How to Explain the Religions of Abraham to the Hollywood Generation

If you don’t like humor, don’t click below – and if you are reading it on the RSS feature, don’t go any further.

Admittedly, we live in a world where people worry more about Star Trek Canon (and something called star Wars or something like that) than they do about the natures of things eternal – so, while I do not pretend to like contemporize Christianity, I found this slightly humorous.

No, Moslems don’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

Think of it like a movie. The Torah is the first one, and the New Testament the sequel. Then the Qu’ran comes out, and it retcons the last one like it never happened. There’s still Jesus, but he’s not the main character anymore, and the messiah hasn’t shown up yet.

Jews like the first movie but ignored the sequels. Christians think you need to watch the first two, but the third movie doesn’t count. The Moslems think the third one was the best, and Mormons liked the second one so much, they started writing fanfiction that doesn’t fit with ANY of the series canon.

This quote was was sent in by a reader.

You Might Also Like

47 Replies to “How to Explain the Religions of Abraham to the Hollywood Generation”

  1. You are wrong about Muslims not believing that Jesus is the Messiah. The Qur’an states very explicitly

    “When the angel said, ‘O Mary! verily, God gives thee the glad tidings of a Word from Him; his name shall be the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, regarded in this world and the next and of those whose place is nigh to God.”
    (The Qur’an (E.H. Palmer tr), Sura   3 – Imran’s Family)
    The problem here is that Christians themselves have forgotten what Messiah means. They think it means Savior when it fact it means Anointed One.


  2. The Jews did not believe that the Messiah would be God or the Son of God. As for being a prophet, Peter himself calls Jesus a prophet ‘like unto Moses”

    3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
    (King James Bible, Acts)


  3. I’m not arguing that Muslims believe the same things about Jesus that Christians believe, but Muslims believe a good deal more about Christ than Christians typically recognize. For instance they believe Jesus was born of a virgin, that He is the Messiah and the Word of God and that He will come again.

  4. Incidentally, that seems a rather poor translation of Philipians you are using.  My recollection is that it says “Though in the *form* of God” rather than “Though he *was* God”


  5. Oh, this is the Living Bible. No, wonder, it isn’t even a translation, instead it represents a particular theological interpretation of the Bible. I’d rather have a translation that stated closer to the original Greek.

  6. ” ‘morphe of God’ means, mixed with, ‘didn’t think His divinity something to be held to’ means?”
    Morphe of God means ‘in the form of God” just like I’ve always heard the passage. And to say Jesus is divine is not the same as to say He is a diety.
    Incidentally, I found this website describing the NLT:
    It seems it still owes a good deal to the Living Bible”:

  7. I’d never heard of the NLT until you mentioned it here, but my atennas immediately went up when I realzied Phillipians was being mistranslated. As for whether one could have God’s nature and give it up without being God, it is an assumption on your part that this cannot be done. The Baha’i concept of Manifestation would match this perfectly, one doesn’t need incarnation which is unbiblical.

  8. Before the NLT came along it was always translated as the ‘form of God” and you just provided the Greek which confirms this is the correct translation. As for John 1:14 it says the Word was made flesh.  As I’m sure you must know the conception of the Word as the first born of God is very Platonic conception. Usually the word ‘manifest’ is found in the NT in relationship to Jesus’ relationship to God, not incarnate.

    1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
    (King James Bible, 1 Peter)

    3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory
    (King James Bible, 1 Timothy)
    I can find more if you like.



  9. I’ve never paid much attention to the NIV either. I prefer the New English Bible, but since I don’t have an online version of that I stick to the Standard Revised or the KJV.
    As for the Word made flesh hearkening back to the Hebrew Wisdom rather than Platonic notions of the Logos, Philo of Alexandria had brought those two things together when he conceived of the Logos s as God’s thought, as His eternally generated first-born son.
    Whatever Tertullian may have said Greek thought influenced Christianity from the beginning and that influence only grew over time. In fact the Trinity which I believe Tertullian himself first articulated was an attempt to explain Jesus relationship with God in terms that were intelligible in Greek philosophical terms.
    As for the difference between manifestation and incarnation, the light of the sun is reflected, and therefore manifest in a clear mirror, but it cannot be incarnated in that mirror without destroying it.

  10. Just because Philo isn’t mentioned in the Bible does not mean he did not influence writers like John. He died twenty years after Christ but his writings would have naturally been earlier. It is Philo who connects the Greek Logos with the Hebrew Wisdom, without that it is not at all clear that is what he is doing. John’s Gospel is pretty late, written towards the very end of the first century. I think it is safe to say that John’s Gospel would have been written about fifty years after Philo wrote his works.
    Most scholars would reject Paul’s authorship of Timothy, though I realzie that is not the position of inerrantists.  Timothy is written in an entirely different style than the works which we know were penned by Paul. Also, Timothy describes a church organization which did not exist in the first century. It is most likely a second century work.  But I would not agree that ‘manifest in the flesh’ is the same as incarnated. The sun is manifest in the mirror but not incarnated.

  11. I wrote:
    “It is Philo who connects the Greek Logos with the Hebrew Wisdom, without that it is not at all clear that is what he is doing.”
    Let me clarify that. It is not clear what John is connecting the Logos to the Hebrew Sophia without reference to what Philo had previously written.

  12. Actually, he is Dutch Reform but he wrote a famous biography of Luther.
    And no, as a firm believer in Predestination he did not share my theology. But I doubt if he thought that Paul wrote the pastoral letters.  I studied the letters of Paul with a Catholic priest who taught at the same university. He didn’t think Paul wrote Timothy either.

  13. Fair enough. I think I addressed the issue of the verse itself. It does not have to be understood in the way Christians have typically interpreted it since Nicea.

  14. Oh yes, now I remember that bio of Luther, very good as I remember too?  I have RC priest friends, I count Fr. Fritzmeyer as one. But they are a mess with their presuppositions!  I am 59, so I have read much in the 20th century theology.
    Fr. R.

  15. A man dies and goes to heaven, and is being given a tour of the place. Good people of all the many faiths God has called people to (Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Shamanist, etc.) are all around, chatting amiably with each other, except for one group.

    The man is puzzled. “Who are those people over there, sitting behind that high stone wall?” he asks.

    The guide smiles. “Oh, those are the Evangelical Christians. They think they're the only ones here.”

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.