Deedat did that. So does Zakir Naik, Shabeer Ali, et al.
If I gave you a 21 page book to read, won’t you start from page 1? Or would you turn to page 17 and pick out the third sentence on the page, and think you have understood the entire content of the book?
The Gospel of John seems to be a favorite target to for Muslims cherry-picking exercise.
What you need to understand is the Gospel of John is one entire document, meant to be read and understood as a whole. It has 21 chapters and is a unity. You dont pick out a verse from Chapter 5 and another from Chapter 17 and build your own narrative.
To understand any verse in John (or any other book), you need to understand what the author was saying and what he was conveying to his listeners in it’s entirety. That’s the only way you will understand any verse in the book correctly. This is called proper biblical interpretation.
So what was the message John was bringing across in this gospel? Towards the end, he writes a clear summary for us: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
That was John’s intended purpose! It’s so clear.
So if you read this gospel (or any verse that you pull out) and come to any other conclusions different from the author’s stated purpose, then sorry, YOU HAVE MISSED THE MESSAGE!
From John 1:1, John sets out to achieve this purpose by introducing Jesus: “In the beginning was the Word….the Word was God…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”. John was speaking about the pre-existence and divinity of Jesus.
So if you think you find a verse in John that YOU interpret as denying His divinity, then you are wrong! No two ways about it.
You dont get to interpret his writing your way or tell the author what he meant to write. He wrote it. Not you. You can only understand and interpret the text as to the stated purpose of the writer..