Chapter 5 opens with:
Jesus had doubly miscalculated:-
1. Regarding the enthusiasm demonstrated by the disciples in that upper-room. Believing that he would only have to contend with the Jews in a clandestine arrest.
2. The Jews were more wily then he had thought. They brought with them Roman soldiers.
The Christian scholars are no less wily in their translations and manipulations of the Bible. They have changed the words “Roman soldiers” to simply “soldiers” and from the word soldiers to now “band of men””the guard”. and
“Judas then, having received a BAND OF MEN1 and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh there with lanterns and torches and weapons”
(HOLY BIBLE) John 18:3
1. “Band of men”: here and in verse 12 following, the words in the so-called original manuscripts are speira and chiliarchos respectively. Both Roman military terms, meaning “cohort” and “tribune”. “That John is the first Evangelist to mention Roman soldiers among the party which went out to arrest our Lord . . .” See Knox’s — “A New Testament Commentary”, page 260.
Recall that in chapter 4 Deedat claimed Jesus was “a skillful strategist and planner, alert and resourceful.” I noted there that no intelligent person would think a fight between the Jews would not eventually involve the Romans. Now Deedat admits that the “skillful strategist” made two big errors.
He then slanders Christian scholars by implying that they are trying to hide the fact that the Romans were involved in Jesus’ arrest. The fact is that the term “Roman” does not appear in John 18:3, 12 and so it should not appear in a translation (the terms speira and chiliarchos can be used of non-Roman cohorts and commanders). Every Christian scholar recognizes that Pilate, a client of Rome, ultimately sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion. There is no attempt to hide this Roman involvement.
The disciples were caught as the Englishman would say with their “pants down”. Literally they were caught napping. The enemy trod over them roughshod. Only one of the soldiers of Christ had the presence of mind to ask:
“. . . Master, shall we smite them with the sword?”
(HOLY BIBLE) Luke 22:49
But before Jesus could attempt a reply, the impetuous Peter struck out with his sword and cut off the right ear of one of the enemy. Jesus had not anticipated Roman soldiers. Realising that the tables were turned against his misconceived strategy, he advises his disciples:
“. . . Put up again thy sword into its place; for all they that TAKE THE SWORD shall PERISH WITH THE SWORD.”
(HOLY BIBLE) Matthew 26:52
Jesus does give a response to the cutting off of the ear of the servant of the high priest. He says, “No more of this!” and then heals the servant’s ear (Luke 22:51). He then asks the arresting party whether he is leading a rebellion with the implied answer that he is not (Luke 22:52). Deedat must assert that Jesus is lying here. The problem with that assertion is that it is so evident that Jesus is not leading a rebellion that his question does not even need an explicit answer. And why does Deedat’s violent Jesus heal the servant’s ear?
Next Deedat writes:
CHANGE OF STRATEGY
Did Jesus not know the truth of this statement when he ordered his disciples to sell their garments and buy SWORDS? He surely did! Then why the contradiction now? . There is really no contradiction! The situation changes, so the strategy must also change. He had sense enough to realise that against trained and well-equipped Roman soldiers it would be suicidal for his sleepy warriors to offer even a pretence of resistance.
The contradiction occurs in Deedat’s theory. He claims that Jesus is an intelligent leader but also that Jesus thought he could establish a kingdom with thirteen men and two swords. In the next section he actually asks why Christians do not give Jesus credit for common sense. The fact is we Christians give him credit for having the sense to know that thirteen men will not establish a kingdom and that wars between Jews would eventually involve the Romans. On the other hand, at the start of this chapter, Deedat admits that Jesus made two mistakes! Deedat goes on to try and show that Jesus was violent:
PRINCE OF PEACE???
Why do not the Christian controversialists give their “Lord and Master” credit for this simple common-sense? Because they have been programmed for a period of two thousand years that Jesus, the “lamb”, the, couldn’t harm a fly. They overlook the other side of his nature which demanded blood and fire! They forget his instructions to his soldiers regarding those of his enemies who would not like him to rule over them, to bring them forth: “prince of peace”
. . . and SLAY them before me.”
(HOLY BIBLE) Luke 19:27
“Think NOT that I am come to send PEACE on earth; I. came NOT to send PEACE, but a SWORD.”
(HOLY BIBLE) Matthew 10:34
“I am come to send FIRE on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
Suppose ye that I am come to give PEACE on earth? I tell you, NAY; but rather DIVISION.”
(HOLY BIBLE) Luke 12:49 & 51
In view of these solemn pronouncements and his repeated vitriolic outbursts against the learned men of his time, if the sword of Peter had prevailed, we would have witnessed a massacre without compunction, equal to that of his ancestor Joshua (meaning Jehova — Saviour) who utterly destroyed all that was in Jericho:
“both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the SWORD.”
(HOLY BIBLE) Joshua 6:21
And the Gospel writers would not have been slow in putting words into the mouth of Jesus, word for word, as fulfilment of prophecies VATICINIUM EX EVENTU (prophecies after the event) as recorded of his “father” (?) David.
Christians do believe that Jesus will come in judgment but we do not believe he commands his followers to engage in violence nor do we believe he led a rebellion during his public ministry. I noted in chapter 3 that Luke 19:27 is part of a parable on eschatological judgment and not a command to violence.
In context, Matthew 10:34 reads (NIV): “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” The image of the sword in this passage is an image of division, not violence. Also note the mention of the cross in verse 38 that Deedat conveniently leaves out.
Luke 12:49-53 makes the division more explicit (NIV): “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Verse 49 refers to future judgment and verse 50 refers to Jesus’ death. The “peace” referred to in these passages is not the absence of violence, but a harmony between individuals. The gospel can create disharmony between family members but it does not create violence.
None of these passages are evidence of a rebellion by Jesus and two of the passages mention Jesus’ death. Deedat closes the chapter as follows:
FAILURE, AND TRIAL
The march on Jerusalem had fizzled out. The sabre-rattling in the Garden had proved abortive. As there is a reward for success, likewise there is a price for failure. The odds are heavy! Hence the trial, the tribulation, the turmoil and the sweat and blood.
With heavy hands, the Roman soldiers dragged Jesus (pbuh) from Gethsemane to Annas, and from Annas to Caiphas the High Priest, and on to the Sanhedrin as directed by the Jews, for trial and execution.
Whilst Jesus was being manhandled and buffeted towards his doom, where were his heroes who were beating their breasts with the war-cry: “Master, we are prepared to die for you. Master, we are prepared to go to prison for you!” ? St. Mark, the first of the Gospel writers, un-ashamedly and without any apology reveals:
“AND THEY ALL FORSOOK HIM, AND FLED.”
(HOLY BIBLE) Mark 14:50
The authors of the 27 books of the New Testament could not find a similar dastardly desertion in the Jewish Bible to fulfil prophecy. If there was, they would have been quick to exploit it.
GLOATING OVER DEFEAT
In a debate between Islam and Christianity, on SABC T.V. one of the participants, claiming to be “reborn”, gloated over the word DESERTION. He articulated the word with such relish —D-E-S-E-R-T-I-O-N — which must have left a taste of triumph in the mouth of the cultists, instead of the bitterness of shame and defeat. The Bible-thumpers have developed a new sickness of glamorising despicability and ignominy. Everyone, male or female, of these cultists, will not fail to relate their peccadillos, their adulteries and bestialities, their drinkings and druggings. It appears that one must have been part of the dregs of humanity to become a candidate for this “born again” cult.
No march on Jerusalem is narrated in the Gospels. I commented on the disciples fleeing from Jesus’ arrest in chapter 3.
Christians have no reason to feel “the bitterness of shame and defeat” because, unlike Deedat, we do not think Jesus led a rebellion and was defeated. We think Jesus gave his life for the salvation of mankind and thus view it as a good thing. However, the last paragraph implies that Deedat is ashamed of Jesus’ defeat and views Jesus as despicable and ignominious. One wonders how he could hold Jesus in such low esteem while believing he is a prophet of Allah.
Also note the completely unnecessary insult at the end of this chapter stating only the dregs of humanity would become born again Christians. Perhaps the mention of “bestialities” is also mentioned for added insult since I have a hard time believing there are many people who have committed such a sin, let alone admitting to it on TV. It certainly undercuts his claim in chapter 1 that Muslims are morally superior to other people.