Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"

Trinity, Atonement & Blood Sacrifice XI : Crucifixion 3


In this segment, Dr. Badawi begins a long list of apparent contradictions in the Biblical account of the life and death of Jesus. His goal is to discredit the entire account of the death and resurrection of Jesus, thus undermining any rational belief in the Christian faith. Many of Dr. Badawi's apparent contradictions were borrowed from a wide range of atheist literature which has been written throughout this century. Remember Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 15: 17-18:

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.

Please keep in mind that if Christ was raised, then Islam is a false faith and Muhammad is a false Prophet and those who follow him are lost forever.

Host: Could you tell us if anything outside of the Psalms were misinterpreted?

Jamal Badawi: The reference here is from the famous Biblical scholar John Fenton. The issues relates to the betrayal of Judas. Matthew said that he took silver from the Temple to betray Jesus and he returned the money which the Priest refused because it was blood money and this money was used to buy potter's filed for the burial of strangers. The interesting part is Matthew 27:9-10 said that this fulfilled Jeremiah. Fenton said that the story about the 30 pieces of silver is not from Jeremiah but from Zechariah 11:20.

The reason that Matthew cited Zechariah is that the teachings of the minor prophets, including Zechariah, were in a collection headed by Jeremiah, and so Jeremiah was the one cited. Matthew was an educated Jew and it is unlikely that he would made such a mistake, and the other educated Jews of his day would have made an issue of this if it had been a mistake.

The more important mistake which shows that Matthew was obsessed, if you compare the elements of Matthew's story of Judas with Zechariah's, there are three major differences:

1. The hero in Zechariah 11 is a great Prophet, in the New Testament the hero is Judas.

No, this passage does not imply that Zechariah (who was a minor Prophet) and Judas are equivalent.

2. Zechariah received 30 pieces of silver for legitimate work, Judas by contrast got it for betraying Jesus.

Look at the passage more carefully. The 30 pieces of silver was not the proper amount for the work that Zechariah performed. Adding insult to injury, Zechariah was paid the price of a gored bond-servant. Exodus 21:32 tell us:

If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

A typical "freeman" was normally paid twice the amount that Zechariah received. Likewise, Jesus was worth infinitely more than 30 pieces of silver. Matthew 26:15 tells us:

And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

3. Zechariah put the money in the Temple because it was legitimate.

First of all, the money was not legitimate because Zechariah was cheated. Second, the phrase "Throw it to the temple potter", indicates that he was the most appropriate person to receive this despicable sum of money (a worthless price for Zechariah's labor), since the potter conducts his trade in the polluted valley of Hinnom, because this area has the most suitable clay. The valley of Hinnom plays an important role in Zechariah's prophecies concerning the punishment of Israel.

The other Gospels say nothing about the price that Judas received. Matthew is an expanded version of the Gospel of Mark and perhaps Matthew based the story on Mark. Mark says nothing about the 30 pieces of silver, maybe it was added because of Matthew's zeal for prophecies.

Maybe Matthew recorded this because he was an eyewitness to the events that he described. Aslo, what evidence exists which supports the claim that Matthew is based on the Gospel according to Mark?

Host: Why are there so many references to Old Testament prophecy in relation to Jesus?

Jamal Badawi: We are not saying that the OT does not prophecied Jesus. More of these apply to other Prophets such as John the Baptist and Muhammad.

John the Baptist is prophesied, Muhammad is not.

These do not predict the crucifixion or say that he is divine. Those that apply to the crucifixion were shown to be erroneous according to Biblical scholars. Jesus referred to the OT for his mission Luke 4:13-21. He referred to Isaiah that his people would listen but not understand Matthew13:14-15. Matthew repeated 10 times :and this took place to fulfill what the Lord has spoken through the Prophets". Some scholars like Fenton say that many of the Psalms were not written by David, but were written later and these are used to refer to Jesus.

Issue 1 What did he say?

Notice that Dr. Badawi first tells us that there are no prophecies in the Old Testament which say that Jesus is divine or that He will die on the cross, but in the next sentence, he tells us that the prophecies which apply to crucifixion (which he claimed did not exist in the previous sentence) were "erroneous" according to "Bible scholars". Dr. Badawi is simply grasping for anything, including poor scholarship, to attempt to discredit the Bible. I find it amazing that Badawi can only find "scholars" who disagree with the Bible!

Issue 2 Jesus said it and you cannot deny it!

Luke 4:17-21:

The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Jesus was clearly proclaiming that He was the Messiah who was predicted in Isaiah 61:1,2, there is no way that we can deny what Jesus said in this passage, He was very clear.

Issue 3: More conspiracy theories

What evidence exists which supports the absurd claim that the Psalms were composed after the time of David? I would think that the Jewish scholars, most of whom hated Jesus and His followers, would have made a great deal of noise if "new Psalms" had been inserted into the scriptures! This argument is completely absurd.

Host: Could you tell us about some prophecies that have been applied by mistake to Jesus?

Jamal Badawi: Let's look at Jesus' return from Egypt after his family fled from Herod. Matthew tried to connect this with the Old Testament, "out of Egypt I have called my son". This is out of context, Hosea 11:1, if you read this book, the son in this passage is Israel. Israel was the son of God and had nothing to do with Jesus.

Israel was indeed the son of God and Jesus was the Son of God. Matthew did not make a mistake in this passage. The "calling our of Egypt" was language that the first century Jews would understand as a panorama of Jewish history and prophecy of the future.

Some scholars say that caused like in Matthew 2:23 which says that Jesus is called the Nazerene, to fulfill the prophets. Fenton says that this has no origins in the OT, no one knows where Matthew got this.

and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

First, Matthew did not refer to a specific Prophet but simply said the Prophets. Second, the region of Nazareth was looked down upon by the Jews because the area had been conquered and subjugated by a variety of invaders. There are very many prophecies in the Old Testament which predict that the Messiah would be despised and mistreated, even though he is righteous (see Psalms 22:6,7, 118:22, and Isaiah 53:2,3). Therefore, when Matthew used the term "Nazarene" as someone who is despised and mistreated, and the Jews of his day understood what he was saying.

The birth of Jesus, Matthew 2:6 connects this to Micah 5:2. This text does not exist in the Greek Old Testament. The Hebrew translation is not accurate. He said that it appears that Matthew was mixing Micah and 2 Samuel 5:2. Micah 5:2 talks about a ruler of Israel, Jesus never ruled over Israel. John said that Jesus escaped from people when the wanted to make him a king. In 2 Samuel, this passage speaks how David was chosen as king by the people.

Jesus will be the ruler of Israel after His second coming.

Host: One argument is that the Old Testament prophesied the virgin birth of Jesus.

Jamal Badawi: Many evangelists present Isaiah 7:14. There is a major change between the KJV and the RSV, the RSV replaces the word virgin the word young woman. Some Biblical scholars say that there are two words used to speak of young women : bethulah (virgin) and aname (a girl of marriageble age not necessarily a virgin). Anama was used in the Bible. Parthnos was used in the Greek translation which means virgin, a girl of marriagable age, or pure. This is a problem of translation. Even if you say virgin, it doesn't talk about the virgin birth of Jesus, It could have been addressed to a virgin girl at that time.

The Bible uses the term "Almah" to indicate that a woman is a virgin. This term is used seven times in the Bible (Genesis 24:43, Exodus 2:8, Psalm 68:25, Song of Solomon 1:3; 6:80) and it means virgin in every case. The term ‘bethulah' usually, but not in all cases, refers to a virgin in the Bible.

Even if it refers to Jesus, it does not mean that he is divine. "God with us" does not mean that the child is God. Isaiah 7:14, the child will be called Immanuel, no one ever called Jesus Immanuel. For example Genesis 16:11 the angels told Hagar to call her child Ishmael (Hebrew for God hears). Isaiah does not lend itself to this interpretation and has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.

How do you know that this is true? Is it possible that Mary and Joseph called Jesus Immanuel? Also, if the title "God with us" does not indicate that Jesus is divine, then what does this title mean?

Host: What was the context of that prophecy?

Jamal Badawi: Chapter 7 of Isaiah relates to Ahad, the King of Judah when the kings of Syria tried to conquer him but failed. God told Isaiah to tell Ahad that his enemies would fail. God spoke to Ahad and asked him if he wanted a sign then Ahad said that he would not test the Lord. Then comes verse 14, which says that God will give Ahad a sign that a young woman would have a son called Immanuel. After verse 14, the child would eat honey and curds, and when he has choice, these enemies will be gone. This prophecy happened in Ahad's lifetime.

It is true that most of this prophecy was for Ahaz and was fulfilled in his lifetime. But, there is more to this prophecy because there was the historical fulfillment but there was also a spiritual fulfillment through the birth, life, and death of Jesus.

Andrew Vargo

Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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