I wrote to a man one time, who wrote a book about Christianity and I had some of the objections I mentioned to you now. And his reply to me was that I am making matters difficult to myself, that there are portions in the Bible that are crystal clear and that there are portions that are difficult, and that my problem was that I am looking at the difficult part instead of the clear parts.
The problem is that this is an exercise in self deception – why are some parts clear and some parts difficult? It is because somebody decided what this clearly means, and what makes this very difficult. To give you an example, John Chapter 14 a certain man said to Jesus: ‘Show us God’, and Jesus said: ‘If you have seen me you have seen God’. Now without reading on the Christian will say: ‘See! Jesus claimed to be God; he said if you have seen me you have seen God’.
If that is crystal clear then you have a difficult portion when you go back just a few pages to Chapter 5 when another man came to Jesus and said show us God and he said you have never seen God you have never heard his voice. Now what did he mean there if on the other occasion he meant that he was God? Obviously you have made matters difficult by deciding what the first one meant. If you read on in Chapter 14 you will see what he went on to say. He was saying the closest you are going to seeing God are the works you see me doing.
It is a fact that the words ’son of God’ are not found on the lips of Jesus anywhere in the first three Gospel accounts, he was always calling himself the Son of Man. And it is a curious form of reasoning that I have seen so often that it is established from Bible that he claimed to be God because – look how the Jews reacted. They will say for example he said such and such and the Jews said he is blaspheming, he claimed to be God and they tried to stone him.
So they argue that he must have been claiming to be God because look! The Jews tried to kill him. They said that’s what he was claiming. But the interesting thing is that all the evidence is then built on the fact that a person is saying: I believed that Jesus was the son of God because the Jews who killed him said that’s what he used to say! His enemies used to say that, so he must have said it, this is what it amounts to.
In other hand, we have the words of Jesus saying he would keep the law; the law of Moses, and we have the statement in the Bible, why did the Jews kill him? Because he broke the law of Moses. Obviously the Jews misunderstood him, if he promised he would keep the law, but they killed him because he broke the law, they must have misunderstood him, or lied about him.
When I talk about the Bible and quote various verses here and there I am often accused of putting things out of context, to say you have lifted something out of what it was talking about and given it a meaning. I don’t want to respond to the accusation as such, but it doesn’t seem to occur to many people that perhaps those who wrote portions of the Bible in the first place were guilty of the same thing.
Maybe they – some of those writers – believed a certain thing and in order to prove it quoted from their scriptures – the Old Testament, the Hebrew writings – quoted out of context to prove their point. There are examples of that kind of thing. In Matthew 2 it said that a king wanted to kill the young child Jesus so he with his family went to Egypt, and they stayed there until that king died, and then they came back. When the writer of Matthew, whoever he was, because the name Matthew won’t be found in the book of Matthew; when he described this event saying that he came back out of Egypt, he said: “This was to fulfill a prophecy which is written” and then he quotes Hosea Chapter 11 “Out of Egypt I called my Son”. So he said because Jesus went to Egypt and then came back out of Egypt and we have this passage in the Hebrew scriptures “out of Egypt I called my son” Jesus must have been the son of God.
If you look and see what he was quoting, Hosea 11:1 he quotes the second half of a complete sentence, the complete sentence reads: “When Israel was young I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son”. Israel the nation was considered as the son of God. Moses was told to go to Pharaoh and say to him: ‘If you touch that nation of people, you touch my son’; warning him, warning Pharaoh: don’t touch that nation, calling the nation “the son of God”. So that this is the only thing talked about in Hosea 11:1.
“Out of Egypt I called my son” can only refer to the nation of Israel. I mentioned this point some months ago here in another talk, to which a young lady with us objected that Israel is a symbolic name for Jesus. You will have a hard time finding that anywhere in the Bible because it isn’t there. You can take an index of the Bible and lookup the word “Israel” everywhere the word occurs and you will find nowhere in any place that you can connect the word Israel with Jesus. But never mind – suppose it is true, read on, the second verse says “and after that he kept on worshipping Bal”, because this is what the Israelites were guilty of, very often they kept falling back into Idol worshipping. So if that “Israel” really meant Jesus and it means that Jesus is the son of God that came out of Egypt they must also mean that Jesus from time to time used to bow down to that idol Bal. You have to be consistent, and follow through on what it says. So the point is whoever wrote Matthew and Chapter 2 was trying to prove a point by quoting something out of context, and he undid himself, because if you follow through on it, it cannot be so.
Now I can come back to the claim the Qur’an makes that it has internal evidence of its origin. There are many ways that you can look at this. As one example, if I single out somebody here and say: You know, I know your father – he is going to doubt that, he has never seen me with my father. He would say, how does he look like, is he tall short does he wear glasses? …and so on, and if I give him the right answers pretty soon he will get convinced: ‘Oh yes, you did meet him’.
If you apply the same kind of thinking when you look at the Qur’an, here is a book that says it came from the one who was there when the universe began. So you should be asking that one: So tell me something that proves it. Tell me something that shows me you must have been there when the universe was beginning. You will find in two different ayahs (verses) the statement that all the creation began from a single point, and from this point it is expanding.
In 1978 they gave the Noble prize to two people who proved that that’s the case. It is the big bang origin of the universe. It was determined by the large radio receivers that they have for the telephone companies which were sensitive enough to pick up the transmissions from satellites and it kept finding background noise that they could not account for.
Until the only explanation came to be, it is the left over energy from that original explosion which fits in exactly as would be predicted by the mathematical calculation of what would be this thing if the universe began from a single point and exploded outwards. So they confirmed that, but in 1978. Centuries before that here is the Qur’an saying the heavens and the earth in the beginning they were one piece and split and says in another ayah: “of the heavens we are expanding it” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:47).
Let me tell you about a personal investigation, it occurred to me that there are a number of things you can find in the Qur’an that give evidence to its origin – internal evidence. If the Qur’an is dictated from a perfect individual; it originates with God, then there should not be any wasted space, it should be very meaningful. There should be nothing that we don’t need that you can cut off, and it should not be missing anything.
And so that everything in there should really be there for a specific purpose. And I got to thinking about the ayah which I mentioned before, it says, the likeness of Jesus is the likeness of Adam. It is an equation, it uses the Arabic word mithel (equal), it says Jesus, Adam, equal.
You go to the index of the Qur’an, you look up the name ISA it is in the Qur’an 25 times, you look up the name Adam it is there 25 times. They are equal, through scattered references but 25 of each. Follow that through and you will find that in the Qur’an there are 8 places were an ayah says something is like something else, using this Mithel, you will find in every case and take both sides of it whatever that word is look it up in the index and it will be let’s say 110 times and lookup the other word and it will be said to be equal to the same 110.
That is quite a project of co-ordination if you try to write a book that way yourself. So that everywhere you happened to mention that such and such is like such and such that then you check your index, filing system, or your IBM punch cards or whatever, to make sure that in this whole book you mentioned them both the same number of times. But that’s what you will find in the Qur’an.
What I am talking about is built on a thing that is called in Logic: Use and Mention of a Word. When you use a word, you are using its meaning. When you mention a word, you are talking about the symbol without the meaning. For example, if I say Toronto is a big city – I used the word Toronto as I meant this place Toronto is a big city. But if I say to you Toronto has 7 letters, I am not talking about this place Toronto; I am talking about this word – Toronto.
So, the revelation is above reasoning, but it is not above reason. That is to say we are more up not to find in the Qur’an something that is unreasonable, but we may find something that we would have never figured out for ourselves.
The author of this sentence said if this book came from someone besides God then you will find in it many Ikhtalafan (inconsistencies). The word Ikhtilaf is found many times in the Qur’an. But the word Ikhtalafan is only found once in the Qur’an.
So there are not many Ikhtilafan in the Qur’an, there is only one – where the sentence is mentioned. So you see how things are put together perfectly. It has been suggested to mankind: Find a mistake. Man could not get hold of a mistake, and he is very clever, because this sentence could also mean: Find many Iktilafan and so he quickly goes to the index to see if he can find many of them and there is only one… Sorry clever person!