Christianity a Journey from Facts to Fiction
How a Jewish Prophet, Jesus of Nazareth changed into Christ, who allegedly died for the sins of the believers is the theme of this book!
This is a book by Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the previous international leader of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad
The person of Christ is vitally important to the contemporary world. His importance does not remain confined to the Christian world alone but also to other major religions such as Judaism and Islam in particular. If these powerful religions were to unite in one common understanding about the nature of the person of Christ, his first and also his promised second advent, then such an understanding would lead to the resolution of many problems confronting mankind today. Unfortunately, even the very basic facts about the life of Jesus, his purpose, ideology and person are completely misunderstood. In their perception of these aspects, these religions are so strongly at odds with each other that a bitter rivalry among them becomes inevitable.
When we look at the facts of Crucifixion and consider what happened and why it happened, Redemption and its related philosophy, we find conflicting answers from various early sources. I have chosen to address this question solely from a logical point of view. I believe that this is the only platform, common to all, which can be used for a fruitful constructive dialogue. Otherwise, any discussion on the basis of what the individual scriptures present, along with their various interpretations, would lead to a tangle of controversy from which it would be difficult to wriggle out of.
Two thousand years have already come to pass, yet based on the scriptures alone, no solution, which could be equally acceptable to all, has been reached. The crux of the problem is that the very reliability of certain scriptural claims is further compounded by their various divergent explanations. Also, immense complications arise out of the gradual growth of conflicting understandings revolving around the historical person of Christ. The vision of a historic perspective generally tends to be fogged and obscured. By any standards, the passage of two millennia is no ordinary obstacle in perceiving events as distant as the time of Jesus. Human logic and reason, further aided by the dawn of scientific knowledge, has neither creed, nor colour nor religion. It is common to all peoples and religions alike. Logic and logic alone could provide us with a basis for consensus.
I will attempt to examine the problem from different vantage points. First, let me begin with Christianity and view it as the Christians see it and then critically analyse it under the magnifying glass of reason. I must emphasize however, that I do not mean to be disrespectful in any way to Christians or to the person of Jesus Christ. As a Muslim, it is a fundamental article of my faith to believe in the truth of Jesus Christ, and to accept him as a special and honoured messenger of God, holding a unique position among the prophets of Israel. But where truth demands, in all fairness to logic, common sense and human understanding, one cannot abstain from revising one’s views on Christianity. My purpose is not to drive a wedge between Christians and Christ. On the contrary, I wish to help Christians come closer to the reality of Jesus Christ and away from the myth created around him.
Time can distort reality into myths and legends. Influence of such legends only serves to distance man from the realities of life. As a result, faith becomes imaginary and unreal. Whereas true faith has its roots in the verities and facts of history, it is very real and potent enough to bring about significant changes in human society.
In the endeavour to understand the true faith and teachings of Jesus, it is essential to sift out the fact from the fiction and truth from myth. The search for truth is the ultimate purpose of this exercise. I hope that you will bear with me and understand that I mean no offence to anyone’s beliefs or sentiments.
A critical approach is essential to save the world of Christianity from unfortunate moral degradation; the course of which they are finding so hard to reverse. According to my analysis, contemporary youth is fast losing its faith in God.
To read the Foreword further or the whole book online click here
How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee
A recent book by Prof. Bart Ehrman
Prof. Bart Ehrman
Jesus was a lower-class preacher from Galilee, who, in good apocalyptic fashion, proclaimed that the end of history as he knew it was going to come to a crashing end, within his own generation. God was soon to intervene in the course of worldly affairs to overthrow the forces of evil and set up a utopian kingdom on earth. And he would be the king.
It didn’t happen. Instead of being involved with the destruction of God’s enemies, Jesus was unceremoniously crushed by them: arrested, tried, humiliated, tortured, and publicly executed.
And yet, remarkably, soon afterwards his followers began to say that – despite all evidence to the contrary – Jesus really was the messiah sent from God. More than that, he was actually a divine being, not a mere human. And not just any divine being. He was the Creator of the universe. After long debates among themselves they decided that he was not secondary to the one God of Israel, the Lord God Almighty himself. On the contrary, he was fully equal with God; he had always existed for eternity with God; he was of the same essence as God; he was a member of the Trinity.
To read more click here
By Zia H Shah MD
The mystery is that if Jesus came to die for our sins, why does he and others, endlessly, keep talking of salvation through deeds and actions and the Law, in the Holy Bible
It is old news, but, it seems that it has not reached millions of Christians. They still think that Jesus died for their sins.
So, I am afraid, I have to break this news again to them, by a collection of references from the Holy Bible.
All quotes are from the New International Version of the Bible. Jesus stressed the Law at the time of his legendary Sermon Mount. Our good deeds were and are all important and any magical belief in any myth or dogma, is not necessary:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)
You will see that Jesus, repeatedly stresses our actions and the Law for our salvation and not some fake belief, in all four canonical Gospels.
Jesus, may peace be on him, profoundly sums up the whole of the Law in one line of the golden rule:
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
In the golden words of Sir Francis Bacon’s advice, read on, but, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”
By Imam I. H. Kauser
Empty Tomb in Resthaven Memorial Park in Texas, USA
1. Why crucifixion?
Jews wanted him to be killed through crucifixion, so they can prove that Jesus is not a beloved of God, rather the curse of God is on him. Jews could have killed him easily as they were in hundreds of thousands in number and very strong. If killing should have been their desire, they could have done it easily. Just like they paid thirty pieces of silver to one of his disciples, if they would have paid him more, he might have done this service too. But they wanted him to be crucified so they can prove that he is not from God, rather he is an imposter and a fabricator. If he was from God, then God will definitely save him. May be that was the reason that Jesus was so reluctant to suffer on the cross.
2. Who wanted him to be crucified?
Two of Jesus’ disciples commented (in Luke 24:20) as follows:
And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. (Luke 24:20)
They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the Governor said what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying Let him be crucified… Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. (Matt 27: 22-25)
3. Crucifixion was demanded by the Jews
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. (John 19:6)
The Jews answered him (Pilate), We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. (John 19:7)
4. One incident and many aspects?
1. Romans took it as punishment of sedition.
2. The Jews made it as a punishment of blasphemy.
3. Jesus considers it a killing, when one of his disciples betrayed him.
4. Christians think a sacrifice presented for our salvation.
Who is right?
5. Why Jesus was hiding?
That’s why the Jews paid thirty pieces of silver to Judas giving them the necessary information about Jesus.
…Neither go into town, nor tell it to any in the town. (Mark 8: 26)
And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. ((Mark 8: 30)
6. Jesus’ prayers and supplications to be saved from crucifixion:
Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. (John 26: 36)
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. (John 26: 39)
…. He went away again, and prayed the second time and prayed, saying ……and prayed the third time, saying the same words. (John 26:42-44)
The Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci
This is a small booklet with a very descriptive title, written by an Australian Judge, Ernest Brougham Docker, in 1920. He became a judge of the District Court and chairman of Quarter Sessions for the north-western district in 1881. He retired in 1918 after the passage of the Judges Retirement Act.
He examines the limitations in the so called testimony of the apostles about resurrection in his book. He makes several strong points against resurrection of Jesus, may peace be on him, but one that can be described in a few lines is quoted here:
“He (Jesus) expressed his forebodings to His disciples, I firmly believe; I am equally convinced that He did not predict His rising again. The Conduct of the disciples after crucifixion shows that they had no expectation of a resurrection; and it is altogether incredible that they could have forgotten a prediction so remarkable.”
There are 14 parts of this short booklet by Ernest Brougham Docker, published in 1920. The fifth part concludes with this paragraph:
“Dr. Sparrow Simpson also goes too far when he says (p. 47): ‘Believing as we do that all the evidence concurs in declaring that the grave was vacant, the interpretation of the fact must be ultimately one of two things: either this was a human work, or else it was the work of God. Either human hands removed the corpse or the Almighty raised the dead. That is exactly the question.’ I venture to submit that that is not exactly the question. What if the supposed corpse was not really dead, and revived? I confidently submit that this interpretation of the fact of the vacant grave is ample and satisfactory. It postulates neither fraud nor miracle.”
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Alislam-eGazette Archives about Christianity
December 2010 Alislam-eGazette: A Cordial Invitation to the Pope Benedict XVI to Islam
June 2010 Alislam-eGazette: Islam and Christianity
November 2008 Alislam-eGazette: Evolution and Biology: A cross for Christianity
October 2009 Alislam-eGazette: Jesus Christ and Atonement
July 2009 Alislam-eGazette: The Bible, The Quran and Science
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