Chapter 2 begins by saying:
In trying to prove their dogmas, they invent shocking statements and posers – one of which has been used as the [original] title of this book – “CHRIST CRUCIFIED – Hoax or History?” No doubt it sounds provocative; but it is a borrowed title – from the Christian’s own extravagances; from his own vocabulary.
Garner Ted Armstrong, the Executive Vice-President and Co-Publisher of the “PLAIN TRUTH” (a Christian Magazine from America, which boasts a current, FREE, world-wide circulation of 6 million copies a month), attempts to answer his own puzzle under the heading:
“WAS THE RESURRECTION A HOAX?” This is the typical American way of selling religion. He elucidates his poser -“HOAX?” – with the words, “THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH IS EITHER THE SUPREME FACT OF HISTORY OR A FLAGRANT. DELIBERATE FABRICATION FOISTED OFF ON THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRISTIANITY.”
Another budding, young “Billy Graham” from America, Josh McDowell effuses in his book “THE RESURRECTION FACTOR”, saying, “I WAS FORCED TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST IS EITHER ONE OF THE MOST WICKED, HEARTLESS, VICIOUS, HOAXES EVER FOISTED UPON THE MINDS OF MEN, OR IT IS THE MOST FANTASTIC FACT OF HISTORY.” Since it is not possible for an Oriental to match American superlatives and extravagant verbiage, I do not have to apologize for humbly borrowing their words for the title of my book: “CHRIST CRUCIFIED -Hoax or History?”
The above section is irrelevant to determining whether Jesus was executed by crucifixion. Moving on, Deedat writes:
To the Muslim belief that Jesus Christ was “neither killed nor crucified”, the Christian objects, “how can a man (Muhummed pbuh) a thousand miles away from the scene of a happening, and 600 years after an event, pronounce as to what had transpired?” The Muslim says that the words Muhummed (pbuh) uttered were not his own, but that the Words were “put into his mouth” by the All-Knowing, All-Seeing God. The Christian retorts that he is not prepared to accept the metaphysical aspect of Muhummed’s revelation; more so, in view of the written records by “eye-witnesses” (?) and “ear-witnesses” (?) as regards the happenings on that Easter week-end some two thousand years ago.
The Christian plea is valid. Their logic is good. To entertain their plea we will call up their witnesses and cross examine them to discover the truth or falsity of the matter from their own authorities. Admittedly, the key witnesses in the case are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – the alleged authors of the Canonical Gospels. But they have all died and are in their graves. “Yes, that is true, but we have in our possession their sworn affidavits!” says the Christian.
Note that Deedat admits the Christian plea is valid and the logic is good. Thus, if Deedat’s “cross examination” fails, the rational Muslim follower of Ahmed Deedat would have to follow the valid and logical argument put forth by Christians and conclude Muhammad was a false prophet.
It is also interesting that Deedat does not offer any real evidence to back up Muhammad’s historical claim about Jesus’ crucifixion but resigns himself to “cross examining” the four canonical gospels. As we shall see, this “cross examination” largely involves taking biblical passages out of context and/or giving absurd interpretations to these passages. Moreover, Deedat restricts himself to “cross examining” only the four canonical gospels as opposed to every ancient text, Christian and non-Christian, that attests to Jesus’ death by crucifixion.
For those who have not already done so, I strongly recommend reading through the canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in their entirety so that you can see that the death of Jesus by crucifixion is a central part of the story for all four evangelists and that Deedat’s interpretations do not do justice to the text as a whole. The final section of this chapter reads:
DEMAND FOR PROOF
When confronted by the extravagant and conflicting claims of the Jews and the Christians to their exclusive rights to salvation, Allah subha nahu wa-ta aala1 commands us to demand for proof. He says:
Ssy: “Produce your proof if ye but speak the truth”
(SURA BAQARA) Holy Quran 2:111
And they have produced the only proof they have; in over fifteen hundred different languages! Eleven different dialects of the Bible for the Arabs alone! Are we going to swallow them hook, line and sinker? No! It is presupposed that when Allah commands us to demand for proof, that we would be in a position to analyze the proof, once it is produced. Otherwise, it makes no sense to demand for proof; it would be nonsense!
Here we see a blatant double standard. Ahmed Deedat demands proof that Jesus was crucified but, in chapter 1, says the Muslim “asks no questions and seeks for no proof” regarding the Koran’s claim that Jesus was neither crucified nor killed.