Guide More Than a Prophet: An Insiders Response to Muslim Beliefs About Jesus & Christianity

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Editorial Reviews. Review. Recommend to anyone interested in reaching Muslims with Christ's love. (CBA Marketplace ) This is an excellent book to.
Table of contents

Montgomery Watt d. He said, Fear God, if you are believers. They said, We want to eat of it, and that our hearts may be at peace, and we may know you have spoken truthfully and be among the witnesses to it. Jesus, son of Mary, said, O God our Lord send down upon us a table from heaven, to be for us a festival, for the first of us and the last of us, and a sign from you: and give provision of food to us, for you are the best of providers.


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God said, I am sending it down for you. In a record by the Sunni exegete Tabari , before the last supper, the threat death of anxious him. Therefore, Jesus invited his disciples for a last supper. After the meal, he washed their hands and performed their ablutions to wipe their hands on his clothing. Afterwards Jesus replied to them: "As for that I have done to you tonight, in that I served you the meal and washed your hands in person, let it be an example for you. Since you indeed consider me to be better than you, do not be haughty in relation to each other but rather expand yourselve for each other as I have expanded myself for you.

However, in accordance with Islamic denial of crucifixion, just a corpse in semblance of Jesus was caught and crucified and Jesus himself was raised to God. Many stories and narratives have been developed over the years about Jesus, containing certain inherent lessons or providing meaning due to the lack of detail in the Quran regarding Jesus. Some of these narratives are similar in nature to the New Testament , while some portray Jesus in a very human manner.

Besides some detail summaries of miracles of Jesus mentioned by Muslim writers over the centuries, from adulthood like walking on water - also found in the Gospel - and causing loaves of bread to come from the ground , [55] some other miracles from childhood include: explaining the Muslim creed fundamentals to a schoolmaster, revealing who the thieves were to a wealthy chief, filling empty jars of something to drink, providing food and wine for a tyrannical king while also proving to this king his power in raising a dead man from the dead, raising a child accidentally killed, and causing the garments from a single-colored vat to come out with various colors.

The identity of the king is not mentioned while legend suggests Philip the Tetrarch. The corresponding Bible reference is "the royal official's son. A legendary story of a miracle by a young Jesus, used as a hard-learned lesson popularly found in Middle Eastern lore according to professor Ayoub, has to do with a Jewish man and loafs of bread.

Although carrying a polemic tone, the lesson centers on greed with truth-telling weaved into the narration. It is a story found often in children's books. Another legendary miracle story is one regarding Jesus' childhood wisdom. Another story from al-Tabari tells of a young Jesus playing with the youths of his village and telling them what food their parents were preparing for them at home. According to the details of the narrative, some parents became annoyed and forbade their children to play with Jesus, suspecting he was a magician.

As a result, the parents kept their children away from Jesus and gathered their children into a single house. One day, feeling lonely, Jesus went out looking for his friends, and coming upon this house he asked the parents where their children were. The parents responded that the children were not there [lied]. After Jesus asks who, then, is in the house, the parents call Jesus a pig. Jesus then says 'let there be swine in this house' which turns all the children into swine. Traditional Islamic exegesis claiming the biblical message to have been distorted or corrupted tahrif , is termed ta'yin al-mubham "resolution of ambiguity".

Regarding the Law of Moses , the Quran indicates that Jesus never abolished Jewish laws but rather confirmed them, while making partial abrogations only. Islam rejects Paul 's theology of justification before God by faith alone as held by some Protestants or faith through grace as held by Catholics, Orthodox and most mainline Protestants.

Jesus' legal perspective did not involve a New Covenant concerning works , [ citation needed ] but to simply modify those existing laws. According to Yusuf al-Qaradawi in his book The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam , the legal restrictions Jesus abrogated for Jews where those initially legislated by God as a punishment. The Quran states that Jesus was aided by a group of disciples who believed in His message.


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While not naming the disciples, the Quran does give a few instances of Jesus preaching the message to them. The Quran mentions in chapter 3, verses , that the disciples submitted to the faith of Islam: [ non-primary source needed ]. Our Lord! The longest narrative involving Jesus' disciples is when Jesus performs the miracle of bringing a table of food from heaven at their request, for further proof that his preaching is the true message.

Most Islamic traditions, save for a few, categorically deny that Jesus physically died, either on a cross or another manner. The contention is found within the Islamic traditions themselves, with the earliest Hadith reports quoting the companions of Muhammad stating Jesus having died, while the majority of subsequent Hadith and Tafsir argue in favor of the denial through exegesis and apologetics, becoming the popular orthodox view. Professor and scholar Mahmoud M. Ayoub sums up what the Quran states despite interpretative arguments:. Rather, it challenges human beings who in their folly have deluded themselves into believing that they would vanquish the divine Word, Jesus Christ the Messenger of God.

The death of Jesus is asserted several times and in various contexts.

More Than a Prophet: An Insiders Response to Muslim Beliefs About Jesus & Christianity

Some disagreement and discord can be seen beginning with Ibn Ishaq's d. An early interpretation of verse specifically "I will cause you to die and raise you to myself" , Al-Tabari d. Ibn-al-Athir forwarded the report that it was Judas , the betrayer, while also mentioning the possibility it was a man named Natlianus. Ibn Kathir d. Another report from Ibn Kathir quotes Ishaq Ibn Bishr, on authority of Idris, on authority of Wahb ibn Munabbih, that "God caused him to die for three days, then resurrected him, then raised him.

Michael Cook notes that denial that Jesus died follows the Christian heresy of Docetism , who were "disturbed by that God should have died", but that this concern conflicts with another Islamic doctrine, that Jesus was a man not God. In reference to the Quranic quote "We have surely killed Jesus the Christ, son of Mary, the apostle of God", Muslim scholar Mahmoud Ayoub asserts this boast not as the repeating of a historical lie or the perpetuating of a false report, but an example of human arrogance and folly with an attitude of contempt towards God and His messenger s.

Ayoub furthers what modern scholars of Islam interpret regarding the historical death of Jesus, the man, as man's inability to kill off God's Word and the Spirit of God, which the Quran testifies were embodied in Jesus Christ. Ayoub continues highlighting the denial of the killing of Jesus as God denying men such power to vanquish and destroy the divine Word. The words, "they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him" speaks to the profound events of ephemeral human history, exposing mankind's heart and conscience towards God's will.

The claim of humanity to have this power against God is illusory.

Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist Followers of Jesus: How Should We Respond?

Islamic reformer Muhammad Rashid Rida agrees with contemporary commentators interpreting the physical killing of Christ's apostleship as a metaphorical interpretation. It is unclear exactly where the substitutionist interpretation originated, but some scholars consider the theory originating among certain Gnostic groups of the second century. Leirvik finds the Quran and Hadith to have been clearly influenced by the non-canonical 'heretical' Christianity that prevailed in the Arab peninsula and further in Abyssinia. Muslim commentators have been unable to convincingly disprove the crucifixion.

Rather, the problem has been compounded by adding the conclusion of their substitutionist theories. The problem has been one of understanding. According to Irenaeus ' Adversus Haereses , the Egyptian Gnostic Christian Basilides 2nd century held the view that Christ the divine nous , intelligence was not crucified, but was replaced by Simon of Cyrene.

However, both Clement of Alexandria and Hippolytus denied that Basilides held this view. While most western scholars , [90] Jews, [91] and Christians believe Jesus died, orthodox Muslim theology teaches he ascended to Heaven without being put on the cross and God transformed another person, Simon of Cyrene , to appear exactly like Jesus who was crucified instead of Jesus cf.

Irenaeus ' description of the heresy of Basilides, Book I, ch. XXIV, 4.

Modern Islamic scholars like Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i interpret the ascension of Jesus as spiritual, not physical. Although not popular with traditional Sunni interpretations of the depiction of crucifixion, there has been much speculation and discussion in the effort of logically reconciling this topic. In ascetic Shia writings, Jesus is depicted having "ascended to heaven wearing a woolen shirt, spun and sewed by Mary, his mother. According to Islamic tradition which describes this graphically, Jesus' descent will be in the midst of wars fought by al-Mahdi lit.

He will say prayer behind al-Mahdi then join him in his war against the Dajjal. Jesus, considered as a Muslim, will abide by the Islamic teachings. Thus, there will be one community, that of Islam.

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Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary i. Jesus descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it as charitable gifts. After the death of al-Mahdi , Jesus will assume leadership.

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This is a time associated in Islamic narrative with universal peace and justice. Islamic texts also allude to the appearance of Ya'juj and Ma'juj known also as Gog and Magog , ancient tribes which will disperse and cause disturbance on earth.

God, in response to Jesus' prayers, will kill them by sending a type of worm in the napes of their necks, and send large birds to carry and clear their corpses from the land. Muslims will then perform the funeral prayer for him and then bury him in the city of Medina in a grave left vacant beside Muhammad , Abu Bakr , and Umar companions of Muhammad and the first and second Sunni caliphs Rashidun respectively. Tabor in his book The Jesus Dynasty []. Jesus is described by various means in the Quran. The most common reference to Jesus occurs in the form of Ibn Maryam son of Mary , sometimes preceded with another title.

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Islam sees Jesus as human, sent as the last prophet of Israel to Jews with the Gospel scripture, affirming but modifying the Mosaic Law. Popular theology teaches such beliefs constitute shirk the "association" of partners with God and thereby a rejection of his divine oneness tawhid as the sole unpardonable sin. A widespread polemic directed to these doctrinal origins are ascribed to Paul the Apostle , regarded by some Muslims as a heretic , [ citation needed ] as well as an evolution across the Greco-Roman world causing pagan influences to corrupt God's revelation.

Jesus is understood to have preached salvation through submission to God's will and worshipping God alone. Islam teaches Jesus will ultimately deny claiming divinity. Although the Quran is silent on its significance, [] scholars [ who? Jesus also holds a description from God as both a word and a spirit.

The interpretation behind Jesus as a spirit from God, is seen as his human soul.