Monday, December 27, 2010

Christianity, Islam, and the Virgin Birth - The Christian Worldview

Christians aren't the only people who believe Mary conceived Jesus when she was a virgin, Muslims also hold to the virgin birth. The Quran states in Surah 19:20-22 (Yusuf Ali Translation):
She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" He said: "So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us': It is a matter (so) decreed." So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.
Part of this passage closely resembles Luke 1:34, Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"

However, it must be noted that in Christianity the virgin birth plays an infinitely greater role than it does in Islam— for contrary to the teachings of the Quran, Jesus was much more than a prophet. Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God (19:35), and consequently He cannot properly be called the Messiah (because only God Himself could fulfill the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah such as that He would establish an everlasting kingdom, 2 Samuel 7:13, and bear sin, Isaiah 53). But to the Christian, Jesus is the Son of God. He is, in the fullest sense the Messiah, Immanuel, and God With Us.

For Christians, the virgin birth plays a critical role in the unwrapping of God's plan for salvation— for it was the means through which God became flesh (see Why was the Virgin Birth So Important?). It was the means through which God entered the world— fully God and fully man— so that He could die for His people. Jesus is not a sign from Allah. Rather, Jesus is God in human flesh. Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to God. Apart from Jesus, no person can be saved. Apart from Him, no man's sin can be blotted out. Apart from Jesus Christ, redemption is impossible and there can be nothing but unreasonable hope.

Related Posts:
The Messiah that the Jews Expected and the Messiah that Came
Was the Virgin Birth Necessary? Why was the Virgin Birth So Important? (Part 1)
The Virgin Birth - Matthew 1:18
Jesus' Purpose: To Save His People From Their Sins (Part 1) - Matthew 1:21
Isaiah's Prophecy: It's Fulfillment (Part 1) - Matthew 1:22-23

5 comments:

  1. Dear writer and all

    Christians will be surprised to hear that Muslims also believe in Jesus (peace be upon him) and love him. It is true that Muslims believe Jesus (peace be upon him) to be a righteous prophet and a Messenger of God sent to guide the children of Israel, and not the son of God. As we believe God has no sons, daughters or associates. We pray to him directly. Regarding Jesus (peace be upon him), we believe in his miraculous birth, in his miracles, and that he was not crucified, because God protected him from the intended crucifixion, and raised him up to him. His characteristics were put over another man, and they crucified that man. Jesus (peace be upon him) is the Messiah, and he will return.

    http://theradiantlight.blogspot.com/

    ....................................

    The Descriptive Titles of Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Quran "The Messiah" and "a Miracle"
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/230/

    The Descriptive Titles of Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Quran A "Word" and "Spirit" from God
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/229/

    Jesus' Greatest Commandment
    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/28/

    -----------------------------------------

    More at

    Prophet Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon them) in the Holy Quran and Previous Scriptures
    http://theradiantlight.blogspot.com/2009/12/common-questions-asked-and-their.html

    and

    Stories of the Prophets
    http://theradiantlight.blogspot.com/2010/09/stories-of-prophets.html

    Thank you
    Peace

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  2. Thank you for the info.
    I have updated this post in order to make it more clear what I mean by "Messiah". The Messiah, according to Isaiah 53, would bear sin. This is at the heart of Christianity and the gospel. God would be just to send all men to hell because all men have disobeyed Him. Committing just one sin against God, who is of infinite greatness, is deserving of an infinitely great punishment. Thus good works can't earn a person salvation (for instance, if a man were to willingly and intentionally murder a person, when that man stands before the judge for his trial, he's he is still going to be found guilty and deserving of punishment regardless of how much money he has given to the poor or how many innocent lives he has saved). This is why the Messiah had to be God Himself, because only God Himself can bear the punishment for sin which men deserve (an infinite punishment) and rise again. Hopefully that made the way in which I use the word "Messiah" make a bit more sense. Let me know if you have any questions.

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  3. Thank you Priceless Eternity.

    Do Christians believe beloved Jesus (peace be upon him) to be God?, and son of God?

    Do you pray to God or Jesus (peace be upon him)? Because Jesus (peace be upon him) prayed to God. And Taught the following when asked “‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:28-30) “‘Well said, teacher,’ the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.’” (Mark 12:32).“When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’” (Mark 12:34)

    Another man approached Jesus (peace be upon him) to learn from him and asked "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" Jesus (peace be upon him)replied "Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."(Matthew 19:16-17).

    According to Christianity, what happens to those before Jesus (peace be upon him), whom have not heard of him? And righteous prophets and messengers whom God sent for guidance, and taught the worship of one God and to follow his commandments? Are they all destined to Hell? Why weren't they taught this salvation. In Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus (peace be upon him) taught “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them”.” If God is/became Jesus (peace be upon him) and died for our sins, why did he not come sooner to save them, and came after many generations from Adam to Jesus (peace be upon them)? . And Doesn’t this violate the rule set out in Deuteronomy (24:16). “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor shall the children be put to death for the fathers, every man shall be put to death for his own sin”. The same is expressed in the Holy Quran: “No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another…”(The Holy Quran, 6:164).”

    Thank you.
    Peace

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  4. Yes, Christians believe that Jesus is God.

    Who do Christians pray to? Typically the Father. This question is addressed pretty well in this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kdOrDtth08

    Yes, Jesus certainly prayed throughout His entire time on earth. In particular, the gospel of Luke takes special note of the many times that Jesus prayed.

    Prophets who lived before Jesus did not go to hell. All those who put their faith in God in the times prior to Jesus were saved. I would recommend reading Hebrews 11 to get a better grasp of this concept. It gives many example of prophets and others who were saved prior of Jesus: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=heb%2011&version=NASB

    As for your question regarding children not being put to death for the fathers, it is important to remember this is for legal issues. I believe you may find this to be a good explanation of this passage: http://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/do-sons-bear-sins-fathers-or-not

    Jesus died for every redeemed person of every age, both those who lived before Him and those who lived after Him. The animal sacrifices which were offered up before the times of Jesus were not sufficient to take away sin, but only to cover it (Hebrews 10:1-4). This is why Jesus' sacrifice was needed. He bore His people's sins. He took them away.

    Once again, feel free to ask if you have anymore questions.

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  5. I believe beloved Jesus (peace be upon him) was not crucified, God protected him from the intended crucifixion, and raised him up to him. God says in the Holy Quran:
    “That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah ; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not” ( The Holy Quran, 4:157)
    “Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise” (The Holy Quran, 4:158)
    “And (Jesus) shall be a sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.” (The Holy Quran, 43:61)

    So in Islam, the key to salvation is the belief in and worship of the One True, Unique and Perfect God and obedience to His commandments, the same message brought by all Prophets. Islam preaches that a person must work righteousness and avoid sin to attain Paradise, and that if one sins, that they seek repentance for it from their heart. Through this and the Mercy and Grace of God, they will enter Paradise. Islam does not deem that all those before the advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are doomed to Hell, but rather that each nation was sent a prophet by the same One God, and it was upon them to follow His commandments. Those who have not heard of the message are not held liable to follow Islam, and God will deal with them with His Perfect Justice on the Day of Judgment. Infants and children of both Muslims/non-muslims and disbelievers alike are in enjoyment in Paradise upon death. Due to the infinite Justice of God:
    “No one laden with burdens can bear another’s burden. And We never punish (people) until We have sent (to them) a Messenger (to give warning).” (The Holy Quran 17:15)

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