It's Christmas, and Patricia Veerappan, Kak Eton's next door neighbour and childhood friend, shows an interesting piece of news from Malaysiakini of a happening more than a year ago. It tells of Ibrahim Ali, Perkasa Henchman, being hospitalized in IJN. Now that in itself is not much of a news but the following letter from a reader in said portal probably qualifies as man-bites-dog:-
In it, a reader writes, "We should pray for his salvation. Either the Lord changes his heart and he will be a good Muslim and join PAS to fight for righteousness, or he meet Jesus in his ICU bed and become a devout Catholic and then fight for the rights of Christians to use ‘Allah'. Let's pray together."
Now Kak Eton the sultry Janda takes this opportunity to reveal her heartmost desire to Miss Veerappan, as the two of them converse on this point as laid out below:-
PV:- Eh you know Kak Eton, a guy in Malaysiakini is praying that Ibrahim Ali meet Jesus while in ICU.
Kak Eton: Hey that’s not fair! They should have done the same for me too! I mean pray that I meet Jesus as well.
PV: You? Now why would you want to do that?
Kak Eton: Cos I sure as hell have a lot of questions to ask him whenever I have the opportunity to do so.
PV: You have questions for Jesus? What kind of questions?
Kak Eton: Well, mmm actually I had this perasan thing thinking myself to be very smart preparing this list of dumb-founding questions that I’d like to ask Jesus whenever I see him but then lo and behold! I was beaten to it by … God Himself.
PV: How do you mean?
Kak Eton: See now, God Himself in the Qur’an has a question to ask Jesus in front of people on the Day of Judgment. And it so happens that THAT is the exact same question I had in mind. In fact so pertinent is the question that God just cannot wait for the day of judgement to ask it. He poses the Question right here and now in the Qur’an. In fact he revealed this Question to Muhammad 1400 years ago in Surah al-Maidah 116
PV: And just what is that question?
Kak Eton: Well, Allah asks: “Did you yourself ask the people to worship you and your mom as God?”
PV: Wow that’s a pretty damaging question ain’t it. I sure would like to know the answer now rather than wait till the day of judgement. We do take Jesus as part of the Holy Trinity to which is assigned Godhood, but yes. Come to think of it, it would be nice to know the Divine Origins of such labellling.
Kak Eton: Exactly. And we'd have to wait for the Day of Judgement to come before we really know the answer.
PV: Well I don’t think we will have to wait for the day of judgement. Let’s ask some people around if they can provide a clue. I am sure lots of people can give you evidences and proofs. And certainly we can also ask the real experts.
Kak Eton: Now I wonder who the real experts are that we might ask from. Mufti Zainal Abidin? Nik Aziz? The Grand Mufti of Azhar? Ahmadinejad?
PV: Noooooo! That would be stupid. That’s biased and prejudiced. That’s like asking Abe Hoffmann if it would be right to legalize Marijuana or asking George Bush who he thinks the real perpetrator of 9-11 is. Why don’t we be more … creative. Let’s go and ask the christians themselves. Not any Tom Chin, Dick Kuppusamy and Harry anak Punang kind of Christians. The real ulamaks. The scholars. The DD’s.
Kak Eton: DD? Daredevils you mean?
PV: No, dingo. Doctors of Divinities.
Kak Eton: Well you know what. I already did. I did some researches and looked around. Here’s what I found out. Even some of your top notch scholars from early on right till modern times disagree with according divinity to Jesus Christ. So in posing the Question that Allah asks, we may re-phrase it to make it more palatable:
“Is Jesus God? If he is, where does he say so? If he is not, then whence and from whom came the idea that he is?”. Simple and valid question, agreed?
Now let’s search for answers. Here's some of what I found:-
Dr. Robert Alley, University of Redmond:- "....The (Biblical) passages where Jesus talks about the Son of God are later additions....Such a claim of deity for himself would not have been consistent with his entire lifestyle as we can reconstruct. For the first three decades after Jesus' death Christianity continued as a sect within Judaism. The first three decades of the existence of the church were within the synagogue. That would have been beyond belief if they (the followers) had boldly proclaimed the deity of Jesus."
Cardinal Walter Kasper: “Jesus, he says, never advanced such "claims," and at Caesarea Philippi, Peter merely confessed, "You are the Messiah," and Jesus also proclaimed this before the Sanhedrin. But when the first Christian community confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, it did not in fact mean that Jesus really is the Son of God, but only wished "to express the idea that God manifests and communicates Himself in an absolute and definite way in the story of Jesus." End of story. In fact, the first Christian community did not intend "to acknowledge a dignity for him that would further his claims." Naturally, it was St. Paul's and St. John's habit to further Jesus' "claims."8”
Paul Wierwille: Jesus never was a God
Father Peter Dresser Australia : "No human being can ever be God, and Jesus was a human being"
Even America's founding fathers had doubts. John Adams mentioned: "The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity." --John Adams
PV: My, all these are new to me. Are there any more examples?
Kak Eton: Wait, there are more, in the form of articles, papers and books. For example,
Heinz Zahrnt says in his book "The Church put words into the mouth of Jesus which he never spoke and attributed actions to him which he never performed."
Rudolph Augustein in his book Jesus the Son of Man - "most of what the church says about Jesus is baseless
Also in "Christianity and Mythology" (John Mackinnon Robertson), "The Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions" (T.W Doane) the central idea seems to be that according divinity to jesus is just wrong. Read also "The Myth of God Incarnate" which was written by seven theologian scholars in England in 1977 and edited by John Hick. Their conclusion in this matter is that Jesus was "a man approved by God, for a special role within the divine purpose, and..... the later conception of him as God incarnate ... is a mythological or poetic way of expressing his significance for us."
PV: Ok ok I think I have enough of all this. Let us stop here and go to town and catch us a bite or two of whatever it is that we can catch.
Kak Eton has more cunning and surprising remarks up her sleeve as far as religion is concerned and we hope to tell more about her intellectual adventures in the future. As of now, let us leave these two lasses alone to do their Christmas shopping...