For They Killed Him Not: A Muslim Portrayal of Jesus
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For They Killed Him Not: A Muslim Portrayal of Jesus

Author: Dr S.M. Bleher

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There can be no doubt that Jesus is one of the most significant personalities of our time. After all, our calendar in the modern era is based on the date of his birth. Yet, opinions differ as to who Jesus really was. The claims range from a secular denial of his existence as an historic person, on the one hand, to his elevation by Christians as the embodiment of the divine, on the other. Muslims regard him as one of God�s prophets and agree with Christians that he is the promised Messiah, whereas Jews reject him as an impostor.

According to Jewish teachings, the Messiah must be from the tribe of Judah, and to do so he must have a biological father from within this tribe, whereas for Christians and Muslims it is an essential part of their faith that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to him. Does it matter? Those three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, together with secular humanism, remain the key players in the value systems of the developed world dominating the current world order. Their relationship to each other has a direct bearing on the course of political events. A better understanding of their different views of Jesus might, therefore, lead to a better chance for successful communication between the followers of those groups. By presenting the Muslim view of Jesus, or the Arabic equivalent �Isa by which he is referred to in the Qur�an, we hope to contribute to such a noble aim.

Muslims believe in Jesus and the revelation given to him, as they believe in many other Biblical prophets and their revelations:

�Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was entrusted to Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered.� (Qur�an chapter 3, verse 84).

So, Muslims recognise Jesus as a true prophet from Allah, but what do they believe about him? The key aspects in this presentation of the Muslim portrayal of Jesus are: His virgin birth, his prophet hood, his miracles, his mission, his ascension (as opposed to his alleged crucifixion), and his second coming as the Messiah.


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