Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Jesus
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AsSalamu Alaikum and welcome once again to Islam focus.
Today's program inshallah will be our 54th. In our series Jesus delivered messenger of Allah and our 21st on sin, atonement and sacrifice. I'm your host and shot the mission here once again from St. Mary's University and talk to Gemma Sri.
There are some replays of last week's program. Okay, last week we continued to discuss the external evidence that normally is given on the port has been attributed to the study of Jesus peace be upon him, especially in the writing of the famous Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus. And we indicated that he didn't mention much and even in one of the references when he speaks about Jesus peace be upon him.
Some scholars concluded that this must have been an editorial thing and insertion really, because the terminology used deflect more of the Christian theological type of terminology that you called Jesus Messiah that he was raising from or just from this, according to what the prophets have prophesied. And then we started to find some other possible explanation of the common idea that is available,
and more particularly the idea of the dying and resurrecting gods. And we said that this existed in so many religions, which are usually referred to as mythical or mythical religions, we began to look into the mythology of the Sun worship, and how is that related to the phases of the sun, or the struggle between the prince of darkness and the Lord of life, as represented by the changes in the length of the day and night,
and that it was quite common in many of those mythical religions to celebrate
the beginning of winter, and the symbol of the birth of the Sun God,
and the in the spring, or equivalent to Easter, the symbol of success of the gods of light against the forces of darkness, who gave a number of examples of the famous sun gods in the energy in Central Asia, many miners in Syria, Greece, Egypt, in pressure.
At the end, we said also that the story of the Sun God in better known or Ben, or Daniel Dawson's present son God,
was discovered to be very strikingly similar to the story accepted by the gospel writers to Jesus peace be upon him. And that's when it was translated in 1922. After an important archaeological discovery. It's really was of great interest to many scholars in terms of its analysis. analogy with the story. Actually, I was hoping to start off with a clarification about the Turin myth. But just in order to not interrupt the continuity of programming, we will respond this question to later on. Let's go back to Babylon and try to ask her at this time what similarities were discovered between the passionate story of the owl and those attributed to Jesus? Okay, I give the reference last time.
It was published in a British Journal called the quest in 1822. January two specific
the comparisons are very familiar. But since I believe by now all the viewers are familiar, of course, with the story mentioned in the gospels about the addressed crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus peace be upon him. So I only speak about bands, and obviously, the similarities would be quite clear. First of all,
in the passion story, it says that band, the sun, God was taken prisoner, that he was trying on a mountain, sort of Hall of Justice, that he was smitten or squashed.
He was made away to the mountain, that is to be felt.
that there were two people
for sticking with bands, who were also condemned, one of them was let go, the other one was crucified with Him. Remember, again, the question of barabas, who was let go, and others towards crucified on either side of Jesus. It says that after the band went to the mountain, and that is he was killed, the city was destroyed and the great deal of commotion and word. Again, that's just with what Matthew said, about what happened after the death of Jesus on the cross, as he describes it, that the there have been earthquake, rocks were split. And you know that that came from the grades.
Another similarity is that it's a band also, his clothes were carried away. It speaks about women coming to wipe away the blood, which came out of him.
It's says also, and that's interesting in terms of analogy, that bomb, went down into the mountain and disappeared from life, and was held in the mountain as a prisoner.
Again, if you refer to especially the
first Peter, on the book of Acts, or comments, when speaks about Jesus, after death, going to the realm of the dead, and then there's a lasting review. In the study of God also, it speaks about guards who watched Bell being imprisoned in the mountain.
It speaks about a goddess who used to come to Bell and send him.
It says that battles return to life again, just like the sun in the spring, and he came out of the mountain. It's a sort of resurrection type.
And that one of the most important celebration is to have a marsh that's in the spring, was the symbol of the victory of battles over the forces of darkness. As many scholars have pointed out, the similarities between this very ancient Actor in a passion story have been or been. And what the writers data on written in the New Testament has to explicitly to say that they were just, you know, coincidental. It's quite interesting of any student of comparative religion
did the notion of sun Gods exist anywhere outside of the Mediterranean area? One, you might be surprised about the extent to which this
notion of buying and resurrecting God was spread all over the world.
There are some scholars when it's very easy to ancient Mexico,
where they believed also that there was another
son God, by the name of quit sell copies. It's a very
quick sell cotton, who was believed to be the born Savior.
He was believed, it was believed that a Heavenly Messenger for personal use something like an angel, a Heavenly Messenger, declared his unnatural birth, his mother was called the Queen of Heaven,
that this son God struggled for the redemption of mankind, and that he died upon the cross, as an atonement for the sins of mankind.
It says that he was tempted on a mountain and fasted for 40 days
followers believed in his resurrection. And to consider him man God also,
they had a practice to symbolize
or make a symbol of his body
have what they consider to be their Savior. And they used to make their sacraments using the cross as the symbol.
Their priests mostly lived in celibacy.
They thought peace and burning injury with meekness and that one should depend more on the mercy of God rather than his own merit. They also practiced confession, and absolution.
And we're talking here about ancient Mexico and how far away from the Middle East
Well, how about the ancient world for example, in the east, can you form any parallel with that form of belief? There have been scholars have already done lots of work on that on the so called Eastern religion.
For example, in India, Krishna
was believed to be the miraculous incarnation of Vishnu. Of course, you might say who is Vishnu to just to give a background
The Hindus believed in a very ancient form of the Trinity.
And they believe that there are sort of Triune God, you might say, or three persons in God would very similar to the concept of Trinity that came later on.
He, so he is God Brahma, he is God, Vishnu and his God, Shiva.
And they believe that Vishnu was the second person of that triangle of Trinity might say, sang that word. And so they believe, actually, that, that
the Krishna actually was the actual reincarnation of the second person, which is Vishnu.
It also says that the angels declared
that nature should have a good reason to exalt and feel happy for the birth of
Vishnu, or His incarnation,
that his birth, and that's an interesting point, his birth was indicated by a start in heavens, and that even though he royally descended, he was born in a cave,
that this divine child was recognized and adored by cow herds,
that he was given gifts of sandalwood, and expensive perfumes,
that his hosts, her father, was warned through a heavenly voice, that he should escape with the child because the king of death time called King cancer,
wanted to kill
wanted to kill Krishna. And actually, he ordered the killing of all males who were born in denial of the birth of Krishna.
And they say also that he had mericans, including tearing the leper. And that Elaine woman came to him with a vessel which contained oil and spices, and that she anointed him on the head,
that he was slain that Krishna he was slain, and that upon his death, the sun darkened at noon, even the timeframe at noon, and that spirits were seeing from all sides, again, tremendous with Matthew's description of what happened after the crucifixion of Jesus as He discarded spirits were seen that he went to the hands. And then He resurrected again from this, and ascended bodily to heaven, that he's going to come again to the world in the later days. And then when he when he comes, the sun and moon will be darkened and the star will fall, and that he will be the judge of the dead.
They also believed that Krishna was the creator of all things visible and invisible, that he actually delivered his followers from all sense. Interesting enough, it says that he also was transfigured
in front of one of his beloved disciples called our Juna that he washed the feet of the Brahmins.
In fact, some writers say that
the idea of deification of Krishna has seemed to have also evolved gradually. And about the fourth century before Christ, he officially was recognized as, as God incarnate.
Interesting. How about
the belief that Buddhism emerged from Hinduism? And maybe I'll ask you to elaborate in that, ask you what the idea of God incarnate is when it's carried over to Buddhism? Yes, indeed, it was carried and one of the interesting references on that is by Tw, don't do an E. The title of the book is called the biblical myth and the parallels and other religions. And in that book, he goes into great detail, comparing the life of Buddha or what has been attributed to Buddha and the life of Jesus peace be upon him. In fact, he made it was a 48 comparison. So of course, we can go through all of them. I don't think it's necessary, but let me you know, choose a number of them that perhaps may
indicate the kind of analogy that he was trying to make. First, he said that Buddha was believed to have been born of virgin Maya,
and that His incarnation took place by the descent or through the descent of divine power called Holy Ghost, upon Maya, his mother
When Buddha descended, he entered the body of Maya.
And that after entering her womb, had one assumed appearance of a clear, transparent crystal, in which Buddha appeared as a beautiful flower.
And then it says that the birth of Buddha was declared in heavens by a messianic star.
That he was born on the 25th of December.
That at the time of his birth, there was a demonstration of celestial the light, and heavens,
that certain creatures called Givens in heavens and earth, used to think that this baby is going to bring joy and peace to mankind.
That after his birth, he was visited by people who recognized his divine qualities. And they called him the God of gods.
They presented to him jewels, and other expensive substances,
that the life of Buddha was threatened by a kink. I called them basara,
who was overthrown, or was afraid actually to be overthrown by by Buddha, and who was advised that we should kill babies with them.
It says that when Buddha went to school, he astonished his teachers. He was at the age of 12. Remember, again, those who are familiar with the Bible, when Jesus went about the same age to be tempted to discuss with their advice, that he would say his poor dad surprised his teachers, that without any previous study, he showed a great deal of knowledge and wisdom.
And he excelled anyone who did compete with him,
that Buddha was tempted by Mara, apparently, equivalent of Satan, perhaps he was tempted, and that Mara 10th, tempted Buddha by offering him to be the emperor of the whole world. But Buddha refused and told him, quote, get these away from me. And that Mara, left Buddha, after which the sky rain flowers, and that Buddha also wandered around for a long period of time.
Interestingly enough, in terms of how some of the Buddhists believed in Buddha, according to that particular legend, it says that Buddha actually was considered to be the savior, that he was baptized, and that at the time of his baptism, the Spirit of God was present, that at the end of his life,
just like the Hindu dream, Krishna, transfiguration happened to him on a mountain in Ceylon,
and that his shine, like the sun or moon,
and that flame, light, or light that flame descended, or a flame of life descended upon him.
That Buddha also performed great miracles for the benefits of humanity. And that prayer in his name,
results in his followers receiving the rewards in Paradise,
that when he died and was buried,
it says that the coverings of the body of Buddha unrolled themselves and the lid of the coffin was opened supernaturally.
And that after that mission of Buddha on earth finished, he was in he ascended to heaven, are the they call it the celestial visions, that Buddha is to come again to Earth to restore happiness and order and to judge the depths.
His followers also believed that Buddha was the Alpha and Omega that is without beginning or end,
that He is the Supreme Being the Eternal One.
Interesting, and again, it says that Buddha actually carried away the sins of humanity. They quoted him as saying, Let all the sins that were committed in this world form on me, that the world may be delivered.
It says about Buddha that he does not come to destroy, but to realize the Lord as part of enlightened series of enlightened teachers.
He says that the motives for work must be pity and love for neighbors.
And actually, it says that in the beginning of his career, he went to the famous Indian state
city of Paris, and gave a speech there after which many disciples followed him. And that's whenever he went multitudes followed him. I didn't cover all of them. But I think for viewers who are familiar, of course, with the New Testament literature, the similar, really amazing and it's really quite interesting to, to try and trace some of the ancient ideas. Fascinating. This point I'd like to take you back to determine myth which you use them in the last two programs, maybe for the benefit of our audience to like to start off with a definition of what you perceive Miss to be. When I'm glad that this question came up. I remember after the last week's program, a friend was asking
also similar question and he said, You know, you're using the term nest to refer to some of the basic religious dogmas what what does that mean? I think we have to make a distinction between the literal meaning of nest and the connotative, meaning that most people usually use when they use the term net.
And in terms of colloquial, interpretation of nets, most people don't use a net.
They think of something which is the opposite of the truth, that nets to them as something which is section
is totally fabricated or untrue. According to Webster's dictionary, it says that the term myth also is defined to be for example, a story of unknown authorship.
And it says sometimes, even that definition applies extensively, that the story may have some historical basis, but serving to explain some phenomenon of nature of the origin of man, the customs or institutions,
or religious sites for that matters. In other words,
basically, what you're seeing is that the term Miss is also used to refer to certain ideas, doctrines, which may have to some extent, some historical origin, but there is a great deal of symbolism also is used and expressing these ideas, so that we cannot really take the words in the very literal sense. I may add also this point that the, the use of the term myth
is quite divergent and depends on the field of study. The term Miss is used in some meanings among sociologists. Anthropologists might view it in one way historians and literary criticism it's used in one meaning and in theology, even in Christian theology. Some Christian theologians also have been using it in an A meaning, that's rather different, not necessarily
attached to know what
sense or what meaning is the term myth used in theology.
One to avoid any possible unintended misrepresentation, I'm going to refer to two
biblical scholars, a Christian biblical scholar, Professor Maurice Wiles, WI, and he is who is a professor of divinity and canon of the price chairs in Oxford, England. And I'm referring particularly to the one of the chapters who contributed to the volume edited by john Hecht under the title the neck of God incarnate. His article is titled actually myth in theology, so that perhaps would be the most direct reference in defining meanings of math, in theology, more particularly in Christian theology. Professor wires says that, while the notion of myth seems to be connected, by and large, with something which is pre history, the term myth and English myth in English is
relatively recent. And he goes back to perhaps to the 19th century
when there was a great deal of argument when the term came to the surface, in order to clear clearly among biblical scholars themselves.
And he said that some of the arguments that went on at that time 1980s on sorry, if 230s 1830s
is to distinguish between the different types of men, one of the scholars were addressed that issue is called David Strauss,
who made the distinction between historical myths which he says are
narratives about real historical events, but they are somewhat colored in the light of antiquity and seem to mix the divine with the human, the natural with the supernatural. So this is one historical myth might call. Secondly, Stroh said that there is another type of niche which is mainly philosophical myth.
And this is a philosophical myth is basically an idea, which is basically philosophical idea. But it is expressed as if an historical narratives. So the historical narrative is not necessarily true, but it's certainly an expression of that philosophical notion.
Certainly, he said there also a political myth, which blends between history and philosophy,
and is interwoven with the own imagination of the poet. In his commentary about this, subdivisions, suggested by Strauss, professional writing essays and records in the death, he says, myth may be basically historical in origin, but that their historical basis may be either very slight, or entirely non existent.
And then Professor Ryan's continues to explain the classifications of myths.
And so far as they might be conscious or deliberate, you know, or on deliberate something which is just developed. And he agreed with the second edition of the book written by Strauss under the title life of Jesus critically examined. And he agrees with Star Wars, that the myth which functions in the life of a community as a myth,
whether it is conscious, or unconscious, that's not necessarily important, so long as it's accepted as part of the religious understanding or function of that community.
To clarify this point, he caught Strauss in his explanation of how the idea of myth developed in early Christianity. And he says, and because they were founded, or they were formed this myth that is, by their authors, not merely according to his own senses, but in close association with the consciousness of the majority.
So he emphasizes that the men need not necessarily be hysterical. For example, He says that Strauss every unhistorical narrative, however, it may have originated, in which a religious community recognizes a constituent part of its sacred origin, as an absolute expression of its fundamental sentiments and ideas is Ms. So you really expanded, there are some writers even who expanded the definition of myths to be much broader, even as empowered for example, writing in 1889, he says, quote, every dogma is more or less and less, as it is necessarily conveyed in an illogical language. That is using analogy, and anthropomorphic action.
So this might, you know, clarify that the the meaning of theologies is just more than just a simple definition. It's it's much more than that appears to be, but how about the current uses of the term myth in biblical studies, one in the opinion of Professor Wiles, when I quoted earlier he says that the majority of biblical scholars today
agree that you cannot really insulate
what the scholars called the Christian myth from historical criticism.
He says For example, limits like incarnation cannot be regarded as one such one author suggested that this is super history that is, it is beyond any historical criticism.
For example, a writer by the name of Bruno de Ru, and er says that incarnation is an event, but it is not a historical event. Well, I agree with Professor wise that this is rather odd, in terms of being theologically you know, empty, really, there's no substance to it,
that if you say about something, that it is an event, that means it is history, and it is if it is history, then you must ascertain the accuracy of that event or its historicity, whether it was the Incarnation or something else. So the the, the opinion of Dr. Ryan's done is that he shares with many other scholars that
the Christian study of any Christian myth is really a study or an attempt to explain
in history, which might not necessarily be historical, in other words, it because this, perhaps might say it more clearly. He says, quote, the Christian life does not consist of super historical event. It is a way of conveying the meaning of historical events.
The faith is thus this insulated from history and historical study. As a Muslim, I find myself really in basic agreement with Professor Wiles and more contemporary biblical scholar at least in that issue. Thank you very much, Dr. Umar. Thank you all for joining us here once again, this time and focus, our phone number and our address will be appearing on your screen for a lot of us. So we'll see you next week.