Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Jesus
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AsSalamu Alaikum and welcome to a samurai.
Tonight we have our 38th on Jesus to beloved messenger of Allah, and it will be our fifth on Trinity atonement and blood sacrifice. Tonight inshallah our topics will focus in analysis of the doctrine of atonement,
Dr. Jamal better so I can
use myself, could you please give us a summary of last week's program? Okay, we try to examine the doctrine of atonement and blood sacrifice in the New Testament last time. And when indicated, first of all, but the main proponent of that was Paul, who was not a disciple of Jesus nor even an eyewitness during the ministry of Jesus peace be upon him. We have given some illustration, quotations, particularly from the book of Romans, and also some from Hebrew and Corinthian, to indicate his philosophy and ideas about a tournament through the blood of Jesus, this weapon. We also indicated that, as we compare the rather explicit writing of Paul, with other New Testament
writers, that they were comparatively less explicit than he was. We started by comparing him with Peter, who was influenced very much by him. And we find we found again, that Peter was not as explicit on that, as Paul was. We documented that from the first episode of Peter, we also examine the similarity between Paul and Luke, who was also basically his students. And we refer to the big differences really, that exists between the King James version and the Revised Standard Version, where the portion that sounded more explicit about atonement through blood sacrifice has been dropped, or at least, not put in the body of the Bible, but rather in the footnotes, which means
that it's probably less authentic than the, the revised form. And then we compare the also Paul with someone who is believed to be similar to him in his theology. And that's john. And again, we indicated that even in john, we find several references that emphasizes a good deed and keeping the commandments. And also the crucial quotation in john 17. Four, in which Jesus said that I finished my job and my duty. And that was even before crucifixion, if that were to be the core of his mission, the blood sacrifice would have not said that I finished because there could not be finished until he is actually crucified. So that shows actually, the poll indeed was the main proponent of
that question. Before I go on, and I'm sure all our viewers know Dr. jamala. Very well from St. Mary's University. Just amazing how much research you must have done to bring all this out. Now, before we go on, Dr. Jamal with this week's topic, though, something that was left over from last time, maybe I'll type that in before we go on. But you had mentioned that earlier, some initiated some New Testament writers did not agree with Paul's views on the tournament. Now, maybe you can explain on who these people were and what what the difference is worth. Okay. I think the main personality that seemed to really differ with Paul, more explicitly on his use is James in the book
of James in the Bible, especially in chapter two. I had the conditions extra from last time, if you don't mind, again, I want to be as fair as possible, I think is a very good approach to analysis. In some cases, of course, you have to paraphrase when something's too long, but I think some crucial verses one has to quote them as they are. Again, the quotations come from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. In chapters two and verse 10. James says, For whoever keeps the whole law, but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.
And continues against say that if a person, for example, does not commit adultery, but commit
murder, for example, kills, then he is guilty. Now we find that James here is emphasizing the importance of the law, following the law, not to say, you know, the faith is the more relevant thing. In the same chapter two, verse 14, he says, quote, what does it profit? My president? If a man says he has faith, but has not, or has not yet has not works? Can his faith save him?
You see, that's quite a contrast with Paul statement, for example, in Romans 1013, that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, at least as usual. What, how could save alone without good works? Save the individual. So it's no longer just say, it's no longer blood sacrifice. There is relevancy of, of works just as important.
And the same chapter two, verse 17. He says, So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead,
is dead. So let me smell your screen.
Again, that's not the way for now.
And in the same chapter, verse 20, it says, Faith, apart from works is barren. And we know that if something is buried in that there is no fruit, ie, there is no salvation even though you could say I, I believe in the blood of Jesus and all that. But it doesn't save you that in verse 24, in the same chapter, he says, you see that man is justified by works, and not by faith alone, justified by works. And that's quite a contrast of what supports say, for example, in Galatians, chapter two, verse 16, which we've quoted in the previous program, where it says that you are not justified by works, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So there are not really the same wavelength as
in verse 26. In the same chapter two, he says, For as the body apart from the spirit is dead. So faith, apart from works, is there a
contrast, I believe, is quite clear as to what Paul was quoted as saying, I don't think it's exactly really the same attitude, or views seems to be quite quite clear cut differences. Now, let's begin with with our folks of topic today. And as I'd like to hear analysis of Paul's views on atonement, maybe we could start off with what assumption
Paul had on human nature? Well,
it would appear from the various petition that you made before I do not wish to be so many of them, especially, for example, Romans chapter five verse teen, that Paul sees that the human that is the first human, Adam was created, perfect, and holy, totally perfect. And
until he and Eve ate from that forbidden tree, in which case, his nature was transformed or changed, and affected everybody else who came from his descent, it's almost like the inheritance of the sin like, for example, his statements that with the guilt, or sin of one man, everybody was, everybody died, or, you know, the death came to everyone or to the world.
Now, the this assumption of Paul, about human nature,
you know, raises a very serious problem.
Because if Adam, or Adam and Eve, for that matter, were created totally perfect, and holy beings,
then they must have been totally also incapable of this obeying God, how could you say someone is perfect and totally holy? And this
is just like the example I give them some series. Sometimes that is just like saying, this federal is a devilish engine. Well, it's either digital or Angel, the composition there's a contradiction here. A person who splits any perfect and holy is nothing capable, is not capable of disobeying God. Well, it is true
the Adam and Eve ate from the tree. But the fact that they disobeyed God and eat from that tree means actually that they were neither perfect nor holy, or as they would have not done, they ate from the tree because of their imperfection.
The other thing is that there's one basic thing that I believe that three communities seem to agree with the Jews, Christians and Muslims in my humble understanding that Adam was not created just as a spirit floating somewhere. He had the spiritual nature, he had the intellectual nature, but he had also the physical body. All three religions agree that Adam was created also in physical form, the fact that he was created from clay, from dust, whether you take it literally or meaning from the same elements in play, which is true scientific understand, in which whatever, you know, where you put, you put that material element in the human being is a symbol of imperfection in itself. Because
once you have mastered, you have material, you have elements,
rather than just totally spiritual being, then you get instincts which got created in humans to sustain the lives and sustain the human race. And once you get that, you get competition on it. Once you get that you get a perishable body which is limited. And as such, you could not really speak about Adam and Eve even before eating from the tree as totally perfect, totally hold. They were physical. They had some good elements, but they had also the capability of disobedience.
It is clear then from that that false assumption about about Adam and Eve is totally untenable. In fact, the evidence seems to be to the contrary.
Well, that sounds reasonable enough thought, how would you respond to someone who has claimed that Satan sent yet he was an angel? One, this is again, the same kind of inconsistency that you find
the same as in reference to Adam,
from a Muslim perspective, according to the Quran, actually, Satan was not an angel. Because of the same reason also, not only because of the same issue, but because God also revealed that I mean, this is for the Muslim and a statement of divine truth.
But that could also be understood very easily when we take the same rationale. Also, if Satan again was an engine, ie perfect, ie incapable of disobeying God, then how do we explain his disobedience to God? It doesn't seem to fit neither logically, nor scripture, at least according to Descartes.
And when the Quran speaks about Adam about Satan, refusing to bow down to add them, he was not really one of the engines, but with the engines as we find for example, mentioned in the Quran, in Surah, seven area 11 and in Surah, 15. b is between 28 and 32.
But indeed, in the Quran, we find that this confusion is not there at all about the identity of
Satan. In chapter 18, in the Quran, in verse 15, it says explicitly, that Adam was of Jin, gi n, and Jin and Muslim understanding are different from inches adamancy I'm sorry, I'm talking about, about Satan, Satan, Satan was of gin and gin are quite different from angels.
They are unseen like engines, but they are also similar to human beings in a sense, that they have the freedom of choice to obey God or not obey God. So you can talk about believing jinn
and non believing general are Satan's or dividends.
And in fact, the Quran also mentioned that explicitly in chapter 72, especially verses 14 and 15, will they the jinn say that some of us are believers, some are not. So Satan was not of the engine. It's it's totally
illogical, in my humble understanding to say that he was because if you were, if you were an engineer would have not disobeyed. The Quran also makes it clear,
in Surah, 66, in AR six, that the angels never disobey God in any command that he gives them. So Satan definitely was not an angel. I hope that clarifies that confusion about about the identity of Satan. Well, let's return to Paul. Now, what do he assume about God? And that is important about God's attributes. Well, it appears at times that Paul might be given somewhat conflicting signals, about the attributes of God. On one hand, he speaks basically about the quality of
Mercy, love and forgiveness of God, to the point that God chose to sacrifices on the beloved Son, Jesus peace be upon him just to carry the sins of humanity or die for us. On the other hand, we find that Paul detects God, as a being who refuses repentance,
refuses repentance, sincere, as it may be, from Adam, or any of his descendants, until the blood of his son is shed on the cross 1000s of years later, that doesn't seem to, you know, resonate with each other.
What some people say no,
this does not mean that Tor really detects God as a vengeful being who insists on seeing the blood of his own son before he can forgive mankind. But they say maybe Paul said that because he believes that God is holy. And God being totally holy, cannot really unite or tolerate anything unholy in his presence. And since no human being is holy, or totally perfect, there must be some way of washing away those sins. But that seemed to beg the question, because when isn't God Almighty, able to wash away the sins of the humans and purify them without necessarily having to have not being shed for that it is in his power? For sure.
Well, this is remind me leads us to the logic of the doctrine, the necessity of the sacrifice to satisfy the requirement of justice. Now, I've said a lot. And I want you to comment that for a
while, let's be quite often on that, as we have been also trying to be fair in quoting how the proponents of the doctrine of atonement are saying you have to be also as open and receptive to
the difficulties and flows which are flows of humans, we cannot say that God can repeat anything really, which is contradictory. But humans are humans, no matter what good intention they might have had. Well, basically, like we said, before, the idea of substitutionary or vicarious sacrifice, try to explain
how God reconcile two of his main attributes, justice and mercy, that God was merciful. He wanted to forgive Adam, but he was just and sin must be paid for, and the wages of sin is death, as Portland, put it.
But that would raise a number of questions. Let's take the concept of justice.
First of all, is it just that all the human race coming from the descent of Adam and Eve, will be born with the stigma of sin? Simply because a fallibility or a mistake that was done by Adam and Eve 1000s of years ago?
Is it justice to condemn the human being before he actually commits the sin is condemned in advance. And as Paul indicates, even even the baby, innocent baby is born sinful, before he actually committed any sin.
Now, that created the human from the very beginning, Adam, and from the very beginning, as indicated before He created him with the potential to do good or evil. He created Adam, weak and imperfect and we have given the evidence of that.
Now, that knowing this
creation of his knowing the weakness of the human, if he sees that human being coming to him, with regrets with repentance, and seeking forgiveness, is it just for God to say, No,
you must be totally perfect in order to to be saved and enter into paradise. How could God who is just create us imperfect, and require us to be absolutely perfect to go to Paradise? He created us as such with that weakness? Is that justice?
is it justice, that the innocence would be killed and tortured in order for the culprits or the guilty to be relieved from punishment? Is that justice? There is no difference between Muslims and Christians, that Jesus was innocent, and that any attempt to crucify him was definitely unjustified.
Now to say that the innocent Jesus, the pure Jesus was killed to take away the sins of the guilty. It sounds like something that doesn't resonate with justice. Just
To illustrate that, it's like a judge. And he's sitting on his bench and then come before him a note as somebody who tortured the murders.
And then he says, in order to express my love for you,
or midrash, no, don't take this person to excuse him, we should go free. We should be blessed. Drink my son, torture him and select him and kill him and the judge sit down and watch his son, his only son, the only beloved son being killed and tortured, so that he can forgive the murderer.
I know. The illustration might not be exactly
the same as the the notion of atonement, but I think it might at least pointing out the point at least bring it to mind. Is that really justice? Let's take the other quality with which justice is being attempted to reconcile through the blood atonement?
mercy. Here again, we find a number of important questions. Is it merciful, really, that God knowing the weakness of the human, reject sincere repentance and insist on bloodshed? As Paul said it, for example, in Hebrews 22, nine, no repentance without blood sacrifice. Instead, we talk about God as merciful God, who knows our weakness is that mercy?
Is it merciful,
that that blood to be sacrificed should be the blood of not just any person, but the blood of His only beloved Son, Jesus peace be upon him as called, of course, in the Bible, I'm just referring to the context of the Bible.
Is it not more merciful that God would forgive the sincere repentance without requiring blood sacrifice, let alone the sacrifice of the blood of an innocent and pure person like Jesus?
It would appear to be that the Pauline theory of atonement, which was introduced after the end of the ministry of Jesus, is not that inconsistent, with neither, or with either the divine qualities of God of justice or nursing, it doesn't seem to resonate with either of them, let alone reconcile both of them. And by the way, this is not actually the only problem with the logic of the the notion of atonement, as presented by Paul, well, maybe you can elaborate on that. Are there any other problems that that you see that you'd like to share with us? There are numerous problems, let mentioned a couple of them first, and then move to one which is really very serious. But to start
with, It is well known that when you speak about sacrifice, that you normally sacrifice something inferior, for the sake of something which is superior, not the reverse example.
If a number of people are going on board, the ship, and the ship is going to join and you must reduce the weight, in order to save everybody. It would be more logical to sacrifice the obstacles that you carry the goods, you throw the goods rather than people, but to sacrifice more important human beings to save the the good is on the ship, of course, we'd be totally unreasonable. So how can we speak here about the sacrifice of the Son of God Himself, or God incarnate in order to save someone less or inferior to him?
Just like we see all around all around us, you see, the basic laws that God created, the nature, physical and moral, are very similar in many respects, you sacrifice the life of the plant, to feed the animals, because the animals are superior in one sense. You kill the animals, for food, to feed the human beings. But you cannot reverse that you don't kill the human and give his knees because your cat is hungry. You don't sacrifice something superior for the sake of something which is inferior and definitely nobody is different. Even a Muslim with a default that Jesus differently is superior to, you know, other human beings, at least he is in the rank of great prophets and
messengers of God.
The other thing is that why should God
if you wanted even to sacrifice, sacrifice, quote, unquote, his only Beloved,
some people might say, right, it is more noble to sacrifice the best you have. But I think again, they seem to be mixing here between two different kinds of sacrifice.
If for example, a person loves his wife and he has two cars, and he gives a better car to his right, the security sacrifices disappear. That's that's understood, to give the better food even for your child and sacrifice for him. That's understandable.
But when you speak about killing someone, you don't say what I
Can someone superior for the sake of someone in theory, so I think the analogy here is not the same, I mean, there are different concepts of sacrifice.
Now, if it is said that Jesus accepted that anyway, so there is no injustice or any problem with that. But again, we all know that if a person accepts to be killed, or to get himself killed, it's almost like suicide. So it's just as wrong as killing someone. It's wrong to kill someone. And it's also morally wrong for somebody to commit a suicide if we speak about accepting, to be killed, for the sake of others, or inferior, quote, unquote.
But perhaps the most serious problem in the logic of Paul's theory of atonement
is the question as to who died on the cross. And again, according to the Bible, I'm not talking about the Muslim or Quranic view, if we were to assume that Jesus died on the cross, who actually died on the cross.
Now, there seem to be three, and only three possibilities,
that the one who died on the cross was God, or Jesus, the divine, or God incarnate God in the form of the sun,
in one manifestation called the sun,
or that the one who died on the cross was both divine and human, full man and full guard,
or that the one who died on the cross was just Jesus, the human, okay.
Let us analyze each of these possibilities and see whether they fit the theory or there is problems.
First of all,
to say that the one who died on the cross was Jesus God,
that is defined,
it raises a very serious problem.
Because it would be totally inconsistent with the Old Testament with the New Testament would define a testament of our honor. All of them, definitely agree that God is not only all living, but he is also the life giver. How could the life giver himself die? It just an impossibility. And even if we were to assume that for the sake of argument, the Gospels say that Jesus was buried for three days, who ran the world, and look after the words in the three days between burial and resurrection, so it just, even according to Christianity, the blessing to say that Jesus, the divine, but on the let's take the second possibility. The second possibility is that the one who died actually was Jesus, in
his fullness. And according to the definition of Trinity quarter before that, Jesus is believed to be by many theologians, as full man, and full God, at the same time.
Now, to say that Jesus was fully God and fully man died on the cross is just this the same in its problematic nature as the previous
assumption, because according to the Trinity, the divine and human nature of Jesus are not just two parts are put together like you can split one leg to fit the head from the body, no, the divinity and humanity are so convenient to use the CNS term. So conjoined together that you can't really separate them, which means that if Jesus has full men and full of God died on the cross is also fully God who died on the cross, which is just as blasphemous, according to all religions, really, or revealed religions. And according to the Gospels, also, we should keep in mind that Jesus shouted on the cross,
fathers in by hand, I commit my spirit that was quoted in
the Gospel, according to Matthew.
So again, it sounds he had like a human being really was talking about his soul, just like we all human beings, when we die, our soul needs us. And he didn't say for example, in deputation, father or God, in your hand, I commit my divine natures. So this is not just the divine nature, I send it to God, he say, the soul or spirit like any human being, and we'll talk about that later on the question of crucifixion. In addition to that, if you examine the other gospels like Matthew, chapter 27, verse 46, and Mark 33, verse 34, again, Jesus is quoted as saying on the cross, God, God, why have you forsaken me? That doesn't sound like God dying or even combined, divine and human dying.
Finally, if we say that the one who died on the cross was Jesus the human then
it is a very difficult problem because according to the theory of it
And it is the divine who must die. The death of any human beings no matter how great he is, is not enough to take the sins of all humanity and we discuss that in detail in the discussion of the writings of Unitarian Christians. So either way, it doesn't seem to make really a clear explanation but says you know, respect that you know, these are common mistakes you're going to have to take off from this time together, mix with each other. And thank you all for joining us here in assignment focus questions and any comments you may have would be appreciated. Our phone number and address will be appearing on the screen for a lot of us