There are hundreds of ancient prophecies in the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures in the Bible about a Messiah. The prophets spoke of a coming Messiah who would miraculously be born of a virgin in Bethlehem. They said he would heal the sick, bring sight to the blind and open deaf ears, raise the dead, work many miracles, and that he would suffer as the Lamb of God, die and be raised again to reign forever as King upon his return to earth at the end of the ages.
Over 700 years before Jesus was born, this prophecy was penned:
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
Jesus was born to a virgin in the town of Bethlehem. His genealogy recorded in the Gospels traces back to Abraham with King David in his lineage. There were Jews who believed in Jesus convinced by his miracles and teaching that he was the anticipated Jewish Messiah and the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies. But, the Jewish leadership at the time rejected him and sought to have him killed as a blasphemer because he claimed to be the Son of God. Biblical and extra-Biblical historical records reveal that at the feast of Passover in and around 30 A.D., the Jewish leadership succeeded in convincing the Roman authorities to have Jesus crucified.
The prophets of the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures wrote about a coming Messiah and the Greek New Testament Gospel narratives proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies. The Gospel writers recorded the righteous life and authoritative teaching that set Jesus apart from the Jewish teachers of his day. They recorded that Jesus drew large crowds wherever he went as people came to be healed and set free from demons. The Gospels record that Jesus raised the dead, fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes, had superhuman command over the elements of nature, yet he was gentle, humble and approachable even to small children. Jesus of Nazareth was unlike any prophet who ever walked the earth. There are over 300 ancient prophecies about a coming Messiah which Jesus fulfilled by his birth, life, death, and resurrection.
Muslims say they believe in the Torah (Torat) and the writings of David, the Psalms (Zabur), and the Gospel (Injil), but when it comes to the Bible in our hands today they claim that it has been changed or corrupted. They teach that the Quran (Qur’an, Koran) is the final revelation of God, and Mohammed is the final prophet. The Jesus of the Quran, who is named 'Isa', has few similarities with the Jesus of the Bible. The Quran denies that Jesus is the Son of God. The Quran says that Jesus was not crucified but Allah took him to heaven while making someone else look like Jesus to be crucified in his place.
This paper will address these and other conflicts between the teaching of the Scriptures and the teaching of the Quran by searching for evidence in the Scriptures (Bible), the Quran, and in authenticated non-religious historical records. The goal of this paper is not to insult the faith of anyone but to sort out truth from fiction and find that ‘straight path’ which is true and safe to walk.
"The Scripture”, “Torah, Prophets, Gospel” (Taurat, Zabur, Injil), "The Word from Allah”, "The Revelations of Allah" "The Criterion", "A Light and Reminder", are some names the Quran uses to describe what we today call the “Bible”. The Quran refers to those who keep, read and follow the Bible as “the People of the Book”. Going forward in this study, the names “the Scriptures” and “the Bible” will be used interchangeably to identify the book containing both the Old and New Testaments.
Besides the Bible and the Quran, other source materials for this study will be the recognized Islamic texts (Hadith and Sira), along with secular historical records which include the writings of recognized ancient historians and historical witnesses.
The word ‘Bible’ comes from the Greek word “Ta Biblia”, meaning "the books”. The books of the Bible include the authorized 39 Hebrew books of the Old Testament containing the Torah, the Psalms, and the Prophets, and the authorized 27 Greek books of the New Testament containing the four Gospels, the letters of the Disciples of Christ, and Revelation.
Muslims believe that the Bible has been changed or corrupted. The question is what does the Quran itself say about the Bible?
The Scriptures were well established and thousands of manuscript copies were available in the original Hebrew and Greek languages at the time of Muhammad. Nowhere in the Quran will you find a verse that claims that the Scriptures were corrupted or changed. Rather we find that the Scriptures were revealed from God and handed down without corruption, and in many places the Quran says that the word of Allah cannot be changed. (See the next topic "The Authenticity of the Scripture Manuscripts", also see Appendix A: Islam’s View of the Scriptures.)
Below are some of the references in the Quran to the Scriptures:
Clearly, the Quran supports the fact that the Scriptures are from God and it depends upon the Scriptures for confirmation for itself. The Quran refutes any argument for the corruption of the Scriptures that were available in the time of Mohammad. (See Appendix A: Islam’s View of the Scriptures)
The next task is to find out if the Scriptures we have today are the same as those in Muhammad’s day.
Throughout the first three centuries, thousands of copies of the New Testament Scriptures were made. Many of these early manuscripts are presently kept in the archives of museums around the world. The copies are in Greek, Hebrew and various other languages. Except for minor scribal oversights, scholars affirm that the ancient manuscripts agree with each other on all doctrinal issues, and more importantly they are identical to the Scriptures known as the Bible we have today. The doctrine taught in all the manuscript copies teach that Jesus came as the Word of God, offered himself as the Lamb of God, and the final sacrifice to take the punishment for sin for those who put their faith in him. The death and resurrection of Jesus is clearly taught.
Scholars also agree that upon examination there is no evidence of alteration or tampering in any of the thousands of manuscripts. (See Appendix D: Manuscript Evidence for the Scriptures)
The fact is that the Scriptures we can read today mirror the manuscripts that were available in Mohammad’s day. Even so, many Muslims still claim that the Scriptures were somehow changed. The question is how could anyone change thousands of copies of the Scriptures?
The Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures date back to at least 1490 BC with the books of Leviticus and Numbers, until all the Torah was commpleted by 1446 BC. Hebrew scribes dedicated to carefully copying the Scriptures where called 'Sopherim' which comes from the Hebrew word meaning "to count". They carefully counted every letter in the Torah with a system that accounted for 100% accuracy. The books of Hebrew poetry and Prophets were added later until the final book of Malachi was finished in 425 BC.
Scholars all agree on the authenticity of the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures. It is in these books that the hundreds of Messianic prophecies are found. The Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures were those that Jesus quoted numerous times. His quotes recorded in the Gospel narratives compare exactly to the Scriptures available in his day and to the Scriptures we have today.
A striking confirmation of the reliability of the Hebrew Scriptures is the 1946/47 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls found in Qumran Caves in Israel. The Dead Sea Scrolls belonged to the library of a Jewish community of holy men who lived from 125 B.C. to A.D. 70. Some 981 manuscripts were discovered and there were copies of all 39 the books of the Old Testament Scriptures. Scholars confirmed the Dead Sea Scrolls perfectly match and verify the accuracy of the Old Testament Scriptures used today.
The Greek New Testament Scriptures were compiled in the first years after the resurrection of Jesus. Writings of the New Testament began around 48 AD with the letter to the Galatians, and other letters along with the Gospels continued to be added until 90 A.D. The Gospel of Mark is dated to 58 AD, Matthew to 60 AD, Luke to 61 AD, and John at 90 AD along with the book of Revleation, the last book of the New Testament dated at 95 AD.
The oldest manuscripts were written on papyrus and the later manuscripts were written on leather called parchment. The New Testament Scripture manuscripts were faithfully copied and the copies accompanied believers as they moved throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe. Copies were kept in places of worship, and individual believers often had personal copies.
Scholars use different sources, such as the Leuven Database or the
Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. Here is an updated short list of manuscripts for the New Testament
Greek Manuscript total: 5,856
Non-Greek Manuscripts (Armenian, Latin, etc.): 18,130+
Total Manuscripts: 23,986
How do the New Testament documents compare with other ancient books? A stack of existing manuscripts from the average classical writer w ould measure about four feet high. Yet the New Testament manuscripts would stack to more than one-mile high.
These first century manuscripts are now kept in museums all over the world. (See Appendix D: Manuscript evidence for the Scriptures)
The Scriptures could not have been changed before the time of Muhammad because the Quran accepted them as the inspired Word of God. (See section above: “The Scriptures and what the Quran says about them”)
The Scriptures could not have been changed after the time of Muhammad because the Scripture Manuscripts that Muhammad himself accepted as the inspired Word of God are the same manuscripts that were used for today’s translations. Most importantly, the message of the original manuscripts is the same message in the Scriptures used today.
Scholars confirm that Scriptures today contain the same accounts, doctrines, and teaching that the first Christian believers held about the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and salvation in his name. Today those who hold the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God and follow the teaching of Jesus are united in belief and practice with the first believers in Christ. The Scriptures call these believers ‘the body of Christ’ and the Quran calls them ‘the people of the book’.
Of course, as with all religions of men, there are many examples of religious belief systems that do not hold to the Scriptures as the Inspired Word of God and have deviated from the teaching of the Scriptures and of Jesus. (see: 1John 2:18-19) Those who reject the Scriptures formed religions and follow various traditions that have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and some even reject him as Messiah, Savior and the Son of God. (2Timothy 4:3-4) The Scriptures call these religious systems “antichrist” because they reject what is taught about Jesus in the Scriptures. (See Appendix K: What is Antichrist?)
Even if anyone thought to change all the manuscripts after the time of Mohammad, the sheer magnitude of the task would have proved insurmountable. The manuscripts of the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures and the Greek New Testament Scriptures were carefully copied and carried by believers as they traveled across three continents. In order to find and change all the manuscripts would have required an army of scribes. In a day when there were no data systems for locating the thousands of copies the task would be impossible.
The manuscript copies were treasured and carefully protected by those who owned them “as they were required to protect God’s Book, and were witnesses to it.” (Quran 5:43, 44) If it had been possible to find all the thousands of manuscript copies, how would those holding the copies have allowed anyone to change them?
Most importantly, careful examination of the manuscripts by Science and Scholarship reveals no evidence of tampering or edits to the text of any of the thousands of manuscripts still in existence today. Compared one to the other the manuscripts match in every essential doctrine of faith.
One of the greatest proofs for the authenticity and reliability of the Scriptures, especially the Gospels, is their early dates. The evidence verifies the dating of Matthew’s Gospel to A.D. 60. Scholars believe that Mark wrote the first Gospel, placing the composition of Mark to within 20 years of the events recorded in his Gospel. With the evidence that the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and Luke’s second book, Acts, were written so close to the time of the crucifixion, the record of the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection makes these facts indisputable. The fact that they were written within the lifetimes of those who were eyewitnesses is evidence strong enough to hold up in a court of law, because anyone questioning what was recorded could talk directly with the eyewitnesses of the events.
God is almighty, all powerful, and no man, no angel, not Satan or any other creature can frustrate His plans or change His words. Both the Scriptures and the Quran say that God’s words cannot be changed.
In the Scriptures, God says that His Word will fulfill His purpose:
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4: 2)
Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5: 18)
Heaven and earth will disappear, but My words will never disappear. (Matthew 24:35.)
The Quran states:
The Quran also states that Muslims are not allowed to make distinctions between the holy books and to honor what Allah sent down:
(See Appendix M: The Quran does not support the view that the Scriptures were corrupted)
Historians and scholars confirm the Gospels are the accounts of the disciples who were still living at the time their accounts were written down. They shared what they personally experienced which directly supports the authenticity of the accounts. The Gospels are four different personal accounts of the years the disciples spent with Jesus. They were eyewitnesses and shared what they personally saw and experienced. As one Gospel writer said:
We proclaim to you the One who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw Him with our own eyes and touched Him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. (1 John 1:1)
The four Gospels are like a hologram in that they present Jesus and the events surrounding him from four distinct yet unified perspectives. Grouped together they present a holistic story.
(See additional document, What is the Gospel?)
It is interesting to note that none of the writers tried to protect their own dignity in the telling of what they saw and experienced. They revealed the events the way they happened, even if it made them seem deficient or foolish. For example, the Gospels record that Peter tells Jesus he will never deny him, but the Gospel record shows that he does deny Jesus three times after Jesus is taken by the temple guards. The Gospels also record that at that time all the disciples ran away in fear, which is not something someone fabricating the story would have admitted.
Those who heard the message of Jesus and chose to follow him would have seen themselves under obligation by God to follow his commands. Jesus said he is ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life’. History confirms the disciples of Jesus followed him in telling the truth even at the cost of their lives. They never employed trickery, distortion or deceitful means while recording their eyewitness accounts. As one writer said,
We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this. (2 Corinthians 4:1-2)
(See Appendix B: Early Christian Writers on the Resurrection of Jesus)
Many of the great Muslim thinkers have accepted the authenticity of the New Testament text. Two great historians, al-Masudi (died 956) and Ibn-Khaldun (died 1406), held the authenticity of the Gospel text. Four well-known theologians agreed with this: Ali at-Tabari (died 855), Qasim al-Khasani (died 860), 'Amr al-Ghakhiz (died 869) and the famous Al-Ghazali (died 1111). Their view is shared by Abu Ali Husain Ibn Sina, who is known in the West as Avicenna (died 1037).
Bukhari (died 870), who acquired a great name by his hadith collection, quoted the Quran itself to prove that the text of the Scriptures was not falsified. (G. Parrinder, Jesus in the Quran, Faber and Faber, London 1965; Dutch translation, Ten Have, Baarn 1978, p. 124)
Finally, Muhammad Abduh Sayyid Ahmad Khan, a religious and social reformer of modem times (died 1905), accepted the findings of modern science. He said: “As far as the text of the Bible is concerned, it has not been altered ... No attempt was made to present a diverging text as the authentic one.” (M. H. Ananikian, `The Reforms and Religious Ideas of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan'. The Moslem World 14 (1934) p. 61)
(See Appendix A: Islam’s View of the Scriptures)
Based on the evidence presented so far, we have established that we can trust the Scriptures, both Old
and New Testaments are from God and that God who is all powerful, protected His Word from corruption, both at the time
He inspired them and throughout the centuries as they were carefully copied and shared.
We have also established that the Quran does not support the theory
that the Scriptures were corrupted, but confirms they were given for a
light to all people and we are instructed to read them as the Word of God for guidance.
Jesus is mentioned by name twenty-five times in the Quran and is referred to in over ninety verses. The Quran says Jesus is:
Both the Scriptures and the Quran say that Jesus is the Word of God and both agree that it was through the Word of God that everything was created.
This is what the Scriptures say:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
The clear teaching of the Scriptures is that Jesus existed as the Word of God with God and that all things were created through the Word of God, then at the perfect point in time the Word of God took on flesh in fulfillment of prophecy:
So, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
"Behold, the virgin shall conceive in her womb and will bear a son. And they will call His name Emmanuel," which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23)
The Quran is believed by Muslims to be both human and divine. It is said to be divine because, according to Islam, it is “the word of God” and since it is God’s speech and thoughts, it, therefore, has a divine nature. On the other hand, the Quran is human, since it is comprehended by the human mind and communicated through a human language. They say that the divine “word of God” in the Quran is incarnated into paper and ink in what is called Mus’haf (the book which contains the Quran).
If the Quran can be said to have a human and divine nature and is incarnated in a physical body (paper + ink = book), then there should be no objections to saying that Jesus as the Word of God is both human and divine. Jesus as the Word of God became incarnated in a physical body (flesh + blood = body). Which is exactly what the Scripture says:
In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:1-5)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Every prophet of God was a messenger only, but Jesus is given the elevated title ‘the Word of God’. Every prophet simply delivered the words of God when proclaiming God's message, but Jesus not only spoke the words of God on the earth; He was the ‘Word of God’ on earth and was raised to heaven and is alive as it says in Acts 1:3-11.
As ‘the Word of God', there is no distinction between the words of Jesus and the words of God. Every prophet of God was a fallible human being, but both the Scriptures and the Quran say that Jesus was perfectly righteous and without sin. Jesus spoke as the Word of God when he said:
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)
He who does not love me does not keep my words, and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. (John 14:24)
If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:31)
Other prophets had both and earthly mother and father. Jesus was born of an earthly mother who was a virgin, therefore he had no eartly father:
In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, "Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!" Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. "Don't be afraid, Mary," the angel told her, "for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!" Mary asked the angel, "But how can this happen? I am a virgin." The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God. What's more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true." And then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38)
As the Word of God on the earth, Jesus was and is the final, ultimate and complete revelation of God to mankind. By this we understand that he was not simply a messenger of God, that is, one who receives an independent message from God.
Jesus himself is the eternal Word of God, which is why those who believe in Jesus, receive Jesus, and remain followers of Jesus, are “Born Again” by the Word of God in their hearts. Jesus explained this to a man named Nicodemus who came to ask him questions one evening:
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:1-8)
Jesus in the Quran
Jesus in the Bible
Jesus is called "The Word of God" (Quran 3:45; 4:171)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without
Him, nothing was made that was made. (John 1:1-3)
He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. (Revelation 19:13)
Jesus is called “The Word of Truth” (Quran 19:34)
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus is called "The Spirit of God" (Quran 21:91; 66:12)
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:16-17)
Jesus is called "The Sign of God to the whole world" (Quran 19:21; 21:91
He (Jesus) was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:9-14)
Jesus is called “The Anointed One” (Quran 3:45)
When He came to the village of Nazareth, His boyhood home, He went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD's favor has come. " He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at Him intently. Then He began to speak to them. "The Scripture you've just heard has been fulfilled this very day!" Everyone spoke well of Him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from His lips. "How can this be?" they asked. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" (Luke 4:16-22)
Jesus is called “The Anointed One” (Quran 3:45)
When He came to the village of Nazareth, His boyhood home, He went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD's favor has come. " He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at Him intently. Then He began to speak to them. "The Scripture you've just heard has been fulfilled this very day!" Everyone spoke well of Him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from His lips. "How can this be?" they asked. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" (Luke 4:16-22)
Jesus is called “The Servant of God” (Quran 4:172)
This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning Him: "Look at My Servant, whom I have chosen. He is My Beloved, who pleases Me. I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not fight or shout or raise His voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally, He will cause justice to be victorious. And His name will be the hope of all the world." (Matthew 12:17-21)
Jesus is called “The Prophet of God” (Quran 4:172)
Jesus left that part of the country and returned with His disciples to Nazareth, His hometown. The next Sabbath He began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard Him were amazed. They asked, "Where did He get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?" Then they scoffed, "He's just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And His sisters live right here among us." They were deeply offended and refused to believe in Him. Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family." (Mark 6:1-4)
Jesus is called “The Messenger of God” (Quran 4:171; 5:75)
Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say, 'Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You, and he will prepare Your way before You.' I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is!" (Luke 7:26-28 - John the Baptist was the messenger preparing the way for the Messiah Jesus.)
Jesus is called “The Son of a Virgin” (Quran 19:16-22)
As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through His prophet: "Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel, which means 'God is with us.'" When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named Him Jesus. (Matthew 1:20-25)
“Jesus is Mercy from God” (Quran 19:21)
For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,
'The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.'
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven
by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:11-12)
Though he [Jesus] was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
“Jesus healed the blind and lepers” (Quran 3:49; 5:110)
The Gospels record over 40 of the many miracles Jesus did, but we know there were many more miracles unrecorded. He healed everyone who came to him, raised the dead, multiplied bread to feed thousands, cast out demons, demonstrated power over created things such by walking on water, and the elements of the natural world by calming storms with a word. His miracles were a testimony to the glory of God and fulfillment of a prophecy about the coming Messiah written centuries earlier in Isaiah, “Say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you." And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!” (Isaiah 35:4-6)
“Jesus raised the dead” (Quran 3:49; 5:110)
In John chapter 11, Jesus is recorded raising from the dead Lazarus, a man who had been dead for four days. Jesus raised from the dead the only son of a poor widow in Nain (Luke 7:11-17), also the daughter of a leader of the temple (Matthew 9:18-26). There are many other such miracles referred to in the Gospels but not mentioned specifically.
“Jesus had authority over the law” (Quran 3:50)
And the Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" But He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?" And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:24-28)
“Jesus Creates” (Quran 3:49; 5:110; 22:73)
But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." And they said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish." He said, "Bring them here to Me." Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:16-21, also Mark 6:37 and Luke 9:13)
“Jesus requires our obedience” (Quran 3:50)
"So why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord!' when you don't do what I say?
I will show you what it's like when someone comes to Me, listens to
My teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a
house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the
floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because
it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn't obey is like a
person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods
sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins." (Luke 6:46-49)
"If you love Me, obey My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him because it isn't looking for Him and doesn't recognize Him. But you know Him because He lives with you now and later will be in you.” (John 14:15-17)
“God raised Jesus to Himself” (Quran 3:55; 4:158; 19:57)
During the forty days after His crucifixion, He appeared to the apostles from time to time, and He proved to them in many ways that He was actually alive. And He talked to them about the Kingdom of God. Once when He was eating with them, He commanded them, "Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift He promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking Him, "Lord, has the time come for You to free Israel and restore our kingdom?" He replied, "The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After saying this, He was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see Him. As they strained to see Him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go!" (Acts 1:3-11)
The Scriptures provide ample evidence that Jesus not only knew he would die by crucifixion, he told his followers that this is the way he would die, and he said he came into the world as the Messiah to give his life as a ransom for all those who believe in him.
Jesus said he came to give His life as a ransom for many.
"And whoever of you desires to become first, he shall be servant of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:44-45)
Jesus told them he would die.
"As you know, the Passover is two days away – and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified." (Matthew 26:2)
Jesus said he lays down his life for His sheep.
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:14-15)
Jesus said He would voluntarily lay down His life and take it up again.
"The Father loves Me because I sacrifice My life so I may take it back again. No one can take My life from Me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what My Father has commanded." (John 10:17-18)
Jesus said He would suffer many things and be killed.
"And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." (Luke 9:22)
Jesus said He would be killed at the hands of the Hebrew leaders.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. (Matthew 16:21)
Jesus told them that He would be raised from the dead.
After the transfiguration, As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’" (Matthew 17:9; Mark 9:9-10)
Jesus told them he would betrayed into the hands of men and be killed.
When they came together in Galilee, he [Jesus] said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life." And the disciples were filled with grief. (Matthew 17:22-23; Mark 9:31)
Jesus told them he would be handed over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified.
Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day, he will be raised to life!" (Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:33-34)
Jesus told the twelve he would be crucified and rise from death on the third day.
Jesus took the twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him, and kill him. On the third day, he will rise again." (Luke 18:31-33, Luke 9:44)
The disciples still did not understand Jesus would die for the sin of mankind, but some without knowing anointed His body for burial.
Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who He had healed of leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. The disciples were indignant when they saw this. "What a waste!" they said. "It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor." But Jesus, aware of this, replied, "Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered." (Matthew 26:6-13)
His soul was deeply troubled knowing the hour was near, but the prayer of Jesus was that the Father would be glorified and the Father speaks from Heaven as a witness to the listening crowd.
"Now My soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to Your name." Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, "I have already brought glory to My name, and I will do so again." When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to Him. Then Jesus told them, "The voice was for your benefit, not Mine. The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Myself." He said this to indicate how He was going to die. The crowd responded, "We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can You say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?" Jesus replied, "My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going." (John 12:27-35)
Even at their last meal before Jesus was taken, the disciples did not understand what was about to happen and like sheep they would be scattered.
Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. On the way, Jesus told them, "Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there." Peter declared, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you." Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me." "No!" Peter insisted. "Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!" And all the other disciples vowed the same. (Matthew 26:30-35; Matthew 45b-46, Mark 14:41-42; John 13:26)
He proved He was alive.
Jesus appeared to his disciples and over 500 people at one time to prove to his disciples that he was truly alive. (1Corinthians 15:6)
Jesus showed them His hands and His feet.
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And He said, "Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of His name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.' You are witnesses of all these things. And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as My Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven." (Luke 24:45-49)
Jesus appeared in His ressurected body to the disciple John.
When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, "Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen. This is the meaning of the mystery of the s even stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches." (Revelation 1:12-20)
It is very important to note that the very reason the Jews wanted to kill Jesus is that Jesus was making himself equal with God in what he was teaching. This was blasphemy according to the laws given to the Jews through Moses. (See Appendix E: The Ten Commandments) They sought to kill him many times during the three and one-half years of his ministry. Finally, with the help of Judas who betrayed Jesus on Passover, the Jewish leaders brought Jesus before the Roman authorities to have him killed.
Many Muslims ask where in the Bible Jesus said he is God. Jesus did say he is God, and it was confirmed by him many times. For instance, when the Jewish leaders were questioning Jesus as recorded in John 8:58-59, they asked him who he was, and when he answered them they picked up stones to stone him to death:
I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "...before Abraham was born, I AM! (John 8:58-59)
At that saying of Jesus the Jews wanted to stone Jesus for blasphemy because they knew when he said "I AM", he was claiming to be the one true God. God told Moses that His name to be remembered for all generations was “I AM”. As recorded in the Torah:
But Moses protested, "If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' they will ask me, 'What is His name?' Then what should I tell them?" God replied to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you." God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is My eternal name, My name to remember for all generations. (Exodus 3:13-15)
God says here in Exodus that His eternal name is “Yahweh ”. The Hebrew audience listening to Jesus knew what Jesus was saying when he said: “I AM”. The translation of Yahweh in Hebrew is ‘He Who causes that which is to be’, which is to say ‘I AM WHO I AM’. When Jesus said “I AM”, he was identifying himself to his Hebrew listeners as Yahweh, God.
One day Jesus was asked if he was the Messiah. Here is the exchange recorded between Jesus and the people.
The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” Once again the people picked up stones to kill him. Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?” They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.” (John 10:24-33)
These people would not have taken up stones to kill Jesus if they were not convinced that Jesus was claiming to be God. They knew he was performing miracles, casting out demons, healing people, and his teaching was drawing large crowds, but they could not accept that he was the Messiah, the chosen one, the Son of God. Jesus told them to look at the works he had been doing in his Father's name. There never was anyone who came before or after Jesus who did so many mighty works than he. But they closed their minds to reason and refused his claim to be the Son of God.
Some ask if Jesus said, “I am God, worship me.” Although Jesus did not say those exact words, he didn’t have to because the Jews knew that he was identifying himself as God in the flesh and wanted to kill him for it. We must remember that Jesus was initially sent to his people the Hebrews. He was born into a Hebrew family, raised as a Jew fulfilling all the requirements for a Jew concerning the law, and offered himself as the Hebrew Messiah. It was later after his resurrection that God opened the door for all mankind to enter into salvation through Jesus.
Interestingly, the name of God “Yahweh” is used 6,823 times in the Bible, and God made it clear that Yahweh is His name for all time. God Himself said that His name “Yahweh” is His ‘Eternal’ name which is the name by which He will always be known. No other name for God can be used except the name by which He calls Himself in His Word, and commands those who would worship the One True God to use. This means that if any religion uses any other name than the name He calls Himself, it is not recognized by Yahweh as His Eternal name by which He proclaimed He will always be known. It also means that if any religion worships God by any other name they are not worshipping the One True God by His own declared name.
Besides claiming to be Yahweh, God, Jesus proclaims a series of significant "I am" statements that show in various metaphors what he offers those who put their trust in him:
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in him, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.(John 15:5)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me -- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:14-15)
Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:7-10)
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:21)
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "Before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (John 8:58-59)
Jesus said he is bread of life, the vine, the light of the world, the good shepherd, the gate for the sheep, the way, the truth, and the life, the resurrection and the life, and 'I AM’ making himself one with God for which the Jewish authorities wanted to kill him. These are amazing claims and titles Jesus gave himself. Looking at his life, his miracles, his teaching, his crucifixion and resurrection we cannot ignore him. Who was Jesus?
If he was a madman or a liar we can ignore him, but having proved through miraculous signs, miracles, fulfilled prophecies, and his resurrection from the dead, that he is truly who he said he is, then we would be very foolish to disregard, discount, or to diminish him in any way.
The Scriptures declare that God is perfect, that He is holy, and God requires us to be holy. God will not allow sin in His presence.
For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. Therefore, you should be holy, for I am holy. (Leviticus 11:45)
…it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16)
Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord...(Hebrews 12:14)
Most religions teach that at judgment day our good and bad deeds will be weighed and if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds then we will be allowed to enter heaven. But, the Scriptures teach that if we break even one commandment of God’s law, we are sinners and doomed because the ‘wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23).
For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws. For the same God who said, "You must not commit adultery," also said, "You must not murder." So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. (James 2:10-11)
What human being can be as perfect and holy as God? If the smallest infraction makes us guilty before God and the scale we are measured upon is so weighed against us, how can we ever hope to go to heaven or see God? To answer that question we need to study how God who is perfectly holy deals with sinners.
In Genesis 3:1-21, we read the account of the first man and woman. God told them they could eat of any tree in the garden but they were forbidden to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and if they did eat of it they would die. The serpent (who was said to be more beautiful than any creature at that time), tempted them to disbelieve God by saying they would not die if they ate of the tree but would become like God.
The first couple believed the lie of Satan and ate the fruit on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Immeditely upon eating the fruit they realized they were naked. Previously they enjoyed fellowship with God, but now they became afraid and hid from God and they used leaves to cover their nakedness. When God found them he first dealt with their sin, then God made clothes for them out of animal skins. The skins covered Adam and Eve and set a precedent that the death of an animal could substitute for the death of the sinner.
Then the LORD God asked the woman, "What have you done?" "The serpent deceived me," she replied. "That's why I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike His heel." (Genesis 3:13-15)
Within this curse on the serpent that tempted the first couple to rebel against God, is a promise and the first prophecy of a Messiah who would eventually deal a death blow to the serpent.
How did God handle the sin of Adam and Eve? He might have killed them and started over with a new couple. When they realized they were naked and attempted to cover themselves with leaves, God in His compassion for them slaughtered an animal and covered their nakedness with the animal skin. By this God proves how serious sin is to Him. They were warned that eating of the tree would bring death, and so it did. They were initially cut off from fellowship with God and in time they would experience mortal death.
All the family of mankind came from Adam and Eve and all have been cut off from the life of God. The first son of Adam and Eve who they named Cain, became jealous of his brother Able and Cain murdered him. A study of the early chapters of Genesis reveals a continual downward direction for humankind cut off from the goodness of God. Soon every thought of mankind was evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)
Finally, God chose one righteous man named Noah to build an ark that could save his family and pairs of animals from a flood that would wipe out the evil of mankind which had overwhelmed the earth. (Genesis 6:11-13
Centuries later when the Hebrew nation found themselves as slaves in Egypt they cried out to God to be freed. God heard and chose Moses to lead them out of Egypt. God sent ten plagues upon Egypt to convince Pharaoh to release the slaves. Pharaoh ignored all except the final plague. That final plague was a curse of death upon the firstborn of all the land in each family to be carried out by a death angel in one night.(Exodus 12)
In order to protect the people, God gave them special instructions to avoid this plague. They were instructed to choose one lamb per family as a substitution for their firstborn. The lamb for the sacrifice had to be without blemish and perfect. They were told to slaughter the lamb and apply its blood to the doorposts of their houses so when the death angel came he would see the blood and “Passover” the houses with the blood on the doors. The Egyptians didn’t have blood on their doorposts so the firstborn in all of Egypt in every house died, including the son of Pharaoh.
After this plague, Pharaoh finally agreed to let the slaves leave Egypt. Scholars believe about 2.4 million people left Egypt following Moses, which explains why Pharaoh feared the loss of so much slave labor. (In recent years archeological evidence of this great Exodus has been discovered.) Once freed, the Hebrews were commanded to celebrate the feast of Passover every year in the first month of the year in remembrance of how God protected them from death. Jewish believers still celebrate Passover to this day.
After leaving Egypt, God led the Hebrew nation to Mount Sinai where God gave them His laws. In Exodus 20:1-17, God gave Moses 10 commandments written by the hand of God on stone tablets for the people as a ‘covenant’ so they would understand what God required of them as his covenant people. (See Appendix E: The 10 commandments)
The Scriptures record that the Hebrew nation often broke the covenant they had with God and their history was marked with both success and failure. Much like all of mankind, the Hebrews proved they could not keep the law of God perfectly.
The Scripture says that anyone who commits the smallest sin is guilty of breaking the whole law of God. (James 2:10) Because the heart of mankind continually rebels against God and cannot keep the law of God perfectly as God requires, the Bible records that God in His mercy instituted a sacrificial system where specific, perfect animals could become a temporary ‘covering’ for sin. (See the first five books of the Bible (Torah), specifically Leviticus and Deuteronomy.) But, these sacrifices provided only a temporary reconciliation; they could not make a sinful heart into a righteous heart.
For the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I have given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your souls. For it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11)
Long before the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, their father Abraham was given a promised son to be his heir. He waited many years and well past the time when Sarah his wife could bear a child. They were rewarded with a son even in their old age. But, God wanted to test Abraham's faith, so he asked him to sacrfice his only son. It sounds so cruel for God to ask such a thing, but Abraham obeyed God and took his son to be sacrficed at the place God designated. When his son asked him where was the animal for the sacrifice, the Scripture records this was his answer:
“God will provide a lamb for the burnt offering, my son." (Genesis 22:8)
Just before Abraham sacrificed his son, God stopped him, and this is what is recorded in Scripture:
Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!” “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:10-14)
This event in the life of Abraham is a foreshadow and a prophecy of the sacrifice God would make of his only Son. Generations later, Jesus came to offer himself as the Lamb of God, fulfilling the words of Abraham, that "God will provide a lamb for the sacrifice." And, it was on this same hill where Abraham was tested that Jesus was later crucified. Centuries after Abraham the Scripture records John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Lamb of God:
This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the LORD’s coming!’” Then the Pharisees who had been sent asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?” John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.” (John 1:19-34)
The sacrificial system that was introduced to cover sin in the Old Testament of the Scriptures was never intended to be a lasting covenant between God and humankind. God promised through the Prophets that at the right time He Himself would send the ultimate and final sacrifice to usher in a New Covenant, a New Testament between God and humankind that would end the old sacrificial system. The prophets foretold of a Messiah, an anointed one, a Lamb of God who would come to take away the sin of the world.
We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us turned to his own way. So the LORD [Yahweh] has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He [the Lamb of God] was oppressed and He was afflicted yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter, like a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. (Isaiah 53:6-7)
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. (1 Peter 1:18-20)
If Jesus were a sinner in any sense of the word, He could not offer himself as a spotless sacrifice for sin.
For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us , that we might become the righteousness of God in him.(2 Corinthians 5:21)
The Scriptures says that Jesus lived a sinless life.
Jesus committed no sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth. (1 Peter 2:22)
Jesus said that he came to offer himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
The Father loves Me because I sacrifice My life so I may take it back again. No one can take My life from Me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what My Father has commanded. (John 10:17-18)
The Scriptures record Jesus saying many times that he came to fulfill the purpose of God and willingly offer his life as the final sacrifice for the sins of mankind. (John 3:14, John 8:23, John 12:32, Matthew 26:24, Mark 14:21, Luke 22:22)
In all of history Jesus is the only person ever born by virgin birth. But, why was Jesus born of a virgin and who was his Father?
The Scriptures say that Jesus’s father was God in the same way that the father of Adam was God. Adam had no earthly father. The Scriptures call Jesus ‘the Last Adam’.
And so it is written, the first man, Adam, became a living soul, the last Adam was a life-giving Spirit. But not the spiritual first, but the natural; afterward the spiritual. The first man was out of earth, earthy; the second Man was the Lord from Heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)
The Scriptures say that when he was 12 years old he and his family traveled to Jerusalem for a required feast and on the return home he was separated from his family. They looked for him everywhere and finally found him in the temple discussing the law with the teachers there. His parents told him they were worried and he said, “Why didn’t you look for me in the house of my Father?” (Luke 2:41-52)
The Scriptures also say that as the Word of God, Jesus existed with God from before the foundation of the world:
In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. (John 1:1-4)
When Jesus was brought before the Hebrew high priest and asked if he was the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One (God), Jesus is recorded in the Scriptures as saying the following:
Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, "Well, aren't you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?" But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked Him, "Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" Jesus said, "I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God's right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.“ Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, "Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard His blasphemy. What is your verdict?" "Guilty!" they all cried. "He deserves to die!" Then some of them began to spit at Him, and they blindfolded Him and beat Him with their fists. "Prophesy to us," they jeered. And the guards slapped Him as they took Him away. (Mark 14:60-65) (See also: Luke 22:70)
There are over 365 prophecies about a Messiah in the Torah, Psalms, and Prophets of the Scriptures which were recorded centuries before Jesus was born. (See additional document “365 Messianic Prophecies”)
The following prophecies were fulfilled at Jesus death and were written 600 years before Jesus was on the earth:
Who has believed our message? To whom
has the LORD revealed His powerful arm? My Servant grew up in the LORD's
presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was
nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to
He was despised and rejected--a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins! But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all.
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth. Unjustly condemned, He was led away. No one cared that He died without descendants, that His life was cut short in midstream. But He was struck down for the rebellion of My people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.
But He was buried like a criminal; He was put in a rich man's grave. But it was the LORD's good plan to crush Him and cause Him grief. Yet when His life is made an offering for sin, He will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD's good plan will prosper in His hands. When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish, He will be satisfied.
And because of His experience, My righteous Servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for He will bear all their sins. I will give Him the honors of a victorious soldier, because He exposed Himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.
It is clear that King David wrote Psalm 22 by the inspiration of the Spirit of God because it prophesizes explicitly the torturous death of the coming Messiah centuries before Christ. The first words of this Psalm were repeated by Jesus on the cross. The Psalm describes what happens to crucifixion victims from the piercing of hands and feet, parched mouth, heart melting like wax, all bones out of joint (‘I can count all my bones’) which is an excruciating consequence for a crucified person. It even mentions his torturers gambling for his clothes:
For the choir director: A psalm of
My God, my God, why have You abandoned me? Why are You so far away when I groan for help? … But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all! Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, "Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the LORD rescue him!"
… My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls; fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in! Like lions they open their jaws against me, roaring and tearing into their prey. My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead. My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.
…The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to Him. All the families of the nations will bow down before Him. For royal power belongs to the LORD. He rules all the nations. Let the rich of the earth feast and worship. Bow before Him, all who are mortal, all whose lives will end as dust. Our children will also serve Him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything He has done.
Greater than one-fourth of the Scriptures were prophetic at the time of its writing, indicating that the writers were inspired by God, otherwise their numerous predictions would not have been fulfilled. But the prophecies were fulfilled to the smallest letter. Out of the thousands of prophecies in the Scriptures scholars have found no prophetic failures in the Bible.
There are more than 2,000 prophecies in the Scriptures, including over 300 prophecies and implications about the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah (see the book by J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy).
Every prophecy about the coming Messiah was fulfilled by Jesus. While there are both obvious and subtle prophecies, most are very detailed and specific. No other person in all of history has had specific, repeated, and unfailing fulfillment of predictions many years in advance of the events.
Mathematicians have calculated the odds at 1 out of 1017 (a 10 followed by 17 zeros) for Jesus fulfilling only 8 of the hundreds of Messianic prophecies. This is equivalent to covering the entire state of Texas with silver dollars 2 feet deep, marking one of the dollars and having a blindfolded person select the marked dollar at random on the first try. The statistics that Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies concerning the Messiah are beyond the realm of possibility. There is no other answer but to acknowledge Divine plan and purpose in the timing of the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
There is only one verse in the Quran dealing with the crucifixion of Jesus. It is an extremely vague verse and riddled with problems of its own:
And because of their saying, "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man). (Quran 4:157)
Although this verse denies the crucifixtion of Jesus, another verse in the Quran acknowledges the death and resurrection of Jesus:
And Salam (peace) be upon me [Jesus] the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive.(Quran 19:33)
In this verse, Jesus says he was to die and be raised to life again. Some try to say that this text is a future tense, but the Arabic is in the present, continuous tense. Importantly, it is used in just this same way earlier in this chapter about John the Baptist who history records was beheaded:
And Salamun (peace) be on him [John the Baptist] the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he is raised up to life! (Quran 19:15)
The Quran also says in another verse that Allah will cause Jesus to die:
“ … And when Allah said O Iesa [Jesus]! I will cause you to die …” (Quran 3:55)
The Quran clearly says in Quran 3:55 quoted above, that Allah would cause Jesus to die. The Arabic word is “mutawifika”, and it means 'I will cause you to die’. Later English translations say “…I will cause you to sleep…” In 1930, Abdullah Yusuf Ali changed the meaning of the word from die to sleep in an attempt to support Quran 4:157 that says Jesus was not crucified. But, changing the translation of this word does not change the actual Arabic meaning.
The ancient prophets centuries before said the Messiah would die for the sins of mankind. There is only one man who fulfilled all the ancient prophecies. There is only one man who came as the Lamb of God to offer himself as the sacrifice for the sins of the world. The crucifixion of Jesus fulfilled the promise spoken by Abraham when he said, “God himself will provide the Lamb.” (Genesis 22:8) At the perfect time in history God provided His chosen Lamb in the Messiah Jesus.
From the cross Jesus quoted the ancient prophets. Especially clear was his cry out from the cross quoting from Psalm 22:1, where it is written: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?".
And from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? Some of those who stood there, when they heard, said, This one calls for Elijah. And immediately one of them ran and took a sponge and filled it with vinegar, and he put it on a reed and gave it to Him to drink. The rest said, Let Him alone, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him. And crying again with a loud voice, Jesus released His spirit. And, behold! The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And the earth quaked, and the rocks were sheared, and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose, and coming out of the tomb after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. But the centurion and those guarding Jesus, seeing the earthquake, and the things that took place, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this One was Son of God. (Matthew 27:45-54)
The second Hebrew temple in Jerusalem was built by King Herod, and it was a wondrous building covered with gold. In 70 AD the Romans led a siege against Jerusalem and destroyed the city. As the buildings burned the Romans tore the temple stones apart to get to the melting gold. Jesus predicted this would happen in his prophecy about the end times in Matthew 24.
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:1-2)
Since the fall of Jerusalem when the Romans destroyed the temple, the temple sacrfices ended because all sacrfices had to be done at the temple by the priests. Without a temple they could not fulfill the rituals as commanded in the Torah.
At the death of Jesus there were several very unusual prophetic events that were recorded. The very large, thick temple curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn from top to bottom so the Most Holy Place was suddenly exposed for all in the temple to see. This is the same Most Holy Place where the ark of God stood and where the high priest could enter only once a year to bring the offering for the sins of the people. There was also an earthquake with darkness over the whole land, and tombs were opened and many saints appeared to the people in the city. (Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45)
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel." (Genesis 3:15)
The Gospels say that Jesus was crucified and was resurrected by God. The prophets of old all said that the Messiah would die as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. Jesus said many times that he came to die as the sacrificial Lamb of God. And, as we have shown, the Quran testifies that the Scriptures are true.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; and that He was seen by Cephas (Peter), then by the Twelve. Afterward, He was seen by over five hundred brothers at once, of whom the greater part remain until this present day, but also some fell asleep. Afterward, He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. (1Corinthians 15:3-7)
We have shown that the manuscripts available in Mohammad’s day are the source manuscripts used today and cannot have been corrupted or changed. Mohammad affirmed the Scriptures are from God and true and it is these same Scriptures that record it was Jesus who died on the cross and not another person who was made to look like him.
Yet, Quran 4:157 alludes to someone else crucified instead of Jesus: "And because of their saying, "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man)."
It is important to read the next verse after 4:157. Quran 4:158, goes on to say Jesus is alive with God in Heaven at this very moment. “But Allah raised him ['Iesa (Jesus)] up unto Himself...”
The verse in question (Quran 4:157), is exceptionally vague and has created problems over which there is much debate. It is the only reference to the crucifixion of Jesus in the Quran. The most common interpretation for this verse is that Allah deceived the Jews by making another person (another Jew, Judas, or a volunteer disciple) look like Jesus and that person went to the cross and died while Allah took Jesus to be with him in paradise. Although no further details are given in the Quran, the Hadiths say that one of Jesus' disciples volunteered to go in his place.
History records heretical groups known as "Gnostics" in the second century who rejected the physical crucifixion of Jesus. The word “Gnostic” was derived from the Greek word “Gnosis” meaning “knowledge”. They refused the teaching of the Scriptures and developed their own illicit Gnostic gospels. They taught among other things that God was far too distant and perfect to have anything to do with the material universe. (The Gospel of Thomas is but one of these Gnostic writings.) They did not deny the crucifixion but taught that the crucified Messiah was but an optical illusion. Their unsanctioned teaching ignores the numerous Scriptural, secular, and historical accounts testifying to the physical crucifixion of Jesus on an actual Roman cross. Many scholars believe that Gnostic writings influenced Muhammad's view of Jesus as found in the Quran, because the crucifixion of Jesus is clearly recorded not only in the Scriptures but in authenticated historical accounts.
Quran 4:157 says that someone else was made to look like Jesus. Who had the power to make someone else look like Jesus while taking Jesus to paradise? Of course only Allah could have performed such a deception.
The Quran calls Allah the best deceiver (root word: makr):
But they (the Jews) were deceptive, and Allah was deceptive, for Allah is the best of deceivers (Wamakaroo wamakara Allahu waAllahu khayru al-makireena)! (Quran 3:54; cf. 8:30)
Other verses identify Allah in this way:
Are they then secure from Allah's deception (makra Allahi)? None deemeth himself secure from Allah's deception (makra Allahi) save folk that perish. (Quran 7:99)
So they schemed a scheme: and We schemed a scheme (Wamakaroo makran wamakarna makran), while they perceived not. (Quran 27:50)
The lexical sources define the term Miim-Kaf-Ra as ‘To practice deceit or guile or circumvention, practice evasion or delusion, to plot, to exercise art or craft or cunning, practice stratagem.’ (See additional document “The Best of Deceivers”)
If Allah made someone else look like Jesus and allowed that man to be crucified instead of Jesus, without informing any of the followers of Jesus about the deception, and if then Allah allowed these followers to spead the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus that he died on the cross and resurrected, until millions upon millions believed in Jesus, then Allah would truly be the greatest deceiver. Based on the Quran, Allah would also become responsible for condemning millions to eternal death after deceiving them in this way. One of the 99 names of Allah is "The best of Deceivers." But, what do the Scriptures say?
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)
The Quran affirms the inspiration (Quran 3:3-4), preservation (Quran 7:157; 18:27), and authority of the Gospel (Quran 5:47, 68), but it denies Jesus died on the cross even though all four Gospels say Jesus died by crucifixion (e.g., Matthew 17:22-23; 27:50; etc.). What are we to believe if the Gospel that the Quran affirms as the inspired, unchanging and authoritative Word of God proclaims that Jesus died on the cross yet the Quran denies this basic doctrine of the Scriptures?
There is abundant evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus beyond the Gospel accounts. Early Roman historical accounts and Jewish histories record that it was actually Jesus who died. (See the following section “Evidence for Jesus and his Crucifixion from Secular Sources.) The accounts say that Jesus was seen alive after he died and was buried. How could an imposter rise from the dead as recorded in the historical accounts? How and why would an imposter meet with the disciples of Jesus to show them the nail marks in his hands and his feet as recorded in the Gospels?
Some theorize that it was Judas who was crucified. But the Scriptures say Judas betrayed Jesus and lead the guards to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane after the Passover meal they enjoyed together. It would make no sense that they would take Judas since he was the one leading them to Jesus. Judas received payment from the Jewish authorities for betraying Jesus, he would not have submitted to be a substitute for Jesus on the cross. Plus, the Gospels record that Judas went out and hanged himself when he realized what he had done.
Judas had been with Jesus for three and a half years and knew him well. How would he have led the guards to arrest a 'fake' Jesus? If someone else was made to look like Jesus, Judas would not have been fooled. Judas told the guards “The one I kiss is the man.” (Matthew 26:48) Would Judas have been fooled and led the guards to a fake Jesus and greet the fake Jesus with a kiss?
But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet Him with a kiss. But Jesus said, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:47-48)
A kiss is very personal. After three and a half years walking with Jesus, listening to his teaching, watching him heal and cast out demons, feed thousands with a single lunch, walk on water, and raise the dead; Judas knew Jesus well. There was no mistake about who they had arrested.
Jesus said that he is the “Good Shepherd”. The marks of a good shepherd are that he will defend the flock when trouble comes. Jesus said:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don't belong to him and he isn't their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he's working only for the money and doesn't really care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know My own sheep, and they know Me, just as My Father knows Me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice My> life for the sheep. (John 10:11-15)
Jesus said he is not a hired hand but the Good Shepherd and
he owns the sheep. He said that he knows his sheep and his sheep know him.
The Quran says that Jesus allowed an
imposter to die on the cross in his place. But, what kind of shepherd would
leave the sheep with a hired worker and save his
own life when he knows the flock is in danger? What kind of shepherd would
escape to paradise while the sheep are being scattered and eaten by the wolves?
Jesus said, “The good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” If Jesus left the disciples so he could save himself after carefully teaching them about love and sacrifice and leading them for three and a half years, it would have invalidated his title as the Good Shepherd of his sheep:
The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. (John 10:10)
The Gospel records the words Jesus spoke throughout the late night trials, the mocking, torture, scourging, and crucifixion. His words were not simply profound, they were superhuman. No substitute acting for Jesus could have matched the truth and love Jesus exhibited while dying a cruel, excruciating death. (See: "A Physician's View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ") It is beyond the realm of plausibility how a substitute who was made to ‘look’ like Jesus would have the ability to speak the grace-filled words Jesus spoke as he willingly laid down his life and submitted to the horrors and humiliation of a Roman crucifixion.
What substitute replacement for Jesus would have called upon God to forgive his persecutors from a cross covered with his own blood?
When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed Him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified, one on His right and one on His left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." And the soldiers gambled for His clothes by throwing dice. (Luke 23:33-34)
The disciples, close friends, and followers who knew Jesus personally, were eyewitnesses at the cross. But, no one knew Jesus like His own mother Mary who was also standing at the foot of his cross. There could be no way that a substitute would have fooled the mother of Jesus as she gazed at the son she brought into the world and loved with a mother's love.
Standing near the cross were Jesus' mother, and His mother's sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother standing there beside the disciple He loved [John], He said to her, "Dear woman, here is your son." And He said to this disciple, "Here is your mother." And from then on this disciple took her into His home. (John 19:25-27)
Jesus looked down at his aging mother knowing she needed to be cared for, and he told his disciple John who was standing next to her to take care of his mother. What substitute for Jesus would have had such compassion on the mother of Jesus while hanging on the cross in horrific pain?
The death of Jesus even affected a Roman officer at his crucifixion. Hardened at the sight of crucifixions having crucified many people, the Roman officer attending the crucifixion of Jesus could see a difference between the man Jesus and the many criminals and insurgents he had seen crucified.
When the Roman officer who stood facing Him saw how He had died, he exclaimed, "This man truly was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39)
The reliability of the Bible Scriptures as historical fact has been demonstrated over and over. Through the years scholars, historians and archaeologists continue to affirm the accuracy of the Bible. The eyewitness accounts from the disciples of Jesus in the Gospels are a reliable witness because they are from those who knew him directly and walked with him on the earth, but these are not the only historic accounts of Jesus.
Secular writers such as Josephus, Lucian, and Tacitus, among others from the 1st to the 5th centuries, wrote of Christ’s Crucifixion and the early days of Christianity. Roman politicians Pliny and Tacitus who held some of the highest offices in the Roman state at the beginning of the second century AD., wrote that Jesus was executed while Pontius Pilate was the Roman prefect in charge of Judaea (AD26-36) and Tiberius was emperor (AD14-37) – reports that agree with the timeframe of the gospels. Pliny contributes the information that, where he was governor in northern Turkey, Christians worshipped Christ as God. Neither of them liked Christians – Pliny writes of their “pig-headed obstinacy” and Tacitus calls their religion a destructive superstition, but both witness to the spread of the faith even as they express their annoyance that these Christians refused to ‘fit-in’ with Roman ways.
Cornelius Tacitus was known for his analysis and examination of historical documents and is among the most trusted of ancient historians. He was a senator under Emperor Vespasian and was also proconsul of Asia.
He wrote in the Annals 15.44 the following:
“Christians derived their name from a man called Christ, who, during the reign of Emperor Tiberius had been executed by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate. The deadly superstition, thus checked for the moment, broke out afresh not only in Judea, the first source of the evil but also in the City of Rome…”
Again in the Annals writing of 116AD, he describes Emperor Nero’s response to the great fire in Rome and Nero’s claim that the Christians were to blame:
“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”
In this account, Tacitus confirms several historical elements of the Biblical narrative: Jesus lived in Judea, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and had followers who were persecuted for their faith in Christ.
It was common and undisputed knowledge in the second half of the first century that Jesus Christ had been crucified. If there were any question that he had not died in this way, it would have been eagerly disputed by hostile non-believers wherever Christians preached. But it wasn't. The fact of his death by crucifixion was not questioned.
Thallos was an ancient historian who wrote a three-volume history. In volume 3, Thallos mentions the darkness that occurred at the death of Jesus, just as recorded in Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, and Luke 23:44. Thallos certainly was no friend of Christians; he attempted to attribute the darkness to a solar eclipse, a natural phenomenon, rather than a miracle as scripture and tradition proclaimed. Julius Africanus rebuffed Thallos' argument years later by noting that Jesus was crucified during Passover, which occurs during a full moon. A solar eclipse cannot occur during a full moon but rather occurs during the opposite phase of the moon, or a new moon.
Christians are also described in early, non-Christian history. Pliny the Younger, in a letter to the Roman emperor Trajan, describes the lifestyles of early Christians:
“They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food—but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”
This documents that the first Christians believed Jesus had come as God in the flesh, that they upheld a high moral code and the early followers met regularly to worship Jesus.
Sometime after 70AD, a Syrian philosopher named Mara Bar-Serapion, writing to encourage his son, compared the life and persecution of Jesus with that of other philosophers who were persecuted for their ideas. The fact Jesus was known to be a real person who was put to death for his teaching and had this kind of influence is important. Mara Bar-Serapion refers to Jesus as the “Wise King”:
“What benefit did the Athenians obtain by putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as judgment for their crime. Or, the people of Samos for burning Pythagoras? In one moment their country was covered with sand. Or the Jews by murdering their wise king? After that their kingdom was abolished. God rightly avenged these men… The wise king… Lived on in the teachings he enacted.”
From this account, we learn Jesus was a wise and influential man who was called the “King of the Jews” by the Romans. From the Gospel, we read that Pilot had a sign placed on the cross written in 3 languages that read “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” to which the Jewish leaders objected saying Jesus wasn’t their king, but Pilot refused to change the sign:
“Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'He said, "I am the King of the Jews." Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written." (John 19:19-22)
A historian named Phlegon wrote a chronicle of history around 140AD. In this history, Phlegon mentions the darkness surrounding the crucifixion in an effort to explain it:
“Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth to the ninth hour.” (Africanus, Chronography, 18:1)
The Gospel of Luke records:
“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in the middle. And crying with a loud voice, Jesus said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit. And when He had said this, He breathed out the spirit. And when the centurion saw what had been done, he glorified God, saying, Truly this Man was righteous.” (Luke 23:44-47)
Phlegon is also mentioned by an early theologian and scholar, born in Alexandria, named Origen:
“Now Phlegon, in the thirteenth or fourteenth book, I think, of his Chronicles, not only ascribed to Jesus knowledge of future events . . . but also testified that the result corresponded to His predictions.” (Origen Against Celsus, Book 2, Chapter 14)
“And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place … ” (Origen Against Celsus, Book 2, Chapter 33)
“Jesus, while alive, was of no assistance to himself, but that he arose after death, and exhibited the marks of his punishment, and showed how his hands had been pierced by nails.” (Origen Against Celsus, Book 2, Chapter 59)
From these accounts, we understand that Jesus had accurately predicted future events, had been crucified under the reign of Tiberius Caesar and demonstrated His wounds after he was resurrected.
Suetonius was a Roman historian and annalist of the Imperial House under Emperor Hadrian. His writings about Christians describe their treatment under Emperor Claudius (41-54AD):
“Because the Jews at Rome caused constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus (Christ), he (Claudius) expelled them from the city (Rome).” (Life of Claudius, 25:4)
This expulsion took place in 49AD, and in another work, Suetonius wrote about the fire which destroyed Rome in 64 A.D. under the reign of Nero. Nero blamed the Christians for this fire and he punished Christians severely as a result:
“Nero inflicted punishment on the Christians, a sect given to a new and mischievous religious belief.” (Lives of the Caesars, 26.2)
There is much we can learn from Suetonius as it is related to the life of early Christians. From this account, we know Jesus had an immediate impact on His followers: They were committed to their belief Jesus was God and withstood the torment and punishment of the Roman Empire. Jesus had a curious and immediate impact on His followers, empowering them to die for what they knew to be true.
A well-known satirist and lecturer, Lucian refers to Christians as "poor wretches" and "foolish people" who "accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence." He also calls them ones "who worship the man in Palestine who was crucified because he brought this new form of initiation into the world." Lucian further mocks Christians for believing "that they are all brothers the moment they transgress and deny the Greek gods and begin worshipping that crucified sophist and living by his laws."
“The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account….You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.” (Lucian, The Death of Peregrine. 11-13)
From this historical account, that Jesus taught about repentance and about the family of God.
In more detail than any other non-biblical historian, Josephus writes about Jesus in his “the Antiquities of the Jews” in 93AD (which by the way is available online and in print.) Josephus was born just four years after the crucifixion. He was a consultant for Jewish rabbis at an early age and became a Galilean military commander by the age of sixteen. He was an eyewitness to much of what he recorded in the first century A.D. Under the rule of Roman emperor Vespasian, Josephus was allowed to write a history of the Jews. This history includes three passages about Christians, one in which he describes the death of John the Baptist, one in which he mentions the execution of James (and describes him as the brother of Jesus the Christ), and a final passage which describes Jesus as a wise man and the messiah.
“Now around this time lived Jesus, a wise man. For he was a worker of amazing deeds and was a teacher of people who gladly accept the truth. He won over both many Jews and many Greeks. Pilate, when he heard him accused by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, (but) those who had first loved him did not cease (doing so). To this day the tribe of Christians named after him has not disappeared.”
From this historical account, we can conclude: Jesus lived in Palestine, was a wise man and a teacher, worked amazing deeds, was accused by the Jews, crucified under Pilate and had followers called Christians
Jesus' death by crucifixion is as historically certain as anything can be. This is a fact noted by virtually all non-Muslim scholars, including atheists and agnostics. Here's what some of them have to say.
“The single most solid fact about Jesus’ life is his death: he was executed by the Roman prefect Pilate, on or around Passover, in the manner Rome reserved particularly for political insurrectionists, namely, crucifixion.”
“The support for the mode of his death, its agents, and perhaps its co-agents, is overwhelming: Jesus faced a trial before his death, was condemned, and was executed by crucifixion.”
“One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate.”
Dr. Craig wrote two volumes The Historical Argument
for the Resurrection of Jesus (1985) and Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the
Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus (3d ed., 2002), both of which are said by
reviewers to be among the most thorough investigations of the events of Jesus'
death and resurrection. Craig summarizes the relevant evidence for the
resurrection under three major heads.
1– The tomb of Jesus was found empty by a group of his female followers on the Sunday after his crucifixion.
2 – Various individuals and groups experienced appearances of Jesus alive after his death.
3 – The earliest disciples witnessed to seeing Jesus alive and gave their lives sharing their belief.
Jesus’ death by crucifixion is “historically certain.” –
“Jesus’ death as a consequence of crucifixion is indisputable.” “That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be. There is not the slightest doubt about the fact of Jesus’ crucifixion under Pontius Pilate.” – The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant
“Jesus’ death as a consequence of crucifixion is indisputable.” – The Resurrection of Christ: A Historical Inquiry, p. 50.
Archaeology has played a major role in determining the trustworthiness of the Bible. There is a great deal of evidence that confirms the account of Jesus as written in the Gospels. Archaeology endorse the Gospel narratives at many points, especially in the case of inscriptions, which by their nature are specific.
Matthew chapter two states that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great. Upon hearing that a king had been born, the frightened Herod ordered all children under the age of two to be killed. His slaughter of innocents is consistent with the historical facts that describe his character. Herod was suspicious of anyone he thought may take his throne. His list of victims included one of his ten wives, who was his favorite, three of his own sons, a high priest, an ex-king, and two of his sister's husbands. His brutality portrayed in Matthew is consistent with his description of ancient history.
John's accuracy has also been attested to by recent discoveries. In John 5:1-15, Jesus heals a man at the Pool of Bethesda. John describes the pool as having five porticoes. This site had long been in dispute until recently. Forty feet underground, archaeologists discovered a pool with five porticoes, and the description of the surrounding area matches John's description. In John 9:7, John mentions another long disputed site, the Pool of Siloam. However, this pool was also discovered in 1897, upholding the accuracy of John.
Evidence for Pontius Pilate, the governor who presided over the trial of Jesus, was discovered in Caesarea Maritima. In 1961, an Italian archaeologist named Antonio Frova uncovered a fragment of a plaque that was used on a section of steps leading to the Caesarea Theater. The inscription, written in Latin, contained the phrase, "Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea has dedicated to the people of Caesarea a temple in honor of Tiberius." This fits well chronologically with the New Testament which records that Pilot ruled as procurator. Tacitus, a Roman historian of the first century, also confirms the New Testament designation of Pilate. He writes, "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus. . . ."
All four Gospels give details of the crucifixion of Christ. Their accurate portrayal of this Roman practice has been confirmed by archaeology. In 1968, a gravesite in the city of Jerusalem was uncovered containing thirty-five bodies. Each of the men had died a brutal death which historians believe was the result of their involvement in the Jewish revolt against Rome in 70 A.D.
An inscription identified one individual as Yohan Ben Ha'galgol. Studies of the bones performed by osteologists and doctors from the Hadassah Medical School determined that this man had been crucified in a manner resembling the crucifixion of Christ. A seven-inch nail had been driven through both feet, which were turned outward so the nail could be hammered inside the Achilles tendon.
Archaeologists also discovered that nails had been driven through his lower forearms. A victim of a crucifixion would have to raise and lower his body in order to breathe. To do this, he needed to push up on his pierced feet and pull up with his arms. The bones of Yohan's upper arms were smoothly worn, indicating this movement.
John records that in order to expedite the death of the crucified, executioners broke the legs of the victim so that he could not lift himself up by pushing with his feet (John 19:31-33). Yohan's legs were found crushed by a blow, breaking them below the knee.
The Dead Sea Scrolls record that both Jews and Romans abhorred crucifixion due to its cruelty and humiliation. The scrolls also state it was a punishment reserved for slaves and any who challenged the ruling powers of Rome. This explains why Pilate chose crucifixion as the penalty for Jesus because the Jewish leaders accused Jesus of insurrection for which the penalty was crucifixion.
Historian Thallus wrote in 52 A.D. Although none of his texts remain, his work is cited by Julius Africanus' work, Chronography. Quoting Thallus on the crucifixion of Christ, Africanus states,
“On the whole world, there pressed a most fearful darkness, and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down." Thallus calls this darkness, "as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.” (Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1.)
The discoveries made are consistent with the details in the crucifixion account given in the Gospels. These facts lend indirect support for the biblical accounts of Jesus' crucifixion and that the tomb was empty.
The ‘Nazareth decree’ is a marble slab found in Nazareth in 1878 and inscribed with a decree issued c. AD 41 by Emperor Claudius (AD 41-54) to the effect that no graves should be disturbed or bodies extracted under penalty of death. A plausible explanation of both the decree and its location is that Claudius heard of Jesus’ empty tomb while investigating the Roman riots of AD 49 and decided not to let such reports surface again. This makes sense in light of the Jewish argument that Jesus’ body had been stolen (Matthew 28:11-15).
Even if there is no conscious connection with Jesus of Nazareth, this decree still reveals that the imperial authorities in this period saw grave robbery as an extremely serious crime – indeed as a capital offense. This only makes it yet more unlikely that the (already fearful) disciples would have risked such an act. (Peter Walker, In the Steps of Jesus: An Illustrated Guide to the Places of the Holy Land (Oxford: Lion, 2006), p.40.)
One of the greatest archaeologists is the late Sir William Ramsay, who initially believed the New Testament was not a historical document. Ramsay investigated Biblical accounts as he searched Asia Minor. What he discovered caused him to reverse his opinion. He wrote:
I began with a mind unfavorable to it [the book of Acts], for the ingenuity and apparent completeness of the Tubingen theory had at one time quite convinced me. It did not then in my line of life to investigate the subject minutely; but more recently I found myself often brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne in upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.
The accuracy of the Gospel of Luke is affirmed in that the names key places and individuals that have been verified by archaeologists.
The Gospel of Luke records an announcement of Jesus' public ministry (Luke 3:1), and mentions, "Lysanius tetrarch of Abilene." Scholars questioned Luke's credibility since the only Lysanius was known for centuries was a ruler of Chalcis. However, an inscription dating to be in the time of Tiberius, was found recording a temple dedication which names Lysanius as the "tetrarch of Abila" near Damascus, which matches with Luke's account.
In Acts 18:12-17, Paul was brought before Gallio, the proconsul of Achaea. Once again archaeology confirms this account. At Delphi, an inscription of a letter from Emperor Claudius was discovered. In it he states,
"Lucius Junios Gallio, my friend, and the proconsul of Achaia . . ."
Historians date the inscription to 52 A.D. which corresponds to the time of the apostle's stay in 51.
In Acts 19:22 and Romans 16:23, Erastus, a co-worker of Paul, is named the Corinthian city treasurer. Archaeologists excavating a Corinthian theatre in 1928 discovered an inscription. It reads,
"Erastus in return for his aedileship laid the pavement at his own expense." The pavement was laid in 50 A.D. The designation of treasurer describes the work of a Corinthian aedile.
In Acts 28:7, Luke gives Publius, the chief man on the island of Malta, the title, "first man of the island." Scholars questioned this strange title and deemed it unhistorical. Inscriptions have recently been discovered on the island that indeed gives Publius the title of "first man."
In the Gospel of Luke and in Acts of the Apostles, Luke names thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine islands without a historical error. A. N. Sherwin-White states,
"For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. . . . Any attempt to reject its basic historicity must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted." (9. A. N. Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), 189.)
Archaeology has played a major role proving the trustworthiness of the Gospel record. Because much of the Bible record was past history skeptics shoved it aside as myth, but archaeological discoveries uncovered proof that the Bible presents historical fact and can be completely trusted to tell the truth about the events recorded in it.
The Resurrection of Jesus is God’s “seal of approval” on Jesus and His work as "the Anointed One", Messiah. From the statements Jesus made about himself, what he taught, and his miracles, we know Jesus had to have been who he said he was. He announced that He would be crucified and rise from the dead (as referenced earlier in this paper). He fulfilled hundreds of prophecies written centuries before he arrived on the earth. The odds of any man born into this world fulfilling all that Jesus fulfilled are astronomical.
The Resurrection not only proves that Jesus is who he said he is, it also guarantees that He, as the last Adam, has successfully paid the price for the sins for all the descendants of the first Adam:
And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.So you see, just as death came into the world through a man (Adam), now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another Man (Jesus) . Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. (1 Corinthians 15:19-22)
As with all historical events, we must rely upon eyewitness testimony which is the same evidence required in any court of law. God provides eyewitness testimonies for the resurrection of Jesus that are recorded in the Gospels and also secular witnesses outside the Bible. Even before the testimonies of these witnesses were recorded, the news of the Resurrection spread like wildfire and turned the Roman world upside down.
Of the many evidences that could be mentioned for the death and resurrection of Jesus, below are six.
It was Pontius Pilate, the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26 to 36, to whom Jesus was brought by the Jewish leaders accusing him of sedition, not blasphemy—a civil crime, not a religious one. The Jewish leaders knew that in order to have Jesus executed they must bring him up on a crime against Roman authority. Interestingly, the Jews had no authority to execute anyone because the Romans ruled Judea and any crime worthy of death had to be brought to the Roman rulers for judgment.
Rome’s punishment for sedition was a painful, public, death by crucifixion. In the age of Roman domination, only Rome crucified. And they did it often. The two men who were killed along with Jesus are identified in some translations as “thieves,” but the word can also mean “insurgents” — supporting the idea that crucifixion was a political weapon used to send a message clearly understood by all: Do not stir dissent or this will be the result.
It was a popular method of dispatching threats to the empire. “Romans practiced both random and intentional violence against populations they had conquered, killing tens of thousands by crucifixion,” says New Testament scholar Hal Taussig.
No man ever survived crucifixion, and if a victim was scourged by Roman torturers beforehand they may not even make it to the crucifixion because scourging was so brutal. Scourging alone was enough to kill the victim, but the Romans knew when to stop if they wanted the victim alive. All four of the Gospels record the events of the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Non-Christian historians like Tacitus and Josephus and others confirm the death of Jesus. Jesus did not simply ‘swoon’ or faint on the cross. The loss of blood alone from the scourging was enough to kill him. Jesus could not have survived after scourging and crucifixion. But, just to be sure a Roman guard plunged his lance into the side of Jesus penetrating his heart:
Then the Jews, because it was Preparation, begged Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath. For that Sabbath was a high day. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a lance, and instantly there came out blood and water. And he who saw bore record, and his record is true. And he knows that he speaks true, so that you might believe. For these things were done so that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of Him shall be broken." And again another Scripture says, "They shall look upon Him whom they pierced." (John 19:31-37)
No one disputes the empty tomb. The tomb had been sealed by the authorities and Roman guards were posted at the tomb.
The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, "Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while He was still alive: 'After three days I will rise from the dead.' So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent His disciples from coming and stealing His body and then telling everyone He was raised from the dead! If that happens, we'll be worse off than we were at first." Pilate replied, "Take guards and secure it the best you can." So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it. (Matthew 27:62-66)
Multiple witnesses, including Mary Magdalene, Mary, Salome, Peter, John, and others, saw Christ’s tomb empty. It was noted that the stone was rolled away and the burial coverings of Christ were found inside the tomb. All four Gospels contain the account of this event. The body was missing.
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen. Come, see where His body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and He is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see Him there. Remember what I have told you." The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel's message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to Him, grasped His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, "Don't be afraid! Go tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there." (Matthew 28:1-10)
This account goes on to say:
As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the soldiers, "You must say, 'Jesus' disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole His body.' If the governor hears about it, we'll stand up for you so you won't get in trouble." So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today. (Matthew 28:11-15)
The best argument raised by those who opposed Christ was that His body was stolen by His disciples while the soldiers guarding the tomb were asleep. If the body of Jesus was still in the tomb the Jewish elders would not have created a story explaining the missing body.
More telling is that for a Roman guard to sleep on duty was grounds for severe punishment including the death penalty. The guards would not have fallen asleep on duty and risk the death penalty. It follows that when the Jewish elders offered a large bribe and promised to stand up for them, they agreed both for the money and the protection.
Instead of producing the body or embarking on an extensive search for the corpse, the elders and priests concocted this story and paid the soldiers to lie about what they saw. They covered up the story for fear that if the resurrection of Jesus got out they would lose their position and power. Some of the Jewish leaders were swayed into believing in Jesus having no other explanation for the empty tomb, but that Jesus had risen from the dead and was who he said he was. But, for them to admit belief in Jesus would have ended their careers or worse.
Immediately after the crucifixion, the Gospels record that the disciples were hiding in fear that they too would be captured and crucified as enemies of the Roman Empire. It is highly unrealistic to believe they could have gone to the tomb, fought through the Roman guards, broken the seal, rolled away the two ton stone, stolen the corpse of Jesus, and buried it somewhere no one would find it.
Jesus had prophesied to them ahead of time exactly what would happen. He told Peter that Peter would deny that he knew Jesus not once, but three times. None of the disciples understood what Jesus was saying or they would have been prepared for what lay ahead.
On the way, Jesus told them, "Tonight all of you will desert Me. For the Scriptures say, 'God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there." Peter declared, "Even if everyone else deserts You, I will never desert You." Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know Me ." "No!" Peter insisted. "Even if I have to die with You, I will never deny You!" And all the other disciples vowed the same. (Matthew 26:31-35)
The Gospels confirm that Peter and all the disciples ran in fear when Jesus was arrested in the garden.
Jesus asked them, "Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest Me? Why didn't you arrest Me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about Me." Then all His disciples deserted Him and ran away. One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him, he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked. (Mark 14:48-52)
“But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures." At that point, all the disciples deserted Him and fled. (Matthew 26:56)
The disciples all fled when Jesus was arrested demonstrating their fear and confusion. After the crucifixion you find them hiding together when Jesus appears in their midst:
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! "Peace be with you," He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! (John 20:19-20)
The Bible mentions individuals by name that saw the risen Jesus. There were 500 more that saw him at one time together. (1Corintians 15:6) The reader is challenged to talk with the witnesses because many were still living at the time. The Gospels record multiple appearances of Jesus after he rose from the dead.
After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw Him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen Him, they didn't believe her. Afterward, He appeared in a different form to two of His followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them. Still, later He appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen Him after He had been raised from the dead. (Mark 16:9-14)
That same day two of Jesus' followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus Himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But they didn’t recognize Him. He asked them, "What are you discussing as you walk along?" They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, "You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn't heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days." "What things?" Jesus asked. "The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth," they said. "He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and He was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed Him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified Him. We had hoped He was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago. "Then some women from our group of His followers were at His tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said His body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, His body was gone, just as the women had said." Then Jesus said to them, "You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn't it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His glory?" Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:12-27)
These two disciples walked and talked with Him along the way. In the evening, they sat down to eat. As Jesus broke the bread and handed it to them they recognized Him: “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him, and He vanished from their sight.” (Luke 24:31)
Jesus appears among them again as recorded in John 20:19-22 (mentioned above), and eight days later:
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples, therefore, said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:24-29)
The Bible records that Christ also appeared to his half-brother James: “... After that, He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.” (1Corinthians 15:6-7)
A key idea used by historians in weighing the historical validity of alleged events has been called the principle of embarrassment. That is, if the writer included details that would seem to hurt his position or make him see foolish, then those details are likely true since one would not readily reveal such embarrassing details that could just as easily be left unreported. Applied to the topic at hand, this principle does not directly relate to the Resurrection, but it does relate indirectly since it provides multiple clues that the eyewitness accounts are authentic.
The Bible includes numerous embarrassing details about its leading figures. For example, David was an adulterer and murderer (2 Samuel 11). Peter was accused of being a mouthpiece of Satan by Jesus when Peter denied that Jesus would be killed in Jerusalem and rise again (Matthew 16:23). Plus later, despite his promises to the contrary, Peter denied Jesus three times (Luke 22:32-35, 54-62).
When it comes to the Resurrection accounts in the Gospels, the writers included some embarrassing details that actually afford credibility to their extraordinary claim that Jesus rose from the dead.
If the disciples were inventing Christianity, as has been alleged by some critics and skeptics, then surely they could have made up a more respectable story. Wouldn’t they have claimed that the first witnesses of the empty tomb and the risen Christ were respected men like Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and perhaps some other members of the Sanhedrin? Maybe they could have said that Jesus appeared to Herod, Pilate, or even the Emperor himself. That would be impressive.
But what does Scripture tell us about the first witnesses of these things? They were women—at least five of them traveled to the tomb early on Sunday morning (Luke 24:10). Given that a woman’s testimony was not highly valued in a patriarchal society, it would make no sense for the writers of the Gospel to include this detail if they were attempting to gain a following—unless it was true and they were honestly telling the story as faithful witnesses to what they saw.
This information is even more embarrassing considering who the very first eyewitness was. Who in their right mind would ever make up the idea that Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the risen Savior? By this time Mary was surely a devoted follower of Christ, but she would have zero credibility with anyone outside of the disciples’ circle, and even they didn’t initially believe her report (Luke 24:11). After all, this was a woman “out of whom had come seven demons” (Luke 8:2). Mary Magdalene is the first eyewitness of the resurrected Christ which lends strong support for the truthfulness of the account.
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared among the disciples many times. He ate with them, talked with them and proved to them without a doubt that he was alive and with a real physical body, but with a resurrected body and supernatural abilities. (He simply ‘appeared’ among them rather than use a door to enter into the room they were in.) He obviously had a powerful new body that had features unlike any normal body. He was able to eat and drink with the disciples but he was also able to appear in their midst and leave without using doors. Plus, the wounds from the cross were clearly visible on his body.
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he replied, "I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side." Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. "Peace be with you," He said. Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand into the wound in My side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!" "My Lord and my God!" Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, "You believe because you have seen Me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me." (John 20:24-29 see also: Luke 24:13-49)
Once when He was eating with them, He commanded them,
Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift He promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:3-5)
Finally, Jesus promises the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter who would come after him. Then he was taken up into heaven before their eyes:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After saying this, He was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see Him. As they strained to see Him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go!" (Acts 1:8-11)
And, as promised on the feast of Pentecost (which is 50 days after Passover and the crucifixion), the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples:
On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. (Acts 2:1-4)
The Christian church emerged in Jerusalem at Pentecost. Peter stood up publicly and proclaimed the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as atonement for the sins of mankind. People didn’t say that it was nonsense. History shows that on that day 3000 people heard Peter speak boldly about the resurrection of Jesus and the Good News of forgiveness through the death and resurrection of Jesus and turned to faith in God that same hour.
What turned the previously frightened disciples into bold witnesses of Christ who could now stand before huge crowds to publicly proclaim what Christ had done on the cross, and face certain torture and death because of their witness? All the disciples but John ended in horrible deaths. What changed these cowering men into the brave, and bold activists they became?
Jesus told them that when the Holy Spirit was sent to them they would be empowered witnesses to the truth of life in Jesus. Their changed and empowered lives became testimonies for the love of God in Christ.
And when the Comforter has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me. And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27)
I have spoken these things to you so that you should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogue. But an hour is coming that everyone who kills you will think that he bears God service. And they will do these things to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But I have told you these things so that when the hour shall come you may remember that I told you of them. And I did not say these things to you at the beginning because I was with you. But now I go to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, Where do You go? But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you. But if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when that One comes, He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment. Concerning sin, because they do not believe on Me; concerning righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and will announce it to you. (John 16:1-15)
Some Muslims have said that when Jesus was speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit he was prophesying of Muhammad. They misunderstand the words of Jesus in John 14:15-16, 14:26-27, 16:5-8, 16:12-14 and 16:16. In all these verses Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit who is called “The Comforter” and the “Advocate” who would come to 'live in them'.
The controversy is with the word for Comforter/Advocate used in the Bible in John 14 & 16, of the Holy Spirit. While the Greek manuscripts use the word paraclete, paracletos, meaning "one who comes along side", which perfectly describes the work of the Holy Spirit of God (see: John 14:15-31). Some Muslims argue that the word should be periklutos, meaning "Praised One", which in Arabic is Ahmad which these people claim means Muhammad. There are several problems with their claim.
The thousands of Scripture manuscripts predating Islam all use the word paraclete. Early testimonies of Muslims testify that the Scripture wording paraclete is correct. (See Appendix C: Who’s coming did Jesus foretell?)
When you look at the evidence for Jesus, his virgin birth, his teaching, miracles, healings, raising the dead, manifest power over nature and the elements of nature, his own statements about himself, his life that fulfilled hundreds of ancient prophecies, his own accurately fulfilled prophecies about what would take place in the coming years (the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, for one), his sacrificial death and resurrection, and the fact that he is alive this very moment with God, it becomes clear that Jesus was and is unlike any other man or prophet who ever lived. He was and is more than a prophet. If he is more than a prophet, who is Jesus really?
The Scriptures give Jesus many titles. Here are a few:
One day Jesus asked his disciples 'Who do you say I am?'
He said to them, But who do you say I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, You are blessed, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father in Heaven. (Matthew 16:15-17)
After examining all the evidence for Jesus we must ask ourselves, who do I say that Jesus is and what does Jesus have to do with me and my life?
The Bible makes it clear in many places that God is Holy and will not look upon sin or allow sinful people into His presence. All the good deeds and sacrificial acts we may perform for him will not change the fact that a single sin makes us unfit to be in God’s presence. Our sin separates us from God and commits us to eternal separation from Him.
Jesus is called the Messiah. Messiah means “anointed one”. Jesus in Hebrew is 'Yeshua', which means Savior or salvation. ‘Messiah Yeshua’ literally means 'Anointed Savior'. Jesus, willingly offered himself once for all to atone for the sin of the entire world (Hebrews 7:27).
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. (John 3:16-21)
If you read this far you may be thinking, 'What does Jesus have to do with me?'
"In most solemn truth I tell you that he who listens to my teaching and believes Him who sent me, has eteranl life, and does not come under judgement, but has passed over out of death into Life.” (John 5:24)
You have a choice. You can choose to hope your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds when you stand before God after you die, or you can choose to believe the evidences for Jesus presented in the Scriptures and turn to Jesus to save you from the consequences of your sins.
Yes, God is holy and just, but the Scriptures also describes our God as perfect love.
All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. (1 John 4:15-16)
Through Jesus, God showed His great love for humankind and His desire to draw all people into a loving relationship with Himself.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
No other religion of man has a god, goddess, or gods, who demonstrated such love for mankind. All religions of mankind amount to working to please a deity. But the true God described in Scriptures has reached out to mankind with a great love that can hardly be understood. His love is a holy, pure, all-knowing love that overcomes our sins and draws us out of our pain and suffering by taking it all on himself so that we can be set free and made alive in him.
But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:8-10)
God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love--not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:7-10)
“Gospel” means ‘Good News’. The 'Good News' is that through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God is able to restore our relationship to Him.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (Romans 5:6-11)
Unlike all the prophets before or after him, Jesus is not dead. He was raised to life and is alive today. He reveals himself to all who believe and put their trust in him. From the apostles who walked with Jesus to the thousands who learned of him from their word and accepted his offer of forgiveness and salvation, the living Jesus transforms those who had previously ‘walked in darkness’ but found the light of life in Jesus.
Jesus does not offer religion or a life that is 'put on’ like a suit of clothes, but he offers real, true life that is born of God and grows by being connected to God through Christ and becomes evident outwardly in what the Scriptures call “good fruit”.
Jesus was not just a man dying on the cross. Jesus said,
“I and My Father are one." (John 10:30)
Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? (John 14:8-9)
When Jesus came to earth taking on a human body and living a perfectly righteous life, he did so not as separate from God the Father but one with him. There was only one time this union was broken when Jesus was on the cross and Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
When he took upon himself the full burden of the sin of humanity along with its curse of death, he by his death satisfied all sacrificial law. With unlimited resources from the fullness of God within himself, he put sin to death once and forever for all those who put their faith in him.
For it pleased the Father that in Him [Christ Jesus] all the fullness of the Godhead should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:20)
This paper has presented the evidence for Jesus from the Scriptures, the Quran, Hadith, Sira, historical records, and testimony. We have established:
The life and words of Jesus present a vivid picture of an astounding personality practically bursting from the pages of the New Testament. He speaks in parables that are riddles to many, talks about living water and bread that is his own body. He feeds thousands with a little boy's lunch (more than once), heals all who come to him, casts out demons, raises the dead, stills violent storms, and walks on water. At the request of his mother he changes water into wine, and with a coin he stops the mouths of jealous leaders. With one sentence he prevents the stoning of a woman by an angry mob. He weeps openly with those who weep, powerfully throws money changers out of the temple, and shows great compassion to all even those most considered unworthy.
Jesus lived a perfect life. He never stole anything, he never lied, he never murdered anyone, he never forced or demanded anything from anyone. He never used or abused women but kept himself pure. He did not live his life in any common or base way, but gave himself completely to fulfilling the will of God who he called 'Father'. He did not own property and his only possessions were the clothes he wore and the shoes on his feet. He taught that the meek will inherit the earth, that those who mourn will be comforted, that the pure in heart will see God, and that peacemakers would be called sons of God. He told his disciples to love their enemies and do good to those who persecuted them. The people were expecting a Messiah who would free them from cruel Roman rule, but Jesus came to free them from a worse ruler, the evil and sinful heart in each of us.
Jesus said that he came to fulfill the purpose for which God sent him which was to offer the final sacrifice for the sins of the world and open the way for all to enjoy God forever. Jesus said ‘I am the way’ and he said ‘no one comes to the Father but through me’. By this statement he was not simply saying that he was 'pointing' the way to God, but that he himself is the ONLY way to God. He also said in John 10:9, "I am the door. If anyone enters in by Me, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture." If he was only pointing the way then how would anyone enter in and out "by" him? He was saying his sacrficial death, his blood shed for the forgiveness of sins, would allow those who enter in through him to be received by the One and only holy God.
He also said he is the Bread of Life, the Vine, the Light of the World, the Good Shepherd, the Gate for the sheep, the resurrection and the life, and to top it all off he said he is the "I AM" which is the name for Yahweh God. When one of his disciples asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus said, 'Have I been with you this long and you still don't know me?' (John 14:8,9)
Jesus didn’t recoil from the task ahead of him. He didn’t ask someone else to go to the cross for him. Jesus came as Light into this world and he gave his perfect life as the substitute, as the ‘sin-bearer’ for all mankind. Today he continues to offer salvation to those who reach out to him from the dark emptiness of this world.
Two thieves were crucified on either side of Jesus. One scoffed and the other asked for mercy. This is what Jesus said:
One of the criminals hanging beside Him scoffed, "So You're the Messiah, are You? Prove it by saving Yourself--and us, too, while You're at it!" But the other criminal protested, "Don't you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn't done anything wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom." And Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with Me in paradise." (Luke 23:39-43)
Jesus doesn't just forgive sin, he offers life, and life more abundant than any repentant sinner could hope for or imagine.
Jesus didn’t come to start a new religion, although thousands of religions have sprung up in the name of Christ. Jesus came to show us the truth, that God loves us but our sinful hearts have separated us from God. Jesus came to offer a remedy by dying the death our sins deserve and in return giving us new hearts that love God in truth.
Jesus was crucified, but he was raised to life and is alive today still working miracles in the lives of those who believe what he said. He still raises the dead, heals, forgives sin, casts out demons, works many miracles through the hearts and hands of those who walk with him in faith.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! (John 14:12-14)
The New Testament book of Acts of the Apostles is the account of many miraculous works believers continued to do in the name and power of Jesus.
This paper is only a beginning study of the evidences for Jesus. It would require several volumes to explore all the various aspects of his life and his power in the lives of those who believe and put their trust in him.
And there are also many things, whatever Jesus did, which, if they should be written, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21:25)
It is my hope that the reader will continue this exploration of the evidences for Jesus. Especially, I hope you will ask the living Jesus directly for the answers you seek and let Jesus reveal himself to you. Ask Jesus to show you who he is. He will answer if you seek him with your whole heart.
"And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)
Jesus truly is alive now and he says that he is standing at the door of your heart knocking:
"Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20)
Jesus is available to answer your questions. Now is the time to honestly and sincerely ask from your heart ‘Who are you Jesus?’ Expect an answer!
Tahrif levels a serious charge against the accuracy of the Scriptures. Tahrif, which means "corruption," is the charge that the Scriptures contain corrupted passages.
Tahrif was first leveled against the Scriptures in the 11th century by a Muslim named Ibn Khazem. According to Ibn Khazem's tahrif, when passages in the Quran contradict passages in the Scriptures, he claimed that the Scripture passages had been corrupted, apparently by the Jews and the Christians.
The Scriptures of the Old Testament had been around for a thousand years and hundreds of years for the New Testament Scriptures. By the time of Muhammad hundreds of manuscripts of the Scriptures had travled across the Middle East, Europe and North Africa and could be compared to prove accuracy. Any claim of textual corruption must present evidence of the supposedly corrupted text before their supposed corruption to prove something had changed. Neither Ibn Khazen nor anyone since him has produced any such evidence of tahrif.
Most importantly, tahrif of the Scriptures contradicts the Quran which attests to the accuracy of the Scriptures:
The Words of God cannot be changed. Those who insist there is corruption rely on the following passage from the Quran as their proof text for tahrif:
But this passage claims oral alteration of the Scripture - "with their tongues" - and not an alteration of the Scripture itself. This was made clear by Muhammad's own cousin, Abdullah ibn Abbas, who explained tahrif as the charge of misinterpretation, not the alteration, of God's word:
How much credible evidence in the Quran and Sunnah is there to support the view that some believed the Scriptures were corrupted?
This is the only passage in the entire Quran that even suggests that something was corrupted and perverted textually. No other passage in the Quran mentions any Scripture corrupted textually.
But, reading Quran 2:79 in context with the verse before the one just quoted clarifies the meaning:
If we look at verse 2:79, it appears that the Quran does charge some (unknown) people with writing a book and claiming it is a revelation from Allah. However, looking at the preceding verse, we note that it says that the people who did these things are illiterate. This means that could not read Allah's previous revelations. The Jews and the Christians were hardly illiterate. They knew their Scriptures and taught them. So, who are the illiterate these verses accuse?
The Quran never charges that the Jews and Christians have physically or textually corrupted their scriptures. The Quran actually verifies the Scriptures they had were the Word of God and unchangeable. (Quran 3:3; 4:163; 5:43, 44; 5:46-47; 5:66; 5:68; 10:94; 16:43-44; 21:7; 40:53; 57:27; etc.) This fact removes the possibility that the People of the Book had corrupted scriptures in their possession at the time of Muhammad. The language used in the Quran confirms that the whole texts were intact and 'verified' by the Quran. Because we have thousands of manuscripts that predate Islam and match the Scriptures used today, it is easily verified that what we have today are the same Scriptures as were available at the time of Muhammad and before.
After the Scriptures were translated into Arabic and obvious differences between the Quran and the Scriptures became evident, Muslims began arguing that the Scriptures must have been changed. The saying that the Scriptures were changed was clearly something that evolved within Islam later because no such idea can be found in the earlier Islamic sources.
It is important to note that many of the early Church writers were martyrs for their faith in Jesus.
"Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising Him from the dead." 1 Clement ch.24 vol.1 p.11.
Jesus was raised from the dead. Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians ch.9 p.62. See also Letter to the Ephesians ch.20 p.57
“Jesus was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, truly crucified, died, and raised from the dead.” Ignatius’ Letter to the Trallians ch.9 p.70
"He [Jesus] tasted death on the cross, … And after three days He came to life again and ascended into heaven.".
It says that Christians keep the "eighth day" [i.e. Sunday] because that is the day Jesus rose from the dead. He later ascended into the heavens.
Jesus, born of a virgin, died and rose again, ascended to Heaven, and was call the Son of God. First Apology of Justin Martyr ch.31 p.173
The Father raised Jesus from the dead. First Apology of Justin Martyr ch.45 p.178
"Believe in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead." (See also ibid ch.1 p.33)
Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus tells Mary not to touch Him because He has not yet ascended to the Father. His body was no longer there, and He later appeared to Mary, Peter, and others.
"This is He [Jesus] who took a bodily form in the Virgin, and was hanged upon the tree, and was buried within the earth, and suffered not dissolution; He who rose from the place of the dead, and raised up men from the earth – from the grace below to the height of heaven. This is the Lamb that was slain;…" in his discourse 5 Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.8 p.757
says that while some sects "did not believe, either in a resurrection or in the coming of One to requite every man according to his works." Five Books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church section 1 p.763
"…the world will be judged in righteousness by the man Jesus whereof He hath given confirmation by raising Him from the dead." Irenaeus in Against Heresies book 3 ch12.8 p.433
Irenaeus of Lyons (c.160-202 A.D.) says Jesus rose from the dead. Proof of Apostolic Preaching ch.3
"The Son of God – of Him who made the universe – assumed flesh, and was conceived in the virgin’s womb as His material body was produced), and subsequently, as was the case, suffered and rose again," Stromata book 6 ch.16 p.509-510
"The rule of faith, indeed, is altogether one, alone, immovable and irreformable ; the rule, to wit, of believing in one only God omnipotent, the Creator of the universe, and His Son Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, raised again the third day from the dead, received in the heavens, sitting now at the right (hand) of the Father, destined to come to judge quick and dead through the resurrection of the flesh as well (as of the spirit)." On the Veiling of Virgins ch.1 p.27.
"…after His resurrection from the dead, which was effected on the third day,…" An Answer to the Jews ch.13 p.171
"Was not God really crucified? And, having been really crucified, did He not really die? And, having indeed really died, did He not really rise again?" On the Flesh of Christ ch.5 p.525.
"Christ died for our sins and rose in his flesh. It is the very foundation of the gospel, our salvation." Five Books Against Marcion book 3 ch.8 p.328
"He was manifest as God and man. And it is easy to perceive the man in Him,…" Then he mentions Jesus being scourged by Pilate, dying, and raised by the Father on the third day. fragment from Commentary on Psalm 2 p.170.
"The first law of God is the foundation of the subsequent law. Thee, indeed, it assigned to believe in the second law. Nor are threats from Himself, but from it, powerful over thee. Now astounded, swear that thou wilt believe in Christ; for the Old Testament proclaims concerning Him. For it is needful only to believe in Him who was dead, to be able to rise again to live for all time." Instructions of Commodianus ch.25 p.207
"But as that material body of Jesus was sacrificed for Christ, and was buried, and was afterwards raised, so the whole body of Christ’s saints is crucified along with Him," Commentary on John book 10 ch.20 p.401
He [Jesus] was raised again in the same bodily substance in which He died, is proved by the wounds of that very body, and thus He shows the laws of our resurrection in His flesh, in that He restored the same body in His resurrection which He had from us." Treatise Concerning the Trinity ch.10 p.620.
And when Jesus son of Mary said, “Children of Israel, I am indeed the Messenger of God to you, confirming the Torah that is before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.” Then, when he brought them the clear signs, they said, “This is a manifest sorcery.” (Quran 61:6)
The word “Ahmad” is Periklutos meaning "Praised One" in Arabic. Some Muslims say the Comforter that Jesus promised in the Scriptures is Muhammad.
In John chapters 15 and 16 Jesus promises to send the “Paraclete” which in Greek means “Comforter”. When Jesus explains the mission of the Comforter he says that he will not leave the disciples as orphans, but he will send the Comforter to be with them always, to come alongside them as to guide them and remind them of all he taught them.
The Scriptures give the Holy Spirit of God several titles having to do with His ministry, some of which are: Author of Scripture, Comforter, Counselor, Advocate, Seal, Intercessor, Guide, Indweller of Believers in Jesus, Spirit of Life, Witness, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord Jesus, Life Giver, and in John 3 the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a Dove that landed on Jesus as a sign to John the Baptist that this was the chosen one of God.
Then John testified, "I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon Him. I didn't know He was the One, but when God sent me to baptize with water, He told me, 'The One on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that He is the Chosen One of God. “(John 1:32-34)
Jesus instructed his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the promised gift of the Comforter would be given.
Once when He was eating with them, He commanded them, "Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift He promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 1:4-5)
It was on the feast day of Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus returned to Heaven that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter came like a mighty wind upon the disciples and appeared over each one with tongues of fire and they all spoke in languages unknown to them in praises to God. It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that they witnessed to crowds in many different languages of the Glory of God and the Good News (Gospel) of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
In John’s Gospel, there are many statements made by Jesus that point to one who will come after him, especially in chapters 14-16. Jesus calls him “Parakletos”, Holy Spirit” and “Spirit of Truth”.
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
From these verses of the Scriptures, we can see that the one Jesus promises will come is a person because he calls him “another Helper”, but this person, however, is not human. Jesus describes him this way:
…to be with you forever (man does not live forever on earth)
…Spirit of truth (“Spirit” is not used for a man)
…whom the world cannot receive (this cannot refer to a man)
…because it neither sees him nor knows him (a human being is visible, but this Spirit is invisible)
…for he dwells with you and will be in you (no man can dwell inside another, but Jesus gave the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of those who believe in Jesus)
These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.(John 14:25-26)
After receiving this ‘baptism with the Holy Spirit”, they became bold in preaching the truth about Jesus and they left the upper room to witness to the thousands of pilgrims there for the feast in Jerusalem and all spoke in languages of the various nationalities in the crowd. The Parakletos or Holy Spirit enabled people from different countries and languages to understand the good news about salvation through Jesus from the lips of the newly anointed apostles.
When the day of Pentecost was being celebrated, all of
them were together in one place. Suddenly, a sound like the roar of a mighty
windstorm came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated, and one rested on each of
them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other
languages as the Spirit gave them that ability. Now devout Jews from every
nation were living in Jerusalem. When that sound came, a crowd quickly
gathered, startled because each one heard the disciples speaking in his own
language. Stunned and amazed, they asked, "All of these people who are
speaking are Galileans, aren't they? So how is it that each one of us hears
them speaking in his own native language: Parthians, Medes, Elamites, residents
of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the
district of Libya near Cyrene, Jewish and proselyte visitors from Rome,
Cretans, and Arabs, listening to them talk in our own languages about the great
deeds of God?" All of them continued to be stunned and puzzled, and they
kept asking one another, "What can this mean?" But others kept saying
in derision, "They're drunk on sweet wine!"
Then Peter stood up among the eleven apostles and raised his voice to address them: "Men of Judea and everyone living in Jerusalem! You must understand something, so pay close attention to my words. These men are not drunk as you suppose, for its only nine o'clock in the morning. Rather, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. ... "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and that his tomb is among us to this day. Therefore, since he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him with an oath to put one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke about the resurrection of the Messiah: 'He was not abandoned to Hades, and his flesh did not experience decay.' "It was this very Jesus whom God raised, and of that we are all witnesses. He has been exalted to the right hand of God, has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, and has caused you to experience what you are seeing and hearing. For David did not go up to heaven, but he said, 'The Lord told my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."'
"Therefore, let all the people of Israel understand beyond a doubt that God made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!" When the crowd that had gathered heard this, they were pierced to the heart. They asked Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" Peter answered them, "Every one of you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the Holy Spirit as a gift. For this promise belongs to you and your children, as well as to all those who are distant, whom the Lord our God may call to himself." Using many different expressions, Peter continued to testify and to plead with them, saying, "Be saved from this corrupt generation!" So those who welcomed his message were baptized. That day about 3,000 people were added to their number. (Acts 2:1-41)
After careful study of the original language, we can conclude that Quran 61:6 has no connection with the passages in John about the one Jesus promised would come who was the Holy Spirit who came upon the disciples as Jesus promised at Pentecost.
Of the Gospel (New Testament of the Bible) there is an astounding number of ancient manuscripts existing. There are 5,752 Greek manuscripts, over 10,000 Latin, and 9,000 other languages. The total is over 24,000 manuscript copies or portions of the New Testament. These are dated from 100 to 300 years after the originals. There are no original manuscripts ["autographs"] existing that have been found, but the number and similarity of existing copies have allowed scholars to reconstruct the originals because there are enough copies for exact comparisons.
Dating for the John Ryland manuscript is 130 A.D. in Egypt, the Bodmer manuscript containing most of John's gospel dated to 150-200 A.D., and Magdalen fragment from Matthew 26 is believed to be within a few years of Jesus' death. Gospel fragments found among the Dead Sea Scrolls date to as early as 50 A.D.
By comparison with other ancient document copies available (copies versus
the originals), we find:
Caesar—10 copies—1000 year gap
Tacitus—20 copies—1000 year gap
Plato—7 copies—1200 year gapbr
"There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good attestation as the New Testament." - (F. F. Bruce)
Thanks to the Qumran discoveries (Dead Sea Scrolls), the New Testament proves
to be in fact what it was formerly believed to be: the teaching of Christ and
his immediate followers, circa.25 and circa. 80 AD."
(William F. Albright)
New Testament specialist Daniel Wallace notes that although there are about 300,000 individual variations of the text of the New Testament, this number is very misleading. Most of the differences are completely inconsequential—spelling errors, inverted phrases and the like. A side by side comparison between the two main text families (the Majority Text and the modern critical text) shows agreement a full 98% of the time. 
Of the remaining differences, virtually all yield to vigorous textual criticism. This means that our New Testament is 99.5% textually pure. In the entire text of 20,000 lines, only 40 lines are in doubt (about 400 words), and none affects any significant doctrine. 
Greek scholar D.A. Carson sums up this way: "The purity of text is of such a substantial nature that nothing we believe to be true, and nothing we are commanded to do, is in any way jeopardized by the variants." 
This issue is no longer contested by non-Christian scholars, and for good reason. Simply put, if we reject the authenticity of the New Testament on textual grounds we'd have to reject every ancient work of antiquity and declare null and void every piece of historical information from written sources prior to the beginning of the second millennium A.D.
Has the New Testament been altered? Critical, academic analysis says it has not.
 Wallace, Daniel, "The Majority Text and the
Original Text: Are They Identical?," Bibliotheca
Sacra, April-June, 1991, 157-8.
 Geisler and Nix, 475.
 Carson, D.A., The King James Version Debate (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 56.
Clement of Rome (a disciple of the apostles) cited Matthew, John, and 1 Corinthians in 95 to 97 A.D. Ignatius (who knew the apostles well) referred to six Pauline Epistles in about 110 A.D. Polycarp (disciple of the apostle John) quoted from all four Gospels, Acts, and most of Paul's Epistles from 110 A.D. to 150 A.D. Taitian's harmony of the Four Gospels completed in 160 A.D. Irenaeus (who apparently heard the apostles) quoted from Matthew, John, Acts, and 1 Corinthians in 160 A.D.
Of the four Gospels, there are 19,368 citations by the church fathers from the late first century on. Even if there were no manuscripts, virtually the entire New Testament could be reconstructed from these quotations. This argues powerfully that the Gospels were in existence before the end of the first century, while some eyewitnesses (including John) were still alive.
Both liberal and conservative scholars in recent years have moved to the view that ALL of the New Testament was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (Liberal scholar John A. T. Robinson's book Redating the New Testament. Conservative scholar Kenneth Gentry's book Before Jerusalem Fell).
One reason for their argument for the early date of the New Testament is because there is no mention in the past tense of the devastating destruction of Jerusalem and the temple anywhere in the New Testament, and there is consistent mention of it still standing (even in the book of Revelation). Though the Gospels include prophecies of such destruction, they are prophetic stock-in-trade. The prophecies lack any details that certainly would have been added if written after this important historical event.
History shows that the Jewish scholars took unbelievable care in copying and preserving the Hebrew Scriptures. The Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 are dated from the third century B.C. to the first century A.D. These manuscripts predate by 1000 years the previous oldest manuscripts. They represent every Old Testament book except Esther (as well as non-biblical writings). The Dead Sea Scrolls produce word for word mirror of the previously existing manuscripts in more than 95% of the cases, and the 5% variation consists mostly of slips of the pen and spelling.
The Ten Commandments were written by God on Stone Tablets and given to Moses as recorded in Exodus 20:1-17. These first ten commands were expanded upon to later become the basis of the “Torah” of the Old Testament Scriptures that ruled God's people.
Obviously, the Ten Commandments written in stone and handed down directly to Moses from Yahweh God could not be changed. The ruling they impose were the basis for all laws given by God. The Quran should carry forth these same commandments since they have never been revoked by God and He does not change.
We are under obligation to obey the Ten commandments. Even to this day they form the basis of our laws. "Thou shall not murder", "Thou shall not steal", are enshrined in our laws and judgment is made based upon them. God did not call the laws the "Ten Suggestions", but the "Ten Commandments". He meant them to be the basis of all human interactions. Jesus said,
"Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled." (Matthew 5:17-18)
Below is a comparison of the Ten Commandments of the Scriptures against the Quran.
|The Ten Commandments||The Quran|
I am the Yahweh (the LORD your God), who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3; Deut. 6:4-5)
Allah: is unknowable and Muslims are slaves of Allah. (112:1-4; 59:22-24; 17:22; 4:171; 16:51)
Partners with Allah: The Quran teaches fidelity to Muhammad as fidelity to Allah. (4:80; 48:9-10; 3:31-32) This essentially elevates Muhammad to a partner to Allah although the Quran also teaches Allah has no partners.
Quranic Contradiction: Other gods are acknowledged in the original Quran. - See J M Rodwell footnote on 53:19 and G. Sale and E. Palmer’s trans. Footnote for 22:52; as well as in classic Islamic writings by early Muslims. (Guillaume, A The Life of Muhammad: a translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, 1995 pp. 161-167, 165-166. Ff and Watt & McDonald. The History of Al-Tabari: Vol. VI. 1988 pp. 105-108).
You shall make no idols for yourself or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for Yahweh (the LORD your God), am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.
Idol Worship: Veneration of the black stone of the Kaabah is made during pilgrimage in Mecca with promises of sins forgiven. Ancient pagans worshipped honored, kissed, and venerated the black stone and encircled it in rituals dedicated to their gods in much the same way as Muslims do today. Muhammad removed all the other gods and chose the chief god ‘Allah’ as the one to worship, but he kept the pagan traditions and incorporated them into the worship of Allah. (3:96-7; 5; 2, 97; 22:26)
You shall not take the name of Yahweh (the LORD your God) in vein. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse His name.
God says in Exodus that His eternal name is “Yahweh”.
But Moses protested, "If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' they will ask me, 'What is His name?' Then what should I tell them?" God replied to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you." God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is My eternal name, My name to remember for all generations. (Exodus 3:13-15)
The name Allah means 'the god' and is a remnant from Islam's pagan origins. In the pre-Islamic era, Allah was the supreme creator god of the Arabs. Yet, he was only one god among the many others they believed in. The goddesses; Allāt (the feminine form of “Allah”, meaning 'the goddess’), Manāt, and al-‘Uzzá were Allah's daughters. These goddesses are mentioned in the Quran.
Question: Since the Torah says God’s ‘eternal name’ is Yahweh, why doesn't the Quran use the eternal name of God as given in the Torah since the Torah is honored as sent down from God? (Quran 3:3, etc.)
Keep the Sabbath day holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God.
The Sabbath is a weekly holy day commanded by God for all who believe in Him, but it is not mentioned in the Quran.
Question: God instituted the Sabbath as a day dedicated to Him for all generations, why doesn't the Quran command Muslims to keep the Sabbath as a holy day since the Quran says it was given to confirm the Scriptures that came before it?
Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Yahweh (the LORD your God) is giving you.
The Quran does not specifically mention honoring one's father and mother, although in Sahih Buhkari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 41, there is a mention of being 'good and dutiful' to ones parents.
You shall not murder.
Sanctioned Murder: Reading in the Hadiths you can find that Muhammad ordered his followers to murder those who insulted him or criticized Islam—even nursing women and the elderly. Anyone who did not follow what Muhammad taught, anyone who refused Islam was to be murdered. Early verses that were tolerant of other beliefs were abrogated by later intolerant verses commanding death for infidels in the name of Allah. Muhammad’s 80+ wars were against people who had not attacked him.
You shall not commit adultery.
Sanctioned Adultery: In raids against the innocent villages and tribes, Muhammad killed the men and young boys, took the women for sex slaves, and even married women after murdering their husbands and sons. He also plundered those he slaughtered in the name of Allah plundering all their goods.
He did this based on his teaching that Allah hates infidels and therefore they can be mistreated in every way and murdered at will because they are ‘kafir’ which makes them lower than the lowest living things on earth. (See: https://www.politicalislam.com/kafir/)
Rebel against God’s commands: By murdering, defrauding, raping,
pillaging, stealing, torturing, and destroying innocent people in the name of Allah,
Muhammad and his followers broke the commandments of the God of the Scriptures.
You shall not steal.
Sanctioned Stealing: Muslims may not steal from each other, but
they are not restricted from stealing from unbelievers.
After being chased out of Mecca, Muhammad and his small band of followers sought refuge in Medina. He raided caravans carrying goods from Syria to merchants in Mecca, taking what he wanted and killing or capturing whoever resisted all in the name of Allah’s war against infidels.
Muhammad established that stealing from non-Muslims is permissible and his raids became the foundation for Islamic terrorism and the source of funding for his army.
You shall not lie. You shall not testify falsely against your neighbor.
Jesus said when speaking to the Pharisees in John 8:44,
“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Sanctioned lying: Mohammad taught lying to an enemy is permissible to gain the upper hand, to your wife to keep the peace, and to your friends to smooth things over.
al-Taqiyya Arabic for ‘deception’; the Islamic word for concealing or disguising one’s beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies. Quran 16:106, 3:28, 9:3, 40:28, 2:225, 3:54; Sahih Bukhari 52:269, 49:857, 84:64-65, 50:369; Sahih Muslim 32:6303 and Reliance of the Traveler p. 746 - 8.2
According to the Quran, Allah is the "best of deceivers" (Quran 3:54; 8:30). The phrase is often translated into English as "best of planners," "best of schemers," or "best of plotters," but the root word (makr) means "deception”, hence the following Quran verses should be rendered as follows:
Quran 3:54—And they (the unbelievers) planned to deceive, and
Allah planned to deceive (the unbelievers), and Allah is the best of
You shall not covet. You shall not covet your neighbor's house, your neighbor's wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
Love your enemy... There is no hatred in God and He sends rain on the good and the bad... His will is salvation.
Muhammad’s companions were commanded to give him a fifth of their plunder. (Quran 8:41) This is how Muhammad eventually accumulated great wealth NOTE: none of Mohammad’s eleven widows inherited any of the wealth he accumulated from wars and raids he conducted. They also were forbidden to remarry so they were left with nothing and with no resources when Muhammad died.)
Some Islamic apologists quote John 14:16 saying that it is speaking of the coming of Muhammad and that Jesus was telling his disciples that he would send the messenger who was Muhammad. But, if you read the next verse John 14:17, you find that the Messenger Jesus is speaking about is already with the disciples and will be ‘in’ them:
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, so that He may be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)
Jesus was saying that the Comforter was with them and after Jesus returned to heaven he would send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to live in them. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came as promised. He appeared over the disciples as tongues of fire and He empowered the disciples to do the works that Jesus did. Historical records show that after Pentecost the disciples witnessed to everyone about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. They went out healing, casting out demons, raising the dead, all by the power of the Holy Spirit working miracles just like Jesus did.
On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. (Acts 2:1-4)
According to John’s Gospel the Holy Spirit decended like a dove upon Jesus when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
And John bore record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and He abode on Him. And I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water, that One said to me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon Him, He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. (John 1:32-33)
He who believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." But He spoke this about the Spirit, which they who believed on Him should receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:38-39)
Clearly, Jesus is the one who “baptizes with the Holy Spirit”. Jesus was not simply a messenger pointing to the coming of the Holy Spirit or promising another messenger. Jesus is the ‘baptizer’ and is directly involved in giving the Holy Spirit to all who believed on Him.
Muslims claim that it is Muhammad who was a prophet like Moses spoken of in Deuteronomy 18:18, but the Scriptures say that this Prophet would be from "among their brothers". This clearly means the promised prophet would be Jewish. Muhammad was not Jewish or 'among their brothers’ as the verse in Deuteronomy describes:
I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brothers, one like you, and will put My words in His mouth. And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him. (Deuteronomy 18:18)
This was fulfilled by Jesus the Messiah as recorded in John 1:45,
"We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
Moses did signs and miracles, Jesus did signs and miracles, but people wondered why Muhammad did no signs and miracles:
But when the truth came to them from Us, they said, "Why was he not given like that which was given to Moses?" Did they not disbelieve in that which was given to Moses before? They said, "[They are but] two works of magic supporting each other, and indeed we are, in both, disbelievers. (Quran 28:48)
The bigger problem with Muslims using Scripture to point to Muhammad as a prophet of God is that Muslims also claim the Scriptures are corrupted. If the Scriptures were corrupted as they claim, how could they prove Muhammad was a true prophet of God? If they are corrupted then the credentials of the prophet would also be corrupted and invalidated. Other than claiming that the Scriptures prophesied about him, Muhammad offered no other support for his claim for being a prophet.
The sign of a prophet is they must speak prophecy and the prophecy must be perfectly fulfilled or God says the prophet is not sent by Him. But, there is no record of any prophecy from Muhammad. Muhammad never made a specific, predictive prophecy.
But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in My name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.' "But you may wonder, 'How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the LORD?' If the prophet speaks in the LORD's name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the LORD did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without My authority and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)
The Quran says the Gospels are to be trusted, yet all four Gospels contradict the Quran.
The Quran says that no one can change Allah’s words. (Quran 6:34, 6:115, 18:27), and says that Moses was given the Torah, David the Psalms, and Jesus the Gospel. (Quran 2:87, 4:163, 57:27). The Quran also confirms the Torah, Psalms and Gospels and “guards” them saying: “so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed”.
The Quran also says that the people of the Gospel should judge by the Gospel. (5:47), and if anyone is in doubt they should ask those who have been reading the Scriptures that went before (Quran 10:94).
But then the Quran contradicts the Scriptures by saying that God has no son and that Jesus wasn’t crucified. (Quran 9:30, 4:157).
The Quran says the Gospel is true and from God and God’s Word cannot be changed, so the Quran has to be false when it disagrees with the Gospel. Although no where in the Quran does it claim the Gospel is corrupted, if the Quran claimed the Gospel is corrupted, then the Quran is false because it denies its own teaching that the Gospel should be trusted.
Some may object saying, the Gospel is not the written record, but the message that Jesus gave. But, because the Quran confirms the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel (all are written records) that were written down and available at the time of Muhammad, this objection is false.
"At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! 28. “O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!" (Quran 19:27-28)
Truth: Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not the sister of Aaron. Aaron was born about 2000 years before Mary.
The Quran states that one night, Allah took Muhammad to "al-Aqsa" mosque in Jerusalem:
"Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing." (Quran 17:1)
Truth: The Muslim army conquered Jerusalem in 637 AD and al-Aqsa mosque was completed in 705 AD. The problem with this claim in the Quran is that Muhammad died in 632 AD, which was 5 years before the Muslim army took Jerusalem and 73 years before al-Aqsa mosque was built. Muhammad died before the mosque was built so he could not have been to the mosque in Jerusalem.
Quran 20 says that Moses confronted "Aaron" and a "Samaritan" for having made the golden calf for the Hebrews while he (Moses) was on Mount Sinai:
[Moses] said, "O Aaron, what prevented you, when you saw them going astray, from following me? Then have you disobeyed my order?" [Aaron] said, "O son of my mother, do not seize [me] by my beard or by my head. Indeed, I feared that you would say, 'You caused division among the Children of Israel, and you did not observe [or await] my word.'" [Moses] said, "And what is your case, O Samaritan? (Quran 20:92-95)
Truth: Assyria conquered the Jewish northern kingdom in 722 BC, exiled its upper class and brought in conquered people from other lands and these peoples intermarried with the lower class Jews who remained in the land. Their offspring were called "Samaritans" because they occupied the region of "Samaria," named after its original owner, "Shemer" (1 Kings 16:24). The Jews despised the Samaritans both for being a mixed race and for setting up their own temple to compete against the temple in Jerusalem. But the golden calf incident near Mount Sinai mentioned in Quran 20:92-95, took place in 1446 BC, which was 725 years before the first Samaritan was born in 721 BC.
What is Naskh or al-naskh? Naskh means abrogation - i.e., change or repeal. Naskh means to change or repeal God's previously given revelations.
The Quran states that God’s Word cannot be changed (Quran 6:115, 10:64, 18:27, 50:29), yet over 220 verses in the Quran are abrogated by naskh.
And we find that Muhammad justified naskh with this:
We do not abrogate a surah or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent? (Quran 2:106)
Truth: If God's Word cannot be changed how is it Muhammad was able to justify changing God's Word? If it was Allah who changed his own word, then his word is broken because he said his word cannot be changed. If the word of God changes, but God never changes and His word cannot be changed, how can the Quran be the Word of God?
The Quran contains errors in mathematics which refute the claimed divine authorship. Surah 4 in the Quran contains Allah's mathematics on dividing inheritance. They contain mathematical errors that are small enough to pass perfunctory inspection but significant in exposing mistakes that the one True God would not make.
Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are [only] daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one's estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one's parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents [alone] inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers [or sisters], for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he [may have] made or debt. Your parents or your children - you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah. Indeed, Allah is ever knowing and Wise. And for you is half of what your wives leave if they have no child. But if they have a child, for you is one fourth of what they leave, after any bequest they [may have] made or debt. And for the wives is one fourth if you leave no child. But if you leave a child, then for them is an eighth of what you leave, after any bequest you [may have] made or debt. And if a man or woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth. But if they are more than two, they share a third, after any bequest which was made or debt, as long as there is no detriment [caused]. [This is] an ordinance from Allah, and Allah is Knowing and Forbearing... They request from you a [legal] ruling. Say, “Allah gives you a ruling concerning one having neither descendants nor ascendants [as heirs]." If a man dies, leaving no child but [only] a sister, she will have half of what he left. And he inherits from her if she [dies and] has no child. But if there are two sisters [or more], they will have two-thirds of what he left. If there are both brothers and sisters, the male will have the share of two females. Allah makes clear to you [His law], lest you go astray. And Allah is knowing of all things. (Quran 4:11,12,176)
Truth: Using these verses in the Quran, consider the following two scenarios.
(A) If a man is survived by his parents, wives and two daughters, based on these Quran requirements it would mean that 113% of his estate would have to be divided. See Scenario A below.
(B) if a man is survived by his mother, wives and two sisters, based on these Quran requirements for inheritance, it would mean that 108% of his estate would have to be divided. See Scenario B below.
The math works out like this:
66.7% = 2/3 for daughters
33.3% = 2 x (1/6) for parents
12.5% = 1/8 for wives
112.5% = total for case (A)
16.7% = 1/6 for mother
25.0% = 1/4 for wives
66.7% = 2/3 for sisters
108.4% = total for case (B)
These figures show that the author of the Quran has made mathematical mistakes in the requirements of inheritance allocation. The totals do not work out to 100%. It’s impossible to divide more than 100% of an estate!
There are many examples in the Quran and Hadiths of Scientific error.
One example in Sahih al-Bukhari 3320, Muhammad is recorded as saying:
“The Prophet said, “If a housefly falls in the drink of any one of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease.”
There is no scientific proof anywhere that shows any part of a fly has the cure for a disease it carries. Medical professionals who deal with infectious diseases say that any part of a fly will cause disease rather than cure it because flies eat rotting flesh and refuse which carry diseases.
Another example in Sahih al-Bukhari 3326, the prophet said:
“Allah created Adam, and his height was 60 cubits [90 feet] … People have been decreasing in stature since Adam’s creation.”
Science has never found any archeology to support this claim. If this claim were true the further back in time one goes, the larger the bones would be. Digs from burial sites 3000 years ago should yield bones that are bigger than what is average today, but this isn’t the case. Bones found that are hundreds of thousands years old are the same size as what is average today.
In Sunan Abu Dawud 67, the hadith says:
I heard that the people asked the Prophet of Allah: Water is brought for you from the well of Budaah. It is a well in which dead dogs, menstrual cloths and excrement of people are thrown. The Messenger of Allah replied: Verily water is pure and is not defiled by anything.
No scientist anywhere would agree with this statement. In fact, science has proven that many things can pollute water and cause it to make people sick. In 1854 a cholera epidemic caused many deaths in the city of London. It was discovered that the epidemic was caused by a contaminated water pump and once the contaminated water pump was closed down the epidemic ceased to spread.
Scientists have learned to identify microorganisms in water and how to treat the water to make it safe. They learned that boiling water removed the microorganisms and in the nineteenth century the effect of disinfectants, such as chlorine, was discovered. Since 1900 disinfectants are largely applied by drinking water companies to prevent the distribution of diseases and to improve water quality.
Myths were prevalent at the time of Muhammad about Alexander the Great who was called the man of two horns.
“We made [Alexander] strong in the land and gave him unto everything a road. And he followed a road. Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout.” (Quran 18:84-86)
This is saying there is actually a setting place of the sun that you can reach it and if you get there you will see it setting in a muddy spring and people live there. Commentators all say that this is speaking of an actual muddy spring where the sun sets.
We know that the sun sets in the West and we also know that Alexander conquered as he traveled east. He didn’t travel west to the setting of the sun. It is claimed that Alexander was a Muslim, but it is well documented that he was a passionate pagan.
If some question this passage, there is a hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud 3991 that confirms it:
Abu Dharr said: I was sitting behind the Apostle of Allah who was riding a donkey while the sun was setting. He asked: Do you know where this sets? I replied: Allah and his Apostle know best. He said: It sets in a spring of warm water.
And we have (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with lamps, and we have made such as missiles to drive away the evil ones, and have prepared for them the penalty of the blazing fire. (Quran 67:5)
Shooting stars are not stars; they are rocks that have collided with our atmosphere. Stars are huge, like our sun which is many thousands times larger than the size of the earth, whereas shooting stars are many times smaller than our earth.
The Quran in says that man is formed this way:
“[Man] is created from a drop emitted—proceedings from between the backbone and the ribs.” (Quran 86:6-7)
In other words it is saying that semen is formed between the backbone and the ribs, which obviously is not true.
Quran 65:12 says there are seven flat earths with 500 year journey between each flat earth. Above that there are seven heavens like domes that Allah must hold up or they will fall. Science has proven there is only one earth, it is not flat, and that heaven is not a dome that must be held up.
It was narrated that Anas bin Malik narrated that "some people from 'Ukl came to the Messenger of Allah and spoke about Islam. They said: 'O Messenger of Allah, we are nomads who follows the herds, not farmers and growers, and the climate of Al-Madinah does not suit us.' So the Messenger of Allah told them to go out to a flock of female camels and drink their milk and urine. When they recovered - and they were in the vicinity of Al-Harrah - they apostatized after having become Muslim, killed the camel-herder of the Messenger of Allah and drove the camels away. News of that reached the Messenger of Allah and he sent people after them. They were brought back, their eyes were smoldered with heated nails, their hands and feet cut off, then they were left in Al-Harrah in that state until they died." (Sunan an-Nasa'i : Dar-us-Salam reference / Volume 1, Book 1, Hadith 306)
The Quran says Muhammad is the excellent pattern for all mankind:
There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. (Quran 33:21)
Muhammad’s life showed he did some good things. He halted female infanticide within the Muslim community; helped some widows and orphans, and at times he showed mercy. But, there are many more problematic aspects about Muhammad’s life and teaching that shows Muhammad is anything but “excellent pattern”.
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. (Quran 9:29)
This verse is in direct opposition to earlier Meccan verses (Quran 109:1-6) that allow religious freedom. The Quranic doctrine of abrogation sets aside early peaceful Meccan verses in favor of later Median verses which are harsh and violent. There are hundreds of violent verses in the Quran recorded during the time Mohammad began to raid, plunder, murder, rape, and destroy any who would not submit to his religion. (See additional document “The Religion of Peace”.)
In the Hadiths are also recorded in detail brutal attacks on peaceful tribes directed and led by Muhammad that ended the lives of thousands, destroyed complete communities, enslaved untold women and children into slavery and sexual abuses, and caused the torture and inhuman treatment of thousands of innocent people.
Muhammad dehumanized those who would not submit calling them “Kafir” which is lower than pigs and dogs. Dehumanization is the first step to legitimizing the killing of another race or creed of humanity, which is clearly exhibited with Nazi-era propaganda that made the Jews lower than pigs and dogs and eventually lead to the “final solution” which was planned mass murder.
The actions of Muhammad towards the Kafir have been the example for the fundamental Muslim believers for 1400 years. Christians and Jews are infidels and kafirs. Polytheists are Hindus, but they are also kafirs. The terms infidel and polytheist are religious words. Only the word “kafir” shows the common political treatment of Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, animist, atheist and humanist, and according to the Quran and the Hadiths kafirs are to be hated (Quran 40:35), mocked (Quran 83:34), punished (Quran 25:77), beheaded (Quran 47:4), confused (Quran 6:25), plotted against (Quran 86:15), terrorized (Quran 8:12), annihilated (Quran 6:45), killed (Quran 4:91), crucified (Quran 5:33), warred against (Quran 9:29), unfriended (Quran 3:28), disgraced (Quran 37:18), cursed (Quran 33:60), stolen from (Bukhari 5,57,537), raped (Ishaq 759), and other inhuman crimes are enjoined against them.
Under Mohammad’s rule women were considered less than a man, therefore, their witness was half that of a man, if they were raped they had to prove it by the testimony of 4 men, they could be beaten and mistreated, they were not free to roam without permission, any inheritance due them was less than that of a man. In places where Islamic law is enforced, women are subjugated, abused, demeaned, enslaved, forced to cover completely, along with many other restrictions.
Wife Abuse: The Quran commands men to beat their wives into submission. (Quran 4:34, Mohammed Pickthall Translation, Quran 4:34, M.H. Shakir Translation, Quran 4:34, Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation)
Denigration: According to Muhammad, women lack common sense because their minds are deficient. (Sahih Muslim, Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, tr., Number 142. Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dr. Muhammad Matraji, tr. (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002), Number 2658.)
Woman’s Rights: Muhammad offered women little hope for the afterlife. Muhammad tells ungrateful women that their ingratitude will earn them a place in hell. (Ibid., Number 1052, Number 1462, Number 4879)
Rape: the Quran permits Muslims to have sex (rape) with their female captives and slaves (i.e. those "whom their right hands possess". - Quran 23:1-6 and 70:22-30) The Quran deems slaves the sexual property of their owners. (Quran 4:3; 23:5-6; 33:50; 70:22-30)
Pedophilia: The Quran states that Muhammad was the perfect model to be followed by all mankind, so when he married a 6-year-old child the practice of pedophilia was sanctioned and practiced wherever Sharia is in force. The devastation upon young girls who lose their childhood and even their lives because of this practice cannot be calculated.
"Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl at this age but it is permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Quran has held as permissible." (Maududi, volume 5, p. 620, note 13)
Modern medicine has shown that the female body is not fully developed at age 9. Sexual intercourse at that age damages the female sexual organs. The cervix of the female at age 9 is undeveloped, as are many of the child's sexual organs. Intercourse at this age leads to an 80% increased risk in her developing cervical cancer later in life. Empirical research has offered evidence of severe and wide-ranging effects of adult-child sex by documenting its associations with a host of later "symptoms," including low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction. If Allah is all-knowing and merciful as the Quran states, female physical development would be understood by Allah and his mercy would not have sanctioned prepubescent children to be taken in marriage. (See: Sexual contact between children and adults: A life course perspective - Browning, Christopher R; Laumann, Edward O)
Polygamy: The Quran 4:3 states: “And if you be apprehensive that you will not be able to do justice to the orphans, you may marry two or three or four women whom you choose. But if you apprehend that you might not be able to do justice to them, then marry only one wife, or marry those who have fallen in your possession (slave girls).”
A Muslim polygamist may simply get rid of one of his undesirable wives. Quran 4:129 says: “It is not within your power to be perfectly equitable in your treatment with all your wives, even if you wish to be so; therefore, (in order to satisfy the dictates of Divine Law) do not lean towards one wife so as to leave the other in a state of suspense.”
This means that wives are the source of a man’s inability to treat all of them equally, so the man has no responsibility in the matter except to either divorce the unflavored wife or keep her. Islamic law does not demand equal treatment between them in affection and love, but it does demand a wife should not be neglected.
A Hadith in Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3451, says that Muhammad wanted to divorce one of his wives because she was fat and old. This wife knew Muhammad wanted to divorce her, so she begged him instead to give her "turn" in the "rotation" with the prophet to his favorite wife and Muhammad gladly agreed. If he had divorced her she would have been left without any means of support since the wives of the prophet were not allowed remarry.
Muhammad permitted spousal abuse, he stated repeatedly that women have inferior minds, he claimed he saw hell and most of the people in hell are women, and he allowed his men to have sex with their captives (even those who were married) and keep them as sex slaves (woman and children). The hadith shows that Muhammad’s own wives were not permitted to inherit any of his wealth when he died and were not permitted to remarry so they could be provided for. Muhammad was far from being the greatest champion of women’s rights.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:19)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into the name of Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)
Though not called taqiyya by name, Muhammad clearly used deception when he signed a 10-year treaty with the Meccans (known as Hudaibiya) that allowed him access to their city while he secretly prepared his own forces for a takeover. The unsuspecting residents were conquered in easy fashion after he broke the treaty two years later. Some of the people in the city who had trusted him at his word were executed. (See Appendix P: Additional Documents, List of Muhammad’s Killings)
There are many examples of lying by Muhammad and his followers. Muhammad used deception to trick his personal enemies into letting down their guard and exposing themselves to slaughter by pretending to seek peace. One example is in the case of Ka'b bin al-Ashraf and later against Usayr ibn Zarim, a surviving leader of the Banu Nadir tribe, which had been evicted from their home in Medina by the Muslims.
At the time, Usayr ibn Zarim was attempting to gather an armed force against the Muslims from among a tribe allied with the Quraish (against which Muhammad had already declared war). Muhammad's "emissaries" went to ibn Zarim and persuaded him to leave his safe haven on the pretext of meeting with the prophet of Islam in Medina to discuss peace. Once vulnerable, the leader and his thirty companions were massacred by the Muslims with ease, probably because they were unarmed - having been given a guarantee of safe passage (Ibn Ishaq 981, Ibn Kathir v.4 p.300).
The reputation of early Muslims for lying and killing was so widespread that even those who "accepted Islam" did not feel entirely safe. Consider the fate of the Jadhima. When Muslim "missionaries" approached their tribe, one of the members insisted that they would be slaughtered even though they had already "converted" to Islam (to avoid just such demise). However, the others believed they could trust the Muslim leader's promise that they would not be harmed if they simply offered no resistance. After convincing the skeptic to lay down his arms, the unarmed men of the tribe were tied up and beheaded by the missionaries. (Ibn Ishaq 834 & 837).
Today's apologists claim that Muhammad's murder of poets and others who criticized him at Medina was allowed because they broke a treaty with their actions. Yet, these same apologists never mention all the treaties broken by Muhammad.
The Quran says that Muhammad is mentioned in the Bible.
Quran 7:157 - Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad) whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) … It is they who will prosper.
The verses referred to by Quran 7:157, are Deuteronomy 18:15 in the Old Testament and John 14:16 in the New Testament.
A prophet out of thy midst of thy brethren like unto me, will Yahweh thy God, raise up unto thee—unto him, shall ye hearken. (Deuteronomy 18:15)
Muhammad was not Jewish nor a member of one of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. In this verse Moses was speaking to the Hebrews while they were still in the wilderness. Moses is saying that the prophet that Yahweh would raise up would be from their ‘brethren” Hebrews just as Moses was of their brethren. So, the prophet to come would be Hebrew, a brother born into one of the twelve tribes of Israel with lineage of the tribes of Judah. This is why in Matthew and Luke The Genealogy of Jesus Christ is listed all the way back to Adam. (Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38)
The prophet to come is described further in Deuteronomy 34:10-12:
And there hath not arisen a prophet any more in Israel like Moses, whom Jehovah hath known face unto face, in reference to all the signs and the wonders which Jehovah sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in reference to all the strong hand, and to all the great fear which Moses did before the eyes of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:10-12)
Muhammad never claimed to speak to God 'face to face'. He said that it was an angel who spoke to him. (In the traditions Aisha said Muhammad never spoke directly with God.) Also, Moses performed mighty miracles at the direction of Yahweh God that frightened the Egyptians and gave the Hebrews great respect for their One true God, Yahweh. But, Muhammad never performed miracles.
The prophet to come would have to be a Jew of the line of King David (later prophecies confirmed this), he would speak with God face to face, and would be known for mighty miracles, signs and wonders. The only prophet who fulfilled all these criteria is Jesus. It must also be noted that Jesus is the only one who perfectly fulfilled all the other hundreds of prophecies about the coming Messiah.
It is claimed by some that Christians worship three Gods. But, what do the Scriptures say?
A thorough study of the Scriptures reveal that there is one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. The three persons of the Godhead are co-equal and co-eternal (Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Luke 1:35; Hebrews 3:7-11; 1 John 5:7.
In Genesis 1:1, the Scriptures say:
"In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.”
The word “God” in this first verse of Scripture is Elohim in Hebrew. Elohim is the Hebrew plural form of the word God. In the same first chapter of the Scriptures it goes on to say that God made man in his image:
And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creepers creeping on the earth. And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female. (Genesis 1:26-27)
God made man and woman in His image. Although humans are one in being, we are all composed of three distinct parts, which are spirit, soul and body. The Scriptures refer to this in many places but specifically here:
And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blamelessly at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
The Scriptures teach that Elohim is one in being, with 3 distinct persons made up of Yahweh, the Father (Exodus 3:14), Jesus, God the Son (John 8:58), and the Holy Spirit, God the Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). All the Scriptures, both old and new Testaments, teach that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19) and that God is One in essence yet three in persons.
The nature of the Godhead is a mystery to human beings, and we should not expect to understand and make perfect sense of everything about God who is clearly beyond our limited understanding. Yet, God has made Himself known in the things that He has made.
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature. (Romans 1:20)
The fact that we are made in His image and we each have a spirit, a soul and a body, should help give us a simplified understanding of the Godhead. When I speak to you I am speaking to you the whole person, but you may hear me with your ears (body), with your emotions and mind (soul), and spiritual senses (spirit).
God has said that we may learn about Him by the things that He has made:
An illustration of the Trinity is the universe itself which God has made. Though no illustration is perfect, it is interesting that the entire physical universe (uni = one) consists of three and only three aspects—space, time, and matter. If you were to take away any of these three, you would no longer have a universe!
Each of the three aspects of the universe also has three parts:
In the things that God has made in the entire universe and in man himself, we can see that God is One being and just as space, time and matter all consist of three distinct attributes, we can begin to understand that God is One with distinct persons within the Godhead.
In the centuries between the early Christian believers and today, there have been many who strayed from the inspired Word of God in the Scriptures. They created doctrines and holy books and often advanced violence and evil while not holding to the inspired Word of God. They also did not hold to Christ as Savior and Lord, and therefore cannot be called Christian because to hold to Christ as Lord and Savior is the core belief of a true Christian. Even as many of those who created man-made doctrines still claim the name “Christian”, the Scriptures calls them “anti-Christ”:
And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Messiah. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. Anyone who denies the Son doesn't have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:22-23)
But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, being seared in their own conscience (1 Timothy 4:1-2)
There are many examples of this in history. Around 1830, Joseph Smith claimed he received special books from the Angel Maroni that he translated into the Book of Mormon which he said superseded the Scriptures. His followers became the Mormons of today and although they take the name ‘Christian’, they reject the Scriptural teaching of salvation offered through Christ and teach instead a doctrine of working to become righteous and attain ‘godhood’ after death as taught in the Book of Mormon.
Another example from the 1920’s and 1930’s in Germany, Hitler rose to power believing himself a ‘Christian’ and used for the emblem of his Nazi movement a broken cross. At the beginning of his movement, he worked with mainly Catholic Church leaders, but soon left behind the Word of God basing his reign on his own beliefs as recorded in “Mein Kamph”.
As a last example, we cannot leave out the Catholic Church which began forming with the first Popes. With the reign of each new Pope the Catholic system drifted further and further from the inspired Word of God in the Scriptures. They kept the Scriptures away from the people claiming only the priests could read the Scriptures and outlawed anything but the Latin translation which was only understood by the elite few in the Catholic priesthood.
The Popes were considered infallible and each Pope added canons upon dogmas until the Scriptures were never seen again by the laity as they were crowded out with the ceremony, sacraments, and additions made by the men of the Catholic dynasty. Many of the horrors attributed to the Christian faith are the results of the rulers in the Catholic Church who robbed the laity to build their own kingdoms on earth, abused the poor, fought those faithful to the Scriptures, tortured and killed in the name of God. By the 1500’s the Roman Catholic Church became the rottenness that was at the heart of Martin Luther’s attack on it when he wrote the “95 Theses” sparking the German Reformation.
These are only a few samples but show a clearly discernable pattern. Once the standard of the inspired Word of God in the Scriptures is set aside and forgotten or laid over by doctrines of men that do not hold to the Scriptures, the results are simply whatever men create either for good or evil. Only the Word of God in the Scriptures holds the way of truth that leads to eternal life with God. Without the Word of God in the Scriptures, without Christ who is called the Word of God, and without the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God there is no life in religion, it is dead and ‘Antichrist’.
But what does it say? "The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart"; that is, the Word of Faith which we proclaim; because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation. For the Scripture says, "Everyone believing on Him shall not be put to shame." For there is no difference both of Jew and of Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call on Him. For everyone, "whoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" Then faith is of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:8-17)
It is important to note that Jesus did many other miracles than these that were recorded. As the Apostle John wrote:
This disciple is the one who testifies to
these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these
things is accurate. Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written
down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be
written. (John 21:24-25)
The following is a partial list of the miracles of Jesus recorded in the Gospels.
Water made into wine. John 2:1-11
Heals the nobleman's son, John 4:46-54
Draught of fishes, Luke 5:1-11
Heals the Demoniac, Mark 1:23-26, Luke 4:33-36
Heals Peter's Mother-in-law, Matt. 8:14, Mar 1:29, Luke 4:38
Cleanses the leper, Matt. 8:1-4, Mar. 1:40, Luke 5:12
Heals the Paralytic, Mt. 9:1-8, Mar 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26
Restores the centurion's servant, Mt.8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10
Raises the widow's son to life, Luke 7:11-16
Heals a demoniac, Mt. 12:22-37, Mar. 3:11, Luke 11:14-15
Stills the tempest, Mt. 8:23-27; Mar. 4:35, Luke 8:22
Casts devils out of two men of Gadara, Mt. 8:28, Luke 8:26
Raises from the dead the daughter of Jairus, Mt. 9:18-26, Mar. 5:22-24,35-43; Luke 8:41-42, 49-56.
Cures the woman with the issues of blood, Mt. 9:20, Mark 5:25, Luke 8:43
Restores two blind men to sight. Mt. 9:27-31
Heals a demoniac, Mt. 9:32-33
Feeds five thousand people, Mt. 14:15-21; Mar 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:5-14
Walks on the sea, Mt. 14:22-33; Mar 6:45-52; John 6:16
Heals the daughter of the Syrophenician woman, Mt. 15:21-28, Mar 7:24
Feeds four thousand people. Mt. 15:32; Mark 8:1-9
Restores one deaf and dumb, Mar 7:31-37
Restores a blind man, Mark 8:22
Restores a lunatic child, Matt. 17:14; Mark 9:14; Luke 9:27
Tribute money obtained from a fish's mouth, Mt. 17:24-27
Restores ten lepers, Luke 17:11-19
Opens the eyes of a man born blind, John 9
Raises Lazarus from the dead, John 11:1-46
Heals the woman with the spirit of infirmity, Luke 13:10-17
Cures a man with dropsy, Luke 14:1-6
Restores two blind men near Jericho, Mt. 20:29-34; Mar 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-43
Curses a fig tree, Mt. 21:17-22; Mar.11:12-14; Mark 11:20-24
Heals the ear of Malchus, Luke 22:49-51
Second draught of fishes, John 21:6
The greatest miracle of Jesus is his resurrection from the dead which he foretold. Jesus said as the Good Shepherd he would sacrifice his life for his sheep. He said no one could take his life from him, but he would voluntarily lay it down and was given the power by the Father in Heaven to take up his life again:
I am the good shepherd; I know My own sheep, and they know Me, just as My Father knows Me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to My voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. The Father loves Me because I sacrifice My life so I may take it back again. No one can take My life from Me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what My Father has commanded. (John 10:14-18)
There are many facets to the Bible vs. Quran debate on the differences, as well as similarities, between the two. But the central debate between the Bible and the Quran is this: Do the Scriptures contain “Tahrif” or corruption that the Quran corrects, or does the Quran attempt to corrupt God's words in the Scriptures?
The Quran was written about 550 years after the Scriptures and affirms the Scriptures as the word of God. By contrast, the Bible refutes the Quran in its entirety with a stern warning in the final paragraph of its pages:
"...If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18-19)
God used 40 different people, most of whom did not know each other, over a period spanning some 1,600 years to compile His Word containing 66 books to mankind and yet the books fit together with perfection even dove-tailing truth against truth throughout the books.
Since its completion in the first century AD, the Scriptures have been probed and scrutinized by each generation's scholars, both religious and secular, and they have withstood all of the challenges. In fact, the more the Scriptures are explored, the more they are proven true as archaeology, astronomy, biochemistry, history, physics and other bodies of human knowledge advance.
By contrast, the Quran has not undergone such scrutiny, and this is as intended. While Christians welcome everyone to read, challenge and probe the Scriptures and its Author for themselves, Islam prohibits anyone from questioning the Quran and its author and instructs blind acceptance of its teachings.
Muslims are instructed to read the Quran in Arabic. The vast majority of the Muslims have not read the Quran in their own language.
The Quran criticizes the Jews and the Christians for not believing the Scriptures, but no verses in the Quran criticizes the Jews and Christians for corrupting the Scriptures and nothing in the Quran claims the Scriptures were corrupted.
“Why do you knowingly conceal the truth?”
Bakara 2: 42, 159, 174
Al-i İmran 3: 71
Mâ’ide 5: 15
Mâ’ide 5: 61
En’âm 6: 91
“Barter it for a paltry price”
Bakara 2: 41, 79, 174
Al-i İmran 3: 187
Nisâ 4: 44
Mâ’ide 5: 44
Tevbe 9: 9
“They forget a part of that wherewith they had been reminded”
Mâ’ide 5: 13-14
“There are illiterate men among
them who are ignorant of the Scripture”
Bakara 2: 78
Al-i İmran 3: 66
En’âm 6: 91
“Nay, most of them do not believe”
Bakara 2: 100
Al-i İmran 3: 23
Mâ’ide 5: 42-43, 62, 68
“Some factions deny a part of it”
Bakara 2: 85 Al-i İmran 3: 98
Nisâ 4: 150-152
Ra’d 13: 36
The Quran says that Allah is the best at deceiving people (Quran 3:54, 7:99, 8:30, 10:21, 13:42). In Quran 3:54, we read that "Allah is the most accomplished liar and deceiver." Some English translations replace ‘deceiver’ with ‘planner’, but the Arabic word ‘Makr’, translates as “schemer, plotter, intrigue maker, conspirator”.
The Quran allows lying as referenced in: Quran 16:106, 3:28, 9:3, 66:2, 40:28, 2:225, 3:54, and taken collectively these verses have been interpreted to mean that there are circumstances when a Muslim may be "compelled" to deceive others.
Sahih Bukhari (52:269) - "The Prophet said,
'War is deceit.'" The context of this is thought to be the murder of Usayr ibn Zarim and his thirty
unarmed companions by Muhammad's men after they were "guaranteed"
Sahih Bukhari (49:857) - "He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar." Lying is permitted when the end justifies the means.
Sahih Bukhari (84:64-65) - Speaking from a position of power at the time, Ali confirms that lying is permitted in order to deceive an "enemy."
Sahih Muslim (32:6303) - "...he did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them)."
Sahih Bukhari (50:369) - Recounts the murder of a poet, Ka'b bin al-Ashraf, at Muhammad's insistence. The men who volunteered for the assassination used dishonesty to gain Ka'b's trust, pretending that they had turned against Muhammad. This drew the victim out of his fortress, whereupon he was brutally slaughtered.
God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through? (Numbers 23:19)
But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, will have their part in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. (John 14:6-7)
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would fight so that I might not be delivered to the Jews. But now My kingdom is not from here. Pilate then said to Him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, You say it that I am a king. To this end I was born, and for this cause I came into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. Pilate said to Him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, I find no fault in him. (John 18:36-38)
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks lies he is just being himself—for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple. (John 8:53-59)
The Quran states that Allah is the “Lord of the world”. (Quran 10:37)
In the Bible we find that Satan is called the Lord of the world. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
The Quran says Allah is the “Most Proud”. (Quran 59:23)
We read in the Bible that Satan was cast out of heaven because of his pride. (Isaiah 14:12-15)
The Quran calls Allah “Al-Mumit”, “Bringer of Death”, and “the Destroyer”. (Quran 3:156, 7:158, 15:23, 57:2)
In the Bible we learn that Satan is called “the Destroyer”. (1Corinthians 10:10)
The Quran calls Allah the Most High. (Quran 13:9)
The Bible says that Satan sought to make himself like the Most High God.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths. Everyone there will stare at you and ask, ‘Can this be the one who shook the earth and made the kingdoms of the world tremble? Is this the one who destroyed the world and made it into a wasteland? Is this the king who demolished the world’s greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?’ (Isaiah 14:12-17)
In the Quran, Allah commands: “I will cast terror unto the disbelievers and cut off their head and all finger tips."(Quran 8:12, 2:191, 21:103, 3:151, 17:60, etc.)
But, Jesus said:
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)
The Bible says, “Thou shalt not commit murder.” (Exodus 20:13)
The Quran says the Allah is the “Best Deceiver”. (Quran 3:54, 7:99, 8:30, 10:21, 13:42)
The Bible says that God does not lie.
“God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through?” (Numbers 23:19)
The Bible also says that Satan is a liar and the father of all lies.
“You are the children of your father, the Devil, and you want to follow your father's desires. From the very beginning he was a murderer and has never been on the side of truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies.” (John 8:44)