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Sikh and Christian Concept of God

G. S. Sidhu

God

The Christians believe that Lord Christ himself was God and there is no other God except him. This was first declared a long time ago by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. The Council concluded that Jesus Christ was “Very God of very God”. Christ himself is reported as having said”, I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6)

The Bible however also seems to testify that God had human origin. In Romans 1:3 we read,” Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh "Again in John 1:45 it is clearly stated that Jesus Christ was "The son of Joseph”.

The human characteristics of Christian God are pretty clear in the Bible itself (John 4:6). He was hungry (Matthew 4:2 & 21:18 and Mark 11:12)[1], angry (Mark 11:-12-13), and was wearied (John 4:6) like us. He learned like us (Luke 2:52), loved (Mark 10:21) like us, prayed like us (Mark 1:35 and Luke 6:12), and experienced depressions (John 11:-35) like us. He worked like us (Mark 6:3) and paid taxes (Matthew 22:21) like us. He was also sorrowful (Matthew 26:37-38) like all humans. He even wept (John 11:35) “And Jesus cried with a loud voice and gave up the ghost” (Mark 15:37). Like all humans he also died. (John 19:33).

At the time of crucifixion Jesus prayed, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me” (Matt 27:46). It would seem that Jesus himself regarded God as a separate entity otherwise why should He seek help from another God when He Himself was God.

The Sikh View

According to the Sikh belief there is only one God and He is not born. He is not human and does not suffer from human failings of tiredness, sleep, and hunger etc. There is none else like Him. He can be seen only through the mind’s eye.

ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਬੰਧਪ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਕਾਮੁ ਨ ਨਾਰੀ ॥

ਅਕੁਲ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਅਪਰ ਪਰੰਪਰੁ ਸਗਲੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਤੁਮਾਰੀ ॥੨॥ (੫੯੭)

He has no mother, father, sons, or relatives; He is free of sexual desire; He has no wife and no ancestry. He is immaculate, infinite, and endless. His light is pervading everywhere. (597)

ਤਿਸਹਿ ਸਰੀਕੁ ਨ ਦੀਸੈ ਕੋਈ ਆਪੇ ਅਪਰ ਅਪਾਰਾ ਹੇ ॥੨॥ (੫੯੭)

“He has no rival and is infinite and endless” (597)

The Guru further says,

ਏਕਮ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥ ਅਮਰੁ ਅਜੋਨੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਲਾ ॥

ਅਗਮ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ ॥ ਖੋਜਤ ਖੋਜਤ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਦੇਖਿਆ ॥ (੮੩੮)

“The One Universal Creator is unique, immortal, unborn, beyond social class or involvement. He is inaccessible and unfathomable, with no form or feature. My search ended when I saw Him present in everything.” (838)

ਸਗਲ ਪਰਾਧ ਦੇਹਿ ਲੋਰੋਨੀ ॥ ਸੋ ਮੁਖੁ ਜਲਉ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਹਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਜੋਨੀ ॥੩॥

ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੪॥੧॥ (੧੧੩੬)

You seek God in human form — this is the source of all your sins. Let that mouth be burnt, which says that our Lord and Master is subject to birth. He is not born, and He does not die; He does not come and go in reincarnation. Nanak believes that God is pervading and permeating everywhere. (1136)

To say that ‘a certain human is God’ is a heresy according to Sikhism. The very basic concept of Sikhism is ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ “He does not have to be in the womb. He is self-existent.”(1)

One wonders how the Christian scholars interpret “No one has ever seen God, the one and only, who is at the Father’s side”. (John 1:18)

ਏਕ ਅਨੇਕ ਬਿਆਪਕ ਪੂਰਕ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਤਤ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਿਮੋਹਿਤ ਬਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸੂਤੁ ਏਕੁ ਮਣਿ ਸਤ ਸਹੰਸ ਜੈਸੇ ਓਤਿ ਪੋਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਅਰੁ ਫੇਨ ਬੁਦਬੁਦਾ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਭਿੰਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਪਰਪੰਚੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੀ ਲੀਲਾ ਬਿਚਰਤ ਆਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਭਰਮੁ ਅਰੁ ਸੁਪਨ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਸਤਿ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ਸੁਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਮਨਸਾ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੀ ਜਾਗਤ ਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ ੩ ॥ ਕਹਤ ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਰਚਨਾ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਏਕ ਮੁਰਾਰੀਂ ॥੪॥੧॥  (੪੮੫)

“In the one and in the many, He is pervading and permeating; wherever I look, there He is. The marvellous image of Maya is so fascinating; how few understand this. God is everything, God is everything. Without God, there is nothing at all. As one thread holds hundreds and thousands of beads, He is woven into His creation. The waves of the water, the foam, and the bubbles, are not distinct from water. This manifested world is the playful game of the Supreme Lord God. Reflecting upon it, we find that the world is not separated from Him. Man considers the false doubts and dreams as real and true. The Guru has instructed me to try to do good deeds, and my awakened mind has accepted this. Says Naam Dev, see the creation of the Lord, and reflect upon it in your heart. In each and every heart, and deep within the very nucleus of all, is the One Lord. (485)

Abode of God

According to the Bible God lives high in heaven separate from His creation. “Our father, art in heaven. Hallowed be thy Name...........etc.” (Matthew 6:9) It is also stated in the Bible that God lives in Zion. “Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill Jerusalem will be holy, never again the foreigners will invade her”. (Joel 3:17)

Christ (in the form of God) lived and died on the earth like other human beings. He could not be at two places (heaven and Zion) at the same time. If He lived in Zion (and Zion is heaven) then this would mean that people can come and go into heaven (Zion) at will. Heaven is mentioned in the Bible many times but its description is not very clear.

As for the invasion of Jerusalem, we know that it has been invaded many times after Christ’s death. Even now it is in a very vulnerable area.

The Sikh View

God, according to Sikhism, lives in His Own Creation not in any imaginary heavens or on any hills away from His creation.

ਸਗਲ ਬਨਸਪਤਿ ਮਹਿ ਬੈਸੰਤਰੁ ਸਗਲ ਦੂਧ ਮਹਿ ਘੀਆ ॥

ਊਚ ਨੀਚ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਮਾਧਉ ਜੀਆ ॥ (੬੧੭)

“As there is fire in all vegetation and butter in all milk so is the Creator in all, high and low, and in everything.”  (617)

ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਤੇਰਾ ਅੰਤ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਲਖਿਆ ॥ (੪੬੯)

“It is wonderful that You live in your creation and yet we cannot fathom Your limits.”(469)

ਲਗੜੀਆ ਪਿਰੀਅੰਨਿ ਪੇਖੰਦੀਆ ਨਾ ਤਿਪੀਆ॥

ਹਭ ਮਝਾਹੂ ਸੋ ਧਣੀ ਬਿਆ ਨ ਡਿਠੋ ਕੋਇ ॥ (੧੧੦੧)

“My eyes are set on God and are never tired of seeking Him. I see the Lord in everything and have never seen anything without Him”. (1101)

God is non-corporeal and resides in our mind. The purer the mind, the nearer we are to God.

ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਆਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ॥ (੪੪੧)

“O my mind thou art Godly, recognise thy roots”. (441)

The Gurus further say,

ਮੇਰੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਧਾਰਿ ਬੰਧਨਿ ਬੰਧਿਆ ॥

ਨਰਕਿ ਸੁਰਗਿ ਅਵਤਾਰ ਮਾਇਆ ਧੰਧਿਆ ॥ (੭੬੧)

“Man's ego ensnares him in bondage. Too much hankering after worldly pursuits creates his heaven into hell”. (761)

ਤਹਾ ਬੈਕੁੰਠੁ ਜਹ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਤੂੰ ਆਪੇ ਸਰਧਾ ਲਾਇਹਿ ॥ (੭੪੯)

“Heaven is where Your praises are sung. O Lord You Yourself plant devotion in us so that we enjoy heaven”. (749)

Birth and Death of God

In the Bible we read that Christ was born to Mary. Whether he was conceived through God himself or his agent angel, his birth is accepted by everybody. The agency of an angel simply proves that God as Jesus was dependent on the angel and Mary for His own birth. In other words God was created by an angel through Mary’s help. His death is also recorded in the Bible (John 19.33, matt 12:46.16:27). So he could not be God because the Bible says that God does not die (Ps 90:2 and I Tim 6:16).[2]

The Sikh View

According to Sikhism God is ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ (timeless-deathless).

ਤੂੰ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਜੋਨਿ ਨ ਆਵਹੀ ॥

ਤੂੰ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਸਾਜਹਿ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਸਾਜਿ ਸਮਾਵਹੀ ॥ (੧੦੯੫)

“You are the Lord of all and do not enter the womb. You create the Universe in Your Will and assimilate it within yourself when you wish otherwise”. (1095)

The Only Son of God

Christians sometimes call Jesus God but at other times they call him the only Son of God. “God so loved the world that he sacrificed His only begotten son for it. Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16-18)

“He is the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. Begotten, not made, of one being with the Father, by whom all things were made” (Nicene Creed).[3]

“The father-son paradigm is ageless. It is older than human history.[4] The rays of father-hood contained in this formulation belong to the Trinitarian mystery”. (Crossing the threshold of hope page 227 Pope John Paul II)

According to the Bible itself, if God did have a son then it must have been Adam not Jesus because Jesus was the son of Adam's descendants Joseph and Mary and Adam was the first man created by God on earth. Bible itself says, Adam was the 'Son of God' (See Luke 3:38) “Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the Son of God”. (Hebrews 7:3).

As for being the only son, we know that David and Moses lived before Jesus. Even David is referred by God to be His son "Thou art my son (Psalm 2:7). So David, Moses, and Adam, who lived before Jesus, were not the Sons of God or Jesus was not the only son. Again we find in Matt 12:46-47 the phrase “Mother and His brethren” which implies that Mary had other children besides Jesus.[5]

This point has been discussed threadbare by the Christian Scholars for years. We give below some views for and against this belief.

David Icke the BBC sports presenter declared in a press conference in 1992 that he is “The Son of God”. He was interviewed on BBC on 30.7.97 and still sticks to his claim. Bamber Gascoigne in his book ‘The Christians’ (page 44) writes, “If the Father begot the son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence; hence it is clear that there was a time when the son was not.”(In other words there was a time when God did not exist).

In “Bible Basics” Duncan Heaster writes, “Mary, being born of a woman had our unclean, human nature, which she passed on to Jesus who was ‘made of a woman’.” (Page 231)

The Scholars however argue “No. The son has always been with the Father, not only since time began, but before all time. For the Father could not have been so named unless he had a son; and there could be no son without a father.”[6]

It appears that some scholars are taking literal meanings of 'God's son' rather than its metaphorical meanings. Jesus himself says that he was the “Son of Man” (Daniel 7, 13-14, Matthew 26,-2, Luke 22,-48) The Bible uses similar terminology for others calling them sons of God. For example see Exodus 4:22 (Israel or Jacob Son of God), I Chronicles 22:10-II Samuels 7, 13-14, Jeremiah 31:9. The Bible even calls common people 'sons and daughters of God.' (See Romans 8:29, Corinthians 6:18 Deuteronomy 14:1)

The Sikh View

According to the Sikh belief all human beings are sons and daughters of God. Every Sikh considers himself or herself as the son/daughter of God and repeats:

ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੈਂ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ ॥ (੧੦੩)

“O God, You are my Father and You are my Mother." (103)

ਤੂੰ ਸਾਂਝਾ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਬਾਪੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥ (੯੭)

“You are the common Father of us all." (97)

ਹਰਿ ਆਪੇ ਮਾਤਾ ਆਪੇ ਪਿਤਾ,ਜਿਨਿ ਜੀਉ ਉਪਾਇ ਜਗਤੁ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ  ॥ (੯੨੧)

“God Himself is our father and He Himself is our mother because He brought us into the world putting His spark in us”. (921)

God and Son in One

Pope John Paul II is reported to have said, “He is the mediator because He is both God and man” (Crossing the threshold of Hope’ page 43).

This concept is not very clear. Man can exist at one time only at one place. This would mean that the rest of the world would be without God. Christ himself had limitations. All through his life he did not move out of the Middle East. It is his greatness that he preached a unique philosophy to the world and there is no doubt of his being a man of God, a pious preacher, and a martyr to his cause but he was not God. ‘My father I are one (Acts 1:11)’ means that Jesus always remembered God with every breath and acted according to his Will. His ego was completely conquered. Such statements are made by many others religious preceptors. For example Kabir says, ਤੂੰ ਤੂੰ ਕਰਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੂਆ ਮੁਝ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਾ ਨ ਹੂੰ ॥ (੧੩੭੫) “Remembering you at all times I have now lost my individuality and have become YOU”. Similarly Bhagat Ravi Das says, “ਤੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਤੋਹੀ ਅੰਤਰ  ਕੈਸਾ” (You are ‘me’ and ‘I; am ‘You’ where lies the difference ?)[7]

The Sikh View

According to Sikhism man cannot be God and therefore all the so called incarnations/ prophets/ preachers of God were no more than human beings albeit morally and spiritually super human beings. The Guru says,

ਕੋਟਿ ਬਿਸਨ ਕੀਏ ਅਵਤਾਰ ॥ ਕੋਟ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡ ਜਾਕੈ ਧਰਮਸਾਲ ॥

ਕੋਟਿ ਮਹੇਸ ਉਪਾਇ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੇ ਜਗ ਸਾਜਣ ਲਾਏ ॥ (੧੧੫੬)

“He has created millions of Vishnu in His millions of Universes for maintaining morality. Millions of Sivas have been created and destroyed. Millions of Brahmas have been created who are engaged in the promotion of the evolution of God’s creation” (1156)[8]

Sacrifice of God

The Christians believe that God sacrificed his only son to wash away the sins of humanity. Whether the sins have since been washed or not is anybody’s guess. The strange thing is that God sacrificed his only son whereas the Devil escaped him even when every living creature was destroyed in the Noah’s flood. Devil outlived Adam, Jesus, and Noah. On the face of it Devil appears to be mightier than God and is perhaps immortal. If the Devil was sacrificed in place of Jesus, there would have no sin now. Nobody would deny that the Devil (if there is one) still exists and is instrumental in making us sinful.

Perhaps there is more sin in the world today than it was in the times of Jesus. If Jesus died for defending his principles and his philosophy then he was one of the greatest martyrs of the world but if he died for washing away the sins of humanity then he failed miserably.

The Sikh View

For a Sikh it is difficult to understand if death and resurrection were the only possible ways for God to cleanse the world of sin and He had to imprison Himself in the womb of a mortal for nine months.

ਭਰਮਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਨਰ ਕਰਤ ਕਚਰਾਇਣ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਤੇ ਰਹਤ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ॥…

ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ (੧੧੩੬)

“Deluded and confused by doubt, the mortal practices falsehood. The Lord is beyond birth and death. He is not born, and He does not die; He does not come and go in reincarnation. Says Nanak God is pervading and permeating everywhere.” (1136)

According to Sikhism God is all powerful. His one word, nay even his Will, can wash away the sins of the whole world. The Sikhs believe that the greatest sacrifice for anybody is to wash his own sins by leading a pious life and to lay down his/her life for an approved good cause.

The Guru says,

ਮਰਣੁ ਮੁਣਸਾ ਸੂਰਿਆ ਹਕੁ ਹੈ ਜੋ ਹੋਇ ਮਰਨਿ ਪਰਵਾਣੋ ॥ (੫੭੯)

“The death of the brave heroes is blessed if they lay down their lives for approved good causes”. (579)

It is on this principle that the fifth and the ninth Gurus of the Sikhs laid down their lives and the tenth Sikh Guru sacrificed his four sons.

God is Tempted

The Bible (James 1:13) says, ‘God cannot be tempted with evil’ but we read in the Bible itself that Christ was tempted by Satan, “And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan” (Mark 1:12-13). “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a reason” (Luke 4:-1-13).

The Sikh View

According to Sikhism God is ਬੇਮੁਹਤਾਜ (independent). He can meet his needs Himself and is never tempted by anything. Temptation pre-supposes need.  It is the desire to meet a need or satisfy a craze.

The Guru says,

ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਮਮਤਾ ਫੁਨਿ ਅਉ ਬਿਖਿਅਨ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥ ਹਰਖ ਸੋਗ ਪਰਸੈ ਜਿਹ ਨਾਹਿਨਿ ਸੋ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਹੈ ਦੇਵਾ ॥ (੨੨੦)

“Where temptation, attachment, greed, possessiveness, and service of evil do not exist, Where pleasure and pain do not afflict there exists the image of the Lord.” (220).

This means that God and men of God do not suffer from these weaknesses.

God is Fearful

God is fearless but Christ was fearful. “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him”. (John 7:1) “They sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand”. (John 10:39) “He hid himself and went out of the temple” (John 8:59).

The Sikh View

According to Sikhism God is fearless (ਨਿਰਭਉ)

ਨਿਰਭਉ ਸਦਾ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਹੈ ਸਭਨਾ ਕਰਦਾ ਸਾਰ ॥ (੨੭)

“The fearless Lord is merciful and looks after all his creation”. (27)

God is Fallible

“There came a day when the Lord repented that he had made man, because his wickedness was so great. He therefore resolved to bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life”.[9] (Genesis 6: 6-9 and 7:23)

It is inconceivable that God punished every form of life simply because man had become wicked. One is left thinking why the flora and fauna suffered for the wickedness of man?

Again God appears to be capricious. After wilful destruction He realised His folly and said:

“Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done (Genesis 8:21)

“Lord grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel” (Samuel 15:15)

The Sikh View

Sikhism believes that God is infallible and beyond reproach. He can foresee events and does not grieve or make mistakes.

ਭੁਲਣ ਵਿਚਿ ਕੀਆ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਨ ਭੂਲੈ॥ (੧੩੪੩)

“All humans make mistakes but God is infallible.” (1343)

ਭੁਲਣ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਅਭੁਲੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਕਰਤਾਰੁ ॥ (੬੦)

“Everybody makes mistakes but God and His messengers do not make mistakes.” (60)

Sikhism believes that God is devoid of enmity.

ਤੂੰ  ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ  ਸੰਤ  ਤੇਰੇ  ਨਿਰਮਲ॥  ਜਿਨ  ਦੇਖੇ  ਸਭ  ਉਤਰਹਿ  ਕਲਮਲ (੧੦੮)

“O Lord, You have no hatred or vengeance; Your Saints are immaculate and pure. Seeing them, all sins depart”.

God is a Glutton

All through the Holy Bible we find that God is interested in eating meat and drinking wine and expects the humans to bring to him burnt offerings. Various kinds of burnt offerings and sacrifices are mentioned to atone for sin and moral weaknesses. “Bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock”. (Leviticus 1:1-5).

“Every day during the seven days of the feast he is to provide seven rams without defect as a burnt offering to the lord and a male goat for a sin offering”. (Ezekiel 45-23)

God said, “The multitudes of sacrifices are meaningless for me. I have more than enough burnt offerings of rams and fattened animals. I derive no pleasure from the blood of ordinary bulls, the lambs, and the goats”. (Isaiah I-ii)

“God smelt the sparrow’s meat” and was tempted. (Genesis 8, Noah’s sacrifice)

God was so fond of eating that as soon as He smelt the pleasing aroma of the burnt offerings, prepared for him by Noah, He immediately changed his policies of wanton death and destruction and said:

“Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood and never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done now”. (Genesis 8:20-21)

Jesus Christ is also mentioned to be a glutton and a drunkard. The son of man came eating and drinking and they said:

“Here is a glutton and a drunkard”. (Matthew 11-19)

We also read that God sat down with Sarah, ate food, and then blessed her with a son when she was 90 years old.(Her husband was over 100 years old).One wonders if this was a blessing or a punishment.

The Sikh View

The Sikh belief is that since God has no body, he does not require any food like us. He is not dependent on the humans to feed him neither is He a wine-bibber. Pleasures of the flesh are afflictions only of the humans. God is far above these weaknesses. He is merciful and would not kill His own creation to satiate his non-existent desires.

God is not Invincible

God wrestled with Job and lost the match. He even played a trick with Job when in the act of wrestling He loosened the socket of Job’s ship to divert his attention. (Genesis 32:24-28). Having won the match Job demanded of God to bless him and God obliged by changing his name from Job to Israel (Matthew 26:53).

Obviously God was human, had human characteristics, and played a trick. One wonders why God had to do so. What do we learn from this story other than playing dirty tricks? Again what blessing is ‘the change of name’ from a vanquished weak God? Job could give himself a good name any time without any extraneous agency.

The Sikh View

The Sikhs neither believe that God can be human or that humans can physically defeat all powerful God.

ਵਡਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਅਗਮ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਆਦਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਅਮਿਤਿ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਆਦਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਅਪਰੰਪਰੁ ਕਰਤਾਤੇਰਾ ਪਾਰੁ ਨਾ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਸਤਿ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਸਦਾ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣੀ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੋ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਤੂੰ ਆਪੇ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸੁਜਾਨੁ ਜੀਉ ॥ (੪੪੮)

“My God is great, Transcendent, unfathomable, self-existent, pure and without physical form. He is incomprehensible and indescribable. My God is above human understanding and is physically inaccessible. You are self-born O, God and You are the supreme Creator and yet Your light shines everywhere and in every object. You are latent in all creatures’ .O God You are True and immortal. You are the storehouse of all goodness. O, God You are unique and there is none like You. O, Father, You are peerless in wisdom.” (448)

God is Unjust

“I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their children unto the third and the fourth generation of them.” (Exodus 20, 5)

In Genesis (20:17-18) we find that God closed up every womb in the house of Abimelech because He was not happy with Abraham’s wife Sarah. Later on after Abraham’s prayer God relented and healed Abimelech and his wife. He even went a step further and blessed the slave girl with children. It sounds rather unjust that all women should be punished for the fault of one and God, the Almighty, should be dependent for his judgment on a particular person.

In the book of Numbers God says to Moses, ‘take vengeance on the Midianites. Capture their herds, flocks, goods, women and children. Then kill all the boys and kill every woman who has slept with a man but save for yourselves every woman who has never slept with a man.’ (Numbers 31.1,2,9,12,15,17,18 etc.)

“The angels warned Lot that the city of Sodom was to be destroyed and directed him to escape to the mountain and look not behind. Lot's wife, unmindful of the injunction to her husband, looked back as they ran and was turned into a pillar of salt”. (Genesis 18-22)

“Life for life, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, hand for hand and foot for a foot.” (Deut 19-21)

“A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord”. (Deuteronomy 23:2)

“At midnight the Lord struck down all the first-born in Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh to the first-born of the prisoner in the dungeon and the first –born of the livestock as well”. (Exodus 212-29)

One wonders how merciful and just God is and how our Christian brothers interpret, “He is the rock. His works are perfect. All his ways are just. He never goes wrong. Upright and Just He is”. (Deut 32:4). “I will have mercy and not sacrifice.” (Matthew (:13)

The Bible tells us that the sons of Ham (the present day Africans) were doomed to perpetual slavery because their father did not cast a piece of cloth on their grandfather (Noah) when the latter was lying asleep naked and heavily drunk.[10] (Genesis 22-25)

The Sikh View

According to the Sikh belief God is not jealous and revengeful. He is devoid of revenge (ਨਿਰਵੈਰ) The Guru says,

ਸਚਿਅਰਾ ਦੇਇ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਹਰਿ ਧਰਮ ਨਿਆਉ ਕੀਓਏ ॥ (੮੯)

“God glorifies the virtuous and dispenses justice without discrimination.” (89)

ਕਰਮ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਜੁਗ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਜੋ ਬੋਵੈ ਸੋ ਖਾਤਿ ॥ (੭੮)

From the soil of the body a man reaps what he sows. (78)

Sikhism does not approve of extramarital or pre-marital relations. It does not regard illegitimate children as sinful but believes that it is the deeds that matter, not their birth.[11] Therefore the bastards are supposed to have committed no sin but their parents are looked upon as sinners against society. A bastard[12] is born of a sin of others not his/her own. The Guru says,

ਜਾਤਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਨਹ ਪੂਛੀਐ ਸਚ ਘਰ ਲੇਹੁ ਬਤਾਇ ॥ ਸਾ ਜਾਤਿ ਸਾ ਪਤਿ ਹੈ ਜੇਹੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ (੧੩੩੦)

“Do not ask about social class or birth, you must expect piety. That decides your social class and your status—the result of your own actions.” (1330)

According to Sikhism God is neither jealous nor unjust. He metes out just punishments to those who do misdeeds and rewards those who lead a virtuous life. He does not punish children for the transgressions of their fathers and forefathers.

ਭਾਈ ਵੇਖਹੁ ਨਿਆਉ ਸਚੁ ਕਰਤੇ ਕਾ ਜੇਹਾ ਕੋਈ ਕਰੇ ਤੇਹਾ ਕੋਈ ਪਾਏ ॥ (੩੦੮)

“O Brother, understand the justice of the Lord. As one sows so does one reap”. (308)

ਸਚਾ ਆਪਿ ਤਖਤੁ ਸਚਾ ਬਹਿ ਸਚਾ ਕਰੇ ਨਿਆਉ ॥ (੯੪੯)

“True is He, true is His authority and He dispenses correct judgments”. (949)

ਤਹ ਸਾਚ ਨਿਆਇ ਨਿਬੇਰਾ ਊਹਾ ਸਮ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਸਮ ਚੇਰਾ॥ (੬੨੧)

"In God's court Justice is true and no distinction is made between a master and a slave." (621)

As for the Bible story of drinking, Sikhism does not approve of drinking nor does it believe that those who do not help drunkards should be punished. In Sikhism the sins of fathers are not supposed to visit upon their descendants.

The Sikhs consider the descendants of Ham, Sham, and Japeth (Noah's sons) as their equals because for them the whole human race is one family.

ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਊਚਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਨੀਚੁ ਨ ਦੀਸੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ (੬੨)

“Consider everyone honourable, never downgrade anybody”. (62).

The Sikhs are forbidden from making distinctions between human beings on the basis of high or low status.

God is Vindictive

In the Holy Bible God sends plague (21:14), locusts, pestilence, famine, floods, droughts, and frogs to chastise his own creation. He sends Satan (Job 2-6) to afflict Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head (Hebrew 26:53). He rained down burning sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-25, 31-36). God closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abrahams’s wife Sarah (Genesis 20:17-18).

“On the same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every first-born men and animals and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord”. (Exodus 12:12-13, 29-30). Seventy thousand people from David to Beersheba were killed. (Samuel 24:15)

The Lord said to Moses ‘take vengeance on the Midianites, capture their flocks, plunder goods, kill boys and kill all women who have slept with a man but save for yourselves all virgins’.(Numbers 31:2-18). Against this we also read in the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not commit adultery”.

“Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights and will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made”. “Everything that moved on the earth perished; birds, livestock, wild animals, all creatures that swarm on the earth and all mankind”. (Genesis 7:4, 21)

“I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your corpses. Yet you have not returned to me”. (Amos 4-10)

Because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served Him, He became angry and sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the ammonites. (Judah 10-7)

“Go to Zedehiah king of Judah and tell him, this is what the Lord says: I am about to hand over the city to the king of Babylon who will burn it down”. (Jeremiah 34:2)

The Sikh View

To a Sikh, God that rains fire and brimstone on His own creation would appear to be vindictive, unjust, partial, angry, capricious and jealous God for the Sikhs is devoid of enmity. He is merciful, all-powerful, omnipresent, omniscient, and invincible. He is just and would not punish all women of a particular locality because of one. He is impartial and unattached to any particular religion.

‘Inciting people to kill’ is something nowhere found in the Sikh Holy book on the other hand compassion and fellow feeling are emphasised as the greatest virtues.

Moral or Immoral God?

The Holy Bible tells us that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, killed its inhabitants, and destroyed its vegetation to punish the cities for immorality. Only Lot was saved. Lot drank excessive wine every night and slept with his two daughters turn by turn who became pregnant. (Genesis 19: 25-36).

Tamar’s father-in-law offered her a seal and a cord and got the right to sleep with her. Tamar gave birth to twins. (Genesis 38:18, 27-29)

In Corinthians (7:36) a father is advised to get married with his daughter. “If she is getting along in years and he feels he aught to marry, he should marry her. He is not sinning”.

The Sikh View

The Sikhs believe that piety and morality are essential parts of religion. It is only religion that inculcates in humans the love for spiritualism and advises them to shun carnality and vendetta. The sanctity of parent-child relationship is the basis of human society. Any infringement of this relationship leads to the law of the jungle and turns the humans into lascivious animals.

ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥ (੬੨)

Truth is the highest virtue but higher still is moral living. (62)

Remembrance of God

The Bible says, “Thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain”. (Exodus 20)[13]

The Sikh View

The above Christian injunction is exactly the opposite of the instruction to the Sikhs. The Gurus instruct that man should remember God with every breath and that spiritual maladies visit human beings when they forget the Lord.

ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਤੇ ਭੁਲਿਆਂ ਵਿਆਪਨ੍ਹਿ ਸਭੇ ਰੋਗੁ ॥ (੧੩੫)

“All afflictions visit the person who forgets God's name”. (135)

ਆਖਾ ਜੀਵਾ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਉ ॥ (੯)

“When I repeat His name I am alive, when I forget to do so, I die”. (9)

ਸਿਮਰਿ   ਸਿਮਰਿ   ਨਾਮ   ਬਾਰੰਬਾਰ,   ਨਾਨਕ   ਜੀਅ   ਕਾ   ਇਹੈ   ਅਧਾਰ॥ (੨੯੫)

“Repeat the name of the Lord again and again. O Nanak it is the support of the soul”. (295)

God's Chosen People

According to the Bible the Lord instructed Moses to say to the children of Israel, "When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Cannan (Present day Israel) then ye shall drive out all inhabitants of the land from before you and destroy all the pictures and destroy all their images, pluck down all their high places, and ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell therein, for I have given you that land to possess it.”[14] (Numbers 32)

“Thou shalt smite them hard and destroy them lock stock and barrel. Thou shalt make no covenant with them nor show compassion. Destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves. Thou art holy people of God”.[15] (Deut 7: 1-6)

This gives one the uneasy feeling that peace in Israel is a wild goose chase. The very concept that some people are chosen and the others are not brings into play discrimination and injustice. We find that God ordered the destruction of Canaanites and the Amalekites (Deu 7.1,2 and Joshua 6.21, 24) and a gruesome and fearful massacre is recorded in II Samuel 8.1, 5.

"Although the people of Israel were “chosen people” God destroyed 70,000 of them through a pestilence (I Chr 21:14).Christ himself thought that he was chosen by God. He said, “All who came before me were thieves and robbers”.[16] (John 19:8)

The Sikh View

The Sikhs do not believe that God gives any special place on earth to any special tribe or religion or orders killing. They believe that God does not discriminate in any body's favour and there are no supranational chosen people. God is without spite.

ਨਾ ਕੋ ਬੈਰੀ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਗਾਨਾ ॥ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਗਿ ਹਮ ਕਉ ਬਨਿ ਅਈ ॥ (੧੨੯੯)

“Nobody is the enemy and none is a stranger, we are everybody's friends”. (1299)

ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਮੀਤੁ ਹਮ ਅਪਨ ਕੀਨਾ ਹਮ ਸਭਨਾ ਕੇ ਸਾਜਨ ॥ (੬੭੧)

“I contract friendship with everybody. I am a universal friend”. (671)

ਅਪਨੋ ਸੂਆਨ ਜੈਸੇ ਲਗਤ ਪਿਅਰੋ ਜੀਅ ॥ ਜਾਨੀਐ ਵੈਸੋਈ ਪਯਾਰੋ ਸਕਲ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਕੋ ॥ (ਕਬਿੱਤ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ ੩੯੮)

“As you shower all your love on your own children, so should you love the whole world.” (Kabit B. Gurdas No. 398)

ਮਨ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਤੇ ਬੁਰਾ ਮਿਟਾਨਾ ॥ ਪੇਖੈ ਸਗਲ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਸਾਜਨਾ ॥ (੨੬੬)

“Drive out all enmity from your mind and consider the whole world as your friend”. (266)

Spiritual Message

In the New Testament we find that Lord Christ reserved his message for the people of Israel. For example in Matthew 10:5-6 he says, “Go ye not in the way of the gentiles................... Go ye to the lost sheep of Israel”. Again in Matthew 15,-24 when a Canaanite woman[17]  came crying to Christ because her daughter was grievously vexed by mental disease and asked for help, Jesus declined to help her and is reported to have said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of Israel”. When the woman persisted in her request He said, “It is not fair to take children's bread and to cast it to the dogs” In Matthew 15-26 He goes to explain this further and says, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine lest they trample them under their feet”.

“Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans (Matt 10.5, 6).

Although himself born in a Jewish family, Jesus said to the Jews, “You are of your father the devil, and want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning”. (John 8:44)

The Sikh View

The message of the Sikh Gurus is exactly the opposite. People of all religions and nationalities were welcomed by the Gurus. No harsh words were uttered against any religious group, nation, or individual.

ਪਰਥਾਇ ਸਾਖੀ ਮਹਾ ਪੁਰਖ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਸਾਝੀ ਸਗਲ ਜਹਾਨੈ ॥ (੬੪੭)

“Godmen always offer instruction to all and sundry without discrimination”. (647)

ਉਪਦੇਸੰ ਸਮ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਤ੍ਰਹ ਭਗਵੰਤ ਭਗਤਿ ਭਾਵਨੀ ॥ (੧੩੭੫)

“Messengers of God offer spiritual advice and guidance to friends and foes alike.” (1375)

Resurrection and Second Coming

  1. Resurrection

The Christian belief is that Christ died on the cross but came out of the grave on the third day and lived for forty more days. Obviously if he died, then he could not be alive because life and death do not exist together. Death is the negation of life. Again Christ’s rising would be meaningful if he lived afterwards forever. If death took him away again then what difference does it make whether he died 40 days earlier or later!

“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, then thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9)

“If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching and empty too is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14)

  1. Second Coming

Most of the Prophecies about the Second Coming of Christ are found in three gospels of the New Testament - in Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13.We also read “I will come again to receive you unto myself” (Acts 1:11, John 6:10-16).Christ conquered death and Devil and said, “I will come back and take you away with me” (Rev 22:12 and Hosea 13-14) .[18] “Behold, I am coming soon. My reward is with me and I will give to anyone according to what he has done”. (Revelations 22:2)

While Christ was at the Mount of Olives some of his followers asked him, “When will these things be?[19]  And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age? (Matthew 24:3) and Lord Christ’s answer is recorded in Mark 13:29 as “When you see things[20] happening, know that it is near, at the very doors”.

“Christ will come back to earth in resplendent glory flanked by angels and judge people. Christians will sit on his right side and will be sent to heaven to enjoy eternal life. The non- Christians will sit on his left and will be despatched to hell for eternal punishment”. (Matthew 25: 31-46 and Matthew 16; 27)

Concerning no-Christians the Bible says, “God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie” (Thessalonians 2:11)

The Sikh View

Sikhism believes that death is the fulfilment of God's law and no one has ever conquered death.

ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸੋ ਵਿਣਸਣਾ ਸਭ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ॥ ਥਿਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੋ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਥਿਰੁ ਹੋਸੀ ॥ (੧੧੦੦)

“Whatever is seen shall perish; all shall perish and are perishable. Only God and His close devotees are spiritually immortal”. (1100)

ਜਿਤੁ ਦਿਹਾੜੈ ਧਨ ਵਰੀ ਸਾਹੇ ਲਏ ਲਿਖਾਇ ॥ (੧੩੭੭)

“At the time of birth, our death was also recorded." (1377)

To believe that somebody will be the saviour on the Day of Judgment confers powers of judgment on that person instead of God, the Almighty.

The Bible states, “Those who do not believe in Christ will be visited by God's wrath”. “If somebody comes to you without Jesus do not let him enter your house and do not greet him”.[21] (John's letter No. 2. 9-11)

Sikhism does not claim that those who do not believe in Sikhism will go without salvation. In contrast they can aspire for salvation through pious deeds and God's Grace. The label of religion carries no weight with God.

ਜਗਤੁ ਜਲੰਦਾ ਰਖਿ ਲੈ ਆਪਣੀਂ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਧਾਰਿ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਦੁਅਰੈ ਉਬਰੈ ਤਿਤੈ ਲੈਹੁ ਉਬਾਰਿ ॥ (੮੫੩)

“O God this world is burning in its own sins. Save it in Thy Mercy. It matters not through which door (religion) they approach You.” (853)

Notes and References


[1] “If Christ had only eaten to show that he could eat, while he really had no need of nourishment, it would have been a pretense”(In Quest of the Historical Jesus page 64)

[2] Prior to his natural and final death he is also recorded as having died for three days.(Matt 12:46,16:27)

[3] And Lo a voice came from heaven,” “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased”(Matthew 3:17,26:63-64, John 1:14-18,3:16,1:8,14:7-10, 4:9 Mark 14:61 Luke 1:32) “He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the father which hath sent him” (Thessalonians 2:16, 3:11). About this the Holy Quran says, “And they say God gracious has begotten a son. Indeed they have put forth a thing most monstrous. At it the skies are ready to burst, and the earth to split asunder and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin that they should invoke a son for God. It is not consonant with the majesty of God that He should beget a son. (The Holy Quran 19: 88-92) He begets not nor is He begotten (Holy Quran 112:3)

[4] The paradigm cannot be ageless. It was Paul who called Jesus ‘Son of God’ for the first time (See Acts 9:20). Paul had never met Jesus.

[5] Mary also had other children, 4 bothers, and 2 sisters of Jesus. “And his brethren James, and Jose, and Simon, and Judas and his sisters” (Matthew 13:54-56)

[6] It is worth noting that the Bible nowhere preaches merger with God. Even after resurrection, Jesus ascends to heaven and “sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty”. The father and the son are always two not one.

[7] Muslim Sufis particularly mentioned this. For example “ਮਨ ਤੂ ਸ਼ੁਦਮ ਤੂ ਮਨ ਸੂਦੀ, ਮਨ ਤਨ ਸ਼ੁਦਮ ਤੂ ਜਾਂ ਸ਼ੁਦੀ” (You are me and I am you. I am body you are the spirit in it) (Shamas Tabrez)

[8] Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are three gods of the Hindus. Brahma creates, Vishnu is the provider, and Siva destroys the creation. The idea conveyed here is that all prophets are God’s creation. They are not God.

[9] Christians believe that God sent a flood for 150 days (Genesis 4:24). Only Noah and his wife, who took two of each species of life (What about hermaphrodites?) in their boat, survived. The boat was caught on Mount Ararat (Armenia). One can imagine how long will it have taken for such a big boat to be made, how were the animals fed for 150 days and who rowed the boat?

According to David Attenborough there are four million different forms of life (excluding marine life) on earth ('Life on earth 'page' 11). So the boat carried at least 8,000,000 terrestrial forms of life many of which kill each other for their food and many of them barely visible. Separation of carnivores and herbivores and storage of their foods must have required very spacious places and armed guards. Feeding them all must have been a big problem for Noah. Poisonous snakes,  fleas,  scorpions  and  other  blood–sucking  creatures  must  have  caused  havoc  for  150  days.  Modern archaeologists are reluctant to accept that such a universal cataclysmic destruction that destroyed every living creature upon the face of the earth (except Noah) did really happen. If it did happen, it was only a local Middle Eastern tragedy. One wonders if God really was just, wise, infallible resolute and without rancour. What sin had the newly born babies or those still in the womb, committed? Similarly when God killed the entire first born in Egypt, one wonders on what criteria were they selected for mass murder? He saved Noah for no apparent reason. Genesis itself tells us that Noah was not innocent.

Although there is no mention of the Devil or Satan but he is seems to have boarded the boat and God could not destroy him even in this mass killing. He must have gloated over this major victory against God.

According to oriental belief there are 8,400,000 species of life out of which roughly half i.e. 4200,000 live in water.

[10] The Bible was quoted in Granville and Sharpe Court case and philosophical logic was manipulated to give credence to slavery. The following Aristotelian syllogism was quoted "All men are made in the image of God. God, as everyone knows, is not a Negro: Therefore, the Negro is not a man.”

“The churches opposed the abolition of slavery as long as they dared” (Bertrand Russell “Why I am not a Christian” page 28). In South Africa the Dutch reformed church has been in the forefront to defend apartheid. In America slavery could not have existed for 250 years if the church had not sanctioned it.

[11] No action whether foul or fair,

is ever done, but it leaves somewhere,

A record written by finger ghostly” (Longfellow)

[12] A bastard boy was discovered by Guru Har Gobind lying on a dunghill. The Guru had him washed clean and brought him up lovingly. This was “Suthra” who later became well known for his quick wit, pithy humour, and devotion to God.

[13] The word for God appeared in the original manuscripts as YHWH. The Jews consider this Tetragrammaton YHWH as the original and the only name of God which should not be spoken. It also occurs in the Holy Bible 6855 times. The Jews avoid saying it and believe that by saying this word they take God’s name in vain. Wherever it occurs they read Adonai (Lord). Septuagint translations left it un-translated and the later translators used the word Kurios for it. William Tyndale in his English translation used Lehouah. These days it is pronounced as Yahweh (or Jehovah) but its correct pronunciation is not known. The Sikhs believe ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰਾ ਪਰਾ ਪੂਰਬਲਾ (Truth is thy primeval name) which they are required to repeat ad infinitum. Jehovah was worshiped as a brazen serpent until Hezekiah destroyed it (II Kings 18.4). Quakers do not swear by God because that involves taking God’s name in vain.

[14] Abraham, who is supposed to have lived 4000 years ago, had two wives Sarah and Hagar. According to the Jews Hagar was a slave. Children were born to Abraham’s wives only when he was 100 years old (Genesis 17:17-18 and 21:1-2). Jews are the progeny of Sarah through her son Isaac and Arabs are the descendants of Hagar, whose son Ishmael is considered by the Muslims as a Prophet. Staunch Jews consider the Arabs "inferior breed "

[15] Also see Exodus 23:22 and Psalms 139:22-23. In Deu. 6:10-11 Jehovah promises his followers, “I will acquire for you great cities you built not, wells you dug not ,vineyards and olive trees you planted not”

[16] One wonders if this remark applies also to Adam, Moses, David, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel who came before Jesus.

[17] According to Matthew she was a Canaanite but according to Marks she was a Greek. The mother's name is given as Justa and the daughter's name is recorded as Bernice.

[18] Many have since exploited such words and claimed themselves to be the reborn Christ. For example on 19 April 1993 David Koresh, the leader of Branch Dravidians made such a claim and brought about the infernal death of 75 of his followers at Waco (Texas-U.S.A). The following are some others who claimed to be the reborn Christ.

  1. Richard Brothers (1757-1824AD) an officer in the British Navy.
  2. Joshua Southcott (1750-1814AD) of U.S.A. She claimed prophet hood and argued that since a woman brought about the fall of man, it was only through her, a woman, that salvation was possible.
  3. Joseph Smith (1805-1844AD) founder of Mormons claimed that prophet hood was sanctioned by John the Baptist and only he had the keys to heaven.
  4. Hun Hsu Chuan of China claimed to be the younger brother of Christ. He said that his son would establish the “new heaven”. He changed the Trinity from father-son-holy ghost to father-son-grandson.
  5. Keshav Chander Sen of India claimed to be reborn Jesus Christ.
  6. Theudas and Bar Kochka Sebi (1621AD) had also claimed to be reborn and re-incarnated Christ. Pol pot, Joseph Stalin, and Hitler behaved as self-appointed God but Mussolini clearly stated, “I because of God, I am called, because I am the superman incarnate. I am the law- giver as well as war lord.”
  7. “I am Gabriel, Michael, Israfil. I am Abraham, Moses, and Jesus”. (Junaid of Baghdad)

[19] The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give light. The stars will fall from heaven and the heaven will be shaken” (Matthew 24:29 Also see Revelations 6:12-17) “All the tribes of the earth will mourn ,and they will see the Son of Man riding the clouds of heaven with resplendent glory” (Matthew 24:30)

[20] Christians believe that Jesus predicted some cataclysmic events (like major earthquakes, famine, conflict, meteors, comets, solar flares, eclipses or epidemics) to precede his Second Coming. This led some Christian scholars to set a date for his Second Coming. A 14th Century English Clergyman William Whiston gave October 13, 1736 AD, The German Scholar Johannes Stoeffler predicted February 1524, An American Scholar William Miller predicted October 22, 1844 AD as the day of Christ’s return. Predictions are still being made. They quote, “As the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the son of Man be (Daniel verse 27)“.They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30) Others scoff at such predictions and quote , “But that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36) and “It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (Matthew 24:7) According to Christians their sins have been forgiven and salvation is guaranteed, one wonders why they are waiting for a Second Coming of Christ. Again they have already waited for 2000 years how long more? Great injustice will be done to those who died 2000 years ago. They will have waited much longer than those who will be alive at Christ’s coming. Is God fair and just? “All his ways are just” (Deut 32:4).

[21] This was written by John 70 years after the ascension of Jesus. “Did Jesus actually say this? Did he use these words? Such questions are discussed in the book ‘The evidence for Jesus’ written by James Dunn. Read pages 36 to 45