New Testament is the second, later, and smaller of the two major divisions of the Christian Bible, and the portion that is canonical (authoritative) only to Christianity. The New Testament consists of twenty-seven books, the work of early Christians and reflects their beliefs about Jesus; it claims to be a history of what Jesus taught and did. Shorter in size but, through its associations with the spread of Christianity, it has wielded an influence far out of proportion to its modest size. Like the Old Testament, the New Testament is a collection of books, including a variety of early Christian literature (excluding the scriptures opposed to Trinity, like Gospel of disciple Barnabas). Christians see in the New Testament the fulfillment of the promise of the Old Testament. It relates and interprets the New Covenant, represented in the life and death (as believed by Christians) of Jesus, between God and the followers of the Christ. Like the Old Testament it contains a variety of kinds of writing.
Among its 27 books, are selected recollections of the life and acts and sayings attributed to Jesus in the four Gospels; a historical narrative of the first years of the Christian Church in Acts of the Apostles; Epistles or letters of advice, instruction, admonition, and exhortation to local groups of Christians, 14 attributed to Paul, one (Hebrews) probably in error, and seven by three other authors; and an apocalyptic description of the intervention of God in history, the Book of Revelation. The books are not arranged chronologically in the New Testament. The Epistles of Paul, for example, which address the immediate problems of local churches shortly after Christ, are considered to be the earliest texts. The books are instead arranged in a more logical narrative order, the Gospels (Injeel) telling the life of Jesus and his teachings; the Acts detailing the work of Christ’s followers in propagating the Christian faith, it carries the story of Christianity from the Christian belief of Resurrection of Jesus to the end of the career of Paul.
The Letters or Epistles, relate with the teaching the meaning and implications of the faith; it carries the correspondence by various leaders of the early Christian church, chief among them Paul, applying the message of the church to the sundry needs and problems of early Christian congregations. The Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse) is prophesying future events and the culmination of the divine purpose; it is the only canonical representative of a large genre of apocalyptic literature that appeared in the early Christian movement. The setting of the New Testament within the Christian community is one factor that makes a biography of Jesus or a history of the 1st-century church difficult or impossible. A history of the New Testament is made difficult by the relatively short time span covered by its books when compared with the millennium and more of history described by the Old Testament. There is less historical information in the New Testament than in the Old, and many historical facts about the church in the 1st century therefore must be arrived at by inference from statements in one of the Gospels or Epistles.
New Testament – History of Compilation:
Oral Traditions Put into Writing: The oral traditions have been put into writing from Aramaic to Greek from 50-70 C.E. Jesus conveyed orally to the people what God had originally revealed to him. His disciples, too, propagated it among the people by the spoken words in such a manner that they presented an admixture of their Prophet’s life-story and the verses revealed to Jesus. None of this material was put into writing during the lifetime of Jesus (peace be upon him) or even in the period immediately following him. It fell to the lot of the Christians whose vernacular was Greek to transform the oral traditions into writing. It must be borne in mind that Christ’s native tongue was Syriac or Aramaic and his disciples, too, spoke the same language. Most Greek-speaking authors heard these traditions in the Aramaic vernacular and committed them to writing in Greek. None of these important writings are dated prior to the year 50-70 C.E.
Authority & Chain of Transmission not Cited:
There is not a single instance in these works where the author has cited an authority for an event or maxim attributed to Jesus in order that one could construct a chain of transmission. Furthermore, even their works have not survived. For the period of a century and more the only “Scriptures” used by the first Jewish followers of Jesus were the Greek Septuagint translations (commonly designated LXX) of the Hebrew Old Testament, “the Law and the Prophets”, supplemented by various Jewish apocrypha and the Sibylline Oracles (150 BC to C.E 180); these were the only “authorities” appealed to by the early “Church Fathers” when preaching their new faith. The Gospel of Barnabas was popularly taught by the end of 5th century. Nowhere do they quote the books which we know today as the “New Testament.” “With the exception of Papias, who speaks of a narrative by Mark, and a collection of sayings of Jesus, no Christian writer of the first half of the second century (i.e., up to 150 C.E.) quotes the Gospels or their reputed authors.”
New Teachings Added in Teachings of Jesus:
The apostles and many other people writing “gospels” would travel to other lands and be followed by a number of people who would adopt this man’s gospel as his “Bible” as named later. Now, even the unscrupulous began to write “gospels” and to claim they were from a given apostle or that they themselves were receiving divine inspiration. Many new and innovative teachings began to be introduced into the religion of Jesus (peace be upon him).
Evolution of Divergent Beliefs:
Enmity, hatred and war began to break out between these groups. Each person claimed that they alone held the “true” Gospel of Jesus (peace be upon him) and no one else. Their beliefs now ran the gamut between various groups:
- Those believed Jesus (peace be upon him) to be a mortal messenger of God and nothing more (Arianians).
- People claiming partial divinity for Jesus (peace be upon him)
- People claiming Jesus (peace be upon him) to be a true god, but independent of God himself.
- Who called for a concept which later became to be called “Trinity”.
- Who claimed that Mary (peace be upon him) too was a god;
- Who believed in two gods, one good and the other evil. This is when the war of the gospels began.
Each group cursed and damned other groups. Christian sects butchered one-another right and left. There were numerous great debates and councils, one can think of. However, none of these groups had sufficient might to totally dominate and silence the others for good. They needed an undefeatable ally, so they began to look to the Roman Empire for support.
Support of Roman Empire:
The Roman Empire was a pagan empire; however, it was the dominant “superpower” of the time. Anyone who could enlist it’s aid would have an unconquerable ally at their side and would themselves be undefeatable. [Similarity with Jewish ascendancy over USA in present times is striking.] On the Roman side, Emperor Constantine (Emperor of Rome from 306 to 337 C.E) was greatly troubled by the swelling ranks of his Christian subjects and the great division among their ranks which did not bode well for the continued stability of his empire. Most of these fringe sects now began to fade into insignificance and the matter was now left between those who believed in the Unity of God and those who believed in a concept later called “Trinity.” The Roman Empire’s support fluctuated between these two groups for a long time until the Trinitarian’s finally gained the upper hand and all but wiped the Unitarians off the face of the earth. They selected and collected the “truly inspired” gospels (supporting admix of pagan, polytheist doctrines as against Unitarianism, preached by Jesus Christ and his genuine disciples like Barnabas and followers like Arian of Alexandria) into one volume which later became the “New Testament.” They burned all other gospels. Many sweeping campaigns of “Inquisition” were launched. Everyone found possessing any of these “false” Gospels was put to death and his Gospel burned.
Atrocities and Bloodshed:
This state of affairs continued for many centuries and many people were convicted of heresy and burned to death at the stake for a great variety of reasons. Yet others had their land and property confiscated and were imprisoned. Physical torture was casually used in order to extract a confession of guilt which would then be used to justify a verdict of death by burning. Some of the methods used to extract a confession of guilt were the stretching of limbs on the rack, burning with live coals, and the strappado (a vertical rack). Denial of the charges without counterproof or refusal to confess resulted in the most severe punishments. Examples of these people include the philosopher Giordano Bruno, Galileo, Joan of Arc, and the religious order of knights called the Templars among countless hundreds of thousands of others. Even their bodies were exhumed after death and burnt.
Ultimately, over twelve million people were put to death by the Church inquisition. The inquisitions reached their height around the middle of the fifteenth century in a massive and vicious persecution campaign the major targets of which were the Marranos (converts from Judaism) and Moriscos (converts from Islam), many of whom were suspected of secretly adhering to their original faiths. Whenever a scholar of Christianity would stumble upon the truth and begin to write about it his works would invariably be destroyed (e.g. Sir Isaac Newton, the 16th century Spaniard Michael Servetus, etc.). John Biddle (1615-62 C.E), an English theologian was involved in English translation of Bible from Greek. His knowledge of the Greek text of the New Testament convinced him that the doctrine of the Trinity was not of scriptural origin, he published his Unitarian convictions in Twelve Arguments Drawn out of Scripture . . . (1647 C.E). He was repeatedly imprisoned and persecuted. Even the Popes themselves would sometimes recognize the falsehood of the “Trinity” and the fact that it was a later fabrication. One of these popes, Honorius I (Pope from 625 to 638 C.E), was officially cursed forty eight years after his death by the Synod which was held in Istanbul in 680 C.E.
Translation, Retranslations and Distortions:
The translations also had their toll on the originally of script. In the 4th century C.E, the Pope commissioned a review of the Latin translation. In the sixteenth century, this was discarded and a fresh translation from Greek into Latin was prepared. The four Bibles were more probably rendered into Syriac language from Greek in 200 C.E nevertheless, the oldest Syriac manuscript extant was written in the 4th century. A hand-written copy dating back to the 5th century C.E, contains in most parts a different version. Among the Arabic translations made from Syriac none is known to have been prepared before the 8th century C.E. It is a strange fact that about seventy different versions of the Bible were prepared, four of which were approved by the leaders of the Christian religion, while the rest were rejected by them. However, credibility of this material with authenticity to any extent as regards the character and message (Gospel) of Jesus is doubtful. Presently there are over forty different major versions of Bible, suitable to the doctrine of different followers, one claiming to be batter and more accurate than other. The main categories are: The King James (Authorized) Version, The English Revised Version, The American Standard Version, The Revised Standard Version, Jewish Versions, The New English Bible and The Catholic Versions.
Books of Bible– Doubtful Authenticity:
Conference of Nicea: In 325 C.E in the Conference of Nicea (Iznik-Turkey), four Gospels were selected out of a minimum of three hundred available and the rest, including the Gospel of Barnabas (most authentic), were ordered utterly destroyed. All Gospels written in Hebrew were also ordered to be destroyed.
Councils of Laodicea & Carthage: In 364 C.E, another council in Laodicea confirmed decisions of Nicea and added six books as believable. In 397 C.E another conference was held at Carthage, with 126 learned participants. They confirmed the decisions of the two previous Councils and also added six more Books.
Conferences at Trullo, Florence and Trent: Three more conferences were held after this in Trullo, Florence and Trent (1545-63 C.E). They confirmed the decision of the Council of Carthage and included nearly all the previously doubtful books in the list of acknowledged books. The status of these books remained unchanged until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.
Protestants Repudiation: During 16th Century, the Protestants repudiated the decisions of the councils and declared that there are only 66 truly “inspired” books of God, and not 73 as claimed by the Catholics. If it is blasphemy to take even a title from the Bible, who is blaspheming? Those who added these seven books from the very beginning, or those who expunged them.
The Main Author of New Testament- St. Paul:
St. Paul all but totally obliterated the religion of Jesus (peace be upon him) based upon the authority of his alleged “visions”. His teachings were based more upon his personal philosophy and beliefs than any attempt to cite words or actions of Jesus (peace be upon him) himself (e.g. Galatians;2). His followers slaughtered all Christians who would not forsake the teachings of the apostles for his teachings and he was later made the “majority author” of the Bible and countless authentic gospels were burned and labeled apocrypha by his followers. “St. Paul” is claimed to be the author of 14 books of New Testament. It can be seen that the current religion of “Christianity” is based more on the doctrines and writings of Paul than anything else. The Gospels which are popularly believed to have been written first were in actuality written long after the writings of Paul.
Real Authors of Gospels and Books Unknown:
The Christian scholars, with extensive research are uncovering extensive evidence that these Gospels were not even written by their claimed authors. Richard Francis Weymouth in his ‘Weymouth’s New Testament In Modern Speech’ writes at the beginning of Gospels of ‘Matthew’: “There are ample reasons for accepting the uniform tradition which from earliest times has ascribed this Gospel to Levi the son of Alphaeus, who seems to have changed his name to ‘Matthew’ on becoming a disciple of Jesus. Our information as to his subsequent life is very scanty. After the feast which he made for his old friends (Luke 5:29) his name only appears in the New Testament in the list of the twelve Apostles. Early Christian writers add little to our knowledge of him, but his life seems to have been quiet and somewhat ascetic. He is also generally represented as having died a natural death. Where his Gospel was written, or where he himself labored, we cannot say- – – – The date of the Gospel, as we know it, is somewhat uncertain, but the best critical estimates are included between 70 and 90, C.E. Perhaps, with Harnack, we may adopt 75, C.E.The book was evidently intended for Jewish converts, and exhibits Jesus as the God-appointed Messiah and King, the fulfiller of the Law and of the highest expectations of the Jewish nation.”
The more Christian scholars study the Bible, the more it becomes painfully apparent that what is popularly referred to today as “Christianity” should more appropriately be named “Paulanity.” Even when a book is claimed to be truly “inspired” it is still found that the Church cannot say with 100% assuredness who wrote this “inspired” book.
The authors of the ‘Revised Standard Version’ of Bible by Collins say that the author of “Kings” is “Unknown,” the book of Isaiah is “mainly credited to Isaiah, parts may have been written by others.” Ecclesiastics: “Author, Doubtful, but commonly assigned to Solomon.” Ruth: “Author, Not definitely known, perhaps Samuel.” and so on so far. God says: “Verily, those who conceal that which God has sent down of the Book and purchase a small gain therewith, they eat into their bellies nothing but fire. God will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and theirs will be a painful torment. Those are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, and torment at the price of pardon. What boldness (they show) for the Fire!” (Qur’an; 2:174-175).
Persecution of True Followers of Jesus Christ:
Ever since the period of Jesus, there have been people like Branbas (one of original disciples of Jesus and apostle) who tried to follow the message preached by Jesus i.e. To worship one God, adhere to the teachings of Moses and follow the Law (Torah). They considered him to be a human, a Messenger of God not God. These groups survived in good numbers up to 4th Century, after Jesus till the other group which followed the teachings of self declared apostle Paul (Trinitarians) got upper hand by influencing Emperor Constantine of Roman Empire in early 4th century C.E. The Council of Nicea in 325 C.E declared these groups illegal. They were crushed after worst persecution. Emperor Constantine changed his mind and was baptized by Arian bishop. Later after decades Trinitarians again regained ascendancy. However besides worst persecution of centuries those Christians, who rejected Trinity, have survived in different forms till to date. Besides many unknown groups the well-known are; Arianians, Socinian, Unitarian, Universal Christianity, and Jehovah’s Witness- Millennialist Sect.
Scientific, Historical, Descriptive and Other Errors:
Apart form the authenticity of the script, Bible is full of scientific, historical, descriptive and other errors, Dr.Maurice Bucaille in his famous book; “The Bible, The Qur’an and Science” has highlighted some of them under the headings of; ‘The Old Testament and Science-Findings’; ‘The creation of the world’; ‘The date of the world’s creation and the date of man’s appearance on earth’; the Flood, General Genealogies of Jesus, variations in the manuscripts in Old Testament and in relation to the Old Testament and Contradictions and improbabilities in the descriptions. Renowned scholars Dr.Gary Miller, Ahmed Deedat and Dr.Zakir have also highlighted these aspects in their books and lectures. The reliance on Bible as a source of religious guidance is seriously shattered when the internal and external evidence of the biblical literature is examined.
Feigned Parts in Biblical Literature
This leaves one wondering whether such a scripture is authentic enough to entrust one’s worldly life and eternal destiny to it. Since there are over 40 different main versions of the Bible, one finds contradictions in one Bible but, may not find the same contradictions in another version of the Bible, but many more, the Scholars continue to develop some consensus. The Christian and Jewish scholars changed the world of God in contravention to the commandment of God, in the same Bible: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I (God) command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy; 4:2). This is how the true Message of guidance of God for the humanity revealed through His Messengers (Abraham- Moses though Jesus) got corrupted. Hence it is well established that; the Biblical scriptures, both New and Old Testaments, are unreliable sources and cannot, therefore, be used as an authentic means of knowing the truth about the previous messengers and their messages (Judaism and Christianity). However, a close examination of these scriptures in the light of Qur’anic verses will reveal some of the truths about previous messengers and their messages, especially of Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) that have survived in the Bible in some form.
- Main Thames
- The Traditions (Sunnah)
- Bible & Quran התנ”ך x26 הקוראן
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