Chapter 10: the Authors of the New Testament
Why should we know The Authors?
Everyday you are confronted with various reports and hear various news. But among them, you only find one that is reliable and noteworthy, one, which has been said by a reliable and virtuous person. For, if the announcer or the writer is not correct and truthful, his words will not be convincing and trustworthy. Thus whenever we ask for correct news, we must call on truthful speakers or authors to inform us of the real conducts and attitudes of people who have lived before us.
In order to find out about the attitude and pleasing words of Jesus Christ, who lived many centuries before us, any interested person is inevitably forced to consider the reliability of the authors of the New Testament, in order to see whether or not they were qualified for such a thing, for one cannot blindly accept anything written or said as being the attitude and words of Christ himself.
Unfortunately when we embark on a sound, scientific investigation to know the writers of the Scriptures, we discover that they were either unknown or unbelieving, deviant and sinful elements, who could not generally be trusted. For more explanation and in order to see what has just been stated is an irrefutable truth, let us quote a few words about the writers of the New Testament from their very own writings which are currently available.
The biography of the Authors of the New Testament The New Testament is made up of twenty-seven books by eight writers: Peter, John, Matthew, Judas (who were apostles of Christ), Mark, Luke, Jacob and Paul.
He is the author of two books in the New Testament, who furnishes a source for the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. According to the Bible Dictionary, it is highly suspected that in writing his own Gospel, Mark has relied on information furnished by Peter. Matthew and Luke have referred to Gospel of Mark and some other texts as their information source.35
Peter is the same person to whom Jesus had expressed his dislike. As we read in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, when Jesus was prophesying his own death to his disciples, Peter, taking hold of him, began to reproach him, saying:
"Be it far from thee, lord. This shall not be unto thee." Turning to Peter, Jesus said: "Get thee behind me, Satan. Thou art an offence unto me. For thou 35-Apocrypha 112.
savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." (Matt. 16:21- 23). Thus is it possible to say that Peter has deserved to be followed by Matthew, Mark and Luke and that his words should constitute an information source for these writers?
The Disobedience of Peter and John
The evening on which Jesus was succumbing to exceeding sorrow, and was betrayed to his enemies, he told his disciples:
"Tarry ye here, and watch with me." But the disciples, instead of taking care of Christ in such a time, abandoned him and went to bed. When Jesus saw them sleeping, he admonished them and said to Peter: "What, could you not watch with me one hour?" He went the second time and prayed, saying unto the disciples to be with him. But again he found them in sleep, obviously having placed their own comfort above obeying his command. (Extracts from Matt. 26, and Mark 14).
Would the people who did not attach any importance to Jesus' simple request in those critical hours, have respected and valued his injunctions in other times? As a result, how could one rely and trust the Gospel, Revelations, books of John or other writings belonging to Peter or to others influenced by him?
How the Disciples Abandoned Jesus and Fled?
The night on which Jesus was to be captured by his enemies, he told his disciples: "All of you shall be offended because of me this night." All his disciples expressed their dislikes of this offence and Peter said: "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.
" Suddenly Judas, one of the twelve ones, appeared and with him a great multitude carrying swords and sticks. They had been sent by chief Jewish priests and elders. Coming forward they put hands on Jesus and took him away. It was then that all his disciples forsook him and fled.36 What saddened Jesus more than their escape was the arrival of Peter among the enemies!
As Miller, the famous Christian missionary, writes: "How distressed and sad Jesus must have been upon looking at the crowd, seeing Peter warming himself beside fire with other people! Such a negligence and lapse on the part of his most outstanding disciple must have been upsetting.37 Were such irresolute persons firm in face of the bitter events of the early Christian era and the whim of the Roman emperors?
Author's Lack of Faith
Although during his lifetime Jesus had told his disciples that he would "… be 36-Matt. 26:31-57. 37-Commentary of John's Gospel; p 384.
killed, and be raised again the third day",38 whoever told the disciples on that day that 'Jesus has risen', they would not believe him, until Jesus himself appeared to them and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart."39 When the disciples of Jesus act like this, what is to be expected from the writers who had followed them?
Mark was Barnabas' cousin40 and was a friend to Paul, Barnabas and Peter. Quite possibly he had been taught Christian beliefs by Peter; for Peter addresses him as his son. His association with and devotion to Paul and Peter who were both dishonest is a living witness that he was misled; for in order to know people, the best means is to know their masters and friends. Furthermore, Floyd Philson writes:
"Peter imagined that Mark was not firm in serving Jesus."41 Hence it becomes clear that Mark was not even trusted by Peter.
He is an unknown man who was in the same footing with misled and misguided Paul. The Persian Bible Dictionary writes: "His personal history, before and after meeting Paul, is either unknown or based upon ambiguous unidentifiable stories."
Jacob, the Brother of Jesus
He was the same person who in response to the people's inclination hatched a conspiracy aimed at instilling the necessity of rejecting the Mosaic Law and openly declared: "…My sentence is that we should trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God." By this statement, he trampled all but few of the Torah's injunctions. Although Jesus had said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy but fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heavens and earth pass, one jot or one tottle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Matt. 5:17-18)
There is no evidence available for knowing him except the writings of his friend and colleague, Mark. Moreover, he has committed certain acts each of which is enough by itself as an adequate proof and concrete evidence of his deviations, such as the conspiracy he staged for abolishing the need of observing the Torah; for Paul
38-Matt. 16:21. 39-Mark. 16:12. 40-Paul's epistle. 4:10. 41-The key to New Testament; p. 25.
was one of the supporters of such action and a member of that Cabal. What has been said so far clearly demonstrates that should we ignore the events that had taken place in the early Christian era, we still cannot be optimistic about the New Testament and consider it as being reliable, for the authors thereof had not been qualified and trustworthy.
More startling is the fact that despite their contradictory and superstitious statements, the Christians introduce these authors as inspired by the divine revelation and the Holy Spirit, even though they have no proof supporting this idea except the assertions of these pretty unknown or notorious authors themselves.
Let us hope for the day when the Christian intellectuals would turn back against all these superstitious beliefs, and become unanimous with us so that together, and under the prospering standard of Islam, we would achieve real truths. Amen!
Chapter 11: What is The Eucharist?
Fighting for its very own survival, and since it lacks correct and encompassing teachings that would attract intellectuals, Christianity tries to keep for itself, through "False" rituals, the gullible and fanatic people, whose number, unfortunately, is not few. The thought and deeds which the holy fathers teach for this purpose are generally unsubstantiated and the product of their own delusions.
Unconscious of this fact, the church followers do not ask for proof and blindly follow the fathers. Now the holy fathers discuss the concept of The Trinity, then they stage a Eucharist ceremony, imagining that thus they create a thrill of excitement in the hearts of Christians. They are unaware that these rites would deliver yet another blow to the foundations of Christianity. They (the holy fathers) say that it would be good to kill two birds with one stone, by mixing fun and revelry, with a so-called religious action.
Presently we would explain the fact behind this "holy deed" to you, dear reader:
The Eucharist, or the Wine and Breed Ritual On Christmas Eve, the Christians make the following ceremony in the churches:
The Archbishop orders his acolytes to make dough from good flour, bake a loaf of unlived bread and bring it to him. Then the Holy Father takes the loaf of bread and wine to the church and after tolling the bell, prepares the Christians for performing the great ceremony. They all file in one rank and the priest pours the wine into a silver bowl and wraps the bread in a beautiful kerchief. Then he passes the rank of Christians and faces the East, reciting incantations and prayers while holding the loaf of bread. Following the supplication, he prostrates before the bread, then all those present would do the same for they believe that after the supplication, the dough of the bread transforms into the flesh of Jesus.42
The Wine Grail
The Holy Father then holds the cup of wine and addresses the congregation saying: "Our (lord and savior) Jesus, before death took the Grail of wine and gave it to his disciples saying: "this is my blood." (Mark 14:24) Having said this, the priest himself bows before the cup and those in attendance must also follow suit.
Then, while saying prayers, he breaks the bread and holds it in his hand, while another priest brings the Grail of wine. Then one by one, those present 42-John Alder writes test during ninth century, the seminarians claimed that the douhg would turn into the flesh and the wine would turn into the blood of ... gradually this opinion found general acceptance until it became in- corporated Into the Christian faith by 1215 AD.
come forward; and the holy father still reciting prayers places in their mouths a piece of that bread which they swallow immediately without biting into it, for if they bite into it the flesh of Jesus would be harmed. One must ask why the flesh of Jesus, i.e. the unlived bread, is not harmed when they tear it to pieces. Then all take a sip of wine, and by eating bread and drinking wine, all of them become the Father and the Son. And all their sins are forgiven. Whoever wants to repent must do this, and this is currently the standard practice in all Roman Catholic Churches.
This is but a sample of the ideas and deeds of Christianity, a faith whose practitioners believe that beatitude solely lies in the light of its teachings. Moreover, as a part of the ceremony, all unanimously call Jesus the Lord, the only Son of God and begotten by The Father; and confess that he is not a creature but sharing the same essence with the Father.
Unlivened Bread and the Flesh of Jesus
Now in order to better explain this decadent idea and this act, take note of the following:
1) How then Jesus, who according to these gentlemen had been crucified about two millennia ago, can be turn to pieces in thousands of churches, and up in the bellies of millions of Christians and thereby make them all Gods? What sort of scientific discipline proves that this bread and this wine are transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus and what sort of connection exists between Christ and this physical food?
2) If each of those pieces of bread that a Christian eats were a whole Jesus, then it would be necessary for the Lord to create each year several million Jesus in the form of unlivened bread so as to feed the Christians. Moreover, during his lifetime, each Christian, depending upon his age must have eaten 50, 60, 80 or even 100 whole Jesus... Is such a statement believable?
And if they say that they tear Jesus to pieces and eat him, no doubt the crime of the holy fathers would be no less severe than that of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the Jews, for they tear Jesus to pieces every year.
By saying the unlivened bread is digested, the Christians have made a great insult to Jesus, for they are forced to say that it goes through the same stages as other foods, but if they say that it is not digested and absorbed then one must say that every Christian, who has lived for hundred years, must harbor hundred Jesus in his stomach. Truly how much space is there in one's stomach to take in hundred Jesus with earthly bodies?
The superstitious nature of The Eucharist became such a widely spoken topic among Europeans and other people, that in 1551 AD the Roman Catholic Church was forced to make a revision in it but still it could not thoroughly abandon the Eucharist superstitions.
By what stated so far, the superstitious nature of The Eucharist comes into light, for it does not conform to any laws of natural or rational sciences; rather it directly opposes them. In this ritual, drinking of wine, which by the assertion of medical scientists and The Holy Bible itself, is a dangerous fluid that disrupts both mind and body, has been incorporated into the Christian faith as a sacred act by which the Christians become both the Father and the Son.
More specifically, if it is said that unlivened bread is not digested and remains in body forever, this foolish statement make not only the natural scientist, but also even any child, to laugh at it. Furthermore, the present gospels do not approve this act. John Alder, a Christian scholar writes:
"Protestants dispute with Catholics about two subjects:
I-That the Eucharist and other sacred rites have been taught by Jesus, for there are many arguments against it, but none to support it. II-That these holy rituals are means and modes of salvation, Whereas the New Testament strongly emphasizes that we are saved through faith "and not by performing rituals. (Therefore there is no salvation in the acts, rites and ceremonies of the Eucharist). May God guide all of us to the right path?"
Chapter 12: Does Christ Suffer For Our Sins?
"And no bearer of burden can bear the burden of another..." (The Holy Qur'an 17:15) One thing that is becoming increasingly dear with the rapid progress of science is the need to observe divine precepts. Although man has greatly benefited from the thoughts of scientists and wise men in the past, he acknowledges that he cannot fully unveil the mysteries of creation with the help of his finite mind and offer and express comprehensive, useful and unchangeable considerations regarding the problems of life.
He realizes that many laws and theories that are postulated around the globe would, after a time, display their flaws, so that the legislators and theorists are forced to abandon them.
Fortunately, some scientists have confessed that divine laws originating from the Creator of the universe, i.e. the Omniscient God, form the only program that can lead humanity towards absolute prosperity and perfection. Therefore, prophets have tried to introduce people to this progressive program and have always seriously fought with the belief that another person will be punished or sacrificed instead of the guilty party, and have openly declared that everyone is responsible for his own deeds.
In the Book of Ezekiel one can still read: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him" (Ezek. 18:20).
Belief in suffering punishment and paying ransom instead of somebody else would have made a great number of people refuse abiding by divine precepts, for, in their opinion, another person would receive punishment in their stead. Thus apart from being prevented to develop themselves towards perfection, they would have also dealt an irreparable blow to the interest of the society.
Jesus Christ, as soon as he received his divine mission, followed the same rule and drove people towards religious obligations and stressed: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heavens and earth pass, one jot or one brittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
"Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these last commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:17-19)
But in the tide of the events, and harmful publicity launched by the Roman emperors in the early days of Christianity, the Christians, like Buddhists and Hindus, following the example of St. Paul, said: "The only Son of God, or the Lord Himself descended upon earth to expunge people from sin by dying on The Cross." They stated: "Jesus Christ was put on the Cross in order to shoulder the burden of our sins. He thus took the curse, so as to deliver us from the curse of the canon and the holy laws that we deserve."
In his epistle to Galatians, Paul writes: "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of law, being made a curse for us; for it is written cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13).
Furthermore, in the same chapter he adds: "Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith, which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:23 - 26).
In brief, they had thus fulfilled their last wish and said: "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances" (Ephesians 2:15)
Obviously, they had nothing else in their minds than achieving their evil desires and irresponsibility!
Sometimes, in order to avoid any scandal, Christians base their arguments on parts of unreliable old books. For instance, they say: "When they put Christ on The Cross, he drank vinegar, just as David had foretold in Psalms, 69. So it is clear that the story of the putting Christ on The Cross in order to redeem us from our sins is based on reality."
Studying David's Psalms, Chapter 69, we notice that the verses therein do not deal with Jesus Christ at all, but with David himself. The verses are: "God save me... Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonor. Mine adversaries are all before thee. Reproach hath broken my heart and I am full of heaviness; and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink."
You will notice that the above passage has nothing to do with Christ's Crucifixion to save the Christians from the restraints imposed by the canon. But since there is a mention of vinegar, and since in their belief, Christ, too, had drunken vinegar in the last hours of his life, Christians have taken them as forecasting Crucifixion and atonement. Truly, are such inferences not ridiculous?
From what has been said so far, it becomes evident that observance of divine commandments is among the most important and necessary issues; belief in shouldering someone else's sins is the greatest superstition and it is never correct to accept it just because it has been mentioned m the New Testament. Rather, one must say that the New Testament is not compatible with the Old Testament and the conduct of the prophets and Jesus Christ. This incompatibility is yet another proof of its erroneousness.
As a German author, named Ernest Die Bunsen writes:
"The Crucifixion and atonement for sins are but mere fabrications made by St. Paul and his disciples who had never seen Jesus Christ with their own eyes. Therefore one cannot maintain them as the fundaments of true Christianity." Furthermore, Barnabas flatly denies The Crucifixion of Jesus in his Gospel and states: "Judas of Iscariot, mistakenly taken for Christ, was crucified." * * * Now if you ask: "How could one discover the comprehensive divine laws that could guide human beings to happiness and prosperity?" our answer is: "by studying The Holy Qur'an, along with the words of the Holy Prophet of Islam and the impeccable leaders who succeeded him. These words and maxims are available in authoritative Shi'ite books.
The Qur'an is the only book that has addressed the basic issues and problems of life, so that it never grows out-dated and obsolete and fulfills the needs of its followers thereof. In this respect, The Qur'an is unlike the present Old and New Testaments which, apart from being distorted and containing many mistakes and superstitious passages, are short of providing precepts and would never be able to fulfill all the needs of human beings and be considered the sources of guidance and rule for life.
Briefly, what has been mentioned so far makes it clear that the subject of Christ's atonement and suffering for our sins would prevent man from his individual and social development. Inasmuch as man moves forward, he would become aware of the superstitious nature of this belief.