RESURRECTION OR RESUSCITATION?

RESURRECTION OR RESUSCITATION?


                  RESURRECTION OR RESUSCITATION?
                         By Ahmad Deedat

In one of my books - "Who Moved the Stone?" I had promised to
deal with the anomaly, where believers were reading simple
English, yet were so conditioned that they were understanding
exactly the OPPOSITE of what they were reading. The following
story from real life will not only illustrate the point but
will also elucidate our present case - "RESURRECTION OR
RESUSCITATION?"

I was about to leave for the Transvaal on a lecture tour, so I
phoned my friend Hafiz Yusuf Dadoo of Standerton, informing
him of my impending visit, as well as to enquire whether he
needed anything from Durban. He said that as he was taking up
Hebrew, I should try and obtain a Bible in the Hebrew language
with a translation in English side by side.

I went to the "BIBLE HOUSE" in Durban. Without any difficulty
I found the appropriate Bible for my friend, the "Authorised
Version," also known as the "King James Version," looking for
one with the best print and at the cheapest price, I noticed
the lady behind the counter had lifted up the telephone to
speak to someone. I was out of hearing distance, nor was I
interested, but after an exchange with the person on the other
side of the line she put her hand on the mouthpiece and
addressed me: "Excuse me, sir, are you Mr. Deedat?" I said,
"Yes." She said, "The Supervisor of the Bible Society would
like my pleasure," I answered. She spoke a few more words into
the telephone and replaced the receiver. I said with a smile,
"I thought that you were ringing the police." (perhaps because
of the number of Bibles I was handling). - She laughed and
said, "No, it was the Rev. Roberts, the Supervisor, who wishes
to speak to you."

WINNING A CONVERT

Presently, Rev. Roberts approached me and after introducing
himself he gestured to me to hand over to him the Bible which
I was holding in my hand. I handed the book. He opened it and
began reading to me - "and this is life eternal that they
should know Thee the only True God and Jesus Christ whom Thou
has sent." (John 17:3). (Subsequently, I checked up the Gospel
references of his quotations).

After having listened to his reading of this scripture, I
responded with the words: "I accept!" - meaning the
implication of the Message he was trying to convey to me. I
did not tell him then that what he was trying to convey to me
was the same as the Holy Qura'an was telling mankind for the
past fourteen hundred years - that all must believe in the
'ONE AND ONLY GOD ALMIGHTY AND JESUS CHRIST is only a
MESSENGER OF GOD.' The words of the Holy Qur'an are as
follows:-

"MOST CERTAINLY THE MESSIAH, JESUS THE SON OF MARY, WAS AN
APOSTLE OF ALLAH AND HIS WORD, WHICH HE BESTOWED ON MARY AND A
SPIRIT PROCEEDING FROM HIM: SO BELIEVE IN ALLAH AND HIS
APOSTLES..."   Holy Qur'an 4:171

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Rev. Roberts must have been elated to hear my words- "I
ACCEPT," to his first quotation. He quickly opened the Bible
in another place and began reading these words attributed to
Jesus:-

"A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another;
as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." "By this
shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love
for one another."  John 13:34-35

A NEW CONVERT?

When he had finished reading these verses, I remarked- "Very
good!" He was greatly encouraged with my comment. I sincerely
meant what I said and there was no pretence. The Reverend
found yet another quotation to clinch a convert for Christ. He
began:-

"Judge not that ye be not judged." "For with what judgement ye
judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it
shall be measured to you again.  Matthew 7:1-2

To this quotation I responded with the words, "I agree!" My
only reason for agreeing and accepting everything that the
Reverend was reading to me was not of the "special discount" I
was getting from the Bible Society on my purchases, but
because these particular quotations were conveying the same
message and ideals which Allah "Subhanahoo Wa- Ta'aala" was
commanding the Muslims to preach and practice. I would be
spiritually jaundiced to take exceptions to what was common to
both of us - the MUSLIM and the CHRISTIAN. For me to say that
an identical message from my Book (the Holy Qur'an) was VERY
GOOD, but the same message in his Book (the Holy Bible) was
VERY BAD would be hypocritical in the extreme. It would be
soul shaming untruth.

THE PURPOSE

What was the real purpose of the Reverend's reading the
Scripture to me? Indeed, I was getting a special discount on
all my purchases from the Bible Society and I was perhaps the
only non-Christian to get such a discount, though it was
depending purely on a business transaction, and this
information must have been passed on the the Reverend as the
Head of the Bible Society; that I was a Muslim there was no
mistaking my identity, for my beard and my headgear were the
badges of my Faith, easily recognised as such in this part of
the world; and that, despite my numerous purchases of the
Bibles in English (various versions), in Zulu, Afrikaans,
Urdu, Arabic and other languages, I was not yet "converted."
Perhaps, what I really needed was a gentle push, the
Supervisor must have been told. Hence the recitation of the
preceding quotations to me. The implication of this reading
was that I had probably not read those beautiful passages; how
else was it possible, then, that I had not yet embraced
Christianity?

A PROBLEM

The Reverend gentleman had taken the role of a teacher who
wanted to teach, who wanted to impart new knowledge to his
pupil.

Since I am commanded by my Prophet (Peace be upon him) to
"SEEK KNOWLEDGE FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE," and "SEEK
KNOWLEDGE EVEN IF IT BE IN CHINA," I wanted to learn. I said,
"I agree with all that you have read to me, but I have a
problem with your Bible." "What problem have you got?" he
asked. I said, "Please open the Gospel of St.Luke, Chapter 3
Verse 23." This he did. I said, "Please read." He read:- "And
Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as
was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,"
Luke 3:23

I drew the Reverend's attention to the words - "(AS WAS
SUPPOSED)." I said, "Do you see that the words 'as was
supposed' are written within brackets?" He said that he saw
that. I asked him, "Why are the brackets there?" He
acknowledged, "I don't know, but I could find out for you from
some Bible scholars." I admired his humility. Though I knew
that all Supervisors of Bible Houses in South Africa are
retired reverends, it was possible that this aspect of Bible
Knowledge was beyond their sphere. I said, "If you do not
know, then let me tell you what the brackets are doing there
in this verse. You do not have to take the trouble of looking
for a Bible scholar."

I explained that in the "most ancient" manuscripts of Luke,
the words '(AS WAS SUPPOSED)' are not there. Your translators
felt that without this interpolation the "little lambs" not
well grounded in faith, might slip and fall into the error of
believing that JOSEPH the Carpenter was the actual physical
father of Jesus. So they took the precaution of adding their
own comment in BRACKETS to avoid any misunderstanding. I said,
"I am not trying to find fault with your system of adding
words in brackets to assist the reader, but what intrigues me
is that in all translations of the Bible in the African and
Eastern languages you have retained the words "as was
supposed" but have REMOVED THE BRACKETS.Couldn't the nations
of the Earth besides the English understand the meaning and
purpose of the brackets?

What is wrong with the Afrikaner?  Why have you eliminated the
brackets from the Afrikaans Bible? The Supervisor protested,
"I didn't do it." I said, "I know that you personally did not
do it but why have the Bible Society that you represent and
your Bible scholars been playing with the "Word of God?" If
God Almighty did not see fit to preserve Luke from error what
right has anybody to add to or delete from words in the "Book
of God?" What right have you to manufacture "GODS WORDS?"

INTERPOLATIONS

The translator's own addition of words in brackets can easily
be put into the mouth of St. Luke by merely removing the
brackets, and by implication, if Luke was inspired by God to
write what he did, then the interpolations automatically
become the WORD OR GOD, which really is not the case. (More
will be said on this subject in the forthcoming publication
"Is the Bible God's Word?) I concluded my explanation with the
words - "Your theologians of the day have succeeded where the
alchemists of yours failed - of turning baser metal into
shining gold."

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

At this stage the Reverend introduced irrelevancies into the
discussion and the subject changed. He made some claims which
made me say, "You see, sir, you English people do not know
your own language." (With apologies to my readers whose mother
tongue is English). He quickly retorted, "You mean to say that
you know my language better than I do?" I said, "It would be
presumptuous on my part to tell - an Englishman - that I
understand your language better than you do."

"Then what do you mean that we English people do not know our
own language?" he demanded. I said again, "You see, sir, you
read your Holy Scripture in your mother tongue, like every
Christian belonging to a thousand different language groups,
and yet each and every Christian language group understands
the facts, OPPOSITE to what he is reading." What are you
refering to?" he asked.

A GHOST

I continued: "Do you remember the occasion when Jesus returned
to that upper room after his alleged crucifixion, 'and saith
unto them, his (disciples), Peace be unto you' (Luke 24:36)
and his disciples were ter- rified on recognising him?" He
answered that he remembered that incident I enquired, "Why
should they be terrified?" When one recognises one's long-lost
friend or one's beloved, the natural reaction is to feel over-
joyed, elated and one wants to embrace and kiss the hands and
feet of the beloved. Why did they get terrified?" The Reverend
replied that, They (the disciples) thought that they were
seeing a ghost." I asked, "Did Jesus look like a ghost?" He
said, "No." "Then why did they think that they were seeing a
ghost when he did not look like a ghost?" I queried. The
Reverend was clearly puzzled. I said, "Please allow me to
explain."

DISCIPLES NOT EYE WITNESSES

"You see, sir, the disciples of Jesus were not EYE-witnessess
or EAR-witnesses to the actual happenings of the previous
three days, as vouched for by St. Mark who says that at the
most critical juncture in the life of Jesus, "they all forsook
him and fled." (Mark 14:50). All the knowledge of the
disciples regarding their Master was from hearsay. They had
heard that their master was HANGED ON THE CROSS; they had
heard that he had GIVEN UP THE GHOST; they had heard that he
was DEAD AND BURIED FOR THREE DAYS. If one is confronted by a
person with such a reputation then the conclusion is
inescapable; they must be seeing A GHOST. Little wonder these
ten brave men were petrified."

"To disabuse their minds from the fear that gripped them,
Jesus reasoned with them. He said, 'Behold my hands and my
feet, that it is I myself:' To put it in colloquial English,
this is how he told them: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU FELLOWS,
CAN'T YOU SEE THAT I AM THE SAME PERSON - who walked and
talked with you, broke bread with you - flesh and blood in all
respects.

Why do doubts enter your minds? 'Handle me and see, for a
spirit has no flesh and bones as you see me have.' (Luke
24:39). In other words he is telling them: If I have FLESH and
BONES, then I am not a GHOST, not a SPOOK and not a SPIRIT!"
"Is that right?" I asked. "Yes," he replied. I continued that,
Jesus is telling them, as recorded in this verse, in Basic
English, that what the disciples were asked to HANDLE AND SEE'
was not a translated body, not a metamorphosed body and not a
resurrected body, because a RESURRECTED body  is a
SPIRITUALISED body. He is telling them in the clearest
language humanly possible that he is NOT what they were
thinking. They were thinking that he was a SPIRIT, a
RESURRECTED body, one having been brought back from the dead.
He is most emphatic that HE IS NOT!"

SPIRITUALIZATION

"But how can you be so sure that the resurrected body cannot
materialise physically as Jesus had obviously done?" murmured
the Reverend. I replied: "Because Jesus had himself pronounced
that the resurrected bodies get spiritualised." When did he
say any such thing?" enquired the Reverend. I answered, "Do
you remember the incident as recorded in the Gospel of St.
Luke, Chapter 20, where the learned men of the Jews- 'the
chief priests and the scribes with the elders'- had come to
him with a number of posers, and among them was one about a
Jewess who had seven husbands in turn, one after another
according to a Jewish custom, and in time all seven husbands
and the woman too died?" The Reverend said that he did
remember the occassion. I continued: "The trap that the
religious heirarchy was trying to spring on him was; which one
of the seven husbands was going to possess the woman on the
'Other side'- at the resurrection?- since they reasoned with
Jesus that the seven brothers "had her". There was no problem
while they fulfilled their obligation of trying to give her a
child, because they had possessed her one by one in turn, and
it was after the death of one that the other had taken her to
wife. But since at the resurrection all seven will be brought
to life simultaneously, there will be strife in heaven because
all seven would want to get at her at the same time, specially
if they had pleasure with her."

"Jesus debunked their false notion of the resurrection, by
saying that at the resurrection 'neither shall they die any
more:' (Luke 20:36) meaning that the resurrected persons will
be IMMORTALISED. They will not be subject to death any more,
no more hanger or thirst, no more fatigue. In short, all the
instruments of death will be powerless against the resurrected
body. Jesus continues to explain: "for they (the resurrected
bodies) are equal unto the angles," that is, that they will be
ANGELISED - spiritualised, that they will become
spirit-creatures, i.e. SPIRITS; 'and the children of God, for
such are the children of the resurrection.' (Luke 20:36)

JESUS NOT SPIRITUALISED

I was taken off from the theme I was expounding two paragraphs
above by the Reverend with the challenge,"But how can you be
so sure ...?" To continue from where I had deviated above -
'HE IS NOT' what they were thinking, that he was not a SPIRIT,
not a GHOST, not a SPOOK. To assure them further after having
offered his hands and feet for inspection and verification
that his was a material, physical body, and that all their
bewilderment and disbelief was unjustified, he asked his
disciples: "Have you here any meat?" (Meaning something to
eat). 'And they gave him a piece of broiled fish and of a
honeycomb, and he took it, and did eat before them.' (Luke
24:41-43)

A DRAMA?

What was Jesus trying to prove by all his demonstrations of
wanting his hands and feet to be handled and chewing and
masticating broiled fish and honeycomb?

Was all this a pretence, make-belief, an act or drama? "NO!"
Said Schleliermacher in 1819, a hundred years before I was
born. Albert - Schweizer records him saying, "IF CHRIST HAD
ONLY EATEN TO SHOW THAT HE COULD EAT, WHILE HE REALLY HAD NO
NEED OF NOURISHMENT, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A PRETENCE - SOMETHING
DOCETIC."("In Quest of the Historial Jesus," page 64).

I had not know of Schleliermacher and other Christian scholars
who over a hundred years ago doubted the death of Jesus on the
cross as recorded by Albert Schweizer, when I was discussing
this subject with the head of the Bible Society.

NO RESURRECTION

"What is wrong with you (Christian) folk?" Jesus is telling
you in the most unambiguous language that he is not a SPIRIT -
not spiritualised, not a RESURRECTED person, and yet the whole
Christian world believes that he was RESURRECTED, i.e.
SPITITUALISED. Who is lying, you or him? How is it possible
that you (each and every Christian) are reading your Holy
Bible in your own mother tongue and yet EACH AND EVERY
LANGUAGE GROUP IS MADE TO UNDERSTAND THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF
WHAT THEY ARE READING? If you read the Bible, say, in Hebrew,
and pleaded that you did not understand what you were reading,
I can appreciate this fact. If you read it in Greek and
pleaded that you did not really understand the implications of
what was written; I can appreciate this fact also. But the
anomaly is that you are reading the Book, each and every one,
IN HIS OWN MOTHER TONGUE, and are trained to understand the
OPPOSITE of what is written. How have you been brainwashed, or
rather, how have you been "Programmed," as the Americans would
put it.

"Please tell me as to who is lying? Is it Jesus or a thousand
million Christians of the world? Jesus says, "NO!" to his
being resurrected, and all of you say "YES!" Whom are we
Muslims to believe, Jesus or his so called disciples? We
Muslims would rather believe the Master. Did he not say, "The
desciple is not greater than the Master." (Matthew 10:24)

This was more than the Reverend had bargained for. He politely
excused himself by saying that as he had to get ready to close
his office, he would look forward to meeting me again. This
was sheer evasive politeness!

With the Bible Society, I won the DEBATE but lost the
DISCOUNT! No more discount for me from the Bible Society. But
let my loss be your gain. If you dear reader, can remove a few
cobwebs from your thinking on the subject of the
'CRUCIFIXION,' I will be amply rewarded.

Now here are the verses discussed put together :

    "....Jesus himself stood in their midst, and said unto
    them, Peace be unto you.
    
    "....But they were terrified, and supposing that they
    were seeing a spirit.
    
    "And he said unto them,....
    
    "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle
    me and see; for a spirit has no flesh and bones, as you
    see me have.
    
    "And showed them his hands and feet.
    
    "And while they yet believed not for joy and wondered, he
    said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
    
    "And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of a
    honeycomb.
    
    "And he took it, and did eat before them." Luke 24:36-43

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All FREE books by Ahmed Deedat available in many Islamic
centers all over the world or write to :

    The Islamic Propagation Center
    45/47/49 Madressa Arcade
    Durban 4001
    Repuplic of South Africa
    Tel : (031) 32-9518

 

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