Jesus: An Historical Perspective Poem by zaheer uddin

Jesus: An Historical Perspective

Soon after the disappearance of Jesus from Earth, there was a definite and widening divergence between the followers of Jesus and the Pauline Church which was later to become the Roman Catholic Church. As the Pauline Church grew more established it became more hostile towards the followers of Jesus. It aligned itself more and more with the rulers of Roman Empire. and the persecution which to begin with had been directed at all who called themselves Christians now began to fall mainly on those who affirmed the divine unity. Attempts began to be made to change their beliefs and forcefully to remove those who refused to do so.together with the books their used. Naturally those who deviated from the teachings of Jesus were prepared to change the Scriptures and even introduce false writings in order to support their opinions. John Toland a famous historian in his book 'The Nazarenes' records these words of Iranius.who was one of the early martyrs of the Unitarians

' in order to amaze the simple and such as the ignorant of the Scriptures of this truth, they obtrude upon them and Inexpressible multitude of Apocryphal and spurious scriptures of their own devising Toland continues ' we already know to what degree imposture and credulity went hand in hand in the primitive time of the Christian Church, the last being as ready to receive as the first to forge books. The evil grew afterwards not only greater when the monks were the sole transcribers and sole keepers of all books good or bad but in the process of time it became almost absolutely impossible to distinguish history from fable or truth from error as to the beginning and original monuments of Christianity. How immediate successors of the Apostles could so grossly confound the genuine teachings of their masters which such as were falsely attributed to them or since they were in the dark about these matters so early, how came such as followed them by a better light and observing that such apocryphal books put upon the same footing with the canonical books by the fathers and the first cited as the Divine scriptures no less than the last or some books which such as we reckon divine were disallowed by them I propose these two other questions Why all the books cited as genuine by Clement of Alexander, Origen, Tertullian and the rest of such writers should not be accounted equally authentic? and what stress should be laid on the testimony of those fathers who not only contradict one another but are also often inconsistent with themselves in their relation of the very same facts.

Toland goes on to say that when these questions are asked of the wooden priests and divinilings instead of meeting the arguments, they begin to call those who raise the questions heretics or concealed heretics. In this regard the Quran states as follows The Quran 2: 79 says: 'And woe to those who write the book with their own hands and they say: 'This is from Allah (God) .' To traffic with it for a miserable price! So woe to them for what their hands do write, and woe to them for what they earn thereby! ' John Toland cotinues 'Since the Nazarenes or Ebionites are by all historians unanimously acknowledged to have been the first Christians. or those who believed in Christ among the jews. With which his own people he lived. they having been the witness of his actions and who were all apostles. Considering this. I say how it was possible for them to be first of all others who should form wrong conceptions of the doctrines and decisions of Jesus(for they were made to be the first heretics)and how come the Gentiles who believed in him after his death. by the preaching of persons that never knew him to have truer notions of these things who whence they could have their information but from the believing Jews? '

The question of the origin of Jesus, his nature and relation to God was not raised among the first followers of Jesus. That Jesus was a man who was a prophet and one who had been given many gifts by God was accepted without question. Nothing in the words of Jesus or the events in his life on earth had led them to modify this certainity. According to Aristides, one of the earliest apologists, the worship of the early Christians was more purely monotheistic than even that of the Jews. It was into this circle of sincere followers that Paul of Tarsus walked.

The teachings of Jesus as the Son of God were not preached by Jesus nor accepted by Jesus, but were taught by Paul as supported in Acts 9: 20: 'And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.' Paul claimed to have an access to Jesus which had been denied to the closest followers of Jesus while he was on earth

Was Jesus born from the beginning of eternity: Was Jesus born from the beginning of eternity? let us examine this in the context of history. Did Jesus or his followers ever mention this? is there anything in the Scriptures to support the above statement? surprisingly there isnt a single verse in the Scriptures where Jesus ever says that he was born from the beginning of eternity or that he was composed of the same essence as that of God.

Ferenc Dávid (occasionally rendered as Francis David; c.1510 - November 15,1579)was a Transylvanian Nontrinitarian and Unitarian preacher, the founder of the Unitarian Church of Transylvania
He strongly opposed that Jesus was born from the begining of eternity in the following words

'The church`s God son who is supposed to have been born of the substance of God from the beginning of eternity is nowhere mentioned in the scriptures nor the God son who would be second person of the trinity descended from heaven and become flesh this is only human invention and superstition as such should be discarded'.

In this regard the argument of Arius is irrefutable. Arius was a leader of Christians of North Africa and vehemently opposed the Pauline Church at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.C he always appealed to reason and stated

' If Jesus in reality is the son of God, he argued then it followed that the father must have existed before the son.Therefore there must have been a time when the son did not exist.Therefore it followed that the son was a creature composed of an essence or being which had not always existed.Since God in essence is Eternal and Ever Existent, Jesus could not be of the same essence of God.'

To his opponents he would say ' Where is the fault of my deduction and where does my syllogism break down'.

The only verse which the Christians produce as proof to substantiate this claim sonship; Mathew 3: 17, 'And Lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, ' is used to support divine Sonship, then there should be no other verse that contradicts or gives equal divine Sonship to another person or persons in the Old or New Testament. However, many references were found in the Old and New Testaments that mentioned someone other than Jesus as having a divine Sonship to God The Bible confirms that Jesus is not the unique son of God. 'And thou [Moses] shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first born.' (Exodus 4: 22) , 'He [Solomon] shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father and he shall be my son.' (II Samuel 7: 13-14) , 'I am a father to Israel and Ephraim is my firstborn'(Jeremiah 31: 9) , 'long before Jesus was born', 'I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me [David], Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.'(Psalm 2: 7) , and 'Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God'(Luke3: 38) . Do the few I mentioned have this 'unique begotten son relationship'?

Is Jesus still unique because he had no father, well brothers and sisters, Adam and Eve had no father or mother. Jesus is a word of God, God said 'be' and then Jesus was here and will return as confirmed in the Koran 19: 9. It is Blasphemy to say God begotten (sired)Jesus. Jesus called himself son of man and refused to be called son of God. 'And the devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak; for they knew that he was Christ.' (Luke 4: 11)and again 'He [Jesus] said unto them [the disciples], But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering saidFrom the above it appears that God has more than one son exactly how many sons does God have? ? ? ..

Arius argued, that it was impossible to ascribe the act of generation to God. If the act of generation is attributed to God it destroys the singularity of also ascribes to God corpeality and passion which are attributes of man and implies that God is subject to necessity which he is not. God is alone eternal, alone ingenerate. Alone without beginning. alone. Good. Alone almighty alone unchangeable and unalterable. he goes on to state that since Jesus is finite, he is other than God who is eternal. it is possible to imagine a time when Jesus was non existent which again demonstrates that he is other than God Jesus is not of the essence of God but a creature of God like all other creatures and dependant upon God for his grace while God is dependant upon nothing. like all man kind Jesus has a free will and a nature capable of leading him to acts which are either pleasing or non pleasing to God. However although Jesus was capable of acting in a manner displeasing to God. his own virtue kept him from doing so.

. The teachings which Paul claim he had been given did not tally with what the apostles had heard from Jesus.It is understandable that they were therefore suspicious of his conversion and considered his revelation unreliable. Many probably suspected that he was no more than a spy posing as a follower of Jesus Paul not only rejected both Moses and Jesus but asserted that he was a law unto himself. All things are lawful unto to me, but I will not be brought under the power of any? (I Corinthians 7; 12)when people could not accept this he responded by saying For if the Truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory, why yet I am also judged a sinner(Romans3; 7-8)Although Paul knew he was lying he felt that the means justified the end. But it is hard to understand how TRUTH WOULD ABOUND FROM A LIE. If this reasoning is taken a step further then Jesus could be equated with God and could even be his son and so on an so forth. Paul reasoned that since that Jesus had died, the law which had bound Jesus and his followers was no longer necessary he gives his reasoning as under

Know ye not brethren for I speak to them that know the law. how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth- -For the woman when hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth but the husband be dead she is loosed from the law of her husband. so then while her husband liveth, she be married to another man she shall be called an adulteress but if her husband be dead she is free from that law so that she is no adulteress though she is married to another man. Wherefore my brethren Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God (Roman 7; 1-4)This analogy clearly indicates that Paul made a distinction between Jesus and Christ. Now they were no longer married to Jesus but to Christ who brought another law, it was therefore necessary to follow Christ and not Jesus! ! !

Thus anyone who held to Jesus's teachings had gone astray. It was with the use of this reasoning that Paul assembled the doctrine of redemption and atonement a theory which Jesus had certainly not taught This theory was a great success as in so many words it preached that a man could do what he wanted and not face the inevitable consequences of his actions provided at the end of the day he said I believe in Christ.

Original sin is a Christian doctrine that says that everyone is born sinful. This means that they are born with a built-in urge to do bad things and to disobey God. It is prevalent that without the concept of The Original Sin there would be no need for crucifixion, salvation or atonement to take place.In traditional Christian teaching, original sin is the result of Adam and Eve's disobedience to God when they ate a forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
Since human nature is considered in Christianity to be wayward and sinful, this doctrine states that Jesus 'rendered full satisfaction' to God for the sins of man through his death and resurrection. In a nutshell, Jesus took our place, and his death absolves us of our sins. Salvation can be defined as the deliverance from sin and its penalties; the path to salvation, however, varies from one religion to another. In Christianity, salvation is found through the Doctrine of Vicarious Atonement.

This is contrary to what is found in the Torah where God says: '...every man shall be put to death for his own sin' (Deut.24: 16)The matter of Jesus, as savior of mankind, is refuted in the Quran, wherein God says that He '...has stamped them with their disbelief...for their saying 'We killed God's Messenger, Christ Jesus, the son of killed nor crucified him, even though it seemed so to them...' (4: 155,157) . Salvation According to Jesus Nowhere in the four gospels did Jesus explicitly state that he would die to save mankind from sin. When approached by a man who asked what he could do to gain eternal life, Jesus told him to keep the Commandments (Mat.19: 16,17): in other words, to obey God's Law. To a similar question put to him by a lawyer, as recorded in the gospel of Luke, Jesus told him to love God and his fellow man (Luke 10: 25-28) . The role of Jesus is made clear in the Quran where God says: 'Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him...see how God doth make His Signs clear to them, yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth' (5: 75) . The mission of Jesus was not, therefore, to set up a new method of achieving salvation, much less the founding of a new system of belief; as even the Bible points out, Jesus sought only to take the Jews from their emphasis on ritual back to that of righteousness (Mat.6: 1-8)Paul of Tarsus For the origin of the doctrine of atonement, one does not go to the teachings of Jesus, but instead to the words of Paul, the true founder of Christianity; in teachings of present Christian terms and practices. Like many Jews, Paul had no use for the teachings of Jesus, and he himself persecuted the followers of Jesus for their unorthodox beliefs. This zealous persecutor was turned into an ardent preacher, however, through a sudden conversion around 35 CE Paul claimed that a resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a vision, thereby, choosing Paul as his instrument for carrying his teachings to the Gentiles (Gal.1: 11; 12: 15,16) . Paul's credibility in any capacity is questionable, however, when considering that: (1)there are four contradictory versions of his so-called 'conversion' (Acts 9: 3-8; 22: 6-10; 26: 13-18; Gal.1: 15-17): (2)God says, in passages such as Num.12: 6, Deut.18: 20 and Ez.13: 8,9 that revelations come ONLY from Him, and (3)accounts of numerous disagreements between the other disciples and Paul regarding his teachings are recorded in Acts. Experience and observation had taught Paul that preaching among the Jews was not feasible; he, therefore, chose to go feasible; he, therefore, chose to go to the non-Jews. By doing so, however, Paul disregarded a direct command from Jesus against preaching to other than a Jew (Mat.10: 5,6) . In short, Paul set aside the actual teachings of Jesus in his desire to be a success. The Pagan Influence Among the pagans of Paul's time, a wide variety of gods existed. Although these gods had different names and were embraced by people from different areas of the world -Adonis from Syria, Dionysus from Thrace, Attis from Phrygia, for instance -the basic concept in each cult was the same: these sons of gods died violent deaths and then rose again to save their people. Since the pagans had tangible savior-gods in their old religions, they wanted nothing less from the new; they were not able to accept any sort of an invisible Deity. Paul was quite accommodating, preaching therefore of a savior named Jesus Christ, the son of God, who died and then rose again to save mankind from sin (Rom.5: 8-11; 6: 8,9) . The Bible itself points out the error of Paul's thinking. While each of the four gospels contain an account of the crucifixion of Jesus, these accounts are strictly hearsay; none of the disciples of Jesus were witness to such, having fled his side in the Garden (Mark 14: 50) . In the Torah, God says that one who is 'hanged upon a tree' - crucified-is 'accursed' (Deut.21: 23) . Paul side-stepped this by saying that Jesus became accursed in order to take on the sins of man (Gal.3: 13): in so doing, however, Paul set aside the very Law of God. The resurrection, wherein Paul says that Jesus 'conquered' death and sin for mankind (Rom.6: 9,10) , plays such an important part that one who does not believe in it is not considered a good Christian (I Cor.15: 14) . Here, too, the Bible lends little support to Paul's notions; first of all, not only was there no eyewitness to the actual resurrection, but all post-resurrection accounts are in contradiction with each other as to who went to the gravesite, what happened there, and even where and to whom Jesus appeared (Mat.28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20) . Secondly, although Christianity states that the body following resurrection will be in a spiritual form (I Cor.15: 44) , Jesus had obviously not changed, for he both ate with his disciples (Luke 24: 30,41-43) , and allowed them to touch his wounds (John 20: 27) . Finally, as the divine son of God in Christianity, Jesus is said to share in God's attributes; one cannot fail to wonder, however, just how it can be possible for God to die... In his desire to win souls among the pagans, Paul simply reworked a number of major pagan beliefs to come up with the Christian scheme of salvation. No prophet-including Jesus himself- taught such concepts; they were authored entirely by Paul. The Ultimate Sacrifice Long accustomed to making sacrifices to their gods, the pagans easily grasped Paul's notion that Jesus was the 'ultimate sacrifice' whose blood washed away sin. A common ceremony during this time in various Middle Eastern cults, such as those of Attis and Mithras, was that of the 'taurobolium': a person descended into a pit covered over with grillwork upon which a bull (or ram) , said to represent the pagan deity himself, was then ceremoniously slain. By covering himself with the blood, the person in the pit below was said to have been 'born again' with his sins washed away. It is worth noting that the Jews had given up sacrifice back in 590 BCE following the destruction of their Temple. Paul's notions, therefore, were in direct contradiction to both Old Testament teaching (Hosea 6: 6)and even to the teaching of Jesus himself (Mat.9: 13)which stressed how God desired good virtues, not sacrifice. While Paul stressed that God's 'love' was behind the sacrifice of Jesus (Rom.5: 8) , the Doctrine of Atonement instead shows a harsh Deity satisfied only by the murder of his own innocent son. Paul was way off base here, for the Old Testament is full of references to the love and mercy of God to man (Ps.36: 5-10; Ps.103: 8-17)revealed through His forgiveness (Ex.34: 6,7; Ps.86: 5-7) , of which even Jesus spoke (Mat.6: 12) . Pagan influence in Christianity even extends to its sacrad symbol. Although Paul calls the cross of Jesus 'the power of God' (I Cor.1: 18) , reference works, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, Dictionary of Symbols, and The Cross in Ritual, Architecture, and Art point out that the cross was used as a religious symbol centuries before the birth of Jesus. Bacchus of Greece, Tammuz of Tyre, Bel of Chaldea, and Odin of Norway are just a few examples of ancient pagan gods whose sacred symbol was that of a cross. Original Sin Central to the Doctrine of Atonement is Paul's notion that mankind is a race of wrong-doers, having inherited from Adam his sin in eating of the forbidden fruit. As a result of this Original Sin, man cannot serve as his own redeemer; good works are to no avail, says Paul, for even these cannot satisfy the justice of God (Gal.2: 16) . As a result of Adam's sin, man is doomed to die. By his death, however, Jesus took on the punishment due man; through his resurrection, Jesus conquered death, and righteousness was restored. To earn salvation, a Christian need only have faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus (Rom.6: 23) . Despite its prominent place in Christianity, the notion of an 'original sin' is not found among the teachings of any prophet, Jesus included. In the Old Testament, God says: '...the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son' (Ez.18: 20-22) . Personal responsibility is also stressed in the Qur'an where God says: ' bearer of burdens can bear the burden of can have nothing but what he strives for' (53: 38,39) . The doctrine of original sin gave Paul the means to justify pagan influence in his scheme of salvation. Irresponsibility became the hallmark of Christianity through this doctrine, however, for by 'transferring' sins onto Jesus, Christians assume no responsibility for their actions. Salvation in Islam By the seventh century, the doctrines conceived by Paul had been embellished to the point where Christianity was not almost entirely a man-made religion. At this time, God chose to send Muhammad as His Final Messenger in order to set things straight once and for all for mankind. Since God is Almighty, He doesn't need the charade concocted by Christians in order to forgive man. In the Qur'an, God says we are all created in a state of goodness (30: 30): He has not burdened man with any 'original sin', having forgiven Adam and Eve (2: 36-38; 7: 23,24)as He forgives us (11: 90; 39: 53-56) . As we are all personally responsible for our actions (2: 286; 6: 164)there is no need for a humanly concocted savior in Islam; salvation comes from God alone (28: 67) . Thus did Islam seek to restore the true meaning to monotheism, for in the Qur'an God asks: 'Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in faith? ' (4: 125; 41: 33) . The Religion of Man The evidence is overwhelming that the concept of salvation in Christianity- its Doctrine of Vicarious Atonement- came not from God but from man via pagan rituals and beliefs. Paul Pauls reasoning had two major consequences. It not only resulted in further changes to what Jesus had taught but also prepared the way for completely changing people's idea of who Jesus was - - He was being transformed from a man to a Conception in peoples minds Pauls theology was based on his personal experiences interpreted in the light of contemporary Greek thought. Jesus was deified and the word of Plato was put in to his mouth.

The theory of redemption was Paul's brain child a belief completely unknown to Jesus and his disciples was based on the belief in the original sin. the crucifixion and resurrection thus a synthetic religion was produced.If the apostles who lived, preached, ate, and drank with Jesus for so many years are all, were not able to see the 'truth' of Jesus' message as clearly as himself, and if Paul, who never met Jesus in the flesh but is the author of the majority of our New Testament, is more truly guided than all of the apostles combined because of his claimed 'visions' even though he never quotes Jesus nor needs to learn from the apostles, but, according to his own gospel, more truly guided than all of them despite all of this, then why did Jesus need to preach the law of Moses to mankind at all? Why did he himself observe it so strictly? According to Paul, Jesus' only use is as a body to be hung on the cross. Jesus (pbuh)felt it necessary to command his followers to strictly and uncompromisingly observe the law of Moses. He even felt it necessary to live his life in strict observance of this law as a supreme example for us. He never once explicitly mentioned an original sin, an atonement, a crucifixion, a redemption, or a nullification of the law of Moses. However, no sooner does Jesus depart this earth than Paul uses his claimed visions to completely nullify everything Jesus ever taught and practiced. He does not need to learn from the apostles, all he needs is his visions. That is indeed why he almost never quotes Jesus himself. He always resorts to his own philosophization rather than quoting Jesus. Why then did Jesus not simply come to earth right after Adam sinned, not say a single word, quickly anger some enemies of God, let them crucify him, and have it over with quickly? Even if Jesus decided to wait hundreds of thousands of years and only come 2000 years ago, then why preach a law that is going to be thrown out the window in only a couple of years? Why observe this law so devoutly himself? Why command everyone to strictly observe this law 'till heaven and earth pass'? Why threaten them that anyone who would forsake a single commandment would be called 'the least in the kingdom of heaven'? Is he not going to die for everyone's sins and then come back in exclusive visions to Paul and command him to nullify the law of Moses? Is he not going to come back in visions to Paul and command him to tell everyone that 'a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.'? Why not preach such a doctrine himself while he is still among his apostles instead of waiting to first mention it to Paul in a vision after his death?

Heinz Zahrnt an historian describes Paul a corrupter of the Gospels of Jesus Werde another historian describes him as the second founder of Christianity the discontinuity between the historical Jesus and the Christ became so great that any Unity between them is scarcely recognizable Schonfield another historian wrote The Pauline heresy became the foundation of Christian orthodoxy and the legitimate church was disowned as heretical (so the man Jesus became confused with a mythological Christ. Belief in Jesus however does not necessarily mean belief in a resurrected Christ. Whereas the immediate followers of Jesus had based their lives on his example. Pauline Church was based on a belief in Christ after this supposed crucifixion and the life and teachings of Jesus while he was alive is no more important. There was a shift in emphasis from what the Scriptures said to what the leaders of the church said. Fra Fulgentio was reprimanded by the Pope in a letter saying? Preaching of the Scriptures is a suspicious thing, he who keeps close to the Scriptures will ruin the Catholic faith? In his next letter he was more explicit warning against too much insistence on the Scriptures? which is a book if anyone keeps close to; he will quite destroy the Catholic Church (Tetradymus by John Toland)

More and more people are aware that the Christianity they know has little to do with the original teachings of Jesus. Christ of the established Church as almost nothing to do with the Jesus of history and does not in itself help Christians towards the truth. The present dilemma of the Christians is illustrated by what the Church historians of the present century write. Adolf Harnack states in his book (outline of the History of Dogma)By the 4th century the living Gospel had been masked in Greek philosophy. It was the historians mission to pluck off the mask and reveal how different had been the original contours beneath, but then Harmack points towards the difficult of fulfilling the task by saying that the doctrinal mask worn long enough can reshape the face of religion. The mask acquires a life of its own, the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, infallibility and all propositions seconding these dogmas were the product of historic decisions of situations that might have turned out quite differently. Nevertheless, early or late, product or reshaping force, the dogma remains what it has been from the beginning, a bad habit of intellectualization which the Christian picked up from the Greek when he fled from the Jews. According to Johannes Lehman another historian, the writers of the four accepted Gospels describe a different Jesus by the one who can be identified by historic reality Lehman quotes Heinz Zahrnt if Historical research could prove that an irreconcilable anti thesis exists between the historical Jesus and the Christ as preached and therefore that belief in Jesus has no support in Jesus himself that would not only be fatal theologically as N.A Dahl says but would also mean the end of Christology. Yet I am convinced that even then we theologians would be able to find a way out - - was there even a time when we couldn? t? ? But we are either lying now or would be lying then? The Gospels. Out of the four Gospels Mark and John are silent about the birth of Jesus and Mathew only casually mentions it. Then again Luke contradicts himself by giving a human genealogy to Jesus. How could the 'inspired words' of God get the genealogy of Jesus incorrect.See Matthew 1: 6-16 where it states 26 forefathers up to Prophet David, and Luke 3: 23-31 says 42 in number.thus there is a discrepancy of 16 people between the two men. if forty is the average age of each man then there is a discrepany of 640 years. Or for that matter, give a genealogy to Jesus who had NO father. See II Kings 19: 1-37, now read Isaiah 37: 1-38. Why is it that the words of these verse identical? Yet they have been attributed to two different authors, one unknown and the other is Isaiah, who are centuries apart; and yet, the Christians have claimed these books The earliest Gospel is that of Mark's which was written about 60-75 AD. Mark was the son of Barnabas? s sister. Matthew was a tax collector, a minor official who did not travel around with Jesus. Luke's Gospel was written much later, and in fact, drawn from the same sources as Mark's and Matthew's. Luke was Paul's physician, and like Paul, never met Jesus.
By the way, did you know that the names Mark and Luke were not included in the 12 appointed disciples of Jesus as mentioned in Matthew 10: 2-4?

For two hundred years it was hotly debated whether the Gospel of John should be accepted as a reliable account of the life of Jesus It is worth noting, and well known throughout the religious world, that the choice of the present four 'gospels' of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)were imposed in the Council of Nicea 325 CE for political purposes under the auspices of the pagan Emperor Constantine, and not by Jesus. Constantine ratified other decisions in the Nicene Creed such as the decision to call Christ 'the Son of God, only begotten of the father.'.

what Gospel did Jesus preach?
Of the 27 books of the New Testament, only a small fraction can be accepted as the words of Jesus, and only of the 27 books are known to be attributed as the Gospel of Jesus. The remaining 23 were supposedly written by Paul The permission to call 'According to' writings the Gospel was not given by Jesus nor by any other divine guidance. These writings; Matthew, Luke, Mark and John, were never originally to be the Gospel. Therefore, Mark 1: 1 can not be a true statement that his writing is the gospel of Jesus. Literally, hundreds of gospels and religious writings were hidden from the people. Some of those writings were written by Jesus? disciples, and many of them were eyewitness accounts of Jesus? actions. The Nicea Council decided to destroy all gospels written in Hebrew, which resulted in the burning of nearly three hundred accounts. If these writings were not more authentic than the four present gospels, they were of equal authenticity..

There are MANY Bibles on the market today that are used by different Christian sects and all of these sects say that their book, though different, is the word of God. Such Bibles are: The Revised Standard Version 1952 & 1971, New American Standard Bible, The Holy Bible; New International Version, the Living Bible, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures used by Jehovah Witnesses, Roman Catholic Version and the King James Version. Let me pose another question: if a 'Holy' book contained conflicting verses would you still consider it to be Holy? Most likely you will say of course not. Let me share with you some conflicting verses both in the Old and New Testaments: II Samuel 8: 4 (vs)II Samuel 8: 9-10 II Kings 8: 26, II Samuel 6: 23 Genesis 6: 3 John 5: 37, John 5: 31 I Chronicles 18: 4 I Chronicles 18: 9-10, II Chronicles 22: 2 II Samuel 21: 8 Genesis 9: 29, John 14: 9 John 8: 14, Only two contradictions of the New Testament have been mentioned, Even today, the whole of the Protestant word, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists and other sects and denominations condemn the Roman Catholic version of the Bible because it contains seven 'extra' books. The Protestant have bravely expunged seven whole books from their word of God. A few of the outcasts are the Books of Judith, Tobnias, Baruch and Esther... What passes off, as the 'Gospels' today are the works of third party human hands.

From the brief points mentioned above, and the fact that Biblical scholars themselves have recognized the human nature and human composition of the Bible (Curt Kuhl, The Old Testament: Its Origin and Composition, PP 47,51,52) , there should exist in the Christian's mind some acceptance to the fact that maybe every word of the Bible is not God's word. Indeed, it is so strange and ironic, knowing that none of Paul's epistle to the Romans, more than 430 verses, were ever formulated by Jesus. Paul should have made direct reference to the pristine teachings of Jesus, if only the former claim for apostleship by divine inspiration was indeed true. Instead, large parts of his epistles Biblical quotations (notably those in the Epistle to the Romans)were taken from the Old Testament? Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy,2 Samuel,1 Kings, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Hosea. His epistles were, indeed a product of tedious efforts, but that does not make Paul far better than any of the other men who authored the Bible, nor does it make him a Prophet.

The Muslim Position: By the seventh century, the doctrines conceived by Paul had been embellished to the point where Christianity was not almost entirely a man-made religion. At this time, God chose to send Muhammad as His Final Messenger in order to set things straight once and for all for mankind. Since God is Almighty, He doesn't need the charade concocted by Christians in order to forgive man. In the Qur'an, God says we are all created in a state of goodness (30: 30): He has not burdened man with any 'original sin', having forgiven Adam and Eve (2: 36-38; 7: 23,24)as He forgives us (11: 90; 39: 53-56) . As we are all personally responsible for our actions (2: 286; 6: 164)there is no need for a humanly concocted savior in Islam; salvation comes from God alone (28: 67) . Thus did Islam seek to restore the true meaning to monotheism, for in the Qur'an God asks: 'Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in faith? ' (4: 125; 41: 33) . The Religion of Man The evidence is overwhelming that the concept of salvation in Christianity- its Doctrine of Vicarious Atonement- came not from God but from man via pagan rituals and beliefs.
William Ellery Channing had the following to say on atonement

' There is no passage in the bible in which we are told that the son of man is infinite and needs an infinite atonement.This doctrine teaches us that man although created by God, a frail erring and imperfect being is regarded by the creator as an infinite offender Channinng stated that God can forgive sin without this rigid expedient This doctrine which talks of God becomming a victim and a sacrifice for his own rebellious subjects is as irrational as it is unscriptual.Atonement should be made TO God and not BY God. if infinite atonement was necessary which only God can make so, then God must become a sufferer and must take upon himself our pain and woe, a thought which the mind cannot concieve. to escape this difficulty we are told that Christ suffered as man and not as God. But if man only suffered for a short and limited period then what was the necessity of infinite atonement'? - -

(William Ellery channing(1780-1842)

Paul effectively shifted the center of worship away from God by saying that Jesus was the divine agent of their salvation (Gal.2: 20) . In so doing, however, Paul set aside all teachings of God's prophets, and even the concept of monotheism itself, since God in Christianity needs Jesus for His divine 'helper'. Take a Closer Look With his very salvation at stake here, the Christian should take a closer look at what he believes in and why. God says in the Qur'an: 'O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion, nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger of God...for God is One God; glory be to Him: far exalted is He above having a son. To him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of Affairs.' (4: 171) .

THREE GRADES OF EVIDENCE Muslims have no hesitation in acknowledging that in the Bible, there are three different kinds of witnessing recognizable without any need of specialized training. These are: 1. You will be able to recognize in the Bible what may be described as 'The Word of God.' 2. You will also be able to discern what can be described as the 'Words of a Prophet of God.' 3. And you will most readily observe that the bulk of the Bible is the records of eye witnessess or ear witnesses, or people writing from hearsay. As such they are the 'Words of a Historian' You do not have to hunt for examples of these different types of evidences in the Bible. The following quotations will make the position clear: The FIRST Type: (a)I will raise them up a prophet... and I will put my words in... and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.' (Deuteronomy 18: 18)(b)I even, I am the Lord, and beside me there is no saviour.' (Isaiah 43: 11)(c)'Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the end of the earth: for I am God, and there is non else.' (Isaiah 45: 22)without any difficulty you will agree that the statements seem to have the sound of being GOD'S WORD. The SECOND Type: (a)'Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani? ...' (Matthew 27: 46)(b)'And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: ' (Mark 12: 29)(c)'And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.' (Mark 10: 18) . Even a child will be able to affirm that: Jesus 'cried' Jesus 'answered' and Jesus 'said' are the words of the one to whom they are attributed, i.e. the WORDS OF A PROPHET OF GOD. The THIRD Type: 'And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he, (JESUS)came, if haply he (JESUS)might find anything thereon: and when he (JESUS)came to it, (Jesus)found nothing but leaves...' (Mark 11: 13)The bulk of the Bible is a witnessing of this THIRD kind. These are the words of a third person.. They are not the Words of God or of His prophet, but the WORDS OF A HISTORIAN. For the Muslim it is quite easy to distinguish the above types of evidence, because he also has them in his own faith. But of the followers of the different religions, he is the most fortunate in this that his various records are contained in separate Books! ONE: The first kind THE WORD OF GOD: is found in a Book called The Holy Quran. TWO: The second kind: THE WORDS OF THE PROPHET OF GOD, (Muhummed, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)are recorded in the Books of Tradition called The Hadith. THREE: Evidence of the third kind abounds in different volume of Islamic history, written by some of high integrity and learning, and others of lesser trustworthiness, but the Muslim advisedly keeps his Books in separate volumes

An eminent scholar Christian history admits that the present day Christianity is a mask on the face of Jesus but goes on to say that a mask worn for a long time acquires a life of its own and has to be accepted as such. The Muslim believes in the Jesus of History and refuses to accept the mask.

People of the Book is the respectful title given to the Jews and the Christians in the Holy Quran. The Muslims are here commanded to invite, O People of the Book! , O Learned People! , O People who claim to be the recipients of Divine Revelation, of a Holy Scripture; let us gather together onto a common platform, 'that we worship none but Allah (God) ', because none but God is worthy of worship, not because 'The Lord thy God is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me.' (Exodus 20: 25) . But because He is our Lord and Cherisher, our Sustainer and Evolver, worthy of all praise, prayer and devotion. In the abstract the Jews and the Christians would agree to all the three propositions contained in this Quranic verse. In practice they fail. Apart from doctrinal lapses from the unity of the One True God, Allah, may He be praised, there is the question of a consecrated Priesthood (among the Jews it was hereditary also) , as if a mere human being - Cohen or Pope, or Priest, or Brahuman, - could claim superiority apart from his learning and the purity of his life, or could stand between man and God in some special sense. Islam does not recognize priesthood! . The Creed of Islam is given to us here in a nutshell from Holy Quran: 'Say ye: 'We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes (of the Children of Israel) , And that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all)Prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam) .' ' (the Holy Quran 2: 136) . The Muslim position is clear. The Muslim does not claim to have a religion peculiar to himself. Islam is not a sect or an ethnic religion. In its view all religion is one, for the Truth is one: 'It was the same religion preached by all the earlier prophets.' (the Holy Quran 42: 13) . It was the truth taught by all the inspired Books. In essence it amounts to a consciousness of the Will and Plan of God and a joyful submission to that Will and Plan. If anyone wants a religion other than that, he is false to his own nature, as he is false to God's Will and Plan. Such a one cannot expect guidance, for he has deliberately renounced guidance. Let's look at what Jesus says. In Matthew 5: 17 'Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.' Jesus clearly states that he was not sent to abolish the law, the law of which had already existed. So what is mentioned above cannot be discounted. Then Jesus continues to say, in Matthew 5: 18 and 19 'For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.' Jesus here states that not even as much as a dot (tittle)shall not pass from the law. Every thing is kept the way it was. That is why the previous laws cannot be removed or discarded, and those who willfully change these laws 'he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.'

Lectures of Ahmed Deedat
Jesus the Prophet of islam by Mohammad Ata-ur- Rahim
Jesus report by John Lehman
Writings on Atonement by Aisha Brown
(Francis David by W.C Gannett)

Kathryn Hughes 03 January 2020

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