His left except to those for whom it had been prepared by God (Matt. xx. 23; Mark x. 40)?

C. Probably for the same reason1. All this is explained by such passages as "The Word became flesh" (John i. 14), and "He humbled Himself" (Phil. ii. 8)2. In the verses you quote, Christ speaks of God as His Father, thereby asserting His own Divine Sonship.

111. M. Many of the passages which you quote to prove the deity of Jesus do not prove it at all. For instance, He said, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John viii. 58). Now that does not prove His deity, for we can all say the same (since Muslims believe in the pre-existence of souls).

C. None of us can truthfully say the same. For, on the supposition of the pre-existence of souls (a doctrine which you have derived from heathen philosophers, and which is not taught by the prophets and apostles), if Christ had meant to say merely "Before Abraham was born, I existed," the phrase would have been meaningless, since (on that theory) Abraham also existed before his birth. Whether the theory be true or false, Christ clearly stated that He existed before Abraham and other creatures came into existence at all. This shows

1 Our Lord's answer also means that such rewards could not justly be made on the basis of simple favouritism, as the two apostles wished, but must depend on moral characteristics. (Bishop of Lahore.)
2 More forcible still is the expression in verse 7,
εκενωσεν .

that He claimed not to be a creature like Abraham and ourselves. Moreover, Christ did not say, "Before Abraham was, I was," but "Before Abraham was, I am." He thereby claimed for Himself God's highest title (from which "Jehovah" was derived: Exod. iii. 14). The Jews understood this, and, not believing in Him, desired to stone Him for what they considered blasphemy. So the passage does bear the meaning which we assign to it.

112. M. Christ is only a prophet, like the prophets which were before Him.

C. That is contrary to the Taurat, the Zabur, the Injil, and the Qur'an, in all of which language is used of Him that is not used of any other prophet. No other prophet was born of a Virgin, no other is called "The Word1 of God" (كلمة الله ) or "a Spirit from Him" (روحٌ مِنهُ ), of no other prophet is it said that he was "illustrious in this world and in the next" (Surah III., Al 'Imran, 40), and He is the only sinless prophet.

113. M. It is said (Surah III, Al 'Imran, 52), "Verily the similitude of Jesus is as the similitude of Adam" in the sight of God: for we are told that God "created him of dust: He then said to him, Be, and He was." Hence Jesus was not the Son of God in any other sense than Adam was, to whom the

1 The exact words of the Qur'an are: "Innama 'l Masihu 'Isa' 'bnu Maryama rasulu'llahi wa kalimatuhu, alqaha ila' Maryama, wa ruhun minhu" (Surah IV., An Nisa', 169). The context shows that kalimatuhu ("His Word") equals kalimatu 'llahi ("God's Word"). Vide § 118.