Q / A
02. What is the Holy Spirit?
Greetings and peace be
Some Christians consider the statement in the First Epislte of John (5:7-8) as a reference to trinity. It reads, according to the old King James version (1611 AC) of the Bible:“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water and the blood: and these three agree”. However, this text was radically changed in the revised editions of 1946 and 1952 to read: “7For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.” As a footnote it is mentioned: And there are three that t,stify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century). Deviations from the pure doctrines of Jesus and all the prophets before him started with Paul, who never met Jesus. Paul was the first to claim the Godhead and divine sonship of Jesus, as well as his resurrection. Yet, the disciples and the early Christian generations were unitarians. They resisted the efforts of Paul and his followers to change both the faith and law of Moses and Jesus, and, later, many of them were tortured for holding to their faith.
Trinity was imposed for the first time, as an official creed of the Roman
empire, by Emperor Theodosius in the year 381 AC. The motive was mainly
political, to save the Roman empire by putting an end to the split between the
unitarian Christians and the trinitarians, a split that persisted even after the
Council of Nicea in 325 AC adopted the Pauline doctrines deifying Jesus as son
of God. Trinity, subsequently endorsed by the Council of Constantinople in 381
AC, attracted those who found in it a compromise between their original pagan
beliefs and Christianity. Trinity was an invention of Athnasius of Alexandria in
the 4th century after Jesus departure. It is a coinage of the Pauline
doctrine with pagan beliefs of the ancient world, e.g. Egypt (Horus, Isis and
Osiris), India (Brahma, Siva and Visnu) as well as the Greekmyths of people who
are sons of the “Holy Ghost” (Apollo). Other influences of the pagan beleifs was
the change of Sabbath holiday to the Roman Sun-day, and to change Christmas to
25th December, the birthday of the Roman Sun-god, Mithra. So the
concepts of Trinity and the Holy ghost or spirit were in fact a pagan invention
that neither Jesus nor the early christians ever accepted or advocated.
The angel Gabriel is the same angel sent with divine messages and support of Allah to his prophets. In Surah 16: 102 of the Qur’an (English meaning):”Say (O Muhammad) Ruh-ul-Qudus (Spirit of Holiness, i.e. Gabriel) has brought it (the Qur’an) down from your Lord with truth, that it may make firm and strengthen (the faith of) those who believe, and as a guidance and glad tidings to those who have submitted (to Allah as Muslims)”. The same was the context of the Qur’anic verses (English meaning):
“And indeed, We gave Moses the Book and followed him with a succession of Messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear signs and supported him with Ruh-ul-Qudus (Gabriel)” (2; 87).
“And to Jesus the son of Mary, We gave clear proofs and evidences, and supported him with Ruh-ul-Qudus (Gabriel)” (2: 253).
“(Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection), ‘O Jesus son of Mary! Remember My Favor to you and to your mother when I supported you with Ruh-ul-Qudus (Gabriel) so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity, and when I taught you writing, Al-Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Tawrah (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)” (5: 110).
The same role of the Holy Spirit (Gabriel), as a Messenger and a supporter from Allah, can be understood from Matthew 1: 18 and Luke 1: 26-27 above, as well as other biblical citations, e.g. in (Hebrews 5: 7): “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him”. See also: “ For he (John the Baptist) shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Luke 1: 15); “ For he (Barnabas) was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith, and much people was added unto the Lord” (Acts 11: 24); “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5: 32)
To conclude , why should you confuse yourself with a quotation from the Gospel of John (John 3:4-6), when many Christian theologians suggest that this particular gospel was intentionally written to advocate the false claim of the divinity and divine sonship of Jesus?
Two verses of the Qur’an would summarize the arguments elucidated above:
“Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, “This is from Allah,” to purchase with it a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby” (English meaning of 2: 79).
To read more on the issues of trinity and holy ghost you can refer to:
“Oneness of God, the ultimate solution to the trinitarian controversy”, by M-U P. Mababaya, International Islamic Publishing House.
“Is the trinity doctrine divinely inspired? “, by M. A. C. Cave, World Assembly of Muslim Youth
“Jesus, A Prophet of Islam”, by M. Ata ur-Rahim, International Islamic Publishing House
“Muslim – Christian Dialogue” in the website: www.islam-for-everyone.com