Last Saturday, a brother and I attended the Reviving Islamic Spirit event.
We had only one question on our hearts for the person who invited us, but since he was unable to answer it, he referred my question to other Muslims to answer.
This is the question we asked…
The major distinction and point of controversy between Christianity and Islam seems to be the death of Jesus, specifically, his death on the cross.
The Quran says:
That they said (in 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;-
— Qur’an, sura 4 (An-Nisa) ayat 157-158
The important part of the verse is the “nor crucified him”
This verse completely denies Jesus was ever crucified on a cross altogether.
Jewish historians of the 1st century document Jesus’s death on the cross (Flavious Josephus)
Greek historians of the 1st century document Jesus’s death on the cross (Lucian)
Roman historians of the 1st century record Jesus’s death on the cross (Tacitus 64 A.D)
Pagan historians record Jesus’s death on the cross (Babylonian Talmud)
And of course, we have the four Christian accounts in the Gospels of the historical Christ from the 1st century that state that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John)
If the Gospels were revealed in the 1st century by people who lived with, walk with, talked with, and then witnessed Jesus’s death on the cross, and this is historically corroborated by Roman, Greek, Jewish, and Pagan historians, upon what grounds should we believe that the Quran which was revealed through Muhammad just under 600 years later is truthful when it says that Jesus was not crucified on the cross?
Is the sort of “truth” that Allah asks of his followers in the Quran such that goes against previously clearly documented historical record and common sense?
Should not “real” truth be corroborated by historical record and common sense as it does in the Christian worldview and ideology of truth?
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.
But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true.He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
John 19:28-37 (80 – 90 A.D) – New Testament
That last bit in bold is a fulfillment of the prophecies given by King David (Approx 1000 B.C) and Zechariah (Approx 500 B.S ) concerning the Messiah:
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken
Psalm 34:19-20 Old Testament
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
Zechariah 12:10 Old Testament
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God bless you,