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Did Jesus (Peace Be on Him) Survive the Crucifixion and Continue His Mission With the Lost Tribes of the Israelites?

Updated on December 13, 2017


The Theory that Jesus (peace be upon him) survived the crucifixion is as old as the event of the crucifixion itself. In the following article, I will site what evidence and academic research is available to support the ‘survival’ theory or what is also known as ‘The Swoon Theory’. I will also provide the available support for the theory of what was the likely discourse and relocation that Jesus Christ (peace be on him) sought after having survived the crucifixion, which was to continue his ministry with the lost tribes of the Israelites dispersed through Southeast Asia. However, I would first like to say that if you believe in Jesus as Messiah, a Prophet or a Son of God, then one has to have faith in his prophecies and statements too. In the prophecy that Jesus made in Matthew 12:39-40, he compared his predicament and his miracle to that of Prophet Jonah’s (peace be on him). Jonah survived his predicament over the course of three days, he did not die and then rise from the dead. In fact, other than the dogma of Jesus, no prophet of God is known to have died and returned from the dead. Also, death on the cross is accursed according to Jewish scriptures. And no true believer of Jesus, as a matter of faith, should accept the theory that God Almighty would allow him to die in such a manner at the hands of his oppressors. Jesus's fervent prayer for deliverance at the Garden of Gethsemane and his prayer on the cross of eli eli lama sabachtanl? (my Lord my Lord, why have you forsaken me?) do not reflect him to be subscribing to the notion that he was sacrificing himself for the sins of mankind. They reflects rather that he was despaired and expected to be saved.

The following material is compiled by studying the works of academics and researchers who I have mentioned toward the end of this article.

Joseph of Arimathea and St. Nicodemus, were they plotting to rescue Jesus from the crucifixion?
Joseph of Arimathea and St. Nicodemus, were they plotting to rescue Jesus from the crucifixion?
Pontius Pilate interrogating Jesus of Nazareth (peace be on him)
Pontius Pilate interrogating Jesus of Nazareth (peace be on him)

The Plot to Save Jesus

History states that some Jews and Pontius Pilate were convinced of Jesus’s truth. However, given the political sensitivities and the Sanhedrin’s (body of Jewish elders) threats to escalate Jesus’s crime of attempting to raise a Kingdom (which was really talk of a Heavenly Kingdom) in the Roman Empire to Caesar, they would have to be careful and secretive in a plot to save Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea is by some accounts said to have been a wealthy and influential member of the Sanhedrin who had harbored his conviction of Jesus as the true Messiah. Joseph donated his own tomb for Jesus’s burial and is also known to be the one who requested Jesus’s body from Pontius Pilate. Pilate, interestingly, broke protocol and responded favorably to the request. This may have been as part of the plot. Saint Nicodemus, also a member of The Sanhedrin, is said to have been sympathetic to Jesus. In the Gospel of John he assists Joseph of Arimathea in preparing Jesus for burial. Pontius Pilate’s wife had a strong dream regarding Jesus and warned her husband from opposing the man. In Matthew 27:19 she says to Pilate, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him”. Although Pilate under pressure eventually gives in to the demand of the Jews opposing Jesus, he washes his hands in public and announces, “I am innocent of the blood of this man. The responsibility is yours!”. However, events such as setting the Day of Sabbath for crucifixion (when bodies must be removed from the cross before nightfall) and deviating from protocol to give Jesus’s body to Joseph of Arimathea indicate that Pontius Pilate may himself be participating or assisting in such a plot.

A question that is raised sometimes is why would Pontius Pilate take grave risk with his position and authority by being an accomplice in such a plot? Firstly, what Pontius Pilate thinks and feels about Jesus and the accusations against him would carry weight with Roman authorities, not what his subjects think. There is every reason to believe that Pilate would have understood that the concepts of ‘King of the Jews’ and ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ are spiritual in nature and not valid in any real challenge to the Roman rule. Also, Jesus’s emphasizing the Jews to conduct themselves as honorable citizens and pay their tax-dues would find favor with Pilate: Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and render unto God the things that are God's (Matthew 22:21). In fact, Jesus directly answers Pilate: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting . . . (John 18:36). Further, when the Jews opposing Jesus pressured Pilate and threatened to raise the matter to Cesar, they would have crossed him. This may even have motivated Pilate to see their endeavor fail. Last but not least, Pilate’s wife’s dream and his statements indicate he developed sympathy for Jesus and may have even believed in him as a prophet or Son of God—even the centurion tending to the crucifixion says to Pilate: Truly, this man was the son of God (Matthew 27:54).

The Crucifixion

Crucifixion on the cross is known to take a long time, even up to days. Sometimes, to induce death the legs were broken and the resulting trauma, blood loss and the inability to support the body’s weight would hasten death. However, in the case of Jesus, the Gospels agree that none of these things happened. The centurions tending to Jesus did not break his legs, he was already thought to be dead. According to one account in John 19:29 a sponge filled with vinegar was held up to Jesus’s mouth. Was this part of a plan to induce Jesus into a swoon so he may be taken for dead? One of the centurions then had pierced Jesus’s side in an apparent attempt to check for reaction if he is already dead. The account of this event in John 19:34 clearly speaks of blood and water gushing out—this does not happen in a body where the heart is no longer beating. Lastly, perhaps the most convincing piece of evidence that Jesus was alive and that there was a plot to save him is in John 19:39 where Saint Nicodemus brings Aloe and Myrrh herbs about seventy five pounds in weight. These are healing herbs! The Aloe had long been used to treat flesh wounds. Why would they use such herbs unless they knew that Jesus was still alive? In fact, historical record bears testimony to a medical application known as Marham-e-Isa or ‘The Ointment of Jesus’. One such record is known as the Canon of Medicine by Avicenna. Some of these records even mention that the ointment was used to heal Jesus's wounds.

The German esoteric scholar of history of religion, Holger Kirsten, writes that the appearance of these herbal substances in The Gospel of John is particularly revealing because it has nothing to do with Jewish burial rites. In his book "Jesus Lived in India" Kirsten writes on page 169, "The theologian Paul Billerbeck describes the event as if an embalming was to take place, using the aromatic substances suspended in oil. But Rabbanic texts refer only to the external oiling of the bodies of the departed. The addition of spices is nowhere mentioned, let alone in these quantities: it was never part of Jewish customs, and nor was embalming. It would be pointless, in any case, to perform an embalming in the way described. To prevent decomposition, the entrails would have to be removed which was repulsive to the Jews on both aesthetic and religious grounds, and these substances if applied would not have been effective in halting further decomposition. Many biblical authorities in consequence find this passage in John's Gospel incomprehensible and perplexing. One commentator, Haenchen, can only conclude, 'The writer of this verse had no idea of Jewish burial rites, and knew nothing about embalming either' . . . . . Let us read the crucial sentence again in the light of the conclusions we have already come to: 'Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury'. The spices were aloes and myrrh, this much we know. Myrrh was used an an ingredient for embalming by the Egyptians, but did not feature in the burial rites of Jews. Instead, Jewish custom prescribes that the body of the deceased be washed and oiled, the hair cut and tidied, and the body be dressed again and face covered with a cloth. Yet there is no mention of any of this in John's Gospel. Whatever Joseph and Nicodemus were doing it had nothing to do with Jewish burial rites. John says that they buried Jesus in a way customary to the Jews-- and then goes on to describe a burial that directly contravenes the custom! Now why would he do this? Did he really not know the burial rites? Of course he knew them, because he described a standard burial in the story of Lazarus. Here too, then, just as we had to discern a deeper truth in the comparison of differences in the description of Lazarus' and Jesus' burials, we have to discern what John was really trying to get across by obviously contradicting himself. So what happened in that rock-hewn tomb if it was not a burial?

Verse 4:157 of The Holy Quran says, “And their saying, ‘We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah;’ whereas they slew him not, nor crucified him, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified; and those who differ therein are certainly in doubt about it; they have no knowledge thereof, but only follow a conjecture; and they did not convert this into a certainty”.

They would be in a state of doubt and uncertainty! Who wouldn't? Jesus spends only a few hours on the cross, his legs are not broken, the spear wound gushes forth blood, healing-herbs are gathered to tend to him. And, powerful members of The Sanhedrin as well Pontius Pilate had become his sympathizers and may have even hatched a plot to rescue him.

Also, in the new testament Jesus makes several appearances after the crucifixion. The apostle Thomas examines Jesus's wounds (John 20:25-27). Mark 16:8 appears to be revealing that the apostles were keeping the matter of the survival hush and nervous about being found out. And Matthew 28:10 is suggesting that there was an urgency to move Jesus and get him on an escape route.

This painting found by Berenger Sauniere at Rennes le Chateau shows a risen moon (passover had begun) and could be messaging that Jesus was alive at the time
This painting found by Berenger Sauniere at Rennes le Chateau shows a risen moon (passover had begun) and could be messaging that Jesus was alive at the time
2nd century Christian apologist St. Irenaeus in his book "Against Heresies" reports a tradition that Jesus (pbuh) lived to be an old man around age 100 in Asia with his disciples. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also said that Jesus had lived to age 120
2nd century Christian apologist St. Irenaeus in his book "Against Heresies" reports a tradition that Jesus (pbuh) lived to be an old man around age 100 in Asia with his disciples. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also said that Jesus had lived to age 120

Post Crucifixion

If Jesus did in fact survive the crucifixion, a couple of main theories have evolved over where he would have headed. Theory developers appear to be in agreement that he would have to leave the jurisdiction of Judea where he had mortal enemies. One theory has him accompanying a group including Mary Magdalene to the South of France. This is based on events surrounding a priest named Berenger Sauniere at Rennes le Chateau in the South of France. Berenger is believed to have discovered documents there that revealed Jesus having survived the crucifixion. Berenger was apparently paid a great deal of money to keep the documents secret as he conducted a rich renovation of the church there shortly after discovering the parchments. If Berenger found any documents revealing that Jesus was in Rennes le Chateau we do not know. But this artwork painting above from the Church believed to have been set up by Mary Magdalene shows Jesus being carried to the tomb with a risen moon-- meaning Passover had begun and per Jewish law the disciples would not handle a dead body. Did Berenger discover evidence that Jesus survived the crucifixion?

However, another theory has developed over the past century that Jesus and his mother Mary (may God be pleased with her) in fact would have picked the route towards India. There would be several reasons for this. The Silk route to India offered speed and convenience. It also would take Jesus out of and some distance from the jurisdictions of the Roman Empire where he was now a condemned man. But the most powerful and convincing of reasons would be that Jesus would want to seek out the lost tribes of the Israelites to continue his ministry with them and fulfill his mission. In Matthew 15:24, Jesus says “I have only been sent to those lost sheep, the people of Israel”. And in John 10:16 he says “I have other sheep that are not of this fold, I must bring them also”.

Are the features in this famous photograph-- of an Afghan girl on the cover of Nat'l Geographic magazine-- of someone who is of Jewish descent?
Are the features in this famous photograph-- of an Afghan girl on the cover of Nat'l Geographic magazine-- of someone who is of Jewish descent?

The Lost Sheep (tribes) of the Israelites

The twelve tribes of the Israelites remained coherent, neighborly, and loyal to the kingdoms of David and Solomon (peace be on them). However, the kingdom broke up after the reign of Solomon ended and owing to political conflicts and wars, several of the tribes were afflicted by circumstance and dispersed to escape persecution and unfavorable conditions. They came under Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian rule and ended up dispersing through the kingdoms. Studying the current etymology in the East Asian regions, we see current generations of these tribes. In Afghanistan you will find the Musa Kher, or tribe of Moses, Daud Kher and Suleiman Kher or the tribes of David and Solomon. The biological features of many Afghans as well as people in other areas of the Indian sub-continent are alien to the region and betray a Jewish origin such as the their fair complexion and prominent noses. The tribes themselves also claim to be the descendants of the Israelites.

Several historical records exist to support this theory. One such account exists in Rauzat-us-Safa, a historical Persian account which speaks of Jesus being in Nisibian which is on the rout from Syria to Persia. Jesus is said to have preached there and also had an encounter with the King of Nisibian who had arrested some of Jesus’s disciples for preaching there. Eventually, they are said to have accepted Jesus. A contemporary author known as O.M. Burke wrote a book called “Among the Dervishes” based on a community at the Persian and Afghan border in an area called Herat. During the time he spent there he discovered the belief of the Dervishes that Jesus had survived the crucifixion and escaped towards India. On his route he had stopped in their community to preach there. They hold a special fondness for him. Another record from a historical Hindu text called Bhavishya Maha Puranas speaks of an encounter of King Shalewahin in the Himalayas. The King apparently met someone with a remarkable spiritual presence in the mountain who was of fair complexion and wore white clothes. When the King asked him who he was he replied, “I am the Messiah, born of a virgin”. He said he had come from another land after having suffered there much.

For further information on etymology and toponymy of the Kashmir region in India and its suggestive origins with the Isreaelites please visit the short Wikipedia page below:

Verse 23:50 of The Holy Quran says: "And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and gave them refuge on an elevated land of valleys and springs of running water". The reference here to "a sign" can be to the miraculous survival from the crucifixion and the mortal enemies. "The refuge" implies this would be a place with a safe distance from and outside the jurisdiction of Judea. The elevation and valleys and springs is a description befitting Kashmir and the northern areas of the Indian subcontinent.

An inspired image of Jesus and Buddha given the similarities of their lives and scriptures leading many to believe that Jesus had to be in India at some point
An inspired image of Jesus and Buddha given the similarities of their lives and scriptures leading many to believe that Jesus had to be in India at some point

The Buddhist St. Issa Scrolls

The Parallel with Buddhism

A remarkable mystery that has persisted through history is the stark parallel of many aspects of Jesus’s and Buddha’s lives. Commentators and historians, including Biblical scholars, have attempted to explain this in a number of ways. Most agree that Jesus must have spent substantial time in India and in some way was exposed to or involved with Buddhism. Whether this happened before the crucifixion during what is known as the ‘lost’ or unknown years of Jesus’s life reportedly from age 13 to 30, or after the crucifixion may be open to debate. These parallels can be summarized as follows:

> Buddhist tradition mirrors the Christian account of the three wise men who followed a star to Jesus’s place of birth. In Buddhism, every time the search for the Dalai Lama begins, it does so with three wise men setting out on the search. And the search is always for a child!

> Both, Jesus and Buddha, are believed to be born of a virgin mother.

> Both religions have their founder undertaking the forty-day fast.

> Jesus’s temptations by the devil in the desert are mirrored in Buddha’s life.

> Christianity and Buddhism both share the feature of monasticism.

> The Gospels and Buddhist scriptures are remarkably similar in their use of parables as well as the accounts of those parables.

According to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be on him), founder of the Ahmadiyya movement in Islam who played a key role in advancing this theory, a key point in explaining this parallel is that the Buddhists were awaiting the advent of Bagwa Metteya Buddha (White Travelling Buddha) prophesied by Gautama. If the Buddhists found and accepted Jesus Christ (pbuh) as the fulfillment of this prophecy then Jesus would bear substantially in Buddhist scriptures which would explain the parallel. Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh) said it was the Buddhists who reproduced the Gospels in the Sutras, not vice versa. These accounts of Gautama Siddhartha's in the Sutras are really those of Jesus Christ (pbuh), it just may be that over time the writers assumed that the Buddha being talked of is Gautama. Indeed, it is not acceptable that Jesus Christ would take these accounts and plagiarize them in The Gospels as his own. Below are a couple of examples:

Religious historian Holger Kirsten writes in his book Jesus Lived in India, "At school, the young Prince Siddhartha is somehow already familiar with all kinds of religious texts. He goes off on a short excursion of his own, is missed, and is then found deep in mediatation. The parallels with the twelve-year-old-Jesus's being discovered in learned debate with scriptural experts in the Temple while his parents have been looking for him are so obvious they cannot be mistaken. Buddha begins teaching publicly at about the age of thirty, the age at which Christ begins to do the same. Like Jesus, Buddha travels the country with his principal disciples, and his first followers are two brothers-- again in an exact parallel with Jesus's followers. When called by Buddha, his first companions are sitting under a fig tree, and it is when sitting under a pipal tree (a species of fig) that Buddha attains enlightenment. Jesus too first lights upon the disciple Nathaniel sitting under a fig tree. Both Jesus and Buddha have one favorite disciple and one disciple who betrays him-- and, like Judas Iscariot, Buddha's enemy Devadatta comes to a wretched end.

As strongly as Jesus criticizes the Pharisees, the Orthodox Jewish believers who cling steadfastly to the letter of the Mosaic law, Buddha criticizes the priestly caste of the Brahmans whose orthodoxy has been reduced to meaningless rituals and regulations. 'Like arrogant apprentices in a trade they are, the priests are forever widening their web of regulations and are at the root of every evil scheme'. Of the Pharisees, Jesus similarly says 'They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men' (Matthew 23: 4-5). In just the way that Buddha characterizes the Brahmans-- 'Inside you are like rough wood, though your outer appearance is smooth'-- Jesus lays open the hypocricy of the Pharisees: 'You are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness' (Matthew 23:27). Just as Buddha rejects the blood sacrifice performed by some Brahmans, Jesus denounces the blood sacrifices of the Jews. And just as Buddha slates shallow notions of what is pure and what is impure and how ritual ablutions may or may not be efficacious, Jesus censures anything that is insincere and ostentatious.

These are the broad strokes. There are other numerous similarities in details. A lot of academic research has been conducted on this subject and many books are available.

Academia, Theory Founders and Developers

Much of the argument that I have compiled and stated is based on the research and development of this theory and argument in history by certain figures. Although a fair amount of academia now exists on the subject, below I will list a few key figures, their role and involvement.

Nicholas Notovich was an aristocratic Russian Christian convert (from Judaism) who was travelling through northern India where he visited some Buddhist monasteries. Nicholas’s curiosity was piqued when he received some special treatment by the Buddhist Lamas as he rested with them a few days following a horse-riding accident. The Buddhist revealed to him that their fondness of him is due to a ‘white’ Buddha who had come to them from a foreign land hundreds of years ago. They showed him what they called ‘The St. Issa Scrolls’ which were that Buddha’s teachings. ‘Issa’ (pronounced e-e-s-s-a) means Jesus in Arabic. Notovitch had the scrolls translated to him, did some research and put out a book called ‘The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ’. Notovitch and The St. Issa Scrolls he claimed to have seen has been subject of much controversy. Notovitch was attacked for fabricating the evidence and playing a hoax. Several people after Notovitch have visited the Hemis Monastery and some claim to have viewed the manuscripts while other say they were told that they are not available or even do not exist anymore. Swami Abhedananda, a renowned Indian spiritual figure, read Notovitch’s account and decided to travel to the Hemis Monastery in attempt to disprove Notovitch’s story. However, he claims that he saw the St. Issa scrolls and instead became convinced that Notovitch had not played a hoax. In his book ‘Kashmir O Tibbate’, the Swami has a translation of many verses of The St. Issa Scrolls that are essentially the same as the work produced by Nicholas Notovich. However, recent attempts to view or procure the St. Issa scrolls have failed. The Steven Hairfield interview above suggests that the Buddhists are selective in who they reveal the scrolls to and are weary of public attention to the scrolls if they do indeed exist.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be on him), the founder of The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, is reportedly the first person to produce a unified, consolidated and coherent theory supported by historical records and references on Jesus’s survival of the crucifixion and his subsequent sojourn to South East Asia and India to seek out the lost tribes of the Israelites. The book is remarkable in that it takes a wide variety of sources and dimensions to yield from including the Gospels, Islamic literature, historical medical records, Buddhist scriptures and social & geneological analysis among others. At this point I would like to disclose to the reader that I am a follower of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad so my opinion may be treated as biased. Therefore, I recommend the reader to read his book, "Jesus in India". Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s movement is also credited with the discovery of The Roza Bal or what we believe to be the tomb of Jesus Christ in Kashmir. There is a brief section on The Roza Bal below.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh) differs from Nicholas Notovich in that the evidence of Jesus Christ in India and the parallel with Buddhism is due to his travel to India after the crucifixion, not before, and it is the Buddhists who were awaiting the advent of what is known as the ‘Bagwa Metteya Buddha’ or ‘White travelling Buddha’ who have incorporated his teaching into their scriptures, not vice versa. For a follower of Jesus, Muslim or Christian, it is unthinkable that Jesus would have taken accounts of Gautama Buddha’s life and plagiarized these as his own. Ahmad’s theory is more acceptable that over time Jesus’s accounts in Buddhist scriptures came to be taken as Gautama Buddha’s. For anyone who undertakes a study of this subject, reading Ahmad’s book is essential. It has spawned a generation of academics on the subject.

Jesus's probable route on a modern map to his destination in Kashmir, India per Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Jesus's probable route on a modern map to his destination in Kashmir, India per Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

German author Holger Kersten would be one of the more popular authors on the subject. He has written a number of books on this subject including "Jesus Lived in India", "The Original Jesus", and "The Jesus Conspiracy". He is credited with bringing this subject out of the halls of academia and to the wider public. Kersten’s thesis lays a greater emphasis on Jesus’s connection to Buddhism. Readers often comment on the remarkable detail and research chronicled in his books. Kirsten significantly details the practices of the Jewish sect known as The Essenes who existed at the time of Jesus Christ and were known for their austerity relieved of worldly materials and pursuit. He argues that Buddhist influence would have existed in Egypt and Judea pre Jesus Christ (pbuh).

Author and researcher Suzanne Olssen is a passionate voice and word on this subject who is also known as ‘Indiana Sue’ for her daring expeditions through the Indian sub-continent in an era wrought with conflict and religious extremism. Olssen lays a lot of emphasis on genealogical research with the bloodline of Jesus. She has also done an amazing amount of research and is involved in something called the ‘DNA of God’ project where by with DNA sampling she hopes to prove that Jesus Christ is buried in The Roza Bal shrine in Srinagar, India. In Suzanne’s words, “After having lived there for so long and breathed it and absorbed it into every pore of my body . . . I have no doubt, no doubt, that is Jesus in that tomb”.

Professor Dr. Fida Hussnain is the former Director of Archives and Archeology for Kashmir He is a strong academic and advocate of the crucifixion survival and life in India theory. Dr. Hussnain has written several books on the subject the most popular of which is probably ‘The Fifth Gospel’.

There are many other scholars and personalities who are worthy of mention but this is not the right place for a detailed exposition. My sincere apologies to them. For a greater list of theory founders, key figures, and researchers, please visit

The Rozabal Tomb where Jesus is believed to be buried as Yuz Asaf
The Rozabal Tomb where Jesus is believed to be buried as Yuz Asaf
The foot prints of Yuz Asaf at The Roza Bal reveal what may be crucifixion wounds
The foot prints of Yuz Asaf at The Roza Bal reveal what may be crucifixion wounds

Jesus's (pbuh) alleged tomb in Kashmir enters high controversy

The Roza Bal Shrine

The Roza Bal shrine is believed to be by many (including tens of millions of Ahmadi-Muslims) to be the final resting place of Jesus Christ. It is located in the city of Srinagar, region of Kashmir, in India. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh), the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was the first person to have popularized the theory and his claim that one of the two persons buried at the tomb by the name of Yuz Asaf is in fact Jesus Christ (pbuh). Yuz Asaf means ‘leader of the healed’ and according to one reported tradition it means 'Jesus the gatherer'. Ahmad commissioned his followers to research the site and its locale and procured a document with 500 signatures of locals who claimed that the tomb belongs to a prophet who came from a foreign land hundreds of years ago according to legend. In the first known historical writing where Roza Bal is mentioned in 1747, known as ‘Story of Kashmir’ by Khawaja Muhammad Azam Didamari, Yuz Asaf is mentioned as a foreign prophet. The estimated date of date of inception of Roza Bal is around 120 A.D. The Roza Bal has the footprints of Yuz Asaf imprinted on a piece of stone revealing wounds that could have been caused by an attempted crucifixion. The grave site is shared with a Muslim saint. However, the grave belonging to Yuz Asaph has been confirmed to be laid in the traditional Jewish method of pointing east-west. As of late, the Kashmir government has greatly restricted access to the shrine given heightened tourist interest and deterioration of the tomb. It was featured in The Lonely Planet guide book on India as a rumored burial site of Jesus Christ. As shown in the video above, the researcher Suzanne Olssen obtained a permit to excavate the site for DNA testing of Yuz Asaf's bones which prompted a zealous reaction from local Muslims who deem it heretical that Jesus Christ (pbuh) is buried there. Most Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but instead raised bodily up to heaven by God to be sent back in the latter-days.


Over the years this theory has faced a lot of criticism from the mainstream scholar community. Nicholas Notovich’s book and claims were attacked as a hoax and fabrication. Several western scholars have also come out and spoken against the theory which according to them is not based on any real evidence and at best can only be regarded as a myth. Critics include J. Gordon Melton, Simon Ross Valentine and Max Muller. Biblical scholars naturally maker references to the accounts in the Bible but do not reconcile contradictions with many of the Bible verses supporting this theory. The following link provides some details of the responses to Notovich's original publication which caused quite a stir in academic circles.

19th century responses to Notovich's book

Max Muller, out of some respect for Notovich's work, suggests that the Buddhist Lama's may deliberately have played a hoax with Notovich but this is difficult to accept and does not stand well to reason. Holger Kirsten was also attacked by German scholars and Indologists. However, it is again difficult to understand why they gave such fierce opposition to what seems like a natural academic attraction.

However, over time the theory has certainly gained a wider following and greater credence with the production of two television documentaries by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and the Indian government which are both posted here.


The question then is which theory does one believe in? The attractive feature of survival-crucifixion the Jesus-in-India theory is that it is supported by several dimensions despite if one wants to dispute or disregard these. There is evidence in historical record, in medical books, via study of genealogy and geography of the lost tribes, and via a comparative study of Buddhism and Christianity. It is a theory that agrees with conscience and which is supported by the principles of logic and rationality. It can be reconciled and it is also consistent with the observation of history and how God Almighty regulates the world and our lives—meaning no one has ever descended from Heaven or come back from the dead. Religious doctrine that boots a literal heavenly descent or return of a prophet of which there is plenty including Elijah in Judaism, and Jesus in Christianity and Islam, has never seen such a thing happen. It also pays due respect and regard to Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and his prophecy of surviving a great predicament (the crucifixion) just like Jonah did and reaching the lost tribes to fulfill his divine mission, not that his prayers were rejected by God Almighty and he was barbarically slaughtered by oppressors.

In fact, the misplaced popular notions regarding Jesus Christ (pbuh) is in a prophecy of The Holy Bible itself. Matthew 24:30 says, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory". This is a verse about the second coming of Christ. Why will the nations of the earth mourn at the time when the Son of man comes in glory? Perhaps it will be because the irrational notions (held by Christians and Muslims that Jesus was bodily raised up to the heavens) will be proven wrong.

Disclaimer: The contents of this hub do not represent The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam or The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The official website of The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam or The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is


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