Zakir Naik has made a living out of traveling the world with the challenge,
“Show me a single unequivocal unambiguous verse in the complete Bible where Jesus Christ (pbuh) himself says, “I am God.”
Imagine someone coming up to you and saying, “I am the President.” What would your reaction be?
President of what? President of the bird-watching society? President of India? So what?
The word “president” is a common noun, a generic title, that can apply to anyone.
Similarly, the word “god” in the Bible is a common noun, a generic title that can apply to judges (Psalm 82:6), a man with authority (Exodus 4:16), or even satan! (2 Corinthians 4:4). Even idols are “gods” to their devotees, aren’t they? Of course, the word can also apply to the one true GOD Almighty.
However, anyone can say, “I am God”, but that doesn’t make them the Almighty creator of the universe!
So what is the use of demanding to see where Jesus said, “I am God”? This is such a poor challenge and reveals shallow knowledge at best, or simply, plain ignorance. Unfortunately such is the state of Islamic apologetics. And remember this is coming from the very best in Islam. Ahmed Deedat used this same challenge. Zakir Naik parroted it and every Muslim apologist on the planet echoes it today.
Even if Jesus did say, “I am God”, it would not necessarily mean that He is God Almighty. In the Quran, Pharoah said, “I am your Lord, Most High.” (79:24) Therefore, according to Zakir Naik, Pharoah is Allah! We have an unequivocal and unambiguous verse from the Quran that proves that. This is what you learn from Zakir Naik.
If you read the Bible you will see that God rarely made general claims, like “I am God”. It was often very specific. “I am the Lord who brought you out of Egypt.” “I am the God of your Father Abraham.” “I am the Lord, your God.” “I am the Lord that heals you.” etc. etc.
Jesus never made a generic statement like, “I am God”, but he did claim to be God in very specific and unmistakable ways. There is a ton of data in the Bible if you were to read the Bible honestly. Let’s look at just a couple of instances.
In John 8:58, Jesus claimed for himself the divine name of God as revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14. The Jews who heard him knew exactly what he was claiming. And it was blatant blasphemy in their ears. That is why they wanted to stone him.
Another one. Jesus claimed that he is the Lord of the Sabbath. (Mark 2:28, Matthew 12:8, Luke 6:5)
Sabbath was instituted and given by God Almighty as one of the ten commandments. Only the One who gave the ten commandments is Lord of the Sabbath. This title cannot be attributed to anyone but God. By claiming that he is the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus was telling them that he is the One who gave the ten commandments including the Sabbath! This is an extraordinary claim of deity!
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