The Abysmal Failure Theory of Jesus & the Injil
Recently some television preachers like Zakir Naik and the late Ahmed Deedat have been propagating the idea that the Injīl has been totally changed and that Jesus never died on the cross. In doing this, they contradict the Qur’ān, the Qur’ānic commentators, history, and reason, as this website demonstrates. The major problem with this stance is that it portrays Jesus as a failure, his first disciples as exceedingly deceitful, and ultimately it portrays God as a feeble God, unable to guard his basic message, as we will see below.
An Abysmal Failure?
All Muslims and Christians agree that Jesus was one of the greatest prophets, one of the greatest figures in human history. Yet according to these preachers who claim to believe in Jesus, Jesus’ life and ministry were an utter failure in every regard. Their view of Jesus can be called the “abysmal failure theory” of Jesus. Other lesser prophets like David, Isaiah, Jonah and Jacob managed to succeed—but Jesus was a failure. In their view, even Jesus’ first twelve disciples (to whom he dedicated three full years of training) went and deliberately made what they knew as falsehood to be the cornerstone of their faith; namely claiming that Jesus was God’s Appointed Savior of mankind, crucified by God’s Plan to bear our sins and bring his followers salvation. According to this “abysmal failure theory”, some of these core twelve disciples like Matthew, John, Peter and James also deliberately hid Jesus’ original Injīl and replaced it with their own counterfeit scriptures. The Qur’ān respectfully calls these first disciples of Jesus pious “Muslims,” and history confirms that most of them were persecuted, poor, and eventually martyred for what they knew to be a lie? They were scorned by the polytheists around them for their audacious hope in heaven—and are we really to believe that they deliberately held a false view of how to get to heaven when they threw away their life on earth for what they believed? Where do critics like Naik and Deedat get these ridiculous ideas?
The question is, what kind of character did Jesus instill in these disciples to do such outrageous evils? If Naik and Deedat are correct, Jesus must have been a rather feeble moral teacher and leader. Whereas the core teachings of Aristotle, Virgil and Confucius were more or less faithfully followed by centuries of admirers, Jesus apparently scores pathetically low in instilling integrity in his disciples. Is this believable? The God portrayed by Naik and Deedat is certainly not a powerful God, but a feeble God of fiascos and blundering failures. We believe in a God who preserves his scriptures (as the Qur’ān itself testifies, “none can change His Words”) and a God who makes his prophets establish a solid legacy of truth. He makes no mistakes in the gradual revelation of his Plan for history.
Naik and Deedat deny Jesus’ crucifixion using the ‘swoon theory’ which was actually invented only 200 years ago by Western atheists and brought into Islam by the Qadianis recently. They pretend this is the ‘Islamic viewpoint’, but early authorities like Tabari and Razi held to a different opinion and they allowed for the possibility that Jesus died. This swoon theory is not believed by any serious scholar and has been disproved long ago. Naik pretends that the Injīl never says that Jesus died, though it does so many times. The Qu’ran can easily be reconciled with the account in the Injīl that Jesus did intentionally die on the cross and was raised again.