Dr. Badawi summarizes many of his earlier arguments against the Trinity in this segment. He then proceeds to critique a number of analogies which people have used to explain the Trinity. I think that we would all agree that it is impossible for the human mind to comprehend God. The Trinity, in spite of all of Badawi's objections, is a human attempt to understand the nature of God based on His Words in the Bible.
If we examine history, we find that nearly every false and heretical religious movement, including Islam, began with an incorrect idea of the nature of God. Many of the false teachings concerning the nature of God are based on the idea of "Dynamic Monarchianism", that is there is only one person in the Godhead, the Father. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not God. Islam and the Jehovah's Witnesses (from whom Dr. Badawi has borrowed many, if not most, or his arguments) accept this incorrect doctrine. This doctrine is incorrect because it denies the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the deity of the Holy Spirit.
Jamal Badawi: We have already discussed the issue of the divinity of Jesus which is the main difference between Christians and Muslims. There are five criteria to determine if Jesus is divine: what has been said about him, what he claimed, his miracles, the office of salvation and atonement.
Host: Could you tell us your views of the issues of why Trinity developed and why it is considered un Biblical?
Jamal Badawi: 1) There is nothing in the Bible where Jesus said that I am God or there is a Trinity.
Wrong. Jesus indeed claimed divinity according to the Bible:
In John 20:28 Jesus is referred to as both man and God:
Jesus also declared His own divinity in several other passages:
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Did Jesus object to Peter's statement? No!
And there are passages in the Bible which reveal the triune nature of God:
The Bible calls the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit God. I believe that we all have a free will and are able to accept or reject what we please - including the Bible. However, I believe that it is dishonest to claim that the Bible (or any other book) denies an idea which it clearly states. Repeating something that is untrue will never make it true Dr. Badawi!
The Bible clearly says that the Father is God Philippians 1:2:
the Son is God in John 1:1,14 and Colossians 2:9:
and the Holy Spirit is God Acts 5:3-4:
Deity of Jesus
But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked. "You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" They all condemned him as worthy of death.
I wonder which portion of this passage is unclear to Dr. Badawi?
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, teaches the Triune Nature of God. The one true God, was well established in the Old Testament (Isaiah 43:10 and Deuteronomy 6:4), and is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is called "God" in the Bible. The Father is God (Galatians 1:1 and Titus 1:4); the Son (or Word), is repeatedly called God (John 1:1,14, Acts 20:28, John 20:28, Titus 2:13, and Hebrews 1:8); and the Holy Spirit is identified as God in various Scriptures (Acts 5:3-4, 1 John 4:2,3, and Hebrews 10:15,16). The concept of the unity within the Trinity is seen in Matthew 28:19, where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit comprise one "name" because the term is singular in Greek. We read about the nature of God in the Bible, the account of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist clearly reveals the existence of a Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
For the convenience, here is a table showing the Biblical evidence for the Trinity arranged according to function:
Biblical Evidence of the Trinity
|Called God||Phil. 1:2||John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9||Acts 5:3-4|
|Creator||Is. 64:8;44:24||John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17||Job 33:4,26:13|
|Resurrects||1 Thess. 1:10||John 2:19, 10:17||Rom. 8:11|
|Indwells||2 Cor. 6:16||Col. 1:27||John 14:17|
|Everywhere||1 Kings 8:27||Matt. 28:20||Ps. 139:7-10|
|All knowing||1 John 3:20||John 16:30||1 Cor. 2:10-11|
|Sanctifies||1 Thess. 5:23||Heb. 2:11||1 Pet. 1:2|
|Life giver||Gen. 2:7||John 1:3; 5:21||2 Cor. 3:6,8|
|Fellowship||1 John 1:3||1 Cor. 1:9||2 Cor. 13:14|
|Eternal||Ps. 90:2||Micah 5:1-2||Rom. 8:11|
|A Will||Luke 22:42||Luke 22:42||1 Cor. 12:11|
|Speaks||Matt. 3:17||Luke 5:20; 7:48||Acts 8:29; 11:12; 13:2|
|Love||John 3:16||Eph. 5: 25||Rom. 15:30|
|Searches the heart||Jer. 17:10||Rev. 2:23||1 Cor. 2:10|
|We belong to||John 17:9||John 17:6||. . .|
|Savior||1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10||2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 1:4; 3:6||. . .|
|We serve||Matt. 4:10||Col. 3:24||. . .|
|Believe in||John 14:1||John 14:1||. . .|
|Gives joy||. . .||John 15:11||Rom. 14:7|
|Judges||John 8:50||John 5:21,30||. . .|
Source: Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
What? Where is your proof that the Bible has "been changed throughout history"? Some say that the Qur'an has been changed throughout history and, unlike Dr. Badawi, they have proof!
Once again, Jesus was both man and God, human and divine and this passage, which is probably one of Badawi''s favorite, has nothing to do with the question of hierarchy. The term greater refers to position, not nature. For example, in Philippians 2:6-8:
If Jesus wanted to say that He was inferior to God in nature, He would have said, "The Father is better than I."
In contrast to this, if we read Hebrews 1:4, it says (speaking of Jesus),
Notice here that Jesus is better than the angels, so the term superior is used. Once again, the term greater refers to position, not nature.
Jamal Badawi: We have to start with Nicea, the essence of the problem is we worship God in Trinity and in unity without dividing the substance. The Father, Son, Holy Spirit are all uncreated and eternal. That is very confusing because all are eternal and they are different persons who are uncreated, the problem is trying to reconcile definitions.
According to the Bible, the Father is eternal
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
God the Son is eternal Micah 5:2:
God the Holy Spirit is eternal Romans 8:11:
I am not sure why Dr. Badawi is confused or why he continues to claim that the Bible contains no evidence for the Trinity. Perhaps Dr. Badawi does not want to find this information in the Bible?
No, the Father did not come before the Son or the Holy Spirit! All three are eternal - God, God's Word, and God's Spirit. Dr. Badawi is clearly distorting the facts to fit his incorrect conception of God.
Jamal Badawi: In Encyclopedia Britannica it says if we recognize that the three are distinct, it is at the expense of their equality because they are not exactly equal, so they cannot be three in one. What distinguished one person of the other a characteristic of perfection, which contradicts the Trinity because they are not equal, and if one is imperfect, it cannot be God. If Jesus is a human, he cannot be God because he is imperfect.
How are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit not equal? How was Jesus imperfect, did He sin? The Bible clearly says that the Father is God (Philippians 1:2):
the Son is God ( John 1:1,14 and Colossians 2:9):
and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4):
It is impossible for the limited human mind to comprehend God. However, He has given us a glimpse of His nature in the Bible and the Trinity is the human explanation of the nature of God as He has revealed Himself to us. The simple fact is that God is a Trinity - One God who exists simultaneously in three persons. Each is co-equal, co-powerful, and co-eternal with the other. Each person, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is not the other. Without either there is no God; all comprise the one God.
The idea that God came to us in "stages" is wrong. This view is often called "Modal Monarchianism" which claims that there is one person in the Godhead who took three consecutive forms or modes. First there was the Father who then became the Son who then became the Holy Spirit. This doctrine is incorrect because it denies the true doctrine of the Trinity.
Jamal Badawi: The confusion is about the attributes and person of God. The attributes of God have nothing to do with the Trinity. When we speak of Trinity, we are talking about three persons and you cannot have unity. If the Trinity were examined allegorically, it would not be as problematic.
Host: Some say that a man can be a Father, son, and husband at the same time, how do you respond?
Jamal Badawi: The main point is that when a man is described this way, he is not three independent persons, but is the same person. These are not equal but they are different attributes. No description like this says that they are different flesh and this man dies completely. The analogy is not correct. Some argue that there is a difference between the simple and complex one. This is also incorrect.
Host: Some say that water can be liquid, solid, or gas, but it is still water, is this a good analogy for the Trinity?
Jamal Badawi: No, it would like saying 1/3 of the God. Water takes these forms because of outside influences of temperature, God is eternal and not affected by outside forces. Also oxygen and hydrogen are not equal and can be separated .
Host: How about the analogy between the body, soul, and spirit which constitutes one person?
Jamal Badawi: This is not correct, as Socianus said the body and soul are so related that they are not separate. The body is one aspect that cannot live without the others.
Once again, it is impossible for the human mind to comprehend God. The Trinity is a human attempt to understand the nature of God based on what He has revealed in the Bible. For more on the Trinity, please read these articles.
Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
Answering Islam Home Page