Saturday, July 21, 2007
The Crucifixion and the Quran
It is commonly held in Islam that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ did not occur.
It is stated in the Quran, That they said (in their boast), "We killed Christ Jesus The son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah"- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety They killed him not-
Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise- Q 4:157-158.
Most Moslems believe this to mean that Jesus Christ never died, but simply ascended up to heaven. Yet the Quran quotes Jesus as saying, "So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"- Q 19:33. What an awesome presentation of the Gospel in that verse! Clearly the Gospels were well known to Mohamed as he received the Quranic revelation. Did he really intend to say that Jesus would not be killed? Or that He would not be crucified? Doubtful.
In fact, I don't see in Q 4:157-158 a denial of Christ's death, nor yet a denial of His crucifixion. Actually, I see a harmony between the text of that Surah, and John's gospel, when Jesus said, Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.- Jn 10.17-18.
It is so then that Jesus was not actually killed by the Jews, but it only appeared to them that they crucified Him, when in fact, He laid His own life down for us on the cross. It is not that He simply appeared to die on the cross as a docetic type of epiphany, with someone else being the actual victim (as portrayed in the apocryphal gospel of Barnabas). This need to have Jesus "trick" the Jews is not necessary if we realize that the Quran is not actually denying His crucifixion, nor yet His death. And to consider that He was raised up to life, and subsequently raised up to Allah, as is also in harmony with Christian Scripture (Jn 20.9-17; Acts 1.2-3, 9). Thus the Quran tells us, And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgement He will be a witness against them- Q 4:159. To this Jesus also said of Himself, I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.- Jn 8.24, and again Scripture says, ...that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.- Jn 20.31.