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In the Name of God بسم الله

What if it's true?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2022 at 12:32 AM, Son of Placid said:

The Jews did not kill Jesus. The Romans ran the place and it had to be their decision and their doing

Nobody killed Jesus (peace be upon him) according to the Qurʾānic narrative—some sellouts working in cahoots with the Romans tried to have him eliminated but their diabolical schemes and machinations were frustrated by a Higher Power—certain high-ranking rabbis among the Sadducees and Pharisees were collaborators and benefitted greatly and enjoyed positions of influence due to their patron/client relationship with the Roman authorities—the rabbis convinced the Romans that the Messianic claim made by Jesus could possibly lead to a full-scale Israelite insurrection.    

On 5/29/2022 at 3:04 PM, Son of Placid said:

the Gospel of Barnabas didn't come out until the 15th/16th century, Spain

The Gospel of Barnabas is an interesting document—I've read it two or three times—in the synoptic gospels Jesus poses certain queries and expounds on various parables to his followers—in particular instances he never follows through and leaves the reader in a state of permanent suspense—in the Gospel of Barnabas some extremely impressive answers are provided to those allegories and the thought process is complete—the Spanish and Italian manuscripts were most likely translations based on a rendition of a rendition etc. of a much earlier rendition of the same text.

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28 minutes ago, Eddie Mecca said:

the rabbis convinced the Romans that the Messianic claim made by Jesus could possibly lead to a full-scale Israelite insurrection.

Remember, this was the era of the Zealot (e.g. First Roman-Jewish War also called Great Jewish Revolt between 66 and 73 BC)—intrigue was lurking behind every corner and the Romans (being uninvited occupiers) were paranoid with good reason. 

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On 5/26/2022 at 1:16 AM, Eddie Mecca said:

his particular brand of Judaism was heavy tingled by Hellenism

Correction: I meant to say *TINGED* and not "tingled"

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On 5/29/2022 at 3:04 PM, Son of Placid said:

the Gospel of Barnabas didn't come out until the 15th/16th century, Spain

Lonsdale and Laura Ragg were the Anglican, scholarly husband and wife duo that translated of the Gospel of Barnabas—in their introduction on p. 46 they write of a Greek version of Barnabas—"There was also a Greek version of the Gospel of Barnabas, which is now lost, except for a few fragments." Also, Lightfoot (a research scholar of Liverpool) quoting from Encyclopedia Britannica, writes that, "the Gospel of Barnabas was written between 69 - 79 CE during the reign of Emperor Vespasian." Encyclopedia Britannica Vol. 3, p. 118  

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On 5/12/2022 at 7:07 PM, Dave follower of The Way said:

you see Jesus the Messiah and his followers coming into conflict with the Jewish teachers of the Law because they didn't strictly keep the Jewish law.  They didn't cerimoniously wash before meals, they didn't observe the Sabath in the way expected

Jesus said, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Matthew 5:18—Jesus made a distinction between heavenly laws and the manmade concoctions of the scribes and the Pharisees—Jesus was constantly emphasizing a spiritualizing of the law and not doing away with it altogether—he (as an infallible prophet and an observant rabbi) upheld the letter of the law to a T and led by example—he placed a deemphasis on the robotic, soulless, outward, hyper-legalism of the Pharisees—Jewish religious leaders of the time didn't follow Yahweh/Allah with a sincere heart—their spiritual path wasn't heartfelt and they had added their own interpretations, interpolations, recommendations, opinions etc. and placed them on a level equal to Mosaic Law—this happened over the course of centuries and Jesus was calling for a radical overhaul of synthetic insertions into the Halakha—they (Pharisees, scribes etc.) were also hypocrites of the highest caliber "So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." Matthew 23;3 NIV—as Abrahamic people we should always be following some type of law—either Mosaic Law or Sharīʿah or at the very least the Noachian Laws.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2022 at 3:18 AM, Ashvazdanghe said:

prophet  Isa/Jesud & his companions have stood against  deviations  of so called  "the Jewish teachers of the Law because" by practicing  original Jewish law according teachings of prophet  Mose/Musa (عليه السلام) .

Yes, exactly 100% "They (i.e. Pharisees) tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for people to see.” Matthew 23: 4-5

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On 5/18/2022 at 6:10 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

Many scholars would suggest that the book of James in the New Testament was writen before Paul's letters.  The letter was writen with in 20 years of Jesus life on earth.  James is considered to be Jesus half brother (born of Mary and Joseph).  He was also the leader of the church in Jerusalem durimng the early years of the church.  He begins his letter

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

This greeting is linking God and Jesus as worthy of service and giving Jesus the title Lord and Messiah (Christ).  Showing an early acknowledgment of the hebrew / Jewish roots - Messiah and a elivation to Lordship - divinity.  James goes on to say (Chapter 2:1)

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

How can you interpret this oher than worship and service to Jesus the Messiah on the level with God?

The authorship of the Epistle of James isn't 100% substantiated—it's of unknown origin too—some speculate that it was authored by either 1.) James The Just, 2.) James The Lesser, 3.) James The Greater (i.e. son of Zebedee), 4.) James son of Alphaeus or a subsequent student of one of the aforementioned four—the timeline of composition is similarly the subject of dispute—some scholars say it was written before the formation of Paul's letters and other scholars say it came after (nevertheless, it's considered among the earliest of NT compositions)—I've read the Epistle of James more than once—it's very Islamic in tone—it has a pre-gentile/pro-Jewish/anti-Pauline vibe to it—Qurʾān says, “have faith and do good works.”—the passage is an often repeated Islamic catchphrase (mentioned in the Qurʾān 43 times) that every Muslim understands through-and-through—both (i.e. faith and righteous works) are necessary ingredients for salvation according to the Semitic understanding—"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead." James 2: 14-26—now compare and contrast what "James" has said with the Pauline concept that we are justified by faith alone—for example, in Romans 3:28: he says, “A person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.”—Paul teaches in Romans 4:5, that “God justifies the ungodly.” —he clearly eliminates good deeds as a foundational basis or obligatory prerequisite for guidance, deliverance, salvation, redemption etc.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Eddie Mecca said:

“God justifies the ungodly.”

This should probably come with a little more context. 
Demographics and audience always keep people from saying the exact same thing.

Who is the ungodly? Back up to verse 10 in Romans 3.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. 
Go back as far as Isaiah.
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
We are all the ungodly.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There's no getting away from it.  The most pious falls short because of flesh and blood, and thought. 
The one thing Paul was concerned about was creating a scoresheet for works. 
I know, it's messed up. Even Christians think Paul was saying; Just be a believer, that's enough.
Not at all his message.
Humour me a minute.
If "works" work, then work is what we all should be focusing on? The richer you are, the more you can do. Heaven will be full of rich folks in ivory towers, us poor people can tent inside the gates. Strive for riches so you get a front row seat. Skewed motivation.
Good works vs bad works, aka sins scoresheet? How far does 50/50 get you? Do you ever know your own score? If we surpass the expected works do we get credit? Some Christians think so. "We're just laying up treasure in heaven." smh, I call that boasting, that of which there is no reward.
How about obligatory works? Is that a baseline, a contract? What "works" count? 

If you help an old lady across the street, you have assumably done a good work. Why did you help the lady across the street? Because you saw an old lady needed help, or to boost your credit score? How many "works" are done for the wrong reason?
Regardless your reason, did God want the old lady on the other side of the street? Was that ever part of the thought process?
Ever felt good about doing a good work? You already have your reward.
A credit score, or works for salvation implies that you can deal your way into heaven. 

That's where Paul comes in. In his letter to the Ephesians he writes;
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
FULL STOP, PAUL SAID WORKS DON'T MATTER. Run with it.
But he didn't stop there. 
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them"
Paraphrased into what I understand. You become a Christian, you become a worker, and God has a plan for you to work. This does not include looking for old ladies who may or may not want to cross a street. It certainly does not include; Following our dream.
When you think of "works", what comes to mind? Atheists can give to the poor, atheists can walk old ladies across a street. 

For me, "works" is charity. It's given. Time, money, materials, advice, whatever, it all comes back to giving, but for the right reasons and to the right people, at the right time. This is not something a human can figure out on his own. It requires the intervention of God in your heart.
Blazing down a street through tent city with a pickup full of loose cash may sound like a great idea but how many people would know why, how many benefit, and how many people would use the cash to further their depression? Not a work ordained by God.
Christians believe that going into ordained ministry is a given, it's not. God doesn't want everyone to be preachers. I'm thankful for that. I've done the courses, I've been to the seminars, done the workshops. I'm no kind of evangelist, it's not where I'm supposed to be, I can't sell their story. There are already enough evangelists that shouldn't be. They've lost their first love to a career they thought they should follow.

God may give you a crap job. Over worked, under paid, exhausted and oppressed. Left wondering when you will ever accomplish anything in your life and how will you ever have the time, energy, or resources to ever do any good "works". You may not have the talent, the skills, or the ability to move ahead, but what if God wants you there to speak with someone who has the talent, skills, and ability? How long can you grumble about your job before you are in the right state of mind to do the very thing God wants you to do? Does God care if you spend your day pitching manure, in grease to the armpits, or paperwork? Why should you? If God were to raise that someone to a higher level of service because of your testimony and leave you on the crappy job, are you jealous of their seeming success, or rejoice in it? Should we be looking at others and demand what's fair?
We really have no idea why we are where we are, or how it is supposed to glorify God. This is where the faith comes in. We spend time on our knees asking God for the wisdom and enlightenment to know what we are supposed to do, yet we grumble about what we are doing.
Paul was aware of a higher call.
Not by revelation, but by experience. He was an ugly, injured man with a hard head and an in your face attitude. God didn't give him any favours. Paul prayed to be healed, final answer; "My grace is sufficient for thee" 
It took many years before he said; "For I have learned that whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content.
That is the state in which God can work through us. How many of us have learned this? 

Keep in mind that the ultimate charity is "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Paul went on to expand on it in his first letter to the Corinthians. 
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal...And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity is replaced in many versions with the word love. The world has corrupted the word love to such a point we can use it for anything. The original word, agaph, refers to a greater love than we are used to. A selfless love that does not require  recognition nor compensation. 
He goes on to explain this charity/love;

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
It's not talking about the love that humans exchange it's talking about the same "love" that Jesus had. Not a human feeling, a passion, or a sentiment, but rather an action.
Actions that please God.
There should never be a time where we say; I've done my good deed for today. 

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On 5/30/2022 at 8:24 AM, Guest Gnostic said:

Hi Leslie P.

I found your post interesting as I bolded out...

<snip>...

Gentiles and other Pagan Nations.

Thank you for your lengthy reply. You've clearly put a lot of effort into your post.

The idea that Paul murdered James is not remotely believable. This suggestion would die at hypersonic speed outside of a very amateur website. This website is full of really big, basic errors- far too many to go through in detail here.

Just one example- start with the very first point, that Acts 21 says that James had Paul arrested. You can read it Here

If anything it talks about how well they got on.

In addition, there is no actual historical evidence I can find on the website for James's beliefs on anything.

If you think there are points made on the website that are both important and defensible, feel free to mention them separately and we can follow them up.

I've presented some of the evidence in my last post that they were allies. What evidence could you put forward, then, that James and Paul were enemies, or that they disagreed about Jesus?

Quote

As for the second statement being bolded,..

<snip>...

The Trinity Theology is Indirect Monotheism from the Christian's understanding.

Given the role that sacrifice played in C1 Judaism, and given what Paul writes about it in his letters, he has absolutely no need to draw anything from paganism- it's already completely there in C1 Judaism. What things can you find in the NT about sacrifice that weren't already in Judaism?

And to make a wider point, everything Paul says comes in C1 Judaism. What Jesus did was entirely in the context of Judaism, fulfilling the promises God had made in the OT, in a way that was far, far greater than anything that was imagined at the time.

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On 6/4/2022 at 2:56 AM, Eddie Mecca said:

some scholars say it was written before the formation of Paul's letters and other scholars say it came after

I'm now of the opinion that it (i.e. Epistle of James) was written AFTER Paul's letters—the entire book of James reads like it's written as a refutation of Paul's position that 'faith alone is enough'—I'm willing to modify my position if someone supplies the appropriate proof.

On 6/4/2022 at 2:56 AM, Eddie Mecca said:

it has a pre-gentile/pro-Jewish/anti-Pauline vibe to it

The dozens and dozens and dozens of online articles written by Christians attempting to synthesize James' stance with Paul's writings are tantamount to nothing more than mental acrobatics of harmonization.

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On 5/18/2022 at 6:10 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

How can you interpret this oher than worship and service to Jesus the Messiah on the level with God?

"Lords" are English noblemen in the 9th to 15th century feudal system—synonyms of "Lord" (according to Google) include: chief, ruler, leader, superior, monarch etc.—the terms "overlord" and "landlord" derive their meanings from the same root (e.g. "lord of the manor")— James calls himself “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”—the modern Islamic equivalent of this statement would be something like "I am Eddie Mecca, a servant of Allah and our Master Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh."—the name or title "Lord" in the bible doesn't necessarily or automatically denote "God"—it depends on the context—in the English translation of the Tanakh the word "LORD" (written in all caps) is used for God's name in Hebrew "YHWH" (i.e. Tetragrammaton)—almost universally, "God" is a translation of "theos," (general Greek word for deity)—and almost universally, "Lord" is a translation of "kurios," (general Greek word for a master)—in some translations "Adonai" is translated as "Lord"—there are also translations that substitute "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" instead—the Hebrew word "El", or "Elohim", is rendered as "God" in other translations.

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On 6/5/2022 at 8:15 PM, Leslie P said:

Given the role that sacrifice played in C1 Judaism, and given what Paul writes about it in his letters, he has absolutely no need to draw anything from paganism- it's already completely there in C1 Judaism. What things can you find in the NT about sacrifice that weren't already in Judaism?

And to make a wider point, everything Paul says comes in C1 Judaism. What Jesus did was entirely in the context of Judaism, fulfilling the promises God had made in the OT, in a way that was far, far greater than anything that was imagined at the time.

Hi C1 Judaism  after death of prophet  Moses/Musa (عليه السلام) & prophet  Joshua (عليه السلام) has infected with paganism which Jews have inherited from Egyptians & other nations  which prophet  Isa/Jesus (عليه السلام) has opposed it which due his return  to original  teachings of prophet  Moses/Musa (عليه السلام) , he has been rejected by Rabbis which they have called him a liar which after his ascending  to paradise Paul has initiated  his own religion  by turning  prophet  Isa/Jesus (عليه السلام) into a new pagan  inspired god then mixed everything  with a reformed  paganism of Jews.

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10 hours ago, Eddie Mecca said:

I'm now of the opinion that it (i.e. Epistle of James) was written AFTER Paul's letters—the entire book of James reads like it's written as a refutation of Paul's position that 'faith alone is enough'—I'm willing to modify my position if someone supplies the appropriate proof.

The dozens and dozens and dozens of online articles written by Christians attempting to synthesize James' stance with Paul's writings are tantamount to nothing more than mental acrobatics of harmonization.

Paul never said you're saved by faith. He said you're saved by grace. 

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On 6/11/2022 at 6:53 AM, Ashvazdanghe said:

Hi C1 Judaism  after death of prophet  Moses/Musa (عليه السلام) & prophet  Joshua (عليه السلام) has infected with paganism which Jews have inherited from Egyptians & other nations  which prophet  Isa/Jesus (عليه السلام) has opposed it which due his return  to original  teachings of prophet  Moses/Musa (عليه السلام) , he has been rejected by Rabbis which they have called him a liar which after his ascending  to paradise Paul has initiated  his own religion  by turning  prophet  Isa/Jesus (عليه السلام) into a new pagan  inspired god then mixed everything  with a reformed  paganism of Jews.

Thanks for the comment.

There is a huge amount of historical evidence that Jesus though he was starting off the Kingdom of God, defeating death, introducing the new covenant, and keeping God's promise to return to Israel. What evidence can you provide that he was simply trying to return Judaism to the time of Moses?

Note also Jesus vs Moses

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On 6/11/2022 at 4:54 AM, Eddie Mecca said:

I'm now of the opinion that it (i.e. Epistle of James) was written AFTER Paul's letters—the entire book of James reads like it's written as a refutation of Paul's position that 'faith alone is enough'—I'm willing to modify my position if someone supplies the appropriate proof.

The dozens and dozens and dozens of online articles written by Christians attempting to synthesize James' stance with Paul's writings are tantamount to nothing more than mental acrobatics of harmonization.

The Epistle of James was almost certainly written after Paul. However I really must ask you for your evidence for any alleged disagreements between the Epistle of James and Paul.

If you're meaning the alleged works/faith disagreement, I need to strongly question that. It is now known that when Paul talks about works being inadequate, he is only talking about works of Torah. Furthermore, Paul can be every bit as hot on people needing to obey God, and behave, as the Epistle from James is. For example, Romans 2:1-10  or Galatians 5:16-21.

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3 hours ago, Leslie P said:

There is a huge amount of historical evidence that Jesus though he was starting off the Kingdom of God, defeating death, introducing the new covenant, and keeping God's promise to return to Israel. What evidence can you provide that he was simply trying to return Judaism to the time of Moses?

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.

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On 6/12/2022 at 8:41 PM, Nad_M said:

Historical evidence? There is hardly anything about a 1st century miracle worker named Jesus, much less of one claiming messianship. 

Thanks for the reply. You clearly 'know your stuff'!

There are the four Gospels, the various letters in the NT, sundry Roman sources, the writings in the post-apostolic period, the written attacks by enemies of the church, and the existence of the church itself. Historians would term all this multiple forms and multiple sources; and we have such a richness that we can be certain what core beliefs of the early church were, such as a belief in Jesus' resurrection.

Historians of the C1 Mediterranean period doing non-religious history have no hesitation in using these documents as sources of information. Surely if we do the same, we can reach some very secure conclusions about whether Jesus' contemporaries thought he did miracles, and claimed to be the Messiah?

Quote

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.

Agreed. As well as the OT and Apocrypha we have Jewish historians such as Josephus. Essentially, the Kingdom of God was a Very Big Deal and is about the belief that God would act in history and fulfil His promise to Israel: to defeat His enemies, declare forgiveness of sins to God's people, and to return to His people as a presence.

I do need to point out that the C1 Jewish ideas on the Kingdom of God cannot be squared with the Muslim ideas of what Jesus was up to.

Furthermore, the richness of evidence (parables, quotations, subsequent church beliefs...) tells us that Jesus thought that he was bringing in the Kingdom of God.

Quote

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.

Agreed. I wouldn't say the later creeds were wrong, but I find their complexity very unhelpful and prefer the simpler, early church formulations.

Quote

Jesus was an Israelite prophet in a long line of prophets...<snip>... but no sooner did he leave that corruption crept into his teachings. All this was explained in another thread.

I'm not sure which thread you are referring to, but I wonder if you would mind going over the evidence that Jesus was simply trying to return Judaism to the time of Moses again, so we can avoid discussion across multiple threads?

Thank you in anticipation.

 

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8 hours ago, Leslie P said:

There are the four Gospels,....

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.

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14 hours ago, Leslie P said:

I'm not sure which thread you are referring to, but I wonder if you would mind going over the evidence that Jesus was simply trying to return Judaism to the time of Moses again, so we can avoid discussion across multiple threads?

Thank you in anticipation.

Hi this is only true conclusion by you.

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The Book of Enoch (Andreas)

 God said, “These are My superior creatures as well as mediators between Me and My creatures. Were it not for their sake, I would not have created you, the heavens, the earth, Paradise, Hellfire, the sun, and the moon.”
I said, “O Lord! What are their names?” God answered, “Look at the shank of the Throne.” When I did, I saw these five holy names: Paraclete (Muhammad) Elia (Ali), Titeh (Fatimah), Sheppar (Hasan), and Shoppair (Husayn). There was also an inscription reading: O My creatures! Glorify Me for there is no god save Me and Muhammad is My Messenger.”

The Gospel According to John
In the Chapters 14-16 of the Gospel according to John, Jesus ((عليه السلام).) gives the good news of a person coming after him by the name of Paraclete whom he calls master of the world and his religion existing forever. In 14:16 of the same, Jesus ((عليه السلام).) says: And I will beg the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever.
In verse 15:26, Jesus ((عليه السلام)) says: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes forth from with the Father, ‘he’ shall bear witness concerning me.
The word Paraclete in Syriac means praiseworthy which is translated into Arabic as Muhammad and Ahmad.
 

The Gospel of Barnabas

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The verses 39:14-28 of the Gospel of Barnabas express a similar idea as follows: When Adam rose up, he saw on his steps an inscription shining like the sun that read: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. Then, Adam opened his mouth saying: O Lord! Praise to You for Your Grace in creating me. But I beseech you to tell me what is the meaning of ‘Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger’. Allah answered: Hail to you, my servant Adam. I truly tell you that you are the first human I have created. The one you saw is but your son. He will come to this world after many years. He will be My Messenger for whom I have created everything.
He will soon give light to the world; he is the one whose soul has been laid in the beauty of heaven sixty thousand years before I created anything. Then Adam beseechingly said: O Lord! Give this inscription to me on the nails of my fingers. So Allah gave him the inscription on his thumbs. On the nail of his right hand’s thumb was ‘there is no god but Allah’ and on the nail of his left hand’s thumb was ‘Muhammad, Allah’s Messenger’. Then, the first human kissed those words with a father’s love, touched his eyes saying: Auspicious will be the day you will come soon to the world.

https://www.erfan.ir/english/89922.html

https://www.al-islam.org/ahl-al-bayt-celestial-beings-earth-husayn-ansariyan/ahl-al-bayt-divine-books

 

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The Twelve Imams in the Bible

[1] Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha ((عليه السلام)), “ … So when he [Imam al-Mahdi] will make his advent, the Earth with radiate with the celestial illumination of its’ Lord and the scale of justice will be positioned among mankind such that not a single person will oppress another individual …”
Biharul Anwar, Volume 52, Page 321; Kamal ad-Din

https://islamplus.net/Russian/article/article/353

 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/12/2022 at 1:19 PM, Leslie P said:

I really must ask you for your evidence for any alleged disagreements between the Epistle of James and Paul.

I can't really blame you for being perplexed or confused—a lot of this stuff has been hidden from the eyes of the rank and file for millenniums—even seminaries and Christian colleges are sketchy on these issues—the advent of the Information Age (i.e. Computer Age, Digital Age) makes obtaining forbidden knowledge much easier—remember, Jesus is reported to have said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matthew 7: 7-8 (KJV)—Christian higherups portray a seamless transition from Judaism to Christianity to their Sunday flock and attempt to dismiss serious grievances as misunderstandings or differences in emphasis—initially, Paul tried proselytizing to the Jewish elect and he failed miserably—only when he turned his attention to the gentiles did he become a success—dig deeply into honest Christian and secular sources and you'll discover that a serious divergence of theology, theological approaches, doctrine etc. took place between the leaders of early Christianity (i.e. Peter and James versus Paul)—this dispute is fully recognized and commonly known among well-read laypeople and scholarly-types alike—the dispute erupted in Antioch between Peter and Paul (referenced in Galatians)—this meeting was "not one of jolly unification, but of stern confrontation" says one Catholic article—"When Peter came to Antioch, I (Paul) opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group." Galatians 2: 11-13—all the Jewish Christians in Antioch sided with Peter (including Barnabas)—some of the controversy revolved around whether newly converted Greek and Romans should be circumcised or not—also, whether salvation was obtained by a "faith alone" / "grace is sufficient" approach or by attempting to live a holy and righteous life dedicated to the worship of Yahweh. 

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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13 hours ago, Eddie Mecca said:

some of the controversy revolved around whether newly converted Greek and Romans should be circumcised or not

That was a big one. Did the Greeks and Romans have to become Jewish before they could become Christians? That was Pauls main reason for coming to James. It was James, not Paul who made the ruling; "As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication" That was the first major split in the religion.

As for the confrontation, this would be like me sitting at a table with some black friends. When my white friends show up, I quickly get up and find another table. What do you think of me now? 

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On 6/19/2022 at 11:38 PM, Nad_M said:

Many thanks for your reply, which is excellent in its depth of knowledge and argument.

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None of the sources you mentionned amount to more than circular reasoning...

his early document attests to is what you term early core "beliefs" regarding the crucifixion and resurrection.

Given how much evidence there is, and how varied it all is, we can be certain about much of what Jesus taught and what the people who were there thought he did.

Formally speaking, historians have universally used criteria for deciding how accurate documents such as the NT sources are likely to be. That Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God (KoG) and his role in it is certain using the criteria of multiple sources and multiple forms. This is not “circular reasoning”, but standard historical method.

Similarly we can be certain that the Early Church believed Jesus had been resurrected, using the criteria of multiple sources and multiple forms.

In addition, we do have secular confirmation from writers like Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, Lucian, Pliny...

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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.

I've tried to work out what you mean by this, and I can't. Could you unpack it a bit? Thanks.

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As you rightly noticed, by the time of Jesus, the Jews ...<snip>...

rather than "the Muslim ideas of what Jesus was up to"?

What Jesus did was in line with OT teaching, but different to how it was commonly read in C1 Israel. They were expecting to be given a region of the Mediterranean, but Jesus gave the whole world. They expected national forgiveness, but Jesus gave it to all of humanity. They expected the Romans would be defeated, but Jesus gave them the defeat of death and sin. What Jesus gave them was so much greater than they expected, which is also more in line with the earth shattering type of thing the OT promised.

In addition, there were bucket loads of people at that time who fitted the description “prophet sent to Israelites, calling for the revival of the Torah and denouncing the transgressors”, as a means to bring in the Kingdom of God, not an end in itself. If that was all Jesus did, it was nothing special or important, being done by the entire Pharisaic movement amongst others.

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There is a reason why the NT authors could not but paint that whole part of Jesus' ministry...<snip>...

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.

There is a far better explanation. Calling yourself “Messiah” in C1 Roman occupied Israel would get you immediate arrest and execution. Game over. Therefore it made perfect sense to start in a cryptic way getting the message across, before becoming much more obvious as the time to die approached (John 16:25-32).

 

Jesus must have taught about the Kingdom of God and his role in it. Given the literally hundreds of direct and indirect references across so many different Christian sources from Mark through Paul and James to Hermas and Thomas, it is really not credible historically to say he didn't.

 

And that is my biggest problem about accepting Islam as true. Given Jesus' unrelenting focus on the KoG, it is quite impossible to see him as just a “ prophet sent to Israelites, calling for the revival of the Torah and denouncing the transgressors”. Given what the KoG meant, he must have been much, much more than that.

 

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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.

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6 hours ago, Leslie P said:

Could you unpack it a bit?

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". 

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On 6/26/2022 at 10:58 PM, Nad_M said:

No contemporary evidence,...Mary.

Many thanks for your well thought out post.

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No contemporary evidence, ...<snip>...So yes, relying on the NT is circular reasoning,

Historians follow well established historical processes to say what most likely happened. These get used to work out what happened with (for examples) Napoleon, King Alfred and the fall of the Roman Empire. We can apply these directly to the reasons the Early Church got going.

We have an embarrassment of riches in terms of number of documents and closeness to the events there, compared to what historians normally work with.. It has often been said that if the resurrection were any normal historical event, there would be no debate about whether it happened or not.

So no circular reasoning, just first rate History.

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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

When it started, Xianity was too small to the worthy of notice. When it gets going, the independent witnesses I mentioned do write about the events.

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What secular historians will attest to, is...that an early 1st century community existed that believed what is said in the NT about someone called Jesus

Exactly. That community, run by the disciples when Paul wrote his letters, clearly believed that Jesus had been resurrected. That he talked about himself establishing the Kingdom of God (KoG). That's what the eyewitnesses were saying.

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it was well understood by everyone what the terminology meant.

Not really. There were many very different ideas about what the texts meant- in fact what the KoG would be like was something of a 'hot topic' (see Josephus).

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If the kingdom of God was something...<snip>...and still does till this day.

Jesus set himself up against the religious authorities, and was getting a seriously large following. Those authorities were the ones pushing for his death, with the Romans going along to keep the peace.

Hence I need to unexclude the middle and say that Jesus was following the storyline of Israel and the KoG, but not in the way people were normally expecting it to turn out.

What Jesus did was fulfilling the OT prophecies, but not how most in C1 Israel thought they would be.

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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.

But if Jesus was seen to fail, why did his followers want to continue his movement at all? In C1 Israel, followers of a failed messiah simply moved on. Worse, why continue his movement but saying something very, very, very different to what he said?

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Anyway one turns it, the contrived NT narrative paints Jesus as a false prophet and false messiah

I don't understand this, I'm afraid. Surely the NT narrative says that Jesus defeated sin and death, fulfilling the promises of the OT in full. Then the NT paints Jesus as a true prophet and messiah. Furthermore, since what Jesus did was reserved for God to do, it paints him as God, returning as promised to His people to rescue them.

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There is a pattern found both in the HB and the Quran, of God testing the followers of a prophet after his death...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.

I'm still rather unclear with this. If Moses was still alive, how was this a test of his followers after his death?

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Leslie P said:

Jesus set himself up against the religious authorities, and was getting a seriously large following.

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.

4 hours ago, Leslie P said:

Then the NT paints Jesus as a true prophet and messiah

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.

Edited by Nad_M
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On 7/3/2022 at 8:59 PM, Nad_M said:

After him,...<snip>...messiah.

Thanks for your reply, and for trimming the tangents I had allowed to emerge in an uncontrolled way!

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After him, the Nazarenes counted around 120 members. 

The Palm Sunday events tell us his appeal went beyond the 120 paid up subscribers, Still, 120 is enough to get the authorities urgent attention, especially with massive crowds at the ultimate celebration of Jewish nationalism.

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Jesus failed coming back within the disciples generation as the NT promises.

Jesus' “within a generation” prediction refers to the destruction of the Temple in AD70, which was the thing he'd been asked about, and did happen as he prophesied.

This is covered by “now and not yet”. The KoG has arrived, but is not yet fully in place. God has done the heavy lifting to destroy sin and death, but the process is incomplete. (Further details available on request.)

For those unfamiliar with the idea, here is a short (5m) intro:

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What made the Jesus sect stand out was Paul's focus on converting gentiles, preventing it from being just another Jewish sect

We have strong evidence (multiple sources and forms) that Paul (Saul) persecuted the early Christians, before an experience caused him to join them and spread their message.

We also know from multiple sources and forms that the early Christians were from day one preaching Jesus' death and resurrection, Jesus as Messiah, the overcoming of sin/death...

Why would Paul have persecuted the Jesus sect, if they were saying exactly the same things as he was?

Where is the evidence that they weren't already speaking about resurrection, the KoG having started, forgiveness of sins etc etc etc etc etc; what evidence is there that Paul introduced these huge, huge ideas, and the disciples just let him?

 

A couple of issues about which I'm generally puzzled.

What is the general view of Muslims regarding the effectiveness of the disciples?

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the same original narrative (Torah observance, awaiting the ushering of the messianic end of times)

Is this (return to Torah → endtimes) what Muslims think that Jesus was saying?

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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?

4 hours ago, Leslie P said:

Jesus' “within a generation” prediction refers to the destruction of the Temple in AD70, which was the thing he'd been asked about, and did happen as he prophesied.

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.

4 hours ago, Leslie P said:

Why would Paul have persecuted the Jesus sect, if they were saying exactly the same things as he was?

Where is the evidence that they weren't already speaking about resurrection, the KoG having started, forgiveness of sins etc etc etc etc etc; what evidence is there that Paul introduced these huge, huge ideas, and the disciples just let him?

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. 

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9 hours ago, Leslie P said:

We also know from multiple sources and forms that the early Christians were from day one preaching Jesus' death and resurrection, Jesus as Messiah, the overcoming of sin/death.

There were nuances of difference between them but generally the Ebionites, Nazarenes, Symmachians, and Elkesaites (i.e. Jewish Christianity) believed Jesus was the Messiah, they didn't believe he was the divine Son of God, accepted Jesus as a prophet and an exceptional man in the Davidic line, denied the virgin birth, observed Jewish law, observed the Sabbath, performed baptism and lived poor. 

9 hours ago, Leslie P said:

We have strong evidence (multiple sources and forms) that Paul (Saul) persecuted the early Christians, before an experience caused him to join them and spread their message

One reason why the Ebionites vehemently opposed the theology of Paul was because they suspected that he had had a demoniacal hallucination (i.e. his supposed vision of Christ) and they also resisted Pauline soteriology.

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10 hours ago, Leslie P said:

What is the general view of Muslims regarding the effectiveness of the disciples?

It's not about the numbers, it's about quality of the adherents—“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Matthew 13:33—and Galatians 5:9, "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."

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Posted (edited)
On 6/24/2022 at 12:33 PM, Son of Placid said:

That was a big one.

Indeed

On 6/24/2022 at 12:33 PM, Son of Placid said:

That was the first major split in the religion.

Agreed

On 6/24/2022 at 12:33 PM, Son of Placid said:

Did the Greeks and Romans have to become Jewish before they could become Christians?

The religion was intended to be a continuous stream and not chopped up into sections—firstly, Jesus never commanded his followers to call themselves, "Christians" and the Church never called itself by this term—The early Church was called “Christian” for the first time by the powers-that-be at Antioch (Acts 11:26)—it wasn’t a name the disciples of Jesus gave themselves—secondly, the word, "Jew" derives from "Yehudah" or "Judah" (the ancient Israelite kingdom)—see the 'The Religion of Jesus and Moses was Islam' by Ahmed Deedat (10 min.)—Greeks and Romans should've followed the religion as it was originally revealed instead of altering it in order to make it palatable for their polytheistic tastes 

 

On 6/24/2022 at 12:33 PM, Son of Placid said:

As for the confrontation, this would be like me sitting at a table with some black friends. When my white friends show up, I quickly get up and find another table. What do you think of me now? 

No, not exactly—the analogy isn't accurate brother—blacks are born black and can't alter their genetics—Greeks and Romans can change their worldview (from a Grecian or Romanized conception to a Semitic one) and convert in a matter of 2 seconds—the confrontation at Antioch is told completely from Paul's point of view and Paul's perspective dominates the NT (essentially a Pauline document)—missing are James and Peter's rebuttal of events—Paul needs the Jerusalem Church in order to lend creditability to his own teachings but simultaneously flexes his own independence, so his relationship with it is somewhat complex—he reprimands Peter and Peter accepts the chastisement, hmm—by keeping silent Peter essentially endorses Paul's stance, hmm—by remaining silent Paul is scene as being a 'corrector' of the Jerusalem, Church, hmm—in Galatians 2:6 he scathingly refers to the Jerusalem elders, "these people who are acknowledged leaders-not that their importance matters to me"—from Elliott's Commentary, "I did indeed hold conference with them privately; but with all their advantages, real or assumed, I learnt nothing from them that I did not already know, and they ended by recognising the independence and validity of my mission."—this is arrogance of the highest order—in other words, his hallucinations were of equal or greater authority than the 12's firsthand experiences of the 3 year ministry—also, "The Apostle (Paul) speaks with a certain amount of irony. "From these very great authorities, these persons of such especial reputation [I got nothing].""   —he's calling them "great authorities" and "persons of such especial reputation" with extreme sarcasm—the Pulpit Commentary goes on to say, "a fresh illustration of the independent position, which in point both of doctrine and of ministerial footing he (Paul) held in relation to the first apostles and to the heads of the Jerusalemite Church—and "When St. Paul wrote, from those who were reputed to be somewhat, he would seem to have meant to add, "I received nothing fresh either in knowledge of the gospel or in authority as Christ's minister," or some-tiring to that effect; but in his indignant parenthesis asserting his independence with respect to those whom his gainsayers in Galatia would seem to have pronounced his superiors, both in knowledge and in office." —don't you find it the slightest bit  preposterous that there's no merit to the charges against Paul in light of the abundant testimony otherwise (entire swarms or throngs at Galatia)?

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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On 7/12/2022 at 7:28 PM, Eddie Mecca said:

No, not exactly—the analogy isn't accurate brother

It's not exactly. Actually vaccinated, unvaccinated would be closer.

On 7/12/2022 at 7:28 PM, Eddie Mecca said:

—Greeks and Romans can change their worldview (from a Grecian or Romanized conception to a Semitic one) and convert in a matter of 2 seconds

2 seconds, and a snip.
The big deal was circumcision. 

On 7/12/2022 at 7:28 PM, Eddie Mecca said:

by remaining silent Paul is scene as being a 'corrector' of the Jerusalem, Church, hmm

Huh? Your commentary reads a lot between lines. Seems like everyone has found a way to expand on it too. I almost expected them to describe Paul's facial expressions. 

Paul went to Jerusalem to tell James to make a ruling for gentiles becoming "Christians". James made the ruling, Paul wasn't part of the decision making. He wasn't in the room, he was present for the announcement.

"But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:" 

Call it arrogance if you like but when the corruption of leaders is evident, there's nothing good to learn. I've seen it at all levels of industry, politics, and religious leaders. Once I see passed the mask I feel the same way, I lose respect.
It can't be only Paul and I that feel that way. 

 

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