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What did Jesus really say?

A book by Dr. Mishaal Abdullah Al-Kadhi

 

1.2.4:  "Worship Me!"

"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46

Mr. J says: "What makes Jesus stand out from all other religious figures is the nature of His claims about Himself. He claims the prerogatives of God, the rightful object of a person's supreme allegiance, and receives with out censure the worship and obedience of those who believe." Let us study the validity of this claim:

 

1.2.4.1  Who can forgive sins?

Islam teaches that a Muslim is rewarded for every single hardship he endures patiently during his lifetime and that each hardship endured patiently is used by God Almighty to erase a previous sin by this individual. Even something so simple as a pin prick is counted to this end. How much greater the reward for a man who endured paralysis. His reward may very likely be the forgiveness of all of his sins. If Christianity believes that forgiving sins is a sign of divinity then what are we to say about the many millions of people in the Christian clergy who over the last 2000 years have publicly accepted people's "confessions" and "forgiven" their sins? Are they all the offspring of God and part of the Trinity? Do they call God on the telephone and ask His permission to forgive each individual or do they have "the power to forgive sins"?

In "The Five Gospels," written by 24 Christian scholars from some of the most prominent US and Canadian Universities around today, we read on page 44:

"Stories of Jesus curing a paralytic are found in all four narrative gospels, The Johannine version (John 5:1-9) differs substantially...The controversy interrupts the story of the cure- which reads smoothly if one omits vv. 5b-10 (Mark 2)- and it is absent in the parallel of John...Scholars usually conclude, on the basis of this evidence, that Mark has inserted the dispute into what was originally a simple healing story...If the words are to be attributed to Jesus, v. 10 may represent a bold new claim on Jesus' part that gives the authority to forgive sins to all human beings...The early church was in the process of claiming for itself the right to forgive sins and so would have been inclined to claim that it's authorization came directly from Jesus."

However, even if we were for a moment to disregard all of the evidence, then we will find that to insist on following Mark 2:1-12 blindly shall result in utter and complete nullification of one of the founding beliefs of Christianity. For the proof of this, please read section 5.16.

We have already spoken in section 1.2.3.2 about the term "Son of God" and it's true meaning as understood by the people of that time. What we want is a claim by Jesus himself where he says "Worship me" just as God Almighty says for instance in Isaiah 66:23

"And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD."

I simply want to know where Jesus (pbuh) does the same.

 

1.2.4.2  Jesus said "I am" so he must be God

Once again, the claim in John 8:56-59 "before Abraham was born, I am" is not the same as "worship me!" The fact that Jesus (pbuh) was present before Abraham (pbuh) is not the same as him saying "worship me!" What then would we say about Solomon (pbuh) (Proverbs 8:22-31) and Melchizedec (Hebrews 7:3), who were supposedly present not only before Abraham (pbuh), but also before all of creation? What about the many others who were either anointed, consecrated or made holy, before their births. (see Ps.89:20, Is. 45:1, 61:1, 1 Sam. 24:6, and Jer.1:5)?

With regard to your comparison of "I am" in the verse of Exodus 3:14 with that of John 8:59, please note that in John 9:9, a beggar who was healed by prophet Jesus used these exact same words used by Jesus ("I am") to refer to himself. We read

"Some said, This is he (the beggar): others [said], He is like him: [but] he said, I am [he]."

John 9:9.

Here we have a very clear statement from the beggar that he was "implying" that he too was God Almighty. Is this not how the "translators" have chosen to translate and "interpret" such verses?. Please note that the word "he" was not uttered by this beggar. What he actually said was "I am." He used the exact same words that Jesus used. Word for word. Does this now make this beggar too the "incarnation" of God? Also notice that when the Jews asked this beggar about the identity of the one who healed him (Jesus) he replied

"And he said, 'He is a prophet.'"

John 9:17

Further, please notice how the "translators" chose to add the word "he" after the beggar's statement, but they did not chose to do so when Jesus said the exact same words.

Do you see how we have once again been reduced to implication?. Notice how since Jesus never once says "I am God!" or "Worship me!" that our own desire for him to actually say that he is God is making us "interpret" every innocent statement he makes to be equivalent to "I am God!"?

Just because the English translation of these verses is performed such that they become the same English words does not mean that the original words are the same. The first is the GREEK word eimi {i-mee'}, while the second is the HEBREW word hayah {haw-yaw}. While both can be translated into English to mean the same thing, they are in actuality two distinctly different words.

The exact same Greek word (eimi {i-mee'}) is translated as "I" in Matthew 26:22:

"And they [the disciples] were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?"

However, if we want to translate this word as "I am" when Jesus says it then we need to be honest and consistent and translate it the exact same way when the disciples say it too. In such a case, Matthew 26:22 would be translated as follows:

"And they [the disciples] were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I am?"

So, if we were to follow these translator's chosen "translation" techniques, shall we now claim that the disciples of Jesus too are God? Here we have them saying so very clearly. We have them asking Jesus in black and white "Are we God?." Is this not what they were "implying?." Should the inspiration of God be reduced to our "implications"?

When the translators have not allowed their preconceived doctrines to color their translation the result has been such faithful translations of John 8:58 as the following:

"'Truly, truly I tell you,' said Jesus, 'I have existed before Abraham was born'"

The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments, Dr. James Moffatt, John 8:58

and "Jesus said to them, 'I tell you, I existed before Abraham was born'"

The Complete Bible, an American Translation, by Edgar Goodspeed and J. M. Powis Smith, John 8:58

In Exodus 3:4, we read that prophet Moses used this exact same term to refer to himself, however, now strangely enough, no one has ever tried to claim that Moses is God or that he was mimicking the words of God found ten verses later in the same book of Exodus. We read:

"And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here I am."

Exodus 3:4

Notice how people are driven in a chosen direction of faith through selective translation? Also remember that Jesus (pbuh) did not speak GREEK. If only the church had not felt it necessary to burn all of the original Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible.

Is it so hard to bring us one clear verse like the above verse of Isaiah 66:23 wherein Jesus (pbuh) also says "worship me!"? Why must we infer? If Jesus is God or the Son of God then this is his right. The Bible should be overflowing with verses where Jesus explicitly commands his followers to worship him, where God explicitly commands mankind to worship his son, where God explicitly threatens those who do not worship His son with brimstone and hellfire, and so forth. The Bible is overflowing with verses like this from God about Himself, and from Jesus (pbuh) about God, but there are none from Jesus (pbuh) about himself. Why is it necessary:

  1. For God Almighty to explicitly command us to worship Him, and
  2. for Jesus to explicitly command us to worship "the Father."

while it is not necessary:

  1. For Jesus (pbuh) to explicitly command us to worship him, or
  2. for God to explicitly command us to worship "the Son"?

Is this not a fair request?

 

1.2.4.3  But people "worshipped" Jesus and he did not object

With regard to John 9:38 "Lord. I believe, and he worshipped him." and Matthew 28:17 "they saw him, they worshipped him." Please note that the word translated as "worshipped" in both verses is the GREEK word "prosekunesan" which is derived from the root word proskuneo {pros-ku-neh'-o}. The literal meaning of this word is (and I quote): "to kiss, like a dog licking his masters hand." This word also has the general meaning of "bow, crouch, crawl, kneel or prostrate." Please check the Strong's concordance for the true meaning of this word. Is the act of kissing someone's hand the same as worshipping him? Once again, selective translation.

However, the above two verses of John and Matthew are not the only two verses of the Bible were such selective translation techniques are employed in order to impress upon the reader a chosen doctrine. For example, in the "Gospel of Matthew" the English "translation" records that Jesus was "worshipped" by Magi that came from the East (2:11); by a ruler (9:18) , by boat people (14:33), by a Canaanite woman (15:24), by the mother of the Zebedees (20:20); and by Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (28:9) to name but a very few.

Since worshipping any one other than God is a fundamental sin, therefore, the reader understands that Jesus was God since he condoned them "worshipping" him. Since Jesus (pbuh) never once in the whole Bible ever told anyone "worship me!" (as God Himself does in many places), therefore, once again, we are told that Jesus was "hinting" that he wants us to worship him. However, as we can plainly see, what the author was in fact saying in these verses is that these people "fell at Jesus' feet," or that these people "knelt before Jesus."

How then shall we interpret their "kneeling down before Jesus."? Should we understand that they were "praying" to him? Far from it! Let us ask the Bible to explain:

"And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, [upon] me [let this] iniquity [be]: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid."

1 Samuel 25:23-24

When Abigail "fell before" king David was she "worshipping" him? Was she "praying" to him? When she addressed him as "my lord," did she mean that he was her God?. Similarly,

"Then she went in, and fell at his (Elisha's) feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out."

2 Kings 4:37

"And his (Joseph's) brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we [be] thy servants."

Genesis 50:18

"And there went over a ferry boat to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was come over Jordan;"

2 Samuel 19:18

"Worship" is one of those English words which carry a double meaning. The one most popular among most people is "to pray to." This is the meaning that immediately springs into everyone's mind when they read this word. However, "worship" has another meaning. It also means "to respect," "to reverence," or "to adore" (see for example Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, tenth edition). The second meaning is used more frequently in England than, for example, in the United States. However, the first remains the most popular and well known meaning in any English speaking country. Even at that, in Britain it is not at all uncommon even in this age to find the British addressing their nobles as "your worship."

What the translators have done when translating these verse is that they have "technically" translated the word correctly, however, the true meaning of this word is now completely lost.

Finally, in order to seal the proof of this matter and to dispel any lingering doubt that may remain in the reader's mind, the reader is encouraged to obtain a copy of the "New English Bible." In it they will find the translations of the quoted verses to read:

  1. "bowed to the ground" (2:11);
  2. "fell at his feet" (14:33);
  3. "falling prostrate before him" (28:9), and
  4. "fell prostrate before him" (28:17)...etc.

Please also read the translation of these verses in "The Complete Bible, an American Translation" By Edward Goodspeed and J. M. Powis Smith where they are once again honestly translated as:

  1. "they threw themselves down and did homage to him" (2:11),
  2. "fell down before him"(14:33),
  3. "and they went up to him and clasped his feed and bowed to the ground before him" (28:9), and
  4. "bowed down before him"(28:17), etc.

Once again, we remember that such sublime manipulation of the translation in order to establish with the reader a chosen doctrine was exposed by God in the noble Qur'an. The Qur'an says:

"There is among them a party who distort the Scripture with their tongues that you might think that it is from the Scripture, when it is not from the Scripture; and they say, 'It is from God,' but it is not from God; and they speak a lie against God, and [well] they know it!"

The Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):78

 

1.2.4.4 But he doesn't need to say it

Mr. J., you say: "Does Jesus say, 'I am God'? No." I am glad we agree. "...because that would have been misunderstood. Jesus is not the Father (as it would have been thought), Jesus is the Son." What?, are you claiming that Jesus is incapable when telling his disciples "worship the Father" to add the words "...and the Son"? Are you claiming that the people he is talking to are incapable of comprehending that one is the father and the other is the son? Would you have us believe that his twelve apostles were so dense that they could not comprehend the difference between a "father" and a "son"? Are there no words in his language to say "I am not God but His son, worship both of us"? When you claim that Jesus (pbuh) died on the cross, do you misunderstand this to mean that God the "Father" is the one who died on the cross? When you claim that Jesus was "begotten" by God, do you misunderstand this to mean that Jesus begat the Father? Are Jesus' twelve hand-picked apostles truly in you estimation so backward and dense? This is not how Muslims regard them.

With regard to the miracles of Jesus being proof of his Godhead please read my comments about other prophets and their miracles (Section 2.2.3).

What you appear to be trying to say is that the fact that Jesus never told anyone to worship him nor claimed to be God but left it up to them to surmise by themselves is proof that he wanted them to worship him? God must command us to worship him, and Jesus must command us to worship God, but Jesus (pbuh) receives worship "without censure" without asking for it? Why then is the same not true for God Himself? Why did God Himself not simply remain quiet (like Jesus) and expect us to "gather" and "observe" that He wishes us to worship Him. Why does God Himself not receive "without censure" worship until He asks for it? Why?

With regard to the opening verses of John, they have already been dealt with in detail.

Jesus (pbuh) never in his lifetime told anyone to worship him. It was others who did that. Quite the contrary, whenever Jesus (pbuh) spoke of worship, he always attributed it to God and never himself: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" Luke 4:8. Notice the words: "Him ONLY." Jesus did not say "US only," or "Him and I only." How could he possibly make it more clear than that? What abstract meaning are we now going to concoct for this verse to show that what Jesus "really" meant was "worship BOTH of us"?

The problem with many apologists is that they "interpret" the words "he" and "him" to mean "we" and "us" when it suits them, and to mean "he" and "him" only when it suits them. In cases such as Luke 4:8, they claim that "him" really means "us." But in cases where God "begets" Jesus, or where God "sacrifices" Jesus, "him" and "he" is God alone and does not mean "us" and "we." Notice the trend ?

But there is more:

  1. "Jesus saith unto her, ... worship the Father" John 4:2.
  2. "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship HIM" John 4:23. Notice: "worship the FATHER," not "worship the Father AND THE SON." Also notice: "worship HIM" not "worship US" or "worship ME."
  3. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21.
  4. "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Matthew 22:37.

Strangely enough, even though Jesus is regarded as the "incarnation" of God, and wholly equal to God in every respect, and all three are "one" God, still, no one has ever gone on and attempted to explain if this is so why Jesus would then need to pray, let alone to his own self:

  1. "And he (Jesus) went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will but as thou [wilt]." Matthew 26:39
  2. "He (Jesus) went away again the second time, and prayed (to another side of his 'triune' self?), saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." Matthew 26:42
  3. "And he (Jesus) left them, and went away again, and prayed (to whom? To himself?) the third time, saying the same words." Matthew 26:44
  4. "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Mark 1:35
  5. "And he (Jesus) went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him." Mark 14:35
  6. "And again he (Jesus) went away, and prayed, and spake the same words." Mark 14:39
  7. "And he (Jesus) withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed." Luke 5:16
  8. "And he (Jesus) was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed," Luke 22:41

etc.

If Jesus (pbuh) "is" God, and if both are different names for one "triune" God, and if all three "persons" are "co-equal, co-eternal, and consubstantial," then is Jesus praying to himself? Is he praying to another side of his own personality? Is he praying to his own essence? Why? Why does the "incarnation" of God need to pray, beseech, sweat, and plead with his own essence? If I have both a father and a number of sons, then can my "fatherly" nature plead with my "sonly" nature to save it from danger? Why? For what purpose?

"Many will say to me (Jesus) in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

Matthew 7:22

To read the rest of this book, please visit: Page 5

To go back to the Table of Contents of this book, please visit: What did Jesus really say?

 

 

 

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