See Addendum and Clarification at the end. I had originally entitled it “the Word”, but the definite article in Arabic is not in the text of the Qur’an. I should have titled it, “The Qur’an calls Jesus “a Word from God”. کلمه / λογος . Now corrected.
“In the beginning was the Word (logos/ λογος = کلمه – kalameh, or kalima – Arabic and Farsi)
and the word was with God,
and the Word was God.” John 1:1
When the Qur’an also calls Jesus “the Word” کلمه [correction: “a word” کلمه (Surah 3:39; 3:45; 4:171) – Muhammad and the Arabs got this saying from the Christians in the areas of Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Najran (Yemen area), but did not realize what they were saying. The original meaning 500-600 years earlier (in the NT and the orthodox interpretations in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries, all before Islam) earlier was that Jesus has the same nature as God the Father – logos = “the mind that is in action and expresses itself in words”. Same nature, same substance, same essence = “homo-ousias”. (early church centuries, The Creeds, Nicean Creed, Constantinople, Chalcedon, Athanasian Creed)
The logos of God is the mind of God that it in motion and communicates in words. Is Allah dumb? no. Istaqfr’allah. استغفرالله (“I seek the forgiveness of Allah”, for saying such a thing.) He (God, Allah) is always thinking and speaking. Allah’s word is eternal; since His word is eternally with Him, and Jesus is “the Word”; then Jesus is God, by substance/nature/essence. And since the Qur’an confirms the NT as the true Injeel (Surah 3:3; 5:47; 5:68; 10:94), Muslims have a major problem explaining their internal contradictions.
What about the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the final phrase should be translated “the Word was a god” ?
See also here. (A Muslim agrees with the Greek Grammar of John 1:1)
here. (John 1:1 – ” . . . and the Word was God.”)
Addendum and Clarification: February 11
Some Muslims asked about the definite article, but I originally thought they were asking about the definite article issue in John 1:1 – about the last phrase where the definite article (the ‘ο) with Theos / θεος is not there, which is why Jehovah’s Witnesses wrongly translate it “a god”. But the issue of the Greek grammar is about the predicate nominative and the position of the words in Greek grammar. (see the 2 articles above which I link to which shows “God” is the proper translation, rather than “a god”; “The Word was God”, not “the word was a god”. The lack of definite article there shows that Jesus as the Word is God by nature/substance/essence. If the article was there, it would have been teaching that The Word is the Father, and that is wrong and heresy; the heresy of Modalism. “with God” shows that the Son existed with the Father from eternity past (2 persons of the 3 person Trinity), and “the Word was God” shows that Jesus is the same nature / substance / essence / quality as God.
I realize I probably should have written “a Word” in the title and article – “The Qur’an calls Jesus “a Word from Allah”, because the definite article (ال) in Arabic is not there. It is true that the text does not have the Al / ال definite article, as in “Al-Kalameh” الکلمه
The three times the Qur’an calls Jesus “kalameh” or “kalima” کلمه are:
Surah 3:39 – about John the Baptist (Yahya – یحیی ) being sent to “confirm a word from Allah”
“So the angels called him while he was standing in prayer in the chamber, “Indeed, Allah gives you good tidings of John, confirming a word from Allah and [who will be] honorable, abstaining [from women], and a prophet from among the righteous.”
بیحیی مصدقا بکلمه من الله
“of John the Baptizer, confirming a word from Allah”
[And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah].
of a word from Him = a word from Allah
“O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. ” Surah 4:171
The Saheeh International does an interpretive translation by “a soul [created at a command] from Him”. “soul” would be Nafs / نفس
The literal meaning is “a spirit from Him” – “a spirit from Allah”
The Pickthall and Yusuf Ali translations are more accurate on that phrase, “and a spirit from Him”
و روح منه
O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not “Three” – Cease! (it is) better for you! – Allah is only One Allah. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender. Pickthall
O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.
and His Word
و روح منه
“and a spirit from Him”
The fact that the Qur’an calls Jesus “a word from Allah” and “a spirit from Him” points to the unique nature of Jesus.
Surah 4:171 also denies that Jesus is the Son of God and it denies His Deity and it asserts that He is only a messenger (apostle, prophet, man) and it also seeks to deny the doctrine of the Trinity. “Say not three” is more accurate than “say not Trinity”.
Still, the wording of “a word from Allah” and “a spirit from Allah” points to the fact that the Qur’an got some of its information from the early centuries of Christianity, because the gospel of John (John 1:1, 1:14; and 1 John 1:1, and Revelation 19:13) called Jesus “The Word” around 80-90 AD, and in all the centuries following, before Islam, 600 years, all Christians called Jesus “The Word”. And because Islam and the Qur’an also teach that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, and had no earthly father, the Qur’an unknowingly was saying something about His unique nature – implying that Jesus is the Word of God, who became flesh, by the combination of “a word from God” and “a spirit from God” and “virgin born”, Islam unwittingly and unknowingly was affirming Christian doctrine, while at the same time, trying to deny it. But because Mohammad and the Arabs were relying on the Jews and Christians on where they got their information about the previous Scriptures, they could not help but unknowingly affirm certain truths that they were trying to deny.