The First-Born


Only-Begotten

His Own Son

Declare the Decree

The Beloved

I am

Peter's Confession

Apostles' Confession

The First-born

My Father

Out of Egypt

The Vineyard

Messianic Secret

No Consort

Overshadow



  • "It beseemeth not God to beget a son. Glory be to Him! when he decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, Be, and it Is." (Sura 19:36).

  • "They say: ‘The God of Mercy hath gotten offspring.’ Now have ye done a monstrous thing!
    "Almost might the very Heavens be rent thereat, and the Earth cleave asunder, and the mountains fall down in fragments,
    "That they ascribe a son to the God of Mercy, when it beseemeth not the God of Mercy to beget a son!" (Sura 19:91-93).

  • Yea, we have brought them the truth; but they are surely liars: God hath not begotten offspring; neither is there any other God with Him: else had each god assuredly taken away that which he had created, and some had assuredly uplifted themselves above others! Far from the glory of God, be what they affirm of Him!" (Sura 23:92-93).

  • "And SAY: Praise be to God who hath not begotten a son, who hath no partner in the Kingdom, nor any protector on account of weakness. And magnify him by proclaiming His greatness." (Sura 17:111).

  • "And that it [the Book] may warn those who say, 'God hath begotten a Son.' No knowledge of this have either they or their fathers! A grievous saying to come out of their mouths! They speak no other than a lie!" (Sura 18:3-4).

  • "And they say, 'God hath a son:' No! Praise be to Him! But — His, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! All obeyeth Him..." (Sura 2:110).

  • "The Jews say, 'Ezra (Ozair) is a son of God'; and the Christians say, 'The Messiah is a son of God.' Such the sayings in their mouths! They resemble the sayings of the Infidels of old! God do battle with them! How are they misguided! They take their teachers, and their monks, and the Messiah, son of Mary, for Lords beside God, though bidden to worship one God only. There is no God but He! Far from His glory be what they associate with Him!" (Sura 9:30-31).

  • "SAY: He is God alone:
    God the eternal!
    He begetteth not, and He is not begotten;
    And there is none like unto Him."
  • (Sura 112).



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Only-Begotten

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14).
"No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." (John 1:18).
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).
"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:18).
"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:9).

Where in the Old Testament might the idea of the Messiah as God's "only begotten Son" be found? One place is Amos 8:10, "And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only [yachiyd] son, and the end thereof as a bitter day." Psalm 22 also refers to the Lord as the only one, "Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling [yachiyd, μονογενη LXX] from the power of the dog." (Psalm 22:20). Another instance is in the binding of Isaac, a type of the Messiah, "And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." (Genesis 22:12). (In the Greek Bible, this is rendered 'beloved.')

The Bible promises the sonship also to believers: "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son." (Revelation 21:7). We are not 'only-begotten,' but rather children of the adoption: "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Galatians 4:4-5). The sense of 'only-begotten' is unique to One, just as the word indicates.



His Own Son

"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:3-4).
"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).

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Declare the Decree

“Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You.'” (Psalm 2:6-7).

Author Dan Brown alleges in his 'Da Vinci Code' that Jesus' status as 'the Son of God' was awarded by the Nicene Council: "Jesus' establishment as 'the Son of God' was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea." (Chapter 55, The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown). Of course everyone knows the difference between fact and fiction, but this novelist wants to have his cake and eat it, too: "'Sophie, the historical evidence supporting this is substantial.'" (Chapter 60, The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown). If it is conceivable that the Roman Emperor Constantine inserted the 'Son of God' references into the New Testament, as this author alleges, it cannot be imagined how he could have done the same to the Old Testament, where such referenced are also prevalent:

"Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth." (Psalm 89:27).
"He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son." (2 Samuel 7:13-14).
"I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you." (1 Chronicles 17:13).

It is plain as day in the Old Testament that the Messiah is God's son. The point was not lost on the pre-Christian authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, who said of the Messiah, ". . .and You appointed him as Your firstbor[rn] son. [There is none] like him, as a prince and ruler in all Your inhabited world. . ." (The Dead Sea Scrolls, Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr., and Edward Cook, 72. The Inheritance of the Firstborn, p. 329). Muslims, misled in the first place by Mohammed ibn Abdallah's lack of familiarity with the Bible, are reinforced in their confusion by their habit of reading liberal, unbelieving scholars like E. P. Sanders, who says of first century Jews, "There was no expectation of a coming Son of God at all," (E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, p. 133). But this is just patently false. If they believed the Bible, they understood the Messiah to come was the Son of God.


Born at Bethlehem Pierced
O God His Bones
Cast Lots Born of a Virgin
Mother's Children Lifted Up
Stretched Out My Hands On a Donkey
Weeks The Grave
Thirty Pieces of Silver Light to the Gentiles
Out of Egypt House of David
House of My Friends With the Transgressors
Eyes of the Blind With the Rich
I thirst Darkness over the Land
Gall and Vinegar Shame and Spitting
Familiar Friend Son of Man
Den of Thieves Afar Off
E'er the Sun


Crucifixion


The Beloved

"And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'" (Matthew 3:17).
"Then a voice came from heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'" (Mark 1:11).
"And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, 'You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.'" (Luke 3:22).
"While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!'" (Matthew 17:5).
"And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Mark 9:7).
"And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!'" (Luke 9:35).
"For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain." (2 Peter 1:17).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." (Ephesians 1:1-6).

I am

Jesus identified Himself as the Son of God:

"Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, 'Do you believe in the Son of God?' He answered and said, 'Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?' And Jesus said to him, 'You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.'" (John 9:35-37);
"...do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?" (John 10:36);
"He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'" (Matthew 27:43).
"When Jesus heard that, He said, 'This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.'" (John 11:4)

Peter's Confession

The apostle Peter confessed Jesus Christ as "the Son of the living God":

“He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?'

“Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'

“Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.'” (Matthew 16:15-17).

The Islamic 'Gospel of Barnabas' is obliged to do some editing work with Peter's confession:

"Jesus departed from Jerusalem after the Passover, and entered into the borders of Caesarea Philippi. Whereupon, the angel Gabriel having told him of the sedition which was beginning among the common people, he asked his disciples, saying: 'What do men say of me?'

"They said: 'Some say that thou art Elijah, others Jeremiah, and others one of the old prophets.'

"Jesus answered: 'And ye; what say ye that I am?'

"Peter answered: 'Thou art Christ, son of God.'

"Then was Jesus angry, and with anger rebuked him, saying: 'Begone and depart from me, because thou art the devil and seekest to cause me offence!'

"And he threatened the eleven, saying: 'Woe to you if ye believe this, for I have won from God a great curse against those who believe this.'" (The Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 70).

Notice the distinctively Muslim features of this 'Gospel,' discovered in the Middle Ages. The angel Gabriel serves to reveal God to man, an idea the unlettered prophet picked up from the nativity stories he heard second-hand. And Christ is not allowed to be the "son of God," a title which none even of the Christian heretics in any way rejected.

Not only Peter, but also the high priest, understood, from the Old Testament, that Christ was also the Son of God: “But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, 'I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!'” (Matthew 26:63).

What can the false teach us about the true? A surprising lot:



Apostles' Confession

Peter's confession, that Jesus is the son of God, doesn't end with Peter. This is the apostles' confession:

"...but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:31);
"Then Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.'  And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'" (Acts 8:37);
"Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God." (Acts 9:20).
“Then those who were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, 'Truly You are the Son of God.'” (Matthew 14:33).

That's what the New Testament authors set out to communicate:

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." (Mark 1:1).
"...but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:31).
"God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:9).
"For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us — by me, Silvanus, and Timothy — was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes." (2 Corinthians 1:19).
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20).
"For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).
"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession." (Hebrews 4:14).
"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7).
"And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment." (1 John 3:23).
"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God." (1 John 4:15).
"Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:5).
"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds..." (Hebrews 1:1-2).


The Firstborn

"And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." (Zechariah 12:10).
"He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." (Colossians 1:13-15).

"Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also." (1 John 2:23).



Why is the Word of God called the first-born? Some people think it has something to do with the incarnation, but Philo Judaeus, a first century Jewish author, also called the Word the 'first-born,' though he had no concept of any incarnation:



My Father

"Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him." (John 17:1-2).
"Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." (John 5:18).

His adversaries realized He was using this title in an unusually personal way. That the Messiah would cry to God as "my Father" is already stated in the Psalms:

"He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation." (Psalm 89:26).

This is fulfilled In New Testament scriptures like Matthew 26:39,

"And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matthew 26:39).

'Father' is the other side of the coin to 'son.' Muslims do not care for either one.


The Father is Jehovah God.

One Father God the Father God of Abraham
Only True God Doubtless Our Father
The Vineyard My Father's House High Priest
Father of the Messiah Israel the Firstborn Touch me Not
Rock Potter and Clay His Offspring
One God and One Lord Father of Lights Father of Mercies
Suffering Servant Abba, Father Born Again


Out of Egypt

"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son." (Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15).

It might seem to some that this quote is misconstrued; Hosea speaks of Israel's history, Matthew understands him to prophesy of the Messiah. But it is not uncommon in scripture for titles to be handed back and forth between the Messiah and His people:



There is evident in the first gospel an authorial intention to identify Jesus as the new Moses and to show His personal journey as recapitulating Israel's exodus from Egypt.

These references are so prevalent throughout scripture that those who wish to deny the deity of Jesus Christ would be well advised, not to deny them outright, but to interpret them in a weak or metaphorical sense, as do the Jehovah's Witnesses. Even this approach will ultimately fail, however:

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Eternal Son

The Son: Eternal God or Beginning in Time?


The Vineyard

"Then He began to speak to them in parables: A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some. Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard." (Mark 12:1-8).

When the Islamic 'Gospel of Barnabas' retells the story of the vineyard, it has to tell it differently. There is no beloved son sent last, only servants and more servants:

"Again spake Jesus, saying: 'I set before you an example. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge for it in order that it should not be trampled down of beasts. And in the midst of it he built a press for the wine, and thereupon let it out to husbandmen. Whereupon, when the time was come to collect the wine he sent his servants; whom when the husbandmen saw, they stoned some and burned some, and others they ripped open with a knife. And this they did many times. Tell me, what will the lord of the vineyard do to the husbandmen?'

"Everyone answered: 'In evil wise will he make them to perish, and his vineyard will he give to other husbandmen.'

"Therefore said Jesus: 'Know ye not that the vineyard is the house of Israel, and the husbandmen are the people of Judah and Jerusalem? Woe to you; for God is wroth with you, having ripped open so many prophets of God; so that at the time of Ahab there was not found one to bury the holy ones of God!'" (Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 46).

This is a telling forgery. In reality, it was the son, the beloved, sent last to the house of Israel.




This Muslim apologist mocks and ridicules the story, unaware it was Jesus who first told it:

“In his book 'Evidence of Jesus’ Divinity That Need Contemplation,' the Muslim scholar, Mohammad Hasan Abdul-Rahman, assimilates Christians’ belief of the sin, atonement and the Law, to a story of a king whom his people rebelled against him. He, then, sent messengers to them, teaching them to be good, do good deeds, and asking them to revert under his power, obeying his laws of peace and justice.
“However, his people derided those messengers, killed them, and insisted in their arrogance. The king became angrier and gave an order to send his only son, to be insulted and killed as atonement for their sins. Those, who believe in this concept, would be honored and their sins will be forgiven. . .
“What do Christians think of this king?
“No one would describe such king as a just or unfair king, but as a ridiculous, a stupid and an idiot king.
“This is the god, whom the altered Christianity wants us to worship.”
('Was Jesus Crucified for Our Atonement?' Monqith Ben Mahmoud Assaqar, PhD).

Even the unbelieving 'Jesus Seminar' mark the story of the Vineyard as authentic. You are with Jesus or against Him. If the Muslims think the King as described by Jesus is "an idiot," they are entitled to their opinion, but they have no part in the tradition of the prophets.

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Messianic Secret

It is sometimes said that 'God has sons by the tons.' There is an element of truth to this snappy saying, but it leaves us in the lurch before a situation like that in Mark 3,

“For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, 'You are the Son of God.' But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.” (Mark 3:10-12).

If all Jesus had meant to say by calling Himself 'the Son of God' is that He is a created being like other created beings, or an Israelite like other Israelites, then what information is it that the demons were expected to keep confidential? Perhaps He wants it kept secret that He is Jewish, because He hasn't told His mother yet? It seems rather that when the Lord calls Himself 'the Son of God,' He is not using this phrase in any weak or common sense, but to mean 'the Messiah,' at a bare minimum, because one cannot keep trivial, obvious or self-evident information secret.

No Consort

Mohammed was baffled at the concept that God could have a son, without a Mrs. God:

"Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! how, when He hath no consort, should He have a son?" (Sura 6:102).

This perplexity he, and his followers after him, could not get past, nor are they alone: "Who ever heard of a begetting without a father, and of being born without a mother?" (Michael Servetus, p. 82, On the Errors of the Trinity, The Two Treatises of Servetus on the Trinity, translated by Earl Morse Wilbur). Muslims today often assume that Christians believe, as indeed Mormons are accused of believing, that Jesus is the outcome of a divine-human fling: "In one instance I pointed out that contrary to what they accuse Christians of believing, I did not believe that God married the Virgin Mary who later bore Him a Son." (Hussein Hajji Wario, Cracks in the Crescent, p. 116). In fact Christians are horrified when they hear what Muslims think they believe. Here is an interesting contribution to the discussion, from the middle ages:



"First of all we must observe that Muslims are silly in ridiculing us for holding that Christ is the Son of the living God, as if God had a wife. Since they are carnal, they can think only of what is flesh and blood. For any wise man can observe that the mode of generation is not the same for everything, but generation applies to each thing according to the special manner of its nature. In animals it is by copulation of male and female; in plants it is by pollination or generation, and in other things in other ways.

"God, however, is not of a fleshly nature, requiring a woman to copulate with to generate offspring, but he is of a spiritual or intellectual nature, much higher than every intellectual nature. So generation should be understood of God as it applies to an intellectual nature. Even though our own intellect falls far short of the divine intellect, we still have to speak of the divine intellect by comparing it with what we find in our own intellect.
"Our intellect understands sometimes potentially, sometimes actually. Whenever it actually understands it forms something intelligible, a kind of offspring, which is called a concept, something conceived by the mind. This is signified by an audible voice, so that as the audible voice is called the exterior word, the interior concept of the mind signified by the exterior audible word is called the word of the intellect or mind. A concept of our mind is not the very essence of our mind, but something accidental to it, because even our act of understanding is not the very being of our intellect; otherwise our intellect would have to be always in act.
"So the word of our intellect can be likened to a concept or offspring, especially when the intellect understands itself and the concept is a likeness of the intellect coming from its intellectual power, just as a son has a likeness to his father, from whose generative power he comes forth.

"The word of our intellect is not properly an offspring or son, because it is not of the same nature as our intellect. Not everything that comes forth from another, even if it is similar to its source, is called a son; otherwise a painted picture of someone would be a son. To be a son, it is required that the one coming forth from the other must not only resemble its source but also be of the same nature with it.

"But in God understanding is not different from his being. Consequently the word which is conceived in his intellect is not something accidental to him or alien from his nature but, by the very fact that it is a word, it must be coming forth from another and must be a likeness of its source. All this is true even of our own word.

"But besides this, the Word of God is not an accident or a part of God, who is simple, nor something extrinsic to the divine nature, but is something complete, subsisting in the divine nature and coming forth from another, as any word must be. In our human way of talking, this is called a son, because it comes forth from another in its likeness and subsists in the same nature with it.

"Therefore, as far as divine things can be represented by human words, we call the Word of the divine intellect the Son of God, while God, whose Word he is, we call the Father. We say that the coming forth of the Word is an immaterial generation of a son, not a carnal one, as carnal men surmise."
(Thomas Aquinas, Reasons for the Faith (De Rationibus Fidei), Chapter 3)


It is certainly true that God has no 'consort' or spouse, but it does not therefore follow that God has no Son. To assume otherwise imports carnal categories from their proper sphere to where they cannot apply.

It is odd but true that the Koran, which in its current form vehemently denies that God has a son, once asserted that He has daughters:




It cannot now be determined whether Mohammed came to this view spontaneously, out of naivety, or if it was imparted to him through some form of anti-Christian polemics, where it does seem to have existed: ". . .in the sixth century we see Priscus, a Jewish officer of King Eilprich, forced to a controversy. When ordered to embrace Christianity he naively replied 'that he could not believe that, to save sinners, God was compelled to enter into marital relations with a woman, and finally, in order to redeem the world, underwent the death-agony, when at his command were hosts of angels not needed in heaven.'" For this he was imprisoned." (Michael L. Rodkinson, The History of the Talmud, Volume 19, The Babylonian Talmud, Kindle location 75953).

Up

Daniel's Vision I the Son of Man
Common Sense Rabbi Akiba
The Other Beloved Son
Psalm 80 Psalm 8


Overshadow

"Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:34-35).

The famed Muslim apologist Ahmad Deedat used to take the verb 'overshadow' as a euphemism for the sex act:




"Says the Bible:
And the angel answered and said unto her,
"The Holy Ghost shall COME UPON THEE, and the power of the Highest shall OVERSHADOW THEE"
(Luke 1:35)
"Can't you see that you are giving the atheist, the sceptic, the agnostic a stick to beat you with? They may well ask - "How did the Holy Ghost come upon Mary?" "How did the Highest overshadow her? We know that literally it does not mean that: that it was an immaculate conception, but the language used here, is distasteful - gutter language - you agree!?. . .

"Between these two versions of the birth of Jesus (pbuh) - the Quranic version and the Biblical version - which would you prefer to give your daughter?" I asked the supervisor of the Bible House. He bowed his head down in humility and admitted - "THE QURANIC VERSION."
(Christ in Islam, Ahmad Deedat, pp. 24-25, Internet Archive)


But is this really defensible? Is 'overshadow' really a commonly-understood euphemism for the sex act, or is this the cheeky fabrication of a gutter mind? When we see 'overshadow' elsewhere in the Bible, does it refer to sexual congress?:

"While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matthew 17:5).

No doubt the pious would recoil in horror from the idea of group sex, indeed homosexual sex, implied in the gospel's "gutter language," except that this idea is not present in the text. The language at the transfiguration evokes the glory cloud familiar from temple and tabernacle, "Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle." (Exodus 40:34). In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, the term 'overshadow' occurs in the next verse: "And Moses was not able to enter into the tabernacle of testimony, because the cloud overshadowed [επεσκιαζεν] it, and the tabernacle was filled with the glory of the Lord." (Brenton Septuagint, Exodus 40:35). This reference is mystifying in that, unlike a rain-charged storm cloud which interposes itself between the sun, the light, and the ground beneath, thus casting those things beneath it into the shadow, the glory cloud itself illuminates, and even communicates its brightness to others, as when Moses' face shone. Just as the sun never sees a shadow, the sun cannot 'overshadow' anyone or anything. Why is the Shekinah glory not more like the sun than like a common-place cloud which lacks any illumination source of its own? Be that as it may, there is the word, 'overshadow,' and it has no sexual connotation whatsoever. Why Ahmad Deedat insists upon inserting salacious content into the verb 'overshadow,' is unclear, although this may come more naturally to those who envision heaven as a behavioral replica of the earthly Woodstock than to others.

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