The christian bible clearly says the messiah Jesus (pbuh) had a beginning, he was made of a woman and born in a stable in Bethlehem 1, as simple as that, but christendom makes it so complicated that somehow the messiah had no beginning and uncreated.
But if we read the TaNaKH (Torah Neviim ve Khetuvim) and we study things related to “begetting” and “creation” we will never find anything remotely resemble to this idea that the messiah is “begotten (but) not made” a theological term is which attempted to solve the mystery of the dual nature of the messiah (Al-lāhūt wa An-Nāsūt).
The Qur’an asserts that Isa Al-Masih is merely a al-Kalimah 2 (الكلمة) that is “the Word” as a singular (mufrad), not plural Kalām (كلام) , and in the Qur’ān al-Kalimah is a created being not the creator or the source of creation. The Qur’anic s designation of Isa Al-Masih as al-Kalimah or “the Word” which is a created being bears striking agreement with jewish tradition that the Messiah is God’s creation not uncreated being. We read in the Talmud:
“Three things were created on the basis of the name of the Holy One: the Righteous, the Messiah and Jerusalem.” 3.
This really is the red thread between Islam and Judaism. In the Torah, in the beginning God bara – בָּרָא (to create, shape, form), and asah – עָשָׂה (to do, make) heaven and earth. So for heaven and earth in the beginning there was a begetting process, toledoth hashamayim ve ha’aretz – תּוֺלְדוֺת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ (Gen 2:4). There are two keywords employed side by side at the time of creation of the heaven and earth in Gen 2:4 with the same lexical meaning that is ילד (yeled) which literally means “to beget” dan ברא (BARA), which means. “to create”. Hence according to the Torah, begetting is an act of creation and the Talmud also makes it clear that the Messiah is created and formed. Altogether it negates the Nicene Creed’s affirmation that Messiah was “begotten not made” (gennithénta ou poiithénta – γεννηθέντα ου ποιηθέντα or in latin genitum non factum and in Arabic مولود غير مخلوق – mawlūd ghayru makhlūq) which is so much verbal nonsense because the Messiah was going through begetting process (תולדות – generation).
Please note that this post focuses only on the semantic range of yeled ילד dan bara’ ברא in jewish texts, but not to some other term employed in TaNaKH דעת יה (Da’at HASHEM), חכמה (Hochmah), דבר (Davar) or מימרא (Meimra) in relation to “the Word” of God. In here I argue there is no indication we find in judaic tradition that yeled ילד ever denotes any concept of a divine attribute. Whereas bara‘ ברא denote a “creation” an attribute of created beings. When we look at the text of Genesis 2:4 it is obvious that even though God created heaven and earth by way of “generating/begetting” it is not then a proof that heaven and earth has divine attribute in other words it refers not to their original divine “substance”.
The Talmud sealed the deal that when it comes to the Torah use of the term bara’ ילד → berativ – בראתיו (creation) which was specified to the messiah of the jewish people, there is no room for divine connotation, only for his human essence. The problem originated from the fourth century the doctrine set out at Nicaea which in order to oppose the idea that the messiah Jesus (pbuh) was a created being. So the Jesus (pbuh) had no beginning, the Nicene declaration stated that even though the Son was “begotten not made” that there was never a time when the Son was not.
For something to be ‘begotten’ or ‘made’, there has to be a time when it came into existence, and before which it was not. The typical christian argument is that Jesus is both God and man. As God he doesn’t have beginning. As man he was born in Bethlehem. However you can not have it both ways. It does not solve the problem how could Jesus have a one-self personality, but could remember his life as a man and also remember his divine life. No 100% human being, still less a perfect one, could have such memories.
Finally the “begotten not made” doctrine is a blatant contradiction. The view that the Jesus was begotten as a created being on the basis of God’s name and utterance finds harmony with the Qur’an and Jewish tradition.
- Mat 2:1; Luke 2:7; Gal 4:4
- Q 4:171
- Talmud Bavli, masekhet Baba Bathra 75b.
Ve’amar ravah rav yochanan atîdî tzadîkîm shanakra’in al sh’mo shel hakav”h (hakadósh barúkh hú) shene’emar (yeshayahu 43:7)
Rabbi Yohanan said that the righteous will be called in the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written (Isaiah 43: 7)
Kal hanik’ra bish’mî v’likh’bodî berativ yetzartiv af shitiv, ve rav sh’muel bar nachmani rav yochanan gi nik’r’u al sh’mo shel hakav”h (hakadósh barúkh hú) v’elu hen tzadîkîm umashiyach ve yerushalayim
All that is called by my name and to glorify me whom I have CREATED, I have FORMED him, yea I have MADE him. And Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani says (that) Rabbi Yochanan (says): three were called by the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, and they are the righteous, Messiah and Jerusalem