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Islam denies the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ based mainly on these two verses from the Qur’an.
“And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure. Nay! Allah took him up to Himself; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.”
Let me exegete this passage briefly:
Who is speaking here? It appears that it is the Jews saying that they have killed Isa (Jesus) who is the son of Mary, the Messiah. This points out a discrepancy as the Jews would not have called Jesus the Messiah because they rejected him and on a finer point, it was not the Jews that killed Jesus, it was the Romans.
Then we have “those who differ” are in doubt and only follow conjecture. This suggests that those responsible for the death of Jesus also suffer with doubt about the event. If it was the Jews, to what proof historically did the Jews doubt this event. And if to Christians who doubt, again, what evidence or record can be cited to show that they are in doubt. It seems that Mohammad is making it appear that there was doubt among either Jews or Christians. Having a degree in Biblical Theology, I have never heard such a notion from Judaism nor Biblical Christianity. The suggestion of “doubt” has only come from cultist groups like the Ebonites and Muslims.
Now to the main parts of this passage, they (Jews) did not kill or crucify him (Jesus) “but it appeared to them so like Isa.” Meaning that someone appeared like Isa (Jesus) to the disciples that was killed in place of Jesus. So through a miracle of Allah, another man was made to look and talk like Jesus and he went through the trial, the beating and the crucifixion. Meanwhile, Allah took Jesus to be with him in Heaven. “Allah took him up to Himself.”
There are number of problems that this passage causes for Islam to defend. One problem is that it contradicts other passages that teach that Jesus died. The other problem is that it makes Allah the creator of a great deception that spawned the Christian faith.
Here is the contradiction. In Surah 19 it says that Jesus (Isa) died and was raised to life.
“And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life.” (Surah 19:15)
“And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.” (Surah 19:33)
Some may argue that Surah 19 is not talking about Jesus. Of course, then my question is simply, what prophet is this passage talking about who was born, died and resurrected? Surah 19 may be explained away as someone else, BUT there is no doubt that Surah 3:54 is referring to Jesus.
“When Allah said: ‘O Jesus, I will cause thee to die and exalt thee in My presence and clear thee of those who disbelieve…”
Changed Appearance Dilemma:
Who changed the appearance of another man to look like Christ? If Allah miraculously took Jesus to heaven to spare him from suffering and the cross, then it must have been Allah that disguised the another person to die in place of Jesus.
The Gospel of Barnabas was written by an Ebonite and is an epistle that was rejected as being scripture by the early saints. It says:
“Truly I say that the voice, the face, and the person of Judas were so like to Jesus, that his disciples and believers entirely believed that he was Jesus; wherefore some departed from the doctrine of Jesus, believing that Jesus had been a false prophet, and that by art magic he had done the miracles which he did: for Jesus had said that he should not die till near the end of the world; for that at that time he should be taken away from the world.” (Barnabas 217:14)
Based on this reference and the fact that Judas was no longer with the Disciples in Acts chapter one, many assume that Allah used Judas to die in place of Christ on the cross.
Now if Allah took Jesus to be with him and delivered him from his suffering, then the disciples of Jesus would not have proclaimed that he was crucified and died. They would have preached his deliverance from suffering. Yet, according to the Qur’an, Allah created the illusion that Jesus died. But why? To what purpose? Having the disciples preaching that Jesus died instead of preaching that Allah had rescued him would only hurt the cause of Islam. Why did Allah create this deception which is the root of the Christian faith. Muslims only have Allah to blame for creating the most popular religion on earth that they say is false, and that all who believe in the Christian faith are damned.
What we really have here is Mohammad trying to explain the crucifixion. There has to be some explanation as to why Jesus’ disciples preached the crucifixion so passionately. So much so that they suffered martyrs deaths for preaching that Jesus was crucified. These disciples were convinced because they witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus with their own eyes. As Allah is the invention of Mohammad (with demonic help), Mohammad is trying to give a cleaver explanation but in doing so he created a bigger problem. Why create an illusion that only draws followers of Christ away from Islam?
It is also important to note that Allah is called the great ‘schemer.’
Surah 3:54 “And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.”