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Rebuttal to Jochen Katz

 

“Abdullah Smith and his war against the Crucifixion”

By Abdullah Kareem

[Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV]

 

 

HE WROTE, 11, 943

Let's examine the climax of one of his most recent articles:

The Resurrection Hoax:

...

The Greek and Roman historians

Very few Christians know that Gentile historians NEVER mentioned the resurrection of Jesus. The Jewish philosopher Philo (50 CE) absolutely makes no reference to Jesus’ crucifixion. The Christians are embarrassed that Philo lived during Jesus’ lifetime and never mentioned his resurrection.

After the departure of Jesus, his teachings spread to North Africa and Egypt, but he was not popular or widely known.

The following writers do not mention Jesus’ resurrection:

Philo-Judaeus
Martial
Arrian
Appian
Theon of Smyrna
Lucanus
Aulus Gellius
Seneca
Plutarch
Apollonius
Epictetus
Silius Italicus
Ptolemy

We challenge Christians to prove his resurrection.  None of these writers mentioned Jesus’ resurrection. (Source)

In his unsatiable desire to attack the Bible, Smith overlooked yet again that this argument also destroys the Qur'an. How? Jesus is connected not only with his own resurrection but also with several people whom he resurrected from the dead back into this earthly life. For example, Jesus raised at least three people: the 12-year-old daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:21-43, Luke 8:40-56), a young man in Nain, who was the only son of a widow (Luke 7:11-17), Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha (John 11).

Although the Qur'an does not give any details about those resurrections, it claims that Jesus did indeed raise people from the dead:

And will make him ['Iesa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah's Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe. S. 3:49 Al-Hilali & Khan

(Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection). "O 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with RuhulQudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)] so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al-Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel); and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My Permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My Permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from you (when they resolved to kill you) since you came unto them with clear proofs, and the disbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but evident magic.' " S. 5:110 Al-Hilali & Khan



RESPONSE:

Here is the complete list of Greek and Roman writers who don’t mention Jesus’ resurrection.

Apollonius             Persius
 Appian                 Petronius
 Arrian                 Phaedrus
 Aulus Gellius          Philo-Judaeus
 Columella              Phlegon
 Damis                  Pliny the Elder
 Dio Chrysostom         Pliny the Younger
 Dion Pruseus           Plutarch
 Epictetus              Pompon Mela
 Favorinus              Ptolemy
 Florus Lucius          Quintilian
 Hermogones             Quintius Curtius
 Josephus               Seneca
 Justus of Tiberius     Silius Italicus
 Juvenal                Statius
 Lucanus                Suetonius
 Lucian                 Tacitus
 Lysias                 Theon of Smyran
 Martial                Valerius Flaccus
 Paterculus             Valerius Maximus
 Pausanias


Christians have provided the most ludicrous reasons for why these writers DO NOT mention Jesus’ death. I have laughed at some of the responses by Tektonics, a feel good Christian website. (they are pathetic).

The following list of historians does not mention Jesus’ resurrection:

  1. Appian 
  2. Arrian
  3. Dio_Chrysostom
  4. Florus
  5. Paterculus (Marcus Velleius Paterculus)
  6. Phlegon


The above historians lived in the decades following Jesus’ departure.

Some of the above writers were poets deeply rooted in Greek philosophy and the Ancient Wisdom. They were in the position of recording the “darkness and earthquake” at Jesus’ death.

Philo was alive when Jesus “rose from the dead”. He led an embassy of Jews to the court of Emperor Gaius Caligula (39-40 CE). Yet Philo makes no reference to Jesus’ death, and resurrection.

 

He was there when the crucifixion with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead took place -- when Christ himself rose from the dead, and in the presence of many witnesses ascended into heaven. These marvelous events which must have filled the world with amazement, had they really occurred, were unknown to him. (John Remsburg, The Christ)

 

Katz applies my argument to the Holy Quran by saying the Quran is “proven false” because these writers do not mention Jesus’ miracles. (Quran 3:49, 5:110). There is a logical explanation.

First, let us examine the crucifixion. The Holy Quran says Jesus was saved (Psalms 20:6, Quran 3:55), and someone else was crucified (4:157), but these writers do not mention the appearance crucifixion, because it was ordinary. The “darkness, earthquake, and rising saints” are legends attached to the Gospel narratives.

The Gospel of Barnabas (accepted by Irenaeus) describes the crucifixion of Judas as ordinary.


So they led him to Mount Calvary, where they used to hang malefactors, and there they crucified him naked;, for the greater ignominy. *Judas truly did nothing else but cry out: 'God, why have you forsaken me, seeing the malefactor has escaped and I die unjustly?' *Truly I say that the voice, the face, and the person of Judas were so like to Jesus, that his disciples and believers entirely believed that he was Jesus; wherefore some departed from the doctrine of Jesus, believing that Jesus had been a false prophet, and that by art magic he had done the miracles which he did: for Jesus had said that he should not die till near the end of the world; for that at that time he should be taken away from the world.

But they that stood firm in the doctrine of Jesus were so encompassed with sorrow, seeing him die who was entirely like to Jesus, that they remembered not what Jesus had said. And so in company with the mother of Jesus they went to Mount Calvary, and were not only present at the death of Judas, weeping continually, but by means of Nicodemus and Joseph of Abarimathia; they obtained from the governor the body of Judas to bury it. Whereupon, they took him down from the cross with such weeping as assuredly no one would believe, and buried him in the new sepulchre of Joseph; having wrapped him up in an hundred pounds of precious ointments. (Gospel of Barnabas, [1]

 

Paul makes no reference to Jesus as historical figure, he only says “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).


The determination not to know anything but the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was narrowing down knowledge to rather a small compass. Evidently converts in Corinth were questioning, and Paul begins by establishing that questions are not allowed to Christians. Paul has to berate the wise and praise the foolish in this epistle. God chose the foolish things of the world not the wise. And so it has always remained—the most marvellous way of gulling the credulous. Anyway, already in the 50s of the first century some people were asking questions and one of the questions will have been whether Jesus was really crucified.

Irenaeus, one of the most frequently quoted Christian writers of the ancient bishops, declares upon the authority of the martyr Polycarp, who claimed to have got it from S John and all the elders of Asia, that Jesus Christ lived to be about fifty years old. There must have been a margin for distrusting the fact of the crucifixion. Yet, if Jesus was a saviour, it is likely that he must have been crucified because other saviours of the same type were. “Sacrilege!” Paul’s Christians, trained in foolishness, cry. “Jesus Christ was the only crucified saviour!” Sorry, other saviours are suspected of crucifixion, and certainly many were cruelly punished for saving humanity. Irenaeus might have felt it politic to deny crucifixion to distinguish the Christian saviour from the others! (Warning: Atheist website: [2]

 

The Christian missionary can teach us nothing but “Christ crucified”. No wonder the early Christians were so dumb. The figurative Messiah (Islam) liberated the land of Palestine after so many failed Messiahs.

Paul regarded the crucifixion as symbolic.

 

It is evident that the early Gnostic Christians practised the ritual of symbolic death by crucifixion. It was meant to destroy one’s identification with the body and realize the true self within. Gnostics considered Christ allegoric and not as a historical person. Paul, a Gnostic later appropriated by the Church, declares, “The secret is this: Christ in you (Colossians 1:25-28.)” Paul makes it clear that Jesus was merely an allegory when he declares, “If Jesus had been on earth, he wouldn’t have been a priest.(Hebrews 8:4)” As Freke and Gandy point out, had Paul considered Jesus historical, he would have said, “When Jesus was on earth, he was not a priest.” This explains why Paul never quotes the words of Jesus which he should have had there been a historical Jesus.


Paul further confirms that he considered Jesus’ crucifixion symbolic where he declares, “I have shared Christ’s crucifixion. The person we once were has been crucified with Christ. (Colossians 1:24, Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:7)” He also tells Galatians, a community that lived hundreds of miles away from Palestine, that they too witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion (Galatians 3:1). Since Paul had never met Jesus, the crucifixion his audience in Galatia witnessed could not have been an historical event. It has to be allegorical. Ptolemy (~140 CE), disciple of Valentinus, reveals that Pilate merely made an image of Jesus and crucified it instead of crucifying Jesus himself.[vii] Basilides (116-161 CE), a Gnostic saint, writes that those who believe Jesus was physically crucified are enslaved to myths, and those who treat it as symbolic are liberated. (Kalavai Venkat, Silencing The Da Vinci Code [1]

I will show later that some versions of the Osiris myth did indeed teach that he remained on earth for a time after his "reanimation," but for the sake of argument, let's just assume the truth of McFall's claim that Egyptian myths about Osiris taught that he had experienced only a "spiritual" resurrection. That still would not make the Jesus myth "unique," because the earliest version of this myth indicates that the resurrection of Jesus was merely spiritual. To see this, we have only to go to the apostle Paul's defense of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. A face-value interpretation of this chapter, which doesn't assume the truth of the gospel accounts that were written much later, will show that Paul was claiming that Jesus had been not bodily but spiritually resurrected. After telling the Corinthian Christians that their faith was vain and they were of all men most miserable if Christ had not risen, Paul proceeded to develop a line of argumentation intended to prove that the resurrection had happened as he had preached it. (Warning: Atheist website:
 [2]

Christians believe that Jesus died for the sins of the world. In ancient Greece there was a tradition of making a particular individual into a ‘scapegoat’, who symbolically took on the sins of the people and was expelled from the city or put to death. Such an individual was called a pharmakos, which simply means ‘magic man’. His persecution was clearly a religious event, since before his death he was fed at public expense on especially pure foods and was clad in holy garments and wreathed with sacred. Through his sacred sacrifice the sins of the city were banished. (Timothy Freke, The Jesus Mysteries, p 53)

 

Paul corrupted the Gospel and elevated Jesus to divine status.

On the face of it, Paul’s doctrine of Jesus is a daring departure from Judaism. Paul was advocating a doctrine that seemed to have far more in common with pagan myths than with Judaism: that Jesus was a divine-human person who had descended to Earth from the heavens and experienced death for the express purpose of saving mankind. The very fact that the Jews found this doctrine new and shocking shows that it plays no role in the Jewish scripture, at least not in any way easily discernible…There were those who accepted Paul’s doctrine, but did regard it as a radical new departure, with nothing in the Jewish scriptures foreshadowing it. (Hyam Maccoby, The Myth-Maker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity, p. 12)

 

Paul is responsible for discarding the Jewish Law, deifying Jesus, and creating his own religion.

Jesus was not the founder of Christianity as we know it today. Most of the New Testament doesn't even concern the historical Jesus while the main influence is the Apostle Paul and through the church he founded at Ephesus a Greek convert named John. Paul never met Jesus in the flesh, he only claimed some strange vision and proceeded to paganize the teachings of Jesus (who preached an enlightened form of Judaism), until he created Pauline Christianity. Because there are no known writings from Jesus, the actual Apostles, or anyone that actually knew Him in the flesh (other then perhaps James), most of what He taught is lost forever. [1]

It is evident from scripture that Paul refused to come under the authority of the Church in Jerusalem. And this brought him into conflict with them. Pauline Christianity became Christianity minus the Judaism of Jesus and plus the Hellenization that ultimately led to the great historical schism within Christianity between Pauline Christianity established in Rome and Jerusalem Christianity established by Jesus and the twelve. The foreign influences which Paul introduced into the teachings of Jesus is so massive that it is said by scholars that Paul hijacked Christianity from the apostles of Jesus. However, to give Paul the credit due him, I have doubts he ever intended his letters become "God's Word" and the Christian religion to be based on him.

Paul's Hellenistic bias and influence was certainly the result of being born and raised in Tarsus - one of the major centers of Hellenistic philosophy in Asia minor. It is more than likely that Paul was taught bodily resurrection there. Paul wrote in Greek and quoted the Septuagint (the Greek form of the Scriptures) rather than communicating in Hebrew - the language of Jews in Jerusalem. Hellenistic philosophy was more fitting to Roman culture than to Jerusalem Judaism. As Rome began to exert more and more power, Paul's pagan version of Christianity fostered in Rome and became victorious over the Christianity established by Peter. The schism between Paul's paganized version of Christianity and Peter's Jewish Christianity meant that only one version could be victorious. As Rome completely destroyed Jewish culture in Israel in 70 AD, it was clear which version of Christianity was left standing. Jewish Christians in Jerusalem clearly resented the victory of Roman influence over Judaism. They believed that Rome's victory was achieved at the expense of assimilating the teachings of Jesus with the Hellenistic philosophy and culture of Rome. [2]

The idea of a sacrificed saviour is Mithraist, so is the symbolism of bulls, rams, sheep, the blood of a transformed saviour washing away sins and granting eternal life, the 7 sacraments, the banishing of an evil host from heaven, apocalyptic end of time when God/Ormuzd sends the wicked to hell and establishes peace. Roman Emperors, Mithraist then Christian, mixed the rituals and laws of both religions into one. Emperor Constantine established 25th of Dec, the birthdate of Mithras, to be the birthdate of Jesus too. The principal day of worship of the Jews, The Sabbath, was replaced by the Mithraistic Sun Day as the Christian holy day. The Catholic Church, based in Rome and founded on top of the most venerated Mithraist temple, wiped out all competing son-of-god religions within the Roman Empire, giving us modern literalist Christianity." [3]

The above writers do not mention every single crucifixion. But that doesn’t mean the crucifixions never occurred!
At least 2,000 Zealots were crucified by the Romans. Yet the crucifixion of Jesus is supposed to be unique. 


Matthew tells us (xxvii. 31) that when Christ was crucified, there was darkness all over the land for three hours, and "the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent, and many of the saints came out of their graves."  Here we have a series of events spoken of so strange, so unusual and so extraordinary that, had they occurred, they must have attracted the attention of the whole world -- especially the amazing scene of the sun's withdrawing his light and ceasing to shine, and thereby causing an almost total darkness near the middle of the day…Even Seneca and the elder Pliny, who minutely chronicle the events of those times, are silent about the greatest event in history. Each of these philosophers, in a detailed work, recorded all the phenomena of nature’s earthquakes, meteors and eclipses, he could collect. And, although Mark incidentally alludes to the darkness, in their gospels neither Luke nor John, know of any of these wonderful events. Christians tell us that God deliberately came to earth to die because he wanted to save wicked mankind—then he forgot to make sure everyone knew about it! (Warning: Atheist website [1])

 

It is shocking to find a complete absence of Jesus’ resurrection in these writers. More shocking is that Paul does not make any reference to Jesus’ trial and arrest. The pagan Katz knows that he’s trapped, so he resorts to attacking the Quran by using my argument. What a fool, I don’t know any other word to describe Jochen Katz.

There is a good explanation to solve this “problem of silence” which applies to every historical figure. The biography of every great man is always composed after his death. The Hadith were compiled after the Prophet’s death, the Gospels were composed after Jesus’ departure, and the Torah was composed after Moses’ death. Even the earliest biography of Alexander the Great was composed decades after his death!

The Gospels were contemporary documents to these writers (50-150 CE), so they should have acknowledged Jesus’ death, but sadly they didn’t [1][2][3]. The Quran was revealed 600 years later in the Desert of Arabia, hundreds of miles away from Palestine. The burden is on the Gospels because they were contemporary to these writers. It’s completely illogical to force the Quran into this discussion. The Quran is the Word of God with scientific miracles, so the miracles of Jesus (3:49, 5:110) are undoubtedly true.

The Holy Quran records the True Miracles and avoids the false miracles that exist in pagan myths.

The True miracles of Jesus are attested in the Quran (healing the sick, raising the dead, and curing the blind) which are confirmed by the Gospels (Matt 12:22, Mk. 5:21).

The Quran does not record the Transfiguration, walking on water, and turning water into wine because these miracles were COPIED from the pagans.


The Gospels are perverted cosmology…This is the Transfiguration, an event in the life of the Creative Principle, and therefore of Jesus only as this personified. It’s nothing new in occult cosmology: Buddha was transfigured on a mountain in Ceylon; Noah and Moses were also transfigured, at birth, their light filled the whole house—not man’s but God’s solar temple. Describing Noah, the Apocryphal Book of Enoch says, “A body white as snow, hair white as wool and eyes that are like the rays of the sun (Lloyd Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, p. 333)

 

The Buddha had his transfiguration when he went up a Sri Lankan mountain called Pandava, or Yellow-white. “There the heavens opened and a great light came in full flood around him and the glory of his person shone forth with ‘double power’. He shone as the brightness of the Sun and Moon”. This exactly parallels—but predates by six centuries—the Gospel story of Jesus’ transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. (Tom Harper, The Pagan Christ, p. 31)

The Buddha told this story at Jetavana Monastery about a pious lay follower. One evening, when this faithful disciple came to the bank of the Aciravati River on his way to Jetavana to hear the Buddha, there was no boat at the landing stage. The ferrymen had pulled their boats onto the far shore and had gone themselves to hear the Buddha. The disciple's mind was so full of delightful thoughts of the Buddha, however, that even though he walked into the river, his feet did not sink below the surface and he walked across the water as if he were on dry land. When, however, he noticed the waves on reaching the middle of the river, his ecstasy subsided and his feet began to sink. But as soon as he again focused his mind on the qualities of the Buddha, his feet rose and he was able to continue walking joyously over the water. When he arrived at Jetavana, he paid his respects to the Master and took a seat on one side.”
"Good layman," the Buddha said, addressing the disciple, "I hope you had no mishap on your way."
"Venerable sir," the disciple replied, "while coming here, I was so absorbed in thoughts of the Buddha that, when I came to the river, I was able to walk across it as though it were solid."
"My friend," the Blessed One said, "you're not the only one who has been protected in this way. In olden days pious laymen were shipwrecked in mid-ocean and saved themselves by remembering the virtues of the Buddha." [1] [2]

"The Johannine story of Jesus' turning water into wine (2.1-11) was modeled on a myth about Dionysus told in a Dionysiac festival celebrated at Sidon [Phoenicia]. A first- or second-century A.D. report of the festival shows striking similarities, even in wording, to the gospel material and makes its polemic purpose apparent." - Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God? (1978) p. 158

It is possible that Dionysian mythology would later find its way into Christianity. There are many parallels between Dionysus and Jesus; both were said to have been born from a mortal woman but fathered by a god, to have returned from the dead, and to have transformed water into wine. [3]


The historians never objected to Jesus’ miracles (3:49, 5:110) because they are supported by the Gospels (Matt 12:22, Mk. 5:21). I am speaking of the historians who lived after the Quran was revealed. Also, the scientists have confirmed the miracles in the Quran.

Allah speaks of how Christians borrowed the pagan myths.

 

But there are, among men, those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah and throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a Humiliating Penalty. (Al-Quran 31:6)

The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! (9:30)

 


Please visit the following links:

http://www.holysmoke.org/hs00/paul.htm

http://www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/2001/6/016pagan.html


Surely if the author of the Quran was Muhammad, then he would not have hesitated to copy the miracle of Jesus walking on water, turning water into wine, and multiplying the bread, yet he omitted these “miracles” because they were copied from the pagans.

The Quran did not plagiarize anything from the Gospels (God only revealed significant events like the Virgin birth, the miracles (5:110), and his ascension to Heaven (4:157). As mentioned above, the burden is on the gospels because they were contemporary to these writers (70-150 CE).

We pose the following question to these Evangelical “Christians”: Why does the Holy Quran evade the false miracles and capture the true miracles?

Possibly, the news of Jesus did not reach the ears of these writers. But the Gospels say Jesus was very popular (Matt 4:25) while the Quran correctly says Jesus gained only a few followers (57:27, 61:14). 

The above writers do not mention Jesus because he was unpopular. The Gospels exaggerate his reputation by making him “very popular” (Matt. 21:7-8; Mark 11:8; Luke 19:36). The Essenes followed John because he was greater than Jesus. There is no evidence to prove Jesus was Essene.

 

However, those who argue for Jesus's non-existence note that Josephus spends much more time discussing John the Baptist and various other supposed Messiahs than he does discussing Jesus. [1]

Both the New Testament and Josephus depict John the Baptist has having a more powerful influence on the majority of the people of the time than did Jesus. Josephus' description of John is more detailed than his account of Jesus, and John's death is, in the people's view, avenged afterward by Heaven with real actions, but Josephus mentions  no such divine support for Jesus.

In contrast with his usual attitude toward popular leaders, Josephus is sympathetic towards John the Baptist. One wonders what the difference is between John and the men whom Josephus disparages as "deceivers" (apateônes) and "enchanters" (goêtes), such as Theudas and the Egyptian. It isn't simply that John did not represent a direct threat to Rome -- Josephus always stresses the folly of those who do oppose Rome -- as many of the others also seemed apolitical. All of these, including John, seemed to be killed solely because they had a large following, which in itself was seen as a threat to those in power: there was room for only one crowd and only one leader. We are left to conclude that Josephus himself was touched favorably by the philosophy of John, just as many of his countrymen were. While he was probably working from a source that was itself positive toward John, his choice of that source would have reflected his own attitude. [2]


Even if the Flavium Testimonium passage is true, he spends more time discussing John the Baptist than Jesus! Yet this should never mean Jesus didn’t exist. That’s blasphemy. John the Baptist gained more popularity because he did not resort to miracles which brought suspicion of acquiring these powers from the Jinn.   

 

Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"  But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons." (Matthew 12:22-24)

 

There was no reason to suspect John the Baptist of falsehood because he “did no miracle” (John 10:41), and his death was considered a martyrdom by the Essenes. The Bible and Quran agree that true prophets can die. The New Testament is not about John the Baptist, so very little knowledge can be derived from the Christian sources.

Also, Josephus had sympathy for John the Baptist.

 

Modern scholars see a similarity between John and the sect that wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, who are usually taken to be the Essenes described by Josephus. John may have once been an Essene who developed a following of his own.

This may explain Josephus' favorable view of John, for the Essenes are described in very much greater detail than the other two major Jewish philosophies. Moreover, in his autobiography, Josephus tells us that when he was a teenager he spent three years in the desert  with a man named Banus who resembles John in behavior (as in Mark's description). This Banus clothed himself using only trees, ate only food that was found in the wild, and bathed himself in cold water several times a day. Yet this Banus was not an Essene, but a unique individual. This experience seems to have given Josephus a lasting sympathy for people who led this way of life, which is quite probably why he speaks so favorably of  John the Baptist. [1]

 

The Quran is not proven false because these explanations stand up. Yet the problem remains for Christians. The Quran denies the “sacrificial death” and resurrection (3:55, 4:157) because God promised to save him (Psalms 18:50, 20:6). And these writers do not record “the greatest event in history”.

Paul contradicts the Gospels on a simple event which is supposed to be the foundation of Christian religion [1] [2] [3] [4] Was the resurrection a hoax? Yes, and so was 911. The Bible condemns “vicarious atonement” (Deu 24:16, Ez. 18:20-21), and the Gnostics rejected Jesus’ crucifixion.

This is probably the best answer to the “silence crisis” surrounding Jesus’ life. All the biographies of great men (Abraham, Moses, David, and Alexander the Great) were always composed after their deaths. This does not mean they were unhistorical.

We know more about Prophet Muhammad than we know about Jesus. We don’t know anything about Jesus’ childhood and the first 30 years of his life, yet we know many details about Muhammad’s early life before he became a prophet.

 

The more people have tried to discover who Jesus really was the more it has been found how little is known about him. There are limited records of his teachings and some of his actions, but very little is known about how he actually lived his life from moment to moment and how he conducted his everyday transactions with other people…Certainly, the pictures many people have given of Jesus - of who he was and what he did - are distorted ones. Although there is some truth in them, it has been established that the four accepted Gospels have not only been altered and censored through the ages but also are not eyewitness accounts. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus Prophet of Islam, p. 5)

 

The Gospels say Jesus’ body went missing, but nobody witnessed the “resurrection”. Amazingly, dozens of people watched the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:43), but nobody saw the resurrection of Jesus! 

The legendary stories of ‘man-god’ saviors dying for the sins of their people (and rising three days later) were very common!

 

"The worship of suffering gods was to be found on all sides, and the belief in the torture of the victims in the rites of human sacrifice for the redemption from sin was very general. The gods Osiris, Attis, Adonis, Dionysos, Herakles, Prometheus, and others, had all suffered for mankind; and thus the Servant of Yahweh was also conceived as having to be wounded for' men's transgressions. But as I say, this conception had passed into the background in the days of Jesus" (The Paganism in Our Christiantiy, Arthur Weigall, 1928, p106)

Like Christianity, the Mysteries had a doctrine of "original sin." Plato teaches that the soul is banished into the body as a punishment for some unnamed ancient crime. According to Empedocles, we are wandering through the four elements to atone for guilt incurred in the divine world. The Mysteries taught that the original sin was separation from God. The sacrificial death of the godman, or the sacrificial animal he kills, represents the initiate's own symbolic death to their lower "animal" nature and rebirth into their divine nature, which unites them with God and so atones for this original crime. (Timothy Freke, The Jesus Mysteries: Was the “Original Jesus” a Pagan God? p. 54)

Jesus was not the founder of Christianity as we know it today. Most of the New Testament doesn't even concern the historical Jesus while the main influence is the Apostle Paul and through the church he founded at Ephesus a Greek convert named John. Paul never met Jesus in the flesh, he only claimed some strange vision and proceeded to paganize the teachings of Jesus (who preached an enlightened form of Judaism), until he created Pauline Christianity. Because there are no known writings from Jesus, the actual Apostles, or anyone that actually knew Him in the flesh (other then perhaps James), most of what He taught is lost forever. [1]

 

We challenge Christians to answer the following questions:

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?

 

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.

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

 

Why  was the stone moved from the tomb (Matthew28:2) if it was a supernatural rising? [1]

The Quran says only a few people followed Jesus (61:14), but why didn’t the lawyers mention Jesus’ trial with Pilate? Why didn’t the poets mention Jesus in their poetry?

Katz has carried out research on these writers.

Ptolemy was a geographer, astronomer, and astrologer, not a historian. Silius Italicus was was a Latin epic poet. Epictetus was a stoic philosopher. Apollonius -- which one? Plutarch is indeed one of the rare genuine historians in the list, but his main focus were biographies of famous Greeks and Romans, and none of his works were focused on Israel. Seneca was a Roman philosopher, statesman, dramatist / playwright, but not a historian. Aulus Gellius was a grammarian but wrote on many things. Yet, a history of Israel is not among them. Lucanus was a celebrated Roman poet, but not a historian. Theon of Smyrna was a philosopher and mathematician who wrote about number theory, music, and astronomy. How did he make it into Smith's list? Appian, was a historian but none of his surviving works deals with Israel/Palestine, so why would Smith expect him to mention Jesus in any of these books? Although Arrian was a historian, his works dealt mainly with military tactics and the life of Alexander the Great. These are hardly natural contexts to write about Jesus. Martial was a satirical poet, not a historian of any kind. Philo was a philosopher. Looking over the Works of Philo, I wonder in which of these he really should have mentioned Jesus, according to the learned opinion of Mr. Smith.

Where is the reference to Jesus’ death in the poetry of Lucanus and Martial?  You are basically implying that Jesus was too unpopular to be noticed, or he was a false prophet according to these writers.

Several poets during Prophet Muhammad’s life defended him through poetry. The pre-Islamic poets of Jahiliya predicted the advent of Muhammad. But it seems no poet expressed any acknowledgment of Jesus rising from the dead!

Nevertheless, Jesus was a historical figure who performed miracles by God. The Bible and Quran are not proven false just because these writers do not record the miracles.



 

HE WROTE:

I have no clue how Smith drew up this list, but it should be obvious that this is hardly the list of most relevant names for writing the history of Israel in the first century. It looks more like a lottery drawing of famous but ultimately arbitrary names from that time period. Smith's whole impressive list of names crumbles into basically nothing when looking up the identity and works of these people.


RESPONSE: 

Katz has ignored that Appian, Arrian, Dio Chrysostom, Florus, Paterculus, and Phlegon were historians who lived in the early 2nd century.

 

I have researched these writers and discovered that all of them are historians!


Appian (c.95-c.165, Gr. Αππιανος), of Alexandria was a Greek historian with Roman citizenship who flourished during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. (*)

Lucius Flavius Arrianus 'Xenophon' (c. 92-c.175), known in English as Arrian, and Arrian of Nicomedia, was a Greek historian and philosopher of the Roman period. (*)

Dio Chrysostom, Dion of Prusa or Dio Cocceianus (c. 40c. 120) was a Greek orator, writer, philosopher and historian of the Roman Empire in the first century. (*)

Florus, Roman historian, lived in the time of Trajan and Hadrian. (*)

Marcus Velleius Paterculus (c. 19 BC - c. AD 31) was a Roman historian. Although his praenomen is given as Marcus by Priscian, some modern scholars identify him with Gaius Velleius Paterculus, whose name occurs in an inscription on a north African milestone (C.I.L. Viii. 10, 311). (*)

Phlegon of Tralles, a Greek historian who flourished in the 2nd century. (*)

Lucius Iunius Moderatus Columella (Gades, Hispania Baetica, 4 - c. 70) was a Roman writer. After a career in the army (he was tribune in Syria in 35), he took up farming. His De Re Rustica in twelve volumes has been completely preserved and forms our most important source on Roman agriculture, together with the works of Cato the Elder and Varro, both of which he occasionally cites. A smaller book on trees (De Arboribus) has been preserved as well. (*)


None of these writers mentioned Jesus’ death. Christianity developed in Rome, Greece, and Egypt where Christians were influenced by paganism!

The early Christians were accused of sun-worship.


A letter ascribed in the Augustan History to the Emperor Hadrian refers to the worship of Serapis by residents of Egypt who described themselves as Christians, and Christian worship by those claiming to worship Serapis:

The land of Egypt, the praises of which you have been recounting to me, my dear Servianus, I have found to be wholly light-minded, unstable, and blown about by every breath of rumour. There those who worship Serapis are, in fact, Christians, and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are, in fact, devotees of Serapis. (Augustan History, Firmus et al. 8) [1]

Firmicus Maternus was a Christian author of the fourth century. He wrote a book called "The Errors of the Profane Religions." He found that many of these pagan religions of the Roman world had Saviors or Redeemers. He learned that every year the birth of these gods was celebrated, often in mid-winter, and every year, often about the time of our Easter, the death and resurrection of the gods were celebrated. He discovered that in some of these religions bread and wine were used at the altar, and candles and incense and sacred water were part of the ritual.  [2]

 

The Islamic tradition says that Jesus has not died, so he’s the only Prophet to return. Jesus will destroy the cross and kill the swine because swine is forbidden and the cross is pagan.

We have inscriptional evidence for the Pontius Pilate. We have inscriptional evidence for Muhammad and the early codification of the Quran. But we have no inscriptional evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. You are saying that Jesus’ resurrection has no basis in History, because you confess that these historians do not mention Jesus’ death!

The Evangelical Christians are the most arrogant people, they argue that Jesus’ resurrection was the “greatest event in history”, but they confess that Appian, Arrian, and Dio_Chrysostom never confirmed it!

Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) were real Prophets sent by God with the same message. Christians are guilty for the abrogation of Jesus’ law (Matt 5:17-20), and replacing the Gospel for “faith and grace” (Eph. 2:8). Paul, the founder of Christianity, knows nothing about Jesus. Yet, the teachings of Muhammad are alive and immortal.

 

The teachings of the last prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him), are alive, have been fully preserved, and made immortal. The guidance he has shown unto mankind is complete and flawless, and is enshrined in the Holy Qur'an. All the sources of Islam are fully intact and each and every instruction or action of the Holy Prophet can be ascertained without the least shadow of doubt. Thus as his teachings are totally intact, there is no need of any of new prophet on this count. (Abul Ala Mawdudi, Towards Understanding Islam, p. 54)

 

The companions of Muhammad even transmitted the facial description of Muhammad (pbuh). We don’t know how Jesus looked like or the description of his face, but we know exactly how Prophet Muhammad looked.  The burden of proof is on the Christians not the Muslims, to produce reliable evidence for Jesus’ death. The so-called prophecies are taken out of context and applied to Jesus by the Gospels.

The Quran is the greatest testimony regarding Jesus’ fate (4:157). And Allah blesses those who reject “Pauline Christianity” as the excuse to commit sins. 


Jesus was not the founder of Christianity as we know it today. Most of the New Testament doesn't even concern the historical Jesus while the main influence is the Apostle Paul and through the church he founded at Ephesus a Greek convert named John. Paul never met Jesus in the flesh, he only claimed some strange vision and proceeded to paganize the teachings of Jesus (who preached an enlightened form of Judaism), until he created Pauline Christianity. Because there are no known writings from Jesus, the actual Apostles, or anyone that actually knew Him in the flesh (other then perhaps James), most of what He taught is lost forever. [1]

Paul was a Hellenized Pharisee converted to Christianity and rejected the Judaism which Jesus and the Jerusalem Church belonged to… Paul renounced his Judaism, the law, and reincarnation and began teaching the Gentiles the alien doctrine of bodily resurrection perhaps out of a misunderstanding of Christ's resurrection. It is evident from scripture that Paul refused to come under the authority of the Church in Jerusalem. And this brought him into conflict with them. Pauline Christianity became Christianity minus the Judaism of Jesus and plus the Hellenization that ultimately led to the great historical schism within Christianity between Pauline Christianity established in Rome and Jerusalem Christianity established by Jesus and the twelve. The foreign influences which Paul introduced into the teachings of Jesus is so massive that it is said by scholars that Paul hijacked Christianity from the apostles of Jesus. [2]

 

We find that immediately after the disappearance of Jesus, his followers fell into two sects: one sect of people under the leadership of his true disciples were closely following the teachings of Jesus. Later the leadership of this group went to James, the brother of Jesus.

They promoted the worship of the One and Only God and the following of the Ten Commandments in the Torah, the Book revealed to Moses. They were the real Muslims of those days.

The other sect was in fact formed by an enemy of the early Christians who found that the best way to destroy Christ's religion was to join it and corrupt it from inside: his name was Saul of Tarsus, who in fact was the founder of modern Christianity. He is now venerated as Saint Paul.

Eventhough he had not even met Jesus, he claimed to be Jesus' own disciple and that he had a vision from Jesus appointing him as his Apostle to the Gentiles.
In fact, in the Gospels we read of twelve disciples chosen by Jesus, from the twelve tribes of Israel. But Paul was not one of them. But this Paul has now a higher position than all other disciples of Jesus; he managed to have this position by his cunning and clever manipulations.

If we make an objective study of his own writings in the Bible, (which are included as "God's word" in that book) we can find that his mission was just to distort the religion of Christ. He taught many things quite in opposition to what Jesus and his disciples had taught. He denigrated the true disciples as "false apostles" and "the circumcision party" and he claimed to an Apostle in his own right, to the Gentiles. In fact, Jesus himself had said that his mission was only to the Children of Israel and not to the Gentiles, or to the whole world, as Jesus had clearly said that it was the duty of the Paraclete who would come later on to complete the religion of God.

But Paul went on his lying propaganda against the true disciples of Jesus and was successful in gaining more followers in due course. In later history the paganized Church went even further to make more clear formulations of the Trinitarian concept and Redemption by the blood of Christ etc. All these ideas were borrowed from polytheistic religions of the ancient times. [3]

 

The human-Jesus of the Quran is supported by the Gospels (John 5:30, 10:28). The evidence can be gleaned from the New Testament (Hebrews 5:7, James 5:16) that he was saved.



HE WROTE:

Basically, Smith's argument comes down to this: Certain people did not mention something specific about Jesus, therefore this specific event never happened.


RESPONSE:

The crucifixion of Jesus is supposed to be the foundation of Christianity. The Holy Quran is the foundation of Islam, yet we have evidence for its early codification. The Gospels were produced 150 years after Jesus departed.


The Gnostic leader Titian (170 CE) compiled the Diatessaron, or Harmony of the Gospels.


This harmony of the Gospels was written by Tatian, an Assyrian and the disciple of Justin Martyr, about A.D. 170, and was widely used in Syria. Our manuscript records are two Arabic versions, discovered one in Rome the other in Egypt, and published 1888. A Latin translation of an Armenian edition of St. Ephraem's commentary on the Diatessaron is in like manner witness to this early version of the Gospels. (Tatian, The Catholic Encyclopedia, [1]

 

The Christian apologist Justin Martyr quotes the Gospels in his “Memoirs of the Apostles”, but also quotes the apocryphal stories. How do we know Justin Martyr possessed the Gospels?


Just Martyr does not quote by name from any New Testament writings. He does use the formulae of quotation 'it is recorded' and 'it is written', when quoting from the 'Memoirs of the apostles' or simply the 'Memoirs'. [2]

 

The Christians argue that The Memoirs of the Apostles are the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.


"At the very threshold of the subject, we are met by the fact, that nowhere in all the writings of Justin, does he once so much as mention any of these gospels. Nor does he mention either of their supposed authors, except John. Once his name occurs; not, however, as the author of a gospel, but in such a connection as raises a very strong presumption that Justin knew of no gospel of John the Apostle." [3]

 

Justin Martyr records apocryphal stories that are absent from the Gospels!

 

It is certain, however, that Justin does not use the fourth Gospel as abundantly as he does the others (Purves, op. cit., 233); this may be owing to the aforesaid concordance, or harmony, of the synoptic Gospels. He seems to use the apocryphal Gospel of Peter. (Justin Martyr, The Catholic Encyclopedia, (*)

 

According to the Encyclopedia, Justin quoted the Gospel of Peter, which is rejected by the Church. How do we know the Gospel of Peter is not a forgery?

 

For we, brethren, receive both Peter and the rest of the apostles as Christ Himself. But those writings which are falsely inscribed with their name, we as experienced persons reject, knowing that no such writings have been handed down to us. (Serapion, bishop of Antioch, [1]

"As the brethren desired me to write epistles (letters), I did so, and these the apostles of the devil have filled with tares (changes), exchanging some things and adding others, for whom there is a woe reserved. It is not therefore, a matter of wonder if some have also attempted to adulterate the sacred writings of the Lord, since they have attempted the same in other works that are not to be compared with these." (Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, [2]

 

Katz wrote: Certain people did not mention something specific about Jesus, therefore this specific event never happened.

No, you have misunderstood. The crucifixion of Jesus never took place, only the appearance crucifixion took place. Judas (or Simon) was crucified, and his body thrown “headlong” into the Field of Blood (Acts 1:18). We have already discussed why the Romans records are silent.
 
According to Matthew’s gospel, the chief priests bought a field with 30 pieces of silver. Judas was already dead when the field was purchased, so his body was thrown “headlong” after he was crucified.



HE WROTE:

Or even more radically, certain people did not mention Jesus, therefore he never existed. That is nothing more than an argument from silence, which is by its very nature a weak argument.

 

 

RESPONSE:

Let us answer from a different angle. After the departure of Jesus, his teachings spread to Rome, Greece, and Egypt. But it seems the Greek/Roman writers cared less about Jesus, they don’t make any reference to Christianity.

 

Athenagoras of Athens wrote a detailed esoteric Christian treatise On The Resurrection Of The Dead arguing that resurrection is possible (in a non-fleshly body), but without once mentioning the resurrection of Jesus, or even using the words Jesus or Christ ! He also composed In Defense of the Christians - no Jesus nor Christ is mentioned, but the Logos is directly equated with the Son of God. [1]

 

How are Muslims supposed to “convert” when Christianity is hoaxed? Where is the evidence for Jesus’ death? Why are people accepting Islam in droves? You have misunderstood my argument. I am not denying the Historical Jesus and the purity of his character.

Muslims believe the miracles of Jesus as facts of history, but we totally reject the crucifixion. There is evidence to disprove the crucifixion, and cast doubt on the Gospel stories.

 



HE WROTE:

Will Abdullah Smith at least apply his criteria consistently? Would he, for example, also conclude that Nero and/or Julius Caesar did not exist, if he can't find a number of non-Roman writers who reports about them? Or would he consider that a stupid argument in their case?



RESPONSE:

Yes indeed, the Roman emperors are historical persons, and the evidence proves Julius Caesar and Nero existed.

The evidence for Julius Caesar's crossing the Rubicon River is tons better than the evidence for Jesus Christ's alleged resurrection, as historian Richard Carrier has shown in this article.

 

It should be clear that we have a huge number of reasons to believe that Caesar crossed the Rubicon, all of which are lacking in the case of the resurrection. In fact, when we compare all five points, we see that in four of the five evidences of an event's historicity, the resurrection has no evidence at all, and for the one kind of evidence it does have, it has not the best, but the very worst kind of evidence--a handful of biased, uncritical, unscholarly, unknown, second-hand witnesses.

 

It is compulsory for Christians to believe Pilate existed, or else the crucifixion would be impossible.

 

For Christians, the name Pontius Pilate is known for one reason. He has the dubious distinction of being connected with statements of faith; in the Apostles' or Nicene Creed. For Jews, Pilate was the official emblem of their foreign oppressor and this crucifixion was no different than many others the Romans performed during the subjugation of their land. (Jean-Philippe Fontanille, The Coins of Pontius Pilate, [1]

 

The Pontius Pilate was Christianized by the Coptic Church:

 

In the calendars of the Saints of the Coptic Church, both in Egypt and in Ethiopia, Pilate and his wife appear as “saints”. This could be possible only if we accept that Pilate, knowing full well that his soldiers had made a wrong arrest, knowingly condemned Judas in the place of Jesus, and allowed the latter to escape. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus Prophet of Islam, p. 37)

 

Basically, all of the references to Jesus are forgeries (except the Quran), and the remaining historians are silent on Jesus’ death, so the Quran is superior to the Bible regarding Jesus’ death. 


The Life of Jesus is shrouded in mystery

Comparisons are sometimes odious, but even if one was so inclined one would soon find that the Jesus of the Gospels and Prophet Muhammad offer no comparison at all. For, while Prophet Muhammad is a thoroughly historical character, every detail of whose life is preserved in critically tested books of Hadis and history, the life and character of Jesus are shrouded in mystery…

But even if we consider this to be an extreme view and grant, as do the Muslims, that a person called Jesus was actually born in Palestine a few years before the beginning of the Christian era and claimed to be the expected Messiah of the Jews, our information about him is so fragmentary and uncertain that no clear picture of his life and personality emerges in our minds. There are doubts about the date, place and manner of his birth; there is nothing known about the first thirty years of his life; there are differences on the question of his death. The Gospels tell us only a little more than two years of his life and that too in a manner that can hardly pass the test of historical criticism…Dr. C.J. Cadoux, who was Mackennal Professor of Church History at Oxford, was quoted as having written that many modern scholars and critics regard as hopeless any attempt to separate the historically true from the legendary or mythical matter which the Gospels contain and to reconstruct the story of Jesus out of the more historical residue. As we find him in the Gospels, Jesus seems a shadowy and glorified figure. (Ulfat-Aziz-Samad, Islam and Christianity, p. 25)

The physical aspect of what Jesus brought, his code of behaviour, is today irrecoverably lost. To live as Jesus lived is to understand his message, yet there is virtually no existing record of how Jesus behaved. And what little knowledge exists is often ignored. The most fundamental act of Jesus was that of worship of the Creator, the whole purpose for which man was created. Yet it is evident that no Christian today makes the same acts of worship which Jesus made. Jesus usually prayed in the morning, at mid-day, and in the evening. The exact form of his prayer is no longer extant, but it known that is was based on the prayer which Moses was given. Jesus said that he had come to uphold the law and not to destroy it one jot or one tithe. Jesus was educated in the synagogue in Jerusalem from the age of twelve. He preached in the synagogue. He used to keep the synagogue clean. No Christian today can be found performing these actions. How many Christians have even been circumcised in the manner that Jesus was? The services now held in today’s churches were developed long after Jesus had disappeared. Many of them come directly from the pagan Graeco-Roman mythological rites. The prayers they use are not the prayers which Jesus made. The hymns they sing are not the praises which Jesus sung. Due to the innovations of Paul and his followers, there is no revealed teaching left as to what to eat and what not to eat. Anyone given a “Christian education” today eats what he feels like. Yet Jesus and his true followers only ate kosher meat and were forbidden to eat pig’s flesh. The last meal Jesus is known to have eaten before his disappearance was the Passover meal. No Christian today celebrates this longstanding Jewish tradition to which Jesus so meticulously held. It is no longer known in what manner Jesus ate and drank, who he would eat with and who he would not eat with, where he would eat and where he would not eat, when he would eat and when he would not eat. Jesus fasted, but again it is not known how, where and when he fasted. His science of fasting has been lost. There is no record of the food he liked especially, and the food of which he was not particularly fond. Jesus did not marry while he was on earth, but he did not forbid it.

There is no record of how Jesus walked, how he sat, how he stood, how he kept himself clean, how he went to sleep, how he woke up, how he greeted people, how he was old people, how he was with young people, how he was with women, how he was with young women, how he was with strangers, how he was with guests, how he was with his enemies, how he conducted his transactions in the market place, how he traveled, what he was allowed to do and what he was not allowed to do.

The records of Jesus’ message as revealed to him by God are incomplete and inaccurate. The doctrines on which Christianity today is based are not to be found within these records. The record of how Jesus acted is almost non-existent, and what little is known is virtually ignored. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus, Prophet of Islam, pp. 199-200) 


The Prophet Muhammad is historically attested.

The life and teachings of the prophet are the beacon-light to guide a people to the Right path and as long as his teachings and his guidance are alive he is, as it were, himself alive. The real death of a prophet consists not in his physical demise but in the mitigation of his teachings and the interpolation of his guidance. The earlier prophets have died because their followers have adulterated their teachings, interpolated their instructions, and besmirched their life-examples by attaching fictitious events to them. Not one of the earlier books-Torah, Zabur (psalms of David), injeel (Gospel of Jesus), etc-exists to day in its original text and even the followers of these books confess that they do not possess the original book. The life histories of the earlier prophets have been so mixed up with fiction that an accurate and authentic account of their lives has become impossible. Their lives have become tales and legends and no trustworthy record is a available anywhere. Not only that the records have been lost and their life precepts forgotten but even this cannot be said with certainty as to when and when and where a certain prophet was born and bred, how he lived and what code he gave to mankind. In fact, the real death of a prophet consists in the death of his teachings.

Judging the facts on this criterion no one can deny that Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his teachings are alive. His teachings stand uncorrupted and are uncorruptible. The Qur’an-the book he gave to mankind-exists in its original text, without the slightest alteration of letter, syllable, jot, or title. The entire account of his life-his sayings, instructions and actions-is preserved with complete accuracy, so much so that even after the lapse of thirteen centuries its delineation in history is so clear and complete that it seems as if we are seeing him with the eyes under our brows. The biography of no other human being is so well preserved as that of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam (peace be upon him). In each and every matter of life we can seek the guidance of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and take a lesson from his life-example. That is why there is no need of any other prophet after Muhammad, the last prophet (peace be upon him). (Abul Ala Mawdudi, Towards Understanding Islam, p. 65)  

Now take the second attribute of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) by which he stands unique among all Prophets(pbut) and leaders of religion. Just as the Book transmitted to him, amounts of his character have also been preserved to serve as a beacon for us in all walks of life. From early childhood to the close of his life, a large number of those who saw him, witnessed the events of his life and heard his conversation, addresses, exhortations or warnings, had retained them in memory and passed them onto their successors. Some of the research scholars believe that the number of those who had passed on to the next generation eyewitness accounts or reports of events that they had heard during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) number a hundred thousand people. (Abul Ala Mawdudi, The Message of the Prophet’s Seerah, [1]

Muhammad abides forever in his “sunnah” or pattern of life, which has been transcribed in the most intricate detail. Everything concerning the Prophet has been scrupulously and painstakingly recorded—from the comb he used to his speeches and sermons. Furthermore, God Almighty has promised that the Revelation and message given to Muhammad would abide forever. (Faisal Siddiqui, The Bible’s Last Prophet, p. 61)

Unlike the founders of many religious, the final prophet of Islam is a real documented and historical figure. He lived in the full light of history, and the most minute details of his life are known. Not only do Muslims have the complete text of God's words that were revealed to Muhammad, but they have also preserved his saying and teachings in what is called "hadith" literature. [1]

 

The earliest Hadith date from the 1st century (Hijra) whereas the Gospels were written 150 years after Jesus. There is no evidence that the Gospels existed before 150 CE. We find no reference to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John by name, before the year 200 CE. If you study the history of the Gospel and their dates, you will know that Iranaeus is the first to mention the Gospels by name. Athenogoras of Athens (177 CE) and Theophilus of Antioch (180 CE) quote the Gospels, but no citations are by name! Justin Martyr (d 150 CE) and Titain do not mention the Gospels. The early Church fathers (Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Papias) do not mention the Gospels.


“In reality, the four gospels selected for inclusion in the New Testament do not make any appearance in the literary and archaeological record until the last quarter of the 2nd century, between 170 and 180 C.E., and even then they are not much mentioned for a couple of decades. In this regard, Church Fathers and archbishop of Constantinople John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) stated that the names traditionally attached to the canonical gospels were first designated at the end of the second century” (The Suns of God, Acharya S.)

The first substantial physical evidence for the four Gospels comes from near the end of the second century CE, about 170 years after Jesus’ demise.” (Tom Harper, The Pagan Christ, p. 139)

The books [canonical gospels] are not heard of till 150 A.D., that is, till Jesus had been dead nearly a hundred and twenty years. No writer before 150 A.D. makes the slightest mention of them."  (Bronson, C. Keeler, A Short History of the Bible)

"The Four Gospels were unknown to the early Christian Fathers. Justin Martyr, the most eminent of the early Fathers, wrote about the middle of the second century. His writings in proof of the divinity of Christ demanded the use of these Gospels had they existed in his time. He makes more than 300 quotations from the books of the Old Testament, and nearly one hundred from the Apocryphal books of the New Testament; but none from the four Gospels.

"So strong is the evidence of a late date to this gospel, that its apostolic origin is being abandoned by the ablest evangelical writers.... Both Irenaeus and Jerome assert that John wrote against Cerinthus. Cerinthus thus flourished about A.D. 145. [T]here is evidence that in the construction of this gospel, as in that of Matthew, the author had in view the building up of the Roman hierarchy, the foundations of which were then (about A.D. 177-89) being laid.... There is a reason to believe that both [John and Matthew] were written in the interest of the supremacy of the Church of Rome." (The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You to Read, Tim C. Leedom)



The Prophet Muhammad was foretold in World Scriptures.

http://www.geocities.com/islamicmiracles/muhammad_peace_be_upon_him.htm

http://www.islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/mohamed/1424/kharitah/article25.shtml

Muhammad in the Hindu Scriptures

Muhammad in World Scriptures


There is reliable evidence for the historicity of Muhammad. Even the malicious opponents of Islam confirmed the Prophet Muhammad and the greatness of his character!  

·         Mahatma Gandhi

·         Lamartine

·         Encyclopedia Britannica

·         John Austin

·         John William Draper

·         W. Montgomery Watt

·         George Bernard Shaw

·         Thomas Carlyle

·         Diwan Chand Sharma

·         Prof. C. Snouck Hurgronje

·         Prof. Ramakrishna Rao

·         Sarogini Naidu

·         Annie Besant 1

·         Annie Besant 2

·         Bosworth Smith

·         Michael H. Hart

·         Geoffrey Parrinder

·         James A. Michener

·         Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay


The Prophet’s Contribution to Human Thought


To arrive at a correct appraisal of the Prophet’s contribution to human thought, one has to view it in the background of the history of the world as a whole. That would reveal that this unlettered dweller of the desert of Arabia, who was born in the ‘dark ages’ some 1,400 years ago, was the real pioneer of the modern age and the true leader of humanity. He is not only the leader of those who accept his leadership, but also of those also who do not acclaim him as such: even of those who denounce him! The only difference being that the latter are unaware of the fact that his guidance is still imperceptibly influencing their thoughts and their actions and is the governing principle of their lives and the very spirit of modern times. (Abul Ala Mawdudi, Towards Understanding Islam, [1]

 

In other words, the Christians are following Prophet Muhammad without even knowing it. For example, the pre-Islamic Christians believed that hand-washing is heretical and obtuse.


In the field of hygiene and cleanliness, the Muslims rose to heights bar none. According to Gustave Le Bon, Muslim hospitals were more superior in this field than many of our modern ones. These hospitals were so large that air and water were circulated freely through them. This was because the Muslims were the first to recognize the importance which stagnant air and water had in the spread of infectious disease, and it was in these hospitals where the first procedure for sterilizing air was developed.

They were also meticulous in guarding their bodily cleanliness, for they would cleanse their mouths, ears, noses, hands, arms and feet several times a day in order to prepare for daily prayer services. It was also policy for them to cleanse themselves with water after the call to nature. For them, this policy and procedure for cleanliness was an order from God Almighty, Who revealed the rules needed for purifying the body and mind. In contrast, it wasn’t until late in the nineteenth century that Halsted and his colleagues, after much harassment and persecution, were able to implement a standard of ‘washing of hands’ procedure to prepare surgeons and nurses for surgical procedures. American and European surgeons regarded it as heresy to cleanse their hands before they operated. The result was that thousands died of infection due to the operative procedure itself. While for the West the now standard preoperative procedure of washing arms to the elbow is literally a twentieth century invention, Muhammad (peace be upon him) instituted a systematic washing procedure which included this practice over 1400 years ago. (Cassim Igram, Roots of the Natural Sciences, p. 12)

 

The Prophet Muhammad preached the etiquettes of good health, saying hand-washing is incumbent for godliness (cleanliness). He said “wash your hands in the morning because you don’t know what you’ve touched during sleep”. Today, the doctors are preaching the same thing! [1] [2].


The Armenian chronicler Sebeos mentioned the Prophet Muhammad in 661 CE.

 

In that period a certain one of them, a man of the sons of Ishmael named Muhammad, became prominent. A sermon about the Way of Truth, supposedly at God’s command, was revealed to them, and Muhammad taught them to recognize the God of Abraham, especially since he was informed and knowledgeable about Mosaic history. Because the command had come from on High, he ordered them all to assemble together and to unite in faith. Abandonning the reverence of vain things, they turned toward the living God, who had appeared to their father–Abraham. Muhammad legislated that they were not to eat carrion, not to drink wine, not to speak falsehoods, and not to commit adultery. He said: “God promised that country to Abraham and to his son after him, for eternity. And what had been promised was fulfilled during that time when God loved Israel. Now, however, you are the sons of Abraham, and God shall fulfill the promise made to Abraham and his son on you. Only love the God of Abraham, and go and take the country which God gave to your father Abraham. No one can successfully resist you in war, since God is with you”. (Sebeos, [1]


The Jewish historian Rabbi Simon ben Yohai mentioned the Prophet Muhammad in 680 CE.

 

The Secrets of Rabbi Simon ben Yohai 680ad - a 7th century Middle Eastern religious tract which records the leader of the Hagarenes, Muhammad as a Jewish Messiah engaged in a battle against the Byzantine empire. (Note: The Rabbi wrongly believed Muhammad was the Jewish Messiah) [2]

 


John of Damascus (675-749 CE) recognized the Islamic movement in the 7th century.

 

Concerning Heresy" (peri aipeseon) – The last chapter of this part (Chapter 100) deals with the Heresy of the Ishmaelites. Differently from the previous 'chapters' on other heresies which are usually only a few lines long, this chapter occupies a few pages in his work. It is one of the first Christian polemical writings against Islam, and the first one written by a Greek Orthodox/Melkite. (Note: John of Damascus was a staunch critic of Islam (sadly) [3]


 

HE WROTE:

And for Muslims, the story gets a lot worse. Is Smith willing to subject his own religion to the same standards of evaluation? Will he go by the same rules?



RESPONSE:

The Islamic Awareness website has provided strong evidence for Islam, destroying the moon-god myth, and dismantling the most ludicrous arguments against Islam.

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/DoTR.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Dome_Of_The_Rock/

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/sabil.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/darb2.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/sadd.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/hamid2.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/basra.html


http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/museum.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/




Jochen Katz challenged me to produce three historians during the 1st century (Hijra) who mentioned the Prophet Muhammad by name. And I have provided the evidence above, but he’s determined to ignore it. The Muslims and Christians agree that Prophet Muhammad’s life is documented and Jesus’ life shrouded in mystery. We know more about Muhammad than Jesus. There are several Hadith but only four Gospels that are not even written by Jesus’ disciples. The Gospel of Jesus has been corrupted and the Gospel of Paul is flourishing instead.

What is the significance for our faith and for our religious life, the fact that the Gospel of Paul is different from the Gospel of Jesus?  The attitude which Paul himself takes up towards the Gospel of Jesus is that he does not repeat it in the words of Jesus, and does not appeal to its authority.... The fateful thing is that the Greek, the Catholic, and the Protestant theologies all contain the Gospel of Paul in a form which does not continue the Gospel of Jesus, but displaces it." (Albert Schweitzer, The Quest for the Historical Jesus)