Muslims criticize the Bible for having polytheistic descriptions of God, such as his hands, his hair, his children and even his wife (Hosea 2). How do you respond to this criticism?
Muslims say a lot of things, and many (but not all!) of them are said from a very dishonest and unfair perspective. Let us not behave as these biased, unfair and disrespectful Muslims do–for example in this case. Here, the Muslim critic is obviously being disingenuous. Even this critic knows that the criticism is not a fair one.
First of all, not only does the Bible use anthropomorphisms, the Qur’an does as well. No one really believes that God has a hand or hair or even male or female genitalia. Any attempt by a Muslim to paint the Old Testament this way is dishonest. Of course, these are metaphors in the Bible, including anthropocentric ones. God reaches down his hand to lift us up, but he does so metaphorically. Sure, God allowed Daniel to have a vision of God in Daniel 7:9, but we all know that this is a vision. God does not have a physical body. To say that the Bible says that he does is clearly to deal dishonestly with the Scripture. For example, in the Qur’an sura 48 ayat 10 there is a passage about the hand of Allah. Of course, Muslims say that this is an anthropomorphism, and that Allah does not have a literal hand. Well, Christians say the same thing about their scriptures. What is good for one is good for another, but for a Muslim to find such passages in the Bible, when there are the same sort of passages in the Qur’an is hypocritical and evidence of simply trying to cast dishonest criticism. There are dozens of Scriptures in the Qur’an which ascribe human traits to Allah and many hundreds in the Hadith. There is an entire area of study in Islam to explain these anthropomorphisms, yet this Muslim person criticized the Old Testament for having these same things.
And by the way, The same can be said for these other passages as well. Of course, God does not have actual, physical sons and daughters. God the Father does not even have a body, and he is neither male nor female. He does not have a Y chromosome. To quote Isaiah 43:6 as evidence of this is really evidence of the dishonest spirit of this Muslim person. Just read the passage and you will see that the parenthood here is metaphorical, not literal. To claim differently, really, is to lie. Here, God says, “bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” Here, clearly (and the Muslim critic know this, and thus the hypocrisy!), that this is talking about the followers of God, not actual physical children. Seriously!!!
God does treat Israel as a wife in some sense, by loving her and wanting a close spiritual relationship with her. What a beautiful metaphor! But is this Muslim person implying that the Bible says God wants to have sex with Israel? Really? Please, this is so disingenuous and, really, so dishonest and unfair, that the person who throws out this charge ought to be really embarrassed for their dishonesty.
God of the Bible does not have a bodily form, he does not have genetic, physical children and he does not have sex with people. Shame on this Muslim person for implying differently, and for willfully taking these passages out of context!!! Would he/she want us to do the same with the Qur’an (which is an easy thing to do). No.