Christian and Islamic view of the man on the cross

The Qur’an is not a work of literary narrative, as is the Bible. As a scripture that provides guidance (huda) and a reminder (tadhkira) to humankind, it gives more emphasis to spiritual edifications than to providing a full account of facts. So, the Quran’s main concern with the Jesus story, too, is not to give a full account of the Jesus story, but rather to put it in the right theological perspective. That is probably why, although it contains detailed narratives about the birth and mission of Jesus, it tells us almost nothing about his passing. For it does not consider the passing of Jesus—just like that of Abraham, Moses, or Muhammad himself—as an event with major theological significance.

In contrast, the passing of Jesus—or, more precisely, his Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension—is crucial for Christianity. “If Christ has not been raised,” Paul famously wrote to the Corinthians, “then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14) No wonder what ultimately became the very symbol of Christianity was the sign of the cross, which stands for the crucifixion—and not the sign of the fish, as it was among the earliest Christians.

In fact, the Qur’an does mention the cross, but only in passing, and only in an unaffirmative way. This mention, which led to disputes between Muslims and Christians for centuries, occurs in a Qur’anic passage that condemns a group of Jews that was apparently present in Medina. They are cursed, because “they disbelieved and uttered a terrible slander against Mary.” Furthermore:

And [they] said, “We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but 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. Quran 4:157-158

The key statement here, “it was made to appear like that to them,” or shubbiha la-hum, has led to endless speculations. Most Muslim exegetes, both in the classic era and the modern age, inferred from this phrase a theory of “substitution.” Accordingly, Jesus was not crucified, but somebody was “substituted” in his place— perhaps one of his disciples, or Judas Iscariot who betrayed him, or Simon of Cyrene who helped him carry the cross.

Yet this “substitution” theory, which is still almost the standard view among Muslims today, raises lots of questions. Fakhraddin al-Razi, the medieval scholar, addressed some of them frankly in his major exegesis of the Qur’an. “God was no doubt capable of delivering Jesus from the hands of his enemies by simply taking him up to heaven,” he first reminded. “What then,” he asked, “is the purpose of casting his likeness on another man, except to condemn an innocent man to death to no purpose?” He also made the following observation, which is in fact a good reminder for all religious believers that their arguments against the rival tradition can turn back on themselves:

All Christians in the world, with all their great love for Jesus and their extremist beliefs concerning him, have reported that they witnessed him being crucified and killed. If we were to deny this, we would cast doubt on the principle of tawatur [universally accepted transmission]. Casting doubt on this principle would also necessitate casting doubt on the prophethood of Muhammad and Jesus, and even on their very existence, as well as the existence of all other prophets, and that would be untenable.

Other Muslim commentators took a second and less radically rejectionist interpretation of “appearance,” arguing that Jesus was indeed crucified but he did not die on the cross. He rather secretly survived his execution, they suggested, despite his “appearance” of death. Ahmadiyya Muslims, an unorthodox sect of Islam, take this line. They even believe that after surviving the cross, Jesus moved to Kashmir, an area in the northern Indian subcontinent, to live there and ultimately to die a natural death. Hence in the Kashmirian city of Srinagar, there is still a highly revered “tomb of Jesus.”

Yet there is a third and radically different interpretation of the Qur’an’s verdict on the cross—a road much less taken. It begins by noting the context of the statement “They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him.” The context is a polemic against certain Jews— not Christians—who, apparently, both slandered Mary and also took pride in claiming “We killed the Messiah.” (No wonder in Talmudic literature there is a narrative which “proudly proclaims Jewish responsibility for Jesus’ execution.”66) To these people the Qur’an says, no, “They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but it was made to appear like that to them.”

In other words, the Qur’an is only telling us that Jews did not crucify and kill Jesus. It does not say nobody did that. It does not say, for example, that Romans did not crucify and kill Jesus, which was, of course, what really happened according to the canonical gospels.

Some scholars think that this third interpretation of the Qur’an’s interpretation of the cross may be compatible with the Christian version of the story. One was the late William Montgomery Watt, one of the most eminent Western scholars of Islam. He argued that a Christian could in fact accept the Qur’an’s statement on the crucifixion, “since the crucifixion was the work of Roman soldiers… [and] since the crucifixion was not a victory for the Jews in view of [Jesus’] resurrection.”

However, while this third interpretation makes it possible to reconcile the Qur’an with the story of the cross related in the canonical gospels, it probably cannot be reconciled with the theology of the cross related in Paul’s letters. Accordingly, the crucifixion was a cosmic event in which Jesus suffered as an atonement for the sins of all humankind. This theology not only has no trace in the whole Qur’an, it also goes against some of its core doctrines—such as that sin is strictly personal, and “no burden-bearer can bear another’s burden.” (Qur’an 35:18 53:38) It also is theologically unnecessary, for the Qur’an does not share the theology of the Fall as well, which according to Christianity made every human being inherently sinful and thus in need of a savior.

 

Excerpted from the book “The Islamic Jesus” by Mustafa Akyol

 

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Categories: Bible, Christianity, God, Islam

79 replies

  1. Three possibilities:
    1- Substitution theory
    2- Swoon theory
    3- Crucifixion by Romans

    The first theory was held even by early Christian sects. In regard to al-Razi’s concern about casting the likeness of Jesus over another and condemning that innocent man to death for no purpose, it can easily be reconciled by the understanding that the likeness was cast over Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the Romans. Therefore, Jesus is spared the crucifixion and Judas receives a divinely ordained punishment.

    in regard to the third option, if it was the Romans alone who had crucified Jesus, then the Qur’an would have clearly mentioned that the Romans alone crucified Jesus. However, even if it was the Romans alone who crucified Christ, this would not have stopped the Jews from boasting that they had a hand (even if only remotely) in the killing of Christ. Instead of parsing out the blame, the Qur’an makes the ambiguous statement that, “THEY did not kill him, nor did THEY crucify him, but it was made to appear like that to THEM.” This statement can be interpreted as being in reference to anyone, Jew or Roman, who was involved in the murder plot (They/Them = Jews & Romans) This leaves us with an understanding brings us back to the first two options.

    There is much to be said about the Swoon theory, but it is the Substitution theory which is generally held by most Muslims. In support of this theory it is important to note the following:

    -The early Christian sect of Basilidians also believed in theory of Substitution,

    -The Gospel of St. Barnabus teaches Substitution as well.

    -The Docetae held that Christ never had a physical body but only an immaterial, apparent or phantasmal body. Therefore his crucifixion was apparent and not real.

    -The Marcionite Gospel (AD 138) denied that Jesus was born, and said that he merely appeared temporarily in human form.

    Therefore, it can be seen that Substitution Theory is not a teaching that is without merit as it has also been taught by other followers of Christ in the past. As Fakhraddin al-Razi, said, “God was no doubt capable of delivering Jesus from the hands of his enemies by simply taking him up to heaven,” and the Qur’an says “verily Allah is capable of doing all things.”

    Wa Allahu Alim.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fact that the Jews were boasting does not mean that they alone were responsible for the crucifixion, as it is agreed that the Romans were involved as well, Such collusion between the Jews and Romans does necessitate that there was a physical Crucifixion of Jesus himself, nor does the Qur’an imply anywhere that Jesus was actually physically crucified rather than being substituted through some form of divine illusion.

      In other words, in regard to a physical Crucifixion of Jesus, it is true that the Qur’an “does not say, for example, that Romans did not crucify and kill Jesus”…… but neither does it say they did!!

      They did not kill Jesus, but Allah raised him up.

      Liked by 1 person

    • So allah deceived everybody?

      Like

    • God did not deceive the followers of Christ. Also see below re: the Bar Abbas theory, in which it seems that the only ones deceived were the Roman authorities, as many of the Jewish followers of Christ were aware enough to call out for the “son of the Father” to be freed. The Roman and possibly Jewish authorities may have not known what Jesus looked like, and therefore could have been easily deceived, while the close followers knew otherwise. One possible theory out of many.

      Like

    • I think that it is immaterial and irrelevant whether or not God “deceived” everyone or just some. The point is that since there are so many variables, questions, contradictions, speculations, and conjecture on the matter that we are therefore free to choose the theory that makes most sense to us and believe as we like, about the death of Jesus. Unlike the Christians, Muslims are are not bound to any single understanding of the Crucifixion. That is because, as the article above mentions, the Qur’an, “does not consider the passing of Jesus—just like that of Abraham, Moses, or Muhammad himself—as an event with major theological significance.”

      Therefore, it is simply better to accept the basic Qur’anic account without trying to fill in the details as it may only lead to confusion.

      “They certainly did not kill him. God raised him up to Himself.” That’s it and that is all we need to affirm, and within that understanding as we can see there are a variety of interpretive theories which provide support and lend credence to that understanding.

      Like

    • “So allah deceived everybody?”

      I like what Muse Gele had said about this matter
      “So if God never sent Jesus to the gentiles and if Jesus never propounded the teachings of original sin and vicarious atonement why should we blame God for a religion which people later on formulated for themselves?”

      Liked by 4 people

    • ““They certainly did not kill him. God raised him up to Himself.” That’s it and that is all we need to affirm”

      Sure, but that’s what we call “blind faith”, because your *affirmation* is contrary to everything scholars know about the event.

      John McIntyre, “The Uses of History in Theology”, Studies in World Christianity 7.1, 2001:
      Even those scholars and critics who have been moved to depart from almost everything else within the historical content of Christ’s presence on earth have found it impossible to think away the factuality of
      the death of Christ. (p. 8)

      Gerd Ludemann, The Resurrection of Christ: A Historical Inquiry, 2004:
      Jesus’ death as a consequence of crucifixion is indisputable. (p. 50)

      JD Crossan, who denies the authenticity of many of the saying and deeds attributed to Jesus in the canonical Gospels, says in The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, 1999:
       [there is not the] slightest doubt about the fact of Jesus’ crucifixion under Pontius Pilate. (p. 375)

      He’s repeating his point from Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, 1994:
      That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be. (p. 145)

      Geza Vermes, the late Jewish New Testament scholar, The Passion: The True Story of an Event that Changed Human History, 2006:
      The passion of Jesus is part of history. (p. 9)
       
      Bart Erhrman, renowned textual critic, but no friend of traditional Christianity, in The Historical Jesus: Lecture Transcript and Course Guidebook, 2000, says:
      One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate. (p. 162)

      Roman Catholic scholar, RE Brown, The Death of the Messiah, 1994:
      Most scholars accept the uniform testimony of the Gospels that Jesus died during the Judean prefecture of Pontius Pilate. (p. 1373)

      SO when the Koran says that they “crucified him not”, it is wrong. The Koran is wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Abdullah,

      That quote is irrelevant as to whether Jesus actually died by crucifixion historically. The koran is wrong on this. Muslims are following conjecture.

      Allah deceived people into believing that Jesus died according to Islam.

      Like

    • “So allah deceived everybody?”

      Seems like Jesus deceived everybody when creating Islam after he defeated death and sin exclusively for all time amen.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.” QT 5:15

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paulus,
      The Qur’an is not in total disagreement with scholars, since it recognizes that a crucifixion event occurred, it just differs on details that cannot be proven or disproven one way or the other by historians and scholars anyway. Therefore the Qur’an is not “wrong” it simply offers a different understanding of the event.

      Like

    • 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.

      https://bloggingtheology.net/2016/11/07/23768/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very good and informative article!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Dr. Jerald Dirks, a Harvard trained pastor who later converted to Islam has another interesting angle on the substitution theory which he says somewhere in

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXhfiK1OaJY or in Part 2. If I knew where, I would give the precise place.

    Also, yes, there is a lot to say on the swoon theory…there are so many places in the Gospels that give indications that Jesus did not succumb to death…so many.

    Like

    • Omer,
      Yes, you are right. I think Dirks theory is based on the idea that the person whom the Jews asked Pilot to free from the sentence of Crucifixion at the passover feast in Jerusalem, was Barrabbas whose name in Hebrew is “Bar – Abbas” meaning “Son of the Father.” The theory contends that the one who was released was actually Jesus Christ Bar Abbas the son of the Father, and that someone else was instead crucified in his place.

      A very interesting and feasible take on the theory of substitution as well.

      Like

  4. It’s a big topic, hmmmmm ! I will try to write some thoughts about it.
    First, I really have a negative attitude toward this man called Mustafa Akyol. He associates himself with christian fundamental zionists although he describes hims as “classical liberal”.

    Second, what muslims need to know about this subject, and in light of the introduction of this post that Quran is a reminder and Huda, muslims need to know that Jesus was not killed nor was he crucified. That is the most important thing in the subject. Anything beyond this fact which has been stated by the almighty God who is all knowing and all seeing is something muslims have no obligation to believe in.

    Third, I don’t see “substitution theory” to be that problematic, and as this verse reads in the bible “The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright” Proverbs 21:18, it’s really not impossible theory. Also, If we take some considerations into account such as that soldiers didn’t know Jesus or there were 2 men called Jesus, that theory is not impossible, especially that some jews had wanted to spread that Jesus was killed.

    Fourth, I don’t think Mustafa Akyol has presented Al-Razi fairly, and I think this is a problem we face with many non Arabic speaking persons that they don’t deal with great Islamic literature with respect as we see how most christians use Al Tabari with ignoring Al Tabari’s methodology, for example. I’m telling them that you’re dealing with brilliant minds here, so at least be humble when you read their works. We see how both christians and jews deal with their scholars such as Thomas Aquinas or Maimonides while those people were just product of the works of the great scholars and philosophers in Islam, and one of whom is Al- Razi.
    This is the Tafsir of Al- Razi

    Al- Razi in his Tafsir presents the objections first, then he answers them. Al Razi got criticized for using this method by some Islamic scholars, btw.
    What Mustafa Akyol quoted is the objection that Al Razi answered in the same page. AL- Razi said that the there’s no tawatur, and Jews killed another person although they had known he’s not Jesus. This opinion is also the opinion of Ibn Hazm ( before Al Razi). This opinion might be supported in light of this verse in the bible “You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” John 7:34

    Fifth, Ibn Abbas’ opinion that one of Jesus’ disciples displayed himself voluntary as if he’s Jesus himself. Many scholars said this narration is authentic to Ibn Abbas. I think even Wahb said that.

    Sixth, Qadiani are not muslims, and most opinions that MGA said are opinions of sir Ahmed Khan.

    Seventh, Shabir Ally has presented very good points, yet there’s some issues in that theory.

    Finally, when I read Jesus’ ministry in the bible, I see somehow the reflection of Jeremiah or Elijah. For his disciples, whether Jesus got killed or got taken to the heaven, it’s not a problem for them as long they believe that he’s a true a prophet. That incident takes its importance because of Paul’s writings. Paul, the deceiver, made something from nothing. If Jesus got killed then he got raised, that wouldn’t prove anything. He would be the prophet who got killed, and raised.That’s it. However, we affirm what Quran and as the matter of fact that Jesus didn’t get killed nor did he get crucified. Christians should blame themselves for making big issue from that incident. The main interest for Jesus’ disciples is this
    “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus” acts 5:42
    In sum, “So to that [religion of Allah ] invite, [O Muhammad], and remain on a right course as you are commanded and do not follow their inclinations but say, “I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Qur’an, and I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds, and for you your deeds. There is no [need for] argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is the [final] destination.” Shura :15.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Abdullah,
      Thanks for your thoughts on this. Although I have read some of his articles, I am not too familiar with Mustafa Akyol, but I questioned his thinking as well you did when I read the above article especially in regard to reconciling the Qur’an with the story of the cross related in the canonical gospels. I was also suspicious about his use of Fakhraddin al-Razi in questioning substation theory. I appreciate you clarifying Al-Razi’s work and position on the matter, and also for drawing attention to his associates which I think speaks volumes.

      Like

  5. As Ibn Issam pointed out, there are three views.

    1- Substitution theory
    2- Swoon theory
    3- Crucifixion by Romans

    As someone who looks at my own scripture with tradition being the number one authority(but not the only authority) in interpretation, I find number 3 problematic since Islam has existed 1400 years without it. I also find it problematic because while verse 157 alone could be seen this way, verse 158 seems to re-enforce the traditional interpretation(view 1).

    Views 2 and 3 are the revisionist views but ironically view 2 which is promoted by Shabir Ally completely contradicts view 3. In other words, view three says that its so obvious that Jesus died on the cross, it’s ridiculous to deny it. It’s only a question of who is responsible.

    There is no easy answer to this but if I were a Muslim, I would hold the traditional view. That’s just my take on things.

    Question to Paul Williams – Do you hold view 3?

    Like

  6. What about Jesus barabas (son of the father)?

    He was the closest person in close physical proximity who was up for crucifixion with Jesus on the same platform/stage

    So A “Jesus” was crucified but not the messiah one.

    He would be my prime suspect

    Like

  7. bin Kathir’s explanation of 4:157:

    The Jews also said,

    (“We killed Al-Masih, `Isa, son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah,”) meaning, we killed the person who claimed to be the Messenger of Allah. The Jews only uttered these words in jest and mockery, just as the polytheists said,

    (O you to whom the Dhikr (the Qur’an) has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man!) When Allah sent `Isa with proofs and guidance, the Jews, may Allah’s curses, anger, torment and punishment be upon them, envied him because of his prophethood and obvious miracles; curing the blind and leprous and bringing the dead back to life, by Allah’s leave. He also used to make the shape of a bird from clay and blow in it, and it became a bird by Allah’s leave and flew. `Isa performed other miracles that Allah honored him with, yet the Jews defied and bellied him and tried their best to harm him. Allah’s Prophet `Isa could not live in any one city for long and he had to travel often with his mother, peace be upon them. Even so, the Jews were not satisfied, and they went to the king of Damascus at that time, a Greek polytheist who worshipped the stars. They told him that there was a man in Bayt Al-Maqdis misguiding and dividing the people in Jerusalem and stirring unrest among the king’s subjects. The king became angry and wrote to his deputy in Jerusalem to arrest the rebel leader, stop him from causing unrest, crucify him and make him wear a crown of thorns. When the king’s deputy in Jerusalem received these orders, he went with some Jews to the house that `Isa was residing in, and he was then with twelve, thirteen or seventeen of his companions. That day was a Friday, in the evening. They surrounded `Isa in the house, and when he felt that they would soon enter the house or that he would sooner or later have to leave it, he said to his companions, “Who volunteers to be made to look like me, for which he will be my companion in Paradise” A young man volunteered, but `Isa thought that he was too young. He asked the question a second and third time, each time the young man volunteering, prompting `Isa to say, “Well then, you will be that man.” Allah made the young man look exactly like `Isa, while a hole opened in the roof of the house, and `Isa was made to sleep and ascended to heaven while asleep. Allah said,

    (And (remember) when Allah said: “O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself.”) When `Isa ascended, those who were in the house came out. When those surrounding the house saw the man who looked like `Isa, they thought that he was `Isa. So they took him at night, crucified him and placed a crown of thorns on his head. The Jews then boasted that they killed `Isa and some Christians accepted their false claim, due to their ignorance and lack of reason. As for those who were in the house with `Isa, they witnessed his ascension to heaven, while the rest thought that the Jews killed `Isa by crucifixion. They even said that Maryam sat under the corpse of the crucified man and cried, and they say that the dead man spoke to her. All this was a test from Allah for His servants out of His wisdom. Allah explained this matter in the Glorious Qur’an which He sent to His honorable Messenger, whom He supported with miracles and clear, unequivocal evidence. Allah is the Most Truthful, and He is the Lord of the worlds Who knows the secrets, what the hearts conceal, the hidden matters in heaven and earth, what has occurred, what will occur, and what would occur if it was decreed. He said,

    (but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared as that to them,) referring to the person whom the Jews thought was `Isa. This is why Allah said afterwards,

    (and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture.) referring to the Jews who claimed to kill `Isa and the ignorant Christians who believed them. Indeed they are all in confusion, misguidance and bewilderment. This is why Allah said,

    (For surely; they killed him not.) meaning they are not sure that `Isa was the one whom they killed. Rather, they are in doubt and confusion over this matter.

    (But Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful,) meaning, He is the Almighty, and He is never weak, nor will those who seek refuge in Him ever be subjected to disgrace,

    (All-Wise.) in all that He decides and ordains for His creatures. Indeed, Allah’s is the clearest wisdom, unequivocal proof and the most glorious authority. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “Just before Allah raised `Isa to the heavens, `Isa went to his companions, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping water and he said, `There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after he had believed in me.’ He then asked, `Who volunteers that his image appear as mine, and be killed in my place. He will be with me (in Paradise)’ One of the youngest ones among them volunteered and `Isa asked him to sit down. `Isa again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and `Isa asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and `Isa said, `You will be that man,’ and the resemblance of `Isa was cast over that man while `Isa ascended to heaven from a hole in the house. When the Jews came looking for `Isa, they found that young man and crucified him. Some of `Isa’s followers disbelieved in him twelve times after they had believed in him. They then divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as long as He willed and then ascended to heaven.’ Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (Nestorians), said, `The son of Allah was with us as long as he willed and Allah took him to heaven.’ Another group, Muslims, said, `The servant and Messenger of Allah remained with us as long as Allah willed, and Allah then took him to Him.’ The two disbelieving groups cooperated against the Muslim group and they killed them. Ever since that happened, Islam was then veiled until Allah sent Muhammad .” This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn `Abbas, and An-Nasa’i narrated it through Abu Kurayb who reported it from Abu Mu`awiyah. Many among the Salaf stated that `Isa asked if someone would volunteer for his appearance to be cast over him, and that he will be killed instead of `Isa, for which he would be his companion in Paradise. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir on 4:157)

    cont…

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  8. Qur’an Surah 3:54-55 indicates that Allah schemed / deceived / tricked the unbelievers. Since 3:55 indicates that Allah took Jesus to Himself, it seems 3:54 is talking about His deception/ cunning craftiness / trickery / scheming .

    Surah 3:54

    وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

    YUSUF ALI
    And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.

    FARSI
    و (یهود و دشمنان مسیح برای کشتن او) نقشه کشیدند، و خدا چاره جوئی کرد(و مکر و نقشه آنان را نابود نمود). و خداوند بهترین چاره جویان است.

    SAHIH INTERNATIONAL
    And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners.

    PICKTHALL
    And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.

    Dictionary on “Makr” مکر

    http://www.studyquran.org/LaneLexicon/Volume7/00000256.pdfhttp://www.studyquran.org/LaneLexicon/Volume7/00000256.pdf

    Surah 3:55
    SAHIH INTERNATIONAL
    [Mention] when Allah said, “O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ.

    YUSUF ALI
    Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.

    Like

    • Ken,
      Thanks for quoting Qur’an but you must read further.

      Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. 3:59

      Indeed, this is the true narration. And there is no deity except Allah . And indeed, Allah is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. 3:62

      See also:
      But when Jesus felt [persistence in] disbelief from them, he said, “Who are my supporters for [the cause of] Allah ?” The disciples said,” We are supporters for Allah . We have believed in Allah and testify that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]. 3:52

      Does God Lie and deceive in the Bible? YES:

      Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. 1 Kings 22:23
      Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets. 2 Chronicles 18:22

      Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people. Jeremiah 4:10

      O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived. Jeremiah 20:7

      And if a prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet. Ezekiel 14:9

      For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. 2 Thessalonians 2:11

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry the link does not seem to work.

    Like

  10. Makr
    مکر
    م ک ر
    Miim-Kaf-Ra = To practice deceit or guile or circumvention, practice evasion or elusion, to plot, to excercise art or craft or cunning, act with policy, practice strategem.

    makara vb. (1) مکارا

    perf. act. 3:54, 3:54, 7:123, 13:42, 14:46, 16:26, 16:45, 27:50, 40:45, 71:22
    impf. act. 6:123, 6:123, 6:124, 8:30, 8:30, 8:30, 10:21, 12:102, 16:127, 27:70, 35:10
    n.vb. 7:99, 7:99, 7:123, 10:21, 10:21, 12:31, 13:33, 13:42, 14:46, 14:46, 14:46, 27:50, 27:50, 27:51, 34:33, 35:10, 35:43, 35:43, 71:22
    pcple. act. 3:54, 8:30

    LL, V7, p: 256 ## http://ejtaal.net/aa/#q=mkr

    Like

    • Ken,
      And your point is what? God deceives in the Bible too:

      Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. 1 Kings 22:23

      Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets. 2 Chronicles 18:22

      Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people. Jeremiah 4:10

      O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived. Jeremiah 20:7

      And if a prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet. Ezekiel 14:9

      For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. 2 Thessalonians 2:11

      Liked by 2 people

    • Crash and burn Ken

      OUCH!

      Liked by 2 people

    • 1 Kings 22:23 and 2 Chronicles 18:22 are about God allowing a lying spirit to come and deceive people (see the context and verses before, where God asks, “Who will go forth and entice Ahab? and a spirit came forth and stood before the Lord and said, “I will go and entice him” (see 1 Kings 22:20-22 and 2 Chronicles 18:19-21) , as in 2 Thessalonians 2:11; but God does not do the deception Himself.

      Like

    • ‘Thessalonians 2:11; but God does not do the deception Himself.’

      Yes he does.

      Liked by 2 people

    • No He does not, as Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18 and 1 Peter 2:22 clearly say.

      God allows people to be deceived by others, even evil spirits, but He does not do the deception Himself.

      “God, who cannot lie.” Titus 1:2

      “It is impossible for God to lie” Hebrews 6:18

      I Peter 2:22
      “in Him (Jesus) was no sin and no deceit was found in His mouth.”

      Like

    • Yes it does Ken. Don’t run away from your own Bible:

      “So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies.”

      QED.

      Liked by 2 people

    • You are only fooling yourself Ken. The Bible states that God is a deceiver, and your Paul is a self-admitted liar as well. 1 Corinthians 9:20-22 Are you following Paul’s example and deceiving us about what the Bible REALLY says!!!??? 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ken’s Jesus is also a child killer: 1 Samuel 15.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. 1 Peter 2:22
    Arabic(i) 22 الذي لم يفعل خطية ولا وجد في فمه مكر

    “In Him ( Jesus) was no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.”

    The character of Jesus was free from deception or trickery (makr, مکر – the word used in the Qur’an to describe the schemes of unbelievers and the skill of Allah in tricking people – see also in Qur’an Surah 8:30 and 10:22.

    Like

    • According to Trinitarians, Jesus is one and the same as the God of the Old Testament, who is described by Jeremiah as a deceiver:

      Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people. Jeremiah 4:10

      O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived. Jeremiah 20:7

      Liked by 2 people

    • so according to Ken’s Jesus not only did he order the killing of children and babies (1 Samuel 15) but the prophets of God labeled him a deceiver!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Those 2 verses in Jeremiah are Jeremiah’s wrong complaint against God, accusing God of “deception” because He has brought judgment on Judah – keep reading the context. They do not mean that God Himself does the deception.

      “God who cannot lie” – Titus 1:2

      Like

    • Welcome to Christianity!!!! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Looks like more evidence of a contradictory Bible to me Ken.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Paul Williams wrote:

    I don’t hold to any particular view. I feel there is not enough firm data to form a definitive opinion.

    I thought that you seemed to you be persuaded to the view purported by Todd Lawson, which you recommended his book here on November 7, in your blog post.

    I wrote back then:

    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.

    Like

    • Ken,
      I wish you would learn how to keep you related comments on one single thread.

      As I stated above, unlike the Christians, Muslims are not bound to any single understanding of the Crucifixion, since the Qur’an does not consider the passing of Jesus as an event with major theological significance.

      Therefore, Todd Lawson’s book, other than being intriguing makes no real theological impact upon Islamic beliefs. And even given Todd Lawson’s thesis, Muslims still adhere to the Qur’anic verse which states:

      “They certainly did not kill him. God raised him up to Himself.”

      Within that understanding as we can see there are a variety of interpretive theories (including the traditional theory of Substitution) which provide support and lend credence to that understanding.

      Liked by 2 people

    • seems like Todd Lawson and Shabir Ally are actually embarrassed about the Qur’an’s denial of real and established history, so they have come up with new interpretations, and in some ways are similar to the Ahmadiyeh’s take on it; Ahmad Deedat did the same thing.

      Like

  13. Paulus is correct;

    and as Paul “Bilal” Williams would say,

    “All scholars agree that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified on a Roman cross and died on that cross, under the time of Pontius Pilate and the instigation of the Jewish leadership – Caiaphas, Annus, the Pharisees, scribes and elders of Israel, around 30-33 AD.”

    Gerd Ludemann, The Resurrection of Christ: A Historical Inquiry, 2004:
    “Jesus’ death as a consequence of crucifixion is indisputable.” (p. 50)

    John Dominic Crossan, who denies the authenticity of many of the saying and deeds attributed to Jesus in the canonical Gospels, says in The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, 1999:
    “[there is not the] slightest doubt about the fact of Jesus’ crucifixion under Pontius Pilate. ” (p. 375)

    He’s repeating his point from Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, 1994:
    “That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be.” (p. 145)

    Geza Vermes, the late Jewish New Testament scholar, The Passion: The True Story of an Event that Changed Human History, 2006:

    “The passion of Jesus is part of history.” (p. 9)

    Bart Erhrman, renowned textual critic, but no friend of traditional Christianity, in The Historical Jesus: Lecture Transcript and Course Guidebook, 2000, says:
    “One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate.” (p. 162)

    Roman Catholic scholar, RE Brown, The Death of the Messiah, 1994:
    “Most scholars accept the uniform testimony of the Gospels that Jesus died during the Judean prefecture of Pontius Pilate. ” (p. 1373)

    SO when the Qur’an says that they “crucified him not”, it is wrong. The Qur’an is wrong.

    Like

    • But God knows better than mere men Ken.

      Liked by 1 person

    • So, that is why we trust the Bible over the other liberal anti-supernatural scholarship you constantly use; because God knows better than mere men, and no one can change the words of God.

      Boom, ouch !!

      Like

    • Paul of Tarsus, a mere man and self confessed sinner, wrote occasional letters to his churches – and you treat them as the Revelation of God!

      He never claim such things!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes he did:
      I Corinthians 14:37

      ” If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.”

      ouch !!

      Like

    • you have no answer to Dr. Kruger’s articles and rebuttal to your comment.

      Like

    • Ken,
      Recopying Paulus comment does not help to move the conversation forward, nor does it speak much for your own independent thoughts.

      Here is my reply copied from above as well:

      The Qur’an is not in total disagreement with scholars, since it recognizes that a crucifixion event occurred, it just differs on details that cannot be proven or disproven one way or the other by historians and scholars anyway. Therefore the Qur’an is not “wrong” it simply offers a different understanding of the event.

      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.

      https://bloggingtheology.net/2016/11/07/23768/

      Liked by 1 person

  14. God knows better than mere men. True, so are you ready to repudiate all the liberal scholarship (mere men) that you constantly promote here?

    They contradict the Bible, God’s word, which the Qur’an confirms as true and indicates it was never corrupted, since it is saying look to the Bible at the time of Muhammad – (Surah 5:46-47; 10:94; 2:136; 29:46)

    and

    “No one can change the words of Allah”

    “no one can change the words of God”
    Arabic:
    وَلَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ

    “And there is no changing the words of Allah” (This phrase is from Surah 6:34, and see 6:115 (116); 10:64 (65); and 18:27

    Since we have many older manuscripts than 600 AD, and the Qur’an confirms the Bible at the time of Muhammad, then the Qur’an never says the text of the Injeel or Torah or Zabur of Davood was changed.

    Like

  15. Most of my quotations, when referring to or using another language, is in the Arabic.
    see here for two of them:

    1 Peter 2:22
    Arabic(i) 22 الذي لم يفعل خطية ولا وجد في فمه مكر

    “no one can change the words of God”
    Arabic:
    وَلَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ

    “And there is no changing the words of Allah” (This phrase is from Surah 6:34, and see 6:115 (116); 10:64 (65); and 18:27

    Fortunately, we have many of these words in Farsi also, and written in the same script, Arabic.
    🙂

    Like

  16. I don’t agree with Sam Shamoun’s behavior of sinful anger and ad hominem and name calling, etc.
    So, I don’t get your comment.

    He is a mystery; and that behavior is a bad witness; it does not “adorn the doctrine of God” – Titus 2:10 nor show forth the fruits of the Spirit of “speaking the truth in love”. (Ephesians 4:15) nor “with gentleness and respect”. ( I Peter 3:15)

    I agreed with Dr. White’s calling him out.

    Like

  17. It is not “showing off” – rather it is evidence; since your own Caliphs, beginning with Omar Ibn Al Khattab, attacked Persia and conquered it – it took about 300 years to totally subjugate the Persians; and the Arabs converted their script to the current script, which is Arabic, and so I can recognize many words that have come from Arabic into Farsi since Islam conquered Persia (unjustly). It was force and terrible.

    Like

    • Ken you like to show off your knowledge of Farsi all the time even though it is irrelevant to this blog.

      You have the sin of Pride.

      Liked by 1 person

    • If Omar Ibn Al Khattab and other Caliphs after him conquered Persia and forcibly converted Persian to Islam, and changed their script, and the Persians adopted Islam and the Arabic script, and I can read words that are relevant to the Qur’an and spiritual issues, then it is relevant for me to use this in my defense of the gospel and the Bible.

      Like

    • My Caliph is still a nightmare for some pagan Persians and their friends among jews and chrstians even after his death!?
      What a believer and worrier for Allah!
      If that conqureing had been (unjustly), why do you wait something like it in the future for your paganism!? Why did you your prophet Paul praise the rulers who did the same conquering for the reason Satan not the reason of Allah?

      Salman Ya Omar. Al farooq!

      Like

    • We both agree that when Jesus comes again, His judgment will be righteous and just.

      But Omar was unjust and violated Surah 2:256 (no compulsion in religion) by conquering Persia and forcing the Persians/Iranians/Kurds to become Muslims.

      Like

    • Jesus will be unjust according to your standards.
      As usual you’re blind when it comes to your bible.
      Omar didn’t force anyone to accept Islam. He just made the lands be available for Islam to be practiced since this is the verdict of Allah which had been prophesied in your bible, yet you’re in denial.
      I asked you about this verse before, yet you fled
      “But they will swoop down on the Philistine flank to the west. Together they will plunder the people of the east. They will extend their power over Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be their subjects.”
      You’re eager for that day, don’t you?

      Like

    • Yes, Omar and other Caliphs after him did force the Persians into Islam – they violated Surah 2:256 ( “no compulsion in religion”) – that is what they did – all out warfare and force.

      Like

  18. “The Qur’an states that Allah helped spread Christianity. Once God had caused belief in Jesus death and resurrection, he then worked diligently to aid the Christians in spreading their false message:

    O you who believe! be helpers (in the cause) of Allah, as [Jesus] son of Maryam said to (his) disciples: Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the cause) of Allah. So a party of the children of Israel believed and another party disbelieved; then We aided those who believed against their enemy, and they became uppermost.” ظاهرین = Arabic, we have this in Farsi also, 🙂 = manifest ones, obvious ones, dominant ones, uppermost clear ones”, etc. Qur’an Surah 61:14, my emphasis

    (see also Surah 3:55 –

    Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior فوق (Arabic; and yes, we have this in Farsi also, “uppermost, superior, high, above”, etc. ) to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.

    This verse is extremely important, for it means that Allah helped the followers of Jesus against the Jews who rejected Jesus, and that these followers “became uppermost.” So who were these followers of Jesus who became stronger than the Jews? The only people in history who fit such a description are orthodox Christians, who believe in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and divinity. In other words, Muslims can’t claim here that Jesus’ message was corrupted and that the true Gospel was wiped out, because that clearly isn’t the group that the Qur’an refers to in this passage. Even if there was a group of first century Muslim-Christians, this group never gained an upper hand over anyone. Indeed, they must have been snuffed out immediately. The only group of Jesus’ followers that ever became strong enough to overshadow the Jews was composed of Christians, once Christianity had spread throughout the Roman Empire. These Christians believed in the foundational doctrines that Christians hold even today. Yet, according to the Qur’an, Allah helped these people rise to power!

    How, then, did Christianity spread and become the dominant world religion? It spread by the power of Allah! And who started the Christian message about Jesus’ death on the cross? God invented this message! Even non-Christian historians are convinced that Jesus’ death is one of history’s best-established facts.[17]

    (17 For instance, John Dominic Crossan, of the notoriously anti-Christian “Jesus Seminar,” says “That [Jesus] was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be” (Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography [San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1991] p. 145).

    Where did historians get this idea? They got it from God, who tricked so many people into believing in Jesus’ death that we now have tons of historical evidence for this event. Since there are roughly two billion Christians on earth at the present moment, it seems that Jesus and God are responsible for starting the only religion in the world that overshadows Islam.”

    From David Wood’s article, “What Islam Really Teaches About Allah and Jesus”‘; with a few edits of my own for emphasis.

    Like

    • I’ve explined that verse for you which has nothing do with your prophet Paul.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There is more than one verse there – Surah 61:14 and 3:54-55 – you have no good explanation, since the orthodox Christians became the dominant ones – the ones who believed in Jesus’ Deity, Sonship, His atoning death on the cross, the resurrection – Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox all agree on that.

      and the early church fathers all testify to those things:
      Clement of Rome
      Didache (quoted Matthew 28:19)
      Justin Martyr
      Mathetes to Diognetus
      Polycarp
      Tertullian
      Irenaeus
      Clement of Alexandria
      Cyprian
      Origen
      Eusebius
      Athanasius
      Ambrose
      Augustine
      Jerome
      Hilary
      Gregory of Nyssa
      Gregory of Nazianzus
      Basil of Caesarea
      John Chrysostom

      Like

    • I don’t think that you’ve paid attention to my explanation otherwise, you woudn’t need to write this nonsense.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I showed you several verses that prove you are wrong Paul, about the NT’s claim about itself.
    Will you recant?

    I Corinthians 14:37

    ” If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.”

    2 Peter 3:16 – “in all of Paul’s letters, as they (the false teachers twisting) do to the rest of the Scriptures”

    I Timothy 5:18 – law and gospel together are both quoted as “Scripture”

    Revelation 1:1-3
    “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him . . . blessed is the one who reads this book . . .

    Dr. Michael Kruger schooled you recently on this and you had no answer. (2 articles linked to above, with even more evidence that totally refutes you.)

    Like

  20. 1 Peter 2:22
    Arabic(i) 22 الذي لم يفعل خطية ولا وجد في فمه مكر

    “In Him (Jesus) was no sin, nor was any deceit (makr – مکر) found in His mouth.”

    sin is paralleled with deception here, obviously makr is a very negative thing.

    yet:

    Qur’an 3:45
    “Allah is very best of deceivers/ tricksters / schemers / cunning schemers”

    وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

    you can see the word “makr” مکر very clearly.

    With Surah 4:157-158, with 3:54-55 and 61:14 – Allah tricked the world into Christians believing Jesus died on the cross, and since they became the dominant and obvious ones in history – (Surah 61:14; 3:55), this means that Allah started and promoted the Christian religion all over the world and is the dominant religion in the world.

    Like

    • Very poor argument!.
      I’ve noticed that you start qouting David Wood?! You have degraded yourself too much !

      Liked by 1 person

    • David Wood was right on that. You need to demonstrate how his argument is false.

      he made a great point there.

      Like

    • I have! David is more than ignorance when it comes to Islam, btw.
      He is a clown literally. And as I’ve showd what a liar he is with Nabeel, his ” argument” is based on his ignornce of Arabic and Quranic idiom.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ken Temple: With Surah 4:157-158, with 3:54-55 and 61:14 – Allah tricked the world into Christians believing Jesus died on the cross, and since they became the dominant and obvious ones in history – (Surah 61:14; 3:55), this means that Allah started and promoted the Christian religion all over the world and is the dominant religion in the world.

      So what’s wrong with Allah starting Christianity by duping people into believing Jesus was killed on the cross when in fact he wasn’t? If He permits evil in the world, why can’t He permit Christianity?

      Like

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