Back in early 2009, when I first became a Christian, I soon became very comfortable sharing the Gospel with a wide variety of people of all different faiths. I then began interacting with Muslims, but there was a HUGE problem:
I just did not know enough about "their view" of Jesus presented in the QUR'AN.
Because of this, I was not able to defend the Jesus portrayed in the Bible, because of my ignorant knowledge of the QUR'AN.
I thought to myself, “What if Islam is right and Christianity is wrong? Muslims certainly talk about Jesus being a prophet too! What really are the differences between the QUR'AN and the Bible and Islam versus Christianity? I really need to look into this with an open mind.”
I then decided to research Islam extensively and even bought myself my very own QUR'AN. I asked some Muslims, who I was interacting with at the time, what would be a good version to get, with some great Muslim commentary.
I was told to get:
"THE HOLY QUR'AN with English Translation & Commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali."
I saved some money up, bought one, and basically engulfed myself into reading it, and researching all about the Muslim faith.
(This is the exact copy that I still have today which I use, read, and reference to from time to time.)
Although there are other area’s within my research of the QUR'AN that I found to be “problem area’s” that could be addressed on this page, such as Muhammad's forceful encounter with Gabriel which is in sharp contrast to the Bible’s recorded incidences of Gabriel's appearance to man:
Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:20-21; Luke 1:19; Luke 1:26
In which, it can be observed, the three incidents that the angel Gabriel first appeared, he sought to allay the fears of those seeing him. He touched Daniel and raised him to his feet, and told Zechariah and Mary not to be afraid. Also, Gabriel always made sure that the recipients understood the message he brought. The Angel Gabriel did not leave his recipients in total disarray and confusion.
Compare this with the reaction of Muhammad when the angel Gabriel appeared to him in the cave. Muhammad was physically “choked”, totally confused, and was so fearful, that he sought comfort from his wife and even wanted to commit suicide.
There are also other major angelic contradictions in the QUR'AN in sharp contrast to the Bible. The QUR'AN represents God on the occasion of the creation of Adam, requiring the angels/djinn to bow down and worship this first human.
All do so with the exception of Iblis “Satan”, who refuses to do so on the grounds that Adam was a mere mortal. (Surah 15:26-35, 2:34; 7:11-12; 17:61; 18:51; 20:116; 38:72-78). Satan’s reasoning as reported in the QUR'AN was actually biblical and correct.
Last of all, and then we will dive into the main topic, another one of the “problem area’s” that could be addressed, is that the Qur’an contains demonstrably legendary stories about Jesus which evolved during the second and third centuries. The legendary Infancy Gospel of Thomas is “borrowed” and put in the QUR'AN --of how the boy Jesus made a bird out of clay and then made it come to life. Jesus creating birds or speaking from the cradle, among others that were in circulation four hundred years before Muhammad’s birth and predate the production of the QUR'AN.
What I am going to share on this page is my biggest concern of a “problem area” and that is focusing on the report of Jesus’ crucifixion.
If you do not know much about Islam, I hope that this helps in giving you a better understanding of the Muslim faith compared to the Christian faith, especially what the New Testament proclaims versus what the QUR'AN states about Jesus crucifixion, which was written over 600 years AFTER the New Testament…
(570 – 632) Muhammad was an Arab born in the city of Mecca in 570 A.D. He claimed he was the prophet to restore true religion (Islam) and the praise of Allah throughout the world.
Islam is based entirely upon the secret, private experiences of Muhammad. Mohammed regularly went alone to a cave and claimed that a “revealer” delivered visions to him there. He later identified this person as the angel Gabriel. The QUR'AN is “supposed” to be the very word of Allah, revealed through Gabriel to Mohammed.
The biggest “problem area” for me and a MAJOR CONTRADICTION that I quickly noticed when I first began the research between the QUR'AN and the New Testament is how they report Jesus’ crucifixion.
The New Testament explicitly states that Jesus died and there was a Resurrection.
The QUR'AN states that Jesus did not die; therefore there was no Resurrection.
They both cannot be right; therefore one MUST be wrong.
There is no in between, as Chrislam is an attempt to syncretize Christianity with Islam. The essential concept of Chrislam is that Christianity and Islam are compatible, that you can be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time. The most crucial doctrine of the Christian faith is rejected in Islam. As a result, the two religions are absolutely not compatible, making Chrislam a concept both Christians and Muslims should reject.
If there was no death of Jesus, then there is no Resurrection, and this means the Christian faith is worthless. On the other hand, if Jesus did die and there was a Resurrection, Christianity is true, Islam is false, and the Islam faith is in vain.
Given the evidence of how brutal a crucifixion was (see Resurrection Apologetics tab, scroll down to “Crucifixion”) chances of survival for Jesus would have been HIGHLY unlikely. Also, given His appearances so soon after being crucified, He would have looked like a stumbling zombie, not the Savior of the world who defeated death in Glory.
Josephus (b. 37 C.E.) is our best literary source for the practice of crucifixion in Palestine during the Greco-Roman period. As a general in command of the Jewish forces of Galilee in the Great Revolt against Rome (66-73 C.E.), he reports his attempts to save the lives of three crucified captives by appealing directly to the Roman general Titus. Only one survived the cross under a physician’s care, most likely Rome’s finest at the time, and the other two could not be saved. See below:
“And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealins, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician’s hands, while the third recovered.”
So, let’s look at this realistically for a moment. This is the only historical account ever recorded of someone surviving a crucifixion as Josephus records. Only one out of the three captives taken down from being crucified survived, and they had “the greatest care taken of them under the physician’s hands.” This no doubt was the best medical care at the time.
Even if Jesus did not die at crucifixion, He was not tended with the greatest care by the hands of a physician and had a full recovery with His appearances so soon after being crucified, because like I said, He would have looked like a stumbling zombie, not the Savior of the world who defeated death in Glory.
Let’s now see what the QUR'AN states regarding references to Jesus and the crucifixion. All will be from:
The Holy Qur’an (Arabic Text) with English Translation and Commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali “renowned author of several classic works on Islam”
sūrat l-nisāa 4:157-159 -”And for their saying: We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah, and they killed him not, nor did they cause his death on the cross, but he was made to appear to them as such. And certainly those who differ therein are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge about it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for certain: Nay, Allah exalted him in His presence. And Allah is ever Mighty, Wise. And there is none of the People of the Book but will believe in this before his death; and on the day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.”
I think it would be important to note here that there are different translations of the QUR’AN. According to the Quranic Arabic Corpus, an annotated linguistic resource for the QUR’AN, here are seven parallel translations in English:
Sahih International: “…and they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them…”
Pickthall: “…they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them…”
Yusuf Ali: “…but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them….”
Shakir: “…and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa)…”
Muhammad Sarwar: “..when, in fact, they could not have murdered him or crucified him. They, in fact, murdered someone else by mistake. Even those who disputed (the question of whether or not Jesus was murdered) did not have a shred of evidence…”
Mohsin Khan: “… but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man)…”
Arberry: “…yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them…”
As you can see some state that they murdered someone else by mistake, or the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), some are vague descriptions of what happened. For a quick rebuttal of these, please refer to the “Resurrection Apologetics – Impersonation Theory tab” for a quick debunk.
I will now focus on The Holy Qur’an (Arabic Text) with English Translation and Commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali version of sūrat l-nisāa 4:157-159
Commentary by Mr. Ali will be in blue
Counter-argument will be in black
Commentary as follows 157a: “The words ‘ma salabu-hu’ do not negative Jesus’ being nailed to the cross; they negative his having expired his having expired on the cross as a result of being nailed to it. ‘Salb’ is a well-known way of killing (T, LA). ‘Salaba-hu’ means ‘he put him to death in a certain well-known manner’ (LL). That Jesus did a natural death is plainly stated in 5:117: “And I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but Thou didst cause me to die, Thou wast the Watcher over them.” See 5:117a. The Gospels contain clear testimony showing that Jesus Christ escaped death on the cross.
The following point may be noted:
Jesus remained on the cross for a few hours only. Mark 15:25; John 19:14, but death by crucifixion was always tardy.
Counter-argument: Mr. Ali referenced:
Mark 15:25 – “It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.”
John 19:14 – “It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
-What Mr. Ali may not realize is that Mark and John were more than likely using alternative means of reckoning time, both of which were in existence in the first century Mediterranean world. Mark, in the common Jewish manner, reckoned the hour from day break (therefore, the third hour was about 9:00AM), while John, in the official roman manner, reckoned the hour from midnight (therefore, his “6th hour” was about 6:00AM). Some other scholars conclude that both writers were using round numbers, following Jewish reckoning, in a world where the days and nights were often divided into fourths. A midmorning time of roughly 10:30 could then get rounded either down or up to the nearest three-hour marker. Also, it appears that Mr. Ali is implying that Jesus could not have died because crucifixion was always “tardy.” This is far from being true, this was not always the case.
He has not taken into consideration Jesus’ high stress, his beating in front of Caiaphas, near death flogging, the crown of thorns, and carrying the cross to the crucifixion point all prior to His crucifixion. Jesus was in serious, maybe even critical condition, which all more than likely sped up the crucifixion process (please see Resurrection Apologetics tab, scroll down to “Crucifixion" for more details).
So as Mr. Ali states that the Gospels contain clear testimony showing that Jesus Christ escaped death on the cross, is far from the truth.
157a points commentary continues and may be noted:
The two men crucified with Jesus were still alive when taken down from the cross; the presumption that Jesus too was alive.
The breaking of legs was resorted to in the case of the two criminals, but dispensed within the case of Jesus. John 19:32-33
The side of Jesus being pierced, blood rushed out and this was a certain sign of life.
Counter-argument: It is obvious that both of the criminals were still alive as Mr. Ali rightly points out, because of:
John 19:32– “The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.”
What Mr. Ali fails to include is the reason why they did so and this was because the breaking of the legs only expedited their deaths. Also Mr. Ali implies that the “two men were still alive when taken down from the cross,” which is more than likely false. Depending on what type of crucifixion it was, it is highly possible that the only thing that was keeping them alive was straightening their legs to take a deep breath.
The general method of ending a crucifixion was by crurifracture, which is to break the person’s leg bones. That way, they can no longer lift themselves up and they die from asphyxiation rather quickly. So to make the claim that “the two men and even Jesus were ‘still alive’ when they were taken down from the cross is false.
So as Mr. Ali wrongly supposes that Jesus was alive as well, he is wrong as we can conclude from John 19:33 as it states:
“But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” Mr. Ali is clearly “cherry picking.”
What we need to keep in mind is that these were trained soldiers in the art of killing and knew when someone was dead. They also went as far as:
John 19:34-35 – “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.”
Mr. Ali makes yet another false conclusion stating that when this happened that:
“The side of Jesus being pierced, blood rushed out and this was a certain sign of life.”
This analysis could not be any more wrong. John, an eyewitness, saw blood and water come out after Jesus was crucified, which means the soldier pierced his heart, showing that His lungs had collapsed and he had died of asphyxiation.
Any physician can certify to this truth. In fact, with his heart beating erratically, Jesus would have known that he was at the moment of death, which is when he was able to say, “Lord into your hands I commit my spirit,” and then he more than likely died of cardiac arrest. The hypovolemic shock would have caused a sustained rapid heart rate that would have contributed to heart failure, resulting in the collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart, called pericardial effusion, as well as around the lungs, which is called pleural effusion. When the soldier “pierced his side” the spear apparently went through the right lung and into the heart, so when the spear was pulled out, some fluid (the pericardial effusion and pleural effusion) came out.
This would have had the appearance of a clear fluid, like water, followed by a large volume of blood, as the eyewitness John described. This description is consistent with what modern medicine would have expected to happen. Though it states “blood and water came out”, the order of words in ancient Greek was not necessarily by sequence but by prominence. If there was more blood than water, it would have made sense for John to mention the blood first.”
I’m really not sure why Mr. Ali would note that blood rushing out was a certain sign of life when all the evidence surly points to the opposite conclusion – death.
157a points commentary continues and may be noted:
Even Pilate did not believe that Jesus actually died in so short of a time. Mark 15:44
Counter-argument: Mark 15:44 states, “And Pilate marveled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.”
Nowhere in this verse as Mr. Ali states does it say Pilate did not “believe” that Jesus actually died in so short of a time.
The Greek word actually is “Ἐθαύμασεν,” when correctly translated is “marveled.”
What we must keep in mind is that it was not just the mere cross that deprived Jesus of life, but as mentioned before, Mr. Ali has not taken into consideration Jesus’ high stress, his beating in front of Caiaphas, near death flogging, the crown of thorns, and carrying the cross to the crucifixion point all prior to His crucifixion. Jesus was in serious, maybe even critical condition, which all more than likely sped up the crucifixion process (please see Resurrection Apologetics tab, scroll down to “Crucifixion" for more details).
It is rightly noted that those crucified sometimes used to protract life for a considerably longer time. Death by crucifixion did not generally supervene even for three days, and thirty-six hours is said to be the earliest period when it would be thus brought about. Pilate, therefore, “marveled” at the request of Joseph, and required the evidence of the centurion to assure himself of the fact.
For death, by crucifixion, was a slow lingering death; persons that were in their full strength hung a great while before they expired; and the two thieves, which were crucified with Christ, were not dead when he was “and calling unto him the centurion; who was set to watch him: he asked him, whether he had been any while dead; he inquired of him, whether he was dead, and how long he had been dead.”
But it was necessary that Pilate should be assured of the fact that death had taken place before he gave up the body; and thus, in the providence of God, another evidence was given of the reality of Christ's death. Joseph asked for the body (σῶμα). Then Pilate asked the centurion "whether he had been any while dead." The verb here is in the “aorist”, and the adverb means "formerly" (εἰ πάλαι ἀπέθανε); literally, if he died some time ago.
Pilate had permitted the breaking of the legs of the two criminals; but the fact, that Jesus had died before the breaking of the legs (of the other two), came to Pilate’s knowledge “through” Joseph, and not until then:
Mark 15:43 – “Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.”
Therefore, Mr. Ali’s commentary on this passage using the word “believe” is not credible.
157a points commentary continues and may be noted:
Jesus was not buried like the two criminals, but was given into the charge of a wealthy disciple of his, who lavished care on him and put him in a spacious tomb hewn in the side of a rock. Mark 15:46
Counter-argument: This seems to be correct commentary by Mr. Ali, but what needs to be addressed a little further for discussion is the evidence that presents itself that Jesus was dead at this point. Let us look at the facts as presented a little further.
Mark 15:46 states, “And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.”
While all the Gospels agree that Joseph of Arimathea had authorization from Pilate to have Jesus’ dead body, the Gospel of John goes a little further into detail of the account:
John 19:39-40 – “And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight. Then they took the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.”
As Jewish historical tradition records that this amount of anointing material was used at the funeral of a king. Some sources say that there were only seventy‑five pounds of myrrh and aloes used to prepare Jesus' body for burial. Whether it was seventy‑five or one hundred pounds of myrrh and aloe, Nicodemus brought enough of these expensive embalming materials for use in a hundred or more common Jewish burials. Historical records show that the more respected an individual was, the larger the quantity of these costly materials used in the burial perpetration.
Josephus records that forty pounds of spices were used at the funeral of the highly respected elder R. Gamaliel (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 17c.8, s.3).
Although it is unlikely that there were more than three hours between Jesus' death and sunset, because of Joseph's and Nicodemus' preparations for Jesus' burial, there was ample time to wash the body, apply the embalming materials, wrap the body in linen, and place it in the tomb before the Sabbath began. The point being is that Jesus was dead, and now wound in linen clothes with spices and a mixture of myrrh and aloe, possibly weighing up to and over “roughly” one- hundred lbs.
157a points commentary continues and may be noted:
When the tomb was seen on the 3rd day, the stone was found to have been removed from its mouth Mark 16:4, which would not have been the case if there had not been a supernatural rising.
Counter-argument: Mark 16:4 states, “And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.”
One of the tomb’s most impressive features was the immense stone that acted as its door. Matthew used the Greek phrase "lithon megan" to describe the stone (27:60). This two-word combination is the source of our modern term, “megalith” (large stone). Mark and Luke report that the four women who came to the tomb wondered who would move the stone for them (Mark 16:2-4; Luke 24:10). Mark calls the stone “very large.” How large is “very large”?
While we may never know, it is safe to assume that four women could move a fairly large stone without help; yet, apparently the force needed to move this stone exceeded their combined strength (Mark 16:3). If these women didn’t move it, who did? Can we rationally conclude that it was moved by a brutally beaten, crucified, and allegedly dead man? The record indicates that an angel of the Lord was dispatched from heaven to accomplish the task (Matthew 28:2).
Someone might contend that the stone could not have been too heavy since Joseph rolled it in place by himself (Matthew 27:60). But this is only partially correct. The stones used for this purpose often were set in a sloping groove with the low point in front of the tomb’s opening. While it may have taken many men to move and scotch the stone up and away from the doorway prior to burial, one man easily could have removed the block and allowed gravity to draw the stone down the slope into its proper resting position. Also, it is possible that the stone was set in place by a number of men under the direction of Joseph.
Moreover, the stone was not just nudged aside to allow a single man to slip through, but it actually was moved completely away from the tomb (John 20:1). The moving of the great stone by the angel was an event of such magnitude that Matthew tells us the soldiers “shook for fear of him, and became as dead men” (28:4). It is no wonder they left their post and returned to the city to make a report to the chief priests! Adding to their fear of this supernatural sighting was the fact that the tomb they were guarding was opened and empty. Perhaps they reasoned that if the Jews knew the circumstances, they would not press charges against them for losing custody of the body.
The impressive evidence from the tomb and stone may be summarized as follows. On Friday, at least four witnesses saw Jesus’ dead body placed into a previously empty tomb. The tomb was sealed with a stone too large for four women to move. Jesus’ presence in the tomb was acknowledged by friend and enemy alike on Saturday, when the stone was possibly affixed with a Roman seal if Roman guards were placed there. On Sunday the stone had been moved and Jesus’ body was gone.
So as for the commentary by Mr. Ali goes, it completely ignores these details as presented.
157a points commentary continues and may be noted:
Mary, when she had saw him, took him for the gardener John 20:15, which shows that Jesus disguised himself as the gardener. Such disguise would not have been needed if Jesus had risen from the dead.
Counter-argument: John 20:15 states, “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”
Mr. Ali has not taken any other possibilities into consideration and asserts a mere “opinion” that does not substantiate any other factual alternatives.
Here are the two questions that need to be asked:
Was Mary’s failure to recognize Jesus her fault, or the result of Jesus having a different body?
There are at least four possibilities, however, as to why Mary failed to recognize Jesus right at first.
The sun may not have risen all the way yet, thus making it difficult to see:
John 20:1 - “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.”
This scarcely contradicts:
Mark 16:2 – “And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.”
(“at sunrise”), since the minutes before and after dawn always resemble “twilight” – part dark, part light.
Mary was engaged in deep weeping that likely obscured her vision:
John 20:11 – “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,”
John 20:13 - “And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.”
In fact, the first words Jesus said to Mary were, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
John 20:15 – “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?...”
Considering Jesus’ clothes were taken from Him when He was crucified:
John 19:23-24 – “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.”
And that the linen cloths which were used in His burial were lying in the tomb:
John 20:6-7 – “Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.”
Jesus likely was wearing clothes that made His exact identity less conspicuous at first glance. Perhaps His post-resurrection attire was similar to what a gardener or watchman would wear.
It also is a great possibility that Mary’s eyes were restrained miraculously, as were the eyes of the disciples with whom Jesus conversed on the road to Emmaus:
Luke 24:16 – “But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.”
It is not clear from the text why they could not recognize Jesus, but it does “suggest” they were “prevented from recognizing Him. Yet another example when Jesus was not immediately recognized was when the disciples did not recognize Him when they were out fishing:
John 21:4 – “But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.”
This could also be related to the distance Jesus might have been from them. Anyhow, it seems that they were supernaturally prevented from recognizing Jesus. Once all of the Scriptures are taken into account, one can see that Jesus physically rose from the grave in essentially the same body that was crucified on the cross. The fact that some of Jesus’ disciples did not immediately recognize Him in no way contradicts His physical resurrection recorded by eye witness testimony, which Islam rejects based on one man’s vision 600 years later.
157a points commentary continues and may be noted:
It was the same body of flesh that the disciples saw Jesus, and the wounds were still there deep enough for a man to thrust his hand in John 20:25-28. He still felt hunger and ate as his disciples ate Luke 24:39-43
Counter-argument: What Mr. Ali is seemingly trying to suggest in his commentary is that because of:
John 20:25-28 – “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”
Luke 24:39-43 – “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”
….that because Jesus had “the same body of flesh”, the wounds were still there, he still felt hunger, and ate with His disciples, this means that Jesus never died. All evidence provided contrary, because in no way, shape, or form, does it support his theory. The first story depicts Thomas in so poor a light that it is highly unlikely invented. It also portrays the disciples cowering behind locked doors for fear of the authorities, hardly in any psychological frame of mind to receive visions of a resurrected Christ. The text also confirms that Jesus was genuinely, bodily raised from the dead! Hardly what Mr. Ali is trying to imply.
The second story Jesus stresses that His body was physical (“flesh and bones”) and the same body as that was placed in the tomb (“Look at My hands and My feet”). Nevertheless, it was a body that could materialize and dematerialize (in some sense) at will, since He just appeared in their midst.
The nature of the resurrection body will be freed from the restrictions imposed by sin and will be raised in power and glory, and we will no longer be subject to the flaws and fragility that pervade life today.
The resurrected body will be a spiritual one. Our natural bodies are suited for living in this world, but this is the only realm in which we can live.
1 Corinthians 15:50 - “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God”
After the resurrection we will have a “spiritual body,” perfectly suited for living in heaven. This does not mean that we will be only spirits—spirits do not have bodies—but that our resurrected bodies will not need physical sustenance or depend on natural means of supporting life.
Where I am going with this is that we get a glimpse of what our resurrection bodies will be like when we recall Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances.
He still had visible wounds, and His disciples could physically touch Him, yet He was able to travel effortlessly and appear and disappear at will. He could go through walls and doors, yet could also eat and drink and sit and talk.
Scripture informs us that:
“our “lowly bodies” will be just “like His glorious body” Philippians 3:21
Indeed, the physical limitations imposed by sin that hinder our ability to fully serve Him on earth will be forever gone, freeing us to praise and serve and glorify Him for eternity. What Mr. Ali implies only strengthens the case of Jesus Resurrection.
157a points commentary continues and may be noted:
Jesus Christ undertook a journey to Galilee with two of his disciples walking side by side with him Matthew 28:10, which shows that he was fleeing for refuge; a journey to Galilee was not necessary to rise to Heaven.
Counter-argument: Matthew 28:10 states, “Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”
What Mr. Ali did here is take this verse entirely out of context. When the disciples did as they were commanded by Jesus, Mr. Ali neglects portent information and does what is known as “cherry picking,” because the text continues..
Matthew 28:16-20 – “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
This passage is related thematically to:
Luke 24:47-49 – “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Acts 1:4-8 – “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
But it does not record the “ascension of Jesus” and is best understood as a separate incident. Like Luke, Matthew was probably summarizing the final teaching of Jesus to some degree. John 21:1-23 indicates that the apostles spent at least some of the 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension in Galilee, as Jesus instructed them. There is no contradiction between this account and the command in Luke 24:49 (see above) and Acts 1:8 (see above) to remain in Jerusalem, because that command referred to the days after Jesus’ ascension, not His resurrection.
Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus and His disciples went to Mount Olivet, near Jerusalem. There, Jesus promised His followers that they would soon receive the Holy Spirit, and He instructed them to remain in Jerusalem until the Spirit had come. Then Jesus blessed them, and as He gave the blessing, He began to ascend into heaven. The account of Jesus' ascension is found in:
Luke 24:50-51 – “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.”
Acts 1:9-11 – “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
It is plain from Scripture that Jesus' ascension was a literal, bodily return to heaven. He rose from the ground gradually and visibly, observed by many intent onlookers. As the disciples strained to catch a last glimpse of Jesus, a cloud hid Him from their view, and two angels appeared and promised Christ's return:
Acts 1:11 – "in just the same way that you have watched Him go"
So, in conclusion, what Mr. Ali did was take Scripture out of context, which was pertaining to a different incident, and is once again guilty of "cherry-picking."
157a points commentary continues and may be noted:
In all post crucifixion appearances Jesus is found hiding himself as if he feared being discovered.
Counter-argument: This commentary by Mr. Ali can easily be dismissed with:
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 – “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”
It seems very foolish to say “In all post crucifixion appearances Jesus is found hiding himself as if he feared being discovered,” when we read above the Jesus “was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”
The above Scriptures are what was known as “oral tradition” and is also an “Early Creed.” We know it’s a creed, because the words “delivered” and “received” communicates that Paul is giving the tradition he received.
The following information is courtesy of Dr. Michael Licona and Dr. Gary Habermas and their ongoing thorough research:
The “oral tradition” in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 contains indicators of an Aramaic original:
Fourfold use of the Greek term “hoti” is common in creeds
“Cephas,” is Aramaic for Peter, but Paul wrote in Greek.
Text’s content is stylized, containing parallelisms
The origin of creed can be dated very soon after Jesus’ crucifixion (probably within 5 years).
Crucifixion dated A.D. 30 by most scholars
Paul’s conversion dated A.D. 31-33
Paul then goes away for 3 years after his conversion, then visits Peter and James in Jerusalem (Gal. 1:18-19). Most scholars believe that Paul received the creed from them at this time. The other option is that he received it in Damascus at conversion (3 years earlier). Either way he probably received it within 2-5 years of Jesus’ crucifixion (which places the origin of the creed even earlier) from someone whom he, as an apostle, deemed to be a "trustworthy source".
157a points commentary continues and may be noted:
Jesus prayed the whole night before his arrest to be saved from the accursed death on the cross, and he also asked his disciples to pray for him; the prayers of a righteous man in distress and affliction are always accepted. He seems to have even received a promise from God to be saved, and it was to this promise that he referred when he cried on the cross: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Hebrews 5:7 makes the matter still more clear, for there it is plainly stated that the prayer of Jesus was accepted: “When he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared”.
Counter-argument: What Mr. Ali did here was commit a “Logical Fallacy” known as “Special Pleading.” A “Logical Fallacy” is fallacious reasoning that keeps us from knowing the truth, and the inability to think critically makes us vulnerable to manipulation by those skilled in the art of rhetoric. A logical fallacy basically is an error of reasoning. Whether he knew he did it or not, is not the point, but it still must be addressed.
If you look at his commentary carefully enough, you will notice that Mr. Ali “rejected” the reliability of the Christian text in one moment and then “accepted” the reliability of the text when he believes that it could be in support for his own cause. When this happens a “Logical Fallacy” is committed known as "Special Pleading;" which therefore makes this particular commentary analysis invalid. But for presentation purposes, let’s expound upon his fallacious points.
While Jesus had the disciples pray for Him, and He prayed as well, what Mr. Ali fails to say about Jesus’ prayers is that though Jesus IS righteous, IS without sin, and WAS distressed, Jesus said, “May Your will be done.”
Matthew 26:42 – “He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
Luke 22:42 - “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Now while Mr. Ali draws upon:
Hebrews 5:7 – “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;”
…to make his argument, it seems what he is “trying” to argue goes against:
Hebrews 2:9- “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
It seems he should have been more careful on how he interprets the Book of Hebrews.
He must also be careful how he interprets:
James 5:16 – “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
As this verse is also being alluded to in his already invalid argument where he states,
“the prayers of a righteous man in distress and affliction are always accepted,”
and we can clearly see the distinction:
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Always accepted and availeth much are closely related, but not the same position.
Now as we read his commentary what he points out is:
Matthew 27:46 - “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
But what Mr. Ali is not mentioning (may not know) that this is actually a fulfillment of:
Psalm 22:1 – “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
Which is one of the MANY parallels (also prophecies that were fulfilled) between that Psalm and the specific events of the crucifixion. Now it must be said that it is difficult to understand in what sense Jesus was “forsaken” by God. However, Isaiah tells us:
Isaiah 53:4-5 – “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
In those awful moments, Jesus was expressing His feelings of abandonment as God placed the sins of the world on Him – and because of that had to “turn away” from Jesus. As Jesus was feeling that weight of sin, He was experiencing separation from God for the only time in all of eternity. It was at this time:
2 Corinthians 5:21 occurred, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Jesus became sin for us, so He felt the loneliness and abandonment that sin always produces, except that in His case, it was not His sin – it was ours.
157a points commentary continues and reaches its conclusion with this, which may be noted:
“Both the Jews and the Christians necessarily believe in the death of Jesus on the cross, while according to the Holy QUR'AN they have really no sure knowledge of it.”
“Hence the fundamental principle of the belief of both Jews and Christians is that Jesus died on the cross, and the meaning of the verse is clear, viz., every Jew and Christian, notwithstanding that he has no sure knowledge at all, must believe before his death that Jesus died on the cross.”
-The bottom line is that “if” Jesus did NOT die on the Cross, then Christianity is without question in vain. Paul said that if Christ was not raised from the dead, then the faith of a Christian is worthless:
1 Corinthians 15:13-19 – “ But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
Of course, Jesus’ resurrection requires His death, and so Paul is stating that if Christ did not die on the cross, then the Christian faith is worthless.
Thus we are presented with a question:
"Which is right—the Qur’an or the Bible?"
Of course, if we were to choose the Qur’an without perusing the evidence, we would not be searching for the truth; rather, we would be robotically defending what we had prejudicially taken as the truth. But after investigating the facts surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus, we must be amazed by how incontrovertibly clear it is that He did die on the cross, a fact which is considered by some historians to be among the best established facts of history.
Based on the first century evidence, including both Christian and non-Christian sources (please see Resurrection Apologetics, tab “Did Jesus Exist?” for more details), as well as our historical knowledge about Roman crucifixion (please see Resurrection Apologetics, tab “Crucifixion” for more details), there turns out to be no rational way to deny the death of Jesus. Any notion that says otherwise requires an elaborate “conspiracy” theory of some sort, and even those fail because the conspirators would have been His apostles, the very disciples who were quite obviously convinced of the truth of the Gospel message, as they were eyewitnesses to the account:
Luke 1:2 – “Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word”
2 Peter 1:16 – “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
One of my favorite Christian Apologists, Dr. Michael Licona, brings up a very interesting point regarding the QUR'AN. He calls it the “Islamic catch-22.”
Jesus predicted that He would die a violent death and did so several times.
According to Dr. Licona, “We find this reported in Mark, which is the earliest Gospel, and it’s multiply attested in different literary forms, which is really strong evidence in the eyes of historians.”
How is this a problem for Muslims?
Dr. Licona explains: “If Jesus did not die a violent and imminent death, then that makes him a false prophet.”
“But the Qur’an says that he’s a great prophet, and so the Qur’an would be wrong and thus discredited. On the other hand, if Jesus did die a violent and imminent death as he predicted, then he is indeed a great prophet – but this would contradict the Qur’an, which says he didn’t die on the cross. So either way, the Qur’an is discredited.”
So in conclusion, here is what needs to be addressed.
Do you believe the testimony of eye witnesses, who all more than likely suffered and died as martyrs, never recounting what they honestly believed to be true, or a “supposed” revelation that happened 600 years later after the crucifixion of Christ?
From a historical perspective, all the evidence leads to Jesus’ death on the Cross and Resurrection, which then would therefore make Islam false.
With my research, I can say that I am not persuaded to believe what the QUR'AN states versus what the early writers of the New Testament wrote, especially about Jesus’ crucifixion.
The QUR'AN mentions Injil which is Arabic for the Gospel of Jesus (Isa). Injil is derived from the Syriac Aramaic word found in the Peshitta which is the Syriac translation of the Bible, in turn derives from the Greek word euangelion (Εὐαγγέλιον) of the original Greek language in the New Testament, where it means "good news" from the Greek "Εὐ αγγέλιον" or in Old English "gōdspel".
There is a Gospel in Islam and there is a Gospel in the Bible. They both are claimed to be the Gospel of Jesus, but they clearly have different definitions. The Gospel of Jesus in Islam has variations, but the Gospel of Jesus in New Testament is clear.
The Gospel that was revealed to Muhammad, in the cave, by an angel, turns out to be another ‘gospel’ entirely. Rather than the “good news” that Jesus paid for our sin on the Cross of Calvary, this “other Jesus” whom did not die on the Cross whom Muhammad preaches involves a lifelong labor and process to ‘earn’ salvation; a salvation by works and not by faith alone.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 - ‘But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Paul who is the author of this letter is clearly cautioning believers to reject any message that differs from the true Gospel as revealed in the Word of God.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 –““For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
The content of the Gospel of Jesus in the New Testament is from:
1 Corinthians 15:1-6, entitled, “The Resurrection of Christ”
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.”
As I already went over this “oral tradition” earlier and its importance, Paul also emphasizes the primacy of the gospel—it is of “first importance.” The gospel message contains two historical facts, both supported by Scripture: Jesus’ death and His resurrection, supported with Jesus death at crucifixion, His burial, and His resurrection by eyewitnesses.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that God provided the way for man to be freed from the penalty of sin.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news anyone will ever hear, and what a person does with this news will determine where he or she spends eternity. God is calling everyone to choose life. It is not hard to do, as Paul states here:
Romans 10:9-10 – “..if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
If you were “on the fence” between Islam and Christianity as I once was, I do hope that this information has helped persuade you in the right direction.