WHAT I~

CH--··Q··· ········!_~·.·············T·IAN-.·····-···'··· --c' ,,!'TY rv ' 9·.'········

-_ --_ .' I . "._ '_ _._ c-' '

I .'.' . I '._' . .',

__ . "I .. ' c' '_"'~.' .' ,,' .' . , '_ __ .'

www.Ahle:haq.Com

By Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Translated By Muhruul]],ad Sho,aibOluar

:r ~(~J1.1J;)O~J~I.!I~'l idara I'D, 'A R· A' IrS'HA",ft'T.E·.D-I'N'IVA' I' ("p'. )·.I"'D

_ •• ".- .. " .. ' ., ,1_ -_. '.! ,K, ! ,J I ,-,', . LI ',.

www.Ah1ehaq.Com

What is Christianity'?

By.: Muhammad Taq~ U!'lmani

Edition.: 2003

ISBN: 81=7101~34lli-4·

Published by

IDARA {SIIA" AT-E-UI"NIYAT (P) L-TD. 168!2~ Jha House. Hazrat Nizamuddin New Delhi.", 1 10 013 (India)

ra. 2692683"2, 216926833~ 24355786 F;8!X: +91=1 r-26322737 & 2435:2186 Email: sa.les@idara.com.

Visit u.s at: 'wlvwJdar,a.com

Ihiis, work constituted adetaUed lntroductlon to the we,jIf known treotse on 'Christiolnlty lzhorul Haqq which woswrttten bv Moulono R,aihmatuUah Ko'rrana'wli li',n Ara .. biie ond e,drte'd and tronsloted by me into Urdu" During the IC'OU:fse of my 'work (of trans~altiing end ed,fting), tl studied the Chris.t~an re'llllilgi'o,n in itsori"g,ii,no'l sources" Ihe conclusions of rnv studv consntuted t.he sold introduction whi'ch was loter pUlbUs,he,d seporctelv under the title nWh,ot is ChriistialnitY"~'.

Th' - - k h b - -- - t - I -t d t" - A--- b 'i ., d- Ih-

" - ,:IS WQ,rl ,Ias,=een' -r,ans ae - In- -0' - r,o'_'I'C, t a:n' --_ lias

met wiith wide ccceptonce. For somefirne. the needl wos felt for an EngUsh trcnslonon. end my I~earn!e,d' brother Muhammad Sholo Orner undertook the, tosk

II have reod the text. ond have touno thaf 'the tronslotlcn refll,ects the olbliUty and competence of the tronslotor. He has exercised oue core and shown diU ... 'Qlenc6'. Ma'y Allo'h gi've him the best re,ward and grlont him, towflq to undertoke slmUar ocodernlc works.

I sincerely hope thclt thiiS work wi I1I1' ossst the, Engllish reoder to properlv understond Chri,stiiQlnity.

MIUHIAMMAD TAQI US,M',ANII Durban ~ .. 13 Apriil 1987~

The Author is:

- -

• Author of a number of outstanding works on Islamic La'w and lslarn g,ener

• ,J1udge of: the Shanat Appellate Bench IOf the Supreme Court iQf Pakistan

• Me'miber of 'the tstarnic Fiqaih Acadie'my (Jeddan), a, blody ccnslstinq of lead MusHlml ,Jurist.s Irepresenting Musllim S'ta,tes;:

• P'~'O'fesslor ,oif Hadffh and Vic:e·Rect:or' of 'the lslamic h1stituteJ,

Da ru l-U loom, Karac:h.,

• D'isti n,guished in the ,a,PP'II,ica'ti,on ,o,f !I slam ic Law '~~O ne'w

sltuatlons and problem

• R,eliig'ious adviser 1:0 various II,sII18,mic banks and interested

b,ad,jies,.

PART I

The Do,ctrinesof Chrhs't'ianity

D:efi n iiti on ot Ch rii_Iii,an i,ty ~~ •• ,'. ~, •• ". ~~ •• 'to"' .'iO ." , •• ,. .. ~ .... ~ ""u ''''''''''" .,~ ~,. ~ .,i " "" ",9

The Goncep~ii,o'f1 of God ill Chris1ianity .. , "', .. ,,., ,., , 10

The Doctrine of Trinirty •... , .. ,. , .. , , , ,'.' ' " " " .. , ' ,. 10

LJ!n i~y' lin Tlh ree ' ' ' , .. ' , .. ' , .. , , .. " " .. , , '. "'.'. '.' " .. , , .. '.' .. ' .. 111

Holly Sp'~jrm~, ' ' " ' ' '.' .. ", .. ' ' .e. •• , " •• " ••• ' •• ' •••••• ,' ." , •• 14

The Unity of Three and One" ,,,.,,. ~"' ,' .. ,.' , .. , ,', '.' ,' 14

Proo~ of Trinity by' Im:eanlS of the ,example of the mind .. , " .. , ' .. 19

S'e,co:nd Examp'le ' .. ' "., .. " ' ' ' .. ' .. ' ,' .,',.,". " .. " .. ,. 0,'.',',., ", ' ••• ' •• " 22

The 'Chr'isUan 'Teachingl Relating tD ,Jesu,s Christ ... ~u" ~~.'u25,

lncamatloa ' " '., ' ,' ,,,, .. ,.,,' ,,,,.,. " , , .. , .. 25,

Tho sa wh 0 IDe fly the DiiV'i In i~y of Christ ' '.' ' " . " .. " .. "'" ,28

P,a,u Uc~a,nl Sect ' .. , .. ' .. ' .. ' '.' .. ' .. '.' .. ' , ...• "" ." ' .. ' .. ' . ' .. ' ' .. ~ .. ' ' .. " 30

Th,e Nestorlan S,ect '" .. ' .. ' ' ' ", .. ' .. ,".' .....•••. ' ••.•. ,'" .. ,' ., .. ,.'.' ••.. '.'. ,30

JI,a,C'O,bli'te Chlu rich ' ..... " ,.,.,,' .", .. " ' .. ' ' " ',. " '. , " ,' .' , .. ,', .. ",. ,31

The Final Ill1iterpretaUor1 " ., , ' ' , , , " ,',,', 32

Th e' C ruu:::: iIH)(jo III " " .. ,,' , .. , , , •• ' .• ' •••••• ' •• ' .• ' .•• ' .• ' .. , .•. "' .' ••. ' ••. '. '. ' •• 33

T'h,e Hoi Y Cross, ,""'".,, .,,' , .. " . ,,, .. ,' ' . " " '.' ' .. '.' .. ' .. ' ' ' ' .. ' ' '.,.'. '.' ,34

A~es u rrscno n , ' '., ' .. ,' .. ' , .. ,' '.' ' .. '.'. '. '.' .. , , ." .. " .. ' •.. " '. ' .. 34,

B,aptis,m ' .. " ' ' ' .. " " " .. " '. '. ' ' ' ' ' '.' ' " '.' .. '.'. 46

Passove r .', .. ' .. , ." .. , ,,' .. ,' ., ' .. , "' "" ,', , .,' '., " ' .. ' ,. 48

PART II

A Resume olf the History of Chrisl.ianity

History !of the Ilsra:eUtes: ,AnOvervio'w , .. n ",.,"~"In, .. " ...... u" •• ~,,, .. ~ ...... ,",,,,,,53

RestJ'm@ of ~ns~ory of Christianmty ,.", ,' " " 56

A,gle 0,1 Persecution '" ", '.'.'.' ' , .. , ." ' , .. ",,57

Consta,nt:i,ne the Great ... ' .... " ..... ' ..... ' ..... ' .. ' ... ' ..... ~ ..... , .. , ........•.. ,'" .. '" ....•.•. 57

F rOlml Con:stant'j ne to G relQIO ry " ' " . " '. " ," , ' .. , .. , .. ~ " 58

The IDar,k Ages iii I ii iiI! !"'!lill! iI "Iii ~o! l'I'!I'llillilil"oIi i". !!II!' !II , lillilili 11 Ii iii Ii ii',"!! ''''!II. "iii Ii liil!! 41!!l+ !~!!to: " •• 'liII •• """!! !I 111'1'."'. ,59

'T'h' M· .... · .... ·- A- .. ., '60

- ,e ,lllluUI'e ~ _ges iii •• !l'1I.1".liilll.'L!'1'!I!I'I'.·lilitii .,i I!O .'II!! It! ill,. iii .. iii. tiil!!'~! II! I' I It!' !llitlli,i iii'!, '!III! '!' ~ '!I, it! I iii iiI,i .,. I' ;[i'"" ~ I. iii. I ,'_1,_.

T,he Gre,~t ,S'chiism , 01. •• ' •• '. ""." " •••••• , ••• , ••••• " .' ••••••••• ,', •••• " •••••• " ., •• 60

Religi'ous Wars II ill iii 1" •• til II''!! "",II.'ii 1Ir!!!'!! .. ~ 1111 ill i ...... !'.!·II !.~ Ef! iI iIi,i Ii i L. II' ~ 11111 iI,,. ilioli I, .... , •• ' •• '!! '!! t~ iI iii Ii] .... II! ""I iI'li iii ,61,2

Co' rru Pit jon of Papacy " , .. '., " ' "', ' .. ' .. , , 62

Attempts j:n thl,e Niame o.f ,Reform , ,.' " " " ,,,' ._." .. 63

En3 o,f Refolrm ,and P'rotestanUsm , " , ,., .. , ,,, .. , 164

Re,n ais·sa.n eel !!'!I' "'.'Iitti iii j"."!'''!!I''1! 11111111111. !!'_.''''i!I"t llI'li iii j .. _'!! "'I II 'Ii ,It i iii Ii iii!! 'I!! II II 'I! I' I ill" ., ••• "'!!t!. iii II iI., ;'111 •• ~"I! It! i,;; 64

The ,Era IQ,f' Modlelrnis,m .. ' " .• ' ' .. "", ' .. , .. ".,., .. ' .. ', , .. " .. ,.,', •. " " 65

M,Qlv'ement of Reviiv'slilsm ., , ' , , , " .. , ,,66,

PAR,IT 111111

The iReall1 Founder of Chr,is,t,ianit,y

Who lis th'e Founder of Christila~nity" hu •• ' •• , ' ••• ""' •• , ".~.' •• 'n 69

lntroouction to piau I .....•... "" " , .. ," .,' .'.'.,., .. ,,' ." .. ' '." " ' .. " 69'

Jesus and Paull ,.' .. ,.,., " .•... , , , ,,"", " , " 11

Trinity and-lncarnatlon ." ," , , ' "' 1,2

Th e Disc i p~es I Vitew of JI,es us .. ,. " •.. ' " . , , " " 76

The Status of Gospe~ of J·oh'nt ..•. " " , .....•. 781

'C:onclulsiilons , ~ "'., ' .. ' , .. " " ', " " ". ,,,. "' 85

'The, Doctrine, of Redemption .. , , "., 87

The Order ~o Act on the Torah .. "" .. " " " 91

last Suppe-r '_ " i' ••• " ••• " " " " ••••••••• "., •• 93

The Order of Circumcis,ion ' , ', , 9'8

H·,.,· -, I IE' 'AI' , .. '9' 4

JSIOII"IC,a~ .VhJl,8.nce " , .•. , ••.. " .' •. ' .• ,' .' "" .•.•. , , .•..... " ..•• ' " ' ...•... \ '

Journey to Atabia ., .. , ' .. ' .. "., .. , , .. ,. or ",., •• , ••••• ", " ,,, •• , 94

The' Conduct of the Dis;ciple's, towards Pau~ " "." ,9'7

Palu,1 and Barnabas '.'.". II. ", •• , " ••• ' •• '. " •• " •• , •• ' •••• , , •• " •• " ." '" •••• "' •• , ••• 97'

ICO'U neil o,~' Jelrusa I ern .. ' •• , , "" "" ., '" •. ' .. '" ." ., .. , ,. ",,, .. " , .. 1: 0'2

Tlhle Letter' Nalm,ed Gallat~ants ." .• , " ,,, ,, , , 1107

,Con,c~u,s,i:ons iii ••• ' •• '.!!!''lI! !!II! I! I ill" iii i,i.'! !I'll ee ee ee '!".'!!!! !l!11111,li Lilli •• ""'IIi1'!Ii j,lIi i.,II! !'~!.! if,i'" ~"""'! ~!I!tlii ii •• 1110

After Separatilon ' .. , '.' ' .. " , " " , .. " " .. ,.,. 112

Glos·pe,1 ,to,! 8a rnabs .. "" ".' .. ' .. , i ' •• " .',' • , •• '" "' •• , •••• , •• '" • " ••••• , • "' ' •• " •• 11 ,2

Paul and Peter ,ilil,i"",!,!1''1 !I"I"',Il., .. j"'i!! 1I1.'lllil liii", ." • ., .. 1111'11 !'lil liili ."!'!!I!iIi i_Ii .'.'~ !'I" it' 1,1i., •• , ••• '" !I !I iI' , 113

Letters 0_ Peter I •• , ........ "'!iiI ... 11111,,1 iI '!!o~ I"l !II". Ii III i Iii, ii 'I! !'I!!I'II';t;'!II i'iiIJ,i M .. ~ .,'11.11111,11 I, Ii i .. "'!!! !I"! ill. i!; i,. ., •• ,! ... lIlii i 1151

James and P'a-' uII 1'17

I .' _ I' _.- I, II. _1- '.- illoii!I'!!!!'!!II.'.fl .. Liliiti1ii"l!!!".l~ •• II'lilili~'iil •• ' •• )".'lIjililii'l1i,,'i.!!I!~!II.lIillijij'.!"!!~"I!'iliifli"'.". ~"I!III .:

O'thlef Disc:ilples " ' " ...••. ' .. ' ....•. ;, , " •..•...•..... '. ", , .. ' .. '1' 19

'OiPiP0rllen;ts, of P a IJ I; ., .. ,~ .. " ' .........•••. '" .' .. ,. "" ." ., ' .....•. , ' ' 12"1

What is Christianity

T'H,E DOCTRIN:ES OF CHRISTIA,NITY'

www.Ahlehaq.Com

Whal is Christianity

CH.AIPTER 1

The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines Chnstiarntyas

follows:

"The 'ReHI'gionth,at traces its origin to J,9SUS of !Nlazarethj whom lit attirms to be the chosen one (Christ) oW God".

This definitton of Chnstiantty is very brief. Alfreo A.

Garvie has amplified this definrtion. tn the arttcle -on Christian~ty ~n the IEn.cycllopa,sdlia. Of Religion and Ethics" he writes as follows:

"We may defilne Christianity as the ethical, historical. universal. monotheistic, mdempt~ve reillig,ion. in which the relation of God and man is mediated by the pension and workot the LordJesus Christ".

He· thereafter explains, each part of the detinttcn in detail.

Accordinq him 'Ethical" reli'g:ion means that n~~igiion. which prayers and offerings are not made to obtain earthly boons (such as food I health, safely" etc.) but, alcove aU, its sole object is to atta in spl ritual perfection and the pleasure ot God,

By "Historicat" refig,ionl he means that rei.igilion ~n which the pivot of thought and action is csamered in a historical personal ity -- that rns I Jesus (lsa r)L.JI ~ ). I t is his word and actthat has finali authority in Christianity,

"Universal" ]n hiig view means that Chrisfiamty is not confined to specific race or nation- .. but that its rnessaqe is. universal.

What is Chrtstianlty

110

He def'jnes Gl1rjs,t~anay as "Monotheistic" because in spite of its belief in three P'E3!rSOnS, Glod is said to be, one'. He writes:

I' Allhough h"l popular beli'e,f and speech ~he Christian Doctrine of the Trinity or IPrefe,~ably b'lil-unity. has etten come pe-rl~ilo'us~y near Trlthelsm yet Chlflistianfty is es.s'entially munothelstic, malntaminq the Unf,ty of God as a cardinal Doctrine".

The fina~1 feature of Christianity lin the above definition ls said to he, its beliet ~n redemption, lin ,e.xp~laining this, part of the de·finition, Garvie 1 writes:

"The followship betwee'n God and man is admliW;3d to be interrupted by sin. and m.~n must. be redeemed to be' restored to this feUoW'.s.h~p. In thls redemption, Ch rlst atone is ~he mediator",

This- Is a brief dennition of Christianity .. ~n r,ealli~Y1 however, the correct understanding of a re~i,glion cannot be obtained IUnlless one properly understands tts cardinal doctrines, We shall, accorotngly, explain each of these doctrines separately and in deta.iill.

The Co,n1ception o,f God in C'hriistianity

In so far as the nature of God lis concerned, Chnlsmialni1ty does not differ hll this regard rrornoiher re~lig~ons.. lt also ascribes to God substantially the, same artrfbutes as does other re,Hlgions" Maurice Helto-1I'l 2 writes:

"The Cnristlan conceives 0" God as a li.vili!g baling possessed of all possible pedecdons,. orattr,ibutes. He: is one capable 0'" t)eingl apPlrehendl,ed though not comprehended, by ~he fi'nile human mind. A full and exact anal'ysis, thef'Edore. of hli:s essence is beyond the power of our linl.e~I,ligencle. \Vhat he lis in hims,ei', is unknown, save 50 far as his ownl selt-disclosure has revealed it, genera.!llly· ln his re1lati<on to mankind, ,and speci'fi,c.a~ly\ lin: his r<l3!velati,on o~ himself in the person o.f our lord and Sa'V~ol!llr J,eslilis Chr,ist'"

The IDoctri ne of Tr:iln'ity

Untill this pOIint, the matter is, clear. Further on, however,

1. Encyclopa.'edia of Rell!igi,on and IEthii:cs,., IP" 5811.

2. Re.lltol1. p.3.

What is Christianity

1 1

'the Chrisnan explanation of the conception of God is extremely ambiguous and difficult to understand. Ev,en the layman knows that God according to Christianity is composed of three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This doctrine 'Of God ls known as the doctrine' of Trinity. lin elucidating' and tnterpreting this doctrine, however, 'the views of the Ch ristiian scholars themselves are so divided and contradictory that it is extremely Idiffi,cuH to arrive with certainty at one conclusion. Who are the three Persons whose unity, accordlnq to Christians, ~s 'God? There ls itselt a dilHerenos of opinion in their ldentiticatlon. Some say that God is the totality of the Father" Son and Holy Spiri,t 3" Others. are of the view that the Father I Son and V~ rgilnM:ary (Maryam) are the thr,ee Persons whose unity represents God. Then, what is the indivldual status ot each of these three Persons, and what is their relationship to the 'whole God which is reterred to as Trinilty? II:n answer to this question also, there are great: differences 'Of opinion. One group is of tlhe opinion that each of the thr,ee person is God just as the whole is God. Another 'group is. ot the view that each of the threeseparately is God, but when compared to the whole leach has a lesser status and the word "God' has been used for each in a sliqhtlywider sense 4, The third 'group lis of the opinion that each of the three is not God, but thft! God is onlly the whole (trinity).

Uniity in Three

tn any event there are linn urnerable differences of opinion wUh the result that the doctrine of Trinity has become a "niqhtrnare". 'We shall present that lnterpretation and explanation of this doctrine which appea rs to be 'generailly accepted by Christians. In the word of the Encyclopaedia IBritarmiG8! the interpretation is as follows:

"The Christiian doctrine of Ule Trinity can be best

~. This \ iew represents tit. bchcf of the m:1jorily of Christians . see r:nc,~ ~'lnpLlL:lIi;l Britannica. article entitled Trinity. vul. 22.. r, 4R7.

-4" Aquim1s.,\'\.11. I. p . .3~7.

12

expressed in the words: The F,a~her i:s God; the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, and yet they are not three Gods. but one God ... for Ilik,e' as we are cornce 1IIIed by the Christian unttyto acknowledqe 'every Pierson by hirnselt to be God arid lord. so 'W·e are forbidden by the Catho~~c: relligion to say that there

are three Gods or three Lords .. 11 -

~n explaininq th is, the wisH known theoloqian and philosopher of the .3rd Century (A ... D}, Saint Augustme writes in hls famous book On 'The Trinity as follllows:

"All those Cathcl,icexpounders of the Divine Scriptures. bath old and new, whom II have been able to read, who have wr'i,nen before me. conce·m~ng the· Trinity, who is God, have purposed to teach, ,according to. Ul,e Scriptures, this Doctrine, that the Fatner, and the Son and the Holy Spirit intimate a divine unity of one and the' same substance in an indivilsli'b~i'e equality: and thereifore 1:ha:~ ths'y are not three' Gods, but one God: although the father hath be·goUen the Son, and so he who is ,he F,alher ils not the son; and the Son is begoUer: by the F,aU'Ielr, and so he who is the' 80n is not the Father, and the Holy S,pi,rit is neither thle Father nor the Son, but only the Spirit of the Father and the Son, hirnselt alsc co-equal with the Father and the Son and pertaining to, the unity of the Trinity. Yet. not that 'this Trinity was born of the vkgin lMa.ry, ano cruci;fi:ed under Pontius Piil,ah3, and burj,ed,and rose again the third day. and ascended intoheaven, but 'only 'the son. Nor, again, that this Trinity descended ~In ~he form of a dove upon Jesus when he was bapnzed; nor that, on the 5 day of oi Pentecost, alter the ascension of the Lord" when 'Tbere came a sound trorn heaven ,as. o~ a rushi'og wind 'the same Trinity 'Sat upon each of them wliith cloven tongues Ilike as of fire 'But onlly the HOllly Spir~~. Nor ye,1 that: this Tritnuty saildi from heaven, 'Thou art my Son '6;, 'Whether when he' was baptized by John, or when the three DJscip~e.s were wlth him in the mount, or when the voice sounded, sayi;ng. 'j have both glori~iedl it, and willi glorH'y it ag:ain;' but that it was a word of the Father on'~y" spoken to the son; alUlO'ug,h the Father, and the SQn and the Holy Spirit, as they are indIvisible, so w,ork indivi:sib11Iy. This is a'80 my

t a i~h ~ 51 nee it !i s theca 1holic 'fait h." 1 -

What is the basis of perrnissibtlttv in the eyes of

1. MATT. III. P. 16.

7,. ,AUGrUST!INE. VOL. 2, P. 67,2.

Whar is Chris tianity

13

CI~uisbansfar re'garding three as one~ and one as three? Before deaHng wit hi the answer to this question, we' must understandthe meaning of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit ln ChuhUianity.

IF'ather'

The [m,eaning ot tatheraccordino to Christians is the substance of God alone wtthout any reference 10 attnbutes o.f speech and. me,. This essence in relation to the existence of the Son enj[oys the status of the principle. Accordinq to the interpretation o~ the we~~! known Christian philosopher 81. Thomas Aquinas., the, meanrnq of mather is not that he has begoUen anybody, or such a time has passeo in which th,ef€ was the w,ather and not the son, but that this ts divine 'terminology --whose purpose is simply that the father is the, principle O'f the son just as the substance :~8 the principle of the attribute. Otherwise, since the time the father was in existence, the son VIlas also in existence, and neither of them enioys any pr'iorii'ty iin time over the other ,a,

Why is fhe essence of G,ad reference to as the tathe r?

lin answer~nlg this question, .A~fr,ed A .. 'Garvie, 9 wlri'tes that:

'1i[lln relation to man, God I!S father by which is meant

not mere~y man's creah.:u·e'~y 'd'ependEHlc€J' OIf1l 'God, or lP,e:rson,al'SJ.ffinity to God, but Gcd's Ioveto man, and

his purpose to bring rnanlnto f'e!Wllowsh~p of love with t11~m~~'lf'll .

S,an

The meaninq ot "son" according to Chr~stlanity [is the word ot God. This is however not s~'mmllar to the word of human be',ingls,. I~n di'SUinguislhing! bemw€€n the word of IGod and the wOird of man, A:quinas 10 writes:

"In nurnen nature the wOlrd ls not somethlnq subsistent, and hence ~t is not properly called Ib'ENJoUen or' son. But the divine word is. som'ethi~I1'g subsistent [n the divlne natu re;arlld hence he :i,s [properly and not met,aphodcall.~y caHed son, ano his

prin_ciip'lle ls (:alredF8it her". .

8, AQjui nas, vol, 1. p. 324.

9, Encyclopaedia of [Re~i'giotn 8.ncl. Ethics, p. 5'96. 10, Aquinas, vol, 1, IJ. 3~26 ..

What is Chrisrlanity

14

Accoromo to' Cnrisfian belief, the know'~edge of G,od to what ever extent ~s obtaineo through this attribute. and aU thingls are created by means of this attribute. This attnoute like the father ls etemal and an dent 11 .. It was this attribute of God which became incarnate' lin the person of .Jesus Ghrist because of which he W'8S retarred to as the son of God. The' doctrine of incarnation enjoys a. specific status and we· shall therefore deall wi~h i~ in detail later. (tnsn« A Na'h)"

Holy SpirU

The' meaninq of the Holy Sp~rit the attributes of life and j10ve of' the father and son. That is to say! the' essence of God (father) loves by means of these attributes its attribute of knowledge (son), and the· son lik.s,wise loves the fat her. These a ttributes, tike the' attribute of Word!, exist in substance, and ere eternal and everlastling as the father and son. For th~s reason, the Holy Spirit enjoys the status ol a sepa rate person"

According to Christian beU,e,flths'se attributes (Hofy Spirit) descended on Jesus in the form of a dove when he was baptized (Matthew: 3,:16),. Thereafter, when Jesus was raised to heaven, this very Holy Spirit descended lin the form of tongues as of fir,e on the disciples of Jesus on the day of P'entecost.

In short, therefore "Tri-Unity" means that God comprises of three persons: the essence of G·od referred to as the fa.tl1er; the attribute of the word of 'God' referred to as the son; and the attributes of hle and love of God referred to as the HOlly Spirit. Of these three, each one is God. However, the three toqsther are not thr,ee Gods but only one God.

·The Untity ,o,f Th ree and One

The question arises here. How can God remain one when the father, the son and the Holy Spirit are each beUev8ld' to. be God? They must necessarily be, three ..

1 1. Augustine. vel: 2, p. 168_

What is Christianity

1 5

This question has since the beginn'in9i ot Christianity unW the present day been a r'iidd:le. GnSl,at Chriistian think,srs have attempted to saliva the riddle in dlUerent forms, and w,ays,. There arose on this basis numerous sects. lin truth, nowever, no raUona.lUy acceptable answer to the question was offered. Prof,essor Maurice R,sl,ton in his excellent work "Studies ~n Chri,sHan Doctrine" has in a stimulatinq discussion dealt with the solutions ottered by various sects, more specificailly at the end of the second century and the beg'inningl of the third century of the Christlan era.

When the Ebionite sect emerqed to sol,ve this problem, they took up the cudqels at. the f~rst step - the'y stated that, in 'beUeving J'9SUS Chliis,! C~Sar:JLJ11 ~ ) to be God, th,ey coutd not preserve the, belief iin the, ur"i~y of God. Accordllnglly" it must be said that he was not completelyand f~Uy 'God. He could be regar,ded as the resemblance ol God, or ~he image of Godlls character, However, ~t could not be said that in essenceand substance he! 'was God as the father was ..

This sect in attempting to, resolve the issue struck at the basis and foundation o,f Christianity. for that reason, the' Church openlv opposed it and declared iiI'S adherents innovators and heretics. ~n !he result, this solution to the problem W'9S not worthy of acceptance.

A qroup om Eblonites themselves emerqso and asserted that the dilvinity of Ohrist C~sa, 'r~11 ~ ) must not be so openly denie'd·- he must be believed 10 be God" But in order to avoid! the slander of polytheism" it must be said that in essence, the father onliy was God. HQw·eV'er,~ the doctrine of trilnit.y was also correct because the fa~her had conferred divine status on the, son and the Holy Spiriit

'This theory also 'was opposed to the doctrinal p rinciples of the Church because the Church believed the son to be of one substance or essence as that of' the father. Henes, this sect was also declared heretic and the matter remained unresolved as, before.

What is Christianity

16

A third sect known as: Pa,trilpaSslianis,m sprung up. lts foremost proponents were Praxeas lNoetus, Z,ephyrinus and Oalllstus. They pr,ese,nt,ed a In'9W phflosophy !In order to resolve the problem, They asserted that thq;fathe'li and son w'e,r,e' not separate and distinct persons I but were, modles or marutestanone of one person 10 whom separate names were given. In reality, G'od was the father. He iln ra~aUon to his essence is, eternal and imrnortat, IHe is lmperceptiole to Mar" and not subjec.t to human needs and wants" In vi,ew of the fact, however, 'that he lis God, and nobody can stop God's winJ it foUows that he may at any 'Um'9 by hi'S wm ,as, .. sume 'the hUim,an character and be su\~~ect. to human wants and needs. And" ~f he wms1 he ma'y' be vlis,ibfe ~Q people by mani'festing! hi1mself as Man. To the, extent that, if he, wliUs at any time; he ma.y die' be,fore people. Consequ,enNy" an one occasion God wiUed that he apear in the form of Man. Ac .. , cordjngly. he appeared bod~~y in the world as JISSUS Chr,ist l('I'sa A}L.JI ~ } and became visible to men. The Jews

11 :III ~ •

brought untotd hardships, on him to the extent that they cru-

cified him one day. Hence, Jesus Ctmis't orme son, is not in reallty a separate person I but he' ~s, thefathe'f who in as .. surnlnq human form caned himl,seU the' S,OtO 1'2.

It is clear that' a.lthough on the one hand ~hiiS philosophy to a degree solved the problem ,of liThe Unity of Three and One", I't, raised on the' other hand- a number ot unsollvable' problems. Moreover; this sect dild not assist the teachings ot the Church whilCh decreed the father and son to be distlnct and s,ep'Ejrate persons. Accor,drn'glIy I the S'B'C,t was reJect.ed and deciareo heretic. And the problem sti'U r,B,mained unsolved,

Theria were 'Other attempts on the part of the heretil.cal sects to solve this problem. But, a.1I ot these were not worthy of acceptance becaus,ethey ~n some way lor tne other violated the accepted pr~nclipfes and teachings of the Church.

The, question IS: how did 'the' Rom,an Cathotlic Church

1,2_ ReUon., p. 6:1.

What is Christianity

17

itself solve this problem? Our research reveals that the majority of Roman Catholic theoloqians have openly refused to solve this riddle, and have asserted that "Three in One and OnE)! in ThreIH"i is a mystery wh ieh w,e are unable to understand. Some theologians have attempted to present a rational interpretation to 'the dloctrline of trinity 13 lin reqard to lndian priests who propagated Christianity for the duration of the orevious csntu ry in the I ndo- Pak continent - B appears. after considering tneir arguments that bY' virtue of: their distance trorn the seat of Christianity l they coutd not fully understand the detailed jeachinps om Christianity. We shall grve only one example to show the extent of their understanding of Christianity. Reverend u Quaim,uddin" wrote a small booklet known as II Teksbitut Testis" in order to explain the doctrine of trinlty, The booklet

.was published in Lahore Pakistan in '1'9'72. I n giving an

example of the doctrine of tr~nUy I he writes therein:

If the co mposltion of the hu man body is reflected on, then also it is made up of its own species. that is. material parts ~ who$,e united form could be viewed from a rnateriat Ievel. for example, the bone. fle'sh and blood - by reason of their interqration, the human body remains in existence, Ilif one of the three is, missing, the completion of the structure of the human body cannot be conceiven" .

" Th'9 reverenc has rn the above statement attempted to establish that just as the existence of man is composed o'f three parts ,_ flesh. bone and blood, the existence Qf God is similarly (May God Iorbidl) composed of three persons. It is clear that the Heverend understands that the "th ree persons" 'in Christianity means three parts .. And just as

13. Some Indian theQ~ogiar'ls assert that the doctrine of tlrinity lis part oW the Mutasha.bihat and Mluqattaat of UU:l Qur'an, This is a rniseoncepncrr. Firstly. because t re Mutashabiil1,at are verses whose comprehension are lint necessary' 'lor an understanding of the cardinal principles, or for actinQ' 01(1 any precept, order, command or prohibition. All of this is crystal clear. As opposed to this, Um doctrine' of triinity is cardinal and fundamental to salvation. To treat it as pad of M'utashaoillat means Ilhal we are ohliged to lJe!ie'vtl, in sornefhinq which is beyond the dictates of reason" Secondly. because Christians say that the apparent meantnq of th,e d'octr~ne is intended. although they do not have Ul.@' supporunp proof, Whereas, the Mutash'atJihat. whi,ls~ not comprenenslble, are stili 11I0t contrary to reasr.;lnI, (summary - transtator).

VoV]:i'at is Christianity

18

each thing which comprises ot parts is in totality one; this, essence of ,God despite be,ilng composed of three persons is in like mariner one. Wh ereas I Cnristiarnty does not beliieve the three persons to be th rf:le parts. IOn the contrary" it decrees them to be three distinct and separate persons eacn having separate substance and existence, For this reason, it has Illeft out the word "Parts" for tne father, son and hoilly spirit and has chosen the word "Person", The existence of man is undoubtedly composed of nash; bone anc blood. However, nobody refers to only flesh, or only to bone! as man, but reters to them as part ot man, As opposed to this, Christianlty declares each of the father, the son and th,e Holy Spirn God" Bind does not believe in each as a part of God 14,

The purpose of presentinq this example was ordy to show tl .at mdlan priests in seeklnq to prove trinlty by means of rational arguments are themselves obvious of the detalled teachinqs 01 their reliqion. According~y; we shall disreg',aJd their arguments in thiswork, and shall discuss and analyse the views of early Chtistiantheoloqlans and 'thinkers h']l this regard_ As far as our research re'veals" the most cornprehensive and detailed treatise written on this subject is [that by the w'81J11 known theoloqlan and phdosopher of' the 3rd Century" Saint Auqustlne. Later scholars have drawn heavily on iMIS ~)vorik. The Eng~ish translation of his work was rendered by A,'VV. Haddan and was published under the t,~Ue, "On The T,riniity"II. It forms part of those writings of SL Auqustine which have been collected and published in New York lin 1"948 under the- HUe ""BasiicW'ri"tings of St Augustine',rl'

A larps part of 'this work is devoted to scriptural dlscussion. Towardsthe end, however, Auqustine has" In endeavouring to prove. "The Unity of Three and Oneil vj,8'W reason adduced certain examples. We shall present a synopsis ot these examples below,

14. If Chrisn -; 11iy t·,elieved in the lilree as pans 01 Gud. then the explanation ofif'iered by HC"\I'~i€nd "Oairnuddin" wouW b~ correct The fact 'Ih~~ th,e ib€!lie~ in Gad as comprislr,~ oi paris is contrary to reason and the pnnciple of et erni y. according to other proofs, is a separate i , "If'

What is Christiani ty

11 9

Pro,of (lif Tlriniity by means of ~heExa.imple of the M,ilnd

The, first example presented by AUlg,ustine is, that the mind ot Manl is a means 011 instrument of know,ledge. Generally, the knower, the tlh~;ng known and the instrument of k.nowl'edg,9' are three separate' things. Ilf one has the knowledge 0]: mhe existence of Zaid, one is the knower, Zaid is the person or ~hing known; and one's mind is the instrument ow knowledge., To illustrate :

KNO'WER (Person who. knows) KNIO'WiN (Person who is known)' INSTRUM~ENT OF KNOWLEDGE l(iMleans byw!hich, Person is IKnolwn)

-- 'ONE,SELF

-~ ZAID

.... M~N:D

Inl addition, ansi's rnino ns,elf has knowllle',dge 0,' its existence, ln such a situation, the mlind is the knower, and lis also Ug.e:~f mhe tnstrurrent of knowledge; because the mind acquired iknowledg~ of itself throUl'Qlh ~tsEdt Thls Imay be iU ustrated as follows:

KNO'WER: {[Person or mhing who tKnowsl , " .. IMtND

KNOWN (Person or thliing who lis Known) .,. ,fvIllNiD

IINSTRUM:EN!T (Means bywhich

Person or Thi~ngl is KnO'wnl.·., , ,.,. ", .. , MIND

lt will be noted in this example that the knower, the

known and the insmrnent of know~edge, ,although ill reaiHy three separate thilngls, have become one. The knower, the' known and the Instrument om knowll,edge- each has: a separate existence. Butjiln the second example, the' three become one a, Now~ U anybody askswho is the know,er?~ the answer win be the mind .. Ilf somebody asks, who is the 'known? ~ the answer also will be the miind; and iif somebody asks, what !~s the instrument of knowlledge?" the, answer a.gain wm be the mind. 'Whereas" the m~nd iis one. The truth OT the matter is simply that the mind possesses three ql,aJilli'9S. - leach oOi the th ree qualities cOIIJI~d be referred to as the !m"indl, but one cannot on this basis say mihat the mind

What is Christianity

2'0

is thre'€ ..

Augustine says that God is .$imilar~y· an expression of three persons, Each one of ·the thlree is God; but this does not necessarily rnsan that God ~s three" but H\e is in fact. one.

ln presenting this example, Augustine has shown 'gre'at Ing1enuity. On fair retlection. however the problem-is not resolved by means of th,rs example: because the mind is in the example in fact one and ~t 50 tlr~nity is predlk~ated and not real. Whet,eas! Christianity belilleves, in Iboth the unity of God and trinity as beingl real,

This may be explained as tollows: the mind in the above example has three aspects; from one' aspects, it is, the knower t from the second aspect, the known: and from the third! the means or instrument of knowledqe. But from the viewpoint Qf external existence, the three are 011'9.

The external confirmation ot the knower ls the same' rnino which is the external confirmation of the known and the instrument of knowle'dg'E~'. 11 is not so that the m'ind that lis the knower possesses a separate existence: and! the rnmd that ls the known has another separate existence; and the mind that is the instrument of know~e'dge has a third existence .. But, the father., son and Holy Spi:rit in christianity are not merely existences. T'he external existence ot the father is separate. that of the son ~.s separate: and so is, that of the' ,H1ol'y Spirit separate. These three external existences are', 'with reqaro b) their effectl, entirety separate and di'stinct.. Augus~iine hirnself writes in the be,ginnin'g of his book:

'! Yet' not that tfllis TrlinHy was born of U18 VirgllJn Mary" and crucified under Pontius Pilate. and buried and rose again the third day, and' ascended into heaven, but. only the son, nor agalin that this Trinity descended in th e term of a. dove upon Jesus when he was baptized; "., but only the Holy Spirit not yet that tills

What is Chris tiani ty

21

Triniity sa,id from heaven iithou art my son· ... wheil1 he was baptized ... but that it: was a word ot the father , .... I"iIII~1 II '1'5

U~II , •• ,. •

lt is manitestlv clear form this statement that the' Christian beliet in the father, son and HQlly Spirl~t is not merely predicated, but ls premised on each ot the three havi:ng real, distinct and separate existence. On the other hand, the knower, known and instrument of knowledge, in the example set out above" do not each ha v,e a real and distinct existence: but; are three predicated aspects of one real existence. No inteUiige'nt person would say that the rnlnd as knower possessesa separate existence: the mind as the known possesses a second separate existence: and the rnlnd as the instrument ot know,ledge has a third separate existence: and nQitwiths~,andling' the' three are' one. whers'as the gist of the' doctrine of trinity is that the father has a distinct and separate substance: the son has another distinct and separate' substance; and the Holy Sp~rit distinc't substance; and, in spite of this, the' three are' one.

In short, the, claim of Chrisfianity is that both the unity of God and the three persons, of the trinity are real, But, in the example offered by Augustiine.! 'the' unity is real but the nurnber rs nO'~' ... it Is predicated, Hence" the real unny of: three and one, is not established by' means ot the' example, In F',egard to the large· number of attnbutes in the singl!e existence of God, there lis no controversy whatsoever .. AIII reli'g,ions, believe that God despite being' one has many ,attributes. He is most merciful; the subduelr; the knower of the uns,e'en; the' omnipotent - in this way!, Hie has many attributes 'which do not il1 the Ieast affect his, unity'. ,Accor'diinglly!, nobody says that the God whic:h is most merciful lis distlrrct and diUerent; th,s God m hat is the subduer is also distinct: and the, omnipotent God is something elise. As opposed to thls, the Christian faith asserts that the father separately jls very God; tne son is also separately very God; and' so is the HOilly Spirit a very

15, Augustine, vol, 2. p. 672.

What is Chrtstianlty

22

God. And, d'esp~t:e thisj these three are' not three god's but' one, God.

S,ec,ond Ex,ampfe

Augus.tine has .simi~alr~Y pr,esented another example. He says that the m~nd ,of every man ~oves its quallty ot knowl'e'dge; and it has kno,wl'edge' of this ~ove;' hence, it j:s lin relaUon to i'~s Kfllowledge "the lover; and in rslanon to love the knower: that is. to say:

the mind .. , ... " .. in r,efaUon to its. know~edg'e'.", , .. the Iover

the mind, "" ,,,.,' ,. in relation to, ~'t.s love ... ".,." ,"'" ", .. " ,' the knowe r.

Consequently, the're are, three things: the mind, the lover and the knower ,_ and these three tihJngs are one; because the ~over Is the m'ind,; the knower is '~he rnind; and the rnlnd i'tsle~f. Inl the 8almB' w,ay, God' has three persons: the essence of 'God (the father) l h'is ,sUribut,e of know~edge (the son), an his at tribute of l'OV'9 (the Holy Spirit). And these three' are one God.

This e.xalmp~e is aliso based on the error 'that the' Immnd is. one essence, and ·the lover and the knower are US, ~WO' attributes whilch do not have any real and separate existence of their own. ,As opposed to thls, the fa 'the! Ir accordlng 'to Christiandoctrme is, one, es,s,ence; and the attribute of the word (the son) and that of ,love (the' Holy Spir~t) are two such attribute's that possess the'ir own separate substantial existence in reamy., Henoel the unity is f'9,aJ in the example of the mind: and the situation of a predicated number is r.ationall~y possible, And~ jn the doctrine of 1rini'ty~ despite the reaUty ,of number, th,e reaUty of unity IS clalmed - and this.js rationaUy impossible.

,

U the beHe,f the' Christ~an f,aith w'en~ that God is one

essenoe and that his attr~bute,s ot word and love did not have, apart from God:!, a separate rea,I'B,xistenca" then the example w,ould be correct. lin such case I there would be' no difference of opinion on the issue betwslen tstam and Chr~s,tii.ani'ty. The problem arises when the, Chr,ist'ian faith decrees the attributes ,of 1101'19 as having separate

What is Christianity

substantial existence. It believes in each ot the three as God, and despite this, asserts that the three are not three gods. This ca.n in nOI way wih,atso"ev,er be reconciled wjth the example of the mlnd above, Because in the example the knower and tns lover do not have a separate existence from, the mind, Whereas" the son and the Holy Spirit j,n Christianity posses their QtW'1n separate existence apart from the fat her.

AugusUne made these two examples the basis of rational discussion. Both examples, however, as noted" are wronq, and do not ln tact support the' doctrine of trlnity.

*

'W' A'hI' h

<> ww eaq.Com

What is Christianity

25

CIHAP'TER 2

TH'E, CHRI,S,TIAN! TE,ACHING RELAT'INI'G 1'0 JESUS CH,RII,S,T

The 'g'ist of the Christian teachinq relating to Jesus Christ is, that the word of God {that is, the person of the, son) became incarnate ~n the' human beinq of Jesus Christ for the sake otthe w,ell!'I-being' of men. As long as Jesus Christ stayed In the world, this divine person or substance remained incarnate within hii:m. To the extent that the Jews cruclfled him whe,reupon the divine person or substance separated from his body" Then, three days after, he became alive for th,e second time and was shown to his disciples: he ,gave them advice and guidanoe whereafter he ascended to Heaven, The Jews crulicied him and thereby that sin of all Ohristians was forg!iven which was committed by Adam and had passed into their nature at birth. This doctrine has four basic parts, namely ;:

1. tNCA,RNATIOiN 2'. CIRUCIIF~XIONr

3. RIESURRECTION

4. RIEIDEIMIIPTI,OIN

W,e shall deal with each part in sulficient detail, lncarnation

The docmne o,f lncarnatlon appears first in the book of John. The author of this book refers to the beginning of Jesus Christ in tlhefollow~ng words:

"ln the bleg1inning was tthe word; and the word was with God, and fhe word was God. Hie was in the bee 'ilflnin~-

W ha l is Ch ristiani ty

,26

with God". (John 11~3)

.And further on he writes :

"And the word became flesh arid dweU' ,among USj full of grace and truth; we have beheld hi's gkm/" gl',o1Y as of the' only son from the fatherli. (John 14-15)

Wf3 have allre,ady stated '~hat the "word" ln Christia.nity refers to the person of the' son of' GQd ~ who himsel'f is God. Acoordingfy, the meaninq of the statement of John is that the word of God ~, that is, the person of the s.on - became mcarnate and appeared in the, form ot Jesus. ~n explawning this doctrme. Mauric.e Rel'ton wntes: 1'6;

IjTh'e' Catholic Doctrin€ maintains that he, who was God. without ceasing to be what he was, became man, Le. entered into the' conditlons of our Unite existence in tim,s' and spaceand dwelt ,amongst us".

According to Ohrlstians, 'the power tha~ unified the person of the son with the humanexistence of .Jesus is the Holy Spirit.. We have' stated earner that the me,aning' of thiS' Holy Spirit ,in Christianity isthe anrioute of the love of God. Hence! the meaning' of this doctr,ine is that because God loved his servants, he there'f,ore,throuigh his attribute of love sent the, person of the son to this wor~d ~ so that he may become Nl,e redeemer of the odginal sin of men,

~t must be borne I~n mind that the lncarnatlon of the son into Jesus Christ does not mean accordtnq to Christians that the son gav,e up div,in,ity and became man. But the meaninq is. that he was previously onlY' God, and now also became man. Henes, in accordance with this doctnne, Jesvs was simultaneously both man and G,od. Alfred Garvey expresses this ~n the j'oUowing words ,: 1"1

"Jesus was both Man and God at the' same time. The, deni·a,1 0" one or ba'l!h of thEHS,e' natur,es in' the one person had given rise to a number of her,eticai sects. Athanasius stfOn191,ly d'e~ended thi's theory' a~J'8Jinst' Arius:. Hence~ the accepted formula. was the uo,ity of the two natures in the one' person of Christ ".

18. Belton, p, 28.

'What Is Christianity

27

Frorn tbe human viewpoint, Jlesus was o~ lower rank than God. For this reason, he statso the followiln~r

II •• " for the Father lis 9lreater than 1'" (J'ohn l' 4::28)

And, H is in this respect that he was subject to human conditions. and needs. But, from the viewpoint of divinity, he 'was equal to God" the Father, Hence, the Gospel of

.Jcnnwrites: '

,i. ,I and the Father are one" (John , 0:30)

August~~e wri~e·s ; 18

"ln the form of God he made man; in the form eta servant, he was made mart

Mor,eover~ AUQlUs,tine writes tothis extent :'

Ii For he did! not $0 take U'we 'to rm of a servant as that he shoold lose the form .of God,! jln which he was aqual to the father, ls there anyone who cannot perceive that: he hlrnself lin the' 'form of God is also great'9r than himself, but yet like, wise in theterm of a servant less than himself?"

This question arises here. How is it posstble that one person be! both man and God: creator and created, hiqh and low? This question aliso like the doctrtne of trinity became the centre of debate and controversy over the centuries. lin answer thereto, books wers written to the extent that the foundation was laid for ,9. separate science known as Christoloqy.

in reqard to the Homan Catholic Church, U bases lts arqurnent iin answer mo this question on mainly diHerent verse's trorn the gospelll of John .. As 1m in Hs view, this doctrine is establishec by means 01 what has been transmitteo 19, As Torr reason, and in order 'to bring the doctrine of incamation closer to human understanding, this church presents certain examples, Some assert that the

18. AuglUsti'ne, vot 2, IP. 6'78.

, ~~L The d€ltails (rtttflese, arg'Jmellts. and a refutation Ulemof, ars the with in the third chapter of the book. "lznaJull Haq~! ~Nmen by t'he w€!llknown scbelar Allama Ki" ra,r1wL

What is Christianity

2B

un~ty of "God" and liManll is II Ii ke an enqravement ~n a ring, Others say that the ana.io:gy is !like, the reflection of a pierson in a. mirror. So, just as the enqravernent and the ring are two things in one existence or substance, and lust as the mirror and reflection are two thrngs iln one existence or substance the person of Jesus was incarnated into human existence lin like manner. For this resson, there are two reaHties lin his personality at the same time - one' of God and one of man. Most Ghr,isUan thinkers have however not accepted these al gum1ents ,20.

W'e present a summary be'low of the sonrtions otrered by different Christian thjnkeTs to this question after the attempt ()f the' Boman Catholic Church.

Those who ID'eny the IDilvinity of Christ

Alm'ongst tnern, is the ~group, whlcn. despa~ring in answerling the, question, stated that the beJl,sf ~n the divinity ~f J'esua is false. He wassimply Ihuman and accordingjly the question itself does not arise ..

James Makinen has lin his excellent work IIIFrom Christ to Constannne" deaU wUh the views of these thinkers in fair detail, Accord~ng to him, the founder ~ leaders of this school 'were Paul of Samosata 21 and Lucian 22:, He w,rilh3s: 23

"Both held that Chris! was a creature, but while Paul of Samosata conceived of him as a mere man in whom the impersonal divine wisdom or logos rnanilested it g,ell'fl Lucian and his school re'garded him as a heavenIy being who was created by God out of no,thing, in whom the divine logos becomes personal!

20. Because the engravement in 8ll'ing, despile,its apparent attachment, is nevertheless. a separate thing. Hence, the ring' cannot be caued the ,engravemen; and vice versa. Whereas,. on the contrary, ChrisUans assert that, aft.er ttH3' inca.maNon, Chnist was God, and God became man. Similarly, the re'fl,Bction of John is sBpa:-· ate from t'he mirror itse,jf,rhe mirror cannot be calhed John, or vice-versa, As· opposed 'to this, Christi!:lrls. alleg'e t hat Jesus is God, and God is man. The examples, therefore ars ~n8!pproprriate and lncaccurate.

21 He' was Bishop O'f Antioch from 260 to 272 A.,o"

22, Lucian is a well known Christian 1 heologian. who devoted his life to ascetism. H,is tneortss are between thal ,Qj.Am::1s. and Paul Or Samosat,8. Born in Sanlosata, h'e spent most of his lif,j~ ill Antioch., lBrit.annica.).

23. Mackilion, p.

\IV hat is Chris tiani ty

29

who" at the lncamation assurned a human body", but not a human soul, and whose rmsslon it was to reveal the father. But he was not God in the absolute sense

- - . - -

and was not sternal".

Sc, Pa u~i ot Samosata denied the doctrine of incarnation at inception. He stated that the meaning of incarnation of ,God in the being of Chniist is only that God conferred on him a. specific Intellect. Lucian on the' other hand did not deny tlhe doctrine of incarnation, He accepted thatthe attribute' of knowteoqe of God was incarnated into Jesus Christ but tihat this incarnation diild not makeJesus God, Creator, eternal ar d evertastinq - and that despite such incarnation, {30d remained creator and Jesus created as before"

Arius, the well known Christian thinker of tlhe fourth century, ~nTluenced by the theorles of Paul and Lucian, fought a great battle aqainst the church of his trrna and caused an outcry in the then Christian world. The substance ot his. theory in thewords of Makinon is as foillows : 24

Arius onthe contrary msisted that' God alone is eternal and has no equal: that he created the son out of nothing; that the son is. therefore, not eternal, nor is Godetem81Uy the lather, sdrlc€! there was (a time) when the son was not; that: he is of a different substance from the father and' is. subject to. chan 9,e; that he is not trul1y God, though he was capable of perfection and became a perfect creature - the' loqos in a rea,~ human body. Ghrist is thus. for him a secondary deity or derni God, who partakes, ln a certain measure, ,of the qualities of both, the divine and the human, but is not God in the highest sense".

When Arius propounded bis theories, tt was widel'y accepted especiauy b)' the Eastern church.

However, the central churches of Antioch and Alexandria were ruled by Alexander! Athanasius and the

24. Mackilnon. p.

What is Christianity

310

like", who wer,e not 'wili'lling to accept any solution to the problem which touched on the divinity of Jesus or aUectied the doctrine of Incarnation, consequently, when IEmperor Constantine convened the Ccuncr ot Nlcaea in 323 AD" the theories ano views of Artus were not onllY strongl1y rejected but Arlus himself was sent iinto exile.

Paulician Se'ct

Ttl ereafter I and in the fifth century AD there emerqed the Paulician sect, which held a middle view in r'9'gar,d to Jesus Christ. The sect assert ed that .Jesus was not God but an angel. God sent hlm to the 'world so that he may reform it. Consequently. he, was barn 1~ln human form from the womb of Virgiiin Mary. And because G'od conferred on bim His specific glory arc majesty, he was called the son of God. the influence of this sect remained mainly iin the regions of' Asia Mlli'nor and! Armenia. However, this sect did not receive 'ge ne Ira II acceptance, because, of the absence of scriptural evidence relatinq to JeSllJS be~ng an ang.el.

The Nestorialn Sect

lin the rnlddle of the 'fiiUh! century .AD the re' arose the Nestorian Sleet whose leader was Nestorius (died in 451 AD). In attempting to solveihis problem, it presented a new philosophy j namely that! all ditticultles that tace the doctrine of lincarnaUong are based on the premise of the one person of Jesus consisting of two natures or realtties -, one human, the other divine. Nestorius saio that Jesus being God ii:s true, and his beingl human is also true. But he did not accept that Jesus was one person who unii:fied iboth natures wlthln mmsetl. The' truth is that the essence of Jesus consisted of two persons, the one son, the other! 'God - the one.jhe son of: God, the other the, son of Adam. The son was very God, and Jesus was very man.

The formula Df the IRoman Catholic Church was "one person and two realities or natu res", Conversely the

What is Christianity

31

torrnular of Nestonus was "Two persons and tw,o natures or reanres!'" consequently, thhs theory was condemned at a council of a" Churches convened at Ep'he,sl!Js in 431 AID with the result that INestorilllJs was imprisoned and ,ex,illed. His followers w,er'61 declared heretics, Despite this, the sect stUI exists to thhs day' as .. The, crime committed by INestorius is summarized by Dr. Bethune~Baker in the f,oUowwng

wo- "de Ci'''

.: .Ia, -.: .I~"

'That he so d'ist~r1gulshed be'tween the Godhead and the Manhood of our Lord as, to treatthern as: eeparate personal existences ... · He he1ld the word to be a person distinct from Jeeus, and tlnl€.! son of God" distincUrom the son of Mlan" .. !"1

,J,8cobite Chu rch

lin the sixth century AD, there arose the Jacobite Church whose influence remains up to toda,Y in SYlria and Iraq, Its leader was .Iacabus Baradeus, lts teachin'gl was completely contrary to that of Nestorius and Arius. Nestori us '9stabnshed illrl relation to theexlstenos ot Jesus "Two natu res," together- with "two persons", Jacabus asserted that Jesus was not merely one person but also possessed one nature .. ,wh~clh was d~'Vine'. He was on~y Godl, although he appears to us in the form of man. Th,e teachings of this sect are explained in the Encyclopaedia as follows:

"Those who hold t he doctrine that Christ had but one compos ita nat u re",

Apart trorn .Jacabus Bamadeus other sects also adopted this teachinq .. Such sects were caUed Monophyslites and were prominent until th,e· seventh century AD 26"

,25. Some scholars of recent times such as IIJr.. Bethune Barlk,9,r were ,of UI'B v,isw thet the c:na.u'ges agaiil'l!s'l Nlestorills were wi~hout 'folJndation and that 'his theories were not properlyunderstood, But Prof'. Reiten ,Sind otlH"ier have rstutad this and have supported: the dscislon of ttU.=t councn of Ephese. See Studies tn Glflr,i'SUarn Docmne.cp cit, p. 102'.

26- This wa.$, Illite early perirol1 o~ !s!lairn. At that time', this, Sleet was the centre of contro,ve!rsyt~roughout the entilf<l3! Chlristi-an worlldl. In consequence. mere vilas great unrest in Syria and other places . see Encyclop,aedil8. IBri'~afi!nica. voL '15, p, 830. It is clear therefore' that the Quran probably railers to these sects in the verse: ·Undoulbtedlly, mose are IIJr1Ibe~ievers 'who say that Ailiah is Masih ibn Marryam:'

\"'hat is Christianity

32

The Final Int.e'rp,ret,a:Uon

The above discussion clearly reveals. the, diifferent attempts of Christian thinkers to explain and ratlonalize the doctrine of incarnation. But, we have seen that' each attempt 'W',as subversive and contrary to, tne teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Accordiingly, the ths[ologlians of this Church declared such attempts as heretical, There remains theretore the answer to the or~gi,nal question. The orthodox helid that 'the doctrine of incernation is also mysteryand must be believed as sucn 50 its comprehension is not possible. (See EncyC[op~Hadia. Britannica)

This view did not appea.l to the[ objective mind.

Accordinqly an linterpretation of the doctrine of incarnation was offered in recent times with a v[iew to jtj'SUfying it rationaUy. The fe.atulre of this interpretatlon is that it accords. wit.h the teaching of the Boman Catholic Church on the subject. AUhough this interpretation was, [g~v[en by some of

the, early Christian thinkers; Professor Mau.r~ce Re~ton has

explained i'~ cJear~y lin the fol:~owfng words:

"Such an lnoematlon is conceivable, lif we remember that the way had besn paved for it: from thenrst crsation of man i'n the di'vi'ne im,age :27. This, means that ther,a is a human 'e:lemen! in God ~rom ,a~1 eternity" and this hurnen el!ement had been impenectly refl'ec~ed in created form ill1i the sons. ow men. The trul~1' human is the' humanity of [God; the mere'I'y (U pUlrely human [us the' humanUy of man - a created and imperfect humanIty whrch [can never become an ythingl but human, no matter hoW'tuBy [fldweU it may be by the divine. When, therefore, God became man, the humanity he exhibited was not ,EI! created huma.nity, such as. ours is" but the truly human such as God alone possesses, and in the likeness of which we are made., This means ull'timately that the humanity of Jesus Christ was noethe humanity we know in ourselves. It was God's, humanity" which dilf:fers. from oursto fhe extent to whicih the creator d:iff,ers ~rom the creature",

21, Tlh9' reference lsto tne'IJ€l'se of ths Sible; "So God crested man in his own: lima,ge., .' (Gen. t .. 271.

Wha t is Christianity

33

I n short according to this interpretation, atthouqh two rea~ities, were urutsd lin the one person o,f .Iesus ... the divine and the human -fhe human itselt was a divlne humanity and not the humanity of men. Hence, there liis no objt)ction to both baiing present at one time.

This interpretatlon is accordinq to Professor R:e~ton most acceptable ratiionaUy and free from objection. And, it ls not subversive to Cathonc teaehinq,

But what is the w'8Iig'ht of this interpretation? Scholars may understand this.'! 28,,,

The Clruci'fix.ion

The second belief 01: the Christians in regard to JI,esus is that he was crucifted by the Jews by order of Pontius Pllate with the result that he' died. tn this regard,it must be borne in rnindthat the punishment ot crucifixion accolrdirllQI to the majority of Christen sects was not mai,ed out to the person of the son - who was accordinq to tnern God - but it was given to the, human manifestation of the person of the son, namely J1,esus who. was not God in his human capacity but Qlnlly a. created being,

28. This interpretation ns based on the premise 'that God posse'sses. a psli,ect Ihu~ man~ty ~ince eternity. 18,~t the question arise: Wha!: is this. ·Ihumanity of God'?'·' Does tl1115 humanlity COI1SISt of elements such as hunger, thust, happtness, sadness which are, 'foulnd in us? If such elements are fou-nd in God, then (m8Jy God' forbid) iit: means that: God ~s elso subjec~~o hlmg1er and thirst: halrdsl1~p and rest; and iiI,! the el'emernts 9f time and space. It iis .clear that this is patenUy fal:se. And the Roman Catholic Church also does not hold such a bal,iet ~f ~herefme Jesus was ~;ree of all these elements and needs, then the quesUon is, Why did Jesus possess these elements?Why was he sU'llject to. hUl1glel' and'd "lihirsl? Why was h,e sUlbjecl to sadness? Why did he scream of (af::clQ:roingl to Chri.$ti,ans) pain at the tie of crucifixion?, when hlis humanity acoorddingl to Maurice Rerltan was not Ilik~~ OUIrS, but was a. ,divine' humanity which was 'free of all elements, and human needs.

Then, the interpretation, in holding that man was created ln the '"Divine Image", states a pe'culia~ meaning to this, rlame~y th at, God had from the beginning' a human elernant wh~ch was f,eflected into man. Whereas if indeed ~hle 'wol'ds of tfl,9 Book, of Genesis BJe Divinely inspired, then at most the meaning cd those words are that God conferred om man kn.owledge and perception; tlheability '~O difdin~ guish 'between riglht and' wrong; and gBlve hin1 the power of bo:th good and 9vill', Ca,tha.11ic tlheolo9lians memsejvss have e.xplained I:llis to be the mesning of the verse. St. Augustine in l1us famous work, "The CHy of God', writes: "Tnus God made man iln his own irna'ge, by creat.ing for him a. soul ot such ,8 kind that because ot lthe surpassed alii living creatures on earth, in tiJle sea. and in the' sky, lin virtute of reason and 1i11teilig'8r1ce: for no. other creature had a mind lik,e' that" (13ook 1.2.: Crlap. 24)

Wha t is Christianity

34

The Ho,l'y Cross

lin view of the fact that the sig'n of the cross t-s) ~$ of ,great. importance by virtue of the doctrine ,of c,rucmxion, we re,fer br,ieffy to its position whwch [S, not wi,thout lin~erest 291.

UntH the fourth century AD, this sign had no colle,ctive ,silgnif~cance,. n is popUilarfy reported that emperor ConstanUne saw' (probablly in his dream') in 312 AD:; dUfling batUe'l' the sign of' a cross in the sky. Ther,eafter, ijn326 AD h,is mother 1 St Helena found a cross. The people were of the vliew that '~his, cross. w,a.s the one on which Jesus. (according to the Chrisfian claim) had been crucified. In commemoration olf thi':5 story, Chr~s'tians celebrate each Y'e'ar in Maya. day known as: liThe· Find~ng of the' Gr,oss'lll'" The're,after I the slign Qif this' cross became the symbo~ of the Chril.s,ban f~dth. Ghrjs.~ilans accordingly belgan to use' the $lign in aU thei'f' dOI~ngs. The weH known Ch risUan Theofogi:an T ertuU'ian writes .:'

"At lealch journey and pmgress", at each coming In and gloiog out, at the puUin~g on 0" shoes" a~: the ba.thl, at mea~s" a~ UH'~, kindling of fi,ghts, at bedUme, at $,iUing down" whatsoever eccupanon engages us, we mark the broW' w,llt'h this sign o.f the cross .. '1

'Why is the cross ha.fy lin Cnristi'ani:ty? ~. 'When acco~d'jn!g to Ghrlistian bell,i:e,f it was the cause of harm to Jesus. 'We have not found the answer to this question in the wniting ot any Christian scholar, H appears that the oasis of the sanctity of the' cross, is the doctrine o.f atonement That is, because the cross ils the cause of the torqiveness of sins, ,it is respect eo and sanctlfied.

R'e'su rr ecti 0 n

The thi'rd be'ief of Christians f,elating to JESUS 1$ that atter hi's crucWxion and burial, he became anve aga.iin on the third day. He th,en gave his disciples advice and insnucuon when3ait.er he ascended to the heavens 30

291• See gene,lI'aily, B:ritan:nic8.

3·0. The story of 'the resurrection is contained in detail in the bible. I'I"! vi'ew Of,'U18' tact flat Maul!.ana Killi,anrm ,~ \ill t..:..,_, has proved ~he incansist,S'ncy and inaccuracy of tfl'ilS, $'0'1)' in his, boolk 'Iz:harul Haq", and has ch3'a.Jt with this (ioctrilll€! in de'nail; it ,is pointi'ess f,o deal willi mha sub~'ect in dde1:aH tlere,

What is Christianity

35

The A.tione'menl

The fourth and finall belief relatli,n'g 1'0 Jesus is the dcctrtne of atonement. For a number of reasons it ls necessary to understand th~s doctrine inl dle·laU.

Filrsm!ly, this doctrine iis at the heart of Chrlstlanlty accordinq to Daniie'IIWillso·n 31; and in iitse·llf is most important becausewhat has been discussed previously is re'allly a preface to this doctrine

Secondly, this doctrine by V~lrtue of Us intricacy has especially been the :1,eaS'~ understood in the non-Cbrisfian world,

Thirdly. by not understanoing it fully, two evils have, resulted, One is that Ohrlstian missionaries in lour country have explained this doctrine as th'ey 'wished I wiith the result

that the unwary, ~Igna.rant of the trum, feH under a misccnception: the, other is that those who wrote in refutation of Christianlty raised obiect ions to, this doctrine which we're inapplicable. The result W'8S that such objections could not properly uphold the truth ..

We' shall aocor,dingly deal with this docmne in sufftcient deta ~I " . what follows S"-,OC: a- S- to s· vote anv d"c,ub,·t

'," ,,',L II, 1110 ,v U," ',',', ,- '" ~.. "~" 'g., '"II '~1' :c).:. c. , ,'"

the EncyclQpaedia Britannica has summarized this

doctrine lin the foUow'ing words:

"Atonement in Christi,an 'theolol9Y means the redemptive work of Clhristl throuqh whiclh sinfUl~ man was made a'~ one w~th! and! recenciled to, God. It presuppeses Iwo truths, nM~' fa.H (l~; m,an '~rolm GOO':8 grace' t~ rou gh Ad am IS 5~111, an d U19 inca rnanon ,of~Mh e word o~ God to restore man to glrace,.ii

This in itself is too brief, The doctrine has behind it a long seq ue nee of h istoncat and theoretical assurnpnons. I,., these assumptions Sire not understood, the doctrine cannot

31. Willson. vol, 2. p. 53,.

What is Christianity

36

be properly comprehended. These assumptions are as follows:

1. The first assumption is that Adam, the' f~rst human' being, was given at the time of his creation all kinds of materlal comfort sand pleasures without: restriction, save that he· was prohlbited trorn eating wheat.. At that trrne his win was made entirslly f'r,s,s' whereoy he could if he wished obey orders or oppose them.

2,. Ada,lm exercised th~8 wHI wrongfy., By e,aNingl the forhidden fruit he became the perpetrator .of a great sin, The' sin itseff appeared trivial. On the contrary! lit was very seri .. GUS ha vjng regard to its nature and magnitude. ,I n reqard to nature, because, it was extremlely easy at tnaturne fOlr Adami to observe the order of pronibttion, After g'iving him' absolute freedom of ,e',ating an abundant supply of foods, he was subject to only one pronibition which was very easy to observe, Apart from this. man at that time did not have the powers of passion and deslire which could compel him to sin. H'snce, it was not d~ffiGult t 0 stay away from wheat And, the' seriousness of vlolat~ng' the prohibi'tion is rn proportion to the ease wrth which it could have been observed and fulWled. Furtoerrnore, this was the first sin of man who instead of obedience committed diisobed~,enoe, Prior to this" man dlid not sin, and just aSI obedience is the, tree of aU good deeds, disobeoience is the foundation of ,aU sins. The sin of Adam II,ald this foundation.

ThljlS sin was from 'the viewpoint of rnaqnltude very serious. as it embraced many other sins with the result that it becalm-s' the source or mother of sins. St Augustine wrtit,s's in this regard: 32

"This ,Qlne sin of man encompassed so many sins ... ln truth, if one reflects on the reality ot any sin" he' wm see Us reflection in thlils, oriqinal sin."

3:2. Augustine, vol. '1, p. 684.

\lVhat is Christianity

37

3" In view of the fact that the sin of' Adam was extremely serious, i~' resulted ln two consequences" The' one is that as punishment 'for the sin, he became entitled to everlastinq death or punishment For God showed him the' forbidden tree and told him:

·! .. .For in the day ~ha'~ you eat of lt, you shall die'! {Gen". 2:115)

The other consequence, is that the tree will thatwas gliven to Adam was taken .away from him" He, was previously gh/en the power to do ,good or evil accordinq to his will.. But because he wrongly used this power, he was deprived thereot. Augustine writes: 33

"When marl sinned by hls ~ree will t he was subdued bysin: hence his free wi'll ended because 'whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. ... HeI1C'9, he cannot acq LI tr'a the will to. do good until he, is. freed from siin and becomes the slave of good."

As if! and until he I.S not treed 'from 'the shackles of his sin, his free wil'll remains terminated Now, hie is free to commit sins but not good deeds.

The questions arises here: Why' has God in punishment for one sin caused men to be involved in other sins? In answe-r to this question, St. Thomas Aquinas writes:'

"Because when men are deprived o'r the help of d~vine

grace, they .are overcome by their passions. ~n thws

'Way sin ls .aliways said to be the punishment of a precedinq sin."

4. In view of the fact that the freewill of Adam and Eve ended after the commeslon of thesin _, 'w'hilch meant that they w'ere not free to. do. good;, but were! free to siin ~ it foUO'wed that the element of sliml became emlbedded in thelr nature, ln other words, their sin became tlhe~r nature and constitution. Thils sin iiS referred to in technical termlinoilog'y as the oriqinal sin ..

33. AUQIUlstine, vol, 1, p, 675.

What is Christianity

38

5. 'The oriiginal sin W,QS thereafter transmitted to pos.terity" born and,' to. be born and to, b'a born" because they w'ere created trom the, loins of' both {Adami and Eve). St. AugusUne writes: 34

ilAs happy, then, as w'ers tnese our first parents ... so happy should the whole human race he,va been! had 'the'y not mntroduced that evill which they have, transmitted to theijlr postsnty ... In tnJ'th!, aU men who .are sullied by t.he original 8,in w'srie born O'f Adam and .Ev,e,.!!

That lis, to' 5;8Y" every person whO' ms born into the 'world is born wJth sinflrlo,m 'time' .af bi'rth because the orig'~nall sin ot h~,s parents is, embedded in his, nature. The question is: the ~inw',as committed by the parents .. How did the children become sinners, as a resu~t thereof? ,John Csllvi'n, the weU known leadAr Q1f the Protestant Chulrch writes: ,35

Ii ,In re,ality !lW'9 have be,en linfected by the dj'sease of s~n through .Adam" and by reason olf this sin, W'9 aJ,e justly w,arthy of punisnmsnt."

Tnomas A,quinasl, the waH" known ROlman Cathouc theolloglian and phUosopher e,xpialins this by means of another exa,mpf'e:36

IIThat origt,inat sin, in viqrtue' ot the' s'n ofr' ourfirst parent, Is trans m'iUed to his posterity; just as. from the, sours wliU actual ,sin is transmitted to the memee rs of the body: thr,ou'gh their beilngmo,ved b'~l 'the, WiU'i'.

6:. Because ,aU the c,hUdren of Adam we're trained by the' o"rig!~naf ,s~n ~, ,and t he odgl'naf sin itse~f is the tree, olt aU si ns ... they Hke, their parents w'er'9 excfudedi'rom 'the'ex,ercis.s' ot f'ree wifll1andl became tainted by' one sinafter the otber. To th,e extent that apart from the, orlglltm'la's,i'n~, they' 'w,er,e

34. Aug,usli,ne" vol. 2, p, 1633,.

35. Quoted by Aquinas" ll=l... '6S9.

36. Aquinas. vot 2" IP, 6,69.

What ms Christianity

afflicted by other sns whii1ch they cornmiteo by reason of the o riiglinaI sin.

7. By virtue of the above mentioned sins, the whole of rnanklnd like thek parents became ent~Ued on the 'One hand to pSlrpe,tuaJ punishment. Onl the other hand, the'y became excluded from their own free will. Accordinqty, there was no means, to salivation and forgiiv1eness because protection from such slns could onily be aftalned Iby 19ood deeds" But, by reason of the' absence of free, will:! man could not do

.

glood de,a,ds, which coutd ssve hilml from punishment

8. One way ot achieving rde,Uvsrance from this problem was for God to. shower mercy aod Iorqlve men. This however was not posslble because God is just and fair and IHe wHI! not break hils, lrnrnutable laws, In the Bo6k of Genesis, to whilchwe have previously referred, death was prcscrlbec as the punishment fair the original sin. Now'!1 i~ would amount to a b reach ot the law of iustice if man was forgive'lnwithout themposlnon of the punishment of death.

9. God on the' other hand is aliso mercltul. He cannot leave His, servants in this miserable state. Accord ing',11 y" He, chose such a scheme whelr,eby both mercy was extended to his. servants and the, law of justice remained untainted. The, on!ly le,g:alc:ourse available was for man to dle once as punishment, and thereafter, become alive tor ,8, second time. lin this way;, man's 'free wiil'll which ended prior to, hiis death by reason of the ong'j nal si n would be restored to hilm. And he Wouild acquire freedom from the burden of the odigiin.al sin and perform good deeds to'gi'ether witlh his freedom ..

110.. But, jIt: is contrary' to the laws of nature to make all human beings ~n the' world die and thereafter cause them to come alive aqai n. Hence, there was a need tor one pe rson whol was free from the, oriql nal sin to bear thel burden of all the sins of men, God would !give him once the

What is Christianity

40

punishment of death and then ,give h~m life again . And his punishment would sufficefor all rnanklnd, Thereatter, all men would become free,

For this noble purpose, God chose his own "Sonl!'; and sent him ,in human form and body to the, world. He! made this sacrifice by being crucified on the cross and thereby dying. This death becam'9 .a redemption tor man. In virtue of such death, not onlly the origwnal sin of all mien, but also 8.11 sins committee by reason of the or:i'ginall sin, was forg[ven" Then thi's son became alive tor the second time after three days whereby all men acquired a new lime,. In this new Me7 men became owner of the free w]IIIL U the free win w,as exercised in good deeds, hewil~ be rewarded. I!f exerclsec j:nevlil!1 deeds, he would ~n accordance wii1h the state of such deeds be punished,

11'. But this, sacrlnce of' Jesus ~s only for that person who hasfaitth in ,Jesus, and! who acts on his teachings. The sig,rli of SUtch faith is the fulfilment of the rttual at baptism. The underqoln; of baptism s,ignimies taith ln the redemption of .Jesus on the part of 'the baptized. Hence, being baptized through Jesus ws deemed to take the place of his death and second Ii"fe. Consequently, whoever undergoes baptlsm will have his oriqlnal sin fOlrg,ilv,sn, and he wi!n be gilven a new fres' witll. Din the other hand, that person who does not undergo baptism', his originall sin remains wHh the result that he becomes, entft:l\,ed to perpetual sin. Aquinas th e-" r'e' tors 'wr'i*e'sc . 31

~ "- [ '" " "", 'III~ ,,-,' .,

37. Aquinas, vol. 1. p. 714.

0111 thetoplc of Atonement, maulana KiranlwR ~ Ju ,4.:..,.:0 has at various places in izharul Haq, more particulady in the third chapter, dealt comprehenslive,j'yand' full'y wi·th the topic. ln any event discussions an each psrt of the' doctrine would require a separate thesls. Bsoause we are merely recounHln91 and narrating Christian doctrines, there is therefore no Ilever.a!ge 'to embark on a d'etailledanaly1Ical discuSSion. Howeve,r" we consider it necessary to make some basic points on thi~, issue. As fo~IlowS here,61fter. wt;~ch requirt:' IuClddQeme~tthe,reol1.I'f Ule8f~ pOints ~ar,e borne ,in mind, the faults and errors of this doctrine Will become clearly apparent

C'cn,,:inllJle liiIext palg,e

What 'is Christianity

41

"But oriqinal siil"~, Incurs everlasting pumsnment: since children who have' [ned lin oriqinal sin, because '~hey have not been baptized, wil'l never see' the kingdom of God",

12. As for those who died prior 'to the coming, of Jesus, it will be seen whetherthey believed lin Jesus or not U they believed in him, then the death of Jesus wi~'1 also be a

1. Thefir~s,t: matter tha'll: Il'e'quill'es examlnation and evidehee iis whether the' er .. ror of Adam ameunted tlO a sin en not?

2. Th·en 'the doctrline' postulates ItW,Q ways in transmlttirrq the 'olrig~na1 sin: nr:s,t, ~rom Adam to an his childdren; and then secondlv trem the' i::hil:didrern hll Jles'IJIs. The questlenarlses, is then;! a place fOlf the trans,posing of sin from Orne to anoth'er in the jlUlS,t law Qf 'God,?' In the old testament 'we' read as, foHows,! "The soullhat slns shari! die. The S,OU. shall not suffer fOll"the, iini:qll:ity of '~hre t:ather" I1Qr the fathreu:" suUer the ini:ql!.!lily' ,of the son; [he ri,gnteo,l.!!sness ,of the rightrll!olus shaU be up,on himself" endd the wlickedness of the wicked $hall~ be upon hiimself." rfEzefkiel: 18:20i)

3. The eXB,mpl.l@gIven by' Calvin re'~atJil1ll'g to 'the transmission of slim on the analogy of heirediitary disease is lncorrect, This is so because firs'Uy the isSlLIe' _that disease. is her~ditarry i:s,iiits,elf de~a'1~1e.. E~en if one acc!~t5.that d~s,g eases are heredl~ary, theln slekrress which is alii iIDl'Voliunta'ry afflhebQIi'I. cannot be Icompared andieqluatedd to sin. Irf a person iis,aff~ lcted by slckness invo,lluntarny, he cannot Ibe /blamed nor be the, subjiect IClt punisbrnent, SQ; why is marn considered des,ervin'9 of punlsnrnent bY' reason of this siln ~n whmch his willi 'pWays no pa.rt whaJtso,ev8'''<''

4. 'S,irnilarl!y, t.he exampte given by AQruinas is mcerrect because the sinner ~.~in 'fact man. BlJt" once m,alliil is, the name of the tota.nty _of spiriit. andd body" "ltf,ollows that each ICHne ilsas,imne:r. A,s cppesedto this, the Q-xistellicle of Ada'm is not made up 'Of all hi;s chiildren So that hie cannot be caUed 8. slil1nelf until 31r11 his ,chUcillien are declared sinlne'fs.

5. I~ the original sin was naturallv transposed to alii the childlr'(Hl of .Adam! then wlh', was it nottranspesed Ivn~o the human axistence o~ ,Jesus? Whereas he was lik'e aU people born through the medliium of women (Marya.m),a'll1d ,alceord,il1l~ .10 '~hristian bleliief w~s t01Jet~e.r with being go'd also man, ArMi he 'was ,cliucllhed from thestallFldipol,nt of' befOg man. ..

6,_ Then, aJcc'(Hl"d:ing to which diJc:t:a~es of justiice 1:9, it:j!ustma.bl:e to c!rUc~ify a Sli!ri1ess, and inn<menl so!:,", and that wilth hiis, :cOl1rs'B,!f? n a pe~s,onv'o'iurr~ariWy off,~rs, mr ,8 court Olf I:aw'to undergetha b<ordl~'Y punishment due to a c@rta~n criminal:, thml wUI such a crlmmal tie se~ free"?' The verses of IEzekiel! quoted above refutes this,

'7., 'I~ is said 'thaJi Godl lsiust. Hanee, He' does not forg:ive sins w~thout punlshment, BI~~, wha'~ iusUc~ _is that wh~~~ not lonly e"ondemns,_ alii m'ell1_ to pe~petual puntshrnent by reascn of an ~nvollUintall"t' :SIn., but also uaurps thellr

fn!e will. -

8. It is said that God! does net 'f,orgrive the or]g:inal !li~fI slrnple by means of repentance whereas the IQI.ld testament states: "But '~f a wick.-edi man tlllrns, away Trom all his sins which he has committed and ke!epls alii my statues does whalt is I,awful and !fight, he shell sureNy Iwve; he shall not ,d,iie.~j ,(E.Zlek:ie,m 1:S,:2Or)

9. II! the dectrlne of Giltol:1l'eme'l:"Irt 'is true then wtl'Y did J,e~sus not exp,l,airn it clearly and properly? there ls no verse O'f the ,olid· "It'estament from wh[,chUM,e doctrine could be lnferred. We shaUl deal: with this in the' SI.l!CO'F:1rd p,art of this b,ook in sufficient detail.

What is Christi; nity

42

redemption for them and they will' be saved. U they did not bem:,sve in hirn, 'they wW not be saved:

13. As memioned before, those who believed in J1esus and underwent baptism - tor them redempuon does not mean that they wiU not be punished for sins cornmhteo. but redemption means that their or,ig,inal sin will be for,giveln~ whkh s,in demanded perpetual punishment. M'oreover, all ,sins. wm be forg'iven, whose cause is. the origina~ sin. Now:, theywU~ o,bta~n ,8 new ~im,e ,in 'which the:ywiiU own a free wilL If that w,iU ~s wrong'ly exercised, then they wU11 be punished a.ccording to 'the types of sin committed, llf after ba,ptlisml they commit a sln whi,ch takes them out of' the, pa~,e of faith .. , they aqain beco me entitled to oerpetual punisnment, And:, the redemption of Jesus in such GaS9' win not sutfice, Accordingly" those declared by the church as hleret~c and excommunicated become entitled to perpetual punishment

If one the other hand, they commit a rnlnor sitn, the'n they 'would be' sent to that part of hen" whiic'h has ,b,e,en made to. purify believers of their sins, for a temporary Umlilt,e,d period. The nalm,e of such part lis purg,a't,ory where,in they win stay f.or a. while and 'then sen! to paradise.

Some Christian theo~ogians on the contrary assert 'that not only dis.b,elij,ef, but a Ills 0' major sins separate one from the redemption of Jesus. And, they become entitled to perpetual punishment, St. Augustine have, wri'Uen a specific book on this iss.Ule~ and j,t appears from certain rOif rn.s. statements in the Enchirldion that he' is j:ndjned to thilS opinion.

Deniiers of Redemption

This is a brief account of the doctrine of atonement, The overwhelming ma,jortity elf' Chrtstians have from inoept,ion beUeved ~n Atonement as a cardinal doctrine of Ghrilstianity. N'Qtwit.hstandi'og, there are pe-opll'9 in the

What~s Christianitv

,,"'

43

history of the church who reject the doctrine. The first amongst these w'as probably Coelestius whose theories in thewords of Augustine are astollows: 3B

"The sin ot Adarn harmed Adam only; and did not aHeot mankind ait all.'

However, these theories were declared heretic by a Council of' Archbishops at Oarmaqe,

Thereafter, there were some who denied the doctrine of atonement WhOS'9 position is reterred to in the arttcie "atonement" in th:,e Encydopa,edi:a Britannica.

I;

www.Ahlehaq.Com

38. Au gustin e. vol, , , p, 6:21 ,

What is Chrlstianity

45

CH.A'PTER 3

WORSHIPA'N,D RIT.ES

What are the methods of worship in Chrlstlanlty?

Before we know thls. it w'i~i be appropriate to understand the basic principies governing Christian worship. Ae·eordiiing to 'Raymond Abba these principles are four, namely: :39

1. Worship is in reality gratitude for the sacrifice made by the Word of god, that is. Jesus on behalf of man .

. 2. True and proper worship can onllY be done by the act

of the Holy' Spirit. lin his letter to the Homans Paul says';

IIUkewise the spirit hellps us in our nearness: for we do

not 1~110W how to pray as we ouglht but the spirit hjrnsett intercedes 'for us with signs too deep for words" (Rom. 8:2'6)1

3. Worship ils tn reamy a collectlve act 'which the church onl:y can fulfil. If a pierson wishes on an ilndividual level to carry out 'worship, then such worship is on~!'Y posslbte if he becomes a member ot the Church ..

4. Worship is the basic function of th·e Church. lit expresses its·elf to the wortd ln the form of; the body of Jesus ..

'Mass

Then3 are many' methods of worship i:n Christianity. But we can only explain two methods in this short article which

39- Abb8l!, p, 3,

What is Christianity

ere adopted Ireglulaftly and are dealt with repeatedly lin discussions of the subject 'One ot these is Mass, prfest.s; refer to it as III N am ,8 BIZI'I' lin order tomaikisMusrims understand,

According tQ F"C. Burkitt 40, the procedure for !Mass lis that people gather in the Church vvery daYJ mornfng and evening. One [person from amongst them, reads a port ion ot the IBiibi9. The portion WS 'Q'enelualilly a section from the OI:dI Testament During such recitation, aU present: remain standing. At the lend D'f each hymn. bells are, rlu11'9 and prayers are said .. At the time of such prayers, .it is desirable as a ccntessior of sins to shied rears. This procedure continued from the ard century AD up to present day; and has been emphasised in some 'wriltings ..

Baptism

-,I

This iiis the first: rltual ot Christianlty. This ws a. form ot

bathing which is administered to those who enter the ChrIstian faith .. Without it! nobody could be said to' be a Christian. Behind this ritual lies 'the doctrine of redemption. The Ohristian bs,lie,f is that a man by' Im,eans of baptism dies for the sakis of' Jesus. and then becomes ajht,s,agalin. By means 0,1' "death", he receives the punishment of the oriqinal s~n. He then i'n his new lif,e acquires a free will. Those who wish to enter the Chrtstian faith must pass through a premflnary stage ~n which they ecquiretne basic teachings of the faith . Inthat period, they are, nom called "Christians", but ana known as Catechumens, And they do not have permission to partake in the Passover .. Then sorne tiim'9 before Easterl, or the Pentecost, they are '9ivlsn 'the bapnsrn 41 •

The Church has a speclai room' 'to administer the Baptism, Special peopll€ are daslqnated for the act,

40.Bllukitt, p .. 15,2

41 .. BurkiU p. 150-152.

What is: Christianity

47

Accordmq to the! weill known theo~ogian CyrU" the person under,going Baptism is made to Iii,e in the! baptistry wUh his back f:acing the Weist. Then such person extends his, hand to the West and says:

"O Satan, I wi'thdraw mys,elt: from you ,and e'ach of YOtu acts",

Then he faces thlB East, and vlsrbaUy proclaims the cardinal doctrines of Christianity, Then his clothes are fie moved , and he is anointed neadto foot w'ith an IOU. Thereafter, he, is put into. the' pool of bapfism. The, person admlinistering the baptism then asks him three questons - whether he believes 'in the father, son and holly spirit inthe prescribed manner? The proposed convert answers to each question; IIUYes, I beUev,e.1I Then he is taken out from the peel. landaga~n Ih is forehead, ears j nose and chest is anointed wUh the oil, He' is. t.he~n made iowear 'wh i~e clothes which lis indica,Uv'B of his, purUlicatton from previous. sins by means 0'; Baptism. The Gr.oup of persons u ndelrgoing baptism, then tOQ'ether enter the Church and for the first Nm'9 partake 'in the Passover.

Passover

This is the! 'most. important rite after adoption ot Ghrist~ial1ity and iit is celebrated in commemoration of the sacritlcs of J'9SUlS. IO'ne' day oetore the aUeged arrest of Jesus I follows :

IINow as they were ea:Ung, Jesus took bread, ,and blessed.end broke it, and 'gav'e il~ to. the disciples a,nrd said, Take, eat; this is my body.' And he took cup, and when he had ,given thanks he gave r1t to them, sayiil1gj• 'Drink ,of i~~ 8.111 of y,au; for 11111is is my bllCl!od 'of t11rH3; covenant, whilrCh is poured out for many ~Qlr the forgiveness of sins. {Mat 26:26)

t.uke adds, Jesus the reafter :sa~d:

II Do ttus in remembrance of rna"

What is Christianity

48

The we,n known Ch ristianl Scholar Jusnn M,artyr 42 explains the procedure of Passover, namely that there is a 'gatherilng ,every SUIRld'ay at Church . At the Ibe,g~nning thereof some prayers and hymns are sung. Then the particlpants embrace each other and convey their giood wishes e- Bread and wine Is then brought The head of the gathering takes, the bread and w~he and makes prayers ot blessinq to 'the' tather ~ son and hol'y spirit. AU participants. answer Ameen. the deacons of the Church thereupon distribute the bread and w,in'8 arnonqst the partlclpants .

. The bread immediately by means of this act becomes the body of Christ, and the wine his blood; aU participants by ,eating' and drinking refresh their doctrine of redemption.

Attar Justin, there have been and continues t 0 be much change in the procedure and use ol 'words ~n rleg:ard to 'this rite. But, t he basic aspect of the rite ls that the bread and wine', wJ:],en g.iven by the' head of gaU"er~ng' to the participants, immediately accordinq to Christian bellet, change their nature and become the body and blood of .Jesus, despite their outward appearance. Cyril writes: 43,

!'When the head completes his prayers." then the !HOlly Spirit, descends upon the' bread and wine and' changes them to body and blood."

It is a matter of controversy and debate, for yealrs as to how bread and w[,~rte upon a moment became changed to body and bl'ood. To the extant that the Protestant sect which arnerqed in the sixteenth century rejected this doctrine. Accordinq to .iIt,this riite is merely in memory otthe sacntice of Jesus. It old not however, accept the transtcrmatlcn trorn bread to body, and wiine to btood, apart from the P.aSSOVI9'f, this rite has other names, namely Eucharist! Sacred Meal, Holy Oornmunion,

4:2, Qu otec by Burki tt, p.1 65.- Hi 7.. 43, Quoted by Britannica,

What is Christianity

49

Apart from Baptism and the, Passover, there are five other rites according to this, Rotman Catholic Sleet. The Protestant sect however, d id not accept these rites, Calvin 'wr~tes: 44

"From amonqst t:n!es,e rituals, only two were prescribed by DU!r saviour: baptism and the passover: because we re'gard t~e seven made under the eeqls of the Pope as f,abrijicated,j.

lin view offl tha fact that there is no consensus on these rites, and that tlbere is no need to be acquainted with them, we s ha,1]I not deal with the 1m: for the! sake of' brevi'~y .

..

www.Ahlehaq.Com

44, CaJv.i'n, contesslon 7'B.

'What is Christianity

A, RESUME OF THE HISTORY OIF'

CHRI'ST.IANITY

www.Ahlehaq.Com

What is Christianity

HIS:TORY OF' THE, ,IS,R,AELIITES:

A,N OVERVIEW 4S

www.Ahlehaq.Com

lsraaii lis the name of Yaqub (Jacob) (f'~1 ~) who had twelve sons, and their children are known as lithe children c,f lsraail" {Banu lsraall), In ancient times, God had chosen this house to assume the office of Prcphethood. Innumlerab~le prophets we're sent: from amonqst this house. The origi'na~ horne of the chddren of lsraail was [he area .01 Palestine. But the Amalekites after havingl usurped this land forced them to. slavery, They then durinq the t,im,B af Moses obtalned freedom from such slavery, However, th,ey could not reqain Palasfine at ~he time ()f the demise ,of M.as,es. Thereafter" Jushu (Joshua] and then KalUb" became Prophet s,. (Jushu ~I'~) conquered a lar'lge' portion of Palestine' Ibyfiglhtingthe Amalekite&; Thereafter, the children Qof lsraail faced onslaughts from all sides. At ~hat time, their li'i:18 was analoqous to t hat of the b,edouiin Arabs; and to a larg'B extent was based on tlrmbal tines. Hence. they looked with respect on that person 'who" 0 n the basis o,f tr~bal law, Bxceli~ed in inter-tribal warfare .. If such person moreover displayed miHtary linsight and .abUity I they made him their reader in external wars. Such leaders W,8Je' refe rred to by them as II Judges". The book of the Bible entitled ilJIlI!dges" is 8' ntl rrative of their efforts, and

45. See geneml.ly,! Encyclopaedia of Re,Ii'gioll slid lEt/hies.

What is Christianity

54

that era was appropriately named as lithe era of the judges I!',.

Whiilst the people of lsrael successfully defendeo externalattacks durin'g the era ol the judqes, they we·re also in 'the 11 the century s..,C defeat e~d by the' Canaanites who acquired! control over a I'ar'g'e area ,of Palestine, which controt lasted unW the' time ot David (O'aw'Ood r~r ~,).

Finalny; when Sa,muel was, sent as Prophet, the, people of lsraall told hiilm that they W,9lrs' constricted by their bedo~ .. dn !11~fe', and requested him tOI pray to God to appol nt over them a king whom they Gould obey and do battle aqalnst the Phi~is:Unes. ln response to the request of samuel, a person from 8,mongs,t them was appointee kingt whose name accordinq to Our'an was Talut, and Saul accordlnq to the Bible. (Salmluel 1 ::113) Talut fought the Philistines .. A.~ that time, Davidl was a youth. He by accident became a, member ot the group of Talut. Jalut(Golliath) from amongst the Phmstines s,o,uglht a duel'. David responded and ki ~i!ed hlm, This Ibroughill David such respect and g'lory amonqst the Israelites that they made him k~ng after Saul.. This was the first time that God conferred prophethood on a kiingl. The control o,f the people of I s rae Ii over Palestine was v~rtiUany completed duning th'e time of D,BV,id. After him, Sollomon iin 974 S.C 'further consolldated power and brought his rei'gn to its; peak, On the order of God, he bUint "Baitul IM!a:qdh;,!I, and named his kingship "Judaea" f:ollowiing the, name of his ,grandfather. However in 938- B.C, atter the· death of Solomon, hi's, son iRoboam. who, assumed power, not a·nly ended Iby reason of hi~ incompetency the' r,eHgli'Qu,s, and splrltual ecntrol but atso oauseo 'gr,eat harm to the P'oiliit~call st,abtmty om: the kingdom .. lin hils time" a termer servant ,of Solomon rebelled and estabnshed a separate kiingdo'lml in the name ot ~s,ra,ait The result was that: the people ot lsraall were divided mto m.wo kingdoms. lin the North., the ,kingdom of Israall, WhOS'9

VVha t is Chris tiani ty

55

capitall was Somar'ia and in the south Judaea wh,ose capital was deruaalern .. The two kingdo1ms had for 8. 'l,on'9 penod 0,':

Ume reUgious and poliitiica1 differences which c10ntiinued untU the invasion of Nebuchedne!zzar.

Over a period of time, idol,atry became rtte ln both lands. Hence ~ tn order to remove such ldolatry, prophets .of 'Godwere sent from, time to timle. When the misdeeds of the people of lsraall excelled an [imi,tst Glad impo,sed on them a I~dng Nebuchednezzar (o,f Babylon) who in S8'6 BG fiercely attacked derusalem andfinailly destroyed it The king ,of Jerusalem and the rrem,ailll1ring Jews were taken prisoner and remained in slavery 'for years.

Fina~"YI when :in586, Be Cyrus of. 'ran conquerec Babylon, he perimi,tted the Jlew'S to return to Jerusalem ano fiebuUt Baitul Marqdis .. Cons,eqw9·ntly.,in 5·1,5 Be. It was r,ebuUt ,Bnd Jews once aqaln populated Jerusale-n,

The' Kiin.g;dolm of lsraail was prr10if to Juds,sa destroyed at the hands of the Assyrlans . .And now 1a~thouglh tt-leir reHgl~ous differences were reduced to a considerable extent, they did not acquire k.ingship. From 400 Be! the people of lsraail l!ived under dliiff,erant kin'g"s .. I~n 33,2 Be Alexander the Grea.t acquired control, and kiingshii,p over them, n was at that time that hie translated the Did Testament which is wetl known as the! S,eptuagi,nt

~n 160 IS,e the Syrian king Antiocnus Epiphanious ibrutally' knled them on a mass scalier and burnt aU the copies [of the Old Testament. At thwstilml9,8 brave person from amongst the people of lsraail, known as Judah MaG.abee formed a g'iOUp and thereby acquired control over a, larqe part of Patestine and put to' fUg'ht the Assyrians. This rule of Macabees ~ast,ied until, 70 AD.

Comirng 0,1 ,Jesus

Apart from the small kingdoml of Macabees, the Jews of, that liim,e were dispersed. The'~1' had various settlements

What is Christtani ty

56

around the MediUelranean Sea .. Upon the destruction .c·f IBabyllon, a fairly larqs number of Je:ws settlec in Palestine. But the im'a.jori·'ty were however resident in IBabylllon Us,ell The Romans ruled over a portion of P.a~es,tiine, and this rule was. under the control of Horne. Jerusalem was a sovereign st'ate of Rome which was known as "Boman Judaea II, A ruler was appointed by the Romans to ruis over Jerusalem, The Jews, due to lack of material resources could not secure their freedom, Hence, their glaze was natur.aUy f~x,ed on the futur,9. Many of them were awaiti:ng a savlourtrorn God who would fre·e them from slavery and restore to thslm nationhood.

Jesus-was born in the re~gn of Emperor Augustus. W',e, do not have a reliable record of the life of Jesus. We have onlY the Bible in its, four books whi',ch is the only means 0" ascertalninp the pure, Iif·s of ,Jesus. However, the ,Bible ~n our view is not an authanuc source.

Re'sum'e of History of Chr'i:stia,ni:ty'

What Is the ibeginni1ng of Chrfstianitywhli,ch has assumed lts present fonn? The detailed answer jig to a great extent hi'dden" in the' ~ight of the available material, we know that after the ascension of Jesus into Heaven, his d~sdpl,es notwi:thstandi:ng opposmon became' engrossed in propagation. They attained considerable success in spite of numerous obstades ..

A~ that point, an even occurred which cihaniged conditions completeiy, The event was that a wen known Je'wish priest Sau! who unt.ill that time was ,s8'ver,el'y oppr,e,ssing the followers of Ohrlstiarrity, suddienl'y accepted tnistattn. He claimed that on the road to Damascus, alight shone on him l ,8 nd he heard the voice of J!e'sus frorn heaven nW'hy Ido you tease me'?"~ the event inUuence him to the extent that his heart became inclined to' Chr,isti:an~~ty .

Wha t is Christianity

57

When Saul announced his conversion ~o the dlscjples, the majority of tnem refusled to believe him. However, the first disciple to believe was Barnabas. The rest accepted this, and aU of them mcluded SA~L lin th's,i,r brotherhood. Saul chanced his, name to Paul, a.nd thereafter devoted hlrnseltto propaqation of Christianity" To the extent that as a consequence ow h'is deepseatad enort and struggle, 'many people who wer,e not Chr'istiiansembraced Chrlstianlty, By reason ow such service, his iniluence amonqstthe followers 'Of this fai,th continued to grow',. He gradu.ally beglant,o propagate the doctrine of the diviniity 01' Christ, redemption" and iinc.a~rnati,on. History. indicates to this extent ~hat some discl1.p,~,es openly opposed him at this juncture. However, wha.t happened thereafter is completely clouded S,8ve that we, know that the intluenee of Paul continued to lncrease.

Age of Persecution

Until the beglinning of the 4th century AD! Chnstianity remained a subdued reUg;ion, Chdstian histonans reter to that period as theaqe of persecution. At that time, the Romans from a pollitical viewpoint rull,ed over the Christians. From a reBgmo'Us viewpolnt, the Jlews exercised supremacy over them, The Jews and Bomans concurred in mocking and debasing them. ,A characteristic of this era is aliso that the system of worship and beHe'f in Chrtstlanlty was until then not coditled. tor this reason" a number of s,ects 81Ppeared in the Christian world of that time. 19na.tius (11 S. ADI); Clement (100 AD), Polycarp (155 ADL kenaeus (1,88 AD) and others were the grie,at theoloqians of the time whose wrijUngs form the basis of' Christianity.

Ca.n:stantine the Great,

Tne yealr 306 AD' ilsa joyous one in the h:istory of Christiamty. Because Constantine the First was 'made Il=mnArnr' n.f IRnmA in that vear, He embraced Chrlstianlty,

\Vhat is Christianity

and made ~t sond, This was the, first ti:me that the ruling emperor belg'an propaqating Ohrlstlanlty instead of persecuting its foUo-wers. H,e built many Churches in Constanttnople, Jerusalem, IRo:m,e and Tyre. And hie honoured the Ch ristian theol'ogians and causadthern to. be, devoted to reilligiious research, For U,js reason, various council's of theoloqians 'we're held in dltierent parts ,of the empire during his reig'n lin whlch the system of Christian beliefs. wate systernancany codified, lin thiis r,egard, the council of Nicaea, whiich was convened ,in ,AID 3.25, at Nicaea, is of fundamental' importance ,At this council the doctrine of trmnity was for tthef~rst tlme he~d to be a cardinal belief of Chrlstlanity. The d,eniers 0.: this benef" Arius and others were excommuntcated. On this occasion. the Chrisnan betiets were for the, first time recorded, and are' w-ell known as the Athana.sian Creed! 4,6.

A~.though the Council ot Nicaea codifled the basic belisls, they were ambiquous to 'the extent that there were serlous d~ner,en,ces as to their tnterpretatlon for a considerable period. To resolve' sue h differ'snces. as to their interpretation tor a considerable pl riod, To resolve such differences., the Christian theologians convened various councils at diffa,rent ptacss. These debates and disputes reached their pinnacle ~n the Sth and 6th centuries AD. Hence, this era is referred to by the Ch ristan historians as 111'th'€: Alga of GouncU,sll or the "period of centroversy" .

F'ro'm' Constantine' of Grleg,o,ry'

For the period ,31.3 A,D to 5a9 AD~ the, Ohristlan faith exercised superrnacy over the Ro,mlan monarch, Despite opposition frr,om idotatrous rellgione, Chrlsfianity was glenerall'y prevalent iirl the kingdom.. In this period, the Roman Le!Q1islature was also influenced by thi!sfailh.

4,6. lt is clear t,hal. the te,li s vhj,c!' ,re pop!LiLlar~y ~known as the Athanes·liail creed 8,1013' not those of A~hana.sius. but 'Were ~ater denoted as such by somebody.

What is Chris tianl ty

5H

The outstan ding teaturs ,of: that tlme was that Ch rlsnanlty was, dliviided over two klnqdorns. The one was in the East which had its capital at Cons~ant~lI1opllle' and whlch included Ba~kan! Gre'8cs, Asia Minorl, Egypt and Abbysinnil8 and t.he greatest re'lliigio,us fi:gure ~n the Eastern Empire was known as the Pattriarch .. The 'Other kinqdorn was in the west whose capital 'was Rome, and most ot the! areas of Europe fell under it. The Ile'ading Ire'lig~ous !Iigur,a '0:1 th,e W9:St was known as, the Pope. Since the beginning there 'was mutual rlvalry between the two emplres, and each Ion tried to prove its re'lliigi;,ous superiority over the other.

The second Ieature of thisera was, that monasticism and ascetlcism 'was w!,ds',spre,ad. The basic 18ac'h,~ngl of monasticism 'was that the pleasure of 'God could only be obtalnec by abandoning, the pleasures of the world, To the extent that man will 1nf1liet pain on h,ii!mseU1· he wilU attain nearness to God. Allt'houglh tne incllnatlon to rnonastlclsm commenced trom the 4th century .AD ,I and in the 5th century A.D there were many monasteries in Brltain and France; the first monk however w'no, developed a. systemlzec organization was the 6th century monk Pakurn, After him Barslblus and Jerome wers! its weill! known teadsrs.

The Dark Ages

lin 590 AD" Gregory the' first became Pope, From hils time to Charlemagne (860 AD) represents the first part of what Chrlstlan historians describe as the "Dark Ag'es'1n• Because, this 'is the worst period! in Christian history of political and ~nte'llectu,a~ declliine and deglener;a~i,o'n.An important reason tor this was tha~ lslam was in this penod on the ascendancy, whilst dissent'or and 'd~sunity 'was, riff~ amonglsf Christi.ans.

Tnere are two important feature's of this period. The one is that the Western Ch ri stians corr: menced

What is Christianity

·6·····0··

. .'.

propagation of Christianity ~n various parts of Europ'8:. For the first time, the Roman Christians acqui red reUgllous victory over Britain I G,ermany and other areas .. The' result was that after continued struiggle tor tour centuries, this whole Europe became Christian.

The second feature is that the sun of Is~alm began to rise inthat period, and ina short time Irs rays spread over haltthe world, i'n th,e·We'st~EgiyPt Ai'ric'8, Spai'n and in the East-Syria and lran, For this n~,as,onl! the Chris,ti:an Ihold especiahy bl the Eastern reg',ions began t'o break.

The M iddlle Ages

The' period from 800 AD to 1'52'11 AD is known as the Medieval Era. The basic feature of this era ts the W,81r between the Pope, and the' Emperor of the time, which lasted for years. Alfred A .. Garvey has divk~ed thl~s period into three' parts:

(a) from Charlemagne to Pope Gregory VII (800 - 1073) which period ~s characterised by the growing power of the' papacy.

(b) Frolm Gregory VU to Boniface VIII (1073 - 129'4)'1 the time when the Pope exercised fU1111 sway in Western Europe.

(c) trorn Boniface v~n to the reformat ion (1'.294 - 1517) the papacy declines, [he need! for reform asserts ttselt, and there are various movements towards it

W'e shaf summarize bel1o'w th,e Important events of this

era.

The Glreat Schism

The fI'great schism" is a. term of Chr~sHan history wh~ch refers to the Igreat disput,s between the Easter and W,estern Church which resutteo in the permanent separation and severance between th,s' two, The Eastel n church henceforth called itself "the holy Orthodox Chur-n", The

What Is Christianity

main CaUISI€8 ow ~.h~s estranqement are the follow~r1g:

0) The doctrinal d~nerenlces between the two: the Eastern Ohurcf Ihe~d that the hO~IY spirit proceeds, from the' Fathee alone tlhrouglh the son, but U}e Weslelrn tha~ Hie proceeds both from the Father and from the Son. This former asserts a subordination of the son to the Father; the latter rnatntalns an e'q1uallty of Fat her and Son. The Eastern Church accused the Wes1ern Church ot cornmlttinc a serious wrong ilm aUempUng to distort the, Nh::,Bne Clre'ed by i!nserting a certain word therein to support :its theories.

on There was a consart (),f race!" lin the west, the I~atin race had been aff,ected by an i nfusion of German ic blood, lin the !E:ast" the Greek. race' had been blended witll Asiatic peoples.

(i~ii) As stated previously, tbe d~viis~on orr; the one Roman Emiplire into van eastern and western gave to Christendom two centres of ,Buth()rity and Influence. and the new capital in the' East, Constantinople. became a tormldable rivar to the ancient clity of RO'ime in the West

(~v) The P'ope in Rome was not, however, prepared to surrender to the Patti arch of Oonstantlnople. or even to sherewith him, the pri,m,Bcy that the pos~tion olf Rome hiithl9:rtlO had secured for ~t,s bishop, and for several centuries thel contest for power W'EAS wa'ged.

(v,) When Le'DI IIX in 15,04 sought to force ~he visws Ol~ the West on the East, and the Patrlach of Constantlncple, Miclhael refused submieslon, lithe Papal leqatestormally laidon ~he alter of Sf. Saphlla a sentence of anathema" ~ and the schls rn 'was now com plete,

What is Chris tianity

62

IRe~~g:ious W'ars,

The: second fe,a,ture of this, e'f,a is the reng~ouswars whiich are referred mOl as the "Crusades" by Ohrlstian historlans. The Muslimls during the tlmeot Ga,Upih 'Umar ~ JJI U'-~ had conquered the areas of Jerusalem, Palestine ano Syr~a. A,t that tlme, mhe defence 'o:f; ~tsleU by the Christ~an world was a serious problem, Hence, they cOUl~d not proceed Bind conceive of! the recpvery of these holy ISJ1Ids. HOWEl'VErH'" when the r~s:ing power' of the Muslii,ms was to an extent cUlrtaUed,and at ,degre'ls' Olf weakness entered into Mus!~im ranks, the Chr1i:sltian !dings on this adv~se of thei!r cile:rgIY~ decided once agaJ:n to recover JerusalemThese wars werefouglht ,against the Sall~uk Turks land A,yubi emperors, P rlor to' these wars, Chr~st:ia,n ity did not kno:w of re'Hg:ioUis wa.rs 'Olr crusade's. But in 1 095 ~ Pope iU'lrban II announced at the council ,of Clement that thacrusades were Ire'liilglj,oUiswars. Clarke, iin bls ~iShort: Hij~Uorv of the

Church" states in this re'Q:ard:

"Urban, in order enUce people, announced that whoever participates ~n this war,~ he wm ce,rtadil1lly lJ9,f,Qrgiven! aod like Muham'mad " he prornlsed that thosa who dha on the :ba,ttlenei~d wml QOI strarn'g 111 t 10 paradise, Ii

lin Ihts way,! seven crusades were f't,)L~ght!1 Bind the Ohristlans were badly' defea.tle{~ at the hands of Saluddln Ayyubi.

C ~i'CUC tion of :Pa,nac-y'

orr. ,p_ - - - - --r-'---,

After ~h:e re~li:giolus wars, ~he power and iinfluenc,e of_ the

Pape beg!9l n to wane to a considerable extent. But, the real dec;Une' began from, the 'Urns ot Pope Innocent ~V (1243.),. T!he reason for this decline was that Pope, lnnoeent ~V bega.n '~O use hiaofflce tor pol i 'He a II andw,orldh!' gains., During his nrne tradi~ngi wn ~ndui'genoes became rite, and members of npposit[on sects w,sr'e burntalive. Later Popes took these lnequitcus measures to their extrema. Duringl

Wha t is Christianity

this period, Pope Boniface V'U became extf,em,ely opposed to Edw,ard ~ and P'hiUip IIV of France". The result 'was, that t!he papacy was cOlmpll'ete~y ended in the Roman Empire for 7'1 years {1305 - 1377}. For this period, the popes !,iv,ed in France, Hence, the peri-od was re·ferred to as the

IlB ab .. m·. . •... E' . 'I' . Ii

:- aeyroman XII.e '.

Then from 1375 - 1413,a ne'w C'al'amit.y aros,s, namely that 'two popes instead of one were ,elected .. Each claimed absorute power, and w's're elected thro,ugh cardinale. .The one was, electedtor the areas of Franoe'~ Spain and th'e other tor HallY" IEng~and and Germany. The latter was referred to as the Homa., Pope, This separa.tion is refened

t b . hlst .". "th . t' h- IJ

Or c,y 'Some ustonans as '~ .. e grea SC'Uln1 .

A'Hempts in the N,ame olf IR'efolrm

At the height of papal corruption, ther,a wler'e a number of attempts at retormatlon. Amongst the forerunner was John 'Wyclif (1.3'24 .. 1384) who 'was an opponent of the corruption and abuses of the Church, and a claimant of the election of rilghrteous popes, IHe was thef'i:rsl to cause the biiblle to be translatedinto Engliish, wh;ich '~2S publis.hed in 1385. Whereas, prior to that, it 'was a serious crime to translate the bible in any other 'tongue. IInfllu8noed by his teachmq, John HU8 and .Jerorne 'Uplhe~d the cause of reform,

Wilth a. vie'w to lending the papal contrOversy and '!gireat sch ism, II I the, counci I of P ~SA 'was convened lin 1"14091" Eighty bi shops we're present, and they removed from, offlce both popes, and ellected as pope, Alexander V. But- he, died j,mmedi,ately. Thereafter, a pirate ,JohnW~as elected Pope. But he could not suppress h~s clontemlpor',sry Popes. The resullt was that lnsteao ol two, there were three popes irn off~'ce" and the rift iln the church became leven grleat:er.

FinaUy" in November 1414 a council was convened at Constance, at which not only 'was rhe great schism

What is Christianity

64

completed" but also the reformist teaehinq of John Huss was declared heretic. lin the result, Huss and his pupil Jerome, were burnt: alive, and the moral and reliqious deIQ'enera'tion of the, Church was maintained ..

How,ev,erl the movement of John Huss was allive, and could not be suppressed by force" Its adherents 'glrew in ti me to the extend that the Pope perceived his power to be under threat . An attempt was then made at, the councn of Basel in 1431 to suppeess the, ref:onm,ist movement by means of arqurnent but w:ith no effective result

Era 01 Refor'ml and Protestantism

.. Finally in 1483 the 'founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther was born. IH,e hammered the final nail ln the coffin of papacy. Hie first announced his opposition to commerce in indullgences. Wh,en this was accept led, he IrebeUed aqainst the extraordinary power of the' Pope! and' apart 'from baptism and the' lord's supper, he, reigarded ,all other rituals as .an innovation of the Homan Church. In Switze'r.lal1ld, ulrich, ,Zw~ngli raised th,Q same voice of reform Thereafter, John Calvin inl theearly 16th century ~ lin Geneva" Iglave, this movement imp9'tus and wide sigrdticancB. To the extent that the voice of reform reacnec France" ltaly Germany and the rest of Europe, Finally the, klrngs of iEng,lland Henry VIII and IEdward VII w'e're influenced by the movement so that Protestantism became a strong opponent ot Catholicism,

Renaissance

This was the era in whlich Europe outstripped theworld in sGlentJific and technologicai advancement, The people olf Europe' who were tilll then steeped in superstition, now became alive. 'The abuse of papacy, and corruption of the, Church created in their rillearts a deep raneour towards reliqlon. IMartin Luthe for the Hrst time ventured to diner with his predecessors in the interpretation of the Ibibll1eand

\~hat is Christianity

65

wage 'war against the church. But when thils door was opened once, it continued! to reman open, Luther only arrogated to himselt the, interpretafion of tihe Bible. Even he did not dare to crtticise 'the book itself, H oweve r ~ those after him who raised the' banner o,f ratlonallsrr d]d not spare the' Bible' in their criticism. They cntlclsed eacr: and! every doctrine of Chr,ilstianity and reduced them to the level of mockery'.

Their approach was to test every claim of r,eligliion on the alter of reason, And to reject a.nything which was irrational! even iif the Church valued such teachinqs for centuries. They c.allilled themselves rationalists and theiir epoch "the a- gee ot reaso nil

, , ,_' I Il I,: ',_, ' ',,' ' , ': ,I" ,_

'WiUiiam, Shillingworth!1, 602 - 1i 644, is the foremost leader of this group. He raised the voice of rationalism tor 'the fi rst time'. lord Herbs rt 15,88 - 1648 and Thomas Hobbes 1 SoBS - 16,71 €,tc. were also. leadino figures of rationalism ..

No doctrine was sate from the sweep of rationalism. To the extent that sceptics such as Voltair,e11694 - 17'88 em,erged who even openly sowed the seeds of doubts in the existence 01 God, and later openly negated the existence .of God. Bertand Russell; thllewe~1 known Philosopher of our age! is the final adherent of this group.

The IE:ra 0,1: Modernism:

The reaction of rationalism on the adherents of Christianity was twofold. One was that soma people were overcome by rationatism and began to make changes to [he talth. This movement is known as rnodernlsrn .. They hold that wh~list the faith is fundamentally correct, it ,S interpretation and application has. proceeded on an incorrect basis, The bible contains suftlclent Uexibility to be adapted to 'the scientific advances of each aqe, For this purpose, certain unimportant portions of' tne Bible could be

What is Christianity

disregarded I and itswords and tradiiiti on al irn port could be sacnficed.

Accordinq to Doctor IPuB Lane the leader of this

,

movement W'8S. Rousseau. In recent times" Professor

Hamach and Renan were also well' known adherents thereof,

IM'o'vement of IRs'vivailis,m

The second consequence of: rationalism which arose as a reaction to it, was that .a movement ernerqed to revive IRoman Catholicism known as "Catholic ,R,evrvali Movement", The proponents o'~ this movement wag!ed war aqainst the, ratlonalists. They asserted that Christlanity is the same as expounded by their predecessors, and as defined continuously by the various councils. Hence" 'the Church must be' the supreme power. There was no need to make chanqes to Catholic doctrines, This movement bs'gan in the' 19th Century .. This was the time when the West was ~i'cking its wounds in the wake of experiencing fuUy rnaterlalisrn. Once aqain there was in consequence of the gr,eat uneasiness WIOUlght by rnaterialisrn, a te,eUng of return to the spirit, The movement of revivalism enlisted' such people, and once again reverted to those, doctrines o·f:

Chlr,islianity wh~ch brlought it to the throes of destructlon ]n the " 3th and 1'4th century- Amongst' the ,leading proponents of this movement J.A . Knox (1757 - '831 AD)!, JI.H .. Newman (1800'11 -·11.890), Hurell Frond (1803, ~ 1836) and R~Ghard W,iUiiam Church (1815 - 1890) are 'worthy of mention.

In the Christian world these three movements {rationaltsm, modernism' and the revivalism) have rernamed, and members of a~lr three movements are found in great numbers,

'*

*

What is Christianity

61

T.HER.EAL FO'UNDER OF C,H:RIST'IANITY

www.Ahlehaq.Com

\Nhat is Christianity

69

C'H.APTtER 5

WHO IS THE R:E,AL F,OUN:DER OF CHIRIS,TIAN'ITV

The Christians claim that the foundation of Ctu~st:ianity was laid by Jesus (lisa f"~1 ~ ) and that his teaehinq forms the basis of Ch rlstianlty, However, mhe result of our research ia to the cornrarv, U is accepted that Jesus was sent to the people of Israel and ~ns,truGted mhlem ~n a ne·w faith.But research and ~nvestlg,ation clearly reveal's that the teachingl of Jesus had ended ,8 short while after him; and that such teachirrq was replaced by a school of tho'IJ'ghm which was, completely contrary tel' the statements and teaching oi .Jesus. And this ne'w school ot thouqht gradual~ly developedto the present 'form of Christianity.

We have in the l:ight ow research reachec the conclusion in all honesty and s~nce:ril~Y that the founder of present ,day Christianity was not Jesus but St Paul whose 14 epistles are included iin the Bible.

lntroductlon to P,aul

Betore we adduce, proof in support of our claim, it is necessary to be introduced. to Paul,

The early lite ot Paul is clouded, However. 'we ~ea.rn from the book. "The Acts of the AposUes" andhis letters that he was in the beginning a staunch Pharisee ,J'9iW ot the tribe 01 Ben~am~ln, and his oriig'inal namewas SAUL. lin

What is Christianity

70

the letter to the Phillippians.! he himself writes:

"Clrcumcised on the eight day, of the' psople of israel, of thetribe of Benlarnin, a Hebr,ew born of the Hebrews, as to the ta:wa Pharisee" (3):5).

He was cltizen of the Homan city Tarsus (as is apparent from Acts 2'2:,28). After the somewhat arnbiquous reference to his ea,rly Ufe, first mention of him is made in the Acts (7,:58) wherein he ls referred to by name OF Saul. Then the book Acts narrates his lif'e story in three parts, namely 'that I he' was an avowed enemy of mhe disclples and followers of Jesus. He was invo!,ved day and nlight in the,ilr persecution, Then suddenly he claimed ,as foill'ows,:

"l mys,elf was convinced that I: ought to' do Imalny things in opposing the name of Jlesus o~: Nazareth. Alld ! did so in .Jerusalem, II notooll'y shut up many ot the Saints in prtson, by' autnority from the' Chie'f priests, but when they wer,e ptl~ to death I cast my vote ag,aJnst them. And I punished them often hl all the synogogues and triied \0- make them blaspheme; and in raging fury against them, I persecuted them even to foreign c,ities, lhus I journeyed to Damascus wl[Jth the authority and cornmisslon of the chief priests. At midday, a King., II saw on the way a liifghl: from heaven, bnght,er than the sun. shining round mel and t.hose who journeyed with me. And whenl we had all faMen to the ground, I heard a voice, sayinlg to me in the Hebr'8W language,. 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me'?' U hlurts you to kick ag'ailnst~he 90'adsll and II said, "Who are Y'ou, Lord?' and the' Lord sald 'I am Jesus whom you are .persecutlnq But: rise' and stand upon your teet; for I have appealed to you for this purpose" to appoI~ln1 you to, serve and bear witness, to the things iiin which YOIl have seen me and ~'O those illl which I will appear to you, de,llivelrang you from the people ,a,nd from the 9,entJIe,s ~ to whom I send yOU' to open their eyes, that thley may turn from di:mkness to Illight and from the powe r of Satan to God'il that they may' receive f()rg,iverl,ess of sins and a place among those who sre sanctfled b'y' 'faith in me".

Paull claimed that he Ibrought fa.ith in Jesus after this

VVhat is Christianity

71

incident whereupon he chanqsd hiiis name to II Paul". ~ln~Halliy.! none of the disciples we're willing to accept his claim .. h.avingi Iregaf',d to tlhe 'fact that that person 'who was their and .Jesus's avowed enemy only the day before, now truly' oelleved in Jesus. But, ,8 renowned disclple Barnabas was the first to betleve in Paul, and the others accepted this 'It is stal,ed in the "Acts":

"And when he had come to .Jerusalem, he, attempted to, [oinths dlsciplesrand 'th'ey wera all afraid crr him, for the'y did not believe that he was ,9, disciple. Barnabas took him, and brouqht hlrn to 'the Apostlesv and declared to them how on the road he had seen mha l.ord, who spoke to Ih:im, and at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name o,f Jesus, 80 he went in and ,oUll among 'them at .Jarusalem, preachinq bOlldly in the name oJ the Lord. And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists. but they we'u:~seeking It.O :kill him. And when the br'ethren Iknew it].~he~1' brought him down to Caasaree, and sent 'him off to Tarsus. (Acts 9'::26)

Paul thereafter jotned the, disciples and propaqated Christianity, and :ils considered its ~eading 'figure.

The result of 'Our research lilS that P,aul is the founder of th,e basic beliefs and theories of modern day Chrlist~anity. Jesus never taught such beliefs anc theories,

Jes U:S and Paul

This research is based Din many arquments and proofs.

We s.'ha~~ first s'how 'the ditterences and conflict between the teachlnqs 'of Jesus and Paul,

I n the first part , we have established by' authentic references of Christian theoloqians. that the basis of Cbnstlanity is the doctrine of Trinity, incarnation and redemption. The deniers of these doctrinesare declared heretics by Christian tneoloqians. ~n reality, Christianity is disti.ng,ui,shed from other reUgions on the basis of these doctrines only .. But, in truth! none of these doctmes are

What is Christianity

On the contrary, if vve viewthe statements and sayings of J1esus, W'B gather that he did not explain this doctrine even once ~n his life'tli,mle., As opposed to this" he always gave instrucuon on this runiity of God"and never did he say that. God is, composed of thr'9'e persons and the thr,ee toqether are one. A.mongst the' innumerable statements of Jesus rel,ating to God, we quot,e two of thelm h,ere. In th.e Gosp,el.s. of Matthew and IMarK" it i,s stated that Jesus said:

"Hear, 0 tsraef: the Lord our God" the Lord is One; and you shall love the lordil your God with 81111 your heart, and with a.1I YOlU soul, and, wH'1l all your mind, and with a~1 your stn:l'ngth" (Mark 12:29';: Matt 22::.316).

In the 'gospel '01 J10hnl JIB'SUS invokes God as follows:

"And this is eternal lUe that the,)!, know thee the only true God! and, Jesus christ whom tho La hastsent'. (John 1. 7 : 2.)

Apart from this, nowhere has .Jesus stated that he is iln reallily Glod and that he was incarnated in human 'form to cause the sins 'Of man to be forgiven" On the contrary, he always referred to himselt by the pseudonym "son of Adam" as appears in sixty places in the Bible.

For some time now" there has been a strong awareness iin the Christian 'world that Jiesus did not refer to himls,ellf as God, but that: the doctrine of: his divinity v~as a creation of later limes. 'n this reglard a nu mbe r of references could be quoted of ChJ~stian theologians, but we shaU confine, ourselves to. one setectcd reference from 'wh'icih one eoul,d infer that truth however concealed under the' guise' of; "ho,'ly theories' wiU inevitably manifest itself. Pr.afessor Harnack was a well-known thinker of early tw'entWeth century. A number of his books on Christianity were read with great acceptance in Europe and America, He was not a rationalist, but a. modernist. He was a firm beuever of whatever hie considered to be correct in Ohrlstianlty .. ~n 1899 and 1900 he, delivered some lectures

What is Christianity

74

on Christianity in the 'German lanquaqe which were pulbnshed under Ul9 title Das W,esEm Des Chrlstemums. An Engl'ish translation was later published under the name "'What I'S Ch risttanttv?" These lectures were overwhelmingly received with success in Germany, England and America. These lectures have now assumed such tustorical importance that no historian ot modern times would omit relerence to them,

'We set out in his own words his tneory :relatilng to. JIESUS 48.

'.

i,l Be,fore we examine -Jesus's own testimony about himself, two leadinq points must be established. In the first place; h,e desired no other be,~ie:f in his person and no cfher attachment to U than is contained in the keeping of his commandments. EVl311 in the fourth qospal, in which JS'SU,si,s pierson often seems to be raised above the contents of the gospel; the idea is sin! clearly formulated: '111f ye love me, keep my commandrnem'. He' must hlmselt have tound, during his labours, that some, people honoured, nay, even trusted him, without troublmo themselves about the contents ot his message. It was to, them that he addressed the reprimand: "Not everyone that salth unto me, Lord, Lord" shallenter into the kingdom ot heaven; but he that doe'th the will of my Father'. TO' lay down any 'Doctrine' about his person and his, di'gn~ty independently ot the' gospe'l 'was" then, quite outside his sphere of ideas. hl the second place, he described the Lord of Heaven and earth as his God and his, Father; as, the glreater, and as Him who is alone good. He is certain that everythingl which he has and everything wlhat he is to accomplish comes from, hts Father. He pray'S to H:lii,ml; he subjects himself to His Willil,: he .struggl,es hard to find our what lit: is and to. fulfil lit Aim, strsnqth. understandlnq, 'the

48. Hamach p,12'5-t28: p, 148.

What is Christianity

'"

zs ,:)

issue, and 'the herd, must an come fromthe Father,. This is what the 'Gospels say i and it cannot beturned and h\tist,ed. This 'fe,e-Ung" praying, working! struggBnQi and sufferiing lindividua~ iis a man who in the lace of his G,od a~so associates hvm,se'lf wlith other men.

These two facts mark out, asit were, the boundaries 01 the ground covered by Jesusl testimony of himself. They do not, it ws. true, Ig~vle us any positive information as to what he said; but we sha,n understand· what he reaUy meant by his testimony ~f we look Cl0S8:ly at th'8 two descripttons which, he gave of' himsellf; the Son 01 God and tne Messiah (the son of Davidl the Son of Man) .. , ...

Let us first of a" consider the desilglnaHon "Son 'of God"".

Jesus. lin one of hils discourses made it specificatty dear 'why and Itn what sense he gave hims'eli this name,. The saying lIs to be found in Matthew, and not as might perhaps have been lexpected, iln John ,:

"No man knoweth the son but the Father: neither know,eth .any man the tather, save the son, and he to whomsoever ~he son. wi'lll reveal n'im" ...

The consciousness whijch he, possesses of bein9r the Son of God is ther'efona" nothvng but the practical consequences of knowing God as the Father and as his Father. Right'ly understood. the name of Son means nothing 'but the knowiedqe of GO'tl. Here" however, hNO observations are to be made. .Jesus is convinced that he knows God in a way in which no one: e'ver knew Him betore. lin this consciousness Mre, knows Ihims'e!,f to be, the Son caHad and instituted of God, and to 'be the: Son o,f God .... (p 125 - P 1'2a.)

l'The 'Gospel, a& .Jesus proclaimed it, has to do with the tether on'ly and not wIth the son, This is no paradox, nor on the other 'hand lIS I~t "Rationalism", but the simple expression o,f t.he actual. h~~c,t as the evang,eiils,'ts giViBit" (p 144).

"The Gospe: puts the !,iving God before us. Here also. the confession or Him in belih3'f in Him and in the fulfilment of His Will ~s t:h,e sole thing [0 be confessed;

VVhi:! r is Christianity

this is what .Jesus Christ meantlil. (p 'l141B)

Our purpose ts quoting the lengthy excerpt ot Dr.

Harnack lis to show mha.! whenever a sincere and honest assessment of the qospei was made, then the conclusion was reached that Jesus never salo anything apart trorn the fact that he was the servant and prophet of God. lin today's gospelisj also I' no statement of ,Jesus can be found to the effect that he is God or son of God.

The Disciples'View ot Jesus

After Jesus, his. disdplesare second in rank, U we research their statements, we do not f~nd any conception of Trini'ty' or lncamation. The bible ascribes t'he disciples to have used 'the word "God" for Jesus. But this word has been frequently used in the sense of "Master" or "Teacher", There are a number of verses in the 8,ibie in which the disclilp~es refer to Jesus as "Lord" liMy Lord" in the sense of teacher. Accoroinq to Mlatthew. Jesus said;

"But Y(}IJ are !ot to be called Rabbi, 'for you have one teacher.. and you ,are all brethren, and cal'l no man your tat her on earth I for you nave one father, who is in heaven, Noither be called masters, for you have one master. the Christ". (Man 23 : 8 - 11)

:11 is therefore clear that the disciples by fleferring to Jesus as "'Rabbpl and "Lord" meant master and teacher, and not GOod. Hence, U cannot be' argued by re'ference to this word that they reqarded Jesus as. God. Apart from this word, there is not. even a fe'tter whi'ch supports. or retersto the doctrines of trl~nity or incarnation. On the contrary. certain cl,ear verses are found which estaolisu that the disciples considered Jesus to be a msssenqer. Peter, who had an honoured position amongst the disciples, once in a lecture to the .Jews stated:

"Man of Israel" hear those w-ordls; JlesUS of ,N azareth, a man attested to you by God wi'th mi'ghty' works and wonders and signs Wh,fCh God did throuqh him in your

What is Christianity

77

midst, zs you yourselves know Ii • (Acts 2':22)

It is clear 'that this address was mads to Jews in order to invite thelm to Chnstlanlty, 'If the doctrines 'Of trinity ano incarnation were basic tenets of Chrtsttanlty, then Peter ought to have said that Jesus ot Nazareth was "one of three persons of Godl", instead of saying ilA IManlll, Instead of saying "Attested by 'god"I', he ought to have said simply "God", and should have explai ned to the Jews the doctrines of trinity and lncamation. Further on he says:

"The God of Abraham and OIF Issac and of Jacob. the God of m.n ·fat.hers, gll.orii.f~Bd His Servant Jesus ..... " (Act 3:13)

In the Acts itself it is stated that on one occasion, alii

the disciples prayed in one voice:

"For truly in this city there were 'gathered tog,ether aqainst They HOlly Servant J,9SUS, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod 811di Pontius Pilate .... " {,~cts 4:27)

Apart from thls, the disciple Barnabas on one occasion says:

IIAnd he exhorted tnern alii ·to r'9rna~n faithful to the Lord with stsaotast purpose.for he was a good man. full of the Ho'l,y spirit and of Faith",

Here also, Jesus is referred to as, "a qood man",

All the'se verses, clearly' and unequivocalty show and reveaJ the reality, that the dlscioles re'glardedi Jesus. simply as "a man", a "messenqer ,of God'"" "servant of Goo" "Messiah", and no more.

We have seen tnat trorn Jesus to the disciples, the doctrines of trinity and lncarnation have not been proved .. There are in fact a number of; clear verses proving the contrary ..

Accordmqly, Paul is the first person who elearty and expressly espouses the doctrines of trin1ty and mcarnation. In his letter to the Phllippians he says:

" ..... Jesus, who, 'thotJgh he was in the fa rmot God r did not count 'equality with God a lhiing to be grasped, but

What is Christianity

78

emptied hi,msellf. taking the form oW a servant, being born in the likeness of men, And beiilngt 'found in human form he humbled himsE!'lfall1id1 became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

Therefore god has highly exalted him that at the

name of Jesus ,every knee should bow ,", and 6ivery'

tongue confess that Jesus Ghrist isLord, (Phtfll ,2' : 6

~ 11)

~n nis letter to the Colossians he says:

.IHe is the lrnaqe of the invis:iible God, tile first-bom of a.U creation: for in him all things welre created, in heaven and on earth. visible and I~nlvl~siblel' 'Whether" thrones or dominions or prlnoipalities or authorities ... aJI things were' created through him and '~or him". {Col 1:15-17)

Further on~ he writes:

"For in him the, whole fuHI19SS ot deny dwells bodiily .... iI (Cor: 2 : 81)

We have seen that the disclples used the word UiMasterU in regard 10 Jesus. which word In the Ught of the foregoingl meant '!!Teacherll .. But t,hey never used the word "Lord' or "Incarnate". This doctrine was expoused by PAUL.

The St.atus, of Gos,!pel ot J'ohn

An objection may arise, namely that the doctrine of incarnation appears in the begiinn:ing of the gospell of .John as follows:

"ln the, beginning! was the word, and the 'Word was wiUl1 God, and the word was God", (1;,1)

U states tu rther:

"And the word became Uesh and dwelf among IiJ'S~ ltd!] of qrace and truth; we have beheld his gl'ory" glo~y as of the only son from the Fa.'~her".

These are tbe words attributed to John" Becaaos John was a disciple, it appears that the founder of the doctrine: of ,incarnaJion was not Paulll, but John.

This objection wOILJ~d have been sound iif the 'Q!ospel of

What is Christianity

79

John were at least as authoritative as the first thre'e glQspels. This glospeil however is. c:oinciiden~a,IIII,y a. gospel 'whose authenticity is doubted by the Ohristtans themselves .. A la'rg'9 'group among the Christlans ot the' second century have denii'edi that U~I'e Igosps,11 was 'wriiUenl by John" tn recent times, the authenticity of this gospel became the centre of debate and friction. Numlerous books were, written analyslnq Us authenticity, and thousands 'of pages of discussion were wrilUien. lit Is mot possible for us to summarise these discussions, but we shall refer to' some salJlil,ant points,

lrenaeus, Orogen, Clement and Eusebius were the first to claim that this. g,Qspel W',9.S the' work ot John, the disciple .. However, at that tlme, (~:'54 AD)" a group of Chris,tilana refuseo to accept that John wrote the g05,p,ell" Encycllopa.edia Britannlca explains the' positlon of this group as follows:

"A, positive testimony Ior tne critical conclusion jis de rived from '~!he! exlsten ce (Jlf a group IOf' As,ia Mi nor Christians who about 1,,65 rejected the, gosp'e'l ,as n:ot by' John but by C'erillilthus. Th,e attrlbutionls doubtless mistaken; but could Clhlni,sUans who were' suUicienUy mrmerousjo deserve edcmg dlscusslon by St. Epiphanius in 3,74,-37711 and who upheld the Syn©p,tiists, stouts opposed the Gnostics and MOII''lltan~s'tsd' and had escaped every special deslgnaticn 1:iiII the Bishop nick-named them til'S i',A~ogiil (irraUQrHJJI eJectors 01 tihe Logos - Gaspe!)" dare" in such a -tirne and counhy" to hold such vi,ewsli had the apostolle origin been incontestable."

Then there is 'internal evidence which shows that this gospel was not written by the cisciple John. for example, the sumor o'f this book was certainly a. ,Js'wisih theologian who was famillli'sJ with Jewlsh thought and ideas. As. appears from the Acts (4: 1 :3), the apostle John, son of Zebedeewas uneducated. Furthermore, the, g:ospe~ reveals that its author was de'eplly learned and be'~long,ad to a. noble hlmii11Iy .. Whereas John I tbe son of Zebedee' had a lower status trom a worldliy viewPoint. Apart from this, the' fourth

\

What is Christianity

80

gospel; d iUers rad ~C'a:~I~y i n content and smy~e from the first th ree gOSp"6,ls,.

The first person ~>Q ascribe the gaspe.1 as thework of John was I renee us who, ~u:a::olr'ding to CIh;rjst:ian scholars, could not be re~ ieo on as authentic in the nelld off critical ana!ysis.,

For similar reasons, a, lar'g,9'gro.up otJ Christian scholars ;~n recent times are ot the Vi!'8'W t hat the 'gospel ,of John a fabrication andshould 1I10~ be I~ncluded amongst revealso books.

But, those Christian scholars, who regard the' gospel as correct and who w:~$h to save it from the slander of fabricatlon, are' virtually unanimous in our U,me that the auth'OI tlhe reot was not John the son of Zebedee butJohn The IElder.,Jlames Mackinonwrites: 4'9

!III'I is ~ ~ ks Iy en 0 ugh that I renaeu s, wh ose ace LI r,acy and critical discernment are not out standlnq has confused him with another John _, J10hn t he e Ide u menno nsd by Papias !Qff Hierapolis i~ A.sia, in the second qIILH~r1er of the second century .. 8S well as with t!he, Prophe'~ John ofth e Book of,R'0;ve I at io n ~I,

Baralk,a~u~!llah thewe~i known Chr~s,tia.nt wlriit~er om Pakistan

wriI1,s's: so

'iWe' have reached the conclusion thatthe narraflon ~h,at the Gospel of .John '~,as written by John ~he SO~I of Zebedee I~S incorrect".

He writes further:

'i'TtN3: truth is that the theoloqlans ,8Je not willing to accept without debats that ths' fourth gospell was w,ritten by John the son af Zebedee. ,And general~y, theeries to the contrary ar:J~' seen",

He has ~in his book endeavoureo 'in 'great detail to substantlate his claim that the author .01 the fourth Gospel was not John the San of Zebedee .. Why did he see, the need 10 establish this claim? He, provides an answer in the

49,. Mackinon" p .. 111'9.

SO. 8afakatJJI~latl, vol, 2. p. 140.

What is Christianity

,~

B1

fonow'lingwords:

"Those theolog,ians who be'lieve that the fourth gospel' was wriUen by John son of Zebedee ~ they do not genemUy accept the In istorlcal s,~glnU~c,ance, crf this gospet Their theory ~s thatthe fourth, gospel' is hee of historical events, and that iits contents belong to the author who put s i:t in the mouth of the word of God",.

lin vliew of the fact, 'that the attribution of the fourth gospel as the work of John the son 01 Zebedee the disciple, places its authenticity i'n serious doubt, the reverend has attempted to show that ij,t was wriUen by John the Elder, His research is that .John the Elderwas atso a pupil of Jesus, but that he was not counted among the twelve dtsclples. Jesus had honoured hlm by lnoludtng 'him m his company tn his. last days. John the Elder was a young' person, cultured! and learned iin the' Old Testament, and belonged to a noble f.am'~~y., He has ,expres,s,ed th~s iin ' hilS, IQ,ospel,.

This conclusion iis wideliy accepted in the Christian world today. 'Din this basis they have rejected John the son 0.1' Zebedee, the disciple, as the author of the, foulrth gospel~.

lin our Vi'9W'" this, conclusion Is wiithout foundation. Apart. from protecting the' origilna~rlty Qf tlhs' gospel ot John, Wl9 cannot see any other reason for it The question arises that i'1: John the Elder, apart from the twelve, 'was also another pupil of Jesus, why has he not mentioned in the first thr,e€! 'gospells? The fourth gaspe'l indicated that lts author was not only ln close contact with Jesus but also. that Jesus loved him deeply. The author of the fourth 'glosplel has in many places instead of usi,ngl his name, has used the expression 'lithe disciple whom Jesus loved", At the' end, he says that the meaning of that, expression is the author of the 'fourth gospel nimselt.

The ease with which he dealth with Jesus IS expressed by him in the followinq 'words:

"One at his disciples, whom .Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus". (13:2.3)

What is Christianity

82

He says further:

1160 I'yingl thus, close to' ~he' breast of Jesus" he saidto hiim. Lordi who is it?i. 1(13:25)

None amongst the twelve disciples dared to eat whilst lying on the breast of Jesus 51" But this disciple was so Ilo,vsd that he did not see, ,anything wrongl in so 'ENating'. II'f Jesus was so close to him, then the flirst question is why did J'B,S.uS not include him amongst hls disciples? Is lit rati,orlsUy acceptable that Judas lscariot who was re:g.a.rded ,a thief (John 12:6) and who betrayed JeSt~IS and caused him to be arrested (Luke ,22:3) I be included amongst the tweh/eJ and that pupil! of .Jesus, who ate by lying on hiis breast and wh~) was most concerned at hts ascension '~O' heaven by reason of separation trom him, should not be included amongst the d'is,ciples?'

Slecondly~ why is lit that the first three gospelsr which accordlnq to Christians contair a complete descriptiion and detail of his Ilife, even mentioninq ordinary parsons 'who were connected to him such as Mary Magda~,ene:, IMartha to, the extent that there is rnentlon of his donkey, completely fail' to make any reference to this beloved! pupi~ o.1,Jesus?

Then, i'f ther'e were a dis.ciple Iby name ot John the Elde,r" apart from John the dliscip~ej surely there was a need 1'01" authors ot tns four glos,pels to explain the dis,tinction to avoid confusion. We not e that amongst the disciples of: Jesus I there' were two, pe rsons with the name ,JI,slmus's - James son of Zebedee, and James the son of:

"Alphaeus., Slimlilarly,. there' welre two persons with the name of Judas, - Judas son of James, and Judas lscariot. To dis,'tiInguiilsh bet ween them, the authors of the gospels, have taken care to mention them separately, so that nobody may be, confused. (see Mant 0:16;' M'8rk 3:16; Luke' 6:'~4; Acts t: 1'3)., Ilf there were two persons, by the name of J'OIhn arnonqst the disciples of Jesus then why did 'the authors ot the ,gospels nom dispel the confusion as in this case of

51. U must be noted 'that, apart from the tourth gospell, th€ other gaspels do not menncn mlha partcular manner of eating and qU'Qstio:lllinQi of tl1iis disciple.

What is Chrtstlanity

James and Judas?

Apart trom this: if there were a beloved dlscipte of Jesus by name of John the, Elder, thenwhere did he 90 aUe'r the ascension of Jesus? The efforts and struggles of the di;sdpl,es after Jesus ~n the propaqation and teaehlnqs of' Christianity are described in dptail in the book Acts. wherejn the strugghes of hils outstandinq diisciiples are recorded. But, there iis no reference lin that book to a persor known as J'ohn the EldelL It cannot also be said that he, died irnmediately after the ascension of Jesus. Because the gospel o~ John waswrltten very mueh atter the t~lmle, of' ,Jesus,_ ~t is stated therein that - and t~is is Iamous Blmong,sm the disc~pl'es ~ the! author 'Of the fourth gOStJ)st wi;lll~ Uve' t!ill~ tlhe! day of judgment. (21 :23) Hence"alll Chlr~ls,tian theoloqians. who. n3Qlard John the Elder as separate from ~he Jlohn the son ot Zebedee, aria ot the view tha~ Jobn the Elder remained alive for a considerab Ie period after Jesus to the extent that Polycarp became' his pupil.

The evidence is theretcre ind!isputablle theft John the E~de'r was not a dliscii'P~'e' ()f Jesus, There remalns the verse at the end o~ the gospel o:f Jo~"m; nalmeiy~

"This is the disciple who is, beariiili1Q' witness '~O thlese things" and w'll,o has wr;~ttGn these things; and we know that histestimony iis true", (21 ::24)

The majority of Ghristiian scholars are of tlhle vm'9W that this verse ~iS not that of the author o~ the gospell ofdohn, bUlt that is an addition ot tater times, The weill known commentator ot the B~:b[e Wes,tcoU who. ls ve'ry cautlous and careful ~n the criticism of the Bibl:e, says in this re'g'ard: 52

"These two' verses appaar' to be' separate notes attached to me 'g()spe~ before its publ~~cat'iol1l. The form of verse 24 contrasted wUh that o;f X~X 35sl1l,ows conclusively that ilt is flIO~ tile witness (If the evangellist. The words were pJroibablly added by~he Epaesian Eld~rs, to whom the precedi,ng rJarraUve h,8J,d been

Wh at is Chris tiani ry

84

given both ,orally and in writing",

This view is supported by the we,n known writer of modern U,:119S Bishop, Gore" and this is the reason why these two verses aria not found h1 the codex slneticus. Hence, one cannot say that the writer oj 'these' verses was a disciple of Jss us.

It follows from the aw'ore'gloing as established beyond doubt that the author of the fourth g'Q,spe,i is neither ,J1ohn son ot Zebedee the discicle nor any other disciple of Jesus. Our Vh3W lis that the author of this, gospel was a person who lived very much later than the' dlilsciplles!, and who acquired his I,earning under Paul or rus pupils. Aecording to Westcott in order to ascribe the gospel to John, son of Zebedee. certain sentences, were added which indicate' the personal experience of the, wni~'e~rl 'with a Vi'8'W to refutinq the armnnents of some gnostic sects of those times who rejected the divinity of Jesus, n is, undisputed in the academic world that altcmanons in Hol'y books were common and continued lin order 'to debate wi'lh opposing sects of the time, Professor Streeter, the well known Chrlsflan scholar af our times writes in his excellent work "The Four Gcspels" in the most clear terms as

fo:!loWS: 53 -

"lt then in the' Fourth Gospel we fi~d an addltlon to the text", admittedly not by the oriqinal author, whl[lc~ makes a definite statement as~o authorsh l'p. is it not: more' probable t hat it was, made as some later date, perhaps also in some other localli,ty, and was intended to assert a view as, to the authorship of the book from which certain person at that time or place dissented? And that such dissent dld exist in the second century we shall see shortly. That be,ing' so, the addition of the words "this lis mne disciple which .. __ wrote these thingsi' ils to be interpreted as an.attempt to settle a debated question, and rs, therefore, ad!dHioW1a~ evidence at the existence of; doubts ij'n reglard to the authorship Of the

G . ···111 ospei

:;:,3. P. 4_

'What Is Christiani ty

,a5

Hence, it is not without wonder, ~n such a simuaUon that the fourth 'gospe:l: and the 1:leU,ers 'Of John were written by a pupil of Paul, and people in later times mads certain alterations wh ich lnolcate that the author h~mself pe rsonan~' met Jesus,

In the Ught of the geneja~ approach of thosetirnes.jhis conclusicn appears to be correct. However, adopUngl a p,ureJy Christian vlew, U119: most that 'could be, said ls that the fourth gospe~ was written by' John the Elder" but he was, inst,ead of being a disciple of .Jesus, a disciple O'f his disdpl~'e.s'l' and if one adopted the vie:w of extreme optlmism, then the' view' of Professor streeter could be adopted that the author of the fourth gospel was John the' Elder, but that: 54

"'John the Elder 11$, described by Papias as a 'disciple o,f the Lore" by PoIiycarp as orne "who had seen the Lordi, 'We need not suppcse 'that he had done much more 'than 'sI9!e' Him;' brought perhaps as a boy c).'f twelve years old to Jerusalem by hla father on pillgl~iima.g'e to the Passover. And he may have' been ,among title crowd that looked on' at the Oruclftxlon - people in those days 'were not careful to keep sucn sights fm:m children, lin that case by AiD 95, he wou~dl have reached the age! of seventy seven. The Fir,s,~ EIP~sUe of John was ebvlously 'W:rwU'Em by Ell man of advancedyears who can pass qUI~t'e InatruraUy trom "brethren" to limy I~It:lie children" in the same paragraph i(llJN UI 13, and 18)1, this last phase woulld hardly have been written by a: man under s,eventy".

There is, then, no difficulty on this score in supposfn'g that John the Elder wrote the Gospell AD '9'0 .. 9'5 at the

,a'gie' of seventv or more, w··.·.'·.' ' r.» ll'" '11 I. 'h· C .. ·.'

J .. WWJ\n e aq[~ .. om

Conclusii,o:ns,

lt is the purely extrema Christian view '[hat attempts t 0 save the fourth gospe,l from being' deelarec as, created, II'f w'e' flree ourselves from the attempts at [ustification, and accept thle theory as it is, wle arrive at the foillo'wing

What is Christianity

conclusions:

1. The author iQj the fourth gospell was not J'ohn the son of Zebedee, the disciple but John the Elder,

2. John the Elder is not amongst the dlsciples of Jesus.

3. John the Elder saw Jesus. once at the age' of twelve, but' did not get the opportunity of servinq him or hearing his· teac,hill1get

r

4., John the El1de'r saw Jesus ~n the last stage of

CruC'ifixjon .

. 5" H'ewas not a culzen ot ,Je·rus,ale'm, but he was a resident ot the Southern regions of Canaan.

16. Arter Jesus and untU 96 AID" 'we have no knowh9dge of: him - as to where hs' fived? And from 'whom he acquired knowledge?' Whose company he frequented? And wham relationshlps hie had with the disciple's?'

7., O'n or' about-95 AD" at the age of about 70, he wrote the, 'gospell ot John in whli'ch he mentions for the first

Hme the doctrine of incarna Uon, .,

8. Later an addition was made at the eno of the gosps'l which mdicated that its author was, the discjple J'ohn the son of Zebedee or somis beloved discipte of Jesus.

The above eoncluslons are not the, result ot our reasoning, but wsre arrived at by' Christian theol',o'g'ians in order to save tihe gospel from beiing declaredas created. lin the HIgh't of these, conclusions, we arrive at the foUowing' undisputed facts:

(a) The doctrine of Incarnation cannot be ascribed to Jesus or any of his disciples.

(b) This ooctrme w'as the first 'written i'n the li'fe of ,Jle.sus by a person who at the' age ot twelve only saw Jesus but did not acquire l~,earning 'from him,

What is Christianity

87

(c) The' person who presents this doctrine is unknown - that is I apart from. his ·wrilting.~ his conditlon and situation is unknown ~ what type ot person 'was hie? Wha~. were his behets? Did he coin this doctrine himself? or did he hear lit from somebody else? Whe:r·e did he pass h is Hie? What was his relationshlp wiilth the dlisci:p~e.s.?

(d) This doctrine was insert 'ed in 'the Bi,bl'8 around 9'5.

AD when his age 'was 70 and 28 years had passed since the death o~ Paull.

(e) Because Pauli had died before him" and Paul had clearly expounded the doctrine of ~ncaln1ation fin his letters, it follows therefore that the first person to expound; the doctrine was not John the Elder but Paul.

The DOlctri ne of R·ede1mpt.iion

The foregoij,ng discussion proves clearly that the doctrine of incarnation is neither supported by any statement of .Jesus nor was ~t espoused by any dlsciple Paul was the first person to present the doctrine .. Now! I·s,t UlS see who is the founder of the second doctrine of Christianlty, namely, redemption. And from where did it originate?

This doctrine accordinp to Daniel Wilson 9·5 ls the spint of Chrtstianityl You have read i,n the first chapter that salvation on the one hand is dependent on thil$ doctrine - bapnsm a.nd th'e last supper are a[1180 based on it On the other hand, the phi~osophy which underlies this doctrine is highly intricate and delicate, Hence, one would thilnk that the four gospels would contain many statements o.f Jesus explalninq the doctrine .. And Jesus and hils olsciplee 'wouilld have clearly expounded it. Such thinkiing is correct because nhe cardinal beHefs and docmnes of any ('9,ligion are death 'with in detaU iln the basic books and the writings

55. Wilson, p .. 53.

What is Christianity

1°.'· .. ·.8·'. 01"

ottne founder-so of that r,e~ilg~on.. And the oaslc books ot the rehigion whony' attempt to establish such doctrtnes. Fo:r example, the basic doctrines of ISII,am are the' unity' of God~ the finality of the prophetnood of Muhalmmad ~ and belie

in the hereafter. IHenc,e, th,e Our'an jig -"fi'Ued' wilth explanation of' these doctrines and their proofs.

But, the' posiuon of C nristianity is, the, opposlte. Thos,e' the,of,ies which sire, tundarnentat to Christian.ty and' 'which dIs,t.nguish i~ from other r,eHgjons are absent from the gospels. There is no; explanatlon tor them from Jesus or ,any o,f his disciplles. You have already net,ed Ihe position of: the doctrines. of tri'n_ty and incarnation. The, same applies to 'the doctrine IO'f redemption 'wh~ch is not proved by' any statement of Jeeus,

In order to appreciate 'this, Ilet us cast a glance on those verses of the gospell which Ch rlstians consider as supportingl the doctrine" and from 'which the doctrine Is denved. These verses are asf.oUows;,

1" IIIShe wm bear a son, and you sheU calli his name Jesus, for hie, wil'l save his people trom their s~nslO I(Matt 1 :21)

2. IiAnd the Angel said ... " for to. you ~s born this day ln the city of David a saviour. Who is Christ the Lord !i .• (Lu.~e 2, : 1 D)

3." IIFor Imiine ey.es have seen .thy sallvatronln (luke 2'::30)

4. 'For the son of man carne to seek and save the lost", (Luke, 19: 10)

5. "IEven tne son o:~ man carne not to !be s,erv,ed but to. serve, and to 'gliVG h~s Me' as a ransom for many" (Matt 20,:2,81, Marlk 10:48)

6 .• 'For thiis ls my blood lof the covenant, whi'ch i:s poured OIJ~ tor many' for 'the fOlrgi~veness oJ SoUlS", (Matt .210:2'8)

Apart from the above verses, there is, nothingl in the

What is. Chris tianiry

B9

,gospe~s irlslla'trnng to' the Doetrl ne of: Hedernpticn. Ths diifficuUy is that after readinq these: verses the mind immediately directs itsellf t,o this docmne because of 'its popularity and widespread pubucation, However, from the vtewpoiru of impartial research, if one divests the mind, for a short whil,,8 of aU the details of' the doctrine as set out in the firs.t part of this work, and then reads the verses once, ~he, plain meaning is that Jesus came to provide guidance and salvation to those steeped In the darkness of rnlsquidance. And to show the strailght path ofquidance to those wh!o became en1U~edl to perpetual punishment by reason c;,f de'nying 'God, polymeism and bad deeds, and thereby savinq them Trorn the punishment ot IheU, Irrespective -of the diff,jculties and. ha rdshlps he had to face in his propagational activiiUesand services,

"And to give his Ilii~e as, a ransom for many", II And this is my blond of the' covenant which is poured for rnanv torthe vo,r'giiv9ness of $,ins".

U the conception ot the doctrine of redemption has not settled [n the mind from the beg'inning. then the clear meaning 01 these verses irs, that Jesus is 'wiHin'Q, in order to save people from miisguidance, and! to Igive them the means of causing their previous sins to be forqiven, to even sacrifice rns Uf,s. And he 'Indicat'es this in these verses.

These verses do not support 'the phUosophy that the 'free, wiU of man was removed by reason of the sin ot Adam; and that consequently ~he orig~nal sin became embedded in Adam and his children; and that therefore every innocent: child became entitled to perpetual punishment rnen the pierson of God in the Iorm of the son assumed upon hi'm,sel'f the sins of the world by means of the with the result that the original! sin of all was 1orgliv,en.

!If the purpose of the above verses was. to ex:plailnthe doctrine of redemption, then why di.d Jesus not explain it in detaU especially when it constituted ,8 cardinal article of: fa!ith" belief wherein was essenualtor salvation?

'Dine hears day and nirg,ht expressions such as a 'certain

What Is Christianity

__ ~ __ ~ ~-~~ __ ~~~~~~ __ ~ __ ~ 90

person has sacrificed his lit'e in order to save, .h,is nation - such expressions are used ~n relation to prophets and leaders of nations. Nobody" however, contrues such expressions to the effe'ct that the eln Df Ada.m has been imposed on the nanon. On the contrary, the ~eader has nirnselt torerated the punishment inflicted on him"

Then, it there is room to construe such verses ~n the manner ailllegI8,d, then one is, titre tc infer also that Jesus assumed upon himself an the sins of his communlty, Henos', punishment woul1d not be given notwlthstandlnq the· sins committed until the day of judgemlent.W'hereas" this is refut'ed from the belginn~ng by aU the Churchs,s.

For ~hi's reason, those Christian theotogians who. read these verses impartially have instead of ~nferriing the complex philosophy ot redernption, understood the word ~n their ordinary sens,e as explained by us above" l'lf! the beginnJng ot Christian hletory, this was the viiew of coeestius. Then the' sect known as, Soc~niians. aliso, inte':rpn:rted the verses in this, manner. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states in this regard.:

"Those people found in Christ's, I~fe are only a sublime exampl,e of t.he way to salvation."

Abelard was of the "dew that the rneaninq of redemption was silmplly that the tifs' and death of Jesus was a complete tesson tn rnsrcy and compassion.

In fact the above verses cfear,ly do not prove the rneaninq of the doctrine ot redemption as contended for today, The meanlng of those verses rened upon is; something else,

Now, reverting 'to disciples, we cannot Hnd even one sentence of theirs which support the, doctrine of redemption. Hence, the 'flirst person 'who expouses this doctrine was Paul who, expounded it phli~o'soph[cally In h,is letter to the Romans.

"Therefore as sin came ~rJto the world through one man and death through sin, and so' death spread to all

What is. Christianity .

91

men because ,an men sinned .~ sin indeed was ill1 the world before the taw was ,given" But. sin is not. counted where there is no I.aw, Yet death reiig'llecl from Adam to Moses, even ever those WhOS3 sins were not ii,ke' the transqresslon of Adam, who was tile type of the one who has to come, But 'the free gift is not nke the trespass, tor it many dued througt1 one man's trespass" much more have' the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many ... and. the tree gift is not '11~ke the effect of that one man's sjn, for the judgment following 0111'9 trespass brought condernnafion but the hee gift fol:lo'Wi'lng many trespasses brings justlflcation. If, because of one man'strespass, death rreliglned 'Muolligh that one man, mucin more wil! those who receive the abundance of g,race' and U~'e 'free gift oi righteousness rei'gn in life thr(llJgh theone man Jesus Ghrist. .. then as one main's, trespass led to condemnation 'for all men; one man's act of ri'ght,eousness leads to acquittat and ii've' tor all men" ... {Bom 5:'2)

r~e explains further:

"Do you not knowtnat an 'Of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus wens baptized into his. de,ath? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, 'SOo that as Christ was raised from ihe dead by the glory o,f "the, father, we too mi9ht walk in newness of life,. Hence we know that our o'l:d se!f was crucitied with him so that the sinfu!1 body' might be destroyed." and we mril'ght no longer be enslaved to sin", (Rom 16.:.3)

This is the very same theory ot redemption which wie have set out iin the first chapter in detail. This doctrine has 110t been espoused by any person prior to Paul. Hence, he is tlhe founder of the doctrine.

The Order 101 Ac't on the T orah

After discussing the basic: doctrines 01' Christ~ani]y,it jls desirable that we deterrnine by research the te:aching of Jesus, lin reg,ard to specific matters or orders. And what changes w'ere e'Uoected by Paul?

Jesus has cllearly stated on a nurnber of cccasions that

What is Christianity

92'

his purpose' Wi,lIS not to oppose tihe, Torah, butt.r'c'onnrm ~t To the extent that it is stated in the gaspe's that. ,JI,esus did not coma to abrog'ate it lit jis reported by Matthew:

"Thinllk not tha~ II have come to aboli:sh thle Illaw and the Prophet :5; II rtav,e come not to. abollsh them but to. flulfil them." For truly~ I say to you, ~ill heaven and earth pass away, not an iota; not a dot. will pass from the I'a.w until 9.1115 accompliahed". (MaU 5:117)

MOir'Bover, on lone occasion he stated;

"So whah?W8f ~tOllJl wish that men would ,do to YO'l!, do, so to therrutor this is the lawsnd the Prophets", (Matt 7:12)

It foillows that Jesus fundamentally Iregardedl the Torah as wor~hy of' respect and action thereon,

But" what is the theory of Pau~ on th,e rulings o,i '~he Torah? This appears from his statements in his letter to the Galatians, as folillows:

"Christ redeemed us' from the curse of the law, having b eco me a cu rse fOlr IJ s II. (G,aJII ,3: 1 3)<

He, says further:

"Now before ~aith camel w,e were confined under the Ilaw, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. SoQ mat the! Law wasour custodian until Christ <came, 'that we m~ght bel just-mad by faith but now that fa,ith has come" we are no lonaer under a custcdlan...." (Galli ,3:23)

lin his l,eUEH to the Ephensians, Paull sta tes:

flBy abolilshil1g in his flesh the Law oi Commandments and Ordinances .. "".thereby biringing 'the hos~i~Hy to atn end". (Eph 2:115)

In the letter to the Hebrews hie, says:

"For when there is a change in the Priesthood." there is necessarily a. changle li:n the law as welil", (Heb. 7:12-13)

Furmer ~H9 says:

"For litt tnat rlrst covenant (TOI'ah) had been faullt~ess, there wo Llld have been no occasion for a. second".

What is Christianity

93

(IHeb.8:7)

'lin speaking of a, new covenant he treats the Hrst as cbs 0,1 ets, And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away", (8: 13)

'In the Ught of the afore' going! statements, Paul has tota'Uy ended the practical relevance and importance O'f the Torah, and has abrogated a'llli its orders and rulinos".

Last, S,upper

The details of this. ritUla.~ were set out tn the previous chapter. Tnis fcrm O~' worshtp ranks arncnqst the most important rituals of Chri$ti"1ni~y .. But there is no reference in M!ark and Matthev1 ro an ::.~, dar by J'esu$ direct ing that this act be made a perpetua ntual, Paul was the fillrst to, render it a ritual (Ii Cor 1i 1: :2:1), and Lukefo'llow'ed suit because he W'8S a student of Paul. Chrlstlan theoloqians have conceded this, Hence Fe Burkitt says: 56,

[The account ot the last Supper in Mark doas not indicate that thi,s, act must be celebrated in the future; but Sot. Paul whe:r) refemng to the act attributes it to Jesus and adds t.he following sentence: 'Do t.his in remembrance oOt me."

The Order or C~rlcu:mcjsio,n

Thi8 'Order 'Of Clrcurncision has come down from the

time, of Abraham. Torah says:

;'As for you" you shall keep my covenant, you and y,ou'r descendants altair you throughout their generations. This 'is my covenant, whi,ch you shall k,e,ep. between me and you and your descendants after you" E,veri male among you shan be clrcumctsed.. .. so shaU my covenant be tn you t: ssh an eve rlast:ng covenant. . An uncircumcised nf'l;::.··· ;~ho is not ci rcumclsed ion the "'esM of his t·o"res~;r' .ihall .be cut off hom his people; he has broken my c·~~v<~··'1~tltlU. (Gen. 17:9'-14)

And addressing iMo5~~S.

"And on the f~~gilth d2Y ')'f, m,e flesh of ihlis foreskin shaJI

'What I Christianity

94

be circumcised", (Lev. 1.2:3;)

Jesus himself was clrcumcisad as stated in luke' ,2:21 ..

Thereafter there ,is no statement om Jesus to theeff'9cE that '~'he 'Order Ciircumcision has been abrogated. In thi!s regard., the 'th·eolfY of Paul appears from his letters, In his letter to the 'Gs,lati'ans I he says:

Now l, PaLlI say to You that if you recelve circurnclsion, Christ wU11 be of no advantage to 'you".

I(GaL 5:2) WwwAhlehaq .. Corn

He says further:

"For neiUiler errcumctsion counts for any'thing, nor uncireurnclslon, but a new creatlon", (G~J 6;'15)

Histor,~call EviidencE!'

The above dlscussion shows Im!an~fesHy' the, extent of the conflict between the! theories of Jesus and Paul; and also demonstrates that 'the baSIC tenets of; modern Gh ristianity eire not part of the teachl~ngs ot Jesu s but have li:n tact been 'fo,fimul,at,9:d by Paull. Paul is the founder of the Doctrines. ot Tr~nity I lncamation, IRedemption I the Last SUPP,er, Non-Adherence to tine Torah and Abrogation of Circumcision .. We would not be unjust if we said that Paul is, on the basis o.f: the above histcrleal evidence, the founder and oriilginat,or of Christianity. However, it is desirable that further historleal evidence elucidatlnq this cla.im be presented. For that purpose, we have to study the bmo'g'lraplhy ot Paul, even liIf reliable 'matertal thereon is limited. Moraover '~he Acts of the Apostles, the letters of Paul himselt and the, wri~tings 0": Christian theoloqians wi'!'1 be referred to in corroboratlon ,of thi:s claim.

Jou rne'y to Arabia

We have al1ready statedthat Paul was a. J1ew in ongln.

He tater claimed faith lin Jesus. U he truly brought 'fait.h in Jesus, then it followed loqically that after this splritual transforrnetlon he .Qugh~ to have spent as much t~ime as possible w~th those disciples of' Jesus who! acquired tlhe~,r learnlng di'rect~y from Jesue.und who we rei the 'Q1re'ates,t

What is Christianity

95

schotars 'Of Christianity at that tim,s!,

However, the ~~'f,e of Paull demcnstratss that lrnrnediately after his. spirituel transformetlcn :1 he did not '90 to the, disclpies at .lerusalem, Instead, he 'went to the southern re'gi'ons of Syr'ia. lin the letter named Gallatians" Paull h1lms,elf wrilt,es:

"But wlne'!"]1 he who had set me apart before 'I was born, and had caned me through h~s grace! 'Was pleased! tiC reveal l Ilis son too mel in order that I mightpr'each him among the gentiles .. II d.Id not confer with nash and. blood, nor did I 910 up to Jerusaiernto those who were apostles before me, but I sent a,way into Arabla; and again I returned to Damascus", (Gall. 1.:,15-17)

What was the reason tor 'golilng 'to Arabia? The IEncydopaedia. IBr~tannica states:

IiIPaul quilckly saw 'the need to stay in a quie~ and I~Ha'a.cefull area where: he could reflect over his new position. Hence he went. to the S.olUthi,ern region.s ,of Damascus ... "the' main problem fa,chll'Q Ih~m was, to interpret the law and the teaching of Jesus in ,a new form lin the Ilig hi of In is own novel experience' .

Tne well known Chrlstian historian .James Mackinon says j,n his excellentwork 51 "From Christ to Constantine" ,as fol~ow.s:

IIAt his CC)IIIVIUs.iof'll hie .... ,we'nt away into Arab;~a (Nabata~'a.) -- apparenltly '~O think out the lmpllcations o'f hls new faith, rather than to preach to the' INlabataeans. lt was OtJ1~y three years i,ater that he went to Jerusatem to visU: Peter and James, the Lord's brother, presumably to consultthe n on the tradit:ion about Jesus!'.

The question is, why did Paui undergo thr,ee years of

_' -'

seclusion after brin,gling faith in Jesus?' Why did he' not

acquire learning and benefit from those 'who had benefitted

57'" Burkitt, vol.S, p, 148. Ilf you r,eacltlh,e account of '~he, Last Supper ill ~he' book of Mar~" you wI!! not: ~ind any order dir'9ctling tlla. lt be observed in 'the future: but 8t. Paul wnsn ref:enilng to i1lile! Last Supper adds the foillowijng sentence which

til ascribes to Jesus: '~IDo~hiiS lin rernemasrance of me." -

What is Christianity

'96

direcUy fromJesus? Has not the answer been clearly given by' the above quotations whi'ch are to the effect that Paul did not wish to adopt the teachlnqs of Jesus which were regarded bY' the, disciples as Christian" but he wished to givl8: the Chr:ishan f.aiith a new forrn, For that purpose he required time for reflectlon in a place of seclusion. His purpose was to reptaeetne pristine' re,liig:ion of Jesus with a new rel~igilon tor whi'ch ha desired to use the name of Jesus .. A wls,II'1 known biographer ot PAUL FJ fakes Jackson lrnerprets th~is act of Paull as foil lows: 58

"Moreover, he be~lre\l'e'dthaJt he' was a.cUng under the direct guidance, 'of 'God. As he told 'the Galatians he hadigofle to, debate with the older apostles. at Jerusa.iem !'By Hevellation!ll. Later the "spirit of Jesus" as will be seen, d~lrecte,dI his mlsslon on its journey. In cncnsinq S:ILAS as h'is companion he was doubness acNrlg under the belief tihat what he did was God~s wm and :lhe returned to the' scene of ntstorrner preaching' with! an El'vident detarmrnation to carry his messaqe as widely afteld as God would permit him".

" A tittle consideration willi show that this conctusion is irrationel, In the fina] analysis, he, asserts that the splntual status of Paull reached such a height that he was not in need of the training of any d[sciple in order to understand the teachlno of Jesus. U by means of this extraordinary step" Paul had praclairned the same messaqs which is established '~hrou:gh the disciples and the gospelll~ then to a certain extent this li~terpretatib'n· would have ibeen acceptable. Butl you have read botore that Paul expounded a theory wh:iGh was in direct conflict with the tea.chings of Jesus .. In such a situation. there must be some proof to the eff€ctt~at Paul received from God Ii nstructlo n iin such doctrine -- whereupon the previous form or expression .af Chr:i,stiiianiiy had beenabrooatec. In the absence of .such proot, is this naked claim of such merit that it should form the basis of revolutioniztnq Christianity?

Moreover, if there were to come immediatety after

5,8, Macki.l1oo" [p. 9·;

Vvha t is Chrtstianity

97'

Jesus, a. revolutionary dlsclple.why did Jesus not qlve any indication or information of such com,ing'? Yeti' accordinq to Christians" Jesus informed about the descent of the Holy Splrit at the time of the Pemscost, an event which was not revolutionary i~n itse,llt. But he dld not intorm of the c'omlling of PaUlII' as a rnessenqer,

The C,onduct 01: the D'isci ples towards Paull

An objection may be raised to, the ,effect that ii'f the claim ot Paull were wronq ~ and that, instead ot followinq Chris'Uanity, he W'8S dietortlnq it, why did the disciples of Ch rist assist IP aul?

The answer tc this question requires explanation, Our research reveals that paul dlidl not immedlatelv on meetinq the disciples propound his revolutionary theories. But that in the belgl~nninga he, carne to' them as a sincere lollower. Hence, the disciples assisted him. But as he beqan graduailly 'to introduce changes to Christian beliefs and 'lUack its basic conceptions, the disclples separated themselves from him completely,

Unfortunately, we' have, on~IY two means 'of determlnlnq the situation of that time .. One is the letters of paull hlimse~f; the other ~he book Acts by his student Luke. Both are clearly insutficient and not free from PauUan influence .. Notwithstanding~ lit ls not diftleutt to conclude on the basis otthese two means together wlth other hlstorical evidence, that there were extremely serious differences between Paul and the dlsclples of ,J!e'sus. ln order that the reality may emerge, we shall review the relanonsnjp O'f P.au~ with dlfferent disciples ot Jesus iiin sufftcient detail.

Paul and Baranbas

The first of the '12 disciples to meet Paul after his spiritual transtorrnatlon, arid to stay wlith him for a lonq period, 'was Barnabas, What W'8.S, his status arnonqst the disciples? This. appears from the ~ollowing statement of' the' Acts:

What is Christianity

98

"Thus .Ioseph who was surnamed by the Apostles Barnabas (which means, son of encourapernent) , a. levUe, a native of Cyprus, sold a Held which bellonged to him, and brouglht ~lhe money and laid it at U~I'e Apostles t'e,sf'. (Acts 4:36)

This was the Barnabas who ce rt~fi ed Pa u:1 as true before all the' disciples, and showed them that Paul has become like them in bellief. Wher,eas until that time, the disciples were not certain of this. Luke writes:

'~And they were ,alii 1 ah.aid of him, for they dilild not believe that he was a dii:scipille .. But Barnabas took him, and broug'ht him ~,(;, the Apostles, and declared to- them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him" and how at Damascus he had preached bolld~y in the name of Jesus ". (Ac.ts 4- .: 36)

This was the Barnabas who certified Paul as true before a.1I r:le disciples, and showed them that Paull has become Ii"ke' them in belief. Wherisas until that time, ·the olsciptes were not certain of this. Luke writes:

According 0 1he Acts both Paul and Barnabas were companions for a longl period, and both preached Christianity together, (see Acts 11 '; 25,), to the extent that the other discjples testified in n9giard! to them as follows:'

"Men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Chnst". (.Acts15 : ,2,6)

Until the fifteenth Chapter of ihe Acts, both Bamabas andl P aut are portrayed as closely con nected In all II rna tte rs. But thereafter. an event sudderllllly occurs which requires special attention. After s~aying together for such a 11!'engthy period and jointly undertaklnq the task of preachinq and propaqation l there arises suddenly a very serious dispute between the two to the extent that ijt was not possible anymore tor both to stay toglether .. The event is narrated by the Acts lin sUich a manner that the reader does not even suspect of thls before. luke writes:

'iAnd after some days Paul said to Barnabas, 'Come, let us return and 'Visit the brethren in every city where we proclaimed the' word of the Lord, and see how they

What is Christianity

99

are. And Barnabas w,an~,ed to take with them ,Joltm called Mark. But Paul thlouglh~ best: notto take with them one who had withdrawn from thsrT1 ,iin P'a,mphyli8J, and had not goOn,s with them to 'the wOlrk, And there arose a sharp contention, sot fhat the'y separated born 'each other; 18amabas took Mark with him and salled away to Cyprus but Paull chose silas and departed, be:ingl commended by lhe brethren to the grace of the' Lord. And be went through Syria and Clllcia, stJle'ng~hening the Churches", (Acts 15 :, a6,-41)

The Acts ostsnsibty attribute this serious dispute to 'the fact that Barnabas wished to take with, hlrn John VJlarkL, and Paul refused. hill our view the cause of such a serious, contention cannot be such a srnaf matter ,_ but this permanent separation of the two must certainly be ascribed to fundamental dltterences. Thefoillowing supports this:

1. The greek words ernployed by Luke in the Acts to describe the "separation" and "contention'' aria unusually severe, Blaiktock in his commentary to the Acts, ,591 wrttes:

"Luke who hon6stlly writes Oof th,e ,cUH:erence between the two companions (Paul and BarrnaJbas) used a very strong v~'olfld (,Par,axusml!J.s!!)· which has been correctly rendered as 'sharp' ln the EngHsh ~ransla,tioill; (King James VersIon), Aga.in,,, a very strong word fO'1f the Greek Ilanguagle, has been used for 'separation. 'II

~s it true that such a serious dwneJr'ence which necessitated the use ot drastic Ianquaqe a/rose ,$,imlply on the basis that one, person desired to take wi~h him John (M.A:RK).~ and the other not? Such differences and! disputes. are not lntrequent in their occurance, But" they do not result in permanent separation of; close cornpanlons who especially aile aqreed on the noble and holly obicctives on which such companlonship ~5 based" A.t this juncture some of the followers ot Paul 'ilndirecUy seek to blame barnabas, by insinu.ating that he sacrlficed his fniendsh,ip' and re,lligilQus objectives by' s,ee'kin,g to take with hlm a relative. (John

59. F,Q,akes Jackson, p .. 129. 60 .. Blailklock., p.11B.

What is Christianity

'11.0 ..... 0.1

YI .",

called MARK)'60'. luke is tillie student of Paul. It should be considered whether Barnabas, 'who acccrdinq to him, II1Iwas amongst the I,e.ad~ng figun:,s of early Ohrlstianity" and who devoted' and risked his life ln the propaqationwould tor the sake of a relative sacri'nce~h,e noble objects o.f propaqation, The srmple truth lis that the difterence of opinion between Paul and Barnabas was theoloqical. Whe'n barnabas saw ~hat Paul was altering the basic doctrines of Chrrsti.aniity, he separated himself from nlrn, And Paul's pupil, Luke, has. explaineo the dliffer,snce in a manner that i~ blame were to be apportioned, then blame, woulo be leV'Sliled at Barnabas, and Paul wDul,d be free of fault.

2:. Ther the nice thing lis that Paul later accepts the cornpanlonship QI'f J'ohn (Marik) ..

In th,e latter to Timothy (,2)'J he says:

,jGet MarK and' Ibl~irJg him with you for he is very useful in serving me", (Tim. 4: 11)

In hiis letter to. the Colossians, he writes:

"Anstarehus my 'fellow prisoner greets you; and Mark. the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instruction's - li'l he comes to you, receive him)" (Col. 4 : 10)1

We learn Irom this that thedltterence between Mark and Paul was not of serious importance. Hence, Paul accepted his ccmpanlonship later. But I' now where in the lNe'w Testament or in any tustorlcal book is there reference to. the tact that the relafionship between Barnabas and Paul was. restored .. The question ls, if the cause, of the dispute was Mark, 'then why was, the retafonship between Pautand Barnabas not restored after Pa.ul had accepted MlaTk?

:3~ No where lin t he letters of Paul is it stated 'that ~he cause' of the dispute between him and Barnabas was Mark. On the contrary, we find one, sentence, which throws some lirght on jhe dispute between the two. lin the Iletter to Galatiians; Paull' 'writes:

What is Chnsnanitv

..

'1101

1!IBut when Ceph as, carne to Antioch II opposed h~m to h~s race, because he: stood condemned. For befon:;l certain men came hom James, he ate wi'~h the 9,e,ntiles.. But when they came he drew back and separated him.sellf,~'earing the circ~mcision party, ,ArTI:d w!ith him the rest o~the JI,l:l1l.'V,s, acted il~sincerely~ S.o THAT EVIEN BARNABAS WAS G.ARIRIED AWAY BY THEIR: !NS~NCEIR:ITy!li. (Gal. 2,: i 1)

In this quotatien, Paul refers to the ,differences amongst the Christians whlch appeared in Jerusalem and Antioch att'er the ascent ot Jesus, The' majority ofthe lnhabliants of Jerusalem and Antioch after the ascent of Jesus. The majority of the inhabitants om Jerusalem were Jews, and i~ was OIT1~Y later they ernbracec Christianity. The majority of the, people of Antioch we!'FI9' polytheists, and ernbracec Chrlatianity after propaqatlon by the disciples, The, fi rst groulP are' referred to in the bible as "Jewish Christians" J and the second as Gentile Ch rlsnans'. The Jewish Christians asserted that ]I was necessary to 01 eircurncision and to act or aU tile laws of the Law OT Mioses. Hence, they wen3 also ccdbad "Ths GirGumc:is€d!~ .. The genmililes however, asserted that circumcision and the ~:ilke was riot necessary. The result was that the, Jewlsh Christians who reglarded as unlawful the slaughter of the gentilesl, did nom Mike to eat anc ~~nterml~nlg!e with the IgentUes.,. Paul was the founder and upholder om these views of the g'91lntllles. He' madethese endeavours ,il:n order to obtain support. from the g,en~iles, ano to ensure thatthelr views were same as his ..

In the above except from the Galatians, Paul criticised Barnabas and Peter war this reason, namely, that botth supported the party o~ circumcision whl'llst staying in Antioch, and separated themselves trorr the new' followers of Paul who di,d not. uphold circumclsion and U19 Law ()I~ Moses. Consequently, 'the Heverend Petersen Smith wrl~tes;: 161

II Peter used to sit mo:rstlly at ,Antioch wHhtho,se who came from Jerusalem, and who knew him before.

611. loewBnid1, p.51Q.

What is Christianity

1102,

Hence"jtrney concurred wi~h h~ m very qliJlic:k'~y. Other Jew~$h Christians, WI!;:!'e also inf~uerH:,edl by Peter lathe extent th at IB,am"abas, alsc begal1 separatin 9 fromm e GentMe Chrlsflans. This form of conduct aUected '~hese new Christiali"lIs and .Paul tollerat~d the pos~Uo~ as ~ar as posalble. Bu~ very qui,ckl'y he began o'P'POSh1Q it ev,en if tha't meant opposirng his colleaques".

U is apparent that this event precedes by atew days the separation between lB,arnabas and Paul. Because the commng of Peter to ,AnUoclh was a. Ililllte ana r the, ,meet:iing of the dmsGi:iPll'BS in .Jerusalern, and there Is not much distance ~n time between the rneetinq Oof the dlsclples and the separation of Bamabas: Luke has. narrate ad both i ncidsnts in the~:ineenth chapter of U~le Acts.

~cco:rding~y I' n ~s most probable that the sharp contention between Barnabas and Paul referredto by luke in stronq words was due: totbese fundamental theoiog~cal difference and not so much to 'the compartionship of John M1ark .. !PaUl~ did not consider necessary for his foUowers circumcision and a.hidingl by the law of Mo'ses. And Barnabas was no~ willing to overlook the, ~a.w which was greaUy emphasized by the Bliblle, and in reqard to whmcih theria was no. possl bi nty Q~ abroqanon.

Hence, Reverend Petersen Smith also perceives, this aspect _,_ namely that U18 cause of separa tion of PallJ'~ and Barnabas was net s~mpliy Mark~ bum serious theoretlca: 'd~Here'nces., Hie writes:

"Bamabesend Peter who both 'were' great. persons must hlavea.dmiUed th,eir mistake, Hence, tlhe' probllle'm would have bean resolved. ,NotwUhstandilng, Ulle pos:sibiii~ii:ty rernalns tt1at:~:here were differenoe between 'them which became' m~J.lriifes:t later",

As. if the IReverend cion cede s that the basis of the separation o~ P'aul~ and Barnaba.s, was theoretlca: dlffeli,e noes.

Counciil,of Je'rusal:em

At this sm.age,an objectiionar~$es.;' it is statec in the 15th

What is Chris Harrity

103.

chapter ,of Acts that the d~scijlple~s met in Jerusalem and decided that hegentHes on~y be mvlted to embrace' Christianity II and that they be not required t abide by the Law of Mosles. Apart from Pauli" Barnabas. P'e,te~r an James w'ere also pa.rty to th,s decision, Then, how lis ill possible for Barnabas and Peter to dtffer with Paul on the 'groun,(j that Paul 'is not regard~ngl adherence, to the Law of 'Moses. and clrcumcision as compulsory for the gentile,s? .If Peter and Barnabas he'ld a v~ew contrary to that of Paul, tnen they woulld not have issued a, rullwng the meetingl in Jerusalem to the eUect. that the gentilria'8 vee rei not bound by the Law 01 Moses.

This objection appears sound. Uj however, recourse lis had t'OI 'the conditions and circumstances surrounding the me'sUng at Jerusalem. and the' clrcurnstances r,el.aUng to the separation of Paul and Barnabas, the objection is, dispelled.

OUf research reveals that: the d .. ecision of the council of Jerusalem to exempt the 'genti~es from adherence, to ths' Law of Moses was taken in the light all the prevailing circumstances. Tine decision 'was not meant to exclude, the, rgrenti'l,e'sforever 'from adherence to the Law of Moss,s. !it appea'yed that adherence to. the detaHed Law of Moses was an obstacle to the gentililes of the Um'B in embracmq ChrisUanUy. They were afraid to 9mbrace thl18 Christian 'faith because th'sy would have had to abide by the Law ow Moses. Som,e less, ~~arned people had exptamed to them that both br~ngling 'fa~th in Jesus and abi,ding by the taw of Mas,as was necessary for salvation in the hereafter. Ilf the La'w of Mioses 'was not acted upon, salvation could not be obtained. Hence, /Luke writes:

"But some mien came down from Judea and welie, teaching the brethren, 'unless YOLI circumcised according to the custom of Mioses" you cannot be ssvec'," (Acts, 15, J)

It h~ clear that this 'instruction was wrong: .. Circumciision and abidingl by-the detailed laws of Mo,s-,es, a'though

VI/hat is Christianity

104

compulsory in the Clhr,j'st~an faith, was however not a prerequisite to fa,ilh, and nor could it be made a basis of salvation, If a non-Muslim r,ef'tJlses to acoept lslam onilly on the basis that he will Ihave to und'erg1o circumcision" what wHI be the posltton of the, scholars? Will they exctudc him from' the ford of fSllam on the basis at clrcumcision? Cllearfy not - in such a snuatlon, the non .. ,Musnm willi be, told that the' Orde~ of Circumclston 'whilst necessary is not the basis of salvation. Hence, he must adopt the cardinal benef:s of ~slam and tor that purpose hie will not have 100 under'go circumcision as a condition precedent, The' eff'ect ls not that 'the' La.w of Circumcision has been exempted in relation to non-Musums, The ,m,eaniing ls slrnply that the non,Musl!im jls saved from Kufrdisbelief).

The same procedure was adopted by the' disc,ipl1es.

Hence" when the matter was discussed at the Council of Jorusalern, it. was unanlmousty decided that ~f the gE:ntHe could not endure adherence to the detailed Law of Moses, they nevertheless be anow',ed to embrace Christianity by acceptinq the basic tenets. This ls ch3arl1y supported by th,e foUowling statement of Peter at the Council of .Jerusalerrr

"Now there'for,a why do you make hi,all of God by puWng yok.e upon the neck of the d1lsciples which neither our fat'hers nor we have been abie to bear? BUlt we beUeve that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus; ilus1 as they w,ill". (Acts 15: 1 0- '111)

Is not the claar meanlnq of this excerptthat some ot the detaUed rules of the Torah are SoO difficul'tto act upon that they and their forbears could not fully act upon them .. Notwithstandi'ng, they ,are people, of faith and desirous of salvation, then why can the gentUes not ~eavle' some of '~he' details of the' law and stUI br,ing faHh and hope lin salvation? 6,2

One must bear lin mind that. 'the Council of Jerusalem

162. Peterson SmUll, 1P.8EH39.

What is Christianity

105

did not discuss the question "Are the laws of Torah obllgatory on the' genti,~es or not?" The question under discussion was "'Must the gentiles be oroered to abide by the Law 'Of Torah or not?" --Our research reveals that there was no difterence of opinion amongst the disctples on the ob~ii,gatory nature of t.he Law of Torah . .A.,U agreed that this law was. in itself obliglatory, Debate centred around the question that experience showed that gentil,e's would not be able to act upon the details of the law _,- hence, 'why should propaqation not be restricted to call/iling them to accept the cardinal beliefs? For this reason, Luke describes the condition of those who considered adherence to the law of Torah necessary, as. follows':

"But some belisvers who belonqedto '~he party ot the Pharisees rose U.PI and said, 'U is necessary to clrcurnclse lineml and to charge' them to keep the law of 'Moses'.111 (Acts 15:5)

~n replYI James stated his judgement as loUows:

"Therefore my ,Jud,g,sment is that w,e should not trouble those of the' qentiles who, turn to God" but should wrilte to them to abstain from the pollutions of idoills, anc from LJllnchastiuy and from what lis stranqled and fro m b load ". (Acts 15: 1 '9- 2.0)

The, councf wrot'8' a ~eUsr'~o the g'enti'l,es stating therein:

IIFor it has seemed 'glood to us to I,ay upon you no greater burden than these' necessarvthlnqs: that you ibstaln 'from wliJat has been sac'rifi,oed to idols and rrorn blood and from what 'is stranqlsd and from unchastity. If yo k(6H3!p yourselves from these, you will do we". Farewell". (Act s 15:28,-39)

The above quotations clearly i:ndica.te that the disciples di!d not render the Ilaw' of torah as abrogated. But in order to accommodate a .great need, they allowed the g,erllti,les to accept Ohnstianhy without the need to adhere to. 'U18 Law of Torah. Revsrend :Mlanley writes:

"Onthelr return Paul and Barnabas learn of the debate' carnermq around whether the non-Jews could be adrrutted jo the churches on adhering, to the

What is Christianity

106

prescribed conditions. This was common in Antioch. And lPau~ and B~Jna,bas followed this principle dulling' the course o~ the~r journeys. And non-Jews were admitted to loe churches wiithout being subject to circumciston or the r~~uals of the Torah. lHowever, the ,Jswis"h Christians bel(u'I,ging to the Church of Jerusalem were, edarnant that these conditione b'e imposed on them. Paul and Barnabas as leaders of the del'e'gaJionfmm Ant'ioch ~VEHe' sent to the Councll of Jerusalem, The council rulsd that such conditions must not: be' imposed 011: the ne:w conyers who wer'e notJews, To 'fosterl..lni1y between the Jewish and' Be'nWe Christians, ~Ihe Council laid down that the Gentile Christians shou~d avoid meat dedicated to idols, blood, meat o'f stra.ngled anlrnals, adultery, and that they should observe tine high morals or ~he Law o.f Moses (T,orah)"

It is, clear from the above, that the' purpose of the oisciples was not to. abrogate the Law of Torah insofar as the gentiles 'were concerned, nut that thellr purpose was not to impose any condltlon for their entry into Christianity ..

This was the or~glinal~ position of the disclples which was. announced at the council of .Ierusatern. Thereafter when Barnabas and Paul went to Antioch, Paul explained this announcement of the disclpres by teaching that all 'the Laws of the Torah were absolutety abroqated, and that those laws were a CIJlrS,e from 'which they had been released. (Gall 3-: 13), Now, theta was no np-ed to act on them ..

U ~s clear that the acceptance ot this clarm of Paul would overturn Chrlstlanity. Hence, Peter and Barnabas opposed Pau II at this juncture, and Paull describes this as foIIIIOWS,;,

'But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, i opposed hrm to hi;s ~a!ce" because he stood condemned'. For ,befcH'e' certain men came trom James" he ame with genti,I,es; but when 'they carne he, drew back and seperated himself. ~,eawing the circumcision p'al1y .. And with him ~he rest of ~he'Jews ac~ed l~n~i:ll1C'ereIYI so that even Barnabas was earrled away by theiir

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful