Jesus in the Koran

What does the Koran say
about Jesus of Nazareth?


In the Cradle

Clay Birds

The Table

The Crucifixion

Born of a Virgin

The Deity of Jesus

Only-Begotten

The Same Honor

What is Mine

Declare the Decree

At the Right Hand

Least Common Denominator

Desire of Nations

Be!

Knows the Father




Jesus Christ Pantocrator


As Muslims like to point out, there are two major world religions which revere Jesus of Nazareth as a prophet: Islam and Christianity. Though it is rather light on recapitulating His teachings, the Koran retells many pious fables about the Lord's early life, and even includes some legitimate information.

Mohammed positioned his new revelation as being in continuity with prior revelations in the monotheistic tradition, particularly Christianity and Judaism:



  • "And in the footsteps of the prophets caused we Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow, confirming the law which was before him: and we gave him the Evangel with its guidance and light, confirmatory of the preceding Law; a guidance and warning to those who fear God;—
  • "And that the people of the Evangel may judge according to what God hath sent down therein. And whoso will not judge by what God hath sent down — such are the perverse.
  • "And to thee we have sent down the Book of the Koran with truth, confirmatory of previous Scriptures, and their safeguard." (Sura 5:52).




If that's so, then where does this come from? How did Christmas become a "pagan holiday"?:


  • “In the statement, the militant group said that the attack had been carried out “in continuation of the blessed operations that the Islamic State is conducting against Turkey, the protector of the cross.”
  • “A hero soldier of the caliphate attacked one of the most famous nightclubs, where Christians celebrated their pagan holiday,” read the statement from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. “They used hand grenades and a machine gun and transformed their celebration to mourning.”
  • (New York Times, January 2, 2017, Istanbul, ISIS Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Nightclub Attack, Tim Arango, New York Times).


In fact, the 'Jesus' of the Koran is a cardboard cut-out who says exactly what Mohammed says and condemns His own followers,— those who believe what He said about Himself in the New Testament,— to Hell. If I were to take that approach today, and 'quote' Mohammed saying, 'ISIS are crazy murderers,'- Mohammed ibn Abdallah, 7th century Arabia, would they desist from their activities? Wouldn't they say, 'Do you think anyone cares if you invent bogus quotations?' Nevertheless this approach turned out to be a stroke of genius for Mohammed, because millions of Muslims world-wide do believe that Jesus said exactly those things which he quotes Him as saying, in the Koran, even though no one had ever heard these sayings before Mohammed 'quoted' them. Therefore Christians have to be pagans, apostates, etc.; doesn't 'Jesus' Himself say so!

"You should visit 'Thriceholy.' It's a dynamic, progressive web-site!"
   -- Mohammed ibn Abdallah, 7th century Arabia

Need a Koran?


In the Cradle

In the Koran, Jesus speaks in the cradle:



  • "Remember when the angel said, ‘O Mary! Verily God announceth to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God.
  • "And He shall speak to men alike when in the cradle and when grown up; And he shall be one of the just.’"
  • (Sura 3:40-41).


  • "When He shall say: O Jesus! Son of Mary! call to mind my favor upon thee and upon thy mother, when I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit, that thou shouldest speak to men alike in the cradle, and when grown up;. . ."
  • (Sura 5:109).


  • "And she made a sign to them, pointing towards the babe.  They said, 'How shall we speak with him who is in the cradle, an infant?
  • "It said, 'Verily, I am the servant of God; He hath given me the Book, and He hath made me a prophet; and He hath made me blessed wherever I may be, and hath enjoined me prayer and almsgiving so long as I shall live; and to be duteous to her that bare me: and he hath not made me proud, depraved.
  • "And the peace of God was on me the day I was born, and will be the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised to life.' This is Jesus, the son of Mary; this is a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt."
  • (Sura 19:30-35).




Christians distinguish between the canonical gospels and apocryphal works, which are basically fiction. According to ancient testimony, the canonical writings included in the New Testament go back to the immediate circle of the apostles. The apocryphal works have no such background, but often originate in places far away and times long distant. As a rule modern Bible critics like Bart Ehrman discard this testimony; not that they produce any dissenting ancient testimony with which to rebut it, they simply disbelieve it. Some of Mohammed's informants evidently had access to this material, because that is where the 'talking in the cradle' story comes from. While I doubt that Mohammed ever held in his hands a copy of the Arabic Infancy Gospel, his informants had likely heard the story from someone who heard the story from someone who had:

"The following accounts we found in the book of Joseph the high-priest, called by some Caiaphas: He relates, that Jesus spake even when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother: Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God, that word which thou didst bring forth according to the declaration of the angel Gabriel to thee, and my father hath sent me for the salvation of the world." (The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ, Chapter 1, 1-3, p. 38, The Lost Books of the Bible).

Right on, Baby Jesus! While I do not think this source has any historical value, and it certainly does not go back to Joseph Caiaphas as claimed, Muslims would do well to take the Lord's words to heart, because He is who He says He is.

Up

Clay Birds

In the Koran, Jesus makes birds out of clay, and then breathes life into them:



  • "And he will teach him the Book, and the Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel; and he shall be an apostle to the children of Israel. ‘Now have I come,’ he will say, ‘to you with a sign from your Lord: Out of clay will I make for you, as it were, the figure of a bird: and I will breathe into it, and it shall become, by God’s leave, a bird. And I will heal the blind, and the leper; and by God’s leave will I quicken the dead; and I will tell you what ye eat, and what ye store up in your houses! Truly in this will be a sign for you, if ye are believers.
  • (Sura 3:43).


  • "And when I taught thee the Scripture, and Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel: and thou didst create of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by my leave, and didst breathe into it, and by my leave it became a bird; and thou didst heal the blind and the leper, by my leave; and when, by my leave, thou didst bring forth the dead; and when I withheld the children of Israel from thee, when thou hadst come to them with clear tokens: and such of them as believed not said, 'This is nought but plain sorcery;. . ."
  • (Sura 5:110).



This is another one of Mohammed's stories that come from the apocryphal gospels. It is striking to realize that the author who made up this story to begin with likely intended it as a testimony to Jesus's divinity.

Reza Aslan, a Muslim, traces this story to the apocryphal gnostic gospels:

"There are some great stories about the boy Jesus in the gnostic gospels, especially The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, in which a petulant Jesus flaunts his magical powers by bringing clay birds to life or striking dead neighborhood kids who fail to show him deference." (Reza Aslan, Zealot, p. 252).

Here is the original context to which Reza Aslan refers:

"When this boy, Jesus, was five years old, he was playing at the ford of a rushing stream. He was collecting the flowing water into ponds and made the water instantly pure. He did this with a single command. He then made soft clay and shaped it into twelve sparrows. He did this on the sabbath day, and many other boys were playing with him.
"But when a Jew saw what Jesus was doing while playing on the sabbath day, he immediately went off and told Joseph, Jesus' father: 'See here, your boy is at the ford and has taken mud and fashioned twelve birds with it, and so has violated the sabbath.'
"So Joseph went there, and as soon as he spotted him he shouted, 'Why are you doing what's not permitted on the sabbath?'
"But Jesus simply clapped his hands and shouted to the sparrows: 'Be off, fly away, and remember me, you who are now alive!' And the sparrows took off and flew away noisily." (The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, Chapter 2, p. 371, The Complete Gospels, Robert J. Miller, Editor).

As its original author no doubt intended, the story of Jesus breathing life into clay birds is a very powerful testimony to His identity. If there had been any steady editorial hand at the helm, one might wonder how this story ever would have made its way from the "gnostic gospels" into the Koran, whose author intended to deny Jesus' deity. After all, it's God's prerogative to give life:

"'Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39).

Nor does the Koran dispute the point: "His is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth; He maketh alive and killeth; and He hath power over all things!" (Sura 57:2, 44:8, 23:82). There is one who can do such things:

"And we cause to live and we cause to die, and We are the heir of all things. . ." (Sura 15:23).
"SAY: Who supplieth you from the Heaven and the Earth? Who hath power over hearing and sight? And who bringeth forth the living from the dead, and bringeth forth the dead from the living? And who ruleth all things? They will surely say, ‘God:’ then SAY: ‘What! will ye not therefore fear him?. . .
"SAY: Is there any of the gods whom ye add to God who produceth a creature, then causeth it to return to him? SAY: God produceth a creature, then causeth it to return to Him: How therefore are ye turned aside?" (Sura 10:32-35).
"He maketh alive and He causeth to die, and to Him shall ye return." (Sura 10:57).

It is out of the question for any other than God to create even a fly: "Verily, they on whom ye call beside God, cannot create a fly, though they assemble for it; and if the fly carry off aught from them, they cannot take it away from it! Weak the suppliant and the supplicated!" (Koran Sura 22:72).



The Table

Here, breaking the pattern, is a wondrous sign performed by Jesus which does have a scriptural foundation in the New Testament:



  • "Remember when the Apostles said — ‘O Jesus, Son of Mary! is thy Lord able to send down a furnished TABLE to us out of Heaven!’ He said — ‘Fear God if ye be believers.’
  • They said — ‘We desire to eat therefrom, and to have our hearts assured; and to know that thou hast indeed spoken truth to us, and to be witnesses thereof.’
  • "Jesus, Son of Mary, said — ‘O God, our Lord! send down a table to us out of Heaven, that it may become a recurring festival to us, to the first of us and to the last of us, and a sign from thee; and do thou nourish us, for thou art the best of nourishers.’
  • "And God said — Verily, I will cause it to descend unto you; but whoever among you after that shall disbelieve, I will surely chastise him with a chastisement, wherewith I will not chastise any other creature."
  • (Sura 5:112-115).


This story reminds the reader of the loaves-and-fishes miracles of the gospels,

"And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men." (Mark 6:34-44).

As for the idea of "recurring festival," is there any Christian ordinance involving food and a table? It may be he has some confused notion of communion. The Arabic word 'id, translated feast or festival, may be a borrowing from the Syriac 'ida, meaning 'feast' or 'liturgical festival':

"Noting that this verse is the only place in the Qur'an where the word 'id appears, Samir concludes: 'This ma'ida [table] is thus defined by two terms: 'id and aya, a 'Feast' or 'liturgical festival' and a 'sign.' Is this not the most appropriate definition of the Eucharist of Christians, which is a festive celebration and a sacramental sign?'" (Samir Khalil Samir, quoted in Robert Spencer, Did Muhammad Exist? Kindle location 2993).

In the nature of things, Mohammed could not have a correct understanding of communion, which is all about Jesus's sacrificial death:

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come." (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Since Mohammed denies the crucifixion, neither does he have a clear understanding of any of the things that follow therefrom. In the early part of his 'prophetic' career, Mohammed seems to have been partial towards Christianity, but then once he emigrated to Medina and began to be 'taught' by the Jewish scholars, he leaned in the other direction, and came to deny everything that communion attests.

The Crucifixion

As noted on the 'Contradictions' page, the Koran's story about the crucifixion is one of the major parting-of-the-ways between the Bible and the Koran. Was Jesus crucified in fact or in semblance? The Koran says, semblance:

"And for their saying, 'Verily we have slain the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, an Apostle of God.' Yet they slew him not, and they crucified him not, but they had only his likeness. And they who differed about him were in doubt concerning him: No sure knowledge had they about him, but followed only an opinion, and they did not really slay him, but God took him up to Himself.  And God is Mighty, Wise!" (Sura 4:156).
Rogier van der Weyden, Deposition
Deposition, Rogier van der Weyden

What this means in practice is disputed. Some Muslims follow the 'substitution' theory, which holds that another party, perhaps Judas Iscariot or perhaps Simon of Cyrene, was substituted for Jesus on the cross. Some follow the 'swoon' theory, which holds that Jesus did not really die, but fainted, and was resuscitated later. The Bible, of course, dissents, teaching that Jesus really did die upon a Roman cross:

"Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole." (Acts 4:10).
"But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." (John 19:33-34).

In denying the sacrificial death of Jesus upon the cross, Mohammed is denying also everything that follows therefrom. If Jesus did not die, then He did not rise; if He did not bear our sins to the cross, there is no atonement. This one error snow-balls to the point where Islam is not even recognizable as the same religion as its claimed foundation. And whoever said that it was? Mohammed ibn Abdallah said so.






Docetism


In denying Christ's crucifixion, Mohammed is not only controverting the New Testament, he is denying secular history as well:

"But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular." (Tacitus, Annals, Book XV, Chapter 44).

Notice how the Lord's story of the vineyard, which even the destructive Bible critics favored by Muslims admit is authentic, foretells His execution:




Born of a Virgin

One fact about Jesus's life which Mohammed did get right is that He was born of a virgin. The Koran is effusive in its praise of Mary:

"And remember when the angels said, ‘O Mary! verily hath God chosen thee, and purified thee, and chosen thee above the women of the worlds!" (Sura 3:37)
"And her who kept her maidenhood, and into whom we breathed of our spirit, and made her and her son a sign to all creatures." (Sura 21:91).
"And we appointed the Son of Mary, and His mother for a sign; and we prepared an abode for both in a lofty spot, quiet, and watered with springs." (Sura 23:52).

There is no question about her chastity:

"She said, 'How shall I have a son, when man hath never touched me? and I am not unchaste.' He said: 'So shall it be.  Thy Lord hath said: 'Easy is this with me;' and we will make him a sign to mankind, and a mercy from us.  For it is a thing decreed. And she conceived him, and retired with him to a far-off place." (Sura 19:20-22).

The Bible, of course, concurs:

"Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS." (Matthew 1:24-25).

Mohammed's fables about Mary's youth are, again, derived from apocryphal sources. It reflects the confusion of the enterprise that the Koran simultaneously condemns Mariolatry, while also incorporating much of the same apocryphal information that started Mary's apotheosis.


Need a Koran?



Mohammed was angered by the calumnies against Mary found, for example, in the Talmud, and he looked for divine vengeance: "And for their unbelief,— and for their having spoken against Mary a grievous calumny,— and for their saying, 'Verily we have slain the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, an Apostle of God.' . . .There shall not be one of the people of the Book but shall believe in Him before his death, and in the day of resurrection, He will be a witness against them." (Sura 4:155-157).

It is strange but true that Muslims who believe the Koran believe more of the Christmas story than do modern-day 'liberals.' But then, the disease seems to be catching. This contemporary revert to Islam, who perhaps has confused this revealed religion with Deism, seems more open to the 'liberal' ideas on the topic:



The Deity of Jesus

This is the most important question that can be asked:

“He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?'” (Mark 8:29).

The Koran relates marvels about Jesus. As we have seen, it relates that He was born of a virgin, a mighty prophet who spoke in the cradle:

  • "Remember when the angel said, ‘O Mary! Verily God announceth to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God;
  • "And He shall speak to men alike when in the cradle and when grown up; And he shall be one of the just.’
  • "She said, ‘How, O my Lord! shall I have a son, when man hath not touched me?’ He said, ‘Thus: God will create what He will; When He decreeth a thing, He only saith, “Be,” and it is.’"
  • (Sura 3:40-42).

The Koran, however, is emphatic that Jesus is not God:

"Infidels now are they who say, 'God is the Messiah, Son of Mary;' for the Messiah said, 'O children of Israel! worship God, my Lord and your Lord.' Whoever shall join other gods with God, God shall forbid him the Garden, and his abode shall be the Fire; and the wicked shall have no helpers. They surely are Infidels who say, 'God is the third of three:' for there is no God but one God: and if they refrain not from what they say, a grievous chastisement shall light on such of them as are Infidels. Will they not, therefore, be turned unto God, and ask pardon of Him? since God is Forgiving, Merciful! The Messiah, Son of Mary, is but an Apostle; other Apostles have flourished before him; and his mother was a just person: they both ate food. Behold! how we make clear to them the signs! then behold how they turn aside!" (Sura 5:76-79).

"And when God shall say — 'O Jesus, Son of Mary: hast thou said unto mankind — "Take me and my mother as two Gods, beside God?He shall say — 'Glory be unto Thee! it is not for me to say that which I know to be not the truth; had I said that, verily thou wouldest have known it: Thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in Thee; for Thou well knowest things unseen! I spake not to them aught but that which thou didst bid me — "Worship God, my Lord and your Lord. . ." (Sura 5:116-117).

"And they say, ‘God hath a son:’ No! Praise be to Him! But — His, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! All obeyeth Him, Sole maker of the Heavens and of Earth! And when He decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is." (Sura 2:110-111).

"Remember when God said, ‘O Jesus! verily I will cause thee to die, and will take thee up to myself and deliver thee from those who believe not; and I will place those who follow thee above those who believe not, until the day of resurrection. Then, to me is your return, and wherein ye differ will I decide between you." (Sura 3:48).

"Verily, Jesus is as Adam in the sight of God. He created him of dust: He then said to him, ‘Be’— and he was." (Sura 3:52).

"O ye people of the Book! overstep not bounds in your religion; and of God, speak only truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from himself. Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not, ‘Three:’ (there is a Trinity) — Forbear — it will be better for you. God is only one God! Far be it from His glory that He should have a son! His, whatever is in the Heavens, and whatever is in the Earth! And God is a sufficient Guardian." (Sura 4:169).

"Infidels now are they who say, ‘Verily God is the Messiah Ibn Maryam (son of Mary)! SAY: And who could aught obtain from God, if he chose to destroy the Messiah Ibn Maryam, and his mother, and all who are on the earth together?" (Sura 5:19).

"And when God shall say — 'O Jesus, Son of Mary: hast thou said unto mankind — "Take me and my mother as two Gods, beside God? He shall say — 'Glory be unto Thee! it is not for me to say that which I know to be not the truth; had I said that, verily thou wouldest have known it: Thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in Thee; for Thou well knowest things unseen! I spake not to them aught but that which thou didst bid me — "Worship God, my Lord and your Lord;" and I was a witness of their actions while I stayed among them; but since thou hast taken me to Thyself, Thou hast Thyself watched them, and Thou art witness of all things..."'" (Sura 5:116-117).

Thus the Koran. What, then, does the Bible say? The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is God:


Jesus is God

Jesus Christ is God!

The Son is God.

Your Throne, O God The Work of Your Hands Let Angels Worship
True God Express Image Visible and Invisible
For Himself Son of God Kiss the Son
A Son is born Honor the Son Only-begotten God
Pantocrator Believe on the Son Only Savior
The Dead were Judged Everlasting to Everlasting

Jesus is Jehovah.

A Voice Crying Temple Visitor Stone of Stumbling
The Rock of Israel The First and the Last Lord of all
The LORD our Righteousness Holy, holy, holy Captivity Captive
House of David Answered prayers With all His saints
Israel's Savior Giver of Life Every Knee Shall Bow
Pastoral Supply I send you prophets Who forgives sin
I am He He is Lord Call upon the Name
Doxology God with Us Lawgiver
Great Shepherd You Only Lawful worship
Builder I AM THAT I AM Moses' Veil
Wine Press Lord Willing Secret Things
Boasting Excluded King of Israel Fount of Living Waters
Searches the Heart Till Death Do us Part Angel of the LORD
Take Refuge Has Reigned On His Forehead
Me Whom they have Pierced Stretched Out My Hands

Jesus Christ is God.

The Eyes of the Blind Thought it not Robbery Eternally Blessed God
Fullness of the Godhead Great God and Savior Faith in Him
Redeemed King of Kings Spirit of Christ
Destroyed by Serpents Lord of Glory Renewed in the Image
New Jerusalem's Lamp Now is Christ risen Upholding all Things
Light to the Gentiles My Companion Miracles
Prosecutors' Indictment Sun of Righteousness Thirty Pieces
Testator's Death Author of Life The Blood of God
My Lord and My God One Mystery of godliness
God was in Christ The Word was God Shared Glory
Omniscience Omnipotence Omnipresence
Change Not Yesterday, Today and Forever Whose Hand?
Not of Man Receive my Spirit Believe in God
Only Holy Sole Proprietor Priests
Walk on the Water


When Christians tell them that Jesus is God, Muslims rebut their assertion by pointing to scriptures which make it clear that Jesus of Nazareth is truly human. He slept, he ate, he suffered. With this, Christians wholeheartedly concur. This is what is meant by the incarnation, that God became man:


God or Man?

God or man?


Mohammed ibn Abdallah was willing to admit Jesus was the Messiah, and also the Word of God, as is stated in the Koran and amplified in his letter to the Negus of Abyssinia:

"'From Muhammad the apostle of God to the Negus al-Asham king of Abyssinia, Peace. I praise Allah unto you the King, the Holy, the Peace, the Faithful, the Watcher, and I bear witness that Jesus son of Mary is the spirit of God and His word which He cast to Mary the Virgin, the good, the pure, so that she conceived Jesus. God created him from His spirit and His breathing as He created Adam by His hand and His breathing.'" (The Life of Muhammad, A Translation of Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, A. Guillaume, p. 657).

The unlettered Arabian prophet was probably unaware what some of the titles he assigned to Jesus actually meant; the 'Word' is a title of Deity. Jesus is used in Islam rather like a sock-puppet; He says what His handlers wish He had said, not what His followers recall Him as actually having said. According to the Muslims, He will ultimately come back and slaughter the Christians:

"There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus (pbuh). He will descend (to the earth). When you see him, recognize him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will period all religions except Islam." (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 4310, quoted, p. 117, Hussein Hajji Wario, Cracks in the Crescent).

But making stuff up is not evidence. Can the 'Jesus' of the Koran be reconciled with the Jesus of the New Testament? Sometimes it seems they are not even in the same zip code. Both, however, are the "word of God:"

"O ye people of the Book! overstep not bounds in your religion; and of God, speak only truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from himself. Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not, ‘Three:’ (there is a Trinity) — Forbear — it will be better for you. God is only one God! Far be it from His glory that He should have a son! His, whatever is in the Heavens, and whatever is in the Earth! And God is a sufficient Guardian." (Sura 4:169).

What does this actually mean? Who is the Word of God?:



The Koran warns, not only against deifying Jesus Christ, but also against taking His mother for a goddess! What is the thought process here? Did Mohammed believe that the Christian trinity was Jesus, Mary and God?:


The Third of Three Two Gods
Dawa Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Angel Gabriel Collyridians



Muslims are often willing to accept with examination the verdict delivered by atheistic Bible critics, that the New Testament does not teach the deity of Jesus Christ. In reality this Bible fact is so solidly established that very few who believe the Bible is inspired ever deny it:





There have arisen, within the Christian fold, eruptions of heresy paralleling the claims of the Koran, namely that Jesus is a mere man called by God, but not God. The evolution of the religious organizations called into being by these developments parallels that of the Muslims in a most remarkable way. They start by claiming their views correspond with scripture, just as Mohammed at first thought. Once it is brought to their attention that their views most emphatically do not correspond to scripture, they move on to claiming that scripture is corrupt. There was a new religious movement of this type that burst on the scene in nineteenth century America. Its rapid initial expansion was halted at the church-house door, as Christians got up to speed on what the Bible actually teaches on this point. Nowadays the Unitarian Universalists are hardly even nominal Christians, or even theists for that matter:




Only-Begotten

Of all of Jesus's Biblical titles and epithets, 'Son' is one which the Koran is bound and determined to deny to Him:

"It beseemeth not God to beget a son. Glory be to Him! when he decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, Be, and it Is." (Sura 19:36).
"And that it [the Book] may warn those who say, 'God hath begotten a Son.' No knowledge of this have either they or their fathers! A grievous saying to come out of their mouths! They speak no other than a lie!" (Sura 18:3-4).
"And they say, 'God hath a son:' No! Praise be to Him! But — His, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! All obeyeth Him..." (Sura 2:110).

The Bible has no such inhibition:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).

The underlying problem here is that Mohammed cannot conceive of Sonship without procreation; if a Son, then a consort: "Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! how, when he hath no consort, should He have a son? He hath created everything, and He knoweth everything!" (Koran Sura 6:101).

The Same Honor

'Shirk,' to Muslims, is the sin of associating any with God. Is it proper to worship the Son? We are commanded to do Him honor:

"Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." (Psalm 2:12).

Mohammed's case against the Christians centers around this accusation. Because, for all its rumored tolerance, this book brings a very bitter charge against us. We must confess, 'Guilty as charged;' yet worshipping God is no crime. The greater guilt lies in not worshipping:

"It beseemeth not a man, that God should give him the Scriptures and the Wisdom, and the gift of prophecy, and that then he should say to his followers, 'Be ye worshippers of me, as well as of God;' but rather, 'Be ye perfect in things pertaining to God, since ye know the Scriptures, and have studied deep.' God doth not command you to take the angels or the prophets as lords. What! would he command you to become infidels after ye have been Muslims?" (Sura 3:73-74).

We are simply following instructions after all. If you don't like it, you can bring it up with the One who issued them:

"...that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." (John 5:23).


Need a Bible? Four Free:




What is Mine

The 'Jesus' of the Koran is no more than a servant:

"The Messiah disdaineth not to be a servant of God, nor do the angels who are nigh unto Him." (Sura 4:170).
"Jesus is no more than a servant whom we favored, and proposed as an instance of divine power to the children of Israel." (Sura 43:59).

The Messiah of the Bible is a servant, but far more than a servant:

"All things that the Father has are Mine." (John 16:15).

What indeed is God's, that is also given to the Son? In the Bible, everything:

"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.'" (Matthew 28:19).

In the Koran, a book, or so they imagine. In the Bible, the Messiah is a servant to be sure. The Messiah is called a servant in Isaiah42:1,

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law.” (Isaiah 42:1-4).

There is a Servant Song about Jesus in the Old Testament:



  • “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
  • "For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
  • "He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
  • "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
  • "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
  • "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
  • "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.
  • "He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
  • "And they made His grave with the wicked— but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.
  • "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
  • "He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
  • "Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.”
  • (Isaiah 53:1-12).



. . .But He is also the Son. The letter to Hebrews shows how far above the servant, Moses, is the Son, the heir:

"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (Hebrews 2:1-6).

How can God be a servant?:




Declare the Decree

The Koran concedes that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, that is the Christ, God's Anointed One:

"Remember when the angel said, ‘O Mary! Verily God announceth to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God..." (Sura 3:40).

This is an astonishing concession. Having conceded this however, the Koran proceeds to deny to Jesus the names and titles very clearly bestowed on the Messiah by the Old Testament:

“Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You.'” (Psalm 2:6-7).

Those like the Jehovah's Witnesses who accept the authority of the Bible yet deny the deity of Jesus Christ go to great lengths to explain the Messiah's title of "Son of God." They must evade the normal expectation that, whatever nature of being the Father is, so also is the Son. Yet Mohammed does not follow them in interpreting the title "Son of God" in a weak or metaphorical sense. Rather, he flatly denies any such title belongs to the Messiah, or to anyone else for that matter:

"The Jews say, 'Ezra (Ozair) is a son of God'; and the Christians say, 'The Messiah is a son of God.' Such the sayings in their mouths! They resemble the sayings of the Infidels of old! God do battle with them! How are they misguided! They take their teachers, and their monks, and the Messiah, son of Mary, for Lords beside God, though bidden to worship one God only. There is no God but He! Far from His glory be what they associate with Him!" (Sura 9:30-31).

Apparently he interprets the title in a carnal way such as would be appropriate to a pagan theogony: "Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! how, when He hath no consort, should He have a son?" (Sura 6:101). Here is not a case where the Koran confirms prior scripture as advertised, but flatly contradicts.

"Such the sayings in their mouths:"

“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'” (Matthew 3:17).

The First-Born


Only-Begotten

His Own Son

Declare the Decree

The Beloved

I am

Peter's Confession

Apostles' Confession

The First-born

My Father

Out of Egypt

The Vineyard

Messianic Secret

No Consort

Overshadow




At the Right Hand

The Old Testament gives a prophecy of exaltation to the Messiah,

“The LORD said to my Lord,
Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” (Psalm 110:1).

As Paul pointed out, the realized promise of this Psalm situates the Messiah above all others:

"...His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come." (Ephesians 1:19-21).

This is one Bible promise that is by no means conceded in Mohammed's teaching, as recorded in the Hadith. Mohammed, who conceded the title 'Messiah' to Jesus without seeming to realize what it implied, also told the tale of a fantastic 'Night Journey.' In this tale, he ranks Jesus below Moses:

"Narrated Malik bin Sasaa: The Prophet said, 'While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness, (an angel recognized me) as the man lying between two men. A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen and then my abdomen was washed with Zam-zam water and (my heart was) filled with wisdom and belief. Al-Buraq, a white animal, smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me and I set out with Gabriel. When I reached the nearest heaven. Gabriel said to the heaven gate-keeper, 'Open the gate.' The gatekeeper asked, 'Who is it?' He said, 'Gabriel.' The gate-keeper,' Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel said, 'Muhammad.' The gate-keeper said, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel said, 'Yes.' Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!' Then I met Adam and greeted him and he said, 'You are welcomed O son and a Prophet.'

"Then we ascended to the second heaven. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel said, 'Gabriel.' It was said, 'Who is with you?' He said, 'Muhammad' It was asked, 'Has he been sent for?' He said, 'Yes.' It was said, 'He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!" Then I met Jesus and Yahya (John) who said, 'You are welcomed, O brother and a Prophet.' Then we ascended to the third heaven. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel said, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is with you? Gabriel said, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been sent for?' 'Yes,' said Gabriel. 'He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!' (The Prophet added:). There I met Joseph and greeted him, and he replied, 'You are welcomed, O brother and a Prophet!' Then we ascended to the 4th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met Idris and greeted him. He said, 'You are welcomed O brother and Prophet.' Then we ascended to the 5th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in previous heavens. there I met and greeted Aaron who said, 'You are welcomed O brother and a Prophet'.

"Then we ascended to the 6th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met and greeted Moses who said, 'You are welcomed O brother and. a Prophet.' When I proceeded on, he started weeping and on being asked why he was weeping, he said, 'O Lord! Followers of this youth who was sent after me will enter Paradise in greater number than my followers.' Then we ascended to the seventh heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met and greeted Abraham who said, 'You are welcomed O son and a Prophet.' Then I was shown Al-Bait-al-Ma'mur (i.e. Allah's House). . ." (Hadith, Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 429.)

Assigning a higher rank to Moses than to Jesus directly contradicts the Bible, "For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house." (Hebrews 2:3).



Least Common Denominator

The oft-repeated claim of the Koran that there is no meaningful distinction between the prophets of God would tend to put Jesus in His place; certainly to the Bible He is different, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;. . ." (Hebrews 1:1-2). The Son is a prophet, but much more than a prophet. But, if He were different, He could not be the same:

"Say ye: 'We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down to us, and that which hath been sent down to Abraham and Ismael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes: and that which hath been given to Moses and to Jesus, and that which was given to the prophets from their Lord. No difference do we make between any of them: and to God are we resigned (Muslims).'" (Sura 2:130).
"Say: We believe in God, and in what hath been sent down to us, and what hath been sent down to Abraham, and Ismael and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and in what was given to Moses, and Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord. We make no difference between them. And to God are we resigned (Muslims)." (Sura 3:78).

"Moreover, to Moses gave we 'the Book,' and we raised up apostles after him; and to Jesus, son of Mary, gave we clear proofs of his mission, and strengthened him by the Holy Spirit. So oft then as an apostle cometh to you with that which your souls desire not, swell ye with pride, and treat some as imposters, and slay others?" (Sura 2:81).

"Say ye: ‘We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down to us, and that which hath been sent down to Abraham and Ismael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes: and that which hath been given to Moses and to Jesus, and that which was given to the prophets from their Lord. No difference do we make between any of them: and to God are we resigned (Muslims).’" (Sura 2:130).

"Some of the apostles we have endowed more highly than others: Those to whom God hath spoken, He hath raised to the loftiest grade, and to Jesus the Son of Mary we gave manifest signs, and we strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. And if God had pleased, they who came after them would not have wrangled, after the clear signs had reached them. But into disputes they fell: some of them believed, and some were infidels; yet if God had pleased, they would not have thus wrangled: but God doth what he will." (Sura 2:254).

"And when Jesus perceived unbelief on their part, He said, 'Who will be my helpers with God?' The apostles said, 'We will be God's helpers! We believe in God, and bear thou witness that we are Muslims. O our Lord! we believe in what thou has sent down, and we follow the apostle; write us up, then, with those who bear witness to him'...Remember when God said, 'O Jesus! verily I will cause thee to die, and will take thee up to myself and deliver thee from those who believe not; and I will place those who follow thee above those who believe not, until the day of resurrection. Then, to me is your return, and wherein ye differ will I decide between you.'" (Sura 3:46-48).

"And in the footsteps of the prophets caused we Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow, confirming the law which was before him: and we gave him the Evangel with its guidance and light, confirmatory of the preceding Law; a guidance and warning to those who fear God..." (Sura 5:50).

"When He shall say: O Jesus! Son of Mary! call to mind my favor upon thee and upon thy mother, when I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit, that thou shouldest speak to men alike in the cradle, and when grown up; — And when I taught thee the Scripture, and Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel: and thou didst create of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by my leave, and didst breathe into it, and by my leave it became a bird; and thou didst heal the blind and the leper, by my leave; and when, by my leave, thou didst bring forth the dead; and when I withheld the children of Israel from thee, when thou hadst come to them with clear tokens: and such of them as believed not said, 'This is nought but plain sorcery...Remember when the Apostles said — 'O Jesus, Son of Mary! is thy Lord able to send down a furnished Table to us out of Heaven!' He said — 'Fear God if ye be believers.'" (Sura 5:109-112).

"Verily we have revealed to thee as we revealed to Noah and the Prophets after him, and as we revealed to Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and Jesus, and Job, and Jonah, and Aaron, and Solomon; and to David gave we Psalms." (Sura 4:161).

"This is our reasoning with which we furnished Abraham against his people: We uplift to grades of wisdom whom we will; Verily thy Lord is Wise, Knowing. And we gave him Isaac and Jacob, and guided both aright; and we had before guided Noah; and among the descendants of Abraham, David and Solomon, and Job and Joseph, and Moses and Aaron: Thus do we recompense the righteous: And Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elias; all were just persons..." (Sura 6:83-85).

"And remember that we have entered into covenant with the Prophets, and with thee, and with Noah, and Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus, Son of Mary: and we formed with them a strict covenant..." (Sura 33:7).

Certainly the Bible does not concur that there is no difference. Is Jonah the way, the truth and the life?:

"Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6).

Nor can Mohammed himself sustain the 'no difference' myth. In the end, all it means is that the cardboard cut-outs who populate the Koran can speak only Mohammed's words, not their own.



Mohammed seems to have thought, or been instructed, that all prophets teach exactly the same message, the 'Christianity Lite' that he himself started out preaching, i.e., there is one God, idolatry is vain, and there will be a general resurrection followed by a judgment to eternal glory or punishment. Jesus breaks his paradigm, but then other prophets do as well. Instead of eternal repetition of the same information, there is new information made available from time to time. Mohammed himself concedes this point by insisting upon the religion of Abraham. Why Abraham? Why not Obadiah, or Amos? Why must it be Abraham, and only Abraham? Since he himself is making a distinction between the prophets, he cannot fairly criticize others for doing the same.

Desire of Nations

As noted above, Mohammed conceded that Jesus is the Messiah. This is an astonishing concession; he is giving away the store. Very likely, he did not understand what he was agreeing to when he made it. According to the Bible, The Messiah is the "Desire of Nations:"

"For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts." (Haggai 2:6-7).

The Messiah is a "Light to the Gentiles:

"Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’" (Isaiah 49:6)

It's ironic that the very same Psalm whose opening line Bart Ehrman, a great favorite of the Muslims, perceives as showing the Messiah's failure, also shows His jurisdiction to be far greater than Muslims allow:

"All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
For the kingdom is the LORD’S,
And He rules over the nations." (Psalm 22:27-28).

Though Mohammed calls Jesus "the Messiah," he does not understand this means Jesus is the "Desire of Nations:" "Remember when the angel said, ‘O Mary! Verily God announceth to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary..." (Sura 3:40). The Messiah's sphere of sovereignty is "the ends of the earth." Mohammed acknowledged Him as a prophet, but not as his King. This is a complete failure of Biblical understanding.



Where did Mohammed get his idea that the Messiah is the ruler of Israel, but not of all people? Certainly not from the Bible. The Bible is clear, the nations are the Messiah's rightful heritage:


Who are They? Boundary Line
Retrogression Apocrypha
The Gentiles and the Kingdom A Test Case
What Then?


Be!

Jesus is called the Word of God even in the Koran. Muslims, however, generally interpret this to mean no more than that God created Him:

"Verily, Jesus is as Adam in the sight of God. He created him of dust: He then said to him, ‘Be’— and he was." (Sura 3:52).

"It beseemeth not God to beget a son. Glory be to Him! when he decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, Be, and it Is." (Sura 19:36).

By that standard, we are all 'words'! It is not as if this were a unique instruction, "Our word to a thing when we will it, is but to say, 'Be,' and it is." (Sura 16:42).

Biblically, Jesus' title of 'the Word' actually means something far more distinctive and more dramatic. It is a title of deity, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." (John 1:1-2). This clear and consistent Bible teaching cannot readily be evaded, by the 'cheat' of assigning the 'word' as 'be.'

In the Koran, Jesus is likened to Adam, another, it is claimed, direct creation of God. But in reality, He is unchanging: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8).


Eternal Son

The Son: Eternal God or Beginning in Time?


No Man Knows the Father

The Bible describes a unique fellowship of mutual knowledge between Father and Son:

"Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." (Matthew 11:26-27).
"O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me." (John 17:25).
"As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." (John 10:15).

This Bible teaching is specifically denied in the Koran:

"He shall say — 'Glory be unto Thee! it is not for me to say that which I know to be not the truth; had I said that, verily thou wouldest have known it: Thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in Thee; for Thou well knowest things unseen!" (Sura 5:116).

In the Koran, 'Jesus,'— The Jesus of the Koran is little more than a sock puppet,— specifically denies the unique mutual knowledge of the Father and the Son which He teaches in the New Testament. This is a very clear, direct contradiction between Mohammed's teaching and the New Testament; it is probably not a knowing and intentional contradiction, because Mohammed did not have direct access to that sacred document. It is true that, as Muslim commentators on this passage point out, omniscience is a divine prerogative: "Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite." (Psalm 147:5). Thus, when Jesus says, "As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father," He is claiming to be God.

Mohammed's assertion, "Thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in Thee; for Thou well knowest things unseen!" contrasts directly with the Bible ascription of reciprocity: "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." (Matthew 11:27). If Jesus spoke Matthew 11:27, then the speaker of Sura 5:116 is of necessity someone else.