Search in ARCHIVES


Feature Image

TruthTalks: Who World Religions say Jesus is

Top Image

In this TruthTalks audio, Dr Christopher Peppler sets out to give us an overview of 6 of the worlds religions and how they differ, and sometimes not, from Christianity.

The source for this TruthTalk can be found HERE.

I apologise for the clicks and pops that can be heard about a minute in (they could not be fixed)  – but please don’t stop listening, they only last for 10 seconds.

To listen to this great podcast click on the play button below or subscribe with your favourite podcatcher. is non-profit and we rely on YOU to help us spread the word, so please like, comment, subscribe and interact with us.

TruthTalks: Who World Religions say Jesus is Read More »

Feature Image

Who World Religions say Jesus is

Top Image

Almost two thousand years ago Jesus asked his disciples who people said he was. The account reads as follows:

‘When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” ‘ (Matthew 16:13-16)

In this article, I ask, “Who do world religions say Jesus is?” I think the answers will be interesting and shed light on how we, as Christians, should be answering.

A Brief Summary of six religions

I have selected six religions, ranging from two that are thousands of years old to one less than fifty years old.


It is unknown when Hinduism started, but it dates back to more than 4,000 years. Hindus believe that god, the universe, human beings and everything else are essentially one thing. They regard their plethora of deities as emanations and manifestations representing the many facets of ultimate reality. They regard Jesus as a holy man and wise teacher and number him among their gods.


Jews trace the origin of their religion to Abraham, about 4,000 years ago. Some of their major teachers over the years have mentions in their writing of Jesus of Nazareth. They present him as born to Mary and Joseph, an itinerant teacher with many disciples, and a man who performed miracles and drove out demons. They acknowledge that he and his disciples proclaimed him to be the Jewish Messiah, but they vehemently deny the truth of this claim. They hold that Jesus did not meet the requirements or fulfil the prophecies that would qualify him as Messiah. They deny that he was the Son of God or even a legitimate prophet, for they believed that Malachi was the last of the true prophets. They reject  the idea that Jesus is divine and they think the concept of more than one God (a Trinity for instance) is blasphemous.


Muslims trace their religion back to the 7th century Mohammed. They base their doctrine on his writings and respect Jesus as a prophet and wise teacher who worked miracles and healed many. They teach that he indeed ascended into Heaven and will one day return to Earth. However, these beliefs are different from Christian teaching. They hold, for instance, that Allah (God) sent Jesus to guide the descendants of Israel with a new scripture. However, they teach that the original ‘Gospel’ was lost and that the existing documents are much altered and therefore of little current value. They teach that Jesus was but one of several messengers sent by Allah but that Mohammed was the last messenger and therefore superior to all others. They teach that Jesus survived the crucifixion and did not ascend bodily into Heaven. However, when he eventually died, Allah gave him a place of honour and the mission of returning to Earth one day to ultimately validate Islam. They reject that Jesus was God, or Son of God, or a member of a Trinity.


Some Buddhists regard their belief system more as a philosophy than a religion. Gautama Buddha lived and taught in the fifth century and held that Jesus was an enlightened man and wise teacher.


Bahaullah established this religion in the 19th century promoting the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. To them, Jesus was a wise teacher with an aspect of divinity in that he was one of several who projected divine attributes into the world.

New Age

The New Age movement is made up of several strands of esoteric Gnosticism that emerged into literature and media in the 1960s. Most New-Agers believe that Jesus was an enlightened master who manifested a divine power that is potentially available to all who enter the New Age. New Age adherents, and those like them, have more of an impact and penetrative power in today’s church than the other religions, so I will elaborate a little on their beliefs:

  • They respect Jesus as an enlightened soul along with other religious leaders like Buddha, Krishna, and Confucius.
  • Although respected, Jesus is not worshipped or regarded as the exclusive Son of God.
  • Some accept Jesus’ crucifixion as historical, but not essential to restoring humanity to wholeness.
  • They deny his resurrection and ascension.
  • They generally spiritualise Jesus’ Second Coming to refer to the evolutionary ascent of an awakened humanity
  • They cite the bible as one of ten sources of information about Jesus but regard it as secondary to the other texts.
What they all have in common

If Jesus asked representatives of the six religions listed in this article, “Who do you say I am?” they would unanimously answer, “You are a wise moral teacher who emanates something of the divine into the world”. However, Simon Peter answered very differently because he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Several years later, another Jew by the name of Paul developed this statement of Faith, and if I present it in the form of a personal response to Jesus’ question it would be:

“You are the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being (Hebrews 1:3). You are the image of the invisible God for God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in you. You are the Christ and in you, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. (Colossians 1:15,19 and 2:8)”

What do Christians say?

So now, if Jesus were to ask YOU who you thought he was, how would you answer? Let’s play this out a little:

Jesus: “Who do you say I am?

You: “You are the Christ, the Son of God”

Jesus: “Yes, that is what you have been taught, but who do you actually think I am?

You: “You were a wise teacher, a worker of miracles, the founder of the Christian Church, and you are coming back one day to judge the living and the dead.”

Jesus:Yes I am, but is that all I am to you?

So far, these hypothetical responses are much like what any religious person would say. However, if Jesus were to ask them “But am I God?” they would all say … “no”. Some religions (and I hope you all know by now that I don’t regard authentic Christianity as religion) regard Jesus as divine, in the same way that all their gods are divine, and as all people are potentially divine, but none believe that Jesus is God and that God is Jesus. This is the great differentiator between religion and true Christianity.

Do YOU believe this? Do you believe what Paul wrote concerning Jesus? Do you believe the accuracy and veracity of what the Gospels record of what Jesus said about himself? He said “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58) The Jews of his day understood that he was calling himself God, the Great I am of Exodus 3:14, because they tried to stone him for blasphemy. In a response to one of his disciples, Jesus said, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

Most Christians would probably have no problem agreeing with Jesus and Paul’s statements, because this is what we have been taught and what we profess. However, the proof of what we confess is in how we live it out.

Where the rubber hits the road

In South Africa, we have a variation of the saying ‘where the rubber hits the road’ that you have to be born here to appreciate – ‘where the takkie hits the tar’. Both versions mean ‘the moment of truth when we have to give tangible evidence of what we claim’. I guess a biblical version of this is ‘his faith was made complete by what he did’ (James 2:22)

So, what we profess concerning our faith in Jesus is of little worth unless proven by our actions.

  • If I profess that Jesus is God, then what he said and did whilst on Earth is of the greatest importance because it is God instructing and demonstrating. So,
    • I should try to live out his mandate to love others, to draw others into a relationship with him, and to evidence his ethics and morality in my life.
    • I should also live in dependence on the Holy Spirit and be guided and empowered by him.
    • I should minister powerfully to those who are sick or oppressed.
  • If I profess that Jesus is the divine author and interpreter of scripture, then I should;
    • Accept the inspiration and authority of the bible as he did.
    • Seek to interpret the scriptures from a Jesus-centered perspective by taking what he said, did and revealed of the nature and character of the Godhead as my hermeneutical starting point and primary tool.
    • Build on the fact that, as God, Jesus is the ultimate model for all things that truly matter.
If the Godhood of the Lord Jesus Christ is the key thing that separates religion from true Christianity, then what real difference is there between me and a Jew, Hindu, or Muslim if I do not believe this truth and validate it by the way I live?

Let’s take the matter one level deeper. If Jesus is not God then how can I be saved, for only God can pay the penalty for my sin of rebellion and only God can give me new spiritual life? Jesus put it this way: “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”  (John 8:23-24)

The primacy of faith in Jesus

In a previous article found HERE I wrote the following:

‘Our churches are, in many cases, filled with members and adherents who are little different to non-Christians in belief and behaviour. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is the failure of preachers and teachers to clearly articulate the fundamental need for spiritual New Birth.

Unless those who profess to be Christians experience the supernatural rebirth of the spirit then the following will most likely be their reality:

  • Their salvation testimony will be either that they were born into a Christian family, that they try to live their lives in a Christian way, or that a church incorporated them and taught them how to be good Christians.
  • They will be unable to recall a time when they repented of rebellion against God, accepted the deity and exclusive way of salvation in and through Jesus, etc. There will have been no radical and memorable life-changing moment for them, but just gradual conformity to the Christian way.
  • Some might recall and rely on a while-all-heads-are-bowed form of altar-call or water baptism, but they will not be able to attest to either the spiritual reality or impact of what happened on that occasion or how their lives changed from that moment.
  • They will have no real sense of assurance that they are in a relationship with the Lord Jesus and they will be uncertain of their eternal destiny.
  • They will have no experience of supernatural ministry to others. Perhaps they might recall times when they prayed for someone who later got well or was blessed in some other way.
  • For them, the bible will be simply a religious history, a rule-book, or a source of promises.

This is not the radical discipleship that Jesus requires and nor is it a satisfying, meaningful, and effective way to live’.

An invitation

Don’t you just hate moralistic sermons and articles, especially the ones that contain lots of ‘you/we should’ statements? In this article I have only used the ‘I should’ expression because whatever I write to you I must first apply to myself.

We, you and I, are reborn and empowered only by the grace of God. What we say and do cannot earn or attain salvation; only what God does in and through us counts. However, how we live out our professions of faith is the evidence of what God has done in us… or not done in us. If you have any doubt at all about the validity of your faith-relationship with Jesus, then please chat with your pastor or another mature believer. If, after reading this article, you have some nagging doubts or unresolved questions then please also take them up with a church leader or other mature man or woman of the Faith.

A purpose of an article such as this is to stimulate reflection leading to a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus. More than that though, it is an attempt to set out a fundamental and essential truth.

Time is short for all of us and it will not be long before we will appear before the one who said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)


Who World Religions say Jesus is Read More »

Feature Image TruthTalks

TruthTalks: How religions view Jesus

Top image Religions viewing Jesus

What do we do if we find ourselves in a conversation about Jesus and realise the other person is of a totally different faith to our own and we know nothing about it?

In this TruthTalk and Q and A session we talk briefly about 5 major religions, how they view Jesus, and how to “deal” with them. I also quiz Dad (Dr Christopher Peppler) about other religions, and we have an interesting conversation about what happens after we die, the second coming, and more. Give it a listen now and please share with your friends.

Until next time 🙂






TruthTalks: How religions view Jesus Read More »

Jesus feature image

What religion says about Jesus

Top Image for What religion says about Jesus

I have found that a good way to determine the integrity and truth of religious, sectarian, or cultic teachings is to first determine what they say about Jesus.

The teachers of many religious systems claim that they worship the same God as the God of the Bible, and that their system of belief is just another way of approaching Him. Now, according to the Bible, Jesus is ‘the image of the invisible God…the exact representation of His being… for in Christ all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form’ (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 2:9). The Lord Jesus is therefore the primary yardstick by which we should measure the validity of all spiritual truth claims. What a belief system teaches concerning His deity, uniqueness, and Lordship is an excellent indication of whether or not their god is our God, and their way of salvation the biblical way of salvation. So, let us have a quick look at what five major religious systems have to say about Jesus.


In terms of Islamic teaching, Jesus is only a messenger of Allah (and a prophet). Muslims deny that Jesus is both God and man and they also deny that he was crucified. However, they affirm that He was born of a virgin and that He was sinless. Islam has a high view of Jesus, but denies His divinity.


Although there are numerous sects within Hinduism, most of them hold to certain core teachings. For instance, Brahman is the name they apply to what they believe is the divine essence of all that exists. Brahman is impersonal, eternal, and beyond all human comprehension. There are many hundreds of gods and goddesses within Hinduism generally believed to be manifestations of the divine essence (Brahman). An Avatar is the name given to an appearance on earth of one of these deities and some strains of Hinduism claim that Jesus was an Avatar. However, most hold that he was simply an enlightened teacher (a master or guru).


Perhaps the best way to understand Buddhism is as a philosophy of how to live a happy life. Although it does include a concept of reincarnation, each new appearance of life on earth does not represent a specific spiritual entity or being. Because Buddhism predates Christianity by some six hundred years, its basic teachings take no account of Jesus. If they have any view of Jesus at all it would be as an enlightened teacher.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints claims to be ‘the church of Jesus Christ’ but the big question is, ‘is this Jesus the same of the biblical Jesus of Nazareth or is he the Jesus of the latter day saints?’ Their Jesus was birthed in a pre-earthly existence (on another ‘planet’) by a flesh and bone divine man and his wife. He was the first of many sons and Satan was his younger brother. This alone evidences that the Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus revealed in the Bible.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

According to Jehovah’s Witness’ theology, God is a single person, not a Trinity. He does not know all things and he is not everywhere. He first created Michael the Archangel through whom He created all “other things,” including the universe. When the time came for a messiah to redeem humanity Michael the Archangel became a human in the form of Jesus. Jesus was created and was therefore not ‘god’ and he is not part of any supposed trinity. The Jehovah’s Witness doctrine of salvation sets out three requirements for salvation – a proper knowledge of god and Jesus, obedience to god’s law, and membership of and loyalty to the one true church (theirs). This neither the Jesus of the Bible nor the way of salvation it reveals.

It is reasonably clear from all of this that the Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness Jesus is not the Jesus revealed in and through the Bible. Nor is the Jesus acknowledged by Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of these religions cannot save anyone in and of himself and cannot be worshipped as God.

Here are links to the source documents of the five religions I have listed, for those of you interested in verifying this information or studying further:
Islam: The Quran
Hinduism: The Vedas
Buddhism: The Dhammapada and others
Mormonism: The Book of Mormon
Jehovah’s Witnesses: New World translation of Holy Scriptures
The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) has a lot of information on these and other religious systems.

PS: Listen to my forthcoming TruthTalk and the Q&A that follows it if you want to know what I think of Roman Catholicism’s take on Jesus and His saving work.

What religion says about Jesus Read More »

The whore of Babylon

Behold the Whore

Revelation post 52

John the Baptist revealed the Lord Jesus to his disciples with the words, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”; In Revelation Chapter 17 an angel essentially says to John the Revelator, “Behold the Whore of Babylon who embodies the sins of the world.”

It is easy to get confused by the stream of images and symbols that flash through the book of Revelation, especially when different images are used to describe the same reality. So, I will attempt to explain the images in Chapter 17 as simply as possible. A scarlet woman is introduced who is referred to as ‘the great prostitute’ and ‘Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth’. Although this particular imagery has not been used before in Revelation, we have already encountered the reality it describes. The second beast of Chapter 13 is called ‘the false prophet’ (Revelation 16:13) and I have already made the claim that this beast/prophet represents Religion in all its negative forms. In Chapter 13 Religion is described as partnering Humanism, the Beast from the Sea. Here in Chapter 17 it is described as riding on the beast of Humanism – it’s the same idea in different words and images.

Up to this point we have been aware that religion is a false prophet, but here in Chapter 17 we are shown something startling concerning the true identity of the Earth Beast/Great Whore of Religion. As Christians, it is easy for us to see Islam, Hinduism, and so on, as false prophets. As Protestants, it is also possible for us to understand why teachers like Matthew Henry regarded Roman Catholicism as the Great Prostitute. But, we might be shocked to realise that more than world religions and Roman Catholicism are in view here.

‘I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns’ (Revelation 17:6-8).

whore of abaylon

Sun clothed womanThe angel asked John why he was so astonished when he saw the Whore of Babylon, and that is a question we too need to ask. John must have seen many Roman women of high standing dressed in similar fashion, and he would have been familiar with the immoral behaviour in that society. Why did seeing this woman shock him so? I think it was because he recognised her from an earlier vision. Chapter 12 starts with the vision of ‘a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head’ (Rev 12:1). Here in Chapter 17 John is confronted with the vision of a woman clothed in gaudy splendour, with a beast under her feet, and a whore’s headband identifying her. Could this be the same woman? I think it is; the sun-clothed woman has become the Great Prostitute! We identified the sun-clothed woman as representing the people of God, firstly ancient Israel and then later, the church. Now we see the church, in intimate partnership with the beast of Humanism, abandoned to idolatry and bent on persecuting true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

How did much of the ‘church’ degenerate to such an extent? The short answer is, by adopting the values and methods of the humanistic world system instead of being different from it. On the one hand we find the liberal ‘church’, focused on social and political issues and wanting desperately to merge into a one-world religion of compromise and false peace. On the other hand, we have the wealth and feel good ‘church’ eagerly adopting business structures and practices from the world and setting before its followers the false promise of everlasting prosperity.

Having described the Whore, John then sketches a complex portrayal of Humanism as existing in every age: like the Roman powers of his day, the great Babylonian and Greek powers that preceded Rome, and the world powers which were to come after his generation. With pointed irony John writes, ‘The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come’ (Revelation 17:8). God was earlier described as ‘him who is, and who was, and who is to come’ (Revelation 1:4) but the beast once was, now is not, and yet will come.

For millennia religion has piggybacked on Humanism, serving the Beast and getting rewarded for its services. But now, in the end, the Beast turns on the Whore and destroys her in a most horrible way.

Chapters 17 and 18 are unremittingly distressing and dark, so when reading them it is important that we let our eyes return to the beginning of Part 5 of Revelation:

“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the ages.
Who will not fear you, O Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Revelation 15:3-4



Behold the Whore Read More »

About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.