The Status of Jesus In Islam & Christianity
Christians and Muslims have differed for centuries over the nature and status of Jesus Christ. Both religions revere him and both believe him to be of virgin birth. Both religions claim to know his true nature and purpose. Muslims believe that Christian leaders of old altered the scriptures in order to redefine the status of this noble and virtuous Prophet of Almighty God. In fact, eminent Christian theologians readily admit that the Bible has been altered throughout the ages, so in that respect there is no disagreement. The renowned Biblical scholar from the USA, Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, formerly the president of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature stated: “One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors. They are taught critical approaches to Scripture, they learn about the discrepancies and contradictions, they discover all sorts of historical errors and mistakes…they find that there are other books that were at one time considered canonical but that ultimately did not become part of Scripture, they come to recognize that a good number of the books of the Bible are pseudonymous (written in the name of an apostle by someone else), that in fact we don’t have the original copies of any of the biblical books but only copies made centuries later, all of which have been altered.” (See: Bart D. Ehrman, “Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible and Why We Don’t Know About Them”). This altering of the original message of Jesus (peace be upon him) is something that is established also in the Islamic religious texts of the Quran and in the words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Muslims believe that God sent after the Prophet Jesus, another Prophet, whose coming was foretold in previous scriptures such as the Torah revealed to Moses and the Gospels that were revealed to Jesus. This final Prophet was Muhammad. The Lord of all creation stated in the Quran: “Say O Muslims: We believe in God, and that which has been revealed to us, and that which has been revealed to Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, Jacob and to the Tribes of Israel, and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus, and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We do not discriminate between any of them, and to Him (the One True Lord) we have submitted.” (Quran 2:136) God also informed mankind that the previous scriptures were altered, changing much of the original message, and thus could no longer be relied upon. So from His Divine Mercy, He sent the finality of the Prophets, whose name is Muhammad (peace be upon him) with the Final Revelation, the Quran that Almighty God, protected from corruption and alteration.
By Abu Khadeejah ‘Abdul-Waahid Alam, al-Maktabah as-Salafiyyah (Salafi Publications).