Meherally begins by saying:
The "Real Jesus" would not be surprised that we believe in the His Crucifixion and Resurrection. He, and the Prophets of the Old Testament, predicted His death and resurrection. Non Christian historians and writers also recorded this wondrous event.
And if Christ was crucified and raised, the Qur'an is in serious error and cannot be the word of God.
a) Apostle Mark records "And it was the 3rd Hour (i.e. about 9 a.m.), and they crucified Him". (15:25)
Briefly, Jesus the Christ was Crucified in the early forenoon.
b) Apostle John records "…and about the 6th Hour (i.e. about Noon): and he (Pilate) said unto the Jews, Behold your King!" (19:14). The story continues giving details of the legal proceedings that followed. Finally, the verdict for Crucifixion was delivered and the Christ was taken to the place of his Crucifixion and "they crucified him" (19:18).
Briefly, Jesus the Christ was Crucified sometime in the late afternoon.
Since the Crucifixion happened ONCE, which record is to be considered as not trustworthy?
The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) used a different method to number the hours of day than John. Matthew, Mark, and Luke used the traditional Hebrew system, in which the hours of the day were numbered from sunrise (approximately 6:00 AM), which places the crucifixion at about 9:00 AM, or the third hour by this system..
John, did not employ the Hebrew system, he used the Roman civil day. The Roman system defined a day from midnight to midnight, as we do today. Pliny the Elder (in Natural History 2.77) and Macrobius (Saturnalia 1.3) give us historical confirmation of this fact. Therefore, using the Roman system which was used by John, the trial of Jesus ended around the sixth hour (6:00 AM), which was the first hour of the Hebrew system used by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Between this time and the time of crucifixion, Jesus was flogged, mocked, and beaten by the Roman soldiers in the Praetorium (Mark 15:16-20). The crucifixion itself occurred at the third hour in the Hebrew system, which is the ninth in the Roman system, or 9:00 AM to us.
Why did John use a different numbering system? The Gospel of John was written after the other three, (approximately 90 AD), while he resided in Ephesus, the capital of the Roman province of Asia. John, by this time, was probably most comfortable with the Roman system. John used the Roman system in John 21:19: 'On the evening of that first day of the week'. This was Sunday evening, which in the Hebrew system was actually the second day, because each day began at sunset.
a) The first three Gospels record that Christ was alive on the "day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed (sacrificed)." (Lk. 22:7). That evening Christ ate with his disciples the Passover Seder (A Jewish ceremonial dinner or supper held on the first night of Passover to commemorate the Exodus.) (Lk. 22:14). Thereafter, Christ spent the night on the Mount of Olives, praying (Lk. 22:40). On the next day Christ was brought before Pilate, tried and crucified. (Lk. Chapter 23). (see Mt. 26:20-30; Mk. 14:17-25; Lk. 22:14-23)
Briefly, Christ was Crucified the day following the Passover Seder.
b) Apostle John records; when Christ was lead from Caiaphas unto the Pilate's Headquarters, the Jews did not enter the Hall of Judgment "lest they should be defiled" to "eat the Passover" (18:28). "And it was the preparation of the Passover" (19:14) when the verdict for the Crucifixion was delivered by Pilate and Christ was taken to the place of his Crucifixion and "they crucified him." (19:18).
Briefly, Christ was Crucified on the day of the Passover Seder.
Since the Crucifixion happened ONCE, which record is to be considered as not trustworthy?
Jesus was crucified during the daytime before the Passover meal on Friday. The Bible tells us that Jesus died on the eve of the Passover, on the day that Passover meal would be eaten after sunset - Friday.
"The Feast of Unleavened Bread" (or "Passover"), as the name suggests, is a meal which features bread that is made without yeast. The dietary regulations for the meal (eating nothing made with yeast) comes directly from the Old Testament (Exodus 12:1-20).
When we look at the text of the New Testament, we find that the Greek word for unleavened bread is 'azymos'. This is the word used in Luke 22.1, Mark, and in Matthew 26.17.
The Greek word for regular bread (leavened with yeast) is 'artos'. All of the Gospel accounts, including Mark, agree that Jesus and His disciples ate artos (bread with yeast) at the last supper.. "While they were eating, Jesus took bread [artos], gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying Take it; this is my body." Mark 14:22. Therefore, this meal was not a Passover meal since it would be unthinkable for Jesus and His disciples to eat something that God had commanded them not to eat (bread with yeast - artos), instead of eating what they were commanded to eat (unleavened bread - azymos).
Another piece of evidence that proves that this meal was eaten on Thursday, the day before Passover, is. Luke 22:15-16: And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. Jesus made the Last Supper a "virtual" Passover meal (but not an actual one).This was His last chance to share fellowship with his disciples before His death.
There is no contradiction. The Bible tells us that Jesus died before the Passover meal which was eaten on Friday after sundown.
a) Apostle Luke records; the risen Christ met for the first time his eleven disciples in Jerusalem. He talked to them and also ate "a piece of a broiled fish and of an honeycomb". (24:33-43). There is no reference of their meeting in Galilee.
b) Apostle Matthew records; the risen Christ himself spoke to Mary and her friend and said; "Be not afraid, go tell my brethren (disciples) that they go into Galilee (nearly 100 miles North of Jerusalem), and there shall they see me." (28:10). The "eleven disciples went away into Galilee" and "they saw him". (28:16-17). There is no reference of their meeting in Jerusalem.
Meherally is overlooking the chronology of the post-resurrection events. Jesus appeared to His followers many times; sometimes individually, sometimes in groups, and sometimes to the entire group in Galilee, in Jerusalem, and in other places (for a brief chronology of these meetings, see the answer for the next question). The two passages, when read in historical context, are complementary because they do not refer to the same point in time or meeting. Also, both Matthew and Luke combine various stories of Christ's appearances together. Matthew 28:10 tells us about the group of women who encountered the risen Jesus. Jesus gave these women instructions to tell the disciples to meet Him in Galilee (the third or forth meeting). Meherally cites Luke 24:33-43 in which Christ met His disciples in Jerusalem (the first meeting). Once again, both of these passages are a summary of all of Christ's appearances. However, we know from all of the Gospel accounts that the disciples did go to Galilee and encountered Jesus there; after the first encounter in Jerusalem and certainly before the end of the forty day period before Christ's Ascension into Heaven.
a) Matthew, Mark and Luke record; eleven. (Judas was not present).
b) John records; ten. (Judas & Thomas were not present).
c) Paul records; twelve (see 1 Corinthians 15:5).
Ten were present at the first meeting in Jerusalem. There are no contradictions in these passages since all refer to eleven disciples as well as to different meetings. After the suicide of Judas, there were only eleven disciples, until Matthias was elected to take Judas' place as an Apostle. In 1 Corinthians 15:5, the generic term 'the Twelve' is used to refer to the disciples because Matthias is also counted within the Twelve, since he also witnessed the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:21-22). Jesus met His disciples on several occasions and in several places prior to His ascension to heaven. Meherally is confusing the sequence of these meetings assuming that the verses all refer to the same meeting.
The Chronology of Jesus' meetings with His disciples
The first meeting occurred on the evening of the first day when Jesus appeared to the Eleven and others (Luke 24:33), with Thomas absent (Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-23, and Mark 16:14).
The second meeting, one week later, Jesus appeared to the Eleven, Thomas being present this time (John 20:26-29) .
The third meeting occurred with seven disciples by the Sea of Tiberias in Galilee (John 21: 1-22).
The forth meeting happened when the eleven met Jesus on a mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20 and Mark 16:15-18).
Meherally leaves us with this thought:
This is a serious statement What if the risen Christ was to question; Did I really give Paul the authority to reform my original teachings and/or to supersede them with his own?
Did Paul "reform" the teachings of Jesus and the other Apostles? No!
David said in Psalm 143:2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
Acts 13:38-39 Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
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