Christians Gladly Respond to Shabir's Questions

Sam Shamoun

Shabir :


In Mark 13:32 Jesus declared that he does not know when the day of Judgement will occur. Since Jesus had this limitation in his knowledge then he was not God. Is there anything that God does not know?


It becomes very tiring answering the same arguments over and over again. Shabir is good at constantly repeating himself in his debates and articles. The historic Christian position is that Jesus is both God and man at the same time. As such, he has both a divine consciousness and a human one. As far as his divine consciousness is concerned Christ is all-knowing. As far as his human consciousness is concerned Christ grew in wisdom and knowledge. Here is the evidence supporting the fact that Jesus is omniscient:

"'Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.' Jesus answered them, 'Do you now believe?'" John 16:30-31

The only Being who knows all things and needs no one to instruct him is God:

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO HAS BECOME HIS COUNSELOR?" Romans 11:33-34

Amazingly, Jesus also knows the Father in the same way that the Father knows the Son:

"All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." Luke 10:22

Other references to Christ's omniscience include:

"He said to him the third time, 'Simon son of John, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love me?' And he said to Him, 'Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You' Jesus said to him, 'Tend My sheep.' John 21:17

"... and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. Revelation 2:23b

Jesus affirms both his omniscience and his omnipotence since only an all-powerful Being can reward every individual according to what he has done. Compare Jesus' words with that of Yahweh God's in the Old Testament:

"I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to the results of his deeds." Jeremiah 17:10

These passages serve to indicate that the one person of Christ, being the God-man, had both a divine and human consciousness. In his divine consciousness he was all-knowing whereas in his human one he was not.

Furthermore, Shabir conveniently overlooks the Markan passage since had he actually meditated upon it he would have seen that Jesus clearly presents himself as being superior to both men and angels, being subject only to the Father. This means that Jesus believed he was superior to all creation, including prophets. Since Shabir believes Muhammad was both a prophet and a part of creation, this implies that Jesus is superior to the prophet of Islam.

Shabir :

Many Christians say that Jesus was fully God and fully man at the same time. Did Jesus have a human soul? If so then he was a complete human being with the Spirit of God dwelling in him. But the spirit of God in a human does not make the human into God. Notice that Barnabas was also full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:24).


Shabir attacks a straw man here. No Christian says that Jesus is God because he had the Spirit of God indwelling him. Furthermore, Shabir commits a non-sequitor since it does not follow that Jesus having a human soul means that he must have had God's Spirit indwelling him. Jesus is fully God who took on a human nature with all its properties yet with the exception of sin. This includes having a human soul as well. Yet, the personality of Christ is one. Finally, although Barnabas was filled with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit conceived Christ's human nature. This is something that is true of Christ alone.

Shabir :

The Bible says that Jesus was like us in every way apart from sin. Was Jesus aware that he was God? If yes, then he was not like us since we do not think we are God. But if Jesus was not aware that he was God, then he is not like God either since God obviously knows himself.


Shabir commits the fallacy of false dilemma. Christ being fully human does not nullify the fact that he is also fully God. In fact, Shabir is alluding to the book of Hebrews where it says that Christ was like us in every way:

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:15

Yet, in spite of making this statement the author still saw no problem in asserting that Christ is the divine Son of God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe:

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." Hebrews 1:1-3

"But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.' He also says, 'In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.'" Hebrews 1:8-12

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8

"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Hebrews 2:14-15

The author claims that Jesus shared the humanity of the children he came to redeem, implying that Christ was already existing prior to his becoming man.

The point of Hebrews is that Christ was like us in every way in that he could be tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews is not stating that since Jesus is man he therefore could not be God. This is Shabir's own false dilemma that he imposes on Scripture.

Finally, using Shabir's logic Jesus could not be human since he was without sin. Yet, we all know that there is no human being who is without sin.

Shabir :


Moses said that God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). Jesus said that God is one (Mark 12:27).

But some Christians say that God is one in three. If they really follow Jesus and Moses should they not say exactly what Jesus and Moses said?


Shabir again attacks a straw man since the heart of Trinitarianism is that God is one. Yet, if Shabir continued to read all that Moses and Jesus had to say he would have ended up with the belief in the Trinity.

Shabir :

If we put three cakes together to make a bigger cake then we end up with a bigger cake. So when we put the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost together do we not get a bigger God than any of the individual three?


First God is not comparable to a cake or cakes, or anything else in creation. Second, Shabir's analogy of three cakes being put together presumes that Christians believe in three Gods coming together to form a unity. This is false. There is only One God and within the Being of this one God are three Persons.

Shabir :

1st John chapter 5, verse 7 used to say that there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. But because this verse was discovered to be a later insertion, it has now been correctly removed from modern translations. Do you think it is possible that other passages in the Bible may likewise be later additions?


Possible, but unlikely seeing that a careful examination of the thousands of available MSS has led textual scholars to the conclusion that we can confidently assert that the Holy Bible we have in our possession accurately reflects the originals. The degree of certainty that we do have the Holy Bible handed down as it was originally written is over 98%, something that is not true for any other book of antiquity including the Quran.

Shabir :


In Judges 11:24 we read that the true God Yahweh gave some land to the people of Israel. But the same verse also says that another God Chemosh gave some other land to the Ammonite people. Since the Bible declares that there is only one God, how could Chemosh even exist to give land to his worshippers?

According to 2nd Kings chapter 3 the Spirit of God came upon the prophet Elisha and declared that God will deliver the Moab people into the hands of Israel (verse 18). But then, while this prophecy was about to be fulfilled, the king of Moab sacrificed his first-born son as a burnt offering. Then the wrath upon Israel was so great that they gave up the siege and returned to their own land (verse 27). How could a pagan child-sacrifice cause the God's prophecy to fail?


In response to the first assertion the Holy Bible provides the answer:

"This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, THOUGH YOU DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE ME." Isaiah 45:1-4

"Now I will hand all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him." Jeremiah 27:6

God used both Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar without them ever acknowledging that it was Yahweh who was giving them the victory over the nations. God also appointed lands for the nations and also determines where every human being should live:

"When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel." Deuteronomy 32:8

"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'" Acts 17:26-28

In a similar fashion God had apportioned the land to the Ammonites without the Ammonites realizing this. Instead, they felt it was their god Chemosh that gave them the land. Hence, the Israelites are not affirming their belief in Chemosh, but rather using irony in trying to convince the Ammonites that they should stay in the land that they believed was given to them by their false god and not impose themselves on Israelite territory.

In response to the second assertion, the Bible again provides the answer:

"O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. 'Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it." Jeremiah 18:6-10

God withholds his plans of blessing if he sees his people corrupting themselves, much like the king of Moab had done. This does not imply that God changed his mind but that God acts in accordance with his nature. His nature demands that disobedience must be punished. This is something that is not foreign to the Quran:

"Then Adam received commandments from his Lord, and his Lord relented towards him; for He is Oft-Repenting (Huwat Tawwaab), Most Merciful." S. 2:37

"And remember Moses said to his people: 'O my people! ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf; so turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker.' Then He relented towards you.: for He is Oft-Repenting (Huwat Tawwaab), Most Merciful." S. 2:54

"Such as took their religion To be more amusement And play, and were deceived By the life of the world. That day shall We forget them As they forgot the meeting Of this day of theirs, And as they were wont To reject Our Signs." S. 7:51

"The Hypocrites, men and women, are alike: they enjoin evil, and forbid what is just, and tighten their purse's strings. They have forgotten Allah: so He hath forgotten them. Verily the Hypocrites are rebellious and perverse." S. 9:67

Shabir would not say that these passages mean that Allah actually changed his mind, but that Allah acted in accordance with his nature when dealing with sinners or with his righteous servants.

Shabir :

According to Judges chapter 1 God was with Judah driving out the people and clearing the land for his chosen people. But verse 19 surprises us by saying that God could not drive out the people of the plain because they had chariots of iron. Is God limited in his power or is there something else wrong here?


Here, Shabir misquotes the Bible:

"The LORD was with the men of Judah. THEY took possession of the hill country, but THEY were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots." Judges 1:19

Nowhere does it say that the LORD was unable to drive out the iron chariots. Rather, it was the men of Judah who could not drive them out since it was not God's will for the men to do so. Had Shabir bothered to read the rest of the book he would have discovered why God didn't grant Judah complete victory:

"The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, ‘I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, "I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars." Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.’" Judges 2:1-3

"But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, ‘Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did.’ The LORD had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua." Judges 2:19-23

"These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD's commands, which he had given their forefathers through Moses. The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods." Judges 3:1-6

We therefore see that God purposefully allowed Israel's enemies to flourish in order to teach Israel a lesson for their disobedience, as well as to test them to see if they will remain faithful to God's covenant. He also allowed them to remain so as to teach Israel the art of warfare.

If Shabir objects and states that God should have driven out the iron chariots then Shabir must say the same thing with Allah. Would Shabir claim that Allah was not with Muhammad because Muhammad was defeated at Uhud? Or would he claim that Allah was unable to deliver Muhammad from the battle without suffering an injury? Or would Shabir claim that it was not Allah's will for Muhammad to win but this still does not mean that Allah had abandoned Muhammad?


Ezekiel chapter 23 describes the prostitution of two sisters. It seems that the point can be made without all the graphic detail. But then verse 20 surprises us by describing the private parts of the men involved. If you think this is necessary for the moral lesson, could you please read for us starting from verse 1? Or how about from verse 11? Or just verse 20?


We find similar sounding passages in the Quran, with the difference being that whereas Ezekiel's statements are metaphorical the Quranic passages are taken literally:

"Surely for the godfearing awaits a place of security, gardens and vineyards, and maidens of SWELLING BREASTS (kawa'eb), like of age, and a cup overflowing." S. 78:33 Arberry (see also Dawood, Rodwell)

Ibn Kathir, one of Islam's premiere commentators, notes:

"Kawa'eb" - "SWELLING AND FIRM, NOT SAGGING." (Quoted from M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton, Place of Women in Pure in Islam, p. 30 - you can read it on line as well.

To imagine that God would reveal such a verse, wherein he would actually say that in paradise one will find women who literally have firm breasts is incredulous.

The idea of having sexual relations in Paradise has led some Muslims to interpret these passages metaphorically. This in turn has prompted the assumption that the description is merely a poetic attempt to describe that which is indescribable.

Unfortunately for these scholars, Muhammad will not allow for such an interpretation. In Sahih Muslim, no. 6793 and 6794, we are told:

"In Paradise... every person would have two wives (so beautiful) that the marrow of their shanks would glimmer beneath the flesh and there would be none without a wife in Paradise."

According to Ibn Kathir's commentary on S. 56:35-37, a Muslim will be given seventy specially created females with two of his earthly wives, for a total of seventy-two maidens in Paradise.

In Mishkat Al-Masabih, Muhammad indicates:

"The believer will be given such and such strength in Paradise for sexual intercourse. It was questioned: O prophet of Allah! Can he do that? He said: 'He will be given the strength of one hundred persons.'" (Bk. IV, chp. XLII, Hadith no. 24; transmitted by Tirmizi who classified this Hadith as sound)

Even more amazing is this statement from Muhammad:

"The Prophet was asked: 'Do we have sex in Paradise?' He answered: 'Yes, by him who holds my soul in his hand, and it will be done dahman, dahman. And when it is finished she will return pure and virgin again.'" (Ibn Kathir's commentary on S. 56:35-37)

An editorial footnote to Ibn Kathir's translation indicates that the word dahman means intercourse done with such "shove and disturbance." (Ibid)

So, Shabir could you please explain to us why such graphic descriptions in the Quran?

Shabir :


St. Anselm of Canterbury said that it was necessary for God to come down and pay the penalty for sin because the penalty was so great. Who died on the cross? If God, then who ran the world? But if man, then how could the sacrifice of one man pay for the whole world?


Shabir commits several fallacies here. He asks the question that if God died on the cross then who would be left to run the universe. He assumes that Christians believe that Jesus is the only person that is God. Yet, Christians believe that both the Father and the Holy Spirit are also God. Hence, it was the eternal Son that died, not the eternal Father or Holy Spirit.

Second, Shabir's question also presumes that there is only one definition of death and imposes this definition upon the Holy Bible. He presumably feels that death means non-existence or annihilationism. Yet, we must see how the Holy Bible defines the term "death."

According to Scriptures death does not necessarily refer to non-existence, but rather refers to separation or broken communion with God. The Scriptures tell us that as a result of man's sin two types of separation have occurred. The first is spiritual "death" where a person is severed from having fellowship with God, being separated from God's holy presence. Hence, instead of God's love abiding upon an individual, it is the divine wrath that rests upon him:

"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'" Genesis 2:15-17

After disobeying God by eating from the forbidden tree, the man and his wife were then banished from the presence of God in Eden:

"And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life." Genesis 3:22-24

Scripture continues to elaborate on this spiritual separation that has occurred as a result of sin:

"For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you. The boastful will not stand before your eyes; you hate evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful." Psalm 5:4-6 NRSV

"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear." Psalm 66:18

"Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear." Isaiah 59:2 NRSV

"Then they will cry to the LORD, but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds." Micah 3:4

"Your eyes are too pure to behold evil, and you cannot look on wrongdoing..." Habakkuk 1:13 NRSV

"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed... But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger." Romans 2:5, 8

This does not mean that God is not spiritually present since God is present everywhere. Rather, it implies that God is not present in mercy and fellowship, but is present in wrath and judgment.

The greatest separation between God and man occurs in hell, where sinners are forever severed from fellowship with God:

"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. THE LAKE OF FIRE IS THE SECOND DEATH. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:11-15

This is the type of "death" Christ experienced while on the cross, broken fellowship and intimacy. The Father severed his intimate communion with the Son temporarily in order that his wrath would abide upon Christ on behalf of the people he had come to redeem:

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?', that is, 'My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?'" Matthew 27:46

"God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-" Romans 3:25

According to the NIV translators, the Greek phrase for "a sacrifice of atonement" means that Christ was presented "as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away sin." Hence, Jesus curbed the Father's wrath by taking it upon himself while on the cross.

The second type of "death" which the Holy Bible refers to is physical death. This is where the soul departs from the body and the body returns to the ground from which it came:

"And to the man he said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, "You shall not eat of it," cursed it is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat the bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return'." Genesis 3:17-19 NRSV

"Remember him-before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

Yet, the problem is that God is essentially a Spirit and has no body at all, whether a material one like that of earthly creatures, or one resembling that of angels (cf. John 4:24).

In order for him to experience physical death on behalf of sinners he needed to take on a human nature. This is precisely what God chose to do when becoming man in the person of Christ. At the moment of death, Christ's eternal Spirit and human soul departed from his physical body. On the third day the eternal Spirit of Christ, along with his human soul, reunited with his body where he then arose in immortal glory:

"And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, 'Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.' Having said this, He breathed His last." Luke 23:46

Hence, when we allow Scripture to define death we find absolutely no problems with the divine Son of God dying on behalf of his elect.

Interestingly not only is Shabir's definition of death unbiblical, it is also contrary to the Quran:

"Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision." S. 3:169

This echoes the words of the Lord Jesus Christ:

"But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." Luke 20:37-38

Shabir :

If someone pays my fine, even if I do not like that person, then the government can no longer demand payment from me. If Jesus paid my debt, then God can no longer demand it from me. How could God still punish sinners after Jesus died for us all.


Simply, Christ paid for the sins of God's people:

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

And those whom Christ died for are then called to salvation and transformed by God's Spirit to be holy and pure so that their lives will not be characterized by willful sins:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." Romans 8:28-30

"No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:6-10

"This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith... We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him." 1 John 5:2-4, 18

If someone belongs to God yet continues to sin willfully, God will bring discipline and judgment upon that person in order to bring him/her to repentance and to righteous living:

"And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: 'My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.' Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:5-11

"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent." Revelation 3:19

Yet, the person whom God has chosen will never experience eternal punishment. It is similar to a son that is disciplined by his father when doing wrong. This does not imply that the son no longer has a place in his father's home. Nor does it mean that he is disqualified from being a son solely because he receives discipline.

Shabir :

The Bible says that Jesus was a ransom sacrifice who died to set us free. Is this ransom paid to God or to the Devil? If to God, then why did God kill his own son to set us free when he could have just set us free and keep his son? If the ransom was paid to the devil, then how could the devil be on such great bargaining terms with God to demand his very son?


First, the ransom was paid to God to satisfy his divine justice and holiness, not to the devil:

"And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice TO GOD." Ephesians 5:2

"how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish TO GOD, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God." Hebrews 9:14


"God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement (Greek- hilasterion), through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-" Romans 3:25

The NIV Study Bible has an alternate rendering for the Greek term used here in Romans:

"25 or as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away sin"

Here is another text that speaks of Christ's death appeasing God's wrath:

"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice (Greek- hilasmos) for our sins, and not onnly for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1-2

The NIV Study Bible also includes an alternate rendering for 1 John 2.2:

2.2 "Or He is the one who turns aside God's wrath, taking away our sins, and not only ours but also"

The NIV Study Bible's footnote for 1 John 2:2 states:

  1. atoning sacrifice for our sins. The NIV text note explains the fuller meaning of the original Greek (see also 4:10). God's holiness demands punishment for man's sin. God, therefore, out of love (4:10; Jn 3:16), sent his Son to make substitutionary atonement for the believer's sin. In this way the Father's wrath is propitiated (satisfied and appeased); his wrath against the Christian's sin has been turned away and directed toward Christ..."

The NIV's footnote at Romans 3:25 also states:

3:25 sacrifice of atonement. The Greek for this phrase speaks of a sacrifice that satisfies the righteous wrath of God. Without this appeasement ('propitiation) all people are justly destined for eternal punishment..."

In response to the other assertion made by Shabir, here is the answer taken and adapted from another one of our articles:

Muslim Argument:

Why was it necessary for God to send his eternal Son to die for sinners. Couldn't God have simply forgiven sinners instead of having his Son murdered?

Christian Response:

We must first point out that God did not murder his Son. It was the will of The Father, Son, and the Holy

Spirit that the Son should lay his life down for sinners. This was to demonstrate both God's holiness and infinite love for man:

"For even the Son did not come to be served, but to serve, and lay his life down as a RANSOM for many." Mark 10:45 NIV

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. THIS BREAD IS MY FLESH WHICH I WILL GIVE FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD." John 6:51 NIV

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father- AND I LAY DOWN MY LIFE FOR THE SHEEP... The reason my Father loves me is that I LAY DOWN MY LIFE- ONLY TO TAKE IT UP AGAIN. NO ONE TAKES IT FROM ME, BUT I LAY IT DOWN OF MY OWN ACCORD..." John 10:14-15, 17-18a NIV

"God presented him (Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left sins unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." Romans 3:25-26 NIV

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 NIV

Christ willingly laid down his life in order that others might live. We often look up to and admire men who willingly give up their lives to defend either their families or country. Their deaths are considered heroic and a demonstration of unconditional love, not murder or suicide. Hence, Jesus' willingness to die for unworthy sinners is the greatest display of God's infinite and unconditional love for fallen humanity.

As Scripture indicates, Christ's death was necessary in order to satisfy God's infinite holiness and justice. For sin to be forgiven, a sacrifice needed to be made in order for God to maintain his holiness. Otherwise, God's justice and holiness would be severely compromised. The Bible indicates that God cannot dwell in the presence of sin without incurring his wrath:

"For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil will not sojourn with you. The boastful will not stand before your eyes; you hate evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful." Psalm 5:4-6 NRSV

"Your eyes are too pure to behold evil, and you cannot look on wrongdoing..." Habakkuk 1:13 NRSV

This is precisely why God cannot let sin go unpunished, since his holiness will not allow it to continue. He will not acquit the sinner without there being a payment for the crimes committed:

"Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty." Exodus 23:7 NRSV

God also does not take pleasure in the death of any soul, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live. (Cf. Ezek. 33:11; 2 Pet. 3:9)

Therefore, in order for God to pardon repentant sinners while remaining holy and just, someone had to take the consequences of sin which entailed physical and spiritual death. By death is meant the soul separating from the body in the physical sense, with the body returning to the dust. And in the spiritual sense it refers to broken communion with God:

"And to the man he said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, "You shall not eat of it," cursed it is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat the bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return'." Genesis 3:17-19 NRSV

"Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear." Isaiah 59:2 NRSV

The sacrifice had to be made by one who had infinite value since man's value is finite and cannot atone for all of mankind's sin:

"Truly no ransom avails for one's life, there is no price one can give to God for it. For the ransom of life is costly, and can never suffice that one should live on forever and never see the grave." Psalm 49:7-9 NRSV

This is precisely why God had to come down and ransom man, since only God is infinite in value:

"But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol for he will receive me." Psalm 49:15 NRSV

But in order for God to pay the price of sin fully and satisfy his infinite holiness he had to take on a human nature. As was noted, part of the consequence of sin is that the soul of man separates from his body as the flesh returns to the dust. God is Spirit (John 4:24), and must therefore take on a human nature in order to experience physical death.

This nature also had to be free from the stain of original sin, since all who are descended from the first man inherit a corrupt human nature. (Cf. Rom. 5:12-14; Gen. 8:21; Psalm 51:5, 58:3)

Therefore, the Savior had to be born of a virgin whose womb would be made holy in order for him to be without sin:

"And Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be since I have no husband?' And the angel said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.'" Luke 1:34-35 RSV

Had he not been born supernaturally by God's Holy Spirit, he would have then needed a savior to free him from sin.

The cross becomes necessary for God to demonstrate both his love and holiness. If God were to simply forgive without demanding payment for sin, his holiness would have been less than his love. On the other hand, if God were to just punish without allowing the possibility of reconciliation and forgiveness than his love would have been severely compromised. Either way, God would be less than perfect since he would be greater in one of his qualities, and less than perfect in the other.

Hence, Jesus' death on the cross clearly demonstrates both God's perfect holiness and his infinite love for man. No other religion is able to claim this perfect balance for their deities.

In light of this, we ask Shabir how can Allah remain merciful and holy at the same time without compromising either one of his attributes? We know how the true God Yahweh was able to maintain the integrity of both his attributes, but we have yet to see a Muslim tell us how Allah is able to do likewise. Perhaps Shabir will be the exception to this and provide us with the answer.

Jesus is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

Responses to Shabir Ally
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page