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49 Questions About Christianity

By Saleem Ahmed

7.Jesus said that he had not come to change the Law  of
  Moses  (Matthew 5:17). The Law of Moses teaches  that
  there  is  one  God  (Exodus  20:3).  If  Jesus   was
  introducing the concept of Trinity, why  did  he  not
  say  that  he  was  changing  the  Law  of  Moses  or
  introducing a different
8.Jesus prophesied that men of his generation would not
  pass  away  without witnessing his second coming  and
  the  falling of stars (Mark 9:1, 13:30). Why was this
  prophecy unfulfilled? Why was it that Jesus  did  not
  return within the lifetime of his generation?

9.Why  did  Jesus  forbid  the disciples  from  calling
  people  fools  yet  called the  Jewish  leaders  with
  names  like  vipers and children of adultery?  Is  it
  conceivable that a Divine Being would behave in  this

10.According  to Luke, when the Jews tried  Jesus  they
  asked  him Are you the son of God? Jesus replied  you
  say  that I am (Luke 22:70) which could mean: you say
  that  I  am  but  I  do  not.  If  his  divinity  was
  something he came to tell the world, why did  he  not
  plainly  say  yes instead of couching his  answer  in
  ambiguous terms?

11.In  the  Old  Testament, the term  Son  of  God  was
  applied  to  David  (Psalms  89:27),  the  nation  of
  Israel    (Exodus  4:22),  the  children  of   Israel
  (Psalms  82:6),  and  Solomon (1  Chronicles  22:10).
  Jesus  also  used  it  for the  peacemakers  (Matthew
  5:9).  If Jesus was referring to himself as  the  Son
  of  God in the literal sense, why did he not make  it
  clear    that  he  was  differentiating  between    a
  symbolic  reference  and  a literal  meaning  of  the

12.Jesus  was  the  Messiah,  the  fulfillment  of  Old
  Testament  prophecies. He frequently  made  reference
  to  himself as the suffering servant foretold in  the
  Book  of  Isaiah  (Matthew 8:17 & Isaiah  53:4;  Luke
  2:30 & Isaiah 52:10; Luke 22:37 & Isaiah 53:12).  The
  Messiah  of the Old Testament was, however,  promised
  by  God  that  he would not be killed (Psalms  34:19,
  Isaiah  53:10). How was it, therefore, that the  Jews
  had  succeeded in killing the Messiah if  Jesus  died
  on the cross?

13.If  Jesus  knew that Judas was going to betray  him,
  why  did he continue to permit him as a disciple? Why
  did  he  not  tell the other disciples so that  Judas
  could   be  excluded  from  his  closest  circle   of

14.If Jesus knew that one of his disciples would betray
  him,  why  should  he say that all  twelve  disciples
  would sit upon twelve thrones? (Matthew 19:28)
15.If  Jesus knew that he was to die on the cross,  why
  did  he  spend  all night praying in  the  Garden  of
  Gethsemane  seeking  deliverance:  Father  if  it  is
  possible  may  this  cup be taken from  me?  (Matthew

16.Jesus  had  taught that man's prayers  are  answered
  the  Garden  of  Gethsemane? What effect  would  this
  incident  have  on  the faith of  his  disciples  and
  followers to see that a prayer had not been  answered
  contrary to what Jesus had taught?

17.If  Jesus believed that his prayer in the Garden  of
  Gethsemane would not be heard, why did he  tell   his
  disciples  earlier that prayers are answered?:  Would
  any  of  you  who are fathers give your son  a  stone
  when  he asked for bread (Matthew 7:9-10) which means
  that  God  hears the prayers    of man  more  than  a
  father  answers  the wishes of his children  and  Ask
  and  it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
  knock  and  it will be openedtoyou. And whatever  you
  ask  in  your prayers, you will receive, if you  have
  faith. (Matthew 21:22; John 11:41,42)

18.If  Jesus's  prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane  was
  not  to be heard, why was it something that he wanted
  the  disciples to witness? If the prayer was  not  to
  be heard, what useful purpose does this story serve?

19.Why   should  Matthew,  Mark  and  Luke  all  report
  (Matthew  26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42)  that  Jesus
  asked  for  the  cup of suffering to  be  passed   if
  possible  yet  John (John 18:11) reports  that  Jesus
  hastened  for  the  crucifixion saying  shall  I  not
  drink the cup the Father hath given me?

20.Why did Pontius Pilate just simply ignore his wife's
  plea  to have nothing to do with Jesus on account  of
  her  bad  dream? (Matthew 27:19) If the very  mission
  of   Jesus  was  to  suffer  death,  why  should  God
  Almighty  show a dream to Pilate's wife  which  would
  cause  her to try and persuade her husband to release
  Jesus?  Would  not that appear to counter  God's  own

21.If  Pilate really wanted Jesus to die on the  cross,
  why  would he fix the crucifixion on a Friday evening
  knowing  that  the Jews would have to take  him  down
  before  Sabbath and that such a little  time  on  the
  cross was insufficient for him to die?

22.If  Jesus knew all along that he was destined to  be
  crucified  to death (indeed if that was  his  purpose
  in  life), why did he exclaim on the cross  Eli,  Eli
  Lama  Sabachthani meaning my God my God why hast thou
  forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
23.If Jesus was about to die, how was he able to say in
  a  clear  loud and audible voice that he was thirsty?
  (John 19:28)
  Sabachthani   (Matthew  27:46)  reported   in   their
  original  Aramaic  form? Could  it  be  that  Jesus's
  helpless  cry left such a vivid impression of  a  man
  seemingly  bereft of hope that anyone who heard  them
  would remember the exact words?

25.Vinegar   is  often considered to have a stimulating
  effect,rather  similar  to smelling  salts.  Why,  in
  Jesus's  case,  did it suddenly lead  to  his  death?
  (John 19:29,

26.How could an onlooker tell the difference between  a
  man  on  the  cross who had died and a  man  who  had
  fainted   (Mark  15:39)  particularly  when   it   is
  reported that it was dark at that time? (Mark  15:33,
  Matthew 27:45, Luke 23:44)

27.If  Jesus  was  dead when he was  removed  from  the
  cross,  why  did  his body release blood  and  water,
  since  blood does not flow at all from a  dead  body?
  (John 19:34)

28.Why  did  Jesus die before the other  two  who  were
  crucified with him even though the legs of the  other
  two were broken to hasten death? (John 19:32)

29.It  is  reported that dead saints came out of  their
  graves  and  made themselves known to  many  (Matthew
  27:52).  When  the Jews saw this, why  did  they  not
  immediately profess faith in Jesus? Where  did  these
  saints  go? Who did they see? Why is there no account
  of  this  story  elsewhere other  than  in  Matthew's

30.If the above story of saints rising from the dead is
  not  based on an actual historical event, what  other
  statements  there in the Gospels which are  not  baon
  actual historical facts?

31.Jesus  said that the killing of prophets ended  with
  the  killing of Zacharias (Matthew 23:35-36). How was
  it,  therefore,  that  the  Jews  had  succeeded   in
  killing another prophet?

32.Crucifixion  was  meant  to  be  an  accursed  death
  (Deuteronomy  21:23).  If Jesus  was  crucified,  did
  that mean he also suffered an accursed death?
33.Why  was  it  that a Roman soldier  was  so  readily
  prepared  to  allow Joseph (a subjected  citizen)  to
  take   down  Jesus's  body  from  the  cross  without
  checking  and  without  Joseph  having  any  apparent
  lawful authority?

34.Why  is  there  is no direct account  by  Joseph  of
  Arimathea  or Nicodemus that Jesus was dead  when  he
  was  account  would  have settled the  matter  beyond

35.Why should Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take so
  much  trouble to recover the body of Jesus when  this
  would have been the duty of the nearest relative?
36.Why did Pilate agree to release the 'body' to Joseph
  of  Arimathea (a known Jew and follower of Jesus)  if
  he was not sympathetic to Jesus?

37.Crucifixion  was  a slow death.  It  usually  lasted
  several   days.   Death  followed  from   exhaustion,
  inability  to respire property as a result  of  being
  in  an  upright position or attacks by wild  animals.
  Why did Jesus, who was a fit and healthy man used  to
  walking  the countryside for long distances,  die  so
  quickly in only a matter of a few hours?

38.If  Jesus really was expected to die in such a short
  time,  why  did  Pilate express surprise  at  Jesus's
  death? (Mark 15:42-44)

39.Why  would the Jews bribe the soldiers to  say  that
  Jesus's  disciples had stolen the corpse whilst  they
  (the  soldiers)  were  asleep? If  the  soldiers  had
  truly  related this story, they might have been asked
  how  they  knew  that the disciples  had  stolen  the
  corpse if they were asleep?

40.Why   did  the  Jews  not  go  and  check  the  tomb
  themselves?  They  had put much effort  into  getting
  Jesus  crucified. A friend of Jesus had been  allowed
  to  take  the body away. Why did they not  visit  the
  tomb  before  Mary Magdalene and Mary the  mother  of
  Jesus did?

41.Why  did Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus not  stay
   with  Jesus  in the tomb after taking down  his  body
  from  the  cross  to witness the resurrection?  Jesus
  had  apparently told his followers that he would  die
  and  rise  after three days. (Matthew  16:21,  17:23,
  20:17-19)  This  report had  even  reached  the  Jews
  (Matthew  27:63).  Why did not Joseph  and  Nicodemus
  remain with Jesus to witness the event?

42.Did the Jews really believe that Jesus had died?  If
  so,  why  did they ask the Romans for a guard  to  be
  placed  outside the sepulcher? Matthew says the  Jews
  explained  this  by  saying  that  Jesus's  disciples
  could  spread false rumors about him rising from  the
  dead.  However, if the Jews really believed  this  to
  be  the  reason for the request, why could  they  not
  have  asked the disciples to produce the risen Christ
  as  proof?  If  the disciples had then done  so,  the
  Jews could then presumably rearrest Jesus.

43.Why  were  the  Roman authorities  so  disinterested
  about  the  apparent removal of the body if  this  is
  what the Jews were claiming?

44.Why  was the stone moved from the tomb (Matthew28:2)
  if it was a supernatural rising?

45.When Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of Jesus saw
  him,   he  was  wearing  gardener's  clothing   (John
  20:15).  Where did Jesus get these clothes from?  His
  own  clothes had been taken by the soldiers  who  had
  divided  them drawing lots (John 19:23). It  was  not
  through  Joseph  of  Arimathea or  Nicodemus  because
  they  are  only  reported of having taken  in  herbs,
  aloes  and a linen shroud (John 19:39, 40). What  was
  the   significance   of  Jesus   wearing   gardener's
  clothing  (as  opposed to normal  clothing)?  Was  it
  meant to be a disguise? If so, for what purpose?

46.Why were the women who visited the tomb terrified if
  Jesus was dead (Mark 16:8)? What did they have to  be
  terrified  of  if the Jews had succeeded  in  killing

47.If  Jesus could conquer death and rise from thedead,
  why   did   he   fear   seeing  the   Jews   afterthe
  crucifixion? particularly as death had no more  power
  over him? (Romans 6:9)

48.Why    did    Jesus   disguise   himself    afterthe
  resurrection and appear only to the disciples?
  Surely,  this  was  the  great manifestation  of  his
  power  and  the  fulfillment of the  purpose  of  his
  creation. What was the purpose in keeping  it  all  a
  secret now?

49.If  Jesus was the risen Christ, why did he meet  his
  disciples behind closed doors and not in the open  as
  he used to? (John 20:19)

Note: All quotations are from the Revised Standard

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