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

Trinity, Atonement & Blood Sacrifice XXI : Roots of "God Incarnate" 2


In this segment, Dr. Badawi continues to attempt to draw parallels between the beliefs of several Pagan religions and Christianity. He concludes this segment by claiming that the beliefs of Christianity are mythology without realizing that same claim can also be made for Islam and the Qur'an. After all, if the story of the conception of Jesus in the Bible is myth (an event that is not historical), then the Qur'an's account of the conception of Jesus is also myth! This is a clear illustration of why we must be very careful when we borrow the conclusions of others (especially unbelievers) without examining their initial premises!

Host: Going back to Babylon, what were the similarities between the passion story of Baal and Jesus?

Jamal Badawi: The British Journal Quest published an article January 1922. Baal, the sun God was taken prisoner, tried on all mountain, was smitten and led away to the mountain, there were two people taken with him and one was let go and the other was crucified with him. After Baal went to the mountain, the city was destroyed. Baal's clothes were carried away and women wiped his blood and Baal went down into the mountain and was held as a prisoner. Gods watched him imprisoned and a goddess who came to tend him and Baal returned to life. In the spring, there was a march celebrating the victory of Baal over darkness.

First, how does this relate to the beliefs of Christianity?

Second, Dr. Badawi's mythology is incorrect. The story of Baal (who is also known as Hadad and Adad) contains absolutely no suggestion of death and resurrection or an annual cycle of death and rebirth. Baal simply disappeared and reappeared.

Host: Did the notion of sun gods exist outside of the Mediterranean?

Jamal Badawi: The dying and resurrecting gods are all over the world. In ancient Mexico, there was Quetzeqoutal who was declared by a heavenly messenger to his mother who was called the queen of heaven, he struggled for the redemption of man and he died on the cross for atonement, he fasted for 40 days and was tempted and he resurrected from the dead. His followers used the cross as a symbol and his priests were celibate and they taught peace and trust in god instead of works.

What on earth does Aztec mythology have to do with Christianity? Is Dr. Badawi claiming that Christians borrowed myths from people whom they had never met?

Host: How about the east?

Jamal Badawi: Krishna was believed to be the incarnation of Vishnu. The Hindus believed in an ancient triune Trinity : Brama, Vishnu, and Shiva. The angels declared him, his birth was indicated by a star and he was born in a cave, the child was adored by cow herds and received gifts, his foster father was warned to escape for King Kanza who killed all males born. He cured a leper and a woman anointed him, he was slain and the sun darkened at noon and the spirits were seen from all sides. He went to hell, resurrected, and bodily ascended to heaven and he will come again to judge the dead. They believe that Krishna created all things and could forgive sins, he was transfigured, washed the feet of the Brahmins. The deification of Krishna came around 4th century B.C..

Most of the legends concerning Krisha's childhood appeared long after the Gita was written. In fact, most of these legends originated in about 1000 A.D! It is impossible for me to imagine that the followers of Jesus borrowed Hindu legends from the future! Did King Kansa order the slaying of all male infants born that night? According to legend only 6-7 infants were killed in the entire kingdom. The theme of a king murdering potential heirs to the throne is not unique to Christianity or Hinduism - it appears in both religious and secular history. Did Krishna ascend to heaven as Jesus ascended? First, Hindus do not have a concept similar to the Judeo-Christian idea of "Heaven" and Hindus do not believe that people can bodily 'ascend' anywhere after death. Krishna's alleged miracles are hardly surprising since this is a common theme among most faiths. Many Hindu, as well as Buddhist, religious beliefs are the result of contact with Christianity, not the other way around. For more on this topic please read Syncretism.

Host: Could you elaborate more on Hinduism and God incarnate?

Jamal Badawi: T.W. Doane is the best reference, he goes into detail comparing the life of Buddha and Jesus. He said that Buddha was born of the virgin Maya and the incarnation took place through the Holy Ghost. The birth of Buddha was declared by a star, he was born on December 25, divans sang, after his birth he was visited by people who presented jewels, the life of Buddha was threatened by a King who was overthrown by Buddha. When Buddha went to school, he astonished his teachers with his knowledge. Buddha was tempted by Nara who offered him to be the Emperor of the whole world and Buddha said get thee away from me. Buddha was considered a savior, the Christ, at the end of his life he was transfigured on a mountain in Ceylon and that a lighted flame came on him, he performed miracles, and prayer in his name allows people to receive their reward in paradise, and that when he died, the coverings of his body unrolled and the coffin opened, he ascended into heaven. Buddha is to come again to judge the dead. He was the alpha and omega and he carried away the sins of humanity. He went to Benares and gave a speech attracting followers.

If we study the history of Buddhism, we find that this philosophy split into two very different sects: Hinayana and Mahayana. Hinayana was the philosophy which was propagated by Buddha. Hinayana Buddhism is an agnostic religion with no God. Mahayana Buddhism, by contrast, developed a concept of a divine savior, the suffering Buddha. In it interesting to note that the Hinayana Buddhist scriptures are written in a language called Pali, while the Mahayana writings are in Sanskrit which, according to epigraphic evidence, appeared in the 2nd century A.D.. This indicates that Mahayana Buddhism developed under the influence of Christianity and not the other way around! For more on this topic, please read this article.

Host: Could you define myth?

Jamal Badawi: The literal and connotative need to be defined. Most people think that myth is the opposite of truth. Webster says that myth is a story of unknown authorship.

Host: What meaning is this term used in theology?

Jamal Badawi: Christian scholar Maurice Wiles and Hick (Myth of God Incarnate) says that the notion of myth is relatively recent in English, in the 19th century there were arguments tried to distinguish between different types. Strauss said that there are historical myths that are colored narratives of historical events. Second, there is a philosophical myth which is an idea expressed in historical narrative. There are political myths between history and philosophy. The myth is important as long as a community accepts it. The myths were formed by the authors in association with the nobility (according to Strauss). Every dogma is a myth because it is expressed in allegorical language.

Does Dr. Badawi believe that "Every dogma is a myth" in Islam? That is the logical conclusion of his argument.

Host: How about the idea of myth in Biblical studies?

Jamal Badawi: Wiles said that the majority of Biblical scholars agree that the myth and the study of historical criticism. Incarnation is not an historical event, if it is an event, it is history and we must establish it legitimacy.

If incarnation occurred, and it did, then it is a fact and an historical event. According to Dr. Badawi's (il)logic, the Qur'an's account of the conception of Jesus is also a myth!

Andrew Vargo

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