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By Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Translated By Muhaululad ShoaibOulnr

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~ 'M '. - .. " ..... 1 -~ "- - •

idara J'D, 'AR'A" I'SIHA'·ft'T.E.-D., ·I'N'IVA· T' ('.'p .•. ) .. I "

--."... ,'-'- .! ,M , I !, ,I,.. .. LrD.


What is Christianity'?

By.: Muhammad Taq~ U!'lmani

Edition.: 2003

ISBN: 81=7101~34lli-4·

Published by

IDARA {SIIA" AT-E-UI"NIYAT (P) L-TD. 168!2~ Jha House. Hazrat Nizamuddin New Delhi.", 1 10 013 (India)

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Visit u.s at: 'wlvwJdar,

Ihiis, work constituted adetaUed lntroductlon to the wa,n known treotse on 'Christiolnlty lzhorul Haqq which woswrttten bv Moulono R,aihmatuUah Ko'rrana'wli li',n Ara .. biie ond e,drte'd and tronsloted by me into Urdu" During the IC'OU:fse of my 'work (of trans~altiing end ed,fting), tl studied the Chris.t~an re'llllilgi'o,n in itsori"g,ii,no'l sources" Ihe conclusions of rnv studv consntuted t.he sold introduction whi'ch was loter pUlbUs,he,d seporctelv under the title nWh,ot is ChriistialnitY"~'.

Th' - - k h b - -- - t - I -t d t" - A--- b 'i ., d- Ih-

" - ,:IS WQlrl ,Ias,=een' -r,ans ae - In- -0' - r,a'_'I'e, t a:n' --_ lias

met wiith wide ccceptonce. For somefirne. the needl wos felt for an EngUsh trcnslonon. end my I~earn!e,d' brother Muhammad Sholo Orner undertook the, tosk

II have reod the text. ond have touno thaf 'the tronslotlcn refll,ects the olbliUty and competence of the tronslotor. He has exercised oue core and shown diU ... 'Qlenc6'. Ma'y Allo'h gi've him the best re,ward and grlont him, towflq to undertoke slmUar ocodernlc works.

I sincerely hope thclt thiiS work wi I1I1' ossst the, Engllish reoder to properlv understond Chri,stiiQlnity.

MIUHIAMMAD TAQI US,M',ANII Durban ~ .. 13 Apriil 1987~

The Author is:

- -

• Author of a number of outstanding works on Islamic La'w and lslarn g,ener

• ,J1udge of: the Shanat Appellate Bench IOf the Supreme Court iQf Pakistan

• Me'miber of 'the tstarnic Fiqaih Acadie'my (Jeddan), a, blody ccnslstinq of lead MusHlml ,Jurist.s Irepresenting Musllim S'ta,tes;:

• P'~'O'fesslor ,oif Hadffh and Vic:e·Rect:or' of 'the lslamic h1stituteJ,

Da ru l-U loom, Karac:h.,

• D'isti n,guished in the ,a,PP'II,ica'ti,on ,o,f !I slam ic Law '~~O ne'w

sltuatlons and problem

• R,eliig'ious adviser 1:0 various II,sII18,mic banks and interested



The Do,ctrinesof Chriistianity

D:efi n iiti oln of Ch rii$tiian i,ty ~~ •• ,'. ~, •. " ... ~ •. 'to •• '., ." ' •• ,. u ~ .. 'U ,,,,~,,,,. ,,~ '",. ~ .,i •• ., •• " , • .,~, 9

The Goncep~ii,o'n o~ God in Chris~ianily "', , , , ". 10

The Doctrine of Trinirty , " ,.,., .. ,'.' ' " " .. , " .. , ' ,. 1 0

U!ni~y' lin TlhJree ' ' ' , '."' , .. ,."' ,. .".,. ." ,. ..•..• '.'.'.' •..•. ', •. , .....•.. ".n n. 111

Son .... " .... ,. Lll ., ... "L~ ~I. L ~J,",! ~ ~. '!!~'!I ~ !."," §;t; ~I"; jI, i '" i iii Ii, iii it.. iii .,iIi i iii ""'i" i .. "'~ "". '!! .'!.! !!IL!!!!! !I!'!'!! l'iI! ~!!-'I!!Ii! ;t;'I,t;;t, i;l! .. iii Iii· .... ,.,!''!!! "I! 1113

Holly Sp'~jr~~, ' ,. ' " ' .."."" .. ' ' .e. •• , •• ,. •••• ,..,. ••••• " •• " ••• ' •• ' •••••• ,' .",. .,.,. 14

The Unity of Three and One. ,,, ~"' ,' '.' ,' 14

Proo~ of Triiil1li'ty' by' Im;eans of the ,example of the mind " .. , ,.. 19

S'e,co:nd Exa mp'l e ' .. ' .. ,. ."., .. ' .. '" .. ' ' ' .. ' " . ,', .,,' .. ' . .,. .. , .. ,' _ , " , . , , " ' ' .. " 2:2

The 'C,hrisUa:n 'Teac;hingl Rel,ating tD ,Jesuis Christ .u .. " ~~.'u25,

lncarnatlon ,." ,. .. ",..,. .. " " ,. .' ' ,' " , .. " , , .. ,., 25,

Those who Deny the Diivini~y of Christ ,., , .. " ",. ,28

P,8,U Uc~a,nl Sect . 0 •• '0 ••• 0 ' •• ' •• ' •••••• ""' •• ' •• '.' •• ' •••••••• , •••• _,. .,. ••• ' -0' •• ' • ' •• '0 ••••• 0 •• " ••••• ' •• " 30

- - ~--

T'h,e Nestorlan Sect ". '" .. ' .. ' ' ' , ' .. , ' ,', , .. ,.",.'.' no ,30

J' h:',," - C" h- h "]!"i!

la,c'olul~l~e 1._._ -." IIU flC .. '!.!. ~JL •• '.'~ i Iii i til ."Ii Ii !lJ'!!!''!'!!'!I'>!!II'II!!!l !!''II! ~ I! if! 11ii;;r,; ii.oij iIi'li iii i,lii.,1ii • ,Ill i',",." .,L .... ""i .'. iii., .. iii i Iii .... , Iii _L.J"'..j-~

The Final ~ll1iterpre~ation ,. ' , , 32

The, Cruclfixlon ,".,. " ,' ., " " ". '" .," .. ' .. ' ' .. ' .. , ' .. ' .. ," 0'" .' ••• ,.,., •• 33

T'h'B Hoi Y Cross, , .. ,,' ,. . ,. .,,' , .. ,. .. ". "',' . "' . "' . 0' • " .". - 0 •••• ' •••• ' ' •• ' ••• ' •••••• ' ••• ' •• ' ••• ' ••• '.,.' •• .'34

Resurr!9(;tlon ' ' ,. "" .', , .. , .. " .. '.'. _ , .. '.'.'.'.' .. , " .. ,. .. ' " '.'.034,

B,aptis,m ' .. " ' ' ' .. ,. " " .. " " .. '. '. ' ' ' '. "' ' ' ' " '.' 46

Passovs r . ' ' , , ' .. ' .. , ' ," '., ' '., ' , '.'.' ,.48


A Resume olf the Hist,ory of Christ,ianity

History ,of the Ilsra:eUtes: ,AnOvervie'w , .. u., .. ,. .... n".n .... n" ... ,.''' .. ~ .... "',..u :53

Resum@ of Hlstory of Christian~ty , .. " .. , " " 56

Consta, the Great ' ' ' ' .. ' .. "0.' - ••• ". 0' ••••••••••• ,." •• ,. ••••.•• 57

From Con:s:tant'ine to G relQlory ' " " , , .. " .' .. ,..., .. ~ •. , .. , 58

The IDar,k Ages ililiiilo!!!"'lI!lIiliI'riii~o!"II!I".IIiI."oIiil'.!!I'!'!II'.IIIl.I1;1jii'liil''"!''1I!Il!l"!l.I!Ii;i;!!4I!!!"!!!!"'!I:~.'liIi •• """!!!I'II'I'.I"i,59 'T'hlB Mli,ddfe Ages iii ii •• ~I '1III!iIIl.',I'I'III'I' ••• tii .,i I!O .''I!!! It! 111,1 iltii iii. tii~~! II! I' 11111.1 III ii,' ihli' ,!,III '!' ~ '!I! it! I Ii ",i .,. I' iI-"" iii' ill Iii 1610

T,he Gre,~t ,Schiism ... ' ... .1. •••• '. ""." •••••• ". " ••• " ••••• , ••••• " .', •••••••••• ' ••••• " •••••• " ., •• 60

Religi'ous Wars . ill iii ", •• til I''!! 11.'111 II iii 11r!!!'!! .. ~ .. II ill i ... _!'.!·I !!.~ III iI iii,. Ii i .. '" ~ !III. iI,,. illoli iI,1Ii ., ..... ,!! '!! Iii iI ... ] .... 'I! ""I iii 'Ii iii ,61,2

Co' rru pt jon of P'apacy " .. ' .. , .. ' " .. , .. , ' " " .. ' .. ' .. , '. _ , 62

Attemp,ts j:n thl'l Name o.f Heform , ' , " " , " .. 63

E'ra o',f R'ef"co'lf'm- 'Sl-I .... ,d Prot estan t·I's·m- 164·

I·....: " I ,II I . . - ". - .. ',' ' . .-: _ I· ,. '!',II I' I ill i !I 'I! ~ I!" I! ii' iii'. II. '1!!!lI'1i ., II' •• !II • ,. _ - "_-

Re'nai,ssa.nce' !!'!I'.,I..'I~iiilii"."!'''!!!!I\'l!lII.,.llIIt.!!' •• ''''IP,'llI,liilij •• '!!!t'llIIIiIi'hilliiiiiol!l!!!I,!II'I!.',ih.,., ••• ,..!!t!.rfiilil.'illII •• ~',I! .. i,;;64

- - --

The ,Era ot Mod,elrnis,m .. ' " .• ' ' .. "", ' .. ' .. "',., .. ' .. ', ' , .. " ' "." ". , 65

M,Q1v'ement of Reviiv'sUsm ., , , , , .. , 66,

PAR"T 111111

The iReall1 Fau,nder of Chr,is,t,ianil,y

Who lis th'e F,ounder of ChristiI8:nity'?' huo •• ,.'''Uouo' , •• , •• ,.~ ' •• 'n.' •• 69

lntronuction to piau I .....•... "" .. ,." , .. ," ., .. '.' ,,' , ' " 6a'

J'esus, and Paull ,.' .. ,.,., " .•... , .. _ , ' " " 11

Trinity and-lnearnatlon ., .. " " ,." ' " 7,2

The Djscip~es" Vilew of JI'9SUS •• , .• , ••• ' , .•.. " " 76

The Status of Gospel of' J·oh'n ' "" " 7B,

'C:oncllu'siilons , .. '" ~ .. , ",., " .. ' .. ' , .. '" .' ',. '" " .. " .. "."'.,. ".". ' ' .. ' 85

'The, Doctrine, of Redemption .. , "' , ,., .. "." " 8,7

The Order to Act- on the Torah .. ", .. " ,." " , '91

last Supper "' .. " ., , " " " , " , 93

The Order of Cilrcumcis,ion , ', " " 9'8

Hli.storic,a~ IEv,idl,9.nce , .. , " .' .. ' .. , .. ', "" , " .- .. ' ".". ' .. ' '94

Journey to Atabia """0' ' •• '. 0".'." ••••••••• ,. or " •• , •• , ••••• " ,",., •• " •••••• 94

The' Conduct of the Dis:ci1ple's· towards Paul , 9'7

Palu,l and Barnabas '1'0'" 11 ••••• " ••• ' •• '. " •• ". " •• ' •••• , •••• , •••• " •• 11 ." , •• , ••• 97'

Council o,f' Jerusalem .. ' ••...... , t r •• , ' •• " •• "., •• , •••• ' " •• " " 1:012

Tlhe Letter' Nalm,ed Gallat~ans ." , " " .. , , ' ' " 1107

,Con,c~llJI,s,i:ons iii ••• , •• '_~''lI! !l'1!1! I~" iliii,i.'!!''1 !'I!I'IIiIl'i ,!,riil!!! !!I!I!I'I,lii Li.., •• c. .. ''''!I'!Ii i,lli i.",! "!!!!!, !"'i '" ~"""'! !!I!iIi iiili .. 110

After Separatilon .. ' .. '. " '.' " .•... "., 11 " •••• , •••••• ". , •• " "'." ••• " •• ,.,. 112

Glos,pe,I,o,! Bamabs .. "',." ".' .. ' .. ,',,' .' ..• " ' .. " .' .. , ,." ..... " ... "." , "' .... '., ... 11,2

Paul and Peter ,i1"'.';' '!'!!It'll 1"1 "'·Il i,"jP. !IlI.'I,11i1 liii", """ •• "1 'II !'llili liili •• !' !!lliIi i..,1i .'.'~ ! il'illii .,._ , ••• '" !lilli' I 113

Letters of Peter " ,.' .. ,,, .. ,, .. , ' e ee ' ••••• ,., •• ' ••••••• '., ••••• " , •• , , "' 1115,

James and Paul illoii!II!!!!'!!III11"lfl .. Liliiti1ii"l!!I".I~ ... II·IIiiIIi~'iil •• , •• '''II'lji!iillli"i'!~~!II.IIiI,lii"!I'!!~"l!liliifliioii ~"Iill 117

O,th;er Disc:ilples " ' ........••. ' .. '1 ••••• ; • •• '1' •••• " •••••••• , •••• '. ,,' •• ,. , •. ' •• t 19

Conclusions I ""I'lii l,iIi iii'''. ,. "'I "!'I~ 1"1 illI-1!11 iii iI,. ~ 'i!! II!! '1"1I1l1l illi iii,. ~'!'" !II'! ~,iI'iiliJliI. I, ~I'II'! III i ,Ii ii'l. -'!!!I' ~ iii ;t-~ ii" .... ,. !I!! 120

'Qipipofllen'ts, of Paul .' .. -, .. " - .. '.' .......••.. '" ",. ',. .' , •...... , , .. ' .. ' " 12"1

W'hat is Christianity



WhJ.l is Christianity


The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines Chr~sNanityas follows:

'['TIII e' IRei''!I'giorllthat tJ,8CeS, its origin to Jesus of Nazarethj whom lit affirms, to be the chosen one (Christ) Qif God".

This definitton of Chnstianity is very brief. Alfreo A.

Garvie has amplified this definition. tn the article on Christianmty rn the Encycl!opa.edlia Of R,eli'g1ion and Ethics, he writes as foillow.s,:

"We may defilne Christianity as ~he ethical, historical. universal, rnonothelstlc, redemptive reillig.ion. in which the relation of God and man is mediated by the person and workot the LordJesus Christ".

He- thereafter explains, each part of the detintticn in detail.

According him "Ethical" reli'g:ion means that n~ligiion. which prayers and offerings are not "lade to obtain earthly boons (suc-h as toed, health, safety, etc.) but, above aUf it~ SO 1'8' object is to attain spiritual perfection and the pleasure ot God,

By "Historical' refig,ion, he means that reUgilion ~n which the pivot of thought and action is ceantered in a historical personal ity -- that iis I Jesus (Isa r)L.n ~ ). I t is his word and actthat has finali authority in Christianity,

"Universal" in hls view means that Christlanity is not confined to specific race or nlation=· .. but that its message is universal.

What is Chrisuanity


He deflnes Ghrjs,t~anity as "Monotheistlc" because" in spite of its belief in three Persons, Glod is said to be, one. He writes:

,. Ail~hough ;tn popular beli'e,f and speech the Christi'an Doctrine of the Trilriliitiy~ or preferably tr,il-unity, has often come pe'rliilo'us~y near Trlthelsm yet Ctulistianfty is, ess'entially rnonothelstlc, rnalntaininq the Unf,ty of God as a cardinal Doctrine".

The fina~1 feature Oof Chrlstianity lin the above definition is said to he, its belie] ~n redemption, lin ,e.xpllaining this, part of the definition J Ga rvie 1 writes:

"The fol'lowsh~p betweE!'n God and man is admliU,ed to be interrupted by sin. and man must. be redeemed to be' restored to this f,el~oW',s.hiip. ln thls redemption, Christ atone is the mediator",

This Is .a brief def~nitfon of Christlanity. !n r,eal~i'~Y1 however, the correct understanding ot a re~i,glion cannot be obtained un'ess one properly understands lts cardinal doctrines, We shall, accordtnglv, explain each of these doc-trines separately and in deta,iill.

Tha Co,n,ception o,f God in C"hriislianity

In so far as the, nature of God lis concerned, Chns~ialniity does not differ lin this regard rrornoiher re~,ig~ons. lt a.118'0 ascribes to God substantially the, same attributes as does other re,liIgions" Maurice Relton 2 writes:

"The Cnristtan conceives 0" God as a li,virr1!g baling possessed of all possible pede(:tmons,,, oraUr.ibutes. He: is one capable of beingl a:pptrehendl,ed though not comprehended, by ~lhe fi'nile human mind. A full and exact anal'ysis, ther,sfore. of hli:s essence is beyond! the power of our linl.ell,ligenc'e, \'Vhat he, lis in hirnsel is unknown, save so far as his ow.n selt-disclosure has revealed it, genera.!III~/' jin his relation to mankind" ,and speci'fic,a~ly! lin his r,evelati,on of himself if!! the person of our lord and Sav~om J,eslJIs Chr,ist"

The ID!octrine of Tr:iln'it.y

Untill this point, the matter is. clear, Further on, however,

1. Enc:yclo;Pi:u~dia: of Aell!igi<tJo and IEthii:cs.., IP .. 5811.

2. Re.llton. p.3.

Wha t is Christian] cy

1 1

the Cbristian explanation of the conception of God is extremely ambiguous and difficult to understand. Ev,en the layman knows that God according to Christianity is composed of three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Ttus doctrine 'Of God ls known as the doctrine, of Trinity. lin elucidating' and tnterpretmg this doctrine, however, the views of the CIh rlsnan scholars themselves are so divided and contradictory that it is extremely ,diffi,cuH to arrive with certainty at one conclusion. Who are the three Persons whose' unity, according to Christians, ~s 'God? There ls itselt a diHerenos of opinion in their identiticatlon. Some say that God is the totality of the Father" Son and Holy Spiri,t 3" Others. are of the view that the Father, Son and Vi rgilnM:ary (Maryaml are the thr,ee Persons whose unity represents God. Then, what is the indivldual status of each of these three P,ersons,and wha:t is their relationship to the whole God which is referred to as Trinity? II:n answer to this question also, there are great: differences of opinion. One group liS of tlhe opinion that each of the tnree person is God just as the whole is God .. Another 'group is ot the view that each ·of the threeseparately is God, but when compared to the whole each has a lesser status and the word "Goc" has been used for each in a sHghtlywid'ST sense 4, The third qroup lis of the opinion that each ot 'the three is not God, but th~! God is onlly the whole (trinity).

Uniity in Three

ln any event there are mnurnerable ditterences of opinion with the result that the doctrine of Trinity has become a "niqhtmare". 'We shall present that mterpretation and explanatlon of this doctrine which appea rs to be qenerally accepted by Christians. In the word of the Encyclopaedia 18ritarmiGB! the interpretation is as follows:

"The Cl1ristiian doctrtne of' tine Trinity can be best

:. This \ ic\ ... · represents l,h. be lief of the- m:ljorily nl' Christians . see r:n(,~ ~·lupLlL:t.lLl Britannica. article entitled Trinity. vul. 21. fl' 4X7.

4" Aqu'im1s.,\\11. I. p . .3~1.


expressed i.11 the wo rds: The F,ather ts God; the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is Godl, and yet they are not three Gods but one God ... for like as we are corncenec by the Christian unttyto acknowledqe 'every Person by himself to be God and lord. so we are torbldden by the Cathol~c: relligion to say that there

are three Gods or three Lords, 11 -

ln explalninq th is, the WI8'U known theologian and philosopher 01 the ,3rd Century (A". D .. h, Saint Aug!usUne writes in his famous book On The Trinity as follllows:

"All those Catncllc iexpounders of the Divine Scriptures. both old and new, whom II have been able to 1J'18'ad, who have wr'i,t1.en before me conc€,ming the, Trinity" who is God, have purposed to teach, ,according to. Ul,e Scriptures, this Doctrine, that the Fatner, and the Son and the Holy Spiril intimate a divin,e unity of one' and the' same substance in an indivilslibh::! eCluali~y; and thsre'Tore t:ha:~ this'y are not three Gods, but one God: although the father hath be'goUen the Son, and so he who is ,he Fafher ils not the son; and the SOil is begoUer. by the F,a'1helr,. and so he who is HilE!' 80n is not the Father, and the Holy S,pi,rit is neither m,e Father nor the Son, bu~ only lhe Spirit of the Father and the Son, himsett also co-equal with the Father and the Son and pertaining to, the unity of the Tlrinity, Yet not that. thts Trinity was born of the vir'gin IMary, and cruci;fi:ed under Pontius Pilate, and burled, and rose again the third day. and ascended into'heaven, but 'only 'Uile' son, Nor, aqain, that this Trinlty descended ~In ~he form of a dove upon Jesus when he was baptized; nor that, 011 the 5 day of of P·en~ec.ost, alter the ascension of the lord" when TI1'9're came a sound from heaven ,as. ot a rushi'og wind 'the same Trinity 'Sat upon each of them: wliith cloven tongues Ilike as of fire 'But o/l,lly the HQllly Spir~t Nor ye,t tnat thisTrj,n~tY' said from heaven, 'Thou a 11: my Son IS, 'Whether when he' was baptized by John, or when the three DJscip~es were wlith him ill the mount, or when the, voice sounded, sayi;ng. 'I have both glorilied it, and willi glori~'y it ag:ain;' but that it was a word of the Father on'~y" spoken to the son; al'ttloug,h the' Father, and ihe Son and the Holy Spirit, as they are indivisible, so work indivi:sib11Iy. This is also my ta i~h~ since it lis the cafholie faith, ,j 7

What is the basis of perrnissiblntv in the eyes of

1. rIl1ATT. III. P. 16.

7. AliGrUST!lNE. VOL. 2, P. 67,2.

Whar is Chris tianiry


Chrisfians for re'9arding three as one, and one as three? Before deaHng wit hi the answer to this question, we' must understandthe rneaninq of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit ln GhrhUia.n~[y.


The Im,eall1ing o~ fatheraccordinq to Christians is the substance o~ God alone wtthoul: any reference 10 attnbutes o.f speech and. me. This essence in relation to the existence of the Son lenjloys the status of the prlnciple. Accordlnq t.o the, interpretatlon o~ tbe we~~! known Christian philosopher 81. Thomas Aquinas" the' meanmq of mather is not that he has begoUen anybody, or such a time has passeo i n wlh~ch there was the wether and no'[ the son, but that this is divine' terminoloqy --whose purpose is simply that the father is the, principle of the SGf] just as the substance ,is the principle of the attribute. Otherwise, since the time the father was in existence, the son was also in existence, and neither of them enioys any pr'iorii'ty iin time aver the other ,8.

Why is the essence of G,ad reference to as the father?

lin answer~nlg this question l .A~fr,ed A .. 'Garvie, 9 wlri'tes that :

'liliin relation to man, God I!S father by which is meant

not mere~y man's cre·ahJ~ne'~y 'dlependEH1C€)' o III God, or [ple:rson,aJ'a.ffinity to God, but Gcd'sJoveto man, and

his purpose to bring rnanlato h;lc!~illowsh~p of love with

t11~ rnself" .


The meaning of "son" .according to Chr~stlanity lis the word ot God. This is however not smlm~llar to the word of human beinqs, I~n di'Stiinguishing! between the word of IGod B.nd the wOir,d! of man, A:qu'inas 10 writes:

"1 n hurnan natu re the' wOlrd ls nl()~ somethl lilig subsistent, and hence ~it is not properly called Ib'e'goUen or' sun. 8u1 the divine word is som'ethl~I1'g subsistent in the d.ivine naturer and hence hei,s properly and not metaphorieallv caHed son" ano hl,is

prin.ciip'lle ,is ( her". .

Be Aquinas, vol, 1, p. 324.

g, Encyclopaedia of IReU'giotn and Ethics, p. 5'96. 10. Aquinas, vol, 1, IJ. 3~26 ..

What is Christianity


Accorcmq to' Chrils,tian be,liei, the k:now'~edge of God to what ever extent is obtamed through this attribute, and aU thingls are created by means of this attribute. This attnoute the father lis etemai and an dent 11" It was this attribute of God which became- incarnate' lin the person of .Jesus Christ because of which he was reterred to as the son of God. The' doctri ne of incarnation enioys a, speciftc status and we, shall tnerefore deall with i~ in detail\ later. (tnsn« Affa'h) ..

Holy Spirit

The meaninq of the Holy Sp~rit the attributes of life and j10ve of' the father and son, That is to say! the' essence of ,God (father) loves by means of these attributes its attribute of knowledge (son), and the' son likewise loves the fat her. These a ttributes like the attribute of Word!, exist i:n substance, and ere eternal and everlastmq as the father and son. For this reason, the Holy Spilrilt enjovs the status ,of. a separate person ..

According to Christian beU,e",ths,se attributes (Ho:!y Spirit) descended on Jesus in the form of a dove 'when be was baptized (Matthew: 3,:16). Thereafter, when Jesus was raised to heaven, thJs very Holy Spirit descended lin the form of tongues as of tire on the dlseptes of Jesus on the day of P'entecost.

In short, tneretore "Tri-Unity" means that God comprises of three persons: the essence of Goo referred to as tlhe father; the attribute of the word of G,od referred to as the son; and the attributes of file and love of God referred to as the HOlly Spirit. o't thes.e three, each one is God. However, the three toqsther are not three Gods but only one God.

'The Unlity olt Three and One

The question arises here: How can God remain one when the father, the son and the Holy Spirlt are each be:Uev6Id' to be God? They must necessarily be, three.

1 1. Augustine. vol. 2, p. 168_

What is Christianity

1 5

This question bas since the beginn'inQi ot Ohristlanity unW the present day been a riidd:le. Gre,a.t Chriistian think,srs have attempted to solve the riddle: in dlUerent forms, and w,ays,. There arose on this basis numerous sects. lin truth, however" no ratliona.ny acceptable answer to the queston was offered. Protessor Maurice R,eUon in his excellent work "Studies in Christian Doctrlne" has. in ,8, stlrnulatmq discussion dealt with the soiutlons ottered by various sects, more speciUcallly at the end of the second century and 'the beg'inniingl of the third century of 'the Christiian era,

When the Ebionite sect emerqed to sol,ve this problem, they took up the cudqels atthe first step - the'y stated that, in 'beUeving J'9SUS Christ C~Sar:A-J11 ~ ) to be God, th1ey coutd not preserve the belief iin the, ur1ity of God. Accordll,ngliy" it must be said that he was not completely and wtJUy 'God. He could be regar,ded as the resemblance Gf God, or the image of Godls character, However, ~t could not be said that in essenceand substance he, 'was 'God as the father was ..

This sect in attempting to, resolve the issue struck at the basis and foundation o,f Christianity. for that reason, the' Church openly opposed it and declarec iitS adherents irmovators and heretics. ~n !he result, this solution to the' problem W'9S not worthy of acceptance.

A qroup om Eblonites themselves ernerqed and asserted th a t the divi nity of Gh dis t C~ sa, 'f'~11 ~ ) must nO'l be so. openly denie'd·- he must be believed 1'0 be God. But in order to avoid the slander of polytheism" it must be said that in essence, the father onliy was God. However, the doctrlne of trinit.y was also correct because the Iather had conferred dilvine status on the son and the Holy Spir'it

This theory also 'was opposed to the doctrinal principles of the Church because the Church believed the son to be af one substance or essence as that of' the father. Henes, this sect was also declared heretic and the matter remained unresolved 85. before,

What is Christianity


A third sect known as: Pa,trilpaSslianis,m sprung up. lts foremost proponents were Praxeas, lNoetus, Z,ephyrinus and Cal'Hstus. They presented a In'9W phitlosophy in order to resolve the prcblem. They asserted that thej':'fathe'f and son w'e,r,e' not separate and distinct persons I but were, modes or manfestatione of one pers,an to whom separate names were given. In re,ality, God was the fatner, He lin ref·ation to his essence is, eternal and lmmortal. IHe is lmperceptiore to Man, and not subject to human needs and wants" In vi,ew of' tne fact, however, that he ,is God, and nobody can stop God's winJ it foUows that he may at any 'Um'9 by hi'S wi\'! ,9S'" sume '[he human character and be subject to human wants and needs. And" if he wms, he maY' be vlis,ibfe ~Q people by manifesting! hi1mself as Man. To the, extent that, if he, wliUs at any time; he may die' before people. Consequently, on one occasion God wined that he apear in ths forrn of Man. Ac .. cordjng~Y'. he appeared bod~~y' in the world as JISSUS CI'sa r~~ ~ ) and became visibie to. men. The ,Je,ws brought untotd hardships, on him to the extent that they crucified him one day. Hence ,. Jesus eh rist or the SO~l, ~s' not in reality a separate person, but he' ~s, the fathe'f who ~n as .. surninq human form,' caned him,sen the' son 1'2.

it is clear that although on the one hand th~is philosophy to a de'gree solved the probtern et ,liThe Unity of Three and One", it ra,ised on the' other hand. a number of unsollv,able, problems. MoreQver~ this sect did not assist the teach~ngs ol the Church whtch decreed the father and son to be d,istinct and s,ep'arate persons. Accor,dinglly I 'the .$,'8'Ct was reJect.ed and declared heretic. And the problem stl'U rernained unsolved

There were' 'Other attempts on the part of the he,reti1cal sects to solve this problem. But, a.1I ot these were not worthy of acceptance becaus,ethey wn some way lor the other violated the accepted pr~nclip~es and teachings of the Church.

The, question IS: how did the' Rom,an Cathotlic Church

1,2. Relton .. IP. 61.

What its Christianity


itself solve this problem? Our research reveals that the majority of Roman Catholic theoloqians have openly refused t'0 solve this riddle, and have asserted that "Three in One and One! in Threl8-lli is a mystery which veo are unable to understand. Some theologians have attempted to present a ranonal interpretation to 'the dioctrline of trinity 13 In reqard to lndian priests who propagated Christianity for the duration of the previous century in the lndo-Pak continent - B appears, atter considering tneir arguments that by' virtue of their distance froml the seat of Christianity, they coutd not fully understand U)8 detailed jeachinps ot Christianity. We shall give only one example to show the extent of their understanding of Christianity. Reverend u Qu,aim,uddinll wrote a small booklet known as II Teksbitut Testis: in order to explain the doctrine of trinlty, The booklet

.was published in Lahore Pakistan in '19'72. In giving an

example of the doctrine of tr~ni~y I he writes therein:

If the composition of the human body is reflected on, then also it is made up of its own species; that is. material parts ~ whose united form could be viewed from a material level. for example, the bone. fle'sh and blood - by reason ol their mterqration, the human body remains in existence, Ilif one of the three is, missing. the completion of the structure of the human body cannot be conceived".

" The reverend has rn the above statement attempted to estaoltsh that just as the existence of man is composed o'f three parts ,- flesh, bone and blood, the existence of God is similarly (May God Iorbidl) composed of three persons. It is clear that the Heverend understands that the "three persons" lin Christianity means ~h ree parts. And just as

13. Some, Indian meotoqlaos assert that the doctrine of trinity lis part o~ the Mutasha.bif1at and Mluqattaa~ of the Qur'an. This is a mlsecncepnen. Firstly. because t 1e Mutashubiih,at are verses vilhose comprehension are not necessary 'lor an understanding of ~he cardinal principles, or for actin9 on any precept. order, command or prohibition. All or this is crystal clear. As opposed to ttlis, 111,9 doctrine of triinity is cardinal and fundamental to salvation. To treat it as part of M'utashabillat means Ilhat we are ohliged to belie'vtl, in somefhinq which is bsyono ths dictates of reason .. Secondly, because Christians say that the apparent mealn~ng of thle doctr~ne is intended, although they do not havs ~f1€l' slLJppo'rtiJ'Igi proof, Whereas, the Mutashl8oihat. whi,lsl not comprehensible, are stili not contrary to reason. (summary - transtator).

VoV]lat is Christianity


each thing which comprises ot parts is in totality one; this, essence ,of ,God despite be,ilng composed of three persons is in like manner one. Wh ereas I Chriatianity does not beliievethe three persons to be th r.f3e parts. On this contrary, it decrees them to be three distinct and separate persons each having separate substance and existence, For this reason, it has Illeft out the word "Parts" for the father, son and hoilly spirit and has chosen the word "Person", The existence of man is undoubtedly composed of Hash; bone anc blood. However, nobody refers to only ftesh, or only to bone, as man, but refers to them as part ot man, As opposed to this, Ohristianity declares each of the father, the son and the Holy Spirn God., and does not believe in each ,as a part of God 14,

The purpose of presentinq this example was ordy to show "til .at India,fjI priests in seeklnq to prove trinity by means of: rational arguments are themselves obvious of the detalled teachirrqs o~ their reliqion. According~y; we shall disre'9',aJd their arguments in thiswork, and shan discuss and analyse the, views of early Chrlstiantheoloqlans and ihlnkers in this reqard. As far as our research re'veals" the most cornprehenslve and detailed treatise written on this subject is [hat by the w'81J11 known theoloqian and phuosopner of' the 3rd Century I' Saint Auqustino. Later scholars have drawn heavily on IM~s ~}vorik. The English translation of his work was rendered by A.'VV .. Haddan and was published onder the t,~Ue, lII'On The T,riniity"II. It forms part of those writings of SL Augustine which have been collected and published in New York lin 1'[948 under the title ""l8asiicW'ri"tinlgs of St Auqustine.'

A iarg,9 part of 'this work is devoted to scriptural dlscussion. Towards the end, however, Auqustins has" In endeavourinq to prove. "The Unity of Three and Oneil view reason adduced certain examples. We shall present a synopsis of these examples below,

14. If Chrisn -; IIi y to,elieved in tl1e Ihree as pans o~ Gud. then 'Ihe explanation olif~red by HC'·\I'~i€nd "Oairnuddin" WDn..Jjd b~ correct. The fact '~h,,~ th,e ibelief in Gad as comprislf~U oi paris is contrary to reason and the pnnciple of et emi y. according to other prouts: is a separate i I ,1.1["

What is Christiani ty

11 9

Pro,of (lif Tlriniity by means of ~heExa.imple of the M,ilnd

The, first example presented by AUlg,ustine is, that the mind ot Manl is a means 011 instrument of know,ledge. Generally, the knower, the tlh~;ng known and the instrument of k.nowl'edg,9' are three separate' things. Ilf one has the knowledge 0]: mhe existence of Zaid, one is the knower, Zaid is the person or ~hing known; and one's mind is the instrument ow knowledge., To illustrate :

KNO'WER (Person who. knows) KNIO'WiN (Person who is known)' INSTRUM~ENT OF KNOWLEDGE l(iMleans byw!hich, Person is IKnolwn)



.... M~N:D

Inl addition, ansi's rnino ns,elf has knowllle',dge 0,' its existence, ln such a situation, the mlind is the knower, and lis also Ug.e:~f mhe tnstrurrent of knowledge; because the mind acquired iknowledg~ of itself throUl'Qlh ~tsEdt Thls Imay be iU ustrated as follows:

KNO'WER: {[Person or mhing who tKnowsl , " .. IMtND

KNOWN (Person or thliing who lis Known) .,. ,fvIllNiD

IINSTRUM:EN!T (Means bywhich

Person or Thi~ngl is KnO'wnl.·., , ,.,. ", .. , MIND

lt will be noted in this example that the knower, the

known and the insmrnent of know~edge, ,although ill reaiHy three separate thilngls, have become one. The knower, the' known and the Instrument om knowll,edge- each has: a separate existence. Butjiln the second example, the' three become one a, Now~ U anybody askswho is the know,er?~ the answer win be the mind .. Ilf somebody asks, who is the 'known? ~ the answer also will be the miind; and iif somebody asks, what !~s the instrument of knowlledge?" the, answer a.gain wm be the mind. 'Whereas" the m~nd iis one. The truth OT the matter is simply that the mind possesses three ql,aJilli,ss. - leach oOi the three qualities cOIIJI~d be referred to as the !m"indl, but one cannot on this basis say mihat the mind

What is Christianity


is three ..

Augustine says that God is similarly an expression of three persons. Each one of lhe thlree i'5 God; but this does not necessarily mean that God ~s three" but H\e is in tact one.

ln presenting this example! Augustine has shown 'gre'at ~ ng1enui[y". On fair retlectlon, however the problem "lis not resolved by means of this example: because the mind is in the 8)('8111p.le in fact one and ~t s tlr~nity is prsdicated and not real. Wher,eas! Christianity beUeves in Iboth the unity of God and trinity as beingl real.

This may be explained as foUo'ws: the mind in the above example has three aspects; from one' aspects! it is, ihe knower, from the second aspect, the known: and from the third! the means or instrument 0] knowledqe. But from the viewpoint of external existence, the three are one,

The external confirmation of the knower ls the same' rnino which is the external confirmation of the known and the instrument of knowle'dg'E~' .. 11 is not so that the mind that lis the knower possesses a separate existence: and! the mind that ,is the known has another separate existence; and the mmdmat is the instrument of know~e'dge has a third existence. But, the father, son and Holy Spi:rit in christianity are not merely existences. T'he external existence ot the father is separate. thet of the, son is separate: and so is, that of: the' ,H1ol'y Spirit separate, These three external existences are', 'with rsqaro to their e,ffectl, ernirely separate and di'shnct Augustiine hirnself writes in the be·ginnin'g of his book:

'! Yet' not that this Trinity was born of Um VirgllJn Mary" and crucified under Pontius Pilate. and buried and rose again the third day, and' ascended into heaven, but only the son, nor agalin that til is Trinity descended in th e term of a. dove upon Jesus. wh,en he was baptized; ",. but only the Holy Spirit not yet that thls

What is Chris tiani ty


Triniity sa,id from heaven iithou art my son· ... wheil1 he was baptized ... but that it: was a word ot the father , .... I"iIII~1 II '1'5

U~II , •• ,. •

lt is manitestlv clear form this statement that the' Christian beliet in the father, son and HQlly Spirl~t is not merely predicated, but ls premised on each ot the three havi:ng real, distinct and separate existence. On the other hand, the knower, known and instrument of knowledge, in the example set out above" do not each ha v,e a real and distinct existence: but; are three predicated aspects of one real existence. No inteUiige'nt person would say that the rnlnd as knower possessesa separate existence: the mind as the known possesses a second separate existence: and the rnlnd as the instrument ot know,ledge has a third separate existence: and nQitwiths~,andling' the' three are' one. whers'as the gist of the' doctrine of trinity is that the father has a distinct and separate substance: the son has another distinct and separate' substance; and the Holy Sp~rit distinc't substance; and, in spite of this, the' three are' one.

In short, the, claim of Chrisfianity is that both the unity of God and the three persons, of the trinity are real, But, in the example offered by Augustiine.! 'the' unity is real but the nurnber rs nO'~' ... it Is predicated, Hence" the real unny of: three and one, is not established by' means ot the' example, In F',egard to the large· number of attnbutes in the singl!e existence of God, there lis no controversy whatsoever .. AIII reli'g,ions, believe that God despite being' one has many ,attributes. He is most merciful; the subduelr; the knower of the uns,e'en; the' omnipotent - in this way!, Hie has many attributes 'which do not il1 the Ieast affect his, unity'. ,Accor'diinglly!, nobody says that the God whic:h is most merciful lis distlrrct and diUerent; th,s God m hat is the subduer is also distinct: and the, omnipotent God is something elise. As opposed to thls, the Christian faith asserts that the father separately jls very God; tne son is also separately very God; and' so is the HOilly Spirit a very

15, Augustine, vol, 2. p. 672.

Wh: .t ts Chrtstianlty


God. And, d'esp~te thisj these three are' not three god's but' one, God.

Second Ex,ampfe

Augustine has slm i~all'iy pr,esented another example. He says that the m~nd of every man ~oves its quality ot knowl'ls'dge; and it has knolwl'edge' of this ~Qve;' hence. it j:s lin rel,at~on to i'ls kfllowledge~he lover; and in relanon to love the knower: that is to say:

the mlnd.. ...... ln r,efation to its, know~edg'e.", ...... .the Iover the mind, "" ,,,.,' ,. in refation to ~ts love ... "., .. , ,"""'" . "" .. ,' the knowe r.

Consequently, the're are' three thlnqs: the m~ndt the lover and the knower ,- and these three things are one; because the ~over Is the m'fnd.; the knower is tha mmd; and the mind i'tsleU. Inl the s.8,ma' w,ay, God has three persons: the essence of 'God (the father) l h'is attribute of know~edge (the son), an his at tribute of l'OV'9 (the Holy Spirit). And these three' are one God.

This example is aliso based on the error tnat U19' rnmd is one essence, and ·the lover and the knower are Us, two attributes whh~h do not have any real and separate existence of their own. As opposed to' this, the fa 'the! Ir aecordlnq to Christiandoctrme is, one, eS,$,ence; and the attribute of the word (the son) and that of ,love (the' Holy SpirU) are two such attributes that possess tnelr own separate suostantlal existence in reamy" Henoe, the unity is rle,a~ in the example of the mind; and the situation of a predicated number is rationall~y possible, And, iln the doctrine ofrtrinfty~ despite the rsaUty ,of n urn be If', th,e, reaUty ot unity IS clalmed - and Unisjs ratjonaUy' imposslbte,


If tlhe be'lh~'f the' Christwan f,aith wen3 that God is one

essence and that hjs attrillbutes ofr' word and love did not have, apart from God:!, a separate real 18,xistenca" then the example w,ould be correct lin such case I there would be' no difference of opinion on the issue betwslen tstam and Chr~s.Uanity. The problem arises when the, Ch,r,istianl faith decrees 'the attributes ot I'olva as having separate

What is Christianity

substantial existence. It believes in each ot the three as God, and despite this, asserts that the three are not three gods. This ca.n in nOI way wih,atso"ev,er be reconciled wjth the example of the mlnd above, Because in the example the knower and tns lover do not have a separate existence from, the mind, Whereas,1 the son and the Holy Spirit j,n Christianity posses their QtW'1n separate existence apart from the fat her.

AugusUne made these two examples the basis of rational discussion. Both examples, however, as noted" are wronq, and do not ln tact support the' doctrine of trlnity.


'W' A'hI' h

<> ww eaq.Com

What is Christianity




The 'g'ist of the Christian teaching relating to Jesus Christ is. that the word of God (that is, the person of the, son) became lncarnate in the, human beingl of Jesus Christ for the sake of 'the w,ell!'I-bein'g' of men. As long as Jesus Christ stayed In the world1 this divine person or substance remained incarnate within hii:m. To the extern that the Jews cruclfled hi,m whereupon the divine person or substance separated from his body, Then, three days after, he became alive for the second time and was shown to his disciples: he 'Qlave them advice and guidanoe whereafter he ascended to Heaven. The Jews cruficied him and thereby that sin of all Chrlstians was Torg!iven which was committed by Ada'm and hard passed into their nature at birth. This doctrine has four basic parts, namely ;:




W,e shall deal with each part in sullicient detail Incarnation

The docmne o,f incarnatlon appears first in the book of John. The author of this book refers to the beginning of Jesus Christ in the 'follow~ng words:

"ln the lbeg1inni,ng was the word; and the word was with God, and the: word was God. Hie was in the bee 'ilrJnin~-

Whal is Christianity


with God". (J'ohn 11~3)

.And further on he writes :

"And the word oscame flesh and dweU ,among USj f'un of grace and truth; we have, beheld hi's gkml" gllory as of the' only son from the faJther'i. (John 14.-15)

W'f3 have allre,ady stated 'that the !'!Iwordll in Christianlty refers to. the person of th,s' son of' G,od ~ who hims.el'f is God. Acoordingfy, the nleanlng of the statement of John is that the word of God ~, that is, the person of the son - became mcarnate and appeared in the, 'form of Jesus. ~nexp'lawning th is doctr~ne i Mauric.e Rel'to,n write,s: 1'6;

!ITh'e Cathotic Dcctrine maintains that he, who was God. w~tl1out ceasing to be what he was, became man, Le. entered into the' cQ,ndiUons of our f,inite existence in time' and spaceand dwelt ,amongst us".

According to Chnsnans, 'the power that unified the person of the son with the humans'xistenoe of .Iesus is the Holy Spirit.. We have' stated earlier that the me,aning of thiS' Holy Spirit ,in Christianity is, the' attribut'8 of the love of God. Hence, the meaning of thl~S doctrine is that because God loved his servants, he there'f,oreMthrou'gh his attribute of love sent the, person of the son to this worfd ~ so that he may become th,s redes'mer of the odgina\ sin of men,

H must be borne lin mind that the Incarnation of the son iinto Jesus Christ does not mean acc,ording to Chrlstlane that the son gave up div,inay and tJecame man. But the m,eaning is that he was prevlousty only' God, and now also became man. Henes, in accordance with this doctrilne! Jesus was simultaneously both man and God. AUred Garvey expresses this in the t'oflowing words ,: 1"1

"Jesus was, both Man and God at the' same time'. The, deni·a,1 0" one or bO'lth of thss,e' natur,es, in the' one person had given rise tOo a. number of her,eUcai sects. Athanasius stronQilly defended thi's theory' against' Arius:. Hence~ the accepted formula. was the uo,ity of the two natures in the one' person of Chris~.".

H3. Belton, p, 28.

17. Encyclopaed.ia of R,81l'igion and Ethics, p.5B'S..,

What Is Christianity


Frorn tbe human viewpoint, Jles;us was o~ lower rank than God. For this reason, he statso the following:

II ••• " for the Father lis glreater than 1'" (J'ohn 14::28)

And! I~t is in this respect that he was subject to human conditions. and needs. 18u~, from the viewpoint of d!vinitYl he 'was equal to God" the Father, Hence, the Gospel of

.Jcnnwrites: '

"l and H~le Father are one" (John , 0:30)

August~ne wri~es ; 1B

Ii ~1t1 the form of: God he made man; in the term of a servant, he was meoe mart

Mor,ecve r ~ Augustine writes to this exte nt :'

Ii For he did! not $0 take the 'to fro of a servant as that he shoold lose the form .of God.! In whic~ he was equ.a,~ to the father, lsthers anyone who cannot peres hie that: he himself lin the' 'form Df God is also great'9r than himself, but yet like· wise in the Iorrn of a servant less than himself?"

The question arises here. How' is it oosstbte [hat one, person be! botlh man and God.; creator and created, high and low? Thts question aliso like the doctrine of trinity became the centre of debate and controversy over the centuries .. lin answer thereto, books were writter to the extentthat the toundation was laid for ,8 separate science known as Christoloqy.

in reqarc to the Homan Catholic Church, U bases lts arqurnent iin answer mo this qusstlon on mainly diUerent verses from ·the, gospelll ot John .. As 1m in Us view, this doctrine is establtsheo by means 01 what has been transmitted 19. As Torr re'asonj,Bnd in order 'to bring the doctrine of incamation closer to human understanding, this church presents certain examples Some assert that the

18. AuglLJst:i'ne, vol, 2. p .. 678.

, ~~L The cetalls crt Ulese· arQ'Jments. and a refutanon U19mof, are th€J' with in the. 'li1~rd chapter of the book. "Izll.fuu'l Hact W(men by t'he weUl<nown scbelar Allama Ki"· mnwi.

What is Christianity


unity of "God" and I'M,anll is Illrk,s an enqravement ~n a ring. Others say that the is !like, the re,f'llection of a person in a. mirror. So! just as the enqravernent and the rinlg are two things in one existence or substance, and lust as the mirror and reflection are two thrngs itn ons existence or substance I the person of Jesus was. incarnated into human existence lin Nke manner. For this reason, there are two reatitias lin his personality at the same time - one' of God and one of man, Most Chr,isUan thinkers have however not accepted ·these a: gum'ents ,20.

W'e present a summary below of the solotions offered by different Christian thinkers to this question after the attempt of Ul9' Boman CathoHc Church..

Those who ID'eny the IDilvinity of Christ

Arnonqst them, is the group, which, despairing in answerling the, question, stated tha't the beJi,ef ~n the divinity ~f J'esUls is false. He wassimply human and accordingjly the question its9,lf does not arise ..

James Makinon has lin his excellentwork "From Christ to Constannne" deaU wUh the views of these thinkers in fair detail, Accord~ng to him, the founder ~ Ieaoers of this school 'were Paul of Samosata 21 and Lucian 22:, He wtih3S: 23

"Both held that Christ was a creature; but while Paul of Sarnosata conceived of him as a mere man in whom the impersonal divine wlsdom or logos rnanitested if g,el\'fl Lucian and his school re'garded him as a heavenly beilj'g who was created by God out of n()thing, in whom the divine logos becomes personal,

20. Because the engravsmsnt in a ring, despite as apparent attachment, is nevertheless a separate thing. Hence, tMe ring' cannot be caUed the .engrave·men; and vice versa. Whereas, 9'11 the contrary, Christi'c3ns assert that, art,er U1H3' inca.malion, Chflist was God, and God bec-ame man. Simrlarly, the re'fl,ection of John is separate from t'he mirrorUself, The mirror cannot be callced John, or vice-versa. As, opposed to this, Christi!:lrls. alleg'6 ~ hat Jesus is. God, and God is man. The example:s, therefore are ~napproprriate and mcaecurate.

2.1 He' was Bisnop O'f Antioch from 260 to 27:2 A.D"

22, Lucian is a well known Christian 1 heologian, who devoted his life to ascetism. H,is theones are between U18t c!.Mtls. and Paul of Samosat,a.. BOrn in Sa,1110sata, he spent most of his \if,S! in Antioch., lBritannica.).

23. Mackinon. p.

\IV hat is Chris tiani ty


who" at the lncamationusscrned a human body", but not a human soul, and wlhos,e mission it was to reveal the father. But he was not G'od in the absolute sense

- - . - -

and was not ete rn all" .

So, Pa u!i ot Samosata denied the docrnne of incarnation at inception. He stated that the meanlng of incarnatlon of ,God in the being of Christ is only that God conferred on him a. specific intellect. Lucian on the' other hand did not deny the doctrine of incarnation. He accepted that the attribute' of knowl,edg'9' of God was incarnated into Jesus Christ but tnat this incarnation did not makeJesus God, Creator, eternal ar d evertastinq - and that despite such incarnation, God remained creator and Jesus created as. before ..

Anus, the well known Christian thtnker of the fourth century, infl'uenced by the theorles of Paul and Lucian, fought a great battle aqainst the church of his time and caused an outcry in the then Christian world. The substance ot his. theory in thewords of Makinon is as foUows : 241

Arius em the contrary i nsis.ted that' God alone is eternal and has no equal: that he created the son out of nothing; [hat th:e son is. therefore, not eternal, nor is Go.detem81Uy the lather, since there was (a time) when the son was not; that: he is of a diHe-rent' substance from the father and is. subject to. chan 9,e; that he is not trul1y God, though he was capable of perfection and becam e a perfect creature - the loqos in a rea,1 human body" Ghrist is thus. for him a secondary deity or derni God, who partakes, In a certain measure, ,nf the qualities o.f both, the divine and the human, but is not God in the highest sense",

When Arius propounded his theories, it was widel'y accepted especially b~j the Eastern church.

However, the central churches of Antioch and Alexandria were' rulec by Alexander! Athanasius and the

24. Mack~non. p,

Vvhat is Christianity


like", who wer,e not 'wili'lling to accept any solution to the problem which touched on the divini~y of Jesus or aUectied the doctrine of Incarnation. consequently, when IEmperor Constantine convened the Councr of Nlcaea in 323 AD" 'the theories and views of AJ~uS 'we're not only strongl1y rejected but Arlus himself was saint iinto exile.

Paullcian S,e'ct

Thereafter I and in tne fiiftih century AD there ernerpec the Paulician sect, which held a middle view in r,egar,d to Jesus Christ. The sect assert ed that .Jesus was not God but an angel. God sent hirn to the 'world so that he may reform it. Consequently. he, was barn I~ln human form from the womb of Virgiiin Mary. And because G'od conferred on bim His specific glory ard majesty, he was called the son ot God. the influence of this sect remained mainly iln the regions of' Asia Mlii'nor ano Armenia .. However, this sect did not receive 'generall acceptance, because of the absence of scrlptural evidence relatinq to Jesus be~ng an angel.

The Nestorm81n Sect

lin the mlddls of the' 'fiiUh! century ,AD the re' arose the Nestonan Sleet whose leader was Nestorius (diied in 45i AD). In attempting to solve this problem, it presented a new philosophy j namely that! all ditticultles that tace the doctrine of lncarnatlon ,g ::U19 based on the premise of the one person of Jesus consisting of two natures or realtties -, one human, the other divine. Nes'torwus sale that Jesus being God ls true, and his beingl human is also. true, But he did not accept that Jesus was one person who. unii:fied both natures within birnselt. The' truth is that the essence of Jesus consisted of two persons, the one son, the other! 'God - the one, the son of: God, the other the, son of Adam. The son was ve ry G od ~ and .lesus was very man.

The formula of the IRoman Catholic Church was "one person and two realities or natures", Conversely the

What is. Christianity


tormuiar of Ne:storius was "Two persons and tw,o natures or reaUr,es!'" consequently, tli1~s theory was condemned at a council of a" Churches convened at EphsiSUS iln 431 AID with the result that INestorilUs was imprisoned an,d ,e;dled. His fol~owers w,erle' declared heretics, Despits this, the sect sti~1 exists to thhs day' 25,. The, crime committed by INestorius is summarized by Dr. Belhune~Baker in the f,oUowwng word sc ..

.. 1, .. ". '.

'That he SOl d'ist~ngUished be'tween the Godhead and tine Manhood of lour Lord as, to treat~hem as s,ep2lratI9 personal existences ... · He he1ld the wOlrd to be a person distlnct from Jesus, and tlhe son 011' God" dlstinetfrom tne son of Mlan .. ,., !II

,J,8cQ,bite Chu rch

lin the sixth century .AD, there arose the ,Jacobite Church whose influence remains up to today in SYlria and Iraq, Its leader was .Iacabus Baradeus .. , Iits teach i ngl was completely contrary to that of Nest'orius and Arius. Nestorri us 'e.gtab!~shed iln relation to theexlstence of Jesus "Two natu res" together" with "two persons". Jacabus asserted that Jesus was not merely one person but 8,1150 possessed one nature .. wh~ch was d~'V'ine'. He was on~y Godl, although he appears. to us in the form of man. Th,e teachings ot this sect are explained in the Encyclopa.edia as follows:

"Those who ho~d t he doctrine that Christ had but one composite nature",

Apart trorn Jacabus Bamadeus other sects also adopted this teaching .. Such sects were caUed Monophyslites and were prominent until th,s seventh century AD 26"

.25. Some scholars of recent times such as IUr.. Bethune Balk,e,r were iQf the v,isw thal the'ges. agaiil'llsl Nlestmills were wi~holJ't 'fo~ndatiol1 and that his thaorias were not prcperlyunderatood, But. Prof'. Relton and other have rstutad this and have supported the,ion of ttu.=l' COUl"l'c'iI of Ep'hese_ See Studies lin Chr,isUan Doctrine. op cit, p, 102'.

26- This 'iNa.s· tllil,Q early perhcl'c1 o~ !s!lairn. At that time', thus. .fH3:Ct was ~he centre of contmvenlyt~roughout the entir,e ChlrisUan worlldl. In consequence. mere vilas great unrest in Syria and other places . see Ell1c'Yclop,aedi!a.IBr~·~an!ll1ica. voL ·15, p, 830. It is elsar therefore'tha~ the Quran probably railers to these sects in the verse: ·Urldoulbtedlly, mose are unbelievers who say that Ailiah is Masih ibn Marryam.-

\"'hat is Christianity


The Final Int.e'rp,ret,a:Uon

The above discussion clearly reveals. the, diifferent attempts of Christian thinkers to explain and ratlonalize the doctrine of incarnation. But, we have seen that' each attempt 'W',as subversive and contrary to, tne teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Accordiingly, the ths[ologlians of this Church declared such attempts as heretical, There remains theretore the answer to the or~gi,nal question. The orthodox helid that 'the doctrine of incernation is also mysteryand must be believed as sucn 50 its comprehension is not possible. (See EncyC[op~Hadia. Britannica)

This view did not appea.l to the[ objective mind.

Accordinqly an linterpretation of the doctrine of incarnation was offered in recent times with a v[iew to jtj'SUfying it rationaUy. The fe.atulre of this interpretatlon is that it accords. wit.h the teaching of the Boman Catholic Church on the subject. AUhough this interpretation was, [g~v[en by some of

the, early Christian thinkers; Professor Mau.r~ce Re~ton has

explained i'~ cJear~y lin the fol:~owfng words:

"Such an lnoematlon is conceivable, lif we remember that the way had besn paved for it: from thenrst crsation of man i'n the di'vi'ne im,age :27. This, means that ther,a is a human 'e:lemen! in God ~rom ,a~1 eternity" and this hurnen el!ement had been impenectly refl'ec~ed in created form ill1i the sons. ow men. The trul~1' human is the' humanity of [God; the mere'I'y (U pUlrely human [us the' humanUy of man - a created and imperfect humanIty whrch [can never become anythifiiQl but human, no matter hoW'tuBy [fldweU it may be by the divine. When, therefore, God became man, the humanity he exhibited was not ,EI! created huma.nity, such as. ours is" but the truly human such as God alone possesses, and in the likeness of which we are made., This means ull'timately that the humanity of Jesus Christ was noethe humanity we know in ourselves. It was God's, humanity" which dilf:fers. from oursto fhe extent to whicih the creator d:iff,ers ~rom the creature",

21, Tlh9' reference lsto tne'IJ€l'se of ths Sible; "So God crested man in his own: lima,ge., .' (Gen. t .. 271.

Wha t is Christianity


I n short according to this interpretation, atthouqh two rea~ities, were urutsd lin the one person o,f .Iesus ... the divine and the human -fhe human itselt was a divlne humanity and not the humanity of men. Hence, there liis no objt)ction to both baiing present at one time.

This interpretatlon is accordinq to Professor R:e~ton most acceptable ratiionaUy and free from objection. And, it ls not subversive to Cathonc teaehinq,

But what is the w'8Iig'ht of this interpretation? Scholars may understand this.'! 28,,,

The Clruci'fix.ion

The second belief 01: the Christians in regard to JI,esus is that he was crucifted by the Jews by order of Pontius Pllate with the result that he' died. tn this regard,it must be borne in rnindthat the punishment ot crucifixion accolrdirllQI to the majority of Christen sects was not mai,ed out to the person of the son - who was accordinq to tnern God - but it was given to the, human manifestation of the person of the son, namely J1,esus who. was not God in his human capacity but Qlnlly a. created being,

28. This interpretation ns based on the premise 'that God posse'sses. a psli,ect Ihu~ man~ty ~ince eternity. 18,~t the question arise: Wha!: is this. -Ihumanity of God'?'" Does tl1115 humanlity COI1SISt of elements such as hunger, thust, happtness, sadness which are, 'foulnd in us? If such elements are fou-nd in God, then (m8Jy God' forbid) iit: means that: God ~s elso subjec~~o hlmg1er and thirst: halrdsl1~p and rest; and iiI,! the el'emernts 9f time and space. It iis .clear that this is patenUy fal:se. And the Roman Catholic Church also does not hold such a bal,iet ~f ~herefme Jesus was ~;ree of all these elements and needs, then the quesUon is, Why did Jesus possess these elements?Why was he sU'llject to. hUl1glel' and'd "lihirsl? Why was h,e sUlbjecl to sadness? Why did he scream of (3.f::clQ:rOingl to Chri.$ti,ans) pain at the tie of crucifixion?, when hlis humanity acoorddingl to Maurice Rerltan was not Ilik~~ OUIrS, but was a. ,divine' humanity which was 'free of all elements, and human needs.

Then, the interpretation, in holding that man was created ln the '"Divine Image", states a pe'culia~ meaning to this, rlame~y th at, God had from the beginning' a human elernant wh~ch was f,eflected into man. Whereas if indeed ~hle 'wol'ds of tfl,9 Book, of Genesis BJe Divinely inspired, then at most the meaning cd those words are that God conferred om man kn.owledge and perception; tlheability '~O difdin~ guish 'between riglht and' wrong; and gBlve hin1 the power of bo:th good and 9vill', Ca,tha.11ic tlheologians memsejvss have e.xplained I:llis to be the mesning of the verse. St. Augustine in l1us famous work, "The CHy of God', writes: "Tnus God made man iln his own irna'ge, by for him a. soul ot such ,8 kind that because ot lthe surpassed alii living creatures on earth, in tiJle sea. and in the' sky, lin virtute of reason and 1i11teilig'8r1ce: for no. other creature had a mind lik,e' that" (13ook 1.2.: Crlap. 24)

What is Christianity


The Ho,l'y Cross

lin view of the fact that the si'gn of the cross t-s) ~$ of ,great. rmportance by virtue of the doctrine ,of c,rucifixion, we r,a,fer br,ief'(y to its position which is, not wi,thout ,in~erest 291•

tUntH the fourth century AD, this sign had no c.olle,cUve sjlgni'Hcance,. n is popuiarty reported that emperor Oonstantme saw' (probablly in his dream) in 312 AD:; dUf,ing batt~e'!, the sign O'f' a cross in the sky. Ther,eaft'er, in 326 AD h,i's mother, St Helena found a cross. The people were of the vliew that this cross w,a,s the one on whlich Jesus, (according to the ChrtisHan clairn) had been crucified. In commemoration o,f thi's story, Chr~s:'tians celebrate each ye'ar in Maya. day known as: liThe· Find~ng of the' Gr,oss'lill" Thereafter, the slign oif this' cross became the symbol of the Chrilstian taHh. Chris.tians acco,rdl~ngly be,gan to' use' the $lign in aU thei'f' do,ings. The weH known Christian Theologian TertuUian w'rites:'

"At ,ea,ch journey and pmgress", at each coming In and 9:0109 out, at the puUing on o'f shoes, a~: the bathl, at mea~s" at. UH'~, kindling of fi,ghts, at bedUme, at $,iUing down" whatsoever occupation engages us, we mark the bwoW' W,l11'h this sign of the cross."

'Why is the crass ha.\ly lin Christi'ani:ty? ~. 'When accorCnn!9 to Ghrlistian bell,i:e,f it was the cause of harml to Jesus. 'We have not found the answer to this question in the wriiting of ,any Chrisnan scholar, U appears that the oasis of the sanctity of tihe, cross, is the doet,rline' o.f atonement That is. because the cross is the cause of the torqiveness of sins, ,~t is respect led and sane-tined.


The thi'rd be'ief of Christians r,elating to. JESUS 1$ that after hi's crucWxionl and burial, he became anve agaiin on the third day. He th,en gave his disciples advice and insnuction he ascended to the heavens 30

291• See gene,raily, Birita~:niGa.

3·0. The story of 'the resurrection is contained in detail in the bible. I'n vh~w of, the tac~ I'!a~: Uaulf,ana Kilr,aniM ,~ ~I t..:.",) has \proved ~he inconsistency and inaccuracy of tfi-iIS, sto,l)' in his. boo'k 'Izharul Haq". and has de·a,!t with this (foctrine in Ch1"lail. it ,is poinUess to deal willi mha sub~'ect in dde1:a1l tlere.

What is Christian! ty


The A.tione'menl

The fourth and finall belief relatlin'g 1'0 J'9SUS is the doctrine of atonement For a number of reasons lt ls necessary to understand th~s doctrine inl dle'lait

FilrsUy, this doctrine is at the heart of Chrlstlanlty according to Danme'IIWillso·n 31; and in iitseU is most ~mlpolrtant becausewhat has been discussed previously is re'aUy a pretace to th is doctrme ..

Secondly, this doctrine' by V~lrtue of Us intricacy has especially been the :1,eaS'~ understood in the non-Chriist~an world.

Thirdly, by not understandinq it fully, two evils have, resul''f.ed. One is that Christian mlsslortarles in lour country have explained this docmne as th'ey 'wished I wiith the result

that the unwary, mlgnorant of the truth, feU under a. rnlsconceptlon; the, other is that those who wrote in refutation of Ohristiarrlty raised obiect ions to, this doctrine which we're inapplicable. The, result W'8S that such objections could not properly uphold the truth.

We' shall a'ocording!ly deal with this doctrine in sufficient deta ~i i Ii 'what foll!o,ws SIO as 'to avold ,any douat.

the EncyclQpaedia Britannica has summarized thiis

doctrine lin the "oUow'ing words:

"Atonement in Christian 'theololQY means the, redemptive work of Clhristl throuqh wlhich :sinfUl~ man was made a'~ one wiith, and! reccnciled to, God. It presupposes two truths the fa.H o'~; m,an '~rolm God':!) grace' t~mugh Adam's 5~1I1, and the lncarnanon ,of: '~he word o~ God to restore man to glrace,.ii

This in itself is 1100 brief. The docmne has behind it a long seq ue nee of historical and theoretical assurnpnons. I:f these assumptions are not understood, the doctrine cannot

31 . Willson. vol, 2. p. 5:1

What is Christianity


be properly comprenended, These assumptions are as tollows:

1. The first assumption is that Adam, the' fjrst human being, was givl8'n at the time of his creation all kinds of materlal comfort sand pleasures w'Hhout: restriction, save that he, was prohlbited trorn eating wheat.. At that time his. win was made el~ltirefy f'r,8Ie' whereoy he could if he 'w~'shed obey orders or oppose them.

2, .. Ada,lm exercised th~$ will wrong'Y., By eattilngl[he forhidden fruit he became the perpetrator .of a g'reat sin, The' sin it8eff appeared trivial. On the contrary I lit was v'ery serii .. ous havjng regard to its nature and magnitude. In reqard to nature, because, lt was e,xtremlr8ly easy at tnat tirne fOlr Adami to observe the- order of prohlbition. After g'iving him' absolute freedom of e,ating an abundant supply of foods, he was subject to only one prohibiuon which was very' easy to observe. Apart from this. man at that time did' not have the powers of passion and desl~na which could compel him to sin. H'ence, it was not difficult to stay away from wheat And, the seriousness of violat~ng the prohibi'Uon is rn proportion to the ease with which it could have been observed and fulWled. Furtnarmore, thlis was the first sin of man who ilnslead of obedfence committed d!lsobedf'8'nc,e, Prior to tnis, man dlid not sin, and just as, obedience is ~he, tree of aU good deeds, diisobedi,enoe is the foundation of ,aU sins. The sln of Adam II,alid this foundation.

ThljlS sin was from 'the viewpoint of magnitude very serious as it embraced many other sins with the result 'that it became the source or mother of sins. Sf. Augustine wrHe'$ in this regaJd: 32

"This lone sin of man encompassed so many sins ... ln truth" if one reflects on the reality of any sin" he' wUl see Us reflection in thljls, oriqlnal sin."

32, Augus.tine, vol. 1, p. 684.

\lVha t is Chris tlanity


3., In view of the fact that the sin of' Adam was extremely serious; i~' resulted in two consequences" The' one is that as punishment 'for the sin, he became entiUed to ev,er~iastinlg death or punishment For God showed him the forbidden tree and torlid him:

·' .. .Fot in the day ~h8'~ you eat of lt, you shall die" {GSI1:,. 2:~5)

The othe-r consequence, is that the tree will that was gliven to Adam was taken ,away from him" He' was previously g:iiv,en the power to do ,good or evil accordinq to his will. But because he wronqly used this power, he was deprived thereot. Augustine writes: 3,3

IIWhen man sinned by hls ~ree will, he was subdued bysin; hence his free wi'll ended because 'whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. ... Hence, he cannot acquire the wiilll to do good until he is, freed from siin and becomes the slave of good."

As if, and until he I.S IflI'O[ treed from 'the shackles of his sin, hws free w]l'il remains terminated. Now, hie is free to commit sins but not good deeds.

The questions arises helle: Why' has God in punishment for one sin caused men to be iinvollved in other sins? In answer to this question, St. Thomas Aquinas writes:

"Because when men are deprived o'f the help of d~vine gnace, they .are overcome by their passions. In thws 'Way sin ts ,allways said to be [he punishrrrent of a preceding sin,"

4. In view of the factthat the frelewi'll of Adam and Eve endedafter the commeslon of thesin - w'hilch meant that they w'ere not free to do good;. but were! free to siin ~ it followed that the element of sin became emlbedded in thelr nature, ln other words, their sin became tlhe~lr nature and constitution. Thils sin irs referred to ~n technical termlnolcgy as the original sin ..

33, Augustine, vol, 1, p, 675.

What is Christianity


5. 'The oriiginal sin W,QS thereafter transmitted to' pos.terity" born and,' to be born and to, b'a born, because they w'ere created from the, Iloins of' both (Adami and Eve). St. AugusUne write,s: 34

nAs happy, then, as w'ers these our first parents .. ,. so happy should the whole human race have been! had the'y not introduced tha.t evn which they have, transmilUed to theilr post1erity ... In tnJ'th!, aU men who .are sullied by me origina,\ sin w'erie born O'f Adam and Ev,e.!!

That lis, to' say, every peirson wno ms born into the 'world is born w,i'th sinflrlo,m 'time' of bi'rth because the orig~nal sin ot h~,s parents is, embedded in his, nature, The quesnon is:: the ~inw',as committed by the parents .. H,QW did the children become sinners, as a resu~t thereof? ,John CSllviln, the weU known leadAr OIf the Protestant Chulrch writes: ,35

'i,ln re,alitY!l we have be,en linfected by the disease of sin through ,Adam" and by reason olf this sin, W'6 ar,e jUlstly w,arthy of punisnment."

Tnomas A.quinasl, the waH" known AOlmlan Catbo~ic theollogli,an and phU,osopher exp~alins thlis by means of anomer ,exa,mp~'e:36

IIThat ori9l,ina~ $"in, in vi1rtue' ot the sin ofr' our first parent, ,istr,ansm'i'tted to his pos,t1erity; just as. from the, SOU\,!IS 'wliU a.ctuat ,sin is transmitted to the members of the body: thr,ou'gh their beitngmo,ved by' 'the' wiU~j'.

6:. Because ,aU the chUdren of Adam we're trained by the' o,.rig!~naf ,smn ~. ,and t he odg1inaf sin itse~f ~s the tree, olf aU si1ns ... they Uke, their parents w'er'9 exciudedi'rom 'the'ex.erciss' ot f'ree wm1andl became tainted by' one siinaUer the otber. To th,e extent that apart from the, orlglh11ai sin, they 'W'l9rle

34. AugusMi,ne" vol. 2, p. 1633,.

35. Quoted by Aquinas" p,. ,669.

36. Aquinas. yol. 2,~ p. 6,69.

What ms Christianity

affl,icted by other sjnswhich they cornmiteo by reason of the oriiginal sin.

7. By virtue of the above mentioned sins, the whole of mankind like thek parents became ent~t~edon the 'One hand to pe rpe,t-IJ 9,:1 punishment On the other hand, the'y became excluded trorn their own free will. Accordiingily" there was no means, to-salivation and forgiveness because protection from such slns could onily be attained Iby ,good deeds" But, by reason of the' sbsence of free will:! man could not do


good de,ads, wh~ch oould save hilml from pumsnrnent.

8. One way of achieving deliverance from this problem was for God to. shower mercy end fo'rglive' men. This however was not possible because 'God is just and fair and Ha wHI! not break his lmmutable laws, In 'the Book of Genesis, to whilchwe have previously referred, death was prcscrlbec as the punishment tor the oriqlnal sin. Now'!1 im would amount to a b reach ot the taw of justice if man was f,orgivenwithout the lrrposltlon of the punishment of death.

9. Gad on the' other hand is aliso m,ercifull. He cannot leave His servants in this miserable state. According',lly., He, chose such a. scheme whelw,eby both mercy was extended to his. servants and the, law of justice remained untainted. The, on!ly le,g:alc:oulrse avallable was for man to dle once as punishment, and thereafter, become alive tora second time. lin this way" man's 'free wiiU which ended prior to, hiis death by reason of the oriqlnal sin would be restored to hilm. And he Wouild acquire freedom from the burden of the sin and perform good deeds to'gi'ether witlh his freedom ..

110.. But, i!t is contrary' to the laws of nature to make all human beings ~n the' world d~e and thereafter cause them to come alive aqei n. Hence, theirs was a need tor one pe rson who, was free from the, oriql nal sin to bear the burden of all the sins of men. God would !give him once the

What is Christianity


punishment of death and then ,give h~m life again . And his punishment would sufficefor all mankind" Thereafter, .all men would become free.

For this noble purpose, God chose his. own "Sonl!'; and sent him ,in human form and body to the, world. H'e! made this sacrifice by being crucified on the cross and thereby dying. This death becaml9 .a redemption tor man, In virtue of such death, not onlly the original sin of all mien, but also 8.11 sins committee by reason of the or:i'ginall sin, was forgilven" Then thi's son became alive tor the second time after three days whereby all men acquired a. new life. fn this new fHe 7 men became owner of the free w]IIL U the free win w,es exercised in good deeds, hewiU be rewarded. I!t exercisec in BVlil!1 deeds, he wou~d ~n accordance wiith the state of such deeds be punished.

11'. But this, sacrlflce of' Jesus ~s only for that person who hasfaitth in ,Jesus, ano who acts on Ihis teachings. The slg,n of such faith is the fulfilment of the ritual of baptism, The underg'Oin;, of baptism s,ignimies fa[th in the redemption of .Jesus on the part of 'the baptized. Hence, being oapnzed through Jesus ls deemed to take the place of his death and second Ii"fe. Consequently J whoever undergoes baptlsm wlll have his oriqlnal sin fOlrg,ilv,sn, and he wi!1'!' be giiven a new free' wLil. O'r~1 the other hand, that pers-on who does not undergo baptism', his orig~n.all sin remains with the result that he becomes entiit:II,e,d to perpetual sin. Aquinas thereforewrites: 31

37. Aquinas, vol. 1. p. 714.

0111 the topic of Atonement., rnaulana Kiranlwii ~ cDl ,~.) has at various places in tznarlUll Haq, mom partlcularty in the third chapter" deaH eornprebensrvery and' fu!l'y wi'th the topic. In any event discusslons an each part of the' dac1rine would require a separate thesis. Bscause we are merely recm.ll1~[ln91 and narrating Christian doctrines, there is therefore no Ilevera~ge to embark on a d'etaulledanalyHc,a1 dlscussicn. However., we consider it necessary to make some basic points on this, issue. As foillows here,61fter. wllich require' juClddQement.thereol1. I'f tlle8i(~ pOints ars borne in miind. the tsults and errors of: this doetrlns will become clear~y apparent

C'c'r,,:inllJle li1ex.t palg,e,

What is Christianity


"But oriqinal Silll, Incurs everlasting punishm,enf; since cl1lildil'en who have [ned lin oriqinal sin, because lhey have not been baptized, wil'l never see the kingdom of God",

12. As. for those who died prior 'to the coming, of Jesus, it will be seen whethe~r they believed lin Jesus or not a they believed in him, then the death of Jesus will'! also be a

1. Thenrst matter thai!: 1l'12'quill'es exa.mj,natiion and evidehee iis whe~:her the' er .. ror of Adam amounted tra a sin or milot?

2. Th,en tine doctrlvne' postulates rtw,o ways in transmitting the iiJlrig~na1 sin: firs,t, ~rom Adam to an: his childCl'ren; and then seccmdly trom the' chUddll'ern hlr J1esus. The question .ar~lg,@s, is then;!! a place for the trans,posing of sln from Orne to an'ot'her in the just law of 'God,?, In the old testament 'we' read as, foUows! "Thre soul that slns shari! die. The sou. :shaU not suffer fo,rUhe, iiniqt.i:i~y of Ulre, f:ather" ncr the fathel!' su:Uer the inirqui1.y' ,of the son; the ri,ght:eo,~sness ,of the rightE!o,us sllaU be U!p,on hims,elf" endd the wlickedness of the wicked $hall~ be upon hiimself." rfEzefkiel; Hi:20i)

3. The exampl,egivel1 by' Calvin re'~atJil'1llgJ to 'the trenamtsslen of sun on llhe analogy of heirediitary disease is lncerreet, This is so because firsrUy the isSlLIe' .that disease. is her~di~arry is,iiitself r~,e~2ft~le. E~en if one acce~t~.that d~5·g eases are heradltary, thefl stekness which IS alii ul'!follunta'ry ,affllu;:'brQrI. cannot be rcompared andieqliIJatedd to sin. I,f a person ius, ,aff~ lcted bV slckness invo,lluntarny, he cannot be blamed nor be tile, subjlect ef' punlsbrrrent, SQ; why is mann c,onsider:ed deservin'9J of punlsnrnent 'by reason of this siln ~n whmch his willi 'p~lays no part whatso,ev-e'r?

4. 'S,imilarlly, thie exampte given by Aquinas is incerreet because the sinner ii~ 'in 'fact man. But,. once m,alliil is, the name of the tota.Uty _of s.piriVt andd body" 'itf,ollows that each one ilsa .s,inll'ler. A.s 'Opposed 'to this, the existencle of; Adam is not made up of all his o'hiildren So that [hre cannot be caned B. slinn'elf until alii! his ,cll1Udlien are declared sinlne'rs.

5. If the original sin was naturaUv transposed to alii the clhildlrren of Adam! then wlh'V \Vas it not transpesed I'n~o lhe human axistenee of ,Jesus? Whereas he was lik'e aU people born tMroughthe mediium of women CMaryam),a'l1d ,alceordril1~ .to '~hristian belilet w~s toget~e.r with Ibeing go,d also man. And he was ,clil!i(uhed frol1l thestallFldipolnt of' befOg man",

6,_ Then, arccOlrd:ing to which dmc:t:a~es of [ustlee is, it:j!ustma.b!:e to rorruc~ify a s,li!ri1ess, and_innoc1snh 501:1", ,ar.~r that wilth 1~'iiS. :cof1,s'e~'~?_~f a pe~s,cnv'o'luntari~y o,ff,efs, mr ,3 court ·Olf I:aw'to, un:der9'othe. b,ordl~'Y punlshment due to a CI!!rtalln criminal;, ih,en wUI such a crlmmal be set free'?' The verses of IEzetiel~ quoh!ld above refutes 11111s.

'7., n is said 'thai God! lsiust. Hance, He' does not forgfive sins wUhou,t punishment. Br~t, what iusUc~ _is that wh~~~ not.'only epndemns_ alii m'en_ to pe~petual pu nlshrnent by reaaon of an ~nvoluntalr)' sm, but also IUSllJrpS, thellr

firee wmU. -

8. 1'1 is s91id that God! does not 'f,orgrwve the or]g;inal !S~n simplre by means of repentance wheireas the old testament states: JJ8ut '~f a wicked man turns. away 'from all his sins which he has committed and ke!epls alii my statues does what is I,awful and right, he shell sureNy Imve; he shall not ,driie.!' 1(lEzlek:ie'~ 18,:2(1)

9. U the dectrlne of Girtol:1ireme'I:'l'tis ~Irue then wtry did •. Iesus not expr/,ain it clearly arrd pl'Ope:rly? There ls no verse O'f the rolid· testament from wh[,ch the doctrine coutd be iilfrelf'lredi. We shaU deal, with this in ~he' seco'nd prart of ttlhs book ill sufficient detail.

W hat is Chris ti~ nity


redemption for them and they will' be saved. U they did not beneve in hm, 'they wW not be saved:

13. As mentioned before, those who beueved ~n J1esus and underwent baptism - ior them redemption does not mean that they wiU not be punished for sins cornrnhted. but redemption means that their or,ig,inal sin will be for,gi'ven~ whkh s,in demanded perpetual punlshrnem. M'oreover, aU .sins. wi[! be torg'iven, whose cause is, the origina~ sin, Now:, theywU~ obtawn ,8 new m,e ,in 'which the~:ywiiU own a 'free will.. ~f that w,iU ~s wrong'ly exercised, then they wU11 be punished a.ccording to 'the types of sin committed. llf after ba,ptlisml they commit a sln whi,ch takes them out of' the pa~,e ot faith:., they aqain become entitled to perpetual punlshment. And:, the redemption of Jesus in such GaS9' win not suttlce, Accordingly" those declared by the church ae heret~c and excommunicated become entitled to perpetual punlshrnent,

If one the other hand, they comrnit a rnlnor sin" then they 'would be' sent to that part of hen" whit:h has been made to. purif"y believers of their sins, for a temporary Umlilt,e,d period, The nalm,e of such part lis purg,a't1ory where,in theywi~I' stay tor a. while and 'then sen! to .

Some Christian theo~ogians on the contrary assert 'that not onl'y dis.b,elij,ef, but a Ills 0' major sins separate one from the redemption of Jesus. And, they become entitled to perpetual punishment St, Augustine have, wrU!en a specific book on this i'ss.Ule~ and i,t ,appears from certain ot h.s. statements in the Enchirldion that he' is i:ncUned to thilS opinion,

Deniiers of Redemption

Thi's is a brief account of the doctrine ot atonement, The overwhelming m,B,jorUy elf' Chrlstians have from ~noeption beUeved ~n Atonement as a cardinal doctrine of ChrilsUanrty. N1otwithstandi'n'g, there are pe'opll'9 in the

What is Christianitv

.. '


history of the church who reject the doctrine. The first amongst these w'as, probably CoellestiuswhoS8! theories in the words of Augustine are .aSfOUOlNS~ 3B

"The sin o,f Adam harmed Adam only; and did not aUeot mankind ait all.'

HO\V'9V,er" these theories were declared heretic by a Council of' Archbishops at Cartnaqe.

Thereafter, there were some who denied the doctrine of atonement WhOS'9 position is referred to in the articte "atonement" in th:,e Encydopa,edi:a Britannica.



3B. Au gustin e. vol, , , p, 6:21 ,

What is Chrlstianity



What are the' methods of worship in Chrlstlanlty?

Before we know thls. it v'Ori~i be appropriate to understand the basic prindplles governing Christian worship. Accord~ing to 'Raymond Abba these principles are four, namely: :39

1. Worship is in reality gratitude for the sacrifice madle by the Word of god, that is. Jesus on behalf of man.

,2. True and properworship can ol111Y be done by the act

of the Holy' Spirit. lin his letter to the Hornans Paul says':

IlLikewise the spirit hellps us in our nearness: for we do not 'knlOW how to pray as we ouqht, but the spirit hiimself intercedes 'for us with signs too deep for words" (Rom. B:26),

3. WOlrship ls tn r.eamya coUectiv,9 act 'which the' church onl:y call 'fulfil. If a pierson, wishes on an ind.ividual level to carry out 'worship, then such wor.ship is on~!'Y posslbte if he becomes a member of the Church ..

4. Worship is the basic function of th«~ Church. lt expresses ltselt to the world ln the form of; the body of Jesus ..


Then3 are many' methods of worship ln Chrlsnanity. But we can only explain two methods in this short article which

39- Abba, p, 3,

What is Christianity

ere adopted re'Qlulady and are dealt with repeatedly I~n discussions of the subject 'One of ~hese is Mas,s, priests refer to it as "Nemee z" lin order tomalkisMusl'ims u nde rstand,

Accordlnq tQ F"C. Burkitt 40, the procedure for !Mass lis that people gather in the Church tjvery day, mlornfng and evening. One person from amongst them reads a port ion ot the IBtibie. The portion is 'g'enelraI11Iy a section from the OI:dI Testament During such recitation, altll present: remain standiing. At the end o'f each hymn. bells are' rUrllig and prayers are said. At the, time of such prayers, it is desirable as a confession of sins to shied rears. This procedure continued' from the ard century AD up to present day; and has been emphasised in some 'wflitings ..


This iiis the first rltual of Christianity. This ~s' a. form of bathing which is. administered to those who enter the Chr.ilsHan faith .. Without it, nobody could be said to be a Christian. Behind this ritual lies 'the doctrine of redemption. The Christlan bs,lis,f is that a man by' lm,eans, of baptism dies for the sakis of Jesus. and then becomes ajllv·s,agalin. By means 0,1' "death", he receives the punishment of the oriqinal s~n. He then i'n his new lifle acquires a free wH!. Those who wish to enter 1he ChriisHan faith must pass through a pre,mUinary stage ~n which they acquire fhe basic teachings of the faith . Inthat period, they are' nom called "Christians", but ana known as Catechumens, And they do not have permission to partake in the PassoV',er .. Then some tiiml9 before Easter, or the Pentecost, they are 'giv,sn the baptism 41 •

The Church has a special room' 'to administer the Baptism, Special people are daslqnated for the act.

40. BUfkitt, p. i 5,2

41 .. Burkitt p. 150-152.

What is: Christianity


Acoordilngl to the! weill known theoiogian CyrU" the person under.going Baptism is made to Ue in the: baptistry wUh his back facing the We'stThen such person extends his, hand to the West and says:

"O Satan" I wi'tndraw mys,elfr: flrom you ,and 6'ach of yo LMi' acts".

Then he faces the East, and v,srbaUy proclaims the cardinal doctnnes of Christianity, Then his clothes are removed, and he is anointed nead to foot w'ith an [oU. Thereafter, he, is put into. the' pool of baptiem. The person administering the baptism 'then asks him three quesnons - whe1her he belleves in the father, son and ho'l·.y spl rit ~ntlhe prescribed manner? The proposed co nvert answers to each question; 'Yes, I beUeve.1I Then he ls taken out from the pool, ,andaga~n Ih is forehead, ears j nose ano chest is anolnted wUh the oil, Hie, is. the!n mads to wear 'whi~e clothes which lis indica.Uv·e of his, pur<iflicaUon from previous. sins by means of Baptism. The Group of persons u ndergoilr~g baptism, then tOQ'emher enter the Church and for t.hie first time partake in the Passover.


This is the! 'most. important rite a fte ir' adopt jon ot Ghristiianity and iit is celebrated in commemoration of the sacrifice of Jesus, IO'ne' day oetore the aUeged arrest of Jesus I follows :

"Now asu1hey were ea:til!1ig, J€'SUS took brlread, ,andi blessed.end broke it, and Igav'e il~ to. 'the disciples 8.nd said, 'Take; eat; this is my body.' And he took cup, and when he had ,given thanks he gave lit to them, sayiingj• 'Drink ,of i'~, a.111 of you; for trl'llis is my bkwd 'of tl!'H3' covenant, which is poured out for m·any ~Qrr t.h[e forgiveness of sins. {Mat 26:26)

Luke adds, Jesus the reafter sa~d:

II Do in remembrance ot [me II'

What is Christianity


The W'8'U known Ch rIstianl Scholar Justin M,artyr 42 explains the procedure of Passover I namely that there is a 'gatherilng 'Bvery Sunday at Church. At the Ibe,g~nning the-reof some prayers and hymns are sung. Then the participants embrace each othe-r and convey meir Qlood wishes. Bread and wine, Is then brought. The head of the gathering takes, the bread and w~h,e and makes prayers ot blessinq to 'the' father, son and hol'y spirit. AU participants. answer Ameen. the deacons of the Church thereupon distribute, the bread and w,in'8 arnonqst the participants.

, The bread immediately by means of this act becomes the body of Christ, and the wine his blood; aU participants by eating and drinking retresb their doctrine of redemption.

Attar Justin, there have been and continues t Q. be much change in the procedure and use ol 'words in rleg:ard to 'this rite. But, t he basic aspect of the rite ls that the bread and wine'~ wl:I,en g.iven by the' head of gath,er~ng to the participants, irnrneoiately according to Christian beliet, chanqe their nature and become the body and blood of .Jesus, desp.te their outward appearance. Cyril writes: 43,

!'When the head com~~'etes his prayers", then the IHoty Spirit. descends upon the' bread and wine and changes them to body' and blood."

I't is .at matter of controversy and debate for yealfs as to how bread and w[,ne upon a moment became changed to body and brood. TO' the extant that the Protestant sect which emorqed in the sixteenth century rejected tnis doctrine. Accordrng' to Iit,this yjite is merely mn memory otthe sacntice of Jesus. Udid· not however, accept the transtormatlon trom bread to body! and wiine to blood. apart lram the Passover.jnls rille has other names, namely Eucharist! Sacred Meal, Holy Oomrnunion,

42, Qu oted by Burki tt. p.1 65- UI7.. 4~t Quoted by Britannica.

What is Christianity


Apart from Baptism and the, Passover, there arefive other rites according to this, ROlman Catholic sI9ct.Th'B Protestant sect however, did not accept these rites, Calvin 'wr~tes: 44

"From amonqst Hl!1®se rituals, only two were prescribed by DU!r savle u r: baptism and the passover; because we re'gard t~~HlJ seven made under the eeqls of the Pope as f.abriicated'i.

lin view of! the fact that there is no consensus on these rites, and 'that there is no need to be acquainted with them, we shall not deal with the m for the! sake of' brevi'~y .



Wbat is Christianity



What is Christianity




lsraafl ls the name of Yequb (Jacob) (f'~1 ~) who had twelve sons, and their children are known as lithe children c,f ~sraaW' (Banu lsraall), In ancient times, God had chosen this house to assume the office of Prophethood. Innumerable prophets were sent: from arnonqst this house. The origi'na~ horne of the chddren of I:sraai~ was the area .01 Palestine. But the Amalekites after havi:ngl usurped this land torced them to slavery, They then durinq the l,im,B of Moses obtalned freedom from such slavery. However, th,ey could not regain lParest~ne at the time ,of the demise ol MOS'9S. Thereafter" Jushu (Joshua) and then Kaillib" became Prophet s .. (Jushu ~I'~) conquered a lar'lge' portion of Palestine' by 1iglhtingthe Amalekite&; Thereafter, the children ot lsraail faced onslauqhts from all sides. At that time, their li'i:18 was analoqous tot hat of the b,edouiin Arabs; and to a larg'B extent was based on mlr~bal ~ines. Hence. they looked with respect on that person 'who" on the basis c,f tribal law, BxceUe,d in inter-tribal warfare .. if such person moreover displayed miHtary iinsight and ,abUity I they made him theitr reaosr in external wars. Such leaders were rete rred to by them as II Judqes". The book of the IBib,!e entitled ilJill!dgesU is a ntl rrative of their efforts, and

45. See" E'ncyciopaed~a of Re,Ii'gioll Ethics.

What is Christianity


that era was appropriately named as lithe era of the judge:s,ii'"

Whiilst the people of' lsrael successfully defended external attacks durin'g the era Q:f the judqes, they were also in 'the 11 the century B.,C defeat e~d by the' Canaanites who acquired contro~ over a Ilarlg'e area of Palestine, which control lasted until the time of David (Dawood r~r ~,).

FinaUy ~ when Sa,muel was, sent as Prophet, the, people ot lsraall totd hiilm that they W'EUS constricted by their bedlou~in !llmfa', and requested him to pray to God to appol nt over them a king whom they could obey and do battle aqainst the Phlllstmes. ln response to the request of Samuell, a person from simongst them was, appointee king, whose name accordlng tOI Our'an was Talut, and Saul accordlnq to the Bible. (Salmluel 1 ::113) Talut fought the Philistines. A.t that time, Davidl was, a youth. He by acodent became a, member ot the group of Talut. Jalut(Golliath) from amonqst the Phmstiness,ouglht a duel. David responded and kined him, This IbtrQughill Da\dd such respect and g'\ory arnonqst the Israelites that they made him k~ng after Saul.. This was the first time that God conferred prophethocd on a kiingl. The control 011 the people of I s ra-e Ii over Palestine was v~rtiUany completed duning the time of David, After him, Sollomon iin 974 B.C 'further consolidated power and brought his rei'gn to, its: peak, On the order o·f God, he bUiUt "Baitul Maqdis", and named his kingship "Judaea" mbllowiing the name of his 'grandfathelr. However, in 93B· B.C, atter the, death of Solomon, hi's. son iRoboam, who, assumed power, 110t olnly ended lby reason of hi~ incompetency the' r,eHgli,ou,s and spiritual control but also oauseo 'gr,eat harm to the P'IQillit~call SI,abWty om: the kingdom. lin hils time" a termer servant ,of So,loman rabelled and estabnshed a separate kiingdollml in the name ot Israail. The result was that: the people ot lsraail were' divided into twO' kingdoms. lin the North., the ,kingdom of tsraall, WhOS'8

VVha t is Chris tianl ty


capita.11 was Somar'ia and in the south Judaea whose capital W;BS ,J'eru:salem,. The two kingdolms had for a. II,on'Q penod o,f:

Ume reUgious and poliitiica[ diff,erences which continued untlijl the invasion of Nebuchednelzzar.

Over a period of time, idol,atry became riif,e 'in both lands. Hence ~ iln order to remove sucn ldolatry, prophets of 'GOod were Slant from, time to time, When the rnisdeeds of the people of lsraail excelled an [imi,tst Glod imposed on them a kilng Nebuchednezzar (o,f Babylon) who in .0.8'6 Be· fiercely attacked Jerusalem andfi,naUy destroyed it The king ,of Jerusalem and the r,em,ailnring Jews were taken prisoner and remained in s~avelrY for years.

FinaUYI when :in53,6, Be Cyrus of. 'ran conquerec Bahy'1on, he perimi,U.ed the Jlew's to return to Jerusalem ana r,ebuUt Baitul Ma'qd"is3". Cons,equ19'ntly" in 5'115 Be. It was r,ebuUt ,Brid Jews once ag~l,n populated Jerusatern.

The' Kiing;dolm o,f lsraail was pr10if to Judsisa destroyed at th'9 hands of the Assyrlans . .And now 1 attnouqh tt.leir reHgl~ous differences 'were reduced to a considerable extent, 'they did not acquire k,ingsh~p. From 400 'BCI the people of lsraall l!ived under dI~ff,er8nt kiln'g,.s .. I~n 33,2 Be Alle,xander the Great acquired control, and kiingship over them, n was at that time that hie translated the Did Testament which ,~s weU Iknown as the! S,eptuagint

~n 160 IB,G the Syrian king Antlochus Epiphanious brutalty 'knled them on a mass scale and burnt aU the copies of theOld Testament At thwst'ilmI9,8 brave person from amongst the· people of Israail, known as Judah Macabee formed a group and thereby acquired control over 8. !ar.g,e part of Palestine and put to' fUg'ht the Assyriens. This rule of Macabees ~ast,ied unW 70 AD.

Comi,nlg o,f ,Jesus

Apart 'from, the small kingdoml of Macabees, the Jews olthat Um,e were dispersed, They had various sett~ements,

What is Christianity


around the MediUelranean Sea, Upon the destruction ,o'f IBabyllon, a fairly larqs number of Je:ws settlec in Palestine. But the im'ajori"ty w'er,e, however resident in IBabylllon lits,ell The Romans rU~'8d over a portion of P,a~es,Une, and th,is rule was under the control of Horne. Jerusalem was a sovereign state of Rome whid, was known as "Poman Judaea II, A ruler-was appointed by the Romans to fulls over Jerusalem, The Jews, due to lack of material resources could not secure their freedom, Hence, their gIBZ'9 was natur,aUy f~x,ed on the future. Many of them were awaiti:ng a savlourtrom God who wou'd fre,e them from slavery and restore to thslm nationhood.

Jesus 'was born in the re~gn of Emperor Augustus. W,s, do not have a reliable record of the Ufe of Jesus. We have onfy the Bible in its, four books whi'ch is the only means of ascertaining the pure, Iif,s of ,Jesus. However, the ,Bible ~n our view is not an authentic source,

Re'sum'e of .History of Chr'i:sUa,ni:ty'

What ls the beginnilng of Christian.itywhli,ch has assumed lts present form? The detailedanswer jig to a great extent hi'dden" In the' ~i'ght of the available material, we know that after the ascension of Jesus into' Heaven, his d~sdp~,es notwi:-thstandi:ng opposnion became' engrossed in propagation. They attained considerable success in spit'e of numerolUS obstades ..

A'm that point, an even occurred which changed conditions completely, The, event was that a wen known Je'wi,sh priest Sau! who untH that time was ,s8,veiel:v oppr,e,ssing the followers of Christianity, suddenl'y acoeptso tnistatth. He claimed that on the road to Damascus, a light shone on him, and he heard the voice' of J!e'5U1S Irorn heaven IIW'hy co you tease me,?"1 the event ~n~luence him to the extent that. his heart became incuned to' Chr,is'ti:anUy.

Wha t is Christianity


When Saul announced his conversion ~Q the diiscilpl,esl, the mlsjonily of them refu$led to believe him. However, the first disciple to believe was Barnabas. The rest accepted this, and aU of them mcluded SA~L lin th'8,k brotnerhood .. Saul changed his, name to Paul., a.nd thereafter devoted hirnselt to, prcpaqation of Christianity .. 10 the extent that as a consequence of h'is dsepseatad ,effort and struggle, 'many people who werle not Chrlstians embraced Christianity. By reason ow such service, his iniluertce amonqstthe followers 'Of this fai,th continuec to grow',. He graduaHy beglant,o propagate the doctrine of the diviniity .01 Chr'ist, redemption" and iilnc.a~rnati,on. History indicates to this extent that some disCllp~,es openly opposed him at this juncture. However, what happened thereafter is completely clouded s,ave that we, know that the intluence of Paul continued to lncrease.

Age of Persecution

Until the beglinning ot the 4th century AD! Christiartlty remained a subdued reUg;ion, Ctrristlan histonans refer to that period as theaqe of persecution. At that time, the Romans from a potittca] viewpoint rull,ed 'Over the Christians. From a reBgmo'Us viewpomt, the Jsws exercised supremacy over them, The Jews and Bomens concurred in mockinq and debasing them. ,A characteristic of this era is aliso that the system of worship and beHe'f in Chnstlanitv was until then J10E c:odilfi.ed. for this reason" a number of s,eets 8lPpe,ared in the Christian world of that time, lqnatius (11 B AD'); Clement (100 AD); Polycatp (155 ADL lrenaeus (188 AD) and others were the grie,at theoloqians of the time whose writings form the basils of Christianity.

Co-n:stantine the Great,

The year 306 .AD' ils a joyous one in the history of Chnstiarnty. Because Constantine the First was made Il=mnArnr' nf RnmA in that vear, He embraced Chrlstianlty,

\Vhat is Christianity

and made ~t sond, This was the, first tlrns that the ruling emperor belg'an propaqating Ohrlstlanlty instead of persecutlnq its foUiowers. H,e bunt many Churches in Constantlnople, Jeruealern IRom,e and Tyre. And hie honoured the Ch r;;3Uan theoloqlans and caused them to. be, devoted to' reUgiious research, For thjs reason, various council's of theologtans were held ,in dlfierent parts ,of the empire during his reig'n lin which the system of Christian beliefs. were systernancany codifled. lin this reqard, the council of Nicaea, whiich was convened ,in .AID 3,25, at Nicaea, is of fundamental' importance .At this council the doctrine of tr~nity was for tthef~rst tlme he~d to be a cardinal belief of Chrlstlanity. The d,eniers 0.: this benef" AriUls and others were excommunlcated. 0111 this. occaaion, the Chrisnan beliefs were for the, first time recorded, and are' w-eil known as the Athana.sian Creed! 4'6.

Anhough the Council of Nicaea codified the basic beliels, they were ambiquous to the extent that there were serious d~ner,en,ces as to their Interpretation for a considerable period. To resolve' sue h differ'snces. as to their interpretation Ior a considerable P't riod, To resolve such differences, the Chrlstian theologians convened various councils at dine,rent ptaces. These debates and disputes reached the~lr pinnacle ~n the Sth and 6th centuries AD. Hence, thms era is referred tlO b'y the Christian historians as IIIlth'€: Alga of GouncU,sll CH the "periled of controversy" .

F'ro'm' Constantine' of Grleg,o,ry'

For the period ,31.3 AD to 5.89 AD~ the, Christian fa,ith exercised superrnacy over the Ro,mlan monarch. Despite opposition trorn idolatrous lr'elligions, Chrlstianity was 'g'enerall-y prevalent jin the kingdom.. fn this pertod, the Roman Le!glislature, was also influenced by th~sfailh.

416. U is dear that the t.e,li S! vi1~(;!' "cue popularly ~known as the Athanes·liail creed are not those of A~hana5'ius. but were ~ater denoted as such by somebody.

What is Chrtstianlty


The outstanding teature ,of: that time was that Chrlstianlty was, dliviided OV9!r two klnqdorns. The one was in the East which had its capita at Constant~nopille' and wh lch i ncluded Ba~kan! Gre'8ce, Asia Minor" Egypt and Abbysinnil8 and t.he qreatest re'llliigio'LJs fi:gure ~n the Eastern Empire was known as the Pattriarch .. The 'Other kinqdorn was in the west whose capital 'was Rome, and most ot the! areas of Europe fell under it The 'Ie'ading redigious Ugur,e '0:1 this W9:St: was known as, the Pope, Since the beginning there 'was mutual rivalry between the two empires, and each on tried to prove its re'lliigi;,ous superiority over the other.

The second Isature of thisera was, that monastlctsrr and ascetlcism 'was w/,de.spre,ad. The basic teac'h,~ngl of monasncisrn 'was that the pleasure of 'God could only be obtained by abandoning, the pleasures of the world, To the extent that 'man wW 1nfl!iet pain on h,iimseU1, he will:~ attain nearness to God. Arllt1hough the incltnatlon to rnonastlclsrn commenced trom the 4th century AD" and in the, Sth century A.D there were many monasteries in Britain and France; the first monk, however w'no, developed a. systemlzed organization was the 6th cerdullry monk Pakum. After him Barslblus and! Jerome wers! its welili known teadsrs.

The Dark Ages

lin 590 AD" Gregory the' flrst became Pope, From h~IS time to Chariemagne (860 .AD) represents the first part of what ChrisUan historians describe as the "Dark Ag'es'l~. B'ecause~ this 'is the worst period in Christian hlstory of polltlcal and ~nte'llecttJ,a11 decline and deglener'ati,on.An important reason for this was tha~ tstam was in this penod on the ascendancy, whllst dlssentlor and ,disunity 'was, riff~; amonqst Cl1risti.ans.

ThEHe: ere two important features OIf this period. The, one is that the Western Cnrlstlans commenced

What is Christianity


propagation of Christianity ~n various parts of Europe. For the first time, the Homan Christlans acqui red reUglious victory over Brita tfln, G,ermalllY and other areas, The' result was that after continued stnJlggle f:or four centuries, the whole Europe becarne Christian.

The second feature is, that the sun of Is~alm began to rise inthat period, and in a short time n's rays spread over half the world. lntheWest-Eqypt, Ai'rica, Spain and in the East-Syria and lran, For this n~,! the Chris,ti:an Ihold especiahy in the Eastern reg',ions began to bre,ak.

The Middle Ages

The' period frorn 800' AD to 1'52'11 AD is known as the Medieval Era. The bask; feature of this era ts the war between the Pope, and the' Emperor of the time, which lasted for years .. Allfred A,. Garvey has divided thiis pertod into 1h ree- parts ~

(a) from Charlemagne to Pope Gregory VII (BOO - 1073) which period ~s characterised by the growinlg power of the' papacy.

(b) Frorn Gregory VU to Boniface VIII (1073 - 129'4)" the time when the Pope exercised fU11111 sway in Western Europe.

(c) from Boniface v~n to the reformat ion (11294 ,- 1517) the papacy declines, the need! for reform asserts itselfll and there are various movements towards it

W'e shan summarize bej'o'w the tmportant events of this


The Glreat Schism

The ngreat schism" is a. term of Chrisuan history wh~ch refers to the Igreat dispute between the Easter and W'9stern Church which resutteo in the permanent separation and severance between the, two, The Eastel n church henceforth called itself "the holy Orthodox Chur-n". The

What Is Christianity

main CBUlSI€,s ow ~h~s esfranqsrnent are the follow~l11g:

0) The doctrinal d~nerences between the two: the Eastern Church held that the hO~IY spirit proceeds, from the' Father alone tlhrough the son, but ~h,e We,slern tha~ He proceeds both from the Father and from tine Son. This former asserts ,8 subordlnatlon of the son to the Father; tile latter rnatntalns an e'q1uallty of Fat her and Son. The Eastern Church accused the Western Ch urch of cornmlttlnq a serious wrong ilm aUemptiing to distort the N lcene Cn3'ed by ilns,erting a certain word therein to support its theories.

on There was a consart IQf race. lin the west, the IlaUn race had been fdf,ected by an infusion of Genmlsnic blood. lin the !E.ast" the Greek race' had been blended with Asiatic peoples.

(i~ii) As stated p reviously, the d~viis~on ot the one Roman Emrplire into van eastern iand western g!ave to Christendom two centres of .91Jtht)rityandilinfluance', and the new capital in the' East, Constantinople. became a torrnidable lI'ivar to the ancient c:lity cd:

ROime in the West

(hI) The P'ope in Rome was not, however, prepared to surrender to the Pattiarch of Constantinople. or even to share with him, the prj,m,acy that the pos~tion olf Rome hilthl91rtiO had secured for ~t,s bishop, and for several cantu rles the contest for power W'8S wa'ged.

(v) When Le'DI IIX in 15,04 souqht to force mhe v~ewS ot the West on the East, and the Patrlach of Constantlnople, Miclha·el refused aubmlsston, lithe Papall leqatestormally laidon the alter of Sf. Saphlla a sentence of anathema", and the schls m 'was new complete.

What is Chris tianity


IRe~~g:ious W'ars,

The: second fea,ture of this, e'r,a is the reng~ouswats whiich are referred mal as the "Crusades" by Chrlsban hlstorlans. The Muslimls during the time of Ga,Upih 'Umar ~ Ju U"~ had conquered the areas of Jerusalem, Palestine and Syr~a. A,t that tlme, ~he defence 'o:f; ~'tsleU by the Christ~an world was a serious problem, Hence, they cou~d not proceed and conceive of: the recpvery of these holy lands. However, when the r~sing power' of the Muslii,ms was to an: extent curtam~led:,and at ,degrfN3' Olf wsakness entered into Mus!~i m ranks, the Chi r1isit'ian !dngls on thi,s adv~se of theiir ci'e:rg'Yt decided once agaIn to recover JerusalemThese wars werefouglht against the 8all~uk Turks and Ayubl emperors, P rlor to' these wars, Chrijst:ia,n ity did not kno:w of reHg:ioUis 'Olr crusade's. But in 10951 Pope iU'lrban II announced at. the council ,of Clement that the crusades were lre'!iilglj,ouswars. Cllark,eI' iin bls ~'Short. Hijs'~lorv of the Church" states in this n3"QIC1Ud:

"Urban, ~n order enUce people, announced that whoever participatea ~11 thwswar,~ he wrnli ce,rtaiil1liy :be,f,Qrglven! and like Muham'maQ! " he p rornlsed that those who dh3 on the :ba,ttlenei~d wU11 001 !5.tra~lgh1 t 0 paradise."

lin Ih~.s waYI seven crusadea were fOL~ght!1 Bind the Ghriistians, were badly defea.~led at the hands, of Saluddln Ayyubi.

C ~i'CU~ lion of :PanacY,· orr, .p- -- - - --r-'---.1

Aftelr ~he reUgiolus wars the power and i!nfluenc,9 ot thl9 Pope beg~a n to wane to a conslderable extent, But, the real de'cUne' beg,an fromthe 'Urns o.f Pope Innocent ~V f1243),. The reason for this decline was that Pope, lnnoeent ~V bega.n '~O use hisofflce tor pc Ii 'He a II andw,orl,dhf' gains., During hls time tradiingi ~n iindul'genoEls became rife, and members otopposlfior sects w,sr'e burntalive. l.atar Popes took these lnequitous measures to their extrema. Duringl

What is Christianity

this period, Pope Boniface VU~ became extf,em,ely opposed to Edward ~ and P'hiUip IIV of France". The result 'was. that the papacy was cOlmpllete~y ended in the Roman Empire for 71 years (1305 - 1377}. For this 'P,eriod, the, popes /,iv,ed in France. Hence, the period was referred to as the liB . b .. m· ..•. ' E' 'I' . Ii

:- aoyroman XII.e '.

Then from 1375 - 1413,a new C'a.11amit.y' arOS'8, namely that two popes instead of one were eleotsd. Each claimed absolute power, ard w's're elected thro,ugh cardinale. .The one was, electedtor the areas of Fralr1oe'~ Spain and the other for ~tally" IEng~and and 'Gerlman,Y. The tatter was referred to as the fRom,all Pope, This separa.tion is reterred to. by 'Some historians as, "the great sChismlJ•

A'Hempts in the Name olf IR'efolrm

A.t, the height of papal corruption, thef,a wlsr'e a number of attempts at reformation. Amongst the forerunner was John 'Wyclif (1,3'24 .. 1384) who 'was an opponent 0-1 the corruption and abuses of the 'Church, and a claimant of the election of rilghrteous popes, He was thef'i:rs,1 to cause the biiblle to be translatedlnto Eng~ishj, wh;ich 'was published in 1385. Whereas, prior to that, it 'was a serious crime to translate the bible in any other 'tongue. Ilrdlluenoed by his teachmq, John Hug and .Jerorne 'Uphe~d the cause of reform,

Wilth a. vie'w to 9'nding the papal contrOversy and Ilgireat schism" I the, council of PISA 'was convened in \'14091,. Eigihty bishops were present, and they' removed from, offlce both popes, and e~ected as pope, Alexander v. But. he, died lmrneoiately, Thereaner, a pirate ,JohnW,as elected Pope. But. he cou~d not suppress h~s clontemlpor',sry Popes. The resuit was that msteao of two" there were three popes i!n ofihce" and the ritt iln the church became leven grleater.

FinaUy" in November 1414 a council was convened at Constance, at which not only 'was rhe great schism

\Nhat is Christianitv



completed" but also the reformist teaching of John Huss was declared heretic. lin the result, Huss and his pupil Jerome, were burnt: alive, and the moral and reliqious de'g'eneration of this, Church was maintained ..

How,ev,erl the movement of John Huss was alive, and Gould not be suppressed by force, Its adherents 'glrew in time to the extend that the Pope perceived his power to be under threat . An attempt was then made at, the counce of Basel in 1431 to suppress the ref:onm,ist movement by means of arqurnent but w:ith no effective result

Era of R,efor'ml and Protestantism

.Finally in 1483 the 'founder of Protestantism" Martin Luther was born. IH,e hammered the final nail ln the coffin of papacy. Hie first announced his opposition to commerce in indullgences. When tlhiis was accept led, he rebelUedagai nst the extraordinary power of the' Popel and' apart 'from baptism and the' lord's supper, he, re'garded ,all other rituals as .an innovation of the Hernan Church. In .switze'r.~and, ulrieh, ,Zw~ngli raised th'9 same voice of retorm, Thereafter, John Calvin in theearly 16th century ~ lin Geneva" Ig'ave, this movement impetus and wide signiticancB. To the! extent that the voice of reform reacneo France" ltaly Garmany and the rest of Europe. Finally the, klings of iEng,lland Henry VIII and IEdward VII w'e're iinflue,nced by th'9 movement so that Protestantism became a strong opponent ot Catholicism.


This was the era in whlich Europe outstripped theworld in sClentlific and technological advancement. The people ot Europe' who were tilll thf;n steeped in superstition, now became alive. 'The abuse of papacy, and corruption of the, Church crested in their hearta a deep rancour towards reliqlon. IMartin t.uthe for the Hrst time ventured to diner w~th his predecessors in the interpretation of the lbibll1eand

Whar is Christianity


wage 'war against the church. But when mhils door was opened once, it continued! to remain open, Luther only arrogated to himself the, intsrpretauon of the Bible. Even he did not dare to crtticise 'the book itself, H oweve r ~ those after him who raised the' banner of ratlonalisrr d]d not spare the' Bible' in their criticism. They critlclsed each and! every doctrine of Chlr,ilstianity and reduced them to the levell of mockery'.

Their approach was to test every claim of r,eligliion on the all ter of reason, And to reject anvth i ng wh ich was irrational! even iif the Church valued such teachings for centuries. They c.allilled themselves rationalists and their epoch "the .age of reason".

WiUiiam, Shillingworth!1,60.2 - Ii 644~ is the foremost leader of this group. He raised the voice of rationalism tor 'the f~ rst time. Lord Herbs rt 15088 - 1648 and Thomas Hobbes 1,5.88 - 16,71 etc. were also. ~€'ading figures of ra tion 81 ism ..

No doctrine was sate from the sweep of ranonetism. To the extent that sceptics such as Voltair,e1'694 - 17'88 emerqsd who even openly sowed the seeds ot doubts in the existence 0.1 God, and later openly negated the existence of Go'd. Bertand Russell; th'9well known Philosopher of our age! is the final adherent 01 this group.

The IE:ra 0,1:

The reaction of rationalism on the adherents of Christiaruty was twotold, One was that soma people wen3 overcome by ratlonaltsm and began to make changes to [he talth. This movement is known as rnodemlsm .. They hold that whilst the faith is fundamentally correct, it s i nterpreta tion and application has proceeded on an incorrect basis. The bible contains suructent flexlbillty to be adapted to 'the scientiuc advances of each aqe, For this purpose, certain unimportant portions of' the Bible could be

What is Chris tiani ty

disregarded, and itswords and traditional lmport could be sacnficed.

Accordinq to Doctor IPuB Lane the leader of this

movement W'B8 Rousseau, In recent times, IProf:essor

Harnach and Rena.n were also well' known adherents thereof.

IM'o'vement of Bs·vi:V81Iis·m

The second consequence at: rationalism which arose as a reaction to it was that .a movement emerged to revive IRoman Catholicism known as "Catholic H,evrvali Movement", The proponents o~ this movement wagled w·ar aqainst the rstlcnallsts .. They asserted that Christianity is the sarne as expounded by their predecessors, and as define,d continuously by the various councils. Hence the Church must be the supreme power. There was no need to make chanqes '10 Catholic doctrines. This movement be'gan in the 19th Century .. This was the time when the W,est was Hcking its wounds in the wake of experiencing fuUy materialism. Once ag.ain there was in consequence of the, gr1eat uneasiness wIought by materiallsm, a fe,sUlng ot return to the spirlt, The movement of revivalism enlisted' such people, and once again reverted to those' doctrines ot Chlr,istianjty wh~c:h brought i;t to the throes of destruction ,in the l' 3th and 114th century. Amongst' the ,leading proponents of this movement J.A. Knox (1757 - 1831 AD)!, JI.H .. Newman (180'11 -·11890), Hurell Frond (1803, .. 1836) and Ril1chard Wmiiam Church (1815 .- 1890) are 'worthy of mention.

In the Christian world these three movements (ratiorralism, modernism' and the revivalism) have rernamed, and members of a~llr three movements are found in great numbers .

. *



What is Christianity




\Nhat is Christianity




The Chlri;stians claim that the foundation of Chr~stianity was laid by Jesus (lisa f'}l..;J1 ~ ) and that his teachinq forms the basis of Christianity. lHowever"the result of our research is to the contrary. U is accepted tnat Jesus was sent to fhe people of lsrael and ~ns.truGted ~hllem ~n a ne;w taith.But research and ~nv·estlg.ation clearly' reveals that the teachingl of Jesus had ended .8 short while after him; and that such tea.chiitng .••.•.. was replaced by a school ot thou'g'hm

- -

wh ich was completely contrary to the sta ternents and

teaching ot Jesus. And this new school ot thouqht 9 radual~ly developedto the present 'form ot Ch rlsflanlty.

. -

We have in the Ught om research reached the concluslon in ali honesty and siince:rii~:y that the founder of present day Christianity was not Jesus but St. Paul whose 14 epistles are incl uded iin the Bible.

I ntroduetlon to P,lul

Betore we adduce proof in support of our claim. it is necessary to be introduced to Paul

The early lite ot Paul is clouded .. However, 'we ~earn from the book. "The Acts of the Apostles" andhis letters that he was in the beginning a staunch Pharisee .Jewof the tribe of Benjamin, and his oriig'inal namewas SAUL. lin

What is Christianity


the letter to the Phillippians,! he himself wriites:, "Clrcumcised on the eight day, of the, people, of israel, of metribs cd Banlarni H, a Hebr,ew born of the Hebrews, asto the ta:w a Pharisee" (30:5).

He was citizen ot the Homan city Tarsus (as is apparent from Acts 2'2:,28). After the somewhat ambiquous reference to his eatly Imfa, first mention of him is made in the Acts (7,;58) whereln he iis referred to by name ,of Saul. Then the book Ac.'~s narrates his lif'e story in three parts, namely that I he' was an avowed enemy of the disclples ,and Iollowers of Jesus. He was tnvolved day and nilght in thsir persecution, Then suddenly he claimed as fo,llows,:

"l mys,elf was convinced that I: ought ~O> do m,anl), things in opposing the name of J1esus om: Nazareth. And ! did so> in .Jerusalem, II notooll'y shut up many ot the Saints in prtson, by aumority from the' Chieif priests, but when they Viler,S' put to death I cast my vote agaJnst them. And I punished! them often mn all the synogogu9s and b:'lled \0- make them blaspheme; and in raging fury against 'them, I persecuted them even to foreign c,ities, thus I journeyed to Damascus wHh the authority and cornmisslon of the chief priests. At midday, 0 King" II saw 011 the way a liiigh~ from heaven, brighN3r than the sun. shining round me, and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all faMen to the ground, I heard a voice- saying to me in the Hebr,ew langu~ge'. Saul. Saul, why do you persecute me?' U hltn1s you to kick aqamst fhe Qloladsll and II said, "Wiho are Y'ou, Lord?' and the' Lord salo 'I am Jesus whom y,QU are .persecutlnq. But rise' and stand uoon your feet:; for I have appealed to you for this purpose, to, apPolin1 yo,u to, serve and bear witness, to the fhings :iin which you have seen me and ~'O> those in which I will appear to you, de,llivelring you 'from the people .and from the 9,ell1tile,s ~ to whom I send yOU' to open their eyas, that thley may tum from darkness to II,ight and from the powe r ot Satan to God., that they rrmy' receive forg,ivern,ess of sins and a place among those who ana sanctfied by' 'faith in me".

Paull claimed that he brouqht fanh in Jesus after this

VVha t is Chris tiani ty


incident whereupon he chanqsd ms name to Ii Paul", ~lniIHalliy,! none of the disciples we're willill1lg to accept his claim .. havingi regard to tlhe tact that mat person 'who was their and .Jesus's avowed enemy only the day before, now truly' oellsved in Jesus. But, ,8 renowned dlsciple Barnabas was th,e first to belleve in Paul, and the others accepted this 'It is stal,ed in '~he "Acts":

"And when he had coma to .Jerusalem, he attempted to, joinths dlsciples; and '~h'ey w'ers a.1I afraid o'f him, for the'y did not believe that he was ,EI. dlaclple, Barnabas took hi rn, and brouq ht him to 'the Apostles, and decla~ed to them how on the road he had seen the l.ord, who spoke to Ih:im, and at Damascus he had p re ached boldly in the name a,f Jesus. 80 he went in and 'OUlt among 'them at .Iarusalem, preachinq bOlldly in the name elf the Lord, And he spoke and disputed against the Hel~enists. but they we'H~seeking 1t.0' :ki'll him. And 'when the br'ethren Iknew it,. they' brought him down, to Caeaarea, and sent 'him off to Tarsus. (Acts 9'::26)

Paul thereafter joined the disciples and propaqated Christianity, and :i18 considered its ~eading 'figure.

The result of our research lilS that Paul rs the founder of th,e basic beliefs and theories 'Of modern day Chr'ist~anity. J'9SUS never taught such b'BI lets anc theories.

Jes U:S and Pa,u'l

This research is based on many arqumeots and proofs.

We shan first s'how the ditterences and conflict between the teachlnqs 'of Jesus and Paul,

I n the first part , we have established by' authentic references of Christian theologians, that the basis of Christianity is the, doctrine ot Trinity, incarnation and redemption. The deniers of these ooctrinesare declared heretics by Christian tneoloqlans. ~n realltv, Christianlty is disti,ng,ui,shed from other reUgions on th,e, basis of these doctrines only .. But, in truth, none of these doctmes are

What is Chris tianlty

On the contrary" if vve viewthe statements and sayings of J1esus, W'8 gather that he did not explain this doctrine even once ~n his life'Ili,me., As opposed to this" he always gave lnstruction on the runiity of God" and never did he say that God is, composed of thr'9'e persons and the th ree together are one. Arnonqst the' innumerable statements of Jesus relatinq to God, we qUOt'9 two otthem h,ere. In th.e Gospels of Matthew and IMark.l, it i,s stated that Jesus said:

"Hear, 0 'Israel: the Lord our God" the Lord is One; and you shall! love the lordi, your God with 81111 your heart, and with a.1I YOlU sOIJ11 and, wi,~11l all your rnlno, and with a~! your strenqth" (Mark 12:29';: Matt 22:.316).

~n the 'gospel 'Of John, Jesus invokes God as follows:

"And this is eternal me that the,y know thee the only true God, and Jesus christ whom tho LJ hast sent'. (John 1. 7 : 2.)

Apart from this I nowhere has .Jesus stated that he is iln r'sallily Glod and that he was incarnated in humantorm to cause the sins 'Of man to be forgiven" On the contrary, he always referred to hlrnselt by the pseudonym "son of Adam" as appears in sixty places in the Bible.

For some tii,me now, there has been a strong awareness iin the Christian 'world that Jiesus did not refer to himlsellf as God, but that: the doctrine of: his divinity v~a.s a creation of later Jmes. ln this reglard a number of references could be quoted of Ch.ristian theologians, but we shall confine, ourselves to. one seteeted reference from 'wh'icih one eQuid infer that truth however concealed under the' guise· of; "holy theories' wm inevitably manifest itself. Pr'ofessor Harnack was a well-known thinker of early tw'entWeth century. A number of his books on Christianlty were read with great acceptance in Europe and America. He was not a raficnalist, but a. modernist. He was a firm beuever of whatever hie considered to be correct in Chrlstienlty .. ~n 1899 and 1900 he, delivered some lectures

What is Christianity


on Christianity in the German lanquaqe which were published under U11,a title Das W,esEm Dies Chrlstentums. An Engtish translation was later published under the na:me l'IWhat I'S Ch risttanttv?" These lectures were ovarwhelrningly received with success in Germany, England and America, These lectures have now assumed such tustorical importance that no historian ot modern times would omit reterenceto them,

'We set out in hi;s own words his theory relatinqto JIESUS 48.


i,l Be,fore we examine Jesu.s's own testimony about himself, two Ile,,ad'ing points must be established. In the first place; he desired no other be,~ie:f in his person and no omer attachment to it than is contained in the keepiing of his commandments. Even in the fourth qospel, ii:n which Jesus's person often seems to be raised above the contents of the gospel; the idea is still clearly formulated: 'U ye IOVEl' me, keep my commandment', He' must himself have found, during his ~Iabours,that some, people honoured, nay, even trusted him, without troublinq themselves about the contents ot his rnessaqe. It was to, them that he addressed the reprimand: I'Not everyone that sanh unto me, Lord, Lord" shallenter into the kingdom Oof heaven; but he that doeth the will of rny Father'. TO' lay down any 'Doctrine' about his person and his, di'gn~ty independently of the' gospel 'was" then, quite outside his sphere 'Of ideas. hl the second place, he described the Lord of Heaven and earth as his God and his. Father; as, the glreate.r~ and as Him who is atone good. He is certain that everything which he has and everything what he is to accomplish comes from, hts Father. Hie prays to H:liilm; he subjects himself to His Willi!.: he .struggl,es hard to find our what it is and to. fulfil rt. Aim, strenqth, unoerstandlnq, 'this

48. Harnach, p,12'5-128: p. 148.

VI/hat is Christianity



issue, and 'the 'herd, must an come from the Father,. This ~s what the 'Gospels sav, and it cannot be turned andtwisted. This 'fe,e-Hng" praying, working! struggling and sufferiing lindividua~ is a man who In the face of his G,od also associates hirnselt wlith other men.

These two facts mark out, asit were, the boundaries 01 the ground covered by Jesus! testimony of hims'elf. They do not, it ws. true, Ig~v,e us any positive information as to what he said: but we sha,n understano what he reaUy meant by his testimony ~f we look Cl0S'8:ly at th,e two descriptions which he gave of' h~msellf; the Son of God and tne Messiah (the, son of David, the Son of Man) .. , ...

Let us first of a" consider the desilglnatlIol1, "SOon 'Of GOdlll'• Jesus. lin one of hils discourses made it specificatty dear 'why and lin what sense he gave hirnselt this name, The saying lIs to be found in M,aUhew, and not as might perhaps have been ,expect.ed, In John:

"No man knoweth the :S011\ but the Fa.tber; neitner knowleth any man the father, save the son, and he to whomsoever ~he son wi'lil reveal him" ...

The consciousness which he, possesses of bein9r the Son of God DS t.her'efor,e" nothing but 'the practical consequences of knowing God as the Father and as /h,iis Father. Right'ly understood. the name of Son means nothing 'but the know'Iedge of God. Here" however, two observations are to be made. .Jesus is convinced that he knows God in a way in wh1ch no one: ever knew Him before. I,n this consciousness Mre, knows 'him'S'e~,f to be the Son calle.d and instituted of God, and to be 'the Son rOlf God .... (p 125 - P 1'2a.)

''The Gospel, a& Jesus proclaimed it. has to do with the tatner on'ly and not WIth the son, This is no paradox, nor on the other 'hand lIS 'it "Rationalism", but tha simple expression 0" ~.he actual. tact as the evang,eii,s,'ts givreir (p 144).

"The Gospe'l puts the !,iving God before us. Here also, the contession or Him in bellj,sf in Him and in the fulfilment ot His Will lis t:he sole thing to be confessed:

VVhat is Christianity

this is what Jesus Christ rneare", (p '1148)

Our purpose lis, quoting the lengthy excerpt ol Dr.

Harnack lis to show mha.t whenever a s,incer,e and' honest assessment of the qospel was made, then the conclusion was reached that Jesus never said anything apart fromme fact that he was the servant and prophet of God. iln '[Od8y~S qospels, also, no statement of Jesus can be tound to the efiect that he is 'God or son of God.

The Disciples'View ot Jesus

After Jesus, his disdplesare second! in rank, U we research their statements, we do not nnd any conception of Trini'~y' or incamation. The bible ascribes t'he disciples to have used the word "God" for Jesus. But this word has be-en frequently used in the sense of II Master" or "Teacher". There are a number of verses in the 8,ibie in which the d,isdlp~es refer to Jesus as "Lord" "My Lord" in the sense of teacher. According to Mlatthew, Jesus said;

"But you are d)t to be called Rabbi, 'for you have one teacher.. and you ,are all brethren, and cal'l no man your tat her on earth I for you nave one' father, who is ill heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master. the Christ". (MaU 23 : 8, - ~ 1)

:11 is therefore clear that the disciples by .neferring to Jesus as "'Rabbt and "Lord" meant master and' teacher, and not God. Hence, i~ cannot be argued by reference to this word that they regarded Jesus as. God. Apart from thilS word I there is not even a letter whi'ch supports. or retersto the doctrines of trinity or incarnation. On the contrary! certain cl,ear verses are found which estaolisu that the disciples considered Jesus to be a msssenqer. Peter, who had an honoured posinon amongst the disciples, once in a lecture to the .Jews stated:

"Man of Israel" hear those words: JleslUS of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God wi'th milghty' works and wonders and sJgns Wh,fCh God did til rough him in your

What is Christianity


midst, 2.5 you yourselves know", (Acts 2':22)

It is clear 'that this address was mads to Jews in order to invite them to Chnstlanlty, 'If the doctrines 'Of ~:rini:ty ano incarnation were basic tenets of Chrtsttanity, then Peter ought to have said that Jesus of Nazareth was "one of three persons of Godl", instead of saying ilA IManlll, lnstead ot saying "Attested by 'Qod'\ he ought to have said simply "God" and should have expla: ned to. 'the Jews the doctrines of trinity and lncamation, Further on he says:

"The God of Albr,aha!1l and olf Issac and of Jacob. the God of O'lH ialhers, gll,orii,f~Bd His Servant Jesus ... "II (Act 3:13)

In the Acts itself it is stated that on one occasion, alii

the disciples prayed in one voice:

IIFor truly in this city there were 'gathered togl,ether aqamst They HOlly Servant J,9SUS, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate .... " U\cts 4:27)

Apart from this, the disciple Barnabas on one occasion says:

"And he exhorted t.'~em alii 'to remain faithful to the Lord with stsadtast purpose.Jor he was a good marl. full 01 the Ho'l,y spirit and of Faith",

Here aliso, Jesus is [referred to as, "a qood man",

All the'se verses, clearly and unequivocalty show and reveal the rea lrity I that the dlscioles reqardeo Jesus. simply as "a man", a "messenqer oi God'"l' "servant of God" "Messiah", and no more.

We have, seen that from Jesus to. the disciples, the, doctrines, of tr~nity and lncarnation have not been proved" There are in fact a number of; clear verses proving the contrary ..

Accordilngly, Paul is the first person who clearty and expressly espouses the doctrines of trinity and mcarnation. In his letter to the Philippians he says:

" ..... Jesus, who, thouqh he was in 'the form of God, did not count equality with God a lhiing to be grasped, but

'Alhat is Christianity


emptied himsellf. taking the form of a servant, being born in the llkeness of men. And beiilngt 'found in human form he humbled himsEl'If and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore god has highly exalted him .... that at the name of Jesus levelY knee should bow .. "" and 6ivery' tongue confess that Jesus Ghrist ts Lord ...... I( Phlill ,21 : 6 ~ 11)

ln rus letter to the Cotossians he says:

.IHe is the lrnaqe of the iJllvis:nble God, the first-bom ot aU creation: for in him all things welre created, in heaven and on earta, visible and I~nvl~siblell 'Whether" thrones or dominions or prlnoipalities or authorlties .. aJI things we rei created through him and 'for him". {Col 1 :15-17)

Further on, he writes:

"For in him thel whole fU'lIne'ss of deUy dwells bodiily .... iI (Cor: 2 : 81)

We have seen that the disclples used the word "'iMasterll in regard to Jesus. which word In the Ught of the foreg.oingl meant "Teacher". But t,hey never used the word II Lord' or "incarnate". This doctrine was expoused by PAUL.

The St.atus of Gos,!pel ot J'ohn

An objection may arise, namely that the doctrine ot mcarnation appears in the begiinniing of the gospell of John as foliows:

!llln the, beginning! was lhe word, and the 'Word was willl11 God, and the word was God", (1:.1)1

lt states tu rther:

"And ~he word became Uesh and dwelf among IUS~ fuU of qrace and truth; ws have behe,ld his gl'ory" glo~y as of the only son from the Fa.'~her".

These are the words attributed 1"0 John" Becaaas ""Iohn was a disciple, it appears that the founder of the doctrine: of ,inca.rnaJion was not Paul, but John.

This objection wOIU~d have been sound ~f the 'Q!lospel of

't,\'l', . Ch ,., .

y' rat rs '.... rtstiamty


John w,ers at least as authoritative as the flrst thre'e glospels. This glospeil however is. coinctdentally a. gospel 'whose authentlcity is doubted by the Ohristians themselves. A larqe 'group among the Chrlstlans ot U,e, second century have denii'edi that the gospe,11 was 'wriiUen by John" In recent U;m,ss" the authentiicity of this gospel became the centre of debate and friction. Numerous books we re written analyslnq Us authenticity, and thousands 'of pages of discussion were wrilUien. lit Is not possible 1:o,r us to sumrnarlse these discussions. but w'e shall refer tOo some sa.III~I,ent points.

lrenaeus, Orogen! Clement and Eusebius were the first tOo claim that this g,Qspel w.'.9.S the' work ot John, the disciple .. However, at that tlme, (:2:'54 A.D)" a group of Chris,tilans refused to accept that John wrote the g05,p,ell" Encycl,opa,edia Britannlca explains the pcsition of this group as follows:

"A, positive testimony for this critical conclusion ls derived from~he~ 'existence' (Jlf a group of' A:s,ia Minor Christians who about 1,65 irejec~ed the, gosp'e'l as not b~l John bu~ by C'erill1thus. Til,e aUrib!JIltliJon~s doubtless mistaken; but could Clh,["lj,stiians who were' suUicient~y numerous to deserve ath:mg dlscueslcn by St. Epiphanius in 3,74,-3771, and wno upheld the Syn©p,tiists, stouts opposed the Gnostics and Mon~,arnh3:~sd' and had escaped every special designation 1:ii1l the Bishop nick-named them the i',Allogiil {irrationall eJectors o~ the Logos - Gaspe!)" dare" in such a -tirne and cO'ILmt'ry, to hold such vi,ewsp had the apostolic origin been incontestable."

Then there is 'internal evidence which shows that this gosped was not written by the disdp'e John. for example, the auibcr of this book was certainly a ,Jewish theologian who was famillli's.r with Jewlsh thought and ideas. As. appears from the Acts (4:1 :3,), the apostle John, son of Zebedee was uneducated. Furthermore, the, g:ospe~ reveals that its author was de'ep~y lsarned and be'~long,ed to a. noble famij'lly., Whereas John I the son of Zebedee' had a lower status trorn a worldliy viewPoint. Apart from this, the fourth


Wbat is Christianity


gospel; diners rad~ca:~I~y' in content and styie from the first three gOSp"6!ls,.

The fi rst pe rson to ascribe the g,ospe I as the work of John was lrenaeus who, ~u:a::olr'ding to Ch;rjst:ian scholars, could not be re~ ieo on as authentic iin the nelld off eritical analysis.

For similar reasons, a, lar'g,9'group ow Christian scholars :iin recent times are ot the Vi!'8'W t hat the 'g,ospelof John a tabrlcatlon and should no~ be I~ncluded amongst revealec books.

But, those Christian scholars, who regard the gospel as correct and who w:~$h to SErve it from the, slander of fabrication, are virtually unanimous in our U,me that the auth'OI thereot was not John the son of Zebedee butJohn The iElda r .,Ja.mes Mac:ki non writes : 4'9

"lt is ~~kely enough that lrenaeus, whose accuracy a.nd critical discernment are not' out standlnq has confused him with another John ., J10hn t he elder ment~onedi by Paplas of Hierapolia i~ A.sia, in the second quarter of the second centu ry, as well as with t!be, Propt1Je'~ John otthe Book of,R'8velationll,

Ba.ralka~u~!llah thewe~i known Christian wlriit,er ow Pakistan

wrnes: so

'iWe' have reached the conclusion thatthe narraflon ~hat the Gospel of Joh'lr1 '~as written by John ~he SO~I of 'Zebedee is incorrect" ..

He writes further:

'i'TtH3: truth is that the theologians are not willing to accept w~thoutt debats that ths' fourth gospell was wlritten by John the SCH11 of Zebedee. And gemeraJ~YI ti1E'H)rles to the contrary a~~' seen",

He: has ~in his book endeavoureo 'in 'great detail to substantiate his claim that the author 01 thetourth Gospel was not John the San of Zebedee .. Why did hesse, the need to establish t'his claim? He, provides an answer in the

4 9 ,. Mackinofl., p, 11 19.

5,0. BafakatuUah, voll, 2. p. 1401.

Wha t ills Christianity



fonow'ling words:

"Those theologi.ans who be'lieve that the fourth gospel was wriUen by John son of Zebedee ~ they do not generally accept the In istorical s,~glnU~c,ance,o'f this gospet Their theory rns thatthe tourtn gospel' is hee of histoncal events, and fhat iits contents belong to the author who put s i:t in the mouth of the word of God",.

lin vliew of the fact, that the attribuuon of the fourth gospel as the work of John the son 01 Zebedee" the disciple. places its authenticity in serious doubt, the reverend has attempted to show that li,t was written by John the Elder, His research is that .John the Elderwas also a pupil of Jesus, but that he was not counted among the twelve dtsclples. Jesus had honoured hlm by includlnp 'him rn his company tn his. last days. John the iElder was a young- person, cultureo and tearned iin 'the' Old Testament. and belonqed to a noble tarnily. He has ,expre:ss'ed th~s ~in ' hils, 'QIQspeL

This conclusion ~is wideliy accepted in the Christian world today, On this basls they have! rejected John the son o.f' Zebedee, the di sclple I as the author of the, fourth gospel~.

lin our Vi'9W'" this, conclusion lis without foundation. Apart.

Irom protectinq the ortqlnality o.f the' gospel ot John, Wl9 cannot see any other reason for it The question arises that iii: John the Elder, apart from the twelv,e, was also another pupll of Jesus, why 'has henot mentioned in the first three ,gospel/Is? The fourth gaspe'l indicated that its author was not only ln dose contact with Jesus but also that Jesus loved him deeply .. The author of tlh,s fourth 'glosplel has in many places instead of Uls.i,ngl his name, has used the expression !lithe disciple whom Jesus loved", At the' end, he says that the meaning of that expression is the' author of the 'fourth gospeillimseif.

The ease with which he dealth with Jesus IS expressed by him in thefoll'lowing 'words:

"One af his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus". (13:2.3)

What is Christianity


He says further:

1160 Iyingl thus, close to ~he' breast of Jesus" he salo to hiim, Lordi who is it?i' 1(13:25)

None amongst the twelve disclples dared to eat whilst I'ying on the breast of Jesus 51" But this disciple was so Iloved that he did not see· ,anything wrongl in so '(;N3ting'. lit Jesuswas so close to him, then the f,irs!' question is why did J'B,S,uS not include him amongst hlis disciples? Is lit. rati,onaUy acceptable that Judas lscariot who was re:garded a thief (John 12:6) and who betrayed Jesus and caused him to be arrested (Luke ,22:3) I be included amongst the twedveJ and that pupn ot .Jesus, who ate by lying on hiis. breast and whol was most concerned at his ascension '~O' heaven by reason of separation trom him, should not be included amongst the olsclples?

S,eco,nd!v ~ why is it that the first th ree gospe,lsr which aClcolrding to Christians contalr a complete descripton and detail of his Ilil,e, even rnentioninq ordinary parsons 'who were connected to him such as Mary Magda~,ene:, IMartha to, the extent that there is rnentlon of his donkey, completely' to make any' reference to this beloved! pupi~ o.1,Jesus?

Then, i:f ther's, were a disciple Iby name ot John the Elde,rl, apart from John the dli's(;ip~ej surelly there was a need for authors ot ths four glospels to explain the dis,tinct:ion to avoid confusion, We not e that amongst the dlsciples of Jesus, there' were two, persons with the name ,JI,811mle'S - James son of Zebedee, and James the son of:

Alphaeus, Slim,ilarly,. there welre two persons with the name of Judas, - Judas son of James, and Judas iscanot, To dis,'linguiilsh bet ween them, the authors of the gospels, have taken care to mention them separately, so that nobody may be. confused. (see MaUl0:16;' M'8rk 3:116; Luke' 6:'~4; Acts '1:: 1'3)., Ilf there welr,e two persons, by the name of John arnonqst the disciples of Jesus 'then why did 'the authors of the ,gospels nom dispel the confusion as in this case of

51. U must be noted 'that, apart from the tourth gospell, the other gaspels do not rnenncn ~lhe partk:ula.r manner of eating and! qU'9stio:llling of thiis disciple.

What is Christlanlty

James and Judas?

Apart trom this, if there were a beloved dlsciple of Jesus by name of John: the, Elder, then 'where did he 90 aUe'm" the ascension of Jesus? The efforts and struggles of the discipl"es after Jesus in the propaqation and teaehlnqs oi' Christianity are described in dptail in the book Acts, wherem the strugghes of hi's outstandinq diisciiples are recorded. But, there iis no reference lin that book to a person known as J'ohn the EldelL It cannot also be said that h,e, died immediately attar mhe ascension of Jesus. Because the gasp,s,1 o~ John was wrttten very much sUer the til m 9' of' ,Jesus,_ ~t is stated therein that - and this is Iarnous Blmong,sm the disc~pl'es ~ the author of the fourth gosp,st wUI~ :~i:ve' ml~ tlhe~ day .elf judgment. (21 :23) Hlence"alll Chlr~ls,m·ian theolcqiens. who. r,sglard Johnthe Elder as separate from ~he Jlohn the son ot Zebedee, aria of the view that John the Elder remained alive ~or a conside rable period after Jesus to the extent that Polyearp became' his pupil,

The evidence is therefore lndisputable that John the E~de'r was not a dlis.cii'P~'e' ()i Jes,us. There remalns the verse at the end o~ the gospel o:f John~ nalmely~

"This is the disciple who is beariiim1Q' witness '~O' thies,€! things, and w'l1.o has wl'\itten these things: and we krlloW that hjstestimony iis true", (21 :24)

The majority of Ohrisnan scholars are of tlhle Vi'9W that this verse is not that of the author of the gospell ofdohn, but that is an addition of later times, The waH known commentator ot the EUb~.e Wes,~~cott who. ls ve'ry cautlous and careful ~n the criticism of the B]bl:e, says in this reg'ard: 52

"These two' verses aplP sar to b 9' separate note s attached to the 'g()spe~ before its pub[~;~cat'iol1l. The form of verse 24 contrasted wUh ~hat ()'~ X~X 35srn'ows conclusively that ~t Ii'S no~ the witness of the e:vange!li!st. The words were proibablly added by~he Epaesian Eld~rs, to whom the precedi1ng l11aflra~ive had been

What is Christianity


given both ,orally and in writing",

This view ~s supported b'y the we,n known writer ol modern times Blshop Gore" and this is the reason why these two verses are not found ifln the codex slneticus. Hence, one cannot say that the writer oj 'these' verses was a disciple of Jes us.

It follows from the aw'ore'g'oing as established beyond doubt that the author of the fourth g'Q,spe,11 is neither ,Jlohn son ot Zebedee the disciple nor any ather disciple of Jesus. Our v,lew lis that the author of this, gospel was a person who lived very much tater than the' dii'scipl'es!, and who acquired his Iearnlnq under Paul or hls pupils. According to Westcott in order to ascribe the gospel to John, son of Zebedee. certain sentences. were added which indicate' the personal' experience of the, wrw~e~rl 'with a Vi'8'W to refutinq the argumlents of some gnostic sects of those times 'who rejected th.e' divinity of Jesus, It is undisputed in the academic world that alternations in Hoi'y books were common and continued iin order 'to debate wi'th opposing sects of the time, Professor Streeter, the well known Chrisflan scholar ot our times writes in his excellent work "The Four Gcspels" ~n the most clear terms as

fOUOWS: 53 -

"If then i In the' Fourth Gospel we, fi rnd an additlon [0 the text", admittedly not by the oriqinal author, whlic:~ makes a definite statement as 1'0 authorsh lip, is it not: more' probable t hat it was, made as some later date, perhaps also in some other localUy, and was intended to assert a view as, to 'the authorship ot the book from which certain person at that time or place dissented? And that such dissent di,d exist in the second century we shall see shortly. That be,ing' so" the addition of the words "this lis, ~he disciple which ... .wrote these things;' ils to be interpreted as an.attempt to settle a debated question, and is, therefore, ad!dHiona~ evidence o't the existence of; doubts ln reg'ard to the authorship Of the

G . ···,111 ospei

'What Is Christiani ty


Hence, it is not without wonder, hn such a sltuation that the fourth 'gospe:l: a.nd the 1:leU,ers 'Of John ware written !by a pupil of Paul, and people in later times made certain alterations which lnolcate that the author h~mself person:an~' met Jesus,

In the 'light of the genera~ approachof those tirnes.fhls concluslon appears to be correct However, ,adopUngl a p,urefy Christian vlew, the most that could be, said i:s that the fourth gospe~ was wrltton by' John the Elder" but he was, ins.t,ead of beinq a djscjple of .Jesus, a disciple of his disclples, and if one adopted the vie:w 'of extrerne optlmism, then the' view' ot' Professor streeter could be adopted that the author of the fourth gospel was John the' Elder, but that: 54

"John the Elder ls descrlbse by Papias as a 'disciple o.f the Lordi!! by PoIiycarp as one !Iwho had seen the Lordi, We need not suppose that h,e Ihad done much more 'than 's,9!e' Him;' brought perhaps as a boy I).', twelve years old to, Jerusalem by his father on plllglriiima.g'6 to the Passover. And he may have' been among title crowd that looked on' at ~he Oruclfixlon - people in those days 'VII'ere not care"ul to keep sucn siglhts from children. ~il that case by AiD 95, he wouldl have reached the age! of s.eventy seven. The Fir,s,~ Ep~sUe of John was obviouslyw:rut'Em by at man of advanced years who can pass qUI~t'e Inattirai,ly trorn "brethren" to limy I~It:lie children" in the same paragraph 1(llJN UI 13, and 1 B). this last phase woulld hardly nave been written by a: man under s,evelnty".

There is, then, no diifficulty on this sooreln supposinq that John the Elder wrote the Gasped AD '9'0 .. 9'5 at the

,a'g·-:8 of seventy or more, W··.··· ",.i1 I ·h C '

-. . t, WWJ\n e aq~ . om


n is the purely extrema Christian vjew that attempts t 0 save the fourth gaspe:.! from beingl declarec as, created .. II'f w'e' flree ourselves from the attempts at justification, and accept this 'theory as it is, wle arrive at the faillo'wing

Wha1t. is Christianity



1. The, author o.f the tou rth gospell was not J'ohn the son of Zebedee" the disciple but Jo'liln the Elder,

2. John the Elder is not amongst the dlsciples ot Jesus;,

3. John the Elder saw Jesus once at the ag.8' of twelve, but' did not get the opportunity of servinq him or hearing his teac,hings.


4., John the El1de'r saw Jesus jn the last stage ot


5,. H'ewa.s not a ci'Uzen ot ,Jerus,ale'm, but he was a resident ot ~he Southenl regions of Canaan.

16. Atter Jes us and untU 96 AID I' 'we have no know,iedge ot him - as to 'where he' lived? And from 'whom he acquired knowledge?' Whose company he frequented? And what relatlonshlps hie had with the disciple's?'

7., on or' about'-95 AD" at the age of about 70, he wrote the, 'gasp,ell of John wn whli'ch he mentlonstor the first

time the doctrine of incarna Han, .,

8. Later an addition was made at the end of the gospe'l which indicatedthat its author was, the, discilple J'ohn the son of Zebedee or soml9 beloved disdpll,e of Jesus,

The above concluslons are not the, result o'f our reasoning, but were arrived at by' Christian theologians ~n order to save tihe gospel from behl'9 declared as created. lin the lilgh't of these, ccnclusions, we arrive at the foUowing' undisputed facts:

(a) The doctrine ot incarnation cannot be ascribed to Jesus or any of his disciples.

(b} This ooctrme was the fiirst 'written i'n the li'fe Oof ,J1e.sus bY' a person who at the' a ge ot twa IVl9 on Iy saw Jesus but did not acquire II,earning 'from him,

What is Chrlstlanity


(c) The' person who presents this doctrine is unknown - that is I apart from his writlnq, his condition and situation is unknown ~ what type of person was hie? Wha~, were his beliefs? Did he coln this doctrine himself? or did he hear ilt from somebody else? Whs'r,e did he pass his Hie? What was his relationshlp wi,th the oisciples?

(d) This doctrine was insert 'ed in the Bibte around 9S AD when his age 'was 70 and 28 years had passed since' the death of Paull.

(9) Because Paull haddled before him" and Paul had clearly expounded the doctrine of ~ncalrnation in his letters, it follows therefore that the first person to expound; the doctrine was not John the Elder but Paul.

The Dcctrlne of R,ede1mpt,iio,n

The foregoi,ng discussion proves clearly that the doctrine of incarnation is neither supported by any statement of Jesus nor was ilt espoused by any disciple Paul was the first person to present the doctrine. Now! let us see who rs the founder of the second doctrine of Chnstianlty, namely, redemption. And from where did it ori'gina1e?

This doctrine accordinq to Daniel Wilson 5,5 ls the spirtt of Christlandyl You have read i,n the first chapter that salvation on 'the one hand is dspfandent on this doctrine - baptisrn and the last supper are also based on it On the other hand, the phi~osophy which underlies this doctrine is highly intricate and delicate, Hence" one would thilnk that the' four gospels would contain many statements OIW Jesus explalninq the doctrine .. And Jesus and hils dlsciplee 'wouild have clearly expounded it. Such thinkiing is correct because Ehe cardinal beHefs and docmnes of any n=J,ligion are death 'with in detaU in the basic books and the writings

55. Wilson, p. 53.

What is Christianity

101,-8", 0.1."

ot the iounders of that r,eti,g~on.. And the basic books ot 'the rehigion whol'[y' attempt to establish such docmnes. For example, the basic doctrines of ISII,am are the' unity' of God, the finality of the prophsthood of Muhammad ~ and belie

in the, hereafter. IHenc',e~ th,e Our'an ~s --'fi'Ued' wilth explanation of' these doctrines and their proofs.

But, the' posmon of Christianity is, the' opposite. Thos,s the,otr,ies which sire fundamental to C:hristianay and 'which dIs,t~n,glLdsh it from other r,eHglions are absent from the gospels. There is no explanation tor them from Jesus or anv ot his disciplles. You have already noted the position of: the doctrines of tri'nity and incarnation. The, same appUs's to the doctrine lof rsdernptlon wnlch is not proved by' any statemem of Jesus.

In order to appreciate 'this, ilet us cast a glance on those verses of the gospel which Chr~sHans consider as .supportinllQI the doctrine" and from 'which the, doctrine ls der~ved. These verses are asfoUows:,

1" IIIShe wm bear a son, and you shaf ealll his name Jesus, for he' wil'l save his people from thel r sins" I(Matt 1 :21)

2. liA.nd the Angel said ... " for to you lis born this day ln the ci~y of David a savlou r .. WhlQt is Christ the Lord" .. (Lu,~e 2, : 1 D)

3,,, "For m'iine have seen ,thy sallvatronlU (luke 2'::30.)

4. !i,FrOr the san of man came to seek and save the lost", (Luke, 19:10)

5. "IEven tne son o:~ man carne not to be s'8rv,ed but to, serve, and to 'glivG his me' as a ransom for many" (Matt 20,:2,81, Marlk 1(]J:48)

6. "For thiis is my blood ot the covenant, whi'ch j:s poured OU~ tor many' for 'the fm'gh/eness, or SU1S'\ (Matt ,216:2'6)

Apart from the above verses, there is nothingl in the

What is. Chris tianiry


,gospe~s irlslla'trnng to' the Doetrl ne of: Hedernpticn. Ths diifficuUy is that after readinq these: verses the mind immediately directs itsellf t,o this docmne because of 'its popularity and widespread pubucation, However, from the vtewpoiru of impartial research, if one divests the mind, for a short whil,,8 of aU the details of' the doctrine as set out in the firs.t part of this work, and then reads the verses once, ~he, plain meaning is that Jesus came to provide guidance and salvation to those steeped In the darkness of rnlsquidance. And to show the strailght path ofquidance to those wh!o became en1U~edl to perpetual punishment by reason c;,f de'nying 'God, polymeism and cad deeds, and thereby savinq them Trorn the punishment ot IheH, Irrespective -of the diff,jc:ulties and. ha rdshlps he had to face in his propagational activiiUesand services,

"And to give his Ilii~e as, a ransom for many", II And this is my blond of the' covenant which is poured for rnanv torthe vo,r'giiv9ness of $,ins".

U the conception ot the doctrine of redemption has not settled [n the mind from the beg'inning. then the clear meaning 01 these verses irs, that Jesus is 'wiHin'Q, in order to save people from miisguidance, and! to Igive them the means of causing their previous sins to be forqiven, to even sacrifice rns Uf,s. And he 'Indicat'es this in these verses.

These verses do not support 'the phUosophy that the 'free, wiU of man was removed by reason of the sin ot Adam; ano that consequently ~he orig~nal sin became embedded in Adam and his children; and that therefore every innocent: child became entitled to perpetual punishment rnen the pierson of God in the Iorm of the son assumed upon hi'm,sel'f the sins of the world by means of the with the result that the original! sin of all was 1orgliv,en.

!If the purpose of the above verses was. to ex:plailnthe doctrine of redemption, then why di.d Jesus not explain it in detaU especially when it constituted ,8 cardinal article of: fa!ith" belief wherein was essenualtor salvation?

'Dine hears day and nirg,ht expressions such as a 'certain

What is Chrtsdanirv _

__ ~ __ ~ __ ~~-~~ __ ~~~~~~ __ ~ __ ~ 90

person has sacrificed his lite in order to save, his nation - such expressions are used ~n relation to prophets arrd leaders of nations. Nobody" however, contrues such expressions to the effe'c.t that the eln Df Ada.m has been imposed on the nanon. On the. contrary, the ~eader has nimselt toierated the punishment inflicted on him"

Then, if there is room to construe such verses ~n the manner aUeg,€,d, then one is, fire to infer also that Jesus assumed upon himself an the sins of his comrnunlty, Heno9', punishment woul1d not be given notwithstanding the, sins committed until the day of judgemlent.W'hereas" this is refut'ed from the be'gtl1n~ng by aU the Cnurches.

For thi's reason, those Christian theologians who. read these verses impartially have instead of jnferriing the complex philosophy ot redemption understood the word ~n their ordinary sens,e as explained by UlS, above" I'n the beginnling of Christian histo,ry, this was the viiew' of coelestius. Then the' sect known as, Soc~niians aliso, interpreted the verses in this, manner. The Encyclopaedia Britanni;,ca states in this regard.:

"Those people found in Christ's I~fe are only a sublime exampl,e of t.he way to salvatlon. II

Abela rd was of the vjl9w that the rneaninq of redemption was. silmpl'y that the M's' and death of Jesus was a complete tesson tn mercy and compassion.

In tact, the above verses cfear,ly do not prove, the rneaninq of the doctrine ot redemption as contended for today, Th'e meantng of those verses retied upon is; something else.

Now, revertinp 'to dieciples, we cannot find even ions sentence of theirs which support the, doctrine of redemption .. Hence, the 'flirst person 'who expousss this doctrine was Paul who, expounded it phli~osoph[cally lin hils letter to Ullle ROlmans.

"Thersrore es sin came ~nto the world through one man and death through sill'!, and so death spread toall

What is. Christianity .


men because ,all'l men sinned .~ sin indeed was in the world before the taw woSlisgiven" !But. sin is not. countso where there is no law, Yet death reiig'lled from Adam to Mos,es, even over those whose sins wem not li,ke' the transqresslon of Adam. who was tile. type of the one who hasto come. But 'the free gift ~s not nke t'~e trespess. for it many died througtl one man's trespass" much more have' the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many ... and the tree gift is not '11~ke the effect of that one man's sin. for tthe judqrnent following 011,'9 trespass brought condernnafion but the hee gift fol:lowi1ng many trespasses brings justiilcation .. If, because of one man'strespass, death reigned Unolligh that. 00 .. 18' man, mucin more will those who receive 1he abundance of g,rac€l' and U~'e free gUt o~ righteousness rei'gn in life thwlJgih theone man Jesus Ghrist. .. then as one main's trespass [ed to condemnation fOI" all men, one man's act of ri'ght,eousness leads to acquittat and UTe' tor all men" ... (R'om 5:12)

Hie explains further:

"Do you not know that aU or us who have been baptized into Chrlst Jesus were baptized into his. de,ath? We were burned therefore with him by baptism into death, '8.00 "that as Christ was raised hom ihe dead by the glory a,v the, father, we too mi9ht walk in newness of life,. Hance we know that our o'i:d sa!f 'Was crucitied with him so that the s.infu!1 body might be destroyed" and we mdl'ght no longer be enslaved to sin", (Rom 16.:.3)

This is the very same theory ot redemption which wie have set out iin the first chapter in detail, This doctrine has 110t been espoused by any person prior to Paul. Hence, he is tne tounder of the doctrine.

The O'rder tOI Ac't on the Torah

After discussing the basic: doctrines 01' Christ~anity ,it jls desirable 'that we deterrnine by research the te:aching of Jesus, lin reg,ard to specttlc matters or orders. And what changes were eUe,ctedi by Paul?

Jesus has cllearly stated on a number ot cccasions that

What is Christianity


his purpose' WillS not to oppose tihe, Torah, but vconflrrn ~t To the extent that it lilS stated in 'the gospe~s that. ,JI,esu$ did not come to abrog'ate it lit jis reported by Matthew:

"Think not that II have come tc aboUsh thle Illaw and the Prophet :5; ~ f}av,e come not to. abolish them but to. fulfil them." For truly! I say to you, ~i11 heaven and earth pass away, not an iota; not ,9. dot. will pass from the I'a.w until s.lIr,; accompliahed". (MaU 5:1:7)

MOir'BOVer, arm one occasion he stated:

"So whatsver ~rOllJl wish that men would ,do to YO'l.!, do, so to therrttor this is the lawsnd the Prophets", (Matt 7:12)

It: foillows that Jesus fundamentally Iregardedl the Torah as. wor~hy cd respect and action therson.

But" what is the theory of PaU'~ on the rulings a,i the Torah? This appears from his statements in his letter tal the Galatians, as folillows:

"Christ redeemed us. from the curse o'f the. law, having become a curse for us", (G,aill,3:13)<

He, says turtber:

I'Now bel'foFl9' ~aith carne, w,e were confined under the Ilaw, kept under restralnt until faith should be revealed. SoQ mat the! Law wasour custodian until Christ came, 'that we m~ght be: justified by talth but now that fa,ith tU1S, come. we are no longer under a custodian. ... " (Galli ,:3:23}

1110 his l,eUEH to the Ephensians, Paull states:

f!By abolltshing in his flesh the Law oi Commandments and Ordinances, .. "..themby biringing 'the hos~ilHy 'hi atl end". (Eph 2:115)

In the letter to the Hebrews he, says:

"For when there is a change in the Priesthood." there is necessarily a. changl9 li:n the law as weill", (Heb, 7:12-~ 3)

Furmer he says:

"For lit that tirst covenant (Torah) had bEH91t1 faullt~ess, there WO Llld have been no occasl on for a. second".

What is Christianity



'lin speaking of a, new covenant he treats the Iirst as obs 0,1 eta And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away". (8: 13)

'In the Ugrht of the afore going statements, Paul has totaUy ended the practical relevance and importance ot the Torah! and has abrogated aU its orders and rulingrs".

Last, Supper

The details of this ritUla.~ were set out tn the previous chapter. Tnis form oi worshlp ranks amongst the most important rituals of Christi"znHy .. But there is no reference in M!ark and M.atthev1 ro a.n .:~, dar by J'esu$ direct ing that this act be made a perpetua: ritual, Paul was the f~rlrst 1:0' render it a ritual (II Cor 1i 1; :24 Land tuke foltowsd suit because he W'8S a student of Paul. Christian theoloqians have conceded this. Hence Fe Burkitt says: 56,

[The account ot the last Supper in Mark doas not inolcate that th:i,s, aef most be celebrated in ~he future; but 8t. Paul whe:r'l refer ring to the act attributes it to Jesus and adds t.riG following sentence: 'Do thts in remembrance 001 me."

The Order or Cir,cu:mcisio,n

This 'Order 'Of Clrcumcision has come down from the

lime' of Abraham. Torah says:

;'As for you" YOLI shall keep my covenant. you and y()u'r descendants alter 'You throughout their generations. Tnis 'is my covenant, which you shall k,e,ep. between me and Y'OLI and your descendants after yOLJ" E,vert male among you shaU be clrcumctsed.. .. so shaU mv covenant be tn you t: ssh an everlasUng covenant. . An uncircumcised nn.::.··· who is not circumcised ion the "'esM of his toreskir: .-:,'hali be cut off hom his, people; he has broken my C<~~v<~·· ?!t!tll. (Gall. 17:9'- t 4"

And addressing iMo5~~S.

"And on the f~igilth d2Y ')'t m,e flesh of nts foreskin shaJI

' I Christianity


be clrcurncised", (Lev. 1.2:3;)

Jesus himself was circumcised" as stated in Luke' ,2:21 ..

Thereafter there is no statement of Jesus to meeffect that '~he 'Order Ciircumcision has been abrogated, tn thi!s regard, the 'th·eolfY of Paul appears from his letters, In his letter to the 'Gsllati'ans, he says:

Now l, Paul say to You that it you receive circurnclsion, ell tist wi,lll be of no advantaqe to 'you".

(Gal. 5:2) www.Ahlehaq .. Com.

He says further:

"For neither ctrcumclsion counts for anythlng. nor uncircumclslon, but a n'el!W creatlon". (G~J 6;'15)

Histor,icall EviidlencE!'

The above discussion shows rnanitestly the, extent of the conflict be'~w'een 'the! theories ot Jesus and Paul; and aliso demonstrates that the basic tenets of; modern Cnristianity are not part of the teachlings ot Jesus, but have li:n tact been 'fo,fimUli,at.e:d by Pau~l. Paul is the founder of 'the Doctrines ot Trinity I lncamation, IRedemption I the Last SUPP,er, Non-Adherence to tine Torah and Abrogation of Oircurncision. We woul'd not be unjust if we said that Paul is, on the basis of: the above historical evidence, the founder and oriilginat,or of Christianity. However, it is desirable that further historical evidence elucidatlnq this claim be presented, For that purpose, we have to study the bwo'9llfaphy ot Paul, even U reliable material thereon is limited. Moreover '~he Acts of the Apostles, the letters of' Paul h,imself and the wri~tings of: Christian tbeoloqians wi'I'1 be re,ferred to in corroboranon of thi:s clelm.

Journe,y to Arabia

We have allread~l statco 'that Paul was a. Jlew in origin.

H,e tater claimed faith lin Jesus. U he truly brought 'fal:th in .Jesus, then it followed l:ogicaHy that after this spirituat trensformeflon he ought to have spent as much t~ime as possible wflth those disciples of Jesus who! acqutred their learnlng di'rect~y from J,esustand who we rei the 'gre'ates,1

What is Christianity


schotars 'Of Christianity at that tim,s!,

However, the ~~'f,e of Paull demcnstratss that lrnrnediately after his. spirituel transformetlcn :1 he did not '90 to the, disclpies at .lerusalem, Instead, he 'went to the southern re'gi'ons of Syr'ia. lin the letter named Gallatians" Paull h1lms,elf wrilt,es:

"But wlne'!"]1 he who had set me apart before 'I was born, and had caned me through h~s grace! 'Was pleased! tiC reveal l Ilis son too mel in order that I mightpr'each him among the gentiles .. II d.Id not confer with nash and. blood, nor did I 910 up to Jerusaiernto those who were apostles before me, but I sent a,way into Arabla; and again I returned to Damascus", (Gall. 1.:,15-17)

What was the reason tor 'golilng 'to Arabia? The IEncydopaedia. IBr~tannica states:

IiIPaul quilckly saw 'the need to stay in a quie~ and I~Ha'a.cefull area where: he could reflect over his new position. Hence he went. to the S.olUthi,ern region.s ,of Damascus ... "the' main problem fa,chll'Q Ih~m was, to interpret the law and the teaching of Jesus in ,a new form lin the Iii 9 hi of In is own novel experie nee II .

The w'e" known Chrlstian historian .James Mackinon says j,n his excellentwork 51 "From Christ to Constantine" ,as fol~ow.s:

IIAt his CC)IIIVIUs.iof'll hie .... ,we'nt away into Arab;~a (Nabata~'a.) -- apparenltly '~O think out the lmpllcations o'f hls new faith, rather than to preach to the' INlaba.taeans. lt was OtJ1~y three years i,ater that he went to Jerusatem to visU: Peter and James, the Lord's brother, presumably to consultthe n on the tradit:ion about Jesus",

The question is, why did Paui undergo thr,ee years of

-' -'

seclusion after brin,gling faith in Jesus?' Why did he' not

acquire learning and benefit from those 'who had benefitted

57'" Burkitt, vol.S, p, 148. Ilf you r,eacltlh,e account of '~he, Last Supper ill ~he' book of Mar~" you wI!! not: ~ind any order dir'9ctling tlla. lt be observed in 'the future: but 8t. Paul wnsn ref:enilng to i1lile! Last Supper adds the foillowijng sentence which

til ascribes to Jesus: '~IDo~hiiS lin rernemasrance of me." -

What Is Christiani ty


direcUy from .Jesus? Has not the answer been clearly given by' the above quotations whi'ch are to the effect that Pau I did not wish to adopt the teachlnqs of Jesus which were regarded bY' the, disciples as Christian" but he wished to givl9: the Chrlstian f.aiith a new forrn, For that: purpose he required time for reflection in a place of seclusion. His purpose was to replacethe pristine' re]ig:ion of Jesus with a new relligion 'for whi'ch he desired to use the name of Jesus" A W,SII'I known biographer ot PAUL FJ fakes Jackson lrnerprsts th~is act of Paul as foil lows: 58

"Moreover, he be~l~eve'dthat he' was a.cUng under the direct guidance, 'of 'God. As he told 'the Galatians he hadlgofle to, debate with the older apostles at Jerusa.iem "By Hevellation!ll. Later the "spirit of J&SUS." as will ~e seen, d~trecte,dI his mlsslon on its journey. In cncnsinq S:ILAS as his companion he was doubtlless actinq under the belief tinat what he did was God~s wm and :he returned to thescene of historrner preaching' with an evldent detarmrnation to carry his rnessaqa as widely aneld as God would permit him".

~ A tittle consideration willi show that this conclusion is irtational. In the fina] analysis, he, asserts that the splrttual status of Paull reached such a height that he was not in need of the uaining of any diisGiple in order to understand the teaching of Jesus. U by means of this extraordinary step" Paul had praclairned the same rnessaqe which is established '~hrou:gh the disciples and the gospelll~ then to a certain extent this li~terpretatib'n· would have been acceptable. Butl you have read betore that Paul expounded a theory which was in direct conflict with the tea.chings of Jesus .. In such a situation. there must be some proof to the effecm ·t~a1 Paul received lrorn God instrucnon iin such doctrine -- whereupon the previous form or expression of Chr:iS'tiilanity had beenabrooatec. In the absence ot .such proof, is this naked claim of such merit that it should term the basis of revolutioniztnq Christianity?

Moreover, if there were to come immedlateiy after

5,8, Macki.l10Dl" [p. ~r:

VVha t is Christianity


Jesus, a. revolutionary dlsclple.why did Jesus not qlve any indication or intormation of such com,ing'? Yeti' accordinq to Christians" Jesus informed about the descent of the Holy Splrit at the time of the iPent'9cc)<st, an event which was not revolutionary i~n itse,llt. But he d'd not intorm of the c'omlling of Paull' as a rnessenqer,

The· C,onduct 01: the D'iscilples to,w,a,rd,s Paull

An objection may be raised to, the ,effect that ii'f the cllaim of Paull were wronq ~ and that. instead of followinq Ohrlsfianity, he W'BS ciatortinq it, why dlid the disciples of Christ assist Pauli?

The answer to this question requires, explanation, Our research reveals that p,aul didl not immed'atelv on meetinq the disciples propound his, revolutionary theories. SUI that in the beqlnninq, he, carne to them as a sincere lollower. Hence, the disciples assisted! him. But" as he beqan graduallly to introduce changes to Cttristian beliefs and 'lUack 'its basic conceptions, thie disciples separated themselves from him completely,

Unfortunately, we' have, onllY two means 'of determlnlnq the situation of that time. One 115 the letters of paul himselt: the other ~he book Acts by his student Luke. Both are clearly insutficient and not free from PauUan influence. Notwithstanding, lit is not dittleult to conclude on the basis of these two means together with other hlstorical evidence, that there were extremely serious differences between Paul and the disciples of .Jesus, ln order that the reality may ernerqe, we shall review the relat'crtship ot Pau with dlfferent 'dl;sc~p~,es ot Jesus in suflcient detail.

Paul and Baranbas

The first of the 12 disciples to meet Paul after his spl ritual transtormanon, and to stay wlith !him for a lonq period, 'was Barnabas .. What was his status amonqst the disciples? This. appears fromthe ~ollowing statement of' the' Acts:

What is Christianity


~'ThlmS .Joseph who was surnamed by the Apostles Barnabas (which means, son of encouragement) , a levUe, a native of Cyprus, sold a field 'Which bellonged to him, and brouglht ttlhe money and laid U at U~I'e

A~· '.' II ,,',.,11 'A-' - t ~ 4- '3" .1::')

posl_es 111'e,e'~ . "c S .-g.

This. was the Barnabas who ce rt~fi ed Pa u:1 as true before all the' disciples, and showed them that Paul has become like them in ibellief. Wher,eas until that tirnev the disciples were not certain of this. Luke writes:

'~And they were all atrald of him! tor they diild not believe that he was a di:scipille .. !But Barnabas took him, and broug'ht him ~,(;, the Apos:Hest and declared to them how on the road he hadseen the Lord, who spoke to him" and how at Damascus he had preached bolld~y in the name of Jesus ''. (Acts 4 .: 36)

This was the Barnabas who certified Paul as true before a.1I t:,e disciples, and showed them that Paull has become I ijl'ke' them in belief. W'herisas until that timle,tlhe olsciptes were not certain of this. Luke writes:

According 0 'the Acts" both Paul and Barnabas werle companions for a longl period, and both preached Christianity toqether, {see Acts 11 '; 25) to the extent that the other disciples testified in n9giard! to them as follows:'

"Men who have risked thetr livas for the sake of 'Our Lord Jesus Christ'. (,Acts15 : ,2,6)

Until the fifteenth Chapter of the Acts, both Barnabas andl Paull are portrayed as closely connected In alill matters. But thereafter. an event suddenly occurs which requires special attention, After s~aying together for such a 11!'engthy period and jointly undertaking the task of preachinq and propaqation l there arises suddenly a very serious dispute between the two to the extent that it was not possible anymore tor both to stay toglet:her., The event is narrated by the Acts lin such a mannerthat the reader does not even suspect of thiis before. Luke 'writes:

"And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, 'Come, let us return and 'Visit the brethren ill eve ry city whe re we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how-they

What is Christianity


are And Barnabas to take witWl them ,Jolhln called Mark. But Paul thlouglh~ best not to take with them one who had wi'~hdra'wn from thsrn iin P'a,mphy.lia, and had not goOne with them to 'the wOlrk, And there arose a sharp contention, SO~ fhat t:he,y separated hom 'each other; IBarnabas took Mark with him and salled away to Cyprus but Paull chose silas and departed, be:ing, commended by the' brethren to the grace of the Lord, And be went through Syria and Clllcia, stJ,eng~hening the Churches", (Acts 15 :. 3,6,-41)

The Acts ostensibly attribute this serious dispute to the fact that Barnabas wished to take withl hlrn John VJlark)'~ and Paul refused. lin our view the cause of such a serious, contention cannot be such a smaf matter ,- but this permanent separation ot the two must certainly be ascribed to fundamental dltterences. Thefoillowing supports this:

1. The greek words ,emp~loyed by Luke in the Acts to describe the "separation" and "contention' are unusually severe, Blaiklock in his commentary to the Acts, ,s9' wrttes:

"Luke who honestlly writes of th.e diff:erenCEl between the two companions (Paul and Balmalbas) used a very strong world (,Par,axusmus!!)"' which has been correctly rendered as 'sharp' ln the Engll[sh translation: (King James Vers'~on), .Aga.~n,,, a very strong word for the Gr,eek langUiaglEl' has been used fOlr 'separafion."

~s it true that such a serious difterence which necessitated the use ot drastic lanquaqs arose simply on the basis that one, person desired to take wi~h him John (M.A:RK)~ and the other not? Such differences and disputes are not intrequertt in iheir occurance, But, they do not result in permanent separation of: close companions who especially aile aqreed on the nobile, and holy obicctives on which such companionship is based" A.t this juncture some of the followers of Paul 'ilndiree:Uy seek to blame barnabas, by insmuatinq that he sacritced his fniendsh,ilP and re,lligilou:s objectives by' s,eekin,g to take with hlrn a relative. (John

59, F,Q,akes Jackson, p. ~ 29. 60., Biailklock, p,118.

VVha t is Chris tiant ty


called MARK)'601• Luke is the student of Paul. It should be consicereo whether Barnabas, who accordinq to him, "was amongst U1e I, figun:,s of early Chrlstianity" and who devoted and risked his life ln the propaqatlon would for the sake of a relative s·acri'f,~ce~h,e noble objects o.f propagation. The stmple truth lis that the ditterence of opinion between Paul and Barnabas was theoloqical. Whe'n barnabas saw ~hat Pa ul was alterinq the basic doctrines of Chrrsti.anHy, he separated himself from rum, And Paul's pupil, Luke, has explamec the d1iUer,ence in a manner that i~ blame were to be, apportioned, then blame woulo be lavsliled at Barnabas, and Paul WQui,d be free of fault.

2:. Ther the nice thing lis that Paul later accepts the companionship ot J'ohn (Marik) ..

In the latter to Timothy (,2)<, he says:

,jGet MarK and' Iblring him with you for he is very useful in serving me", (Tim. 4: 11 )

In bis letter to the Colossians, he wrttes:

"Aristarehus my 'fellow prisoner ·greets you; and Mark. the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received lnstructions - li'l he comes to you, receive him)" (Col, 4 : 10)1

We learn Irom thls that ths,difference between Mark and Paul was not of serious importance. Hence, Paul accepted his companlonshlp later. But now where in the INe'w Testament or in any tustorlcal book is there reiersnce to the tact that 1he relafionship between Barnabas and Paul was. restored, "!"he' que stion is, if th e cause, of the dli sputs was Mark, 'then why was, the retanonship between Pauli and Barnabas not restored after Pa.ul had accepted M'a.rk?

:3;0 No where I~n t he letters of Paul is it stated that ~he cause of the dispute between him and Barnabas was Mark. On the contrary, wle find one sentence, which throws some liqht on the dispute between the two. lin the I~et:ter to Galatiians; Paull' 'writes:

\Vhat is Chrisnanttv



1!IBut when Cephas carneto Antioch I! opposed h~m to hls race, because he stood condemned. For belon:;! certain men came hom James, he ate. wi'~h the Qi,e,ntues. But wh,en they came he drew back and separated him.sellf,~earing the circumcision party. ,Ar];d 'witn him the rest o~ the JI,Elli.'V,S, acted il~sin(;erely~ SD THAT EVEN BARNABAS WAS G.ARIRIED AWAY BY THEIR: !NSINCEIRITY"'. (Gal. 2, : 11)

lin this quotation, Paul refers to the ,differences amongst the Christians which appeared ~n Jerusalem and Antioch atter 'the ascent of Jesus; .. The' majority of the inhabltarrts of Jerusarem and Antioch after the ascent of .Jesus. The majority of the inhabitants om Jerusalem were Jews, and i~ was only later they ernbracee Christianity. The mlajlority of the 1P'6'oph3 of Antioch we!'rI9' polytheists, and ernbracec Ohrlstianity after propaqafion by the disciples, The fi rst group are' referred to in the bible as "Jewish Christians" J and the second as Gentile Chrlstians" " The JI,e:w~sh Christians asserted that H was necessarv to 01 circumclsion and to act or aU the laws of the Law OT Mioses. Hence, they were also c.a.~II,ed I1Tl1e Gircumc:ised!! .. The genmililes however, asserted that ctrcumcision and the ~:ilke was not necessary. The result was that the' Jewlsb Christians who .rsglarded as unlawful the slaughter of the gentilesl, did nom Mike to eat anc ~~nterml~ng!e with the Igentnes. .. Paul was the founder and upholder o~ these views of the g'9intilles, :He' madethese endeavours ,ii:rlI order to obtain support from th,e g,en~iles, and to ensure thatthelr views were same as hi'S ..

In the above except from the Galatians., Paul criticised Barnabas and Peter war this reason I nan1eiY!,tth,at both supported the party o~ circumcision whlilist staying in Antioch, and separated themselves trorr the new' followers of Paul who dld not. uphold circumcision and the Law o~ Mose's. Consequently, the Heverend Petersen Smith wrl~tes; '01

II Peter used to sit mostlly at Antioch wHh~h(H;;e who came hom Jerus=ilem, and who knsw him before.

611. loewBlIlid1, p.50.

What is Christianity


Henc8',tlley concurred wi~h h~ m very qliJliC:k:'~y. Other Jewh~1h Chri$tian~s, w\~re alao inf~uenc,ed by Peter lathe extent that IB,j!:l.lrrt,abas, also began separannq from the GenUille, Christil;an:$, This form of conduct atJ~,ected~hese newChrist~alills and I' Paul tollerat~d the posiUon as far as posalble. Bu~ very qui,ckly he began OPPOShlQ it ev,en if tha't meant .opposing his colleaques".

I,t is apparent that this event precedes by ,a f,ew' days the separation between IB,arnabas and Paul. Because the coml~ng of Peter to .AnUoclh was a. mmUe ana r the, ,meetliilrilg of the diisci:iP11'BS in Jerusalem. and there Is not much distance, ~n time between the rneetinq of the disciples and the separation of Barnabas; luke has narrate ad both i noidsnts inthe.:iUeenth chapter of the Acts.

",ccording~y I' U ls most probable that ~he sharp ccntennon between Barnabas, and Paul referred to 'by luke in strong words was due: to these fundamental theoiogi!cal diUerence and not so' much to 'the cornpaniortship of John M1ark., !PaUl~ did not consider necessary for his foHowers, circumcision and a.biding' by the law of Moses., And Barnabas was no.~ willing to overlook the ~aw whlch was greaUy emphasized by the B~b~e:, and! in reglard to wh~cih there was no. IPossibiU,ty Q~ abroqanon.

Hence, Reverend Petersen Smith also perceives. this aspect -,- namelly that fhe cause of separa UOIrn of Pal[i~ and Barnabas was not simply Mark~ bum serious theoretlca: 'd~ftere'nces. .. He writes::

!~ Barna bas and Peter who both were great persons must hlave a.dmiUed their mistake. Hence, tihe' problem would h . avs been resolved. ,Notw~lhstandling, f~le PQs8ibifl~ii:ty remains tnatthere were dlfference between 'them which became' manifes:t later",

As if the Heverend concedes that the basis o,f the separation o~ P'aul~ and Barnaba.s. was theoretlca: dilffelrr',enoes.

Counciil,of J,e~rusal:em

At this s~age,an objectiionar~$es.;· it is stated in the 15th

Wha t is Christianity


chapter ,of Acts that the d~scijlple~s met in Jerusalem and decided that he 'gentHes on~y be idnvlj,ted to embrace' ChristianitY,1 and that they be not required t abide by the Law of Moses. Apart from Paul, Barnabas; P'e,te~r an James w'ere a/so party to th~s decision. Then, how lis ill posaible for Barnabas and Peter to d[ffe:r with Paul on the 'groun,(j that Paul 'is not regarding, adherence, to thl8 Law of 'Moses. and circumcision as compulsory for the gentile,s.? .If Peter and Barnabas held a v~ew contrary to that of Paul, tnen they woulld not have issued a rulliing the meet~nr,gl in Jerusalem to the eUect, that the gamtnes were not bound by the Law 01 Moses.

This objection appears sound. ~fj however, recourse is had to, 'the conditions and circumstances surrounding the me'eUng at Jerusalem. and the' elrcurnstances r,e~,aUng to the separation of Paul and Barnabas:, the objection is, dispelled,

OUf research reveals that: the decision of the council of .Jerusalem to exempt the Igentilles from adherence, to the Law of Moses was taken in the ligl!ht all the prevailing circumstances. The decision 'was not meant to exclude, the, genti'I'8:sforever 'from adherence to the La.w of Moss,s. lit appe'8'red that adherence to the detaHed Law of Moses W,SS an obstacle to the gentililes of the time in embracinq Christiranrity. They were afraid to smb race ths Christian 'faith because thls:y would have had to sblde by the law of Moses. Som,e less. h~arned people had expl,ailned to them that both bringling 'failth in Jesus and abi,ding by the taw of Mos,es was necessary tor salvation in the hereafter, Ilf'the Law of M"oses 'was not acted upon, salvation could not be obtained. Hence, Luke writes:

"But some mien came down from Judea and weliS' teachil1gth'El' brethren, 'unless you circumcised according to the custom O'f Mioses" you cannot 'be saved'," (Acts, 15, :1)

It h; clear that this 'instruction was wrong: .. Circumciision and abidingl bY' the detailed laws of Mo,ses, althouglh

What is Christianity


compu'sory in the Cnristlan faith, was however not a prerequisite to fa,ith, and nor Gould' it be Im,ade' a basis of salvation. If a non-Muslim refuses to aCo9pt lslam onilly on the basis that he will !have 10 undergo circumcision" what wHI be the posnton of the, scholars? Will they exclude him from' the fold of ~slam on the basis of clrcumcision? C~earfy not - in sucn a situation, the non .. ,Musitm willi be, told tha~ the' Orde~ of Circumcisron 'whilst necessary is not the basis of salvation, Hence, he must adopt the cardinal beh,sf:s of Islam and tor that purpose he wm not have 10 IUnder'go circumcision as a condition precedent, The' eHect ls not that the La.w of Circumcision has been exempted in relation to non-Muslirns. The ,m,eaniing is. slrnply that the non,Musl!im jls saved from Kufrdisbelief).

The same procedure was adopted by the' disc,ipI1es.

Hence" when the matter was discussed at the Council of Jerusalem, jt was unan~mous'y decided that wf the gE:ntHe could not endure adherence to the detailed Law of Moses, they nevertheless be aUow',ed to embrace Christianity by accepting the basrc tenets. This ~s cl',earlly supported by the foUowling statement of Peter at the Council! of .Jerusalerrr

"!Now there'ror,s why do you make hi,al' of God by puWng yok.e upon the neck of the dIlsciples which neithew our fat'hers nor we have been abl'e to bear?' BUIt. we beUeve 'that we shall be saved through the grace of the lord Jesus, 111)51 as they w.ill". (Acts 15: 1 0-111)

Is not the clear meantnq of this excerpt that some ot the detaUed rutes ct the Torah are so difficult to act upon that they and their forbears could not fully act upon them. Notwithstandi'ng, they ,are people, of faith and desirous of salvation, then why can the gentUes not ~eavle' some ot the' details of the, law and stHI br,ing faHh and hope lin salvation? 6,2

One must bear lin mind that. the Council 01' Jerusalem

62. Pet-arson SmUll. p . .88·89.

'What is Christiani ty


dild not discuss the question "Are the laws of Torah obli,glatolfY on the' 9sntUes or not?" The question under discussion was "'Must the Q,sntiles be ordereo to abide by the Law of Torah or not?" --Our research reveals that there was no difterence of opini,on amongst the disciples on the ob~iigatory nature of the Law of Torah ... A.,U agreed thatthis law was. in itself obligatory. Debate centred around the question that experience showed that gell1til,e's would not be able to act upon the details of the law -- hence, 'why should propaqation not be restricted to call1~lng them to accept the, cardinal beliefs? For this reason, Luke describes the condltion of those who considered adherence to the law IOf Torah necessary, as. follows':

"But some believers who belon'g,ed tc '~he party ot the Pharisees. rose IJ,PI and said, 'It is necessary to clrcurncise them, and to charge' them to keep the law of 'Moses'.'" (Acts 15:5)

tn reply! James stated his judgement as foUows:

"Therefore my ,Judg,sment is that Wifl: should not trouble those of the' qentiles who tum to God" but should wrilte to them to, abstain from the pollutions of idoills, anc hom unchastity and from what lis stranqted and! from blood", (Acts 15:1'9-2.0)

The, councf wrote a ~eUerto th'e g'enti'l,es statinqtherein' IIFor nt has seemed 'Qlood to us to lay upon you no

greater burden than these' necessary 'thijngs: that you

ibstain frorn what has been sac'rifi,oed to idols 311d

rrom blood and from what 'is stranqlsd and from unchastity. If yo ke,ep yourselves from these, you will

do we". Farewell". (Act s 15:28.-39)

The above quotations clearly i:ndica.te that the disciples dj,d not render the Ilaw' of torah as abrogated, But in order to accommodate a .great need, they allowed this g,e~nt.i,les to accept Chnstianlty without the need to adhere to 'the Law ow Torah. Rever'end :Mlanley writes.

'''0111 their return Paul ,and Barnabas learn or the debate- cantertnqaround whether the non-Jews could be adrrutted to the churches on adhering, to the

What is Chris ianity


prescribed conditions, This was common in Antioch, And [Paul and B~.rruSl,bas followed this principle dUllilng' the course o~ their journeys. And non-Jews were adrnltted ~o the churches wiithout being subject to circumclstcn cr the r~~uals of the Torah. !However, the ,Jswish Christians belonging to tih'El Church of Jerusalem were, adamant that these conditlorrs b'e imposed on them. Paul and Barnabas as leaders of the del'e'gaJion from Antioch ~'IIe're' sent to the Council' of Jerusalem, The council ruledthat such condltlons must riot: be' imposed on the ne:w conyers who,e notJews. To toster: .. uli1y between the Jewish and Oe'flltile Christiana, ~Ihe Council laid down that the Gentile Christians sJlou~d avoid meat dedica'ted to idols, blood, meat ot $tra,ngled animals, aduJtery, and that they should observe the high morals <or fhe Law of Moses (Torah] ..

It is, clear from the above, that the' purpose of the disc.iples was not to abrogate the Law of Torah insofar as, the g'entiles were concerned, but that their purpose was nom to impose any condltlon for their entry into Christiarllrty ..

This was the or~g[inall position of the disclples which was, announced at the council of .Jerusalern. Thereafter when Barnabas and Paul went to Antioch, Paul explained this announcement of the disctpres by teachinp that ail 'the Laws of the Torah wereatisolutety abroqated, and that those laws were a curse from 'which they had been released, (Gall 3-: 13), Now. there was, no np-ed to act on them ..

U ~s clear that the acceptance of this clarm of Paul would overturn Christianity. Hence, Peter and Barnabas opposed Paull at this iuncture, and Paull describes this as fol~ows.;,

'But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, i opposed hi:m to 1t1~;s ~a!ce, because he stood condemned'. For Ibefo,~e' certain men came trom James" he a~e with gentU,es; but when they carne he, drew back and seperateo himself. ~,eali'il1g the circumcision party .. And with him ~he rest of the,Jews ac~ed l~n~i:lriC'erely! so that even Barnabas was carrled 6IIW'B.,/, by thelir