In Muslim literature they say yes.Their argument is flawed.No taking into account the CONTEXT of Jesus’ time.
Mosaic Law and Non-Jews
Muslim writers always ignore that Jews say Mosaic Law is ONLY for Jews,99% of people are excluded.Mosaic law has some 12 cases for application of the death penalty.
1.The Book of Jubilees (2nd century BC)
In JUBILEES 7:20-28 is the first statements of the laws God wants for non-Jews(there is no death penalty there).
2.Acts 15(Council of Jerusalem decision about laws for non-Jewish followers of Jesus):
There is no death penalty.
3.The 7 Noahide Laws (500 AD in the Talmud)
It is for non-Jews,there is no death penalty.
MUSLIM ARGUMENT:”Christians have to OBEY MOSAIC LAW since Jesus followed it.”
Lack of knowledge of basic Judaism.Jesus and any other Jew would have said:”It doesn’t apply for non-Jewish followers of me.”
DEATH PENALTY RIGHT TAKEN AWAY(from Jewish leaders):
1.The Talmud(500 AD)
It is later but contains very old info says when Palestine became a real Roman colony in 6 AD the RIGHT to CAPITAL PUNISHMENT was taken away.
It confirms this. The Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus but couldn’t,they told PILATE they couldn’t apply the death sentence.
3.The Jewish Antiquities
JOSEPHUS says JAMES(half-brother of Jesus) was illegally killed by the High Priest.For that the Roman governor deposed him.
4.The only exception
It was if a non-Jew entered the Temple,an inscription with this exception found in 1871(it appears mentioned in Josephus).
4 GROUPS OF JEWS IN 1ST CENTURY PALESTINE:
They were ultranationalists,very violent,considered world’s first TERRORISTS(they even killed priests).
They accepted the OT and ORAL LAW(the idea that on Mt.Sinai God gave Moses a WRITTEN LAW(Mosaic Law) and an ORAL one,passed on for centuries,till written down in 180 AD as the MISHNA).
They only accepted the Pentateuch(first 5 books of OT),rejected the Oral Law,rejected RESURRECTION of DEAD(when dead that was it,no afterlife,no resurrection).
An ascetic group,numbered 4,000 according to Josephus.
So MORE than 20 YEARS before Jesus began his career the Jews didn’t execute anybody.
FOLLOW THE PHARISEES
He would NOT have said:”Kill X apostate” in his 3 year career,or in his 33 years of life.Why?MATT 23:2-3 has Jesus say:””The TEACHERS of the LAW and the PHARISEES sit in the SEAT of MOSES(NOTE:they CORRECTLY interpret how and when to APPLY Mosaic Law).
So you must OBEY them and do ALL they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”
It’s a fact the PHARISEES had the policy of:”Obey the Romans,they have taken away our right to apply the death sentence in 6 AD.We will NOT obey some 12 Mosaic laws that have it.”
TWO GREATEST PHARISEES
They were HILLEL and YOHANNAN BEN ZAKKAI.One lived 1 generation before Jesus,the other after him.Both were flexible and even eliminated a law from Mosaic Law due to circumstances,using a legal fiction invented by HILLEL called PROSBUL(or prozbul).
About the Great Hillel
HILLEL is famous for saying:”Do NOT do others what you do NOT want them to do to you.That is the TORAH,the rest is commentary.”And also:”If I am NOT for MYSELF then WHO will be for me.If I am ONLY for MYSELF,then what am I?If not now,then when?”In Judaism he is considered the GREATEST Jewish teacher between 537 BC-70 AD.
Considered the saviour of Judaism and he who began the new age called Rabbinic Judaism(time of the rabbis,sucessors of the Pharisees).He escaped from Jerusalem when it was besieged by the Romans in 70 AD.He pretended to be dead,was taken out in a coffin.Appearing before VESPASIAN(and having nothing to lose)he prophesized he would be the next emperor.He did and as a reward was allowed to start an academy where he laid the foundation for the existence of Judaism without the Temple.
The SADUCCEES were for the LITERAL application of the Mosaic Law that said “an eye for an eye,a tooth for a tooth”.The Pharisees said it meant:”The VALUE of an eye for an eye,etc.”So Jesus was with them on that.
EXCEPT FOR ORAL LAW
The PHARISEES accepted the ORAL LAW.Jesus,from what is in the NT,rejected it.In the SERMON on the MOUNT in MATTHEW:
Jesus says “You have HEARD(NOTE:seems to mean the Oral Law)but I say to you”(Matthew 5:21/ 5:27/ 5:31-32/ 5:33-34/ 5:38-39/ 5:43-44.We also have:
The Traditions of Men
MATT 15:1-9 Jesus denounces the Pharisees for TRADITION not part of Mosaic Law(Oral Law):
“Then some PHARISEES and TEACHERS of the LAW came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,”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(Oral Law)?
For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’
But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you NULLIFY the word of God for the sake of your TRADITION.
You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:” ‘These people honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me.They worship me in vain;their teachings are but RULES TAUGHT by MEN.”
1.Matthew 23:2-3 has Jesus tell the PEOPLE to OBEY ALL the PHARISEES say since they have the SEAT of MOSES(authority on Mosaic Law).
2.The Pharisees said:”Obey the Romans,they took away our right to apply the death sentence in 6 AD,we won’t apply some 12 Mosaic laws that have it.”
MUSLIM ARGUMENT:”The following shows Jesus said “KILL children who CURSE their PARENTS,as MOSAIC LAW says”(MATT 15:2-7):
“And why do you BREAK the COMMAND of God for the sake of YOUR TRADITION(Oral Law)?
For God said:
1.’Honor your father and mother’and
2.’Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'”
It is True
Those 2 laws are there.Muslims say:”Jesus was saying:”APPLY the DEATH sentence.”NO,otherwise he would 100% contradict himself in MATT 23:2-3.
HIS MAIN POINT WAS:
It’s in HIS OWN EXPLANATION/INTERPRETATION of what he meant given in the next phrase:
“But YOU(note:Pharisees) say that if:
1.A man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’he is NOT to ‘honor his father(NOTE:X Mosaic law)’ with it.
Thus you NULLIFY the word of God(NOTE: X Mosaic law to honor parents) for the sake of your TRADITION.”
The MOSAIC LAW that was NULLIFIED by the TRADITION of the PHARISEES(Oral Law?)and to which Jesus OBJECTED was ONLY:”not respecting Mosaic Law”honor father and mother.””THAT Mosaic law says NOTHING about a DEATH PENALTY.
Nowhere in his OBJECTION does he say:”Your TRADITION says he is NOT to “honor his father” AND NOT to “kill he who insults parents.”
Jesus accepted the Pharisees position on obeying the Romans.Corroborative evidence is:
GIVE TO CEASER WHAT IS CEASER’S,TO GOD WHAT IS GOD’S(LUKE 20:25/MATT 22:21/MARK 12:17)
Jesus confirms “separation of synagogue and state”.It’s a historical fact the Pharisees said:”Obey the Romans,no capital punishment.”
WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY(JOHN 8:1-11)
It was not originally in JOHN.But was added later.Yet most scholars believe it is an authentic oral tradition,or that it’s highly probable.They try to trick Jesus with “should we stone her?”A TRICK since:
1.If he said YES they would have DENOUNCED him to the Romans:”He BROKE the Roman law against a Jew applying the death sentence.”
2.If he said NO they would say:”He is saying to disobey Mosaic law.”
1.”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.
2.I tell you the truth, 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 ALL is FULFILLED.
3.Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN(NOTE:really Kingdom of God,but Matthew didn’t want to say “God”), but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
4.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.”
What did Jesus mean?
The way I see it like this:it says he came NOT to abolish the LAW and the PROPHETS but to FULFILL them,and it will remain valid till ALL is FULFILLED.
ALL FULFILLED of what?First,he said he came to FULFILL the LAW and PROPHETS.The “law”or TORAH refers to Mosaic Law(613 rules) and is also used to mean the PENTATEUCH(first 5 books of OT),which has Mosaic Law in it.
The Pentateuch and the Prophets have prophecies about the FIRST and the SECOND coming of the Messiah.The “till ALL is fulfilled” refers to the prophecies of teh FIRST coming.
The Kingdom of God
MATT 23:2-3 and MATT 22:21 have Jesus accept the Pharisees position on obeying Roman law(which meant disobeying some 12 Mosaic laws).MATT 5 is by the SAME author.Either he has Jesus utterly contradict himself or the KINGDOM of GOD is NOT 1st century Palestine.Jesus says:”In an ideal society,where God rules(Kingdom of God)if you disobey the least rule you do wrong.But I take the position of the Pharisees,some laws are inapplicable in this situation(note:like HILLEL and ZAKKAI also concluded,they were flexible like Jesus.)”
He says the way the Pharisees are in conduct,not application of Mosaic law,makes it hard for them to ENTER the KINGDOM of GOD.This proves 100% Jesus is talking of an IDEAL situation,not that of 1st century Palestine.
In reality Muslims cherrypick and ignore info that is vital.