The Crucifixion and the Qur’an

The Quran makes a very interesting claim:

‘God has sealed them [the Jews] in their disbelief, so they believe only a little – and because they disbelieved and uttered a terrible slander against Mary, and said, ‘We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him – God raised him up to Himself. God is almighty and wise.’

Surat An-Nisā’ 4:155-157. Translation by Abdel Haleem

Is this claim at all plausible from a historical perspective? Was Jesus miraculously saved from crucifixion by God? Why should mankind pay any attention to what the Quran claims anyway?

hick_john

John Hick

The distinguished Christian philosopher and believer in the crucifixion Rev Professor John Hick, was honest enough to admit,

‘Historically it is very difficult to dispute the qur’anic verse since presumably it would not be possible for observers at the time to tell the difference between Jesus being crucified and his only appearing to be crucified – unless what is suggested is that someone else was crucified in his place.’

Religious Pluralism and Islam, Lecture delivered to the Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought, Tehran, February 2005.

(The disputed historical question of the crucifixion of Jesus is really a very minor issue for Muslims as Jesus did not go around Galilee preaching that forgiveness of sins was made possible through his death but instead through simple repentance to God – without a mediator – which is what Islam teaches too, see Matthew 5-7 (the Sermon on the Mount) and passim).

So why do Western historians not use the Quranic data in their research into the historical Jesus?

There is the problem of miracles. Bart Erhman writes apropos the resurrection of Jesus,

“But that is not why historians cannot show that miracles [including the miraculous deliverance of Jesus from crucifixion?], including the resurrection, happened. The reason instead has to do with the limits of historical knowledge. There cannot be historical evidence for a miracle. To understand why, we need to consider how historians engage in their craft. Historians work differently from the way natural scientists work. Scientists do repeated experimentation to demonstrate how things happen, changing one variable at a time. If the same experiment produces the same result time after time, you can establish a level of predictive probability: the same result will occur the next time you do the experiment….”

Erhman continues,

“Historians work differently. Historians are not trying to show what does or will happen, but what has happened. And with history, the experiment can never be repeated. Once something has happened, it is over and done with…..”

“Did Lincoln write the Gettysburg address on an envelope? Did Jefferson have a long-term love affair with one of his slaves? …..Make up your own questions: there are billions.. There is nothing inherently improbable about any of these events; the question is whether they happened or not. Some are more probable than others. Historians more or less rank past events on the basis of the relative probability that they occurred. All that historians can do is show what probably happened in the past.”

“That is the problem inherent in miracles. Miracles, by our very definition of the term, are virtually impossible events…..by their very nature, (they) are always the least probable explanation for what happened. This is true whether you are a believer or not. Of the six billion people in the world, not one of them can walk on top of lukewarm water filling a swimming pool. What would be the chances of any one person being able to do that? Less than one in six billion. Much less.”

“….historians cannot establish that miracles have ever happened. This is true of the miracles of Mohammed, Hanina ben Dosa, Apollonius of Tyana – and Jesus.”

“But what about the resurrection? I’m not saying that it didn’t happen. Some people believe it did, some believe it didn’t. But if you do believe it, it is not as a historian, even if you happen to be a professional historian, but as a believer. There can be no historical evidence for the resurrection because of the nature of historical evidence.”

Erhman’s comments about historical method (in reality Western post-Enlightenment secular historiography) and the resurrection apply with equal force to the Quranic claim,

‘They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them’.

Why should mankind pay any attention to what the Quran claims anyway? The Bible does not claim to be a revelation from Almighty God. Some parts of the Bible even deny that they are from God at all, for example, ‘To the rest I say—I and not the Lord—that if any believer…’ from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, 7:12. Here Paul carefully distinguishes between ‘the Lord’s’ teaching and his own opinion which is by definition not revelation from Almighty God.

In contrast the Quran actually claims to be a Revelation from Almighty God,

‘Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction’ Surah 4:82.

If there is a God then it is very likely indeed that he would wish to reveal His Will to guide us in the path most pleasing to Him. The Quran is one of very few extant books to claim a Divine origin. Therefore it would be sensible and wise to ponder the Quranic message – as it indeed invites readers to do.

Consider the Quran’s claims about itself…

‘He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:” and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.’ Surat 3:7

(The above is an extract from my book Jesus as Western Scholars See Him: A Resource for Muslim Dawah Carriers, page 82).

***

Recommended Reading: 

‘The Crucifixion and the Qur’an: A Study in the History of Muslim Thought’

‘According to the majority of modern Muslims and Christians, the Qur’an denies the crucifixion of Jesus, and with it, one of the most sacred beliefs of Christianity. However, it is only mentioned in one verse – “They did not kill him and they did not crucify him, rather, it only appeared so to them” – and contrary to popular belief, its translation has been the subject of fierce debate among Muslims for centuries.

This the first book devoted to the issue, delving deeply into largely ignored Arabic sources, which suggest the the origins of the conventional translation may lie within the Christian Church. Arranged along historical lines, and covering various Muslim schools of thought, from Sunni to Sufi, The Crucifixion and the Qur’an unravels the crucial dispute that separates the World’s two principal faiths.’

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Categories: Bart Ehrman, Bible, Biblical scholarship, Christianity, History, Quran, Recommended Reading

114 replies

  1. Bait and switch. Just like I expected.

    More later…….

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    • Is this comment available in plain English?

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    • Paul

      I’m not going to waste my time explaining the logical fallacies in your argument – it would take too long – but suffice it to say that you have all but admitted something that we all already know: the quran has no meaningful information about the historical jesus.

      Even funnier is that you quote Ehrman’s belief we cannot prove miracle claims, then you appeal to the inappropriately designated “miraculous” quran to argue for its own credibility. There is nothing miraculous about the quran.

      Best of all, you don’t even realize that your reasoning is so illogical.

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    • Even more importantly, the “miracle” of the quran’s version of the crucifixion is that to all intents and purposes, there was no miracle at all. The quran says that it was made to appear that jesus had been crucified – this means that they had no idea that a miracle had taken place. LOL.

      Then someone comes along 600 years after the fact and says, “oh, some being in a cave told me that the guy we all thought had been crucified, was not actually crucified. You’ve been had!!”

      Some miracle that.

      But then, what are the names of people who condemned jesus to crucifixion? WHo was the roman governor who sentenced him? What city did it take place in? What year? What century? What millenium?

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  2. Hi Paul
    Can you give another reference that compliments or even confirms the Sura 4:157-8 is there any other reference in koran or in the hadith for us as Christians.

    I would like another Islamic source.

    I havent read Todd Lawson’s book so i cant comment on it.

    In the scriptures we know there were all sorts of people at the cross, the Pharisees and Roman soldiers not forgetting the women and the apostle John.

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  3. Todd Lawson argues that the Qur’an does not actually deny that Jesus died on the cross, but that actually Jesus did die physically (based on 3:55 and 19:33 and 5:117), but based on other verses in the Qur’an, namely Surah 2:154 amd 3:169, Lawson argues that what 4:157 means is that even though they killed Jesus physically, they really did not, because one cannot kill someone’s true essence, ie, his spirit or soul or inner self.

    “Do not say that those who are killed in the way of God are dead, for indeed they are alive, even though you are not aware.” (Surah 2:154 – see also 3:169.)

    And do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah , “They are dead.” Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not. Surah 2:154 Sahih International

    And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision, Surah 3:169

    Seems really strained to me; but there are other Islamic scholars who take this view also, though a small minority.

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    • This argument cannot stand. Muslims have dealt with it already. The amazing thing about Quran is that christians cannot play with its words as they did with the Hebrew bible.
      Verses themselves, Context, term of (Tawaffa), Hadiths, and sayings of companions of the prophet, all of these factors refer to one truth which is that Jesus has not died yet. In fact, he wasn’t hanged on the cross.

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  4. 1 Corinthians 7:12 is not a denial that Paul does not have apostolic authority or is not speaking the Words of God -that would contract whole chapters in the same book – 1 Corinthians chapters 1 and 2; see

    12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-13

    and later in chapter 7:40 – ” I think I have the Spirit of God” – the “I think” is not the emphasis of doubt, but of certainty – he means “I know” that I have the Spirit of God in writing this and giving this advice.

    39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
    40 But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 7:39-40

    rather Paul is saying he does not have a quote from Jesus’ life about marrying and divorcing an unbeliever

    see the full context of 1 Corinthians 7:10-15:

    10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband
    11 (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

    [ Here the apostle Paul is quoting the earthly teaching of Jesus about marriage and divorce from Matthew 5, 19 and Mark 10]

    [then in verses 12 – 15 the apostle Paul is saying that he is not quoting the Lord Jesus, because Jesus did not comment on the new situations of believers in Christ marrying an unbeliever and what to do if the unbeliever wants to leave and divorce based on the other person’s faith in Christ.

    12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her.
    13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away.
    14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.
    15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.

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  5. Hick’s statement is irresponsible, since the Islamic claim is using an unverifiable miracle in history that can by nature, not be verified by any historical evidence, since it is claim that Allah deceived the eyewitnesses as to the historical event. In the context of other verses, Surah 3:54-55 – it says Allah deceived / tricked them.

    unless we believe the eyewitnesses who left us historical documents.

    Peter
    Mark
    Matthew
    Luke
    John
    the apostle Paul
    writer of Hebrews

    all say that is was indeed Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified and died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead.

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  6. (The disputed historical question of the crucifixion of Jesus is really a very minor issue for Muslims as Jesus did not go around Galilee preaching that forgiveness of sins was made possible through his death but instead through simple repentance to God – without a mediator – which is what Islam teaches too, see Matthew 5-7 (the Sermon on the Mount) and passim).

    Where in the Qur’an or other Islamic sources does the teaching condemn humans to hell for the internal sins of anger, hatred, sexual lust ?

    Matthew 5:21-26 – it is not enough to not commit physical murder, rather a person’s hatred and anger and vengeful spirit is enough to make him/her guilty for the hell-fire.

    21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.

    And verses 23-25 show the temple sacrifice context of true repentance and confession of sin. The offering of the sacrifice must also have true heart repentance, not just go through the motions of the ritual.

    Matthew 5:27-30 – it is not enough to not commit physical adultery, rather a person’s sexual lusts in thoughts and fantasies make them guilty for the hell-fire.

    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

    Matthew 5:48 – “You are to be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

    So every human being is guilty and going to hell, guilty sinners; since no one can be perfect.

    There is just no way you can use Matthew chapters 5-7 as some how being anything close to Islamic teaching.

    You need someone who is perfect who came and paid the price for your guilt.
    Guess who that is?

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    • “Where in the Qur’an or other Islamic sources does the teaching condemn humans to hell for the internal sins of anger, hatred, sexual lust ?”

      how come people can control internal sins without jesus?

      why has god made it possible to become a BETTER person without jesus?

      since christians hide under jesus’ skirt and CONTINUE to enjoy internal sins thinking to themselves they have no divine consequences to see because jesus became

      sexually lusted on

      angered on

      hated on

      etc etc

      then maybe they should ask, why can people control internal sins without jesus’ weekend sacrifice and they (christians ) can’t ?

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    • 1. nobody saw your god leave the empty tomb.
      2. mark receives pauls LIES from pauls letters
      3. paul does not know if his jesus received an honourable or dishonourable burial
      4. the women in marks account keep their mouths shut and say nothing to anyone
      5. paul knows nothing about a DISCOVERED empty tomb
      6. matthew, liar for jesus, says that angel of the lord came down and FLOORED the guards and then the guards spread lies ALL over the place and angel of the lord does jack SHIT
      7. how could it be possible that jews are paying them of and not worry about the angel who floored the guards? the guards are spreading lies which indicates that christians have to counter a lie with a lie
      8. think about it. the angel of the lord could appear any minute but the jews are more worried about what they will tell PILATE about the guards sleeping? this story is a lie and the reason this lie had to be created because of lack of evidence for jesus’ appearance.
      9. jesus appears in DIFFERENT faces (talk about makar) , how is it possible that you talked and walked with this guy, but he is unrecognisable?
      10. why would you tell them to look at your hands and feet and completely mention your side which must have stood out than any other pierced part?
      11. the christian religion is based on BELIEF , not evidence. all the desiples required was belief of a burial NOT evidence that he was buried and then after that they spun the tale.
      12.
      “it appeared to them”

      that is what christians had

      they had OLD testament “prophecies”
      and they were preaching to other christians who were “bewitched” and stopped believing in crucifixion

      “you foolish galatians who betwitched, before your very eyes…”

      remember : it appeared to them

      not history, but what was in their minds

      http://vridar.org/2016/01/25/crucifixion-portrayed-before-the-very-eyes-of-galatians/

      “they follow NOTHING but conjecture”

      the lies of trial scene have been exposed below

      have a nice read

      ………

      “Most of us have had the experience (more than once in my case), where
      you think you see someone famous, and it takes a lot of looking to
      establish whether it is or not. I remember watching an Edinburgh
      fringe play, and then seeing one of the cast members two weeks later
      in Birmingham. At least, I and the rest of my group think it probably
      was them. Even though we had plenty of time to look at them on both
      occasions, we’re still not sure. ”

      This common scenario is nothing like the portrayal of Jesus in
      Jerusalem in his final week. We’re not talking about Jesus being one
      of a cast in a temple play who may or may not have been recognized in
      a crowd a fortnight later. One can scarcely imagine a more contrasting
      scenario from the one we are discussing in the gospel narratives.
      We’re talking of crowds flocking to see and hear the person who had
      been welcomed as a coming king, who was a reputed miracle worker, who
      had cast out the money changers in the temple (in the gospels it is
      imagined as a small temple, comparable to a common pagan temple), who
      had cursed a fig tree, who was confounding the scribes and Pharisees
      with his daily contacts. We strive to catch a glimpse — would not the
      impression burn in your mind? I still remember the smile and wave of
      the queen of england driving by when I was just a kid. Jesus didn’t
      have to reintroduce himself each time he got up to speak in the
      temple.

      “Jesus operated outside Jerusalem almost entirely until the end, and
      the random Jerusalem based mob were just making sure they got the
      right person. ”

      Jesus was preaching in the temple daily. Where did the “random
      Jerusalem based mob” come from? John 18 speaks of an armed contingent
      of officers from the chief priests and Pharisees — presumably temple
      police who report back to the chief priests.

      Why not simply have their armed contingent take him any time he was
      leaving the temple and returning to the house in Bethany? Or simply
      take him any time they liked before or after Passover in Jerusalem
      itself? One gospel says that an armed contingent was sent to arrest
      him in the temple but they were simply too overwhelmed by his oratory
      to go through with the deed. Plausible?

      If the crowds were really so potentially violent and massive that they
      threatened to overwhelm any armed force from arresting him, then we
      have to explain why they lacked such conviction at his trial.
      The problem is the plot here, the narrative, simply does not logically
      hang together. The inconsistencies tell us that there is something
      else going on in the minds of the author/redactors.

      Philo’s mind-reading of a governor he hated is one way to interpret
      the passage.

      It is more valid, I’m sure, to interpret the passage through the
      narrative’s agenda. Pilate wasn’t doing the normal “handwash” custom
      of the Jews — that custom of handwashing before meals is an
      anachronism anyway. It was confined to a few Pharisees, and not common
      among all Jews till after 70 c.e. (Crossley, 2004). As per Funk and
      the Jesus Seminar, Matthew is looking back to Deut 21:1-9 where
      handwashing is required of one seeking to be free from blood guilt for
      murder. Also Psalm 26:6 has handwashing as a symbol of innocence.
      Matthew then structures the sequence carefully so that the crowd
      follow by taking the blood-guilt on themselves and their children.
      This is but one of Matthew’s anti-semitisms that are his specialty.

      You seem to be forgetting the gospels describe Jesus as being able to
      stop “anyone carrying their wares through the temple” single-handedly.
      That is imagining a much smaller temple than the historical one. Look
      at Mark 13 and there is nothing to overturn that impression. You seem
      to be reading Mark 13:1 in the light of modern knowledge and not in
      terms of the narrative within gospel texts themselves. The alternative
      is to think all the evangelists use the same misleading exaggeration
      when saying Jesus did this.

      Jerusalem was not business as usual at Passover time. We’re not
      talking about Christmas shopping busy, but vast, vast numbers of
      people from outside descending on the city. We also know that this was
      an occasion at which nationalistic fever reached an all time high,
      creating all sorts of massive security headaches for the authorities,
      who in any case had Passover arrangements to organise. ”

      Too busy to take time to even talk face to face with Jesus daily?
      Which they did — beginning with Mark 11:27. You are creating an
      imaginary scenario that simply defies the gospel narratives.

      Recall they had ample leisure time to debate with Jesus throughout
      this period.

      Nationalistic fever at its pitch at this time? I’ve always wondered
      the source for this common claim. The passover was an annual event and
      we can be reasonably confident after X number of years the authorities
      managed it fairly well. To think they couldn’t spare a few armed men
      to arrest Jesus any time they felt like it is fanciful. Simply follow
      him outside the city if they didn’t want to do it in the city. Or
      simply arrest him when he was speaking in the temple.

      The Feast of Tabernacles was also huge. John tells us the authorities
      had no trouble sending along a few “police” to arrest him on the spot.
      Or wait till after the weekend when the crowds would disperse. “Spies”
      – like Judas — for such tasks were a specialty in this time and part
      of the world. Only they had their own and didn’t need to trust one
      from the other side.

      Remember, too, that the Jerusalem folk and the Galilee “yokels” were
      living in quite different worlds (think London/Yorkshire moors, but
      without the communication and in a different regional structure). ”

      Galilee was not a stereotypical yokel place. It was cosmopolitan with
      major city centres and philosophical schools. (Collins, Sterling (via:
      amazon.co.uk), 2001) There were differences, but not so much of the
      kind you suggest here.

      Bethany is outside Jerusalem. The miracle he performed there outraged
      the Jerusalem authorities enough to want to kill its beneficiary,
      Lazarus. Not someone else’s problem at all.

      When he arrived in Jerusalem crowds lined the highway to catch a
      glimpse of him as their king and saviour. Think they’d forget the face
      they saw? Compare notes? Talk about him afterwards? Cement the
      experience?

      Next was not the temple cleansing, but the Pharisees being outraged at
      this reception Jesus got (John, Matthew).

      The authorities DID catch up with Jesus many times. It was to have a
      debate with him about his authority, another time to listen to a
      parable or two, then again to discuss taxation, and again to discuss
      the resurrection, then to discuss the commandments, and the prophecies
      about the Son of David.

      Lots of catch-up time happened.

      The Judas Narrative

      Brown then acts like a fundamentalist (the thing he accuses me of) by saying the Jewish authorities “could have seized [Jesus] in public at any time they wanted, [only] if they wanted to risk a deadly skirmish,” a claim that presumes a literal reading of the Gospels in which Jesus is so famous and beloved that “the public” would have battled any soldiers sent to seize him. That is simply not a plausible assumption (were Jesus that famous and that supported by the masses, we would surely have much more evidence of him, as then the literary elite of the era and region could hardly not have noticed him).

      Indeed, if we are to suppose a riot would have ensued at that action, it would have ensued the moment he was crucified…yet somehow, suddenly, the Jewish authorities stop being concerned about deadly skirmishes, when they do something enormously worse than merely arrest him, but actually murder him in a public and humiliating manner, and most offensively, on (or on the dawn of) a high holy day. So we’re supposed to believe riots would ensue at his mere arrest that didn’t ensue at his outrageous public murder? If we’re going to play the game of “read the Gospels literally,” the story just ends up making less sense, not more.

      If you want a more historically plausible account of how the Jewish elite would have actually handled the Jesus problem, look at how we’re told they planned to handle the Paul problem (Acts 23:12-21). More likely, they would have killed him immediately upon his vandalism of the temple square, which was guarded by six hundred armed soldiers (with thousands more to summon just a javelin’s throw away in Fort Antonia, which housed a whole Roman legion, adjacent to the Temple: Josephus, Jewish War 2.12.1, 4.5.1, 5.238-248; Jewish Antiquities 20.8.6, 20.8.11), who were not afraid to beat down any rebellious public who got in their way (most especially trouble-makers in the Temple). Certainly in the temple they could have arrested him easily, with ample armed support (note that Gentiles were permitted in the Temple area that Jesus vandalized, so Roman legions could police it, as well as the Jewish guards authorized to kill any Gentiles who entered the forbidden areas).

      Thus, as Acts would have it, Claudius Lysias had no difficulty dispatching hundreds of soldiers and cavalry from within Jerusalem to escort Paul outside the city (Acts 23:22-24), and Paul was able to be arrested even in the middle of a riot. As Josephus relates in Antiquities 20.1, the Romans regularly killed political undesirables surrounded by hundreds of fanatical supporters, without wasting time on an arrest or trial. And even Mark seems to imagine the Jews could assemble a large armed force, and indeed arrest Jesus with one (Mk. 14:43, Mt. 26:47; according to John 18:3, they even came with six hundred Roman legionairies, a full cohort).

      ……………. ……………..

      Indeed, here it’s interesting that to Fisher, Porter, an accomplished contemporary scholar, is incompetent because he is a fundamentalist, but she is okay relying on the fifty-years-old scholarship of hard-core Lutheran abbots like Jeremias. But no matter. The conclusion he reaches changes nothing, as it indeed only reinforces my point that they cannot possibly have crucified Jesus during the festival if they feared mass violence merely at his arrest. It’s not like he was crucified in private. Contrary to Fisher’s undefended assumption, why would there be no crowds about?

      Jesus was marched in public from the city court (which was packed with crowds noisily crying out to Pilate to crucify Jesus), through the city streets, right into a mass crucifixion within view of the city…where random pilgrims could be pressed into service (Mk. 15:21) and lots of folk were about to mock Jesus (Mk. 15:29-32), but somehow not a single supporter managed to notice or hear about any of this or tell anyone about it, despite it all going on for over six hours. Maybe Fisher will go fundamentalist herself here and claim the Gospel of John contains the only true account of the crucifixion and that it therefore occurred in a private garden away from the prying eyes of all but an inexplicably selected few, who must have been busy dodging the shadows cast by the tombs John says were there, lest they be ritually defiled. But I can only speculate.

      These incidents are both set at the Temple and the implication is that it was Jewish Temple authorities. Temple authorities seem to have had their own jurisdiction over the
      Temple grounds that Romans didn’t interfere with (there are examples in Josephus of other executions by Jewish Temple authorities). This contradicts the Synoptics’ statement that they didn’t have the right to execute people themselves, but note that John’s Gospel does not have a blasphemy conviction for Jesus, probably recognizing that importing it from the Synoptic traditions would contradict the two prior instances.

      ….. ……..

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  7. It’s interesting to observe the Christian commenters’ attachment to the death of Jesus, as though they too would have wanted him killed had they been present at the scene … for how else would their sins be pardoned?

    Liked by 1 person

    • And why is Judas hated so much? He facilitated the death of Jesus – a good thing surely? He should be a saint!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Famous quotes:

      “His Blood be upon us!” ~ Ken Temple

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • In the hypothetical where saving Jesus is possible, wouldn’t it be the Muslims rushing to his rescue whilst the Christians would be trying to stop them?

      Doesn’t that tell our Christian brothers and sisters anything?

      Alhamdulillah for Islam.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I always find it interesting that the early Christians considered Pontius Pilate a saint and that he is sainted in the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox church!! He is even celebrated every year on June 25 known as St. Pontius Pilate day. If Christians can saint a brutal, unscrupulous, imperialist, blood soaked, Roman tyrant like that, then it should go without question that Judas Iscariot, a Disciple, should be Sainted as well.

      Like

    • some guy said something similar about 9 years ago

      quote:
      Christians should have cheered all the way though
      Mel Gibson’s other movie The Passion of the Christ chanting the whole
      while: Without the shedding of Jesus’ blood we’ll fry like beacon in
      Hell! Thus, shouting “Glory” and “Allelulia…Salvation is mind!” every
      time Jesus’ flesh is laid open.But you Christians want it both ways.
      It’s outwardly: Poor Jesus, but inwardly: Make that sucker bleed!
      Salvation is MINE!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Edward
      I’m sure you don’t understand the word sacrifice.

      Act 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
      Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
      Act 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

      The whole of the cross was for the benefit of all mankind.

      Like

    • “It’s interesting to observe the Christian commenters’ attachment to the death of Jesus, as though they too would have wanted him killed had they been present at the scene … for how else would their sins be pardoned?”

      it would even be a sin for god to prevent himself from dying like the other two criminals crucified besides him. the nailing of jesus seems to be a good and divinely prescribed act. the romans were carrying out “love” of god

      Like


    • I’m sure you don’t understand the word sacrifice.”

      “Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

      how was the act of nailing your god wicked when jesus did not go to the pagans and inform them about how KILLING jesus would cool of the father in heaven?

      STOPPING the crucifixion , according to your religion, would be A SIN

      romans whooped your god because god sent himself to be whooped

      “The whole of the cross was for the benefit of all mankind.”

      and what about those who were crucified besides your god? how come you don’t talk about their suffering and pain?

      “benefit of all mankind”

      what benefit is there?

      Wars of the Jews 5.11.2.
      Quote:

      … So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews,
      nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after
      another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so
      great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for
      the bodies. (19)….

      there is nothing special about the weekend “sacrifice ” of your gods puppet dress

      there is no benefit derived from such an act and amos and jeremiah clearly know that acts which cool of deities are not for the benefit of human beings but put a control on blood lust of gods.

      Like

    • Hi Edward
      It’s clear from your comments that you have no idea what Christians actually believe.

      Like

    • “I’m sure you don’t understand the word sacrifice.”

      sacrifice
      ˈsakrɪfʌɪs/Submit
      noun
      1.
      an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to a deity.

      since jesus is the animal/symbolic for the animal and the romans who slaughter animal are the actors , then the acts are 100 % good acts.

      and to prove they are good acts, chistians have been celebrating them for 2000 years

      paul even did a play

      http://vridar.org/2016/01/25/crucifixion-portrayed-before-the-very-eyes-of-galatians/

      stopping these acts would prevent a god from being appeased and calmed.

      Like

  8. What the Jewish leadership, Judas, and Pilate did was evil.

    But turned evil into something was good. He is sovereign. God used their evil to turn for His purposes and glory.

    Genesis 50:20 – “what you (Joseph’s brothers) meant for evil, God meant for good.”

    Acts 2:22-23

    Acts 4:27-28

    Like

  9. Murder is not good – the Jewish leadership, Judas, and Pilate were committing evil and injustice in murdering Jesus.

    But God the Father turned the evil of murder into a good thing – the atonement for sin by the innocent victim who took the place of sinners.

    Like the innocent ram that God supplied for Abraham to replace his son with and sacrifice.

    Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29 (Yahya the Baptizer said that)

    Like

    • “Murder is not good – the Jewish leadership, Judas, and Pilate were committing evil and injustice in murdering Jesus.” Ken

      One of the most unjust trials in recorded history, Ken. And, they didn’t just execute him. They tortured him first and humiliated him. And he asked his dad to forgive them as he suffocated slowly from the blood draining into his lungs each time he pushed on his legs to gasp for air, nailed to wooden beams. My folks used to say, “What was the big deal? If he was god, he knew he’d go to heaven.”

      Has anyone seen a crucifixion? For him, the most painful aspect of it was that he in some profound way became sin. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” As the atoning sacrifice, even his father rejected him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Hank; and even more than all the terrible physical suffering, He suffered spiritually by – He voluntarily, out of love, willingly took the wrath of God against sin for us.

      Galatians 3:13

      Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us– for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “–

      Like

    • Ken Jesus taught that God could just forgive the repentant sinner.

      Like

    • “O God, Be propitious to me, the sinner!” (O God, satisfy Your wrath by sacrifice) Luke 18:13

      ὁ θεός ἱλάσθητί μοι τῷ ἁμαρτωλῷ

      context: verse 10 – “two men went up to the temple to pray . . . ” = presupposes in the context that there is sacrifice for sin.

      Like

    • “Ken Jesus taught that God could just for give the repentant sinner.” PW

      Indeed, Paul, because he paid the price and shed his blood. No remission of sin exists without his blood pouring from his wounds. He had to die. He came to die. He “always was” to die. He was from all eternity past and present for the specific purpose of bleeding and dying.

      Look who threatened to interfere with God’s plan? “When Jesus announced to the twelve that He had to go to Jerusalem where He would suffer and die, the apostle Peter rebuked Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This should never happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

      Like

    • you distort Jesus’ teaching. Jesus taught that God could just forgive the repentant sinner without any sacrifices at all.

      Like

    • “you distort Jesus’ teaching. Jesus taught that God could just forgive the repentant sinner without any sacrifices at all.” PW

      “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

      “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”

      “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.”

      How do you arrive at that, Paul?

      Like

    • “what must I do to be saved?” according to Jesus?

      Like

    • Hi Paul
      Luke 19:9-14 that you like to quote in regards to how one is saved, is a parable exposing self righteous people who in this case is the Pharisee.

      Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

      The conclusion is one is exalted for being humble and the other abased for exalting himself, this is not dealing with the issue of how you are saved but self righteousness.

      So Paul the Pharisee is not saved? After all he did pray as well.

      Like

    • according to Jesus only the tax-collector was justified before God – not the Pharisee.

      Like

    • Hi Paul
      The parable is about self righteousness not salvation and that the publican’s prayer was answered, which is something that a person would do on a regular basis, he wouldn’t be praying for salvation every time he prayed to God would he now?

      Like

    • What Must I Do to Be Saved?

      http://www.walvoord.com

      Paul, I’d summarize what is said here, but it is so well written i think you should read it.

      Like

    • Hank,
      you have Gospel of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, but were is the Gospel of Jesus? Until you show us that, you are really just wasting your time here.

      Like

    • Those are 4 testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus, one according to Matthew (eyewitness), the other according to Mark (wrote for an eyewitness, Peter), according to Luke (interviewed the other eyewitnesses), and according to John (eyewitness).

      Like 4 eyewitnesses, one on each corner of a traffic accident. from 4 different angles/ perspectives.

      Like

    • Ken the gospels are not written by witnesses. Historians have for a long time realised this. Get up to speed dude.

      Like

    • liberal scholars. You follow liberal scholars rather than Allah who inspires prophets and apostles to write Scripture.

      Like

    • Such a silly remark for a supposedly intelligent person to make.

      Like

    • But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

      Like

    • Verily, verily, I say unto you, еxcept a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

      Like

    • the question was: “what must I do to be saved?”

      Like

    • Hank,
      I asked for Gospel of Jesus and you quote the Gospel of John 16:7.

      FYI- The reference to a Paraclete has been interpreted by some as a prophecy of the coming of Prophet Muhammad. Do some reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” He said this to signify the kind of death He was going to die.…No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.…

      Like

    • “what must I do be saved?” A man asked Jesus this question

      Like

    • you “lack one thing” and that is give all your money to the poor , then you are 100 % saved.

      Like

    • Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” And Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

      To the dying criminal, all he said, about which we know, was, “you will be with me today”. Christ apparently heard him rebuke the other criminal with an attitude of remorse and an understanding that Christ had done nothing deserving of murder. He knew Christ was a righteous man. And he knew he was dying though he was innocent.

      Taken together, the N.T. makes perfectly clear why He came and what he requires. It is not the same under every circumstance for every person. He leads us to himself in a variety of ways.

      He wasn’t born miraculously only to die for our sins without explaining who he was and why he came. He did more than appear, perform miracles and preach about the law. Precept upon precept, he revealed God’s mission and fulfilled his role when he ascended.

      Take all that He said and all that He did. If He had not come to redeem mankind through his atoning death, what did He do? Why did He come? Who was He? You know?

      Like

    • When Hank is cornered, he just starts quoting random Bible verses.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Follow the law, sell all stuff and follow me.

      Like

    • Hank,
      “what did He do? Why did He come? Who was He?”

      Apparently you haven’t been paying attention to the comments on this blog. We have answered all of your questions. You can keep asking them, over and over but the answers will be the same.

      Like

    • He had not died at that point. He said, “follow me.” If we follow him, he will show us more and more about who he was and is. He was human. He responds to where we are at and what makes us tick. Some receive salvation in one setting. For others they become saved over a period of time, of inquiry, of seeking that builds into a full relationship. A whore is closer to God than many who proclaim to follow Him. A man dying of AIDS is too. A drunk crying out to the night sky for meaning is on His doorstep.

      Like

    • I’m typing as fast as I can!

      If I could make an official guarantee, a legally acceptable guarantee, I would. But obviously I can’t make it legal. But, I promise based on everything I am and know, to any and to all, if you will seek Him with all you are, all your strength, mind, heart and soul, you will find Him and be found by Jesus.

      Like

    • “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

      Believe

      “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

      Touch Him

      “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

      Receive the Holy Spirit

      “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

      Be baptized

      While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

      Eat His body

      Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of theb covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

      Drink his blood

      He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

      Search the scriptures to learn all about Him

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    • Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

      Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

      Like

    • Hank,
      In the Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) the unknown author of Matthew writes that Jesus teaches that one does not even need to know or accept Jesus in any way, but that one only has to be a charitable person in order to achieve salvation.

      34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’

      So as you can see according to this beautiful teaching in Matthew, there is no need to believe in the Incarnation, Atonement by Crucifixion, Death or Resurrection. We don’t even need to know Jesus, or even be a Christian in order to be saved, for anyone who is a good charitable kind person, is considered Righteous and deserving of Salvation.

      You can keep engaging in your cannibalistic practice of eating flesh and blood, and believing in false doctrines, but I prefer to just be a good and charitable person and find my salvation through the straight path of Islam.

      Your Jesus (and My Prophet Jesus) condones and supports me in the salvific path of Islam.

      Like

    • good works are the result of true faith.
      See Ephesians 2:8-10. Verse 10 is the result of verses 8-9

      verse 41 – “these who are members of my family” = brothers and sisters = believers; some from all nations. Those who accept the message from all nations show they are the true believers – Revelation 5:9

      see context of Matthew 24:14 – the message of the gospel of the kingdom must go out to all nations.

      Matthew 25:32 – all nations are gathered before Him on judgment day.

      9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

      10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
      12 saying,

      “I will proclaim Your name to My brethren,
      In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.”
      13 And again,

      “I will put My trust in Him.”
      And again,

      “Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.”
      14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

      Hebrews 2:9-18
      See the brothers (members of My family) connection in Matthew 25 and Hebrews 2:9-18.

      Like

    • “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Jesus Christ

      One of my favs. Upon opening the door to my heart with a quick prayer New Year’s Eve in the desert, “Okay. If you’re there, come on in”, He did. I ran for the first time in 3 1/2 years. Didn’t associate the two things, but looking back, it is interesting how that happened. Nothing happened that I noticed inside or out. I can’t say I was “saved” at this point or not. It wasn’t until August when, flat on my back, I pleaded with the God I never believed in, and never believed I would ever believe in, over and over and over to help me, never considering the possibility that Anyone was listening. There was just nothing left to do. I remember being on my water bed and raising my fist in the air and from the very deepest part of me begging, begging, over and over, with all my strength and sincerity, “Please help me. Please help me. Please help me. Please, please, please, please. Over and over in the most urgent, honest, genuine way and this went on and on and on and I had no doubt that no one was listening but it didn’t matter. I had no faith in a heaven or a hell but it seemed as if the flames of hell were licking at my conscience for the evil I had done, the evil that I was. And I wasn’t ready to die. I did not want to die, but I could find no reason left to live. Fear of dying, fear of death, and the unknown upon dying, weren’t reason enough to keep me going.

      Within a few weeks someone knocked on my door and asked if I’d ever heard of the 4 Spiritual Laws. (No, I hadn’t, and normally I would have chucked him off with a bitter blast of know-it-all bluster, but I decided to have some fun with this thick-lensed, skinny, curly haired kook, so I humored him and let him talk to me for a few minutes, as I strutted around wooing the coeds to my side.) And it was as if Jesus walked around with me that night.

      Like

    • “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Ken, this was one of the first verses that I remember providing healing relief. I didn’t stop all my sinful ways completely all at once. But, learning that this guy Jesus could appreciate my struggle resisting the debauchery and lasciviousness that defined me, encouraged me to keep trying to stay away.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I should have said, “Trying to woo all the coeds to my side”, because that’s all I did was try, while most of them broke world records in the 100 meter dash trying to avoid me.

      To be really open, upon having Him live inside of me, I began to have this love and kindness and some unselfishness inside, too. Seeing females as people, real people. Important, with feelings, human beings with integrity. It was Him. It was all Him.

      And for the first time in my life others were attracted to me! Here I was, not trying to hustle chicks for the first time in my life, and they started chasing me–and I had to resist them in order to follow the One who was making me, for the first time in my life, what I had craved the most, to be appealing to women. God has a sense of wonder and humor. Yes, He does.

      Like

    • “The Son of Man must suffer many things,” He said. “He must be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Then Jesus said to all of them, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses or forfeits his very self? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truthfully, some who are standing here will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God”

      From a synoptic. He not only knows exactly who he is, but what he will do and what he requires of those who decide he is worth more than everything else.

      To lose my soul is the price for rejecting his claims over my life. I do not believe he was speaking of heaven alone. Whenever I reject his will for me, I lose some of me, some of the real me. I crave meaning in my life and without him in charge, I settle for less than what I could have been, like an athlete violating training. I hate pain, so I’ll sidestep his plan and inevitably end up paying with more pain.

      To the “easy-believism” crowd, I assure you, being his disciple will cost you more than you think have, and will return more than you can imagine. When he said to forgive or you will not be forgiven, do you think he was blowing smoke?

      “Then the master summoned him and declared, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave all your debt because you begged me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”

      “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

      Like

    • “‘Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.'”

      “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

      And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for the sake of My name will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.'”

      Again, he demands our all. He isn’t confused about anything, but he speaks in ways that are incomprehensible occasionally. Loving money, IMO, is just one thing that can interfere with a relationship with God. A better translation for “the love of money” goes like this: A love for money is a root of all kinds of evil. It could be a love for beauty, a love for power, a love for status, things, family, this life, memories, anything that is more important to us than He is.

      Like

    • the question was: “what must I do to be saved?” PW

      Still answering your question, Paul. “Saved” has a number of meanings.

      Following him isn’t a simple recipe. Meeting him is. Being a disciple “indeed” is entirely different. So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples.

      (7.4 mag earthquake in New Zealand just reported. That’s a monster. Let’s not forget, these enormous quakes point to his imminent return.)

      Like

    • His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,

      “‘though seeing, they may not see;
      though hearing, they may not understand.’[a]

      “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

      Paul, from what I’m learning, this relationship with God we discuss is pretty damn important. Seems to me we are urged in the strongest terms possible, to get it right. It isn’t magic. It isn’t a joke, although many consider us fools for pursuing the topic at all. I don’t want to be glib about it. The choices I (we) make have profound repercussions.

      Trying to trap someone into presenting an easy, quick, and simple response to what Christ demands of an individual for him to find salvation may be an effective way to win an argument on the surface. But, I would hate to see someone turn away from God without offering at least a thorough outline on He can be known, you know?

      Like

    • But what did Jesus say? Good question, Paul,

      All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

      To go to Jesus, I have to find him. I must go to where he is. I need to know the path that will lead me to Him. He is in heaven. How do I get to heaven? I learn that he sent the holy spirit to live inside me to bridge the gap.

      Like

  10. Nice post Paul,

    Could not another possible meaning of the verse be that Jesus did not die from crucified….meaning that he was not crucified in the sense that crucifixion normally entails death.

    The gospels give much evidence for the swoon hypothesis.

    And the sightings of Jesus and his disguise and his alleged meeting with his disciples showing his wounds and his need to still eat…do they not indicate he (peace be upon him) could have survived?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Omar
      Can you give me a secular reference to show that Jesus die on the cross?

      Maybe out of the Hadith i did ask Paul but i didnt get an answer, I’m not just going to believe something because it is written in the koran ONCE

      Something around that time in.the 1st or 2nd century.

      Like

    • Defend,
      There were early Christian sects that believed in the theory of Substitution.There are sources within Christianity which point to a Substitution Hypothesis. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substitution_hypothesis

      <<>>

      In regard to secular sources, the empty tomb may indicate evidence of swoon theory, Lost body theory or Stolen body hypothesis. There is also vision hypothesis as Ehrman has discussed in his recent book.

      There is no absolute irrefutable reason for anyone to believe the traditional Gospel Narrative. There is plenty of evidence to support alternative views and theories. You are free to believe or not believe either one. The important thing here is that whichever version of the story you choose to believe, it is not a central pivot piece in the mechanism of salvation. We are not required to believe in the Crucifixion, death, resurrection, or “atonement of the cross” in order to achieve salvation.

      In essence, Islam teaches the same basic core message that his been sent to all of the Prophets of God throughout history, that If we simply believe in God in his pure Oneness, believe in the previous Prophets, (including his last Messenger and Qur’an) live a good moral life obeying the commandments, and repent when we make mistakes, we will achieve salvation through the Mercy and Grace of God, who has illumined a clear path for us to follow. This is the same message that Jesus himself preached and taught.

      The rest is just details.

      Like

    • Defend,
      Sorry Quotes appear in my last comment.

      The Acts of Thomas and the Book of Thomas the Contender, both thought to have been written in the 2nd or 3rd century..,[1] state that the Apostle Thomas was the twin brother of Jesus, a claim that is in part supported by the etymology of Thomas and the name Judas (distinct from Judas Iscariot) that he is given in other early texts and traditions. These early texts do not put forward the substitution hypothesis with respect to the death and resurrection of Jesus, but the Acts of Thomas contain an episode in which the risen Jesus is mistaken for Thomas the Apostle[2]

      The Second Treatise of the Great Seth, a Gnostic text also from the 2nd or 3rd century, says that Simon of Cyrene died in the place of Jesus[3]

      In the Gospel of Barnabas, often considered to be of medieval origin, Judas Iscariot is given the likeness of Jesus and crucified in his place.

      Paul William Roberts reports in his 1995 travel narrative Journey of the Magi: In Search of the Birth of Jesus, that contemporary Mandaeans hold that Thomas the Apostle was the twin brother of Jesus and was crucified in Jesus’s place. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substitution_hypothesis

      Like

    • Hi Ibn Issam
      I don’t think the gospel of Barnabas helps the Muslim cause as it says that Muhammad is the Messiah which of course he is not.

      And it has Jesus denying he is the Messiah.

      Acts of Thomas is a no no…Jesus the twin brother that’s really funny…I supposed that’s a double virgin birth.

      It’s quite sad that Muslims are backing this nonsense to try and prove the Koran to be true.

      Like

    • Defend,
      I referenced the sources in that quote simply to show that, as I previously said, there were early Christian sects that believed in the theory of Substitution. Regardless of what your modern orthodoxy says, the fact is that these sources show that there was a wide array of varying belief within Christianity some of which point to a Substitution Hypothesis, or other alternative views on the crucifixion etc. I don’t think you can really argue with that proven fact.

      Like

  11. Proverbs 21 :18
    ” The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright ”

    Proverbs 11:8
    ” The righteous is delivered from trouble, and the wicked walks into it instead. “

    Like

  12. “Murder is not good – the Jewish leadership, Judas, and Pilate were committing evil and injustice in murdering Jesus.”

    how is it not a good thing when such an act is cooling down and appeasing god?

    it was god who sent himself to receive the divinely prescribed whooping

    the actions of nailing jesus to the cross are a requirement by god. if the father dressed up as a jew and cried out for the release of jesus, then the father would be sinning against his own plan to nail his son

    the act of nailing jesus cannot be a sin

    if stopping the act is a sin, then the act of nailing cannot be a sin..

    you call it “evil”

    but do you want jesus to go to pilate and say, “crucify me so that you can appease my father in heaven and receive great awards for your act of nailing me ” ?

    jesus never told any gentile how to get saved

    he had the perfect opportunity to inform the pagans that their actions will cool of yhwh, but he didn’t

    he said “they don’t know what they are doing”

    this is even worse.

    because if they thought they are killing a criminal , then they were right in what they were doing . so fulfilling roman law cannot be evil or sin

    Like

    • “You (Joseph’s brother’s injustice and sin and evil) meant it for evil; but God meant it for good.”
      Genesis 50:20

      Like

    • “You (Joseph’s brother’s injustice and sin and evil) meant it for evil; but God meant it for good.”
      Genesis 50:20

      evil? what was evil? they, according to chistianity crucified a sinful human being

      romans were doing their duty

      either god keep them blind or he went to them and told them how their acts would cool him down

      but your god didn’t tell them about what their acts would do to him

      thom stark wrote :
      Paul identifies the death of Jesus as a “hilasterion” (Rom 3:25), which is a propitiatory sacrifice meant to appease an angry deity. Moreover, in the Gospels Jesus himself regularly cites the Isaian Suffering Servant as predictive of his death, investing it with a sacrificial, propitiatory meaning
      if an angry diety is appeased only by the VIOLENT bloody execution of himself and thinks his violent punishment atones for sins, then in my opinion, the romans who punished him CANNOT be guilty of sinful actions
      GUILT
      noun
      1.
      the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability:
      He admitted his guilt.
      are christians willing to admit that the crucifixion of thier god was a crime? are they willing to admit that something which appeases thier god and atones for sins = wrong? was god nailing himself using roman actions? if yes, then romans cannot be GUILTY of crime, right?

      Like

    • if your pagan god could “convert” pagans acts into “universal sacrifice” or be the driver behind the events leading to the “sacrifice” of “god-man” why in same stance can’t god convert the good of humans into something good ? so why can’t a heart be replaced without a bloody go between considering it has potential to do good?

      Like

    • ken, why didn’t “1 person, 2 natures” tell the romans what their ACTS would do to him and “father in heaven” ?

      Like

    • “You (Joseph’s brother’s injustice and sin and evil) meant it for evil; but God meant it for good.”
      Genesis 50:20″

      where was injustice being carried out?
      the torah says to put to death blasphemers

      those who shouted out “crucify him” would do exactly what the father would do had he been IN the crowd

      if the father saved jesus, he would be guilty of going against his own plan to CRUSH jesus

      jesus went “willingly” to commit suicide for

      rapists, murderers,

      the romans “they don’t know what they are doing”

      because jesus never told them the divine plan to appease yhwh the blood lusting god.

      Like

    • quote:
      Luke (23:34) has Jesus say, “Father, forgive them, *for they know not what they do.*” So, if they did not realize they were killing a divine being, or an innocent man, whichever Luke believes he was, the Roman soldiers could not be morally guilty of something they didn’t know they were doing. But crucifixion was an especially brutal act and I think any Jew would have considered it a sin to crucify anyone and then deny him a decent burial.
      end quote

      ken, both the jews were carrying out duty.

      it is jesus’ fault for not informing the jews or the pagans that jesus’ crucifixion would cool of yhwh
      you cannot blame those who were used by god to carry out gods own divinely prescribed whooping/execution

      it is god who is driver behind all the events leading up to his murder.

      Like

  13. I posted a thread concerning Dr. Lawson’s, The Crucifixion and the Qur’an back on Nov. 21, 2009 (LINK).

    To my knowledge, I am not aware of any substantial reply to this scholarly treatment.

    In addition to Dr. Lawson’s contribution, I have published an additional half-dozen threads on Surah 4.157 which can be accessed (HERE).

    IMO, it is time for both Muslims and Christians to rethink what the entire Qur’an has to say concerning the death of Jesus.

    Grace and peace,

    David

    Like

    • David,
      Thanks – yes, we had this discussion years ago . . .

      Todd Lawson’s argument is mighty strained . . .
      because it says twice “they did not kill him” and then at the end, “for sure” یقیناً (Yaqinan) they did not kill him”

      Todd Lawson argues that the Qur’an does not actually deny that Jesus died on the cross, but that actually Jesus did die physically (based on 3:55 and 19:33 and 5:117), but based on other verses in the Qur’an, namely Surah 2:154 amd 3:169, Lawson argues that what 4:157 means is that even though they killed Jesus physically, they really did not, because one cannot kill someone’s true essence, ie, his spirit or soul or inner self.

      “Do not say that those who are killed in the way of God are dead, for indeed they are alive, even though you are not aware.” (Surah 2:154 – see also 3:169.)

      And do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah , “They are dead.” Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not. Surah 2:154 Sahih International

      And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision, Surah 3:169

      Seems really strained to me; but there are other Islamic scholars who take this view also, though a very very small minority.

      Also, Lawson’s argument does not make sense in light of Surah 3:54-55, which speaks about the Makr مکر (cunning deception, scheme, trickery) of Allah and that Allah is very best at cunning deception. (using watered down to “plotting” and “planning”).

      Lawson’s argument does not make sense because what then is the purpose of Surah 4:157 at all ?, since everyone’s spirit / soul / inner self continues on – either in the grave until judgement day and then all souls continue on either in heaven or hell. That just makes the whole verse not even necessary or meaning anything at all.

      Like

    • “Also, Lawson’s argument does not make sense in light of Surah 3:54-55, which speaks about the Makr مکر (cunning deception, scheme, trickery) of Allah and that Allah is very best at cunning deception. (using watered down to “plotting” and “planning”).”

      deceive
      dɪˈsiːv/Submit
      verb
      deliberately cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, especially for personal gain.

      if you are saving someone from the evil of others, what is the personal gain?

      deception usually is for gaining something .

      we can apply this definition to each member of trinity, jesus , his crucifixion, torah and jewish laws.

      Like

    • https://isthatinthebible.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/jesus-the-shapeshifter-in-early-christian-tradition/

      since satan appears in different forms, then how much makr was he doing with the disciples?

      Like

    • The intention of David and those like him is to try and convince Muslims to question the traditional interpretation of Qur’an by Islamic Scholars. He and his ilk hope that this will open the door to further questioning and eventual acceptance of the Christian Narrative, and associated doctrines.

      In response, I am re posting a comment which Abdullah posted above which I think addresses David’s Comment. I hope that meets with everyone’s approval.

      “This argument cannot stand. Muslims have dealt with it already. The amazing thing about Quran is that christians cannot play with its words as they did with the Hebrew bible. Verses themselves, Context, term of (Tawaffa), Hadiths, and sayings of companions of the prophet, all of these factors refer to one truth which is that Jesus has not died yet. In fact, he wasn’t hanged on the cross.”

      And here is a repost of my own comment from above which also addresses David’s remark:

      There is no absolute irrefutable reason for anyone to believe the traditional Gospel Narrative. There is plenty of evidence to support alternative views and theories. You are free to believe or not believe either one. The important thing here is that whichever version of the story you choose to believe, it is not a central pivot piece in the mechanism of salvation. We are not required to believe in the Crucifixion, death, resurrection, or “atonement of the cross” in order to achieve salvation.

      In essence, Islam teaches the same basic core message that his been sent to all of the Prophets of God throughout history, that If we simply believe in God in his pure Oneness, believe in the previous Prophets, (including his last Messenger and Qur’an) live a good moral life obeying the commandments, and repent when we make mistakes, we will achieve salvation through the Mercy and Grace of God, who has illumined a clear path for us to follow. This is the same message that Jesus himself preached and taught.

      So don’t get too excited Dave, one way or the other the crucifixion does not make or break Islamic belief, and Muslims are smarter than that anyway.

      Like

  14. “It’s clear from your comments that you have no idea what Christians actually believe.”

    christians believe that god created a human body for himself and then “sacrificed” it to save everyone from his wrath.

    they continue to sin and @ the same time celebrate the belief that god saved himself from ETERNAL and everlasting torture in the depths of hell

    they say “even our repentance is not good enough” indicating they have gotten away with their crimes

    they have put the “suffering ” of their god before the suffering of their victims

    christians have different beliefs about what it means that a god willingly commits suicide . so it is you christians are have no idea what the hell christian beliefs are

    Like

  15. I see evidence for Swoon Theory which can be compatible with the Quran that Jesus (peace be upon him) was not crucified.

    Like

    • Hi Omar
      If a Roman soldier says someone is dead after the cross experience with.a spear through the side, i think that person is pretty much dead.

      You have the following to back up the one sentence in the koran.
      Any other verse in the koran…nothing
      1. In the Hadith…nothing
      2. Gospel of Barnabas….that says Muhammad is the Messiah, and its Medieval not 1st 2nd or even 3rd century.
      3. Gnostic books that say nonsense.

      The one verse in the koran you will believe anything to make that truth because if it is found to be false then you guys are in big trouble.

      A Muslim said recently that it doesnt matter if the koran is wrong about the crucifixion.

      Like

    • “If a Roman soldier says someone is dead after the cross experience with.a spear through the side, i think that person is pretty much dead.”……..I’m certain that there were times in history when a Roman soldier got it wrong. They are not infallible. Many times, in even recent history, experienced medical workers got it wrong. If we follow your logic, every modern hospital would do well to employ an ex-Roman soldier to be on hand to help establish who is dead and who isn’t.

      Like

    • Hi Musa
      So when they collected the body from Pilate he wasnt dead?

      Mark 15:44-45…and when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

      The centurion is not a joe bloggs foot soldier he is the commander of 100 soldiers.

      You Muslims are desperate so you hold on to any information that stands against the death of Christ whether its ridiculous or not.

      Like

  16. Hello Ibn Issam,

    Thanks for taking to the to respond to my post. You wrote:

    ==The intention of David and those like him is to try and convince Muslims to question the traditional interpretation of Qur’an by Islamic Scholars. He and his ilk hope that this will open the door to further questioning and eventual acceptance of the Christian Narrative, and associated doctrines.==

    It is quite difficult to have a constructive discussion with one who believes that they know what my “intention” is, when in fact, they have no clue. My position is unique, and you will be hard pressed to find anyone whose take is “like” mine. Since my position is unique, there is no “his ilk”. For a good look into my position, please take the time to read THIS POST, and then see if you can find any Christian in print who has the same take.

    Now, back to the topic at hand. As one who does not believe that Islamic Scholars are infallible, and given the fact that there has been at least four different interpretations of Surah 4.157 by Islamic Scholars, I think it is very important to return to the pure source itself (i.e. the Qur’an), and read it without the shackling influence of fallible scholars; this I have done, and in doing so, I find my interpretation to be the most consistent with the related ayat.

    Grace and peace,

    David

    Like

  17. As salamu alaykum there. I am currently translating this article into my language, but I have some apprehension that the bolded question in the center: “So why do Western historians not take the Quranic data in their research for historical Jesus”? is better answered by saying that it’s just because these scholars see the Quranic narratives as a secondary tradition, which should be investigated on a matter of their retracing to the originals and revealing their subsequent developments, rather than bringing them on the honorable and serious “Historical Jesus” panel. These studies have been done and shown numerous results of a literary evolution of such narratives. Take for example (I myself have read it only in its introductory part) the work of Emran al-Badawi “Aramaic Gospels and the Quran”, where he points out towards a plethora of such “dependancies” and borrowings, which he deliberately restrains to call as such, remarking some worn-out orientalistic inconclusiveness of such theories, but helping by that nothing to refute them, and actually replacing that anti-prophetical case with some positive theological and literary terminological juggling. I would be glad to get an answer to my first question, and to my last contention, as I hope my summary of that work is misconceived in the core.

    Like

  18. Yes. Into my native Russian, the language of the land with quite a lacking of decent Muslim apologetics. Everything here is taken over by smarty Christians and Atheists, while Muslims are too used to defend their religion in a raw, undeveloped way. If I see some new information to be shared with that public, I snatch at it – not only because of my wish to enlighten my folk, but also because I’ve myself been recovering from heavy doubting I got a year ago. There are some questions which I haven’t yet found good responses for (number 2 below)

    So basically:

    1. Paul wrote, that the reason why Western scholars don’t take the Jesus narrative into their historical consideration is because of the miracle’s problem. In fact, it’s more because they analyzed and concluded that these narratives are just a secondary tradition (see my comment above for more). Isn’t that true?
    2. How should a Muslim understand the the dependancy on that literary tradition?
    3. Above I tried to summarize the book of Al-Badawi. Who read it as well, please correct me if you disagree.

    Like

    • Salaam Roman,
      I am glad to hear you are still on the straight path of Islam. Do not ever let the critics shake your belief, Islam stands on firm foundations while Christianity is a house of cards. I encourage you to keep up your work making Dawah to your people, and translating more advanced Muslim apologetic arguments into their own language. This is a great service to Islam!

      First keep in mind that whole issue is minor for Muslims, and is not a cause to lose faith over. But since Christians constantly bring it up we can attempt to address the subject.

      1.) I believe that Paul is pointing to the miracle problem, because it the Qur’an itself, (unlike the Bible) claims to be of Divine origin, which in essence is miraculous in nature. Therefore, the Qur’anic claim that Jesus was miraculously saved from crucifixion by God is simply hard to prove historically……but then so is the Biblical claim that Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected. This is why John Hick admitted that “historically it is very difficult to dispute the Qur’anic verse….” (see Paul’s above post). So as Paul indicates, this is one reason why many western scholars don’t take the Qur’an into account. Maybe Paul Williams can elaborate more on this.

      Personally speaking, I think that Western scholars refuse to take the Qur’anic narrative into account simply because of biased prejudice to Islam. Many western Biblical scholars are funded by Christian institutions which would not allow it. While other Biblical scholars may see the Qur’an as a valid documentation of a Jesus Tradition and may make indirect mention of this, without being more direct, as any validation of the Qur’anic view can be seen as controversial among certain western scholarly circles. This is my opinion.

      In regard to literary evolution of the narratives, I don’t think that the Qur’an easily fits into the man made (read innovated and forged) Biblical evolution of the Jesus Narrative, since it is really denying the Biblical version as attested in the Canonized Gospels. Rather than a literary evolution of the narrative, the Qur’an seems to be referring to an earlier more original tradition which Jesus himself preached and taught. The Qur’an is setting the record straight by referring to the original teachings (or Injeel) of Jesus (not the NT Gospels or any evolution thereof).

      2.) I think that if there is any dependency, on previous traditions or understandings a Muslin should understand it as being because all true divine revelations were all sent down from the same originating divine source. Therefore, if there is any truth remaining in the Gospels, there will naturally be some inherent similarities with Qur’an, which may in turn link back to the original oral traditions of Prophet Jesus in Aramaic. We judge everything by the standard of the Qur’an, as it is a stand-alone book, and that is our criterion for truth.

      3.) In regard to Al-Badawi’s book, it seems to refute the Luxenberg’s false and ridiculous revisionist theory of Syro-Aramaic reading of Qur’an. If I understand correctly Badawi also speaks about Aramaic Gospels, and argues that the Qur’an is the continuation of the authentic Aramaic Jesus tradition rendered into the closely related language of Arabic. This would make sense if God was transferring the same divine knowledge, from Aramaic into a form more easily digested by Arabic speakers, (including the Ishmaelites) as well. Keep in mind that Arabic and Aramaic are related sister languages and there may be some natural similarities between the languages and also some shared word, terms and linguistics between the two, which in no way detracts from the validity or divine nature of the Arabic Qur’an. See this link and review a brief conversation between Eric bin Kisaam and another Muslim, which seems to indicate that the Aramaic Gospel. To get more information on this subject we would need to actually read Badawi’s book or some other relevant study.

      I admit that I am not a scholar, and I only pray that inshallah this is beneficial and helps lead you in the right direction.

      Like

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