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IZHARUL HAQ READING CONTINUED

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BEAUSOBRE AND LENFANT’S OPINION

Beausobre and Lenfant said the following about this matter:
The Holy Ghost, with whose help and teaching the evangelists and the
apostles wrote, did not prescribe any particular language for them, but
conveyed the meanings to their hearts through intuition and protected them
from being involved in errors. They were allowed to preach or write the
word of inspiration in their own language using their own expressions. As
we find differences of expression and idiom in the writings of the ancient
writers, which are mainly dependent on the temperaments and capabilities of
the writers concerned, so an expert of the original language will easily
recognise the differences of idiom and expression in the gospels of Matthew,
Luke, and John and the epistles of Paul.
If, however, the Holy Ghost had truly inspired the words to them, this would
have not happened. The style and expression of all the gospels would have been
identical. Besides, there have been many events the description of which does
not require inspiration. For example, they write of many events which they saw
with their own eyes or heard from reliable observers. Luke says that when he
intended to write his gospel he wrote the descriptions according to eye
witnesses of the events described. Having this knowledge in his mind, he
thought that it was a treasure which should be conveyed to future generations.
An author who received his account through the inspiration of the Holy
Ghost usually expressed this fact by saying something to the effect that
everything he had written was according to inspiration he had received from the
Holy Ghost. Though the faith of Paul is of an unusual kind, it is still strange that
Luke does not seem to have any witnesses except Paul and his companions.
We have produced above the testimony of two of the great scholars of
Christianity, who are very much esteemed and celebrated in the Christian world.
Home and Watson have also the same opinion of them.

THE VIEW OF CHRISTIAN SCHOLARS ON PENTATEUCH

Horne said on page seven hundred and ninety-eight of volume two of his
great work:

Eichhorn, one of the German scholars, denied that Moses received
inspiration.
And on page eight hundred and eighteen:
Scholz, Noth, Rosenmuller and Dr. Geddes are of the opinion that Moses
did not receive inspiration, and that all the five books of the Pentateuch were
simply a collection of verbal traditions current in that period. This concept is
making its way rapidly among the German scholars.
He also said:
Eusebius and several latter theologians have pronounced that the book of
Genesis was written by Moses, in Midian, when he was pasturing the goats
of his father in law.
We may be allowed to remark that, in this case, this book cannot be an
inspiration because, according to Eusebius, this was before Moses was entrusted
with prophethood. Therefore the book of Genesis also must be a collection of
current local verbal traditions. If the writings of the Prophets, written by them as
Prophets, were not books of inspiration, a fact admitted by Home and other
scholars, how then could a book written by Moses long before his prophethood
be a revealed book?
The Catholic, Ward, has on page thirty-eight of the 1841 edition:
Luther said in vol. 3 of his book on pages 40 and 41 that: “Neither do we
hear Moses, nor do we turn to him, for he was only for the Jews; we have
nothing to do with him.”
In another book he said: ’We believe neither in Moses nor in the Torah,
because he was an enemy of Jesus, and said that he was the master of
executioners, and said that the Christians have nothing to do with the ten
commandments.’
Again he said that he would discard the Ten Commandments from the
books so that heresy was abolished forever, because these are the root of all
heretical ideas.
One of his pupils, Aslibius, has said that no one knew the Ten
Commandments in the churches. The Christian sect called the Antinomians
was initiated by a person who believed that the Pentateuch did not have any
such qualities as to be considered the word of God. It was their belief that
any one committing sins like adultery and other evil deeds deserved
salvation and would be in eternal happiness if only he had faith in
Christianity. Those who turned to the Ten Commandments were influenced
by Satan, and they were the ones who crucified Jesus.

These remarks of the founder of the Protestant faith and his pupil are
certainly of great importance. They mean that all Protestants must be
disbelievers in Moses and the Pentateuch, since, according to them, Moses was
the enemy of Jesus, the master of the executioners, and the Pentateuch was not
the word of God. Having nothing to do with the Ten Commandments, they must
turn to paganism and multitheism. They should also disregard their parents,
trouble their neighbours, commit theft, murder and perjury because, otherwise,
they would be acting according to the ten commandments which ” are the root
of all heretical ideas”.
Some Christians belonging to this sect have said to us that they did not
believe in Moses as a Prophet but only as a man of wisdom and a great
legislator, while some others said to us that Moses, God forbid, was a thief and
a robber. We asked them to fear God, they answered that they were right in
saying this as it had been said by Jesus himself:
All that ever came before me are thieves and robber: but the sheep did not
hear them.12
Now we can see why the founder of the Protestant faith, Luther, and his
pupil reproached Moses; they must have been guided by the above statement.

THE EPISTLE OF JAMES AND THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Luther said regarding the epistle of James:
This is the word not suitable to be included in the books, as the disciple
James said in chapter five of his epistle, ” Is any sick among you? Let him
call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him
with oil in the name of the Lord 13.
Luther, raising objection on the above statement, said in volume Two of his
book:
If this is what James has said, I answer him that no disciple has the right
to define and issue religious injunctions on his own account, because it was
only Jesus who possessed that status.

It is clear from the above that the epistle of James is not, according to
Luther, inspired, and that injunctions given by the disciples are not supported by
inspiration, otherwise the above statement would be absurd and meaningless.
Ward stated in his book printed in 1841:
Pomran, an eminent scholar of the Protestants and a pupil of Luther, says
that James has written false and absurd events at the end of his letter. He has
copied from other books events which cannot be associated with the Holy
Ghost. Such a book therefore must not be considered as inspired.
Vitus Theodore, a Protestant preacher in Nuremberg, said that they had
intentionally given up the Book of Revelation and the Epistle of James. He said
that the Epistle of James is not to be censured where he has stressed the
necessity of good deeds along with faith, but that this latter contains
contradictions. The Magdeburg Centuries said that the Epistle of James, at one
place, is unique among all the accounts of the disciples because he says that
salvation does not depend on faith alone but that it also requires good deeds. He
also says that the Torah was the Law of Freedom.
It is clear from the above that these elders, like Luther, do not believe in the
Epistle of James being inspired by the Holy Ghost.

THE ADMISSION OF CLEMENT

Clement said:
Matthew and Mark are different from each other in their writings, but
when they agree on a certain point they are preferred to Luke’s account.
We may be allowed to say that the above statement allows us to deduce two
important points. Firstly that Mathew and Mark themselves differ in many
places in their accounts of the same event and whenever they agree in their
statement their accounts are preferable to Luke. None of them ever agree word
for word about any event. Secondly that all three gospels are proved to have
been written without inspiration because the preference of the first two gospels
over the third would be out of the question had they been inspired.
Paley, an eminent Protestant scholar, wrote a book concerning the truth of
the four gospels. It was printed in 1850. He writes on page 323 of his book to
this effect:
The second thing that has been falsely attributed to the ancient Christians
is that they firmly believed in the coming of the Day of Judgment in their
own time. I will present an example before any objection to this is raised.

Jesus said to Peter, ”If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?”
This statement has been taken to mean that John would not die until the Day
of Judgment, and this false concept spread among the common people. Now
if this report was conveyed to us after it had become a public opinion and the
cause which initiated the mistake is not known, and someone comes forward
to present it as an argument against the Christian faith this would be
absolutely unfair, in view of the facts that we posses.
Those who say that the gospels lead us to believe that the early Christians
truly expected that the Last Day would come about in their own time should
keep this explanation in mind, and it will save them from the blame of
deceiving people. Now there comes another question that if, for a moment,
we accept the possibility of errors and omissions on the part of the disciples,
how then can they be trusted about anything they say? As a reply to this
question it would be enough for the supporters of Christianity to say to the
disbelievers that what we seek from the disciples is their witness not their
personal opinion. The object, in fact, is to achieve the result which, as a
consequence of this, is safe.
But in answering this, we must keep two points in mind; to eliminate all
the dangers. First, the object intended by the mission of all the disciples
should be defined. They helped prove the point which was either strange or
mixed with truth. They are not required to say anything about what is
obviously not related to the faith, but they would be required to say
something to remove ambiguity about something in the text of the divine
books which has accidentally got mixed up with the truth. Another example
of this is the belief in the possession by devils. In the case of those who hold
that this false opinion had become common in their time and also influenced
the evangelists and the early Christians, it must be accepted that this opinion
does not in anyway damage the truth of the Christian faith, because this is
not the matter Jesus was sent for. But something which, having become a
public opinion in that country, somehow got mixed with the statement of
Jesus.
It is certainly not a part of their message to rectify their false belief in the
spirits, nor has it anything to do with their witness Secondly their message
should be separated and distinguished from what they present to support and
elucidate that which is inspired. For instance, something in what they say
might be inspired, but in addition to that they present personal explanations
to strengthen their message. For example, the principle that anyone other
than a Jew accepting the Christian faith would not be bound to follow the
Law of Moses, in spite of its truth having been proved through miracles
Paul, for example, when speaking of this principle, has mentioned many
things in support of it. Therefore the principle in itself is acknowledged by
us, but it is not necessary for us to support all their explanatory remarks in
order to prove the truth of the Christian faith. This method may be applied to other principles of a similar nature. I am absolutely sure of the truth that any
instruction agreed upon by the pious men of God will always be followed as
a religious obligation. It is, however, not necessary for us to explain or to
accept all those details, unless they have, of course, specified those premise.
The above passage allows us to advance the following four points:
1. We have already proved through sufficient arguments and sports, under
the heading of Errors no. 64-78, that all the disciples Jesus and other Christians
of that time had firm belief in the coming of the Day of Judgment in their own
time and that John would not until the Day of Judgment.
We have reproduced their unambiguous and definite statements to this
effect. Barnes, making his comments on chapter twenty-one of the Gospel of
John, said the words which we reproduce below from the Urdu translation:
The misconception that John would not die was created by the words of
Jesus which can be easily misunderstood. The idea became even stronger
with the fact that John survived until after the death of the other disciples.
The compilers of Henry and Scott remark:
Most probably the purpose of Jesus by this statement was to annoy the
Jews, but the disciples misunderstood it to signify that John would live up to
the Last Day or that he would be raised to heaven alive.
Further they say:
Here we must keep in mind that a report of a certain man may come
without proper confirmation. It would, therefore be a folly to base our faith
on such reports. This statement, in spite of being a report of the disciples and
having become common and established among people, turned out to be
untrue. How then could reports which were not even written down and
recorded demand our belief. These are our own comments and not a
statement made by Jesus.
Further they say in their marginal notes:
The disciples misunderstood the words of Jesus, as the evangelist 14 has
elucidated, because they had firm belief that the coming of the Lord would
be for establishing Justice.

In view of the above statements, there remains no doubt that the disciples
misunderstood it. Now, when they had such beliefs regarding the Day of
Judgment and John not dying until the Day of Judgment, their statement with
regard to the occurrence would naturally be taken literally which proves them to
have been wrong and to find new explanations for them is of no avail. That
would involve an effort to give the words a meaning which was not intended by
their speakers. Having been proved to have been other than the truth they
obviously cannot be taken as inspirations.
2. It is clear from the above description of Paley that the scholars have
admitted the fact that the matters which are not directly related to the faith, or
have been somehow mixed with the principles of faith, do not damage the
Christian faith in any way if they are proved erroneous.
3. They have also admitted that the presence of errors and mistakes in the
arguments of the disciples is not damaging to the Christian faith.
4. They have accepted that the existence of evil spirits and their influence on
human beings is not a reality and that belief in them was a product of human
imagination and superstition; and that they had found their way in through the
statements of the evangelists, and even through Jesus, because they had become
a part of common tradition of that period.
Keeping these four conclusions in mind, we must be allowed to claim that
more than fifty percent of the gospels are thus precluded from having been the
result of inspiration. According to this opinion, only the descriptions directly
related to faith or those defining the rituals can be considered as inspired.
However this opinion does not carry any weight because it happens to be
against the opinion of Luther, the founder of the Protestant church, who
explicitly declared that none of the apostles had any right to issue or define any
religious principle on his own account, because only Jesus had the right to issue
religious doctrines. The unavoidable conclusion is that the remaining part of the
gospels, consisting of the descriptions from the disciples directly related to faith,
is likewise deprived of its Divine character.

 

 

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