From what has been already discussed in these pages it will have been that the appellation "Barnasha," or "the Son of Man," is not a title like "Messiah," that could be applied to every prophet, high-priest, and legally anointed king; but that it is a proper noun, belonging exclusively to the Last Prophet. The Hebrew Seers, Sophees, and the Apocalyptists describe the Son of Man, who is to come in due time as appointed by the Almighty to deliver Israel and Jerusalem from the heathenish oppression and to establish the permanent kingdom for "the People of the Saints of the Most High." The Seers, the Sophees, foretell the advent of the Powerful Deliverer; they see him - only in a vision, revelation, and faith - with all his might and glory. No Prophet or Sophee ever said that he himself was "the Son of Man," and that he would "come again on the Last Day to judge both the quick and the dead," as the Nicene Creed puts it on the pretended authority of the Sayings of Jesus Christ.
The frequent use of the appellation in question by the evangelists indicates, most assuredly, their acquaintance with the Jewish Apocalypses, as also a firm belief in their authenticity and Divine origin. It is quite evident that the Apocalypses bearing the names of Prophets Enoch, Moses, Baruch, and Ezra were written long before the Gospels; and that the name "Barnasha" therein mentioned was borrowed by the authors of the Gospels; otherwise its frequent use would be enigmatic and an incomprehensible - if not a meaningless - novelty. It follows, therefore, that Prophet Jesus either believed himself to be the Apocalyptic "Son of Man," or that he knew the Son of Man to be a person distinctly other than himself. If he believed himself to be the Son of Man, it would follow that either he or the Apocalyptists were in error; and in either case the argument goes most decidedly against Jesus Christ. For his error concerning his own personality and mission is as bad as the erroneous predictions of the Apocalyptists, whom he believed to be divinely inspired. Of course, this dilemmatic reasoning will lead us to a final conclusion unfavorable to himself. The only way to save Prophet Jesus from this dishonor is to look upon him as the Qur'an pictures him to us; and accordingly to attribute all the contradictory and incoherent statements about him in the Gospels to their authors or redactors.
Before discussing further the subject, "the Son of Man" as depicted in the Jewish Apocalypses, a few facts must be carefully taken into consideration. First, these Apocalypses not only do not belong to the canon of the Hebrew Bible, but also they are not even included among the Apocrypha or the so-called "Deutro-canonical" books of the Old Testament. Secondly, their authorship is not known. They bear the names of Enoch, Moses, Baruch, Ezra, but their real authors or editors seem to have known the final destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews under the Romans. These pseudonyms were chosen, not for fraudulent purposes, but out of a pious motive by the Sophees or Seers who composed them. Did not Plato put his own views and dialectics into the mouth of his master, Socrates? Thirdly, "these books," in the words of the Grand Rabbin Paul Haguenauer, "in an enigmatical, mystical, supernatural form, try to explain the secrets of the nature, the origin [sic] of God, the problems of good and evil, justice and happiness, the past and the future. The Apocalypse makes upon all these questions some revelations which surpass human understanding. Their principal personages are Enoch, Moses, Baruch, Ezra. These writings are evidently the product of the painful and disastrous epochs of Judaism." (1) Consequently they cannot be fully understood any more than the Apocalypse which bears the name of St. John the Apostle. Fourthly, these Apocalypses have been interpolated by the Christians. In the Book of Enoch "the Son of Man" is also called "the Son of Woman" and "the Son of God," thus interpolating the Church theory of incarnation; surely no Jewish Seer would write "Son of God." Fifthly, it would be noticed that the Messianic doctrine is a later development of the old prophecies concerning the Last Prophet of Allah, as foretold by Jacob and other Prophets. It is only in the Apocrypha and the Apocalypses, and especially in the Rabbinical writings, that this "Last Deliverer" is claimed to descend from David. True, there are prophecies after the Babylonian captivity, and even after the deportation of the Ten Tribes into Assyria, about a "Son of David" who would come to gather together the dispersed Israel. But these predictions were fulfilled only partly under Zorobabel - a descendant of King David. Then after the Greek invasion the same predictions were preached and announced, and we only see a Judah Maqbaya fighting with a slight success against Antiochus Epiphanes. Besides, this success was temporary and of no permanent value. The Apocalypses, which carry their visions down to the time after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and Vespasian, foretell "the Son of Man" who will appear with great power to destroy the Roman power and the other enemies of Israel. Twenty centuries had to elapse before the Rome Empire was destroyed in the fifth century A.D. by a Turkish Emperor, Atilla - a pagan Hun - and finally by a Muslim Turk, the Fatih Muhammad II. But that power was completely destroyed, and for ever, in the lands promised to Ishmael by the Sultan of the Prophets, Muhammad al-Mustapha.
------------- Footnote: 1. Munuel de Litterature Juivre Nancy, 1927. ------------ end of footnote
There remain two other observations which I cannot ignore in this connection. If I were a most ardent Zionist, or a most learned Rabbi, I would once more study this Messianic question as profoundly and impartially as I could. And then I would vigorously exhort my co-religionist Jews to desist from and abandon this hope for ever. Even if a "Son of David" should appear on the hill of Zion, and blow the trumpet, and claim to be the "Messiah," I would be the first to tell him boldly: "Please, Sire! You are too late! Don't disturb the equilibrium in Palestine! Don't shed blood! Don't let your angels meddle with these formidable aeroplanes! Whatever be the successes of your adventures, I am afraid they will not surpass those of your ancestors David, Zorobabel, and Judah Maccabaeus (Maqbaya)!" The great Hebrew conqueror was not David but Jesus bar Nun (Joshuah); he was the first Messiah, who instead of conver- ting the pagan tribes of the Canaan that had shown so much hospitality and goodness to Prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, mercilessly massacred them wholesale. And Joshuah was, of course, a Prophet and the Messiah of the time. Every Israelite Judge during a period of three centuries or more was a Messiah and Deliverer. Thus we find that during every national calamity, especially a catastrophe, a Messiah is predicted, and as a rule the deliverance is achieved always subsequent to the disaster and quite in an inadequate degree. It is a peculiar characteristic of the Jews that they alone of all the nationalities aspire, through the miraculous conquests by a Son of David, after a universal domination of the inhabi- tants of the globe. Their slovenliness and inertia are quite compatible with their unshaking belief in the advent of the "Lion of Judah." While they are awaiting the Moshiakh refered to in Islam as "Massiekh, ad-dajjal" meaning the anti-Christ or the false messiah. And that is, perhaps the reason why they have attempted to concentrate all, their national resources, energy, and force and make a united effort to become a self-governing people. This is the introduction of conclusion of the appearance of the anti-christ and the appearance of the great grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Al Mahdi, via his daughter Fatima, which both Sunni and Shi'a believe. Al Mahdi will fight the anti-christ, then Jesus will descend and kill him under a tree facing the Lake of Tiberias which had been dry for a long time, but now it has been replenished. Now to the Christians who claim Jesus to be the pro-phetical Son of Man, I would venture to say: If he were the expected Deliverer of Israel he would have delivered that people from the Roman yoke, no matter if the Jews had believed in him or not. Deliverance first, gratitude and loyalty after; and not vice versa. A man must first be liberated from the hands of his captors by killing or frighten- ing them, and then be expected to show his permanent attachment and devotion to the liberator. The Jews were not inmates of a hospital to be attended by physicians and nurses; they were practically prisoners in bonds and needed a hero to set them free. Their faith in God and in His Law was as perfect as was that of their ancestors at the foot of Mount Sinai when He delivered it to Moses. They were not in need of a thaumaturgical prophet; all their history was interwoven with wonders and miracles. The raising to life of a dead Lazarus, the opening of the eyes of a blind Barti- maeus, or the cleansing of an outcast leper, would neither strengthen their faith nor satiate their thirst for independence and liberty. The Jews rejected Jesus, not because he was not the Apocalyptic "Son of Man" or the Messiah - not be- cause he was not a Prophet, for they knew very well that he did not claim to be the former, and that he was a Prophet - but because they hated him for his words: Messiah was not the Son of David, but his Lord. (1) This admission of the Synoptics confirms the statement in the Gospel of Barnabas, where Jesus is reported to have added that the Covenant will be fulfilled with the "Shiloah" - the Prophet of Allah - who will come from the family of Prophet Ishmael. For this reason the Talmudists describe Jesus as "the second Balaam" - that is, the Prophet who prophesies for the benefit of the heathen at the expense of the "chosen people."
------------ Footnote: (1). Matt. xxii 44-46; Mark xii 35-37; Luke xx. 41-44. ------------ end of footnote
It is quite clear, therefore, that the Jewish reception to, or their rejection of, Jesus was not the condition sine qua non to determine the nature of his mission. If he were the Final Deliverer he would have made the Jews submit to him, nolens volens, as Prophet Muhammad did. But the contrast between the circumstances in which each of those two Prophets found himself, and their work, knows no dimensions and no limits. Suffice it to say that Prophet Muhammad converted about ten million pagan Arabs into most sincere and ardent believers in the true God, and utterly uprooted idolatry in the lands where it had struck root. This he did, because he held in one hand the Law and in the other the Scepter; the one was the Holy Qur'an and the other the emblem of power and government. He was hated, despised, persecuted by the noblest Arab tribe to which he belonged, and forced to flee for his life; but by the Power of Allah he accomplished the greatest work for cause of the true religion which no other Prophet before him had ever been able to do.
I shall now proceed to show that the Apocalyptic Son of Man was no other than the Prophet Muhammad al-Mustapha.
------------- Footnote: (1). I regret to say that the "Jewish Apocalypses" are inaccessible to me. The Encyclopedias given only a compendium of each book, which does not satisfy my purpose of examining the text. I know that the Irish Archbishop Laurence has translated this Apocalypse into English, but it is, unfortunately, beyond my reach. ------------ end of footnotes
This parabolical vision is transparent enough. From Prophet Jacob downwards the "chosen people" is represented symbolically by the flock of sheep. The descendants of Esau are described as boars. Other heathen people and tribes are represented in the vision, according to their respective characteristics, as ravens, eagles, vultures, and different species of brutes, all thirsty to suck the blood of the sheep or hungry to devour them. Almost all Biblical scholars agree that the vision indicates the painful period of the Maccabees and their bloody struggles with the armies of Antiochus Epiphanes until the death of John Hurcanus in 110(?) B.C. This method of interpreting the vision is totally erroneous, and reduces the value of the whole book to nothing. That an antediluvian Prophet or a Seer should illustrate the history of the human race from a religious point of view, beginning with Adam, under the symbol of a White Bull, and ending with John Hurcanus or his brother Judah Maccabaeus (Maqbaya) as the Last White Bull, and then leave the flock of the "Believers" to be devoured again by the Romans, the Christians, and the Muslims to this very day, is ridiculous and shocking! In fact, the wars of the Maccabees and their consequence are not of such great significance in the history of the religion of God as to be the terminus of its development. None of the Maccabees was a Prophet, nor the founder of the so-called "Messianic reign" which the Gospels name the "Kingdom of God." Besides, this interpretation of the vision is inconsistent with the characters represented in the drama under the figurative symbols of the master of the flock, scepter in hand, the Ram, and the White Bull; and then with the large sword given to the shepherds with which they kill or drive away the impure animals and birds. Furthermore, this Christian interpretation of Enoch's Apocalypse does not explain the mystical transplantation or the transportation of the terrestrial Jerusalem into a country farther to the south; and what meaning can be given to the new House of God built on the spot of the old one, larger and higher than the former sacred edifice, to which flock not only the believing sheep - the faithful Jews - but also the various pagan nationalities that have embraced the religion of the Son of Man who destroyed the enemies with his Scepter or Rod! For all these particular acts and representations are seen and described in this dramatic vision. The chain that links together the events depicted in this figurative language begins with Prophet Adam and ends in the person of the Prophet of Mecca! There are several cogent arguments to prove this assertion.
------------- Footnote: 1. Matt. xxv. 32 - 46, etc. ------------- end of footnote
------------- Footnotes: 1. Gen. xlix. 10. 2. Rev. vi. 9 - 11. ------------- end of footnotes
The other Apocalypses, those which bear the names of Moses, Baruch, Ezra, the Jubilees, and the Oracula Sibylliana, should be studied impartially, for it is then that they, like those of Daniel and Enoch, will not only be understood but also prove to be fulfilled in Prophet Muhammad.