There is no greater difference between the Christian religion and the Muslim religion than that what they sayabout the person of Jesus. For Muslims, the doctrine of the divinity of Christ is considered anathema, and the Quran teaches that the one who adheres to it will dwell in the flames of hell (Sura 5: 72). For a Christian, believing in the divinity of Christ is necessary for salvation (Romans 10: 9). Can there be a greater divergence?
The Qur’an states that Jesus never claimed to be God, but rather that people began to believe Him when Jesus left the earth (Sura 5: 116-117). Muslims believe that Christians eventually corrupted true Christianity. Scholars defend in the mosques that the Council of Nicaea is responsible for the divinization of Jesus, while others accuse Paul of this blasphemy. Whatever the true reality, Muslims believe that the Bible does not present Jesus as God, and that Jesus certainly never called himself God.
But is that true? I remember hearing a Muslim speaker challenging Christians by his assertion that the idea that Jesus is God can not be found in the Bible. But then I heard a debate between him and the Christian debater James White, and the problem was completely settled: There is nothing more clear, 2 Peter 1 v.1 calls Jesus “God and Savior” just as Titus 2 v.13.
THE GOSPEL OF JEAN
Of course, Muslims do not give credit to the Bible as a whole, not even to the New Testament. The Quran declares that the Injil (the Gospel) was revealed as the Word of God. The Muslim speaker, in the debate in question, quickly developed another argument: No matter what the other books of the Bible can say, Jesus is not God in the Gospels. It was at this time that his Christian antagonist led the audience to consider the gospel of John.
There can be no doubt that Jesus is presented as divine in this gospel. From the beginning, John insists on the divine essence of Jesus, on the fact that he always existed, and that it was through him that everything was created (John 1 v.1-3). Thus, the first three verses of the Gospel of John present Jesus as “God, the eternal being by whom the universe was created.” The prologue of John concludes by stating that Jesus is “God, the only son, who is in the bosom of the Father” (1 v. 18).
The continuation of John’s Gospel abounds with details concerning the divinity of Christ. Jesus is worthy of the honor that must be given to God (5 v.23); He asks the people to have faith in him as they have faith in God (14 v. 1); He proclaims himself as the one who makes salvation possible (5 v.21); And as the visible manifestation of God in his physical (14 v.18); He is the king of another kingdom (18 v.36-37); He has power over all things (3 v. 35); And he professes to be able to do all that is asked in his name once he has gone; Which implies in a certain way that he is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent (3 v. 13, 14 v. 13). Moreover, he proclaims to his opponents that there is no salvation (8 v.24), and that he existed from all eternity before Abraham (8: 58), in these two Verses, he uses the divine name of Yahweh of the Old Testament: “I Am” , taking upon himself the name of God, as it was given to Moses in the third chapter of Exodus. Some believe that the culmination of this gospel is the affirmation of a disciple who realized who Jesus was, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God! “; And Jesus answered him, “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed, blessed are those who have not seen and believed.” (20: 28-29). The culmination of the gospel of John is that disciple proclaiming that Jesus is God, and Jesus praising and accepting this affirmation. From the beginning to the end of this gospel, Jesus is identified as God.
This statement is an electroshock for the Islamic sphere. If Jesus has indeed asserted that he is God, then the Qur’an is wrong about it, which amounts to saying that Islam is false. The Muslim intervener could not make concessions on this point, so he had to find a way out.
THE BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL OF MARC
After some research, I found that a renowned intellectual, Bart Ehrman, challenged Christianity and claimed that John’s gospel was unreliable. “Without a doubt, Jesus is presented as God in the gospel of John,” Ehrman remarked; “But since this gospel was written 60 years after Christ, it can not be trusted. The belief of the divinity of Jesus was invented after his death. It is for this reason that it is absent in the other gospels. If Jesus has indeed claimed to be God, why should we wait for the fourth Gospel, that of John, to learn this news? “
The Muslims believe that Jesus was deified after his death; Many Islamic sites quote Ehrman regularly. They adopt his approach, arguing that if Jesus had claimed to be God, we would have found proofs of his divinity in the first of the four Gospels, that of Mark. They try to demonstrate to Christians that Mark presents Jesus as a mere man, not as God. Let us now take up the gospel of Mark. The more you learn about this gospel, the more you will realize that it is a very Judaic gospel, written by having the Old Testament in mind. It refers more than 70 times to the Old Testament, and especially to the book of Isaiah. It never refers explicitly to Greco-Roman sources. When I read the Gospel of Mark from this angle, the angle of Hebrew writing, I realized that Ehrman was terribly mistaken. Not only is Mark presenting Jesus as God, but the main purpose of his gospel is to reveal that Jesus is Yahweh, the Eternal! Mark begins his gospel with reference to a passage from the Old Testament: Isaiah 40 V.3-4: “A voice cryeth, Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness. (…) Then shall the presence of the Lord be revealed “. Isaiah prophesied that Yahweh, the God of Israel, will appear and a voice in the wilderness will proclaim his arrival. Mark declares in Chapter 1, verse 4, that John the Baptist is that voice in the wilderness, and that the one John was proclaiming is Jesus. In fact, Mark combines the reference of Isaiah 40: Of Malachi 3, c. 1, whose text explicitly states that the messenger (again John the Baptist) will appear before the coming of the Lord in his temple. As with the quotation from Isaiah, the Lord is Jesus. So, at the very beginning of his gospel, Mark likens Yahweh to Yahweh, referring to multiple verses from the Old Testament. For an attentive Jewish reader, Mark’s prologue to the gospel has the same function as John’s: to say that Jesus is God himself. Mark continues in chapter 2, verses 3 to 10, showing us that Jesus forgave the sins of a paralytic. The scribes, at the sight of this scene, said to themselves: “He blasphemes. Who can forgive sins, except God alone? “. For the Jews, blaspheming against God is an accusation made to someone who does not vouch God the respect due to him; And in a more common way, by pronouncing the name of God or by granting divine attributes to oneself. It is clear that here Jesus neither insulted God nor pronounced his name. Their accusation of blasphemy can only mean that Jesus declared himself to be God by claiming the divine right to forgive sins.  In reply, far from denying that he claims to be God, Jesus Showed his authority to forgive sins by healing the paralytic by his divine power. This not only demonstrates his spiritual authority, but it also reminds the scribes, who knew the Old Testament well, verses 2 and 3 of Psalm 103: “My soul, bless the Lord, and forget none of his benefits ! He forgives all iniquities, which cures all diseases. When the scribes accused Jesus of proclaiming God, instead of denying it, he went much further; In healing the paralytic, so he did what only God does in the psalms. More far in the same chapter, Jesus, speaking of himself, says, “The son of man is the master of the sabbath.” .28). Unless we know the Old Testament well, it is easy not to notice that the Sabbath is the fourth of the ten commandments (Exodus 20: 8). When Jesus declares himself to be the master of the Sabbath, he affirms that he has authority over the Ten Commandments, although it belongs to the only God: Yahweh. In Mark 4, v. 35-41, we find the disciples very badly Posture, on the sea, in the midst of a storm, with waves so important that they threw themselves on the boat and began to flood it. In the storm they cried out to Jesus. Jesus threatened the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Shut up ! And the wind ceased and there was a great calm (v.39). The disciples were seized with great fright, and said to themselves, “Who is this one, to whom even the wind and the sea obey? (V.41). We should realize now that Mark expects us to answer these rhetorical questions by turning to the Old Testament. In Psalm 107, v.25-30, men are on a sea in fury, so perilous that their courage has gone, leaving them in deep confusion. “In their distress they cried unto the LORD, and delivered them out of their distresses; He stopped the tempest, restored calm, and the waves were silent. (V.28-29). Thus, in the Old Testament, when men are caught in a storm on the sea and They fear for their lives, they cry to Yahweh the LORD, who stops storms and calms the waves. In the Gospel of Mark, when the disciples were caught in a storm on the sea and feared for their lives, they cried out to Jesus, who stopped the storm and calmed the waves. Once again, Mark likens Jesus to Yahweh. In another passage about a journey to the sea, in Mark 6, v.45-52, the disciples are struggling to row against the wind. Among the raging waves, Jesus walked with them on the waters. For those who know the Old Testament, an allusion to Job 9, v.8 is obvious; Job speaks of the Lord God: “Only He spreads the heavens, He walks on the heights of the sea.” Thus, Job declares that which is only possible to God alone, and Mark introduces us to Jesus realizing it. Now that we have discussed what emerged from these chapters 1 to 6 of Mark’s Gospel, we understand what Mark Wants to demonstrate: He presents Jesus as God, the Eternal. If you are still not convinced by the clarity of these many allusions presenting Jesus as God, then let me show you the culmination of this gospel: the trial of Jesus. THE CULMINANT POINT OF GOD’S GOSPEL Mark 14: V.55-64, Jesus was brought before the High Priest and the Sanhedrin. Those who brought him there had already sought to destroy him at the beginning of his ministry (3 v.6). They hope to incriminate him by his words against the temple; But without sufficient testimony or coherent accusation, the trial turns badly (14, v.55-59). Then the high priest demands that Jesus tell them who he is. It seems that the high priest hopes to be able to condemn Jesus by his revelation of his identity. When Jesus answers, he gives the Sanhedrin much more than they had hoped. Here are the words of Jesus: “I am, and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the power of God, And coming upon the clouds of heaven. ” The meaning of his words will not make sense if we do not know the Old Testament, but for the Jewish Sanhedrin it is so clear that he condemns Jesus to death for blasphemy. What did Jesus say exactly? In Mark 14, v.62, Jesus makes a double reference to the Old Testament, declaring that the privileges and position of the Lord (Yahweh) are His. The first reference is found in the book of the prophet Daniel. Jesus quotes Daniel 7, verses 13-14, which is an apocalyptic vision that the prophet Daniel had had: “I looked at my nocturnal visions, and behold, in the clouds of heaven came a likeness to a son of rights; He advanced towards the Ancient of Days, and was brought near him. He was given dominion, glory, and reign; And all the peoples, the nations, and the men of all tongues served him. His dominion is an eternal dominion which will not pass away, and his kingdom will never be destroyed. In this passage from Daniel, a being resembling a human (like a son of man) approaches God. Although he is like a human, his arrival is through the clouds; An arrival reserved for the Eternal God in the Old Testament.  Then to him that is like unto a son of man is given eternal dominion, glory and reign, although only God is supposed to have dominion, glory and eternal reign. Finally, this passage informs us that all people will serve the Son of man. The word “serve”, whether in Aramaic or Greek, always refers to a service which is due only to God alone. Thus, this chapter 7 of Daniel presents a son of man who comes in the clouds of Heaven, as only the Eternal God can do; He then receives eternal dominion, glory and reign, as only the Eternal God possesses them; And all the people will serve him as a divine service, as only the Eternal God deserves. The son of the man of Daniel 7, is a son of the divine man. Through the gospel of Mark, beginning in chapter 2, verse 10, Jesus says of himself that he is the Son of Man, although he never explicitly defined this term. In Mark 14, v.62, the culmination of this gospel, Jesus finally reveals to everyone who he is, quoting Daniel 7, v.13-14: He is the Son of Man of Daniel 7; He is Yahweh, the Eternal God manifested in the flesh. But calling himself Son of Man is not the only blasphemous word he uttered before the Sanhedrin. As to remove all doubt, Jesus also declared that he has the right to sit on the throne of God. When he says that they will see the Son of Man “sitting at the right hand of the power of God,” he refers to Psalm 110, verse 1: “The Lord’s Word to my Lord: Sit at my Until I make thy enemies thy footstool. Sitting at the right hand of God was a right that no one dared to claim, nor to attribute to anyone Until that day of the second temple of Jewish history. This means sitting on the very throne of God, and this is tantamount to proclaiming himself the heir of God, the one who shares sovereignty with God. After learning all this, we understand why the Sanhedrin wanted to crucify Jesus blasphemy. When Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man of Daniel 7, and the Lord of David in Psalm 110, these two pretensions imply a divine state, a divine power and authority. In response to the question “who are you? Jesus answers in substance: “I am the one to whom all humanity owes an eternal adoration on MY realm, and I will sit on the very throne of God. I am the Lord. After reading the Gospel of Mark from the perspective of the Judaic Scriptures, we can not escape the evidence. From the introduction to the culminating point, the Gospel of Mark is an exposition of the divinity of Jesus. The first biography of Jesus, never written, is intended to show us that Jesus is the Eternal God.CONCLUSIONIf we set aside our Islamic beliefs, and ask ourselves the question as objective observers, will we arrive at The conclusion that Jesus claimed to be, what he is: God? According to my own experience, the answer is a transcendent and revolutionary “YES”. The research I have done on this subject has transformed my life forever. It is impossible to defend the thesis that the divinity of Jesus is a late invention, an evolution of Christology. Not only does the gospel of John present Jesus as God, but it is the same with that of Mark who presents Jesus as God, Yahweh. The earliest evidence, probably from the same decade as the crucifixion of Jesus, equates Jesus with the Eternal God. To return to Bart Ehrman, often mentioned by the Muslim apologists; After some deeper research on this subject, he changed his mind! Here is what he wrote on his blog: “Here, I believe, is my last message on a question that changed my point of view while I was doing my research on How Jesus Became God. This last message is very important … for me, at least. That’s what it says: Until last year, I would have said (and I have often said, in classrooms, in public lectures and in my writings) that Jesus is clearly presented as God In the Gospel of John, but not in the other gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. I would have demonstrated that only in the gospel of John, Jesus said things such as, “Before Abraham was, I Am” (8 v.58, taking upon himself the name of God, as was said in Moses in Exodus 3); His Jewish enemies knew very well what he was saying: they took stones to stone him. Later he says: “I and the Father are one” (10 v.30). There, again, the Jews took stones. Later, he taught his disciples, “He that has seen me has seen the Father” (vv. 9). And in one of his prayers he asked God, “And now, Father, glorify me with yourselves for the glory that I had with you before the world was” (17: 5). None of these phrases, or anything like it, can be found in other canonical gospels. John undeniably presents Jesus as God, in John and only in John (I would have argued). But …, by researching and reflecting more and more strongly on this question … I finally yielded. These gospels, indeed, present Jesus as God. Being the only Son of Man, who can heal, cast out demons, raise the dead, grant divine forgiveness, receive adoration … All this suggests that even for these gospels, Jesus is God, not a mere man … So yes, now I recognize that Jesus is presented as God, made a man, in all the gospels. But in different ways, according to the Gospels.  All Christian teachings describe Jesus as God. For Christians in the early church, Jesus is much more than a prophet. He is Yahweh, the LORD God himself .————————————– ————————————————– —  Some Jews knew very well what Jesus was saying, so they took stones to stone him. (Back to text)  See Bart Ehrman’s blog: ehrmanblog.org/jesus-as-god-in-the-synoptics-for-members (back to text)  The Accused who is also in John 10 33. (Return to text)  Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalms Psalm 104: 3; Isaiah 19: 1. (Return to text)  See Bart Ehrman’s blog: ehrmanblog.org/jesus-as-god-in-the-synoptics-for-members (back to text)