1 Timothy 6:16 shows that Jesus is not God

Is 1 Timothy 6:16 referring to Jesus or the Father?
by Ibn Anwar

In a recent debate between Dr. Joshua Sijuwade and brother Jake Brancatella*, during the Q&A session, I asked the former regarding 1 Timothy 6:16 in light of his claim during the debate that the Father and Jesus are ontologically the same, i.e., they both share the exact same intrinsic nature or essence. In trying to reply to the question that did appear somewhat difficult for him, he attempted to claim that the one meant in 1 Timothy 6:16 may, in fact, be Jesus and his reason for that is because verse 15 identifies the being as the King of Kings and Jesus in his view is also identified as King of Kings. He did not have the time to cite the verses that do say that, but he must have had in mind one of two references, Revelation 7:14; 19:11–16, which do identify Jesus as King of Kings. What Dr. Kijuwade seemed to have been suggesting is that because Jesus is known as King of Kings, that must mean that 1 Timothy 16:15 is about him and so, too, would the next verse. The problem with this understanding is that others besides Jesus are also called King of Kings, for example, King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:37 and Artaxerxes in Ezra 7:12. Further, the context would not allow 1 Timothy 6:16 to be interpreted as though it was about Jesus. The context begins in verse 13. Let’s consider the context as follows:

Did Justin Martyr promote the worship of angels?

Worship of angels according to Justin Martyr: Response to Albrecht and Co. 

by Ibn Anwar

Much to the consternation of Christian apologists, Dr. Shabir Ally has successfully demonstrated that Saint Justin Martyr, whom Christians traditionally hold in high esteem, actually called for the worship of angels along with God. This is based on a particular text from Justine Martyr’s infamous First Apology, which reads as follows:

“So, then, we are called godless. We certainly confess that we are godless with reference to beings like these who are commonly thought of as gods, but not with reference to the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is untouched by evil. Him and the Son who came from him, and taught us these things, and the army of the other good angels who follow him and are made like him, and the prophetic Spirit we worship and adore, giving honor in reason and truth, and to everyone who wishes to learn transmitting [the truth] ungrudgingly as we have been taught.” [1] (emphasis added)

The purpose of this article is to supplement and further bolster Dr. Shabir’s stance on Justin Martyr’s angelology that has irked many a Christian. What do we make of the above passage from Justin Martyr? A plain reading of the text would have any reasonable reader acknowledge that Justin Martyr is calling for the “worship and adoration” (σεβόμεθα καί προσκυνοϋμεν) of the Father, the Son, the good angels and the prophetic Spirit, which is presumably the Holy Spirit. In response to Dr. Shabir Ally, Christian apologists have claimed that that is a misreading of the text. Is that allegation true? How can that be when Dr. Shabir in his presentations* has correctly referred to the late Dr. Robert M. Grant, who was a respected theologian and ordained priest of the Episcopal Church, in his book ‘The Early Christian Doctrine of God’ which essentially concludes that the passage above does indicate the author’s call for believers to worship and adore the angels. Dr. Robert Grant and Dr. Shabir Ally are not alone in the understanding that they discern from the passage above. That is also the understanding of (Dr) Alfred Walter Frank Blunt, who was the Bishop of Bradford in the Anglican Church. In his ‘The Apologies of Justin Martyr,’ regarding the passage in question, under the heading ‘Angels and Demons,’ he writes:

The Cross Did Not Kill Jesus

How Sure are the Christians that the Cross Successfully Killed Jesus?

by Ibn Anwar

 

If Christians insist that Jesus was truly seen as a normal human being that required food (Luke 24:41) after his alleged crucifixion, the more reasonable question is not whether he had resurrected from death but whether or not he had died in the first place. In answering this question, we ask for evidence that might convince us that Jesus absolutely died on the cross. DO we have such evidence?

Consider the following recent news item:

Albrecht and his Imprimatur Confusion

Correcting Albrecht’s misunderstanding of the ‘Imprimatur’

by Ibn Anwar

In the latest debate between Dr. Shabir Ally and Orthodox Christian apologist William Albrecht on the topic ‘Is the Trinity Biblical and Ancient,’* the latter, in his response to Dr. Shabir made an egregious misrepresentation of a Catholic tradition regarding the ‘Imprimatur,’ which is important in Catholicism and it is typically accompanied by the ‘nihil obstat’ pursuant to Canon Law 823 and 824 that read as follows:

Can. 823 §1 In order to safeguard the integrity of faith and morals, pastors of the Church have the duty and the right to ensure that in writings or in the use of the means of social communication there should be no ill effect on the faith and morals of Christ’s faithful. They also have the duty and the right to demand that where writings of the faithful touch upon matters of faith and morals, these be submitted to their judgement. Moreover, they have the duty and the right to condemn writings which harm true faith or good morals.

  • 2ForChrist’s faithful entrusted to their care, the duty and the right mentioned in §1 belong to the Bishops, both as individuals and in particular councils or Episcopal Conferences; for the whole people of God, they belong to the supreme authority in the Church.

Can. 824 §1 Unless it is otherwise provided, the local Ordinary whose permission or approval for publishing a book is to be sought according to the canons of this title, is the author’s proper local Ordinary, or the Ordinary of the place in which the book is published.

  • 2Unless thecontrary is clear, what is said in the canons of this title about books, applies also to any writings intended for publication.

Monogamy is not Biblical: Early Christianity Recognised Polygamy

Polygamy in Early Christianity

by Ibn Anwar

Polygamy in Islam is often seen by Christians as something sinful worthy of mockery. They are proud of their supposedly monogamous culture and believe, erroneously so, that polygamy is proscribed by their religion based on the Bible, and thus, polygamy is to be shunned. As for the biblical basis for monogamy, there really isn’t one. There are texts that may seem to suggest mongamy is the way, but readers of the Bible must admit that no explicit statement can be found anywhere in either the Old or New Testament where polygamy is outlawed or made out to be a sin. In fact, the Bible actually shows God regulating polygamy which necessarily means that He sanctioned it:
“If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love, 16 when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love. 17 He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father’s strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.” (Deuteronomy 21:15-17)

Council of Nicea helped shape the Christian canon: Christianity burnt books

Books destroyed because of the Council of Nicea
by Ibn Anwar

Contrary to popular rumour, the Council of Nicea was not responsible for the canonisation of the Christian Bible or New Testament. But although they did not handpick which books should eventually make it into the Christian Bible(s), they were very much responsible for what would transpire after, namely the destruction of books that would be deemed heretical by what became the “orthodox” denomination wherein Jesus was declared god through and through. Once this denomination was royally proclaimed the religion of the state, heterodox groups, along with the scriptures and books that were associated with them or any writing at all that did not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy were put to the fire. In other words, the council of Nicea was the catalyst for the limitation of what books could possibly be included in what would later become the canon of the western Christian Bible whereby the New Testament would have its 27 books.* Associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, David Deming writes the following:

“After Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the Christians were no more tolerant than their pagan predecessors. Heretical books were destroyed. Subsequent to his condemnation for heresy at the council of Nicea in A.D. 325, Constantine I (c. 280-337) ordered the books of Arius be burnt. “If any treatise composed by Arius should be discovered, let it be consigned to the flames.” Constantine further decreed that anyone caught hiding a book authored by Arius should be put to death. “If anyone shall be detected in concealing a book compiled by Arius … the penalty for this offense shall be death.” [1]

John 20:25 indicates that the author fabricated the crucifixion

Were the hands of Jesus pierced?
by Ibn Anwar
 
“So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands (chersin) and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand (cheira) into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25; NIV) [emphasis and parentheses added]

The anonymous author of John 20:25 suggests that the crucified Jesus was nailed through his “hands” and that’s a big problem. While it is true that the Greek behind the word ‘hands’ in the verse, i.e., χερσὶν (chersin) from χειρ (cheir), according to notable Greek lexicons and some commentaries, e.g. A Greek-English Lexicon by Liddel and Scott, Word Biblical Commentary: John by George R. Beasley-Murray, can include the arm, I am not at all convinced that that is what the verse conveys.