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

Trinity, Atonement & Blood Sacrifice XIX : Resurrection 3


Dr. Badawi continues the Bible trivia game in his continuing, and unsuccessful, attempts to cast doubt on the truth of the Bible. Many, if not most, of Badawi's arguments are similar to the arguments which are commonly heard from atheists on campus. Can Dr. Badawi successfully use the arguments of unbelievers to discredit the Word of God? Let's find out!

Host: What are the other possibilities?

Jamal Badawi: The third possibility is that Jesus prophecies his death and resurrection but this did not happen as he said that it would and the Gospel writers added prophecies about his crucifixion. As a Muslim, I believe that this is impossible to believe that Jesus could be wrong. The forth is that Jesus did not prophecies his crucifixion or resurrection but someone else was killed in his place like Judas as in the Gospel of Barnabas. The disciples thought that Jesus was killed so there was a theological need to create the story and it was not consistent. What did Jesus mean in Mark 14:27 and Matthew 26:31 that he said that all would fall away?

The problem with Dr. Badawi's hypothesis is the fact that there are copies of Old Testament books (the Dead Sea scrolls for example) which contain these prophecies and pre-date the time of Jesus. I also believe that Jesus cannot be wrong, that is why I believe in His words and not in what Dr. Badawi believes Jesus should have said! The Gospel of Barnabas is a forgery (which incidentally calls Muhammad the Messiah), and I am not sure why Dr. Badawi brings it up so often, other than the fact that he has absolutely no evidence to refute the Bible. Also, I cannot imagine that the disciples of Jesus would "invent" a story, go to the ends of the earth preaching this "story" and suffer and die for this "story"! When Jesus said that His disciples would "fall away" He was absolutely correct, they did leave Him in His hour of distress.

Host: If Jesus was not killed and Judas was, where did the body of Judas go and how do you explain the empty tomb?

Jamal Badawi: The essential element in this story is the empty tomb. I will refer to one of the most famous church historians Evert Harnack in his book The History of Dogma, where he says that the story of the empty tomb cannot be regarded as historical fact.

Actually, the author's name is Adolf Harnack and he produces zero historical proof in this book (which is more concerned with the Hellenization of Christianity than the history of the events) to disprove the resurrection.

His conclusion is that the inconsistencies in the story. What happened to Judas? Matthew is the only one who says something about what happened to Judas and he tries to connect that to the prophecies of the Old Testament in 27:3 and 10 he says that when Judas found out that Jesus was condemned, he regretted that and returned the silver and hanged himself. Judas must have killed himself after the decision of the Jewish Sanhedran and before the trial of Jesus. This is the only mention of the end of Judas in the Gospels. In Act 1:15-20 it describes a different story about Judas. Judas did accept the silver and bought the field and Judas fell headlong into burst open and his bowels gushed out. That is why the filed is called blood field. There are four points which are irreconcilable:

1. When did Judas die?

According to Matthew he died before Jesus was killed, Luke in Acts, said that it was days later. He could not have killed himself the following morning, not enough time.

The Book of Acts does not say that Judas died days after Jesus. Matthew tells us that Judas hanged himself before the crucifixion of Jesus. Acts 1:18 is a summary of what happened since, by this point in time, everyone was familiar with the events that occurred:

With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.

Also, what does Dr. Badawi mean by his statement that there was not enough time for Judas to kill himself? How long does it take to commit suicide by hanging, 10 or 12 minutes?

2. How did Judas die?

According to Matthew, he hanged himself, Luke in Acts said that he fell head on and burst open.

Matthew tells us that Judas hanged himself but in Acts 1:18 Luke speaks about Judas falling headlong and his insides splattered out. Both of these statements are true. Luke does not deny the fact that Judas hanged himself and, according to tradition, Judas hanged himself on the edge of a cliff, above the Valley of Hinnom. The rope either broke, was cut, or was untied and Judas fell as described by Luke. Please remember that Judas did this during Passover, so no Jew would even think of taking his body down until after the Holy Days.

3. Why was the field called the field of blood?

Matthew said that it was purchased with blood money which the Jews thought immoral, Acts says that it is called that because of the bloody death of Judas.

Matthew 27:8 says that it is called the field of blood because it was bought with blood-money, while, Dr. Badawi claims that Acts 1:19 says that it was because of the bloody death of Judas. Both Matthew and Luke agree that it was because the field was bought with blood-money. Acts 1:18-19 says

"With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field".

Luke begins by assuming that the field was bought with the blood-money, and then the Luke describes Judas' gory and bloody demise on that piece of land.

4. Who purchase that field?

Matthew 27:7 said that the Jewish Priest, Acts said Judas bought it and did not return the silver.

Matthew was the closest to the events and he says that the priests refused to put the money in the temple treasury because it was blood money. When the Priests purchased the field for the temple, they would never buy it in the name of the temple, so they bought it in the name of Judas Iscariot. The Roman property records, which may have been examined by Luke, would officially record that Judas bought the field because it was purchased in his name.

So the story of the empty tomb cannot be regarded as historical.

This conclusion is not supported by the arguments that Dr. Badawi just gave us!

Host: Assume the Jesus was crucified where was he between his death and resurrection?

Jamal Badawi: This is another diffuclt issue, Luke 23:39-43 says that Jesus told the robber that he will be with him today in paradise, so Jesus went to paradise. John 20:17 it says that when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb that Jesus told her that he did not ascend to the Father which is allegorical that he did not die. In Act 1:3 we find a third variant saying that Jesus went to heaven 40 days later. Some of the non-Canonized Gospels like Nicodemes says that after his death went to hell and fetched Adam, Abraham and other Prophets and that is strange that they suffered in Hell.

Jesus was in paradise, just as He told the robber.

Host: What can we conclude from the Gospels about the crucifxion and resurrection of Jesus?

Jamal Badawi: The theological and philsophical development created the mission of Jesus. These were not the core of his mission because his disciples were suprised that he was killed and did not believe in the resurrection. How could we base the core of the faith on a few hours and reject the Prophets of the Old Testament? The theological basis of Christianity would atand or fall on the accuracy on these alleged events. 1 Corinthians 15:14 sums this up:

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

The whole faith has been based on this. The things that are historic is that Jesus was not seen by any of his enemies after resurrection. Even the followers who saw him there were many inconsistencies. The empty tomb cannot be a fact. It would more useful to focus on the teachings of Jesus rather than the idea of sacrifice.

By denying the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Dr. Badawi has clearly rejected the Prophets of the Old Testament and completely ignores God's plan of salvation - substituting a man made, and inconsistent doctrine (which goes against prophecy, history, as well as common sense) in its place. Paul was absolutely correct, if Jesus had not been raised up from the grave, our faith would be useless. However, if He was raised up [and He indeed was!], then Dr. Badawi's faith is false. That is why Dr. Badawi has used every Jehovah's Witness, Unitarian, and atheist argument that he could find to attempt to discredit the Bible - and he has failed.

Host: What about the writtings of non Christians?

Jamal Badawi: Some Roman and Greek literature, one of the best reference to evaluate these sources is a book called Enigma of Jesus by Paul Couchoud who concludes that these writings are deficient. The Jewish religious writings say it is incoherant and there is little allusion to Jesus and the writers had no first hand information. Josephus describes what happened in the first century and he does not mention Jesus and when he does, it was later editions by Christian writers.

There are many authors who make a wide variety of claims concerning the Bible and there are many books and articles written by Christian scholars (who actually believe in Jesus) which refute these claims - although I am sure that Dr. Badawi would never consider presenting these opinions! We will also examine the writings of Josephus in a later segment.

Andrew Vargo

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