Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Jesus
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AsSalamu Alaikum and welcome to a salmon focus.
Today's program will be our 22nd on Jesus, the beloved messenger of Allah. Within this series we have our fourth program on the domestication of Jesus is evolution.
I'm your host and sharpening nation here with me once again from St. Mary's University is Dr. Jamal better.
Could you please have a summary of last week's program? Certainly.
Last time, we tried to explain that, according to many historians, that the nature of the difference between Barnabas, st Barnabas and Paul was really perhaps more important than what is conveyed in the book of Acts. And that essentially, Paul was more prepared to make many compromises in order to attract the Greco Roman population.
And that this compromises were not only restricted to a negation of the law, or releasing
himself and others from the law, which was confirmed by Jesus peace be upon him. But it did also get to the matters of creed or belief. And the way he spoke about Christ sounded rather familiar to people with Greco Roman background, who did believe already, by that time that they were gods or the gods could come down to earth and intermingling and help people.
Neither of these compromises were accepted by St. Barnabas. Yet By that time, Paul has already
had already acquired wide reputation. And he was able to actually to do it almost alone. Even without Paul, however, he was still seeking some authority and support among the eyewitnesses of Christ. So he tried to convey or trying to, I should say, persuade,
to join him in order to give him some authority.
We indicated that in According to the New Testament, the profile of Peter is that of a person who's rather weak and afraid, he denied Jesus, for example, he did not have the same strength and uncompromising attitude of Barnabas. And he was willing to accommodate Paul in the hope that by accepting this new ideas and accommodating some of the backgrounds of the people in the Gentile world, they may somehow be less persecuted. And we said that subsequently, Paul became even bolder in his doctrine and teaching. And in his attempt to justify why he's introducing this innovation that were never taught by by Jesus, he resorted to two basic
excuses. One is that this new teachings were conveyed to him directly by vision, or revelation by Christ. And secondly, that there is nothing wrong of saying something which is not strictly true, if that might help, if some good will come out of that. And we analyzed, for example, in a statement in the book of Romans, particularly in chapter three, verses seven and eight. And for that reason, we said that many scholars that we quoted last time, considered what Paul thought really a heresy which is different from what Jesus taught. However, both the Pauline Christianity might say, as well as the Apostolic Christianity that believed in Jesus, absolute humanity and nothing else. Both of them
continued to spread maybe in different degrees, but, but they both survived for some time.
It would be interesting to know if there was any other historical evidence of the pattern of the spread of both versions. When you see the the followers of Christ's peace be upon him.
And of course, people like Barnabas and those who followed the original teaching
of absolute monotheism did not develop any central organization
as the Pauline church did, but because of the devotion to that truth that they believed in, the numbers increased quite a bit spread.
But they actually like went to the deserts and mountains
unformulated small communities autonomous communities, which made it difficult for their pursuers their prosecutors to, you know, catch them. So they remained more or less, under less pressure to compromise their teaching, they were more or less independent, they didn't have that pressure to change.
Their teaching spread largely to the south and west, especially across North Africa.
And they kept emphasizing, again absolute monotheism. As far as the Pauline version,
it spread mainly in Greece, and in Europe.
And history, in fact, that preserved the name of some Christian groups, who lived in the early period, believed in God as the one and only God worshipped him, did not even use the term fathers to refer to God apparently to avoid any confusion, and believed in Jesus but never as defined or equal to God. Among those groups, for example, as the IP unites certain things, or Corinthians, best lydians carpo creations and many others, who survived for quite a bit of time. In this period, however, there were
numerous accounts that began to emerge about the life of Jesus. So they're not only four gospels, they were, you know, dozens of gospels, each one with its own account. By that time, there was no canonization
or what is regarded as official, official accepted or officially rejected otherwise. But the difference, of course, the major difference, as executives existed between two big
basic streams really, the absolute monotheism as followed by the Apostolic Church, versus the Pauline, the innovation, the new ideas that he introduced.
But why did the Pauline doctrine become so dominant?
Well, in addition, of course, to the fact that
the attitude of Paul and the way he presented the teaching of Christ seemed to have really appealed to the mind of the Greco Roman populations and their religious background. But in addition to this, which is, of course, the reason that we analyzed in the previous program, the Pauline church historically aligned itself with the Roman emperors.
And they became quite hostile to the followers of Christ who did not accept the innovations of Paul as authentic or revelation, they did not necessarily share his idea. That's why we find a famous historian, by the name of Toland to LA MD in his book, The nazarenes, which was published in 1718. It says that many of the followers of porn did not even hesitate to write scriptures of their own devices, they did their own writing their own ideas, and again, present that as scriptures as something which is authentic or something that Jesus taught.
Many apocrypha were put in the same footing with books or references that were older and even more authentic. So there was a great deal of inconsistency. In some cases, you can say even utter confusion,
to distinguish between history and fable.
But the absolute monotheists
and their role, did not really end in the first century. It continued also in the second century, right, even through the Nicene.
conference, and even for a later time, but they still continued to,
to survive following this early period, you might say,
I'd be interested to know if the period following this these early traditions, did the strict monotheistic tradition continue? Yes, indeed, it did. And we find actually many scholars and saints among very famous writers in the history of Christianity who actually believed very sincerely and profoundly in the absolute monotheism. In fact, many of them avoided even the use of the term son, to refer to Jesus peace be upon him because our son of God because of the confusion it has produced, and many of them actually live, specifically also in the North Africa.
Were there any examples of major personalities during that period of time? Very good summary.
Given in that excellent volume by Atal Raheem Jesus, a prophet of Islam. And maybe you can pick a few of this, more or less chronologically, not necessarily in the strict order, but one of the earlier ones was erroneous, or elanders, who lived between the year 130 to 200.
He's mentioned historically began when,
when he carried a message from the Bishop of Lyons, to the pope in Rome,
asking the pope to stop persecuting Christians who did not agree with the Pauline church.
And it is said that while Ariana was in Rome, he heard already, that all the dissenting Christians, including the bishop, were all killed.
In the year 190. Daniel himself wrote to the Pope of the time, pop Victor's asking him to stop the massacres of Christians again, solely because they differ in matters of belief with the Pauline church.
It is said that Iran is believed in the absolute oneness of God of Allah. And that Christ was a human being nothing but he was in a very strong opposition to Paul.
And actually, he said that Paul did introduce platonic philosophy and mystical religions into Christianity that he should have not done that was the opinion of Iran is
another very important person also is very well famous, his father to Chilean, who lived between the year 162 to 20.
And this man also belonged largely to the African church. He believed in the absolute unity of God. And he wrote that most common people or a common man really think of Jesus in His time or thought of Jesus as a human being.
Only a human being. He was actually the first one to use the term trinitas in the Latin writing, when he was discussing this idea, introduced into the into the teaching of Christ.
A third famous person that scholars of the Bible are familiar with is Oregon, or r i g. e. n,
who lived again between 185 to 254.
This man was born in Alexandria in Egypt, his father actually was among the followers of the original Apostolic Church, the absolute monotheistic faith.
He totally refused to accept the Pauline interpretation. As a result, he was killed in the year 200, or eight.
But actually, during his life, the life of the father of Oregon, he actually established a theological school and his teachers, actually, and the teacher, of course of Oregon,
was the very famous theologian, Clement
Clement, however, when the father of Oregon was killed, felt dangerous for his life, so he escaped from Alexandria.
As a result, Oregon felt that he has to fill the void and he actually in the years 230, he was ordained as a priest in Palestine. But after that, again, he was deposed and exiled.
It is said that, Jerome, and by the way, Jerome was the famous writer who wrote the vulgate Bible, which was the first Latin translation of the Bible.
In the beginning, Jerome himself is said to have been a supporter of Oregon.
But later on, he began to accept the notion of Trinity and became even very instrumental in condemning Oregon. As a result, Oregon was imprisoned, tortured, and 10 deaths in the year handed, in the years 250. For
the official reason given for his imprisonment and ferocious was that he refused the idea of Trinity and believe that God is superior.
And Jesus is the servant of God. There are also other people like for example, the man by the name of diodorus, di o, d, o, R Us. I know these names are rather unfamiliar so I have to skip some spinning for some, he was the Bishop of Texas. He also upheld that Christ was a human being we had
Who had a physical, human body and human souls
Another man by the name of Lucian, it's l UCI and died in the hand in the year 312
was also a very famous scholar who reviewed or edited the Septuagint. And deleted from it some of the additions or
alteration that were introduced while it was translated into Greek.
And also believed that Jesus was not equal to God, but subordinate to him. As a result, like others also he was tortured, and put to death in the years 312. But perhaps
one of the most important of all of these personalities was an odious AI, you us will have between 250 and 336, who stood very firmly against the innovation and the teaching of Christ, he stood against 20. And he did get did play an important role in the early parts, and I'm talking about competitively only a fraction of the salary the first or second century, we're talking about the nicean periods, or around that time.
Well, since he is so important, maybe you can tell us a bit more about him and his convictions, when to start with his birthplace was in North Africa. And they used 250.
Like many other theologians, and since he did not accept the innovations introduced by Paul, and his basic motto was, follow Jesus as He preached. Now, don't just take the ideas or interpretation of others what people say about Jesus just see what he himself preached.
While Of course, his belief was not really new. But he gave the Apostolic Church, the Unitarians, you might say,
a great deal of strength.
Some believes that his beliefs and convictions was simply an extension
of his teachers, Lucien, who mentioned before, that he was marched against Well,
Areas was in charge of one of the churches and Alexandria. However, his fame extended very fast and much beyond the locality of his own church. He was known to be a very strict person and aesthetic aesthetic in his life.
And because of his knowledge and wisdom, frankness and piety, he used to be a very direct person in terms of dealing with matters of creed and faith. He didn't make no bones about it, just talking very honestly and very straightforward.
But one of the remarkable qualities of areas is that he did not approve of the existing trend that starts with a little, you know, later, of the Alliance, the growing alliance between the Pauline church and Constantine, the Roman Emperor, who in the opinion of some historians, supported the Pauline church, mainly because of political experience in it not only for the sake of Christ are sick of the teaching, but he had his political ambition involved. Also, I'd be interested to know why this happened. I mean, like what the Emperor with all his powers, and I assume it's almost unlimited power. Why would she feel it necessary to ally himself with this group? Well, Constantine,
and his alliance with the Pauline church can be explained perhaps by referring briefly to some of the events in his life that perhaps might have led him to see this kind of support. You see, some historian indicate that Constantine why he was the Emperor became quite jealous, even of his own elder son, and his heir caspers.
Christmas became very popular because of his good looks, his courage and charm.
And it is said that Constantine might have had some role in getting him murdered.
Of course, it's very difficult to imagine how could father
have any part or agreement in the killing of his own son but we can understand that also by indicating that Christmas stepmothers also had here on vested interest to get rid of Christmas because she wanted
her own son to succeed Constantine. So Christmas was the first in line. So maybe she had some interest in that. And some believe that you might have even pushed Constantine into that.
Constantine, of course, after that became very grieved. And of course, he was his son after all. And he blamed
his wife, the, that's the stepmother of his son
for that, and it is said that he got so mad that he emerged harsh in a bag full of boiling water. So instead of one now there are two murders. Now,
at that time, Constantine began to realize that he's facing two enemies,
the supporters of his son Christmas, and also his supporters of his wife, the stepmother of Christmas, who, of course, were quite interested to seek some kind of revenge for these two murders. In his disparate historian said that he went to these priests of the Roman Temple of Jupiter,
and ask them if there's any sacrifice that he can do to be absolved of those two murders. They told him no. So he decided to go to design team. And actually he called the city after his name, Constantin Poole, from Constantine Slater, Stallman, which is now of course in Turkey, and it's called the stamp board. When he went there,
he was told
that by the proline church officials that if he did any penance,
in the armchairs, he would be forgiven. Now, that was a golden opportunity for Constantine. On one hand, he wanted to get this guilt of the two matters off his chest, and his own priests did not find any way out. On the other hand, to him, that would be a sort of religious, you know, support for him. And from that point, he thought that maybe he can use the church for his own ends. So he gave it his entire support. From that moment on that version, the proline church began to spread really fast. And with a great deal of strength, of course, you have the secular power, you know, behind it. And
it was said also that, if he thought that by supporting the church, they would reciprocate. At that time, as you know, he was involved in wars. And he found that in the churches, which are scattered along the Mediterranean costs, the churches could serve very much as, you know, sources of intelligence information, because he was hoping and had the ambition to unify Europe, and the Middle East, for that matter under his leadership. But historians seem to feel that he remained actually pagan, even though he supported the 14 church, as if to prove to his own subjects. And many of them of course, as you know, believed in Jupiter, that he is like them. So he did not really show or say
that he became Christian or anything of that nature, he still wanted to get the popular support. And this state of affairs continued, until the old controversy between those who believed in absolute monotheism versus the idea of Trinity or deification of Jesus.
This controversy began to flare up again. Well, why, why did that happen? And why at this time, did that controversy?
You see the the new alliance that has already emerged between the Roman Emperor Constantine and the Pauline church, okay, that changed the position, or the situation quite dramatically, the situation is no longer the same, in terms of balance of power, balance of power. Now for Constantine, this was a new power that he needed, you know, to support him. And for the Polish church. Now that position became much stronger. And as it happens in history, in the history of any faith, for that matter. Now, with the power of the state behind the church, many people converted, some sincerely, but many perhaps, because the power now is on the side of the church. And like I said, this happens in many
followers of many religious people who convert because now a new power is emerging. And that heralded the period where Christianity began to be more of a mass movement, you might say, because of their support of Constantine. So that might explain
I like to steal requests. And, by the way, if you could elaborate a little more on why these new Congress joined Pauline church, rather than the Apostolic Church, in addition to the power of the of the state, the power of the state behind them, I think this probably might relate to the nature of difference or dispute that has risen in the early days of Christianity between St. Barnabas eyewitness and Paul, you know, the one who came later.
And now the Pauline Church has followed the idea of Paul, about the law. And as such,
you know, Paul did not see it quite necessary to follow everything in the law, circumcision was no longer necessary. eating pork was a key, as we indicated in the previous program.
And as such, the kind of disciplined life that was there, in the among the Jews, at least in theory, some of them followed, some didn't. But it was there. The discipline life that Jesus himself and his early followers lived by,
became no longer necessary. So the door was wide open, anyone you know, with whatever he wants to still can somehow be accommodated. And as indicated before they for lean
in the way
it's, it spoke about Jesus peace be upon him. And using frequently the term Son of God, and the notion of sacrifice and atonement introduced in that particular form, by Paul, seem to have some resonance with it. That is in line with the ideas and beliefs of the of the Greco Roman people. You see, we've talked about them before that they believed in Gods coming in human form, and working on Earth. That was before Paul even
so that we could possibly explain some of the reasons but of course,
it is my humble understanding. And I agree with many historians in that respect, that the political reason perhaps, was the more important one that the Emperor gave his full power. And support to the Pauline church took sides. And that even though many times you've tried to appear as unfortunate, as in fact, he really was all for it. And as any person who's looking for power, like Constantine, or favor, definitely, people who seek power also should try to please Him and try to reciprocate and to align themselves with him.
on his part, Constantine, perhaps even, as some historians say, did not really understand Christianity.
Perhaps what he might have aspired to, was to unify the church. In other words, his attempt
to unify the church was not really for the sake of Christ was not for the sake of putting the house in order or having Christianity being united or anything of that nature. That was not primarily his purpose. What his main purpose was, is that now that the Pauline church began to be centered, or based in Rome, he wanted the unity of the churches under his wing, under his command in Rome, instead of Jerusalem, as it used to be in the past, at least in the early days, when the eyewitnesses the immediate disciples of Jesus were living.
In reality, in fact, he even favored forcing the Apostolic Church or applying all kinds of pressures on the nazarenes, as you might call it, or the the early followers of Jesus who followed him as a prophet, human, messenger of God and His servants subsidiary to whom or subordinate, he wanted actually to push them
to be part of the Church of Rome, under his
leadership. So it's in a sort of indirect way of establishing his power, and of course, bringing unity under his empire, at least as a political goal, of course, was very prominent. It is mine. Thank you very much.
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