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Word of God


It was then that I began to look into the seams of your doctrine. I wanted
only to pick at a single knot; but when I had got that undone, the whole
thing raveled out. And then I understood that it was all machine­sewn. —Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts, Act II
Jesus is identified in the Holy Qur’an as a “Word” from Allah. Surah 3:45 reads,
“Behold! the angels said:
“O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him: his
name will be the Messiah, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and
the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah” (TMQ 3:45).
In biblical contrast, John 1:1 reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Christian exegesis on this point is that
Jesus is the Word of God, which means the logos—the Greek word for “word,” or “saying.” This redundant reasoning satisfies some, but not those who realize the
explanation repeats the assertion. The question, “What does it mean?” is left unanswered.
The point is that a statement must rest upon a foundation of axioms, or self­
evident truths, if it is to be considered factual. Axioms establish a clear knowledge base
from which valid conclusions can be derived. Should conclusions violate foundational
axioms, these same conclusions are considered to fall outside the bounds of reason. In the
field of mathematics, a simple axiom is that one plus one equals two. Anyone in the
world can place an apple next to an apple and see that, by definition, there are now two
apples. Add one more and there are three. Should a scientist later derive some new and
revolutionary concept, but one that violates the axiom that one plus one equals two, the
whole theory is rendered invalid. In the case of the Christian concept of Jesus being “the
Word,” the doctrine unravels, for the simple reason that there are no axioms—there are
no self­evident truths. All that exists is a reshuffling of words.
On the other hand, Islam teaches that the “Word of God” is the word by which
Allah commands things into existence—the Arabic word kun, meaning “be.” The
foundational axiom in this regard is that God creates through willing things into
existence. And just as He willed into existence every big, every little, every thing, He
created Jesus through His divine command, “Be.” Surah 3:47 points out: “Allah creates
what He wills: when He has decreed a Plan, He but says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is!”
In the Bible we find the first example of the “Word of God,” Islamically speaking,
in Genesis 1:3: God said “Let there be …”—and it was! Returning to the Holy Qur’an,
surah 3:59 reads, “The similitude of Jesus before God is as that of Adam; He created him
from dust, then said to him: ‘Be’: and he was.”


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