Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Muhammadan Blues:

Exposing the shameless deceit and lies
Of an inconsistent neophyte   Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

Muslim turned apostate-turned Muslim again-turned apostate again-turned Muslim one more time (1; 2; 3; 4) Ibn Anwar is back at it again perverting the Holy Scriptures to his shame and destruction (cf. 2 Peter 3:15-16).

In one of his articles which has been removed by now, Ibn Anwar discussed an exchange he had with a Christian sister regarding the following text:

“The high priest said to Him, ‘I adjure You by the living God, tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so (Su eipas). But I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, ‘He has uttered blasphemy. What further need do we have for witnesses? See, now you have heard His blasphemy. What do you think?’ They answered, ‘He is guilty unto death.’” Matthew 26:63-66

According to Luke, Christ made a similar confession the very next day after the trial before the Sanhedrin at night:

“When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him away to their council, saying, ‘Are You the Christ? Tell us!’ He said to them, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe. And if I also question you, you will not answer Me or release Me. From now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.’ They all said, ‘Are You then the Son of God?’ He said to them, ‘You truly say that I am (Hymeis  legete hoti ego eimi).’ Then they said, ‘What further testimony do we need? We have heard it from His own mouth.” Luke 22:66-71

The neophyte denies that Jesus affirmed that he is the Son of God and Son of Man, let alone God, simply because Christ said su eipas (“You have said so”) instead of ego eimi (“I Am”). He then shamelessly butchers the meaning of Jesus’ words in Mark’s accounting of the trial by night, and contends that in neither the Old nor New Testaments do the titles “Son of God” and “Son of Man” mean God:

Matthew 26:63 correlates or mirrors Mark 14:62 and in many translations of the verse Jesus does say “ego eimi”, but the matter is not settled there. As we learn from textual criticism there are a number of very important manuscripts that read the text essentially as Matthew 26:63,”sy eipas hoti ego eimi” which means “You have said that I am. Commenting on this verse, James Douglas writes, “even some Greek manuscripts’ renditions of the the [sic] otherwise exceptional Mark 14:62, which instead of “I am” read “You said that,” meaning “I didn’t.” (Douglas, J. W. (2006). The Nonviolent Coming of God. Oregon: Wipf & Stock. p. 49). Similarly, Trinitarian scholar Graham Stanton concedes this points [sic], “But in some manuscripts Jesus replies, not, “I am’ (the Messiah), but, ‘You have said that I am': those words are yours, not mine.” (Stanton, G. (2002). The Gospels and Jesus. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 243). It should also be noted that Mark’s wording in the last clause is at odds with Matthew’s “the son of God” (hios tou theou) phraseology. In Mark, it says instead “Yios tou Eulogetou” (the Son of the blessed). And yes, Jesus was indeed the son of the blessed Mary. As the Angel Gabriel proclaimed [sic], “Eulogemene ou…” which means “You are blessed.” (Luke 1:42) The word used in both instances are exactly the same but formatted differently due to the syntax. Secondly, the expression “Son of God” never meant God anywhere in the Old Testament or in the New Testament. If it did mean God, then Adam should be God too: “Ἀδὰμ τοῦ Θεοῦ” (Adam tou theou) meaning “Adam, the son of God” (Luke 3:38). And Jesus himself decreed that human beings are “sons of God”: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (uioi Theou = Sons of God). So how many Gods do you have Antoinetta Avant? Premiere historian, the late Professor Geza Vermes of Oxford University, who was described as the greatest Jesus scholar of his generation, commenting on the question posed by Caiaphas, writes, “In Jewish religious thought, before and after the age of Jesus, a king of the House of David, and above all the King-Messiah, was considered the ‘Son of God’ on the basis of Psalm 2:7, where on the occasion of the enthronement of the Israelite monarch, God declares:’You are my son, today I have begotten you.’ Elsewhere he also makes a promise to King Solomon: ‘I will be his father, and he shall be my son’ (2 Sam 7:14). Indeed, in the commonly used metaphorical terminology of Judaism ‘Messiah’ and ‘Son of God’ were interchangeable; they were synonymous.” (Vermes, G. The Passion: The True Story of an Event that Changed Human History. London. Penguin Books. p. 47)

We have decided to respond to Ibn Anwar’s shameless manhandling of God’s Word.


Son of the Blessed Mary?

Ibn Anwar seriously wants us to believe that when the high priest in Mark 14:61 asked whether Jesus is the Son of the Blessed,

“But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’”

what he really was asking is whether Jesus was the Son of Mary, since the word for blessed is used for Jesus’ mother in Luke 1:42!

The assertion that the high priest was actually asking Jesus if he is the Son of the blessed Mary is so ridiculous, so asinine, that I actually feel embarrassed for this neophyte. Does Ibn Anwar really want his readers to believe that the high priest was actually concerned about Jesus going around claiming to be the Son of Mary? 

To make matters worse, he falsely attributes the words of Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, in Luke 1:42 that Mary is blessed among women to the angel Gabriel. What makes his appeal to Luke 1:42 all the more embarrassing is that in that very same context Gabriel identifies Jesus, not as the Son of Mary, but as the Son of the Most High God! On top of that, Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit realizes and acknowledges that the unborn child, whom Mary had just conceived in her consecrated womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, was none other than her very own Lord, with Elizabeth’s unborn son leaping for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice!

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.’ When she saw him, she was troubled by his words, and considered in her mind what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of His kingdom there will be no end.’ Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ The angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. Therefore the Holy One who will be born will be called the Son of God. Listen, your cousin Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age. And this is the sixth month with her who was declared barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.’ Mary said, ‘I am the servant of the Lord. May it be unto me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her. In those days Mary arose and quickly went into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She spoke out with a loud voice, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother OF MY LORD should come to me? Indeed, as soon as the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a completion to those things which were told her by the Lord.’” Luke 1:26-45

How ironic that the context of the verse that the neophyte shamelessly butchered ends up backfiring against him by proving that Jesus is indeed the unique Son of God and the sovereign Lord of all, facts which both righteous angels and Spirit-filled believers recognize, and which Ibn Anwar’s false prophet denied!


You Said It!

An examination of how the NT employs the expression “You have said it,” and its related phrases, clearly shows that Jesus’ reply was not a denial of the question. Rather, it is a way of indicating that the person has essentially provided the answer to his own question. Note, for instance, the following example:

“When evening came, He sat down with the twelve. And as they were eating, He said, ‘Truly I say to you, one of you will betray Me.’ They were very sorrowful, and each of them began saying to Him, ‘Lord, is it I?’ He answered and said, ‘He who has dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.’ Then Judas, who betrayed Him, answered, ‘Master, is it I?’ He said to him, ‘You have said it (Su eipas).’” Matthew 26:20-25

Now does anyone take Jesus’ response as a denial that Judas was his betrayer?

And here is another case:

“Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.’ Pilate said to him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king (Su legeis hoti Basileus eimi ego). For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.’” John 18:33-37

By informing Pilate that his kingdom is not from this realm, Jesus was acknowledging that he indeed was/is a King, yet not the kind of King that the Jews were expecting.

That both the Jewish authorities and Pilate took Christ’s reply as an acknowledgment that was/is in fact the Son of God and the King of Israel, can be further seen by what transpired during Jesus’ crucifixion:

“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium, and gathered the whole detachment of soldiers before Him. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and when they wove a crown of thorns, they put it on His head and put a staff in His right hand. They knelt before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews! They spit on Him, and took the staff and hit Him on the head. After they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own garments on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him. As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. This man they compelled to bear His cross. When they came to a place called Golgotha, which means The Place of the Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He tasted it, He would not drink it. When they crucified Him, they divided His garments by casting lots to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, “They divided My garments among themselves and for My clothing they cast lots.’ And sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. They put His accusation over His head, which read: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then two thieves were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. Those who passed by insulted Him, wagging their heads, saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him, saying, ‘He saved others. He cannot save Himself. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God. Let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him. FOR HE SAID, “I AM THE SON OF GOD.”’ Even the thieves who were crucified with Him insulted Him in the same way.” Matthew 27:27-44

This is why you have NT scholars recognizing that Jesus’ response was an implicit affirmation, not a negation. Take, for instance, what Messianic Jewish scholar Dr. David Stern wrote in respect the Lord Jesus’ answer:

"You say I am, literally, 'You say,' with the same import here as the modern English idiom, 'You said it!' Yeshua's meaning here is, 'Yes, I am the Son of God, just as you have asked in your question.' That Yeshua's inquirers understood him is clear from their response in v. 71…" (Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary [Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. fifth edition 1996], p. 146; underline emphasis ours)

The late NT Catholic Scholar Raymond E. Brown comments:

"In Matt Jesus answers the high priest's combined question about the Messiah, Son of God thus: 'That is what you say.' This is an affirmative, but one that puts responsibility on the questioner for the interpretation being given to the point at issue–an interpretation about which the speaker is not enthusiastic. If one seeks on the level of the story-line why the Matthean Jesus would have been so enthusiastic when Peter used these combined titles but is now much more cautious when the high priest uses them, the solution is that Peter used them as a confession uttered under divine revelation while the high priest uses them as a disbelieving question to find evidence against Jesus." (Brown, Introduction to New Testament Christology [Paulist Press New York/Mahwah, 1994], pp. 76-77; bold emphasis ours)

And here is what he says in a footnote:

"A few scholars try to argue to the contrary; but later in clear dependence on Jesus' having made such an affirmation, the passerby mock him as he hangs on the cross, 'If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross' (Matt 27:40). Indeed, in their mockery the chief priests and the elders report, 'He said, "I am the Son of God"' (27:43)…" (Ibid.; bold emphasis ours)

Other Biblical scholars concur:

he said unto him, thou hast said: that is, it is as thou hast said; thou hast said right, thou art the man; a way of speaking used, when what is asked is assented to as truth: thus it being

"said to a certain person, is Rabbi dead? He replied to them, אתון אמריתון, "ye have said"; and they rent their clothesF9.'

Jesus saith unto him, thou hast said,.... That is, thou hast said right; or as Mark expresses it, "I am", Mark 14:62, the Christ, the anointed of God, who was so from everlasting, and in time; being before the world was, installed into, and invested with the office of mediator; and in the fulness of time, anointed with the holy Spirit without measure: he might truly say he was the Messiah, since all the characters of him in the books of the prophets, met in him; and all the miracles he was to work in proof of his Messiahship were wrought by him: as also that be was the Son of God, not by creation, as angels and men; nor by adoption, as saints; nor as man, or in the human nature, in which he was the son of man, and not the Son of God; nor was he begotten as man, whereas he is called the only begotten Son, and the begotten of the Father; and was he the Son of God as man not the first, but the third person must be his Father; besides, he was the Son of God before his incarnation: nor as mediator neither; he was the Son of God, antecedent to his office as mediator; his sonship is distinct from it, is an illustration of it, and what puts virtue into it; but he is so as God, as a divine person, by natural and eternal filiation; being begotten of the Father in the divine essence, and of the same nature; and having the same perfections with him, and in all things equal to him; and is the sense in which he always affirmed God to be his Father, and himself to be his Son. For this phrase, "thou hast said", as answering to an affirmation, "I am"; see Gill on Matthew 26:25. Now, though Christ had so fully answered to the adjuration, and so strongly affirmed himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God, yet he knew they would not believe; and therefore refers them to an after proof thereof, which whether they would or not, would oblige them to acknowledge the whole: (John Gill’s Whole Exposition on the Bible; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Thou hast said - This is a form of assenting or affirming. Thou hast said the truth; or, as Luke Luke 22:70 has it, “Ye say that I am.” This was not, however, said “immediately.” Before Jesus acknowledged himself to be the Messiah, he said to them Luke 22:67-68, “If I tell you ye will not believe, and if I also ask you” - that is, propose the proofs of my mission, and require you to give your opinion of them “ye will not answer me, nor let me go.” (Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Thou hast said - Συ ειπας, or אמריתון אתון atun amaritun, "Ye have said," was a common form of expression for Yes. It Is so. "When the Zipporenses inquired whether Rabbi Judas was dead? the son of Kaphra answered, Ye have said," i.e. He is dead. See Schoettgen. Hor. Hebr. p. (Adam Clarke Commentary; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Thou hast said (συ ειπας — su eipas). This is a Greek affirmative reply. Mark (Mark 14:62) has it plainly, “I am” (ειμι — eimi). But this is not all that Jesus said to Caiaphas. He claims that the day will come when Jesus will be the Judge and Caiaphas the culprit using the prophetic language in Daniel 7:13 and Psalm 109:1. It was all that Caiaphas wanted. (A. T. Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament; bold and underline emphasis ours)

“… The contrast does not imply a denial by Jesus of the high priest's terms 'the Christ, the Son of God' (which Matthew likes-8,5; 4,2), or even a correction by Jesus of the high priests' understanding of those terms. For 'You said [it]' does not issue a qualified yes, much less a no, but stoutly affirms that the questioner himself knows the affirmative answer as obvious (see the comments on 26:25). The contrast arises out of Jesus' refusal to answer under oath: he avoided the adjuration with 'You said [it]'; now his own words will be spoken with a magisterial authority that owes nothing to an oath..." (Robert Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church Under Persecution [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI; 2nd edition, October 1995)] p. 545; bold emphasis ours)

“Jesus' response is identical to that given to Judas at the Last Supper; the connotation of 'You have said so' confirms the truth implicit in the interrogator's own question (26:64; see 26:25)…” (Donald Senior, Abingdon New Testament Commentaries: Matthew [Abingdon Press, July, 1998], p. p. 312; bold emphasis ours)

With that said we are now going to cull through Matthew and Luke and present all the places where these inspired writers identify Christ as the unique Son of God and divine Son of Man. This will show just how desperate and dishonest Ibn Anwar is for manhandling Matthew 26:64 in order to turn it into an express denial on the part of Jesus to being God’s beloved Son. For the most part, we will allow the texts to speak for themselves and only comment when necessary.

Lord willing, the next part of our rebuttal should be appearing shortly.