Kingdom of Heaven for Arabs

Trinity or Tri-unity or christian God loves Palestinian people

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Trinity in Christianity


The author: Father Zakaria Boutros

The publisher:

+ Announcer : My dear viewers, we welcome you to the program “Questions about faith”.

It’s an honor and a privilege to have with us the Priest Zakaria Botros to answer all your questions.

My dear viewers , I would like to introduce myself first. My name is Nahed Mahmoud Metwally. I used to work as a principal of a secondary school in Cairo, and on 7th  of January 1988 I encountered the Lord of glory and he revealed himself to me and by the grace of God I converted to the Christian faith and started to believe in the Lord Jesus as Lord, God and Savior.

Certainly this wasn’t easy at all, many problems followed suit; I had to leave my country, I had to leave my family and  my children in order to follow Christ and by the grace of God since 1988 until today I have been serving the Lord.

Welcome to you Father Zakaria.

Father Zakaria is well known. He has been serving the Lord for 45 years, may the Lord grant you a long life in order to serve him and his name.

Father, we have  received many questions from our brothers who come from Muslim back ground. Their question:

Why complicate Christianity by such a term as “trinity”? Why don’t you say that God is simply one and that’s it? As a matter of fact this question has been asked by many people and we would like your holiness to respond to it.

+ Father : Many people all over the place ask us about this truth. This issue has a lot to do with Islamic theology.

How can God be three yet one at the same time?!

We definitely love our Muslim brothers and sisters just as much as we love our fellow Christians. Therefore we only try to explain faith to them and what we believe so that our Muslim brother would know that we are not infidels or that we believe in many gods, but how come that we believe in one God yet this God is trinity, I would love to respond to this question that has been put forward.

The brother says the trinity is complicated yet the trinity is not complicated at all, why don’t we say that God is one and never mind about this complicated concept of trinity which is very hard to grasp.

I’d like to tell you something very important which I’d like to tell to everybody who is watching us now.

I hope that you will be able to realize why we say so and the Bible said so, there is an essential truth which we must intuitively understand. When you have little children and you want to explain to them a scientific truth the little child is unable to grasp it. His comprehension is still simple so we try to simplify the issue to him. For example if I want to tell a little child that I love him so much I can’t say to him, for example, I have a deeply-seated emotion to you but to a little child I can say, “I love you this much,” the child will be happy because he understood it, some would even say I love u as much as this big room, so now he got the idea when we simplified the truth. When a person grows up his mind reaches a certain level of maturity, to such a person, a university graduate for example, you cannot say I love you this much, you’d be mocking his intelligence, such a person would like to know what you mean by I love you, would like to know your motivations, how you love him & when he does, do we ask him why complicate things?! Why not simply say I love you?! there’s no complication at all we are simply examining the essence of the statement. The same thing applies exactly to the understanding of the things of God. When humanity was at a childhood stage intellectually, God had to communicate his truth in a simplified form, God fills the earth and that’s it.

+ Announcer : Could you explain to us father what you mean by this simplification?

+ Father : Yes, for example that God is one, he fills the universe, he fills heaven and earth, when humanity was at the stage of childhood they accepted this truth that God is one and that he has no associates, when mankind started to grow up culturally, intellectually and scientifically, logically they wanted to examine the statement that God is one, what does it mean? What does God mean? Who is God? Is he simply like us? Is he intelligent? Is he alive or is he just a concept? So many questions and we have to answer them and then the biblical revelation came to mankind at a stage of human maturity and started to explain who God is!! started to respond to those questions just the same as you have just asked me and just as our beloved spectators are eager to know, such questions require intellectual, logical answers, but more importantly spiritual answers, therefore the Bible started to explain the fact that mankind were at a stage of childhood and after a while started to grow up, this specific fact is actually spoken about in the Bible. Paul says in the first Corinthians chapter 3 and verses 1&2 “And I brethren (this is the apostle Paul speaking) And I brethren could not speak to you as to spiritual people (that means mature, spiritually mature) but as to carnal (what does that means? Let’s complete the verse) as to babes in Christ (I could only talk to you simply) I fed you with milk, and not with solid food (because a baby drinks milk, it would be insane to try to feed a little baby piece of solid meat for example it you try and do that you are gonna lose the baby, but when the baby grows up then we could give him solid food) therefore the apostle Paul says I fed you with milk and not with solid food for until now you were not able to receive it.”

It was impossible, therefore he had to simplify things, therefore we say that God is one but we say that he is a trinity-a triunity- and this is not a complex.

+ Announcer : Please, Father, we’d like you to explain a little bit more about the trinity because it’s a great obstacle which many Muslims have to encounter. What they understand is that we Christians worship three gods, and we would like you to explain the trinity in a simple way so the people could accept and receive it.

+ Father : May I  point something out before I speak about the trinity?

+ Announcer : please, go ahead.

+ Father : This point is do we really believe in three gods or not?!

+ Announcer : You are right this is a good question.

+ Father : If I venture out and talk about the trinity right away, people may still have this question in their minds.

+ Announcer : You are exactly right.

+ Father : What we are going to explain now is that Christianity believes that we worship one God who has no associates with him. There can not be 2 or 3 gods because God is essentially unlimited, infinite, if God as a concept must be necessarily infinite how can we have another God who must also be infinite and how can there be a 3rd infinite God, God being infinite fills the whole universe, if so, then there is no place for another God with him. This is our doctrine and the Bible explains this, that we believe in one God, the Lord Jesus in the new testament as will as the old testament have explained that point that we believe in one God,

+ Announcer : Oh yes father

+ Father : shall we read some portions from the scripture to explain this to the spectators.

+ Announcer : Many times we are challenged to proof from the Bible that God is one, we need scriptures from the New Testament to prove the unity of God.

+ Father : In the gospel of saint Mark chapter 12 and verse 29 someone came to ask the Lord Jesus and the question was: What is the greatest commandment in the Old Testament? What’s the greatest commandment? “Jesus answered him,” The Bible says, “Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with your entire mind, and with all your strength”

This is the first commandment.” So the Lord Jesus reiterated the old testament teaching which is in Deuteronomy chapter 6 verses 4 to 9. He repeated the verses for Patten the Lord our God, the Lord is one, the same thing has been reiterated by the apostles. The apostle Paul said in epistle to the Romans chapter 3 verse 29, “Since there is one God.” The apostle James said exactly the same in chapter 2 verse 19, “You believe that there is one God, you do well.”

+ Announcer : As a matter of fact this is a very important point.

+ Father : Oh yes this is what we keep saying this is what we keep repeating in our creed. The creed says, “We truly believe in one God, creator of heaven and earth, that which visible and that which is invisible.” Hence Christianity believes in only one God and Islam itself bares witness and testifies that we do believe so.

+ Announcer : But as a matter of fact, Holy Father, our beloved Muslim friends keep saying to us, “You worship three gods.” We are accused everywhere that we worship 3 gods; that’s why we need to emphasize this point that we worship only one God.

+ Father : We certainly believe in one God but let’s go back to your question the issue of the three gods – I have not forgotten.

+ Announcer : go ahead

+ Father :What is this business with the trinity, isn’t that your question?

+ Announcer : Namely that does Christianity believe that, there is only one God with no associates?

+ Father : This is true and we have covered this question.

+ Announcer : Isn’t the doctrine of the trinity a type of infidelity and association of other gods with the one true God, shall we tackle the question bit by bit or shall I keep going.

+ Father : No no keep going.

+ Announcer : Ok and who claimed or said that God is a trinity and what is the concept of trinity in Christianity?

+ Father : This is a very good and integral question.

+ Announcer : Shall we tackle the first part then?

+ Father : Ok, let’s begin at 3 gods, we don’t believe in 3 gods as I have explained before in the pervious question. We believe in only one God no associates. This business of 3 gods has never occurred in Christianity. It could be that our beloved Muslims misinterpreted the word trinity and understood it as 3 gods and this led us to the second part of the question: what is the concept of trinity in Christianity? Where does this come from & who’s the first person who said that?, The first person to tell us about this, is the Lord Jesus himself in the gospel according to Matthew chapter 28 verse 19 he says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” He said in the name, that in the singular, he did not say in the names. Had they been three different beings, Jesus would have said, “In the names,” but because they are one, he could only say in the singular, “In the name.” In the epistle of saint John, it also says that “Witnesses in heaven are three, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.” How come then?

+ Announcer : Oh yes, I was about to ask you the same question: how come?

+ Father : What is the concept  you just asked about now

+ Announcer : This is it certainly

+ Father : what’s the concept of the trinity how can it be, what is the trinity and how can they be one, right? Ok. This is a very important part and I believe that’s what makes our Muslim brothers and sisters, they cannot swallow or buy into this concept, but it’s really a simple thing. There is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and of course the first thing that I want to emphasize to our Muslim brothers is that when I say this I don’t mean at all any sexual or physical or identical relationship at all. It is a well known fact in all languages and specifically in Arabic that there are two types or two styles of talking, either literal or rhetorical or figurative that would carry other meaning So let’s start with the word Father and Son. If we are talking literally then there is a man who married a woman and gave birth to a son, but we are not talking literally and this is not what we mean by it. Even the Quran itself says so. The Quran says that it’s impossible for God to have a child or to have a wife or a consort. We never say that God, may he be exalted, has married and had a child this is not what we say ok then where did the Quran get this from, I will tell you, there was a heresy in the 5th century before Islam because Islam emerged in the 7th century. A heresy means a strange teaching, unbiblical teaching and that heresy was called Mariamite heresy those Mariamites worshiped idols and they had unbiblical trinity like Isis, Osiris and Horus. Osiris was god of goodness, Isis was his wife; they married and they had a child whom they called Horus and we know that the ancient Egyptians believed in such a trinity. There were other people like ancient Egyptians who believed in similar things; they worshiped the goddess of heaven but when they came to know about Christianity they applied the one false trinity to the true one they said, “Well this is very simple we already believe that heaven is a goddess. Ok then, Mary must be a goddess and then God must have married Mary and gave birth to Jesus this is the Mariamites heresy but Christianity fought against such heresy and banned it. And when Islam emerged there will still pockets of those heretics who believed in such things. Islam in turn fought against those people not against Christianity & I shall place those who follow you ahead – or literally above – those who disbelieve.” So we are not the same as those who disbelieve.

Our beloved Muslims also have a verse in Quran that says, “You will find the most violently hostile people towards those who believe are the Jews and those who associate others with God, then those are the most hostile, while you will find the most affectionate of them towards those who believe are those who say we are Christians, that is because some of them are priests and monks they don’t behave so proudly.” Had the Christians been among those who associate others with God, then they would have been also among those who are most violently hostile. But it says that you will find the most violently hostile people towards those who believe are the Jews and those who associate others with God, and on the other hand you will find among the most affectionate of then the Christians. The Quran says “Don’t argue with the people of the book unless it’s in the politest manner. Say, ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us and in what has been sent down to you; our God and your God is the same one.”

+ Announcer : Please, Father, we still need more explanations on the topic of the trinity, because I still see that that topic is a bit difficult still.

+ Father : Certainly it is but I am not done yet. It is just going bit by bit. So now we come to the trinity.

The triunity. There is a very simple comparison it’s really easy to understand if one tries to understand it. But you know what the problem, is when ever I talk to a beloved Muslim man or woman he stops his ears – why is that ? – because he’s already prejudiced against me that I am an infidel, I associate with God, he does not want to lend me his ears for fear that he should adopt my infidelity.

This is very true, he is ready to run his mouth and interrupt you but he is not ready to listen and understand for fear that he should be persuaded. This is honestly what we face, but it is a really simple issue. The Bible said that God created man in his likeness and in his image, but we know that God doesn’t have a physical image; he has no nose & no ears. What then did God mean by that? He meant that man has an intellect speech and a spirit, this is the trinity.

Intellect, speech and spirit. Man also has a body a physical being that  has an intellect with which he thinks and he has a spirit by which he lives. So the same one man has the three. I can not then say Nahed is three. Nahed is one but she has a physical existence and thinking mind, a mind by which she thinks and asks questions, and a spirit by which she lives. This living being must have an existence and must be intelligent and must be living. This is exactly the same with God. When we maturely think about God, we understand that God has existence we  can’t simply believe that he is a mere idea; he must have an existence he is not just an abstract idea like peace. You can’t go to peace and shake hands with it, you cannot. Is God a mere idea like peace? No God has true existence, he’s a living being; he fills heaven and earth and this existence is what we call the Father because the Father is the source of existence. This is exactly what I told you before that I am not talking literally but rhetorically that has a spiritual meaning. When we are talking about the Father, we mean by it the source of existence. He is the self-existent and he is the source of existence just the same as the father of the house is the source of existence of the family, we just took on the simile or the likeness and we call God the Father in his capacity as the source of existence. God must also be intelligent, otherwise how could he have created intelligent beings like mankind? And in talking about the intellect, we use the metaphorically language and we call it the Son. How come we use such a term? If one sits still and doesn’t talk could any one else know or tell if he is intelligent or insane, but once he talks people could tell if he’s sane or insane. And we know that the word expresses the mind the intellect, the word reveals the mind and talking metaphorically we call the word in Arabic the daughter of the lip and we say in Arabic he has not uttered a daughter of a lip meaning a word. This is blasphemous, daughter of a lip does that mean that the upper lip married the lower lip and they gave birth to a word? Of course not this is a simile. We say about some body he is a lion. This person can’t sue me for a libel and say that I cursed him. Did I mean that he is an animal? a ferocious animal and that he has four legs this is nonsense, but am using it as a figure of speech when I say about someone that he’s a lion, I mean is courageous. In the same way when we say a daughter of a lip we mean the word that issues from the lip. And in the same way also when we say that the intellect is the son of existence it means that the intellect issues out of the existence. And this is what we mean by the word son in the trinity, and I don’t think that we don’t have any problem with the Holy Spirit, spirit is the spirit of life and it’s quiet plain, God lives through his spirit.

+ Announcer : I have just remembered a very important question right now, some beloved Muslims also say, “You Christians say that Jesus is the intellect or the mind of God and that Jesus was incarnated. Does this mean that God was without mind or intellect.?” They ask this question frequently.

+ Father : This is an essential question: God is immaterial, he doesn’t have a physical body he is infinite, he is a spirit who fills all existence. If God exists in a certain realm this doesn’t mean that he can’t exist in another realm

+ Announcer : Can you please explain more?

+ Father : Surely, but that  will take us out of the topic of trinity and we will end up talking about incarnation. But we will still need to  touch on it a little bit. Muslims believe that in the 3rd part of the night God descends to the lower heaven. He descends to the lower heaven. Ok, who is in the higher heaven then? Do you see what I mean? If you take it literally it would not work?

Another example the Quran says about God, “The mercy-giving who is seated on the throne.” Seated means sitting, so he is sitting on the chair. The great God sits on a chair, so what’s this chair made of? wood or steel or aluminum or what? Or how big is it? It must be infinite. But this is not the way Muslims understand it. Seated on the throne means that he reigns; that he is in control. So I should not understand the word literally but should know the meaning behind it.

If we take it literally this would necessarily mean that God is not in other places when he is seated on the throne. God’s existence in a specific place doesn’t preclude his existence in all places at the same time. One more thing, in sura 24 in the Quran in verse 35 it says, “God is the light of heaven and earth he’s light may be compared to a niche, a niche means a hole on a lamp in which there’s a lamp. The lamp is in a glass, the lamp like this the glass above it did it prevent the light? No,  the light is just as of it where a glittering star.” So has the light was not prevented from radiating? No, it glittered and that even more beautiful . So when we say that God is the light of heaven and earth or that he has light and that his light can be compared to a niche in which there’s a lamp and the lamp is in a glass and the glass is just as if it where a glittering star, we can’t mean by that God or the light has been limited. No no no  through the glass he could penetrate every where. So God’s existence in human body did not limit him. This is the 2nd part. I can’t say that God’s mind was separated from God and resided in Christ. Man’s mind, as we said, can’t be separated from his words.

+ Announcer : Sure. Because there isn’t  much time remaining in the program & there’re still so  many questions require a clarification in order to get these truth closer to our beloved Muslims to give them the milk that Paul talked about that’s give them simple food.

+ Father : Again we must also stand on a common ground. We should meet on a common ground. The Quran says, “Your God and our God is the same one” And this is our common ground

+ Announcer : We thank you, Father, and Lord’s willing in other episodes there will be more chances of explanation.

My dear viewers, it’s our pleasure to respond to all your questions, please send us your questions and everything that comes to your mind. We will pay attention to whatever you ask us. In a while you will see an address if you want a Bible you can contact us at this address. Thank you till we meet again

+ Father : Thank you.

+ Announcer : My dear viewers, welcome once again to our program “Questions about Faith.” It’s our pleasure to have Father Zakaria Botros once again to answer your questions. Last time we talked about the doctrine of the trinity and today Father Zakaria will be continuing to answer you questions.

The question for today is as follows: Can Christianity get rid of the doctrine of the trinity or is it an essential doctrine? Go  ahead.

+ Father : As a continuation to our previous discussion, we said last time we need to be looking for a common ground. So our pursuit after common ground can’t we just get rid of this doctrine of the trinity? This question may occur to one’s mind. It’s rather a good question. Let’s talk about it. What is it about the trinity that we are going to give up or get rid of? When talking about the trinity, we mentioned before that it has to do with God’s existence. God has true existence. Can God get rid of it? We also said this existing God is intelligent. Can we get rid of the intellect part can God exist without intellect this is impossible so then God who’s existent and intellectual must necessarily be living. He must have a Spirit he must have life. Therefore he created living beings. So, can he give up the Spirit? Never! Ok then, when we say that God is triune, he is one in three hypostases, how can I get rid of one of them? Can he get rid of the intellect, the existence, the spirit, triune or  trinity comes from the same rules as triangle, When we talk about a triangle we mean a geometrical shape that has 3 sides. Inside this triangle we have one area that is surrounded by 3 sides. Can you still have a triangle and yet get rid of on of the sides? It will cease to be a triangle. Supposing this is a piece of land if you get rid of one side then the piece of land will be open. So when we say that a piece of land is triangular, it means you can’t get rid of any of its sides.

God is one, living, intelligent, existent. Which part shall I give up so that we should all come closer and stand on common ground? It is simply inconceivable.

+ Announcer : Our beloved Muslim friends say there is only God and no more, God is one, and there is no other God but him. He has no associates. So when we come and say to them God is three in one

+ Father : Let me correct you here, he is triune, it’s a trinity not three in one.

+ Announcer : That’s right. Can we still explain it a bit more?

+ Father : Ok, we can talk from the Quran itself. We proved it from the Bible. When the Bible said, “Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” also, “The witnesses in heaven are three the Father – who is the existence – and the Word – which is the intellect – and the Spirit – which is life. “But if I quote the Bible to a Muslim, he may say don’t quote the Bible; it’s all corrupted. You have fabricated the whole thing. So when I come and talk with my Muslim brother I say to him let’s open the Quran and see if this is in the Quran or not. Because he believes in the Quran so when I talk to him from the Quran, this would be more convincing to him. But sometimes he asks me a question, “Do you believe in the Quran that you might quote the Quran.

+ Announcer : Exactly, Father, I almost asked you the same question.

+ Father : Of course if I believe in the Quran, the situation would have been different instead of my black gown I would be wearing a white one. What I want to say is: it is not necessary to believe something in order to be able to quote it. Suppose I am trying to explain something to a Marxist. If I talk to him out of a capitalistic viewpoint he will say what you are telling me is false. But if I quote Marxist authors, I quote from Karl Marx and say Karl Marx said such and such and this proves my point, then he can’t argue back. What I want to say is that I’m gonna quote Quranic verses simply because my Muslim brother believes in the Quran.

Then he will see for himself that the Quran talks about the trinity exactly the same way we believe it to be. Can you believe that the Quran itself believes in the trinity the same way we do? The Muslim may ask me, “Where is that.” This is nonsense.

+ Announcer : Father, when you talk please mention the whole reference, the sura and the verse number because I would love that my Muslim brothers and sisters would refer to those verses and also refer to the Muslim exegetes and commentators.

+ Father : The most important verse in the Quran that talks about the trinity is sura 4 titled women verse 171, sura 4 verse 171 it says, “Christ Jesus the son of Mary, was merely God’s messenger and his word which he cast into Mary and a spirit proceeding from him”.

Muslims stop at a messenger of God and say yes you see he’s only messenger, I say ok I agree with you, we do believe also that Christ is a messenger of God he have been sent with a message from God and he is a prophet because he also prophesied about future events. He is also a priest who offered the sacrifice of him self for us.

+ Announcer : That doesn’t negate the fact that he is the son of God and which means that he is God incarnate.

+ Father : The epithet whatever it is doesn’t concern me at all. What I believe about Christ is that he is God, who had a natural physical body yet without sin. This body he took from saint Mary. His body was just as much as normal body as what you have or I have, but he did not receive this body through the intervention of a father.

+ Announcer : Muslims also believe the same thing and it occurs in the Quran and there is no dispute about it.

+ Father : The Quran also says, “We sent her our spirit – or blew our spirit on her – who presented himself to her as a full grown human being.” So he was a normal man yet sinless and the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in him. So Christ had a body yet God dwelled in him and manifested himself through him. This is a big topic and it requires another time, where we can talk about how God manifested himself to Moses on the mountain etc.

But what I want to mention her is this verse from Women 171. I want to finish what I started saying about it? The first part said that Christ son of Mary is the messenger of God. Ok lets put this a side we have no problem with that, let’s talk about God this verse doesn’t say that Christ is God. What I want to say here is that at this verse proves the existence of God and that Christ is merely his messenger, all right? This God has a word because it says “and his word” or “a word from him”, when the Arabic says kalimatuhu, the “hu” at the end means His, what does it refer to? Of course to God; it is the singular pronoun indicating the third person, and in Arabic it has to refer to the closest noun which is God in this case. So he is the messenger of God and the word of God. This is exactly what we say that Christ is the word of God “and a spirit from him” or “preceding from him“ the same “h” in minhu which means of him is a third person singular pronoun and it’s also masculine, and it must refer to God. So God has both a spirit and a ward, isn’t that the same trinity that we believe in?

+ Announcer : But here is a little question, Father. Many of our Muslim brothers say, “All of us have a spirit of God within us, the source of our being, because when God created Adam, God blew his spirit or breathed his spirit into Adam. Therefore all of us have the spirit of God. We would like to understand the difference.

+ Father : The Bible says that God breathed into Adam a breath of life, that is human spirit. Because when God breathed his Spirit into Adam or a breath of life into Adam, Adam became a living soul, a living being, this is the human being but the divine Spirit is something else; it’s the Spirit of God, it’s not a breath of life from God.

+ Announcer : This mean that all of us have a breath of life from God, but the spirit of God is something totally different. I wish that everyone understand it & grasp.

+ Father : So in this Quranic verse in women 171 we see the Godhead, we see the word of God, and the Spirit of God. Ok this is what the Muslims say. There are some other beautiful testimonies about the trinity in this sense.

Dr Shaqanqeery, his full name is Mohamed al Shaqanqeery is a professor of Islamic law in the University of Paris he was also a professor in the faculty of law in Ain Shams, Cairo. He wrote in El Ahram newspaper on the 26th of May, 1985, he wrote that article originally in Paris and it was translated by another professor, by a prof. Dr. Mohamed Badr, professor of historical Law or the history of law in Ain Shams University. What did he say in his article? We know that the Quran says about Jesus that he is the word of God and his Spirit. Again we know that the Quran said about Jesus that he’s the word and the spirit of God. This is the same verse sura 4 verse 171, the translation of this nomenclature is not difficult for a Christian to understand. It’s not difficult for the Christian he knows that Christ is the word of God and his spirit, he accept it, Therefore Muslims objected, Muslims how come?

+ Announcer : Isn’t that strange!

+ Father : because such a concept would lead them to confess  the divinity of Christ. He goes on to explain himself. He poses another question: what is Christ? He answers Muslims answer that he’s the word of God and that he’s the spirit of God according to the Quran. If you ask a Muslim what is Christ he’ll say he is the word of God  & the spirit of God, right?  But this word and this spirit, are they created or uncreated – such a beautiful question: is the word of God created or not, the spirit of God created or not.

Do you see how intelligent this man is? We want people to think like that in order to reach the truth. Descartes says, “I think, I doubt, I think and therefore I exist.” If he doesn’t doubt, and if he doesn’t think, then he is non-existent, he’s as good as not being there at all. Many people don’t want to think, they do not want to question, and they just take it for granted that they are been told the truth.

+ Announcer : This is how all the people receive their tradition,

+ Father : This is not the way people in the 20th century should think. Let’s go back to El Shaqanqeery. Is this word and is this spirit created or uncreated. If the spirit of God is uncreated, then there is no problem. no problem.

+ Announcer : How come?

+ Father : Well we say that God has existence, that he has spirit. Has God created this spirit or had it always been there with him?

+ Announcer : For sure it had always been there with him.

+ Father : If we say that the spirit of God is not created then there is no problem, then the spirit of God is not created it’s eternal like God El Shaqanqeery is right in this truth that’s So far so good. Very simple logic. This is the bomb then: Christ is therefore – God – because he is the spirit of God by the testimony of the Quran.

+ Announcer : truly this milk, but all nutrition.

+ Father : the spirit of God is it created or not, if we say he’s not created then there is no problem, and then Christ is God. We are not talking here about the physical body; we are talking about the Holy Spirit who dwels in Christ and who has manifested in him. Because we say, “Great is the mystery of righteousness; God was incarnated in the flesh.” God was manifested in the flesh. So Al Shaqanqeery says that Christ is the spirit of God according to this verse in the Quran sura 4 verse 171 this spirit is either created or it’s not created. If not created, then the spirit must be God and Christ therefor must be God, but if the spirit of God is created, but the spirit of God recreated it’s easier to say it is created. If the Spirit of God is created, then the Spirit of God and the word of God are created or have been created. Then before creating his word and before creating his spirit, God had neither intellect nor Spirit, which is inconceivable.

+ Announcer : Certainly.

+ Father : Impossible. Shall I summarize this again.

+ Announcer : Yes.

+ Father : Sura Women, which is sura no. 4 says that Christ is the word of God and the spirit of God, Sura 4 verse 171. The spirit and the word which are epithets of Christ, have they been created or not. If we say they have not been created then Christ must be God; God was incarnated in flesh and became man. Someone may object and say no no no; they have been created. They have been created? Then before that point of time God had no mind, God had no spirit

+ Announcer : Of course not.

+ Father : and this is inconceivable. This is simple logic. This article has been published in the Egyptian news paper Al Ahraam on 26th of May 1985.

I would like to give another testimony may I?

+ Announcer : Go ahead.

+ Father : Do we have time?

+ Announcer : Yes, sure.

+ Father : Professor Ahmed Abd El Mo`ty Hegazy, a famous author in Egypt, wrote in El Ahram news paper on the 19th of June 2002 that Christianity is a monotheistic religion and that trinity of Christianity does not mean multiplicity or plurality; it doesn’t mean multiple gods or several gods; rather it points to different pictures or images of the same one truth.

+ Announcer : Another time and tell us where was it published.

+ Father : In El Ahram news paper on the 19th of June 2002. The article is quiet recent, written by Ahmed Abd El Mo`ty Hegazy the famous author. Again it says that Christianity is a monotheistic religion and trinity in it does not mean multiplicity or plurality of Gods; but rather points to the different aspects of the same one truth, he will still continue and in that sense it’s close to the Muslim conception of the oneness of the Godhead الذات الإلهية and the multiplicity of its personal attributes, because the attributes are essential to the Godhead as the Mutazalites  المعتزلة claim.

+ Announcer : This needs a lot of clarification.

+ Father : Such people as this professor do think, and they reach conclusions.

+ Announcer : Let’s simplify.

+ Father : Christianity is a monotheistic religion, which means that Christians believe in one God, what about the trinity then he said that trinity does not mean multiplicity of God, there aren’t several gods. What does it mean then?!, He said it points to different aspects of the same one truth. One truth may be viewed from different aspects or view points and in that sense Christianity is very similar to the Muslim belief about the oneness of Godhead with several personal attributes. What are those personal attributes according to Monotheology, which is called in Arabic Kalaam   علم الكلام. Which called response to theology in Christianity  Muslims believe that God is one, but he has personal attributes. There are other attributes that are more like actions such as being powerful, able to do things. All these things that he does, not attributes. And there are other general attributes.

+ Announcer : But these here are personal, he is talking about personal attributes that have to do with the Godhead.

+ Father : personal attributes that have to do with the Godhead. Without which the Godhead does not exist. What are they? What are those attributes? The first one is existence. If one claims that God doesn’t exist then we are not talking about God, then we are totally out of line. So existence has to do with God as an intrinsic attribute of his Godhead, and it does not involve someone else. He does not need someone else outside him to exist. The second attribute is omniscience or knowledge. God is omniscience; he knows everything he knows himself; he knows the world that he had created; he knows what is going to happen in the future. So God knows himself. It’s a personal attributes and doesn’t involve the impartation of this knowledge to someone else. The 3rd attribute is that he is living; he is the living and the self existent; he can’t be dead. So according to the science of Tawheed   التوحيد or kalaam, which means theology, God is one but he has 3 personal attributes: existence, knowledge, and life. Who said so! Ahmed Abd El Mo`ty Hegazy. In El Ahram news paper on the 19th of June 2002.

+ Announcer : It’s very recent then.

+ Father : Very recent. So then, we believe in one God. We are not infidels; this has to do with the Godhead and the different attributes or the several attributes of that Godhead.

+ Announcer : Now we come to the last question in this episode. Don’t you see that what you say is blasphemous and leads to association of others with God? And then you still claim that you are monotheists?

+ Father : We are not associators (moshriks) because Islam testifies that we are not. How is that? In sura 29 verse 46, it says, “Do not argue with the people of the book unless it is in the politest manner. Say, ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us and what has been sent down to you. Our God and your God is the same one.’” It says, “The same one.”

+ Announcer : But, Father, our beloved Muslims take other verses from the Quran and say they disbelieve who say

+ Father : That God is a third of three.

+ Announcer : No those who say that Christ is God

+ Father : Christ is God

+ Announcer : third of three is settled, it’s something else

+ Father : This is another thing

+ Announcer : This in sura alma’eda repeated twice

+ Father : Right, I’ll tell you

+ Announcer : Go ahead

+ Father : This statement requires a little understanding. We do not say that the body of Christ is God. We maintain that God manifested himself in the body of Christ. In our Church, we state that his deity was never separated from his humanity- even for a twinkling of an eye. Christ had both divine and human nature in such a way that they were not mixed; they did not merge neither were they altered. Let me give you this final example. If I take a piece of metal and put it in a fire. And we heat it up really well.  What will  happen to the piece of metal? Its color will turn red. It was black then it turns red. What is the nature of this piece of metal now? Or we should rather that it has two united natures. The nature of metal is still there; I can hammer it I can bend it, I can form it but it still has nature of fire, because it is red hot still, and I can use to burn something or someone with it. But neither the metal turned into fire nor the fire into metal; they were neither merged nor mixed up or changed. I can bend it yet I can use it to burn something.

Christ in the same way is the unison between the divinity (the fire) and the humanity (the metal). So Christ still performed divine acts and performed human acts through his humanity; he ate and drank through his body. Is it clear now?

+ Announcer : It is much clear now, but there still a bit of difficulty. Muslims protest to this claim and say how come that God would eat and drink and feel hungry?

+ Father : This is exactly what I meant when I said that through his human nature he performed human acts, but through the divine nature he raised the dead, healed the sick, and did all those miraculous deeds. In the same way that fire can burn, can iron, and the metal be bent and hammered, yet the fire is not affected at all by the hammering and bending.

So Christ has two natures: two united natures in one nature; through his human nature he performed all human acts and through the divine nature he performed all divine acts. The body was not turned into God, and God was not turned into body; it was unison of divinity & humanity

“Great is the mystery of justification: God appeared in the flesh.”

Just as he appeared to Moses in the burning bush, just as he appeared to Moses on the mountain, and we can continue talking about this issue in other episodes.

+ Announcer : We thank you, Father, for the explanations and I hope and pray that the truth was communicated to our beloved Muslims. And we are expecting many more interviews with you. My dear viewers, we welcome your questions. Any question that you address to us will be well attended to, and we will respond to it. We will keep responding until we communicate the truth to you. In a while you’ll see an address. If you need a Bible or any other literature, we will send it free to your address. Thank you, and until another episode.

+ Announcer : My dear viewers, we warmly welcome you again to our program, “Questions about faith.” It’s an honor to have our guest with us today, Father Zakaria Botros. Welcome to you.

+ Father : Thank you.

+ Announcer : In the pervious 2 episodes we spoke about the word trinity and how Christianity believes in one God. And that the trinity is not associating others with God or believing in 3 Gods. We will continue our discussion with reverent Zakaria.  Our question for today is why doesn’t the doctrine of trinity which Christians believe in exist in any other religion. What do you think about that?

+ Father : It is a good question. It’s complementary to the pervious question. I have already explained it, but perhaps there are some viewers was not been following the pervious episodes. So I think it’s ok to explain it again. What’s important to me is man’s happiness wherever he is, as long as he knows the truth, because the Bible says, “You know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This is my concern: that man will know the truth and that he may have a personal faith in something that he is convinced of. Not a faith that imposed  by a remote control. We say that the trinity has already been there in false pagan religions. There was for example the Egyptian trinity made up of Isis, Osiris and Horus. But it’s false trinity; and it is not our trinity.

+ Announcer : Is that the one mentioned in the Quran, or is this different?

+ Father : No, no, I think it is different. We do not believe in such a trinity at all, and I think also in the Quran, our Muslim brothers refer to also a false trinity, as the Quran says that such trinity involves God in a relationship with a wife, so it must be something of that type. It’s a false kind of trinity. We have already spoken about the Mariamite heresy, which used to believe in the Goddess of heaven, and they said that God married the goddess of heaven and gave birth to a child. And this is a false doctrine. So then the idea of trinity has already been there since ancient times; men knew it intuitively. But it could have been handed down from the time of Adam, because Adam could preserve the trinity, perhaps spiritually, and when he fell into sin and was driven out of the garden the idea became confused. And when he handed it down to his offspring, the confusion increased even more, and instead of describing or expressing the true trinity, they started to describe a false one

+ Announcer : They started to describe a false materialistic physical one that has nothing to do with God.

+ Father : And such false trinities started to take on a procreative and physical nature. But Christianity does not believe in that at all.

Christianity says that God is one; he is self-existent, omniscient, and he lives through the spirit. And these are the personal attributes we spoke about last time. This is our trinity and these are the personal attributes of the trinity which must inherently be in the Godhead.

Now, are there any other religious that believe in the trinity? As a matter of fact, Islam believes in the trinity. The Quran itself speaks about the trinity, in the same sense spoken about by Christians.

+ Announcer : But, father, it’s not clear, is it?

+ Father : It is not clear because nobody wants to understand it.

+ Announcer : The doctrine is there, we can’t deny it, but they didn’t reach this truth.

+ Father : It’s there but Muslims just skip the verse

+ Announcer : Exactly.

+ Father : That speak about trinity and they concentrate on the verses.

+ Announcer : That reinforce their own belief.

+ Father : For example Sura 4, verse 171, which we mentioned in the pervious episode, mentions that Jesus Christ is the messenger of God and a Word from him, whom he cast to Mary, and a spirit from him. So they concentrate on only one part of it and say, “You see, Christ is a messenger of God.”

+ Announcer : But they leave out the more important part.

+ Father : They pick and choose. The Quran spoke about our trinity in this verse. Christ is the word of God, his word and his spirit. We have spoken about Al Shakanqeery and about Ahmed Hegazy. What I want to talk about now is how Christ is the word of God? And does the Quran testified the fact that he is the word of God more clearly? And in what manner does the Quran give such testimony? Besides the verse from Sura 4,

+ Announcer : This is 171

+ Father : Verse 171, there is also another verse in Sura 3, verse 39, which it says, “God gives you news of John – this John is the John Baptist,

+ Announcer : This is the angel’s message to Zakaria

+ Father : Gives you news of John – who will confirm word from God (or a word from God).” So John the Baptist was meant to confirm or believe in a word from God. What does that mean?

+ Announcer : This requires a lot of explanation.

+ Father : As you know, we are not allowed to explain or interpret the Quran; we respect the Quran and we respect the ancient exegetes and interpreters, and we have no right to interpret it ourselves. But there are approved exegetes, Islamic exegetes, who have the right. And we quote those people, for example, Imam Abu Al- Sa`udالامام ابو السعود . What did he say? He said, “‘Confirming or to confirm word from God’ means: This word means Jesus, may peace be upon him.”

+ Announcer : Would you please tell us the reference again, Father, so that our beloved Muslims would refer to these books and check it out themselves.

+ Father : We want people to read and understand.

+ Announcer : we want to make it easier to them to refer for the commentaries.

+ Father : This is in the commentary of Abu A-Sa`ud Mohamed ben Mohamed Al-Ammadyابو السعود محمد بن محمد العمادى , page 233. Again he says: “Who will confirm a word from God,” means Jesus, may peace be upon him, because John the Baptist was set to be the first one to believe in him and to confirm that he is a Word from God.

The same commentator quotes an older commentator named Al-Siddi السّدى- this is all in the same reference book. Al-Siddi says that the mother of John met the mother of Jesus. This is also known from the Bible. The mother of John said, “O Mary, have you felt my pregnancy.” Mary said, “I am also pregnant.” – normal talk – Then the mother of John said to the mother of Jesus -and this is the serious part- the mother of John said to the mother of Jesus, “I have found the embryo in my belly worshiping the one in yours.” This is the interpretation or the meaning Who will confirm word from God. Who was in the belly of the mother of John?

+ Announcer : John or yehia يحيى

+ Father : Whom did he worship?

+ Announcer : Jesus the son of Mary who was in her belly. Please, Father, would you repeat this part again the reference and the name?

+ Father : It is the commentary of Abu Al-Sa`ud. His name is Mohamed ben Mohamed Al-Ammady, ابو السعود محمد بن محمد العمادى page 233. The commentator is quoting here an older commentator named Al-Siddiالسّدى , and Al-Siddi says that the mother of John met the mother of Jesus and said, “O Mary, have you felt (or perhaps it means have you heard about) my pregnancy?” Then Mary answered, “I am pregnant as well.” The mother of John said, “I have found the one in my belly worshiping the one in yours.”

Worshiping is a divine prerogative, isn’t it so?

+ Announcer: It’s confirmed in the Quran

+ Father : We are supposed to worship God only, and we kneel down to God only.

+ Announcer: In the Quran the same thing.

+ Father : “I found the one in my belly worshiping the one in yours,” This part of the Quran verse, which says, “Who will confirm a word from God.” the word you were told that you will be pregnant.

+ Announcer: I do not think it can be any clear.

+ Father : Clear.

+ Announcer: Yes, very clear.

+ Father : Again in Sura 3, verse 45, this verse comes to explain really who the word from God is. It says, “Thus the angles said Mary, ‘God announces to you a word from him, his name is Christ the son of Mary.” Of course, there can not be a grammatical mistake in the Quran here.

+ Announcer : Muslims take the Quran to be the standard in Arabic grammar.

+ Father : Ok, let’s take a closer look at the Arabic. It says, “God announces to you a word from him.” A word كلمه, Is it masculine or feminine in Arabic? It is feminine. So in Arabic it should be ismuha اسمها (her name) instead of ismuhu اسمه (his name). So the verse should read in Arabic, “Thus the angle said Mary God announces to you a word from him; her name is ….or in Arabic ismuha اسمها. The Christ Essa Ebn Mariamعيسى ابن مريم   to keep the language in correct But this is not the case here in the Quran. It says in Arabic: bikalimatin بكلمة feminine ismhuhu اسمه masculine. “His name is Jesus the son of Mary.” Some may argue that the masculine pronoun in ismuhu اسمه refers to Christ but everybody knows that pronouns refer to the noun that comes before it, not the noun that comes after it. So what do we conclude from that? That this word from God is not an ordinary human word; it is a masculine word; it must be the word of God- a person, the intellect of God that we spoke about. Let’s go back to the original language. In Greek, the Greek word is “logos” and logos from which the Arabic word kalima has been translated, it means: the intellect of God. which expresses itself in the form of a word. Therefore it has been written here in the masculine, because the word intellect or the intellect of God, the mind of God must be masculine. Therefore it did not says, “bikalimatin ismuha بكلمة اسمها – a word; her name is … but a word; his name is ….” It is the mind of God manifested in Jesus Christ. Again in the book entitled (fusus al- hikam) فصوص الحكم by sheikh Mohyi Addin Al-Araby الشيخ محى الدين العربى, in section 2 or volume 2, page 35, says about the word, the word, “The word- amazing comment-  is God transfigured.” It’s all there waiting for someone to read and understand. The Bible encourages us to search the Scriptures, search the books, because the books will testify to Jesus. But the problem is that very few Muslims who read. They neither read nor want to understand, and they take it as it is. We would like a new 21st century mentality, a thinking person to assess things for himself. This has been already written in the 7th or maybe the 8th century AD, and they wrote such things. Are they better than us, who are living in the 21st century? His name again is sheikh Mohyi Addin Al-Arabyمحى الدين العربى   in his book fusus al- hikam فصوص الحكم volume 2, page 35, and says that the word is God transfigured and it is the same as Godhead and nothing else. It is the same as the Godhead or the very Godhead and nothing else. Sheikh Mohyi Addin Al-Araby is a well-known author. In the same book on page 13, we find something else,

+ Announcer : And we are still talking about the word and trying to explain who the word of God is.

+ Father : As a person of the trinity. The word of God, the intellect of God.  Mohyi Addin Al-Araby in his book says, “The word is the Godhead.”

+ Announcer : He put it in a nutshell.

+ Father : If the word is the Godhead, this means the word is God. Isn’t this exactly

+ Announcer : Exactly.

+ Father : What we Christians say? That “In the beginning

+ Announcer : Yes.

+ Father : Was the word, and the word was with God and the Word is God.” it is the same. And even in Arabic we say, “The Word was – we use in the masculine not the feminine. So we are not talking about an ordinary human word; we are talking about a Person here, or God’s logos.

So now, we have God; we have the word of God who is the logos, the mind of God; and now we have only the Holy Spirit to deal with. Is the Holy Spirit God? Let us check this question. We read in Sura 2, verse 87 and the same verses repeated also in verse 253. It says here, “We gave Jesus the son of Mary evidence (or miracles) and assisted him with the Holy Spirit.” Again in Sura 5, verse 110 it says, “So God will say, ‘Jesus, son of Mary, remember my favor toward you and toward your mother, when I assisted you with the Holy Spirit. You spoke to people from the cradle and as an adult.”

+ Announcer : I have a bit of an objection here, Father. Our Muslim brothers say that the Holy Spirit here is the same as the Holy Spirit who assisted Mohamed by giving him the Quran, we want to clarify the difference here  the assistance here is that he is a messenger of God and he sent down the Quran to him, there’s a big difference.

+ Father : It is a matter of fact that in the Quran the angel Gabriel

+ Announcer : Is referred to as a holy spirit.

+ Father : Is referred to as a holy spirit coming from God. But in the Quran also the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of God himself.

As a testimony I quote Sheikh Mohamed Al Hariry Al Bayyumy شيخ محمد الحريرى البيومى  in the book entitled the spirit and its identity, page 53. Page 53 he says, “The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God.”

+ Announcer : Would you please mention the name again, Father?

+ Father : It’s called in Arabic Arruhu wa mahiyyatuha الروح وماهيتها, page 53, by Sheikh Mohamed Al Hariry Al Bayyumy. The Quran also admonishes people neither to lie to God nor to his Spirit. So here the spirit must be the Spirit of God so the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God because we can’t conceive God without a spirit. And if we claimed the Holy Spirit is Gabriel, what about God- does he have a spirit or not? Does he have life or not?

+ Announcer : Also this angel has been created by God. How can we call a creature of God the Spirit of God? It doesn’t fit somehow.

+ Father : But no no, Muslims look at it in a different way. They say that the Holy Spirit (literally the spirit of holiness) means it’s the spirit coming from the holiness, which is God; namely a spirit sent by the holy God. But this does not negate the fact that God has a spirit. It can’t be that Gabriel is the Spirit of God; God must have a spirit because having a life is an inherent personal attribute of God’s, because he lives through his Spirit.

+ Announcer : What does it mean when  the Quran says in sura of Miriam , “We sent her our Spirit.”? then it’s the spirit of God he didn’t say the spirit I created he says Our spirit then there’s a difference between the two.

+ Father : We want to look at the thing from the Muslems point of view. So that I don’t say we interpret thing the way we like.” Right? They view the verse “We sent her our spirit as a spirit from us” and they interpreted the rest of the verse that the angle appeared to her in the form of a man. That is their interpretation I don’t argue with them about this. But my discussion in order to be fair and speaking logic I ask: does God have a spirit or not? lay Gabriel aside now. Is God without spirit?

+ Announcer : Of course not.

+ Father : Of course not. Ok, this spirit; is it holy or not? Isn’t he the holy?

+ Announcer : Sure, yes, God is holy.

+ Father : And “holy” is one of the names of God, then his spirit is holy also, the Holy Spirit, so this the  trinity we believe  (the Father, who is the source of existence, the Word, who is God intellect manifested in human form, and God can’t be separated from his intellect and the Spirit of God who is living & life-giving). They are all well connected, we can not separated from one another, the same way that you can not separate the mind of a person from his body or his spirit he is one unit.

+ Announcer : This leads us to the 2nd

question, Father: They say isn’t the naming of the trinity really strange? What does it really mean? Let’s start it first with this, what’s the meaning of the Father?

+ Father : The meaning of the Father. You mean, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

+ Announcer : Yes. The meaning of Father

+ Father : Well let’s start with the Father. The word Father has many meanings to be honest. Lingually it has many meanings. One of the meanings a Father is a figurative one, a metaphorical meaning  a father does not have to marry and give birth to be called a father a metaphorical meaning. For example, if we say the father of creatures, the father of all creation, so here “father” is a symbol of the source of all creation; it can not mean that God married and gave birth to creations. Here it’s being used metaphorically. That’s why Paul the apostle says in the Bible, “We have but one God, the Father, from whom all things are, and we are his.” So he is the Father in the sense of  being our Creator. Also figuratively one may say the father of goodness, the father of blessings. This does not mean that someone got married and gave birth to a child and named him blessing. It’s a figure of speech. It means the source of goodness or the source of blessing. So this is one meaning.

Another meaning is the legal meaning: legally, for example, if some one adopts a child. Mohammed has adopted Zayd, right?

+ Announcer : Right.

+ Father : Zayd historically was adopted by Mohammed and was called by his name.

+ Announcer : He was called Zayd the son of Mohammed instead of Zayd the son of Haritha.

+ Father : Instead of Zayd the Ben of Haritha. He was called Zayd Ebn Mohammed that was by adoption.  Later he nullified adoption.  But this is not our issue today. But it was adoption, was he his natural son. He was not. But he adopted him. So he became his father legally, before adoption was abolished in Islam. Right? That’s why we say in the Bible. “You have received the spirit of adoption whereby you cry

+ Announcer : “Abba, Father.”

+ Father : “Abba, Father.”  Oh God our Father- the spirit of adoption. This is the legal meaning. There is also an intrinsic meaning of the word father. In that sense we say: light is birthed by fire. light is birthed by fire, how? Did the fire marry fire-wood and gave birth to light? Impossible! We can’t take every thing literally. There is a figurative style. This is something called simile. But there’s a true meaning behind it.  Fire is the same as light in this instance. But they are different in the speed. The speed of a flame of fire is slow, but the light that comes out of it is a much faster. So that the light for everybody. So here we have  the intrinsic meaning of the word father. If I say that fire is the father of light, it does not mean marriage and natural birthing. Fire gave birth to light, here means produced it. Right?

+ Announcer : Here fatherhood is completely different from the natural, physical way that is humanly natural.

+ Father : There’re other meanings, we have spoken about the figurative meaning, the legal meaning and the intrinsic meaning,  there is also the spiritual meaning.

+ Announcer : And this is the most important one.

+ Father : This is the most important. Christ is the Son of God in the spiritual divine sense, not through physical procreation. The Bible says in the gospel of John, verse 13 that “Those who were born of God.” This must be spiritual birth, born of God . “Christ has been born of God before all ages.” This is a very personal birthing, the same way that light is birthed of fire.

The divinity dwelt in the body of Christ and  gave light. He dwelled in the body of Christ. So this is the meaning of father. With no procreation, no sex and nothing else. Right?

+ Announcer : Now, we come to the second meaning that we would like you to explain, the meaning of Son.

+ Father : The meaning of the word Son.

+ Announcer : The Son.

+ Father : Right. This is the problem for Muslims.

+ Announcer : Exactly, the Sonship

+ Father : How come a son and how he was born and so for it.

Let me say that the concept of the word son in a language is known. We use the word son in different ways. We say the son of the country,

+ Announcer : The son of the Nile.

+ Father : The son of the Nile, the son of the desert, the son of Egypt. Do we mean that Egypt got married to the nation and gave birth to a son, or that the Nile got married to the land and gave birth to a son? Of course not,  can the desert marry the wilderness, for example, and give birth to a son! It can’t be. So this is the first meaning for son.

Even in the Quran the word son has been used in a way that it doesn’t imply a physical procreation.

+ Announcer : Where is that?

+ Father : This occurs in Sura 2 Albakara , verse 215.

+ Announcer : Again Sura 2, verse 215 so our friends can refer to it.

+ Father : It says, “Say, ‘Any money contribute should be first spent on both your parents, close relatives, orphans the needy and

+ Announcer : the wayfarer.”

+ Father : The wayfarer in Arabic son of the road. This son of the road, where did he come from? Has the road got married to the street and given birth to a son and we ought to contribute money to him and give him alms? No. The Quran itself

+ Announcer : Testifies to the other Sonship then physical.

+ Father : Sonship that isn’t physical or procreative. Why then are we blamed if we use the same word figuratively. Also Imam Al Nassafi النسفىcommented on this expression. He says, “A wayfarer is called the son of the road because he is related to the road; because he lives on the road, therefore he was called the son of the road.” This is in the commentary of Al Nassafi, volume 1, page 86. There is a divine tradition, as well, that talks about sonship. It says, “The rich are my stewards and the poor are my dependants (or children).” The word can be translated: dependants, household, or children. Has God given birth to them? Right?

+ Announcer : Yes, right.

+ Father : It’s not a very narrow, physical interpretation. There are several other meanings.

+ Announcer : The final part, Father, about the Holy Spirit.

+ Father : The Holy Spirit.

+ Announcer : Like we explain the Father and the Son,  now we come to the holy spirit.

+ Father : In sura 12 youssif , verse 87. Sura 12, verse 87   “Don’t despair of God’s comfort – in Arabic it’s God’s spirit, only disbelieving folks despair of God’s comfort or spirit.” So don’t despair of God’s spirit. This isn’t Gabriel then.

+ Announcer : It’s the spirit of God . It’s very clear.

+ Father : Don’t despair of God’s spirit only disbelieving folk despair of God’s Spirit. that is to not despair from God.  Also, in Sura 2 Albakara, verse 87 and 253 where it says, “We gave Jesus the son of Mary the evidence (or the miracles) and We assisted him with the Holy Spirit.” Also in Sura 6 Alma’eda “We have assisted you with the Holy Spirit.” Sheikh Abul Karim Al-Jabalyشيخ عبد الكريم الجبلى  said the following about the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit is not created and that which is not created must be eternal, and the eternal is God and none else. This has been written in the magazine of the Faculty of Arts in Cairo in 1934.

+ Announcer : We hope that the meaning is now understood by our beloved Muslems. And we thank you very much for all you do. May God bless you and bless your ministry, and use the ministry for the glory of his name. Amen.

+ Father : Amen.

+ Announcer : My dear friends in Islam everywhere, send us your questions. Be sure that we will fully attend to them. Our address will show on the screen at the end of the program. Please send us your questions and inquires. Whoever would like to read the Bible  email us your request and will send to you for free or any other Christian books. Thank you, till we meet again.

+ Announcer : My dear viewer you’re most welcome to our program “Questions about faith” . It’s our pleasure to answer all your questions and inquires. It’s also our pleasure and honor to have reverent father Zakaria Botros, you’re welcome father.

+ Father : Thank you pleasure.

+ Announcer : In the previous three episodes, we talked about God and Christianity and that Christianity believes in one faithful God and Christianity does not associate others with God, and that there are no three Gods in Christianity.

If you’d excuse me father, would you please give a short summary of what we talked about so that people could keep up with the discussion.

+ Father : As a summary of the three previous episodes, there’s a questions is a frequently asked why we do complicate things by saying there is a trinity in the godhead? Isn’t it much simpler to say that God is one?  In that respect, I said that in its childhood stage mankind accepted only simple facts, but as a  developed  and matured, it started to examine things.  The Bible says that the Spirit examined everything, even the depth of God. So when we see can understanding to realize the benefits that we can gain.  In the previous episodes, we tackled the question about the trinity — is it tantamount to believing in three gods?  And we came to the conclusion that trinity does not mean three gods; the trinity is rather three personal attributes in the one Godhead.

The one God has the attribute of existence or self-existence; He must necessarily exist.  In this sense, we call Him the Father, that is the source of existence. And in so calling Him Father, we do not mean by it any sexual connotation, or physical connotation or procreative one; the same way we would be calling a man, father.

As we said, words may not always necessarily be taken in the literal meaning; they may have figurative meaning.  The attribute of existence in the godhead is what we call the father; the attribute of cognizance, knowledge or intellect is what we call the Son, the attribute of life is what we call the Holy Spirit.  So God is one, with three intrinsic personal attributes: existence, intellect and life.  This is our trinity.

+ Announcer : It’s very important to emphasize to our beloved Muslim friends that our God is one; that Christianity believes in one God. The question for now, Father, is as follows:  The Quran says in Sura 5, “Those who say God is the third of three, have disbelieved; there is no deity except God alone.”  What do you say about that?

+ Father : This is a good question.  Of course, the Quran or Islam evolved in the Arabian Peninsula.  In the Arabian Peninsula, people worshipped idols and Kaba was the house, or the Pantheon, of the gods; it had more than 360 idols inside of it.  Almost like an idol for every day.  This was the major Kaba, but there were other smaller ones in the Arabian Peninsula.  Among the idols they had was the moon god whom they called Elah, and the goddess of the sun and they called it Elat, she was the wife of the moon; and they had children, Manat was one, Al-`Uzza and Al-Lat.

Arabs at that time believed that the moon married the sun and gave birth to these three goddesses, Manat, Al-`Uzza and Al-Lat.

Of course when Islam came preaching of the oneness of god, it naturally said that there aren’t three gods; hence our verse here “Those who say god is the third of three have disbelieved.”

This verse could also be talking about the Mariamite Heresy

+ Announcer : Mariamites heresy which you mentioned before

+ Father : That believed in three gods.  Those Mariamites before, before, embracing Christianity, they worshipped the goddess of the sky or heaven which is Venus.

+ Announcer : Just a brief Question then, the verse that says, “Those who say that God is the third of three have disbelieved,” doesn’t have anything to do with Christians?

+ Father : Not at all.

+ Announcer : But they apply this to us.

+ Father : Well, this heresy emerged in the Fifth Century AD

+ Announcer : And it has nothing to do with Christianity.

+ Father : Christianity has actually refuted this heresy, banned it and condemned followers of this heresy. They used to say that God married St Mary because they took Mary to be like  their goddess of heaven, Venus, and they gave birth to Christ.  This is nonsense and it’s totally unacceptable.  This is not what we believe.

Therefore, the Quran says in Sura 5, verse 116, “When god said, Essa son of Mariam, have you told people take me and my mother as two gods instead of god alone?’”

Of course, this never happened. St Mary is not a goddess

+ Announcer : And the strange thing is, that Quran itself refutes this, they answered

+ Father : That Jesus refuted it

+ Announcer : They said that he didn’t say so.

+ Father : So this is nothing at all what we believe.

+ Announcer : So our dear Muslims brothers and sisters who tell us that you worship three gods, are mistaken.

+ Father : Surely

+ Announcer : The Quran denied such a concept about Christ.

+ Father : Also, I’d like to say that before a man judges something he should refer first to history. The history behind it is that there was a heresy in the Fifth Century, this heresy was refuted  and repudiated by the church, but, there remained some pockets in Arabia and when Islam immerged, it simply repeated what Christianity had already said, namely this was a false doctrine. And Islam testifies that Christ said: No, I have not told  people to take me and my mother as two gods apart from you. Then it’s not apply to us as Christians.

+ Announcer : I would like our audience to  grasp this idea because we are accused very often of worshipping three gods on account of this verse.

+ Father : You are right. Some people, among our beloved Muslims friends, simply do not want to understand.  Honestly, they just want to object instead of opening their minds, and they are afraid of understanding, thus, they will come to the truth and this truth may be contrary to what they believe.  So from the beginning he shuts up the door, he plugs up his ears, and let’s his mouth run; he is not even willing to listen, and if he listens, he is not willing to understand, and if he understands, he is not willing to accept; he only protests, and objects and he finds fault.

Yet, there is a big section of our beloved Muslims

+ Announcer : Thank God.

+ Father : Who want to know the truth; they want to get to the truth. But seek  their knowledge from Islamic sources; therefore, they don’t get it right.  Those fanatical teachers do not communicate it right to them, but we try to come closer to our believed friends and we, we, try to remove all the obstacles that have been accumulated with time. And we try to reach an agreement.  This is what we believe. Do you find fault with it?

+ Announcer : You are right, Father.  I do remember even as a child we were fed with our milk something that reaches deep even to our bone marrow , that Christianity is blasphemous and polytheistic .  So, explain it a bit more so that we can say to the people who believe so, “What you believe about us is wrong.”

+ Father : That is the point of our programs, we are trying to approach our brothers and sisters, try to explain our Christianity from within Islam, and say, “See this is our Christianity; it is devoid of association or idol-worship.”

And I do thank you for this program, for the preparation, for everything that you have done in order to reach our Muslims brothers.

+ Announcer : Back to the question then, about the verse that says, “Those who say that god is the third of three have disbelieved.”

+ Father : Right. This verse denies marriage between a god and another goddess with the result of having children. In this respect, there is another verse in the Quran, in sura 4, verse 101 which says, “Devisor of heaven and earth (talking about god of course), how can he have a son, while he has no consort?” (of course consort means wife.) This is what Islam denies and this is also what Christianity denies.

Islam repeats this belief in Sura 112, where it says, “Say, ‘God is unique (or one); God is the source for everything; He has not fathered anyone nor was He fathered; there is nothing comparable to him.” (“comparable to him” can mean someone equal to him.)  It says here, “He has not fathered anyone nor was he fathered.”  He is not talking about us here.   We do not believe in physical birth between the Father and Son, for a very simple reason. We believe that God is Spirit, how can a spirit get married and have a physical son?

In Sura 5, verse 73, it says, “Those who say God is the third of three have disbelieved; there is no deity except God alone.” This is our Christian faith.  We do not believe in three gods, but we believe in one God — existent, knowledgeable, living.  And, nobody could object to that.

+ Announcer : So, dear brothers and sisters in Islam, this verse is not talking about us.  We do confirm this verse. We do not believe that god is a third of three.

+ Father : Therefore, we Christians can join Muslims and say there is no god but God alone, and He has no associates. And He has no associates.

+ Announcer : Now we come to our final question, Father.  Our brother here asks, “With all do respect to all these discussions, it is still difficult.  Isn’t it so?” Could you, Father, simplify it so that we can say to our brother, it isn’t really that complicated.

+ Father : First of all, anything that has to do with God must necessarily be difficult.  Why?  Because He is high above our human comprehension, and even though divine things are above reason, they do not ever go against reason.

+ Announcer : Would you please explain this a little bit more?

+ Father : When things are against reason, it means they are unreasonable.  For example, the claim that God got married and had a child, this is illogic, unreasonable; because logic tells us otherwise — that God is spirit, and how can a spirit get married and have a son physically?  This argument is moot.

But, the things of God are far above reason because reason is limited and God is unlimited.  Therefore, it is very difficult and very hard for man to try to grasp God who is above reason.  He needs divine grace to help him understand; he needs illumination.

The kind of illumination that the Sufis spoke of.  The Sufi is a very close to spiritual truth that has to do with knowing secrets of God.  Sufis talk about the principle of illumination.  And it goes hand in hand with what Christianity holds; for the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

So, God gives us this illumination. But, what is our role there?  to say, “Lord, let your light shine over my life.”

+ Announcer : Yes, Father, it is very important to tell people what their role is.

+ Father : Let me give some illustrations to make this easier.

First of all, reason is limited, God infinite, unlimited; therefore, the limited reason or intellect cannot contain the unlimited God.  We are told about an intellectual philosopher who wanted to understand God and the things of God.  In short, he wanted to grasp God with his intellect. But he .. he couldn’t.  This almost drove him crazy.  After sometime he saw a dream.   In the dream, he saw a limitless ocean.  He saw a little child who dug a hole on the beach and got a bucket and he kept going to the ocean to bring water and pour it into the hole.  The water would fill the hole and it would spill over.  He would go again, and bring water and pour it into the hole. He asked the child,

Son, what are doing?  I have seen you trying to carry the water over and pour it into the hole.  The child said yes, I have been doing that.  He asked, what do you mean by it? The child answered, I intend to get all the water from the ocean and pour it into this hole.  The man said, son are you crazy?  Do you really think you can pour the water of this vast ocean into this very small hole?  The child said, why didn’t you say that to yourself?  You think you can get the vast and huge god and cram him into your limited mind?  The philosopher woke up and said forgive me God.  These things are truly above our reason and intellect and they need divine help.

I would like to give further illustration.

Think about a man who would leave Egypt and would plan to go to the United States, for example, in his car.  He bought a car, a Mercedes, the latest fashion, but people would ask him, “How do you plan to go there?” He would say, “I will just drive my car on until I reach Alex then I would hit the Mediterranean; with the car. I would go along the Mediterranean until I reach the Atlantic Ocean, and I’ll keep driving until I reach the United States.”  How?  Are you crazy.  The man would answer, “Well, what’s difficult about it?   I will just drive my car.”  “But there are limits to the ability of a car; you may be able use it on land but you can’t use it on water.  You may be able to reach the United States in a different way.”

The man would ask, “How?” “You can take the same car of yours and drive it all the way to the airport, and then there you park your car and you would take an airplane that will take you above the clouds, and will take you all the way to the State and drop you off there.  But, your car can not get you there.”

Our intellect is like our car.  It is a Mercedes, it’s a respectable car.  I can drive it all over the place, but I cannot drive it to heaven.  And, the airplane in this illustration is the divine arms of God that carry us from underneath.  It is the Lord’s power and enablement that will make you understand.  It is for this reason that John writes in Revelation, “I was in the spirit on the day of the Lord.”  And when he was in the spirit the Lord opened up the heavens and he saw all those visions that he wrote about.

So, my role is to use my intellect by which I perceive the tangible truths through logic, through analogy, and thus reach conclusions about tangible and concrete objects.  But, in order to grasp transcendent truths, metaphysical truths, I need the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit; we need the divine guidance.

+ Announcer : But, what you are saying is still difficult for our Muslim brothers and sisters; for us it may be easy, but what you are saying is difficult to them.  Could you simplify it even further? Or show us a simpler clearer way?

+ Father : Okay, all you need do is pray to God and say to him, “Lord, please teach me, shine your light over my life let me know that which I don’t know.”  Let me tell you this very nice story.

There was a highway man, a cutthroat, but he was not feeling comfortable. Who was a worshiper of the sun He could not draw any satisfaction from worshiping the sun. So one day he stood up and he said, “Sun if you are God why don’t you reveal yourself to me.” He was silent for a moment and then he said, “And you, God, whom I don’t know, reveal yourself to me.”  A prayer from the heart.  He wanted to understand.  He didn’t know the way to God.  And, all of a sudden, an idea occurs to him, someone speaks to him in his mind and says, “You live on a mountain; you are a highway man. You live in a cave- at a distance from where you live there is a group of monks. They also live in caves the way you do.” But of course they worship God and this guy worshipped the sun- that is the difference.  “Go to them and ask them.”  , “What a good idea.”  Perhaps he liked the idea because he wanted to rob the monks. He had never before thought how he could benefit from the monks, and this just dawned on him. And when an idea hits you like that, this is what we mean by an illumination of light.

So, he went to the monks and he said, “I am confused. I worship the sun but I don’t feel satisfied.  I am not comfortable on the inside. I need to feel comfortable. So whom do you worship?  One of the fathers said to him, “Come my dear son, stick around and I will explain it all to you.”  The sun worshipper kept on asking and the abbot kept on answering till the abbot answered all his questions; but at the same time the abbot was praying for him- he was petitioning God on his behalf. He said to God, “Just as you brought him here, show him the way. Shine upon his way and help him understand the dimensions of this life.”  Well. The bandit kept coming day after day listening; the abbot kept on praying and answering and asking the Lord to reveal himself to him.   This kept going on until the bandit began to realize that in His great love, this unlimited God wanted and actually did appear in human form to show himself.

Well you know that in Sura 7, Moses asked God to reveal Himself to him, to show him Himself. God told him, “You can’t see me,” he said, “Look at the mountain, once the mountain settles down, you will see me.” So God revealed himself to the mountain, the mountain shook and Moses was seized with terror. Do you know what Al-Nasafi says? God gave life to the mountain, and gave the mountain knowledge and vision. God gave the inanimate mountain such things.  God revealed himself to the mountain!  The wording of the Quran does not say that God revealed himself to Moses, He rather revealed himself to the mountain.  To the mountain!!.  This is the testimony of the Quran: God revealed Himself to an inanimate object.

+ Announcer : Why do people think it’s too much for God then to reveal himself in a man.

+ Father : God can reveal himself in a man, God can reveal himself to a Christian, God can reveal himself to a Muslim.

+ Announcer : God created man in the best form, then why shouldn’t he reveal himself in human form!

+ Father : Moses was seized with terror.  He was terrified. When he saw God, why would he be terrified if he did not see God?  Because God promised him when the mountain settles down, you will see me.  So, he must have seen him.  God revealed himself, and Moses saw Him.  Moses saw him another time in the burning bush, the Quran says that God spoke from the midst of the bush, so the point is to pray to God and say to Him: Lord, help me see you, or let me see you the way Moses did. You revealed yourself to him in a miraculous way.  You made the mountain even see you, not just Moses.  I want to see you.  I want you to let your light shine upon me.

Back to our illustration about the bandit, and the monks.  They said to him: The infinite, invisible God wanted to reveal himself, to appear to mankind, to help them understand his attributes, his character, his goodness.  Therefore, he appeared in the body of Christ.  He appeared to Moses on the mountain, as well as appearing to him also in the burning bush. In the fullness of time he appeared to man in the form of a pure body which he took from St Mary.  And revealed himself through it- we saw him, in him the love of God, the gentleness of God.  We saw God’s full attributes in the person of Christ.  So Christ is the image that reflects to me the attributes of God, the characteristics of God- His love.  So he is the way to knowing God.

Let me complete the story, please. That cutthroat, after this encounter, after understanding, after building a relationship with Christ, after he received Christ into his life, he became a saint.  And, his name is Saint Moses the Black, because he was black.  He was a Negro, and his life was completely transformed.  Our intellect may not be able to find the way to knowing God, but through prayer, through asking Him in prayer, I can say to Him, Lord, reveal yourself to me, appear to me, show me yourself, touch my heart, shine your light over my life.  Teach me and guide me in the eternal way.  When we pray to God and ask Him, He hears and He responds.  He is a Father; he loves mankind.

+ Announcer : This is the main point, Father.  If our Muslim brothers would realize that God is a Father, a loving father, not proud and tyrannical; He sacrificed the most precious thing, or rather person He had, in order to redeem mankind.  Would you please, Father, communicate this, in your own words?

+ Father : I should say that you could say it better than myself.  You experienced it in your life; you made a huge jump from your old life into your new life, from the darkness to light.

But, Biblically, the Bible says that God is love.  Our beloved Muslim friends claim that God has 99 attributes, such as the avenger, the powerful, the proud, and so forth.

+ Announcer : But there is also the merciful, the forgiving, peace, the humiliator, the uplifter, but they don’t include the loving.

+ Father : But why didn’t he make it a round figure and just add add one loving?  Did he miss that?  No, he knew about it, but it would conflict with many other behaviors.  But, in Christianity, God is love.  He loved the world.  And it is my role to pray to God , Lord, teach me, and show me yourself, show me your love.

+ Announcer : There is yet another important point.  At the time when I was still in Islam, I used to fear God.  Not only fear, I was terrified.  Because he is an avenger, and he said that all would go to hell, but now I don’t believe that God is so.

I would like you to explain to them that God is not like that.  He is not an avenger, he is not tyrannical. He is a loving God, an affectionate Father.

+ Father : The Lord Jesus said so:  He said, learn of me, because I am meek, and humble in heart.

“For God so loved the world.” “So” means that much. How much?  To the extent that He gave His only son, Christ, so that all who believe in Him would not perish, but have eternal life.  “God manifested His love to us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Simply out of love, He did it all.  Our beloved Muslim friends can also see that Christians have love.  It’s evident to them, and they can see that Christ is loving.  It is very obvious but the person still has to pray and say: Lord, let me enjoy Your love, overwhelm me with Your love, cover me with Your love, show it to me so that I may be able to love you, too.  As the Bible says:  We love Him because He first loved us.  When man grasps God’s love, he will be set aflame with the love of God.

+ Announcer : At the conclusion of our talk today, Father, what advice do you give to our beloved Muslim friends to help them cross over and reach the truth in which we stand.

+ Father : Well, of course, we first emphasize our love to our beloved Muslim brothers, and this love is a reflection and a revelation of God’s love to them.  What I want to say to them is:  Open your ears, open your mind, and start thinking in a way that fits the 21st century.  All down the centuries, fourteen centuries went by so far, Muslims were unwilling to think.  They still follow the ancient Bedouin thought patterns.  But if he opens his eyes, if he understands, he will be enlightened.  I advise them, to pray to God, to ask Him:  Lord, shine Your light upon my path.  They should be willing to hear, and to understand, and pray to God to open their spiritual eyes and their hearts, so that He may show them the eternal path.

+ Announcer : We are  at the conclusion of our episode. We thank you father. And I’m sure we have many more interviews with you.

My dear viewer, we are confronted here with an emphatic truth.  You must grasp it, and make sure you believe it is really true: that God loves you.  God desires that all men be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.

Dear viewer, God will not avenge Himself on you.  God is  not a tyrant God loves you .

Dear viewer our address will appear on the screen if you have any questions or inquires write to us and if you would like a Bible we’ll be glad to send it to you freely . Thank you , till we meet again…..

Christian God loves you unconditionally!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16

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