The Question:

Anyway, my question and I hope I can get an objective answer is : Is Judas Iscariot and his deeds, no matter how viled they are viewed, not a crucial and almost inevitable element in the foundation of Christianity. Without Judas who would have done the 'dirty' work of handing Jesus over to the authorities....It seems to me that some one had to do it for Christianity to be fulfilled. Was Judas predestined to carry out this 'duty' ? If he didn't carry out the betrayal how would Christianity have been shaped , would Jesus ever have been 'crucified' as claimed ?

(An) Answer:

It was the Jewish religious establishment who wanted to get rid of Jesus, and they more than welcomed when one of the disciples volunteered to betray him. But I am convinced, they would have found other ways if that had not been the case. There are several passages in the Gospels reporting that they were plotting to kill him long before Judas offered to betray him.

As a Muslim, how do you view this very similar case, or actually much worse case with the Sura on Abu Lahab. The Qur'an is supposedly eternal, uncreated, it only descended on Muhammad, and this very sura about the eternal damnation of Abu Lahab would have been in this Qur'an even before Abu Lahab was born. Did he have any chance to act differently? Was he not predestined to damnation?

This is not a game. Don't misunderstand me. Predestination is a very difficult theological issue. But it is not only difficult for Christians, it is difficult for every monotheistic religion that believes in a just and sovereign God. How can God be totally in control of everything but yet be just in punishing those who do wrong? If they did do wrong against the will of God? Can that be if he is sovereign? IF it is according to God's will for them, how can he punish them for it?

There are very good and deep theological books on this question. It cannot be answered in a few short sentences. And I do not pretend that I have understood it yet.

This might not be a satisfactory answer, but at least it is honest and it might help you see that this is not a problem of Christianity but a more general theological problem.

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