Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

John the Baptist Proves that Muhammad Was a False Prophet! Pt. 2

Sam Shamoun

We continue from where we previously left off.

The Lord Yahweh Comes as a Servant to Suffer for His People’s Sins

The other text that Mark quotes to introduce his Gospel and John’s role in revealing Christ to Israel, is Isaiah 40:3, a passage which speaks of God himself coming to dwell among his people:

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins. A VOICE CRIES:In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’… Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’ Behold, the Lord GOD COMES with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11

The above text consoles Israel by telling the nation that their sins have been pardoned and that Yahweh was planning to send an envoy to prepare his people for his coming to shepherd them.

In light of the above, Mark’ point is crystal clear: The Baptist is the voice which shouts out in the wilderness, telling the people to prepare for the appearance of Yahweh their God:

“John the baptizer appeared IN THE WILDERNESS, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Mark 1:4

Mark isn’t the only Gospel to refer to John as the voice or herald of Isaiah 40:3:

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John bore witness to him, AND CRIED,This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.”’) … He said, ‘I am the voice of one CRYING in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord,” as the prophet Isaiah said.’” John 1:14-15, 23 – cf. Matthew 3:1-15; Luke 3:1-7, 15-17

However, as we noted in the first part of our reply, the Baptist was specifically sent to prepare for the coming of Christ.

Therefore, since the Baptist is the voice which tells the people that their God is coming, and since he is specifically said to have been sent to prepare for Christ’s advent, then this means that Jesus is the Lord God whom Isaiah said was to come and shepherd his flock!

Yet there is more to the story. Isaiah explains how Yahweh was going to pardon his people. Yahweh would do so by offering himself as a vicarious sacrifice for the sins of the world:

“See, My Servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted (yarum wa'nissa wa'gabah). Just as many were appalled at You—His appearance was so disfigured that He did not look like a man, and His form did not resemble a human being—so He will sprinkle (yazzeh) many nations. Kings will shut their mouths because of Him, For they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard.” Isaiah 52:13-15 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

As we are about to see, Yahweh’s Servant is personally distinct from Yahweh, and yet in some sense identical to him. In other words, the Servant is both distinct from Yahweh and happens to be Yahweh.

The first indication that the Servant is in some sense Yahweh God is the fact that Isaiah says that he shall be highly exalted which, in Biblical language, means that the Servant shares in Yahweh’s exalted status and rule over creation.

For instance, it is Yahweh who is exalted in justice:

"But the LORD of hosts is exalted (wayyigbah) in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness." Isaiah 5:16

He is the high and lofty One whose name is holy and who inhabits eternity:

“For thus says the high and lofty One (ram wa’nissa) who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:I dwell in the high (marom) and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” Isaiah 57:15

Yahweh is also the One who will lift and exalt himself, while humbling everyone else who seeks to do so:

The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high (‘eromam); he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness… ‘Now I will arise,’ says the LORD, ‘now I will lift myself up (‘eromam); now I will be exalted (‘ennase).’” Isaiah 33:5, 10

“The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride (rum) of men shall be humbled; and the LORD ALONE will be exalted in that day. For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up (wa’ram) and high (wa’nissa); against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty (ha'ramim) and lifted up (wa'hannissaim); and against all the oaks of Bashan; against all the high mountains, and against all the lofty hills; against every high tower, and against every fortified wall; against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft. And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride (rum) of men shall be brought low; and the LORD ALONE will be exalted in that day.” Isaiah 2:11-17

Isaiah even uses these terms to describe Yahweh’s throne:

“In the year that King Uzzi'ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up (ram wa'nissa); and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!’… And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for US?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ And he said, ‘Go, and say to this people: “Hear and hear, but do not understand; see and see, but do not perceive.” Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.’” Isaiah 6:1-5, 8-10

Thus, for the Servant to be highly exalted basically means that he reigns over creation from Yahweh’s own heavenly throne. And yet the Servant must be truly divine in order to do so, since Yahweh alone reigns over the nations as the Most High:

“Let them know that thou ALONE, whose name is the LORD, art the Most High over all the earth.” Psalm 83:18

As one scholar puts it:

“Of further interest is the fact that the Servant is distinguished from Yahweh, yet there are statements made about the Servant that would seem to accord him divine status. For example, in Isaiah 52:13 the Servant is said to be ‘high and lifted up and greatly exalted.’ This expression in Hebrew is used in only three other places in the entire Old Testament, all of which are in Isaiah (6:1; 33:10; 57:15). In each case the phrase refers to Yahweh. Groves interprets this data to mean ‘Yahweh’s own lips declared that the Servant was to be identified with Yahweh himself.’” (David L. Allen, The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Encountering The Suffering Servant In Jewish And Christian Theology, eds. Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser [Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 2012], Chapter 7. Substitutionary Atonement And Cultic Terminology In Isaiah 53, pp. 184-185; bold emphasis ours)

In fact, the Apostle John goes as far as to quote Isaiah 6:10 in order to demonstrate that the God whom Isaiah saw seated on the throne was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ in his prehuman existence!

“Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: ‘Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.’ Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.” John 12:37-41

The glory that Isaiah beheld in the vision that is recorded in Isaiah 6 was that of Jesus himself according to John.

What this means is that Jesus is Yahweh God who assumes the role of the Suffering Servant so as to redeem his people from their sins!

This brings us to Isaiah’s statement that Yahweh’s Servant shall sprinkle the nations, employing a term that is used elsewhere in connection with the blood that the high priest would sprinkle on the mercy seat so as to purify God’s people from their sins:

“Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house; he shall kill the bull as a sin offering for himself. And he shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small; and he shall bring it within the veil and put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat which is upon the testimony, lest he die; and he shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it (wahizzah) with his finger on the front of the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle (yazzeh) the blood with his finger seven times. Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood within the veil, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it (wahizzah) upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat; thus he shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which abides with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. There shall be no man in the tent of meeting when he enters to make atonement in the holy place until he comes out and has made atonement for himself and for his house and for all the assembly of Israel. Then he shall go out to the altar which is before the LORD and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar round about. And he shall sprinkle (wahizzah) some of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleannesses of the people of Israel.” Leviticus 16:11-19

Although the Hebrew word in Isaiah 52:15 can also mean “to startle,” the evidence shows that it should be rendered as sprinkle instead:

“… Although the verb form is clearly correct for the translation ‘sprinkle’… as it appears elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible (see discussion that follows), many interpreters have rejected it because it supposedly ‘does not fit the context.’ Against this view, however, the concentric structure of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 suggests that 52:13-15 and 53:10-12 are corresponding units. This structure is especially significant here in that the ritual procedure for cleansing the skin-diseased person in order to bring him back into the camp before the guilt offering could be offered included ‘sprinkling’ (the same verb yazzeh as Isa 52:15a) him or her seven times with a special concoction of water (see Lev. 14:7 specifically, with the description of the concoction in vv. 4-6; cf. also v. 51 for the infected house.) The reference to the asham 'guilt offering', in Isaiah 53:10 echoes the reference to 'sprinkle' in 52:15a. The Servant not only offers himself as a guilt offering but also cleanses the nations, both of which appear to derive metaphorically from the ritual cleansing of the skin-diseased person.” (Richard E. Averbeck, The Gospel According to Isaiah 53, Chapter 1. Christian Interpretations Of Isaiah 53, pp. 56-57; bold emphasis ours)

In fact, this is precisely how some of the ancient versions understood the Hebrew term:

22. Most recently, the “sprinkle” meaning has been defended by John Goldingay and David Payne A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Isaiah 40-55, vol. 2, ICC (London; New York: T &T Clark, 2006), 294-95, who render, “so he will spatter many nations,” noting that the Greek versions of Aquila and Theodotion render with rhaotisei, “sprinkle,” while the Vulgate has asperget (again, "sprinkle") and the Peshitta mdk’ (“purify”). The authors conclude that, "These renderings suggest that the versions were able to work out that this is a distinctive usage of the verb without the usual preposition.” (Dr. Michael L. Brown, Ibid, Chapter 2. Jewish Interpretations Of Isaiah 53, p. 68)

Hence, Yahweh’s divine Servant shall purify the nations from their sins, a fact confirmed by what Isaiah goes on to say in the very next chapter:

“Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has THE ARM OF THE LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. BUT HE WAS WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS BRUISED FOR OUR INIQUITIES; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; AND THE LORD HAS LAID ON HIM THE INIQUITY OF US ALL. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken FOR THE TRANSGRESSION OF MY PEOPLE? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; WHEN HE MAKES HIMSELF AN OFFERING FOR SIN (asham), he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall THE RIGHTEOUS ONE, MY SERVANT, make many to be accounted righteous; AND HE SHALL BEAR THEIR INIQUITIES. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; YET HE BORE THE SIN OF MANY, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:1-12

Here, the Servant is called the very Arm of Yahweh, which further confirms his divine identity, e.g. the Servant is truly divine in nature. The Servant is also said to bear the sins of God’s people in order make atonement for their sins. This basically indicates that the Servant sprinkles the nations with his blood which was shed for the redemption of all those who would turn to him in repentance and saving faith.

It is, therefore, not a coincidence that, within the NT itself, both the Lord Jesus and his followers cited or alluded to the language of Isaiah 53 to describe Christ’s atoning death:

“For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has its fulfilment.” Luke 22:37

“So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless some one guides me?’ And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: ‘As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth.’ And the eunuch said to Philip, ‘About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?’ Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus.” Acts 8:30-35

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:21-25

There are other ways in which the NT writers made use of Isaiah 52:13-53:12, besides directly quoting from it. The NT writings are replete with conceptual links and allusions to the Suffering Servant passage, just as we find in the following examples:

“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God (ho amnos tou theou), who takes away the sin of the world!’… and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God! (ho amnos tou theou)’” John 1:29, 36

“You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb (hos amnou) without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19

John and Peter are making direct reference to Isaiah 53, which identifies the Servant as a sinless lamb that was slaughtered for the sins of Israel and the nations:

He bears our sins, and is pained for us: yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering, and in affliction. But he was wounded on account of our sins, and was bruised because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; [and] by his bruises we were healed. All we as sheep have gone astray; every one has gone astray in his way; and the Lord gave him up for our sins. And he, because of his affliction, opens not his mouth: he was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb (hos amnos) before the shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. In [his] humiliation his judgment was taken away: who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken away from the earth: because of the iniquities of my people he was led to death. And I will give the wicked for his burial, and the rich for his death; for he practised no iniquity, nor craft with his mouth.” Isaiah 53:4-9 LXX

And here is what Peter says about Christ sprinkling believers with his blood:

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappado'cia, Asia, and Bithyn'ia, chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” 1 Peter 1:1-2 – cf. Hebrews 10:22; 12:24

It is obvious that in speaking of the sprinkled blood of Christ, and then likening Jesus to a spotless lamb later on in the same chapter, Peter was deliberately drawing from Isaiah 52:13-53:12.

Here is a final example:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11

The Apostle refers to Jesus being highly exalted after dying on the cross, which is precisely what happens to the Servant according to Isaiah, i.e. Yahweh highly exalts his Servant after being cut off and killed for the sins of God’s people. Moreover, Jesus’ emptying of himself is precisely the direct result of what happens after the Servant pours out his life even unto death:

“Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12

After all, to pour out something is to basically empty out the very thing which is being poured out. Hence, Jesus emptied himself by pouring out his life even unto death!

Hence, as far as Jesus and his followers are concerned, Christ is the divine Arm of Yahweh and the Suffering Servant who comes to make atonement for the sins of all mankind.

Concluding Remarks

Contrary to Williams’ assertion, John the Baptist doesn’t prove that a person can be forgiven apart from the atoning death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. The entire mission of the Baptist was to announce the coming of Christ and to make the hearts and minds of the people ready to accept him when he arrives on the scene.

John did this by getting the people to acknowledge their sinfulness in order to realize their need of forgiveness and purification. Once an individual became aware of his/her sinful nature then s/he would be ready to accept the gracious provision of salvation which Christ was to bring.

This is further brought out by the very Gospel which Williams’ misused to establish his erroneous assumption, namely the Gospel of Mark. Mark starts off his Gospel by introducing John as the messenger of Malachi 3:1, and the herald of Isaiah 40:3. Both of these texts speak of God sending an envoy ahead of himself in order to prepare the people for his coming to dwell in their midst. According to Mark, the Lord God whom the Baptist came to pave the path for was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ!

These OT texts also claim that one of the reasons why the Lord God was coming was for the purpose of purifying his people from all their transgressions. The prophet Isaiah provides some additional details on how Yahweh planned to do this, namely, by assuming the role of the Suffering Servant in order to make atonement for sins by offering his life up as a vicarious sacrifice.

Our examination of these texts of Isaiah further showed that the Servant is depicted as being personally distinct from Yahweh God, even though he is also identified as Yahweh God. Thus, the Servant is God who is distinct from God, precisely what the NT teaches concerning the Lord Jesus, i.e. Jesus is God in essence who is personally distinct from God the Father.

What all of this means is that the Baptist’s role wasn’t to provide forgiveness of sins through water baptism, but to prepare the people to receive the One who was coming to purify them from all their evil and ungodliness. The Baptist’s mission was to get people to realize that the Messiah that they were expecting was actually Yahweh God Incarnate coming to save them from all their transgressions. As such, John the Baptist proves that Muhammad was a false prophet since he denied all these things concerning the Messiah whom Muhammad identified as Jesus.(1)

So much for Williams’ argument.


(1) Ironically, the Quran implicitly agrees with the Holy Bible concerning John’s role as Jesus’ forerunner, since this is what it states:

And an angel cried out to him as he was standing praying in the chamber (and said) that 'God gives thee the glad tidings of John, to confirm the Word from God,– of a chief and a chaste one, and a prophet from amongst the righteous.' S. 3:39 Palmer

Here we are told that John comes to confirm a Word of Allah, a title which is expressly applied to Christ a little later in the same chapter:

When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God. S. 3:45 Arberry

This has led many Muslim expositors to conclude that the Word, which John came to confirm, was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ!

And the angels, namely, Gabriel, called to him, standing in the sanctuary, in the temple, at worship that (anna, means bi-anna; a variant reading has inna, implying a direct speech statement) ‘God gives you good tidings (read yubashshiruka, or yubshiruka) of John, who shall confirm a Word, being, from God, namely, Jesus, that he is God’s Spirit; he is referred to as [God’s] ‘Word’, because he was created through the word kun, ‘Be’; a lord, with a following, and one chaste, forbidden from women, and a prophet of the righteous’: it is said that he never sinned and never so intended. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; bold emphasis ours)


(believing in the Word from Allah) Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, and also Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Abu Ash-Sha`tha, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Ad-Dahhak, and several others said that the Ayah(believing in the Word from Allah) means, “Believing in `Isa, son of Maryam.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; bold emphasis ours)

Thus, the Muslim scripture concurs with the Holy Bible that the Baptist was sent ahead of Christ in order to prepare the people for his coming. Little did the author(s) of the Quran realize that this would come back to haunt him/her/them since the Holy Bible is quite emphatic that the One whom the Baptist was sent ahead of is none other than Yahweh God Almighty, and therefore means that Jesus is Yahweh God Incarnate!


Not long after his "hit piece" on John the Baptist, Williams published the following remarks from NT scholar James D. G. Dunn as a way of further undermining Jesus’ claims to Deity:

Jesus is recalled as causing surprise or offence by saying ‘You sins are forgiven’ both to the paralyzed man (Mark 2.5, 9 pars.), and to the ‘sinner’ who anointed his feet in Luke 7:48-49. In the former case the story now attests the Son of Man’s authority to forgive sins (2:10), and that affirmation answers the querulous response of the scribes, ‘Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ (2:7).

But the statement, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, is simply a pronouncement of forgiveness, and the passive form of the verb indicates that it is God who forgives (as when a Christian priest pronounces absolution in a present-day Christian congregation). Presumably this was the implication too when John the Baptist pronounced sins forgiven (as implied by Mark 1.4/Luke 3.3), or when in the Prayer of Nabonidus from Qumran, Nabonidus says ‘an exorcist forgave my sin‘ (4QprNab4). In neither case is there any thought of the individual in question usurping a divine prerogative, only of human mediation of divine forgiveness.

This shows that neither Williams nor Dunn have bothered to read any of these texts carefully since the passive form does absolutely nothing to refute the fact that it was Jesus Christ himself, as God’s unique Son and divine Son of Man, who actually forgives sins, something which God alone does according to both the Holy Bible and the Quran:

“To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness; because we have rebelled against him,” Daniel 9:9

Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger for ever because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19 – cf. Psalm 103:2-3; 130:3-4; Isaiah 43:25

And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know. S. 3:135 Hilali-Khan

Now here are the passages in question:

“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” Mark 2:5-7

“And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, ‘WHO IS THIS, WHO EVEN FORGIVES SINS?’ And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” Luke 7:48-49

As the context itself shows, the onlookers knew that it was Jesus who was actually forgiving sins committed against God. It seems that they didn’t realize that the passive form of the verb somehow meant that Jesus wasn’t the One who was personally forgiving these sinners, but God was. It is unfortunate that they didn’t have Dunn or Williams around to set them straight!

All joking aside, the response of the people hearing Jesus demonstrates that there is absolutely nothing about the passive form of the verb which would undermine the fact that it is Christ himself who actually forgave these individuals, by virtue of being the divine Son of God who can do everything that the Father does.

More importantly, Jesus himself does nothing to correct the impression left upon his audience that he was the One that was forgiving the sins of these specific individuals. This would have been something vitally important for him to do, if indeed he wasn’t actually forgiving these sinners, but simply communicating the fact that it was God who was doing the forgiveness.

And here is our thorough refutation to the desperate appeal to the Prayer of Nabonidus to undermine the explicit Biblical witness to the Deity of Christ.

So much for Dunn’s argument, and for Williams’ appeal to him.

Muslim taqiyyists and dawagandists take note and beware!