Monday, January 11, 2010

Jesus as The Word of God

In the Qur’an, Jesus is called the Word of God (3:39, 45; 4:51).  Muslims take this to mean that God spoke and Jesus was.  Thus the Prophet Jesus is the “Word of God” because he was miraculously conceived in Mary simply by God’s speech:

"She (Mary) said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.' He (God) said: ‘So (it will be) for God creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: ‘Be!'- and it is" (3:47).

"Verily, the likeness of Jesus in God's Sight is the likeness of Adam. He (God) created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!'-and he was" (3:59).

Here is how John 1 uses this title for Jesus:

“To the Greeks the ‘logos’ was the purpose or meaning of existence. To the Jews the ‘logos’ was God’s Word — the truth or moral absolutes at the foundation of all reality. In the beginning of his gospel John addresses both world-views when he speaks of a divine ‘Word’ that was the source and foundation of all creation. But then he says something that floods the banks and bursts the boundaries of all human categories. He tells Jews that the truth and self-expression of God has become human. He tells Greeks that the meaning of life and all existence has become human. Therefore, only if you know this human being will you find what you hoped to find in philosophy or even in the God of the Bible. The difference [between any other great figure and Jesus] is the difference between an example of living and one who is the life itself.”

– Charles Williams, quoted by Timothy Keller in Gospel Christianity, Course 1 (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003), 49-50.

HT: Of First Importance

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes! For us the phrase "Word of God" is loaded with meaning, but when we tell Muslims that the Messiah is the Word of God, they quickly dismiss this as an interesting, but basically insignificant fact about the circumstances of Jesus' birth.

So the question is first, "What is the broader meaning of 'kalimat allah' in the Qur'an and Hadiths?" And secondly, "How can we interact with these concepts to broaden their understanding about Jesus' identity?"