We all hate tedium. None of us likes to read tedious articles or books. So, I try to communicate with that basic truth in mind, rubbing as many of the kernels away from the cob as possible in order to provide you with (hopefully) only the tasty (and applicable) bits. As you consider this, let’s pick up from the end of part 1 and ask our question: What does an event that occured in Caesarea Philippi 2,000 years ago have to do with an inscription in an old Islamic building, which is currently standing on the Temple Mount?
The Dome of the Rock, sometimes called the “Mosque of Omar,” is neither a mosque, nor was it built by Omar. Instead the octagonal structure is considered a shrine, sitting on top of the place where Abraham almost sacrificed Ishmael. Another ancient building situated on the Temple Mount, south of the Dome of the Rock, is the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is considered the third holiest site in Islam. Instead of spending more precious words about the history of these two buildings, let me quickly point out that the Islamic prophet was purported to have ridden a flying horse called Buraq from the al-Aqsa Mosque all the way to heaven, where Jesus, accompanied by John the Baptist, supposedly prayed for him. And in case you didn’t notice—Islam gets its history wrong—we all know that is was Isaac who was nearly sacrificed by Abraham, not Ishmael. But the rewriting of history doesn’t stop there.
Inscribed inside the Islamic dome are the following statements in no particular order:
- (the god Allah) “has no associate.”
- “The messiah, ‘Isa (Jesus) son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah.”
- “So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not ‘Three’ – Cease!”
- “Allah is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son.”
- “It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take unto Himself a son.”
Are you starting to see the pattern? Let me clarify some of the salient points.
- First, Islam calls Jesus (his correct Arabic name is “Yesua,” but Islam misnames him “‘Isa”) the “son of Mary.” This might seem like a small thing, because he literally was her son. However, in Arab culture, it is a slam to call someone “son of the mother.” In this desert culture, Mary would have been known as “mother of Jesus—Umm Yesua,” but Jesus would have been called “Jesus, son of Joseph—Yesua, ibn Yusef” (see John 1:45 and Luke 3:23).
- Second, by calling Jesus “son of Mary” they specifically deny his divine nature, but we know that he was (and is) the “Son of God.”
- Third, they say that Jesus was only a messenger and not part of the Trinity. Don’t get confused here as to Islam’s use of the label “messiah.” This term is heavy with meaning in Jewish prophecy, history and culture, and we know that the word translates to “anointed one.” But if you ask the average Muslim what the word actually means, they probably couldn’t tell you; it’s just a title to them, similar to how many Christians say “Christ” without considering the significance of that designation. In Islam, it certainly doesn’t mean “savior of the world,” in the way we know the Messiah of Israel to be.
- Fourth, Islam is adamant that Allah doesn’t have a son, nor should anyone ever say such a thing. The truth of the matter is that the one true God—YHWH—does have a son, and his name is Jesus of Nazareth.
Let’s now compare what was said at Caesarea Philippi to the inscriptions in the Islamic domed building on top of the Temple Mount:
Peter: “You are the (long awaited) Messiah, the Son of the living God,” circa AD 30.
Dome: “You are just a messenger, the son of Mary, NOT the son of God,” circa AD 660.
So, what’s the point, and what does this have to do with “future history?”
Keep reading, and we’ll find out.