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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What the Quran says about Jesus - One of the strongest apologetics on Islam I've ever seen.

A priest had shared a fascinating video of a convert to Christianity from Islam. I looked up the details, and it turns out this convert named Mario Joseph (probably his conversion name) was not only an Imam, but he also converted to Catholicism (see Here)! I'm surprised this hasn't gotten more attention, and I'm also surprised what Mario said hasn't gotten more attention within Christian apologetics. 

Mario's claim was pretty simple: What does the Quran say about Jesus? Here are some things Mario discovered while still a Muslim:
  • The name "Jesus" appears in the Quran in about 25 verses, while "Mohammed" appears in only about 4 verses of the Quran. [This is significant because even though Mohammed is "mentioned" under different names, the name itself barely appears in 114 chapters of Islam's holy book (more on this later).]
  • The only woman mentioned in the Quran is "Mary the mother of Jesus". There is no other woman mentioned, including no mention of Mohammed's mother. On top of this, two chapters of the Quran are named after Mary. The Quran also says that Mary was born without sin, that Mary never sinned, that Mary was ever virgin, and that Mary was Assumed into Heaven. [This is obviously significant because the Quran repeatedly honors Mary and no other woman!]
  • The Quran says Jesus is "Word of God" and "Spirit of God" and "Christ".
  • The Quran says Jesus (1) spoke normal sentences a few days after his birth, (2) He created a bird out of clay and breathed life into it, making it a real bird, (3) He cured leprosy, blindness, and brought back people from the dead.
  • The Quran says Jesus was taken to Heaven, is still alive, and will come again.
  • The Quran does not say any of these or similar things about Mohammed. Mohammed never performed miracles, never healed anyone. Islam teaches Mohammed is not alive, he died and his tomb is still here, and that he will not come again. 
While Jesus doesn't get much attention in the Quran overall, and in fact is presented in a very shallow way as a mere prophet, it is fascinating that these details are in there (and that Muslims don't even object)! So what does this all mean? A few things. 

First of all, it means that the Quran definitely testifies to Jesus in a way that puts him beyond a mere prophet. This should get any Muslim thinking about why this is. Imagine if the Bible said all kinds of fascinating things about Joseph Smith, that would definitely startle a lot of Christians. 

Second of all, there is a growing scholarly consensus that the man we call Mohammed never actually existed. Catholic author Robert Spencer wrote a book recently called "Did Mohammed Exist?" The question is outrageous on it's face: of course Mohammed existed, there's all kinds of evidence, and no scholar in history has ever doubted it. But wait, it really wasn't until modern times when scholars have even dug into the question! 

The thesis that Robert Spencer holds is that Mohammed never actually existed, and instead Islam was originally a heretical Christian sect and the Quran was originally a Christian Liturgy book. Now when you compare all of what was said about Jesus in the Quran above, this starts to make a lot of sense! The name "Mohammed" means "The Praised One," which is precise who Jesus is. So to go full circle, the evidence suggests that Jesus was "Mohammed" the whole time in that Mohammed ("The Praised One") is another of many titles for Jesus. 

Over time, the heretical Christian sect was taken over by successive warlords, and these warlords started to weave together a new narrative, similar to how Joseph Smith weaved together a narrative of Jesus coming to America.

I know it all sounds outrageous, but as secular scholars become less afraid for their life, this critical scholarship will show more and more a consensus that Mohammed Never Existed. Even those scholars like Bart Ehrman who love to trash Christianity have said he hasn't equally applied his critical scholarship to Islam "because I value my life too much". I hope to write another post soon from more proofs from Robert Spencer's book.

5 comments:

Keith Watson said...

Nick, I cannot tell if you are for or against what the Quran teaches about Jesus. Muslims believe Jesus is not God, and that He was not crucified and therefore He was not raised from the dead. They do not believe in the Trinity -- one God in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Regarding the crucifixion see http://quran.com/4:157

Sahih International 4:157-159
'And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise. And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness.'

So here it says God took Jesus to heaven like He did with Elijah. And that Jesus will be a witness against the Christians who believe what they do about Jesus.

Nick said...

Hello Keith,

I'm sorry I missed your post. For some reason I didn't get a notification email for it.

In response to your question, I am not accepting the Quran as inspired, but from what it does say the evidence suggests there never was someone named "Mohammed". The evidence suggests that the Quran was originally a Christian prayer book that was corrupted along the way.

I agree that the passage you quote says Jesus wasn't really crucified...but the passage also says Jesus was taken to heaven and will return on judgment day. The second part of this sounds very much like what Christians believe, and nowhere is Mohammed said to still be alive, taken to heaven, and return on Judgment day. This suggests Jesus is more special than Mohammed...if Mohammed even existed at all.

Trebor said...

Setting aside your apologetic vis-à-vis Islam, the veracity of this story seems questionable. I'd like to draw everyone's attention to a post below this article where Katelynn Marie starts off: "His picture as an Imam @3:24 showed him with a completely shaven face. In Islam, it is a sin for anyone to do that, let alone an Imam. But this wasnt the main issue for me. It was the lies that he spoke that hurt his credibility." Her comment is too long to quote in full here, but is--unfortunately--devastating. If you'd like a more credible convert, I would recommend Fr. Daniel Byantoro of Indonesia.

Nick said...

Trebor,

I had a long post but when I clicked publish the system lost it. I'm glad you brought this to my attention, but after looking at the facts for myself I think Katelynn is lying on purpose to distract from the real issue. (In Islam you are required to lie, smear, hurt, etc, as much as possible to "defend" their faith.) Someone responded to Katelynn and Mario seems informed enough that he knows what he's talking about and he has no real motivation to lie. (The picture where he didn't have a beard isn't his fault, but rather the non-muslim interviewer who made the YouTube video.)

FOR ME, the REAL ISSUE on the table is this: WHAT DOES THE QURAN SAY ABOUT JESUS VERSUS MOHAMMED? I used the website search-the-quran.com and found the following facts:

(1) The name "Mohammed" only appears in 4 verses of the Quran. Of these verses, they speak of him in passing, saying *nothing* special about him. This supports Mario's claim.

(2) The name "Mary" appears in 31 verses. Of the various things it says, note in chapter 3 it says: "42 Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee **above the women of all** nations. . . . 45 Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah; . . . 47 She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is!"

This is almost directly from the Gospel of Luke: Mary is purified, blessed among women, an angel said to her she would have a son, named Jesus Christ, and she asked how she as a virgin could have a son. This supports Mario's claim.

(3) The name "Jesus" appears 34 times. Of the various things it says, look at chapter 5:110, "Then will Allah say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but evident magic.'"

The Quran here says Jesus was given "the holy spirit," Jesus made real birds from clay, Jesus performed miracles, healed the sick, raise the dead, etc. Nothing close to this is said of Mohammed. This again vindicates Mario's claim.

Nick said...

Just the above evidence alone supports the thesis that the Quran was ORIGINALLY a Christian liturgy book but over time was corrupted to become the Quran.