Bible Characters in the Quran (1)

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The Quran claims in several places to be a confirmation and a fuller explanation of the Bible.

This Quran is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary, it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, And a fuller explanation of the Book (the Bible i.e the Scripture of the Jews and Christians) – wherein there is no doubt – from the Lord of the worlds” (10:37).

But when one compares the Quran with the Bible, the falsehood of this verse quickly becomes evident. Muslim leaders desperately try to evade this dilemma of contradiction by claiming that the “original Bible” is lost or has been “corrupted.”

Many Muslims, without any sense of demonstrable self-awareness, boldly assert that the Quran came to correct the errors of the Bible or even replace it. Yet, the Quran appeals to the Bible as God’s inspired Word time and again.

To sustain their faith in Islam, Muslims jettison reason, history and truth in their attacks against the Bible to uphold the Quran. But this is irrational.

The principle of historical precedent states that an older theory tests and judges a newer one. If X predates Y in Z, the burden of proof is on Y to prove itself. Until then, Y is in error.

Since the Bible existed before the Quran, it is the standard by which the Quran is to judged and tested, and if the Quran contradicts it at any place, then every rational person must go with the Bible.

This principle will be applied here. In the Quran, Muhammad said “I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the apostles … I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration” (Sura 46:9).

To verify this claim, we must compare the Quran with the Bible and if we find evidence of “newly fangled” ideas in the former, the logical conclusion is that Muhammad was an uninspired (false) prophet.

The following are examples of how the Quran confuses Bible stories and grossly depicts Bible characters.

Adam and Eve

The Quran presents us with a nuanced account of Adam and Eve’s sin. The first version says:

But the devil whispered to him. Said he, ‘O Adam! Shall I guide thee to the tree of immortality, and a kingdom that shall not wane” (Sura 20:120)

The second says: “But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said, Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become immortal” (Sura 7:20)

On comparison with the Bible, both versions are false. Satan deceived Eve alone while Adam knowingly ate the fruit from Eve (Gen. 3:1-5).

The Quran also says that Adam and Eve were thrown to earth when they sinned:

Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: ‘Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood – for a time” (Sura 2:36).

In the Biblical account, Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden of Eden – on earth – where they were created, not heaven.

Muhammad must have heard Jews and Christians talking about the Fall of Adam and Eve and naively thought they literally fell from heaven or a planet down to earth!

He didn’t know the Fall meant a spiritual separation of man from God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). Our being on earth today is not a result of the Fall.

Again, Sura 7:189-190 say:

It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her. When he had sexual relation with her, she became pregnant and she carried it about lightly. Then when it became heavy, they both invoked Allah, their Lord (saying): “If you give us a Salih (good in every aspect) child, we shall indeed be among the grateful. But when He gave them a Salih (good in every aspect) child, they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them…”

This is another version that is nowhere found in the Bible.

Adam and Eve weren’t Arabians and didn’t start a pagan religion. Here, Muhammad was probably trying to redact their story to fit his agenda of making the Meccans worship Allah, their chief deity, excluding the other divinities in the Arabian pantheon.

Abraham

The Quran indicates that Abraham had two children (37:100-11), but the Bible records eight (Gen. 25:1-6, 9).

The Bible records Abraham’s partial lie about Sarah being his wife as his only sin, but the Quran depicts him as a brazen idolater and deceiver:

When the night grew dark upon him he beheld a star. He said: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: I love not things that set. And when he saw the moon uprising, he exclaimed: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said, unless my Lord guide me, I surely shall become one of the folks who go astray. And when he saw the sun uprising, he cried: This is greater! And when he set he exclaimed: O my people Lo! I am free from all that ye associate (with Him)” (Sura 6:76-78)

Muslims have trumped up some excuses to justify Ibraham’s flagrant idolatry, but they hold no water. No Godly person in the Bible ever worshipped the moon, star and sun (whether jocularly or otherwise).

The patriarch Job called this practice “unfaithfulness to God” and one of “sins to be judged” (Job 31:26-28).

Conversely, sura 2:36 says that “Abraham… was never [one] of the idolaters.” We need to ask: Did Allah forgive him of the “unforgivable” sin of shirk?

Sura 2:125: “We covenanted with Abraham and Isma’il that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow or prostrate themselves.

Both the Bible and history show that Abraham was never in Arabia and he didn’t venerate a pagan stone.

The Torah which predates the Quran by 2000 years is a more reliable record of Abraham than anything Muhammad concocted more than a millennia later.

In Sura 21:58-63 we read of Abraham destroying idols: “So he broke them into pieces, all except the chief of them, that they might return to it. They said, ‘Who has done this to our gods? Surely, he is a wrongdoer. Some others said, ‘We heard a young man speak ill of them; he is called Abraham.’… “He replied, ‘Well, someone has surely done this. Here is the chief of them. So ask them if they can speak.

In the Bible, Abraham didn’t destroy any idol. This fiction came about because Muhammad confused the story of Gideon with Abraham (Judges 6:25-31). It’s blasphemy to attribute this astounding blunder to God.

Lot

Narrating his rescue from Sodom and Gomorrah, Sura 27:57-58 says:

“So We saved him and his family, except his wife. We destined her to be of those who remained behind. And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). So evil was the rain of those who were warned.”

The Hilali-Khan version inserted “of stones” to specify the manner of rain. Yusuf Ali, perhaps aware of this blunder, slyly inserts “of brimstone” in parenthesis in his own version.

But Sura 54:34 says: “We sent against them violent storms of stones (which destroyed them all), except the family of Lout (Lot) whom We saved...”

To evade this blunder again, Yusuf Ali inserts “violent tornado” into the text.

Both the Bible and modern archaeology prove that Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed by brimstone, not stones. There are also two conflicting versions of Lot’s rescue. In Sura 15:63, the angels made their identity known the moment Lot saw them:

They said ‘Yes, but we come to thee for a purpose about which thy people doubt.

But in Sura 11: 81, the angels didn’t make their identity known until when Lot was in trouble with the men of Sodom.

The second version is more in line with the Bible. Either Muhammad heard the story from Jews and Christians on two different occasions and had them written accordingly or they were written by different people with nuanced knowledge of the Torah.

Noah

So the Ark floated with them on the waves (towering) like mountains, and Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (from the rest): ‘O my son! Embark with us, and be not with the unbelievers. The son replied “I will betake myself to some mountain: it will save me from the water.’ Noah said ‘This day nothing can save, from the command of God, any, but those on whom He hath mercy!’ And the waves came between them, and the son was among those who overwhelmed in the Flood” (Sura 11:42-43).

But in the Bible, we see that Noah had three sons and none of them got drowned in the Flood. They all entered the Ark with their three wives (Genesis 6 and 7).

The story of Noah is relayed again in Sura 71:1-28 but when one reads the passage carefully, it’s clear that Muhammad tailored Noah’s story to reflect his own experience and feeling when he was rejected by the Meccan pagans. Vs. 21 quotes Noah saying:

My Lord! surely they have disobeyed me and followed him whose wealth and children have added to him nothing but loss.

How could Noah have said this? Did he have followers? Did he lose them to some wealthy individuals? These were Muhammad’s own words framed as Noah’s.

In verse 23, the cat is fully let out of the bag: “And they have said (to each other) ‘Abandon not your gods: Abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa’, neither Yaguth nor Ya’uq nor Nasr’.

History shows that the idols listed here were those of 7th century Arabians, not of the people of Noah millennia ago! Such outright forgeries!

Again, Sura 66:10 says:

Allah sets forth an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were two righteous servants of Ours, but they acted treacherous to them. So they availed them naught against Allah, and it was said to them, ‘Enter the Fire, ye twain, along with those who enter it’.

Which fire? Noah’s wife and Lot’s wife didn’t even live in the same century! If Noah’s only son died in the Flood, and his wife perished in a fire, how then was the earth populated after the Flood?

Joseph

In the Quran Jacob is quoted saying to Joseph’s brothers before going to graze their flocks:

Really it saddens me that ye should take him away; I fear lest the wolf should devour him while ye attend not to him” (Sura 12:13).

This is a reflective narrative from someone who assumed Joseph was going grazing with them in a forest.

In the real account Jacob had no premonition of Joseph’s death, he actually sent him to Shechem to check on his brothers and return home (Gen. 37:12-13).

Verse 20 says “And they sold him for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him.” This is an historical error. Coins weren’t used at the time of Joseph.

In verse 24 the Quran suggests that Joseph lusted after Potiphar’s wife: “But she longed for him; and he had longed for her had he not seen a token from his lord…”

This is false. Joseph didn’t lust after her until he saw a “sign.” Whoever composed the Quran has an abysmal knowledge of the Torah. The legendary embellishments and outright lies attached to Biblical characters in it prove that beyond a doubt.

The “Jesus” of the Quran

“We Muslims believe in Jesus and we respect him even more than Christians.”

This is a very popular Muslim dawah trope. When we peel off that label and actually compare the Isa (“Jesus”) of the Quran with the Jesus of the Bible, a very wide gulf between the two characters is seen, and it’s one that no ecumenical dialogue can bridge.

Christians believe that eternal truth is a Person – Jesus. He is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6) and it’s what a book says about Him that determines whether it contains the truth or not.

Only the Bible contains the reliable record of what Jesus did or said. And since the authenticity and inspiration of the Bible is not disputed by the Quran, if the Jesus it presents is different from the Biblical Jesus, the logical conclusion is that the Quran is a false revelation.

The Quran refers to Jesus 97 times. It calls Him a Prophet, Messenger, Servant, Messiah, the “sign” and “mercy” who was born of a virgin – which all agree with the Bible. But the points where the Quran deviates from and opposes the Bible will be examined below.

I have divided the Quran’s Christology into what Allah/Muhammad said about Jesus and what its “Isa” allegedly says about himself.

I. What Allah/Muhammad Said

1. “The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messenger and say not ‘Three’. Refrain: better is it for you God is only one God...” (Sura 4:171)

That Jesus is called the Word of God means that He is eternal like God. The Bible says Jesus is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:18), so He is not only a Messenger of God.

Jesus, being the Word of God, is His Mouthpiece, and anyone who will know what God is saying must hear and obey Jesus or he will be lost eternally.

Some Muslims claim the “word of God” used here doesn’t refer to a person rather to a creative command (“Be”) of God, but this title is unique because there is nothing created by God that is given that title.

The Quran calls Adam “the chosen one of Allah” (Safiullah), Noah “the saved by Allah” (Najiullah) and Abraham, “the friend of Allah” (Khalil). Only Jesus Christ has a title given to no other in the Quran: the Word of God (Khalimatullah).

Jesus is also called “the Spirit from God” and “Our Spirit” (Sura 21:91). The Bible agrees that Jesus was conceived by the Spirit of God inside Mary. Since the Spirit of God is God, and God is one, that means the Spirit of God that became the Son of Maryam is God.

2. “Verily, in the sight of God, the nature of Jesus is as the nature of Adam, whom He created out of dust and then said unto him, ‘Be’ and he is” (Sura 3:59).

The view espoused here is false and it contradicts the previous verse.

Adam was created from dust, but Jesus, being the Word of God, is not dust. Adam was created, but Jesus was uncreated.

The Bible clearly distinguishes between Adam who was “of the earth” and Jesus who “is the Lord from heaven” (1Cor. 15:47). Adam went back into the dust, but Jesus was taken to Heaven (even in the Quran) body, soul and spirit.

3. “O Jesus! I will make Thee die and take Thee up again to me and will clear thee of those who misbelieve and will make those who follow thee above those who misbelieve, at the day of Judgement, then to me is your return. I will decide between you concerning what wherein ye disagree.” (Sura 3:55)

This refers to Jesus’ death which creates another problem for the Quran. It also says Christians will be exalted over all others until the day of judgement.

Jesus has declared: “All power is given to me in heaven and [on] earth” (Matt. 28:18). No prophet or messenger can make such a powerful claim. No man has the power to deliver men from sin and the devil as Jesus has (Mt. 1:21; Jn. 1:30).

This supreme position marks Jesus out as being greater than a prophet. Muhammad is inferior to Jesus because he had no power over death and the grave. That’s an incontestable fact.

4. “They say: ‘[Allah] Most Gracious has begotten a son! Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous!” (Sura 19:88)

Muhammad found this “most monstrous” because he confused the Sonship of Jesus Christ with the pagan (or physical) idea of a deity impregnating a woman to have a son. Such ignorance militates against the divine origin of the Quran.

What the Bible means by ‘the Son of God’ is a spiritual, eternal relationship, not a carnal, earthly one as envisaged by Muhammad.

Muhammad seemed to have some difficulty considering the term “Sonship” in anything but human terms. But this is a strange logic, even by the Quran’s standards.

Abu Lahab was called the “father of flame” (Sura 111:1) and a traveller was also called “son of the road” (Sura 2:177). Does this mean Abu Lahab gave birth to a flame or the traveller was birthed by the earth? No.

God the Father didn’t “take a son to Himself,” He has been a Father from eternity. The Son only took human form at a point in history and became the Man Jesus Christ. Both God and His Son share the same divine essence. God delegated His authority to the Son and men are to honour the Son as the Father (John 5:22-23).

5. “And the Jews say Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say Messiah is the Son of Allah…They imitate the saying of the disbelievers of old. Allah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!” (Sura 9:30)

These are strong words, but they are based on straw man arguments.

First of all, the Jews do not believe Ezra is the Son of God as Jesus was. Even the Concise Dictionary of Islam points out that: “There are many details regarding Judaism [in the Quran] which are in variance with Jewish belief” (p. 2).

Second, the name “Isa” used for Jesus in the Quran appears to be a corruption of the name “Esau” used by unbelieving Jews to derogatorily refer to Jesus. The Arabic name of Jesus is Yasu, not Isa. This exposes the human origin of the Quran.

If that book was authored by an all-knowing deity, we would expect him to get his facts right.

6. “They have certainly disbelieved who say ‘Allah is the Messiah, the Son of Mary’…They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the one God. If they desist not from saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve” (Sura 5:72-73)

This is an error. Christians do not believe Allah is the Messiah or Christ. The Quran misrepresents the distinctions of Persons within the Godhead.

The belief that “Allah is the third of three” is ludicrous. Christianity teaches that there is one God in three Persons, not that God is “a third of three.” Even the Encyclopedia Britannica states that there are “mistaken concepts of the Trinity in the Quran.” Again, Allah didn’t know what Christians really believed.

The Biblical historic Christian doctrine of the Trinity states that there is essentially One God revealed as Three distinct Persons (Mt. 28:19).

Neither God nor Jesus is a “third of three.” The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead and God is not in three parts. What the Quran is attacking here is Tritheism, not the Christian Trinity.

II. The alleged statements of “Jesus”

1. “I am a servant of Allah; he has given me the book and he has appointed me a prophet, and he has made me blessed wherever I may be. He has enjoined me to offer salat and give zakat so long as I shall live.” (Sura 19:29-31)

This was allegedly said by baby Jesus from his cradle. Since these narratives are not based on eye witness accounts, they cannot be taken with any level of seriousness.

Muhammad lived 6 centuries after Christ and can’t logically be taken as an authority on anything Christ said. He was not an eye witness to anything Jesus said or did. And what we find in the Quran, purported to come from God, have been found to come from pre-Islamic heretical/Gnostic legends and myths.

For instance, the story about the talking baby Jesus is not in the Bible, but was borrowed from an apocryphal legend, The Infancy Gospel of Christ, written centuries after Christ.

While the original material quotes baby Jesus saying: “Verily, I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Word which thou hast borne” the author of the Quran alters the legend and the words of Jesus to suit his peculiar beliefs.

Thus, in the Quranic version of apocryphal stories, Jesus is made to deny His deity, adhere to Islam’s ideas of prophethood (“he has given me the book”) and follow Islamic rites (salat, zakat). Indeed, the “Jesus” of the Quran is a product of Muhammad’s wild imaginations.

2. “It is Allah who is my Lord and your Lord; Then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.” (Sura 3:51)

Muhammad claimed to preach one God and receive a book from Him. He termed his brand of beliefs, ‘the straight path.’

His Quranic narratives attempt to put back these ideas into the mouths of Bible characters and the Lord Jesus. He changed Biblical patriarchs and prophets into Arabs and switched the scenery of Biblical events to Arabia!

The Quran says nothing about the old Jewish prophets’ prophecies of the coming Messiah, the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.

By putting vague words like “straight path” into the mouths of Bible characters, Muhammad was redacting them into 7th century Muslims, but he missed a simple fact: Jesus is the Straight Path, not a set of beliefs, and Christians who have faith in Him are on the straight path (Jn. 14:6).

Christians don’t have to pray daily to Allah to guide them to a “straight path” like Muslims do.

3. “When Jesus found unbelief on their part He said: ‘Who will be my helpers to [the work of] Allah? Said the Disciples: ‘We are Allah’s helpers we believe in Allah, and do you bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Sura 3:52)

Interestingly, this is about the only place Jesus’ disciples are mentioned in the Quran. Apart from its fraudulent statements, the book says nothing about Christ’s teachings or parables (while the Bible records over 43 parables).

The book says nothing about Jesus’ verbal confrontation with the Jewish religious leaders and says little about His miracles. It takes a level of blindness to say the Quranic account is superior to the Bible.

Sura 5:110 says the child Jesus made birds out of clay and “breathest into it and it becometh a bird.”

This was also an apocryphal fairy tale stolen from the Gospel of Thomas the Israelite. It’s understandable why many Christians then didn’t accept Muhammad’s claims about Christ – because no Christian group believed the legends presented in the apocrypha or his Quran as facts.

Islamic biographer, Ibn Ishaq claims that some Christians in Najran (Southern Arabia) cited a passage from their book about the boy Jesus making clay birds.

While the dominant sect in Najran were the Abyssinian Monophysites, in the 6th century, all Eastern Orthodox groups held to the same canon of the Bible as the Western church. So the possibility of these Christians quoting apocrypha writings as an authority is doubtful.

If Muslims maintain that Jesus did create live birds from clay, then they must also agree that He certainly has the power to create, which only God has. Life can only come from God, and since Jesus created the birds the same way God created Adam from dust, then Jesus is one with God.

4. “O children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you, confirming the Taurat (Torah) which came before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad [Muhammad]…” (Sura 61:6)

Like the other examples we have seen, this statement was made up by Muhammad to legitimize his prophethood because nowhere does such a statement appear in the Bible. Muslims evade this dilemma by claiming that:

(a) “the Bible has been corrupted to expunge any reference to Muhammad.”

Yet for centuries, Muslims have sweated to “find” what they believe to be Muhammad in the “corrupted” Bible.

(b) “Christians in Muhammad’s time agreed with what the Quran says.”

In fact, no true Christian – past or present – buys into Muhammad’s bogus claims. God spoke to the Israelites through the prophets and has spoken to us by His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1). Why would He send “a last prophet” to finish up what the Lord Jesus had already completed?

Even Muhammad’s messages to the Jews were those of hate, curses and death – hardly a vestige of “glad tidings” the Isa of the Quran promised.

5. “And behold Allah will say ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! Did you say to men, ‘Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah’? He will say: ‘Glory to You! Never could I say what I had no right [to say]. Had I said such a thing, you would have indeed known it” (Sura 5:116)

This query from Allah is hinged on a misrepresentation of Christian doctrine, and by implication, the answer given by this “Jesus” is also fictitious.

True Christians do not take (and have never taken) Mary and Jesus as “two gods” besides God. The Christian Trinity consists of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, not of God, Jesus and Mary. Christians didn’t “make” Jesus, a mere man, into God rather, He has always been God. Christians believe in His Deity as well as His humanity.

It’s possible Muhammad ran into a heretical sect (the Choloridians) who exalted Mary as a goddess and then took their heresy as representative of what Christians believe. This again proves the human authorship of the Quran. If Allah is all-knowing, he ought to know what Christians really believed.

The Concise Dictionary of Islam admits: “In some cases the ‘material’ which forms the substance of Quranic narrative, details of the creeds of Christianity and Judaism for example, does not correspond to those religion’s own understanding of their beliefs. This could be said, for example, of the notion of the Trinity found in the Quran …The Trinity ‘seen’ in the Quran is not the Trinity of the Apostle Creed, or of the Nicene creed” (pp. 229-230).

Muslims maintain their belief in this false Jesus by:

1. Believing the abrogated recitations of one man above the consistent testimony of over 40 inspired writers of the Bible.

2. Taking the fraudulent speeches of a man 6 centuries after Christ over the record of eye-witnesses of Jesus in the Bible.

3. Superimposing the false Christ of the Quran on the true Jesus of the Bible and reinforcing their delusion with distorted Bible verses.

4. Believing in a “Jesus” that is neither Biblical nor historical. They reject Biblical and historical evidence, clinging instead to a fictional Jesus with a false message. This decision has tragic eternal consequences for the Muslim.

The ‘Word-Faith’ Movement

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The Word of Faith Movement (WOF) which began in the mid 20th century covers a variety of Christian denominations.

Its teachers are very popular. If you walk into any Christian bookstore here in Nigeria, the first 10 books you will likely find are written by these Faith teachers.

The WOF movement emphasizes faith, the believer’s authority, healing, prosperity, the power of the Spirit and positive confession – which the church today honestly need.

An article in the Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements identifies Essek William Kenyon as the “founder” of the Word of Faith movement, and men like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Charles Capps, Frederick K. Price, Robert Tilton, Paul Yonggi Cho, Robert Schuller and other famous preachers in Africa as disciples.

However, as widespread as their teachings are, there are certain doctrinal errors they espouse which subtly undermine the overall teaching of Scripture and historic Christianity.

Now, before you dismiss me as a “cessationist” (one who believes that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased) or someone “blinded by traditions,” let me say that I am well acquainted with Word Faith teachings and I have lived them before.

It’s funny how some folks resort to these funny labels as diversionary tactics whenever unbiblical teachings are exposed. I am not the first to address this topic; several great scholars have done so before me.

Dr. Charles Farah, Professor of Theology and Historical Studies at Oral Roberts University points out that the Word of Faith “movement uses Gnostic hermeneutical principles and displaces contextual scientific exegesis. It shares many of the goals of present day humanism, particularly in regards to the creaturely comforts. It is, in fact, a burgeoning heresy” (Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, 1981, 21)

Dr. George Wood, the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church wrote in Mountain Movers that WOF teachers “have missed the Bible in three ways: They twist particular verses out of their plain meaning; they refuse to deal with Scriptures which plainly have different meanings than those of the`positive confession;’ and they fail to let the Bible speak for itself.”

Chuck Smith, a Charismatic preacher, wrote: “the latest wind of pernicious, unscriptural doctrine to blow through the ranks of Charismatics is the ‘what-you-say-is-what-you-get’ teaching, otherwise known as the prosperity doctrine … [These] teachings sound more like Mary Baker Eddy [Christian Science] than the Apostle Paul” (Charisma vs Charismania, 135).

I intentionally quoted these leading Pentecostal/Charismatic ministers for you to see that this analysis is not based on any denominational prejudice.

Some of the early outspoken critics of the WOF like Eric Pement, D. R. McConnell and David Wilkerson were dye-in-the-wool Pentecostals.

In fact, the Word of Faith circle is not a denomination. Therefore, I appeal to Christians to lay aside sentiment that replaces discernment.

The Faith of God

The WOF theology says God is a “faith God” who is bound by laws which operates through the forces of faith. Mark 11:22 “have faith in God” is used as a primary text to support this view and it’s argued that the literal Greek says “have the faith of God.” I am yet to come across any reputable Greek scholar who has rendered this text that way.

They teach that God had faith in His faith when He spoke the words of creation and we too have the same ability as God to call things into existence. That statement is far removed from Mark 11:22. All things were created, not merely because it was spoken, but because it was God who spoke it.

Nowhere does the Bible teaches that faith is a mind power or a force that can be used to control God or get anything we desire. A real faith lets God be God and trusts in His wisdom (Job 42:1-6, Rom. 11:33-36).

Adam’s Dominion

“[Adam] was created on terms of equality with God and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority … He lived on equal terms with God” (Hagin, Zoe: The God Kind of Life, 33)

But Scripture says: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work and take care of it” (Gen. 2:15). Adam was a steward who was to look after the animals God had made and the garden. God told him to rule over all He had made (1:28) but this doesn’t make Adam equal to God because everything on earth still belonged to God.

Adam was only a tenant. Even after the Fall, God was still the Owner of the earth “and everything in it, the world and all who live in it” (Ps. 24:1). The idea that Adam is God is a Mormon doctrine.

Christology

E. W. Kenyon wrote: “The Lord Jesus was not, however, a ‘one-of-a-kind’. ‘Incarnation can be repeated in each and everyone of us. Every man who has been ‘born again’ is an Incarnation” (The Father and His Family, p. 100).

Hagin taught the same: “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was. Every man who has been born again is an incarnation” (Word of Faith, December, 1980, p. 14).

But Jesus is the “only begotten (or unique) Son, which is in the bosom of the Father” (Jn. 1:18). He is the “Word made flesh” – a designation given to no other (1:14). We were born by flesh but adopted by God, unlike Jesus who is uniquely the Son of God; God made flesh (Rom. 8:15). We cannot bring ourselves on the same level of God or Jesus. Such an idea is heretical.

The Atonement

WOF teaches that Christ’s death on the cross was insufficient to redeem us, that He had to suffer in Hell in the hands of demons. This is why Kenyon wrote: “We have sung ‘Nearer the cross’ and we have prayed that we might be ‘Nearer the cross’ but the cross has no salvation in it. It is a place of failure and defeat.”

On the contrary, “the preaching of the cross” (1Cor. 1:18) is crucial to our salvation and victory over Satan. Our pathway to fellowship with God was accomplished “by the cross” (Eph. 2:16) and Jesus made “peace through the blood of the cross” (Col. 1:20). To displace the cross is to displace redemption.

Divine Healing

WOF teaches that all sicknesses are from Satan and must be countered by positive confession. In such a case, physical symptoms must be denied and medical attention shunned. One WOF teacher wrote that if he had a headache, he would not tell anyone; and if someone should ask him how he was feeling he would reply “I’m fine thank you.”

Denying the symptoms of headaches or common colds may not have serious implications, but in instances such as cancer, where an early diagnosis is vital in combating the disease, denying the symptoms can make it terminal.

Some parents suffused with this doctrine have withheld insulin, antibiotics and medical attention from their children in the name of “faith” and they ended up dead.

Sicknesses came from the Fall and not all are from Satan. As long as we are in this “lowly body” (Phil. 3:21), we will be vulnerable to infection, exhaustion and pain. God heals supernaturally and also through the knowledge He has given to man. Doctors are not devils, and the use of medicines doesn’t indicate a lack of faith.

Ironically, many Word-Faith teachers eat good food, go for medical check-ups, live in clean environments, go for surgeries, use eye-glasses and take pills. Why all these precautions if the ‘God kind of faith;’ heals all sicknesses? Many of them have actually died under medical care which they had preached against.

The faith of many Christians have been shipwrecked by such teachers who told them to “positively confess” their dying loved ones to live and the person still died.

Visualization

It is taught that if a believer desires a thing (success, wealth or healing) he must first visualize it in his mind over and over again and then speak it out into existence, and whatever we confess is what we possess. In Scripture, we see a different picture.

Psalm 89:19: “Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one…

Ezekiel 8:3 “...and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heavens and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem.

Ezekiel. 11:24 “Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me.”

In the visions these men of God saw, the pictures came from an outside Source – God – they were not images they willfully made up in their own minds.

Instead, God condemned false prophets because “they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LordThey say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.” (Jer. 23:16-17).

These false prophets were conjuring up a vision or picture from their fleshy hearts, presuming it was the mind of God. This is exactly what visualization is. It’s self-will. We can’t control God with our minds. Apostle Peter didn’t visualize the conversion of Cornelius neither did Paul visualize himself out of jail.

Some teachers tell people to visualize Jesus and then pray to that “image.” But how can you visualize someone whom you’ve never seen physically before? That is unbiblical and idolatrous. Some of them also peddle the ideas of using the “laws of miracles” or the “law of the fourth dimension” to receive miracles  – teachings that are tantamount to occult sciences.

Some Christians defend Word-Faith teachers by stating that they do teach the Bible. That is true. In fact, you can listen to them for 30 minutes and not hear anything unbiblical. But at a point, there is often a twist, a subtle introduction of aberrant teachings cloaked with a-contextual Bible verses.

Besides, many of these teachers try to safeguard themselves from any Biblical scrutiny by accusing those who question their heresies of “touching the Lord’s anointed.” For example, in the book I Believe in Visions, the author says that Jesus told him that those pastors who don’t accept his prophetic word will die in their pulpits! (p. 114).

The late Paul Crouch of TBN once flipped out at those scrutinizing the WOF teachings being disseminated on his network:

I think God has given up on a lot of old, rotten Sanhedrin religious crowd, twice dead, plucked from the roots … the heresy hunters that want to find a little mote of illegal doctrine in some Christian’s eye … I say to hell with you! … quit blocking God’s bridges or God’s gonna shoot you if I don’t! … I don’t even want to talk to you or hear you. I don’t want to see your ugly face!…”

No preacher or teacher, no matter how anointed or popular, should be too “exalted” to be corrected. Only God is infallible. If a person is reading into the Word of God something that is not there, or which is inconsistent with sound exegesis, we must challenge or expose that error and point out to the brethren who these mistaken teachers are.

Unfortunately, many “Faith teachers” are yet to admit to these heresies let alone repent of them. The excuse is they came by “revelation knowledge” and must not be questioned.

But Scripture says “Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:16).

Some sincere pastors didn’t realize the extent of falsehood mixed into what they gleaned from a best selling Christian author or Christian media before they imparted it to their own congregation. But God wants us to test all doctrines, no matter how popular, and hold on only to the good.