CRUCIFIXION OR CRUCIFICTIONWritten by: by Ahmad Deedat :: (View All Articles by: Ahmad Deedat)
Chapter 01 - The Only Sales-Pont
Chapter 02 - Call Your Witnesses
Chapter 03 - Establishing God's Kingdom
Chapter 04 - Preparation for Jihaad
Chapter 05 - Discretion or Valour
Chapter 06 - Trials of Jesus
Chapter 07 - Methods of Crucifixion
Chapter 08 - God's Way Are Not Our Ways
Chapter 09 - "Resurrections" Daily
Chapter 10 - Sympathy for Jesus
Chapter 11 - Why the inverted commas ". . ."?
Chapter 12 - Disciples Disbelieved
Chapter 13 - Jesus no Phantom
Chapter 14 - Jesus not Resurrected
Chapter 15 - The only Miracle Promised
Chapter 16 - Simple Calculations
Chapter 17 - Fabricated "Scripture"
Chapter 18 - None so Blind
Chapter 19 - Crucified or Cruciplayed?
THE ONLY SALES-POINT
"MOST INFLUENTIAL MEN"
Recently, an American historical researcher and mathematician, Michael H. Hart, published a book : "THE 100, THE TOP HUNDRED OR THE GREATEST HUNDRED IN HISTORY." In his book he gives the names of the 100 "Most Influential Men in History" and his reasons for their positions in his list. Amazingly, he (most probably a Christian) puts Muhummed (peace be upon him) FIRST in his hundred, and with good reasons too. And with equally good reasons he places Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), the man accepted as "Lord" and "Saviour" by nearly all his fellow Americans, number THREE.
REAL FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY
Though there are at the moment 200 million more nominal Christians in the world than the 1000 million Muslims, Mr. Hart divides the credit for founding Christianity between Paul and Jesus, and he gives the greater portion to Paul. Hence the 3rd position for Jesus. Every knowledgeable Christian concedes that the real founder of Christianity is St. Paul and not Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).
REASON FOR DIFFERENCE
In any event, if there is any division between a Muslim and a Christian on the grounds of dogma, belief, ethics or morality, then the cause of such conflict could be traced to an utterance of Paul found in his books of Corinthians, Phillipians, Galatians, Thessolanians, etc., in the Bible.
As against the teaching of the Master (Jesus) that salvation only comes through keeping of the commandments (Mathew 19:16-17), Paul nails the law and the commandments to the cross Paul nails the law and the commandments to the cross (Colossians 2:14)1 and claims that salvation can only be obtained through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ:-
"If Christ be not risen from the dead, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain."
1 Corinthians 15:14
THE KING-PIN OF CHRISTIANITY
According to St. Paul, there is nothing that Christianity can offer mankind, other than the blood and gore of Jesus. If Jesus did NOT die, and he was NOT resurrected from the dead, then there can be NO salvation in Christianity! "For all your good deeds", says the Christian dogmatist, "are like filthy rags" - (Isaiah 64:6).
NO CRUCI-FICTION NO CHRISTIANITY
"THE DEATH OF JESUS ON THE CROSS IS THE CENTRE OF ALL CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY. . . ALL CHRISTIAN STATEMENTS ABOUT GOD, ABOUT CREATION, ABOUT SIN AND DEATH HAVE THEIR FOCAL POINT IN THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST. ALL CHRISTIAN STATEMENTS ABOUT HISTORY, ABOUT THE CHURCH, ABOUT FAITH AND SANCTIFICATION, ABOUT THE FUTURE AND ABOUT HOPE STEM FROM THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST", says Professor Jurgen Moltmann in his "The Crucified God".2
In a nutshell. No CrucifixionI No Christianity! This is the experience of us Muslims, in this ocean of Christianity, which is South Africa. A thousand sects and denominations of Christianity are vying with one another to redeem the "heathen" (as they say) from hell-fire. However, in this battle no Christian priest, parson or predikant, or hot-gospeller, local or imported, will ever endeavour to teach the Muslim something about hygiene; for we Muslims can claim to be the most hygienic people (I am talking about personal hygiene). Nor do they endeavour to teach us about hospitality; for we are the most hospitable of people. Nor about ethics or morality; for we are the most moral people (as a whole) i.e. we don't drink, we don't gamble, we dont date, court or dance; we pray 5 times a day, we fast for one whole month during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadaan; and we take pleasure in being a charitable people. Despite any of our shortcomings, we venture to suggest that there is not another group of people that can "show a candle" to us in brotherhood, in piety or in sobriety.
BLOOD FOR SALVATION
"Yes! Yes!" says the Christian missionary, "but you do not have salvation." Because salvation comes "only through the blood of the lord Jesus". "All your good works are like filthy rags", he says. "If only you Muslims would accept the redeeming blood of Jesus, and take Jesus as your 'Personal Saviour', you Muslims, then would be like angels walking the earth."
AN ANSWER SUPREME
What are we Muslims to say to this Christian claim? Nothing better than Allah's shattering reply to the Jewish boast!.
And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Christ,
son of Mary,
the messenger of God,"
- but they killed him no, nor crucified him,
but it appeared so to them,
and those who differ therin are full of doubts .
They have no (certain) knowledge,
they follow nothing but conjecture .
they killed him not.
Holy Qur'an 4:157
Could anyone have been more EXPLICIT, more EMPHATIC, more DOGMATIC, more UN-COMPROMISING in rejecting the dogma of a faith than this? "IMPOSSIBLE!" is the answer. The only One Who could, would be the All-Knowing, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent Lord of the Universe GOD ALMIGHTY Himself!
The Muslim believes this categorical Quranic statement to be from God. Hence he asks no questions and seeks for no proof.
"My Lord saith!"
- We hear and we affirm!
Had the Christians accepted the Holy Quran as the Word of God, the problem of the crucifixion would never have arisen. They vehemently oppose the Quranic teaching and attack everything Islamic. In the words of Thomas Carlyle "THEY (the Christians) HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO HATE THE MAN MOHAMED AND HIS RELIGION.
One of the multifarious letters/correspondence of Paul among the 27 Books of the
2 "GOD": The bulk of Christendom accept Jesus Christ as God incarnate God in human flesh. According to the Christian dogma, Jesus must die as God, for a million human sacrifices cannot redeem mankind from their sin.
CALL YOUR WITNESSES
In trying to prove their dogmas1, they invent shocking statements and posers one of which has been used as the title of this book "CHRIST CRUCIFIED - Hoax or History?" 2 No doubt it sounds provocative; but it is a borrowed title from the Christian's own extravagances; from his own vocabulary.
Garner Ted Armstrong, the Executive Vice-President and Co-Publisher of the "PLAIN TRUTH" (a Christian Magazine from America, which boasts a current, FREE, world-wide circulation of 6 million copies a month) 3, attempts to answer his own puzzle under the heading:
"WAS THE RESURRECTION A HOAX?" This is the typical American way of selling religion. He elucidates his poser -"HOAX?" - with the words, "THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH IS EITHER THE SUPREME FACT OF HISTORY OR A FLAGRANT. DELIBERATE FABRICATION FOISTED OFF ON THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRISTIANITY."
Another budding, young "Billy Graham" from America, Josh McDowell effuses in his book "THE RESURRECTION FACTOR", saying, "I WAS FORCED TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST IS EITHER ONE OF THE MOST WICKED, HEARTLESS, VICIOUS, HOAXES EVER FOISTED UPON THE MINDS OF MEN, OR IT IS THE MOST FANTASTIC FACT OF HISTORY." Since it is not possible for an Oriental to match American superlatives and extravagant verbiage, I do not have to apologise for humbly borrowing their words for the title of my book: "CHRIST CRUCIFIED -Hoax or History?" 4
To the Muslim belief that Jesus Christ was "neither killed nor crucified", the Christian objects, "how can a man (Muhummed pbuh) a thousand miles away from the scene of a happening, and 600 years after an event, pronounce as to what had transpired?" The Muslim says that the words Muhummed (pbuh) uttered were not his own, but that the Words were "put into his mouth" by the All-Knowing, All-Seeing God. The Christian retorts that he is not prepared to accept the metaphysical aspect of Muhummed's revelation; moreso, in view of the written records by "eye-witnesses" (?) and "ear-witnesses" (?) as regards the happenings on that Easter week-end some two thousand years ago.
The Christian plea is valid. Their logic is good. To entertain their plea we will call up their witnesses and cross examine them to discover the truth or falsity of the matter from their own authorities. Admittedly, the key witnesses in the case are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the alleged authors of the Canonical Gospels. But they have all died and are in their graves. "Yes, that is true, but we have in our possession their sworn affidavits!" says the Christian.
DEMAND FOR PROOF
When confronted by the extravagant and conflicting claims of the Jews and the Christians to their exclusive rights to salvation, Allah subha nahu wa-ta aala5 commands us to demand for proof. He says:
Say: "Produce your proof if you are truthful."
Holy Qur'an 2:111
And they have produced the only proof they have; in over fifteen hundred different languages! Eleven different dialects of the Bible for the Arabs alone! Are we going to swallow them hook, line and sinker? No! It is presupposed that when Allah commands us to demand for proof, that we would be in a position to analyse the proof, once it is produced. Otherwise, it makes no sense to demand for proof; it would be nonsense!
Dogma: "Principle, tenet, doctrinal system; arrogant declaration of
opinion." Oxford Dictionary.
2 Original title of this book.
3 As claimed in their February 1984 issue.
4 Now changed to "CRUCIFIXION or CRUCI-FICTION?"
5 subha nahu wa-ta aala meaning, Glory Be To Him!
ESTABLISHING GOD'S KINGDOM
THIRD-PARTY EVIDENCE "ACCORDING TO . . ."
The amazing thing about the Christians' sworn affidavits (writings attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is that not a single one of them is duly attested. Not a single one bears the signature, mark or thumb-print of its author in the so-called originals. They now boast of being in possession of over 5000 "originals" of which no two "originals" are identical. Amazing! Little-wonder the Christians themselves label their Gospels as "The Gospel according to St. Matthew", "The Gospel according to St. Mark", "The Gospel according to St. Luke" and "The Gospel according to St. John".
When Christian scholars are asked why the words "according to" are repeated at the beginning of every Gospel, the obvious implication is that they are not autographed. It is only assumed that they are authored by the names the Gospels carry today. The translators of the "New International Version" have unceremoniously expunged the "According tos" from the four Gospels in their latest translation. Of the alleged Gospel writers, viz., Matthew, Mark, Luke and John it can be categorically stated that 50% were not even the elected Twelve Disciples of Jesus (pbuh).
I dare humbly claim that such unattested documents would be thrown out of hand, in any Court-of-Law, in any civilised country, in just two minutes. Furthermore, one of the alleged witnesses, St. Mark, tells us that at the most critical juncture in the life of Jesus "All his disciples forsook him and fled"- (Mark 14:50). Please ask your Christian friend, "Does "all" mean all in your language, you Englishman?" (This applies to the North American as well) And he will no doubt say "Yes!"; "Does "almal" mean almal in your language, you Afrikaner?" And no doubt he will say - "ja!" (pronounced Yaa); "And does "bonke" mean bonke in your language, you Zulu?" And he will say - "Ahe!" This is true of every language. Why not memorise this verse from the Bible in your own dialect? Even in some additional languages?
So the so-called "eye-witnesses" were not really eyewitnesses to the happenings, unless St. Mark is not telling us the whole truth, the "gospel truth". Yet he is supposed to be speaking under oath! You will agree that a case based on such hearsay evidence would be thrown out of Court, TWICE in two minutes, in any Court-of-Law, in any civilised country; that is TWICE in just 120 seconds flat! But a ghost (dogma) of two thousand years standing, upon which hangs the salvation of 1200 million Christians, should not be summarily dismissed. It deserves a little more circumspection. We will therefore entertain the alleged testimonies of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as if they were duly attested.
WHERE DO WE BEGIN?
At the beginning of course! exactly as the Bible does ("In the beginning. . ." - Genesis 1:1) - just 24 hours before the cataclysmic events of "a thunderstorm; an eclipse of the sun; an earthquake; rocks being rent; the veil of the temple being torn from the top to bottom; graves being opened and sleeping corpses marching through the streets of Jerusalem . . ." as narrated by the Christians' Witnesses. What a scenario for a billion dollar, record-breaking, film production!
We must not forget that the Jews are in the dock, alleged for the murder of Jesus Christ; and we as Muslims are constrained to defend them against the Christian charge, because justice must be done. Whatever their sins of commission and omission, Allah exonerates them from the charge of murder. He says:
they killed him not
Holy Qur'an 4:157
PLAYING THE "CRUCI-FICTION" CARD
The Christian world has been unjustly persecuting, and hounding and killing our Jewish cousins for nearly two thousand years for a murder they did not commit. Attempted murder? may be! But murder? NO! By absolving the Jew of a crime he did not commit, we are also taking the wind out of the hot-gospellers' and the Bible-thumpers' sail. In the battle for the hearts and minds of mankind, "cruci-FICTION" is the only card the Christian holds. Free him from his infatuation and you will have freed the Muslim world from missionary aggression and harrassment.
AROUND THE TABLE
On the eve of the Passover Feast, Jesus and his twelve disciples are seated around a huge Table with their host, the "beloved disciple", whose name also happened to be JOHN. Johns' and Jesus' 1 were names, common among the Jews in the year 30 A.C. as Toms, Dicks, Johns and Jimmys are with us in the twentieth century. There were at least 14 men at the table (count them if you wish) and not the unlucky thirteen of Western superstition. 2
MARCH INTO JERUSALEM
Jesus (pbuh) made his triumphant royal entry into Jerusalem at the head of an excited and enthusiastic following, with high hopes of establishing the "Kingdom of God" any minute; riding a donkey to fulfill prophecy (Zechariah 9:9)
Tell ye the daughter of Zion, behold, thy KING cometh. . .
sitting upon an ass. . .
And a great multitude spread their garments. . .
and branches in the way. . .
and the multitude cried, saying,
"Hosanna to the SON OF DAVID. . .
Hosanna in the highest . . ."
Let Luke the beloved physician, add his strokes to clarify the picture.
". . . because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should IMMEDIATELY appear"
"But those mine enemies, who would not that I should REIGN over them, bring them hither, and SLAY them before me"
. . . Blessed be the KING who cometh in the name of the Lord. . .
And John adds that the excited throng exclaimed:
Blessed is the KING of ISRAEL, that cometh in the name of the Lord"
"The Pharisees said. . . Behold, the world is gone (mad) after him (Jesus)"
"NOW is the judgement of this world; N-O-W shall the prince of this world be CAST OUT"
Who would withstand such heady-wine of impending glory? Little wonder that Jesus was tempted physically to oust those that bought and sold within the temple precincts. He overthrew the money-changer's tables and drove them out with a "whip of cords" (John 2:15).
AN ABORTED COUP
The overthrow of the Temple Authority was imminent, and a forerunner to the expulsion of the Romans, heralding the "Kingdom of God." But alas his high hopes did not materialise. The whole performance fizzled out like a damp squib, despite all the "Hosannas" and hoorays to the "Son of David" and the "King of Israel." All this ballyhoo was only forty years premature. Jesus had failed to heed the warning of the Pharisees to curb the over exuberance of his disciples (Luke 19:39). He had miscalculated. Now he must pay the price of failure. His nation was not ready for any sacrifice, in spite of all their infantile clamour.
The Jewish leaders reasoned that this one man had almost brought the nation to destruction. Therefore,
"It is expedient for one man to die for the nation"
But with all the mass hysteria surrounding him, it was also NOT expedient to apprehend Jesus in public. They waited for the opportunity of a clandestine arrest. As luck would have it they found in Judas, an elected disciple of Jesus (pbuh), a traitor who would sell his Lord and Master for thirty miserable pieces of silver.
JUDAS WAS DISGRUNTLED
In the opinion of Christian divines it was the greed of gold which enticed Judas to do his dastardly deed. But he had more money-sense then the Christians gave him credit for. As a purser for the elect group of Jesus he had endless opportunities of pinching pennies permanently. Why jeopardise that for all times for 30 paltry pieces? There is more to that than meets the eye. Judas was disgruntled, after all those mass demonstrations on Jesus' regal entry into Jerusalem those hot out-pourings of: "The HOUR is come and NOW is the Prince of this World will be CAST OUT I should REIGN over them bring them HITHER and SLAY THEM before me." Jesus had now developed cold-feet. If only Jesus could be provoked, he might react with miracles, and bring down fire and brimstones from Heaven upon his enemies; and, of course, the legions of angels (which he boasted were at his disposal), which would enable him and his disciples to rule the world.
From close contact with the Master, he had learned that Jesus was kind, tender and loving. But, he was not a mealy-mouthed man; he was no milk-and-water Messiah. But Judas could not understand the "hot and cold" blowings of Jesus. Perhaps if Jesus was accosted, he would yet deliver the goods. To this end Judas schemed.
THE TRAITOR KNOWN
The furtive looks and the suspicious behaviour of Judas had revealed everything to Jesus (pbuh). He did not need the Holy Ghost to interpret the misgivings in Judass mind. At the Table in the Upper-room where Jesus and his disciples were having that "Last Supper", Jesus dismissed Judas with the words:
". . . What thou doest, do quickly."
And Judas took off to put the seal on the deal to the stab-in-the-back.
Of the three candidates for the 3 crosses at Golgotha on the 1st Easter
week-end, there were 2 Jesus'. The one released was Jesus Barabbas. See
"Christ in Islam."
2 A country as advance as South Africa, like an adjunct of the U.S.A., has no Row 13 on any of its Aeroplanes!
PREPARATION FOR JIHAAD
Jesus will not be a sitting-duck for a clandestine arrest by the Jews. He prepares his disciples for the impending showdown. Discreetly, so as not to frighten his disciples, he introduces the subject of defence. Gently he begins:
"When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?" And they said, "Nothing" Then said he unto them, "But now, he that hath no purse, let him take it, and likewise his bag; and he that hath no SWORD, let him sell his garment and buy one!"
This is a preparation for Jihaad, a Holy War Jews against Jews! Why! Why this somersault? Did he not advise them to "turn the other cheek"; "to forgive seventy times seven" (70 x 7 = 490)? Did he not send his chosen Twelve with the advice:
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye, therefore, as wise as serpents, (?) and as
harmless as doves."
TO ARMS! TO ARMS!
The situation and the circumstance have changed and as with any wise and able general, the strategy must also change. The disciples were already armed. They had some foresight. They had not left Galilee with bare knuckles. They responded:
". . . Lord, behold, here are two SWORDS." And he said unto them, "It is enough".
The missionary, so as to retain the impression of the "meek and gentle Jesus", "the Prince of Peace", pleads that the SWORDS were spiritual! If the swords were spiritual, then the "garments" must also be spiritual. If the disciples of Jesus were to sell their SPIRITUAL garments to buy SPIRITUAL swords, in that case they would all become SPIRITUALLY naked! Furthermore, one does not lop off peoples physical ears with spiritual swords:
"And, behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his SWORD, and
struck a servant of the high priests, and cut off his ear."
The only purpose of swords or guns is to maim and to kill. People did not carry swords to pare apples and bananas in the time of Christ.
WHY COUPLE OF SWORDS ENOUGH?
If this was a preparation for war, then why should two swords be "enough"? The reason is that Jesus was not contemplating a battle against the legions of Rome. Since his "friend" Judas was in league with the Temple authorities, he was expecting a clandestine, underhand attempt by the Jewish oligarchy to seize him. It would be a question of Jews against Jews. In such a battle against the Jewish temple servants and the riff-raff of the town, he would prevail. Of that he was sure. He had with him Peter (the Rock) and John and James (the sons of Thunder) together with the other eight, each vying with one another to go to prison for him; to die for him.1 These were all Galilians. They had a reputation of Zealotism, terrorism and repeated insurrections against the Romans.
Armed with sticks and stones, and the swords, and fortified with the spirit of self-sacrifice which they had avowed for their Master, he was sure to knock hells into any Jewish rabble that dare confront him.
A MASTER TACTICIAN
He had proved himself a skilful strategist and planner, alert and resourceful. This was not the time to sit and twiddle thumbs; to be a sitting-duck, cooped up with his disciples in the upper-room! No, not for him. He leads his platoon, in the middle of the night, to Gethsemane-Gethsemane-an olive press-a courtyard built of stone walls some 5 miles out of town.
On the way, he unburdens to them the seriousness of the situation. The implications and the explosive nature of the coup that failed. Now he must bear the wrath of the powers that be. The price of failure!
You do not have to be a military genius to appreciate that, Jesus (pbuh) deploys his forces as a master tactician, in a manner that would bring credit to any Officer out of "Sandhurst."2 He places eight of the eleven disciples at the entrance to the courtyard, commanding them:
"... Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder."
The question that would bug any thinker is: "Why did they all go to Gethsemane? To pray? Could they not have prayed in the upper-room? Could they not have gone to the Temple of Solomon, a stone's throw from where they were, if prayer is all that they wanted to do? No! They went to the Garden so that they might be in a better position to defend themselves!
Observe, Jesus does not take the eight with him to pray. He positions them strategically at the entrance to the courtyard; armed to the hilt, as the circumstances would allow:
"And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. . .
Then saith he unto them. . .
tarry ye here and watch with me."
Where is he taking Peter and John and James now? Further into the Garden! To pray? No! To make an inner line of defence he had put eight at the Gate, and, now these zealous Zealots (the fighting Irishmen of their day), armed with SWORDS, to "wait and watch " TO KEEP GUARD! The picture is very vivid; Jesus leaves nothing to our imagination. A-n-d HE (alone) prayed!
JESUS PRAYS FOR RESCUE
". . . and began to be sorrowful and very depressed. Then saith he unto them, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death' . . ."
"And he went a little further, and fell on his face (Exactly as the Muslim does in Salaat), and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt."
(This is the quality of a good Muslim who submits his will to the will of God).
Matthew 26: 37-39
"And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly;
and his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground
MESSIAH SOBS FOR HIS PEOPLE
Why all this bewailing and lamentation? Is he crying to save his skin? It would be highly cynical on his part to do that! Did he not advise others:
"And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out . . . And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."
We would be doing Jesus a grave injustice if we thought that he was crying like a woman to save his body from physical harm. He was crying for his people the Jews. They held a queer logic, that if they succeeded in killing any would-be Messiah (Christ), it would be a sure proof of his imposture. For God Almighty will never allow His truly "anointed one" (Christ) to be killed - (Deuteronomy 18:20). Hence the insistence of the Jews as a people, as a whole, in rejecting Jesus, the son of Mary, as their promised Messiah "The eternal rejection."
This harrowing sob-story, the blood-curdling cries and lamentations would evoke sympathy in the hardest of hearts. And the hot-gospeller and the Bible-thumper is not averse to its effective exploitation. We are told that Jesus was destined to die for the sins of mankind. That he was "being prepared for this vicarious sacrifice before the foundation of the world". That even before the material universe came into being, there was a contract between "Father and son," and that in the year 4000 A.A. (After Adam)3, God himself in the form of Jesus, as the second person from the enigmatic Trinity4, was to get himself hanged to redeem mankind from the Original Sin and their actual sins.
JESUS UNAWARE OF HEAVENLY CONTRACT
From the "call to arms" in the upper-room, and the masterful deployment of forces at Gethsemane, and the blood-sweating prayer to the God of Mercy for help, it appears that Jesus knew nothing about the contract for his crucifixion. It reminds one of the Biblical Abraham, leading his son to the slaughter with the bluff that the Lord will provide a 'scape-goat.'
AN UN-WILLING VICTIM
If this was God's plan for a vicarious atonement to redeem mankind, then obviously He had chosen a wrong substitute. This candidate was most reluctant to die. Arming! Wailingi Sweating! Crying! Complaining!5 Contrast these responses with those of Lord Nelson, a war-hero, who gave up the ghost with these undying words:
"THANK GOD, I HAVE DONE MY DUTY!". There are millions today, who would happily immolate themselves for king and country, with smiles on their faces, with shouts of "Amandhia!" or "Allahu-akbar!" or "God save the Queen!" Jesus was an un-willing victim. If this was God's scheme of salvation, then it was a heartless plot. It was murder in the first degree, and not redeeming self-sacrifice.
Major Yeats-Brown, in his "Life of a Bengal Lancer", summarises the Christian Doctrine of the Atonement in just a single sentence:
"NO HEATHEN TRIBE HAS CONCEIVED SO GROTESQUE AN IDEA, INVOLVING AS IT DOES THE ASSUMPTION, THAT MAN WAS BORN WITH A HEREDITARY STAIN UPON HIM: AND THAT THIS STAIN (FOR WHICH HE WAS NOT PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE) WAS TO BE ATONED FOR: AND THAT THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS HAD TO SACRIFICE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON TO NEUTRALISE THIS MYSTERIOUS CURSE."
GOOD FOR EXPORT
"No heathen tribe!" proclaims this Britisher. But the mighty nations of the West, live and die by this "Fiction". If it is no longer fit for home consumption, then it is still good for export! More than 62,000 full-time missionaries (Modern-day Crusaders) are raising the dust throughout the world. Harassing the "heathen" as they call them. Over 40% of these cultists are "born-again" Americans!6
Strange as it may sound, after every outpouring of prayer, Jesus Christ found his disciples lulled to sleep at their post. Again and again he bewailed:
"What could ye not watch with me for one hour?"
"And again he (Jesus) went away, and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when he returned, he found them sleep again "
Poor St. Mark bemoans that the disciples could give no excuse for their lassitude, their somnambulism. He records:
"neither knew they what to answer him",
However, the most lucid, the most coherent and systematic of all Gospel writers, St. Luke, hazards a guess for this anomaly. He says:
"And when he (Jesus) rose from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for SORROW."
St. Luke, though he was never one of the elected Twelve disciples of Christ, holds numerous distinctions according to Christians. Among them, the "most historical", the beloved "physician", etc. As a Physician, his theory of men "SLEEPING FOR SORROW" is unique. Cries and waitings, sobs and sorrows were in abundance from Jerusalem to Gethsemane on the lips of Jesus (pbuh) which would shock and alert to wakefulness any un-ebriated7 person. Why were the "lullabies" of woe, lulling the disciples to slumber? Was their psychological make-up any different from that of twentieth century man? Professors of physiology opine that under shock, stress and fear the adrenal gland secretes a hormone into the bloodstream - nature's own injection - which chases away all sleep. Is it not possible that the disciples of Jesus had eaten too much and drunk too much: remembering that food and drink was all "on the house," 8 i.e. FREE!
"Likewise also said all
the disciples." (Mathew 26:35).
2 A leading military academy in England.
3 According to Christian calculations the world and everything in it is 6000 years old.
4 "Trinity": The closest approximation to the Christian dogma of the trinity as found in the Bible - "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" - (1st Epistle of John 5:7) has now been unceremoniously thrown out as fabrication in the R.S.V.
5 "Eli, Bi, La'ma sabach'thani? ... Why hast thou foresaken me?"
6 "Born-Again:" The latest cult among the Christians. Billy Graham claims that there are 70 million such cultists in America. Immaculate people, veritable angels! Yet in that nation over a quarter million "gays" gathered in San Fransisco last June on a pilgrimage, led by 50 lesbians on motorbikes. In New York, there are only one million more women than men and of the "men" it is said that one third are sodomites! Overall there are 10 million "problem drinkers" (meaning DRUNKARDS), in the U.S.A. If all this is true with 70 million veritable angels ("Born-Again") in their midst, then it gives a lie to Paul's : " a little leaven leaveneth the whole ..." (1 Cor. 5:6). Here in the Christian West not even one third can ferment the loaf. Strange!
7 "Un-ebriated": a sober person, not drunk.
8 Note to translators: please do not attempt a literal translation of English idiom and figures of speech.
DISCRETION OR VALOUR?
Jesus had doubly miscalculated:
- Regarding the enthusiasm demonstrated by the disciples in that upper-room. Believing that he would only have to contend with the Jews in a clandestine arrest.
- The Jews were more wily then he had thought. They brought with them Roman soldiers.
The Christian scholars are no less wily in their translations and manipulations of the Bible. They have changed the words "Roman soldiers" to simply "soldiers" and from the word soldiers to now "band of men" and "the guard".
"Judas then, having received a BAND OF MEN1 and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh there with lanterns and torches and weapons"
The disciples were caught as the Englishman would say with their "pants down".2 Literally they were caught napping. The enemy trod over them roughshod. Only one of the soldiers of Christ had the presence of mind to ask:
". . . Master, shall we smite them with the sword?"
But before Jesus could attempt a reply, the impetuous Peter struck out with his sword and cut off the right ear of one of the enemy. Jesus had not anticipated Roman soldiers. Realising that the tables were turned against his misconceived strategy, he advises his disciples:
". . . Put up again thy sword into its place; for all they that TAKE THE SWORD shall PERISH WITH THE SWORD."
CHANGE OF STRATEGY
Did Jesus not know the truth of this statement when he ordered his disciples to sell their garments and buy SWORDS? He surely did! Then why the contradiction now? . There is really no contradiction! The situation changes, so the strategy must also change. He had sense enough to realise that against trained and well-equipped Roman soldiers it would be suicidal for his sleepy warriors to offer even a pretence of resistance.
PRINCE OF PEACE???
Why do not the Christian controversialists give their "Lord and Master" credit for this simple common-sense? Because they have been programmed for a period of two thousand years that Jesus, the "lamb", the "prince of peace", couldn't harm a fly. They overlook the other side of his nature which demanded blood and fire! They forget his instructions to his soldiers regarding those of his enemies who would not like him to rule over them, to bring them forth:
. . . and SLAY3 them before me."
"Think NOT that I am come to send PEACE on earth; I. came NOT to send PEACE, but a SWORD."
"I am come to send FIRE on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
Suppose ye that I am come to give PEACE on earth? I tell you, NAY; but rather DIVISION."
Luke 12:49 & 51
In view of these solemn pronouncements and his repeated vitriolic outbursts against the learned men of his time, if the sword of Peter had prevailed, we would have witnessed a massacre without compunction, equal to that of his ancestor Joshua (meaning Jehova Saviour)4 who utterly destroyed all that was in Jericho:
"both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the SWORD."
And the Gospel writers would not have been slow in putting words into the mouth of Jesus, word for word, as fulfilment of prophecies VATICINIUM EX EVENTU (prophecies after the event) as recorded5 of his "father" (?) David.
FAILURE, AND TRIAL
The march on Jerusalem had fizzled out. The sabre-rattling in the Garden had proved abortive. As there is a reward for success, likewise there is a price for failure. The odds are heavy! Hence the trial, the tribulation, the turmoil and the sweat and blood.
With heavy hands, the Roman soldiers dragged Jesus (pbuh) from Gethsemane to Annas, and from Annas to Caiphas the High Priest, and on to the Sanhedrin as directed by the Jews, for trial and execution.
Whilst Jesus was being manhandled and buffeted towards his doom, where were his heroes who were beating their breasts with the war-cry: "Master, we are prepared to die for you. Master, we are prepared to go to prison for you!" ? St. Mark, the first of the Gospel writers, un-ashamedly and without any apology reveals:
"AND THEY ALL FORSOOK HIM, AND FLED."
The authors of the 27 books of the New Testament could not find a similar dastardly desertion in the Jewish Bible6 to fulfil prophecy. If there was, they would have been quick to exploit it.
GLOATING OVER DEFEAT
In a debate between Islam and Christianity, on SABC T.V. one of the participants, claiming to be "reborn", gloated over the word DESERTION. He articulated the word with such relish D-E-S-E-R-T-I-O-N which must have left a taste of triumph in the mouth of the cultists, instead of the bitterness of shame and defeat. The Bible-thumpers have developed a new sickness of glamorising despicability and ignominy. Everyone, male or female, of these cultists, will not fail to relate their peccadillos, their adulteries and bestialities, their drinkings and druggings. It appears that one must have been part of the dregs of humanity to become a candidate for this "born again" cult.
"Band of men": here and in verse 12 following, the
words in the so-called original manuscripts are speira and chiliarchos
respectively. Both Roman military terms, meaning "cohort" and "tribune". "That
John is the first Evangelist to mention Roman soldiers among the party which
went out to arrest our Lord . . ." See Knox's "A New Testament Commentary",
2 "Pants down": a figure of speech, meaning caught in an unguarded moment; unawares.
3 Means to KILL. Breaking the commandment "Thou shalt not kill. (Exodus 20:13)
4 Joshua: a type of Christ, says C.I. Scofield, D.D. in his Bible commentary.
5 His "father's" record: 'The conquered Ammonities he treated with even greater ferocity, tearing and hewing some of them in pieces with harrows, axes, and saws; and roasting others in brick-kilns". Maitlands comment on 2 Samuels Chs. 8 to 12 in "Jewish Literature and Modern Education" - (page 21).
6 The Old Testament.
TRIALS OF JESUS
GONE IN HIS HOUR OF NEED
In the history of the world, there is no parallel of such a contemptible betrayal. From the beginning to the end, Jesus (pbuh) received the most shabby response from his chosen ones. Professor Momerie succinctly sums up the "Disciples" and their response to the Master:
"HIS IMMEDIATE DISCIPLES WERE ALWAYS MISUNDERSTANDING HIM AND HIS WORKS. WANTING HIM TO DECLARE HIMSELF KING OF THE JEWS: WANTING HIM TO CALL DOWN FIRE FROM HEAVEN, WANTING TO SIT ON HIS RIGHT HAND AND ON HIS LEFT HAND IN HIS KINGDOM; WANTING HIM TO SHOW THEM THE FATHER, TO MAKE GOD VISIBLE TO THEIR BODILY EYES: WANTING HIM TO DO, AND WANTING TO DO THEMSELVES, ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT WAS INCOMPATIBLE WITH HIS GREAT PLAN. THIS WAS HOW THEY TREATED HIM UNTIL THE END. AND WHEN THAT CAME, THEY ALL FORSOOK HIM. AND FLED."
If Muhummed (pbuh) was the "Most Influential Man in History" - Michael M. Hart;
If Muhummed (pbuh) was the "Most Successful of all Religious Personalties" - Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Ed;
If Muhummed (pbuh) was the "Greatest Leader of all Times" - Jules Masserman in the "TIME" Magazine;
If Muhummed (pbuh) was the "Greatest Man that ever Lived" - Lamartine in his "History of the Turks";
THEN IT CAN BE CLAIMED WITH JUSTIFICATION THAT Jesus Christ (pbuh) was the "Most unfortunate of all of Gods Messengers".
The disciples of Jesus always misunderstood him. His nation, the Jews, always misrepresented his utterances, AND his so-called followers are always misinterpreting his teachings, even to this day. If Jesus were a Japanese instead of being a Jew, he would most assuredly have committed honourable "HARA-KIRI" (suicide) rather than endure the fickleness and infidelity of his followers.
The fate of Jesus (pbuh) was already sealed. Caiphas the High Priest, at the head of the Sanhedrin (a Religious Board of Jewish Deputies), was a man who would have recused himself in any civilised Court-of-Law, because of his prejudice against the defendant. He had already condemned Jesus to death without any hearing. He had recommended to his Council, even before the case that:-
" it is expedient for us that one man die for the people, and the whole nation perish not."
Jesus had to be liquidated! There was no question of right or wrong; Justice or injustice; it was "EXPEDIENT"! The trial was a farce. By hook or by crook they would have Jesus convicted and done away with. In the middle of the night, what we might call at 2 o'clock in the morning, the Jews had mustered up false witnesses to testify against Jesus. A trial, past midnight was against Jewish practice; but who cares? Despite sympathetic and encouraging prosecutors and jurors, the false witnesses could not tally in their evidences.
It was too much for Jesus. He could not hold his peace. He had to remonstrate. He made a telling plea in his own defence, saying:
"... I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, where the Jews always gather; and in secret have 1 said nothing."
In essence, he said that he expounded no secret or esoteric doctrines. He did not teach anything in private which he would not be prepared to proclaim in public. In which case, the Jews would have been able to line up an army of witnesses to testify against him. But what a farce! The Jews could not get even two to agree1 in their allegations! "But neither did their witness agree together" - (Mark 14:59). His argument was so potent that an officer standing by was provoked to strike him in silence. Did that intimidate Jesus? No! Instead, he protested further:
"... if I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil. But if well, why smitest thou me?"
The victim was slipping out from between their fingers. It was now or never. Legally they could not incriminate him. Direct intervention was necessary. The High Priest interjects with a side thrust. Tell us then:
" Art thou the Christ, the son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am . . . " Mark 14:61-62
"SON OF GOD" NO BLASPHEMY
There was nothing blasphemous or treasonable in the simple avowal of Jesus (pbuh). "Christ" is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word "Messiah," which meant the ANOINTED ONE or the APOINTED ONE.2 Nowhere was the word Christ equated with God. We must divorce this notion from the paganised Christian doctrine of the incarnation, wherein God becomes man. The Jewish expectation of a Messiah, did not identify the Messiah with God. Indeed, the nature of Jewish monotheism wholely excludes such pagan connotations. "Son of God" is also another harmless expression in Jewish theology. God seems to have sons by the tons in the Jewish Bible. But if you are looking for trouble, you do not have to go far. You will find it round the corner. The High Priest was exultant. He felt that his rapier thrust had ripped open the defence of Jesus. To dramatise his contrived victory, he began renting his clothes.
"What need have we for any further witnesses? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death."
GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY "JESUS MUST DIE!"
The Jews falsely charged that Jesus had blasphemed, which is like treason in the spiritual realm. The Christians are "ONE" with the Jews regarding this "blasphemy" of Jesus, but contend that he was not guilty, because as God, he was entitled to "blaspheme" it was no blasphemy. Between the two (Jews and Christians) they want poor Jesus to die. One for "GOOD RIDDANCE" and the other for "GOOD REDEMPTION".
The verdict was quick and unanimous. It was cut and dried! But without the Roman consent, they could not hang him. In the morning they took their victim to Pontius Pilate, because, as they said:
"It is not lawful for us (Jews) to put any man to death".
PILATE "PASSES THE BUCK"
On discovering that Jesus was a Galilaean, the most troublesome of his subjects, Pilate felt it advisable to "pass the buck" to Herod. 2 You remember, the oldest game in the world. It started in the Garden of Eden according to the Christian Scriptures. But it did not work. After a fruitless attempt to elicit co-operation from Jesus, Herod sends him back to Pilate.
The Jews had condemned Jesus for blasphemy. A man claiming to be God, they alleged. This would not hold water before Pilate. He had his man-gods beyond counting. His Jupiter and Pluto, his Vulcan and Eros, his Mars and Neptune, his Appollo and Zeus, to name just a few out of his Pantheon. One more, or one less, would not make any difference to him. This the Jews very well knew. So they changed their charge from blasphemy to treason. They began accusing:
". . . We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ, a king."
SECOND FALSE CHARGE
The charge was absolutely false. Contrary to what they are alleging, he had said, on the subject of taxation:
"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God, the things that are God's"
What is subversive about this? Like the Christians,3 the Jews too, before them had invented a new meaning for the word "Christy," viz. "A KING!" So that he could be more easily presented as a challenge to their Roman overlords. Pilate got the message. But this poor man, meek and passive, seemed to be no threat. He did not look like a Zealot, a political agitator, a subversive person, a terrorist!
A MASTERFUL DEFENCE - AND A JUST VERDICT
Incredulously he asks Jesus:
" Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, "MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD, if my kingdom was of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence. "
A masterful defence! No Q.C. 4 could have done a better job. As a man of God, he could not disavow his religious status. His was a spiritual kingdom, a ruler to rescue his nation from sin and formalism. This was all nonsense to the Roman Governor. The man may be deluded, mad; but of no danger to the State. He was on no collision course with Rome. Pilate goes to the waiting Jews and delivers an unequivocal verdict
"... I FIND IN HIM NO FAULT AT ALL!"
Though Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are supposed to be writing independent records on the life of Jesus, it is astonishing that the Synoptists,5 the first three had never heard the words "My kingdom is not of this world" at all. If God dictated these words exclusively to John, or if he had been informed by some witness, then these words must have escaped the lips of Jesus. A most telling defence against the false allegation of the Jews. How did these words reach any ear, without Jesus opening his mouth?
SPEAKING WITH CLOSED MOUTH?
The hot-gospellers are getting hoarse in the throat, singing and shouting, that Jesus was led:
"to the slaughter like a lamb, like a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth"
Poor deluded souls, they hymn songs:
"Hy het sy monde nie oop gemaak nie! Hy het sy monde nie oop gemaak nie!" (And he opened not his mouth).
Now, an Attorney-at-Law, claiming to be "re-born" has joined the chorus of Bible-thumpers with the same senseless repetition. Let me quote, word for word from his Book, to enable you to diagnose this new sickness of cultism to which even people having undergone a dicipline of Law are not immune. He says;
"Isaiah predicts about Jesus Christ:- "
1. He would not defend himself at his trial
(Jesus did not): "He opened not his mouth"
When you meet these cultists in the flesh, please ask them, "Did Jesus speak with his mouth closed?" How did the following utterances which are attributed to Jesus, escape his lips without him opening his mouth:
(a). Before Pontius Pilate: "My kingdom is not of this world"
(b). Before the Sanhedrin: "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou me?"
(c). Before God in the Garden: "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away . . ."
We Muslims believe in the many, many miracles of Jesus, but we would be reluctant to believe that he dabbled in ventriloquism.6 Again and again, whenever the need arose, during his trials and tribulations, Jesus opened his mouth with telling effect, "according to the Scriptures". But for those who refuse to see or hear, we can only seek solace in the words of the Master:
". . . they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand"
In the case under discussion, Pilate finds Jesus NOT GUILTY! His implacable enemies, blackmail Pilate, saying:
". . . If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend; whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh agaist Caesar"
While the trial was under way, Pilate's wife sends him a message:
"Have thou nothing to do with that just man (Jesus); for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him."
As reluctant as Pilate was to condemn an innocent and harmless subject, and despite the pleadings of his dear wife based on supernatural visions, he could not prevail against Jewish pressure. He was forced to give in to the Jewish clamour of "Crucify him, crucify him!". "Pilate took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man." (Matthew 27:24). You are culpable for this unjust crime. And he handed Jesus over to be crucified.
It reminds one of the 5000 (so-called original)
Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament of which "NO TWO ARE PERFECT
DUPLICATES", say the Jehovah's Witnesses. The "cultists" are now claiming
the discovery of a staggering 24 thousand Manuscripts; to which of course the
same stricture will apply.
2 Luke 23:7
3 The Christians equate the word "Christ" to "A GOD!"
4 Q.C. means Queen's Counsellor, previously K.C. (King's Counsellor) The highest legal representative in English Court-of-Law.
5 Synoptists: meaning one-eyed; looking from one angle.
6 Ventriloquism: The art of speaking, or uttering sounds in such a manner that the voice appears to come from some other source than the speaker, like Charlie McCarthy and his doll.
METHODS OF CRUCIFIXION
ORIGINS OF CRUCIFIXION
Crucifixion was the common mode of eliminating political prisoners, murderers and insurgents. Long before the birth of Jesus, the Phoenecians had experimented with various methods to get rid of their anti-social characters. They had tried hanging, impaling, stoning, drowning, etc. But all these were too quick in their effects; the culprits expired too soon for their liking. So they invented the crucifixion, a system which produced a slow L-I-N-G-E-R-I-N-G death.
TWO METHODS OF CRUCIFIXION
The Romans borrowed and perfected the system. They developed a crucifixion for fast death and disposal, and another for a slow death and disposal.
The Christian Masters1 are confused in their paintings of the gruesome scene. They portray the two robbers2 who were simultaneously crucified with Jesus, his "crossmates", one on his right hand and the other on his left hand, as undergoing the FAST method, whereas Jesus himself is painted as undergoing a S-L-O-W process.
The Romans never combined these two different methods. They were never confused, as the Christian artists were, with the fast and the slow methods. The Old Masters have painted hybrid crosses (mixture) of the "fast" and "slow" methods in their drawings of Jesus' bodily supports on the cross - i.e. with Sadile or without sadile3 either nails or leather thongs to bind the arms to the crossbar; and, either platforms to support the feet, or spikes.
"THE GOSPEL UNTRUTH"
Contrary to common belief, Jesus was not nailed to the cross, but bound, if at all, like the other two. In the light of the knowledge available, we must regard the "Doubting Thomas" episode as a flagrant "gospel fabrication", similar to the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. See below for a reproduction of the Bible page and note that John chapter 8, begins with verse 12. Can you imagine any chapter in any religious Book beginning with verse 12 as the first verse? Verses 1 to 11 are expunged as a fabrication by the 32 Christian Scholars of the highest eminence, backed by 50 co-operating denominations in their "Most up-to-date Version of the Bible"- the R.S.V.4
THIS IS A FOOTNOTE, REPRODUCED AS IS FROM THE BIBLE
THEIR HURRY A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
The Jews were in extreme haste to have Jesus done away with. Remember the midnight trial? Early in the morning, they dragged him to Pilate. From Pilate to Herod. From Herod back to Pilate. According to a boisterous American (another "born-again") there were "SIX" trials within twelve hours. At the busiest time in Jerusalem, around the Feast of the Passover, it appears from the Gospel narratives that people of worth had nothing else to do but twiddle their thumbs in great expectation of interviewing Jesus. Exactly as things happen on the "set", for the shooting of films. Hurry! hurry! hurry!
According to the Gospel writers, the Jews and the Romans managed to have Jesus on the cross by the 6th hour, that is by 12 noon; and by the 9th hour5, that is, by 3 o'clock he had given up the ghost he had died (?). Strange people, these Jews! As much as they were in a hurry to mount Jesus on the cross, no sooner had they succeeded, they were once more agitated to bring him down. Can you imagine why? Their religious scruples -the Sabbath! They were warned in the "fifth Book of Moses":
"His body (any crucified person) shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shah in any wise bury him that day, (for he that is hanged is accursed of God), that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."
To appease the religious scruples of the Jews (or for any other reason) if it became necessary to expedite death on the cross, the executioners resorted to the "cruri-fragium", a club like horror with which the legs were broken. The victim expired by suffocation within the hour. This was the fast method.
This drawing is an attempt at a more accurate representation of the "execution" of Jesus. To check his ideas the artist Charles Pickard, actually manoeuvred himself into this position.
Meaning great artists like Michaelangelo, Rembrandt, Leonardo Da Vinci, etc.
2 Mark 15:27 - "lestes" in the original. Alternatively translated as "thieves" or "brigandas" is actually a derogatory term for "Zealot." These "crossmates" of Jesus were not common thieves or crooks. They were the terrorists of their day, heroes of their nation.
3 Sadile: Obviously a SADDLE, or "horn" which was fitted in the middle of the upright piece of the cross, so that it projected between victim's legs at the crotch to support his body-weight, but for aesthetic reasons the Christian fathers have eliminated the "horn" from the cross. See illustrations further down.
4 R.S.V. stands for Revised Standard Version, first published in 1952. The translators claimed to have had access to the "Most Ancient Manuscripts" from which they learnt that the story about the adulteress was a fabrication.
5 Matthew 27:46. 32
GOD'S WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS
Was the prayer of Jesus (pbuh) being answered? He had cried (o the loving father in heaven for help, with strong crying and tears:
"And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground"
What can be expected from such heart-felt prayer and importuning? One of the four brothers1 of Jesus reminds us that:
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
Such heartfelt prayers! Such blood-curdling cries! Such sorrow and sobs! A cynic remarked that it would even bring God down from His Throne.2
GOD ACCEPTED JESUS' PRAYERS
Paul confirms that his supplications did not fall on deaf ears:
"Who, in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was HEARD in that he feared."
What does it mean "God heard" his prayers! It means that God accepted his prayers. God Almighty is not deaf at any time. He is the All-Hearing God. He heard (accepted) the supplication of Jesus in the same way that He had heard (accepted) the prayer of father Abraham. Abraham, in his old-age had prayed for a son, and Ishmael was born. The words of Abraham had become flesh. Ishmael literally means "GOD HEARD", in Hebrew. Zakariah also in his old-age prayed for a son, and God heard (accepted) his prayers, and John the Baptist was born. Now Jesus cried for help, and God heard (accepted) his prayers:
"And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him."
Strengthening him in the faith, in the hope that God will save him. This is actually what he was beseeching God to do for him. When and how rests alone in the Hands of God. His ways are not our ways. Count the blessings so far:
(a) An assurance from Heaven.
(b) Pilate finds him, not guilty!
(c) His wife shown a dream in which she is told that no harm should come to Jesus.
(d) Legs not broken!
(e) In a hurry to bring him down from the cross.
WHAT USE "THE BONES" . . .
The fourth above: "and they brake not his legs", we are told was in fulfilment of a prophecy:
"He keepeth all his bones, not one of them is broken."
If the bones of a victim were to be protected from harm, then they could only be of benefit if the person was ALIVE! For a person, already dead, intact bones mean nothing. Whether they are sawed into pieces, or smashed into smithereens, it will not make any difference to the resurrected body, the spirit or the ghost. But for living persons on the cross (like the "crossmates" of Jesus), the breaking of the legs made all the difference between life and death. The pagan Romans were not hell-bound to fulfil any prophecy. Their reason was that they "SAW that he was dead already, they brake not his legs" - (John 19:33).
"SAW" is a very simple word. We may yet ask, what did they see? Could it be the fulfilment of the words of Christ: "seeing, ye shall see and shall not preceive" - (Matthew 13:14). When John says that the soldiers "saw", he means that they surmised. For no modern-day stethoscope was used to verify death; nor did anyone touch his body or feel his pulse before concluding that "he was dead already". I see in the word "saw" another step in God's plan of rescue.
The Christians give brothers and sisters to Jesus, through a union of Mary with
Joseph the Carpenter. (Matthew 13:55-56).
2 God Almighty does not go up or down He is Omnipresent. All-Prevading. Present everywhere!
STRANGER THAN FICTION
With all the advancements in the Medical field since Christ; with all the modern, scientific instruments at our disposal; hundreds of people are being certified "dead", every day all over the world. Whilst busy writing this, my attention is being drawn to the near murder of a Mr. Barnabas who was being carried to the mortuary after being "declared clinically dead". Not by inexperienced ancient Roman soldiers, but by highly-qualified Medical men. The news item is reproduced on the side, as is, as a New Year '84 shock!1 This with another shocker from Ripley's: "BELIEVE IT OR NOT!" is also reproduced at the end of this book, with a suggestion that some young journalist keep his eyes open for people who have come back from the "dead", and write an anthology, which might well-nigh become a best-seller. Here is a list for a start: What would you say?
RESURRECTED OR RESUSCITATED?
- LITTLE GIRL WHO "DIED" TELLS HOW SHE CAME BACK TO LIFE (After 4 Days) ("Daily News" 15/11/55).
- MAN DIED FOR TWO HOURS: STILL LIVES "Miracle" amazes doctors ("Sunday Tribune" 27/3/60).
- HE DIED FOR 4 MINUTES Man's heart stops but he lives on ("Sunday Express" 23/7/61).
- HE DOES NOT KNOW THAT HE DIED FOR 90 SECONDS ("Cape Argus" 16/3/61).
- DR. HITGE RETURNED FROM THE DEAD ("Cape Argus" 4/5/61).
- THE COFFIN MOVED Young man narrowly escaped being buried alive ("Sunday Tribune" 13/5/62).
- BACK FROM THE DEAD After being thought dead for 2 days ("Post" 25/7/65).
- "CORPSE" WINKS AT UNDERTAKER Doctor wrote out a death certificate ("Daily News" 25/3/75).
- "CLINICALLY DEAD" Toddler alive after hour-long revival battle ("Natal Mercury" 5/12/82).
- WAS HE DEAD OR ALIVE? The dilemma facing transplant Doctors ("Sunday Tribune" 17/7/83).
- SHAKEN AND STIRRED Declared clinically dead "from too much Christmas liquor" ("Daily News" 3/1/84).
This sombre list would be incomplete without the picture of an exclusive club, the only qualification of whose membership is TO HAVE DIED AND LIVED AGAIN! If everything happened to Jesus "according to the Scriptures", then, he could easily become its doyen (Senior member of a body).
SYMPATHY FOR JESUS
God works in a mysterious way. He inspires the soldiers to think that the victim is "dead already" so as not to break his legs, but at the same time inspires another to lance him on the side1 with a spear, and . . .
". . . FORTHWITH came there out blood and watery."
It is a Blessing of God that when the human body cannot endure further pain or agony, unconsciousness supervenes. But immobility, fatigue and the un-natural stance on the cross2 must have slowed down the blood-circulation. The lancing came to the rescue. By "blood-letting", the circulation could regain its rhythm. We are assured in the Encyclopedia Biblica, under article "cross," column 960, that "Jesus was alive when the spear was thrust". This also confirms the statement of John that the flow of "water and blood" was instantaneous. In his own words he says: "FORTHWITH" - stralght-away, immediately, which was a sure sign that Jesus was ALIVE!
But why the "Water and the Blood"? Dr. W.B. Primrose, a Senior Anaesthetist of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, gave his expert opinion: In the "Thinkers Digest", London, Winter 1949 issue, he said that "THE WATER WAS A RESULT OF THE NERVOUS UPSET OF THE BLOOD VESSELS LOCALLY DUE TO THE OVER-STIMULATING EFFECT OF THE SCOURGING BY STAVES". This may be an extreme case, but so was his sweating, like "great drops of blood, falling down to the ground", when Jesus was in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Medical authorities also confirm the latter phenomenon.
The Gospel-writers are not unanimous regarding the time when Jesus was hoisted onto the cross. But John tells us that Jesus (pbuh) was still before Pilate in the praeto-rium at 12 noon: ". . . and about the sixth hour (Hebrew time), he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King!" - (John 19:14). And after much wrangling he was handed over for crucifixion. Imagine the disorderly mob, the heavy cross which Jesus himself is supposed to have been loaded with. The long climb to Golgotha could never have been accomplished in minutes. And the saddling, the tying and the lifting must have taken some time. On TV shots, they can do it all in 30 seconds! But we know that in real life it does not happen that fast. The author of John's Gospel failed to record the time when "Jesus gave up the ghost" (John 19:30), but the synoptists seem to be agreed that it was around the "ninth hour", meaning 3 p.m.
Dean Farrar, in his "Life of Christ", says on page 421, that "JESUS WAS ON THE CROSS FOR ONLY THREE HOURS - WHEN TAKEN DOWN".
PONTIUS PILATE MARVELS
We are told in the Gospels, in varying terms, that between the "sixth" and the "ninth" hours, there was THUNDER, an ECLIPSE and an EARTHQUAKE! - Without purpose? No, to disperse the sadistic mob after their enjoyment of a Roman holiday. To enable the hands of mercy, his "secret" and faithful disciples, to come to his succour.
Joseph of Arimathe'a together with a sympathetic Roman centurion who had declared: "Truly this man was the Son of God" (Mark 15:39), went to Pilate to claim the body of Jesus, and:
"Pilate marvelled if he were already dead, and to him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead."
What was the reason for Pilate's amazement? Why did he marvel? He knew from experience that normally no man would die within 3 hours on the cross, unless the "crurifragium" was resorted to, which was not done in the case of Jesus; unlike in that of his "crossmates", who were given the treatment because they were still ALIVE!
REASON FOR MARVELLING
It stands to reason, that if a man faces a firing squad, and shots are fired into his body, and he dies, there would be nothing to "marvel" about. If a person is taken to the gallows and is hanged, and he dies, there is nothing to "marvel" about. But should they survive, after our common knowledge expects them to die, then there is much to MARVEL about. Conversely, Pilate expects that Jesus should be ALIVE on the cross, and not dead as he is being told, therefore his marvelling is only but natural. He had no special reason for verifying whether Jesus was dead or alive. If he was ALIVE so what? Had he not found Jesus innocent of the charges levelled against him by the Jews? Did his wife not warn him against doing any harm to "that just man"? Was he not blackmailed into surrendering to Jewish clamour? So if Jesus was alive Good Luck to him. Pilate grants permission for Joseph to have the body.
SO HE HAD "SECRET" DISCIPLES
The so-called disciples of Jesus, whom he called "my mother and brethren!"3 (in preference to his own mother and his uterinal brothers and sisters), were nowhere in sight when he was most in need. His "secret" disciples, Joseph of Arimathe'a and Nicodemus, would never have been heard of had it not been for Jesus' ordeal. And they were the only persons to handle the body of Jesus, with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary(s)4 as the only spectators.
To satisfy the religious scruples of the Jews - the burial bath, the anointing and the shrouding - would well-nigh have taken more than two hours. If there were any signs of life in the limp body, no one was foolish enough to shout to the retreating curiosity mongers: "He is ALIVE! He is ALIVE! They knew that the Jews would then make doubly sure that that life was snuffed out.
The "side" of his body and not the front.
2 See at the end of this book for illustration reproduced from "A Campus Crusade" publication where a "born-again" cultist after 1000 hours study of the cruci-FICTlON is inspired to draw that caricature of Jesus.
4 Matthew 12:49.
5 Mark 15:47.
WHY THE INVERTED COMMAS ". . . "?
JEWS SUSPICIOUS AND UNEASY
We must not suppose that Jesus was buried 6 feet underground. The sepulchre was a big, airy chamber and not a grave. Jim Bishop (a Christian authority of note), in his book "The Day Christ Died," gives the dimensions as 5 feet wide by 7 feet high by 15 feet deep, with a ledge or ledges inside, which any "pondokkie" dweller in our slums would have been happy to own as his residence. The Jews were suspicious. It was all very "fishy."
(a) The tomb within easy reach.
(b) Helping hands of his "secret" disciples.
(c) His "crossmates" still alive.
(d) His legs not broken, whereas those of his "crossmates" were!
(e) Quick and easy permission granted by Pilate to obtain the body of Jesus.
For these and many more reasons, the Jews were suspicious. They felt that they had been cheated. Jesus was ALIVE! (?) So they ran to Pilate. But they had missed the bus again! They were 24 hours too late!
"Now the NEXT day . .. the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said . . .
Command, therefore, that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest . . .
the LAST error shall be worse than the FIRST (error)."
The Jews are talking about "first" and "last", not realising that in all their nervous haste they had made another slip. They had gone to Pilate only the NEXT day. They wanted to close the stable-door after the horse had bolted. Pilate was not interested in their childish plots. He had had enough of them. So he says to them:
"... Ye have a watch;1 go your way, make it as sure as ye can. "
He was not going to pander to their whim. He had more than enough reasons to hate them.
What the Jews did or did not do after Pilate's curt reply is immaterial. They had already lost a day! But the Christian cultists clutching at straws, transform the Jewish temple "guard" to soldiers, and make these "soldiers" into "Roman" soldiers. Then fill pages expounding the efficiency of the Roman military machine; that it can never be caught napping or caught off-guard! And the dire consequences in store for any that slipped. Did all this make the Roman soldier impeccable, faultless (?). By the time the unwary and weary reader wades through the profuse irrelevant details, he is ready to swallow everything hook, line, and sinker uncritically. It is a deception they have developed as an art!
What was the FIRST "error" that the Jews made in wanting to eliminate Jesus? The first was that they had permitted Jesus to be brought down from the cross without breaking his legs, under the false assumption that he had died. The LAST would be to allow the "secret" disciples of Jesus to render help to the wounded man, by NOT sealing off the tomb. But in the meantime, they made another mistake by approaching Pilate the "NEXT" day which was TOO LATE! God works in a mysterious way. His Ways are not our ways. He says:
And (the unbelievers) ploted and planned,
and Allah too planned.
And the best of planners is Allah!
Holy Qur'an 3:54
It was Sunday morning, the FIRST day of the week, according to Hebrew calculations, with Saturday the Sabbath as the seventh, when Mary Magdalene alone (Mark 16:9 and John 20:1) visited the tomb of Jesus.
The question arises: "Why did she go there?" "TO ANOINT HIM", Mark 16:1 tells us. The Hebrew word for anoint is "masaha", which means to rub, to massage, to anoint. The second question is: "Do Jews massage dead bodies after 3 days?" The answer is "No!" "Do the Christians massage dead bodies after 3 days?" The answer is again, "No!" Do the Muslims (who are the nearest to the Jews in their ceremonial laws) massage dead bodies after 3 days? And the answer is again, "No!" Then why should a Jewess want to massage a dead, decaying body after 3 days? We know that within 3 hours rigor mortis sets in the stiffening of the body after death. In 3 days time, the body would be fermenting from within the body cells would be breaking up and decomposing. If anyone rubs such a decaying body, it will fall to pieces. Does the rubbing make sense? No!
It would, however, make sense if she was looking for a LIVE person. You see, she was about, the only person besides Joseph of Arimathe'a and Nicodemus who had given the final rites to the body of Jesus. If she had seen any sign of life in the limp body of Jesus when he was taken down from the cross, she was not going to shout, "HE IS ALIVE!" She returns after 2 nights and a day, when the Jewish Sabbath had passed, to take care of Jesus.
STONE REMOVED WINDING SHEETS UNWOUND
She was sorely amazed to find on arrival, that somebody had already removed the stone and, on peeping into the tomb, she finds that the winding sheets (shroud) were folded up inside. More questions arise? "Why Was the stone removed?" Because for a resurrected body, one which had conquered death, it was not necessary for the stone to be removed for it to get out, nor was it necessary for the winding sheets to- be unwound for it to move. Because, for a spiritualised body: "STONE WALLS DO NOT A PRISON MAKE, NOR IRON BARS A CAGE."
The removal of the stone and the unwinding of the winding sheets was the need of a physically resuscitated body, not that of a resurrected body! The empty tomb was an anti-climax to what she had expected! So the hysterical woman (Jesus had had to cast out of her "seven devils" - Mark 16:9) breaks down and sobs. Jesus was all the while watching her from the vicinity not from heaven, but from earth.
This burial vault (tomb) was a privately-owned property belonging to Joseph of Arimathe'a (a very rich, influential Jew), who could afford to carve out of rock the big roomy chamber.2 Around this tomb was his vegetable garden. Please do not try to tell me that this Jew was so generous that he was planting vegetables 5 miles out of town, for other people's goats and sheep to graze upon. Surely, he must also have built gardeners' quarters for his labourers and his own country home for himself and his family to relax during the weekends?
A PRACTICAL JOKE
Jesus is there! He is watching this woman. He knows who she is, and he knows why she is there. He approaches her from behind, and finds her crying. So he asks her:
"Woman, why wee pest thou? Whom seekest thou?
Before she replies, allow me to interject: "Why does he ask what appears to be silly questions? Doesn't he know the obvious reasons? Of course he does! Then why the silly questions?"
The answer is that in reality they are not silly questions, though they appear to be so. He knows that this woman is looking for him, and she is disappointed on not finding him; hence the weeping. But he also knows that because of his heavy disguise she would not be able to recognise him. So metaphorically speaking he is pulling her leg. In describing this incident John, referring to Mary Magdalene, says:
"She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him".
Now why should she suppose that he is a gardener? Do resurrected persons look like "gardeners"? Nol! Then why does she suppose him to be a gardener? Because he is disguised as a GARDENER! Why is he disguised as a gardener? Because he is afraid of the Jews! Why is he afraid of the Jews? Because he did not die and did not conquer death! If he had died, and if he had conquered death, then he would not be afraid anymore. Why not? Because a resurrected body cannot die twice! Who says so? The Bible says so. Where? In the Book of . It says:
". . . It is ordained unto all men ONCE to die, and after that the judgement."
BACK FROM THE DEAD
But what about the hundreds of people who have come back from the "dead"? We read about them daily in our newspapers. Those persons who were certified dead, by medical men, and who subsequently came back to life;
were not really DEAD, in the sense of DEATH AND RESURRECTION. Our Doctors have erred and will continue to make mistakes; it cannot be helped. But I want you to note the word "dead" on page 63, and "Corpse" on page 22, and "crucifixion" on page 85. All these words are in inverted commas. The honest and alert newspaper reporter in each case is telling us, very subtly, that the "DEAD" was not really dead. That the "CORPSE" was not really a corpse, and that the "CRUCIFIXIONS" were not really crucifixions but cruel-fictions! They were SO-CALLED dead, the SO-CALLED corpse, the SO-CALLED crucifixions, etc. But from the newspaper circulation point of view, the word "SO-CALLED" would greatly diminish the sensationalism, lessen the news value, and reduce possible sales. After all business is business! Hence the inverted commas "..." In actual fact, no man ever dies twice. No matter how many death certificates are issued.
THE DRAMA CONTINUES
Mary supposing the disguised Jesus to be a gardener, says unto him:
"Sir, if you have taken HIM hence, tell me where have you laid HIM . . ."
She is not looking for a corpse, for "it". She is looking for a LIVE person, for "HIM". And further, she wants to know as to "where have you LAID him?" (i.e. To rest, to relax, to recuperate!) NOT, "where have you BURIED him?"
"So that I might take HIM away."
Take HIM away, where? What would she want with a dead (?), decomposing body? She could only bury it. Who dug the grave? Carrying a corpse is one thing for an American Super-woman, but another for this frail Jewess; carrying a corpse of at least a hundred and sixty pounds. That weight plus another 100 pounds of medicaments (according to John 19:39) would make a neat load of 260 pounds. Carrying would be one thing, but burying? She would have to dump it in a hole! Does it make any sense?
The prank that Jesus was playing upon this woman had gone too far. The woman had not been able to see through the disguise yet and Jesus was "laughing under his breath", but could restrain himself no longer. He blurts out: "M-A-R-Y!" Only the one word! But it was enough. This one word, "Mary!" did what all the exchange of words failed to do. It enabled Mary to recognise her Master. Everyone has his or her unique and peculiar way of calling one's nearest and dearest. It was not the mere utterance of the word "Mary", but its deliberate intonation which made her respond: "Master! Master!". Mad with happiness, she lunges forward to grab her Master, to pay reverence. Jesus says,
"Touch me not!"
Why not? Is he a bundle of electricity, a dynamo, that if she touches him, she might get electrocuted? No! "Touch me not!", because it would hurt. Though he appears normal to all intents and purposes, he had, nevertheless, been through a violent, physical and emotional ordeal. It would be excruciatingly painful if he allowed her any enthusiastic contact. Jesus continues:
"For I am not yet ASCENDED unto my Father."
She is not blind. She can see the man standing there before her. What does he mean by "not yet ascended" GONE UP when he was DOWN right there? He is, in fact, telling her that he is not RESURRECTED from the DEAD. In the language of the Jew, in the idiom of the Jew, he is saying: "I AM NOT DEAD YETl" He is saying: "I AM ALIVE!"
"And they (the disciples), when they heard that he was ALIVE, and had been seen by her (Mary Magdalene),they BELIEVED NOT."
From the word "watch" in the King James Version of the Bible, and
"guard" of the Roman Catholic Version; the 32 Christian scholars of the R.SV.
have now interpolated the words, "of soldiers" after the word "GUARD",
reading "guard of soldiers". There is no end to Christian theological
ingenuity! As was discussed earlier; the revisers have now re-revised the R.S.V.
and have re-inserted the spicy verses about the women "caught in the act"
once more into their 1971 Version.
2 Dimensions already given earlier.
JOURNEY TO EMMAUS
That very day, on the way to Emmaus, Jesus joins two of his disciples and discourses with them for 5 miles without being recognised by them! What a perfect masquerade! On reaching their destination, the disciples persuade the Master to join them for a meal.
"And it came to pass, as he sat EATING with them, he took bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to them"
By the manner in which he brake bread (meaning the way he blessed it), "their eyes were opened". Did they walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus with closed eyes? No! We are being told that the disciples recognised him only at that juncture. Luke continues with his story, that when they recognised him, "he vanished out of sight". Did he do the Indian "Rope Trick"? Please don't be ridiculous! What it means is that he went away. He went out of their sight.
Full of excitement, the two disciples rushed up to that upper room, where the other disciples were:-
"And they went and told it unto the residue (of the disciples), NEITHER BELEIVED they them"
What is wrong with these disciples of Jesus? Why are they reluctant to believe? What is their difficulty? The problem is that they are confronted with evidence that Jesus is ALIVE! Not resurrected (i.e. not spiritualised), but evidence that he is the same physical Jesus, flesh and bones as any one of them! Eating food! In disguise but not a spirit and not a ghost. This is what they could not believe. If they were told that Mary had seen the ghost of Jesus, they would have believed. If the above two had told the rest that they too had seen the ghost of Jesus, they would certainly have believed that. They were a people who had seen spirits going into pigs and stampeding two thousand of them to destruction (Mark 5:13). They had seen spirits going into trees and drying them up from their very roots overnight (Mark 77:20). They had seen "seven devils" coming out of Mary Magdalene (Mark 76:9). All this was quite natural to their age. Spirits, ghosts and devils! They could accept that which was believable at that time and age. But a LIVE Jesus? A physical Jesus? One who had escaped the stings of death (Acts 2:24)? This was too heavy for their "little faith" (Matthew 6:30; 8:26; 74:37; 76:8; and Luke 72:28).
(a) Mary Magdalene testifies that Jesus is ALIVE. 1
(b) The disciples from Emma us testify that he is ALIVE!
(c) Angels said that Jesus was ALIVE! (Luke 24:23).
(d) Two men that stood by told the women "why seek ye the living among the dead?" That he is ALIVE! (Luke 24:4-5).
Yet they will not believe!! Let us see whether they will believe the words of their own "Lord and Master", in the following chapter.
1 ALIVE: Here as well as in every other place where this word "alive" occur, it has been faithfully reproduced from the Christian Scriptures, and it is not any interpretation of mine. If these verses were inspired by God, then, it seems, that the poor "Hotv Ghost" did not have the word "RESURRECTED" in its vocabulary!
JESUS NO PHANTOM
The two from Emmaus,
"rose ... and returned to Jerusalem, and found the ELEVEN gathered together, and those who were with them"
Which "eleven?" They "found the eleven." Did they include themselves in the number they FOUND? Even then the disciples there (of the elected twelve of Jesus) could never be more than 10 altogether. Because on this first visit of Jesus to that upper-room. Judas and Thomas were definitely not present. But Luke was not an eyewitness to this scene. He is simply copying verbatim from Mark 16:14 who said. "he (Jesus) appeared unto the ELEVEN as they sat eating."
Now listen to Paul,. the thirteenth self-appointed apostle of Jesus. He says that after three days of hibernation. "(Jesus) was seen of Cephas (meaning Simon Peter), then to the TWELVE" - (1 Corinthians 15:5). Which "twelve?" The word "THEN" here, excludes Peter! But if you add him on, and with all good luck, you can still never get the "CHOSEN TWELVE" together to see Jesus, because the traitor Judas had committed suicide by hanging - (Matthew 27:5), long before Jesus alleged resurrection."
We are dealing here with a strange mentality, where "Eleven" does not mean ELEVEN - (Luke 24:33)."Twelve" does not mean TWELVE, and "Three and three" means TWO AND ONE!' Jesus would truly sympathise with us:
"it is hard for you to kick against the pricks"
Acts 9:5 1
Whilst the two are telling their sceptical audience about their encounter with a physical, living Jesus (one who was eating food with them), "IN WALKS JESUS" (these are my words)2 the doors being shut for fear of the Jews. The Christian controversialist says: "No! our records state that Jesus simply 'STOOD IN THEIR MIDST3; he did not WALK in!" It was a question of disappearance from Emmaus and a reappearance in Jerusalem like the "Invisible Man", like the "Indian Rope Trick", like "Star Trek" ( a science-fiction fantasy where people are "beamed" from Space Ships to planets and back again). You acutally "see" people disappearing in your very sight and materialising in another place. People who believe this to be real are victims of their own delusions. They have seen too many films and viewed too many TV programmes.
THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE
But why did it take Jesus (pbuh) so long to reach the upper-room? He had "vanished" before the "two" made a beeline for Jerusalem, and yet Jesus had not preceded them. He was late in coming. It reminds one of the story of the hare and tortoise. Could it be that he was nursing his wounds on the way?
The cultists imagine that Jesus was floating around from place to place, appearing and disappearing at will. Jeffrey Hunter, the handsome young actor, playing the role of Jesus Christ in the film, "King of Kings", made a very sensible observation after climbing Mount Zion for the scene of the "temptation" of Jesus by the Devil. After heaving and hoving, sweating and panting for breath while climbing the hill, he remarked, "FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I REALISED HOW HUMAN JESUS WAS!"
Neither Luke nor John, who record this episode of Jesus' visit to the upper-room, venture to tell us that he simply o-o-z-e-d through the key hole, or that he oozed through crevices in the wall. O! But why did they deprive us of this vital information? Because no oozing happened! But the problem remains - how did he get in when the "doors where shut'? (John 20:19). Amazingly, Luke 24:36, who also records this incident word for word did not think fit to add," the doors were shut." It was unimportant to him! Why? Because it was irrelevant! Claiming an "orderliness" and judiciousness for his writing, he would not confuse the issues - (Holy Bible, Luke 1:3)
This abode in question, is alternatively described as a "guest chamber" and as a "large upper-room" - (Mark 14:14-15). It is not the whole residence. It is part of a mansion. Do I have to prove this to you? Could this be the only room upstairs? Taking into account that this particular room contained a table big enough to seat at least 14 people on 14 clumsy chairs Jesus and his 12 disciples making the "unlucky thirteen", and John the "diciple whom Jesus loved" being the owner of the house and "leaning on Jesus bosom" (John 13:23) making fourteen in all.
Can you imagine the size of this "guest room"? - With pantry, and kitchen, and other facilities; and downstairs, where the owner's family and servants resided. It was like a small palace! Jesus was familiar with this mansion. He had visited Jerusalem often for the feast of the Passover. Remember how he directed his disciples to find the place? - (Luke 22:10).
My own humble abode has four entrances. Perhaps John's "GUEST CHAMBER" had only one main-entrance with 2 doors. But was there a need to seal it off from the rest of the house? For the visitor, the front doors were sufficient for all their needs - entry and exit. And Eastern guests do not pry into passages, attics and apartments of their hosts! They are easily gratified with every little hospitality bestowed. But Jesus was no stranger to the house. He was like a member of the family of the disciple Jesus loved. He had no need to knock at bolted doors to terrify his timid flock. There were more ways than one of getting in. If there was any misgiving on the part of the disciples for his sudden appearance in their midst, he was quick in dispelling it.
"Peace be unto you", he cried;
but his little lambs "were terrified!"
OPPOSITE REACTIONS ON RECOGNISING JESUS
Remember at the break of dawn that very morning, a lone woman, Mary Magdalene, was mad with glee on recognising him around the tomb. And she had to be stopped in her stride from embracing him. But these ten heroes who were rattling sabres in this very room were now petrified on recognising their Master. Why was there opposite reactions between the men and the woman? - Men terrified, woman not afraid? The reason is that the woman was an eye-witness to all the happenings around calvary, whereas the men were nowhere in sight. Therefore the woman went to the tomb with the intention of meeting a LIVE Jesus, and her joy on meeting him. But the ten were not witnesses to the happenings, hence their supposition about seeing a ghost. They were physically and emotionally on the verge of breaking down. Luke succinctly describes their condition:
"But they were terrified and affrighted and supposed that they had seen a spirit."
REASON FOR FEAR
The reason for their terror was that they thought that the man they saw standing in their midst was not Jesus himself but his ghost. Ask your "BORN-AGAIN" friends who want to share heaven with you, the reason for the disciples thinking that Jesus was a spirit. Ask them, "Did he look like a spirit?" And though misguided as they may be, you will hear their answer - "No!" Then why did the disciples of Jesus think that Jesus was a spirit, when he did not look like one? There is no answer! They are speechless. Please help them. Free them from their infatuation. If you don't, they will harass us and our people till kingdom come. They will steal our children (as they are doing now in Muslim lands), in the guise of feeding hungry children, and at times with our own money: Have you heard of "World Vision" and the like? Crusades once more but with arms invisible.
The reason the disciples of Jesus were afraid was that they had learned by hearsay that their Master was killed by being fastened to the cross - that he was crucified.4 They had learned by hearsay that he had "given up the ghost": that he had died. They had learned by Hearsay that now he was "DEAD AND BURIED" for three days. A man with such a reputation, would be expected to be decomposing in his tomb. FOR ALL THEIR KNOWLEDGE WAS FROM HEARSAY! - What they had heard! Because none of them was there to witness what was really going on with Jesus at Golgotha. In the most critical juncture in the life of Jesus:
". . . THEY ALL FORSOOK HIM AND FLED."
THE GENUINE DISCIPLES
Mark is talking about the chosen "twelve". Not about Jesus' "secret" devoted ones like the other John who took Mary the mother of Jesus home, and Nicodemus5 and Joseph of Arimathe'a and the like. In view of the dastardly desertion by the other "twelve", I am loathe to call these "men" disciples. Or is Mark lying? When he said all, did he not mean "All"? There was no come-back with these heroes. The author of the fourth Gospel lists a number of women from Jesus' entourage. Among them three Marys, "and the disciple whom Jesus loved". He repeats this phrase a number of times without actually identifying him as JOHN their benefactor in Jerusalem. Why? If that John is the author himself of the fourth gospel, then why does he not say so. Why is he so shy? He was not very bashful when asking Jesus to make him and his brother sit: "One on thy right hand, and the other on thy Jeft hand in thy Kingdom" - (Mark 10:37). The reason for his reticence is that the "beloved disciple" is his namesake, i.e. his name is also lohn! The rest of the disciples were nowhere to be found when he (Jesus) was most in need. They all had, as Mark says, "forsaken him and fled!" - (Mark 14:50).
WHAT WOULD YOU CALL THIS - "CRUCIFIXION or CRUCI FICTION?"
Paul says that these words were spoken to
him by Jesus, originally in the Hebrew tongue - (Acts 26:14).
2 "Came Jesus and stood in their midst" (John 20:19).
3 In John 20:79, 24. 26, the word "CAME", "CAME", "CAME", contradict the notion that he simply appeared, meaning that he materialised out of thin air.
4 "Crucified": Later on, '"CRUCIFIED OR CRUCIPLAYED" is discussed. The Gospel writers had not known the use of inverted commas to imply, that this is what other, say, or this is the ''so-called".
5 Nicodemus: A selfless soul, who, having risked his all in associating with a man (Jesus) condemned by a Roman Court for treason, is deliberately blotted out of the 26 Books of the N.T. "It is difficult to avoid concluding that the omission in the synoptic tradition of the mysterious disciple was intentional," says Dr. Hugh J. Schonfield, one of the world's leading, one of the worlds leading Biblical scholars.
JESUS NOT RESURRECTED
A PHYSICAL, LIVE JESUS!
After the due greetings of "Shaloam", Jesus begins calming the disciples' fear for taking him to be a ghost. He says:
"Behold (have a look at) my hands and my feet, that it is I myself (I am the same fellow, man!): handle me and see; for A SPIRIT has no flesh and bones, as you see me have. . .
And he showed them his hands and his feet."
What was the man trying to prove? That he had been resurrected from the dead? - That he was a spirit? - What has the demonstration of hands and feet to do with resurrection? "It is I MYSELF!" Can't you see, you fools!? "For a SPIRIT ..." - any spirit, has "NO flesh and bones, as YOU see ME have!". This is an axiomatic, self-evident truth. You do not have to convince anybody, whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Atheist or Agnostic. Everyone will acknowledge without any proof that A SPIRIT HAS NO FLESH AND BONES!
WHY BELABOUR THE OBVIOUS?
Then why does Jesus need to belabour the point? It is simply because the disciples were thinking that he had returned from the dead, that he had been resurrected, and if so he would be in a spiritual form A SPIRIT! And Jesus is telling them that he is NOT that - he is not a spirit - NOT resurrected! The above verses in their original, in every language, are so vivid, so simple, so clear that you do not need a dictionary nor a D.D. to explain them to you.
Why don't you (dear reader) memorise just this one verse. In your own language - English, Arabic, Zulu or Afrikaans, and with just this one verse you can take the wind out of the missionaries' sail. You can "CRACK HIS SKULL", exactly as young David, with his little pebble did to Goliath. The pleasure is yours Allah is giving you the opportunity, in this day and age to disabuse the Christian mind from his fantasies!
I have asked learned giants of Christendom to tell me whether in their language, when a man says, "A Spirit has NO Flesh and Bones," that it means - A Spirit HAS Flesh and Bones! In debates, no opponent of mine has ever had the courage to tackle the question. As if pretending that the words were never uttered.
VIVID EXPLANATION ... I AM ALIVE!
If I tell you in English that "Because I have flesh and bones - I am not a SPIRIT, I am not a GHOST, I am not a SPOOK!"- is that what it really means in your language? You say, "Yes!" (This reasoning equally applies to every language under the sun). In other words, Jesus was telling his disciples, when he said: "Behold my HANDS and my FEET", that the body he wanted them to see, feel and touch was not a SPIRITUAL body, nor a METAMORPHOSED body, nor a RESURRECTED body. Because a resurrected "body" becomes spiritualised!
WHO SAYS SO?
The argumentative Crusader asks: "Who says that resurrected persons will be spiritualised?" I say, "Jesus!" He asks: "Where?" I say: "In the Gospel of Luke; go back four chapters from where Jesus said: "A spirit has no flesh and bones', that is, to Luke 20:27-36, and you will see. . .". The Jews were coming to Jesus again and again with posers and riddles, like:-
"Master, must we pay tribute to Ceaser or not?"
"Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act,"
"Master, what commandment is the first of all?"
Now they come to him concerning a Jewess who had seven husbands, according to a Jewish practice - if one man dies leaving no offspring behind, then the 2nd brother of the deceased husband takes her to wife, to give her his seed. But when he fails and dies, the 3rd takes her on; and so on and so on. In the case before Jesus, seven brothers had this one woman, one after another. All the seven brothers died, and in time, the woman also died. There was no problem while each was trying to fulfil his duty - it was ONE by ONE! But the question of the Jews was that, at the RESURRECTION, which one was going to have this woman, because they had all "HAD" her here! The picture the Jews are trying to conjure up in Jesus' mind is that if the seven brothers are resurrected simultaneously at the RESURRECTION, and the woman also, then there will be a war in heaven among the seven brothers, all claiming the woman as his own wife, because they had "all had her". In short, which fellow will have this woman as his wife in heaven? In answer to that, Jesus says: "Neither shall they die anymore" - meaning that the resurrected persons will be immortalised: needing no food, no shelter, no clothing, no sex, no rest. "For they are equal unto the angels," meaning that they will be ANGEL1SED, they will be SPIRITUALISED, they will become SPIRITUAL CREATURES, they will be SPIRITS! As regards himself, four chapters further on he says: "A spirit has no flesh and bones, as you see me have" I am NOT a spirit, I am NOT a ghost, I am NOT a spook, I am NOT RESURRECTED! I am the same living Jesus ALIVE!1
"And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and feet."
THE DISCIPLES' FEAR SUBSIDES
The disciples were "overjoyed and wondered", what could have happened? They had thought that he was dead and gone, but here with them stands their Master, with flesh and bones with 100% characteristics of a man ALIVE!
To assure them further, to calm their shaky nerves, he asks: "Have you here any meat', i.e. anything to eat? "And they gave him a piece of broiled fish and of a honeycomb, and he took it, and DID EAT before them." (Luke 24:41-43).
To prove what? That he is RESURRECTED? Why does he not then say so instead of proving everything to the contrary? Presenting his physical body for examination, eating and masticating "broiled fish and honeycomb". Is all this an act, a pretence, a make-believe, another "leela" as the Hindus might say? "No!" Said Schleliermacher a hundred-and-sixty-five years ago. Albert Schweizer in his book, "In Quest of the Historical Jesus", page 64, quotes him:-
"IF CHRIST HAD ONLY EATEN TO SHOW THAT HE COULD EAT, WHILE HE REALLY HAD NO NEED OF NOURISHMENT, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A PRETENCE - SOMETHING DOCETIC"
What is wrong with our Christian brethren? Jesus says that a spirit has no flesh and bones, they say that it has! Please ask your friends among them; Who is lying? Jesus or you, the billion so-called followers of his? This is the result of two thousand years of brain-washing or "programming" as the American would say. Salvation is cheap in Christianity! The Christian does not have to fast, and pray, and strait-Jacket his life as the Muslim is obligated to do. He merely has to BELIEVE and salvation is his. For us, all our efforts, all our good deeds are "like filthy rags", he says. You better re-programme him, or he will programme you. He will never be satisfied with us, never mind how far backward we bend to appease him. Allah says:
And they - the Jews
And the Christians -
Will never- Never
Be satisfied with you
Until you follow their religion.
Holy Qur'an 2:120
Its either you change them, or they change you! If you want peace Salaam ISLAM!
1 Paul is more specific and succinct on this matter. He says in 1 Corinthians 15:35-46. "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? so also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual".
THE ONLY MIRACLE PROMISED
VATICINIUM EX EVENTU
The hot-gospeler and the Bible-thumper does not tire of quoting statements, alleged to have been made by Jesus, that he was going to Jerusalem to die, and on the third day he would come back to life. The Gospels, any Christian scholar will confirm, were first penned decades and centuries after Jesus. In his lifetime, not a word was written, nor did he instruct anyone to write a word! Taylor in his commentary on the Gospel of St. Mark, page 437, discounts the so-called prophecies regarding the "crucifixion" as vaticinium ex eventu meaning "prophecy after the event". That the Gospel writers fabricated words and sayings, and put them into the mouth of Jesus, as if he had foretold the happenings.
The Christian missionary, the evangelist, the crusader, is reluctant to give a hearing to any Christian scholar despite the latter's sincerity or greatness of calibre - whether Taylor, or Schweizer, or Brandon or Anderson he may be. As soon as they say a word which goes against their pet prejudice, they will discount them all as "external source" and "minority 20th-century speculation". Therefore, I am constrained here to catch the proverbial "Bull by the Horn" and take him to the drinking trough.
DEMAND FOR A MIRACLE
The Jews had murmured in the wilderness against Moses (pbuh). They had given him endless trouble, and now his successor, the Messiah is given no lesser parrying. In their bouts of harassing questionings, they come to him, now, sounding most respectable and polite:
"Master, (Hebrew Rabbi, meaning Teacher) we would have a sign of thee"
All his teaching and preaching, and healing were not enough to convince the Jews that he was a man sent by God; that he was their Messiah. Now they are asking for a "SIGN" a Miracle such as flying like a bird, or walking on water; in short, anything they considered IMPOSSIBLE.
Before you proceed any further in the discussion with the Christian, please make sure that he understands the word "sign" in the above verse to mean a "miracle". This simple English word from the King James Version of the Bible, which every other Version seems to have copied is creating difficulty in the grasping of its true significance. In the "New International Version", supported by Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Reformed churches, the word is expanded as "miraculous sign", thank God! Not just any sign, or road signs - "Stop, Yield or Go!"
It is also necessary for us to try and define what is meant by a miracle. One of the simplest and truest of definitions is that given by Dr. Lyttelton in, "The Place of Miracles in Religion", that is:- "AN ACT BEYOND HUMAN POWER."
This is exactly what the Jews wanted from Jesus. An act which they, the Scribes and the Pharisees, could not duplicate. On the face of it the request seems quite fair, but it is a sick mentality which craves for "tricks" which every sceptic and materialist can rationalise.
NO "SIGN" BUT ONE!
So Jesus reacts:
". . . An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign (miracle), and there shall no sign (miracle) be given to it, but the sign (miracle) of the prophet, Jonah."
What was the "sign" or the miracle that Jonah performed that Jesus now proposes to emulate? To discover this miracle, we have to go to the "Book of Jonah", in the Bible. But this "Book" is very elusive! it happens to be a single leaf, with four short chapters, and is difficult to find in any encyclopedia of a thousand pages, such as the Christian Bible. But you do not have to go to the Book itself. Every Christian child who ever attended Sunday-school, knows the whole story.
BACKGROUND TO THE "SIGN"
To refresh your memory, let me tell you that God Almighty commands Jonah (pbuh) to go to Nineveh (a city of a hundred thousand people) and warn them to "repent in sack-cloth and in ashes". That is, to humble themselves before the Lord, or God will destroy them.
Jonah feels despondent, fearing that the materialisic Ninevites will not listen to him; they will make a mockery of him. So instead of going to Nineveh, he goes to Joppa and sets sail to Tarshish. At sea there is a terrible storm and, according to the superstition of the mariners, whoever runs away from his "Master's Commands" creates such a turmoil at sea. An enquiry begins and Jonah realises that he is the guilty party, that as a prophet of God, he was the soldier of God. And as a soldier of God he had to obey the Commands of God. He had no right to act presumptously. So he volunteers and makes a manly comeback. He feared that God was after his blood, and in wanting to kill him. He will sink the boat, and innocent people will die. Jonah reasons, that it will be better for him to be thrown overboard, and thus avert the disaster overtaking them.
CASTING OF LOTS
These "pre-exilic"1 people, eight centuries before Christ had more sense of Justice and fairplay than modern civilised (?) man. They felt that Jonah wanted to commit suicide, and perhaps wanted their helping-hand. They were not going to aid and abet in his folly. So they said that they had a system of their own, to discover right from wrong, by casting "lots", something like our tossing of the coin "head or tail"! And according to their primitive system the lot fell against Jonah, who was discovered as being the guilty man. So they took him and threw him overboard!
DEAD OR ALIVE?
The question arises that, when they threw Jonah overboard, was he dead or was he alive? To make it easy for you to get the right answer, let me help you by suggesting that Jonah had volunteered; when he said:
". . . Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm for you; for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you."
When a man volunteers, one does not have to strangle him before throwing him; one does not have to spear him before throwing him; one does not have to twist his arms or legs before throwing him. Everyone agrees that that is so.
Now once more the question: Was Jonah dead or alive when he was thrown into the raging sea? We get a unanimous reply - that he was ALIVE! The storm subsides, perhaps it was a coincidence. A fish comes and swallows him. Was he dead or alive? And again everyone says ALIVE! From the fishes belly he prays to God for help. Do dead men pray? "No!" So he was ,.. ALIVE! On the third day the fish vomits him onto the seashore - dead or alive? And the reply again is ALIVE! It is a miracle of miracles! The Jews say that he was ALIVE! The Christians say that he was ALIVE! And the Muslims say that he was ALIVE! Little wonder that Jesus chose the "SIGN" (miracle) of Jonah as his only "SIGN" (miracle): Something on which the followers of three major religions are agreed.
Let me recapitulate this Mighty Miracle from the Book of Jonah:
- When you throw a man into a raging sea, he ought to die. Because Jonah did not die, therefore, it is a MIRACLE!
- A fish comes and gobbles the man; he ought to die. He did not die. It is now therefore, a double MIRACLE!
- Because of heat and suffocation in the whale's belly for three days and three nights, he ought to die. He did not die, therefore, it is now a miracle of MIRACLES!
When you expect a man to die, and he does not die, only then is it a MIRACLE. If a man faces a firing squad and six bullets are pumped into his body at the given signal, and the man dies. Is it a miracle? "No!" But if he lives to laugh it off, would that be a miracle? Of course it would be a MIRACLE. We expected Jonah to die each time, but he does not die; therefore, his is a multiple MIRACLE.
JESUS LIKE JONAH
Jesus too, after the ordeal he is supposed to have gone through, ought to die. If he died it would be no miracle. But if he lived, as he had himself foretold, and proved "according to the scriptures", it would be a "sign" - a MIRACLE! And these are his words:
"For as Jonah was . . ." (English),
"Want soos Jonah . . ." (Afrikaans),
"Ngokuba njengo Jonah . . ." (Zulu).
"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the son of man be . . ."
How was Jonah in the whale's belly for three days and three nights Dead or Alive? The Muslims, the Christians and the Jews again give a unanimous verdict of A-L-1-V-E! How was Jesus in the tomb, for the same period of time - Dead or Alive? Over a thousand million Christians, of every church or Denomination give a unanimous verdict of D-E-A-D! Is that like Jonah or un-like Jonah in your language? And everyone whose mind is not confused, says that, that is very UN-LIKE Jonah. Jesus said that he would be "LIKE JONAH" and his infatuated followers say that he was "UN-LIKE JONAH!". Who is lying - Jesus or his followers? I leave the answer to you!
But religion is good business. In the name of Christ they are making a mint of it. The crusaders say that we have got it all wrong. They say it was the time factor that Jesus was prophesying about, and not whether he would be Dead or Alive. They say, "Can't you see that he is emphasising the time factor? He repeats the word, "three", four times." These are drowning men clutching at straws, drowning women do the same! What did Jesus say?
"For as Jonah was THREE days and THREE nights in the whale's belly; so shall the son of man be THREE days and THREE nights in the heart of the earth."
Jesus was nowhere near the "heart of the earth"; he was supposed to have been in a tomb, which is well-above ground-level. Maybe he was speaking figuratively.
Three and three are no doubt repeated four times, but there is nothing miraculous about a time factor. The Jews were asking Jesus for a "sign" - a miracle and there is nothing to make THREE days, or THREE weeks or THREE months into a miracle. The first time when I went to Cape Town from Durban, thirty years ago, was by train, and the train took exactly THREE days and THREE nights to reach there. Hooray! It's a Miracle! Nonsense you will say, and I am forced to agree.
But it is not so easy for the Christian to agree because his salvation hangs upon a thread. Therefore he must hold on for dear life. We can afford to be charitable. So let us humour him! So was it the time factor that Jesus was out to fulfil? "Yes!" Says the Christian. When was he "crucified"2? The bulk of Christendom believes that it was on a Friday afternoon some two thousand years ago.
Before the Jews were carried away into exile under Nebuchadnezzar.
2 "Crucified": The wisdom of the inverted commas will become apparent when you read the chapter "Crucified or Cruciplayed?" later on.
WHY "GOOD FRIDAY"?
In my country, we enjoy a four-day holiday around Easter, beginning with what is called GOOD FRIDAY. What makes Good Friday good? They say that because Christ died for their sins on that day. And in tune with that, every Christian country in the world - Britain, France, Germany, America, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, they all commemorate Good Friday. I have already proved to you that Jesus could not have been on the cross for more than three hours, if at all. For all their rush and hurry, they could not bundle Jesus into the tomb before sunset of Friday.
More than a thousand and one sects and denominations of Christianity, bickering on every aspect of faith, are nevertheless, almost all agreed that Jesus Christ was SUPPOSED to have been in the tomb on the night of Friday. He was still SUPPOSED to be in the tomb on the day of Saturday. And he was still SUPPOSED to be in the tomb on the night of Saturday.1 But on Sunday morning, the first day of the week, when Mary Magdalene visited the tomb, she found the tomb empty. You will note that I have repeated the word SUPPOSED, SUPPOSED, SUPPOSED, three times. Do you know why? Surely not to rhyme with the other THREE, THREE, THREE of the prophecy. The reason is that none of the 27 Books of the New Testament record the time of his exit from the tomb. Not a single writer of these 27 "tomes"2 was an eyewitness to his alleged "resurrection". The only ones who could have told us, authoritatively, a word or two on the subject, have been utterly silenced. May
May another Arab lad makes a find like the "Dead Sea Scrolls", but this time autographed by Joseph of Arimathe'a and Nicodemus themselves! These two would have told us candidly how they had taken their Master soon after dark that very Friday evening, to a more congenial place for rest and recuperation. Is it not amazing that the only genuine witnesses have been eternally silenced? Could it be that these two and the disciples at Jerusalem were preaching about "ANOTHER JESUS, and ANOTHER GOSPEL"? (2 Corinthians 11:4).
If it was the time factor that Jesus was trying to stress in the prophecy under discussion, let us see whether that was fulfilled, "according to the scriptures", as the Christians boast.
IN THE SEPULCHRE
Three Days and Three Night
Friday - placed in tomb at sunset
Saturday - supposed to be in tomb
You will no doubt observe from the above table that the grand total amounts to no more than ONE day and TWO nights and, juggle as you may, you will never, never get three days and three nights as Jesus had himself foretold, "according to the Scriptures". Even Einstein, the Master mathematician, cannot help you for this! Can't you see the Christian is giving a double lie to Jesus from this one prophecy alone. Jesus said, that he would be LIKE Jonah!
- The Christians allege that Jesus was UNLIKE Jonah. Jonah was ALIVE for three days and three nights, whereas Jesus was "DEAD" in the tomb!(?)
- Jesus said that he would be in the tomb for THREE days and THREE nights, whereas the Christians say that he was in the tomb for only ONE day and TWO nights.
Who is lying, Jesus or the Christians? Let them answer.
COUNT BACKWARDS TO SOLVE DILEMMA
For all their learning, you have got them hooked. And, they know it! We must not relent. The Christians are already inventing a way out of this dilemma. They have now invented the "GOOD Wednesday" theory. "The Plain Truth" with its monthly FREE worldwide circulation of 6 million copies, is offering further FREE books on the subject of "Three DAYS and three NIGHTS". There are other organisations in South Africa, like "Bible Revelation" Johannesburg, who are also offering FREE books to prove that the "crucifixion" took place on a GOOD Wednesday, and not on a GOOD Friday.
Mr. Robert Fahey from that great country, America - where almost all (?) new cults originate eg. the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Christian Scientists, the Mormons, you name them, and they have them - representing that premier Christian magazine, named in the previous paragraph, lectured recently in the "Holiday Inn", Durban. He startled his over-whelmingly Christian audiences with a lot of novel ideas. Among these newfangled doctrines was one about Good Wednesday. He agreed 100% with the present writer's conclusion that Good Friday was actually disproving Christ's claim to be the Messiah. To solve this problem he suggested that we count backwards from the time he was discovered to be missing from the tomb, viz. on that Sunday morning, ("first day of the week") when Mary Magdalene went to anoint him. If we deduct 3 DAYS and 3 NIGHTS from Sunday morning, we ought to get WEDNESDAY as an answer. It is not difficult from here to get your THREE days and THREE nights to resolve the Christian dilemma. The audience, already pre-prepared with a flood of FREE3 magazines and literature, gave Mr. Fahey a resounding applause.
GOD OR THE DEVIL?
After the meeting, during a personal discussion4, I congratulated Mr. Fahey for his ingenuity. "How was it possible for the past two thousand years, that the Christian world had not known their religious arithmetic to get their sums right?" Even to this day the bulk of Christendom commemorate a GOOD FRIDAY instead of a GOOD WEDNESDAY. "Who has deceived the 1,200,000,000 Christians of the world, including the Roman Catholics who claim an unbroken chain of Popes from the first Pope (Peter) to the present Pope, into falsely celebrating GOOD FRIDAY?", I asked Mr. Fahey.
Mr. Fahey, unashamedly answered: "The Devil!" I said, "If the Devil can succeed in confusing the Christians, and keep them confused for two thousand years in the most simple aspect of Faith, how much easier it would be for the Devil to mislead them in things concerning God?" Mr. Fahey blushed and walked away. If this is the belief of the trendsetters of Christianity,5 we may well ask, "is this 'crucifixion' not the mightiest hoax in history?" Should we not, now, more appropriately, call it cruci-fiction!
I have given you a list on page 50 showing overwhelming proof from the Christian scriptures where it was being said, again and again that Jesus was ALIVE, ALIVE! Yet the disciples did not believe. Will the modern-day disciples believe now? Are they prepared to believe their own Master who had said:- "AS Jonah was . . . SO SHALL the son of man be"? Not likely! Remember Thomas? - Another one of the elected ones of Jesus. Dubbed by the Christians as "Doubting Thomas"?. He was "not with them (the disciples) when Jesus came" - (John 20:24), the first time in the upper-room. Subsequently, when these very disciples who had felt, and touched and eaten with Jesus, testified that they had seen the "Lord" (not God, not the ghost of Jesus, but he himself flesh and blood - ALIVE!), Thomas said unto them:
"Except, I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."
We are dividing the 24 hour day into DAY
part and NIGHT part exactly as Jesus had. As a Jew, he was reckoning time
exactly like a Jew, not according to any heathen calculation. Like those of the
Romans from midnight to midnight. His people the Jews, to this day, reckon the
day from sunset to sunset.
2 Tomme: A volume, a large book.
3 They have a fantastic system for achieving a FREE world-wide monthly circulation of 6 million "Plain Truth" magazines alone.
4 The Christians do not allow their speakers to be questioned in public.
5 At the rate of this cults progress, before long the whole Christian world will opt for a "Good Wednesday"
NEW NAME, OLD GAME
A "born-again" had been boasting how he used to pinch 10 cents from the church collection plate for a "milkshake", and how he used to tie his drunken father ". . . in the barn . . ." - the same barn where he used to see his ". . . mother lying in the gutter in the manure - the bathroom of the cows - beaten so badly by my father. . ."1 now he does another confidence trick upon his readers. He quotes the above verse (John 20:25) from his American Bible without giving the reference.2 And after the words, "I will not believe", he begins a new paragraph with the words, "AT THIS POINT, Jesus said to Thomas", quoting again from the Bible without giving the reference. St. John, gives a lie to this cultist by saying,
"And, AFTER EIGHT DAYS, again his disciples were inside, and Thomas with them; then CAME Jesus . . "
Another of these cultists, claiming to be a lawyer by profession, supports his reborn brother from America with yet another lie. He says on page 120 of "The Islam Debate", that "Deedat has recently made a big issue of the stone which sealed the tomb by publishing a booklet entitled Who Moved the Stone? In it he suggests that the stone was moved by two disciples of Jesus who were Pharisees - Joseph of Anmathe'a and Nicodemus (page 10). But in his booklet Was Christ Crucified? SUGGESTS it was a Super-Woman (page 25), IMPLYING that it was Mary Magdalene." (Emphasis are mine).
How can a born-again Christian and an Attorney-at-Law lie? To ensnare his victim he even quotes the page number, "25". The book has been out of print for very long. Even if you had a copy, you were not likely to check it up. The cultist sounds so cocksure! But the "Gospel-Truth" is that my actual words are:
"SHE WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED ON HER ARRIVAL TO FIND THE STONE ALREADY ROLLED AWAY."
Where is the suggestion that it was Mary Magdalene? Where do I imply that it was Mary Magdalene? But for these sick people, whether American or South African, every trick in the bag is permissible to clinch a convert for Christ. I "throw in the towel", I am not prepared to give battle to every false charge, and I want you to do the same. You simply deliver your message the best way you can, and leave the rest to God.
Biblical scholars are coming to a conclusion that the "doubting Thomas" episode is of the same variety as that of the woman "caught in the act" - (John 8:1-11), i.e. it is a fabrication! But as the orthodox will not allow this interpolation - (John 8:1-11) to be expunged from their Versions of the Bible, he exhibits a similar stubbornness in dealing with the verses about "putting fingers into the print of the nails" - (John 20:25). For the present we will deal with them for what they are worth.
The Romans had no special reasons for being vindictive towards Jesus as compared to his two "crossmates". Why make fish of one (his "crossmates") and fowl of the other (Jesus), i.e. to have the two tied with leather thongs to the crossbar and to have Jesus "nailed"?
Not "at this point", as the cultist alleges, but "eight days" later, Jesus walks once more into the upper-room, and he finds Thomas there this time. And according to John, he commanded Thomas to. ..
". . . Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing."
Thomas realises the heel he has been. He had signally rejected every proof that Jesus was ALIVE! Every other disciple, beside Judas Iscariot the traitor, had testified that they had seen Jesus and felt him and eaten food with him, but Thomas WOULD NOT BELIEVE!. What would he not believe? That the living, pulsating Jesus was making his rounds - Not a ghost of Jesus. Now, being confronted with the PHYSICAL reality of his presence, demonstrating his physical, material body, he was forced to exclaim,
"My Lord and my God!"
WHAT DID THOMAS REALISE?
Did Thomas realise at that juncture that Jesus Christ was his Jehovah? Did he and the other disciples fall down in prostration before him. Never! His words were the words of self-reproach. We utter them daily, "My God! What a fool I have been!" Are you addressing your listener, as your God?
The sickness is so cultivated that when this type of tripe is narrated, the
"born-again" Christians go into ecstasy with their "Alleluyas!"
2 On the same page 20 of "The Resurrection Factor" the author gives four other quotations, with references for everyone! On the following page he gives three quotes, also with references. But the verses where he wants to deceive, no references at all.
NONE SO BLIND
TAKE STOCK. THE TRUTH SHINES THROUGH
Let me give you a quick summary of the points we have discussed so far, concluding that Jesus Christ was neither killed nor was he crucified, as alleged by the Christians and the lews, but that he was ALIVE!
1. JESUS WAS RELUCTANT TO DIE!
He had worked out a strategy of defence to repel the Jews. Because he wanted to remain ALIVE!
2. HE BESEECHED GOD FOR HELP.
With strong crying and tears for God Almighty to keep him ALIVE!
3. GOD "HEARD" HIS PRAYERS
Which means that God accepted his prayers to keep him ALIVE!
4. AN ANGEL OF GOD CAME TO STRENGTHEN HIM:
In the hope and belief that God will save him ALIVE!
5. PILATE FINDS JESUS NOT GUILTY!
Good reason to keep Jesus ALIVE!
6. PILATES WIFE SHOWN A DREAM IN WHICH SHE WAS TOLD THAT
"No harm should come to this just man." In other words that he should be saved ALIVE!
7. SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE CROSS FOR ONLY THREE HOURS.
According to the system in vogue, no man could die by crucifixion in so short a time which means that even if he was fastened to the cross - he was ALIVE!
8- THE OTHER TWO HIS "CROSSMATES" ON THEIR RESPECTIVE CROSSES WERE ALIVE.
So Jesus too, for the same period of time must be ALIVE!
9. ENCYCLOPEDIA BIBLICA UNDER ARTICLE "CROSS" COLUMN 960 says:
"When the spear was thrust Jesus was ALIVE! "
10. "FORTHWITH" CAME THERE OUT BLOOD AND WATER:
"Forthwith" means straightaway, immediately which was a sure sign that Jesus was ALIVE!
11. LEGS NOT BROKEN AS A FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY.
"Legs" can be of any use only if Jesus was ALIVE!
12. THUNDERSTORM, EARTHQUAKE, AND DARKENING OF THE SUN ALL WITHIN 3 HOURS!
To disperse the sadistic mob to enable his "secret disciples" to help, keep him ALIVE!
13. JEWS DOUBTED HIS DEATH:
They suspected that he had escaped death on the cross that he was ALIVE!
14. PILATE "MARVELS" TO HEAR THAT JESUS WAS DEAD.
He knew from experience that no man can die so soon by crucifixion. He suspected that Jesus was ALIVE!
15. BIG ROOMY CHAMBER:
Close at hand, and big and airy for willing hands to come to the rescue. Providence was out to keep Jesus ALIVE!
16. STONE AND "WINDING SHEETS" HAD TO BE REMOVED:
Only necessary if Jesus was ALIVE!
17. REPORT ON WINDING SHEETS.
German Scientists who carried out experiments on the "Shroud of Turin" said that the heart of Jesus had not stopped functioning that he was ALIVE
18. EVER IN DISGUISE!
Disguise not necessary if Jesus was "resurrected". Only necessary if he was ALIVE
19. FORBADE MARY MACDALENE TO TOUCH HIM
"Touch me not" for this reason that it would hurt; because he was ALIVE!
20. "NOT YET ASCENDED UNTO MY FATHER"
In the language of the Jews, in the idiom of the Jews, he was saying, "I am not dead yet", in other words, "I am ALIVE!"
21. MARY MAGDALENE NOT AFRAID ON RECOGNISING JESUS.
Because she had seen signs of life before. She was looking for a Jesus who was ALIVE!
22. DISCIPLES PETRIFIED ON SEEING JESUS IN THE UPPER-ROOM.
All their knowledge about the "crucifixion" was from hearsay, therefore, they could not believe that Jesus was ALIVE!
23. ATE FOOD AGAIN AND AGAIN IN HIS POST 'CRUCIFIXION" APPEARANCES.
Food only necessary if he was ALIVE!
24. NEVER SHOWED HIMSELF TO HIS ENEMIES.
Because he had escaped death by the "skin of his teeth". He was ALIVE!
25. TOOK ONLY SHORT TRIPS.
Because he was not resurrected, not spiritualised, but ALIVE!
26. TESTIMONY OF MEN AROUND THE TOMB:
"Why seek ye the living among the dead?" - (Luke 24:4-5): That he is not dead, but ALIVE!
27. TESTIMONY OF ANGELS:
". . . angels who had said that he was ALIVE!" -Luke 24:23. Did not say, "resurrected" but the actual word uttered by the angels was "ALIVE!"
28. MARY MAGDALENE TESTIFIES:
". . . they heard that he was ALIVE, and had been seen by her, they believed not." - (Mark 16.-11): Mary did not vouch for a spook, or ghost or spirit of Jesus but a LIVE Jesus. What they could not believe was that the Master was ALIVE!
29. DR. PRIMROSE TESTIFIES:
That the "water and the blood", when Jesus was lanced on the side, was on account of an upset in the nervous vessels because of the scourging by staves. Which was a sure sign that Jesus was ALIVE!
30. JESUS HAD HIMSELF FORETOLD THAT HIS MIRACLE WILL BE THE MIRACLE OF JONAH!
According to the Book of Jonah, Jonah was ALIVE, when we expected him to be DEAD; similarly when we expect Jesus to be DEAD, he should be ALIVE!
These thirty points and many more arguments are fully expounded in the preceding pages of this book. Please read and re-read the arguments and practise them on your friends. The pleasure is yours. I pray for your success!
CRUCIFIED OR CRUCIPLAYED?
Every word is a frozen picture of what it represents. If we take a word and cogitate on it, we will be able to see or visualise it in our minds. Try - "ship", you will see a ship in your mind. "Handbag", you will see a handbag in your mind. "Cigarette", you will see a cigarette in your mind. But we speak at such a rapid rate that we apprehend words as ideas, thoughts and concepts. Words are the tools wherewith we convey our messages. The greater the vocabulary, the clearer and easier the communication. But wrong words can mar the ideas.
THE LANGUAGE CUL-DE-SAC
The Arabic language is very rich in conveying spiritual thoughts and concepts, but English is richer in the field of science and technology. Yet this latter language is letting me down. It seems to have no verbs for incompleted or attempted actions, for example:
1. A man is taken to the gallows, the noose is put around his neck, "he kicks the bucket" meaning the rope is pulled for him to die, but fate intervenes and he is reprieved before he expires. Twenty years later the same man dies by drowning. We want one verb to explain to us what happened - was the man ''hanged" or what happened? Not un-hanged. We want just one verb , . .?
2. Another person Is taken to the Electric-Chair for electrocution. He is strapped to the chair. And the switch is put on. A bolt of electricity goes through the man, but the power fails. The man revives, and before another bolt of electricity is shot through him, he is reprieved. A few days later the man dies in a motor-car accident. What was his end? What happened to him on the "Chair"? Was he electrocuted or not? One verb . . . ?
3. Josephus, a Jewish historian, records in his book of "Antiquities" about "crucifixions" in which he intervened and as a result the "crucified" men were lowered from their crosses. One survived! What had happened to him on the cross? was he crucified? The one who did not die by crucifixion, but an attempt was made to crucify him. Was he crucified? One verb . . . ?
The above are hypothetical cases one might say. But we are with history in the making. See page 36, a reproduction from the "Weekend World", dated August 3, 1969. Mr. Pieter van der Bergh, a barman by occupation, was "Crucified" for "kicks!" - just for the thrill of it. In his own words, he simply wanted to prove, "THAT MAN IS MASTER OVER HIS BODY". He was on the cross; he went through the whole process of the crucifixion. To out do the three of Golgotha, he had "An 18 inch spike piercing his thigh" - (picture is reproduced earlier in the book). This barman is still alive and kicking. Was he crucified? One verb . . . ? There is no such verb in English.
When the Jews cried repeatedly to Pilate - "Crucify him! Crucify him! - (Luke 23:27, John 19:6), they meant KILL him on the cross - by crucifixion. "KILL" him! Not just "taking him for a ride" on the cross! And, if after all the due ceremony, like that of Mr. Van der Berg, the man did not die by crucifixion, what would you say happened? What verb are you going to use, when you haven't got it in your language?
A South African Englishman, and his American counterpart, Jointly confess1: "If the word crucify only means to kill on a cross, we are at a loss to find an alternative verb to describe the mere act of impaling on a cross" 2 (Their own emphasis). Shame on them. They make a mockery of me whilst the deficiency lies in their own language and in their own inability to coin an appropriate word.
With all their "IN -dwelling of the Holy Ghost", the Christian world has failed to coin an appropriate verb to describe, " the mere act of being fastened to the cross", Presently, I will get them out of their misery, Insha-Allah!3, before the chapter is finished. But why the rhetoric when they still say: "IF the word crucify ONLY MEANS to Kill. . .". Will Christendom tell us what else crucify means? The world-renowned Oxford Dictionary simply defines crucify as "Put to death by fastening to a cross"4. The "born-again" authors of "The Islam Debate" cannot solve the problem so I will solve it for them!
"CRUCIFIXIONS" NOW FOR KICKS
There is always something new coming out of the East. Now in the Far East, the Philippines have developed a new craze of getting "CRUCIFIED"! They want to walk in the foot-steps of Jesus. - (as seen much earlier in the newspaper clipping). A reproduction from the "SUNDAY NEWS" of Dares-salam, dated May 3rd 1981, reports of multiple "crucifixions" in the Philippines. 'At least seven cases of "crucifixions" were reported in the local press.' There could have been many more "crucifixions" in the hinterland, which the newspapers failed to report. Among those "crucified" was one Luciana Reyes, described as "the first woman known to have performed the ritual" of "crucifixion"! A new addition to the fanatical elements of the "crucifixions" is that " the penitent's hands are nailed to a wooden cross".
CRUCIFIED OR CRUCIPLAYED?
Not a single person died by "crucifixion"! (i.e. was crucified). One of the "crucified" men fainted. Another "crucified" man "was up and smoking a cigarette as soon as his hands were bandaged". A vendor "had gone through the ritual (of "crucifixion") for the fifth time". This man has vowed to perform the "crucifixion" ten times! It all sounds like a fairy tale. But there were 25,000 witnesses to four "crucifixions" in one town alone. Some of these "crucifixions" are shown "live on television".
The Christian world has been notorious in exploiting Jesus to make money. The films on the life of Jesus, everyone of them, was a "box-office" record smasher! They have their "Nativity Play", they have their "Passison Play", why not a "CRUCIPLAY"?
Reg Gratton, the correspondent for the "Sunday News", (see the above newspaper clipping again) has solved the problem of the "crucifixions" by having the words in inverted commas. He has used the words "crucifixion" and "crucifixions" five times in his article, and every time when these words appear he has them enclosed in inverted commas. Please check it up. In other words he is saying that it is the "SO-CALLED crucifixion" or the "SO-CALLED crucifixions". The inverted commas are more subtle than the words "so-called". I did not catch the joke on my first few readings of the article. Would you have?
You will note that other alert Journalists have taken the precautions of putting words like "DEAD", "DIED", and "CORPSE" in inverted commas earlier on. Now Reg does the same about the "CRUCIFIXIONS!" Since the word "crucify" is getting stuck in the missionaries' throats, should we not use CRUCI-FICTION instead?
CRUCIFIXION OR CRUCI-FICTION?
We can now say without any mental reservation that Pieter van der Bergh went through the process of the crucifixion with all severity and seriousness, but he was not crucified (verb of crucifixion) as the newspaper proclaimed BUT that he had been crucificted (verb of cruci-fiction),
Further, we can say that the Christians in the Philippines are not undergoing crucifixions, but that they are undergoing CRUCIFICTIONS in all sincerity. No Passion PLAYS or Play-acting with them as they do in films, it is the real thing, being only short of death! Hence, any performance with the cross, where the victim tries to emulate the alleged experience of Jesus, but does not actually die the "ACCURSED DEATH" on the cross, we will rightly call it by its appropriate terms:
- CRUCIFICT instead of CRUCIFY (Verb)
- CRUCIFICTED instead of CRUCIFIED (Verb)
- CRUCIFICTION instead of CRUCIFIXION (Noun)
This simple and natural use of the right words will break the "CROSS" of Christianity which finds itself at the "CROSSROADS", not knowing which way to turn. And if we use the words frequently enough, we will soon find them in the English dictionaries of the world.
To this end, we have published a hundred thousand copies of this publication for FREE distribution as a first print. Read it, study it and share it with friends and foes alike for the glory of Truth.
TAKE YOUR PICK
"After more than 1,000 hours of studying . . ." the "crucifixion", the author of A CAMPUS CRUSADE publication, "The Resurrection Factory invents another posture for his "lord" and "saviour".
NOW YOU HAVE A MULTIPLE OF CHOICES.
- FROGI - FICTION as illustrated here.
- STAKI - FICTION as you see on Page 74
- CRUCI - FICTION as it appears on Page 33
From the book - "The Islam Debate," page 113.
2 Why does it not occur to them to write "crucify" within inverted commas?
3 If Allah Wills!
4 See the earlier picture for a more accurate representation of "fastening".
The Crucifixion or Christ had been pushed down my throat to be the only redeeming factor for mankind since my early encounter with students and priests of Adams Mission when I was in my teens.
Being a rather impressionable youth, I was amazed at the manner in which scores of young articulate men believed in the Crucifixion as their only factor of salvation and seemed to be concerned about my being condemned to hell for not believing in it.
This subject of the Crucifixion of Christ on which all Christianity is staked, became a serious subject of my studies. I really wanted to know what it was all about and began to study their authority, the "New Testament", on the subject.
Honestly, I do not expect anyone to ask me about my belief as a Muslim concerning the Crucifixion. My belief is the Quranic belief as categorically stated in Chapter IV, Verse 757.
I repeat emphatically that the study of the crucifixion was thrust upon me by those of the Christian faith who claimed to be my benefactors and well-wishers. I seriously took their concern for me to heart and studied and researched objectively, using their own sources. The results you will agree are astounding.
I would like to thank the hundreds of Christians who came knocking at my door and for initiating me into this subject.
The foregoing is the result of my years and years of study and research.
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