Tag Archives: apologetics

Answering the Accusation that the Variations in the Parallel Passages in the Gospels make the NT unreliable

New Testament

ABOUT THE HISTORICAL PRACTICES OF ANTIQUITY

I had said that the CONSENSUS of scholars(an agreement of at least 95%)believe Matthew and Luke copied from Mark.

Luke copied some 50% and Matthew 90%.When one examines the parallel passages you notice there are differences, some minor, others not. There are several reasons:

1. MARK wrote in bad Greek, it is obvious he was an Aramaic speaker. Many times the changes are due to Luke and Matthew IMPROVING the sentences of Mark.

2. The historians of the time, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, all of them, accepted the practice of PARAPHRASING a person’s words, changing his words. Luke did this on several occasions.

Why did they do that?

Why did they it? Because at that time it was an acceptable historical practice to paraphrase as long as the new words gave an accurate idea or EXPLANATION of the original meaning.Essentially,it was due to the 90% illiteracy of the people and lack of tape recorders,cameras,etc.

ANCIENT HISTORIANS ALSO INVENTED SPEECHES OF FAMOUS PEOPLE

Ask any history professor and he will confirm it. Thucydides, who is considered the greatest Greek historian of all time lived from 460-395 BC. He wrote the ” History of the Peloponnesian War “. It is about the war between Athens and Sparta and during the course a great plague broke out in Athens, killing many, including the son of the great and famous Athenian leader Pericles. Pericles made a famous speech. Now Thucidydes in his book tells us he got some idea of what was said from others but they could not remember the exact words, so Thucydides invented the speech based on what he thought Pericles had most probably said.

In other histories historians who lived many centuries after Alexander the Great invented speeches for him based on how they thought he would have spoken to his troops. The great Roman historian Livy (59 BC-17 AD)who wrote a massive ” History of Rome ” invented speeches for the famous generals based on how he thought they would have spoken.

WAS THE SPEECH BY JESUS IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT AND THE ONE CALLED THE SERMON ON THE PLAIN INVENTED?

I highly doubt it was invented. First of all Jesus had been preaching for more than 3 years with his disciples. He would have told the same sermons and parables over and over again many times in each village. That does not mean that every time it would have been said exactly but the essence would have been the same.

So the 2 Different Sermons are:

1.Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5:1-7:29.

2.Sermon on the Plain

Luke 6:17-49(alot shorter)

Only 15 Minutes

The sermon on the Mount only lasts 15 minutes(read the sermon and it takes 15 minutes to finish). You don’t expect a preacher to only talk that short. You expect him to speak at least half an hour, so by logic he would have also said alot of parables when speaking.

It was Not a One-Time Event

Also there is a difference. The speech by Pericles was a one-time speech. He never repeated it again. It was like the speech by Abraham Lincoln called the Gettysburg Address in 1863 during the American Civil War of 1861-65. But Jesus would repeat his message over and over again and so sometimes he would speak with more detail and at other times be briefer.

What Sermon did Jesus really say?

There is the skeptical question: what sermon did Jesus say? That of the one on the mountain or on the PLAIN? First, it is obvious that they are 2 different sermons, even said in 2 different places. And one is longer than the other. Since the speech was NOT a one-time thing he would have modified it as need arose but maintained the essence of his teaching. So Jesus said both sermons.

Hearing it Over and Over Again for 3 Years

Also Western children, in Europe for example, learn a series of  fairy tales that they have heard many times and so they practically know them by heart, by memory like:

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, the 3 Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Puss in Boots, etc.

When one retells them one does not use the exact same words every time but the essence is always the same. So in the SAME WAY, the disciples of Jesus had heard over and over  again the sermons and parables of Jesus for more than 3 years in village after village and they could repeat it by heart.

THEY ALSO PRACTICED EXACT QUOTATION

One could do like today, give an exact citation, followed by an explanation, read John 21:18-22. That is the practice followed today by historians.

THE PARTS PARAPHRASED BY LUKE

This is to answer a question often posed by Muslims and others. LUKE copied from MARK but there are parts that Luke has changed. So the accusation is: the NT has been corrupted, it can not be trusted. If one showed that to an ancient Greek he would have said: ” Is the change in words FAITHFUL to the ORIGINAL meaning?” And if the answer had been YES then he would have said: ” Then what is wrong with what Luke did, it is an acceptable practice by historians. ”

THE PARAPHRASES OF LUKE:

The Trial of Jesus

Mark 14:60-64:

” Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ” Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, ” Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One? ”

I AM, ” said Jesus. ” And you will see the Son of Man ( Messiah ) sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven. ” The high priest tore his clothes. ” Why do we need any more witnesses? ” he asked. ” You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think? ” They all condemned him as worthy of death. ”

Commentary

As shown by many saying you are the Messiah or the son of God is not blasphemy. SON OF GOD for a JEW simply meant HOLY MAN man or ANGEL. But Jesus answered by pronouncing God’s name in the first person, which in Hebrew is Ehyeh ( I am / I will be,read Exodus 3:13-15) ). That was the BLASPHEMY, he identified himself as God.

Luke 22:66-71:

” At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. ” If you are the Christ,” they said, ” tell us. ” Jesus answered, ” If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God. ”

They all asked, ” Are you then the Son of God? ” He replied, “You are right in saying I AM. ” Then they said, ” Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” ”

Commentary

Notice that Luke changed the words for Theophilus, the book for who it was written. Luke includes the famous “I AM”(one of God’s names in the OT) but since he knew for a Greco-Roman mentality the phrase ” son of God ” or ” son of a god ” meant DIVINITY, then he changed the way the sentences were ordered.

What did the Centurion say at the Crucifixion?

Mark 15:38-39:

” The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ” Surely this man was the Son of God. ” ”

Commentary

The centurion certainly did not mean by son of God God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. As a Roman he would have understood as denoting real divinity but maybe not, since LUKE, who says in his introduction that he has researched on the matter, puts it as meaning simply HOLY MAN. So for Luke the centurion in Palestine also picked up the Jewish meaning of the term.

Luke 23:47:

” The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, ” Surely this was a RIGHTEOUS MAN. ” ”

The Resurrection

Mark 15:5-7:

” As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. ” Don’t be alarmed, ” he said. ” You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” ”

Luke 24:4-8:

” While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ” Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. ”

About the Last Words of Jesus

We have 2 versions, that of LUKE and that of JOHN. Which is correct? One idea is that they can be combined, only that one writer chose to emphasize one part and the other the other part. But since Luke paraphrases considerably it is most probable that ” It is finished ” by John were the real last words. Probably Luke thought ” it is finished ” would mean to some that his work had been in vain.

Now in Mark, known by Luke, Jesus says ” My God why have you forsaken me?” quoting from PSALM 22 which begins in despair and ends in triumph and joy. And then in MARK Jesus gives out a “loud cry and dies”.

The Loud Cry contined the Last Words of Jesus

The loud cry would be the last words of Jesus. Now Luke would have understood ” it is finished ” as ” it, my life is ending ” so we have:

John 19:30:

” When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ” It is finished. ” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ”

Luke 23:46:

” Jesus called out with a loud voice, ” Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. ” When he had said this, he breathed his last. ”

BUT DID NOT JOHN ALSO PARAPHRASE ALOT?

The way Jesus speaks in John is different from the way he does in the Synoptics.Scholars have said John paraphrased Jesus. That would be true to a certain extent but not 100%. The reason is:

The Qmran Documents

They are from the ESSENES and they lived in the time of Jesus. BEFORE it was claimed that the way Jesus spoke in John was not the way ANY Jew of Palestine would speak. It was a “Hellenistic” and “pagan-like” way of expression. But in the Qmran documents the Essenes use a terminology SIMILAR to that of Jesus in John showing Jesus could certainly have spoken that way.

The Case of Q

It is what is believed to have been a written record of many sayings of Jesus making up 230 verses/50 sayings that are found in both Matthew and Luke, but missing from Mark. The sayings are the same or very similar in both authors. Now Q is considered to be from 50 AD, though some put it at 60 AD. There is one famous passage in Q that is very similar to the way Jesus speaks of in the gospel of John.

It is about the Father-Son relationship that is often found in John. In other words Q and the Qmran documents show that Jesus did indeed speak like in John, at least sometimes.

To read the Q sayings go to:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/q.html

THE Q PASSAGE COMPARED TO JOHN:

Q passage shared in Matthew 11:26-27 and Luke 10:21-22:

” Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. ” All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to who the Son chooses to reveal him. ”

Example 1:

John 5:19-23:

” Jesus gave them this answer: ” I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to who he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. ”

Example 2:

John 14:23-24:

” Jesus replied, ” If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. ”

Or read Mark 10:17-18 and Matthew 19:16-17 ( here Matthew paraphrases or puts an interpretation of what Jesus said:” Why do you call me good? No one is good but God” )

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The Great Philosopher Averroes and Apostasy

Averroes (1126-1198) is the best philosopher to come out of the Muslim world.He was born in Cordoba,Spain and is mostly famous for his commentaies on Aristotle(384-322 BC)the Greek philosopher,the best pupil of Plato(428-347 BC).Aristotle was Averroes’ intellectual idol.Muslim intellectuals in Europe always speak of him with pride.

 

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

Islam for Dummies

There are many books written by Muslim intellectuals in the West for non-Muslims and which mention (with pride)the case of Averroes,a hero of the intellect.It is to make non-Muslims have Islamic civilization in great esteem.There is even a French educational program called “the Averroes program”:

About Apostasy

He wrote a book called BIDAYAT AL-MUJTAHID(“The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer/Manuel”) where in Volume 2,Section 56.10 he says that an APOSTATE has to be killed because of a hadith/saying of Mohammed where Mohammed says “whoever changes his (Muslim) religion,then kill him.”

For X mysterious reason the same Muslim intellectuals do not say this troubling detail.The book is an important manuel,mutjahid means a jurist who is an expert on Islamic law.

If you wish to verify there is an English translation:

http://www.onlineislamicstore.com/b3133.html


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The Probability God raised Jesus from the Dead=only 97%

RICHARD SWINEBURNE,a Christian philosopher and Oxford professor,wrote “The Resurrection of God Incarnate”in 2003.

SO?
He shows the mathematical calculations he used to be able to use BAYE’S THEOREM(it’s a complicated equation used to calculate probabilities).

VERY PRUDENT

First,the 4 gospel accounts constituted ONLY 5% of the evidence.

1.He put the probability of the EXISTENCE of GOD=50%.

2.If God exists then the probability he became incarnate=50%.
3.Probability the 4 gospels would report the life and resurrection of Jesus accurately=10%.

4.1 in 1000 the probability we would have all this evidence if it was NOT true.
So in spite of all that he got:the probability that God resurrected Jesus from the dead=97%.

MORE INFO ON THE BOOK:
http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-God-Incarnate-Richard-Swinburne/dp/0199257469/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272946691&sr=1-8

CRITICISM OF HIS BOOK(that really it should be less that 97%):

Now SWINEBURNE,from what I know,did NOT use the convincing Messianic prophecies as part of his argument as to WHY his calculations should be accepted.
Or maybe it is NOT his strong point(DR. MICHAEL BROWN,the Messianic Jewish scholar,would have given alot of proof).

THE AMAZING MICHAEL BROWN(Jewish believer in Jesus):

Here is a link that has:
“Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus”:

1.General Objections.
2.Historical Objections.
3.Theological Objections.
4.Messianic Objections.
5.New Testament Objections.
6.Traditional Objections.
http://realmessiah.askdrbrown.org/answers_to_objections

So when reading this CRITIQUE of Swineburne’s book please note Richard Swineburne did not know of,or for X reason did not give,ALL the evidence he could have:
http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=1329

SPREAD THE LINK!

ABN the Aramaic Broadcasting Network that has the great show “Jesus or Muhammad” needs your help to let itself be better known and enter mainstream media.Here are 36 videos of the “Jesus or Muhammad” show(fascinating):
http://abnsat.com/abnnew/index.php?option=com_hwdvideoshare&task=viewcategory&Itemid=63&cat_id=2

EXAMPLE:DAVID WOOD in “Jesus or Muhammad” with the subject “Muhammed on the Universe”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR1Fb4yzuas

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About the Muslim and Skeptical Argument that the Barabbas who was released was really Jesus

In all 4 gospels there is the event where Pilate asks the crowd if they want him to release Jesus or Barabbas.The crowd chooses Barabbas.

In several early copies we have Pilate say if they wanted “JESUS BARABBAS or JESUS,the one called the MESSIAH?”to be released.Later copies have it only as Barabbas(no Jesus included).Scholars believe the original said Jesus Barabbas because there would have been no reason to add “Jesus” to Barabbas as an INTERPOLATION.

It is not surprising Barabbas should also have had Yeshua(Joshua,Jesus) as a name since it was a common Jewish name.

Bar-Abbas=Son of the Father

Then Jews had no last name.You were X,son of Y.The argument is the Barabbas-Jesus incident was invented or there was a confusion.The gospel writers got it confused.Or they invented the incident.Whatever happened Jesus Barabbas was simply Jesus of Nazareth,since:

1.In Aramaic Abbas means “Father” and Bar means “son”.

2.Father is also used in Judaism to refer to God(in the OT God is called Father about 15 times).

3.Jesus was the “Son of God”.

4.Jesus Son of God=Jesus Son of the Father=Jesus Bar-abbas.

So?

So 2 scholars Hyam Maccoby (1924-2004),a Jewish NT scholar and Benjamin Urretia (born 1950,from Ecuador),in his “The Logia (sayings) of Yeshua” have said that they think when “Jesus Barabbas” was released by Pilate it was really “Jesus of Nazareth”.That Jesus was known locally as Jesus Son of the Father since Jesus often referred to God as ABBA,as appears in the gospels.Later they invented the event of 2 separate Jesuses.

Abbas as a Name

The argument would have greater strength if Abbas were ONLY used as a TITLE.But:

1.The Talmud(500 AD) has many,many examples where Abbas is used as a PERSONAL NAME in the GEMARA.The Talmud is made up of 2 parts:

a.The Mishna

b.and the Gemara(which is in Aramaic).

2.Archeological evidence:

The word Abbas has been found as a personal name in a 1st century burial in Givat Ja-Mitvar.

3.Even in Islam

The greatest Iranian king after CYRUS,founder of the Achemenid dynasty,which was destroyed by Alexander the Great 200 years later, was SHAH ABBAS the GREAT (1571-1629),the greatest monarch of the Safavid dynasty.There was even a Shah Abbas II(1633-1666)and a Shah Abbas III(died 1740).

Conclusion

The argument was that Jesus Barabbas does NOT mean Jesus Son of X(whose real name is Abbas) and only Jesus Son of the Father(title),but the evidence shows Abbas was a person’s real name.

Check Out the Formidable Michael Licona

He is a great scholar and his website is:

http://www.risenjesus.com/

He also writes for:

http://answeringinfidels.com/

Check out his debate on the resurrection of Jesus with Bart Ehrman (very scholarly debate):

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What the "Koran for Dummies"(when written by a Muslim)will not tell Non-Muslims

This is for QUICK REFERENCE for the readers.They can copy it and show it to non-Muslims so THEY can form an opinion based on facts.

1.ALLAH PRAYS IN THE KORAN(not in “The Koran for Dummies”):

Allah in the Koran PRAYS upon Mohammed(sura 33:43/33:56).LITERAL word used in Arabic,”pray”.How can a Deity pray?To who?Muslims say it means “to bless”,yet the Arabic word doesn’t mean bless but pray.

2.HE WHO KILLS FOR ALLAH(like Ben Laden)GOES TO HEAVEN

Sura 9:111 says he who KILLS or is KILLED fighting for Allah goes to HEAVEN.It says he who kills,not only he who is killed.Read it,exact words.

3.JEWS ARE CURSED BY ALLAH(declared EVIL)TILL DAY OF RESURRECTION

It says Allah has “established ENMITY and HATRED among them(the Jews) till the DAY of RESURRECTION.”It is saying “Jews are evil and Allah made it so”,Judeophobia.Read it,I am not inventing it:sura 5:64.

GOOD THING IN THE KORAN BUT….THERE ARE CONDITIONS

1.FREE SLAVES BUT…ONLY IF YOU THINK THEY ARE WORTHY OF IT

Koran says to FREE slaves but it is CONDITIONAL,only if the master thinks they are WORTH IT,good enough.Read it:sura 24:33.It is NOT:”All have the right to freedom,it is SOME can be free,others not.”

BE KIND,HAVE LOVE AND MERCY FOR WOMEN BUT….

Treat women WELL:
a.sura 30:21:Allah has put “LOVE and MERCY”between man and woman
b.sura 4:19:”treat women with KINDNESS”

But it is CONDITIONAL:
Sura 2:223:the wife is a TILTH/FIELD of the husband and he can go to the FIELD(her) WHENEVER he wants.

TEXT:
2:223:”Your women are your TILTH/FIELD and you go to your TILTH/FIELD as you like.”

No consent asked.A FIELD is your PROPERTY,so she is like his property,you can do with your property as you wish.
4:19 says to”treat women with KINDNESS”,also CONDITIONAL since in the SAME chapter,a few verses later,it says the husband can BEAT her(4:34).

SLAVES FOR SEX ALLOWED(even if you are MARRIED)

It is in 23:5-6/70:29-30 where she “who your right hand possesses” is universally understood as meaning “your slave.”Nobody doubts it.

Now if the WIFE can be treated like PROPERTY,and CANNOT refuse her husband,then the SLAVE GIRL,who really is PROPERTY can NOT either,she can NOT have more rights than the wife.

VERIFY WITH 10 TRANSLATIONS

I recently found this website with TEN Koran translations(6 by Muslims,4 by non-Muslims,plus the ARABIC text in LATIN letters).
The way to find a sura there is like this:
1.First,in the BLANK SPACE on TOP write “sura 2:223”,for example.
2.Then CHOOSE which of the 10 translators(better all)and if you want choose the Arabic text also,and then press SUBMIT(in the UPPER part,under the blank space )and it will give you the verse.

http://www.quranbrowser.com/

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Was Jesus for Killing Apostates?

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.

2.John 18:31

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:

1.The Zealots

They were ultranationalists,very violent,considered world’s first TERRORISTS(they even killed priests).

2.The Pharisees

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).

3.The Sadducees

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).

4.The Essenes

An ascetic group,numbered 4,000 according to Josephus.

So?

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.”

So?

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.

About Zakkai

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.

In Addition

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):

The Text

“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.”

What?

Reality check:

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.”

3.Jesus agreed.

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.”

WHAT?

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.”

Matthew 5:17-20:

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.)”

Corroboration

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.

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Argument in favor of Jesus being Placed in a Tomb and not in a Common Grave for Criminals

About Joseph of Arimathea

The gospels say a man called Joseph of Arimathea put Jesus’ body in a new tomb,in a cave.There is John Dominic Crossan,ex-Catholic priest,Irish,is a cofounder of the very skeptical Jesus Seminar in 1985.For him and many others:

1.Jesus was NOT put in a cave,a tomb,it is an invention.

2.Jesus was put under ground.

They say:”The custom then was to put crucified criminels under the ground, in a common grave“.It is true.Yet we have the case of:

Yehohanan

In 1968 was discovered an ossuary(bone-box)with the word Yehohanan.In it were the bones of a crucified man,with the nail on his ankle,the first time one had archeological evidence of a crucifixion.

So?

We have:

1.He was a man about 28 who died at around the same time period as Jesus.

2.He was killed and buried in Jerusalem,like Jesus.

3.He had been condemned as a criminal,like Jesus.

4.The custom then was to put crucified criminels underground,in a common grave.

5.Yet Yehohanan was put in a cave,a tomb,following a religious custom,like Jesus.

It must be said that Flavius Josephus (37-100) has written that an exception was made in the case of Jerusalem,crucified Jews were allowed a decent burial,not to be dumped in a common grave.

What a Song!

It is “As the Deer”,based on Psalm 42:1-2,simply the best:

 

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