Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ten Beliefs About Jesus According to Traditional Islam

Bill D. has been posting some good introductory articles on Islam especially important for Christians to read and share. The Islamic teaching on Jesus (whom the Koran calls 'Isa') is completely at odds with Christian orthodoxy, and is a mix of fables and passages adapted from gnostic texts. In short, Islam presents "another Jesus" and a "different gospel," which the Apostle Paul warns against (see 2 Cor. 11:3-4). This is a topic I deal with at length in my book, Facing Islam.

Ten Beliefs About Jesus According to Traditional Islam 

The Koran states that Jesus was not
crucified, which echoes gnostic and Docetist
heresies of the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
Islam teaches that Jesus stood in a long line of prophets leading up to Muhammad. But, a number of beliefs about the life of Jesus are based on historical and theological confusion of sources. The list below is based almost entirely on the Quran, with some additions from canonical traditions (hadith). All ten beliefs are taught by Sunni Islam (Sunnis comprise 85%-90% of all Muslims).

1. Jesus was miraculously born by the Virgin Mary near the trunk of a palm tree. Mary was said to be the sister of Aaron (the brother of Moses) and the daughter of 'Imran. Apparently Muhammad and the early Muslims confused Miriam, the sister of Moses, with Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was born some 1300 yrs later.

2. The Jews charged the Virgin Mary with being unchaste; but the babe, speaking from his cradle, vindicated his mother's honor. This story is based loosely on the apocryphal book, Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

3. Jesus performed miracles, giving life to a clay figure of a bird (Infancy Gospel of Thomas), healing the blind, curing the leper, quickening the dead, and bringing down a table from heaven "as a festival and a sign."

4. Jesus was specially commissioned as the Apostle or Prophet of God to confirm the Law and to reveal the Gospel.

5. He proclaimed his mission with many manifest signs, being strengthened by the Holy Spirit. He also foretold the advent of another Prophet, whose name should be Ahmad (i.e., Muhammad).

6. The Jews intended to crucify him, but God deceived them, for they did not crucify Jesus, but only his likeness—a concept taught by some gnostic sects of the second and third centuries.

7. Jesus is now in one of the stages of celestial bliss.

8. After he left this earth, his disciples disputed among themselves, some calling him a God, and making him one of a Trinity consisting of the "Father, the Mother (Mary), and the son." This misunderstanding of the Holy Trinity may have been influenced by a heretical sect in Arabia called the Collyridians. They considered the Virgin Mary a divine person, and worshiped her by offering a cake called Collyria.

9. Jesus will come again at the last day, and will slay the Antichrist, kill all the swine (pork is strictly forbidden in Islam), break the Christian crosses, and remove the poll-tax from the Christians and Jews. Thus, Christians and Jews will convert to Islam, though not necessarily by free choice. All religions, except Islam, will be extinguished.

10. After this, he will reign as a just judge and ruler for forty-five years, marry, and have children, and die and be buried near Muhammad at Medina, between the graves of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, the first two 'rightly guided' Caliphs who succeeded Muhammad immediately after his death.

For a detailed treatment and original sources, see Dictionary of Islam ("Jesus Christ": and WikiIslam (