A brief summary, then, of these key points:
1. Jesus differentiated between himself and God. On one hand he exalted God,
but on the other hand he humbled himself before his Creator in worship. To his
followers, Jesus defined himself as nothing more than a man and a prophet.
2. The disciples agreed, and acknowledged Jesus Christ as a man and a prophet.
3. The only New Testament verse (1 Timothy 3:16) held to support the doctrine
of Incarnation is corrupt—even more, if it can be imagined, than the widely
discredited John 1:14 and Colossians 2:9.
4. The Bible describes the life and history of Jesus in terms which can only be
associated with humanity.
5. Rational arguments for the humanity of Jesus overwhelm the emotional
defenses of those who seek to support the Incarnation.
6. The example of Jesus, in appearance, manners, religious practices and creed,
is better exemplified in the lives of practicing Muslims than in the lives of
7. Pauline theology and that of Jesus Christ are separate and divergent, having
resulted in different schools of thought—so much so that, from the time of Paul,
a person had to choose between being a person “of Paul” or “of Christ.”
Lacking an explicit Bible verse to support the doctrine of the Incarnation, the
Christian world is forced to justify the theology on the basis of what they consider to be
suggestive evidence. What follows, then, is a list of this evidence, followed by rebuttal.
Divinity of Jesus?
The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men
prefer not to hear. —Herbert Agar
Exhibit #1 — Miracles
Some associate Jesus with divinity because he performed miracles. Many
Unitarian Christians and all Muslims point out that Jesus did indeed perform miracles,
but by the will of God and not through any divine powers of his own. To repeat the quote
of Acts 2:22, “Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and
signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves also know” (italics
mine). In conformity with both the Bible and Holy Qur’an, Muslims contend that the
miracles of Jesus were performed by the power of God. As the Holy Qur’an states,
Then will Allah say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favor
to you and to your mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the holy spirit, so that you spoke to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I
taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel. And behold!
You made out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and
you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My leave, and you healed
those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! You brought
forth the dead by My leave (TMQ 5:110).
The Islamic perspective is that miracles can be Godgiven signs of prophethood,
but don’t imply divinity. Hadith (Islamic traditions relating the words, deeds, appearance,
and approvals of Muhammad) relate numerous miracles of Muhammad with greater
historical authenticity than found in biblical manuscripts. While the science of hadith
authentication is regarded as a wonder of historical recordkeeping, the Bible doesn’t
satisfy many of the most basic standards of historical accuracy.* For example, the authors
of most of the books of the Bible (gospels included) are unknown, the time period in
which they were written is illdefined, and the source of much of the information is
ambiguous. These issues will be discussed later at greater length, but as a small teaser
let’s examine the story of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus to the chief priests. Who was the
author, and why should we believe him? Was he present at the betrayal? If so, then what
was he doing there, and why didn’t he alert Jesus? And if not, then where did he get his
information, and why should we trust it?