Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. – Deuteronomy 24:16 (New International Version)
The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. – Ezekiel 18:20 (New International Version)
Muslims see these verses as confirming their beliefs (Qur’an 6:164; 17:13-15; 35:18; 39:7; 53:33-42) and proving that Christianity is wrong. They understand these verses to mean that each person can only bear their own sin; thus Jesus dying for our sins is false.
However, I find this a bit ridiculous because I really believe that these Muslims have no clue about the things they are trying to object because not only do they distort/misrepresent the Bible but they prove to us that Islam is false. How you may ask? Because according to Qur’an 4:82, if we find a single contradiction in the Qur’an, then it’s not from God. It amazes me how Muslims never thought of what their religion actually teaches. They only try to show us one part of the story and conceal the other which contradicts this view from their own religious sources.
Before answering these claims about the Bible, let’s expose them first; shall we!? It seems like Muslims are too desperate to discredit the Christian belief and forget about what their own Qur’an and Muhammad actually say.
Let’s consider the following verses from the Qur’an before heading to the Sunnah of Muhammad:
Qur’an 29:12-13, Alhilali Khan Version,
12. And those who disbelieve say to those who believe: “Follow our way and surely we will verily bear your sins”. Never will they bear anything of their sins. Surely, they are liars. 13. And verily they shall bear their own loads, AND other loads beside their own; and verily they shall be questioned on the Day of Resurrection about that which they used to fabricate.
Qur’an 29:12-13, Yusuf Ali Version,
12. And the Unbelievers say to those who believe: “Follow our path, and we will bear (the consequences) of your faults.” Never in the least will they bear their faults: in fact they are liars! 13. They will bear their own burdens, AND (other) burdens along with their own, and on the Day of Judgments they will be called to account for their falsehoods.
As we see, there is no way this verse is against other people bearing others sins (Which is not what the Bible actually teaches by the way, we will see later).
Here is another Qur’anic verse:
Qur’an 16:25, Alhilali Khan Version,
They may bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection, and ALSO OF THE BURDENS of those whom they have misled without knowledge. Evil deed is that which they shall bear.
Qur’an 16:25, Yusuf Ali Version
Let them bear on the Day of Judgment, their own burdens in full; and ALSO (something) of the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled. Alas, how grievous the burdens they will bear!
Again, according to this verse, not only will the unbelievers bear their own sins, but ALSO the sins of those they misled. So, how would Muslims explain this?
Now let’s see what Muhammad himself said about this:
Sahih Muslims – Chapter 8: THROWING OF NON−BELIEVERS IN HELL−FIRE FOR BELIEVERS AS DIVINE GRACE AND MERCY
Book 37, Number 6665:
Abu Musa’ reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell−Fire.
Book 37, Number 6666:
Abu Burda reported on the authority of his father that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit in his stead a Jew or a Christian in Hell−Fire. ‘Umar b. Abd al−’Aziz took an oath: By One besides Whom there is no god but He, thrice that his father had narrated that to him from Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him).
Book 37, Number 6668:
Abu Burda reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with as heavy sins as a mountain, and Allah would forgive them and He would place in their stead the Jews and the Christians. (As far as I think), Abu Raub said: I do not know as to who is in doubt. Abu Burda said: I narrated it to ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al−’Aziz, whereupon he said: Was it your father who narrated it to you from Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him)? I said: Yes.
Let these evidences speak for themselves. Know your religion before attacking others’ O Muslims!
Now, about Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:20
First of all, Jesus did not die for the sins of His family only, but the whole world (John 3:16). In addition, He was sinless (2Corinthians 5:21). So comparing what Jesus did, to Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:20, is irrelevant.
Secondly, as Christians, these passages are irrelevant to us since we are not under the Law of Moses (Romans 6:14, 10:4; John 1:17). Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.
Both these passages are from the Old Testament (the Torah and the prophets) which means that they were for those who were “under the law”.
Deuteronomy 24:16 is part of the Torah itself and Ezekiel 18:20 is addressing the Israelites who were living under the Torah. That is, the context of these verses is the Torah and not the Qur’an. If we want to understand the verses we need to understand some basics about the Torah.
When somebody living under the Torah sinned they were responsible for what they had done, but if they repented they could be forgiven by a sacrifice that would bear their sin before God. The Torah explains this:
He must bring as his offering for the sin he committed a female goat without defect. He is to lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place of the burnt offering. Then the priest is to take some of the blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. In this way the priest will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven. – Leviticus 4:28-31, NIV
For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. – Leviticus 17:11, NIV
The Torah teaches individual responsibility and forgiveness through a substitute sacrifice that bears our sin. That exactly was what Jesus did, He died in our stead. He was the sacrifice for the whole world sins on that cross.
In the book of the prophet Ezekiel we see this idea as well.
(The priests) will put the most holy offerings (there) – the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings – for the place is holy. – Ezekiel 42:13, NIV
Therefore Muslims are not reading Deuteronomy 24:16 or Ezekiel 18:20 in their context (which is not news to me since that’s the only way for them to attack the Bible which by the way was confirmed by their own false prophet Muhammad to be authentic – Qur’an 3:3). These verses are not saying there is no sacrifice that can bear our sin. Instead they are saying that we are individually responsible for our sins and need to seek forgiveness through God’s provision of a substitute sacrifice that can bear our sin. These verses do not support Islam at all; instead they confirm what Christianity teaches.
The blood of those animals, however, couldn’t permanently wash away sins; they could only cover their sins for a year, that’s why He offered His only begotten Son to shed His spotless, undefiled blood to be the ultimate sacrifice, not only for those who are under the Torah but also the whole world:
11. But Christ having come as a high priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, 12. nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption. 13. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify to the cleanness of the flesh: 14. how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without defect to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15. For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, since a death has occurred for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, that those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16. For where a last will and testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him who made it. 17. For a will is in force where there has been death, for it is never in force while he who made it lives. 18. Therefore even the first covenant has not been dedicated without blood. 19. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20. saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21. Moreover he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry in the same way with the blood. 22. According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission. – Hebrews 9:11-22, WEB
That’s why Jesus died for you Muslims; so stop rejecting His love for you. Accept Him and what He did for you today. Receive your salvation today.