Why Muslims Don't Accept Jesus' Divinity?

Question and answer details
Mr. Everyman
Why Muslims cannot accept Jesus as God while it is clearly mentioned in John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Daud Matthews

Salam dear brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

From Christian sources we can easily find that the early Christians, following the Jewish tradition, believed in One God. It is not until the 4th century with Constantine that the “Trinity” becomes so important in the emerging Christianity. In the 5th century the Unitarians (Christians who believe in One God) split from the Catholic Church.

Again, in 1054 CE we have the Great Schism, where the Eastern Christian Church (Orthodox Christians) split from the Western Christian Church (Catholic Church) over the issue of whether the Spirit (or Ghost) proceeds from both the Father and the Son or not. This was a change being brought into the Creed – basic statement of belief for a Christian. To be fair, this was not the only issue but the last straw.

Now, in John 1:1 we are told:

[In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.]

Some people claim this points to a “trinity”, I would ask where: If we stretch a point it might point to a duality, but even that is dubious. Some people equate the “Word” with the “Logos” which is a Greek word, but Unitarians say the verse reads: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’s.

My understanding is that God had the power to communicate, that is, to create and to give revelation. In other words the “Word” was pronouncements by God. Then, we find, “the Word became flesh (or was clothed with flesh), which suggests the Christians believe the “Word”, an attribute of God, has now become a god which, (logically) would not be possible.

Comparing with Islam, the Quran tells us Allah (God) only has to say “Be” and it becomes (kun fi ya kun). Further, we are told one of the titles of Jesus (peace be upon him) is kalimatal Allah – the Word of Allah simply because Jesus (peace be upon him) was created by a word from Allah. See Chapter 19 in the Holy Quran.

Now, the Christians tell us the whole purpose of Jesus (peace be upon him) was to be a sacrificial offering for mankind’s sins. Yet, in the alleged crucifixion of Jesus (peace be upon him) there is no concept of the “Divine” being crucified, to think otherwise would be to blaspheme as man cannot kill God. Perhaps this is why the two natures are kept separate in Jesus (peace be upon him).

Where in the Bible does Jesus (peace be upon him) say unequivocally “I am God, worship Me!” He doesn’t and this is why Muslims cannot accept Jesus (peace be upon him) as God (may God forbid).

The Christians tell us: The "Word" is the Greek word "Logos." It is a title of the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore a personal name of Christ. The word "logos" is the expression of thought, not the mere name of an object. It means the revelation of God, the "logos," was with God and was God. This defines the word as being more than knowledge revealed but a person.

Were this to be true it would appear the word “Logos” was invented for Jesus (peace be upon him) and was not known prior to him. Yet, I believe it was in common usage. And, the “Word” or “Logos” being a person is only an interpretation as “an expression of thought” hardly shouts out I am a man.

Continuing with the Christian argument: He was crucified and resurrected, and prayed to God the Father expressing this truth:

[And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.] (John 17:5)

Jesus is eternal as is God the Father. When Jesus was born of Mary, the virgin Jewish maid, it was not His beginning. His earthly birth was His incarnation. "Incarnation" is a special word used to describe the living embodiment of a deity, or spirit in flesh as a man.

In Christian theology it refers to the embodiment of God the Son in human flesh as Jesus Christ. This statement explains the "Logos" who is Jesus Christ is distinct and separate from God the Father. Jesus is not God the Father, but God the Son. God the Father is also distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, it does not teach that Jesus the Son was a separate God because John next states the "Logos" is God.

I find all of this reasoning circuitous. Where is one statement linking the “Logos” as Jesus Christ, it seems to be an interpretation.

There is a passage in the Quran where Allah (God) asks: a-lastu bi rabbikum which means: Am I not your Lord? The context is that God created the spirit world first, and then asked the spirits to testify. Subsequently, the spirits enter the physical world. Is every person “incarnated” according to Christian theology?

The Christians continue: John then states "the Word was God." This makes it clear that God the Father and Jesus the Christ are two distinct beings, "the Word was with God." Jesus therefore is the Second member of the Trinity, but, with respect, where does “Trinity” come from, we have two distinct persons according to some Christian theologians but where is the third person? There is nothing about Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit mentioned.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Useful Links:

Virgin Mary and Christian Trinity

What Do Christians Believe About God?

Comparing and Contrasting Islam and Christianity