There are more than 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, coming from a variety of ethnic and educational backgrounds. Many of these Muslims claim that there is strong evidence supporting Muhammad and the Qur’an, as well as strong evidence against Christianity.
Answering Muslims is a Christian apologetics website dedicated to responding to the questions, objections, and arguments of Muslims. The site is run by Christian debaters, lecturers, and writers who have a special interest in Islam.
Since one of the most common Muslim arguments is that Islamic morality and law would benefit Western nations, we also report relevant current events concerning the impact of Sharia on various cultures.
And the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it.” 4 So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. 5 And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did. 6 And there were certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. 7 And those men said to him, “We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the Lord's offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” 8 And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”There is a time stamp given for this Passover in verse 1. We are informed that it took place "in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt." Thus, this was the second Passover.
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace. 4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary and out of the camp.” 5 So they came near and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said.No mention is made in Leviticus 10 of the defiling of certain men by touching a dead body or the instructions given as a result. No mention is made in Numbers 9 of Nadab and Abihu, of the tribe of Levi, who took a censer and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, resulting in their deaths in judgment and their bodies being carried away out of the camp by Mishael and Elzaphan.
At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.Thus, we learn, King Hezekiah proudly showed the Babylonian envoys his great riches in his treasure house. Hezekiah's pride brings upon him a prophecy of judgment. In verses 3-7, we read,
Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”King Hezekiah selfishly is relieved at the prophecy, thinking to himself that at least "There will be peace and security in my days" (verse 8).
In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear.” And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king's house. At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria.Wait a minute. So Hezekiah has just made this humiliating tribute to the king of Assyria, having had to offer him "all of the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasures of the king's house" and even being reduced to stripping the gold from the doors of the temple and from the doorposts. How then was he able not long after this humiliation to show all of his riches of his treasury to the Babylonian envoys? One could write it off as a contradiction, or we could dig deeper to find the solution - and in so-doing uncover another remarkable undesigned coincidence.
And many brought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from that time onward.Therein lies our answer. This explains how Hezekiah came to have a full treasury to show off to the Babylonian envoys by the time the Babylonians learned of his recovery. No mention is made of the humiliating tribute to the Assyrians in 2 Chronicles. 2 Kings does mention the humiliating tribute and him showing off his treasury shortly thereafter to the Babylonian envoys, but makes no mention of the gifts that replenished the treasury. Isaiah makes no mention of the tribute or the gifts but mentions his display of his great wealth.
And King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze. And he was full of wisdom, understanding, and skill for making any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his work.There is a parallel account given in 2 Chronicles 2:13-14, in which we read of what the king of Tyre wrote in a letter to Solomon:
Now I have sent a skilled man, who has understanding, Huram-abi, the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre. He is trained to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, and in purple, blue, and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and to do all sorts of engraving and execute any design that may be assigned him, with your craftsmen, the craftsmen of my lord, David your father.It is clearly the same individual being spoken of here that we read of in 1 Kings 7. However, there is an apparent discrepancy (which I have highlighted in bold font in our texts above) -- the text in 1 Kings asserts his mother to be a woman of the Tribe of Naphtali; the other, in 2 Chronicles, asserts her to be a woman of the daughters of Dan. Now, we could just simply dismiss this as a contradiction on the part of Scripture -- as many liberal critics would like to do. Or we could dig deeper to see whether there is a resolution.
Now therefore command that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. And my servants will join your servants, and I will pay you for your servants such wages as you set, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.As I showed in my previous article, Laish/Dan was close to the springs of Jordan. There is thus evidence to support that Dan/Laish stood in the Tribe of Naphtali, since we read in Joshua 19:32-34:
The sixth lot came out for the people of Naphtali, for the people of Naphtali, according to their clans. And their boundary ran from Heleph, from the oak in Zaanannim, and Adami-nekeb, and Jabneel, as far as Lakkum, and it ended at the Jordan. Then the boundary turns westward to Aznoth-tabor and goes from there to Hukkok, touching Zebulun at the south and Asher on the west and Judah on the east at the Jordan.We are thus told that the outskirts of the territory of Naphtali is said to have been at the Jordan. Again, this implies that Dan/Laish stood in the Tribe of Naphtali.
Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.This was the approximate average price of a slave in the 18th century B.C. Before this time, the price of a slave had been cheaper and the price steadily increased over time due to inflation. As shown in the graph, before this time (under the third dynasty of Ur), the commonest price of a slave was only 10 shekels. The prices of a slave in the 18th century (the time of Joseph), according to old Babylonian documents, are within a 15 to 30 shekel range and average at 22 shekels.
If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.In fifteenth century Nuzi and fourteenth and thirteenth century Ugarit, the average price of a slave reached as high as 30 shekels and more. Hence, we see the replacement money that must be paid to the owner, according to Exodus 21:32, given as 30 shekels.
Menahem exacted the money from Israel, that is, from all the wealthy men, fifty shekels of silver from every man, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back and did not stay there in the land.Thus, as K.A. Kitchen explains (On the Reliability of the Old Testament, p. 345),
...our biblical figures in each case closely correspond to the relevant averages for their periods: 20 shekels for Joseph in the early second millennium, 30 shekels under Moses in the later second millennium, and 50 shekels for Assyria under Menahem in the eighth century. This closely matching "graph" is not coincidence.If the events were being made up centuries later then it would be very difficult for a forger to check the relevant price of slaves at the time of the events he was narrating. This is the sort of thing where it would be very easy for a forger to err, given the rapidly climbing average price of a slave throughout history. This pattern of evidence suggests that the events are being recorded in close proximity to the time and place.
"Narrated by Ibn Abbas: 'I (Muhammad) put on her my shirt that she may wear the clothes of heaven, and I slept with her in her coffin (grave) that I may lessen the pressure of the grave. She was the best of Allah’s creatures to me after Abu Talib' . . . The prophet was referring to Fatima , the mother of Ali."Since the word "slept" here can refer to sexual intercourse (as in the English sentence, "He slept with her"), some critics of Islam have suggested that Muhammad had sex with a dead woman.
I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.Who is Nahor? We find out in Genesis 11:26:
When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.Thus, we learn that Nahor is Abraham's own brother! We are also told this in Genesis 22:20. This information is not given to us in Genesis 24, although the servant does say in verse 27,
As for me, the Lord has led me in the way to the house of my master's kinsmenThe text then does tell us that Rebecca was one of Abraham's kinsmen. For the precise relationship, however, we have to go to Genesis 11:26.
Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”In other words, Sarah had been for a long time barren, and she was now well past the age of child bearing. This makes sense of how someone of the third generation on Nahor's side could marry someone of the second generation on Abraham's side. But note that this is not spelled out in the text. It is only by putting these jigsaw pieces together -- from Genesis 24:24, Genesis 11:26 and Genesis 18:11-12 -- that we find illumination of what was going on. This is the sort of pattern we expect in a record of history, not a work of fiction.
I assume he means here something like a substitutional theory of atonement. That’s right, I don’t think anyone has to believe that in order to be saved. A person doesn’t have to believe any developed theory about the mechanics of forgiveness, i.e. a theological atonement theory, in order to be saved. That is as it should be. All Peter tells them in Acts 2, is if they repent and get baptized, they’ll be forgiven.Actually, it does not matter what theory of atonement one buys into. Nowhere in Acts 2 does Peter even assert that Jesus died for our sins. Yet no Christian would argue that this indicates that Jesus dying for our sins is not definitional to the gospel. One must also make a distinction between a lack of belief as a result of ignorance or immaturity in the faith, and a considered denial of those doctrines. I do not believe it is necessary to believe in the Trinity to be saved. One might hold all sorts of heretical understandings out of ignorance and yet still be saved. A wilful rejection of the Trinity, however, is something else entirely.
Here Mr. McLatchie introduces a red herring, a distraction. The use of “philosophical categories” (i.e. terms) is irrelevant. I would count it here if in any way, the tripersonal God were mentioned as such, or the “deity of Christ” or the two natures of Jesus were taught. The terms needn’t have time-traveled back from Constantinople (381) or Chalcedon (451). Any sort of explicit statement or clear implication would do.I think my previous article showed just that. As we shall see, Tuggy's rebuttal to my points falls very far short of convincing.
Unfortunately, Mr. McLatchie also introduces a weasel word here, on which the rest of his piece depends: “trinitarian.”
If this means “having to do with the Trinity,” i.e. the tripersonal God, then there is no shred of evidence that what Luke is doing here is trinitarian, nor does my opponent provide any.
If “trinitarian” means just “having to do with the Father, Son, and Spirit” (this triad, however they’re related to one another), then of course all of Acts is “trinitarian.” But this is a trivial point. Any unitarian’s theology will also be thorough “trinitarian” in this loose way of using the word.
He assets [sic] that Peter’s first sermon here is thoroughly “trinitarian.” In the first sense, this is patently false. In the second sense, it is obviously true. This is how weasel-words work. The hope is that you’ll agree to the obvious truth, and then not notice when we switch to the (at best) controversial claim.
Next, McLatchie serves up an example of the fulfillment fallacy. The argument is:
1. In Joel 2 Yahweh (truly) promises to pour our his spirit on all flesh.
2. In Acts 2 Peter (truly) says that Jesus poured out God’s spirit on all flesh.
3. Therefore, Yahweh is Jesus (and vice-versa). (1,2)
Note the vast gap between 1 and 2 and the conclusion 3. The argument is invalid; 3 doesn’t follow from 1 and 2. 1 and 2 could be true while 3 is false in this way: Yahweh pours out his spirit through (the risen and exalted) Jesus. 1 and 2 are merely compatible with the identity of God and Jesus (claim 3). But 1 and 2 do nothing to support 3.The trouble here is that Tuggy has thoroughly misrepresented my argument. Tuggy sets up my argument as follows:
Worse, 3 is incompatible with every Christian’s belief that there are differences between God and Jesus. It’s not even a conclusion which a trinitarian should want! Do you see why?
Amazingly, Mr. McLatchie celebrates having (he thinks) proved the numerical identity of Yahweh and Jesus, and then immediately mentions that they qualitatively differ!After quoting my statement that Jesus in Acts 2 is presented as distinct from the Father, Tuggy continues,
Right Jesus received the spirit from the Father. (Acts 2:33) The Father didn’t receive his spirit from anyone. It follows that they are numerically two. Mr. McLatchie needs to learn this self-evident truth, the indiscernibility of identicals, and then theologize (and interpret scripture) accordingly.Tuggy has thus fundamentally misrepresented Trinitarian beliefs. What Trinitarian believes that Jesus is the Father? Indeed, every Trinitarian believes the Father and Son are distinctive personalities. The Father is not the Son, and nor is the Son the Father. Nonetheless, the three distinct persons of the Father, Son and Spirit fully participate in and share the fullness of the divine essence.
But of course, in this new covenant, you return to God, you get reconciled to God through Jesus. This doesn’t imply that God just is Jesus, and vice-versa. Rather, the whole scheme presupposes that God and Jesus are two, since the man Jesus is a mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) between us and God, functioning like a high priest (Hebrews).But what Trinitarian asserts that "God just is Jesus"? Of course that is ridiculous. God is the Father, Son and Spirit.
When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them#cen-NIV-108D" data-link="(#cen-niv-108d"="" title="See cross-reference D">D)"> male and female#cen-NIV-108E" data-link="(#cen-niv-108e"="" title="See cross-reference E">E)"> and blessed them. And he named them Adam when they were created.
The personality and “deity” of God’s spirit is no part of the content of Peter’s message in Acts 2, which is what my post was about.
But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’Notice that in verses 17 and 18, Yahweh states that "I will pour out my Spirit". Yet what does Peter go on to state in verses 32-33?
This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.Thus, the one who has poured out the Spirit, according to Peter, is Jesus Himself! Peter thus has identified Jesus as none other than Yahweh. Jesus, moreover, is clearly distinct from the Father, since Peter says that He has "received from the Father."
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.And yet what does Peter state in verse 38?
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.Thus, while Peter has quoted Joel as saying that all who call upon the name of Yahweh will be saved, he goes on to instruct the people to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.Again, the name given by which we must be saved is that of Jesus.
But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”Thus, the Holy Spirit is here taken to be a personal agent who can be lied to -- in fact, the Holy Spirit is identified as God Himself in verse 4.
And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”Thus, the Holy Spirit is a witness in the same sense that the apostles were witnesses. This again strongly implies the personal identity of the Holy Spirit.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”Here, the Holy Spirit speaks as a person and sends Barnabas and Paul. The Holy Spirit says it is the work He has called them to do. This again implies strongly the deity of the Holy Spirit.
For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements.The phrase "it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit" (which is taken to be in the same sense that it seemed good to the apostles) implies strongly that the Holy Spirit is a personal agent.
And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: “‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’Thus, according to Paul, the one who spoke to Isaiah in Isaiah 6:9-10 was the Holy Spirit. Yet according to Isaiah 6:8 it is the Lord God himself speaking.
And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.The significance is that God Himself, in Isaiah 42:8, declares,
I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.Yahweh, therefore, shares His glory with no-one. And yet Christ claims to participate and share in the glory of the Father. The implication is that the Son must be one in essence with the Father.
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are oneBy extension of the logic, it is argued, would this not render the disciples part of the essence of Yahweh as well? Since this is an absurd conclusion, it is argued that the argument should be rejected.
This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.Also take a look at John 11:1-4:
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”Therefore, the glory that Jesus had on earth was the miraculous deeds he performed that bore witness to His being of God. The glory that Jesus gave to the disciples is that glory, and not the other.
As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.In verse 18, Jesus says that He is sending out the disciples into the world just as the Father had sent Him out into the world. This ties in with John 14:12-14, where Jesus says they will do the same works He has been doing:
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.Now, how do I know that the other glory is reserved for God alone, and is not given to the disciples? Take a look at John 17:24:
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.Therefore, Jesus says that His disciples will behold His glory, not possess it.
This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.Is there any independent evidence to corroborate the author's claim to be this disciple? If so, then the argument for Johanine authorship rests on being able to demonstrate the identity of this disciple -- and I think a very convincing case can be made for him being John the son of Zebedee by a process of elimination.
Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in.It makes sense to identify this other disciple as John -- first because he is unidentified (which is how John is treated consistently in John's gospel) and second because "the disciple whom he loved" (which I take to be the apostle John) was certainly present at the cross, since we read in John 19:26-27:
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.It is thus a reasonable inference to take the other disciple from John 18:15-16 to be John the son of Zebedee. What then is the significance of him being "known to the high priest"?
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)How did the author of John's gospel come to know the name of the high priest's servant? Indeed, he is the only gospel author to give us this detail. This makes sense, however, if indeed John was someone who was known to the high priest. This corroborates the Johanine authorship of John's gospel. It is not by itself conclusive, but when taken in conjunction with other independent lines of evidence (both internal as well as external), one has a persuasive cumulative case to take John's gospel as penned by the disciple John.
You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.Why should the disciples be rejoicing that Jesus is returning to the Father? The reason given is that the Father is greater than He. Why should that be a cause for rejoicing? The answer is given in verses 12-14:
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.The reason, then, that Jesus' returning to the Father should cause the disciples to rejoice is that the Son is going to reclaim the glory and divine privileges which had rightfully been his along with the Father from eternity past -- i.e. that which he voluntarily laid aside at the time of the incarnation (e.g. see Philippians 2:5-11). In fact, Jesus is going to be answering the prayer requests of believers all over the world. This is not something that a Muslim could say of someone who was a mere prophet.
And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.Is that something that any mere creature could say? Indeed, God Himself declares in Isaiah 42:8,
I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.Thus, the Lord God makes it very clear that He shares His glory with nobody. And yet Jesus in John 17:5, claims that He has shared the glory along with the Father from eternity past. The conclusion is inescapable that Jesus shares and participates in the glory of the Lord God -- and thus He is one in essence with the Father.
And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.Compare this to Isaiah 41:21-23:
Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified.God also says in Isaiah 48:3-5:
“The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass, I declared them to you from of old, before they came to pass I announced them to you, lest you should say, ‘My idol did them, my carved image and my metal image commanded them.’This is very similar to the language Jesus uses in John 14:29. God asserts in Isaiah that only He alone can tell us things before they come to pass. And yet Jesus in John 14:29 claims this prerogative as His own. Jesus also made a similar statement in John 13:19:
I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am.The language "you may believe that I am" alludes back to the Greek Septuagint translation of Isaiah 43:10 ("you may believe that I am"), which is the voice of the Lord God. Jesus in John 13:19 takes those words of God and makes them His own.
Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.Why does Paul say of Onesimus that he "is one of you"? Presumably, this indicates that Onesimus himself was a Colossian. Do we have any independent evidence for Onesimus being a Colossian?
To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house.The text does not tell us where Philemon is from. However, there is mention made of a certain Archippus, who must be from the same city as Philemon (and by extension Onesimus). The epistle to Philemon nowhere tells us where Archippus is from either. However, when we turn back to Colossians 4, we find that there is an instruction given in verse 17:
And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”Since Paul is writing to the church in Colossae, and since Paul gives his audience the instruction to pass on a message to Archippus, this indicates to us that Archippus was living in Colossae. Since the epistle to Philemon makes the connection of Onesimus to Philemon, and Philemon to Archippus, this indicates by extension that Onesimus is likewise from Colossae, thus illuminating Paul's words in Colossians 4:9: "Onesimus...who is one of you." This also indicates that Paul must have written the epistle to the Colossians and the epistle to Philemon at around the same time, while Onesimus was with him in Rome before returning to his master Philemon.