‘Jesus’ vs ‘Muhammad’
AUG 2011
• JESUS – Christianity
• MUHAMMAD – Islam
• Muslims honour Jesus, and consider him a great
• He is mentioned in 15 suras and 93 verses.
• Some Muslim scholars follow the ideas of the ‘Jesus
Seminar’…Historical Jesus ≠ ‘Jesus of Faith’
– They don’t understand the pre-suppositional base used by
the group: no miracles, ‘Hillel’ precedent, etc…
• Others take on Hyam Maccaby’s criticism, that the
gospel of Jesus is a creation of Paul.
• Muhammad ‘Ata ur Rahim, believes Jesus was a
member of the Essene brotherhood.
• Thus, we need to do a comparison of the Jesus of the
Bible vs. the ‘Isa’ of the Qur’an.
Qur’anic Names for Jesus:
• More honourable Titles (eleven) to Jesus than
to any other person:
• Statement of truth (Sura 17:24) vs. ‘Way the
truth and the life’ (John 14:6)
• Word (Sura 10:19) vs. the ‘Word’ (John 1:1)
• Apostle (Sura 19:31) vs. Apostle (Hebrews
• Servant (Sura 4:172; 19:31) vs. Servant
(Isaiah 42, 49, 50 & 53)
• (Sign, Witness, Example, Messiah, Son of
Mary, Messenger, and Spirit of God)
-Appears 25 times in the Qur’an.
-The origin of the word is not clear:
• Historically Christian Arabs used ‘Yesuah’ which is
more grammatically correct.
• Is it Esau: from Arabian Jews who believed Esau’s
soul transferred onto Jesus?
• Or from the ‘Isaniya’, followers of Isa, from a group
in Syria in 571 AD?
• Did it come from the Syriac ‘Iesous’?*
• Thus, ‘Isa’ is uniquely Qur’anic!
-BUT the Qur’anic name is not simply ‘Isa’, by itself:
‘Isa ibn Maryam’
‘Isa’, son of Mary’, occurs 23 times.
– Possibly chosen in contradistinction to son of God,
to show he was human.
– Found only once in the Bible.
– Used by Syriac sources, influencing 70% of all
Qur’anic religious terms.
– Problem: (S.19:28-29; 66:12; 20:25-30) How was
Mary, Jesus’ mother, Aaron’s sister and Imran’s
daughter (Numbers 26), as she lived 1,570 years
– Luke 3 tells us ‘Heli’ was Mary’s father…
‘Isa al masihu’
‘Isa’, the messiah (11 times).
– JESUS: Insous = Joshua - ‘The Lord our Salvation’
– Yesua or Yeshua (Arabic / Heb.)
– MESSIAH: (known in Arabic as al Masihu) found
11 times in the Qur’an
– All in the later Medinan suras, but never defined.
– The meaning has been declared to be unclear by
some Muslim scholars.
– But is used in Morocco for the king (referred to as
the ‘anointed one’).
– We know the Messiah is ‘the anointed
one’…anointed to save, a function of God!
– Thus a puzzle for Muslims, emphasizing his
humanity, while a great bridge for us.
Qur’anic Historical ‘Isa’
Sectarian Influences (source Criticism):
• Monarchists: (2nd C.)God has no children
(sura 4:171; 19:34)
• Docetists (late 1st C.): Jesus didn’t die (sura
• Monophysites - Cholloridian (4th C.)
Maryolatry: Mary in the Trinity (sura 5:116)
• Nestorians (5th C.): Jesus = God-chosen
human (sura 3:42-48, 51, 59; 4:171; 5:116117;19:30, 34-35)
Further Sources:
• Imran & Zachariah (Mary’s Father & patron)
(S.3:35-37) vs. Proto-Evangelion’s James the
Lesser (2nd C.)
• Jesus Speaks from the Cradle (3:46; 5:110;
19:29-30) vs. ‘First Gospel of Infancy of J.C.’
(2nd c.)
• Jesus & Mary being fed by the Palm tree
(S.19:22-26) vs. ‘Lost book of the Bible’ (2nd C.)
• Jesus creating Birds from clay (S.3:49; 5:110)
vs. ‘Thomas’ Gospel of the Infancy of J.C.’
(2nd C.)
Syriac Influences:
from 2nd – 5th C., Eastern Syria
• Progression Of Mary:
– 1st C. = Minor role: mother of Jesus
– 5th C. = Major Role: Eternal Virgin, Mediator, Holy
Woman, Pious, greater than Jesus
– 7th C. = Major Role: (S.3 & 19): Eternal Virgin,
Lives in Temple, above all women, Pious
• Digression Of Joseph:
– 1st C. = Mentioned often,
– 5th C. = Few times,
– 7th C. = Non-Existent
• Suggests Qur’anic material borrowed from
Syriac sources, after 5th C., and not 1st C.
Biblically Historical Jesus
• If we want to know more details about the
life of Christ, then we need to look at
historical sources, writings which were
close to the event, not only to the time
period of Jesus, but close to the place he
lived, in Palestine.
• There are accounts of Jesus which are
close to the time, and the place Christ
lived; written in the late first and early
second century, and written by nonChristian Jewish and Roman historians.
• Let us look at some of these latter
documents first:
Thallus and Phlegon (Greek - 52 AD): two 1st century historians who debate the cause of the darkness in
the middle of the day, and the terrible earthquake
Tacitus Roman historian (80-84AD): death of Jesus,
during reign of Tiberius, by Pontius Pilate of Judea (Lk.3:1)
Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived from AD 37 to
90, wrote the following in his ‘Antiquities of the Jews’.
‘‘And there arose about this time a source of new trouble, one Jesus. He
was a doer of marvellous deeds. This man was the so-called Christ and
when Pilate had condemned him to the Cross, those who had loved him did
not cease - for he appeared to them, as they said, on the third day alive
Lucian of Samosata, a Satirist - early second
century, who referred to Christ as
Seutonius, who refers to Christians as being
‘the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced a new cult
into the world’.
‘given over to a new and mischievous superstition’.
Pliny the Younger (112 AD) advices Trajan on killing
Christians, a community who sang to Christ as to "God"
N. T. WRIGHT – on Josephus
• Jesus in the 1st Century:
– Kingdom of God
– Laws of God
– Temple of God
• VS. Isa in the Qur’an
The Classical Account
• 570
• 610
• 610-622
• 622
• 622-632
• 624
• 630
• 632
Muhammad was born
Met ‘Jibril’ in the Hira Cave
Received ‘Meccan Revelations’
‘Hijra’ from Mecca to Medina
Received ‘Medinan Revelations’
‘Mi’raj’ to the 7 heavens (5 prayers)
Conquered Mecca peacefully
Died (poisoning?)…no written Qur’an
Problem with His biography
• The Late Dates:
Late Dates:
Nothing before 800 AD:
• Sira (Hisham=833AD),
• Hadith (Bukhari=870AD, Mishkat al-Masabih
14th C.),
• Tafsir, Tarikh
– (Tabari=923AD,
– al-Baladhuri=892,
– az-Zamakshari=1144,
– al-Baydawi=1282,
– as-Suyuti=1502)
• Thus, not Primary but Secondary revelation
Problem with the Late Dates:
• Since almost all the material available to
us concerning the life of Muhammad, and
the emergence of Islam from the 7th c.
(i.e. that of the Sira, Hadith, Tafsir,
Ta’rikh), is not compiled until the 9th 10th c., Orientalists (from the
Revisionist’s School) believe it cannot be
 Thus, “if knowledge of the life of Muhammad was
transmitted orally for a century before it was reduced
to writing, then the chances are that the material will
have undergone considerable alteration in the process”
(Cook 1983:65)
 So, Cook & Cröne went to Greek, Syriac, and Armenian
sources from the 7th-8th c. & found a contrasting picture
to the later Islamic Traditions.
They sought to step outside the Islamic Traditions and
start again, piecing together an original account from
non-Islamic sources of Muhammad’s time. The two
together wrote “Hagarism”…a sort of “What if” in 26
pages, supported by 226 notes in a further 27 pages
(Robinson 1996:47)
 Conclusion: They suggested that the history of Islam,
including the life of Muhammad, upto at least the time
of the caliph Abd al-Malik is fraudulent!!!!
Further Problems
Uri Rubin
• Rubin examines how the image of the Prophet was
perceived by believers throughout the various evolving versions
of his life. The contents of the texts are a reflection of the
state of mind of the believers among whom the texts
were created, preserved, and circulated over the ages.
Medieval Islam was preoccupied with portraying its
prophet in a manner comparable to the biblical
prophets. Biblical themes were adopted from the stories of the
prophets, adapted to fit an Arabian situation, and applied
to the biography of Muhammad.
Take the example of the battle of Badr: Al-Miqdad provides
the same response regarding the Children of Israel,
contrasting their inferiority against the superiority of
the Arabs. “The entire Arabian umma as one collective group
constitutes here the new chosen community that replaces
the Children of Israel.”
• John Wansbrough (1977-1978):
(Qur’anic Studies: Sources and Methods of Scriptural Interpretation 1977)
(The Sectarian Milieu: Content and Composition of Islamic Salvation History
• The compilers took their material from collections
compiled within the decades around 800 A.D., and not
from any documents which were written in the seventh
century, and certainly not from the person of
Muhammad or his companions (Humphreys 1991:73, 83; Schacht
1949:143 1949:143-145; 145; Goldziher Goldziher 1889 1889-90:72).
• The Maghazi, which are stories of the prophet's battles
and campaigns, are the earliest Muslim documents
which we possess. They should have given us the best
snapshot of that time, yet they tell us little concerning
the prophet's life or teachings. In fact, oddly enough
nowhere in these documents is there a veneration of
Muhammad as a prophet!
Yehuda D. Nevo (1994)
“Towards a Prehistory of Islam,” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic
and Islam, vol.17, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1994
• Arabic Inscriptions found in the Arabian Desert
form the mid to late 7th century, say nothing about a
people called ‘Muslim’, nor a religion known as ‘Islam’,
nor of a revelation called the ‘Qur’an’, yet they should!
Caliphal Protocals (Sufyani and earlyMarwanid
Periods, upto ‘Abd al-Malik – 691) = no reference
to ‘Muhammad as a prophet’, or a reference to the
”Muhammad Formula” is created ‘almost overnight’
Looking at the Qur’an:
The Peace Verses:
Sura 2:256 = “For there is no compulsion in
“Law of Abrogation”
(Suras 2:106, 16:101)
“That which we give, we give something
(Mansukh vs. Nasikh)
Thus, Sura 2:256 is a weak verse,
abrogated by 101 verses which follow!
Sura 2:190-193 = “Those who fight
you, Do not transgress limits, /
…and slay them wherever ye catch
them, and fight them, until there
prevail faith in Allah”
A Moderate Interpretation:
Sura 5:31-32 (raven, and blood of Abel)
“we ordained for the Children of
Israel that if anyone slew a
person…it would be as if he slew the
whole people; and if anyone saved a
life, it would be as if he saved the life
of the whole people...”
A Radical Interpretation:
Sura 5:31-32 “we ordained for the
Children of Israel that if anyone
slew a MUSLIM…it would be as if
he slew ALL MUSLIMS; and if
anyone saved A MUSLIM, it would
be as if he saved the life of ALL
The Medinan Sword Verse:
Sura 9:5: = “But when the forbidden
months are past, then fight and slay
those who join other gods with Allah
wherever you find them; besiege them,
seize them, lay in wait for them with every
kind of ambush..”
Sword Verse against Christians, Jews:
Sura 9:29 = “...Make war upon such of
those to whom the scriptures have been
given as believe not in Allah, or in the last
day, and who forbid not what Allah and
his apostle have forbidden...until they pay
Methodology of Sword Verses:
Sura 47:4 = ”When you encounter the
unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye
have made a great slaughter among
Sura 8:38-39 = “Unbelievers…And fight
them on until there is no more Tumult or
oppression, and there prevail Justice and
faith in Allah”
Recompense for those who die in Jihad:
Sura 4:74 = “Let those who fight in the
cause of Allah who sell the life of this world
for the hereafter. To him who fighteth in the
cause of Allah, whether he is slain or gets
victory, Soon shall we give him a reward of
great value”
Sura 47:4-6 = “…But those who are killed in
the way of Allah, He will never let their
deeds be lost…and admit them to Paradise”
The Qur’an’s 149 Sword Verses:
2:178 2.
2:179 3.
2:190 4.
2:191 5.
2:193 6.
2:216 8.
2:217 9.
2:218 10. 2:244 11.
3:121 12. 3:122
13. 3:123 14. 3:124 15. 3:125 16. 3:126 17. 3:140 18. 3:141 19. 3:146
20. 3:152 21. 3:153 22. 3:154 23. 3:155 24. 3:156 25. 3:157 26. 3:165
27. 3:166 28. 3:167 29. 3:169 30. 3:172 31. 3:173 32. 3:195 33. 4:071
34. 4:072 35. 4:074 36. 4:075 37. 4:076 38. 4:077 39. 4:084 40. 4:089
41. 4:090 42. 4:091 43. 4:094 44. 4:095 45. 4:100 46. 4:102 47. 4:104
48. 5:033 49. 5:035 50. 5:082 51. 8:001 52. 8:005 53. 8:007 54. 8:009
55. 8:012 56. 8:015 57. 8:016 58. 8:017 59. 8:039 60. 8:040 61. 8:041
62. 8:042 63. 8:043 64. 8:044 65. 8:045 66. 8:046 67. 8:047 68. 8:048
69. 8:057 70. 8:058 71. 8:059 72. 8:060 73. 8:065 74. 8:066 75. 8:067
76. 8:068 77. 8:069 78. 8:070 79. 8:071 80. 8:072 81. 8:073 82. 8:074
83. 8:075 84. 9:005 85. 9:012 86. 9:013 87. 9:014 88. 9:016 89. 9:019
90. 9:020 91. 9:024 92. 9:025 93. 9:026 94. 9:029 95. 9:036 96. 9:038
97. 9:039 98. 9:041 99. 9:044 100.
9:052 101.
9:073 102.
9:083 104.
9:086 105.
9:088 106.
9:092 107.
9:120 109.
9:122 110.
9:123 111.
16:110 112.
22:058 114.
22:078 115.
24:053 116.
24:055 117.
29:006 119.
29:069 120.
33:015 121.
33:018 122.
33:025 124.
33:026 125.
33:027 126.
33:050 127.
47:020 129.
48:015 130.
48:016 131.
48:017 132.
48:024 134.
49:015 135.
59:002 136.
59:005 137.
59:007 139.
59:008 140.
59:014 141.
60:009 142.
61:011 144.
61:013 145.
63:004 146.
64:014 147.
148. 73:020
149. 76:008
How should these verses be exegeted?
The example of Muhammad:
Their Paradigm
• His biography: ‘Sira-t-ul rasul-Allah’,
• His Sayings: Hadith
• The Maghazi: 29 battles fought
39 battles planned
The example of Muhammad:
With those Under his Jurisdiction:
1. The Jews
• 624 - After Badr - Banu Qaynuka
• 625 - After Uhud - Banu al Nadir
• 627 - After the Trench – Banu Quraiza
2. Those who Criticized him:
• Asma the poetess, and Umair the blind
• Around 25 were assassinated
With these Scriptures, and the example of
a can you then
the prophet Muhammad,
understand why so many within Islam today
are saying what they are saying, and doing
what they are doing?
Their authority, they believe, is that of ‘holy
writ’, a divine authority, modelled by the
greatest and clearest paradigm for Mankind,
for all peoples, all places, and for all times…
including the West…today.
Looking at Peace in the Bible
• Old Testament = ‘Shalom’
• Wars were divinely ordained campaigns
• God used them to judge the sinful nations of the
world (Lev. 18:25-28; 20:22; Deut.18:9-14; 2Kings
• Dependency on Divine intervention for God’s
Weak people:
Egypt (plagues):
Jericho (Walls):
Amorites (Sun):
Canaanite (Rain):
Midianites (Confusion):
Arameans (Blindness):
Assyrians (Strikes):
Easterners (Ambush):
Josh 6:20
Josh 10:12-13
• Peace found in:
Bodily Health, stability (Lev.26:6; Job 5:23)
welfare (2Sam.20:19)
family relationships (Gen.29:6; 37:4; 43:23-28)
friendships (Gen.43:27; Ex.18:28)
Persue Peace (Ps.34:14)
Israel’s peace (Num.6:24-26)
God’s relationship (2Sam.20:19; 1Kings 8:61)
Inner spiritual peace (Num.6:26; Ps.4:8; Isa.45:7)
Goal of war is Peace (Ps.72:7; 122:6-8)
• Messiah = ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isa.9:5-7; Mic.5:4-5)
• And when he comes: “Beat [our] swords into
ploughshares and [our] spears into pruning
hooks. Nation will not take up sword against
nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah
New Testament = Eiréné (state of Peace,
opposite of War: Matt.10:34; Lk.12:51)
• Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the Peacemakers”
• Matthew 5:39-44 “whoever slaps you on your right
cheek, turn the other to him also. love your
enemies and pray for those who persecute you
YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend
the whole Law and the Prophets.“
• Matthew 26:52 ”Put away your sword, Jesus
said to him, for all who live by the sword will die
by the sword” (Lk.22:49-51; Jn 18:11)
• Luke 6:27 “Love your enemies”
• ROMANS 10:15 Gospel is “the Gospel of Peace”,
which is to be Preached (Acts 10:36; Eph.6:15)
• ROMANS 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends
on you, be at peace with all men”
• 2 COR.13:11 “live in peace, and the God of love
and peace will be with you”
• COLOSSIANS 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in
your hearts”
• 1 THESS.5:13-16 “Live in peace with one
another… See that no one repays evil for evil, but
always seek after that which is good for one
another and for all people”
• 1 PETER 3:11 “Seek Peace, and pursue it”
Peace between Husbands & Wives
• Love one’s wife: 1 Pet. 3:7, Col. 3:19
“husbands must love your wives &
NEVER treat them harshly.”
• Ephesians 5 ‘A man must love his wife
as Christ loved the church, and be
willing to die for her’
Jesus’ teaching for Christians:
• Instead of Violence – Suffering
(Matt. 5:38-39)
• Instead of Vengeance – Forgiveness
(Matt.6:14-15; Luke 17:3-4; 23:34)
• Instead of Greed – Sharing
(Luke 12:33-34: 18:22)
• Instead of Domination – Service
(Luke 22:24-27)
• Instead of Hatred – Love
(Matt.5:43-45; Luke 6:27-31)
Problem Passages:
• Temple Cleansing: (Mt. 21:12-13; Mk.11:1518; Lk.19:45-46; Jn.2:13-17) On animals, no
violence, but authoritative words
• Not bring Peace, but Sword: (Mt.10:34;
12:51) Consequence of commission, and not
sword, but ‘Word of God’ (“sharper than any
double-edged sword” Heb.4:12)
• ‘Swords’ at Last Supper: (Lk.22:36-38) Be
ready to defend against thieves, exampled
with dinner knives. See its application the
next day…with Peter (Mt. 26:52).
What about the Crusades, Inquisition?
• Ask criteria for their displeasure
“One should not eradicate others for their
God”…agree with them.
• Use Jesus as our paradigm, to condemn the
• Take them to the prophet’s example in Medina
• Then ask them to condemn that example
• Show them that we uniquely have the moral
high ground on this issue…proving the
relevance of Jesus.
• If you want to find peace:
– Don’t go to the Qur’an
– Don’t go to the Prophet Muhammad
• The whole world is looking for PEACE
• There is only one real source for it…
– And WE HAVE IT!!
• Deut. 6:4 = “The Lord our God, the Lord is ONE”
• Phil. 2:11 = “Jesus Christ is Lord”
Divine Titles:
• Matthe26:62-66 (Mark 14:61-64) Jesus before the
– vs. 63 = ‘Christ (Messiah)
– vs. 63 = Son of God
– vs. 64 = ‘Son of Man’ (Daniel 7:14)
• John 8:58 = ‘Yahweh’
Deity of Jesus cont.
• Jesus claimed to be ‘God’:
– John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God”
– John 20:28 “Thomas said to him ‘My Lord and My
– Hebrews 1:8-9 “[God] says, ‘Your throne, O God
will last forever and ever...therefore God, your God,
has set you above your companions...’”
• Sura 4:171: “Isa was a messenger...His Word...a
spirit...not three...Allah is above having a son”
– Cannot have a SON
• Sura 5:72: “...whosoever sets up partners...”
– Cannot have PARTNERS
• Sura 5:75: “They (Mary & Jesus) both used to eat food”
– Cannot eat FOOD
• Sura 5:116: “Worship me (Isa) and my mother (Mary) as
two gods besides Allah”
– Cannot have MARY in the TRINITY
• Sura 6:101: “...He (Allah) has no wife”
– Cannot have a WIFE
VS. Surah 39:4
• Not man becoming God ↑, but God becoming man ↓ (Phil.2:6-8)
• Can God do anything, in his omnipotence? Thus, can he
become a man? Yes! So not how, but why! To Erradicate SIN
• Must remind them of theophanies (burning bush, Angel with
Abraham, Jacob wrestling etc...)
• Mk 14:61-62 = Son of the Blessed One, and ‘Son of Man’ =
Dan.7:13-14 = authority, glory, sovereign power, worship,
• Issa - Jesus = God’s Word (S. 4:171; John 1:1) God’s Word =
uncreated: Sura 85:22 (uncreated eternal tablets = mother of
books S.43:4)
• Jesus = ‘Spirit proceeding from God’ (S. 4:171), ‘supported
by the Holy Spirit’ (S. 12:87; 58:22), Spirit = Essence of God
• Jesus= unique: Sinless (S. 19:19), born of virgin (S. 21:91),
gave life to birds & the dead, healed, miraculous knowledge
• Don’t initiate the discussion on the trinity.
• Don’t trust your opinion, nor your experience, but
what the Bible says, in both the Old Testament
and New Testament (see Blackham’s paper)
• The word ‘Trinity’ is not in the Bible, nor ‘Tawhid’
in the Qur’an?
• Tri-unity (coined by Tertullian 125 A.D.). Not
mathematical (1+1+1, or 1x1x1, or xx) but
organic: (i.e.: son, father, husband, brother, pen,
water, sun, author, egg, body mind and spirit); not
Sabellian (3 consecutive ‘gods’) nor Arian (‘man
becomes God’)
Trinity cont.
• Qur’an stands against ‘Christian’ polytheism
(S.4:17;5:73), but has a mistaken trinity, as it
includes Mary (Sura 5:116)
• Qur’an = Jesus = God’s word, both eternal
(S.85:22) ≠ ‘Tawhid’ since if Qur’an was
created (Mutazilites) then at one time God
was without his word
• Many mysteries we can’t explain (i.e. God’s
omnipresence, eternity, virgin birth, or
electricity etc...), yet we accept them
Trinity cont.
• Allah’s names include Love, Mercy & Compassion: yet all 3
require objects, so these names only exist due to Man’s
creation, & not found or exampled in a 1-dimensional monad
Allah, but found & exemplified in a trinitarian context!
• So Allah requires Man’s existence, while Yahweh chooses
Man’s existence
• Personal man isn’t from impersonal God - except as Imago Dei
• The Tawhid of Allah breeds totalitarian Ummah (many
swallowed into the 1), exampled in Muslim family, community…
• The Trinity of Yahweh breeds individuals relating in community,
exampled in Christian families, communities…
• Islamic trinity = Allah (S.13:16; 14:10), Ruh (S.50:16; 56:83),
& Eternal tablets (S.85:22)
• Baptism of Christ (Luke 3:22)=voice of God the father, dove
as spirit of God, and Son as Jesus. (Matt.6:11-13 = Lord’s
Crucifixion of Jesus in the Qur’an:
Primary Verses to be considered:
• Baidawi (1286 AD) changed 19:15, & 33 to the
future, to 2nd coming (for 40 yrs.) because of
the need to reconcile it with 4:157-159, thus an
internal contradiction..
• Jesus will be taken up is promised in 3:55,
The main passage is: Sura 4:157-159
1) The Jews believe that they had killed Jesus.
2) God reveals that they definitely did not. Jesus
was not killed nor crucified.
3) There was someone else (not named) who
looked like Jesus who died in his place.
4) God instead took up Jesus, like an ascension.
Why must Jesus not have been
• The sovereignty of God; that Allah would not
allow his prophets to suffer (S. 3:181-183)
• Islamic understanding of salvation - that no
atonement is needed, since no one can pay
for another’s sin (S.6:164; 53:38)
– What about Garden of Eden, & Jesus’ sin?
Various Explanations by Muslim scholars:
• Al Baidawi (1286 AD)... ‘God took Jesus to heaven, The
likeness was on someone else who died’.
• (Taken from Mani, a Persian in 276AD)
– ‘God took Jesus to heaven in his sleep’
• (Taken from ‘Gospel of Peter’, 2nd C. Docetic heresy)
• Al-Zamakhshari.. ‘They imagined Jesus was
crucified. But Jesus is alive in heaven’.
– ‘The substitution of a person for Jesus... Judas, another Jew,
or Simon of Cyrene’
• (Taken from Basilides, a Gnostic writer)
• Ahmadiyya view = Swoon Theory, ‘Jesus swooned,
died later & was buried in Kashmir’
• (Taken from the ‘Gospel of John’, 2nd C. Docetic heresy).
Conclusion: there is no resurrection as there was no
Sources for these stories:
Taken from 2nd cent. Docetic (Jesus only seemed
physical) & Gnostic writings.
• The Apocryphal Gospel of Peter: “Jesus was taken
up” (Sura 3:55)
• The Apocryphal Gospel of John: Jesus appeared to
John in a cave, saying the sufferings did not happen to
him. (Sura 4:157)
• Mani (Persian, 276AD): “The widow of Nain’s son was
substituted for Jesus” (Sura 4:157)
• Basilides (Gnostic writer): “Jesus changed forms with
Simon of Cyrene, a substitution” (Sura 5:116)
Ignatius writes against them, quoting them when they
say, “Jesus suffered in semblance”
Problems if Sura 4:157 is true:
• Qur’anic Confusion: Sura 19:33,15 “Blessed be on
me, the day I was born, the day I Die, and the day I
rise again” (Jesus & Yaxya)
• Theological Confusion: (S.6:164; 53:38)? Can one
pay for another’s sin, since this goes against the
Qur’anic objection on atonement
• Eye-Witnesses Confusion: Three eye-witnesses
vs. one supposition 600-900 years later (4 gospels vs.
1 Quran), who do you believe? Eyewitnesses
• Extra-Biblical Confusion:(Thallus = 50AD,
Josephus 80-90AD, Tacitus 80AD, Pliny the
Younger 112AD)
• Moral Confusion: (Sura 4:157-158) Is God deceitful,
since he uses another man to die in Jesus’ place, and
then tells no-one for 600 years?
Jesus vs. Muhammad
1. At His birth Jesus was born of a Virgin (19:20 & 7:14)
2. As a baby Jesus speaks from the cradle (3:46; 5:110; 19:29-30)
– Did Muhammad speak as an infant?
3. As a child Jesus & Mary are fed miraculously by a Palm tree (S.19:22-26)
– Was Muhammad ever fed miraculously?
4. As a child Jesus creates birds from clay (S.3:49; 5:110)
– Could Muhammad create anything?
5. In adulthood 3:49 & 5:110 Jesus heals the lepers, gives sight to the
blind, and raises the dead
- Did Muhammad heal, give sight, or raise from the Dead?
6. Jesus was uniquely referred to as the ‘righteous one’ (19:19)
- Was Muhammad sinless? No, see Sura 48:2 ‘Ask forgiveness for your
Sins of the past & future’
• Jesus is important to the Qur’an, referred to
93 times, but he’s not the Biblical ‘Jesus’
• Qur’an uses the wrong name: ‘Isa’ (Syriac?)
• The Qur’anic titles emphasize his humanity
(‘Isa ibn Maryam’, ‘Isa al-Masihu’)
• And confuses his mother with O.T. ‘Miriam’
• Much is spoken of his childhood, but little of
his adulthood, unlike the Biblical account
• Historically, ‘Isa’ is derived from Sectarian
• ‘Isa’ = 5th c. Syriac, while ‘Jesus’ = 1st C.
• Muhammad is redacted from the 9th C.
• Muhammad used violence, while Jesus
spoke of and modelled Peace
• Seeming problem’s of Jesus’ Divinity help
preach the Gospel
• Son of God points to his omnipotence
• Qur’anic view of Trinity is wrong, and
• Qur’anic Trinity exists, but unexplained
• Crucifixion: Qur’anic = Internal confusion, no
historicity, all can be traced to 2nd C.writings
• Jesus vs. Muhammad?
Jesus is unique (birth, death, ministry)
Jesus = righteous (S. 19:19) Muh. forgiven 3 times!
Jesus did miracles, Muh. never could
Jesus is universally relevant, Muhammad fits 7th C. only…
– Jesus is God…Muhammad is merely a man…

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