Instead of writing a full-scale biography of Jesus of Nazareth, I want to focus on some aspects of the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth that are commonly overlooked by most Christians. Any attempt to reconstruct the historical Jesus (as distinct from the incarnate deity of ecclesiastical faith) needs to take into account all the recoverable data about Jesus, much of which has been ignored by many Christians because of its’ embarrassment to Christian orthodoxy. Jesus’ reported sayings in the Gospels are frequently subjected to tortuous exegesis by fundamentalist Christians to make them fit later church tradition. Paradoxically, the data has been critically examined by none other than Christian scholars themselves.
Christianity is based on the mystery religions of the ancient world. The doctrines of the “Trinity” and “incarnation” were borrowed from the pagans. In fact, the whole religion was fabricated after the departure of Jesus. The legendary stories of ‘man-god’ saviors dying for the sins of their people (and rising three days later) were commonly propagated. The Christianity that we know today simply plagiarized the stories and foisted them upon Jesus (P).
Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jauziyyah was a prominent Muslim jurist during Islam’s Golden Age. Apart from his jurisdistic prowess, he was also competent in composing qasidah (Arabic poetry). Among his more famous works was the qasidah entitled A’obbad al-Maseeh Fi Naqd al-Nasraniyyah (O Christ-Worshippers! A Poem Refuting Christianity). This qasidah is well-known in the Muslim world and has even been turned into a song. The following is the English translation of the poetry which is immediately accompanied by the Arabic original.
How can Jesus son Mary, be a sign of the Hour (Doomsday)? It cannot be except with his descent being in the last stage and period. His descent would then be a great sign and one of the major portents of the Hour – a sign that announces the closeness of its occurrence. This is how the verse has commonly been explained by the scholars of tafsir (exegesis of the Quran). Amongst them are Mujahid, Suddee, Qatada, Hasan al-Basri, Dahhaak and Ibn Zayd. It is also the saying of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him). They all have stated this explicitly, that Jesus son of Mary is one of the signs of the Hour in the sense that he will descend and rule the earth and dwell therein for forty years, as is mentioned in the authentic hadith, that will be mentioned shortly. And his descent will be one of the great signs of Allah and one of the supreme portents of the Hour.
The following is a synopsis of Tarif Khalidi’s book entitled: “The Muslim Jesus”, which might lead people to learn more about Islam. Tarif Khalidi is Sir Thomas Adams’ Professor of Arabic, Director of the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Here is a cross-section of book reviews from a variety of sources.
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, argue that a pacifistic Jesus was very unlikely. As the authors point out, Qumranian phrases flowed from his lips, sometimes word for word. Traditionally, scholars concede that at least some Zealots made up Jesus inner circle. The Bible itself reveals him acting in a Zealot-like way, driving the money changers out of the Temple. He states in the gospels: “I am come not to bring peace, but a sword”. In the same vein, when a cohort of Roman soldiers comes for him in Gethsemane, Peter raises his sword against them, hardly the act of a meek Christian. As revealing is the number of soldiers in a Roman cohort, six hundred. Why send six hundred soldiers except in anticipation of armed resistance? And crucifixion, remember, was the method of execution for rebels, not rabbis. These biblical events, in conflict with Christian tradition, do not conflict with the Qumran context. On the contrary, they fit.