Could Not Answer

Observations On The Four Books Called Gospels

Protestant priests argue as follows in one of the pamphlets they have published: “Muslims, unaware of the history of Gospels, assert that the Gospels kept by Christians are not genuine and that Christians defiled and changed the Bible in order to conceal the verses testifying the prophethood of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’. They will be answered as follows: scholars such as Imâm-i-Bukhârî, Shah Weliyy-ullah Dehlewî, Fakkhr-ud-dîn-i-Râdhî, Sayyid Ahmad, an Indian scholar, and others declare that the Gospels used today are the same as those that were used before the time of hadrat Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, and so they are not changed. Several very old copies of the Bible existing in some well-known European libraries bear witness to the truth of our claim. Therefore, if Muslims have any proofs to corroborate their assertions that the Bible was interpolated, be it in the Gospels they have or in the versions that were translated to various languages before ’Asr-i-sa’âdat (the time of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and his four rightly-guided Khalîfas), we challenge that Muslims disclose all such proofs.”

It is a pleasure for us Muslims to take up this challenge of theirs and put forward all the proofs they want, one by one.

As is known, the Holy Bible, the basis of Christian creed, is of two divisions: Old Testament, and New Testament. The division called Old Testament consists of chapters said to have been taken from the heavenly book Taurah and episodes ascribed to some Israelite Prophets. The New Testament consists of the four Gospels and some epistles and pamphlets claimed to have been sent forth by some apostle, e.g. Paul. It is admitted by Christians also that the books of Old Testament were defiled. Those who would like to get detailed information in this respect may have recourse to the book Iz-hâr-ul-haqq, by Rahmatullah Efendi ‘rahmatullâh-i-aleyh’. We shall not give detailed information concerning the Old Testament here. [Jews augmented the persecutions and torments they had been practising over the Nazarenes. In addition to these persecutions and murders, they calumniated Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ and his blessed mother, hadrat Maryam (Miriam, Mary), so much so that they went so far as to call that exalted Prophet an illegitimate child and his blessed mother a fornicator. In order to prove that the Holy Book of Taurah, which was revealed by Allâhu ta’âlâ, did not contain such abominable, detestable slanders, the Nazarenes translated the Taurah to Latin. In the final part of our book, detailed information will be given about the inner nature of the Jewish religion and the slanders and enmities that Jewry has done to Muslims and Christians, i.e. in the chapter headlined Judaism, the Taurah, the Talmud.]

Strauss, a Protestant historian, [Strauss, (David Friedrich), is a German historian. He died in 1291 [A.D. 1874]. He published such works as The Life of Christ, Instruction on Christianity, The New Life of Jesus Christ] states as follows: “During the early years of expansion of Christianity the Christians made a Greek translation of the Old Testament, which had already been interpolated a number of times by Jewry. The Jews protested, with the pretext that the translation did not agree with the Israelite books that they had then. In order to find such answers as would rebut the Jews, the Christians made some new additions to the Greek version of the Old Testament. For example, several names which were supposed to be the names of Îsâ’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ ancestors were inserted into the Zebûr (Psalter, Book of Psalms in the Old Testament, the heavenly Book revealed to Dâwûd ‘alaihis-salâm’). The section on Îsâ’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ entering Hell was placed in the book of Jeremiah. The Jews, upon seeing these interpolations, clamoured, “These things do not exist in our book.” The Christians answered, “You cheaters have no fear of Allah! You dare to change the holy books,” and attacked the Jews. Later, these quarrels between the Christians and the Jews intensified. The Christian priests began to doubt and falter. Thus the Christians were fractured into a number of groups. The disagreements caused many wars among them. Three hundred and twenty-five years after Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ three hundred and nineteen priests came together at the Nicene council with the command of Constantine the Great, the Byzantine Greek Emperor. They started a collective deliberation and consultation on the copies of the Holy Bible, each of which contained a number of uncertainties and inconsistencies. In this council, those who believed in the divinity of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ were in the ascendant. Adding some translations from the Israelite books, they reshaped the Holy Bible. They decided that all copies, other than the one they had just sanctioned, were doubtful. This decision was stated in the introduction which Jerome wrote for this new version. [Jerome, Saint, is called Irûnimus by the Arabs. He stayed in Istanbul for three years. He went to Rome in 382. He became the Pope’s secretary. He translated the Holy Bible to Latin. His day is celebrated on September 30th. His translation became the church’s official Bible]. In 364 another council, called Lodisia, was convened. This council, after sanctioning the books of the Old Testament, also sanctioned the authenticity and dependability of the Book of Esther, which had been repudiated in the Nicene council, and the six epistles that were attributed to the Apostles. These six epistles are the epistle of Jacob, the two epistles of Peter, the second and the third epistles of John, the epistle of Judah, and the epistle written to the Hebrews by Paul. They publicized the authenticity of these books and epistles. John’s Book of Revelations (the Apocalypse) was not sanctioned in either of the councils convened in 325 and 364; so it remained doubtful. Later, in 397, a council of hundred and twenty-six members was convened in Carthage. This council sanctioned the authenticity of a few of the books that had been found dubious or false, and so rejected, by the previous two councils. These books are Tobit (Apocrypha), Baruch, Ecclesiasticus, Maccabees, and John’s book of Revelations. After the sanctioning of these books by the Carthaginian council, all those books that had been said to be doubtful became acceptable to all Christians. This state lasted for a period of twelve hundred years. With the emergence of Protestantism, grave hesitations arose concerning the books Tobit, Baruch, Judith, Song (of Solomon), Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiasticus), I Maccabees, and II Maccabees. The Protestants claimed that these books, accepted by the earlier Christians, were to be rejected as uncanonical. They repudiated some chapters of Esther, and sanctioned some others. They proved these repudiations and sanctionings through various evidences. One of these evidences was that the originals of these books, which were in Hebrew and Caledonian (Celtic) languages, did not exist then. The historian priest Vivibius writes in the twenty-second chapter of the fourth volume of his book that all the books mentioned above, particularly II Maccabees, were changed.”

Protestants themselves admitted the fact that the councils, that is, the clerical assemblies, who had been looked on as inspired with the Holy Spirit and whose decisions had been considered the basis of Christianity by all Christians for twelve hundred years, had been agreeing in error and aberration. Nevertheless, they accepted many of the quite unreasonable and inadmissible decisions of those councils. Thus they took an unprecedented course that was based on contradictory principles. What a surprising event it would be for millions of discreet Christians to look on a religion whose essense is covered with doubts and uncertainties as a means of happiness and salvation, alluring the hearts towards itself; one would bite one’s finger with astonishment.

Christians obtain the principles of belief both from the Old Testament and from the New Testament. These books are not free from doubts and hesitations. Neither of them has been proven to have survived to our time through a sound document. In other words, they have not been transmitted through a series of true people from Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ to our time. As is known, a book’s authenticity and heavenliness, that is, its admittance as a book revealed by Allâhu ta’âlâ depends on an authoritative declaration such as, “This book has been written (revealed) through Prophet so and so and is free from being changed or defiled and has reached us by being transmitted through sound documents and true people.” Unless this is firmly documented to people with common sense, doubts and hesitations concerning the book in question will not go away. For, a book that is attributed to a person considered to be endowed with divine revelations will not prove by itself the fact that it has been arranged by that person himself. Nor will a few Christian groups’ claims, based on sheer bigotry and zeal, suffice to prove the book’s validity. Christian priests do not have any documents to prove the soundness of their Holy Bible, except that they attribute it to one of the past Prophets or Apostles. These claims of theirs are not a proof persuasive enough to lay down the principles of belief [îmân] or to remove doubts as to their authenticity. No one who is wise enough would feel safe and peaceful if his religion, which would guide him to comfort and peace in this world and save him from torment and take him to eternal felicity in the next world, were based on precarious essentials. As a matter of fact, Christians deny and reject most of the books in the Old Testament and more than seventy of the New Testament boks which tell about hadrat Îsâ and hadrat Maryam (Mary) or events in their time and which partly exist still today, and they call them ‘fictitious lies’.” There is detailed knowledge in this respect in the book Idh-âh-ul-haqq.

Christian priests, the early ones and the modern ones alike, unanimously state that Matthew’s Gospel was in Hebrew. Later, during their factious fractioning into sects, Christians lost that original version. The existing version of Matthew’s Gospel today is a translation of the original Hebrew version, the translator being anonymous. Even Jerome, an outstanding Christian priest, concedes that its translator has remained anonymous so far.

Thomas Ward, a Catholic, says in an article of his, “Some early Christian scholars had suspicion about the authenticity of the last chapter of Mark’s Gospel, some about a few verses of the twenty-second chapter of Luke’s Gospel, and some others about the first two chapters of Luke’s Gospel. The version of the Bible possessed by the Marcion group of Christians does not contain these two chapters.” Norton[16] states about Mark’s Gospel as follows in the seventieth page of his book, which was published in Boston in 1253 [A.D. 1837): “This Gospel contains paragraphs that need scrutiny, e.g. the part from the ninth verse to the end of the sixteenth chapter.” Norton says that though the text does not have any signs to arouse doubt, the so-called verses were inserted in its interpretation, and gives a series of evidences to prove it, and then states: “When we study the habits of the scribes, who copied from the books, we see that they tried to insert their own ideas into the texts rather than trying to understand and write the paragraphs. When this fact is known, it will be understood why the paragraphs in the Bible are doubtful.”

The Gospel attributed to John does not have a sound document of transmission, either. Like Mark’s Gospel, it contains ambiguous and contradictory paragraphs that need scrutiny. For example:

First, this Gospel does not contain any evidence to prove that John wrote what he had seen. A judgement will remain valid unless it is proven to the contrary.

Second, it is stated in the twenty-fourth verse of the twenty-first chapter of John, “This is the disciple [John] which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.” (John: 21-24) As is seen, this statement about John belongs to the scribe that wrote John’s Gospel. In this verse John is mentioned with the third person (absent) pronoun ‘his’, and the scribe who wrote (fabricated) the book mentions himself with the pronoun ‘we’, which signifies the author. This comes to mean that the author of John’s Gospel is someone other than John. The author claims to have knowledge of the trueness of John’s testimony. In conclusion, the man that wrote this Gospel obtained possession of some of John’s epistles and wrote this book after rendering some excisions and additions.

Third, in the second century of the Christian era, when controversies and objections as to the authenticity of John’s Gospel appeared, Iranaeus, a pupil of Polycarpe who was a disciple of John, was still alive. Why did he not answer the objectors by proving the authenticity of the Gospel he had transmitted by documents? If his transmission (the Gospel of John taught by him) had been true, he would have cried out and said, “My transmission is true.” The predication that “the matter of authenticity should not have been discussed between Polycarpe and his pupil Iranaeus” would be far from factual. Would it have been logically possible for Iranaeus not to have learned anything about the authenticity of the Gospel they were reading by at least asking, “Is this Gospel John’s?”, while asking and learning about many useless matters from his master? His having forgotten would be an even weaker probability. For Iranaeus is well-known for full cognizance of his master’s way and habits and his strong memory to keep well what he learned. Eusebius (of Caesaria), in the two hundred and nineteenth page of the twentieth chapter of the fifth book of his history, which was published in 1263 [A.D. 1847], quotes Iranaeus’ statements about the languages in which John’s Gospel was transmitted, as follows: “As a bestowment of Allâhu ta’âlâ, I heard and memorized these words. I did not write them down. This has been my habit since long ago. Thus I have been saying and reciting what I learned.” As is seen, the Gospel was denied even in the second century and such denials could not be answered by proving its authenticity. Celsus, a Christian scholar, cried out in the second Christian century that “Christians changed their Bible in a manner as to defile its meaning three to five times or even more.” Faustus, an outstanding Manichaen scholar, said in the fourth Christian century, “Changes were made in Biblical books. It is true. The Old Testament was not compiled by Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ or by the Apostles. It was represented in the name of evangelists or their colleagues with a view to gaining popularity. Books containing many errors and paradoxes were published and thus Christians were hurt.”

Fourth, Herald, a Catholic, citing from an editor named Estadlen in the two hundred and fiftieth page of the seventh volume of his book published in 1844, states that he does not doubt the fact that John’s Gospel was written by one of the pupils of the Alexandrian school.

Fifth, Bretschneider says that John’s Gospel, or John’s epistles, does not belong to John as a whole, and that it may have been written by an anonymous scribe in the second century, [Bretschneider (1776-1848) was a German Protestant theologist who wrote a book to criticize the Bible].

Sixth, Cirdinius said that “John’s Gospel had twenty chapters. Later the twenty-first chapter was added by the church of Ephesus.”

Seventh, this Gospel of John, together with all its contents, was rejected by the group of Alogience in the second Christian century.

Eighth, eleven verses at the beginning of the eighth chapter of John’s Gospel have been rejected by all Christian men of knowledge.

Ninth, during the compilation of the four Gospels, many erroneous transmissions without any documents were inserted into them. These transmissions do not even have any documents to testify the authenticity of the existing four Gospels. Thomas Hartwell states in the second chapter of the fourth volume of his interpretation published in 1237 [A.D. 1822], “The information reaching us concerning the times of edition of the Gospels is insufficient and inconclusive. It gives us no help as to the dependability of the Gospels. The early Christian men of religion continued to write wrong transmissions that they accepted and took for granted. Their successors, because of the respect they felt for them, unanimously accepted their writings without even considering whether they were true or not. Thus, all these careless and superficial transmissions passed from one scribe to another, from one version to another, and reached our time. And now, after so many centuries, it is very difficult to purify the Gospels of wrong tranmissions.” He says in the same volume, “The first Gospel, i.e. Matthew’s Gospel, was edited in the thirty-seventh, thirty-eighth, forty-first, forty-seventh, sixty-first, sixty-second, sixty-third, sixty-fourth or sixty-fifth years of the Christian era, and the second Gospel, i.e. the Gospel of Mark, was edited in the fifty-sixth year of the Christian era or in some year before the sixty-fifth year. According to a more dependable view, it was edited in the sixieth or sixty-third year. The third Gospel, the Gospel of Luke, was edited in the fifty-third, sixty-third or sixty-fourth years of the Christian era, and the Gospel of John in the sixty-eighth, sixty-ninth, seventieth or ninety-eighth years.” There is no document or proof to testify that the epistle to the Hebrews and the second epistle of Peter and the second and third epistles of John and the epistle of Jacob and the epistle of Judah and the Revelation of John were transmitted by the Apostles. Their soundness was doubtful until the year 365. Some of their parts were rejected as erroneous by Christian religious scholars preceding that time. In fact, the versions translated into the Syrian language do not contain those parts. All the Arab churches rejected the soundness [authenticity] of the second epistle of Peter, the second and third epistles of John, the epistle of Judah and the Revelation of John. Horn, a Biblical scholar, says in the two hundred and sixth and two hundred and seventh pages of the second book of his interpretation, “Peter’s epistle, Judah’s epistle, the second and the third epistles and the Revelation of John, the nine verses from the second verse to the eleventh verse of the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John and the seventh verse of the fifth chapter of the first book of John never existed in the Syriac copies of the Bible.” This means to say that the translator, who wrote the Syriac version, knew that the sections we have just mentioned could not be documents for an authentic religious principle, and did not translate these parts which he noticed during translation. Ward, a Catholic, in the thirty-seventh page of his book published in 1841, quotes Rogers, a Protestant, as saying, “Because the Hebrew epistle contradicted the creed taught in the epistle of Jacob, in the second and third epistles of John and in his Revelation, the ecclesiastical authorities excised these epistles from the Holy Bible.” Dactrice states that, till the time of Josneys not every book was accepted as authentic, and insists that the epistle of Jacob, the epistle of Judah, the second epistle of Peter, the second and third epistles of John did not contain information compiled and written by the Apostles. He adds that, “The Hebrew epistle was rejected until a certain time, and the second and third epistles of Peter, the Revelation of John and the epistle of Judah were not accepted as authentic by the Syrian and Arabian churches; yet we take them for granted, that is, we accept them as authentic.”

Dr. Nathaniel Lardner, a Christian Biblical scholar, states in the hundred and seventy-fifth page of the fourth book of his interpretation, “The book of Revelations of John was not accepted as authentic by Serl and his contemporary Orshilim, that is, by the church of Jerusalem. The index of the book ‘Canon’, written by Serl, does not even contain the name of this book.” He gives more detailed information in the three hundred and twenty-third page, and writes, “The Revelation of John does not exist in the Syrian translations of the early Gospels. They do not contain any marginal notes written on them by such editors as Webar Hiberios or Jacob. Also, Waybidiscou did not include the second epistle of Peter, the second and third epistles of John, the Revelation of John or the epistle of Judas in his index of books. The Syrians are of the same opinion.”

Herald, a Catholic, says in the two hundred and sixth page of the seventh volume of his book: “As Raus states in the hundred and sixtieth page of his book, most of the notables of the Protestant church do not accept the authenticity of John’s Revelations.” Prof. Rabwald states, “John’s Gospel and John’s epistles and Revelations cannot have been written by the same person,” and proves this by strong documentation. Vivisbius, quoting from Webunisicheen in the twenty-fifth chapter of the seventh volume of his ‘History’, says that the early priests tried to excise the Revelations of John from the Holy Bible, and adds: “This book of Revelations is thoroughly nonsensical. It is quite wrong to attribute it to John, who was one of the Apostles. It is ignorance and being unaware of the facts. The person who wrote it was neither an apostle nor a follower of the Messiah, nor was he a pious person. Perhaps this book of Revelations was written by a Roman named Sern Tehsin (Cerinhac) and was attributed to John.” Further on he says, “But I do not have the capacity to excise this book, i.e. John’s Revelations, from the Holy Bible. For thousands of our Christian brothers revere this John. I confirm that the person who wrote this book had inspirations. But I do not admit that he was the Apostle John, who was the brother of James, an apostle, and the son of Zebedee and the author of the Gospel of John. It is inferrable from his words and manners that he was not an apostle. Nor is the person who wrote the book of Revelations the same John mentioned in the Book of Acts, which tells about the The Acts of The Apostles. For he never went to the country of Isaiah. The person who wrote that Gospel was another John, who was an inhabitant of Isaiah. Again, as is inferred from the paragraphs and expressions in the Gospel of John, in the epistles and in the Revelations, John, who is the editor of John’s Gospel and the epistles, is not the same John who compiled the Book of Revelations. For the paragraphs in the Gospel and in the epistles are well arranged and have a smooth language in Greek. They do not contain erroneous expressions. The case is not so with the discourse in the Book of Revelations; it is written in a queer, unusual style unwonted in Greek. John the Apostle does not mention his name overtly in his Gospel and epistles; he writes of himself as ‘the speaker’ or in the third person singular. He directly gets into the matter under question without giving lengthy information of himself. As for the author of Revelations; he uses quite a different style. For example, the first verse of the first chapter of John’s Revelations reads as follows: ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:’ (Rev: 1-1) The ninth verse reads as follows: ‘I, John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, ...’ (Rev: 1-9) The eighth verse of the twenty-second chapter reads as follows: ‘And I John saw these things, and heard them. ...’ (Rev: 22-8) As is seen, these verses, unlike the style followed by the Apostles, mention the speaker’s name clearly. If it is suggested that unlike his past habit, he (John) might have mentioned his name clearly here in order to make his people know about him, the following answer is appropriate: If his purpose had been so, he should have written the nickname and title belonging to him. For example, he should have used such expressions as, ‘I am John, the brother of James and the son of Zebedee and the beloved disciple of the Messiah.’ Avoiding mentioning his own qualification and differentiating himself from other people, he used such expressions as ‘your brother’, ‘who saw these things,’ etc. Our purpose here is not to make fun of reasonable people, but to clarify the distinction between the styles of expression and writing of the two people.” Here we end our quotation from Vivisbius.

Again, it is written in the third chapter of the third book of the history of Eusebius, “The first epistle of Peter is authentic. But his second epistle cannot be from the Holy Bible. Paul’s fourteen epistles are real. But some people excised his epistles to the Hebrew’s from the Holy Bible.” Eusebius states in the twenty-fifth chapter of his same book that there is disagreement on the epistle of Jacob, the epistle of Judas, the second epistle of Peter, and the second and third epistles of John, and that their real authors are unknown. Eusebius says in the twenty-fifth chapter of the sixth book of this same history, “Airgin’s account of the epistle to the Hebrews is as follows: This epistle, which is very popular among the Christians, was written by some Gulnaht in Shab-i-Rûm. Some people said that it was translated by Luke.” Irenaeus (140-220), an early theologian, Polinius, one of the dignitaries in 220, and Pontius, in 251, rejected the epistle to the Hebrews entirely. Tortilin Bersper of Carthage, one of the dignitaries of A.D. 200, says: “The Hebrew epistle belongs to Barnabas.” Kis Bertsper Rûm, one of the notables of 212, says: “The epistles of Paul are virtually thirteen; the fourteenth, the Hebrew epistle, is not one of them.” Saey Pern Bashb of Carthage, in 248, did not even mention the name of this epistle. The Syrian church has not accepted, so far, the authenticity of the second epistle of Peter and the second and third epistles of John. Aiscalcen, a notable Christian, says: “The person who wrote the second epistle of Peter wasted his time by doing so.” It is written as follows in the Biblical History published in 1266 [A.D. 1850]: “A writer named Critius says that the epistle of Judas belongs to John, who was the fifteenth usquf (priest) of Jerusalem during the reign of Aydernick.” [Usquf: a ranking clergy responsible for reading the Bible.] Airgin, an early writer who interpreted the Gospel of John, says in the fifth book of this interpretation of his: “Paul did not write epistles to every church; and the epistles he wrote to some churches consisted of a few lines.” As is inferred from this statement of Airgin’s, none of the epistles said to be Paul’s belongs to him; all of them belong to some other writer, but are attributed to him. The second chapter of the epistle that Paul wrote to Galatians contains the following statements, from the eleventh verse to the sixteenth verse: “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” “For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.” “And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.” “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,” “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesust Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians: 2-11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

Because the initial part of these statements contradicts the final part, one of the parts, (that is, either the beginning part or the final part), must have been added afterwards. For, although Paul writes in the beginning of his epistle [eleventh verse] how he scolded Peter in Antioch, the guilt he blamed him for was his eating with other people, i.e. pagans, which was against Jewish customs. [Supposing it were not an insolence for him to direct the insults we have mentioned above towards such a person as Peter, who had been inspired by the Holy Spirit and served the Messiah.] In fact, his scolding him was based on the following reasoning: “A Jew as you are, you slight the commandments of your religion like pagans. How can you have the face to call them to (follow) the Jewish canon?” But after this (reasoning) Paul changes his course and begins to explain the futility of the canonical commandments. In the third chapter, after long discourse on the needlessness of worships, he says that he has entirely adapted himself to the canonical laws of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. As a matter of fact, the seventeenth to the twenty-sixth verses of the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Acts read as follows: “And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.” “And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.” “And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.” “And when they heard it, they grorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law;” “And they are informed of these, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.” “What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.” “Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;” “Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.” “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.” “Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.” (The Acts: 21-17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26)

As seen, Paul, who kept saying that “The body will not be clean by (following) the canon. Though accursed for us, the Messiah has saved us from the commandments of the canon,” follows the old people’s advice, adapts himself to the canon by cleaning himself and enters the temple.

Three verses from Paul’s epistle tell us a few subtle facts about the mysteries of Christianity:

First: It was rumoured among the Jews believing the Messiah that Paul was saying, “Circumcision is unnecessary.” This comes to mean that the Jews, who had believed Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ on condition that they would not desist from the canon of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, did not approve the changing of the canonical laws of Mûsâ ‘alaihis-salâm.’

Second: At that time it was not considered important whether the canonical laws would continue to exist. The person, who was one of the apostles of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, said, “The people must be gathered together whatever the cost;” hence it is inferred that his real purpose was to bring the people together in their own religion by using all sorts of methods. This suggestion, which an apostle of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ had the courage to make to Paul only in order to bring the people together, betrays the basis on which Christianity was founded.

Third: Papias, who was the bishop of Hirapulius towards the middle of the second Christian century, referred to two short treatises pertaining to the words and acts of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’. One of them is a treatise by Mark, who was the interpreter of the Apostle Peter, the other is Matthew’s treatise, a compilation of Hebrew commandments and rules. Papias stated that the treatise belonging to Mark was very short, inadequate, not written in chronological order, consisting of some stories and traditions. This signifies that, in the middle of the second century, Matthew and Mark had a treatise each; Papias saw them and wrote about them, describing them and pointing out the differences between them.

As for the Gospels of Matthew and Mark existing today; they are quite alike, both being detailed in such a manner as if they were copied from each other. It is apparent that these are not the versions seen by Papias and that those versions were later enlarged by additions.

On the other hand, Papias never mentioned the Gospels of Luke and John. Papias, who was in Hirapulius and, naturally, met John’s disciples and learned some facts from them, did not even say a single word about the Gospel of John. This fact shows that the Gospel of John was written some time afterwards.