PROPHET JESUS (pbuh):
A PROPHET, NOT A SON, OF GOD
The authors of the Four Gospels never met Prophet Jesus (pbuh)
People often assume that the four Gospels were
written at time of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and are entirely based on his
words. Yet this is not true. In fact, Biblical scholars estimate that
the Gospel of Mark was written around 70, the Gospel of Matthew around
80, the Gospel of Luke around 90, and the Gospel of John around 90-100.
The other books of the New Testament were written around the same time.
Moreover, the canonical Gospel as we know it today consists of writings
that were selected from hundreds of selected texts and was established
only at the Council of Nicaea.
The basic Christian texts to
which we refer for information about the life of Prophet Jesus (pbuh)
are the four Gospels, the first four books in the New Testament. These
books of the New Testament began to be written down around 30 to 35
years after the ascension of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) into the sight of God.
As can be seen
from historical sources and the accounts in the New Testament, the first
Christians began telling people about Prophet Jesus' words and deeds in
an oral form after his elevation to God's presence. According to
researchers, it is very likely that under the conditions in which they
found themselves, the early Christians attached new meanings to the
words of Prophet Jesus (pbuh), and changed some information when they
debated with the Jewish religious figures or the Romans who rejected
Prophet Jesus (pbuh). According to this view, the early Christians
wished to keep the belief in the Messiah alive, strengthen belief in
Prophet Jesus (pbuh), bring about a rapid spread of Christianity, and
eliminate the despair caused by persecution. Thus, they sought to create
a new source of enthusiasm and excitement by interpreting Prophet
Jesus' (pbuh) words and deeds. They could have done this just by
transmitting God's words and the wise message of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to
people. But that is not how it happened, and God's revelation was
subsequently altered and Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) words were misinterpreted
and diverted from their true essence. During this time, some Christians
may have mistakenly raised their respect for him to such a high level
that they began to consider him to be divine. (Surely God is beyond
that!) This view is generally shared by modern-day Western researchers.18 After a while, the Apostles
began dying off and, in order to prevent the disappearance of Prophet
Jesus' (pbuh) message, some Christians may have set about forming the
texts of the New Testament by collecting and then combining his words
and deeds according to their own understanding.19
one of the foremost twentieth-century experts on the New Testament,
offers various interpretations about the writing of the Gospels. He says
that the synoptic Gospels (those of Matthew, Mark and Luke) were formed
in order to set out consecutive tales regarding the life of Prophet
Jesus (pbuh) by the authors of the Gospels bringing together and adding
unordered anecdotes. According to Bultmann, these words, constantly
repeated in different societies by the individuals who comprised those
societies assumed different forms from one society to another and even
within one society and the words and deeds of Prophet Jesus (pbuh)
assumed various forms from being used by people for different purposes.
In the early period, for instance, they were sometimes used for
preaching purposes, to give people advice, and to establish the moral
principles by which the members of a community had to abide. Bultmann
thus reveals that as a consequence of this oral tradition, the words and
deeds of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) were partially altered by the early
Christians. Furthermore, he suggests that the Gospels contain words that
were actually produced by early Christians and then ascribed to Prophet
Jesus (pbuh).20 He does not
think that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) referred to himself as the son of God.
In his view, that title was developed after Prophet Jesus (pbuh) under
the influence of paganism's motifs of divine figures portrayed as the
sons of the gods, divine offspring worshipped in secret religions and
savior figures in gnostic mythology, and was then erroneously ascribed
to the prophet. (Surely God is beyond that!)21
For that reason, the great majority of Western
researchers today believe that the Gospels are not individual texts
comprising the accurate collection of the words of Prophet Jesus (pbuh);
rather, they are texts consisting of the collection, after Prophet
Jesus' (pbuh) ascension, of his words and deeds under the conditions
prevailing after his time.
The Gospel's authors
The idea that the Gospel's authors used of a single
source is today generally accepted by researchers.
(Below) The four authors of the Gospels studying the Holy
Book they took as their source. Jacob Jordaens, 1625, Louvre Museum,
Although they are today known by
the names of the authors Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Gospels were
actually penned anonymously. It is not known whether the individuals
behind these names actually wrote the Gospels or not. The Gospels only
began to be known by their present names in the second half of the
second century. Matthew and John are accepted as true disciples of
Prophet Jesus (pbuh), Mark as a follower of Paul, and Luke as one of
Paul's students. In other words, the authors actually existed, but there
is no evidence that the Gospels are really their work.22 In his The Historical Figure of Jesus, E. P. Sanders, a noted Biblical
researcher, describes the writing of the Gospels in these terms:
Present evidence indicates that
the gospels remained untitled until the second half of the second
century… The gospels as we have them were quoted in the first half of
the second century, but always anonymously. Names suddenly appear about
the year 180. By then there were a lot of gospels, not just our four,
and the Christians had to decide which ones were authoritative. This was
a major issue, on which there were very substantial differences of
opinion. We know who won: those Christians who thought that four
gospels, no more and no fewer, were the authoritative record of Jesus.23
In another article, he describes the process of the
naming of the anonymously penned Gospels:
In the first half of the second
century there were a lot of gospels, and the Christians had to decide
which ones were authoritative. So they named them, and thus the four
gospels considered today by the Church as authoritative were named Mark,
Matthew, Luke, and John.24
Luke was one of Paul's students. However, we do not know
if Luke's Gospel was actually written by him.
Paula Fredriksen, author of From Jesus to Christ:
The Origins of the New Testament, Images of Jesus, summarizes the
Eventually, some of Jesus'
sayings, now in Greek, were collected and written down in a document,
now lost, which scholars designate Q (from the German Quelle, "source").
Meanwhile, other oral traditions – miracle stories, parables, legends,
and so on – grew, circulated, and were collected in different forms by
various Christian communities. In the period around… 70 C.E., an
anonymous Gentile Christian wrote some of these down. This person was
not an author – he did not compose de novo… He organized these stories
into a sequence and shaped his inherited material into something
resembling a historical narrative. The result was the Gospel of Mark.25
She also notes the language used in the Gospels:
Jesus spoke Aramaic; his original
early first-century audience was, for the most part, Jewish,
Palestinian, and rural. The evangelists' language was Greek… Traditions
from and about Jesus spanning this temporal, cultural, and linguistic
circulated orally; and the reliability of oral traditions, in the
absence of independent or convergent lines of evidence, is nearly
impossible to assess. Further, as psychological and anthropological
studies of oral materials show, even reports going back to eyewitnesses
are far from historically secure. Interpretation or distortion between
an event and the report of an event occurs almost inevitably, first of
all because the observer is human. If the report is communicated through
different people over a period of time before it achieves written form,
revision can occur at every human link in the chain of transmission. In
brief, though the oral transmission of traditions about Jesus allows us
to assume some relation between what the gospels report and what might
actually have happened, it also requires that we acknowledge an
inevitable – often incalculable – degree of distortion in those
traditions as well.26
The Gospels were written in Greek. This piece of John's
Gospel, dated to 125, is so far the oldest copy of a Gospel to be found.
(Below) The first Gospel printed by Johannes Guttenberg was in Latin.
In his important work The Birth of Christianity:
Discovering what happened in the years immediately after the execution
of Jesus, another Biblical scholar, John Dominic Crossan, quotes Marcus
J. Borg and Barry Henaut about the authors of the Gospels:
How are the
Gospels to be used as sources for constructing an image of the
historical Jesus? ... The Gospels are literally the voices of their
authors. Behind them are the anonymous voices of the community talking
about Jesus. And embedded within their voices is the voice of Jesus, as
well as the deeds of Jesus. Constructing an image of Jesus—which is what
the quest for the historical Jesus is about—involves two crucial steps.
The first step is discerning what is likely to go back to Jesus. The
second step is setting this material in the historical context of the
first-century Jewish homeland.27
The Oral phase of the Jesus
tradition is now forever lost. The spoken word is transitory by nature
and exists for but a moment. It lives on only in the memory of the
audience and its recovery is entirely dependent upon the accuracy of
that memory to bring it back into being … Even the written tradition
continues to be edited and improved. This warns us against assuming that
the Gospels offer a directly transcribed orality: the tradition may
have been thoroughly textualized and altered in the transmission
process, a process that did not end with the synoptic evangelists!28
Neither the authors of the Gospels nor those of the
New Testament's other books were actual eye witnesses to the events
they describe. They were people who made texts out of the oral and
written traditions transmitted from generation to generation for a few
decades after Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) ascension. For that reason, various
experts who have researched the texts over the centuries have stressed
that various factors played a role in the texts of the Gospels assuming
their present forms. In one article, this influence is described as
(Say:) "You are people arguing about something of which
you have no knowledge. Why do you argue about something of which you
have no knowledge? God knows; you do not know."
(Surah Al 'Imran: 66)
The original first-hand memories of Prophet
Jesus (pbuh) were preserved by various means, edited, developed,
elevated, and partially destroyed 1) by the early Christians' efforts to
gain a universal religious identity for their own religion by elevating
its leaders; 2) by allowing the pagan deity motifs of the time to enter
their texts; 3) by the first Church established by Gentile (non-Jewish)
Christians opposing the Judaism from which it had broken away; 4) by
the debates that led to serious disputes within the Christian community
itself; and 5) by portraying the promises of events given by the Old
Testament prophets as being fulfilled in the life of Prophet Jesus
(pbuh), thereby claiming that he was the final component of Old
Testament prophethood… In addition, since the Gospels were
written by the early Church that was struggling to survive Jewish
pressure and Roman persecution, and because of the prevailing
circumstances, they are not an account of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and his
life, but the early Church's interpretation of Prophet Jesus' (pbuh)
words and deeds in connection with its struggle against its opponents. Based on that fact, it can be seen that the Gospels do not provide
enough information to write the biography of Prophet Jesus (pbuh).
Therefore, in examining his position and status in the interpretation of
the four Gospels, we have to take into account the lives of the first
Christian communities, the beliefs, ideas, opinions, preconceptions, and
debates of which are reflected both in the Gospels and the other books
of the New Testament … Again in examining his position, we must not
forget that the Gospels, our essential source, were written 40-60 years
after Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) ascension, in a rather different climate to
that of the original events that took place in his life. Moreover, they
were not written in Aramaic, his mother tongue, but in Greek … In short,
the Gospels are books collected not by the Disciples who personally
witnessed the words and deeds of Prophet Jesus (pbuh), but by people who
became Christians at a later date, in a manner appropriate to the new
circumstances that gradually emerged. In other words, the Gospels are
not first-hand accounts of Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) words and deeds, but
are based on second- and third-hand accounts.29
These historical facts are extremely important. Independent
researchers who have compared the Gospel texts stress that the four
Gospels are very different from one another.
The differences among the four Gospels
The generally accepted view is
that the four Gospels were written between 65 and 100. (Some researchers
propose later dates, such as 75-115.30)
This means that the earliest Gospel was written some 30 years after
Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was raised to God's presence. Researchers also
believe that the texts do not fully reflect his life and message, but
rather concentrate on the authors' imagination of how he was.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke largely
parallel each other, and thus are known as the Synoptic Gospels.
Synoptic means from the same eye, and thus expresses their common
perspective. Of these, the earliest one is Mark, despite its being in
second place in the New Testament. It is accepted that Matthew and Luke
wrote their gospels based upon Mark's as a source, making a few
The Gospel of John, is very different from
the Synoptic Gospels. Furthermore, one incident described in John may be
described very differently in the other Gospels. The Synoptic Gospels
also contradict one another from time to time.
New Testament scholars note that the four Gospels
concentrate on rather different subjects, that the texts were written in
different styles, that they contain historical inconsistencies, and
emphasize that every passage cannot be considered a direct quotations
from Prophet Jesus (pbuh). According to this claim, the four Gospels
were written for different purposes and for different communities.
Therefore, Christian scholars define the Gospels according to their
style, as follows:
Matthew was aimed at the Jews, for which reason it
generally refers to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) as the King, Messiah, son of
Abraham and David.
Mark was written for the Greeks and therefore
concentrates mainly on power, rule, and service. Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is
referred to in terms of the servant of God who performs great deeds.
Luke was written for everyone else and so
concentrates on Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) moral values and human aspects.
The prophet is referred to as the son of Adam, the friend of man.
As well as the Qur'an, the New Testament describes many of
Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) miracles. One of these is his healing the blind.
Nicolas Poussin, (1594-1665), Louvre Museum, Paris.
John was written much later and as
a response to the reactions and questions arising during that period.
Therefore, it concentrates on the miraculous aspect of his life.
Expressions along the lines of the son of God (Surely God is beyond
that!) appear more frequently in this gospel. Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is
referred to as coming from the skies.31
Historically speaking, Mark is the earliest of the
gospels and John is the latest, and there are considerable differences
between them. If the accounts in Mark and John are to be regarded as
historical records, these differences can be easily explained by saying
that they are two separate depictions of the same event written by two
different people. One of these was written 40-45 years later, and the
other up to 60-65 years later.
Faced with such differences, some Christians say
things like despite the minor differences, at the end of the day they
all describe the same event. Yet these differences actually matter,
because they reveal that the New Testament authors wrote their texts by
normal, human means. They heard various oral accounts regarding Prophet
Jesus (pbuh) and then penned the Gospels under the influence of their
own cultures, beliefs, knowledge, or preconceptions. For that reason,
these texts are human, not divine. That means they need to be regarded
as historical sources likely to contain divine elements.
According to Christian belief, the texts of the
Gospels were written by different people under divine inspiration.
Accordingly, every line in the New Testament is regarded as true.
However, the contradictions between the Gospels make this impossible and
refute the claim of divine inspiration. The fact that the same event is
described in different ways shows that the account in question is the
product of human memory, understanding, prejudice, and expectations.
When looking at the Christian sources, one notices
an attempt to interpret these very different accounts in the four
Gospels as complementary to one another. According to this logic, each
Gospel provides a different view of Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Yet that is
mistaken. We are dealing with four different texts and four different
accounts, because the authors have four different ideas about Prophet
Jesus (pbuh). According to contemporary Biblical scholars, they employed
the true facts about Prophet Jesus (pbuh), and even used the true
gospel imparted to him as a source, but they interpreted that revelation
in the light of their own beliefs and then reshaped or broadened it
with additional material. In Who Is Jesus? Answers to Your Questions
about the Historical Jesus, co-authored with Richard G. Watts, one of
the most important of these researchers, John Dominic Crossan, comments
on these differences:
Actually, the fact that we have
four Gospels lies at the very heart of our problem. Because as we read
particular parables or sayings or stories in several different versions,
we can't miss the disagreements between them. At first we are tempted
to say, "Well, witnesses simply remember the same things differently."
But it is clear that, when Matthew and Luke wrote their gospels, they
had copies of Mark (the earliest of the New Testament gospels) in front
of them. That means that for much of their story of Jesus, Matthew and
Luke are not independent sources, but variations of Mark. It also means
that the variations reflect the theologies of the individual gospel
writers. In other words, each gospel is a deliberate interpretation of
Jesus—rather than a biography… With all of the differences between
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and with numerous other gospels exiting,
we have an obvious problem. Each gospel has a particular way of seeing
Jesus. How close to the historical facts are they?32
Another important fact is how the four Gospels were
selected from a large number of copies of the Gospels. Different
Gospels, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of
Peter, the Childhood Gospels of James and Thomas, the Secret Gospel of
James, the Eagerton Gospel, and the Oxyrhyncus Gospel all contain
different information and interpretations about Prophet Jesus (pbuh).
Scholars think that all of these Gospels come from a common, but lost,
original Q Gospel (from the German word quelle or source). As they
collected the words of Prophet Jesus (pbuh), the first Christian
community and the first compilers of the Gospel produced new
interpretations based on their own situations, political pressures, and
the conditions prevailing at the time, and gradually moved away from the
true message. Present-day historians researching the Gospels agree on
this. Fredriksen summarizes the period in which the New Testament
authors wrote thus:
From oral to written; from
Aramaic to Greek; from the end of time to the middle of time; from
Jewish to Gentile; from the Galilee and Judea to the Empire.33
deal of research has been done on how the Gospel texts developed. The
vast majority of the researchers share the ideas given above. In other
words, they agree that the actual authors of the Gospels are unknown,
that the Gospels may or may not contain Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) actual
words, and that the authors were not his contemporaries. For example,
Elaine Pagels of Princeton University's theology faculty, states that
"the gospels of the New Testament – no one knows who actually wrote any
of them."34 Randel McGraw Helms,
author of Who Wrote the Gospels?, says: "Mark himself clearly did not
know any eyewitnesses of Jesus."35
Woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and
then say: "This is from God," to sell it for a paltry price. Woe to them
for what their hands have written! Woe to them for what they earn!
(Surat al-Baqara: 79)
A research file called "Who Wrote
the Bible?" by Jeffery L. Sheler, was published in the 10 December 1990
edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine. According to Sheler,
who interviewed many Biblical scholars: "Other scholars have concluded
that the Bible is the product of a purely human endeavor, that the
identity of the authors is forever lost and that their work has been
largely obliterated by centuries of translation and editing"36 and:
there are few Biblical scholars — from liberal skeptics to conservative
evangelicals — who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually
wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify
themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with
Jesus… Some scholars say so many revisions occurred in the 100 years
following Jesus' death that no one can be absolutely sure of the
accuracy or authenticity of the Gospels, especially of the words the
authors attributed to Jesus himself.37
other scholars share this view. Jerome Neyrey of the Weston School of
Theology's faculty, for instance, says: "The bottom line is we really
don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels."38 This subject was given wide coverage in the 8 April 1996 edition of
Time magazine. David Van Biema, author of the book The Gospel Truth,
aired his views, as follows:
Many biblical scholars accept that John, the presumed
author of the Fourth Gospel, used a very different style from the other
three Gospels in order to provide a so-called support for the belief in
There are, after all, four
Gospels, whose actual writing, most scholars have come to acknowledge,
was done not by the Apostles but by their anonymous followers (or their
followers' followers). Each presented a somewhat different picture of
Jesus' life. The earliest appeared to have been written some 40 years
after his Crucifixion.39
E. P. Sanders summarizes why he believes that the
Gospels departed from their original forms:
(1) The earliest Christians did not write a
narrative of Jesus' life, but rather made use of, and thus preserved,
individual units – short passages about his words and deeds. These units
were later moved and arranged by editors and authors. This means that
we can never be sure of the immediate context of Jesus' sayings and
(2) Some material has been revised and some created
by early Christians.
(3) The Gospels were written
The Fourth Gospel
The fourth Gospel is a very important piece of
evidence for researchers of the Greek influence on Christian beliefs.
Most academics prefer to call the Gospel of John as the Fourth Gospel,
for they reject John's authorship of it.
This author's interpretation of Prophet Jesus'
(pbuh) identity is very different, as are his style and the words and
events he reports. It is more philosophical, more symbolic, and more
mystical than the Synoptic Gospels. Indeed, most of the contradictions
among the Gospels are between the fourth Gospel and the Synoptic
Gospels. In his The Historical Figure of Jesus, Sanders concentrates on
the differences between the Synoptic Gospels and that of John. He takes
several very important incidents from Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) life and
notes how very differently they are depicted in the Synoptic Gospels and
the Gospel of John. After saying that we need to accept one or the
other, he states:
We must, however, entertain
another possibility altogether: perhaps none of the authors knew what
took place when. Possibly they had scattered bits of information, from
which they constructed believable narratives that contain a fair amount
In his important study The Origins and Development
of New Testament Christology, Maurice Casey offers the following
In John, Jesus uses terms of
this kind [the son of God] no less than 23 times, in public debate as
well as in private teaching. Mark however attributes such a term to
Jesus no more than once … If the historical Jesus had used this key term
extensively as John says he did, the faithful Christians who
transmitted the synoptic tradition would have transmitted it
extensively… If "the Son" had been the main term
which the historical Jesus used to express his divinity, the earliest
apostles were bound to have used it too, and it would have been
transmitted to Luke who would not have had reason to leave it out.42
Casey examines why some of the expressions in John,
and which form the basis of trinitarian belief, are not found in the
Synoptic Gospels. He concludes that if the claim that Prophet Jesus
(pbuh) is the son of God, and the belief in the trinity based on that,
actually represents the basis of true Christianity, then there should be
far more evidence of this in Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) words and message.
Yet it is impossible to find the bases of trinitarian belief in the
Synoptic Gospels. On the contrary, the term the son of Man is used so
often in both John and the Synoptic Gospels that it seems that Prophet
Jesus (pbuh) may well have employed it himself. (God knows best.)
Biblical scholars who state that the son of God was never used by
Prophet Jesus (pbuh) think the exact opposite about the son of Man.
That is Jesus, son of Mary, the word of truth about which
they are in doubt. It is not fitting for God to have a son. Glory be to
Him! When He decides on something, He just says to it, "Be!" and it is.
(Surah Maryam: 34-35)
Another noteworthy aspect of the Gospel of John is
its relationship to Greek philosophy. Biblical scholar James Still says
this in his important paper "The Gospel of John and the Hellenization of
John was written for the Greek
Christian of the beginning of the second century. These recent converts
were more educated, wealthy, and despised the Diaspora Jews who resided
in their cities and who enjoyed the respect of Rome. John removes the
offensive references to Jesus as a Jewish Messiah that are particular to
the earlier gospels ... In so doing, John creates a simulacrum that is
barely human. The earlier Synoptic traditions are emphatic in presenting
Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, descendent of David, and eschatological
messenger of the end of the world… John removes the unpleasantness of
Jewish genealogy as well as all references to Palestinian and Davidic
Others of his interpretations are as follows:
In John we
find the culmination of Greek philosophy that has created the Jesus that
we are the most familiar with today. A fully-formed Hellenized Jesus
has emerged to become an equal with God. The Gospel of John (ca.
120 CE) is complex and mystical. Its purpose is to propagandize the
message that Jesus is God Himself.44 (Surely God is beyond that!)
Those passages in the Synoptic Gospels that ascribe
divine status to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) are both very few in number and
questionable. However, as Still points out, this erroneous belief
prevails throughout John. In the same paper, he says the following about
how this Gospel sought to deify Prophet Jesus (pbuh):
Notably, the birth narrative of
Jesus is missing, we are told in the prologue only that "in the
beginning" Jesus coexisted with God and that he is "full of grace and
truth." John feels that to inform us of the particularly human trait of
birth, even if virginal …, would not be fitting of a God who is the
Word. Human characteristics that Mark informs us of… are conspicuously
absent from John… By the time John was first written at the end of the
first century, the tales of Jesus grew to such an extent that Jesus was
now fully transformed into a Hellenized god.45 [Surely God is beyond that!]
THE USE OF “FATHER” AND “SON”
Before considering the use of these two terms, we
ask our Lord's forgiveness for using the description, incompatible with
any form of respect, used by those who defend the belief in the trinity,
which we use here to define the belief in question.
When one looks at Mark, the earliest gospel, one
sees that the concepts of Father and son are used but not emphasized:
Father is used only four times to refer to God. Three of these are
actually uttered by other Jews, and not by Prophet Jesus (pbuh). It is
therefore impossible to use this Gospel to support belief in the
trinity. Furthermore, again in Mark, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) opposes any
expression that might lead to his being awarded divine status:
As Jesus started on his way, a
man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he
asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me
good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. (Mark,
The number of references rises significantly in
Matthew, written 10-15 years after Mark, with God being described as
Father (Surely God is beyond that!) 50 times. Twenty-eight of these are
directed toward the Jews in general terms, such as Pray to your Father,
or Love your Father. The remaining 22 are spoken by Prophet Jesus (pbuh)
in the form My Father. The emphasis laid upon this concept has been
elevated to a most surprising extent.
A similar emphasis is found in Luke, regarded as
having been written around the same time as Matthew. Father is used 18
times in this gospel. Twelve of these have to do with Prophet Jesus
(pbuh) himself and are prayers beginning Father…, or statements opening
with My Father…
In the Fourth Gospel, however, the belief in the
son of God in the sense that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is divine is expressed
very clearly and unmistakably. Father is used 122 times to describe
God, and all of these, apart from 3, belong to Prophet Jesus (pbuh). On
the other hand, son is used in reference to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) 17
times. Furthermore, he is described as the one son of God on four
occasions. (Surely God is beyond that!)
The greater the distance between the writing of the
Gospels and the elevation of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to God's presence, the
greater the tendency to depict him as someone who addresses God as
Father. To put it another way, the belief that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is
the Son of God secured a greater foundation with every new Gospel. This
tendency gains greater strength in John. This is an indication of an
ever-increasing corruption. Surely God is beyond all these comparisons!
18. Mahmut Aydin, Yahudi
Bir Peygamberden Gentile Tanriya: Isa'nin Tanrisallastirilma Sureci
(From a Jewish Prophet to a Gentile God: The Process of the Deification
of Jesus), Islamiyat III, no. 4 (2000): 51.
19. E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (England: Penguin
20. Mahmut Aydin, Tarihsel Isa, Imanin Mesih'inden Tarihin Isa'sina (The
Historical Jesus, from the Messiah of Faith to the Jesus of History)
(Ankara: Ankara Okulu Yayinlari, 2002), 47-48; Rudolf Bultman, History
of the Synoptic Tradition, 127.
21. Ibid. ,51; Rudolf Bultman, Theology of the New Testament, 1:51.
22. E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, 63.
23. Ibid., 64 (emphasis added)
24. Ibid., 64
25. Paula Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New
Testament, Images of Jesus, 2d ed. (Yale University Press: year?), 3.
26. Marcus J. Borg, The Historical Study of Jesus and Christian
Origins, s. 144. John Dominic Crossan, The Birth of
Discovering what happened in the years immediately
execution of Jesus, HarperSanFransisco, 1998, s. 140
27. Marcus J. Borg, The Historical Study of Jesus and Christian Origins,
144; John Dominic Crossan, The Birth of Christianity: Discovering what
happened in the years immediately after the execution of Jesus
(HarperSanFransisco: 1998), 140 (emphasis added).
28. Barry W. Henaut, Oral Tradition and the Gospels, 295, 296-97, 299,
and 304; Crossan, The Birth of Christianity, 403.
29. Mahmut Aydin, Yahudi Bir Peygamberden, no. 4, 51.
30. Hugh Schonfield, The Passover Plot: A New Interpretation of the Life
and Death of Jesus (London: Element Books Ltd., 1996), 259.
31. Lutfi Ekinci and John Gilchrist, Evet, Kitabi Mukaddes Tanri
Sozudur: Kitap Ehli'nden Sorulara Yanitlar (Yes, Bible Is the Word of
God: Responses to Questions from the People of the Book) (Istanbul:
Mujde Yayincilik, 1993), 240.
32. John Dominic Crossan and Richard G. Watts, Who is Jesus? Answers to
Your Questions about the Historical Jesus London: Westminster John Knox
Press, 1996), 3-4.
33. Paula Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New
Testament, Images of Jesus, 8.
34. Pagels, 1995; Jim Walker, "Did A Historical Jesus Exist?" Time,
April 8, 1996, http://freethought.mbdojo.com/didjesusexist.html
35. Walker, "Did A Historical Jesus Exist?"
36. Ibid.; Jeffery L. Sheler, "Who Wrote the Bible?," U.S. News &
World Report, (December 10, 1990), 61.
37. Jeffery L. Sheler, "The Four Gospels," U.S. News & World Report,
December 10, 1990, 63-4; Walker, "Did A Historical Jesus Exist?"
38. Walker, "Did A Historical Jesus Exist?"
40. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, 57
41. Ibid., 69 (emphasis added).
42. Maurice Casey, From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God: The Origins and
Development of New Testament Christology (Cambridge: James Clarke and
Co., Ltd., 1991), 25 (emphasis added).
43. James Still, "The Gospel of John and the Hellenization of Jesus,"
44. Ibid., James Still, "The Gospel of John and the Hellenization of
Jesus"; (emphasis added).