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islamispeace
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Topic: Tanakh vs. NT - Confirmation or Contradiction?
    Posted: 07 October 2011 at 11:28am
One of the many tenets of Christianity is the claim that the New Testament is in perfect agreement with the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible), which is why the Christian canon includes the Jewish holy books.  However, is this actually true?  Are the NT and the so-called "Old Testament" (OT) in actual agreement or are they actually contradictory?  Based on my reading and understanding of both books, I think they actually contradict each other in many places.  There are, of course, many places they agree, but the existence of even one place where they disagree would call into question the Christian claim that they are in total agreement.  While there are many examples, I would like to begin this topic with one of the most important: the trinity. 

While the concept of the trinity is not even well-developed in the New Testament itself, there is no doubt that it is completely absent from the Tanakh.  No where is God referred to as three in one in the Jewish Bible.  Yet Christians insist the concept is there.  Where, we may ask?  Let the Christians on this forum try to answer this question. 




Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Reepicheep
 
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Quote Reepicheep Replybullet Posted: 07 October 2011 at 5:36pm
If there is a passage in the Old Testament (OT) which states that the doctrine of the Triune God is false, then the OT does indeed contradict the New Testament.
 
Can you provide us with such a passage?
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Jack Catholic
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Quote Jack Catholic Replybullet Posted: 08 October 2011 at 7:08am

Yes, Reepicheep,

 
The only Holy Book that claims incorrectly that the Holy Trinity is three gods is the Holy Qur'an.  Neither the Holy Bible nor the Torah and Prophets of Judaism referr to our God as three God's, so there is no contradiction.
 
IslamisPeace, I really have already dealt with this issue in another string, the one about the Holy Bible and its evolution.  Why don't you read about it there?  In answer to your first post, I have to agree with Reepicheep.  There really is no contradiction between the OT and the NT.
 
Allah Bless you, my friends
 
Jack Catholic
 
 
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honeto
 
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Quote honeto Replybullet Posted: 08 October 2011 at 1:49pm
Reepicheep,
is this a joke? OT does not mentions God as a Trinity because it simply never existed. Those who came up with the idea that God is a Trinity are the ones who need to show that OT God was a Trinity, as challenged on other threads as well.
Hasan


Edited by honeto - 08 October 2011 at 1:50pm
39:64 Proclaim: Is it some one other than God that you order me to worship, O you ignorant ones?"
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Quote islamispeace Replybullet Posted: 08 October 2011 at 4:27pm
Originally posted by Reepicheep

If there is a passage in the Old Testament (OT) which states that the doctrine of the Triune God is false, then the OT does indeed contradict the New Testament.
 
Can you provide us with such a passage?


Hello Reepicheep.  Thanks for replying.  You asked whether the Tanakh actually explicitly states that "the doctrine of the trinity is false".  The answer, of course, is no.  However, as brother Hasan pointed out, this form of reasoning is fallacious.  Using this argument, I could argue that since the Tanakh also does not explicitly say that "God is not a flying spaghetti monster", that means that it would not be a contradiction to say that God is indeed a flying spaghetti monster.  You would of course disagree with such a statement, and rightfully so, as it would be a ridiculous thing to say. 

What we know is that the Tanakh says that God is "One" and not "three in one".  If the trinity concept was true, the Shema would surely have made some reference to it.  Yet we find no such references even though Christians maintain that the trinity is not contradictory to the Shema.  Therefore, the only logical conclusion would be that the trinity concept is a new development which contradicts the teachings of the Tanakh.

We can use a specific example from the Tanakh, namely Isaiah 6 to give more support to this:

"1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

   “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
   the whole earth is full of his glory.”" (Isaiah 6:1-3)

In this vision, Isaiah claimed to have actually seen the Lord and yet he does not say he saw the "Lord who is Father, son and Holy Spirit" or the "Lord who is three in one..."  This would have been as best a time as any to mention the trinity concept, yet no such mention is made.

You also referred to the Tanakh as the "Old Testament" which is expected since you are a Christian.  This brings me to my next point.  The Christian claim that a "new covenant" was established and the old one was abolished is simply not supported by the Tanakh/OT because Isaiah 59:21 says:

"21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the LORD."

Notice that the verse explicitly says that the covenant was for all times ("forevermore").  Yet the NT states that the covenant was replaced.  How could both be true?  Would this not be a contradiction?



Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Surat al-Anaam: 162)

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Quote Reepicheep Replybullet Posted: 08 October 2011 at 9:12pm
islamispeace wrote: What we know is that the Tanakh says that God is "One" and not "three in one".
 
I agree with you that the bible states that there is only one God.  But I've never come across a bible passage which states that God is not "three in one".  Can you provide us with an example?
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Quote Jack Catholic Replybullet Posted: 09 October 2011 at 6:55am
Dear IslamisPeace,
 
Christians do not believe that the OT covenant was abolished.  Jesus refers to it as being fulfilled.  Please do not missrepresent us in this way.
 
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Quote Jack Catholic Replybullet Posted: 09 October 2011 at 7:33am

Dear IslamisPeace, Reepicheep, and Hasan,

 

This post is from another string and was addressed to Hasan, but he never dealt with it.  Perhaps here it might be of use to your discussion. I have edited out what does not apply to this string, but I have not edited out all uses of the Hasan’s name.  Please don’t feel overwhelmed with its volume of content.  It was intended to be thorough.  And no, I do not intend to participate in this string beyond being a passive observer and offering a few occasional, brief comments here and there.  The borrowed post begins below:

Let’s look at the possibility of mistaken interpretation in regards to contradiction in the Holy Bible. Remember, you are trying to prove (the Holy Qur’an claims this) that the Holy Bible was originally correct revelation, and that humans have tampered with it changing some of its contents (evolution) resulting in contradiction. I’ll prove four things about some of what you have claimed to be contradiction: 1) that it was actually believed by the church before the writing of the Gospels because Jesus actually taught what you claim to be a contradiction, 2) that the first century Christians believed this teaching, and 3) that the Apostles later wrote it into what is now the Holy Bible. Then 4) I will show that there is no contradiction when the first century interpretations are used.

Let us begin with your (Hasan’s) statement from your (previous) post about the Holy Trinity: “The Bible as we know it today, teaches that God is One, but it does not stay consistant with that, in particular when my Christian friends like you insist that God has a son, a physical son, who is sitting next to him as God?”

The Catholic Church and the Holy Bible do agree that God does not have an equal. Yet you apply this truth to the Holy Trinity, and here I must expose your assumptions that must be true in order for you to successfully make the claim that the Holy Bible contradicts itself. I’ll print your assumptions in red. In order for the Holy Trinity to be a contradiction to the truth you have mentioned, you must assume that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate beings. We’ll deal with this assumption later in the post.

Your statements continue: “You and those who believe like you say that God's son who is also God, is equal to God. And antother being called "Holy Gost" is also God, who is equal to God. Unfortunately for you again, the Bible contradicts that claim too. Upon studying you will find that the same Bible says that neither the "Son of God" nor the "Holy Ghost" are equal to God instead they are subject to God, and dependent upon God, while God does not depend on anyone as we the beleivers believe.” Here, Hasan, you claim contradiction by making an assumption that dependence implies seperateness and a lesser quality. We’ll deal with this assumption shortly as well.

The Trinity was written about in the letters of St. Paul in the 50’s AD, and lest you think he originated the belief, he spent 3 years before the beginning of his ministry in Jerusalem with Peter and the Apostles getting instruction from them. As he was not condemned by them for inventing any new teaching, we must accept that his teaching was in line with the teaching given by Jesus to the Apostles. Also, the Didache in chapter 7:1 reveals the existence of the belief in the Holy Trinity during the first 30 years after Jesus death. So also did St. Ignatius of Antioch (who was instructed in the faith by St. John the Apostle himself before being appointed a bishop) wrote with reference to it in his Epistle to the Ephesians 1:1 and 18:2. Here is just a tiny bit of evidence that the early church believed in the Holy Trinity before the writing of the Gospels. And the close connection of St. Ignatius through St. John to Jesus himself is proof that the first century Christians did believe in the Holy Trinity. This was not some later doctrine added to the Holy Bible after the original had been penned. How do we know that Jesus taught the Holy Trinity himself? Because all of the Gospels reflect the three persons of the Holy Trinity and their relationship to each other, as well as many of the Epistles in the NT. The Gospels print Jesus exact words by the hand of the Apostles who were there with Jesus (Matthew 3:16, 28:18-19, Mark 12:29, Luke 1:30-35, and John 10:38, 14:9, and 17:10).

And finally we will consider the issue of contradiction which you claim is the characteristic of the Holy Trinity. Your first assumption comes from the Holy Qur’an and is that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate beings. Let’s approach this assumption with comparison. Would it be correct to say that your finger, Hasan, is not you? Yet if we were to disconnect your finger from you, would your finger continue to have life, or would it die? If it would die, than in order for it to have life, it would have to be a part of you. Therefore, if your finger is alive at this very moment, we must admit that it is not separate from you. Let us apply this reality of life to the Holy Trinity. You as a Muslim assume that Jesus is separate from the God we the believers know as Yahweh and Allah and whom you also call Allah. Yet Jesus said as recorded in the Gospels, “The Father and I are one.” When we look at who Jesus is, we can begin to understand what Jesus meant when he said He was one with the Father. In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, John writes, “In the beginning was the Word (a reference to Genesis Chapters 1 and 2), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” In the same way that the thumb is a part of you, Jesus is part of Allah, so also is the Holy Spirit a part of Allah. Lest you think I am making this up, let us look at the writings of a first century Church Father named Theophilus, bishop of Antioch sometime after the death of St. Ignatius. In 180 A.D. he explained it very clearly in his epistle to a pagan critic named Autolycus (Epistle To Autolycus 2:15) in which he said the Holy Trinity was made up of God (you know Him as Allah), His Word (this is Jesus), and His Wisdom (this is the Holy Spirit). The Word and the Wisdom of Allah are as inseperable from Him as your thumb is from you.

Now that proof has been provided that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not separate beings, we can deal with your second assumption: that dependence implies seperateness and a lesser quality. Would your thumb be dependent on the rest of you for what it does and for sustenance? Of course it would. Just as the thumb is dependent on the rest of you, so also is the Word and Wisdom of Allah dependent on Allah. But do you hold the dependence of the Word and Wisdom of Allah to mean that the Word and Wisdom of Allah are not so important? Of course not. Are you aware of the reaction of the Islamic world to a certain Protestant Pastor who burned a copy of the Holy Qur’an in Florida in recent days? The Qur’an, as I understand it, is believed by Muslims to have come directly from the mouth of Allah through the angel to Muhammad. Is it not precious to you, dear Hasan? Yet is it also not subject to Allah from whom it came? Would it not be seen in the Muslim world that defiance to the Qur’an, the word of Allah, is defiance to Allah himself, dear Hasan? Just as the Qur’an is not of lowly status because it is dependant on Allah, so also are the Word and Wisdom of Allah not of lowly status because they are also dependent on Allah.

So, here now, I have shown that the members of the Holy Trinity are not of differing status just because of dependency, and I have also shown that the members of the Holy Trinity are not separate. As your assumptions about the Holy Trinity do not hold, you now must admit that Christians are correct when they describe the Holy Trinity as ONE fork with three prongs, as ONE triangle with three corners, as ONE man with three roles (employee, parent, spouce), as ONE clover with three petals, and as ONE element (water) with three forms (ice, liquid, gas). You must admit that the Holy Trinity is not in contradiction to the OT sentence: “Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our God is One God!” You must admit that the Holy Bible did not evolve because there is no contradiction present in it on this topic. You must admit that the Catholic Church is correct in its teaching on the Holy Trinity because Jesus did not lie.

God bless you, Hasan,

Jack Catholic

 
There was another post exchange between Hasan and I elsewhere:
 

You said, "All I am asking is to show me where in the OT God is a Trinity. Where in OT God teaches about Himself to be a Trinity.

Remember, Oneness of God or status of God, as who is He is very important for us to know, it is the first basic knowledge we aught to have about God. So show me where the OT agrees with you on Trinity."

 

My answer:  "Neither the OT nor the NT uses the term "Holy Trinity" to describe Allah, and that is why you do not see it in either.  You are looking for the wrong thing.  The word Holy Trinity was used by the early Church to refer to what the Holy Bible does say about Allah.  You know, Hasan, I really do thank you.  Until discussing the Holy Trinity with you, I just accepted it, knowing the first century Church taught it, and Jesus taught the leaders of the first century Church.  But you have challenged me to look deeply into the issue for the first time.  Now I think my understanding of the Holy Trinity is so solid that I will never doubt it.  I thank Allah for this and for using you to help me learn so solidly the truth about Him.  So here is the truth

 

The modern Church says that the Holy Trinity is the Father (Allah in heaven), the Son (Allah’s word become man), and the Holy Spirit (Allah present in us).  The First century Church described the same thing with different words:  the Father (Allah in heaven), the Son (the Word of Allah in flesh), and the Holy Spirit (the Power of Allah).  So with this definition in its two forms, let us look for evidence of the presence of the three persons of the Holy Trinity in both the NT and the OT.  If the three persons are present, then we have found what the term Holy Trinity was created to describe:

 

 

About Allah as Father, the term Father is used to refer to one who is in charge over others, is charged with the duty to provide for those under his charge, and who creates in the lives of those whom are in his charge.  These qualities are not unlike the Islamic concept of Allah.  The issue seems to be with Jesus as Son (the Word of God) and the Holy Spirit (the power of God present in us).  So let us look first of all at the Jesus present in the OT.

 

Let us begin with the first verses of John’s Gospel, remembering that the NT refers to Jesus as the Light of the World.  John 1:1-5 says, “The Word Became Flesh 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.  Notice the reference to the words of Allah referred to as a “him,” and the connection of “him” to being a light to all mankind (which means over all the earth for all time).  Let us look at the words of Allah in the book of Genesis, the very beginning (I have removed the verses that do not pertain to our discussion here).  Notice about the Words of Allah.  All that Allah needed do was speak, and the meaning of those words resulted in action:

 

 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

 6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.

 9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.

 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.

 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.

 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.

 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

 27 So God created mankind in his own image,
   in the image of God he created them;
   male and female he created them.

 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
    29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
 

 

 

So, now, if you were to read the whole of the OT and make a list of all the Words quoted from the mouth of Allah, you would find that the instructions contained therein actually are the very things that Jesus accomplished with the actions of His life.  The exercise of reading the whole OT, listing the quoted words of Allah, and comparing them to the accomplishments in detail of Jesus life and teachings in the NT would be quite an exercise for this string of posts.   But if you are interested, you may do so (remembering as Christians believe that Jesus is not man made God, but rather, as Christians believe, is God made man) and I’m sure that your eyes will see things in a whole new way.  I believe you will see, as I have seen, that indeed Jesus is Allah’s words in action, no more, no less.

 

One More thing, if you study Jesus’ life, you will find that his life is a living example of the number one commandment of Allah, which is in both the OT and NT, which is to love Allah with all our hearts, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

About the Holy Spirit, Christians recognize the Holy Spirit as the power of Allah present in each of us, including in you, dear Hasan.  All I have to do to show the Holy Spirit as real and as present in the OT to prove my case.  Below is some commentary (followed by the verses quoted) that show the Power of Allah at work amongst His people, the Isrealites:                                                                                                                                

 

OT spirit of God (from Carelinks Ministries on the internet)

 

 David asked God to continue to uphold him with his spirit, i.e. to preserve his life (Ps. 51:12).

 

We have “the breath of the spirit of life” within us (Gen. 7:22 A.V. mg.) given to us by God at birth (Ps. 104:30; Gen. 2:7). This makes Him “the God of the spirits of all flesh” (Num. 27:16 cf. Heb. 12:9). Because God is the life force which sustains all creation, His spirit is present everywhere. David recognised that through His spirit God was constantly present with him wherever he went, and through that spirit/power He was able to know every corner of David’s mind and thinking. Thus God’s spirit is the means by which He is present everywhere, although He personally is located in heaven.

 

An understanding of the true God and His very real presence all around us by His spirit can totally change our concept of life. We are surrounded by the spirit, constantly witnessing its actions, which reveal God to us. David found the encouragement of all this absolutely mind-blowing: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it” (Ps. 139:6).

 

 

The expression “Holy Spirit” is present in the Old Testament:

Psalm 51:13 “Cast me not out from your presence, and your holy spirit take not from me,” Isaiah 63: 10,and 11 “But they rebelled, and grieved his holy spirit; Where is he who put his holy spirit in their midst?”  “I will pour out my spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing upon your descendants” (Isaiah 44:3; see also Isaiah 44:5-6).

 

There is a Catholic website that goes into the presence of the Holy Spirit in the OT in great detail:   http://198.62.75.1/www1/ofm/jub/JUBpizz.html, discussing over 20 references and its connection to Christianity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here we have it.  The Holy Trinity, named by the Catholic Church in the second century, is clearly described in the New Testament, and now I have shown that the elements of the Holy Trinity are clearly in the Old Testament.  Thus, if you know what you are looking for, it is not difficult to see plainly that the Holy Trinity is, throughout the history of Allah’s revelation to mankind, consistant.  There is nothing invented by creative scribes or any other human tampering in regards to the Holy Trinity.  Indeed, only revelations from Allah that do not agree with the truth are those contained in the Holy Qur’an, but perhaps this is just that Muhammad did not really know Allah as well as Christians and Jews did...

 

If you have any other questions about the truth known by Christianity, just ask, my friend Hasan.

 

I pray that Allah will bless you always, drawing you closer to His Love and glory all the time,

 

Jack Catholic,
 
 
Indeed, Allah bless all three of you, IslamisPeace, Reepicheep, and Hasan,
 
Jack Catholic


Edited by Jack Catholic - 09 October 2011 at 10:07am
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