We continue our examination of Zaataris debate points.
As if he couldnt get anymore confused Zaatari went on to say:
"And secondly, you act like there were no Jews who converted to Jesus. History shows us that there were several early Jewish Christians who believed that Jesus was simply a prophet [sic] and a Messiah. You seem to act like every single Jew denies him when thats not the case."
Does Zaatari mean Jews like Peter and John, both of whom preached that Christ is the exalted Lord of all, who died on the cross and rose again on the third day, all of which the Quran denies? The same ones who taught that Christ is the Author of Life and that forgiveness of sins comes through believing in his name?
"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his flesh see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:22-24, 29-36
"One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayerat three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, Look at us! So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the Author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways." Acts 3:1-16, 26
"You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosenby us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." Acts 10:36-43
"After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." Acts 15:7-11
Is Zaatari referring to these same Jews?
Zaatari went to attack the character of Peter for telling Jesus he would never deny him but ended up doing so anyway in order to reject his testimony concerning Pauls letters in 2 Peter 3:15-16. But wasnt this the same Peter who confessed that Jesus is the Christ in a passage which Zaatari sourced to prove that Jesus did claim to be the Messiah (cf. Matt. 16:15-20)? That same Peter?(1)
As if he couldnt get any more desperate and dishonest, when Ruggiero in his closing statements noted that Peter in Matthew 16:15-20 testified that Jesus is the Son of the Living God Zaatari started singing a different tune and sought to discredit Matthews testimony by appealing to Mark 8 to prove that Peter didnt say that Jesus is Gods Son, but only confessed that he was the Messiah!
"Okay, something which I find a bit nice is that when you quote Jesus said, I am the Son of the Living God etc., you quote from Matthew. Why dont you quote from Mark which came before Matthew? Do you know why Christians dont quote Mark? Because when we read Mark 8:29, the same story, this is what Mark says, and Mark came before Matthew: And Jesus said unto them, "But who do you say I am?" And Peter said, "Thou art the Christ," full stop. No term called the Son of the Living God! Why is that? I dont know why, why do Christians quote Matthew but not Mark who came before Matthew where theres no mention of the Son of the Living God? That brings more question marks."
In the first place, Zaatari must suffer from amnesia since he was the one who sourced Matthew 16:15-20 in his opening statements! It is obvious that this deceiver will say anything in order to save face and win a debate.
Moreover, Zaatari conveniently overlooked the fact that right after Mark quotes Peter,
"But what about you? he asked. Who do you say I am? Peter answered, You are the Christ. Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him." Mark 8:29-30
He goes on to write the following:
"He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. Get behind me, Satan! he said. You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in HIS Father's glory with the holy angels." Mark 8:31-38
"And he said to them, I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power. After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three sheltersone for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him! Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what rising from the dead meant. Mark 9:1-10
We have already discussed what it means for Jesus to be the Son of Man, so there is no need to repeat that specific point. We want to draw our readers attention to Jesus statement that he will come in his Fathers glory, and also to God testifying that Jesus is his beloved Son, which is in complete agreement with Matthews Gospel.
Mark also records the confession of the demons that Jesus is Gods Son:
"Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, You are the Son of God. But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was." Mark 3:11-12
"They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me! For Jesus had said to him, Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" Mark 5:1-8
The foregoing makes it abundantly clear that there is nothing sinister going on with Matthew providing additional details in his version of the pericope that Mark, for whatever reason, omitted or didnt record. After all, they both affirm that Jesus is the beloved Son of God and the Son of Man that rides the clouds and comes with the angels, the One who would be killed and then be raised back to life. Thus, the only way that Matthews expansion of Peters confession would be an actual problem is if Zaatari could prove that Peter never said it, which he cannot.
Another way that Zaatari could establish his point is to show where Mark denies the Deity of Christ or that Jesus is Gods unique and beloved Son, which he cannot do since Mark affirms both of these revealed truths. Moreover, even if Mark did deny these facts this still wouldnt conclusively prove that Matthew forged Peters confession, but would only show that Mark decided to omit Peters testimony in order to suit his theological agenda.
In light of the preceding, it is obvious that Zaataris response was nothing more than a desperate attempt of saving face since he realized that he made a huge mistake in referencing Matthew 16 to prove his position.
There are other points that Zaatari raised which, if the Lord Jesus wills, we will address in the near future.
(1) When Ruggiero mentioned prophets such as Moses who murdered a man, or David who committed adultery and murdered the husband to cover up his sin, as examples of people whom God still used in spite of their wickedness, Zaatari rants that this is comparing apples with pineapples and asks,
"Now, are you telling me Peter would lie directly to Gods face? Would Peter run away from God? Thats a huge difference between Moses killing a man and a man directly lying to God. If God was in front of you today would you run away from him when he is being attacked? So you cant compare those two those incidents with Peter. So obviously it also proves another point that Peter didnt believe Jesus is God because who would lie directly to Gods face when hes sitting beside you? Who would tell God, Id die for you, and then run away from him? Who would run away from God? Thats what you have to think about. Does Peter really believe that Jesus is God? If he did why did he run away from him? So therefore even if he endorsed Paul for believing Jesus is God it means nothing because he himself didnt believe Jesus is God. Its ironic, were assuming Paul teaches Jesus is God, Peter endorses Paul, and yet Peter runs away from God. It doesnt add up. Peter obviously didnt believe Jesus is God. If Paul taught that Jesus is God and Peter endorses Paul then obviously something doesnt make sense."
If the logic of this amateur apologist were sound then this means that Yahweh cannot be God since Sarah lied to his face:
"Then the LORD said, I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son. Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure? Then the LORD said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh and say, "Will I really have a child, now that I am old?" Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son. Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, I did not laugh. But he said, Yes, you did laugh." Genesis 18:10-15
The Quran narrates something similar:
Our messengers came to Abraham with the good tidings; they said, 'Peace!' 'Peace,' he said; and presently he brought a roasted calf. And when he saw their hands not reaching towards it, he was suspicious of them and conceived a fear of them. They said, 'Fear not; we have been sent to the people of Lot.' And his wife was standing by; she laughed, therefore We gave her the glad tidings of Isaac, and, after Isaac, of Jacob. She said, 'Woe is me! Shall I bear, being an old woman, and this my husband is an old man? This assuredly is a strange thing.' They said, 'What, dost thou marvel at God's command? The mercy of God and His blessings be upon you, O people of the House! Surely He is All-laudable, All-glorious.' S. 11:69-73 Arberry
And Jonah thought he could actually run away from God:
"The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me. But Jonah RAN AWAY FROM THE LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish TO FLEE FROM THE LORD. Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish. Then the sailors said to each other, Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity. They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you? He answered, I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land. This terrified them and they asked, What have you done? (They knew he was RUNNING AWAY FROM THE LORD, because he had already told them so.) The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us? Pick me up and throw me into the sea, he replied, and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you. Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried to the LORD, O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man's life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased. Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him. But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights." Jonah 1:1-17
Even Zaataris own false prophet confirmed this story of Jonah fleeing:
And (remember) Dhan-Nun (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (i.e. the calamites which had befallen him)! But he cried through the darkness (saying): La ilaha illa Anta [none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah)], Glorified (and Exalted) are You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers." So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allah, abstain from evil and work righteousness). S. 21:87-88 Hilali-Khan
So also was Jonah among those sent (by Us). When HE RAN AWAY (like a slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden, He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned: Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame. Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified God, He would certainly have remained inside the Fish till the Day of Resurrection. But We cast him forth on the naked shore in a state of sickness, And We caused to grow, over him, a spreading plant of the gourd kind. And We sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more. And they believed; so We permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while. S. 37:139-148 Y. Ali
So wait with patience for the Command of thy Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish, - when he cried out in agony. Had not Grace from his Lord reached him, he would indeed have been cast off on the naked shore, in disgrace. Thus did his Lord choose him and make him of the Company of the Righteous. S. 68:48-50 Y. Ali
Now Zaatari may have a point since Allah of the Quran is a false god whom Muhammad deceived the people into thinking was the same true God of the Holy Bible. So it makes perfect sense that Jonah would run away from Muhammads idol since this inspired prophet would have known that the Allah of Zaataris false messenger was definitely not God.
Moreover, the Quran says Allah is the greatest liar and deceiver there is (*), and that Muhammad himself lied and acted the hypocrite in front of people:
A man asked permission to enter upon the Prophet. When the Prophet saw him, he said, "What an evil brother of his tribe! And what an evil son of his tribe!" When that man sat down, the Prophet behaved with him in a nice and polite manner and was completely at ease with him. When that person had left, 'Aisha said (to the Prophet). "O Allah's Apostle! When you saw that man, you said so-and-so about him, then you showed him a kind and polite behavior, and you enjoyed his company?" Allah's Apostle said, "O 'Aisha! Have you ever seen me speaking a bad and dirty language? (Remember that) the worst people in Allah's sight on the Day of Resurrection will be those whom the people leave (undisturbed) to be away from their evil (deeds)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 59o)
By acting in a polite and nice manner, and yet speaking evil of this specific individual behind his back, Muhammad was being two-faced according to his own teachings:
XXVII. What is disliked of praising the ruler and then saying something else after leaving him
6756. Muhammad ibn Zayd ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar said, "Some people said to Ibn Umar, We visit our rulers and speak to them differently to what we say when we leave them. He said, We used to consider this hypocrisy."
[Commentators say that the ruler in question was al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf]
6757. Irak related from Abu Hurayra that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "The worst of people is the two-faced who comes to these people with one face and to others with another." (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, 97. The Book of Judgements; source)
And didnt Muhammad even allow Muslims to deny their faith in the face of death, under duress?
Any one who, after accepting faith in God, utters Unbelief, - except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from God, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty. S. 16:106 Y. Ali
Why, then, does Zaatari take anything these liars and hypocrites say concerning Jesus, or any other prophet? If Peter cant be trusted then surely nothing that Muhammad says can be accepted, especially in light of his assertion that his god is a greater deceiver and conniver than Satan himself!
As far as Peter is concerned, Zaatari erroneously assumes that he was automatically lying as opposed to simply being mistaken, even though he had every intention of remaining true to Christ. After all, wasnt Peters first reaction at Christs arrest to take out and attack with his sword in defense of his master?
"Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Am I leading a rebellion, said Jesus, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled. Then everyone deserted him and fled." Mark 14:47-50
"Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) Jesus commanded Peter, Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" John 18:10-11
And isnt it possible, in fact quite common, that peoples views and stances change depending on the circumstances? Isnt it therefore possible that Peters position changed once he saw that Jesus would not allow his followers to defend him, which would have caused Peter to think that the only chance he had of surviving was to run away and deny Christ (as mistaken as that course of action was)?
Moreover, Peters denials all occurred before he was empowered by the Holy Spirit. According to the NT, once Jesus ascended and poured out the Spirit upon his followers Peter became one of the boldest witnesses for Christ, facing imprisonment, torture and eventually death for the Gospel of Christ:
"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him." Acts 2:1-4, 14, 22-24
"The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: By what power or what name did you do this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is "the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone." Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. What are we going to do with these men? they asked. Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name. Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old. On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them." Acts 4:1-23
"Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. Go, stand in the temple courts, he said, and tell the people the full message of this new life. At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrinthe full assembly of the elders of Israeland sent to the jail for the apostles. But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside. On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this. Then someone came and said, Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people. At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them. Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, he said. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood. Peter and the other apostles replied: We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the deadwhom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." Acts 5:17-32
Finally, Zaataris argument assumes that if Jesus claimed to be God then the apostles like Peter would have necessarily been able to accept or fully comprehend such a claim. He forgets to mention that Jesus followers were seeing a flesh-and-blood human being standing before their very eyes, which would have made it quite difficult for them to believe that he is God and which would have further hindered them from understanding how such a person could make claims or perform deeds that only God can:
"Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, Teacher, don't you care if we drown? He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, Quiet! Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? They were terrified and asked each other, Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" Mark 4:36-41
It would have therefore taken something supernatural for them to completely embrace Jesus Divine claims such as the resurrection.
This, perhaps, explains why the Gospel writers repeat the point that the Apostles were often confused concerning Jesus statements and didnt really understand or believe his words until after his resurrection:
"While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it." Luke 9:43b-45
"Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again. The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about." Luke 18:31-34
"While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, Peace be with you. They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, Do you have anything here to eat? They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day," Luke 24:36-46
"Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days. The Jews replied, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days? But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken." John 2:19-22
"The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel! Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt. At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him." John 12:12-16
"Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him! So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)" John 20:1-9
So much for Zaataris ad hominems and red herrings.
Rebuttals to Sami Zaatari
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