God: Christianity and Islam – Home page

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series God: Christianity and Islam

… in the very first article – “what religion was Abraham” – that there are promises made by God (the Jewish and Christian God of the Old Testament) to Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael. At the beginning of this whole controversy – Abraham – there was a common God. A God that made promises to Abram / Abraham, Sarai / Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, Isaac.
It’s not unlike the scenario we have today with the various religions / denominations / sects that believe the others are apostates that will go to Hell. They started out believing the same thing. Then something changed.

I can’t read – in The Bible and The Qur’an

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series God: Christianity and Islam

In any case – we seem to have one (or both) of the scenarios from Isaiah –
Isa 11-12 What you’ve been shown here is somewhat like a letter in a sealed envelope. If you give it to someone who can read and tell her, “Read this,” she’ll say, “I can’t. The envelope is sealed.” And if you give it to someone who can’t read and tell him, “Read this,” he’ll say, “I can’t read.”

What’s the significance of people living to about 120 years?

You know how when you read those parts of the Bible you tend to skip over them? You probably just skipped it now. … if they are mentioned again, it probably says something about their heritage anyway. And failing that – if you really want to know who someone was, just Google them. What’s the big deal?

At no cost?

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again <they> started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate <before this> at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this <same food every day>!” “At no cost”! Really? These people were slaves! And they say they had food “at no cost”? As the caption at the left says – Question Everything! If you are a slave, is anything really at no cost? Is anything really “free”? OK – you didn’t pay money. Because you don’t have any money. But then – you don’t have anything!! Post Views: 57

Three Tragic Verses – One Unavoidable Conclusion

When presented with the facts, no matter how much we don’t like what they say –  sometimes the conclusion is unavoidable – The U. S. will not help Israel at a critical time – and we will be part of ushering in “The End”. Three tragically depressing verses from the Bible are these – Eze 22:30 “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. Zec 12:3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Post Views: 5

Not a madman?

For, this fellow-man of yours is not a madman; Quick – who said that in the midst of an end-time prophecy? And what’s the significance of it? Here’s a hint.  Just before this, the prophecy includes these things: the sun goes dark the stars go dark mountains vanish the seas are boiling Hell and paradise can both be seen the deeds of men are made known OK – who is it? Post Views: 6

Praising God in The Bible and Qur’an

  Praise God!  This is something that Christians and Muslims both agree on.   Yes, some question whether we believe in the same “God”.  That’s the whole point of this series – to examine that most important question. More on that later.     For this one, let’s look at the next Sura, #1 – which would be the 5th by order of Revelation.  The translation is by Rashad Khalifa. It’s quite short.  Very much to the point. [1:1] In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. [1:2] Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe. [1:3] Most Gracious, Most Merciful. [1:4] Master of the Day of Judgment. [1:5] You alone we worship; You alone we ask for help. [1:6] Guide us in the right path; [1:7] the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers. The truth is, except for maybe verse 7, I dare say most Christians would think it was said by a Christian – and – most Muslims would think it was said by a Muslim. God as gracious and merciful – something we both believe. God as Lord of the universe – of everything – […]

The problem of registering Muslims – or any group

  Donald Trump Sets Off a Furor With Call to Register Muslims in the U.S.   Sure – it sounds great to some people.  If they don’t think about it too much.  Even a little bit of thought would (should?) bring up all sorts of reasons why it’s not good at all. But then, how many of us actually do what my wife calls “play the movie forward”?  If we did, we’d have to take a hard look at ourselves – but the look may be more than worth the time and effort.   There’s this saying about when you point – some number of fingers point back at yourself.  Some say three.  Others say four, although my thumb isn’t capable of pointing back at me without a great deal of effort.  Either way – the “point” (pun intended) is that there are more fingers pointing back at us than there are pointing at the person to whom we point. Here’s the first part of the article from the New York Times that this story comes from. Under assault from Democrats and Republicans alike, Donald J. Trump on Friday drew back from his call for a mandatory registry of Muslims […]

Scientists “agree” – God was right – again

  Scientists are beginning to agree with God yet again.  And again – it’s about water.   Find out why the fact that it’s about water is so important.   And – did they learn anything “important” from this new “knowledge”?     Ro 1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made … Yes – I’m taking these verses out of context.  For a reason.  It’s kind of an “if … then …” set of verses.  And I’m starting with the “if …” part. Paul is saying here that certain things about God have been made plain to us – since the creation of the world.  And that’s what we’re going to look at – something that we’ve been told for thousands of years – something about the creation of the earth – and that some are just now recognizing.  But are they learning – and truly “seeing”. As it says in Ezekiel 12:1-2 – Eze 12:1 The word of the LORD […]

Praying at night – the Qur’an and the Bible

  The Qur’an, in Sura 73, encourages praying at night.   How does this compare with what’s in the Bible? We’ll look at the New Testament to see how the two compare and contrast. And then look at what the differences mean.   The first thing I thought of when I read this was the verses in the Bible that relate darkness to evil and light to good.  Of course, that thought was quickly replaced with a stronger one that said – No, that can’t be what this is about.  After looking into it more, I think the second thought is correct.   Let’s look at what this Sura has to say.   [73:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [73:1] O you cloaked one. [73:2] Meditate during the night, except rarely. [73:3] Half of it, or a little less. [73:4] Or a little more. And read the Quran from cover to cover. [73:5] We will give you a heavy message. [73:6] The meditation at night is more effective, and more righteous. [73:7] You have a lot of time during the day for other matters. [73:8] You shall commemorate the name of your Lord, to come ever […]

Ishmael, Pharaoh, Moses – and Esau

[73:15] We have sent to you a messenger, just as we sent to Pharaoh a messenger. … [73:19] This is a reminder; whoever wills, let him choose the path to his Lord.   Based on these verses, what is the Qur’an really saying about the path to God? Apparently there are choices to be made.    Christians and Jews should all know the story of Moses.  But there’s a few things we saw before that I’d like to remind you of – just in case you’ve forgotten.  The Israelites were in Egypt because of the famine that took place hundreds of years earlier.  Shortly before the drought began that caused the famine, Joseph had been sold, by his brothers, into slavery.  They sold him to Ishmaelites.  Those Ishmaelites took him to Egypt, where he rose from being a slave to being the number two person in all of Egypt.  All this because of a band of Ishmaelites. Fast forward about 400 years, and we have Moses being sent by God to confront Pharaoh and set the Israelites free.  Then comes the plagues.  And finally – freedom for the Israelites.  If you’d like to read the previous post to get more […]

Moses, Pharaoh, praying at night, more abrogation, and the assembling of the Qur’an

  In the 3rd Sura of the Qur’an, we are again sent to the Old Testament to understand the background of these verses. This time – Moses and Pharaoh. There is also an interesting command to pray at night. Finally, we see 6 verses stricken and replaced by others.  Once more, the stricken verses seem to replace forgiveness towards unbelievers with harsh penalties.  There is a pattern developing – even in these first three Suras.  To understand this pattern, we’ll also look at how the Qur’an came to be a written document.  Below is Sura 73 – as originally revealed.  (More or less.  I say this, because there are disagreements as to whether all of the verses were part of the original revelation.  Some feel [73:20] was actually a later revelation, but was included as part of this Sura.) Sura 73, Cloaked — part 1a – praying at night [73:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [73:1] O you cloaked one. [73:2] Meditate during the night, except rarely. [73:3] Half of it, or a little less. [73:4] Or a little more. And read the Quran from cover to cover. [73:5] We will give you a heavy message. [73:6] […]

Jonah Abrogated. Islam Hijacked?

If what we see in the Middle East today is a hijacked version of Islam – then Islam was hijacked before the Qur’an was put in written form!  However – we must never lose sight of the fact that God has plainly stated he loves the Muslim people.  And so should we. Hard to believe?  It sure seems impossible to believe.  And yet – as we’ve seen – this is the only possible conclusion when we consider the words of the Bible that all Christians and Jews believe is the Word of God.   As usual – the question comes down to – do we just  believe in God or do we actually  believe God? This is part of a continuing series.  If you haven’t read the earlier references to Jonah – please do. Otherwise, this probably won’t make much sense. It’s best to start at the very beginning – but it’s getting pretty long now, so I encourage you to at least check out the Jonah references.  There is a list of the entire Islam series here. Yes – Jonah was abrogated. Of course – there is disagreement between various Muslim sects as to whether this is really true. That disagreement […]

Jonah revisited – from the OT to Christianity and Islam

Yes.  Jonah, the reluctant prophet with 4 short chapters, has ties to both Christianity and Islam. This isn’t going at all like I expected when I started this project.  I went into it with the feeling that Muslims and Christians couldn’t possibly be talking about the same God.  And I expected to be writing about the evidence to prove that.  But the deeper I look, the more I realize that they did start with the same God.  The evidence is there – in the Old Testament.  In the history that Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have in common. Then something happened.  We learned about abrogation in my last post – Abrogation in the Qur’an.  Before looking at  The Abrogation of Jonah, let’s look at the impact of Jonah – how his actions and prophecy related to all three peoples – Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  Of course, in Jonah’s time, there were no Christians or Muslims.  But like so many OT prophecies, they existed at multiple levels.  There was the immediate impact – there was possibly a Messianic link – and finally “end times” events.   But – while the actual religions were not there by name – the ancestors of those who would […]

Abrogation in the Qur’an

Abrogation.  This is how a religion can talk about peace, incite violence, and claim no contradiction in what it teaches. Some in Islam say there is no such thing as abrogation.  We’ll shortly see that the Qur’an itself puts the lie to this statement. Others say abrogation is the key to understanding Islam. If you’ve read the previous articles in this series, then you understand the importance of  [68:48] You shall steadfastly persevere in carrying out the commands of your Lord. Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish.  But that verse was abrogated! This article will look at abrogation – what it means- and what is the impact of having verses abrogated.  Then, we’ll return to the Jonah question, so see how it fits in with the first paragraph above. Post Views: 115

A deeper look into the Jonah question

The “Jonah question” is turning out to be tougher than expected. There’s a difference between God hating what people do – and hating the people themselves. Let’s see if that could help with the “Jonah question”. This is part of a continuing series looking at God in the Qur’an, the Old Testament and the New Testament.  If you haven’t read it yet, part 1 is here. Review [68:48] You shall steadfastly persevere in carrying out the commands of your Lord. Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish. [68:49] If it were not for his Lord’s grace, he would have been ejected into the desert as a sinner. [68:50] But his Lord blessed him, and made him righteous. [68:51] Those who disbelieved show their ridicule in their eyes when they hear the message and say, “He is crazy!” [68:52] It is in fact a message to the world This is the closing for Sura 68 – telling Muhammad to not be like Jonah. Looking Deeper So far, we’ve seen that there was an expectation for Muhammad to have either already known about Jonah from the Old Testament – or else to have done the reading himself to […]

Pope: Ridding stereotypes key to Christian-Muslim relations

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis says the most effective antidote to violence among Christians and Muslims is learning about each other and then accepting differences. Francis also told participants Saturday of a meeting promoted by the Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamist Studies that only by carefully listening can interreligious dialogue make progress. He said “patience and humility” are essential for deepened Islamic-Christian dialogue while merely superficial dialogue will only yield “stereotypes and preconceptions.” I might add that a really good examination of Christianity, Islam and Judaism would reveal a surprising number of commonalities as well.  After all, The Holy Books of all three religions have a common starting point – God and Abraham. Rather than just accepting the differences, maybe we should look deeper into them to see if there isn’t more in common.  And when we’ve found that, if we really truly believe in the same God of Abraham, then see if we can’t – through prayer and careful study – see what is God’s plan for all of His children.  The same God made promises to Abraham about both Ishmael and Isaac.  Is it unreasonable to assume that He doesn’t have a common plan of salvation for all […]

The Jonah Question of Sura 68 – Part 6

In the previous article, we saw that Muhammad was told not to be like Jonah. This is a complex, but critical issue.  With God’s command to Jonah – it was an outreach from the Hebrew people to the Ninevites (which is in modern day Iraq).  It was unheard of.  Jonah at first rejected it!  But then, with some “encouragement” from God – Jonah went on his mission.  And he succeeded. So how does this relate to Muhammad? The only way to know is to look into the roots of Jonah’s experience, and how that fits in with both Christianity and Islam.  After all – both of them were prominent in Muhammad’s time.   It’s complicated.  It’s not easy.  But I believe it will be most enlightening. So I welcome you to come along on the journey. To really understand what’s happening here with The Jonah Question, I highly recommend at least reading the article that raised the issue. Review [68:48] You shall steadfastly persevere in carrying out the commands of your Lord. Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish. [68:49] If it were not for his Lord’s grace, he would have been ejected into the desert as […]

Don’t Be Like Jonah – Sura 68 Part 5

Do not be like (Jonah) who called from inside the fish. At the end of a very long and difficult revelation, Muhammad is told to not be like Jonah. What does this mean? Among other things, it obviously means that either Muhammad already knew the story of Jonah from the Jewish Bible – or he was expected to go get a Jewish Bible and learn about it from there! Let’s check this out further.  Sura 68 – The Pen Order of Revelation – 2 Traditional order in Qur’an – 68 Sura 68 addresses the following: 1.  The sense from the Prophet that his first revelation was actually from an evil spirit. This appears to be confirming what his wife told him – that Muhammad was not crazy / hallucinating / etc. 2.  Confirms that God can see what people are doing. 3.  Compares the revelations to the Prophet to what others are told by their idols (gods). 4.  Says that God can take care of Himself. 5.  Tells Muhammad not to be like Jonah. Part 1 was covered in concerning the first revelation. Part 2 was covered in God can see what people do Part 3 was covered in Compare […]