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 be miraculously 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.
This prophecy was written over 700 years before Jesus was born:
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. 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.
Muslims say they believe in the Torat (Old Testament Torah), the Zabur (Psalms), and the Injil (New Testament Gospel), but they claim these were somehow changed. They say the Quran (Qur’an, al-Qur'an, Koran) is the final revelation of God, and Mohammad the last prophet.
The Jesus of the Quran, who is named 'Isa,' has very few similarities with the Jesus of the Bible. Although the Quran agrees that Jesus was born of a virgin, it denies the crucifixion of Jesus, saying that Allah took him to heaven while making someone else look like Jesus to take his place on the cross.
This paper will address these and other conflicts by researching and comparing the Scriptures (Bible), the Quran, and authenticated non-religious historical records. The goal of this paper is not to insult the faith of any, but to sort truth from fiction and find that ‘straight path’ which is true and safe to walk.
The Scriptures and what the Quran says about them
The Authenticity of the Scripture Manuscripts
Jesus in the Scriptures and in the Quran
What did Jesus say about himself?
The “I AM” statements of Jesus in the Scriptures
Sinful Mankind and the Holiness of God
The Death of the Messiah Prophesied in the Torah and the Prophets
Evidence for the Crucifixion of Jesus
Evidence for Jesus and his Crucifixion from Secular Sources
Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus
What does the Evidence for Jesus point to?
Appendix A: Islam’s View of the Scriptures
Appendix B: Early Christian Writers on the Resurrection of Jesus
Appendix C: Who's coming did Jesus foretell?
Appendix D: Manuscript Evidence for the Scriptures
Appendix E: The Ten Commandments
Appendix F: Do the Scriptures point to Muhammad?
Appendix G: If the Quran is true, then Islam is false
Appendix H: Mistakes in the Quran
Appendix I: Was Muhammad the Excellent Pattern?
Appendix J: Do Christians Worship Three Gods?
Appendix K: What is Antichrist?
Appendix L: Miracles of Jesus recorded in the Gospels
Appendix M: The Quran never says the Scriptures are corrupted
Appendix N: Teaching on Deception in the Quran and in the Bible
Appendix O: Some of the Names of Allah
Appendix P: Additional Documents
Appendix Q: External Resources for further Study
'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 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 authentic witnesses.
The word 'Bible' comes from the Greek '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 texts of the New Testament, including 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?
Thousands of manuscript copies of the Scriptures 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. Instead, the Quran says 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:
We have revealed the Torah wherein is guidance and light. The submissive prophets ruled the Jews according to it, so did the rabbis and the scholars, as they were required to protect God’s Book, and were witnesses to it. (5:43, 44)
And, indeed We gave Musa (Moses) the guidance, and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit the Scripture [i.e. the Taurat (Torah)] (40:53)
Before thee, also, the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: If ye realize this not, ask of those who possess the Message (the Scriptures). (21:7)
So if you are in doubt about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. (10:94)
And this Quran is not such as could ever be invented in despite of Allah; but it is a confirmation of that which was before it (the Scriptures) and an exposition of that which is decreed for mankind - Therein is no doubt - from the Lord of the Worlds. (10:37)
He has sent down upon thee the Book with the truth, confirming what was before (the Scriptures),and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel. (3:3)
And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus son of Mary, confirming the Torah before him and We gave to him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light, and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition unto the God-fearing. So let the People of the Gospel judge according to what God has sent down therein. Whosoever judges not according to what God has sent down — they are the ungodly. (5:46-47)
Indeed, We have revealed to you, as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Descendants, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the book. (4:163)
Say, “O People of the Scripture! You have no basis until you perform the Torah, and the Gospel, and what is revealed to you from your Lord.” (5:68)
So ask of those who know the Remembrance (Scriptures: Torah and the Gospel), if you know not. With clear signs and Books. And We have also sent down unto you the reminder and the advice, that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought. (16:43-44)
Then We sent in their wake Our messengers, and followed up with Jesus son of Mary, and We gave him the Gospel and instilled in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy. (57:27)
Say (O Muslims), "We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma'il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya'qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya'qub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and 'Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted." (2:136)
Clearly, the Quran supports the fact that the
Scriptures (Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), both Old and New Testaments of the Bible) are from God.
The Quran refutes any argument for the corruption of the Scriptures that were available in the time of Muhammad.
(See also Appendix A: Islam’s View of the Scriptures)
The next task is to determine whether the Scriptures available in Muhammad’s day are the same Scriptures as we have today.
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.
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 entirely 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 would have to reject every ancient work of antiquity and declare 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.
The doctrines found in all the manuscript copies teach that Jesus came as the Word of God, offered himself as the Lamb of God, and as the final sacrifice to take the punishment for sin for those who put their faith in him. The death and resurrection of Jesus are 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 Bible we have today, despite textual variations, has been preserved over the centuries with amazing accuracy. Though variations exist, they are documented and added in the margins of today's Bible, which provides complete transparency for the reader. The rules of textual criticism allow us to have a Bible that accurately transmits what the prophets of Israel and Jesus’ followers originally wrote. The Bible we have today mirrors the manuscripts that were available in Muhammad’s day.
Anyone seriously researching the evidence would find overwhelming attestation and validation from many Biblical Scholars and researchers for the authenticity of the Bible.
The Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures date back to at least 1490 B.C. with the books of Leviticus and Numbers. The whole Torah was completed by 1446 B.C. Hebrew scribes dedicated to carefully copying the Scriptures where called 'Sopherim,' which comes from a Hebrew word meaning "to count." They carefully counted every letter in the Torah with a system that maintained 100% accuracy. The books of Hebrew poetry and Prophets were added later until the final book of Malachi was finished in 425 B.C.
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 a Jewish community of holy men who lived from 125 B.C. to 7- A.D. Some 981 manuscripts were discovered. Among the amazing discovery were copies of all 39 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. The most recent scholarship agrees that almost all the New Testament writings were completed soon after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Scholars believe they were likely written before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and perhaps before the fire of Rome (64 A.D.), and the subsequent persecution of Christians, since none of these events, which would have had an enormous impact on the young Christian community, is mentioned in any of the New Testament writings.*
The oldest manuscripts were written on a plant called papyrus, and the later manuscripts were written on a 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. These first-century manuscripts are now held in museums all over the world. (See Appendix D: Manuscript evidence for the Scriptures) So far, researchers have located 5,856 Greek Manuscripts and 18,130+ non-Greek Manuscripts (Armenian, Latin, etc.), for a total of 23,986 manuscripts and manuscript fragments.
By comparison, of the classic ancient books, there are only a dozen manuscripts for the works of Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Pliny, Tacitus, and other historical figures, and the span between the original and the manuscript copies of these is from 750 to 1400 years.
The early dates of the New Testament documents are significant because people who might have contested their accuracy were still living when they were penned. If there were problems with the written accounts, people could have protested, but no documents contemporary with the First Century have been found that contest the New Testament texts.
Interestingly, a fragment of the gospel of John has been found dating to 29 years from the original writing (John Rylands Papyri A.D. 125). Not only is this extremely close to the original writing, but it also confirms the Gospel of John is a First Century document which some have questioned in the past.
The Quran says that the Scriptures were given by God uncorrupted and Muhammad accepted them as from God. The Quran accepts the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God. (See the section above: “The Scriptures and what the Quran says about them”.)
The Scripture manuscripts that are today called the 'Bible' and the Quran accepts as the inspired Word of God, are the same manuscripts that have been translated into more languages than any book in history. The complete Bible has been translated into approximately 700 languages, and the New Testament has been translated into well over 1,500 languages.
Scholars confirm the New Testament we have today contains 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, the Bible, 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 New Testament documents call these believers ‘the body of Christ’ and the Quran calls them ‘the people of the book’.
Of course, 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 about Jesus. (see: 1John 2:18-19) Those who reject the Scriptures have formed religions and follow various traditions that are nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of these religions actually reject Jesus as Messiah, Savior of the world, and the only Son of God as the New Testament Scriptures teach. (2Timothy 4:3-4) The Scriptures call these religious systems “antichrist” because they reject Jesus as presented in them and have invented a different gospel. (See Appendix K: What is Antichrist?)
Even if anyone ignores the research and Biblical scholarship about the authenticity of the New Testament Scriptures, even if they ignored the Quranic sayings that the Scriptures are from God, and yet still maintain that the manuscripts have been altered or changed somehow after the time of Muhammad, the sheer magnitude of the task to change every manuscript would have proved impossible. 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 a day when there were no data systems for locating the thousands of copies brought to different continents 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. (See: Acts 2:32, 3:15, 5.32, 10:39-41, 13:31, 1Thessalonians 2:10)
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 also says no one can change God's word:
Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and justice. There is naught that can change His words. (6:115)
Messengers indeed have been denied before thee, and they were patient under the denial and the persecution till Our succor reached them. There is none to alter the decisions of Allah. Already there hath reached thee (somewhat) of the tidings of the messengers (We sent before). (6:34)
Theirs are good tidings in the life of the world and in the Hereafter - there is no changing the Words of Allah - that is the Supreme Triumph. (10:64)
And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scripture of Thy Lord. There is none who can change His words, and thou wilt find no refuge beside Him. (18:27)
My word cannot be changed. (50:29)
Believe ye in part of the Scripture and disbelieve ye in part thereof? (2:85)
Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it. And whoso disbelieveth in it, those are they who are the losers. (2:121)
Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. (2:136; 2:285; 3:84)
(See Appendix M: The Quran does not support the view that the Scriptures were corrupted)
Vigorous textual criticism of the thousands of
manuscript copies available today reveals that the New Testament is 99.5% textually pure. The manuscripts of both
the Old and New Testament Scriptures have remained unchanged from the time they were first penned and have therefore
remained unchanged from the time of Muhammad. Both the Scriptures and the Quran affirm that no one can change
the words of God.
We know the Quran says the Scriptures are from God (Quran 40:53), and cannot be changed (Quran 10:64, 6:115, 50:29). Next, we will look more closely at the New Testament Gospels.
The New Testament has been preserved in more manuscripts than any other ancient work of literature, with over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts cataloged, 10,000 Latin manuscripts, and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian, to name a few. The dates of these manuscripts range from c. 125 (the oldest copy of John fragments) to the introduction of printing in Germany in the 15th century.
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 who 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)
You could say that the four Gospels are similar to 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. The variations in the Gospel accounts support their authenticity in that each wrote from a different point of view.
(See additional document, What is the Gospel?)
It is interesting to note that none of the Gospel writers (or the New Testament writers) tried to protect their dignity while recounting 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 a little while later we find Peter terrified to be identified with Jesus so he denies Jesus three times. The Gospels also record that all the disciples ran away in fear once Jesus was taken. Had the Gospel writers wanted to protect their reputations they would not have admitted that they ran away in fear.
Those who heard the message of Jesus and chose to follow him would have seen themselves under obligation before the God they worship to be completely truthful. Jesus said he is ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life’. History confirms the disciples of Jesus followed him in speaking the truth even at the cost of their lives. All the disciples except for John died martyrs. 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 we can trust that the Scriptures, both Old
and New Testaments of the Bible, are from God and that God who is all-powerful has protected
His Words from corruption from the time He inspired them 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 it confirms the Scriptures were given for a
light to all people and all people are instructed to read them as the Word of God for guidance
to understand the will of God.
Next, we will begin to look at who Jesus is in the Scriptures compared to the Quran.
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.
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.
This is what it says in the first chapter of the Gospel of John:
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 . . . 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 1:1-5, & 14)
At God's appointed time the Word of God took on flesh in fulfillment of ancient prophecies:
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 Emmanuel. (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 written in words of 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), no one can object that Jesus, as the Word of God, is both human and divine. Whereas the Quran says that Muhammad was a sinner (Quran 47:19, 48:2, etc.), the Quran says Jesus lived a sinless life. (Quran 3:35-36, 19:13, 19:19, etc.) The humanity of Jesus was without sin so the offering Jesus made was a perfect offering:
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus as the Word of God became incarnate in a physical body (flesh + blood = body). Which is exactly what the Scripture says in the first chapter of the Gospel of John:
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 acted as messengers of God, 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 is recorded in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 1:1-11)
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)
Other prophets had both and earthly mother and earthly father, but Jesus was born of an earthly mother who was a virgin, therefore he had no earthly 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)
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary he told her that the Most High God will overshadow her by His Holy Spirit and the holy child she will carry will be called the Son of God. This is the fulfillment of ancient prophecies recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures. As the prophet Isaiah said centuries earlier:
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)
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 came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it. (John 1:1-5)
Jesus came into the world as the 'Word of God' and the 'Life that is the Light' of mankind. He was approached one evening by a Pharisee named Nicodemus. In their discussion Jesus reveals the key to entering the kingdom of God:
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.”
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)
As the Word of God on the earth, Jesus was and is the final, ultimate and complete revelation of God to mankind. Jesus is not simply a messenger from God, but he gives life to mankind. Those who believe in him are 'born again' by the Life in him.
Below is a list of what the Quran says about Jesus and what the Bible says about Jesus.
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 Messiah” (Al-Masih) (Quran 4:171)
Jesus alone is called the Messiah in the Quran. Eleven times Jesus is given the title "Messiah". The Quran
doesn't explain why Jesus is the Messiah, but the title Messiah is important to both the Christians and Jews.
The Jews recognize hundreds of prophecies telling of a glorious Messiah who will come (Daniel 9:25). He
is called "the anointed one", and they have long awaited his coming.
At the time of Jesus this Messianic expectancy reached its peak, but they were expecting the fulfillment of
prophecies that told of a mightly lion-like Messiah who would set them free from Roman rule. They were not watching for
the Messiah prophecied who would be lowly, suffer and die.
Scripture prophecies say Jesus is the promised Messiah sent not only to the Jews and Christians, but to all mankind. (John 3:16, 4:25-26) Although the Messianic prophecies spoke often about a strong, lion-like Messiah, they also spoke of a lamb-like Messiah who came "not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).
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 heals 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 raises 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 the dead 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. The question is who but God can raise the dead?
“Jesus 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 Quran recognizes Jesus is the Word of God and the Virgin-born Messiah, but since the Quran does not explain why it gives Jesus the name 'Messiah', we will study why the Scriptures call Jesus Messiah and further discover what Jesus claimed about himself.
Jesus said he came into the world as the Messiah to give his life as a ransom for many. Jesus knew he would die by crucifixion and he told his followers that this is the way he would die.
"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)
"As you know, the Passover is two days away – and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified." (Matthew 26:2)
"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)
"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)
"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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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)
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)
"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)
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)
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)
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)
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 seven 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 a-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 the Gospel of John, they asked him who he was, and his answer provoked them into a murderous rage:
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)
When the Jewish leaders asked Jesus who he was, the answer Jesus gave provoked them into a rage for what they said was blasphemy. They knew when he said "I AM", he was claiming to be the one true God. God told Moses generations previous that His name to be remembered for all generations was "I AM". When Jesus told them his name is "I AM", he was claiming to be God.
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 that 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 (YHWH in Hebrew, meaning 'I AM'), 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)
Over 9,000 times in the Scriptures we find God's name Yahweh used. As quoted above, God says His eternal name and His name to be remembered for all generations, is 'Yahweh', which means 'I AM that I AM'. 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 that I AM’ or ‘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)
The people would not have tried 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, and they may have been able to accept that he was the Messiah, the anointed one, but when Jesus claimed to be the Son of God they wanted to kill him.
They never understood the prophecy in Scripture that said the Messiah would be God's Son:
“As for me [Yahweh], I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalms 2:6-12)
Jesus told them to look at the works he had been doing in his Father's name. Never had anyone done so many mighty works than Jesus. But their minds were closed because to them anyone who claimed to be the Son of God was either insane or a liar.
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 they wanted to kill him for it. It is important to 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 was anointed by God to be the Hebrew Messiah. It was later after the resurrection that God opened the door of salvation through Christ to all mankind.
We have established that the Scriptures, the Bible we have today, is trustworthy as the
Word of God and that Jesus is the Word of God in the flesh having been born of a virgin and
no earthly father.
Jesus said he came as the Messiah to give his life as a ransom to save many. He told his disciples that he would be betrayed into the hands of men and would be flogged, crucified, and die. He also said that he would rise from the grave. Jesus quoted the Scriptures that said, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ None of the disciples understood what was to happen. Later, when the guards came for Jesus, they all scattered just as the prophecy said. After he rose from the grave, Jesus proved he was alive by showing his wounds.
Jesus also claimed to be Yahweh, which is the name God said he will always be known for all generations. He claimed to be Yahweh, and that brought about the anger of the Jews who wanted to kill him for blasphemy.
Next, let us look at what else Jesus claimed about himself.
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)
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24)
"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)
Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Mark 14:61-62, Luke 22:70)
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.
Either we believe Jesus is who he said he is, or we reject him, but he leaves us no middle ground based on
all his claims about himself and his Messianic mission.
Jesus is called the "Christ", which in Greek is 'Christós', meaning 'the anointed one', 'the Messiah', and in Hebrew is 'Ha Mashiach', meaning 'the Messiah', 'the anointed one'.
Jesus said he came into the world as the Messiah to give his life as a ransom for many. But, how could he give his life as a ransom for many and why would he? Let's explore those questions next.
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 to them that they would not die if they ate of the tree but would become like God knowing both good and evil.
The first couple believed the lie of Satan and ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Previously they enjoyed fellowship with God, but now upon eating the fruit, they became afraid and hid from God. They felt naked and tried to use fig leaves to cover their nakedness. Their choice of fig leaves for a covering didn’t work all that well for them. It was God Himself who sacrificed animals and used the skins of animals to cover them. (Genesis 3:21) This is the first example of ‘blood’ sacrificed for sin where animals were sacrificed to cover the nakedness of the first couple.
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 upon the serpent is a promise of a Messiah who would eventually deal a death blow to the serpent.
The account of Adam and Eve is a beautiful picture of God's love. When they realized they were naked they attempted to cover themselves with leaves. God could have simply destroyed the couple and started over with a new couple, but God in His compassion slaughtered an animal and covered their nakedness with the animal hide. Their sin was no surprise to God, for before the foundations of the world God's plan of redemption for mankind had been finalized.
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)
Initially the couple lost fellowship with God and in time they would experience mortal death. All humankind since Adam and Eve are cut off from the life of God and have inherited death from the first parents.
Having been cut off from God allowed sin and rebellion to grow. Adam and Eve's first son 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 moral downward direction for humankind cut off from the life and goodness of God.
In time, every thought of humankind was evil continually. (Genesis 6:5) At that time 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 the evil of humankind from the face of the earth. (Genesis 6:11-13)
Generations later when the offspring of Abraham, the Hebrew nation, found themselves as slaves in Egypt they cried out to God to be freed. God heard their cries and after 400 years in captivity, God 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 Hebrew people, God gave them special instructions to avoid this final 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. 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. Interestingly 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 saved them from death. Passover is a shadow of the prophecied Messiah's coming sacrificial death for the people of Israel and all mankind. The Jews 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 ten 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 human beings cannot perfectly keep the laws of God. Our natures are flawed.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Yahweh (God) has laid on Him (the Messiah) the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
The Scripture says that anyone who commits the smallest sin is guilty of breaking the whole law of God. (James 2:10) Because the human heart 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.) These required sacrifices for sin provided only 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, Yahweh promised their father Abraham a son to be his heir. He waited many years for God's promise 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 sacrifice his son.
It seems cruel for God to ask such a thing of Abraham, but Abraham trusted God and obeyed. He took the son of God's promise who he had waited so many years for, to be sacrificed at the place God designated. His son carried the wood for the sacrifice, but there was no sacrificial animal accompanying them. When his son asked where the animal for the sacrifice was, the Scripture records this for Abraham's 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.
The Old Covenant that God made with the Hebrew nation was a system of laws that required the sacrifice of animals to cover the sins of the people, but this Covenant was inadequate in that it could not turn hearts dead with sin into hearts alive with love for God.
Long before God created Adam and Eve, He had already prepared a new and everlasting Covenant which would be sealed with the final sacrifice of the Lamb of God. By this new covenant these prophecies would be realized:
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will remove the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh, so that they may walk in My
statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Many centuries after Abraham was stopped from offering his son, the Scripture records John the Baptist identified Jesus as the perfect Lamb that God had chosen as the final sacrifice and seal of His new Covenant:
The next day John sees Jesus coming to him and says, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me comes a Man who has been before me, for He preceded me. And I did not know Him, but that He be revealed to Israel, therefore I have come baptizing with water. 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. And I saw and bore record that this is the Son of God. (John 1:29-34)
God provided a sacrificial system that temporarily covered sin, but because sin brought spiritual death the blood of animals could only cover sins. What was needed was a remedy that would give mankind hearts alive with God's life and love.
The sacrificial system was introduced to cover sin as recorded in the Old Testament of the Scriptures. But, this system 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 provide 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)
The Scriptures attest to the fact that Jesus was sinless and the Quran agrees. (Quran 3:35-36, 19:13, 19:19, etc.) He lived obeying all the commandments of God. He never murdered, never committed adultery, never stole anything, never harmed anyone, and he taught people to love even their enemies. The teaching of Jesus is a reflection of his character. He never once took up a sword or encouraged warfare. The one time that one of His close followers took it upon himself to do so, Jesus ordered him to put the sword away and he warned, “all who take the sword will perish by the sword”. (Matthew 26:52) Jesus taught a life of love not hate or violence.
You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." But I say to you, Do not resist evil. But whoever shall strike you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. And to him desiring to sue you, and to take away your tunic, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and you shall not turn away from him who would borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you, so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax-collectors do so? Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:38-48)
The Scriptures say 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)
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was this way (for His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph) before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. But Joseph, her husband to be, being just, and not willing to make her a public example, he purposed to put her away (divorce) secretly. And as he thought upon these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take to you Mary as your wife. For that in her is fathered of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bear a son, and you shall call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this happened so that might be fulfilled that which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, "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. And Joseph, being roused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife, and did not know her until she bore her son, the First-born. And he called His name JESUS. (Matthew 1:18-25)
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. God did not need a wife in order to be the father of Adam. In the same way God did not need a wife to be the Father of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)
In all of history Jesus is the only person ever recorded to be born of a virgin. Since Jesus was born of a virgin who was his Father? In the first part of the first Gospel (quoted above), there is the account of Joseph, the betrothed husband of Mary, who was visited by an angel in a dream as he was pondering what to do with Mary now that she was found to be pregnant. He knew he wasn't the father and the incredible thought that she was an actual pregnant virgin required that God confirm for Joseph what to do next.
The Scriptures also record that when Jesus 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 everywhere for him 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)
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)
Jesus knew why he had come into the world and he came willingly to fulfill the plan of God for the salvation of all those who would eventually look to him as the Messiah and Savior. Some try to set aside the death of Jesus as a mistake, or say that it never happened at all, but hundreds of prophecies in the Scriptures confirmed that the Messiah was coming to save the people. If he didn't actually die then all those hundreds of prophecies could not have been fulfilled. What about the Messianic prophecies? Let's look at them next.
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 Appendix P: Additional Documents, 365 Messianic Prophecies)
The following prophecy was written 600 years before Jesus was born and was fulfilled upon his death:
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. (Isaiah 53:1-12)
It is clear that King David wrote Psalm 22 by the inspiration of the Spirit of God because it explicitly details the torturous death of the Messiah centuries before Jesus was born. 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 of crucifixion. 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. (Psalms 22:1-31)
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.
God used many prophets, priests, and kings to bring forth His plan of redemption for mankind. His plan begins and ends with the Messiah Jesus, His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, who God says is the express image of His essence, and through whom God is able to cleanse all sins. God stopped using prophets to speak to people after Jesus came. God no longer used angels or other intermediaries to speak to people.
"God, who at many times and in many ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds, who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the word of His power, through Himself cleansing of our sins, He sat down on the right of the Majesty on high, being made so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He say at any time, "You are My Son, this day I have begotten You?" And again, "I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son?" (Hebrews 1:1-5)
The overwhelming witness of so many prophecies written centuries before and fulfilled perfectly by the coming of Jesus prove the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, for no mere man has such perfect vision of coming events.
Next, let us look at the evidence for the crucifixion 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:
Although this verse denies the crucifixion of Jesus, another verse in the Quran acknowledges the death and resurrection of Jesus:
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:
The Quran also says in another verse that Allah will cause Jesus to die:
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.
In the book of the prophet Isaiah, in chapter 53, we read that the Messiah who was to come would be 'a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief' and he would take the punishment for the sins of others.
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 him.
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.
While being crucified, Jesus quoted the ancient prophets when he cried out the words of 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 sacrifices ended because all sacrifices 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)
God promised that the coming 'offspring' of Eve would crush the head of the serpent, which is a death blow to the serpent, but not before the serpent would bite the heel of the one promised to come.
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 death of Jesus on the cross fulfilled many prophecies in the Scriptures, but some question was it really Jesus who was crucified. Next, we will look at who was actually crucified.
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 Muhammad’s day are the source manuscripts used today and cannot have been corrupted or changed. Muhammad 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, the Quran alludes to someone else crucified instead of Jesus:
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.)
The Gnostics 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 Isa, since the crucifixion was clearly documented by witnesses both in the Gospels and in numerous 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):
Other verses identify Allah in this way:
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 spread 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, here is what the Scriptures say about God:
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 death of Jesus was confirmed in the Gospel eyewitness accounts and his death on the cross fulfilled ancient prophecies about the coming Messiah. There were no prophecies about an imposter who looked like Jesus and no proof anywhere of any deception in the crucifixion of Jesus.
Next, we will look at secular sources for evidence of the crucifixion of Jesus.
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 historical 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)
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.
Secular sources admit the facts of the crucifixion of Jesus and even atheists today agree with the historical accounts that Jesus was crucified.
Next, we will look at evidences from archeology.
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. Archeological finds like the following corroborate the Gospels’ claims.
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.
Herod Antipas was Herod's youngest son and after his fathers death, governed Galilee and Perea for the next forty-two years. Early in his reign, Antipas had married the daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabatea. However, on a visit to Rome he stayed with his half-brother Herod II and there, he fell in love with his wife, Herodias, (granddaughter of Herod the Great and Mariamne I). The New Testament Gospels state that John the Baptist railed against the tetrarch's marriage as contrary to Jewish law (it was incestuous, as Herodias was also Antipas' niece, but also John criticized the fact that she was his brother's wife in Mark 6:18). Eventually Antipas imprisoned the Baptist as recorded in Matthew and Mark.
Among those baptized by John was Jesus of Nazareth, who began his own ministry in Galilee – causing Antipas, according to Matthew and Mark, to fear that the Baptiser had been raised from the dead. Luke alone among the Gospels states that a group of Pharisees warned Jesus that Antipas was plotting his death, whereupon Jesus denounced the tetrarch as a "fox" and declared that he, Jesus, would not fall victim to such a plot because "it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem". Luke also credits the tetrarch with a role in Jesus' trial. According to Luke, Pilate, on learning that Jesus was a Galilean and therefore under Herod's jurisdiction, sent him to Antipas, who was also in Jerusalem at the time. Initially, Antipas was pleased to see Jesus, hoping to see him perform a miracle, but when Jesus remained silent in the face of questioning Antipas mocked him and sent him back to Pilate. Luke says that these events improved relations between Pilate and Herod despite their earlier enmity.
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.
The Gospels record a three-hour darkness during Christ’s crucifixion (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44–45).
This darkness could not have been a solar eclipse because the maximum duration for a total solar eclipse is seven minutes, not three hours, and at the latitude of Jerusalem the maximum duration is even less. A solar eclipse can occur only at new moon, but we know that Jesus was crucified at the time of Passover (Matthew 26:2; Mark 14:1–2,12; Luke 22:1–2, 7; John 13:1), and that the Passover is at the time of full moon (Exodus 12:1–11; Leviticus 23:5).
The darkness was also confirmed by four historians apart from the Gospels: Phlegon, Thallus, Africanus and Tertullian. These historians attempt to interpret the darkness as a direct effect of a solar eclipse which we know is scientifically not possible - but they wouldn't have known that in their time.
Historian Thallus wrote in 52 AD. 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 Gospels record that at Jesus death the huge, thick curtain of the Most Holy place in the temple was torn from top to bottom, a great earthquake occurred, and rocks were broken.
In Wadi Ze’elim, located above the southwestern shore of the modern Dead Sea exists an outcrop of laminated Dead Sea sediment. This sediment outcrop is a distinctive one-foot thick “mixed layer” of sediment that is tied strongly to the Qumran earthquake’s onshore ground ruptures of 31 B.C.
Thirteen inches above the 31 B.C. event bed is another distinctive “mixed layer” less than one inch thick. The sedimentation rate puts this second earthquake about 65 years after the 31 B.C. earthquake (31 BC + 65 yrs = 33 AD). There is direct physical evidence in the thin layer of disturbed sediment from the Dead Sea, of an earthquake around 33 AD.
Geologist, Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical, and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences, studied the Dead Sea and found that at least two major earthquakes occurred: A widespread earthquake in 31 BC and a seismic event that happened sometime between the years 26 and 36. When data about the Jewish calendar and astronomical calculations were factored in, a handful of possible dates result, with Friday, April 3, 33, being the best match, according to the researchers.
The Resurrection of Christ, after His death on the Cross, constitutes the mainstay of Christian faith. This victory over death is epitomized by the empty tomb. The Bible tells of the great stone that was rolled away by the angel to reveal a tomb empty of anything but the shroud; the body of Christ was never found. But what evidence do present-day Christians—or anyone, for that matter—have of the empty tomb? The Bible testifies to it, but there is evidence in the discovery of the 'Nazareth Decree'.
The Nazareth decree is a marble slab found in Nazareth in 1878 and inscribed with a decree issued 41AD by Emperor Claudius, 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.)
William Ramsay was known for his careful attention to New Testament events, particularly the Book of Acts and Pauline Epistles. When he first went to Asia Minor, many of the cities mentioned in Acts had no known location and almost nothing was known of their detailed history or politics. The Acts of the Apostles was the only record and Ramsay, skeptical, fully expected his own research to prove the author of Acts hopelessly inaccurate since no man could possibly know the details of Asia Minor more than a hundred years after the event—this is, when Acts was then supposed to have been written.
He therefore set out to put the writer of Acts on trial. He devoted his life to unearthing the ancient cities and documents of Asia Minor. After a lifetime of study, however, he concluded about the book of Acts:
'Further study … showed that the book could bear the most minute scrutiny as an authority for the facts of the Aegean world, and that it was written with such judgment, skill, art and perception of truth as to be a model of historical statement' (The Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 85).
On page 89 of the same book, Ramsay accounted,
'I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it there [in Acts]. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian's and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment...'
When Ramsay turned his attention to Paul's letters, most of which the critics dismissed as forgeries, he concluded that all thirteen New Testament letters that claimed to have been written by Paul were authentic. 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 names and places in the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles, both written by Luke have been verified by archaeologists. Luke was a physician and wrote accurately. He was Greek and the only non-Jewish writer of the Gospels.
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.
Jesus fullfilled hundreds of prophecies, archaeology uncovered overwhelming historical proofs to the life of Jesus verifying the accuracy of the Gospel narratives. Now let us explore the evidence for the ressurection of Jesus.
The Resurrection of Jesus is God’s “seal of approval” on Jesus and His work as "the Anointed One", the 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 and quite literally impossible.
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 of Jesus spread like wildfire and eventually 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 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:
Since it was the day of Preparation (for the Sabbath), and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been 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 spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have 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 huge stone was rolled away from the mouth of the tomb 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.
But, even more telling is the fact that all but one of the disciples ran away in fear when Jesus was taken by the Jewish leaders. In order for these fearful men to sneak past the Roman guards and somehow move the huge stone and remove the body of Jesus is far from plausible. Especially since none of the disciples of Jesus understood that Jesus would actually be crucified, which is another reason the disciples were all in hiding in fear of the Jewish leaders. (John 20:19)
More telling is that for a Roman guard to sleep on duty was grounds for the death penalty. The guards would not have fallen asleep on duty and risk being put to death. 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.
And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. (Matthew 28:12-15)
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 seem 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. There were many who traveled to Jerusalem for the holy day, and it is recorded 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, while facing 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 the 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 evidence of the ressurection of 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'. Jesus was clear that the One to come would live 'in them' to guide, teach, direct, and comfort them. Muhammad was not a spirit who would live 'inside' people.
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 alongside", 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.
Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21-22)Since the disciples received the Holy Spirit directly from Jesus the 'coming' of the Holy Spirit already took place.
But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you. (John 14:26)
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 to 'earn' God's favor amount to nothing before the Holy God. Nothing we can do will make us fit to be in God’s presence. Sin separates us from God and commits us to eternal separation from Him.
Jesus offers more than forgiveness to those who believe. He brings the gift of the Holy Spirit and new spiritual birth connecting us to God.
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the curse came upon them just as God said. Death came to them spiritually and soon they would lose the ability to connect with God just as God had told them would happen if they ate of that tree. Much later their bodies would die.
Adam and Eve could only produce offspring who were dead to God spiritually. In the book of Genesis it is clear that spiritual separation from God led to mankind finding their own solutions and going their own way without God. The first murder was committed by Adam and Eve's first son Cain who killed his brother Abel because of jealousy and things only became worse as recorded further on in Genesis.
In the Gospel of John we read there was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee, who arranged to meet with Jesus. At that meeting Jesus explains how we must be 'born again'.
After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” (John 3:3-8)
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. All born after Adam and Eve sinned, are 'dead' spiritually and will naturally sin. God's free gift of new life came through God's chosen Lamb, whose sinless sacrifice atones for sin brings spiritual birth and the ability to 'see the Kingdom of God'.
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 eternal life, and does not come under judgment, 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 ask the living 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 people amount to working to please a deity or working to overcome their own passions alone. But the one 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 can forgive us and bring us into His family and a loving relationship with 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 like a suit of clothes to put on, but he offers new life that is born of God and grows by being connected to God through Christ and becomes evident outwardly in what the Scriptures call the “good fruit” of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self control.
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 the demands of the sacrificial law. With unlimited resources from the fullness of God within himself, he put to death sin 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, ancient and modern testimony. We have established:
The life and words of Jesus present a vivid picture of an astounding personality. Jesus 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 perfectly kept all the commandments of God. 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. He gave himself completely to fulfilling the will of God who he called 'Father'. He owned nothing except the clothes he wore and the shoes on his feet. He told a would-be follower that foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.
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 one another and even 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 sinful and broken 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 that his sacrificial death, the blood he shed for the forgiveness of sins, provides the means to be received by the One and only holy God. The blood of Jesus cleanses away sin and enables God to bestow His grace upon those who receive Jesus as Savior. There is no other acceptable sacrifice before God, because God chose Jesus as the only, final sacrificial lamb to take away the sins of those who put their faith in him.
Jesus 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 Jesus said he is the "I AM" which is the name for Yahweh God, the name by which God says He will always be known and addressed. 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 and became 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 and the sad loneliness within.
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, although that alone would be amazing, no, he offers life and not just life, but life more abundant than any repentant sinner could hope for or imagine. He offers a relationship with him which is far more than any religion can offer.
Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep." (John 10:9-11)
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 Him. Jesus came to offer a remedy by dying the death our sins deserve and in return giving us new hearts that are ‘born again’ to love God and walk in His truth.
“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:27-30)
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 the sick, forgives sin, casts out demon spirits, and works miracles through the hearts and hands of those who walk with him by 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)
In 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 after Jesus returned to His Father in Heaven. Jesus said those who believe in him will do great works, and most importantly Jesus said that he will never leave them but will be with them to the end of the age:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
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 is not dead. His tomb is empty. In the final book of the Bible Jesus makes an offer to all who will listen:
"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)
Today is the day, and now is the time to honestly and sincerely ask from your heart ‘Who are you Jesus?’ If you really want to know, He will 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 since they conflicted with the Quran's passages.
The Scriptures of the Old Testament had been available for a thousand years and hundreds of New Testament Scriptures had been in manuscript form for hundreds of years by the time of Muhammad. The Scriptures had traveled across the Middle East, Europe and North Africa and could be compared against one another to prove their accuracy. A claim of textual corruption must present evidence of the supposedly corrupted text before the corruption could be proved. Neither Ibn Khazen nor anyone after 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:
This passage claims oral alteration of the Scripture - "with their tongues" - and not an alteration of the written Scripture. 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 Scripture 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.
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 these early Church writers were martyrs for their faith in Jesus.
Jesus was raised from the dead, as written in Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians, ch.9 p.62. See also Letter to the Ephesians, ch.20 p.57.
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. (John 14:15-18)
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:
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”, the disciples 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 it's 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 gap
"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 is recorded to have 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. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a word for word mirror of the previously existing manuscripts in more than 95% of the cases, and the 5% variation are very minor 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 by all rights carry forth these same commandments because they have never been revoked by God and God's Word cannot be changed nor does He 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 law and judgment is made based upon them. God did not call His laws the "Ten Suggestions", but "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
I am the Yahweh (the LORD your God - YHWH), 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. (Quran 112:1-4; 59:22-24; 17:22; 4:171; 16:51)
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. (Quran 3:96-7; 5; 2, 97; 22:26)
You shall not take the name of Yahweh (the LORD your God) in vain. 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: The Torah says God’s ‘eternal name’ is Yahweh to be remembered and honored as God's name for all generations. Why is it the Quran does not use the eternal name of God that is given in the Torah when the Quran honors the Torah 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.
Honoring parents:The Quran does not specifically mention honoring one's father and mother, although in Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 41, there is a mention of being 'good and dutiful' to one's parents.
You shall not murder.
Sanctioned Murder: The Quran contains at least 109 verses that command the murder of non-believers. Some verses graphically command to chop off heads and fingers and murder infidels wherever they may be hiding. The Hadiths recount 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 murder of all 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/)
NOTE: Zina is the Arabic word for "unlawful sexual relations." It is used to refer to both adultery and fornication. The Islamic definition of adultery differs from the modern/secular definition as well as the Biblical definition. The meaning also differs in relation to gender. Adultery is a serious offense in Islam warranting death to offenders. However, according to the most widely accepted definitions of the term, Islam in fact allows adultery. Both the Bible and modern, secular definitions of adultery condemn actions that are allowed in the Quran, Hadith, and Tafsir. Not only may a Muslim man have sex with a married woman who is his slave, but he may also sell her as a slave to another man.
NOTE: None of Muhammad’s eleven widows inherited any of the wealth he accumulated from wars and raids he conducted. They also were forbidden to remarry after his death.
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.
Islam's holy books record that Muhammad and his followers murdered, defrauded, raped, pillaged, stole, tortured, and destroyed innocent people based upon commands 'sent down' from Allah. Muhammad and his followers broke the commandments of the God of the Scriptures, yet these are the very same Scriptures Muhammad pointed to as proof of his prophethood.
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: Muhammad 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.
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 descended 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 nowhere 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.
The Quran is said to be the word of Allah, the direct word of Allah, and without error. Every word in the Quran is said to come directly from Allah who is all-knowing and perfect. It is also said the Quran has not changed for 1400 years. If this is true then there would be no mistakes in the "perfect" word of Allah. But, there are many mistakes found in the Quran. A few of these mistakes are listed here below.
Truth: Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not the sister of Aaron. Aaron was born about 1000 years before Mary. Aaron and Miriam were the brother and sister of Moses who led God's people out of Egypt. Mary is also said to be the daughter of Amram (Imran) in 3:35-45. But again, even though Amram was the father of Miriam (Maryam) she was not the same Miriam that was the mother of Jesus. Amram was also the father of Moses and Aaron. Also see: 66:12)
The Quran states that one night, Allah took Muhammad to "al-Aqsa" mosque in Jerusalem:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
In other words it is saying that semen is formed between the backbone and the ribs. Study of human anatomy shows this is not true.
The number, like seven heavens, might have come from a misunderstanding of mythology from classical antiquity in which there were seven moving planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the sun and moon). According to astronomers, there are eight ordinary planets and five dwarf planets, which leaves the grand total at thirteen in our solar system. Modern astronomy also has found thousands of other planets in other solar systems and Cosmologists estimate that hundreds of billions of stars and planets exist in the universe. The author of the Quran singling out such a small number of celestial objects betrays ignorance of the makeup of the universe.
The Quran and Hadith claim that the moon was miraculously split into two pieces and then put back together again. There is no scientific evidence that the moon has ever been split into two. Since the moon is visible to half the planet at any given time, we should expect to see numerous accounts from different parts of the world attesting to this event if it actually happened. The Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Chinese and Indians had avid astronomers who should have seen this event and recorded it in their histories. The absence of historical record from other civilizations, contemporary to Muhammad, is a strong indication that this event never happened.
The Quran also claims that the sky above is a canopy like a tent in Quran 2:22, 13:2, 81:11 and that the sky can fall down on people in Quran 52:44, 34:9.
The Quran says Muhammad is the excellent pattern for all mankind:
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”.
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 Muhammad began to raid, plunder, murder, rape, and destroy any who would not submit to his religion. (See Appendix Q: Resources for further Study, 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 Muhammad’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.
The Quran commands men to beat their wives into submission. (Quran 4:34, Mohammad Pickthall Translation, Quran 4:34, M.H. Shakir Translation, Quran 4:34, Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation)
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.)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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 to 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.
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.
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.
There is also a warning for any prophet who might come saying he is speaking for God.
But the prophet who shall presume to speak a word in My name which I have not commanded him to speak or who shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which Jehovah (Yahweh) has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah (Yahweh), if the thing does not follow nor come to pass, that is the thing which Jehovah has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)
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 discernible 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 until most recently. While Christians welcome everyone to read, challenge and probe the Scriptures and its Author for themselves, Islam has prohibited 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.
Taqiyya (also spelled taqiya or taqiyyah) is lying to advance or protect Islam (taqiyya literally means "prevention"). Muslims justify taqiyya from the Quran, other Islamic texts, and the actions of Muhammad as recorded in the Hadiths.
While Iying is a cause for shame in the West, taqiyya isn't in Islam. To Muslims, taqiyya - lying (to infidels) to advance and protect Islam - is both a virtue and a duty (there is shame, however, in being caught.
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 calls Allah the “Lord of the world”. (Quran 10:37)
The Bible says 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)
The Bible says 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)
The Bible says that Satan is named “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 fingertips." (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)
The Crucifixion and the Chain of Custody
The New Testament Documents and the Historicity of the Resurrection
Textual Variants of the Qur'an
Dr. Hugh Ross, Astrophysicist, 'Why the Universe is the Way it is'
Arabic site for The Shroud of Turin study on the burial cloth of Jesus Christ