islamic traditions that imply to Quasi-divinity." [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "(Noori, 11, 258)." O my servant!
Obey me now, so I'll put you like myself, I would say to something; become! It becomes.
It is correct that the servant of God reaches to a position due to obedience of Allah that becomes like Him, but the purpose is to be so close to God (Al-ziat, p. 117). Ibne Taimia says that the word "Ibn" (son) is said about someone whom God educated and He is his/her creator and it means in the words of prophets creature (Jabr, p256). The words "father" or "son" has been mentioned plenty of times in Matthew and John, the interpretation of Jesus (AS) as (Child of Man) was repeated 27 times in Matthew, and 10 times in the Gospel of John and Jesus (AS) interpreted him as the son. And they believe their Christian religion is the follower of one God, the Almighty Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth and Christianity is as divine religions, and it was formed by the Vatican vote at the invitation of Twenty-third Pope John: (Muslims and Christians worship the one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, He is capable and kind, He has spoken to human, and both of their religions support themselves by faith of Abraham (Vatican, 1962-65). Unity of God means that there is only one God, And Almighty God is indivisible (Zibaee Nejad p. 145). So with this interpretation, it is confirmed that where the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is called the Son of God, it carries the metaphorical meaning and it is not actual. It is intended a single unity, the unity of love and it is the sign of absolute obedience of Jesus to Allah and it shows God's immeasurable love and closeness to God and the heavenly father is devoted to all good and pious people such as Jesus.
2.3. Theory of Different groups of Christian based on monotheism:
a) Theory Abyun: the oldest group among Christians, who believe in pure monotheism and they believed Jesus was His Prophet and they called him teacher. This theory was posed by the person named Svsynvs in the sixteenth century that emphasizes whatever is illogical cannot be divine inspiration and they believed the trinity is a result of the impact of imperfect Greek philosophers on writing the creed.
b) Theory (Adoption): this theory attributed to Paul Smysaty Patryak Qstntnyh in 260 AD. This theory rejects the aspect of divinity of Jesus (AS), he believes that he is an average man was born through mixture of the Holy Spirit and Mary (AS) and he achieved divine power of God when he was (30) years old he was called as His son. According to this theory, calling Jesus the son of Allah is untrue.
c) Sibelius theory: this was raised on the third century by him who Says God is one both in nature and in hypostasis, father, son and the Holy Spirit are different names for the same truth, This hypostasis has been called as father in relation to the world's creation and it is named as the stepson due to unite with human nature and finally it is named as the Holy Spirit because of on forwarding blessings to human (Zibaee Nejad pp 132 to 134). It should be noted that, being son doesn't mean physical birth in modern period and sometimes it is stipulated:
"Concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1/3 and 4). So being the father of the son doesn't have the true meaning of the birth, it was rather used virtually as David (AS) and Solomon (AS) mentioned in the old period (Soleimani, p. 45 and 46). It should be noted in the interpretation of father and son that; this expression means single unity, the unity of intense love, and unity of will and unity of action. Jesus (AS) made use of the Father's will in the best way, and he has all his knowledge from his father, and he says," My Father is greater than I" (John 14/28), and one of the great interpreters of the Bible called J Mackenzie says: the purpose of calling the title Son of God in the first Church was to announce that Jesus has the excellent personality and according to Christians Jesus (AS) is the intermediary between God and the people" (Mitchell, p. 74). The author concluded after numerous studies and reviews: Theism and God-seeking has long been imbued with the human spirit, he has also had difficulty in imagining God. This problem was raised because the divine nature is beyond human understanding, Human problems stemmed from the fact that he finds out that on the one hand, the God who created the world should be much higher and the creation of the whole wide world with its amazing countless creatures requires great knowledge and power and such knowledge and power are not compatible with human limitations. The creator must be purified from human failings; on the other hand a person need to speak with God, then God must be such that we can communicate with Him, and that He would understand human problems. And a person for being able to speak, should have a picture of him, So he came to the likening and the man was forced to act between likening and purifying, human understanding in primitive societies that was low, likening became stronger than transcendence, so that the qualities attributed to God were more human characters. The more complete understanding of the human being, the more transcendence was. "Theism is the beginning of religion; perfect theism is to believe in God, perfect believing in God is bearing witness to the oneness of God, perfect monotheistic is sincerity and perfect sincerity is to believe that God is purified from the attributes of creatures" (Razi, sermon 1). This degree of transcendence belongs to a person, though; humans are incapable of understanding him.
3. The Holy Quran theism and the Trinity:
While Christians consider themselves followers of one God, they believed in the interpretation of Father and the Son. Some of them believe that the divinity is made of three distinguished Personalities which are equal in eternity and power, each of them has traits that separate them from the trinity (Zibaee Nejad, p. 135). "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28/19). "these three hypostases such as existence hypostasis, life hypostasis and science hypostasis are the same as father, son and the Holy Spirit, i.e. father (existence hypostasis), son (science hypostasis), holy sprit (life hypostasis). (Tabatabai Vol. 3, p. 480). According to Allameh Tabatabai, Christians concerning Jesus as the son of God have three words:
1. Nestorian speech, they say that Jesus as the Son of God is something like illumination on a transparent object such as crystal, and in fact they believe in reincarnation.
2. Malekanian speech, they believe that Jesus is the true Son of God.
3. Yaqobian speech, they believed in solstice, it means that the single worshiped God turned to Jesus who had flesh (Rezvani, p 18 and 17).
The Holy Quran clearly rejects them as; "Indeed those who say: 'Allah is the third of the trinity' became unbelievers. There is but one god. if they do not desist in what they say, a painful punishment will afflict those of them that disbelieve" (Maeda, V73).
Christians in their own words (Christian theism) say: we believe in one God whose nature is based on three attributes. One God reveals Himself as the Almighty Creator and Lord of life that was called "father" or "Our Father" manifested His eternal message on Jesus who is human, He also has an active presence in the lives of His creatures that Christians call him Holy Spirit, it should be noted that Christians believe that the attributes of God are numerous But His three attributes like him are eternal and necessary. These attributes are:
A) the inherent and transcendent nature of the God (the Father)
B) knowledge of God became incarnate in Jesus (the Son)
C) God's active and life giving existence in the creatures (Holy Spirit) and these three attributes belong to God's nature and they are not separable from God (Summary and interpretation of the book, Michelle, pp 79-72).
But father, son and Holy Spirit are three independent divine personalities in the dogmas of the Christian Church, When a son in the remote corner of the world on the cross shouts and calls his father, why has he forgotten him or prays on the Mount of Olives and point to other personality other than himself, So there should be a God other than Messiah in the power throne in the heaven so that Messiah would call Him (Ashtiani pp 336-335).
"About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, lama sabachthani?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew, 27/46) This phrase represents a dependent character apart from God and it is a sign of the gods apart from Messiah in the sky. When Staphylococcus, prominent bishop of the fourth century, said about the Trinity: What was incarnated for Jesus wasn't eternal word, rather it was one of the creatures which were created in a time, Church opposed with Staphylococcus's belief in the Council of Nicaea in 325, About 300 bishops in council have accepted the divinity of Jesus (AS). (Rasulzadeh Isa, Baghbani Javad, p. 501).
But many verses in the Qur'an reject polytheism beliefs of deviated Christians, Some of these verses: Surah Unity is a clear proof of these verses.
"Say: 'he is Allah, the one, the called upon, who has not given birth, and has not been born, and there is none equal to him "(the Unity). The word "Ahad"(one) will ultimately bring Unity because this term does not indicate anything more than a unity of a number. "who has not given birth, and has not been born" this verse expresses the point that one God is neither creator of the Son, nor created of a Father and the last verse of surah "there is none equal to him" rejects anyone who would be equal to God. Interpreting the verse "Allah Samad" (the called upon), Imam Baqir (AS) narrated that 'Samad' is said about whose Lordship will be complete. For him there is no cavity, he doesn't eat and doesn't drink and the dirty things like children don't come out of Him and He was not produced from anything like something out of other thing, seed out of seed, plants out of the ground, and this rejects those Christians and others who have proved the traits such as likeness or being old (Tabarsi V 27 from 366 to 375). "Say: 'Allah is the creator of everything. He is the one, the conqueror" (Al-Rad, V 16). "Allah says: 'do not take to you two gods. He is only one god; so have awe of me" (An-Nahl, V 51). "What, has he made the gods one god? This is indeed a wondrous thing" (Sad, V 5). The purpose of "one" in this verse isn't unique as in the verse of the Surah Unity "Qul Huva Allah Ahad" means unique.
These verses along with the verses cited at the beginning of the article will have conflict in meaning with these phrases like "saying, "You are certainly God's Son!" (Matthew, 144/33), "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you" (John, 14/20) if they weren't interpreted.
However there are different expressions in Matthew and John that imply monotheism and unity that have similarities with this part of the verses mentioned earlier in the article, and there is no need to repeat.
Man has long been God's lover, he needed a model for his portrayal of the friendship and affection and he sometimes preferred the model of the relationship between father and son. So he imagined this relationship between God and the human, man as the son of God, and God as his father. In their view, distinguished people in the society may have special position near God and those individuals would be called child of God. Three religions Judaism, Christian and Islam, which are called Abrahamic religions, have different approaches to deal with this problem that more or less seen in the Old Testament. Then it became widespread in Christianity and has taken a special form. But Islam rejected it strongly and the boundaries of monotheism and not monotheism is clear in the Quran that we have God who is surrounding us, But this boundaries are not very clear in the Bible of new testament because in Gospels of Matthew and John, Jesus is sometimes called the Son of God and he is sometimes called servant of God, and sometimes God's messenger and sometimes they call him God that these are whether Inconsistencies and contradictions in the Gospels or some of these words should be interpreted.
Received 25 October 2014
Received in revised form 26 November 2014
Accepted 12 December 2014
Available online 15 January 2015
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(1) Alipour Khashab Noormohammad and (2) Mansorie Khashab Ali
(1) Faculty Member of Department of Theology, Gachsaran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Gachsaran, Iran
(2) Graduated from Islamic Azad University of Tehran, Department of Quran and Hadith of Literature and Humanities, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
Corresponding Author: Alipour Khashab Noormohammad, Faculty Member of Department of Theology, Gachsaran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Gachsaran, Iran.
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|Author:||Noormohammad, Alipour Khashab; Ali, Mansorie Khashab|
|Publication:||Advances in Environmental Biology|
|Date:||Dec 15, 2014|
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