Finding the Jesus of Islam in Early Christianities

By Camilla Morrison

In the early days of Islam, a few companions of the Prophet were fleeing persecution in Mecca and sought refuge in Abyssinia. The Christian ruler of the land, Ashama, demanded the companions to read aloud from their scripture and, when one of them recited from the sura of Mary, Ashama and his court were moved to tears. When they were told to make known their beliefs about Jesus, they said that Islam considers Jesus to be a messenger of God, the word of God, and the miraculously born son of the Virgin Mary. After hearing this, Ashama is said to have drawn a line in the sand and said that the differences between them were no more than that thin line. He then decreed that Muslims were allowed safe refuge in his kingdom[1].

It would be nice to think that this story could be applicable to modern Christians and Muslims, but take one look at the news and that thought disappears.

The Qur’an contains ninety-three passages in reference to Jesus and, together, they present a clear picture of what Muslims believe. Chronologically, this begins with Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Qur’an tells the story of Mary’s birth and describes how God graciously accepted her, making her grow in goodness, and entrusting her to be raised by Zachariah[3][4]. God chose Mary above all other women as the most pure and sent angels to give her news that she was to give birth to a pure son[5] called Jesus, the Messiah[6]. The angels tell her that Jesus “will be held in honor in this world and the next”, he “will be one of those brought near to God”, “he will speak to people in his infancy”, and “he will be one of the righteous” [7]. Mary has an entire sura named after her, one of only eight people to have this honor, and is affirmed to have given a virginal birth and to have afterward remained a virgin[8]. It is believed that Jesus was able to speak as an infant; after Mary gives birth to Jesus and carries him back to her people, she is accosted with accusations and it is then where Jesus speaks his first words and defends her honor[9]. In these first words, Jesus declares himself as a prophet and a servant of God who will be raised up after death and return at the final judgment[10].

Throughout his life, Jesus is believed to have performed several miracles by the permission of God; he transforms a clay bird into a real one, heals the blind and the leper, and brings the dead back to life[11]. He was sent to follow in the footsteps of previous prophets and to confirm the Torah that had been sent before him[12]. The Qur’an also says that God gave Jesus the Gospel with guidance, light, and confirmation as a guide and lesson for the followers of God[13]. Jesus is believed to be a fully human prophet; he is never said to claim divinity but instead attributes all he does to the power of God. When asked by God if he ever said for people to take him as a god, Jesus replies, “I would never say what I had no right to say”[14]. The Qur’an also mentions the disciples of Jesus, although not by name. The disciples are said to follow Jesus and declare themselves as Muslims[15].

Regarding the death of Jesus, the Qur’an denies that Jesus actually died or was ever crucified[16]. Muslims believe that Jesus physically ascended into heaven and that the disbelievers claimed victory only because “it was made to appear like that to them”[17]. The Qur’an states that Jesus will return again at the end of days when everyone will be judged on their adherence to Islam[18].

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In addition to the Qur’an, Muslims look to the Hadith as an authority on Jesus. Several Hadith expand upon elements of Jesus described in the Qur’an, particularly about the end of his existence on Earth and what comes after. The Hadith present an “image of Jesus as an end-of-time figure”[19]. In one Hadith, Muhammad says, “the son of Mary will come back down among you very soon as a just judge”[20] and in another he says that he has been shown that Jesus will return to defeat the Antichrist[21]. This supports the general thought that Jesus is currently awaiting the end of time when he will “descend to the earth and fight against the Antichrist, championing the cause of Islam” and “point to the primacy of Muhammad” before dying a natural death[22]. Muslims see Jesus as a precursor to Muhammad and believe that Jesus predicted Muhammad’s coming in the canonical Gospel of John.

Many believers of both Islam and Christianity would be shocked at the number of similarities that lie in their sacred texts. Since the Bible was written and compiled before even the birth of Muhammad and therefore can contain no commentary on him or Islam, many Christians would be especially surprised to learn that Muslims regard Jesus as one of Islam’s most important prophets. American Christians in particular have a distorted view of Islam imposed by media and therefore can be entirely unaware of what the religion actually entails. The Qur’an actually contains references to over fifty people and events that are also found in the Bible. It also repeatedly affirms the legitimacy of the Torah, the Hebrew bible, or the Old Testament as Christians call it.

Muslims agree with the biblical stories that are also present in the Qur’an but firmly refute those which contrast with their beliefs. For the stories that are present within the Bible that are not found in the Qur’an and also do not conflict with anything in Islam, Muslims are told to neither believe nor disbelieve them. In the Hadith, Muhammad tells his followers, “Don’t believe what the Jews and Christians tell you, but don’t call them liars either. Say ‘We believe in God and in what has been revealed to us…’[23][24] Islam teaches that it is most important to just believe in what has been revealed by God.

People on either side often simplistically explain these similarities between the Bible and the Qur’an to affirm the legitimacy of their own religion. Secular scholars suggest that the Qur’an contains these narratives as a result of pre-existing traditions that existed even before the Bible; Christians say that the Qur’an simply borrowed their stories; and Muslims explain them as the truth that was revealed to Muhammad by God. However, when texts outside of the Bible or the Qur’an are brought to light, it leads to a far more complicated picture.

To say that Jesus didn’t found Christianity would immediately anger many people. However, upon closer inspection of the phrase, it is difficult to say otherwise. The earliest book that came to be in the New Testament was written decades after Jesus’ death and the Christian doctrines and creeds were created centuries later. The reality is that Christianity didn’t exist until after Jesus’ time and therefore couldn’t have been created by him[25]. After Jesus’ departure, many people took to writing down what had happened and what it meant. The first problems for Christianity arose when these writings turned out to be very different from each other. In fact, the practices and beliefs of people who called themselves Christians during the first three centuries were so varied that the differences between modern Christian sects pale in comparison[26].

During the second half of the second century, with the growing number of prophetic and perceived heretical movements among Christians, there was great need for a fixed canon[27]. Christian groups such as the Marcionites, the Ebionites, the Gnostics, and the proto-orthodox all insisted that they correctly upheld the teachings of Jesus and were all in competition to become the rightful version that would eventually be adopted by the Roman Empire[28]. The proto-orthodox, named as such because of its eventual victory, was ultimately endorsed by Constantine as the primary religion of the Roman Empire. As the proto-orthodox text “developed into the dominant religious, political, economic, social, and cultural institution of the West”[29], the other defeated texts were labeled heretical and were “rejected, scorned, maligned, attacked, burned, [and] all but forgotten”[30].

Just four gospels came to be included in the New Testament but modern archeology has rediscovered dozens of other gospels that “at one time or another, at one place or another…. were revered as sacred, inspired, [and] scriptural”[31] by different Christian groups in the first few centuries[32]. These gospels tell their own stories about who Jesus was, some in accordance with canonical gospels but many more of them different. When thinking outside the bounds of Christianity, several of these ancient texts overlap curiously with Islam and with what the Qur’an and Hadith teach of Jesus.

One such gospel is known as the Proto-Gospel of James. Other titles for the gospel have been found and include “The Birth of Mary”, “The Story of the Birth of Saint Mary, Mother of God”, and “The Birth of Mary; The Revelation of James”[33]. It is called the Proto-Gospel of James because it deals primarily with events that took place before the birth of Jesus. The author calls himself James and it is usually understood that this is James, the half-brother of Jesus who is mentioned in the New Testament. In this text he is “assumed to be Joseph’s son by a previous marriage”[34]. Since this book is proved to have been already known to the church father Origen in the early third century, and most likely also to Clement of Alexandria at the end of the second century, it is believed to “have been in circulation soon after 150 CE” and was “enormously popular in the later centuries”[35]. The text describes in great detail the circumstances of Mary’s birth and her upbringing until her eventual pregnancy with Jesus and it very much aligns with passages about Mary in the Qur’an.

Both texts mention the excitement of Mary’s mother at discovering she would bear a child and also that she will devote her child to God. In the Qur’an she says, “Lord, I have dedicated what is growing in my womb entirely to You; so accept this from me. You are the One who hears and knows all” and, upon learning the child is female says, “I name her Mary and I commend her and her offspring to Your protection from the rejected Satan”[36]. The Proto-Gospel of James describes her as saying, “As the Lord God lives, whether my child is a boy or a girl, I will offer it as a gift to the Lord my God, and it will minister to him its entire life,” and, upon giving birth and learning the child is a girl says, “My soul is exalted today”[37]. Both texts tell of God’s acceptance of Mary with “Her Lord graciously accepted her and made her grow in goodness”[38] in the Qur’an and “the Lord God cast his grace down upon her. She danced on her feet, and the entire house of Israel loved her”[39] in the Proto-Gospel of James. In both texts, Mary is raised in a temple by a man named Zachariah (Qur’an) or Zacharias (Proto-Gospel of James) and she leads a pure and chaste life[40] [41]. Although the Proto-Gospel of James does not mention the infant Jesus speaking, as the Qur’an does[42], it does tell of the infant Jesus performing a miraculous deed as he heals the burning hand of the midwife[43].

The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter is another early Christian text that corresponds to Islamic thought and teaching. Thought to have been written in the third century, it is allegedly written by Simon Peter, the disciple of Jesus[44]. The book’s message is one that is stressed in numerous places throughout the Qur’an. In it, Jesus issues “dire warnings against the teaching of heretics who propagate falsehoods” and, strikingly in accordance with Qur’anic thought, it labels the heretics as “the bishops and deacons of the proto-orthodox churches, and their false teaching [that] Jesus was himself the Christ who suffered a literal death on the cross”[45]. The text maintains that the real Jesus is raised up above the cross while the people are crucifying what they think is Jesus, but is actually a substitute[46]. The author mocks the proto-orthodox view that Jesus actually died on the cross, seeing it as “laughable”[47]. The author believes that the true significance of Jesus’ apparent death is much deeper than what proto-orthodox leaders believe and that, even though the people believed they crucified the flesh of Jesus, he was actually far removed from the perceived suffering[48]. The author says that those “who beheld the cross with full knowledge” should know that it was not actually Jesus on the cross but merely his outward appearance and he likens this to how “simple-minded Christians are nothing but the outward appearance of the living ones who have been fully enlightened by the spiritual truth” of the risen Jesus[49].

When aligned with Qur’anic verse, this book seems to propagate the same message concerning the false belief Christians hold about Jesus. The author’s implication that “simple-minded Christians are nothing but the outward appearance of the living ones who have been fully enlightened by the spiritual truth” can be taken to correspond to Muslims’ view that Christians have witnessed the same as Muslims have regarding Jesus but have essentially missed the point in assigning him divinity instead of attributing it to God. The language of this book when regarding those who believe they have killed Jesus is very similar in its mocking tone to verses in the Qur’an, “[they] said, ‘We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him- No! God raised him up Himself. God is almighty and wise.” [50] Like the author of the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter, in this passage the Qur’an takes an attitude of derision toward the “People of the Book,” whom Jesus will be a witness against on the Day of Resurrection[51]. Also, the insistence in the text that only those with “full knowledge”[52] will be spared from eventual suffering correlates with the Qur’anic verse, “For those of them that reject the truth we have prepared agonizing torment. But those of them who are well grounded in knowledge and have faith do believe what has been revealed to you [Muhammad], and in what was revealed before you- those who perform the prayers, pay the prescribed alms, and believe in God and the Last Day- to them We shall give a great reward”[53]. Both texts place a high importance on true knowledge as the way to be saved in the end and escape suffering.

The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is one of the earliest surviving accounts of Jesus as a child[54]. Allegedly written by “Thomas, the Israelite”, it remains unclear who the author intended to be perceived as. Many early Christians recognized him as Judas Thomas, Jesus’ brother and therefore a reliable authority[55]. The book tells stories of the young Jesus beginning at age five and relates a number of miraculous incidents in his childhood. These anecdotes portray a mischievous streak[56] in the young Jesus and relate encounters with other children, his teachers, and his father. The first known quotation from the text is by Irenaeus of Lyon, in 185 CE[57], which establishes a latest possible date of composition. The earliest possible date is thought to be around 80 CE because of the author’s evident knowledge of twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple from the Gospel of Luke[58]. However, it is generally agreed upon by scholars that the text began to circulate during the first half of the second century[59].

The book begins with the author’s explanation that he “[made] this report to all of you, my brothers among the Gentiles, so that you may know the magnificent childhood activities” of Jesus[60]. It contains eighteen anecdotes of varying length, the first being the story of the Jesus and the clay sparrows. It begins with a five-year-old Jesus playing by the ford of a stream, collecting water and making it pure. “He then made some soft mud and fashioned twelve sparrows from it.” Several other children were playing near by and “a certain Jew” ran away to report to Joseph, “Look, your child at the stream has taken mud and formed twelve sparrows. He has profaned the Sabbath!” Joseph came over and cried out, “Why are you doing what is forbidden on the Sabbath?” But Jesus simply “clapped his hands and cried to the sparrows, ‘Be gone!’ And the sparrows took flight and went off, chirping.” When all of the other Jews saw this, they were amazed and dispersed to go tell their leaders what they had seen Jesus do[61].

This same story can be seen referenced twice in the Qur’an; first in the third sura, The Family of ‘Imran. In this sura, Mary is learning about Jesus, the son she will bear, and then Jesus speaks and tells of the miracles he will complete in the future, by the power of God. He begins with a reference to the story in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I will make the shape of a bird for you out of clay, then breathe into it and, with God’s permission, it will become a real bird…” [62] The story is referenced again in the fifth sura, The Feast, where God is reminding Jesus of all He has done for him and for Mary. God says, “Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favor to you and to your mother: how I strengthened you with the holy spirit, so that you spoke to people in your infancy and as a grown man; how I taught you the Scripture and wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel; how, by My leave, you fashioned the shape of a bird out of clay, breathed into it, and it became, by My leave, a bird; how, by My leave, you healed the blind person and the leper; how, by My leave, you brought the dead back to life; how I restrained the children of Israel from harming you when you brought them clear signs, and those of them who disbelieved said, ‘This is nothing but sorcery’; and how I inspired the disciples to believe in Me and My messengers- they said, ‘We believe and bear witness that we devote ourselves to God.’”[63] In these verses God reminds Jesus of the fact that everything he has been allowed to do has been by the power and will of God.

According to these two suras, the story of the clay birds is significant in Jesus’ life as one of the major testaments to the power of God working through Jesus. The story in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas does not specifically attribute the deed to either the power of God or the divinity of Jesus but, in the context of other Christian works, it would be assumed to refer to the latter[64]. The two suras make sure to emphasize that Jesus was only able to accomplish this act with God’s permission.

This alludes to the greater issue present between Islam and Christianity. Upon reviewing their fundamentally accepted occurrences having to do with Jesus, it is clear that they should agree for the most part. They both believe that Jesus was born to Mary, a virgin, and performed many miraculous deeds and preached the word of God. They both believe that, although he was thought by the crucifiers to have perished on the cross, he rose into heaven and will come again at the time of judgment. These facts are not so much a point of contention as is the interpretation of them. The difference lies in the focus, the lens through which both religions view these actions of Jesus. Christians focus on these miracles of Jesus as being indicative of his divine nature and hold this central in their faith. For Christians, other prophets such as Moses were able to perform miracles but, like his splitting of the Red Sea, it was all made possible by the power of God[65]. Jesus is the only one whose miracles are attributed to his own divine power. Here is where Muslims explain the discrepancies between the two religions as a result that Christians have missed the point of Jesus. Muslims see Jesus, as the Qur’an says, in a succession of prophets who are fully human and not divine and culminate with Muhammad.[66] Muslims believe that, if Christians accepted this view, all would be explained. Christians on the other hand take the approach that Muslims created a false and unnecessary new religion and believe that any similarities between the sacred texts are a result of Muslims borrowing from the Christian tradition[67].

Attempts have also been made by secular scholars to explain these consistencies between the two religions as the result of pre-existing historical trends even before the time of Jesus. There are many examples of similar narrative structures that have been found in texts dating back hundreds and even thousands of years that are present within the Bible[68]. Western scholars have also seen these trends as related to the rapid expansion of Islam in its early period[69]. They believe that unrest and civil war during the rise of Islam led to the widespread expectations of Muslims that the end of the world was near and, some scholars believe, the Qur’anic descriptions of Jesus as an end of time figure would have been “a reassurance to Muslims that their cause was not in vain” and that they “had recognized the side of righteousness in a confusing world of socio-political currents.”[70]

The Jesus of Islam is arguably the same as the Jesus of Christianity and can clearly be seen within Christian sources of all kinds but these sources are scattered and disputed amongst the Christians. The confusion arises because of the inconsistencies of Christian sources, both canonical and non-canonical, and is largely the result of the early Christians leaders who assembled faulty compilations and allowed for politics or their own agendas to play too much into the construction of the canon[71]. It is an indisputable fact that although the Bible is the Christian sacred text, it contains numerous significant contradictions. Just in the seemingly simple Genesis flood story there are three separate versions with different accounts of fundamental aspects of how the flood occurred[72]. Muhammad and his contemporaries like Abu Bakr had the foresight to record and compile the Qur’an right away so as to ensure purity of content. Just the same as Christianity, there were undoubtedly Muslims or other hopefuls who attempted to author false sacred texts but the manner in which the Qur’an was compiled did not allow for it. Even the Hadith can for the most part trace all its sayings back directly to the prophet.

However, no amount of criticism over the compilation of ancient works will change what happened and both Muslims and Christians are guilty of wasting too much ink over attempts to disprove the other. Scholars of both religions have for centuries tried to point out the opposite sacred text’s references to Jesus in a way to affirm their own faith when instead they should be focusing on commonalities and ways to move forward. It is ironic that Muhammad spoke so well of Jesus while Christian writings have always been harshly critical of Muhammad[73]. Andalusia was a perfect example of what can come of harmonious interaction between religions[74]. Spain under Muslim rule was the epitome of intellectual and cultural exchange, with Christians, Muslims, and Jews all coexisting and creating positive outcomes[75]. However, just because such harmony was possible in Andalusia at that time, doesn’t mean that is necessarily possible or the answer today.

These “lost” early Christian doctrines are often dismissed today, especially by church leaders, for the sole reason of being non-canonical and, therefore heretical. What many do not stop to consider is the fact that, at one point, all of these books were considered legitimate to a certain group. The significance of the victory of proto-orthodox Christianity is “almost impossible to exaggerate” and it left a number of marks on the history of Western civilization, “none of which has proved more significant than the formation of the New Testament as a canon of scripture”.[76] When faced with the question of why the other Christianities were defeated by Paul’s proto-orthodox version, church leaders and other believers will often attribute it to the will of God. Many do not question whether the “right” version won out. Many Christians do not realize that “Christian Scriptures did not descend from heaven a few years after Jesus died” and either do not know or do not want to know that the books that eventually came to be collected into the sacred canon were written by a variety of authors over a period of sixty or seventy years, in different places and for different audiences[77]. This is honest historical fact. When considering this process, it is simply not enough to affirm that “decisions made about the canon, like the books themselves, were divinely inspired” and in order to get a proper understanding, it is necessary to consider the actual history of the process and to “ponder the long, drawn-out arguments over which books to include and which to reject.”[78] The process took centuries, and even then there was not unanimity[79]. The fact that the real process behind these decisions was political allows for entertainment of the thought of what Christianity and our world would be like if another version had won; the early Christian texts that correspond to Islamic teaching might not be heretical but could have been canonical. It is just not right or thorough to dismiss these similarities between the texts without proper consideration.

What all of the overlaps of texts such as the Proto-Gospel of James, the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas allude to is that there is more to the concordance between Islam and Christianity than is commonly thought. The collections of texts within the two religions hint at the existence of a shared historical narrative waiting to be further revealed. Many of the most influential and important ancient texts have been discovered in the last few generations and, aside from the fact that scholars have not finished understanding them yet, there are undoubtedly more discoveries to follow. All it takes is one text to shake the foundations and create new perspectives; the recent discovery of the Gospel of Judas presented an entirely opposite view of Judas from traditional Christianity[80]. Only just translated in 2006, the Gospel of Judas shows how even in a world where we think we have everything already figured out, there is no assurance that we won’t have to revaluate at any time. There is still much work to be done in the study of these ancient texts. The current connections between early Christian books and the Qur’an paint only part of the picture and there is still much more to learn about the real historical narrative of Jesus’ life. As for the question of whose books and whose ideas should be considered “correct”, only God can say.

In 2007 an Episcopalian priest was defrocked when, after deep thought, she considered herself both a Muslim and a Christian. People labeled her as idiotic and irrational, because such a thing is surely impossible. Isn’t it?

 


[1] Build Bridges Between Christians and Muslims. Syed Farid Alatas, Singapore Times.
[2]
The Sayings of Muhammad. London: Duckworth, 2003. Abu Hurayra, 4.199
[3]
Qur’an 3:37
[4]
All Quranic verses are from M.A.S. Abdel Haleem’s new translation printed by Oxford University Press in 2010.
[5]
Qur’an 19:19
[6]
Qur’an 3:42-48
[7]
Qur’an 3:45-46
[8]
Quran 20-22
[9]
Qur’an 19:27-31
[10]
Qur’an 19:27-40
[11]
Qur’an 3:45
[12]
Qur’an 5:46
[13]
Qur’an 5:46
[14]
Qur’an 5:116
[15]
Qur’an 3:53
[16]
Qur’an 4:157
[17]
Qur’an 4:157
[18]
Qur’an 43:61-78
[19]
Jesus Beyond Christianity: The Classic Texts. Edited by Gergory Baker and Stephen Gregg. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 84.
[20]
The Sayings of Muhammad. London: Duckworth, 2003. Abu Hurayra, 4.205
[21]
The Sayings of Muhammad. London: Duckworth, 2003. Abu Salim, 4.203
[22]
Jesus Beyond Christianity: The Classic Texts. Edited by Gergory Baker and Stephen Gregg. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 84.
[23]
Qur’an 2:130
[24]
The Sayings of Muhammad. London: Duckworth, 2003. Abu Hurayra, 6.25
[25]
Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 6.
[26]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 1.
[27]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 238.
[28]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 247.
[29]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 247.
[30]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 4.
[31]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 5.
[32]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 3.
[33]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 63.
[34]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 63.
[35]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 63.
[36]
Qur’an 3:35-36
[37]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 65.
[38]
Qur’an 3:37
[39]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 66.
[40]
Qur’an 3:37
[41]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 66.
[42]
Qur’an 3:49
[43]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 70.
[44]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 78.
[45]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 78.
[46]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 80-81.
[47]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 78.
[48]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 78.
[49]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 79.
[50]
Qur’an 4:157-158
[51]
Qur’an 4:159
[52]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 81.
[53]
Qur’an 4:161-162
[54]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 57.
[55]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 58.
[56]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 57.
[57]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 247.
[58]
Kate Zebiri. “Contemporary Muslim Understanding of the Miracles of Jesus” University of London, 2000.
[59]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 58.
[60]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 58.
[61]
Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 58.
[62]
Qur’an 3:49
[63]
Qur’an 5:110-111
[64]
Davis, Steven. “The Infancy Gospels of Jesus: Apocryphal Tales from the Childhoods of Mary and Jesus,” page 112. Skylight Paths Publishing, 2009.
[65]
Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 12.
[66]
Qur’an 5:46
[67]
Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God? Mark Gahli. 2011.
[68]
Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 10.
[69]
Jesus Beyond Christianity: The Classic Texts. Edited by Gergory Baker and Stephen Gregg. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 84.
[70]
Jesus Beyond Christianity: The Classic Texts. Edited by Gergory Baker and Stephen Gregg. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 84.
[71]
Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 20.
[72]
Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 6.
[73]
Jesus Beyond Christianity: The Classic Texts. Edited by Gergory Baker and Stephen Gregg. Oxford University Press, 2010. Page 83.
[74]
Peace Be Upon You: Fourteen Centuries of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Coexistence in the Middle East. Zachary Karabell. Oxford University Press, 2007. Page 69.
[75]
http://www.andalusia-web.com/history_details.htm
[76]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 229.
[77]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 230.
[78]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 231.
[79]
Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2005. Page 231.
[80]
The Lost Gospel. The National Geographic Society.

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41 responses to “Finding the Jesus of Islam in Early Christianities”

  1. Umm Sulaim says:

    A fully loaded piece of work for which I am grateful.

    If I recall accurately, there should also be a gospel of Barnabas, which is of interest.

    About 15 years ago, a catholic neighbour gave me an old version of the bible – I believe it was an old king james’ version – to which only priests had access. It contained many issues now absent in common versions. I lost that when I lent it to someone.

    Umm Sulaim

  2. Yusuf - Cincinnati says:

    Was there a reason there was no mention about the Gospel of Barnabas and it’s correlations with the Muslim tradition?

    • Yasir Qadhi says:

      Yusuf,

      Having researched this Gospel, and being more academically inclined these days than I used to be many years ago, I do not believe this Gospel has any original Christian truth to it. It seems to be a fabrication by someone who wished to help the Muslims (most probably a Muslim from Andalus) but it’s not ‘the real deal’. Our religion doesn’t need such fabrications to help it – they harm them more than help them.

      No one (and I mean NO ONE) who has researched this Gospel with an open mind and knowing anything about the history of ancient gospels gives this Gospel of Barnabas any credence.

      There is another Gospel with the same name that has more basis than this one, but less ‘Islam’ :)

      And Allah knows best…

      Yasir

      PS The references that Camilla has used are far more reputable and academic, and serve a better job, and I believe we as Muslims should be aware of them and use them, and discard any references to the ‘Gospel of Barnabas’.

      • Umm Sulaim says:

        No problem o.

        Umm Sulaim

      • Yusuf - Cincinnati says:

        Assalaamu ‘alaikum SYQ,

        I randomly thought about my comment and came back (for some reason didn’t get the email that someone responded).

        Anyways jazakAllahukhair for that insight. I trust your judgement and not going to go in a crazy research binge in seeing if you are correct.

        Completely agree that anything that is just not true at all only hurts an argument when connected. There’s also that thing called the truth for the sake of truth.:)

        jazakAllahukhair,
        wassalaamu ‘alaikum

      • Amin Sabbagh says:

        Salam Dr. Yasir, upon watching your video and reading this article. Can you explain to me what is the difference between the gospel of thomas and the infancy of thomas? Were they both found in Eygpt? Also does it say that the infant prophet jesus spoke? Or is that another gospel? I really can’t find source to research this other than wiki (and we all know how trustworthy wiki is), and i really regret doing that, but i was curious on the subject. Anyway i would really like to read the gospel, but like i said I’m not really sure which one to buy. Sorry for the long post.
        Ps. HUUUUGE FAN, LOVE YOUR WORK!!! YOUR ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SCHOLARS!!! Inshallah one day I will get to meet you and personally thank you for being a great teacher, bless you and inshallah nothing bad would come upon you :)

      • Amin Sabbagh says:

        Salam Dr. Yasir, upon watching your video and reading this article. Can you explain to me what is the difference between the gospel of Thomas and the infancy of Thomas? Were they both found in Egypt? Also does it say that the infant prophet Jesus spoke? Or is that another gospel? I really can’t find source to research this other than wiki (and we all know how trustworthy wiki is), and i really regret doing that, but i was curious on the subject. Anyway i would really like to read the gospel, but like i said I’m not really sure which one to buy. Sorry for the long post.
        Ps. HUUUUGE FAN, LOVE YOUR WORK!!! YOUR ONE OF MY FAVORITE SCHOLARS!!! Inshallah one day I will get to meet you and personally thank you for being a great teacher, bless you and inshallah nothing bad would come upon you :)

  3. SM Deris says:

    Nicely done, Camilla,

    This is among the most interesting analysis on the subject that I have read. But I would venture to say that it is not the lack of material or the supporting evidence that has led, and continue to lead, to the divide between Christianity and Islam. My own research lead me to conclude that the original teaching of Jesus had been hijacked by the Gentiles, taking the line initiated by St. Paul.

    The Gentiles were probably tired of their own gods, whose number is not only many and confusing, but like to play havoc upon mankind, pitting one against the other for sport. The gods even fight among themselves, jealous of each other, and when they fight against each other, mankind suffer. Jesus’ teaching of God’s love and His mercy are a refreshing new outlook to the whole question of Godhood. The willingness of Jesus’ followers to sacrifice everything for the sake of others, their penchant for helping the poor, etc, endeared this faith further to them.

    Yet, in embracing the New Way, they were not willing to discard completely the Old Way. Through the marriage of the New Way and the Old Way, Christianity was born. With the conversion of Constantine the Great, this religion got established. In their scheme of thing, Jesus MUST die on the Cross. It cannot be otherwise. If he did not die on the Cross, the whole conception of the Original Sin, which is central in their faith, would be thrown out of the window. And there would be no Christianity without the Original Sin.

    The cause or basis for the divide is the worldview. Whatever evidence or proof is presented, it will be viewed from their own world. Muslims too have their own worldview. The Christians started with the view that Muhammad the Prophet is an imposter; the Muslims started with the view that they were led astray. How could the two meet?

  4. Aaron says:

    Muslims honor what Muhammad said about Jesus in the 7th century; they do not honor what Jesus taught and did in the 1st century. This is most evident in the Muslim rejection of Jesus’ death on the cross.

    Muslims and Christians believe Jesus was conceived of the Virgin Mary. However, Mary was also a witness to her Son’s death (John 19:25-27). Mary was present and part of the church’s witness to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:14). Therefore, the “Mary” Muslims believe in is not the Mary of the 1st century.

    Muslims believe Jesus performed miracles. However, the disciples of Jesus who attest to His miracles also attested to His death on the cross, resurrection from the dead, and ascension into heaven. For example, Nicodemus attested to the signs of Jesus which Muslims believe (John 3:1-2). But Nicodemus was also a witness to the burial of Jesus’ dead body (John 19:38-42). Those who saw and testified to Jesus’ signs testified to the Jesus of 1st century history and not the Muhammad’s 7th century Jesus.

    You can find other examples in my book, “Is the Qur’an the Word of God?”

  5. Yasir Qadhi says:

    Camilla is a student of mine and wrote this as her final term paper for my class last semester. It was really interesting so I asked her permission if she wouldn’t mind if we posted this on MM, and she graciously agreed.

    Keep up the good work Camilla!

    Yasir

  6. […] graciously accepted her, making her grow in goodness, and entrusting her to be raised by Zachariah[3][4]. God chose Mary above all other women as the most pure and sent angels to give her news that she […]

  7. Andrew Purcell says:

    It is an interesting article. I have heard bits and pieces of this thesis but I never looked for the documentation. Thank you for publishing it. My only criticism is the heavy reliance on the works of one author.

  8. Mehdi Sheikh says:

    In these first words, Jesus declares himself as a prophet and a servant of God who will be raised up after death and return at the final judgment[

    Just wanted to point out that Esaa will not return AT the Final Judgment as the Christian’s believe but before that, and he will re-establish the Khilaafah upon righteousness until it all goes haywire again till the Doomsday.

  9. Omar says:

    This is an excellent compilation of these ideas in one source. I think anyone who studied early Christianity academically will see that on most points where Muslims and Christians differ, there is significantly more support for the Islamic position, and that the current Christian beliefs came later.

    That said, it is not clear cut, as all of these gospels are of uncertain authorship, and the ones that support an Islamic view almost always contain other very unIslamic things. (often strange Gnostic ideas)

    We need more academic Muslims in this field, who have the Islamic position as a hypothesis, but honestly follow the evidence where it leads them.

  10. Yasmin says:

    Very interesting and informative post, Mashallah! I really appreciate that you wrote down all of your sources as well. It looks like you did an excellent job researching before publishing this post!

  11. […] simply borrowed their stories; and Muslims explain them as the truth that was … Read more on MuslimMatters This entry was posted in Twelve Traditions and tagged …, Black, Featured, Jacob, Nation, […]

  12. Anon says:

    Salamu `alaykum,

    Sh. Yasir since you’re reading the comments on this thread…can I ask what it’s like to teach Islamic Studies in a non-Muslim setting? Does it ever feel awkward? And how do you feel when confronted by the different Orientalist assumptions out there?

    Your brother.

    • Yasir Qadhi says:

      That is a whole different discussion! It was a bit awkward at first, but I’m used to it now.

      I’m actually enjoying it :)

      Yasir

      • Anon says:

        But I mean, for example, as a teacher you have to mention the work of Crone, Cook, the recent crap Fred Donner has come out with…doesn’t that make you feel a little weird? How do you cope with it? And what about when your students ask you provocative questions about Islam (does Islam degrade women etc)?

        :)

        • SM Deris says:

          Yes brother Aaron, without crucifixion, the whole notion of Original Sin and Redemption (at the Cross) would be meaningless. Without Cross, the whole essense of Christianity is destroyed. Therfore it is THE Crux for the Christians.

          But for the Muslims who don’t buy the idea of Original Sin in the first place, Cross is therefore insignificant.

  13. iMuslim says:

    Very informative article, masha’Allah. I had not previously heard of some of the gospels mentioned. Especially excited to see that the “clay bird” miracle is referenced in early scripture, as it is missing from the canonical texts.

  14. Carlos says:

    How can we, as modern people, with all the knowledge brought about through centuries of scientific inquiry, justify continuing to guide our lives using faulty, inconsistent and implausible ancient literature?

    • Siraaj says:

      History is littered with people of science and religion who were wrong, as well as right. The age of either literature is irrelevant, it’s accuracy is.

      Siraaj

  15. Fahim says:

    A well-referenced article with excellent primary, secondary and tertiary sources. An awesome read. Jazakumullahu Khairan for posting it.

  16. Ahmed Brown says:

    As Ms. Morrison pointed out, the crux of the arguments between Christians and Muslims over Jesus concerns whether he was literally God or not. Resolve that and both faiths share a mostly common view of Jesus and hold him in high esteem.

  17. Waleed says:

    Assalamoalikum,

    I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask this but I was discussing with a Quranist on the topic of Jesus’s (PBUH) return and he said that according to the famous hadith of Prophet (PBUH) there will be no messengers that will come after him, so doesn’t the belief in Jesus (PBUH) negate this hadith?

    In reply to that I responded with what I’ve heard from several scholars that Jesus (PBUH) is not a new Prophet and upon his return he’ll be an Ummati of the last Prophet (PBUH) and not a Prophet so he said, if that’s true then what will people make of the Quranic words to the effect Isabna Maryama Rasool Allahi if he is not a prophet any more? And does that mean that his title as a Prophet will be stripped off?

    Please help me understand, Jazakallah.

    • oursindh says:

      Salaam Alaykum Waleed.

      This is simple to understand, by no messenger after the Prophet, it means that nobody after Muhammad (S.a.w) will be given Prophethood.

      Isa (a.s) is still alive. He never died. All that happened is that he was brought. He is still a messenger from “before” the Prophet, ie. he was born before him and simply lived a longer life.

      The easiest way to show the Qur’anist the truth is to ask him the meanings of the ayahs that are specific for the time of war- for example, the start of Surah Tawbah. You will see Qur’anists reject hadith because they are uncomfortable with it for whatever reason (usually it is their own misunderstandings of the hadith) but it is necessary to explain parts of the Qur’an that islamophobes otherwise use to attack Islam and Muslims.

    • p4rv3zkh4n says:

      Abu Mūsā Ash’ari reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioned many names of his and said: I am Muhammad, Ahmad. Muqaffi (the last in succession), Hashir, the Prophet of repentance, and the Prophet of Mercy. [Sahih Muslim]

      In the Mustadrak of al-Hākim:

      From Nafi` ibn Jubair ibn Mut`am from his father, said, “I heard the Messanger of Allāh may Allāh bless him and give him peace say, ‘I am Muhammad (The praised one), Ahmad (The praiseworthy), Al-Muqaffā (The last in succession), Al-hāshir (the gatherer), Al-Khātim (The Seal), and Al-‘Aqib (The last). [Hakim]

      Prophet Muhammad (saw) is the seal of the Prophets thus Prophethood has been sealed and no one can attain Prophethood after Muhammad (saw). The return of Isa (as) causes no problem since the messiah attained Prophethood before the door of Prophethood had been sealed.

  18. p4rv3zkh4n says:

    “When Allah said: .O Isa , I am to take you in full and to raise you towards Myself, and to cleanse you of those who disbelieve, and to place those who follow you above those who disbelieve up to the Day of Doom. Then to Me is your return, whereupon I shall judge between you in that over which you have differed.” [Quran 3:55]
    Just as مُطَهِّرُكَ (cleanse you) and اتَّبَعُوكَ (follow you) refer to the whole person, body as well as soul, رَافِعُكَ (raise you) also refers to both body and soul. There is no basis to maintain the difference between reference of pronouns of مُطَهِّرُكَ ,اتَّبَعُوكَ and رَافِعُكَ. And as body is a corporeal thing so in the light of actual meaning of the word it most certainly denotes its displacement. This also leads us to the True Islamic belief that even مُتَوَفِّيكَ (take you) refers to the whole person, body as well as soul and not merely the soul.

    In Qur’an 4:157-158 first the Jewish belief of their having killed Eisa (A.S.) is repudiated by saying وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ (and they killed him not) and then the Christian belief is denounced by saying وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ (nor crucify him) and then the belief of his ascension has been testified by saying بَلْ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ (But Allah lifted him towards Himself). Thus the Quran refutes the physical killing of Isa (as) and then states that in contrast; Isa (as) was raised physically.

    “And for their saying, we have certainly killed the Masih Eisa the son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah., while in fact they did neither kill him, nor crucify him, but they were deluded by resemblance. Those who disputed in this matter are certainly in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it, but they follow whims. It is absolutely certain that they did not kill him. But Allah lifted him towards Himself. Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” [Quran 4: 157-158]
    Here again just as وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ (and they killed him not), وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ (nor crucify him) and وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا (and for a surety they killed him not) refers to the body of Eisa (A.S.); رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ (Allah lifted him) also refers to the body of Eisa (A.S.) and not just his soul. Again there is no reason to drop body from رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ (Allah lifted him).

    If the use of the word rafa’a in Qur’an 4:158 referred solely to the “raising of the soul,” this would not cancel out Jesus’ (pbuh) killing and the wisdom revealed in the verse would not apply. For example, if the Jews had killed Jesus (pbuh), his soul would, in any case, have been spiritually raised to God. Indeed, we know that the souls of all prophets and believers ascend to God after they die. There is no difference in this regard between Jesus (pbuh) and all other people. Therefore, there is a special feature in this verse: the raising of Jesus (pbuh), while still alive, in both body and soul. At the same time, when we look at the end of this verse, we see that it manifests God’s glory and wisdom.

  19. Salman says:

    Assalamu Alaikum MuslimMatters admins: I have a request for you all. Not all of us have internet access all the time and if you could provide a direct pdf link to these gems, it would be great to print and share this stuff to read on the go or to share it with others who might find it interesting. Also, its good for personal archiving inshaAllah. JazakAllah khair and Ramadan Mubarak~! Wassalam :)

    • Dear Salman
      WaAlaikum Assalam:

      JazakAllahu Khairin for the suggestion and we will try to fit it in our plan of services to offer.

      Best Regards
      Aly

    • On a personal note, I use Evernote extensively which allows to clip web content and store for later reading along with a whole bunch of other uses. I use it so extensively for work as well that I have been a premium user for the past 3 years. You can sign up at http://j.mp/ENref . (Note: by signing up with this link I may benefit from the referral so if you don’t want to you can sign up straight from http://evernote.com)

      WasSalamuAlaikum
      Aly
      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

  20. […] [2] The Sayings of Muhammad. London: Duckworth, 2003. Abu Hurayra, 4.199 [3] Qur’an 3:37 [4] All Quranic verses are from M.A.S. Abdel Haleem’s new translation printed by Oxford […]

  21. […] Kristen kini’ serta pandangan Islam mengenai Yesus misalnya dapat dibaca dalam tulisan “Finding the Jesus of Islam in Early Christianities” karya Camilla Morrison. Perhatikan pula bahwa Bible Barnabas tidak dipakai sebagai rujukan. Sebagian besar akademisi […]

  22. Fr Higgins says:

    If the author really wants to know the truth about the beliefs of the early Church, he really ought to extend his research beyond Bart Ehrman who exists as a radical sceptic on Early Church history. I suggest Owen Chadwick’s book or better yet the first volume in Hughes’s history of the Church.

    Furthermore, I note that whilst you are happy to take Mr Ehrman’s conclusions on church history you reject his conclusion that Jesus Christ physically died on the cross and that the apostle Paul was a faithful follower of the tradition Jesus established.

  23. […] graciously accepted her, making her grow in goodness, and entrusting her to be raised by Zachariah[3][4]. God chose Mary above all other women as the most pure and sent angels to give her news that she […]

  24. Asya says:

    A”However, no amount of criticism over the compilation of ancient works will change what happened and both Muslims and Christians are guilty of wasting too much ink over attempts to disprove the other. Scholars of both religions have for centuries tried to point out the opposite sacred text’s references to Jesus in a way to affirm their own faith when instead they should be focusing on commonalities and ways to move forward. It is ironic that Muhammad spoke so well of Jesus while Christian writings have always been harshly critical of Muhammad….”

    Okay. Let’s not try to disprove each other. Let’s talk about the commonalities between Christianity and Islam. There is no commonality between these religions except for God and Jesus and even that too is quite different. Maybe we can focus on the commonalities between Islam and other Christian sects who believe in the Oneness of God, such as the Jehovah’s Witness? However, the mainstream Christianity condemns these sects and Islam in every way possible.

    “What all of the overlaps of texts such as the Proto-Gospel of James, the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas allude to is that there is more to the concordance between Islam and Christianity than is commonly thought. The collections of texts within the two religions hint at the existence of a shared historical narrative waiting to be further revealed. Many of the most influential and important ancient texts have been discovered in the last few generations and, aside from the fact that scholars have not finished understanding them yet, there are undoubtedly more discoveries to follow. All it takes is one text to shake the foundations and create new perspectives; the recent discovery of the Gospel of Judas presented an entirely opposite view of Judas from traditional Christianity. Only just translated in 2006, the Gospel of Judas shows how even in a world where we think we have everything already figured out, there is no assurance that we won’t have to revaluate at any time. There is still much work to be done in the study of these ancient texts. The current connections between early Christian books and the Quran paint only part of the picture and there is still much more to learn about the real historical narrative of Jesus’ life….”

    What’s the use? Muslims believe what is written in the Last Testament about Jesus. They believe him to be the Messenger of God who was sent to the Children of Israel. He called them to worship the One God and to abide by the Law of Moses. The disbelievers tried to kill him but God saved him. Simple as that. But the non-Muslims do not want to believe in any of these revelations. No matter how many ancient texts they are going to discover, they will not believe in the real historical Jesus.

    The second coming of Jesus is just around the corner and most of these non-Muslims are going to follow the one-eyed antichrist who will claim divinity and power. Even after the real Jesus defeated the antichrist, most of them will not believe in him to be the Messenger of God who has come to convey the message of Islam and the Quran. Many of these people will soon be destroyed by Gog and Magog and the rest will be hunted down and killed by Jesus and Muslims. And they still prefer to “wait and see” who the real historical Jesus was when this “waiting” and “seeing” will not convince them of any truth when it actually comes to them.

    The Jews and Christians were waiting for a prophet to come and when Prophet Muhammad finally came to them, most of them did not believe in him or what he brought. Sadly, this is going to happen again to Jesus without a doubt.

    “As for the question of whose books and whose ideas should be considered “correct”, only God can say.”

    Yes, but how would God say? It does not befit God to talk to us directly so He would send a Messenger with His Words to convey to us. God has already told mankind what they should know about Jesus and everyone and everything else and are you still waiting for God to say which one is “correct”? You will not believe even if God sends another Messenger with another book saying which one is “correct” and by the time God says which one is “correct” on the Day of Resurrection, it will be TOO LATE.

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