Christians believe in the Incarnation. The word incarnation is a Latin word meaning “en-flesh-ment.” Christians believe that Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, became a man (John 1:14). As the Son of God, Jesus has always been God. Yet, some 2,000 years ago, the Son of God, remaining God, became what He was not – a man (The Incarnation involves addition and not subtraction). This is a mystery we cannot fully understand.
Muslim rejection of the Incarnation
One of the arguments some Muslims use against the Incarnation is is Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man.” However, this is a dishonest use of the Bible. Muslims who quote this verse are only quoting half of it. The full verse reads,
God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
This verse does not argue against the Incarnation.
Rather, it emphasizes the fact that God is not like men who change their minds. God is not like men who can lie. The larger context of the verse is the certainty of God blessing Jacob and His refusal to change and curse them. The enemy of God’s people wanted to pronounce a curse upon them. God said He would not change His mind, and that He was determined to bless them.
Yusuf Estes takes Numbers 23:19 out of context
Yusuf Estes takes Numbers 23:19 out of context. Below is a clip from a debate entitled “Bible or Quran Debate Islam Christian and Muslim.” Beginning at 3:19 Yusuf Estes says that Numbers 23:19 is a “clear contradiction” to the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation.
Numbers 23:19 is not an example of a biblical contradiction or corruption. Rather, this is an example of Yusuf Estes’s corruption of biblical teaching (Arabic: tahrif al-maʿānī). By taking Scripture out of context, Yusuf Estes is doing what false teachers have done throughout the ages.
Ironically, Yusuf Estes’ mishandling of Scripture proves what Numbers 23:19 says about men being liars.
Finally, it’s evident Yusuf Estes does not understand Christianity. He says in the below video at 4:24 that the “Catholic Church was in business about 300 years before Jesus was born” and founded by “Alexander the Great.” This is simply untrue.