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Missionaries et al. SINGLE PAGE

Introductory and General Information
  Missionary Christianity - A Muslim's Analysis
Author: Gary Miller
Article ID : MSS020001  [32852]  
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Many students of the Bible have an understanding of scriptures which is quite reasonable. However, these same students forget their interpretation at times and sell another one to the Muslim. They do not seem to notice this double standard. A clear illustration is the case of John 14:9. Ask where Jesus claimed divinity explicitly and one is most often shown this verse: "He who has seen me has seen the Father." Clarification of the argument exhibits the difficulties. The Christian means to say that if one's eyes sees Jesus, they see God because Jesus is God. Even this clarification cannot be stated without trading on something left vague, namely, the Trinitarian distinction between Father and Son. Jesus said that seeing him was seeing the Father, yet Jesus is the Son. So they tell us: "read God for Father." In any case, the argument is self-defeating. If seeing Jesus is seeing God (or the Father) because they are one and the same then how could Jesus tell people who were looking at him that they had never seen or heard God (the Father)? This is his statement in John 5:37!!! Now the Christian responds to a question which has not been asked! We have not said that John 14:9 is in conflict with 5:37 and asked for an explanation. But he proceeds to explain that the verses are in harmony because they refer to Jesus as one who reveals what God is like. People who did not receive Jesus did not "see" God. But our question is how the first interpretation of John 14:9 can be harmonized with John 5:37. They have provided a second interpretation for John 14:9 and yet the next time someone asks them to show a Bible passage where Jesus claims divinity, be sure that they will go to the first interpretation and quote this favorite verse: "He who has seen me has seen the Father."


In such discussions, several things should be noted. First, the Muslim does not have to reinterpret Christian scripture. Our duty is to insist that a man state his case clearly, not in vague terms. We must ask for all information related to the matter (Where else do we find key words and phrases in the Bible?). We must demand that thoughts expressed are carried to their logical conclusion. Let us illustrate again with another familiar example. An all-purpose quotation is John 14:6: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but through me." Exactly what this verse is supposed to prove is left vague. Does it prove the divinity of Jesus? Is it supposed to mean that God listens to no one except Jesus or those who call on Jesus ? If either of these ideas are to be based on the verse, we have to consider all the available information. The dictionary shows that the words "way", "truth", and "life" do not automatically carry connotations of divinity. So the Christian insists that the structure of the sentence stresses the way, the truth, and the life, as though Jesus is unique for all time. Bill Clinton may be the American President but he is not the first and probably not the last. So language usage alone does not do the job. Then another thought must be brought to its conclusion. "The life" is said to be a state of affairs: one either has "the life" or not. In this way the verse is used in support of the redeeming power of Jesus. Yet Jesus himself says: "I came that they might have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10). In this passage life is not a state of affairs, either positive or negative, with no other possible states. Jesus speaks here of something that can be measured. The verse John 14:6 is used by the missionary with the vaguest of intentions. Ironically enough, when his meaning is questioned, this verse becomes probably the most over-specified of all Bible texts.


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