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The following was sent to me by a Muslim brother who requested to remain anonymous, may Allah Almighty always be pleased with him.
Peter, the Hero and the Coward:
All four gospels report Peter denying Jesus three times while he was being tried or after. Even though they dont agree on the little details, they do however agree on denying Jesus. Those denials are summarized below.
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean."
70 But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about!"
71 As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus the Nazorean."
72 Again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man!"
73 39 A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away."
74 At that he began to curse and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately a cock crowed."(NAB)
66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the high priest's maids came along.
67 Seeing Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, "You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus."
68 17 But he denied it saying, "I neither know nor understand what you are talking about." So he went out into the outer court. [Then the cock crowed.]
69 The maid saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, "This man is one of them."
70 Once again he denied it. A little later the bystanders said to Peter once more, "Surely you are one of them; for you too are a Galilean."
71 He began to curse and to swear, "I do not know this man about whom you are talking."
72 And immediately a cock crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, "Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times." He broke down and wept." (NAB)
56 When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, "This man too was with him."
57 But he denied it saying, "Woman, I do not know him."
58 A short while later someone else saw him and said, "You too are one of them"; but Peter answered, "My friend, I am not."
59 About an hour later, still another insisted, "Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean."
60 But Peter said, "My friend, I do not know what you are talking about." Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed," (NAB)
17 Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, "You are not one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not."
25 Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm. And they said to him, "You are not one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not."
26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Didn't I see you in the garden with him?"
27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately the cock crowed." (NAB)
Considering the above, we notice that Peter according to Matthew denied knowing the person whom they were trying, that is supposedly Jesus. Likewise, the same according to Mark, but according to Luke and John it is mostly a charge of being one of his disciples. Before we proceed, the reader should pay special attention to the terms used "Galilean" and "Nazorean".
However, before Peter decided to deny knowing Jesus three times we are confronted with another Peter right before the arrest of Jesus.
John 13:" 37 Peter said to him, "Master, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
John 18:" 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus." (NAB)
Comparing both, we can clearly see courageous Peter defending him, we clearly see Peter declaring that he will lay down his life for his master Jesus, but we also see that this courageous man who fought the Romans soldiers and cut one of their ears off became such coward when confronted a few hours later. We have a 180 degree shift here, from one extreme to another extreme.
Putting It All Together:
Considering all the above we may start to ask, could Peters denial of knowing that man on trial be truthful? Peter was told: "You too were with Jesus the Galilean." And on so many occasions he said:
1) "I do not know what you are talking about!"
2) "I do not know the man!"
3) "I neither know nor understand what you are talking about."
4) "I do not know this man about whom you are talking."
Why would we assume that he became such a coward after he said that he would give up his life for Jesus? Could there be some part of the story that we are not told about by those canonical gospels? Or could they have missed something, or invented the prophecy of Jesus?
We may also want to ask, if Peter denied Jesus the Galilean, or Jesus the Nazorean, could he then denied knowing some one else other than Jesus but named Jesus, as this name was popular during those times? We have already learned that being a Galilean means being what the Romans would call Terrorists, or in other words part of the Zealots sect of the Jews. Such a sect promoted violence against the Romans and from the picture portrayed within the gospels we surely know that Jesus, the prophet, in no way could have been from that sect, for he promoted peace and stayed away from politics. Could have Peter denied knowing this person who is a Galilean, a Zealot?
In addition, if we look at the choice that the Jews made between Jesus Barabbas and Jesus the Nazorean, we would find another mark of confusion. We now know that Jesus Barabbas = Jesus the son of the Father and we very well know that Jesus the Nazorean or Jesus the king simply means Jesus who calls himself the king of the Jews or the anointed. Could it be possible that the Jews asked to release the REAL Jesus the son of the Father and have Jesus the Nazorean who belongs to the Zealots to be crucified? The comparison is rather simple; the Jews wanted the one who claimed himself to be the king of the Jews crucified and release Jesus the son of the Father. It cannot get simpler than that. Again, taking into consideration the "name confusion" and the "title confusion" could it be possible that Jesus, the prophet, was the one who was released? Could it be possible that Peter denied knowing the Galilean, the Zealot Jew who claimed to be the king of the Jews?
Even if we consider the gospels themselves about the trial scene things will seem rather vague.
67 They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us," but he replied to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe,
68 and if I question, you will not respond.
69 But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."
70 They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied to them, "You say that I am."
71 Then they said, "What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth."
We notice the verse 67; could these words come from someone being falsely accused of something? Also if we consider" You say that I am." We are confronted with no confirmation of the accusation; we could simply understand it as: "You say that I am, I didnt say that". The reader must understand that other gospels tell the story differently, that is only a clear indication that the authors of those gospels followed nothing but the testimonies of those who witnessed the trial and they were not eyewitnesses themselves to the event. Therefore, such authors could have copied either form each other, or recorded what others said and in fact, there is no way for us to verify their sources. Their sources could have seen things differently and there is no doubt about that. Reading from the Gospel of John after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus:
John 19:" 35 An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe."(NAB)
We may at that point want to ask, who could be this person? Isnt that author inspired to know the truth? Or is he not inspired at all such that he needed the testimony from someone we dont know?
Furthermore if we investigate the event when Jesus was presented to Pilate, the Roman ruler at that time, more confusion would be added:
John 18:" 29 So Pilate came out to them and said, "What charge do you bring (against) this man?"
30 They answered and said to him, "If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you."
31 At this, Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law." The Jews answered him, "We do not have the right to execute anyone,"(NAB)
Going through the above, we notice the first mark of hesitation in Pilates heart to bring Jesus to Crucifixion.
John 18:" 33 So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
34 Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?"(NAB)
When considering the words in verse 34, such a sentence could have come out of someone who has been accused falsely. As we read along:
John 18:" 38 Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" When he had said this, he again went out to the Jews and said to them, "I find no guilt in him." (NAB)
And if we continue reading:
John 19:" 4 Once more Pilate went out and said to them, "Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him."
5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, "Behold, the man!"
6 When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him."
10 So Pilate said to him, "Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?"
12 Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, "If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. 3 Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar."(NAB)
Using the Gospel of Matthew:
Matthew 27:" 24 When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood. Look to it yourselves."(NAB)Then after all this we read:
John 19:" 19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.""
Such a sarcastic remark from Pilate is rather unexplainable. Pilate tried as hard as he could to prevent such a judgment on Jesus and when he failed to do so he washed his hands indicating his innocence from Jesus blood, but then after all this, he put a sarcastic sign on the cross indicating that his effort to stop the crucifixion were all fake.
However, the story does not end here, quoting Jerald F. Dirks from his book "The Cross and The Crescent" P.109:
However the facts are radically different. On October 28th, the Eastern Orthodox Church calendar lists the feast day of Saint Procla, the wife of Pontius Pilate, On June 25th, and the Coptic Christian Church lists the feast day of Saint Procla and of Saint Pontius Pilate! Procla was canonized as a saint by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and by the Coptic Christian Church, while Pontius Pilate was canonized as a saint by the Coptic Christian Church. How did the early Coptic Christian Church ever justify canonizing as a saint the man, who condemned Jesus Christ to death by crucifixion? This defied all reason and all logic. What did these early Christians know that modern Christians dont know? Perhaps, they knew that Pontius Pilate, their beloved saint, was the man who released Jesus Christ?
Now we could turn our attention to the early Christian writings found above. There is no doubt that history is always written by winners and when we say winners we mean that they simply adopted what they believed to be true. The Christian front was never a united front until maybe the first council, after the first council the systematic persecution of the other so called heretic sects almost removed them, they were all declared heretics, and their writings were to be burnt. The fact that such writings existed, prove without a doubt that many views were held about the identity of Jesus and his alleged crucifixion. Providing all the theories above and the early writings, a case could be built against such crucifixion. Could it be Simon the Cyrene? Could it be Judas the Iscariot? Could the whole crucifixion be illusionary? Could it be true to say:" "Blessed is he who has crucified the world, and who has not the world to crucify him."?
Also we may want to consider the first Christian sect; the Nazarenes led by James, Jesus brother. Such a sect forbade themselves from eating meat; they were strict vegetarians; they refused to cut their hair; they refused to be anywhere near corpses; and they absolutely forbade the consumption of alcohol. Such a sect was the first to exist after Jesus, and if we are to assume that they knew Jesus then how can we justify Jesus turning water into wine? And not being a vegetarian? If we are to take the gospels word then we have no reason to believe that Jesus the Nazorean is actually Jesus the prophet, because Jesus the prophet according to the gospels provided alcohol, ate meat, and came near corpses.
The lie of crucifixion according to several Disciples' writings.
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