Sunday 13 May 2018

Bible and Quran: Contradictions - Crucification of Prophet Eesa (Jesus)

My childhood was the time of comics and classics. In the absence of TV or any visual entertainment except for the cinemas, most of our free time was spent in reading comics and classics. It was through classics, I came across narrations of the Great Flood and Prophet Nuh (Noah), the destruction of the people of Prophet Lut (Lot) and the story of Prophet Eesa (Jesus), may peace be upon them all.

While reading the tragedy described of the crucification of Prophet Eesa, I was really appalled at the pain endured by the prophet and his later elevation from his grave. Feeling rather uneasy about the whole episode, I went to my father who was a man of wisdom and intellect and esquired as to why Allah (God to other religions) had His prophet undergone such tragedy and pain when he was crucified. The simple answer my father gave me was "Christ was never crucified!!" Seeing me still puzzled, he asked me to bring the copy of the Holy Quran with translation and then made me read the relevant verses about how Allah describes the event.

But before I present the view point of Muslims as presented in the Holy Quran, I would like to present the same event presented in the other holy scriptures, specially the Bible, which runs tangent to our belief as Muslims.

The crucification of Jesus is described in Wikipedia as:
According to the canonical gospels, Jesus, the Christ, was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin, and then sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally crucified by the Romans. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and offered wine mixed with myrrh or gall to drink before being crucified. He was then hung between two convicted thieves and according to Mark's Gospel, died some six hours later. During this time, the soldiers affixed a sign to the top of the cross stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was written in three languages. They then divided his garments among themselves and cast lots for his seamless robe, according to the Gospel of John. After Jesus' death, according to the Gospel of John one soldier pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died.
In Matthew 27:32-56 New International Version (NIV), the crucification is described as under:
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews.
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At another place, it is quoted: Jesus cried, "Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit!" and He died (Luke 23:46) 

Now I come to the event of crucification as it appears in the Holy Quran:
"That they said [in boast], 'We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah'; but they killed him notnor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who  differ therein are full of doubts, with no [certain] knowledge, but only  conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not." (Surah An Nisah 4:157)
In view of the above reference, the Muslims believe that the Prophet Eesa was raised to Heaven without being put on the cross, and what onlookers saw on the cross was someone who resembled Prophet Eesa. Muslims thus believe that Prophet Eesa is alive up in the heavens and will descend to earth in final End Days to put the misled back on Allah's path before the world comes to an end.
"Behold! Allah said: 'O  Eesa! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee [of the  falsehoods] of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee  superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then  shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters  wherein ye dispute." (Surah 3:55) 
From the above two view points as mentioned in Bible and Quran, the followers of the Bible question Quran and object to the Quranic "conjectures": As per Christians claims the "death" of Jesus has not only been recorded in all four Gospels and  other New Testament books, but was mentioned in historical documents  from ancient times such as Josephus and Tacitus. In the presence of such credible documents, it is impossible for the mother and friends of Jesus to have not recognized To believe  Jesus was not the person on the cross is to suggest that His closest  followers and own mother did not recognize Him, nor did those who put  Jesus to death.

Just as thew birth of Prophet Eesa was a miracle, likewise it was not difficult for Allah to replicate his body with someone else looking exactly like him that even his own mother and friends had no iota of doubt that the man crucified was none other than Jesus. And his not being crucified is enough proof that Allah DID NOT FORSAKE HIM as has been mentioned in the Mathews referred above.

These are two views expressed in Bible and Quran about crucification or otherwise of Prophet Eesa (Jesus). It is only for the wise to interpret what has been the actual truth.

References: | Wikipedia | Bible Gateway |

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