A CLARIFICATION AND RESPONSE TO TONY COSTA’S COMMENTS ON MIDRASH IN PAUL’S WRITINGS
By Sadat Anwar
I appreciate Tony Costa’s response to my review of his recent presentation at an interfaith symposium in Toronto. Here are three quick points I would like to immediately clarify before moving on to my longer response:
(1) My review was originally intended as a private email to some friends; it was hastily edited by me and uploaded to the MDI website. The title “Paul: The Art of Inventing Prophecy” was a quick suggestion from a colleague which in hindsight I should probably not have agreed to, since it does not accurately reflect the points made in the body of my article. The article itself was not necessarily arguing that Paul was the author or originator of the “third day motif”; rather my points can also be understood as arguing or implying that Paul was an accomplice, a participant or even a victim of the miscitation, misuse, and misquoting of Old Testament Scripture. Whether Paul is inventing certain details in 1 Corinthians 15:4 or whether that passage is a wholesale adoption of the wording from an early pre-Pauline Christian creed, my point was that the assertion that the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after his death is prophesied in Old Testament Scripture is inaccurate and thus an error (unless of course we entertain the possibility that the early Christian community and/or Paul were quoting from a portion of the Old Testament that is now lost or corrupted, but I don’t think we want to go there). I do however accept responsibility for the misleading title under which my article was posted and would like to clarify that it is not important as to whether an erroneous prophecy being mentioned in the New Testament is due to the fault of Paul only or some third party.
(2) I regret that the term “BS-ing” remained in the posted version. I firmly believe that we should use the language of respect and civility in public forums and discussions, especially with people of other faiths, and so I apologize to anyone that this expression may have caused offence to.
(3) My reference to Tony as a “master apologist” should not be confused with me accusing him of being dishonest. In the very same review, I stated that Tony was honest enough to admit that there is nothing concrete (that is, explicit) in the Old Testament Scriptures about the Messiah dying and resurrecting on the third day. It takes honesty and courage to admit to this problem. I do however believe that Tony is a skilled and shrewd apologist, which is why he spent a greater amount of time explaining the possible esoteric interpretations of Old Testament passages as per “midrash” hermeneutical techniques that he thought might help to alleviate the problem of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. That is fine, but it no longer remains a “straightforward” answer to my question about the clear and exoteric meaning and implication of Paul’s words— ie. that a concrete and explicit prophecy about Jesus resurrecting on the third day should exist in the Old Testament. I am, of course, able to grasp Tony’s argument that this could have been an instance of a midrashic exegesis of the Old Testament. That is fine. But if we were to apply such subjective forms of exegesis in order to prove our beliefs, we could just as easily find “Ahmad” in the Bible. Or for that matter, Joseph Smith, the Aga Khan, Sai Baba, and so on and so forth. You just have to look hard enough, of course, and it is all there.
Basically then, Tony and I are in agreement about the basic fact that Paul states that Christ was resurrected on the third day “according to the [Old Testament] Scripture”, but that there is nothing concrete and explicit in the Old Testament which states such a prophecy. As to whether there are certain indications and foreshadowing hints that can beinterpreted to refer to a dying Christ who must resurrect on the third day, this is of course for each individual reader to decide based on his or her own reason and judgement. Take Leviticus 23:10, for instance, which Tony cited as an example of the three day resurrection motif in the OT. Could the “firstfruit” of the harvest in Leviticus be a veiled reference to Jesus and his impending death on the cross and subsequent resurrection? Of course it could. But then, the dragon with seven heads and ten horns in the Book of Revelation could also be Barack Obama, couldn’t it? It all depends on how badly you need to find Barack Obama in the Book of Revelation. We can find reasons for why such passages match the people we want them to suit, but we can also find reasons to the contrary.
Let’s return to Leviticus 23, which apparently provides Tony and other Christians with some glimmer of hope in this regard. Consider that the firstfruit of the harvest is actually distinct from the “lamb without blemish” (23:12), which is supposed to be sacrificed as a separate offering on the same day. Is Jesus still the “firstfruit” of the harvest, or is he the “lamb without blemish”? (And what we are to do with the “fine flour”, “bread”, and “wine” also mentioned in these passages I will not ask Tony to elaborate on just now). Also consider that the firstfruit of the harvest and the lamb are offered as a sacrifice on Sunday, not Friday afternoon which is when Jesus was supposed to have died. In other words, the third day motif breaks down when even the midrashic esoteric symbolism of the days from the two sets no longer correspond. In Leviticus, the sacrifice and hence the salvific act is carried out on a Sunday, whereas per Christianity the ultimate salvific act of Jesus’ death is carried out on a Friday. As I understand it, Christians do not believe that their sins are forgiven because “Jesus rose up for us [on Sunday]”, but rather because “Jesus died for us [on Friday].” The belief in the resurrection of Jesus may very well form part of the universal creed that Christians adhere to, but it is not believed to be the cause of forgiveness per se, at least not according to my understanding of this issue (and I am open to correction). Moreover, even if the sacrifice of the firstfruit and the lamb symbolize Jesus’ death, what exactly in Leviticus 23 refers to or symbolizes his resurrection, which was the original point of contention? My question, again, was where in the OT does it say that Jesus must die and be resurrected on the third day?
Again, I concede to Tony that Paul may not have been the inventor of this motif. But to ascribe it to someone else– whether it be the author of the Gospel of Luke (which was of course not written by an eyewitness disciple of Christ), Jesus’ supposed statements (as reported in that same Gospel of Luke), or the primitive Christian community in general from which the creedal statement in 1 Corinthians 15:4 may have been (partially or fully) derived– does not evade the persisting problem that no such explicit prophecy exists anywhere in the Old Testament, as any Jewish scholar will tell you. It is a not-so-straightforward and elliptical answer to tell us that Jewish interpreters saw “salvific ramifications” in Genesis 22:4 where Abraham sees the place of sacrifice on “the third day”. Never mind that Jesus was not sacrificed on the third day and that Isaac (or Ishmael) actually miraculously escaped death (the “miraculous-escape-from-certain-death motif” of Genesis 22 and the Book of Jonah, we should call it!). The real question for Tony would be, which Jewish scholar, especially before Christianity, ever interpreted Genesis 22 as an indication that Israel’s Messiah must be resurrected on the third day after his execution?
We may ask the same question about Hosea 6:2, as well as the Book of Jonah. Where in the Jewish scholarly tradition were these passages viewed as a Messianic prophecy, and specifically as a foreshadowing of the execution and subsequent resurrection of the Messiah on the third day? Also, if chapter six of Hosea can be characterized as a poetic portion of that book, Tony would do well to remember the words of Christian apologist William Lane Craig when he says, “It is an interpretative principle that you cannot use poetic books as a basis of doctrine. Poetry must always be interpreted in light of the didactic or teaching portions of Scripture. It is the nature of poetry to use hyperbole, metaphor, and personification.” Incidentally, Tony will probably agree that the author of Hosea is using either poetic hyperbole or metaphor only three passages later where he writes, “For I desired mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (6:6) Indeed, Hosea 6:2 is an odd passage to choose from in order to try to show the foreshadowing of a human-god sacrifice when only a few sentences later, quite ironically, the Divine Will is expressing a repulsion to sacrifices. It is nothing short of theological gymnastics based on subjective preconceived notions to insist on the literal and theological significance and application of the one passage and not of the other.
In summary, Tony and I can agree that there is no concrete or explicit passage in the Old Testament Scripture that states or in any clear and meaningful way teaches and instructs the Israelites to believe in the future salvific act of the Messiah who will die and resurrect on the third day after his execution, which is in fact why Jews throughout history never held this belief. Tony’s candid admission of this fact is the type of reasonable and academic common ground that interfaith dialogues can meet on, agree on, and develop further dialogue on. Warm feelings and fuzzy hunches about the possible esoteric interpretations of poetic works– for better or for worse– cannot ever perform that same function.
Great reply brother.This is what i liked about this site and iam becoming addicted to this site
What i liked about this article is first brother Sadat offered an apology then in a very clear language explained the verses which tony cited in a great way ,hats off to you brother Sadat.
This site is an example to other sites who are filled with articles just to demonize other religions and putting shallow arguments taking verses out of context ,many a times arguing superficially and are little but useful to people who really want to learn.Thanks M.D.I
One more thing i want to add to the 3 day motif present in the old testament which Tony Costa mentioned .The 3 day motif whenever it has appeared in old testament it always shows that somebody was saved by God !
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him”.God saves Abraham’s son from getting sacrificed
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us;
he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us”. Israel as a nation is saved here by God
God saves Jonah after 3 days 3 nights
So it could be that Jesus might also have been saved by God!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sadat Anwar for the professional and cordial manner in which he wrote this follow up article to my comments. I appreciate his straighforwad admission that he over stepped his case with Paul as the originator of the third day motif. I believe Sadat to be a respectful person who does seek to engage and understand the issues at hand. Thank you Sadat.
Just some brief comments by way of a reply. The third day moif is found in the Old Testament. Jesus applied that third day motif to Himself in Matthew 12:40 and elsewhere, He compared His duration in the tomb to that of Jonah’s duration in the belly of the great fish as 3 days / nights. In many other passages Jesus predicted His resurrection on the “third day” (Mark 8:31 et al). The fulfillment of prophecy was also viewed as being fulfilled in types. Thus Jonah in the belly of the great fish for 3 days / nights was seen as a type or foreshadowing of Jesus duration in the tomb. As I noted, this is the interpretive literary device known as “midrash”. In the rabbinic literature we see this midrash taking place especially when it deals with the 3 day motif:
“The Holy One, blessed be He, never leaves the righteous in distress more than three days.” (Midrash Rabbah – Genesis XCI:7)
“NOW IT CAME TO PASS ON THE THIRD DAY, Israel are never left in dire distress more than three days. For so of Abraham it is written, On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off (ib. XXII, 4). Of Jacob’s sons we read, And he put them all together into ward three days (ib. XLII, 17). Of Jonah it says, And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights (Jonah II, 1). The dead also will come to life only after three days, as it says, On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence (Hos. VI, 2). This miracle also [of Mordecai and Esther] was performed after three days of their fasting, as it is written, Now IT CAME TO PASS ON THE THIRD DAY, THAT ESTHER PUT ON HER ROYAL APPAREL, and she sent and invited Haman to the banquet on the fifteenth of Nisan.” (Midrash Rabbah – Esther IX:2)
I also noted Matthew in his gospel account employs midrashic interpretation. This was an acceptable interpretive method to Jews before and following the first century. We have to be open about these facts and not assume that prophecy had to always be directly specific in every case. Jesus also used metaphors and types in His teachings and in His references to the Old Testament.
In point (3) Sadat claims regarding the interprative technique of midrash: “But if we were to apply such subjective forms of exegesis in order to prove our beliefs, we could just as easily find “Ahmad” in the Bible. Or for that matter, Joseph Smith, the Aga Khan, Sai Baba, and so on and so forth. You just have to look hard enough, of course, and it is all there.” We must urge caution here. You can prove anything from any text including the Qur’an. Thus the Ahmadiyyas will claim that the “Ahmad” mentioned in surah 61:6 was really pointing to the founder of their movement Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. Those of the Baha’i’ Faith have also used the Qur’an to prove their points as have the Ismailis. The basic difference here is that Christians believe the New Testament writers to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit and thus their interpretations including midrashic interpretation were divinely revealted. There are no inspired writers today like those of the bibilical writers. The Bible is not a free for all, it must be read in its own historical context with an appreciation for its language.
On Leviticus 23 and the firstfruits, the point that was made was that the “firstfruits” was used metaphorically to refer to the risen Jesus. The idea of the firstfruits was that this part of the harvest was given to God first with a pledge that the rest of the harvest would be offered to God at a later time. This is used metaphorically to point to the future resurrection of Christian believers at a future time which is Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15. Christ of course is the first to be resurrected, hence He is the “firstfruits”. This is Paul’s focus. An important point I think Sadat is missing here is the historical reality of both the death and resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead rest on good historical grounds as acknowledged by the vast majority of New Testament historians and critics. It was this event that transformed the early disciples of Jesus and made them appreciate and read the Scriptures afresh. They didn’t invent the the resurrection of Jesus, they had to contend with its reality.
Sadat also makes the claim about: “the author of the Gospel of Luke (which was of course not written by an eyewitness disciple of Christ) and “Jesus’ supposed statements (as reported in that same Gospel of Luke)”. Luke admits he was not an eyewitness but that he consulted with the eyewitnesses and the leaders of the early Christian community (Luke 1:1-4). Luke is writing when the eyewitnesses are alive. By comparison, when the ahadith collectors such as Bukhari and Muslim were collecting the sayings and deeds of Muhammad they were doing so over two centuries after Muhammad. To speak of “Jesus supposed statements” is to judge a priori that Sadat has made up his mind already and has dismissed the New Testament documents as reliable texts. I would recommend the important book by Richard Baukham “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”. On what basis does Sadat dismiss these texts like Luke? By the same standard, how does Sadat know that what Bukhari says Muhammad said is that Muhammad actually said? How does he know the ‘isnad’ is reliable? I think we need to be consistent with each other and with each other’s texts.
That the Jews saw a link with Hosea 6:2 and resurrection (of humanity) can be seen in the quote from the Mishnah above which I cited. There was no concept of a dying and rising Messiah in first century Judaism. The point however is that the early Christians came to believe Jesus was the Messiah and that His ultimate vindication was His resurrection from the dead. I also argued that the third day motif also has a historical core, i.e., Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. Once again, the one who made the allusion to the third day and its conncection to the resurrection was Jesus Himself. The disciples accepted this and passed it on to Paul as well. Sadat quotes William Craig on poetry but he does not cite the reference to Craig’s work. It would be helpful for Sadat to provide the reference. Some poetic books such as the Psalms can and have been used to teach doctrine. Even Jesus used the Psalms (a poetic book) to prove His messianic status as a point of doctrine (Matthew 22:43-46). I never said Hosea 6:2 was the direct source of the third day motif in the New Testament but only that it “is never quoted in the New Testament but it may have been understood messianically by early Christians.” The reference to God wanting mercy but not sacrifice (Hosea 6:6) as an argument that God was repulsed by sacrifice is a misrepresentation of the text. It is clear that Hosea is addressing a people who have forgotten the heart of God’s law which is mercy but thought that by their religious acts (sacrificing, going to the temple, etc) they were still fine with God. Like many people today who think God is pleased with mere outward rituals but are spiritually defiled in their hearts, God is calling a rebellious people back to inspect their hearts and realize that they need to get back to the basics which is first an internal spiritual reconclilliation with God. Note Hosea 8:13: “Though they offer sacrifices as gifts to me, and though they eat the meat, the LORD is not pleased with them. Now he will remember their wickedness and punish their sins: They will return to Egypt.”
While Sadat is correct that the Jews have not accepted the idea of the Messiah dying and rising again, it does not logically follow from this that Jesus is not the Messiah. On Sadat’s reasoning, Christians and Muslims should forsake Jesus as the Messiah because the Jews did not believe He was the Messiah (In the Qur’an “al-masih” is never defined or explained but appears almost as a mere title for Jesus with no explanation). On the contrary, Jesus came as the promised Messiah and He did not fulfill the picture of the Messiah which first century Jews had, but the consensus and ideas of men are not the ideas of God who surpasses them. Jesus was the Messiah and He elaborated what His mission as Messiah was to be. This being the case, it is incumbent for us to hear what and how Jesus defined Himself and His mission. Once again, the idea of the Messiah rising from the dead on the third day originated with one person: Jesus of Nazareth.
Tony said “Christ of course is the first to be resurrected, hence He is the “firstfruits”.”.Sorry to say this but before Christ people were ressurected
1) “Then Elisha died and was buried. Groups of Moabite raiders used to invade the land each spring. Once when some Israelites were burying a man, they spied a band of these raiders. So they hastily threw the body they were burying into the tomb of Elisha. But as soon as the body touched Elisha’s bones, the dead man revived and jumped to his feet!”(2 Kings 13, verses 20-21)
2)Jesus himself raised Lazarus (John 11)
So Jesus is not the first to be ressurected and obviously not the first fruit .
Also Tony you have not answered the contentions put forward by Sadat you just said the same thing that the 3 day motif is present in the old testament .Sadat clearly showed that even if we take the 3 day motif into account the comparison to Christ crashes as first fruit and lamb without blemish of Leviticus 23 are offered on Sunday or day 3 not on Friday as was with Christ and nothing in Leviticus 23 symbolizes resurrection.
Then coming onto Hosea 6
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us;
he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us”.
This verse talks about Israel as a nation to repent so that God will restore them and moreover it says God will heal the wounds after he injured .Jesus was not revived instead he died .
Coming on to Jonah here too God revived him and saved him but Jesus died.
So the 3 day motif collapses if applied to Jesus.
“You can prove anything from any text including the Qur’an. Thus the Ahmadiyyas will claim that the “Ahmad” mentioned in surah 61:6 was really pointing to the founder of their movement Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. Those of the Baha’i’ Faith have also used the Qur’an to prove their points as have the Ismail’s”
This is the point which Sadat is driving that you can take anything from any scripture and apply it to anybody and that is what Paul did to the old testament!
“The basic difference here is that Christians believe the New Testament writers to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit and thus their interpretations including midrashic interpretation were divinely revealted. There are no inspired writers today like those of the bibilical writers.”
The people who extrapolate scripture and apply it to anybody also think they are inspired by holy spirit .To consider new testament as a devinely inspired text will be to spit in the face of reason as the scholars unanimously agree that they have been tampered with and are loaded with lots of contradictions and difficulties
“The resurrection of Jesus from the dead rest on good historical grounds as acknowledged by the vast majority of New Testament historians and critics”
There are no good historical grounds on which the ressurection of Jesus is based .The scholars only say it might e that Jesus died as person cannot live for so many years they never consider ressurection to have happened .Even records of Josephus and Tacitus have been said to be altered
I don’t think you understand the difference between the resurrection of Jesus and that of the people you mentioned. Jesus’ resurrection was a return to immortal life where He dies no more. Elisha and Lazarus were raised to life but died again. So the first to rise from the dead to a state of immortality was Jesus and that is why He is “the firstfruits”.
I don;t think you understand what is meant by midrashic interpretation.The origin of the three day motif is Jesus Himself who compared His duration in the tomb with that of Jonah (Matthew 12:40). Please read the texts I supplied from the New Testament gospels where Jesus prophesies His resurrection on the third day. So ultimately, your contention is not against me but against the source of the three day motif which is Jesus of Nazareth. I think He understood the Hebrew Bible better than you and I. You are assuming God “revived” Jonah, the text of Jonah is not even clear that Jonah died. This is pure speculation on your part.
I don’t think you read Sadat’s admission that Paul was not the originator of the third day reference to Jesus. Since I have answered that in my initial response to Sadat I will not repeat it here. Please read carefully what I said. I also think you do not understand the concept of inspiration in terms of the New Testament writers. Your claim “To consider new testament as a devinely inspired text will be to spit in the face of reason as the scholars unanimously agree that they have been tampered with and are loaded with lots of contradictions and difficulties” is simply false on the face of it. Scholars “unanimously agree”?? I think you have to research this more carefully. Your assumption that the New Testament texts have been “tampered” and have “loads of contradictions” indicates that you have dismissed any possible attempt of real dialogue with Christians. I can bring forth scholars who have argued the same way about textual corruption in the Qur’an and contradicitions. Following your logic we should also dismiss the Qur’an as an inspired text because of what these scholars have found. You have to be consistent in your methodology. You cannot use one set of rules for my sacred texts which you will not allow for your own.
Your rejection of the good historical arguments for the death and resurrection of Jesus indicates that you have not researched this area in a serious manner. The evidence in this area is conceded by vast numbers of scholars in the field of New Testament of every stripe.
It’s just the “if the Bible doesn’t say it how I demand it should have been said the Bible is wrong” argument which we hear so often from Islamic apologists.
actually erasmus that pretty much sums up the whole christian interpretation of the Bible – ‘unless you see it our way then it doesn’t exist’.
eg Jesus says to the man who called him ‘good’, why do you call me good only God is good, which means, according to Christians I have spoken to that Jesus is claiming to be God!!
Jesus defined Jonah’s “in the belly of the whale” experience as a prophetic event which prophesied his own three day “in the heart of the earth” experience.
“So Jesus is not the first to be ressurected and obviously not the first fruit .”
Jesus is the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible body which Paul describes in 1 Cor 15. So he is the firstfruits.
Hosea 6 v 2 “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
There is no law which says a prophecy can only have one fulfilment. It is often the case that OT prophecies have more than one fulfilment.
Hosea 6 v 2 “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
This passage from Hosea is not a prophesy. It is a call to repentance. It is violating the meaning of the passage to pretend otherwise.
“eg Jesus says to the man who called him ‘good’, why do you call me good only God is good, which means, according to Christians I have spoken to that Jesus is claiming to be God!!”
You argue to the contrary. Perhaps both sides are arguing from silence as Jesus does not define what he means by the word God as he uses it in this conversation. How do you know, without any further evidence, that he was excluding himself from being the God that he was talking about? You could theoritically talk about yourself to another person in exactly the same way that Jesus did, if that person has never met you or seen you before in his life. It is theoretically possible. I am not claiming that it happens all that often but it is a possibility.
no so. The Jews had a clear understanding that God was not a man. No Jew walking around Jerusalem would ever had entertained the pagan idea that a god became a man. And Jesus did not disabuse him of this belief. In its cultural and religious setting ie Second Temple Judaism Jesus would definitely come across as a humble Jew. Here’s the passage again:
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments:
As a humble Jew Jesus recognises that the attribute of goodness is found perfectly in God alone, not in himself.
That this passage caused embarrassment to later gospel writers (who used Mark’s gospel when compiling their own gospels) is evident from the changes they made to Jesus’ words by removing his denial that he is good
Here is Matthew’s altered version in 19:17 (compare this with Marks original)
And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ (Instead of Mark’s original ‘why do you call me good?’)
I recommend the book ‘Jesus and the Constraints of History‘ by acclaimed NT scholar (and Christian) A. E. Harvey
“I don’t think you understand the difference between the resurrection of Jesus and that of the people you mentioned. Jesus resurrection was a return to immortal life where He dies no more. Elisha and Lazarus were raised to life but died again”
Tony i want to bring your kind attention to Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”.This verse clearly says that men die only once.So Elisha , Lazarus and saints of Matthew have resurrected before Christ and could not die again according to Hebrews so they are the ‘first fruits’.
More over even if i agree with you that Jesus is the ‘first fruit’ of resurrection then he should be offered again as in Leviticus 23 first fruits are offered and Jesus becomes first fruit after resurrection not before it .
Coming onto the 3 day motif i said it collapses even if we read in the ‘midrashic’ way if we see the way how it is used in the old testament .Then coming on to Jonahs 3 days and nights i said Jonah survived in the belly of whale which clearly can be appreciated from the Bible whereas Jesus died so Jonahs 3 day and night contention also is not applicable to Jesus
“I can bring forth scholars who have argued the same way about textual corruption in the Quran ”
The Quran stands free from any corruption said by nearly all Scholars dealing with Jama-al- Quran both Sunni and Shia alike since the earliest beginnings of Islam century after century that to not just like that but after through research.Orientalist who have delved into this topic almost all baring 1 or 2 agree on this .Tampering with Quran is not proved academically .Whereas majority of the new testament scholars agree with the tampering of new testament and it is proved academically
“Your rejection of the good historical arguments for the death and resurrection of Jesus indicates that you have not researched this area in a serious manner. The evidence in this area is conceded by vast numbers of scholars in the field of New Testament of every stripe.”
As i told you scholars agree to death of Jesus only on the fact that he could not live 2000yr but they do not attest to resurrection .Death and resurrection of Christ is not a historical approved fact as only new testament speaks of it that to in a way which can hardly be said reliable as obvious by the passion narratives of the gospels .Outside new testaments there is absolutely dearth of evidence of death and resurrection of Jesus and Josephus and Tacitus account is said to be tampered with.
There are many differences between Islam and Christianity. One of the major differences concerns what happened to Jesus at Calvary. Did Jesus die on the cross and rise again on the third day, or did he not? Christians of course believe that he did, while Muslims deny it.One way to compare these claims and counter-claims is to provide a close examination of…
Dear Sadat Anwar,
You posed a good question: “We may ask the same question about Hosea 6:2… Where in the Jewish scholarly tradition were these passages viewed as a Messianic prophecy”?
The answer is that Jewish scholarly tradition generally considers Hosea 6:2 to be a prophecy of the resurrection (see Midrash Rabbah Esther), and also an apocalyptic prophecy (See: Talmud: Sanhedrin 97).
This makes sense because Jewish tradition takes the view that the general resurrection would happen in the time of the Messiah. And the general belief in Judaism, and I think Islam, is that Messiah would eventually die, as Maimonides commented on Isaiah 42:4. Naturally then, what is said about Israel resurrecting in Hosea would apply to the Messiah too if he died before the general resurrection, since he was an Israelite too.
Not only that, but Hosea 6:2, where Israel was killed by a lion and resurrected in three days, was probably based on King Hezekiah, who was the king in Hosea’s time. Hezekiah was similarly severely diseased and miraculously revived in three days of prayer. And rabbi Yehonatan Chipman, commenting on the connection between Hosea 6 and Hezekiah’s healing writes: “Hezekiah, King of Judah at the time of the Assyrian incursion of 721 BCE: [was] a figure renowned for his righteousness, if not a messianic figure…”
Peace – Salam
So in other words, the Jewish tradition generally viewed Hosea 6:2 as Messianic in the sense that it was prophecying events in the time of the Messiah. And naturally when it talks about the Israelites’ resurrection, this would presumably apply to the Messiah.
One objection could be that Hosea 6 is talking about a poetic third day, not a literal one. But I think it allows for either interpretation of “third day”, because king Hezekiah, was restored on the literal third day of his miracle. And the Messiah after all would also be Israel’s king and Rabbi Chipman said Hezekiah could be a prophetic image of the future Messiah.