Bible Studies/islam and chritianity
why are moslems say Jesus Christ is not GOD but only a prophet of GOD?
There are several reasons why people do not acknowledge Jesus Christ to be God.
1. The evidence that Jesus Christ really is God manifested as a human being has been obscured by the misrepresentations of His “followers” both in their philosophical doctrines and in their practices.
2. People do not make the effort to uncover the evidence for themselves.
3. People prefer to retain the god or gods of their culture and ancestry.
I suppose there are too many other reasons to list.
Seriously studying "The Book" to consider the claims Jesus Christ made about being God, and the evidence of His Resurrection that proved those claims, has convinced me that Jesus Christ is The One True Almighty God manifested in flesh. But, that is not the way Christendom defines Him.
There is some interesting history that pertains to the answer to your question. Allow me to recount it to you in some detail, because it is no longer readily available.
Islamic organizations and individuals are attempting to revise Islamic history by rewriting and eliminating older histories, attempting to remove some salient details. Their clerics are determined to rid their history of all challenging facts and uncomfortable truths, and these things are definitely not taught in Islam today.
Salman Rushdie's infamous book, The Satanic Verses, makes a reference to one part of Islamic history they want obliterated. This earned him a death sentence from Islamic clerics. Comments about attempts to revise that history are made here:
Indeed, the title ''The Satanic Verses'' refers to an incident in the life of Mohammed, recorded by two early Arab historians (al-Waqidi, A.D. 747-823, and at-Tabari, A.D. c. 839-923), discredited by later commentators on the Koran, but taken up in Western accounts as the ''lapse of Mohammed'' or his ''compromise with idolatry.''
Mohammed was born probably in 571 A.D. and died in 632 A.D. You might be interested to try to find references to Mohammed's encounter with Christians before he first began preaching. The history is significant, and interesting. But, the facts are no longer readily available. Much effort has been expended by Islamic clerics to erase all record of the details of Mohammed's time in Damascus, before he began his religious campaign. However, records still exist which are beyond their governance. You will need to find old editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica, or other old books about the history of Islam, because any reprints may have been modified.
Fortunately, I personally own a book, first published in 1877, which makes reference to one of the historical facts Islamic clerics most want to eliminate. The story is mentioned in a way that demonstrates that its fact was well known among scholars of both Islamic and Christian history. I spent some time in the library at Indiana University investigating the story it told.
The young Mohammed encountered Christians whose preaching about Jesus Christ enthused him. They testified to him that the Almighty became a man, who was known by the name Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. They also told him that Jesus Christ was crucified, but rose from the dead on the third day after his burial. They converted him from his ancestral polytheism to Monotheism. They so convinced him that Jesus Christ was God manifest in flesh that he pursued more knowledge of Him as The One True God.
His pursuit took him to the only group of Christian scholars he had heard about, a Roman Catholic Monastery near Damascus. He sought his education about this God, The Lord Jesus Christ, there.
But, Roman Catholicism had by this time deviated from the great truth of the Bible, and adopted a philosophically based doctrine of God that lessened the Deity of Christ and divided God into three persons. The monks tried to convince Mohammed that Jesus Christ was not The One True God manifested in flesh, but one of three co-equal, co-powerful, and co-eternal persons who comprised the Godhead (the doctrine of the Trinity, which was not the original Christian theology, but had gained popularity after 350 A.D.).
This was not the God Mohammed had learned of from the first Christians he met, and he rejected the "Trinity" taught by the Roman Catholics. Because the Roman Catholic Church allowed only the higher echelons of their priesthood to have personal access to any Biblical text, the young Mohammed could not learn its language and study it for himself.
Mohammed rejected the Christ of the Trinitarian doctrine in favor of a stricter monotheism, and left the monastery, believing that Jesus Christ could be no more than the greatest prophet who ever lived. He remained convinced, however that there could only be one God. Mohammed identified that deity by the generic name of the most popular of his ancestral gods, “Allah”. He borrowed the title, "The merciful, the compassionate," from an inscription at the monastery of Musa near Damascus. His own followers exalted Mohammed to the position of supreme prophet, and Jesus Christ to that of the second most important prophet.
The testimony of a Christian minister who had been an Islamic cleric before his conversion encouraged me to do a little research on the history of “Allah”. I found much evidence of the revisionism efforts I mention above. This revisionism is mentioned in the document titled, "A History of Allah.com", but even the web-link to the article has now been eliminated:
Nevertheless, there are some sources that have not been lost. This site has some interesting references:
So what is the origin of Allah? Allah was not an invention or revelation brought to Muhammed during his visits to the caves outside of Mecca because Allah existed long before Muhammed showed up on the scene. According to W. Montgomery Watt, Muhammed's original message was not a criticism of paganism. It was directed at the people who already believed in a god named Allah, or Al-ILAH "the god ascends." Muhammed encouraged the people of Mecca to retain this generic god in the Kaaba as he directed their attention to Allah, then he threw all of the other gods out. The evolving monotheism of Mecca was vague as to Allah's role, so Muhammed had very little trouble tailoring his new religion to their tastes. (Watt, W Montgomery, Muhammed, Prophet and Statesman, Oxford Press , 25-26) The Satanic Verses allowed the Meccans to keep Allat, Al-Uzza, and Manat. This helped to wean the Meccans off of their pantheon slowly, leaving them their three favorite goddesses until Allah's monotheism could be enforced later by the sword. (Noss, John B, Man's Religions, 6th Edition, Macmillan, NY, 1980, 499, ) At that point Muhammed revised Sura 53 to exclude the three goddesses, and Allah was left standing alone, the monotheistic heir to the estate.
James Hastings, in his Encyclopedia of Religion, says that Muhammed at one point wanted to abandon the rather generic name of Allah for a more colorful one, but he later realized that Allah was holding the peoples attention just fine. (Hastings, James, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Scribners, NY ,248 ,) When Muhammed came to Mecca to clean up the Kaaba, and was throwing all of the gods out, except for Allah, the paintings of Jesus and Mary on the inside walls of the Kaaba persuaded him to include Mary and Jesus in the new cult. So that's why Surah 5:116 mentioned Mary.
There are some references in current versions, but they are not obvious unless you already know what they intend to hide. For example:
Look for the influence of Islamic revisionism, and the traces of the revised history in the following quote from my Encyclopædia Britannica software (2007):
The rise of Islam
After Muhammad's entry into Mecca the tribes linked with Quraysh came to negotiate with him and to accept Islam; this meant little more than giving up their local deities and worshiping Allah alone. They had to pay the tax, but this was not novel because the tribal chiefs had already been taxed to protect the Meccan ḥaram. Many tribesmen probably waited to join the winner. Doubtless they cared little for Islam—many tried to break away (the so-called apostasy) on Muhammad's death.
Islam, however, was destined for a world role. Under Muhammad's successors the expansionist urge of the tribes, temporarily united around the nucleus of the two sacred enclaves, coincided with the weakness of Byzantium and Sāsānian Persia. Tribes summoned to the banners of Islam launched a career of conquest that promised to satisfy the mandate of their new faith as well as the desire for booty and lands. With families and flocks, they left the peninsula. Population movements of such magnitude affected all of Arabia; in Hadhramaut they possibly caused neglect of irrigation works, resulting in erosion of fertile lands. In Oman, too, when Arab tribes evicted the Persian ruling class, its complex irrigation system seems to have suffered severely. Many Omani Arabs about the mid-7th century left for Basra (in Iraq) and formed the influential Azd group there. Arabian Islam replaced Persian influence in the Bahrain district and Al-Ḥasā province in the northeast, and in Yemen.
As the conquests far beyond Arabia poured loot into the Holy Cities (Mecca and Medina), they became wealthy centres of a sophisticated Arabian culture; Medina became a centre for Qurʾānic study, the evolution of Islamic law, and historical record. Under the caliphs—Muhammad's successors—Islam began to assume its characteristic shape; paradoxically, outside the cities it made little difference to Arabian life for centuries. Sharīʿah (Islamic law), promoted often by the Prophet's own descendants, developed in the urban centres; but outside them customary law persisted, sometimes diametrically opposed to Sharīʿah. In time the Hejaz and Yemen came to make notable contributions to Islamic culture, but Islam's basically Arabian nature first shows in the early mosque, which resembles the pre-Islamic temple, and in the pilgrimage rites, little altered from paganism.
"worshiping Allah alone"
"Islam, however, was destined for a world role."
"the expansionist urge of the tribes"
"their new faith as well as the desire for booty and lands"
"the evolution of Islamic law, and historical record"
"paradoxically, outside the cities it made little difference to Arabian life for centuries"
"Islam's basically Arabian nature first shows in the early mosque, which resembles the pre-Islamic temple"
"little altered from paganism"
See also and article in Britannica titled, "New social patterns among the Meccans and their neighbors".
Mohammed’s Meccan tribal deities included a god of war, which was usually given the generic name "Allah," which is equivalent to the English word "god" but became a proper noun with common usage applied to a specific deity (just as it has in Judaism and Christianity, the difference being that both Judaism and Christianity have specific proper nouns representing the actual name of their deity - "Yahweh" and "Jesus").
You may find other references than these if you do a little personal research.
So, Islam's roots go back to one of the gods, worshipped by the descendents of Esau. That god’s name has been preserved almost unaltered through the generations, and is now commonly recognized, by scholars and Islamic clerics, to be Allah. Allah was worshipped as a god of war, and the leaders of those who worshipped him, in opposition to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, encouraged violence as a primary method of converting the infidel and bringing more people and territory under their control.
This perspective has been dominant in Islamic history. Islam, as practiced by its proponents, has never been a religion of peace. When Mohammed began organizing the Arab people under the banner of Allah, he practiced the rule of forced conversion or execution. The only people he ever mentioned as deserving to be exempt from such tactics were "the people of the Book," meaning first Christians, then Jews, whom he called "brothers" in his Koranic writings.
Mohammed had such a great respect for the earlier Christians he had met, who had taught him that God is One, and that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had become a man, Jesus Christ, to be the Saviour of all men that he did not consider them to be “infidels”. He called them, "The people of the Book," the Book we now call the Bible, Old and New Testaments. They were to be considered elder brothers by all Moslems. Unfortunately, Islamic clerics decided to reinterpret his plain statement, just as Christian clerics have decided to ignore plain statements in The Bible (“The Book”) in favor of a philosophical abstraction that contradicts the original theology.
I especially like some of the passages in the Koran that are contradicted elsewhere in the Koran:
"There shall be no compulsion in religion."
"God does not love the aggressors."
Mohammed was born probably in 571 A.D. and died in 632 A.D. Moslem conquest (by military might and murder, contrary to the principles taught by Mohammed) began later in the seventh century and years following. The Crusades were Roman Catholicism's response to Islamic military conquest and the forced conversion of every tribe they conquered.
That's all I have time for today, hope it helps.