In this segment, Dr. Badawi, once again, borrows the arguments of unbelievers in order to discredit the Word of God - the Bible. Dr. Badawi uses the concept to the "Jesus Myth" in this segment, and in following segments. This argument says that Jesus DID NOT exist - He was a purely mythical character. This argument attempts to eliminate Christianity by eliminating Christ! Dr. Badawi probably does not realize that, when he accepts the conclusion of these writers, he also implies agreement with there premises - which also contradict the Qur"an!
Jamal Badawi: Dr. Couchoud refers to 2 important works and says in the Wars of the Jews which covers before Jesus to the revolt. We would expect Jesus to occupy an important place, but there is no reference. In a lost reference which comes to us through a Russian translation, Jesus is mentioned but the story is full of Christian theology so it could not have been written by Josephus. Ancient History of the Jews 18-20 we find Christian theology, Chapter 3 has an insertion about Jesus which is out of context taking place between the riots and the exile of the Jews.
Couchoud was a follower of a 19th century German writer, and founder of the "Jesus Myth" philosophy, named Bruno Bauer. It is a completely absurd idea to expect that Jesus would occupy a prominent place in the history of His day. He was the foster son of a Jewish carpenter on the fringes of the Roman Empire! It is amazing that any extra-Biblical writings, concerning Jesus, exist at all.
The writings of Josephus are regarded as good history, therefore the "Jesus Myth" people, and Dr. Badawi who blindly follows their arguments, make the claim that things were "inserted" into the text. The problem with this theory is that every copy of the Antiquities contain the "Christian theology" which the "Jesus Myth" atheists, and Dr. Badawi find so objectionable.
Jamal Badawi: Josephus is quoted as saying that a wise man, if he can be called a man, the Messiah and that he appeared to them on the third day restored to life and God"s Prophets predicted this. This could not have been written by him because it reflects the Christian theological view, what about if he could be called a man? What interest would a Jewish historian have in calling Jesus the Messiah, he would be a Christian then. He said that God"s Prophets predicted it and he did not believe in him? Had he written this he would have been a publically proclaimed Christian.
I would not reject the description of Jesus as a "wise man" because Josephus and the Jews of his day could have regarded Jesus as a wise man without accepting His divinity.
Jamal Badawi: It appeared that Jesus was killed and that caused a scandal because their neighbors believed in gods that resurrected from the dead so they added the story. According to Jewish beliefs, those who were hung on a tree were cursed and were false Prophets so perhaps they were teased that Jesus must have been a false Prophet according to Deuteronomy. So some claimed that he did not really die but came back in a divine plan. The origin of the idea of crucifixion and blood sacrifice go back to the mythical religions prior to Christianity and the basic idea of the son of god dying did exist.
One of the major flaws with this hypothesis is that many of the disciples had gone out of Palestine into surrounding countries preaching the same message before such myths had time to emerge. Now Dr. Badawi will take us through his (mis)interpretation of ancient myths.
Jamal Badawi: Many historians tell us that in the Middle East, the legend of the sun god existed, in India, Krishna and Buddha, in Latin America. T.W. Doane -The Bible Myth and Parallels in other Religion and Edward Carpenter Pagan and Christian Creeds, G.M. Robinson Christianity and Mythology and Pagan Christs. John Hick edited the Myth of God Incarnate.
Our first "scholar", presented to us by Dr. Badawi, is T.W. Doane, an author who lived at the turn of the century and wrote extensively concerning the similarities between Christianity and Pagan cults. I will address some of these alleged similarities later in this segment. Most of Doane's ideas have been discredited and discarded through better research and scholarship. You can get an idea of T.W. Doane's thoughts on this site.
Jamal Badawi: This is a popular myth in many religions because the sun appears to give an occasion for people to express fear and hope in the form of festivals. The sun begins to decline in the autumn and night (darkness) is more prominent. This decline reaches its final stage in winter and then the sun increases and the forces of light proceed and there is new hope. This progress continues to the spring when days and nights are equal in length creating an unresolved conflict between light and dark. In the spring, the victory of light over darkness is evident. The idea of sun worship is that in autumn is in fear because the sun has fallen into the clutches of the forces of darkness and the coming winter is hope which coincides with Christmas. Jesus was probably not born in winter. The spring is the symbol again because the sun god is victorious. Sun worship was prominent in the Roman Empire.
How does any of this relate to the predictions of God"s Prophets in the Old Testament and the fulfilment of these by Jesus?
Jamal Badawi: In Asia Minor, they believe in Attis who was born of a virgin named Nana, he was the only begotten son and savior and his blood at the foot of a pine tree gave fertility to the earth. Attis rose from death and his followers celebrated this by placing his image on a pine tree and going to a tomb which they find empty. That is the celebration of his resurrection. They also had a sacramental meal and the baptism of blood. There was another sun god named Adonis also Tamuz. Adonis was born of a virgin, was the savior, died for the redemption of man and resurrected in the spring. Another sun god was Dionysius also called Bachus who was the only begotten son of Jupiter, was born of a virgin Demetir on December 25 and was the redeemer and the slain one. He was the alpha and omega. Another thing is that the passion of Dionysius is celebrated including death and resurrection.
1. Attis There are two versions of the myth of Attis. In the Phrygian version, Attis is killed by castration. Some accounts claim that his enemies castrated him while another account claims that he castrated himself. The older Lydian version of this tale claims that Attis was killed by a boar. Attis was not "resurrected" in either the Phrygian or the Lydian versions of this story.
2. Adonis and Tamuz There are two versions of this tale: the Panyasisian version and the Ovidian version. Neither claims that Adonis was "resurrected" from the dead. The late texts of this tale, which were greatly influenced or perhaps written by Christians, sets aside a day to celebrate Addonis for being "raised from the dead".
Tammuz (also known as Dumuzi) died according to legend and was not reborn. Later texts, which were also either influenced or written by Christians, linked Tammus with Adonis Historically, there was never a festival that celebrated the rebirth of Tammuz. The cult of Tammuz was mostly concerned with death, not life and rebirth.
3. Dionysius and Bachus Dr. Badawi overstates his case based on the evidence. Dionysos (Greek) and/or Bacchus (Roman) were the gods of wine. Their cults were concerned with one activity: having large, loud parties that featured a lot of drinking. This cult became so rowdy that the Roman Senate restricted its membership and the number of "meetings" that they were permitted to hold in 186 BC. The cult had some the vague beliefs concerning renewal of life during the seasonal changes. There are no significant parallels between this cult and the beliefs of Christianity.
Additionally, if the virgin birth of Jesus, as recorded by the Bible, is a myth, then the Qur"an"s account of the virgin birth is also a myth. This is why it is intellectually dangerous to accept the conclusions of the "Jesus Myth" people while ignoring the basic premise of their argument!
Jamal Badawi: In Egypt, the myth of Osiris, he was born on December 29, from a virgin, he taught peace, was betrayed, was slain, and he came back to life after he was in hell for three days and nights. His followers made an image and said that Osiris is risen. He is also the judge of the dead in a future life. Mithra was regarded as the Persian sun god who was born of a virgin, he was the divine savior of man, he came as an infant on December 25, the shepherds worshiped him and his followers had 7 sacraments like the Christians including bread and wine communion. Baal was also similar to the Christian passion story. In 1903, archaeologists made an important discovery.
The story of Osiris is one of the few Pagan legends that remained relatively unchanged throughout history. Osiris was indeed murdered and his body dismembered and scattered. After his death the pieces of his body were recovered and Osiris was brought back to life. We must remember that Osiris did not return to live on the earth, he journeyed to the underworld, where he became the lord of the dead. Osiris did not rise from the dead as Jesus did.
Jamal Badawi: In 1903-4 a German team in Asur found two documents which had the passion play of Baal.
The story of Baal (who is also known as Hadad and Adad) contains absolutely no suggestion of death and resurrection or an annual cycle of death and rebirth. Baal simply disappeared and reappeared.
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