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The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven.
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done.
On Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts.
As we have also forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation
And deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Amen

Matthew 6:9-13


Introduction



"(23) Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. (24) News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. (25) Large crowds from Galilee, the ten cities, Jerusalem, Judea, and the region across the Jordan river followed him."

"(1) Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, (2) and he began to teach them. He said: (3) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (5) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (7) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (10) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.... (14) You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

"(16) Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Good Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" (17) "Why do you call me good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good, and that is God. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments." (18) "Which ones?" he inquired. Jesus replied, "You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, (19) honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself." (20) "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" (21) Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (22) When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. (23) Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. (24) Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

What distinguishes Christ from all the other prophets and messengers is that, in addition to the revealed words he had uttered, he himself was a word of God; his very person was a message to all humanity, as the Holy Quran had described him in Women (Ch. 4): "The Christ, Jesus son of Mary, is God's messenger and a word He had bestowed upon Mary; is a spirit from Him... (171), and in The Prophets (Ch. 21): "And she who remained a virgin, We blew in her from Our Spirit, and made her and her son a sign to all nations (91)".
 


Christ



Christ comes from the Greek word Xristos, which is the Greek translation of the Aramaic word maseeha (in English: Messiah). And maseeha comes from the verb masaha which means to rub or wipe; and in the cultural context of ancient Syria, to rub or wipe or smear oil on someone's head, i.e. to anoint (which comes from Latin meaning to smear ointment). The smearing of oil is an old Mesopotamian tradition to select a chosen one, be it a king or a priest or a saint. Thus, the annointed one means the chosen one, and christ is the Greek translation.

And for the Christ chosen by God, he was mentioned in the Torah, that he would be an Israelite from the House of David, peace be upon him, and that he shall come in the end of days, before Judgment Day, to settle the battle between good and evil once and for all, when the believers would conclusively defeat the disbelievers, and peace would reign all over the world. After that people will be reincarnated and judged for what they have done. Moreover, the belief in the coming of the Christ is one of the Jewish 13 principles of faith, according to the greatest authority among all Jewish rabbis of all time: Maimonides.

Jesus

The word, Jesus, comes from Greek. And according to Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary, it originally comes from the Hebrew name Hoshea (mentioned in Numbers 13:8), in which Moses, peace be upon him, changed it to Yehoshua (verse 16, same book and chapter), which than evolved over time to Yeshua (Joshua). In Greek, however, it was transliterated as Isu, which is where Jesus comes from. The Arabs seem to have transliterated his name once from Aramaic (يسوع "Yesou") and another directly from the Greeks (عيسى "Isa"). Aramaic, the language that Jesus and his disciples spoke in, is still spoken among minority groups in Greater Syria and Iraq, who refer to themselves as Assyrians and/or Chaldeans.

The Birth

Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem in Palestine, son of the virgin Mary (peace be upon her) around the first year of our current era. The year counts is based on the birth of Christ, where BC means before Christ, and AD (Anno Domini) is Latin for "the year of our Lord." The Four authentic Gospels tell us the story of Christ, the miracle of his birth, and how his very existence had become the message spread around the whole world. In the Gospel we learn that Jesus had learned the Torah and had become a rabbi from a very young age, and that his knowledge of the Torah had surpassed the greatest of rabbis, and in his youth he had become a carpenter.

John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit

The biography of Jesus resumes at the age of 33, at the emerging of a very important event: John the Baptist, son of Zacharia and Elizabeth the cousin of Mary the mother of Jesus (peace be upon them), had already been preaching the word of God for some time. Jesus himself was one of John's disciples, as he was baptized by him. All was fine until John was arrested and imprisoned by a Jewish king, who, on one festive night, swore to a girl who had seduced him to grant her any wish, and her wish was to have John's head on a platter. Although afraid of the repercussions of executing John, who had a great following, he was more afraid of losing face in front of his guests and subordinates, and so he granted the girl her wish and John was executed.

The news of John's death was so heavy on Jesus (peace be upon them), that he abandoned people in a deserted place for forty days and nights (where he ate nothing but the flora of the land), during which God had tested him and revealed his message to him through the Holy Spirit, upon which Jesus was finally chosen; the Christ. This is why many Christians fast for 40 days from any animal products, to get closer to God.

The Climax of Events

A great number of his brethren began to follow him, and of his first and closest disciples were the twelve: Matthew, Luke, John, Peter, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James, Thaddius, and Judas; this last one had betrayed Christ for 30 silver coins in a deal with Jewish leaders; set up an ambush for him to get arrested in the middle of the night, after Jesus had crossed all their red lines when he marched onto the Temple of Jerusalem with his followers and turned the tables of the money changers and destroyed the merchandize of businessmen, and gave a speech asking everyone not to follow the rabbis and teachers of the law, calling them hypocrites, disbelievers, and brood of vipers.

Arrest and Verdict

And that's how it was. Judas set Jesus up, who was then arrested and dragged in chains to the Jewish court in the middle of the night, where they found him guilty of blasphemy, heresy, and disbelief, and the verdict was execution. He was beaten and spat on, and dragged between Roman and Jewish courts until Pilates, the Roman ruler in Jerusalem, agreed to crucify him out of fear of a Jewish upheaval or revolt if he did not comply with their request. And he said after washing his hands with water: "I am innocent of this man's blood." And the Jewish crowds assembled before him cried out: "His blood is on us and our descendants till the end of time."

These words were among the many reasons that Christians have hated Jews over centuries and committed massacres against them; massacres that were even condoned by the Holy Church. But the truth is, the divine law says that no man is held accountable for the crimes of their ancestors. Neither Jewish ancestors for killing Christ, nor Christian ancestors for killing Jews. As the Quran said in Women (Ch. 4): "That was a nation past. It shall receive what it had earned and you shall receive what you have earned, and you shall not be held accountable for what they have done (141)". And Christ himself proclaimed as he was being crucified "(34) Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23).

Crucifixion

After he was tortured -- beaten and flogged with metal combs -- he was asked to carry the wooden crucifix he would be crucified on, to add more humiliation to unbearable injury. He fell several times on the way to the hill where he and others were to be crucified. The Roman soldiers struck two nails into the palms of his hands, and a third nail into his feet, then erected the cross vertically. This was one of the most monstrous ways of execution, as the victim is left suspended for hours, even days, until his blood is completely (and very slowly) drained.

And through all this excruciating pain, Jesus Christ was praying to his Lord saying: Forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they are doing. And his adversaries among the rabbis and Jewish leaders kept watching till they saw him die, for in his death is the final proof that he was not the Messiah, because the true Messiah, according to the Scriptures, cannot be killed and does not die before he had led the believers into total victory against the disbelievers. Jesus's last words before he exhaled his last breath were: "(34) My God! My God! Why have you foresaken me?" (Mark 15).

After he died, they carried his body and buried it. But he rose from death three days later, reincarnated in the flesh, but not exactly the same as before. He appeared to his disciples and completed his divine teachings. Six weeks after his reincarnation, he bid them farewell, telling them he would return to his Father in heaven, and that he shall come back in the end of days to fulfill his role, as God had promised.

For the details of Jesus Christ's death, resurrection, divinity, and the Holy Trinity, continue reading here: Christ in the Quran and the Gospel.


The Gospel



The Gospel; from Old English "Good Spell," originates from the Greek word "Ευαγγέλιο" which means "the news" or more specifically "the good news." And the Gospel is Gospel of Jesus Christ, meaning the good news from Jesus Christ, son of the virgin Mary, peace be upon them, and it was written down by his disciples, who had become apostles and messengers. And of what they have written, four are known to be the most authentic and trustworthy, of which all Christians believe in regardless of their sects and divisions. These four are: The Gospel of Christ through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They were written in the language of Palestine back then: Aramaic. Many years later, they were translated into Greek, which has become the supreme copy to refer to. And from Greek into Latin, the language of the Roman Empire which turned Christianity into its official religion starting in 325 AD. The Latin version of the Gospel, and the remainder of the Bible, became so sacred that translations into other languages were forbidden by the Catholic church, until the rise of Protestantism in the 15th century. Today the Gospel can be read in virtually every language in the world.

More books authored by saints and apostles, whom most Christians believe to have been inspired by God, were added to the four Gospels, all together referred to as the "New Testament" of the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible, then, is divided into two main parts: the Old Testament which comprises 77%, and the New Testament which comprises 23% of the entire Bible. As for the Old Testament, it is precisely the Holy Book of the Jews that includes the Torah, the Psalms, and the rest, most of which were written in Hebrew (remainder in Aramaic). As for the New Testament, it includes the four Gospels aforementioned, and another 23 books revealed to apostles who have come after the ascension of Christ. These books are not part of the Gospel, i.e. not the words of Jesus Christ. But they are still part of the New Testament of the Holy Bible, and they are believed by a great majority of Christians to be just as true as the Gospel.


Second Testament



Both Christianity and Islam have manifested from Judaism, and both uphold the Torah as the true message of God upon which their Scriptures only came to confirm, as their respective Holy Scriptures unequivocally testify:

Matthew 5: "(17) Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law [Torah] or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (18) I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (19) Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (20) That's why I am telling you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven"

Quran - The Opening (Ch. 1): "Show us the Straight Path (6) the Path you have shown the people whom You have blessed, except those who evoked your anger and those who have gone astray (7)"

Quran - The Cow (Ch. 2): "O Sons of Israel remember the blessing I have bestowed upon you and fulfill My Covenant and I shall fulfill yours, and fear no one but Me (40)... O Sons of Israel remember the blessing I have bestowed upon you and remember that I have chosen you over the worlds (47)"

Quran - The Queue (Ch. 61): "And Jesus son of Mary said: "O Sons of Israel I am God's Messenger to you, confirming the Torah in my hands... (6)"

Quran - The Supper (Ch. 5): "Why should they [the Jews] come to you [Muhammad] for judgment when they have the Torah which already contains the commandments of God? ...(43) We have bestowed the Torah in which there is guidance and light. The prophets (sent to the Jews), the rabbis, and the scholars, all who submitted to God, judge by it; they have been entrusted with God's Book and they were witnesses.... Whoever does not rule by what God has bestowed are the rejectors of truth (44)"

Oday Baddar

 


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