A Refutation of Ahmed Deedat’s Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction: Part 14

The index to this series of posts can be found here.  This post is a refutation of “Chapter 14:  Jesus Not Resurrected” of Ahmed Deedat’s Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction.

The chapters starts with:

A PHYSICAL, LIVE JESUS!

After the due greetings of “Shaloam”, Jesus begins calming the disciples’ fear for taking him to be a ghost. He says:

“Behold (have a look at) my hands and my feet, that it is I myself (I am the same fellow, man!): handle me and see; for A SPIRIT has no flesh and bones, as you see me have. . .
And he showed them his hands and his feet.”

(HOLY BIBLE) Luke 24:39-40

What was the man trying to prove? That he had been resurrected from the dead? — That he was a spirit? — What has the demonstration of hands and feet to do with resurrection? “It is I MYSELF!” Can’t you see, you fools!? “For a SPIRIT …” — any spirit, has “NO flesh and bones, as YOU see ME have!”. This is an axiomatic, self-evident truth. You do not have to convince anybody, whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Atheist or Agnostic. Everyone will acknowledge without any proof that A SPIRIT HAS NO FLESH AND BONES!

WHY BELABOUR THE OBVIOUS?

Then why does Jesus need to belabour the point? It is simply because the disciples were thinking that he had returned from the dead, that he had been resurrected, and if so he would be in a spiritual form — A SPIRIT! And Jesus is telling them that he is NOT that — he is not a spirit — NOT resurrected! The above verses in their original, in every language, are so vivid, so simple, so clear that you do not need a dictionary nor a D.D. to explain them to you.

Why don’t you (dear reader) memorise just this one verse. In your own language — English, Arabic, Zulu or Afrikaans, and with just this one verse you can take the wind out of the missionaries’ sail. You can “CRACK HIS SKULL”, exactly as young David, with his little pebble did to Goliath. The pleasure is yours… Allah is giving you the opportunity, in this day and age to disabuse the Christian mind from his fantasies!

I have asked learned giants of Christendom to tell me whether in their language, when a man says, “A Spirit has NO Flesh and Bones,” that it means — A Spirit HAS Flesh and Bones! In debates, no opponent of mine has ever had the courage to tackle the question. As if pretending that the words were never uttered.

VIVID EXPLANATION … I AM ALIVE!

If 1 tell you in English that “Because I have flesh and bones — I am not a SPIRIT, I am not a GHOST, I am not a SPOOK!”— is that what it really means in your language? You say, “Yes!” (This reasoning equally applies to every language under the sun). In other words, Jesus was telling his disciples, when he said: “Behold my HANDS and my FEET”, that the body he wanted them to see, feel and touch was not a SPIRITUAL body, nor a METAMORPHOSED body, nor a RESURRECTED body. Because a resurrected “body” becomes spiritualised!

This passage is one of the reasons why Christians believe Jesus’ resurrected body was physical in at least some sense.  Deedat omits the important ending to this passage (Luke 24:45-49, NIV):

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

The bold phrases demonstrate that Jesus’ resurrected body did not become “spiritualized” but retained a physical nature.  Deedat tries to look elsewhere to support his idea that resurrected individuals will be “spiritualized”:

WHO SAYS SO?

The argumentative Crusader asks: “Who says that resurrected persons will be spiritualised?” I say, “Jesus!” He asks: “Where?” I say: “In the Gospel of Luke; go back four chapters from where Jesus said: “A spirit has no flesh and bones’, that is, to Luke 20:27-36, and you will see. . .”. The Jews were coming to Jesus again and again with posers and riddles, like:-

(a) “Master, must we pay tribute to Ceaser or not?”

(HOLY BIBLE) Matthew 22:77

(b) “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act,”

(HOLY BIBLE) John 8:4

(c) “Master, what commandment is the first of all?”

(HOLY BIBLE) Mark 12:28

Now they come to him concerning a Jewess who had seven husbands, according to a Jewish practice — if one man dies leaving no offspring behind, then the 2nd brother of the deceased husband takes her to wife, to give her his seed. But when he fails and dies, the 3rd takes her on; and so on and so on. In the case before Jesus, seven brothers had this one woman, one after another. All the seven brothers died, and in time, the woman also died. There was no problem while each was trying to fulfil his duty — it was ONE by ONE! But the question of the Jews was that, at the RESURRECTION, which one was going to have this woman, because they had all “HAD” her here! The picture the Jews are trying to conjure up in Jesus’ mind is that if the seven brothers are resurrected simultaneously at the RESURRECTION, and the woman also, then there will be a war in heaven among the seven brothers, all claiming the woman as his own wife, because they had “all had her”. In short, which fellow will have this woman as his wife in heaven? In answer to that, Jesus says: “Neither shall they die anymore” — meaning that the resurrected persons will be immortalised: needing no food, no shelter, no clothing, no sex, no rest. “For they are equal unto the angels,” meaning that they will be ANGEL1SED, they will be SPIRITUALISED, they will become SPIRITUAL CREATURES, they will be SPIRITS! As regards himself, four chapters further on he says: “A spirit has no flesh and bones, as you see me have” — I am NOT a spirit, I am NOT a ghost, I am NOT a spook, I am NOT RESURRECTED! I am the same living Jesus — ALIVE! 1

“And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and feet.”

(HOLY BIBLE) Luke 24:40

1. Paul is more specific and succinct on this matter. He says in 1 Corinthians 15:35-46. “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?…so also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption…It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual”.

Jesus points out two similarities between angels and the resurrected but he does not say the two will be identical in all ways.  The similarities are that neither marries nor dies.  The passage does not focus on the nature of the resurrection body at all and so Deedat reads what he wants into the text.  Luke had no problem including this story and still believing Jesus’ resurrected body was physical (see above).  In 1 Corinthians 15:35-46 Paul is contrasting the mortal body with the resurrection body, but the Greek text does not require that the resurrection body lack physicality (N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, p. 312ff.).  Moving on:

THE DISCIPLES’ FEAR SUBSIDES

The disciples were “overjoyed and wondered”, what could have happened? They had thought that he was dead and gone, but here with them stands their Master, with flesh and bones — with 100% characteristics of a man ALIVE!

To assure them further, to calm their shaky nerves, he asks: “Have you here any meat’, i.e. anything to eat? “And they gave him a piece of broiled fish and of a honeycomb, and he took it, and DID EAT before them.”

(HOLY BIBLE) Luke 24:41-43

To prove what? That he is RESURRECTED? Why does he not then say so instead of proving everything to the contrary? Presenting his physical body for examination, eating and masticating “broiled fish and honeycomb”. Is all this an act, a pretence, a make-believe, another “leela” as the Hindus might say? “No!” Said Schleliermacher a hundred-and-sixty-five years ago. Albert Schweizer in his book, “In Quest of the Historical Jesus”, page 64, quotes him:-

“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”

Deedat asks why Jesus did not just say he was resurrected.  He hopes that his readers won’t actually read the Gospel of Luke and see that Jesus says just that (Luke 24:45-49, quoted above).  The eating of food was to further prove that he was not a ghost because they still could not believe it because of the joy and amazement (Luke 24:41).  The chapter ends as follows:

EASY SALVATION

What is wrong with our Christian brethren? Jesus says that a spirit has no flesh and bones, they say that it has! Please ask your friends among them; Who is lying? Jesus or you, the billion so-called followers of his? This is the result of two thousand years of brain-washing or “programming” as the American would say. Salvation is cheap in Christianity! The Christian does not have to fast, and pray, and strait-Jacket his life as the Muslim is obligated to do. He merely has to BELIEVE and salvation is his. For us, all our efforts, all our good deeds are “like filthy rags”, he says. You better re-programme him, or he will programme you. He will never be satisfied with us, never mind how far backward we bend to appease him. Allah says:  “And they — the Jews and the Christians — will never, never be satisfied with you until you follow their religion” (Holy Quran 2:120).

It’s either you change them, or they change you! If you want peace – Salaam – ISLAM!

Christians do not say that spirits have flesh and bones, they say the resurrected Jesus had a physical nature.  Jesus’ words in Luke 24 are in agreement with the Christian view of the resurrection so it is not a matter of choosing between what Jesus says and what Christians say.  Deedat’s view of salvation in Christianity is inaccurate.  The last line of the chapter comes off as a threat:  choose Islam or choose conflict.  Such a threat would not be surprising seeing as Ahmed Deedat was an “ardent backer of Osama bin Laden.”

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