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The Cross Questioned Evidence that demands a verdict Complied by the Areeb Islam Foundation 1988 -2012 It is said

that Christianity stands or falls on the Cross. The death of Jesus on the cross and his rising from the dead form the basis of Christianity. No other religion is so precariously built around a single historical event. As Paul said, If Christ was not raised your faith has nothin in it! "#Corinthians #$%#&'. To prove his point the Christians produces his o(n (itnesses. To prove other(ise (e must limit ourselves to the e)amination of these very (itnesses. The Christian is not (illing to accept any other. In fact the parallel evidence has been so systematically destroyed that there is not much (e can lay our hands on any(ay. The main (itnesses available for testifying are *atthe(, *ar+, ,u+e and John, (hoever they (ere, (ho left their legacies in the form of the four -ospels (hich form a little less than one half of the Ne( Testament. Paul.s o(n (ritings contained in the Ne( Testament do not tell us much about the life of Jesus, but his inf luence on Christianity is manifestly greater than any other person surpassing even that of Jesus himself / *ista+enly people read the four -ospels separately. In attempting my analysis I have tried to loo+ at them concurrently and to compare (hat each of these four -ospels has to say, or chosen not to say, about the same event and then tried to assess the evidence in a 0uest to reach the truth. Jesus. *inistry lasted

only about three years in the 1ible. *y e)amination begins from the point (hen Jesus, after having performed many of his miracles and preaching to the multitudes, starts his 2ourney to Jerusalem (here he (ill be eventually, as (e are told, arrested, tried and crucified. 3aith can be irrational at the best of times. In matters of faith it is almost impossible to be completely ob2ective and impartial. I do not intend to ma+e any such pretense. I have, ho(ever, reproduced the (ritings of the -ospels and other boo+s of the Ne( Testament as (ell as any parallel evidence e)actly as given so as not to be accused of tempering (ith the evidence. The parallel material has been rarely used and that too only casually. I have used my right of 0uestioning and the freedom of my comment (here it seemed desirable. This is set clearly separate from the main evidence (hich is entirely from Christianity, and (hat Christians may call Pseudo4Christian, sources. Non4 Christian documents or beliefs have not been referenced to. In using the te)t of the Ne( Testament I have referred mainly to the Authori!ed "in #ames $ersion! "5J6' and the %ew En lish &ible! "N71' (hich is a translation set in modern 7nglish and recogni8ed by the 9oman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the 1aptists, The *ethodists, the Presbyterians and a large number of other church denominations and should be acceptable to most Christians every(here. Comparative passages from the %ew 'orld (ranslation) "N:T', *evised &er+ly $ersions) "916', %ew International $ersion) "NI6', (he ,ivin &ible! "T,1' and some others have been refereed to. *aterial from a large number of sources has been consulted and benefited from but it has not seemed necessary to 0uote such references unless a direct 0uotation has been used.

;aving presented my o(n analysis I leave if to the readers to ma+e their o(n final conclusion after analy8ing the <NA and figure print evidences. *ay the Almighty guide us all to the ultimate truth. Amen #anuary 201-

C;APT79 # T;7 :ITN7==7= The story of the crucifi)ion comes from the 1ible, or, to be specific, from the Ne( Testament. This is the only source (hich the Christians are (illing to consider and produces as the (itness to the truth or other(ise of the 7aster 7vent. The Ne( Testament consists of 3>?9 @-ospels!, a boo+ of Acts!, and t(enty one letters ascribed to Paul and some early notables and a boo+ of 9evelations!. All these (ere (ritten a considerable time after the crucifi)ion. ;o(ever, these (ere not the only boo+s and letters that (ere (ritten about Jesus and his teachings. 1y the year AB$ C.7. a very large number of boo+s on Jesus.s life and church teachings (ere e)tant in various churches in the *iddle 7ast, North Africa and 7urope. There (ere ma2or doctrinal differences among various churches and many accused each other of follo(ing the (rong doctrine. The t(o main groups (ere the Trinitarians and the ?nitarians. In order to reach an acceptable consensus the 7mperor Constantine called a meeting of Christian bishops to settle the matter. The Council of Nicaea, held in AB$ C.7. proceeded to select the boo+s, out of a vast collection of manuscripts (hich, in their opinion, constituted the authori8ed :ord of -od. To start (ith 7mperor Constantine used his imperial authority and dis0ualified

seventeen hundred and thirty bishops from having a voice in decision ma+ing. A great many boo+s (ere re2ected and the boo+s (hich no( comprise the Ne( Testament (ere voted through C7A= and NAC=. 7stimates differ (idely as to the number of manuscripts. According to one source there (ere as many as DEEE manuscripts of the -ospels. =ome indicate as fe( as $E. It is doubtful if any of those (ho (ere present may have +no(n even the names of all the -ospels presented at the council. It (as decided that all the different -ospels should be placed under a table in the Council ;all. 7veryone left the room and the door (as loc+ed. The bishops (ere as+ed to pray for the (hole night that the correct versions of the -ospel might come onto the top of the table. In the morning the -ospels acceptable to Athanasius, representative of Ale)ander, 1ishop of Ale)andria, (ere found neatly placed on top of the table. It (as decided that all the -ospels remaining under the table should be burned. There is no record of (ho +ept the +ey to the room that night. 1y imperial order it became a capital offence to possess and unauthori8ed -ospel. As a result, over a million Christians (ere +illed in the years follo(ing the Councils decision. This is ho( the Ne( Testament came into being. >pposition to some of the boo+s, notably The 9evelation! continued and it is not until AF& C.7. at the third Council of Nicaea, at (hich =t Augustine (as present, that the canon of Ne( Testament (as finally adopted. The four -ospels that form part of the Ne( Testament are *atthe(, *ar+, ,u+e and John. All (ere (ritten long after the crucifi)ion and very little is +no(n about the (riters and (hether these are their real names. In order of chronology the first one to be (ritten (as that of *ar+ and *atthe( and ,u+e have borro(ed heavily from it. These three are +no(n as synoptic! because of their similar nature. John.s -ospel (as (ritten much later and has a style of its o(n.

The Ne( Testament, ho(ever, bears the <NA evidence of Paul.s doctrines and teachings more than anyone else, including Jesus himself. The oldest (riting in this collection is that of Paul himself and his (ritings have inf luenced everything else in there. Paul (as born (ith the name =aulG a Je( of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia "Acts #B%AD'. =aul belonged to a 1en2amite family of considerable (ealth. They (ere 9oman citi8ens and thus privileged people. ;e (as apparently studying Je(ish ,a( from the Pharisees in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.s crucifi)ion but apparently had not ever seen Jesus. ,ater he 2oined the group of those (ho (ere persecuting the disciples of Jesus. The first time he is mentioned is at the stoning to death of =tephen "Acts &%$H'% and the (itnesses laid do(n their clothes at a young man.s feet, (hose name (as =aul! I he made havoc of the church, entering into every house and haling men and (oman committed them to prison! "Acts H%A'. =aul (as not content to carry on his 8ealous handling of "early' Christians in Jerusalem, or even in Judaea so he too+ letters from the ;igh Priest to the synagogues of <amascus (ith authority to arrest those (ho believed in Jesus as a Christ. >n (ay to <amascus there shined round about him a light from heaven and he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto him, =aul, =aul, (hy persecutest thou meJ And he said, :ho art thou, ,ordJ And the ,ord said I am Jesus (hom thou persecutestI.! "Acts F% A4$'. As a result =aul (as converted to Christianity, becoming as fanatical an upholder of the belief as, earlierG he had been in opposing it. This happened sometime bet(een A< AB K AD. 3or three years =aul pondered his understanding of Jesus and his mission. -radually he developed his o(n approach. Then he returned to Jerusalem. The disciples there (ere very apprehensive of him but 1arnabas too+ him and brought him to the Apostles and declared unto them ho( he has seen the ,ordI!

"Acts F%B&'. =aul (as accepted as a fello( Christian!, a term (e use in this boo+ only to distinguish the ne( sect from the Je(s K a term not used by the people of that time as yet. =aul (ent around preaching Christianity!. *ean(hile those (ho had been scattered after the persecution that arose over =tephen made their (ay into Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, bringing the message to Je(s only and to no other peoples. 1ut there (ere some natives of Cyprus and Cyrene among them and there, (hen they arrived in Antioch began to read to the -entiles "non42e(s' as (ell, telling the good ne(s of the ,ord Jesus. The po(er of the ,ord (as (ith them, and a great many became believers, and turned to the ,ord. The ne(s reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem and they sent 1arnabas to Antioch. The disciples first got the name Christian "Acts ##% #F4BL' 1arnabas and =aul (ent around and they declared the :ord of -od! in the Je(ish synagogues. It is during one of these 2ourneys that =aul.s name is changed to Paul "Acts #A%F'. There (ere violent confrontations and apparently very fe( converts. 7)asperated they declared to the Je(s% It (as necessary that the :ord of -od should be declared to you first. 1ut since you re2ect it and thus condemn yourselves as un(orthy of eternal life, (e no( turn to the -entiles!. It is interesting ho( the (riter of the Acts 0uietly changes =aul.s name to Paul. No( before he eliminates 1arnabas, he changes 1arnabas and Paul! to Paul and 1arnabas! as in charge of the missionary (or+. After a (hile Paul said to 1arnabas, @>ught (e not go bac+ no( to see ho( our brothers are faring in the various to(ns (here (e proclaimed the :ord of the ,ordJ. 1arnabas (anted to ta+e John *ar+ (ith them, but Paul 2udged that the man (ho had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on (ith them to share in their (or+ (as not the man to ta+e (ith them no(. The dispute (as so sharp that they parted company!. "Acts #$%AL4AF'. Although Paul mentions his name in his 7pistle

to the Colossians "D%#E'% 1arnabas, II he comes to you, receive him I.!, (hich (as (ritten A< LB before the boo+ of Acts (as (ritten, from no( on the name 1arnabas does not appear in the Ne( Testament boo+s (ritten after this incident. Indeed no (or+s of this former mentor to Paul is included among canonical literature "rather odd that'. 9ather such literature (as sought out and burnt so that very little has survived till today. The fact is that the split occurred bet(een them because of doctrinal differences and not merely (hether *ar+ should or should not be accompanying them. It is the same *ar+ (ho is supposedly the author of the -ospel of *ar+. Paul did not consider *ar+ @(orthy. of company in @conveying the message of Jesus. yet his -ospel is +eystone to the story of Jesus. It cannot be said that he really (rote the -ospel or someone merely ascribed his name to it as (as not uncommon in those days. Paul has played a very po(erful role in developing the basis of (hat (e +no( as Christianity. Jesus (as born a Je( and remained so throughout his early e)istence. ;is disciples continued to be Je(s and it (as only in Antioch that the band of follo(ers of Jesus (as derogatorily called Christians!. Paul (anted to convey the message and teachings of Jesus to the -entiles (hich even Jesus himself had not done or authori8ed. Paul made out his o(n theological doctrines in order to ma+e Christianity acceptable to the -entiles and loo+ different from Judaism In promoting his o(n doctrine Paul (as (illing to do anything. ;e offered sacrifice at Jerusalem and declared himself a Pharisee to appease "Acts B#4BA' (hen he needed the Apostles at Jerusalem. ;e +ept 1arnabas besides him (hen it (as needed that someone (ho had been close to Jesus should stay by his side to give him credibility and authenticate his mission. :hen faced (ith 9omans he saved his s+in by declaring his 9oman citi8enship. To be popular among the -entiles he changed his

name from =aul to Paul. ;e allo(ed the -entiles to remain uncircumcised and even eat por+. ;e started 0uarrels (ith Jesus. companions, (ho (ere no( acting as Jesus. Apostle and (ere preaching (hat Jesus had been teaching and practicing. Paul claimed I had been entrusted (ith the -ospel for -entiles as surely as Peter had been entrusted (ith the -ospel for Je(s. 3or -od (hose action made Peter an Apostle for the Je(s also made me an Apostle for the -entiles. 9ecogni8ing then the favour besto(ed on me, those reputed pillars of society, James, Cephas and John accepted 1arnabas and myself as partners and shoo+ hands upon it, agreeing that (e should go to the -entiles (hile they (ent to the Je(s! "-alatians B%&4F'. Paul is not +no(n to have met any other of the Apostles during his 2ourneys. The shre(d Paul (as thus able to prevail upon simpleton disciples of Jesus, as the -ospels pro2ect them under Paul.s inf luence, to accept his claim as the Apostle to the -entiles. These disciples themselves stuc+ to the original teachings of Jesus and taught the -ospel only to the Je(s as Jesus himself had (ished them to do. This (as to be only a stepping stone for Paul. 1ut (hen Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face. 7ven 1arnabas (as carried a(ay and played false li+e the rest! "-alatians B%#B4#A'. This then erupted into an open challenge% =o many people brag about their earthly distinctions that I shall do so too! "B Corinthians ##%#H', I can out4do them! "B Corinthians ##%BA', In no respect did I fall short of these superlative Apostles! "B Corinthians #B%##'. 3inally he bro+e a(ay even from his mentor and companion 1arnabas. 1y doing so he severed his last lin+ (ith the original disciples of Jesus. :e have very little to lay our hands on (hat the @Apostles. (ere saying at the time. :e get some indication, surprisingly (ithin the Ne( Testament itself in a small obscure letter of James% *y brothers, (hat use is it for a man to say he has faith (hen he does nothing to sho( itJ Can faith save himJ I..if it does not lead to

action, it is in itself a lifeless thing divorced from deeds is barren I.a man is 2ustified by deeds and not by faith in itself ! "James B%#D4BD'. This (as a direct rebuttal to (hat Paul (as teaching% No man is ever 2ustified by doing (hat the la( demands, but only through faith in Christ Jesus! "-alatians B%#L'. Jesus had proclaimed% Thin+ not that I am come to destroy the ,a(, or the prophets% I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 3or verily I say to you, till heaven and earth pass a(ay, one 2ot or one tittle shall in no (ise pass from the ,a(, till all be fulfilled. :hoever therefore shall brea+ one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the +ingdom of heaven, but (hoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the +ingdom of heaven! "*atthe( $%#&4#F'. >n the contrary, Paul stressed% he has canceled the bond that pledged us to the decrees of the la(. It stood against us, but he has set it aside, nailing it to the cross! "Colossians B%#D', :e are discharged from the ,a(! "9omans &%L', Christ ends the ,a( and brings righteousness! "9omans #E%D'. Paul gave ne( t(ists to his doctrine. ;e separated Jesus! from Christ!. According to his reasoning the ,a( (hich had bound Jesus and his follo(ers (as no longer necessary, since Jesus had died. No( they (ere no longer married! to Jesus, but to Christ, (ho had brought another la(. It (as therefore, necessary to follo( Christ and not Jesus "9omans &%#4D'. This shift of emphasis from Jesus as a man to the ne( image of Christ, (ho (as divine, enabled the intellectuals in -reece and 9ome to assimilate into their o(n philosophy (hat Paul and those (ho follo(ed him (ere preaching. To be fair to Paul he did not invent the Theory of Trinity himself. 1ut (ith Paulian Church.s tal+ of -od the 3ather! and -od, the =on!, it only needed the inclusion of the ;oly -host! to create the doctrine of Trinity. If they didn.t come up (ith the trinity then for sure they (ould have come up (ith it later. The

9omans (ere already familiar to the idea of triumvirate (here a coterie of three e0uals! (ould rule 9ome. The idea of triune and triad (ere already prevalent among the -entiles and pagans and the Trinity did not loo+ odd or out of place to them. Credit goes to Paul to transform a dead! Jesus into a living Christ!. The movement spread rather rapidly in spite of Je(ish and 9oman opposition in the beginning. Paul.s teachings even inf luenced the contents of the four -ospels (hich form part of the Ne( Testament. Cet even the boo+s of the Ne( Testament have not come to us in the shape as they (ere (ritten. :e do not have the original manuscripts. 7ven (hatever originals! (e have are the product of translations and retranslations. It is +no(n that ;ebre( manuscripts (ere all destroyed. :e do not have (ords of Jesus as they (ere spo+en in his native Aramaic tongue. *ost of (hat has been recorded is second, third or fourth hand hearsay narrative spo+en several years after the event. :hat has come to us is carefully screened and purposely compiled into a collection that (as never meant to be so. There are reasons (hy the -ospels, and the story they tell us, should be treated (ith e)treme caution. These (ere (ritten AE to #EE years after the facts. Thus they are based on hearsay from a long lost past. No human that ever lived has been able to recall past events after such long time periods (ithout being affected by (hat has happened in bet(een. The oral evidence must have been polluted.

There is no reason (hy the evangelists should be e)pected to escape this natural tendency. *oreover, t(o factors made them particularly vulnerable to it% first, the partial or predominantly oral nature of their sources, (hich (ere then particularly susceptible to inf luence by contemporary color, and secondly, the e)traordinary rapid, radical developments (hich transformed the infant Church during the decades that separated the gospels from Jesus. death made it difficult for their (riters to understand ho( things had been before these changes occurred! "C 5 1urrett% ,u+e the ;istorian in 9ecent =tudy, 7p(orth Press, #FL#'. ,et us consider 2ust one e)ample, that of the ,ord.s prayer!. This is the only teaching of Jesus (herein he instructs his disciples ho( to pray. *ar+ and John do not even mention it/ *atthe( and ,u+e give their o(n separate version on the narrative. According to *atthe( the prayer (as taught in the course of (hat is no( come to be +no(n as the =ermon >n The *ount! since the sermon (as supposed to have been given up on a hill "*atthe( $%##'. ;o(ever, according to ,u+e this prayer (as not taught as part of that particular sermon (hich (as given do(n the hill I.. on level ground! ",u+e L%#&'. ,u+e records it much later >nce in a certain place, Jesus (as at prayer, :hen he ceased, one of the disciples said, ,ord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples. ;e ans(ered% @:hen you pray say%I..! ",u+e ##%#4B'. The ,>9<.= P9AC79 must have been memori8ed by Jesus. disciples and later follo(ers for a long time after Jesus in its original (ords. Cet today (e do not have any record of (hat Jesus really spo+e and taught. 7ven the t(o versions (e have cited by *atthe( and ,u+e differ from each other. It is certain that the original (ords 0uoted by the t(o -ospel

(riters must have been very different from the same translators to have translated differently. This is not the case (ith the 5ing James 6ersion >N,C/ All other versions also record these differently. 7ven for the same -ospel, different manuscripts record different (ords. =o many differences among the *>=T A?T;7NTIC *AN?=C9IPT=! in a matter (hich is a direct teaching of Jesus (hich (as memori8ed and repeated in prayer by his disciples and later follo(ers. :hat may have happened to lesser +no(n (ords of Jesus, spo+en in his native tongue A9A*AIC, is anyone.s guess. ?nfortunately, these are lost, or +ept hidden by the po(ers that be, forever. =uch is the canon (hich forms the foundation of the belief of the largest religion of the (orld as of BE#B. This is thus the evidence (ith (hich (e must content in order to prove, or disprove, from its internal evidence (hether Jesus, the Christ, (as, or (as not, the =on of the *ost ;oly! and (hether or not he died on the cross for the redemption of the sins of all man+ind.

C;APT79 B T;7 J>?9N7C T> J79?=A,7*

And they (ere in the (ay going up to JerusalemG and Jesus (ent before them II and he too+ again the t(elve, and began to tell them (hat things should happen to him. =aying, 1ehold, (e go up to JerusalemG and the =on of *an shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribesG and they shall condemn him to death and shall deliver him to the -entiles% And they shall moc+ him, and shall scourge him, and shall pit upon him, and shall +ill him% and the third day he shall rise again.! "*ar+ #E%AB K AD 5ing James 6ersion' According to the Ne( 7nglish 1ible the last sentence reads% and three days after(ards, he (ill rise again! 916% and after three days he (ill rise again! NI6% three days later he (ill rise!. N:T% three days later he (ill rise!. According to the -ospel of *atthe( "BE%#F' 5J6% and the third day he shall rise again!. N71% on the third day! 916% the third day! NI6% on the third day! N:T% the third day!. =o modern translators all agree that (hile *ar+ says three days later!, *atthe( (rites on the third day!, and so does ,u+e "#H%AD'. This (ould mean a difference of one day/ Apparently 5J6 had mistranslated or corrected (hat seemed to be a clear case of (rong counting in the original manuscript of *ar+. >n the road to Jerusalem Jesus declared ",u+e #A%AA4A$' cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. >

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, (hich +illest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto theeG ho( often (ould I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her (ings, and ye (ould not/ 1ehold your house is left unto you desolate, and verily I say unto you. Ce shall not see me, until the time comes (hen ye shall say, 1lessed is he that cometh in the name of the ,ord.! Jesus. disciples listened to Jesus tal+ li+e this, but simpletons as they are portrayed, they understood none of these things% and this saying (as hid from them, neither +ne( they the things (hich (ere spo+en! ",u+e #H%AD' and (hen they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto 1ethpage and 1ethany, at the *ount of >lives, he sendeth forth t(o of his disciples and saith unto them, -o your (ay into the village over against you and as soon as ye have entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, (hereon never man satG loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you (hy do ye thisJ =ay ye that the ,ord hath need of himG and straight (ay he (ill send him hither. And they (ent their (ay and found the colt tied by the door (ithout in a place (here t(o (ays met and loose they him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, (hat do ye, loosing the coltJ And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded% and they let them go. And they brought their colt to Jesus, and cast garments on himG and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the (ay and others cut do(n branches off the trees, and stra(ed them in the (ay. And they that (ent before, and they that follo(ed cried, saying, ;osanna, 1lessed is he that cometh in the name of the ,ord% 1lessed be the +ingdom of our father <avid, that cometh in the name of the ,ord. ;osanna in the highest. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple, and (hen he loo+ed around about upon all things, and no( the eventide (as come, he (ent out from 1ethany (ith the t(elve. And on the morro( II they came to Jerusalem% and Jesus (ent into the temple, and began to

cast out them that sold and bought in the temple and overthre( the tables of the money changers and the seats of them that sold doves and (ould not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple! "*ar+ ##%#4#L' According to *ar+ Jesus entered Jerusalem and (ent straight to the temple and surveyed the scene. ;e came bac+ the ne)t day and upset the tables of the moneychangers, etc. ;o(ever, *atthe( reports that he upset the tables the very first day that he entered Jerusalem. and (hen he came into Jerusalem all the city (as moved. =aying, (ho is thisJ And the multitude said% this is Jesus, the prophet of Na8areth of -alilee. And Jesus (ent into the temple of -od, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthre( the tables of the moneychangers and seats of them that sold doves! "*atthe( B#%#E4#B'. This is not the only difference in the versions of the -ospels regarding Jesus. entry into Jerusalem. :hat *ar+ called a @colt. , *atthe( reports as and ye shall find an ass tied and a colt (ith her I.. and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass! "*atthe( B#%B,$'. John, the (riter of the fourth -ospel, is fond of elaborate details and unusual events/ 1y the time of his (riting Christianity had become a distinctly separate religion and bro+en its lin+s from Judaism. It had by no( become the religion of the -entiles "non Je(s' and doctrinal debates (ere going on bet(een different congregations "madhabs'. According to John, Jesus made a number of separate 2ourneys to Jerusalem rather than 2ust one as reported by *ar+, *atthe( and ,u+e, the (riters of (hat are +no(n as synoptic! -ospels. :hereas the synoptic -ospels record that the 2ourney (as underta+en at the end of Jesus. earthly so2ourn, John reports that the first of his reported 2ourneys too+ place in the early days of Jesus. baptism by John soon after the first miracle recorded by John (here Jesus turned (ater into (ine "John B'.

The commotion at the temple obviously annoyed the Je(ish leaders and they demanded% :hat sign she(est thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these thingsJ Jesus ans(ered and said unto them, <estroy this temple, and in three days I (ill raise it up. Then said the Je(s, forty and si) years (as this temple in building and (ilt thou rear it up in three daysJ! "John B%#H4 BE'. At Jesus. trial by the ;igh Priest Jesus (ill be accused of threatening to destroy the temple. =o John adds 1ut he spo+e of the temple of his body! "John B%B#'. It is here also that John introduces Nicodemus, a man of the Pharisees, a ruler of the Je(s "John A%#' (ho (ill play an important role in the burial of Jesus. Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night secretly and professes his faith, that is a teacher come from -od. After this, Jesus (ent into Judaea (ith his disciples, staying there (ith them and bapti8ed! "John A%BB'. A report no( reached the Pharisees% @Jesus is (inning and bapti8ing more disciples than John% although in fact, it (as only the disciples (ho (ere bapti8ing and not Jesus himself ! "John D%# 4B'. This is in conf lict (ith John A%BB reported above (here it is clearly stated that Jesus stayed there (ith them and bapti8ed.! It seems John D%#4B (as so (orded for t(o purposes% >N7 K to assert that Jesus (as ma+ing more disciples than John the 1aptist and so sho( him to be =?P79I>9 to John the 1aptist (hose disciples (ere still in large numbers (hile John (as (riting his -ospel. T:> K to find an e)cuse because in fact Jesus had not been a huge success in Judaea. This Bnd fact is indicated by John D%A K :hen Jesus learnt this, he left Judaea and set out once more for -alilee!. If Jesus (as in fact (inning disciples then he did not need to leave Judaea/ ?nfortunately Jesus. mission to -alilee (as also not much better/ Jesus himself testified that a prophet hath no honour in his o(n country! "John D%DD'. As I stated before, John (as (riting his gospel at a time (hen Christianity had become more of a religion of the -entiles "non

Je(s', so John reports Jesus. dialogue (ith the =amaritan (oman and gives the impression that he conveyed his message even to the =amaritans (hom the Je(s considered as unclean. >n the contrary, *atthe( in his -ospel had recorded% These t(elve Jesus set forth and commanded them, saying, -o not unto the (ay of the -entiles and into the city of the =amaritans enter ye not% but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel "Je(s'! "*atthe( #E%$4L'. ,ater (hen a -entile (oman sought Jesus. help he ans(ered and said @It is not meet to ta+e children.s bread and cast it to the dogs! "*atthe( #$%BB4BL'. And he (ent out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, *aster, see (hat manner of stones and (hat buildings are here. And Jesus ans(ering said unto him, =eest thou these great buildingsJ There shall not be one stone upon another, that shall not be thro(n do(n! "*ar+ #A%#4B'. Jesus then spea+s of coming (ars, famine and pestilences. =imilar mentions are made by *atthe( in chapter BD and in ,u+e chapter B#. :hat is interesting to note is that (hen these -ospels (ere been (ritten these prophecised! events (ere already a matter of the past/ John no( mentions another 2ourney to Jerusalem "John $' (hen he cites the story of a cripple lying by the side of the sheep4pool +no(n as 1ethesda (here an angel (ould come and disturb the (ater and (hoever is the first to plunge in after the disturbance is recovered from (hatever had aff licted him. =ince this (ould be a miracle by itself, nothing to do (ith Jesus, many versions of the 1ible omit it. 5J6 includes this verse D so do 916 and T,1 but N:T, N71 and NI6 omit it ascribing it to some less important manuscripts!. The conf lict (ith Je(s deepens and the Je(s accuse him of brea+ing the =abbath and claiming e0uality (ith -od (hom he called his o(n 3ather "John $%#H'. Jesus ma+es the claim "John$%#H' The 3ather does not 2udge anyone, but has given full 2urisdiction to the =on! "John$%BB'. Cet on another occasion Jesus is 0uoted as saying% I have not come to 2udge the (orld! "John #B%D&'. After

this visit Jesus is said to (ithdra( to the farther shore of the sea of -alilee "or Tiberias'. ;e (ished to avoid Judaea because the Je(s (ere loo+ing for a chance to +ill him! "John&%B'. Jesus no longer (ent about publicly in Judaea.! "John ##%$D'. As the Je(ish 3east of Tabernacles (as close at hand, his brothers (anted him to accompany them to Jerusalem but Jesus said to them, -o to the festival yourselves. I am not going up to this festival because the right time for me has not yet come! "John &%H4F'. 1?T as soon as they left then (ent he also, not openly but as it (ere in secret! "John &%#E'. "Is Jesus a liar or is John the liarJ' It is made to loo+ as if he (as himself afraid of the Je(s. Cet he (ent and started teaching on arrival/J It is on this trip that he is brought a (oman caught in adultery and they as+ him, No( *oses in the ,a( commanded that such should be stoned, but (hat sayest thouJ Jesus (ould not ans(er, but, (hen passed, told them @That one of you (ho is faultless shall thro( the first stone.. All of them (ent a(ay and Jesus (as left alone (ith the (oman standing. Jesus again sat up and said to the (oman% @:here are those thine accusersJ ;ath no man condemned theeJ. =he said% @No man, ,ord.. Jesus said, neither do I condemn thee go and sin no more!. The above story is included in 5J6 at John H%#4##, but raises a tic+lish 0uestion% ;aving given the verdict (hy did he, the faultless, the sinless, not stone the (omanJ To avoid ans(ering this 0uestion many modern versions simply delete this passage. 9easons given vary but the most common is the earliest manuscripts and other ancient (itnesses do not have this passage% "NI6 M N:T'. Cet 916 and T,1 consider it authentic/ "nothing li+e divided voices/J' Jesus is then made to come to Jerusalem again in (inter for the 3estival of <edication. Jesus (ithdre( again across the Jordan, to the place (here John had been bapti8ing earlier. There he stayed (hile cro(ds came to him. They said% John gave us no miraculous sign, but all that he

said about this man (as true.! "John #E%DE4DB'. Again John tries to belittle John the 1aptist but dra(s strength from his testimony about Jesus. No( for the final 2ourney to Jerusalem John brings great body of pilgrims (ho had come to the festival (ith palm branches, shouting @;osanna/ 1lessing on him (ho comes in the name of the ,ord% -od bless the +ing of Israel/ Jesus found a don+ey and mounted it, in accordance (ith the te)t of scripture%.fear no more, daughter of 8ion% see your +ing is coming, mounted on an ass.s colt! "John #B%#B4#$'. There (ere delegations and speeches but Inspite of many signs (hich Jesus had performed in their presence they (ould not believe in him! "John #B%A&'. True to his habit John declares that all this had been said in earlier prophecies of Isaiah "John ##,#B%AH4D#'. John plays hide and see+ (ith Jesus. ;e brings him to Jerusalem then (his+s him a(ay only to be brought bac+, ma+es him preach openly and once again he (ithdra(s% After these (ords Jesus (ent a(ay from them in hiding! "John #B%AL'

T;7 PA==>679 37A=T No( the 3estival of Passover and ?nleavened 1read (as only t(o days off. Jesus (as at 1ethany "outside Jerusalem', in the house of =imon, the leper. As he sat a (oman came in carrying small bottles of very costly perfume, pure oil and nard. =he bro+e it open and poured the oil over Jesus. head. =ome of the present

said to one another angrily, @:hy this (asteJ The perfume might have been sold for thirty pounds and the money given to the poor.! "*ar+ #D%A4$'. According to *ar+ some of the present! (ere angry. *atthe( says in his version The disciples (ere indignant!. ,u+e does not even mention the event/ The event in not of much importance but it is here that it is mentioned that Judas Iscariot, one of the t(elve, decided to betray Jesus. John, in true dramatic form, has a some(hat different story to tell. According to John this happened si) days before the Passover, not t(o days as in the accounts of the synoptic -ospels. "*ath is not a good sub2ect in the 1ible/'. A supper (as given in his honour, at (hich *artha served and ,a8arus sat among the guests (ith Jesus. Then *ary brought a pound of very costly perfume, pure oil of nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and (iped them (ith her hair till the house (as filled (ith the odour of the ointment. Judas Iscariot, a disciple of his K the one (ho (as to betray him K said, @(hy (as this perfume not sold for thirty pounds and given to the poorJ. ;e said this not out of any care for the poor, but because he (as a thief% he used to pilfer the money put into the common purse, (hich (as in his charge. @,eave her alone., said Jesus. @,et her +eep it till the day (hen she prepares for my burial.! "John #B%B4&'. No( John not only adds four e)tra days but he also adds much colour to the story. Instead of Jesus 2ust happening to be in 1ethany, a proper supper (ith many guests is arranged for him. 6IP ,a8arus is thrust into his story as a +ind of @physical proof . of one (ho had been resurrected from the dead no( eating (ith Jesus. ;e is there (ith *artha, his sister, (ho is made to be serving the guests. The (oman (ho brought the perfume is none other than *ary. >dd the other (riters did not notice *A9C/ =he brings in not a @small bottle. as stated by the other (riters of this story but apparently a ,A9-7 one containing a P>?N< of very costly perfume. =he does not put the oil on

Jesus. hair as according to the synoptic -ospel (ritters but she is no( anointing his feet and (ipes them (ith her hair/ ;er P>?N< of oil should have come handy on the day (hen she prepares for Jesus. burial but someho( (e never hear of it again. As for those (ho (ere angry at this (aste, according to John it (as only Judas Iscariot, the holder of the common purse. Interestingly, if Judas (as indeed a thief as John (ants the reader to believe then he must have had very poor bargaining s+ills (ith the Je(s by only getting thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus rather than +eep Jesus alive and +eep the s+imming from the purse as (ell. It (as in his best interest to +eep Jesus alive 4 as a thief / >n the day of the ?nleavened 1read the disciples arrange a meeting place according to the instructions Jesus gave them. As they sat at supper Jesus said, @ I tell you this% >ne of you (ill betray me, one (ho is eating (ith me I... It is the one of the T(elve. (ho is dipping into the bo(l (ith me!. "*ar+ #D%#H4 BE'. Interestingly, as the time passes, each -ospel (riter adds something to the story. According to *ar+, the T(elve, one by one, said to him @Not I, surelyJ. but according to *atthe( it is Judas (ho as+s% @9abbi, can you mean meJ Jesus replied% The (ords are yours. "*atthe( BL%B$' . To ,u+e, (ho aims his (riting at the non Je(s, this is superf luous for the stage is already set, the destiny is already destined. Jesus states his discourse by saying, ;o( I have longed to eat this Passover (ith you before my death.! ",u+e BB%#$'. ,i+e something out of a =ha+espeare play John does his best to outdo the rest. John (ould not have Jesus starting such an important meeting so unceremoniously/ As soon as everyone is

seated Jesus I. 9ose from the table, laid aside his garments and ta+ing a to(el tied around him. Then he poured (ater in a basin, and began to (ash his disciples feet and to (ipe them (ith to(el! "John #A%D4$'. Peter hesitates, then, reali8ing the honour, as+s Jesus to (ash his hands and head as (ell. Jesus reassures him% you are clean, though not every one of you!. ;e added the (ords @not every one of you. because he +ne( (ho (as going to betray him. "John #A%#E4##'. John +eeps reassuring us so that (e may not get the idea that the =on of -od did not +no( the un+no(n. ;e +eeps hammering home the idea that Jesus +ne( all along (hat (ill happen to him and (ho it (as that (ould betray him. 7arlier he had (ritten% Cet one of you is a devil, ;e meant Judas! "John L%&E4&#'. :hile the three =ynoptic -ospels suffice to say >ne of the T(elve, John must elaborate% >ne of them, the disciple he loved, (as recling close besides Jesus. =o =imon Peter nodded to him and said, @As+ (ho it is he means.. That disciple, leaned bac+ close to Jesus and as+ed, @,ord, (ho is it. Jesus relied, @it is the man (hom I gave this piece of bread (hen I dipped it in the dish! "John #A%BL'. There must have been a hush in the room (ith an air of e)pectancy, everyone (aiting to see to (hom the bread (ill be given. Then, after dipping it in the dish, he too+ it out and gave it to Judas son of =imon Iscariot!. "John #A%BL'. It is sad for Jesus that he had to contend (ith disciples, later to become his Apostles and torchbearers, that @Not one at table understood (hat he meant by it. and (hen Jesus told Judas% <o 0uic+ly (hat you have to do, some supposed that as Judas (as in charge of the common purse, Jesus (as telling him to buy (hat (as needed for the festival, or to ma+e some gift to the poor. According to John, =atan entered Judas as soon as he received the bread "John #H%B&'. ;ere he even contradicts himself as he had earlier stated that before the Passover the devil had already put it into mind of Judas son of =imon Iscariot to betray him! "John #A%B'. In fact he had already made the conspiracy (ith the chief priests and (as loo+ing for an opportunity to betray him. " *ar+ #D%## and *atthe( BL%#L and ,u+e BB%L' tells

us that the betrayal (as re0uired so as to arrest Jesus (ithout collecting a cro(d!. "3ree(ill no long applies it seems'. 7arlier the chief priests and the Pharisees had convened a meeting of the Council "the =anhedrin' to decide @(hat action are (e ta+ingJ. they said% @This man is performing many signs, if (e leave him alone li+e this the (hole populace (ill believe in him. Then the 9omans (ill come and s(eep a(ay our temple and our nation!. 1ut one of them, Caiaphas, (ho (as ;igh Priest that year, said @ you +no( nothing (hateverG you do not use JudgementG it is more to your interest that one man should die for the people, than that the (hole nation should be destroyed! "John ##% D&4$#'. True to himself John brings in the supposed @spirit of prophecy.. ;e even gives this privilege to Caiaphas, the ;igh Priest% ;e did not say this of his o(n accord but as the ;igh Priest in office that year he (as prophesying that Jesus (ould die for the nation! "John ##%$#4$B'. At this point he must have realsied that this meant only the Je(ish Nation! (hile he (as (riting for the -entiles "non Je(s' so he smartly adds I(ould die not for the nation alone but to gather together the scattered children of -od!. In other (ords he (as implying not 2ust the lost sheep of the house of Israel as Jesus himself das said but all other nations as (ell. ?ptil no( Jesus had been careful not to give any opportunity for a direct confrontation, or at least to get himself into unnecessary trouble. ;e had left Na8areth (hen he (as not (ell received there. ;e had left Judaea and travelled on the far shore of the =ea of -alilee, he +ept his plans to visit Jerusalem secret even from his o(n brothers to the e)tent of telling them that he (as not going there. ;e carefully (ent out of Jerusalem every night. It is, therefore, all the more intriguing (hy in the face of the imminent danger, he (as not prepared to do anything no(. :as it a deliberate challenge to the Je(ish authority or 8eal

of a martyr that (as the driving forceJ -reater love hath no man than this, that a man lay do(n his life for his friends! "John#D%#A'. Could it be that having reali8ed that the imminence of the 5ingdom of -od that he (as preaching (as no (here near, he decided deliberately to lay do(n his life rather than submit to failureJ The account of his trial later in the -ospels also sho(s as if he had given up all hope or else did not care. ,u+e BB%A$4AH seems to imply that he e)horted his disciples to get armed to face the enemy. If he did mean it that (ay then he must have sho(n naivetN about the affairs of the (orld thin+ing that they could defend him against the full force of the 9omans 2ust (ith the t(o s(ords they could muster. T;7 <I=C>?9=7 AT T;7 37A=T <uring supper he too+ bread and having said the blessing he bro+e it and gave it to them, (ith the (ords% @ta+e this, it is my body.. Then he too+ the cup, and having offered than+s to -od he gave it to them, and they all dran+ from it. And he said @This is my blood, the blood of the ne( testament, (hich is shed for many. 6erily, I say unto you this% I (ill drin+ no more of the fruit of the vine until that day (hen I drin+ it ne( in the +ingdom of -od! "*ar+ #D%BB4B$'. According to *ar+ this is all that happened that evening as after singing the Passover ;ymn, they (ent to the *ount of >lives. *atthe( repeats this (ith some minor verbal differences. 1oth *ar+ and *atthe( identify the betrayer before this. ,u+e states that the betrayer (as mentioned after this. In any case, Judas (as present throughout the discourse. 1ut in the -ospel of John ;e "Judas' then having received the sop (ent immediately and it (as night! "John#A%AE'. ,u+e.s account of the tal+ at the table is a little longer than the other t(o synoptic -ospels but John avails of this opportunity, indeed the last one, for e)position of his o(n doctrine, since ma2or controversies (ere already raging among various Christians communities on the

interpretation of various dogmas no( being presented to them. After arriving at the *ount of >lives Jesus told Peter% before the coc+ cro(s t(ice, you yourself (ill diso(n me three times! "*ar+ #D%AE and *atthe( BL%AD'. ;o(ever, ,u+e BB%AD says this happened at the ,ast =upper before they left for the *ount of >lives. Jesus also tells them after I am raised again I (ill soon go before you into -alilee! "*ar+ #D%BH and *atthe( BL%AB'. John is not the one to ma+e long things short. ;e (ould rather ma+e short things long, thro(ing his ever popular unrelated prophecy or t(o in the story for good measure. ;is version at the ,ast =upper is that of a fare(ell discourse. =everal different things said at a supper (hich is not a religious feast. There (as no need to sho( Jesus carrying out a Je(ish ritual as his last act. ;e had already accorded an elaborate fare(ell party to him at 1ethany to compensate for this. ;e tells the disciples% No( the =on of man is glorified, and in him -od is glorified!. ;e promises if I go and prepare a place for you, I shall come again and receive you to myself ! "John #D% #4#$'. Then Jesus ma+es an announcement according to John, but (hich none of the synoptic -ospels report, and (hich (ill have far4 reaching meaning for the future of Christianity% I (ill as+ the 3ather, and ;e (ill give you another to be your Advocate (ho (ill be (ith you forever K the =pirit of Truth! "John #D%#$4 #&'. "N71% Advocate, 5J6 and T,1% Comforter, 916% ;elper, N:T% ;elper, the ;oly =pirit NI6% Counselor'. Cour Advocate, the ;oly =pirit (hom the 3ather (ill send in my name, (ill teach you everything, and (ill call to mind all that I have told you! "#D%BL'. 1ut (hen your Advocate has come, (hom I (ill send from the 3ather K the =pirit of Truth that issues from the 3ather K he (ill bear (itness to me! "#$%BL'. If I do not go your Advocate (ill not come! "#L%&'. There is still much that I could say to you, but the burden (ould be too great for you no(. ;o(ever, (hen he comes, (ho is the =pirit of Truth, he (ill guide you into all the truthG for he (ill not spea+ on his

o(n authority, but (ill tell only (hat he hearsG and he (ill ma+e +no(n to you the things that are coming! "John #L%#B4#A'. :hat did Jesus mean by this Advocate O Comforter O Counselor O =pirit of Truth or (hosoever (e may li+e to translate from the original -ree+ (ord @PA9AC,7T7. J <id he mean another more po(erful *essiah to +eep the hope of the Je(ish nation aliveJ >r, did he merely mean the ;oly =pirit O ;oly -host as the later Christians came to believeJ >ne may also (onder, if such important promise (hich has had such a profound effect on Christian thought (as indeed made by Jesus/ ;o( come all the other three -ospels do not even give a hint about itJ <id they thin+ it (as not important to tal+ about another *essiah (hile they (ere still grappling (ith the issues raised by the teachings of John the 1aptist and Jesus himself J Interestingly if this Comforter (as to give unto you all truth! "John #L%#A' (here (as the need for Jesus to rise againJ If the (ords (ere really said by Jesus, then these depict his feeling of leaving behind unfinished (or+/ >r having done (hat (as assigned to him by @3ather. , (as he leaving to ma+e (ay for the one (ho (ill come to complete the tas+ of a greater significanceJ John the 1aptist replaced by Jesus and Jesus replaced by the =pirit of TruthJ ;is disciples, as is apparent from their conduct, (ere not yet ready to grasp the full message, the burden (ould be too great for them no(/ In this discourse Jesus said very clearly% @I shall come again and receive you to myself . "John#D%A', and @I am coming bac+ to you. "John #D%#H'. :hat did he mean by thatJ <id he mean, as he said in other -ospels, @after I am raised. or did he mean @ after my death I (ill be resurrected, go to heaven, rest ther a (hile and come here againJ! 7arly Christians in any case thought of @The imminent coming of the Christ. since Jesus had declared I tell you this% there are some of those standing here (ho (ill not taste death before they have seen the +ingdom of -od already come in

po(er. "*ar+ F%#'. ,ater (hen Peter as+ed, concerning John @,ord (hat (ill happen to himJ. Jesus said, @If it should be my (ill that he should (ait until I come, (hat is it to youJ.! "John B#%B#4 BB'. People (aited longingly for Jesus to return to inaugurate the +ingdom of -od. :hen this did not happen for a long time, there (as general disappointment and frustration among them, (ho had endured persecution, hardship and suffering in the hope that the 5ingdom of -od (as at hand. To deal (ith this the later doctrinaires came up (ith the argument% @:ith the ,ord one day is li+e a thousand years and a thousand years li+e a day. "B Peter A%H'. Nice one/// John does not mention sacrament of the bread and (ine at this @last supper.. To him this had al(ays been part of Jesus. teachings. ;e had brought this up much earlier% I am the bread of life! "John L%BH4A$' and I am that living bread Ithe bread that I give you is my o(n f lesh! "John L%$#'. This had led to a fierce dispute among the Je(s, ;o( can this man give us his f lesh to eatJ. they said. Jesus replied% @In truth, in very truth I tell you, unless you eat the f lesh of the =on of *an and drin+ his blood, you can have no life in you. :hoever eats my f lesh and drin+s my blood possesses eternal life, and I (ill raise him up on the last day. *y f lesh is real foodG and my blood is real drin+. :hoever eats my f lesh and drin+s my blood d(ells continually in me and I d(ell in him. As the living 3ather sent me, and I live because of the 3ather, so he (ho eats me shall live because of me. This is the bread (hich came do(n from heavenG and it is not li+e the bread (hich our fathers ateG they are dead, but (hoever eats this bread shall ive forever! "John L%$B4$H'. "I +id you notI. this is directly from the 1ible/' According to 2ohn @This (as spo+en in a synagogue (hen Jesus (as teaching in Capernaum. Anyone (ho +no(s the Je(ish la(s on food can see that people (ould be offended by the mere thought of eating human f lesh. The very thought (ould be abhorrent. It is hearing such things that they said @Are (e not

right in saying that you are a =amaritan, and that you are possessedJ. "John H%DH'. @No( (e are certain that you are possessed. "John H%$B'. *any of his disciples on hearing it e)claimed, @This is more than (e can stomach/ :hy listen to such tal+J. "John L%$F4LE'. @3rom that time on, many of his disciples (ithdre( and no longer (ent about (ith him. "John L%LL'. 1ut John insists @ Jesus +ne( all along (ho (ere (ithout faith and (ho (as to betray him. "John L%L$'! 4 Jac0ues 6erster "9evert to Islam from Johannesburg, =outh Africa' .

C;APT79 A T;7 A997=T AN< T9IA, 3rom the *ount of >lives Jesus and his disciples (ent to a place called -ethsemane, he said to his disciples, =it here (hile I Pray. And he too+ Peter and James and John (ith him. ;orror and dismay came over him, and he said to them, my heart is ready to brea+ in grief, stop here and stay a(a+e. Then he (ent for(ard a little, thre( himself on the ground, and prayed that, if it (ere possible, this hour might pass him by Abba , 3ather!, he said, all things are possible to thee, ta+e this cup a(ay from me. Cet not (hat I (ill, but (hat thou (ilt! "*ar+ #D%AB4AL'. It is confusing as to (hy Jesus, (ho apparently +ne( that he (as to be +illed, (ould not (ant to slip a(ay as (as his usual practice under such circumstances. If he (as no( determined to face come (hat may, then (e can understand the anguish, grief and dismay (hat he (ould feel as his heart (as ready to brea+. ;is mission having seemingly failed (ould alone be enough for such a feeling. 1ut for him to let horror come over him and plead that he should be spared the ordeal (as not even prophetKli+e, let alone for the one (hom the Christians consider the =on of -od, rather -od, the =on!. Perhaps, as *ar+ " #D%AH' and *athe( "BL%DD' read the spirit is (illing, but the f lesh is (ea+! even for the =on of -od/

>ne (onders (ho among his party (as listening to him (hile he (as ma+ing his prayful submission to -od, the 3ather/ ;e had already left his disciples rather some distance a(ay and even left behind Peter, James and John and gone for(ard from them as both *ar+ "#D%A$' and *atthe( "BL4AF' tell us. In fact ,u+e does not mention this 4 that the three (ere any(here nearby. ;e gives it as a @stone.s thro(. a(ay ",u+e BL%AF'. =oon after this Jesus (ill be arrested, tried and crucified. :ho (as the one (ho heard his prayerJ Could Jesus be praying in such a loud voice that the others heard him at a distance of @about a stone.s thro(. even (hile they (ere fast asleepJ ,u+e "BB%DA4DD' no( gives an account (hich none of the other t(o synoptic -ospels give us% And no( there appeared to him an angel from heaven bringing him strength and in anguish of spirit he prayed the more urgently, and his s(eat (as li+e clots of blood falling to the ground!. This is clearly a f light of imagination in4 as4much as there (as no one around to see all this in that very dar+ night/ The lac+ of someone (ho could vouch for such statements casts very serious doubts about the narratives. This especially so because (e note that the disciples (ere not only at about a stone.s distance but also fast asleep after a good supper topped (ith (ine. 3or (hen Jesus rose from the prayer and came to the disciples he found them asleep!. :orn out by grief ",u+e #D%D$' he said to Peter% Asleep, =imonJ :ere you not able to stay a(a+e for one hourJ =tay a(a+e, all of you, and pray that you may be spared the test! >nce more he (ent a(ay and prayed. >n his return he found them asleep again. The third time he came and said to them, still sleepingJ =till ta+ing your easeJ . "*ar+ #D%A&4D#'. *atthe( records that he also said, @could none of you stay a(a+e (ith me one hourJ. "*atthe( BL%DE'. =uch (ere Jesus. disciples as portrayed by the -ospels. >r, is it one of the many attempts by Paul.s follo(ers to

ridicule these pillars of society! as Paul (ould call themJ "-alatians B%H'. To John, Jesus (as more than f leshI he (as a deity. In his -ospel he does not mention this incident in -ethsemane. Jesus says his prayer at the supper table as part of his discourse. It is a long prayer% @3ather, the hour has come, -lorify thy sonI this is eternal life, to +no( thee (ho alone art truly -od, and Jesus Christ (hom thou has sent. "John #D%#4A'. As usual John does not leave out any opportunity to advance his or Paul.s doctrine. ,ater Christians (ill ma+e it a part of their faith not(ithstanding that it spea+s of :ho alone art truly -od! those believing in the trinity (ill give it their o(n t(ist. After his discourse and prayer Jesus (ent out (ith his disciples and crossed the 5edron ravine. There (as a garden here and he and his disciples (ent into it. The place +no(n to Judas, his betrayer, because Jesus had often met there (ith his disciples! "John #H%#4 B'. =uddenly, (hile he (as still spea+ing, Judas, one of the T(elve, appeared, and (ith him (as a cro(d armed (ith s(ords and cudgels, sent by the chief priests, la(yers, and elders. No( the traitor had agreed (ith them upon a signal% @The one I +iss is your man, sei8e him and get him a(ay safely.. :hen he reached the spot, he stepped for(ard at once and said to Jesus, @9abbi., and +issed him. Then they sei8ed him and held him fast! "*ar+ #D%DA4DL'. *atthe(.s account is similar but instead of @9abbi. he is made to say @ ;ail 9abbi. before he +issed Jesus (ho tells him @3riend, do (hat you are here to do. "*atthe( BL%$E'. *anuscripts differ and some 0uote 3riend, (hat are you here forJ.. This could indicate Jesus. ignorance about the betrayer.s role 4 so it is the first version (hich is generally accepted. These (ords according

to ,u+e "BB%DH' (ere% @Judas, (ould you betray the =on of *an (ith a +issJ. John.s account of the same story has to be more elaborate and colourful. =o according to him it (as not a cro(d armed (ith s(ords and cudgels but a detachment of soldiers, and police provided by the chief priests and the Pharisees, e0uipped (ith lanterns, torches, and (eaponsI. Jesus, +no(ing all that (as coming upon him, (ent out to them and as+ed, @:ho is it you (antJ. Jesus of Na8areth!, they ans(ered. Jesus said, @I am he/. And there stood Judas the traitor (ith them.! "John#H%A4 $'. As usual Jesus of John.s story does not (ait to be recogni8ed, he goes out and meets the danger head on (hich is the (ay a *essiah should have done it. The story does not end there other(ise it (ill loo+ li+e an ordinary story. =o, (hen he said% @I am he., they dre( bac+ and fell to the ground. Again Jesus as+ed, @(ho is it you (antJ. @Jesus of Na8areth. they ans(ered, then Jesus said, @I have told you that I am he. If I am the man you (ant, let these others go. "John #H%L4H'. An unnecessary re0uest for they had already told him they only (anted @Jesus of Na8areth.. Cet again John has to put in a random prophecy. "this (as to ma+e good his (ords, I have not lost one of those (hom thou gavest me'! "John#H4#F'. It is most li+ely a later interpolation, being in parenthesis, by a later scribe (ho (anted to clarify the (ords. after Jesus (as sei8ed, one of the party dre( his s(ord, and struc+ at the ;igh Priest.s servant, cutting off his ear! "*ar+ #D4 D&'. =ome manuscripts say >ne of the bystanders!. *atthe( "BL4$#' says @>ne of those (ith Jesus.. ,u+e "BB%DF4$E' says% :hen his follo(ers sa( that (as coming, they said, ,ord, shall (e use our s(ordsJ And one of them struc+I.! John goes as far as naming the one (ho dre( the s(ord as =imon Peter and the victim as *alchus "John#H#E4##'. ,u+e and John both identify that it (as the @right ear..

;e must have made an ama8ing careful cut especially since it must be assumed that Peter (as a right4handed man 4 since (e do not learn of him ever having been laughed at as being the left4 handed one. >r, perhaps he attac+ed him from behind. The 1ible teaches that Jesus (ould li+e us to offer the other chee+ if hit on one, but Peter seemed to have changed his mind in the face of danger. 1ut seeing the strength of the enemy he sa( the futility of any fight. Jesus in *ar+.s -ospel seems unconcerned (ith this bloodletting incident. ;e simply addresses his enemy% @<o you ta+e me for a bandit that you have come out (ith s(ords and cudgels to arrest meJ <ay after day I (as (ith in your reach as I taught in the temple, and you did not lay hands on me. 1ut let the scriptures be fulfilled.. Then the disciples all deserted him and ran a(ay. "*ar+ #D%DH4DF' *atthe( (riting later than *ar+ must have been mindful of the e)planation needed for the se0uel to the cutting of the ear. =o he ma+es Jesus to say @Put up your s(ord. All (ho ta+e the s(ord die by the s(ord. <o you suppose that I cannot appeal to my 3ather, (ho (ould at once send to my aid more than t(elve legions of angelsJ 1ut ho( then could the scriptures be fulfilled, (hich say that this must beJ. "*atthe( BL%$B4$D' It is after this that Jesus as+ed the cro(d if they too+ him for a bandit. ,u+e (riting for the -entile readers ma+es Jesus say, simply% ,et them have their (ay!. "BB%$#' at the same time he touched the man.s ear, he healed him!. ,u+e also adds the follo(ing (ords after his 0uery 4 if they too+ him to be a bandit% @1ut this is your moment, the hour (hen dar+ness reigns. "BB%$A'. Jesus of John is not going to appease his enemy by healing the

ear. ;e simply orders Peter to shealth his s(ord and boldly declares% @this is the cup the 3ather has given me, shall I not drin+ itJ. "John #H%##'. :hy (ere the disciples carrying s(ords any(ayJ ,u+e gives us the clue. @;e said to them, @:hen I send you out barefoot (ithout purse or pac+, (ere you ever short of anythingJ No, they ans(ered. It is different no(, he said, (hoever has a purse had better ta+e it (ith him, and his pac+ too, and if he has no s(ord, let him sell his cloa+ to buy oneI..,oo+, ,ord, they said, (e have t(o s(ords here. 7nough, enough, he replied. "BB%A$4AH'. >ne (onders if Jesus really had (anted them to have s(ords. ;e had been teaching them to turn the other chee+ if someone hit on one offer the other. Could it be that Jesus (as so naPve as to e)pect that 2ust t(o s(ords (ere enough to face the enemy (ho (ill come in some strengthJ *ar+ (inds up his version (ith odd note @Among those follo(ing (as a young man (ith nothing on but a linen cloth. They tried to sei8e him, but he slipped out of the linen cloth and ran a(ay na+ed@ "*ar+ #D%$B4$&'.

T;7 T9AI, 1C T;7 J7:= Then they led Jesus a(ay to the ;igh Priest.s house, (here the chief priest.s, elders, and doctors of la( (ere all assembling. Peter follo(ed him at a distance right into the ;igh

Priest.s courtyard, and there he remained, sitting among the attendants, (arming himself the fire. "*ar+ #D%$A4$D'. 3or the first time in the story of Jesus after his baptism (e are suddenly made to reali8e that Jerusalem did have (eather after all. It must have been cold that night in April. :e see Peter sat at the fire (arming himself (hile his *ater (as being tried. Cet it is intriguing that a fe( minutes ago a young man (as standing in the open, at -ethsemane, (earing only a linen cloth. *atthe( "BL%$H' places Peter in the ;igh Priest.s courtyard @meaning to see the end of it all.. ;e does not mention the fire. ;o(ever ,u+e "BB%$$' says that they lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat among them. John.s story is more elaborate% @the troops (ith their commander, and the Je(ish police, no( arrested Jesus and secured him. They too+ him first to Annas. "#H%#B4#A'. "At this point there is confusion bet(een various manuscripts (hich (e shall discuss later insha.Allah'. Annas (as father4in4la( of Caiaphas (ho had advised the Je(s that it (ould to their interest if one man died for the (hole people. John.s Peter does not follo( alone. ;e has another disciple (ith him. This another! or sometimes other! disciple appeared later a number of times and is supposed to be the -ospel4(riter John himself Q(hom Jesus loved! as (e have already learnt earlier. It so happens this @other disciple. had connections in high places and (as ac0uainted even (ith the ;igh Priest himself. ;e uses this ac0uaintance to get Peter front ro( tic+ets into the courtyard. The servants and the police had made a charcoal fire, because it (as cold, and (ere standing around it (arming themselves. And Peter too (as standing (ith them sharing the (armth! "John #H%#H'. =o (hile John identifies the fire as charcoal fire and everyone, including Peter, (arming themselves standing, other -ospels tell us that people (ere sitting. John (riting in colder 7phesus by the side of a

charcoal fire in a smaller room perhaps did not reali8e that if it (as a large body of people trying to (arm themselves then it is more li+ely that a fire should be made out of a pile of (ood rather than charcoal/ The accounts differ as to (hat actually happened ne)t. *ar+ had the chief priests, elders, and doctors of la( already assembled. @The chief priests and the (hole council tried to find some evidence against Jesus to (arrant a death sentence, but their statements did not tally. =ome stood up and gave false evidence to this affect, @:e heard him say, I (ill pull do(n the temple, made (ith human hands, and in three days I (ill build another, not made (ith hand!. 1ut even at this point their evidence did not agree. "*ar+ #D%$$4$F'. It is interesting to note that (hile John ac+no(ledges that Jesus said <estroy this temple and in three days I (ill raise it again!I.but the temple he (as spea+ing (as his body! "John B%#F4B#', *ar+ calls it false evidence!. @Then the ;igh Priest 0uestioned him, are you the *essiah, the =on of the 1lessed oneJ Jesus said, @I am, and you (ill see the =on of *an seated at the right hand of -od and coming (ith the clouds of heaven.. Then the ;igh Priest tore his robes and said, @Need (e call further (itnessesJ Cou have heard the blasphemy. :hat is your opinionJ Their 2udgment (as unanimous% that he (as guilty and should be put to death. =ome began to spit on him, blindfolded him, and struc+ him (ith fists, crying out, @Prophecy. And the ;igh Priest.s men set upon him (ith blo(s. "*ar+ #D%LE4L$'. In the meantime Peter (as recogni8ed thrice, and thrice he denied +no(ing Jesus. ;aving reali8ed Jesus. fore4(arning, @he burst into tears. "*ar+ #D%&B' *atthe( thin+s this happened before Jesus (as tried as according to him% @:hen morning came, the Chief priests and the elders of the nation met in conference to plan the death of Jesus. Then they put him in chains and led a(ay, to hand him over to Pilate, the 9oman -overnor @"*atthe( B&%#4B'. ;e does not mention the trial at the ;igh Priest.s house.

,u+e is of the same vie( as of *atthe(, but he provides some details (hich are different from *ar+.s. Tell us,! they said, @are you the *essiahJ. If I tell you, he replied, you (ill not believe me, and if I as+ 0uestions, you (ill not ans(erI. Cou are the =on of -od, thenJ. They all said, and he replied. It is you (ho say I am.. "=ome versions record% you are right, for I am'. They said, need (e call further (itnessesJ :e have heard it ourselves from his o(n lips. :ith that the assembly rose, and they brought him before Pilate. ",u+eBB%L&4BA%#' John must have his o(n version/ Not(ithstanding that Jesus had been brought to Annas, the father4in4la( of the ;igh Priest and not yet before the ;igh Priest himself, he ma+es the ;igh Priest to 0uestion Jesus about his disciples and about (hat he taught. Jesus replied, @I have spo+en openly to all the (orld, I have al(ays taught in synagogues and in the temple, (here all the Je(s congregate, I have said nothing in secret. :hy 0uestion meJ As+ my hearers (hat I told them, they +no( (hat I said.. :hen he said this, one of the police (ho (as standing ne)t to him struc+ him on the face, e)claiming, Is that the (ay to ans(er the ;igh PriestJ Jesus replied, @if I spo+e amiss, state it in the evidenceG if I spo+e (ell, (hy stri+e meJ. "John #H%#F4BA'. The ne)t is the verse BD (hich reads% =o Annas send him bound to Caiaphas, the ;igh Priest!. It is interesting that the four -ospels differ on a number of details of this important event held in the presence of many person. The synoptic -ospels sho( Jesus being tried by a Council of Chief Priests, elders, doctors of la(, etc. John says he (as tried only by the ;igh Priest himself.

T;7 9>*AN T9IA, As soon as morning came, the chief priests, having made their plan (ith the elders and la(yers in full council, put Jesus in chainsG then they led him a(ay and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate as+ed him, @are you the +ing of Je(sJ ;e replied, @The (ords are yours. R=ome 0uoteG @It is as you say..S And the Chief Priest brought many charges against him. Pilate 0uestioned him again% have you nothing to say in your defenseJ Cou see ho( many charges they are bringing against you. 1ut the Pilate.s astonishment, Jesus made no reply! "*ar+ #$%#4$'. =everal points need to be noted here. 3irstly, after putting Jesus in chains the chief priests @led him over to Pilate.. That they marched him through the streets is 0uite apparent. This seems odd as prior to this they (ere careful not to apprehend him publicly (hich they could have easily done as (e +no( from earlier parts of the story that Jesus (as lecturing publicly even in the precincts of the temple itself. The evident involvement of Judas Iscariot (as in order to arrest him @(ithout collecting a cro(d. ",u+e BB%L'. And here he had been put in chains and (as being marched through the cro(ded streets of Jerusalem at the time of the Passover 3estival. *any of those in the streets must have been -alileans and sympathi8ers of Jesus, let alone those (ho

firmly believed in him. It might have been more prudent to (ait until the Passover (as over no( that Jesus had been secured and (ould not be a source of trouble anymore. 1ut someho( they seemed to be in a hurry (hich is not e)plained by any of the -ospels. =econdly, apparently Pilate +ne( at least some bac+ground to the affair as even before the chief priests brought any charges, he as+ed him Are you the +ing of Je(sJ! 4 3unny, he did not as+ him @Are you the one (ho calls himself the +ing of Je(sJ. 1ecause that 0uestion (ould ma+e more sense. Thirdly, Jesus is depicted here the @mee+ lamb of -od., not caring (hat (as happening, (illing, rather (anting, to be a martyr or perhaps +no(ing that (hatever he says (ill not matter and had therefore resigned to his fate forsa+en by friends and follo(ers. *atthe( (riting some(hat later tells us (ho this Pilate (as 4 the 9oman -overnor. ;e also tells us that at this point Judas (as sei8ed (ith remorse, returns the thirty silver pieces to the chief priests (ho "later perhaps' bought a piece of land, @the Potter.s 3ield!, for burial of foreigners. This (ould be yet another of the prophecies (hich the -ospel (riters are very much fond of 0uoting. *atthe( 0uotes the @utterance of Jeremiah.. In actual fact the original 0uotation is not from Jeremiah but from Techariah and *atthe( seems to have erred here in spite of so called divine inspiration. Techariah ##%#A.I And I too+ the thirty pieces of silver and cast them to the potter in the house of the ,ord.. The (hole thing is a mista+e and mistranslation of the original (ord (here. potter. actually means treasury! . In other (ords the money (as paid into the treasury of the temple! as a donation (hile the blood money could not go into something so sacred.

*athe( reports that after having returned the money Judas (ent and hanged himself . "BL%&$'. Neither ,u+e nor John, the later -ospel (riters, mentions this in their -ospels. ;o(ever, ,u+e (riting the boo+ of Acts! tells as that this man "J?<A=' purchased a field (ith the re(ard of ini0uity and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bo(els gushed out! "Acts #%H'. :e do not +no( (hom to believe, but that is a different matter. *atthe( does not add much to the main trial but ,u+e, (riting for the -entiles tried to account for some inconsistencies in the story. It seems it (as a 9oman procedure that any person accused of a ma2or offence must face the conse0uences in the area of his o(n 2urisdiction. :e learn this from Paul.s o(n case (here he claims his 9oman citi8enship to avoid punishment% Can you legally f log a man (ho is a 9oman citi8en, and moreover has not been found guiltyJ! :hen the centurion heard this, he (ent and reported it to the commandant. @:hat do you mean to doJ. ;e said. @This man is a 9oman citi8en.. The commandant came to Paul. @Tell me, are you a 9oman citi8en. he as+edJ @Ces said he. The commandant re2oined, @it cost me a large sum to ac0uire this citi8enship.. Paul said, @but it (as min by birth.. Then those (ho (ere about to e)amine him (ithdre( hastily, and the commandant himself (as alarmed (hen he reali8ed that Paul (as a 9oman citi8en and that he had put him in irons. "ACT BB%B$4BF'. Jesus (as from Na8areth (hich (as in the +ingdom of ;erod. ,u+e +ne( very (ell that Pilate (as not in his 2urisdiction to try Jesus. 1ut for the time being, on (ith the trial/ ,u+e.s version of the trial by the Je(ish council is as of the morning. After deciding on their verdict @he (hole assembly rose and they brought him before Pilate. They opened the case before him by saying, @:e found this man subverting our nation, opposing the payment of ta)es to Caesar, and claiming to be a

*essiah, a +ing. "5I6, NI6, N:T% @Christ, a 5ing., According to some @an anointed +ing.'. Pilate as+ed him, @Are you the +ing of the Je(sJ. ;e replied, @The (ords are yours.. Pilate then said to the chief priests and the cro(d, @I find no case for this man to ans(er. ",u+e BA%#4D'. ,u+e opens the case properlyG Pilate spea+s appropriately, and gives his verdict. @1ut they insisted% ;is teaching is causing disaffection among the people all through Judaea. It started from -alilee and has spread as far as this city! ",u+e BA%$'. Pilate must have reali8ed that if Jesus belonged to -alilee Judaea then he could not punish the accused for it (as not his 2urisdiction/ ,u+e found a solution to his dilemma 4 or (as it a divine plan he (as inspired to +no(/ Pilate too must have felt relieved. ;e could not understand (hat (as going on. If it (as a blasphemy then he, a pagan 9oman, (ould not care t(o hoots about it. If it (as the Trinity Jesus they tal+ing about "assuming that he did and they accused him of that, though (e find no such allegation. ?p till no( it (as *e and *y 3ather, none of the third partner' then Pilate, the 9oman -overnor (ould have found nothing (rong (ith that as the 9omans themselves had originated the concept of T9I?*6I9AT7 (here 9ome (as ruled by a 2unta of T;977 7Q?A,! to avoid civil (ar. =urprisingly Pilate does not seem to have 0uestioned Jesus on the charge 4 more important to Pilate that of e)horting people not to pay ta)es. :hen Pilate heard this, he as+ed if the man (as a -alilean, and on learning that he belonged to ;erod.s 2urisdiction he remitted the case to him, for ;erod (as also in Jerusalem at that time.. ",u+e BA%L4&'. =ince the trial had to be finished that very day for some un+no(n reason ,u+e does not send Jesus to ;erod.s capital, but rather brings ;erod to Jerusalem 4 and (hy notJ

:as he not a Je( (ho may have (anted to perform the pilgrimageJ 4 not4 (ithstanding that Pilate and ;erod (ere not in good terms. @:hen ;erod sa( Jesus he (as greatly pleasedG having heard about him, he had long been (anting to see him, and had been hoping to see some miracle performed by him. ;e 0uestioned him at some length (ithout getting any replyG but the chief priest and la(yers appeared and pressed the case against him vigorously. Then ;erod and his troops treated him (ith contempt and ridicule, and send him bac+ to Pilate dressed in a gorgeous robe. That same day ;erod and Pilate became friendsG till then there had been a standing feud bet(een them.. ",u+e BA%H4#B'. >ne can imagine the ne( understanding bet(een the t(o adversaries after this gesture of e)change of gifts!. 1ut (hat is intriguing is as to (hy ;arod did not punished Jesus/ The crime (as basically that of blasphemy, a religious matter, and if =anhedrin, the ;igh Je(ish Council could not carry out a verdict of death by stoning, ;erod (as fully capable and (ithin his o(n 2urisdiction and prerogative to do that. :hy did he not actJ Perhaps he may have found him harmless and innocent. :ell in any case this removed the legal gap. No( Pilate (as in full 2urisdiction of the case. Pilate no( called together the chief priests, councilors, and people, and said to them, @you brought this man before me on a charge of subversion. 1ut, as you see, I have myself e)amined him in your presence and found nothing in him to support your charges. No more did ;erod, for he has referred him bac+ to us. Clearly he has done nothing to deserve death. I, therefore, propose to let him off (ith a f logging. ",u+e BA%#A#H'. John.s story could not be short and straight4for(ard. ;e must have a narrative full of drama. 3rom Caiaphas Jesus (as led into -overnor.s head0uarters. It (as no( early morning, and the Je(s themselves stayed outside the head0uarters to avoid defilement, so that they could eat the Passover meal. =o Pilate

(ent out to them and as+ed, @:hat charges do you bring against this manJ. @If he (ere not a criminal.. Pilate said, @that him a(ay and try him by your o(n la(.. The Je(s ans(ered, @(e are not allo(ed to put any man to death! "John #H%BH$4A#'. It is intriguing that not much later the same people (ould stone =tephen one of the disciples of Jesus to death for similar charges "ACT &%$H'. ,ater in about LB A< Jesus. o(n brother James (as stoned to death on the order of Annas, the ;igh Priest. Cet they (ere not (illing to stone Jesus to death. According to ,u+e this (as in @fulfillment of the (ords by (hich Jesus had indicated the manner of his death. ",u+e #H%AB' John fills in the blan+s left by the other three -ospel (riters. ;e ma+es Jesus tal+ to Pilate. Pilate then (ent bac+ into his head0uarters and summoned Jesus. @Are you the +ing of the Je(sJ. ;e as+ed. R=ome versions 0uote% Cou are the +ing of the Je(s, I ta+e itS Jesus said, @It is that your idea, or have others suggested it to youJ. @:hat am I a Je(J. said Pilate. @Cour o(n nation and their chief priests have brought you before me. :hat have you doneJ @Jesus replied, @*y +ingdom does not belong to this (orld. If it did my follo(ers (ould be fighting to save me from arrest by the Je(s. *y +ingly authority comes from else(here.. a +ing thenJ. =aid Pilate. Jesus said, @5ing is your (ord. * y tas+ is to bear (itness to the truth. 3or this (as I bornG for this I came into the (orld, and all (ho are not deaf to truth listen to my voice.. Pilate said, @:hat is truthJ., and (ith those (ords (ent out again to the Je(s. @3or my part, @he said, @I find no case against him. 1ut you have a custom that I release on prisoner for you at Passover. :ould you li+e me to release the +ing of the Je(sJ. Again the clamor rose% Not himG (e (ant 1arabbas! "1arabbas (as a bandit'.! "John #H%AA K DE'. :ho is this 1A9A11A=J John suddenly brings up his name. :hy (ould people (ant him to be released (hile Pilate (as as+ing of

some information about him in his -ospel and (hy his name comes up. @At the festival season the -overnor as+ed to release one prisoner at the people.s re0uest. As it happened the man +no(n as 1arabbas (as then in custody (ith the rebels (ho had committed murder in the rising. "*ar+ #$%L4H'. *athe( calls him man of some notoriety! "*atthe( B&%#L'. ,u+e says, @this man had been put in prison for a rising that had ta+en place in the city, and for murder. ",u+e BA%#F'. @:hen the cro(d came as+ing for the usual favor Pilate replied, @<o you (ish me to release for you that +ing of the Je(sJ! 3or he +ne( it (as out of malice that they had brought Jesus before him. 1ut the chief priests incited the cro(d to as+ him to release 1arabbas rather than Jesus. Pilate spo+e to them againG @Then (hat shall I do (ith the man call +ing of the Je(sJ. They shouted bac+, @Crucify him/. @:hy, (hat harm has he doneJ. Pilate as+edG but they shouted all the louder, @Crucify him/. "*ar+ #$%#D4#&'. ,u+e says, 3or the third time he spo+e to the, @:hy, (hat (rong has he doneJ I have not found him guilty of any capital offence. I (ill, therefore, let him off (ith a f logging.. 1ut they insisted in their demand, shouting that Jesus be crucified. Pilate as+ed the cro(d Then (hat I am to do (ith Jesus called *essiahJ!I.. And (ith one voice they ans(ered, @Crucify him/. "*atthe( B&%BB'. According to John the (hole affair could not be that short and simple, soG @>nce more Pilate came out and said to the Je(s, @;ere he isG I am bringing him out to let you +no( that I find no case against him. "John #F%D4$'. 1ut before this Pilate too+ and had him f logged @and the soldiers plaited a cro(n of thorns and placed it on his head, and robed him in a purple cloa+. Then time after time they came up to him, crying, @;ail, 5ing of the Je(s/, and stuc+ him on the face. "John #F%#4A'. It is strange that on the one hand Pilate concludes that Jesus (as innocent and yet he had him f logged/ It seems he may have thought that being a non4 Je( himself he did not fully apprehend the nature of the crime

and if he had Jesus f logged the cro(d (ould be satisfied and go home. @I and Jesus came out, (earing the cro(n of thorns and the purple cloa+. @1ehold the man/ said Pilate. The chief priests and their henchmen sa( him and shouted, @Crucify/ Crucify/. @Ta+e him and crucify him yourselves.. The Je(s ans(ered, @:e have a la(, and by that la( he ought to die, because he has claimed to be =on of -od.. :hen Pilate heard that, he (as more afraid than ever, and going bac+ to his head0uarter, he as+ed Jesus, @:here have you come fromJ 1ut Jesus gave him no ans(er. @<o you refuse to spea+ to meJ =aid Pilate. @=urely you +no( that I have authority to release you, and I have authority to crucify youJ. Cou (ould have no authority at all over me., Jesus replied, @if it had not been granted you from above, and the deeper guilt lies (ith the man (ho handed me over to you.. 3rom that moment Pilate tried hard to release him. "John #F%$4#B'. Pilate.s hesitance in accepting the demand of the the Je(s! as John (ould describe the high priests and the cro(d, is 0uite understandable. ;e himself (ould not care (hat the Je(ish ,a(! (ould li+e to do (ith the guilty of blasphemy. ;e (as a pagan 9oman himself and could not accept the demand especially for the penalty of death of (hat he stated to be not a capital offence!. =till, he had Jesus f logged in the hope that this (ill pacify them. ;e (ent over the head of the chief priests and addressed the cro(d directly in the hope they (ould li+e him to release Jesus. 1ut as al(ays in the -ospel there are angels, miracles, and the li+e only up the sleeve of the -ospel4 (riters. 7ven though three of the -ospels do not mention it, *athe( has another reason (hy Pilate, the superstitious 9oman (ould not (ant to harm JesusG :hile Pilate (as sitting in the court a message came to him from his (ife% @;ave nothing to do (ith that innocent manG I (as much troubled on his account in my dreams last night! "*atthe( B&%BH'.

It is unfortunate that due to later doctrinal problems much of the literature and scriptures of rival churches (as destroyed on pain of death to their holders. =ome of the literature (as, ho(ever "shall (e say, miraculouslyJ', survived and gives insight into concurrent thought. >ne of such apocryphal literature is ,etters of ;erod and Pilate! (hich are recorded in a =yriac *anuscript in the 1ritish *useum. According to this, Tiberius Caesar (as aff licted (ith a disease and having heard of the miraculous healer "Jesus' (as interested to have himself cured by a miracle. 1y that time Jesus had already been crucified. No( (hen the letters came to the city of the 9omans and (ere read to Caesar (ith no fe( standing there, they (ere all terrified, because, through the transgression of Pilate, the dar+ness and the earth0ua+e had happened to all the (orld!. Pilate and his (ife (ere brought to 9ome and he (as tried for this ini0uitous act!. And (hen Pilate came to the place, he prayed in silence, saying > ,ord destroys not me (ith the (ic+ed ;ebre(s, for I should not have laid hands upon thee, but for the nation of the la(less Je(s, because they provo+ed sedition against meG but though +no(est that I did it in ignorance. <estroy me not for this my sin, nor be mindful of the evil that is in me. > ,ord, and in thy servant Procla (ho standeth (ith me in this hour of my death, (hom though toughest to prophecy that thou must not be nailed to the cross!. The =una)aria of the -ree+s under >ctober BHth , intimate the Commemoration of Procla, the (ife of Pilte. The Aethiopic Calendar inserts Pilate and his (ife Procla! under June B$th. The reason for putting these names among the @saints. is that Pilate by (ashing his hands attested the innocence of Jesus, (hile Procla sought to dissuade her husband from complying (ith the Je(s. This story thus ma+es Pilate also a martyr. The story of sedition! and (ashing of hands! follo(s. 1ut this, 2ust one of perhaps hundreds of documents in circulation in the ne)t three centuries, indicates the trend of various schools of

thought and the confusion f lourishing during that period. No( bac+ to the -ospels. @1ut the Je(s +ept shouting, @If you let this man go, you are no friend to CaesarG any man (ho claims to be a +ing is defying Caesar. "John #L%#B'. Apparently that did the tric+. Pilate (ho had been going in and out, sometimes tal+ing to Jesus in his head0uarters, sometimes bringing him out, sometimes ta+ing him bac+ in for interrogation, sometimes (ith the cro(d outside because they could not come in the court for fear of religious @defilement., no( decides to ta+e action. ;e (ould not dare to have a charge of sedition against his o(n self. :hen Pilate heard that they (ere saying, he too+ his seat on the tribunal at the place +no(n as the @The Pavement. "@-abbatha! in the language of the Je(s'. It (as the eve of the Passover. "=ome versions% It (as 3riday in Passover', about noon. Pilate said to the Je(s, @;ere is your +ing.. They shouted, @A(ay (ith him/ Crucify him/. Crucify your +ingJ! said Pilate @:e have no +ing but Caesar., the Je(s replied. Then at last, to satisfy them, he handed Jesus over to be crucified "John #F%#A4#L'. *ar+ "#$%#$' says% @=o Pilate, in his desire to satisfy the mob, released 1arabbas to themG and he had Jesus f logged and handed over to be crucified.. ,u+e gives a similar version but *atthe( adds% @Pilate could see nothing (as being gained and a riot (as startingG. =o he too+ (ater and (ashed his hands in full vie( of the people saying, @*y hands are clean of this man.s bloodG see to that yourselves.. And (ith one voice the people cried, @;is blood be on us, and on our children. "*atthe( BD%BD4B$'. This little sentence has caused a lot of persecution for the Je(s and their descendant for generations over the past t(enty centuries. At the hands of the Christians they have had to pay a heavy price for this in life and honor. he then released 1arabbas to themG but had Jesus f logged, and handed him over to be crucified.. *ar+ has the last incidence in this episode% Then the soldiers too+ him inside the courtyard "the -overnor.s head0uarters 4 -ree+% Praetorium' and called together the (hole company. They

dressed him in a purple, and plaiting a cro(n of thorns, placed it on his head. They began to salute him (ith, @;ail, 5ing of the Je(s/. They beat him about the head (ith a cane and spat upon him, and then +nelt and paid moc+ homage to him. :hen they had finished their moc+ery, they stripped him of the purple and dressed him in his o(n clothes! "*ar+ #$%#L4BE'. *atthe(, ho(ever, records that they stripped him and dressed him in a scarlet mantle I.. :ith a cane in his right hand "*atthe( B&%BH4BF'. There is an incident (hich John 0uotes in his o(n peculiar style (hich should have occurred about this time but is recorded by John in connection (ith crucifi)ionG @And Pilate (rote an inscription to be fastened to the crossG it read, @Jesus of Na8areth, 5ing of the Je(s.. This inscription (as read by many Je(s, because the place (here Jesus (as crucified (as not far from the city, and the inscription (as in ;ebre(, ,atin and -ree+. Then the Je(ish chief priests said to Pilate, @Cou should not (rite 5ing of Je(s!G (rite. ;e claimed to be +ing of the Je(s!, Pilate replied, @:hat I have (ritten, I have (ritten. "John #F%#F4BB'. It is surprising that Pilate (ho did not thin+ Jesus (as guilty, (as forced to pass the sentence against his o(n (ill and (ife.s foreboding, and (ashed his hands of his blood, (ould no( be in a mood to moc+ to condemned man and go to such trouble as to ma+e an inscription in three languages. This is John.s style/ The same incident is reported by *ar+ in 2ust one sentence% @the inscription giving the charge against him read, The +ing of the Je(s! "*ar+ #$%BL'. According to *atthe( "B&%A&' it read% @This is the +ing to the Je(s!. ,u+e "A%AH' says it (as This is the +ing to the Je(s!. It seems as if there must have been a custom to install such an inscription on the crosses of all criminals (ho (ere crucified by 9omans. 1ut there is no historical evidence of such a custom, nor do the -ospels tal+ about such inscription having been installed on the crosses of the other t(o criminals

(ho (ere crucified at the same time and place as Jesus. In any case *ar+ does not mention the language in (hich this inscription as (ritten let alone it being in ;ebre(, ,atin and -ree+. It is 0uite possible that John may be ma+ing a mountain out of a molehill/ It is perple)ing ho( much the four -ospels, the inspired (ord of -od!G as the Christians consider them, differ (ith respect to this important episode (hich must have been seen by a cro(d! of people. At least Peter (as around and possibly the @disciple (hom Jesus loved. unless they decided that (hat they had seen at the ;igh Priest.s trial of Jesus (as enough and they need no more be interested in the fate of their ,ord and *aster. Peter had pledged not to desert Jesus even (hen others had done it "*ar+ #D%AE, *atthe( BL%A$' he had been (illing to go (ith him to prison or death ",u+e BB%AA'. The least he could do (as to be around, even in dar+ corners to see (hat (ould they be doing to Jesus. 1ut throughout the -ospels, nothing is said of (hat Peter sa(. The @beloved disciple., if he (as really the one (ho (rote the -ospel of John and gives his personal attestation "John B#%BD' to all that he (rote, should perhaps be e)pected to (itness all that (as happening. 1ut he too does not say that he (as around. It is, ho(ever, intriguing ho( John, a -alilean non4 descript, could have had intimate connection (ith the ;igh Priest and his household "John #H%#$' The synoptic -ospels say Jesus did very little tal+ing. John tells us that Jesus argued his case. *ar+ tells us that the soldiers put a purple robe over Jesus after he (as handed over to be crucified. *atthe( says it (as a scarlet mantle. ,u+e tells us that this (as done before the trial, at ;erod.s court (here they dressed him in a gorgeous robe! before returning him to Pilate. =ome say he (as f logged before being condemned (hile others say he (as f logged after the verdict. If people did not remember all (hat (as happening before their eyes, could they be e)pected to remember (hat they heard (ith all that near riot! (ith the cro(d shouting for Jesus. crucifi)ion all that morning until Pilate pronounced his verdict past noontime "John

#F%#D' at -A11AT;AJ

C;APT79 D T;7 C9?CI3IUI>N AN< T;7 1?9IA, Then they too+ him out to crucify him. A man called =imon, from Cyrene, the father of Ale)ander and 9ufus, (as passing by on his (ay in from the country, and they pressed him into service to carry his cross. They brought him to the place called -olgotha, (hich means @Place of a =+ull.. ;e (as offered drugged (ine, but he (ould not ta+e it. Then they fastened him to the cross! "*ar+ #$%B#4BD'. *atthe( "A&%AB' and ,u+e "BA%BL' also record that the cross (as carried for Jesus by =imon of Cyrene, a city (hich is in present day ,ibya. Jesus had said no one (ho does not carry his cross and come (ith me can be disciple of mine! ",u+e #D%B&'. John must have read this in the earlier -ospel and could not bear the thought of even Jesus himself not carrying his o(n cross. =o he contradicts this% Jesus (as no( ta+en in charge and, carrying his o(n cross, (ent out to the lace of the =+ull, as it is called "or, in the language of the Je(s, ->,->T;A', (here they crucified him! "John #F%#&'. The hour of crucifi)ion (as nine in the morningI.. T(o bandits (ere crucified (ith him, one on his right and the other on his left! "*ar+ #$%B$4B&'. In 5J6 is included% @And the scripture (as

fulfilled, (hich saith, And he (as numbered (ith the transgressors! "*ar+ #$%BH'. N71, N:T and NI6 omit this verse, possibly as a later interpolation. According to John this could not have happened at nine in the morning because Pilate had ta+en his seat for 2udgment about noon! "John #F%#D'. It is rather disappointing that none of the -ospels tell us the actual process of crucifi)ion. ;o( did they impale JesusJ <id they tie him or nail himJ It loo+s as if Jesus (as only TI7< to the cross and N>T NAI,7< to it/ ;ad this been done someone some(here ought to have told us that Jesus or at least t(o of the thieves (ould have cried (hile nails (ere being pierced through their hands and an+lesJ :as there any bleedingJ In fact (e are not told so much as (here Jesus (as unchained. :e get no details not even a hint as to ho( it (as done. 6ery li+ely the three of them (ere N>T NAI,7< but tied to the cross. The case of the doubting Thomas "John BE' (e shall deal (ith later. Curiously enough it is in the discarded -ospel of Peter! "Chapter L' that (e learn I.. And they dre( out the nails from the hands of the ,ord!. The Christian churches do not accept this particulars -ospel to be canonical or true. In fact copies of this -ospel (ere particularly hunted do(n and burnt. :e only get some reference to it in early Christian literature. A further complication into this episode is added by ,u+e (riting in the boo+ of Acts "$%AE'% The -od of our fathers raised Jesus (hom you +illed by hanging on a tree!. :e can only be perple)ed by this. 1ut apparently Paul, (ho made this statement (as only stretching the (ords to fit the even to the te)t of the scriptures% "-alatians A%#A' Christ redeemed us from the curse of the ,a(, having become a curse for us I. for it is (ritten, cursed be everyone (ho hangs on a tree!. This is (ith reference to <euteronomy "B#%BB4BA'% And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is to be put to deathI.. 3or a hanged man is accused of -od!. *ar+ and *atthe( ma+e the crucifi)ion a simple

affair. =trangely enough John also does not ma+e it long. ,u+e, ho(ever, puts in something (hich could have happened% great number of people follo(ed, many (oman among them (ho mourned and lamented over him! ",u+eBA%B&'. Jesus then ma+es a speech prophesying the destruction of the temple and persecution of the Je(s. This is again a case of ma+ing an event fit to, or loo+ li+e, some prophecy. ,u+e (as (riting all this at a time (hen temple had 2ust been destroyed by the 9omans. This speech is also not typical of Jesus for it allG he (ould have been telling them to imminence of the +ingdom of -od I glory of -od rather than destruction of Jerusalem. After fastening Jesus to the cross, they divided his clothes among them by casting lots! ",5BA%BD'. According to some versions "N71, NI6, N:T ' 6. AD is 2ust this small sentence. >ther versions "e.g. 5J6, 916' also insert% Jesus said, @3ather, forgive themG they do not +no( (hat they are doing.. According to *ar+ "#$%BD' they divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide (hat each should have.. *athe(.s version "B&%A$' is similar. 1ut John must outdo the others% @the soldiers, having crucified Jesus, too+ possession of his clothes, and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier, leaving out the tunic. The tunic (as seamless, (oven in one piece throughout so they said to one another, @(e must not tear thisG let us toss for it.G and thus the te)t of scripture came true% @they share my garments among them, and cast lots for my clothing. "John #F%BA4BD'. -enerally in Christian literature (e see pictures of Jesus on the cross (ith a small loin cloth around him. :hile (e may remain in doubt (hether Jesus had enough clothes to go around, (e gather from all the four -ospels that he (as indeed stripped of all his garments. According to the three synoptic -ospels (e are not sure (hether they (ere casting lots to determine (ho (ill get his last earthly possessions or to decide (hich particular garment should go to (hom. 1ut John ma+es it clear that%

"#' there (ere four soldiers "B' each one got a share. ;o(ever, (e remain un4clear if the tunic (as e)tra or 2ust one of these four shares and the rest of the three shares (ill go to the remaining three soldiers. The (ord leaving out! ho(ever lends support to our presumption that tunic (as in addition to the four shares (hich could go to any one for the four soldiers. The main point of note is that Jesus (as stripped of his clothes. There is ho(ever, li+elihood that these four lots contained the clothes of the bandits as (ellG it is not li+ely that Jesus had five garments on him. The -ospels do not give this out. According to *ar+ "#$%BA' Jesus (as offered drugged (ine! "5J6% (ine mingled (ith myrrh'G *atthe( "B&%AD'% a draught of (ine mi)ed (ith gall!% "5J6% 6inegar mingled (ith gall' but (hen he tasted it he (ould not drin+ it! ,u+e "BA%AL' has the soldiers 2oin in moc+ery and offer him their sour (ine!. John does not mention this until at a later stageG @After that, Jesus a(are that all had no( come to its appointed end, said in fulfillment of =cripture, @I thirst.. A 2ar stood there full of sour (ine, so they soa+ed a sponge (ith the (ine, fi)ed it on a 2avelin, and held it up to his lips. ;aving received the (ine,! "John #F%BH4BF'. *ar+ and *atthe( also mention this but (ith a certain detail (hich (e shall consider later.

:;> =A: T;7 C9?CI3IUI>NJ There (ere at least four soldiers including the Centurion and

great number of people, many (omen among them!. It (as the time of the preparation for the Passover festival and local people must have been preparing for the religions occasion. In Jerusalem crucifi)ion (ere not rare. 1ut there are al(ays young men and loafers (illing to (hile their time at such a spectacle any(ay. Then there (ere out K of K to(n pilgrims to (hom these crucifi)ions must be an unfamiliar sight. Then there (ere chief priests and la(yers ready at hand to ma+e sure that Jesus met his desired end. According to *ar+ "#$%DE4D#' a number of (omen (ere also present, (atching from a distance. Among them (ere *ary of *agdala, *ary the *other of James the younger and of Joseph, and =alome (ho had follo(ed him and (aited on him (hen he (as in -alilee and there (ere others (ho had come up to Jerusalem (ith him!. *atthe( "B&%$L' identifies *ary of *agdala, *ary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Tebedee!. Could =alome be the mother of the sons of TebedeeJ Not li+ely. ,u+e does not give names% ;is friends had all been standing at a distance, the (oman (ho had accompanied him from -alilee stood (ith them and (atched it all! ",u+e BA%DF'. 1ut 2ohn could not be content (ith such non4descript description and so he brings in Jesus. mother as (ell as himself% 1ut mean(hile near the cross (here Jesus hung stood his mother, (ith her sister, *ary (ife of Clopas, and *ary of *agdala. Jesus sa( his mother (ith the disciple (hom he loved standing beside her. ;e said to her, @*other, there is your son.G and to the disciple, @there is your mother.G and from that moment the disciple too+ her into his home. "John #F%B$4B&'. >ne (onders (hy is it that Jesus. brothers (ho (ere in Jerusalem did not come to the site of crucifi)ion. :e can attempt to e)plain by the fact that even though these brothers had been s+eptic of Jesus, or so (e are told, James "the Just' became leader of the mother church at Jerusalem. The canonical -ospels (ere (ritten by those nearer to Paul and it is the Paulian doctrine (hich later

became dominant. =ystematic efforts (ere made to obliterate (hatever could give any authority or respect to any (ho differed (ith Paul. :e do not hear much about the original disciples or their (ritings because they had been against Paul.s ne( doctrine and practices. Thus (hen his opponents (ould point to Paul.s bac+ground of persecution of Jesus. disciples, Paul.s proponents could not point out to the disbelief ! of James "the Just' and Jesus. other family members. John (riter of the last of the four canonical -ospels could not leave *ary under the charge of such a disbelieving and s+eptic lot. 3urthermore, being the guardian of the *other of -od! entrusted to him by none other than -od, the =on! he (ould lend considerable authority to him, @the disciple (hom Jesus loved!. It is only in connection (ith resurrection that Paul (ould mention James "Jesus. brother' and all the disciples! "#Corinthians #$%&' and that too casually. None of the -ospels say so, ho(ever. It loo+s as if Paul (as saying they deserted the ,ord and no( they are disputing (ith me!. John does not mention anything about the reaction of the cro(d. ;e brings *ary "mother of Jesus' and others nearer to the cross (hile other -ospel do not mention such an important person as Jesus. mother herself. *ar+ reports the passers4 by hurled abuse at himG @Aha. they cried, (agging their heads, @you (ould pull the temple do(n, (ould you, and build it in three daysJ Come do(n from the cross and save yourself .. =o too the chief priests and la(yers 2ested (ith one anotherG @;e saved others., they said, @but he cannot save himself. ,et the *essiah, the +ing of Israel, come do(n no( from the cross. If (e see that (e shall believe.. 7ven those (ho (ere crucified (ith him taunted him! "*ar+ #$%BF4AA'. *atthe( adds% @<id he trust in -odJ ,et -od rescue him, if he (ants him I for he said he (as -od.s =on. "B&%DA'. ,u+e says that >ne of the criminals (ho hang there (ith him taunted him% Are not you the *essiahJ =ave yourself, and us.. 1ut the other rebu+ed him% @;ave you no fear of -odJ

Cou are under the same sentence as he. 3or us it is plain 2usticeG (e are paying the price of our misdeeds% but this man has done nothing (rong.. And he said, @Jesus, remember me (hen you come to your throne.. ;e ans(ered, @I tell you this today, @today you shall be (ith me in Paradise. "BA%BF4DA'. It is very li+ely that some sector cult may have canoni8ed this 1andit No.B "at right or left, (e do not +no(' after his confession of his o(n guilt and acceptance of the innocence of Jesus!.

T;7 1?9IA, 1y this time evening had comeG and as it (as Preparation4 day "that is, the day before the =abbath' Joseph of Arimathaea, a respected member of the Council, a man (ho loo+ed for(ard to the +ingdom of -od, bravely (ent into Pilate and as+ed for the body of Jesus. Pilate (as surprised to hear that he (as already deadG so he sent for the centurion and as+ed him (hether it (as long since he died. And (hen he heard the centurion.s report, he gave Joseph leave to ta+e the dead body. =o Joseph bought a linen sheet, too+ him do(n from the cross, and (rapped him in the sheet. Then he laid him in a tomb cut out of the roc+, and rolled a stone against the entrance. And *ary of *agdala and *ary the mother of Joseph (ere (atching and sa( (here he (as laid! "*ar+ #L%DB4D&'. *atthe( reports that Joseph, a man of Arimathaea, (as a man of means and had himself become a disciple of Jesus. ;e does not mention the confirmation of Jesus. death by the centurion. then

Joseph too+ the body (rapped it in a clean linen sheet, and laid it in his o(n unused tomb, (hich he had cut out of the roc+G he then rolled a large stone against the entrance and (ent a(ay. *ary of *agdala (as there, and the other *ary, sitting opposite the grave. "*atthe( B&%$F4L#'. ,u+e calls Joseph a member of the Council, a good upright man, (ho had dissented from their policy and the action they had ta+en. This man no( approached Pilate and as+ed for the body of Jesus. Ta+ing it do(n from the cross, he (rapped it in a linen sheet, and laid it in a tomb, cut out of the roc +, in (hich no one had been laid before. It (as 3riday, and the =abbath (as about to begin. The (oman (ho had accompanied him "Jesus' from -alilee follo(edG they too+ note of the tomb and observed ho( this body (as laid! ",u+e BA%$B4$$'. :e can al(ays count on John to bring e)tra material in his gospel. After that, Pilate (as approached by Joseph of Arimatheaea, a disciple of Jesus, but a secret disciple for fear of Je(s, (ho as+ed to be allo(ed to remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave the permissionG so Joseph came and too+ the body a(ay. ;e (as 2oined by Nicodemus "the man (ho had first visited Jesus by night', (ho brought (ith him a mi)ture of myrrh and aloes, more than half a hundred (eight. They too+ the body of Jesus and (rapped it, (ith the spices, the strips of linen cloth according to the Je(ish burial4customs. No( at the place (here he (as crucified there (as a garden, and in the garden a ne( tomb, not yet used for burial there, because the tomb (as near at hand, and it (as the eve of the Je(ish =abbath, they laid Jesus! "John #F%AH4DB'. ,eaving aside the character of Joseph of Arimathaea, (e need to note that% V Pilate himself (as surprised (hen told that Jesus (as already dead.

V The synoptic -ospels mention only Joseph but John brings in Nicodemus as (ell along (ith his half hundred (eight of mi)ture of myrrh and aloe. V The t(o of them (rapped Jesus. body in strips of linen cloth, according to Je(ish burial4custom. Joseph (raps Jesus. body in a ne(Oclean sheet of linen and not strips according to mar+, *atthe( and ,u+e. V Joseph does not "Nicodemus too, even if he (as there' give the ceremonial bath to the assumedly dead body before (rapping. 1eing a good Je( burying a pious Je( (ithout giving the ceremonial bath (ould be unthin+able V V The tomb nearby and freshly he(ed. *ar+ and *atthe( mention only t(o *ary.s.

V ,u+e says, The (oman (ho had accompanied him from -alilee! (ho (atched the burial. V John mentions no (itnesses. V Nicodemus applies half a hundred (eight of spices to the body. Apparently this (ould be to heal the body of any in2ury. V The tomb (as not small actually it (as large enough so that even (hen t(o or three (oman (ent in, there (as enough room for the @youth. according to *ar+ or even t(o men!, according to ,u+e, (ith all of them standing inside the tomb. V The tomb (as ne(. No one had been laid in it before. JesusOor the substitute could safely lay there until rescued later. V JesusOor the substitute (as not buried in the usual sense. The tomb (as not sealed. Joseph 2ust rolled a large stone against the entrance. This also implies that having been a he(n in the

roc+ it (as li+e a cave. *atthe( has an important piece of information (hich no other -ospel gives us% ne)t day, the morning after that 3riday, the chief priests and the Pharisees came in a body to Pilate. @Cour 7)cellency., they said, @(e recall ho( that imposter said (hile he (as still alive, I am to be raised again after three days!. =o (ill you give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third dayJ >ther(ise his disciples may come, steal the body, and then tell the people that he has been raised from the deadG and the final deception (ill be (orse than the first.. @Cou may have your guard., said PilateG @go and ma+e it secure as best as you can.. =o they (ent and made the grave secureG they sealed the stone, and left the guard in charge. "*atthe( B&%LB4LL'. This probably never happened and *atthe( may be meeting the ob2ections raised by the Je(s that the disciples must have stolen the body. ;e, himself being of Je(ish bac+ground, must have been a(are that (hat he cleverly puts as ne)t day!, the morning after that 3riday (as =AT?9<AC, the day of =abbath, or rather a very important =abbath day, the day of the Passover. Chief Priests and Pharisees! (ould have much to do in terms of religious rites than to bother about someone (hom they had made sure, as much as they could do, (as already dead and buried. They, (ho (ould ob2ect to even healing the sic+ on =abbath day, (ould have no time first to gather together for consultation and then go to Pilate to see+ a guard. Jesus. o(n disciples and (ell4(ishes (ould not go to his tomb on that day as ,u+e confirms% @on the =abbath they rested in obedience to the commandment. ",u+e BD%$L'. *atthe(.s later account also does not support this story as (e shall see later insha.Allah/

C;APT79 $ T;7 *C=T79C >3 T;7 *I==IN- 1><C @The (omen (ho had accompanied him from -alilee follo(edG they too+ note of the tomb and observed ho( the body (as laid. Then they (ent home and prepared spices and perfumesG and on the =abbath they rested in obedience of the commandment.. ",u+e BA%$$4$L'. @:hen the =abbath (as over, *ary of *agdla, *ary of mother of James, and =alome bought aromatic oils intending to go and anoint him. @and very early on =unday morning, 2ust after sunrise, they came to the tomb. "*ar+ #L%#4B'. =ome of the most ancient versions merely state% And they (ent and bought aromatic oils! omitting the names. This (ould then be in continuation of the previous verse "*ar+ #$%D&'% @And *ary of *agdla and *ary the mother of Joseph (ere (atching and sa( (here he (as laid.. :e are uncertain about the very names of those (omen (ho came to the tomb. :e are not told they included the @(oman. (ho had brought a pound of perfume at the fest and for (hom Jesus had said ,et her +eep it till the day (hen she prepares for my burial! "John #B%&'. They (ere (ondering among themselves (ho (ould roll a(ay the stone for them from the entrance to the tomb, (hen they loo+ed up and sa( that the stone, huge as it (as, had been rolled bac+ already. "*ar+ #L%A4D'. ,u+e also says that they found the

stone already rolled a(ay ",u+e BD%B'. ;e tal+s of :oman (ho had accompanied him from -alilee!. According to John "BE%#4 B'.II (hile it (as still dar+, *ary of *agdala came to the tomb. =he sa( that the stone had been moved a(ay from the entrance.. 1ut *atthe( (as a different story to tell% @IIit (as about daybrea+ on =unday, (hen *ary of *agdala and the other *ary came to loo+ at the grave. =uddenly there (as a violent earth0ua+eG and angel of the ,ord descended from heaveG he came to the stone and rolled it a(ay, and sat himself upon it. ;is face shone li+e lightningG his garments (ere (hite as sno(. At the sight of him the guards shoo+ (ith fear and lay li+e dead. "*atthe( BH%#4D'. >bviously *atthe( had to e)tricate himself from the complication he had put himself posting the guards. ,ater he deals (ith them in a matter as to rebut the Je(ish argument that the disciples too+ a(ay the body. =trangely, (hile the brave guards @shoo+ (ith fear and lay li+e dead., the angel tal+ (ith the (omen (ho (ere apparently in full senses% @you. he said, @have nothing to fear. I +no( loo+ing for Jesus (ho (as crucified. ;e is not hereG he has been raised again, as he said he (ould be. Come and see the place (here he (as laid and then go 0uic+ly and tell his disciples% ;e has been raised from the dead and is going on before you into -alileeG there you (ill see him! his is (hat I had to tell you! "*atthe( B$%$4&'. Actually the (omen did not come loo+ing for Jesus. but they came to loo+ at the grave according to *atthe( himself. 3urthermore Jesus (as not raised again! for this (ould be the first time if he rose. According to *ar+ (ho did not have the guards posted at the tomb, they (ent into the tomb, (here they sa( a youth sitting on the right hand side, (earing a (hite robeG and they (ere dumfounded. 1ut he said to them, 3ear nothingG you are loo+ing for Jesus of Na8areth, (ho (as crucified. ;e has been raised againG he is not hereG loo+, there is the place (here they laid him. 1ut go and give this message to his disciples and peter% ;e is going before you into -alileeI.! Then they (ent out and ran a(ay from the tomb, beside themselves (ith terror. They said

nothing to anybody for they (ere afraid. "*ar+ #L%$4H'. According to some of the most ancient manuscripts this is (here the -ospel According to *ar+! ends I the remaining part is an obvious addition by a later copyist. =ome manuscripts add% @And they delivered these instructions brief ly to peter and his companions. After(ards Jesus himself sent out by them from 7ast to :est them sacred and imperishable message of eternal salvation.. 1ut many versions do not include this. In the version no one sa( the @raised. Jesus. According to the -nostic -ospels this is ho( it should be for the -nostics ridiculed the idea of literal resurrection. According to the -ospel of Peter "Nag ;amadi *anuscript'% @Those (ho say they (ill die first and then rise are in errorI. They must receive the resurrection (hile they liveI. It is not necessary to rise in this f lesh!. This ending (as, ho(ever, not acceptable to Paul and his follo(ers. 1y that time the -ospel of *ar+ had become 0uite prevalent and acceptable in various church centers. =o some un+no(n hand added verses F to BE at the end of Chapter #L% @:hen he had risen from the dead early on =unday morning he appeared first to *ary of *agdala, from (hom he cast out seven devils. =he (ent and carried the ne(s to his mourning and sorro(ful follo(ers, but (hen they (ere told that he (as alive and that she had seen him they did not believe it. "*ar+ #L%F4 ##'. If (e did not +no( that this (as a later addition (e could say that *ar+ (as contradicting himself because he himself had not stated that *ary of *agdala had seen the raised Jesus. 1ut the cat is let out of the bag by saying % they did not believe it!. ,ater Jesus appeared in a different guise to t(o of them as they (ere (al+ing, on their (ay into the country. These also (ent and too+ the ne(s to the others, but again no one believed them.

"*ar+ #L%#B4#A'. These t(o incidences are actually borro(ed from ,u+e although he does not say that the t(o of them! (ere not believed. *atthe( (riting later than *ar+, by (hich time the myth of the raised Jesus! had ta+en roots, tells us that the (oman hurried a(ay from the tomb in a(e and great 2oy, and ran to tell the disciples. @=uddenly Jesus (as there in their path. ;e gave them his greetings and they came up and clasped his feet, falling prostrate before him. Then Jesus said to them, @<o not be afraid!. -o and ta+e (ord to my brothers that they are to leave for -alilee. They (ill see me there@ "*atthe( BH%H4#E'. @The eleven disciples made their (ay to -alilee, to the mountain (here Jesus had told them to meet him. :hen they sa( him they fell prostrate before him, though some (ere doubtful. Jesus then came up and spo+e to them. ;e said% @3ull authority in heaven and on earth has been committed to me. -o forth therefore and ma+e all nations my disciplesG bapti8e men every(here in the name of the 3ather and the =on and the ;oly =pirit, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And he assured, I am (ith you al(ays, to the end of time. "*atthe( BH%#L4BE'. This is (here *atthe(.s -ospel ends. 1ut it ma+es one thing clear that the command to go forth to all nations! (as given only by raised Jesus!. All this smac+s of later development of the myth. ;istorically, the disciple.s to (hom the command to go forth to all nations! (as given preaching only to the Je(s. It is Paul (ho proclaimed himself as Apostle to the -entiles and started preaching differently from others. 1ut (e shall revert to the story of the guards (e had left incomplete% The (oman had started on their (ay (hen some of the guard (ent into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. After meeting (ith the elders and

conferring together, the chief priests offered the soldiers a substantial bribe and told them to say, ;is disciples came by night and stole the body (hile (e (ere asleep!. They added, @if this should reach the -overnor.s ears, (e (ill put matters right (ith him and see that you do not suffer.. =o they too+ the money and did as they (ere told. This story became (idely +no(n, and is current in Je(ish circles to this day! "*atthe( BH%##4 #$'. *atthe( thus gets himself out of the difficult situation in (hich he had put himself, but not 0uite/ >ne does not have to be a =herloc+ ;olmes to see obvious f la(s in the story% #. If the guards said that they (ere asleep ho( could they say (ho had stolen the bodyJ B. :ill any soldier in 9oman army ever admit to having slept on guard dutyJ They (ould not dare do that for fear of being +illed for the offence. A. :hy did they go to the ;igh Priests and not their o(n commandersJ ,u+e brings in not one but t(o angels% they (ent insideG but the body (as not to be found. :hile they stood utterly at a loss, all of a sudden t(o men in da88ling garment s (ere at their side. They (ere terrified, and stood (ith eyes cast do(n, but the men said, @(hy search among the dead for one (ho livesJ "According to some versions% he is not hereG he has been raised'. 9emember (hat he told you (hile he (as still in -alilee, about the =on of *anG ho( he must be given up into the po(er of sinful men and be crucified and must rise gain on the third dayG then they recalled his (ords and, returning from the tomb they reported all this to the eleven and all the others. ",u+e BD%B4F'. ,u+e finally lifts the curtain from the names of (oman (ho sa( all this% the (omen (ere *ary of *agdala, Joanna, and *ary the mother of James, and they, (ith other (oman, told the

apostles. 1ut the story appeared to them to be nonsense, and they (ould not believe them. ",u+e BD%#E4##'. It is (orth nothing that the apostles did not believe the story even after the angels had reminded the (oman of (hat Jesus himself had told them earlier. This in itself raises doubts (hether Jesus had indeed prophesi8ed about his being raised after three days or if this (as a later thought. There are doubtful entries in various versions. The mother of James! is variously stated to be (ife of JamesOdaughter of James!. =ome versions consider that verse #B in 5J6 is not authentic and omit it or place it in parenthesis being of doubtful nature. It reads thus% Then rose Peter, and ran into the sepulcherG and stooping do(n, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed (ondering in himself at that (hich (as come to pass.. :e are +ept (ondering (hy Peter, or even the (omen, did not pic+ up the holy shroud but rather left it in the sepulcher. John +no(s ho( to ma+e drama out of a simple story. ;e brings *ary of *agdala to the tomb alone/ @=he sa( that the stone had been moved a(ay from the entrance. yet she did not go in but @ran to =imon Peter and the other disciple, the one (hom Jesus loved!. They have ta+en the ,ord out of his tomb., she cried, @and (e do not +no( (here they have laid him.. =o Peter and the other set out and made their (ay to the tomb. They (ere running side by side, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. ;e peered in and sa( the linen (rappings lying there, but did not enter. Then =imon, Peter came up, follo(ing him, and he (ent into the tomb. ;e sa( the linen (rappings lying, and the nap+in (hich had been over his head, not lying (ith the (rappings but rolled together in a place by itself. Then the disciples (ho had reached the tomb first (ent in too, and sa( and believedG until then they had not understood the scriptures,

(hich sho(ed that he must rise from the dead. "John BE%#4F'. It (ould be very unli+ely that John should stop there. =o the disciples (ent home againG but *ary stood at the tomb outside, (eeping. As she (ept she peered into the tombG and she sa( t(o angels in (hite sitting there, one at the head, and one at the feet, (here the body of Jesus had lain. They said to her, :hy are you (eepingJ =he ans(ered, @They have ta+en my ,ord a(ay, and I do not +no( (here they have laid him. :ith these (ords she turned around and sa( Jesus standing there, but did not recogni8e him. Jesus said to her. @:hy are you (eepingJ :ho is it you are loo+ing forJ. Thin+ing it (as the gardener, she said, @if it is you, =ir, (ho removed him, tell me (here you have laid him, and I (ill ta+e him a(ay.. Jesus said, *aryJ! =he turned to him and said, 9abbani/. ":hich is ;ebre( for *y *aster!'J Jesus said, @<o not cling to me "some versions% Touch me no more', for I have not yet ascended to the 3ather. 1ut go to my brothers, and tell them that I am no( ascending to my 3ather, my -od and -od! "John BE%#E4#&'. Interestingly she does not protest about the removal of the dead body from the tomb. =he does not say @(here have you ta+en his body., but tal+s of him as a living person. =he (ants to ta+e him a(ay I not I (ant to bury him properly!. :hen he discloses himself to her she is not surprised 4 did she +no( he had not diedJ 4 but (ants to cling to him. *ary of *agdala (ent to the disciples (ith her ne(s% @I have seen the ,ord/ =he said, and gave them his message! "John BE%#H'. It is important to note that in the -ospel of *ar+ it is a @youth. (ho tells her that @ ;e has been raised again!. According to *atthe( @an angel of ,ord. descended from heaven to tell her that. 1oth the -ospels say that she (as told that Jesus (ill see the disciples in -alilee. *atthe( even tells us that @The eleven disciples made their (ay to -alilee! and sa(! him there. ,u+e brings in t(o men in da88ling garments!.

Cet (hen this ne(s (as brought to the disciples, the story appeared to be @nonsense. to them and they @(ould not believe it./ @The same day t(o of them (ere on their (ay to a village called 7mmaus, (hich lay about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they (ere tal+ing together about all these happenings. As they tal+ed and discussed it (ith one another, Jesus himself came up and (al+ed along (ith themG but something +ept them from seeing (ho it (as. ;e as+ed them, @:hat is it you are debating as you (al+J They halted, their faces full of gloom, and one, called Cleopas ans(ered, @Are you the only person staying in Jerusalem not to +no( (hat has happened there in the last fe( daysJ @:hat do you meanJ ;e said, @All this about Jesus of Na8areth., they replied, @a prophet po(erful in speech and action before -od and the (hole peopleG ho( our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and crucified him. 1ut (e had been hoping that he (as the man to liberate Israel. :hat is more, this is the third day since it happened, and no( some (omen of our company have astounded usG they (ent early to the tomb, but failed to find his body, and returned (ith a story that they had seen a vision of angels (ho told them he (as alive. =o some of our people (ent to the tomb and found things 2ust as the (oman had said, but him they did not see. ",u+e BD%#A4BD' It is note(orthy ho( the story is developing. If (e set aside the later addition to *ar+.s -ospel, (hich is *ar+ #L%F4BE, (e see that the story ends after some people have noted that the body (as missing. 3rom no( on the myths starts building up as al(ays happen. 1oth *ar+ and *atthe( (ere (riting for early Christians. The Jesus telling "by himself or through the @youth.' the (oman that he is going to -alilee. According to *atthe( there he meets his disciples. *ore and more stories are then added. =cripture (ritings are dug out to match some part of the event. 7very event is authenticated through some scriptural verse (hich is given the air of prophecy!.

@;o( dull you are/. he ans(ered. @;o( slo( to believe all that the prophets said/ :as the *essiah not bound to suffer this before entering upon his gloryJ. Then he began (ith *oses and all the prophets, and e)plained to them the passage (hich referred to himself in every part of the scriptures. 1y this time they had reached the village to (hich they (ere going and he made as if to continue his 2ourney, but they pressed him% @stay (ith us, for evening dra(s on, and the day is almost over.. =o he (ent in to stay (ith them. And (hen he sat do(n (ith them at table, he too+ bread and said the blessingG he bro+e the bread, and offered it to them. Then their eyes opened, and they recogni8ed himG and he vanished from their sight. They said to another, @<id (e not feel our hearts on fire as he tal+ed (ith us on the road and e)plained the scriptures to usJ. ",u+e BD%B4BH' Could this really be Jesus (ho (ould no( be on (ay to -alilee as conveyed by himJ 1efore (e proceed further (e may li+e to note that the angel told them (omen that he (as alive! 4 in f lesh. These t(o disciples are tal+ing to this dear one (ith (hom they have been roaming all over Judaea and -alilee, yet they do not recogni8e even (hen he gives a long discourse. :hen they do recogni8e his voice only then they become a(are of his presence. Cet even though he (as all f lesh, as is often emphasi8ed by Christian dogmatists, as soon as he is recogni8ed he vanishes in thin air. ;e could slip a(ay 0uietly, but being in the f lesh he could not have vanished!. :as this a ruse to avoid him being pursued or recogni8ed to be the substituteJ :ell, if he could vanish from behind the stone of the tomb, he could do the same thing else(here/ @:ithout a moment.s delay they set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found that the 7leven and the rest of the company had assembled, and (ere saying, @It is trueG the ,ord has risenG he has appeared to =imon. ",u+e BD%AA4AD'. This is strange because ,u+e does not tell us (ho had told them that =imon

Peter had met the 9isen Jesus. At least he himself does not report such a meeting @then they "the t(o returning from 7mmaus' gave their account of the events of their 2ourney and told ho( he had been recogni8ed by them at the brea+ing of the bread as they (ere tal+ing about all this, there he (as, standing among them. "=ome versions add% @and said to them Peace be (ith you!'. =tartled and terrified, they thought they (ere seeing a ghost. 1ut he said, @:hy are you so perturbedJ :hy do 0uestionings arise your mindsJ ,oo+ at my hands and feet. It is I myself. Touch me and seeG no ghost has f lesh and bones as you can see that I have. ",u+e BD%A$4AF'. In some versions the ne)t verse, DE, is omittedG it reads% @After saying this he sho(ed them his hands and feet!. It seems odd that having already been told that Jesus (as aliveOhad risen they (ould be startled! and terrified! this (ould be particularly so (ith Peter (ho is supposed to have already seen him/ John tells us that the disciples (ere sitting behind loc+ed doors, for fear of the Je(s. JesusOor the substitute sho(ed them his hands and his side! @so (hen the disciples sa( the ,ord, they (ere filled (ith @2oy. "John BE%#F4BE'. 1ut ,u+e insists that even after seeing his hands and feet @they (ere still unconvinced, still (ondering, for it seemed too good to be true.. =o he as+ed them, have you anything to eatJ. They offered him a piece of fish they had coo+ed, (hich he too+ and ate before their eyes. ",u+e BD%D#4 DA'. @And he said to them, @This is (hat I meant by saying, (hile I (as still (ith you, that everything (ritten about me in the ,a( of *oses and in the prophets and Psalms (as bound to be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. @This., he said @is (hat is (ritten,, that the *essiah is to suffer death and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that in his name repentance bringing the forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to all nations. 1egin from JerusalemG it is you (ho are to (itness it all. And mar+ this. I am sending upon you my

3ather.s promised giftG so stay here in this city until you are armed (ith the po(er from above. ",u+e BD%DD4DF'. The message (hich Jesus gives to his disciples, according to John is simple. @As the 3ather sent me, so I send you.. Then he breathed on them, saying, @9eceive the ;oly =pirit/ If you forgive any man.s sins, they stand forgivenG if you pronounce them unforgiven, unforgiven they remain. "John BE%B#4BA'. 1y no( (e see Paul.s inf luence both on John as (ell as ,u+e (ho are (riting for the -entiles. Paul had been vying (ith the Jerusalem Church (hich had remained Je(ish. It is (orth nothing that according to John the ;oly =pirit is given to the disciples at this meeting. @9eceive the ;oly =pirit.G said Jesus to them.. ;o(ever, according to ,u+e, (riting his ne)t boo+ of Acts of the Apostles! the ;oly =pirit (as yet to be given to them% Cou (ill receive po(er (hen the ;oly =pirit comes upon you! "Acts #%H' . It is at the time of Pentecost that @they (ere all filled (ith the ;oly =pirit. "Acts B%D'. 7ach (riter, it seems, tried to outclass others by adding ne( t(ists in the story and by increasing the number of people (ho actually sa( Jesus after being raised from the dead!. If the vision (as to be confine to *ary of *agdala, the lady from (hom seven devils had been cast out by Jesus, then no one (ould have believed her, true or not 4 7ven the disciples had considered it a nonsense/ If the vision (as to be confined to the @7leven. 4 or the T(elve as Paul puts it 4 even then people (ould have accused them of concoction. =o Paul adds his o(n version% @Christ dies for our sins, in accordance (ith the scriptures, that he (as buried, then he (as raised to life on the third day, according to the scripturesG and that he appeared to Cephas and after(ards to the T(elve. Then he appeared to over five hundred of our brothers at once, most of (hom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James and after(ards to the Apostles. In the end he appeared even to meII. "# Corinthians% A4#E'.

:hat Paul refers to is ;>=7A L%B @After t(o days he (ill revive usG in the third day he (ill raise us up, and (e shall live in his sight.. This passage refers to the revival of Israel as a nation not for a single individual or even @*essiah! that (as to come/ This letter of Paul (as (ritten even earlier than the -ospels and has inf luenced those (riters. James is 0uoted in order to give his statement authority as James (as the head of the Je(ish Church in Jerusalem (hile Paul (as proselyti8ing the -entile else(here. 7ven the period of his stay on earth before disappearing again "or ascension' is lengthened by ,u+e "Acts #%A' >ver forty days he appeared to them! =trangely enough, Jesus (as around for forty days and (as seen even by his disciples in a very secretive manner. ;e did not stay (ith anyone, nor anyone 0uestioned him of his abode nor are (e told anything of (here he lived or ho( he fed himself during these days. If he had risen in the f lesh he must have human needs. ;o( did he fulfill theseJ John, of course, is master of drama and he must sho( us more than one appearances of JesusOor the substitute% >ne of the T(elve, Thomas, that is @the T(in., (as not (ith the rest (hen Jesus came. =o the disciples told him, @(e have seen the ,ord.. ;e said, @unless I see the mar+ of the nails on his hands, unless I put my finger into the place (here the nails (ere, and my hands into his side, I (ill not believe it! "John BE%BD4 B$'. According to this story Thomas, one of the T(elve, (as not there (hen Jesus appeared (hich according to ,u+e (as the 7leven and the rest of the company! ",u+e BD%AA'. No( unless Judas Iscariot (as one of the T(elve at that time, (e had all the 7leven already there, including the doubting Thomas. =o either ,u+e (as inspired by -od to miscount or John is fabricating in order to dramati8e/

John no( ta+es us through a series of appearances by JesusOor the substitute. It seems that once again JesusOor the substitute (as playing hide and see+ (ith his disciples as he had done (ith his brothers telling them to go to Jerusalem (ithout him, pretending that he (as not going there, and then secretly going there himself "John B#'. ;e told or had it told to *ary of *agdala to tell the disciples to meet him in -alilee as he (as going there and (ill meet them there. Cet he goes and meets them on (ay to 7mmaus then returns separately from the t(o of them and meets at the secret meeting place behind the closed doors. Then he lingers around. In John.s -ospel he tells *ary of *agdala I am no( ascending to my 3ather! yet again he does not go. A (ee+ later his disciples (ere again in the room and Thomas (ith them. Although the doors (ere loc+ed, Jesus came and stood among them saying, @peace by (ith you/. Then he said to Thomas, @reach your finger hereG see my hands. 9each your finger here and put it in my side. 1e unbelieving no longer, but believe.. Thomas said, @*y ,ord and *y -od/. Jesus said, @1ecause you have seen me you have found faith. ;appy are they (ho never sa( me and yet have found faith! "John BE%BL4BF'. @There (ere indeed many other signs that Jesus performed in the presence of his disciples, (hich are not recorded in this boo+. Those here (ritten have been recorded in order that you may hold the faith that Jesus is the Christ, the =on of -od, and that through this faith you may possess life by his name! "John BE%AE4A#'. >ne (ould thin+ that this is the end of John.s -ospel. 1ut then (e find a full chapter after this along (ith similar concluding remar+s. 1y the time John (as (riting his o(n -ospel the so4called first -ospel that of *atthe( had already been (ritten/ John may have found that he had stated that JesusOor the substitute did go to -alilee. Not being the one to allo( a good opportunity passed, he puts in some more details (hich is found that he omitted, e.g. visit to -alilee,

Jesus. eating of fish, etc. or perhaps an un+no(n hand later added the last chapter to fill in the missing details. In the absence of any authentic version (e can only guess. @=ometime later Jesus sho(ed himself to his disciples once again, by the =ea of TiberiasG and in this (ay. =imon Peter and Thomas, @the T(in., (ere together (ith Nathanael of Cana4in4-alilee. The sons of Tebedee and t(o other disciples (ere also there. =imon Peter said, @I am going out fishing.. @:e (ill go (ith you., said the others. =o they started and got into the boat. 1ut that night they caught nothing. *orning came, and there stood Jesus on the beach, but the disciples did not +no( it (as Jesus. ;e called out to them, @3riends, have you caught anythingJ. they ans(ered, @No.. ;e said, @=hoot the net to starboard and you (ill ma+e a catch.. They did so and found they could not haul the net aboard, there (ere so many fish in it. "John B#%#4L'. This is stated to be Jesus. instruction to them to leave the Je(s and carry the message to -entiles (here they (ill have much success. 1ut it is strange that (hen Jesus called @3riends. from not far a(ay on the beach the disciples (ould not recogni8e him even though by no( they had already seen and believed that he (as alive and that he had said that he (ills see them in -alillee. It is much later that they recogni8e him. 3urthermore, if he did command them to fish for the -entiles then these disciples, the Pillars of society! as Paul calls them, ignored this command and preached to the Je(s only/ @Then the disciple (hom Jesus loved said to peter, @It is the ,ord/. :hen =imon Peter heard that, he (rapped his coat about him "for he had stripped' and plunged into the sea. The rest of them came in the boat, to(ing the net full of fish, for they (ere not far from the land, only about a hundred yards. "John B#%&4H'. @:hen they came ashore, they sa( a charcoal fire there, (ith fish

laid on it, and some bread.. Jesus said, @1ring some of your catch.. =imon Peter (ent aboard and ragged the net to land, full of big fish, a hundred and fifty three of themG and yetG many as they (ere, the net (as not torn. Jesus said, @Come and have brea+fast.. None of the disciples dared to as+, (ho are youJ They +ne( it (as the ,ord. Jesus no( came up, too+ the bread, and gave it to them and the fish in the same (ay. This ma+es the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection from the dead! "John B#%F4#D'. John sho(s one4up4man4ship on ,u+e.s story of Jesus feeling hungry and disciples giving him fish (hich he ate. John lays do(n the fish on the charcoal (hich Jesus gives to his disciples and bread in addition. It is surprising that the net full of fish (as so heavy that all the disciples could not haul the net aboard! yet =imon Peter alone could drag the net to land. This is John.s (ay of (riting/ It is intriguing that (hile both *atthe( and John bring Jesus to -alilee, ,u+e himself, (riting in the Acts "#%D' states that, @:hile he (as in their company he told them not to leave Jerusalem.. @Cou must (ait., he said, @for the promise made by my 3ather, about (hich you have heard me spea+. John, as you +no( bapti8ed (ith (ater, but you (ill be bapti8ed (ith the ;oly =pirit, and (ithin the ne)t fe( days. "Acts #%D4$'. In ,u+e.s -ospel "BD%DF' (e been told the same thing. According to ,u+e the disciples did not go to -alilee but stayed in Jerusalem and it is here that at the day of the Pentecost they (ere filled (ith the ;oly =pirit. Any(ay, no( that Jesus and his disciples have been brought to the =a of Tiberias, in -alilee, John records some of the conversation, (here Jesus tells peter that if he loves him he must @feed my lambs., @tend my sheep., @feed my sheep. and prophesi8es @the manner of death by (hich Peter (as to glorify -od.. Then he told him @follo( me.. It may be pointed out here

that Peter (as e)ecuted in LD A.<. and the -ospel of John n (as completed in #EEA.<. Thus once again John ma+es the story loo+ li+e a prophecy. Then Peter, for some reason best +no(n to himself, points to @the disciple (hom Jesus loved. and as+s, @,ord., (hat (ill happen to himJ. Jesus said, @If it should be my (ill that he (ait until I come, (hat is it to youJ @3ollo( me. that saying of Jesus became current in the brotherhood, and (as ta+en to mean that that disciple (ould not dieG he only said, @if it should be my (ill that he (ait until I come, (hat is it to youJ. "John B#%B#4BA'. There is again a closing remar+% @There is much else that Jesus did. If it (ere all to be recorded in detail, I suppose the (hole (orld could not hold the boo+ the boo+s that (ould be (ritten. "John B#%B$'. John that master of e)aggeration is once again trying to over4a(e his readers. John or (hoever (rote the fourth -ospel in John.s name is nervous if people (ill accept his version. =o a number of timers he refers to himself as @the disciples (hom Jesus loved., he records his o(n presence at the time of Jesus. arrest, is said to have connection (ith the ;igh Priest, etc., and is prophesi8ed by Jesus that he (ill be there until his second coming. ;e asserts the truth of all that recorded, having been (itnessed by the disciples, and no(, (ith seemingly authority reaffirms that% @It is the same disciple (ho (rote it, and (e +no( that his testimony is true. "John B#%BD'.

A=C7N=I>N AN< 97T?9N

,u+e is the only -ospel (riter (ho tells us that Jesus (as ta+en upJ And that he (ill come in same (ay you have seen him go. "Acts#%F4##'. In his o(n -ospel ,u+e tells us% and in the act of blessing he parted from them! ",u+e BD%$#' (hich could mean that he left them on his (ay to an un+no(n destination. =ome versions, (hich are generally not accepted as authentic, add% @and (as carried up in heaven!. In none of the other three -ospels do (e learn of this in specific terms. The reference in *ar+ is obviously a later interpolation by an un+no(n hand. According to this Jesus had appeared to the 7,767N! in that "upper' room in Jerusalem and after the ,ord and spo+en unto them, he (as received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of -od! "*ar+ #L%#F'. This must have happened early on 7aster *onday, the day after resurrection!. Jesus had first appeared @the t(o. at 7mmaus, (hich (as from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. ",u+e BD%#A', then disappeared. This must have been late =unday night. After the t(o! returned to Jerusalem (here Jesus, by (al+ing bac+ r through some divine assistance, also returned and met his disciples. >n the other hand ,u+e tell us that Jesus had had sho(ed himself alive after his passion I. 1eing seen of them forty days. "Acts #%A'. The last time he met his disciples (as at the mount called >livet, (hich is from Jerusalem a =abbath day.s 2ourney! "Acts #%#B'. >ne of the t(o accounts is obviously (rong. *atthe( says nothing about ascension, (hich is significant. ,eaving on the interpolated part, both *ar+ and *atthe( (riting for early Christians say nothing about ascension. ,u+e, the companion of Paul, specifically tal+s about it since he (as (riting for the -entiles. John (riting much later only suggests ascension (hen Jesus tal+s to *ary *agdalene after resurrection!% @I am not yet ascended to my 3ather% but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascended unto my 3ather, and your 3atherG and to my -od, and -od! "John BE%#&'. Those (ho proclaim special relationship bet(een -od the 3ather and Jesus, The =on of -od! must concede a similar relationship of The <aughter of -od! to

*ary *agdalene on the basis of this verse. ;o(ever, Jesus does not ascend to heaven or (herever it be to sit on the right hand of -od but instead goes to the shores of the sea of Tiberias. And if he did go to heaven, he may (ell have done that from there unless he (as again roaming around (ith his disciples follo(ing him all over -alilee and Judaea and bac+ to Jerusalem or >livet or from (herever he (as to ascend. The concept of @ascension. (as nothing ne( for people of the biblical times angels go bac+ and forth, people are snatched out of sight, demons tal+ and go into animals, saints come out of the graves, 7li2ah goes to heaven and appears to Jesus and Peter along (ith *oses, etc. Paul testifies% @I +no( a Christian man (ho fourteen years ago "(hether in body or out of it, I do not +no( 4 only -od +no(s' (as caught up as far as the third heaven. And I +no( that this man "(hether in body or out of it, I do not +no( 4 -od +no(s' (as caught up into paradise, and heard (ords so secret that human lips may not repeat them. "II Corinthians #B%B4D'. Ascension, as such, (as 0uite common place and according to the genius of those times. It (as a normal happening and no e)traordinary significance needs to be attached to it. =ince everyone goes up, (hy should Jesus stay behindJ :hat goes up must come do(n/ There is another reason (hy there must be a second coming of Jesus% @I. 3lesh and blood can never possess the +ingdom of -od and the perishable cannot possess immortality. "I Corinthians #$%$E'. Jesus must return to this earth to shed his body of f lesh and die. Paul seems to be convinced that the time of the second coming is not to be long delayed, it is imminent, it is @at hand., in our life time, hurry up and be converted, or you may miss the bus% @I. At the sound of the archangel.s voice and -od.s trumpet4call, the ,ord himself (ill descend from heavenG first the Christian dead (ill rise, then (e (ho are left alive shall 2oin the, caught up in

clouds to meet the ,ord in the air. "I Thessalonians D%#L4#&'. This is as N71. According to 5J6% @Ilord himself (ill descend from heaven (ith a shout, (ith th voice of the archangel and (ith the trump of -odI.! 916 puts it @I.(ith a shout, (ith the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of -od, th ,ord himself (ill descend from heavenI.!. According to N:T ,ord himself (ill descend from heaven (ith a commanding call, (ith an archangel.s voice and (ith -od.s trumpetI.. NI6 has it% @I.the ,ord himself (ill come do(n from heaven (ith a loud command (ith the voice of the archangel and (ith the trumpet call of -od.... :hile a number of translations tell us that Jesus (ill come (ith a loud shout, N71 ma+es us to understand that there (ill be a fanfare preceding Jesus 4 nothing about his shout/ In B Thessalonians "#% &4 H' Paul says that @(hen our ,ord Jesus Christ is revealed from heaven (ith his mighty angels in bla8ing fireI., yet in Acts "#%##' (e had been told that Jesus @(ill come in the same (ay as you have seen him go., (hich is @a cloud removed him from their sight. so Christ should return softly as a cloud not (ith the shout of archangel accompanied by bla8ing fire. <id the Jesus of the 1ible accounts say he (ill come bac+J The addendum to *ar+.s -ospel tells us that after having been ta+en up into heaven @he too+ his seat at the right hand of -od. "*ar+ #L%#F'. *atthe( records that Jesus @Iassured, I am (ith you al(ays, to the end of time. "*ar+ BH%BE'. The only reference in ,u+e regarding any future contact after death is in his speech at the ,ast =upper% @3or I tell you, never again shall I eat it until the time (hen it finds its fulfillment in the +ingdom of -od. ",u+e BB%#$4#L'

This is clearly not related to the second coming. In John.s -ospel Jesus clearly states that the ;oly =pirit "-host' (ill ta+e his place 4.If I do not go your Advocate O comforter (ill not come. "John #L%&'. There are, ho(ever, t(o references, both in John.s -ospel, (hich could mean his return% @A little (hile, and you see me no moreG again a little (hile and you (ill see me. "John #L%#L'. @If it should be my (ill that he (ait until I come, (hat is it to youJ! "John B#%BB'. <id Jesus really mean that he (ill be out of sight for some time and see them again laterJ If Jesus (as to come then it should have been soon 4 (ithin John.s life time. In his 3irst ,etter John says this is indeed the last hour!. In his 1oo+ of 9evelation John records that @the hour of fulfillment is nearer. "BB%#E'. Jesus (as to come soon and Jesus reassures Ces, I am coming soon! "BB%BE'. As the time passed, John +ept saying Come, ,ord Jesus! "BB%BE' but Jesus never came and John died/ The promise to John (as never fulfilled. Apologies (ere made% (ith the ,ord one day is li+e a thousand years and a thousand years li+e one day. It is not that ,ord is slo( in fulfilling his promise, as some suppose, but that he is very patient (ith you because it is not his (ill fr any to be lost, but for all to come to repentance! "B Peter A%H,F'. According to <euteronomy "#H%BB'% If (hat a prophet proclaims in the name of the ,ord does not ta+e place or come true, that is a message the ,ord has not spo+en. That prophet has spo+en presumptuously!. <id Jesus spea+ presumptuously or (as the tale of his second coming soon! put in by later enthusiastsJ

In either case, from a 1iblical point of vie(, the second coming becomes irrelevant. If Jesus indeed died on the cross then by this ultimate sacrifice he atoned for the sins of the man+ind. The rest of his uncompleted tas+ (ould be ta+en over by the C>*3>9T79. The concept of return! (ould have relevance only if (e contend that Jesus (as leaving behind an unfulfilled tas+ (hich the Comforter (ill have to ta+e over. ;o(ever if the Comforter also proves to be a failure, Jesus (ill have to come bac+. ;aving failed once, it is unli+ely that Jesus (ould succeed in this (ic+ed (orld in his second coming. ,ogic (ould state that the ne)t (ould have to be -od, the 3ather! (ho (ill have to descend from his mighty throne to come do(n to earth to achieve (here -od, the =on! and -od, the ;oly =pirit! had failed. >r else, -od Almighty, the >ne and >nly, (ill have to send someone else to finish this unfinished tas+. =o from the 1iblical narrative Jesus. second coming is again not relevant for this purpose.

C;APT79 L T;7 =7A9C; 3>9 T9?T; The -ospels, (hich the Christians consider as the inspired (ord of -od, do not give us a coherent picture of (hat really happened on that fateful day of crucifi)ion of Jesus. 9ather, at many places the descriptions are at variance (ith each other. There are gaps of missing information. *ost of (hat is +no(n about the life or utterances of Jesus during his earthly so2ourn (as recorded many years after he left this (orld of f lesh. It is an acceptable fact that man cannot hold in his brain the e)act

picture of events, or (ords uttered, even one year after the incidence. If an event, impression or (ords are recorded or reported si)ty to BEE years after the actual occurrence then it is most li+ely that it may be misreported or inaccurately recorded. This may not be deliberate falsification or misrepresentation for that is a separate issue. 7ven (ith all the good intentions it is the human limitation on recall by (hich the sincerest of persons may not be able to relate the correct version. The (ords can also be misreported, mistranslated or misunderstood in successive relays from one reporter to another. The accuracy of recall is also sub2ect to our o(n perceptions and cultural and temporal biases. *en often perceive their heroes not as they (ere but as they thin+ they ought to have been. The Ne( Testament is not free from these difficulties. There are further difficulties in that the evidence (as carefully selected according to the doctrines most acceptable to church po(ers. Cet this is the only evidence put for(ard and acceptable to the faithful and (e must sift through this very evidence to sho( its fallibility. :A= J7=?= C9?CI3I7<J The crucial first step in the process of establishing the authenticity of crucifi)ion is to determine if Jesus (as indeed put on the Cross. The -ospels provide us only (ith a s+etchy and blurred picture (hich is often at variance bet(een different -ospels. :e need to see+ alternate sources, independent of the Ne( Testament, to establish the true perspective. =ome of these sources contend that on that fateful day (hoever else may have been put on the cross, it (as not Jesus. :ho could it beJ There are three immediate candidates 4 Judas Iscariot, =imon a Cyrenian and 1arabbas the bandit. 3or this boo+ I (ill not deal (ith =imon as that (ill be dealt (ith in my forthcoming boo+

The =ubstitution =acrifice 6erified! J?<A= I=CA9I>T According to the uncanonical -ospel of 1arnabas =ection B#$% :hen the soldiers (ith Judas dre( near to the place (here Jesus (as, Jesus heard the approach of many people, (herefore in fear he (ithdre( into the house. And the eleven (ere sleeping. Then -od, seeing the danger of his servant, commanded -abriel, *ichael, 9afael and ?riel, his ministers, to ta+e Jesus out of the (orld. The holy angels came and too+ Jesus out by the (indo( that loo+eth to(ards the =outh. They bare him and placed him in the third heaven in the company of angels blessing -od evermore.. According to this -ospel, the soldiers mistoo+ Judas Iscariot to be Jesus. According to many theologians Judas may have deliberately posed himself as Jesus in order to save Jesus. It (as thus not a betrayal but self4sacrifice as (ould be e)pected from a chosen disciple of Jesus, the Christ. Jesus had said I have chosen you and ordained you! "John #$%#L' Jesus had reassured the T(elve !ye shall sit upon t(elve thrones, 2udging the t(elve tribes of Israel! "*atthe( #F%BH' this did not e)clude Judas. If Jesus really +ne( @(ho should betray him. "John #A%##' then he (ould have 0ualified his assurance. The t(o -alileans 4 Jesus and Judas 4 (ho (ere both strangers to and ne( comers in Jerusalem may have loo+ed similar and be easily mista+en for each other. The strange behavior of Jesus! at the trials, his apparent be(ilderment and incoherent replies (ere not typical of Jesus (ho (as +no(n to be a vocal person. Could it be that Judas (as deliberately trying to impersonate Jesus but said little for fear of being detectedJ Could the person (ho (as put on the cross be Judas IscariotJ The clue to this most (ell4+ept secret is no more available after

all the rival versions (ere systematically destroyed in the centuries after crucifi)ion and especially after A< A$E (hen the Ne( Testament boo+s (ere deliberately and consciously selected out of a large number of candidate manuscripts that (ere presented at the Council of Nicaea. "9efer bac+ to chapter >N7 to refresh your memory' The canonical -ospel of *atthe( reports the death of Judas by saying that he hanged himself ! in remorse "*atthe( B&%$'. ;o(ever, ,u+e in his boo+ of Acts "#%#H' records that No( this man purchased a field (ith the re(ard of ini0uity and falling headlong he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bo(els gushed out! *atthe( again differs (ith Acts concerning the purchase of a field!. According to him he cast do(n the pieces of silver in the templeG and departed, and (ent and hanged himself. And the chief priests too+ the silver pieces and said, @It is not la(ful for to put them into treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they too+ council and bought (ith them the potter.s fieldI.! "*atthe( B&%$4&'. There are conf licting descriptions concerning Judas in the -ospel of *atthe( and the Acts. Interestingly, *atthe( records that all this (as to fulfill a prophecy spo+en by Jeremy the prophet, saying, @and they too+ the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that (as valued, (hom they of the children of Israel did valueG and gave them for the potter.s fieldI... "*atthe( B&%F4#E'. This is a mista+en reference to a description, not by Jeremiah, but by Tachariah (herein he refers to a donation of thirty pieces of silver to the treasury "potter' in the house of ,ord!. An interesting ref lection on the infallibility of this the alleged (ord of -od, inspired or other(ise/ After the death of Judas, according to the -ospel of 1arnabas,

Those disciples (ho did not fear -od (ent by night and stole the body of Judas and hid it, spreading a report that Jesus (as risen again! "=ection B#H'. This (as necessary for t(o reasons%3irstly, by declaring that Jesus had indeed died the persecutors (ere misled to avoid any search for the missing Jesus, =econdly, because hearing of Jesus. death some departed from the doctrine of Jesus, believing that Jesus had been a false prophet, and that by art of magic he had done the miracles (hich he didG for Jesus had said that he should not die till near the end of the (orld. "=ection B#H'. J?<A= 1A9A11A= According to *ar+ "#$%&' And there (as one named 1a4rab4bas (hich lay bound (ith them that had made insurrection (ith him (ho committed murder in the insurrection!. *atthe( "B&%#L' calls him a man of some notoriety! "N71'. ,u+e "BA%#F' describes him as (ho for a certain sedition made the city, and for murder, (as cast in prison!. John "#H%DE' tells us plainly that 1arabbas (as a robber "5J6, a bandit "N71'. 1arabbas (as a notorious seditious criminal (ho had committed murder of a 9oman official at an insurrection. >n the other hand Jesus had been +no(n to preach respect for the authority. ;e had said publicly Pay Caesar (hat is due to Caesar! "*ar+ #BA%#&'. Pilate (as concerned (ith this case because it (as brought unto him by the Je(s themselves on t(o counts% sedition and blasphemyG Pilate had satisfied himself that no sedition (as involved and Jesus did not claim to be an earthly +ing. As a pagan himself he (ould not be the least bothered if Jesus claimed to be a =on of -od or even -od himself. Could Pilate send this innocent, la( abiding man to death in a hurry (hen a seditious, murderous, revolutionary terrorist had

been lying in the prison (aiting for a trial. Could Pilate indeed cringe do(n to pass the death sentence on Jesus merely by the threat if you let this man go, thou are not Caesar.s friendG (hosever ma+eth himself a +ing spea+eth against Caesar! "John #L%#B'J =uch a person (ould not dare even consider releasing a revolutionary +no(n to have murdered a 9oman official. There (as at that time unrest in Judaea and along the borders. The Tealots (ere active inciting a revolt against the 9omans. 5ing ;erod had not been in good terms (ith Pilate and had himself not condemned Jesus. It could not be good politics to condemn Jesus merely to please the chief priests and the cro(d and release 1arabbas, a +no(n outla(. In any case there is no evidence of there being a tradition of releasing a prisoner at the time of the Passover any time in history. ,et us consider a possible alternate% Pilate being sure of Jesus. innocence (ould (ant to release him. ;e declares his innocence, had him f logged to sho( that he had been punished for (hatever crime the Je(s accused him of having committed. ;aving failed to satisfy the priests he (ent straight to the cro(d and offered to release Jesus as a generous act of clemency and forgiveness at the time of the Passover. :hen everything else failed, he brought in the notorious criminal 1arabbas, put a cro(n of thorns on him and sentenced him to crucifi)ion (ithout the cro(d reasoning (ho he (as. The Chief Priests and Pharisees (ere also no(here near as they had not entered the courtyard for fear of defilement "John #H%BH'. 3rom a distance it (as not possible to recogni8e the condemned person. Curiously, the bandit is named Jesus 1arabbas (hich in the local language, Aramaic, means @the son of the father.. If Pilate did give a choice to the cro(d then it (as bet(een Jesus, the son the of father! and Jesus the =on of the 3ather!. The cro(d (as in no mood, as al(ays (ith cro(ds, to ponder over subtle differences. They (ere interested in a 0uic+ 2ustice (hich Pilate

then passed out. 3or fear of detection the sentence (as 0uic+ly carried out not(ithstanding the forthcoming Passover. Not many recogni8ed Jesus any (ay K no CNN or daily ne(spapers or internet. Those (ho (ere ac0uainted (ith him (ere already hiding for their o(n safety. If anyone did notice the ploy then he must have +ept his peace for the sa+e of Jesus. safety.

:A9NINPlease note this is from the 1iblical te)t point of vie( and not from a *uslim or Je(ish point of vie(. 3or this boo+ (e are standing in the shoes of a Christianity and loo+ing in(ard. The follo(ing (ill contradict Islamic theology and is in no (ay is my personal belief but simply a scholarly study.

<I< J7=?= <I7 >N T;7 C9>== :ithout going into the merits of the alternate theologies and theories let us confine ourselves to the -ospel versions that Jesus (as himself put on the cross. The crucial point is (hether, having been put on the cross, Jesus did in fact die (hile on the cross or (as he alive (hen ta+en off in the afternoonOevening. #. The =criptural 6erdict

<euteronomy "#A%#4#$'% If a prophet, or one (ho foretells by dreams says, ,et us follo( other gods! I. that prophet or dreamer must be put to death I.. you must purge the evil from among you!. It is the crime of blasphemy for (hich the Je(s (anted to +ill Jesus. <euteronomy "#H%BB'% if (hat a prophet claims in the name of the ,ord does not ta+e place or come true, that is a message the ,ord has not spo+en. That prophet has spo+en presumptuously. <o not be afraid of him!. <euteronomy "B#%BB,A'% if a man guilty of a capital offence is put to death and his body is hung on a tree, you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. 1e sure to bury him that same day, because anyone (ho is hung on a tree is under -od.s curse!. Jesus (as accused of being a fa+e prophet and a pretender. A(are of this Paul apologi8es% Christ saved us from the curse of the la(, having become a curse for usI.! "-alatians A%#A'. It is a pity that Paul had to go to such an e)tent to prove his doctrine. -od in ;is *ercy (ould have found a much better method of redemption of the sins of the man+ind that to put his only begotten =on! under a perpetual curse/ B. The necessity for =acrifice In *atthe(.s -ospel "F%B' Jesus tells the man (ith palsy =on be of good cheerG thy sin be forgiven thee!. No sacrifice or atonement (as called for. Jesus did not even indicate that it (as he (ho (as forgiving the sins. ;e had been teaching% if you (ish to enter into life, +eep the commandments! "*atthe( #F%#&'G Not everyone that saith unto me, ,ord, ,ord, shall enter into the +ingdom of heavenG but he that doeth the (ill of my 3ather (hich is in heaven! "*atthe( &%B#' No sacrifice is re0uired/ ,et alone a sacrificial offering, (e do not need to e)cel each other in doing the (ill of -od to enter the +ingdom of heaven. Jesus related the parable of the e0ual (ages for different amounts of (or+ "*atthe( BE%#' e)plaining that -od (ould receive our

deeds and give re(ards in ;is -race not(ithstanding our o(n total effort. No sacrifice is mentioned. 7ven if the po(er to forgive sins (as given to Jesus "*ar+ B%#E', he did not need to sacrifice himself. ;e only had to say ;e (ho believeth in me is forgiven!. After all he had already said ;e that believeth on the =on hath everlasting life! "John A%AL'. =on of *an has the right on earth to forgive sin! "*atthe( F%L'. This (as un0ualified. In fact he emphasi8ed% I (ill have mercy, and not sacrifice! "*atthe( F%#A'. A. The Incomplete -od There are unans(ered dogmatic 0uestions relating to finiteness of Jesus, the man of f lesh and blood (ho suffered and died, and the infiniteness of -od, the =on!, or Jesus the <ivine. Not(ithstanding this dual nature, there is this period of three days! (hence Jesus lay dead but (as not yet in heaven. ;e (as neither here nor there/ ;uman mind is baff led by the possibility of the three4part -od4head to be in an incomplete state during the period of Jesus. earthly so2ourn and especially for those three days of uncertainty/ It is rather distressing (hen Christian theologians state that Jesus (as do(n in hell! during those three days. If Jesus (as the sinless one then he did not have to suffer the degradation of hell. If he did it in order to suffer for the sins of man+ind they (hy his suffering on the CrossJ This is (hen Christians pull out that circular logic card/ If you can.t (in the argumentI confuse them/ D. The Passover 3or the Je(s the Passover is an important festival of religious significance. A large number of pilgrims from all over the (orld (ould come to the Temple in Jerusalem. Those (ho did not come (ould observe it solemnly at their homes. Jerusalem (ould be filled (ith pilgrims. =ome of the pilgrims (ould indifferent or perhaps hostile to Jesus. 1ut a large number of those (ho came from -alilee and had heard of his miracles (ould be 0uite

sympathetic to him. >nce Jesus had been arrested and secured it (ould be prudent to +eep the matter secret until after the festival (hen Jesus could be safely dealt (ith. It is not understandable as to (hat the rush (as to push through (ith the Trial and crucifi)ion (hen the local priorities demanded peaceful and 0uite environment. Je(ish priests had at hand many important religious preparations than to indulge in the midnight trial, spend the (hole forenoon at the 9oman -overnor.s palace loo+ after the details of crucifi)ion, then go bac+ to the -overnor to as+ for a guard on the Passover day itself. This is too much to do for a pious Je( (ho (ould be prepared to postpone the (hole affair till after the Passover (hen many of Jesus. sympathi8ers (ould also be gone. The sanctity of observing the =abbath, more so of the Passover =abbath, is indicated by the behavior of Jesus. o(n disciples (ho (aited till after the Passover to visit Jesus. tomb. $. ;erod and the Passover In a similar circumstance in years to come, ;erod (ould decide to (ait till after the Passover after arresting Peter (ith the intention to +ill him "Acts #B'. ;erod (as the +ing of the realm. ;e could have simply ordered the beheading of Peter, as he had done in the case of John the 1aptist. Just prior to Peter.s arrest ;erod had already beheaded James, the brother of John, son of Tebedee. :hy did he not do so (ith PeterJ >bviously because of Passover, it (as too important to be messing (ith such earthly affairs. An e)ecution (ould defile the spirit of the festival. If it (as so for Peter, (hy not for JesusJ This is intriguing and some even suggest that crucifi)ion never too+ place on the indicated day or that it (as planned in such a (ay as to save Jesus from being +illed. In other (ords, the faithful might say that a divine hand! (as (or+ing to ensure Jesus. safety/ L. The -ood 3riday The 3riday before the Passover is the day for preparation for the

coming festival. The Je(s (ere too busy to be interested in a long trial and e)ecution. In any case if there (as an emergency to carry out the e)ecution then they could have stoned Jesus to death as they (ould =tephen a little later "Acts &'. Crucifi)ion in the 9oman manner meant slo(, torturous death (hich (ould necessitate ta+ing do(n of the bodies in the evening especially because of the impending =abbath. Could it be a conspiracy by the t(o inf luential Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimitaea to save JesusJ Than+ -od it (as 3riday/ "T-I3' &. At ;erod.s Court Jesus 1elonged to Judaea (hose +ing (as ;erod. 1ecause of the 0uestion of 2urisdiction Pilate sent Jesus to ;erod.s court for trial and sentence. ;erod (as a Je(. If the chief priests did have a case, or even if they did not have a strong case, ;erod could have been easily inf luenced to +ill a blasphemous person. 1ut he did not/ Could it be e)pected that Pilate (ould do thatJ Could Pilate be e)pected to order crucifi)ion after declaring on record% I have I. 3ound nothing in him to support your charges. No more did ;erod, for he has referred him bac+ to us! ",u+e BA%#D,#$'. H. =aint Procla.s <ream :hen he (as set do(n on the 2udgment seat, his (ife sent unto him, saying, ;ave though nothing to do (ith that 2ust man for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him! "*atthe( B&%#F'. 9omans, being pagans (ould ta+e a careful note of such omens. :as Pilate affected by his (ife.s forebodingJ In the =yna)aria of the -ree+s Procla, the (ife of Pilate, is commemorated for having pleaded against the crucifi)ion of Jesus. Pilate and his (ife Procla are considered saints in the Aethiopic order, Pilate for having declared Jesus. innocence by (ashing his hands. <id he really (ash his hands of this innocent, 2ust man, even after his (ife.s pleadingJ >r, did he decide to

hood(in+ the Je(s and planned the crucifi)ion in such a (ay as to save JesusJ F. The <eath =entence :hy should Jesus be crucified any(ayJ >n charges of sedition Pilate (as sure there (as no case. >n charges of blasphemy he could not be bothered. 7ven if he (as satisfied that Jesus (as a nuisance this (ould not be enough to +ill him against his best 2udgment. There is no motion any(here in the -ospels that people (ere getting unruly because of Jesus or there (as a la( and order problem. 3or being a so4called nuisance he visibly f logged him. :hy +ill him (hen clearly he has done nothing to deserve deathJ! ",u+e BA%#$'. 9omans (ere supposed to be good administrators. It is not 9oman practice to hand over any accused man before he is confronted (ith his accusers and given an opportunity of ans(ering the charge! "Acts B$%#L'. It is doubtful if under such a process Pilate (ill crucify someone of (hose innocence he (as no( convinced. After all it (as not a @capital crime. according to 9oman la( to call oneself =on of -od! even if Jesus claimed himself to be so. This is confirmed in connection (ith Paul.s trial at Caesarea not only by the 9oman -overnor 3estus "Acts B$%B$' but also by the Je(ish 5ing Agrippa and his fello( courtiers. This man, they said, is doing noting that deserves death or imprisonment!. Cet Paul.s crime (as even more grave because he not only declared Jesus to be the =on of -od, but also that Jesus had risen from the dead, and that he, Paul, (as an Apostle! to the gentiles, (hich (ould have even confused the 9oman -overnor as being blatant impossible falsehood. Could Pilate sentence Jesus to death (hile ;erod (ould refuse to do so as (ould Agrippa and 3estusJ #E. :ashing >f The ;ands :hen Pilate sa( that he could prevail nothing, but rather that a tumult (as made, he too+ (ater, and (ashed his hands before the

multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this 2ust person, see ye to it! "*atthe( B&%BD'. This is reported only by *atthe(. There is no historical record that 9omans had any time adopted this Je(ish practice. *atthe( (riting for the Je(s seem to be garnishing his narration. ##. The Accusation And set up over his head his accusation (ritten, T;I= I= J7=?= T;7 5IN- >3 T;7 J7:=! "*atthe( B&%A&'. There is no record of such accusations being (ritten on victims of the 9oman crucifi)ions. 7ven for the t(o thieves (ho (ere crucified along (ith Jesus no such accusation is mentioned. John (riting later improves on this% they crucified him and t(o others (ith him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate (rote a little, and put it on the cross. And the (riting (as, J7=?= >3 NATA97T; T; 5IN- >3 T;7 J7:=. This title then read many of the Je(s% for the place (here Jesus (as crucified (as nigh to the city% and it (as (ritten in ;ebre(, and -ree+, and ,atin. Then said the chief priests of the Je(s to Pilate (rite not, the 5ing of the Je(sG but that he said, I am 5ing of the Je(s. Pilate ans(ered, (hat I have (ritten I have (ritten! "John #F%#H4BB'. ,et us put aside the difference in the accusation as 0uoted by *atthe( and John. :hat is perple)ing is (hether having declared the innocence of Jesus and (ashing his hands of the sin of the blood of this innocent man Pilate and his e)uberance (ould ta+e the trouble of (riting the accusation and more so in three languages.

In 9ome.s 1asilica of =anta Croce in -erusalemme there is a titulus!, a pu88ling piece of (or+ (ith an inscription 2ust decipherable as J7=?= >3 NATA97N7, 5IN- >3 T;7 J7:=, (ritten in -ree+, ,atin, and Aramaic "not in ;ebre('. This titulus! is said to have been discovered by ;elena, mother of Constantine the -reat, at the site of the ;oly =epulcher. =ome(hat unconvincingly the -ree+ and ,atin have been (ritten from right to left in the manner normal for Aramaic. It is generally considered to be a sharp fourth4century forgery. "Ian :ilson% Jesus, the 7vidence'. ,et us leave the matter at that. #B. The Time 3actor According to *ar+, *atthe( and John, Jesus (as brought to the 9oman governor.s court early in the morning. 1ut if the trial by the Je(ish Council too+ place after day4brea+ ",u+e B%LD' then Jesus could not have been ta+en to the Court until late in the morning. Pilate must have ta+en some time to come out in his proper robes to formally hear a grievous complaint. The drama of the trial, the moc+ery, the f logging, the trip to ;erod.s palace and bac+, the march to -olgotha outside the city, the preparations for crucifi)ion of the three condemned persons including the t(o robbersG all this must have consumed several hours. It is, therefore, doubtful if the hour of crucifi)ion (as nine in the morning! "*ar+ #$%B$'. *atthe( and ,u+e, (ho have other(ise borro(ed heavily from *ar+, also do not endorse this and prefer to remain silent. John is too busy ma+ing Pilate go in and out of his head0uarters carrying out pro)imity discussions (ith Jesus and his prosecutors. :ith all that activity Jesus (as still at the Court of Pilate by noon "John #F%#D' crucifi)ion could ta+e place only much later in the afternoon. The three synoptic -ospels agree that dar+ness fell over the (hole land at about mid4day and lasted until three hours in the afternoon!. John does not support this. :hatever the se0uence of things or the actual time table, it (as not earlier than three in the afternoon (hen Jesus is stated

to have said I thirst! and (as given (ineOvinegar on a hyssop and soon after breathed his last! "John #F%BH4AE'. Thus the total time bet(een being put on the Cross and dying is less than three to not more than si) hours. *ost li+ely it (as less than three hours if (e accept John.s inspired (ords. Could Jesus have died in such short time (hile the other t(o victims (ere still alive even later in the eveningJ Christian apologists faced (ith the glaring discrepancy have gone on to e)plain the difference in time record in the various -ospels. To be fair to them one such e)planation is% There are t(o possible solutions (hich carry reasonable (eight. >ne solution centers on the (ord @about. in John.s statement of the time. ;e reveals that it not (as not e)actly the si)th hour but only @about. this time!. Also, *ar+.s account does not force us to believe that it (as at @e)actly. F a.m. (hen Jesus (as put on the Cross! Another possibility is that John is using a different method of rec+oning time than *ar+. :e +no( for a fact, from Plutach, Pliny, Aulus -ellios and *acrobius, that 9omans calculated the civil day from midnight, 2ust as (e do today. Thus, John.s si)th hour (ould ma+e it L a.m. as the time of the last of the trials of Jesus, and ;is sentencing, giving ade0uate time for the events leading up to crucifi)ion (hich, in *ar+, (as at F a.m. or after(ards!. "Josh *c<o(ell and <on =te(art, Ans(ers tough Questions!' It is interesting that even the apologists find it a @tough 0uestion. and that, as they also admit in their boo+ This does indeed present a difficulty!. It seems difficult to decide (hich of their solution may be accepted for both carry reasonable (eight (ith them. The first solution% for @about. is far4fetched. It (ould mean that both *ar+ and John (ere ma+ing (ild appro)imations. >f course (e should be a(are that (hen *ar+ says F a.m. and John says si)th hour they are not rec+oning time the (ay (e (ould do today as F.#E a.m. or L.BE p.m. And so on. They (ould be saying

give or ta+e fifteen minute! in our modern 2argon. =o F a.m could be reasonably accepted as H.D$ to F.#$ and si)th hour could be ta+en as $.D$ to L.D$. I (ill allo( a further margin of a couple of minutes this (ay and that. 1ut to consider F a.m.! and @about si)th hour! loo+ing ali+e is about! too far to stretch/ The second solution% :e must reali8e that John is considered by fundamentalists to be the beloved disciple!, a thorough4bred Je( brought up in the traditions of the Je(s. ;is rec+oning of the time ought to be the same as that of *ar+ (ho (as not even from Judaea or =amaria. If he is the same *ar+ (ho (as nephe( of 1arnabas and about (hose conduct Paul fell off (ith 1arnabas then *ar+ (as from Cyprus. It (ould be further interesting to consider that if *ar+ had also began rec+oning time the same (ay as 2ohn, in (hich case And it (as third hour, and they crucified him! "5J6. *ar+ #$%B$' (ould mean that Jesus (as secretly crucified not long after mid4night or much before day brea+/ It may also seem rather odd that Pilate (ould give4in4to a mid4 night trial at his court for a little +no(n Je(.s blasphemer in order to be able to deliver his verdict at L a.m. after a long trial including even a trial at ;erod.s court. The e)planation also does not rec+on (ith ,u+e "BA%LL' (hich states that as soon as it (as day! the trial of Jesus (as started in the Je(ish Council. 1y this account John.s si) hour must mean noon or later. >bviously, not only the 0uestion is tough for the apologists, it is tough luc+ as (ell/ The discrepancy not only stays but is further be(ilders. #A. :ho Carried the CrossJ According to *ar+ "#$%B#', *atthe( "B&%AE', and ,u+e "BA%BL' Jesus (as spared the trouble of carrying the Cross on (hich he (as to be crucified. ;o(ever, John "#F%#&' asserts that he

carried his o(n cross. Jesus had said No one (ho does not carry his cross I can be disciple of mine! ",u+e #D%B&' and John could not but assert that Jesus did carry his o(n Cross even though the other three had mentioned that =imon of Cyrene (as made to carry the Cross. As *ar+ (as (riting his -ospel there must have been people around (ho may have seen =imon carry the cross for Jesus. John had no such constraints. It seems John.s version, inspired or other(ise, is not reliable. :hile =imon carried the Cross for Jesus, the other t(o victims (ere carrying their o(n. :hy this preferential treatment for JesusJ 7vidently those (ho (ere conspiring to save Jesus did not (ant Jesus to suffer too much. 7very little gesture (ill help to(ards his safety. This (ould not be the only preferential treatment accorded to Jesus in the 1iblical narrative. #D The <rugged :ineO6inegar =oon after reaching -olgotha, the place of crucifi)ion he (as offered drugged (ine! "*ar+ #$%BA'. Apparently this (as a humane gesture so that (hatever (as to be done to him could be done to him in a drugged or unconscious state, this (as apparently mi)ed (ith myrrh! but the later (riter *atthe( describes it as heartless 6inegar and gall! "B&%AD'. This may have been to sho( that this gesture, not accorded to other t(o victims, (as not a preferential one for Jesus but to further enhance the torture. This could also be an attempt to match this (ith a prophecy (herein the psalmist describes his o(n suffering (ith poetic e)aggeration% They gave me also gall for my meatG and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drin+! "Psalm LF%B#'. Could it be that Pilate, having decided that Jesus (as indeed innocent, too+ steps to ensure Jesus. safetyJ This could also have been due to the pleadings of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea, he may have instructed the centurion to ma+e it a moc+ crucifi)ion. This could be possible only if it (as ensured that the body did not move. Incase Jesus (ould not accept the drugged (ine the centurion (ould loo+ for another opportunity (hich (ill come not much later.

#$. The *anner of Crucifi)ion Crucifi)ion of criminals (as a common 9oman practice. It (as the means of slo( death in painful torture to be a manifest lesson of (hat could happen to those (ho dared to defy the 9oman po(er. About a hundred years before Jesus. crucifi)ion a band of some si) thousand gladiators and slaves, (ho had rebelled against 9ome, (ere defeated and captured by the roman -eneral *arcus ,ucinius -rassus and crucified (holesale along the road from 9ome to Capua. There they remained for several days, a testimony to 9oman po(er and terror. There (ere several manners of crucifi)ion. The victims (ere sometimes tied to the cross and sometimes nails (ere pierced through their (rists and an+les according to the amount of torture intended for them. The victim (ill have to bear the (eight of his body and tend to crouch so that he (ould need to push up and do(n in order to be able to breathe. The victim (ould ta+e t(o to three days to die in e)haustion and suffocation. A more @humane. (ay to hasten death (ould be to brea+ the victim.s legs so that he could not e)ert to breath and (ould die 0uic+er of suffocation. There (as also a manner of providing a saddle! bet(een the legs to bear the (eight of the body. This (ould ma+e the victim some(hat comfortable but enhance the torturous time period for the victim to die. The -ospels tell us that Jesus (as fastened! to the cross. The manner of fastening! is not indicated. It is from the apocryphal ,ost of -ospel of Peter! that (e learn that Jesus (as nailed! to the cross. After his so4called resurrection Jesus sho(s his hands to the doubting Thomas (ho had said unless I see my fingers into the place (here the nails (ere, and my hands into his side, I (ill not believe it! "John BE%B$'. 1elieve (hatJ 4 That Jesus had not been nailed to the cross and therefore did not dieJ >r, that Jesus (as indeed nailed to the crossG in (hich case it (ould be proof for his death but not of his resurrectionJ Jesus tells Thomas 9each your finger here, see my hands, reach your

fingers here and put it into my side. "John BE%B&'. :hat did Jesus mean by thatJ <id he imply loo+ I am the one (ho (as crucified but am alive as you can see! or loo+ for yourself I (as not nailed to the cross so the 0uestion of my death does not arise.! Ta+e your pic+ for the te)t is open to various interpretations. Thomas, in any case must have +no(n only second hand about the crucifi)ion. This (as happening a (ee+ after the Passover. The (ounds, if any, may not yet be fully healed. It (ould have been difficult for Jesus to (al+ around let alone roam around bet(een Jerusalem and 7mmaus. The -ospels also do not provide us (ith such essential details of Jesus. suffering as his pain and anguish as the nails (ere being hammered through his body. <id the robbers cry out in painJ <id the (ounds bleedJ It loo+s as if the three victims (ere not nailed but fastened (ith rope or the -ospels (ould have described the suffering. This (ould then imply more forcefully that steps (ere being ta+en to ensure that Jesus (ould not die on the Cross. #L. I Thirst! According to John Jesus +no(ing that all things (ere no( accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. No( there (as set a vessel full of vinegarG and they filled a sponge (ith vinegar and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. :hen Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finishedG and he bo(ed his head, and gave up the ghost! "John #F%BH4AE'. Apparently they gave him the same (ineOvinegar (hich had been mi)ed (ith myrrh. If Jesus felt thirsty and said so then he must have been conscious of himself at least to that e)tent. <eath (ould not come so suddenly. :hat could have happened is that after ta+ing the drugged drin+ he became unconscious. This (as the opportunity the centurion had been loo+ing for in order to ma+e it loo+ as if Jesus had died. Those (atching the spectacle of crucifi)ion must have

thought that he had indeed died. There is no (ay for a common man to distinguish bet(een an unconscious person and a dead person e)cept by feeling the pulse or heartbeat or the breath. In actual life there are innumerable instances of persons (ho having been declared dead even by 0ualified medical attendants have come bac+ to life!. A similar event is recorded in Acts "#D%#F4 BE'% They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city supposing he (as dead. 1ut (hen the disciples gathered about him he rose up and entered the city!. In the case of Jesus, no one even torched his body to ascertain his death 4 at least not the Je(s. #&. 74loi, 74loi, ,ama =abachthani It is three in the afternoon of that 3riday of the Crucifi)ion. Jesus has been hanging on the cross for three, or perhaps si), hours. In unendurable pain he cries out loud% 7loi, 7loi, ,ama =abachtaniJ! 4 *y -od, *y -od, (hy hast though forsa+en meJ "*ar+ #$%AD'. *ar+ (ho had been a Je( himself must have felt that even though he (as (riting in -ree+, the true effect of that tragic cry could be had only by the very (ords that Jesus may have uttered at that dar+ moment. :e (ish (e could have access to more of the original (ords of Jesus in his Aramaic tongue in order to understand his message. ?nfortunately all these (ords have been lost, either through neglect or deliberate obliteration. :hat has come to us is mostly through -ree+. 7ven the (ords 7loi, 7loi, ,ama =abachthani by *ar+ are given as 7li, 7li ,ama =abachtani by *atthe( "B&% DL'. ,u+e does not 0uote these (ords as according to him (hat Jesus actually said (as 3ather, into thy hands I commend my spirit! "BA%DL'. John (ould no paint a picture of Jesus, the =avior, in despair so he ma+es him say It is finished! "#F%AE'. :as Jesus really in agonyJ It must be. 7ven before crucifi)ion,

he had (ith anguish and dismay said to his disciples% *y heart is ready to brea+ (ith grief .. ;e PrayedG @*y 3ather, if it is possible let this cup pass me by. Cet not as I (ill, but as thou (ilt.. ;e prayed this again and again "*atthe( BL%AL4DD, ,u+e BB%D#4DA'. ,et us set aside the doctrinal 0uestion (hether the (ill of Jesus could be different from that of -od, the 3ather. If Jesus, the =on of -od, (as being offered as a sacrificial lamb for atonement of the sins of man+ind, they (hy (ould he (ant this @cup. to be ta+en a(ay from himJ ;e should have ta+en this cup gladly as many martyrs had done before him and since then. :hy (ould -od, the =on! (ant to shir+ from something for (hich he had come do(n to earth allegedly on the directive of -od, the 3ather!J In any case, did -od forsa+e Jesus, ;is >nly begotten =on!J 3rom various passages from 1ible itself (e learn that the ,ord is far from the (ic+edG but he heareth the prayer of the righteous! "Proverbs #$%BF''G The fear of ,ord prolongs life, but the years of the (ic+ed (ill be short! "Proverbs #E%#&'G the fear of the (ic+ed (ill come upon him, but the desire of the righteous shall be granted! "Proverbs #E%BD'G *any are the aff lictions of the righteous but the ,ord delivers him out of all! "Psalm AD%#F'G -od does not listen to the sinners but he listens to anyone (ho is devote and obeys his (ill! "John F%A#4AB'. 7ven Jesus himself had assertedG ;e (ho sent me is present (ith me, he has not left me alone! "John F%BF'. It is not li+ely that Jesus (ould have complained about -od having forsa+en him. Cet it is all the more unli+ely that after Jesus having made his prayer -od (ill not come to the rescue of the righteous man Jesus, let alone his >nly begotten =on!/ thin+est thou that I

cannot no( pray to my 3ather, and he shall presently give me more than t(elve legions of angelsJ! "*atthe( BL%$A'. ;ere no( (as the appeal made by Jesus for divine interference. And so, at that moment the curtain of the temple (as torn in t(o from top to bottom, there (as an earth0ua+e, the roc+s split and graves opened and many of -od.s saints (ere raised from sleep! "*atthe( B&%$#4$A'. All this must have been a sign of god.s help to Jesus. :e mortals under4estimate the po(ers and the (ays of -od. There (as the option to @snatch. him a(ay as (ould later happen in the case of Philip "Acts H%DE' or the angels could have (his+ed a(ay Jesus as supposedly they did (ith Peter "Acts #B'. Indeed this is (hat is stated to have happened according to the -ospel of 1arnabas. 1ut (e cannot produce this evidence since this is not acceptable to the Christians. -od had a better plan. Jesus (as thus made to come off A,I67 from the Cross/ 7li, 7li, ,ama =abachthani is, in fact plagiari8ed, the opening line from Psalm BB (hich also includes a number of so4called prophecies% *y -od, *y -od, :hy hast thou forsa+en meJ &. All they that see me laugh me to scornG they shoot out the lip, they sha+e the head, saying. H. ;e trusted on the ,ord that he (ould deliver himG let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. #L. 3or dogs have compassed meG the assembly of the (ic+ed have enclosed meG they pierced my hands and feet. #&. I may tell all my bonesG they loo+ and stare upon me. #H. They part my garments among them and cast lots upon my vesture. BD. II (hen he cried unto him, he heard. It is ama8ing ho( prophetic this psalm proved to be. >r, did the -ospel (riters deliberately narrate the crucifi)ion story to fit the PsalmJ The (ay the -ospel (riters have brought in various

prophecies! in their te)ts it is obvious that this (as their favorite method of creating ratings. It (as according to the spirit and trend of the time/ :e should be particularly interested in verse BD% (hen he cried unto him, he heard.. If other parts of the prophecy! (ere fulfilled (e can also conclude that 7li, 7li, ,ama =abacthani! did not go unheard. he shall call upon me, and I (ill ans(er himG I (ill be (ith him in troubleG I (ill deliver him, and honor him! "Psalm F#%#$'. It seems the -ospel (riters overloo+ed this particular prophecy!/ >bviously it did not fit into their story because it did not suit them. :e also +no( of another prophecy! according to (hich Jesus (as to have been named as I**AN?7, "-od (ith us'. Curiously, Jesus (as never so named. Could it be that the prophecy (as fulfilled in -od being (ith Jesus at that crucial moment, rather than forsa+ing himJ Jesus (ent into a merciful s(oon and (as ta+en off A,I67 from the Cross. #H. 1rea+ing of the ,egs John "#F%A#4AA' relates ho( the Je(s (ent to Pilate and told him that the ne)t day being =abbath, and especially the Passover, they (ould li+e the bodies of victims to be ta+en off. This re0uired brea+ing of the legs in order to ma+e them die 0uic+er. =oldiers then bro+e the legs of one of the criminals on one side of Jesus, then those of the second on the other side of Jesus, and (hen they came to Jesus they sa( that he (as dead already @they brea+ not his legs.. It is clear that the t(o criminals had not died after having been on the cross for three to si) hours 4 perhaps as long as nine hours or longer as their legs (ere bro+en to(ards the evening. Jesus is very unli+ely to have died by three in the afternoon (hen he (as given drugged (ineOvinegar. ;e (as therefore li+ely to be

unconscious (hen the soldiers came to him. ;e (as not dead but A,I67 and it (as only part of the conspiracy that the soldiers spared him. An interesting part of John.s version, (hich is not narrated by any other -ospel, is that he also brings in yet another prophecy. in his usual manner% 3or these things (ere done that the scripture shall be fulfilled. A bone of him shall not be bro+en! "John #F%AL'. This is a reference to Psalm "AD%AF'. ;e "the ,ord ' +eepeth all his "the righteous one.s' bonesG not one of them is bro+en.. :hether or not it actually prophesi8ed Jesus. body I do not +no(. John presents Jesus as a sacrificial lamb (hich had to be unblemished. 3or it is commanded% thou shalt not sacrifice unto the ,ord, thy -od, any bulloc+, or sheep (herein is a blemishII! "<euteronomy #&%#'. Jesus (as more than blemished so (ould not be an acceptable sacrifice. Neither shall you brea+ a bone thereof ! "7)odus #B%DL'. It is significant to note that (hile the soldiers first bro+e that of one bandit, then s+ipped Jesus, bro+e the legs of the second bandit and then came bac+ to Jesus only to find that he (as already dead, or so he loo+ed. This contradicts the earlier report that he died at three in the afternoon, because even the soldiers (ho (ere the nearest to the condemned seemed not to be a(are even by the evening time (hether Jesus had indeed died.

#F. Piercing of his side John is not content (ith 2ust one prophecy% And again another scripture saith, they shall loo+ on him (hom they pierced! "John #F%A&'. The prophecy! referred to here is from Techariah "#B%#E'G II they shall loo+ upon me (hom they have pierced,

and they shall mourn for himI! ?nfortunately (e may not agree (ith John for he ta+es only a part of a sentence out of its content. John fits the prophecy! to the crucifi)ion by telling us that one of the soldiers (ith a spear pierced his side and forth(ith came there not blood and (ater! "John #F%AD'. =ynoptic gospels do not record any such instance. 7ven if it did happen that one of the soldiers pierced the side of Jesus then it is hardly li+ely that blood (ould come out of the body (hich had already been dead for more than three hours. Coming out of blood only confirms that Jesus or (hoever (as on the cross must have been A,I67 for dead bodies do not bleed/ This act further confirms that even the soldiers (ere not sure if Jesus had already died. "<oubting soldiers K <oubting Thomas K <oubting 9eader/' BE. The :ounds Could Jesus, or (hoever, die from the (ounds he may have sustained even if he (as nailed to the crossJ ?nless Jesus bled profusely, and the -ospels do not tell us so, then it is highly unli+ely that he could die of the (ounds. The 2ab on the side (ould also be not enough to +ill him even though it is stated to have been made only to chec+ if he (as dead. B#. =uffocation The t(o criminals did not suffocate in nine hours. There is no reason (hy Jesus or (hoever (ould die in that time. Could he have cho+ed (ith the (ineOvinegarJ This (ould indicate a violent cough (hich did not ta+e place. Jesus, or (hoever, 2ust s(ooned and loo+ed as if he breathed his last. ;e lost his consciousness due to the drugged (ineOvinegar. ;e (as A,I67 BB. The =torm 1y no( it (as mid4day and dar+ness fell over the (hole land, (hich lasted three in the afternoonG the sun.s light failed. And the curtain of the temple (as torn in t(o. Then Jesus gave a loud

cry and I. <ied Ithe cro(d (ho had assembled for the spectacle, (hen they sa( (hat had happened (ent home beating their breasts! ",u+e BA%DD4DH'. The cro(d (ould have consisted of t(o types of peopleG those (ho had assembled for the spectacle! and had little sympathy for Jesus, and those (ho (ere there because of their concern for Jesus. The first type of cro(d must have scattered as the storm started raging. >nly the determined and really concerned ones (ould be around by three in the afternoon. After Jesus died! they too (ent home. Perhaps Jesus., or (hoevers, o(n near relatives and (omen from -alilee could have stayed bac+ until burial. 7ven so, as (e learn from the burial accounts, there (ere only a couple of (omen (ho (ere around and none of them had the opportunity to touch the body BA. Tribute of the Centurion No( (hen the centurion, and they that (ere (ith him (atching Jesus, sa( the earth0ua+e, and those things that (ere done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this (as the =on of -od! "*atthe( B&%$D'. :hy should this pagan 9oman declare that only Jesus, out of the three on the crosses at -olgotha, (as the =on of -odJ To a 9oman =on of -od! (ould obviously mean @a great hero. nothing to do (ith the connotation that Christians attach to this (ord. 7ven to the Je(s it (ould either mean blasphemy or it (ould 2ust connote holy prophet hood. The Centurion must have had at least some feeling before4hand of Jesus. innocence and holiness. ;e must have been sympathetic to him before4 hand. Perhaps, Pilate had told him of his (ife.s premonition and directed him to be careful (ith him to ensure that he did not die. BD. The 6irgin *ary If there is any truth in John.s statement that near the cross (here Jesus hung stood his mother, (ith her sister, *ary (ife of Clopas and *ary *agdalene! "John #F%B$', then it is most

unli+ely that she (ould also leave (ith the cro(d until Jesus had been buried. In the Cathedral of =t. Peter in 9ome there is the famous statue called PI7TA by *ichelangelo sho(ing dead Jesus lying in the lap of his mother. John does not mention this. 7ven *ichelangelo (as imagining things. *ary (as no(here around (hen Jesus (as ta+en off the cross and ta+en for burial. At least that is the impression (e got from the -ospels. :here (as sheJ It is obvious that she, along (ith her other sons and sister, (as on the (ay to -alilee (here Jesus had promised to meet them. This is (hy the synoptic -ospels do not sho( them at the site of crucifi)ion. 7)cept for a small mention of her presence much later "Acts #%#D' (e do not hear of her anymore. B$. Pilate.s Astonishment :hen the evening came it (as time to ta+e off the dead bodies from the crosses. Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counselor I (ent in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marveled if he (ere already deadG and calling unto him the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph! "*ar+ #$%DD'. This underlines the fact that Jesus (as not e)pected to die in such a short time. Pilate had to get confirmation from the centurion if his instructions had been follo(ed. It (as so confirmed!, and the body of the ,I6IN- Jesus, or (hoever, (as handed over to Joseph. It is notable that (hile Joseph (ent in boldly to crave the dead! body he, or anyone else, is not reported to have said anything to defend him. It seems they may have already plotted the se0uence of events to save him from dying perhaps +no(ing that it (ill be fruitless to plead his innocence (hich might ma+e the matter (orse. BL. 6erification of <eath If the Je(s (ere an)ious to +ill Jesus and also suspected foul play, then they must also be an)ious to verify his death. =trangely this (as left entirely to the centurion and his soldiers. Je(s themselves (ere busy in their preparation for the Passover. The soldiers left to themselves (ent through nominal motions but

(ere in fact ensuring that Jesus, or (hoever, remained A,I67. B&. No 1urial 1ath None of the -ospels indicate if Jesus. body (as given the ritual bath before burial. This (ould be unusual. It only confirms that Jesus (as in fact not dead and Joseph and Nicodemus (ere only going through certain motions to cover up their conspiracy. There (as no need for the burial bath because Jesus, or (hoever, (as A,I67/ BH. The =pices All the three =ynoptic -ospel tell us that Joseph too+ the body, (rapped it up and put it in the tomb. John brings in Nicodemus as (ell (ith a mi)ture of myrrh and aloes, but about a hundred pound (eight. Then too+ they the body of Jesus and (ound it in linen clothes (ith the spices, the manner of the Je(s is to bury! "John #F%AF,DE'. *ost li+ely Nicodemus must have brought the mi)ture to resuscitate the unconscious body. BF. The =epulcher No( at the place (here he had been crucified there (as a garden, and in the garden a ne( tomb, not yet used for burial. There because the tomb (as near at hand and it (as the eve of the Je(ish =abbath, they laid Jesus! "John #F%D#4DB'. ;o( convenient that everything (as at hand. >r (as it deliberately plannedJ *ar+ "#$%DL' says that the tomb (as cut out of the roc+. *atthe( tells us that it (as Joseph of Arimathaea.s o(n used tomb. ,u+e corroborates this. It may not seem a mere coincidence that Joseph hailed from Arimathaea, not Jerusalem/ It may not be very unusual for him to have a house and a garden in Jerusalem for he (as a rich man. ;e could also have a family tomb in that garden. 1ut having a ne(ly he(n tomb near the place of crucifi)ion seems more than 2ust a coincidence. It is most li+ely that he had the tomb especially he(n out for safe+eeping of Jesus., or (hoevers., body.

The tomb (as rather a large one so that both Peter and John, the disciple (ho had reached first "John BE%#H' could go in. *ary *agdalena sa( t(o angels sitting in the tomb "John BE%#B'. In fact, as *ar+ tells us they 4 *ary *agdalene, *ary the mother of James and =alomie 4 (ent into the tomb and sa( a youth sitting there! "*ar+ #$%#$'. ,u+e tells us that (hen these (omen (ent in t(o men in da88ling garments (ere at their side ",u+e BD%D,$'. =o here (e have at least five people in the tomb (ith place to spare for (here the body h ad laid and no( lay the burial linen. :as such a tomb specially prepared for safe+eeping a ,I67 personJ The circumstances indicate that this (as indeed a part of the effort to +eep Jesus, or (hoever, A,I67. AE. The 1urial If the tomb (as he(n out of roc+ then it must have been a roc+y area. The body (as ta+en off the cross late in the evening. Joseph and Nicodemus (ould have needed light to carry out their tas+. >nly t(o nights earlier those (ho had to come to arrest Jesus in the garden of -ethsemane had come e0uipped (ith lanterns and torches! "John#H%A'. Joseph (as a man of substantial means. =o (as Nicodemus. Joseph (ent in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus! "*ar+ #$%DA'. There (as no( no need to +eep the process secretive. They could have sought the help of some of their (or+ers and arranged for light. 1ut this (as no ordinary burial. This (as a conspiracy to save Jesus. They (ere going through the motions in case someone may be (atching. And there (ere these (omen observing ho( his body (as laid! "*ar+ #$%D&' if Jesus (as really dead then (ould these disciples of Jesus be so heartless as not to allo(, indeed invite, these (omen to have a last loo+ at the dead body of their ,ord and *aterJ ;ardly understandable 4 unless, of course, Jesus, or (hoever, (as not dead and they (ould ta+e no rest lest the secret be lea+ed out. Jesus, or (hoever, (as

therefore A,I67 and they could not as+ the (omen to come and touch him. Those (omen on their part must also have reali8ed the delicateness of the situation and did not as+ to be sho(n the body instead they (ent home and prepared spices and ointments! ",u+eBA%$L' that they (ould need to apply to the (ounded body of Jesus to promote healing. They had seen ho( his body (as laid! ",u+e BA%$$' and +ne( he (as A,I67 and in safe hands. A#. The =hroud In the Cathedral of Turin there is a piece of linen fourteen feet in length, bearing apparent imprints of a crucified body. It is claimed that this is the piece of cloth (hich Joseph of Arimathaea used for (rapping the body of the crucified Jesus. It is often stated that unless the shroud is a fa+e, it is most li+ely that Jesus (as actually (rapped in this very cloth. ,et us lay aside the fa+e theory, even though most protestant scholars dismiss the shroud as a 9oman Catholic superstition. :hat if the shroud is an authentic burial cloth circa the period of Jesus. crucifi)ionJ It does not prove that Jesus (as the one (rapped in this cloth. It could mean that someone else enduring the crucifi)ion events as of Jesus himself, may have been (rapped in this cloth. It does not prove that it (as Jesus (ho had been (rapped in it. The shroud, if it is authentic, (ill only prove that the description in John (hich implies (inding it in linen clothes! "N71% =trips' (ould not be correct. In fact ,u+e also reports Peter seeing strips of linen lying by themselves! "BD %#B,916, NI6'. *anuscripts differ (hether 6erse #B describing Peter.s visit to the tomb is authentic. N71 omits it. There (as also a nap+in (hich had been over his head not lying (ith the (rappings but rolled together in a place by itself ! "John BE%&'. It

is evident that either the =hroud of Turin is a fa+e or 2ohn (as fabricating things out of his mind, perhaps both. :hat is fact is not +no(n any(ay/ AB. The Posting of the -uards *atthe( is the only one (ho tells us that on the very day of the Passover the Chief Priests and Pharisees reali8ed that that deceiver said (hile he (as yet alive, After here days I (ill rise again! "*atthe( B&%LA'. It is strange that this thought came so late after(ards. =o, they as+ed Pilate to have a guard put at the sepulcher. Pilate said unto them, ye have a (atch, go our (ay, ma+e it as sure as ye can! "*atthe( B&%L$'. Pilate must have +no(n that it (ill be of no effect no(. The body must have been (his+ed a(ay already/ =o they (ent, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a (atch! "*atthe( B&%LL'. It seems hard to believe that the Je(s (ill place so much emphasis on Jesus. alleged sayings (hen even his disciples did not have any such idea. 7ven after they received the ne(s they (ould not believe it 3or as yet they I +ne( not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead!. The (hole episode loo+s li+e an afterthought of the -ospel (riter. Ne)t day (hen *ary *agdalene and her companions (ent to see the sepulcher, there (as a great earth0ua+eG for the angel of the ,ord descended from heave, and came and rolled bac+ the stone from the door! "*atthe( BH%B'. ;e told them he is not here for he is risen! "*atthe( BH%L'. :hen the guard told this to the Chief Priests as to (hat happened, they gave them large sums of money =aying, say ye, ;is disciples came by night and stole him a(ay (hile (e slept! "*atthe(BH%#A'. Nice one 4 good save/ >ne may (onder ho( could they say this if they (ere asleep and did not see (ho too+ the body/ It is intriguing that (hile the guards shoo+ (ith fear and lay li+e the dead! at the sight of the angel, the (omen stood there unperturbed/

This is a far4fetched e)planation. No 9oman guard (ould dare to sleep on duty much less admit it. This story may have been fabricated much later. If Jesus did rise in f lesh! he should have (al+ed out at the time the stone (as removed. Actually he had been (his+ed out before the guard sealed the stone. AA. The >pening of the Tomb *ar+, ,u+e and John do not report posting of any guard at the sepulcher. According to them (hen *ary *agdalene and her companions arrived at the site, the stone had already been rolled a(ay and Jesus (as not there, dead or alive. According to *atthe(, Jesus disappeared from behind the sealed stone. ;e could not have done so in the f lesh! unless he had been (his+ed a(ay before arrival of the guard. AD. *ary *agdalene and ;er Companions :ho (ere these (omen any(ayJ ,u+e tells us I..and the t(elve (ere (ith him and certain (omen (hich had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, *ary called *agdalene, out of (hom (ent seven devils, and Joanna I..! ",u+e H% #4A'. <o (e credit these (omen of sufficient credence accept their version of Jesus. rising from the deadJ The disciples said nonsense! for their (ords seemed as idle tales, and they believed them not! ",u+e BD%##'. No( if they (ere smart enough they must have reali8ed from ho( his body (as laid! ",u+e BA%$A' that there (as something unusual in the burial process. This must be the reason (hy they prepared the spices for anointing the body ",u+e BA%$L'. It is interesting that after this episode these ladies are not heard of ever again. :here did all these ladies goJ Could they have gone after their ,ord and *aster (herever he had been ta+enJ >r did se)ist Christian doctrine (rite them out of historyJ A$. :hy Anoint The <ead 1ody

-ranted that it may have been the custom to apply perfumes and spices to a dead body. 1ut on that =unday morning Jesus had been lying dead! for more than one day. These religious (omen (ho (ere particular in observing the =abbath (ould be defiling themselves in handling the dead body especially in its putrefying state. Joseph and Nicodemus had already applied a hundred pound (eight of myrrh and aloe and there (as hardly any need to apply some more. The tomb must be stin+ing from the loathsome smell of the putrefying body. :hy did they (ant to do thatJ It is because they +ne( that they (ill be handling a ,I67 Jesus (ho.s (ounded and sore and body (ould need these ointments to recuperate. AL. The ?nused >intment Then too+ *ary a pound of ointment of spi+enard, very costly, and anointed the feet of JesusI.then saith one of disciples I..(hy (as not this ointment sold for three hundred penceIthen said Jesus, let her aloneG against the day of my burying hath she +ept this! "John #B%A4&' Cet (hen the =abbath (as past, *ary *agdalene, and *ary the mother of Jams, and =alome had bought s(eet spices, that they might come and anoint him! "*ar+ #L%##'. :hy did these (omen have to buy the spices and not use the un4 used spi+enard perfumeJ =imply because time for burying Jesus had not yet come. 9ather he needed healing for (hich the (omen (ent and bought s(eet spices.. A&. :hy :ait Till =unday If *ary of *agdalene and her companions (anted to anoint the dead body of Jesus then (hy did they (ait till =unday by (hich time the body must have started to putrefyJ :hy did they not go on =aturday (hen the body (as still in a better stateJ :e could say that they (ere afraid of the Je(s!. 1ut this is all the more reason for going on the =abbath day (hen the Je(s (ere celebrating the Passover festival. People (ill be out on streets on

=unday and if there (as reason to be afraid of on a =aturday then it (as more so on that =unday. -ranting that these (ere devoted, pious, religious (omen (anting to observe the commandment to rest on =abbath. 1ut here (as their ,ord and *ater.s body needing, if it did need, their attention. *ost li+ely they did go on =aturday to loo+ after the ailing Jesus (ho had already established the tradition of healing the sic+ on a =abbath. ;e restored the eyes of a blind man "John F%#D', cured the leper by the side of the pool of 1ethesda "John $' as (ell as healed the man (ith the (ithered arm all on a =abbath day and said It is permitted to do good on the =abbath! "*atthe( #B%#B'. :hen these (omen (ent there on =unday they had not +no(n that by then guards had been posted there and, more important, Jesus, or (hoever, had been (his+ed a(ay even before the guards (ere posted. AH. The Angels According to *atthe( the angel told *ary *agdalene and her companionsG ;e has been raised from the dead and is going on before you into -alilee! "*atthe( BH%&'. ,u+e tells us that t(o men in da88ling garments appeared beside the tomb! ",u+e BD%D'. These must also be angels as John "BE%#B' tells us. The message of these angels (as% :hy see+ ye the living among the deadJ! ",u+e BD%#$'. >bviously the spirits do not ma+e secret rende8vous. *ary *agdalene, the lady (ith the seven devils, must have imagined these angels for angels did not appear to any of the other disciples. =he already +ne( of the -alilean rende8vous. There (as no need for angels to appear to confirm this nor even to tell her and her companions that the tomb (as empty for that (as 0uite apparent to the eye. Appearance of angels (as also not necessary to convey the ne(s that Jesus had been raised!. >ne could not believe such fantastic ne(s on the (ord of strangers. <isciples did not believe it and called it non4 sense!. Thomas (as practical (hen he insisted that he could not

believe it unless he himself verified the fact. Thomas (as not doubting! but (as only being pragmatic. Thus appearance of the angels has nothing to do (ith the raising of Jesus and has been brought inn only to provide a holy testimony to the narration conveyed by *ary *agdalene, the lady (ith the seven devils. AF. The -ardener :hen *ary *agdalene found that the body of Jesus (as missing she started crying. 1ut (hen she turned herself bac+, and sa( Jesus standing, and +ne( not that it (as JesusI. =he supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, =ir, if thou have borne him thenceG tell me (here thou has laid him, and I (ill ta+e him a(ay! "John BE%##4#$'. There should be no doubt that she (as tal+ing of a living man. If she meant buried him! then there (as no 0uestion of ta+ing him a(ay. In any case (here, ho( and (hy (ould this Je(ess carry the dad body openly if she (ould be afraid of the Je(s!J Jesus (hom she mistoo+ as a gardener (as already in disguise and ready to leave for -alilee. Perhaps this may have happened even on =aturday and if she did disclose it later on =unday then she (as allo(ing time for him to escape. Any(ay, (hether =aturday or =unday, he (as fully disguised. If he did go to 7mmaus then that too (as on (ay to -alilee. ;e could not be returning to Jerusalem, and danger. The earliest -ospel of *ar+ tells us only that he (ent to -alilee. DE. Jesus. Ne( Clothes 9emember (hen ,a8arus (as raised! he got out of the tomb in his burial clothesJ "John ##% DF'. If Jesus left his linen shroud, or strips, (hatever (as the burial material, in the sepulcher then (here did he get his ne( clothes especially (hen his o(n clothes had been divided by the 9oman soldiers among themselvesJ ?nless the angels brought him a ne( change of clothes, (e must e)pect that someone from this very earth provided him (ith the gardener.s garb.

D#. Touch *e Not :hen *ary *agdalene recogni8ed Jesus in his gardener.s garb she (anted to touch his feet. Jesus stopped her saying Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended unto my 3ather! "John BE%#&'. 1y this he did not mean to say that she could touch him (hen he has ascended, for that (ill not be possible. :hat he obviously meant (as% <o not (orry, I am not dead, I am A,I67, I did not die/ 1ut please do not touch me for it hurts. DB. >n 9oad to 7mmaus The disguise of Jesus in gardener.s clothes must have been very good so that his o(n disciples could not recogni8e him on the road to 7mmaus. :hen they did recogni8e him, he disappeared and then reappeared behind closed doors in Jerusalem it must all be a vision! for there is no reason for Jesus to be running around. People in f lesh do not go around disappearing or appearing behind closed doors. In fact stories must have been concocted to distract his enemies and persecutors. DA. 1eing ;ungry :hen Jesus appeared to his disciples behind closed doors he as+ed them if they had any meatJ They gave him a piece of broiled fish and a piece of honey comb. ;e too+ it and did eat before them!. ;e did this to prove to them of his human nature of f lesh and bones. As he told them a spirit hath no f lesh and no bones! ",u+e BD%A&4DA'. ;e also had brea+fast (ith his disciples besides the ,a+e in -alilee "John B#'. 9esurrected persons are li+e angels or spirits! "*atthe( BB%AE'. They do not need nourishment. ?nless Jesus had only eaten to sho( that he could eat, it (ould have been a pretense 4 something deceitful! "Albert =ch(ei8er, @In Quest of the ;istorical Jesus.'. =ince Jesus ate li+e a human being, he could not have been resurrected after death. ;e never died. ;e had been A,I67.

DD. The =ecret 9ende8vous :hen *ary *agdalene and the other *ary came to see the =epulchre, the angel told them to go 0uic+ly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the deadG and behold, he goeth before you into -alilee, there shall ye see him! "*atthe( BH%&'. These (omen (ere going (hen Jesus appeared to them and said% go tell my brethren that they go into -alilee, and there they shall see me! "*atthe( BH%#E'. Then eleven disciples (ent a(ay into -alilee, in a mountain (here Jesus had appointed them! "*atthe( BH%#L'. ,u+e does not mention this rende8vous but ta+es Jesus to 7mmaus and bac+ in Jerusalem (here he appears to his disciples behind closed doors and tells them to Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem ..! ",u+e BD%DF' and then going to 1ethany ascends to heaven. John does not repeat the 7mmaus story but mentions Jesus. t(o appearances to his disciples behind closed doors in Jerusalem and the third in -alilee. If Jesus did indeed go to -alilee and this (as the preplanned rende8vous then it is obvious that Jesus, or (hoever, +ne( that he (ill be alive as live can be. If Jesus (as in his resurrected spiritual body! then he did not need a preplanned rende8vous. ,u+e.s account ought to have been sufficient. D$. The 7ye :itnesses to 9esurrection It is often claimed that resurrection of Jesus is the evidence itself that Jesus died on the Cross. :e do not see ho( this can be deduced. In any case, for the sa+e of curiosity, and to ma+e the record straight let us e)amine the evidence on resurrection. The Creed! recorded in I Corinthians "#$%A4H' is the earliest record of resurrection% IChrist died of our sins according to the scriptures

and that he (as buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. And that he (as seen of Cephas, then of t(elve. After that he (as seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of (hom the greater part remain unto this present but some are fallen asleep. After that he (as seen of JamesG then all the apostles. And last of all he (as seen of me also,I!. ;e does not mention *ary of *agdalene and her companions/ Apparently Paul received this information on his first visit to Jerusalem after his o(n seeing of Jesus!. If Paul also +ne( that five hundred! persons had seen the resurrected Jesus, as he did mention this 7pistle to the Corinthians, being one of his early epistles, then this fact must have also been +no(n to the -ospels (riters. Intriguingly none of the four canonical -ospels recorded this fantastic phenomenon. Apparently even they dismissed this incidence as a mere (ild tal+, too much for people to stomach. In fact Paul sa(! Jesus in a trance% Ihe came near <amascus. And suddenly there shined around him a light from heaven. And he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto himIand the men (hich 2ourney (ith him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no manI (hen his eyes (ere opened he sa( no manI! "Acts F%A4H'. The te)t is not clear s to (hat he actually sa(. 1ut apparently he (as tal+ing to Jesus. If he sa(! Jesus, then none of his companions sa( him. =ince visions! or hallucinations cannot be shared e)periences, it is doubtful that his companions even heard any voice. At least they did not see Jesus in person!. Could the e)periences of others be similarJ If Peter really sa(! *oses and 7li2ah ",5 F%BH4AL' then it does not mean that he sa( their resurrected bodies/ 7ven Ananis sa( Jesus only in a vision "Acts F%#E'. Paul.s statement if the road rise not, then is not Christ raised! "I Corinthians #$%#L' seems to imply only to spiritual rising. 3urthermore having never seen Jesus in his life time it is 0uite reasonable to as+ (hether the vision that Paul sa( (as really that of Jesus. 7very year people see *ary all over the (orld K supposedly.

DL. No =earch for The 1ody If it did become +no(n to the Je(s that Jesus. body (as missing then they ought to have mounted an immediate search. They had feared that the disciples (ill steal the body so that the last error shall be (orse than the first! "*ar+ B&%LD'. They should have caught hold of the discipes in order to get the truth out of them. Nothing of this sort happened. 3irst of all it seems doubtful if any guards (ere at all posted at the tomb. The story must have been concocted later (hen people may have been as+ing that if Jesus really foretold his resurrection then (hy did the Je(s not post guards at the tomb. It seems li+ely that the myth concerning rising from the dead developed some(hat later (hen rumors about Jesus. meeting (ith his disciples started lea+ing out. D&. No Public 7)citement If Jesus indeed rose from the dead then the very ne(s should have electrified the population of Jerusalem. The mere missing of the dead body if indeed it became +no(n at least to the guards and certain of the Je(s could not have been +ept as a secret for very long. The disciples to (hom Jesus appeared in person ought to have proclaimed the resurrection immediately unless Jesus specifically told them to +eep it a secret as he has been directing them concerning his being a *7==IA; "*atthe( F%AE, #B%#L, #L%BE'. People of Jerusalem ought to have thronged the site of the tomb to see the miracle. Nothing of this sort happened. In fact no such story (as told until much later. The disciples +ept their secret for the safety of Jesus. Je(s must have treated the (hole story as nonsense!. 9omans must have been bemused, content (ith the +no(ledge that Jesus had already been (his+ed a(ay to safety. DH. The Proclamation :e are told that The disciples proclaimed the resurrection story

in Jerusalem, in the place Jesus had been +illed and buried I a po(erful argument for the validity of the resurrection story!. "Josh *c<o(ell and <on =te(art'. :e do not get any indication from the -ospels that any such proclamation (as made in Jerusalem at an early stage. The appearances of resurrected Jesus! (ere secret to a select fe(. There is no record of (here and (hen he appeared to the five hundred! giving instructions through the ;oly =pirit to the apostles (hom he had chosen, he (as ta+en up to heaven. ;e sho(ed himself to these men after his death, and gave ample proof that he (as A,I67% >ver a period of forty days he appeared to themI.. :hile he (as in their company in Jerusalem he told them not to leave Jerusalem. @Cou must (ait., he saidI..! "Acts #%B4D' this for at least forty days the +no(ledge of resurrection (as confined only to the apostles. It (as much later that Peter stood up before the assembled brotherhood, about one hundred and t(enty in all! "Act #%#$' to inform them of their (itness to resurrection! It is only at the time of Pentecost that the proclamation as made "Acts B%BD' that -od raised him to life again!. 1ut that time it (as too late to verify anything. Jesus had already ascended to heaven or (herever. No( it (as the (ord of the apostles that one could believe or disbelieve. It has been argued that The disciples of Jesus had no reason to steal the body, and if they did, they later died for something they +ne( to be untrue!. "Josh *c<o(ell and <on =te(art, Ans(ers t(o Tough Questions'. This, of course, presupposes stealing a dead! body. The conte)t (ill be entirely different if they (ere stealing not a dead but a very much ,I67 Jesus (hose safety lay in clouding any information about his being alive. An important 0uestion% ;o( do (e +no( if these apostles (ere really teaching about a bodily resurrected Jesus as Pauline doctrine (ould have us believeJ After all they (ere not teaching (hat Paul had been tal+ing and unli+e Paul that too to the Je(s only!. There is, ho(ever, a possibility as (as stated by none other than Paul% If the truth of -od brings him all the greater honor because of my falsehood, (hy should I any longer be condemned as a

sinnerJ! "9omans A%&'. It is sometimes stressed that the apostles may in fact be telling the truth (hen they tal+ed of Jesus. resurrection. In vie( of Jesus. po(ers of hypnosis, it is possible that he prepared his disciples for his resurrection using the techni0ue that modern hypnotists call post K hypnotic suggestion. 1y this means he could have effectively conditioned them to hallucinate his appearances in response to certain pre4arranged cues "the brea+ing of the breadJ', for a predetermined period after his death! "Ian :ilson, Jesus% The 7vidence, page #D#'. If so for the dead Jesus, (hy not so for the ,I67 JesusJ Thus it is possible that (hile Jesus (as being ta+en to safety, the apostles remained una(are of this and had hypnotic e)periences of a Jesus risen from the dead!, an e)perience (hich only this close group may have had. DF. Joseph and Nicodemus It loo+s odd that (e do not hear of Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus after the burial. They are the ones (ho had boldly sought the body of Jesus and buried it. The garden belonged to Joseph and it is but natural to e)pect that he (ould not consider Jesus to be dead and gone and that he (ould pay visit to the site on =unday, if not earlier. Cet (e do not find these t(o resourceful people to be any(here around. It should not surprise us if they (ere already on (ay to -alilee, or some(here else, (ith their beloved ,ord and *aster. $E. The =ign of Jonah Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees ans(ered, saying, *aster (e (ould see a sign of thee. 1ut he ans(ered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation see+eth after a signG and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas% 3or as Jonas (as three days and three nights in the (hale.s bellyG so shall the =on of *an be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth! "*atthe( #B%AH4DE'. ",u+e

"##%BF4AE' gives us a shorter version% there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonas! 4 no period of time is mentioned. 1ut if the sign of Jonas is concerning his being in a (hale.s belly for three days and three nights then it has hardly much similarity to the case of Jesus. If Jesus (as buried on 3riday evening and resurrected on =unday morning, if not earlier, then he (as in the heart of the earth! no more than t(o nights and one day. Jonas (ent into the :hale.s belly A,I67 and came out A,I67. This there (as no resurrection!. In fact, according the earliest of the canonical -ospel of *ar+s no sign shall be given to this generation. :ith that he left themI..! "*ar+ H%#B,#A'. Apparently the sign of Jonas is a later interpolation. $#. 9ising 3rom The <ead If Jesus, the divine, had for some ine)plicable reason to come out of his divinity and ta+e a human form, in f lesh, and be born li+e a human, then his human death should have been sufficient to complete that e)perience. ;umans do not get raised to life in this (orld. John is the only -ospel (riter (ho tells us the story of the rising from the dead of ,a8arus. ;ere thus is an e)ample of a human rising from the dead, in f lesh. This story (ould not be relevant to that of Jesus. resurrection. 3irstly, this (ould undermine that raising from the dead does not ma+e a person divine. =econdly, ,a8arus eventually did die and not ascend to heaven in f lesh. All f lesh is mortal and finite. Jesus must shed his body of f lesh 4 (ould that be in his second coming. =ince people do not get raised in f lesh, the disciples refused to believe *ary *agdalene (hen she told them he is raisen!. They had thought he had died so his being risen (as nonsense!. The fact must be that he did not die in the first instance. :hat *ary and her companions sa( (as not Jesus the 9esurrected, but Jesus the 9esuscitated!/ $B. :hy 9ise 3rom The <7A<

If they do not listen to *oses and the prophets they (ill pay no need even if someone should rise from the dead! ",u+e #L%A#'. This is un0ualified. If Jesus died on the Cross then his rising from the dead (as to be of no avail. If on part of the episode seems li+e a tall tale, could (e put much trust on the other partJ $A. In Person Paul testifies 9esurrection (ill be transformation from physical to spiritual e)istence! "I Corinthians #$%$#4$A'. Cet Jesus appeared to *ary *agdalene and others in person. ;e appeared to his disciples at least three times "John B#%BD'. ;e told them to 1ehold my hands and feet, that it is myselfG handle me, and seeG for a spirit hath no f lesh and bones, as ye see me have! ",u+e BD%AF'. ;e (al+ed around, he felt hungry and ate, he coo+ed fish for them, and tal+ed to them 4 all in person. If it (as all in person then he could not have escaped from behind the tomb stone nor appeared to his disciples behind closed doors. The only conclusion that (e can ma+e is that he did not die but (as rescued. The rest is a myth. $D. >r :as It In =piritJ In the body he (as put to deathG in the spirit he (as brought to life. And in the spirit he (ent and made his proclamation to the imprisoned spirits! "I Peter A%#H,#F'. If dead are not raised, it follo(s that Christ (as not raisedG and if Christ (as not raised, your faith has nothing in it! "I Corinthians #$%#L,#&'. According to these testimonies Jesus (as raised only in spirit as other dead (ould be raised. That (ould give Jesus no particular precedence. Cet he did feel hurt, felt hungry and actually ate. This (ould contradict his rising in the f lesh!. =ince he did not die, he did not rise, forget about the faith. $$. The <isciples :hat (ere the type of people (ho (ere the (itnesses to the

(hole story of Jesus. life, death and resurrectionJ The -ospels paint a very dim picture of the disciples. 7ven though Jesus spo+e in parables to others, to his o(n disciples he e)plained everything! "*ar+ D%AD'. The various discourses that Jesus addressed to them all seem to have fallen on deaf ears or rather hit against blan+ (alls. They (ere unable to apprehend his messages% they understood none of these things I. Neither +ne( they the things (hich (ere spo+en! ",u+e AH%BD'. It loo+s as if Jesus had said they seeing see notG and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand! "*atthe( #A%#A' not only for the multitudes but for his o(n disciples as (ell. :hile Jesus (as tal+ing of his suffering and crucifi)ion James and John, the sons of Tebedee, came unto him, saying, *aster I -rant unto us that (e may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on the left hand, in thy glory. 1ut Jesus said unto them, ye +no( not (hat ye as+ for! "*ar+ #E%A$4AF'. *atthe( tells us that the re0uest (as actually made by their mother on their behalf "*atthe( BE%BE'. Nevertheless (hile he (as telling about his forthcoming ordeal, people around him (ere eager for their o(n part in the glory/ >n one of the occasions Jesus had to rebu+e Peter A(ay (ith you =atan, you thin+ as men thin+, not as -od thin+s! "*ar+ #L%BB,BAG *atthe( H%AA'. At the dar+est hour of imminent danger they all fell asleep. They could not +eep a(a+e even one hour. Jesus e)horted them to :atch and pray! but they (ould not for their eyes (ere heavy!"*ar+ BL%AH4D$'. :hen faced (ith real danger all the disciples forsoo+ him, and f led! "*atthe( BL% $LG *ar+ #D%$E' leaving their ,ord, *aster and =avior in the hands of his mortal enemies. Jesus had said, (hosoever shall deny me before men, him (ill I also deny before my 3ather (hich is in heaven! "*atthe( #E%AA'. Cet Peter, the 9oc+, three times denied having any association (ith his *aster to save his o(n s+in. They (ere so afraid of their o(n lives that they could not dare to be present even at his crucifi)ion. They are repeatedly presented as contemptible, bemused, confused, be(ildered, frightened simpletons. >ne of them even betrayed Jesus.

=uch (ere the disciples of Jesus, or so (ould Paul and his follo(ers have us believe. Could (e trust these simple fishermen and the li+e to correctly convey (hat they sa( and heard but did onto understandJ Could their testimony be relied upon especially (hen it comes to us through great number of intermediaries, translations and purposive selectionsJ If the disciples (ere really as portrayed then they are not (orthy of our trust. If they have been (rongly portrayed then could (e trust the -ospels (ho portray a false picture (ith possibly ulterior motivesJ If so (ith disciples, (e (ould be still more hesitant to accept any of the doctrines that are conveyed to us b such (riters. $L. The Paraclete If Jesus (as to be follo(ed by a PA9AC,7T7! RTranslated% the C>*3>9T79 "5J6,T,1'G A<6>CAT7 "N71'G ;7,P79 "N:T, N16'G C>?N=7,>9 "NI6' 4 "John #D'S then there (as no need for Jesus to return or for that matter rise from the dead! $&. 1odily Ascension Ascension of Jesus (ould be a necessary corollary to his rising from the dead. >nce Jesus (as brought bac+ to life it (as necessary to dispose him off. 3lesh and blood cannot inherit the +ingdom of -od! "I Corinthians #$%$E'. The very idea of A=C7N=I>N! and seating on the right side of -od! (ould imply a fi)ed abode some(here above the earth 4 (hich partJ 4 for -od and his only begotten =on!. This (ould imply limits to the presence of the >mnipresent -od. If Jesus did not die on the Cross then he (ould not have to rise from the dead and no further need to ascend, bodily, unto heaven. $H. The Impossible Tertullian (riting about Jesus. crucifi)ion and ascension says% it is certain because it is impossible!/ :hat is said to have

happened is indeed impossible. In our o(n analysis (e have cast doubts about each and every aspect of the narration in the four -ospels. An event may be considered to have really happened if there is any reasonable chance of its happening. It has to be logical or at least in the realm of possibility. :e may even give in to the possibility of a totally illogical miracle. Cet if something is presented (hich has the evidence against its happening, (hen the event itself is of doubtful nature, (hen it gives the appearance of having been tempered, then the illogical is clearly not acceptable. The (hole story of crucifi)ion to ascension not only baff les the mind, it ma+es the episode loo+ li+e a fiction. :e must thus conclude that it is impossible more so because the evidence is of doubtful nature.

C;APT79 & T;7 7PI,>-?7 :e could go on and on (ith our analysis and arguments. The (hole story is based on the account rendered by (itnesses (ho could not be comfortably relied upon. The authors of various -ospels are un+no(n. *ar+.s original manuscript had been lost for a considerable period and its last passages are (idely ac+no(ledged to be later interpolations. *atthe( copies a very large proportion of his gospel from *ar+ but does not ac+no(ledge the original source. ,u+e does the same as one

(ho has gone over the (hole course of events in detail, have decided to (rite a connected narrative! ",u+e #%A'. John poses to be one of the original disciples (ho (as close to Jesus but it is generally accepted that in fact it (as an un+no(n author (ho used this name to provide a halo of authority to his (riting. ;e e)aggerates. ;e d(ells on his o(n doctrines. The four -ospels differ in many essential details. There are tell4tale mar+s of the finger prints of history having been superimposed by personal li+es and disli+es. It appeared that risen from the dead! (as an invention of the disciples (ho (ere perhaps accomplices to the later, if not the earlier, part of the conspiracy to save Jesus after he had been successfully rescued by the efforts of Joseph and Nicodemus in league (ith Pilate Pontius, the 9oman -overnor. If *atthe(.s information is correct then Je(s (ere already anticipating all this. 3ortunately for Jesus things did not go as far as Jesus. death. Jesus (as ta+en off the cross (hile he (as still A,I67. The rest is a myth (hich developed initially to create a smo+e screen around his disappearance, and later (as tinged (ith paganistic beliefs of the -entiles. In an era of angels descending, ;oly -host coming do(n as a dove, demons abounding, thousands of pigs (ith demon spirits plunging to their death, saints rising from the graves and entering the city, people disappearing in this air and reappearing behind closed doors, risen from the dead. could have been 2ust another miracle!. After the death of John the 1aptist Prince ;erod heard of Jesus @ miraculous po(ers and did not +no( (hat to ma+e of itG for some (ere saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that 7li2ah had appeared, others again that one of the old prophets had come bac+ to life. ;erod said, As for John I beheaded him myselfG and (ho is this I hear such tal+ about! ",u+e F%F'. *ar+ "L%#L' is more specific this is even more straightfor(ard% This is John the 1aptist, he said to his attendantsG John has been raised to life and that is (hy

miraculous po(ers are at (or+ in him!. Could this be the reason he refused to crucify or stone to death Jesus (hen Pilate referred the matter to himJ Jesus himself had declared John is the destined 7li2ah! "*atthe( ##%#DG #&%##4#A' thereby implying that John (ill not only be raised but (ill return to restore the glory of Israel. There (as (idespread belief among the follo(ers of John that he had already risen. No( it (as Jesus. o(n turn to die, to be raised, to be lifted and to return in his second coming to complete the tas+ he (ill be leaving behind incomplete 4 introduction of the +ingdom of ;eaven. To add to the confusion of the -ospels, Paul (rote his o(n epistles. In fact some (ere (ritten even before the -ospels and must have confounded the -ospel (riters themselves, (hoever they (ere. ;is sourceJ 4 I neither received it of man, neither (as I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ! "-alatians #%#B'. :hen Paul (as accused of falsifying church teachings he (roteG if the truth of -od brings him all the greater honor because of my falsehood, (hy should I any longer be condemned as a sinnerJ! "9omans A%&'. Paul and his creed so overshado(ed the original teachings of Jesus that he fell apart (ith those (ho had been near to Jesus and (ho (ould not approve his teachings to the -entiles and re2ection of the ,a(!. ;aving portrayed the disciples as simpletons and lac+ing even commonsense all their teachings and (ritings (ere obliterated, documents (ith any different outloo+ or having anything contrary to Paulian creed (ere hunted do(n and burnt. :hat has been passed on to the posterity as the boo+s of the Ne( Testament is a carefully selected set of documents, clearly adhering to the Paulian creed. These are full of distortions, contradictions, interpolations and sometimes even pure fiction. Today (e do not +no( ho( Jesus loo+ed li+e, (hat (ere his personal habits and (hat he really taught. =uch evidence cannot stand before an impartial 2ury.

Jesus said, Ta+e care that no one misleads you. *any (ill come claiming my name, and saying, I am he, and many (ill be mislead by them! "*ar+ #A%$4L'. :here the corpse is the vulture (ill gather! "*atthe( BD%BD'. 7)cept in this case the corpse (as imaginary and yet a mighty fabrication has caused many to be misled. The (hole story being doubtful and 0uestionable at every step, (e can only conclude that Jesus did not die on the cross. The rest is a myth. ;aving concluded our arguments the Christian might pose the 0uestion% If Jesus did not die on the cross and (as eventually saved and (his+ed a(ay then (hy is it that (e do not hear about him or his later teachings anymoreJ This is a 0uestion that in fact could be ans(ered by a counter 0uestion% (hy is it that history does not say anything about *ary, the mother of Jesus, *ary *agdalene, Joseph of Arimath(ea, Nicodemus, 1arnabas and othersJ :hy is it that the identity of such an important location as that of the ;oly =epulcher remained un+no(n and forgotten until discovered! by ;elena, the mother of Constantine the -reat in the fourth Century C.7J As for Jesus, it is perple)ing that history itself records very little about him even about his life before the Cross at Calvary. The -ospels tell us precious little about his physical features, his living habits, his human li+es and disli+e and other personal characteristics. 1esides precious little that (e come to +no( about Jesus from leftover Christian documents, there is very little (e can learn about him from contemporary historical sources. It is stri+ing that so little is available to us from non4Christian sources of Jesus. times. Philo of Ale)andria, a Je(ish historian (ho (as born about AE 1.C.7 and died some A$ years after the birth of Jesus does not

ma+e even a single reference to Jesus. The Je(ish historian Josepha.s (ho died to(ard the end of the first century C.7. mentions at least t(elve persons by the name of Jesus but these do not include the Jesus of Na8areth. 1ishop Clement of Ale)andria and Tertullian have particularly noted this omission. *entions of the name of Jesus of Na8areth in some of the manuscripts of ANTIQ?ITI7=! (ritten by Josephus are not accepted to be manifest forgeries. Justus of Tiberius (ho (as born in -alilee at the stated time of crucifi)ion too+ a leading part in the Je(ish revolt against 9ome. In his t(o monumental (or+s, one on the revolt and the other on history from *oses to Agrippa "(ho died circa #EE C.7.' he ma+es no mention of any man names Jesus of Na8areth. Paul himself, (hile living in Jerusalem at the time of crucifi)ion never met Jesus and apparently did not even hear about him. This could be understandable since Jesus (as a rather un+no(n -alilean in the religious circle of Jerusalem. In spite of his reported miracles, many of (hich may have had their origin in later myths and therefore not +no(n to the contemporary people, all that may have been +no(n to some of the people must be that he (as a sort of miracle (or+er not much different from other miracle (or+ers and sorcerers (ho abounded to those times a penny a pound. =ome of the disciples of Jesus had also been performing such miracles. "*atthe( #E%#G ,u+e #E%#&G Acts A%L,BBGF%DEG#A%LG#D%##,#F%#AG etc'. 7ven after Paul.s preaching very fe( at high places +ne( little, if any about Jesus. :e have the case of Paul himself being e)plained by Porcius 3estus the 9oman -overnor of Caesarea to the visiting 5ing Agrippa% they merely had certain points of disagreement (ith him about their peculiar religion, and about someone called Jesus, a dead man (hom Paul alleged to be alive! "Acts B$%#F'. This further underlines the fact that Jesus from 9omanOPagan sources such as Celsus, Pliny the Counger, =eutonius, or Tacitus. ;istory seems to have been ignorant about Jesus. In Je(ish literature of a later period, ho(ever, there is mention of Jesus and that too in a derogatory manner in order to ridicule and

discredit Jesus as a preposterous pretender and an imposter. :hether or not there ever (as a record, historical or religious, about Jesus. post4Calvary part of life seems to have been lost li+e that of a large number of other prophets even of the >ld Testament times. The upheaval caused by the Je(ish revolt and later Christian efforts to suppress, rather destroy, all literature contrary to the Pauline doctrine, may have contributed to this loss. >ur e)amination (as directed to the 0uestion (hether Jesus, really and truly, died on the cross. The burden of proof (as on the evidence of the -ospels. >ur analysis has e)posed the (ea+ness of this evidence at every step to the detriment of the concept of the risen Jesus! since it is not proved that Jesus died on the Cross. The 0uestion of the rising from the dead and ascension to heaven does not arise at least on the basis of this evidence. :e invite you to abandon the lies and read the Quran.s account of the life of Jesus, the crucifi)ion and the ascension for yourself.