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I have read an article of Christianity which reads as follows:

  • They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary ... 5:17

  • They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary... 5:72

I have never heard any Christian say or read in any theological book the formulation "God is Christ" or "God is the Messiah". The common formulation is that "Jesus is God" (and never, "God is Jesus") or "The Messiah is God".

The Qur'anic inversion of the word order is never used, and would, in fact, be wrong as the article What do we mean when we say "Jesus is God"? explains in detail.

This is not a modern idea, but one that has been held by Christians throughout the centuries. This was even noted by Muslim author Neal Robinson, who makes mention of an ancient Nestorian reference:

... The text which dates from around 550 CE. concludes a discussion of the Trinity with the words ‘The Messiah is God but God is not the Messiah’. The Qur'an echoes only the latter half of the statement. C. Schedl, Muhammad and Jesus (Vienna: Herder, 1978), p. 531. (Robinson, Christ In Islam and Christianity [State University of New York Press, Albany 1991], p. 197; bold emphasis mine)

Why then does the Qur'an invert the proper statement of the Christian faith?

The verse seems to means as though Christians only believe Jesus to be God which isn't the case since they believe God to be three persons? Can anyone correct me if I'm wrong? Anyone please clarify.

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  • Note that Imam Razi also highlighted this point in his tafseer. Under quran 5:17 he mentions "Question is that none of the Christians claim that God is Messiah".
    – Abdul Moiz
    Dec 9, 2021 at 7:06
  • I am not sure why you think it means Christians only believe Jesus to be God. In fact, other verses mention how they believe in a trinity. But, this verse simply highlights the fact that they say that a human was not the Messiah, rather God Himself was the Messiah. "Indeed, God Himself is Jesus."
    – The Z
    Dec 9, 2021 at 9:27
  • @The Z if I'm not wrong isn't their belief is Jesus is son of God rather than God himself.
    – Abdul Moiz
    Dec 9, 2021 at 10:09
  • If you believe that somebody is the son of God, then this person must be a god himself!
    – Medi1Saif
    Dec 9, 2021 at 11:25
  • 1
    You perhaps do not have a complete understanding of their theology. They believe he is the son of God, and they believe the son of God is God Himself.
    – The Z
    Dec 9, 2021 at 20:07

1 Answer 1

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The one who is responsible to explain is the Christians themselves, not the Muslims.

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Christians look at God through three personas, from which they conclude that the three together make "god", but that theological claim is not believable for another "three" reasons:

  1. Neither "trinity" exists in the Bible nor Jesus claims in the Gospels he is god, and John 10:30 is not a literal verse like the Jews misunderstood Jesus.
  2. Any rational person will refuse the statement of 1 = 3, included by the fact that the entire universe is running on mathematics.
  3. You can not say "Jesus is god" and "son of god" at the same time, this is not reasonable!

The Qur'an inverted the Christian statement from "Christ is god" to "Allah is Christ" because:

  1. The Christians common folk say "God turned briefly to a human!", and already believe that god had a human nature [plus the divine one] in Jesus image.
  2. To extend the meaning for Christians reading the Qur'an; by putting Allah's name before Jesus name, so that the Christian will see the true problem in this doctrine.

Point 2 is empowered by the next verse:

5:73

لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلَـٰثَةٍ ۘ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـٰهٍ إِلَّآ إِلَـٰهٌ وَٰحِدٌ

They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God.

The Christians do not say "God is third of three", but Allah is explaining the belief to Christians by:

Are you saying that God is 1/3 of this trinity you believe in?

Because you know that Allah's name stands for Elohim, the Hebrew name of God in Judaism, who is also the father persona in the Christian trinity.

I hope this cleared up your confusion, but seriously you will never get any clue from Christians to explain a non-biblical belief like the trinity, and of course the Qur'an will not spare the case without a resolve.

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  • Does quran 5:73 actually says this that they say God ins one-third of three?
    – Abdul Moiz
    Dec 9, 2021 at 16:44
  • Yes, Allah means that the trinity Christians believe in resembled Him as 1/3 of those three personas, because the son is obviously referring to Jesus, while the Holy Spirit true identity is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 1:26-27.
    – Ahmed Ali
    Dec 9, 2021 at 16:48

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