When dealing with Muslim arguments we must keep in mind that context is key to understanding any verse, as they’re not to be taken in isolation of others verses. Muslims learn from early on to attack the Bible, Islamic apologist such as Ahmed Dedat, Dr. Zakir Naik, Shabir Ally have been leading the way and we as Christians need to know how to respond to such arguments.
Unfortunately, many Christians are not learning how to refute these arguments. It’s important to know what you believe and why you believe it. Below are some Muslims arguments and the response to those arguments.
(1) Muslim Argument: Jesus said: I came only for the lost sheep of Israel. (Jesus says, ”I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel”— Matthew 15:24) Christians say No, you came for all mankind.
Christian Response: Matthew 15:23 tells us that Jesus’ disciples came and urged Him to send her away. In the previous verses we see this was a woman of Canaan who came to Jesus asking for help because her daughter is grievously vexed with a devil (Matthew 15:22).
The Lord Jesus was quiet at first not saying a word and the disciples asked to send her away. This is when Christ says “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”. What did this mean exactly?
The plan of God was to first bring the good news to Israel, but this in no way disqualifies the Gentiles from salvation. Christ came to save sinners, which includes both Jew and Gentile but in keeping with the plan of God He makes it known that He did not come to the Gentiles He came to the nation of Israel first. The Lord Jesus was fulfilling all the Messianic Prophecies.
He knew that He was to be rejected of His own people (Israel). But Christ came to be the Saviour of the world which includes Gentiles.
Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.
Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
She was not upset by this response. Ceasing to use the title Son of David, as this title was typically used by Israelites not Gentiles. She worshipped the Lord saying, “Lord help me!” (Matthew 15:25) If she didn’t come to Him as a Jew to her Messiah, she would address Him her Creator.
(2) Muslim Argument: Jesus said: the only true God is the Father. (“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent,” (John 17:3).) Christians say No, your are also the true God.
Christian Response: A favourite verses of mine which proves the Deity of Christ as God. The Bible is originally written in Hebrew (Torah/Tanakh) and Greek (Injeel/Gospel). The Greek construction uses the copulative kai which conjoins the Father and Son in this verse as being the “the only true God”.
αὕτη δέ ἐστιν ἡ αἰώνιος ζωή ἵνα γινώσκωσιν σὲ τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεὸν καὶ ὃν ἀπέστειλας Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν
In other passages, we see that the Son is equal to God the Father (John 5:18), also in John verses (John 1:1-3) were told that Jesus was πρὸς τὸν θεόν face to face with the Father as infinitely far back as you can go Ἐν ἀρχῇ before creation existed, then it says καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος and God was the Word the Word being another name for Jesus Christ.
v2 tells us that He (Jesus) was with God (the Father) in the beginning, v3 says that all things were made by Jesus Christ, including the Muslim.
(3) Muslim Argument: Jesus said: I on my ownself can do nothing (“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me”-.John 5:30) Christians say No, you can do everything.
Christian Response: How is it Muslims quote verses partially, on the surface it seems like it proves their point but it actually doesn’t. At first “I can of mine own self do nothing” seems to say that the Lord Jesus did not have the power to do anything by Himself. However, this is not the case. The thought is that Christ is so closely united with God the Father that He could not act by Himself. He could not do anything outside of God’s authority, if He did that would be an act of disobedience which would be sin. And the scriptures say that God cannot sin.
John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
There’s no possibility of unwillingness in Christ. He perfectly obeyed God the Father in the fullness of fellowship and harmony. This verse is often used by false teachers to support their claims that Jesus Christ was not God. They say that because He could not do anything of His own self, therefore, He was only a man, but the verse proves the opposite.
Men have the choice to do the things they want, whether, in accordance with the will of God or not. But because of who Christ is, the Lord Jesus couldn’t act in disobedience. It was not a physical impossibility but moral impossible. He has the power as God to do all things, but He wouldn’t do anything that was wrong. And it would have been sin for Him to have done anything that was not His Father’s will.
(4) Muslim Argument: Jesus said: the lord our God is ONE. (The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one”-Mark 12:29) Christians say No, The Lord our God is 3 in one.
Christian Response: We believe: There is one God, who exists as three co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial divine persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit God is sovereign and self-existent, and is perfectly omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, holy, righteous and loving. (John 1:1, Matthew 28:19, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Ephesians 1:11, 1 John 1:5, 4:16)
Muslims don’t understand that Christians believe in 1 God, not 3 God’s. Nobody deny’s that God the Father is God. The issue is when talking about Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. As demonstrated John 1:1-3 says Jesus made all things, again in the book of Colossians it says speaking of Christ “all things were made by Him”.
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Note: it says everything was created by Christ, both visible and invisible, things in heaven and earth. This is more proof of Jesus Christ as the Creator. In Hebrews there’s another passage which says:
Hebrews 1:10-12 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
Note: Jesus Christ is attributed as the One who “in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth” He also created the heavens which says “and the heavens are the works of thine hands:”. Only God created the heavens and the earth, and here it says Jesus did it. And it also says that Christ is immutable when it mentions the earth and heaven will pass away (wax old/perish) but He remains “but thou remainest” and He will always remain “but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”
This passage in Hebrews is also a quote from Psalms 102 which says:
Psalm 102:25-27 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou [art] the same, and thy years shall have no end.
The same words spoken of Yahweh are later attributed to Jesus Christ.
(5) Muslim Argument: Jesus said: if you want eternal life then keep the commandments. (“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments”-Matthew 19:17) Christians say No, if you want eternal life then believe that Jesus died for your sin.
Christian Response: This is one of the most misunderstood passages, many who deny the deity of Christ will claim Christ is saying He’s not good. By reading the context we know this is not the case. This passage is known as The Rich Young Ruler. This young man came to Jesus asking what must He do “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
The young man was relying on his good works, like Muslims. The problem is that none of us are perfect and God requires perfection. The Bible says:
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
We all are in the same boat as guilty sinners, in the book of Isaiah it says that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” basically all our good deeds are like a menstrual rag in the sight of God.
The question from the rich young ruler showed his ignorance of the identity of Christ and the way of salvation. He called Jesus “Teacher” placing Him on the same level as other men. And spake of meriting eternal life as a debt rather than as a gift from God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
As for Jesus saying there is none good, the Lord examined him on 2 points. Asking “Why do you call Me good? There is no one good but One that is God” Jesus was not denying His own deity, but was providing the man with an opportunity to profess, “That’s why I call You good—You are God.”
Testing him on the way of salvation Jesus said: “But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” The Lord wasn’t saying that it’s possible to be saved by keeping the commandments, rather, He was using the Law to bring forth conviction of sin in the rich young ruler’s heart. The man was still under the delusion he could be saved on the principle of doing. The Law was made as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.
Galatians 3:24-25 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Therefore, the rich young ruler misunderstood, he thought just as Muslims do that it was possible to keep the commandments for eternal life, but it’s not. Only Jesus Christ was able to do it because He alone is sinless because He is God.
(6) Muslim Argument: Jesus said: I cry and pray God to save me from death and God hear my pray. (Psalms 86:1-17) Christians say No, God didn’t saved him.
Christian Response: This Psalm is entitled “a prayer of David;’ probably it was not penned upon any particular occasion, but was a prayer he often used himself, and recommended to others for their use, especially in a day of affliction. Many believe David wrote this prayer as a type of Christ, “who in the days of his flesh offered up strong cries,’ Hebrews 5:7. David, in this prayer.
Christians do claim that God saved Christ, the Psalmist David wrote concerning Christ being raised from the dead saying:
Psalm 16:9-11 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.
This quote from Psalms is restated in the book of Acts from the apostle Peter when he said: “For David speaketh concerning him” (Act 2:25).
Acts 2:26-28 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
(7) Muslim Argument: Jesus said: my father is greater than I. (John 14:28, “The Father is greater than I.”) Christians say No, Father is not greater than Jesus. They both are the same.
Christian Response: lastly another greatly misunderstood verse. The Hypostatic Union informs us that Jesus Christ has 2 natures, He’s both fully God and fully Man. He created all things as God, yet when He became a Man in the incarnation (virgin birth) He took on our human nature, and as a man He got tired, ate food, slept etc.
At first there seems as if this verse John 14:28 contradicts everything Christ taught concerning His equality with God the Father. But there’s no contradiction, and the passage explains itself. When Jesus was here on earth He was surrounded by enemies, He was despised, hunted, persecuted and pursued. Men blasphemed Him, reviled Him, and spat on Him. He was surrounded by His enemies.
God the Father never suffered such rude treatment from men. He dwelt in heaven, far away from the wickedness of sinners. Therefore, the Father was “greater” than Jesus Christ at that time because He (Father) sat in heaven in a greater position. But in essence, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal sharing the same in being/nature/essence. All 3 are the 1 God in being.
Humans have the same in nature, they’re both humans with the same nature, but still are 2 distinct persons. As God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are 3 distinct persons but have the same nature/essence/being.
Jesus Christ was rejected of His people and this parable found in the book of Mark speaks of it.
Mark 12:1-9 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A [certain] man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about [it], and digged [a place for] the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. And they caught [him], and beat him, and sent [him] away empty. And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded [him] in the head, and sent [him] away shamefully handled. And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they took him, and killed [him], and cast [him] out of the vineyard. What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
The parable speaks of the prophets (servants) who were sent by God to Israel (husbandmen) in delivering a message. But the people of Israel didn’t listen they “beat” them and “cast stones” at them and “they killed” those servants (prophets).
It says this man (God) had a Son (Jesus) and sent His Son to the husbandmen (Israel) saying “They will reverence my son” or respect my Son. But the husbandmen killed Him (Jesus).
When knowing the background and context of passages in scripture we can effectively answer the Muslim arguments brought about by Muslim apologist.