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Being politically incorrect with love: refuting objections to Jesus's death by crucifixion (part 2)

Last week we were joined on the podcast by our friend Braden Ritchie to chat about Christianity and capitalism and the (uneasy) truce between them. This week on the podcast we were joined by our friend Angelo Nwigwe to discuss the Sabbath and finding time for rest and focus on God in our busy lives. Both topics have immense practical relevance in my life, as did the topic of last week’s blog post: political (in)correctness.


In that blog entry, I outlined the reality that the committed believer of basically any religion believes other religions are false, and described how frowned upon this view is in our politically correct secular culture. Note that I did not mean the committed believer of a religion cannot find merit, value or elements of truth in other religions, but rather that the committed believer of any religion believes all other religions cannot be fully true (because they claim mutually exclusive things). I made specific reference to the mutually exclusive truth claims of Christianity and Islam, for example, and explained how this week I intend to offer a Christian defense against Muslim objections to the crucifixion of Jesus based on my research as a graduate student at the University of Toronto.


As a reminder, this topic matters because if Jesus did not die by crucifixion then the Bible is wrong and we thus have little reason to believe that the resurrection of Jesus occurred, in which case Christianity is false.


If my religion is false, I want to know it! As my favorite writer C. S. Lewis once wrote:


“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”


Here I am at C. S. Lewis’s grave in the cemetery at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry in Oxford, England in January 2023...

The grave of C. S. Lewis in Oxford

The three Islamic objections to Jesus’s death by crucifixion are as follows:

  1. its historicity (i.e., historical authenticity);

  2. the swoon theory; and

  3. the substitute theory.


Before I refute each objection in turn, a note on generalizing Islam...


Islam is somewhat like Catholicism (e.g., authoritative traditions and a central sacred text) but also somewhat like Protestantism (e.g., no central teaching authority). If I want to know what Catholicism teaches, I can check the Catechism or review the declarations of past popes and Church councils, but Islam has nothing like this. And Islam is complex. There are two main sects (Sunni and Shia) and perhaps eight widely recognized schools of thought plus various minority schools. Thus, making blanket statements about Islam is challenging. Nonetheless, we can say this: a Muslim must object to Jesus’s death by crucifixion if they are to remain an orthodox Muslim.


The Muslim Arguments

The Christian and Islamic faiths differ critically on the significance of Jesus and his crucifixion. Brent Neely asserts:


“[S]tandard Islamic theology categorically denies that Jesus was crucified. From a Christian perspective, there could hardly be a more critical divide between the two faiths than the issue of the cross of Christ, for the cross is the core symbol of our faith….”[2]


And Sherene Nicholas Khouri states:


“The crucifixion of Jesus is a heated topic between Muslims and Christians. While even skeptics and atheists join Christians in submitting to its historicity, the majority of Muslims deny it. The Qur’an is clear that the Jews neither killed nor crucified Jesus…. ”[3]


Each Muslim objection to the crucifixion is now presented.


Objection 1: The Crucifixion’s Historicity   

The first objection is that the crucifixion didn’t occur as the Bible depicts. The Qur’an states:


“[The Jews] declared, ‘We have put to death the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of God.’ They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but it only seemed to them [as if it had been so]…. [T]hey certainly did not kill him.”[4] 


Given Muslims claim the Qur’an is the literal word of God recited to Muhammad via the angel Gabriel,[5] these words are of utmost importance for Muslims. And as noted by Peter Laffoon, most Muslim scholars interpret this passage as denying Jesus’s crucifixion and death.[6] Thus, they claim the Bible is tainted. Reem A. Meshal and M. Reza Pirbhai explain:


“Muslims argued that these gospels distorted or suppressed the true account of Jesus, later given in the Qur’an. Muslim authors, therefore, did not restrict themselves to these gospels, but also drew from various apocryphal sources. A prime example of an apocryphal source employed by Muslims… is the “Gospel of Barnabas.” … The work is particularly significant because in it Jesus predicts the coming of Muhammad (mentioned by name) and denies his own divinity, cursing those who would make such assertions.”[7] 


If evidence for the crucifixion relies mostly on the Bible’s Gospels’ accounts, and if these are distorted and other sources carry alternative accounts, Muslims would say there is no reason to believe in the historic event of the crucifixion. Indeed, Khouri explains that most Muslims “believe that Jesus was never hanged on the cross….”[8] 


Thus, the first objection ultimately denies Jesus’s resurrection by denying first His death by crucifixion.


Objection 2: The Swoon Theory

The second objection is the swoon theory. Meshal and Pirbhai explain with respect to the Qur’anic portrayal of Jesus:


“the end of Jesus’ presence on earth is described. Unbelievers plotted against Jesus, so God told him that He proposed to raise him to Himself. He was not slain or crucified, but it appeared to the people that he was, while God raised him to Himself…. The Qur’anic Jesus, in fact, closely approximates the canonical Jesus of Christianity, except for his divinity... and crucifixion (and so, his resurrection).”[9] (emphasis added)


The swoon theory takes a nuanced interpretation of the Qur’anic depiction of Jesus. It does not deny the crucifixion act or even that Jesus appeared to die but instead denies Jesus’s actual death. While Gabriel Said Reynolds notes that “most Western scholars of Islam agree that the Quran denies the death of Jesus”[10] and Andrew Baddock asserts “[t]he Qur’an is emphatic in denying the divinity of Jesus… and that he died on the cross”[11], Khouri states it “does not deny the crucifixion itself.”[12] 


The swoon theory has been advanced in various forms over time. It started with rationalist thinkers in the eighteenth century asserting Jesus only appeared to die on the cross. Islamic scholars built on this, with Muhammad Din stating nearly a century ago that the “oozing of blood from the side of Jesus was a sure indication of the fact that He was alive.”[13] In a 1981 debate, Ahmed Deedat of the Islamic Propagation Centre argued Jesus was hung on the cross but lived.[14] Non-Islamic scholars have put forth the swoon theory more recently as well, such as secular humanist Leonard Irwin Eisenberg who argues that one “only need propose that Jesus was still alive (barely) when taken down from the cross and envision how events most likely would unfold from there.”[15] Further, Shabir Ally of Toronto’s Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International argues Jesus did not spend enough time on the cross to die and Pilate’s astonishment that Jesus was apparently dead before nightfall confirms He did not die.[16] 


Believing someone died, came back to life and was then seen alive is hard to believe. Christians admit this. It is far easier to believe people thought they saw someone who had died and then risen. The swoon theory draws on that intuition. It does not deny the crucifixion event but denies that Jesus died by crucifixion.


Objection 3: The Substitution Theory

The third objection is the substitution theory, which expands on the first objection. Reynolds summarizes it as follows:


“According to most classical Muslim commentators… on the day of the crucifixion another person – whether his disciple or his betrayer – was miraculously transformed and assumed the appearance of Jesus. He was taken away, crucified, and killed, while Jesus was assumed body and soul into heaven. Most critical scholars accept that this is indeed the Quran’s teaching, even if the Quran states explicitly only that the Jews did not kill Jesus.”[17] 


In effect, the substitute theory cares not whether a crucifixion happened but instead focuses on the claim that Jesus himself was not crucified in any event.


Muslim apologist Louay Fatoohi is a strong proponent of the substitute theory. One of his arguments is that those who arrested Jesus did not know him (i.e., they relied on Judas Iscariot) and thus were uncertain who they were arresting. Fatoohi explains:


“The Qur’an does not state that the person who was crucified was made to look like Jesus. A misidentification could have happened even without this specific kind of miraculous intervention. Two thousand years ago, when identity verification was very basic and totally relied on people who knew the person, misidentification was much more likely….”[18] 


Further, Fatoohi discusses early Church fathers fighting heresies but suggests the heresies may be the facts of what had happened to Jesus. For example, Fatoohi asserts Ignatius spoke of sceptics who felt:


“Jesus ‘only seemed to suffer’.... Ignatius’s statement targeted the Docetists, who believed that Jesus did not have a physical body. In their estimation, his sufferings and death were apparent, not real.”[19]


Fatoohi believes this heresy may be authentic, suggesting that while the early Church fathers fought heresies they also testified to facts later masked by the Gospels and the Church. Fatoohi also quotes the Gospel of Barnabas to suggest Judas Iscariot may have substituted for Jesus on the cross, the view of many Muslim scholars during the twentieth century[20] since the Qur’an also claims that someone else (perhaps Judas) was crucified in Jesus’s place.[21] 

           

In sum, the substitute theory proposes someone was mistaken for Jesus and killed while Jesus then escaped and God raptured him into paradise. Tony Costa explains that Islam believes in the ascension of Jesus, but unlike in the Gospels this event does not follow Christ’s death and resurrection but precedes it.[22] Neely asserts that this “is the dominant view in Islamic thought”[23] and, like the first two objections, it denies the resurrection.  


Debunking the Muslim Arguments

The three Islamic objections to the crucifixion are mutually exclusive. You cannot hold one without rejecting the others. Nonetheless, they all deny Jesus died by crucifixion and pose a major challenge to the Christian faith. If any one of them is true, Christianity is false.


Here are simple rebuttals of each objection.  


The Crucifixion’s Historicity   

A Christian response to Islam’s denial of the crucifixion’s historicity can take many forms.


First is the historic credibility of the New Testament. Bart Ehrman, a prolific New Testament scholar (and a non-Christian!), accepts seven of Paul’s letters as authentic and reliable historical sources.[24] Each refers in some way to the Gospels’ accounts of the crucifixion. For example, Paul mentions in 1 Thessalonians that the Jews killed Jesus.[25] Khouri explains that even critics of Christianity such as Ehrman believe this testimony “is historically reliable; and it is written around early 50s AD, which is considered a very early source.”[26] Further, Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek show that “the New Testament documents have more manuscripts, earlier manuscripts, and more abundantly supported manuscripts than the best ten pieces of classical literature combined[27] and explain in detail how illogical it would be for the New Testament writers (and Jesus’s Apostles themselves) to fabricate their writings.[28] The words of Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft make the point: “If they lied, what was their motive, what did they get out of it? What they got out of it was misunderstanding, rejection, persecution, torture, and martyrdom.”[29] In short, we have almost no reason to doubt the reliability of the New Testament accounts.


Second, multiple non-Biblical sources also point to the authenticity of the crucifixion. Khouri notes the following:


“When an event is attested by more than one independent source, there is a strong indication of its historicity…. [T]he crucifixion is reported by dependent (Christians) and independent sources (non-Christians: Jewish and pagan). It is not overstatement to say that all early fathers’ writings mention or imply the crucifixion of Jesus.”[30]


Indeed, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus wrote during the first two centuries (i.e., five centuries before the Qur’an) quoting eyewitnesses and affirming the Gospels’ crucifixion narratives. Additionally, non-Christian sources validate the Gospels’ narratives, including the below written in approximately 93 AD by Flavius Josephus, the greatest Jewish historian of the time:


“At this time [i.e., the time of Pontius Pilate] there was a wise man who was called Jesus. His conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”[31]    


Khouri builds on this remarkable passage, asserting:


“Roman historians (who are not Christians) mention the crucifixion in their historiography. For instance, Tacitus, the 1st-century Roman historian, gives an account of the great fire of Rome, mentioning Christus (Christ) who “suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus. . .” This information is identical with the Biblical account….”[32]


These are among numerous early references to Jesus in non-Christian sources that match the Gospels.


Third, Adnane Mokrani notes how “careful study of the history of Islamic thought in fact shows that there is no consensus on denying the Crucifixion,”[33] even though that remains the leading Muslim position today. Further, Reynolds asserts:


“Islamic tradition itself is not entirely unanimous on the question of Jesus’ death. Alternative traditions are not infrequently found in the classical commentaries according to which Jesus died before ascending to heaven.”[34]


In other words, Muslims don’t even agree on denying the historic event of Jesus’s crucifixion and death. There may not be a Muslim objection to the historicity of the crucifixion at all!   


Fourth, Muslim scholars historically challenge the Gospels by pointing to the existence of other sources which address the crucifixion, chiefly the apocryphal Gospel of Barnabas. This argument fails to address the evidence for the Gospels’ narratives and John Toland, the rationalist deist (i.e., not a Christian), presented evidence in the early eighteenth century that the Gospel of Barnabas was in fact a Muslim reworking of the apocryphal gospel referred to in early Christian documents.[35] Oddbjørn Leirvik states the “Gospel of Barnabas may be viewed… as a much later Muslim attempt at improving the Scriptures by re-editing the Jesus story in a new historical context and for a new audience.”[36] Therefore, in citing the apocryphal Gospel of Barnabas, Muslims are using a source doctored by earlier Muslims. Historians are virtually unanimous in stating the Gospel of Barnabas is a medieval forgery, the list of anachronisms and historical blunders it contains is enormous, and evidence for it prior to medieval times is essentially non-existent. Further, Leirvik demonstrates how Muslims do not even unanimously accept this apocryphal gospel.


Finally, using the Qur’an as a starting point to doubt the historicity of the crucifixion, as many Muslims do, is self-defeating. As Peter G. Riddell and Peter Cotterell point out:


“The Qur’an explains differences between [itself and the Bible]… as being due to Jews and Christians in some sense falsifying the Scriptures. This is odd, because the Qur’an also encourages Muslims to confirm Muhammad’s message by asking Jews and Christians what their message is….”[37]


This is peculiar, especially since Muslims typically use the Qur’anic claim to state that the Bible is corrupted without providing any evidence.[38] Further, using the Qur’an over the Gospels to assess historical authenticity is nonsensical. As Khouri explains: “The Qur’an was written in the 7th century, more than 600 years after the fact of the crucifixion.”[39]


The Swoon Theory

A Christian response to the swoon theory can also take many forms. First, it appears a speculative way for Muslims to explain away impossible contradictions built into the Qur’an and Islam’s reverence of it. The Qur’an reveres and points to the Bible yet Muslims also assert the Bible was corrupted by Jews and Christians. Khouri states:


“Muslims do not investigate the authenticity of events mentioned in the Qur’an. They believe that the Qur’an consists of the dictated words of Allah, and as such, they have the highest authority. When Muslims are faced with a problem, they largely try to get around it by building theories based on speculations.”[40]


In short, the swoon theory is ultimately anti-historical and anti-evidential speculation.[41]


Second, the swoon theory contradicts the most intuitive reading of the Qur’an. As previously stated, Surah 4:157 explicitly says that “[t]hey did not kill him, nor did they crucify him,”[42] which the swoon theory just dismisses. The Qur’an refers to crucifixion (i.e., the act) and Jesus’s death (i.e., the result) as separate things and denies either occurred. The swoon theory, however, says the act occurred. Yet another contradiction. The Qur’an cannot at the same time be perfect and mistaken on this one point, for that violates the logical law of non-contradiction and the additional logical law of the excluded middle.     


Third, the swoon theory simply defies medical expertise and human physiology. Khouri remarks “[i]t is impossible for someone who did not sleep the night before, did not eat well, was tortured, and was crucified to survive the cross.”[43] Medical doctor Joseph W. Bergeron conducts a thorough analysis of the crucifixion and concludes that shock, complicated by trauma-induced coagulopathy, was likely the primary cause of Jesus’s death, noting it is medically impossible to have survived the ordeal.[44] William D. Edwards, Wesley J. Gabel and Floyd E. Hosmer conclude a medical and historical analysis as follows:


“Jesus of Nazareth underwent Jewish and Roman trials, was flogged, and was sentenced to death by crucifixion. The scourging produced deep stripelike lacerations and appreciable blood loss, and it probably set the stage for hypovolemic shock, as evidenced by the fact that Jesus was too weakened to carry the crossbar (patibulum) to Golgotha. At the site of crucifixion, his wrists were nailed to the patibulum and, after the patibulum was lifted onto the upright post (stipes), his feet were nailed to the stipes. The major pathophysiologic effect of crucifixion was an interference with normal respirations. Accordingly, death resulted primarily from hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia. Jesus' death was ensured by the thrust of a soldier's spear into his side. Modern medical interpretation of the historical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead when taken down from the cross.”[45]


And a comprehensive analysis of research into medical evaluations of the crucifixion of Jesus lead Gary Habermas, Jonathan Kopel and Benjamin C. F. Shaw to declare:


“Many medical and other researchers have considered the nature of Jesus’ death by crucifixion…. [E]ven if it is judged that a precise cause of Jesus’ death is difficult to determine, the fact of Jesus’ death from crucifixion is established historically…. In short, historians have long agreed that Jesus died; medical specialists now seem to be growing in agreement on how Jesus died.”[46]


Further, forensic pathologist Frederick Zugibe, who served as chief medical examiner of Rockland County, New York for more than thirty years, described the swoon theory as entirely unfounded and contradicted by medical evidence.[47]


The Substitution Theory

Debunking the substitution theory means countering Fatoohi’s recent work and then the theory generally.


With respect to Fatoohi, the fatal blow is the fact that he is a Qur’anic presuppositionalist.[48] His “historic” work is dead before it even begins. He seeks to present a case for Jesus being substituted by someone else using history but his own starting point is not historic. He presupposes the Qur’an is correct theologically and historically and then seeks historical evidence to fit this presupposition. Thus, Fatoohi’s entire argument commits some form of the fallacy of begging the question (i.e., the argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion rather than supporting it). This is logically untenable. Fatoohi advances an argument giving its evidence credence because the evidence is testable (i.e., assessable by history) yet the first and most critical piece of evidence (i.e., denying Jesus’s crucifixion because the Qur’an says so) can never be tested. Fatoohi assumes without any evidence that the Gospels were altered[49] and requires the Qur’anic story that Jesus was never crucified to be assented to. His “historic” work cannot even meet its own standard.

           

In terms of refuting the substitute theory generally, the first counterargument is to simply re-consider the evidence above on the crucifixion event’s historicity. Even without the strong evidence supporting the crucifixion accounts in the Gospels, there is no reason whatsoever to take the Qur’an’s account as a starting point given it was written at least six centuries after the crucifixion and at least five centuries after the Gospels were written.


Second, as Louis Massignon notes, the substitute theory is not obvious in the Qur’an itself and was in fact inherited from the doctrine of radical Shi’a groups.[50] This is why many Islamic thinkers have abandoned the substitution theory, deeming it unfit historically, theologically and ethically.[51] 


Third, as noted by Mokrani, the substitution theory is actually based on a legend “the origins of which predate the advent of Islam”[52] which makes one wonder why such a critical detail would have been omitted from the Qur’an if it was true.


Fourth, the substitute theory requires the standard view that Jesus did not die to be maintained, yet Reynolds notes “the Quran itself never denies the death of Jesus but rather alludes to it in several passages” and “seems to allude to [Jesus’s] death as an event of history.”[53] Thus, the substitute theory defends the long-held Islamic view that Jesus did not die yet some scholars have observed that the Qur’an may in fact assume Jesus’s death after all. Islamic scholar Mahmoud M. Ayoub for example argues the Qur’an asserts the death of Jesus.[54] 


Finally, Jesus was interrogated by Annas[55] and Caiaphas,[56] both high priests, and Pontius Pilate before his crucifixion. The accounts in the Gospels match with the history recorded by Josephus.[57] The chances that all these individuals misidentified Jesus is exceptionally low.


Conclusion

I welcome challenges to or arguments against my Christian faith. If Christianity is false then I want to know it. I do not want to believe something that is not true.


But, candidly, Islam is not a challenge to my Christian faith. For many reasons. One of those reasons is detailed in this blog post: its arguments against the crucifixion are bad (at best...).


Simply stated, and as explained by Jon Sorensen, there is no good evidence to support Muslim objections to the crucifixion. There is, however, significant evidence for the crucifixion.


I encourage any potential Muslim readers to consider the logical consequences of being unable to explain the crucifixion of Jesus....


My personal view, shared by that of countless Christian theologians, apologists and believers over the past 1,300 years or so, is that Islam is ultimately a simplification and modification of Christianity. There are many of those. C. S. Lewis explains throughout the course of his many writings how Islam is basically a Christian heresy (sort of like Mormonism or Jehovah’s Witnesses) and others argue convincingly that Islam is basically a regressive Judaism influenced by the Arianism prevalent in the culture where Mohammed’s teachings took root. This does not suggest Muslims (or Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses!) can’t be wonderful people! Nor does it change the fact that as a Christian I must love and respect them. It is critical for the Christian to separate the individual Islamic believer (who is a beloved of God our Father) from the religion of Islam which the overwhelming majority of Muslims globally were born into and have few opportunities to explore alternatives to.


I would invite any Muslim reading this post to take the time to read and engage with the Bible, and specifically with the New Testament accounts of the crucifixion. You will, of course, experience cognitive dissonance, and that can be very painful (I know this all too well). But the truth does not change to spare our feelings. This video might be helpful too.


Pursue the truth and follow where it leads.


God bless!


Travis


Sources

[1] Sherene Nicholas Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an: Answering Muslim’s Claims Regarding the Death of Jesus Christ,” in Transformation 38, no. 2 (2021): 158, https://doi.org/10.1177/0265378821994216.

[2] Brent Neely, “At Cross Purposes: Islam and the Crucifixion of Christ, a Theological Response,” in Transformation 34, no. 3 (2017): 176-177, https://doi.org/10.1177/0265378816631552.

[3] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 158.

[4] Qur'an 4:157 (English translation by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan).

[5] John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path (Fourth Edition) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 19.

[6] Peter Laffoon, “Polyphony and Symphony: A Rereading of Q 4.157,” in Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations 32, no. 2 (2021): 160, https://doi.org/10.1080/09596410.2021.1914404.

[7] Reem A. Meshal and M. Reza Pirbhai, “Islamic Perspectives on Jesus,” in The Blackwell Companion to Jesus, ed. Delbert Burkett (Chichester, West Sussex, England: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 237.

[8] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 165.

[9] Meshal and Pirbhai, “Islamic Perspectives on Jesus,” 236.

[10] Gabriel Said Reynolds, “The Muslim Jesus: Dead or Alive?” in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 72, no. 2 (2009): 237-238, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0041977X09000500.

[11] Andrew Braddock, “The Muslim Jesus,” in Theology 108, no. 844 (2005): 270.

[12] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 163.

[13] Muhammad Din, “The Crucifixion in The Koran: The Moslem Point of View,” in The Muslim World 14, no. 1 (January 1924): 25, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1478-1913.1924.tb00489.x.

[14] Josh McDowell & Ahmad Deedat, “Was Christ Crucified?” Debate in Durban, South Africa, August 1981, https://www.answering-islam.org/Debates/Deedat_McDowell.html#rebutdeedat.

[15] Leonard Irwin Eisenberg, “A New Natural Interpretation of the Empty Tomb,” in International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80, no. 2 (2016): 133, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11153-015-9551-0.

[17] Reynolds, “The Muslim Jesus,” 237.

[18] Louay Fatoohi, The Mystery of Crucifixion: The Attempt to Kill Jesus in the Qur’an, The New Testament, and Historical Sources (Birmingham, UK: Luna Plena Publishing, 2008), 107.

[19] Fatoohi, The Mystery of Crucifixion, 110.

[20] Fatoohi, The Mystery of Crucifixion, 112-113.

[21] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 167.

[22] Tony Costa, “Jesus in Islam,” in The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 20, no. 2 (Summer 2016): 51.

[23] Neely, “At Cross Purposes,” 180.

[24] Bart Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why we Don’t Know about Them) (New York: HarperOne, 2009), 123-137.

[25] 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16.

[26] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 160.

[27] Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway, 2004), 225.

[28] Geisler and Turek, I Don’t, 275-297.

[29] Geisler and Turek, I Don’t, 275.

[30] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 161.

[31] Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 93, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 3.

[32] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 161.

[33] Adnane Mokrani, “The Cross in Rumı’s Matnawi,” in Religions 13, no. 7 (2022): 612, https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070611.

[34] Reynolds, “The Muslim Jesus,” 238.

[35] John Toland, Nazarenus: or, Jewish, Gentile or Mahometan Christianity (London, 1718).

[36] Oddbjørn Leirvik, “History as a Literary Weapon: The Gospel of Barnabas in Muslim-Christian Polemics,” in Studia Theologica 56, no. 1 (2002): 19, https://doi.org/10.1080/003933802760115417.

[37] Peter G. Riddell and Peter Cotterell, Islam in Context: Past, Present, and Future (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003), 74.

[38] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 160.

[39] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 160.

[40] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 162.

[41] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 163.

[42] Qur'an 4:157 (English translation by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan).

[43] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 165.

[44] Joseph W. Bergeron, The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Medical Doctor Examines the Death and Resurrection of Christ (Suwanee, GA: St. Polycarp Publishing House, 2018).

[45] William D. Edwards, Wesley J. Gabel, and Floyd E. Hosmer, “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ,” in The Journal of the American Medical Association 255, no. 11 (April 1986): 1455, https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1986.03370110077025.

[46] Gary Habermas, Jonathan Kopel, and Benjamin C. F. Shaw, “Medical Views on the Death by Crucifixion of Jesus Christ,” in Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings 34, no. 6 (2021): 751, https://doi.org/10.1080/08998280.2021.1951096.

[47] Frederick Zugibe, The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry (New York: M. Evans & Co., 2005), 161-162.

[48] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 167.

[49] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 169.

[50] Louis Massignon, “Le Christ dans les évangiles selon Ghazali,” in Revue des études islamiques 6 (1932): 525.

[51] Khouri, “The Crucifixion in the Qur’an,” 169.

[52] Mokrani, “The Cross,” 611.

[53] Reynolds, “The Muslim Jesus,” 239.

[54] Mahmoud M. Ayoub, “Towards an Islamic Christology, II: The Death of Jesus, Reality or Delusion,” in The Muslim World 70, no. 2 (1980): 91-121, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1478-1913.1980.tb03405.x.

[55] Gospel of Luke 3:2; Gospel of John 18:13-24.

[56] Gospel of Matthew 26:57; Gospel of John 18:13 and 24.

[57] David W. Chapman and Eckhard J. Schnabel, The Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus: Texts and Commentary (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2019), 4-8.

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