AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT?
In fact, the more he researched this subject, the more he found myself thinking of that conversation about the Gospel of John with my priest.I realized that what he had been unwilling or unable to tell me was that the author(s) of the Gospel of John had been lying. This was manifestly not an eyewitness account, though it claimed to be.
I was in a strange situation. I was certainly enjoying the fellowship of the Christians at my church, who were all committed and prayerful people. Being part of a religious community was important to me. Yet I had deep intellectual misgivings about the supposed historicity of the Gospel narratives. What’s more, he was, increasingly, getting a different message from the Gospel sayings of Jesus than that which my fellow Christians were apparently getting.
WRESTING WITH THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY
The more he looked at these sayings, the more impossible it became for me to reconcile the notion of the Trinity with that which seemed most authentic to me in the Gospels.he found myself face-to-face with some very difficult questions.
Where in the Gospels did Jesus use the word “Trinity”?
If Jesus was God, as the doctrine of the Trinity claims, why did he worship God? AND — if Jesus was God, why in the world would he say something like the following?
“Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark 10:18)
Did he somehow forget that he himself was God when he said this?
(A side note –he had a discussion with a woman who assured me that this passage was not really in the Gospels, and who refused to believe that it appeared there until I gave her the chapter and verse number and she looked it up for herself!)
THE HOLY QUR’AN
In November of 2002,he began to read a translation of the Qur’an.
I had never read an English translation of the entire text of the Qur’an before. he had only read summaries of the Qur’an written by non-Muslims.(And very misleading summaries at that.)
Words do not adequately describe the extraordinary effect that this book had on me. Suffice to say that the very same magnetism that had drawn me to the Gospels at the age of eleven was present in a new and deeply imperative form. This book was telling me, just as I could tell Jesus had been telling me, about matters of ultimate concern.
The Qur’an was offering authoritative guidance and compelling responses to the questions he had been asking for years about the Gospels.
“It is not (possible) for any human being to whom God has given the Book and Wisdom and Prophethood to say to the people: ‘Be my worshippers rather than God’s.’ On the contrary, (he would say): ‘Be devoted worshippers of your Lord, because you are teaching the Book, and you are studying it.’ Nor would he order you to take angels and Prophets for lords. Would he order you to disbelieve after you have submitted to God’s will?” (Qur’an 3:79-80)
The Qur’an drew me to its message because it so powerfully confirmed the sayings of Jesus that I felt in my heart had to be authentic. Something had been changed in the Gospels, and that something, I knew in my heart, had been left intact in the text of the Qur’an.