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In the Name of God بسم الله

Nad_M

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  1. Whichever way one translates Matthew's Greek, "most of the crowd" or "a large crowd" the definite reference remains the inconsequential one given in Acts1. I say inconsequential in light of the NT narrative, the miracles witnessed by thousands that marked Jesus' life and death that should have convinced the most obdurate disbelievers. This is one of many inconsistencies of the Gospels. The other problem, in light of known history is what was previously discussed; If, as Christians nowadays claim, the kingdom of God was something else all along then Jesus' job is done; he wouldnt need to come back so as to violently establish what the Jews and his disciples anticipated, and the Romans feared. If Jesus' kingdom of God had nothing to do with what everyone (including his disciples) understood and anticipated, then he did not need to fear the Romans either and be secretive about his operation. The Romans would have allowed this Jewish sect and their spiritual kingdom of God to flourish so as to supplant the rebellious messianic HB ideology of world dominance which every 1st century Jew expected, and still does till this day. What did Jesus' death achieve if sin and death are still plenty today just as they were before the crucifixion? That is not apparent from the plain reading. The "abomination of desolation" of Daniel was fullfilled in 167 BCE when Antiochus Epiphanes opposed the daily sacrifices and desecrated the Temple. The NAB footnotes on Daniel 8 attest to that. In Mk13:3-30,Matt16:28,24:3-34,Luke21:32 Jesus addresses his disciples "privately" and lists the tribulations that will occur before their generation passes away. The Son of Man will descent from the clouds at some point prior to the generation of disciples passing away. He will be accompanied by angels while cataclysms are destroying the Earth, so as to usher the end of times. Mk9,13 adds that although the disciples will be persecuted and killed before the ushering of the end of time, some of them would survive and be present to witness it. They will live to see the establishment of the kingdom of God on Earth. This Kingdom is the forceful establishment of Judaism as the dominant world order, ushering the utopian messianic era, as explicitly laid down all over the HB. All this was supposed to occur within the disciples' generation. However, the signs preceding Jesus' grandiose return followed by his descent from Heaven never occurred as prophecied, neither in the days of the disciples nor before the last of their generation died out. The fig tree is a metaphore, the writer uses the image of the tree blossoming as a sign of summer and parallels this with all related signs of the 2nd coming which is expected soon. Paul's frustrations also reflects how the prophecy was understood by the NT writers. He was awaiting the arrival imminently as seen in Heb10:37 and in 1Cor7:29-31 where he tells those who are married to live as if they were not because "time is short" or as said in 1Thess4:15-18"we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord". Seeing the delay growing longer and longer, Paul starts entertaining the idea of going himself to find his Christ, wherever he might be Phil1:20-23"torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far". And Jn21:23 makes an excuse as to why Jesus failed his promise to come before John's death. It is also important to put back the words put into Jesus' mouth by the Greek writers, in their historical context. Once more, contemporary Jews were expecting the end of the world and the destruction of the Romans in their lifetime, just as John the Baptist was preaching, telling the people to be ready for judgement. The Dead Sea Scrolls are filled with this apocalyptic kind of thinking, like Jesus’s own followers and later Paul who definitely feels that Jesus is coming back right away as a cosmic judge. There is a reason why Jesus in these writings never instaures commemorative feasts, he thought the end was definitely near. To his followers however, whose expectations to see Jesus returning in their lifetime faded away, they had to institute such festivals like the Eucharist to fill the gap. The event is narrated in Luke22:19 whose writer wasnt even an eyewitness of Jesus' last supper but a disciple of Paul. Yet Paul himself in 1Cor11:23-6 claims that knowledge came to him not through Jesus' direct disciples who actually were at the event of the last supper but by direct revelation from Jesus. The almost canonical 1 Clement urges observance of a Eucharist but does so without mentioning its institution by Jesus. Paul claims this ceremony to be the symbolic continuation of the Israelites' spiritual sustenance during their desert wandering 1cor10:1-17. This in itself is not problematic and in line with monotheism but the ritual was polluted with the pagan practices of those that converted to the Christian religion, with the symbolic ingestion of the gods "And he (Jesus) took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me”. There is a reason why Paul had to warn the "weak" in faith for seeing a parallel between the Christian practices and those of the pagans 1Cor8:10,10:21,11:29-30. The Quran sheds light on the issue, clearing it from the manner in which it was later disfigured, both in context and meaning. The pious followers of Jesus desired a sign to comfort their hearts. Being Jews, these close followers of Jesus knew that the performance of miracles by an individual, although impressive, are no indication of the truthfulness of his prophethood. This is clear from their own scriptures. So, they wanted a sign from God Himself, which was indicative of Him being the God of their forefathers, the One that fed them with heavenly food during their desert wandering, the Ultimate provider to His creatures 5:112-115".. O Allah, our Lord! send down to us food (ma'ida) from heaven which should be to us an ever-recurring happiness, to the first of us and to the last of us, and a sign from Thee, and grant us means of subsistence, and Thou art the best of the Providers. Allah said; surely I will send it down to you, but whoever shall disbelieve afterwards from among you, surely I will chastise him with a chastisement with which I will not chastise, anyone among the nations". The verse contains a stern warning, despite Jesus' beautiful wording and humble request. The warning was addressed to those that demanded the sign firstly, because when a miracle is brought down at the request of a people then the people are severely punished in case of rejection. The warning then extended to those that will come after Jesus and his followers, and who shall dare distort and disbelieve in that miracle. Linguisticly, ma'ida stems from M-Ya-D. The root word points to a moving or dangling object. It is used in the context of a feast to picture the movement of food, coming and being served, then taken by the guests. So the event in the Quran has nothing to do with Jesus' body and the pagan symbolisms of the ingestion of the gods. Rather it is an occasion of joyful gathering and eating, so as to remember the Sustainer making the provisions of life available upon His creatures. Its unequivocal. Jesus' prophecy failed and the NT writers have successfully depicted him as a false prophet according to the criteria laid down in Deut18:21-22. It is worthwhile to note the reason why these unknown writers came up with the "second coming" theory. They knew very well, as any reader of the HB knows, that the Jewish Messiah foretold in the HB is supposed to perform specific tasks in his lifetime by which he will be identifiable, without being overcome by death or defeat Isa42:4. But Jesus performed none of those tasks, hence the excuse that he will come back later to accomplish them. Of course, there isnt a single prophecy saying the Messiah would come, die, be resurrected, and then return thousands of years later to BEGIN his mission. As subsequent Christians were faced with yet another problem, that of the failure of Jesus' return, like every subsequent apocalyptic cult that has boldly proclaimed the End Time and embarrassingly survived into a new era, they tried and still do, to prolongue the timing of the prophecy put in Jesus' mouth. It is also worthwhile noting that this problem is found throughout the Hebrew scriptures that are full of prophecies of glad tidings, re-establishment and superiority of the Jews as a nation and religion over every other people. These utopian prophecies are like a mantra, repeated following each of their destructions and exiles. But again, these prophecies never occurred as predicted, in the specific contexts of their liberations from the yoke of their enemies. The biblical scholars are again forced to postpone these predictions to the undetermined long term, to be ushered at the "Messianic age". See Micah5 or Zeph3 for example. Islam on the other hand is devoid of the short sighted apocalyptic cult mentality. It focuses on justice, which is why God gave mankind guidance in the organization and administration of religious, civic and secular life - in which justice is a necessary element. Islam focuses on justice because unlike early Christians, we did not expect the world to end in a few weeks and understood that life must go on until it does not. But in early Christanity, the emphasis on Jesus' imminent return motivated withdrawal from society, leaving sinful, "fallen" men to their own devices, without guidance to run the affairs of their communities. As Jesus failed returning in a timely manner people realized life had to continue; inevitably leading to papacy, and then secularism, because Laws must necessarily exist to maintain order and ensure people can live in peace and security. Today Christian members of Congress are still debating whether or not two men can get married, Christian employees in the Pentagon are developing weapons that can kill more effectively and Christian bankers are devising interest-bearing schemes to get around government regulations to make people who have more than enough money even richer. This is how "delivrance from sin and death" translates in today's Christian societies, a civilization is which sin and death is forcibly exported around the globe. It was already explained that the followers of a prophet going astray in his absence is a known pattern found all over the HB. It does not mean that what they claim was a genuine teaching of that prophet, no matter how early the corruption started. Hawariyyun is the word the Quran uses for some of Jesus' companions. The word stems from hawar signifying "intense whiteness" in a physical or spiritual sense. It is used in a spiritual sense for Jesus' companions to denote their moral uprightness for standing with him while almost all of his people rejected him 3:52. This description that the Quran makes of them is, as a side note, in stark contrast with the characters said to be Jesus' followers in the NT. These 12 "disciples" were doubters and cowards, deserting Jesus when he was apprehended by the authorities, later abandoning his instructions of abiding by the law of the Torah. Nobody stated that the Gospels fully reflect Pauline teachings. Muslims will say that the Gospels show that Jesus taught his disciples to abide by the Torah and preach to the Israelites only, just as the Quran says, and that Paul, as is apparent from the writings attributed to him, contradicted those teachings. As to persecution by Saul/Paul, apparently a leading persecutor it seems to be a flimsy claim. In those days the Sanhedrin had no authority to empower a heresy hunter as claimed in Acts9, to operate independently in Damascus, emprisonning, torturing, killing. The NT itself states that his ultra orthodox teacher Gamaliel persuaded the Sanhedrin to release the disciples and cease persecution "just in case" they were doing God's work Acts5:34-40. Saul was supposedly zealously persecuting Christians at the very time Jesus was performing miracles, attracting multitudes, overthrowing moneychangers in the Temple and generally provoking Pharisees and Sadducees yet not a word of protest is reported from him during all of Jesus' time throughout the gospels. What is more intriguing is that following Saul conversion to Christianity, his Roman and Jewish employers do not react, and the persecution of Christians immediately stops then, as if the entire show was run by just only one man. Either this religious policeman role was a storytelling embellishment or Jesus had so little impact in his lifetime that he and his followers passed unnoticed. After all, the NT itself states that the number of Jesus' followers did not exceed 120, as shown earlier. That is not to mention the fact that Saul, after his name change to Paul and his conversion, his blazing missionary activities and audiences of governors and kings, equally passes unnoticed in the secular histories of his age.
  2. After him, the Nazarenes counted around 120 members. See Acts1. The Rabbis accused him of what everyone knew the kingdom of God and its messianic king entailed; violent insurection and establishment of Judaism as the dominant world order. Jesus failed coming back within the disciples generation as the NT promises. He fails the HB messianic criteria (besides fulilling those that disqualify him, see the Jeconiah curse). This makes him both a false prophet and false messiah. Sin and death are still here, even among Trinitarians, after sincerely accepting all Christian tenets. Jesus as a prophetic figure calling for repentance and Torah observance, issuing eschatological messages, was not a unique one in first-century Judaea. There were other prophetic religious figures from Galilee with a following before their arrest and/or execution by the Romans, among them John the Baptist. What made the Jesus sect stand out was Paul's focus on converting gentiles, preventing it from being just another Jewish sect. As to his followers, "moving on" is what they did after him. Torah observance was abandoned, Jesus became a divine messiah as a result of his necessary death. This is a typical reintepretative process that disillusioned followers of a charismatic leader go through after his passing. This allows them to maintain their distinction from the larger group as well as credibility in the face of critics. Had they maintained the same original narrative (Torah observance, awaiting the ushering of the messianic end of times) it would make Jesus' death irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Worse, it would paint him as a failed messiah.
  3. The Quran itself tells us that "the face of Allah is present whichever way you look". Seeing Allah in Islamic texts is not similar to physical sight. The hadith, accepting it for argument's sake, is in addition relating information of the unseen of which we can only have some approximation. The light of Allah is not a physical matter, rather it is something permanently guiding all of creation 24:35"God is the Light of the heavens and the earth". Like the Sun, Allah's light shines continuously but can only benefit those that expose themselves to it 6:122"He who was lifeless, then We gave him life and provided him with a light by which he walks among the people". Just as shutting the windows of a room one after another, gradually darkens the light of the sun inside of it, the disbelievers try dimming the light of Allah present within the believers' hearts. They do so with their mouth, corrupting the truth so that people's spirituality is progressively shut and the light of Allah within the hearts is slowly overtaken by darkness. But Allah instead perfects His light which is shining in the hearts, by sending more sources of light in the form of revelations 14:1,5,31:20,33:46 that clarify the matters which the disbelievers attempt to confuse 9:32-3,61:8-9. The believers' spirituality opens up wide despite the efforts to shut them down, allowing the light of God to intensify within, and fully brighten their hearts. The light of Allah is thus something perceived with the senses of the spirit Seeing the Sun and the Moon does not entail grasping them wholly. The naked eye only gives a fraction of information about them. All we can perceive is their light. The parallelism here seems to be in reference to the light of Allah, and the prophet explains elsewhere what does seeing Allah entails. When asked about his ascension to the heavens and into the presence of Allah The inquirer wanted to know if the prophet could see Allah physically. Eyes can perceive sensory light, yet the prophet denied the ability to physically see Allah's light. This means Allah's light is of a different nature and is not something visible to the eyes. He saw instead the veil of light which came in between him and Allah, as the prophet says elsewhere "His Veil is Light". That is the meaning of his reply to the same inquirer whether he had seen Allah physically. The prophet did not answer with the affirmative, but rather stated "I saw light". The prophet could only physically see the light of the veil, not the light of Allah. This is consistent with the Quran describing Allah as simultaneous closer to one's jugular vein, anywhere one looks, and everywhere one goes in this very world 2:115,50:16,57:4 and yet cannot be perceived physically. His presence is only accessible spiritually. Early Muslims tried sometimes to overexalt the prophet in a way by claiming he had been favoured with seeing Allah. When such people came to Aisha to inquire of the matter asking Ibn Masud is known to have held the same opinion.
  4. There is a pattern found both in the HB and the Quran, of God testing the followers of a prophet after his death. Whether they will remain steadfast on the message or corrupt it. The Nazarenes, like the calf-worshiping Jews failed the test. Had Moses and Aaron not quickly and violently corrected the corruptions to their teachings, executing the guilty by the thousands, nothing would have prevented the same kind of falsehood to be passed off as "genuine teachings" of Moses, as was done with Jesus. Jesus did not have the occasion to do as Moses and Aaron did very early on so as to prevent what was attributed to them from becoming "orthodoxy". However, if they escaped Jesus condemnation, it does not mean God was unaware of their doings, as Jesus is here depicted testifying 5:117"I said not to them except what You commanded me - to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness".
  5. No contemporary evidence, Christian or else, attests to the NT narrative. Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, Lucian, Pliny are not helpful either. Once more, the earliest sources are Christian, meaning the NT itself, written 30-70 years after the supposed events, by non eye witnesses. Up to 70 years is a huge time gap where legends, conjectures and deliberate lies could have been grafted into a historical core. The NT itself has no extent 1st century witnesses, either as manuscripts or as writings of Christians. We do not have an unbroken chain linking the Apostolic Fathers to the gospel writers to Jesus. So yes, relying on the NT is circular reasoning, besides the fact we are talking of grandiose events that could not have been missed by independent witnesses who were active and writing in that time and place. What secular historians will attest to, is not that a miracle worker named Jesus did and said what is narrated about him in the NT, but that an early 1st century community existed that believed what is said in the NT about someone called Jesus. Historians will then conclude that the existence of such community attests to a true core regarding a historical person named Jesus who could have said some of what was attributed to him. Each historian will then work out what that true core was, based on textual criticism, archaeology, independent sources and conjecture of course. Muslims got their answer to this through revelation "That is Jesus, the son of Mary - the word of truth about which they are in dispute". This "unimportant" general description of what every prophet and slave of God was, doesnt line up well with those that raised a particular prophet to divine status. What 1st century Jews "commonly read" in the HB in regards to the Kingdom of God (a universal physical and spiritual dominion of Judaism), and the fact that Romans, as you noted, were on the lookout for anyone claiming messianship shows that it was well understood by everyone what the terminology meant. Decisive HB textual references confirm this meaning and are not a matter of "common reading". If the kingdom of God was something else all along then Jesus' job is done; he would not need to come back so as to violently establish what "was commonly read in C1 Israel" and what Romans feared. If Jesus' kingdom of God had nothing to do with what everyone (including his disciples) understood and anticipated, then he did not need to fear the Romans either. They would have allowed this Jewish sect and their spiritual kingdom of God to flourish so as to supplant the rebellious messianic HB ideology of world dominance which every 1st century Jew expected, and still does till this day. The appeal to secrecy is one of the devices needed to paint the Jesus of the NT as a success rather than failure. His disillusioned followers and converts wanted him to be "much, much more" than another prophet calling out the Jews for their transgressions and who was defeated by his enemies. The only thing higher in rank in Jewish scriptures is the awaited end times davidic king who shall fulfill well known criteria spoken of in an earlier post. But Jesus did not fit the role prior to his crucifixion, he had to do it a little later, within the generation of the disciples as he will make his cataclysmic return and forcefully establish the kingdom of God. The prophecy failed of course. The writers however did not know the prediction put in Jesus' mouth would eventually fail. They still expected it to happen, and so had no choice but to paint the plot as a secret because as you noted, Romans were on the lookout. Anyway one turns it, the contrived NT narrative paints Jesus as a false prophet and false messiah. This is worse to those that love and follow him, than the Quran's proposition of an "unimportant" prophet son of Mary.
  6. None of the sources you mentionned amount to more than circular reasoning in regards to determining the historical Jesus. No contemporary secular sources confirm the NT narrative. The earliest testimony is the N.T. itself as you noted, although mostly anonymous. Regardless of authenticity, what this early document attests to is what you term early core "beliefs" regarding the crucifixion and resurrection. That attested belief doesnt entail either happened (certainly not in the grandiose and cataclysmic manner depicted) or were taught by Jesus, anymore than the worship of the golden calf within 40 days of Moses' absence entail it was a genuine teaching of Moses. As you rightly noticed, by the time of Jesus, the Jews were highly anticipating the ushering of the kingdom of God. That utopian era, and the one supposed to initiate and rule over it, is easily recognisable through the descriptions laid down in the HB including the global ingathering of the Jews, rebuilding of the temple, ushering of the age of unfaltering observance of the Law (which bellies by the way all of St Paul's innovations), universal peace, universal knowledge of God, blissful utopia, end of evil and sin, disease and death. Obviously none of those criteria ever occurred anywhere near Jesus' era, and in fact the least that can be said is that the 1st century, its overall state of upheaval, was the antithesis of what the messianic era is supposed to be. How then does this prophet sent to Israelites, calling for the revival of the Torah and denouncing the transgressors, like many prophets before him, square more with the Jewish ideas on the Kingdom of God rather than "the Muslim ideas of what Jesus was up to"? There is a reason why the NT authors could not but paint that whole part of Jesus' ministry (him being the promised messiah) as some sort of hidden reality, with Jesus telling his followers to keep it to themselves, or secretly admitting it to a woman, and offering differing answers to the high priest's charge against him, either obscuring or confirming the charge of him claiming to be the king messiah. To me it seems the whole NT is an apology of a new concept of the end times king messiah. Matt12 attempts to show that Jesus' appeal to secrecy was in fulfilment of Isa42, a passage that only relates to what Matthew infers by the most farfetched analogy. He implies that by the vast majority of Israel's being puporsefully denied access to the truth, the Gentiles instead will be saved. But for these gentiles to have access to this truth after JEsus' death, there had to be a select few who would understand the secret scheme. The plot was supposedly achieved through obscured parables only his disciples would understand yet we many times read thoughout the NT how his closest followers who supposedly were among those select few at least struggled in comprehending him if not completely misunderstood him. In fact towards the end of Jesus' mission people in general and his closest entourage had no clue about his messianship, to the point that when Simon identifies him as the messiah, Jesus tells him that he could only have received that information in a supernatural way Matt16. The simple reason is that the historical Jesus did not go around claiming to fulfil the messianic predictions of the HB. The claim was later made for him.
  7. Historical evidence? There is hardly anything about a 1st century miracle worker named Jesus, much less of one claiming messianship. One can clearly see from Jesus' few reported NT sayings that he did not come to establish a new religion. His message focused on "repentance because the kingdom of God is at hand". The fact that he never really expounds on what he means by the phrase kingdom of God/heaven, shows that he was preaching to an audience that knew exactly what he was talking about. That is why the earliest Christian creed was simple and concise as compared to the one grossly inflated centuries later at Nicea, then Constantinople, so as to integrate new theological notions. Jesus was an Israelite prophet in a long line of prophets, sent to the Israelites only for the purpose of bringing them back to the Torah. Like other Israelite prophets that called the people to adhere to their own books, he was persecuted, rejected and some attempted killing him. God frustrated their plans as he did with prophets before him, but no sooner did he leave that corruption crept into his teachings. All this was explained in another thread.
  8. The right attitude in all endeavours especially in the performance of religious duties, is to do good to please God in all circumstances, having the ultimate reality of the Hereafter and its everlasting reward in view, and moreso in times of hardship 14:31,13:22"And those who are constant, seeking the pleasure of their Lord, and keep up prayer and spend (benevolently) out of what We have given them secretly and openly and repel evil with good; as for those, they shall have the (happy) issue of the abode". As Jesus states in the NT in Matt6 when contrasting the ephemeral worldly benefits with the real, everlasting reward of the Hereafter which every believer should ultimately strive for "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also". This by the way negates the later Christian notion of "faith only" and human depravity. That mindframe described by Jesus and found in the teachings of every prophet inclines the individual to goodness, generosity towards one's fellow man. Because God's generous, gracious reward far surpasses in value the merit of those that shall benefit from it. Jesus further tells them that if they do not pray, fast or give to charity with the right attitude, but only to be seen by men as the hypocritical Jews of his time did, just as the hypocritical Muslims in Muhammad's time did 9:53-4, then "you will have no reward from your Father in heaven" and that their works will remain in this passing world and vanish. Just as taught in Islam, God's gracious reward in the hereafter is what the true follower of Jesus strives for in this world. A day will come where the people will be divided into groups; those that did the works that Jesus prescribed, will enter the heavenly abode while those that did not, will go to Hell Matt25. In Islam one who does a morally commandable action simply because it agrees with his conscience or intellect while knowingly rejecting the divine authority that commanded that action will not be succesful in a world -the afterlife- designed for those who developed a relationship with God. That type of deed does not qualify as the "best of deeds", which is what God demands of us 67:2. This defines "good" or anything ultimately ethical as "what God wants". This is because God wants us to do what is good and avoid what is bad for us and for the community at large in this world and in the next world. What God wants is what is good and God wants it because it is good. As a side note, from a philosophical viewpoint, it is humanly impossible to perform a purely, ethically altruistic action because of the very existence of a motivation for the altruistic act. It is the difference between mercy/generosity coming from God, of which He has nothing to gain and human generosity. The person helping concludes that his/her help will make someone better off than before. And it is this knowledge which makes absolute selflessness impossible, because this knowledge is in itself a utility gain to the helper. The gain may be a concrete sense of goodwill, or just the simple knowledge that they have helped someone. Therefore, all acts of generosity have some degree of self-interest attached to them. A believer in God, in addition to the satisfaction of knowing that a fellow human is in better condition, has fulfilled an act that does not stem from fleeting whims and feelings. He has fulfilled a duty, regardless of his personal judgement, one that is more far-reaching in that it conforms with the overall system of the universe. In short, the believer's actions are God-centered, while that of the non-believer is self-centered.
  9. We're not talking about the lack of Christological references in terms of labels, but in terms of concepts. The prayer is far removed from the ideas established by the Pauline mouvement, the creeds of the Church Fathers and later councils. Not only are those concepts absent but every sentence of the prayer clashes with mainstream Christian tenets. For example vicarious atonement, not only isnt it mentioned by name or implicitly as a concept, but in addition we have Jesus, who is supposed to be the embodiment of that notion, refuting it "forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us". No need for Jesus, forgiveness is attained through one's own efforts. The idea of vicarious atonement stems from the notion of human depravity; none may claim righteousness on his own due to a sinful nature that pollutes every deed and thought. Yet Jesus undermines that notion too; temptation isnt the product of inherent human depravity and satanic influence. Rather it is God, who is perfectly righteous, whom the worshiper asks "not to lead us into temptation". Jesus teaches his followers to begin the prayer by calling upon "our" Father who is in heaven, not to the divine son who is on earth. Nothing distinguishes Jesus from a regular believer in terms of sonship to the Father. The same fatherhood that applies to him applies to the others. It is the Father's name only that is to be hallowed, His will is to be done, and He is the Sustainer of the devotees, including Jesus "Give us today our daily bread".
  10. No i am equating the departure of the Nazarenes from the way of Jesus, which includes strict observance of Jewish law, to the departure of the Israelites from the way of Moses during his 40 days absence. Both corruptions occurred very early on following a prophet's absence, the difference with Moses being that the transgressors were executed while in Jesus' case it was impossible since he had left this world.
  11. I would argue that this confusion was similar to Moses' 40 days absence during which his followers were tested. The Nazarenes, like the calf-worshiping Jews failed the test. As the rumours of Jesus' death started by his enemies became widespread, his disillusioned followers retrospectively painted the whole thing as a divine masterplan, with all the Christologies that ensued. Those among them that maintained Jewish law were sidelined by Paul's movement very early on, and within just 2 generations the little remnant of Judaism within the Jesus sect was erased. It was supplanted by a wave of converts from the greco-roman world who found in this transformed and readapted original Jewish sect, a favorable echo for their own beliefs, naming this new religion, Christianity.
  12. I would like to add the following. Jesus is portrayed as fearing death and wanting to avoid it Jn7:1,11:54,Luke 22:42. He begged God (himself) 3 times, putting his forehead to the ground, to take his soul before experiencing suffering and death in Matt26:38. He does not want to experience what he was about to go through but nevertheless submits his will to that of the father, whether he decides to make him bear the cup of suffering or not Clearly, had he been given the choice, he would have refused "dying for the sins of mankind" despite having supposed foreknowledge of the divine plan of salvation since the beginning of creation, a plan which he himself sketched together with his divine partners. It also shows one of the co-equal partners submitting his will to another. Yet we never see the reverse, with the Father obediently submitting his will to the Son or the Holyspirit. That "hesitation" from Jesus cannot be attributed to his human nature as he himself states that it is his soul that feared and doubted Matt26:38. Then, when on the cross Jesus grieves for God's abandoning him. Even Revelations5 which is sometimes quoted to defend the notion of a predetermined divine masterplan of salvation through Jesus, is in fact speaking in eschatological terms, just as the whole book does. It speaks of the salvation of some people after events of great tribulation, ie the end of times. Then we have Heb5:7 throwing in the ambiguous statement that Jesus' prayers were heard and accepted by God, and this includes the desperate cry to "let this cup pass from" him. The realization of his prayer, his inability to take on the full brunt of the "sins of mankind" came in the form of Simon of Cyrene who relieved Jesus from his cross and carried it half way till Golgotha Matt27:31-33. This embarrassing change to the divine master plan of salvation forced another author in Jn19:17-18 to have Jesus carrying his own cross, the symbol of mankind's sins, all the way until he reached Golgotha where he was crucified. The cross in fact was not a Christian symbol until the 6th century. Could the whole "Simon of Cyrene" tale be orthodoxy's early response to a story popularised by certain gnostics that it was not Jesus but Simon who had been nailed to the cross? The predictions Jesus makes as regards his impending death on the other hand are portrayed as willful self-sacrifice. In these versions, we see other inconsistencies. When he tells his disciples, several times and explicitly how he would die, they are taken by complete surprise when the events unfold Matt16,17,20,Mk8,9,10,Lk9,18. Not once are they depicted, following his supposed death, as patiently waiting his predicted resurrection after just 3 days. Neither are they depicted recalling the secret miracle once it unfolds. Even when he appeals to prophecies at the third and last prediction of his death Clearly, there was a general atmosphere of confusion as to Jesus' disappearance, a confusion which the writers could not deny as it corresponded to the reality they knew about and witnessed. But, because they were writing from the lens that he was crucified, they had to retrospectively paint this confusion as a misunderstanding by the disciples of Jesus' clear predictions. Between Jesus' desire to avoid death, his repeated predictions as to his willful execution, the misunderstandings of the disciples, the story line lacks consistency and seems muddled.
  13. The church was so well under control that within the same generation of the disciples, this Jewish sect of the Nazarenes, whose distinction from mainstream judaism was only in the belief that Jesus was the messiah, turned upon its heels, abandoned Jewish law, adopted concepts unheard of anywhere in Judaism? Once more, these changes didnt occur "at a later stage" but very early on, as explained in a previous post. There is a reason why "the writers" including Paul do not quote the Hebrew Bible in this NT where Judaism is "soaking the pages". They quote from the Greek Septuagint which was hated by the rabbis as it represented the Hellenization of many Jews of the time. The "Jewish Early Church" very early on became irrelevant due to Paul's efforts at supplanting it, dismissing Jewish law as obsolete, reinterpreting core semitic concepts of God so as to appeal to his pagan audience. Paul's main problem was to convince his Jewish audience that the messiah's death, without accomplishing any of the messianic criteria, instead of being a failure was actually a necessity. He did so by introducing the doctrine of total depravity, making all humans de facto sinners and therefore in need of an atoning sacrifice. His addressees however already believed in the resurrection of the dead, in a just God who forgave the sins of a penitent heart. Nothing was missing in their system that Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection could fix. Paul's redeeming hero was a redundancy to them, so he was obviously met with fierce resistence wherever he preached his unscriptural ideas. This led him to eventually turn to the gentiles among whom he found a much more favorable audience. All this is evident from a cursory reading of the NT and the writings of Paul. That is how Christianity was shaped, using its target audience's sensitivities all the while toning down to the maximum its Jewish heritage.
  14. It does not say that it was made to appear that Jesus died on the cross, in a purposeful divine plan to confuse his contemporaries. The Quran answers in 4:157-8 the Jews' mockeries about having succeeded in killing a supposed prophet of God. It refutes their arrogance and reiterates Allah's unchanging way concerning the prevailing of His messengers/rusul. See earlier post. 4:157-158 then states that those who differ on what is stated in the verse about Jesus not having being killed are in shakkin/suspicion about that very statement. It then goes on to say why Christians entertain shakkin/suspicion about the Quranic statement that Jesus was not killed: they have formed a wrong conclusion about events that they themselves had no knowledge about and are following nothing but a conjecture, started by those Bani Israel contemporaries and enemies of Jesus. Some claimed to have killed him and others that they crucified him yet they had no body to prove their lies, no trace of Jesus was ever found. This devastating defeat was retrospectively written as a divinely planned victory since before the universe's creation. IT was then put in writing by several unknown authors whom nobody knows, who attributed their works to Jesus' close disciples yet these disciples are reported to have fled the scene at Jesus' arrest. Add to this the fact that not even a single historian exists, attesting to the wonderful and cataclysmic events surrounding the crucifiction that were allegedly witnessed by an entire city. The NT itself testifies to the fact that his close circle, let alone the rest of his followers never approached the dead body and could not therefore burry it. This is all explained in an earlier post. Christians speaking of the Quran's depiction of Jesus as deception should look closer to their own writings. Isnt it surprising that the Lord's prayer taught by Jesus himself (as opposed to every other prayer that others taught to say in Jesus’ name), never mentioned Jesus, nor vicarious atonement, nor him as messiah, nor him as intermediary, nor any trinity, among anything else Christological? This foundational prayer is more anti-christian than any passage one may find in the entire Bible, or the Quran. Besides the striking lack of all Christologies, it undermines the notion that temptation is the product of inherent human depravity and satanic influence. Rather it is God, who is perfectly righteous, whom the worshiper asks "not to lead us into temptation". It further destroys the Pauline concept of vicarious atonement, opening the way to forgiveness through one's own effort "forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us".
  15. The Torah was lost, forgotten and rewritten several times during the tumultuous years of exile, persecution of the Israelites. That is why. This trend started in the first or second generation following Moses Judges2:10"After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel". This is unsurprising, why would one expect a people to remain faithful to Moses' teachings and preserve them accurately years following his death when during his own lifetime, his 40 days absence was enough to make them revert to idol worship, despite having just witnessed all kinds of supernatural occurrences testifying to the truth of what he was bringing. As a side note, in sura qasas it says the Egyptians' initial decree to mass slaughter the newborn Israelite males was due to fear 28:6. It further says that Moses' rescue and adoption by Pharao's household was divinely decreed 28:8"that he (Moses) might be an enemy and a grief for them". We are thus given the background for that fear of the Egyptians, which led to the cruel decree as regards the infant Israelites; a newborn male was destined to become a formidable foe to the Egyptian elite. They knew it somehow and wanted to prevent it by systematically slaughtering all newborn males as well as cutting off the Hebrew lineage by taking their women to themselves. Other places where reference to that slaughter is made 2:49,7:141,14:6. Later on, when Moses returned to Egypt as a prophet, Pharao threatened to repeat that violent crime 7:127,40:25. It must have been a dreadful news to the enslaved Israelites, a powerful deterrent for anyone contemplating to join Musa. In the Quran thus, no credence is given to the events of passover as depicted in the Bible where God decides to slaughter all firstborns, frustrated by the Egyptians' denial of the miracles and plagues. The order came from Pharao and was aimed at punishing those that rebelled against him. In the HB Ex1 the Egyptians' fear was due to the enslaved Israelites' increasing demography, swelling to the extent that they "became so numerous that the land was filled with them", which is a historical inaccuracy. In their oral tradition however it says "Pharaoh cared only about the males, because his astrologers told him that a son was destined to be born who would save them (Exod. Rabbah1:18)". These "astrologers" were probably just echoing what the Israelites themselves were rumouring amidst their intense suffering, a saviour is bound to rise and take them to the land promised to their forefather.
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