Yusuf asks Dauda, Fatima asks Ladi
Four friends compare their faiths ...
Yusuf: I have heard that the Bible has been changed and corrupted!
Dauda: Hold on! Firstly, the Qur’an strongly states that the Bible is the Word of God and that no man can change the Word of God! And the Bible itself also testifies to its own divine inspiration, confirming that it is indeed the revealed written Word of God.
If anyone claims that the Bible has been changed and corrupted, they should be kind enough to give the necessary evidence and then satisfactorily answer these questions:
- When and why did it happen?
- By whom was it changed?
- Where, then, is the “original” Bible?
Fatima: The Christians have many versions of the Bible!
Ladi: These versions of the Bible are actually not different texts, but different translations of the same original documents. The Bible has obviously been translated into many different languages. Often newer translations of the same language exist today, as all languages undergo changes with time. However, the meaning of the text and its message have not been altered.
Yusuf: God has no Son!
Dauda: I agree with you that God had no physical relationship with Mary, that resulted in a “begotten” son. The term “SON” in this context points to the unique relationship between GOD the Father and JESUS the Son. Jesus was as close to God as a son is to his father. People use many figures of speech to express a special relationship, like, for example, the Arabic word for a traveller being a “son-of-the-road”. However, these examples are only hints to bring us closer to the understanding of God, because we mortals are unable to grasp perfectly who God is, because He is Spirit!
Fatima: Jesus cannot be God!
Ladi: Jesus was the only person who ever lived on earth without sin.
Jesus was indeed “God with us”, since He proclaimed “I and the Father are one”.
Jesus, as a human being, was the physical appearance of God on earth.
Nothing is impossible for God7. If He wants to appear on earth in such a way and simultaneously still rule the universe, who can hinder Him?
Christians are definitely monotheists, believing in one God, as the Bible teaches!
Yusuf: Jesus was not crucified!
Dauda: There are clear evidences of Jesus’ crucifixion:
- It was foretold by the prophets in the Old Testament.
- Jesus often predicted His forthcoming death in accurate detail.
- Eye-witnesses (the apostles) testified to this.
- Historians reported it.
- The testimony of those whose lives were changed.
Fatima: Jesus was only a prophet to Israel while Mohammed was the Universal One!
Ladi: During His ministry Jesus primarily taught His disciples1 to prepare them for the task of bringing the Gospel to all people. However, occasionally Jesus addressed others who were eager to listen. At the end of His mission on earth, He gave the Great Commission3 to His disciples and ordered them to go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation! This shows that the message of Jesus is directed to all people on earth. Please note, that the Qur’an confirms the universality of Jesus as well!
Yusuf: There is only one God, not three in a trinity!
Dauda: Christians definitely believe that there is only one God!
The Bible describes Him in three personalities: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We have many examples in nature where three can be in one e.g. the sun consists of the body, heat and light. The biblical teaching of the trinity helps us to know God better.
God likes to reveal Himself, that is one reason why He came to earth as Jesus.
Fatima: The Gospel of Barnabas is the “real Gospel”!
Ladi: Sufficient experts have studied this “Gospel“ proving that it was fabricated separately from the Bible. It was also written many centuries later than the four Gospels. In many places it contradicts the Bible as well as the Qur’an. For instance, Jesus takes on the role of the “Preparer” of the Messiah and Muhammad is named the “Messiah”. There are several geographical and historical mistakes which prove that the author lacked the necessary first-hand knowledge of the situation.
Yusuf: Muhammad is predicted in the Bible!
Dauda: The passages referred to do not speak about Muhammad, which can easily be seen after a careful study of the relevant texts. The reference in the Old Testament points to Jesus Christ as the coming prophet. The prophet will be like Moses: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me (Moses) from among your own brothers (the Israelites). You must listen to Him. Jesus fulfils the likeness to Moses because He gave a new covenant, knows God face to face, and performed great signs and wonders. The passages in the New Testament, which are frequently referred to, speak clearly about the Holy Spirit and not Muhammad. For example, when Jesus said “… he will be in you …” He meant the Holy Spirit, since how could Muhammad, who was a mortal man live “within” Jesus’ disciples?
Fatima: The way to enter paradise is by doing good works!
Ladi: Paradise, or heaven, is a perfect holy place – a person needs to be 100% perfect to qualify for entry! Even if we try hard by doing good works we will never reach God’s standard and be completely without sin. God knows this and therefore He offers to cleanse us perfectly through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus therefore serves as a substitute – by paying for our sins. If you accept this offer, you will be guaranteed a place in heaven. Then you will be thankful, and out of gratitude to God you like to do good.