A Rabbi’s perspective on the Resurrection of Jesus

Resurrection by Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal

The Christian scriptures claim that their leader, one Jesus of Nazareth, was crucified by the Romans and that as a result of this he died. These authors of the Christian scriptures tell us that after Jesus’ death he was sighted by some of his followers alive and well. According to these men, this miraculous event is the sign that Christianity is the true religion. Some Christians look at the alleged resurrection of Jesus as a solid foundation upon which to base their faith. These people feel that there exists solid evidence that proves that the resurrection was an actual historical event. Although this event supposedly took place many centuries ago, still these Christians feel that they can honestly be sure that Jesus really was seen alive after his death on the cross.

We have the testimony of the authors of the Christian scriptures that tell us that this event really did happen. The fact that Jesus’ disciples did not abandon their belief in Jesus after his death is another factor that might lead people to believe that Jesus was resurrected. Why would these people maintain their loyalty to someone who died and was never seen again? The disciples underwent persecution in order to remain faithful to their beliefs. Why would they do so if they had not seen their faith substantiated with the resurrection? How could these disciples preach a lie and then go and die for something that they know to be false?

Another factor which seems to lend credence to the resurrection story, is the fact that Jesus’ opponents did not produce his body in order to disprove the claims of his disciples? What could have prevented them from taking this simple step? In the eyes of many Christians these factors amount to their acceptance of the resurrection story as a substantiated historical fact. Now if Jesus was a fraud as the Jewish people believe him to be, then why was he resurrected?

There are a few points though, which these Christians failed to consider. The first and most basic point is the passage in Deuteronomy 13:2-6. In that passage God clearly instructs us that even if a miracle is performed which seems to substantiate the claims of a prophet, we are not to take this as a sign that God wants us to worship another god. God is testing us to see if we truly love Him with all our hearts. So, even if Jesus were to resurrect himself in front of our eyes, still this cannot serve as a sign that we are to worship him. Since he is not the one who was revealed to the Jewish people at Sinai, then he is “another god”, all his claims to the contrary notwithstanding. So the entire claim of the resurrection, even if it could be backed by solid evidence, does not have the strength to prove the veracity of any brand of trinitarian Christianity. But we shall see that the entire claim is without foundation.

How do we know about the story of Jesus’ alleged resurrection? The Christian Church tells us the story. And where did they hear the story? We have to go back in time in order to try to trace the origins of this Christian tradition. (The Catholic Church claims that they have a direct tradition which traces itself back to Peter, the problem is that the dishonesty of the Catholic Church is a well documented fact, furthermore what do we know about Peter that tells us to believe him?)

Protestant Christians (who agree that the Catholic traditions cannot be trusted) would point to the books of the Christian scriptures. These writings, which historical research indicates that they existed quite early on in the history of Christianity, they testify to the story of the resurrection.

Who wrote these books? Who determined that the authors were trustworthy people? What criteria did the early Christians use to determine that these writings should be considered holy? What assures us that the early Christians who had these books, really believed every word that these writings contained in a literal sense? Since there is no direct chain of tradition concerning any of these matters, then there seems to be no definite way to answer these questions.

Let us take the words of the Christian scriptures at face value. Let us assume that the writers of these books were indeed people that lived close to where the events were taking place. Let us also assume that we have no reason to suspect that these authors may have been dishonest. We will open the books and allow them to speak for themselves.

The first thing that becomes immediately obvious is that these authors do not tell you where they are getting their information from. The range of events described by these books precludes the possibility that the authors themselves were eyewitnesses for every event mentioned in the books. Much, if not all of their information was (at best) related to them by other people. (In case you were wondering why we don’t consider the possibility that these books were written by prophetic powers, ask yourself these questions. Who determined that these men were prophets, and if they were prophets then why is there so little conformity in their descriptions of the same events.) How did these authors interview their sources of information? What criteria did they use to determine the reliability of the people that told them the details of the stories that they wrote?

When we realize that the writers of the Christian scriptures contradict each other concerning the basic elements of the resurrection story, we realize that someone did his homework sloppily. Luke tells us that Jesus’ first appearance to his disciples took place in Jerusalem, Matthew and Mark (if we accept the version of Mark which contains the resurrection story) claim that this took place in the Galilee.

Matthew has an angel informing Mary that the resurrection had taken place, before Jesus is sighted. John tells us that until Mary had met with the resurrected Jesus, she was under the assumption that human hands had removed the body of Jesus from its grave. The fact that these authors contradict themselves tells us that someone is lying somewhere.

Another interesting factor that comes to light when examining the various sightings of Jesus, is the point that the only ones who testified that they saw him were people who were already totally devoted to him. Even among the devotees, the Christian scriptures report that there was an element of doubt concerning the truth of the resurrection story.

Realize what this means. We have a beloved leader; a leader whom his followers believe to be greater than Moses, and wiser than Solomon. Protestant Christianity would have us believe that his disciples believed him to be an almighty god. The devotion of his disciples was extreme. The Christian scriptures report that the followers of Jesus had to relinquish all of their possessions in order to join the following. Jesus demanded that his followers love him more than they love their parents, spouses or their children. It is clear that what these people would require as evidence to the resurrection of their adored teacher, would be much less than the evidence required by one who is unaffected by this bias. With all this in mind Matthew reports (28:17) that when Jesus reappeared to his disciples, some worshiped him, but some doubted.

This is comparable to a cult leader who is accused of shoplifting. Some of his followers come to court to testify that their leader was elsewhere at the time that the crime had taken place. As you watch the witnesses filing in to testify on behalf of the accused, it strikes you that the only ones who are testifying, are people who are totally blinded by devotion to this man. When these devotees open their mouth to speak, each one contradicts the other on every point of their testimony. The only thing they all agree on is that their leader was not in the place where his accusers claim he was. They do not agree about basic details of their story such as the actual location of their leader during the time of the crime. Furthermore it is brought to your attention that even some of his devoted followers who were with these witnesses, did not come to court. They doubted the veracity of the testimony of their fellow devotees. Could you decide that you are totally convinced that this cult leader was definitely not guilty of shoplifting?

The testimony of the Christian Scriptures concerning the resurrection story is sorely lacking. It is difficult to see how one can consider these writings as “convincing evidence” to the resurrection of Jesus.

But what about the disciples? Why were they so devoted to Jesus if they did not have their faith substantiated by an actual resurrection? The problem with this argument is that the devotion of the disciples preceded the resurrection story. It seems that the devotion to their leader produced the resurrection story and not the other way around. The way the Christian Scriptures describe the devotion of Jesus’ disciples it would almost be surprising if there were no resurrection story. Does this mean that the disciples were preaching a deliberate lie? Not necessarily. There is no way of knowing today at what point in time was it that the resurrection story came to be accepted by the followers of Jesus. It is possible that it took years for the story to develop until it was actually believed in a literal sense. It may have started with reports of visions, which over the course of time came to be spoken of as actual sightings. This would explain the manifold contradictions in the Christian scriptures. It would also explain why the early Christians did not maintain a tradition concerning the concrete occurrences of Jesus’ reappearance. If indeed Jesus did reappear in a physical sense it would make sense that the physical details of the event should have been recorded. These include the noting of the precise location at which these reappearances took place. We should have the early Church pointing to a particular physical spot and saying, that this is where the most important event in world history took place. But no record exists of such a claim. This lends weight to the theory that the resurrection story began with a series of emotional visions.

Even if we were to assume that the original disciples believed that Jesus was resurrected in a physical sense, still, we must take into consideration the simple fact that these people would not demand the same standard of evidence that an unbiased person would require before believing a resurrection story. There are many scenarios that would have the disciples believe that their leader is resurrected which are more plausible than an actual resurrection. There could have been an empty grave. It is doubtful if his loyal followers would have required more evidence than an empty grave before preaching and believing that an actual resurrection took place.

One example for such a situation would be that there may have been confusion concerning the precise burial site of Jesus. According to the Christian Scriptures the burial took place hastily, and close to nightfall. There were no more than four people claimed to be present at the time of the burial. This being the case, it is quite possible that his followers pointed to an empty burial spot in which Jesus was never buried. (Since the graves were hewn into stone it was customary to have such spots empty, even without anyone dying – the Christian Scriptures tell us that Jesus was laid in a grave which was opened for someone else who had not yet died.)

Furthermore if indeed the body was put in a grave which was meant for someone else, it is possible that the body was eventually removed from there. Remember, John reports that Mary believed that the body was misplaced by people who were in charge of the burial site. She was under this assumption for quite a while. She was under this assumption even after she had spoken to the disciples and reported to them that the grave was empty.

It is also possible that some of the disciples removed the body from the grave. Matthew tells us that this is what the general population believed at that time. If this were the case it is obvious that the disciples who actually removed the body would not believe the resurrection story, but the rest of the following would have no problem believing it.

Some missionaries try to negate the plausibility of these scenarios. They point to the guards that Matthew places to protect the grave, and to the enormous rock which prevented access to the grave. But we must note that according to the book of Matthew, the general population who were far more familiar than the circumstances than we are, considered it entirely plausible that the body was stolen. The book of John reports that Mary who was an eyewitness to much of what was happening, thought it reasonable to assume that the corpse was removed by the caretakers of the burial site. If these people who were familiar with the ways of the times thought these scenarios to be plausible, then we have no right to differ.

Another rather simple possibility that would have the followers of Jesus believing a resurrection story, is the scenario in which some followers deliberately lied and the rest believed. Those who lied would not have a guilty conscience about it. These people were convinced of the truth of Jesus’ mission long before the death of their leader. They were already convinced that he healed the blind, and resurrected the dead. What would a little lie do to their conscience if they were promoting what they considered to be the greatest truth that exists? The rest of the following would have little problem believing the “reliable” testimony of their fellow devotees. There could also have been some imaginary “sightings” similar to the Elvis Presley sightings that are commonplace today. There are other possibilities that come to mind, in any case the garbled story of the Christian Scriptures does not deserve so much consideration.

Why did the Roman and Jewish opponents of Jesus not dig up the body of Jesus in order to disprove the resurrection story touted by Jesus’ followers? This question is based on the assumption that the resurrection story is actually true. When we hear the story of the resurrection we are faced with two choices. We can assume that it did happen, or we can assume that it did not happen. If it did not happen, then the story was made up. It does not matter much if the story was deliberately invented by his followers, or if his followers were mistaken in their assumption that the story is true. In any case, if the story is not true, then there is no reason to assume that the story began circulating so soon after Jesus’ death. In fact it is quite improbable that the story began to be heard in the semi-coherent form that it possesses today, in the weeks following Jesus’ demise. If the story is not true than it is reasonable to assume that it took months if not years for a clear story to get around. In that time Jesus’ body would have been totally unrecognizable to anyone. By that time it would have been futile to exhume his body. Since all that would have been left would be a decayed corpse, his followers could claim that the body is not that of their beloved teacher.

Furthermore it is possible that Jesus’ opponents could not find his grave. Since time had passed between his burial and the time that the resurrection story got to the ears of Jesus’ opponents there could easily have arisen confusion concerning the exact location of his grave. This is even more plausible when we realize that at the time of his death his opponents did not consider it important to note where exactly he is buried.

Last but not least we must ask ourselves a basic question. How could we know that his opponents did not dig up his body in order to disprove the resurrection story? If the governing authorities did exhume the decaying corpse and display it in order to discount the claims of his followers, how would we hear about it today? Realize, that if such an event indeed happened, the record would have to survive centuries of Catholic censorship in order to arrive here today. That is asking for the impossible. If indeed the body was brought to the attention of the public then why would his disciples still believe the resurrection story? They probably claimed that the body displayed by the authorities was not the one that belonged to their teacher. Who knows? And frankly, who cares.

Copyright Yisroel Blumenthal  – All rights reserved



Categories: Christianity, Judaism

125 replies

  1. Thanks much Paul for posting this.

    I noticed that at the JewsforJudaism site, there are many articles on the Christian doctrine of resurrection.

    http://jewsforjudaism.org/?s=resurrection

    One can get further articles on it by clicking on the next series of articles on it.

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  2. “Since he[Jesus] is not the one who was revealed to the Jewish people at Sinai”

    Using the word “since” does not constitute proof, rather it is what is called “begging the question”

    “the point that the only ones who testified that they saw him were people who were already totally devoted to him.”

    There would have been little point in our Lord showing himself to his enemies. He had already done clear miraculous good deeds before them and they accused him of doing it by the power of Belzeebub.

    Luke 16.31 And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.

    “it strikes you that the only ones who are testifying, are people who are totally blinded by devotion to this man.”

    This is exactly the reverse of what happened historically. I can’t remember our Lord’s disciples playing any significant part in our Lord’s trial and judgment.

    “his opponents did not consider it important to note where exactly he is buried..”

    They did.

    Matthew 27. 62-64

    And the next day, which followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees came together to Pilate, Saying: Sir, we have remembered, that that seducer said, while he was yet alive: After three days I will rise again. Command therefore the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day: lest perhaps his disciples come and steal him away and say to the people: He is risen from the dead. And the last error shall be worse than the first.

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  3. Hi Paul,
    what would happen if instead of misusing your considerable mental powers and inside knowledge of Xianity in the attempt to deconstruct the latter and thus lead others into error, what if you subjected the Islamic scriptures and the life of Muhammad to the same unsparing analysis?? (quite apart from any considerations of personal safety, that is 😉 or do you take the Qur’an, the Ahadeeth and their claims in relation to Muhammad as read?

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  4. Charles, just to state the obvious, the article is not written by me, but I posted it became of the interesting points made by the rabbi. In any event I think the religion about Jesus (followed by most Christians today) is worthy of the occasional deconstruction. As another article on this blog demonstrated it is quite a different religion to the religion OF Jesus, which bears a great similarly to Islam. As I think the faith and religion of Jesus is true I have no motive to deconstruct it. Assuming such an activity was worthwhile or even possible. Islam and Muhammad merely restated in its original uncorrupted and unchanged form the faith and religion of Jesus.

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    • hi Bilal,
      this is nothing more than a linguistic sleight of hand …. in other words you feel free to indulge in deconstruction of Christianity on the basis of your claim that Jesus was a proto-Muslim, but the Islamic scriptures and Muhammad remain off limits for any rational critique by you

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    • I’m disappointed you cannot understand the intellectual reasons for my position. Yes of course Jesus was a Muslim – he submitted himself to God as even the extant canonical gospels show. But the religion that was created put Jeaus at the centre of its faith rather than the religion of Jesus which put God at the centre is worth critiquing.

      Islam does not have fundamental historical or theological problems in my view. Perhaps you forget. I left christianity for Islam and did a thorough investigation of its claims already.

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    • it is impossible to argue that Jesus and Muhammad spoke of the same God. Muhammad is a false prophet. Why would God abrogate the law with Jesus, and bring the message of forgiveness and then send another prophet who advocated a return to an even stricter and even less merciful version of Judaic law?

      Jesus in John 8: 3 – 11

      “3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

      But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

      9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

      11 “No one, sir,” she said.

      “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

      Muhammad in Bukhari Book 6 Volume 60 Hadith 79

      “The Jews brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from among them who had committed illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet said to them, “How do you usually punish the one amongst you who has committed illegal sexual intercourse?” They replied, “We blacken their faces with coal and beat them,” He said, “Don’t you find the order of Ar-Rajm (i.e. stoning to death) in the Torah?” They replied, “We do not find anything in it.” ‘Abdullah bin Salam (after hearing this conversation) said to them. “You have told a lie! Bring here the Torah and recite it if you are truthful.” (So the Jews brought the Torah). And the religious teacher who was teaching it to them, put his hand over the Verse of Ar-Rajm and started reading what was written above and below the place hidden with his hand, but he did not read the Verse of Ar-Rajm. ‘Abdullah bin Salam removed his (i.e. the teacher’s) hand from the Verse of Ar-Rajm and said, “What is this?” So when the Jews saw that Verse, they said, “This is the Verse of Ar-Rajm.” So the Prophet ordered the two adulterers to be stoned to death, and they were stoned to death near the place where biers used to be placed near the Mosque. I saw her companion (i.e. the adulterer) bowing over her so as to protect her from the stones.”

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    • According to Matthew 5:17 Jesus did not come to abrogate or abolish the Law. Jesus asked his followers to obey the commandments of the Torah with a new spiritual depth. The passage you quote from John is well known to textual scholars to not be part of the original text. No one knows who wrote it, and there is no evidence the incident actually happened. Furthermore Jesus commanded punishments that are rejected by Christians today such as the execution of anyone who speaks I’ll of parents see Matt 15: 4.

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    • It is not well known by me to not be part of the original text

      as a Muslim your position in any case is that the Torah and New Testament are falsified and not worth the paper they are written on, so why pick on a particular scripture that doesn#t suit your argument?

      PS

      if you are going to quote Jesus, please quote him in context. He was not by any stretch of the imagination arguing for the execution of anyone who speaks ill of their parents (which of course would not be surprising if he were as you claim a proto-Muslim). He was pointing out the hypocrisy of those who seek righteousness by obeying meaningless rituals, something which is very relevant for the extremely ritualistic Muslims.

      “Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.”

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    • Well you are aware of the fact it is not part of the original gospel of John now.

      I disagree with your interpretation of Matthew. In my view he commands the execution of those who speak ill of their parents just as the law requires. We will have to agree to disagree on this.

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    • sorry, but just because you, an avowed adversary of Christianity, says so does not make it a fact 🙂

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    • I am merely passing on to you what I learnt from Christian textual critics.

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    • do you accept textual criticism of the Qur’an and Ahadeeth?

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    • you previously claimed it was a fact…now you concede that it is but the opinion of “Christian” textual critics

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    • True. It is also a fact known to all textual scholars of all persuasions.

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    • as a Muslim who claims that Jesus was a proto-Muslim, you are naturally keen to ensure that Jesus is just as vengeful, judgemental and merciless as Muhammad,

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    • Again I reject the motives you ascribe to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • PS you did not dispute the hadith I quoted, knowing that it is canonical… in other words, you find Muhammad’s documented mercilessness quite acceptable, possibly even admirable….I think that this is why many are turning to Islam, so that they can give free rein to some of the darker forces of the id, such as vengeance, sadism, judgementalism, irascibility, lust for women, the lust to kill, while doing so in the conviction that they are doing God’s will

      and for all your erudition like all Muslims you believe that anything that Muhammad did, no matter how inhumane or monstrous, was automatically good or that if Muhammad did it, then ispo facto it cannot have been inhumane or monstrous

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    • I have no problem with the Hadith at all, though I reject the motives you ascribe to me.

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    • interesting, and on what grounds do you find Muhammad’s behavior in this instance acceptable? even if you choose to dispute the authenticity of the scripture I quoted, are there any reports of Jesus cheering on the stoning of others, adulterous or otherwise?

      btw, I did not claim that you personally had turned to Islam for the above reasons although many do find modern life rather insipid and the odd public beheading, stoning or whipping would certainly bring relief to those jaded by the banality of the modern everday

      however, as an Islamic scholar, come the day, you would not have to do any of the dirty work yourself but simply issue a ruling…just think of the power over life and death enjoyed by an imam or qadi!

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    • I don’t doubt that some can use religion to satisfy their dark urges. As the maxim goes ‘the corruption of the best is the worst’.

      I find Muhammad’s behaviour consistent with the revealed will of God in the Torah and in the Gospel. What offends you (I suspect) is how his actions (insisting that Jews judge by God’s law) go against western liberal values. That cannot be helped.

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    • my problem with Muhammad’s behavior is not that it offends Western liberal values as I am not a liberal myself and under some circumstances I even support capital punishment but that his behavior is so vindictive unmerciful.. I do not accept that this is the will of God as revealed in the Torah and the Gospel and it is brazen effrontery that Muslims claim this…you are shamelessly squeezing the message of these books post ante into the pinching slipper of Islam

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    • Pinching slipper of Islam? Lol. Are you not aware that God commands the execution of adulterers in the Torah? If you are not just Google the reference. Do you reject God and his Word? Why do you not criticise Orthodox Jews who acknowledge this teaching too?

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  5. you write “the religion that was created put Jesus at the centre of its faith rather than the religion of Jesus which put God at the centre is worth critiquing”

    is not a religion that was created by Muhammad and that, in spite of assertions to the contrary, puts Muhammad at the center also a worthy object for criticism?

    btw Muslims that argue that Islam is monotheistic are simply self-delusional…Islam is clearly a duotheistic system with Allah/Muhammad at its center, if any thing, it seems that Muhammad has a more pre-eminent role than Allah

    Muslims who argue otherwise are like alcoholics reeking of British sherry who ask one to believe that they are sober just because they say so.

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  6. “True. It is also a fact known to all textual scholars of all persuasions.”

    It is not a fact, much as you wish it were, it is an opinion…and a large number of “clever” people arguing for a opinion does not make it a fact…viz. the number of clever folks a decade ago who were telling us what a wonderful thing it would be if Britain adopted the euro

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  7. @Burhanuddin1
    “Jesus prayed to Allaha – the one true God. Why don’t you follow him?”
    Nonesense, he never mentioned Allaha once, he prayed to his Father…
    I would rather die than follow Allah (aka Muhammad) 🙂

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  8. The relationship between Allah and Muhammad reminds me of the Wizard of Oz; the Wizard hid behind a green curtain and was really a fairly ordinary, middle aged man, who projected a terrifying image onto the screen accompanied by smoke and flames, and who spoke with a distorted voice, booming voice.

    Why believe in a slave and messenger boy of Allah, when you can know the Son of God?

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    • Jesus prayed to and worshiped God (see the gospels). I do the same. Don’t see the problem.

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    • the God of Jesus and Muhammad’s Allah cannot be the same as what they require of mankind are diametrically opposite ….worship Allah all you like, but there is a problem when you seek to mislead others by misrepresenting the Christian and Jewish faiths

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    • Both prophets required that mankind worship God alone and care for ones neighbour. You could not be more wrong.

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    • Jesus was not a prophet, he is the Son of God, and nor was Muhammad a prophet….it is you my friend, who are in error, not I

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    • of course Jesus was a prophet – he says so in the gospels – go and read them. Muhammad was a prophet just like Moses, the other OT prophets and Jesus. Only your hatred for Islam blinds you to this obvious fact.

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    • I do not hate Islam but I do not like it much
      …again you are bandying the word “fact” around when you mean something of which you personally are convinced ….nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus say that he is a prophet and I think it is rather impertinent of you to even refer to them since you apparently believe that they are almost entirely made up

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    • of course you hate Islam. That is obvious from your comments.

      For Jesus as prophet see Luke 13:33 and Mark 6:4.

      You are probably one of the most uneducated and ignorant commentators on this blog – you know neither the Bible nor Islam.

      Do try and say something intelligent or I might just ban you for being a bore and a time waster.

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  9. “Pinching slipper of Islam? Lol. Are you not aware that God commands the execution of adulterers in the Torah? If you are not just Google the reference. Do you reject God and his Word? Why do you not criticise Orthodox Jews who acknowledge this teaching too?”

    as you well know, the Jews have not practiced the Mosaic punishments for adultery for many centuries, indeed millenia, the later books of the Torah are far milder in tone (Isaiah)….as a Muslim you know all about the principle of abrogation, don’t you? LOL

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    • “… the later books of the Torah … (Isaiah)” OMG

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    • “a waste of time”…strangely enough, I do not regard you as a waste of time..I hope that a shaft of light might penetrate through one of the spiracles in the carapace of your Muslim faith

      PS if you are a Muslim, should that no be OMA?

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    • What’s it worth being inhabited by God himself while still talking nonsense? Isaiah is not a book of the Torah. And you cannot know a “”Son of God” as it is impossible for God to have a literal son.

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    • but it is not impossible for God to have a Son, he proved it…I believe that Muslims believe that God is Omnipotent…in any case it was not Allah that had a son, but God (Yahweh, Elohim, God the Father), Allah is Muhammad’s alter ego.

      “Isaiah is not a book of the Torah”, thank you…I stand corrected

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    • Charles do you dispute that millions of Christians call upon the Name of Allah every day?

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    • yes I do and if Allah is Arabic for God, they certainly do not mean the God of Muhammad

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    • So Christians and Muslims call on the God they both call Allah. I have met Christians who are not raving bigots who acknowledge we worship the same God.

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    • if you wish to imply that I am a “raving bigot”, that is your concern, there are lots of Christians, especially in the Church who do not believe in anything much apart from their benefices….. I do not acknowledge that the God of Jesus has anything to do with the Allah of Muhammad…one or the other must be wrong and it is no secret which one I believe it is

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    • Are you saying God has a literal son? Produce your proof.

      The term “Son of God” cannot have a literal interpretation Sonship and divine nature would be necessary attributes of such an actuality, but these are incompatible. The first describes a recipient of life while the second describes One who received life from no one. These are mutually exclusive requirements then. To be a son is to be less than divine, and to be divine is to be no one’s son.

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    • are you saying Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and not a deluded megalomaniac?…produce your proof!

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    • He taught the same message as Jesus.

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    • you trim and bend Jesus’ message to bring it into line with Islam, only thus can you claim that Jesus and Muhammad taught the same message

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    • This is ridiculous. I proved to you that the term “Son of God” cannot have a literal interpretation. Where is your proof? Is your god a red herring?

      Are you saying it is not possible for a man to be a messenger of God?

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    • if you can demand that I prove that Jesus is the Son of God, by the same token I am entitled to demand from you proof that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, am I not?

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    • why are these incompatible? …God is omnipotent, is he not? you believe that God provided Muhammad with a winged horse to fly to Jerusalem and back, do you not?

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    • A “son” is a recipient of life by definition, “God” is the One who received life from no one by definition,
      these are mutually exclusive conditions.

      To be provided with a flying horse by God is not self-contradictory. Capice?

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    • The One who received life from no one is your definition of God or perhaps the Muslim one, but not a universally accepted one

      Capice?

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    • Interesting. So your God received life – from whom? Your God had a beginning?

      Liked by 1 person

    • God received life from no-one but it is not a prerequisite for him being God.. the word god etymologically simply means object of worship, the definition of son is not recipient of life,

      In relation to Jesus we read (of course Brother Bilal will be along straight away to tell us that these verses are invented) showing that Jesus as part of the Godhead is eternal:

      in John 8:58 “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

      and in John 1: 1-5 and In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

      and in 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

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    • Tanakh, stand corrected…live and learn is my motto 😉

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    • If you speak to Orthodox Jewish rabbis (as I have done) then they obviously would reintroduce such punishments if they lived in a society regulated by God’s Law (if such a society were created). As far as they are concerned the punishments have NOT been abrogated. Islam has abrogated some of these punishments (such as the death penalty for speaking ill of parents) and it has made them much more difficult to implement in practice.

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    • it seems that the principle of abrogation mostly works in the opposite direction in Islam, for example Muhammad’s earlier more peacable surahs have been abrogated by the later more warlike ones

      strange that Israel, which is after all a Jewish state, has compassionate laws while Muslim states such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and Isis implement Shar’ia in all its cruelty

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    • The so-called principle of abrogation is a subject of disagreement and discussion amongst Islamic scholars, with some holding there has been no abrogation at all in the Quran (eg Muhammad Asad). I’m not aware of whole surahs being abrogated by anyone though.
      Israel is a secular state – it does not operate according to the commandments of
      The Torah. Israel is in my view a terrorist entity that systematically persecutes and oppresses Palestinians daily. I do not recognise the other states you mention as Islamic.

      Liked by 2 people

    • my view is that Israel is doing the best it can in a very rough neighborhood, and if the boot were on the other foot I think that the Palestinians would give the Israelis a pretty thin time of it
      “Israel does not operate according to the Torah” ….and a very good thing, too

      If Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and ISIS are not Islamic what are they then, Christian? Communists always used to say when the Soviet Union or China were mentioned that the no state existed that really implemented Communism …strange that every time an existing Islamic state is mentioned, apologists for Islam, like your good self, same the same kind of thing

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    • Where are the mosques in the Vatican?

      Liked by 1 person

    • the Vatican is 109 acres, i.e. the size of 64 football pitches, btw La Moschea di Roma is the apparently the largest in Europe 😉 …the germane question is where are the Christian churches in Saudi Arabia 830,000 sqm (i.e. 3.24 million soccer pitches)

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    • Are you seriously suggesting that the Vatican would permit a mosque to be built on its territory if only it were a bit bigger?

      Liked by 1 person

    • don’t know, don’t care, I don’t see why not, I am not a Catholic and for me the Vatican has no special religious significance….LOL

      what I do know is that I am not holding my breath for Saudi Arabia to allow Christians living in that country (which after all is the size of Western Europe) to establish places of worship anywhere, never mind within the precincts of Mecca, or even to practice their religion without harassment by the Islamic religious police

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    • but you do have double standards

      Liked by 1 person

    • The prophet ordered that a portion of Arabia should be occupied by Muslims only. This area is much smaller than the current Saudi state. In other Muslim majority countries there are perfectly legal churches in existence.

      Liked by 2 people

    • @ Burhanuddin1

      what double standard?…okay, why not build a mosque in the Vatican? what#s the big deal? it doesn’t worry me, not that I was aware that there was a large Muslim community there.

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    • Btw the largest mosque in Europe is South of London.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Poor London! it always was an old tart that would open its leg wide to the first comer

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    • That was uncalled for. One more insult and you are banned.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I was making an observation about London, not Islam

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    • Israel is occupying someone else’s neighbourhood. It should leave then we would have some peace.
      I find it odd that you are so hostile to God’s law in the Torah. Jesus lived by this Law every day of his life.
      The countries you list abide by an odd mixture of secular law and Islamic law. Not true Muslim States in my view.,

      Liked by 1 person

    • hostile I am not, but the story of the Bible is of a gradual revelation of God’s nature culminating in his only begotten Son, Jesus

      Jesus came both to fulfill the Law and set people free from it, the difference between doing good because the bad is prohibited (the legalism offered by the 2 Mo’s (Moses and Muhammad)) and doing good because you are free to be good

      so there are no examples of successful Muslim states?…that is not particularly reassuring, Communists said the same and everytime they tried to create a Communist state (most recently in Ethiopia or the Sendero Luminoso in Peru), strangely it ended up with secret police, concentration camps and mass murder
      …diehard like Communists, it seems to never occur to Muslims that the problem may be with the ideology itself and not its implementation 😉

      you know and I know that the Palestinians want the whole of Palestine from the river to the sea, a 2-state solution is only a stepping stone, that means war sooner or later, and as a big fan of the Torah you will know that God promised Palestine to the Jews

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    • Question: where does Jesus say he has come to set people free from the Law?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Matthew 5 17-43
      ….I know in advance that you will try to parse this text to mean the opposite of what it does

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    • Ok let’s not bother discussing it then…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I did not say there at no examples of successful Islamic States, I said that the states you list abide by an odd mixture of secular law and Islamic law. Your comparison with communist states is misplaced.

      Liked by 1 person

    • so you fail to provide an example!

      on the contrary, my comparison with Communist states is apposite…Communism may now be a spent volcano but in its day it was, like the revived Islam is now a powerful messianism

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  10. “The prophet ordered that a portion of Arabia should be occupied by Muslims only. This area is much smaller than the current Saudi state. In other Muslim majority countries there are perfectly legal churches in existence.”

    he may be “the prophet” as far as you are concerned but he is not any kind of a prophet, much less “the prophet” for me.

    Fact is there are no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia, fact is that Christians are routinely persecuted in Saudi Arabia, other Gulf States, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, ISIS,
    even ostensibly liberal Muslim states such as Turkey or Malaysia severely restrict the rights of Christians and Christians face routine official and unofficial persecution

    It is unimaginable that a Christian Paul Bilal Williams in Saudi Arabia would be allowed to do what you do and remain alive…i.e. apostasize and run a blog that seeks to discredit Islam and convert Muslims to Christianity

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    • Why don’t you stop whining and go troll the Saudi government?

      Liked by 2 people

    • you are free to whine here, something you would not be free to do in Saudi Arabia or any other Muslim country

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    • a civilization or culture that is big, generous or magnanimous enough to allow criticism deserves our support…that’s what it proves

      and one thing is certain this culture/civilization, call it what you will, was not shaped or invented by Muslims

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    • historically Islamic civilisation has been very advanced and has contributed much to the development of the sciences and humanities. Clearly you know nothing of this.

      You say your ideas are “certain” – but you are clearly very uneducated on this subject. Go, read, learn…

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Islamic-History-Firas-Alkhateeb/dp/1849043973/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422389542&sr=1-1&keywords=islamic+history

      Liked by 1 person

    • historically, maybe, as Chou En Lai apparently said in relation to the French Revolution..it is too soon to tell,

      it is certain that many of the claimed contributions of Islamic civilization to Europe were obtained from subject peoples (the numerical system from the Indus valley or astronomy from the Babylonians) and it is likewise certain that for almost a millenium Christendom was in an existential battle with the Muslim world (from the Battle of Tours 732 to the 2 Sieges of Vienna 1529 and 1683 etc.)

      the much touted tolerance of Muslim potentates to their non-Muslim subjects in Al-Andalus was largely political calculation (a Muslim minority ruling a non-Muslim majority) and was predicated on the acceptance by the non-Muslim populations of their strictly subordinate status in society…if you can imagine South Africa where the Blacks were grateful for being ruled by the Whites

      it did not say my ideas were certain, I said that one thing is certain….please do me the courtesy of not misquoting me

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    • once again you show your ignorance of Islam. Obviously you have never read the Quran – the Word is very pluralistic and enjoins respect and tolerance for Jews and Christians. This is the basis for the advanced civilisations of the Muslims.

      There is no tolerance preached anywhere in the Bible towards other faiths. Only damnation. Islam is a much more tolerant and pluralistic faith.

      Liked by 1 person

    • as I have repeatedly said – I do not regard KSA as an Islamic state, and I am not answerable for its actions which are frequently contrary to islam. Ditto the persecution of Christians in other countries. Christian leaders of course continue to support the killing and persecution of millions of Muslims daily..

      The fact that you probably have no idea what I am referring to speaks volumes about brainwashed westernised Christians.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have a vague idea what you mean but I do not accept the validity of your argument … another example of the widespread and unjustified sense of Muslim victimhood …

      are millions of Muslims really persecuted, much less killed everyday? and if so by whom? is it not true that far, far more Muslims have died/are dying as a result of Muslim on Muslim violence than have died as a result of the war in Iraq/Afghanistan etc. (even if one accepts the absurd assumption that these are examples of Christian on Muslim violence)…it seems almost as if Muslims do not so much mind if Muslims are killed by fellow Muslims, it is only intolerable if they die at the hand of non-Muslims.

      what about East Timor and West Irian, for example? it seems that the brutality of the Indonesian army is/was informed to some extent by the circumstance that the East Timorese and West Irians are Christians/non Muslims. And what about the “jihad” conducted by Sudan in its former southern provinces? What about the 12 Croatian workers at a hydro plant in Algeria who were ritually slaughtered by having their throats cut in December 1989? the GIA claimed responsibility, stating that the attack was part of an ongoing campaign to rid Algeria of all foreigners and to avenge Muslims killed in Bosnia.

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  11. Charles, you may find it interesting to read the very scholarly work of Louay Fatoohi, PhD, an Iraqi Christian who converted to Islam and wrote many books on Islam.

    He analyzes the hadith you mentioned and says it is not likely to be authentic.

    http://www.amazon.com/Abrogation-Islamic-Routledge-Studies-Religion/dp/1138809519

    I am not expert on that hadith or other hadith, but please recognize that according to academic scholars, the most authentic record on the Prophet is what the Qur’an indicates, rather than hadith that were put in collections centuries later.

    Academic scholars also agree with certain historical facts like that the Prophet forgave the Quraishis who tortured and killed Muslims, stole all their belongings in Makkah, and tried to annihilate the Muslims which literally means “those who surrender to God.”

    So Muhammad ibn Abdullah did not have the characteristics you impute to him. There is no leader in history which did as he did of forgiving his evil enemies.

    After the Prophet (peace be upon him) died, within several years, the Caliph named one of these former enemies as governor of Syria and then some 25 years later, this governor Muawiya became Caliph himself.

    It is as if Israel named a Nazi leader to be a governor of one of its biggest territories in 1952 and then that former Nazi became prime minister of Israel in 1980.

    I am not supporting the appointment of Muawiya (actually it lead to massive injustices of the Umayyads) to become the governor but the point is that it was the Prophet’s magnificence forgiveness that allowed for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do not find it particularly convincing that you cast doubt on the authenticity of this hadith..the hadith collection of al Bukhari is accepted as canonical…it seems like a tactical ploy

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    • It does not matter to me whether you find something particularly convincing or not.

      Bukhari is accepted as canonical but not as a word of God…only as the most authentic hadith collection for Sunni Muslims.

      But even this canonicity was and is a human interpretation by certain (not all) scholars who developed certain views over the course of many centuries. Not all Sunni scholars accepted Bukhari’s collection when it came out. Daraqutni, the great Sunni hadith master rejected nearly 80 hadith in Bukhari.

      The Qur’an does not give a shred of instruction on requiring people to take something collected centuries later as canonical. On the contrary, God, says in the Qur’an (2, 282) that for a commerical claim to be valid, it needs 2 witnesses and it needs to be written down immediately. If such is the requirement to buy a sack of flour, so much more to make religious laws that would affect people’s lives.

      In short, Islam is not the hadith….Islam is the Qur’an. The hadith is meant to help but it is not the word of God and according to all Sunni hadith scholars, even the “authentic” collection are not for a certainty the accurate words or deeds of the Prophet either.

      Speaking about tactics, stop displaying bad manners and being a troll.

      Don’t waste Paul’s time.

      You have sent numerous comments that are irrelevant to the above post.

      Liked by 2 people

    • each of my posts followed on logically from a previous reply…the only example of irrelevance in this thread is from Burhanuddin1 who asked me quite out of the blue (and quite mischeviously?), about my opinion about the building of mosques in the Vatican

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    • Incorrect.

      Rabbi Blumenthal has explained some points as to why he cannot intellectually believe in the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus.

      Your posts do not deal much with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. M. Williams, you wrote :
    “The countries you list abide by an odd mixture of secular law and Islamic law. Not true Muslim States in my view.”

    Regarding Saudi Arabia, your view is confirmed by that famous Najd hadith

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd

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  13. “I am a Londoner, too”

    sorry I did not mean to offend your civic pride… I lived in London for several years but it left me cold

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  14. Charles Simmonds: “In relation to Jesus we read (of course Brother Bilal will be along straight away to tell us that these verses are invented) showing that Jesus as part of the Godhead is eternal:”

    I asked you for proof that God can have a literal son. All you come up with is special pleading, red herrings and proof texting. You are a waste of time.

    Liked by 1 person

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