Jesus in India

Older Book Reviews (1899 – 1999)

Deliverance from the Cross – Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, London 1978

The publication of this book was meant to coincide with the above-mentioned conference. The book provides the Ahmadiyya-Islamic perspective of the birth, ministry and post-crucifixion life of Jesus. Chapter eight on the travel of Jesus to Kashmir is one of the more interesting chapters. An important reference is given regarding Oxford scholar O.M Burke, who wrote the book Among the Dervishes. 

In that publication, which is quoted extensively by Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, an account is given of a religious community near Herat, Afghanistan who are followers of Jesus. The community believes that following the crucifixion, Jesus preached to them. He is also known as Yuzu Asaf, the Kashmiri.

They even possess a book of his traditions. It appears that the community is composed of descendents of the original followers of Yuzu Asaf, who have adhered to certain Christian traditions, and at the same time embraced Islam.

Jesus Lived in India – Holger Kersten, Germany, 1983

The English version of the book was released in 1986, translated from the German. The author is a teacher and traveler and interested in Oriental studies. He visited India to retrace the steps of Jesus’ actual life, having heard of the theory of Jesus in India in early 1970s.
He received help from Professor Fida Hassnain in gathering and summarizing the ancient Indian literature of Jesus’ life in India. The anthropologic evidence of the Lost Tribes of Israel having domiciled in Kashmir and Afghanistan is also reviewed.

He does rely on documents of dubious authenticity such as Notovitchs’ – ‘The Unknown Life of Jesus’, to show that Jesus also visited India in his youth, as have many other scholars mentioned in our current review.

The journey of Jesus to India is discussed in detail in Chapter 6. No new evidence is provided apart from one reference to certain traditions of Kurdish tribes in Turkey. 

One ethnologist from Luxembourg, who spent several years with these tribes in Turkey, mentioned there are oral traditions of Jesus residing in Eastern Turkey after the resurrection. Kersten provides no further details.

Interestingly, there are traditions in Persian books of history, such as Rauzat-us –Safa of Jesus’ sojourn in Turkey mentioned by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Jesus in India. Also, in the early 1900s, some first century Syriac documents entitled ‘The Odes of Solomon’ were discovered.

These belonged to followers of Jesus in what is now modern day Turkey. It is clear from these documents that Jesus survived the ordeal of the crucifixion, and due to intense persecution, migrated.

Holger Kersten has produced more books, focusing on the Jesus’ connection with Buddhism and Eastern Mysticism, and has had particular appeal amongst the New Age movement.

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