Category Archives: Gospels

Who is an other Comforter (Paracletos, Counselor, Advocate, Helper, Redeemer) John;16:7

There is divergent opinion about Comforter  (Greek; Paracletos) predicted by Jesus Christ (John;16:7) among Christian and Muslim scholars, weather it is about Holy Ghost or Prophet Muhammad. Both claims are being analysed here:

Jesus through parables said: “Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”(Matthew;21:43),“Salt is good: but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall it be restored? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung hill; but men cast it out. He that has ears to hear, let him hear”(Luke;14:34-35, also Mathew;5:16, Mark;9:50). “What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the tenants, and will give the vineyard unto others.”(Mark;12:9).This may also be linked with: “Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in”(Isaiah;26:2).

These parables apply to the Jews. They had been the children of the kingdom, or under the reign of God; having his law, and acknowledging him as King. They had been his chosen and peculiar people. But he says that now this privilege should be taken away, and they cease to be the peculiar people of God; and the blessing should be given to a nation who would bring forth the fruits thereof, or be righteous. Keeping in view the Covenant with Abraham (Genesis;12:2,3, 17:10-12, 17:20-21), it obviously refers to the Children of Ishmael, to keep the leadership within the progeny of Abraham.

Spirit of Truth, Glorify Jesus:

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth (referring to Muhammad) is come, he will guide you unto all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me”(John; 16:12-14). [Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spoke verbatim the revelations received through angel Gabriel, (Qur’an), he also glorified Jesus Christ]

Comforter:

Paracletos :“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Paracletos), that he may abide with you forever.”(John; 14:16).  [Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) delivered the message of God, (Qur’an), which is available to Christians and all the humanity in original uncorrupted form for their peace and comfort till eternity.]

Witness to the Truthfulness of Jesus:

“But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;” (John; 15:26). [Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), bore witness of truthfulness of Jesus as messenger of God, he also glorified Jesus Christ]

The Comforter to Come after Jesus Christ:

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”(John;16:7). [Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), came six centuries after departure of Jesus Christ]
Referring these prophesies to ‘Holy Ghost’ is irrelevant, because as per Christian theology ‘Holy Ghost’ was already present (dove upon Jesus) and is considered as one of Trinity. Moreover what ‘new thing’ ‘Holy Ghost’ has brought after departure of Jesus Christ in last 2000 years? (‘Holy Ghost’ is believed to be guiding the Churches).
All these prophesies are clearly applicable to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). As explained earlier, Ahmed” or “Muhammad” meaning “the one who praises” or “the praised one” is almost the translation of the Greek word par-ak’-lay-tos; Periclytos. In the Gospel of John;14:16, 15:26, and 16:7, Jesus (peace be upon him) actually prophesized “Ahmed” by name, word ‘Comforter’ in Greek Paracletos, Periclytos refers to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah says in Qur’an: “Those to whom We have given the Scripture (their scholars) recognize this (Muhammad) as they know their own sons. Those who have lost their own souls refuse therefore to believe.”(Qur’an;6:20), “And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said, ‘O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.’ But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, ‘This is evident sorcery!”(Qur’an; 61:6). Ye People of the Book! Why do ye clothe truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while ye have knowledge?”(Qur’an;3:71).

Thinking about “The word was with GOD” in John 1:1

When John in his gospel wants to say that one person is next to or with another person, he does not use the Greek preposition pros (translated “with” in John 1:1). But in John 1:1 John does use the preposition pros. John writes that the word was “with God.” Thus John did not write, “In the beginning was the SON of God [a person] and the SON of God was with GOD [person with person].” If John had written “In the beginning the Son was with God (the Father),” that of course would make two GODS and break the fundamental rule of Scripture that GOD is a single Person. It would also contradict flat, the wonderful accounts of the origin of the Son of God by miracle in Mary some 2000 years ago. Luke 1:35 and Matt. 1:18, 20 (“begotten in her”) inform us with simple clarity that the Son of God began to exist in the womb of Mary. This is true of all human beings. Jesus was a human being, not an “average” human being, but still a human being. He is “the man Messiah Jesus.”
Paul said this beautifully and simply in 1 Timothy 2:5 where he repeats the true Christian creed: “There is one God [the Father], and one mediator between that God and man, the man Messiah Jesus.” We need to repeat our point: John did not contradict Matthew and Luke by teaching that the Son of God was literally with God from eternity. John did not write “the Son was with the Father.” He wrote “the word was in God’s mind” — fully expressive of God’s plan and purpose.

Jesus defined God as “one single Lord” in Mark 12:29: “The Lord our God is one Lord” — agreeing with a fellow Jew about the most important of all commands!And we all know that Jews were never Trinitarians. They believed God was a single divine Self/Person. Jesus taught and rehearsed this in prayer (as we should) that the Father is “the only one who is true God” (John 17:3). That excludes Jesus from being the One God! “The Father is the only ONE who is true GOD.” Jesus is not God but the Son of God (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18, 20). John 17:3 proclaims that Jesus Christ is the fully accredited agent of the One God, the Father. Jesus was sent by God as agent of the One God.

Look again at John 1:1. “In the beginning was the word [not Word!] and the word was with God.” The word was pros God. If John had wanted us to believe that this means one person was with another person he would have used the preposition para (with) or meta (with). Why?  Because those are the pronouns he used elsewhere in his gospel to describe one person with another person. Thus (show your friends this) John 1:39: “They stayed with (para) him for the day.” 4:40: “They asked him to stay with (para) them.” 14:17: “He remains with (para) you.” 14:23: “We will come and make our residence with (para) him.” 14:25: “These hings I have spoken to you while remaining with (para) you.” John also uses the preposition meta (with) in 3:22: “they remained with (meta) them.” 3:25: “a discussion with (meta) a Jew.” So then this shows us that if John wanted to say “In the beginning was the Son and the Son was with the Father,” he would have used meta or para, for person with person. But John meant in fact that the word/plan/intention of God was with (pros) GOD, in the mind of God. In the same way Paul wrote in Galatians 2:5: “so that the truth of the Gospel [not a person!] might remain with (pros) you.” The meaning is “in your mind, in your consciousness.”

Thus in John 1:1 the word or Gospel-plan was in God’s mind, fully expressive of God, the Father. The word was in relation to [pros] God, was God’s concern.

The capitalization of “Word” in many translations for logos (word) misleads the reader into believing that GOD was with GOD. How many Gods is that? More than one. The universe is shaken by polytheism.
(For a striking account of how a former Trinitarian scholar came to see the truth of our point here, please read free on the internet Eric Chang, The Only True God  at theonlytruegod.org) 

All the English translations from the original Greek before the KJV in 1611 spoke of “word” (lower-case w) and not “Word.” And they translated correctly, “All things were made by it,” the word, not by him, the Son — contradicting the rest of the Bible.
It is interesting that in John 1:5 he speaks of the light. The light is a thing, not a person. The pronoun is neuter (auto). But once Jesus comes on the scene, the light becomes a person (auton, him) in verse 10. The Son appears fully in verse 14 and is the uniquely begotten SON — certainly not a second GOD! The Bible is based on the unitary monotheism of Jesus and his Jewish heritage (Deut. 6:4 = Mark 12:29).
John 1:18 reports, “No one has ever seen GOD [the Father], but the uniquely begotten SON has revealed the Father.” It would be nonsense to say that “no one has ever seen GOD, but we all saw Jesus who is GOD!”
John, remember always, defines that Father as “the only one (monos) who is true GOD” (17:3). The word “only,” as we all know from an early age, restricts and limits and excludes all others! Jesus is the Son of God who was sent (John 17:3) but he cannot be “the only one who is true GOD” — the Father. It is instructive to see how muddled and contradictory Trinitarian Dr. James White becomes when he tries to avoid the obvious in John 17:3. He writes in his book The Forgotten Trinity: “What of the phrase ‘the only true  God’ (John 17:3)?” He forgets to tell you that this phrase from Jesus is addressed to the Father: “You, Father, are the only true God.” White then asks, “Doesn’t this mean that Jesus isn’t God? Of course not.”
 But of course it obviously does mean that Jesus isn’t God! If the Father is the only one who is true God, everyone else is excluded. Dr. White has been using language like this (involving “only”) all his life without the slightest confusion. But here he is driven by the Trinity! He is forced into an obvious misuse of easy language. He goes on to repeat his tradition that Father and Son both share the one Being of God. But Jesus does not say anything like this.

Jesus knows nothing of the language of “Being.” Jesus knows nothing of the language of “Essence.” Dr White thinks that his Triune God is “one what” (The Forgotten Trinity, p. 27). But Jesus has a different concept entirely in John 17:3: “The Father [one single Person] is the only one [a single Person, excluding all other p/Persons] who is [a single Person] true God [a single Person].” All quite straightforward until a contradictory tradition (post-Bible) was introduced to complicate and confuse the monotheism of Jesus. 

Well did scholar and teacher Franz-Josef Ohlig write in his very informative book One or Three: from the Father of Jesus to the Mystery of the Trinity:

  • “Jesus himself stood in the tradition of Jewish monotheism…His thinking and acting were geared toward this one God…It is certain that the doctrine of the Trinity as it became dogma…has no biblical foundation whatsoever” (p. 121,130)

Courtesy: http://focusonthekingdom.org/1511.pdf

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The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (The Jefferson Bible) by Thomas Jefferson





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The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was a book constructed by Thomas Jefferson in the latter years of his life by cutting and pasting (literally with a razor and glue) numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. Jefferson’s condensed composition is especially notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels which contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and passages interpreted to support divinity of Jesus Christ.
Using a razor, Jefferson cut and pasted his arrangement of selected verses from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in chronological order, mingling excerpts from one text to those of another in order to create a single narrative. Thus he begins with Luke 2 and Luke 3, then follows with Mark 1 and Matthew 3. He provides a record of which verses he selected and of the order in which he arranged them in his “Table of the Texts from the Evangelists employed in this Narrative and of the order of their arrangement”. 
Consistent with his naturalistic outlook and intent, most supernatural events are not included in Jefferson’s heavily edited compilation. Paul K. Conkin states that “For the teachings of Jesus he concentrated on his milder admonitions (the Sermon on the Mount) and his most memorable parables. What resulted is a reasonably coherent, but at places oddly truncated, biography. If necessary to exclude the miraculous, Jefferson would cut the text even in mid-verse.” Historian Edwin Scott Gaustad explains, “If a moral lesson was embedded in a miracle, the lesson survived in Jeffersonian scripture, but the miracle did not. Even when this took some rather careful cutting with scissors or razor, Jefferson managed to maintain Jesus’ role as a great moral teacher, not as a shaman or faith healer.”

Therefore The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth begins with an account of Jesus’s birth without references to angels (at that time), genealogy, or prophecy. Miracles, references to the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, and Jesus’ resurrection are also absent from his collection.

He described it in a letter to John Adams dated October 13, 1813: In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves. We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics, the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their logos and demiurges, aeons and daemons, male and female, with a long train of … or, shall I say at once, of nonsense. We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an octavo of forty-six pages, of pure and unsophisticated doctrines.

Conclusion:
Thomas Jefferson believed that the pure-principled teachings of Jesus should have been separated from the dogma and abuse of organized religion of the day. This led him to recast, by cutting and pasting from the gospels, a new narrative of the life and teachings of Jesus, where, according to Jefferson, “there will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.”

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How Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible

Thomas Jefferson, together with several of his fellow founding fathers, was influenced by the principles of deism, a construct that envisioned a supreme being as a sort of watchmaker who had created the world but no longer intervened directly in daily life. A product of the Age of Enlightenment, Jefferson was keenly interested in science and the perplexing theological questions it raised. Although the author of the Declaration of Independence was one of the great champions of religious freedom, his belief system was sufficiently out of the mainstream that opponents in the 1800 presidential election labeled him a “howling Atheist.”

In fact, Jefferson was devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ. But he didn’t always agree with how they were interpreted by biblical sources, including the writers of the four Gospels, whom he considered to be untrustworthy correspondents. So Jefferson created his own gospel by taking a sharp instrument, perhaps a penknife, to existing copies of the New Testament and pasting up his own account of Christ’s philosophy, distinguishing it from what he called “the corruption of schismatizing followers.”

The second of the two biblical texts he produced is on display through May 28 at the Albert H. Small Documents Gallery of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (NMAH) after a year of extensive repair and conservation. “Other aspects of his life and work have taken precedence,” says Harry Rubenstein, chair and curator of the NMAH political history division. “But once you know the story behind the book, it’s very Jeffersonian.”

Jefferson produced the 84-page volume in 1820—six years before he died at age 83—bound it in red leather and titled it The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. He had pored over six copies of the New Testament, in Greek, Latin, French and King James English. “He had a classic education at [the College of] William & Mary,” Rubenstein says, “so he could compare the different translations. He cut out passages with some sort of very sharp blade and, using blank paper, glued down lines from each of the Gospels in four columns, Greek and Latin on one side of the pages, and French and English on the other.”

Much of the material Jefferson elected to not include related miraculous events, such as the feeding of the multitudes with only two fish and five loaves of barley bread; he eschewed anything that he perceived as “contrary to reason.” His idiosyncratic gospel concludes with Christ’s entombment but omits his resurrection. He kept Jesus’ own teachings, such as the Beatitude, “Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God.” The Jefferson Bible, as it’s known, is “scripture by subtraction,” writes Stephen Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University.

The first time Jefferson undertook to create his own version of Scripture had been in 1804. His intention, he wrote, was “the result of a life of enquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system, imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions.” Correspondence indicates that he assembled 46 pages of New Testament passages in The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth. That volume has been lost. It focused on Christ’s moral teachings, organized by topic. The 1820 volume contains not only the teachings, but also events from the life of Jesus.

The Smithsonian acquired the surviving custom bible in 1895, when the Institution’s chief librarian, Cyrus Adler, purchased it from Jefferson’s great-granddaughter, Carolina Ran­dolph. Originally, Jefferson had bequeathed the book to his daughter Martha.

The acquisition revealed the existence of the Jefferson Bible to the public. In 1904, by act of Congress, his version of Scripture, regarded by many as a newly discovered national treasure, was printed. Until the 1950s, when the supply of 9,000 copies ran out, each newly elected senator received a facsimile Jefferson Bible on the day that legislator took the oath of office. (Disclosure: Smithsonian Books has recently published a new facsimile edition.)

The original book now on view has undergone a painstaking restoration led by Janice Stagnitto Ellis, senior paper conservator at the NMAH. “We re-sewed the binding,” she says, “in such a way that both the original cover and the original pages will be preserved indefinitely. In our work, we were Jefferson-level meticulous.”

“The conservation process,” says Harry Rubenstein, “has allowed us to exhibit the book just as it was when Jefferson last handled it. And since digital pictures were taken of each page, visitors to the exhibition—and visitors to the web version all over the world—will be able to page through and read Jefferson’s Bible just as he did.”

By Owen Edwards, a freelance writer and author of the book Elegant Solutions.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/How-Thomas-Jefferson-Created-His-Own-Bible.html#ixzz2e28YXlvQ

 

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