Copyright © By Dr. Adel Elsaie, Book Title: "Please Revise the Bible, Again"
1.3 Critics of Islam
The myths publicized by critics of Islam include a strange collection of people involved only in their arrogant ideas. They criticize Islam that is not very different from the Biblical religions. They criticize Prophet Muhammad who is not very different from Biblical prophets. They criticize Islamic history that is not very different from Biblical history. They criticize Islamic values that are not different from Biblical values. And all of that criticism is based upon obscure references, imperfect Quranic translations, and unsubstantiated events. They are driven by arrogant idea of attempting to bring Islamic traditions to Biblical traditions instead of the other way around. However, if they spend their time studying the Quran and their own Bible, they would discover what Muslims found fourteen centuries ago: that true Christianity is very close to Islam, and that the pure monotheism taught by Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) is the same.
The western media and fundamentalist Christians promote animosities between Christians and Muslims. To a great extent translators and interpreters of the Bible are responsible for that. Instead of emphasizing the belief of One God, with one set of religious moral values, they are used to Jewish tribal feud in the Old Testament, and stories that are difficult to believe in the Old and New Testaments. It is a fact of life that the Bible is seen as full of serious contradictions, and there are many references that expand on this subject. The average Christian attends Sunday classes and Bible study to listen to pastors and priests promote the Trinity in the most assertive voice based upon few verses in the Bible that have been deleted, mistranslated, or added by humans for 15 centuries after Jesus. Muslims, then, are accused of believing in One God that is not represented by the Trinity, and therefore, they do not believe in the same God of Christianity.
Very few Christians ask themselves why all the prophets, from Noah to Muhammad, advocated One True God, and how Christian theologians came up with the concept of Trinity without any clear definition of this concept in the Bible. If Jesus were to say clearly in the Bible “I and the holy ghost are made of the same substance as that of God, and I am the son of God, part of the Godhead, or God Himself. Humanity was not ready to understand this complex concept, and that is why previous prophets did not explain this concept of Trinity, and I am here now to introduce it,” then one may be tempted to consider the Trinity. Not once did he utter any such statement. Jesus certainly would not use vague language to explain this central and vital issue, or leave it to people’s own imagination and interpretation. Prophet Muhammad did not object to any form of worship as decreed by God, the Quran states:
Surah 43, Ayah 81 “Say (O Muhammad): “If The Most Gracious had a son, I would be the first to worship (him)”
And I would say the same thing, and we all should say the same thing.
The Old Testament and the Quran, the Ultimate Testament, include hundreds of verses that spell clearly the Unity of God in the strongest way. Scientific logic advocates that if you have hundreds of the same event (Unity of God) repeated over thousands of years by all the prophets of God, and you have one event (Trinity) that surfaced only during turmoil and persecutions, then you would have to exclude this event as an abnormality. Due to the doctrinal difficulty of the Trinity, no one in the history of humanity, neither theologian nor layman, had been able to explain it in a convincing way. However, Trinity resolved itself, to the common mind at least, in a sort of godhead-by-committee, shared between God the Father, who ruled the world from heaven; His son Jesus Christ, who saved humanity on earth; and the Holy Ghost, who was pictured as a white dove and appeared to have a considerably minor role. Why God the Father cannot rule the world, save humanity, and provide faith by Himself, without a need of a Son or a Holy Ghost?
A Jew can explain Judaism or a Muslim can explain Islam in minutes without any confusion. Yet Christian scholars could not explain Christianity in 2,000 years in a satisfactory approach. All that one hears from some TV Evangelists or Christian preachers is slogans such as “Jesus is lord, Jesus loves you, Jesus died for our sins, so be a good Christian.” One has the right to ask: which Jesus, which trinity, which Christianity, which version of the Bible, and which Christian experts do you trust? Some of the TV Evangelists and preachers are experts in presenting half the truth about both Jesus and Muhammad. They stress only one side in the most forceful and persuasive way. So, one should have the right to ask, which Jesus?
· The one who said honor your father and mother, Matthew 15:4, or the one who called his mother Woman, John 2:4?
· The one who said love your enemies, Matthew 5:44 or the one who said he did not come to give peace on earth, but rather division, Luke 12:51.
· The one who said if some one slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him, Matthew 5:39 or the one who went to the temple and drove people out and overturned the tables, Matthew 21:12?
· The one who said have peace with one another, Mark 9:50 or the one who said he did not come to bring peace but a sword, Matthew 10:34 and the one who asked the apostles to sell their coats and buy a sword, Luke 12:36?
· The one who said forgive, and you will be forgiven, Luke 6:37, or the one who said if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you, Matthew 18:8?
· The one who said bless them that curse you, Matthew 5:44, or the one who said he who curses father or mother, let him be put to death, Matthew 15:4?
As a Muslim, I understand both sides, because Jesus, like Muhammad, was both merciful when mercy was required and powerful when power was required. Both were balanced human beings. God himself is the Most Powerful and the Most Merciful. Yet half the truth Evangelists never failed to present only the merciful side of Jesus, and only the powerful side of Muhammad.
Christianity is a big business. Biblical preachers seem to use the advice of Abraham ibn Ezra, who was a twelfth century Spanish rabbi. He said “And he who understands will keep silent,” when he was defending contradictions in the Old Testament. Preachers keep silent, because if they don’t, they would be expelled from their offices; lose their mansions, swimming pools, and their luxury cars. Politicians keep silent, because if they don’t, they would be defeated in following election by strong religious establishments. Professors in colleges keep silent, because if they don’t, they would loose their income. Apologists keep silent, because if they don’t, they would not write books or develop websites that show their interpretations of the complex issue of the Trinity. Editors of newspapers and magazines keep silent, because if they don’t, they would loose subscriptions. Shopkeepers keep silent, because if they don’t, they would lose sales during Christmas, the largest business sale of the year. Publishers and translators of the Bible keep silent, because if they don’t, they would loose sales of millions of books. Consequently, if the truth about the Bible were known, many Christians would loose their income, prestige, and fame.