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Oct-26-2013 01:40printcomments

Was Jesus Really Crucified: New Evidence Proves Otherwise

"Agron Belica’s controversial book, vigorously challenges the conventional view of John the Baptist as little more than the baptizer of Jesus and the herald of his messiahship"
- Dr. Jay R. Crook Author of The Bible: An Islamic Perspective

Agron Belica at Harvard Book Store
Agron Belica at Harvard Book Store

(WASHINGTON DC) - It is said that history is written by the winners. As one engaged in research and journalism and who keeps that old saw in mind, I am always interested in new ideas and new interpreta-tions of accepted truths.

Cover design by Lisa Spaulding

This carefully researched study of one of the most important events in human history certainly answers to both of those interests.

The author re-examines the conventional ideas about the relationship between the Baptist and the Christ that most people have accepted for centuries as gospel truth. He uncovers mani-fest discrepancies in the biblical narratives that have dominated European and even Muslim thought and, moreover, between them and lesser-known external sources such as the writings of Josephus.

The calm logic of his analyses overturn convention and lead inexorably to startling new visions of John and Jesus and even the Passion itself.

The Passion of the Baptist, Not the Christ is a well-written and interesting book. It is recommended reading for those interested in redressing the distortions of “history written by the winners.”

Award winning journalist Tim King with Agron Belica

Tim King
Editor in Chief Salem-News.com:

If all of Agron Belica’s research and the conclusions he draws from it prove to be valid, then the traditional view of John the Baptist/Yahya, both scholarly and conventional, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, will be subjected to a tidal wave of revision and reconsideration. This will also affect most extant translations of the Quran into English, with the exception of The Sublime Quran by Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar which incorporates all of his results that relate to Quranic verses. Additionally, the great collections of medieval Islamic commentaries, both Sunni and Shia, which often repeat such colorful Biblical stories as the beheading of John the Baptist, will have to be viewed more critically. Such revisionism is sure to meet with a strong opposition.

Dr. Mahmoud M. Ayoub
Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations Hartford Seminary, Hartford CT:

(This book) by Agron Belica is an engaging analysis of the life and mission of the two kindred religious personages, John the Baptist (Yahya) and Jesus (`Isa). Even though the central argument of the book, namely that the man who was hung on the cross was John and not Jesus, may be academically open to question as it rests on circumstantial evidence, the book will add much to the discussion of an epoch-making event that has shaped world history.

The book is informative and entertaining. It is certainly worth reading.

Dr. Harte Weiner
Lead Editor, Ph.D., Stanford University:

Agron Belica is a first generation American of Albanian descent. He is devoted to a few things. One is his family, another is his religion, and yet a third is intellectual and spiritual religious inquiry. His book is a tribute to this devotion and inquiry. It is a brilliant and original look at the Gospels and the Quran, as well as the earlier Mosaic texts. In this book, the self-taught Belica, with no formal education, points out linguistic and spiritual parallels between generations of key characters in three religious histories. A devout and inquiring Muslim, using the close reading of the Quran as his guide, Belica, is able to look back at the central story of the crucifixion through a new lens, the Muslim lens, using key passages from a number of religious scriptures to build a fascinating new argument. His thoughts, insights and interpretations are remarkable, profound, and leave the reader in awe.

Belica notices that a son is born to the prophet Zachariah at about the same time as a son is born to Mary. He systemat-ically and spell-bindingly leads us through the parallels between these two prophets, the second of whom we have come to know as Jesus. Both are raised in secrecy, and bring prophesy and healing. Both are spared somehow the decree of Herod at birth, only to befall religious ostracism and apparent physical mutilation beheading/crucifixion at the time of apparent earthly death.

Belica takes us through the similarities in these prophet’s lives, their coming into the lives of their parents, as the sons had done, in response to prayer, or in the unlikely moment, for Mary, of her chastity. The coming together of Zachariah and Mary is cemented with the former shielding Mary from harm as her foster-father. Belica brings us back further in scriptural history to draw other such parallels when it comes to prophets, and he draws upon the Arabic roots of the names of these figures, from Adam to Zachariah’s son, to convince the reader of his novel contribution to scriptural reading. But I’m not going to give that away! For that, you must read the book yourself!

This book is slim, but both erudite and yet easy to follow, in its step by step progression through the many scriptures, seemingly so familiar is Agron Belica with every passage, the apt ones come easily to mind for him, and strike an immediate cord in us, no matter how familiar or unfamiliar we are with the text and story. And yet, this book is no recipe for persuasion. It is much more sophisticated than that. Written in a devout and true Muslim spirit, it is also—as mentioned at the beginning of this review—an inquiry and a wholly new contribution to that body of sculptural scholarship.

Agron Belica advances a theory which sheds an entirely novel light on the views that are commonplace today, and, through an examination of linguistics, passages, intent, and meaning, causes us to re-examine, in an exciting, clue-ridden way, what we have assumed to be true about the three major religions for centuries, concentrating on his own Muslim faith.

Dr. Jay R. Crook with Agron Belica

Dr. Jay R. Crook
Author of The Bible: An Islamic Perspective:

Agron Belica’s controversial book, vigorously challenges the conventional view of John the Baptist as little more than the baptizer of Jesus and the herald of his messiahship. The result of years of study, it expounds his revolutionary theories about the life, work, and significance of the neglected prophet.

The John/Yahya that Belica’s work brings forth from the shadows of history is a major prophet in his own right, with an independent stature and mission. The book is a thought-provoking and fascinating re-examination of the prophet’s place in history.

Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar
Resident Scholar Kazi Publications and first American woman to translate the Qur'an
(See Sublime Quran and The Concordance of The Sublime Quran):

There are two methods of gaining knowledge in the great religious traditions of the world in general, and Islam, in particular. One method is knowledge that is imitated (taqlid) or transmitted by hearsay from generation to generation like the sciences of language, history and law. With this method, a person never asks “Why?” but accepts what is taught by an authority. In the Islamic tradition this leads to ijtihad, ijtihad specifically referring to developing expertise in jurisprudence (fiqh) to the level of being able to use independent judgment in understanding Islamic law (Shariah). Such a person is known as a mujtahid. Whoever is not a mujtahid, whoever has not reached that level, must “imitate” or “follow” a person who has, whether that person is dead (Sunni Muslims) or alive (Shia Muslims).

The second method of gaining knowledge is what is of most interest to us in this book review, that of tahqiq or intellectual knowledge where one may have a teacher for guidance but it is knowledge that cannot be passed from one generation to another. Each person has to discover it for himself or herself by “polishing the heart.” by becoming a person who sees with the eye of Oneness or tawhid, a person who deeply senses his responsibility to God, His creation and His humanity.

The person who gains knowledge with this method is called “a seeker of truth” (muhaqqiq).

Intellectual knowledge (tahqiq) builds on transmitted knowledge but goes deeper. Transmitted knowledge includes memorizers of the Quran and the Hadith but only with intellectual knowledge can one understand what God and the Prophet are saying. Those who lack this intellectual endeavor have, one might say, not sought the means to see with the eye of “Oneness.”

Questions like “why” are not the only ones that the intellect of the seeker of truth asks because the underlying distinction is to think, “to think for oneself,” and not to stop at “imitation alone.”

Not everyone has been burdened with this capacity as the Quran says in 2:286, but one person who has is Agron Belica. He is a seeker of truth, seeker of the Reality (haqq), a person who has verified knowledge, not on the basis of imitating the opinion of others, but on the basis of having realized the truth for himself as well as being one who acts in accord with haqq, all the time realizing his belief in the One God, the one creation and the one humanity.

A faith tradition may survive without a living mujtahid, but it rapidly disappears without a living muhaqqiq. Without a living seeker of truth, a seeker of reality, the faith tradition cannot remain faithful to its principles because it cannot understand those principles.

A faith tradition may survive without a living mujtahid, but it rapidly disappears without a living muhaqqiq. Without a living seeker of truth, a seeker of reality, the faith tradition cannot remain faithful to its principles because it cannot understand those principles.

Agron Belica’s basic premise is to follow the Quran and the New Testament which all assert that Jesus is the Messiah. However according to the Quran and the Hadith, it only appeared to the people who bore witness to the Messiah that he had been crucified.

In reality, according to the intellectual endeavor of the author, it was “he who lives” (Yahya), the Concealer of Secrets (hasura), as the Quran refers to him who was placed on the cross and lived, a view held by early Christian Gnostics as well, but later declared to be a heresy. The Concealer of Secrets concealed the secret of his identity and that of the Messiah in order to save the Messiah. The Messiah was then allowed to carry on his prophetic mission (perhaps traveling even as far as Kashmir where many believe that he is buried).

At the same time that Mary retired to a sanctuary, Zechariah becoming her protector, Zechariah prayed for an heir. The son of Mary was close in age to the son of man (the Concealer of Secrets fathered by Zechariah). They may have even been cousins who resembled one another. They both began their prophetic mission around the same time yet neither revealed themselves as to who they actually were.

The author traces these and other parallels in the lives of the son of Mary and the son of man for a fascinating read. In the great tradition of seekers of truth in the past, Agron Belica brings harmony to ancient mysteries. He shows the possibility of how thing may be in the Presence of the Oneness of God and he does so through scriptures – the Quran, Hadith and the New Testament.

This is a book that should be read by everyone who wants to discern the Reality of the story of the Messiah.

M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D.
Creator of Thought Addiction programs:

I am impressed with the amount of detail Agron, as well his editor and good friend Jay Crook, have used in composing this remarkable thesis. No easy task, Agron sets about trying to justify, clarify, and rectify, as applicable, the disparities within various retellings of the history of John the Baptist and his relationship to Jesus the Christ. It is apparent to some that political movements of the time either changed, restricted or completely eliminated various contributions to the bible. It is conceivable that all such scriptural offerings in all the various religions underwent various pressures of a similar type.

Agron opens several windows with which to air questions and suggestions that might lead to greater reasoning, awareness and understanding… part of a great gift we often take for granted (or, in some cases, refuse to employ). It is telling that some men will welcome a flame with which they may explore caverns of thought previously cursed by darkness while others will curse the flame and cling to the walls of darkness swearing that this is all there is... and all that should be. My brother Agron is most definitely the former.

Video Produced by Lisa Spaulding: Was Jesus Really Crucified: New Evidence Proves Otherwise

Purchase Book: The Passion of The Baptist, Not The Christ by Agron Belica

Website: Aldin Entertainment Music Group

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Anonymous November 27, 2013 10:56 am (Pacific time)

Ralph most all belief systems are based on "Leaps of Faith." It's pretty easy to follow the development, for example, of Islam, and see how it is more of a political system based on tyranny, rather than what would be considered a religious "Leap of Faith," in my opinion. An ideology that in present times has children strapped with bombs simply is a barbaric method to gain control by terror, not peaceful persuasion. Certainly in the historical past various religions, including their subsets, engaged in similar methodology, they have certainly minimized their violence, while radical Islam has dialed up the terror. There is a final time for them, and they will either dial down their violence, or be completely and totally destroyed. In the meantime, distractions such as this article, and it's claims, have zip impact other than making the fools look even more foolish.

mums the wierd November 18, 2013 1:27 pm (Pacific time)

anything to stir controversy, get attention, and sell a book. even spitting on God's Son.

Sorry, is this really the depth of your understanding? 

The book is not an insult to Jesus, just brainwashed institutional thinking.

father guido sarducci; November 6, 2013 5:37 pm (Pacific time)

in the end we all drop dead, some of us deservedly sooner than others,so better behave yourselves till it happens and don't perpetuate any lies for the sake of your own photo on twitter, capiche?

Normal name used in comments: Israeli Troll.  Yes Israeli troll, some will deservedly check out sooner, that is true  Just remember that our images saturate the Internet already, we are human rights activists, we believe in morals and peace and equality.  Surely you don't understand how your own words are ideally self-applicable.  

pink October 31, 2013 11:33 am (Pacific time)

I know many wont take time to watch a 30 minute video, but try it out for a few minutes, and see, I think it might be quite eye opening...its about who we are.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvPzsixYIH0

Ralph E. Stone October 30, 2013 11:03 pm (Pacific time)

It seems my comment was mistakenly sent before completion and is included as an anonymous comment.

Sorry Ralph, the older one is deleted.

Ralph E. Stone October 29, 2013 10:52 pm (Pacific time)

it is a mistake to view the Bible as historical fact. Scolars for centuries have pointed out the inconsisties within the Bible itself and with known historical facts. The Bible consists of myth, some historical facts, and most importantly guidance for the faithful. Christianity is a well established belief system -- one that I personally don't believe in -- and arguments such as that made by Belica in his book will not change that. Such books make for lively discussions by Biblical scholars but will be of little importance to the rank and file believers.

Woody October 29, 2013 2:59 pm (Pacific time)

Steve, my point is that the church wants to set itself appart from the world, as it should. But then it does no better when they act just like it. Absolute power, corrupts absolutely. They shouldnt hide behind the lies, they should address them and accept responsibility. To do anything other then that, is doing no good for the church. If I'm not mistaken "The word" says "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free". Hide from it, and your just another liar. Oregonians and people in general are tired of the lies and deception. Sounds like our politicians doeant it?

24 comments whoa! October 29, 2013 12:38 am (Pacific time)

must be a serious issue.,heartfelt by the masses and meaningful to this site of godly beings promoting this ..........,promotion?; like "who do, who do you think your foolin?"

Steve Moylett October 28, 2013 6:02 pm (Pacific time)

Woody have you ever compared and contrasted the bad deeds of all religions? Sure you can find Jews and Christians in Iran and many other Muslim countries, but how are they doing lately in these Islamic-controlled states? Ask a Coptic Christian in Egypt, or Christians almost anywhere, including America, say in Dearborn Michigan. The evidence is pretty clear, and I expect, in time, a push-back will eventually make it clear which side God is on...in my opinion. There are reports that tens of thousands of radicals have crossed our borders in the last 12 years, so I imaging the Russians and Chinese will simply wait it out and see what we as a nation do. When I saw the reports of approximately 800,000 bikers going to DC to protest Obama's closure of our veterans memorials, I'm pretty sure I know what's going to happen. Over 300 million firearms out there, and many experienced in dealing with the enemy, and the enemy is clearly known.

Dave October 28, 2013 5:53 pm (Pacific time)

I wish mainstream media was as open-minded as you people are. Thank you for sharing this incredible article. I did not see a buy link for the book is it available for purchase? With love, David

 Thank you Dave.  The link to purchase the book can be found at the bottom of the article.  You will see three links and it is the second link down.  I will also put the link here for you: Passion of the Baptist, Not the Christ

Woody October 28, 2013 1:45 pm (Pacific time)

Obviously Lisa, you have written a story that is causing controversy. You are on the right path, dont let up, give up, or stop. For thousands of years people thought the world was flat. For hundreds of years people taught Columbus discovered America (and its inhabitants). The church doesnt want to discuss their sins, just others. Forget about the Crusades, forget about the Salem witch hunts, forget about the sexual abuse of clergy and the need for places like Hope of the Survivors (because clergy sexual abuse is huge). You're bringing forth truth, that seems to be one thing the sheep dont like to talk about. Hence the reason they are sheep!

Agron Belica October 28, 2013 12:29 pm (Pacific time)

Proof that Jesus did exist and why he is not documented in history:

The Slander against Mary:

This slander is referred to in the Quran and appears in early Jewish rabbinical sources. Mary, the mother of Jesus, had Levite roots, A horrible death was possible for her, because Mosaic Law states: “And the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire.” (Lev. 21:9)

As for her son Jesus, if deemed illegitimate because of the mystery surrounding his birth, there awaited a kind of excommunication. States the Mosaic Law: “No bastard shall enter the assembly of the Lord, even to the tenth generation. None of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” (Deut. 23:2)

This is another reason why I believe Mary and Jesus left Judaea as fugitives from Jewish law. Both Jesus and John left as infants and returned as adults. No one knew who they were as they never revealed their names to anyone other than the members of their inner circles. Jesus made his first public appearance as an infant. After being dismissed as a bastard, his public role halted. When both John and Jesus reached manhood, Jesus remained incognito. If he had mentioned his real identity, the Jews would have immediately called him and his mother out. This is why in the Quran, Yahya/John is entitled Sayyid (chief) and it is Yahya/John who will face opposition, not Jesus.   

It is not our intention to discredit or diminish the importance of Jesus in religious history. Rather it is to restore John to his proper role in that history.  

Agron Belica, author of The Passion of the Baptist, Not the Christ.

As you can see this is not Jew, Christian or Muslim bashing, Agron just wants to see the story presented as clearly and accurately as possible.  He loves all human beings, it is not about promoting any particular idea beyond truth. What I've learned from Agron's book is that these two prophets of God were prophets of success, not failure. My brother Agron Belica, defender of the faith and humanity!    Check this beautiful song by Agron: Beautiful Hope by Agron Belica

Steve Moylett October 28, 2013 12:24 pm (Pacific time)

Opinions often go up against facts unsuccessfully, especially those dealing in history and religion. Top scholars generally can get some traction, but non-scholars are called non-scholars for a reason, they are simply puppets/useful tools for those attempting to be relevant.

One simply cannot dismiss the fact that prominent scholars have endorsed this book which has given it traction.

Robert S. October 28, 2013 10:53 am (Pacific time)

Don't read this book it is designed for both Christians and Muslims to lose their religion. Very "clever tactics" used by this satan in human form. I do not recommend this book to know one. Free Advise!

You are suggesting the closed mind is somehow better than the open mind?

Woody October 28, 2013 10:05 am (Pacific time)

Very good Lisa, It is amazing where ignorance will lead a person. To keep on doing something for the whole reason that people have been doing it that way, for thousands of years, is lunacy. When you never ask the question why, in the first place. Jesus divinity was never even considered until Constantine 300 years after his death. Here is a clue for the clueless, unlearn what you think you know and open a book. For one, start with Pagan Christianity by Barna. Cant take that long, google "The Calf Path" and then ask why you get up every morning and follow Tradition, the sacred cow of the church.

4/20 : October 27, 2013 7:49 pm (Pacific time)

this article should finally jump start salem news into google recog., how many points per comment? You know by now of course that Lazarus wasn't really dead after all you.,he just smelled like it.

Carol October 27, 2013 6:13 pm (Pacific time)

Right on!

Sincere reader October 27, 2013 6:02 pm (Pacific time)

Great, thought provoking article, thanks so much for bringing us a different view than the traditional one rammed down out throats as children. 

Deb October 27, 2013 2:01 pm (Pacific time)

I agree Stan. I am buying the book too very very interesting.

Stan October 27, 2013 12:48 pm (Pacific time)

I always wondered about this rediculous story of the beheading of John the Baptist , and my suspicion was right. Why would they give John the Baptist an honorable death by way of beheading when this in fact was reserved for Roman Citizens. I agree with what was said in the video. Beheading?....no way man i am not buying it. In all fairness Jesus Christ has enough publicity it's time for John the Baptist to finally get his share especially after keeping him in the dark for so long. BRAVO!

Kate October 27, 2013 12:38 pm (Pacific time)

John the Baptist was the real messiah christian punks stole his history good job man

James October 27, 2013 12:37 pm (Pacific time)


Jesus Christ October 27, 2013 12:36 pm (Pacific time)

By the looks of it anyone can write a book. Deception is only a click away .Seek a non historical reference to Jesus & you will see he did exist.

ED SKI October 27, 2013 11:35 am (Pacific time)

first you must prove that 'jesus' actually existed, BEFORE you can prove how he allegedly died.

T.R.Hunter October 27, 2013 11:00 am (Pacific time)

Silence please ! There never was a Jesus nor John the Baptist ! There never was a crucifixion of a Jesus let alone resurrection nor ascension for the story is just a astrotheological myth. Jesus does not exist your christian and Muslim morons alike .. do study the origin of your religions and stop fighting over nothing, cause there is nothing but a myth...

Benavram October 27, 2013 7:38 am (Pacific time)

For two thousand years, writers, critics, skeptics, and hostile enemies of Christianity have put forth sophisticated arguments and claims that Jesus Christ never lived, never really healed or prophesied, never was crucified, and never rose from the dead. All in vain. Futility has its own eternity.

Hussein for Peace October 27, 2013 7:08 am (Pacific time)

MashA'Alah on these guys , woth lots of love and respect i really very Happy to see them together :) peace

African4 October 27, 2013 2:04 am (Pacific time)

Antichrists gonna antichrist

Matt Houston October 26, 2013 11:58 pm (Pacific time)

The writer of this article says: "As one engaged in research and journalism and who keeps that old saw in mind, I am always interested in new ideas and new interpretations of accepted truths." I wonder why, given that Mohammedans denying the crucifixion of Christ is hardly anything new, he doesn't spend his energies on investigating the official version of the ridiculous holocaust yarn instead.

frank g October 26, 2013 5:52 pm (Pacific time)

Of course a muslim is going to believe Jesus wasn't crucified. that's exactly what their koran says. There is absolutely no surprise he writes a book saying this.

You are missing the point.

Jay October 26, 2013 5:39 pm (Pacific time)

You must be a Salem witch.

Yes, who could ever forget the famed witch trials in Salem Oregon back in the 1600's, LOL

Luke Easter October 26, 2013 3:14 pm (Pacific time)

Romans 4. But let God be true, etc. Whatever may be the opinion of others, I regard this as an argument taken from the necessary consequence of what is opposed to it, by which Paul invalidates the preceding objection. For since these two things stand together, yea, necessarily accord, that God is true and that man is false, it follows that the truth of God is not nullified by the falsehood of men.

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