Friday, November 26, 2010
YUSUF ESTES on TRINITY
The role of Paul of Tarsus in shaping this belief and the belief in Trinity
The notion of Jesus as son of God is something that was established under the influence of Paul of Tarsus (originally named Saul), who had been an enemy of Jesus, but later changed course and joined the disciples after the departure of Jesus.
Later, however, he initiated a number of changes into early Christian teachings, in contradiction, for instance, to disciples like Barnabas, who believed in the Oneness of God and who had actually lived and met with Jesus.
Paul is considered by a number of Christian scholars to be the father of Christianity due to his additions of the following ideas:
that Jesus is the son of God,
the concept of Atonement,
the renunciation of the Law of the Torah.
Paul did these things in hopes of winning over the Gentiles (non-Jewish people). His letters are another of the primary sources of information on Jesus according to the Christian tradition.
The original followers of Prophet Jesus opposed these blatant misrepresentations of the message of Jesus. They struggled to reject the notion of the Divinity of Jesus for close to 200 years.
One person who was an original follower of Jesus was Barnabas. He was a Jew born in Cyrus and a successful preacher of the teachings of Jesus. Because of his closeness to Jesus, he was an important member of the small group of disciples in Jerusalem who had had gathered together following the disappearance of Jesus.
The question of Jesus's nature, origin and relationship with God was not raised amongst Barnabas and the small group of disciples. Jesus was considered a man miraculously endowed by God. Nothing in the words of Jesus or the events in his life led them to modify this view.
The Gospel of Barnabas was accepted as a Canonical Gospel in the Churches of Alexandria till 325 CE Iranaeus (130-200) wrote in support of pure monotheism and opposed Paul for injecting into Christianity doctrines of the pagan Roman religion and Platonic philosophy. He quoted extensively from the Gospel of Barnabas in support of his views. This indicates that the Gospel of Barnabas was in circulation in the first and second centuries of Christianity.
In 325 (CE), a council of Christian leaders met at Nicaea and made Paul's beliefs officially part of Christian doctrine. It also ordered that all original Gospels in Hebrew script which contradicted Paul's beliefs should be destroyed. An edict was issued that anyone in possession of these Gospels would be put to death.
The Gospel of Barnabas has miraculously survived though.The original copy, well kept under secrecy in the Vatican library under lock and key
From The Noble Qur'an,
as translated by Marmaduke Pickthal
"Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Cease! (it is) better for you! - Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son."
The Noble Qur'an
"The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how We make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away! (75) Say: Serve ye in place of Allah that which possesseth for you neither hurt nor use? Allah it is Who is the Hearer, the Knower. (76) Say: O People of the Scripture! Stress not in your religion other than the truth, and follow not the vain desires of folk who erred of old and led many astray, and erred from a plain road. (77) Those of the Children of Israel who went astray were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they rebelled and used to transgress. (78) They restrained not one another from the wickedness they did. Verily evil was that they used to do! (79)"
Al Maida , 'The Table Spread', 5 : 75-79
"On the day when We shall gather the righteous unto the Beneficent, a goodly company. (85) And drive the guilty unto Hell, a weary herd, (86) They will have no power of intercession, save him who hath made a covenant with his Lord. (87) And they say: The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son. (88) Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing (89) Whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins, (90) That ye ascribe unto the Beneficent a son, (91) When it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should choose a son. (92) There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave. (93)"
Surah Maryam, 19 ; 86-93