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

Trinity, Atonement & Blood Sacrifice XIV : Crucifixion 6


In this segment, Dr. Badawi begins to recite a long laundry list of apparent contradictions between the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus. He begins by, once again, incorrectly claiming that the Nag Hammadi texts claim that Jesus was not executed. He then proceeds with his list of apparent Bible contradictions. I find in amusing that many Muslims believe that Christians have "edited" the Bible, yet they also believe that there are many contradictions. If this is true, why did the "editors" leave these apparent contradictions in the text?

Host: It is possible to accept the crucifixion based on the New Testament?

Jamal Badawi : The story is in the four Canonized Gospels but it is not true through Biblical criticism that these four speak in a consistent and authentic way. The Qur'an is clear that Jesus was not crucified but it was made to appear to them. Many interpreters of the Qur'an claim that Judas was killed in his place. Others deny the crucifixion, including the early Christian sects. Some believed that Judas was killed in his place. The Nag Hammadi claims that Jesus was watching the crucifixion. We will look at crucifixion as told by Bible scholars including Dennis Meinham, John Fenton, George Kurts, and Charles Dalt.

Dr. Badawi repeats the incorrect claims for the Nag Hammadi. In fact, many codices of the Nag Hammadi DO CLAIM that Jesus was crucified:

The Apocryphon of James

For the good will not enter into the world. Scorn death, therefore, and take thought for life! Remember my cross and my death, and you will live!" But I answered and said to him, "Lord, do not mention to us the cross and death, for they are far from you." The Lord answered and said, "Verily, I say unto you, none will be saved unless they believe in my cross. But those who have believed in my cross, theirs is the kingdom of God.

The Gospel of Philip

Not only must those who produce the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, do so, but have produced them for you. If one does not acquire them, the name ("Christian") will also be taken from him. But one receives the unction of the [...] of the power of the cross.

My God, my God, why, O Lord, have you forsaken me?" It was on the cross that he said these words, for he had departed from that place.

Philip the apostle said, "Joseph the carpenter planted a garden because he needed wood for his trade. It was he who made the cross from the trees which he planted. His own offspring hung on that which he planted. His offspring was Jesus, and the planting was the cross." But the Tree of Life is in the middle of the Garden. However, it is from the olive tree that we got the chrism, and from the chrism, the resurrection.

He who has been anointed possesses everything. He possesses the resurrection, the light, the cross, the Holy Spirit. The Father gave him this in the bridal chamber; he merely accepted (the gift). The Father was in the Son and the Son in the Father. This is the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Gospel of Thomas

55. Jesus said, "Whoever does not hate father and mother cannot be my disciple, and whoever does not hate brothers and sisters, and carry the cross as I do, will not be worthy of me."

Luke was not an eyewitness of Jesus. Matthew may not have been a disciple. John, it is strongly suspected to be written by some other John, not the disciple of Jesus. At least two of the authors, Mark and Luke were not eyewitnesses or disciples and Matthew and John are doubted as eyewitnesses and disciples.

These books were based on the testimonies of eyewitnesses to the events.

Host: What do you mean by consistency?

Jamal Badawi : The story must be free from any contradictions. The story of crucifixion is far from consistent as casts doubt if it ever took place.

Host: What inconsistencies are there in this story?

Jamal Badawi : There are several subdivisions of problems:

1. What happened prior to the arrest of Jesus?

2. Events of the Last Supper

3. The last night and the arrest

4. The trial of Jesus

5. The actual events of crucifixion

6. The burial and what happened to Judas

7. Resurrection

Host: Can we begin with the preliminaries of crucifixion?

Jamal Badawi : Mark 13:1-8, he says that two days before the Passover, the Priest were considering killing Jesus, they were afraid of social unrest. When Jesus was in Bethany a woman came to Him with a jar of costly ointment and poured it on his head and it says that some people were indignant and criticized the woman. Mark said that Jesus told them to leave her alone, that she has done something good, the poor will be with you and she anointed his body for burial. Compare this account with the others, there are 8 variations in the story.

Host: Could you summarize the differences?

Jamal Badawi :

When did this take place? According to Mark and Matthew, this event took place two days before the Passover, (Mark 14:1 Matthew 26:2) In Luke 7:36 this took place long before the Passover and in Luke 8 it says that soon after he went to the villages to preach and in Luke 9 it says that after 8 days something happened, this was not limited to a few days. In John 12:1, this happened 6 days before the Passover.

This event took place 2 days before the Passover as Mark and Matthew record. Luke did not say that this took place "long before the Passover", in fact, he did not say when it took place. John said that Jesus arrived in Bethany six days before the Passover however, he did not say when, or on which day, this event took place.

In whose house did this take place? Mark 14:3 and Matthew 26:6 say that it took place in the house of Simon the leper. Luke 7:36 said that it took place in the house of a Pharisee and John 12:2 said that it was in the house of Lazarus.

It took place in the house of Simon the Leper. John DID NOT say that this took place in the house of Lazurus, John said that it took place in Bethany, the town where Lazarus lived. What about Luke? Luke said that this took place in the house of a Pharisee. This is not a contradiction since the Pharisee in question was none other than Simon!

Luke 7:39-40:

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner." Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said.

Who anointed Jesus. Mark 14:3 and Matthew 26:7 say that it was a woman, unknown woman. Luke 7:37 calls her a sinner and John 12:3 and 11:19 said it was Mary the sister of Lazarus.

How is this a contradiction? Mary was a woman and like all humans, a sinner.

How this woman anoint Jesus? According to Mark and Matthew she poured it on his head, Luke and John said that she poured it on his feet and John adds that she wiped his feet with hair.

These accounts were written based on eyewitness testimonies, therefore the people who witnessed this event most likely were standing in different places and saw the happenings from their unique perspective. Picture the scene: Jesus was sitting at the table and Mary probably began by pouring the perfume on His head as Mark and Matthew described. The witness in Luke's account (and most likely the witness in John's account) was located behind Jesus and may not have seen her pouring the perfume on His head but did see Mary bending down to the feet of Jesus to wipe up the perfume which ran down from His head.

Who reacted to this act? Mark said the some people, Matthew said the disciples, but Luke said that only one person objected a Pharisee Judas.

How did the people react? Mark said that the people were secretly indignant and reproached the woman. Matthew said that they spoke, Luke said he spoke of it secretly, John said he spoke.

Once again, the perspectives of the witnesses are important. John said that Judas objected; Matthew said that the disciples asked Why the waste?, while Mark said: Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, Why this waste of perfume? ,while Luke really did not say much about this. It is completely possible that Judas began the criticism of Mary and some of the others present nodded with agreement while some others may have agreed but did not show their agreement. Hardly a contradiction.

Why did they object? Mark and Matthew said that it was because something expensive has been wasted, Luke said that because a sinner touched him and John said that it was a waste.

No, the disciples (mostly Judas) objected because something expensive had been wasted. Simon, who was a Pharisee and very concerned with ritualistic purity, was upset that a sinner touched Jesus. However, Jesus (the divine teacher) taught the Pharisee a lesson:

Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said. "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii [approximately one day's wages], and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

What was the reply of Jesus? Mark and Matthew said that He said that the end was near. Luke said that this woman was forgiven, John said that it was for his burial.

I believe that Jesus said all of these things! Was the Lord strictly limited in his choice of replies? Once again, Dr. Badawi is attempting to impose his definition of God on God.

Andrew Vargo

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