Christianity

Finding the Jesus of Islam in early Christianity

MuslimMatters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

Categories: Christianity, Islam

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1 reply »

  1. MDI has revealed its lack of credibility by plagiarizing an article originally written by Camilla Morrison. How disappointing. Its basically a straight copy and paste with no credit given to the author or referencing. See the link- http://muslimmatters.org/2012/01/11/finding-the-jesus-of-islam-in-early-christianities/#_ftn24

    Interesting that the articles inflated claims are based on The Infancy Gospel of Thomas,
    The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter and the Proto-Gospel of James.
    The Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Proto-Gospel of James are both fraudulent pseudoepigraphical writings both believed to date to the 2nd century. In other words they were frauds.The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter is nothing but a pagan Gnostic writing.

    Any similarities between these writings and the Quran only reveals that Mohammad was taken in by fraudsters and influenced by pagan Gnostics.

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