Shabir Ally is the best Muslim debater but his arguments are bad.I will show why.He holds to the swoon theory,that Jesus didn’t die on the cross,held also by Ahmed Deedat.
First,the reasons why atheistic-agnostic scholars,like those of the Jesus Seminar (with some 70 members) accept the death of Jesus.Shabir Ally in his debates says “2,000 years have passed and scholars take it a man who lived 2,000 years ago is dead.”That’s not why.
1.Jesus was flogged and suffered loss of blood.
2.He suffered shock as a result of 6 hrs of crucifixion.
3.No food or water for about 40 hrs in the cave.
4.No medical aid for about 40 hrs in the cave.
5.Roman military customs would guarantee his death.
6.Even if he had survived,his survival would not have been accepted as a resurretion by his disciples.It is based on skeptic David Strauss’ argument against the swoon theory and what resurrection meant for the Jews.
Read the Argument of David Strauss against the Swoon Theory
Argument 1 of Shabir
“The centurion was a Believer in Jesus”
He cites Mark in his debates,saying “it shows the centurion was a believer in Jesus and would have prevented his death.”
Mark 15:37-39(Young’s Literal Translation) says:
“And Jesus having uttered a loud cry, yielded the spirit,and the veil of the sanctuary was rent in two, from top to bottom,and the centurion who was standing over-against him, having seen that, having so cried out, he yielded the spirit, said, `Truly this man was Son of God.'”
The text says the reason why the centurion called Jesus a son of God was because of the noble way Jesus died(not because he was his disciple),it says “standing over against him” and “having seen that…said:”truly this man…”Shabir Ally is unscholarly.His argument is,as scholars say, Ad Hoc (contrived).
Argument 2 of Shabir
“Pilate was surprised Jesus died so soon”
“Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died.And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.”
We have that:
1.Crucified people lived for days
2.But Jesus died in only 6 hrs.
Frederick Zugibe,a doctor who has investigated death by crucifixion,is the world’s greatest authority on it,with about 20 years research,has stated:
1.That depending on the person and other factors,one could die in a few hrs.
2.He has proved it using technology and scientific measurements.That’s also what scholars consider.
3.But Shabir in his arguments ignores such vital information(which he certianly knows),he doesn’t tell his Muslim listeners.Would an impartial scholar ignore this when coming to conclusions?No.
Here is information on Dr.Frederick Zugibe
“A Friend of Josephus survived Crucifixion”
Three of Jewish historian Flavius Josephus’ (37-100 AD) friends were crucified during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD.They were taken down by his intercession before general Titus,given medical care,yet two of them died. It appears in Josephus’ Autobiography.
In Jesus’ case there was:
1.No medical aid.
2.He had gone through a full crucifixion process.
3.Plus later no food and water for circa 40 hrs.
4.His chances of survival after the crucifixion,if he was still alive,were far less than that of Josephus’ 3 friends(there a 66% mortality rate,who by the way were undoubtedly given food and water).
Shabir doesn’t tell his Muslim audience this.
Read the second part of all this,about Shabir Ally’s arguments