DIALOGUE (BETWEEN A MUSLIM AND A CHRISTIAN) by K.H. Bahaudin Mudhary
THE OCCASION WHICH LED TO THE OCCURRENCE OF THE DIALOGUE THE FIRST EVENING On Monday evening, March 9, 1979, Br.1 Marzuki, one of the santris of Pesantren Sumenep,2 held a slametan3 to celebrate the New Islamic Year. Some moments later, Br. Markan and Br. Antonius Widuri (both were accountants) who were temporarily employed by the Accountant Office in Jakarta at the Salt national Company at Kalianget [a town in Madura]. Br. Markan was a Muslim originally from Padang [a town in West Sumatra], while Br. Antonius Widuri was originally from Yogyakarta [a town in Central Java, the centre for Islamic learning in Indonesia], born a Christian and raised in a Roman Catholic family. The two persons came specially to meet K.H.4 Bahaudin Mudhary whom they had known previously. Their presence was warmly welcomed by their friends, especially by Br. Marzuki, the host. Br. Markan stated that the purpose for his visit from Kalianget to Sumenep was to accompany Br. Antonius Widuri who had intended to meet Br. Mudhary, and who once had a long wish to compare the question of divinity in Christianity with that in Islam, as well as issues dealing with beliefs in both religions. Br. Markan said that since the kiyai was not yet present it would be better to postpone the dialogue, so that there would be more time available. However, if Bapak5 Kiyai, the host, and his friends would not mind, Br. Widuri would like to explain what he had in his mind, so that there would be no misunderstanding. It would be merely an expression of his personal feeling and belief. They did not mind, as long as it would not offend others; therefore, the dialogue would be personal.
K. Bahaudin suggested that if the dialogue could not be finished that evening, it might be continued on other evenings. Br. Markan and Br. Antonius did not mind, since what was important for them was satisfaction, although the dialogue would be long, either during the day or in the evening. K. Bahaudin said that if it were so, he would call that first meeting with the endorsement, that the meeting would be purely personal, not a meeting based on invitation. It is noteworthy that in this dialogue letter “A” represents K. Bahaudin Mudhary, while letter “B” represents Br. Antonius or Br. Markan, as the latter explained the former‟s view.
A MUTUAL AGREEMENT A. Before holding the meeting, I feel it is necessary to decide something which has to be arranged before-hand. B. We just leave the matter to you to decide how our future meetings should be. A. I suggest that we record our meeting, and if necessary, we shall use a tape-recorder. B. All right, we agree to your suggestion. A. If it is so, I am going to ask one of you to write down our discussion. Do you object that the result of our discussion, if it is long, should also be known by people and is better to be printed? B. For me, there is no objection, as long as it will give some benefit to the public. A. So, you agree? B. Yes, I strongly agree.
A. Thank you. Now I wish to know the purpose of our discussion, and I understood you that it is to be on Christianity and Islam? B. This is how it is, Pak Kiyai! Frankly and sincerely, I tell you that I am a Roman Catholic. I often read books and magazines about Islam, especially Kiblat magazine published in Jakarta. Through reading these books and magazines, I became interested in studying and examining Islam. However, I always kept this interest secret. A. Where did you get these books about Islam and the Kiblat magazine? B. Accidentally, I often saw them on my friendâ€&#x;s tables. At first, I did not pay attention to them since they were contrary to my belief. One night I was unable to sleep, although I wanted to have a rest. I walked back and forth in and out of my bedroom. Suddenly, I saw Kiblat magazine (which belonged to one of my friends) on the table he had left behind when he was visiting me. Incidentally, I opened its pages hoping to find articles or stories which would put me to sleep. But I was astonished to find on one of its pages an article about Christianity, and without any reflection I read it. As a Christian I became offended at first, but as if I was being pushed by a driving force, I continued reading to its end. After that, I felt a sudden impulse to think and examine the truth of my belief. I do not know why, but I became eager to read books and magazines on Islam. I even borrowed Kiblat magazine often from my friends who were subscribers to it. The more I read it the more I wished to examine the teachings of Islam and Christianity, and to compare the divine beliefs in both religions. Secretly, I continued reading books on Islam besides the Bible which had been compulsory to me as a Christian. A. Have you ever studied the Bible deeply enough? B. I feel I did, but this is only my personal judgement based on my ability. A. Then how did your desire develop? B After examining several books on Islam and Christianity, my desire to carry out my wishes became uncontrollable. I started asking my friends,
whom I had chance to meet, about Islam, but their explanations did not satisfy me. A. Whom have you asked about Islamic teachings? B. Anybody [i.e., any Muslim] whom I met, besides discussing our topics, I just asked questions in intervals away from the topic and therefore indirectly. A. After that, was there any influence on you? B. Yes, strangely enough, I started to attend the church less frequently. May be this is the influence of it. A. And then? B. Since I was not fully satisfied with the explanation given to me on Islam, Br. Markan suggested that I should see you. A. Perhaps you hove not studied the Bible deeply. Would it not be better if you examine the teachings of Christianity before we hold the meeting? B. If it is so, is a non-Muslim not allowed to study Islam? A. What I mean is that Islam is tolerant with all religions and their adherents. Although Islamic teachings do not allow compulsion of anyone to embrace Islam, the Muslims are only enjoined to call anybody who is ready to accept Islam. B. I am a Christian not because of blind acceptance, but because of my free choice. It is my opinion that everybody is free to choose the religion based on his belief. Of course, beforehand, his decision has to be preceded by profound investigation and consideration according to his ability, either through his reading of books, scriptures, dialogues, or any other means.
A. All right, but as long as it is in natural way, so that it will not cause misinterpretation among adherents of other religions. B. That is what I mean, so that my coming to you will not cause prejudice and unnatural suspicion, but rather with the intention of seeking the truth in embracing religion. In short, I wish to embrace a religion based on rational, psychological as well as scientific investigations, so that it will create a strong conviction in my heart, a strong conviction which is impossible to obtain through blind acceptance. A. It is true that it has to be that way. B. I find people adhere to a certain religion due to heredity, or that they follow it due to the influence of the society around them, or as a means for self-protection or any other mean. Therefore, I dare swear that I am not included among the type of persons mentioned above. A. I appreciate your opinion. B. Therefore, I meet with you in order to explain my feelings which have been kept to myself for a long time. However, it might be better if you give me time; it is up to you, as it is now late at night, but I hope the meeting will be held as soon as possible. A. All right, come again tomorrow evening, but you need not tell people about it. I shall arrange the place for our discussion. B. But how if there are some people who want to come and listen to me? A. In principle, we will try to make our meeting unknown to people, but if necessary, I think they may come, rather than just telling them the result of our meetings. If tomorrow evening people come with the intention of merely listening, this matter is up to them. In principle, we do not invite them and they will not disturb the order and the proceedings of the meetings. B. All right, hopefully we can arrange our meetings privately, not publicly.
A. This is exactly what I have planned so that all of you who are present here will know it. B. I agree with you. A. Do you have a Bible? B. Yes, I have Perjanjian Lama (the Old Testament), Perjanjian Baru (the New Testament); in English I have The Holy Bible, and in Dutch I have Bijbellezingen voor het Huisgezin, also Al-Kitab published in 1908 and 1970, as well as Zabur [i.e., Psalms of David]. A. I hope that you bring all these Scriptures with you tomorrow evening. B. Yes, I shall bring them all with me. Do you also have these Scriptures? A. I have learned them before, but they are now being borrowed by a friend who has not returned them to me yet. However, I have read them. B. Then I shall bring all of my books on Christianity. A. Good, that is what I was hoping for.
THE SECOND EVENING A. How long have you been a Christian? B. Since I was born. A. Are you convinced that Christianity is the truest religion? B. Yes, I believe so. A. Do you believe that the Bible is sacred? B. Yes, I am sure of it. A. Where did you get the idea that the Bible comes from the sacred God? B. My teacher had explained to me that the Bible is a sacred book containing the teachings of Jesus, written down by the apostles Matthew, Luke, John, and Mark. A. Does the sacredness of the Bible mean that the Bible is free from errors? B. Yes, it is so. But what kind of errors do you mean? A. For example, if a certain time a person said that “A” was ill, while at the same time another person said that “A” was not ill, are both of these statements right or wrong, or one of them is right while the other is wrong? B. One of them is right or both are wrong and it is impossible that both are right. A. Another example: a person says that “A” has three children while another says that he has ten children. Are both statements right or wrong, or one of them is right?
B. It is impossible that both are right, but rather one of them is right or both are wrong. A. If I say that both are right, what will you say? B. It is impossible, for it is obvious that there is contradiction between the two. A. Suppose there is a sacred book but there is contradiction in its verses, is this book still sacred? B. Certainly it is not a sacred book, since what is called a sacred book is inspiration from God wherein errors and contradictions are impossible to exist. A. Therefore, it is not a sacred book any longer? B. Right, its sacredness has become void. A. If it is so, its contents, sacredness and truthfulness cannot be believed due to the contradictions of its verses. B. It is clear that some of its verses are not from God, or have been mixed up with human intervention, so that its sacredness becomes stained. In short, it is not sacred any longer. A. Suppose there is contradiction between the verses of the Bible, will you still believe that the Bible is sacred? B. I believe that the Bible is sacred, unless there are clear proofs indicating the existence of contradiction among its verses which can make me doubtful of its sacredness. In your opinion, is there any contraction in the verses of the Bible? A. Yes, there are many contradictions. B. In the Old or New Testament?
A. In both of them, there are some contradiction between one verse and another. B. In what subject, chapter and verse? A. For the sake of order, I shall arrange it in chapters. First, the issue of the divinity of Jesus, as the issue of divinity includes a basic belief in every religion. Therefore, this issue has to be given precedence. After that, we shall move to other issues dealing with that of Christianity written in the Bible. What is your opinion about it? B. All right, I agree to your opinion. A. Now, I would like to ask you, what is your evidence to prove that Jesus is the Son of God? B. In Matthew 3:17 it is said: “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Also Luke 4:41 it states that Jesus is the Son of God.6 A. And if it is so, please open Matthew 5:9. B.
It says: “Bless are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
A. Based on this verse “the children of God” means respectable people like the Prophet [Muhammad p.b.u.h.]. If Jesus is considered to be the son of God, then all peacemakers are also the sons of God; therefore, there are so many sons of God, not Jesus alone. B. In John 14:9 it says: “… he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” and in verse 10 it says: “Believest thou that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” A. All right. Please read John 17:23.
B. It says: “I in them and thou in me, that they maybe made perfect in one…”7 A. Notice that in this verse it is mentioned “I am in them.” The words “in them” means the disciples of Jesus, while “I” means God. Therefore, “I am in them” means “God is in Jesus‟ disciples.” So, God is in Jesus and his disciples.8 If you believe in the unity of Jesus with the Father, you have to believe also in the unity between the Father and all of Jesus‟ disciples who are twelve in number. Therefore, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are not the only one who are united with God, but there has to be added with twelve others. This is called “United God” or “God‟s Union,” not the Trinity, but Quindecimity. Among the contradicted verses mentioned above which one is right? Three become one or fifteen become one? B. Just a moment, Pak! This is rather confusing me. A. You will become more confused if I show you another verse. Please see John 17:3. B. It says: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” A. This verse states that God is Esa [one]. According to the Indonesian Dictionary by E. St. Harahap, 2nd ed., the word esa means “one”. This verse also indicates that Jesus Christ is a messenger of God. In this case what is correct? The Bible which you recognize as a sacred book contains contradictory verses: in one verse it says that God and Jesus become one, whereas in another, God is one and Jesus is a messenger of God, not God. According to your conviction a sacred book containing verses contradicting each other is hardly to be considered sacred, as sacredness implies freedom from error and contradiction. B. Is there still any other similar verse? A. What kind of verse do you mean? B. The verse which states that God is one and not three become one.
A. Please open Deuteronomy 4:35 B. It says: “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God: there is none else beside him.” A. It is clear that the Bible itself states that God is one. B. But that is in the Old Testament; is there any in the New Testament? A. You want the New Testament? All right. Please open Mark 12:29. B. It says: “And Jesus answered him. The first of all the Commandments is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord.” A.
See again the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6:4.
B. It says: “Hear O Israel!: the Lord our God is one Lord.” A. Is not it clear yet that the Bible itself, the sacred book of the Christians, states explicitly that God is One, not three become one or one becomes three? Suppose there is a verse in the Bible which states that God is three becoming one, I would like to ask, which of the verses is correct, the one stating that God is one or the three becoming one? Therefore, one of the two verses is incorrect,9 as both are not the same. If one of them or both are incorrect, then there will be some errors in the content of the Bible, and it will not be called a sacred book. B. It is right, one or both are wrong. A. If it is so, is it possible to believe the truth of a sacred book if it contains errors? B. Correctly, a sacred book has to be free from errors; otherwise, its sacredness becomes void. A. According to your belief does Jesus unite with God? B. Yes, I believe so.
A. If so, Jesus must always be with God, and God is always with Jesus. B. It is so, as mentioned in John 10:30 as follows: “I and my Father are one.” The same with the Holy Ghost, because the Holy Ghost also becomes one with Jesus, as mentioned in the Bible. It happened when Jesus was 30 years old, the Holy Ghost descended to him and he was baptised by John the Baptist. It becomes clear that Jesus, the Holy Ghost and God are one. A. If it is so, please open Matthew 27:48 B. It says: „And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani? That is to say, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” A. Based on this verse it is clear that Jesus did not unite with „God, i.e., God left Jesus when he was crucified. If God united with Jesus, it was at the moment of crucifixion that God would have saved Jesus, but the fact was that God did not unite with Jesus, so that Jesus himself asked for help. B But Jesus lived only to be crucified to redeem the sins of human beings. A.
If Jesus lived only to be crucified, why was not he ready to be crucified? It is evident that he cried to God for help to be released from crucifixion. In another word, Jesus was not ready to be a redeemer.
B. Right, I do not understand why there are confusing verses in the Bible. A. That is why (I wonder) why you worship Jesus as God who was unable to save himself, even asked for help. Is it proper to have a god like that? I ask further, were those who crucified Jesus condemned? B. Definitely condemned. A. They should not be condemned. Rather, Jesus should thank them for crucifying him. They even deserved reward, because, as you have said that Jesus lived to be crucified as redemption for the sins of human
beings: without these people Jesus would not have been crucified, and there would have been no redeemer. Therefore, these people who crucified Jesus had done yeoman service to Jesus and the Christians. But they who have done the merit were condemned. They should have entered heaven and have been praised for their service. B.
This, in fact, is unreasonable or at least is hard to understand. However, it is not impossible for God‟s spirit to unite with Jesus. This case is the same as people who are possessed by devils, demons, angles or any other spiritual being, so that their actions and behaviours are controlled by these spiritual beings. In such way, those who are possessed by a Holy Spirit such as the angel‟s spirit will do holy acts.
A. If so, let me ask you: if a human being is possessed by a demon, is he then called a demon? B. No. A. Jesus, who was united with (received) God‟s spirit, is he called God? B. He should not be, either. A. It should be that way. Therefore, it is clear that Jesus in whom the divine spirit incarnated was definitely not God. A human being who received God‟ revelation was not God, but God‟ messenger. This is in conformity with Jesus‟ on confession as mentioned in John 17:13 as follows: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, who thou hast sent.” B. The divinity of Jesus has become more unconceivable for me. A. According to your statement a moment ago, those who are united with or possessed by spiritual beings, such as spirits, demons and angels will act according to the will of the possessors, or else their acts will be similar to those of their possessors. B. Right!
A. If so, Jesus, whom you believe to be united with God, should act similar to God. B. It should be so. A. But in fact, it was not so. God does not sleep, but Jesus does. God does not eat, but Jesus does. God is not ill, but Jesus is. God does not worship anybody, but Jesus worships God. God does not die, but Jesus does, although he came back to life according to Christian belief, but he had died.10 B. According to Christian belief one of the reasons that Jesus united with God is that he knew mysterious things. A. If it is so, please read Mark 13:31-32 B. It says: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, nor the Father.” A. It is evident that the Bible itself states that Jesus himself confessed that nobody knew when the Doomsday would come except God himself. So, it is certain that Jesus himself did not know the time of the occurrence of the Doomsday, which is one of the esoteric things. As he did not know it, he was then not God. B. But Jesus in this verse called himself “the son” which means that he was the Son of God. A. Please open Matthew 1:16 B. It says: “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” A. It is evident that the one who was born was not God as mentioned in the verse. Please read again Exodus 4:22 B. It says: “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh. Thus said the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn.”
A. In this verse it is stated that Israel was the elder son of God, while Jesus was not mentioned, what son he was. Please open again Jeremiah 31:9. B.
The verse states: “They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.”
A. Again it is evident that based on the Bible itself there are many sons of God, not only Jesus, while what is really meant by “sons” in the Bible is those who are blessed by God, including Jesus. So, it is metaphorical, not real sons. B. But Matthew 1:8 says the following: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” The Holy Ghost means God‟s Spirit. Therefore, Jesus was the son of God, as mentioned in Matthew 1:20: “… Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” A. If so, please open Acts 6:5 B. It says: “And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmanas, and Nicholas, a proselyte of Antioch.” A. Therefore, according to the Bible itself, the Holy Ghost did not come exclusively to Jesus. There is an indication that the Holy Ghost was a holy spirit or a spirit of holiness which means pure from evil: it is not the spirit of the devil or of an apparition. The case is the same with other prophets and this holy spirit. According to the Qur‟ān the Holy Spirit is Gabriel. The Bible itself states that earlier prophets were holy. B. In what chapter of the Bible does it say so? A. Please refer to The Second Epistle General of Peter 3:2.
B. The verse says: “That ye be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord the Saviour” A. It is evident that the Bible itself states that the Holy Spirit is not God; in other words, Jesus being in Mary‟s womb was not God or Holy Spirit, but rather a pure holy spirit bestowed by God to His servant whom He chooses according to His will or order. For further explanation, please see the Acts of the Apostles 5:2. B. The verse says: “And we are his witness of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” A. Please see again Luke 1:41. B. The verse says: “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” A. It is very clear that the Holy Spirit is the pure spirit blessed by God to whom He will. If by the Holy Spirit is meant God or the Spirit of God, Jesus would not have become the only God, but also all people obedient to Him, prophets and Elisabeth (Zechariah‟s wife) would have become God. B. Jesus is considered God because he has divine spirit, so that he could revive the dead. This is the similarity between God‟s nature and that of Jesus. A. If so, please read King II 13:21. B. It says: “And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men: and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. A. Here it states that even Elisha‟s bones could revive the dead. This means that Elisha‟s bones were divine. If Jesus in his life could revive
the dead, Elisha in his death, with his bones could. If Jesus‟ act was called miraculous, that of Elisha was more miraculous. Therefore, Elisha also should be considered God. See King I 17:22. B. It reads: “And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.” A. Justifiably, Elijah should also be considered God. B. But Jesus could heal the blind so that he can see. A. If so, see Kings II 6:17 and 30. B. Yes, it is stated in that chapter the Elisha also could heal the blind, so that he could see. 11 A. If so, Elisha should also be considered God for having performed similar acts with that of Jesus and God. B. Once more, Jesus could heal the leper. A.
Please read Kings II 6:10 and 11.
B. In that verse it is stated that Elisha healed the leper called Naaman. 12 A. So, Elisha also healed the blind and the leper; he even revived the dead. Why wasn‟t he considered God? B. But Jesus was not the outcome of a relationship between a man and a woman, and this is the supremacy of Jesus‟ spirit over Elisha‟s. A. Adam was created without father and mother. Then why is he not considered God? Also Eve was created without mother, then why is she not considered Goddess? B. But Adam and Eve were sinful. A. If it were so, Jesus could also be sinful, because he was the descendant of Mary who was the descendant of Adam and Eve. Even Jesus himself had been brought by the Devil to the top of the mountain.
B. Where is the story found? A. In the Bible. Please read Luke 4:5. B. It says: “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdom of the world in a moment of time.” A. You see, it was a strange event that God was led by Satan, which means that He surrendered to the will of Satan. B. In spite of that Jesus remained free from mistakes and sins. A. Other prophets were also free from sin, but they did not claim to be God. Even Jesus himself did not claim to be God while his disciples were defending him. B. On the contrary, prophets committed sins, but Jesus did not. A. Prophets who committed sins or mistakes repented and God forgave them, as Jesus repented and was forgiven by Him. The forgiven prophets had their sins wiped off, so that they became free from sins and mistakes. B. Where is it mentioned that Jesus asked forgiveness from God? A. Please find it yourself at Matthew 8:12. B. It says: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” A. It is clear that Jesus himself asked forgiveness for his mistakes. Therefore, he had committed mistakes. B. But it is also mentioned in this verse that Jesus like to forgive people who had wronged him. A. If it was only that, we can also forgive people who wringed us.
B. But there has never been a human being other than Adam who was born without father except Jesus. Therefore, it is still justifiable to say that Jesus is Son of God, or God the Son.” A. Suppose a human being was born without father and mother, according to you, he would have deserved divinity more than Jesus who was born without father only. B. In history, such a person had never existed and would never exist. A. If such a person exists, which one will have a higher degree of divinity, Jesus who was born without father only, or the person who was born without father and mother? B. It is logical to say that a person who was born without father and mother will have higher degree of divinity, as his birth will be more miraculous than that of Jesus. A. Is that really your opinion? B. Yes, I acknowledge that such a person will be more miraculous than Jesus. But I ask you to show me what book did such a person exist. I want a well-known book, not fairy tales or fictions. A. In order to solve this problem quickly, please consult the Bible, your own holy book. B. In what chapter and verse is it mentioned? A. Please see Hebrew 7:1, 2 and 3. B. It says: “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him: To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent…”
A. Enough. You have read your own Holy Book that Melchisedec was a king of Salem who had neither father nor mother, not even ancestry. According to your opinion, is this story mentioned in your own Holy Book a tale or a fiction? If you say that it is a tale or a fiction, will you agree, if somebody says that your Holy Book contains fiction or invented tales? And if you still defend the sacredness 13 of your Book, why don‟t you consider Melchisedec a god, too; his divine position must be even higher than that of Jesus. Based on your own view that the birth of Melchisedec is more miraculous that that of Jesus because Jesus was born without father, while Melchisedec was born without father and mother. Moreover, Melchisedec still has another superiority over Jesus. Jesus was born with a descent, namely Mary, while Melchisedec, according to the Bible itself, was born without descent. Do you still, then, defend the divinity of Jesus? B. Then, I don‟t understand and become confused!! A. It is all right, if you do not understand, and in fact, it is also all right to be confused, for if you understand it, the confusion will disappear by itself. B. Yes, I agree with you. But in the Bible John I verse 1 and 2 it is stated: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” The person who was with God in the beginning was Jesus. So, Jesus was with God. A. In the structure of this verse there is a conjunction “with.” If somebody says “Salim with Amin” all people will understand that Salim remains Salim and not Amin. Therefore, based on the verse of the Bible which you have read that he (Jesus) was with God, it is immediately understood that Jesus was not God and God was not Jesus. It has become clear that Jesus is not the same with God; in other words, Jesus is not God. It is also mentioned in this verse that the Word was God, whereas in fact the Word was not God, and God was not the Word. So, God is something, and the Word is something else. B. How if Jesus is just called “Son of God”?
A. I have explained that matter to you in our previous discussion. And you have realized the truth of my explanation. If God has a son, whether in a human form like Jesus or other, then His oneness will be blemished by it, while it is impossible for us to blemish the oneness of God. B. But in Revelation 22:13 it is said: “I am Alpha [i.e., α , the first letter in the Greek alphabet] and Omega [i.e., Ω, the last letter in the Greek alphabet], the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” A. This is not the word of Jesus himself, but of God to Jesus. As evidence, please read Revelation 21:6. B. It says: “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” A. The verse states clearly: “And he said unto me.” Who said to Jesus in this verse? B. Certainly God. A. Therefore, the one who said: “I am Alpha and Omega” was not Jesus himself, but God to Jesus. In John 8:58 Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I said unto you, before Abraham was, I am.” Therefore, it can be said that Jesus was the beginning. A. It is also incorrect to say that Jesus was the beginning, because in the beginning he did not exist, then he was begotten by Mary and then died, although it is said that he lived again. 14 And a dead person cannot be called “the last.” If Jesus was resurrected, he cannot be called “the beginning.” Therefore, it has become clear that Jesus was neither “the beginning” nor “the last.” B.
B. Now, I do not understand, I am even become more confused, as in the beginning Jesus did not exist, then he was begotten by Mary, and then he died. A person who did not exist in the beginning cannot be called
“the beginning.” If Jesus was begotten, it is impossible to call him “the last.” A. In order to make it clearer to you, I ask you this question: is your belief in the divinity of Jesus based on the supposition that Jesus is called “the beginning”? B. Yes, it is so. A. Then was is your opinion if it is mentioned in your Holy Book that there is a human being [other than]15 Jesus who has no beginning and no end, will you consider him God, too? B. In what chapter is this mentioned? A. Before I showed it to you, will you maintain the divinity of a person who has no beginning and no end, as you maintain the divinity of Jesus? B. If there is really any, my belief will certainly become shaken, at least I shall become sceptical of the truthfulness of the divinity of Jesus. A. You are supposed to accept the divinity of both. In other words, there is an extra god beside Jesus. B. Yes, this could be so, too. But certainly my belief will become more shaken. I what chapter is it mentioned that a human being has no beginning and no end? A. I have said that it is in your Holy Book. Please open Hebrew 7:2-3. B. We have read this chapter before, till the first line of the verse 3 as follows: “[Melchisedec] having neither beginning of days nor and of life: but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest 16 continually.” A. What do you think about the wording of this verse? According to this verse Jesus was not the only one who became “the beginning,” but also Melchisedec.
B. My belief in the divinity of Jesus has become shaken. A. It is up to you, whether you become doubtful or not. What is clear is that we have no intention to ask you to leave Christianity. What is important is pure discussion and research. Doing research and analysis on something is the right of all people, provided that the research will not disturb public security.17 B. Thank you. I still want to ask you questions, you know, I am looking for satisfactory answers which will give me conviction in embracing a religion. A. Feel free to ask questions. Conviction will appear after satisfactory research and close examination. There is no compulsion in Islam. What is important is daâ€žwah (call to Islam), not more. Continue your question. B. After having the dialogue concerning the divinity of Jesus, I become sceptical. However, are you still ready to show me the verses of the Bible which state that Jesus is not the son of God? A. Although I have shown you the verses of the Bible itself dealing with the confession of Jesus himself that God is one, I am still ready to fulfil your wish. But would it be better if we continue our discussion tomorrow night, for it is now late at night (12:25 a.m.) B. Yes, thank you, tomorrow we shall continue.
THE THIRD EVENING A. As we agreed last night, we are going to continue our discussion. B. Obviously so, as we are here especially to continue our last night discussion. A. If I am not mistaken, our discussion is still about the divinity of Jesus in the Bible. B. It is true. Last night I asked you to show me verses in the Bible indicating that Jesus is God or not God. A. Last night I showed you the verses in question. For the sake of sequence it will better to repeat these verses, then I shall show you some other verses. Do you agree? B. It will be better that way. For the sake of sequence and clearness it will be better to repeat them again. A. Please open Matthew 1:16. B. It says: “And Jacob began Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” A. It is obvious here that the verse itself states that Jesus was begotten by Mary. So, he was a son of a human being, and not the son of God, as I have explained to you in our previous meeting. B. Yes, you have explained it in our first meeting, and I have understood it. According to your opinion, what is meant by “Jesus” and “Christ”? A. Don‟t you know yet the meaning of these two words? B. I understand. I just want to compare my understanding with yours. A. All right. “Jesus” is derived from the Greek word meaning “to release”, i.e., to release human beings from sins.18
B. Where did you find the information stating that Jesus means “to redeem” (make free from sin)? A. Actually the question should come from me. But I understand, you might have the intention to test my knowledge of the Bible. However, I shall fulfil your expectation. Please read Matthew 1:21 B. It says: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for that he shall save his people from their sins.” A. That is the verse. The meaning of the word Christ is “the Messiah,” “the Word,” “Justice,” “Queen Salem” (?) and many other meanings. 19 The word Messiah in the English Bible is called “Christ the Lord.” In the Arabic Bible he is called al-Masīh. al-Rabb [ ]. The word lord and rabb mean “master.” “owner,” and “god,” and many other meanings. Jesus himself admitted that he was not God, but rather His messenger, as mentioned in John 1:16 and 21. He even admitted that God is one as mentioned in Mark 12:29 and in other verses. Based on these verses it has become clear that Jesus is not God, and not the son of God, either. B. You are right. A. See further Mark 12:20 B. It says: “And Jesus answered him, the first of all commandments is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” A. It is clear that God is one, and therefore, Jesus is not God as I have explained before. B. Yes, you explained it yesterday. A. See again Deuteronomy 4:35. B. It says: “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God, there is none else beside him.”
A. Your own Bible states that Jesus himself says that there is no God but Allah the one. So, it is very clear that Jesus himself had never claimed divinity. I also explained this in our dialogue last night. B. Yes, I understand and admit it. A. See again Deuteronomy 8:4. B. It says: “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” A. It is clear that in the Bible itself it is mentioned that Allah is one and Jesus himself states that he is not God. What is your opinion? The Christians say that Jesus is God, while Jesus himself denies his divinity. B. Yes, I don‟t understand and have become more confused. A. That will do, it does not matter! Let us continue. See Matthew 27:1. B. It says: “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.” A. Were Jesus really God, it would have been impossible for human beings to plot to assassinate him. See again Matthew 26:38. B. It says: “Then said he unto them: My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” A. In this verse it states that Jesus was very sorrowful. Is it proper for God to be sorrowful? This indicates that Jesus is not God. See again Luke 2:11. B. It says: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” A. Is it proper for God to be born by a human being (Mary)? Continue and see John 5:30.;\
B. It says: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just: because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” A. In this verse Jesus himself stated that he had no power to do what he liked. Is it proper that God has no power to do what he likes? Also, in this verse Jesus himself admitted that his will depended on the will of God who sent him. Were Jesus really God, he would not have been ordered by anybody else, whoever he might be. Also in this verse Jesus admitted that he was not God but was sent by God. The one who was sent could certainly not be God. B. Based on this verse your argument is certainly right. A. Therefore, it has become evident that: 1. Jesus came to this world not according to his own will, but to the will of God who sent him, as He had sent prophets and messengers before him.20 2. Jesus revived the dead not according to his will, but according to the will of God, as did Elisha revive the dead. 3. Jesus healed the leper, not according to his own will, but according to the will of God, as did Elisha heal the leper. This statement of mine is based on the confession of Jesus himself in the above-mentioned verse, which says: “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Do you still need other verses from the Bible stating Jesus‟ confession that he is not God? B. I still need many verses, as I have told you before, I am looking for satisfaction in studying religious teachings, especially dealing with true God. Beforehand, please forgive me for asking you; how can you know by heart the verses of the Bible? I admire you for this ability of yours. A. It is God‟s guidance. Thank Allah, as a matter of fact, I have studied different religions, and finally I became more convinced with the truth of Islam. If you admire this for this, I admire you more for your willingness as a Christian to study your religion. Let us continue. Please see Deuteronomy 4:39.
B. It says: “Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” A. It is very clear that the Bible itself states that there is no god but Allah, and Jesus himself also says that there is no god but Allah. So, even Jesus is not God. Certainly, this verse cannot be twisted any longer. If a Christian believes in the divinity of Jesus, his belief will be contradictory to the teachings of his own Holy Book and of Jesus himself. B. But in the bible John 10:38 it is mentioned: “…that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” This means that Jesus is in God and God is in Jesus, namely, God and Jesus are one, or briefly, Jesus is also God. Also in John 14:11 it is said: “Believe me: that I am the Father, and the Father in me…” This verse also indicates that Jesus and God are one, and therefore, Jesus is also God. A. If you stick to this verse, that Jesus is God, you also have to believe that God is Jesus and Jesus sis God. B. Not so, but that Jesus and God are one. A. If so, I ask you: As in the verse mentioned above it is said: “Jesus and God” (i.e., the Father), which of the two is mightier, God the Father or Jesus? B. Of course, God the Father. A. If somebody is mightier than Jesus, then Jesus will not be God. For further explanation, see the Bible John 14:28 B. This verse says: “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” A. In this verse Jesus himself said: “My father is greater than I.” 21 This indicates that were Jesus God, he would have been imperfect God, for
somebody is mightier than him. Anything imperfect is certainly not God. Please see again the Bible John 12:45. B. It says: “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” A. Is it proper for God to be sent? If Jesus were God, why should God be sent? The verse meant that whoever sees Jesus he will be as he sees God Who sent him. So, the statement of Jesus above indicates that Jesus is not God, but God‟s messenger. B. I have not examined carefully the meaning of John 10:38 and 14:11 which state that “the Father is in me and I in the Father” as mentioned above. But I have two kinds of interpretation for these verses: 1. Jesus is God 2. Based on John 12:45 which we have read before, it is mentioned that Jesus is a messenger of God. The messenger here means that as God himself revealed his teachings to human beings. A. The verses in John 10:38 and 14:11 do not mean to have two kinds of interpretation, but rather, they are contradictory to each other. In one verse it is stated that Jesus is God, while in the other, Jesus is a messenger of God. So, in the Bible itself we find verses contradicting each other. We have to remember that in our previous dialogue we have discussed the issue whether the sacredness of a Holy Book can still be defended if its verses contradict each other. B. It is true, we have discussed it in our previous meeting. A. If you want to defend the divinity of Jesus based on the Bible which stated that Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus as mentioned in John 10:38 and 14:11, you will be answered by your own Bible, that your interpretation is incorrect. B. Where is it mentioned? A. Please see John 17:21.
B. It says: “That they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also maybe one of us: that the world may believe that thou sent me.” A. It is evident in this verse that Jesus himself said that Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus, and his disciples are also in the Father. Thus, you have to admit that the disciples of Jesus are also God. B. What is the true meaning of the verse according to you? A. The meaning of the verse, that the Father is in Jesus and his disciples become one with both of them, is that Jesus is not to forget God (the Father), and his disciples not to forget him and God (the Father). In the midst of the verse Jesus said: “That the whole world may believe that thou hast sent me.” The contents of the verse strongly indicate that Jesus is not the son of God, but His messenger. Please continuee reading John 17:23. B. It says: “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that thou hast sent me…” A. Aren‟t the contents of the verse clear enough that Jesus himself says and admits that he is not God, but the messenger of God? Are you still not satisfied with the Biblical verses I referred to which indicate that Jesus is not God? B. As I have mentioned before, I want satisfaction. As a matter of fact, I am satisfied with your explanation. However, if you still have some verses, please show them to me. A. All right. I shall fulfil your wish. Please read Samuel I 7:22. B. It says: “Therefore thou are great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all the we have heard with our ears.” A. It is evident in this verse that Jesus himself directed his speech to God, and that there is nothing comparable to God. Therefore, Jesus himself
admitted that he is not comparable to God. In other words, he is not God. In the midst of the verse Jesus himself said: “There is no God but You.” So, Jesus is other than God, namely he is not God. In the structure of the verse Jesus himself said that there is not god but God. Then why do Christians make him God? Please see again John 17:8. B. It says: “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me: and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” A. In this verse Jesus himself says that he receives words from God. If Jesus were God, it would be natural that he would not have been in need of any word from any one. At the end of the verse Jesus himself says “thou didst send me.” So, Jesus is not God, but the messenger of God, like other prophets and messengers of God. Continue reading Matthew 26:2. . B. It says: “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” A. The son of man in this verse is Jesus himself. So, it is evident that Jesus admits that he is not the son of God, but the son of man. Continue reading Mathew 4:45. B. It says: “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…” A. Enough. You see yourself that in this verse Jesus himself said to his disciples that in order to become the children of Gold Who is in heaven they have to obey the laws of God. In this way, according to Jesus, they will become the children of God, too. Based on this verse the number of the children of God will multiply, and not only Jesus (as the son of God). B. But in the Bible John 1:34 it says: “And I saw and bear record that this is the Son of God.” Also in Matthew 3:1;7 it is said: “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Again, in Luke 1:32 it is said: “He shall be great, and shall be
called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” In Hebrew 4:14 it is said: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens. Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” There are many other verses of the Bible which state that Jesus is the Son of God. If you want, I can show you the verses. A. Yes, I know that the Biblical verses mentioning the son of God are in: Matthew 3:1;7, 4:3 and 6, 2:15, 14:33, 26:63 and 16:17. John 3:16, 1:34 and 40, 17:1, 19:7 and 30, 15:23, and some other verses. Romans 1:9, 5:10, 8:3 and 29:23. Galatians 1:16, and 4:4 and 6. Luke 1:32 and 35, 3:2. 4:3 and 9, and 4:34 and 41. Hebrew 1:25 and 8, 3:6, 4:14, and 5:5 and 8. Corinthians I 1:9. There are many other Biblical verses stating that Jesus is the son of God which do not mean the real son, since Jesus says in the Bible that he is the messenger of God and not the son of God, the son of man and not the son of God. Therefore, these Biblical verses stating the sonship of Jesus do not really mean that Jesus is the real son of God [but metaphorical and figure of speech] as we say anak kapal [lit. “ship children,” i.e., crew] and anak sekolah [lit. “school children”, i.e., pupils]. This does not mean that the ship and the school have children, but rather, they have people who are bound to the rules and regulations of the ship and the lessons at school respectively. See again John 5:30 B. It says: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” A. It is evident here that if Jesus were God, he would have been able to do according to his own will. But in the Bible itself it is stated that Jesus acts according to the will of God. If Jesus were God, he would have never been sent by any one. It is impossible that God sent God, or in other words, “the messenger of God is God.” Is this possible? B. It is clear enough, and thank you.
A. Please read again John 3:13. B. It says: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” A. It is clear enough that the Bible itself states that Jesus is the son of man and not the son of God. B. Based on this verse it is true that Jesus is the son of man. A. Please see again Matthew 27:30. B. It says: “And they spit upon; him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.” A. If Jesus were God, how could God be spit upon and ridiculed? Why should there be a very weak God? For fulfilling your request to be satisfied with the issue of the divinity of Jesus in the Bible and Jesus‟ own statement denying his divinity, see again Matthew 21:18 and 19. B. It says: “Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away.” A. If Jesus were God, he certainly would not have cursed the tree to be fruitless forever, but rather, using his power as God, he would have created fruit for it. But the tree, which had done nothing wrong against Jesus, was cursed by him. Is it proper for God to curse the innocent creature? As a matter of fact, if Jesus were God, he would have power to make the tree fruitful instantly rather than cursing it. B. You know by heart very well about the Biblical verses. It has become clear that based on the verses you have just cited and supported by other verses that Jesus is not the son of God. A. The question of the divinity of Jesus has been discussed by us in our first meeting and has been dealt with by the Bible itself which states that beside Jesus there are still many human beings who have to be
acknowledged as sons of God, too. Beside Jesus, Christians should recognize them as God, too, and the Bible itself states that God has many children. B. Yes, we have discussed it. A. To make it clearer, I better repeat it. In the Bible it is mentioned that: 1. David is the first born of God ((Psalm 89:27) 2. Jacob (Israel) is the first born of God (Exodus 4:22-23). 3. Ephraim is the first born of God (Jeremiah 31:9)22 Therefore,, David was the first born of God, Jacob was the first born of God, and Ephraim was also the first born of God. All the three were the first born. Which one was really the first born? Are all these verses right or wrong? For this reason I make it clear that the expression “son of God” mentioned in the Bible does not mean the real son, but rather the beloved of God, or those who are obedient to God. B. I understand and thank you. A. But perhaps you haven‟t fully understood yet the meaning of “son” and “father” in Hebrew or the sense of the expression in the Bible. B. What then do they really mean? [See Appendix 1] A. In Hebrew the word “father” is used for God, while the word “son” is used for respectable persons, like prophets and messengers. B. Where do you base this view on? A. I have mentioned it in our first meeting, in the Bible in the book of Matthew. B. I don‟t remember, in what chapter and verse? A. Please open Matthew 5:9. B. It says: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
A. It is evident that whoever makes peace among mankind is called â€œthe son of God.â€? Therefore, there are hundreds, thousands even millions of sons of God, not Jesus only. B. Would it be better to adjourn our discussion and continue it tomorrow evening, for it is now late at night? A. It is up to you. Then, we shall continue it tomorrow evening.
THE FOURTH EVENING JESUS “THE REDEEMER” A. Is it true that the Christians believe that the coming of Jesus is to redeem sins? B. It is so. A. Where is it mentioned? B. In Acts 5:31. A. Please read it to me. B. It says: “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” A. These words were said by Peter, not by Jesus, and are not revelation from God. B. But in Luke 2:10 and 11 it also says so. A. Please read it. B. It says: “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” A. According to the verse to whom did the angel speak? B. In Luke 2:8 and 9 it is mentioned that the angel spoke to the shepherds who were tending their flocks at night. A. There is no information indicating that the speaker was an angel and there was no statement from the shepherds about this event.
B. For me, there is no need to investigate nay longer on this matter, as it is enough that the Bible states that Jesus is a Saviour and a Redeemer. A. All right, if you do not need to investigate the verse any longer, it does not matter; I„ll follow your suggestion. However, I would like to tell you that in Acts 5:31 you have just read, it is stated that Jesus is a Redeemer for the Children of Israel exclusively, not the whole mankind. And as a follower of Christianity, you yourself will not be redeemed by Jesus, because you are not one of the Children of Israel. It will be so, if you truly stick to your own Holy Bible which you have just read. B. It is probably that at that time there were only Children of Israel, and for this reason Jesus said so [a redeemer for the Children of Israel], while in reality [he is a redeemer] for the whole mankind. A. If you think your argument is right, please read Matthew 1:21. B. It says: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” A. Hasn‟t it been clear yet that the Bible itself states that the coming of Jesus is for redeeming the sins of his people only, and not for the whole mankind as we have discussed earlier? B. But “people” could also mean “race”, namely, the human race, so that it means the whole nation? A. On what basis do you give such interpretation? The Bible mentions very clearly the words “his people.” Suppose you substitute the word “people” with “race” the verse still means no other than the race of Jesus only, namely, the Israelites. B. I am still not convinced with your statement so long as the Bible does not state clearly that the coming of Jesus is for the Children of Israel only. A. Suppose it is mentioned in the Bible, will you be convinced that the coming of Jesus is not for the whole mankind?
B. Yes, I‟ll be convinced, and this is my view. A. Have you ever examined it in the Bible? B. Yes, I have, but I do not know by heart the Biblical verses which are hundreds, may be even thousands in number. A. Then see Matthew 15:24. B. It says: “But he [Jesus] answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” A. Is not this verse clear enough, so that it cannot be twisted? Jesus himself acknowledges that he is sent to the Children of Israel only, and not to the whole mankind or any other. Therefore, the followers of Jesus [the Christians] who do not belong to the Children of Israel are not included among his people, and their sins will be unredeemable, as Jesus is the redeemer for exclusively the Children of Israel. Even you yourself are not one of the Children of Israel. B. Yes, it is so, it is rather confusing for me. I don‟t know how it should be. A. If it is so, one can say, what is the benefit of Christians spreading Christianity among people who do not belong to the Children of Israel?23 Jesus himself did not do that. Can such practice be considered trespassing the teachings of Jesus? And in Matthew you have just read “I am not sent but” indicating that Jesus himself acknowledged that he was sent. If Jesus were God, I would like to ask you, would it be proper for God to be a messenger? Therefore, Jesus is not God but a messenger of God based on Jesus‟ own acknowledgement as mentioned in your own Bible. B. It is right. But forgive me beforehand, isn‟t it possible that the verse is misprinting? This is only my own guess, and once again I apologize. A. Bijbellezingen voor het Huisgezin [Biblical lectures for the household]. Do you agree?
B. All right. It has really been my intention [to bring this book] so that we can examine together whether the verses in the Indonesian bible are identical with those in the Dutch one. A. Please examine Chapter De onderdaanen van het koningrijk [the people of the kingdom], page 834, verse 12. Have you found it? B. I have got it. A. Let us examine it. It says: “When a woman from Canaan came forward to Jesus begging him to cure her daughter, what did he say? He said: „I am not sent but to the lost sheep of Israel only.‟” 24 What is your opinion? B. Ah, frankly, my views are starting to lean towards your explanation. A. Thank Allah, I am grateful, because you have become more doubtful about your belief. In our previous meeting, we have read Matthew 26:1 and 2. B. It is true, I remember, I shall explain them. A. All right, if you still feel that it is necessary to explain them. B. I shall read the verse to you again. A. I have explained them in our previous meeting. Perhaps it is still necessary for you to contradict my statements. Please read them. B. It says: “And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples. Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” Therefore, based on these verses, Jesus came to be crucified. A. If it were true that Jesus came to be crucified, why did he cry to God for help when he was being crucified? He was supposed to be ready to be crucified. As I have mentioned in our first meeting the cry of Jesus for help is found in Matthew 27:46, as follows: “And about the ninth hour25
Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” B. This verse indicates that the divine body of Jesus had already known that his human body would be crucified. Therefore, it was not God who cried, but rather Jesus‟ human body, and therefore, he surrendered to be crucified. A. Where was, then, the divine body of Jesus when he was being crucified? If you say that it became separated [from his human body], then Jesus was not always united with God. If you say that it remained there [with Jesus‟ human body] why then could not this divine body of his help him, so that he cried for help? B. I do not understand the reality of this issue. A. Moreover, we still can continue with Matthew 26:38 which says: “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here, and watch with me.” Why did not Jesus‟ divine body have power to remove the sorrow he was suffering? Instead, he even asked his disciples to watch with them. Is it proper for God to ask help of human beings? B. If I stick to the verse which states that Jesus was sent exclusively for the Children of Israel, what is wrong then in calling people other than Children of Israel to believe in Jesus? A. If you take the consequence of sticking to this biblical verse you would have a different view. If you call people other than the Children of Israel [to Christianity] this act will mean that you are deviating from the steps of Jesus, because Jesus himself said that he came to redeem the sins of the Children of Israel only, and not of other people. B. Suppose that Jesus came for the Children of Israel only, and suppose others than Children of Israel embrace Christianity, this would mean that nothing is wrong with the Biblical verses or the Christian teachings. A. If so, were the sins of the Children of Israel who had crucified Jesus redeemed by him?
B. I don‟t know. A. Why does this Biblical verse state that Jesus said that he came to redeem the sins of the Children of Israel, which means that the sins of the Children of Israel who crucified him would also be redeemed? Moreover, based on your statement, those who crucified him are not supposed to be sinful, but rather to receive great merit, if he came only to be crucified. Suppose nobody wanted to crucify him, the sins of the Children of Israel would not have been redeemed, and his coming would not have been to be crucified. Those who crucified him should have been given great reward, and not be cursed, for they had done yeoman service in crucifying him. Due to this act, all the sins of the Children of Israel became redeemed. I have given some of these answers in our previous meeting. B. In this case, I am not able to give my answer yet, perhaps next time. A. I am going to repeat the question: is it true that [according to Christianity] sins become redeemed due to the crucifixion of Jesus? B. Yes, it is so according to the Bible. A. What kind of tool was used to crucify him? B. If I am not mistaken, it was wood called “the cross.” A. So, Jesus was hung on the cross when he was crucified. B. Yes, he was, as we used to see pictures of him being crucified. A. Please see Galatians 3:13. B. It says: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is every one that hanged on a tree.”26
A. According to your statement, Jesus was willing to be crucified, while according to Galatians you have just read, cursed is everyone hung on the cross, and could he then deem the sins of human beings? B. Thank you, I realize that. Would it be better to move to other topics? But would it be better to do it another evening, as it is now very late at night? A.
All right, it is up to you.
THE FIFTH EVENING THE INHERITED SIN B. I would like to get an explanation from you about the belief on the inherited sin as a consequence of the sins of Adam and Eve. A. All right, I shall explain it to you. First of all, I ask you: Is it true that according to Christian belief the children of Adam and Eve are sinful since birth? B. It is true, as Adam and Eve became sinful, their descendants inherit the sins from both of them. A. Why should the sins of Adam and Eve be inherited by their descendants? Man is supposed to carry his own sins from his own acts and not the sins of other persons. B. But according to Christian teachings, every human being has been burdened with sin since his birth, or inherited sin from Adam and Eve, since the coming of Jesus is to redeem the sins of human beings inherited from Adam and Eve as mentioned before. A. If [you think] what you have explained about the Christian teaching is right, then read Ezekiel 18:20. B. It says: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” A. It is evident that the Bible itself states that every human being shall bear his own deed, good or bad, and cannot be laid on another person‟s shoulder or be inherited to him. Based on this verse Adam and Eve will bear their own sins. But why should the sins of Adam and Eve be inherited by their descendants, so that they also have to bear the sins of Adam and Eve, whereas the Bible itself makes it clear that every deed,
good or evil, done by somebody cannot be laid upon any other person? All right! I ask you further: When were you baptized? B. My parents said, when I was three months old. I was brought to the church where I was baptized, because every human being since his birth has carried the sins of Adam and Eve called inherited sins. So, man is sinful even since he was a baby; that is why I was baptized when I was a baby. A. Is this act based on the Bible? B. I believe so. As I said before, a newly born baby is not innocent, namely, he has already carried the sins of Adam and eve. A. If so, the baby who dies before being baptized will not enter heaven, because he dies carrying the sins of Adam and Eve. B. Yes, it is supposed to be so. A. Please read Matthew 19:14. B. It says: â€œBut Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.â€? A. There you are! Notice that in this verse Jesus himself said very clearly that he acknowledged the innocence of children, although they had not yet acknowledged the crucifixion of Jesus and had not been baptized yet, but they have the kingdom of heaven. So, based on the acknowledgement of Jesus himself, children do not carry inherited sins from Adam and Eve. Therefore, Jesus said that they were free from sins and would automatically enter heaven. I want to ask you again: When you were there months old had you carried sin or not yet? B. Based on the statement of Jesus you have just mentioned, definitely not. A. So, you were still innocent, although without being baptized? B. Yes, you are right.
A. What is then the benefit of being baptize3d when you were three months old? B. When I was three months old I did not know anything yet. A. I am asking you now, not when you were three months old, have you then realized the non-existence of inherited sin? B. As you have mentioned before, based on Jesusâ€&#x; own acknowledgement, I realize it, because Jesus himself states that a baby is born free from sin. A. There you are! How is it now? Do you still have any comment about inherited sin? B. Based on Jesusâ€&#x; own statement, I certainly realized that the newly born baby is innocent, free from any small amount of sin. A. What kind of sin do you mean? B. No inherited sin from Adam and Eve. A. You have admitted then that there is no such a thing called inherited sin. B. Yes, based on the Bible, I have to admit it. A. Thank God, you have admitted the non-existence of inherited son. If the inherited sin is hereditary, the newly born baby does not know anything yet and who is not able yet to make distinction between god and evil, if he dies, he will carry sin and enter hell. Is it justifiable put a baby who does not know good or evil into hell? If so, where is then Godâ€&#x;s justice? B. Yes, your statement is acceptable for me. A. There you are! Try to think about this with full mind. If a parent becomes a swindler, a thief, a traitor, and commits oppression, cruelty and various kinds of sin, and is then imprisoned, do his children bear
the sins of their parent and are also imprisoned on the basis of inherited sins? Will this kind of judgment be called an upholder of justice? B. Thank you, I have realized that sin can neither be bequeathed nor be transferred to another person. A. If so, thank God. B. But if sin cannot be bequeathed, merit also should not be bequeathed. What is the Islamic point of view on this? A. It cannot be, it may not even happen that merit or sin to be transferred to another person. B. Is your expression “may not happen” your own view or according to Islamic teachings? A. According to Islamic teachings, the merit of somebody may not be transferred to anybody else; likewise, his sin may not be transferred to anybody else. Every person bears his own merit or sin himself according to hiss own act. B. But I have even read a book on Islam stating that Prophet Muhammad had sacrificed a goat for his whole followers and his family. This means the Prophet Muhammad had bequeathed or transferred merit to others, namely, to his followers and his family. Such a thing is not an inherited sin, but an inherited merit. So, in Islamic teachings, there is inherited merit. Therefore, I think you do not have to care about inherited sin in Christian teachings if in Islamic teachings we find the teaching of inherited or transferred merit. A. If the book on Islam you read shall be made a principle for the possibility of inherited merit, then the Muslims may pray and fast and then bequeath the merits of these acts to all Muslims dead as well as alive. But there have never been any Muslim who did it. Even if there is any, possibly because he does not know that such an act is contradictory to his own Holy Book [the Qur‟ān]. So, it is not the fault of the Holy Book, but of its own follower. This [Holy Book] is different from the
Bible where many verses are contradictory to each other. There is no such a thing called inherited merit or inherited sin in the Qur‟ān. But in the Bible [of the Christians] there is complication between one verse and another. B. I have read the Indonesian translation of the Qur‟ān. If I am not mistaken, it is in chapter 52 [T.ūr, Mountain], verse 21 which states that the children of the believers will be made to enter heaven due to their parents. So, they enter heaven because of the good deeds of their parents. If these are not called inherited merits, then what will you call them? A. I am going to read the translation of the Qur‟ānic verse you mean: “And those who believe and whose families follow them in Faith to them shall We join their families: nor shall We deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their works: (Yet) is each individual in pledge of his deeds.”27 This verse states clearly the non-existence of inherited merit, not even any guarantee of it. Those who enter heaven with their parents are children who have not reached adulthood, as the adults definitely bear the responsibility for their actions. Therefore, the verse continues as follows: “(Yet) is each individual in pledge of his deeds.” So, every person bears the sin or merit of his own deeds and not inherited from another person. B. Is there any Qur‟ānic verse which states more emphatically that sin and merit cannot be bequeathed or given to others? A. There are many. B. Excuse me, I wish to know in what chapter and verse, so that I can check it at home with my Indonesian translation of the Qur‟ān. Perhaps our brothers who are present here need it, too. The audience: explained.
This case needs explanation, because it is important to be
A. Wouldn‟t it be better if we check it here together,. If you agree I shall ask somebody to get the Qur‟ān, and I shall show you the chapter and the verse right away. What is your opinion, [shall we do it] right now? B. If you know the verses by heart, it will be better to recite them to us. I shall note them down and shall check them at home with my Qur‟ān. But if you do not know them by heart, we better do it tomorrow evening to save time. A. God willing, I know the verses by heart. Please note them down and check them at home. B. All right, please read them and I shall note them down. A. I shall mention the names of the chapters and verses, I shall explain them to you, then you note them down and check them later at home. B. All right, I agree. A. 1. Surah al-Baqarah [Chapter 2, The Cow], verse 286. Its translation: “… It [i.e., the soul] gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns….”28 It means that the deed whether good or evil is burdened to the doer and cannot be burdened to another person. 2. Surah al-Baqarah [Chapter 2, The Cow], verse 123. It translation: “Then guard yourself against a day [i.e., the Resurrection Day] when one soul shall not avail another…”29 It means that in the Resurrection Day man cannot redeem another‟s sin nor gain the merit of another. Every man has to bear his own action, good or evil. 3. Surah al-„Ankabūt [Chapter 29, The Spider], verse 6. Its translation: “And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls…”30 4. Surah Yā Sīn [Chapter 36], verse 54. Its translation: “Then, on that day [i.e., the Resurrection Day] not a soul will be wronged in the least, and ye shall but be repaid the meeds of your past deeds.”31
5. Surah al-Isrā‟ [Chapter 17, The Night Journey],32 verse 15. Its translation: “No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another.” 33 6. Surah al-Najm [Chapter 53, The Star], verses 38 and 39. Its translation: “… that no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another, that man can have nothing but what he strives for.” 34 7. Surah Luqmān [Chapter 31], verse 33. Its translation: “… and fear (the coming of) a day [i.e., the Resurrection Day] when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father...” 35 These verses state clearly that no man can redeem the sin or transfer the merit [of somebody] to another. Therefore, in Islam, no man is able or has the authority to redeem sin. It is the doer himself who bears the responsibility of what he did, good or evil. I think the verses I have mentioned before [are sufficient], but if you want some more, I can give you more verses. B. That is enough, I understand. But I have read a book citing a h.adīth36 of Prophet Muhammad reported by Bukhārī 37 and Muslim,38 stating that the deceased will be tortured because he was wept for by his family. Based on this h.adīth the deceased is tortured due to another person‟s act of weeping. I have asked some people who I think knowledgeable about Islam and one of the teachers of Islam gave his view about the text of this h.adīth. He said that the h.adīth was genuine, because it was reported by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. A. The [translation of the] text of the h.adīth you have just mentioned is as follows: “„Umar and ibn [son of] „Umar said that Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) said that the deceased will be tortured because he was wept for by his family.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim). 39 In fact, this h.adīth is not genuine, because it is contradictory to the verses of the Qur‟ān.40 As a Christian you might not know yet about genuine and false h.adīths, and for the information of brothers who are present here it is necessary for me to explain them. According to books on the sources of Islamic jurisprudence and h.adīth terminology, what is called the h.adīth of the Prophet must have not only sound chains of narrators, but
also sound text and meaning which is not contradictory to the Qur‟ān. It is clearly stated in the report of Bukhārī and Muslim as follows: The meaning of the h.adīth is that when the h.adīth stating that the deceased was tortured because he was wept for by his family was heard by „Ā‟isah (the Prophet‟s wife), she rejected its genuineness and said: “It is sufficient for you the Qur‟ān [which states] that no person can bear the sin of another.”41 B. That is it! If it is so, Pak Kyai, I understand now that according to the Bible and the Qur‟ān there is nothing really called “inherited sin” or “inherited merit.” It means that every human being is accountable for his own sin or merit, depending on the nature of his actions. This is called just. A. Yes, it has to be so according to the Bible and the Qur‟ān we have just read. However, to make it clearer and to convince you more, please read in the Bible the Epistle of Paul to the Romans 2:5-6. B. It says: “But after thy hardness and impertinent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God: who will render to every man according to his deeds.” A. Do these verses state inherited son? B. No, on the contrary, every human being will be requited according to his own deeds. A.
See again Matthew 18:27
B. It says: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” A. Is there any inherited sin mentioned in this Biblical verse? B. There is not any. According to this verse the good deeds and the evil ones will be burdened to the doer himself and cannot be burdened to another person.
A. So, the Bible itself states that there is no inherited sin. B. Yes, where does this so-called “inherited sin” come from? A. Do you still need further explanation? B. It has been very clear. A. Let us continue. It is mentioned in the verse you have just read the expression “Son of man” and “his father.” Please read [the verse] again. B. The beginning of the verse says: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father …” A. What is your opinion the meaning of “Son of man and his Father”? B. Son of man in this verse is Jesus, while the Father is God. A. See again the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians 5:10 B. It says: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” A. This Biblical verse itself states that every man has to be responsible for his own deeds, whether good or evil, and cannot be burdened or bequeathed to another person. B. Based on the Biblical verses you have shown the good or evil deeds of a person cannot be burdened to another. Therefore, my belief in the “inherited sin” has started fading. A. Then what about the sins of Adam and Eve, can they be bequeathed to others, specifically to their descendants? B. Based on the Biblical verse mentioned before, certainly not. So, the sin committed by Adam and Eve should become their own burden and cannot be bequeathed to their descendants.
A. We find in the history of Christianity what is called biechten, namely, the persons who commit sin, de biechtafleggen, namely, the persons who ask forgiveness, and biecht-vader, namely, those who have authority to forgive sins. Every person who repents for his misdeed can be forgiven by buying a certificate stating that the sinner has been forgiven. This forgiving certificate is called aflaat-briefen or “indulgence” which means “God‟s generosity.” B. Yes, I realize that. I am satisfied with your explanation. A. Not only that! These “indulgences” were formerly propagated in Germany by a monk called Tetzel in 1517 by the order of Pope Leo X who became Pope from 1513 until 1521. A portion of the sale of these “indulgences” was used to build the St. Peter‟s Church in Rome.42 It will be too long if I tell you about the history of the Church‟s role in Europe in the Middle Ages. C. Thank you. We shall continue with other issues. As it is now late at night, we shall continue next time.
THE SIXTH EVENING THE QUR‟ĀN AND THE BIBLE A. I think we have had enough discussion about the inherited sin. B. Your explanation was clear enough in our previous meeting. And I have compared to Qur‟ānic verses you mentioned last night with the Indonesian translation of the Qur‟ān which I have. They were all matched, both in chapters and verses. All that you told us was precisely correct. At home I reflected on the verses of both the Bible and the Qur‟ān you had shown me. It is evident that inherited sin, transfer of merit and transfer of sin are impossible, and even incredible. A. Thank God you have recognized it. Let us now discuss other matters, and I leave the mater to you. It is up to you what to discuss. B. All right, let me start: I have read verses of he Qur‟ān which seemed to be contradicting each other which caused doubtfulness. Is it possible that Prophet Muhammad himself made mistakes in delivering revelation from Allah? If he is really a prophet, it would be impossible for him to make a mistake in receiving or delivering it, or the Qur‟ānic verses are really contradictory to each other. A. You better explain the Qur‟ānic verses you mean. B. I have read Qur‟ānic verses dealing the creation of man in the Indonesian translation of the Qur‟ān which seemed to me contradicted the other, so that it appeared in my mind that the contradiction of verses was not only in the Bible but also in the Qur‟ān. A. Please mention the Qur‟ānic verses you are asking about, God willing, your doubt will disappear. B. I have noted down the verses. I shall read it for you. 1. In the Qur‟ān surah al-Rah.mān [Chapter 55, The Beneficent], verse 14 it stated that Allah created man from burnt clay. 43
2. In surah al-H.ijr [Chapter 15, The Rocky Tract], verse 28 it is said: “Behold! Thy Lord said to the angels: „I am about to create man [i.e., Adam] from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape.‟”44 3. In surah al-Sajdah [Chapter 32, The Prostration], verse 7 it is said: “…and He began the creation of man from clay.”45 4. In surah al-S.āffāt [Chapter 37, Those Ranged in Ranks], verse 11 it is said: “Them have We created out of sticky clay.”46 5. In surah Āl „Imrān [Chapter 3, The Family of Imran], verse 59, it is said: “He created him from dust.”47 These five verses which I have just mentioned are contradictory to each other. Let us examine them carefully. The third verse mentions “clay.” The fourth verse mentions “sticky clay.” The fifth verse mentions “dust.” Aren‟t these verses contradictory to each other? A. Yes, they seem to be. I am not going to disappoint you. Continue your question. B. I want to ask you: What is the true origin of man? Burnt clay, sounding clay and mud moulded into shape, dust or sticky clay? So, according to me there is also contradiction in the verses of the Qur‟ān, not exclusively in the verses of the Bible. Please explain this clearly and precisely. A. All right, let me explain. The Qur‟ān mentions 7 (seven) kinds of creation of man. For the information of our brothers in the audience, I‟ll read the Qur‟ānic verses one by one as you have mentioned before. First: In surah al-Rah.mān [Chapter 55], verse 14 which means that Allah created man of clay like pottery. What is meant by s.als.āl in this verse is “dry clay” or “half dry clay,” i.e., “oxygen.” Second: In the same verse it is mentioned fakhkhār [i.e., ka ‟l-fakhkhār, “like pottery”] which means “carbon.”
Third: In surah al-H.ijr [Chapter 15], verse 28 which means: “Behold! The Lord said to the angels: „I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape.” The word s.als.āl is also mentioned in this verse, while the word h.ama‟in in this verse means “nitrogen.” Fourth: In surah al-Sajdah [Chapter 32, verse 7] which means that Allah created man from clay, the word t.īn (clay) in this verse means “atoms of hydrogen.” Fifth: In surah al-S.āffāt [Chapter 37], verse 11 which means that Allah created man from sticky clay, the word lāzib (sticky clay) in this verse is “iron” (ferrum). Sixth: In surah Āl „Imrān [Chapter 3], verse 59 which means that Allah created Adam from dust, then He said to him: “Be! And it is”, the word turāb (soil) in the verse means “the elements or the original matters found in the earth called „inorganic matters.‟” Seventh: In surah al-H.ijr [Chapter 15], verse 29 which means: “When I have fashioned him [in due proportion] and breathed into him My spirit…”48 These seven Qur‟ānic verses I have just mentioned show the process of Prophet Adam‟s creation till he became in the shape of human being. Then [Allah‟s spirit] was breathed to him so that he possessed a soul (having physical and spiritual body). As mentioned in the sixth verse the word turāb (dust) is the original matters found in the earth called inorganic matters. These inorganic matters are created only after passing the process of chemical combination among fakhkhār, i.e. carbon, s.als.āl, i.e. oxygen, h.ama‟in, i.e. nitrogen, and t.īn, i.e. hydrogen. In plain language, it is the combination of: 1. 2. 3. 4.
fakhkhār (carbon) in surah al-Rah.mān verse 14 s.als.āl (oxygen) also in surah al-Rah.mān verse 14 h.ama‟in (nitrogen) in surah al-H.ijr verse 28 t.īn (hydrogen) in surah al-S.āffāt verse 11.
Then this combination passed the process of combination with iron (ferrum), iodium (iodine), kalium (potassium), cilicum (silicon) and manganese which are called lāzib (inorganic matters) in surah al-S.āffāt verse 11. In this process of combination what is called “protein” was produced. This is what is called turāb (inorganic matters) in surah Āl „Imrān verse 59. One of the important the inorganic matter is kalium which is found in abundance in the body tissues, especially in the muscles. Kalium is the most important [element] due to its activity in life process, namely, in the formation of spiritual body. The occurrence of “proteinization” produced a “changing process” called “substitution.” After “substitution” took place, the electrons of cosmic rays stormed and produced “the cause of formation”, also called “the cause of existence” (causa formatis). Cosmic rays are capable of changing the nature of elements originated from the earth. Cosmic rays can easily produce the formation of a human body (Adam) in the shape of a physical body consisting of a body, a head, hands, eyes, ears, a nose, and so on. This is the limit where exact sciences are capable to analyze the formation of the physical body of man, Adam. With regard to spiritual (abstract) science, it certainly requires sciences which are wholly spiritual as well, which are closely related to metaphysics. The explanation about the Qur‟ānic verses you think contradictory to each other on the creation of man (Adam) is clear enough. In fact, they are not contradictory to each other, but indicate the process of the origin of the creation of Adam‟s physical (visible) body up to his spiritual (invisible) body until the formation of man. Isn‟t my explanation about the Qur‟ānic verses clear enough? If we have time I shall also explain the process of creation of man‟s spiritual body according to metaphysics. B. Very clear, even very scientific, and I have not imagined at all that Qur‟ānic verses contain such high knowledge. It is really very
interesting that you are able to explain or analyze the process of the origin of the creation of spiritual body of man. But I need special time for it. A. All right, let us continue. Surely, you have read the biography of Prophet Muhammad. He was illiterate, he had never learned from anybody, and he had never associated with scholars. B. Yes, I have read the biography of the Prophet, an illiterate man who had never learned, from whom or from where did he scientifically know about the creation of man which is now confirmed by science? Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) explained the origin of the creation of man according to anatomy, chemistry, biology, natural science, and up to its spiritual matter. A. Then where did he learn anatomy, chemistry, biology, natural science and spiritual matters if not from revelation from Allah the Almighty? And it is impossible that he received revelation if he was not a prophet and a messenger. B. But there are also people, illiterates, who have not learned and never attended school but became great men. A. Mention the names of people who had never learned (illiterates), claimed to be prophets and to receive revelations, successfully built a community and a state which amazed historians, and were followed by hundreds of million people in every era and age? Mention the names of the people you mean! B. Oh, nobody. A. Of course, nobody. Let me ask you, if you [still] stick to your opinion that Prophet Muhammad is neither a prophet nor a messenger because there are illiterates who become great men. If Jesus was to son of God because he could heal the leper, revive the dead, was born without father and was filled with Holy Ghost, there were also people other than Jesus who were born without father, could heal the leper, revived the dead as mentioned in the Bible: The Acts of the Apostles chapter 6,
verse 5 and chapter 5, verse 32,49 Kings II chapter 13, verse 21,50 Matthew chapter 5, verse 9,51 Kings II chapter 5, verse 10.52 Why, then, aren‟t they also considered God? Why do you object to acknowledging Muhammad as a prophet and a messenger, while you do not object acknowledging Jesus as God, since the miracles53 he had performed could also be performed by others? B. All right, then. A. What do you mean by “all right”? B. Your explanation has been good and has satisfied me, and I need time to make my decision till tomorrow evening or next meeting. A. All right, I leave the whole matter to you. I have no right to force or influence you. We are holding discussion and dialogue only. The result is up to one‟s personal consideration. B.
Let us then continue tomorrow evening.
THE SEVENTH EVENING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE MESSENGERSHIP OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD P.B.U.H. A. After explaining the Qur‟ānic verses dealing with the process of the origin of man which you asked last night, is there any contradiction among them? Was there any mistake done by Prophet Muhammad in conveying the message? B. There is not any. You have explained them scientifically, so that I have to accept it honestly. A. So, Prophet Muhammad was right and did not make mistakes in conveying the message? B. He did no make any mistake but rather conveyed it correctly. A. So, do you acknowledge that Prophet Muhammad was a true messenger of Allah? B. Yes, I do, because he was right. A. Thank you. Brothers, you who are present here, you have witnessed Br. Antonius‟ acknowledgement of the messengership of Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h., not with compulsion, but with his own consciousness which emerges through discussion. Do you really acknowledge the messengership of Prophet Muhammad and acknowledge him as a messenger of Allah? B. I really do, with God‟s witness I acknowledge him. A. Praise be to Allah. Br. Antonius has become 50 % Muslim. I say he has become 50 % Muslim because he has only understood and believed in the messengership of Prophet Muhammad. So 50 % still remains, because you have not yet believed in the Oneness of God the One.
B. Yes, it is true. My belief in Trinity [God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost] has not yet disappeared at all, although you have explained the Bible which I cannot deny. But through your explanation I start doubting the doctrine of Trinity. However, are you still ready to give some explanations (arguments) in the Bible which state that Jesus was not God? A. As a matter of fact, I have stated in our first meeting that based on the Bible itself Jesus was not God as you have seen in Matthew 1:16. Mark 13:32, Deuteronomy 6:4, and Mark 12:29. We have read all of them. However, for fulfilling your hope for a rendering more convincing, we continue again. Please read Luke 4:1 and 2. B. It says: “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.” A. 1. It is mentioned in this verse that the Holy Ghost led Jesus to the wilderness. If Jesus were God, it would have been impossible to be led by anybody. 2. It is mentioned also in this verse that Jesus was tempted by the devil. Is it proper that the devil tempted God? 3. This verse even mentions that Jesus was hungry. Is it proper that God became hungry? Then the nature of Jesus was just like any normal human being: could be led, tempted and feel hungry. See again Matthew 4:5. B. It says: “And the Devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple.” A. It is mentioned in this verse that Jesus was led by the devil. Is it proper that God was led by the devil? Is it proper that God surrendered to the will of the devil, so that he could be led to anywhere, to any place? Is it
proper that the devil was so daring to God? See again Matthew 27:1 and 2. B. It says: “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.” A. It is mentioned in this verse that Jesus was bound. Is it proper that God was bound by human beings? If so, where then was God‟s power so that He surrendered Himself willingly to human beings? See again Luke 2:21. B. It says: “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus...”54 A. Is it proper that God was circumcised? What is God‟s circumcision for? B. Is there any evidence more decisive that Jesus was definitely the son of man and not the son of God? A. Please open Matthew 26:2. B. It says: “… and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” 55 A. What is meant by “the son of man” was Jesus. So, it has become clear that Jesus was not the son of God, but the son of man. Please see Matthew 5:45. B. It says: “That ye may be the children of your Father…” and so on. 56 A. It is mentioned here that those who obey God according to Jesus will be children of God. Therefore, it was not only Jesus who was the son of God. So, it is not I who say that Jesus was not the only son of God, but the Bible of the Christians which says that Jesus was not the only son of God, but the children of God will increase in number based on the Bible Matthew 5:45 which we have just read, namely: “that ye may be children of your Father…” Please red Matthew 7:21.
B. It says: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” A. It is evident in the Bible itself that Jesus negated, even rejected those who called him “God, God.” They were even unable to enter heaven. Isn‟t this evidence which I have shown you enough? B. Enough. Thank you. But if you still have more, I ask, for the sake of my satisfaction. A. What kind of request are you asking for? B. Biblical verses stating that Jesus was the son of man, not the son of God. A. All right. I shall fulfil your request. Please see Matthew 16:27. B. It says: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels and then he shall reward every man according to his work.” A. This verse mentions “the Son of man.” According to your interpretation who was meant by the son of man in this verse? B. Certainly Jesus. A. So, the Bible itself states that Jesus was the son of man, not the son of God. Right or wrong? B. Yes, right. A. Here you are! If so, why do you call Jesus the son of God? B. Jesus is God but is made similar to a human being. A. If Jesus was God, why was he born by a human being (Mary)? Jesus was in the shape of a human being because he was born by a human being (Mary). It is too awkward to say that a human being (Mary) bore
God. Is it acceptable according to exoteric (natural) or esoteric (spiritual) sciences that God is born by a human being? Can physical or abstract sciences accept it? B. Indeed, it is impossible that God was born by a human being. A. Not only that. Your own Bible even states that he was not the son of God, but a messenger of God as I have shown you in our previous meeting. B. Right, you have mentioned it. But, I ask you to repeat the verses because I have forgotten their contents. A. Please see John 5:30. B. It says: “I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just: because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the father which hath sent me.” A. This verse is very clear. It states explicitly that Jesus himself admitted that he was not God, but a messenger of God. In this verse Jesus said that he did nothing according to his will, but the will of God Who sent him. If Jesus was God, would it be proper that God could not do according to his own will, would it be proper that God was ordered (sent) and became a messenger? B. Yes, I acknowledge; Jesus himself acknowledged that he was not the son of God. A. For the sake of your satisfaction, see again John 3:13. B. It says: “And no man hath ascended to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. A. Based on the Biblical verses I have shown you and you have examined and read by yourself, I ask you once again: Was Jesus the son of man or the son of God? B. Based on the above-mentioned verses I say: Jesus was the son of man.
A. The verse you have read, Matthew chapter 27 verse 16, besides stating that Jesus was the son of man, also states that he will reward every man according to his work. Right? Please examine it again. B. Yes, it is true that the verse mentions it A. According to the content of this verse, it clearly rejects the existence of “inherited sin,” and based on this verse, every man will be recompensed according to his deed,, and therefore, there is no redeemer. B. Yes, we have finished discussing the inherited sin and in fact I have acknowledged the non-existence of the inherited sin. A. It is true we have discussed it. I only wanted to add it to strengthen the previous explanation. B. Your explanation has been clear enough. A. What do you mean by “clear enough”? B. Based on the Biblical verses Jesus was not the son of God, but rather the son of man, and based on the Bible itself it states that Jesus himself acknowledged that he was not the son of God, but a messenger of God. A. If so, thank God. How is then your belief in the Trinity (God the Father, the Holy Ghost and God the Son)? B. My belief in the trinity is automatically wiped out. A. Alh.amdu lillāh (thank God). So, you have acknowledged that God is ONE? B. Beforehand, I wish to ask you some questions. A. All right. But you have acknowledged in our previous meeting, and our brothers the auditors have witnessed that:
FIRST: You have acknowledged the Qur‟ān. You presented some Qur‟ānic verses and you thought at first that they were contradictory to each other. After giving explanation and interpreting them to you, you acknowledged that in fact there was no contradiction among them. Was not that your acknowledgement? B. Yes, it was. A. SECOND: In our previous meeting you acknowledged the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h. as a messenger of Allah. Right? B. Yes, right, I have acknowledged it. A. THIRD: You acknowledged that some Biblical verses are contradictory to each other, as I have mentioned these verses in our previous meeting. Right? B. Yes, I acknowledge. But I still need some other evidence about Biblical verses which are contradictory to each other, for the sake of my satisfaction, although, in fact, your explanation has bee for me satisfactory enough. But perhaps there are some other verses which will penetrate my feeling. A. All right. I shall fulfil your hope. Please read John 8:14. B. It says: “Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true….”57 A. Please see again John 5:31. B. It says: “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” A. Here you are! You have proved by yourself the contradiction between the two verses. In one verse it is stated “my record is true,” while in the other it is stated “my record is not true.”58 Both verses are stated in the Holy Book and the speaker was the same person. Which of these two verses is right? Is it proper for a holy book to have contradictory verses?
B. I admit that they do not agree. A.
There is not only a disagreement, but even a striking contradiction.
B. But may be one of these verses is misprinted. A. If it is misprinted, there should be a correction list, but there is not any in this book. B. This Bible is in Dutch. Excuse me for a while, I shall examine the English Bible. A. That will be better. Should I examine it for you? B. Because you know Biblical verses by heart, I leave it to you to examine it to save time. A. All right. I hope our brothers in the audience also notice that this book I am holding is the English Bible entitled The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments (American Bible Society). I am going to hand it to Br. Antonius and I am going to mention the chapters and verses to be examined together. B. All right, I am receiving the English Bible. A. Please see John 8:14 on page 104. B. On page 104 John 8:14 says here: “Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true." A. If we translate this verse it will run as follows: “Jika Aku menyaksikan diri hal Dirikku sendiripun, benar juga kesaksianku itu." Isn‟t that so? B. Yes, it is. A. Therefore, it has the same meaning with the Indonesian Bible in John 8:14. Check it first, please.
B. Right! Both have the same meaning. A. Now, please see John 5:31. B. It says: “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” A. If we translate the verse into Indonesian, it will run as follows: “Jikalau Aku menyaksikan dari hal Diriku, maka kesaksianku itu tidak benar,” isn‟t it” B. Yes, it is so. A. Please examine again very carefully in the English Bible. In one verse it says “is true,” while in the other it says “is not true.” B. Yes, both really disagree. A. So, there is no discrepancy between the English and the Indonesian Bible. B. It is true, there isn‟t any. A. Therefore, it is not misprinted. It is the scribe who made the mistake. If the Holy Book (the Bible) were really revelation from God, there would have been no contradiction among its verses. That Holy Book has been meddled with by human hands. B. According to my opinion, both verses are not contradictory, but probably one of them was revoked and later was replaced by the other. In plain words, one verse was revoked and was replaced by the other. As far as I know, there is nāsikh (abrogator), and mansūkh (abrogated) in the verses of the Qur‟ān, namely, the law contained in one verse is revoked and replaced by another verse (containing a new law). A. The nāsikh and mansūkh verses in the Qur‟ān are stated, but in the Bible they are not stated. B. Where are these nāsikh and mansūkh verses in the Qur‟ān?
A. In fact, I am supposed to ask you, because it is you who speak about nāsikh and mansūkh. However, I‟ll show you. It is in surah al-Baqarah [chapter 2] verse 106. according to some Muslim scholars the verse indicates the occurrence of nāsikh and mansūkh, while others say that nāsikh and mansūkh are not indicated in that verse. If you want, I shall explain the meaning of the verse.59 B. Let us first postpone that matter. However, with regard to the two Biblical verses in question, in my view, they are not contradictory to each other, but one of them is replaced by the other. May I give an example? A. Go ahead! You have the right to speak to me freely during this meeting of ours. B. For example: A regulation was issued that every bike driver has to put his light on at night. Then another regulation was issued that due to a certain circumstance such as war it was prohibited to put the light on at night. Here we have two regulations. The first is that “putting the light on is compulsory,” while the second is “prohibited.” Between the two regulations, the latter is the valid one. The case is the same with the two biblical verses. They are not contradictory to each other, but one has become invalid (revoked) and is replaced by the other. This is according to my opinion. A. All right. But you certainly understand that if a regulation is being revoked, it should be followed by a notice stating that such-and-such article number and such-and-such paragraph in such-and-such year is being replaced by such-and-such article number, and so on. But with regard to the two Biblical verses, there hasn‟t been any notice that one of them is being replaced by the other. In other words, both verses remain contradictory to each other. There is no explanation that one of them has been revoked and replaced [by the other].
THE EIGHTH EVENING CONTRADITION AMONG BIBLICAL VERSES A. Last night‟s meeting I explained the contradictory verses in the Bible. Do you still have any question in this meeting? B. If there are still Biblical verses contradictory to each other I ask you to explain them, to increase my conviction and to know how far the sacredness of the Bible has been meddled with by human hands. A. Yesterday you admitted that you were satisfied. Wouldn‟t it better if we discuss matters you think most important? B. Yes, but your explanation about the contradiction among the Biblical verses opened my heat just a little. Therefore, I take this Bible again with me. A. All right, I‟ll show you, for the sake of your satisfaction. B. Thank you. I hope you show me again evidence on the contradictory verses. I wish to know more about this matter. A. Please see John 1:18. B. It says: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” 60 A. What is the content of this verse according to your interpretation? B. This verse indicates that God had never been seen except by Jesus. A. Then please read Genesis 18:1. B. It says: “And Lord appeared unto him (i.e., Abraham) in plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.” 61
A. Here you are! Here you proved by yourself the contradiction between these two verses, [one verse] states that revealed Himself only to Jesus, and nobody else saw Him. The other verse states that Abraham also saw Him. Which of these verses is right?62 B. Yes, I acknowledge that they do not agree. A. Let me continue. See again Genesis 32:30. B. It says: “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." A. Notice that in one verse it is stated that nobody has seen God except Jesus. In another verse it is stated that Abraham saw God. Yet, in another verse it is stated that Jacob saw God even face to face. Which of the three verses is right? It is impossible that all of them are right, because the contradiction of the contents of these verses is very clear. If we say that one of them is right, the other two must be wrong. Is it proper that a holy book contains wrong verses? If we say that all of them are wrong, then can the sacred of a book be defended if it contains verses contradictory to each other? B. I acknowledge that these verses do not agree with each other. A. Your acknowledgement is definitely important, but it will be more important if it is accompanied by consciousness. B. I hope you show me other Biblical contradictory verses. A. All right, please read Samuel II 8:9-10. B. It says: “When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer. The Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to salute him, and to bless him…” A. This is enough for the moment. What is your opinion about this verse? B. According to this verse, the king of Hamath was called Toi.
A. Now please rea Chronicles I 18:9 B. It says: “Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah.”63 A. What was the name of the king of Hamath in this verse? B. According to this verse the name of the king of Hamath was Tou. A. Notice that in one verse it is stated that the name of king of Hamath was Toi, while in the other was Tou. Which one was the right name, Toi or Tou? B. It is true that the name is different, but the difference is only in name. It is only a minor difference. A. If it is only a human error we certainly would not have any objection, but this is an error in revelation or inspiration. B. You are right! This is an error of revelation or inspiration. It is impossible that a minor error takes place in the revelation and inspiration of God, even a minor one. A. Not only that! Please see again Samuel II 8:9-10. B. It says: “When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all t the host of Hadadeger. Then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David…” A. That is enough for the moment. A man called Joram is mentioned in this verse. Who was Joram according to this verse? B. According to this verse Joram was the son of Toi the king of Hamath. A. Right. Now let us continue and read Chronicles I 18:9-10.
B. It says: “Now when Tou the king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah; he sent Hadoram his son to king David…” A. This is enough. A man called Hadoram is mentioned in this verse. Who was Hadoram according to this verse? B. According to this verse Hadoram was the son of Tou, the king of Hamath. A. It is evident that in one verse it is stated that Joram was the son of Toi, while in the other it was not Joram, but Hadoram who was the son of Tou, the king of Hamath. B. I don‟t know. A. I am asking you not whether you know it or not, but about the correctness of the two verses. B. I don‟t know which one is correct. A. You are not the only person who does not know the correct one, but even the scribe did not know the correct name of the son of Toi, whereas what is called “a holy book” must be correct in its contents, from free all kinds of errors, even the smallest one, in accordance with your acknowledgement you have stated earlier. B. It is supposed to be so. A. But in fact it is not so. As evidence, please see again Samuel II 8:8. B. It says: “And from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceedingly much brass.”64 A. What is the meaning of the verse according to you? B. It means that king David took much brass from two places called Betah and Berothai.
A. Please read Chronicles I 18:8. B. It says: “Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun,65 cities of Hadarezer, brought David very much brass…” A. It is evident that in one verse it is stated who places where David took brass, mainly, Betah and Berothai, while in another verse the two places were Tibhath and Chun. Which were the real places in these places where David took brass? If the Bible were really holy, it would have been free from error and contradiction among its verses. B. It is true that both verses do not agree with one another. One verse is contradictory to the other. A. Have you found the contradictory verses in the Bible? B. I shall be fortunate if you are still ready to show me, I apologize, and this is to increase my consciousness. A. All right, I‟ll go by your wish. Please see again King II 8:26. B. It says: “Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother‟s name was Asthaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.”66 A. According to this verse how old was Ahaziah where he became a king? B. Based on this verse, when he was 22 years old. A. Please see again Chronicles II 22:2. B. It says: “Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother‟s name also was Ahaziah the daughter of Omri.”67 A. According to this verse how old was Ahaziah when he began to reign? B. The verse states that when he was 42 years old.
A. Here you are! Which of the two verses is right, 22 years old or 42 years old? In one verse it is stated that Ahaziah became a king when he was 22, while in the other when he was 42. Isn‟t this an evidence of a very clear discrepancy in the Bible which is called a holy book? B. It is true that the discrepancy between the two verses is undeniable. A. In order that you will not be able to deny the existence of contradictory verses in the Bible, please see again King II 24:8. B. It says: “Jehoiachin68 was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. 69 And his mother‟s name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.” A. What was the name of the king in this verse? B. His name was Jehoiachin [i.e., Jojachin in the Indonesian Bible]. A. Please see Chronicles II 36:9 B. It says: “Jehoiachin70 was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.”71 A. The clear discrepancy between the two verses is evident. In one verse it mentioned “Jojachin” while in the other “Jehojachin.” 72 Furthermore, one verse states “three years” [“three months” in King James Version] while in the other “three months and ten days.” Which of these two verses is right, “Jajochin” or “Jehojachin,” and Jerusalem was ruled in 3 years or 3 months and 10 days? Please check again the two verses. B. It is true that there is a discrepancy between these two verses. A. It is strange, again and again, [we find] discrepancy and real discrepancy. B. It is really impossible that contradictory verses should be found in the holy book.
A. In order that this impossibility become more evident, please continue and see Samuel II 23:8. B. It says: “These be the names of mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite [Josech Bashebet bin Tachmoni, according to the Indonesian Bible referred to in this dialogue] that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; and same was Adino the Eznite; he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. 73 A. Based on this verse I would like to ask you: What was the name of the hero of David according to this verse? B. His name was Josech Basjebet bin Tachmoni. A. What was his function? B. Chief of all of the captains. A. How many people did he kill at one time battle? B. Eight hundred men. A. The see Chronicles I 11:11. B. It says: “And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had: “Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains:74 he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.” 75 A. Based on the verse you have just read, I ask you: What was the name of the hero whom David had? B. Jashobean bin Hachmoni. A. What was his position? B. The chief of thirty men. A. How many men did he kill in one time?
B. Three hundred men. A. Do these verses agree with each other? B. They disagree with each other very much, even very clearly in three things. A. Exactly. In one verse the name of the hero whom David had was Josech Basjabet bin Tachmoni, while in the other, Jashobean bin Hachmoni. This verse also mentions that he was the chief of thirty men. In one verse it is mentioned that he killed eight hundred men at one time; in the other, three hundred men. B. Intermezzo a little, Pak Kiyai. A. What kind of intermezzo? B. I am really amazed that you know about the verses of the Bible by heart which are thousands in number. How do you know them by heart? A. I can explain it to you in another time. B. It must be very heard to memorize them. What really amazes me is that you can locate precisely the verses of the Bible. What amazes me more is our ability to remember and locate precisely the verses of the Bible which are contradictory to each other, the numbers of the chapters and verses. I am asking you seriously. Even one of our brothers where were present here last night whispered to me and encouraged me to ask you this question. A. In order to same time, Iâ€&#x;ll answer your question briefly. When I memorize something I use not only my outer senses, but also my inner senses. This requires long explanation and a special time. If you are interested, Iâ€&#x;ll explain it to you some other time. B. All right, then, let us continue.
A. As evidence that inner senses can penetrate, I am penetrating my inner sight into the Bible to show again some Biblical verses contradictory to each other. B. Thank you. A. See again Samuel I 24:1. B. It says: “And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.” A. According to this verse, who moved David against Israel and to take census of them? B. According to this verse, it was God who moved David. A. Right! Now see the Chronicles I 21:1. B. It says: “And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.” A. According to this verse, who provoked David to number Israel? B. Based on this verse, it was Satan who provoked David. A. There you are! Notice, in one verse it is stated that it was God who incited David, while in the other it was Satan. Which of the two verses is right? Was it God or Satan? B. You are right, this is a very striking contradiction. A. If so, you will surely wonder if the present Bible is still considered pure or meddled with by human hands. B. If its condition is explicitly so, its purity naturally cannot be defended. A.
Are you still unsatisfied with the evidence of the contradiction in the verses of the Bible?
B. It has become clear enough. A. Not to mention some contradictory verses in the holy book, even a single verse contradictory to another is enough to deny its safety and purity. B. But now how about the Bible which is considered holy by its adherents? A. As a matter of fact, you are supposed to answer your own question, because you still have that book. However, I‟ll help you to answer it. Every religion has a holy book. But if it is apparent that some of its verses disagree or contradict each other, should the followers of such religion keep believing that their holy book remains holy? In fact, what is called a holy book is revelation, inspiration from God. It would be impossible that God‟s revelation contains contradiction: that in none verse He says “yes” but in the other he says “no”; that in one verse He says “A,” but in the other He says “B.” If such things happened, it would not be impossible that human hands had meddled in it. B. It is true that it is so. But forgive me, if you have no objection, I ask more. A. What do you mean? B. I ask more contradictory verses in the Bible. A. You seem to be testing me on the Bible. B. No, definitely no. I just ask one more, I sincerely ask you one verse only. A.
Whether you ask one verse or more, I can give you. But it is now late at night, unless you like to listen till morning.
B. I ask you sincerely just one verse. After that, we shall continue with other matters. The Audience: Continue till morning, we agree and we shall remain calm.
A. All right. I‟ll fulfil the hope of Br. Antonius. Please see Samuel II 10:18. B. It says: “And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there.” A. That is enough to read for the moment. I ask you: how many men in chariots were there slain by David in this verse? B. In this verse there were 700 (seven hundred) men in chariots slain by David. A. How many horsemen were there slain by David in this verse? B. In this verse there were 40 000 (forty thousand) horsemen slain by David. A. What was the name of the slain captain of their host in this verse? B. According to this verse the slain captain was called Shobach. A. Are all correct: Please check them again. B. My answers are all correct based on this verse. A. If so, see the Chronicles I 19:18. B. It says: “But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in the chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Sophach the captain of the host.” A. I ask you: How many men in chariots were killed by David according to this verse? B. This verse mentions 7 000 (seven thousand) men in chariots.
A. Does this very verse mention forty thousand horsemen or forty thousand footmen? B. According to this verse forty thousand footmen and not horsemen were killed by David. A. Yet, in this same verse a captain was mentioned. What was his name? Shobach or Sophach? B. This verse mentions Sophach A. Notice carefully the discrepancy in these two verses. Even in a single verse we find three contradictions. In Samuel II 10:18 it is mentioned that 700 (seven hundred) men (in chariots) were killed by David, while in Chronicles I 19:18 it is mentioned 7000 (seven thousand). Which of these two verses is right? In this Samuel II it is also mentioned 40 000 (forty thousand) footmen. Which one is right: 40 000 horsemen or 40 000 footmen killed by David? In Samuel II it is also mentioned that the name of the captain was Shobach. Which one is right: Shobach or Sophach? B. I am quite satisfied. I realize and I start being convinced of it. A. What do you mean by starting being convinced? B. My heart and conscience begin to open. Tomorrow evening, I shall express my feeling after receiving the answers of my other questions. But before we adjourn this meeting, I would like to ask you, but I apologize beforehand to you and to our brothers the audience. A. All right, go ahead! B. Why are these many scholars in the West who embrace Christianity? If Islam is a right religion and its teachings are in harmony with modern science, they would convert to Islam. A. Before I answer your question, I ask you. You yourself are a scholar, why do you embrace a religion?
B. Well, the result of this discussion will make me study and choose Islamic teachings. A. Without fruitful discussion which leads to further study of Islamic teachings, would it be possible for you to be a conscious adherent of Islam? B. I think it would be impossible. A. Suppose those people in the West you mean were like yourself [in studying Islam] they would be like yourself in embracing a religion. B. Yes, it is right. A. It is truly right, because in this time many of them have embraced Islam as the result of extensive research and investigation.76 B. But there are Muslims who convert to Christianity. A. Where do you know it? B. In our own country. As evidence, the number of churches and Christian schools increases continuously. A.
Do these converted Christians consist of Muslim scholars?
B. I donâ€&#x;t know, I just know it from hearsay. Until now, I myself havenâ€&#x;t seen or heard any Muslim scholar who converted to Christianity. A. If it is so, the Muslims in Indonesia change their religion not as the result of research. Therefore, they become converts not through conviction. B. Why do you think so? A. You have proved it yourself, that there are many poor Muslims in Indonesia who live in miserable condition. They need money, food, clothes and medicines. This opportunity is taken by some Christians to
influence them by distributing to them food, clothes, medicines, etc., if I am not mistaken. B. Yes, I have read about it in the Kiblat magazine. A. Nowadays, some people in the West who were Christians changed their religion and embraced Islam as the result of their research on Islam showing the truth of Islam. They openly embraced Islam. They were scholars. There were even among them those who had been priests who converted to Islam. B. Right, I myself have read about it in the Kiblat magazine. A. It has become evident that Christians in the West convert to Islam as the result of their research on the truthfulness of Islam. People in the West in general use their intelligence in their research and study. They become followers of Islam with conscience and conviction. B. I accept your statement. A. On the contrary, the Muslims in Indonesia convert to Christianity generally not as the result of research and study. Therefore their conversion is not based on consciousness and conviction, but rather on poverty, their need for food, money, clothes as well as medicines. 77 With this explanation of mine you can compare by yourself the motive of conversion of Christians into Islam in the West and that of Muslims into Christianity in Indonesia. B. But there are surely some Indonesians who are not poor but convert to Christianity. A. But generally, they are not originally Muslims, probably they were followers of other religions.78 Is there anything else you like to ask? B. Yes, a few questions. But we shall keep them for tomorrow evening. It is now late at night. A. All right, tomorrow evening, so that the dialogue will be more perfect.
THE NINTH EVENING CONVERSION TO ISLAM A. Our meeting has been held several times and has been going on smoothly. Do you still have any question in this meeting? B. Since the daytime I have deeply reflected and contemplated on the fruit of our meeting which brings out my conscience to make my decision to choose the religion which I should follow. A. Thank to Allah, you have made your own decision. How is then your belief in the Trinity (God the Father, the Holy Ghost, and God the son)? B. This is exactly what I have been reflecting on since the day time, because I still feel that I am bound to “a rule” which I haven‟t been able to break until now, although your statement has been satisfactory since our first meeting. A. If you could not decline, please explain to me. Perhaps I can help you. B. It is the dilemma of the Trinity. This issue is still leaving traces in my mind. A. All right, you better explain it to me. B. God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost, although they consist of three personalities, in reality, they remain a single one, because one of them cannot be separated from the other. This is the problem which still leaves traces in my heart. With regards to other issues, the Biblical verses, the inherited sin, the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad as the messenger of God, particularly the contradiction in the verses of the Bible and your objective and interesting statement and explanation which are based of facts, for me they have been settled and I give up. A. Let us continue.
B. But the issue of the Trinity is till depicted in my mind, so that I am still unable to easily sacrifice in full and with sincerity my conviction without adequately broad explanation which can overcome my conviction. A. So, you still believe that the three personalities are all God? B. Yes, I do, but my conviction has started to be weak. A. So, is God the Father God? B. Yes. A. Is God the Son (Jesus) also God? B. Yes. A. Is the Holy Ghost also God? B. Yes, they are all “three,” but remain “one” as I have stated before. To make it clear, I shall give you an example. A. All right, give me an example. B. Suppose you are smoking a cigarette now. A. Yes, I am. B. The cigarette you are smoking consists of three parts: 1. the stick of the cigarette 2. the fire, and 3. the redness o the fire of the cigarette A. Yes, continue. B. The stick of the cigarette, its fire and its redness become one, although it consists of three parts. All the three cannot be separated, but it remains united in one entity. Similarly is the case of the Trinity.
A. The example you have just given does not fit, although it is considered correct. B. Then what is to be done? I ask you to disprove it if it does not fit. A. I do not want to disapprove you, but I respect your view. I only want to ask you about the example you have just given. I want you to answer my question precisely. B. All right, I hope I can answer it. A. You have just given the example of a cigarette compared to the Trinity. B. Yes, it is true. A. I ask you, is the stick of the cigarette a cigarette or not? B. Yes, it is a cigarette. A. Is the fire of this cigarette a cigarette or not? B. No, it is not. A. I ask you again: is God the Father God or not? B. Yes, He is rightly God. A. Is the Son of God [Jesus] God [the Father] or not? B. No, he is not. A. Is the Holy Ghost God or not? B. He is supposed to be not God, either. A. If you say that the fire of this cigarette is not a cigarette and the redness of this cigarette is not a cigarette, then it has become clear that Jesus is not God, and the Holy Ghost is also not God.
B. True. A. Except if you say that the fire of this cigarette is a cigarette, then you [can] say that Jesus is God and the Holy Ghost is also God. B. Yes, your answer is very precise. A. Now, how is your belief, is Jesus God or not? B. No, he is not. A. Is the Holy Ghost God or not? B. Definitely not. A. Then how is your belief in the Trinity? B. Gone.79 A. If it has gone, then what? B. Now I believe that there is only one God. A. So, you believe in a single God? B. It has to be [one God]. I believe that God is one; there is no god other than Him. A. What do you mean by “God”, “Allah” or what? B. Of course Allah. A. In our previous meeting you acknowledged the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad as a messenger of Allah. B. Yes, I did not lie.
A. Then you have acknowledged that there is no God but Allah, and Prophet Muhammad is His messenger. B. True, from now on I embrace Islam, I become the adherent of Islam and become one of the followers of Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. THE AUDIENCDE ALL TOGETHER: Al-h.amdu lillāh, al-h.amdu lillāh (praise be to Allah), Br. Antonius becomes now our brother [in faith]. A. Brothers who are present here are also witnessing that tonight, on March 18, 1970, at 10:15 p.m. Br. Antonius has embraced Islam. THE AUDIENCE: We bear witness. A. I request Br. Antonius to read the Kalimah Shahādah.80 I shall read it first and then you read it after me. The formula of testimony: Ashhadu allā ilāha illallāh, wa ashhadu anna muh.ammadan rasūlullāh. Do you know its meaning? B. Yes, but it would be better if you lead me to read it. You read it first so that I‟ll not make mistake. “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” A. Brothers in the audience, is it correct? THE AUDIENCE: Correct enough. His testimony is valid. A. Let us pray together and thank Allah the Almighty, and I request Br. Antonius and all brothers in the audience to say “āmīn.” After reading the supplication I request all of you to shake hands with Br. Antonius as our new brother. What is your further name? B. Mu full name is Antonius Widuri. A. My I add without changing the original name?
B. Yes, I agree. A. I fix your name as “Antonius Muslim Widuri” with the addition of “Muslim.” B. Yes, I accept the name, and it is suitable for me. A. Brothers in the audience also hear the addition of the name. THE AUDIENCE: The name is reasonable, suitable and good. A. Are you ready to perform the five daily prayers, fasting, paying zakāt and doing other religious obligations? B. As a Muslim, it is obligatory to me to obey the teachings of Islam according to my ability. A. Thank you. Do you like to deliver a reception speech or to give some words tomorrow evening, because a friend would like to make a selamatan. B. All right, I‟ll do it tomorrow evening.
[THE TENTH EVENING] RECEPTIONAL SPEECH AT THE SELAMATAN By Br. Antonius Muslim Widuri Assalamu â€žalaykum w.w.81 Bapak K. Bahaudin Mudhary and my respectable brothers! You have participated and witnessed the meeting (discussions) held between Bapak K. Bahaudin Mudhary and myself, between a Muslim and a Roman Catholic Christian. The discussion was held for several evenings ending with my conversion to Islam, becoming a follower of Islam, the teaching of God the One, becoming the follower of the teachings of prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. Herewith I express my gratitude to Allah and my most enormous thanks to Bapak K. Bahaudin Mudhary, who gave his time to us for several evenings which have brought benefits to us. On the other hand, I have to admit as well that during the discussion which lasted orderly and smoothly, I was amazed at the statements and explanations of Bapak K. Bahaudin Mudhary. I was amazed because he knows Biblical verses by heart and he uses enormous, honest and objective logic, followed by scientific explanation. All these are impossible to be rejected by a conscious mind and soul to awaken82 the physical and mental consciousness, to knock and open my heart and eventually to bring my conviction to Islam. Brothers, you have witnessed yourselves that my conversion to Islam was not due to compulsion, neither an influence from anybody, nor a certain condition, aim, an invitation, or being asked. It was rather the fruit of meetings brought out from the result of discussion with the intention of finding the truth and conviction in embracing a religion.
The truth and conviction in embracing a religion which I am having now are the result of study, research and discussion which had consumed much time and lasted several evenings, besides, I used religious books and other books as well as magazines. Among these was the Kiblat magazine, which always contains articles dealing with Christianity, had assisted me in studying religious teachings. It has become evident that I converted to Islam, not due to following the fashion, but rather to study, research, and consideration. Brothers who attended the discussion from the beginning to the end saw themselves how tough I was in defending my belief as a Roman Catholic Christian in those meetings. However, my toughness abated little by little and faded away after it had been slowly swept away by Bapak K. Bahaudin Mudhary. He used exclusively the Bible to challenge my arguments, and eventually I surrendered. He was not wrong when he alluded once with the saying senjata makan tuan [the weapon my turn against him who handled them]. I shall end me speech here. Next, I respectfully request you to lead and guide me, for I am still new in Islamic teachings. Through your guidance I shall definitely become a sincere, obedient, and pious follower of Islam till I meet Allah the Most High [in the Last Day]. Thank you once again.
RECEPTION SPEECH by K.H. Bahaudin Mudhary Assalamu „alaykum w.w. Brothers, I thank Allah and pray that Br. Antonius Muslim Widuri, as a Muslim, my increase his knowledge about Islam so that he will be able to participate in propagating Islam in the future. I express my gratitude to: 1. Br. Markan who sincerely accompanied Br. Antonius Muslim Widuri and gave his explanation during the discussions. Besides, Br. Markan has eternalized the discussion with his camera as a souvenir. 2. Br. Abd. Latif, a certified stenographer who wrote down and noted the discussion from the beginning until the end. 3. Br. Soetoto who gave his assistance with a tape recorder. 4. Brothers of the board of managers of Pesantren Sumenep Institution and brothers who watched the discussions. We intentionally did not invite people to attend these meetings, even wanted to keep them closed (secret) and private ones, but perhaps you had heard a rumour about them and you wanted to watch. Thank Allah, our discussions went on smoothly and orderly, due to your help. 5. Br. A. Zainuddin who sincerely made a place available for us as well as drinks to quench our thirst. 6. Br. A. Rofiq and Br. Muhammad Nasir Rasyidi who sincerely prepared food for the selamatan. May the good deeds of our brothers mentioned above be rewarded by Allah with multiple rewards, āmīn!
Brothers, It is hard for me to express this feeling in words. However, it will remain at the bottom of my heart (gevooels-lichaam). It will never fade away or disappear. Brothers, Changing the faith and life conviction of someone is not an easy task, but not impossible ones to attain, as what is called impossible is not necessarily impossible to obtain. However, such an undertaking requires tremendous perseverance, patience, energy, sacrifice of feeling and time, as Allah prohibits compulsion in that matter. Yet, Allah the Most High always bestows His blessings and guidance to whom He wishes among His servants. On the other hand, we always have to bear in mind the cherishing of religious tolerance. We are not concerned with the “majority” or the “minority” in the field of religion. Our role is in the field of da„wah [propagation] with all its ways and forms allowed by the laws in force. Any individual, community, or nation aggravating religious difference within the environment or the state will always suffer hardship in the entire nation itself. The Dutch colonial government in the past was very much concerned with tolerance,83 so that the colonial government did not allow Christianity, either Catholic or Protestant, to enter an area where Islam was dominant, although the Queen of the Netherlands was Protestant and the Dutch government was often run by Catholics. President General Suharto (when he was still Acting President) in his state speech on August 17, 1967, said, among other things, as follows: “The Indonesian people are really very fortunate that we have a good tradition about this religious tolerance.” I hope this reception speech is enough. Wassalāmu „alaykum w.w.84
RECEPTION SPEECH by Bapak Burhanuddin Siregar S.H. Head of State Public Prosecution of Sumenep At the Selamatan The outline of his speech, which lasted about two hours [?!] is as follows: First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to Bapak K. Bahaudin Mudhary who has given me the opportunity this evening to convey some words to increase the faith of Br. Antonius. My gratitude also goes to Br. Nawir who invited me. Human beings are in need of laws since they are in their mother‟s womb, because with the presence of a baby in the womb, questions will arise, whether the parents are legally married or not, whether the baby will have the right for inheritance or not, and so on. On he other hand, with regard to the health of the mother and the baby in the womb they need regular health care based on sanitary regulation, so that both of them will remain healthy. This means that laws are also needed for personal health care. This is what I know, the field of law. With regard to Islamic and Christian laws I lack very much, unlike Bapak K. Bahaudinh Mudhary who possesses sufficient and extensive knowledge of laws from the Qur‟ān and the Bible. I thank Allah that I am a Muslim and I hope I remain a good follower of Islam. Religion always teaches us to remember God. Religion always requires its followers to pray. Religion, especially Islam, teaches us to pray five times a day, so that insolent passions will be controlled and will remind us of Allah and make us pray for His guidance to the right path. In this way, whenever insolent passions come down they will turn us to be good persons by spontaneously remembering Allah in subduing them. If everybody acts in this way, the country and the society will never be damaged, the country will never be in confusion, because everything is
running well and smoothly, peacefully and safely. This is just a superficial view for Br. Antonius Widuri. I say once again that converting to Islam is not hard. What is hard is to carry on the Islamic laws. However, we have to bear in mind that the revealed laws are not unconditional, not absolute. For example, what is h.arām (prohibited) to eat can be eaten in case of emergency.85 Other legal judgements are in similar condition. Nothing is absolute, unconditional, All are easy.86 This is just a contribution which I can give to Br. Antonius Muslim: if he wants to become a truly Muslim, he should study the Qur‟ān, in which he will find the way how to deal with God, with the Prophet, with the unseen, with fellow human beings, with property, with buying and selling, etc. In short, whatever we want we shall find it in the Qur‟ān, whether legal, economic, political or social which is not found in the Bible. These are the main points of my reception speech and I end with wassalāmu „alaykum w.w.
TESTIMONY OF CONVERSION The bearer of this testimony: Name: Antonius Widuri Place of Birth: Yogya Age: 30 years Religion: Christian states that from March 9, 1970, till March 18, 1970, within nine continuous evenings, on my own will, I opened a dialogue (a discussion) with Bapak Kyai Bahaudin Mudhary, the teacher of Pesantren at Sumenep (Madura). Herewith I declare solemnly that starting from March 18, 1970,87 I have converted from Roman Catholic Christianity to Islam by pronouncing the shahādah: Ashhadu allā ilāha illallāh, wa ashhadu anna muh.ammadan rasūlullāh (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah). This solemn declaration of my conversion from Roman Catholic Christianity to Islam is expressed with full conscience and without compulsion or influence from anybody, but as the result of study, research, and full consideration after having a satisfactory dialogue (discussion) as well as reading books and magazines on Islam. May Allah the Most High bestow His Guidance on me in carrying out the teachings of Islam. Sumenep, March 18, 1970 Conductor of Conversion,
Bearer of Testimony
(Kyai Bahaudin Mudhary)
(Antonius Muslim Widuri)
Witnesses: 1. A. Marzuki 4. M. Ahya 7. R.H. Abd. Aziz
2. Muh. Nawir Rasyidi 5. Muh. Hatta 8. A. Zainuddin
3. Abd. Latif 6. M. Markan
APPENDIX 1 This appendix was originally intended as an endnote to page 34 of this book. But due to its length we put it separately as an appendix. A. THE WORD “FATHER” IN THE BIBLE The word “father” in the Bible is used for different kinds of people, the devil, God, and something to which one is continuously attached. Here are some examples: 1. The great vizier as the father of Pharaoh, e.g., “So now it was not you that sent me higher, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 45:7). 2. The religious leader, as the father of his followers, e.g., “And Micah said unto him. Swell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year…” (Judges 17:10). 3. Naaman, the army leader, as the father of his servants, e.g., “And his [i.e., Naaman‟s] servants came near and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee some great things, wouldst thou not have done it?” (Kings II 5:13). 4. God, as the father of the Israelites in general, as when Isaiah said: “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter, and we all are the work of thy hand.” (Isaiah 64:8) 5. God, as the father of David, as in the verse: “He [i.e., David] shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation” (Psalms 89:26). 6. God, as the father of Solomon, as in the verse: “I will be his father, and he shall be my son…” (Samuel II 7:14). See also Job 17:14.
7. God, as the father of Christian believers, as when Jesus said to his disciples: “And call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). See also Matthew 5:16 and 48, 6:1 and 4, 6:8-9, 6:14-15 and 18, 10:20 and 29; Luke 12:29-32 and 23:9). 8. God, as the father of the orphans, as when David said: “A father of the fatherless, and a judge, is God in his holy habitation.” (Psalms 68:5). 9. God, as the father of every righteous servant of His, e.g., when Jesus said to his disciples: “But I say unto you, Love our enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…” (Matthew 5:44-45). See also Ephesians 4:6). 10. The devil, as the father of evil people. Jesus said to the Jews: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:44). 11. God, as the father of Jesus. Paul said: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the God of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (Corinthians II 1:3). See also Ephesians 1:3 and Luke 10:21-22. 12. Corruption (or pit) as Job‟s father. Job said: “I have said to corruption [the pit, according to the New World Translation], Thou art my father” (Job 17:14). 13. God, as the father of lights, when James addressed the twelve tribes of Israel, saying: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
B. THE WORD “SON” OR “CHILD” IN THE BIBLE Like “father,” the word “son” or “child” is also used in the Bible for different kinds of people, either as the son of God, the son of the devil, or the son of any other thing. Some examples are as follows: 1. Adam as the son of God. Starting the genealogy of Jesus as (supposed to be) the son of Joseph, Luke ended with “… the son of Adam, which was the son of God” (Luke 3:23-38). As Adam had no father, he became the son of God, and so was Jesus. 2. Solomon as the son of God. God spoke to David about his son Solomon, saying: “I will be his father, and he shall be my son…” (Samuel II 7:14). 3. Noble or strong people as sons of God, as in the following verse: “That the sons of God saw the daughters of man that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose”88 (Genesis 6:2). See also Genesis 6:4 and Job 1:6. The greatest leaders and heroes of Rome were considered sons of gods.89 4. Israel (Jacob) and his descendants, the Israelites, as the children of God90 as in the following verse: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt” (Hosea 11:1). See also Hosea 1:1, Isaiah 1:2, 30:1, 43:6, 45:11, and 62:8, Jeremiah 10:20, Ezekiel 15:20-21, Deuteronomy 32:19-20, Job 38:7, and Psalm 29:1. 5. The Christian believers as the children of God;91 Jesus said about them in the Last Day: “Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of resurrection” (Luke 20:36). See also Galatians 4:6-7, Acts 17:27-29 and Matthew 12:50. If the Christians are “the children of God,” then they become Jesus‟ brothers and sisters, as he himself was also “the son of God.”92 Stretching forth his hand toward his disciples, he said: “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:49-50).
6. Every righteous servant of God as a son of God, whether a Christian or not. David said: “ …who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?” (Psalms 89:6). See also Matthew 5:9, 44-45. Romans 8:14, Revelation 21:7, and Corinthians II 6:18. 7. Evil people as the sons of the devil and the generation of vipers. Paul said: “… thou child of the devil, tho enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10). Jesus said: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?” (Matthew 12:34). 8. Job‟s people as children of fools and of base men. Job said about them: “They were children of fools, yea, children of base men; they were viler than the earth.” (Job 30:8). 9. The Israelites as the children of Zion, as in the following verse: “Let Israel rejoice in him that made him; let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.” (Psalm 149:2). 10. The natives of Jerusalem as its sons and daughters, when God said to it: “Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, who thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured…” (Ezekiel 16:20). 11. A proselyte as the child of hell. Jesus said: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15). For further details on the term “father,” “son” or “child” in the Bible, see „Abd Allāh al-„Alamī, (Controversies between a Muslim Savant and a Christian Priest) (Damascus: N.p., 1970), pp. 87-116.
APPENDIX 2 This appendix was originally intended as a note no. 59 on the abrogation (naskh) in the Qur‟ān discussed briefly at the Seventh Evening ABROGATION (NASKH) IN THE QUR‟ĀN The Qu‟ānic verse mentioning abrogation runs as follows: “None of our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar; knowest thou not that God has power over all things?” (Q. 2 : 106, A.Y. Ali‟s translation). The word āyah in Arabic has many meanings, among which are: a sign, a miracle, and example (a lesson), a verse, and revelation. Both Pickthall and Ali translate it in this verse as “revelation.” Ali‟s commentary on this verse is as follows: “If we take it in the general sense, it means that God‟s Message from age to age is always the same, but that its form may differ according to the needs and exigencies of the time. That form was different as given to Moses and then to Jesus and then to Muhammad. Some commentators apply it also to the Ayat [i.e., verses] of the Qur‟ān. There is nothing derogatory in this if we believe in progressive revelation…” The example of the nāsikh and mansūkh in the verses of the Qur‟ān is the verses dealing with alcohol. Drinking alcohol was one of the traditions of the Arabs in pre-Islamic Arabia which was hard to quit. Therefore, it was prohibited gradually. The first verse dealing with alcohol is: “And of the fruits of the date-palm, and grapes, whence ye derive strong drink and (also) good nourishment. Lo! Therein is indeed a portent for people who have sense.” (Qur‟ān 16:67, Pickthall‟s translation). This verse was revealed at Mecca before alcohol was prohibited. Then the following verse was revealed:
... “They question thee about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness.” (Qur‟ān, 2:219, Pickthall‟s translation). This verse was revealed at Medina, discouraging the consumption of alcohol. However, people still kept drinking. When one of them prayed while he was drunk and recited in the prayer, “Say O disbelievers, I worship what you worship” instead of “…I do not worship what you worship” ) ( (Qur‟ān 109:1-2, Pickthall‟s translation), the third verse was revealed as follows: “O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are drunken, till ye know that which ye utter…” (Qur‟ān 4:43 Pickthall‟s translation). The number of alcohol drinkers kept on decreasing. Eventually, alcohol was explicitly prohibited. Allah says:
“O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and diving arrows are only an infamy of Satan‟s handwork. Leave it aside in order than ye may succeed…” (Qur‟ān 5:90, Pickthall‟s translation). In this instance it can be said that the earlier verse is abrogated by the later one. However, some scholars object to the use of the term “abrogation” (naskh) in the verse of the Qur‟ān. They maintain that what actually occurred in such cases is the gradual application of the Islamic laws, while in other cases it is the specification of laws which are in a general sense .
APPENDIX 3 This appendix is a copy of a pamphlet distributed by Islamic Propagation Centre International, Durban South Africa. MORE THAN HALF OF ENGLAND‟S ANGLICAN BISHOPS ABSOLVE THEMSELVES FROM BLASPHEMY AND REGARD JESUS AS ONLY A MESSENGER The doctrinal “seed” planted some 1400 years ago by Islam as regards the MESSENGERSHIP of Jesus (on whom be peace) is now slowly but surely beginning to reap its rewards in this 20th century. Islam has relentlessly preached against the doctrine of divinity of Christ (on whom be peace) since the advent of MUHAMMAD—God‟s last messenger (on whom be peace) and the subsequent revelation of God‟s last Scripture—the Holy Quran. Muslim Viewpoint Finally Endorsed It is indeed just reward for the tireless efforts and through positive and rational propagation by Muslim Theologians and erudite scholars of comparative religion down the ages—that we see today the endorsement of the Muslim viewpoint by prominent clergymen as regards the REAL STATUS of Jesus Christ (on whom be peace). The rejection of Jesus‟ divinity by more than half of England‟s Anglican Bishops is indeed a flicker of light at the end of the long, dark tunnel of Christianity in which the Christians have been sadly groping for over 2,000 years. Survey Shocks Christian World It has been reported in the “DAILY NEWS” dated 25/6/84 under the caption: “SHOCK SURVEY OF ANGLICAN BISHOPS” (see article below)—that more than half of England‟s Anglican Bishops say: “CHRISTIANS ARE NOT OBLIGED TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS GOD.” The poll conducted of 31 of England‟s 39 Bishops in which most of them—among other things—deny Jesus‟ DIVINITY and RESURRECTION thus bulldozing two of Christendom‟s most
fundamental doctrines, attributing these age-old concepts to inaccuracies in the Bible. Not God—But “God‟s Supreme Agent”: The Press further states that 19 of the 31 Bishops interviewed agree that: “IT WAS SUFFICIENT TO REGARD JESUS AS „GOD‟S SUPREME AGENT.‟” Now, one certainly does not require a degree in English to understand that it means “MESSENGER OF GOD.” From time immemorial, Islam has been perpetually striving to rescue the Christians from committing the greatest crime and blasphemy against God Almighty by attributing DIVINITY to Jesus Christ (on whom be peace). We realize that prejudices die hard, nevertheless, Christians should rejoice that the majority of England‟s eminent Anglican Bishops have issued a decree thus eliminating the ONLY POINT OF REAL DIFFERENCE between Islam and Christianity. Bishop Jenkins Slams Fundamental Christian Doctrines: During an interview in London‟s Weekend Television‟s religious programme “CREDO—the newly-appointed Bishop of Durham—the Rev. Professor David Jenkins—who incidentally is the fourth highest ranking Bishop in the Church of England—directed his attack at the shaky base and foundation, on which the entire structure of Christianity stands. The most fundamental Christian doctrines of Jesus‟ DIVINITY and RESURRECTION were slammed by the Bishop—expressing that some of the events in Jesus‟ early mission:“WERE NOT STRICTLY TRUE BUT WERE ADDED TO THE STORY OF JESUS BY THE EARLY CHRISTIANS TO EXPRESS THEIR FAITH IN HIM AS A MESSIAH” —(London Daily Mail, page 12, 15/7/84) —which certainly endorses in no uncertain terms the Muslim viewpoint as regards the TEMPERINGS and INTERPOLAThe Rev. Professor TIONS in the Bible. DAVID JENKINS Theological Debates Sweeping Britain:
Indeed Bishop Jenkins‟ frank and outspoken views on the jealouslyguarded Christian concepts has precipitated a theological warfare in Britain. “THE GUARDIAN”—a London newspaper dated 13/7/84 states: “DESPITE PRAYER AND PROTEST, THE YORK MINISTER HOSTED THE CONSECRATION OF PROFESSOR DAVID JENKINS AS BISHOP OF DURHAM.” Despite opposition from Churchmen and Churchgoers to the “DOUBTING BISHOP” as regards his denial of basic Christian tenets, his CONSECRATION AS BISHOP is clear indicator that THE TRUTH, no matter how unpalatable, cannot be suppressed forever. Christians Urged to Emulate the Bishop of England: A passionate appeal is made to Christians that if they find the Muslim viewpoint on Jesus as untenable then at least emulate your own Anglican Bishops of England and take a cue from Bishop David Jenkins— who is regarded as one of the most prominent Biblical scholars among the leaders of the Church of England and is a Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Leeds University. In view of the fact that more than half of England‟s Anglican Bishops believed that Jesus Christ (on whom be peace) WAS NOT GOD, then why are local Clergymen and their followers DRAGGING THEIR FEET towards the only path of salvation which Islam offers? In conclusion, we would like to refer you to the words of Jesus Christ—“GOD‟S SUPREME AGENT” when he said “AND THIS IS LIFE ETERNAL, THAT THEY MAY KNOW THEE, THE ONLY TRUE GOD AND JESUS CHRIST WHOM THOU HAS SENT” (John 17:3). THE MESSAGE THAT WAS INCUMBENT UPON US TO DELIVER, WE HAVE DELIVERED, EITHER YOU ACCEPT IT AND ATTAIN SALVATION OR REJECT IT AND BE SEIZED WITH GRIEF. --Mohammed Bana
SHOCK SURVEY OF ANGLICAN BISHOPS London: More than half of England‟s Anglican bishops say Christians are not obliged to believe that Jesus Chris was God, according to a survey published today. The poll of 31 of England‟s 39 bishops shows that many of them think that Christ‟s miracles, the virgin birth and the resurrection might not have happened exactly as described in the Bible. Only 11 of the bishops insisted that Christians must regard Christ as both God and man, while 19 said it was sufficient to regard Jesus as “God‟s supreme agent.” One declined to give a definite opinion. The poll was carried out by London Weekend Television‟s weekly religion show Credo, in which Professor David Jenkins, who has been appointed the next bishop of Durham in northeast England, caused a public furor in April by expressing doubts about basic Christian doctrines. Professor Jenkins said he did not believe the virgin birth and resurrection were historical events. Eleven senior churchmen have asked that his consecration, scheduled for July 6, be postponed until after a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England later in July. In the poll, 15 bishops said miracles in the New Testament were later additions to the story of Jesus. A majority said that Jesus came back from the death, either as flesh and blood or as a spirit in human form. But nine said that the resurrection was a “series of experiences” after the death of Jesus that convinced his followers “He was alive among them.” --Sapa-AP “DAILY NEWS” 25/6/84
Br. Is the abbreviation of “brother” which is in Indonesian saudara and abbreviated as Sdr., a title similar to “Mr.” in English. 2 Santri is a student of a pesantren, a religious school in Java, Indonesia. Sumenep is the capital of the island of Madura, Indonesia. 3 Slametan or selamatan is a religious thanksgiving meal among Muslims in Java and Madura. 4 K. is the abbreviation of kiyai or kyai, a title of respect given to the „ulamā‟ (Muslim religious scholars), especially in Java. H. is the abbreviation of Haji, a title of respect given to a Muslim who has performed the h.ajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca), the fifth pillar of Islam. The author‟s name Bahaudin (Bahā‟ al-Dīn) means “the Splendour of Religion”, while Mudhary (Mud.arī) means “belonging to Mud.ar (an ancient Arab tribe)”. However, there is no indication that the author belonged to this extinct tribe. Many Indonesian Muslims choose to give Arabic name to their sons and daughters disregarding their meanings, especially those of Muslim scholars. 5 Bapak (literally means “father”) is a title of respect to the elders, teachers, and respectable people. Similarly, Ibu (literally means “mother”) is also used for the females. Bapak is shortened as Pak, and Ibu is shortened as Bu. 6 In Luke 4:41 it says: “And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.” 7 The preceding verse reads: “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them: that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:22). The word “I” in this verse means “Jesus” and “you” means “God,” for it is unlikely that Jesus gave glory to God in the word “the glory which thou gavest me.” 8 Based on our previous note, the verse “I in them and you in me” means that “Jesus is in his disciples and God is in Jesus,” not that “God is in Jesus‟ disciples and Jesus is in God” as assumed by the writer. However, this interpretation is corrected when he said: “So, God is in Jesus and his disciples. If we put it in a diagram it will be as follows: Jesus‟s disciples Jesus God
Perhaps the word benar (correct) in the text should be tidak benar (incorrect) as we translate above. 10 The idea that Jesus died on the cross is that of the Christians. It is mentioned here by the author in this dialogue to refute the divinity of Jesus and his union with God. For the Muslims, Jesus was not crucified. 11 Kings II 6:17 reads: “And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open the eyes of the young man; and he saw; and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 12 Kings II 6:10 and 11 reads: "And Elisha sent a messenger unto him [i.e., Naaman], saying, Go and wash in Jordan [river] seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.” 13 The word is probably kesucian (sacredness) rather than kesulitan (complexity) as translated above. 14 Here the author utilizes the Christians‟ view of Jesus that he was born, crucified on the cross, and resurrected, to counter their view that Jesus was the beginning and the last. For Muslims, Jesus was not crucified, but ascended to heaven. 15 The word selain (other than) is missing in the text. 16 In the Indonesian Bible used in this dialogue the word “a priest” is not mentioned. 17 This indicates the sensitivity of the topic in the discussion among Indonesian people at this time (early 1970). 18 The word Jesus is derived from Hebrew Yeshua (Joshua) meaning “the Lord saves.” He was then called “the Redeemer.” 19
The word Christ is derived from Greek christos, a translation from Hebrew Meshiach (Messiah), in Arabic (al-Masīh.). It means “the anointed one,” a person applied with oil or anointed at a religious ceremony being a chosen one. In Arabic, a Christian is called (masīh.ī, follower of al-Masīh., the Messiah), or (Nas.rānī). The word nas.rānī is derived either from (a) Arabic verb nas.ara (to help, to assist, to defend), as Christians in early Christianity helped each other, and the disciples of Jesus who defended him were called in the Qur‟ān (ans.ār Allāh, lit. “Allah‟s helpers”, i.e, helpers in the cause of Allah), see Qur‟ān 61:14, or (b) from (al-Nās.irah, Nazareth), the hometown of Jesus in Palestine to which early Christians came. Jesus was also called “Jesus of Nazareth.” 20 Prophets (in Arabic anbiyā‟, sing., nabī) are those who are sent by Allah to guide their peoples, confirming previous laws brought be prophets before them, and without bringing new laws in Scriptures. They received instructions from Allah for themselves. Messengers (Arabic, rusul, sing. rasūl) are those who are sent by Allah with new laws revealed in their Scriptures as guidance to their people. Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) being the last messenger was sent to the whole mankind.
For this reason a follower of the Jehovah Witnesses who visited me said that Jesus is god, but a minor god, with a small “g”. 22 These verses run as follows: “Also I will make him [i.e., David] my first born, higher than the kings of the earth.” (Psalms 89:27). “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus said the Lord, Israel is my first son, even my first born; and I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me; and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” (Exodus 4:22-23). “… for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim my firstborn.” (Jeremiah 31:9). 23 This is an allusion to the propagation of Christianity by Christian missionaries from abroad to the Indonesian people. 24 The translation is rendered from both Dutch and Indonesian Bibles. The verse is found in Matthew 15:22 and 24. 25 The text says “At about three o‟clock” instead of “and about the ninth hour” as mentioned in King James Version as well as Jehovah Witnesses‟ The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. However, three o‟clock p.m. is also the ninth hour counted from six o‟clock a.m. 26 The text says kayu (wood), but we use “a tree” as mentioned in King James Version. The New World Translation uses the word “a stake.” 27 The text of the Qur‟ānic verse is as follows: . The translation rendered by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur‟an (U.S.A.: McGregor & Wener, Inc., n.d.). M.M. Pickthall translates the above verse as follows: “And they who believe and whose seed follows them in faith, We cause their seed to join them (there), and We deprive them of naught of their (life‟s) work. Every man is a pledge for that which he hath earned.”; see Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur‟an (Mecca: The Muslim World League). A.Y. Ali gives the meaning of (dhurriyyah) that “literally, [it] means progeny, offspring, family; applied by extension to mean all near and dear ones whether related or not, ancestors and descendants, friends, a circle, a group, whether contemporaneous in time or not.” 28 A.Y. Ali‟s translation. M.M. Pickthall‟s translation is as follows: “… For it [the soul] (is only) that which it hath earned, and against it (only) that which it hath deserved…”. The text of the verse runs as follows: 29
A.Y. Ali‟s translation. M.M. Pickthall‟s translation is as follows: “And guard (yourself) against a day when no soul will naught avail another, nor will compensation be accepted from it, nor will intercession be of use to it; nor will they be helped.” The text of the verse runs as follows: 30
The verse continues with: “For God is free of all needs from all creation.” A.Y. Ali‟s translation. Commenting on this verse A.Y. Ali said:
“All our striving ensures to our own spiritual benefit. When we speak of serving God, it is not that we confer any benefit on Him. For He has no needs, and is independent of all His Creation. In conforming to His Will, we are seeking our own good, as in yielding to evil we are doing harm to ourselves. The Qur‟ānic text of this verse is as follows: . 31
A.Y. Ali‟s translation. The Qur‟ānic text of this verse is as follows:
Chapter 17 has two names: al-Isrā‟ meaning “The Night Journey” as mentioned in the first verse‟, and Banī Isrā‟īl meaning “the Children of Israel” (Jacob, Ya„qūb)„ or “the Israelites” as mentioned in the second verse. 33 A.Y. Ali‟s translation. The Qur‟ānic text of this verse is as follows: 34
A.Y. Ali‟s translation. The Qur‟ānic text of this verse is as follows:
A.Y. Ali‟s translation. The Qur‟ānic text of this verse is as follows:
H.adīth, also called “tradition” is the statement, deed or approval of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) concerning a certain issue. It is the second source of Islamic jurisprudence after the Qur‟ān. Without the h.adīth the Muslims will never know how to perform the prayers, the pilgrimage (h.ajj) and many other religious obligations because the Qur‟ān does not explain them in details. It was the Prophet who explained them to his companions who, in turn, passed them to the following generations until they reached us. 37 Imam Bukhārī (the native of Bukhārā, a town in Turkistan), of Persian origin, was the greatest scholar of h.adīth the Muslims have ever had. His S.ah.īh. is a collection of more than 7 000 h.adīths. 38 Imam Muslim, who was also of Persian origin, was the second greatest collector of h.adīths after Imam Bukhārī. 39 This is a very long h.adīth which we shall cite fully later. 40 The writer does not reject the soundness of the chains of the narrators of this h.adīth, but the soundness of its text which is also rejected by „Ā‟ishah. 41 The h.adīth in question as reported by Imam Bukhārī runs as follows: “It was related by „Abdān from „Abd Allāh from Ibn Jurayj who said: „Abd Allāh b. „Ubayd Allāh b. Abī Mulaykān narrated to me, saying: One of the daughters of „Uthmān, may Allah be please with him, died at Makkah (Mecca). We want to attend her funeral procession. Ibn „Umar and Ibn „Abbās, may Allah be pleased with them, were also present. I sat in between them (or said, I sat beside one of them. Then a man came and sat beside me). „Abd Allāh b. „Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, said to
„Umar b. „Uthmān, „Will you not prohibit crying as Allah‟s Messenger, peace be upon him, has said: “The dead person is tortured by the crying of his relatives”?‟ Ibn „Abbās said: „„Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, used to say so.‟ Then he added narrating, „I accompanied „Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, on a journey from Makkah till we reached al-Baydā‟. There he saw some travellers in the shade of a samura (a kind of tree). He said to me, “Go and see who those travellers are.” So I went and saw that one of them was S.uhayb. I informed „Umar about that who then asked me to call him. So I went back to S.uhayb and said to him: “Depart and proceed to the Prince of the Believers.” Later when „Umar was stabbed, S.uhayb came weeping and saying, “O my brother,O my friend!” On that „Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said to him, “O S.uhayb! Are you weeping for me while the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, „The dead person is punished be the weeping of his relatives‟?” Ibn „Abbās added, „When „Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, died I told that to „Ā‟ishah and she said, “May Allah be merciful to „Umar. By Allah, Allah‟s Messenger, peace be upon him, did not say that a believer is punished by the weeping of his relatives. But he said, „Allah increases the punishment of a nonbeliever because of the weeping of his relatives.‟” „Ā‟ishah further added, “The Qur‟ān is sufficient for you [to clear up this point as Allah has said: „No burdened soul will bear another‟s burden.” (Qur‟ān 35:18). Ibn „Abbās, may Allah be pleased with him, then said, „Only Allah makes one laugh or cry.‟ Ibn „Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, did not say anything after that.” See Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, The Translation of the Meanings of S.ah.īh. al-Bukhārī (Lahore: Kazi Publications, 1983), vol. 2, Chapter “Visiting the Graves,” h.adīth no. 375, pp. 210211. 42 Johann Tetzel or Tezel (ca. 1465-1519) was a German monk of the Dominican order who preached indulgence. In 1503, he preached indulgence for the Teutonic knights of Livonia (an ancient Russian province of the Baltic, today known as Estonia and Latvia). In 1509 he was appointed indulgence commissary at Strasburg (or Strasbourg in France). To raise money for funding the building of the new St. Peter‟s Cathedral in Rome, he started preaching the indulgence. His preaching at Jütenborg near Wittenberg (in Thuringia, Germany) in 1517 provoked Luther‟s protest with his 95 theses. In defence, Tetzel replied with 106 theses followed by another 50 theses on the authority of the Catholic Church. 43 The verse runs as follows: which means: “He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery” (A.Y. Ali‟s translation). 44 A.Y. Ali‟s translation. The text of the verse runs as follows: Dr. Maurice Bucaille translates this verse as follows: “When thy Lord say to the angels: I am going to fashion a man from clay, from moulded mud…” See Bucaille‟s What is the Origin of Man? (Paris: Seghers, n.d.), 3rd ed., pp. 175-176.
M.M. Pickthall‟s translation. The text of the verse runs as follows: A.Y. Ali‟s translation. The text of the verse runs as follows:
Pickthall translates t.īn lāzib as “plastic clay.” 47
A.Y. Ali‟s translation. The text of the verse runs as follows:
which means: “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam: He created him from dust then said to him: „Be‟ and he was.” (A.Y. Ali‟s translation). 48 The verse continues with “…fall ye down in obeisance unto him.” (A.Y. Ali‟s translation). 49 The Acts of the Apostles runs as follows: Chapter 6 verse 5: “And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Cinanon, and Timon, and Parmanas, and Nicholas a proselyte of Antioch.” Chapter 5 verse 32: “And we are his witness of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that they obey him” 50 Kings II chapter 13, verse 21 runs as follows: “And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of man, and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.” 51 Matthew chapter 5, verse 9 says: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” 52 Kings II chapter 5, verse 10 says: “And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, sayhing, Go and wash in Jordan [river] seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.” This is the word of Prophet Elisha (al-Yasa„) to the messenger of Naaman. Naaman was a leper and by following Prophet Elisha‟s advice he was healed. For further details, read the chapter from verse 1 to 15. 53 The text mentions kewajiban (duties), which is misprinted, and should be keajaiban (miracles) as mentioned above. 54 The verse continues with: “… which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” 55 The verse in full runs as follows: “Ye know that after two days in the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” 56 The verse continues with: “… which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” 57 The verse runs as follows: “Jesus answered and said unto them. Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I come, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.” 58 Both “record” and “witness” are translated in the Indonesian Bible as kesaksian (witness). 59 See Appendix 2.
According to the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, N. Ed., 1981 C.E.) of the Jehovah Witnesses the verse runs as follows: “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten god who is in the bosom (position) with the Father has explained him.” Here the word “god” (with a small “g”) is used instead of the “Son,” and “explained” instead of “declared.” Both versions, however, do not state explicitly that Jesus has seen God. 61 Genesis 17:1 also mentions that God appeared to Abraham. 62 The same story is mentioned in the Qur‟ān with the exception that God did not appear to Prophet Abraham (p.b.u.h.) and that the persons who appeared to him were disguising angels of punishment sent by God to punish the people of Prophet Lot (Lūt., p.b.u.h.) for their practising homosexuality. Instead of eating the food offered by Prophet Abraham as mentioned in Genesis 18:8 these quests (whose number was not mentioned in the Qur‟ān), being angels did not touch it. See Genesis 17 and 18; Qur‟ān 11:69-73, 15:51-56, and 51:24-30). 63 According the New World Translation the name of the king was “Hadadezer” instead of “Hadarezer.” 64 Note here that King James Version was “Hadadezer” instead of “Hadarezer”. The former is the correct spelling according to the New World Translation. 65 Instead of “Chun” the New World Translation puts “Cun.” 66 According to the New World Translation Athaliah was the granddaughter of Omri. 67 According to the New World Translation Ahaziah in this verse was also 22 years old when he began to reign. His mother, Athalilah, was not the daughter of Omri, but the granddaughter. Therefore, this verse has been corrected based on King II 2:25. 68 The name in the ext as referred to the Indonesian Bible is “Jejachin” which is probably an error. 69 In the Indonesian Bible referred to in the text it states “three years” instead of “three months.” 70 The name in the text as referred to the Indonesian Bible is “Jehojachin.” 71 Instead of “eight years” the New World Translation put “eighteen years” so that the discrepancy between this verse and the previous one is only in “ten days.” 72 In fact, both verses spell the name “Jehoiachin” in the Holy Bible King James Version referred to in this book, and therefore, there is no discrepancy in name according to this version of the Bible. 73 According to the New World Translation the verse runs as follows: “These are the names of the mighty men that belonged to David: Jashebbas-shebeth a Tachmonite, the head of the three. He was brandishing his spear over eight hundred slain at one time.” Notice that the name “Jashebbas-shebeth” is missing in the King James Version, while “Adino the Eznite” is missing in the New World Translation.
Accordding to the Indonesian Bible referred to in the text the name of the hero was Jashobean bin Hachmoni, the chief of thirty men. Therefore, “the chief of thirty men” is missing in the King James Version. 75 According to the New World Translation the verse runs as follows: “And this is the list of the mighty men that belonged to David: Jashobeam the son of a Hachmonite, the head of the three. He was brandishing his spear over three hundred slain at one time.” 76 Among the contemporary Muslim converts, to mention a few, they are: Roger Garoudy (France), Cat Stephen (Yusuf Islam, United Kingdom), and the Brirtish scientist Dr. Arthur J. Alison, now named as Abdullah Alison. Dr. David Russel (Hisham Ahmad, Canada). In Canada: Dr. Thomas B. Irving (al-Haj Ta„līm „Ali), Dr. Murray Hogben, and Gary Miller. In Edmonton, Mr. Jean (Yahya) M. Dessert, the Assistant Minister of Trade Alberta accepted Islam in January, 1987. 77 According to the census issued by the Council of the Central Office of Muhammadiyah in Indonesia the efforts of the Catholic and Protestant missionaries between 1970 and 1980 to spread Christianity among Muslims did not give the expected result despite the huge amount of money spent for this missionary purpose. The fund designated for 1986 alone was $70 million. The number of Muslims converting to Christianity during this ten-year period was only 4% of the population, which was very frustrating. However, the majority of these converts converted to Christianity only for the sake of material gains and not through conviction. See (The Failure of Christianization Campaign in Indonesia), Muslim World News (Makkah: Sept. 15, 1986), p. 6. However, a census reported by the Protestant Press at Lausanne, Switzerland, stated that Islam precedes other religions in its spread, as the number of its followers is 837 millions with 16 % increase. It is followed by: Hinduism, 561 million follower with 13 % increase; Buddhism, 300 million followers with 10 % increase, Christianity, 1500 million followers with 9 % increase. See (Islam Precedes [other] Religions), ibid. It is noteworthy that the Christian missionaries in Indonesia plan to Christianize Indonesia in 50 years, and the island of Java (more than 60 million inhabitants) in 20 years. See (A New Missionary Campaign on nd Indonesia), (Beirut: N.p., 1973), 2 ed., p. 10. 78 What the author means here are the converts among Chinese ethnic groups who mostly converted into Christianity rather than Islam. 79 This had been a very often-repeated example given by Christians to defend the Trinity. However, due to its weakness this example became unpopular among Christian scholars who contended that it would be better to keep the Trinity as a mystery undiscussed rather than compare it to an unfitting example. No wonder if Br. Antonius was easily “subdued.” Another example given by the Christians to defend the Trinity is to compare it with the formula (Bismi‟llāh alRah.mān al-Rah.īm, “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful”).
Allah is al-Rah.mān (Most Gracious) and al-Rah.īm (Most Merciful). Similarly, they contend, God is the Father, God is the Son, and God is the Holy Ghost. However, this comparison is unfit, because Allah is Himself al-Rah.mān Who is Himself alRah.īm (in fact, Allah has ninety-nine names mentioned in the Qur‟ān), while in Christianity the Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Ghost; they belong to different personalities. 80 Kalimah Shahādah is also called the Shahādah (the testimony), namely, the formula of the testimony pronounced by a new Muslim by at least two witnesses. 81 Assalamu „alaykum means “peace be upon you.” It is a kind of greeting used when Muslims greet each other. It is also used as a greeting at the beginning of a speech as we see here, usually with wa rah.matullāh wa barakātuh, meaning “and the mercy of Allah and His blessings” abbreviated here as w.w. 82 The text mentions membuktikan (to prove), which is probably membangkitkan (to awaken, to arouse) as we use here. 83 Naturally the author means exclusively religious tolerance, as the Dutch colonial government had led the Indonesian people to misery for hundreds of years of occupation. 84 If a speech or a letter is started with the greeting assalāmu „alaykum it is often ended with the same formula, or simply wassalām [lit. “and peace”] or in full wassalāmu „alaykum (“and peace be upon you”), or even continued with wa rah.matullāhi wa barakātuh (“and the mercy of Allah and His blessings”) 85 One of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence is which means “necessities permit the prohibited things.” This is to avoid self-destruction. This principle is taken from the Qur‟ānic verse in which Allah says: “He hath only forbidden you dead meat (carrion), and blood and the flesh of swine, and that on which other name hath been invoked besides that of God. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,--then is he guiltless, for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” See Qur‟ān, sūrah al-Baqarah (chapter 2), verse 173. A.Y. Ali‟s translation. 86 In one tradition Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. said: “The religion [of Islam] is easy.” 87 The text mentions “March 14” which is misprinted. 88 A different interpretation of this verse is given by John Wallace Spencer to serve his theory. He said: “… we twentieth-century human beings are descendants of a combination of earthling [i.e., the daughters of man] and extraterrestrial scientists [i.e., the sons of God]…” See John Wallace Spencer, No Earthly Explanation (New York: Batam Books, Inc., 1975), p. 59. This theory is trying to give the explanation to the mystery of sudden appearance of Cro-Magnon men on earth which evolved into Homo sapiens (wise man) and finally into Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) about forty thousand years ago with different racial traits, replacing all earlier forms
of man. For the Muslims, the present you-and-me types of man are the descendants of Adam and Eve. Allah in the Qur‟ān called people as “the children of Adam.” See Qur‟ān 7:19, 26-27, 31, 35, and 172, 17:70 and 36:50). For the creation of Adam, see Qur‟ān 2:30-34. “There is absolutely no scientific proof to suggest that man was born of the evolved forms of present-day apes,” said Dr. Bucaille. “On the contrary, everything argues against this outmoded theory.” Dr. Bucaille, What is the Origin of Man?, p. 212. He also said: “In Darwin‟s day, the theory [i.e., Darwin‟s theory) was pushed to extremes, with researchers claiming to have proof that man was descended from the apes—and idea that, even today, no respectable palaeontologist is able to demonstrate. There is absolutely a very wide gap, however, between the concept of man‟s descent from the apes (a theory that is totally untenable), and the idea of transformations of the human form in the course of time (which has been fully proven). The confusion between the two reaches its height when they are merged together—with very flimsy arguments—under the banner of the word EVOLUTION. This unfortunate confusion has caused certain people wrongly to imagine that since the word is used in reference to man, it must mean that, ipso facto, man‟s origin my be traced to the apes.” Ibid., p. 170. According to E.G. Jay, the phrase “Son of God” is this verse as well as in Job 1:;6, 2:1 and 36:7 is used for angelic beings as God‟s representation. See E.G. Jay, Ph.D., Son of Man Son of God (London: S.P.C.K., 1965), p. 46. 89 See E.G. Jay, Ph.D., Son of Man Son of God, p. 13. Some Roman emperors were even considered gods. Julius Caesar (101 - 44 B.C.), after the success of his military campaigns, became so popular among his people that they heralded him as a god. His successor, Octavian (63 B.C. - 14 C.E.), “allowed himself to be addressed as “deus” (god, deity) and “divus” (divine) during his principate as the Emperor Augustus (27 B.C. - A.D. 14).” Ibid., p. 19. Even after his death, Augustus was still honoured as a god. 90 Allah denounced this allegation, saying: “(Both) the Jews, and the Christians say: „We are the sons of God and His beloved.‟ Say: „Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay, ye are but man—of the men He hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth; and to God belongeth this dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between; and unto Him is the final goal (of all).‟” Qur‟ān 5:18, A.Y. Ali‟s translation. 91 Ibid. 92 Rudolf Bultmann, former Professor of New Testament in the University of Marburg, (West) Germany, suggested “that the title „Son of God‟ was given currency by Hellenistic converts. In the Hellenistic world „Son of God‟ was a title given to kings (of Egypt, for example) who were believed to be descended from gods. In the first century A.D. the title was being accorded also to Roman emperors. In the Greco-Roman world the term was used even more widely, and anybody who was
believed to possess miraculous power might be called „Son of God.‟ Bultmann argues that although the primitive Church may sometimes have used the title „Son of God‟ of Jesus as a synonym for Messiah (Christ), its wide use in the New Testament is derived from Hellenistic usage. Since it connoted a wonder worker who has physical descent from a god, it was a distortion of the early Christian tradition, and is an instance, Bultmann maintains, of the Hellenization of primitive Christianity.” See E.G. Jay, Ph.D., Son of Man Son of God, p. 45.