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  1. Zia Shah

    Ehrman-Licona Debate: Can Historians Prove Jesus Rose From The Dead — In my view Prof. Bart Ehrman very satisfactorily establishes in this debate that historically we cannot prove Jesus’ resurrection. Here is a 1.5 hour debate, it has three parts:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyHA3K_6H0gProf. William Lane Craig is making a case similar to Michael Licona and should be considered to have the same fate, both offer similar arguments and are mainly banking on the naivity of the audience and the fact that the dogma of resurrection has been indoctrinated in the Christian mind for centuries. Otherwise, extra-ordinary claims like resurrection require extra-ordinary proofs and the Christian apologists offer very little!As Michael Licona was trying to prove the historic validity of resurrection, he had the first opening statement. He suggested three (so called) facts to make the sum total of his thesis:1. Jesus’ death by crucifixion.2. Sighting of Jesus by the Apostles after Crucifixion.3. Sighting by Paul.The one and a half hour debate is alive and entertaining and worth watching. In a couple of sentences Ehrman reduces the three supposed fact to one. He suggests that crucifixion is not fundamental to resurrection as Jesus (may peace be on him) could have been stoned to death or drowned and yet resurrected, so his crucifixion is not directly related to any proof of resurrection. Ehrman then lumped the sightings into one group and one fact only.Michael Licona may be a good debater but he had very flimsy evidence to make his case on. The whole case of resurrection and indirectly the whole of Christianity is hanging by a very thin thread. The testimony of the apostles, transmitted through oral tradition and written at least 40 years after the occurrence, in a politically and religiously charged environment is all that Licona had available to him. Realizing the vulnerability of his case he banked on the religiosity and naivety of his audience and tried to make his case from theology rather than history. His main claim to fame in the debate seemed to be that God can do anything!Ehrman gives a certain line of reasoning against the validity of the sightings of Jesus after crucifixion, he claims that these were based on visions what Licona prefers to call hallucinations. Ehrman’s explanation is far more satisfying than that of Licona. But, a better explanation could be that they were meeting the resuscitated Jesus as Judge Ernest Brougham Docker explains in the booklet under consideration. In my opinion the swoon hypothesis is a more satisfying explanation of the sighting. The only limitation of the theory is that it is not popular in the Western world yet. Judge Ernest Brougham Docker has very lucidly explained the swoon hypothesis, in one of the knols mentioned above, and the inference that the apostles were seeing the resuscitated body of Jesus and not resurrected body.In my opinion that is why Jesus had all the scars of crucifixion that a resuscitated body should have, whereas a resurrected or a supernatural body that can walk through the wall, could have been without blemish.

  2. Zia Shah

    Christians accepting Jesus was a great teacher and not divine! — CNN 2011-02-27 09:52:38(CNN) — One of his first fan letters came from someone who declared: “If Hell were not already created, it should be invented just for you.” Other critics have called him “demonic,” “blasphemous” and a “schmuck.” When John Dominic Crossan was a teenager in Ireland, he dreamed of becoming a missionary priest. But the message he’s spreading about Jesus today isn’t the kind that would endear him to many church leaders. Crossan says Jesus was an exploited “peasant with an attitude” who didn’t perform many miracles, physically rise from the dead or die as punishment for humanity’s sins. Jesus was extraordinary because of how he lived, not died, says Crossan, one of the world’s top scholars on the “historical Jesus,” a field in which academics use historical evidence to reconstruct Jesus in his first-century setting. “I cannot imagine a more miraculous life than nonviolent resistance to violence,” Crossan says. “I cannot imagine a bigger miracle than a man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square.” http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/02/27/Jesus.scholar/index.html?hpt=C1There are priests who have openly and completely converted to Islam, for example: Jerald F. Dirks I will also keep a list of those priests or scholars of Christianity, who have converted to Islamic concepts about Jesus, may peace be on him, without taking the final steps towards conversion: Prof. Bart Ehrman Bishop John Shelby Spong Prof. Mark W. Muesse

  3. Zia Shah

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but none provided by the Pope — The scientific case against resurrection is pretty straightforward: once dead you stay dead — that’s just the way it works. Coming back to life after having been dead (I mean really dead) would constitute a violation of natural law — a miracle — and miracles just don’t happen. Fair enough. But in his recent book on the last days of Jesus (Jesus of Nazareth Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection), Joseph Ratzinger (aka Pope Benedict XVI) argues that reckoning Resurrection as resuscitation of a corpse is to misunderstand its true significance. Jesus’ Resurrection, he contends, was an utterly singular event, straining the very limits of human understanding:”Anyone approaching the Resurrection accounts in the belief that he knows what rising from the dead means will inevitably misunderstand those accounts and will then dismiss them as meaningless” (p. 243).In fact, if Jesus’ Resurrection were “merely” coming back to life in any way that we might comprehend, then it would be of little significance.”Now it must be acknowledged that if in Jesus’ Resurrection we were dealing simply with the miracle of a resuscitated corpse, it would ultimately be of no concern to us” (p. 243).So what then does Resurrection mean? For Benedict it represents a new dimension of reality breaking through into human experience. It is not a violation of the old; it is the manifestation of something new.”Jesus had not returned to a normal human life in this world like Lazarus and the others whom Jesus raised from the dead. He has entered upon a different life, a new life — he has entered the vast breadth of God himself…” (p. 244).http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-j-rossano/does-resurrection-contrad_b_848577.htmlIn short Pope’s writing is a hotch potch of details to appeal to the naive and already converted and for non-Christians has little to offer, nothing more than myths or legends of old polytheistic societies!The good news, however, is that the Pope at least is trying to explain the swoon hypothesis, as in the past they would just adamantly deny it and just insist on their paradigm, however irrational!

  4. Zia Shah

    The so called facts about resurrection are merely contradictory hearsay — Christian apologists try to use the label of ‘facts,’ to create credibility for the hearsay evidence that they present for resurrection. But, the facts of one apologist differ in some ways from the facts of another apologist and in this comparison we can see that all the evidence mounts to no more than hearsay.The first apologist that I want to bring here as a witness is Michael Licona. He debated Prof. Bart Ehrman and was trying to prove the historic validity of resurrection, he had the first opening statement. He suggested three (so called) facts to make the sum total of his thesis:1. Jesus’ death by crucifixion.2. Sighting of Jesus by the Apostles after Crucifixion.3. Sighting by Paul.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyHA3K_6H0gIt turned out that the first fact was a red herring and had no relevance to the debate, as Ehrman simply mentioned that Jesus did not have to be crucified but could have been drowned or died of cholera and could have been raised from the dead. So the first fact goes away fairly quickly and the other two facts are in fact only one fact as these imply witnessing by certain people including Paul. So much for the three facts of Licona. We will return to his only remaing fact some other time but let us move to the facts of William Lane Craig and address one of his facts in this comment. He makes a big deal out of the so called fact of the empty tomb and its relevance to resurrection. His fact is easily negated by a little quote from the chief apologist, Pope Benedict XVI:”Jesus traveled the path of death right to the bitter and seemingly hopeless end in the tomb. Jesus’ tomb was evidently known. And here the question naturally arises: Did he remain in the tomb? Or was it empty after he had risen?In modern theology this question has been extensively debated. Most commentators come to the conclusion that an empty tomb would not be enough to prove the Resur¬rection. If the tomb were indeed empty, there could be some other explanation for it. On this basis, the com-mentators conclude that the question of the empty tomb is immaterial and can therefore be ignored, which tends also to mean that it probably was not empty anyway, so at least a dispute with modern science over the possibility of bodily resurrection can be avoided. But at the basis of all this lies a distorted way of posing the question. Naturally, the empty tomb as such does not prove the Resurrection. Mary Magdalene, in John’s account, found it empty and assumed that someone must have taken Jesus’ body away. The empty tomb is no proof of the Resurrec¬tion, that much is undeniable. Conversely, though, one might ask: Is the Resurrection compatible with the body remaining in the tomb? Can Jesus be risen if he is still lying in the tomb? What kind of resurrection would that be? Today, notions of resurrection have been developed for which the fate of the corpse is inconsequential. Yet the content of the Resurrection becomes so vague in the process that one must ask with what kind of reality we are dealing in this form of Christianity.Be that as it may: Thomas Soding, Ulrich Wilckens, and others rightly point out that in Jerusalem at the time, the proclamation of the Resurrection would have been completely impossible if anyone had been able to point to a body lying in the tomb. To this extent, for the sake of posing the question correctly, we have to say that the empty tomb as such, while it cannot prove the Resur¬rection, is nevertheless a necessary condition for Resurrection faith, which was specifically concerned with the body and, consequently, with the whole of the person.”So, the punch line is that the empty tomb does not prove resurrection hypothesis but may be necessary for considering such a hypothesis.Pope Benedict XVI. Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection. Ignatius Press, 2011. Pages 253-254.

  5. Zia Shah

    Prof. Richard Dawkins refusing to debate Prof. William Lane Craig! — Prof. Richard Dawkins refusal to debate Prof. William Lane Craig is a compliment in disguise to the well chosen words of Craig to present theistic point of view:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFamS4RGE_A&feature=relatedOnce again I acknowledge and applaud all the proofs that Prof. Craig presents and insist that he has only one flimsy argument and that is resurrection of Jesus and that I have refuted in this and other knols. Let me link at least three of those here:http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-pope-benedict-s-account-of/1qhnnhcumbuyp/355?collectionId=1qhnnhcumbuyp.217#http://knol.google.com/k/jesus-did-not-die-on-the-cross#http://knol.google.com/k/if-jesus-did-not-die-upon-the-cross-a-study-in-evidence#Prof. Victor Stenger in his debate with Prof Craig, in Hawaii, nicely demystifies the fact of empty tomb of Jesus, by giving a metaphor that if Napolean remains were not found in the traditional place to honor him, would that mean that he has resurrected:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRadlJH67D0&playnext=1&list=PL8437042672988686Narrated by Ḥaḍrat Abū Hurairah, Allāh be pleased with him: I heard the Prophet of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allāh be on him) say:“The word of wisdom is the lost property of a Muslim, so that wherever he finds it, he should take it, as he is the most entitled to it.” (Tirmidhī)So, in keeping with this injunction of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, I adapt for myself and Islam the case for theism as presented by Prof. Craig in his debates, while exposing the vulnerability of his tall claims about resurrection of Jesus, as there are better naturalistic and historical explanations for the so called facts, like the empty tomb that he presents for resurrection, both inside and outside the Bible.

  6. Zia Shah

    Resurrection is based on the eye-witness’ accounts but that is based on forgery — Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says:By John Blake, CNNA frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul – says in the Bible’s 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy. There’s one just one problem – Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.”“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.In “Forged,” Ehrman claims that:* At least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries.* The New Testament books attributed to Jesus’ disciples could not have been written by them because they were illiterate.* Many of the New Testament’s forgeries were manufactured by early Christian leaders trying to settle theological feuds.http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/13/half-of-new-testament-forged-bible-scholar-says/?

  7. Zia Shah

    Resurrection is based on the eye-witness’ accounts but that is based on forgery — Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says:By John Blake, CNNA frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul – says in the Bible’s 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy. There’s one just one problem – Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.”“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.In “Forged,” Ehrman claims that:* At least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries.* The New Testament books attributed to Jesus’ disciples could not have been written by them because they were illiterate.* Many of the New Testament’s forgeries were manufactured by early Christian leaders trying to settle theological feuds.http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/13/half-of-new-testament-forged-bible-scholar-says/?

  8. Zia Shah

    Allopathic Medicine’s long struggle with the Bible — In Matt. 17 Jesus, on whom be peace, gives recipe for casting out the demons: When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. ( Matt 17:14-20) The world of the New Testament compilation was one with abundant demons and ghosts. Here are a few verses from the conclusion of the Mark, which talks of Mary Magdalene being possessed by seven demons, one may have metaphorical interpretation of these today but when these verses were written demons meant demons: When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. (Mark 16:9-13) Two of the four canonical gospels carry the story of a woman who asks Jesus to exorcise a demon from her daughter. Unfortunately for her, she isn’t from Israel. (She is ‘Canaanite’ in one gospel, ‘Syrophoenician’ in another.) Jesus takes this into account and replies, with one of his less flattering allegories, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” Pathetically, the woman answers, “Yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table,” (Matthew 15:27) after which Jesus relents and tosses her some crumbs by tossing out the demons. Defenders of Jesus universalist status might say he was just driving home the fact that Gentiles can find salvation through faith. Indeed, that is the way the story plays out in Matthew, as Jesus exclaims, ‘Great is your faith!’ But in Mark, the earlier telling of the story, there’s no mention of faith. What wins Jesus’s favor, it seems, is the woman-master-dog metaphor; with the woman bowed before him, Jesus answers only, ‘For saying that, you may go – the demon has left your daughter.’ (Matthew 15:28 and Mark 7:29)http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/allopathic-medicine-s-long-struggle/1qhnnhcumbuyp/233#Prof. Craig highlights in his presentations exorcisms performed by Jesus, may peace be on him, as miracles and feels that in doing so he is buttressing his claims about resurrection of Jesus, but as every student of allopathic medicine knows that exorcisms, demons and witches were a creation of the medieval mind, and so is the claim of resurrection!

  9. here

    Im getting a small problem. I cant get my reader to pickup your rss feed, Im using google reader by the way.

  10. ziahshah

    There is very little new material here, in this site. Please follow the feed of the Muslim Times, then you will be constantly updated with my activities and writings and those of other editors:

    http://www.themuslimtimes.org

  11. Gricelda

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