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

Trinity, Atonement & Blood Sacrifice XVIII : Resurrection 2


In this segment, Dr. Badawi misquotes a number of Bible passages in an attempt to undermine the account of the resurrection of Jesus. Badawi also suggest, regardless of what the Bible actually says, that the resurrected Christ should have been a spiritual being, and not a physical being. He concludes his remarks with the often repeated, but never proven, accusation that these events were added to the Bible at a later date.

Host: Why did the writer of the Book of Matthew add the story of the resurrection?

Jamal Badawi: There was an obsession with Old Testament prophecies and he must have read Psalm 54 where it says that his bones will not be broken, so this story may have been written regardless of it historicity. This prophecy talks about someone who will be saved from his enemies to the point where even his bones will not be broken.

Matthew wrote the story of resurrection because that is what happened. Matthew's attention to the details of the Old Testament prophecies was necessary since these predictions pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. We Christians believe in Jesus because He came with clear witnesses: the prophecies of the Old Testament, His miracles, and His own prophecies.

Host: What about the Gospel of Luke?

Jamal Badawi: He also mentioned resurrection which has some problems. Luke 24:14-31 he speaks about two travels going to the village and said that Jesus drew near them and talked about them about what happened in Jerusalem, he interpreted scriptures for them and called them foolish. They noted that Jesus was drawing away from them but they invited Jesus to eat with them and then they recognized him and he vanished. Questions. Wouldn't they ask a stranger who he was and where he was going? With all of the explanation in the scripture, why didn't the travelers ask him or recognize him? Didn't they recognize him when they were eating? Luke continues saying that Jesus appeared in Jerusalem and the disciples were afraid and thought the He was a spirit and he ate some honey and fish. Questions. After the resurrection, Luke 20:36, there is no more a physical body:

No, that is not what this passage says. What is going on in this passage?

In Luke 24, a question is put to Jesus by the religious leaders of his day who were attempting to put the Lord "on the spot":

Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. "Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"

Now, Jesus answers

Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.

Where did Jesus say that the children of the resurrection have no physical bodies?

No angel would have flesh and bones. 1 Cor 15:42-44 were Paul says that the spiritual body is not physical. Flesh cannot inherit heaven. Dr Floyd Clark said that Jesus did not say flesh and blood because he gave his blood on the cross, Jesus came to Jerusalem as a blood-less body but physical because he was not bleeding. Luke said he was a spirit, why should they handle him because he was not physical, how could he enter when the door is closed?

What does Paul say?

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

Paul is teaching the doctrine that our present bodies differ from our resurrection bodies, though we still continue to have bodies. The term "natural body" can be literally translated as "an animal body," that is, a body molded as an organism of "flesh and blood" and in this body, the animal soul preponderates. The spiritual body is a body that is completely molded by the Spirit, and it does not conform to the lower and animal urges. Paul does not deny the physical existence of the resurrected body. How did Jesus walk through a closed door? I cannot explain this anymore than I can explain how He raised the dead and healed the sick - it was a miracle.

Host: Is John's account any different than the others?

Jamal Badawi: Chapter 20: He said that Mary Magdalene was alone and say Jesus in the Garden and she thought that he was a gardener. She asked him where he carried away her Lord and then she recognized him and he said don't touch me because he had not ascended. After that he appeared to the disciples in the room where the door was closed. Thomas was not present and would not believe and 8 days later Jesus asked Thomas to examine him. Another time Jesus appeared on the lake when the disciples were fishing. There are a number of questions which make the story unlikely.

Unable to refute what John said, Dr. Badawi ploughs ahead with more apparent contradictions in the Biblical account.

Host: What are these questions?

Jamal Badawi:

1. John 20:15 says that Mary Magdalene was alone and wanted to take the body of Jesus.

How can one woman carry the body of a man who is wrapped in spices and linen, about 160 pounds?

No, John 20:15 says:

"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

John tells us who asked for the body of Jesus:

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away.

Where was she taking the body and what did she mean by taking him away?

See above. Mary did not take Him anywhere, it was Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who took the body of Christ.

How could she raise the issue with the soldiers present?

She did not, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a very rich and powerful man, did this.

Why did Mary think that Jesus was a gardener? Was Jesus saved form the cross and disguised himself as a gardener?

I think that verse 13 gives us a hint. Jesus asks "Woman, why are you crying?". Perhaps she could not see clearly because she had been crying!

When he told Mary that he did not ascend, the Jews meant that one had not died yet, so did he die on the cross? He said that he was ascending to his God, how could he be God incarnate? God does not ascent to himself. The fact that he entered the room, he must be a spirit, how could he ascend?

No, that was not what Jesus was saying! Jesus was teaching that the standards of holiness are more important than emotional outbursts. As the incarnated Word of God, Jesus was returning to God the Father. How can God ascend to God? God can do as God pleases!

Luke said that Jesus showed them his hands and feet, not specifically the wounds. John was explicit. John alone gave the description to dramatize the crucifixion. If Jesus was man and God, the death on the cross would have been the end of his physical life and he would be God, but we cannot see God. Or the Word became flesh twice.

The difference between these accounts is a matter of style and inclusion of details. Neither account contradicts the other. Jesus was both man and God and He returned in body and spirit and exists today and will return in body and spirit. The Word became flesh once.

Host: Are there elements of agreement in the four Gospels about the resurrection?

Jamal Badawi: Two issues that are contradictory:

They agree that Jesus prophecies his death and resurrection. There is agreement that the disciples did not believe that Jesus appeared after crucifixion. These two areas are difficult to reconcile. Thomas did not believe, and wanted proof. The prophecies made by Jesus were made in public Mark 8:31-33 that Jesus said that he would be delivered and killed, Peter started to rebuke Jesus and Jesus said go behind me Satan, Luke 9:22 also says this. It is apparent that these issues were well known. How could we explain their doubt? He already told them.

The Apostles did not believe that Jesus appeared after crucifixion?!? Thomas DID BELIEVE when he saw the Lord. The disciples, at one point, probably did not want to believe that Jesus would be killed, however, none doubted His resurrection after seeing Him!

Host: Could the disciples have forgotten the prophecies?

Jamal Badawi: Maybe one person, but what about all of them? Mark 8:31:

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.

Four prophecies appear here resurrection is one of them, the first three were fulfilled so they must have anticipated the forth. Wouldn't masses of people be camping and waiting for the moment? Even the women went to anoint him.

I believe that the followers of Jesus were frightened and confused. Imagine opposing the immense power of the Roman Empire! These men may have lost faith in the face of fear. After seeing the resurrected Savior, all but one of the Apostles died as martyrs preaching the Word!

Host: What is your view of how these stories can be reconciled?

Jamal Badawi: The first possibility that Jesus predicted his death and resurrection can be easily rejected because not all early Christians believed in the crucifixion. According to John 20:9 Peter and the disciple did not know the scripture that he must rise. How could they not know? The second possibility is that Jesus predicted nothing and these things were added later.

Honestly Dr. Badawi, do you believe that no one owns a Bible and can check for themselves? Read John 20:8-9:

Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

The passage says that they did not understand, not that they did not know! Of what significance is the statement that some Christians did not believe in the resurrection? Does that make it so? After all, there are people who call themselves "Muslims" (the Nation of Islam and the Ahmadiyya for example) who do not believe that Muhammad is the last Prophet.

Andrew Vargo

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