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Refuting A Muslim Pseudo-Scholar Pt. 4

I resume my discussion of Abdal Hakim Murad’s objections to the Deity of Christ

The final proof that Mark intends to depict Jesus as Yahweh God Almighty comes from the very first of the Gospel:

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,”’ John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Mark 1:1-4

Mark begins his Gospel by identifying John the Baptist as the envoy, the emissary, prophesied in the following OT texts:

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord (ha Adon) whom you seek will suddenly come to HIS temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:1

Malachi announced that a human messenger would be sent to prepare for the coming of the Lord to his temple.

What makes this prophecy so amazing is that the words “the Lord” (ha Adon) are only employed for Yahweh God:

“Therefore the Lord (ha Adon) declares, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: ‘Ah, I will get relief from my enemies and avenge myself on my foes.’” Isaiah 1:24

“For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts (ha Adon YHVH sabaot) is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water;” Isaiah 3:1

Moreover, the temple in Jerusalem was built for Yahweh alone as a house for his exclusive worship and praise:

“And David the king said to all the assembly, ‘Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the LORD God.’” 1 Chronicles 29:1

“Thus says the LORD: ‘Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.’ Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, ‘The Lord will surely separate me from his people’; and let not the eunuch say, ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’ For thus says the LORD: ‘To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in MY HOUSE and within MY WALLS a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in MY HOUSE of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on MY ALTAR; for MY HOUSE shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.’ The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.” Isaiah 56:1-8

Hence, the prophecy explicitly identifies the Being whom John was sent ahead of as Yahweh God Almighty himself!

The second prophecy that Mark quotes is just as astonishing and concurs with Malachi since it comes from what Isaiah wrote:

“A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’” Isaiah 40:3-5

Like Malachi, Isaiah also proclaimed the coming of an envoy to announce to Israel the coming of Yahweh their God.

Mark clearly tells us that messenger/envoy was John the Baptist. And yet the Baptizer came to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord Jesus!

In other words, Mark identifies Jesus as the human embodiment and physical incarnation of Yahweh the God of Israel, the very Lord (ha Adon) who came to his temple in Jerusalem!

And here is the Baptist’s own testimony:

“And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, ‘After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’” Mark 1:1-8

It was the function of servants to loosen the sandals of their masters and provide water for the washing of their masters’ feet. The Baptist is, therefore, saying that Jesus is so mighty and majestic that he isn’t even good enough to be Christ’s slave.

John then ascribes to Christ a divine function, one which the Hebrew Bible attributes to Yahweh alone, namely, the sending forth of the Holy Spirit to transform and empower believers:

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:25-27

And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.” Ezekiel 37:14

“And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the LORD God.” Ezekiel 39:29

“You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” Joel 2:27-29

This simply provides further attestation that the Markan Jesus isn’t a Muslim prophet. Rather, the Christ of Mark (who is the historical Jesus, unlike the false prophet Muhammad’s fictional Isa ibn Maryam) is Yahweh God Almighty in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit filled beloved Son of God:

“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’” Mark 1:9-11

“And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him.’ And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” Mark 9:2-9

In other words, Mark like all true believers was a Trinitarian, not a Muslim unitarian.

I am not done yet since I have more to say in the next part of my rebuttal to Paul William’s pseudo-scholar

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