I have undertaken to explore the question, Is Jesus God?, by looking first at the claims Jesus made about himself. After all, if Jesus didn’t really claim he was God, we would have to wonder about others making that claim. We find that the religious authorities condemned him precisely because he was making claims of equivalence with God.
I also explored what people in the time of Jesus said about him. Some people claim that the early followers of Jesus didn’t really think he was God, that the God-claim arose generations later in the way of a legend. Unless the Gospels and letters collected in the New Testament were written generations later, clearly, his early followers, and even people opposed to him, believed that he was God or, at least, that he claimed to be God.
One puzzle that remains, though, is how the claims made by Jesus and his Jewish followers fit into an ancient Judaic theology built on the foundation of one true God. Jesus, himself, quoted the sacred text handed down from Moses: “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” (Luke 4:8, quoting Moses Deut. 6:13) So how do we square that statement with his evident claims that put him on a par with God?
There is no dearth of resources addressing the idea of the Trinity, but I turn to a former Muslim for help. Muslims have a robust view of God (Allah) as one. Allah is not a father and does not beget sons. He is single, undivided, and purely one God.
Nabeel Qureshi is my source for an explanation of the Trinity. Nabeel was a devout Muslim turned Christian after his college years, and he went on to become a Christian apologist.
Nabeel recalls that one of the most recited passages of the Qur’an is Surat-al-Ikhlaas, 112:2 – “God is not a Father, and He is not a Son.” This “doctrine above all doctrines” in Islam is known as Tawhid – God is absolutely one and cannot be father or son.
The question that troubled Nabeel when he was comparing the two religions was this: How is it the Trinity harmonious with a monotheistic doctrine?