Why Debate?

In response to our dear friend Abdullah, shalom/salam.

Throughout Jewish history we’ve been fighting for our right to not believe in Jesus as God. We were persecuted, exiled, tortured, killed and sometimes forcefully converted, but as a nation and a faith- we survived!There were times that we were forced to “debate” bishops and priests, with the outcome usually independent of the arguments and proofs, for the table was always turned against the defenseless Jew. The one claiming victory would then force the loser to convert based on his own failure to stand up for his faith.

That was the only purpose why Jews debated anyone. We never tried to convert anyone to Judaism for it was never in the Jewish interest that there be more Jews, rather that people should keep the laws of God being who they are, without changing their identity. (The 7 Laws for all humanity are, not committing- adultery, idolatry, murder, theft, curse God’s Name, not eat a limb off an animal that wasn’t killed first, shall set up a court system and abide by it.) From the Jewish standpoint the debates were defensive not offensive.

Today, however, things changed. Thank God no one is burning Jews at the stake for not believing in Jesus. However, the missionary campaign against the Jews is unprecedented. The Evangelists funnel billions of dollars a year targeting uneducated Jews with their same lame 2,000 year old arguments. Those arguments didn’t stand in the face of learned Jews, but today’s assimilated Jews know nothing of their heritage, making it very easy to be seduced into the idolatry of Christianity. It is for those Jews sake that you will find rabbis voluntarily debating missionaries [sadly some of them Jews themselves.]

Thus, in all of Jewish history in Muslim lands (to the best of my knowledge) there were no debates. For the most part of history, the Muslims and Jews had a mutual respect for each other, there were obviously exceptions like in the days of Maimonides in Spain and Yemen, but the majority of history they weren’t interested in converting the other and therefore lived in peace.

I therefore find it ironic, that a Muslim should request to debate a Jew on the Messiah role of Jesus. I ask, why? What do you gain? You want to convince me that he was messiah? You won’t. I  don’t care if you think he was messiah, for we both agree that he wasn’t divine and that it what really makes a difference.

A dialogue, however is something entirely different. That is in the context of curious discussion, and that’s always nice to have. So let me ask, what does the Quran say about Jesus? I know the Quran considers him a prophet. Does it mention the concept of messiah? From a Jewish point of view it is absurd in every way possible to say that he was messiah. For the reasons [which are probably about 10] we can follow up in future post.

God/Allah bless you



Categories: Christianity, Islam, Judaism

Tags: , , , , , ,

33 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Hasidic and commented:

    I’ve recently been added as an author on an inspiring blog “Blogging Theology.” It is a Muslim site and a very open minded atmosphere. This is in response to a blogger who wanted to debate a Jew regarding the qualification of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.

    Like

    • Mozer,
      In regard to Christians “targeting uneducated Jews with their same lame 2,000 year old arguments” it seems that since they have not had much success with converting Jews, they have turned to targeting Muslims who are uneducated about their own faith. So many Muslims will empathize with you on that, and we know how you feel brother.

      I agree that a debate between Muslim and Jew is not really necessary. We will most likely not convince each other on much that divides us anyway. After all it is not the Jews who are annoyingly knocking on our doors or invading our homes via TV, or standing on the street corners shouting NT scripture into mega-phones and passing out literature trying to convert us – we both know it is the fundamentalist Missionary Christians who are engaged in trying to destroy both our faith communities.

      I would be more interested in seeing a polite conversation between us. I think this would be much more productive and fruitful. We need more opportunities to dialogue with each other, about shared beliefs, customs, practice, laws, interpretations, and understandings on salvation, etc. For instance in regard to the Noahide laws which you mentioned, these are all contained within the framework of Islamic Shariah. It would also be beneficial to discuss, old counter arguments, while also testing and developing new arguments that both our communities can raise in defense of our two faith communities against the never ending onslaught from Christian Missionaries and their 2,000 year old arguments lame arguments!!

      You may be surprised that as a Muslim I support your right not to believe in Prophet Jesus, or even Prophet Muhammad. Just as I hope you support my right to believe in and practice Islam. So rather than discuss Jesus as Messiah in Qur’an, I would rather put that aside with you and the Jews (it is not really a central issue for us) and talk instead about commonalities. We may not agree with each other on everything, but, I think with both believe in the concept of Tawheed, that God in his Absolute and unique Oneness, and that is the common ground from where we should start. By doing this I think that our two faith communities can rebuild our traditional mutual respect for each other, while rediscovering our common shared heritage in the Abrahamic Faith.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I wholeheartedly agree with br. Ibn Issam, I am not interested to know whether our jewish friend believe prophet Jesus or Muhammad, Or getting drawn into political issues in the Palestine. The important think is as Ibn Issam has stated both Islamic and Jewish community embrace the concept of Tawheed, that God in his Absolute and unique Oneness, Not avodah zarah such as the trinity. That is the common ground from where we should focus on. By doing this I think that our two faith communities can rebuild our traditional mutual respect for each other, while rediscovering our common shared heritage in the Abrahamic Faith.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Amen, Eric. May Allah the God of Abraham be with you and us…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eric, you’re a very learned man, perhaps you can help me understand, what exactly does the quran mean when he calls Jesus -messiah?

      Like

    • Br. Mozer, Im far from being a learned man, Im just a student of sacred knowledge.

      Thank you for your asking me about Jesus in the Qur’an and on the question of what Jesus Messiahship mean by it. I will give my thoughts about it or perhaps in a aeparate post.

      Apologise if my previous partially finished reply was posted by accident, you can delete it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eric, HaShem be with you! you gotta know when to be humble.. it’s not the right time for humility when someone wants to hear words of wisdom.. share all you have and be proud…
      I’m looking forward to that article..

      Like

  2. “The Evangelists funnel billions of dollars a year targeting uneducated Jews with their same lame 2,000 year old arguments…” Mozer G

    Would you fill in the details on this? Who are these Evangelists? Where do they get billions of dollars and how do they target uneducated Jews? What medium do they find best reaches uneducated Jews? Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • well, there are many organizations who engage in this sort of activity. perhaps best known is Jews for Jesus, some report them to have an annual budget of 250 million. according to their own website they have 200 full time employees. there are other organizations too perhaps billions is an overestimation. i’ll correct that. i hope to respond to the rest of your inquiry later on

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I would be more interested in your own reasons for rejecting Muhammad.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • perhaps we can talk about that too. but there’s a fundamental difference between Muhammad and Jesus; Muhammad was a prophet mainly to Arabians if i’m not mistaken, his main audience wasn’t the Jews. Jesus, on the other hand, was one of us. That is why the church hated the Jews so much, because he came to us and we didn’t listen.
      We can discuss Muhammad, I still gotta do some research.. all the best

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jesus pbuh didn’t say anything different than the main message told by all the hebrew bible prophets except what God made it be permitted for him to do. However, the core of his message was not different at all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • the critical question here is, what is the exact words the quoran uses regarding Jesus? does it use the word messiah? BTW i have not read the quran thoroughly. i read some here and there but not in a serious way.

      Like

    • Surah 5:72
      ” They certainly disbelieve, those who say ” Truly God is Messiah, son of Mary.” But the Messiah said ” O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord” Surely, whosever associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge shall be the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers” .

      Liked by 1 person

    • does the quran clarify anywhere what the qualifications or purpose of the messiah is? is anyone else called messiah in the quran?

      Like

    • No one is called messiah in Quran except Jesus peace be upon him.

      “what the qualifications or purpose of the messiah ? ”
      If you meant by “qualifications” those which have been developed by Rabbinic literature, then I can say you may/maynot find these “qualifications” in Quran.
      However, the main feature of the Messiah is to be a prophet. That what Quran stated about him.
      His far grandmother is Aaron because Mary was from Aaronic lineage according to Quran,and according to the Hebrew bible, Aaron is the first one to be anointed. This is interesting since scholars found that jews had developed many types of messiahs in the Dead Sea scrolls, one of which is the priest one.
      Moreover, the term (Massih) in Arabic is known linguistically. The verb (M-S-H) in Arabic means to anoint,and if you transformed that verb using this template ( XaXeeX) فعيل, it would mean the anointed one. In fact, many things could be said about this template in Arabic and how we can understand it.

      And as any prophet in Quran, if you obey that prophet and obey the One who sent him (i.e Allah), you will have your rewards, otherwise you’ll be punished .

      Surah 5:12-13
      ” And Allah had already taken a covenant from the Children of Israel, and We raised from among them twelve chieftains. And Allah said, “I am with you. Surely, If you establish prayer and give zakah(alms) and believe in My messengers and support them and lent unto Allah a goodly loan, I shall surely absolve you of your evil deeds and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow. But whoever of you disbelieves after that has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.”
      “Then for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their [proper] usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded. And you will still observe deceit among them, except a few of them. But pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.”

      It’s quite interesting that jews have been waiting for a salvation by a messiah while they don’t even consider to observe the Mosaic law. If you want God’s Salvation, you have to keep your covenant which includes obeying all prophets of Allah. God’s covenant has been always conditional. Jews are waiting for messiah from God while God is waiting you to keep his covenant,and you can’t do that except by believing in Jesus and Muhammad peace be upon them all.
      Allah knows the best.

      Like

  4. Salam 🙂

    Oh! Just got this post.
    First, welcome on this blog. It’s really nice to see muslims, jews, and christians having dialogues about their faiths. Also, thanks for br. Paul for sharing his platform with others.

    Regarding (why debate), I think you link the word(debate) with a negative attitude while it’s for me just another form of dialogue. For me, it’s just a semantic issue, but you can say(debates) make each side burst its thoughts which is beneficial.
    Have you read Quran? It’s addressing you (i.e. Israelites whether they are jews or christians), and in the light of your statement “It encouraged me to think out of my box, and respect a genuine seeker regardless of his doctrine”, I think it’s a good opportunity for you and us to share our thoughts.
    Of course I’d be happy to become a muslim, yet in the law of Islam, you are not forced as a jew to convert. But we’re obligated to say the truth, to share the truth,and to say that you (jews) got it wrong in many things.

    ============
    “We were persecuted, exiled, tortured, killed and sometimes forcefully converted”
    Not according to Islamic law.
    However, I think we should be open about disagreements. As we have disagreements with christians, we have disagreements with jews.
    In Islam, we have 6 articles of faith which are
    Belief in Allah.
    Belief in his Angels.
    Belief in his Divine Books.
    Belief in his Prophets.
    Belief in the Day of Judgement.
    Belief in Allah’s predestination.

    Belief in Allah’s prophets is very important. No muslim can say that I believe in all prophets except Jaccob, for example! He’d be out of Islam.
    In Islam, we have the right to defend the prophets of Allah because we have more right than jews and christians to be linked with Allah’s prophets. For example, Aaron peace be upon him was a great a prophet so it’s impossible for him to command israelites to build the golden calf. Solomon,as well, had never worshiped idols as your scriptures tell. By the same manner, we have the right to defend Jesus peace be upon him.
    Jesus was a great a prophet. He is the messiah no doubt as Quran stated.
    Therefore, I’d rather watch debates between jews and muslims as much we have debates with christians.

    Liked by 3 people

    • peace upon you. I understand that debate was not meant in that sense, and I wanted to make the point clear, that we have nothing to debate we have interesting topics to discuss. whereas in a debate everyone is defending their position, in a dialogue people just listen carefully to the information that is being discussed objectively…

      Like

    • “Jesus was a great a prophet. He is the messiah no doubt as Quran stated.” Abdullah

      Abdullah, you believe Jesus was a great prophet and messiah. When he said “I and the father are one” did he make that announcement as a prophet or as the messiah? According to the New Testament, he said He was both.

      Like

    • I’ve begun to scratch the surface regarding Muslim’s beliefs about Christ from “WhyIslam” among other sources.

      “Say, ‘We believe in God and in what was sent down to us and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and what was given to Moses, Jesus, and all the prophets by their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we devote ourselves to Him.’” (Quran, 2:136)

      Jesus is revered as a prophet of God. At the same time, Islam recognizes that prophets were capable of human errors of judgment, but these unintended mistakes did not diminish their superior integrity.

      The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and an entire surah (chapter) of the Quran is entitled “Mary.” The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows:

      “She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: ‘Even so; God creates what He wills. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, “Be!” and it is.’” (Quran 3:42-7)

      Muslims respect and venerate Jesus Christ. They consider him to be one of God’s greatest messengers to humankind. The Qur’an re-affirms his miraculous birth and his miraculous abilities. Furthermore, his mother Mary is regarded as one of the most pure and exalted women of all creation. As the Quran says:

      “Behold! the angel said: ‘God has chosen you and purified you and has chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary! God gives you the good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the hereafter, and one of those brought near to God’” (3:42).

      There is an enormous divide between what is stated and reality.

      Like

    • Hank,
      It’s very interesting that you keep posting random passages from your bible, and I can almost read your comments below every post on this blog, yet you just ” began” to search in Muslims’ belief about Jesus.
      Christians can’t stop amazing me!

      Like

    • Abdullah, “Islam regards its teachings to be a re-affirmation and culmination of the teachings of previous monotheistic religions like Judaism and Christianity. Hence, all Muslims believe in Moses and Jesus as Prophets of God.” WHYISLAM

      Isn’t Christianity believed to be a polytheistic religion and vigorously rejected by Muslims? Trinity, for example.

      Like

  5. Gevaldig
    bist meshige

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks

  1. Īsā Al Masih: a Qur’anic disposition – Blogging Theology
  2. Jesus. Christos? Pt. 1 – Blogging Theology
  3. Erasmus replies to Mozer’s claim that Jesus did not qualify to be the Messiah | Badmanna's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: