Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects

Was Jesus Crucified? (Part 1 of 2)

Whether or not Jesus was crucified is a heavily debated issue in modern Islam. While it used to be a generally accepted notion that Jesus was not crucified in Islam, more and more people who identify as Muslims now believe that he was indeed crucified. Contrary to many myths about Islam, most Muslims believe that Jesus will return so this is an important issue for us.

Muslims who say that Jesus was no crucified quote the following verse:

That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.

—Qur’an 4:157

But interestingly enough, Muslims who believe that Jesus was indeed crucified also quote the same verse! Why? The answer seems to lie in the wording. As you know, the Qur’an was written in Arabic and the English versions (or any versions in languages other than Arabic) are only interpretations of the original text, and so they are of course, subject to interpretation. Muslims either interpret this verse in the sense that Jesus never went to the cross at all, while others believe it really says that Jesus did go to the cross but did not die by crucifixion.

Let’s look at a different version of the English Qur’an, this one by A.J. Arberry:

And for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, ‘We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God’ — yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them.

Did you notice the difference? In the first version, the text appears to imply that Jesus never went to the cross, but in the second version it’s clear that Jesus did go to the cross but it only looked like he died on the cross. Lastly, here is a screenshot from the Holy Quran app produced by Peace Through Understanding, available on iPhone and Android:

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You see, this version clearly says that his death was not caused by crucifixion even though it looked like it, so this means that Jesus did indeed go to the cross. Notice that this version may also be quoted that Jesus was the false Messenger of God, even if the other versions do not have this word. So what do we make of these seemingly contradictory statements? Consider the following:

  • Scriptures are only 100% authentic in their original languages
  • It’s impossible to directly translate any text word for word in any language because not all languages are equal
  • The best we can do is try to keep the meaning of a text and the author’s original style
  • Languages change and different words mean different things to different people despite that all the interpretations come from the same original Arabic language
  • The Qur’an was written by God through the prophet, and humans will never be able to accurately reproduce or duplicate such a complex and mysterious document

Just look at all the different translations of the Bible. All of them use different wording to convey the same messages found in the original manuscripts. Just like in Islam, there are also many different denominations in Christianity with varying opinions on the same things, each with good proof to hold their particular position. Some versions may be more accurate than others based on several factors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the others are corrupt or that nothing can be learned from them.

Personally I believe that there is enough historical evidence to say that Jesus was indeed crucified, but whether or not he died on that cross in an entirely different matter. Two things are universally agreed upon when it comes to Jesus between historians of all backgrounds: he existed, and he was crucified. Many Muslim scholars deny that he was crucified using the argument that God doesn’t use deception, meaning that it would not have looked as Jesus had died if he really hadn’t. On the other hand, there are verses such as the following that states that things aren’t always what they seem:

It was not ye who slew them; it was Allah: thou didst not throw when thou threwest, but Allah threw.

—Qur’an 8:17

Does this verse imply deception on God’s behalf? Not at all! It is a statement that the way we perceive things here on earth isn’t always the way they actually happen. We cannot see what God sees, we can only see what he enables us to see. In the desert one can easily see an illusion called a mirage, and in the same way it appeared as if Jesus was crucified and died on the cross even though he survived.

 

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Posted in Postcards & Correspondence

I Love Postcards

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One thing everyone who knows me knows about me is that I love snail mail. In fact, I adore it! As I was digging through my room earlier in the week, I unearthed a box of probably 300+ postcards. I especially enjoy the postage paid ones from Canada Post, more specifically their yearly flower collection. The sunflower above is one of the sunflowers from 2011, with hydrangeas being the official flowers of 2016.

All over the web there are postcard exchange programs and postcard penpal initiatives but Postcrossing is probably the most popular. There is also PostcardHub that is similar and penpal websites such as Global Penfriends where you can specifically request a postcard pal from almost anywhere in the world. The internet definitely makes way for postcard lovers like me to meet people with similar interests and keep the chain of snail mail going.

As I progressively work to get this blog going I’m most certainly going to share my postcard findings on it now that I’ve unearthed a box full of treasures. My postcard adventure is just beginning! Stay tuned for more 🙂

Posted in Everything Else

Still Working

It’s been just a short week since I created this page and I’m now just getting around to making it look like a proper website, but I’ve still got a long way to go. You could say I’m retarded when it comes to technology but I’m getting there! I see that I already have 198 (wait… WHAT?! Yes, that’s what the profile says) followers with just my first two posts. I also still don’t know where this project will take me but I guess I’ll have to start blogging if I want to find out! 🙂 I’ve also created a Twitter account and a Tumblr account, but I think that’s as far as I’m going to take it since I’ve always enjoyed being a hermit and this is definitely going out of my comfort zone.

I have no previous experience with blogging, nor do I know much about doing it or what to expect. I know that there will be some backlash as with anything else that includes controversial subjects but through all the hate all over the internet I aim to make this place one of enlightenment and a breath of fresh air for those who stumble across it. In the next couple of weeks and months I will continue to build this page and see where it goes, one post at a time.

Posted in Reblogged Posts

Celebrating Pride: Where Religion and Queerness Meet

Some great stuff here and definitely worth the read in the light of the tragedy in Orlando. God bless!

Longreads

My city was one of many to hold a vigil in memory of the innocent lost to hatred and violence in Orlando a week ago. Christian, Jewish and Muslim community leaders spoke, one after the other, rallying the crowd into a frenzy of love. We lit candles and sang and prayed and cried. It did not resurrect 49 people.

I will be frank: I do not know how to live in the wake of this nightmare. I do not think I will ever feel normal again. As the poet Anne Carson puts it, “I felt as though the sky was torn off my life. I had no home in goodness anymore.” I stood on the steps of our police-protected vigil with my candle, afraid a hate-filled bullet would pierce the back of my skull. And if I, a white person, feel this afraid, then I cannot even begin to imagine what…

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Posted in News & Relevant Topics, Personal & Opinion

Here & Now

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It was just a few days ago on Sunday that I turned on the TV to watch WBZ News at 10 on WSBK and saw 15 straight minutes of the hell that was unleashed in the beautiful city of Orlando. Like the rest of America and the world, I was downright outraged at such a senseless act of terrorism, and I would become more and more outraged in the days that followed, after learning more of the disturbing facts and the missed warning signs.

It after lengthy and careful consideration that I decided to create this blog to let out my feelings about my life, the world, and my new faith. I’ve been writing in journals and notebooks since 2004 (2016 marks 12 years now) but so far nobody has ever read those books, and nobody probably ever will. My writings locked away cannot contribute to a meaningful conversation, but this blog can. I’m not here to try to change the world, I’m just here to try and make it a better place in my own space and time, in my own environment, with my own little contributions.

There is so much hatred, so much war, and so much discrimination on the web these days and my true goal here is to make a little more peace and love go around while still contributing to meaningful discussion about relevant social issues and what’s going on around the globe. Throughout this new little undertaking of mine you’ll also discover a lot about my life and my thoughts, and I’ll probably come to find myself somewhere along the way too. It’s my hope that no matter where this new little adventure of mine takes me, you’ll be along for the ride to the finish line and you’ll learn something along the way.